Friday, February 28, 2014

Have a Wintery Weekend

Hey now, we made it to the weekend!  It's a fabulously rainy day here in Los Angeles, so I woke up to the sounds of sirens and honking car horns this morning, since Angelenos seem to lose their ability to function as (somewhat) rational human beings whenever water falls from the sky.  I personally love the rain and wish that it was more of a recurring guest star instead of just an occasional co-star in the soap opera that is life in La La Land.

The Oscars are this Sunday, so all the roads in Hollywood are closed and you can't get a dinner reservation anywhere decent to save your life.  I'm not a big awards show fan, and thanks to my status as the Mother of a small child I've seen exactly zero of the nominated movies despite having screeners, so we'll most likely be watching House of Cards rather than a bunch of self-congratulative speeches on Sunday night.  I can guarantee you that I will tune in for Joan Rivers and her Fashion Police Oscar Addition on Monday though, because she slays me.

Here are a few little goodies that caught my eye this week:

The Gratitude App.  Because we all need to be a little more thankful for what we've got.

A not-so-basic black t-shirt.

Cool infographic of every Best Actress Oscar winner's dress since 1929.

I'm buying a pouf since my butt gets sore from sitting on the floor with Noah all the time.

Honey mustard roasted cashews are the perfect Oscar viewing snack.

Yelp's top-rated restaurant in the US will most definitely surprise you. (I've been there!)

Love this Oscars drinking game.

Sometimes the kindness of strangers is what gets a new Momma through the day.

Spring makeup trends to get you ready for warmer temps.

Have a great weekend, my lovelies!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birthday Saviour

I'm happy to report that my birthday dinner was saved by a dear friend who changed some of his plans in order to babysit the Muffin Man.  I was so touched by his generosity and willingness to pitch hit, and I had a lovely grown-up sushi dinner with the Hubby.  All-in-all an excellent way to celebrate another year of being 25.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birthday FAIL of the Year: Sitter-less in Los Angeles

Long, long ago… I looked exactly like Noah.
Here's something to make you laugh: I called our babysitter to confirm that she was coming tonight and she had completely forgotten about it and is no longer available.  HAPPY FREAKING BIRTHDAY!!!  That's right, folks, it's entirely possible that unless I can pull some childcare out of a hat that I will be spending my birthday evening (and wasting a perfectly good blowout) eating take out with my toddler.  The injustices of life as a parent are too numerous to count, but this one really does seem particularly cruel considering I had a meltdown over spilled legumes just three days ago.  Thank God for wine and Girl Scout cookies.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

(Almost) Another Year Older, Probably Not Wiser

Well friends, tomorrow is the day of Yours Truly's birth.  That's right, I will be having a relaxing day at the spa followed by an epic party at the coolest --- oh no, wait, I forgot for a second that I have a child.  Here's what I'll be doing tomorrow: getting up at the crack of dawn, mainlining three cups of coffee before 9AM, chasing an active toddler who no longer likes to nap, and finishing off my "special" day by attempting to stay awake long enough to enjoy a rare dinner date with the Hubby.  The excitement is killing me, folks.

Thankfully, my amazing, wonderful, generous (there aren't enough adjectives to describe her) Mother-in-Law is taking the Muffin Man off of my hands for the afternoon, so I'm treating myself to a Drybar blowout and a manicure.  I am currently counting the hours until a well-deserved break from Motherhood.

Doesn't it just seem terrible that the only thing I want for my birthday is a day away from my child?  Judge me if you will, but there's nothing more indulgent, more incredibly luxurious, than enjoying A Day Without a Toddler.  I have no reservations about ditching my kid with his Nana and taking off for some me time, and I plan to savor those hours for all they are worth.  Sayonara kiddo!

