Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cure Your Case of The Mondays with Free Stuff

Mondays suck.  They really are the most hated day of the week, aren't they?  While on the one hand I don't actually get a weekend since my current full time gig is being a parent, I still pretty much dread the beginning of the week.  Maybe it's just that traffic in Los Angeles is shittier every day that isn't Sunday, but whatever the case I often find myself with a nasty case of the Mondays on an almost weekly basis.  Anyway, I'm softening the blow for you, dear readers, by hooking you up with a little giveaway that has the potential to put a smile on your otherwise grumpy face.

I'm helping celebrate The Parenting Patch reaching 20,000 Facebook likes by giving you the chance to win either one cloth diaper of your choice (valued up to $25) or a $25 Amazon gift card!  The Parenting Patch is the go-to resource for cloth diapering Mamas as well as a great place to find out about other valuable information in the parenting world.

Now you all know that I do not happen to use cloth diapers despite my status as a dirty hippie.  Look, it kills me that I am filling up a landfill somewhere with toxic chemicals and the Muffin Man's voluminous amounts of poop, but I am also a realist, and Mama don't do poo.  I raise my glass to those of you who are saving the planet in my stead and I urge you to enter the giveaway and reward yourself with an adorable cloth diaper for your little one.  The rest of you waste-generating parents will just have to calm your anxiety about damaging the Earth by finding something on Amazon that you would love to buy with your $25 gift card.  Personally I've found that the best way to deal with my parenting shortcomings is with wine; lots of wine.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to The Parenting Patch Thanks You! Giveaway hosted and sponsored by The Parenting Patch! To say thank you to all my Facebook fans who helped bring me to 20,000 likes, I am giving away one (1) "choose your own diaper" (valued up to $25) or a $25 Amazon gift card. One lucky reader can choose any cloth diaper valued up to $25. For my fans who are not into cloth diapers, I am offering a $25 Amazon gift card. And, not to leave out my international readers, I am offering $25 PayPal cash. All to say thanks to you!

One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch and Misadventures in Motherhood will win one (1) "choose your own diaper" (valued up to $25) or a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter for your chance to win the The Parenting Patch Thanks You! Giveaway, simply use the above Rafflecopter form. Good luck! And thank you!

The "The Parenting Patch Thanks You!" Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $25 minus any PayPal charges via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The The Parenting Patch Thanks You! Giveaway ends at midnight CST on April 21, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. Misadventures in Motherhood is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Consciously Uncoupling with the Week

Happy Friday, my lovelies!  I hope you have something wonderful planned for this weekend.  We're headed to Santa Barbara on Sunday to visit family and hit the beach with the Muffin Man, and I can't wait.

Here are some fun linky links that caught my eye this week:

A Working Mom's Letter to Gwynnie is the best thing ever. (Here's my rant about Goop if you missed it).

Chic jewelry that doubles as a security system.

A beautiful piece on why we should feel privileged (and celebrate) aging.

Plantain nachos sound delicious.  Now if only I could have a margarita to accompany them.

A new study claims that older Dads have less attractive kids.  I call BS!

Which John Hughes classic are YOU?  (I'm Ferris Buellers Day Off, of course)

Moms texting made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

Rejoice, butter just might be good for you!

I love this chic nursery for under 500 clams.

Tropical vacation dreaming.

Time to bust out the white blazer again!

Have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pregnancy Woes

Hey now, you made it to Thursday, which means you'll be able to find me over at Laughing My Vag Off talking about the injustices of pregnancy.  Just to give you fair warning, there's extensive discussion of my flatulence.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Stairway to Hell

Newsflash folks: staircases and toddlers do not mix.  We did, finally, get around to baby proofing, though I have to confess that it's kind of a half-assed job.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but there are a few things that still need to be done, such as bolting the bookshelves to the wall and putting a gate at the foot of the stairs.  We installed a gate at the top of the stairs, as the Muffin Man seems to have some sort of obsession with attempting to crawl head first down anything that resembles a step, but I decided not to put a gate at the bottom because they are ugly and I didn't want to ruin the aesthetic of my living room.  Besides, I was more worried about Noah falling down the stairs than climbing up them.  Well, my friends, proving once again that first time parents know absolutely nothing, my son is currently sporting a giant goose egg on his head thanks to a tumble from the third step up.

