Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's giving me a stomachache

Anybody else worried that this hurricane is going to turn out in McCain's favor? He's managing to look awfully Presidential with it... (Plus they don't have to explain why Bush and Cheney aren't there.) Makes me a little tense, this.

Like I say, if it's free, it's for me!

BTW, is giving away Obama buttons free. (Even the shipping's free.) Their goal is to get a million buttons out and about as quickly as possible:

You can get free Obama/Biden bumper stickers too!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

If anybody comes across any cute Obama baby tees, let a mama know.

How delicious is mama's baby food?


Houston, we have our FIRST WORD!

After 9 months of discomfort, 12 hours of back labor, 20 minutes of pushing and 4 months of the blues, my beloved baby Willem's first word is:


"Da-da"? Really kid, "da-da"? He's been gearing up for the past few weeks, calling anything and everything "da-da", but Thursday afternoon after a session of daddy kisses Will grabbed Matt's face and cooed "daaaa". Since then, nothing had been "da-da" except da-da. It's always done with such love, like no one is more wonderful or important than his "da".


He's so proud, seeking out Matt just so he can say it. It's crazy adorable (that tiny falsetto!) but I can't help being a touch miffed. MAMA! MA-MA! Are M's really that much harder than D's? Not any harder than getting up every 40 minutes for four long months, mister!

Still no crawling, just a whole lot of face plants. He's trying so hard... (God knows he's got the thighs for it. I've got to get a picture because seeing is still not believing. Huuuuge.) He's also started a new game we're calling Scary Monster. Will balls his fists up and roars, and Matt screams like a little girl. (That part's very important. If you don't scream then he scrunches up his face and roars until you cooperate. Granted, the "roar" is more like a cute little "arrrrr!" but he gets points for creativity.)

On a completely unrelated note, I came across an old Bobby McFerrin video the other day while hunting for new kiddie music. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is significantly less annoying when you can watch 3 minutes of Bill Irwin clowning.

Friday, August 29, 2008

How about that Obama speech, huh?

Just a mini post today. Someone (I'm not saying who... but it was me) was up way too late watching history being made. The man is a genius and I'm ready to go Barak To The Future but at the risk of being laughed out of the blogosphere, I'm starting to feel a little sorry for Bush. How miserable must it be to hear people - even your fellow Republicans - doing everything they can to disassociate themselves from you? Constantly hearing what a waste your Presidency was, how ANYTHING is better than what we have now.... Believe me, I can find fault with the man but not all of this economic awfulness is his fault, just like the boom during the 90's wasn't all Clinton. (I really feel bad for his poor father who, by all accounts, is a pretty decent man. Did you see the hearing when Bush, Sr. started tearing up when talking how hard it is to be President? Heartbreaking.) I can't imagine what it feels like to have the entire world mocking you. Hell, I barely made it through Junior High.

Anybody else feeling weird about feeling weird?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

That's what I get for being smug.

Remember that big to-do I made over the yesterday's 12 hour sleep? Well this morning he was up before before the rooster crowed and mama was p-u-r-t-u-r-b-e-d. Yesterday's big, fat nighttime sleep led to two seriously booshitty naps which led to a baby who was barely holding it together by 6 pm, so by 4:20 (oy!) he'd slept for 10 hours and was ready to start the day. I pulled him into bed and managed to squeak out another half hour with my patented hum/pat/jiggle combo but I think we're both still feeling a bit woozy. Poor kid - his body's really doing a number on him. I'd read that babies practice new skills in their sleep but I figured they meant mentally. I'll hear crying from the bedroom and find Will up on all fours, still half-asleep. It's bizarre - he'll be completely out and then all of a sudden his body will start to twitch and curl until he's pulled into a crawling position. The guy has no idea how he got there (or why he's awake) which makes for one confused and exhausted little kid. And for some reason whenever he gets really tired he feels an overwhelming need to kiss me. I'll be trying to rock him to sleep and he'll grab me and start rubbing his (wide open) mouth back and forth across my face. It's like being mauled by a small, affectionate drunk.

I hear the dulcet tones of my little angel..

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How about that Hillary speech, huh?

Apparently being 8 months old takes a lot out of a baby because my son, the one who didn't close his eyes for the first four months of his life, slept until 6:45 am. I hauled myself up at the usual time (4:58 am) to get his bottle ready and appease the hungry cats, and then I waited...

6:15. Still sleeping.

I did the dishes. (Still sleeping.) Changed the cat litter. (Still sleeping.) Made coffee, fed the cats, made the bed, grappled with my contacts, checked out Hillary's speech, and fixed some toast. (Still sleeping.) I checked on him to make sure he was still breathing. (STILL SLEEPING!) I danced around - quietly - drunk with excitement. 12 hours! 12 hours! I really wanted to go back to sleep but I was afraid that as soon as my head hit the pillow it would serve as an instantaneous baby-waking device so instead I just wandered around the apartment grinning a lot. And then my husband said something so shocking, so evil and insane, I began to question his place in my life.

"I think we should get him up."

