Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The lawn

It looks less like "The Shining" in real life.

We've hit this season's first cold snap and judging by the looks of things, it's going to be a long winter. Combine one tiny apartment with one increasingly gigantic (not to mention mobile) toddler and you've got a recipe for the yells. It's like clockwork - at 5:30 am (4:50 this morning. Don't get me started) kiddo wakes up, calls for mama, and then immediately starts reaching for the window. "Da! Da!" (Translation: "That! That!' Translastion: "If I don't get outside in - checks imaginary baby watch - 10 minutes, your goose is cooked, mother. Don't try to distract me with "bottles" and "cuddling". That stuff may have worked when I was an infant but I am older and wiser and want to go outside now. I know it's still dark! Don't patronize me, woman! I'm simply stating that if you don't take me outside right this very minute I will reach for the window and sob and whine until you do. I will smile and coo and play cute if I have to but I will not, not, not stay inside - DON'T PUT ME ON MY SQUISHY FLOOR! I DON'T WANT TO PLAY ON THE SQUISHY FLOOR! - I will not stay inside for one more minute! I want out! Nooooow!")

Seriously, he says that. It's subtle but it's there.

Because I don't happen to want to haul my hoary, half-asleep ass outside, we've agreed to a compromise: the hall. (Don't worry, neighbors. I keep him indoors until at least 9.) That's right, the hall. Or as I like to call it, "the lawn". It's actually sort of a thing in our building, letting your child play in the halls. (I remember listening to the neighbor kids playing catch with their dad, their hyperactive golden retriever - is there any other kind? - having a superfreak when he didn't get the ball.) Yesterday we set up a makeshift jam session by the elevators. He played the formula can (a free sample from yesterday's mail) while I rocked a pediatrician bill. Baby feels like he's gone somewhere, I'm still warm - it's perfect. Plus they clean the hallways every week which is more than I can say for the playground.

In other 10-monthy news, the boy has discovered his ability to pronounce his F's and has spent every waking moment (the ones where he's not reaching for the window) practicing them. It sounds like a leaky air mattress around here. We also had our first sickness. Low-grade fever and general ick for the past few days. Needless to say, it cinched my decision to do the flu shot. Well, it cinched my decision to flu shot my husband and the kid - jury's still out on me. (For a needle phobic who's still emotionally traumatized from the machete-sized number that was stuck in my back 10 months ago, having to get a flu shot seems unfair. That epidural should have counted for every shot I'll ever need, ever.) We also have a new favorite game. The boy hands me a toy, I say thank you, he tosses it over his shoulder. He hands me another toy, I say thank you, he tosses it over his shoulder. He hand me another toy, I say thank you, he tosses it over his shoulder. He hands me another toy, I say thank you, he tosses it over his shoulder. He hands me another toy, I say thank you, he tosses it over his shoulder.

Trust me, typing that was way less repetitive than the actual game.

Finally, in an attempt to save cash in these tough economic times I've started to try to stretch our once weekly grocery shop to three. It hasn't been what one might call a raging success. For dinner last night I had a stale spinach tortilla topped with some leftover baby food.

I wish I was kidding.

It is scroungy around here, peeps. Tonight I'm having chicken stock and a roll. Perhaps it's time to re-think...

On an unrelated note, do complete strangers often ask you if you're going to have more kids? This has been happening a lot lately and I'm not sure what to say. It's not that I'm a particularly private person (please) nor do I have a problem discussing this subject with friends. Hell, I've asked the same question to almost everyone I know. But it's weirder when it's coming from a shop clerk. I'm never sure whether to be honest or snarky or obtuse so I usually just end up turning the question on them and agreeing with whatever they say. Because the truth is, I have no idea. And even if I had an idea, at this point nature has more say about it than I do. Anyone else?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where am I supposed to put their food?

The boy has discovered the cat food.

I was brushing my teeth when I heard him slap-slap-slapping his way to freedom. He usually only makes it around the corner before getting stymied by the printer buttons (we have to keep the printer on the floor. Don't ask) but today he decided to shake things up a bit and headed towards the kitchen. We don't normally allow him there but I was busy fighting tooth decay, plus he's too short to reach the stove. Unfortunately he's the perfect height to reach the cat food. Even more unfortunately, now that he's discovered it he's obsessed. Every time I put him down to crawl he goes slap-slap-slapping towards the kitchen.

