Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Apparently I was dressed up as "drunk & easy"
I'm trick-or-treating over at Laughing My Vag Off today, so head on over there to devour my musings on Halloween past and present.  Have a safe and happy All Hallow's Eve, my friends.  You can keep up with all of the Muffin Man's monkey-clad festivities by following me on Instagram (the Hubby always shares cute pics too - follow him here).  We've already eaten all the Snickers, Twix and Dots from our candy bowl, so I sure hope the neighborhood kids like Tootsie Rolls and Dum Dums.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Brush Up

The Muffin Man already has seven teeth.  I'm not sure why he only has three on top, but so far we have seen neither hide nor hair of a fourth tooth along his upper gum line.  I'm hoping the tooth is just late to the party and not, in fact, missing all together, but I suppose only time will tell.  In the interim, he's currently rocking a lopsided tooth look, which I think kind of works for him.  According to our pediatrician we're supposed to be brushing his teeth on a nightly basis.  While this sounds like an excellent idea and one that I completely and totally support in theory, but I'm not sure that Dr. Spockman has ever attempted to wrestle a wiggling child, open up his mouth, and brush teeth smaller than pieces of candy corn.  Folks, this is no easy task, let me tell you.

I had every intention of following Dr. Spockman's recommendation.  I bought Noah a fancy baby toothbrush, and I attempted to establish a routine that involved brushing his teeth right before reading him a story and putting him to bed.  I imagined my son easily taking to this routine and, as a result, having a lifetime of beautifully clean teeth and no cavities.  Well, my friends, it only took one week of trying to pry open my stubborn kid's mouth, him biting my fingers (hard) before ripping the toothbrush out of my hands and flinging it across the bathroom before I simply gave up.  Honestly, at the end of the day I am just too damn tired to fight with my son over oral hygiene.  I rarely floss my own teeth, so who am I to be preaching the gospel of dental cleanliness when I don't even practice it myself?  Besides, these are his baby teeth, which are going to fall out whether I brush them or not.  Sure, I suppose it's entirely possible that not forcing my kiddo to brush his teeth could result in his baby teeth rotting away or something, but I don't feed him juice or candy, and he's got adult teeth waiting in the wings to negate my marginal parenting practices, so I figure I'm not doing too much harm.

I realize, of course, that's it's probably going to be even harder to teach a toddler to brush his teeth twice a day, but that's why I plan to purchase a case of bubble gum flavored toothpaste and pray that it does the trick.  Otherwise I'm just going to have to find some old person willing to scare the crap out of the kid by taking out his dentures.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Preschool Panic: Off Schedule

The Muffin Man slept through the Halloween party we were supposed to attend yesterday afternoon, so I don't have any cute pictures of him wearing his monkey costume and feeling up his girlfriends.  It's very unusual that Noah naps for longer than forty minutes in the afternoon, but I guess he was super tired yesterday, because he slept for almost two hours!  While I was insanely happy to have some extra time to myself to shower and blow dry(!) my hair, I was kind of bummed that we missed out on the Halloween sing-a-long and free cookies for Momma.

I'm off to another preschool tour this afternoon.  So far this place gets zero stars because they initially told me the wrong time for the tour.  It wasn't until I called to confirm this morning that I was told it's actually at 3:30 and not 1PM, which then led to a mad dash to reschedule the sitter and threw my day all to shit.  They really better put on a killer presentation and have the cutest school ever to make up for their disorganization.  Plus, let's be honest here, it's going to be really hard for another school to compete with the school of our dreams that we saw last month.  Tell me, dear reader, am I wrong to find it concerning that a school would be so disorganized?  My hope is that they are so focused on being present and available to their current students that they get things confused for potential applicants, but it's still somewhat troubling.  Perhaps I'm simply too OCD/anal retentive and I have unrealistic expectations of preschools, but when we are talking about tuition that's in the $10-15k range, I expect things to run like friggin' clockwork.  Honestly, for that kind of money my kid should be served edible gold leaf on his school lunch, but I think that might be asking a little too much.  Anyway, I promise to report back later in the week.  I can tell you that if they happen to offer warm cookies and/or fun size candy bars for the prospective parents on today's tour I will change my opinion post haste.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Sweeties

Hey there, friends.  Did you survive the weekend full of blackout drinking and slutty costumes that passes for Halloween revelry these days?  I'm pretty sure I ate all my feelings of abandonment in fun size Snickers bars, so I'm feeling a little ill this fine Monday morning.

