Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So D and I got back from our dinner. When we got there, they were playing trendy music and I felt a little out of place with a baby. But then everyone smiled at us and said "Aww" as we passed them on our way to our seats. It was the kind of place that starts off strong and then the entrees aren't quite as good. The appetizers were spectacular. They brought out little dishes of apricots and cherries in some kind of subtle sauce, and a small dish of honey to dip our cheeses in. We got fontina, a sharp cheddar and creamy cow's milk cheese. I didn't think much of the cheddar but the other cheeses were lovely. We also got lentils, which were not quite as good as the cheese initially, but they grew on me. My entree was pasta with butternut squash, hazelnuts and shaved smoked ricotta. The squash tasted oddly like meat. The hazelnuts looked like chickpeas. They didn't have the apple crisp, so we passed on dessert, and I ended up eating some very old sorbet from the freezer at home. Sorbet doesn't go bad, does it?
Happy New Year's, everyone! I'm very excited about the restaurant we're going to tonight. We're going to an early seating with E. It's a pizzeria run by Mario Batali, and I'm still trying to figure out what to get. Will it be the pasta with hazelnuts, butternut squash and smoked ricotta? Probably. And dessert will be the apple crisp, if I get one. So I guess I've figured it out :)

It was snowing, all pretty-like, and now it's stopped.

I may make a cauliflower/tofu/tomato/pea concoction for lunch. If I make it, and it's good, I'll let you know.

And also...I really liked Matrimony by Joshua Henkin. You might want to check it out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A tale of two bookstores

So I was reading a good book - Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell - when I noticed that page 154 was blank. I flipped through the rest of the book. Roughly half of the pages were blank. I no longer had the receipt, but the book still bore a Borders sticker. So I went to Borders to return it. But every other copy had the same problem.

So I trekked to Barnes & Noble (a better store, but further away) and couldn't find it. I was dejected until a saleslady came up to me and offered to help, explaining that not all of their fiction was on display. I explained the situation and she was enraged. "Oh my God!" she said, looking at the empty pages. "This is defective! It was probably a whole print run." She found a mass-market edition in another section, and actually gave me a store credit for the difference in price between that and my trade paperback - about $6. She kept trying to scan my old copy in and it wouldn't work, so I mentioned again that it was from Borders. That didn't seem to bother her, and she typed the PLU number (or whatever) in manually. I can't believe I actually made money on this! Kudos to B&N for their kindness.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Tonight I told D about PP. He got obscenely excited. PP is a place from my youth. You can get vanilla ice cream there and get toppings from a smorgasbord. They have butterscotch sauce, hot fudge sauce, strawberry sauce, nuts and sundry other trimmings. "I don't know if they exist anymore," I told him. "They were always kind of old-fashioned. They might not have survived in this Internet age."

D left the room and came back with his iPhone. He quickly determined that PP still exists.

Which brings me to...pregnancy. We are probably going to have another baby (not imminently, but within the next 2 years). The thing is, and I know this is shallow and we're not supposed to think about this stuff, but I don't want to gain 47 lbs again. So...those of you who have more than one kid...did you gain the same amount of weight each time? Based on some cursory research I've done (with a small sample size), people seem to gain more weight when they're carrying boys.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Well, I thought this would be the worst Christmas ever when E woke me up at 4 am and cried until 6:30 am. That's when D got the bright idea of giving him Tylenol - E is sick, after all, but my brain was too tired to come up with bright ideas like that. Things improved from there.

I talked with my mother and sister on the phone, then took E to the grocery store to get ingredients for tonight's dinner (bowtie pasta with green beans and red wine-tomato sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan). It was unexpectedly balmy outside. For lunch, D and I will probably take E to a diner. And I'll get my family Christmas celebration in January.

Merry Christmas, everyone...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas that wasn't

For the first time since I moved to New York in 1999, I won't be going home for Christmas. E and I were laid low with the flu or something like it, and my mom came down with a fever and chills last night. So we decided to go in January instead.

I'm a little sad about it, but we decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Health permitting, we might go ice skating on Christmas. It's such a quintessentially New York thing to do, but we've never done it. I haven't been skating in years. Of course, one of us will hold E while the other one skates.

I participated in LibraryThing's Secret Santa exchange, a fun diversion. My Secret Santa sent me Beginner's Greek. I sent mine The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. No word on whether she's gotten it yet.

Friday, December 19, 2008

You're not going to believe this, but...

I saw Ethan Hawke AGAIN. Apparently he has scoped out all the family-friendly establishments in the area, too. It was funny, though - this time I saw his baby first. He was holding the baby on his lap, and the baby was wearing an adorable, tiny knit cap. And no, I don't know whether the baby was a boy or a girl. He was with his wife and his kids from his former marriage to Uma.

We had a nice dinner with two of our friends. I am dying for them to get married. They are so well suited. And they are kid friendly! Some people without babies are scared of them. But they're not. They both love E. E gnawed on the breadbasket and had some applesauce that I brought with me.


