Saturday, January 31, 2009

I can't wait to read the comments on this one.

Stick this in your pipe and smoke it - not only is Octuplet Mother "raising" (yes, that word deserves quotes) 14 children, 1 of her 6 other children is autistic. And as to how she affords all these kids, according to an acquaintance Octuplet Mother said that she "gets paid for it".


Make sure you read the whole article for the good stuff.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Here she goes...

Want to watch my head explode?

Read this.

Actually, don't bother. Allow me to Cliff's Notes:

- Woman gives birth to OCTUPLETS

- Babies are teensy (1-3 pounders)

- Woman lives with parents

- Woman is "fairly young"

- Woman was taking fertility drugs (but had "no idea" she'd end up with 8 fetus)

- Woman already has 6 CHILDREN

Alls I know is, if you elect to have 14 children you are never allowed to complain about how tired you are. EVER.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

All Hail Science!

I happy now!

Well the poor kid finally seems to be on the mend. (God bless modern medicine!) He still whimpers occasionally and pulls on his ears but the major, major ouch seems to have passed. Of course as soon as he started on the amoxicillin a nurse warned my mom about a possible link between antibiotics and autism, which is exactly what you want to worry about when your kid is moaning and feverish. (FYI, I asked the doc about the link. She said no dice.) Did you read about the doctor who recently debunked the autism/immunization link? Apparently he's been receiving death threats. I can't imagine how heartbreaking/exhausting/immobilizing it must be to parent an autistic child, especially when you fervently believe there's a connection between the shots and the disorder, but it seems counterproductive to murder someone over it. Instead of proving what isn't causing it, shouldn't we be finding out what is?

Allow me to tiptoe over to a safer topic...

I'm finally taking a magazine writing course. I'm not sure how smart it is, considering the glossies are going the way of the dodo (R.I.P. Domino! Cottage Living! VOGUE!) but I want to see if it's something I can do. If print dies, I figure I can always translate the skill to online media. (Says the woman who can't figure out how to restart her modem.) I'm great at coming up with ideas but jiminy, there's a lot of research that goes into this bullshit! I've only ever written personal essays where the only research involves how much wine one can consume before the typing gets garbled. Being full-time parent-ish (and lazy) I'm trying to shoehorn as much Ali into my pitches as possible, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Not that many magazines go for an Ali-type vibe, surprisingly enough. Still, I'm trying. It's fun to have someone new to write for. Speaking of, I should probably get off the blog and start working on my homework...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Put down that Pepsi!

Want to watch me turn into a Cathy cartoon? Discover that corn syrup contains mercury.


I try to keep the stuff far away from the boy but sometimes it sneaks in in unexpected places. (Trader Joe's turkey meatballs, I'm talking to you.) Seriously, this corn syrup b.s. needs to be stopped. Did you see the campaign they recently rolled out, where they try to convince you it's perfectly fine? ("My hairdresser says that table sugar is healthier than high fructose corn syrup.", "Wow! Your hairdresser is a doctor?") The ad goes on to talk about moderation and how natural it is and bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Everyone knows it's bad but nobody really seems to care. I wonder if the mercury scare will change the national tune. (Although I thought the same thing when they found that potato chips are high in carcinogens. Hasn't seemed to hurt Frito-Lay.)

Tainted baby formula. Poisonous peanuts. What's next?

Monday, January 26, 2009

You've got to be kidding me

A quick one - the baby was up all night and I'm feeling the effects. The boy is sick-sick. The poor kid insisted on sleeping on me last night, glued to my chest with sticky toddler sweat. His temperature was up to 103.6 this morning and after 4 days of big fevers, no sleep, and, as of today, no eating, I pulled a Bitchmother* and got a last-minute appointment with the doctor. Turns out he has a double ear infection - both ears - and needs antibiotics. I sure hope they kick in soon - he's already woken up twice tonight sobbing. (The Motrin/Tylenol punch doesn't seem nearly as effective at night.) I can hear him moaning in his sleep over the monitor. Ugh. Heartbreaking. OH! AND! I've been having really intense, labor-esque contractions in my stomach (for the record - not pregnant) and the doctor said that it's probably acid due to stress and that I have to lay off caffeine and booze. How the hell am I supposed to manage my stress if I can't have caffeine and booze?! It's going to be a long week...

