Friday, August 30, 2013

Farewell, Summer!


Happy holiday weekend, my lovelies!  I hope you're planning to do something fun and fabulous in order to give summer a proper farewell.  My plans include turning my air conditioning down to 65 degrees and sitting underneath one of the vents.  The Hubs is working all weekend, so it'll be just me and the Muffin Man singing songs and looking for ways to pass the hours.  I have a feeling I'll be spending quite a lot of time in the kiddie pool currently taking up space in our backyard.

Enjoy summer's last hurrah, and here are a few linky links to peruse while relaxing:

This weekend's cocktail comes courtesy of my wedding caterer's beach bar.  Wish I was there!

It's quite possible your morning is beautiful, despite how hectic it may seem.

I'm obsessing over this insanely chic and totally gorgeous nursery.

The final word on Miley, Robin Thicke, and the VMA ridiculousness.

How to smudge eyeliner so you don't look like you've been punched in the eye.

Cheap drapes that don't look...cheap.

I'm having a grey moment.

Some of these terrible roommates even trump the hooker I lived with.

The Huntington kind of makes up for everything else that's shitty about Los Angeles.

This American Girl Doll photo essay makes me glad I have a boy.

Summer veggie ceviche, since it's just too damn hot to cook.

Ruth Reichl is brilliant as always; even when admitting she was wrong.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Don't Even Think of Saying That

It's Thursday, which means you only have one more day to survive before the Holiday weekend.  I'm blogging over at Laughing My Vag Off today, so click on through to check out my list of five things you should never say to a new Mother.  This is a must read, my friends!

xoxo

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Breakfast of Champions


Now that the Muffin Man is eating solid food, I spend most of my weekend evenings making baby food.  There's nothing wrong with packaged baby food, it's just that I happen to be both a dirty hippie and a control freak, so I prefer to feed my kid food that I've prepared myself.

Initially I was doing it the hard way - using a pot with a steamer basket to cook the vegetables and then dragging my Cuisinart out of the pantry to purée the vegetables - but this resulted in lots of dirty dishes and a pot I had to hand wash (ugh).  Tired of staring at my sink piled high with yet another mound of dishes that wouldn't get washed for approximately a week, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and purchase a Beaba, which is a steamer and a food processor and a reheater all in one nifty gadget.  In keeping with my cheapness, I, of course, didn't buy a new one but rather found one on Craigslist for less than half the price.  The only drawback was that it didn't come with an instruction manual.  I had every intention of going online, finding the manual and printing it out, but my intentions didn't match up with the reality of my available time, so I had to wing it.  I threw some water in the thing, peeled a couple of carrots, threw them in whole, and turned the Beaba to "cook".  While I waited for my carrots to steam, I poured myself a glass of wine and patted myself on the back for figuring out how to work my new appliance without the assistance of either my Husband or an instruction booklet.  After about 12 minutes, the carrots were done.  I threw the cooked carrots into the chopping chamber, whirled them up with a little water, and then put the purée into a tupperware (it was glass, so please don't accuse me of poisoning my child with BPAs or whatever).  When I was scraping the carrot mixture out of the Beaba I thought that it didn't look quite as smooth as commercial baby food, but I figured that it was probably fine.

The following morning I gleefully dished up a large bowl of delicious organic carrots and prepared to feed Noah my first Beaba-prepared batch of baby food.  I spooned up a big bite, put it in his mouth and waited for him to reward me with a huge smile or the gleeful kicking that he does to signify he likes something.  Instead, I was unexpectedly greeted with a horrible grimace, followed by some terrifying choking sounds and a cough that expelled the carrot puree all over me, the high chair, and half of my dining room, after which Noah started wailing uncontrollably.  People, there is a reason the baby food in jars is smooth; it's because small children can't chew or swallow larger chunks of vegetables.  Who knew?  (Not me, obviously).  Had I actually waited to use my new and exciting kitchen gadget until after I'd had time to read the instructions, I would've learned that you have to dice the vegetables before putting them in the cooking basket, otherwise they don't cook through and then they won't purée finely enough.  In typical Anna fashion, I didn't bother to wait until I knew what I was doing before diving in head first and ultimately serving Noah a spoonful of (potential) death.  Honestly, it's no wonder I consider every day that I've managed to keep my son alive a successful one.

