Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Power Play

I've recently come to the conclusion that there is "babyproofing" and then there's "Noah proofing".  While at first glance there appear to be all these amazing products on the market designed specifically to protect the Muffin Man from falling bookshelves, electrocution and getting into the cleaning supply cabinet, it turns out that my son is smarter than the average toddler and has figured out ways to work around most of these mechanisms.

As you know, we weren't exactly the earliest adaptors of the whole babyproofing thing, but I honestly don't think that my laziness and cheapness are entirely to blame for my son's ability to pursue certain death through multiple layers of plastic.  As is the case with most toddlers, Noah has been obsessed with plugs and power cords since he first began to crawl.  If there was an open socket he was drawn to it like I used to be towards men who are losers.  Since we live in a "charming" (read: old and dumpy) duplex, we only have about three sockets for the whole house, and each is filled with a fire hazard of extension cords, power strips, and plug expanders.  When the babyproofers came and did their walk through they helpfully pointed out that I needed to put everything on power strips and then encase them in this nifty plastic thing that hides all the sockets on the strip.  This seemed like an excellent and very doable solution to my power-loving child problem, so I promptly went out to my local DIY spot and spent a fortune on the strips and accompanying covers.  Once I got all of my loot home I pawned the kiddo off on the Hubby and spent the better part of a weekend afternoon putting giant, hideous plastic boxes full of cords all over my house.  It was an easy fix and one that I was sure would keep Noah from turning himself into a crispy critter while my back was turned.

My child is a very determined little dude.  If he wants something he will do his damnedest to get his hands on it no matter what.  If I'd had even one tenth of his singular focus in terms of my career I probably would be sunning myself by my infinity pool in Bora Bora instead of boring strangers with stories of my bad parenting online, but c'est la vie.  No more than 24 hours after my babyproofing adventures, I discovered my son sitting in the dining room calmly pulling the power strip plug out of the wall socket and trying to put it back in.  Oh, sure, the little plastic box had stopped him from sticking his fingers into the outlets on the surge protectors, but it had completely failed to address the issue of his trying to get access to the original source of the electrical action!  I confess that for a split second I was actually kind of proud of my kid for outsmarting the babyproofing people, but then I came to my senses and realized that his new unplugging skill meant that I would never, ever be able to use the bathroom again while he was awake and that I had essentially wasted a hundred bucks on a bunch of ugly plastic boxes.  I pried the power cord out of Noah's vice grip, for which I was rewarded with a kick in the leg and a twenty-minute tantrum, ultimately a small price to pay in return for his not electrocuting himself.

So we continue to live in the Duplex of Toddler Death and I spend every waking minute hovering over my son in order to keep him from finding yet another way to taunt The Grim Reaper.  In the meantime I'm seriously considering either wearing adult diapers or stopping drinking liquids altogether just to eliminate any serious injury or death while Mommy goes pee pee.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Buy Your Mother Something Nice

Mother's Day is just around the corner, my friends!  I find it ironic that what I would most like to do is spend the day alone on a tropical island with a Pina Colada in one hand and my Kindle in the other while someone else watches my kiddo.  However, we already have an entirely unrelaxing day planned that includes two brunches and a dinner, so look for me to be collapsed in my bed in a fog of exhaustion by 7:30PM.  Here's hoping I can at least catch a nap in the car between engagements.

I know that many of you are hard at work today surfing the internet instead of doing whatever it is you're supposed to be doing inside your cubicle, so I've put together a short little Mother's Day Gift List to help you pick out something wonderful for the Mommies in your life.  Remember, there is nothing she would rather do less than spend time with her children on Mother's Day, so please buy her something nice to make up for it.  



1. A chic Military Jacket is versatile for spring and has lots of pockets for holding kleenex and snacks.

2. The perfect summer sandals that only look expensive.

3. I wish there was such a thing as scratch-and-sniff blog, because this perfume is amazing (and it's my signature scent).