Yes, I'm up at 4 am. But the baby slept for an 8-hour stretch, so I can't complain. I just had an apple and D and I are typing away on our computers (though I'm sure he's using his for serious, work-ly purposes).

I hate to admit it, but the dreaded CIO (crying it out) appears to work. We tried it once, when he was 2 1/2 months old, and lasted an hour. We felt sure we had made a mistake trying it at all, but he slept a 6-hour stretch for the first time the next night.

Last night, we tried it again. I had just given him a huge "meal" and D happened to wake him up by coughing. So I knew he wasn't hungry. Against D's objections, I let him cry it out. We lasted an hour and felt sure we had made a mistake. (Sound familiar?) But tonight, he did an 8-hour stretch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adventures in solids

So I'm feeding E solids (purees or mashed food, really) and learning as I go. It's funny how I used to think parents were experts. Then again, maybe my parents were, because I was their fourth kid ;)

I've learned that E prefers avocado to just about everything, although he also likes banana (but not frozen), sweet potato, pear, and butternut squash (though it must be pureed enough, and if frozen, it must be frozen in a closed container, not an open-air ice cube tray). It's best to give him something to play with (a block, etc.) as he eats. That will make him open his mouth spontaneously. Also, he prefers to have his mouth wiped with a napkin, rather than a bib. I got a little banana in his nose this morning, but he forgave me (and I got it out).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

I heart Brussels sprouts.

So I made this and it came out delicious. And pretty, too. I recommend it. You might even want to double it - if the folks at Gourmet think this serves 4 people, they're on crack ;)

Today was a little - okay, a lot - horrifying. I was pushing E in his stroller and we went down the little ramp for handicapped people (you know, the little decline at the edge of the sidewalk). At the bottom of the ramp was a puddle, which concealed a bump. I tripped and the stroller pitched forward. It was awful. A woman helped me get it upright again. I was frantic. She said, "He's not hurt, just scared." I don't know how I'm going to survive the first bruise, etc. And God forbid he plays football. I don't think it's big in New York, anyway.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

First snow

E experienced his first snow in Massachusetts. I didn't get a picture of the actual event, but here he is, ready to go outside.

Monday, December 08, 2008

To have or not to have

So we're already getting The Question: "When are you having another one?" Please note that in my family, 2 kids is a small number. Well, for the older generation. My generation is sticking to 2 kids per family, but anything less would be unheard of.

That's not the reason why I want another one, though. I do love babies. I think they're cute and cuddly and fun. The only real downside is the sleep (sort of) deprivation. More like sleep interruption. But I realize I can't complain. I haven't had a sleepless night since he was born. Even when he was a newborn, he slept for chunks of the night. And he doesn't have colic. Both D and I did, so we were lucky to escape it.

Which brings us to names. We had a hard enough time agreeing on E's name. Names bandied about on the way home: Colin, Conor, Ethan, and Joseph. Neither of us agreed on any name. We have a rough road ahead of us...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

So I just got back from the family Christmas party. Folks, I fell off the wagon. The health wagon, that is. I met my Waterloo - non-chocolate cake with thick white frosting. (Chocolate is not really tempting to me.) I also had a bunch of nuts that were coated with something. My brother's wife made them. All the sugar has me humming!

It's part of the tradition of the party that "Santa" (usually one of my male cousins) gives presents to the wee ones. E got a little duck that flaps its wings as you push it along. When E was summoned to the front of the room, he smiled at everybody on the way. Then when he sat on Santa's lap (maybe because of Santa's bellowing voice), his face crumpled up like a little Kleenex and he burst into tears. As soon as he was in D's arms, good humor was restored.

We also visited my oldest aunt (92) at the nursing home. We found a card table in an activity room, where we changed E's diaper. The trash had some discarded crafts in it, which were soon joined by E's dirty diaper. "I hope that's really trash, and not storage," said my mom.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The great shlep

So I went to the pediatrician today. I chose to take the subway this time instead of a taxi. This involved 3 trains. Yes, 3. Each making 2 stops or less, but still. Yet I enjoyed it much more than the taxi. E prefers the subway, too. People smile and coo at him. (And don't worry, I would never bring him on the subway at night or during rush hour. In fact, he has never been on it later than 2 pm).

I think I enjoyed the trip more because it involved walking (after I got off the subway) and you feel good after walking. Not like a taxi ride when your nerves are singing.

Anyway, I feel like my pediatrician is a mixed bag. She went to a great medical school and she is very careful and thorough. I trust her to take good care of E. Yet we have philosophical differences. She is a big fan of crying it out. She feels that E should be sleeping 10-11 hours uninterrupted every night.

I don't know how realistic this is for every 6-month-old. Sometimes he does do that. Other times he wakes up. Last night I decided not to feed him when he woke up. He went back to sleep after a little comforting from D and ended up sleeping a total of 11 hours, with that one interruption. I don't think this is terrible. Psychologically it is very hard to let your kid cry it out. D said he only had to comfort him for about 10 minutes. And sometimes a pacifier will do it.

