Archive for March, 2010
It’s amazing what growing a tiny human being inside for nine months can do to your body. While some changes can be positive, like the increase in breast size, most are unfortunately negative.
For those of you who have not yet experienced child-birth (from either end of the stirrups), things look a bit different after a woman “squeezes a watermelon through her nostril.” She will have much fuller lips than before, but in a very different way than Angelina Jolie. It will appear as though a spare tire was lodged underneath the skin of her midsection and her cute little rear end will be replaced with two flat hamhocks.
I remember talking to my mother one day, after having my little boy. I had lost most of the baby weight, by doing Winsor Pilates, but couldn’t figure out what had happened to my once perky and round behind. It vanished and left behind the infamous MOM BUTT.
“My butt is so flat”… I remember mentioning.
To which I didn’t get much of a response…which either indicates some type of agreement or a lack of a positive comment!
Keeping up with the Pilates definitely helped get my lady lumps near their pre-baby form, but they still showed remnants of motherhood. (wow, did I really just call them lady lumps?) No matter how many leg lifts or painful clams I did with Pilates, I couldn’t seem to get the sides to recede.
Pilates successfully eliminated my mom derriere, but I still wanted to get its 20-year-old shape back… if at all possible. So, in hopes of getting back some part of my youth, I ended up ordering my second infomercial workout, the Brazil Butt Lift
In an effort not to sound like one of the women in the commercial sharing her amazing success story, I will just say… This workout is a MUST HAVE for any single, married or divorced mother! (or any woman for that matter!)
It is a difficult workout, but worth every sore muscle…and you will find butt muscles you never knew you had after each workout! It kicks my a@# every time, literally. If I find myself wanting to stop, or perhaps cry at the burning sensation attacking my butt and thighs, I picture the ladies of SNL in their Mom Jeans. I can then block out the pain with visions of my new and improved mom butt in a skimpy swimsuit this summer!
Goodbye Mom Butt, Hello Brazilian Bum!
If I could wave a magic wand and give myself three talents, they would have to be singing, dancing sober and cooking.
I would love to be able to whip up gourmet meals every day of the week and make homemade sauces and desserts to accompany my main course. Unfortunately being a working, single soccer mom with an active four-year old doesn’t really allow for such creations.
Okay, maybe it’s more that I lack the culinary skills… but I definitely lack the time to learn.
If you are like me, cooking dinner on a weeknight can be as stressful as your day at work. Around 5 o’clock in my house, you will find a pot of water about to boil over, burning garlic in the fry pan, a little boy in the background wanting to play with someone and an anxious mom in the kitchen trying to juggle it all!
Luckily, I came across something that has helped smooth out our weekday routine. I have found the Ultimate Single Mom Recipe! This dish is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table and is guaranteed to please even the pickiest toddler palate. It has become my “go-to” meal whenever I find myself glazed over, standing in front of the open refrigerator door. Not only is it easy to cook, but it’s versatile too. You can pretty much add anything…sausage, peppers, chicken, tomatoes… I’ve even added some heavy cream to make the sauce a little thicker. Thanks to this recipe I can spend the end of a stressful day with a peaceful half hour of cooking and a nice meal with my little team!
(photo by: Romulo Yanes)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 (10-ounces) packages frozen chopped broccoli (do not thaw) *You can also use fresh chopped broccoli
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
- 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta *I also use penne pasta
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop.
Cook garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli, water, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very tender and almost all of liquid has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted.
Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
Toss pasta with broccoli and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Season with salt and thin sauce with more cooking water if desired. Serve with cheese for sprinkling.
source: Epicurious.com - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Broccoli-with-Orecchiette-351170
Gourmet | January 2009
I don’t know what it is about having a nice meal, outside on a warm, sunny day that makes life so enjoyable? It is probably a combination of the glass of cool chardonnay sparkling in the sun, the pure entertainment of people passing by and the hysterical conversations with great friends that makes “lunching” one of my favorite hobbies.