Aside from gorging ourselves on candy we had a pretty quiet weekend around these parts.  Saturday morning I put the kiddo in the Ergo and hit Emily Henderson's tag sale.  I got a cool pair of octagonal nesting tables (you can see them here), a silk lampshade, and a cute little tray to hold our keys.  I have grand plans to paint the tables and re-cover the shade as part of my never ending living room redo, so I promise to share pictures when (if?) I ever find the time to get everything finished.  Early Sunday morning we hit up the Hollywood Farmer's Market, which was a fun outing.  This week is super busy, with a kiddo Halloween party today, a birthday party tonight, three preschool tours, trick-or-treating on Thursday, and another birthday party come Saturday night.  So, yeah, I'm already exhausted just writing about it.  

We still haven't bought any pumpkins, which is just pathetic, so I really hope we can get our shit together in time for Halloween.

Mmm... felt banana.
The highlight of our weekend was seeing the Muffin Man in his adorable monkey costume, which my Mom actually made.  No store bought costumes for this little dude.  I'm basically planning to make Noah wear this thing all week long because he's so freaking cute.  Seriously, dressing my baby in a ridiculous costume has to be one of the high points of motherhood so far.

Anyway, here are a couple cute pictures from our weekend.  I promise that you will probably be sick of seeing my son dressed as a monkey by the end of the week, but it's my prerogative as a Mama to inundate all of you with photographs of my offspring.

Rollin' tag sale style.
Poems on demand.  Welcome to Hollywood.
Hat weather, finally!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Have a Boo-tiful Weekend

It's the last weekend of October so I hope you've got some fabulously creative/slutty/avant-garde costume to wear to any Halloween parties you may be attending.  I'm happy to report that we finally got some of our Halloween decorations up, and we're planning to purchase pumpkins and large bags of fun-size candy bars just in time for the onslaught of trick-or-treaters.  The Muffin Man's costume is beyond adorable, so be sure and follow me on Instagram for real time photos.

Until then, here are a few links to get you in the All Hallow's Eve mood:

A festive alcoholic beverage to get the party started.

The most inappropriate kids Halloween costumes of all time.  

"Professional Haunted House Designer" is actually a real job.

Handing out these least popular candies could mean you wake up to a toilet-papered house on Nov. 1st.

Would you split the cost of your engagement ring? (um, hells to the no)

Have a beautiful weekend, my friends!  Don't eat too many pieces of candy corn because that sh*t is nasty.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baby Cake

I fed the Muffin Man chocolate cake for dinner last night.  Before you pick up the phone and call Child Protective Services, let me assure you that the cake was gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free, so I'm not even sure it really qualifies as "cake".  The thing that really matters is that the Muffin Man loved it.  The kid was shoveling it in with both hands - he had it in his hair, in his eyes, in his diaper - and he ate about two slices, albeit crumbled into pieces.  I realize that chocolate cake does not exactly qualify as a well-balanced meal, but these days I'm desperate to get my kid to eat anything that isn't a bottle of formula.  It turns out that, not surprisingly, Noah is a lightweight.  He's currently in the eighth percentile for weight, and the 75th for height, so it appears as though he got his Momma's body type.  I had hoped that he wouldn't end up inheriting my string-bean figure, but I've got a long, lean, calorie-burning machine on my hands, and I'm doomed to a future of constantly trying to get the kid to pack on some pounds.  I suppose I can find comfort in the fact that the hipster look is in these days, because Noah will look pretty damn great in a pair of skinny jeans.

"Fatten Up Baby" Chocolate Cake
(Also known as Wacky Cake)
This is a fast, easy one pan recipe.  Be sure to mix well with a spatula, getting into all the corners.

1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3 Tblsp. cocoa powder
1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup + 2Tblsp. cold water

Preheat oven to 350°

In a lightly greased 8x8" baking dish, sift together flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum and cocoa powder.  Make three holes.  Put the vinegar into one hole, oil into the next, and vanilla in the third hole.  Pour water over all, and mix with a spatula until smooth and all ingredients have been combined.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Gone Hollywood

Perfect, just the way he is.
After numerous people urged me to get the Muffin Man an agent, I finally caved and decided to pursue finding him representation.  I did some research and ended up taking the kiddo to an open call for a reputable agency that specializes in kids.  