I think she is going by the book. I don't think she has kids. Until you have a kid, you don't know what the sound of him crying will do to you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I am not going to be abandoning Blogger for Facebook. Now that the novelty has worn off, Facebook is a fun place to get in touch with "lost" people, but you can't really do any writing there. So Blogger still has its place.

I like LibraryThing, also - you can write reviews, get free books, etc. I was reading some other people's reviews and came across a reader who didn't like To Kill a Mockingbird quite as much the second time around. The first time she read it, at age 14, she thought it was the best book ever. I have to admit I never *loved* TKAM. The books I loved that were assigned in high school were Catcher in the Rye and Gatsby. What books did you like from your high school curriculum?

I made a new recipe tonight (new to us). It's basically cauliflower, penne, tomato cream sauce with herbs, and some Parmesan, which is then sprinkled with breadcrumbs dipped in olive oil and baked. Yummy.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

E turns 6 months this Thursday and by all signs, it seems to be a good age. I made it through the mommy & me yoga class today without nursing him at all. Looking at the mothers who were nursing the very young ones through the entire class, I was grateful that phase is over. He also didn't cry at all - except briefly when he woke up from his nap (15 minutes into the class), and he was easily comforted. He is very interactive and even loves strangers. He makes friends on the subway whenever we go to a class. *And* he seems to like butternut squash...unlike his father.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I feel like such a slacker...I've gotten sucked into Facebook. But I am going to try to keep blogging. A few tidbits:
  • We're going to MA this weekend for the family Christmas party. Because of the numerous-ity of my mom's side of the family, they rent a hall. Everyone brings an appetizer or dessert and fun is usually had by all. Here's hoping the trip does not destroy E's sleeping schedule. He has taken to sleeping 10-11 hours a night, waking up once to feed, and waking up another time to get his diaper changed. I'll take it.
  • I just finished Knit Two by Kate Jacobs and really liked it. It was a sequel to the Friday Night Knitting Club.
  • I'm wondering what's the earliest age a child can enjoy Disney World - thoughts? D and I have different ideas on the matter.
  • So far, E seems to prefer avocado to butternut squash, banana and rice cereal (all fed to him separately, of course). He weighs 21 pounds. Update: he is eating the butternut squash! Yay...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My baby is now a night owl...after training me to be an early bird. I'm kind of ready to go to bed, but he's wide awake. I think I'll give him some avocado.

It is absolutely true what they say about babies preferring household objects to toys. E adores Cheerio boxes and water bottles. My SIL came across a study about this - she says it's because the household object is more of a blank slate, and therefore stimulates the imagination more.

E would like to wish you a happy tofurkey day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

D is reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Outliers to E, with lots of explanation "so it won't go over his head," and E keeps laughing.

I'm worried that Facebook is going to overtake Blogger. It's the lazy (wo)man's Blogger. On Facebook, you can toss off witty one-liners instead of writing a fully-baked blog post. It's a low-effort way to keep in touch and keep up with other people's lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. When I read Please Excuse My Daughter, I came across the Jewish concept of kinehora. I realized I had been an unwitting adherent of kinehora for years. Basically, people who believe in kinehora won't acknowledge aloud the good things in their lives for fear that they will be taken away. It's very superstitious. And so am I! So I won't enumerate the good things in my life, but I'm grateful for them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So we went to Philly yesterday with the wee one. He was very tickled by the conductor's announcement on the way back - namely, that we were passing through Trenton. Apparently, Trenton is very funny! He ended up laughing for about half an hour, because I rubbed my head against his tummy. A tween sitting in front of us was making a video of him with her cell phone. Also, a man took a picture of him through the window at a diner, and a woman seated at the counter at the same diner was taking shots of him. It's a little unnerving.

I *still* feel a little guilty about E's circumcision, but D's cousin's husband told me a story that put my mind at ease. He said his friend wasn't circumcised, and is too afraid to do it now, but he wishes it had been done when he was a baby. I told him how E has a new habit of grabbing his man parts in the bath and digging his nails in a little. I trim his talons religiously, but his poor man parts still get a bit red.

D's cousin's husband: He's going to be tough!

Me (changing topic without segue): And he's huge!

D's cousin's husband: Really!

Of course, I just meant E's size in general. He is almost 6 months old and wearing 12-month clothing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sweet potato risotto

So I've been feeding E rice cereal (thumbs up) and baby oatmeal (thumbs down, though he's only had it once, so things could change). I like this website a lot, and was surprised to find one of the recipes appealing for adults:

Sweet Potato Risotto
- You have to try this recipe for the whole family! Easily adaptable to feed the 8 month old + baby, sweet potato risotto is a meal in itself and very very tasty!

