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Taco Bell Belly – You Have Met Your Match

Stain Fighting Power

Since I am now surrounded by all men I have noticed some striking differences in how men and women remember time.  Women, for instance, can tell you the major events of their lives by how much they weigh.  For example, I was 125 lbs., when I graduated high school.  I was 145 lbs. when I was dating So and So.  I was 160 lbs. after So and So broke up with me.  I was 150 lbs. at my friend’s wedding….I was 155lbs. at my friend’s second wedding.  Women can tell you their EXACT weight corresponding to any event in their lives.  For men it is not their weight, but their POOP!   They remember life’s events by the size and distinguishing characteristics of their craps.

Recently my step-sons were talking about a trip they had taken and they were having a hard time recalling the details…”remember we went waterskiing…no”, “remember the people camping next to us had that really cool dog with three legs and only one eye….no”,  remember I took that really big crap that wrapped around the toilet and then we took a picture of it to put on the internet…OH YEAH…that was a fun trip!”  One crap memory and it all came back like yesterday.  Men can use their poops as their emotional compass as well.  I once had a boyfriend that thought he could predict how well he was going to do on a test by the kind of poop he had in the morning.  “Oh no, not a good sign, it was just a pebble, looks like I’ll be getting a C+.”  Ask my boys about our road trip to Seattle this summer and they can tell you details of every dump across three states.

Which brings me to the next area of discussion, as the laundress of the house and viewer of many a skid row, I wanted to share with you my stain fighting combination that I think will combat any back door deliveries your husbands and sons might leave behind.  I have had great luck with the Clorox Bleach Pen and Spray and Wash’s MAX Resolve Power.  They have been my friend in the laundry room.  So let those boys eat cake, Taco Bell, curry…you are covered.  The men will always carry their memories with them, at least these products will help you remove those memories from their underpants.

*I did not receive a product sample or compensation for this post.  The views expressed here are my own.

$28.00 dollars make you hollar!

The bomb!!

Click for Tokyo Milk Perfume in Cherry Bomb

Ladies, run don’t walk to your computers and order this perfume.   I love it, triple heart loves it!!  My Pilates instructor gave me this little gem as a Christmas present and I am telling you the scent and price are fantastic.  Only $28.00 dollars and you can have a scent that is different than anything going on out there.  It smells rich, yet light, with hints of powder (no worries it is NOT BABY POWDERY) with subtle tones of chocolate and cherry.   At least that is how it smells to me. Really anything that doesn’t smell like bad diaper smells good to me, but this perfume really is exceptional.  Makes a great gift as well.   Happy perfuming!

*I did not receive a product sample or compensation for this post.  The views expressed here are my own.

Mama Feels Bad

There are many combinations that seem to go hand in hand.  Chips and guacomole, hot dogs and ketchup, to name a few. 

One combination that is not as fluid…knee surgery and a one year old baby that can walk. 

Oh my gosh, these last two weeks have been a struggle.  I am so frustrated and feel like I can’t do anything.  I know I had to get the surgery, my knee was killing me and actually I had fallen several times when my knee just gave out, but the healing process is very slow and my son is very fast.  I of course feel guilty.  MOTHER GUILT!  Guilty that I can’t play with Lucas like I used to, guilty that we can’t go on long walks, guilty that I can’t be as active with my step-sons, guilty that we have hired someone to come in and help take care of Lucas. The nanny is great and Lucas loves her, but I feel terrible that I can’t do it all myself.  I feel like all I do is say,

“Do you mind if…”

“Can you please…”

“Will you do me a favor by…”

“I’m sorry to ask, but…”

 I am so used to doing everything for others that it is very difficult to be dependent.  When I went back to Doctor Hottie to have my knee drained (it is a fun as it sounds), the nurse took one look at me and said, “you have Mother guilt.”  How did she know?  I laughed because I was just talking to our nanny saying the same thing.  The nurse said she has it too, no matter what she does, all mothers do.  I was somewhat comforted.  Comfort in guilty numbers.  Regardless I am healing slowly and doing to best I can to make this time as easy on Lucas, and the rest of the family as possible.  Besides being a little too delighted that I can no longer catch him when he puts something in his mouth, I don’t think Lucas knows the difference.  