4. The best pajamas that almost makes up for Mom never getting enough sleep.

5. Turn Mom's favorite Instagram photos into a slideshow and bore the heck out of your childless friends!

6. I would love one of these letter bracelets with Baby Girl's initial.  Now if only I could decide on a name...

Happy shopping!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Week End Blahs


I totally have a case of the blahs today, despite it being Friday.  I haven't been feeling so hot this week - exhausted, huge, anxious about what the heck I'm going to do with a second baby - so mostly what I want to do this fine weekend is climb into bed and sleep the day away.  That's probably not going to happen since the Hubby is working crazy hours and I have a small person demanding my attention 24/7, but a woman can dream.

Here are some goodies from around the web that caught my eye this week:



Roasted cauliflower that my kiddo might actually eat.  

Steven Alan for Dr. Scholl's is happening.  If I had the energy I would be hopping up and down.

Reese Witherspoon is going to give Goop a run for it's money - hallelujah.

Photographs documenting the changes in New York from 2004 to now (CBGB's demise was the end of an era, no?).

How to rock yellow for spring.

What to drink since you can no longer afford limes for your Margarita.

This video cracked me up.  

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Lilac photo via Richard

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: I'm Blue


I do my best to maintain some semblance of a social life despite the fact that I would far prefer to spend the balance of my days buried under my bed covers.  Unfortunately, the Muffin Man's version of an entertaining afternoon does not include quietly snuggling with me while I nap.  As such, I often find myself meeting friends for lunch or coffee with the kiddo in tow.  One of our usual neighborhood haunts is great because the food is good but it's also kid friendly.  The kid's menu doubles as a paper placemat, and each kid gets a small box of crayons to draw with in the hopes that this will keep them quiet until the food arrives.  Now that Noah is older and more active, I am all about restaurants that provide activities for my child, because otherwise I might never be able to see my friends who don't have kids and therefore run the risk of permanently losing the ability to converse about something other than diapers and preschool.

Several weeks ago Noah and I met up with a friend of mine at the aforementioned neighborhood spot and settled in for a leisurely lunch (by toddler standards this means any meal that lasts longer than 15 minutes).  We placed our order, the waitress gave Noah some crayons, and I sat back to listen to my friend's stories of single life in LA.  Prior to this particular afternoon, I think that the Muffin Man had only drawn with crayons once while at some other munchkin's house.  As you know if you're a faithful reader of the blog, I'm not exactly the hippest Mother on the block when it comes to introducing new activities to my child.  Honestly, if it weren't for my Sister-in-Law giving me helpful hints I'd probably still be expecting Noah to lie on his activity mat doing tummy time.  Obviously it never occurred to me that now might be an appropriate time to introduce art supplies, so my poor, deprived kid wasn't on a first-name basis with crayons.  I did a few orange squiggles on his placemat to demonstrate what the things were for, and then set him loose with a rainbow of waxy sticks and hoped for the best.  

For the most part, our meal seemed to be proceeding well.  Noah was quiet, I got to live vicariously through my friend's sexual escapades, and I even managed to eat most of what I ordered without interruption.  For those of you who are not yet parents let me preface this by saying that whenever a toddler is quiet for longer than a few seconds or a minute, he's usually up to something suspicious.  I really should've been aware that something was going on, but between my pregnancy starvation level and my friend's scintillating stories I was mostly just thankful to have a few uninterrupted moments to eat some protein (while sitting in an actual chair) and hear about the current trends in dating (n.b. men of LA: please stop expecting sex if you're not willing to pay for a woman's cocktail).  I don't know what Noah did that caught my attention, but when I looked over at him his mouth was completely blue and, instead of eating his almond butter sandwich, he was about to devour a final bite of Blue crayon.  While I'd been completely enthralled by the 50 Shades of Grey antics of my fickle friend across the table, my kid had made himself a meal of an indigestible waxy substance in a bright primary color.  I snatched that crayon out of his sweaty little grip, attempted to clean his mouth of whatever wax shavings were still lurking behind his molars, and forced him to chug an entire sippy cup of water.

Apparently, crayon companies understand that many children find colorful sticks of wax to be irresistible, which is why they are non-toxic.  I'm terribly thankful for this, as it would've been a real downer had my ladies-who-lunch afternoon turned into a stomach-pumping-in-the-ER kind of day, though I probably could've convinced my friend to go with us by suggesting the possibility of an assignation with a handsome Doctor.  Amazingly, Noah's crayon lunch didn't seem to upset his stomach, though I did find his Smurf-colored mouth and blue poop to be rather off putting.

