Holy Guacamole!!!!

Buenos dias a la cucina de Carlita!! Ok, my Spanish is severely limited and pitiful for a girl who grew up in California, but I still have a deep and pervasive love of Spanish, and especially Mexican, cuisine. At least once a week I have burrito night and it’s just about the most extensive I get when it comes to cooking. But I’m getting better!

Bout to mash these suckers!

Avocado means testicle. Just thought you’d like to know.

One thing I definitely love to make is delicious homemade guacamole. The recipe I use is hardly the most elaborate or unique, but it’s easy and delicious and I love it!

What You’ll Need:

The supplies.

  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • Quarter onion, all diced up nice like
  • A small tuft of cilantro, finely chopped
  • Hot sauce
  •  Fresh garlic clove (or garlic powder)
  • Tbsp. Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional tomato

Split in two!

 

 

Step One: Take those avos and cut them in half. If you have never dealt with avocados before, you should note there is a giant, hard seed inside each one, so you have to cut around this and then pull the halves apart. To remove the seed, I thwack my knife into it and then holding the avocado skin, rotate the knife. The sucker will come right out. The hardest part is then getting the seed off the knife. Knock it against the table a few times. Don’t blame me if your dull your knife in the process, though!

Now, spoon the insides of those 4 avocado halves into a big bowl, like in figure 3. Mash them up with a fork.

Boom.

Figure 3. Mashing the avos.

Step Two: Pour in tablespoon of lime juice. You can use fresh lime, which I normally use, but good old bottled lime juice will work, too. If you use fresh lime, cut it into quarters and squeeze that yumminess into the mix.

Step Three: Onion!! Chop that thing up like it’s nobody’s business. I like the pieces to be very small (finely diced might be the fancy schmancy term).

ON-YON! (Say it like that, it’s fun.)

Slide that into your avo mush.

Cilantro!

Step Four: Cilantro. This is how much I used. It is not exact science here. Wash the cilantro thoroughly, then strip the leaves off the stems. This part is kind of annoying, but you get the hang of it. It should look like this.

Separated from the stems and ready to get chopped!

Now dice that greenery up! It’s fun. Dangerous, but fun.

Dice, dice, dice!

 

Step Five: Pour in a a good couple pinches garlic powder. You can chop up a fresh clove, which would be more delicious, but I forgot to do so and just used the powder. I still think it’s yummy. Notice I even have a clove of garlic out for the first picture. Pregnancy brain strikes again.

Shameless substitute. I’d go for the real stuff.

Step Six: Add 8-10 drops of hot sauce into the mix. This really depends on your taste. I love spicy, bold flavors, so I load that shit on. But, it’s fine to show some restraint.

Step Seven: Add salt and pepper to taste. BONUS TIP: Taste your guacamole at this point. Does it taste too acidic? If so, add a little bit of sugar. This will counter the acidity nicely. Normally, I don’t really measure the ingredients. I just pour them in willy-nilly and take numerous sample tastes throughout the cooking process. By the end, there’s only half what I started with and I’ve compensated and counter measured multiple times. WHAT?! I never claimed to be Julia Child!

Re-re-re-re-re-re-re-remix!!!

Step Eight: Stir it up!!!! Here, you can also chop up that tomato, taking out the gushy seed parts and then putting it in. I really can’t stand tomato, so I skip this step. But it does add some nice color.

Step Nine: Make it look fancy!

Gourmet

The finished product! Delectable!!

I added paprika to give it some color.

Step Ten: ENJOY!! Can you believe how drawn out I was able to make this whole process?

Let me know what you think of this recipe, my presentation, my amazing photography, or whatever else is on your mind! Also, don’t forget to follow our blog so that you can keep up with each of our exciting installments!!

 

 

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The Eye Makeup Day of Truth: A Blinc Mascara Review

You look tired


A few months ago, my aunt reached for my hands and gently told me that I need to wear eye makeup every day.

“I’ve noticed that sometimes you wear eye makeup but most of the time you don’t. I think that it is well worth the effort.”

Two questions:
1. What the fuck?
2. What’s with the handholding? Was that supposed to soften the blow? It’s not like she was telling me I have cancer. Just that I look like shit on the 95% of days when I don’t wear eye makeup.

