i’m with her… she’s with moms

So except for that one time that I got really mad at millennials, this is not a political blog.  It’s more like a mommy blog where I occasionally post a recipe.  But I just have to talk about Hillary Clinton and how much love her after her fabulous performance in the debate.

The truth is that most of the reasons that I support Hillary Clinton come from my experience as a mother.  Trying to raise children in this crazy time is hard.  We are experiencing big scary things like terrorism and school shootings.  But also smaller scary things for parents like the rising cost of raising children and higher education.  What I love about Hillary is that she gets all of this, and she has plans- carefully thought out plans- for how we are going to deal with these issues.

As a mom who sends a child to public school, I love that Hillary make this a priority. She has plans to improve our children’s K-12 education and even provide universal Pre-K, pay their teachers what they deserve, and get our kids caught up to the rest of the world when it comes to education and technology.

What mom doesn’t want their kid to go to college but realizes that the costs are going up every year? Hillary Clinton has plans to make public college more affordable and even free for the 83% of kids in America who would qualify under her plan. She wants to help people refinance their student loans so they aren’t paying insane amounts of interest.

She has plans to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders so that maybe us moms can worry a little less when we drop our kids off at school.

Hillary also has inclusive plans to help working women.  She is fighting for paid family leave, better childcare options and equal pay. She has been fighting for these things her entire careers.

There are a million other reasons that I support Hillary in this election but these are the issues that matter to me as a mother.  I think about the changes that Hillary wants to make, and then I think about how different it could be for my daughter when she starts a family. I see how much better it could be for her and future generations of mothers.  That’s why I’m with her.

I have been volunteering for Hillary a ton and I am even making a trip to Nevada this weekend to register voters, if you are with her here click here to find opportunities near you. I promise you’ll meet a ton of awesome moms!

Hill Yes for Blog.jpg

not a cool mom…

I have always thought of myself as cool mom. I mean, I wear red lipstick every once in while and I went to a Beyoncé concert this week.  That’s cool right?

In actuality, I am not very cool at all. I have no idea what bands are trending or what kind of boots will be popular next season. I am still wearing “skinny” jeans even though multiple media sources have told me they over. I have no idea what happens at Fashion Week but I can tell you within days, perhaps even hours, if Trader Joe’s debuts a new snack.  Bottom line, I am not very cool.  But my kids think I am cool, right?

But you know what I just figured out, my kids don’t care about any of that stuff.  Fashion, music, trends, all of it. Doesn’t matter when you’re five. Your child’s definition of how cool you are is only dependent on one thing: how much stuff you let them get away with.

It’s all about screen time and sugar intake with the the kindergarten crowd and apparently in that area I am lacking.

Currently, Leo is woefully aware that he does not have an iPad.  And not only does he not have an iPad, but he doesn’t have an iPad with Minecraft. This is partly my fault because I signed him up for a Minecraft “class” after school one day a week. A class where they play the game in partners on vintage PC laptops and the main topic of discussion must revolve around who has an iPad and who plays Minecraft at home. And in an instant I have become that mom that says, “Just because little Johnny has an iPad and plays Minecraft at home doesn’t mean that you can.” And that mom is NOT COOL.

When it comes to parenting, I am starting to realize that I am not cool at all, I am actually sort of strict.  This is the exact opposite of how I thought I would be as a parent. I remember resenting family dinner growing up when I knew that so many of my friends ate dinner in front of the TV and here I am, twenty years later, making family dinner the rule in our house.

And it’s not just that! We have stickers charts, good behavior jars, ready-for-school checklists, early bed times, no television on school days… all of these things I thought were for crazy type-A parents before I had kids. Now I am totally one of those parents.  But I have to say, it works for us.

My kids do better with routine, they are nicer people when they have less screen time and they are getting old enough that occasionally family dinners can be pretty enjoyable. Every family has to do what works for them and if I have to take a little bit of the brunt and be the “mean Mommy” (Leo’s words, not mine), then so be it.

