Tuesday, April 30, 2013
You meet a lot of "interesting" people living in Los Angeles, especially in these Mommy groups, and Friday was no exception. Every cliché was represented: the minor celebrity who brought her nanny and her night nurse to the group, yet complained about being so exhausted because, apparently, paying others to take care of your child can really wipe you out. There was the corporate lawyer Mommy who never actually picks her child up but instead rolls him around the house in his bassinet. And then there was the obsessive compulsive woman who wasn't even pregnant yet but wanted to be prepared for when she decided that having a child fit into her schedule. Sure, my kid isn't sleeping through the night and I make huge mistakes on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis, but I'm a loving, well-intentioned parent just trying to muddle through. We're doing it all on our own with a little bit of help from family. Of course I wish that Noah would sleep longer and that I could shower more often, but I left that seminar feeling like I'm doing okay. I may forget to strap the Muffin Man into his carseat, but at least it's because I'm holding him. Just think about all the therapy the kid who never gets picked up is going to need; possibly even more than my child will.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Being a Mother is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I had no idea just how bone-crushingly tired I would feel all the time, or how much I would appreciate having family nearby to help out. I certainly didn't have a clue how little time or energy we would have for cooking dinner. During the part of my life that I now refer to as "BNE", or "Before Noah Era", the Hubby and I used to cook elaborate, gourmet meals that would be enjoyed at a beautifully set dining table bathed in candlelight. Now that we're juggling parenthood with trying to feed ourselves, dinner is hurriedly consumed in front of the television after the Muffin Man finally goes to sleep at night, and there's been at least one incidence of me actually falling asleep in my soup. I do count myself lucky to be married to a chef and restaurateur, however, because almost every night Chris manages to throw together an amazing dinner despite his exhaustion and more-than-full-time job. All the years of working in kitchens have made him incredibly efficient at putting out a delicious, well-cooked meal in a limited amount of time. I'm so grateful to have a spouse who cooks, because if we were dependent on me for dinner every night we'd end up spending Noah's college fund on take-out. Last night we had barbecued chicken, zucchini pancakes, and spinach salad. Tonight we're going to enjoy smoked tri-tip, arancini and spring pea salad. Tomorrow night...who knows what deliciousness is in store. I'm looking forward to someday enjoying meals at the dining room table again, surrounded by Chris and Noah, but until then I've discovered that The Amazing Race makes an excellent dinner companion.
|This guy is not the greatest Sous Chef.|
Friday, April 26, 2013
|Yes, I grew these. Every single one.|
Sorry for the late posting, but I spent most of the day at a "How to Get Your Baby to Sleep" seminar. I'll give you the rundown on what I learned sometime next week, but the good news is that it turns out I'm not actually the worst Mother in Los Angeles, so chalk today up as a good day!
We're having another pretty quiet weekend around here, mainly because I'm still trying to finish all those decorating projects I started last weekend. Here's hoping I get at least one thing done before Monday morning rolls around.
Tomorrow I'm having some girl time with my sister-in-law and we're going to hit up the Rachel Pally sample sale. I lived in her stuff when I was pregnant, so I'm looking forward to picking up a few pieces for summer that show off my post-baby figure (check out her swimsuits - so cute).
Sunday we're dropping the kiddo off at Grandma and Grandpa's house and heading out to Terranea for brunch and bloody marys overlooking the ocean. The view is spectacular, and I'm looking forward to spending a little quality time with the Hubby sans baby.
Here's the cocktail I'm whipping up for this weekend's entertaining. Perfect for cocktail hour on the patio, don't you think?
This recipe from Sunset magazine sounds delicious, so I may actually cook a meal this weekend (shocking, I know).
I've been craving cookies again, so I may just motivate to make these popcorn cookies. Salty and sweet are the perfect combination in my book.
How are you planning to enjoy this gorgeous spring weekend?
Thursday, April 25, 2013
|Ah, the good ol' days.|
1. Showering. Specifically, taking long, leisurely showers that involve washing and conditioning my hair, shaving my legs, and exfoliating. These days I'm lucky if I get to shower every day. And there have been more times than I care to admit when I've been forced to walk around with only one shaved leg.
