Friday, July 30, 2010

Sneak Peek...


We participated in a media project for The Bump last Saturday. Once we receive word that the final is up, I'll share more details. For now, enjoy the look of patience and sheer boredom on my boys' faces.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Panic! You Ol' Con Man

You got me again you Bastard. There I was enjoying a nice evening of crafting with Etsy at the South Street Seaport and here you come. Out of nowhere. Well, kinda. It was really all my fault. I shouldn't have taken that pistachio ice cream from my sister-in-law knowing good and hell well that nuts trigger a psychosomatic response for me. It was a free scoop being offered by Coach (yes, of handbag fame) of all people. I had the strawberry and accepted the rest of her scoop because I have Depression-era relationship with food. It kills me to see my family members toss it. AND I wanted to stay cool on a hot day. I blame my own sister too. Because she has a food sensitivity to tree nuts (odd, I know) and I am so close to her that I think we are just alike...right down to the allergies.

After scooping up my gift bag, I start to cough just a little. Just. Gotta. ClearMyThroat. We get to the corner near the street and my sister-in-law remarks at the formidable temperature and general ickiness of standing near the passing traffic. That's when I lose it. I feel my throat swell and suddenly my mouth right down to the bottom of my esophagus is numb. The sensation becomes overwhelming in a matter of two minutes and I'm off to the Duane Reade across the street to get Benadryl. Liquid Benadryl so it works faster. Mind you, I've been screened for food allergies with negative results. So this whole episode may simply have been due to my inhaling just a bit of exhaust. Or a whisper of pollen floating into my nostril and getting caught in my throat.

But we all know it was you Anxiety. You sneak up on me just to make sure I'm paying attention. Reminding me to slow down the pace. I am. Right now, I'm laughing at you. And myself a little because it was pretty funny hearing Big D recreate the scene as he saw it from the car. He's a good guy. Always helping me see the funny wrapped in the crazy. You can shove it now Panic. That'll be all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nicknames

I've always wanted a nickname... a special pet name thoughtfully created out of some quirk, idiosyncrasy or special inside joke shared amongst close friends and family. I suppose I do have a few of my own but not a universal moniker that everyone knows and understands at once. For example, I call Baby D Baba Ganoush. Sometimes Papachino. Nonsensical words that just feel good to my mouth when I'm trying to avoid biting his little cheeks out of sheer joy.

As we were walking home from a successful flat screen seeking mission, a group of teenagers sparring on a building stoop stopped what they were doing and called out "BABYHAWK!" Now THIS is a universally-understood name. I've heard people call him this before in passing. Babyhawk it is.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Water Baby


Baby D really enjoys being in the water. He eases right into it, fluttering his little fingers all the while. He even flexes his baby abs when he floats! The mini muscle guy makes Dad proud.

Recipe of the Week

I JUST made this. Yes, I know its too late at night to eat pasta but I can afford an extra 500-900 calories a day thanks to breastfeeding. I said I would never list what I ate for dinner as a blog entry but I think that recipes definitely have their place in this blog. Because I LOVE to eat. And I'm married to a big handsome man with a hearty appetite. He already put down three pieces of pizza by the time I whipped up this dish so I have enough for lunch tomorrow. Oh, and use the butter. It makes it super delish. I am quite aware that Italian mothers from the old country would have my neck for the canned clams and dried seasoning, but if you love traditional clams and linguine, this will hit the spot.

Quick Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped/minced clams, with juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup (or so) Parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Linguini

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Combine clams with juice, butter, olive oil,chopped garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, red pepper and pepper in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat until boiling. Serve warm over pasta.

Pink Eye for the Fresh Guy

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mama. Maaaaa. I'm on your back. Remember? Is this thing secure? Better hold onto your t-shirt juuuust in case.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Search is On! Kinda.

Well, after reviewing all of the suggestions you all made in the comment section *crickets*, I've decided to start my heritage search by taking a matrilineal DNA test. According to the AfricanAncestry.com website (and an article in the Washington Post), I can find out which African tribe (and thus coast) my mother's family is from. If only Luke Skywalker had this kind of access! I figure, this is a good place to start. The Dark Continent is no stranger to me...I've been to Egypt and Zimbabwe amongst other places. I'm giddy with anticipation! I have a feeling we may have some roots in the east coast (Somalia, Eritrea, etc) even though most Africans sent to the Americas originated on the west coast (Nigeria, etc). I'm wondering out loud just how accurate this will be. I'm interested in the actual science of it all. DNA indexing.

Before I drop too much science on you, I'll hold my thoughts until the testing kit comes in the mail. I'll type and swab at the same time. They have a patrilineal test as well, but a male relative has to take that one.  I guess I'll have to recruit my dad. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to be taking part in what he'll surely think is nonsense. Maybe I'll trick him into drinking out of a Styrofoam cup and collecting it with rubber gloves like they do on the crime shows. Or I'll just ask him. Hey. The first way would have been far more clever but totally creepy in a violating-your-fourth-amendment-right-against-unauthorized-search-and-seizure kind of way. Sorry dad! The catch: they only tell you if you have European forefathers...not their countries of origin. My dad is German so we have that little problem solved. So, let's just buy one kit and see where that takes us, shall we?

As Promised...How We Met

We met at a popular restaurant and lounge in March 2005. I was sitting by the hot tub on the roof (yeah, there were hot tubs)and enjoying the crisp weather with my roommate from law school. And here comes the Big Guy with that swagger that only he has and asked "do you drink?" followed by an accusatory "were you sitting here waiting for someone to buy you a drink?" (this guy is somethin' else). It just so happened that I was getting quite thirsty and we went downstairs and had some ice cold fantasticos and conversation. We both wore blazers that night, but as Big D would later find out, only one of us is the nerd in this relationship :)

We've been Big Buddy and Little Buddy ever since.

