About Friendships

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Friendship is a wildly underrated medication" 
-Anna D. Smith

This past weekend was one that I needed so very, very much.
For as busy as we are, running around town, days filled with various activities, sometimes it can feel pretty lonely as a mama. It feels like a giant bubble that I share with a little person who speaks another language and demands fruit snacks all the time.
Don't get me wrong: I love that I get to spend my days with my little person. Playing, learning, laughing. Experiencing the tough moments to get to the better, more enjoyable moments with way more giggles and less crying. But sometimes, I need an escape from that. 
I need to laugh differently. Talk differently. Listen differently. For that, I need my friends. I need them so desperately I don't even think they realize it. My time with them is so important. It's a time to revive myself, remember who I was, who I am
I always feel better after spending time with my girlfriends (even if it's just drinking wine and watching the much-anticipated Bruce Jenner interview). They've always been a part of my life and have always been important to me, but it's different now. I'm in constant motion 24/7 and my time spent with them is slower-paced. I appreciate that time so much more these days. 
If you're a new mama, keep your girlfriends close. Don't be a shitty friend and make yourself so busy that you don't have time for them. Stop with the excuses. Yes, you have a kid. Yes you're tired and don't feel like wearing real clothes. But you know what? You need your friends in more ways than you think. Whether its a lunch date, an all-nighter at the bar, or just laying around on a rainy afternoon watching movies, you need that time with them. You'll be so much better for it. A better person, a better friend, a better mother.
Trust me.

Recipe: Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Friday, April 24, 2015

Let's just get something clear before I jump into this "recipe" that I'm going to share with you.
I am not a cook. I won't even pretend to be. I do, however, make things that are somewhat edible for my family to eat. Sometimes they like it. Sometimes they don't. If it really is bad, you can still find me at the table devouring every last bit proclaiming, "It's not that bad! Come on!" The truth is, it probably was that bad. But hey, at least I tried.
For someone who doesn't really "cook",  I have saved a lot of recipes. I have pinned a total of 4,041 pins on Pinterest. 674 of those pins are recipes. Of those 674 recipes that I've spent subconsciously pinning, I have probably actually made 20. One of them being this little number that I found the other day. It was right up my alley: quick, short ingredient list, somewhat healthy, and there was a 90% chance my husband would like it. 
So as a part of our "meal planning" for the week, I made Portobello Mushroom Pizzas for dinner the other night. As always, I changed the recipe and kind of did my own thing by changing up some of the ingredients. What I did actually follow were the oven temperatures and cooking times. The original recipe can be seen here
It totally delivered, the husband approved, and I'd definitely make it again. I think it actually might be even better on the grill the next time. Thanks Pinterest.

·         Medium to large sized Portobello Caps – wiped clean, stems removed; scoop out gills 
·         Marinara/Pizza sauce
·         Shredded cheese (I used a Mozzarella/Provolone mix)
·         Frozen Spinach
·         Pepperoni
·         Red pepper, chopped

1.    Preheat oven to 475 degrees, place caps, gill-side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes (you want them gill-side down to help remove moisture).
2.    Remove from oven and turn them over.
3.   Add toppings to the mushroom caps. 
4.    Return to oven and bake for about 10-15 more minutes to melt the rest of the ingredients.

This recipe is pretty much fool proof unless you get sidetracked while chasing your kid around or perusing your Facebook newsfeed and you burn the damn things. Luckily, I did not. Not this time, at least.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!


Life Is But A Dream

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Married or unmarried, young or old, poet or worker, you are still a dreamer, and will one time know, and feel, that your life is but a dream." -Donald G. Mitchell

The kinds of dreams I had as a little girl started out as wanting to be a firefighter, a veterinarian, or the next president. The typical responses from any preschooler. Those are all very respectable career choices. And then through middle and high school I thought I may want to go to college, get a solid degree and head on down some kind of path that involved wearing amazing pantsuits, going to networking events and rolling in a fat paycheck.

Four years of college, 2 degree changes, and three months of actually working in my field (event planning), the view of my future changed. It's not who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I then turned an abrupt corner, taught preschool for 5 years and absolutely loved it. I loved it so much, but it wasn't my dream.

I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother--and I was happy with that vision. To me, everything else didn't matter. My job was to raise a family. That's the job that I wanted. No degree or any amount of internship hours can ever prepare you for that.

Call me old school, call me old fashioned, call me freakin' crazy, but this is what I've always wanted; this is what I feel I was meant to do. I'm most definitely not the "career-woman" type and I'm not trying to be a CEO or aiming to be a billionaire.  I've just always wanted a household to run, children to raise, and a family and life that I helped build. Whenever I thought of my future, this is how I imagined it to be.

