Thursday, July 28, 2011

What ice cream?


This ice cream is so good. Cannot. Stop. Eating. I've somehow confused the relative properties of food poisoning and decided I should eat Mr. Schneed's portion as well as my own since he's still ixnay on oodfay. Unfortunately, he's been illin all day today too. Food poisoning is one crazy ride. The one and only time I ever experienced it was when I was 17 and spending my last semester of high school in Israel. I left my program for the weekend and was visiting the home of the friend of a cousin of a family friend. Or some absurd nonconnection like that. Basically, I hardly knew these people but I defiled their bathroom for all the wee hours of the morning. I remember waking up the next morning and wanting so desperately to do the walk of shame home but I was literally in the middle of the desert. The lady of the house offered me some coffee and I threw up in her sink. Never saw her again. I am fairly certain that memory has remained repressed till just this moment.

Fast forward another lifetime and Mr. Monk and I learned more than we ever wanted to know about daddy sights and sounds over the past 48 hours. I started looking up the symptoms of E. coli bacterial poisoning and freaked us all out. Our soap dispenser has never seen so much action. I had to go to work and was terrified that he would pass out from dehydration. But, he's acting less zombie-like tonight, so I think the tide has turned. Hooray.

Though I'm just realizing that him getting better means we may have to start Insanity again. I have been abstaining for the past few days in solidarity. How could I go and get ripped without him? Damn you, three twins.

In other news, Mr. Monk has decided that he likes the sound of his voice. A lot. LIKE SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS ALL DAY LONG A LOT. Fun. How long does this phase last? Well hello, boyhood.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Do People Do All Day?

I cannot stop watching "The Shawshank Redemption" even though I've probably seen it five times. Even more pathetic, I just wikipediaed "The Shawshank Redemption" to make sure that it ends the way I think it ends. Now I really want to go to Zihuatanejo. A friend spent her honeymoon there and said it was perfection. We went to Cabo last year when I was newly pregs and couldn't drink. Bad planning. Cabo without cerveza or tequila is no divertido. We also managed to catch the only two days of rain out of the whole year. Still, we were so excited about the baby news that we couldn't help but tell every single waiter/waitress/taxi driver/absurdly drunk college student who offered to buy us shots at cabo wabo.

My poor husband had food poisoning today. I certainly felt bad for him but who felt bad for me? I couldn't get the diarrhea song out of my head all damn day! Thankfully, he's feeling better now and is only a very mild shade of green. What does Angelina do when Brad gets food poisoning after eating questionable vegan food?

A FF just sent me a link to Suri's Burn Book. Out of the mouth of babes.

How did I manage to spend nearly $200 at Babies R Us today when a) I hate that store and b) I already own every known baby gadget. I'm on my third thermometer people. Clearly I need help. I managed to completely forget the reason I went there in the first place and had to go back in after heading to my car, looking at the windows in the daytime glare and remembering that I wanted a window shade to protect Mr. Monk's sweet paleness from the scalding sun. Now, how long will it take me to remember to install the shade?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

These are the days

Why do we always want babies to grow up as fast as possible? Once they roll over, we wonder when they will sit up. Once they sit up, we wonder when they will crawl. Once they crawl, we wonder when they will walk. Once they babble, we wonder when they will talk. Once they talk, we wonder when they will shut up.

They are only this tiny for a short time and everyone seems hell bent on rushing it right on by as quickly as possible. I want to freeze every swing ride, every wobbly stand, every hysterical laugh. And yet as much as I try to live in the moment, I too am guilty of wanting to see the next thing...what electronic item will he suck on today? What sound will he scream (and scream and scream)? What food will he spit all over me as he decides that he should be the one to feed himself with the spoon thankyouverymuch? Every new thing just seems so exciting that I forget to spend some time relishing the little person he is right now.