When we started with this whole baby proofing thing, Noah wasn't even really crawling all that much.  Oh, sure, he would drag his body along the floor in a sort of paralytic spasm, but he wasn't actually moving quickly on his hands and knees, leading me to believe that it would be entirely possible to keep up with him should he decide to climb the stairs.  In my defense, I also wasn't pregnant and moving at the speed of snail, so it was a bit easier to keep up with him back then.  I now have a crawling, standing, race-around-the-house child who thinks there is nothing funnier than seeing how quickly he can get away from me.  While on the one hand I appreciate the (much needed) work out, it's also turned out to be a bit of a problem, as was brought home to me yesterday.

Tuesday morning I was sucking down a cup of lukewarm coffee while simultaneously praying that the caffeine would kick in sooner rather than later, when Noah decided to make his way up Mount Stair-verest.  I, of course, hauled my giant pregnant ass off of the couch in order to follow close behind as a precaution against spending my afternoon in the Cedars Sinai ER.  I waddled as quickly as possible across the length of the living room, Noah started maniacally laughing and, as he checked my progress towards him, lost his footing and took a head dive off of the third step up.  He did a complete and total face plant on the hardwood floor, landing with a loud thunk, after which he began wailing and I began praying that my selfish desire for an attractive living room wasn't going to leave me with a brain damaged child.  Thankfully, aside for an ugly bruise in the middle of his forehead, Noah's tumble wasn't anything that a few minutes of cuddling and a booboo bear couldn't fix.  I, of course, haven't yet recovered from the incident especially now that my anti-anxiety coping mechanisms are limited (try nonexistent).  Needless to say I'm headed to Buy Buy Baby to pick up yet another one of those hideous (and hideously expensive) baby gates.  I've resigned myself to not having an attractive and stylish living room for another 18 years or so, and at least the blow is cushioned a little bit by the fact that I have a 20% off coupon.

image via My Safety Sign

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Preschool Panic: Free Stuff Edition

Now that 2014 is well under way we're back in the preschool game again.  We had a nice little respite for a few months during the holidays, but I'm now back to scheduling tours and making decisions about where we're going to apply.  It's kind of hard to believe, but we actually have to apply before the end of this year, as the Muffin Man will be headed to preschool in the fall of 2015.  It's tough for me to grasp that my sweet little baby boy will soon be spending his days under the watchful eyes of trained teachers rather than under my lackluster supervision.  Not to sound too cliché or anything, but the time really does go by fast.

I'm glad that I started the preschool search early, because now that I'm pregnant and tired and altogether somewhat unpleasant, I think I would be completely overwhelmed were I faced with starting from the drawing board right now.  Thanks to my tours and research last year, I have a pretty decent idea of what we are and are not looking for in a school.  I do often find myself shaking my head in awe and/or disgust at the things one is expected to do to gain admittance to these institutions of lower learning.  It's pretty much a given that you're expected to have a letter of recommendation from a current or former family, but I guess now it's a common thing for prospective families to donate items and volunteer to help with a school's fundraising event.  You read that correctly, my friends: you're expected to give desirable items away for free and volunteer your time for a school your kid doesn't even attend in order to secure his or her acceptance.  This is just so patently ridiculous I can't even handle it.  Momma don't play that.  I certainly have no plans to run around town donating a free week's stay at my family's vacation home, nor do I have any intention of volunteering my (non-existent) free time to help raise money for art supplies for somebody else's snot-nosed kid.  NO NO and NO.  Let me just reiterate that in case you missed it the first time: NO F-ING WAY.

Make no mistake that I will volunteer and give away free sh*t like it's Halloween candy once Noah is an actual student at whichever preschool we choose, but I have no plans to buy my way into freaking preschool.  I like to think that Noah will be accepted at a school because of who is and who we are as a family, and not simply because they want to use me for my Hawaiian vacation connection.  Now let's just hope I don't regret being all up on my high horse when we're forced to move to Connecticut because every school in Los Angeles rejected us.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sleep Here

We bought a crib for Baby Girl this weekend, so this whole having another child thing is beginning to seem very real.  I just want to toot my own horn for a minute and let you know that I got the deal of the century on an Oeuf Sparrow crib and changing table thanks to my good friend Craigslist.  Please, nervous nelly parents, refrain from posting comments about how buying a used crib is not safe, because I REALLY don't want to hear it.  Take a Xanax and let me enjoy my designer nursery furniture in peace.

