Thursday, May 31, 2007

First Tooth

Today, like a little person standing up in Luca’s mouth and waiving hello, I saw, or better, felt his first tooth. The little guy has been playing peekaboo for quite a few weeks now, waiting for the right moment to come out and play.
Sometimes I feel so lame telling you guys all this stuff, but I guess when you’re a mom (especially a new one) everything is great news, like: “Hey, my kid pooped a tan today and it was all nasty and green! Good for you”. Or “Hey, little Henry ate the whole jar of carrot baby food, he loves his veggies,,,God he loves his veggies!”….and so on.

I know I will laugh my ass off sometime in the next couple of years reading back all this stuff and thinking: “What the hell was that? Was I on crack?”…but for now, please bare with me! I’m still a new mom and loving every minute of it!

DCP: If your little one likes to chew on your finger to practice with his new little tooth, wear one of those soft finger toot brushes. It will make him happy and at the same time you won’t bleed to death from his bites!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Today I finally took the bull by the horns (or better…the Manolos by the heel) and decided to clean my closet. It took me exactly 3 hours, which is probably pretty much the time it will take you to run a fucking marathon…go home and take a shower!
I was amazed at how much junk I’m able to accumulate and the tougher part was to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
I found myself still hanging on to those couple of maternity pieces, the good ones of course, that you’re still trying to wear even though you gave birth ages ago.
The ones that are still flattering your not-so-perfect-post-baby-body and are simply so forgiving that you want to hold on for just a little longer. I spent about half an hour in front of the mirror trying everything on and then realized that there was no way in hell people were not gonna ask me if I’m expecting number dos, dressed like that!
So I sadly packed them away for any future pregnancy.

Then there is the stuff that doesn’t fit you, because…hmm, hmm… you still didn’t lose aaalll the weight and those couple of love handles are still in the way. You do your prayers every day and you’re hoping that somehow the Skinny Goddess will come overnight and suck away all those pounds…you don’t even care if your hips end up looking like a muffin top, you just want to fit in those bloody jeans. After so much pulling and tugging, enough to stop your blood circulation…you finally give up.
So, now you have to decide what to do with this stuff? Thaaat’s another dilemma right there. I hate getting rid of stuff, especially if I paid a lot of money for it and most likely yes…since I have to admit…I AM A FASHION WHORE! There you go…I said it!

I remember the time when I got pregnant and did another “famous” spring cleaning. I piled stuff left and right because I was determined to clean up my act and donate all the skimpy sexy clothes (not that many, I swear!) and buy some more mommy-easy-to-wear-stuff. And that’s when I become addicted to E-Bay! I was hooked. I finally found a way to make a little money back from all my precious stuff. I mean…come on…it’s bad enough that you are getting rid of it, so why not make a little dough to buy some more new stuff…right?
Well…it was getting out of hand and I was almost left with no clothes.

Since then I piled another box of goodies and between you and I…I can’t wait to put my hands on it, or better, my fingers on that computer keyboard and sell the crap out of it.

DCP: I love that little cute number in the photograph, by Rowena Sartin. It is definitely a sexy, yet elegant enough, black dress that you can wear to all your fabulous summer parties. And how can you ever go wrong with black anyway?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Million Dollar Baby

If you live in a big city like New York, you probably know the prices of real estate. Unless, of course you have been living under a rock or are one of the very lucky ones who inherited a piece of property. If you belong to the first group, well…stay where you are, because that rock is probably the cheapest home you will ever find, and if you belong to the second group…skip this post!
My husband and I have been renting forever and never wanted the headache of even thinking about buying a house. We both come from families where real estate has always been the best and most secure way of investing and saving money, so I thought that one day it would have been logical for us to buy something as well. The only little problem is….everything is so ridiculously expensive!
You either have to be a gazillionaire, marry one or find a little home somewhere in the hoods (read: move to a different state, most likely in the middle of nowhere).

Meanwhile, I’m watching one of those hideous show on the money channel. The one that wants to teach you how to become a millionaire and gives you all the tips and tricks of the trade and of course has the “real” millionaires as guests of honor. I’m staring at the TV with my mouth open like a 5 year old who’s watching Superman for the very first time, trying to catch every bit of advice and I’m thinking…yeah, it sounds so easy! The way Barbara Corcoran, Phil Town (who I think is hot, by the way!) and Loral Langemeier, the today’s guests and financial gurus, are talking, we should all be millionaires in a nanosecond. Sure, a little bit of investing here, a little bit of saving there and…oh…buy a property in the next 6 months. Well, guess what? aint that easy dammit!
And while I’m still sitting on my cloud, dreaming on how to make this insane amount of money they just promised me, my husband brings me back to reality. He can see my brain going cuckoo and knows how gullible I am with this stuff. So as usual, I will scream at him for a couple of minutes, then switch off the TV and make myself a Margarita!

