Friday, March 29, 2013

Go Out and Have Yourself a Great Weekend


The weekend is upon us again, my friends.  I'm hoping this weekend brings me a sleep period of longer than three hours, but I'm not holding my breath.

Our continuing celebration of Passover has us planning to hit The Skirball Center for the Exodus Steps exhibit.  I realize the Muffin Man is a little young to really appreciate it, but the Hubby and I both love the Skirball and it seems like a fun activity for a chilly spring weekend.  Plus, I want to check out their weekend family program in order to be in the know when I'm looking for stuff to do with an active toddler in the next year...

Tonight the Hubby and I are going to slip out for an early cocktail at Sassafras.  It's the one neighborhood watering hole we haven't had a chance to check out yet, and it's owned by the same folks who have Bigfoot Lounge, so I'm looking forward to lots of kitsch and delicious adult beverages.

Sunday we're spending the day with my parents, and I'm thinking we just might ditch the kiddo with them and go for a bike ride along The Strand.  I'm dying for some exercise that's more of a workout than what I get in Mommy & Me yoga.  Of course, if we do go for a long ride I plan to reward myself with a large portion of Easter candy...

Enjoy your weekend, and a Happiest of Easters to those of you who celebrate!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

(Un)Happy Hour



Over the years of what I like to call “my life before baby”, I always looked forward to five o’clock; mainly because it’s the socially acceptable hour at which one can commence drinking.  Now that I have a child, I dread the approach of 5PM the way the kid from The Shining dreaded walking down that long and creepy hallway.  It turns out that once you have a kid, “Happy Hour” gets rebranded as “Arsenic Hour”.  Of course, no one tells you this when you’re pregnant.  It’s not until you mention to someone that your baby screams nonstop from 5-7PM every night that they say, “oh, of course he does!  All babies do that; haven’t you everheard of Arsenic Hour?”  I’ve since decided that the reason it’s called Arsenic Hour is because you would gladly poison yourself as an alternative to listening to your child scream incessantly for two hours.

The Muffin Man, who normally has a sweet, tranquil disposition, has a meltdown every single day as soon as 5PM rolls around.  Sure, he may spend most of the day laughing and cuddling and basically being the sweetest child on Earth, but just as soon as I’m ready to make myself the first cocktail of the night, the kid blows.  We’re talking ear-piercing screams, a beet-red face and crying spasms so intense I used to be worried he was having a seizure.  The first week or two of this I was beside myself. I tried feeding him: he rejected my boob, which brought up my latent feelings of rejection from my father and I ended up on the phone with my therapist.  I tried changing his diaper, for which I was rewarded with a face full of pee and poop so explosive it actually got on the curtain across the room.  I tried singing and dancing, both to no avail other than to confirm that I do, in fact, have no rhythm.  Finally, on the verge of throwing myself out the second floor window of his nursery, I handed the screaming mess off to my Husband and escaped into a hot bath. 

After several weeks of this I finally got so despondent that I called my Mother.  I love my Mother, but after reflecting on many of the appalling parenting choices she made while raising me, I think it’s telling just how desperate for help I was that I reached out to her.  I cried and told her that I was a terrible Mother because my kid wouldn’t stop crying and nothing I did would soothe him. She said, “Well of course he does. Everyone knows that babies cry at that hour.  Have a glass of wine and relax.  He’ll stop crying around seven.”  Sure enough, she was right.  Maybe I just needed to hear that I wasn’t the crappiest Mom after all, or maybe it was the large glass of wine, but that night the Muffin Man’s nightly meltdown became more manageable.  Once I finally stopped blaming myself and my numerous shortcomings as a Mother, I was able to be more effective at calming my kid down.  Yes, you can still set your watch by his nightly Jekyll and Hyde moment, but I’ve finally picked up a few tricks that usually keep the screaming o a minimum.  Oh, and I’ve also learned the value of always having a nice bottle of wine on hand.    

