Yesterday would be my 6th time celebrating Mother’s Day, as a mom. I’ve never been much of a birthday person. I don’t love the attention and the pressure of planning something. However I do love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so what can I say- I’m complicated.
I do really love celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s just a chance for me to take a day and appreciate the three most important things I’ve ever done. Besides marrying my husband, which was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made, creating a family with him and bringing these three little people into the world has been an overwhelming beautiful adventure.
I’ve been reflecting back on the last 7 years or so as a Mom. I sat in a quiet dark room, with my candles, playing Sarah McLachlan in peace on my bed. NOT come on. I’m a mom to a 4, 6 and 7 year old. I am never in a quiet room, anywhere. In between wiping butts, making lunch, doing homework, picking up legos, stepping on the legos when they are on the floor again, reading books, and hugs- I have reflected. In a very scattered way. This is far and away the hardest job I’ve ever had. There are tiny moments where I want to run away for a day or so to be in quiet, but at the end of every day even at my most exhausted there is always that moment when I’ve read them their books, sang them our song and see a look in their eye that just rocks me to my core. Being their mom is everything I am here for.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:
- You are capable of more than you think you are. Before I gave birth to our second daughter, Dylan, I remember thinking there was no way that I could love another person the way I love Blake. How could it be? My heart felt so full. Boy was I wrong. With each birth, it’s like my heart doubles in size. The love I feel for each child is greater than any love I ever thought imaginable. And yes, after each birth I struggled to find my footing. But somehow it’s like you gain an extra hand. I could feed a baby a bottle, while reading a book to my toddler and help my other toddler eat. You just figure it out. It’s not always pretty, or perfect, but you can do it.
- I am not always failing. Figuring out how to split yourself up to tend to each child’s needs is definitely my biggest struggle as a mom. I feel like I am constantly trying to make sure that each of them feels loved and included. Sometimes I am just exhausted, and just play a movie. It feels lazy and definitely not like mother of the year material. But I got a card from Blake, my eldest, yesterday for Mother’s Day and when asked what her favorite thing to do with me she responded “Just lay down and watch a movie.” So it hit me that even when I think I’m being lazy or failing as a mom, it’s just the moment when I’m nailing it. Also I’ve had birds on my person on more than one occasion so technically, I just win as a mother, right?
- Kids are born as they are and we just shape them a little. Now watching three kids grow up, it is clear that their personalities are formed from inception almost. My husband and I do things exactly the same for all of them. My oldest daughter is the rule follower, gets straight A’s, wins the kindness awards, and moves more cautiously. She didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. Then my second daughter, walked at 9 months, literally jumps from couch to couch, has had stitches 2 times on her face, and told us she wants to leave school to travel the world on boat. My son is constantly in character whether that’s Tarzan or a T-Rex, and if you ask me his scholastic potential I will say he’s a third kid and 4 so I’m not entirely sure which way he is going to go yet #realtalk
- Things may go as planned but most likely it will absolutely not go the way you thought it would. This has been the hardest lesson to learn, but the one that has granted me the most happiness. I used to try to plan and anticipate every single aspect of our day, and then when things didn’t go as planned I would become so upset or get so stressed out. I’m not saying I don’t plan at all, but I do allow for flexibility now. No plan or activity or schedule is as important as it seems. Sometimes the beauty lies in the things that weren’t planned at all. Like you think I would plan to have a bird on my shoulder… no, no I wouldn’t.
- Ice Cream Cures All. I’ve learned that almost any time one of my kids is acting out or not acting like themselves, the root of the problem is they need special time. For the quick fix I escape with him/her and we get some ice cream together, just us. Sometimes a little one on one time is good for the soul, and not just their soul- definitely mine.
- Never Stick your Finger in the back of a diaper. I don’t think I need to go any further here. We all understand what happens here, right?