You'll be glad to know that I have since purchased a lovely box of (washable) crayons for Noah to play with at home.  He really seems to enjoy them now that he's learned that they are for drawing and not, in fact, an appetizer.  

Crayon photo courtesy Woodley Wonderworks

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Get Your Earth Day Groove On


Apparently today is Earth Day, which means I'll spend the day feeling twice as guilty than I normally do for refusing to use cloth diapers and not composting my kale stems.  As some of my long time readers know, I spent my formative years in Berkeley, the center of the universe for all things hippy-dippy and Earth-centric.  I don't know where the idea of Earth Day came from, but if it didn't originate from some stoned-out-of-his-gourd environmental studies major at UC Berkeley, I'd be pretty shocked.  Anywho, I attended private grade school right in the heart of Berkeley for K-8, and while much of what I learned was excellent and challenging and entirely responsible for the closeted nerd that I am, there were a number of things that occurred at my school that were... countercultural to say the least.

My school made a HUGE deal of Earth Day every year, so I have vague recollections of making flower crowns and sitting in the quad participating in some sort of drum circle.  These activities were lead by teachers, mind you, specifically my math teacher who also happened to be a Dead Head and who often missed school due to the fact that she had hopped in her VW Bus and either gone on a bender or headed out to wherever The Dead were playing that week.  Based on that description I think you probably won't be surprised that she didn't wear a bra or deodorant and that on the last day of classes she played a Sounds of the Rain Forest CD, sprayed us with water and told us to "close our eyes and imagine we were in Brazil".  Welcome to a childhood spent in Berkeley, my friends.  

Now that I'm an adult and a parent, I'm both sort of horrified at the fact that some of these individuals were allowed to mold the minds of young children, yet also grateful for the unique experiences I had.  Growing up in Berkeley was a lesson in the dichotomies of life; surrounded on the one hand by the brilliant minds at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Labs and the attendant high salaries and wealth that went along with that, while on the opposite end of the spectrum there were Schizophrenic homeless people roaming the streets and pooping on the doorsteps of the aforementioned Professor's homes.  It's truly a magical, mystical land of peace, love, and public defecation, my friends.  

Anyway, I wish you a Happy Earth Day, whatever that means for you.  While I won't be participating in any drumming circles or making flower crowns, I just might download some Sounds of the Brazilian Rainforest to share with the Muffin Man.

In the spirit of the day, I'm sharing a fantastic recipe for All Natural Dishwasher Detergent with you.  It's so much cheaper than the (toxic) stuff from the store and better for the environment!

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Baking Soda
1 tablespoon LemiShine
1/2 cup Kosher Salt

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.  Use 1 tablespoon per load, plus some white vinegar added to the rinse cycle.  
This is especially amazing if you have hard water like we do in Los Angeles.  

Happy Earth-friendly cleaning!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mommy Wants an F-ing Cracker

Okay, fess up.  How many of you have a seriously terrible Easter candy hangover thanks to your uncontrollable urge to steal chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs from your children?!  It's an epidemic, I'm telling you.  I've managed to dodge the candy blues only thanks to the fact that I have to take the horrible, no good, very bad Glucose Tolerance Test tomorrow and I refuse to flunk.  I'm eating only proteins and veggies and all the food that's good for you and all I want to do is take myself to Dylan's Candy Bar and eat my way through every single bin.  Forcing a pregnant woman to abstain from eating anything with carbs or sugars is some kind of terrorist-sanctioned torture, especially around Easter time.  Thanks to Noah's young age, the contents of his Easter baskets were mostly little toys, but the one dark chocolate bunny he did receive is taunting me each time I walk by it grinning at me from our sideboard.  I can guarantee you that as soon as they draw my blood tomorrow I will be committing some sort of hate crime against chocolate animals and devouring that bunny's innocent, smiling face.  I'm salivating just thinking about it.  