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week


As I've previously confessed, I didn't do a whole lot of preparation for life after baby's arrival.  I certainly didn't read any books, so aside from watching The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, we were pretty much flying by the seat of our pants when it came to taking care of the Muffin Man.  As a result, for the first two weeks of my son's life on Earth we didn't put any diaper rash cream on the poor kid.  Apparently, I'd heard somewhere that babies who are exclusively breast fed don't get diaper rash, so I (stupidly) left the kid's butt unprotected against the humid, nasty environment of his diapers.  Not surprisingly, the Muffin Man ended up with a horrible, red rash that resulted in hours of screaming and an extra trip to the Pediatrician's office for a prescription diaper cream.  Thankfully, the diaper rash healed quickly.  And I'm sure I'll get over my guilt with regards to my negligent parenting by the time my son is about thirty.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Toys for my Tot

My house is starting to look like the showroom from Buy, Buy Baby.  At the current moment I have two swings, a MamaRoo, an activity chair, and a play mat scattered throughout my home.  If you're expecting a child and would like to try out one of these items before you register for it, by all means, stop by and give them a whirl!  I dream of once again having a well-decorated living room that isn't filled with brightly colored baby gadgets that clash with my upholstery.  The thing is that all of these items are necessary in order for me to maintain my sanity.  The activity chair is portable, which means that it happens to be the only thing allowing me the time to take a shower on a (somewhat) daily basis.  The MamaRoo is great for naps downstairs, while one of the other swings lives in my office and keeps my kid occupied long enough for me to do a marginal amount of work each day.  The other swing lives outside on the patio so that we can enjoy the beautiful spring weather and a Bloody Mary on the weekends.  And the play mat gets dragged around the house so that I can torture the Muffin Man with "tummy time" every day (and torture myself with his attendant screaming).  I'm sure that one day I'll miss having a house full of baby gear, but at the present moment I'm looking forward to no longer falling over this crap on a daily basis; my pedicures have really been taking a beating.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Have Yourself a Great Friggin' Weekend


It's the weekend again!  Yours truly pulled a muscle in her back this week (probably from lifting the insanely heavy carseat), so my weekend is mostly going to involve moaning about not being able to take anything stronger than Tylenol and sitting in a hot bath.  Super thrilling, let me tell you.

We're getting ready for Passover, which starts Monday evening, so if I can drag myself downstairs to the kitchen I'll make a batch of Matzoh Crack to last us through the week.

I just found out that LACMA gives free memberships to kiddos and one of their parents, and I would love to take advantage of that perk and go see Metropolis II.  I think it's brilliant that the artist, Chris Burden, has turned LA's terrible traffic into the inspiration for an art piece!

One of our favorite restaurants from our New York neighborhood has finally made it to Los Angeles.  If you're New York transplants like we are and you miss SoHo mainstays Kelly & Ping or Khin Khao, then hightail it over to Pingtung on Melrose.  I'm on Mommy duty this weekend, but as soon as we have childcare again this place is at the top of our list.

What are your plans for the weekend?  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Motherhood Reality Check



Dear Friends,
If I was ever an asshole to you with regards to your parenting choices, I sincerely apologize. 
Warmest Regards,
Anna

Before I had my own child, I made a lot of judgments about people’s parenting choices.  What I failed to understand until I became a Mother myself is that sometimes the choices you make aren’t really choices, but rather necessities to ensure that you don’t go crazy and end up sticking your head in the oven (or the microwave – I don’t actually know how to turn on my oven).  Below is a list of several of the parenting things I said I would never do, and which I now fully admit to doing on a daily basis.

1.  I will never let my son sleep in the bed with us.  
That lasted all of two days.  Here’s the reality: you will basically let your child sleep anywhere that he or she will actually sleep.  Honestly, if the Muffin Man would sleep for longer than 45 minutes hanging from the branches of the orange tree in my backyard, we would be sleeping there.  When we first came home from the hospital I had every intention of letting the kiddo sleep in his cradle, but when you’re waking up every hour to breastfeed and you can barely move and your newborn has night and day reversed and doesn’t like to fall back to sleep after feeding, you’ll pretty much do anything to get some sleep.  So, of course, I got into the habit of putting the Muffin Man in between the Hubby and I in the bed… and that’s now the only place he likes to sleep.  I figure we should finally get our bed back in about ten years when he’s too big to actually fit in the space between us.

2.  My house won’t be a disaster.  
Hahahaha!  What a joke.  My house looks like it’s a candidate for the show Hoarders.  It’s amazing how once you have a child just loading the dishwasher seems like a Herculean task.  And the piles of laundry every single day are staggering.  I’m glad we have a large, farmhouse style sink, because I’ve discovered that it’s actually deep enough to hold every single dish we own.  If I wasn’t fortunate enough to afford a housekeeper once a week, I’m pretty sure that DCFS would’ve taken my son away from me for living in squalor.  On the plus side, I’ve learned that you can wear underwear more than one day in a row, and that Whole Foods carries some lovely disposable dishware.