My step-sons are even more impatient with the healing than I am.  They look at my knee like they are waiting for water to boil.  Like at any moment I will throw the crutches to the side, announce that I am better, and immediately take us all skiing.  It is funny.  Every time I see them they ask, “are you healed yet?”  “How much longer till you can go bike riding with us?”  “This is the last surgery right?”  I won’t even go into how I broke my arm mountain bike riding with Harrison three months after Lucas was born.  Somewhere in my heart I think I am a twelve-year-old boy.  The boys have been great about it all though, from “lady area” surgery to knee surgery, they wait their best to get me back outside with them.  They ask very matter of factly, your “lady area” is better right…and now your knee will be better soon…right?”  Right I tell them all, I just haven’t told them that instead of Tae Kwon Do, mountain biking, and skiing, we will all be a family of swimmers and knitters, my body can’t take any more family fun.

Three Hours In Heaven

Oh Happy Days!

Oh Happy Days!

The staff was attentive and knowledgeable.  The accommodations were relaxing and clean.  The atmosphere calm and quiet.  You would think I am talking about the latest plush spa getaway, but as a busy Mom the best I can do is the new surgery center for Kaiser Medical Center.  Wow, what a place.

I finally did it.  I had surgery on my right knee.  My meniscus desperately needed repairing.  It had been torn to shreds after falling in heels during a restaurant safety meeting that I was leading (note to others NEVER wear heals when working in a restaurant or leading a safety meeting).  I then followed that injury up with some not so fancy footwork during my Tae Kwon Do martial arts workouts.  I would love to say I tore my meniscus street fighting for justice with only my blackbelt and quick thinking to protect me, but I was a white belt with a quick wit and overactive imagination instead.  One that got carried away during class in the not so rough suburbs of Sacramento.

Regardless it was time for the knife, or laser, or cell phone, whatever they use now, the technology is so advanced.  Ettore was on business trip when I scheduled my surgery and my parents watched my baby.  You know what that means, I was ALONE at the hospital.  For some this would be a terrible and sad thing, but we have a two bedroom condo that, along with my two step-sons, we have five people living in!  Not wanting to fall victim to keeping up with the Jones’, I am a big believer in grow where you are planted.   Still I was happy for a little time (and room) to myself.

The sweet nurses kept asking me if I was all by myself and my only reply was, “yes, thank God.”  Their confused faces expressed concern, but I was blissfully knee deep in the latest issue of Oprah and I didn’t have it in me to explain that this was actually by choice.   I was happy as a clam to sit there by myself and pour over Oprah with no interruptions, phone calls, poopy diapers, or laundry.  I was in heaven.  The doctor was a hottie (see picture above – you’re welcome) and the nurses brought me ice chips, a warm blanket, and even asked if I needed an extra pillow.  They were going to have to cart me out of there.  I was sad I wasn’t having both knees done.  The only time it got a little uncomfortable was when the nurses (again) felt bad that I was alone and wanted to move me closer to the other patients after they gave me what they considered “bad news”.  My surgery was pushed back an hour.  Music to my ears.  I let out a firm (and bit desperate), “No, please don’t move me”, and I think I might of startled the nurse a bit.  I was almost finished with Oprah’s personal column, “What I Know For Sure” and I couldn’t have that ruined with any, “sooooo what are you in for?” small talk.

Sure enough, three hours after checking in,  the time for my surgey came and my stay at Spa Kaiser ended.  As they rolled me in to the surgery room, the doctor asked if there was any music I prefered to be put to sleep to for my surgery.  I took a deep sigh and muttered Nina Simone.   As I drifted off to sleep, dreaming of my future Tae Kwon Do battles and four inch heels, I smiled knowing it will just be a matter of time…I’ll be back.

Dear Lucas

Proud Mama

Proud Mama

 Happy first birthday baby.  One year ago today I birthed you into the world after carrying you inside my body for 41 weeks.  I loved you through my pregnancy and cherished my growing belly.  It seemed the whole world was celebrating your arrival and I was so touched.  Customers at the bakery, friends, your brothers, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, family, it felt like everyone.  People would toast us at restaurants, strangers would offer congratulations, and other women would cast me knowing glances and smiles as I was soon to join their club.  They knew the joy I was going to be a part of.  The joy of being a Mom. 

I am surprised by how much I worry now.  I worry about your safety, my safety so that I can take care of you.  I worry about the economy, the future of this Earth as a home for you. I worry about people being kind to you.   I worry if I am a good Mom, if you will be a happy boy.