DCP: If you can’t afford your million dollar house, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream it! Thank goodness, dreaming is one of the few free things left in life…so might as well enjoy it. The picture you see above is one of my favorite places, because it represents the quintessential NY loft urban living...(God I love all those words together!).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

I would like to send my heart out to all the families who have their loved ones out in this horrible and interminable war.
May God bless and protect all of you and guide you safely back home.
A heartfelt thank you to all the war veterans who protected this country and risked their lives for the love of it. Without your courage and sacrifices, America wouldn’t be the great nation that it is today.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Daily Bite: The best Mac and Cheese in the whole wide world

After talking so much about food in my previous post, I thought this would be a great opportunity to start the food section of this blog. There are hundreds of fantastic recipes that have been in my family for many generations. They are mostly a combination of earthy Italian flavors, mixed with a pinch of rustic ingredients that my grandmother has been passing along through the years. Her country style cooking always reflects her moods and whatever was available in the pantry. That’s how some of the best recipes were born and I will cherish them for life.

This is what I consider some of the best Mac and Cheese, ever. I have to warn you though, this recipe is not for the faint of heart due to the very rich and succulent flavors. There are about 5 different cheeses all combined together with the sweetness of the zucchinis and mushrooms. Paired with a refreshing arugula salad and a nice glass of Chianti can easily satisfy every foodie’s desire.

The dish is called Pasticcio Provenzale and this is how it goes:

You will need about 500 gr. of maccheroncini (it’s a little over a pound). I use the brand Setaro, which I usually buy at the Italian store inside the Chelsea Market here in New York City, but any good brand of pasta will do. A couple of medium sized zucchini, cubed and about 8 oz of white mushrooms, cubed as well.
In a large saucepan, warm up 3 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 garlic cloves, minced. Then add about 2 slices of round pancetta, cubed. Each slice is about half an inch thick. Let it cook for a couple of minutes with the garlic and the olive oil and then add the zucchinis and mushrooms. Add salt, fresh pepper and a pinch of herbs the Provence (this is usually a mix that you can buy already pre-made or you can just use a pinch of fresh thyme with a hint of rosemary). Saute for about five minutes, keeping the veggies nice and crispy. Put aside to rest.
You will need a combination of 4 different kinds of cheeses to mix with the pasta. I usually buy fresh mozzarella (8 oz), Swiss cheese (4 oz), Fontina (4 oz) and Gruyere (4 oz) and cube it all together.
In a big pot, bring to a boil some water to cook the pasta and in the meantime start preparing the besciamella sauce. This is a very delicate white sauce that you will use to mix the veggies and the pasta and to finally top the Pasticcio.

Besciamella Sauce:
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk at room temperature
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper

In a medium size pot melt the 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When it’s completely melted, add the flour and whisk for about 2 minutes until it’s completely smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Simmer and whisk until the sauce is thick and creamy. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the seasonings.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or half the time suggested on the box.
Preheat the oven at 375˚.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little bit of the water aside and mix it with the veggies. Add half of the besciamella sauce and all the cubed cheeses. I usually add a bit of the boiling water to keep the pasta smooth and just a bit loose. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino cheese, if you prefer), fresh pepper and put it in a 9”x13” baking dish. Make sure you grease the bottom and the sides of the dish with some butter beforehand. Top with the remaining besciamella sauce and some breadcrumbs, this will create the crunchy crust.
Bake for 25 minutes and then heat from the top for about 5 minutes or until you see a nice golden crust.
Let it sit for about half an hour and…enjoy it!

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chef Boyardee

The weekend is usually the time when I like to test my cooking skills. I come from a family where food has always been “the” most important thing like…ever. It was always about cooking and eating and then cooking some more and stuffing your face until you were basically unconscious. We all loved to spend time in the kitchen and my earliest memories in life are always food related. My mom never believed in buying prepared stuff, so everything was made from scratch, from the pizza dough to the fresh pasta and honestly, would you expect any different from and Italian family?
Anything available to human kind that is already packaged was never good enough for my mom (grandma and great grandma who started the tradition) and it just didn’t taste the same.
Christmas and Easter turned into this huge food marathon where we would start cooking 2 days before, depending on how many people would be attending. We would be “on a diet” for the whole week so that you’ll have enough space in your stomach to eat the whole country of China and then some more. Then there was the “post-holiday diet” which mostly consisted in eating all the leftovers for about 2 weeks afterward. On each and every single day of these 2 weeks, my mom would always complain that a) we didn’t eat enough and we always look too skinny (God bless her! To the day I could be 200 lbs and still look like I need an IV asap); b) our guests were “amateurs” and didn’t really know the meaning of enjoying a holiday feast; c) she would bitch and moan constantly on how she hates eating leftovers; d)…finally! she would sheepishly admit that she cooked waaaay to much food.
It didn’t really matter though, because the following year she would do it all over again.