My first response was denial. I loved sharing the story with friends, so we could all toss our heads back in rollicking laughter. “Ha ha ha ha ha! What is she talking about? Doesn’t she know you have three kids and work? And you’re only in your early thirties! Jus jealous, amirite?”

But then it happened again. I recounted the story to my mother-in-law (who is wonderful, by the way), expecting the same “Ha ha, that’s bitchy” response. And at first that’s what she said, in her nice and supportive way. Followed by a pause.
“I do think that it looks really nice on you,” she said. “Sometimes you look tired without it.”

Which brings me to the next response: anger. Look tired? Gee, why would that be? OF COURSE I’M FUCKING TIRED. I have an infant, two pre-schoolers, a dissertation to write, a husband who works 60+ hours a week, and lots of time-wasting Internet reading to deal with. Isn’t recommending eye make-up BLAMING THE VICTIM, here? Fuck 60-something women and their slavish devotion to potions, crèmes, and chemically derived painter’s spackle! I’ll just be over here au natural, keeping it real, showing true beauty, providing a healthy and self-confident example for my daughters, or whatever you want to call it.

The anger started to fade when I decided that I didn’t really care about being self-righteous more than I cared about not looking tired and run-down. With this acceptance is the realization that when I look more pulled together, I feel more pulled together. It really doesn’t take that long, and if I’m honest with myself, I certainly have time to do a brief makeup routine. I’m just lazy.

Since the Day of Truth, when I accepted my own need to apply eye makeup, I’ve discovered two things.
1. Once you become a person who wears makeup everyday, you need to wear makeup everyday. When I was an occasional makeup wearer, days when I slathered a bit on were pleasant surprises. “You clean up well!” a potential date once remarked to me (I’m not even going into that phrase). When people are used to seeing you in makeup, however, days when you don’t get a chance to put it on are “You Look Tired” days.
2. You really don’t need a lot to make a positive difference. I reserve the right to qualify this as I age, but for now, one eyeshadow applied with my fingers, two coats of mascara, and tinted lip balm are all I need to look “Not Tired.”

Magical mystery mascara

Mascara is the most important of these products, as I have fair coloring and light colored eyelashes. Unfortunately, we all know that mascara can kind of suck. You put it on and it looks great for a couple of hours… until the flaking settles in. After a 10-hour day, there is more mascara on towels, couch pillows, and my under eyes than there is on my lashes. Waterproof mascara helps a little bit with melting on hot days, but it just prolongs the period of black smudge transmission to include my sheets as well, as eye makeup remover leaves an oily slime on my face that I find disturbing.

I read enough beauty magazines to know the general maxim is that cheap drug store brand mascara’s are great and that there is no reason to spend more than $8 for a tube. And that’s what I’ve done, typically buying Almay, Cover girl, or Maybelline. They’ve all been fine, making my lashes temporarily look thick and long, and then over the course of hours leaching from my face. The only mascara I’ve hated was the Sei Bella Melaleuca brand. (Incidentally, I really hope that Charlie writes a Melaleuca expose at some point).

I did wonder if there is something better out there, which is why I recently (gulp) plopped down $17 for a tube of Blinc’s Tubes Mascara.

Blinc describes their mascara as forming semi-magical water-resistant “tubes” around the lashes. That sounds about as believable as leprechauns, right? It makes more sense to think about Blinc as a liquid that turns to solid when exposed to air. Heat, water, or tears can’t change the solidified “tubes” back into a liquid- thus they stay on all day without flaking or smudging. Blinc mascara is supposed to be ideal for contact lens wearers (check) and those with sensitive eyes (check again). To remove, just gently rub your eyes with warm water, and the “tubes” slide off.

Getting Tubey

So how does the product measure up? Should I be spending the equivalent of lunch out for my family of five on a tube of mascara? The answer is a qualified yes. Blinc does many things better than every other mascara I’ve tried. It stays on the eyes during the day and is easy to remove. Several hours after applying, it looks almost the same as when I applied it.