Other than my inability to consume anything with flavor we had a lovely Easter that actually included  a wonderful brunch and time spent with family.  I can't tell you what a nice change it was to sit down at the dining room table and have a civilized meal (complete with tablecloth and silver place settings) instead of just eating my son's leftovers off of his highchair tray.  It's the little things you appreciate once you become a parent; pathetic, I know.  

I'm off to attempt to assuage my constant hunger and sugar cravings with yet another serving of f-ing raw nuts, so if you happen to hear loud sobs coming from the vicinity of Koreatown adjacent, it's just me standing in my kitchen, longing for a carbohydrate.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Have an Egg-tastic Weekend


Happy weekend my lovelies!  I hope you have something fun planned, especially if you're lucky enough to have today off from work.  Sunday we're headed to an Easter egg hunt and brunch with the family, since we never miss an excuse to celebrate a Christian holiday.  I'm looking forward to seeing the Muffin Man thoroughly confused by the idea of searching for hidden eggs, as it should be hilarious.  Ah well, in future years he'll just be confused about why a bunch of Jewish people celebrate Easter and Christmas.

In other news I'm super excited to be the featured small space dweller over at A Home Full of Color today!  If you stop by there you can get a glimpse at my nifty little office space and see a few shots of Noah's nursery.  Shavonda has incredible style and a great aesthetic, so if you're not already familiar with her blog and you're a fan of interior design you're in for a treat.  

Here are a few interesting goodies from around the interweb this week:



I wish I had the energy to make some polka dot Easter eggs.


I love this beautiful (and affordable) abstract art.


What you need for the well-equipped home bar.

I'm loving this embroidered top.

Baked eggs for Sunday brunch (easy enough that I might actually make them).

Have a beautiful weekend!

xoxo


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Natural Birth, Take Two?

Oh sh*t, you mean I have to give birth again?
The party is happening over at Laughing My Vag Off today, kittens.  This week I'm ruminating on the fact that I just realized I'm going to actually have to give birth again rather than Baby Girl simply arriving on my doorstep in a shower of fairy dust and Unicorn sparkles.  Sucks for me, but it makes for an entertaining read for you!

Enjoy!

xoxo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Booze Hound

I am currently learning that being a Mother means sacrificing any hope of having a relaxing meal while in the company of your child for approximately five to ten years.  Monday night's seder was certainly no exception.  As I detailed in yesterday's post, the Muffin Man was not at his best.  As a result I was frazzled, exhausted and half paying attention to anything that didn't involve bribing my son to stay quiet long enough for the other guests to hear one page of the Haggadah without the accompanying wails of an overtired toddler.

A big part of each Passover seder is the consumption of a significant amount of (Kosher) wine, which probably explains why I've always enjoyed this particular holiday.  While the adult guests are expected to polish off a few bottles of vino by the end of the meal, the younger not-yet-a-man set receive glasses of grape juice.  For those of my dear readers who are not members of the tribe or who have never been to a seder, let me just preface this by explaining that kosher wine and kosher grape juice are the exact same color.  I suppose in good lighting and with younger eyes one might detect a slight variation, but to me they appear interchangeable.  Therefore, when the cups were doled out to everyone sitting at the table, I assumed that Noah had received one holding grape juice.  I poured some water into the glass to cut the juice and handed it to him, assuming that he would react in the same way he'd reacted to everything else that night and either reject it out of hand or fling it back in my face.  I was pleasantly surprised when, for the first time all evening, my son finally quieted down.  He was so busy guzzling the delicious sugar-filled nectar of the grape Gods that he couldn't open his mouth to complain or even spare a hand to throw matzoh across the room.  Just as Noah was draining the last of his cup, someone came by to offer him a glass of grape juice.  When I explained that he had already received one, the hostess looked at me in horror and told me that she hadn't poured any prior to this and had only given out cups of wine.  Oh, excellent.  While I was taking a moment to relax and thank whoever was smart enough to invent grape juice, my kid had been lapping up a significant portion of wine.  I quickly grabbed the cup out of Noah's hand, hoping against hope that he had not consumed so much alcohol that I would have to take him to the hospital and risk his being taken from me by the Department of Children and Family Services.  Well folks, the apple must not fall far from the tree because my kid had sucked that cup dry.  I'm pretty sure had I not grabbed it from his sweaty grip that he would've actually taken the time to lick the last few droplets of wine from the sides of the glass.