So I basically grew up in the kitchen, messing around with food since I was born. You know how normal kids usually play with “play dough?” Well, I didn’t have any of that…I had pizza and pasta dough! I think I made my first tortellino and raviolo when I was about 2 years old…how about that Mario Batali?
I guess it’s just natural to me to keep the family tradition and cook as much as I can. So on the weekends I become Chef Boyardee and cook for Luca an incredible amount of food to be frozen and enjoyed during the week. I buy a whole bunch of organic vegetables, steam them and then pureed them in the food processor. Once they are all creamy and smooth I put them in clean ice trays and then freeze them. It’s unbelievably easy to take 2 or 3 cubes out for lunch or dinner and let him enjoy the freshness of mama’s cooking on the spot.

DCP: Luca’s favorite fruit combination is: banana, papaya and mango. I usually mix them all together and freeze it in the ice cube tray. It’s also a great snack for you, healthy mommy. Mix a couple of cubes in some plain yogurt and you got yourself and instant smoothie. Yummy!

Groove is in the air

So? How long has it been? Huh? Yes, you heard me…how long has it been since you and your man spent some intimate time together? Well, let’s see…since the birth of the baby, once…maybe twice! There you go. And now you are wondering why you’re stressed, tired and bummed out?
I know, I know this was probably the last thing on your mind in the last few months and come on… let’s be honest, it is sooo much work to finally get the energy to actually “do it”, get the mood going, start undressing and blah, blah, blah. Even if you have the perfect baby who sleeps 13 hours a night and gives you plenty of occasions to get down and dirty, for some strange reason every time you actually try…a million things seem to go wrong. Yes, you heard me…that famous “big sleeper” is now screaming on top of his lungs, it’s like he can hear or feel that you and daddy are doing something not quite right…like maybe making a little brother or sister? Hold on…I’ll go check on him, no wait, you stay…I’ll go. That was it. Now you’ll have to wait another couple of months!

Sometimes you just think of all the work involved and you rather…knit a sweater! No joke. And to think that for us girls it already takes a lot of guts to finally bare our body after procreation. I mean, I know it’s my husband and stuff, but still, I was pretty shy after the whole baby thing. Now I have “folds” around my waist that I’ve never seen before…I look like a fucking Shar pei.
Besides, we are always worried about all the stretching and pulling that went on down there that you can’t help wondering… what does it really feel like for him? Is it like throwing a stone off the Grand Canyon and wait for the echo? And what about us…heelloo? What if you needed a couple of more stitches, but your doc just got tired of staring at your “thingy”? What are you gonna do? Go back and beg for some more?

Well ladies, it’s time to find out. Get your groove back on and practice some lovemaking here. After all, you very well deserve it.
And by the way…let me know how it was. Er…no details please, just a general idea will do, thanks!

DCP: Sexy lacey lingerie usually works on hiding those annoying love handles. Guys are suckers for sexy stuff and it will keep their brain busy on other parts of your body…hopefully!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Give mama back her body

When I saw supermodel Heidi Klum back on the runway only 12 weeks after she gave birth to her second baby…I thought…pheeeww, this is a joke! If SHE can do it, I CAN DO IT! Come on, how hard can it be? You just need to set aside some time on a daily basis to hit the gym and work your ass off…right? Yeah, I will get my body back in no time and plus going to the gym will give me more energy to deal with the baby…right?
Yes! I could see myself sweating away in those cute gym outfits, my hair neatly pulled back in a ponytail and my IPod blasting the latest dance track.

Well, unfortunately, I was quite wrong and this is pretty much how it went for me:

I decided to join the gym 9 days after Luca was born. I was all pumped up and DETERMINED to lose the weight since I still looked like I was 6 months pregnant and I had to do something about it!
Please note: Most likely you are still a wreck from the whole birth experience, the new baby and the sleep deprivation that your body is not really ready to exercise, but of course, I didn’t give a crap…remember?...Heidi did it!
A few days later I went for the first time. I started slowly, so that my body would get used to it (big fat lie!). A nice speed walk should do the trick (after 15 minutes I almost puked my guts out) and plus “they” (the experts in my mind) say that technically you’re not supposed to exercise until your doc gives you the ok at the 6 weeks postpartum check-up (for God sake you had a baby, not open heart surgery).
After the shock of the first day, I needed some time off to recuperate and went back in mid November. Well…you know, it was my birthday and then one thing or the other, my ass wouldn’t move from the couch…seriously!

Then it was the Holiday Season…and honestly, what’s the point of exercising if you gonna stuff your face for the next month anyway? I PROMISE I will go back in January and really work hard. Yes, it will be my New Year Resolution!