* Totally stole this phrase from the genius Ayun Halliday. Read her and weep - with laughter. Ba-da-CHI!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I already did this list when it was called Seven Things About Me. Lucky for you I'm far too narcissistic to stop there -

1) I have a large scar that runs from underneath my left breast to the middle of my back. It's from the heart surgery I had when I was five. People often ask if it's from a boob job which makes me wonder what kind of pornos they're watching.

2) I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer from the ages of 10 to 17. When I realized that no matter how hard I tried I would never be good enough (or thin enough, or flexible enough) I stopped. I still love ballet and think that there is nothing better than sitting in Lincoln Center, listening to the orchestra.

3) I will never understand the appeal of a booze cruise.

4) I spent the bulk of the 4th grade pretending to be married to Prince.

5) Now I pretend to be a member of Guns 'N Roses.

6) Thinking back on it, I dated way too many musicians. Okay, 2. I dated 2.

7) I am constantly apologizing for my behavior during my 20's.

8) I harbor an immediate and intense dislike for people who use the phrase "Too much information", especially when that phrase is directed towards me.

9) I find cereal for breakfast depressing.

10) I hate peanut butter and jelly. Throughout the entirety of my childhood I would only eat soup, specifically bean with bacon or cream of potato. Soup is not a recipe for popularity in grade school.

11) I wish people still wrote letters.

12) I am not spontaneous or adventurous. Luckily I have friends, otherwise I'd never leave the house.

13) My friends convinced me that I was going bald in high school.

14) After losing track of each other for 6 years, my husband and I ran into each other on the subway and that, as they say, was that.

15) I once wore a Valentino gown to Valentino's birthday party. My job was to guard Steven Spielberg. Remind me to tell you about it sometime.

16) There are few things I enjoy more than a goodie bag.

17) I cannot be trusted around hors d'oeuvres.

18) I have a glass of wine every night. It's my reward for good behavior.

19) I cannot say the ABC's without singing the song or add without counting on my fingers.

20) I hate making decisions but once I do, good luck changing my mind.

21) I have always wanted to work on Sesame Street but am unable to sing, puppeteer, or do funny voices.

22) I wish I had a passion for nursing, science, or plumbing. I could use a job.

23) I hate getting manicures or pedicures.

24) I have been working on a novel for almost 3 years. I'm on Chapter 2.

25) As God is my witness, I will never work in food service or retail again.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Remember when you could smoke in hospitals?

Baby boy has his first significant fever. It started on Friday and has veered between "Hmmm" and "Ye gods!" ever since. We've got him on a steady diet of fluids, Motrin, and Tylenol which seems to be keeping the awfulness at bay but there's still some weirdness causing alarm. He got his MMR, chicken pox, and flu shots two weeks ago but yesterday the injection site became raised and red, and is apparently quite sore. (The boy starts whimpering when we touch it.) We sent the doctor a picture of the rash and she seems relatively unconcerned, not that that relieves me. If it were two days after the shots I'd be cool, but two weeks? The brow furrows. His energy is good and he seems happy enough (even when edging towards 103) but boy, it's hard to relax when your kid is sick. How'd Prairie Mamas do it, with Doc twenty miles away and no acetamenophen? When I had heart surgery and was given a 50% chance of survival, my folks pulled through like champs but my kid gets a fever and I'm frothing at the mouth. Previous generations were definitely made of stronger stuff.

Anyway, we have to watch the boy this weekend and make sure he doesn't go downhill. He's pretty psyched because all this fever means he gets juice - a rare and coveted treat. I really ought to start exposing him to more "frothy" food. I don't want find him in huddled in the pantry, scooping brown sugar into his maw because we wouldn't allow Lucky Charms...

Friday, January 23, 2009

To EC or not to EC. (THAT is the question?)

I like to think of myself as pretty worldly. I live in the Big City. I've seen some things. And when it comes to raising kids, I'm pretty willing to try anything.

ALMOST anything.

I was at the Children's Library yesterday, chatting with a Brooklyn mama. She was typical Park Slope - smart, artsy, the kind of woman who composts and wears spectacular glasses. We were talking childrearing and about halfway through the conversation she asked if we practiced EC.

"EC?" I asked innocently.