3.  My Husband and I will be back to having sex just as soon as possible after I give birth.  
Oh my God, if that isn’t the most delusional thing I’ve ever said, I don’t know what is.  At this point, it’s hard for me to believe that we will ever have sex again.  We are both exhausted.  I’ve never felt less sexy in my life (ok, maybe in high school when I had a unibrow), and we have a small child sleeping in our bed!  Plus, neither my Husband nor I can really figure out how the whole foreplay thing works when you’re breastfeeding.  I have dreams of a romantic weekend get away with the Hubby, but I’m pretty sure we would spend the whole time sleeping; definitely a waste of free Grandparent childcare and an expensive hotel room.

4.  I am going to exclusively breast feed my child and not give him a bottle for at least a year.
After two weeks of sore, bleeding nipples, and not being able to go anywhere without my son attached to me, I'd had enough.  I know there are women who do this, and I give them credit, but I'm the sort of Mother who needs time away from her child in order to remain sane (refer to aforementioned item #1), and the only way that was going to happen was if I let the kid have a bottle.  So now I pump breast milk daily and let the Hubby or anyone who happens to be within arms reach, give the Muffin Man a bottle.  Maybe this is yet another thing that makes me a bad Mother, but I'm okay with that.  It's very hard to attend sample sales with a baby attached to your boob.

5.  I am not going to give my child a pacifier until he's at least a month old.
This was a well-researched decision backed up by our pediatrician.  However, our pediatrician happens to be a man and has no idea how painful it is to have a small human gumming your nipples for hours on end.  Not surprisingly, my kid likes to suck on things - nipples, his fingers, his toes - and he has a hard time falling asleep without something in his mouth.  Once I realized that I could both spare my nipples from permanent damage and possibly get some more sleep, I jammed a blue plastic Soothie in the Muffin Man's mouth without hesitation.  His father and I both have f*cked up teeth, so we figure we're facing so much orthodontic work for the kid anyway that a few years sucking on a pacifier won't make much of a difference.  

Look, being a parent is a tough friggin’ job.  Most days I’m pretty sure that I suck at it, and that I’m permanently screwing my kid up.  But I figure that despite the fact that I am, at the very least, a runner-up for “worst Mother”, I love my kid beyond belief, and I'm hoping that counts for something when he’s in therapy. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week

I haven't had my car washed since before the Muffin Man was born.  For those of you keeping track, that's almost three months of filth courtesy of the City of Angels.  Today, as I was lugging the Muffin Man's carseat out to the car, I happened to brush up against the aforementioned grime.  This wouldn't be much of an issue if I'd only gotten myself dirty, since I haven't showered since... I'm not sure when, but the brunt of the force was taken by the Muffin Man's portable Sleep Sheep.  (Just in case you're one of my readers who still has a life and doesn't know what a Sleep Sheep is, it's this adorable little stuffed lamb that has a sound machine inside to help your little one sleep).  In just the few seconds it took me to manhandle the carseat, I turned the Sleep Sheep into the Little Black Sheep.  The Muffin Man loves his Sleep Sheep; so much so, that as soon as I put the carseat in the car, he shoved the dirtiest part of the sheep into his mouth and proceeded to ingest three months of pollution.  Thankfully, he doesn't seem to have suffered any adverse effects (he's still alive, after all), though I'm hoping the black spit-up subsides before we go to see the pediatrician next week.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mind Your Own Damn Bizness


Everybody loves to give advice when you have a child.  The thing I wasn't prepared for are the perfect strangers who come up to you and offer advice about your parenting.  This past weekend, the Hubby and I were out and about with the Muffin Man in his stroller.  In an effort to reduce his exposure to germs and to help him nap more soundly, I had a blanket draped over the stroller.  While I was busy minding my own business, pushing the stroller down the block, a woman walked up to me and said, "you need to let some air in there.  Your kid is going to suffocate!"  Apparently this woman is not familiar with the fact that in order to actually suffocate you have to hold something over a child's nose and mouth.  Last time I checked, the blanket was draped over the stroller, not tied tightly around my kid's head obstructing his air flow.  In an effort to be more mature and set a good example for my son, I didn't tell her that she was a nosy bitch and to mind her own business and to LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE (although I really, really wanted to). I did tell her that I was sure my son would be fine.  And then I gave her the finger as she was walking away.  Because, let's face it, I'm not that mature.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mommy & Me Reject

