Can we really have it all? Can we be mothers with gorgeous well behaved kids AND be smoking hot wives, AND live out our dreams in out chosen profession? Can we really juggle these things without anyone or anything suffering in the process. My first instinct is to say NO. No we can't. Something at some point has got to give and that "something" will suffer, causing a trickle down to all areas of your life. Example (from several months ago): Over the past few weeks, maybe twice a week, Nora would complain about her butt.* On a dime just FLIP OUT. Squealing and screaming at the top of her lungs. Clenching her little tuchus as tears streamed down her face. This mysterious butt disease was magically cured by ice cream, me laying in bed with her, or an extra episode of Strawberry Shortcake. I know it was at least a LITTLE bit physical, but definitely was seasoned heavily with manipulation. A few days ago, it was...BAD. I came home from work for my two hour break to give the sitter a breather. Nora was screaming non-stop about her butt. Of course it was a Saturday. Should I take her to the hospital? Jeremy arrived home too and I figured she'd chill a bit. No suck luck. It just got worse and worse. Finally it was 6:38. I need to leave by 6:40. She was standing naked in the living room screaming bloody murder. And I just...left her there. To go to work. I was devastated. I left my baby suffering and could think of nothing else during the show, and therefor, my work suffered as well. Ultimately the whole situation ending in Jeremy and I have some ludacris fight. So Nora suffered (and I'm sure Pats, too as it trickled down), my marriage suffered, and my performance at work that night suffered because I was completely fixated on Nora and how she and her butt were doing. The night was made better-slash-worse when I got a txt from my sitter (who's AMAZING, by the way) saying that 5 minutes after I left she was fully clothed, laying on the floor calmly watching a movie before heading to bed without a fight. Um...SERIOUSLY? If I had stayed home from work would the night have gone the same? Or, would I have been ripping my hair out as she wailed until 11:00pm when Jeremy could relieve me. It's so heart wrenching. So frustrating. This was not a situation where I felt that "having it all" was all its cracked up to be. If this was having it all, I wanted absolutely NOTHING. Then, I started thinking about the word "all." Ya know, in regards to "having it all." Who decides what that means?? What's the measuring stick? Does Angelina Jolie have it all? Beauty, respect, arguably the sexiest man alive. Toting her brood all over the world on private jets throwing her endless income around on mansion in France, all the while managing to sustain her Academy Award-worthy acting career. Um, her kids still eat McDonalds. Or does Halle Berry have it all? She still has a strained situation with her baby daddy. Sarah Palin? Healthy kids. Loving husband. High profile. She has the utter disrespect of half the nation. Oprah? OWNs the world. No husband. No children. So maybe it's time to stop measuring our lives against others and redefine the word "all" for ourselves. And maybe that definition changes from year to year. Hell, maybe it changes from day to day. One day simply having a shower, remembering to brush your teeth, throwing in ONE load of laundry, and feeding & keeping your kids put of traffic might be having it all. The next day, getting everyone dressed for a holiday picture without a fistfight i having it all. Another day, a killer job interview and a quick spin around Trader Joes is having it all. And maybe another day you have a breakfast meeting, hook up with your glam squad, give the kids a home cooked meal, get them bathed and diapered before you head to the Emmy red carpet. It's all relative. Honestly if you're able to keep your children clean and healthy, your husband relatively content, and keep your own head above water before another night all too quickly turns to morning, I'd say: that's having it all. And if you can do all this without heavily self-medicating, more power to ya. I, however, say pass the Pinot Noir. And the leftover chocolate birthday cake frosting. All of it. And a spoon.
Having it All in various forms: Prego while performing in the Broadway hit, JERSEY BOYS. Celebrating my 21st Bday in Vegas (I was actually 30 1/2). Xmas morning cuddles with the babes. Nora reading the Arts Section of the NY times. With me on the cover. If I had any documentation of me make-up-less, yet ALIVE, after a subway ride with a double stroller after getting groceries trust me-I would've included it.
This recipe defines "Having it All" for me! Right before and right after Jeremy and I got engaged we were living in Las Vegas. He was working there and I was a kept woman for 5 months, consistently tanned to a golden shade not unlike the most delicious roasted chicken you've ever seen. When I was bored or we had late night plans, I'd drive down to The Strip and meet him. If I had extra time to kill, I'd always stop off for a glass of Cava at Emeril's TABLE 10 at The Palazzo. And there, is my favorite restaurant meal of all time. I would order a side of the lobster mac and cheese and a side if the grilled asparagus. It's beyond...so good! Shortly after Nora was born, I was craving it like nobody's business. Thats when I came up with this recipe. So easy. So affordable (well, certainly in comparison to Table 10), and just as delicious!
Creamy, rich goodness. Have it all, lady!
MERMAID MACARONI I lb box of medium shell shaped pasta 2 cups milk Wondra (In Canada you can find Robin Hood Easy Blend Flour-I just found this. So happy.) 8 oz havarti cheese, grated or finely cubed 4 oz havarti w dill, grated or finely cubed Panko (Japanese Style) read crumbs Grated parm (freshly grated from a chunk is best, but if the can is all you have no prob) Salt, pep, old bay I pound large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and shelled. (I buy the bag in the frozen section that's already cooked and all you have to do is thaw and remove tails. So easy.) Zest of 1 lemon Parsley Olive oil Boil pasta according to package directions. About 10 minutes. In another large pot, heat milk till its almost at a simmer and start whisking in the wondra. Bit by bit until it becomes thick. Like shampoo consistency. Yummy. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Havarti. add in the drained pasta and stir until evenly coated. Cut the large (fully defrosted) shrimp into thirds. Use your eye depending on the size of the shrimp. The pieces should be about the size that they could for into one of the cooked (pasta) shells. Fold in the shrimp and transfer entire mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole. Top with Havarti with dill, then panko, then lemon zest, then grated parm, then chopped parsley, then drizzle w olive oil. Bake at 400 for 15min then put under broiler for 3-5min depending on the strength of your oven. And KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT! I have a wicked strong oven and burn Mac & cheese about every 3rd time I make it. Pair this with some bubbly and a green salad- perfection. Or if you wanna try my asparagus: Asparagus, olive oil, montreal steak seasoning. Toss. Spread on baking sheet. 400 degrees. 15-20 min. Boom. Done. Easiest ever.
A 3 year old. Teaching me what LOVE is. On the daily.
Just an afterthought post LOVE DAY... SUPERMOM: 1) a gal who turns a snowman into a snow diva to help curb her extreme hatred for winter play in an effort to not extinguish the joy her child receives from such activity. 2) a woman with the ability to relinquish control in the area of confection presentation. And, the ability to recognize that it's ok if it looks like a 3-year-old made the cupcakes when indeed a 3-year-old DID make the cupcakes. 3) a chick who can get through any ordinary day with any number of squealing children without beating them, developing an illegal substance abuse problem, or completely destroying her mani. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SUPERMOMS! You are LOVED! May you stuff your face with drugstore chocolate like nobody's watching. Cheers! *We did take Nora to the doctor. There is nothing physically wrong with her butt according to a physician's opinion. It did, however, flare up yesterday and was instantly cured by playing on my iPad. During a trip to see the Rockettes this Xmas, "The Magic of Santa's lap healed [her] butt." Direct quote. Ringing through Radio City Music Hall. Not awkward at all.