Friday, May 31, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Happy Friday, my friends.  Give yourself a pat on the back for surviving another week.

We're having a big neighborhood garage sale this weekend, and I'm looking forward to getting rid of all the stuff I've been hoarding in my garage for the past three years.  It's going to be quite the junk sale fiesta, so if you live anywhere near Hancock Park, hightail it over to Irving Blvd. on Saturday morning and buy some of my stuff.  Look, if you don't like what I'm selling, 20 other folks will have stuff for sale and you can even get lunch from the Currywurst truck starting at 11am.  Seriously, it's not to be missed.  

Assuming I have some energy left after the garage sale, the Big Gay Ice Cream truck is in town from NYC this weekend, so I'm planning to drag the Hubby and the baby out for a "Salty Pimp" or a "Bea Arthur".

This video slays me.  Friends, if I was one of those annoying pregnant women I sincerely apologize.

This weekend's adventure in cooking.  Perfect for summer!

It's supposed to be hot tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to whipping up a batch of these to toast our garage sale windfall.  

I've been obsessed with Grace Coddington since I saw The September Issue, so I'm excited to start her book.

A new month, a new fashion obsession.

What are your plans for the weekend (aside from coming and purchasing my garage sale goodies)?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mrs. Softee

I suppose it’s to be expected that giving birth to a small human has a tendency to soften a woman’s rough edges, but I’m starting to get concerned that I am no longer eligible for my status as an honorable New Yorker.  I don’t instigate fights in the grocery check out line, I’ve discovered that I’m driving the speed limit (most of the time), and, horror or all horrors, I haven’t honked my horn even once since we brought the Muffin Man home from the hospital.  I have really lost my edge, and I am concerned that I may never get it back.

Prior to becoming a Mother, I spent most of my life walking around with a big chip on my shoulder.  I’m sure my therapist could explain why this was the case, but since that would be a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, lets just blame all my problems on my Father and call it a day, shall we?  I was angry all the time, and I felt the best way to express this anger was by yelling at perfect strangers, driving recklessly, and using my horn on an almost hourly basis.  To be fair, quite a few Angelenos drive like utter idiots, but I did act like a complete and total asshole. 

I really had no idea that Motherhood would change me in so many ways.  I knew that I would love my son unconditionally, but I didn’t realize how protective I would feel towards him.  You hear stories about women lifting up cars to save their children, but it wasn’t until I actually had my own child that I understood this instinct.  I no longer value getting somewhere on time if it means running a red light.  I don’t fight with strangers anymore because some of the people who shop at Trader Joes are crazy and liable to stab me with a bamboo skewer, and I don’t use my horn because it makes Noah cry, and his happiness seems so much more important than whether some patchouli-wearing hippie in a Prius is driving too slowly. 

I guess I’m just going to have to learn to love the softer, more sensitive person I’ve become.  I don’t know if it’s the exhaustion, or if it really is the whole Mommy thing, but I don’t have the fight left in me anymore.  I suppose it’s possible that Los Angeles has sucked all the life out of me, but I think it’s more the fact that being present and alive for my son is so much more important than being angry about stuff that happened two decades ago.  My energy is better spent not reliving my own bad childhood, but rather providing a better one for my son.  Sure, I’m never again going to be the tough, nothing-fazes-me gal that I used to be, but that’s ok.  I’m getting more and more comfortable with the friendly, sweet woman who has apparently been living inside me all these years.  But rest assured if you screw with my son, I will cut a bitch.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Little Swimmer

This past weekend we took the Muffin Man swimming for the first time.  I know there are special swim diapers, but I keep forgetting to order some from and, truthfully, I wanted to see Noah in his cute little baby speedo that I picked up at my favorite kids consignment shop.  I did have this waterproof plastic underwear thing that I figured would be fine over Noah's regular diaper and underneath the swim trunks, so all outfitted in his swimsuit and hat, I dispatched Noah into the pool with his Daddy. He had a great time kicking and splashing and floating around while Chris held on to him. But after a few minutes Chris noticed that he seemed to be getting heavier and wasn't floating as effectively, and then Noah started to wail.  Assuming he was crying because he was cold, I quickly wrapped him in a towel and dried him off.  When that didn't seem to appease him, I took him inside to put him in dry clothes, which is when I discovered that the "waterproof" pants I'd put on him were not waterproof at all. His diaper was soaked, and so heavy that the poor kid probably would've sunk like a rock if Chris had inadvertently let go of him. The stupid plastic pants that I thought would keep his diaper dry were nothing but an additional layer of wet, soggy material weighing the poor kid down.  Needless to say, Noah was much happier once he was sporting a fresh diaper and dry clothes.  Hopefully he wasn't completely traumatized by his experience as a human sponge, and he'll want to go swimming again.  I'll feel terrible if I scarred him for life, especially since he's the only man I've ever met who looks good in a Speedo.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Playing Tourist: The LA Zoo