There is at least one moment every day when I'm reminded how totally unprepared I am for parenthood. Today I decided to sign the Muffin Man up for a Mommy and Me class. I figure it's probably a good idea for him to socialize with something other than his stuffed elephant, and I could use a reason to take a shower and wear actual clothing once a week. Armed with a list of class recommendations from friends, I assumed I would be able to simply sign-up, pay a small amount of money, and show up armed with baby wipes next week. Boy, was I sorely mistaken! The first class I called about told me that I should have signed up when I first found out I was pregnant!! Seriously? When I first found out I was pregnant I was still trying to decide if I even wanted to have a child, so signing up for Mommy and Me wasn't exactly at the top of my To Do list. Apparently, this Mommy and Me class is so competitive and so in demand that anyone who isn't a celebrity needs to enroll before she even conceives a child. I'm wait listed for that one, but I guess unless I become an overnight sensation I can forget about the Muffin Man getting into that one. Most of the other classes told me the same thing or, if they did have space, the cost for eight sessions was close to how much we pay in rent each month. Thankfully, I found a nice Mommy and Me at our Temple (www.ikar-la.org) that has space for actual living, breathing babies and not just zygotes. I feel bad that I've already failed the Muffin Man and that he's not going to be part of the Mommy and Me "in crowd", but I comfort myself with knowing that he's still too young to know that he's not one of the cool infants.

But you can bet your ass that I'll be calling preschools tomorrow.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Go Out and Have Yourself a Great Weekend

Pre-baby vegetable bounty
It's Friday again, people.  In the land of Motherhood this means absolutely nothing, since it turns out that babies don't believe in giving you the weekend off (who knew?).  I have fond memories of weekends spent boozing and sleeping 'till noon, but it looks like those days are behind me.

The beautiful spring weather has me itching to get out into the garden.  The Muffin Man has kept me just a teensy bit busy the last two months, so my vegetable garden is pretty pathetic right now, but I'm hoping to get a chance to plant some tomatoes this weekend.  I've heard amazing things about Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants.

Tomorrow we're headed to the South Bay so the Hubster can check on a work project, which means a trip to the beach!  This will be the Muffin Man's first beach outing which I'm sure will entail me bringing at least three bags full of crap, since I still haven't quite figured out the whole diaper bag thing. Torrance Beach is a quiet hidden gem - perfect when the weather is beautiful but you don't feel like fighting the crowds in Malibu.

So far our wild St. Patrick's day plans include a jaunt to the Larchmont Farmer's Market to pick up a bunch of fresh kale so I can make a kale, pineapple and almond milk smoothie.  Healthier than green beer, if not tastier.

What exciting things are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bagels, Whitefish & Foreskin



My son is only ten weeks old and he’s already been surgically altered.  Since we live in LA, I can understand how one might be concerned that the kiddo got a nose job or had his ears pinned back, but I assure you the only thing he’s missing is his foreskin. 

I know there’s a whole anti-circumcision thing happening these days, but I wasn’t about to have my kid frightening his future sexual partners with a penis that looks like a mushroom.  Plus I thought it would be weird for him to have a weenie that looks different than his Father’s.  Oh, and circumcision isn’t exactly optional when you’re one of the Chosen People.

Just in case you happen to be one of the four non-Jewish people in Hollywood, here’s the Cliff’s Notes on the circumcision thing: according to Genesis, God appeared to Abraham and commanded him to circumcise himself, his son and all male offspring throughout the generations as a sign of their covenant with God.  So on the eighth day of a Jewish boy’s life, a Brit Milah, or circumcision, is performed. 

When my Husband and I discovered we were expecting a son, we began to discuss whether or not we wanted to have a Bris.  We’re not exactly the most observant of Jews (we celebrate Christmas), and the Hubby was worried that waiting until the eighth day of the kiddo’s life meant that he would be more traumatized than if we just had it done right after birth while we were in the hospital.  We really went back and forth on this, but after doing some research and discovering that it’s actually less traumatic if performed on the eighth day, and the fact that my Obstetrician didn’t want to circumcise the kid because he felt we should have the Bris, we finally decided to bite the bullet and do the whole shebang.