Rest assured that I am no longer cooking up choking hazards.  In fact, I even managed to print out the instruction manual, and it's now living within arms reach of my Beaba.  As for all of those "puréed" carrots that are sitting in my freezer, I have grand plans to make a carrot cake.  I just have to find the time to look up a recipe.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shedding my Skin

I'm itchy.  I assure you this is not some sort of code word for something sexual.  I really am very itchy and I'm leaving dry skin everywhere I go.  I've had Psoriasis since I was a little kid, and while I enjoyed a heavenly respite from this affliction throughout my pregnancy and the early months of Motherhood, it's now back with a vengeance.  Apparently it's pretty common to have it flare up once all of those supersonic pregnancy hormones leave your body, but this totally sucks.  I'm so itchy I would really love to be able to spend all of my waking hours submerged in a giant tub of oil (also not meant in a remotely sexual way - I'm simply referring to oil's moisturizing properties).

The only way I've ever succeeded in getting rid of my Psoriasis is through a strict diet and huge amounts of supplements.  Before you freak out and accuse me of Hollywood-induced anorexia, let me assure you that I am not "on a diet".  If I did actually calorie count I'm pretty sure I would, in fact, become the invisible woman, and while on some days this does sound rather appealing, I have no intention of starving myself down to the literal size of a toothpick.  Here's the thing: I love food.  I love to cook it, I love to eat it, and I especially love going to restaurants (good thing, since that's the Hubby's job).  Unfortunately, when I'm battling a Psoriasis flare-up I'm essentially forced to eat bark with a side of kale.  The list of things I can't eat is longer than the criminal records of some of my exes:

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Yeast (this includes anything fermented like soy sauce or vinegar, and prepared condiments like mustard)
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.)
  • Corn
  • Pork
  • White rice
  • Cured meats (bacon, deli meats, prosciutto, etc.)
  • Fruit (other than lemons and limes)
  • Alcohol

Surprisingly, lunch on the "bark eating diet" is pretty good.
Needless to say, between the itching and the food restrictions, I'm extremely grumpy.  It's a real pain in the ass to have to be so conscious of what you eat.  Normally I eat a modified version of this diet (no sugar, no gluten and no dairy), but I do like cheese, salad dressing and bacon.  (Who am I kidding, I love bacon.)  The only thing that's positive about eating this way is that it's forced me to actually learn to cook and get creative in the kitchen.  I've discovered grains that are delicious (buckwheat groats, anyone?) and figured out how to make waffles with coconut flour and quinoa.  Yeah, it sucks to not be able to eat an entire blueberry pie while watching Pitch Perfect for the 14th time, but being covered in dry, itchy skin is suckier.  However, I would suggest that you not get within ten feet of me while you're eating an ice cream cone, because I will cut a bitch.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday. Blergh.

I am really not feeling Monday today, people.  We had such a busy weekend that I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.  


On Friday we celebrated my nephew's 12th birthday with a big family BBQ.  The Hubby has four siblings, all of whom have multiple children, so I think at last count there are 11 offspring amongst the group.  The age range is pretty incredible, as my oldest niece just left for college and Noah, the youngest, is only seven months old.  I know that many of you are under the mistaken impression that the Muffin Man always smiles for photographs, but I offer the above shot as proof of this misconception.  I guess he was none to pleased that he had to share the spotlight with nine other kids.

Saturday night the Hubby and I ditched the Muffin Man and enjoyed margaritas and adult conversation at a birthday dinner for a dear friend of mine.  Shockingly, Chris was able to take the night off and be my date, which was an unexpected treat.  I'm pretty sure some people think I have an imaginary husband because they've never actually seen him in the flesh.

The big event of our weekend was a trip to the Natural History Museum to visit the Butterfly Pavilion. Neither of us had ever been to the NHM, and I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised.  It's certainly not anything like the Holy Grail of the one in New York, but the building is beautiful and they do have some pretty cool exhibits.  I'm actually thinking of buying a membership because it's close to our house, I can take the subway to get there, and Exposition Park has lots of shady spots perfect for picnics.  


Noah loves butterflies.  This is going to sound super hippie-dippy, but when I was pregnant with him I got visited by Monarch butterflies.  Whenever I would work in the garden, or go to my Mom's house, Monarchs would flock to me.  I'd never had this effect on butterflies before (or men, let's be honest), but they seemed to be very interested in me once I got pregnant (the butterflies, not the men).  Now that Noah is out and about in the world, the Monarchs are still drawn to him.  Every time we are out walking, we see them, and we even have a couple living in our back garden.  Noah loves watching them flutter around, so I figured a trip to the butterfly pavilion was in order.  Well, it was a big hit, my friends.  He was absolutely entranced by all the fluttering butterflies.  I don't think he'd ever seen so many different kind of butterflies in one place.  It was really, really wonderful and I'm so glad we went.  