The baby giraffe weighs 135 pounds.  Imagine pushing that out of your vagina.  *shudder*
I've reached the point in my life where I'm actually excited to go to the zoo.  I used to love the zoo when I was a kid (especially the elephants), and aside from  a one time visit to the Bronx Zoo to see what all the fuss was about I don't think I'd been to a zoo in over a decade.  Now that I have a child and am desperate to find activities to fill my days, I've started taking the Muffin Man to some sort of attraction once a week. I meet up with one of my Mommy friends who has a cute son close to Noah's age and we do something touristy. I have to say, it's pretty fun.  My friend and I get a chance to gossip, the boys interact with each other (as much as 5 and 6 months old do) and the time flies.
Not too sure about the tigers.  
I'm going to be honest with you here - the LA zoo isn't that great.  Granted, I may be jaded on this point seeing as my two previous home zoos were San Francisco and the Bronx, respectively, but there didn't seem to be that many animals at the LA zoo. However, there are lots of paved paths and shady spots to sit, so it's great for Mommies pushing strollers who are more interested in talking than seeing different species of Baboons.  We had fun and the time passed so quickly that I barely noticed the animal smell.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Have Yourself a Great Friggin' Weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend, my friends.  In the old days this would've meant a booze-fueled trip to the Hamptons and a hook-up with a questionable guy, but these days life is less exciting and, thankfully, less dangerous to my sexual health.

We have a busy social calendar tomorrow: a birthday party for a one year old and a jaunt to visit my parents to celebrate Gramma's birthday.  I'm actually planning to make a cake, so stay tuned to see how that goes over, since this will be my first foray into baking while also juggling a baby.

Sadly, I'll be a Restaurant Widow on Monday, as the Hubby has to work (I'm used to it - I've been to at least three weddings and one Bar Mitzvah alone), so I'll be taking my favorite date (Noah) with me to a friend's BBQ.

In typical Pisces (read: indecisive) fashion, I'm already busy redecorating the Muffin Man's nursery.  I'm obsessed with this ceiling and thinking I may give it a shot.

I have six boxes of old Ball jars taking up space in my garage, so this idea looks like a genius way to repurpose them and bring some sparkle to our patio.

Thanks to Chris' work schedule I've been on dinner duty this week.  Aside from some seriously bland turkey tacos (sorry, honey) I've made a decent showing.  This salad recipe was a hit, even with my kale-hating spouse.

The onset of summer has me dreaming of tropical beaches and fruity drinks.  I'm not usually a sweet cocktail kind of girl, but there's nothing better than a perfectly prepared Mai Tai enjoyed on the lanai while watching the sunset.  Drink enough of these and you just might see a green flash!

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.  Have fun and use protection, or you won't be headed to the Hamptons a year from now!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Swing Low

I'm tired. I realize this is not exactly new and revolutionary information, but seeing how my state of exhaustion colors everything I do these days, I feel it's important to point this out on a daily/weekly/hourly basis.  In this case I guess you could say I'm using it as a disclaimer. Anywho, I'm especially tired this week because the Hubby has been working from 7am - 7pm every day, which means he hasn't been able to watch the Muffin Man in the mornings while I sleep for an hour. I didn't realize how much I needed that sliver of extra sleep until it went away.  Let me tell you, I've been a walking zombie Mama the past couple of days.  Monday night was not one of Noah's better nights.  I think he was up three or four times, but I've lost count. By the time he woke up for the day at 6:30, I felt like there was no way I could handle a 14 hour day of being a Mommy.  Faced with either finding a way to get a bit more shut eye or running the risk of being driven to sticking my head in the oven, I put Noah, his blankie and some of his favorite toys in the swing in our office, turned on some baby music and went back to bed for an hour.  I am not proud of this decidedly low moment in my Mothering career, but I certainly felt better when I woke up at 7:30.  I'm sure that my son now has severe abandonment issues, but hey, at least Mommy will be more rested when she takes him to therapy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You're Hired