As I previously detailed here, having a baby is pretty damn traumatizing.  Being faced with having to host a large gathering of people who expect to be fed bagels and whitefish only eight days after pushing a human being out of my vagina was overwhelming.  Not only that, but trying to find a Mohel (the guy who does the actual slicing and dicing) who is affordable and available on the day in question is also complicated.  Thankfully, I’m blessed with a sister-in-law who is amazing, and she kindly offered her home and took care of ordering the nosh, so all we had to do was hire the Mohel, and show up with the sacrificial lamb.

And so, eight days after giving birth to my Muffin Man, I got myself showered, dressed, and made-up and handed my son over to a perfect stranger to have his peeper trimmed.  Thankfully, I still had some painkillers left from my labor and delivery, so I tossed back a few of those to take the edge off.  The actual circumcision part only lasted a minute, and my son was pretty drunk from the wine- soaked gauze we kept shoving in his little mouth, but I do remember there being blood and a screaming baby and my Mother-in-Law almost passing out.  Afterwards, I ate a lot of bagels and whitefish, because it’s so much easier to eat my feelings than to actually express them.  

I’m actually really glad that we ended up choosing to have a Bris for our son.  Despite it being disturbing to watch the actual removal of the foreskin part, the ceremony is beautiful and meaningful, and it felt like the right way to welcome our son into both the world and our families.  Plus I’ll sleep better at night knowing his future sexual partners won’t be freaked out. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Early Bird Gets the Worm


This morning I had my first post-baby audition.  Trying to get myself showered and dressed under normal circumstances is its own brand of hell, but add to this having to put on a full face of makeup and find clothing that not only fits me but fits the character and you've got the makings of a nervous breakdown.  Oh, and thanks to the fact that I'm breastfeeding I'm still off of caffeine and my anti-anxiety meds, so that meant facing potential rejection without any chemically-induced numbness.  Somehow I managed to get myself together and get to the casting on time... only to discover I was a day early!  I honestly considered asking if I could just sleep at the casting office.  I think it would be less stressful than having to go through the whole morning routine again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cookie Mom-ster


Breast feeding makes you hungry.  Supposedly, you burn an extra 500-800 calories a day if you're producing 25 ounces of milk.  Considering the fact that I seem to be spraying milk every 10 minutes coupled with my already rapid metabolism, you can imagine how hungry that makes me.  I suggest you not leave any food within my reach, because the minute you turn away I'll have grabbed it and shoved it down my throat.  Basically, I'm starving all day, every day.  The problem is that attempting to feed yourself while also taking care of an infant is not exactly easy.  Most of the time I'm trying to figure out how to make myself a sandwich while also juggling a crying baby.  Honestly, I think that once you give birth you should also grow a third arm.  I'm not a big one for candy or sweets, but last night I had a seriously intense craving for cookies that would not be satisfied by anything else, despite my efforts to appease the craving monster with an apple and a giant bowl of popcorn (this was after two servings of dinner).  Luckily, several years ago a good friend of mine shared a cookie recipe that is not only delicious, but can be made with only one hand - the perfect thing for a hormonal new Mommy who might be driven to spousal homicide if not pacified with cookies.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart


Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (you can use regular white sugar if you're interested in getting diabetes)
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts.
  2. With moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on two baking sheets.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Playing Dress Up

I had a rare chance to do some shopping (for myself!) this weekend, as the Muffin Man gifted me with an all-too-rare two hour nap.  I was able to leisurely stroll the mall and actually try things on instead of running into a store, holding something up to myself and hoping it fits and rushing out all in the midst of the Muffin Man screaming his head off.  It's a good thing I was able to try stuff on, because my body has completely and totally changed since I gave birth.  While I'm still slender, everything has kind of shifted and either widened (my hips and thighs) or sagged (my boobs).  Since I was down to one pair of jeans that still fit me post-pregnancy, I picked up a couple pairs of pants and a few inexpensive sweaters that are spit-up friendly.  Here's another weird thing about pregnancy and childbirth: my feet got bigger.  I find this to be incredibly annoying, considering the only shoes that still fit me are my Uggs and my Toms.  I guess it's a good thing I no longer have a social life, since my wardrobe isn't appropriate for events other than Mommy & Me.  Sigh.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Weekend!


The Hubby's Father and Step-Mother are in town this weekend to meet the Muffin Man.  I wish we were going to be having some more of that amazing summer weather, especially since they flew out of New York just ahead of the snow storm, but it looks to be a chilly and dreary winter weekend here in the City of Angels.  Oh well, I guess we can't have movie-quality weather every day of the year.  I'm looking forward to their visit, mainly because they've offered their babysitting services, which we very much intend to take advantage of!