Matt's opinion is that nobody needs more than 12 hours of sleep. I believe that unless there's a fire you let sleeping babies lie. Eventually we compromised and opened Will's door (I may have emptied the diaper pail a little louder than necessary) and he popped right up, happy as a clam. (Who wouldn't be after 12 hours of sleep?) I keep reminding myself that this is just temporary and to enjoy it while it lasts. TRUST ME, I will.

Speaking of enjoying while it lasts, let me just take a moment to mourn the clothes that Will will never wear. I spent the morning digging out Fall weather gear and came across some baby stuff that I'd tucked away until Will was big enough. Unfortunately he seems to have skipped right past the 6-12 monthers and gone straight to 12-18, which means I'm rolling around in a heap of adorable, unworn stuff. Do I keep it in case have another and take up precious storage space or pass it on, knowing that the chances are slim that there'll be more? (But what if?) If we had a basement that'd be one thing but we live in the kind of place where if I buy a new article of clothing something must be donated in its place. Seriously. Space is at a premium, peeps. BUT THERE ARE BUNNY SLIPPERS! Ittybitty socks! Perhaps a few dresses! (I wasn't sure what I was having but if you think that stopped the shop, you don't know me a'tall.) I've tried to narrow it down to just a few favorites but it's hard - the "just-in-cases" keep calling me.

Maybe I'll take pictures and post a tribute to time marching on...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How about that Michelle Obama, huh?

Sorry about the non-posting. Someone - and I'm not saying who - has suddenly started taking booshitty half-hour naps which is barely enough time to cruise Facebook, much less craft some genius. (BTW, what gives with the private profiles, Facebookers? How am I supposed to stalk if you keep thwarting like that?) The poor guy's got another tooth popping through (#3. Mama's little hillbilly!) and he's dying, dying, dyyyyyying to crawl. Between the extra special neediness (stranger anxiety, realizing the world is a big place for a small fry, tooth pain) and the extra short naps, carving out "me" time is elusive these days. Combine that with some super fun self-doubt (I can't write, can't act, are those liver spots on my hands?) and you've got a recipe for hardcore wingeing. (That's the British version of "whining" for you unpretentious types.)

That said, the boy sure is great. And large. Man, this kid is big! I can't leave the house without someone commenting on the giantness of him.

"He's 8 months? Really? Woooooow!"

"Oooh, I can tell your mama's just starving you!"

Or my personal fave:

"He sure is healthy!"

Apparently I have given birth to Paul Bunyon. (If anybody has a lead on a stuffed blue ox, I'm in.) I think the kid's got a perfectly normal, adorable amount of pre-walking chub but it seems that New Yorkers like their babies lean. I'm never quite sure how to respond to people when they say things like that. They're always cooing and patting and loving him up so I don't think they mean ill, but "uh, thanks?" always feels like the wrong answer. It's like when I was pregnant and people would stop to tell me how huge I was. Thanking them for commenting on my heft just didn't fit the bill.

I have no idea where I was going with this. (The convention coverage is distracting.) How do you carve out "me" time, babywranglers?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We really need to babyproof



Oh frabjus day! Not only did we go out to breakfast en famille, not only did we take a jaunt to the pier, not only did I find a surprisingly flattering (flaw masking) dress at Old Navy, but the critter is officially sitting by his ownself! The lad's doing a fair bit of "ownself"ing these days which is either adorable or taxing, depending on caffeine consumption. My days are spent dancing between encouraging his independence and keeping whatever happens to be on the receiving end (apartment/cats/me) reasonably damage-free. Because he so desperately wants to exert control, I decided to try finger food the other day. I diced some ripe farmer's market peaches into fingernail-sized bits (I'm a nellie when it comes to chokables) figuring he'd have a field day ownselfing instead of waiting for mama to shovel it in, but mostly he just got frustrated. It was like watching an arcade claw machine - the poor kid kept grabbing for the prize but coming up bupkus. (Peeled peach bits are really slick.) I tried steamed carrots with equally peeved results. So now I'm just moving to a rougher mush (homemade chunky applesauce, unsmooth green beans) and will move up when he seems ready or as soon as I get bored, whichever comes first.

I figured all this new stuff (sitting, ownselfing, the rev-himself-up-only-to-faceplant pre-crawl) would screw with the sleeping but knock on a freaking forest, he seems okay. In fact, and I can barely type this because I know it's going to change, he has actually started to put himself to sleep. (Can you believe it, because I can't believe it.) And here's why I know those sleep books are bunk: we've done everything absolutely "wrong" - we slept with the kid, we rock him to sleep, we come in every time he cries - and he has still managed to learn how to self-soothe. You will never convince me there is any rhyme or reason for this miraculous change outside of sheer luck (and Will's willingness to do it). All those books put the fear of god into you about not following their rules. Bah! I say. BAH!

Any day now...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thanks to N. for the heads up

I'm thinking this above the crib

Looking for a onesie featuring a squirrel playing the drums? A "Raised By Wolves" baby tee? Stuffed animals you'd never let your kid near, due to their spectacular awesomeness? (Hey, the kid doesn't get to have everything.) Check out ReformSchoolRules, a definite Code Red if you're trying to keep a hold of ye olde purse strings. Imagine the best of Etsy, only easy to navigate.

