Monday, November 8, 2010

Be Stupid.... Seriously???

I work in The Ben Gurion Airport and on my way into work last night I see that they have a new display in the entrance to the Sharvul (Rotunda). It is for the clothing company Diesel and the theme is, get this, "Be Stupid". Yes, you read that right. Diesel wants us to Be Stupid. I was in shock. I felt like stepping over the little rope and knocking over the mannequins! I mean, Seriously???

Even better, the company's reasoning behind this, among other things is that "Smart has the brains, Stupid has the balls", and "Smart has the plans, Stupid has the stories" and get this: "Smart critiques, Stupid creates." Right.. Guess what Mr. Einstein, Mr. Graham Bell, History had it wrong. You guys weren't geniuses, you were idiots!!

I shit you not.

Let me break this down for a minute Diesel. You want Us, the general public, to be... Stupid?? Sigh, I almost don't think this is worth dignifying with a comment, but just for shits and giggles, lets ponder this for a moment.

I took a look on their website before I started this post (research I tell you, well, that and morbid curiosity) and checked out some of their other ads. One of which shows two scantily clad individuals in bed(Of course! Because we all know that its impossible to sell CLOTHES without nudity!) and the caption reads "Be Stupid, You'll spend more time with your Boss." Ah good one guys, instead of encouraging kid's today to go to Yale, lets encourage today's youth to just SLEEP their way to the top, BRILLIANT!!

Another Gem says, "If you've never done anything Stupid, You've never done anything at all." Gee, that explains EVERYTHING!! All this time I've been trying to AVOID doing something Stupid when really I should have been trying to just royally Eff everything up! Thanks Diesel! My life makes SOOOO much more sense now.

Another one, "You can't outsmart Stupid." Sigh. I don't even know where to start.

I mean honestly, they probably spend several hundred thousand dollars a year in their advertising budget and THIS is the best they can come up with?

Lets dissect a few more. "Smart says no, Stupid Says Yes." I detect a slight flaw in that logic. It strikes me as something that might just backfire, but maybe I'm just a little to Smart. Drive Drunk? Sleep with a stranger without a condom? Eat 100 Habinero Peppers? Eat ONE Habinero Pepper? Yeah Stupid says Yes alright... Real Stupid...

I mean I get the concept way, way, WAY buried underneath well, all the STUPID... They are trying to promote fun and adventure and all that good stuff that makes us want to really LIVE(well live and buy overpriced designer denim)... But honestly, isn't there enough Stupid in our culture today? Too much hatred, too much ignorance, too many kids getting killed or killing themselves over something well, Stupid. Too many body image problems, too much pressure to be in the "right" crowd, too much sex and drugs and alcohol, too many teen moms, and highschool dropouts, too many kids getting drunk in the Wal-Mart parking lots and then driving around getting into trouble because their parents are to scared to tell them no. Too much Playstation and too many kids who get to highschool and can barely frigging read! Too much Stupid, too soon. As if it's not hard enough being the Smart kid growing up in schools today, now You have to reinforce the face that Stupid is cool? That its COOL to be STUPID??

They go even further in listing WHY we should Be Stupid. Here are their reasons:

"You'll Get that much closer to genius." Really? Think about that one for a minute will ya?

"You'll discover talents you never knew you had." What like talking your way our of being somebody's girlfriend in Jail after you decided it would be a good idea to get drunk and rob the Wal-mart with a Twix bar?

"You'll have more Sex." Ah this must go back to the Smart says no, Stupid says yes bit... Hello baby-daddy! Lets name the twins Sifylus and Genorriyah...

"You'll create more." More what? More Problems? More heartache? More addiction? More hospital bills? More unemployment? More teenage pregnancies? More ignorance?

"You'll never wish you were someplace else." Oh good, so you will adapt quickly to your jail cell and your new girlfriend Big Mike. Thats nice.

And the real winner is; "And yes, you might die, but it wont be of Boredom." Sigh. At least they warned us...

Here are some suggestions, Diesel, that you COULD have used, and since you've already blown your advertising budget on well, some very Stupid ideas, I'll even give them to you on the house.

Be Free.

Be Spicy.

Be Adventurous.

Be Bold.

Be Wild.

Be Uninhibited.

Be Curious.

Be Open-minded.

Be Tolerant.

Be Daring.

Be Cheeky.

Be Clever.

Be Dauntless.

Be Unafraid.

Be Gutsy.

Be Silly.

Be Flamboyant.

Be Aspiring.

Be Inspiring.

Be Headstrong.

Be Enthusiastic.

Be Energetic.

Be Compassionate.

Be Passionate.

Be Funny.

Be Industrious.

Be Spirited.

Be Fearless.

Just BE.

Be Anything! Just don't, despite what the very sexy, half-naked models painted into the perfectly faded, torn-just-so jeans are telling you, DON'T. Be. Stupid!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recipe: Cheese-a-licious Mac-n-Cheese

So yeah, it's no secret that Southern folks like Mac-n-Cheese. Its at every pot-luck, every holiday dinner and Sunday Supper. I've seen it made a million different ways, and to let you in on a little secret, it took me a long time to actually get a recipe I liked. I like the taste of Mac-n-Cheese made with Sharp Cheddar, not Velveeta (which while tasty is all chemicals and I try to avoid that) I always found it to be a little dry, a little greasy and not nearly creamy enough. It took me until I was living in Israel before I came up with a good enough recipe to really genuinely LIKE Mac-n-Cheese. This recipe is a bit more work than the traditional boil noodles, dump on cheese recipe but the extra work is definitely worth it in the long run. Try it, You'll thank me.


Butter- 1/2 stick
Flour- 3 TBSP or more if required to soak up butter into paste
Cream or Milk-1 1/2- 2 cups
Cream Cheese- 1/2 -3/4 cup
Shredded Cheddar Cheese- 2 cups plus enough to cover the top (depends on how thick you like the top coating, appx 1/2-1 cup)
Onion Soup Mix- 2 TBSP
Salt and Pepper- to taste
Macaroni Noodles- 1 box

Also Need:

1 Medium Saucepan
Pot to boil Noodles in
Cooking Spatula (not the burger flipping kind, the bowl scraping kind)
Large Baking Dish

To Prepare:

First Preheat oven to 375*

Prepare noodles as directed for Al Dente (sorry my computer doesn't have the Italian Spellings on here), rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and set aside. In a Medium Saucepan melt Butter over Medium heat, just until it is liquid but do not boil. Using the spatula, mix in the flour a little bit at a time until a paste is formed. Be sure that all of the butter has been soaked up into the flour. It should sort of resemble Mashed Potatoes. Turn the heat down to Low. Add the cream/milk a little bit at a time and mix thoroughly with the spatula to be sure there are no lumps until all of the cream/milk has been added. Next mix in the Onion Soup Mix (you can add more if you prefer a stronger taste). Next add in the Cream Cheese and slowly bring sauce to a boil stirring constantly. Sauce should begin to thicken as it heats up and cream cheese should melt into the sauce. Be sure to use your spatula to mash away any lumps. Once the Cream Cheese has melted into the sauce, Add the Cheddar Cheese. Mix until the Cheese is melted evenly throughout the sauce. Add more milk if the sauce becomes too thick. It should be the consistency of a Mexican Queso dip, maybe slightly runnier. Taste and adjust Salt/Pepper/Onion soup to your taste. Pour over the Macaroni in the pot that you cooked it in and stir to mix completely. Be sure that all Macaroni is coated, it should be a bit saucy as it will thicken up in the oven. Next pour the Mac-n-Cheese Mixture into the baking dish and top with Shredded Cheese. Place into a hot oven JUST until Cheese on top is melted. Serve Hot.

For Mexi Mac-n-Cheese, use 1 cup Pepper Jack and 1 cup Cheddar in the sauce, add 1 cup corn, 1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers, 1/2 cup sauteed onion, a dash Red pepper flakes, and 1 cup fresh tomatoes to the Macaroni mixture and stir well. Top with Pepper Jack Cheese.

For Pizza Mac-N-Cheese, use 1 cup Cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan, 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp Garlic Powder in the sauce, and stir in a handful of Chopped Fresh Basil, 1/2 cup sliced olives (or other family favorite topping such as mushrooms), 1 cup fresh tomatoes, 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, into the Mac-n-Cheese Mixture. Top with Shredded Parmesan Cheese. Eat it as a side or make a meal out of it... YUM!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recipe: Mamaw's Corn Pudding

My Dad's Mom used to make corn pudding for most family meals. It is one of my earliest food memories and I absolutely love it. It's creamy and just a little bit sweet and completely delicious. It can also be made ahead of time and then warmed before the big meal.


Sweet Corn- 2 Large cans drained
Sugar- 1/2 Cup
Flour- 3 TBSP
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Butter- 1/4 cup melted
Eggs- 3 Large
Milk- 2 cups
Vanilla or Almond Extract- splash

Also Need-

Mixing Bowl
Baking Dish 8x8

To Prepare-

Preheat oven to 425*. In the mixing bowl, combine eggs, salt and sugar. Next mix in the Flour. Add Corn, Vanilla/Almond extract, and Milk and mix well. Mix in the melted butter and pour immediately into greased baking dish. Place into oven and cook for 35-40 mins or until browned on top and firm. Serve hot/warm. Can be made up to a day ahead of time and reheated.

