Jan 16, 2009

Mmmm mmmm Chicky!

Ina Garten is one of my favorite cooks out there.  Besides DVRing all of her episodes on Food Network, I have every single one of her cookbooks and they are all my favorites. The newest one that just hit bookstores, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics is every bit as good as her previous ones. 

Tonight I cooked up the Tuscan Lemon Chicken and the Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash. Both were overwhelming easy and yummy. What I especially love about her recipes is that, if you like to cook, you will probably have almost half of the ingredients already in your kitchen.  

Check out the recipe for the Tuscan Lemon Chicken as it's featured on her website!

Photo:  Quentin Bacon 

Those things...

For one reason or another there are so many things that I promised myself I would NEVER do. 

For example, I swore I'd NEVER call my doctor at his home.  My father is a physician and I have countless memories of his patients calling in the middle of him reading a bedtime story to me.  I was pissed.  This was my daddy.  And this was my daddy time.  I even got mad at him for taking the calls.  He spends all day with his patients.  When he gets home, he should be on my clock. Me. Me. Me.

Well yesterday, low and behold, I got the flu.  My head, nose, stomach, legs and body felt like they were collapsing in on themselves and I broke down and called my doctor...at home. 

I did it. He gave me his home number years ago and I put it away vowing to never use it.  

But yesterday, I used it.  After I got the medicine I needed to provide me with some much needed relief I got a startling new perspective on my father.  

Thank God for him. 

Thank God patients felt comfortable enough to call him.  

Thank God he was willing to take their calls at 8pm, midnight and 4am.  

I don't know too many doctors willing to give their numbers to patients, but for the ones that do, I say it's more than okay to call if you really need to.  They wouldn't have offered it if they didn't mean it.  

Nowadays when you go to the doctor it's truly a freak show.  After waiting at least 45 minutes to see the doctor, you get 10 minutes of face time.  There's no time for Q&A.  And it's not like anyone follows up with you. They come in the room, check your chart, grab your wrist and take your pulse, jot down a few notes and leave. Their justification is they have so many patients to see in such small amount of time.  

Well I'm sorry, but when you go into a room of a sick patient, pull up a goddam chair.  

You think that person waiting for your attention is there because they want to hang out?  No, they're there because they feel like shit.  They are vulnerable and in pain.  They need to be walked through, in terms my baby can understand, exactly what you are going to do them and how its going to make them feel better. Period.  

So if you are lucky enough to find a doctor, who is willing to give you his home number in case you have a question you forgot to ask or are feeling kind of sick, dial those digits.  That doctor of yours cares about you.

The same way my father cared about his patients.

After my dad hung up the phone with his patient, we ALWAYS finished the bedtime story.


Jan 15, 2009


This is a snippet of my conservation tonight with Brett:

Brett:  It's so weird to think a plane crashed less than a mile away from our apartment this afternoon.

Alexis: Eh...

Brett:  Eh?  Really?  You don't think it's odd the plane is sitting in the water literally less than a mile away from where we are sitting right now, at this very moment?

Alexis:  Eh...

Brett:  EH????

Alexis:  This is New York.  Nothing surprises me anymore.

Truth be told, I'm thrilled and elated everyone is okay. It's because they are all okay that I can say "eh." 

If there were major fatalities a mile away from me then yes, you better believe I'd be plenty upset.  But there are not.  The pilot was the definition of perfection.  He should be bestowed the biggest honor a person can get and set an example for all of us to our jobs with such grace under pressure.  

All time fave 001...

Since over 75 million people have watched this, I know this is nothing new.  But Charlie makes me laugh hysterically every time I see this:

Hell hath no fury...

...like a Mama scorned.

If it's pouring outside, hailing even, and a new Mama drags her baby to the pediatrician's office for his first set of shots, a moment she's been dreading for weeks now, and a bitchy 21-year-old receptionist, who hates kids, tells the Mama that the appointment was for 10:30am not 11:30am and that she's shit out of luck, and so the Mama demands to speak with the doctor because surely the Doctor will show some understanding, but the Doctor says she can't bend her schedule because she has a lunch date with her new boyfriend, and the Mama's standing there soaking wet feeling like an idiot, and looks at her baby and sees him starting to turn beet red because he's pooping, and the bitchy 21-year-old receptionist tells her the next available appointment is in a month and a half, and her baby starts to cry because there's poop in his diaper, and she can't hear the bitchy receptionist because his screams are getting louder and louder, and she's soaking wet because it's pouring outside, hailing even, and she's so pissed because what kind of pediatricians office isn't flexible or understanding, and her poor baby is sitting in poo, and the Doctor just grabbed her purse, reapplied her lipstick and walked out the door, and the bitchy 21-year-old receptionist throws on her pink coat, grabs her leopard purse and starts heading out the door for lunch too.

Suddenly it comes to the Mama.

Her baby shat himself!

