Monday, June 30, 2014

Baby On Board

Assuming that Baby Girl doesn't make an early entrance downstage vagina, we're just one week and four days away from my enjoying a very dry martini.  Oh, and you know, having a second child. I still haven't packed my hospital bag or brought in the cradle from the garage or installed the infant carseat or anything, but I've spent an awful lot of time cruising Pinterest for nursery wall decor ideas, so there is that.

I suppose the best part about being a second time parent is that you're much more relaxed about everything.  In my case I didn't think it was possible to be more relaxed about Motherhood without being deceased, but it turns out there's a level of chill beneath even my laissez faire parenting style.  Just imagine how much more cool, calm, and collected I would be if I could still take Xanax! (read: sedated).  

You'll be proud to hear that I am fully and totally committed to the whole natural birth thing again, so I've been practicing my self-hypnosis techniques and taking all these weird homeopathic supplements and drinking bucket loads of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to tone my uterus (gross, I know) so I'm hoping this kid pretty much just slides out like she's on a ride at Raging Waters.  I was a little bit on the fence a few months ago about going the au natural route, but if you've done it once it seems like kind of a cop out not to do it again.  Anyway, it's incredibly empowering to give birth naturally, it's supposed to be easier the second time around, and they pump you up with pain drugs afterwards, so what's not to like?!  

On that note, I am going to be taking a few weeks off from blogging here at MiM while I recover from pushing a large human out of my lady parts.  If I can get my sh*t together I'll try and have some interesting posts lined up for while I'm away, but considering I can't seem to find the time to shower and finish all my pre-registration hospital paperwork I can't promise anything.  Don't worry, I'm not signing off until the end of this week, so that gives you a few days to get used to the idea of having to survive corporate drudgery without my internet musings.  

And now I'm off to pack my hospital bag... right after I check out what's happening on Pinterest.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hello, Weekend!

Happy Friday, my lovelies!  We are in the final two week stretch and Baby Girl could arrive anytime, so I guess that means I really should take the time to pack my hospital bag.  But really, why plan ahead when you can throw a bunch of random crap in a suitcase while you're in labor, am I right?  Needless to say, I plan to spend most of this weekend finishing up my (very long) baby to-do list.  We'll see how well that goes, considering I now get tired just walking up the stairs, so I suspect I'm more likely to be found sitting on my patio chairs drinking sparkling water and bemoaning how much there still is left to do.  What are you up to this glorious summer weekend?

Here are some interesting bits and bobs that caught my eye around the internet lately:

I have fantasies of moving the family to Paris.  Especially if I can live here.  

A wooden map of a favorite city would make such a cool gift.

I'm all about the blueberry coconut smoothie for a mid-morning pick me up.

Apparently, it's possible to look younger without Botox.  (Who knew?!)

I can't wait to read Joan Rivers' new book.

This article made me feel a teeny bit better about having another kid.  

I'll be making some blood orange mojitos just as soon as I evict this kiddo from Casa Uterus.  

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Clean Up Your Mouth

Vacuums are the in thing with the toddler set.  
We're finally back in our house again post bathroom remodel.  I wish I could tell you that everything has been put away and that Baby Girl's room is ready for her impending arrival, but the sad truth of the matter is that we're living in a fortress of moving boxes, I still haven't found time to unpack our suitcases, and Baby Girl's room is not even close to being complete.  The good news is that our bathroom is wonderful and I'm sure I'll really enjoy using it just as soon as I clear a path to the tub.

While I may not have had a chance to get us fully moved back in, I was forced to do some cleaning here at Casa Lane in order to make our house marginally habitable.  As I'm sure you can imagine, I do not excel at cleaning or other domestic chores, so I'll leave you to imagine just how dirty the house was to have driven me to pick up a dust rag and a vacuum cleaner.  Despite my laissez-faire parenting attitude, I didn't want the Muffin Man sleeping in a bedroom filled with plaster dust and construction detritus, so the first thing I did upon arriving back to the ol' homestead was get to work cleaning his room just enough to tide us over until the professionals (AKA my housekeeper) arrived.  