- Learn from my mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes. So. Many. I’ve forgotten formula, bottles, pacifiers. As they’ve grown, I’ve forgotten lunches, project due dates, birthday parties. I’ve said the wrong thing. I’ve reacted wrong. A good example is that time I forgot to pack a change of clothes for the kids, because what could go so wrong at the park? Well there was a very large puddle that day I guess the other lesson here is that also be easy on yourself when you don’t exactly learn from that mistake. Years later, I also had not packed clothes and well:
- Enjoy it because it just flies. This is something people tell you all the time. It’s almost annoying how often someone says this to you. But there’s a reason. One day you are holding this tiny little baby in your arms. Your hair is dirty, you aren’t sure the last time you showered or ate an entire meal from start to finish sitting down, and you are so tired that you dream about sleeping while you are taking a tiny 15 minute nap. You think this phase will never end. Then it’s like your thrusted in the future and your daughter is telling you that you embarrassed her at her soccer game because you were cheering too loud. Boom. The phase is ending, and all you end up wondering is if you held her enough? Did you play with her enough? Did you take it all in? And when you start to panic that you didn’t hold her long enough you will begin to downward spiral and beg your husband to reverse his vasectomy, to which he will obviously reply NO. So I will just look at my 7, 6 and 4 year old and make sure I enjoy this time with them. As the more seasoned moms keep telling me to do. And although I may get annoyed at times, I know they’re right. It just flies.
I think back on my 12 year old self, and smile. I was so awkward (this hasn’t changed much), had really skinny arms, and my face had not grown into my two front teeth. All this being true, I lived in an alternate universe where I was most definitely going to marry Luke Perry.
The deal was always simple in my house, I would go to the grocery store with my mom and “help” and she would buy me the latest edition of Teen Beat, Bop, or any other magazine that had a cute boy on the cover. I would rip out the pages and shuffle them around on my bulletin board, or if I’m being super honest the super secret collage I made in my closet behind my clothes.
The bulletin board had some quotes and pictures of things that weren’t just boys. I had to play it cool. I couldn’t be all Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, I needed to seem like I had layers. The closet, well, the closet was just for me. A judgment free zone.
In hindsight, my parents should have held an intervention or at least been concerned about my interests. There’s no way my mom didn’t know about my super secret closet collage. I guess they knew that whole Luke Perry thing wouldn’t really pan out.
The other night, I was out with a few friends and Tiger Beat came up. Being a self-appointed expert we started to name some of the men from these magazines, and tried to figure out who was the hottest and wondering if we would still rip their pictures out of the magazine today. Naturally I volunteered to jump down the internet rabbit hole and here are some of my favorites:
Joey Lawrence: The only reason any of us watched Blossom. Sorry Mayim, you were cute and your collection of hats was something to aspire to, but we were only watching for Joey. Every time the guy would say “Woah” I fell a little deeper. I don’t know if it is the hair, or lack of hair, but Joey doesn’t really do it for me anymore. He wouldn’t make the super secret closet collage today. You make the call for yourself. A lot of people dig the sleeveless shirt, vest, tie and cross pin look.
Jared Leto: While he was not the only reason I watched My So Called Life, because well Angela Chase was everything. He definitely didn’t hurt. I think we all understood why she loved him so deeply. Jordan Castalano, sigh. Jared Leto is not Jordan Catalano anymore. He went down a pretty serious path, taking on some pretty deep roles. He goes all in. I kind of really dig that. So even after playing a pretty convincing Joker on Suicide Squad (pictured), Jared still goes on my wall.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Or as his fans so lovingly called him, JTT, was just adorable. I was definitely more on the younger side when he caught my eye. Looking at this list now through my adult eyes, he’s definitely no longer a favorite. I mean the puppy, the puppy is adorbs. It’s not you, JTT, it’s me. So if you are asking, no, no he wouldn’t make my wall.
Marky Mark: Well now he’s grown up, and a serious actor so I guess we need to call him Mark Whalberg. Even though I ran into him as an adult and he told me I could still call him Marky Mark- but we can discuss this later. He was my first concert as an 8 year old. Again, mom and dad if you are reading this you may have been sending the wrong signals. Whether you call him Marky Mark or just Mark, this guy still has it. Not just that he’s still Calvin Klein ad-worthy, but he’s a producer, a great actor, and is the brother of a NKOTB. Total package.
