Thursday, March 28, 2013


From the vault! I found this on my phone and realized it never made it up. Between BIG LOVE and basically everything on TLC, polygamy seems to be all the rage. It got me thinking about the topic of Sister Wives...

The mountain of laundry has finally been tamed to an anthill. Partly through my own efforts, but mostly due to a weekend where Jeremy was left home alone. I mean, Hub 'o the Year Award or what? The girls are gone for 3 days and instead of watching reruns of Wipeout and wacking off to Alyssa Milano, a man does laundry. Alyssa Milano? Vanessa Manillo? Whatevs. Point being: my laundry's done.
Several monthsago when the pile seemed literally insurmountable, everyTuesday eveningafter mommy and me ballet my friend Jen would come over and "sit on my stool." She'd help unload and reload my dishwasher while I chisled away at folding and we'd gab while our girls played in a post pizza haze, memorized by a two year old's answer to Justin Beiber: Buzz Lightyear. Getting my daily chores done with 2 under 3 seemed impossible. Well, to me anyway. Everytime I'd leave for a few hours and my mom was there or Jeremy I'd come home to clean dishes and wiped countertops. How was this possible?! When I'm home alone these girls hang on me like monkeys. Literally. Up in my shit and screaming for tit. But somehow, on Tuesdays, I could get it done. Just having Jenn there, even if she never lifted a finger (though she always did) made it all better. I could breathe. I could fold. We started joking how she was my sister wife. Our friend Jess agreed: "sometimes ya just need someone on your stool. " she says. Sippin' tea in your kitchen. Another body to you rinse plates. Or darn socks. Or whatever it is we do. Another woman there who knows what you're going through and offers her warm body as support. Now I sound like I lez out with my friends. Deal with it. Please, at this point, a spotless kitchen feels as satisfying as any sex I could imagine.
I've talked about competitiveness amongst women, specifically moms, in the past. It's just too gross. Mothers have enough problems combatting the onslaught of Disney princesses and celebrity post baby bodies. We don't need to be against each other. And when we ban together. Support one another. Beautiful things begin happening.
If someone offers you help, TAKE IT. A busy mom wouldn't offer if she wasn't sincere. And if she WAS just "being nice"that's her problem. And if you see another mom struggling, HELP HER. It will come back around. It always does. I know I live in NYC and freaks are everywhere, but it always BOGGLES my mind when mothers won't accept help when I offer it. On the subway. On the street. And since when are you not allowed to smile at someone else's kid when you have a kid with you? People are so paranoid and weird. But now I'm rambling. Help. I was talking about help. If you need it and it's offered, TAKE IT. If its not, ASK FOR IT.
The more I think about it, the more an idea of a sister wife makes sense! I feel like i just "do better" with other women around. I'm more productive, more motivated. I don't really know why. Well, let's be honest, besides squeezing my pores and eating chicken wings there is almost nothing that I don't do better in front of an audience. Maybe its the distraction of a friend? The "whistle while you work" theory? Perhaps. Maybe instead of weekly playgroups (or in addition to) we should start a weekly chore group. You grab 3 girlfriends, and each week you get together and fully clean a house. Scrub it. Organize. That way you just have to upkeep with tidying and wiping! I like it! Then afterwards you could celebrate with wine and snacks. Perfection. Now, imagine if those three girlfriends lived with you all the time. Like in a big giant farmhouse?! Amazing! And you wouldn't even have to look super cute all the time. Just throw your hair in some sort of braid, add a turtleneck and a long denim skirt and you're good to go! This idea is starting to sound better and better by the second. (Except we'd be in lululemon or Target lougewear and messy buns.) Once you get past the jealousy issues and the concept of another chick boning your husband, a little help with baths and lunches and laundry while you place yet anotherSoap.comorder sounds like Heaven. I mean, at least someone's always there so you can take a quick shower. Or poop. Or just cry alone in the bathroom for 5 minutes. A capable adult always on call, allowing you to chug a Chardonnay during Fireman Sam without feeling like a complete irresponsible mess. For better or for worse, "I do."

Im not a huge recipe follower. I'm more of the kind of cook that gets inspired and makes stuff up. By, when I saw my friend Kelley post this dish, I had to swipe it. Another potential advantage to having a sister wife. Inspiration! And I never use a slow cooker.
There just so happens to be one here in the house we're renting. So the stars were aligned and i decided to try it! This recipe is so amazing and so easy. You can serve it as an entree over chips, as I did. Or, you can bring it to a party with chips on the side and it's a ridiculously delish, hot and hearty dip. It's basically fool proof and you could add or omit anything you like. Adding frozen spinach would be awesome, or maybe a flavored cream cheese. So good!