Keep your mitts off, kid.

They have a great range of prices which appeals to Superthrifts like me but if you're looking to splurge, they can help you with that too. (I'll be splurging on this hilarious $6.50 card, thank you very much.) If you've got a big night coming up, I highly recommend the vintage-y headbands. They don't come cheap, but neither do you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Am I the only person who didn't realize until after Isaac Hayes' death that "Shaft" was named after THAT shaft?

Youngsters, shield your eyes.

Because I am a writer and I like to get paid, I am going out on a limb and trying something new. Something out there. Something out there-out there. I am attempting to write erotica. Which might just be the most embarrassing sentence I have ever written.

I'm not sure what I'm thinking. I've never been a big reader of smut. (Playboy for the articles? Please. There are pubes to be mocked!) Mostly I find it mortifying. Why so serious, lovemakers? You're getting it on with a sexy mechanic behind the Fill 'n Lube! There's comedy in them thar hills! And as someone who's had to think up multiple words for "penis", I can vouch for the goofy. I suspect that my attempt will be a total bomb but if by some crazy twist of fate Bust publishes it in their One-Handed Read (law of attraction, law of attraction) I will never let anyone know. Ever.


Schlong. Rod. Johnson. Cock. Wang. Dick. Bait and Tackle. Golden Phallus. Member. Jimmy. Sausage. Tool... Keep 'em coming! (Ba-da-CHI!)

My preeminent fashion icon is Justin Timberlake 'cause mister's ass is fiiiiine.

I'm constantly looking for freelance writing work (and by "constantly" I mean "eh") so when I saw that a new online style blog was looking for writers, I gravitated. They wanted short, quippy, zingy - all "yeps" in my book. Then I read further:

PinkMemo - New York edition coming this fall! We are looking for a freelance New York Editor to contribute to the memo and daily blog. If you’re a social media savvy fashionista, with a penchant for properly pleasing the most fastidious faficionado, then we delightfully ask you to surreptitiously submit your resume most promptly.

I thought I had a lock on overwritten alliteration but I think I've been trounced. What the hell is this even saying? How do you "surreptitiously" submit your resume? And what's a "faficionado"? (Spellcheck PinkMemo. Spellcheck.) But because I like to write (and to get paid for it) I was able to overcome the awfulness. Until I saw the quiz.

1. Who is your preeminent fashion icon and why? 2. What is your opinion on online media, and who are most influential online media shakers today? 3. Pick, one of these words that best represents you: Fashion, Style, Luxury, and why?

I'm tempted to supply some seriously bullshit answers. Whether that temptation will translate into actual answering remains to be seen. Say, who's YOUR preeminent fashion icon? I'm not saying I'm going to steal your answer, I'm just, you know, saying.

*And what's up with this "Send us your rate" bullshit that all these online jobs are using? How about you tell me how much you're paying and we'll go from there, mmmm'kay?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So not two thumbs up...

I can't believe I let this one slide. Did anyone catch this quote from Matthew McConaughey on his wife's labor experience?

"We found a great rhythm. Contractions started kicking in. I sat there with her, right between her legs. We got tribal on it, we danced to it! I was DJ-ing this Brazilian music. We were jamming! No painkiller, let's go!"

Okay, I have so many things to say, first and foremost being that I would have beat the living shit out of my husband if he'd attempted to "jam" at any point during my 12 hours of back labor. I did not want to dance or get tribal and I definitely didn't want to listen to anyone futzing around with the CD player while I pushed a head the size of a bowling ball down my vaginal canal. All I wanted was a hot bath and a goddamn epidural. More power to his woman for not giving him a big fat kick in the face while he was there between her legs (seriously, I would have killed the man) but if Matt had done anything other than stay supportive and (most importantly) on the other side of the room, he would never have emerged unscathed. (Actually I have no idea what he did during labor. All I remember is paaaaaaain.)

Is there room for that duck in that thing?

My amazing, charming, hardworking husband has landed himself a sweeeet new job at one of the CUNY campuses here. Not only will he be working part-time hours for full-time pay (!!!) but we'll no longer be shelling out $800 a month for health insurance because it's freakin' PROVIDED! I'm sure most of you are staring blankly at the screen wondering what all the hubbub's about but for those of us who have spent the bulk of our lives freelancing because we decided to follow our "dreams" and get a BFA instead of a nice, solid business degree, things like insurance and a 401K (I wonder if he gets a 401K...) are massive. He'll be working nights which sucks but he'll have his days free to write and help me rear the sprout. I'll need a breather considering I'll be doing the lion's share of the nighttime routine - which leads me to my question: How do you bathe an 8-month-old by yourself? We've always bathed with the boy, simply because it was easier. One of us would take the bath with him and the other would be there for the after-bath hand off, eliminating any life-threatening tub slippage. It was definitely a two man job. (He's not sitting up securely enough for me to plop him in the tub by himself, otherwise I'd just do that.) We tried a plastic baby bath when he was little but storage is an issue. I've seen these bath "pods", which are these clunky plastic contraptions that look like you're bathing your baby in a barrel, but they make me feel iffy at best.