Andrew Keegan: I will get right to it here. Andrew Keegan was adorable, and is still adorable depending on the picture you see. But did you know he now runs a religion, or if you’re being honest, a cult. He doesn’t like that word, but he is the founder of Full Circle Venice, and you can read the article HERE. Or just check out the pictures of him with his pet parrot, Krishna and circle of “community” not “followers”.
Joshua Jackson: Joshua and I go way back. All the way to the Mighty Ducks, I would shout Quack at the screen like nobody was watching. I followed him to Dawson’s Creek where I had a mild obsession, it’s not like I am still obsessed and wrote an entire article about it HERE. But Joshua Jackson is man hot now. You can currently catch him on the Affair on Showtime to make up your own mind, but if my husband goes to my closet and moves some of my clothes around he will probably find Joshua Jackson on the wall.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Leo. He had me when he showed up in Growing Pains.
Then he sealed the deal when he looked at Claire Daines through the fish tank
I feel invested in this guy. Honestly when he won the Oscar, I stood up and clapped and felt such relief like we did it together. And even though he only dates models, which is a ridiculous rule, I will still put him on my secret closet collage. Because of Romeo and his killer moves in Wolf of Wallstreet.
Luke Perry: If we could have just met, he would have known what I always did we were MFEO (google it). I had our entire wedding planned out. He was the original reason I had a secret closet collage. I had Mrs. Perry written in all of my diaries (yes I had diaries- plural). I couldn’t chose sides in the epic Brenda Kelly triangle, because I hated both of them! I was an irrational obsessive stalker. Well Luke fell off the radar for a long time, and recently popped up on Riverdale, and I have to say he’s still got it somewhat. However it does pain me to say that I can’t put him up on my wall. There is limited space now, I’m a married woman. But you make that call for yourself.
Johnny Depp: Johnny Depp has been on every girl’s top 5 for about 3 decades. Him and Kate Moss was something legends were made of. Even as Willy Wonka he had me, and that should be impossible for a mortal man. Willy Wonka is not a good look for anyone. But Johnny has let himself go a bit. So Johnny, this is your intervention. Go figure your shit out so I can put you back on the wall.
Brad Pitt: I mean this needs to explanation. Remember Thelma and Louise
I named my son after him for Brad’s sake. Well more specifically, his character in Legends of the Fall.
If we are being honest, my husband did. In fact, if my husband had a super secret closet collage, Brad Pitt would be the only one there. And if I ever found that, I would just understand, because I mean:
Scott Speedman: He perfectly portrayed Ben on Felicity. If you never saw it, trust me you have a Ben we all do. The cute guy from high school that we loved even though we shouldn’t. Whether he is the guy that kept us around “just in case” but never wanted to make it official, or made it official and then cheated, or broke up with us out of nowhere. We all had some version of Ben. And Scott Speedman was just, so dreamy. He recently appeared on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy as a potential love interest for Meredith, and Shonda if you’re listening BRING HIM BACK! – Yes still on my wall! Obviously! Hello, it’s Scott Speedman
Ryan Phillipe: I did make a promise back in 90’s Article that I would circle back around to Ryan. I most definitely had this picture
on my bulletin board. It didn’t even need to be in my secret closet collage. This scene was just epic. It kind of makes you wonder now, where did Ryan Phillipe even go? He cheated on Reese Witherspoon, and then vanished kind of. Well no matter how cute he looked driving that Jaguar Roadster
I have to say he wouldn’t be on my wall today. He hasn’t changed much, but I’m loyal. While Reese isn’t my actual friend, I’d like to think we would be friends. But we can leave that post for another day. For now, Phillipe, you’re out.
*It must be noted, that my friend (we shall leave her name out of this) read this article and is offended that Ryan Phillipe is off my wall now and cited his “MLP” as THE reason to keep him on. What is an MLP? Great question! I had the same one… Muscles Leading to Penis and then she sent me this picture:
You know what… she’s not wrong. Sorry, Reese- Ryan welcome back to the wall!