I don't want to put up a baby gate if I can help it. Our apartment is the size of a thumbtack; the thought of making it smaller is just too depressing. I don't actually think he'll eat their food (Prince Fancyface over here is still loathe to sully his fingers), I'm more concerned that he'll make mudpies with the wet food and leave catfood-scented handprints all over the floor. Potential food poisoning? Eh. More work for mama? GET AWAY FROM THE CATFOOD. Ah, the thrill of good parenting...

He's also coughing a lot.

I think the poor boy might be coming down with something. He's had a low-grade fever for several days (hovering around 100.5, sometimes up to 101). The doc said that it's probably teething but he's never had a fever for so many days. Of course I'm running through all the potentially awful things that could've caused it (I re-refridgerated his leftover formula instead of throwing it away like the nurses told me to! I totally caved when he wouldn't keep his socks on outside! Why did I expose him to other kids?!) but mostly I just want the fever to pass so that he'll start sleeping again. Nighttime isn't so bad but naps? Oy. I know a woman who delights in telling me how her son goes into his crib completely awake, grabs his blankie like a quilt, and rolls over and goes to sleep. Bless her, she's really very nice and if my kid did that I'd crow about it too, but I can't help wanting to strangle her just a little. I'm not in any way opposed to our routine (alas, no wide-awake-quilt-grabbing here) but the naptime power struggle that has manifested over the past few days has left me a touch snarly. I'm sure it's just the fever (and the teeth and the fact that we've entered YET ANOTHER sleep regression. No wonder Moxie said this phase was a doozy) but I'd be lying if I said that after a half an hour of crying and singing and hair pulling and temperature taking and crying and singing and hair pulling I didn't plop the kid into the crib this afternoon and declare that I was DONE. (Poor Matt. He had so much work to do and I was like, Sorry. Nope. Yours.) I've got to figure out a way to make stencils. There's totally a market for "This Too Shall Pass" over the crib.

Okay, bed. I had to take a half of an Advil PM last night; we won't even discuss my mental fuzz at 5 am this morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Darth Vader or Cowardly Lion...

If they only sold finger-flavored teethers...

Did anyone else's kid go through the spitting food phase? Have to say - not my fave. Someone has rediscovered his ability to blow raspberries. I have no problem with it 80% of the time but once food enters the picture, two words: Jackson. Pollock. The annoying part (aside from, oh, the spitting) is that I can't get mad about it. It's not like he's spitting at me - it just happens to land on my face and my hair and the floor. I'm not even sure if there's anything I can do to curb it. He's not old enough to understand taking the food away and I'm trying to limit the use of the big N-O for major infractions (like flipping on his stomach and trying to crawl off the changing table. Dude! Enough already). I feel like I spend the bulk of our day telling him not to do things. Yesterday we went to a Baby and Me yoga class and the boy went gonzo. He cackled and shouted and kept trying to kiss all the babies which was adorable. Unfortunately he's still mastering the art of the pucker so his "kisses" are more like open-mouthed mawlings. Combine manic excitement with lots of plump, biteable baby cheeks and some fancy new teeth and you've got lots of cuddly little lawsuits on your hands. I hated having to tell him no when he was just trying to get his love on, but he'd already pulled a little girl's hair ("Gentle petting! Gentle!") so I wasn't taking any chances. I try to find ways of getting around overt discipline (redirect! redirect! redirect!) but playing Bad Cop, even for his own good, just makes me feel hovery and mean.

In other news, my baby is turning into a Muppet. TEETH! So many teeth! So much pain because of so many teeth! It must get pretty bad because whenever I go to his crib I find him latched onto the railing, gnawing away. He refuses to take a teether (plastic, wood, cold washcloth - you name it, he's refused it) and won't me near him with the Orajel (not that I blame him. Have you tasted that stuff?) and there's only so much Tylenol/Motrin a gal feels comfortable dosing. Luckily it hasn't seemed to affect his sleep, unlike the 5 bags of Halloween candy his mother is quickly working her way through.

I took the boy to Central Park for the first time today. Man that place is great. I had forgotten that the nearby schools use the park for gym class and we had fun watching 7-year-olds running laps under the trees. I parked the boy near a trumpet player and tried to keep him from eating leaves. I know it's almost November but I'm still surprised by how quickly winter is coming. The leaves are changing, the temperature is falling, and I seem to have thrown out every stitch of winter clothing. (I blame a hormone-induced pique while pregnant last year.) Still, it's my favorite time. Layering! Red wine! Fondue suddenly acceptable! Not to mention the fact that in 8 weeks my baby will be one year old. I haven't even come up with his Halloween costume yet...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm looking at you, Missy.