Let me just say that Noah was none too thrilled to have his beverage snatched unexpectedly from his his hands, despite my promptly replacing the cup o' booze with one filled with grape juice.  That was essentially the beginning of the end of our Passover evening, since Noah screaming for more wine combined with my anxiety over having inadvertently allowed my child to drink enough alcohol to get a sorority girl tipsy didn't make us the best party guests.  Thankfully, he doesn't seem to have sustained any lasting damage from his Passover bender, though I am planning to look into whether there's an AA meeting for the five and under set, just in case.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seder with a Side of Neuroses


At least we looked cute.
I am completely and totally flipping out about how I am going to juggle having a newborn and a toddler at the same time.  Yesterday was a total sh*t show at Casa Lane, my friends.  As you may be aware, Passover began last night at sundown, so we were scheduled for family seder at 6PM.  Under normal circumstances, this would have been no big deal other than being a half hour or so later than the Muffin Man is used to dining.  However, in typical Jewish holiday style, Noah refused to take an afternoon nap, which meant that by the time he was expected to be on his best behavior for a reading of the Haggadah and a serving of gefilte fish, he was having none of it.  He refused to sit in his high chair, he threw his yarmulke across the room like a frisbee at least ten times, and he wouldn't eat anything other than a few pieces of matzoh.  As I sat at the seder table last night watching my exhausted son melt down over a piece of unleavened bread shmeared with chicken liver, I really did have the thought that I am not up to the task of having two children.  I know that people do it all the time and that some even manage to have two kids, no family nearby and no help, but those folks must be superhuman or something.  I can't for the life of me grasp how I am going to be able to wrangle two children at once.  Just trying to get myself and Noah dressed for dinner yesterday wore me out.  Here's the best part: we didn't even get a chance to eat dinner with the family because the Muffin Man got so tired that he wasn't able to be coerced into silence with YouTube videos.  Yes, the brisket and potato kugel were delicious eaten cold in front of the TV,  but I was so wiped out from our adventures of Passover with a toddler that I fell asleep while eating a macaroon.

We will, of course, manage somehow.  Most likely with the aid of too much coffee and alcohol, but either way it's happening.  I'm sure at some point in the near future having two kids will be the norm and I'll roll my eyes at myself for ever making a big deal about it, but you know I have to be neurotic and overdramatic about pretty much everything.  My therapist claims it helps me "process", which is probably total BS, but it does make me feel better, and that's what I pay her for.

On a related note: is there no child-friendly Haggadah that we might be able to use next year?  I appreciate the free Maxwell House one as much as the next Jewish gal, but it would be nice if one existed that moved things along a bit faster and had cute drawings of animals wearing yarmulkes or something.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Slip Into Something More Comfortable


This is a sponsored post.  I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

Seriously, folks, the Muffin Man is wearing me out.  To be fair, I don't have quite as much energy as usual thanks to the fact that I'm carrying around a developing human and an additonal 20 pounds or so, but my kiddo is so active that chasing after him sometimes leaves me short of breath.  This week his newest trick is climbing - out of the bathtub, onto the top of the couch, from the glider into his crib - so you can imagine just how easy it is to get him to lay still in order to change his diapers.  Oh, and did I mention how strong Noah is?  He's a lean, mean fighting machine, so holding him down while also trying to avoid getting either of us covered in poop is not an option.  Noah does not respond favorably to missing one single second of play time for something as trivial as a wet diaper!  Needless to say, this complicates things, since I really don't have the stamina to overpower a kicking, screaming, 22-pound whirling dervish, yet it's also considered child abuse to leave a baby in a dirty diaper too long.  What is an exhausted and overwhelmed mother to do?  Thanks to Huggies Little Movers Slip-Ons, I now have a solution.