There are many many more men of Tiger Beat. But I leave you with these for now. Let me know who I absolutely missed in the comments or send me a message! Who is on your super secret closet collage?
As I’ve mentioned in my previous TV blogs, I may have a bit of a TV problem. I don’t deny it, and while I used to try to hide just how deep my addiction goes, I have learned to embrace it. Thrive even.
Since having kids, TV has kind of just been my way to escape the day. I can sit on the couch and just tune into different stories, and just disappear for a bit. My husband will vouch for this, and tell you that he wishes I would limit my time to TV that is actually “good” and kind of weed out all the “shit” TV that I watch. In fact we were having a TV debate recently with another couple we hang out with from time to time. The woman was asking me what I would recommend for them to watch next, and my husband and her husband said my opinion was not valid because I watch everything. #OffensiveAF
I sat up straight in my chair, latin blood runs too hot for an off the cuff remark like that. I couldn’t let it fly. I could not stand for that kind of talk. YES! I watch mostly everything, but I can tell the difference between quality television and what I would classify as a guilty pleasure. I also like to customize my recommendations based on my audience. [I take this entirely too seriously].
Also I feel there is a time and place for a guilty pleasure TV show. I can’t spend all my free time watching episodes of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Homeland. I will die of an early heart attack caused by stress. I just finished the last season of Sons of Anarchy and after a couple of those episodes I seriously questioned who I was, as I was actively rooting for someone to die. That is just not healthy.
Hence, the guilty pleasure. The maybe drama filled-mostly light fantasy world where even the worst situation is so ridiculous that it causes you no stress. It’s just mindless television. Sometimes it’s filled with adorable teen angst and romance, other times it’s filled with intense nonsensical drama, and other times it’s just a good solid laugh. But it is always guilty and stress-free. Here is my list of my most favorite past and current guilty pleasures:
- The entire Bachelor series: This includes but is not limited to The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor Winter Games, and The Bachelor in Paradise. I was a freshmen in college when the Bachelor first aired, and I have missed one season since. Yes, I know how that sounds. The Bachelor franchise has me in their trap. But I read once that their demo is 25-54 professional women, so also I’m a cliche.
- Unreal: I made a solemn vow to myself never to admit out loud to another soul that I watch this show. But give me a blog and a few weeks and apparently, there are no secrets. Not only is this show on Lifetime, but it is also about the Bachelor. Not just the Bachelor, but how the producers behind the scenes create the Bachelor magic. TV magic. So while I went to many great lengths to hide this show from my husband, once he caught me watching it the judgment in his eyes, and in his words, was harsh but probably warranted. It doesn’t stop me though. It’s so good. In that dirty, telenovela, uncontrollable drama kind of way. The first two seasons are available on Hulu and season 3 started up again on Lifetime, set those DVRs, trust.
- Vampire Diaries: This show has all the ingredients for a great binge. The cast is gorgeous, high school angst, and vampires (duh). What else does one even need to thoroughly enjoy television. I have a theory that we as the human species all fall into on of two categories. We are either Team Stefan or Team Damon. There is no in between. It should be noted that if you are Team Damon, I absolutely positively judge you. How could you?! If you don’t know which team you are on, clearly you haven’t watched, so RUN to Netflix and thank me later.
- The Arrangement: This is another dirty dirty secret of mine. It is not with pride that I admit to you that I not only watch this show, but really really like it [insert embarrassed emoji here]. It’s currently in its second season on E. That’s right, E. It is loosely based on the marriage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and Michael Vaughn from Alias is in it so it MUST be good right? Honestly I can’t even tell anymore. Is this where we draw the line and officially say I cannot be saved?
- Empire: I honestly don’t know how this happened. I don’t even watch Fox, so I’m not even sure how Cookie and Lucious Lyon walked into my life. But they didn’t walk they barged their way into my heart. I’m a sucker for the music (which was produced by Timbaland in the first season), I love the flashy clothes, and I just love Taraji P [remember when she gave out cookies then night she won the Golden Globe for playing Cookie watch that here she even gives one to Leo DiCaprio- I mean I love her!]