Unfortunately, Blinc doesn’t create the volume that other mascara’s do. Lashes definitely look longer and separated, but they aren’t thickened. The website calls the effect “spidery” but I think it looks a little bit like this:

Just sayin’

A “lash primer” is available for an additional $20, which is supposed to help with volumizing. The mascara is a little messier than I’m used to, as every time I’ve put it on I’ve had some black smudge marks to clean up. It’s easy enough to do with a moistened Q-tip, but may be more annoying for those who have just finished applying other eye makeup. It makes my eyes feel a little itchy, but so do other mascaras.

Although I think the price is pretty high, the prominent role of mascara in my beauty regime (which is otherwise non-existent) makes me feel like a superior product is worth it. And Blinc is superior, in many ways. As soon as “extra-wide volumizing tubes” are available, it’ll be about perfect.

What drives you nuts about mascara? Any great ones to try?

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A Word or Two About Sisters….

This is how we roll.

I was going to write up a post I’ve been planning- A Critical Analysis of “Chopped” on the Food Network, but I want to take this moment instead to put into writing my thoughts of the day.

When I think about all the things I have going for me, I can’t help but feel pretty awesome. My life is not perfect, and I will be the first to tell you: I am not perfect. I have, like, 18 million flaws. (I’ve learned they become immediately less off-putting if you call them “quirks”). But, despite my many shortcomings, I still have an awesome husband who loves me bunches and has my back and makes me snort with laughter. Said husband and I are in the process of cooking a baby (as in I’m pregnant, not a cannibal), which is kinda gross and uncomfortable, but still pretty awesome.   Also, I have two wonderful puppy dogs that can bring me so much joy even with the slightest wiggle of their nubs (their breed is a nub one, not a tail one).

I am so grateful for all these things that have come to me during my years. You know what else I’m grateful for? The fact that my best friend, greatest confidante, and biggest role model in life is my big sis, Matilda.

A lot of people don’t like their families, and you can’t really blame them. Some families are absolute shit!  My sister isn’t my best friend because she’s my sister. She’s my best friend because she’s fucking awesome! The fact that she’s my sister is just a huge bonus.

Maybe we have a more special bond because we have similarities, or grew up with so many of the same experiences. But we are also very different. She has patience and self-control where I have impulsive irritability. She has a sensitive digestive system whereas I have the intestinal fortitude of a monster truck. She can be more reserved while I am jumping headfirst off the cliffs of uncertainty. The fact is, when I have lacked confidence in myself, my sister has always been there to make me feel genuinely good about myself. Not by coating over things with saccharine platitudes, but by giving me real perspective. She also calls me on my shit if I’m acting ridiculous. No one else (excepting my husband) does that.

Watching my sister with her children is probably when I feel most proud of her. She is such an attentive, engaged, loving, and fun mother to her kids. Those kids just have no idea how lucky they are (granted, the oldest is 5 so they’ll figure it out one day). She is cautious and thoughtful with her children and yet relaxed, not overbearing, not anxiety-ridden. All I can do is hope I will be half the mother she is.

my sister is brilliant. She has a thousand degrees. But she doesn’t make me feel inferior to her and never has, even when I had zero direction in my life and was, by all appearances and according to my mother, a total screw-up. Matty still believed in me. She protected me when we were kids, and she still does today.

As a side note, she and her husband and their children are the only ones in my family who have made my husband feel loved and respected by my family. The rest either never took the time to get to know him, or judged him (and me) based on his career choice. Not cool. Most of my marriage I’ve felt embarrassed by some of the bad behavior my husband has seen from my family. But I rub the awesomeness of my sister and her fam in his face! And he’s all, “I get it! They’re awesome!! Stop it now!” And I’m like, daaaaaamn straight.  Matilda is an exceptional person, and the fact that I get to be her sister makes me so happy.

Why all the sappy outpouring? Because, I think it’s important to let people know what they mean to you. And because the fact that we’re sisters can mean that we’re expected to be close or have a decent relationship. But I know that my sister means so much to me because of the person she is, not because we have the same parents.  I’m sure this isn’t interesting to anyone who doesn’t know us, but I don’t give a damn, this is for my sister! I’m so proud of you, Matilda, and I’m really happy and grateful that you are my sister. Thanks for everything you do and all you put up with. Can’t wait to see you live and in person again.  I love you!