Okay, somebody needs to start watching "The Pick-Up Artist" on VH-1 (the reality show, not the Robert Downey, Jr. flick) because if I don't get to discuss it soon, my head will explode.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I've had a glass of wine so I may ramble.


Does anyone else walk around referring to themselves in the third person? Because mama is going crazy with the self-referrals and can't seem to stop. I blame the kid - not understanding the concept of "I" leads to much third person chatter. ("Mama hears you!", "Mama doesn't like that sound!", "Mama is going into the other room now!") I knew I was in deep when I started referring to my husband as "daddy". No weirdness there.

Baby Boy hit the 10 month mark on Wednesday and things are significantly crawlier around here. Little dude is motoring. No more leaving him alone to play; I take two steps out of the room and slap-slap-slap... (the universal sound of baby escape). Our babyproofing is still lax at best so I have to keep a close eye. No unattended roaming in this house! (All 3 rooms of it.) There are also many shaky attempts at pulling up (time to lower the crib mattress again) which probably means many shaky attempts at sleep. I hear that babies will often practice standing in the middle of the night and then get stuck, which means many middle of the night visits to help them sit down. (Unless you're my mother, a notorious non-coddler. "Let 'em fall!") We also have many, many, many new teeth. Five, to be exact. I thought they came in one at a time but Jaws here decided to go for gold and cut them all at once. (I think all he has left are molars.) This means new adventures in baby food. I've been trying different things, some good - english muffins topped with goop (butternut squash and applesauce, white bean and red pepper puree), some (like this afternoon's quinoa and lentil disaster) not so much. I'd love recipe suggestions. What does your kid devour?

Fall is in the air and I'm still getting used to the "crispness". (Sounds better than "cold".) The leaves are turning, the farmer's market is teeming, the Halloween candy, disappearing. Baby B and I hit the Bryant Park carousel and I don't know if I've ever seen him happier. (Scratch that - the first time daddy got down the Millenium Falcon we hit full-fledged baby geek-out.) The boy starts chewing the drywall if I don't get him outside at least twice a day. Unfortunately our favorite afternoon spot (the pier) is getting a little brisk. With the temperature hovering around 45 degrees, I pose this: What do you do with kids in the winter? We have an indoor pool so I'm luckier than most, but calling it "heated" is generous at best. (When I walked past it yesterday, the guy who teaches the childrens' swimming class was hopping up and down and slapping his chest to keep warm. Call me a skeptic, but I'm not sold.) Shelling out $20 for a class is okay once in a while, but on a day-to-day basis I'm lost. When I walk into his bedroom to start the day (5:30 am, lest I've forgotten to whine) the first thing he does is reach for the window and cry "Da! Da!" (I translate as "That! That!", versus "da-da" which means dad.) We're one of those hippie parents who doesn't allow television but killing time isn't the real issue - finding a place for him to crawl/toddle/flail is the main deal. Most of you probably have houses so this might not be an issue, but for those of us in teensy dwellings it's major. What do you do?

Continuing the babble (I really ought to eat something) - flu shots. Do you give them to your kid? We vaccinate so it's not an issue in that sense, but at his 12 month appointment he's scheduled for 5 shots (4 immunizations, plus one he missed because they didn't have the vaccine), a blood draw, and (if we choose it) the flu shot, which I hear is actually TWO shots at this age. We're divvying up the shots (I've done the research on immunization and autism and feel comfortable going ahead, but loading the kid feels wrong) but that's still a lot of crap in his system. He's not in pre-school, has very few (okay, no) friends... getting him innoculated seems excessive. That said, who wants to fuck with the flu?

Okay, it's time to eat. I'm starting to get chatty (I was about to go into how much I'm enjoying the teen dramedy "Skins" on BBC America). Here I come, salad greens! Time to feign healthiness!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not about baby.

I'm just going to throw out there that I am not a fan of celebrities who dabble in fashion design. The Mary-Kate and Ashleys, the J.Los, the BeyoncePDiddyParisandNickyMileyHillaryMandyJessicas all need to sit this one out, thanks. (The Gwens and Justins - you walk right on by.) So when I heard that Sienna Miller - the most unstylish style icon since... I can't even think, I'm so blinded by the leggings - was launching a line (twenty8twelve), I was practically foaming at the mouth to mock.