I am not a cool mom, and I own that.

a lovely family vacation…san miguel de allende

Our family was in need of a vacation, we all have had a lot going on the past few months and it has been hot and muggy in Los Angeles. It’s too hot to be outside and being cooped up in the house with little kids is no fun at all! It was time to escape summer in Los Angeles! Leo had a week off of preschool so we thought it would be the perfect time for a Mexican getaway.

I had read about San Miguel de Allende on travel sites recently and a few friends have been and raved about it, so we figured… why not?  After five nights there, I have to say I am absolutely in love with the town. San Miguel de Allende has a rich history, the Spanish colonial town has retained much of its old world charm with narrow cobble stone streets (don’t bother to bring a stroller if you go) and centuries old buildings in El Centro, or the historic core of the city which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though it has a small village vibe and everything is essentially walkable, SMA also has big city amenities like fine dining and art galleries.

img_2584

Lenny and Lucy walk down a cobble stone street in El Centro

img_2639

Leo and Lucy pose in front of an 18th century door

I had read many times that the population of SMA is about twenty percent American and Canadian retirees who flock there because of the low cost of living, excellent medical care and low crime rates. Because of this I expected more of a tourist trap vibe in the town. While we certainly met a few of these retirees on our trip, the town does not have touristy feel of the other Mexican destinations. Unlike Cancun, Los Cabos or Sayulita, American dollars are not accepted and most people do not speak English. Luckily, my wonderful cousin Carla came with us who speaks Spanish and I was able recall a few basic verbs and numbers from high school.

The landmark of the town is the Parroquia, or Parish church, a beautiful tall Spanish Gothic revival church made of pink sandstone with the accompanying Jardin that serves as the main town square. San Miguel is known for its festivals and parades, I would love to experience Independence Day or Dia de Los Muertos there. Even without at major holiday happening, on the weekend we were there there the Jardin was filled with excitement; wedding marches, Mariachi bands, a blues festival and a military band competition. A lot going on and a ton of fun for the kids.

img_2686

The Parroquia

img_2670

Dancers in front of the Parroquia

img_2651

Lucy and her new kitty in the Jardin

We were amazingly fortunate enough to use a friend’s home at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. The property is gorgeous with lush gardens, great restaurants, beautiful pools and most importantly, Rosebuds; a drop off kids clubs with activities for potty trained children that Leo LOVED.

img_2602

Leo relaxing in the kid’s pool

The hotel is centrally located and right down the block from Parque Juarez, the largest park in the city with an amazing playground and gardens for the kids to explore.  Most mornings we would grab coffees and pastries and head to the park to play for an hour or two.  Our go to spot in the mornings was Cafe Rama. The art gallery and cafe has a wonderful vibe, amazing egg dishes and coffee and pastries to go.

img_2543-1

Breakfast at Cafe Rama

One of our favorite activities was visiting La Esquina, the Mexican folk toy museum in town. They have three floors of the coolest hand crafted toys. There was really so much to take in at the museum which is filled with new and vintage toys, dolls, rocking horses and the coolest moving toys that were so fancy I would probably never let my children play with them.

img_2571

Lucy takes in La Lucha Libre at La Esquina

img_2561

Leo plays with a very cool dinosaur racing toy I wanted to take home

img_2549

Handmade dolls and our little doll

San Miguel is known for it’s food scene. We didn’t get to partake in many of the highly reviewed restaurants because our children are pretty terribly behaved around dinner time. We did have a lovely meal on the terrace at La Posadita, which has a a beautiful view of La Parroquia.  They also had a spinach and cheese burrito appetizer which was the perfect dinner for the kids, likely the only vegetables they ate the entire trip.

img_2647

Carla and Lucy at La Posadita

Lenny and I were able to sneak away for a little shopping and lunch one afternoon and we tried Jacinto 1930 which we really enjoyed. The menu is sort of a Mexican fusion concept, or at least I think it was… I thought I knew a lot of food words in Spanish until I looked at their menu. We both ordered yummy spicy tequila cocktails and shared a composed salad and their version of chilaquiles with burrata which was exceptionally tasty.

