Emily Kaye Lazzaro

Amusing anecdotes almost entirely about myself.

The Best Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day can be a real pain in the ass. Somebody’s expectations are too high. Somebody else thinks they are in a relationship with someone who is very cool and blasé about Hallmark holidays, but that somebody is wrong. Or maybe somebody is single and truly, fuck Valentine’s Day when you’re single. You can have all the lady hang outs and bottles of wine you want, but the only thing that will make you feel better is the dawn of February 15th. For the most part, in my experience Valentine’s Day has sucked a bag of butts, but there were a few that were okay.

The Best Valentine’s Day When I Was Single

In 2007 I was a senior in college in Boston. On Valentine’s Day there was a terrible snow/ice storm. Classes were cancelled at 3pm. My friends and I could not believe our good fortune. We put on boots and collected at one apartment in the disgusting college ghetto of Ashford Street in Allston, Massachusetts. Since it was Valentine’s Day and we were mostly single and many of us had a penchant for the dramatic, things escalated quickly. My friend Michael had a giant hollow glass boot that he filled with 5 hard ciders (he had to drink cider because he had celiac disease before it was trendy). He clinked the giant glass boot with someone and it instantly shattered, sending 5 hard ciders everywhere. That’s how the night started.

At one point, someone decided to strip down to his boxers and run across the street. In an ice storm. So we all did it, obviously.

After the collective ice storm underpants run, I guess I was drunk enough that I started getting sad that I didn’t have a boyfriend. So I collected a few single lady friends and we went to a bar to score some dudes. It didn’t pan out, but it was fun, I think.

It’s possible that it was not fun at all, in the moment. It’s likely I would have had more fun watching movies and eating brownies with fewer friends and less alcohol. But it was also the last time I spent Valentine’s Day single. As such, it was a necessary rite of passage. You can’t just run across the street in your underwear in an ice storm on Valentine’s Day all the time. It doesn’t make sense when you’re married with a kid. If I tried to pull that shit now, my neighbors would probably notify child services or have me committed. But 2007 was my year to make bad decisions born of alcohol and disappointment.

The Best Valentine’s Day When I Stayed Home

I left my office job in 2011 to write full time and my husband and I started feeling the financial burn a few months after. Valentine’s Day always ends up being expensive and maybe for no reason? What I really want, every year, is a night on the town that involves perfume and a nice meal and a cocktail and probably old-timey dancing, but all that stuff gets really expensive and if it’s only for me, it feels unnecessary and uncalled for. It almost seems like it’s the kind of thing people do to rekindle the spark of their failing marriages. My happy marriage doesn’t need that kind of crap. We are secure in our love for each other.

But whatever, I like that crap.

Anyway it didn’t matter in 2012 because we didn’t have the money to go traipsing around town, drinking champagne out of golden whatevers and eating diamonds. We stayed home, but I tried to make it special. I bought some nice steaks and oysters and wine. And whoops, it cost like $100. And I’m not a chef and actually was a vegetarian for 12 years so I’m still sort of bad at cooking meat and I cooked the steaks poorly and we weren’t even really saving much money at all and no strangers saw me in a cute outfit. What was even the point?

I know there’s a larger question I should be asking myself here, about why I need strangers to see me in a cute outfit, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Related: when watching the Super Bowl this year I kept thinking that it must be so much fun to play in the Super Bowl because of all the bright lights and all the people that are looking at you. Isn’t it fun to learn things about yourself?

Anyway this wasn’t the best Valentine’s Day for me, because I am an extrovert who loves events and change and movement. This was the best Valentine’s Day for my husband who loves home and food and comfort and staying the same. If you are like him, this would be your best Valentine’s Day.

The Best Valentine’s Day When I Went Out

Last year, my husband and I had just come out of a nightmarish series of sad losses in our lives. Having a bunch of terrible things happen to you makes you a little careless with money, so when Valentine’s Day rolled around we made a reservation at the restaurant where my husband proposed five years earlier. I think he was trying to make me happy. We ordered the giant fancy steak for two and it was maybe the best meal of my life. We went to a bar after dinner and played songs on the jukebox. This was my favorite Valentine’s Day and it was so unlike my husband, but he did it for me and I had to ultimately let him convince me that it was what he wanted too.