- The OC: I loved it back when it aired, and I loved it more when I re-watched it on HULU last year [stop judging me, I do that enough for both of us]. Adorable young Ryan from Chino gets a chance to live in a pool house and attend school with the beautiful rich kids of the OC. It’s basically THE recipe for really amazing bad TV.
- Riverdale: As you are probably starting to notice, teen angst is high on my list of priorities in picking good/bad tv. Riverdale is no exception. Riverdale is the Riverdale from Archie Comics for all my comic books folk, and so there is the Betty and Veronica thing playing out add in a little murder and the first season (which is on Netflix) you can have binged within two weeks. Count on it. Second season should be available soon 😉
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The second vampire show to make the list. If I was being more honest, there would have been at least 2 others on this list, but I had to show “self-control” and limit it to two. Sigh, Sarah Michelle Gellar, I wanted to keep her off because my husband had such a crush on her when this was airing, but then again who didn’t? The saga between her and Angel was/still is everything. I re-watched recently (obviously) and it’s arguably better now. You can catch it on Netflix.
- Gossip Girl: I don’t even think I need to explain myself on this one. New York (upper east side) + Teen Angst + Amazing Fashion + Mysterious Ruthless Blogger= EVERYTHING. Team Blair and Chuck forever #xoxo
- Jane the Virgin: This is my most recent black hole of binging. In fact I just finished season 1 (in 3 days- it was a weekend and I stayed up late and yes I’m exhausted). Guys it’s a latin, pregnant, virgin! It’s actually very funny and all I want is to be friends with Gina Rodriguez now. Catch the first 4 seasons on Netflix!
- Hart of Dixie: the little show that could! A NY doctor (Rachel Bilson) moves to Bluebell, Alabama where her dad was from, trying to discover who she is. Rachel Bilson and Jamie King, who plays a character named Lemon, become archrivals, there’s a crocodile named Burt Reynolds, and there’s this guy Wade who almost never has a shirt on. I know how this all sounds, but I watched it when it aired, and just rewatched it again, (all together, OBVIOUSLY!) and it was even better the second time. Just love the southern charm and Zoe Hart’s (Rachel Bilson) amazing collection of shorts, you gotta watch if you want to see what I mean. Catch the whole show on Netflix!
What’s Going On!
Right now I want you to click this link and have our favorite egotistical semi-maniacal rapper guide you through this blog post.
I would be lying if I said fitness was something that just started becoming important to me. I come from a family of athletes, and have always kept pretty active. I know that it’s obvious from my stature and smooth moves, but I was one hell of a basketball player in my time. Ok so I wasn’t the best basketball player, but I played basketball, on a team, and the team was good.
The life of a first year law student sent me running (literally) to the gym. Cue Kanye West and his New Workout Plan, always the first song on my playlist. I started going 4-5 times a week to help manage my stress, and probably just to take a break from all the reading. In fact, to all the people who feel I watch too much TV it should be known that I have read enough for an entire lifetime, maybe even 3 people’s lifetimes.
Fast forward through being a lawyer and three pregnancies and let’s say I was on and off about my gym habit. I would go when I could squeeze it in. I’m a big believer in that everything tastes as good as skinny feels, so going to the gym has always been a necessary evil. I was highly motivated to workout by my jeans. Jeans are expensive, and when they stop fitting you because you ate too many Oreos, it’s really annoying. Then you have to buy your “fat jeans” but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on those because they’re going to be “temporary” and you see the dark rabbit hole I’m falling into here.
About six months ago I was starting to feel really bad. My head slowly started to hurt and I was at migraine level pain for almost two weeks. Obviously this coincided with my children’s winter break. I was having to entertain three tiny circus monkeys all while fighting off a headache that could not be cured with any over the counter, or even prescription medicine. Things got worse when I realized that I was slowly putting on weight, and my ankles were so swollen they barely fit into my sneakers. I was so miserable, and it reflected on my face and definitely in my parenting.
Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and went to the ER for something to take this headache away, and we found out my blood pressure was 150/100. This is well above normal, and especially for a young thriving lady such as myself.
