Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Preschool Panic: School-less in Los Angeles

He's got the name tag, now we just need a school to wear it to.
Famous Urban Myths:
  • The girl who had a bad acid trip and now thinks she's a glass of orange juice.
  • The guy who wakes up in a tub full of ice without a kidney.
  • The family that gets rejected by every preschool they applied to.
Oh, wait.  That last one isn't a myth...it's us.

That's right, my friends, I may be the first person you know who has not only failed at a career in the entertainment industry, but also failed at getting her kid into preschool!

On the positive side, at least I excel at failure.  So there is that.

There's still a small chance that we may get into our last and final option, but considering I heard yesterday that they only have five spots available for non-siblings this year, it's not looking good.  I don't know how many applications there were for those five spots, but I'm guessing somewhere in the hundreds?  Let's just say that it's 500 families competing for five spots.  Math isn't my best subject, but according to my calculations our probability of getting in is somewhere in the "snowball's chance in Hell" range.

As of this very minute, we've been waitlisted at two schools and we missed the application deadline for another.  So unless we're granted some sort of Passover miracle and we get one of the coveted non-sibling spots at the aforementioned institute of lower learning, we're shit out of luck.

Here's the kicker: not only does the possibility of not getting into a school mean that I have to prepare myself for another whole year of having two children home with me all day every day, but I'll have to repeat this whole torturous process of applying for preschool again next year!

That's right, I'll have to fill out all the applications. Again.  Pay all the application fees. Again.  And somehow manage to do all of this while simultaneously caring for two children, one of whom is an active toddler with nothing to do all day.  Just send me to the nut house right now, because that's where I'm going to end up.

You know what really chaps my hide?  The idea that the crazy parents got into their first choice schools, and that we've been told to take a hike.  Which just goes to show you that there is no justice in the world, especially when it comes to preschool education.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Five Stages of Sex After Baby

1. Keep that thing away from me.  This stage begins as soon as you feel your first labor pain and doesn't end until you're getting more than five hours of sleep a night.  When you've got rug burns on your labia, are wearing disposable panties, and sweating through your pajamas four times a night it's actually hard to believe that sex is what got you into this postition in the first place.  Unfortunataly, there is a strong possibility that your husband will find those disposable panties alluring and will attempt to get frisky.  If that happens I suggest you show him graphic photos of you pushing a baby out of your vag - guaranteed to kill any sexual desire in even the horniest of men! 

2. Sex is too much work.  After about six months or so it begins to seem possible that you will want to have sex again...someday.  You remember that it was fun and enjoyable, but at this stage of parenthood, when you haven't slept for longer than five hours at a stretch, doing anything at night other than brushing your teeth and crawling into bed is daunting.  Your spouse, on the other hand, may be chomping at the bit and wondering what's taking you so long to get back on the horse.  If this is the case, I suggest you bust out those birth photos again or get him the gift of a membership to a porn site.  Sure, porn is damaging to women, but you will not care if it keeps your husband from trying to hump you while you sleep. 

3. Let's try it. Your baby is finally sleeping through the night, you've begun to regularly shower again, and you're getting used to your post baby figure.  You're starting to get your groove back! You shave your legs, have some wine, get all romantical with your spouse and then you both realize that your lactating boobs are no longer in play.  Nothing kills the mood quite like squirting your beloved in the eye with breastmilk, am I right?  You do your best to work around this obstacle and you find a way to make it work and then - OH MY LORD THIS IS PAINFUL - which is when you remember that your OB said your first time at the rodeo after the baby might hurt but that's pretty much the understatement of the entire decade.  You both decide maybe it's better to take it slow and try again another time after you've had quite a bit more alcohol with a Tylenol chaser.