EC. It stands for "Elimination Communication" and apparently it's the latest latest. For those who aren't in the know, EC is a sort of a back-to-basics potty training. For years, women without access to diapers had to learn to follow their infants' cues to know when they needed to do their business. People eventually realized that you could successfully potty train your child by simply anticipating their needs and it started catching on in the Attachment Parenting circles. Brooklyn Mama was doing it with her daughter and finding it surprisingly easy, managing (as she so delicately put it) to "catch" most of her daughters poops and pees. Did I mention that EC is diaper-free?

Oh yeah. Diaper-free.

How spectacular would that be? Mind melding with your baby means NO DIAPERS. No diapers means no trash, no trash means no landfill, no landfill means more planet, plus you'd never have to navigate the choppy waters of potty training! PLUS you could totally pretend to be a Vulcan! It's a win-win-win-win-win!

Needless to say, by the third "win" my Inner Midwesterner was grabbing for the Pampers.

See, here's the thing - as far as I think I've come with my PBA-free lotions and Greenmarket produce and organic-yogurt-with-flax-seed-oil-and-wheat-germ toddler breakfasts, I will never do something like this. It's not the Ewww factor that gets me, it's the thought of adding one more thing to my already Santa-sized parenting list. I mean I have a general idea of my son's bathroom schedule but if I had to race to the toilet every time he gave an inkling of a hint of a grunt I'd lose what's left of my tiny, addled mind. My god, the pressure!

"But Ali", you say, "it's just pee."

But criminy, it's PEE! On stuff! Stuff I already don't have time to clean! (Note to self: add "clean stuff" to Santa list.)

My hat's off to anyone who does this, and I'm not saying that in any sort of condescending, "Well good for you" way. She cares more about the planet than a whizz-free couch. Frankly, she cares more than me. I'll still buy the (hopefully) better diapers and recycle like a fiend (unfortunately composing is tricky in 750 square feet) but I will potty train like the Midwesterner I am.

Ripped from today's headline

Thanks, Yahoo News, for the greatest understatement of a headline ever -

"Quintuplets' Mom Stressed"

Which begs the question - this is news?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The short, chubby dictator pronounced the day quite "Goob".

Man, yesterday was awesome, wasn't it? Hard not to love the love. I totally teared up when the motorcade drove through town. I kept imagining what was going through Obama's brain... My brain would have probably been more Christmas Morning than Pending Leader (This is awesome! Oh man, this is awesome!) and that, friends, is why I have never been elected to public office.

I loved Biden's face when he was walking down the hall - he practically skipped he was so excited. Obama, though... the weight of the world. I guess there's no other way to look when you're the leader of a very fucked up free world but I was relieved to see him and Michelle at the parties, dancing so close. Boy they're a good looking couple. I find it it comforting that Michelle hasn't botoxed herself to death. Maybe she'll start a trend. Keep it real, Michelle. Keep it real.

The boy and I both enjoyed the ceremony, each in our own way. He waved at the crowd, clapping whenever he spotted the First Girls. He was allowed free reign in the living room (it was the one thing that would entertain him long enough to watch history being made) and he made the most of it: "rearranging" the video shelf for us, tearing pages (okay, page) out of daddy's expensive coffee table books, and getting his giant baby self trapped underneath the Exersaucer. It was the first time he was able to roam free in the Big Room and I'm pretty sure he almost killed himself twice. Someone's going to call Child Protective Services on us for keeping the poor kid trapped in the bedroom but we still haven't gotten around to babyproofing the rest of the house yet. Between the sharp, glass-topped coffee table, the wire forest underneath the desk, and (as I discovered yesterday) EVERYTHING ELSE WE OWN, it's like a baby minefield out here. We've got the basics done (the bathroom, the kitchen, the outlets) but it's just easier to take him to the library or the pool than tackle the madness. As soon as he starts walking we'll have to re-think but (cue parenting philosophy!) it works for now. Matt has a very zen, Cross That Bridge When You Come To It take on raising the boy. I tend to be a touch more squawky but maybe Matt's onto something. I was listening to NPR and they were talking about the ways childrearing has changed over the years. In the 20's there was a huge push to stop being affectionate towards children, fearing that hugging and kissing would lead to wussy, clingy adults. The childcare guru at the time advised parents to offer a firm handshake instead. In 1910, the reigning expert told parents that they should have no trouble potty training their children by the age of 3 months, as long as they "started early". (The mind reels.) Who knows what future generations will think about the stuff we're advised to do? (Speaking of - anybody have any pearls of wisdom for enticing a soon-to-be 13-month-old to sleep past 6 am? I'm ALL EARS.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm celebrating with wine and roses. Or baby bottles and diaper duty. It's all good.