Before I knew it, January was here and so was the end of my maternity leave. I decided to go back to work part-time so that I will still have the time to take care of Luca and do all the other things…like…exercise! Well, kind of.
Bottom line is…when you have a baby, everything that you used to do in a nanosecond before, now takes you about a day or two!
So, here I am, 7 months after I gave birth and finally getting back slooowwwwly to my original size. I almost want to have another baby right away so that I can use the “I’m pregnant again” out-of-jail-card!
Hmmm…not such a bad idea!

DCP: If you’re still working on getting back your fabulous body, remember, knowing how to dress is all you need to know. Learn how to hide the post-pregnancy love handles and you are all set! Curves are beautiful and even if you are not used to them the right wardrobe will make you look and feel like a million bucks. You are and always will be the hottest mama on the block!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

City Babe

New York City: The city that never sleeps. Here there is always something to do and for some reason there are always people on the street doing some kind of crazy shit. It’s the Big Apple, the place where people come to get their daily dose of stress and hope to make the big bucks. It is also one of the most beautiful cities in the whole wide world, especially on a holiday weekend when everybody is out of town and you can finally walk the streets without being pushed left and right.
There are 8 million people living here, 2 million dogs (I’m not kidding) and God only knows how many Bugaboos per block. The real estate prices are through the roof in this tiny strip of land, but yet nobody seems to mind…and if you do, well then you can just cross the tunnel and move to New Jersey.

People talk a lot here, mostly on their cell phones or to themselves. And if they’re not busy doing one of the other, they loooove to talk to you. Inevitably, every time I’m taking Luca for a walk around the city, I always come back home with a handful of advice, suggestions and of course criticisms. If I’m crossing a street, there is always the sweet old lady who tells me I’m too far out with the stroller and my baby and I can get killed by a crazy driver. Or if we are at the park, there is always somebody telling me to put a hat on Luca’s head…even if there is no sun in sight. God forbid Luca is crying, then I will have to hear a string of: “I think you should feed him, he definitely looks hungry. He needs to burp, yes, he definitely needs to burp or oh, poor thing, I think you should hold him, yes, yeees little one you want to be held don’t you?” and so on.
It makes me laugh, because most of the time all this happens right after Luca just ate a whole cow, burped like a caveman and he’s just crying because he farted in his pants and knocked himself in the head with his favorite toy!


DCP: Next time another obnoxious individual is trying to teach you how to be a mommy, keep your cool and politely tell them to go away! You can explain to them that your baby is crying because he doesn’t like strangers and he’s scared of unfamiliar faces. Unfortunately though, this won’t protect you from people coming up to you again, but it will, if you happen to meet the same people again. Trust me, they’ll remember you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Boys Rule

A year ago today I found out that I was having a boy! I had an appointment at the hospital for the Anatomy scan, where they measure your baby’s bone lengths, check the vital organs and tell you the sex if you want. I know you’re probably thinking: “Who the fuck cares lady!”, but for me it was a complete shock! Every single bloody person I knew (besides a couple of my work colleagues) told me that I was having a girl and I was in heaven because I did want a little girl. I’m such a “girly girl” that to me was absolutely obvious that God would only pair me with a “mini me”. To make things worse, my mom calls me one Sunday afternoon to tell me that she had a dream about my little girl. Now…how can you go wrong with your mama’s dream, right? Don’t forget that I’m Italian, born and raised and for us every dream is a premonition…or whatever that means. I guess that was not the case.
My jaw dropped to the floor when the ultrasound technician told me that I was expecting a boy. I bluntly asked: “ A whaaat?” and obviously I felt really bad when my husband was ecstatic while I kept asking to double check if she was right.
That was it…all my dreams of playing dress up dolls, cooking lessons with mommy and shopping galore were all out the window. I had no idea on how to raise a boy. What the hell do they do all day? Do I have to play tracks, robots and dinosaurs with him? Soccer and basketball? What about my nails and my clothes? I hate mud on my shoes! All I could think of was this pimply, scruffy teenager walking around the house doing absolutely nothing but scratching his balls.

Well, the good thing is that now I love that little boy more then anything and I will cherish every single minute of his life.

DCP: If you wanted a little girl so bad…don’t forget you can try next time. If that’s not the case, look at the bright side: A boy will always love and take care of his mommy!
Put on jeans and a t-shirt and get down and dirty on the playground with your little man. Don’t be afraid of being a thumb boy once in a while, it will definitely keep you in shape and you can always hit the nail salon later.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Postpartum Blues

Now that your baby is here safe and sound and breastfeeding seems to be the only obstacle to perfect motherhood, there is one little bump on the way that may or may not affect you…the famous “baby blues”. I have heard so much about it that I was determined to avoid it at all costs. I kept thinking: “Oh…I’m not worried about it, I’m a fairly happy person…why should I get depressed?” Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple since it’s something that you can’t control. Your hormones are going nuts trying to produce milk and slowly get back to their natural level, but unfortunately between the recovery and dealing with your newborn you will eventually shed a few tears.