Recipe: Garlic Green Beans with Almonds

I grew up with the typical style of Southern Green beans, cooked in fat back for an entire day. Shudder. I like vegetables because they taste like vegetables, and I like my green beans nice and crunchy and full of flavor. Here is a great recipe for super flavorful beans that literally take less than 20 minutes to make. If you are not a fan of Garlic, this is also very nice if you substitute the garlic for Fresh Rosemary.


Whole Frozen Green Beans- 1 bag (I like to use the baby green beans just because they are more tender. If you have access to fresh green beans go for it!!)
Shaved Almonds- 1 Packet
Garlic- 2-3 cloves finely chopped
Good Quality Olive Oil
Salt- to taste

Also Need:

Vegetable steamer

To Prepare:

First steam your green beans for about 10 minutes until they are tender but NOT mush. They should still have a bit of a crunch too them. Remove them from the steamer and let them drain. Shake off any excess water. In a skillet put a good drizzle of olive oil over a warm heat. Its important to use a good olive oil so that the flavor is olive-y more than oily. Add the garlic and stir a few times. Next add the green beans and mix together until garlic has cooked and the green beans are entirely coated in the oil/ garlic. Add in a few shakes of salt and stir. If you are not a fan of garlic, add a few sprigs worth of fresh rosemary that you have removed from the stems and loosely chopped to the beans instead. Remove from the pan into your serving dish. Next in the same pan, add a drop or two of olive oil and the shaved almonds. Stir until almonds have a nice brownish color and are toasted. Lightly salt and sprinkle over the green beans. Serve immediately so you do not eat them all before they get to the table.

Recipe: Perfect Herbed Gravy

So where I'm from, pretty much every meal that involves meat is served with Gravy. Sometimes I think that instead of blood, Southerners veins contain rich savory gravy. It's pretty much a staple, we pour it onto potatoes, drizzle it onto meats and sop it up with biscuits. No meal is complete without it. I grew up from a very young age helping my Momma make gravy over the stove. It is not Technically hard, but alot of people seem to really mess it up. Here is a recipe for gravy perfection, just like my Momma makes:).


Turkey Drippings From Fresh Herb Turkey
Giblets and Neck from Turkey
2 Bullion Cubes
Chicken Broth or Water
Several TBSP All Purpose Flour

Also Need:

Small Saucepan
Large Skillet
Fork or other stirring tool

To Prepare:

Before placing Turkey into the oven, place Turkey neck and Giblets (insides) into a small saucepan and cover with water. Add in Bullion cubes and cook over a low heat, replenishing the water as it runs out. Once Turkey has cooked, remove it from the pan and pour Turkey drippings into a large skillet. Pour a small amount of hot water/broth into the original Turkey pan as there are alot of condensed flavors that tend to get stuck in the pan and its a shame to waste them. Once it has softened, stir it around and use later as water for the gravy. Over low heat, add several heaping TBSP of Flour until the grease from the drippings has soaked up. It is very important at this stage to mix/mash the flour into an even paste to avoid lumps later. Once grease is completely absorbed, pour in small amounts of HOT water/ broth stirring/mixing it in well each time. We also always used the broth from the giblets in our gravy. Stir like crazy adding a small amount of water a bit at a time until the gravy has reached a consistency slightly more liquid than you would like it. If you would like you can also chop up the giblets and add them to the gravy at this point. Continue stirring until gravy starts to thicken up. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately over everything:).

Recipe: Mashed Sweet Potato and Banana Casserole With Candied Pecans

Yeah, I know I already posted a recipe for Sweet Potatoes but I'm from the South, we can't get enough of these things:). This dish was originally introduced to me by a friend who brought it to one of our All American Thanksgivings here in Israel. I liked it so much I've used the basic idea and twisted it a bit adding the bananas to make this winner of a recipe. Its a really simple side to make and is definitely delicious.


Large Sweet Potatoes- 4-5
Ripe Bananas- 3
Pecans- 2 cups
Brown Sugar- 4 TBSP plus 1/4 cup
Butter- 2 TBSP plus half a stick
Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie spice- To taste
Condensed Milk or Heavy Cream- A Good Splash

Also Need-

Large Baking dish either glass or throw away
Cookie Sheets
Wax Paper
Large Mixing Bowl
Hand Mixer or Potato Masher

To Prepare Candied Pecans:

Place 2 TBSP Butter into a skillet and allow to melt but not boil over medium heat. Add into melted butter 4 TBSP Brown Sugar, and a few good shakes of Cinnamon. Stir constantly until sugar has melted into butter and loses its grainy appearance. Add in Pecans and stir vigorously until all of the Pecans have been coated with the Sugar mixture. Pour onto wax paper and separate. Allow pecans to cool. Try not to eat all of them before finishing the recipe. Once Pecans have cooled, break or chop them into smaller pieces.

To Prepare Sweet Potatoes-

First place rinsed Sweet Potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook until soft all the way though. Set aside and let cool slightly. Remove the peels and place Sweet Potatoes into a mixing bowl. When Potatoes are cooking, place the unpeeled Bananas on a Cookie Sheet into the oven at 375*. Cook until the Bananas are soft and the peel has turned black. When they have finished cooking set them aside and allow them to cool slightly. Slice open the peel and scrape the cooked Banana into the Mixing Bowl. Add 1/2 half stick of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, a good dash of Cinnamon/ Pumpkin Pie Spice(more or less to your taste). Using a Hand Mixer or Potato Masher, mix all ingredients until creamy. Add a generous splash of Heavy Cream or Condensed Milk and mix until blended. Scrape Sweet Potato/Banana yumminess into a Baking Dish and top with chopped candied pecans. Place into warm (not hot) oven until time to serve. So Yum!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recipe: Amazing Fresh Herb Turkey Marinade

Last year was the first year I tried this for a Marinade. I made it up on a whim and it was hands down the best Turkey I had ever eaten. It was juicy and tender and all around a Yummy Bird. Fresh Herbs make this an easy winner and a definate crowd pleaser. Get a big Bird as there won't likely be leftovers!


1 Whole Turkey (Recipe makes enough for about a 15lb bird)
Fresh Garlic- 6-8 Whole Cloves
Lemon- Juice from 1- 1 1/2 whole Lemons
Fresh Lemon Zest- 1 tsp
Olive Oil- Approximately 1/2 cup
Fresh Parsley- A heaping handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Sage- A small handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Oregano- A smallish handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Thyme- About half a handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Rosemary- About half a handful of leaves, free of stems
Fresh Lemon grass- A small Handful of leaves, free of stems
Salt- 1-1 1/2 tsp
Fresh Ground Pepper- to taste

Also Need:

Blender/Food Processor
Large Turkey Sized Baking Dish
2 Large Kitchen Sized Trash Bags
Several Large Safety Pins/ Needle and Thread/ Other Method of Closing up Bird

To Prepare:

Combine Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest (fresh grated lemon rind), and Fresh Garlic in Blender/Food Processor and pulse until smooth and free of chunks. Next add fresh herbs a bit at a time, blending until smooth. You should end up with a fairly thick pesto-like paste. Add salt/pepper to taste. Next rinse out one of the Kitchen Trash Bags and place it inside the other Trash Bag to double layer it. Place Turkey inside open bag on a counter where you have room to work. Slide your hand very gently in between the Turkey's skin and the meat of the breast making a sort of pocket. Extend this pocket as far as possible to the legs etc being careful not to poke holes in the skin. Next take small handfuls of the Herb mixture and rub it all over, in between the skin and the meat, inside the bird, and on the skin. Use all but a few Tbsp of Marinade, which you will save and use to baste with while baking. When finished coating the Turkey, close the bag tightly squeezing out all of the air and tie it. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. The longer you marinate it, the more flavorful and tender it will be. When you have finished marinating, place the Turkey in a large baking dish and stuff with your choice of stuffing. Close Skin over stuffing with a Needle and thread/Safety Pins/ other method. Before placing in oven, pat with leftover marinade. Cook according to your birds specifications basting often and thoroughly. When the Turkey is done, remove from baking dish and let it rest on serving plate for 10-15 minutes before slicing so that it has time to reabsorb its juices. Do not forget to remove thread/ safety pins/ etc before serving. Do not forget to save the dripping for a succulent herb gravy (to follow in a later post). No doubt this will be the most flavorful Turkey you've ever tasted!

Recipe: Mamma's Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

So Thanksgiving is coming up soon and as it is my absolute favorite Holiday, I've decided to devote the next several recipes to Thanksgiving Dinner Favorites. At our house, we always had a ton of people for Thanksgiving. I grew up in the boonies and very often we had family and friends who came to stay with us for the week as it usually coincided with the first week of rifle season. My Mom is an excellent cook and we always had TONS of different dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. My Grammy taught my Mom to make this and it was always my favorite side dish. I would eat seconds and thirds at dinner and then happily gobble up the leftovers for breakfast the next day. The mix of sweet potato, savory spices and tart apples is a combination you must experience for yourself. I look forward to it every year and no Thanksgiving would be complete without it.