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5 Free Ways to Entertain Imprisoned Children: Saving Lives, One Car Trip at a Time

Minivans are awesome!

Have you seen those Swag Wagon™ commercials? Oh wait, of course you have. For a while there they couldn’t be escaped, and they were indeed mildly amusing. I say “mildly”, because the premise that minivans can actually be cool is not a huge shocker for me. Minivans are awesome. They are functional, they are easy to drive, they won’t topple over when there are high winds on the freeway, and most importantly, your kids can safely be seated far away from you.

Unfortunately, even when they are all the way back in the third row, you are still going to hear them. Especially if your Swag Wagon™ is not Swagged out with DVD or video game players, like ours (the SwagishWagon™?).

Buying entertainment for them can quickly get expensive. This last weekend things got so desperate in the Swagish Wagon™ that I found myself running into a coffee shop with Wifi in order to download $30.00 of children’s audiobooks, while my husband ducked flying feces in the minivan. Just kidding! (The flying feces was from another time.) DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.

But with a little preparation, there’s no need to spend any money in order to entertain your kids on your next car trip. And I’m not talking about the old tried and true methods of junky snacks and endless “I Spying”. The following options won’t fuel the obesity epidemic, and allow for moments of thoughtful conversation or mutually silent contemplation up in the front. Just make sure the speakers are on only in the back!

1. Molly and the Sugar Monster

This free podcast chronicles the adventures of the Sugar Monster and his adorable foil, Molly. Each episode is quite short, but they are funny enough that kids will want to listen to them over and over again.

2. Elmo’s Adventures in Spending, Saving, and Sharing

In this series of short podcasts, Elmo learns about financial responsibility through conversations with his father. (Note to Wall Street). Elmo is his charming self, and kids will learn about ATMs, debit cards, and most importantly, the concept of “value”.

3. Pinky Dinky Doo

Pinky’s got a story, she knows just what to do! If your kids have seen the PBS cartoon series, then you are as familiar as you ever wanted to be with Pinky, her little brother, and their rock star guinea pig. Although this series was originally designed as a video, it translates well to a podcast. Each episode is about 10 minutes long and introduces a new vocabulary word. Pinky Dinky Doo can be blamed for the following conversation between my husband and our three-year old:

Three-year old: Daddy, did you have ice cream for dessert?

Husband: Yes

Three-year old: I did too! Isn’t that a cacophony?

Husband: Do you mean coincidence?

Three-year old: Yeah, a cacophony is when it’s raining cats and dogs and they are making a lot of noise.

4. Keith M. Bower’s Free Stories for Children

This series of free fairy tales are well-narrated familiar stories such as Hansel and Gretel or Jack and the Beanstalk. The narrator has a nice, expressive voice, although they may have been recorded in a closet somewhere as the audio is not perfect. A note of warning, however. While the first 3 podcasts on this list are great for kids 8 and under, these are not sanitized or modernized versions of fairy tales. The o.g. versions contain some scary stuff, with parental abandonment, murder, starvation, etc…. Older kids will love how gruesome they are, but stick to Elmo or the Sugar Monster for the youngest kids.

5. Free Audiobooks from your Local Library

In addition to the audiobooks on CD that libraries have in their collections, many are now offering digital audiobooks that can be downloaded over the internet. My library has hundreds of available audiobooks- may sure to check yours for information!

What are your favorite free family podcasts?

Not me, or my husband

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The Stan and Mitch Larsen Guide to Parenting

Well, it seems we have found ourselves sucked into yet another melodramatic television series. This time, it’s AMC’s “The Killing”. This show brings a brooding and morose feel to Sunday night television, in case you were feeling too happy or optimistic. The story revolves around the murder of a teenage girl in Seattle and the subsequent manhunt.  It is modern era Noir, and includes an ensemble of dead beats, likeable drug addicts,  absentee parents… and that’s just the cops!

I don’t know. I smell Herring. Red ones.

The Killing could be your guide to inept police investigations, corrupt politics, obsessive determination, or keeping your hair looking decent in near constant rain. But I prefer to take it as the perfect guide how NOT to be a parent, by observing the actions of Stan and Mitch Larsen. The Larsens are the unfortunate parents of Rosie Larsen, the girl who is tragically murdered and dumped in a pond. I cannot begin to imagine what the pain and grief would be like to lose a child, so to even think I can criticize their actions following the death of their child is absurdly presumptuous.