My need to run errands and have some personal time has finally trumped both my tendency towards being a martyr and my cheapness; we have officially hired a babysitter one day a week. I'm sure that some of you think this is ridiculous since I'm not gainfully employed or volunteering to save the world. I know that lots of stay at home Moms have no help, and I salute them. I assume these women are either infinitely more patient than I am or they take a lot of Valium, because I can't for the life of me understand how it's possible to be a full time mom seven days a week and not go insane.  Being a Mother is not only exhausting, but it can also be mind numbingly boring.  I love my kiddo, but I need to do things like shower and read something other than Goodnight Moon.  It turns out that getting some time to myself each week actually makes me a better Mommy. Having a chance to see friends and run errands and write without also trying to juggle a baby gives me a new lease on life.  Before we hired Katie I often found myself counting the hours, minutes and seconds until Noah's bedtime.  When I come home after having some time to myself I look forward to playing with Noah and I'm more engaged and present.  I was very resistant to hiring someone at first, mostly because I didn't want to spend the money. Chris was the one who pushed the issue, probably because he prefers having a wife who is showered and pleasant as opposed to dirty and grumpy. Whatever the case I'm so grateful that he put his foot down.  Now, instead of counting the minutes until the Muffin Man's bedtime, I count the seconds until Katie's arrival - only 1 day, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 3 seconds to go!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Somebody Walks in LA

These Tom's were made for walking
It's very possible that I am the only person who walks in LA.  I've always been a walker thanks to my time spent living in New York, but ever since the Muffin Man's arrival the miles I travel with my feet have increased substantially.  I'm lucky that we live in a very walkable neighborhood - there are lots of sidewalks and there are shops and restaurants to walk to - and that I have an amazing stroller that keeps Noah riding in style on our journeys.  I didn't plan to be the crazy lady who walks everywhere, but once Noah arrived and I discovered what a nightmare it is to drag a heavy carseat in and out of the car at every destination (not to mention his propensity to howl every time he's put in the car) I decided there had to be a way to still get my errands done without using the car.  Now I walk to the market, the post office, the library, the name it and I've walked there with Noah. It's actually really cool to experience Los Angeles outside the confines of the drivers seat. In the midst of all the cement and strip malls you start to discover strange and beautiful things, like old houses tucked away behind Jiffy Lubes and flourishing urban gardens.  People look at me strangely when they see me bopping down the street having a conversation with Noah, but as long as I don't dress like a homeless person they are pretty friendly.  I've been telling everyone that my new mode of transportation is my effort to "go green", but the truth is that the days can be really long and mind-numbing when you're home alone with a baby, and walking eats up a lot more time than driving somewhere.  Any activity that makes the day go by faster and helps tone up my post-pregnancy butt is a win-win in my book.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Have Yourself a Great Friggin' Weekend

Thank goodness it's Friday!  Oh, wait.  Now that I have a child that means absolutely nothing except that it will be harder to park at whatever child-friendly activity I can find to fill our time.

This weekend's cocktail adventure is Great Gatsby inspired.  There's no way we'll get to see the movie while it's still in the theater, but at least I can enjoy a 1920's classic libation from the comfort of my living room.  If these turn out well I'll mix up another batch when Gatsby comes out on DVD.

We are ditching the kiddo with our new, fabulous babysitter and going out to dinner with friends on Saturday night.  Our dinner dates are vegans, so I'm beyond excited that there's finally a cool restaurant that even the Hubby will enjoy.

I'm living on the edge these days, people.  I just bought myself a sheer top that I'm going to rock on Saturday night.  Hey, if Kate Moss can do it, why not me?

I found this trick for breaking in new shoes.  Can't wait to try it on the sandals I finally bought myself.

