Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Must. Push. Buttons.

Today, within a span of five minutes, Mr. Monk almost fell down a flight of stairs and ate a piece of glass. Fun times!

The gate was left open overnight and my husband forgot to close it this morning when he came downstairs first (and kindly let me take a nice, long shower-the relaxing effects of which were soon to be vanished). I was washing the dishes when I noticed that the gate was swinging open out of the corner of my eye. Just as I thought that I should go over and close it before the baby crawled by, I saw that he was actually on the top of the stairs, leaning over. I screamed and bolted over, scooping him up seconds before he toppled. I have never been so scared of anything in my entire life. I'm pretty sure I aged about 10 years in that moment.


The babe was crawling all over the kitchen, reveling in his new ability to go under and through the bar stools. At one point, he was lying on the ground playing with a piece of dirt he found in the corner under the island. Only it wasn't a piece of dirt. It was a shard of glass that I missed when cleaning up the millions of tiny pieces that shattered all over the floor when I knocked over a teeny vase last night as I was making chamomile tea (no, the irony is not lost). Again, my supermom reflexes kicked in and I grabbed the glass out of his hand as it was on its way to his mouth. You can imagine how much he loved that.

Why does it seem like my baby has some sort of sonar for the most dangerous thing in the room? He's like a pain-seeking missile. When can I expect him to grow out of this behavior? 30-40 years?

Oh, just you wait, mama!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(School) Supplies

When I was a kid, I used to get so excited about fall. Fall meant a new school year, which meant new outfits for school. I would plan out the first week's wearings in my head and obsess over the slightest changes. Even though I am far (decades, eek!) beyond those days now and don't even have an office to go into anymore, I still crave some new fall classics. Mr. Monk has been pleading with me lately to update my look. Can't be cramping his style, yo.

Living as I do in a city where the temperature hardly ever leaves the 57-67 degree range, having a go to lightweight coat is KEY. Unfortunately, my black not too warm, but just warm enough coat up and died on me last "winter." So, I'm in the market for a new perfect coat that can carry me through the faux seasons that make up life in San Francisco. I *think* I may have just found it. Thanks to a tip off from A Cup of Joe, I discovered the beauty of EmersonMade. I'm in love, y'all!

Check out my new best friend...

Bring on the fog!

Monday, August 29, 2011

No Goop for me

Activities I am fairly certain Gwyneth Paltrow* would not engage in if she were visiting Portland:

1. Driving.
For some reason we thought nothing of driving 600 miles through half of California and Oregon though we would probably never decide at the last-minute to cruise on down to South Carolina from NYC. It was a beautiful drive, even if I did have to climb into the backseat every ten minutes to pick up the baby's toy that he conveniently dropped into the door crevice.

2. Peeing in her friends' backyard.
We were staying at the home of friends who were out of town and just could not get the damn door open. After trying for ten minutes, I decided it would be better to intentionally pee on the grass rather than accidentally on their welcome mat. Hello Portland!

3. Feeding her baby a dirty bagel.
Mr. Monk's new favorite activity is to gnaw on a fat bagel with his two new teefs. Combine this with his old favorite activity of dropping things on the floor to see how many times mommy will go pick it up and you have yourself a party! I mean, how dirty could a city street in Portland after a farmers market really be?

4. Eating every possible free sample at said farmers market and then go back for seconds at one stand only to be told by a farmer that she "must be hungry today."
I don't care, those giant blackberries were a thing of beauty. I didn't know if I'd ever get to experience their kind again.

5. Getting yelled at by some self-righteous hippie.
When we stopped in Ashland, OR for yet another pee/smoothie break, my husband waited with the sleeping baby in the car. Sitting under the hot sun, he quickly realized that he needed the a/c running or the baby would melt. Or worse, wake up. After a few minutes, a woman came up to him and remarked that she was so disturbed by his car burning so much fuel into the air that she couldn't even eat her lunch. Well. My sweet husband kindly told her that he was conditioning the air for our son's benefit not to simply ruin her day. She wilted away and meekly apologized for not realizing he had a baby in the car. Booyah! We are all for a progressive attitude and proactive environmentalism, but this was downright obnoxious.