I plan on celebrating by letting the boy have some much-coveted TV time (mostly so mama can have some much-coveted TV time) and by ignoring the fact that the kid only took a 40 minute nap this morning. I'm pretending not to notice that he's awake or feel crummy because he had a nightmare and spent god knows how long sobbing in his crib while I lazed about in the shower. Let me tell you, nothing arouses toddler curiosity faster than a sopping wet mother with a towel on her head. Try to get a kid back to sleep after that, just try.

I will forget all that because it is Barack Obama Day. He will be giving a speech and it will be awesome. My kingdom for a ticket to that Inauguration!

Who knew?

So apparently a plane crash landed next to my apartment the other day. I hear my upstairs neighbor fart but the jumbo jet rumbling down the Hudson? Totally missed it...

Friday, January 16, 2009

I love that shirt.

We had our preschool interview this morning.

You read that right. Interview.

I was told to bring the boy by the school at 9:30 am for a 15-minute "meeting" with the head of the program. Needless to say, I was dying to know what they could ask a 12-month-old ("Where's your belly button? No, that's your penis") but decided to hide my snark until after the boy got accepted.

At 9 am the boy's eyes began to droop.

By 9:15 he was reaching for his hair.


I put on a turtleneck and some cute boots, slapped a sweater on the boy (the French one that makes him look like Picasso) and headed to the school, praying that he'd stay awake long enough to impress them with his dancing skills. The school was adorable; the parents kind. The director said hello, asked if I had any questions - and went back to work.

And that was it.

Until some kid projectile vomited chocolate milk all over the classroom.

Remind me why school's important again?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What fresh hell is this...

Baby boy is refusing his second nap. For the past two days, nap time has gone something like this:

2:15 pm: Dim room, close blinds, remove toys/cats/reeking diaper pail. Give boy 15 minutes of "baby time" to send signal that nap is forthcoming.

2:15: Check email. Ignore squeals of excitement over baby monitor at ability to drop cherished blankie onto bedroom floor.

2:16: Check email. Ignore squeals of fury over baby monitor at inability to reach cherished blankie on bedroom floor.

2:18: Retrieve cherished blankie. Return to email.

2:19: Retrieve cherished blankie. Return to email.

2:20: Retrieve cherished blankie. Give up on email.

2:30: Remove child from crib. Begin bedtime routine: 2 books, white noise, rocking and humming.

2:32: Baby begins pumping legs, causing chair to rock faster. Gleeful giggling at newfound skill.

2:32: Baby moved to less pump-friendly position.

2:35: Baby begins rubbing eyes and yawning. Mother feels glint of hope.

2:36: Baby begins cycle of intentional awakedness: arching back, kicking legs, nonsensical noises, excessive hair pulling.

2:37: Mother ignores baby. Hums and rocks.

2:45: Mother ignores baby. Hums and rocks.

2:50: Mother ignores baby. Hums and rocks.

2:51: Mother is done. Tosses baby into crib.

2:52: Mother eats brownie.

3:00: Mother retrieves angry baby; commences humming and rocking.

3:05: Baby's eyes begin to droop.

3:10: Baby settles into comfortable position. Pronounces position "Goob!"

3:15: Baby asleep.

Okay, the hair pulling? Not my favorite. I keep trying to explain that ripping fistfuls of my hair out is not, not, not relaxing but he's not buying it. (I try to pin his arms down but Little Dude's slippery like an eel.) Frankly, I can't figure out what the balking's about. He's tired, the eyes are pink, the yawns are happening... Maybe this is part of the 13 month sleep regression (every month we have to go through this?) but I'd like a little more snoozing and a little less maiming, if you don't mind.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What kind of American doesn't like the cream?!

Alas, I can't claim this as my own - dear Missy wrote this'un - but there is so much truth I couldn't help but laugh. She agreed to share so here you go:

"I can't say that I really had a true New Year's Resolution this year. I had a lot of thoughts, but never settled on one thing.

Every year I vow this is the year that I will adopt healthy eating habits. I do well for a while and then I swan dive gracefully and purposefully off the wagon of healthy eating habits.

