Stuff I Use [Baby Edition]: Huggalugs

When it comes to dressing my baby, I like her to be fashionable. But I also like it to be convenient. I guess I'm fashion-comfortable when it comes to style. It's just how I roll. So, at least for now, it's how my kid rolls too.

When Ruby was a teeny baby, it was immediately apparent to us there were some things she totally hated. Swaddling. Oh my word! I tried to swaddle her, and it was like I put her in a straight jacket. She was jerking all around and crying. Never again. Also, she hated having her feet in footed pajamas. It wasn't quite as bad as the swaddling, but it wasn't much better either.

A friend of mine had sent me some of her baby things from when her boys were little, which included two or three pairs of Huggalugs. After trying them out, I was hooked. It was the sleepy time solution for us! We would put our gal in a pair of Huggalugs and a onesie and we were good to go!

Now, I've gifted these for babies, knowing just how great they are for sleeping, and just for fashion in general. I can't recommend them enough. They are cute, and practical and the sales on the website are terrific!!! Also, they stay on well, which can be a major problem with products like these (at least potentially.) Maybe my gal's legs were just perfect, hehe.

Sadly, at this point, Ruby is in between sizes, so we are waiting until she grows a bit to get her in some new Huggaluggs.

By the way, she's looking at her dad in this picture...yep, funny guy that one! 

Anyway, check out Huggalugs on their website. They have amazing sales, and these things are just too darn cute. For boys or girls, they are best! Oh, AND, they just added bonnets. Too bad Ruby already has some super cute ones. Or my wallet would be in serious trouble. 

Lessons From My First Year of Parenthood

Love is a battlefield...and in my first year as a parent, I learned that saying doesn't just apply to romantic love. Being a parent is challenge. Sure, it's a lovely challenge, and there are lots of rewards along the way, but just like anything worth doing, it isn't always going to be easy. I've learned a lot.

And now I'm going to share it with you all because that is my way.

You don't "pick" a style
I never decided to be an attachment parent; in fact, it happened quite by accident. In the 365+ days that I have been a parent, I've read articles where women lament trying to be attachment parents. Either you are, or you aren't. Your style is your style, and it's ingrained in who you are. So just be yourself. There is no style that works better than another, it's all about what's right for you.

A baby's gonna do what a baby's gonna do 
Sleep training. Scheduled feedings. HA! Yea, have fun with those. I swear, a person could make themselves totally freaking nuts trying to get a baby to do something it just doesn't want to do. My daughter, for instance, was never going to sleep in a crib no matter how hard I tried. After a month (or two) of trying, I decided to throw the rule book away and just do what feels right.

Same thing goes for those who would say "you gotta keep the baby awake or they won't sleep later," or "don't let the baby nap after 5:00PM." To you all I say, "poppycock!"

Some people REALLY like babies 
It freaks me the f*ck out when a stranger reaches out and touches my baby's face. Who does that?! I'll tell you who, people who love, love, love them some babies. I learned quickly that wearing my baby in public cut down on weirdo strangers touching my kid without asking. That, and resting bitch face.

Some people REALLY don't like babies 
"To everything turn, turn, turn. There is a season..." And this applies to friends who aren't that into babies (or kids) and/or those who (mistakenly) think that "you've changed" and that having kids is contagious. They will abandon your ass, as in, you won't see them. I think maybe someday they will come when my kid goes college maybe.

The worst part about this, is that people are literally terrified to admit that they don't want to have a relationship with your child. I would be totally down if some of my friends who have abandoned me just came out and said, "Hey, you know, I want to be your friend, but I don't want to hang out with your kid." It would incentivize me to hang out with them sans kid...which, let's be honest, I could totally use!

People will treat you differently
This is not entirely a bad thing, except when it is. See, some people will treat you as though you are more special, and I'm not gonna lie, that feels terrific. But then, on the flip side of that, some people will treat you crappier. It's weird, but some people aren't anymore tolerant of parents than they are of kids. Which is insane because we were all kids when people treat me poorly based on that fact that I'm a parent, it's kind of like they are treating their parents badly (at least, that's how I see it.)

All I can say is God bless the people who treat me the same. (And thanks to those who treat me better!)

Compassion, compassion, compassion
This lesson is two-fold. First of all, I have so much more compassion in general; for my mom, who did a fantastic job raising two children on her own, and for moms, overall. This shizz can be hard. There's a lot to consider, and a lot to contend with. This has made me a better, more kind person, and I am super thankful for the experience.

Also, there is the compassion for my daughter that helps me get through rough days (and nights). Like when she wakes up teething and crying and we're up in the middle of the night. I have to dig deep for compassion in some of those moments, but when I do, I find that I am present as a nurturing parent. Compassion goes a long, long way.

Perspective is subject to change 
When my daughter was born, my perspective changed considerably. It continues to evolve, but it's sure a lot different these days than it was before I had a child. Different things are important to me now. Some things just ain't important at all. And due to my current perspective, I know that not everyone is going to get it. They don't have to.

May: A Month for Self-Love

It's May and you know what that means? It's the month in which we celebrate what I consider to be the foundation of good sex: masturbation!! I've written before about May being National Masturbation Month. And really, self-love is such a great thing, why shouldn't it get its very own month? This year, I'm back in the saddle again (hehe), and I've got some great stats to back up just how popular masturbation really is. So, in honor of May and masturbation and all that jazz, I thought I would share it with all of you.

I know some people can be a bit hush-hush about bedroom practices, and if you are, that's fine. That is, I won't tell anyone you're reading this right now. But me? I'm not that way. I'm pretty open about sex in general, which I think is healthy. You what else is healthy? Orgasms.

