Alright St. Nick, let’s try this again.

Dear Santa (part 2),

I’m not sure what happened last year seeing that I didn’t get ANY of the things I asked you for. I remember waking up at the crack of 10 am and running out to see what you had left me under the tree, only to find that the only ones who got gifts were my daughters. I was so puzzled, I knew I had been a good girl because I asked my husband and he told me that I’d definitely NOT been naughty…

Anyway, what’s the deal, Santa? I know you’re a man of a certain age, but I would assume that one of your elf helpers would’ve reminded you about your responsibilities as the grantor of Christmas wishes. If you still need a reminder click here, that’s the letter I sent you last year, I even sent it before Thanksgiving to make sure you received it with plenty of time. Maybe I should’ve sent it right in the middle of summer. I specifically remember asking you to give me the ability to cook; yet, it’s a miracle I haven’t poisoned my own kids.

But you know what? Water under the bridge. I’m not one to hold grudges. So how about we make amends and start from scratch? Yes? Perfect! Here’s my list for this year. I promise it’s not as ambitious as last year’s.

1- An invisibility cloak.

I don’t know about you, Santa, but sometimes I just feel like disappearing. But you know, I have two young daughters so that would be bad if I actually did disappear. So I thought that an invisibility cloak would be perfect for me. I would still be able to see them, but they wouldn’t see me, which means that for once, they would ask their father for help instead of me, the little one would at least make an effort to wipe her own butt (she can do it herself, I’ve seen her, she just conveniently “forgets” how to do it when I’m around), my husband would be forced to look for the white t-shirt that’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and my name wouldn’t be called out one thousand six hundred seventy three times in an hour.

2- Tickets to the Ellen DeGeneres show.

I loooooooooooooove Ellen and I really, really, really, really want to go to her show. Going to the Ellen show would probably feel like Christmas morning for grownups, but better. Oh no, did I offend you? I really didn’t mean to, it’s just that Ellen is amazing and funny and amazing and she voices Dori so she’s even more amazing! Would you like to come with me? I’m sure you guys would get along great. You can be my plus one.

3- Thousands of Starbuck’s red cups.

Please deliver them to all of those who have nothing better to do with their time than to complain about a stupid red cup that “does not symbolize Christmas.” What more do you want, people?!? They literally have a Christmas Blend coffee bag. CHRISTMAS blend!! And their stores are covered in Christmas decorations! It’s like Santa threw up in there!

4- Dirt/smell/stain repellent clothes.

Because you know how much I love to do laundry… How wonderful would it be not to panic every time someone spilled chocolate milk, or pasta sauce, or wine, or anything else for that matter.  All that time I’m going to save not doing laundry could be quality time spent completely alone in my room binge watching anything.

5- Infinite patience 

Because, “Mami, where are my shoes?”, “Mami, I want some water.”, “Mami, I spilled the water.”, “Mami, I don’t feel like going to school today.”, ” Mami, I don’t like that food.”, “Mami, I’m not hungry.”, “Mami, I’m staaaarving!!!”, “Mami, I farted HAHAHAHA.”, “Mami, she hit me.”, “Mami, I punched her back!”, “Mami, what are you doing??”, “Mami, why are you screaming into a pillow?”

6- Awesome dance moves.

I want to be able to break out in song and dance WHEREVER and WHENEVER I feel like it. I don’t care who I embarrass as long as I don’t embarrass myself. My issue is that I only know how to do the MC Hammer and The Robot. I tried doing The Sprinkler and I ended up at the chiropractor’s. So maybe swoosh your little magic wand or super Santa powers and give me some super impressive dance moves. Or better yet, send Beyoncé to my house for a weekend so that she can bestow her awesomeness upon me. Yes! Yes! Send Beyoncé….and Ellen DeGeneres while you’re at it.

P.S.

If you’re feeling generous, please magically replace my back. I have a feeling I might throw mine out after Beyoncé is done with me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

First of all, I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. Not only do you survive this crazy holiday every year, but you hand deliver every single toy to all the believers out there. I know it must be hard to keep up with the demand and all these new complicated video games and tablets. It must have taken you forever to learn how to assemble all these games with the chips and the 3-D and the gigas and the bytes. Whatever happened to the good old wooden rocking horse? I know. I feel the same way. I must say, you’ve adapted wonderfully and all while rocking the same red suit. Kudos to you!