2. Sleeping deeply and without interruption. Apparently once you have a child there is some switch that goes off in your head that causes you to wake upon hearing the quietest little sound. I used to be able to sleep through six rounds of garbage trucks and an earthquake. Now I'm wide awake if the neighbors three doors down drop a pin. And of course we all know that I don't sleep for longer than two hours at a time. I'm afraid that the days of sleeping 10 blissful, uninterrupted hours are a thing of the past.
3. Reading a book. I love to read. Prior to becoming a parent I would read at least one book a week. One of my favorite weekend activities used to be curling up on our patio and losing myself in a great story. I have a book that I started shortly after we brought the Muffin Man home. To date, I've read about 15 pages. It seems like a good book, but I'm so tired at night (ok, all the time) that I can't keep my eyes open long enough to read more than a paragraph. I figure I should finally find out "who done it" when Noah goes off to camp in about ten years or so.
4. The New York Times on Sunday morning. Several hours spent with hot coffee and The Times has been one of my favorite rituals for the past 15 years. I don't think I would even be able to find the time these days to read one article! Anyway, now that I have a kiddo I really don't want to know so much about the horrible things happening all over the world. They say that ignorance is bliss and I definitely agree with that; especially when you're off your anti-anxiety medication.
5. Sex. I used to like sex. In fact, I used to have a lot of it, which is how I got myself jnto this situation in the first place. I would really like to have the energy and desire to have sex again. The problem certainly isn't my husband, he's just as adorable and sexy as he was before we had a baby (actually, I think he's more attractive to me now that I've seen him as a father). I'm just so tired all the time, and so covered in spit-up and baby pee that sex seems like too much effort. Plus it turns out that Mother Nature has this whole natural birth control system in place after you have a baby that makes your lady parts drier than the Sahara desert at noon in summer. Based on some of my past experiences sleeping with men who didn't "rev my motor" so to speak, that just doesn't sound like a fun time. The good news is that I'm sure when we do have sex again it will be really exciting. It's been so long it will be like we're newly dating again!
The moral of the story is this, dear reader: don't forget to use birth control if you still value taking a shower on a daily basis. I love my son with all my heart, but there are some times when I long for the carefree days of sleeping till noon, reading a book by the pool, and having lots of sex in weird places. Here's hoping I'll still enjoy doing all those things when Noah leaves for college in 18 years. Remind me to do a lot more yoga to keep my joints limber for all that kinky sex I'll be having in my 60s.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In my continuing quest to sleep for longer than two hour stretches, I decided to take a friend's advice and put the Muffin Man on a nap schedule. Keep in mind that it took us until last week to figure out that it's better to have a set bedtime around 7:30PM, rather than letting our child hang out in the living room watching The Americans with us until after 10pm, so obviously we are a little behind the ball when it comes to these things. Anyway, the theory behind the nap schedule is that the more sleep a baby gets during the day, the better he will sleep at night. So far, very appealing. You're never supposed to let your child be awake for longer than two hours before putting him down, awake, for a nap. Sounds doable, right? Right. Unless you have my child who thinks that sleeping is a torture method designed to rob him of being part of all the excitement happening in the world. Basically, my daily routine now involves putting Noah down for a nap, him screaming at the top of his lungs, me going in to comfort him every three minutes which only seems to make him scream louder, kick harder and sweat profusely. Apparently other people's children actually fall asleep after several minutes. Not mine! Oh no, he wails and wails until the allotted 45 minutes have passed after which I tell him "You were so close to falling asleep! We'll try again tomorrow". For my efforts at the napping schedule I have frayed nerves, an exhausted child who still only sleeps in two hour stretches, and a husband who thinks I'm abusing our son. If there was ever an argument for giving up breast feeding in favor of Xanax, this is it. But I'm sure he'll eventually get the hang of the whole napping thing...let's just hope it's before I get to the point of needing a "vacation" at the nearest psych ward.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Yesterday I tried to go shopping for a pair of sandals - "tried" being the operative word here. I usually confine my shopping expeditions to a walkable distance, but after scouring all my local spots and coming up empty, I was forced to venture forth to that dreaded place known as the mall. I hoped that the Muffin Man would sleep in his stroller while I shopped. He was tired, and sometimes I get lucky and he'll sleep for a long stretch while I do errands. Yesterday, however, was not my day. I thought for sure he would fall asleep in the car; he didn't. Then I assumed that he would fall asleep in the stroller while I walked around the mall; he did not. Instead, he commenced wailing at the top of his lungs as soon as I set foot inside the Bloomingdales shoe department, which was my cue to leave. It cost me two dollars in parking, another couple bucks in gas and several thousand dollars of my sanity to learn that it's pointless to try to shop with a small child in tow.