Clean. Comfy. Nice little details and flattering oversizedness. Not only did you get to ball Bond (back when he was a regular bloke), you get to take credit for stuff I'd totally wear if I spent $500 on blouses. Damn you, Miller! (But I stand by my loathing of leggings.)

Monday, October 20, 2008


I know you all have seen this, but I can't get enough.

Electriclady, the TONY Kids subscription is yours!

It's like a giant, fuzzy erection on his head.

I had so many things I wanted to talk about - bedtime routines, sippy cup wars, 10-month-olds with excessive button pushing abilities - but then I stumbled upon "The Pick-Up Artist" on VH-1 and it's game over, folks. HOW HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS? I, who am on a first-name basis with every washed up rocker, wanna be model, and former child star this side of Chateau Marmont, have somehow missed out on the worst of the worst: "Mystery", a Criss Angel-ish mindfreak with a penchant for chin piercings and pimp hats. O to the M to the G, people. I will never get anything done.

I've turned off the TV. I was starting to talk back to it and that's never a good sign.

Speaking of pushing my buttons, is anyone else's kid driving them to drink? I love my boy more than life but I will sell him to the gypsies if he doesn't stop taking off his socks. The kid haaaaates having anything on his feet. Around the house that's fine - it gives him more traction for crawling, lets me know where I need to sweep (if he spends more than 2 minutes examining the floor, it's time to break out the broom) - but now that we're into overcoat weather, footwear needs to stay ON. Unfortunately someone's cankle situation makes wearing shoes almost impossible, making socks easily accessible and very, very tempting. It's like a ballet, our outings these days. He grabs a sock, starts to pull. I warn him not to pull, he pulls some more. I stop the stroller, put the sock back on, continue walking. He grabs a sock, starts to pull. I stop the stroller, put the sock back on. He grabs a sock, starts to pull. I ignore pulling, continue walking. He grabs other sock, starts to pull. I grit teeth, continue walking. He drops sock on NYC sidewalk, puts other sock in mouth. I grab dirty sidewalk sock, put back on foot. Remove clean sock from mouth, put back on other foot. He grabs dirty sidewalk sock, puts in mouth. I yank sock from mouth, shove back on foot. He grabs other sock, drops on sidewalk. I grab both socks, throw them in back of stroller, and announce that he will now have cold feet. Ignore "bad mother" stares from passers-by. Lather, rinse, repeat with bibs, diapers, washcloths, hats, spoons, and sippy cups.

We're full-on into the "You're Not The Boss of Me's" and I'm DONE, peeps. I thought that shit didn't start until the Twos. 12 hours of back labor! 45 minutes of reconstructive surgery! I'M THE BOSS! (Stop trying to flip over on the changing table and listen to me for a minute, dammit!)

Uh-oh, we have crying...

I'm back. Poor kid, his body is doing a number on him. Not only does he have 5 new teeth coming in but, having just mastered crawling, his body is now pushing him to stand. Which means we've gone from up-on-all-fours-in-his-sleep to up-on-his-knees-clutching-the-crib-for-dear-life-in-his-sleep, which means no sleep. Dude, I am done with no sleep. And to all those strangers who natter on about how one day he'll be a teenager and sleep for days - BRING IT. Ba-RING it. Mama needs a nap.

I was planning on launching a commiserate-a-thon about how he was refusing to be rocked - straightening his arms and legs against me like a cat avoiding the vet - but today I stumbled upon a sure-fire sleep inducer: "The Wheels On The Bus". By the time I got to the parents on the bus, Baby Boy was making snoozy noises against my chest. The drawback? The song will never leave your brain.

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round
'Round and 'round
'Round and 'round...

At least I've stopped thinking about the TV.

Friday, October 17, 2008

They also mentioned becoming a book publishing professional...

So I'm sitting here eating pumpkin bread and taking a career quiz (which is exactly the same thing I did last night, only with empanadas) and feeling more and more grumpy. Maybe it's the sugar talking but does anyone else feel a profound sense of guilt over the fact that they stayed at home while their partner worked? I realize that this question applies to (counts fingers) very few of you but I've been feeling the squinty eye of shame and am twitchy to fix it. My husband works ridiculously long hours for a job he hates. I go to the pool. He spends an entire day lesson planning and teaches class at night. I get sleep-drunk kisses and make lunch. I'm not saying that motherhood is easy (we alllll know I'm not saying that) but I'm not hauling rocks. (For now. We haven't hit potty training.) I've considered getting a job but even at my best wage we'd still be trading work for childcare, and at least now there's a chance that I'll book a commercial or something. But I hate watching my husband dread his day. I also can't help noticing the fact that my infant is looking more and more like a child. Maybe it's the new teeth (the poor kid's got FOUR coming in, all at the same time) but he looks so pre-school, which makes me wonder what I'm going to do with myself once he IS in pre-school, which is why I'm taking career tests and eating unwisely. So far I've taken a somewhat floaty test that told me that I was an adrenaline junkie and should consult a Higher Power and one from the Princeton Review that told me I should be - wait for it - an actor or a writer. Granted it also told me that I'd make a fine archaeologist, antiques dealer, priest, cosmetologist, disk jockey, inventor, philosopher, and secretary, so there you go.