In many respects this year has been no different. New Year's Day rolled around and I ate a healthy breakfast...and then scarfed several pieces of left over fudge from the previous evenings' festivities.

The beginning of the week rolled around a few days later and I got serious. Because I have to. I have been on approximately 5 month binge of eating crap, not exercising, going to bed ridiculously late and a toll has been taken. I am grumpy, outgrowing my pants, tired, and generally unfit.

So I signed up for a 7-day free trial of Weight Watchers. After three days the points counting once again is making me a lunatic. I don't have time to enter points throughout the day. I foolishly thinking I am doing really well until I count up my points at the end of the day, am over and still hungry. I soldier on. However by Friday I am done. I just can't make myself pay to do what I already know I need to do and am doing for the most part. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Eat appropriate portions. Drink water. Exercise. I decide my money is better spent joining the Y. At least there I get a pool.

I have continued to monitor what I am eating. Appropriate portions! Fruit! Vegetables! Water! Exercise!

Now you have the back story to what I am about to confess.

Today I had a client successfully complete therapy. When this happens I plan a celebration, and I let the child pick a special treat to eat during the last session. Today the choice was Hostess Cupcakes. I ate one with the child. Not a big deal.

There are enough left over for both kids and BH to have one. So I bring them home. #2 nibbles on hers and declares that she doesn't like it because it has whipped cream in the middle. She deposits the cupcake on my plate.

I stare at it for several minutes as I eat my carrots. Then I begin to pick a the frosting. I mention to BH who is sitting across from me that I am trying not to eat it because I already had one today, and eating another really blows my portion control efforts. He suggests putting ketchup on it so I will leave it alone. I laugh at him. And of course continue to pick at the frosting. I eat all the frosting. I pick up the ketchup bottle and douse the motherfucker. I turn it upside down to smush the ketchup. I pause. I look. I pick up the bottle again as BH starts to laugh. Laugh because he knows my thought process and subsequent action....I have to drown the other side before I eat down to where there is ketchup.

Yes folks. I am that sad, and that weak when faced with a mere cupcake.

Don't judge me."

No judgment here, baby! It's the ketchup part that kills me. And the picking at the frosting. (Damn you, frosting!) I, too, battled with WW and the dreaded points. Eventually I decided that certain foods didn't count. My breakfast smoothie, for instance. I refused to accept that fat-free yogurt, blueberries, wheat germ, and flax seed oil was a worse choice (at 6 gasp-inducing points) than some ridiculous, processed, chemical laden (but only 1 point!) breakfast bar. So I just ignored it. For what that's worth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I do, however, want to be Christopher Atkins.

I am not a fan of change. I've never been a stay-out-late-party-till-dawn-hop-a-plane-to-Istanbul-grab-a-spontaneous-drink-cut-off-all-your-hair-get-a-tattoo-buy-a-used-van-get-married-in-Vegas-don't-do-your-homework-piss-off-your-parents-have-sex-in-the-pool type. Hell, I don't even have my ears pierced. (I once dated a guy who had an earlobe fetish. He also wore an eye patch. I picked some winners.) I love routine and predictability. I may be the only person in the world who enjoys data entry. Choosing a new career? Moving out of the Big City? Following my Bliss, whatever the hell that is? Not so easy for me. I find myself paging through course catalogs, calculating the cost effectiveness of Intro to Magazine Writing, weighing the glamorousness of school teaching versus copy editing (I love a red pen), wondering if I should have scrapped the BFA for something a touch more computery. I do realize we should all have such problems (get a job already, woman!) but after a weekend of "Confessions of a Teen Idol" (oh sweet VH-1) "Middle-Aged Wannabe" just doesn't seem like a viable profession. I don't want to be Adrian Zmed.

Taking care of the baby, tapping on the computer - I'd pretty happy doing that for awhile. I feel ridiculously rewarded watching the boy learn. (His latest - taking the pieces of apple at lunch and trying to reassemble them so that they fit into the original fruit. Genius!) I'm so proud of how happy he is. I mean, I have to have something to do with that, right? Unfortunately nothing clears a room faster than announcing that you're a Stay-At-Home-Mom. So I look at the coursebooks. I cringe at the costs. I go to the auditions (The Wicked Witch of the West? A giant paper monster? A cyclops? You bet!) and hope for the best. I sign up for the Magazine Writing class and hope for the best. I go to the NYU Open House for Graduate Studies and hope for the best.