In the process of my cleaning whirlwind, I discovered that a picture had fallen off of the wall and the glass had shattered.  This is a pain in the ass for two reasons: one, I really don't have the time or energy to deal with going out and finding a new frame for the thing, but two, broken glass goes everywhere.  I essentially had to dismantle Noah's entire room and use every single vacuum cleaner attachment in order to clean up the mess.  Under normal circumstances this wouldn't be such a big deal, but I happen to have a toddler who is OBSESSED with vacuum cleaners.  I don't know how this happened, as it's certainly not because he's watched me use one on more than say, two occasions, but nevertheless if my kid sees something even remotely resembling a canister vacuum he is singularly focused on playing with it.  Obviously, this caused a bit of a problem when I was cleaning his room, as it resulted in his standing in the bedroom doorway, screaming "I want that!" at the top of his lungs while the Hubs held him back.  It was like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, let me tell you.  

There's nothing quite like exhaustion and a loud, annoying toddler to wear down one's defenses, so after completing my vacuum tour of the nursery, I gave in and let my son play with his favorite appliance while I finished dusting.  A few minutes later I heard Noah crunching on something.  When I asked Noah what he was eating, he gave me a big grin and opened his mouth to reveal a two inch sliver of glass.  Apparently, some of the glass that I'd picked up in the vacuum hose didn't make it all the way into the body of the vacuum, so of course the Muffin Man dug it out of the hose and decided to see how delicious it tasted!  Because who doesn't love glass as an afternoon pick-me-up?

I managed to keep my cool and extract the glass from my kiddo's gaping maw without causing any injury to either of us.  Shockingly, Noah and the inside of his mouth appear to be unharmed.  I, on the other hand, am having recurring nightmares about him chewing his way through plate glass windows,   and have been unable to find a toddler-proof hiding place for the vacuum cleaner.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parents on the Loose (Sponsored)

Caution: parents out alone.  Irrational excitement may occur.  
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Taxi Magic.  I received a promotional code to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

We are T-minus three weeks away from Baby Girl's arrival, so things have been just a teensy bit hectic around these parts.  In addition to the fact that I haven't had a chance to finish putting our house back together post bathroom remodel and that I'm completely overwhelmed with things that still need to be done before the baby arrives, the Hubs and I have been making an effort to have a few dates before we become parents of TWO.

Sunday afternoon we took advantage of some free Grandparent childcare and took ourselves to a cultural event.  I know this is a truly revolutionary thing to do here in Los Angeles, where movies are considered culture, but keep in mind that the Hubs and I used to live in New York (AKA the center of the cultural universe) where we made it a point to see a play and go to a museum once a week.  Our destination yesterday was the Ahmanson Theater to see David Suchet in The Last Confession.  We planned to make an afternoon of it and enjoy a leisurely brunch before the show, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to use Taxi Magic so that we could both enjoy some champagne as part of our last hurrah (yes, I'm one of those pregnant ladies who drinks wine.  Breathe and stop panicking).

I admit that I was awfully excited to not only have some time alone with Chris, but also to be driven around by someone else for once.  As a former New Yorker, one of the things I miss the most is the ability to binge drink without concern for how to get home safely, and never having to worry about where to park.  Needless to say, my days of binge drinking are behind me, but I'll always appreciate not having to search for parking.  We got ourselves all gussied up (I even shaved my legs), I opened up my Taxi Magic App, clicked "I'm ready to go!", confirmed my address as the pick-up location and then... was taken to a screen informing me that electronic booking is not yet available in my area.  At first I assumed this was a glitch.  After all, the app had just shown me a little map with four taxicabs positioned within blocks of my house!  So I restarted my phone and tried again, only to receive the same message again.  So there we were, all ready to get our afternoon old-married-couple date party started, without a designated driver at our service.  Total bummer.

We could have called to order the cab, but considering that the play started at 1pm and we were already running on "parents of a toddler time", we really didn't have the time to start calling the cab companies and waiting for whoever got dispatched to our house.  So we decided to reign in our alcohol consumption and drove ourselves downtown.

The good news is that we had a really, really great time.  We spent four luxurious hours alone, of which we spent only about three-quarters of the time talking about our children, and we really enjoyed the play.