We had to buy Noah a souvenir, since they made us Exit Through the Gift Shop...


How gorgeous is my niece, Violet?!
Sunday afternoon I left the Muffin Man in the capable hands of Mr. Chris and took myself to the American Girl Cafe for my niece's birthday tea party.  Here's the thing you need to know about our family: it's a boys club.  Everybody gives birth to boys.  Of the eleven offspring, only two are girls, so I don't get to do a whole lot of shopping for pink clothing or dolls or makeup.  Violet's birthday party was as girly as one can get: we drank pink lemonade, ate tea sandwiches, and finished up with a pink birthday cake.  I'm pretty sure she was in little girl heaven.  I, on the other hand, after seeing the price of American Girl dolls, am terribly relieved to have given birth to a son.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's the Weekend


What are you up to this weekend, my friends?  We have birthday parties every single day (and evening), so I'm currently trying to wrap gifts while also chasing a baby.  Our Saturday night commitment is an adults only event that involves margaritas, so I'm certainly looking forward to that one.  Sunday morning we're taking the Muffin Man to the Natural History Museum to see the Butterfly Pavilion.  He loves butterflies, so I'm super excited for that outing.

With the Holiday weekend coming up, this gadget seems like a really good idea for Angelenos who like to party.  Separately, if you live in Brooklyn, Uber has you covered (yet again another reason I'm jonesing to move).

I always wear flat sandals because I'm tall and clumsy, but here's how people with actual style make them look cool.

The Sartorialist is on Instagram. Yes, just yes.

Loving this quote.

L.A.'s best secret bars.  Hopefully a few of them will still exist when I have a life again in approximately 18 years.

Beautiful art made from wire hangers means you never again have an excuse for your bad Joan Crawford impression.

An easy dessert for hot summer nights.

I have bigger things to worry about than how I look naked (and, let's be honest, after popping out a kid it's not the best view these days).  How comfortable are you in your birthday suit?

I need this book.  I also need time to read it, but I don't think I can purchase that.

What happens when you go back and reread your favorite adolescent book series?  It's not pretty.

Morning Joe around the World. (Sidebar: are you watching Top of the Lake?  It's so good - and there are lots of orders for "flat whites")

What I'll be imbibing this weekend.

Have a great one!

xoxo

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Got (No More) Milk?


The days all seem pretty much the same when your life revolves a small human being who doesn't understand the concept of sleeping in on the weekends, but I'm blogging over at Laughing My Vag Off today, so that must mean it's Thursday.  Head on over there for a glimpse into my conflicted head space with regards to weaning.

xoxo

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Sunscreen Chronicles, Part Deux


We're finally getting some summer weather here in Los Angeles, which means temperatures over 100 degrees and air conditioning bills that cost more than the rent I paid for my first apartment, so I've been slathering the Muffin Man with sunscreen every time we so much as step foot outside.

Yesterday afternoon we met some of our friends at the zoo.  I know that zoos are not politically correct or whatever, but when you have hours to kill before bedtime and your kid happens to really like animals, you're all about the zoo.  Since we've been to the zoo once before I knew that it would be hot, so I planned accordingly.  I put almost an entire bottle of sunscreen on Noah, I crammed a hat on his head, and I brought a sippy cup full of cold water.  I also remembered to pack an extra diaper, a change of clothes, and a bottle, so I was feeling very proud of myself for having my shit together for once.  When we arrived at the zoo I strapped the kiddo into the umbrella stroller and set off to meet up with our friends.  We had a pleasant, if rather warm, stroll around the zoo.  We saw lots of cool animals, including Giraffes (Noah's favorite), Gorillas (my favorite), and Meerkats (that weird character from that weird movie's favorite).  At one point, Noah seemed sleepy, so I reclined the stroller backrest, handed him his blankie, and let him take a snooze.  Focused solely on the current drama of my friend's divorce, I enjoyed a nice walk while Noah napped peacefully.  