Now that the Muffin Man is sleeping a little bit more, I've started reading again.  I just started this book, and I can't put it down!

I'm not normally a fan of wearing lipstick (I'm more of a gloss kind of gal - the whole hippie thing) but spring has me in the mood to try out something bright.  Which one would you try?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sexual Healing

Sex used to be something I really enjoyed partaking in. The Hubby and I had quite a lot of it before I got knocked up, and I assumed that we would be back to our old habits not long after the Muffin Man arrived.  As has been the case with most of my ideas about childbirth and parenting, I was seriously delusional.  I am here to tell you that the whole post-baby sex thing has been an epic fail.

Just as no one tells you how tough the recovery from a natural birth can be, it turns out that everyone also keeps you in the dark about how hard it is to get back in the saddle, so to speak.  It wasn't until I went to see my OB for my six week post-partum checkup that I found out that ones lady parts don't just bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy state.  Pushing a small human out of your vajayjay causes the walls of the aforementioned lady part to thin out, thereby causing sex after baby to feel akin to sandpapering your nether regions.  Oh, and if you happen to be breastfeeding it's also dryer than the Sahara Desert during a heat wave, so it's not like you have any lubrication to help get the party started.

Apparently, the best way to speed up a return to ones former self is to use a hormone cream twice a day. My doctor prescribed one for me but the combination of me being a dirty hippie and not wanting to use something unnatural, combined with my cheapness (the copay for the stuff was $60) has me leaving nature to take its course. Plus, as if childbirth wasn't unsexy enough, using a hormone cream normally reserved for menopausal women has me feeling about as sexy as a nun in full habit. 

It turns out that sex after baby hasn't been the easiest thing for my Husband either. Aside from the fact that he's still severely traumatized from seeing me give birth, he hasn't been able to reconcile the dichotomy of "sexy wife" with "baby's Mother". I'm sure the fact that my body feels and looks different and that I'm leaking breast milk don't exactly help matters.  

The good news is that my OB, thoughtfully, tightened everything up down there when he was repairing me after birth, so I got vaginal rejuvenation and childbirth services for the bargain basement price of my $900 insurance co-pay. I'm happy that I don't have to do 5000 kegels, and I'm sure that Chris will be thankful when we finally resume having sex again. Hopefully sometime before our son turns eighteen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Sunscreen Chronicles

When you live in Los Angeles you spend a lot of time and money to keep the blistering desert sun from damaging your skin. I have more money invested in hats than I do in the stock market, and there are tubes of sunscreen in every room of our house.  As you may have noticed, the Muffin Man doesn't exactly have an olive complexion.  He has the classic Ashkenazic coloring of pale skin and reddish hair.  While this happens to be a desirable look should I decide to get him into commercials, it's not the most practical of skin types when one lives in the desert climate of Los Angeles.  Now that hot weather is upon us, Noah and I have been spending more time outdoors, so I've been slathering the kid with sunscreen to keep him from becoming a human lobster. Until Monday I was proud of myself for being a good Mother and not, as is my usual fashion, leaving my child unprotected against the elements.  However, when we saw our Pediatrician he made a point to mention that you shouldn't put sunscreen on kids who are less than six months old.  So essentially I've been poisoning my child on an almost daily basis for the last couple of months, all in the name of being a good Mother.  I guess it's a good thing we have central air, since it looks like we'll be rolling Howard Hughes style and won't be leaving the house for the next two months.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

The Muffin Man had his four month checkup yesterday.  I'm happy to report that he's healthy and exceptionally tall for his age, so it seems that my marginal mothering skills haven't damaged him too much. I almost died laughing, however, when the pediatrician told me that Noah would be classified as a "great sleeper".  Um, seriously?  Granted the kid has slept through the night a couple of times, but more often than not he's up every three hours.  If that's considered a great sleeper, I seriously feel for the parents of kids who do not fall into this category.  How are these people functioning?!  The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that tonight could be one of the nights when Noah decides to sleep for 12 hours straight.  I'm pretty sure that if I was the Mother of a "terrible sleeper" I would have long ago checked myself into the psych ward; there's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture - it makes you crazy.  I suppose I should be grateful that my son is a great sleeper, I'll just try to keep reminding myself of this when I'm up with him at 2am, 4am and 6am tomorrow morning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just Another Mommy Monday

I gotta say that I really like this whole Mother's Day thing. Being a Mommy is hard work and there are so many times when I feel like I just really suck at it, so it felt good to receive cards from my son, husband, and assorted loved ones giving me a little validation. Plus I enjoyed the fact that I had the opportunity to laze around in bed and not feel guilty about it.