I have to tell you that I've been very hesitant to get my child involved in the dream-crushing, often sordid world of child acting.  Yes, I happen to live in Los Angeles and I moved here to pursue my own (failed) acting career, but I made that choice as an adult, it was not made for me by my parents when I wasn't even old enough to talk.  I have nightmares that getting Noah involved in the industry at a young age is going to set him on the path to a future not unlike Lindsay Lohan's, and any of our future quality time together will be provided through family day at his rehab center.  That being said, I do find the idea of putting some extra money into his college account appealing, and I did push him out of my lady parts without any pain medication, so he kind of owes me one.  

And so, having come to grips with my conflicted feelings towards Noah's potential modeling/acting career, I dressed him in a cute hipster outfit, took a deep breath, and went to the open call.  I know that many of my readers do not live in LA and therefore have never experienced the particular horror that is an "open call".  This is basically a two hour window where parents can bring their kids to meet with an agent in the hopes that their child will one day be the next Justin Beiber/Selena Gomez/etc.  I'm making a gross generalization here, my friends, and I hope you'll forgive me for it, but I'm pretty sure that the majority of the parents whoring their kids out at this open call were doing so to fulfill their own dreams of stardom.  I can't tell you how many of the mothers looked like aging Pageant Queens complete with pancake makeup, push-up bras, and revealing outfits.  Also, I'm not really sure what made some of these people think that their kids could be models, but I guess it's just proof that love really is blind.  Needless to say I did not fit in with this motley crew of parents.  Do I want my kid to become an actor?  No, I really don't.  I pray that he wants nothing more than to be a doctor or a lawyer or something normal and stable and that comes with benefits and 401K.  

So there we are, at least 50 kids and their parents shoved into a small room waiting to meet with the all powerful Mr. Agent Man.  Thankfully, it moved pretty quickly.  People's names were called, they went in and came out just a few minutes later either smiling or frowning.  At one point I heard some parent shouting at the agent that he didn't know what he was talking about and then mother and daughter rushed out of the office cursing loudly.  Finally, it was our turn, and Noah was presented to Mr. Agent Man and his colleagues.  After taking a digital photograph of Noah (who posed and smiled, as he always does), the Three Horsemen of the Agent Apocalypse conferred amongst themselves.  And then they began to critique my son: too thin, only has three teeth on the top instead of four, not sure how much demand there will be for his hair color, the smile is too cute so it doesn't look genuine, etc.  I sat there holding my beautiful son listening to these people list all the things that were "wrong" with him, and I started to understand why that other parent cursed them out.  I stood up, thanked them for their time and gathered my things to leave.  Mr. Agent Man said, "don't you even want to know if we want to represent Norm?"  I replied, "His name is Noah, and no, I don't."

Honestly, no amount of college money is worth my son spending his childhood being treated like a piece of meat.  He is perfect, simply by virtue of being a kid.  He has plenty of years ahead of him to hear about what is "wrong" with him, and I want to protect him for as long as possible from the pain of knowing how he doesn't measure up.  Let one of those other parents push their kid towards potential stardom, I'm going to urge my kid to get into Entertainment Law.  Hey, somebody has to handle the DUIs for all those screwed-up child stars, and it might as well be Noah Kai, Esq.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Really Good Read

I was up again last night for a couple of hours.  I guess that motherhood has turned me into an insomniac, because I feel like I've spent a considerable amount of time roaming the house in the middle of the night searching in vain for something (anything) to help me sleep.  I finally hit the Rescue Remedy hard last night and that seemed to do the trick, but not before I wasted an hour or two tossing and turning and counting sheep.  Usually this technique works for me, but the past few nights nothing has been effective.

I was laughing yesterday, though, because only a few months ago I lived in a permanent state of exhaustion and sleep deprivation.  How did I function?!  I accomplished nothing yesterday because I was such a zombie, yet somehow for the span of almost six months I managed to care for an infant and myself despite being bleary-eyed from lack of sleep.  It's amazing that one survives those newborn months and how quickly one gets used to once again sleeping through the night.  I'm not a science person, but once and awhile I am truly awed at the power of the human body to survive stress and trauma and bounce back rapidly.