The Little Movers Slip-On diapers are designed just for kiddos like Noah who are extremely active and new to the whole standing/walking thing.  When you have a munchkin who wants to move all the time, trying to get a traditional diaper in place is a real pain in the butt (no pun intended).  It's almost like attempting to hit a moving target with a vibrating gun - not easy.  Prior to discovering the Slip-On diapers we purchased a different brand of pull-up type pants at the suggestion of a Mommy friend who said that they were easier to use on busy little folks.  While the idea was fantastic, those particular diapers were designed for older kids getting ready to potty train, and so they just didn't fit well at all.  I had constant leakage problems and I actually ended up donating most of them to Baby2Baby and going back to my usual brand.  The Huggies Slip-Ons, on the other hand, work really, really well.  We haven't had a single leak, they fit the Muffin Man perfectly, and best of all they make changing him go much faster, as they are pre-fastened, yet the sides open easily when you're ready to take them off.   I've found that they are especially easy to change while he's standing up and distracted by something else, which means he's less likely to land a strong punch to my solar plexus in an attempt to avoid having to lay still.

Now you know that I am all about saving you sheckels here on the ol' blog, which is why I've got a fantastic coupon here for you to save $1.00 on any package of Huggies Slip-On Diapers.  If you share a link with three friends you can save $1.50 on the package, so spread the love and save yourself some coinage.  You do have to register with Huggies.com in order to obtain the coupon, but then you can start redeeming points from all your diaper purchases and eventually you'll earn more coupons and free diapers, so it's pretty much a win-win situation.

In the meantime we'll just be over here at Casa Lane dancing around in our underwear now that it not longer takes three large adults to change one small little boy's poopy diapers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Get Down with Your Weekend


I can't even tell you how happy I am that it's the weekend.  I'm not really sure why I'm excited considering I have to attend two birthday parties for children and the Hubby is working all weekend, so let's just chalk it up to delusion and call it a day, shall we?

If you're going to Coachella this weekend I think it's safe to assume you have no children.  Seriously, though, wear a hat and put on some damn sunscreen so you don't fry like a piece of bacon out there in the ol' desert. 

Here are a few odds and ends that caught my attention this week:

This piece on how to survive a kid's birthday party is perfectly timed.

I'll be mixing up a batch of toasted coconut margaritas just as soon as I evict Baby #2.

Metal Cats is awesome.



Dark chocolate coconut macaroons just in time for Passover 2014!

I'm pretty much in love with Man Repeller thanks to this post.

Feta and lemon dip is so happening this weekend.


Have a great weekend my lovelies!

xoxo

photo courtesy Thomas Hawk

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Your Laugh for the Day

It's been one of those weeks, my friends.  The Muffin Man isn't napping well due to the construction disturbances, the tantrums are happening more and more frequently, and the Hubs is beyond stressed out at work.  Needless to say I am counting the days until I can enjoy a very large, extremely cold vodka martini and not this "one glass of wine a week" BS.

Have you seen this hilarious video?  Those of you with kids will love it.  Those of you without kids will probably never want to have sex again.




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: For the Love of Pens

The Muffin Man is obsessed with pens.  I don't know why he happens to be so in love with writing implements, but given the choice between a fine point Bic and an age-appropriate toy, he will, without fail, choose the pen.  I wish I could tell you that I've been a vigilant parent and haven't allowed him to indulge his marker fetish, but the truth is that I've been pretty laissez-faire about the whole thing and haven't enforced a "no pens for Noah" policy.  I've been careful not to let him have any pens with small caps that could be easily swallowed and lead to a visit to the good ol' Cedars Sinai ER, but I did indulge his proclivity with a perfectly safe, tightly-sealed orange highlighter that seemed to be harmless (i.e. no sharp nibs that could lead to the loss of an eye or an easily removable cap).