Spill it. How'd you bathe your kids? And has anybody used a bath pod?

* I just read the Amazon reviews. Perhaps no.

"This. is. a. bucket. For thirty dollars, you can dunk your baby in this contraption. For free, you can stick them in the toilet because that at least has a rinsing option. This product is ridiculous. Mine was returned immediately and replaced with an actual bath seat. If you frequently stick your baby in a spaghetti pot and find that that is suitable for you and also you HAVE thirty dollars to spend, then get this thing. But, if you are a normal person who doesn't want to stuff their kid in a tiny bucket and fill it up with water and scare the crap out of them, then get something else. This product is nothing more than an overpriced bucket. You could get he same thing at Home Depot for two bucks."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Such a big boy! (Yes you are! Yes you are!)

Sweet baby Dub is edging up on 8 months and the adorableness is almost ludicrous. I take back everything I thought during the first 4 months - this kid's a keeper! There's still no crawling - I try to keep him on the floor as much as possible, which is easier said than done now that he's discovered his cat burgler-like ability to dismantle his foam floor. I also do the whole "toys just out of reach" madness, but instead of figuring out how to move forward on hands and knees he just plops himself down and rolls. Do babies need to watch other babies crawl in order to learn how to do it? I sort of figured that stuff was ingrained. Anyway, no crawling, but pleeeeenty of talking. The child has discovered his voice and it. is. loud. Shrieking, squawking, screaming... He constantly checks in with me to make sure I heard the latest. ("You hear dat, mama? You hear it?") It's amazing to watch someone who has absolutely no self-consciousness. He absolutely lights up when he sees Matt and me (he wiggles, he's so happy) and I just breathe it in, knowing full-well that this sort of enthusiasm will only be pure for a very short time. That said, Michael Phelps has proven that some boys will always love their mamas. I defy you to find a mother who didn't tear up when Michael was interviewed immediately after winning his 8th gold.

“I don’t even know what to feel right now. There’s so much emotion going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.”

It takes balls to be that much of a mama's boy on national television. BTW, just how much tail is Michael Phelps going to get from now on? Even Lindsay Lohan wants to meet him. (Don't let her derail you, Superfish! Don't let her derail you!)

Have I mentioned Will's thighs? The kid's built like a freakin' brick house. I suspect the kid is juicing on the side because that lithe little puma of 4 months is gone daddy gone. Did anybody else get all weepy when they their teensy tiny baby suddenly became a full blown tot? I don't what I'm so hormonal about, he's still totally dumpling-like, but the realization that time is passing fast makes me feel all clenchy.

Anyway, highlights!

- He understands words now. If I say "cat" he looks at Tinkerbell. Same with "mama". He says "dada" all the time but isn't quite putting the word with the fella. Not that Matt isn't trying. Whenever I'm out of the room I hear him coaching. ("Da-da. Daaa-daaaa. Not mama. Da-da.") Mostly Will just blinks at him which is just the way I like it. I didn't carry that child around in my belly for 9 months so that pops could get the glory. (I know that d's come before m's but let me dream...)

- Moving on to bigger and better baby food. He's starting to eat my homemade stuff which pleases me to no end, even though I'm just throwing green beans into the slow cooker. He's a big fan of the sweet even though I'm trying my damndest to get him to enjoy the savory. I'd like to introduce finger foods like tofu and frozen bagels for gnawing but I'm trying to take it slow. Right now I'm easing him out of purees and into chunkier foods. He hasn't moved to a sippy cup yet. I'm not sure when to introduce that. I let him play with it but whenever I put any liquid inside he gags and sputters and glares. I read a lot about Suri Cruise and her attachment to her bottle (at age 2). I'm sure it's best to move to a cup but considering the crazy she must encounter on a daily basis (camera crews, constant travel, her father) I say cut the kid some slack.

- Was anybody else's baby afraid of balls? I bought Will a little ball (this one) thinking he'd enjoy rolling it (and maybe crawling after) but instead the thing terrifies him. He stares at it for a few minutes assessing its fun quotient and then bursts into tears. I've tried playing with it myself, showing him that mama approves, and as long as I'm holding it he's okay but when I roll it he darts off like there's a shark in the water. I think I'll pull it out in a few weeks but between his dislike of getting wet and fear of balls I'm starting to question his Olympic abilities. But he sure is cute!

A quick off-topic

I was reading an article on the Olympic swimmer Dara Torres - you know, the "middle aged" one (I'm having trouble coming to terms with the fact that 41 is middle aged considering I'm mumbles into hand). It was talking about the fact that she spends roughly $100,000 a year on her training staff. (Chiropractor, physical therapist, 2 massage therapists, and a nutritionist.) Now who am I to say what's outrageous (I once paid $21 for a bag of farmer's market microgreens) but $100K doesn't sound like that big a deal as a yearly salary for five people. For the record, that's the starting salary for a well-educated, full-time (and sadly, white) nanny in this city. (Before you hop on a plane, read The Nanny Diaries. I've seen those mommies. That shit was fact.)