I remember crying for absolutely nothing in particular or scream at my husband for no reason at all. I think I heard him a few times during his sleep praying to the “Gods of Motherhood” to please give him back his wife! Sometimes I used to stare at Luca and say to myself: “Please don’t grow up so fast, you are so cute and tiny right now…I want you to stay like this forever….sigh…sigh”. Or I would watch TV and out of nowhere I would run to the bathroom and weep for like 20 minutes. Huh? Yes, if I think about it right now it makes me laugh…but back then I didn’t know any better.
And forget about watching Oprah, Dr. Phil or any of the baby shows on the Health Discovery Channel (yes, even after the birth of my baby I was still watching every single one of them…er…I still do actually)…I was a mess!

Then after about 2 weeks everything went back to normal. The bitchiness mellowed down and the constant urge to cry disappeared. I started going to the gym here and there to let out some stress or I would take long walks with Luca. I knew that I was ok when my husband and I started laughing again and I’m sure he was happy to wave goodbye to the “Jerry Springer nutcase” who possessed his wife for 15 long days.

DCP: The best therapy for postpartum depression is…shopping! It worked for me and kept my mind busy from the emotional rollercoaster I was going through. Plus it gives you a reason to loose the baby weight a little faster. So, before you buy a copy of Brooke Shield’s book and get even more depressed…get out there and have fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's going on down there?

Well, well, well…I finally did it. I’m a MOM! The incredible rush you feel as soon as your baby is born is absolutely amazing and at that moment you feel like you are invincible. For some strange reason nothing matters anymore. Those incredibly long 9 months of anticipation, the nights that you spent staring at the ceiling wondering how on earth you’re going to take care of a little human being and the anxiety of labor it’s all a distant blur now.

The moment the nurse handed me Luca, I knew that was it. I was now responsible for this little person for the rest of mine and his life….or at least until he’s 18 years old! I was still shaking from the epidural and all my hormones were going bananas…so all I did was weep!
He looked so beautiful and peaceful while he was taking a little nap and I was so busy admiring him that I totally forgot what was going on down below.
I forgot that now I had to give birth to the second baby (the placenta) and the doc was all busy squeezing and pushing my belly around.
Yuuck! That looked really nasty. It was just a blob of organs and blood, but the doc and the nurses were touching it and playing with it. Weirdos!

While my husband was quietly staring at his new son, I was just laying there exhausted, watching all the stuff that was going on down there. My legs were still spread opened and all I could see was the doc wiping the blood, squirting water and sewing, sewing and sewing. She told me that while pushing Luca out I ripped (yes, you got it right…r.i.p.p.e.d) and I needed some stitches. She was down there for the longest time though, to the point that I almost thought she was making a bloody dress!
I was thinking: This is it, my sex life is out the window and I will probably have the Grand Canyon down there after pushing out a 7 pounds 7 ounces baby. Please, please, please make sure you tight her up the way she was!
Needless to say that as soon as the anesthesia wore off I felt like they poured a whole bottle of disinfecting alcohol down there and I was incredibly sore. Peeing was almost an impossible task and it would take me about 30 minutes to just go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and finally have the guts to do it slooowwly.
Let’s not even talk about “number 2”. It’s like pushing a whole new baby out…good luck with that one!

So this was my labor! Not too bad huh? But then again, I have heard that I was one of the “really” lucky one so please don’t rely on my experience.
No matter how painful it is, you will forget it and do it all over in a heartbeat…I guarantee you!

DCP: Ditch that nasty hospital gown for your own beautiful one, darling! It’s ok to wear the ugly one during labor, but as soon as you’re done and you freshened up a bit, wear something nice. After all you just accomplished one of the biggest thing in your life, you should be proud of it and why not….feel good about it!
Show the doctors and your visitors that yes, you are a mommy now and you still have your sense of style. Always!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

...aaand puuush...(final act)

So here I am, laying down on my hospital bed waiting for the big ones. I had pretty mild contractions throughout all day and I knew this wasn’t it. My doctor was off on that day, but her office partner was in and that reassured me, since I had already met her before.
She came in to check how dilated I was and told me that I was only 2cm. I thought…greeeat! This kid is not coming out any time soon! She then started me on a dose of Pitocin (synthetic drug similar to the oxytocin produced by our body) to speed up my contractions since the baby’s heart beat was slowing down. Craap! All I remembered from my childbirth prep class was that Pitocin increases the intensity and frequency of your contractions (just my luck…so now I get to experiment labor in 3D!) so I wasn’t very thrilled about amplifying any possible pain.