Sweet Potatoes- 3-4 large
Granny Smith Apples- 5-6 peeled cored and sliced into wedges
Slivered Almonds- 1 Packet
Margarine- 1/2 stick
Brown Sugar- 1/2-1 Cup (adjust to your preferred level of sweetness)
Cinnamon- to taste
Nutmeg- to taste
Pumpkin Pie Spice- (optional substitute for cinnamon and nutmeg) to taste

Also Need:

Large glass or Disposable Baking dish approx 9x13

To Prepare:

Preheat Oven to 375*

First boil whole Sweet Potatoes until they are tender but not 100% cooked, leave them a bit firm as you will finish cooking them in the oven. Cool and then gently remove the skin. Slice the Sweet Potato in thick chunks about 1/4 inch. Leave in circle form. Next lightly grease the baking dish with margarine and or cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place Sweet Potato slices in bottom of the pan, 1 layer thick. Next do a layer of Apple slices. With your fingers, pinch off small pieces of margarine and place on top of the Apple slices. Crumble part of the Brown Sugar on top. Sprinkle a small dusting of Cinnamon and Nutmeg and a coating of Slivered Almonds. Repeat this process until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with a topping of Brown Sugar, Margarine, Spices and Almonds. Place Casserole into hot oven for approximately 45 minutes-1 hr or until apples are soft. Check periodically to be sure that it does not get too brown. Cover with foil to keep in the juices. Remove and let sit for a few minutes to allow the juices to thicken up a bit. Serve hot and amazing. Also Yummy cold as Leftovers if it lasts that long. Serves 5, or one very determined me:).

We made it!! So why am I so sad?

So my little man turns 6 months old today. 6 months... I can barely believe it. The time has flown, well flown and dragged somehow simultaneously. When I was pregnant I set my goal to exclusively breastfed him until 6 months as the WHO recommends and not to introduce solids (or anything else for that matter) a second before that. Not as easy as it sounds. I've dealt with everything from having to check out of the hospital AMA 2 days after having my stomach butchered because the Doctors were going to feed him formula against my wishes as "a baby that big cannot possibly survive on breast milk alone", to pressure from my In-laws to feed him oh pretty much ANYTHING else, to a bad latch that we didn't fix for a good two weeks of bleeding, cracked, blood blistered nipples, to serious supply issues, to getting past pumping in an office at work where there was practically a revolving door of people walking in and out, you name it we experienced it.

And we got through it. 6 Months... It's just flew by.

It wasn't always easy, some mornings I would be sitting in the chair, the pump on one side, the baby on the other, barely able to keep my eyes open after working all night, but still needing 2 more bottles to have enough milk for the next shift, pumping sometimes for an hour or more, trying to extract just a few more precious drops. But then there were the moments that made it completely udderly (yes, yes pun intended) absolutely worth it. Sometimes he reaches up and pets my face or twirls my hair in his little hands as he is eating, or the Tyrannosaurus growls and birdlike squawks right before he throws himself at the boobie after not seeing me all night, or the way he hums to himself as he is falling asleep, his tummy full of milk. I wouldn't trade those moments for a million dollars, not even for all the money in the world.

For the last few weeks the little man has been literally throwing himself at our plates, fists frantically trying to grab food out of our hands (and sometimes our mouths) and despite wanting to delay foods a little longer, I know he is ready to start eating solids. Tonight we will give him his first real food. I am thinking either a steamed carrot or a chunk of Batata (like sweet potato), I haven't decided. We are practicing Baby led Weaning (see and I am so looking forward to seeing his face at his first taste of "real" food. Despite this, a part of me is really, really sad.

It's hard on me being a working Mom. I had always wanted to stay home with my babies for at least 6 months after they were born. Unfortunately life got in the way and I had no choice but to go back to work only 2 months after he was born. It's so hard for me to leave him, despite knowing that his Babushka and Tchyochya (Aunt) spoil him rotten and dearly love him. I admit I have pangs of jealousy every time he breaks into a huge grin when they come to pick him up, his little arms reaching out to them. A piece of me wishes he would cling to me, even just for a moment, acknowledging that I am Mommy, and that is my trump card. As much as I know that it means he is happy and well adjusted and confident, it is still hard. The nights that I work someone else comforts him when he is sad, rocks him to sleep, sings him lullabies, kisses his tears, tickles his chub. I know I can't get those moments back. It hurts me a little inside when I hear how much he just looooves so and so or such and such. Breastfeeding was just mine, I didn't have to share it. Yeah someone else has to give him a bottle when I am gone, but it is MY milk. I made it, and sometimes I have to work damned hard for it. Only I could do that for him, that I didn't have to share...

Now things are changing.

I'm not the only person in the world who knows how to steam carrots, or peel a banana. Other people are more than capable of putting an ear of corn or a chunk of potato on a tray for him to grab with his little fists. My chunk of tomato will taste exactly the same as the chunk of tomato that his Tchyochya fixes him. I can't help but feel a sense of loss, a moment of sadness mixed in with the pride that my little man is growing up.

I know I have to let go, to let him grow and be the wonderful amazing little man that he is. But I can't lie, sometimes I just want to freeze time and scoop him up and just mush my face into his neck and smell him for oh, the next ten years or so. I know I will still breastfeed him, for as long as he wants, whether thats another 6 months, or another year, or another three years. But I know that as time goes by, the times he will need to nurse will become fewer, and those incredible, wonderful moments that we share will get farther between. Yes, there will be other incredible wonderful moments, but I am already feeling a sense of mourning at the idea of introducing solid food. I can't imagine how I will feel when he decides to wean himself completely.

I am so proud to have made it to 6 months, I would love to go back to that sorry excuse for a Hospital and do a little I-told-you-so dance on the desk at the Nurse's station in front of all the Doctors who told me it wasn't possible. I am amazed at how something that at times seemed so clumsy, so painful, or tough has become so effortless. A dance of sort, the motions so fluid it feels like it's choreographed, a routine built upon night after night of him in our bed, tucked against my body, one of his little hands on my chest, one reaching behind him to touch his Daddy. A rhythm that has grown over time from scooping him up the second I get home from work, nursing him when he's hungry, when he's tired, when he's hurting.

I know that I am giving him so much more than just milk. More than antibodies, nutrients, sustenance. I am literally giving him a part of me.

I am just not sure how a carrot can replace that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Yesterday as I was walking from the train station to the bus station on my way home from work I ended up behind a young Ethiopian man about my age. He was blind and using a cute yellow lab as a guide dog (made even cuter by the fact that he had closely trimmed the dog's fur, but left a pom-pom on the end of his very waggy tail). I followed him for several blocks, nearly the entire distance between the two stations. I noticed several things that honestly made me believe in the good in people again. At first I watched him, fascinated by his amazing trust and confidence in this animal, guiding him on a very narrow sidewalk next to a busy highway. As I got closer, I heard him speaking to the dog as they went along. The sweetness of the conversation melted my heart. As they were walking the young man was chatting away to the dog in Hebrew, "Yes Charlie, that's a good boy, here we go, no fu fu Charlie, not for you, lets go we have a big day today." and the dog was doing amazing, guiding the man around obstacles and people and only occasionally getting off track and distracted by an interesting smell, a trash can, an alley cat, only to quickly pop back on duty, gently nudging the young man around obstacles.

As we approached an intersection, I prepared myself to hurry ahead and help out if needed as Israeli traffic is crazy and people tend to be a bit pushy. The intersection was a series of three lanes with medians in between, each one had a different light none of which were in sync with the others. About 10 feet before the first intersection an older woman appeared at the young man's elbow, barely touched his arm and navigated him through the first intersection, and then like some sort of choreographed ballet, he was sort of passed along hand to elbow over the next 3 blocks or so, negotiating intersections and other less than desirable terrain. Not alot of words were spoken between the young man and his "helpers" but it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. Whoever landed at his elbow at the correct moment simply touched his arm and led him through. It was really something. This young man was so independent and so lighthearted (his banter with his dog really warmed my heart) and I was so impressed. I am not sure I would have that sort of strength and outlook on life if I were not blessed with sight. I was really inspired, not just by him, but by the type of parents that it would take to raise a child with a "disability" to be such an amazing independent adult, one that can confidently negotiate Israeli traffic and the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, something that I find difficult and somewhat overwhelming even on a good day.

It made me think back to a video I saw once on YouTube about a man, Dick Hoyt who started participating in triathlons with his extremely "disabled" son Rick. (see similar video here ) He literally pushes, pulls, and carries his son through these races. The thing that stuck in my mind so strongly was at one point the camera did a close up to the look on Ricks face as they crossed the finish line. Pure unadulterated joy. Turns out that despite doctors telling his parents to institutionalize him, that there was nothing going on in his head, Rick graduated from a public highschool, graduated from college, and has participated in something like 60 marathons and 6 Iron-mans (probably more by now) with his father. Makes me kind of wonder what is stopping me.

I was so amazed at the dedication as a parent that this took. To take a child with such an extreme physical "disability" and really give him such an amazing fulfilling life. To believe in him despite what the doctors said, to pull out all the stops, give your everything to make your child's life better. THAT'S being a parent. Parenting is not just having a baby and getting them to their 18th year in one piece, (although that really isn't as easy as one would imagine given the Little Fat Man's perpetual need to crawl off of beds and bite extension cords, well, at least crawl off of beds though I am sure the extension cord biting is in our near future) it's taking your child, no matter what they look like, what is "wrong" with them, what little thing makes them different from other "perfect" children and recognizing how truly amazing they are, how absolutely perfect they are, and making sure every minute of their lives that they never doubt that fact.