Thanks to online retail, the day wasn't a total waste. It turns out the choices seem so much better when you can drink wine while you shop! I'll let you know which of the six pairs of sandals I ordered work out.
Monday, April 22, 2013
|This is how I spent most of my weekend.|
The thing is that I used to be able to do all those things and then go out for a hot night on the town. I probably could've gotten more accomplished than I did if I hadn't been so exhausted on Saturday that I chose a nap over home design, but when your kiddo wakes you up at 6AM (after three night feedings), an hour in bed is so much more appealing than a beautiful living room. I'll get it all finished eventually; probably right around the time we decide it's time to move.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Parenthood has not been kind to our living room rug, so I'm finally biting the bullet and ordering an indoor/outdoor rug that can just be hosed down. I know that spilled cranberry juice is in my near future, so I figured I should move my cream colored wool rug now before it's beyond repair.
My Father-in-Law, Ken Heyman, used to be a photojournalist for Life Magazine, so we're lucky to have a large collection of some of his beautiful photographs. I started framing them last night and I can't wait to see how amazing they are going to look when I get them all hung.
I'm really excited to see this documentary about Bert Stern. I think it looks really intriguing (plus he's Chris' uncle, so the old family movies should be fun to see).
I've been spray painting like a madwoman, and I'm obsessed with this little tool. No more finger cramps and you get a much more even coat. If you're even an amateur DIY-er you have to pick one up.
We're having friends over this evening, and I think I'm going to be adventurous and try this cocktail recipe. Is it too early to start drinking now?
I can't eat chocolate because it bothers the Muffin Man's tummy, but I'm salivating over this fudge recipe from A Cup of Jo. I'll definitely add it to my "after I'm done breastfeeding" bucket list.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Every few months there seems to be an article going around the interwebs regarding the whole issue of breastfeeding in public. It’s a topic that stirs people into a frenzy. On the one hand are the Moms who say that it’s beautiful and natural and think it’s ok to just whip your boob out anywhere. On the other hand are the people who think that breastfeeding should only be done in the privacy of one’s own home or under a burka if you happen to breastfeed in public. I never really paid that much attention to this debate until I gave birth to the Muffin Man. Here’s the thing: when you become a Mother, and you’re nursing your child, your breasts cease to be sexual objects. It’s this weird transformation that happens without you even realizing it, but one day you find yourself chatting up the mailman with your boob hanging out, and you don’t think anything of it.
I’ve always liked my boobs. In fact, despite all of the self-criticism and hatred I’ve directed towards my body throughout my lifetime, my breasts have always escaped unscathed. I’m lucky; I have a great rack and it came free, courtesy of my gene pool. Prior to becoming a Mommy, I took great pride in emphasizing my assets. Even during pregnancy I was able to still feel marginally attractive because I could show off my chest. But now that I’m a Mother I can’t imagine that I’ll ever think of my breasts as sexual objects ever again.
Before I had a kid, if you’d told me someone would be sucking on my nipples all day I would’ve thought that sounded great. Instant foreplay! But the minute the Muffin Man arrived and did, indeed, suck on my nipples all day every day, the reality of just how incredibly not sexy this is set in. All of the sudden I found myself slathering nipple cream on myself in the middle of the night, crying from the pain, and being horrified as my nipples scabbed over and eventually built up scar tissue. Pretty sexy, right? Oh, and if you happen to be pumping milk for bottles, hooking yourself up to a breast pump makes you feel like a dairy cow on display at the Iowa State Fair. I can guarantee you that your spouse getting a glimpse of you pumping should turn them off of sex for at least three years (unless they’re one of those weirdos with a breastfeeding fetish, to which I say I hope you’re in therapy).
