What was the best day of your life?
If a young married woman without children doesn't answer "My wedding day!" then she's a shithead, right? But seriously? So nervous you can barely eat, all the while people keep force feeding you champagne so you'll loosen up. By the time the reception rolls around, you're STARVING, but can't eat any of the canapés it took you 3 weeks to decide on (cue Bethenny Frankel screaming to Jason, "Beef tar tar! BEEF tar tar!) because
A)you're about to barf from an empty belly full of bubbles, and
B) you're trapped in a one-sided conversation at table 9 nodding and smiling to some Great Aunt who you've maybe met twice when you were 8 years old.
Thanks for the $75 check, by the way.
Not to mention the pressure to look prettier and skinnier than you ever have before. Trying desperately to stay in the moment, but knowing that one tear could destroy your $150 make-up job. Then there's the wedding night: expectations no man could meet, and shouldn't feel he needs to. And let's be honest, there's no way he's gonna top the infamous night of cucumber vodka and strip-Wii bowling, so why even bother? Still remember it as the best day of your life???
|Man and [starving] Wife.|
If a mother, without any hesitation, doesn't answer "The day my child[ren] was/were born! Of course!" Oh, forget it. COMPLETE shithead. But really? The BEST day of my life...?
Everything in place for a natural birth, I labored at home with Nora for 5 full days. I was sent away from the birthing center 3 times before my meconium-laced water broke in triage and I was checked into the labor and delivery floor of the hospital. I arrived a sweaty, bloated, greasy-haired mess. I hadn't eaten anything but applesauce and pudding cups for 72 hours as I started to be pumped full of drugs that I deliriously agreed to. I mean it was what was "best for the baby" after all. After 6 more hours and no progress, due to a fever (mine) and a heart rate dip (Nora), I was rushed to the OR for a semi-emergency c-section. She arrived safely and was amazing, gorgeous perfection. I couldn't eat for another day and a half, and every hour or so, nurses came in to change my "diaper." My nipples were raw, I still couldn't feel my feet, and dinner was all-you-can-eat ice chips. Good night. I mean, Good Get Up Every Hour. What a GREAT day.
With Penelope, I just went ahead and scheduled the c-section. I made it to the OR this time in lashes and full beat. I felt better about "Birthday Pictures," but was shivering with fear and frozen with regret. Had I really OPTED for this? Major surgery? What if something went wrong? And then I went numb. And then I threw up. And then I started balling. And then I threw up again. And then I met her. Amazing, gorgeous perfection. But it didn't change the fact that I felt like a magician's assistant after a trick that had gone HORRIBLY wrong. It was the first full day and night I had ever been away from Nora and my heart literally ached from missing her so badly. Well, either that or it was hunger pains. Good night. I mean, well, Good--you know... (sigh) Another friggin' gem of a day.
And the following days ,except for the endless supply of Percocet, weren't much better. The first 2 solid months (maybe more) as the mother of 2 under 2 it felt like things were going from bad to worse. How could this be possible? Our family was complete. This was supposed to be...everything. But it was...awful. It was awful. Every time someone asked me how it was going, I wanted to quote Ron Livingston in Office Space, "...every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day you see me...that's on the worst day of my life." And that's how I felt. I was Peter Gibbons. But fatter. And...leakier. Every night I went to bed in complete amazement that I had actually survived the day. So proud that I had resisted the urge, yet again, to drown myself in the bathtub. Ha! Like I actually had the time for a bath. Good one. On the rare occasion that I made it out, somewhere super glam like the grocery store or the park, random people kept stopping me saying, "This is truly the best time...enjoy...you never get these moments back..." Are you sniffing glue or am I being Punk'd right now? I mean, fa real-fa real, if this is really the case throw me my ATM card and show me the door. COME ON. Projectile sour milk and turkey burger curry baby shit simultaneously running down my Juicy sweatsuit while I'm being screamed at for Goldfish. And Jeremy's at work. In Connecticut. Oh, and I'm wearing a jumbo maxi pad. Um, yeah...you can go ahead and take these moments back. I'm all set. It was like there wan't enough, yet too many hours in any given day. I didn't have 2 minutes to brush my teeth, but the span between breakfast and bedtime seemed eternal.