Yesterday when I was talking to my mom and worrying about mom-like things I read about on google (the best and worst thing to happen to parenting), she told me to just calm the hell down already and enjoy the baby ride. Mother does know best after all. So we'll just be here, savoring this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tally ho

The babe, the pup, the mister and I all just came back from a glorious weekend in Tahoe. It's amazing what some sunshine, fresh air and mountain views can do for your soul and your sanity (tho the latter was nearly undone by Mr. Monk screaming for half of the five hour drive home). Thankfully, no spiders or wild bear sightings this time. Back at sea level now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

London Calling

In my junior year of college, I went abroad to "study" in London. Although all my friends were headed off to exotic locales like Madrid, Prague, Tel Aviv, Arizona, I always knew I'd go to London. I had dreamed of the city ever since I saw Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and the Nanny. That accent just got to me. I pretended to be British all the time as a kid, though I think people probably just thought I had a speech impediment. Anyway, off to London I went.

It was similar enough to NYC, where I was attending college, to make for an easy transition but different enough to make for interesting adventures. The first thing I noticed was how expensive it was. Damn. Coming from NY, that was saying a lot. I found a job working in a Uni pub. Every single student from the University of London it seemed went to the same Uni pub where I worked on Wednesday and Thursday nights. For some ridiculous reason, I was assigned to be a pre-bouncer. Given that I am "not a particularly large person"--as I have now been told twice by the nurse at my pediatrician's office when I asked about why my son's weight gain has slowed...backhanded compliment?--me up against hundreds of Brits and their liquor was no match. I was supposed to find the ones who looked right pissed and pass them off to the real bouncer (a huge guy named Marcus) so he could make sure they didn't throw any punches or vomit on the property. Ah, vomit. I never in my life so so much public vomiting as I did that year. Vomit on the bus, in the street, in the dorm hallway. After a few weeks, Marcus called me over for a chat and told me to "cut out that American shite of wishing people a good night as they leave." Apparently, he found my inbred politeness annoying as hell and made me knock it off. This might have been rude if not delivered in that awesome accent. You could tell me anything in British and I would find it charming.

The best part of working at the pub was that at the end of the night I could usually find about 20 pound coins on the floor. They apparently come out of your pants pocket easily when you've had upwards of 15 beers. As part of the cleanup crew, I got to keep these earnings, which provided a nice, steady tip. Some might call scrounging for coins on the floor pathetic, but I thought I was enterprising.

For some reason (beer?), the only class I remember taking was a modern art class that I loved. That spring break, I did the whole eurail trip across Western Europe and got to see all the paintings we studied in person. I also gained 10 pounds despite the fact that I hated all the food--why ruin a perfectly good peanut butter sandwich with mayo? Instead I ate my meals out of the ubiquitous Cadbury chocolate vending machines. And maybe my newfound appreciation for beer might have had something to do with the extra jelly. Maybe.

I hear the food has changed much in recent years, which is exciting because I'm planning to head back to London town in September. Mr. Schneed has a business trip and I'm tagging along. That is, if I can muster the strength to leave Mr. Monk with his grandmothers for five or six days. Hey, look kids, there's Big Ben!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love the one you're with

Should I feel guilty that I always pretend to be on the phone when I pass the college students who are raring to ask me if I support gay rights/want to protect reproductive freedom/believe in preserving California's coasts? I do wholeheartedly on all counts but I kinda just want to walk down the block right now mmmkay.

Today I watched a homeless man try to sort the remnants of his meal between the garbage/recycle/compost bins. He was a lot better at it than most of the other yuppies trying to figure out what to do with the compostable (and yet still recyclable) salad containers.

On my way home on the BART yesterday, I turned around in my seat and accidentally locked eyes with a woman who was wearing a snake wrapped around her neck. I promptly walked (read: ran) into the next car. Snakes and I are not friends. This goes way back to the fourth grade when Alexander Jones expressed his love for me by putting his pet snake's shedded skin in my desk. I don't believe I've ever screamed louder. Amazing to think that same snake could possibly still be alive.

The other day I passed a man sitting on a bench in the middle of a city block with a baby goat by his side. Sometimes this wacky, beautiful city is pure awesome.

Monday, July 18, 2011

But sleep is so nice

This article was both inspiring and terrifying to me. How driven this woman must be to spend 60 hours swimming. 60 hours! I wouldn't want to swim for 60 minutes. *Shudder* I can't stop thinking about her swimming instead of sleeping. Good for her. And, if she's middle aged at 61, then I'm basically a teenager.