Sometimes maybe it’s best to just let your significant other do something for you that isn’t their ideal. Maybe that’s the best way to manifest love. Or to even have it end up being something you want because what you want most is for the person you love to be happy. Maybe that’s what Valentine’s Day is about now. Doing something you hate because someone you love wants you to, and that makes you hate it less.

Or maybe the best Valentine’s Day is whatever is best for you: ignoring it entirely or eating brownies and watching movies or getting wasted and running through an ice storm in your panties.

How To Throw the Weirdest, Lamest Super Bowl Party

Step 1: Have a baby. Establish a sleep schedule that is very strict and become terrified to veer from said schedule. Baby must be in bed by 6:30pm. Baby will then awake one to two times after scheduled bedtime and will need to nurse or be rocked to sleep. Be trapped in your house from 6pm until 8pm every night. Perhaps forever.

Step 2: Invite guests. Nobody will come because they know your super bowl party will be very lame and possibly interrupted by a crying baby. Your guest list is now two people: the parents of aforementioned baby. Put on your nursing pajamas because might as well.

Step 3: Make snacks! Since you are still trying to lose pregnancy weight, make healthy snacks. Like a big salad. And that’s it. Maybe some raw almonds, for fun!

Step 4: Drankz. See step 3, make low-calorie drinks. Take a pint glass, fill it with ice, add a splash of weird vodka left over from a party you had 4 years ago, fill the rest of the glass with seltzer from your Soda Stream. Add a slice of lemon, for fun!

Step 5: Fall asleep before halftime.

But seriously, you guys, things are going well over here! I feel like I get being a parent a little bit. Evan is sleeping pretty well (it is terrifying to type that because I am tempting the baby sleep gods) and is a generally happy baby most of the time! His head is really big and we are working on getting better at tummy time. He breastfeeds like a champ but hates bottles with every fiber of his being, so that’s interesting. He laughs when I kiss him or blow raspberries on his belly. So, like, we will have a lame time watching the Super Bowl, but life is pretty okay.

I Had A Baby!

…almost 8 weeks ago.

Sorry to leave you guys hanging! There isn’t a lot of time for blogging.

We are both happy and healthy and he’s currently not napping so I have to go. Oh life! Oh beautiful, painful, exhausting, wonderful life!

Apples Week

Last week was Apples Week, guys.

apples1Look how seasonal.

Growing up in southern Connecticut meant I did a lot of cute, outdoorsy things with my family, but without me ever knowing it, these cute, outdoorsy trips were always very carefully curated for city people. We lived in a big commuter area outside New York City and all the pumpkin patches and apple farms were actually just marketed “country day trips” for people from New York to come and do something with their city families. The apples were more expensive if you picked them yourself. Same thing with Christmas trees.

Which, I realize now, is bullshit.

Last weekend Billy and I drove about an hour outside Boston to Pepperell, Mass, to Kimball Fruit Farm, an actual, real farm, with real fruits and vegetables that they grow and sell to humans. Kimball always has the best booths at the farmer’s markets in Somerville and Cambridge, so I was excited to go straight to the horse’s mouth. Since they’re organic (or low spray or whatever, I don’t really care that much about organic so I don’t really know?) their food is usually pretty expensive at the farmer’s market. I think apples tend to go for $3 a pound. But if you go to the farm and pick them yourself, saving the farm the cost of having somebody else pick them and drive them down to the market, it only costs $1.25 a pound for apples. This is how it should be!

My mom told me once that when she was a kid, growing up in Worcester, she would go apple picking with her family because it was a way to save money. That finally makes sense to me. There was something so much more authentic to our apple picking trip that weekend than what I’m used to. It was refreshing.

And also the apples taste amazing.

apples5Look at the color of these fucking apples. I want lipstick that color.