6. Go hiking in a dress.
Or, maybe she would? I forgot to bring any shorts but at least I had some closed toe faux sneakers. I got some strange looks but the trees in forest park were well worth the chafing!

7. Having to pull her husband's wedding band off his middle finger as he's driving 80 miles an hour.
Why he was playing with it and "just wanted to see if it would fit" as he was driving (speeding) is beyond me. His voice was creeping up in panic till he was practically screaming at me to get it off!

8. Getting her period in the middle of a party.
I felt like I was 14, having to ask around for a tampon. And not finding one. We went to a private concert by two awesome Portland bands, Ages and Ages and Portugal. The Man and I spent half the time worrying that I was about to pull a Carrie.

9. Letting her baby crawl around a pizza joint.
At first I tried to ignore the tantrum and eat my deelish pizza. Mr. Monk was not having it. I finally caved and let him loose. Thankfully, everyone in Portland is peach pie sweetness and nobody seemed to care that there was a rabid baby darting under their table.

10. Refusing to leave.
Have you been to this great city? It's so green and gorgeous. We honestly thought about checking out some open houses but then remembered that we want to move closer to our families on the east coast, not further away. Why is there no Portland equivalent back east?

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*Hand-painted wallpaper? A bathtub in the middle of her bedroom? Seriously?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I complained entirely too much today. I complained to my husband. To my mom. To my sister. To my friends. To my son. While I am a firm believer in the healing powers of venting, enough is enough. My life is pretty damn good right now. So, from now on, when I find myself with a desire to bitch to or about someone, I'm just going to think of this sign that I saw while walking my dog the other day. No whining!

Instead, here are five things I am grateful for right now:

1. That I did not get a parking ticket despite being parked for an hour downtown in a no-parking passenger loading spot. For some reason, my addled brain saw the M-F, 11 am-12 Midnight sign as reading M-F, 11 pm-12 Midnight. I just thought it was only for passengers who were going out drinking or dancing.

2. Mr. Monk is really into hugs right now. He goes full throttle, with the head, the arms and and the tongue coming at you. It's like a grabbing a shooting star.

3. While my family members and many of my friends live on the other side of the country, I can see their lovely faces on my cell phone thanks to the genius of Steve Jobs! I wish you good luck and good health, Mr. Jobs.

4. The blogging world. I only recently discovered the true joys of public journaling, but I gotta say that I am really digging it. I hope to keep it going for a while.

5. This weekend's road trip to Portland! Granted, Mr. Monk seems to have had a major falling out with his car seat in recent days, but maybe they can come to some sort of amicable accord in their 10+ hours together. We are so excited to check out this amazing farmers market.

In case any of you are in need of a little reality check, have a look-see at this incredible piece that a friend posted on FB. I found it to be amazing and enlightening--as noted in the article, despite the vast differences among the subjects, everyone sleeps.
James Mollison wanted to portray children's diverse worlds. What better way to do so than to photograph their bedrooms?

Oh sleep, I'm off to find you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's a new dawn, it's a new day

This weekend was a weekend of "firsts:"

First birthday as a mommy.
Verdict: both more and less awesome than as a non-mommy. More awesome--realizing that it's not all about me anymore. Less awesome--realizing that it's not all about me anymore.

First time trying formula.
Verdict: eh. He hated the first kind we tried (some eco brand from WF) but would reluctantly take the second kind (a totally conventional brand from Walgreens). He's still living high on the boob, but we just wanted to have a backup for our child-free mini-vacay in London.

First time sleeping through playgroup.
Verdict: playgroup is still fun even without the baby. Mr. Monk took a two and a half hour nap immediately after drinking a few ounces of formula, just as we were heading to our friend's house. Maybe its sedative properties are not overrated.

