So Let’s Talk Boys

So I’m married. To Big Ry. My snoring, beer-loving, chauffeur, good father of a man. He also fixes things. Yes.

We got married last July at The Peasant Club in West Sacramento (eat there this week — we are talking homemade ravioli) and my meticulous friend Erica planned it all. She should her own TV show. Seriously.

It was a wonderful evening and I am still thinking of how much I liked the table linens.

Our honeymoon was 4 days in Carmel. My favorite. Beach, shops, hiking, and eating everything in sight pretty much filled up our days.

So what are Ryan and I doing now. It can be hard. Most days are good but some days we are like WTF. How the h@$ll did/can this happen? AGAIN! Ryan worries about me. I worry about him. We worry about Madame. So we all hug. A lot.

I am also trying to give Ryan a bit of space here and there. He needs it like any sane person. Leave him alone in the morning when he drinks his coffee and watches sports. (Me, I am pretty much a social butterfly unless it’s bedtime.) It’s hard for me because the steroids I’m on result in a lot less sleep (hence the early blog posts). But he really cherishes the morning time so why not. We make it work because we have to and doing such small things for your spouse can make all the difference. He lets me bake all day (and even helps clean up sometimes) and makes little mention of my retail therapy and I give him some very necessary solitary time.

That’s all for now ….. Thanks for reading.

20120605-055323.jpg

20120605-055331.jpg

20120605-055339.jpg

Now what just happened????

Wow. It’s been a horrible two weeks to say in the least. But I’m here, so that is good. My breast cancer seemed to have come back, and not in any nice way. I had a terrible headache for weeks and it got so bad I had to go to the ER. It turned out cancerous lesions (5) made it onto my head and was causing all the pressure and suffering. Sad face. I had a shunt put in by a very nice neurosurgeon to relieve the pressure (thank goodness) and started brain radiation immediately. It’s actually going well, I’m just a nervous nelly a lot of the time. Radiation will be done in about a week but I think this might be the easy part.

So they’re not quite sure what they are going to do with me yet, my oncologist is out of town (well-deserved, he’s great) just because there are a few different things going on. I’m up for another PET Scan which scans your whole body radioactively and this darn lung biopsy. There may be a spot on my liver but they’re not super worried about so I can let that go. A lymph node in my right arm may be wanting to cause a problem but as my dad says, we probably have most of the bad information, and the doctors are going to collect it as to be able to research and make the best choices for chemo and I can get this junk out of my body!!!!! Dang my body is mad right now. It is begging for a Zumba class. I will be getting a second opinion at UC Davis and I keep reminding myself this is not hopeless, even if we don’t have a treatment plan yet. There seem to be a few options.

Each day is different. I’m tired. I try to be happy I have been given another day with my daughter. But shit, this is unfair. The weather is gorgeous and my wine is waiting for me! And wine sounds terrible! My job has been so supportive. My friends are truly angels. I have not been left wanting.

Thank you for listening. Life is so complicated yet so beautiful. I want everyone to do one fun thing this weekend cause its spring and everyone deserves it!!!!!! Seriously, I could not find the light of these past days without everyone’s continued support and love. It makes my heart full so I can pull through another couple hours and find a smile again. xo

Why I love work, and why work (hopefully) loves me.

The alarm goes off.  I remember when this used to make me scrunch even deeper into my nest of covers and groan.  But instead, I roll over, feed my Facebook addiction (I mean, something could have happened during the 7 or 8 hours I have been asleep!) and get out of bed, not a complaint to be heard, near nor far.  I tame my nest of curls, wash my face, get dressed, and, if I am super organized, make a nice hot soy chai to drink in the car during my (gasp!) 10 minute commute.  Madame President is usually still asleep at this time, another bonus.

So why all this compliance?  Why do I never experience a lame-ass case of the Mondays?  Because I work part-time.  And I don’t work Mondays.  Hah.

Yes.  I have it pretty good here.  And I am not writing this to brag.  I am writing this in the hopes of sharing what works for our family.  I work 3 1/2 days a week, instead of the usual obligatory 5.  The thought of working 5 days a week  now makes me shudder.  Does this make me a bad employee?  I think not.  This actually makes me a GREAT employee.

I now LOOK FORWARD to going to work most days.  I get to the office with a dang smile on my face and I am happy to be there.  I have an annoying bounce to my step and am productive with my work assignments.   I can focus on my tasks at hand and not worry constantly about my mommy to-do list.  Why?  Because I am not burnt out.  I am not tired (most of the time.  And if I am, it’s usually my own fault because I had one too many at happy hour. Or Madame has given me the rare 5 a.m. wake-up call).  I have had an extra day off to spend with my kid and get my shopping done (usually).  I have been able to have a playdate with a friend without cramming everything into one Saturday.  Being able to work 30 hours a week with a young child has given me enough time at home (although I would like more but let’s be reasonable), and enough time outside of my house to make me feel like a productive member of society.  And I really like it.