More important than the worry is hope.  I have hope for you.  I have hope that you will not be mesmerized by things, that you see the true value in life.  I hope that you enjoy learning and see the world as your classroom.  We don’t have a large family and I want you to grow up knowing that family comes in all shapes and sizes.  I have hope that like me, your friends become part of your family.  A true friend is a blessing to cherish.

I am your Mother.  I look forward to raising you the best way I know how and enjoying this adventure called life.  You are very loved and I have hope that you carry that in your heart and always know that.  Congratulations Lucas on your first year of life.

Love Mama

Love Daddy

An Ettore's Creation

An Ettore's Original Creation

So excited!

So excited



Ettore has always made the boy’s birthday cakes and the tradition continues with Lucas.  The cake was beautiful and delicious and I was very touched.  Lucas seemed to enjoy it too!  I am still amazed at how quickly time has gone by. I remember thinking I was never going to deliver, that I was going to be pregnant forever!  I am so proud of us individually and as a family.  We aren’t perfect, but we grow every year.

The boys always tease me and call me “Waterworks” because I always get so proud of them and burst out bawling.  If Reilly scores a goal in soccer 911 is immediatley summoned and when I go watch Harrison mountain bike ride they have an ambulance on hand for me, not the riders.  I am afraid to say it, but here come the tears.  Here we are one year later.  We did it!  Happy Birthday Lucas!

Smile Pretty

Happy First Birthday Lucas

 Another valiant attempt at a “normal” family photo, Ravazzzolo style.  Has anyone seen all the party hats?

Zero Months Pregnant

160 lbs.

OK, I DID IT!!!  I posted a picture of my post pregnancy belly and weight.  Freedom!  YEAH!!  This is very liberating.  This is my belly after it gained, then lost 50 pounds during pregnancy, after it lovingly held and protected a baby the size of a Hummer, after it Yogaed, Pilated, and sit uped for an entire year to try and get it to go “back down.”   I have lost all my pregnancy weight, but I have yet to lose my belly.  I have hated my belly, and like a bad prom date, it never got the hint when to leave. 

In 2009 I am commiting to the opposite.  I am going to love my belly, cherish it, and cherish myself in hopes of a healthier, happier body in the New Year.   I have contained the belly behind Spanx, strapped it in with shapers, and furiously held it back with control top hose. Neither my belly or I enjoyed it at all.  I was sad, embarrassed, and frustrated.  Now I am freeing her to be what she is and I encourage you to do the same.  I am not hiding anymore.  Yes, I do want a flatter belly.  Yes, I want to further tighten up my post pregnancy body. 

How is the question.  Weight Watchers?  Surgery?  Who knows.  Didn’t Kate Gosselin get a free tummy tuck after some poor doctor took pity on the woman after she exposed her belly on national television after she delivered six children,at once.  Worked for Kate.  Now I didn’t carry six children at once, but Lucas was still BIG!  Really big.  Just saying.

Call me Kate. 

Can I get the number of that doctor.

“What you talkin’ bout Willis?”


My husband Ettore and I love each other very much.   I think it is because we never have any idea what the other person is talking about.  Ettore has lived all over Europe,  has owned his own successful European bakery and restaurant for over 24 years, and speaks four languages.  I graduated from a top university, worked in the media for years, and even interviewed the president of a country, but together we can’t seem to find our way out of a paper bag or manage to go from point A to point B without needing a Dr. Phil intervention.  For some it is a simple tomato (tomayto) vs. tomato (tomahto), but for us it is more like tomato vs. steak sandwich.  We are nowhere close.

I had to go back to Kaiser Hospital AGAIN.  This time for an upcoming knee surgery, not my vagina.  Even so, there I was AGAIN at Kaiser in my underwear and a paper gown.  When the doctor asked me to lay back and relax I broke out in a cold sweat and locked my knees together.  Understandably I was a bit nervous, thankfully Ettore was kind enough to drive me to my pre-op appointment.  That is where the trouble started.

Both of us knowing our history of miscommunication, when Ettore dropped me off in front of the medical office building we looked directly at each other hoping to avert a catastrophe. 

Me:  “OK Love, here we go. I will be in THAT building on FIRST floor Orthopedics.”