We had a lovely day that included our weekly trip to the farmers market, a delicious brunch with family, and an afternoon nap. We had very ambitious plans to go out to dinner with the Muffin Man, but we quickly realized that a tired baby and a leisurely dinner do not mix, so we decided to let people dine without a soundtrack of "screaming baby" and ordered take out instead.  Overall it was a great day and I loved being with my boys, but I'm super excited about my gift that arrived this morning: the babysitter we've hired to come once a week for a few hours.  There's no better gift than the love of my son and husband; except for the guarantee of getting to take a shower once a week.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Call Your Mother

My Momma and I; partners in crime for all these years.  
It's my inaugural Mother's Day, so I'm really looking forward to sleeping late and having a quiet, restful day all to myself.  Hahahahaha!  The reality is that I'll probably be up with my teething baby at least four times on Saturday night and I'm spending Mother's Day with my whole family so the only thing that's going to redeem this weekend is alcohol and a really good gift from the Hubby.

I'm treating myself to a massage today at El Leon Spa.  This place is ah-mazing.  It's just like being in Thailand except without the possibility of getting dysentery.

For Sunday brunch I'm mixing up a batch of these, because Bloody Marys are really the only socially acceptable way to drink alcohol in the morning.

Have you seen this?  Sure to melt your heart even if you're not an animal person.

I'm loving the Great Gatsby fashion right now.  I'm definitely going to pick up this killer hat for summer.

In typical Anna fashion I haven't done any shopping for Mother's Day gifts yet, so you'll be able to find me wandering aimlessly around the mall tomorrow morning.  Here are some cool gift ideas if you're running behind schedule, too:

I love this planter for the Momma with a green thumb.
Every Mommy deserves some cashmere love.
Honestly, you can't go wrong with an indulgent mani-pedi gift certificate.  

Don't forget to call your Mom on Sunday and thank her for pushing you out of her lady parts.  Trust me, it's not as easy as it looks on TV.  Have a killer weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just the Baby Necessities

When you have a baby, you get a lot of crap.  It’s well-intentioned crap – cute outfits, lots of baby socks – but the stuff that you really need, the things that will actually improve your quality of life once you bring baby home, are rarely gifted at baby showers.  Don’t get me wrong, I am unbelievably grateful for everything I was given, but after we brought the Muffin Man home from the hospital I found myself spending quite a lot of time on Amazon ordering the things I really needed.  Heretofore I’ve compiled a list of the five completely necessary items to have on hand when you bring your sweet little screaming, pooping, not-sleeping bundle of joy home.

1.  Swaddles.  A friend of mine, whose hand-me-downs have saved my ass more times than I can count, gave me two of the Swaddle Me velcro swaddle thingies.  I didn’t really understand their purpose initially, so I shoved them in the back of a drawer and forgot about them.  After we brought the little man home from the hospital and found ourselves struggling to swaddle the kiddo with a regular blanket in the middle of the night, I remembered that I had the swaddles stashed away.  Despite the fact that The Happiest Baby on the Block guy makes swaddling look so easy, it’s not, especially when you’re sleep deprived and trying to do it in the middle of the night.  Do yourself a favor and buy a case of these swaddle things.  You cannot have enough of them, especially because newborns like to pee through everything and you will probably have to change their swaddle at least once every night.  Don’t be a slave to your washing machine like I was, buy enough for a week (which means 10 to

2. A Breast Feeding Pillow.  There is a lot of division on this issue.  Some women like the Boppy, others the My Breast Friend.  I personally found the My Breast Friend too hard and not easy to get into, but I loved my Boppy.  If you’re planning to breastfeed you need one of these pillows.  You will absolutely have terrible neck and shoulder pain from hunching over to feed your baby, and while the Boppy doesn’t stop that from happening it does at least keep you from doing permanent damage and turning into the Hunch Mother of Hancock Park.  Buy one of each, and return the one that doesn’t work for you.  I thought I would like the My Breast Friend, but once I got home and discovered that trying to hold a screaming infant while velcroing myself into a giant pillow wasn’t the easiest task in the world, I exchanged it for the Boppy.  If you have it in your budget, buy an extra one.  I ended up dragging mine from room to room like I was Linus with his blankie, until my aforementioned friend saved my butt again and gave me her spare one.