Once they were able to shut down my headache, with what must have been a horse tranquilizer, the real work began. Since December 28,2017 I have done a number of tests to try and figure out what in my body has changed and shifted to the point that my blood pressure cannot be stabilized without intervention. There is no history of high blood pressure on either side of my family, I am only 34 and relatively good shape. We still do not have any concrete answers, but the doctors did tell me I needed to change my diet and exercise to do what I could to keep my blood pressure from spiking.
I felt so out of control. My body had gone completely rogue. So I needed to take back the power, and I had to do this through exercise. Exercise has now taken on a new role in my life. It is not just my stress relief but a way for me to try to keep my body in line. A thing I can do every day to make sure I am staying healthy, not just for my jeans, but for me.
I had also started going to a therapist to help with my anxiety (more on this another time), and she introduced me to Tich Nhat Hanh.
Tich is a Buddhist monk, but don’t let me lose you. Besides being adorable, his approach to life was so simple, yet deep. To me this simplicity was beautiful. I was really put off by the idea of meditation at first, but have become a firm believer. I just think everyone needs to find their own way to do it.
I am not good at the more traditional meditation where you sit down for 10 minutes and clear your mind with an app. This comes easier to my husband. What Tich showed me was that anything can be a meditation, so long as it is done with intention, mindfully. As my therapist taught me I can just do, “lots of little things- many times.”
My meditations include eating delicious food, taking a few deep breaths in the shower (between songs), making Chamomile Tea, exercise, and a few more things that I enjoy doing but now I do them with more thought and more gratitude.
So I am bringing you Health and Fitness ideas because I don’t think anyone should wait for something to act. Not death, not a health scare, nothing. Humor aside, we need to take care of ourselves. The majority of you are moms, and we are most at risk. Self-care isn’t a trend, well it is a trend right now, but it’s a must. Find the time, even if it’s just twenty minutes. Take control.
I am in no way an authority here. So I am going to be bringing in some of the best around (in my opinion) to bring you great at home workouts, some great recipes for healthy meals, and I will share some resources that have given me wisdom to deal with the insanity of raising tiny humans and not completely lose your mind. Namaste!
A couple years back, I was at the park with a couple of my favorite mom friends complaining (no surprise) that I needed to switch up my workout routine a bit because I was bored. Two of these lovely ladies had been going to Barry’s Bootcamp here on Miami Beach for the last couple of weeks, and were convinced I had to come with them. I gave every excuse I could come up with and the rebuffed each attempt:
Me: “I am not in good enough shape to do weights.”
Them: “You can go at your own pace and do lighter weights.”
Me: “I have to run on a treadmill, fast? What if I fall?”
Them: “You can go at your own pace, and we have never seen anyone fall.”
Me: “I have had three kids, what if I have to pee?”
Them: “You can just go to the bathroom, but I have peed a little in my pants during leg day or a sprint on the treadmill.”
When my amazingly beautiful friend admitted to me that she has peed herself a little on a treadmill at Barry’s, just to get me to come, I knew I had to at least try it. Well I came to my first Barry’s class and I didn’t fall off the treadmill, did my lighter weights, can proudly say I did not pee myself, and I absolutely loved it. I loved that you can do the workout at your own pace and work your way up to the people around you doing more advanced instruction. It kicked my butt and gave me something to aspire to.
Enter Sally Schimko. I ran into Sally when I had first started working out at Barry’s. She was in incredible shape, that kind of shape that you think to yourself there is no way she’s had kids yet, but then you find out she has two and you’re like “Sigh.” Sally was there each day with a smile, and always cheering everyone on. So when she started her healthy lifestyle blog featuring all of her delicious veggie focused recipes, I knew she would be the perfect contributor for the Health and Fitness section. For her this is a lifestyle, and I love learning from people who do what they love. You can learn more about Sally, and see more of her recipes on her Instagram account @mysexyveggies
For our first recipe we decided to do Fried Cauliflower Rice as a perfect meal, or side to your favorite protein at lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Also if you live in Miami Beach area and want a cooking class with Sally for yourself or a group of friends (which I highly recommend SO FUN!) you can email me email@example.com or email her directly firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your day. You can customize the menu, bring some wine, and get Sally’s personal tips for living a more healthy lifestyle.