So we bought something like 12 pounds of apples and ate a million apples last week. We’re actually still eating them. I had one for breakfast and there are four or five left. I even used a bunch of them to make this pie:

apples2Isn’t it beautiful? It took forever.

I think part of my nesting instinct involves baking a lot. I want to bake all day long.

apples3This is the first piece so it’s a little wonky, but oh man. So many apples in this pie! 5 pounds of apples, to be exact. And the crust was amazing, all butter, very… buttery. The recipe is from a Cooks Illustrated baking cookbook my father-in-law gave me because he doesn’t bake much. Thanks Moe! Also there isn’t a ton of sugar in it, so it mostly tasted like apples and butter, which is a great combination.

apples4Look how many apples! So many apples.

Anyway apple week was great, and it’s not even really over because I think I’m going to use the last two apples to make this apple pear salted caramel tart from Fine Cooking.

I am physically unable to stop baking.

This baby better get born soon, or the city of Somerville is going to run out of butter and flour and sugar and Billy is going to gain 85 pounds.


37 Weeks

37 weeksDo you know what 37 weeks is? 37 weeks is considered FULL TERM, B-WORDS. The baby can come at any time. But he will probably wait until my induction, because I feel like that’s how these things go. But there’s no way to know!

I’m doing a lot of vacuuming and laundry and straightening of items. Basically, nesting is hitting me like a ton of bricks, which means my apartment looks great all the time, as though I’m getting it ready for a design magazine photographer to stop by any second. Everything must be PERFECT. ALWAYS.

In this scenario the baby is a design magazine photographer, which actually might be my dream job for him.

I think it’s safe to say the baby has dropped, because I can eat a lot more and breathe a lot easier now. I still have heartburn, but it’s not as bad as it was. Other symptom updates: sciatica is still the worst but I’m sort of getting used to it, like every time I stand up I yell and wince for ten seconds, then continue about my day. My hips are sore but not like in the second trimester when they were doing all that loosening and moving around. My carpal tunnel syndrome is worse, I think. I get really tired and I’m sleeping terribly at night for various reasons. Oh man, and my hormones.

My hormones have reached the level of cliche. I cry a lot, but it’s not for the same reasons as before. Earlier in this pregnancy I was crying about how much I hated being pregnant and how I wanted time to move faster and about how my hips hurt and it seemed like it was for no good reason and how I was losing my identity. Now I cry when I hear stories about children or animals, happy or sad, anything. I am doing a lot of happy crying, too.

This might be because I watched the episode of Parks and Recreation when Ann and Chris move away from Pawnee, and they drive off and that Tom Petty song plays, but I was feeling especially emotional this morning and I cried for more time than was necessary about an old episode of a TV show that I have watched like 4 times in the past 6 months. And then I was like “I AM SO LUCKY TO BE ALIVE AND TO HAVE ALMOST EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER WANTED” and then I hugged my animals to a degree that made them uncomfortable.

But snark aside, I feel very lucky today. Sometimes things are hard, but today things are great and it’s only going to get better.

I’m ready.


In Case You Missed It

I’ve written a bunch of stuff for the internet lately! Since I am inconsistent about posting them, I’m going to collect them all here periodically. If you haven’t read them already, you can read them by clicking the links below (helpful information for people who have never used an internet website before).

The Washington Post

The lies my mom, TV and just about everyone else told me about being pregnant

Your 20s are supposed to be glorious. In reality, they’re the worst.

Let’s be honest: the first day of school is really all about the outfits

The Huffington Post

6 Things I Learned from Having 3 Miscarriages

The Best 5 Things I Learned From My Dad

The Billfold

Our Attempt at a $20-a-day Budget

How to Work as an Extra and Regret Doing It

Favorite Foods Week

Last week was Favorite Foods Week and you guys, you should all do this. Maybe for your birthday week! I highly recommend it, though it does make it a little harder to stick to your strict, self-imposed budget. So what did I eat for Favorite Foods Week? I ate a lot of stuff.