First joint party with Mr. Schneed.
Verdict: double your pleasure, double your fun. Not sure why we didn't think of this earlier, considering our birthdays are always three days apart. One of us got a wee bit drunker than the other. Guess which one?

First time feeding the baby pizza (first time at this yummy resto).
Verdict: let the sunshine in. He seriously could not have been more excited. Seems like he's ours after all.

First time feeding the baby gelatto (what? who has pizza without gelato?)
Verdict: even better than pizza! We only gave him a tiny bit, but he continued to lick the spoon for a good ten minutes after it was gone.

First time attending the SF Street Food Festival.
Verdict: would have been so much cooler if about 90% of the people there weren't. The lines were no less than 50 people deep. Our tummies made us leave and go here to have these. Our tummies were pleased with the decision.

First time using Pinterest.
Verdict: pinterrific! We are doing a little redecorating and this site is so perfect for stealing ideas from far more creative people.

First time pooping in the tub.
Verdict: hilarious but disgusting. He was very unhappy to leave the bath once he had gone and marked his territory. Definitely made me nervous for the glory days of potty training.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thou Shall Not Covet

Today when I was getting my hair done (everyone deserves a blowout for her birthday), I read "People" magazine cover to cover. Something about a beauty salon makes me crave celebrity gossip. I just had to know how Sandy Bullock got her life back on track--short version: she loves being a mama (and I think she got extensions).

I happened upon a picture of Jennifer Aniston and her new man, whom I will always think of as the premature ejaculator from Sex & The City, looking quite fetching.

She was carrying this purse:

And, she has it in brown!

I want! In black, preferably.

Too bad it's $4,000. While I am quite a shopper, there's no way I can pull that rabbit out of my hat. I met Jen once years ago when I was in law school and working at an entertainment law firm in LA. She was a client of the firm and seriously could not have been nicer. This was back in the Brad days, so I got to say hi to his hairy self too. I completely forgot about that five minutes of my life until I started writing this. Anyway, do you think maybe if I call her up and explain how much I like the bag she might just give me one? She has two! I'd even take the brown.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Be the Ball

Today I spoke with two of my closest friends in New York who both gave birth at the same hospital, one on Monday and one two weeks ago. After hearing each of their labor stories in great detail, I am really starting to reconsider my issues with only children. Does Mr. Monk really need a sibling to learn how to share? Won't they teach him that in preschool?

Speaking of preschool, I was basically told by three different mommy friends this week that I am woefully behind in the application process. Say what? How difficult could the applications be? My son doesn't do or say anything yet. That's why he needs to go to preschool! Is the fact that he has blond hair when both his parents are brunettes "what makes him special?" Are the school visits code for interviews? I know I should, but I just can't be bothered to care about the preschool competition. When he drops out of high school to run a meth lab, it'll all come back to this moment.

Speaking of bad mommying, I realized yesterday that there is a reason that parents of young children tend to schedule their activities around their kids' naps. I used to think it was so annoying when my friends couldn't ever do anything during nap time, like it was the holiest of holies. I mean, who's in charge here? Ah, that was back in the days when my baby would sleep anywhere, stroller, car seat, wheelbarrow. But, when I met someone yesterday smack in the middle of Mr. Monk's nap time, I found myself in a world of pain. No coffee date was worth having him scream himself to sleep in the stroller only to wake up thirty angry minutes later or the general surliness he exhibited the rest of the day, including two of the longest 15 minute car rides ever. We had carguests and Mr. Monk decided to treat them to his best impression of a drowning cat. My friend I sang "The Wheels On The Bus" and "Old MacDonald" more times than I could count. For some reason, he finds my screetchy voice soothing (I actually think I saw my friend wince). So, from now on, I can no longer plan to leave the house between the hours of 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. The shorter, late afternoon nap be damned, Mama needs to play.