I found a check in my wallet this morning from a class action suit settlement that apparently became void 90 days after it was issued. Too bad it was issued in December and it's been over 180 days since then. Awesome. Do you think if I called the law firm and told them that I gained one baby and lost one mind in October they might feel bad enough to issue another check? Nothing like discovering that you burned money. I almost wish I had never found it again. At least that way I would never have remembered that I forgot about it. But, I did manage to spend less than $100 on my trip to Whole Foods today, so score.

I've been on a big decluttering kick lately and it feels so good. Mr. Monk and I took a big trip to the post office today and mailed a big box of big boy clothes to his (smaller) baby cousin in New York. Knowing that the clothes have a definite second life in my sister's home justifies any and all clothing purchases (and makes me feel better about some of those gifts that we completely missed-babies grow fast, y'all!) It's a good thing you can't get too wild with the baby boy clothes, though I've tried. I can't wait to see my nephew in some of Mr. Monk's finest.

One of my friends who is due in October (a great month for a birthday!) came over the other day to check out some of the gear that we no longer need. She's taking most of the gaudy plastic structures, including the exersaucer and two (yes, two) swings. Hooray! She'll give 'em back when her wee one is done, but at least I get to enjoy the extra real estate until we start this crazy process all over again with the next one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

That's My Monkey

When I was a kid, my mom used to comb my hair with her fingers to calm me down. It was such a sweet and simple gesture but it always made me so happy to lay my head in her lap for my treatment. I haven't asked her to do it in years but just the thought of it now makes me feel better. My husband loves having his back scratched. I even put it in my wedding vows that I would give him a scratch at least once a day (he usually asks for one every hour). This evening, when I was putting Mr. Monk to sleep, I kissed his sweet head, rubbed his little back and wondered what will his soothing vice will be. It hit me hard that I will be the one to comfort him for as long as he needs me. Right now he seems to really enjoy the stomach zerberts, but that might get old when he's in high school.

Man, The Hangover is still funny even though I've seen it at least five times now. Definitely not as funny as the first time but still delivers the laughs. Or maybe I'm just too lazy to change the channel since the Insanity workout kicked my ass tonight. I seriously can hardly move. I feel like we made a deal with the devil and his name is Shaun T. I am sort of maybe kinda starting to see the outline of an ab or two, so maybe all this sweating of buckets is worth it. Perhaps.

When I pump late at night before going to sleep, I always fear that the teenage boy living next door will accidentally see me through one of our windows. Believe me, I keep the shades drawn for his benefit as much as for mine, but I'm still afraid of scarring him for life. Or turning him on. Eek, which would be worse?

Friday, July 15, 2011

He'll have the meatballs

It is 8:30 am and my baby is still asleep. I'm not sure what I did to deserve this, but I hope I can keep it up (ed: he woke up exactly as I typed this sentence)! The poor boy was straight up exhausted last night after playing with his babysitter in the park for two hours and missing his afternoon nap. Probably not the best night to take him out to dinner with us to this place. When we first walked in the waitress looked at me a little strangely and said, "I don't recognize you." I replied that I didn't recognize her either so we were all set. I guess they really keep up with their customers. The babe managed to make it mostly through the meal but then just fell apart right as we were deciding about dessert, letting out these crazy shrieks. The restaurant is like 10 feet by 5 feet so Mr. Monk quickly became the main attraction. Check please!

That was actually Mr. Monk's third restaurant outing this week. He also enjoyed the fare here and here. He's so in the SF scene. We used to take him out to eat with us constantly and he'd sleep right through the noise at any hour. Oh how I miss the infant carseat! Now, he's definitely up front and center with us. I spend at least half the meal trying to get him to eat any of the multiple baby food options I've brought, only to end up giving him a good part of my meal. I'm ordering for two again :-) We've also started eating in the sixes to be home by 8. Lame. But...happy hour!

I figure we've only got a little time left before the high chair loses its attraction and he wants to run through the restos. I'm starting to see the appeal of a dedicated date night. It's so hard to justify getting a sitter just to eat out-we've so far reserved sitters only for parties or special occasions. That meal suddenly becomes very expensive! What if you aren't even that into the dinner and you've just spent close to $200 all in? Maybe that's not such a high price to pay for being able to actually eat your meal, look your date in the eye and not end up wearing half your plate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I am thankful for right now

★ My baby's eyelashes are far longer than mine. At least he won't need to wear mascara.