There is a bright spot to my insomnia, however.  All those middle of the night hours when the Hubby and the Muffin Man are both asleep happen to be an excellent time to catch up on my reading.  I just finished a book that I couldn't put down.  Have you read Me Before You?  If not, please go and buy it right now.  Seriously, you will thank me.  It's been a while since I read something this engrossing, but this book is so good.  It's funny and touching and beautiful and heartbreaking.  All the must-haves when it comes to a good read.  I didn't want this book to end, which almost makes up for the fact that I only slept four hours last night.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Morning Wind Up

Welcome to another week, my lovelies.  As you can see the ol' blog has a brand spankin' new look, which is what has me up this fine morning at 2:30AM.  Actually, I'm pretty sure the thing that's truly responsible for my sleepless night is that delicious, fully caffeinated iced tea I enjoyed yesterday afternoon around 4PM.  Whatever the case, I've been wandering the halls of our dark duplex for the last several hours like something out of a Steven King novel.  Trust me, there are few things more horrifying than being awake while your baby is sleeping; not even a bucket of pig's blood on prom night.  Up until this unexpected turn of sleeplessness, I'd been enjoying my weekend.

Saturday night I accompanied the Hubby to a work shindig, and then we snuck away for an amazing sushi dinner at Sugar Fish.  I'm sure some of you went to Sushi Nozawa back in the day, which was a tiny spot in a strip mall in Studio City with the freshest sushi in town.  Sometimes referred to as "the Sushi Nazi" the original restaurant had fluorescent lighting, no decor, and no California rolls.  You ate what Chef Nozawa wanted you to eat, or you left.  I have a soft spot for the original, but this new incarnation - with good lighting, nice decor and a less expensive tab - is brilliant.  Dinner is great and it moves quickly, which is definitely a plus when you're paying a sitter.

Yesterday we drove up to Santa Barbara to visit Chris's younger brother and his family.  I was a little bit concerned that the Muffin Man would have a melt down on his first official road trip, but he was a dream traveler.  We took my Mother-in-Law with us, which was a stroke of brilliance, as she entertained him in the backseat.  I always forget how amazingly beautiful it is in Santa Barbara.  The weather was absolutely spectacular, and the ocean breezes coupled with the cool fall temperature made for a perfect afternoon. 

We took Noah to his first antique show, which I don't think he found too impressive.  The kid was right, the prices were outrageous!

Of course it wouldn't be fall without the requisite trip to a pumpkin patch.  Noah wasn't exactly thrilled to be forced to sit in the hay and pose for pictures, but seriously, is there anything cuter than a baby with a pumpkin?  We still haven't put up our Halloween decorations, but I have high hopes of getting to that project sometime soon.  Hopefully before Christmas.

Totally normal way to end the weekend.  

Have a Spectacular Weekend

Happy Weekend, my lovelies!  We're heading up to Santa Barbara on Sunday to visit some family and hit up an antique show.  It will be our first road trip with the Muffin Man, so we'll see how that goes.  Considering how much he detests the car, I'm a little bit concerned that our whole two hour drive will be filled with his wails instead of my jammin' "Road Trip" playlist, but we're hoping for the best.  What exciting plans do you have in store for this glorious fall weekend?

Here are a few world wide web tidbits that peaked my interest this week:

Finally, a place to watch some of the unsold TV pilots you read about but never get to see.

Cute (and healthy) snacks for Halloween shindigs.

A vacation rental site for family-friendly digs.

How organic is your "organic" food?

Ten iconic pieces we should all own (aka an excuse to go shopping).

Tips for meditating at home.

These brownies.  Yes.

Halloween swizzle sticks that I might actually make.

Are you afraid of success?  Join the club.

Fall cocktail perfection.

Have a great one!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Showered with Love (and unrealistic expectations)

I'm blogging over at Laughing My Vag Off this fine Thursday.  Today I discuss the obsession with "perfect" baby showers, and how we're really doing Moms-to-be a disservice by not revealing to them what life with baby really looks like.  So head on over there and take a gander and leave a comment; I'd love to hear all about your perfect (and not-so-perfect) baby shower experiences.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Cry Me A Nap

Don't even think about making me nap.
After all the months of sleepless nights and non-existent naps, the Muffin Man has turned into an excellent sleeper.  He consistently sleeps through the night even while teething or when he has a cold,  he has a pretty regular nap schedule that includes a two hour morning nap and an hour long afternoon nap, and he rarely cries when we put him down to go to sleep.  I suppose that I should take credit for his wonderful sleep habits, but I honestly don't remember sleep training him.  I guess it's possible that all the months of sleep deprivation have caused some memory loss, but I don't have any recollection of letting him "Cry it Out"more than once or twice.  Maybe Noah is just a really fast learner, and that's all it took for him to figure out how to put himself to sleep, but I think that the sleep training "method" I used consisted mainly of me being so exhausted and desperate for a full night of sleep that I simply turned off the baby monitor and hoped for the best.  Yes, I realize that this makes me sound like a terrible Mother who is more concerned with her own rest than her infant son's health, but the kid sleeps ten feet down the hall from us. I can guarantee you that the few times he's woken in the middle of the night I have heard him loud and clear.