Oh how I hope for the best.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What am I going to be like when I'm old?

My husband and I rarely disagree. All those fights about money and sex that magazines tell me we're supposed to be having? Not here. Time to clean the cat box? Eh, I'll do it. Garbage reeking? Go for it, honey. But there IS one issue in our house - a bone of contention that pits man against woman every single week.


We spent a lot of money on groceries. Next to rent, it is our single biggest expense. It's not that I don't try to be frugal. When it comes to saving a buck, I'm a touch OCD. My typical Saturday involves dragging a rickety cart through Times Square, down the subway steps, into the pee-soaked subway elevator, onto the train, then braving the line at Trader Joe's, heading back to the subway, up the pee-soaked elevator, onto the train, and through Times Square, all so I can save the $20 delivery fee.

It takes approximately 3 hours.

Matt and I go around and around about this.

"You spent HOW MUCH on groceries?"

(Even though I go to a place that sells $3 wine, our total still seems to cost the equivalent of a lap dance.)

"If you lose your day shopping for groceries, is it really worth the money?"

(Organic bananas for $.19 a pound! Organic whole chicken - $12.99! A tub of organic yogurt - $2.99!)

"You do realize that there's a store right downstairs."

Ah yes, the STORE DOWNSTAIRS. How it mocks me with its convenience. Want to know what convenience costs? $.79 per pound! For non-organic bananas! It physically pains me to pay that much when I know that only 3 hours away I could save sixty cents.

Okay, perhaps it's time to give this a re-think.

Still, there I am every weekend, cart in hand, grump on face. I can't not go. It's the same feeling I have whenever I see money on the street. I'm not saying that I've fished a quarter out of a very sketchy pool of sidewalk water (at least I think it was water) but hey, that's why God invented hand sanitizer.

What do you do to save a buck? Collect cans? Reuse dental floss? Or do you throw caution to the wind and let the non-sale items fall where they may?
10 points to the person who does something even more ridiculous than me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I had cereal for lunch.

I've spent the past two days putting together the boy's application for pre-preschool. I'd like to point out that the baby just turned 1. They start 'em early around these parts.

I know we covered this ground last year (the first time we applied - when he was all of 2 months old) but the NYC school system is a monster. There aren't enough schools to go around so competition is fierce. Most preschools make applications available only one day each year - people actually take off work to wait in line. Preschools require essays, interviews, even letters of recommendation. Luckily our preschool only asks for an essay and a significant amount of family commitment. (Representation at three general membership meetings, a total of 6 hours of fundraising if you have one child enrolled in the school, and 1 additional hour for each sibling, parent aiding in the classroom, service on a committee, and participation in 1 workday for 2 hours.) If I had my druthers I'd hold off on schooling (I don't think I started until I was 3. Matt never even went to preschool) but it became clear quick that that wasn't an option. If you want to get your kid into a good high school (versus the one down the block with the metal detectors and stabbings and constant police presence) he needs to go to a good middle school. Unlike the Midwest where you just went to whatever school happened to be closest, here schools don't funnel into other schools. Just because you went to grade school in a certain district doesn't mean there'll be a place for your child in the middle school, so jockeying for position is vital. High schools work with favorite middle schools, which work with favorite grade schools, which work with favorite preschools, and it's almost impossible to get into the school of your choice without faculty calling in favors. Our preschool is very desirable - it's hard to get into it unless you're there from the beginning - which is why I've spent the past 48 hours putting together the best damn pre-preschool application this city has ever seen.

Good times. Good times.

In other news, large amounts of cuteness (and stabs at independence) happening lately. The babe has discovered that if he pulls himself up on the loveseat he can inch towards the cats, which is what he spends every waking hour doing. (Sometimes he gets super excited and forgets that he has to move his feet and ends up in a face plant but hey, he's trying.) He's also discovered his love of song. "Hey Jude" is a real winner, what with all the baby-friendly LA-LA-LA's (or YA-YA-YA's since he can't pronounce his L's) but anything will do. He points to the iPod and bounces up and down until I turn something on. I'm trying to avoid kiddie music, although I do have a soft spot for Dan Zanes. I know there's good stuff out there (They Might Be Giants' latest comes to mind) but I figure if we get him used to our music it'll help mold his tastes during the teen years. I might just be fooling myself, but it's better than listening to Elmo.