4. Get reacquainted with your old friend sex.  You've adjusted to having a child.  You have a schedule for this child.  He naps at a certain time of day.  He sleeps through the night.  You've slowly reentered the world and more cloesly resemble your old self.  You and your partner actually spend time alone once and awhile and go out for dinner or drinks.  You've successfully navigated postpartum sex a few times and your lady parts no longer feel like they're being set on fire when you try to use them.  You might even be done breastfeeding and your body is once again your own, which you celebrate by having sex more often.  All of the sudden sex after baby is amazing! You can't believe that you took so many months off from having sex just because you had a baby and were tired; that's crazy!  You and your loved one decide that you should have sex more often.   

5. We should have another baby!  When you are sleeping through the night and you've had a margarita (or two) this sounds like an amazing idea.  Why not try?  At the very lest we'll get to have lots of sex which is great!  We should definitely do that!  Babies are so cute and adorable and won't it be incredible to have a second child?!  Don't worry, having a baby will be so much easier the second time around and we can totally handle it - now, TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS.

Remember, friends: sex is great, but so is sleeping through the night, so use a condom.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Forget Sex, Give Me Chocolate

The entire Lane family has been taken down by the flu of 2015, and I think that we may have used up all of the Kleenex available in the City of Angels.  That being said, I know that some of you may be planning an exciting Valentine's Day weekend that involves something more romantic than takeout matzo ball soup and binge watching Justified.  I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful weekend full of flowers, chocolate and lots of sex; just don't forget to use a condom if you're not looking to add another child to your family in approximately nine months.

I doubt there will be any sexy times happening in the sea of snotty Kleenex that's currently littering my bed, but I still plan to keep up with tradition and make my annual Valentine's Day chocolate souffle.

Because I can do without sex, but I certainly can't do without chocolate.

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

7 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate (splurge on a high-quality chocolate - I like Guittard)
1/3 cup super-fine brown rice flour
2 cups almond milk (or soy or rice or whatever you prefer)
3 Tblsp. organic unsalted butter (plus a bit extra for greasing the dish)
4 egg yolks
1 Tblsp. pure vanilla extract
6 egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Grease a 2- to 2 1/2 quart soufflé dish or a straight-sided baking dish 7 1/2 - 8 inches in diameter.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler over almost simmering water (you can also use a glass bowl set inside a saucepan).  Be sure to stir the chocolate often so it doesn't burn.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, add the flour and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth.  Add the butter and stir over medium heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and beat to cool slightly, approximately 1 minute.  You should have a somewhat taupe-colored roux, or flour-milk-butter paste that is the foundation for so many French recipes. 

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

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

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fix My Wardrobe January Edition

My pursuit of good fashion has not waned in 2015, my friends.  In fact, I feel as though I am finally hitting my stride and getting it together.  I only wore pajama pants out in public twice last week!

Small victories, people.  Small victories.

I decided to give a new Stitch Fix stylist a try this month and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  I can't stress enough how important it is to keep an updated fashion Pinterest board, because each time I've gotten unique pieces that I've loved it was because my stylist checked out my board and chose accordingly.

Slowly but surely I'm building a quality wardrobe.  I no longer dread getting dressed every day, because I know that I have some cute pieces of clothing that actually look good on me.  Now if I can just find the time to reorganize my closet so that piles of shoes don't fall on me every time I open the door, we'll be in business.

I did put on some of my fave makeup and I blow dried my hair, though I sincerely apologize for not putting on some lipstick.  Dear God, I look like a well-dressed corpse.  Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
Here's what I got in my January box:

Loveappella Cowl Neck Knit Top, $44.00
This was really comfortable and I like the color, but I thought it made me look as though I might be pregnant again (I AM NOT PREGNANT, not to worry).  Since the idea behind Stitch Fix came about because I wanted to no longer wear anything that reminded me of being pregnant, there was no way I was keeping this.  RETURNED.