Noah's nighttime sleeping may be stellar, but we do struggle at times with his afternoon nap.  My kid, not unlike his parents, likes to par-tay.  If he suspects that by going down for a nap he may possibly miss some exciting event, he will refuse to sleep.  He can be so exhausted that he is nodding off in his high chair, but put him in his crib for a nap and he will do everything he can to keep himself awake.  He throws his stuffed animals out of the crib, he kicks against the rails of his crib (which sounds like he's having band practice in the nursery) and he screams at the top of his lungs to let me know he is not at all happy to be missing out.  When it's just the two of us at home alone, this afternoon nap usually occurs without incidence.  He knows that only boring old Mommy is around and he will not miss a thing if he sleeps.  However, on the rare occasion when Daddy is home in the afternoon, or any of the Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles/Cousins/Housekeeper, Noah will not sleep.

Yesterday, the Hubby had the afternoon off from work.  After my boys had a nice chunk of time together, I whisked Noah away for his afternoon nap.  The kid was exhausted - rubbing his eyes, yawning, chewing on his blankie - and he'd been awake at that point for five hours, so I knew it was time for a nap.  Well, Noah had other plans. He was not going to allow me to keep him from spending time with his Daddy, no way no how.  He screamed, he kicked, he threw poor Paddington Bear halfway across the room, and he would not sleep.  Usually if left unchecked, the Muffin Man will cry it out for about three minutes before finally conking out.  Except, of course, when there are other people around.  Yesterday, he screamed without stopping for one hour.  That's right, my friends, an hour of high-pitched wailing and tears and no end in sight.  I have no problem with the Cry it Out method - I don't think it damages the child and sets him up for more therapy than he'll already need just by virtue of being my kid - but I can't handle it for more than an hour, so I went in and rescued him and let him play some more with his Father.

I am a stubborn individual, and I refuse to give up easily even when I know all signs point to no (see: my acting career) so I decided to try putting Noah down again when Chris left for a meeting.  My son had other plans.  Once again, I experienced an hour of screaming, crying, and stuffed animal abuse before I finally gave in and resigned myself to just letting the kiddo stay up.  Yes, I knew that he would be overtired and fussy and not his usual pleasant self, but my nerves can only take so much wailing before I'm tempted to overdose on Xanax.  Epic. Nap. Fail.

Am I still a proponent of Cry it Out?  Absolutely.  But after knowing my son for almost ten months, I know that he is willful and he likes to socialize, so he will not, under any circumstances, let what's good for him win out over what he wants to do.  I also know this means that he's very much like his Mother, and that I'm going to definitely need to up my Xanax dosage before he becomes a teenager.  God help us.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Easy as Pie

Happy Monday, my friends.  I tried to get a day off from Motherhood due to the whole Columbus Day thing, but it turns out that there are no National Holidays from parenting.  The good news is that the Muffin Man is on the mend.  He was definitely out of sorts this weekend, which was evident when he took four naps on Saturday as opposed to his usual one.  When my party animal kiddo chooses sleep over socializing, I know he's under the weather.

Noah's cold kept us pretty close to home this weekend, since I didn't want to risk infecting other kiddos at the birthday parties we were supposed to attend.  We still haven't put up our Halloween decorations, nor have we purchased any pumpkins, but I did make a pie, so I guess the cooler fall weather is bringing out my inner Martha Stewart.  My healthy eating habits have not curbed my sweet tooth, but my body just really cannot handle sugar, so I've created a pumpkin pie recipe that's just as delicious as the original, but doesn't have anything bad in it.  I figured that sharing my "healthy" pie recipe with all of you should make up for the fact that I don't have any cute pictures of our weekend to share.  Let me know how it turns out!

Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie
For the crust: (Adapted from 125 Best Gluten-free Recipes)
This crust recipe makes enough for two single crust pies.  Freeze the extra crust to use for another pie or a quick weeknight quiche.
1/3 cup ice water
2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening, softened (I use Earth Balance shortening sticks)

In a small bowl, combine ice water, vinegar and egg yolks.  Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and salt until mixed.

Add shortening and pulse until mixture resembles small peas, about 5-10 seconds.  With machine running, add egg yolk mixture in a slow steady stream.  Process until dough just holds together.

Divide dough in half.  Place each half on plastic wrap and flatten into a disk and wrap well.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Let cold pastry stand for 10 minutes before rolling out.