Anyway, you must be confused as to why a grown ass (OMG! I’m soooo sorry for cursing) woman is sending you a letter. Well, the truth is, I have lost all hope and was hoping you could restore it for me. You see, the other day I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas and he said he didn’t want anything (bless his heart). However, I think he was expecting the same answer from me. That didn’t happen of course, because I want lots of things. Now, don’t think I’m being selfish or anything; I’m actually the complete opposite of that. I always put everyone’s needs before mine and only expect to get rewarded at the end of the year. Never mind, that does sound really selfish. Let me rephrase that. I think I deserve to get everything on my list because I take care of my family without asking for anything back except hugs, kisses and the occasional compliment here and there.  So when I showed my husband the list, he laughed uncontrollably and walked away. And this is when all my hope went down the drain.

So this is where you come in, Santa. I’m sending you this list in hopes I wake up on Christmas morning and find that not only my daughters’ wishes came true, but also mine.

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It’s not that long Santa, just wait until you see my daughters’.

1 – Endless supply of toilet paper – Santa, do you know that I am buying a 24-pack of toilet paper on a weekly basis? I mean, I know there are more girls than boys in the house and that we have more…err…”stuff” to keep clean, but come on!! I’m starting to believe my daughters are trading toilet paper rolls for candy. It’s no coincidence that I keep finding more candy and less toilet paper around the house. So if you give me an endless supply of TP it would mean fewer trips to the store, which means I would have to drive less, which means less pollution to the environment. So really, it’s a win-win situation.

Actually, while you’re at it, can you add a couple of nanny cams? I’m going to catch the little suckers!

2 – 30 hour days – Not to get more done. No. I need 30 hour days in order to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep. Don’t you just feel like punching people that only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep and yet they still wake up radiant and full of energy? Probably not, ’cause you’re Santa and you’re perfect and fluffy. But I do! Sorry about all the aggressiveness, it’s the lack of sleep. If I get more hours of sleep, I’ll probably wake up singing “It’s a beautiful morning” and make pancakes for the whole building. Again, a win-win situation.

3 – The ability to cook – I’ll just get straight to the point. I have tried to learn and have failed miserably. So this is why I need you.  I need to be able to make a grilled cheese sandwich without this happening:

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Who feeds their children plastic? Me.

 

 

 

 

 

Or cook a simple pasta dish without burning it like this:

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I seriously give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is pathetic and I need you to fix it please.

4 – The power to transform into Martha Stewart or at least suck all the talent out of her: I for once would like to be able to sew my daughter’s Girl Scout badges on her vest and not run like a little girl to my mom asking her for help. Anything that requires sewing, I will staple. Anything that asks for frosting, I will buy pre-made. Anything that involves paint will end up on the carpet and up my nose. All I want is to be skillful enough to redecorate my living room by only using a wooden crate, paint and tape. I’m sure Martha can do it.

5 – 24 hour concierge service: I know some buildings do have it, but I’m neither rich nor live in NYC.  So what if sometimes I crave ice-cream at 2 in the morning? Or forget to buy more juice boxes for my daughter’s lunch box. I don’t want to leave the house at 6 pm. That’s so late for this old body. I need someone to go fetch me stuff at a moments notice and my husband has already said no.

6 – Healthy junk food – Santa please, I beg of you!! Not everything healthy has to be boring. I need junk food in my life but I need it to be healthy because I hate the gym and I can’t stop eating cheeseburgers from the mall and my waist is paying for it. Also candy and carbs. No matter how much I eat them, I need you to make all this stuff super extra healthy because I have no plans of stopping.

That’s it Santa, I only want these 6 things. After all, my parents taught me not to be greedy.

Sincerely,

Me :)

 

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that one time I had dinner with 35 foodies

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I am a disaster when it comes to anything that involves making food. I love to eat, don’t get me wrong, maybe a little too much actually, the problem is I can’t cook, I get annoyed reading food labels, I don’t know if 500 calories for a bagel is ridiculous or not, I can’t tell the difference between parsley and cilantro and I’m not entirely sure what a Rutabaga is, and I had to Google the correct spelling for it. I’m not proud of this trust me, I’m still working on it.  The fact that I married a chef is a huge deal for me, because I went from eating Ramen Noodles to eating fresh homemade pasta. Score.