After you’ve survived the first week or two of breastfeeding and you’ve come to terms with the fact that you are a food source, you stop thinking of yourself and your lady parts as anything other than, say, a refrigerator. It completely slips your mind that other people may find a view of your nipple in the middle of their salad course inappropriate. When you’re spending all your days (and most of your nights) with your boobs hanging out, it just seems totally normal to whip one out if your kid seems hungry, no matter where you might be. I personally try to remember to bring a bottle with me whenever we’re out and about, simply because I get enough unsolicited parentingadvice from strangers without adding public breastfeeding into the mix. Rest assured, however, that I will back you up if you want to breastfeed all over town. It’s natural, it’s beautiful, and I’m pretty sure that our mailman appreciated the free show.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
Well, it's Coachella this weekend, and since I have a child and therefore, no life, I won't be there. For those of you who are planning to attend I hope you have a great time and that you wear a crap load of sunscreen and a hat. Here's a little taste of what those of us held hostage by parenthood are planning to do while you're partying in the desert.
Tonight we might stroll over to the new restaurant in our 'hood, The Larchmont. It looks like it's going to be another beautiful evening, so I'm looking forward to a refreshing cocktail on the patio while the sun goes down.
Flywheel Sports opens tomorrow on Larchmont Blvd., and I'm dying to check out a class. My post-pregnancy butt definitely needs a good spin class to get back in shape. The first class is free, and Daily Candy is offering a discount on packages, so I may just splurge and hope that motivates me to get back in shape.
Sunday I think we'll hit up the Hollywood Farmer's Market. I have to get my fill of oysters before the season ends next month, so I'd like to pick up a dozen Kumamotos to enjoy with a nice glass of white wine (plus the Oyster Boys who man the stand are pretty cute).
What are your plans this weekend?
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I don’t know if any of you are on Instagram, but I happen to find it endlessly entertaining to look at photos of people’s food/pets/babies/vacations. I realize that, much like Facebook, people only post carefully edited photos that make their lives look amazing. But now that I’m a Mother, I really wish that the other Mommy Bloggers that I follow would post some pictures of the ugly things that happen every day. How about a few pictures of my kid’s poop that had such explosive force that it actually hit the curtain across the room? Or a picture of the nightly meltdown that involves an hour of ear piercing crying (I could put this on Vine, but I’m not sure anyone would want to see even 20 seconds of that). Instead, I’m inundated every day with beautiful photographs of adorable children walking hand in hand on the streets of Manhattan, or eating ice cream cones in Paris, or buying tea in London. While I appreciate these photos on an artistic level, when I’ve had a really shitty parenting day, sometimes I just want to see that other Moms are in the same boat.
There’s definitely an aspect these days of Mommies wanting to outdo each other. I was shocked to discover that the competition amongst Mothers begins before you even give birth. A woman in my prenatal yoga class told me that her Obstetrician was the one all the celebrities went to and was therefore better than mine. Another Mommy bragged that she was paying a decorator $10,000 to design her daughter’s nursery. I’m not ashamed to admit that everything in Noah’s nursery is either a hand-me-down or from Craigs List; I don’t think I’d be very happy if my kid peed on a $3000 chair (as is bound to happen within a week of bringing him home from the hospital).
Once you have your baby the “How I gave Birth” competition begins. I may have had a natural, unmedicated birth, but if you took drugs and scheduled a C-section because that was what you wanted, I salute you. I could give a crap if you breast feed or formula feed or if you’re super old school and you found yourself a wet nurse. But if you think you’re better than me for exclusively breastfeeding your child and, as a result, having NO FREAKING LIFE, I will tell you where to shove it. At the end of the day, Motherhood is a ridiculously hard and pretty much thankless job, so wouldn’t it be nice if instead of judging other women’s choices we all owned up to the fact that we pretty much suck at being Mothers and we’re just trying to muddle through each day as best we can?
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful images from planet Mommy - a smile in the middle of the night, the joy your son expresses when you come home from being out – but I think it’s time to add a little balance and show the not-so-beautiful parts of Mommyhood as well. So I’m making a pledge that I will post a real, unfiltered parenting photo at least once a week from this point on. If I’d taken one today it would’ve been the huge puddle of spit up that Noah vomited onto my yoga mat this afternoon, or maybe it would be the crazy homeless guy in Hollywood having a conversation with my kid while I fed the parking meter. Neither one of these would have been a pretty picture, but if they made even one other Mommy feel less alone, I would be happy. Of course, I’ll still post gorgeous pictures of the Muffin Man being adorable, because when it’s all said and done, I ‘m just a proud Mommy of a kid that’s cuter than yours.