Another eye opener: According to the owner of Manhattan Private School Advisors, it's one in 11 that gets into Harvard, and one in 15 that gets into New York's elite pre-schools.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Screw the net. Get the tranquilizers.

I'm totally stealing this question from Moxie because I can't stop thinking about it.

Anonymous writes:

"I have a question that I’ve never really heard discussed anywhere. Why does anyone want to have a second child? Full disclosure—I’ve never been one of those women who desperately want to have kids. Until I married my husband, I would have been fine not having any, and even then I would have been fine adopting. My husband was adopted so he really wanted to have a biological child, and we decided to go for it. I told him then that we’d have one and see how it went. I had a fairly easy pregnancy as pregnancies go, but hated pretty much 95% of those 10 months. I had a home birth, which I’m quite glad about, though it was a long labor. Our son, who is now 24 weeks old, is perfectly healthy, the happiest little boy I’ve ever seen, and really rather easy. I was thrown for a loop over how much time and energy and self-sacrifice was and is required, but not to the point of PPD, and I’ve been seeing a therapist for awhile because I was a bit worried about that. I returned to work at 3 ½ months and am now working full time. I love my son more than anything in the world, but my husband is already talking about Child #2, and I absolutely cannot imagine going through this again, much less going through it again while having Child #1. I was ready for him to get a vasectomy the day after I gave birth. I didn’t like being pregnant, I never want to be this sleep-deprived again, I’ve always needed me-time and am having a hard enough time getting that now. I realized the other day that I might feel a bit differently if I didn’t have to work full time, but there’s no option about that. I’m also amazed at the number of people who automatically assume we’re going to have at least one more child. Part of me thinks that I’m being smart at realizing my limitations. But part of me, of course, feels guilty and selfish. So I guess I’m just wondering, is there anyone else out there that feels this way?"

As hard as it is to believe, I've thought about having another child. (I know, I know. Get the net.) Maybe it's because Will is leaving the "baby" phase or because he went to sleep ALL BY HIMSELF last night or because I have this crazy idea that I'd be able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy the second time around (the net! The net!) but the thought of adding to the family doesn't sound terrible. Being an only child is great (take it from someone who had 4 separate Christmases) but I want Will to grow up without the constant spotlight of parental attention. Plus they'll play together, he'll have someone to help him share the burden when Matt and I get old and crochety, we'll qualify for more financial aid for college... Granted, it's easy to fantasize about something that will probably never come to pass, at least biologically. Being of "advanced maternal age" (is there a less flattering medical assessment?) makes getting knocked up tricky, and it wasn't exactly a walk in the park the first time. Plus we both feel a strong desire to adopt since we were so close to doing it last time. (I found out I was pregnant just hours after we made the appointment with the agency.) But at the same time I can totally see what Anonymous is talking about. Raising kids is tough and anybody who tells you different (or makes you feel crummy for feeling that way) is plain mean. I love my baby beyond beyond but there are days I'd totally trade him for a trip to Bora Bora.

What about you? Any thoughts on having second children? Does having another make you better, faster, stronger or simply tireder? And do they really play together? (I always suspected that "they'll entertain each other" line was bunk, but it sure sounds good.)


Have you ever had one of those dreams that seems to last the entire night? The really elaborate ones with plots and cameos and end credits? Well last night I had one of those. Except that instead of plots and cameos and end credits, it was just me sitting on the tub shaving my bikini line.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Perhaps I should reevaluate that Sasquatch comment

A quick detour from all things bebe to focus on the amazing Michael Phelps. I've been glued to the Olympics (at least the parts with Michael, diving, and gymnastics. Enough with the beach volleyball already) which means a little less Facebooking, but such are the sacrifices one must make for Country. Did you know that Michael has ADD? And that he was teased mercilessly in grade school because of the way he looked? (The guy is a touch Sasquatch.) But my favorite factoid is what he eats during a typical day:

: 3 fried egg sandwiches, 2 cups coffee, 5-egg omlette, bowl of grits, 3 pieces of french toast, 3 chocolate chip pancakes

Lunch: 1 pound pasta, 2 ham and cheese sandwiches, energy drink (1,000 calorie)

Dinner: 1 pound pasta, 1 large pizza, energy drink (1,000 calorie)

Chocolate chip pancakes? A LARGE PIZZA? That's it, I'm training for the Olympics! My typical menu goes something like this:

Breakfast: 2 egg whites with salsa, 4 slices soy bacon, tea with unsweetened soy milk and a forklift of sugar. Feel pathetically virtuous about egg whites.

Lunch: Dig through refrigerator hoping salad greens have washed themselves. Realizing that I don't, in fact, have a house elf but I do have a 7-month-old growing disillusioned with his Exersaucer far earlier than I had hoped, grab half a stale bagel, top with hummus and cherry tomatoes and a bag of baby carrots that I will carry proudly but never eat. Eyeball Matt's leftover Vietnamese noodles (peanut sauce...), accidentally kick cat. Tea, soymilk, suuuuugar.