When we left the zoo and I unbuckled Noah from the stroller to put him into his carseat, his face was beet red.  Apparently, the stroller had been angled such that the sun had been beating down onto his face beneath the brim of his hat.  I'd been so intent on making sure his legs and arms didn't get burned that I had completely forgotten to put sunscreen on the kid's face.  While he does look especially cute with pink cheeks, I'm sure that I have somehow irrevocably damaged his delicate baby skin and I could be arrested for child endangerment.  On the plus side, he has a nice little tan on his arms and legs, which really looks fantastic with his summer wardrobe.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baby Proof vs. 80 Proof


Is it too much to ask that someone invent baby toys to match my decor? 
Last week we had the baby proofing company come out and give us an estimate.  Prior to my walk through with Ken from Family First Baby Proofing, I thought that our house was pretty safe for the Muffin Man.  I knew we would have to put gates across our stairs, and some covers on the electrical outlets, but I assumed that would pretty much cover it (no pun intended).  Boy was I wrong.  It turns out that our home is basically a baby death trap.  The beautiful wood with which I filled our non-working fireplace is a trip to the ER for a splinter in the eye.  My perfectly styled bookshelves are a head injury waiting to happen.  And my glass coffee table that I just finished repainting?  It has to go before an overzealous child banging some sort of hideous plastic toy causes it to shatter.

As I've mentioned here before, I love interior design.  I'm a voracious reader of design blogs and House Beautiful.  I enjoy finding trash at flea markets and garage sales and transforming it into treasures.  I'm a big sucker for Craigslist and will drive 100 miles if it means getting a mint condition mid-century modern credenza for fifty bucks.  Unfortunately, it turns out that at least three of my favorite pieces are not child friendly, which means I'm going to have to sacrifice my design aesthetic in favor of Noah's health.  So now my home will not only be filled with an assortment of plastic toys/swings/jumperoos in heinous primary colors, but it will also have foam padding halfway up both sides of my fireplace, no coffee tables, and be lacking a bar cart.

It's this last one that really gets to me, folks, because it means I'm going to have to walk all the way to the kitchen to mix myself a cocktail at the end of a long day, and after sixteen rounds of the Wheels on the Bus sometimes that's just more than a Mommy can handle.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Wine Down


Monday always seems to roll around really fast, doesn't it?  The weather is all dreary this morning here in beautiful Los Angeles, so I think that's causing me to have an especially bad case of the Mondays.  Honestly, I'm considering popping a few of my placenta pills that I've been saving in my freezer.  Who needs anti depressants when you've got placenta?!

We had a busy weekend around these parts.  Saturday a good friend of mine hosted a wine tasting, so I ditched the Muffin Man with the babysitter and spent the afternoon pretending to know the difference between a Cab and a Shiraz (both are red and both have alcohol in them so therefore both are delicious).  It was definitely a treat to have a whole child-free afternoon full of good company and adult beverages.  

Sunday the Hubby actually took the day off (hooray).  We walked to the farmer's market in the morning, I went a got a manicure and then we spent the afternoon at a family birthday party.  Noah had a great time watching his older cousins splash in the pool and I enjoyed having his Nana there to play with him so I could relax and enjoy two glasses of wine and three pieces of pie.  What can I say except that I really know how to par-tay.

Today my story about Noah's birth is featured on the Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine blog, so head on over there if you're interested in reliving my natural, unmedicated pregnancy and labor. It's not pretty, but it is funny.





Friday, August 16, 2013

Have a Great Weekend


We've survived another week, my friends, so I think that calls for a cocktail.  It's been a bit of a rough one around these parts.  I had a bad reaction to the antibiotics they gave me for the Mastitis, so now I'm fighting a really sexy case of thrush.  I'm pretty sure this is the universe telling me it's time to start weaning the Muffin Man, so it looks like my reading material this weekend will be the page turner The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning.  I know, the glamour of my life really is too much to handle sometimes.  I hope you have some fun plans to take advantage of the beautiful weather and these dog days of summer.  I've been getting a contact high from all the Halloween candy they're already selling at my local Rite Aid, so I guess fall will be here before we know it.

Just in time for a weekend full of binge drinking, our friends at The Awl reveal which drinks get you the most wasted.

Chocolate dipped frozen bananas like you used to eat as a kid, but fancier.

How much it really costs to live in Los Angeles (the actual dollar cost, not the psychological cost).

Can I interest you in an arsenic-laced donut?  A new Flowers in the Attic movie is in the works.  Color me excited.

Your Mother in Law is right, you really are doing your laundry wrong.

I'm pretty sure a Sriracha Bloody Mary is the perfect drink for Saturday or Sunday morning.  Or really, anytime.