3.  An Activity Chair.  We have lots of swings.  In fact, we have three.  Unfortunately, the Muffin Man hates swings.  What he does love is this vibrating chair that looks like a monkey, plays annoying music, and lights up.  This item will change your life.  Unlike a large, cumbersome swing, this little number can be carried from room to room with one hand (a major plus once you have a baby).  This chair will occupy your child while you take a shower, make yourself a cup of coffee, or even prepare a meal.  When Noah was really little he would sit in the chair but he didn’t really interact with it.  Now that he’s older he LOVES it.  He laughs at the music and he kicks at the toys hanging from the activity bar.  This chair is solely responsible for the fact that I have not been cited by DCFS for raising my child in squalor, as it keeps Noah busy long enough for me to do dishes and laundry.

4. An Activity Bar for the car seat.  The Muffin Man hates the car seat.  I’m pretty sure that to him it feels like he’s being interned at Guantanamo every time he’s put into it.  You would not believe the ear piercing screams that one child can emit when buckled into this hated contraption.  Prior to getting the activity bar, most of my car rides were accompanied by the sound of one baby screaming.  Considering that in Los Angeles it can take 45 minutes to drive one mile because of the traffic, this really curbed my ability to get out and about.  Two weeks ago, my Mother brought this fantastic little string of plastic toys that you velcro to the car seat handle.  I was skeptical, but low and behold this stupid little plastic mirror and a tube full of plastic beads keeps the Muffin Man from wailing the minute I even walk towards the car seat.  He gets tired of the toys eventually, but usually not before the movement of the car puts him to sleep.  I’m thinking it just might be time for a family road trip to Las Vegas. 

5.  Diapers.  Honestly, you cannot have enough diapers when you have a newborn.  People told me that we would go through a case of diapers in a week, but I didn’t believe them.  Well, folks, they were not lying.  We went through almost two hundred diapers in two and a half weeks.  Seriously.  I’ve never been very good at math, so I guess when people told me you have to change a newborn’s diapers every two hours I didn’t multiply correctly or something, but that’s 12 or more diapers a day.  Make sure you have a giant case of diapers on hand, or sign up for diaper delivery from Amazon or The Honest Company or  You will not regret this little indulgence.  Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get into your car and drive to Target to buy diapers when you’re a walking zombie.  Heck, my lady parts were swollen and sore for so many weeks I could barely walk to the bathroom let alone drive myself and my screaming newborn somewhere. 

The first six weeks of parenthood are the hardest.  Your life is completely turned upside down and you have no freaking clue what you’re doing.  But it does get easier.  In a short amount of time you will be able to change a diaper without opening your eyes, bathe your child efficiently and without fear that you may inadvertently drown him, and you will learn to function on just a few hours sleep.  I’m sure that my inept parenting has permanently damaged my son, but at least it’ll be a few years before he has the verbal skills to tell me about it. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Blankie Poo

There's a lot of poop involved in being a parent. When we first brought the Muffin Man home from the hospital we weren't very swift with the whole diaper changing thing, so we spent a significant amount of time cleaning poop off ourselves as well as the baby. Now that we are more experienced, the poop accidents have become less frequent. However, due to my obsessive compulsive attempts to save money, Noah has been wearing diapers that are a little too small for him because I don't want to waste what's left of the package of diapers. turns out that an ill fitting diaper doesn't do a great job of keeping poop from going everywhere (who knew?). Yesterday Noah had an explosion of poop that not only soaked his clothing but also Chris' as well. After cleaning up the mess, I put Noah down for a nap with his favorite blankie only to notice that there was poop all over it. This wouldn't be such a problem if my kid didn't like to rub this dirty scrap of cloth all over his face and suck on the satin edging. By the time I realized that the blankie had been adulterated Noah was already napping peacefully in his crib. As those of you with children know, getting a kiddo to nap is no small feat. I toyed with the idea of wrestling the poopy blankie from his strong little grip, which would no doubt wake him up and result in a struggle to get him back to sleep, but instead decide to let him sleep and prayed that he wouldn't stick the pooped-on part in his mouth. I realize that there was a real chance I could've ended up with a sick baby, but hey, Momma needed a shower.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Mom Stays in the Picture