Any of these sound like something I should pursue? Because at this point I'm taking suggestions. (Although I can tell you right now that the Clergy is out.)

More on the boy tomorrow. I've got pumpkin bread to eat.


Two quickies before the kid hits meltdown.

1) Does anybody know how to get these ads above the fold? I've messed with the sizes but nothing is small enough. I know some of you use Blogger and have ads; what sizes did you use?

2) Anyone want a free subscription to Time Out New York Kids? I have a buy-one-get-one-free deal and don't know who to give the other subscription to. First come, first served!

More later. The boy is going to eat through the drywall if I don't get him outside soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Maybe it was the hat...

Have I mentioned how much I hate taking the kid along to auditions? Aside from the crowded offices, the "will he/won't he" meltdown anxiety, and the saccharine charms of professional children, you've actually got to get the kid there. Gas prices and traffic may be upsetting but I challenge anyone to emerge from a rush hour subway ride - with an infant and 20 lb. stroller - unscathed.

It started out so well. As I was preparing to hump the stroller down the subway stairs, a smiling middle aged man offered to help. As we made our way up the steps he smiled at the babe, telling him how cute he was, how he loved his smile. And then -

"You want to come to my house, don't you? You want to come home with me? You can come to my house -"

Imagine this said in a squeaky little girl voice and you will understand the creep factor. I practically ripped the cart out of Freaktone's hands trying to get the boy away. The guy quickly mentioned that he had a daughter, calming me a bit, but a word of advice: Middle aged men who coo creepy nothings? Mention your kid before launching the Gacy voice. I was about 10 seconds away from pulling out the keys. (Always go for the eyes.)

Unfortunately I hadn't escaped the weird. As we were sitting on the train, a young, artistic-type (piercings, Docs, heroin teeth) wandered towards us.

"What's he going to be?" he asked, tapping the stroller.

"Whatever he wants to be."

It was clear that this was not the answer the wannabe Basquait was hoping for. He stood there grinning uncomfortably, waiting for me to continue.

"What do you think he should be?" I asked, playing along.

"An artist. If you want better art, create a better world," he said, smiling broadly.


Rule #1: Careless use of religious epithets may inflame the crazy.

"Babies are born knowing Jesus' name," he said, sensing a fellow believer. "Hellfire and damnation reign when sinners unite."

Yeah. Wow.

Luckily we only had to go 3 stops so it was a quick escape. I pity the poor fools headed to Brooklyn.

Alas, I don't think I'll be "carrying on" with Tim Gunn. I was paired with a comedic genius and swallowed whole. Ah well. At least I got a story out of it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did I mention that he's 9 months old and occasionally wears a 2T?

I have had a week, peeps. As I mentioned, the hub hurt his back something fierce which meant
- no lifting
- no bending
- no standing
- no walking
which meant life at Chez Bebe was all mama, all the time. Being the sole provider of house managing/baby wrangling is a serious time suck. And little dude isn't even fully mobile!

At least the week has been interesting. We had our first injury, crazy sleep developments, a new tooth... I've also been on a baby food making kick which is surprisingly fulfilling. Clearly sista needs a hobby because the the fridge is CRAMMED with unmarked baby food jars filled with unrecognizable goo. Poor Matt, he has no idea what he's feeding the kid half the time. ("For lunch we're having green stuff and orange stuff and maybe some of this lumpy stuff.") It's ridiculous how proud I am when the boy likes something. He's like my personal Tom Colicchio. (They're both round and bald and opinionated.) If you have some time, do a search for baby food recipes. Crazytown. Granted, I pride myself on my ability to hit "puree" so I'm not exactly breaking ground but some people take it to whole. new. levels. (There are parents who braise.) Not to toot my own horn (toot!) I've managed to come up with some real winners this week. I realize that exactly two of you have babies near Babe's age, but this is the closest I've come to being creative in months so bear with me. Baby Boy's favorite breakfast concoction:

- plain organic whole milk yogurt (for fat)
- a scootch of baby cereal (for iron)
- Irish oats (for lumps)
- organic flax seed oil (for... something good)
- banana lumps (the kid likes lumps)
and the crucial ingredient:
- avocado chunks (it is a fruit!)