I lb chicken breast
1/2 c frozen corn
A handful or so of grape tomatoes
1/2 jar of salads verde (the green stuff, sometimes it'll say tomatillo salsa)
6-8 oz cream cheese (so either a full brick or just shy of one. I used light, use what you want. If you like it extra creamy or bringing it as the dip I'd use the full brick. Otherwise, six oz is fine.)
Cilantro, for garnish. About 1/4-1/2 c chopped
Blue Corn tortilla chips (use what you want. The blue corn just look super pretty)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Throw in crock pot. Add tomatoes, corn and cream cheese and a little more salt and pepper on top of that. Cover and turn the crock pot in low. Don't touch for 6 hours. Turn it off and stir. The chicken will magically shred itself. Ladle over a plate of blue corn chips and garnish with cilantro. Pair with my Firecracker Margie and you're in business, baby! Perfect girls night with your sister wives. Real or honorary.

PIX: 1) Me & Abby enjoying post playground firecracker margies. Just cause. 2) Me & Jenn at a schmancy Broadway opening. Ignore my boobs if you can. I forgot my pump that night. Mooooooooo! I'd be proud to have either one of these gorgeous gals as a sister wife! The best! 3) Miss Kelley and her gorgeous daughter AJ. If she didn't live all the way in Milwaukee...I'd be all over that sister wife style. 4) Chicken Mc Dreamy! YUM.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Listen up: NOBODY IS MORE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL BEING OF MY CHILDREN MORE THAN I AM. Got it? Just as I've wrote before about nobody wanting them to "Shut the F up more than I do," this rings just as true. I don't want them to be cold. I don't want them to get sunburn on their face. I don't want them to fall off the top of the jungle gym and crack their heads open. Really. I don't. So you can put your copy of "Happiest Baby on the Block" back in your Bugaboo and mind ya business. Living in NYC we walk a lot. I guess because I'm out in public with my kids so much it gives people free reign to start vomiting opinions at me. A little sun is good for people. We're not on the equator. Or in Jamaica. But thanks for your concern. My child is naturally hot all the time and gets unbearable cranky when she sweats. And she speaks. Actually, she rarely STOPS talking. She will tell me when she's cold. And my 2 year old? She's thrown her hat out of her stroller 5 times already and I'm  only 2 blocks from home. And if I have to pick it up yet again I'm going to have a nervous breakdown on the corner of 155th Street and Broadway. And that would be very very sad. And PS- its 50 degrees. But thanks. And I know you've perfected your helicopter parenting skills, but I can see my kids from over here. I WANT them to learn how to climb the big slide. I WANT them have a go at the "big girl" swings. I want them to experience things and be independent and I'll step in if I FEEL they're in real danger. It's not my fault that the one time your kid took a header and knocked out a tooth it was because you were checking your email on your phone and now you feel like you have to be on top of every kid at the playground. Look, if a child is truly in harm's way, of COURSE any and every sober adult should do whatever they can to help. A child's LIFE is more important than the bruised ego of a distracted mother. But, a little rain is not going to kill anyone. That's my favorite. The kid is stuffed into the stroller a la Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," umbrella, plastic wind shield, sunscreen, canopy, hat, boots...and is chowing down on a packet of Fun Dip. Fun Dip! Sheesh. But, I mean, he's protected from the DANGEROUS poison rain that falls in Harlem. So it's all good. And you're looking at ME cause my kid isn't wearing a hat. I mean, do you KNOW the fight we just had trying to brush that rat's nest? No hat. Mind ya business. (Now, I know there are COMPLETELY clueless people out there who happened to create a child through basic biology that posess ZERO knowledge or instincts when it comes to parenting. I hope, in these extreme cases that are beyond my expertise, child services are involved. That's a horse of a different color.)

I general, as much as I may dislike it at times, I can handle whatever people throw at me. I've always been able to. I can take criticism as easily as I can take a compliment. Ya know, it's not to always FUN to be criticized, but it doesn't break me into pieces. Not in public anyway. I also feel like I know when to accept help and recognize that I didn't know EVERYTHING. I'm always wanting to learn how to be...better. For myself and my girls. There's definitely a time to listen. I find it very important to surround myself with mothers and everyday humans with whom I can have a candid conversation, where we can express our opinions and give advice and take it. When it's comes to my "core," often words aren't even needed. It takes but a raised eyebrow from my gals Jenn or Abby when they catch me giving Pats a "fake timeout" or using the microwave when I don't REALLY need to. I know what they're trying to say. And I appreciate it. It takes no more than a deadpan stare for me to know how my friend Craig feels about a performance I've given. On stage or off. So yeah, it's vital to be able to accept praise and words of encouragement and also a little tough love from those you really trust. It's also important to know when to keep your mouth shut. To strangers and friends.