This approach worked well for us for a while, as it avoided Noah standing at my desk throwing tantrums while pointing at the pen jar and screaming "mine, mine, mine" or "that, that, that".  I'd actually been feeling extremely proud of myself for my ingenuity in finding a pen-shaped item that kept my son happy but also prevented me from having to follow him around like a low-hovering traffic copter.  Well my friends, as if to prove once again that my Mothering instincts are far below an acceptable, non-danger causing threshold, Monday morning I came this close to having to perform an emergency tracheotomy with a kitchen knife.  Somehow, despite my taping the cap onto his orange highlighter, my child managed to disengage the top and put it in his gaping maw.  I'm not quite sure how I didn't notice that he'd scraped off the roll of tape I'd wrapped around the stupid thing, but in my defense I was only two sips into my first cup of coffee and I am not a morning person.  Thankfully, I did see that Noah was up to no good before he finished his breakfast of marker top, so I leapt to my feet, grabbed him with both hands and performed the incredibly useful "turn them upside down and slap them on the back" maneuver.  (New and prospective parents, if you haven't learned this lifesaving trick I urge you to watch a YouTube video now and practice.  I promise you, it will come in handy, probably more than you ever imagined.)  The cap shot straight out of Noah's mouth like a champagne cork, he screamed bloody murder, and I collapsed on the couch exhausted from my one hour of high-intensity mothering.

Now, of course, I can't allow Noah to play with pens.  Honestly, this is akin to attempting to wean a heroine addict off of the smack.  He sweats, he shakes, he stands at my desk eyeing the cup of pens for hours on end and wailing over the loss of his oh-so-precious vice.  I contemplated letting him have his beloved orange highlighter without the top, but my home decor really can't withstand any more abuse, and I feel as though it's simply enabling his addiction.  So he's been forced to quit the Pentels cold turkey. It's certainly not been pleasant, and I think we have quite a few days of wailing and possible sleep regression in our future, but in the end it will be worth it.  Just as long as he doesn't trade his pen obsession for something even more dangerous; remind me to make sure the baby lock is working on the drawer holding the butter knives.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Casa Construction


Things are a little bit hectic around Casa Lane this week, my friends.  In addition to the usual insanity that is being pregnant and taking care of a toddler, I have construction workers here doing enough repairs to practically build a new house.  Remember when I thought we might have to move out of our duplex because our landlord decided to sell the place?  The good news is that we don't have to move and our new landlady is AH-MAZING.  The bad news is that the place is essentially falling down around our ears and that in order to avoid being buried under a pile of plaster dating from 1922 when the next Earthquake hits, we're going to have to put up with a few weeks of home repairs.

Here's the problem: the biggest repair that has to be done is, essentially, a complete re-do of our bathroom.  While on the one hand I'm thrilled that we will no longer have to live with a tub that refuses to hold water and a cracked toilet (slumlord, anyone?), we have to make ourselves scarce for two weeks while they do all the construction, and by "make ourselves scarce" I mean actually live somewhere else.  Before I had a child I would've thrilled at the idea of a forced vacation and would've spent hours and hours planning some sort of exciting getaway.  Now that I'm the primary caretaker for a small being who doesn't respond well to his schedule being disturbed, I'm dreading our forced vacancy.  Honestly, I can't even get the Muffin Man to nap in the Pack n Play at his Nana's house, so I'm not sure how well he's going to handle having to sleep in the thing at night in a strange location.  I suspect that I'm in for a rather brutal stretch of sleepless nights and a fussy toddler, but at least I'll be able to take a nice, long bubble bath to reward me for my trials when we return.

I wish that we could all hightail it to Hawaii for a few weeks so that at least we would be exhausted in a tropical paradise, but the Hubby is in the midst of opening two restaurants back-to-back and can barely get away from work for a meal and a few hours of sleep each night.  Needless to say he's none too thrilled about our upcoming sabbatical either, but at least he's not prone to tantrums.

So, I'm turning to you, dear readers: what advice can you give me about being away from home with a toddler in tow?  Where shall we go, and how do I keep the Muffin Man from completely falling to pieces?  Should I simply check myself into the nut house now and call it a day?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Get Your Weekend Groove On


Happy Friday, my chickadees!  I hope you have something fun and fantastic planned for your weekend.  Tomorrow morning I'm ditching the kiddo with Gramma and heading out for an all-too-rare brunch with my girlfriends and I'm really excited about it.  I plan to relax, indulge in a mimosa, and enjoy conversing without being interrupted by a toddler.

Here are a few linkety-links that perked my interest over the past couple days:

The horrors of being a Hollywood Personal Assistant has the interweb abuzz.

A cool new paint tool for all of us DIY-ers.

Quinoa burrito bowls are right up my alley.

A better blowdryer is the key to cute hair.  Looks like I need to pick up one of these options.