(8 months)

2 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
4 cups hot vegetable stock, divided
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups arborio rice (12-ounce package)
¾ cup white wine (white grape juice will suffice)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1½ teaspoons thyme leaves
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half. Cut half the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch diced and set aside. Cut the remaining sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast until soft about 30 minutes. Puree in a food processor with ¼ cup chicken stock. Reserve.

In a large saucepan heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and sauté onion and small diced sweet potatoes over medium high heat. Cook about 3 minutes until softened but not browned. Add garlic and arborio rice and cook 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in wine or white grape juice. Cook, stirring until completely absorbed.

In the same manner add hot stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is completely absorbed and stock is used up. Add sweet potato puree, rosemary, thyme, butter and Parmesan. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until your risotto is soft and all liquid has been absorbed! Season to taste with pepper if desired.


Of course, I'll have to make it when D is away or something, since he hates all vegetables in the orange family (except carrots). My mother said once that couples never like all the same food. However, we are both vegetarians and both usually dislike eggplant.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So I went to Mommy & Me yoga class today and was so glad I did. I resisted the whole concept for a while, because a friend told me about contagious crying. But another friend had a good experience, so I went, and I've been going regularly. One of my pre-existing mommy friends came with me (she has the little boy who is also named E, and looks a bit like E), and I am also becoming friendly with one of the girls in the class.

After class, my friend and I went to Cosi where I got a tasty salad with pistachios and grapes in it, and then we headed to Central Park. It's one of my favorite places in the city, but I haven't been there since E was born. We sat and talked near Strawberry Fields, and we were looking at these black, gnarled trees with bright yellow leaves and all these picturesque pathways. It's one of those places where you can't tell you're in the city. It definitely cleared the gunk out of my soul.

Water strikes twice in one day

Yesterday, water was a very powerful force in our lives. First, someone (not D) spilled it on my open laptop. After the spiller left, my laptop died. It was partly resuscitated this morning. I'm going to have to either get it fixed or get a new one. It would be tacky to ask the spiller to pay for it, and we won't; but a small, resentful part of me does wish the spiller would go through the shlepping and calling and warranty-hunting and general annoyance I'm going to have to undergo to get it fixed. But D doesn't want to tell him it's broken, and that's probably the classy thing to do. It's just annoying.

Then our bathtub overflowed. D started to fill the tub while I stripped E down for his bath. We both got distracted, chatting, and suddenly there was an ocean on the (hardwood) hallway floor. We sprang into action with a mop, but it was ineffectual. So we grabbed towels and started sopping up the mess and wringing them out. Then maintenance appeared, unbidden, and helped out. Apparently the people who lived beneath us had alerted them.

The bathtub problem is fixed now. Hopefully the computer will be soon, too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ethan Hawke for the fourth time

Or is it fifth?

I saw EH strolling down the avenue where I live, looking very debonair. He has gained maybe 5 pounds, bringing him up from "gaunt" to "thin." He looked good.

I do feel like I know him by now. Maybe I should arrange a play date with E and his kids? I heard he just had a new baby...

And he lives just a few blocks away (or so I'm told).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Everyone please cross your fingers that E sleeps tonight...last night, our squeaky bathroom door woke him up and it was all downhill from there. I attacked it with WD-40 and hopefully that will do the trick. The hardware store is very masculine. I did feel that I fit in a bit better than usual because I was carrying a large box. (Okay, medium.) It contained a food processor which I will use to puree sweet potatoes, etc. for E when the time comes.

Some dude hit on me when I was pushing E in his stroller - a bizarre occurrence. Some women have written in books that men back away from strollers as if they were a disease. That has not been my experience, but this was the first time some guy said in front of the stroller that I was "cute," "looked like the girl in that Woody Allen movie, Take the Money and Run" and asked if I wanted "to go talk somewhere." I'm not sure the Janet Margolin comparison was accurate, but I'll take it. I guess we look alike in the "long dark hair" sense.

Pics of E forthcoming...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Visiting the fam

So right now D and I are visiting my fam in MA. There is lots of pretty foliage and we had a good train trip - a whole four-seat section to ourselves. (People tend to pass you by when you have a baby, though he was very well-behaved on the train). He did melt down at home, after the train ride, and worked himself into such a tizzy that he was utterly exhausted, and slept through the night without a "final feeding." Foolish me - didn't bring home my pump. I slept with a bath towel.

I had my first drink since June '07 - a strawberry margarita at a restaurant near here. Actually, I just had a few sips. It was D's drink. He was very magnanimous.

Fall is usually my favorite season, but it can be depressing too. I guess the leaves falling are a natural metaphor for death. (Sorry, that is incredibly morbid.) We did just receive news that 2 people died - I didn't know either of them, but I know people affected by it. I do think the person calling should've held the news till we got home, but this person is not very, um, trainable.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Little House on the Prairie = racy.