I realize that this is not  a possibility for most working moms (or dads).  Which sucks.  Many organizations do not offer part-time employment or parents have to work full-time because of financial obligations.  My employer has supported my need to work a reduced time-base and as a result, I can be at my best in both my worlds.  But, my husband and I have made sacrifices to make this feasible for us.  We live in a modest house (no McMansion for us!) and drive modest cars.  We take our lunches most days and I have become no stranger to the Grocery Outlet and other bargain venues I never dreamed I would be stepping foot in.  But to me, the small sacrifices are worth my sanity.  And my family and place of work reap the benefits.

To keep with the theme of busy families, I would like to share a great recipe that can either be prepared the night before and popped in the oven right when you get home from the office, or put together very easily about a 1/2 hour before dinnertime.  (We even had this tonight.)  I usually serve with rice pilaf and green peas from the freezer or steamed ready-cut broccoli.   And a bottle of  delicious $5 wine from Trader Joe’s (no more $15 weeknight bottles for us!).

Parmesan Dijon Chicken

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup melted butter

2/3 cup Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Vermouth

4 whole chicken breasts (cut in half)

In a shallow pan, combine bread crumbs, cheese, and butter.  In another shallow pan, mix mustard and wine.  Dip chicken in mustard/wine mixture, and then in bread crumb mixture.  Arrange chicken pieces slightly apart in a greased (cooking spray is fine) baking dish.  (At this point you can cover and refrigerate).

Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.  You can garnish with parsley and lemon if you are feeling fancy.

Serves 4-6.  Great leftovers too!

A new year, a new blog.

I am still in a bit of a champagne fog from last night’s festivities (read: mustache party and game night with Big Ry and in bed by 10) and my hair looks like one of the male cast members from Jersey Shore (you know, the tan one), but good morning 2012!  Mamaknowszest is my new home to dish about all the glamour that comes along with being a new mom (and the wine that is consumed as a result).  I also will be sharing a little about my addiction to all things homemade, simple (read:  easy), and delicious. Here’s to a new year and a new blog to gossip about . . . . I get to vent, you get a recipe, so why not?  But first things first, a girl’s gotta post her New Years Resolutions.

Top 5 “I Will Not” New Year’s Resolutions:

1.     I will not post on Facebook that I have a husband for sale, no matter what he does.

2.     I will not justify that a glass of wine counts as a serving of fruit as it is made from grapes.  Especially if I have had more than one glass.

3.     I will not buy my 2 year-old (from here on out known as Madame President) a $5 balloon every time we go to the grocery store (even if she is perilously screaming in the check-out line).  But if someone insists on buying one for her, that is okay and I will thank them profusely.

4.     I will not cringe when it is my husband’s turn to make dinner and it consists of fish sticks and cereal.  I will eat it and enjoy it because I did not have to make it.

5.     I will not judge the Kardashian sisters.  They have feelings too.  Even if they don’t look like it because their faces don’t move.

 Top 5 “I Will” New Year’s Resolutions:

1.      I will go to Zumba once a week, even though I look like an injured bird trying to take flight in my attempts to belly dance.

2.     I will take balloons out of our family budget (see # 4 above).

3.     I will actually clean the couch instead of just flipping the cushions over every few weeks.

4.     I will get off my dang iPhone and pay more attention to my kid and husband.

5.     I will smile, nod, and muster a positive response when people say crazy, inappropriate things in passing conversation (instead of wanting to wring their neck and then gossip about them for the rest of the day to my poor husband).  This frees up time to bake something I shouldn’t be eating.

And, as promised, here is a recipe for a yummy and easy appetizer to bring to any lingering after-holiday parties you may have on your calendar.  Thanks for reading the long-awaited first post of mamaknowszest. . . . See you in a couple weeks!

 Sausage Stars

  • 1 pound cooked crumbled turkey or pork sausage
  • 3 cup grated Colby jack cheese (or any cheese you may have on hand)
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 package fresh or frozen won ton wrappers

Blot sausage dry with paper towels and combine with cheese, dressing, olives and red bell pepper. Lightly grease 2 muffin tins and press 1 wrapper in each cup and bake 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees until golden. Remove won ton cups from tins, place on baking sheet and fill with sausage mixture.

Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbly.  Makes about 4 dozen.