Just in case you happen to be a better person than I am and you want to ask for actual material goods instead of time away from your offspring, here's what I would put on my birthday list if I wasn't simply asking for free childcare.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Mommy Woes

This was the face of my weekend, folks.
We're going through a rough patch here at Casa Lane, and I'm not proud to admit to you that I completely lost my shit on Saturday.  The Muffin Man has, in just two weeks, turned into an actual toddler, complete with tantrums, a refusal to nap, and a charming propensity for trying to bite people.  It's a real thrill a minute, I'll tell you.  My usually reliable volunteer (read: Grandparent) childcare has been unavailable recently due to out-of-state travel, oral surgery, and the death of a relative, so I've been completely on my own for the balance of the last two weeks, aside from the few hours the Hubby can spare in the morning or evening.  The tantrums and the exhaustion and the lack of time to take a shower for three days straight finally did me in on Saturday, and I found myself standing in the kitchen feeding Noah almond butter while crying uncontrollably.  It was not my finest moment.

As I've mentioned before, I love my son, but I'm not particularly good at the day-to-day grind of being an actual Mother.  It's a real pain in the ass to not have any time to yourself for weeks on end, and I'm beginning to fray at the edges.  I want, actually need, to have a few hours to myself each day to shower and write and get back in touch with some shadow of my old self.  When I am denied these things for a prolonged period of days, I fall apart and find myself standing in my pantry sobbing over a spilled jar of lentils.  I thought that perhaps I was having an episode of late-onset Postpartum Depression, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.  Honestly, sometimes I simply start to go crazy because my life is so incredibly different than it used to be, and I barely recognize myself anymore.  Who is this woman who only wears clothing that doesn't need to be dry-cleaned and who has memorized both Good Night Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpiller?  What happened to the party animal who used to stay out late and lived a wild and crazy life?  I guess my mourning for my life of freedom and selfishness and cute clothes and tequila shots continues apace.

Is this what happens when you wait so long to have children?  Are you just so set in your ways that it becomes more difficult to transition from the life you had for so long to one completely focused on your child?  I'll need some of my younger-Mommy readers to weigh in on this one, as I'm coming up on the dark side of 35 this Wednesday and I'm realizing just how old that is when one is dealing with an active, sleepless toddler.  Perhaps I should've popped a few kids out before I turned 30, when I was cute and less bitter and still had a snowball's chance in Hell of getting my flat stomach back after birth. But you know me, always have to take the road less traveled and all that BS and wait until the very last minute before my eggs shut down to have a child.  So here we are, at the crossroads of joy and despair, which seems to be an incredibly apt description for Motherhood in general.

So if you're looking for me, I'll be in my closet, crying over all the cute dry-clean-only clothes I'll never get to wear again and snorting Prozac.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Have a Great Weekend

The weather is absolutely exquisite here in Los Angeles today.  Spring seems to have sprung early this year, and I'm looking forward to taking the Muffin Man out to enjoy our temperate climate.  I'm working on some major house projects right now, so I'm afraid that a trip to Ikea looks to be in my weekend plans, but I'll be sure and up my Xanax dosage before venturing into that nightmare of cheap furniture and not-safe-for-human-consumption meatballs.  What exciting things are you up to?

Here are a few goodies that caught my eye this week:

Chocolate pudding you can make in your slow-cooker! (I'm going to try using coconut milk)

How to give yourself a great blowout. (hint: I need a better hair dryer)

A fast and fresh cucumber salad that is impossible to mess up.

The gentrification of New York in GIFs.

Chelsea Handler is no parenthetical.

Rikki Lake has a new documentary.

Would you ombre your eyebrows?

Have a great weekend, my lovelies!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Take Your Goop and Shove It

If you're bored at work or looking for something to read while your child busies himself attempting to stick his fingers in the electrical sockets, head on over to Laughing My Vag Off!  I'll be there all day discussing my irrational hatred for Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop.  If you're a fan of ol' Gwynnie I suggest you refrain from clicking through, but if you're a kindred spirit I think you'll enjoy my rant.  Go on, check it out.  I guarantee you it's more enjoyable than de-boning an organic free-range chicken and, let's face it, probably a heck of a lot more enjoyable than boning Chris Martin (I mean, he really does seem like the type of guy who wouldn't care if you finished, am I right?).  Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Let's Sleep On It

The good news is that the Muffin Man has recovered from his nasty bout with the stomach flu.  The bad news is that I AM A TERRIBLE MOTHER.  I am so traumatized and psychologically damaged from this week's incident of bad parenting that I can only imagine the irreparable harm it caused my son.  Seriously, I think I'm going to have anxiety dreams about it for the remainder of my natural life.