★ The opportunity to work part-time and use my brain in a different way. This temporary posting for my previous job is a great segue for me to figure out what's next professionally. And I get to wear fancy clothes again.

★ Each and every day my husband finds some way to make me feel special, like bringing me a yummy muffin this morning. Bran, but still. Even after being together for five years next month, we still are discovering new (and mostly good) things about each other.

★ While I don't totally love my new bangs, I don't totally hate them either.

★ Mr. Monk squealed with delight at today's playgroup. Apparently, three weeks of not seeing his friends was not cool with the bossman.

★ We only have four weeks of Insanity left! Somehow that doesn't sound nearly as frightening as 60 days. If we hadn't missed a few days here and there we'd be only two weeks away. Alas.

★ My teeth feel incredibly smooth and clean after being tortured at the dentist this morning. And, I had no cavities and only one or two areas of gum recession (what??).

★ I've made it almost 9 months out of my 1 year commitment to breast feeding! Though I know I will miss the special bond nursing brings...

★ ...I've only got three more months to go out of my 1 year commitment to breast feed!

★ As a Portuguese Water Dog, our pup, Tony, doesn't shed. He has to get his hair did at a proper dog salon. When he came back today from his day of pampering (and anal gland squeezing, eek), he smelled so fresh and clean. I'm going to enjoy it all I can before tomorrow morning's visit to the park for butt sniffing, dirt rolling and general doggie debauchery.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My best boy

Dear Mr. Monk,

That's it, enough is enough! You seriously have to stop growing up so quickly. This is getting ridiculous! The days are just flying by (except for the ones when you refuse to nap more than 30 minutes at a time; those days seem to last forever). I am finding it hard to fathom that you are already almost 9 months old! When did my itty bitty baby turn into a crawling, wrestling, giddy ladykiller? The flirting? I mean, you are relentless.

Your daddy is really into feeding you straight from our plates (just like Tony). So now when we are eating you bang your hands and grunt until we give you more of our food (just like Tony). It's incredible how effectively you communicate what you want given that you don't speak any words. My favorite part of feeding you is the grimace you make after the first bite of every food, like you just had a shot of tequila. You really like to keep me on my toes with the food adventures, refusing to eat things that you loved the day before, laughing and choking at most meals, spitting your mouthful of green/brown goodness all over me--perhaps we should both be wearing bibs?

Now that you are tearing around the house, you have become very good at showing us how much more we still need to babyproof. You must have some sort of sonar detector for the most dangerous thing in the room because you hone right in on it. Every. Time. Lately you really don't enjoy lying down while being changed and instead prefer to continuously roll over so that you spread your poop on as many surfaces as possible, including, but not limited to, my hands, the changing pad, the wall.

Watching you grow has been the greatest joy of my life. The only comfort to you getting bigger is that it keeps getting better.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sins of the mother

Last night I experienced what will likely be the first of many parental failings (er, learning opportunities). My baby fell off the bed and it was all my fault. The irony was that it happened in the middle of me lecturing Mr. Schneed about never turning his back on the baby while he's on the changing table because he's flipping around so much lately. Because he was flipping around so much, I put him on the bed to change him. And, of course, I just had to grab his socks while he was on the bed, leaving him at least two seconds in which to crawl over and dive head first off the bed. So much for depth perception. I was turning around when I heard the frightening thump of his sweet baby head hitting the hard wood floor. His face froze in terror for a few seconds before he howled in pain. Isn't that the worst? When they are so freaked out that they can't even cry? My heart drops every time that happens. I hugged him tightly and consoled him and two minutes later it was like it never happened. For him. For me it was far more traumatizing. I let him get hurt. Oh, mommy guilt is fierce!

Mr. Monk now has the tiniest bump on his forehead today where I expected a giant egg. No doubt this will happen again (and again). Good thing my little guy is absurdly strong. I had no idea how tough babies were until I gave birth to a mini hulk hogan. While riding the train the other day, I was holding Mr. Monk when he suddenly jolted backwards, whacking the back of his skull against my brow bone. The shock and force of the reverse headbutt caused me to burst into tears. I honestly thought he split my eyebrow open. My crying scared the babe so he then started screaming (we're a barrel of fun on a train). Thankfully, both of us were totally fine though my eyebrow is still a bit sore and swollen.