1. Everything Bagel

blog1Bingo. Done. I thought I was going to have to drive to Bagel World in Redding to get this, but then out of the blue my friend Alyssa invited me and Billy over for breakfast so her husband (who has an obsessive engineer-y streak to him – why do I know so many obsessive, engineer-y types?) could show off his latest baking achievement: bagels. Homemade bagels, what?! They were so good, I had three, I think.

2. Fennel Sausage and Pickled Banana Pepper Pizza from A4 in Somerville

blog2Yum. This pizza place has one of those giant brick ovens that makes the crust all perfect and a little burny but chewy, ugh, come on. So of course I ate this whole pizza and then had the worst indigestion of my life. Whatever. #worthit

3. Chinese Food from Shanghai Gate in Allston


Specifically, this is Shanghai fish slices, sauteed rice cakes, and garlic string beans. If you know what’s good for you, you will get yourself to this place. It’s weird and delightful. Rice cakes are the globby things on the top right that look like marshmallows. They’re made of rice! They’re like little food pillows of happiness. And the Shanghai fish slices look and sound terrifying but are, in fact, the best. And they include a bunch of weird kinds of mushrooms! And the string beans are an obvious choice.

4. Ice Cream Sundae


Oops, I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture for Favorite Foods Week. This was a custom sundae I ordered from a place that delivers ice cream sundaes, it’s run by frat boys, obviously. It’s mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate fudge, chopped up Twix bars, and homemade whipped cream. Ughghgh.

5. Wedge Salad


I’m not sure what it is about a wedge salad, but it just does it for me. This picture is terrible because we were in a real restaurant with pleasant, dim mood lighting, but you know what you’re looking at. Iceberg lettuce (crunchy and delicious!), blue cheese dressing, bacon, tomatoes, onions. It was everything I hoped it would be.

6. Chicken Burrito from Taco Loco in East Somerville

blog6Please ignore the doofy face I’m making in this picture. Billy insisted on taking pictures of me eating the burrito and this is, in fact, the least embarrassing one of the series. And in retrospect, there wasn’t really a way to make the burrito look appetizing in a picture so whatever, here is a picture of me telling Billy not to take a picture of me while eating a burrito. Trust me, it’s a good burrito. It’s possible the people who run this establishment are actually Mexican. But also I think they’re from El Salvador. We don’t have a lot of Mexicans in Boston. It’s tough to get a good burrito, much less a taco. So this place is a gem.

And that’s that! I ate a lot of great food and spent too much money on it but WHATEVER I’M SO PREGNANT, FUCK MY BUDGET.

We are currently in Apples week so I have to go eat a slice of pie right now that took me seriously 4 hours to make because I followed a Cooks Illustrated recipe because I am a masochist of a baker.


36 Weeks

photo (100)Oh hey.

So 36 weeks pregnant, you guys. Fun times. Fun timessss. It’s fun. It is fun.

I’m very tired. I haven’t made the bed yet and it’s 2pm. Also I haven’t done the dishes from dinner last night. There is, in fact, a long list of things I’d like to do that I feel unable to do. The irony of the nesting instinct is that it means I really want to do a lot of cleaning and straightening and preparing type things but I do not have the energy to do them. So I do a lot of grumbling at Billy to do things and he slams a lot of doors. Or I slam the doors, if I have the energy. Or, oh this was good, I saw a laundry basket that he left peaking out a couple of inches from under the bed and, filled with rage, I kicked the basket further under the bed, injuring my ankle in the process.

I’m telling myself this type of behavior is hormonal, but it’s possible this is just what I’m like.

I don’t know, I’m really tired.

Looks like the induction is coming in 2 or 3 weeks, pretty much. I’m definitely not going to have the crunchy, natural birth I fantasized about this go round, but the good thing is I won’t have to sit around wishing and hoping for too long. Nature is great, but you know what is also great? Not being pregnant anymore.

This week was pretty okay, though, honestly. It was Favorite Foods Week (TM), which I recommend to everyone, non-pregnants included. It might even be better for non-pregnants because your stomachs don’t freak out when you eat too much fennel sausage and banana peppers and ice cream, like mine does now. There are a few pregnancy things I would recommend to non-pregnant people, actually. I will feature these items in an upcoming post!