Speaking of playing, today was my husband's birthday and mine is on Sunday. Leos unite! We're having ourselves a partay at a friend's bar on Saturday. Sadly, 10 month olds are not invited.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Albeit with more hair

Recently I was chatting with a friend who just adopted a dog. As we were discussing what's awesome and what's awful about puppyhood, I realized that raising a dog is perfect training for raising a wild baby. To wit:

You clean up their shit constantly--especially in the beginning. Now at least the dog poops outside. Tony was far easier to house train then I imagine our crazy little monkey will be. Maybe I should have done elimination communication (this one mama had her 6-month-old poop into a tupperware bin in the middle of a yoga class!)

Everything goes in the mouth--and they always want what you're eating. My husband made the mistake years ago of enticing Tony to eat his food by giving him a little "topper." So now he won't eat his boring old dog food without some chicken, cheese, bacon, cocaine on top. Mr. Monk is showing the same snobbery towards his baby food. "Puree again? Only with caviar!"

Slobbery wet kisses--unfortunately, neither the dog nor the baby can give a kiss without tongue.

You're so excited when they learn a new trick--the fact that Tony pretty much only knows how to "shake" doesn't bode well for Mr. Monk's college applications.

Food motivated--I treat Mr. Monk's puffs as if they are the juiciest bone ever. Sometimes I'll even throw some in the snack trap so it's like a kong and he's got to work them out. Puffs = food + entertainment.

Brain development--my dog at least knows not to play with knives or dive headfirst off the changing table. Though neither speak much, both are very effective at getting their demands across through barks of varying pitch, duration and volume.

Exercise--they both need to be tired out before they'll nap. Mr. Monk spends much of his day crawling back and forth across the house. And back and forth. Exactly like Tony at the dog park. Sometimes I'll even throw a ball for him to "fetch."

I'm beginning to think that Mr. Monk identifies a little too closely with Tony. His new favorite activity is to race over to the dog food, pull himself up and take the food and sprinkle it out all over the floor. Let's not forget splashing his hands in the water bowl-that's THE BEST! And, just this morning, he figured out how to follow Tony outside...right through the doggie door!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kindness of Strangers

Yesterday was an exercise in resource management. I am not good at resource management.

I had planned to visit a good friend and her fresh new baby in the afternoon. Of course, the standard mom time handicap had me running a good twenty minutes late. Amazingly, I remembered to bring the gift, though I forgot the card. I also forgot to eat lunch and actually managed to do Insanity (first time in a week-rough) so I was starvation central. I wanted to pick up some of these awesome cookies for my friend and then grab some lunch on the way. As I was standing in line at the cookie shop (and helping myself to some samples, thankyouverymuch), I realized that I didn't have my wallet. Scrounging through my purse, I found $8 and a million pennies. At that point, I was all in on the cookies and too lazy/late to head home. The woman pushed out a baby, I thought she deserved some good cookies.

Minus the $6 spent on the half dozen, I had $2 left to get myself some grub. After driving around for a few minutes and consulting with a homeless person for advice, I stopped at a taqueria, thinking that they must sell dollar tacos. Apparently, non-Taco Bell Mexican restaurants charge at least three whole dollars per taco. Eek! I was starving and noticed that a side of rice was only 95 cents and a side of beans was the same. Unfortunately, when I went to pay there was a difference between the prices of the sides when they are in addition to a meal and when they are the meal itself. The tally was $2.85. Ruh roh. I stood there sheepishly and handed over my $2 and a fistful of pennies and apologized saying, "that's all I have." The two women minding the counter were so kind and told me not to worry. One said I just have to come back and order more next time. How sweet is that? I need to head over there later to drop off a big tip.

And maybe, just maybe, I should stick an emergency $20 in my car like a 16-year-old.

But, at least my friend got her cookies and I got to hold her sweet little babe.

My not so little comes trouble

Monday, August 15, 2011

Feeling the love

Photos via

This weekend the mister and I took in a whole lotta music, food and fun at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park. Mr. Monk was not invited. We both were getting a little sick of each other and mutually decided that it would be best for him to spend some quality time with a babysitter. Later this afternoon we're going to sit down and discuss some highs and lows of our time apart.