As far as Taxi Magic goes, they are in the process of improving their service here in the land of concrete and broken dreams, so hopefully my home address will be eligible in the near future.  I love the idea of it - that you don't have to make a phone call and that all payment is handled electronically - so I'm hoping to get a chance to take advantage of my "designated driver in an App" sometime soon.  Hey, it's only three more weeks until I can hit the margarita bar again, so this Taxi Magic discount code should come in awfully handy for my first post-baby girls night out.

Because I always have your best interest at heart, I'm offering you $15 off of your first ride with the promo code MomMagic14.  Get your binge drink on and then app yourself a cab, why don't you!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life's a Beach

Well, hello there, strangers!  I'm back from my coastal sojourn and trying to catch up on everything that didn't get accomplished while I was frolicking in the sand.  We had a wonderful time, though I have to say that traveling with a toddler isn't exactly what one would call "relaxing".  It was truly a treat to have some time alone with the Hubs and the Muffin Man, though, so it was definitely a much needed respite.

The weather in Laguna was absolutely spectacular - hot in the sun with a cool breeze - and my two boys had a great time digging sand castles and swimming in the ocean.

I will tell you that Chris and I spent a lot of time laughing about how much our lives have changed since we became parents.  Prior to welcoming Noah into the fold, we used to wake up around 11am, read the New York Times cover-to-cover, head to the beach for a lazy afternoon of sun tanning and cocktails, which was followed up with a romantic dinner and a nightcap.  Oh, and of course, lots of sex (which is how we ended up on vacation with a toddler in the first place, natch).  It's a good thing we had six of years of that before we became parents because those days are over.  And I mean O-V-E-R.  We never even set foot inside the lobby bar, we couldn't go out to eat because we had no childcare, and we were sharing a room with a small child who kept waking up every few hours, so I'll leave you to guess how much romantic "alone time" we had.

Here's the thing, though: we had a really fun time.  Yes, it's different and no longer involves sex, cocktails and uninterrupted reading time, but it's awesome to see your child experience playing in the ocean for the first time.  Though I certainly wouldn't have complained if we'd gotten a little more sleep.

All I can say is thank goodness for room service coffee.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Have a Dad-tastic Weekend

Happy Father's Day weekend, my lovelies!  We are hitting the road and heading to Laguna Beach for a few days, and I can't wait.  Sure, I'm as big as a whale and we're taking our extremely active toddler with us, but I'm mainly excited just to get the heck out of dodge and spend some time alone with my boys.  We're being selfish and ditching the extended family get together and neither of us feel guilty about it.  So there.  Hopefully you're a better person than I am and you've already done all of your Father's Day shopping, but just in case you're as behind the eight ball as I am and you're planning to take advantage of Amazon's overnight shipping, I've got some great ideas on my "not just another tie" gift list.

Here are some goodies that caught my eye this past week:

How to style a bookshelf.  I presume this is for people who don't have toddlers.

T-minus four weeks until I can indulge in cucumber cocktails again.  Hallelujiah!

What's your feeling on #selfies at Auschwitz?

I'm having major fashion lust over this leopard t-shirt.

What not to buy the Dads in your life this Father's Day (use my handy gift guide instead).

People are amazing (warning: have kleenex at hand).

Vegan coconut and pistachio ice cream sounds SO GOOD.

Baby products you definitely don't need (these are hilarious).

In celebration of mad Daddy skillz.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Stairway to Hell, Part Deux

We've been bunking in with my parents for the last several weeks while our bathroom gets remodeled, and so far it's been working out pretty well, other than the fact that I'm unable to take my usual "staying with my Mother" dose of Xanax, and their house hasn't been babyproofed.  I'm a relatively laissez-faire parent, as you know, but I do find that it's sometimes difficult to find a balance between letting one's child take healthy risks and keeping him from seriously injuring himself.  Trust me, this is no easy feat, especially when there are two sets of stairs at Casa Grandparents, and the Muffin Man wants nothing more than to swing from the bannisters like some sort of Cirque de Soleil act for the three and under set.