Dinner: Cave to call of leftover noodles. Feel somewhat better after preparing salad. Wonder if salad would be better drowned in peanut sauce. Hover around pan of Ghirardelli brownies. Watch Matt eat warm brownies with scoop of Ciao Bella gelato. Brush teeth and fume.

I think I need a couple of chocolate chip pancakes.

(For the record, you will never convince me that those Chinese gymnasts are 16.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Did I mention that I was only 23 at the time?

Looky at all the comments! How fantastic was that to wake up to? Thanks to everybody who showed a mama some love. I feel like I should put a warning label on some of my posts ("Just venting! Don't call Protective Services!") or that I'm giving my ball of joy a bum rap but then I remember that most of you have kids and been there/done that/shunk the damn t-shirt. Anyways, it was nice to hear from you. Helps relieve the feeling that I'm just a really chatty party of one.

So did anybody check out last week's New York Magazine? If not, head to your local non-behemoth bookstore and scope it out. It's all about plastic surgery which fas-cin-ates me. I'm not opposed to people doing it (oh who am I kidding? Je suis JUDGY, JUDGY, JUDGY) but I am definitely opposed to me doing it. There was an interesting quote from celebrity dermatologist Patricia Wexler about how some women are starting to go a little too far with the Botox and the fillers:

"Babies learn facial expressions from their mothers, and if all these women are Botoxed, I wonder if we're going to see a generation of very flat-affect toddlers."

I think about that a lot when I look at celebrity mothers. Take Nicole Kidman (or Demi Moore or Madonna or...) What must their daughters think, seeing mommy all bandaged and bruised - or worse, no longer looking like mommy? Demi Moore is gorgeous but none of her kids look a thing like her. That's got to be weird. Maybe it's just normal to them, like paparazzi or obscene wealth or having Brad Pitt as your dad. Maybe they don't think twice. Anyway, I found that quote interesting partially because of the point she makes, but mostly because it makes her sound all restrained and sane which is not the experience I had with her. Years ago when I was a big fancy commercial actress I had fantastic medical insurance. I was sick of reading all these beauty magazines trying to sell me that month's Ultimate Beauty Product and I wanted to find out from a real live dermatologist what I should be using on my face. I didn't know who Patricia Wexler was exactly but I had a vague memory of Drew Barrymore mentioning her in US Magazine which was all it took for me to pick up the phone. (Did I mention that I walked past Coldplay's Chris Martin yesterday? And that I once had drinks at the same table as Matthew Broderick? Did that come up in casual conversation?) Her office was more "boutique hotel" than "doctor's office" - there was a tray of sandwiches and bottled water that I was desperate to investigate but since it was clear that I was the only person in the waiting room who had ever touched a McNugget I decided to refrain. Dr. Wexler knew her clientele - no unflattering fluorescent light for the ladies who lunch. (Dim to the point of potential malpractice was my first thought. She couldn't possibly diagnose without a flashlight and a flare gun.) Finally the doctor herself appeared. From 10 feet away she looked 25 (high ponytail, preternaturally smooth face, overly youthful demeanor) but up close... She didn't look old, just odd, the way women of indeterminate age often do. It was disconcerting. She walked over, shook my hand, and glanced at my face.

"Schedule her for a Botox consult."

I should probably inject (HA!) that I'm really scared of needles. Phobic. Not to mention the fact that I was only there for a moisturizer.

"I'm really only here for a moisturizer."

"You have fine lines," she said, gesturing towards my forehead.

"Um, yeah, but I'm really not interested in Botox."

She turned back to the nurse. "Schedule her for microdermabrasion."

When I pointed out that I didn't, in fact, want microdermabrasion or anything other than a freaking moisturizer she sighed and opened a cabinet full of expensive looking boxes and started piling them next to me. When they ended up costing almost $300 I handed them back and never returned. (Looking at photographs of Michelle Pfeiffer, I'm not entirely sure I made the right decision.)

So would you do it? And if you have done it, did it hurt? Did I mention that I saw Chris Martin?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rough morning