Some of our friends brought their kids and that was exhausting just to watch. There was some downright amazing eye candy (this is SF after all). We didn't really get the chance to check out many new bands but managed to see a few favorites, including Phish (don't judge, I married a Phishhead), the Meters, the Decemberists and Arcade Fire. Thanks to some friends in the biz, we got these fancy little bracelets that gave us special parking, free drinks and access to private that is livin'.

We had some friends in town for the festival who were staying at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. This is where I will be moving. Please have all my calls and mail forwarded. Spending the afternoon at the pool, with Mr. Monk and his new friends (the kids of our friends!) and knowing that they clean the pee out of the kiddie pool during each of the regularly scheduled "10 minute breaks" that is livin'.

When I visited my home away from home, Whole Foods, this morning, I experienced the realization of my biggest nightmare/dream. The cashier recognized me! As I was checking out she said, "where's the baby today?" Gah! I started laughing and said I was wondering when I would be called out on my constant visits. She replied, "oh yeah, we know all the regulars." Being recognized for spending an inordinate amount of time per week at a grocery store...I don't know what that is.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hear me roar

Well, there goes that theory that you can't get your period while breastfeeding. I am a woman now. Again. And so far it's really not that bad. I almost didn't even notice that I was menstruating (could a more awful word exist? I still have trouble pronouncing it, over 20 years after it became a regular feature in my life). Once you birth a baby using a tampon takes on a whole lot less importance. Though I am relieved that I can stop spending my non-income on pregnancy tests now. It'll be nice to have the whole "that time of the month" excuse again to buffer my everyday craziness.

Becoming reacquainted with my womanhood has made me think about how much more women have to deal with than men. Let's have a little recap, shall we?

1. Aunt Flo-bleeding for 4-7 days per month. Enough said.

2. High heels-I don't care how much cushioning a shoe has, your feet will hate you at the end of the night.

3. Bikini waxes-and we have to pay for the privilege.

4. Catcalls-I've never heard anyone say that they met over a wolf-whistle.

5. Pregnancy-clearly it would be the end of the human race if men had to carry around a growing parasite for 9 months.

6. Birth-whether surgical, natural or underwater, it still hurts like hell.

7. Breastfeeding-while they may go back to their former activities, your breasts will never be the same.

8. Cleaning duties- why is it that when my husband cooks, I clean and when I cook, I clean?

9. Less pay-even after all these years.

Then again, we get to talk about our feelings.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All the single ladies

Why is it that for the two days that daddy is off with friends pretending he's back in college, Mr. Monk decides that he wants to start the party an hour earlier than normal? When we normally don't see each other until 7:30, a 6 am wake up cry seems downright uncivilized (as does my decision to stay up till nearly 1 am last night. Stupid kindle and your easy-in-bed-reading ways). Yes, yes, I realize I am a lucky duck that the baby is normally a champion sleeper. Of course, because he woke up too early, he's been acting like he's getting his period all day. Just whiny, bratty and maybe a little bloated.

I am not cut out for single motherhood.

Speaking of single motherhood, I am currently reading a very witty, touching and thoroughly engaging (see idiotic sleep time above) book on the subject called "Operating Instructions," by Anne Lamott. It's a memoir capturing her son's first year and the most honest book on motherhood I've ever read. So honest that the author admits to wanting to leave her screaming baby out on the front porch all night to test his survival instincts. I too have wondered how Mr. Monk would fare on his own in those wee hours of the first few months. The book conjures up moments that are in turn hilarious, frustrating and incredibly beautiful--pretty much exactly like raising a child.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thanks for the cry, Alan Ball

Another day, another HBO series finale (can you tell we just switched from Direct TV to cable with on demand?). Seriously, the last ten minutes of "Six Feet Under" might just be the most perfect ending of a television series. Ever. I was obsessed with this show when it was on and bawled hysterically the first time I saw this finale and again just now. It's just so satisfying to see what happens to these beloved characters. For a montage about death, I found it pretty life affirming. Wouldn't it be great if every tv show, movie, book showed you the full character arc all the way through until their deaths? This show and this ending has stayed with me for years.