Lest you think that my purchase of a crib means that I have miraculously gotten ready for baby since last week, I can assure you that is very much not the case.  The baby's room is still my office, I have yet to choose a paint color, and I'm beginning to despair of ever being ready for a second child whether she were to arrive in six days or six years.  The good news is that I have a very large, remarkably clean garage and the crib fits in there nicely, so worst case scenario I suppose I can always turn that into the nursery if I'm not able to get my act together before baby girl decides to make her appearance.  That should really light a fire under my nosy neighbor's ass to report me for child abuse.

image via Copycat Chic

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Love

Love in an SUV
Happy Spring! Sorry for my absence yesterday, friends, but I was busy peeing in a cup and having my (ginormous) baby bump measured.  I am, almost overnight, what a friend of mine would refer to as a "wide load", so I hope for the sake of both of us that you will not inadvertently find yourself sitting next to me and my giant ass on an airplane trip.  I'm not sure which I dread more at this point, childbirth, or the number of squats I'm going to have to do afterwards to attempt to regain my figure.  Ugh.

What are you lovelies up to this weekend?  The Hubs is working all weekend, so I'm taking the Muffin Man to some sort of cultural event tomorrow with his baby girlfriend, which should be both exhausting and thrilling all at once.

To get you in a weekend mood, here are some bits and bobs I found intriguing this week:

A fascinating article about how screwed up kids are because they're not allowed to take risks anymore.  Finally, some scientific support for my laissez-faire parenting!

40 weeks of selfies makes pregnancy look so beautiful.

I loved getting a glimpse of SJP's home - so not what I expected!

How to stop moths from lunching on your cute sweaters. (just in time for Spring's warmer temps)

Homemade Nutella, without the junk.  YES, YES AND YES.

Spring nail polish hues that are cruelty free.

Even cool people freak out about preschool apps.

Stop saying stupid sh*t to stay-at-home Moms. Please.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Drink Me

The Muffin Man cannot, for the life of him, figure out how to drink from a straw.  He knows how to use a regular sippy cup without a problem, and he's even figured out how to drink from a glass, but if you hand the kid a cup with a straw he is completely flummoxed.  It's supposed to be easier for them to drink from a straw, but it looks as though my son prefers to do things the hard way and go straight from boob to goblet.  I suppose in the long run I'll be glad to have a child who won't have to be weaned off the straw like an addict from meth, but in the meantime it's kind of a pain in the ass when we're out and about.  See, they don't really make portable, non-straw sippy cups.  There are many, many types of cups with straws for kids on the go, but cruise the aisles for some sort of straw-less option and you come up short.  I didn't really think this was too much of a problem until we went to the zoo last week.

As those of you who live in Los Angeles and have children know, the zoo is a popular destination for parents and children.  it also happens to be incredibly freaking hot.  I swear, it can be 55 degrees throughout the rest of the city, but the minute you walk through the gates of the Los Angeles Zoo, the temperature rises 30 degrees and it feels as though you're trudging through the Sahara with no oasis in sight.  I realize that going to the zoo in the middle of a heat wave was probably poor parental planning on my part, but last week Noah and I met up with some friends for an afternoon of animal voyeurism.  I felt as though I was highly prepared for our outing: I slathered both of us with (natural) sunscreen, I brought extra hats, a few healthy snacks, a change of clothing, hand sanitizer… I was loaded down with Mommy goods.

All in all, the afternoon proceeded well.  Noah enjoyed seeing the gorillas, he thought the giraffes were hilarious, and he didn't even get scared when one of the male zebras attempted to force himself on one of the lady zebras (I'm happy to report she kicked him in the nuts and got away).  The day was warm, but I had my trusty water bottle in my bag, which I shared with Noah.  He took a few sips when they were proffered, but he's not exactly an ace bottled water drinker, so a significant amount of liquid ended up dampening his shirt.  After we'd made one turn around the zoo and stopped in the gift store to admire the life sized stuffed giraffe that I have dreams of one day being able to afford for my children, we headed home.  I did notice that Noah wasn't quite himself on the ride home; he seemed especially out of sorts and he cried even louder than he normally does when forced to remain in the carseat for longer than ten minutes.  I assumed that his wailing would stop once we got home, but even after being rescued from the carseat he continued his assault on my eardrums.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  He refused any offer of snacks, he already had two blankies in hand, and my out-of-sync dancing failed to calm him down.  Finally, it dawned on me that even though he had been crying for well over an hour, he didn't seem to have any tears.  My poor child was dying of thirst!  The kid was, in fact, so dehydrated from an afternoon spent sweating it out at the zoo that he didn't even have enough water to produce tears.  Horrified at my stupidity, I quickly raced to the kitchen, filled up a sippy cup with refreshing water and handed it to Noah, who drained the whole thing in just a few minutes.