It's a good thing I'm not the leader of a country. I like to think that I'd be all democratic and up with people and let them eat cake (only I'd actually give them cake) but if we're basing this on how I rule my roost, it'd be dictatorship all the way, and not one of those fun, benevolent ones. The youngster has been pushing my buttons lately and I'm feeling all kinds of glum about it. I'm not sure what I expected. Go-with-the-flow types get relaxed, laid back babies, Type-A, control-freaky mothers give birth to stubborn, I DA BOSSes. (Seems like the world would work a whole lot better if it were the other way around, since go-with-the-flows could handle I-da-bosses.) It was so much easier when it wasn't my kid. Don't want to pee in the potty? Tell me all about it while you're sitting on the potty. Don't want to wear shoes? Here, give me a hand while I put on your shoes. Don't want to eat dinner? Your mom will be home in 10 minutes and she can deal with it. But after 45 minutes of rocking and humming and trying to convince myself that zerbets and hair pulling are signs of sleepiness, I start to feel defied. And then I get mad. I'm not saying I've tossed the kid in the crib while muttering that someone's going to learn to put himself to sleep and then leaving the poor, overtired kid to sob for 20 minutes. I'm not saying I've gotten pissed and popped him on the butt and then felt like the world's crappiest, most undeserving parent because what kind of mother spanks their kid? I am saying that the kind of mother I want to be and the kind of mother I sometimes am have been going ten rounds lately. I haven't figured out the balance between being in charge and being in control. I keep forgetting that he's an actual person, one who's learning to make his needs known. (Which is great until they bump up against my need to sleep or go to the bathroom.) I just know that I spend an awful lot of time worrying that I'm f-ing up my kid. Maybe that's a mother thing, I never hear dads talking about that. I know they have other concerns (are they spending enough time, making enough money) but that sense of shaping (and therefore potentially damaging) their kid's life, I'm not sure that they fear that the way mothers do. (Correct me if I'm wrong, dads.)

Anybody else go through this b.s.?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Five weeks?!

For those of you 15 minute stars in your eyes, there is now a reality TV school.

A school.

Oh no. Oh yes.

It purports to teach you how to "get noticed!" (their exclamation point, not mine) in the wild and wooly world of pretending to be yourself. All it takes is five weeks of your life and $299 (note: they say nothing about having an actual skill) and you're good to go.

Week 3 and 4 - On Set Training and the Audition Tape:

Students will explore on set behavior and will also learn how best to make a tape for submission with hands on exercises and the shooting of an actual tape. We will show how to make the camera work for you once you are on set and further explore: blocking, staging, wardrobe details and personally tailoring your look to your advantage. Students will continue to be trained in improvisation technique as well.

The next session is already sold out. Which is... is appalling the word I'm looking for?

There has got to be a way to get paid for infiltrating this. How do I get a magazine to bite?

I wonder if Gandhi tested HIS mother's patience

Things the boy will no longer do without a fight:

- wear a bib
- wash his face (unless allowed to suck on the washcloth first)
- go to sleep
- drink his bottle (unless it is warmed to the proper temperature which varies depending on mood, allowed to examine it, chew nipple contemplatively, wave bye-bye with one hand)
- play independently
- listen to me sing
- play on the floor without eating it
- pose for pictures

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I also like cheese

Because the little guy's decided that now is as good a time as any to start testing limits (I da boss! I da boss! I seven months old! I DA BOSS!) I've decided to ignore all things baby and turn to something far more interesting: Eating. New York Magazine has been on a food kick recently and I have been taking notes.


- Brioche bread pudding made with bananas, bacon-infused maple syrup, bacon brittle, and a gently melting scoop of rum-vanilla ice cream (Sweet and savory combos get me every time... Dovetail)

- Salad of brussels-sprout leaves with salty serrano ham and slivers of sweet Bartlett pear, bound with a thin layer of cauliflower puree (That would be NY Magazine's description and I like it, like it, like it. Again, Dovetail)

- A glass (or two) of '98 La Tache Burgundy - $1,840 per bottle (I really need to go to Dovetail)

- The Ginger Peg - A mix of homemade ginger ale with brandy and orange bitters (According to NY Mag, it's irresistible. Who am I to argue? Freemans)

- Pan-Asian affogato: high-octane espresso dripped, in the Vietnamese style, into a cup of crushed cocoa and condensed-milk ice cream (I would be up all night, and it would be worth it. Wakiya at the Gramercy Park Hotel)

- An off-the-menu ice cream confection composed of toasted almonds and three scoops of vanilla, piled with shavings of black truffle, and drizzled with warm, salty butterscotch sauce (I want to be the kind of woman who doesn't blink at ice cream mixed with fungus. Alto)

- Chocolate bread pudding (prepared by a former pastry chef at Le Cirque) drowned in creme anglaise (Nothing left to be said. The Dessert Truck)

- Vanilla ice cream made from local, hormone-free milk using a bourbon-and Tahitian bean extract aged for four months in vodka-filled oak barrels from a onetime Good Humor man, sold from a refurbished ice cream truck (I saw this guy on my weekly trek to Trader Joes and had no idea he actually sold ice cream from it. "Would you like to try our ice cream?" seemed like a ruse. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream)

- Raspberry donut (What's not to like? Almondine Bakery)

- Southern Godfather - tea, mint leaves, sugar, whiskey, almond liqueur (make it at home. I'll send you the recipe)

I think I need to do some sit ups just from writing about all this.

Spill it. Got any last meals?