P.S. you can follow me on Instagram here
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
I count myself pretty lucky to have a very easy-going Husband. I know that I'm a real pain in the ass and often a basket case, so it's a miracle that I found someone who not only puts up with me, but who actually likes me. My Husband, Chris, prefers to stay out of the spotlight, but since I've had a number of inquiries about the mysterious "Hubby" character about whom I write, I thought I would dedicate today's post to the man who made me a Mrs.
He's a born and bred New Yorker (minus a few years in Connecticut) but he loves Los Angeles. However, he maintains an all-black wardrobe and a brusk demeanor just to make sure he doesn't lose his edge.
Chris is a Nice Jewish Boy, but he usually wins bets about this because of his name. For the record, he's named after Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame, not Jesus Christ of The Bible fame.
He went to film school, decided to become a Chef, and then became a Restaurateur. And yes, he does cook for me whenever he's home at night. (Thank goodness, otherwise I think we might starve)
He's a really awesome Father, despite the fact that he lets our three month old son watch Game of Thrones and is already trying to teach him how to play poker.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Another week has flown by, my friends, and yet again I only managed to find the time to shower twice. Thank goodness for deodorant. According to the weather app on my iPhone, it's supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, so I'm looking forward to enjoying it with the Hubs and the kiddo.
Saturday we're planning to head south to Orange and do a little antiquing. I'm in the market for some cool mid-century lamps for our bedroom, and I have a few antique furniture pieces I'm hoping to sell, so the first stop will be Down Home Antiques. Even if I don't find any must have treasures, it's a great place to walk around and go retro for lunch at Watson Drugs.
Thanks to our new and fabulous stroller, I've been re-discovering some of the great shops in our neighborhood. My new obsession is Ampersand for gorgeous designer clothes and shoes (all consignment - hence the fact that I can sort of afford them). I'm lusting after a pair of Manolo's I saw there this week, so if I can pawn the Muffin Man off on the Hubby for a few hours I may just do some serious damage to our joint checking account.
We always make sure to hit the Larchmont Farmer's Market on Sunday mornings to pick up our organic produce for the week. My new obsession is the goat yogurt from Soledad Goats. It's crazy expensive, but totally delicious for breakfast with a drizzle of honey and some fresh berries.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I am exhausted. As I've mentioned previously I haven't slept for longer than four hours in the last three months. Just in case you're thinking "that doesn't sound so bad", let me remind you that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. In an effort to get the Muffin Man to sleep for longer than two or three hours, I decided to try giving him some formula at night. Prior to this, he's been fed only breast milk, as I happen to produce enough for triplets (incidentally, if you'd like to try a breast milk daiquiri I have freezer full). We've received numerous free samples of formula since we came home from the hospital, so I threw a couple scoops into Noah's evening bottle and hoped to score six hours of sleep. Well, the joke was on me, folks. The dairy-based formula upset his stomach (I don't eat dairy, so prior to this the kiddo has never had milk, even second hand) which led to him being up every single hour with an upset stomach. So now I'm twice as exhausted and have a diaper genie full of baby diarrhea. I suppose it serves me right for putting my desire for sleep ahead of my poor kid's well being. I know he'll eventually sleep through the night, I'm just hoping it happens before I have a nervous breakdown.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I consider myself really lucky to be able to stay home with the Muffin Man. The main reason this is possible is because I made the brilliant decision to major in theater in college and as a result do not have an actual lucrative career, so me going "back to work" would simply mean getting a new waitressing job. (Let this be a warning to you, high school theater nerds) While I would secretly love to have a reason to shower and leave the house, the income I would generate from yet another dead end job wouldn't cover the cost of childcare. So all of my days are spent wrangling a baby, attempting to keep my house from becoming a danger to the public's health, and trying to figure out how to feed my Husband and myself. Cooking dinner before I became a Mother was challenge enough, but now that I have to do it one handed, I'm always looking for easy meals that don't involve microwaving something from the freezer section at Ralph's. My recent discovery is the Everyday Food App from Martha Stewart. The recipes are tasty, quick to prepare, and, more importantly, pretty much idiot proof. Now if only there was some sort of app to help me find time to shower every day, we'd really be in business.
The Hubby's Favorite Asian Turkey Meatballs
(adapted from Martha Stewart)