I'm happy to report that he Noah doesn't seem to have sustained any permanent, lasting physical damage as a result of my negligence.   You will, however, be happy to know that I'm now carrying one of those stupid, non-portable, leaking sippy cups around with me at all times.  Because while Noah may enjoy seeing camels in their desert habitat, he is not personally equipped to join them in going without water for days on end.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Help Me

I have to tell you that it's a really humbling experience to come to terms with the fact that one simply cannot do it all; I've finally caved in and hired a nanny twice a week.  While I've managed to limp along for the past year without any assistance other than that generously volunteered by family, a few weeks ago I finally reached my limit.  I need help.  I really did think that it would be possible for me to juggle being a Momma, a wife, and a working writer with occasional help from family, but it's not.  Much as I would like to be some sort of super human who doesn't need sleep or any time to herself, I haven't been able to locate a scientist willing to turn me into such, and as a result I'm stressed out, exhausted and in over my head.

Look, I'm incredibly grateful to be able to work from home (and to even have work in the first place) but if any of you are under the impression that working from home while also trying to take care of a toddler is a piece of cake, let me assure you it is a total freaking nightmare.  I know some of you full-time working Mommas are rolling your eyes right now from the comfort of your corporate offices, but bear with me here.  Imagine, if you will, being "in the zone" on whatever project you're working on - the ideas are flowing, you've never been more inspired - when a coworker comes and interrupts your groove.  But your coworker doesn't speak a language you understand, and when you can't immediately fulfill this coworker's desires he bites your thigh, hard, and draws blood.  Since you don't have time to file a complaint with the Worker's Comp department (if there even was one) you find some way to occupy your annoying coworker and return to your desk to attempt to pick up whatever tiny thread of inspiration might still remain.  Your annoying coworker has a shorter attention span than a fly, so he's back up in your sh*t within two minutes, again spewing some nonsense you can't for the life of you understand, followed by high-pitched screaming and tears.  You once more attempt to appease the most irritating person in your office with an object that someone told you is "amazing" and "guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment" when your phone rings for an important conference call that you simply must take because if you don't you'll miss the deadline for next week's assignment.  Guess who hates you being on the telephone more than anything in the world?  That's right!  You're ever-annoying coworker!  He starts screaming at the top of his lungs, making it nigh on impossible for you to hear anything but every tenth word uttered by this VIP on the other end of the phone.  Finally, out of complete and utter desperation and a gut-wrenching fear of being fired from your job, you lock your coworker in a gated area, throw him some sort of preservative-filled food stuff, and hope that he doesn't choke/injure himself/burn the house down while you escape to another room in an effort to scrape together enough information from the three minutes left on the conference call to write a 3000 word article.  Oh, and you'll be lucky if you can even find your way to the other room, as your entire house is littered with toys and dirty laundry and half-eaten food from G-d only knows when, all of which you'll be expected to pick up sometime after dark once you've fed your child and your husband some sort of Martha Stewart-inspired meal and you're so exhausted you can't see straight and you still have to finish that damn writing assignment.

So, yeah, that's why I hired a nanny.  Plus I really, really need to be able to shower on a guaranteed basis at least twice a week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Congratulations! It's a...

My sentiments exactly, buddy.
We had an Earthquake early this morning, which was almost as jarring as finding out that WE'RE HAVING A GIRL.  G-d help me, folks, but I am so not prepared to be a Mother to a child with two X chromosomes.  I'm just a teensy tiny bit concerned that this is going to be the Universe's way of getting back at me for being such a terror as a teenager.  If this child is even half as wild and out-of-control as I was, I should just check myself into the nuthouse right now and call it a day.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekend Edition, Mommy Blog Style

top mommy blogs

Sorry for my absence yesterday, folks, but I confess to abandoning you in favor of a few hours in the very capable hands of my hairdresser followed by an evening spent being a good wife at the Hubby's work event.  I'm back, I'm "blonde", and I'm looking forward to a weekend of beautiful spring weather and tackling some house projects specifically targeted at getting ready for baby number two.  I am, not surprisingly, running terribly behind as per usual, despite having somehow found time to pin a bazillion nursery inspiration photos on Pinterest.  Motherhood may not be my forté, but procrastination is!  

If you're looking for a few interesting things to add to your own Pinterest boards, here's what I've been eyeing this week:

Highly creative people are different.  We're not just weird.  

I would like someone to come over and make quinoa cakes with poached eggs for me.  

butterfly cuff bracelet is way better than that butterfly tramp stamp I debated getting in college.

How to layer necklaces (advice I need, since I suck at this)

A gallery wall is destined for our bedroom.  How to do it right.

I'm a sucky knitter, but this awesome cause got me motivated to dig out the needles and yarn.