The design of the space is beautiful,  I love the contrast of the bold ceramic tiles and modern copper fixtures set in a the historic building which was designed to look stripped down to its supporting walls. Jacinto 1930 is part of a larger complex which holds a food hall, pastry shop, clothing store, book shop, art gallery, and wine and cocktail tasting rooms. One of the more upscale complexes in San Miguel.

img_2672-1

Jacinto 1930 Entrance

We took the kids to Hecho in Mexico for dinner the first night. The casual restaurant has an outdoor courtyard and a diner-esque menu, i.e. a little bit of everything from Mexican to burgers and all in HUGE portions.  Leo and Lucy were squirming in their seats so I didn’t have a chance to take any photos but I stayed and got the check while Lenny and Carla took the kids down the street for ice cream and it was 600 pesos! That’s about 33 dollars for for three adults and two kids to have dinner and drinks- and yes, some of the drinks were beers. No wonder expats love this place.

We ate a lot of meals (and by meals I mean chips and guacamole) at the Rosewood where the food was excellent but I really wish that we were able to try more places in SMA.

Other than the occasional (or frequent, depending on how to you look at it…) toddler tantrum, it was a great vacation. There is so much to do (and eat) in SMA that I am sure we missed a ton of things in the five days that we were there. I can’t wait to go back and explore more.

xo, Lisa

 

 

 

freaking out is a normal response to childhood illness…

I am no stranger to tense situations,  I’ve had high-stress jobs in events and entertainment. But nothing prepared me for the stress of dealing with a sick baby. When my kids get really sick I tend to PANIC.

Lucy had a really rough time last week. She started coughing on Monday night and it didn’t sound good. When we went in to check on her we could hear her breathing and sleeping peacefully. Tuesday morning, when I turned on the light, it was a totally different story. There was vomit everywhere; all over her sheets, bed and hair. I jumped into action, my heart rate went up to about 170 beats per minute and I started scrambling like the big one was coming and I had two minutes to get my baby out of the house. Leo was so confused as I rushed around at warp speed. I paged Lenny at the gym (yes, you can still do things like that in 2016), I whisked my little girl into the bath dressed her and rushed to the Emergency Room and Children’s Hospital.

There she proceeded to throw up all over me and herself again. My poor little girl looked so stunned and started bawling. I have never seen a staff less phased by anything, they handed me a barf bag then continued chatting about their co-workers party. I wanted to scream, “DON’T YOU SEE MY BABY IS SUFFERING?!?!?!” But instead I went on wrapping Lucy’s vomit soaked dress in my vomit soaked sweatshirt and getting her changed.

The nurse took a look at her. No temperature. A little bit of a high heart rate because she was dehydrated. The doctor took a look at her and listened to her cough. He wasn’t sure, but she might have croup. So another nurse came in and gave her some syrupy cough medicine. Meanwhile, I am still FREAKING OUT. My sassy-girl Lucy was very cuddly and quiet, which are traits she rarely expresses. They sent us home with a “good luck,” “lots of hand-washing” directive and a vague diagnosis. Internally, I am thinking, “you should probably just admit my baby because this is really scary and I am freaking out.” But I knew I would look crazy if I did that, so put Lucy back in her car seat and headed home.

She proceeded to vomit the syrupy cough medicine all over the car seat and start wailing again as we pulled into the driveway. Are you sick of hearing about vomit yet? I had our babysitter come over and hold her while she slept so I could begin the multi-step process of sanitizing the house and car. I ordered pedialyte and saltines from Amazon PrimeNOW which cost about fifty dollars, what was I thinking?!?

When I was done with that round of freaking out, I resumed the holding and snuggling and pretty much did that (with a few mini episodes of sickness and more freaking out) until Friday when she started eating and drinking a little and acting like her normal sassy self. IMG_1531 (1)I am calling this the collage of sadness, my poor sick girl.