My Father-in-Law loves sushi and now that I'm (finally) not preggo anymore, we're thinking of taking a jaunt downtown to one of our favorite sushi spots, Restaurant Oomasa

We're going to ditch the kiddo with the in-laws and go check out the Kubrick Exhibit at LACMA, which we've been dying to see.

After we fill up on culture, we'll fill up on cocktails at Starck Bar, perfectly situated to cleanse the palate should one experience art overload.

We still haven't been to Sassafrass, so if we can finagle two nights of babysitting I'll actually put on some make-up and something other than pajamas and hit the town.

If the Muffin Man wakes me up super early on Sunday morning, we'll probably take a jaunt to the Santa Monica Flea Market and see what treasures we can dig up.

What are your plans?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pacific Standard Baby Time



“I got five hours of uninterrupted sleep last night!!!!!”

Prior to becoming a Mother I would have made this statement with despair as opposed to joy, but considering for the last two months I haven’t logged more than two hours straight, I’m ecstatic.  It’s amazing how quickly you lower your standards once you become a parent.  Sure you may be used to getting 10 hours of sleep, but after several months of never sleeping longer than the length of a movie, you’ll feel like a new person after only half of your previously required sleep time.  You’ll also find that showering on a regular basis becomes an optional activity - just pretend you’re European!  Yesterday, while enjoying an all too rare shower, I realized that I hadn’t shaved my armpits since before my son was born, which was over two months ago.  I may be a hippie at heart, but I don’t necessarily want to advertise this while wearing a tank top.  And you can forget about doing the dishes.  While I’ve become rather an expert at loading the dishwasher with one hand, washing pots and pans is a thing of the past; if it can’t be cooked in something disposable, I don’t want to eat it. 

The thing I’ve discovered is that Motherhood is not exactly compatible with my Type A, marginally Obsessive Compulsive personality.  Sure, I’m an emotional basket case on the inside, but I prefer to disguise this fact by having everything perfectly in order on the outside.  Thanks to my kiddo, this is no longer possible.  Not only do I look like a wreck, but my house and car are also starting to look like I’m a candidate for Hoarders.

Before you have children it’s absolutely impossible to understand how little time you have to do anything other than care for your baby.  The other day a dear friend of mine came to visit and asked me, “So, what exactly do you do all day?”  There’s no way to explain to someone who doesn’t have a child how much time and effort goes into just taking care of the baby.  When I’m not feeding the baby, I’m either burping the baby or changing his diaper or pumping breast milk so the Hubby can feed the baby so I can sleep for an extra hour or two.  On paper that doesn’t sound like a lot, but believe me when I tell you that this eats up most of the day.  If I’m lucky, I’ll actually get a chance to eat a meal while the Muffin Man takes a nap, but usually I can be found shoveling in a few bites of food while I breast feed, which inevitably leads to my kid having a head full of crumbs.   There’s a reason everyone gave me pajamas for my birthday; it’s because I no longer even have a chance to get dressed any more. 

Despite all of the very un-fun parts of Motherhood, I actually really enjoy it.  I’ve lived such a narcissistic existence for so many years that it’s been a good change to have to set aside my superficial wants in order to attend to the very real, very life sustaining needs of another human being.  I wasn’t sure I was up to the task, frankly, but I’ve surprised myself at how quickly I managed to step up to the plate.  Yes, there are some days where I’ve contemplated leaving my kid unattended in his swing so I could go have my nails done, and I am a far from perfect Mother, but I’m pretty proud of myself for the job I’m doing.  But don’t worry; my son will still have plenty to complain about to his therapist each week.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sex & Chocolate

Today is the Hubby's birthday.  In the years prior to having a child, our celebrations usually entailed travel to exotic locales, insanely expensive dinners, and lots of sex.  Thanks to our new status as "parents" it looks like this year's excitement won't be all that exciting.  I'm going to attempt to bake him his favorite chocolate peanut butter cake, assuming I can figure out how to do this while also holding a baby.  As for the sex, while I'm pretty sure there won't be lots of it, I'm willing to give it the ol' college try.  Assuming we can both stay awake long enough.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Cake:
2 cups gluten free flour mix
2–1/2 cups sugar
3/​4 cup unsweet­ened cocoa pow­der
2 tsp bak­ing soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xan­than gum
1 cup oil (veg­etable or canola)
1 cup cultured almond milk yogurt
1–1/2 cups water
2 Tbs apple cider vine­gar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs


Peanut But­ter Frost­ing:
10 ounces dairy-free "cream cheese" (room tem­per­a­ture)
1 stick Earth Balance (room tem­per­a­ture)
4–5 cups pow­der sugar (sifted)
2/​3 cup creamy peanut but­ter
Choco­late Peanut But­ter Glaze:
8 ounces semi-​​sweet choco­late
3 Tbs creamy peanut but­ter
2 Tbs agave syrup
1/​2 cup unsweetened almond milk


Makes a three layer eight inch cake

Bake cakes at 350 degrees F for 30–35 minutes
For the cake: Whisk together all the dry ingre­di­ents in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Stir in oil and sour cream. Grad­u­ally beat in the water. Mix in vine­gar and vanilla. Finally, whisk in the eggs and beat until thor­oughly mixed.
Grease three 8 inch cake pans with but­ter. Line the bot­tom of the pan with parch­ment paper. Divide the bat­ter equally between the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30–35 min­utes or until a tooth­pick comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven, it’s a good time to make the frost­ing. Beat the but­ter and cream cheese together. Add pow­dered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix slowly at first to avoid send­ing sugar all through­out your house. Taste the frost­ing for sweet­ness after about the third cup of sugar. Sweeten to your lik­ing. Finally, mix in the peanut but­ter until thor­oughly combined.
When the cake is done bak­ing, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 min­utes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack or a large cookie sheet. I would sug­gest lin­ing the wire rack or cookie sheet with parch­ment prior to invert­ing the cakes to avoid the cake stick­ing to the rack or pan.
Once the cakes have cooled com­pletely, the frost­ing can begin. Check out the smit­ten kitchen for some great tips and tech­niques for frost­ing the cake. Begin with one layer, use about 2/​3 cup frost­ing to frost the layer. Add the next layer and repeat. Add the third layer and (you guessed it) repeat. Frost the sides of the cake. You may have some frost­ing left over. Place the cake in the freezer for about 15 min­utes which will allow the glaze to solid­ify as it is poured over the top.
To make the choco­late glaze, com­bine choco­late, peanut but­ter, and corn syrup in a dou­ble boiler. Whisk fre­quently until melted and com­bined. Remove from heat and whisk in half and half until smooth. Pour the choco­late glaze over the top of the cake, allow­ing it to run down the sides.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Alone. With a Baby.

The Hubby has left me alone with the Muffin Man while he's out of town. He's going to Las Vegas, ostensibly for work, but I'm sure he'll find some way to amuse himself (hopefully one that doesn't include strippers). I suppose that by now I should feel capable of taking care of our son on my own, but considering I'm usually trying to find a way to leave him in the care of a relative so I can go have my nails done/do some shopping/binge drink with friends, I'm not feeling all that confident in my Mothering abilities. So far I haven't caused the kiddo any major bodily injury, so we're off to a good start!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fashionably (at)Tired


At the ripe old age of two months, the Muffin Man is already a hipster. I haven't put him in a baby fedora (and I have no plans to), but he is wearing vintage baby duds. "Vintage" in this case means used, but let's not quibble over semantics. The main reason for this hipster baby wardrobe is because baby clothes are expensive and I happen to not have a trust fund, and also because the Muffin Man grows out of clothes on a pretty much daily basis. If I had to go and buy new stuff for him all the time we would be living in a cardboard box instead of a dumpy duplex in a questionable section of Hollywood. We're also spoiled in that the kids consignment store in our 'hood happens to be amazing. If you haven't been to Bluebird get yourself over there, stat! Designer kiddo duds for Goodwill prices without any smelly homeless shoppers. Just don't be alarmed if I fight you over the really good stuff.

Bluebird
652 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
www.bluebirdlakids.com

Friday, March 1, 2013

You're Sick


Hey Mommies!  Still trying to lose those last few pounds of baby weight?  Might I suggest a great diet I like to call "the stomach flu"?  Thanks to two days spent huddled over my toilet I now fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again!

Anyway, sorry for the radio (blog) silence.  I'm no longer camped out in the bathroom and am back to my daily blog schedule and my marginally competent Mothering routine.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!