As you know if you're a faithful reader of the ol' blog (as you should be), I spent the balance of my Valentine and President's Day weekend covered in toddler vomit.  As horrible as this was for me, I can't imagine that it was any more pleasant for Noah, seeing as he spent much of the weekend throwing up anything he ingested.  By Sunday evening I assumed we were through the worst of it and that Noah would be on the mend the following day.  He hadn't been his usual chipper self for most of the day, but he also hadn't had any episodes of projectile vomiting for over 24 hours, so I hoped that meant he was simply tired from fighting a bug.  Although I found it marginally concerning that he didn't eat very much dinner that night, I was happy that he feel asleep without incident, allowing me to enjoy several hours of kid-free Downton Abbey viewing and a nice glass of rosé.

At one point during some pivotal scene of which I was only able to understand one word out of three, I heard Noah start crying upstairs, but I didn't think much of it, as he often wakes up and cries only to fall right back to sleep a few minutes later.  True to form, he stopped crying almost immediately, and when I checked the monitor he appeared to be sleeping peacefully.  After getting our fill of melodrama for the week, we headed upstairs to get ready for bed.  Normally we don't check on Noah before we turn in because we have a video monitor and also because he's a light sleeper, but something made the Hubby decide to look in on him Sunday night.  Well.  What did Chris discover but that Noah had barfed all over himself and his bed and was, in fact, sleeping in a puddle of his own vomit.  That's right, my friends, while I was blissfully sipping a reasonably priced, yet expensive tasting, glass of French wine, my sweet, adorable little baby boy was projectile vomiting all over his bed and being left to fend for himself.  What if, horror of all horrors, he had choked on his own barf and asphyxiated while I was lost in the fantasy of a 1920's Engligh country estate?!  Thankfully, this worst case scenario did not transpire, and I've been saved from a future lacking in both Noah's company and Masterpiece Theater.

Despite my overwhelming guilt at the fact that I almost let my son sleep through the night covered in puke, I managed to pull myself together and get everything and everybody cleaned up.  I gave my kiddo an extra long cuddle before we put him back to sleep that night, partially to assuage my guilt, but mostly as it was the only way I could think of to communicate how sorry I was that I didn't come running right away when he cried out, as would a woman who is truly a good Mother.  Needless to say I left the volume on the baby monitor all the way up on Sunday night, and I only slept about twenty minutes.

Noah seems to have forgiven me for my Motherhood shortcomings, thank goodness.  I, on the other hand, have scheduled six weeks of daily phone sessions with my therapist in a sad (and very expensive) attempt to assuage some of my guilt.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Barf is the Word

Seriously, who looks this cute after throwing up?
Well my friends, I spent Valentine's Day being barfed on.  Thankfully, unlike during my single days, it was not my date vomiting on me, but rather my child.  I'll spare you all of the details, but suffice it to say that when your Valentine's evening starts out with projectile vomit, you don't exactly feel overly sexy and romantic.  Is it not Newton's Law that kiddos always seem to get sick on the Friday evening of a holiday weekend?  So far we're managing to weather Noah's first stomach flu without too much lost sleep or my inadvertently overdosing on Xanax, so I figure that bodes well for future adventures in child illness.  I can't tell you how grateful I'm feeling for my washer and dryer today, folks, as I really don't think my frayed nerves could handle a barfing one year-old and a trip to the laundry room or, God forbid, the laundry mat.  What can I say, but that parenthood makes you ever so grateful for the little things in life… and with that I'm off to throw in my sixth load of laundry for the morning.

P.S. - I really hope that you're having a wonderful, romantic, vomit-free holiday weekend with your loved one(s).  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Nothing says love quite like a machine gun, am I right ladies?
Happy Valentine's Day!  While I may not be a huge fan of the holiday, I think it's always nice to have a little reminder to be grateful for our loved ones.  So far my exciting Valentine plans involve a large glass of wine after a busy day of chasing after my one year old.  Assuming I'm not so exhausted that I'm falling asleep at the stove, I will, of course, be making our annual chocolate soufflé.  Because nothing says I love you more than a fattening dessert!