Have a wonderful weekend my lovelies!

xoxo



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mommy Style


It's already Thursday, my friends, which means you are one step closer to a weekend full of binge drinking and bad decisions!  Thursday also means that I'm blogging over at Laughing My Vag Off, so hop on over there and enjoy this week's adventure in neuroses and new Motherhood.

xoxo

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: It's Hair Raising

My hair is falling out in clumps.  This happens to be yet another one of the glamorous side effects of pregnancy, in addition to saggy boobs and never wanting to have sex again.  The hair situation is really getting out of hand; I currently have my plumber on speed dial, since I've clogged up the drain three times in the last month.  I do my best to pick up any stray clumps of hair I come across, and I assumed that the vacuum cleaner was sucking up any strands that made it into the rugs.  Monday afternoon the Muffin Man was playing in his room, chewing on some sort of organic wooden toy, while I was putting away laundry and rocking out to the Baby Goes New Wave version of Tainted Love.  All of the sudden, while I had my head buried in a drawer full of second hand shorts, I heard Noah making choking sounds.  I quickly sprung into action, cracking my head on an open dresser drawer in my haste to reach him before he choked to death.  I couldn't imagine what he was choking on.  Why, just last week I sorted through all of his toys to make sure nothing with lead paint or choking hazards remained in his toy basket!  Could a button have fallen off of my pants and made its way into his windpipe?  Had one of my Forever 21 beaded necklaces come apart only to end up in my son's mouth?  Just when I was about to commence hitting Noah on the back with enough force to dislodge whatever death apparatus he'd gotten his hands on, he started coughing, and proceeded to spit out a clump of hair.  Upon closer examination I noticed that the hair was long and "blonde" and probably hadn't been brushed in several days (weeks? months?!).  Somehow, my son found one of my hairy DNA samples in his rug, decided he just had to see how it tasted, and promptly choked on the offending clump of hair.  Thanks to my marginal housekeeping skills, my child actually coughed up a hairball.  I'm just thankful that he didn't sustain any real damage from this choking incident, other than whatever psychological harm it may have caused.  I'm sure someday he'll pay a therapist thousands of dollars to examine why it is he only dates women with short hair.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Breast is Best


If you follow me on Twitter you already know that I got invited to a public breastfeeding party. Apparently, August is National Breastfeeding Month, so a bunch of Moms are meeting at Santa Monica Place to make a statement by whipping out their boobs and nursing in public.  I happen to already have plans on the day in question, but I probably wouldn't attend even if I was available. Not because I don't support what these ladies are doing, but rather because just the thought of driving to Santa Monica, finding a parking space and then navigating all the homeless people on the Promenade gives me Agita. I'm totally in favor of making breastfeeding in public no big deal, I just like my political action events to happen within a three mile radius of my home so that I can walk to them.  I support a Mother's right to feed her baby whenever and wherever. Heck, just yesterday I whipped a boob out at the park, which I'm sure thrilled the guy selling chicharrons to no end.  I can't believe that in the year 2013 this is even an issue, but after reading this article and this one, I can understand why the public breastfeeding party is happening.  You're uncomfortable with a Mom feeding her baby?  Here's a revolutionary idea: don't look.  Believe me, there is nothing sexual about nursing.  In fact, based on how deflated and saggy my "girls" have gotten since I started nursing, I despair that there is any hope of them ever becoming sexual objects again.  Bad news for the Hubby, good news for the vendors and drug dealers at my neighborhood park who like a free show.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I (don't) Love LA


Welcome to Monday, my friends. I'm currently going through one of my "I hate LA" phases, which was exacerbated by a weekend spent sitting in traffic with a screaming baby in my backseat.  Yes, the weather is great here, but who can enjoy it when you spend most of your life trapped inside your climate controlled automobile staring at the car directly in front of you?  So this week I'm dreaming of relocation to a walkable city (I'm looking at you here, SF and NY).  Not to fear, I'm sure we will never leave this city of strip malls and broken dreams, mainly because we have family here (AKA free childcare) but also because the Hubby is permanently scarred both from years of shoveling snow during adolescence and riding the subway in the 1980's.


I will confess that I would really miss having lots of family around if I did somehow convince the Hubby to return to the East Coast. We spent lots of time with both sets of relatives this weekend, and the Muffin Man loves seeing his grandparents and his cousins.  I would surely feel guilty if I deprived my kiddo of extended family solely because LA's concrete landscape is getting to me (I would, right?  Right?!).  Anyway, life continues apace and we're on to another week filled with Mommy and Me and sleep deprivation. If you're looking for me I'm most likely to be found sitting on the 101, the 405 or the 10, pulling what's left of my hair out while Noah wails in the backseat. And please don't suggest I "take Fountain" (I'm looking at you here, Bette Davis); traffic on that street is the worst.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Have a Spectacular Weekend


Weekend ahoy!  We have relatives in town, so our weekend will mostly involve bagels, lox and family gossip.  Saturday night I'm ditching the Hubby and the Muffin Man and heading to a dear friend's birthday/going away party.  It's been awhile since I got a chance to booze with the ladies, so I'm looking forward to it.