Another time the babe was sitting on his grandfather's lap at a restaurant. Before my father-in-law had the chance to notice, Mr. Monk grabbed the paper placemat in front of him and shook so hard that the wine and water glasses resting on it both went flying and shattered all over the table. Everyone around us started laughing and clapping, which doesn't exactly discourage such behavior.

Is my baby a vampire? Incredible strength, impervious to injury, moves faster than we can see, pale...hmmm. What will he be able to do once he's mastered some hand eye coordination?

Can you spot my bruise?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Home sweet home

When we got home from our east coast family tour, I found this lovely note on my car:

Your Car Has Been parked here for over a week - Park in front of your own House not here - There is a city ordinance that requires Vehicles to Be moved every 72 Hours more than 100 feet - Otherwise they are deemed abandoned - next time we'll call DPT and have you towed!

So much for community spirit! I live in an area with alternate side of the street parking, so this was the only block where I could park without getting a ticket based on the dates of my trip (and the holiday). I wasn't aware of this city ordinance probably because I never pissed off a neighbor when I've done this previously. You can tell how fired up she must have been based on the random upper/lower case transitions. Ruh roh.

My mailman told me today that the woman, who is perfectly able-bodied, at least physically, complained to him every day about the car. Thankfully, he recognized the car and told her that it belongs to someone in the hood so she didn't actually call the cops to have it removed (can you imagine coming home to that?).

I just keep thinking how unhappy and lazy must this person be that she is so upset to not get the parking spot right in front of her house (and driveway, and garage). The horror of having to walk those extra few feet. People regularly park their cars in front of my house for days on end moving them only for the street cleaning hours. I almost never get to park in the spot in front of my house. Woe is me! While I may mutter under my breath once in a while when carrying my baby and my groceries, it's never occurred to me to leave a note let alone call the po po. Of course, I am evil by SF standards because my husband and I dare to have more than one car. Is it bad that I want to start parking in front of this lady's house on a regular basis?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let The Games Begin

Imagine you are walking down a sunny block in the middle of New York City on a holiday weekend. The streets are almost deserted and you are sticky and happy after basking in the sun’s glory in Central Park for a few hours. You drank a beer wrapped in newspaper and ate berries purchased that morning at the Union Square farmer’s market. All in all, a fairly spectacular afternoon.

Now, picture this blissful scene gone horribly awry when you look down at your beautiful baby giggling in his stroller with his hands covered in shit. Yes, shit. His own shit, mind you, but that hardly matters. Apparently, somewhere between Park and Madison, my little love let out a gigantic poop that was no match for his diaper. The waste burst through both sides and left a nasty little puddle in his stroller that Mr. Monk was busy exploring with his fingers.

After my head exploded, I pulled the breaks on the stroller, grabbed the baby and immediately began the clean up process. Spreading the changing pad out on the middle of the sidewalk, I went to work trying to contain the damage before the fingers made their inevitable way into his mouth. Using every wipe I had, I managed to salvage the hazmat contamination. Unfortunately, I had gotten a little too comfortable in believing that Mr. Monk was past the blow out stage and left an extra outfit at home. Clearly I was not a girl scout. Given that it was about 90 degrees out, I figured we had about ten minutes before the smell of his stained onesie became unbearable. After wiping up the outfit and the stroller as much as I could, I came to the only logical conclusion that one could while walking with a shit-stained baby on 62nd street—let’s go shopping!

As we walked into Bloomingdales, I instinctively knew that Mr. Monk had orchestrated this whole fiasco just so that he could be in a giant store full of ladies. Apparently, everyone who didn't leave town for July 4 was in full on shopping mode. Thankfully his cute smile allowed the other elevator occupants to momentarily forget the foul odor coming from below. The salesladies took pity on me and gave me an extra 20% off the sales price for the snazzy new ensemble. Not the best way to get a bargain, but not the worst either.

While changing him in the bathroom, I met a woman who was trying to convince her 3-month-old that her breast and the milk therein was far more interesting than the wall he was busy staring at. As I was washing the poop off the stroller, I was telling her how much fun parenting is now. And it is, even on the shittiest days.