Off we go with the Pitocin in my veins and exactly 15 minutes later I get what resembled the strongest period cramp I have ever experienced…still manageable though. Ok…that wasn’t too bad!
After chit-chatting with my mom and my husband, I thought I’ll do some reading to keep myself up to date with the newest trends. After flicking through a few pages of my bible (Vogue)….here we go again. This was a bit stronger and a tiny bit shorter then the previous one. Still good though.
La, la, la…I’m thinking…yeah..I can totally do this! Aaaaaaand here we go again! Ok, this was more painful….now what? I can’t ask for an epidural, it’s too soon and I’m gonna look like a wimp! Come on girl, you can do it!
“Joooonathaaan (my poor and super patient husband) get me some ice, no I want sugar….and another pillow ..right nooow!”
By now I was huffing and puffing like a locomotive and I’m thinking that it can’t be worse then this…right?
Oh no! It will get much worse then this!

Long story short, I lasted until I was over 6cm dilated and at around 10 pm I gave in and asked for an epidural. Funny enough, I was actually more scared of the needle in my back then the contractions…but believe me, if you are scared of needles as much as I am, that little prick is nothing compared to the explosion of your uterus!

20 minutes after the epidural: Huuuh?! I loooove this! I want to have 10 more kids….wooooow! …the power of drugs!
I was basically in Wonderland and I even felt like dozing off for a quick nap. The doc told me that probably now my labor will slow down because of the effect of the epidural, so most likely the baby won’t come out until the morning.
I couldn’t care less to tell you the truth! I was happy and that was all it mattered.
I even asked my husband to take my mom home so she could rest and come back in the morning.
Huhh? What the hell was that? I woke up at around 11.30pm with an incredible pressure down below, like I was going to take the biggest crap of my life! (pardon my French!). My husband wasn’t back yet and it was just me and the nurse so I tried to explain to her my little problem and nonchalantly she told me: “That’s ok dear, you are probably ready to push the baby out!”.
Whaaaaat? Right now? I can’t…my hubby is not here…no right nooow.
Two seconds later Jonathan comes in and the nurse gives him the good news. Then my doc comes in to check me and tells me that, yes, believe it or not I am 10cm dilated…which means..tataaaaaa…I’m having a baby!
She informs me on how fast my body is responding, which is a good thing I guess and starts preparing the table, her big plastic uniform and a huge pair of clear sunglasses (to avoid that anything will squirt or splash on her face!).

Meanwhile, I’m freaking out because the moment of truth is fast approaching. No, not the baby, but the fear of pooping on the table while you’re pushing your guts out. Yes, every book I read said the same horrible truth…YOU WILL POOP ON THE TABLE!
So I was obviously terrified and tried to meditate and relax…but that made me want to poop even more!
Here we goooo……aaaaand puuuush! Of course the poop did come out and I just turned purple for a few seconds, but the nurse must see this every single day because she scooped it out faster then it came out!
At 1.01am on October 14th, 2006 after only 3 sets of pushes and only 7 hours of labor my little bundle of joy was born…and he was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

DCP: When you are starting to push and you’re scared to death about the poopy accident…don’t worry, it’s natural. I’m sure even Angelina Jolie and Katie Holmes had to deal with it….although they probably hired a special and super fast pooper-scooper so nobody would ever know! You can use the same little trick I used: When you notice that the poop is coming out (and trust me, it’s really hard because you are totally numb down there but you can tell by the wrinkly faces of the people around you!) just turn to your hubby and say: “Honey, I told you that I was allergic to all that spicy Mexican food!” and just keep going like nothing ever happened. Oh…one more thing…you definitely want to keep the area down below nice and shaved, because a lot of people will be looking at it!

Friday, May 18, 2007

...aaand puuush...(part 2)

My due date was Friday, October 13th 2006. This was enough to make me wanna fly out the window and I’m not even superstitious. The last week of my pregnancy I was literally the size of a hippo and having survived the long hot summer, I was gonna give birth in the middle of the street if I had to. My doctor suggested that if I wanted to “speed things up” there are 2 things I could try: Sex and spicy food. The first was literally and physically impossible, since my husband needed to be a magician to try and move me around or climb on top of me. So we opted for the spicy food and for the whole bloody week I ate curry for dinner.
Funny enough, my water broke around 2 pm on my due date in a Mexican restaurant while my husband, my mom, who was visiting from Italy, and I, were having lunch. I’m not kidding! It was like a scene out of a movie. After paying the bill, we were ready to go and the moment I lifted my big fat pregnant ass off the chair, I felt the Hudson River in between my legs. I quietly whispered into my husband’s ear to keep going since I didn’t want to attract any more attention then I already did. He didn’t quite understand what was going on and kept asking: “What? What?” when I finally screamed:” This is what!” pointing down to my soaked cargo pants.

For some reason I was surprisingly calm. We were just a couple of blocks away from home but we hailed a taxi because I really didn’t feel like walking with my legs wide open and scare everybody on the street. They probably thought I was this poor crazy pregnant lady who escaped a mental institute and was riding her way to the hospital on an imaginary horse. I also would like to take a moment to thank and apologize to the yellow taxi driver for leaving some amniotic fluid on the back of the seat and on the carpet of his taxi…sorry sir, I swear I didn’t do it on purpose!