Every once in a while it's good to be reminded that you only have one life. This is the time to make the most of it. Not tomorrow, next week, or next year. I am guilty of always thinking that things "will be better when..." I've been trying to live more in the moment and appreciate all the beauty of now, however absurd and annoying it may be at times. Writing this post, six years after this show aired, knowing how much more love I have in my life makes me feel so very, very lucky.

This is clearly the week for oversharing about celebrity meetings--I met Chris Messina, the guy who played Ted, Claire's love, at a bar in Brooklyn the year after the finale. I recognized him from the show and we spent the next few hours chatting about the program, life in Los Angeles and stocking fetishes. So as to diffuse any potential flirtation, I told him straight up that I had just started dating someone. At the end of the night he asked me if I was going to marry this guy. Without any hesitation, I said yes. And I did, two and a half years later.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Now I want a cosmo

My husband is out of town and I am already watching "Sex and the City" on demand. I'm like a caricature of a bored housewife. This episode I'm on is from the last season, with Aleksandr Petrovsky, Miranda's wedding and Samantha's breast cancer. Not my favorite season, but it'll do. And, Carrie's hair is pretty, wavy awesomeness. As I watch this, it has just occurred to me that I am now frighteningly close to the age of these characters, at least much more so than when I initially enjoyed the series almost ten years ago.

Back then, I was in my early twenties, living in Manhattan-Los Angeles-Manhattan, spending four to five nights a week in bars/lounges/clubs. In almost four years, I've been to less than five clubs in San Francisco. My, how the mighty have fallen. This show, unrealistic though it was (exactly what kind of writer buys those shoes and lives in that apartment?), always makes me miss New York. New York and brunch. Brunches that lasted hours, dissecting dates, careers, travel plans, families. I wish I had that time again to chat with my girlfriends, children, husbands and geographic distance be damned.

Incidentally, I actually met Sarah Jessica Parker when I was in college. Unbeknownst to me, I was babysitting for her niece and nephew and almost squealed with delight when she opened the door. She was as sweet as pie and teeny, tiny. That same night, the family's dog gave birth in their bath tub. I had to call the parents back for an emergency delivery. I helped to whelp!

Dun dun dunna...

Monday, August 8, 2011

End of an era

You know it was a good wedding when you can hardly speak the next morning. When I was younger I used to love having a cold because I thought I sounded all sexy and hoarse like Demi Moore. In reality, it's more reminiscent of a frog. Then again, when I was really little I used to think it'd be cool to break my leg so I'd have to use crutches. This poor kid in my class, Howie, used to break at least one bone every year. Thinking of it now, I realize he probably had osteoporosis or some sort of bone disorder, but I was sooooo jealous of his casts and how he got to go down the stairs on his butt. Clearly, my issues go way back.

Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend at our friends' farm chic wedding in northern California, surrounded by love, sunshine and hay rides! Mr. Monk loved being a part of the festivities. So much so that he started cheering during the ceremony. Heeeeeeyyyyy!!!! Eeeeeeeeehhh! Hiiiiiiiiiii! He just wanted to express his joy for the happy couple. Thankfully, we sat on the aisle and made a quick break for it. There were loads of other babies around, which helped ease the burden (and shift the blame).

Although we had a few "were we out of our damn minds for not getting a sitter?" moments, for the most part, he slept. He slept during the cocktail hour. He slept through the dinner. He slept through hours of outdoor music and his parents dancing their asses off until 2 am. He even slept in a bowling alley the night before the wedding! How redneck is that? We parked him in the arcade section and rolled on for hours. He never made a peep despite the blaring house music, laser lights, oh and the soothing sounds of 8-16 pound plastic balls smashing into wooden pins all night long. Our next kid won't sleep at all, right?