And yet, I persist. Why? Because these two people seem to be devising the perfect road map for how not to react to tragedy. After all, they have two remaining children, though you could easily forget that fact – the Larsens seemed to have. Warning- If you are not caught up on the series, but are interested in watching it, there are some spoilers in this.

Mitch Larsen. Mother of the year.

So without further ado,

How Not to be a Parent, According to Stan and Mitch Larsen:

1. Focus on yourself as the only real victim when tragedy strikes.

It is awful that Rosie Larsen is murdered… for her entire family. Mitch seems to think this horrible event only really effects her, as she never seems to acknowledge the grief of others. Her two young boys have lost a sister, but she takes no pains to try and comfort them or be there for them. Everyone around her just makes it worse. Don’t they understand the pain she’s feeling?! Yes, Mitch. They really do.

2. When you do finally spend time with your children, neglect them, scare them, and nearly kill them.

Let’s go for a drive! Here, in the garage! Only, I’m going to get out of the car and leave you kids here. Be good! Deep breaths!

Come on, Mitch! I know you’re upset. I know you don’t really have a handle on things. But at some point zoning out while your kids are sucking carbon monoxide in the four runner should be a heads up that maybe you should seek some help. Her reaction upon learning of this misstep could be summed up as: “Oops”.

3. Abandon Your Children When They Need You Most.

Clearly, Mitch is a danger to her children. Well, it’s the children’s fault! Everything hurts her! Instead of seeking grief counseling, going to her family for support, or doing anything that demonstrates she has genuine concern for the rest of the Larsens, Mitch takes off, citing the fact that their very presence in her eyes brings her pain. Love you, too, Mom!

Stan Larsen. Bad ass father. By that, I just mean bad.

4. Make Sure Justice is Done by Attacking Anyone Who is a Suspect.

The anger overflows in Stan following the murder of his daughter. Who could blame him for that? Who could blame him for almost killing a man because he was a person of interest in the investigation…wait, what?! Yeaaaaaaah, no. See, turns out the guy Stan beat within an inch of his life didn’t kill Rosie after all. Stan would have discovered this had he waited even a few minutes before unleashing the fury fists.

At least Stan turned himself in after realizing this, teaching a lesson to all who know him that it is foolish and dangerous and disruptive to try and take matters in your own hands. Except, his mentally unstable best bud who goes and does the exact same thing to the next suspect, who turns out to not be involved, either. Which brings me to my next point,

5. Allow Mentally Unstable and Deluded People to Integrate with Your Family and be Near Your Children.

Belko. Good hearted ticking time bomb of self-loathing, delusional sense of duty, and dangerous sensibilities. Looking for a babysitter?

6. Alienate Anyone Who has a Positive Influence on Your Children.

While Mitch is out buying pancakes for hitchhikers and Stan is beating the shit out of anyone with shifty eyes, who is left to watch the two young Larsen boys? Thankfully, Aunt Terry is there to seamlessly pick up the slack, save the boys from asphyxiating in the garage, and to maintain a sense of normalcy for these poor abandoned children. They trust her, and she even manages to muster a smile or two from the beleaguered boys. Clearly, Aunt Terry is a bitch who must be shunned.

Stan is quick to rid her from the premises after discovering she participated with an online escort service. Granted, that’s some pretty lascivious behavior, but it’s not like Stan the Man is so upstanding. You know, he almost killed that guy who was innocent? And Terry bailed him out when Mitch said screw it and blew off. Oh, yeah, and Stan used to work for the mob and borrowed money from them. Also, Terry is the only one who gives a shit about his kids!

7. Lie to Your Children. CONSTANTLY.

Regarding paternity: What’s it matter? Regarding Belko’s death? Belko who? Shut up, brat. Talking to kids is uncomfortable and weird. It is always best not to do it, and just pretend everything is fine and they are normal. Their endless sobs are the sounds of consistent parenting.