- 2-3 cups cauliflower rice ( I use frozen)
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1/3 cup edamame
- 1 small onion sliced thinly
- 1 medium carrot ( shaved)
- 2 cups mix mushrooms
- 1/3 cup liquid aminos
- 3 Tbs orange marmalade
- 2 Tbs pb2 ( peanut butter powder or just use your nut butter )
- 1/2 cup mix chopped green herbs ( dill , cilantro, parsley)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Spicy chili flax ( optional)
1. In a medium high skillet sauté vegetables Starting with the onion and mushrooms until they are golden brown and add all the rest (reserve some carrots, dill, parsley and cilantro to garnish)
2. Sprinkle spices , mix and cover
3. When all the vegetables turned golden brown, simmer down
4. Add liquid amino and orange marmalade and mix well cover for 2-5 minuets and it’s ready to serve
5. Top it up with hempseed and pine nuts.
Ever feel like you are just constantly messing up this whole parenting thing? Not just because you are walking in a minefield of your child’s emotions. Seriously, some days I feel like I am actually tiptoeing through a minefield that can be set off for something as simple as peeling a banana in an undesired way. But, it’s more than that.
As a mom of three little kids, I am constantly bombarded with so many warnings about, well, everything. I mean, have you been on the internet lately? There is a website that can shame you for practically anything when it comes to parenting these days. Watch your kids every moment in case they fall, no you watch your kids too much, stop hovering, you’re a helicopter parent. You say no too much, try using a more positive word. Oh you have to start saying no to your kids, they need healthy boundaries. Feed your kids organic food, wash their hands, but not with antibacterial soap, don’t let them drink juice, and for the love of God, do not under any circumstance, use anything with MSG.
For a while I got so caught up in all of these rules and keeping my kids as safe and as healthy as possible. However, it does dawn on me, that with all these rules we have for our kids now, where were they when we were little. You know this is true. Us “xenials,” that is what they are calling our “kind.” I’m starting to suspect that science needed to define us as the generation of lab rats.
We came of age in the time where technology was making major advances and manufacturing in the food industry was transitioning from a focus on natural ingredients to a focus on efficiency and bulk. As a result, we were the guinea pigs, the ones that tried out all of these “advances” with hopes that we wouldn’t just drop dead.
I mean, really think about this. I want to say that throughout my entire childhood I probably consumed MSG on everything. I bet there was a bottle of MSG in my house that my mom would sprinkle on things, just so that it would taste good.
I would say “Mom this chicken is a little bland.”
“Oh sorry honey, just grab the MSG from the cupboard. Delicious.”
McDonald’s in my house was not a special treat, it was the norm. We had McDonald’s sometimes just because we were driving down the street and saw the golden arches and said, “oh let’s just stop and get a happy meal.” “Why not?” People would absolutely mom shame you now if they knew how often you feed your kids McDonald’s and now it’s at least somewhat real food. When our parents were feeding us Mickey D’s, it was barely regulated, the chicken nuggets were not chicken and the burgers were sort of meat and heavy on the ammonium hydroxide [you should be picturing this back then there was pink slime too, it just went in our food].
When this article came out recently about Yellow dye in the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, I shuddered at the thought of what our Mac n Cheese was probably made from. That big blue box was a staple in my house, I even had a song for it “Macaroni and Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese..” that’s all I remember but you get the point, I LOVED Mac n Cheese night, which was almost every other night, when we weren’t eating McDonald’s ofcourse. If it’s still being regulated for having artificial coloring and inorganic ingredients can you just imagine what we used to shovel into our mouths back then.
When we go to birthday parties now, and my kids are like “Mommy mommy can I have apple juice?” Sometimes I answer “NO! You just had apple juice this morning.” Do you want to know why? Because that’s so much sugar and kids can’t be ingesting too much sugar. [Who am I?]