As always after a wedding or any celebratory weekend, I feel a little sad today. There is something so magical about seeing a whole slew of friends (or family) in one place where nothing else exists but the need to have fun and share the love. Mr. Schneed and I realized on our way home that this was our last wedding. For now. We have a few more single friends, but no pending engagements/weddings. We are officially olden. After five years of spending every spring-fall going to at least five weddings (one year as many as 12!), this is just downright depressing. Time to start planning some reunions.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Off the wagon

So not only did I skip Insanity yesterday, but I also managed to consume a pie shake. Yes, pie + ice cream = pie shake. Chile pies + ice cream is an evil place. This is, mind you, after I consumed an entire plate of nachos at the parent resto, Green Chile Kitchen. When I fall, I fall hard.

I got a slice of country peach pie and a big ole scoop of Lemon Cookie ice cream. The very sweet server woman took about a million minutes to make it, as I suspect pie doesn't blend all that easily. When it was done, it was equal parts awesome and awful. I got about two inches of it down before I had to fold. My husband, ever the pinch hitter, stepped in to relieve me in my time of need. I feel a little nauseated just thinking about it. But, it hurts so good.

Let's see what kind of damage I can do at a good friend's wedding this weekend. Open. Bar.

Fake it till you make it

New adventures in mommyhood this week:

Nursing my husband off the bathroom floor after a vicious battle with food poisoning, only to then have to contend with my snotty mess of a baby after he caught a bad cold. Thankfully, both boys are on the mend. Perfect time for me to get sick.

Trying to check for a fever anally and orally. Not sure which was more unpleasant for the little guy. I may have to stick with the armpit even though it's basically as accurate as guessing the temperature.

Feeding my baby yogurt melts after he started enjoying food again post-cold. His face lit up with delight upon tasting the yogurty goodness. Those space food disks are bizarro.

Seeing my baby vomit after eating one too many yogurt melts (or puffs, or chicken, or berries, or any of the way too many things my baby shoved into his mouth yesterday). For the record, spit up is nowhere near the same thing as vomit. The poor boy was definitely confused and scared. And five minutes later, he wanted to eat again.

Watching Mr. Monk's luckily very hard head hit the wooden floor more times than I can count as he tried to a) stand, b) reach for the dog, c) pet the dog and d) shield his face from the dog's licks all at the same time.

Realizing that as much as I clean it, the high chair is always going to look pretty used and abused.

Finding the cutest little baby tuxedo for baby's first wedding this weekend. Now, where to find a muzzle for the ceremony?

Appreciating the fact that Mr. Monk's favorite new toy to destroy actually comes fairly cheap.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

Recently a pregnant friend of mine texted me, "my boobs just started leaking! Why didn't you tell me about this?" Ah, the glamorous life of a pregnant woman. While I didn't enjoy the pleasure of leaving circles on all my tops until after I gave birth, leaking some colostrum is just one of the many eccentricities of pregnancy. After all, you're growing a life inside of you for 9+ months. From scratch! Things are bound to get a little weird. I responded that at least now she knows the boobs are working and milk is a comin'.

In honor of the many friends of mine who are currently baking a baby, I decided to jot down a few things I never knew before I went and got knocked up:

Contraction (in)action--It's possible to have contractions for days on end and not be in labor. This happened to me. For weeks. Weeks! It's called Prodromal Labor and it pretty much sucks. It's a fairly common situation wherein you experience hours (or days, weeks) of regular contractions that are more painful and more consistent than your basic BH contractions. These contractions (which are sometimes known as the beginnings of early labor, or pre-labor) supposedly help prepare your body for active labor, so they aren’t totally in vain. Pretty much like a really long, annoying warm up routine.

Drip dry--Your amniotic fluid doesn't always "break" sometimes it's more like a slow leak. For me, it felt like I was peeing after I was done peeing. This was actually far more pleasant than having it gush out of me on an elevator (my biggest fear), but can be a bit scary as some women leak without even realizing it. Luckily, the amount of amniotic fluid can be measured by an ultrasound so the doctor will be able to determine if there is any danger.