After 10 years of being married to this guy, I’ve learned a thing or two in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean I like it now, it just means that I won’t starve to death when he’s not around. So when my husband told me that we were invited to one of his friend’s house for dinner, along with around 35 other chefs and foodies my heart immediately stopped.  Putting aside the fact that I didn’t know ANYONE at this dinner, I knew the only topic of conversation was going to be about food, something I know nothing about, except how to eat it.

I tried binge watching the Food Network Channel a few days before to see if maybe I could learn some of the lingo and not look like a complete idiot, but I couldn’t do it. I got so anxious watching these people trying to make a gourmet entrée using only a tub of peanut butter, an orange peel and a potato.  I also tried reading some of my husband’s books, I fell asleep. I tried getting him to give me a quick crash course, but it wasn’t quick, it involved charts and homework, so I told him I had to do the neighbor’s laundry and ran away.

My only hope was that maybe another lost wife was going to be there too,  maybe we would bond over our culinary ignorance, maybe we would talk about kids, maybe we would talk about shoes, maybe we would become bff’s. I was getting excited about meeting my new imaginary best friend and so was my husband, he had noticed me having all these pretend adult conversations with myself and frankly, I was starting to look like a mental person.

We got there and were received by 30 something people. I knew no one. I clenched my husband’s hand, but of course, he soon exchanged it for a glass of wine.  I looked around and did not see another lost wife like me, everyone knew each other.

After what seemed hours of following my husband around like a lost puppy mingling, we sat down and waited for the first course, in the meantime, everyone was talking about food, and ingredients, and techniques, and foam, and liquid nitrogen*(apparently, the super cool use it to cook) and that chef that was the underdog and now is super famous. All gibberish to me.

I had nothing to say.

First course came out, everyone whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures, I followed. I don’t even know why, but everyone was doing it. One hour later we were on our fourth course. I kept thinking about my daughters, hoping  the little one would start crying so much that my father in-law would have no other option but to call me. No calls. 5th course…no calls.

Me: “So dessert is next? This is our 5th plate of food, I don’t think I can eat anymore.”

Husband: “It’s fifteen courses, desserts (as in more than one) come after.”

Fifteen courses. FIFTEEN.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way to the last course, but everything was so good I just kept eating and eating. With so much food around me and my non-stop eating, there was no time to join in the conversation even if I tried. They will ever know how much I don’t know.

I hear ya!

I hear ya!

We made it to the 9th course before my father in-law really called in a panic. The baby had woken up and wouldn’t stop crying. We had to leave early and I asked my husband if it was too tacky to ask for take out. He rolled his eyes and we left.

Next time I’ll be sure to be well prepared, I’ll study the charts and do the homework, learn the lingo and even practice some recipes of my own. I promise.

P.S.  Thank you to all the chefs and cooks out there (specially my hubby and his friends), who dedicate their days cooking AMAZING dishes. Thank you for sharing your passion and art.

* I had actually written dry ice but my husband had a mini heart attack and quickly corrected me.

my 7 year to-do list

listWho doesn’t love a to-do list? In my less than organized life (because I don’t like to say chaotic) these lists are the only thing that keep me somewhat sane. I make lists for everything, I make so many that someone actually told me I should make a how-about-I-get-a-hobby list. Instead, I made a reasons-to-mind-your-own-business list and slipped it under their door.  Seriously, leave my love for lists alone.

So naturally, being so fond of them, the minute I found out I was pregnant  I started making a list of things I needed to learn because I really knew nothing….about anything. I still don’t.

My daughter is about to turn 7, so that’s how old this list is. I’m hoping to cross everything out sometime before she has her own daughter.

My 7 year to-do list:

  • Learn how to eat like a grown up

Obviously, if my baby is going to be occupying the premises for the next 9 months I might as well start eating right so that she can grow healthy. That means no more coffee for breakfast, crappy chinese for lunch and leftovers for dinner.

  • Learn how to speed read

Because I need to read this pile of pregnancy books, along with the other pile of how to care for a newborn, how to sleep train them, how to make them the happiest baby and toddler around the neighborhood or block or something like that. Add to that my own lists of magazines books.