When we got home, my husband and my mom were running around in circle like show dogs while I was calmly on the phone with my colleagues.
A couple of hours later we left for the hospital and the moment I entered the Triage Room it finally hit me that somehow I was going to have a BABY! This is the first room you stop when you get to the hospital where they kinda of wanna see if you’re really in labor…(yeah like you gonna fake something like that!). It’s very common during pregnancy to get Braxton Hicks contractions (fake ones!) and sometimes are really painful to make you believe that you are in labor. After I filled in all the check-in papers and I was quietly sitting around, I heard the loudest screams and moans of a laboring woman. I looked at my husband and my mom and then stood up getting ready to leave! It sounded like she was being tortured by some crazy doctor who was trying to cut off her arms and legs…without anesthesia. Well that, ladies and gentlemen was LABOR and I just wanted to poop in my pants (actually more of the pooping part later!).

A few minutes later a nurse came to get me and escorted me to a big room with about 10 different beds. There they asked me to pee in a cup and bombarded me with a thousand questions like….Why was I there? - Huh?! Are you fucking kidding me? - And what made me think that I was in labor? Was I abused or subjected to domestic violence?
I didn’t have strong contractions yet, so for them I could have been another big fat liar or just another silly pregnant woman.
Once they realized that I was indeed in labor, they stuck an IV in my arm and wheeled me into a private room.
Around 6pm the real shit (I mean…the painful contractions) begun…

To be continued…

DCP: When you get ready to go to the hospital, make sure you wear something cool (of course) and comfortable. You really don’t know how many hours you can be stuck there (that’s the comfortable part) and also you will meet a lot of different people in the waiting room, so you definitely want to look presentable. I wore my cute black Adidas pants with hot pink stripes, a black top and my beloved Puma sneakers in case they sent me out for a walk. Remember, no matter what life throws at you, you always want to be properly dressed!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

...aaand puuush...(part 1)

It has been already 7 whole months and 3 days to be exact, since the birth of Luca and you can call me crazy, but I really miss being pregnant! I knooow, I'm not crazy and I think I got all my brain cells back, more or less, but it was just a magical time, full of excitement and anticipation. That's why I want to share with you the exciting story of my details...yuppyyy!

Since the very moment I found out that I was pregnant, there was always a nagging thought in the back of my mind that scared the bejesus out of me....LABOR. Such a simple word but yet so powerful to make you feel helpless and...nauseous. You have read every single book out there, you took your intensive childbirth preparation class and you have watched every single show on the Health Discovery Channel, including repeats. You are scared to death and can't really understand how something the size of an elephant can make it's way out through such a tiny hole. And you are fucking tired of hearing people saying: "Don't worry darling, women have been giving birth forever...everybody does's natural!" How can it be natural? Are you on crack? Your vagina will fucking explode! And then you realize that the people saying that are usually men (suckers!) or women with no kids.
I wanted to hear some real stories or at least I was dreaming of somebody telling me that there was no pain involved and your baby will just slip out, yes, like a suppository. But unfortunately I was wrong. Almost every woman who decided to share their horror stories didn’t spare me any details. I was convinced that I wouldn’t survive labor without being in excruciating pain for at least 20 hours, 2 epidurals and every single drug natural or synthetic available to human kind. But I guess I was one of the lucky one.

To be continued...

DCP: Never show any signs of despair when other people want to share their horror stories with you. Always keep your posture, be very positive and apply some more lipgloss while they are talking. Trust me…it will make them crumble! You can always cry at home later!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Swing Baby Swing

I've always dreamt about spending a nice and quiet afternoon at the park, with Luca happily sitting in his stroller, chewing on his favourite toy. In my dream I'm either reading a book or writing on my journal, while there are happy little kids running around....well obviously that dream didn't take place in a New York City park and definitely the baby in the stroller wasn't my son Luca.
So far it's always been pretty much like this: get there early enough to grab a sit in the shade, before all the nannies in the neighborhood take over...I mean...really take over, to the point that you can't even stand in the shade because you are in their way! (can you believe that shit?!)
This barely happens because don't forget that now you have a baby, so getting to places early is totally out of the question. So, when you finally get there and find a little spot after you have passed the attentive scrutinies of all them (because you actually are one of the few mom with their baby in the middle of Nanny-galore!) and zig-zagged your way through Bugabooland, you are completely exhausted! Now the fun begins.....
At first Luca is happily looking around, smiling and making funny noises. Then the "fidgeting" motion starts where you know he wants to get out of the stroller (with all the bloody money we spent on the Bugaboo I was hoping he wanted to spend the rest of his life in it!.....they even tell you it's like the Cadillac of strollers! Bollocks!...great sale pitch though...), but you're still hoping that something else will distract him. Nope! So here we are, off to the swings. Now make sure you really try to last as long as you can at the swings, because this is really all you've got at the park for a 7 months old! Well...let's not forget all the gossiping around with all the other mommies, if there are any. Ohhh...I could really get down and dirty with some serious NYC gossips, but I won't do that.....not because I'm a prude, simply because I won't have enough bloody megabites available on this blog! I promise though to tell the best ones here and there.