Place the pastry disk between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll out into a circle about an inch larger than the diameter of your pie dish.  Remove the top layer of parchment and invert the pastry over the pie plate, easing it in.  Carefully remove remaining sheet of parchment paper.

Trim excess pastry to edge of pie plate and patch any cracks with trimmings (gluten-free crust is very forgiving!).  Flute edges.

Par-bake crust: prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes until golden.

For the filling:
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
pinch of ground cardamom
1 can pumpkin puree (you can also make your own by roasting a pumpkin, but I'm not that ambitious)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (approx. one can)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat the eggs with the sugar, then add the spices and the salt.  Stir in the pumpkin puree and then the vanilla extract and the coconut milk.  While the crust is baking, warm this mixture in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch.  Do not boil.

Fill the pre-baked crust with the warm pumpkin mixture and bake 30-40 minutes until the mixture jiggles a little bit.  Remove from the oven and let cool a but before serving*

* I personally prefer pumpkin pie when it's cold, but I'm weird.  Either way, this pie is so good you may find yourself curled up on the couch eating it straight out of the dish.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Wonderfulness

The Muffin Man woke up with a cold this morning, so it looks like my weekend plans now consist of wiping a runny nose and braving Whole Foods to pick up some eucalyptus oil for his humidifier.  Thrilling, I know.  Assuming he's on the mend by Sunday, we're headed to two kiddo birthday parties, so expect me to be in a cake coma by about 5PM.  Tomorrow night the Hubby and I are attending an adults-only party, so I've coerced one of the Grandmother's into babysitting.  Give it up for free childcare!

Without further ado, here are some of my fave internet finds from the week:

Halloween costumes for your baby that he won't even realize he's wearing.

What to buy at the Rose Bowl flea.

Bro Dads kills me.

DIY frayed jeans that don't look well, DIY.

My boot obsession continues apace.

Why we should be valuing stay at home Moms.

The fall weather has me in the mood for an old fashioned

Have a great weekend, my lovelies!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

(Hospital) Bag Lady

Let's take this party over to Laughing My Vag Off!

Today I'm discussing what you do and definitely do not need to pack in your hospital bag when you're having a baby.  I personally took so much stuff that I should've also hired a sherpa.  I'm sharing my wisdom to help you avoid carting so many unnecessary items to the hospital that there's not enough room in the car for your newborn.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Candid Camera

If you're a longtime reader of the ol' blog, or if you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I have a bit of an obsession with interior design.  There's nothing I love more than whiling away the hours curled up with a stiff drink and a copy of House Beautiful.  When I was designing the Muffin Man's nursery, I often found myself choosing form over function, which is why I've ended up making a number of changes to the decor since Noah's arrival (shag rug and unstable bookcase, I'm looking at you here).  I just really don't think there's any excuse for having a nursery that isn't well-appointed and a place where you yourself would want to hang out.

I've done my best to attempt to disguise the items necessary for caring for a baby within good design elements: the humidifier tucked behind a lamp, the wipe warmer perched on a remote corner of the changing table, and the baby monitor camera mounted way up high with the cord hidden behind one of the curtains.  Until today, I've been extremely pleased with how well my design-friendly solutions have worked out.  Putting the baby camera up above Noah's crib has given us a (literal) birds-eye view of his nocturnal tête-à-tête's with his stuffed rabbit, and allowed us to keep an eye on the kiddo without having to constantly adjust the angle of the camera.  Well my friends, I think I should've been spending a little less time patting myself on the back for my brilliant home decor solutions and a little more time actually watching my kiddo on the baby monitor, because when I went in to get Noah after his nap yesterday, he had the cord for the monitor wrapped around his body three times.  That's right folks, while I was blithely enjoying a hot shower and the rare opportunity to shave my legs, my kid was busy attempting to strangle himself with the cord for the baby monitor, and I was none the wiser.  Apparently, Noah had wedged himself into the corner of the crib closest to the window, reached through the rails of his crib and pulled the cord from behind the window curtain before somehow getting it wrapped around his little body.  Chalk this up to one of those "what my kid is actually doing when he's supposed to be napping" moments.  How ironic would it have been if Noah had strangled himself with the cord for the very item that is supposed to help keep him safe?!  Total.  Parenting.  Fail.