Going out to eat has always been a pastime for my group of girlfriends. As soon as we could legally drive, our nights out always started off at a restaurant somewhere. In our teens, it was fast food or Red Lobster…in our twenties, it was anywhere with a full bar. Now that we are in our thirties, the restaurant has become the destination, not starting point, and the establishments have increased in class and price. During a recent hobby lunch with one of my besties, I was reminded (once again) how different life is as a thirty-something woman.
During lunch we began talking about our love lives, like most women during any female bonding session. In between bites of her asian inspired seared scallops, my best friend started explaining how dating in her thirties is a whole new experience.
“Men only want one thing, and when you are over 30, they don’t want it from you”
I had to contain myself from spitting out the sip of cold water I had just poured into my mouth! It was so funny, because it is TRUE.
Her blatantly honest statement about men’s subconscious attraction to youth initiated a walk down memory lane. We took a trip back in time together to ten years ago. A time when we could walk into any bar or restaurant and naturally grab the attention of almost every male patron. Not that we were Victoria Secret models or anything. We were just two young decent looking girls always smiling, laughing and having a good time.
Fast forward to the present. We are the same decent looking ladies, always smiling, laughing and having a good time…but add some crows feet and laugh lines. We may get a couple head turns, but only if they’re over 30. Now we attract the somewhat creepy guy, pushing his late fifties wishing he was 20 years younger…or if we’re lucky, maybe the Dad out to dinner with the kids while mom’s out getting a mani/pedi.
Which I guess, all works out since those guys are probably our target market now anyways (well, minus the married guy!) It’s just strange getting old…especially when you are a woman.
You know, I really loved watching Sex in the City when it was on 10 years ago… but I appreciate it A LOT more now that I am in my thirties. I can relate more with Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte now that I see the world through their eyes.
I definitely learned the hard way, it’s not the person you marry you have to worry about, it’s the one you have children with. After a divorce, you can choose to never see your ex-spouse again. Have a child with them and it’s a different story. They will be in your life FOREVER. Despite what everyone thinks, it does not just end when the child turns 18. There’s college, graduations, weddings and grandchildren to deal with after the custody arrangement ends. Not only will your ex spouse be an eternal part of your life, somehow they find a way to affect those around you, including family, friends and especially significant other’s.
Looking back, marriage is easy compared to Co-Parenting after a divorce.
Whether you have a good or bad relationship with your child’s mother or father, you are always going to have issues come up. Always.
(and let me tell you from personal experience, it is not easy to work with an ex on touchy subjects such as parenting techniques when the reason your relationship ended was due to the inability to effectively communicate….despite a year of counseling)
Right now our Co-Parenting struggle is over which school district our lil guy will attend for kindergarten next year. My ex wants him to go to school where they live with his girlfriend and her daughter from a previous marriage…while I want him to go to school in my neighborhood so I can provide the stability and structure that is non-existent in their household. My ex is a good dad, for the most part. He cares, he’s there when his work schedule doesn’t get in the way and he is goofy and fun. And we normally get along pretty well, as long as we don’t talk about anything heavy. Without getting into the whole ordeal…I just that I think he and my son would benefit much more if we changed our current schedule so that he was ‘Weekend Dad’ and I was ‘School Night Mom’. That way, our son could have consistency and structure during the week, then have unrestricted fun and sugar overloads on the weekend.
Unfortunately this one looks like it could get ugly…which is too bad. That’s never good, for anyone involved.
The last couple of years have been difficult for me, personally and professionally. I have dealt with attorneys & custody arrangements, struggled with co-parenting issues, learned how to be the maid, the cook and the taxi driver and, most importantly, helped a little boy emotionally deal with divorce. Surprisingly, I did it all while working full-time in the Financial Industry during our “Great Recession.” Not an easy time when the market is down 50%, your employer is looking to go out of business and your phone is ringing non-stop with frantic, concerned clients.
Lately, I have found a significant correlation between my overall mood and the day of the week. On Saturday and Sunday I am a joyful, happy person. Catch me on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and you’ll find a sullen and irritable version of my weekend self. I am the Corporate Dr Jekel, Mr Hyde. The second my cellphone rings or my blackberry flashes red I turn into this angry, hideous monster ready to bite my clients’ head off. I have found the only way to keep my sanity is to silence my phone and ignore my emails. Great customer service, I know. Luckily the antidote that eliminates this monster is picking my son up at daycare. It is the best part of my day and brings the smile and laughter back to my world.