Ettore:  “OK Sweetheart, I got it. That building (points) first floor Orthopedics.”

Me:  “Great Pookie!  Just one more time,  not Ob/Gyn I already had the baby, not Psychiatry, I already see a shrink, not Urology, I give up on trying not to sneeze and pee…Orthopedics on the first floor.”

Ettore:  “Kitty, don’t worry I will be there when you get out of your appointment.”

Thirty minutes after my appointment……we have no idea where the other one is.  Forty-five minutes after the appointment Ettore has asked the nurse if I actually had an appointment and I am freezing my ass of wandering the parking garage thinking my husband, who is twenty years older that me, is dead.  We both want to strangle the other.

After frantic phone calls to Ettore and Ettore searching the halls, we bump into each other outside the building.

Ettore:  “Where have you been?”

Me: “I thought you were dead!”

Ettore: “Who’s dead?”

Me:  (Trying not to kill him) “No one, what happened?”

Ettore:  “You tell me, I went to first floor Orthopedics.”

Me: “Impossible, I was at first floor Orthopedics.”

Ettore:  “No, I was there, UP THERE…..on first floor Orthopedics.”

Now, despite the freezing cold, a stillness rests over Ettore and I.  Neither one of us says a word.  Like a detective, I think my suspect just coughed up a nugget big enough to crack the case.  I don’t want to make any sudden moves and have him recant.  My pulse is racing, palms sweaty, I think I got him.  This could be it.

Me:  (S-L-O-W-L-Y) “What…did…you…say?”

Ettore:  (On to me, knowing I might be setting a trap) “I was up there (points up to the second story), first floor Orthopedics.”

Me: Breaking under the pressure. “There is no such thing as UP THERE for the FIRST FLOOR, there might be an OVER THERE, but the FIRST FLOOR IS NEVER UP ANYWHERE BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS ON THE GROUND!”

Ettore:  “Not in Europe.  In Europe the first floor is the ground floor or level floor, and the second floor is the first floor.”

Me:  “What? That makes no sense.”  (It makes a little sense if you think about it long enough) “How long have you been in America?” I ask.  ”We are not in Zurich, Switzerland.  We are in Roseville, California.  Kaiser is a long way from the Alps!”

Ettore:  “Oops, sorry.” 

Shit foiled again.  What do they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  We call a truce, and decide the car is a way better place to be than outside in the cold.  As we walk up the parking garage laughing at our mis-steps I realize that miscommunicating is better than not communicating and in a marriage you love each other no matter what floor you are on.

March of the Moms


Waiting to exhale...

Why?  Why?  Why?  This is the view from the line to get into the women’s restroom at the mall.  You can see the 5-6 women in front of me, what you can’t see are:

  1. The 15 women behind me
  2. The 20 kids next to the 15 women
  3. The 10 women that are already in the bathroom, but still in line.
  4. The “Hawk Mom.” That is my term for the Mom of any boy who wants to use the Men’s room by himself, but is still young enough to be considered a kid. ”Hawk Moms” can be found perched directly outside the Men’s room door yelling their child’s name out every time the door opens.  “Jonny, you o.k. in there?”  “Danny, you almost done, wash your hands and come right out.”  
  5. Death Row.  That is my term for all the men lined up along the wall waiting for the women to finish.  There was never a sadder looking bunch of fellows than the men working the restroom waiting chain gang.  Head down, hands folded, just sad.  Once I thought I saw a tumbleweed blow by.

I guess I was naive, but I expected to see 20 stalls, not THREE, when I rounded the corner into the sweet spot.  The sweet spot is the position in line of next person to get to “go.”  I think that once a woman hits the sweet spot in line she actually has to go less.  You almost don’t want to go to the bathroom, because you don’t want to give the coveted position up.  You earned it.  You try not to smile or gloat, you know one bottle of water and a non-fat soy latte from Starbucks before you finish shopping and you are back in line.

I think men must design malls.  Why, in a two story mall would there only be a three stall bathroom.  A woman in line to use the restroom is a woman in line not spending money.  You would think that some mall designer somewhere, be it man or woman, worked the restroom waiting chain gang and would of helped a brother and sister out. 

So if anyone out there is designing a public bathroom anywhere, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make the world a happier, pee-er place and give us more bathroom stalls.  I promise I’ll flush.


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