When I was pregnant I was scared as all parents are, that my child might be born with something "wrong". I was not so much afraid of the "disability", but of whether or not I would be strong enough to be the kind of parent that my child would need me to be. To raise my perfect child in a society that can only see "disabilities", differences, looks. I did not know if I had the strength to get past my own vanity (which I admittedly have a lot of) and be able to love my child no matter what, and to make them truly see themselves as the beautiful amazing little creature that they were. When our little monkey was born, we were blessed, despite his traumatic entrance into the world there were no major complications and other than a small heart murmur that healed by day two, he was a healthy baby. At our 2 month check up however, the Nurse at the Tipat Halav (baby clinic) noticed that his fat folds on his legs were asymmetrical. It had never crossed my mind that this was an issue, after all, my fat folds go every which way;). Turns out it can be a sign of a birth "defect" in baby's hips that apparently is fairly common but left untreated can cause a moderate to severe limp into adulthood as well as other problems such as premature arthritis etc.

It took us several months to get to a specialist for an ultrasound and it turns out, our little man did have the birth "defect". They gave us a brace to put him in 24 hours a day, minus butt changes and baths, for a month, and told me under no circumstances to go all Jewish Mama and take it off of him and the problem should be corrected. My husband looked at me and said "Boy, he read you like a book didn't he."

The brace basically makes his little chubbo legs stick out to the sides like a sumo wrestler (we now call him Sumo Sam, like Sammity Sam, minus the Tobasco, plus Soya) and apparently holds his legs at such an angle that it promotes the growth in his hips/pelvis that the cramped conditions in my belly prevented. With any luck, this will do the trick and he will be 100% at the end of the month. Our Little Man, Lord love him, hasn't minded the brace at all, though he does enjoy taking it off now that he has figured out how Velcro works and that it makes a really fun noise (similar to the fun sound the Velcro on his diaper makes, though admittedly the brace has temporarily curbed his ability to take his diaper off in the middle of the night making the midnight golden showers a thing of the past, though I am sure still a part of our near future).
The hardest thing has been the stares from other people. He is such a happy smiley cute little baby and I had gotten used to everyone coming up to him on the street and gushing over him. Now when we go out we get quite a few points and stares. He is too little to notice, I am not. The inner Momma Bear in me has come out full force. I can't help myself. I want to educate people, to stop the ignorance, to make people see his perfection, not just a brace on a blob.

We were at a street festival the other night for Sukkot and there was a concert going on and I had the Little Fat Man in my arms dancing with him and there were several groups of people that would not stop pointing and staring at him. My husband literally had to hold me back because I was ready to go to war. Why can't people see what I see? The perfect little fat happy beautiful amazing snuggly stinky delicious squishy smart creature that he is. Why do they only see the brace?? It makes me sad about our society as a whole, that we can only see differences in people, recognizing them as something bad, wrong, less desirable.

The recent news stories coming from the States of a rash of teenagers and college kids killing themselves because they were gay and had experienced such severe bullying/mistreatment because of this that they thought the only answer was to take their own lives has really bothered me on a very deep level. Recently I had a heated discussion with a few of my In-laws, who will remain nameless in this case as I was fairly disappointed in their behavior. We were playing cards and it came up that the Little Man loves Women. My guess is that it is not so much Women that he loves, but food, and since food comes from boobies and boobies are generally attached to Women, the attraction is fairly obvious. Anyways I digress. A comment was made that "Betach who ohev yeldote, who Gever lo?!?! Ma who Homo??" which roughly translates to "Of course he loves girls, hes a boy isn't he?? What he's gay??"

I was a bit taken aback. I told said commentator that it didn't matter who he loved, boy, girl, whatever, as long as he was happy. This person then asked me (rough translation) if I WANTED him to be gay??? I said it didn't matter to me, gay, straight, trans, questioning, bisexual, a-sexual, whatever. I WANT him to be HAPPY, (okay truthfully I want him to be happy and bring me grand-babies, but I will settle for happiness if I have to decide between the two. Though I still want grand-babies...) I want him to know love and to be loved and to love himself. I refuse to tell him how to do this. It is not for me to decide, it is not my right. My job is to make sure he knows that whoever he loves, that it will not change my love for him (or my desire for grand-babies).

Our job as parents is not just to feed and clothe our children, to make sure they manage to get out into the big world on their own in one piece. It is to give them so much love that when the nastiness of this world we live in seeps through, the love we give them, the strength, the confidence, the knowledge that they are wonderful and amazing and truly perfect nullifies it. That when someone stares at them because they have braces on their teeth, or their legs, or glasses, or a stutter, or they decide to kiss boys and not girls (or girls and not boys), or in any other way don't fit into society's very tiny very exclusive very unrealistic mold of how people "should" be, that they know that they are in every way shape and form the most wonderful beautiful perfect creature that we have ever laid eyes on. With this knowledge, they will never doubt themselves. They will be able to negotiate Israeli traffic without their eyes, they will run triathlons and graduate college despite crippling physical "disabilities", they will manage to hold their heads up and love who they want to love despite heartless and brutal bullying, they will make a better society than we have today. The young blind man's parents must have done this, Rick Hoyt's parents certainly did this, I would like to think that the young gay victim's parents at least TRIED to do this, and maybe the inner Momma Bear in me is dong this as well.

This world WILL be a better place if we raise our children with love and with tolerance. Our differences, whether physical, sexual, mental, spiritual, or cultural do not make us better or worse, they simply make us different. We need different. This world today is so filled with images of "perfect" that we can no longer see the beauty in different. Maybe, because of us (though perhaps I should say despite us) our children can.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, Two Steps Forward..

Lets just say that when I was pregnant and planning how I was going to birth/feed/diaper/sleep with etc my baby, my In-laws were not exaaaactly thrilled about my plans. They were (and perhaps still are) firmly of the opinion that I was completely insane and probably going to ruin my baby in the process. It was their job to stop me and "save my baby". I endured 10 months of lectures and arguments based not on fact but that things like Pampers, formula, pacifiers etc were the "modern" way of doing things and why would you want to do things the "hard" way when the other options were so much "better"(cringe)? Blah de friggin blah.

My Mother in Law nearly did celebratory backflips when I was dragged to the hospital to have my baby ripped out of me (no not bitter there at all) as in her mind, being cut open was so much better than giving birth at home. She reluctantly tolerated my breastfeeding but was much happier when she had a bottle of Expressed Breast Milk to feed him because "how else will you know how much he is eating". She fussed about covering me up when I was nursing and stressed about the fact that we didn't give the baby a mutzets(pacifier) as "how else will she get him to sleep, he just wants tzitzi(boobie)". Somehow despite not knowing how much he was eating, or not having a plastic wanna-be-boobie in his mouth 24/7, he has managed to figure out how to grow, and how to sleep.

I simply had to learn to bite my tongue for the most part, in the interest of family harmony and because I really do love my MIL and know that she honestly believes what she is doing is right, no matter how wrong she is. I stubbornly persisted in doing what I KNEW was right, though sometimes it meant coming home to my husband and ranting for a good half and hour (or hour and a half) about well, everything. Lord love the man, he hasn't committed me yet.

5 months in. Still Breastfeeding. Still Co-sleeping. Still Cloth Diapering. Still no Pacifier. Believe it or not, our little Monkey is still alive and well and getting more fat and sassy by the day.

September is basically a month long holiday in Israel due to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simha Torah. There is alot of family dinner-ing going on and the baby is, of course, the star of the show. Last week, I went to a Barbecue in the woods outside of Modiin (a city about halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The whole Fam Damily was there and since we were picnicking in the woods, I did not bring EBM as I had no way of keeping it cool, no way of heating it up, and frankly I couldn't really be bothered as I was having supply issues and it was a heck of alot easier for him to get it straight from the tap. About an hour into the meal, the Little Man decided that it was HIS turn to eat, and if I wasn't going to hand him my chicken leg, Boobie was a close second. I had brought a hammock and tied it up into the trees specifically to have a quiet place to nurse a bit away from the balagan (craziness) that is my family so I went there to sit down and nurse. Unfortunately there was too much going on around him, children playing etc, that he got distracted and just ended up biting me (OUCH) and fussing to sit up. So we took a bit of a break and played some more and finally I realized was really wiped out and HAD to have a bit of Boobie and some sleep.

By this point the hammock had been taken over by the young kids at the picnic and I really didn't have anywhere to go so I simply sat down at the table where everyone was eating and latched the Little Man on, bracing myself to fend off the swarm of meddling Savtas (Grandmothers) that would inevitably begin throwing blankets and fussing. Deep breath... Wait for it... Wait for it.... Nothing....

I was stunned. No one even blinked. No one tried to cover (smother) me, there wasn't so much as a pause in the conversation. No one. Even. Blinked. (And the crowd goes WILD!!!) I had finally nursed enough in front of my family that they realized it was going to happen regardless, that it was to damned HOT in this country to cover the poor baby with a blanket, that if they tried to do it, I was going to take it off anyways, and that it was a normal, natural, not harmful or icky or gross thing. I was so proud of myself that I just sat there grinning. WIN!!!

Not long after, the Little Man finished his nap and was propped happily on his Babushka (my MIL's) knee, doing his Stevie Wonder dance and singing to the crowd when one of the Savtas mentioned that we needed to give him a Mutzets (Pacifier). Seriously?? AT 5 months without one, you STILL think he can't possibly survive with a plastic fake wanna-be-boobie in his mouth?? I cringed preparing for a fight when again to my surprise, my MIL said "If they don't want to give him mutzets, then no mutzets.."

Insert Jaw drop here.