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a guest on The Adults are Talking podcast. Isaac and Deb are great hosts and we had a fun time discussing parenthood.  I'm pretty sure they will never recover from hearing about my placenta encapsulation. Here's the link if you care to take a listen:

One of the things we discussed on The Adults are Talking is how becoming a Mother empowers you and makes you feel so much less self-conscious. This has definitely been one of the great surprises of Motherhood for me. Before I had the Muffin Man I used to agonize over every tiny detail of my appearance and I was so self-critical. Now that I'm wrangling a small human I just don't think about it so much anymore. If I manage to shower and get dressed in a marginally matching outfit then I consider that a win. So it seems fitting that two of my favorite Mommy bloggers, Momma's Gone City and Mommy Shorts are asking other Moms to take pictures of themselves with their kiddos. We all snap so many pictures of our little ones and too often leave ourselves out. Motherhood is beautiful in all of its chaos and craziness. Go ahead and celebrate yourself by taking a photo with your babe, uploading it to Instagram and tagging it with #momma_love @mommyshorts @mommasgonecity and @mommaloveali.  You might win a copy of this amazing book, but mostly you'll join a huge group of Mommas celebrating their awesomeness.  Besides, it's a great way to spend your Tuesday afternoon instead of doing actual work, don't you think?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

The Muffin Man slept through the night last night! This is the second time in only a week that this has happened, so I'm hoping it's a trend that's going to catch on. Today I was actually awake before the baby. Here's the problem: I'm so used to getting up every couple of hours that I wake up even when Noah doesn't. This morning I sat straight up in bed sure that the reason the little guy hadn't woken up was because he'd been abducted by aliens in the middle of the night. I jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway only to find the Muffin Man slumbering peacefully in his bed, completely oblivious to the fact that his Mommy was imagining all sorts of horrible, sure to result in death scenarios. That's the thing about Motherhood - you're never really able to go back to your carefree pre-child self. No matter how good things get, you always imagine the worst. I would love to sleep deeply and without interruption for eight hours, but I'm pretty sure that for the rest of my life I'll always wake up worried that something has happened to my kiddo. On the plus side, it turns out that I'm highly efficient at 5:30 in the morning.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Have Yourself a Great Friggin' Weekend

Happy Friday, my friends!  We're in a celebratory mood around here because the Muffin Man slept through the night last night.  I'm so well-rested I'm not really sure what to do with myself.

Last night we went to my friend Jordanna's book release party.  She's an amazing young-adult novelist, and I'm so excited to read her new book, Our Song!  Get it here or here, or better yet support your local independent bookseller like Chevaliers or Book Court.

It's Kentucky Derby weekend, which means I'll be mixing up a batch of the Perfect Mint Julep.  Don't forget to call your Bookie and place a bet - I always root for the long-shot

If you don't want to make your own julep, head on over to Bludso's Bar & Que for some killer BBQ and mint juleps on tap.  The brisket and the coleslaw are ah-mazing, and I'm sure they'll have the Derby streaming tomorrow so you can keep an eye on your horse.  

Have you seen this article about where ex-pat New Yorkers land around the globe?  It's certainly spot on when it comes to our neighborhood.

I've been making a shopping list for pieces to jazz up my spring and summer wardrobe.  I usually stay away from butterflies because they just make me think of bad stripper tattoos, but these are cool.

Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, so needless to say we'll be staying off the roads and celebrating at home.  We're having some friends in for Margaritas and, just to mix it up, goat cheese guacamole.  

This video kills me.  I definitely wouldn't have appreciated it before, but now that I have a kiddo I just can't get enough.