So D told me how popular Little House on the Prairie (the TV series) is in Finland. They love it. The problem is, because the show ran for so long, it would cost a lot of money for some Finnish review board to watch all the episodes and assign a rating. The total cost would be $27,000. So Universal Pictures didn't pay the board to rate it. As a result, all the DVDs are labeled "Suitable for Adult Viewing Only" and can only be sold with a sticker saying "Banned for Under 18s."

Who says New York doesn't have foliage?

The view from our living room window:
Last night was not the best. E is generally sleeping 8 hours a night, but last night he did about 6, and D came to bed much later than me, waking me up, and then snoring a little (though he flipped on his side, which solved the problem). I really would not mind sleeping for, like, a week. Or a day.

I got my roots done yesterday (some gray was coming in again) and I have to say, having your hair washed by someone else is deeply relaxing. I nearly drifted off then and there. Though the hair-washing girl seemed to take my decision not to get the "treatment" (post-color application that smells like chemical berries and makes me sneeze, and also costs $25) personally. The hairdresser, by contrast, was sympathetic to the whole allergy issue.

Am reading a good book - The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry. The somewhat ominous title just refers to slicing onions.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

E's new thing is to grab his big toes:

We also voted.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reading already

Here is E, enjoying a book by Audre Lourde.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

So we had dinner with friends, one of whom showed up with a black eye and a shirt that said P (it took us a while to figure this out). E behaved pretty well, though he is more of a morning baby. R (who works in publishing) gave me two books and told me that Elizabeth Berg and John Irving have new books coming out! And she's met both of them! And she says their upcoming books are good! Yay. (Don't worry, I have no more exclamation points ;)

I also have some cute pics of E trying to be posted! (Okay, that was one more.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My first Mommy & Me class

I took E to a Mommy & Me yoga class today. It was really fun! The mothers were warm and friendly, and the babies were adorable. The mother of another 5-month-old was impressed with E's rolling skills. He is very social, and loves to flirt with the girls. Another baby, named Sophia, kept touching his face in wonder. I am definitely going to go again.

So...I did it.

I gave him solids a month early*. He really didn't seem satisfied after the morning nursing, fussing only an hour later. So I fixed him some rice cereal with a little thawed you-know-what. And he loved it.

I'm afraid to change his next diaper, though.

*There's a rift in the American Academy of Pediatrics about this - some say 4 months, some say 6. E is almost 5 months old - and wearing 9-month onesies!


I just requested a book with 795 holds on it (there are only 38 copies). The book is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We'll see if it lives up to the hype.

One book that was *not* worth the hype for me was Water for Elephants. Everyone recommended this book to me - bloggers, MIL, Pilates teacher. I took it out of the library three times and could not get interested.

One book that *was* worth the hype, a few years back, was Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I'm waiting to see if The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society will be worth it.

What's your experience with hyped books?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So the babysitter comes today and will get two little pumpkins filled with goodies! I saw D making these goody bags for clients and decided to make one (actually, two because they are small) for her.

Am toying with the idea of someday, when I have some time, getting a graduate degree in psychology, with an eye toward becoming a therapist/counselor or child psychologist. I have my eye on a school, too. The problem is, the Master's courses look fantastic; the Ph.D. classes, not so much. And the school seems to have set them up as two different programs (Master's classes at night for working folk, Ph.D. courses during the day for full-time students). I'd rather just get the Master's, but we'll see. I emailed the program director to get the skinny.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I got a little excited today. You see, I burned all my size 6 jeans once I gained 47 lbs during pregnancy. I figured they would never fit again. (I actually gave them to Salvation Army.)

But today I bought a pair of size 6 jeans because the 8s were falling off. That was a good feeling.

And here are some cute pics of E with my Brooklyn friend's boy-child, also named E:

*So, yesterday I tried scrambled eggs for the first time. Actually, I probably had them as a baby or something, but I don't remember. They were good, though they sat in my stomach heavily.

*We took E on the subway for the first time, after a friend reassured me that she took her baby on the subway and it was fine. The reason? We were going up to Washington Heights to see another friend's new baby, and man, that is a trek. The journey up was fine, as he slept most of the way and was good-humored for the rest. The way back, we had to hold him and he squawked a few times, but everyone admired him. We were sitting next to a boy and a girl who were reading about POE (process of elimination) in an SAT practice book by the Princeton Review. That made me feel OLD. Or maybe just very, very far away from my high school years.

*A couple days ago, a friend from Brooklyn brought her baby over. I hadn't seen him since he weighed 11 pounds, and E was 8 or 9 pounds. Now my E is bigger than her E, who was born in April. I got a picture of them holding hands. I'll try to post it later.

*At the visit yesterday, M stepped on the scale with E and without, and we determined that he weighs a little over 19 1/2 pounds. It also came out that I've never been to a Mommy and Me class. Maybe I should remedy this.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saw this on someone's blog and had to do it...

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My husband is crazy.

So D and I were finishing dinner when he announced that his PIN number from a certain bank came. This will enable him to use the ATM.