But then..it just...happened. The postpartum solstice. The sun seemed to stay out just a little bit longer each day. The belly flub shrunk down enough and I could finally trim my own bush. And it happened. My infant looked at me for the first time. Not thorough me. AT me. And then she smiled. Not smiled then farted. Just smiled. At ME! In response to some idiotic goo goo ga ga face I made! (exhale) Approval. And then, the best of all. Just as I was coming off a night where I was about 5 minutes away from throwing some underwear in my Gucci fanny pack and heading for the highway Marie Osmond-style, I woke up. I stopped. I got a glass of water. I took a deep breath and a long look around me. I saw my daughters. Entertaining each other on my living room rug. Giggling. Sharing. I watched as my DAUGHTERS became SISTERS before my very eyes. I have known Nora and Pats inside and out of me since "peach pit" stage and now here they were. Kind. Loving. BEAUTIFUL. And that was it. THAT was the best da--WAIT. Then Pats crapped on the carpet. Then Nora banged her chin on her rocking horse, started screaming bloody murder, and the day kinda went downhill from there. And there's my point. Every day as a wife and mother is going to have it's highs and lows. It's about savoring the MOMENTS. Marrying Jeremy. The birth of Nora. The day Pats was born and made our family whole. These are the 3 best MOMENTS of my life and have forever changed me for the better. Instantly. The 3 best DAYS? That probably has something to do with Lallapalooza circa 1998. Now THAT was a fucking good time.
|Amazing, gorgeous perfection. And the babies are cute too. My first days with Nora Bella and Penelope Shayne ("Pats")|
And now, make this breakfast for some overnight guests or another couple over for brunch and you very well may be at the helm of truly the best day of your life! I first made this dish for my in-laws, then again this past weekend for our very good friends Jenn and Curtis who hosted us at their "Blue House" in the Catskills. A simple and delicious hit on both occasions. So easy. So good. This recipe feeds 4 hungry adults and a couple toddlers. But if you eat like a normal human and not a lactating animal like me, it may feed up to 6 adults.
WORLD FAMOUS BACON
This is the best bacon ever! I use a whole pound. I bake off half of it in the oven, then put in the french toast, then another tray of bacon. You'll need the second tray, it goes fast. If there is any leftover its beyond delicious on a turkey sandwich.
Here it is:
1 lb bacon -don't get the super thick cut, it takes too long in the oven
2-4 tbsp of fresh rosemary (I've made it with dry, but fresh is really best in this case)
1/4 cup or so of brown sugar
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay out half of the bacon on a cooling rack sitting a top a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle each slice with a little brown sugar (too much or too little isn't gonna hurt, I trust your judgement!), black pepper and rosemary. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. My mouth is watering typing even I've eaten this 3 days in a row. I'm seeking help. Thank you.
While the bacon's baking off..throw together your:
ORANGE-CARDAMOM FRENCH TOAST BAKE
1 loaf of challah bread (use 3/4 for the recipe, save the other 1/4 for a sandwich later or for the kids to snack on)
10 eggs, beaten
2 oranges, zested (you only need the zest for the recipe, squeeze the juice for mimosas!)
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cream, half and half, milk, whatever
2 tbsp butter, diced
Spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray. Slice up 3/4 of the challah into bite size cubes. "Smoosh" it into the loaf pan. It should be tight. In a large bowl beat the eggs, cream, 1/2 the sugar (so 1/4 of a cup), cardamom and ginger. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle the top with remaining sugar and diced butter. Your bacon should be done. Place on a platter and cover with foil. Bake french toast in the same 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. You want the top to be crispy and brown and the center to be set. Take to the table with the first round of bacon. Serve with good maple syrup, although you may not even need it!Assemble the second round of bacon as french toast bakes, then cook off as your guests are eating. Rock star. Best wife ever. Your friends will flock. Get ready. Immediate awesomeness. Congrats.