8. Don’t be the Adult. Show them Kids Who’s Boss.

When your whiny bitch of a son is crying and complaining, just because his mother left him and his father is emotionally vacant and drove away the only positive person in his life, teach him what’s what with a firm open palm slap across his tiny little mug. Then scream and tell him you hate him. He’ll probably grow up to be a doctor.

Mitch and Stan, planning their next child-rearing handbook.

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Matilda’s Top 5 Post-Partum Products: How to Unbust the Busted

In honor of Charlie’s gestating body (which is due to expel a child-being in the early fall) today I’m going to review my top 5 post-partum products. During labor and birth your body feels more powerful than it’s ever been. Afterwards, it feels…..well, more busted than it’s ever been. But it’s not! It’ll get back to normal-ish sooner than you would imagine. It’s going to require some help, though, and these are the things you’ll need to get there, in chronological order of when you’ll need them.

1. Handy Dandy Spray Bottle

The Miracle Worker

This small chunk of plastic, which likely retails for about $1.49 (I’m not sure because my hospital gave them away for free), is your first post-birth lifesaver. Because There Will Be Blood. And the blood will rain down so profusely you will wonder many times if something is wrong. I had this conversation on repeat with my nurses:

Me: (nervously) There’s a lot of blood….

Nurse: Yes.

Me: Are you sure that this is a normal amount of blood? It just really seems like a lot.

Nurse: (looking over distractedly) Yes.

Me: But I just passed a huge clot!

Nurse: (glimmer of interest) How big was it?

Me: As big as my fist!

Nurse: (walking out the door) Yes. That’s normal.

So even if you feel like the special effects director from Carrie, it’s probably normal, and they don’t care. But these little spray bottles will make you feel semi-human again. Try to talk someone into tearing their eyes away from the baby for a few minutes every couple of hours to refill with warm water and spray liberally all over your blooming lotus every time you change a pad or use the bathroom. You’ll feel clean and soothed, if only for a moment. Make sure to hide the first one the hospital gave you the day before you are released so that they’ll give you a spare, and trust me, water is all you need. Why on earth you would want to purchase organic witch hazel PEPPERMINT OIL fluid to spray on your very sensitive, swollen, and bruised parts is beyond me.

2. Pads and Cheap Cotton Panties

These are the hideous mesh panties you get at the hospital. Ladies with sensitive skin- beware! I was allergic. Think red, prickly, underwear-shaped rash allergic.

While in the hospital, you will be equipped with what seems likes cases of brick-like pads and several pairs of mesh-like underwear. But though it will have slowed down a bit, you’ll still be bleeding. For WEEKS. Or MONTHS.

Consequently, you’ll need to replenish your supplies quickly, and often. For the early days, when you still need to change pads every hour or so, I recommended Always Ultra-Thin Overnight Pads. Note that these are not the “fresh scent” ones. I don’t like my children or my pads “fresh”. If I wanted to smell like an incontinent person I would pee in my pants. See what I mean? The “freshness” isn’t fooling anybody. Plus, you’ll be changing those babies so often at the beginning they won’t have enough time to develop an odor.

If you wear your regular underwear at this point in your post-partum life you will: A. Potentially be depressed because they don’t fit;
and B. Ruin them.

So it’s smart to buy a couple of packs of 100% cotton underpants a few sizes larger than you would regularly wear. The 100% percent cotton part is important because you are still swollen and uncomfortable and the last thing you want is polyester rubbing against your wounded skin (the same will be true of your incision if you have a c-section).

Cheap cotton panties. You’ll rejoice when you get to toss them!

Finally, I really can’t say enough about how much more comfortable cloth pads are than disposable ones. When the blood flood finally starts to recede, you will be a lot more comfortable with a cloth pad set-up than continuing with the disposables. I don’t recommend them for the first week or two after birth because you would need so many that doing laundry would be a constant issue, which is the last thing a new parent needs. Here is a very helpful primer on how to make your own cloth pads, should you be interested. And don’t think that you’ll just wear tampons instead, because you aren’t supposed to and I really can’t imagine wanting to put something up there at this point in time. But I had a nine-pounder, so take that for what it’s worth.