  • Learn how to cook

Because I’m going to have to eventually leave the hospital and feed this kid all by myself.  And yes, pureeing fruits and veggies can be a challenge for the culinary incompetents like me.

  • Learn how to sing

I read somewhere that nothing soothes a crying baby like a mother’s voice, maybe I made that one up I’m not sure, but I’m determined to calm my baby by singing sweet lullabies to her. That means I have to start by remembering the lyrics and learning a couple of new ones because Baby Got Back and Can’t Touch This are not going to cut it.

  •  Learn how to ignore unsolicited advice

A good friend of mine warned me about this. I was going to get tons of unsolicited advice, from my own mother down to the nosy stranger at the mall. Someone once told me that the baby should sleep with the lights on, that way it would force her to close her eyes and she’d eventually go to sleep. That doesn’t work, I know because I actually tried it. Don’t judge me. I knew nothing. I still don’t. My kids still sleep with me.

  •  Learn how to properly do laundry

Nothing says motherhood like being thrown up on, spitted on, pooped on and wiped on. There aren’t enough yoga pants and stretchy t-shirts in my closet to keep up with this mess.  And then there are the baby’s clothes. How can they be so dirty when everything is already on my clothes? You’d think that doing laundry is just separating the whites from the colors. I thought the same thing, turns out there’s a whole science to it. First of all, there are different water temperatures for I guess different types of fabric. I don’t even know which ones get cold/cold or which ones get hot/cold water.  In my house water is water and that’s all you need to wash your clothes. So I don’t really touch that button. It’s been on the same setting (warm/cold, I compromised) for the past 7 years. Second of all, don’t even think about not turning printed t-shirts inside out before washing them, if the print peels off, you WILL ruin your kids life. I’ve already ruined her life twice.

  •  Learn how to knit

Isn’t it a rule for every mom to know how to knit cute scarfs and hats for their kids? Or is that grandmas? Either way, I thought it would be cool to learn how to make my kids scarfs and hats so they could proudly brag to their friends that “my mom made this super awesome fancy scarf for me”. Unfortunately the plain, uneven, full of knots scarf that I made my daughter has yet to be seen in public. I think she hid it inside a shoe.

  •  Learn how to ride a bicycle without killing myself

My dad taught me how to ride a bike, his dad taught him and I’m sure his dad taught him, so I’m for sure not going to be the one to end this centuries old family tradition. I’m a great bike rider, as long as I’m going in a straight line. Don’t ask me to turn a corner or even slightly move to the right in order not to run over the speed walker that’s in front of me, sorry lady, if you don’t step aside I will have to run you over, that, or I will fall and scrape my ego…along with my knees, elbows and probably face.

  • Learn how to open a bottle of wine. 

Because I have a feeling I’m going to need some.

 

This is what I’ve accomplished so far:

1-Learn how to eat like a grownup: Only during my pregnancy, after that, back to coffee, crappy chinese and left overs.

2- Learn how to speed read: HAHAHAHAHAHA no I didn’t.

3- Learn how to cook: I learned how to make a mean pea puree, until my baby started gagging on the little peels so I quit.

4- Learn how to sing: Lullabies are seriously boring, so don’t judge my daughters when you hear them singing “I like big butts and I cannot lie”. I take full responsibility.

5- Learn how to ignore unsolicited advise: As my future husband Robert Downey Jr. said: “Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the fu&k you were gonna do anyway”.

6- Learn how to properly do laundry: Nope. I’m still ruining my daughter’s life, one shirt at a time.

7-Learn how to knit: Who in their right mind has time to knit? I’m trying to fix my kid’s life here!

8-Learn how to ride a bicycle without killing myself: My 6 year old rides better than me. Let’s leave it at that.

9-Learn how to open a bottle of wine: Mastered it!

 

I hate/I love

My husband and I recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. I forgot, he forgot, we all forgot, so it wasn’t much of a celebration anyway, but I did do a little happy dance the morning after when I actually remembered, because we have made it 9 plus years (if you count 200 years of dating) through a lot of ups and downs, mostly up….4 flights of stairs in our elevator-less building. There are a lot of things he does that I hate and love, yes, I know hate is a strong word, but if you seriously tell me that there is nothing your husband or wife does that you don’t hate then you’re straight up lying. And I know I drive him crazy too but we’re not talking about me…

I hate that you “accidentally” gave away 2!!!! of my favorite boots because you thought they were for donation just because they were sitting in my trunk for 4 months. I WAS going to get them resoled eventually.