Enjoy your weekend, my lovelies!


P.S. - Thank you to everyone who entered the Blue Apron giveaway!  We have a very deserving winner who will be receiving a big box of deliciousness next week.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Human Woodchuck

The Muffin Man is teething.  Again.  I feel as though the kid has been teething without cessation for the past six months, but this time it's full force, chew-on-everything, covered in drool teething.  I honestly have no idea what tooth (teeth?) are coming in, since he basically has a full set of chompers including molars, but I live in fear that one morning I'll walk into his bedroom and discover that he's sprouted some sort of Paleolithic fangs while he slept.  Anyway, whatever the cause may be my poor child is miserable and spends his days in search of anything that looks as though it might feel good when applied to his aching gums.  I, of course, give him doses of my hippie-dippy teething remedy, but you're not supposed to exceed a certain dosage in a day, and we've usually reached that threshold by noon.  The balance of my days over the past week have been spent prying inappropriate objects from Noah's mouth while simultaneously trying to avoid my fingers becoming a teething toy; this is not an easy feat, I assure you.

Yesterday afternoon Noah and I were hanging out in the living room playing with some safe, child-friendly toys designed to be chewed on/thrown/mangled.  With Noah otherwise occupied, I figured it was probably safe to take my focus off of him for a minute or two while I sorted through the mail, so I walked across the room to retrieve the (towering) pile of unopened bills and fashion magazines I'll never have a chance to read.  When I turned back around, to my horror, I discovered Noah lying on the floor chewing through the leg of our coffee table.  That's right, my friends, in the 45 seconds it took me to retrieve the mail, my son had turned himself into a human woodchuck and made significant progress gnawing through a solid piece of wood.  I'm going to assume, for my sanity's sake, that it felt good on his aching teeth and not that he has some sort of weird strange obsession that could land him on TV.

For a split second I actually considered letting him chew on the coffee table for a little bit longer, but then I got my wits about me.  First of all, I really like my coffee table and would prefer not to have to replace it due to a whittled-down leg.  Second of all, I'm pretty sure that the spray paint I used on the table is toxic, and the last thing I wanted to do on a Tuesday evening was rush Noah to the hospital for paint poisoning (especially since that would really give my nosy neighbor something to call CPS about).  I quickly and efficiently detached my child's jaws of steel from my furniture, handed him a frozen teething ring which he promptly threw at my head, and contemplated swabbing his gums with a little bourbon.  Don't worry, I opted for Baby Tylenol instead; after all, the kid will have enough years of illegal boozing in high school without my getting him started too early. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Different the Second Time

Thank you all for sweet responses to yesterday's post.  I think what I appreciate most is your telling me how great I look, as it just proves that I snapped a selfie with a really good angle, and that springing for those J Brand maternity jeans was a wise investment.  I have to confess that I am not a fan of being pregnant.  I am, of course, thankful about the miracle of life and all that bullsh*t, but for the most part I absolutely detest carrying around a child for nine months.  I'm a selfish person, so acquiescing to the needs of an even more selfish, parasitic baby-being is not my forté.  Nevertheless, I and my binge drinking are what got me into this mess, so I'm determined to be a more pleasant preggo this time around.

This whole second-time pregnancy thing has been very different.  For starters, I'm so busy taking care of the Muffin Man and running myself ragged just trying to keeping up with daily life that I barely have time to think about baby numero dos.  When I was pregnant with Noah I knew exactly how many weeks pregnant I was, the size of the fetus, and I documented every kick.  This time around I have to ask my Doctor how far along I am, I don't really care if kiddo number two is the size of a grapefruit or a  honeydew, and the only time I notice this kid kicking is when it's keeping me awake.  Poor kid, it's not even fully formed yet and it's already playing second fiddle.

The good news is that I'm not particularly alone in this whole no-time-for-developing-baby thing.  This piece made me feel so much better about the fact that I haven't spent a whole lot of hours focused on bébé numero deux.  I suspect that Jordan is, overall, a much more competent mother than I am (and much, much more chic, if we're being truthful) but at least I know I'm not the only pregnant woman out there paying marginal attention to my developing fetus.  Look, I'm busy paying marginal attention to my fully-formed toddler, and a woman only has so many hours in her day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Déjà Oops

Ladies, beware that extra glass of red wine on date night, or you could end up like me and find yourself with child yet again.  By the end of the summer I will be a Mother of two, which is a truly terrifying idea.  I can assure you that this unforeseen event was not even close to planned, and I assumed with the confluence of my advanced age (I am, after all, 100 in Hollywood years) and having recently stopped breastfeeding that it wasn't even possible to get pregnant again, but there you go.  So it looks like we're taking this crazy parenthood ride for another spin and hoping against hope that everybody comes out unscathed.  God help us.