The emergence of my weekday short-tempered beast is probably a sign I am ready for a career change. Well, that and the fact that a total stranger at Starbucks can even tell I am burnt out. After a quick, emotional-less explanation of my sales role within the company he said, “Wow, if I had a Burnt Out Meter, you’d be red-lining!!”
Okay, you can see that within two minutes of speaking with me… Not good.
Leaving my job wouldn’t be as difficult if I just wanted to switch companies. Unfortunately, I want out of Investments completely! No more talking about mutual funds, large caps, asset allocation, retirement or the tax advantages of contributing to a 401(k)! (As a side note though, for those thirtysomething moms out there that have not yet started saving for retirement… DO IT! Seriously. Okay, there, now I’m done!) The hard part is, I have no other experience. I took this job right out of college, thinking it was only temporary, and here I am 10 years later. Not only does the risk of being a single, unemployed mother in this economy scare me into keeping my current job, but the perks are pretty hard to walk away from too; all-expense paid company car, Blackberry Curve, laptop, and home internet/phone…in addition to making my own schedule, good benefits and 4 weeks paid time off.
Every time I think about turning in my resignation, this little voice inside my head says, “Who, in their right mind, would leave this kind of set up, in this tough economy?’ Yet then I wonder, is the steady paycheck worth risking my mental sanity?
I think I would rather risk having financial difficulties than be an unhappy, miserable person every Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
“Dear Middle Manager…”
I am truly amazed by how much our lives are affected by timing. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, meet Mr. Right when you’re already married to Mr. Wrong or just happen to read a witty status update on Facebook that gets you through a really rough day. Lauren’s post on mylifeincomplete.com the other day, could not have come at a more perfect time.
As I’ve mentioned before, I recently found Lauren while winding through this intricate world of bloggers and really connected with her well written posts. We share a remarkable number of similarities and life experiences. In her recent post, Beautiful Blogger, Lauren explains how she received the Beautiful Blogger Award twice in one week – which I must add, is very well deserved!! She went on to say that by accepting the award she must pass the honor on to eight other deserving blogs.
As I read through the post, I just about fell out of my chair when I saw her first honoree was Single Soccer Mom at My 30′s! While the award has the look to be the beginnings of a blogging chain letter, I still am honored that Lauren, a beautiful, talented writer, would consider my blog in the same category!
Once again Lauren, you have inadvertently influenced my life. This last week or so, I have been wondering if I should continue blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and find joy in sharing my single mom struggles… but I do have very limited time in my already hectic Single Soccer Mom schedule to maintain a blog and continuously pump out new material. I just found myself asking, “Is this really worth the time and effort?”
Well, it looks one person thinks so… Thank you Lauren! I guess I’ll keep at this blogging thing for a little while longer
Passing the Torch
Now, onto bestowing the honors to another Beautiful Blog…
Since I am considerably new to the blogging community and am still trying to find my way through its elaborate web, I haven’t been following that many blogs yet. If I were to pass on the award, the winners would be automatically selected from the mere list of 4 or 5 blogs that I follow.
Therefore, I’ve decided to pass the award on to a blog that I feel every parent should visit at least once. This site did not win on aesthetics alone. I am giving Connected Parenting – The Blog the honor of Beautiful Blogger for the beautiful things it can do to your family.
I recently came across the blog and was intrigued by the subject matter. During a two-hour lunch break, I found myself wandering through a local bookstore in search of the book of the same name, Connected Parenting, by Jennifer Kolari. After reading just a few chapters and applying the techniques described within those pages, I have seen the bond between my little man and I blossom even more. While my son has never been a problem or difficult child, he has been known to throw a mean tantrum every now and then…especially after coming back from Dad’s house. I found being a ‘connected parent’ helps me stay calm during those situations and helps my son express what’s really going on beneath the incessant “No…I don’t wanna!”
Thank you Lauren and Connected Parenting for making my life more beautiful and giving me more things to blog about
Congratulations to the other winners…