Suddenly, he said, "Mmm, paper."

"There was paper in your burrito?"


"You shouldn't eat paper!" I said. "That's called pica - the craving for non-food items."

"Well, I definitely don't crave it," he said.

"Then why did you eat it?" Then the pieces fell into place. "You ate the paper with your PIN number on it," I said. My husband is into security, but this was taking things a little too far.

"I didn't want ___ to find it," he said. ____ is the building porter who does occasionally pluck Maxim* out of the recycling bin. I guess D was afraid he was interested in PIN numbers as well.

*D wanted me to make it clear that:
a) The Maxim in the building-wide recycling bin is not his.
b) I saw him put the paper on his tongue and eat it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mysteries of life

You can dress a baby boy head-to-toe in blue - light blue hooded jacket, blue-and-white striped onesie, navy pants and matching socks - yet a woman will ask in the elevator, "How old is she?" It must be the eyelashes.

In other news, I got the hiccups in front of E. I thought it might scare him - he can be sensitive to sounds - but he giggled.

Good morning

Friday, October 17, 2008

So our friends from Florida came today. I was sorry to see them leave. I wish they lived here! Their baby is 2 months older than E but a few pounds lighter. She also has an E name. The babies showed some curiosity about each other - very cute. A and I now both have "pregnesia" and want to have another baby. Actually, I remember my labor in glowing Technicolor. If I only have to go through it one more time, I'll probably be ok. And everyone says the second time is easier. Mine was actually short, at least the 5 hours of contractions part - but the 3 hours of pushing were brutal. Moving on...

R took a lot of fantastic pictures which he promised to send me as soon as they get back to Florida. He captured E in full smile. Meanwhile, I am getting into cooking again after a long, long hiatus...last night I made capellini with tomato pesto, and now I am making a bok choy-tomato-tofu stirfry to be served over rice with peanut sauce.


It's hard to get a picture of E smiling, because his expression will change before my camera takes the picture. But I think we got a few :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just stopping by to say hi

So D and I watched some of the debate last night. (Correction: we started out watching it on the TV, then I got sleepy, so D watched the rest of it on his computer.) Well, as I may have mentioned, I was originally a Hillary gal. So it took me a while to get used to Obama. But the debate (the first one I've watched, due to sleep taking a front seat) made me feel more confident about my choice. I liked how he was well-spoken and calm. McCain kept flashing fake smiles at the camera. Did he remind anyone else of Mike Myers as Goldmember? Also, Obama's lips looked purple. But he was still clearly the better candidate, imo ;)

A friend from college who now lives in Florida is coming to visit tomorrow, and a Brooklyn friend is bringing her baby over on Monday. So who knows, maybe you'll see some cute baby pictures.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Riding high

You got a knot

This morning, I threw my back out getting E out of his crib. You knew it had to happen, especially as he hovers near the 20-pound mark. We really need to get a working scale, since his current car seat is only good till 22 pounds.

So at D's urging, I went to see the chiropractor. He helped a LOT. He explained it was a muscle spasm, not a herniated disc or anything. He massaged the place where it hurt and said, "WOW. You got a knot." He also said it didn't look like I'd had a kid (always gratifying).

Finished Philip Roth's Indignation. Well-written but depressing. And now for something completely different...Candace Bushnell's One Fifth Avenue.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

So D and I were offered the chance to view an apartment in our complex. We're still waiting to get a 2-bedroom (currently, E is in the living room, which is large by New York standards, but of course he will need a room with a door as he gets older). I got all excited, but then D looked online at the layout and discovered that it is only 35 square feet bigger. He wants to hold out for a larger one. I guess I do too. It's kind of like going on a date and being disappointed.

Last night we went to the White Horse Tavern (famous in a morbid way - I think it is the last place Dylan Thomas drank before he died). The atmosphere there is always cheerful, though. They have outdoor seating so we were able to bring E and hang out with our friends (A's girlfriend was celebrating getting a new job). It was odd and fun all at once to be out on a Friday night with ADULTS, and nice not to have to leave E behind.

I'm reading Philip Roth's new book, Indignation - I like it, even though the narrator is a bit of a nut. He's so intense, you can feel it floating up from the pages.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


One of our babysitters has an umlaut in her name. I told E about it and explained what it was. Then he said what sounded for all the world like "umlaut." A friend said this didn't count because E didn't know what he was saying; however, I love the idea of "umlaut" as a first word.