I'm planning to bake a coconut cake for tomorrow night's festivities, assuming I'm still capable of following a recipe after the kiddo goes to sleep.  If you're a fan of this delicious tropical flavor, you will thank me for introducing you to this recipe for the BEST COCONUT CAKE EVER.

I love the idea of a photo book about Noah.  I should have time to put one together right after he leaves for college.

Based on all the fashion that I've been blogging about, I'm anxious for fall.  This checked jacket is to die for.

These videos capture one of the best things about Motherhood: seeing your little one experience something for the first time.

The classic Mai Tai - Hawaii in a tumbler (or a bamboo cup, as the case should be).

This is by far my favorite news story of the week.

A new lipstick color that pays tribute to my old 'hood?  I think I just might.

Have a great weekend my lovelies!

xoxo

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to Reality

Reunited... and it feels so good.  
I have returned from my brief Motherhood hiatus and am back to my usual activities of singing songs and changing diapers.  We had a lovely child-free romantic getaway that involved cocktails by the pool, multiple spa treatments, and a leisurely dinner with no concern about getting home to relieve the babysitter. Of course we did spend most of the time talking about Noah or looking at pictures of him, and I spent a significant amount of our vacation hooked up to my breast pump, but I think that's as carefree as people get once they become parents.


We are lucky enough to have very generous relatives who gifted us with a night at the Ojai Valley in and Spa.  Honestly, after seven months straight of sleep deprivation, poopy diapers, and being covered in spit-up, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Not only is the place gorgeous, but it's quiet, peaceful and has really comfortable beds; all things that are very important when the main thing you plan to do on vacation is sleep.  I'm happy to tell you that we took advantage of not having to get up in the morning and slept until the very late hour of 9AM.  I know it's really, really pathetic that I now think of 9AM as "late", but when you have a human alarm clock who wakes you up at 7AM everyday, those two extra hours feel incredibly indulgent.  I think that we definitely celebrated our anniversary in style - and I'm pretty sure that I have the hangover to prove it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Baby vs. Pool



This week's Motherhood FAIL comes courtesy of Jessica Glassberg. Big thank you to Jessica for sharing her story! 

So, it’s summer… it’s time for some fun in the sun! Or, as the case may be with my 8-month-old, fun in the SPF slathered with a shade-providing hat fun in the sun!

I recently signed my 8-month-old daughter up for swim lessons at our local pool. Granted it’s more “get used to being in a giant chlorine infused bathtub with Mommy” than a lesson, but I was still a bit nervous about the whole thing.

And by a bit nervous, I mean totally, completely and in all other ways neurotic. Why would this be any different than worrying if my little bundle of joy is going to choke on the piece of banana she is gagging on or that time I threw my daughter down the stairs?

But in swim class, my concern was focused on her vs. the water.

I just kept getting the image of me holding a greased watermelon stuck in my head. Ya know… because of all those times that I’ve carried greased watermelons. (“I carried a watermelon.” Dirty Dancing…? Anyone…? I digress.) But I just kept having visions of her slippery little body slipping out of my slippery arms.

I learned that the class would entail dunking my daughter under the water…on purpose. They’re going to want me to water board my baby? What info do they think she’s going to have? The secrets of “the silent but deadly?”

I was a nervous wreck. I avoided the grocery store for fear I would come across a box of Dunk-a-Roos or Duncan Hines. I wouldn’t watch TV because with all the controversy about his wife outing him as bisexual, I was afraid I would see a clip of basketball player, Tim Duncan, dunking.

I worried… what if she swallows too much water? Then, the image of my wee one as a cartoon baby would pop into my head… where she’d drink too much water and it would start spraying out her ears with the velocity of a fire hydrant.

If she gets chlorine in her eyes, could that do permanent damage? And then I pondered the effects of chlorine on her baby soft skin and seeping into her baby-sized pores. What do I do if she gets too scared? What if the water is too cold and she gets hypothermia?

So, I did what any mother of an 8-month-old would do. I reviewed the things I learned in my infant CPR class and Googled the shit out of everything else!