Also I’m going to give Favorite Foods Week (TM) the full post it deserves, which I can’t write right now because, like I said, I’m too fucking tired.

But yes, this week was fun. I had lots of work things, which made me tired, but I also got a lot done. I cheered for Billy and Daisy, who finished her first 5K with a silver medal (she is a dog and it is silly that Billy and I did this, but whatever), Billy and I went apple picking, I did a lot of kitten snuggling. All in all, a productive week.

The baby is doing a new thing where he stretches his legs out and puts his feet in my ribs, which is horrible. However, he is in the perfect position for birth, so hooray! There are so few things we can control in pregnancy/life, so it’s nice when things like that just work themselves out. He is consistently doing great in NSTs (non-stress tests, basically external fetal monitoring done by my OB in the office) and my doctor believes he would be perfect if born right now (HINT. COME OUT.) so that’s also great.

I went to Target this week and bought a bunch of final nursery items. The room is almost done, which makes me very happy and quiets my completionist demons. It’s not totally done though, which means the worst demons are whispering in my ear about getting book shelves and hanging things on the wall. But it will get done. Also the baby doesn’t care if my embroideries are hanging on the wall when he is born, he will be a soft lump who can barely see.

In conclusion, I love you baby, but get your foot out of my ribs please and thank you.

35 Weeks

photo (98)This is what an 8 months pregnant woman looks like.

How are you guys doing, for a change? Are you good? You seem good. You’re excited that it’s starting to feel like fall. It’s getting to be hoodie weather, which is great. Some of you have been picking apples, that seems really fun! Some of you got married recently! Congratulations for that, that also seems like it was fun.

Things here are fine. Billy did a 200 mile relay race this weekend (he ran 16 miles over 24 hours or something, he’s in great shape, good for him) so he asked my mom to come up and take care of me for a couple days, which was odd if only in that I am used to hosting people like my mom to come stay with me by, for example, making the bed for her and cooking meals and offering her things like glasses of water. This time she made the bed for me, cooked me a bunch of meals, and walked my dog a lot of times. It’s weird letting people take care of me sometimes. But it’s become necessary. I’m trying to embrace it.

Something that has been happening this week is this sort of bizarre, torturous loop of misery where I eat something or drink a sip of water and then lie down on my side on the couch to rest my hips/back. The lying down causes heartburn/indigestion, so I sit up. Sitting up hurts my hips/back. And on and on forever. It got so bad last night when I went to bed that the heartburn turned into acid reflux, which, if you’ve never had acid reflux, that’s when you barf without barfing, basically. It’s like having gas but not being able to fart, except with barf. If that makes sense. It’s horrible! So I ended up going to the bathroom for the 17th time, banging my head lightly against the door for a minute to organize my thoughts and make a plan of action, googled it on my phone, and then went back to bed and propped myself up in order to limit the stomach acid coming into my esophagus, but I can’t lie on my back, so propping myself up means propping up my side and putting a good deal of pressure on my hips. Whatever, I fell asleep and it was fine. Not great but I’m not dead. I kept saying to Billy “indigestion can’t kill me, right? I won’t die from this?” Just to confirm.

I think the acid reflux was caused by a questionable choice of dinner. Sunday marked the start of Favorite Foods Week (TM). We got pizza from A4 in Somerville, an amazing pizza place that I love deeply. I had the homemade fennel sausage and homepickled banana peppers pizza which, SHOCK OF THE CENTURY, caused a bit of indigestion. Also I ate the whole 12 inch pizza, along with a kale salad and like 7 Halloween Oreos (the best of the novelty Oreos). My stomach can’t actually fit that much food in it anymore, turns out. Like it’s already after 11am and today I’ve had one small muffin and a peach so far and I’m good to go. This was not the case in the rest of this pregnancy, when I was an insatiable food monster, but the baby has taken up all the spare room in my torso at this point, so I can’t eat like I’ve become accustomed. No room for food. If I force it, it gets pushed back up in the form of very unsatisfying barf-mouth.

Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle.

No, it kind of is, though.


34 Weeks

photo (93)


Hey you guys. I am pregnant. Did you know that? I have been pregnant for what feels like my entire life and I’m ready for it to be over.

This week was freezer meals week and that was a big fucking mistake. I have this habit of feeling like if I establish something, or even just say to myself, “oh I’m going to do whatever thing” then I have to do it or I’m a failure or a liar. This happened to me if I decided some distance I was going to run, back when I still did that. If I say, to myself, in my own head, “I’m going to run 7 miles today” and then I fall in the first mile and rip my pants and am bleeding from the elbow, I will still do the 7 miles because I’m insane and I made some weird OCD contract with myself. That was what happened with freezer meals week.

It was really hot. It was not a good week to stand over a hot stove cooking 5 meals to freeze. But I did it. Because there is something wrong with me.

I made chili, chicken/rice/vegetable casserole, minestrone soup, beef stew, and sausage bean soup. I didn’t follow all those recipes to the letter. Like the chili recipe calls for turkey but my grocery store only had beef so it became beef chili. I didn’t put the pasta in the minestrone, I’m going to add it when I reheat it so the pasta doesn’t get all mushy. I used rutabaga instead of purple top turnips in the beef stew, and I couldn’t find a ham bone so I used sweet Italian pork sausage in the bean soup. Whatever, though, cooking is great because you can kind of do whatever you want.

But cooking is horrible when it’s 90 degrees out with 100% humidity and sweat is dripping from your butt to your heels (This is a horrible thing that happens to humans, why have we not evolved out of butt/leg sweat? Let’s get on that, Science.). On Saturday I made the last two meals I had planned and I had two emotional breakdowns in which I told Billy that I am starting to resent the baby and I yelled at my mom on the phone for asking how the baby is, because THE BABY IS FINE, HE IS IN THE BEST PLACE EVER, MY DELIGHTFUL WOMB, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MY SCIATICA IS DOING? BECAUSE IT’S TERRIBLE.

I feel like if this were a more widely-read blog I would get a lot of mean comments for admitting that I resent the baby who lives inside me, but the only people who read this blog are my aunts, Billy’s coworkers, and my friends from high school so I think I’m all set. Fuck this baby.

Not really, we saw him on an ultrasound today and he’s the best. I’m just grumpy.

Fuck sciatica, is more accurate.

Anyway, here are some pictures of my freezer meals nightmare.

photo (94)I thought these beans looked so pretty. It’s a 16-bean mix that became the sausage bean soup. So many kinds of beans!

photo (95)This became the chicken/rice/vegetable casserole. I think that one is going to be especially delicious because it’s full of wholesome things like brown rice and broccoli, in addition to a shit ton of sour cream and cheese. It was really hard to make because my fingers don’t work because of carpal tunnel syndrome and grating cheese with fucked up fingers is difficult and dangerous. Oh also, at some point I cut off one of my fingernails while I was chopping vegetables. If you get the bite with fingernail in it, you win a prize.

photo (97)I’m sure I’ll appreciate having all this stuff in a few weeks, but it was a goddamn hassle making it happen.

One thing that is not a goddamn hassle is this kitten that lives in my house now. Whoops!

photo (96)Yeah so we have a kitten now. Her name is Petunia and we love her even though she is very playful and we are used to a dog that sleeps all day long. I didn’t mention this earlier because I’m afraid of people being judgmental, but I already said fuck my baby in this post so that ship has pretty much sailed.

In other news, my doctor told me today that since I have high blood pressure (which is very well controlled with medication right now, but even so) they won’t let me go past 39 weeks. So baby and I effectively have a new due date of October 13th. Hooray! Pregnancy complications for the win! GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME.

I used to be afraid of having an induction but I am not afraid of that anymore. I am afraid of having a baby inside me for any longer than absolutely fucking necessary. According to an ultrasound measurement today, the baby already weighs as much as two and a half Petunias. Let’s not let this thing get out of control.