I have this itch to travel. Usually D and I go away in March to Miami, but now I am toying with the idea of Maui. I've never been. But a 12-hour flight...probably not smart. However, I asked the pediatrician about plane travel for babies, and she said a long flight can actually be better because there are no quick changes in air pressure. That is, a lot of time would elapse between takeoff and landing (the phases when air pressure fluctuation can bother a baby). She said you want to nurse a baby at those times, if possible - "it's the baby equivalent of chewing gum." Anyway, because of the length of the flight, she said Maui might actually be better than Miami. "Of course, then you have to deal with sitting on a plane that long," she said. So who knows what we will do. But one thing's for sure...I need an adventure.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Caro sent me two bags of Trader Joe's vegan cookies and a guide to raising vegetarian children that I had been eyeing at Amazon. She fought the good fight to get the last two bags (of cookies, not children :)

I suspect I am in for a rough night tonight. E decided to sleep a bunch during the day. After he had got 2 full naps in, I woke him up to feed (4 hours had elapsed since the beginning of his last feeding - I wouldn't have woken him up if it were night, of course). He fell asleep again. I put him in the stroller and we walked through the usual noise and chaos of New York City. He slept.

As we approached our apartment building, two policeman set up a Caution - Do Not Cross yellow police tape. Behind the police tape, there were some large trees. City workers started to hack off the branches with buzz saws. The branches clattered onto the sidewalk. The workers yelled to each other as they brandished their buzzing saws.

He slept.

Monday, October 06, 2008

E and D

Here's a picture of E and D. It's hard to tell from the picture, but Tigger is embroidered on E's onesie and pants. The set is a gift from one of D's cousins and his wife.
So I took the little man to the pediatrician today. He weighs 18 lbs, 13 oz. The vaccines went better this time...he was fine with the first two, but the third vaccine is administered in a needle that irritates them more. (Why not use the inoffensive needle for all three? I don't know, but I assume there's a reason.) Anyway, I was prepared, and quickly put some Tylenol drops in his mouth. He calmed down and went to sleep in the cab on the way home. He's still sleeping!

The cabbie was enmeshed in family drama - his wife called from the hospital (she's been there for 2 weeks) and asked the cabbie to call their 2 sons and have them call her. (Why didn't she call them herself? Who knows.) So the cabbie tracked them down - both lawyers - and said, "I know you're busy, but take 2 minutes to call your mutha."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oh well.

You Are a Good Girl

You are 70% Good and 30% Bad

Generally speaking, you're a very good girl.

(But you don't have us totally fooled!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Working on sitting

E generally likes to recline on the Boppy pillow, but now he is happier when sitting up. At 4 months! (I am totally going to be one of those annoying mothers who brags about everything. I can tell.)

I am trying out different types of music on him. It seems like he prefers Astrud Gilberto to Elton John.

On Monday the 13th, my friend T is going to visit me with her baby E. He is older than my E, but I wonder...who will be bigger?
Me and E:

Poppy and E:

E was very taken with Poppy. As soon as I heard her voice on the phone, I knew he would like "talking" with her (he prefers women's voices, particularly soft ones).

We took him out for dinner last night, just across the street. It's funny, whenever he fusses at this particular restaurant, I take him upstairs and we look at the framed reviews on the wall and the tops of the diners' heads. He seems to really enjoy it.


Can't sleep, but I can't blame it on E. In more cheerful news, Poppy came over today (she now lives in Queens :) We discovered we have the same camera - a Panasonic Lumix - though hers is slightly different, and even has a food setting. I'm going to try to upload some pics soon, but here is a good one she took...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Absurd fear #9,411,566

So yesterday when the babysitter (who is great, like our Saturday girl; yay for women's colleges with babysitting services!) came, I went swimming. All went well until I got into the hot tub. About 10-15 minutes in, something started to feel very wrong. I stepped out and there were spots in front of my eyes. My head was wavy. I sat down until things got normal again. And then I couldn't help thinking, "I boiled my eggs. I won't be able to have another baby!"

But when I got home, the babysitter assured me this was not the case. She is one of those people you feel comfortable with right away, so I let my neuroticism hang out :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The case of the red-haired debutante

So a new babysitter came over for a couple of hours today. Before meeting her, I talked with her on the phone and checked 3 of her references. They all loved her. Then I Googled her and found out that she played field hockey in high school and...was a debutante? It was one of those pictures where you count third from the left to locate the person. She appeared to be a tiny redhead. I thought, will she be able to hold E? E is probably over 16 pounds now (I'll find out for sure at his next pediatrician's appointment).

But when she came to our door, I saw that she was a brunette and not the same person. She was bubbly and friendly and we chatted for a while. Finally, I said, "I have a confession to make...I Googled you and found this debutante picture."

She said, "Oh yeah, I did that in June."

I said, "Really? 'Cause it looked like you had red hair!"

She said, "Oh no, it's always been brown. I never dyed it."

Now I'll have to find the real her in the picture...

P.S. I figured it out. The caption writer and I had different opinions on what constitutes "top row" and "bottom row."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Top to bottom

Dreaming of Maui

I've been thinking of going to Maui for a while, and these pictures only fed my wanderlust.

Unfortunately, a grueling flight with a baby is probably a bad idea. Although our friend R told us Hawaii is very family-friendly...lots of couples, some with children. Has anyone traveled long-distance with a baby and lived to tell the tale?