The other day Noah was having a grand ol' time throwing my shoes/purse/keys down the stairs, attempting to stick his head through the railings, and essentially using the bannister as his own personal monkey bars.  I was sitting right there next to him, watching all of these goings on while dreaming of having a full time nanny, when Noah slipped on the carpeting and whacked his chin against the sharp corner of the bottom post.  See, this is the thing about parenting: you can be completely focused on what your kid is doing (i.e. not checking Instagram or Facebook) and ready to catch them should the slightest thing go wrong, and yet somehow they still manage to hurt themselves.  It absolutely boggles my mind.  I was completely focused and watching this whole makeshift jungle gym activity progress, yet I somehow failed to rescue him before he fell, which is shocking considering how much faster my reflexes have gotten since I became the Mother of a toddler.   

Based on how loudly Noah screamed I can tell you that it must hurt like Hell to bang your chin on a sharp piece of wood, especially when you simultaneously bite your tongue and scrape the skin off of one side of your jaw bone.  My sweet little boy sat at the base of the stairs with a trickle of blood running out one side of his mouth and screaming at the top of his lungs while punching the offending bannister with his fists.  I'm glad to see that my son isn't some kind of wilting violet who is afraid to hit back when attacked, but I'm not quite sure he understands that inanimate objects aren't swayed by his abuse.

Thankfully, he didn't need stitches, and the tongue bite was easily assuaged by giving him a (sugar-free) popsicle.  He is, however, currently sporting a scabbed-over chin, a bruised face, and some really attractive rug burn on his left jaw, which makes me terribly thankful that we have no chance of running into my nosy neighbor anytime soon. 

Bannister photo via Gareth Davies

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Destination Unknown

I'm almost done cooking this second baby which means two things: I'll be able to enjoy an ice cold margarita in approximately five weeks, and that we're supposed to be planning a Babymoon.  If you're unfamiliar with this particular term, Wikipedia defines it as "just like a honeymoon, except you’re pregnant... the purpose is to have one last 'hurrah' as a couple... before baby arrives".  Honestly, I don't know how much of a "hurrah" one can have when she can't drink alcohol and looks like a whale wearing a bikini, but whatever.  We didn't have a Babymoon when I was pregnant with the Muffin Man because we were brokety broke broke, and this time around it looks like we'll be taking him with us because we don't have full time childcare, so I would say that we're pretty much striking out on the whole Babymoon front.  While I dream of spending a week alone with the Hubby on some tropical island that has no cell reception, that's probably not going to happen until some summer in the far off future when I ship my kids off to sleep away camp for three months.

Did I mention that we're thinking of going away next week and that I haven't planned anything?  Not one darn thing.  Because that's how I roll, folks.  Not really, though.  I usually prefer to have at least some semblance of a plan, but what with the whole house construction and the Hubby working around the clock and the pregnancy thing happening, I'm really off of my game.  So I'm turning to you, lovely readers, and asking where you would go if you were in my position.  Keep in mind that I can't really fly anywhere at this late stage in the whole "gestating a human" thing, we are now the parents of a walking-running-tantruming toddler who is scared of farm animals, and we're not exactly rolling in the dough.  I sincerely hope you have some decent ideas, because so far the only thing I've come up with is pitching a tent in my parents' backyard and calling it a day. 

Photo via Oscar Nguyen

Monday, June 9, 2014

GIVEAWAY!!! Winner, Winner Wear Moccasins to Dinner

I'm kind of obsessed with buying clothes for the Muffin Man; I'm starting to think I have some kind of illness.  Maybe it's because he doesn't yet have the words to tell me that he doesn't want to wear a particular item, or perhaps it's due to the fact that he looks super cute in all the hipster duds I pick out for him, but whatever the root cause may be, I find it endlessly satisfying to dress him up in different outfits every day.  He's like a doll baby... except for the whole real poop and actual tantrum thing.

As you know if you're a longtime follower of the Misadventures, I'm constantly on the search for great, kid-friendly items that don't look incredibly juvenile.  This is always an issue when one is decorating a nursery, but you'd be surprised at how many ugly garments are out there with stupid sayings on them like "daddy's little quarterback".  Um, no.  Just because my son still poops himself and can't say his own name is no reason to dress him like a mega dork.  So what if my 17 month old dresses like an unemployed hipster living in Fort Greene?  Now if only he could grow a beard we'd be in business.