When I was their age I was drinking Coke, Sunkist, Sprite, and Mountain Dew (honestly just thinking about Mountain Dew makes my insides hurt). Have you seen that video where someone uses Coke to get rid of corrosion on a car, well you can see that here. Well if that doesn’t make you sleep better at night, I’m not sure what will.
How about safety? Today my kids get into the car, and I will not drive a single inch without making sure seat belts are on and that they are on correctly. Things were much more, how would you say, lax, back then. I can’t think of a single time my mom asked me to put my seatbelt on. Every car ride was like a game of roulette. The backseat was a single bench, maybe there were seatbelts, maybe there weren’t. It didn’t matter.
We were living life on the edge. Nowadays kids can’t sit in the front seat until they are 13. 13! I had been sitting in the front seat for 6 years at this point. You remember when you were 7. Were you sitting in a booster? Let me answer that for you, no, no you were not.
Every time I have purchased a scooter for my kids, I have also bought a helmet. If I am being super super honest it’s not a hard line rule in our house. However the thought is there. I’m also pretty sure if I ever teach my kids to ride a bike (apartment living makes this hard and I get it- OK! I will show my almost 8 year old to ride soon), helmets would be mandatory. I see so many kids at the park riding with helmets. I didn’t even own one. It wasn’t even a word that came out of my parent’s mouths. Helmet? For what? Take your bike play outside for a while and be home by dinner time.
Remember the first day you had a computer lab in your school? This was awesome. It was hands down one of my favorite times of the week. We would walk into a room with about 10-15 huge beige blocks, the first Apple. The black screen with the green cursor, and we were blown away. Skip over some years and games started to come into the picture. Right now, I want you to think about how vigilant you are today with what your kid is watching on the iPad or what games they are playing.
Now I want you to remember that at the age of 7-8 you were playing The Oregon Trail. Think about this, you were playing a savage game of Oregon Trail where you had to barter and hunt and hope your entire family wouldn’t die of dysentery, typhoid fever or starvation. Every time I had to hunt, and I kept missing those super slow buffalos and had to settle for a rabbit, my daughter inevitably died of starvation.
It was a cruel horrible lesson to teach 7 year olds. It’s no wonder we were so excited to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Being an international super spy was way less pressure than trying to make it through the maze of death that was the Oregon Trail.
Speaking of screening what your kid watches on the iPad, I make sure what they are watching has some sort of educational value. We use Commonsense Media to make sure the show has some of benefit. Don’t’ get me wrong, my kids watch a shit ton of television. I just try to monitor and make sure that it isn’t mind numbing crap, you know like we watched.
The other day I was driving on the expressway with my kids and we saw some neanderthal roll down his window and throw a paper out of his car. I felt so much motherly pride when my kids began to shout “Hey that guy is littering! Booo!” I got so caught up in the emotion of it that we put our windows down and shamed him. Then I realized, I was that guy.
This may be a Miami thing, and I also want you to remember how I just told you that I shamed a guy for littering recently. But when I was a kid that was just where the trash went. Remember how we would stop for McDonald’s on the regular, well when we were done the wrappers went out the window. No questions asked, that’s just where they went. Honestly the Captain Planet kids sort of offended me. I felt like I was being attacked. I didn’t really understand. Forgive me guys. I’m on your side now. Littering is bad. I was a child. Get off my back.
I make fun of my mom all the time for unknowingly trying to kill me growing up. Even with the MSG, no seat belts and helmets, and lack of supervision I still look back at my childhood and smile and laugh at all the amazing things we had. Like playing neighborhood games of hide and seek, riding my bike pretty much anywhere I needed to go, and slip and sliding in my underwear in front of my Abuela’s house. Plus the music, TV and movies were simply epic
[we will dive into this another day].
It was a simpler time, which is maybe why our parents were so much more lax than we are now. I hope one day my kids look back at this time, and besides pointing out all the ways we are maybe trying to kill them feel the same warm nostalgia I feel towards the 90’s. Hey, if we can survive the 90’s and turn out just fine, then I think we can take it a little easier on ourselves and know that our kids are going to turn out alright.
Mom, if you read this all the way through, I love you. I know my kids are going to think the same thing about me when they grow up.
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