As a symbol of my love for all of you, here are a few fun things that caught my eye this week:

Florists recreate classic still-life flower paintings.

The perfect romantic cocktail for your Valentine enjoyment (it's infused with roses).

I'm not the only one with Preschool Panic (thank goodness).

There's nothing like a super creepy vintage Valentine card to show you care.

I'm obsessing over these sexy nude pumps for spring.

The history of that eponymous Valentine candy, the Sweetheart.

A sexy, smokey eye makeup look for your Valentine evening.

Favorite foods of American Presidents; some funny, some surprising.

My new go-to, super easy breakfast for the kiddo (I substitute sheep's milk yogurt).

Have a wonderful weekend, dear ones!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mommy Moments

Oh, look, it's Thursday.  That means that you can find my ramblings over at Laughing My Vag Off!  Today I get a bit sentimental, so don't say I didn't warn you.

Also, if you haven't availed yourself of the fabulous OshKosh B'gosh coupon yet, I suggest you get a move on.  We're talking major sale prices this President's Day Weekend, so go buy your kiddo some clothes and stop making him wear those heinous hand-me-downs.  Don't despair my snowed-in East Coasters - you can use the coupon online!  An excellent use of your snow day, if you ask me.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: All Hands on Deck

I can't tell you how much valuable information I've gleaned simply from meeting and talking with other Mommas.  Sometimes I'm buoyed by how much I know, and other times I'm horrified at, once again, being confronted with my subpar parenting skills.  As I've discussed before, I am not the type of Mother who reads parenting books or spends time cruising chat boards discussing the merits of this or that type of parenting.  I would like to be that Mother, but the reality is that I prefer to spend my evenings drinking excellent wine and watching Masterpiece Theater rather than reading about the newest parenting craze.  As a result of my (selfish) choices, I often find that I'm not fulfilling some of my parental duties.  Take, for instance, my discovery that I should've been brushing the Muffin Man's teeth; an issue we're still working on (four out of seven days isn't bad, right?).

Monday evening I attended a lovely get together with a group of Moms from my neighborhood.  We discussed all sorts of topics, ranging from how to achieve balance (hahaha - impossible) to how long one can go away on vacation sans children before it becomes a problem.  At some point in the evening one of the other Mommas posed a question relating to the fact that she washes her son's hands before mealtimes.  Honestly, I have no recollection of what the question happened to be because I was so horrified by the fact that it never occurred to me to wash Noah's hands before sitting him down to eat.  Every other Mommy in that room, save for myself and the Mommy of Noah's little girlfriend, washes their kids hands before meals.  Heck, I haven't even been giving my son a cursory pat down with a baby wipe!  I've just been sticking him in his high chair, putting bites of food in front of him, and letting him shovel them in with his filthy, germ-covered baby hands!!!  G-d knows what kind of contagious diseases I've been unwittingly exposing my darling little man to simply because I'm such a clueless disaster of a Mother.  I'm sure, thanks to my parenting incompetence, that my child has picked up some horrible disease that's going to haunt him for the rest of his life; remind me to make sure our medical insurance covers "contagious tropical diseases".

I'm eternally grateful to that Momma for highlighting yet another way in which I've been failing my son.  I'm currently working on teaching him how to wash his hands in the sink, and I've even started carrying some all natural anti-bacterial wipes to use when we're dining out.  I am determined to step up my Mothering game…just as long as I don't have to actually read parenting books to do so.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate Souffle for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is just two days away my lovelies, and while I personally think it's a ridiculous holiday invented solely to force people to purchase greeting cards and overpriced flowers, I know that not everyone shares my scrooge-like sentiment.  There has been an overload of heart-shaped crafting glittering up the blogosphere, and while I appreciate that there are women who do that kind of thing, I do not happen to be one of them.  Point me in the direction of some sort of lethal Valentine's Day cocktail guaranteed to get me in a romantic mood despite my exhaustion, and you'll have my heart forever.