Needless to say, I'm extremely relieved that nothing tragic happened.  Last evening I took the opportunity to move his bed further than arm's reach from the window curtains, and I also affixed the cord to the wall so it cannot be grabbed by small, yet surprisingly dexterous little fingers.  Hopefully this will prevent any further incidences of Noah trying to strangle himself in the comfort of his crib.  My kiddo, of course, is completely oblivious to the panic I experienced when I went in and saw him with an instrument of potential death gripped in his sweaty little hand.  I, on the other hand, had to pour myself a nice big cocktail followed by a Xanax chaser just to recover; my nerves are definitely not built for Motherhood.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Life's a Beach

The Hubby had an actual entire day off yesterday, so I played hooky from the blog and the laundry and the dishes and we went to the beach.  The weather here in the City of Angels has been absolutely glorious; warm and sunny during the day with cool fall temperatures at night, so it was a perfect beach day.

It's not often that we go to the beach, despite the fact that it's only about 10 miles away from where we live.  There are lots of reasons for this, but it's mainly because the last thing I want to do on the weekends is sit in traffic for over an hour to get to the ocean, pay $20 to park at the ocean, and then balance all of my beach gear as I try to avoid stepping on washed-up trash and/or homeless people in order to secure a good spot next to the ocean.  Plus I don't even like to swim in the water here because it's dirty and it's freezing.  I guess all my years of Hawaii livin' have turned me into an ocean prima donna, because I like clean water that's as warm as a bath tub.  However, I do love the fresh sea air and the sound of the waves on the shore, so once and awhile I can be persuaded to head west and spend a day at the water's edge.

Oh, my friends, I'm so glad I let myself be talked into going to the beach yesterday, because it was absolutely exquisite.  It was so beautiful and relaxing and perfect that I didn't even get annoyed by the inconsiderate Malibu dweller who tried to run me over with his Range Rover in the Country Mart parking lot.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Have a Beautiful Weekend

I woke up this morning and literally had no idea what day it was, so I'm pretty sure that signifies that I either need a break from full time Mommyhood or that I should lay off the white wine.  Here's hoping it's the former and I can slip away for a mani/pedi complete with an uninterrupted hour of trashy magazine reading. 

The Halloween decorations have started to make an appearance around the 'hood, so in between kid birthday parties I may prevail upon the Hubby to hang our front porch ghosts and take a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Even after all these years I haven't quite gotten used to celebrating all Hallow's Eve in 80 degree weather, but I promise not to let that dampen my dorky holiday enthusiasm; especially now that I have a small human to dress up in ridiculous costumes.  What are your plans for this (warm) fall weekend?

Herewith, a few links from around the interwebs to start the weekend off:

What divorce taught one man about a good marriage.

Domino Magazine is back!  I just had a design orgasm.

I just may be crafting some gold animals for Noah's first birthday party.

The Perfect Mother (does not exist).

Best baby cribs for every budget.  Wish this had been around when I was doing Noah's nursery!

What Moms do while their kids are in school.

Pumpkin bread free of everything, except flavor.

All the cool people are drinking Moscow Mules.  You should, too.

Origami condoms.

Have a wonderful weekend, my lovelies!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dogs on Parade

I see this crazy person almost daily.  Welcome to Hollywood.
Today I'm over at Laughing My Vag Off discussing the truly disturbed individuals who push their dogs around in strollers.  This is some kind of epidemic here in the Southland, and it's really starting to chap my hide, especially when these weirdos push me and my actual child out of the way.  So head on over there for a can't-be-missed rant from yours truly.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Germs R Us

I'm pretty sure that I have unintentionally exposed my son to Typhus simply by taking him to Target.  Since I don't have any childcare to speak of, I end up dragging the Muffin Man with me almost everywhere I go.  Yes, it would be much easier to go to the market or the police department or the mall alone, but since I'm pretty sure I would be arrested if I left my nine month at home to fend for himself while I was out buying toilet paper, Noah gets dragged along.