Admittedly I still have fears about my In-laws caring for the baby. Not because I think that they will hurt him or something like that (because I know that the sun absolutely shines out of his perfect little tushy in their eyes), but because our parenting views are SO drastically different that I fear they might do something I am vehemently against and simply not tell me.

Our newest hurdle is solid food. Little Man is now 5 months and change and here is it quite common to start baby on purees/rice cereal (blech) as early as 3 months but more often around 4. Hubby and I are planning on doing Baby Led Weaning (see ) with the Little Man and I am hoping to give him at least 6 months of exclusive Breastfeeding if not 7 or 8 depending on how ready he is for solids (which if you go by his pinwheeling arms during mealtimes, is VERY). The concept of BLW literally boggles the minds of my In-laws. Most of the people they know with babies his age are eating mystery goop out of a spoon by now and that is what he "SHOULD" be doing. I am TERRIFIED that one day they will bring him home gushing about how cute it was when they fed him xy and z. I am MORE terrified of serving the jail time in Israeli prison after I rip them limb from limb. But I digress...

I insisted that hubby explain to my MIL that it was our choice not to start the Little Fat Man on solids yet and that WHEN we started him on solids, WE were giving the first food, and the first food would most certainly NOT be mystery mush. To his surprise (and most definitely mine) she agreed. She admitted that her friends had told her that she should just tell us she is doing everything our way and then do it her way, be it Sposies, Mutzets, mystery mush, what have you. She admitted that she had considered it but had decided ultimately that it was our baby, and that while she did not always agree, that ultimately she would respect us and do it our way.

Again, Insert Jaw Drop here.

I am so proud of myself for sticking to my guns on what I KNOW is right for MY child. I wish I had had the strength to stick to my guns for the homebirth that I SHOULD have had, but at least I have not compromised on any of my other parenting choices. People are coming around. They see how perfect he is, how lovely and happy and fat and delicious. He is clearly not suffering because he isn't chomping on a plastic wanna-be-boobie or starving to death without fake powdered wanna-be-boobie milk. And in the future when we do decide to give him solids and when those solids are actually solid, normal regular people food, not mystery mush that maybe once was solid normal regular people food, maybe they will see then too that he will not somehow spontaneously combust and that OUR way really IS what is right for OUR Little Fat Man.

But for now, I am very satisfied with the fact that there will be no blankets, no more suggestions of wanna be boobie replacer, that maybe, just maybe, people are gaining faith in us as parents. That we ARE doing it right:).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipe: Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise is one of the 5 basic sauces in cooking, the others being Bechamel, Veloute, Brown, and Tomato. It is known as being very hard to get right, requiring a lot of patience and a sauce that absolutely cannot be rushed, but by G-d if you get it right, it's culinary perfection. My mother teaching me to make Hollandaise is one of my earliest memories. My Grammy taught her when she was a girl. Grammy's recipe is by far the best I have ever tasted, better even than any restaurant I've been to. Despite its rumored difficulty, I have managed to perfect my Grammy's recipe into a next to fool proof one. 9 times out of 10 it comes out perfectly and is amazing on Fish, Asparagus, Broccoli, Artichokes, Steamed Potatoes, Eggs Benedict, as a sandwich spread, on a spoon....


Lemon- 1 whole large Lemon's worth of juice
Butter or Margarine- 1 stick (use either real butter or margarine, olive oil spread or Good Start imitation butter DOES NOT WORK!!!)
Egg Yolks- 3 large yolks (I find the best way to separate an egg is to crack it directly into your hand and let the whites slide through your fingers. Once separated make sure to beat the yolks before adding)
Salt- pinch or so to taste

Also need:

Sauce pan

To Prepare:

Now firstly I will say alot of people will tell you you have to use a double broiler (which is basically a saucepan filled with water with a metal bowl floating in it) to make Hollandaise. You can do this if you feel more comfortable. I have in the past, my Mom and Grammy both did, but I do not have metal bowls now so I have learned to make it using only a small non stick sauce pan. They key is VERY VERY LOW HEAT. First set the saucepan on the burner with the stick of Butter or Margarine in it. I like to slice the Butter/Margarine so that it melts faster/more evenly. You want to melt it just to the point that there is no longer any solid but not to the point that it has gone clear. It should still be milky colored. Add Lemon juice and a touch of salt and whisk together. It should taste basically like lemon butter but a nice balance of both, if one or the other is over powering, add a bit more of the one that tastes less. Next add the beaten egg yolk. If I am using the Hollendaise as a dipping sauce, say for Artichokes or something and want a thicker consistancy, I sometimes add an extra yolk, but for a pouring sauce, 3 is fine. Now, in my family there is a running joke that you must first "Emulsify the eggs". This started one Thanksgiving when I was about 8 and I was at the stove making Hollandaise. My aunt (Mom's sister so therefore also trained by my Grammy) was over helping prepare dinner and as I poured the egg into the lemon butter mixture she ran SCREAMING across the kitchen and snatched it out of my hands. I of course was in shock and was like "what did I do??" She replied that I "didn't Emulsify the eggs" and had therefore ruined the Hollandaise. I had no idea what she was talking about as I had never done anything like that before and was subsequently crushed. Emulsifying the eggs apparently means adding a bit of the liquid Butter/Margarine and Lemon mixture to the egg and mixing vigorously BEFORE pouring it into the rest of the Lemmon Butter mixture instead of just pouring the egg straight into the pan and stirring like mad. I have made probably a hundred or so batches of Hollandaise since then and have never once emulsified my eggs and no one has died yet soooo.... Never the less, whenever I am cooking it with my Mom, one or the other of us always remarks on the fact that we forgot to emulsify the eggs. ANYWAYS. Add the beaten egg yolk to the Lemon Butter and whisk vigorously for several minutes over VERY LOW heat. DO NOT be tempted to turn the heat up. As the mixture warms it will begin to thicken. Again, DO NOT turn up the heat in attempts to make it thicken faster. This will cause the egg to cook to quickly and for everything to separate. You will know when it has separated because it no longer is this beautiful yellow custard, it will instead get little grains where the egg has pulled out and the butter will also pull away again. There is no turning back from there, you have to throw everything out and start over. Don't worry if it separates on you the first time, it happens to the best of us. Just grab another Lemon and start over. Once the sauce is thickened to your desired consistency, remove from heat and serve. This is best when it is served immediately so it pretty much needs to be made right before you go to the table, or as close to it as possible. It does not reheat well as it tends to separate when it is reheated. I always use leftovers as a cold sandwich spread, Hello Day after Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches!! So quick recap, LOW LOW heat, stir like crazy, and have a little patience. That's the secret, there you go:)

Recipe: Apple Pear Oatmeal Crumble

This is my fall back dessert as it is not difficult to make and it is always a crowd pleaser. I always make it around this time of year for Rosh Hashanah because of the apples and since it can be made Parve for those keeping Kosher which is great, and it doesn't take long to throw together. Since it is a crumble, it is much easier than the traditional apple pie because you dont have to deal with making the crust (something my Mom has made into an art form and I have never mastered). I love the delicate sweetness of the baked pears mixed with tart apples and the topping is almost like a giant oatmeal cookie. This reminds me of something the little old ladies back home would serve hot with ice cream. Ultimate comfort food.

Disclaimer: I mixed 3 separate recipes for this one and I always seem to make it a bit differently every time. You have to sort of feel out the topping, if it feels to dry, add more Margerine/butter, too wet, more dry ingredients. I have found if you are making this in hot humid weather (Good Morning, Israel), the topping tends to get to sticky. Topping should crumble, not goop.


Tart Pie Apples- 5-7 large apples (I prefer something like Granny Smith) peeled and sliced. I do not chop them small preferring longer medium thickness slices as I think its prettier served that way and less likely to end up like mush.
Pears- 5-7 large pears. Try not to get them TO ripe as when they cook they get very soft. Cut them slightly fatter than the apples as they cook faster. By making them a bit fatter, they will be approximately the same softness when cooked.
Margarine/Butter- 1- 1 1/2 stick, give or take, at room temp (unless its Israel in the summer, then just softened)
White Sugar-1/2 Cup
Brown Sugar- 1 cup packed, 1-2 TBSP loose
Oatmeal- 1 cup Quick Oats, not the slow cooks.
Flour- 1 Cup
Baking Powder-1/2 tsp
Egg-1 large egg, beaten well
Cinnamon- 1 tsp (sigh, I have had to make this optional as my husband HATES cinnamon and has threated the Big D if I use it, or Celery or Coconut in my cooking... Yeah he's weird, thats another posting. I love it though so pre-hubby I used it liberally. Up to you.)
Vanilla- 1-3 tsp (I am a vanilla NUT so I use it in both the filling and the topping. Use at your own discretion)
Salt- A good pinch
Corn Starch- 1/2-1 tsp (optional)
Walnuts- 1/2 cup Chopped (optional)
Dried Cranberries- 1/2 cup (optional)

Also Need:

9x13 inch NON STICK or Throw away Baking pan (or otherwise large/fairly deep baking pan.)
Cookie Sheet (I have found that this sometimes bubbles over so to save your Oven, put a cookie sheet under it)
Mixing Bowl
Measuring Cups/ Spoons
Hand Mixer

To Prepare:

Preheat Oven to 350 F.