I've become obsessed over the past few years with baby wearing. The proper carriers, holds, etc. Through my research and advice I've gained from EXPERTS, I've found my two faves. (In case you're wondering: MOBY WRAP and BABY HAWK If expectant to new moms ask me about carriers, I give them my opinion. As much as it makes me cringe, I do NOT go up to every woman (or man) carrying a 5 month old front facing in a Baby Bjorn and tell them they're "doing it wrong." I don't classify improper hip placement as a life or death situation. I also don't consider consumption of straight up sugar from a paper package life or death. Well, it kind of is, but I choose my battles case to case on this one. If I see the child choking on said vibrant colored sugar, I will step in. And I've still not been able to figure out a way to confront mothers who are smoking while pushing a baby stroller. It makes me so crazy I could never eloquently address them. I welcome advice in this arena.

Kids or no kids, here's the deal: Other people will never, ever stop bringing you down. Or trying to. And the more successful you become, the worse it gets. The people that are doing it and don't realize it, are stupid. The people who are doing it on purpose are assholes. Neither of these people are worth your time or tears. And most of the time, we KNOW what our shortcomings are, right? I'm not a professional writer. When I become one and I have books or articles published I assume I'll have a capable editor. Until then, I may have grammatical errors and misspelled words from time to time. I KNOW THIS. I'm short and I have thick thighs. I KNOW THIS. You see, "Constructive" implies building you up in some way. This takes very careful delivery and tact. The right forum. Most unsolicited criticism or "advice" from peers is not constructive. It's just pointing out your flaws. And, its usually done passive aggressively by people who are your "friends" and not your FRIENDS.

Look- I love Joan Rivers and Fashion Police and US Weekly and all the celebrity gossip I can handle. Guilty pleasure. But the way our society is so quick to judge and pick apart people we don't even know is out of control. Yes, most of the time it's all in good fun. It's entertainment, I get it and I love watching. But a poor girl who's on the red carpet at her first Golden Globes, glammed out from horn to hoof in the best duds money can buy - well, borrow- and there's 5 different networks criticizing her lipstick shade?? It's truly nuts. So it's no wonder with this type of blatant judgement we see and hear everyday that we, the peasants, start following suit. Maybe it's just "the way things are." But I've said it before and I'll say it again: Being a mother is HARD. I've always been a proponent of women sticking up for and building each other up, but ESPECIALLY mothers. Don't judge, don't be shady, and don't talk shit. HELP. ENCOURAGE. LISTEN. UNDERSTAND. This WILL work. And eventually it will all come around. It will.

And before I button this, let ME offer a tidbit of "advice": PUH-LEEEASE teach your children to chew quietly and with their mouths closed. That way, they don't grow up to be the asshole I have to listen to while I'm in the "relaxation room" at the spa waiting for the ONE massage I'm able to get each year-smacking their lips, shoveling almonds and dried apricots into their gullets like barbarians. It's annoying. And rude. And not at all relaxing. Theenks.

A dish EVERYBODY has an opinion about: ribs. BBQ. I am neither a BBQ nor a ribs expert by any means. But, I know what tastes good, I know when other people think something tastes good, and I know when something is super easy and no fuss. This recipe is that. I'm on a slow cooker kick, so get over it or get on board! My new lifestyle practically demands it. So here we go!

KICKIN' [me in the] RIBS
4 lbs pork back ribs (this was two full racks at the Farmers Market)
1 bottle of Thai chili sauce (in Canada I use President's Choice Memories of Thailand Fiery Chili sauce, in The States I use Trader Joes.)

Season ribs with basalt and pepper. Place in crock pot up and down (as opposed to laying them flat. Dump the whole bottle of chili sauce over the ribs. I kind of massaged it in a little bit. Turn on LOW. Cover and let sit for 9 1/2 hours. Remove ribs and set aside on serving platter or baking sheet. Pour the drippings from the crock into a small saucepan. Whisk in Wondra on Med-High heat till you have a BBQ sauce consistency. Serve on the side or directly over the meat. Jeremy likes his without extra sauce, so I always serve in the side. Eat alongside potato salad and veg, or your favorite BBQ staple. These guys are so absolutely scrumptious they will shut up even your most outspoken dinner guests!

1 lb waxy little potatoes (new, red skin, fingerling- that's what I used. They cook quick and you don't have to chop them up)
2 small hard boiled eggs (if using large or extra large eggs, maybe just one)
2/3 c mayo (I use low fat, use whatever you like)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp spicy brown/deli mustard
2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Handful of flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped- about 1/4 c

Dump potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Liberally salt. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain. Boil eggs**
While you wait...make the dressing. Whisk together mayo, sugar, mustard and spices. Then stir in the celery scallions, and parsley. Add the potatoes, once they're drained, to the dressing while they're still warm. This way they absorb the max flavor. Refrigerate right away. The longer the better, but prob not longer than two days. You have to wait for those ribs, anyway...

The ribs and the potato salad fed 4 adults plus Jeremy for lunch the next day.

***OK. Hard boiled eggs. This method never fails. Perfecto every time. Place eggs in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. The remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Drain the water, then fill with ice water for 5 minutes. Drain that water. Peel and enjoy right away, or refrigerate with shells on.