Sounds weird. SO GOOD. The avocado makes it a pretty color when you mush it and the banana works well with the avocado and the flax gives it a nutty flavor without the potential trip to the ER. Kid eats it for days. I pre-make it at night because ain't no way I'm messing with that many ingredients at 5 am.

Another top hit:

- Pumpkin/peach soup! (I can't take credit for this recipe, alas.) B is obsessed with pumpkins so I bought him a small one at the farmer's market. If I'd known they'd charge me $3 for it I would've made the kid wait but he kissed it and hugged it and called it George so when it went south it seemed a shame to just toss it:

- 1 c. diced pumpkin (use a small sugar pumpkin unless you're a glutton for punishment)
- 1/2 ripe peach (or a whole one, if you like things on the sweeter side. I totally cheated and used Trader Joe's canned, BTW. They pack it in white grape juice instead of syrup which allows me to pretend that it's healthier)
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (again, cheated with TJ's frozen version)
- chicken stock (see: peach/brown rice cheatation. Mama doesn't have time to raise chickens. She does, however, have time to talk in third person.)

Scrape out the innards and peel the rind (the labor intensive part, for whiners like me). If you like to roast the seeds, by all means do. I find it more trouble than it's worth, but that's me. Dice up the pumpkin flesh into teensy tiny pieces for faster cooking. Add the peach. Cover pumpkin and peach with stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the (already cooked!) brown rice and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Puree. It sounds gross but trust me, you could charge for this stuff. (It always elicits an appreciative "GOOB!" from the critic in the bib.)

Anybody else's kid refuse to self-feed? Now that sleep has settled down, feeding has hit the fray. Someone - NOT SAYING WHO - wants nothing, I mean nothing, to do with finger foods. Scratch that - he loves finger foods, he just feels that they are better served by the fingers of others. Place a sippy cup in front of him and Baby Napoleon will shriek at it a bit, then try to pick it up with his mouth. If you try to place the offending Cheerio/steamed carrot/sippy cup near his reach he'll recoil his hands like a prissy Frenchman. (No offense to prissy Frenchmen.) It's not like he can't pick it up - the kid has fantastic fine motor skills. Leave him be and he'll happily scoot around the apartment picking up every stay piece of cat litter and lint. And it's not that he doesn't want to eat it - he makes it quite clear that those delicious Cheerios belong in his mouth. (So clear. Soooo clear.) He also feeds himself with a spoon, sort of, with significant help from the sidelines - he just doesn't want to do the dirty work. He has fed himself a few times, but unfortunately my enthusiastic reaction to the chunk of banana he put into his mouth was so exciting he decided to put every piece of banana in his mouth, and it seems that stopping him from choking to death harshed his mellow because he hasn't tried it again since. Web advice veers from the sane (keep offering it, eventually he'll want to do it himself and you'll rue the day you ever wished for self-feeding) to the less sane (strip him naked and let him fingerpaint himself with his food! Hey, why don't you get naked too?) to the ridiculous (if he won't feed himself, refuse to feed him! If he's hungry enough he'll eat, by god. Babies just do this to control you). I've never met a 10-year-old who couldn't feed himself so I'm assuming that he'll sort this all out but if anybody has any advice, aside from stripping and starving, I'm all ears. (We've also hit the "drop food on the floor and see what mama does" phase. I was so hoping we'd skip that one.)

So you want to hear the latest on sleep? Prepare yourself. This morning I woke up and the sun was almost up. I looked at the time:

6:45 am

I peeked my head into his room (had he perished in the night?) but there he was - head resting on the crib bumper, legs propped against the side, blankie in his mouth, staring contentedly out the window. I have no idea how long he'd been awake or why he'd been so quiet, but I know I liked it. I'll let you know tomorrow if it was a fluke. Speaking of tomorrow, I need to hit the hay. I have a callback for a commercial spot with Tim Gunn. Carry on, Ali! Carry on!

Still, it's on it's way.

Sorry, somebody won't nap long enough to let me finish my latest, long-winded post. Entertain yourself by looking at my shiny new ads! (Including one for a cleaning product whose latest commercial I did not get. Thanks for the reminder, Universe.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My hair has settled, finally.