For the Filling:

First place peeled Apple/Pear Slices in a Mixing bowl. Add in Cranberries and or Walnuts if using. Stir together with 2 TBSP Brown sugar, 1 of the tsp Vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon if using until lightly coated. Also stir in the Corn Starch. The reason I use Corn starch is this ends up being very juicy and I found that the Corn Starch thickens up the juice just enough that it becomes creamy and not runny when serving. If you prefer a juicier filling, feel free to leave it out. Arrange Apple/ Pear slices in the bottom of the baking pan. Sometimes I get fancy and arrange them in a circular pattern from the inside out alternating layers. Sometimes I just throw everything in there, it doesn't really matter. The fruit will end up being taller than the pan but that doesn't matter as it cooks down.

For the Topping:

Cream Margarine/Butter with Brown and White Sugars until mixed. Add Egg and Vanilla and mix. Add remaining Dry Ingredients (Flour, Oatmeal, Baking Powder, Salt, Cinnamon) a bit at a time, mixing in between. Stop when Mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle and pat the mixture over the Fruit in the baking dish until everything is covered. I like to make it fairly thick so sometimes I make a bit extra of the topping so that I can get more of a fat cookie on top instead of a light crumble, (I'm not gonna lie, a fair amount of topping gets eaten raw too). Up to you.

Once everything is assembled, place on cookie sheet and put into the oven for 45 mins to an hour. Keep an eye on it and when the topping is nice and Brown, pull it out. I like to do a fork check to make sure that it is done all the way through the topping. If it is still a bit gooey, cover with aluminum foil so that it doesn't get to brown and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. I like to serve this warm with Vanilla Ice Cream because, well that is Apple pie perfection. Delish:)

Recipe: 3 Minute Coffee Mug Cake

Yes, you read that right, 3 minutes. Well its actually about 8 with the measuring and mixing but holy potatoes, 8 minutes to ooey gooey chocolaty goodness?? Yes Please!! This recipe has been circling the internet for a while and it is really worth the 8 minutes. Try it, You can thank me later;).


Flour- 4 TBSP
Sugar- 4 TBSP
Cocoa Powder- 2 Heaping TBSP (I kinda like mine a little over the top haha) This is baking Cocoa Powder, not like chocolate milk powder.
Egg- 1 Large
Milk- 3 TBSP
Cooking Oil-3 TBSP
Chocolate Chips- Small handful, optional (I laugh as write that, I mean seriously, OPTIONAL chocolate chips?? Who am I kidding??)
Vanilla Extract- 1/4 Tsp (splash)

Also Need:

Large Coffee Mug
Stirring Spoon
Baseball Bat/ Tazer/ Guard Dog/ other method of warding off potential thieves

To Prepare:

Place Flour, Sugar, and Cocoa Powder into the Coffee Mug. Mix together. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Next add in Oil and Milk and mix thoroughly. Add "Optional" Chocolate Chips (hehe) and Vanilla extract. Mix. Place Mug in Microwave and cook for 3 minutes on High. Cake will rise over the edge of the Mug, don't panic:). Remove cake from Micky and let it cool for a minute or so. You can either tip it out into a bowl and scoop a dollop (or two or three) of Vanilla Ice cream on it or if you can't wait just grab a fork and dig in. Supposedly this can serve two, but that's what the Baseball bat is for;).

Recipe: Avocado Salad/ Sandwich Spread

So this is my Husband's current favorite put it on everything Salad. I can barely get it made before he's got a fork in the bowl. Its great just plain on bread as a sandwich filler, as a dip for chips or crackers, or just straight out of the bowl(a la hubby). Its a fun and colorful adaptation on the traditional Guacamole that takes just a few minutes to throw together (yay!).


Avocado- 1-2 Large ripe Avocados. I prefer the Darker bumpy skinned Avocados because I think they have a creamier buttery flavor, but the smooth skinned bright green ones are fine too just as long as it is properly ripe, not hard. You can test an Avocado's ripeness by pressing gently on the skin. If it gives slightly to the touch it is ripe. If it is hard or mushy, do not use it.
Green Onions- 2-4 depending on the size/ taste, chopped fine
Corn- Either 2-3 ears fresh raw corn cut off the cob or 1 small can drained
Tomatoes-2-3 I prefer Romano because they are more "Meaty" and have less water, but any is fine, Diced
Hard Boiled Egg- 2-3 Diced
Salt- To taste

Also Need:
Fork for mixing
Cutting Board and Knife
Medium Bowl

To Prepare:

Start by halving the Avocado and removing the pit. (You can grow your own Avocado tree easily by sticking three toothpicks into the sides of the pit and placing it into a coffee mug of water for a few weeks until it sprouts. They make a really nice indoor tree and for those in hotter climates, a great addition to the garden). Once the pit is removed, scrape the meat out of the avocado using the fork. Mash the meat in the bowl until it is fairly smooth. You can leave a few chunks, it doesn't have to be perfect. Next add the chopped onion, tomato, and egg. Stir together until thoroughly mixed and salt to taste. Spread on bread for sandwiches or use as a yummy dip. Is a great accompaniment to the tuna salad recipe posted earlier. Yumm!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons and Never Crying over Spilled Milk

In typical Southern Fashion, I learned early on a phrase for every situation and I try day to day to remind myself of their importance. Here are some favorites:

A Penny saved is a Penny earned. I shamelessly collect spare Agerot (pretty much the Israeli equivalent of a Penny), even if that means taking out the little old Russian Grannies on the street for them. They are meticulously pocketed and saved up for when they are next needed. (Read: for the next Family Card Game.)

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Everyones Mother, mine included said this to them, sometimes on a daily basis. I honestly really believe in this. I unfortunately have to deal with people who believe the exact opposite and tend to have a comment for anything and everything to the point where I have had to slightly amend this one. It now reads, If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all... Until you are in the privacy of your own home. Then feel free to slam pots and pans, binge on chocolate and let out all of your pent up frustrations on your husband in the form of colorful 4 letter words that would make even the roughest Hell's Angel blush and ride his Harley to the nearest Confessional. Disclaimer for the Hubbies: It is best in this situation to duck and cover. Do not try to fix it. Do not try to understand it. Certainly do not take the other persons side, no matter HOW colorful or "wrong" the insults. The level of "correctness" in this situation DOES NOT matter and SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT be pointed out. This could result in severe bodily harm. Best to just nod periodically and agree in short ambiguous sentences. Better yet, just break out the Ben & Jerry's and a large spoon and then slowly back away.

Curiosity killed the cat. I am the most curious nosy person I know. Therefore I have decided to take this in the most literal sense. I warn my cats every day not to be sticking their noses in places they shouldn't ie: the toilet bowl, my cereal bowl (particularly not right after the toilet bowl), the dresser drawers (Ziva repeatedly gets shut in the baby's dresser by accident), the fan, the list goes on. I figure its safer in the more literal sense. You can't be too careful:)

Don't count your Chickens before they hatch. I have no chickens. Hence no counting.

Never cry over spilled milk. To most its as old as time. The past is the past, get over it right? Well to us breastfeeding Mum's this takes on a whole new meaning. Milk is hard earned, liquid gold. Hungry tummies demand it. Its perfection that we have earned and sometimes fought hard for. We selflessly hook ourselves up to machines for hours a day sometimes to save away save away, our freezers full of bags upon bags of our hard work. Well that a pack of hot dogs, and half a bottle of vodka. I found out the other day how hard this particular Idiom is to uphold. Another night at the in-laws, Lord love them. I had pumped a bottle because my MIL has a deeply ingrained need to feed the baby, so I indulge sometimes for the sake of family harmony. I bring milk in travel bottles with lids that heat up easily and then transfer it into the baby bottles that she keeps at her house. The particular baby bottles we use come apart into a base, a little rubber seal for the base that lets in a little bit of air (to prevent gas, not relevant really to the story) the bottle (open at top and bottom, definitely relevant to story), then the nipple and the ring that screws the nipple onto the bottle. This particular time, while I was heating up the water to heat the milk in, I noticed the bottle looked a little scummy so I took it apart to do a second cleaning and then left it beside the sink to dry while the milk heated. A few minutes later my MIL goes into the kitchen and I follow a few seconds later to supervise bottle prep. I come around the corner just in time to see a WHOOSH of milky white goodness being poured down the sink. My first thought was that she had for some reason decided the milk was bad and had disposed of it down the sink, something that for a few seconds turned me into a borderline psychotic ready to rip her from limb to limb. After a few seconds of clarity, I looked again to see that she had neglected to put the base and the rubber seal on the bottom of the bottle, opting instead to pour the milk into the open end at the top and then out the open end of the bottom. Somehow she didn't notice the spillage until all 6 oz were down the drain and I was collapsed against the wall in pale faced horror. Needless to say, I excused myself to the bathroom where no less than a few "please don't let me kill her" tears were shed and baby got boobie after all, a win in his book.

And lastly for now, When life hands you lemons, make Lemonade. I try to be positive, really I do, for the most part I'm a stick to it, grit your teeth, push forward, find the light at the end and keep going till you get there kind of girl. Lately my husband and I have had a really rough run of bad luck, really really. No need to go into much detail but lets just say we've had lemons by the bushel. In the end, I have to remember that we are both healthy, we still love each other very much (most of the time) and we have an absolutely perfect happy little boy, we could have it much worse. I have learned that sometimes you have so many Lemons, you need to make Lemonade, and then Lemon Pie, and Lemon cookies, and Lemon Chicken, and Lemon Pickle and Hollandaise. Even then, sometimes you still have some left over Lemons. Thats when I say screw it and grab the Tequila ;).