I know this was only the flu and there are far worse illnesses for a child to have. My panic is totally irrational. Every mother goes through it; perhaps if you have medical training, you are spared from the freaking out.  There is just nothing worse that your little one being sick. Your heart breaks every time they look at you with their little sad eyes and there is nothing you can do for them except be there.

Though she is a little lighter, Lucy is almost back to her normal sassy-self. Here’s a photo to prove that she still remembers how to scream at me when she doesn’t get her way…

IMG_1551I hope all of you Mamas are getting through this cold and flu season! And if your little one is sick, it’s OK to freak out a little (or a lot).

xo, Lisa

#Resolutions

BEST OF 2015

Look at my my best of 2015 collage! What great memories. This past year was a whirlwind.  I felt like I kept saying to myself, “How is it already March?” then April, then May… now 2016 is here! Where does the time go! 2015 was a blur, so many good times but also so much stress and change.  I dealt with some major health issues, we went from being a family with a toddler and a baby to a family with two toddlers, I went back to school, Lenny changed jobs… a lot happened. With everything going on, the big picture stuff got a little lost.  This year Lenny and I sat down and went over our resolutions for the new year, here are some of our family and personal goals for 2016.

FOR THE FAMILY

  1. SUNDAY FAMILY DAY- Between errands, birthday parties, haircuts, playdates, visits from family, etc. The weekends end up being like a game of tennis, passing the kids back and forth, and we rarely do something as a family with just the four of us.  We are going to try to make this a weekly thing from now on.  It may be something as easy as a trip to the park or a beach day, but we are going to make it happen.
  2. PLANT A GARDEN- If you know me, you’re probably laughing.  I am a perpetual killer of tomato plants. We can barely keep our small patch of lawn alive in the backyard. But we are going to do it!  I think with a little determination and a drip irrigation system we can pull this off. I am not talking about an acre of land or anything… just utilizing the side of our yard to grown some herbs, zucchini, carrots and (with any luck) a tomato plant or two. My hope is that if Leo is involved in growing his veggies, he may actually eat more of them.  It’s also a great way to bring down our family’s carbon footprint.
  3. DO A REAL SPRING CLEANING- No cabinet or drawer left unturned! I’ve already started on this one and it feels great. Goodwill, our stuff in coming to you… and there is going to be A LOT of it!

FOR THE KIDS

  1. CUT BACK ON TELEVISION- No television Monday-Thursday for the kids! I am totally guilty of using TV as a crutch while I am trying to get dinner on the table and 15 minutes turns into 30 which turns into 45… No more! We still do a family movie Friday and Leo can watch a show or two on the weekend. Tomorrow begins our first week of this. Wish us luck!

FOR MYSELF

  1. MAKE TIME TO WRITE AND READ- Writing this blog, fiction and or even emails to friends hasn’t been enough of a priority over the last year. This year I am going to literally carve out time of every week to do this.
  2. TRY NEW PLANT-BASED RECIPES- Since our family has gone vegetarian, we have been in kind of a pizza rut.  I need to add some new things into the dinner repertoire. I am doing a vegan month in January (the kids and Lenny are not).  I did this on my own fruition but apparently it’s a real thing. I signed up for The Purple Carrot, which is like a the plant-based Blue Apron for some help in this department, and I have been researching in cookbooks and on Pinterest as well and there is a ton of stuff that I am excited to try! I figure if I make 20 new dinners this month a few of them are bound to be hits that can be added to the monthly menu.
  3. GO TO BED EARLIER- I need to face reality and realized that my kids aren’t going to miraculously start sleeping in anytime soon. My little alarm clocks are going to go off between 6 or 6:30 weather I like it or not so I have to be in bed by 10PM, especially on school nights.

Wow, that seems like a lot (and there are some that I am not even sharing here). Maybe putting them all on the internet will help us stick to them. Here’s to an awesome 2016!