I'm going to be honest with you here, folks, but I was fine with only having one kid.  I still have crap parenting days and I screw up royally on a regular basis, but we have a groove going around here that's manageable, and I was looking forward to sending the Muffin Man off to preschool in another year and getting back to my regularly-scheduled life.  Needless to say it looks like I'll be full-time mommying for a bit longer than I planned, so I'm feeling awfully thankful for Xanax this morning.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Have a Springtastic Weekend

Happy Friday my lovelies!  We had a wonderful time celebrating the Hubby's birthday last night that included dinner at our local favorite sushi spot and a frosty treat from the new ice cream shop that opened in the neighboring 'hood.  It's a beautiful spring day around these parts, so I'm hoping to sneak in an hour or two of gardening time this weekend.  Don't forget to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night; it's spring forward time!

Here are a few things that caught my eye this week around the world wide web:

Have you Travoltified your name yet?  (Mine is Adil Loing)

Ten-second styling tips every woman can utilize.

Even famous people got rejection letters.  Don't you feel better now?

This judgmental map of Los Angeles is brilliant.  Do you live in Annoying Tourist?

Maureen Dowd weighs in on Cate Blanchette's Oscar speech and women in Hollywood.

Splendid's two-tone jumpsuit is my current fashion obsession.

Have a beautiful weekend!


P.S. - don't forget to enter the Blue Apron giveaway; you could win a week of dinners on me!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nosy Neighbor

Friends, I think my neighbor is going to call Child Protective Services on me.   I live next door to an old woman who has purple hair and nothing better to do with her time than stare out the window and pass judgment on my parenting.  She’s never had any children of her own, mind you, but that hasn’t dissuaded her from giving me parenting advice every time I run into her.  In the beginning, I didn’t let it bother me.  Heck, I was so sleep deprived and half-crazed that someone could’ve told me that the sky was falling and I would’ve simply nodded in agreement and gone on my bleary-eyed way.  Now that I am better rested and capable once again of rational thought, her judgmental looks and blatant window spying are beginning to grate on me.

If you’re a faithful reader of the ol’ blog (as you should be), you know that the Muffin Man is currently going through a truly horrifying stage of refusing to nap.  Whereas I was once the parent of a child who napped easily and with clockwork regularity, I am now the owner of a small human who prefers to stand in his crib and emit a death keen for an hour instead of resting.  It’s even less pleasant than it sounds, I can assure you.  I can handle the crying; I don’t like it, but I’m a strong and somewhat cold-hearted woman, so ignoring a screeching banshee child is certainly in my wheelhouse.  Unfortunately, Noah has made it his daily mission to scream loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear that he is not, under any circumstances, going to take a nap.  While I don’t particularly relish the entirety of Koreatown-adjacent being a party to my child’s stubbornness, it would be less of a problem if Noah’s bedroom window weren’t 50 feet from the window seat of my nosy neighbor. 

Without fail, the minute I put Noah down for his afternoon nap/crying session, Nosy Nelly parks herself in her window seat, opens her window so as to better hear my screaming child, and dials up her stopwatch to time how long I’m letting Noah cry it out.  That’s right, folks, she is timing how long my son cries.  Now, it’s important to know that I am a proponent of the cry it out method.  It worked for us.  But I never, never, leave my crying child alone for longer than a prescribed amount of time (one hour), mainly because even my nerves can’t take it, but also because after that length of time it’s pretty much guaranteed that your little sh*t is not gonna sleep no matter how much you may need to take a shower/eat some lunch/like a few posts on Instagram.  Well, my neighbor does not approve.  She sits there with her stopwatch, cracking pistachio nuts with what’s left of her teeth while timing how long I “torture” my son.  Oh, and I’m almost positive that she takes notes every day so that she has a record of the child abuse happening over at Casa Lane. 