Posting to come, I swear! My husband hurt his back so I've been on single parent duty all week which is about as easy as it sounds. Long story short - no time to blog. Hopefully hubby's on the mend so I can get back to periodically ignoring my child in the guise of "Daddy/Baby" time.

More to come!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I call it "Crimson Glow"

It still looks like Strawberry Shortcake threw up on my head.

Sorry about the silence. I haven't locked myself away - yet. Husband threw out his back which is awful and miserable for both of us. Taking care of two helpless men is exhausting. How do single parents (and you wranglers of twins) do it?

Of course I had a print audition yesterday, which means that this hair is actually documented somewhere and will undoubtedly end up on some casting director's blooper reel (along with the time my boob fell out of my tank top during an audition for a television pilot. Oh no. Oh yes). I'm doing my best to "own" the color (all the kids have vine-ripened hair these days!) but it's kind of hard to ignore the looks. The pathetic part of me keeps hoping that they're staring because I look so good, which is also what I told myself when I wore leather pants and we all know how that turned out. (I've seen the pics. I looked like a La-Z-Boy with feet.) Speaking of photographic evidence - I'm not posting pictures. I'm the queen of self-dep but even I refuse to document this debacle. I know what you're thinking - JUST WASH THE STUFF OUT ALREADY. But see here's the thing: I can't. I paid for it. And washing it out would be like throwing the money away, and have you seen the economic forecast?

Insane. I've got to wash it.

In other news, the kid came through the 9 month regression with flying colors, sleeping for upwards of 13 hours a night - for 2 days. Last night the teething kicked in again, and with it the crying, the waking, the gritting of teeth (his and mine). Long story short, ended up pulling the boy into bed so we could all get a decent amount of rest. Unfortunately we're getting his room painted today (let's hear it for maintenance men!) which means naps in the lap instead of the crib. I'm hoping someone doesn't start getting any ideas about this being the way things are going to go from now on... (Crib, kid. CRIB.)

Brought to you by the letters LOVE IT

Okay, so how do I make this happen, 'cause I could use some seaside niceness.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I can't decide if it's more "floozie" or "clown"

I spent the morning getting my hair did, as the kid's say. I'm new to this whole "coloring" BS and still feel a little nervous about messing with a good thing. My hair is a big source of vanity and years of people warning me not to touch the color has kept me strictly au natural. But since I'm no longer a spring chicken (as evidenced by the white hairs - plural - my husband gleefully plucks from my head), giving Mother Nature a boost didn't sound so bad. The first time I braved it the good folks at Aveda went easy on me - demi-permanent so the color would gradually fade, a gentle boost to the red. And I liked it. It gave my eyes a nice little pop, callbacks started coming in, husband said it was like getting a hotter wife - all pluses in my book. (Except for that last one. Remind me to sucker punch him for that little number when he gets home.) Today I went back in for a touch up and this time the gloves were off. No more namby-pamby, wash-out-in-6-weeks, natural-with-a-kick booshit for this girl! Today we went fierce.

And permanent.

I'm not entirely sure how it happened. Scratch that, I know exactly how it happened. All it took was the gorgeous head stylist - the one with the red/violet hair and incredibly milky skin - telling me how much better I could look and I was in. There's something so seductive about having someone who is very much cooler than you take charge of your "look". It's how people get railroaded into spray-on tans or metallic jumpsuits, by having really fantastic people speak authoritatively about something you know little about. Inevitably I find it hard to disagree because deep down it's still 1983 and I'm sporting legwarmers six months after everyone else has stopped wearing them. Tell me you can make me cooler/prettier/calmer and I'll say yes in spades.

So I said yes. In spades.

Out went the strawberry blond, in went the red. Perhaps that should be in caps because Stylista turned the dial to 11, peeps. I am Belle Watling. I am the Red Roof Inn. Husband says it looks good but he is not to be trusted. If he tells the truth he risks his wife locking herself in the only bathroom and not coming out until the wells run dry. (I hear if you wash it a lot...) Honestly I can't tell if it's off the charts or if I'm just not used to something so "vibrant". The baby didn't seem to be thrown so that's a plus. He freaks when daddy puts on his old glasses - the kid notices change. It's just a little disappointing. Just once I'd like to have that InStyle moment, the one where you look in the mirror and think, Holy Shit. But in a good way.

Someday my Red Carpet Fairy will come...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

We're up to 5 words: Mama, Dada, Cat, Good, and Ba-ba (bottle)!