Look, I'm a jaded individual when it comes to both Hollywood and Valentines Day.  Chalk it up, if you will, to not receiving any valentines during my awkward teenage years, or the fact that most of my Valentine holidays while part of a married couple have been spent as a restaurant widow, but whatever the case I prefer to lay low and enjoy the culinary pleasures coming out of my own kitchen rather than attend some sort of overpriced, understaffed special restaurant prix-fixe that's just going to disappoint.  So, in that vein I've decided to show my love for you, dear readers, by gifting you with the recipe for the chocolate soufflé that I make for my loved one every year on Valentines Day.

I adapted this recipe from Julia Child's classic kitchen tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking. While many of the recipes are kind of outdated for our modern lives, you really can't beat this book when you want to make something classically French for a special occasion (like, say, Valentines Day).  As my faithful readers know, I do my best to avoid dairy, sugar and gluten, so I've made this indulgent soufflé without all of the usual suspects that bother my system (though I did use real butter because, well, butter is freaking delicious).  Trust me, you and your loved one will never know or miss them when you're shoveling in huge spoonfuls of this dessert.

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Soufflé au Chocolat

7 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate (splurge on a high-quality chocolate - I like Guittard)
1/3 cup super-fine brown rice flour
2 cups almond milk (or soy or rice or whatever you prefer)
3 Tblsp. organic unsalted butter (plus a bit extra for greasing the dish)
4 egg yolks
1 Tblsp. pure vanilla extract
6 egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Grease a 2- to 2 1/2 quart soufflé dish or a straight-sided baking dish 7 1/2 - 8 inches in diameter.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler over almost simmering water (you can also use a glass bowl set inside a saucepan).  Be sure to stir the chocolate often so it doesn't burn.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, add the flour and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth.  Add the butter and stir over medium heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and beat to cool slightly, approximately 1 minute.  You should have a somewhat taupe-colored roux, or flour-milk-butter paste that is the foundation for so many French recipes. 

  • One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then the smoothly melted chocolate, and finally the vanilla. 

  • Beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed.  Then, by sprinkles, beat in the sugar until stiff shining peaks are formed.  
  • Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl; delicately fold them together.  Turn the soufflé mixture into the prepared mold and set on a rack on the lower level of the preheated oven.  Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees.

  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the soufflé is well risen and the top has cracked.  The soufflé should still be creamy in the center.  
  • Serve immediately (if you'd like, you can sprinkle the top with a little it of powdered sugar).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Further Monday Musings on Motherhood

I've received quite a few emails from readers with regards to last Monday's post.  I can't say that I'm surprised, as I think that all Mothers struggle with balancing both their own wants and desires with the truly demanding, often horrifying, realities of raising children.  A reader did point me in the direction of a New York Times article about how Ivy League Education is supposedly being "wasted" on women who plan to stay at home with their (future) offspring.  I know that this article was supposed to make me mad, but  I had a different reaction.  Mostly, I just felt that asking 18-22 year old girls (yes, girls) what their plans for their futures happen to be, and from that assuming that these plans are even going to work out for them and then, taking it one step further, to decry that valuable spots in top-of-the-line universities are being wasted because these girls plan to "just" become Mothers is, well, laughable.

The thing is, when one is 18 or 19 or even 23 the idea one has about where her life is going to take her and how it's going to work out is, for the most part, completely and totally delusional.  Yes, we all plan to do certain things and to be married by this age, and buy a house by that age and have a baby before 35, and blah blah blah.  You know the old saying life is what happens when you're making other plans?  Well, I'm pretty sure that applies here.  Because the thing is that you just really, really don't know at the tender age of 19 what you're going to be confronted with.  Every woman assumes she's going to meet the right person at the right time and it's all going to work out just swimmingly, but too often it doesn't.  You have to play the hand you're dealt and do the best you can with what you've been given.