If it weren't so far away, I would have gone there already!

Also, I'm really enjoying the book I'm reading - Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers. It's a relief because the last few books I read weren't so good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just slept for a good chunk of time, then I had to get up and pump. Finished watching Sex and the City (the movie). Really enjoyed it. I didn't get a chance to see it in the theaters because I gave birth 4 days after it came out.

D pretends not to like SATC for some reason. Maybe he thinks it would be unmanly. But he came over and watched the ending and then peppered me with questions. No one can resist well-done cheese. At one point, it almost brought tears to my eyes...Carrie behaved unselfishly for the first time ;)

Friday, September 26, 2008

The good news and the bad news

The good news: E slept for 10 hours last night.

The bad news: He fell asleep at 4:30 pm.

Hopefully in time we can get him to bed at a normal hour...but he seems to decide when he's going to do his "long shift." He definitely has a mind of his own :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maybe I'll be on TV.

Or then again, maybe not. I was walking with E to Old Navy when a reporter stopped me. There was a cameraman hovering in the background. The reporter started asking me about coupons, where I use them, and how much I save. Pretty fascinating, I know ;) The thing that amused me about this was, I almost always answer these questions, unless they are personal and embarrassing. This is the second time I've been questioned like this in New York (though all of this footage probably ended up on the cutting room floor). D, on the other hand, flees from the camera and would never give the reporter his name, as I ended up doing when she asked for it.

The one sour note: "LOVE her!" exclaimed the reporter, and then she noticed E's blue onesie and socks. "Him," she quickly amended.

E slept through the whole thing. When he finally did wake up, many blocks later, he was rhythmically licking the sun hood on the Ergo carrier. He makes me laugh :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

E takes after his mommy

I have a little insomniac baby. It must be noted that last night he slept for 7 hours between feedings...unprecedented. But his bedtime is moving up. He used to conk out at 7 pm and now it's 8:19 and the little cherub is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in his crib. I gave him a pacifier, which will hopefully lull him to sleep. Breast milk no longer has a magic narcotic effect.

P.S. Ok...maybe it does. He just needed some more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So, folks, I did it. I got my hair colored - to cover up the gray strands. I still feel self-conscious about it - first time I got it done and all. But I think I will feel better once I've washed it and it resumes its natural shape. For some reason it always looks very straight, not wavy as usual, when I have it cut.

The color's a little darker than it was before, but subtle enough that no one noticed it until I pointed it out.
D went to the foot doctor yesterday and the doctor congratulated him on E. Then the doctor tried to tell the receptionist about it, but according to D, she was catatonic. The doctor asked, "Did you hear me? Are you there?", but she ignored him.

Then the doctor left and the receptionist decided to take an interest in the baby. "Do you have any pictures?" she asked D.

D whipped out his iPhone and showed the receptionist a picture. "What plump thighs!" said the receptionist.

Then D realized he had shown her a picture of my friend G's baby (taken at the baby gathering this past weekend). He was too embarrassed to correct his mistake. Incidentally, both of our babies have plump thighs :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Steve Miller

So some music holds E spellbound. I was playing Sarah McLachlan's new song and he was fascinated. (He actually likes the snippet on iTunes better than the song played in its entirety.) I tried singing "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band to him. I changed my voice to make it deep and have a twang like Steve Miller's. He stared at me and then his brows furrowed and he started to scream.

This morning I tried again - singing the song in my normal voice. He liked it, and even leaned forward as if he were trying to eat the song.

He has no use for classical.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My niece and E

Here are some pics of my niece and E...they took to each other right away. Seeing them together sent me on a nostalgia trip...I held my niece when she was a baby!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Planes, trains and automobiles

Well, there were no planes, but the other things were featured in my weekend.

On Friday, D and I headed up to the great north. The Acela was packed heading out of Penn Station. I was only able to get a seat in the quiet car (!) and D got one in the cafe car. When I sat down, I noticed the signs and said involuntarily, "This is the quiet car? Oh, damn," but the people near me laughed and reassured me that it was ok. And E promptly fell asleep.

A couple of stops later, a conductor offered to reunite D and me in a non-quiet car. E woke up, but was placid. We shared a four-top with a couple of older women who fell in love with D. One of them wanted to hold E, and she seemed harmless, so I let her. Plus, she was next to me, on the inside seat, so she would have needed to climb over me if she were trying to steal him away ;)

The train ride was uneventful; I fed him a bunch of times, and that was about it. However, E does not like cars. That was my biggest misconception before having a baby. I thought they were passive, preference-less creatures.


Today we had the baby gathering at the country club. Most of my cousins, aunts and uncles came to welcome E. A couple of friends from high school who still live in MA also came. It was great to see them. One of them has a blog where she'll probably put up pictures soon. I also have a good one of my niece and E, which I will try to post eventually.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Your daily dose of E...

...although he's blurry because he likes to move his head.