Don't let the out of focus smile fool you

I need a breather and it's not even 8 am. Little dude, little dude!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The glass ceiling retracts in the summer

If you squint you can see a teensy baby pool under the trees

I think the kid is mustering up to ask for something because he is breaking out the serious cutes these days. 7 months is a pretty great age. He's perfecting comedy (I'm teaching him to hold for laughs) and practicing kisses in his sleep (all he needs is a pillow and a picture of Julian Lennon and he's me in 6th grade). Yesterday I took him to the pool for the first time and it was as big a hit as you'd expect a place with lights and water and tons of admirers to be. The 2nd floor has a fantastic spa area - one I rarely visit, due to the whole "bathing suit" thing - but yesterday I sucked it up (and in) so the kid could try something new. A lifeguard filled up the baby pool so that nubbin could splash about and Will played happily for about 5 minutes before becoming fixated on an excessively fit man in bright blue Speedos doing sit ups. Still, a nice time had.

In other news:

It seems like the boy's got fifteen teeth coming in at the same time. There is much crying and gumming of the lips like a little old man. We used to be able to rock him until drowsy (drooooooowsy) but awake. Not no more. Even if he's fast asleep - FAST ASLEEP! - he still pops up at least once or twice. It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and a half (I'm talking to you, this morning's nap) to get Will down these days. He woke up weeping at 3 am and somebody (I'm not saying who) made their husband deal with it even though he wakes up at 5 am to go to work. (When I'm half-asleep I'm barely human, I swear.) Eventually Will ended in our bed which was fascinating (MAMA! Did you know that the bed is in a whole new room?! Did you know? Did you? Did you know that?) but eventually he settled down and slept until - wait for it - 6:30 am.


With that, I'm off to shop for baby swim trunks. I'm talking to you, Old Navy clearance rack.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I am a connoisseur of thrift

You can't put a price on that view
But if I could, I would

I've developed something of a wandering eye lately. Not for men - for stuff. Living in a city where everything is at your fingertips makes one feel a touch grabby. It's hard not to covet thy neighbors Bugaboo, especially when that Bugaboo comes with a sunshade. (God how I want a sunshade.) Sadly, the bedbug epidemic has taken away my secondhand shopping (bye-bye Housing Works. So long, Craigslist) but that hasn't stopped me from trying to get something for next-to-nothing. I recently discovered that you can buy formula coupons - the ones you get sent and never use - on Ebay. If the child is napping I can usually snipe a decent deal which allows me to feel both thrifty and mercenary. I'm also a huge fan of asking people for their old stuff. Exersaucers, co-sleepers (thanks, Missy!), clothes... Hell, a friend is giving me her couch! Don't Ask, Don't Get is my motto. (BTW, anybody got any old board books clogging their closets? I'd be happy to pay for shipping. I don't care if they're chewed; what's a little baby spit between friends? While I'm at it, I'm also on the hunt for a baby gate.) I'm also a fan of buying in bulk. I've got 48 rolls of toilet paper if anybody needs to pee.

What do you all do to take a bite out of costs? I tried to make homemade baby food but it was a big bust. (Maybe he was grimacing from deliciousness?) If you have suggestions for cheap diapers*, I'm all ears.

*I'd love to do the cute, cuuuuute BumGeniuses that Hatchet recommended but the lack of a conveniently located (non-coin operated) washer and drier overrides their adorableness.

Lest I gave the impression of being uppity, I should have mentioned yesterday that my fancy new 'do was done at the Aveda Institute (read: school) by a non-accredited stylist (read: student). She done good, though.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

(On a totally unrelated note, Matt just told me about that psycho on the bus in Canada and I am freaking. the eff. out.)

Sorry no bloggy. We've been renovating our place (meaning we've moved some stuff around) and I am wiped, peeps. The living room is now our bedroom (and our living room) and our bedroom is now the boy's room which seems a little ridiculous but kiddo was days away from pulling himself up in the crib and sharing a room with an overexcited puller-upper seemed like seven different kinds of sleepless. The move was exhausting (so much sweeping and pointing!) but I think the place will come together. Eventually.

Here's the problem - we have all this stuff that the boy has outgrown (Bumbo seats that squish chubby thighs, infant rockers that are too small for chubby bodies) but I don't want to get rid of them in case we are somehow able to have/adopt another kid. This wouldn't be a problem if we had a basement, but we don't. We barely have a closet. (That's a total lie; we have 3 closets.) Still, between the toilet paper I insist on buying in bulk (it's so much cheaper!) and the suitcases that seem to breed, storing an Exersaucer is no mean feat. (We just borrowed one from a neighbor. WHERE HAS THIS THING BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!)

I was going somewhere with this... (I've had a glass of wine.)

ANYWAY, did I mention that I dyed my hair? I can't believe it either. I'm not sure what came over me. Actually, I'm completely sure what came over me - a total case of the frumps. Ever since I had Will I've felt decidedly dowdy. Between the baby belly and the recession (I used to be a Banana Republic girl. These days it's Old Navy sale rack all the way) I've become a bit of a sad sack. I was getting my hair trimmed, the stylist was enviably pretty, I was in SoHo... it seemed like the thing to do. I've traded in my strawberry blond locks for something a bit spicier - a deep, auburn-y red that maybe, just maybe, looks pretty damn cool. (Or as my husband put it: "You look urban!") I'll try to get a picture up.

Better hit the hay before the kid rouses. He's got two more teeth that are breaking through which makes for one cranky, grouched out babe. But cute! So cute!