Yesterday when I ran into Nosy Nelly on the front sidewalk she made a point of coming over to ask me what was wrong with Noah and to accuse me of damaging him psychologically and physically.  Thankfully I managed to hold myself back from damaging her psychologically and physically, and I patiently explained that Noah’s “rise of will” is completely developmentally appropriate.  I still expect a representative from DCFS to show up at my door any day now, so I’ve been wrapping Noah in bubble wrap every day in an attempt to avoid his getting any unexplained bruises. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Wet 'n Wild

I recently retired my giant diaper bag in favor of a smaller, fanny pack-style bag that I can toss into and out of whatever real purse I happen to be carrying each day.  Now that the Muffin Man is older and less prone to both spitting up all over himself and/or pooping through his clothes, I no longer need to carry quite so many items in my bag simply to go to the grocery store a mile away.  I can't tell you how freeing it has been to no longer be carrying a twenty-pound bag full of 12 diapers, six changes of clothes, three bottles of milk and numerous other accoutrements.  While my diaper bag was pretty chic and normal looking as far as diaper bags go, now that I'm carrying a smaller, lighter purse again I feel a bit more like a normal, functioning member of society; it's a refreshing change.

As part of my streamlined approach, I ditched carrying around an extra set of clothes for Noah.  I guess I'd gotten overly confident in my son's ability to wear the same outfit for an entire day without incident, but it's been several months since I had to strip the kiddo down while out and about, so I figured we'd probably survive one afternoon of music class and a quick lunch with our favorite Mommy-daughter duo without needing a backup outfit.

In certain ways I suppose I am a Los Angeles cliché: my hair is "blonde", I've been known to complain that it's cold when the temperature dips below 50 degrees, and I always carry a bottle of water in my purse.  Trust me, it's important to stay hydrated, especially when you're chasing after a small, but very fast-moving, human.  Most days I'm very happy that I have that water in my purse… with the exception of this past Monday.  Somewhere in the block between music class and my car, the cap came off of the bottle and water leaked through my purse and completely drenched Noah's pants while I was holding him.  Upon first noticing that my child was sporting a pair of wet pants I assumed that he had peed through his diaper, but after closer examination it became evident that either he had some sort of syndrome that caused him to release inhuman amounts of urine or that he somehow got covered in an entire bottle's worth of water.

As I stood there on the sidewalk outside of my car I weighed the options: I could forgo lunch with our friends and instead whisk Noah home to change into some dry clothing and hopefully find something to feed him in the larder, or I could take him to lunch wearing his wet clothes and do my best not to expose him to drafts.  I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you that I chose the latter.  Look, it was a beautiful, sunny day in Los Angeles with temperatures in the 70's, we were both hungry, and I was in desperate need of adult interaction.  Sure, I forced my poor kid to sit through a meal in wet pants, but can't we just look at it as some sort of training for the inevitable hazing he'll be forced to endure should he choose to rush a fraternity?

I know a better Mother than I would've raced home, swiftly changed her kid's clothes, and then magically prepared some delicious and protein-filled lunch to satiate both herself and her son, but that is most definitely not me.  Hey, you probably would've made the same choice I did when given the option between eating questionable leftovers at home or a pecan babka roll at Sycamore Kitchen.  Judge me harshly if you will, dear reader, but rest assured I have learned my lesson: I'm back to carrying a spare outfit in my purse.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Feed Me, Mommy: Blue Apron Giveaway!

Friends, I never really truly appreciated the luxury of having time to grocery shop until I had a child.  I didn't understand how lucky I was to be able to wander the aisles in a leisurely fashion reading labels and checking out new products.  Heck, I even took for granted how nice it was to have time to go to the market at all!  Well, I am currently nostalgic for the days of grocery shopping that involved tasting exotic cheeses and sampling ripe citrus rather than a ten minute mad dash with a screaming toddler who finds it hilarious to throw weird items into my cart (specifically from the Kosher aisle - it's like he inherently knows he's a Jew or something).  Oh, and those supermarket-sweep experiences are on the good days when I've actually managed to get myself and the Muffin Man together to even get to the grocery store; there have been quite a number of evenings when I've found myself standing in the pantry with a can of lentils, half a package of gluten-free pasta, and a few limp leaves of spinach trying to figure out what to make for dinner before finally giving in and ordering takeout shwarma for the sixth night in a row.  

Well, my friends, I finally got smart a month or two ago and I signed up for Blue Apron.  I don't know why I waited so long, but this service has changed my life.  Blue Apron sends you a box full of all the ingredients needed to prepare three dinners per week, along with step-by-step recipes.  The food is good, like really really good, and way more interesting than anything I would've come up with preparing when left to my own devices (I'm great at meatlaof and meatballs but that's about it).  We've tried both their vegetarian meal box and their meat/poultry/seafood option, and so far we've had no disappointments.  Oh, and did I mention the best part?  It's only $9.99 per person, per meal.  That's less than I would spend at the market if I ever had time to go there.  In fact, the food is so good that I'm actually kind of depressed when we've finished all three meals and we're once again forced to fend for ourselves, but at least we're only eating four days of Middle Eastern takeout instead of seven.