I love that thanks to you, hopefully a very well deserved woman (or two) is walking around with a very stylish pair of boots.

I hate that you threw my favorite black bra in the washer and it came out in 2 pieces. That mesh bag is not ON TOP of the washer for decoration purposes…just an FYI.

I love that you actually did laundry without even having to ask you. Bonus: I love that you now have to see me in my other favorite bra…no, not the pretty lace ones, the nude colored one. Not that sexy huh??

I hate that you left your VERY WELL paid, AMAZING hours as an office manager to go to culinary school.

I love that you dared to follow your dreams and that I now have a professional chef cook for me…for free ;)

I hate that you leave at 4:30 am and I don’t get to see you in the mornings anymore.

I love that you don’t care that its 4:30 am, because you’re ecstatic to go cook for the next 14 hours. Bonus: I love that since you don’t see me dressed for work, I can sneak in new clothes without you knowing I went shopping ;)

I hate that even though you leave before the roosters even wake up you still come home past 8 pm.

I love that you rush home every night just to try to catch your daughters awake.

I hate that sometimes you come home past 8 pm and the girls are already sleeping.

I love that sometimes you come home past 8 pm and the girls are already sleeping….and we get at least 20 minutes of silence, just the two of us…before I obviously pass out.

I hate that you’re not at all afraid of my death stare when I’m mad at you.

I love that you’re not at all afraid of my death stare when I’m mad at you.

I hate that you turn yourself into a 6 year old boy when you’re playing with the girls and jump on the bed with them while I panic and try to catch them every time they fall. Also when you wrestle. They are NOT made of rubber!

I love that you play with them as if they were boys, because not everything can be princesses and glitter, especially when I keep finding it up their noses. Bonus: I love that you know all the names of their My Little Ponies and that you make girly voices when you’re playing barbies.

I hate that you’re not honest when I ask you if the 5 extra pounds I have gained make me look ugly.

I love that you pretend not to notice my weight gain. Probably because you know it will make me cry, laugh and scream all at the same time. And I already know you avoid me like the plague every time I get my period and cry, laugh and scream for no apparent reason.

Sorry I forgot our anniversary, that’s why I’m writing you this post. I’m sure you’re sorry you forgot too and that’s why you’re taking me shopping.

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preach

 

“What? You know how to cook?”

For all my friends and family, it is no secret that I am the biggest culinary challenged person that exists. For my daughters? Well, for them, mommy is the greatest cook ever, or so I thought until recently, when I asked my 3-year-old to wait in the living room while I made her dinner:

“Itala, would you please wait with your sister in the living room while I make dinner?”

She turns around with this look of utter surprise in her face, hand on hip and asks:

“WHAT?!?! You know how to cook?!?!”

I’ve been caught. I’ve been caught by my know it all toddler.  Who knew she was even paying attention. But luckily for me, my faithful 6-year-old stood up to my defense. Yes! I knew it! I can always count on her!

“Itala, mami can cook! She made us mushy pasta the other day.”  And by mushy she means overcooked.  Thanks kid. Sigh…

recipe

I have spent the last years tricking them, lying to them, and deceiving them into thinking that I could handle dinner.  I cannot. And it’s a fact that I’ve come to terms with. I can’t follow a recipe, it stressed me out. I sweat, I swear,  I cry. I once tried to cook a recipe from scratch and ended up with some weird witch’s potion.

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I have a total of 2 menus in my repertoire. Grilled chicken (only if it’s the thin cut) and un-mushy pasta (only if it’s not angel hair).  What? Do you think I’m going to let my kids starve to death?  I won’t, at least not until they’re old enough to make themselves dinner!

So this is how I’ve kept them alive and healthy…I married a CHEF (caps lock and bold, yes, it’s that important). I only married him for his culinary skills really, that, and the fact that he’s a tall, handsome Italian doesn’t hurt either ;)

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Check out my chef in the middle 

So at home, dad cooks and mom does the dishes.

Oh, if I ever post a recipe (which I doubt), please be sure it was completely made by my husband. Which in that case, I would take note because he is THAT good!

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