I applaud that young women understand the importance of being Mothers and that they want to be the primary caregivers for their future offspring.  But saying that's what you want and then actually doing it are two different things.  No matter how you slice it, if you want to have a child you have to take a step off of the career treadmill. Whether you stay home for three weeks or three years or thirteen years, you do have to hit the career pause button to a certain extent, and when you've busted your ass for ten or fifteen years to achieve a certain level of career success, it is incredibly difficult to make the decision to take a break in order to be a Mother.  Even though I never achieved incredible success as a performer, I worked damn hard for years on end, and I really struggled with putting on the brakes in order to have a child.  Honestly, I feel fortunate that I even had the ability to make this choice.  There are so many factors at work here: What if I hadn't met the right guy?  What if I hemmed and hawed about taking time off from my career-driven life and then discovered that I couldn't conceive? What if I wanted nothing more than to be a stay-at-home Mom but my spouse was unemployed and I couldn't take time off of work?  These are the realities of life that you never see coming when you're eighteen years old.

Look, it's impossible to do it all.  The idea that you can is total and complete b.s.  My house is a wreck, the roots of my hair are revealing my actual age (instead of my Hollywood age), and I've resorted to ordering groceries from because I'd rather write than go marketing.  I will tell you this, though: I'm damn glad I have an expensive college education, because that theater degree comes in really handy when I'm putting on a puppet show for the under-five set.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Have a Terrific Weekend

Happy Friday, my lovelies!  We have a weekend full of one year old birthday parties ahead of us, so I'm planning to stock up on Tylenol and wine today.  It appears as though there are lots of fun Valentine-themed events happening around town, so I hope you're headed out to something more stimulating than hours of screaming children at My Gym.  I confess to being a little bit overly excited about The Olympics getting started tonight, as I'm a sucker for those sparkly ice skating outfits, and now that the events will be streaming LIVE online I'm even more excited (come on, you must agree that Matt Lauer was a major buzz kill in Vancouver - talk about #NBCfail).

What are you up to this fine February weekend?

Here are a few things that caught my eye around the interwebs this week:

Are parenting bloggers too honest about the bad parts of raising children?

Bargain beauty buys I can't wait to try.

A chart of age-appropriate chores for your kiddos.

Did you watch Jay Leno's final Tonight Show?  

I think I may have finally found a way to get the Muffin Man to eat avocados - in hummus!

I love spunky old ladies.

A teacher who is changing kids' lives for the better.

I just added this celestial cutting board to my birthday wish list.

Blood orange chili juice sounds delicious.  Especially if you add a little tequila…

Some great vintage furniture shopping tips. (p.s. it's Rose Bowl flea weekend!)

Vintage photo of the 1948 Olympics via Complex.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shop Till You Drop at OshKosh B'gosh

This is a sponsored post.  I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OshKosh B'gosh.  To express their gratitude for my participation, OshKosh B'gosh provided me with a gift card to facilitate the shopping trip.  

If you're a child of the 1970's or 1980's then you probably spent many of your formative years wearing OshKosh B'gosh overalls.  Based on the vintage photo of me above, I think we can all agree that I totally rocked their late-seventies bell bottom style.  Well, my friends, things have changed a lot since then; I am no longer a natural blonde and OshKosh is definitely not just overalls.  

Yesterday afternoon I took the Muffin Man to our local OshKosh B'gosh store to peruse their fashion offerings.  Now, if I were the type of organized, prepared, responsible Mother that I dream of being, I would've taken a moment to peruse their spring mailer to get an idea of specific items to look for.  Of course that didn't happen, so I arrived at the OshKosh store assuming that I would be choosing between blue overalls, brown overalls, and striped overalls.  My son isn't really an overall type of guy, as he prefers to walk a fine line between a "hipster toddler" and an "80 year-old grandfather" look, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that OshKosh carries an excellent selection of clothes to fit his particular fashion genre.  