Speaking of, I am pleased to report that the boy wants nothing to do with that giggly little fucker. We have a hand-me-down Elmo book that I was loathe to introduce but my inability to rid myself of anything meant certain discovery. One of the biggest reasons I haven't introduced Sesame Street (aside from my whole "No TV until age 3" rule) is my intense dislike of Elmo. It's not that he's not cute - I'm not made of stone - but there's something about him that drives me over the edge. (Don't get me started on Dora The Explorer.) Of course the other day I found the boy leafing through the Elmo book, staring intently at the pages.


That's my boy! I love Grover (second only in my heart to Gonzo) and will gladly purchase that adorable blue monster any time. (Although if anybody has a no-longer-loved Grover lying around...) I'm still not sold on watching Sesame Street (it's only a matter of time before Elmo takes hold) but I did add Sesame Street Classic to the Netflix queue.

For the record, we're still on the bottle. I just don't have it in me to wean yet. I know, I know - better to do it now than later - but it just doesn't feel right. He's doing great with the cup, though. He'll even drink cold milk out of it. (No where near the 16 oz. he's supposed to have, but at least it's a start.) He's also experimenting with two-syllable words and very much enjoys telling us the new names of things. Luckily everything happens to be called a DUN-ya so it's easy to remember.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I've had a glass of wine.

I'm very curious about what 2009 will bring. 2007 was such a dramatic year - got pregnant, got the book deal, had the big health scare, had the baby... 2008? Almost a total blur.

I'm not being disingenuous when I say that I don't remember the first half of my son's life. It breaks my heart but what can I say? The brain pan is wiped clean. I have bold, Mondrian-like splashes of memory - bouncing endlessly on an inflatable yoga ball while holding a hair dryer to simulate white noise and shushing like my life depended on it as the boy screamed for hoooooours. Sleeping in 40 minute shifts for months on end. Holding the baby in our laps while eating dinner with one hand, brushing crumbs off his head, knowing that the minute we'd set him down he'd wake up. But the good stuff - the feel of him curled on my chest, his coos, the first time he smiled - I got nothin'. Matt put on the music we used to play when we were trying to get him to sleep and I had to shut it off because I started having a panic attack.

Thank god things have changed.

People often ask me if I want more children and I don't know what to say. "Maybe?" "Theoretically?" It's probably for the best that I'm unsure. I'm no spring chicken and getting pregnant the first time was no mean feat. But even if I was 25 with rip-roaring ovaries I might stop. Our family is awfully cozy. Three is my favorite number. I feel lucky enough to have the one. But I can't help craving the experience I didn't have. I suppose every mother goes through that. You wish your pregnancy had been different or that you'd gone natural or breastfed longer or, or, or. (By the way, that family with the 18 kids - how does that happen? How do you have time for sex with 18 kids? We barely have time and we only have the one.)

Where was I going with this?

2009. Seems promising. I haven't actually embarked on any of my resolutions but my dad's in town and it's a weekend so hey, cut me some slack, man. (So what if I'm eating a ball of raw cookie dough? Weight Watchers doesn't start until next weekend.)

It's the most wonderful year of the year!

Whenever I tell someone I live in the Big City, they inevitably want to know two things:

1) Have I ever been mugged
2) Have I ever been to Times Square on New Year's

The answer is no and hell no.

The honest truth is that no New Yorker goes to Times Square on New Year's Eve. (Most don't go to Times Square if they can help it.) And those that have braved the crowds always say the same thing: NEVER AGAIN. Standing toe-to-toe with a cruise-ship's worth of strangers without access to food, bathrooms, or alcohol on one of the coldest nights of the year? Sign me up! (Did you know that you can't leave? Abandon your post and the coppers won't let you back. Need to urinate? Guess you shoulda thought about that.)

Good times. Good times.

New Year's Eve has always felt like such a high-maintenance holiday. I could never shake the feeling that if I didn't have triple exclamation point F-U-N, the upcoming year was shot. Somehow I always ended up soggy and miserable, wadded up on someone's futon, nursing the aftereffects of some ill-advised pharmaceutical adventure. Luckily I'm an old biddy now and can spend The Biggest Night of the Year curled up on the couch with pizza and champagne.
If my night was any indication, 2009 should be cozy and fattening.