After I took about 3 trips back and forth to the swings, feed Luca a little snack and every ounce of milk I had brought with me, I realize it's time to go home. So much for a day at the park huh? All it matters though is that Luca is happy and quite exhausted at the same time and before I know it, he will be too running around with everybody else....I just hope not too soon.

Quick note for you, my dear readers: at the end of each post you will find a “Daily Cool Pill”. This is a quick fix from an “ex cool gal” who is now a “yummy mommy”!

Daily Cool Pill (DCP): If it’s a hot day and you’re planning to spend a few hours at the park, try this quick and easy style to keep your hair neat while you’re playing around with your little munchkin. Tilt your head down and brush your hair from back to front. Come back up and secure it in a ponytail, pulling tight the sides and leaving the top a little loose and higher to form kinda of a Mohawk. Just a little hairspray on top will keep your hair together. If your hair is in a bob and too short for a ponytail, just gather the front section of your hair and secure it back with a couple of pins, leaving it a little loose on top.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Time goes by....and I ain't no spring chicken anymore...

Yes, my friend, time goes by and before you know it your little one is off to college. Luca turned 7 months yesterday and I'm already having nightmares about him growing up, being a goofy teenager with a husky voice and the few facial hair that he will refer as cool mustaches. Aaaarrgghhh! I know why I wanted a girl in the first place! Not that they are any easier...but at least I know what to expect. In a way I'm kind of relieved because I know daddy will have to do most of the the "becoming a man talk" and the "sex talk" which scares the crap out of me!!

Meanwhile...time goes by and if we don't start talking about "baby number 2" I will probably have no eggs left or probably realize too late that the few I had are now all rotten!
Yes, you start doing the math and wonder what the hell happened to the last 10 years? Hold on, you got married at 27, changed your job at 28, twice, then at the big 30 you realized that this was the last shot at finding a job you at least enjoyed. At 31 you decided to party a little more....same for your 32nd birthday. Then at 33 the big decision...out of the blue...."Honey, let's have a baby!". You knew you always wanted a little one running around, but it was never the right time.....well there you shot was all it took!
I still remember the look into my husband's eyes that Sunday morning when I came out of the bathroom holding the pregnancy test with a big blue plus sign on. His ego was like: "You're the maaan! Good job guys!"...but his mind was like: "Shit! No way. That fast? I gotta put my shit together. I gotta make more money. Is my wife gonna get fat? Does that mean no more sex? Ooohhh...I wonder if it's a boy or a girl?".
And here we are...15 months later from that day and still wondering what hit us!

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Mother’s Day

So this is it...your first Mother’s Day! You finally realize that your whole youth went down the drain and now you have a little bundle of joy to care for. He looks at you, you look at him trying to anticipate his next cry…hold on…Did I change his diaper? Did I feed him? Did he burp? Where’s my glass of wine? you do need one of those once in while!
Today is your day Mommy! The day you always thought was dedicated to your Mom or the older lady next door with 3 kids and 7 nieces and nephews. Yes, this is the day where Daddy is in charge, even though he looks miserable with season allergies and a fussy 6 months old in his arms. This is the day your hubby takes you out for brunch where everybody else’s and their mother is having brunch. The day where you spend time prepping up your little labour of love for people to admire, choosing the cutest little clothes and spiking up the few little hair on top of his head with that special organic baby pomade. And even though you look younger (a lot younger… hehe!) then all the other mommies in the room…it’s finally hitting you that your life is over! But don’t’s not over, you just have to say good-bye to the long nights out with your friends, the time alone with your husband, the last minute vacations and anything spontaneous you have ever done before. Now everything takes planning, even the usual boring trip to the supermarket needs at least half an hour of prep work. The “Carpe Diem” motto is a distant memory now!

To think that just a couple of years ago you used to be so cool. Your closet was filled with sexy tops and tight jeans and everybody used to call you to find out the latest hangouts. Then pregnancy hit and the sexy tops became oversized grandma hand me downs with matching nursing bras, the tight jeans became big comfy drawstring pants and the coolest place you’ve been lately was Jamba Juice for a refreshing strawberry smoothie that so much resembles your old Daiquiri, minus the best ingredient of course.
So, to all the mommies that like me love motherhood but still want to celebrate everything life has to offer…after all life doesn’t stop because you have a baby…join me to celebrate our daily struggle to stay cool. Let’s show the world that you can still be fashionable with your ballerina flats, instead of your stilettos and that you’re still able to stay awake past midnight on your girl’s night out. Remember, no matter how old you are, you’re still young and beautiful…the only difference is that you have to buy some more hair products!