In my plan to wear the bugger out, yesterday I hauled the babe to a Creative Play class. I was curious to see him around other babies (he gets craaaazy with the excites) but also to see what exactly made it "creative". Have I spent months encouraging uncreative play? Is there such a thing? (Unfortunately my questions will have to wait until next week; the instructor cancelled.) Instead of taking the (increasingly antsy) munchkin home, I plopped him on the floor next to a very affectionate 10 month old and sat down for a chat with a couple of the other mothers. I always get nervous around NYC moms, especially overtly wealthy ones. I always feel like I have something to prove and end up turning into this hammy know-it-all, which is super fun for everyone involved. Plus, mommy chatter always turns to sleep which is dangerous territory for me. NYC attracts the competitive, and when you've got a gaggle of women who've left big, self-affirming jobs to raise tiny, rather non-affirming beings, it's easy to start Mommy Warring. Most mommies fall into one of two camps: the Schedulers (those who are convinced that your child will develop horrible sleep associations unless extensively scheduled, quoters of Dr. Weissbluth, devotees of BabyWise) or Attachers (convinced that your child will develop horrible sleep associations unless in the family bed, quoters of Dr. Sears, devotees of breastfeeding). I have fallen into both camps and think each one has merits, but until Moxie I'd never found anyone who fell into the middle. So when the dreaded "So how is he sleeping?" question came up I hesitated before telling the truth: that we rock him until drowsy (make that drooooooooowsy. I think he's technically still awake) and that we're fine with it, thank you, and when it stops working we'll figure something else out and yes we know we're doing it all wrong but we're really not interested in enduring CIO again. This is usually when it gets ugly (in a nice way. They're always very smiley when they berate) but before I could get through my shtick, Blond Mommy interrupted to say that she rocks her baby to sleep too. Turns out German Mommy rocked her baby too! Yet we'd all been made to feel like we were the only people in the world barbaric (or stupid) enough to still be doing it. Don't get me wrong, the boy has definitely had issues (see: the first 6 months of his life, recent regression) but compared to a lot of other kids I think he does pretty well. He usually sleeps from 6:30 - 5:20, takes two naps of indeterminate length (right now we're going on Hour Two), and he always gets 14-17 hours of sleep a day. (CAN YOU IMAGINE?) Now that I'm wearing him out he goes down in about 5 minutes and sleeps soundly unless teething/crawling/developmental BS takes over. Do I wish I could lay him down in his crib completely awake and just turn on his music and go? Actually, no. I really love sniffing his hair. When he's 3 and weighs 60 lbs we'll cross that bridge, but right now I thoroughly enjoy his sleep-induced affection. (At this last nap he spent at least 3 minutes pressing his drooly, wide open mouth against mine. So cute! So gross!) I love the fact that he has to rub his face all over my chest in order to get comfortable and his desire to pull out every strand of my hair. (Okay, that one I could live without.) It was so nice to finally meet other mothers who feel the same way, and to see the relief and the giddiness (and yes, the smugness) over the fact that we're not actually effing it all up. We hope.

Speaking of effing it all up, anybody catch the Sharon Stone thing? When a judge deems a celebrity unfit to parent, it must be pretty bad. (Robert Downey, Jr. wasn't even considered unfit, and he fell asleep in other peoples' houses.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ma-muh. MAAAA-muh.


What an awesome name. I love this whole old-timey name resurgence. August, Max, Norah - love 'em. I tried to get my husband to name the boy Finn but he wasn't even going for it.

I need to figure out a better way to do this blogging thing so I don't stay up until 11 like I did last night. (5:20 comes early, folks.) As my gorgeous pal and commenter "Pursued" loves to point out, once the kid hits toddler I'll barely have time to pee. I was a nanny so I have a pretty good idea what I'm in for once the kid is fully mobile. While that age is definitely fun, it's not exactly a walk in the park. (Unless that walk is accompanied by much running and chasing and cries of "Leave it! Leave it! LEAVE IT".) Right now I tend to have time to write once Critter's in bed but I still have dreams of finishing my Work-In-Progress (or hell, Chapter 2) and I'm not sure how I'll find time to do both. Plus there's still that whole "need to find a real career" itch in the back of my brain which means school which means the complete evaporation of free time which means... Seriously, when do you find time to do YOUR stuff? (Meaning non-parental, non-houseworkian, non-work relatedish.) Or do you hire help?

Speaking of, I hear the dulcet tones of a non-napper...