Last week, we had to go to Target.  Now that Noah is old enough to sit up on his own, he can ride in the little seat on the grocery carts.  Always one to plan ahead, I registered for (and received) a shopping cart cover.  This little item seemed super practical - you just slip it over the seat and the handle of the cart - and voila a germ-free shopping experience for you and your little one.  The only problem is that trying to put this stupid fabric cover onto the cart while also holding a wriggling baby and a diaper bag that weighs 20 pounds is not the easiest task in the world.  After struggling with the cover for about ten minutes and finally determining that no, in fact, it does not fit onto Target's over sized carts, I decided to do the next best thing and wipe the cart down with the sanitizing wipes offered for customer use.  Feeling very grateful that the Target corporation understands that their carts were more than likely used as someone's home at one point in the recent past, I dragged myself, my son and all of our attendant bags over to the sanitizing wipe display... only to discover that the jar was empty.  I am a resourceful and determined woman, especially when it comes to shopping for discount designer clothing (I'm looking at you, 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target), so I figured a wipe down with a couple of baby wipes wouldn't necessarily sanitize the cart, but would at least get rid of a layer or two of the most recent germs.  Well, my friends, once again I was out of baby wipes.  I had six extra t-shirts, a pair of socks, and a jar of baby food in my diaper bag, but not one single wipe.  How I can, in good conscience describe myself as a Mother and not have baby wipes on my person at all times is beyond me, but somehow I was rolling without a wipe to be found.

As I stood there in Target, I weighed my options: I could either put Noah into the germ-filled cart, hope he didn't catch anything, and purchase the paper goods I needed, or I could bag the whole outing, go back to the car and face taking the kid out later in the day to a different store where the shopping cart cover fits the carts.  Honestly, people, I just couldn't do it.  The thought of having to go home, regroup, and then go out again to a different store made me so tired that I about fell asleep standing on my feet in the middle of the West Hollywood Target.  I took a deep breath, stuck my kid into the seat without any protective gear, and hoped for the best.

So far he seems to have survived our trip to Typhoid Target without catching any type of strange infectious disease, but I've been doubling up on his probiotic dosage just to be on the safe side.  Hey, I have to make up for my negligent Mothering choices somehow

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Preschool Panic: Crazy Parents

It's been my intention to give you a recap of last week's preschool tour, but I got sidetracked by the whole theft debacle and subsequent trip to the Los Angeles Police Department.  Today hasn't been much better considering it began with me yelling obscenities at a Time Warner Cable customer service agent, but I digress.

Anyway, last Thursday we went on our first tour of a potential school for the Muffin Man.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, as the school from the outside looks a bit like something from Tobacco Road, but we were very pleasantly surprised.  The place is exquisite, the faculty charming, and the students appeared happy.  Even better, the school covers preschool through grade six, which means I wouldn't have to worry about getting my Xanax dosage doubled for about eight years.  The Hubby and I both fell in love with this school.  It's everything I've dreamed of for our son: great academics, incredible teachers, and an urban school that's an oasis in the concrete jungle we currently call home.   

We were also pleasantly surprised by the other parents who were there touring the school.  Because this is a private school in the middle of the entertainment capital of world, I assumed that we would be the lone couple managing to live on a salary of less than five million a year.  For the most part, the other couples seemed to be surprisingly normal - no flashy jewelry, no outfits straight from the pages of Vogue, no snotty attitudes - all together a refreshing and not unpleasant deviation from the LA norm.  I did get a glimpse, however, into the fact that there are always going to be other parents who are annoying as f*ck.  I know it's impossible to get along with everyone and I'm sure there are lots of people who find me highly irritating, but I'm really going to have to get control of my short fuse or there could be some sort of Mother-on-Mother brawl at a school fundraiser.  

Thursday's Idiot Parent of the Week award goes to the woman in our tour group who was pregnant with her first child.  That's right, folks, she was touring the school before she's even given birth.  While on the one hand I give her props for getting a head start, I can guarantee you that this lady's kid is going to be even more screwed up than mine.  She was obsessed, and I do mean obsessed, with the idea that her kid could die while walking across the street to the school garden.  Let me point out here that the children are not allowed to simply go play in traffic unattended, but are rather walked in an orderly fashion by two teachers and numerous parental volunteers.  But this woman would not let it rest.  She asked at least seven questions about why there weren't security guards, whether it was possible for her child to opt out of any activities in which he or she might be required to leave the campus, and if she would be allowed to sit in the classroom next to her child every single day.  I stood there looking at this woman and saw her child's future clearly: he (or she) is going to be that annoying kid who's never allowed to do anything, always tattles on kids who are living life to the fullest and who ultimately ends up going buckwild as soon as he gets to college and lands in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.  Say what you will about my relaxed parenting style, but at least I'm not raising a kid who will be smothered by an overprotective parent.

We've added Thursday's school to the top of our list.  Sure, the tuition for one year of preschool is more than I made cumulatively throughout my acting career, but we'll make it work somehow.  I'm just thankful the crazy lady's kid will be too young to be in Noah's class; I'm hoping to avoid any parenting brawls until he's in high school.  

This site was made with love by Angie Makes