And here I am now. Am I "living the dream"? Sure. In a sense, yes. In between the crying, the messes, the sleepless nights, the failed dinners and dishes piling up everyday-- I guess you could say I'm living my own dream. But lately I'm starting to wonder if that's where my dreams begin and end. There are things I still want to accomplish and things I still want to experience.

I swear, I haven't hit my head and all of a sudden started pondering my future. I also don't plan on living life Duggar-style and just procreating for the rest of my childbearing years while trying to be Susie-Homemaker. I've just been daydreaming a lot lately about where I am today and what's next for me. I know there's more. I've wanted this for so long, I'm happy, but I know there's more.


Boys will be boys

Monday, April 13, 2015

Even when I was knowingly pregnant with a baby boy, I never truly imagined what my life would be as a mother of a boy. I knew we wouldn't have pink and hair-bows and we wouldn't refer to our baby as "our little princess", but I couldn't really foresee what life with a boy would really be like. 
So far, all I know as a mother of an 18-month old boy is that he is in constant motion, he's messy, fearless, and goofy. He'd rather roll around in the dirt and grass then play on the swings at the park. He wants to kick and throw and run and jump  24 hours a day.  I saw even more of that this past week when we had our 10 year-old-nephew visit. 
The two of them played together like brothers--except without the fighting or teasing or constant annoyance of one another. They were going 60 mph from the time they woke up til the time they went to sleep. I had to duck on more than one occasion just sitting at my desk while soccer balls, flashing balls, golf balls--every freakin' ball-- flew overhead. They made up games out of anything and everything, they jumped and climbed and fell down. All. Day. Long. Over, and over, and over...
These two played outside for 90% of the day, came in the house with dirt under their fingernails, bumps, bruises and messy clothes. They played every sport that we happened to have equipment for- tennis, basketball, soccer, golf, lacrosse... I've never been so active in a 24-hour period. We were go-go-go every single day with hardly a break in between. Well, maybe a break in between for a 3242930 snacks. But once one activity was finished, we were on to the next thing.

I got a little glimpse last week of what life might be like with two, well three, boys in the house. And I have to say, I loved it. I loved it all. The noise level could go down a few notches and I'd like to find myself in a safer area of my house when they play, but I loved it. I love being a mama of a boy and letting him explore the world the way that he does-- at top speed and all hands in the dirt.

And today, when he fell while running on the sidewalk and scraped his knees for the very first time--I felt a little sad that his perfect little knees were bruised and scratched. But then again, I knew it'd be the first of many, many times that I will kiss away the pain, tell him to stand up and brush himself off, and watch him go-go-go some more. 
I have to say, I look forward for the constant craziness to come. 

The Check-Up

Friday, April 3, 2015

Post-Check-Up Starbucks

Today was Lucca's 18- month check up. These doctor visits every few months bring mixed feelings for me: 1. I'm excited to see his development, see how much he's grown and if he's on track and 2. I'm freaking dreading it because I know the scene that is about to unfold.
The pediatrician warned me that after their first birthday, the check-ups are hardest at 15 months and 18 months. I don't know if this is true for most kids, but for Lucca, well, let's just say I'm thankful we both make it out alive by the end of the appointment.
Shredded paper everywhere. The grabbing. The hair pulling. The screaming. The crying. I've learned what to wear to these appointments: layers that are easily strippable, hair pulled back, non-slip shoes. Oh yes, doctor appointments with a toddler are freaking serious business. Or at least my kid. I'm pretty sure that I sweat more in that damn room in 45 minutes wrestling a 28 pound little boy then I do in an hour-long Zumba class on a Thursday night. 
Today wasn't any different. Lucca knew what was about to go down the second we stepped foot into the room. I started to take of his clothes and he instantly threw his arms around my neck in a panic. Ohh, shit. We hadn't even been there 5 minutes and it's already started like this? And this is supposed to be the easy part. The measuring, the weighing. Piece of cake, right? We haven't even gotten to the shot portion of the visit when you should actually be displaying all sorts of freaking-out-behavior.
Almost an hour later, we made it through the appointment, everything still intact. I always wonder what the doctor thinks as she leaves the room. "Holy crap, good luck lady" or "What the hell is she doing?". In an effort to just keep Lucca busy in today's appointment, I had given him a pen and a piece of paper. By the end of our visit, he had given his entire body tattoos while we discussed his sleep and eating habits. Yep. Go for it dude. Luckily, the pediatrician was cool with that, too. I think she was mostly impressed by his ability to hold a pen and to make lovely scribbles around his belly button and kneecaps. Proud moment. Write that shit down under his fine motor skill development.
And (crossing my fingers) we won't be back for another 6 months until his two-year checkup. I think I'm going to let Greg take the next one. He needs to know how to handle a doctor appointment solo. It'll toughen him up a bit.