Within the first moment in the pool, I decided to get the dunking over with. She was under and up in less than a second. And while I think my heart skipped a beat in the moment it took her to catch her breath, I knew it was a success. She was happy. She was giggling. She was enthusiastically waving at the pool flags as if they were people. She loved it!

And I was thrilled. She was learning to not be afraid of the water all while I was keeping her safe! Victory!

Just as I was proverbially patting myself on the back, I went to change her in the locker room. Wanting her to be warmed as quickly as possible, I immediately took off her wet swimsuit and zipped her into her cover up. Well, I must have zipped too rapidly, because as the plastic teeth clenched together, they took a big red bite of my little girl’s belly.

She cried.

Here I took all of these precautions to battle against the pool and then I became public enemy number one using a piece of polka dot fabric as my weapon. Off to Google the long term effects of zippering your baby.

Jessica Glassberg has written for The Screen Actors Guild Awards, Disney and for ten years was the head writer of the 21-hour Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, where she also performed five times. Additionally, "The History of the Joke with Lewis Black" on the History Channel featured Jessica's comedic stylings and she currently produces and hosts a standup comedy showcase, “Laugh Drink Repeat,” and is a contributing writer forKveller.com and Torquemag.io

For upcoming shows, clips and writings samples at: www.jessicaglassberg.com and follow her on twitter at: http://twitter.com/JGlassberg

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Us

Hawaii Big Island Wedding
No filter, no photoshop.  Welcome to my family's coffee farm on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Seven years ago today, Chris and I got married.  I know it's shocking that I have managed to remain married to the same person for almost a decade, but there you have it.  I may have dated a lot of losers, but I married a winner.

I have to say that our wedding day was the best day of my life.  I know I'm supposed to say that giving birth to the Muffin Man was the best day of my life, but let's be real here, people. I'm pretty sure that when given a choice between pushing a human out of your vagina or wearing a beautiful white dress during a Hawaiian sunset, you would choose the latter, too.

No wedding is perfect.  Sure, the photos always look perfect, but that's the whole reason you pay a photographer more than your rent; so that you can pretend it all went off without a hitch.  Our wedding had its share of drama, including a wedding planner who had to be fired five days before we got married, me somehow mis-counting the number of tables, which left the sweetheart table without a floral arrangement (I'm sure my therapist would say this was some major comment on my own self-worth, but that's exactly why I didn't invite him), and at least three of Chris' friends being ejected from their hotel for drunk and disorderly conduct.  In the end the only things that really mattered were the important ones: that our family and friends were with us for our wedding day, and that the bar didn't run out of alcohol.

Real Wedding Hawaii
The Kahuna who married us also married my Parents.  Yeah, we probably should've used a Rabbi, but that just wouldn't have been as cool.  

Big Island of Hawaii Wedding


Wedding fire dancers

At the end of the night, I surprised Chris with fire dancers.  Best. Wedding. Present. Ever.  

As I recall, we were so tired from all of the festivities, we spent the first day of the rest of our lives...sleeping.  Now that's what I call romantic.  

Happy Anniversary, Chris.  I love you!

Monday, August 5, 2013

T Minus One Day to Vacation

Just a little sick day Extreme Couponing action
We had a bit of a rough weekend around these parts.  Saturday morning the Muffin Man woke up with a runny nose, a fever, and a grumpy disposition, so all of our exciting weekend plans got tabled in order to care for a sick little one.  While my main concern, of course, was Noah's health, I admit that I spent way too many hours worrying that his cold might possibly derail our romantic get away plans.  I know, I'm a terrible, selfish human being probably not fit to be someone's parent, but Mama needs a massage.  Thankfully, Noah seems to be on the mend, so our plans to ditch the kiddo and spend some time alone proceed apace.  I'm terribly relieved, certainly because I hate it when Noah is under the weather, but also because I have a super cute new bathing suit and I would really hate for it to go to waste.

Just in case you're worried that my vacation plans will leave you without any exciting blog posts to read while you're supposed to be working, rest assured that I've got you covered.  I have something all scheduled for tomorrow and on Wednesday I'm excited to welcome the fabulous Jessica Glassberg  as my guest blogger.  She'll be sharing her own Motherhood FAIL on Wednesday, and I can guarantee that you will not want to miss this.

You can also follow me on Instagram, where I can promise at least one photograph of me drinking an adult beverage by the pool.  If you prefer words to pictures, then Twitter should be right up your alley, or you can join me on Pinterest if you share my obsession with interior design.