Pee phobia--Speaking of peeing, going number one after giving birth is nearly as scary as pushing out the baby. A nurse, a squirt water bottle, a mess of blood and a giant maxi pad will be involved. At least you get softeners for going number 2. After the first time with each, the pain is (mostly) gone.

There will be blood--The bleeding, unfortunately, sticks around for a while. Some women experience lochia, post-partum shedding of all that extra blood, for up to six weeks. But, you don't have to wear the huge uncomfortable pads the whole time, as the bleeding gets lighter over time and may stop and start.

Sleep, baby, sleep--Once the baby starts gaining weight, you don't have to feed him/her every three hours. If you are lucky enough to have a good sleeper and a good eater, you may gaze lovingly your sleeping beauty but do not touch, poke, prod or otherwise wake the baby. And get yourself to sleep, stat. I was all set to get mine on a set feeding schedule (yeah, right) when I took him home from the hospital. That is, until the doctor at my first visit laughed at me and reminded me "never to wake a sleeping baby."

PP PD--Your period could start again while you are nursing. And, you CAN get pregnant while nursing full time even before your period starts. I've met a few too many babies less than 18 months apart to believe they were all on purpose. Your body will likely take a few months to regulate itself with all the hormonal changes so unless you want some Irish twins, use protection.

Get In My Belly--You will be hungrier and thirstier than ever before when breastfeeding. I never had any food cravings when pregnant (which actually freaked me out at times) but I couldn't get the food down my throat fast enough when I first started nursing my little vampire. Cookies, cakes, muffins, anything baked had to be consumed by the fistful. It calmed down after the first month or two, but I still need to drink almost a gallon of water per day. I am thirsty all the damn time. And, I pee all the damn time.

Hearing things--Some time after you get used to the sound of your baby's cry, you start hearing it. All. The. Time. This phantom cry was the freakiest thing for me in the first few weeks. I would hear him crying in my dreams, in the shower, sometimes even when I was out of the house. I guess it has something to do with being hypersensitive to the sound in case you need to rescue the baby from a massive blowout poop or an alien invasion.

But, of course, nothing can really prepare you for that magical moment when that baby is pushed, pulled or lifted into this world. Good luck, ladies, and remember to take the disposable underwear!

I still see this face all the time

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gin and juice

On my good pal Marcie's reco, the Mr. and I watched this movie the other night. It tells the story of a man who discovered the power of juicing and lost about 90 pounds and one skin disorder along the way. Basically, this Australian dude travels around the US professing the benefits of a juice fast, drinking only 3 vegetable and fruit juices a day for either a 10 day reboot or 60 day life-changer.

We're big smoothie makers but were intrigued by the whole juicing method of getting at the micronutrients more efficiently because all the fiber is excluded. And, you don't have to peel anything! While we do eat a lot of vegetables, juicing is one way to get many, many servings in at once and just drink your way to good health. Or so the movie and the now buff and thin Aussie says.

The day after watching the film we went to the Marin farmer's market, which offers up some serious produce porn (very expensive, organic porn).

And the flowers were two for one!

Guess who loved the market most of all?

On our way back into the city from Marin, Mr. Schneed got all kinds of excited and wanted to stop and pick up a juicer at the local BBB. Between this and Insanity, I think I need to keep my husband away from infomercials. I guess he was feeling inspired by the movie and the absurd amounts of kale we just purchased. Surprisingly, the store had no juicers in stock and neither did any of the other stores that we visited yesterday. The juicer quest was on! Who knew there was such a run on these machines? Is everyone juicing?

Mr. Schneed found one this evening. Our life as juiceheads has begun. We'll see how many times we use it before it somehow finds its way into our cabinet with the rest of the abandoned appliances (anyone want a waffle maker?) Cheers!