Got Milk??

So I've always been a supporter of breastfeeding. I was a breastfed baby, as were my brother and sister. I grew up on a farm and saw animal babies nursing from their mothers every spring. It was just how you fed a baby. The babies that had to be bottle fed for one reason or another just didn't ever seem to thrive as well as those who had their mothers milk.

However, I didn't become as passionate as I am today until midway through my pregnancy. I spent pretty much my entire pregnancy in bed for one reason or another, and what do you do when your stuck in bed and have no tv?? Well browse the internet of course! I came across a protest group on FB turned mothering support group called Hey Facebook Breastfeeding is not obscene! and it not only filled my need for hours of reading, but it also gave me an invaluable resource of other like minded mothers. When I say like minded I mean other mothers who are passionate about giving their babies the most natural healthy start at life as possible. Mothers who believe in baby wearing, and cosleeping, cloth diapers and breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond. Mothers who don't try to get their babies on schedules, instead opting to feed on demand and learn from their babies what they need and when.

When I first started reading the posts on the site, there was inevitably a post or two at any given time about some sort of health ailment, be it mother or baby. Eczema, diaper rash, ear infections, runny noses, the list goes on. Advice was sought and inevitably someone would suggest putting breastmilk on it. It was straight out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the Dad chases any ailing family member around and tells them to "Put some Windex on it," never mind the ailment.

Now I stated before I have always been a big fan of Breastfeeding, but to be honest, this was a little "crunchy" even for me. Seriously folks, Ointment, Butt cream, Ear drops, Sudafed, MODERN MEDICINE HELLLOOOO??? I would sort of roll my eyes and move on.

Fast forward a few months and I am eating my words.. Crunchity Crunch Crunch...

A few days ago I woke up and my left eye was nearly swollen shut as both my top and bottom tear ducts had blocked and become infected. My eye was puffy, red, extremely painful and it itched like nothing I had ever experienced. On top of that, since both ducts were blocked, my eye was INCREDIBLY dry and every blink felt like sandpaper. As much as I would have loved to stay in bed with an ice pack on my eye and feel sorry for myself, as a newly working Momma, I had to drag myself to work.

About two hours into my shift I was in agony. I wanted to dig my eye out with a spoon! Anything just to make it stop itching and hurting. I took my pump break and was sitting there trying to figure out how to scratch my eye to relieve the itch without touching it and causing further pain, unsuccessfully I might add. I was fervently wishing for eyedrops when the voices of all those Moms in HFBINO popped in my head. "Put some breastmilk on it."

I sort of laughed to myself for a few seconds and then out of desperation figured, What the hell, it can't kill me right?? (Right???????) I was already pumping so I just stole a few drops from the baby, (Sorry kiddo, Mommy was desperate!!) and rubbed it around my eye, and then dripped a few more directly into my eye. I then waited for my eye to explode, or fall out or make cottage cheese, something weird had to happen right??

The relief was almost instantaneous! It was as if my eye had a slippery protective film on it. I was amazed. I repeated this a few more times during my shift and then went home to hubby. Before I went to sleep that morning (I work nights) I asked him to help me pour some expressed breast milk into my eye. Lord love him, he didn't miss a beat, just went and got a teaspoon, watched me fill it, and then dribbled it into my eye like it was something he had seen done a million times before.

Two days later and my eye is completely healed. Two days of breastmilk and my eye was as good as new. It would have otherwise taken a week and a half of prescription eye drops to do the exact same thing but with the added fun of a trip to the Coupat Holim (clinic), waiting in line with a baby for the doctor, repeat line waiting at a Pharmacy, and then the trip home, all in my beloved Israeli heat. Whee.

I am a complete convert. I always knew breastmilk is the perfect food for babies, always fresh, perfectly balanced for babies needs at that moment in time. A woman's body is amazing, producing such a perfect food, and NOW?? Not only do I know I am feeding my baby food made just for him, customized to maximize those adorable fat rolls (which thanks to breastmilk are less likely to become the fat rolls of childhood obesity) and put just the right twinkle in his Elvin eyes (which thanks to breastmilk are less likely to need glasses), I have also found my "Windex."

I'm now gonna be that Jewish Mama, following my kids around the house with a spray bottle of breastmilk, ready for anything from pimples, to pink eye, to poopy butt rash (hey I needed another "P" for alliteration). I can see it now, all the tubes in our medicine cabinet replaced by natures cure. Calamine lotion for Bug bites? Nope! Breastmilk. Waterproof eye makeup remover? Guess what? Breastmilk. Sudafed for the Sniffles? Breastmilk. Vitamins? Breastmilk. Ky Jelly?? You got it... Breastmilk:)

To read more amazing uses for breastmilk check out:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

National Working Woman's Holiday

They oughta' run your picture in a magazine
'Cause you're the hardest working woman I've ever seen
If we weren't sinkin' in a river of debt
I'd say, "Quit that job and let 'em do it theirself"
I know we're depending on every dime
But I'm tired of you working that overtime

I'm gonna tell somebody
There ought to be a law against working that way
Tell 'em you're taking off this Friday
For the National Working Woman's Holiday

Honey I can tell you're feeling the strain
You deserve a break from that ball and chain
If the union won't say it, then it's up to me
They're just taking advantage of your loyalty
Everybody likes a little time and a half
But we both know you're worth more than that

I'm gonna tell somebody
There ought to be a law against working that way
Tell 'em you're taking off this Friday
For the National Working Woman's Holiday

I'll call in sick
And I'll be telling the truth
'Cause I'm sick and tired
Of how they're treating you

I'm gonna tell somebody
There ought to be a law against working that way
Tell 'em you're taking off this Friday
For the National Working Woman's Holiday

I'm gonna tell somebody
There ought to be a law against working that way
Tell 'em you're taking off this Friday
For the National Working Woman's Holiday

I remember loving this Sammy Kershaw song when I was a little girl, now after my first 2 weeks back at work in a year, it has become my anthem. Don't get me wrong, I really love my new job, its so nice to work for an upstanding International company that is not completely utterly corrupt, but I tell you, this ain't easy by any means. I was up every day around 4 am, to pump milk for the little monster, dress, pack my cooler with more storage bottles and pump for later, trudge half awake a few blocks to the bus station to take a bus and then a train to Ben Gurion Airport, about a 2 hour commute. Once there I trained in Russian, Hebrew and English and tried to fit pumping into my schedule in between sales and flights. Needless to say it wasn't quite as successful as I had imagined, but I managed.

The only place I have to pump is the main office for the 6 stores that we have in the Airport. Unfortunately for me, it is a working office and though I can turn my back so I am boobies to the wall, there is a steady stream of traffic pretty much the entire time I am pumping. Not to mention the constant inquiries of "Ma ze??" when people hear the eehhhnnnggg-chi ehhhnnnnggg-chi ehhnnngggg-chi of my pump. Luckily everyone is very light and funny about it. I have had so many compliments, cul-ha-cavod's (good for you), and general warm wishes from everyone from the Male manager who sat down at the computer beside me not knowing what I was doing (the look on his face once he realized was priceless) to the cleaning lady and the mail-man.

The first day was awkward and nervous because though I have breastfed plenty of times in public with no worries, having my boobies in a slurping plastic vice for the world to see wasn't quite as Earth mother... Lucky for me it seems the entire company has developed this sort of endearing, quirky sense of humor about it, allowing me breaks to "pump ze Tzitzits" so I don't "Puftzets" (explode). People approach it with humorous curiosity, one coworker even went so far as to ask me to see how it worked (um... okay???) and its given me the chance to educate other women and breakdown alot of the incorrect information about breastfeeding/extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting that is unfortunately so much a part of the world today. Though it was hard at first to fit into my day and my supply dipped a bit, all in all it was not nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be and my little man made it through fat and happy.

I do think hubby is slightly traumatized however as he now has sole parenting duties for the mornings until he went work and passed the little one off to my MIL or her sister until I got home. I think he has a new found appreciation for me and all those mornings I took the baby out of the bedroom when he woke at 6 am so hubby could sleep a bit longer.

I like being back at work in general. I do feel terrible guilt for having to go back so soon but unfortunately we don't have Eserim Agerote (the Israeli equivalent to 2 cents) to rub together at the moment and I really didn't have a choice. I miss the little monster terribly and I swear he's changing so much every day. I only hope that he will wait until I am home for all the important firsts. I think I will die if I am not there to experience them. I am however enjoying being out among society again. Its been a year now that I have been pretty much stuck at home full time, first with the disastrous pregnancy, then healing up after surgery. Its actually nice to have a reason to take a shower and get dressed every day. Ok, correction, its nice to have a reason to take a shower. Having to wear black dress pants, a black shirt, heels and a black blazer in the middle of an Israeli summer could very well count as cruel and unusual.

Coming home to my little man and seeing his chubby face light up when he see's me (or my boobies??) is such an amazing feeling. I swear I spend half an hour just kissing him, and blowing raspberries, and "eating" his fat rolls, much to his delight. Its so nice to come home and rediscover every inch of this amazing wonderful little creature that has changed so much in the past 12 hours. I take him straight to bed to nurse and cuddle and have some Mommy time. I think it really is the highlight of my day, well that and the inevitable nap that comes shortly after.