I'm kind of obsessed with Oh Joy for Land of Nod (ice cream sprinkle crib sheet please).

As a history nerd I loved this story about May Day in New York.

Honey Maid is pretty much awesome (but I still won't buy graham crackers - too much sugar).

This piece about L'Wren Scott's glamorous lifestyle being a sham really struck me.

A bag that charges your cellphone and looks stylish.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

P.S. - if you haven't checked out my latest piece over on Stroller Traffic or signed up for their awesome daily emails, you're missing out on all things fun, cool and hip for the three and under set!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Cold Hands Warm Heart

Sometimes I think that I'm doing pretty well at this whole Motherhood thing.  I've managed to keep my child alive for going on 15 months now, and I haven't had to be checked in for an extended stay at the Hotel for Crazies, but it does seem that the minute I start patting myself on the back and giving my parenting skills a thumbs up, I have cause to discover that I am far from acing the mothering game.

Sunday morning we set out for a nice little road trip to Santa Barbara.  I was very organized this time, as I got us all packed up the night before.  I had extra clothes, lots of diapers, a lunch for Noah; I  really thought that I was hitting it out of the motherhood park, folks.  All went swimmingly until we made our first stop at the Ventura County flea market.  It was a bit of a brisk spring day here in the southland, which means that the skies were blue and the sun was shining, but there was a strong breeze and the air was chilly.  I realize, of course, that "chilly" in Los Angeles parlance is considered "shorts weather" on the East Coast, but for those of us whose blood has been thinned by too much time in the sun, it was cooler than we're used to.  The flea market was outside, right next to the ocean, on the Ventura County Fair Grounds.  As those of you who are coastal dwellers know, it's windy at the seaside, and this was no exception.  I was terribly glad that I had brought a warm little hoodie for Noah, because it hadn't occurred to me to account for wind chill factor when looking at the weather report.

As we cruised around the flea market with Noah in his stroller, I began to notice lots of other toddlers in strollers as well.  Unlike Noah, however, these toddlers were all cozied up under blankets, and a few were even wearing mittens.  As more and more carriages rolled by with their passengers wrapped up for a winter in the Arctic, I began to panic.  Here I was, blithely rolling my child along in his flimsy umbrella stroller with nary a blanket, wool cap or mitten in sight while the wind howled around his ears.  I was risking my son's health all in the name of finding a good bargain on midcentury modern bedside tables.  Perhaps what I found most distressing about the experience was that I didn't even have a blanket stashed in the car.  For some reason I've never quite gotten my sh*t together enough to outfit my trunk like a second nursery with a changing table, and my poor son was now freezing to death because of it.

Needless to say, we didn't stay too long at the flea market.  Once I noticed that Noah's little hands were like icicles and that his lips were turning blue, I decided that I would have to sacrifice my desire for stylish home decor in favor of being a (somewhat) responsible parent.  I did, however, pick up a fabulous little Mad Men-esque desk lamp for $20, so at least if Noah catches pneumonia or an ear infection it won't be for naught.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Mess


I really wasn't kidding when I posted that on Twitter, my friends.  When I arrived home yesterday afternoon and took in the state of my living room, I actually thought we had been burglarized.  Once I realized that our flat screen TV as well as our computers wouldn't still be in our home had we actually been robbed, it dawned on me that the mess was simply the work of The Muffin Man.  One small little boy who can't even walk is capable of creating a mess equal to that of three adult burglars on the prowl for easy-to-fence items.  

I don't think that I was in any way, shape, or form, prepared for the filth and disarray that comes with parenting.  I admit to being a bit of a neurotic, OCD-prone control freak, so it hasn't been an easy transition for me to live with a toddler.  Before I gave birth to the Muffin Man I had a neat and tidy living room, an organized desk, and a spotless kitchen.  Behold the state of my kitchen this morning, after 15 minutes at the hands of my son:


I think you can see why I thought we'd been robbed yesterday.  

I would like to tell you that I'll have the mess cleaned up and my home restored to its pristine condition in no time, but the truth is that's probably not going to happen.  The good news is that I've finally found something that adequately treats my OCD; it's called exhaustion.