3. Nursing Pads

The best disposable option

In general, I am a huge fan of reusable products. Not only are they beneficial for the environment, they are also genuinely more comfortable. I’ve used cloth pads for years and cloth diapered three children. But I just couldn’t find any reusable nursing pads that I loved. There must be some out there, and I’d love suggestions. But if you are going to go disposable, then these Lansinoh pads are the best. They stay firmly in place, are discrete, are large enough, and don’t have a “fresh scent”. You know I don’t like “fresh scents”.

4. The Nursing Gown

Your boobs will also be this big

The first three items on the list aren’t much fun, as necessary as they will be. But these amazing Aimee’s nursing gowns are the post-partum product that you didn’t know that you needed but you can’t live without. I promise I have no affiliation with this company, and in some ways I find them annoying because their shipping takes a while and they seem to be out of stock of the colors I want fairly often. But their product is really superior. The gowns are very well-made, soft, and amazingly supportive even for frightening massive “first milk” breasts. Most importantly, they make you feel attractive and put together at a time when you are leaking from all orifices. I buy one for every single friend of mine who gets pregnant and every single one has told me that it was the best gift that they got. I wish that they came in patterns and more color options, but otherwise these are as close to perfect as it gets.

5. If You Must, Here’s a Girdle Recommendation

“Breathable” mesh makes this one slightly bearable

Here’s the hard truth: your uterus will remain larger than normal for a while. Consequently you will still be looking pregnant even when you are holding your baby in your arms (which is why you should have your baby in your arms at all times, by the way). There are all kinds of “miracle girdles” out there that promise to make your stomach flatter faster, as long as you bind it tightly for the month immediately after birth. Needless to say, I couldn’t find any randomized control trials examining this. But I fell for it, and purchased several different kinds after my second and third children. Did the girdles help? After my second and third pregnancies it seemed to take forever for the belly overhang to fade, but it retrospect it was only 1-2 months. I never wore them all day every day because they can be really uncomfortable. I liked this one purchased on Amazon the most (and the price was comparatively reasonable).

So why am I recommending girdles if I’m not sure they worked and they were really uncomfortable? Because sometimes the placebo effect is real. That’s why it’s called an effect.

And there are Matilda’s top 5 post-partum products! Some of you may be asking, where are the prescription painkillers? And yes, those are important. Very, very important. But as pregnant ladies can’t buy those ahead of time (or if they do, we don’t condone it) I decided to focus on things to stock up on. What are your favorite post-partum products?

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Technical Difficulties….

Where’s Pippi Longstocking when you need her?

Well, I was gearing up to try and figure out how to throw together a delightfully entertaining food related post in keeping with our themes, when our dishwasher began spewing suds across the kitchen floor a la creature from the deep. Or perhaps the Blob. Instead of staging the perfect food photos in my apple dappled apron, I was stuck mopping and sopping up the endless suds eking out of the dish machine. Any clue as to what could cause this?

The event was reminiscent of a time when I was around 7 or 8. My grandparents were watching my sister and I while our parents were off globetrotting. The day began with us witnessing our dog get hit by a truck in front of the school bus. I grabbed her limp form and held her as she breathed her last. The bus driver was awkwardly perched at the edge of our drive, witnessing the tragic scene. Perhaps we should have waved her on. Instead, my grandparents shuffled us onto the bus, tears streaming down our reddened cheeks.  Later in the day, the dishwasher began spewing clouds of suds onto the wood floor and around the kitchen island. Grandma had used dish-washing fluid in the newfangled contraption instead of dish washer fluid, as is made specifically for the device. That was the last time I have seen such a comedic kitchen spectacle. I assure you, I did not confuse my fluids, and yet, the cause of this disturbing occurrence is a complete mystery to me.

When I had finally cleared the soap and water from the floor I set on my way to continue with creating my culinary content. Alas! I was thwarted. My camera battery is completely dead, no charger to be found, and my phone is going through it’s dramatic death throes and will no longer take pictures (its last image is the above, perhaps the sight of the soap emotionally overwhelmed my poor camera phone?). So, I figure there’s no use posting my delightful guacamole recipe with out showing you pictures of it. Fear not, brave reader, the time will soon come!

So for today, no recipe. Now, I’m off to don my scrubber shoes and slide across the parquet with Pippi!

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