Next week I will go to 3 nights a week instead of 5 days for the same money so I'm definitely looking forward to having more time with the little man. Being a working mom is amazingly bittersweet. I missed being a productive part of society, but being his Mommy is my whole world now, so every second I steal from him is hard. I am so glad (tfu tfu tfu) that he has not seemed to phased by my returning to work and that my milk supply has not been affected. I am so blessed that my hubby's schedule and my MIL/ her Sister's schedules all work so that the little one is always with family that thinks the sun rises and sets by him. I am also lucky to have a job that is pleased that I am breastfeeding my child (and when asking me how long I planned to do it, started out suggesting 2 years and not a shorter time frame) and coworkers that are able to find humor in the boobie suction farts that sometimes echo around the quiet office.

I have now joined the ranks of the most difficult job on the planet (next to being a stay at home mom, which could very well be THE hardest job), balancing work and Mommy-hood. Maybe one day we will have enough money that I can stay home full time but for now I pack my pump and make the trudge, trusting that my hubby and his family will be able to bounce my little man with just the right balance of surprise and comfort, fun and fright, not to hard, not to soft. That they will know when he wants to eat and when he just wants to cuddle. That they will learn that he likes his chest to be tickled but not under his arms or on his feet and that he would much rather stand up and jump than lie down. That he hates the heat and loves the fan. And most of all that they will play with him and love on him so much that he will hardly even notice that I am gone, though to be honest, a piece of me hopes he misses me too... Just a little bit.

Recipe: Lactation Cookies

As if I really need another excuse to eat cookies:) These cookies have several ingredients in them to help up the production of breastmilk including the old favorite Oatmeal, as well as Brewers yeast and Flaxseed meal. I originally found the recipe on epicurious and lucky me they recommend 4 cookies a day... Just what the Doctor ordered!!! They're also just generally yummy for those of you not worrying about boosting your milk supply:) Try using white chocolate bits, raisins or other dried fruits or butterscotch bits.... YUUMMMMM!!!


Butter: 1 Cup
White Sugar: 1 Cup
Brown Sugar: 1 Cup
Water: 4 TBSP
Flaxseed Meal:2 TBSP (info on Flaxseed here
Eggs: 2 Large
Vanilla: 1-2 Tsp
Flour: 2 Cups
Baking Soda: 1 Tsp
Salt: 1 Tsp
Old Fashioned Oatmeal (NOT quick oats): 3 Cups
Chocolate Chips: 1-1.5 Cups (Can also sub Dried fruit such as apricots dates or raisins, white Chocolate Chips, or Butterscotch Chips, or a combo of a few things.. YAY!!)
Brewers Yeast: 2 TBSP

Also Need:

Large Mixing Bowl
Hand Mixer
Measuring Cup and Spoons
Baking Sheet
Tin Foil

To Prepare:

Preheat Oven to 375

Mix Flaxseed meal and Water and set aside. Cream Butter and Sugar together with the hand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs and mix. Using a Spoon, stir in Flaxseed/water mixture and Vanilla. Beat with Hand mixer until well blended. Add in Flour, salt, baking soda and Brewer's yeast and mix. Using a spoon, stir in Oats and yumminess of your choice (Chocolate chips, dried fruit etc). With a teaspoon, drop balls of dough onto tin foil a few inches apart. Bake 8-12 minutes

Happy Lactating!!! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

At the end of the day...

I went out with my husband last night for the first time sans baby, he went to my MIL's for some Babushka time. It wasn't anything fancy, I just met hubby in Tel Aviv after his work and we walked around the beach, had some ice cream and then met up with some friends to watch the Final game of the World Cup. Now the original plan was to meet at a beach cafe and watch the game from the beach, however anyone who has spent time with Israeli's knows that in doing so you pretty much throw plans out the window.

After finding a nice beach cafe with a huge screen and settling down into our beach chairs, hubby and I get a call (about 5 mins before the game starts) from his friend telling us that there is a better place blah blah the usual. So we leave our nice little cafe on the beach with the huge screen that we can see perfectly and our comfy beach chairs and wait for our friend to pick us up to go to the new "better" place. 5 mins, 10 mins. The game has started, I am annoyed. Finally we get picked up, drive around, and find the new place which turns out to be a very swanky rooftop bar next to the David Intercontinental Hotel. I immediately feel out of place. This bar was host to a ton of tiny, perfectly made up early 20 something girls in tiny dresses and sky high heels. They perched delicately on the laps of suave Israeli men with their shirts half unbuttoned and their hair perfectly gelled into that "just jumped up from a really hot session in bed" look that actually took them 20 minutes in front of a mirror and not a second in bed. I stuck out like a sore thumb. My mini dresses wont even go down over my boobs at this point and I can't even get my toes into a pair of my old heels, and the last time I jumped out of bed hot and sweaty with my hair a mess was when the AC wasn't working and I'd been trying to find the cool side of the pillow all night.

In the interest of being a good sport I sucked it up and tried to enjoy the game, which was difficult because we were at a bar that catered more to the Champagne sipping crowd than the sit down and watch Football crowd. A normal game lasts 90 minutes with about a 10 minute break at halftime. This game ran long due to overtime and by the time it finished I was in agony. I had been away from the baby for about 6 hours at that point and had already had 3 or 4 separate letdowns. My boobs were like rocks and I was desperate to get home to nurse. Unfortunately it was going to be at least an hour possibly 2 until I could get to the baby for some relief. I was desperate so I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) in order to take some of the pressure off.

I snuck down to the bathrooms with the intention of expressing a bit by hand so that I wouldn't explode, or more realistically, leak through my dress. For any of you that have not been to an Israeli club, many of the bathrooms are unisex, just a row of dimly lit stalls and a trough sink. I'm not sure if it is for speed or for more discreet sexual encounters, but thats how it is. Unfortunately for me, this was one of those clubs. Oh well, what can you do. I grabbed a handful of paper towels and waited for my turn at a stall. All of a sudden the bathroom attendant, a 40 something Ethiopian man, taps me on the arm, blocks my way, and demands to know why I took so many paper towels, (let me clarify that "so many" was like 5, not 50, but apparently this was a criminal offense). The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: "I'm sorry, What??" (I MUST have misheard him)
Ethiopian Bathroom Man blocking my way to the stalls: "Why you have all those towels??"
Me: "Um, do you really need to know??"
EBM (for now, EBM will stand for Ethiopian Bathroom Man,not Expressed Breast Milk): "Yes! You must not take so many towels, why you take all those??"
Me: (I figured what the hell, I'll be honest and maybe that will shut him up) "If you MUST know, I breastfeed and I need to express some milk and I need the towels to catch the milk."
EBM: "I do not understand."
Me: (at this point I am getting a bit annoyed at the hubbub and am noticing the stares from the 20 something other unisex bathroom goers milling around) "I just had a baby. The baby drinks milk. The baby is not here. The milk is. It needs to come out. The towels are to catch the milk."
I tried to move past the EBM and enter a stall but he again blocked my path.
EBM: "You need the stall for that??"
Me: (?!?!?!?!?!?) "Well unless you want me to do it HERE, YES I NEED A STALL FOR THAT!!! DO YOU WANT ME TO DO IT HERE??"
EBM: "um er um er.."
Me: (Unrepeatable Hebrew that translates basically to F-off get out of my way)

I finally got fed up and pushed past him into the stalls with my wad of towels, red with frustration and anger. As I close the door behind me I hear several giggles and comments of "icksss", and "ewww", and "Disgusting". I stood in that bathroom, milk spraying into the controversial towels, tears hitting the floor.

Now I should have marched out there and squirted those uppity little bitches and their man candy right in the eyes. I should have told them exactly where they could put their "Icksss" and their "eww" and that what I was doing in that stall was a heck of a lot less disgusting then what they were planning on doing in that same stall with the random stranger they were wrapped around. I should have told them that I had every right to have a night out every now and then and how dare they look down their perfectly powdered noses! I should have said that I am doing what is best for my baby and that there is nothing disgusting about that. I should have demanded they apologize for their ignorance. I should have stood there with my head held high and fight for my dignity as a breastfeeding mother.

What I really did was wipe off the milk, wipe off the tears and quickly duck past the giggles and the stares, head down, feet not moving fast enough.

Two years ago I was one of those girls in the mini dresses and high heels. The kind of girl who got "all dressed up with her tittys on" and went out on the town for a night of dancing and drinking and being lusted over. I was the kind of girl who knew what the boys were looking at, and liked that they were looking. The kind of girl who only used a bathroom to pee, or to check the fabulousness of my perky perfect boobs in the mirror. And yes, once upon a time they were perky AND fabulous...

Now I have the post Csection 70 year old fat man body with the giant scar across my once flat tummy and the stretch marks and rock hard torpedo boobies that sometimes spray milk that I cover in long loose dresses and sometimes need to empty in swanky bar bathrooms. Apparently that makes me disgusting.

But at the end of the day, they go home to their apartments alone, or with the man of the hour for a quick meaningless tumble, to wake up in the morning smelling of alcohol, cheap cologne, and cigarettes. And at the end of my day I also go home to my apartment. To my loving husband, who despite my 70 year old fat man body with the giant scar across my once flat tummy and the stretch marks and the rock hard torpedo boobies that sometimes spray milk, still somehow thinks I'm beautiful. And together we climb into our not quite big enough bed with our perfect fat little breastfed baby, who grins and squeals in delight at the sight of my torpedo boobies. And at the end of the day, they are alone, and I am fabulous.