Honestly, I had a really difficult time not purchasing one of almost everything from their spring 2014 selection.  The dominant colors - blue and green - happen to be my go-to color combinations for the Muffin Man's wardrobe.  I'm sure that part of it is because green is my favorite color, but he also looks great sporting a Kermit-inspired hue.  I'm always on the hunt for hip, cute and durable boys tees, as the temperate weather in Los Angeles means Noah spends a lot of days wearing soft t-shirts underneath hoodies, and OshKosh did not disappoint on this front.  I picked up a great striped tee that looks killer with both the bright green pants and the skinny jeans that caught my eye.  The green pants are going to be perfect for Passover seder in two months as they are fancier than jeans, but don't have to be dry-cleaned in the event of flying gefilte fish.  

Folks we got a lot of clothes for just over $100.00.  If I had been smart enough to use the fantastic coupon shown below, we could've gotten even more clothes, but since I didn't realize until I got home that I had a coupon in my possession, I didn't take advantage of the fantastic deal.  You should definitely take the time to find your local OshKosh B'gosh store, print out the coupon, and buy your munchkins some cute clothes for spring.  You can save even more shekels by joining their B'gosh Rewards promotion, wherein you receive a $10 off coupon for every $50 you spend.  

I know some of my East Coast readers are buried under a snow bank, but maybe selecting some brightly colored pants or a few floral-printed girls tunics will kick you out of your winter blahs (the coupon can be used online too, so you don't even have to leave your warm apartment).  After all, spring will arrive eventually, and your little fashion plates should have an appropriate wardrobe...even if you're still wearing maternity sweats.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Stroller Wars

The Muffin Man is beginning to assert his independence.  On the one hand this is great, in that he's developmentally right on schedule.  On the other hand this is not so great, like when I want him to do something that he's not at all interested in doing and he responds by either throwing a tantrum, or stiffening his entire body so I can't hold on to him, or doing both at the same time.  I never for the life of me thought that I would long for the newborn days.  Sure I was sleep deprived and leaking milk but at least I was able to put my kid in a stroller without risking a black eye from his killer right hook.

Monday afternoon Noah was in an especially ornery mood.  I don't know if it's because he's teething (yet again) or because he woke up screaming for no apparent reason at 2:30AM, but whatever the cause he was not his usual friendly, placid self.  Never one to let the realities of parenthood intrude on what's left of my social life, I took my cranky son out to meet some friends for lunch.  Noah managed to rally for most of the meal, though he didn't particularly enjoy any of the baby food buffet options I had brought along and instead chose to make a meal out of Pirate's Booty and lemonade.  Eh, you win some you lose some.  When it was time to leave the restaurant and go on our merry way, I picked up Noah to put him into the stroller so that I could run an errand or two before heading home.  Well, the Muffin Man was not having it.  I attempted to get him to sit down in the seat so that I could fasten the harness, but he squirmed and kicked and screamed and made his displeasure known to the entire restaurant.  I picked him up, calmly told him that I needed him to cooperate with me as I couldn't possibly carry him, the diaper bag and our leftovers while also pushing an empty stroller, and then once again tried to put him in the stroller seat.  This time he not only screamed more loudly, but he also straightened his body out like a plank while simultaneously throwing his head back with tremendous force.  This particular chain of events would not have caused a problem had I been using our normal stroller that's built like a tank, but for quick trips around town I have a foldable lightweight stroller that weighs less than a cocktail umbrella.  The force of Noah throwing himself against the back of the stroller caused it to tip over backwards, which in turn slammed the back of Noah's head against the hard tile floor and resulted in his wailing at the top of his lungs as tears streamed down his face.

I admit that I kind of felt like the kid got what he deserved for acting like a little sh*t.  Now before you go and call child services on me, let me assure you that was only a very, very fleeting thought and I mostly felt terrible that he'd hurt himself and concerned that he could have a concussion.  Based on the looks I received from the other diners, they were both horrified at my sub-par parenting skills and annoyed that I had ruined their own lunches by having the nerve to bring my child into that establishment.  After comforting my injured child, I did my best to gather up all of our stuff and what was left of my dignity, and I somehow managed to exit the restaurant while simultaneously carrying a 20 pound child, a 10 pound diaper bag, and an empty stroller.