In fact, I'm so pleased with this fabulous service that I am giving away one week of Blue Apron meals for two!  That's right, you could be enjoying delicious home cooked, gourmet meals instead of eating packaged macaroni and cheese for the fourth night in a row.  By the way, I am giving this away as a token of my love for you (and to make up for my rant yesterday) and it is no way sponsored by Blue Apron.  That's how much I love the service and how much I care about you, dear reader.  So go ahead and enter to win - I don't think you'll regret it.

To enter to win, leave a comment here and let me know why you desperately need a few good dinners in your life.  For an extra entry, hop on over and like the Misadventures in Motherhood Facebook page.   Contest ends next Tuesday at midnight.  (one caveat: just make sure to check their delivery areas here before entering - I would hate to leave anyone disappointed and hungry!)

Good luck!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Let's Get Real

I had a whole post planned here today about the Muffin Man's new zest for eating and how he's getting ready to walk and blah, blah, blah, blah.  It was funny and witty and full of my usual self-deprecation and I'm sure you would've enjoyed it, but that all went out the window when I sat down to watch the Oscars last night.  Friends, I am just so unbelievably horrified at the botoxed and plasticized faces and bodies of these women that we, as a society, consider to be the female ideal.  As I watched the TV cameras pan around the Dolby Theater, or show close-ups of this star and that star, I began to notice that almost every single one of them looked like a wax figure.  There were no frown lines, no smile lines, no crows feet, no wrinkled necks or post-baby tummy pooches.  In fact, I'm not sure that the majority of the women making a living as actresses in Hollywood are capable of moving the muscles of their faces to convey a genuine emotion.  When did our standard of beauty here in the United States become something akin to the visage of a porcelain doll instead of that of a human?  Aren't people's faces supposed to be a map of the lives they've lived, as opposed to a calling card for Dr. Rosenblum, FACS?  

I don't know if my newfound outrage has to do with the fact that I am now a Mother, and therefore want the world to be a better place for my offspring, or if it is related to seeing a face in the mirror every morning that is aging rapidly, but whatever the case, I'm on a tear.  I want to see women who look their age and whose faces give me some taste of the sorrows they've felt and the joys they've experienced.  I no longer want to read magazines with photoshopped images gracing the pages.  NO SINGLE (HUMAN) WOMAN IS PERFECT.  It's not possible.  But I don't want to look in the mirror every day and beat myself up because I don't look perfect like the celebrities that grace our TVs and movie screens.  I am a living, breathing, real woman in her thirties, and I don't have a forehead full of Botox and a makeup artist on speed dial to disguise that fact.  My eyebrows are a mess because instead of getting them waxed I'm chasing after a small human who seems to be able to crawl at the speed of light.  Yep, I do have grey hair, and the reason you're seeing it is because trying to find three hours to go get my roots colored is nigh on impossible.

A lot of newsprint and online space is taken up discussing how damaging Hollywood's obsession with weight is to young women, which is all well and good, but I'm concerned with the message that is being sent to women of all ages that it is vital to retain the look of youth no matter what the cost.  The truth is that these people look like freaks.  I can't imagine that Kim Novak's real face could possibly be more frightening than the one she's currently wearing and that was purchased to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Or how about Goldie Hawn, whose visage no longer matches the rest of her?  And let's not leave the men who are guilty of crimes against plastic surgery out of this equation either.  John Travolta, in addition to looking like he walked out of Madame Tussaud's, has apparently had so much work done that he can no longer read a name off of a teleprompter.  This madness has got to stop.

If you're at all skeptical about employing actors with real faces, I urge you to take a look at the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I admit that I found it a bit jarring initially to see women (and men) who look their ages and have the attendant wrinkles and imperfections that go hand-in-hand with getting older, but after a few minutes of seeing this normalcy on the big screen I felt joy, actual happiness, that there exists a world outside of Hollywood where women look like women and not like plastic dolls.  Wouldn't it be refreshing, even validating, to watch a movie at the Arclight and see someone who looks like the rest of us - with all of our numerous flaws - flit across the big screen?  I would definitely feel a heck of a lot more inclined to pay $24 a ticket if I thought I might see a woman more representative of what I and my contemporaries look like.  Hey, I like movie magic as much as the next person, but I could use just a bit more reality thrown in with my fantasy.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just bitter and jaded and I need to pop another Xanax, make an appointment to get some Botox, and think about having a breast lift.

Image courtesy The Hollywood Reporter

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