Orgasms are a terrific way to release tension, boost your immune system, and let's be honest, it just feels good. And if it feels good, you know what I say: DO IT! Whether it's alone or with a partner--makes no difference to me.

I don't always see self-love as a solo sport. Some people do report, though, that they prefer sex by themselves to sex with a partner. Surprising, but true!!

Personally, I've always found that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. By that I mean if you know what pleases you, it can only enhance your sex life. With a little self-love and some good communication, you are well on your way to lots and lots of pleasure.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there--er, in there?--and give yourself a little love. Because you deserve it. Because it's May. And because it's healthy!

Happy Masturbratory May everyone!


Crab Cake Recipe

I love where I live. We are just a few miles from the beach, and the living is eeeeeasy. One of our friends owns what is arguably the best crab place here at the beach, and so in the summer, we like to take full advantage.

I pride myself on being an expert crab picker. It's an art. I have little fingers, so I can pick faster than anyone I know. That's why I always win crab eating contests against my friends. It's not that I eat faster, but I pick faster.

Whenever we get a bushel of crabs, we eat what we can and then we pick. And pick. And pick.

And then...we freeze our crabs.

And then we enjoy crabs all year long! *Muahahahahahaha*

Which is how this post is coming to you. I've had all winter to perfect my crab cake recipe, and it's damn-near perfect at this point. This recipe is for two, but you can easily double or triple it, depending on the size of your crowd.

Now, I like to cook my cakes in either a cast iron skillet or a Pampered Chef stone.

The key to these? I make them in the morning and let them sit in the fridge all day. I think it makes a better crab cake. And so does my mother-in-law. So that's two people who think that, for what it's worth. It's nice because then they are done and all you have to do is throw them in the oven.

When it comes to baking them, there is flexibility. For instance, when I have something else baking, I can throw them in and let them heat and then crisp them on a low broil. When I have nothing else, I will put them under the low broil exclusively for about 15 minutes. It's all about how crisp you like them on top.

Suffice it to say that the real art is what goes into the cake, not the way you bake.

Billie's Perfect Crab Cakes 

Time: 5 min prep, 15 mins to bake | Serves 2 | Difficulty: Pretty Easy 

You Will Need: 

1 cup of cooked crab meat (hopefully freshly picked!)
1 small egg
1 tablespoon mayo 
1 tablespoon mustard (your choice)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning 
1/4 cup bread crumbs 
Fresh ground pepper 


Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 

Divide into two cakes. 

Place the cakes on a pan or in a small skillet and place them in the fridge. Let them sit a few hours (or all day...I make mine in the morning.) 

When you are ready to bake them, the easiest way to put them under the broiler of your oven, set to low. Keep a good eye on them, but as a general rule, you can expect them to go about 15 minutes (or so) until the top is nice and browned! 

Serve with tartar sauce and lemon! YUM! 

Thanks For Not Having Kids

Dear Childless Friends,

I know you have a lot of pressure on you to procreate, and I'm sorry about that. I can totally relate since my husband and I waited (an astounding) 10 years to have a child together. I understand all too well how obsessed society is with your womb. No, I can't tell you why, but I can apologize just the same.

Allow me to have your back for a moment here.

It's true, there are lots of reasons why having children doesn't make sense. There's the cost, the fact that you'll lose both sleep and autonomy, and then there's all that damned work that goes into raising a little human-- what a time suck! I get it. I don't agree with some who would say you don't know love until you have a child-- there are lots of kinds of love in this world to know. Sure, there is no love like the one you have for your kid, but I hear there is no love like that you have for your cat, that doesn't mean I want one. (Okay, I do have a cat, but he's an outdoor one and I know it's not the same.)

Really when it comes down to it, all arguments considered, there is only ever one reason good enough to push you over the edge when it comes to procreation: because you want to. At least, that's my opinion. All the rest of it is just background noise.

The bottom line is this: I'm glad you don't have kids.

There are lots and lots of kids in this world, and while its a great and beautiful thing to be a parent, there are also lots of other great and beautiful things to be in this world. It's my opinion that society undervalues the non-parents, but I want you to know I don't, and here's why...

People who choose not to become parents pay a lot of taxes and that goes into our schools. You guys work more hours (some of you, anyway) because you can, and sometimes that means holidays so the rest of us can enjoy our families. You guys bring us wary parents presents, booze, and friendship when we are too exhausted to reciprocate. You remind us of our former selves, but also of what we might get back after the trench work of early parenthood is done. You bring your personalities, unscathed by the malaise of children, to the world, and that too is very valuable.

And while a portion of you may eventually change your minds about children, I won't insult you by suggesting you ought to. The choice to be a parent is a deeply personal one, and one that simply isn't all that important to some. You don't have to have a child to live a full life, and that fact isn't lost on me. I don't see your life as any less meaningful than my own. Your time isn't worth any more or less than my own. There are even times when I envy you.

Most of all, I want to tell the non-parents: don't be afraid to walk your path.

I believe your contributions to society are just as valid and important as my own. Please don't feel the need to justify yourself to anyone. In fact, the next time someone asks you about whether or not you're having children and you say no, add in, "and you should thank me!" Because whether society at large wants to acknowledge it or not, we need some people to choose not to be parents.

So here's a "thank you," that you may not get often. Keep on keeping on. (And please, bring me a bottle of wine. I still haven't figured out how to go to the liquor store with my 1 year old.)

With love,

Bossy Italian Wife