I'm happy to report that Noah did not sustain any permanent physical damage.  He is his usual cheerful self today and is busy playing with toys and pushing the boundaries of what I will and will not allow him to do.  However, I think it's going to be a while before I take him to a restaurant again, so my social life is currently on life support.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Flu Me Twice

The House of Plague continues apace over here at Casa Lane.  Yesterday the Hubs was struck down with the stomach flu that I contracted a week or so ago.  I'll spare you the details, folks, but suffice it to say this gastrointestinal upset is one I would wish only on some of my ex-boyfriends and my former roommate.  There are few things more pathetic than a six-foot, 195-pound, fully grown man moaning in pain and exclaiming that he wants to die.  While my original plans for last night included a large glass of wine and a viewing of Downton Abbey, I instead spent the balance of the evening running up and down the stairs carrying glasses of gingerale.

Here's the worst part of it all (aside from my sweet Hubby being in agony): we we're supposed to go out tonight.  That's right, folks, we have the babysitter booked, a reservation at a hot new restaurant downtown and plans to take our friend out for a birthday celebration.  Date night has, yet again, been sidelined by illness.  Rather than enjoying amazing Italian cuisine at Factory Kitchen I will be serving dry toast, Saltines, and gingerale while wearing a hot little sweat pant number.  I seriously considered not cancelling our plans and instead forcing my poor, sick husband to come along and sit quietly sipping sparkling water and gnawing on a piece of plain bread, but even I'm not that selfish.  

I suppose this round-robin of illness is what happens once you have a child.  They are, after all, dirty little creatures prone to bringing home all sorts of diseases capable of reducing a grown man to tears, and dashing the plans of a woman who's desperate to have a reason to put on makeup and wear high heels.  On the plus side, by the time we get a chance to have another date night, the restaurant won't be hip anymore and we shouldn't have a problem getting a reservation.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Musings on Motherhood

Here's the problem with parenthood, folks: there is no weekend.  You never get a break from the day- in-and-day-out grind of early mornings and sleepless nights and food being thrown on the floor and bath time and bed time and utter and complete exhaustion.  If you happen to be a stay-at-home Mom there isn't a difference, really, between the workdays and the weekends; you still have to spend all day taking care of your kid, so Saturday and Sunday look basically the same as Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Trust me, it's as stimulating as it sounds.  The truth is this: spending all day, every day with a child is really damn boring.  I admit it.  It's mind-numbingly dull and the lack of mental stimulation is so extreme that there are times when I just want to sit down and cry.

Look, if you're one of these Mothers who think that staying home with your baby is the most interesting thing in the world, my hat is off to you.  Feel free to judge me.  I wish I shared your joy in the daily grind of Motherhood.  I would love to be fulfilled playing trucks and reading books and making stuffed animals talk in funny voices, but I'm not.  I want nothing more than to get up in the morning, take a shower, put on actual clothes (not leggings or sweatpants), and go to a real job where I get to interact with adults and collect a paycheck for my writing talents.  I love my son.  I feel blessed to have him in my life, but after a little over a year of being a full-time Mother, I can tell you without a doubt that I am not cut out for stay-at-home parenthood.  I'm much better with the whole guest shot thing: some morning cuddles, a little breakfast, hand the kid off to someone else and then return in time for dinner and the bath time/bed time routine.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would want to be a working Mother, but there's something about having a child that really makes you examine who you are, and I've really had to come face-to-face with the uncomfortable truth that I don't particularly like just being someone's Mom.

And so here we are back at the age old competition between the Mommies who work and the ones who don't.  I know that if I did happen to be a working Mother I would miss, terribly, being there for all of the Muffin Man's important moments.  I would long for the ability to take him to the museum just because it's Tuesday and we have nothing else to do.  I would probably be nostalgic for the days of old when I didn't have a job and didn't have to take a shower or be somewhere on time, and I'm sure I would question my decision to work every day, the same way I currently question my decision not to work.  What it comes down to is that we're all just trying to do the best we can within the parameters of the people we are and the cards we've been dealt.

So if you're looking for me in the next couple of months, I'll be at home attempting to find mental stimulation in shape sorters and alphabet magnets, and spending my kid's nap time polishing up my writing samples.

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