What are your plans for this beautiful spring weekend?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chivalry is Dead

Chivalry is dead, my friends.  I knew that it was on its way out, but now that I have become a Mother and spend many hours of my day trying to navigate through doors with my baby stroller, I can tell you without a doubt that chivalry is dead, buried, and in no danger of coming back to haunt us.  Single ladies, I seriously feel for you, because most of the guys out there are complete and total assholes. 

This fact was driven home to me yesterday afternoon while I was struggling to open the door at the post office.  Three men of varying ages simply stared at me while I contorted myself into knots worthy of a Cirque de Soleil act trying to get my stroller through the door; not a single one offered to help or held the door for me.  Lest you think this is some sort of post office related rudeness, I’ve had this very same thing happen at the coffee shop, at the drug store, and at the mall.  In fact, other than my husband, other males I happen to be related to, and three random strangers, not a single man has ever helped me with my stroller.  Last week I actually had a guy at the library push me out of the way to beat me to the door and then let it slam against the stroller, which, of course, resulted in the Muffin Man waking up and screaming bloody murder.  I had half a mind to chase after that guy and hold him hostage in a car with my wailing infant, but I thought better of it, mainly because I don’t think it would be appropriate for my son to have to visit me in prison. 

Honestly, sometimes I despair for our society.  I know this makes me sound like I’m an eighty-year-old yenta living out her golden years in Boca Raton, but it disturbs me that the men in America seem to have no manners.  Granted, I’m sure it’s probably worse here in Los Angeles, the city of narcissism and navel gazing, but I have a sneaking suspicion this epidemic is beginning to reach the flyover states as well.  I’m sure that there are lots of theories about why men are no longer chivalrous – maybe it was the women’s movement, maybe it’s that boys don’t have fathers anymore, maybe it’s that women are too independent – honestly, I don’t really care what the cause is.  Heck, I’m an independent woman who has no problem opening her own door, except when I literally do not have an extra hand to do so because I'm steering a stroller the size of a school bus.  I applaud how far women have come, but there a few things about the whole Mad Men era I wish still existed.  Sure, Don Draper is a liar and a womanizer, but at least he holds the door for whichever wife he’s cheating on. 

The bright spot in all of this is that I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how helpful other women are.  I’ve had women literally fall over themselves to hold doors open, or help me carry the stroller up and down staircases.  I find this encouraging, especially since we often get a bad rap for being backstabbing, gossiping wenches not interested in helping each other out.  I’m here to tell you that sisters really are doin' it for themselves.  And I don’t blame them, considering what duds the men of generations X, Y, and Z have turned out to be.

Ladies, I’m making a promise to you right now that my son will grow up to be a gentleman.  He will learn to hold open doors and pull out chairs and to stand up when a woman leaves the dinner table.  Women deserve to be shown these signs of respect, and I figure by the time he's an adult he’ll be one of the last men on Earth with any manners, and that’s sure to guarantee that he gets a ton of pussy.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Wet and Wild

The Muffin Man pees a lot. On the one hand this is a very good thing; it means he's getting enough to eat and that his kidneys are working, which I'm certainly happy about. However, having a kiddo who pees as much as my son does can be problematic when you're trying to get him to sleep through the night, since it means he tends to pee through his diapers. I've tried double diapering him - total disaster. I bought the "Overnites" diapers - also a complete bust. Finally, thanks to the advice of my sister-in-law, I went up a size in his regular diapers. This works sometimes. Unfortunately Monday night was not one of those times, as I learned when I woke to his howls a mere hour after being up with him previously. Not only were his pajamas soaked, but so was his sleep sack, bed sheet and mattress pad (thankfully the pee explosion managed to miss his blankie). I quickly changed him, threw a couple blankets over the wet spot and made a mental note to change his bed clothes the following day. It turns out that things you remind yourself at 3:15 in the morning don't always stick, which is how my poor kid ended up sleeping on dry, yet peed on, sheets last night. I woke up with a start this morning and realized with horror that Noah was probably breathing in the smell of tinkle all night long. I'm sure that this is dangerous to his health in some way and that he'll have life long health problems because his Mother forced him to sleep in his own urine or, worse, that I've now ensured that my son ends up with a propensity towards liking golden showers. You'll be happy to know that I changed his sheets first thing this morning, right before I left for an emergency session with my therapist to work through my "Bad Mommy" guilt.

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