One of my favorite new acquisitions for Noah's wardrobe is a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins.  If you're a fan of Shark Tank you may have seen Susan and her baby moccasins on the show.  Not only is the story of her success incredibly inspiring, but the shoes are fantastic.  They are super cute, come in tons of cool colors and prints, and are worn by some of the hippest kids in Hollywood.  Noah LOVES his moccasins and wants to wear them all the time (like, even to bed).  They're a teensy bit pricey for those of us who normally purchase all of our kids' clothes second hand, which is why I'm so excited to give one lucky reader the chance to WIN A PAIR OF FRESHLY PICKED MOCS!  Winner gets to choose the color and size, so check out the selection over at Freshly Picked, and then be sure and enter.  And while you're at it, leave a comment below and let everybody know which color is your favorite!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Girl, You Crazy

You've survived most of the week, my lovelies, so I think you should celebrate by heading over to Laughing My Vag Off and reading all about the annoying parents I've run into lately!  I'm sure those of you with kids will recognize a few of these personalities as individuals you've had to hold yourself back from punching out at PTA meetings.

If you just can't seem to get enough of the ol' Lanester, be sure to sign-up for Stroller Traffic's email newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of my local kid-centric finds.  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Give Good Gift

In case you haven't noticed, it's already June 3rd, which means that Father's Day is just around the corner.  Let's be real here and acknowledge the fact that there are some really shitty Dads out there, which I'm sure my therapist is grateful for, considering she specializes in abandonment issues.  Anywho, the point I'm trying to make here is that there are also some amazing Dads and Father-figures who are deserving of some sort of sappy card and a thoughtful gift.  Along those lines, I've put together another one of my fabulous gift guides to help you find something that really is not "just another tie" (does anyone even wear ties to work anymore?).

1. Vince Jeans are a super splurge, but the Hubby swears by them (and they make his butt look cute).

2. Amazon Fire TV - because we are now so lazy as a culture that we can't even be bothered to push buttons!

3. Giant Connect 4 will look great in your backyard next to the plastic pool, the slide, the baby swing, and the ratty umbrella... and maybe even get everyone off of their iPads and outside for once.

4. Every great Dad deserves a set of monogrammed Moscow Mule Mugs.

5. This is Ridiculous, This is Amazing is the funniest book about parenting.  I laughed so hard I actually cried.

6. Weeride is a nice way to tell Dad that it's time to get some exercise and slim down and while you're at it... why not take a kid with you?

7. An ice crusher that doubles as an ice bucket for summertime cocktails, especially those Moscow Mules!

8. A Bacon of the Month Club for the guy who brings home the bacon.

9.  Hugo Boss kicks are the Hubby's shoes of choice.  Comfortable and sleek enough that they can be worn with a suit. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

These Mocs were made for Walkin'

NBD or anything, but the Muffin Man started walking this week.  I'm not talking about just a few steps, but rather full on, cruising-across-the-length-of-the-entire-house walking.  I guess he was just waiting until he was completely confident before taking off, but my kiddo is a pro walker after only a few days.  He steps over thresholds, rarely falls, and is this close to taking off at a full run.  I can't believe he sent me into an anxiety free fall about his not being able to walk.  It's like the kid was just screwing with me or something and wanted to make sure that I was totally and completely convinced that he would still be crawling at age 30 before deciding to calm my nerves and simply stand up and start walking.  Or perhaps he just wanted to wait until he knew he would be good at it and wouldn't fall flat on his face.  After all, he does have a cool dude reputation he needs to maintain.

Anyway, we're in the throws of chasing around a seriously mobile toddler which means we're completely exhausted and it's virtually impossible to get Noah to stay in his stroller now that he's figured out how to get around on his own two feet.  On the plus side, I now have reason to expand his shoe wardrobe which is so going to be happening like, today.

In that vein I just want to give you a heads up that starting next Monday, June 9th, I've got a fantasmic giveaway for you that involves the chance to win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins for your munchkin!!!!  It's pretty awesome and I'm super excited about it, since the Muffin Man is totally rocking his camo mocs with his skinny jeans, a fashion statement that can finally be fully appreciated... now that he is actually walking. 

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