The new Mama asks the bitchy 21-year-old receptionist to hold off closing the office for a moment while she changes her baby before heading home in the rain and hail, and bitchy 21-year-old receptionist impatiently says okay but tells her to "make it fast," so the Mama takes care to walk extra slowly down the hall, find the bathroom, change her precious little boy's diaper, bundle him back up, say bye bye to the bitchy 21-year-old receptionist, and walk home happy and contented, because the Mama is imagining when the doctor and the bitchy 21-year-old receptionist get back from their hour and a half long lunch break, and have to pee, they will be greeted by a disgusting pile of used wipes and dirty diaper left on the counter that's been sitting there since they left, because the Mama wanted to show her appreciation for all their patience and understanding.

Mama's going to a a new pediatrician.

Jan 13, 2009

The Old Thermometer Trick...

It was awful.

We traveled to Minneapolis to visit my in-laws for Christmas.  

Even though it was a high of zero degrees everyday, Oliver had a wonderful time hanging out with his grandparents, playing with his Aunt and Uncles, and bonding with his new best friend Buck, the best golden retriever in the world.

So what could be so awful?


The poor boy just couldn't get his engine started.  Monday passed.  Tuesday passed.  And then Wednesday came.  After 20 minutes of Oliver bearing down with all his might, all we got was one little goose turd.  He was cranky, out of sorts and all together uncomfortable.

Brett and I decided we had to step up and help our little boy get his engine running.  We are parents right? So we pulled out the thermometer and stuck it in. Yes that's right. That's what we did.  He didn't seem to mind but boy did I feel terrible.  

Ironically, I know this is only the beginning.

There are going to be so many things throughout Oliver's life when I'm going to just have to bite my tongue. I will have to do exactly what I don't want to do simply because it will provide him with some relief.  

Needless to say, a couple of hours later the goose turds turned into the the normal lovelyness and Oliver was lighter in spirit and in body. I felt like a million bucks.

My my how life has changed. 

Jan 12, 2009

The hardest job in the world...

Ever since I was in high school I have had a job.  Hell, one summer I worked two jobs.

It's not that I had to work, it's that I loved earning a paycheck. I still remember getting my very first one.  My mother asked me what I was going to do with it and I said I would put it in my dresser drawer and save it to buy a home with one day.  She told me that's not how it works and then drove me to the bank to open my first savings account.  

I don't know if it was validation I was looking for, but getting a paycheck was instantly addictive. It gave me freedom, opportunity and the ability to make my own decisions.

After college, I officially entered corporate America.  After chugging an extra large dunkin' donuts coffee with loads of skim milk and sugar, my attitude was nothing short of a ready-to-work, can-do machine.

Fast forward 10 years.  

Married in NYC with a hubby and son to boot, the energy of the world has changed and suddenly I have a much different job.  And this job doesn't come with a paycheck.  

Mama/CEO*: Make sure Oliver is safe, happy and healthy. Make sure he's developing and growing.  Stimulate him, love him and cuddle him. Change all diapers, even the narsty ones. 

Being a Mama is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TGIF means crap because I know on Saturday and Sunday morning I'm waking up at 6:30am to feed the little bugger.  I don't get Martin Luther King Day, Labor Day or the 4th of July off.  If I have a headache or stomach flu, there is no calling in sick.  I certainly can't tell my screaming baby to turn the volume down because my head feels like it's going to explode.  There are no promotions from Jr. Mama to Executive VP Mama, there is simply Mama.  

Funny thing though...

Mama/CEO is the first job I've held where pay doesn't factor in at all.  It's a job solely about helping my baby reach his full potential in life by living morally and ethically true to his heart. And that's not just a huge job, it's the most important job of my life.  

One day, I'm sure in the near future, I will yearn for the quick high of a paycheck again.  

But when that day comes, it will be a breeze compared to the job I'm in right now.

*Mama/CEO's job description is identical to and no more important than Papa/CEO's job description with a few small differences to be discussed at a later date...

Jan 11, 2009

Economy getting to celebs?

I'm sitting here watching the Globes and all I can say is wow.  

Apparently the economy has spared no one because celebrity has never looked worse. 

Shame on:

Renee Zellweger: What???? Wait, really???

Zac Efron: You look better coming from the gym.

Sally Field: Did you just walk off the set of your Boniva commercial?  

Kevin Bacon and Colin Farrell: Lose the gel shit in your hair.

Drew Barrymore's hair: Uncomfortable to look at. You're not Marilyn. 

J.LO: Your opening golden outfit looks like the Oscar you'll never get.

Anne Hathaway:  Get out of your dark room and discover the sun.  

Amy Adams:  That dress?  Really? 

Brooke Burke:  It's time to make friendly with your aging self.

Tina Fey: This should have been your year.

Kudos to:

Bragelina: Always lovely to look at, even if you are a home wrecker.

Amy Poehler: You look fab for just having a baby! Share your secret.

Kate Winslet: Beautiful and gracious.

Jon Hamm: You are gorgeous.

Emma Thompson: Elegance defined.

Alec Baldwin: I'm always and forever a fan.

I watch to be inspired.
This year I can't even watch.