Have a wonderful week, my friends.  And just remember that I may be escaping town, but I can't escape Motherhood; I'll be taking my breast pump with me.

xoxo

Friday, August 2, 2013

Have a Fabulous Weekend


The weekend is here, my friends.  That means I'm leaving for vacation in only four days, and I can't wait; I'm literally counting the seconds.  We have friends in town this weekend, so I'm looking forward to showing off the Muffin Man and enjoying a bottomless Mimosa brunch (or two).

Watermelon sangria sounds like a delicious alternative to the vodka-soaked fruit I remember enjoying in high school.

Are Italian women simply the most fashionable people on Earth?

If I had the energy to make my own tortillas, I would totally make these .

Forget crazy people wielding illegal weapons, now salad can kill you .

H & M is online and selling housewares.  That sounds dangerous.

The gray weather in LA has me thinking about fall fashion.  I'm obsessing over these leather leggings .

I need a fashion stylist but since I can't afford that, this looks like a good alternative .

Have a great weekend!

xoxo




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Successful at Failure


I have lived in Los Angeles too long to not have any career to show for it.  Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve actually been an Angeleno, but I can tell you that it’s an embarrassingly long time.  I certainly didn’t move here with the intention of being a failure, but just like everyone else who arrives in the City of Angels with a few hundred bucks and a dream, I thought that I would make it big.  Despite all the people who told me how hard it was and how the odds were stacked against me, I was absolutely convinced that it would be different for me and that I would, without a doubt, become a star.  Jesus, I’m such a cliché.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t different for me.  Los Angeles was harder and crueler than I ever thought possible, and I crashed and burned at not just one career pursuit, but two.  Sure, I still get recognized for my pivotal turn in the cinematic masterpiece that is Beerfest, but for the most part my acting career turned out to be a big, fat failure with a capital F.  I also spent many years toiling at stand-up comedy, but let’s face it, late night comedy club sets and month-long road gigs are hardly ideal when you’re a parent.  My Phyllis Diller-inspired dreams fizzled the minute I gave birth (and it probably didn’t help that I’m actually not that funny.)  So here I am, living in a city that revolves around the Entertainment Industry, and the only entertaining I’m doing is when I dance around to The Wheels on the Bus trying to get my six-month-old son to stop crying.  While the Muffin Man may think my performance is Emmy worthy, I’m pretty sure no one else in town shares his opinion.

Living in Los Angeles when one has failed to succeed in the Industry is humbling (humiliating?  It depends on the day and my anti-depressant dosage).  Life here is all about who you are, whom you know, and what kind of car you drive.  I’m pretty sure the kind of car I drive says it all: a 2006 Toyota 4 Runner that hasn’t been washed in three months, has 100,000 miles on the odometer and a dented front fender.  I’m sure there’s somewhere in the US where I would at least get props for the fact that I’ve paid off my car loan, but that’s not really how people roll in LA.  I don’t have famous friends or live in a fancy house, and I certainly don’t make anything close to a decent living from my chosen career.

Here’s the biggest irony: it’s exactly because I’m a failure that I get to be a stay at home Mom.  The amount of money I would make from my crappy day job (i.e. waitressing or personal assisting) wouldn’t cover the cost of childcare.  If I had, in fact, managed to make it big I wouldn’t have the time or the privacy to take my kiddo to park play dates or outings at the museum.  Most days, I’m extremely grateful that I get the opportunity to spend time with Noah.  There are many, many times when I get down on myself and wish that I had achieved more or worked harder to succeed at the career(s) I pursued, but Noah doesn’t care about any of that.  He never looks up at me and sees someone who didn’t live up to her potential; the fact that I wasn’t funny enough or pretty enough or talented enough or anything enough doesn’t matter to him.  I happen to be ENOUGH simply because I am myself, which is definitely one of the absolute best perks of parenthood.

I’m not really sure what I’ll say to the Muffin Man when he asks me, at some future date, if I’m happy with how my life turned out.  Ultimately, I think the only thing that really matters is the love and guidance one gives to her children.  In the grand scheme of things does it make someone a better parent because he or she is an Oscar winner?  Will it negatively impact my child to grow up in a city so driven by fame and fortune?  I worry that Noah is already getting the short stick in life because neither his Father nor I are part of the Entertainment Industry and we don't make a lot of money.  I practically have a panic attack every week when I think about the damage I’m doing to my kid by dressing him in used clothes and delivering him to Mommy and Me in an old, dirty SUV.  Hopefully, he’ll turn out just fine.  But if he doesn’t at least I can comfort myself with knowing that he’s sure to meet plenty of famous and well-connected people in rehab.