Skies are Blue Embroidered Cotton Top, $58.00
This is just so not my style.  It kind of reminded me of the hippie top from last month's box only not as flattering.  And the color washed me out; trust me, the last thing I need is to look more pale.  RETURNED.
Daniel Rainn Pintuck Silk Blouse, $78.00
Okay, I realize that wearing silk when one has small children is not very practical, but I love love love this blouse.  It's my favorite color, it's super comfortable, and it looks great with pretty much everything.  I think I could even wear this with shorts, assuming I ever needed to wear dressy shorts which is probably never going to happen.  I've been trying to find a blouse that I like and that doesn't make me look like a flight attendant circa 1982 for going on five years, so while this is a little more than I would usually spend on a top I decided to splurge.  Look for me to be sporting this gem in every date night selfie I post on Instagram for the next three years or so.  KEPT.

Market & Spruce Striped Dolman Top, $48.00
The Hubs really liked this top and while I think it looks pretty good on, I'm just so sick of stripes.  I can't do any more stripes.  I wore tons of stripes when I was pregnant (both times) and I'm just sick of them.  That being said, if this top had been in a solid color I totally would have kept it.  RETURNED.

41Hawthorn A-Line Skirt, $78.00
I did not think that I would like this skirt, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This is a perfect example of my stylist noticing that I'd pinned some of these type of skirts on my fashion board (who knew? Not me) and so she sent me one to try.  Well.  I am so glad that she did because I would NEVER have tried this on in the store, but it's super cute and looks gorgeous with my silk blouse! I can also see myself wearing it with sandals in the summer or with heels for the next bar mitzvah I attend.  It's definitely a little pricey, but I justify it by thinking about how many hours of childcare I would have to pay for in order to go shopping at the mall. *Shudder*  KEPT.

Why not sign up for Stitch Fix and get the groove back in your fashion life?  Let's make 2015 the year that you focus a little more on your wardrobe.  Because while your kids may look straight off the pages of Baby Vogue, those sweats you've been wearing for the last six days in a row are starting to smell.  And your kids are embarrassed to be seen with you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You Get Measles! Everybody Gets Measles!

She would look far less cute covered in spots.
I was contemplating taking the kids to Disneyland to celebrate the fact that I survived two years of parenthood without a single trip to the ER or the psych ward, but thanks to a little something called "the measles", I've decided to postpone that outing for a while.  Heck, I've decided to postpone pretty much any outing for the Little Lady after hearing that a baby at a daycare in Santa Monica is now covered in spots

Trust me, I'm not exactly thrilled with the prospect of being stuck in my tiny duplex with an infant and a toddler, but the alternative, of ending up with a sick kid stuck in the hospital... uh, no thanks.  I would love to take Rose to Mommy and Me classes and the baby gym and whatever other activities are trendy for the under-a-year set, but I just don't want to run the risk of my baby getting sick. 

Am I being paranoid?  Maybe.  But the problem is that I live in Los Angeles, in an area where it's somewhat trendy for people to choose not to vaccinate their kids, and while I can look at the online map that tells me the percentage of unvaccinated kids at all the schools around town, it doesn't tell me anything about the Mommy groups or the indoor play areas or the music classes.

Let's not pretend you can ask the other Mothers at these groups if their kids are vaccinated.  No, that would never do.  If you even dare to bring up the topic of vaccines in these scenarios, places that are supposed to be safe, non judgmental spaces for Mommies to meet and discuss the difficulties of parenting in the modern world, you'll have some sort of postpartum-hormone-fueled riot on your hands.  Trust me, a guy doing 15 to life with a shank made from a toothbrush is nothing compared to a stay-at-home Mommy wielding a few diaper pins and some research from Google, M.D.

Look, I'm a dirty hippie, but even I vaccinate my kids against the really scary stuff.  The problem is that Rose is a little baby.  She can't get the MMR vaccine until she's over a year old, so taking her out in public to a place where it's entirely possible she could catch some horrible disease is just not a risk I'm willing to take.

So if you're looking for me, chances are you'll find me at home, on the computer, googling "how to make a shank out of a portable breast pump", just so I'm prepared when I finally go back to the classes and some psycho Mommy throws down.

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