P.S. He was so laid back (read: not douchey like the other guys I previously met during law school), I refused to believe he was also in law school. I'm glad I made it out for my friends' birthdays that night. I found the gravy to my mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



Overheard in the Living Room

...from the kitchen

Husband to Baby D: Mom is cooking so I can eat. She also pumps so you can eat. Very important person in our lives.

Me to myself: (Did I just hear him say "...for now"?) I kid. I kid.

Overhearing these kinds of interactions is one of the upsides of living in an apartment. You get all the action within reach (and earshot).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Obscenely Good Food

If I enjoyed my food in a restaurant like my son enjoys a bottle of milk while sitting on our laps, I would be arrested for the 1920's definition of public indecency. Waiters carrying out my meal would be witness to me first widening and then closing my eyes as I wait for the food to be set down before me. The other diners would gasp and clutch their pearls as I knead my chubby legs with my hands, rhythmically imitating each lingering, delicious bite. Back and forth, up and down, occasionally smiling with a mouth full of food. I would then fall asleep with the fork in my mouth, still imitating the chewing motion while fully engaged in a dream...even seemingly dream-laughing at all the crazy ways that the service staff fussed over me while preparing my dish. Perhaps even dreaming of the next meal.

Its good to be a baby, isn't it? Even having a bottle is an extraordinary experience.

Note to self: make sure to film Baby D while doing his dinnertime leg massage.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hipster Baby/Macho Man




Dear Aunt A,

Thanks for the awesome little hipster outfit. And the trip to the Farmer's Market. What baby doesn't need cotton, striped, multi-pocketed cargo pants and a wing-print muscle tee? My dad especially loves it because it showcases my baby biceps. What's this you ask? Just a pose to let you know who's the boss.

Love,

Baby D

Knowing the Language... Priceless

Living in one of the world's most diverse cities means being having the world's many cuisines at your fingertips. A long-time franks, burgers and fries fan, my husband is really getting into ethic foods. He often calls on me to place the order since I'm more experienced at speaking to people for whom English is not their mother-tongue. Today, that skill translated into $7 saved. It reminds me of the time I spent negotiating at an out-of-the-way bazaar in Hurghada, Eqypt. I was not at all fluent in Arabic but I taught myself the numeric symbols by studying a few business cards I had acquired during our day trips. The numbers were translated so that Westerners would be able to telephone the tour company, car service, etc. I used them to tell the savvy salesmen that I knew that the marked price for Okra was three Egyptian dollars and not seven. Don't ask what I was doing buying okra in an out of the way bazaar on the Red Sea. Most gals go for the bracelets or wall hangings.

Anyway, I knew enough Spanish to read the "Especiales Diarios" tucked away in the only non-translated section of the menu. I ordered the half chicken meal for $11 instead of the $18 we would have paid by adding on the extra sides from the English-language side. I thought about pocketing the money I saved him but I figured bragging about it would be more valuable to me :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sprinkler Day

The heat was in the high 90s today and Baby D had his first sprinkler day at daycare. I was so busy trying to get back to work this morning (so busy, in fact, that I earned myself a little moving violation on the way) that I forgot to ask what time it would be so that I could return and experience it. Its not called "mommybrain" people. Its called "I need an assistant just to keep me from locking my keys in the car daily".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Wheels are A-Turnin’

Somewhere there's somebody who looks just like you do. Acts just like you do - feels the same way. Somewhere there's a person in a faraway place with a different name and a face that looks like you. Do ya think about who it might be? Do you wonder where you are? In a distant foreign country ridin' 'round in another car - where the wheels keep on turning and turning and turning and nothing's disturbing the way they go around. All your thoughts are in another head. Your dreams are sleepin' in a different bed. The force that moves you is a circular breath of life and death going round and round and round.

- "The Wheel" sung by Edie Brickell

This song that I loved so very much in my small insular seventh-grade world where shaving the lower half of your head and wearing old World War II fatigues with Chuck Taylors was the thing to do has been playing in my head as I think about my family’s global origins. Isn’t it funny how very distant in reason those two images are? A much younger Me there in all of my homogenous private school pseudo-alt-cool innocence and the older mom Me looking for my biological Home. What I’m trying to say is that over the next year (or three), I will be dedicating some of my time (and blogspace) to tracking down the African side of my German father and the European side of my African-American mother. Any suggestions on where to begin?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Family

One of the most difficult things about living in a big city is the lack of close by family members. Let's be honest: most adults with families don't find urban living desirable. I know because I was one of them. I initially resisted remaining in the City after graduating from law school. I longed for a suburban life where I could cruise around in my foreign luxury car and pull into the driveway of my four bedroom, two bathroom colonial. Well, some things have changed. I married a man who adores the city and because I love him so dearly, I have also come to love the place where he wishes to dwell. When I became pregnant, the hike up and down three flights of stairs kept my gams in shape…and me exhausted. I seriously doubted that I could lug a baby in a car seat up and down these stairs without risking injury to myself or my precious cargo.



Six months later, we're all doing quite well in the city. We just returned from a photo shoot in nearby Central Park. We're able to order food at all times of the night and have the subway just steps away from our apartment. Oh, and the family situation has been good for us. My sister-in-law has been keeping the baby once a week (she lives in an apartment 3 miles away) and my mother is able to take the train and connecting subway from Connecticut to our place. She is able to be here within a half-hour's notice. My father-in-law is able to visit us very easily on the weekends due to our proximity to the major highways. It is amazing just how willing our family is to travel to see us. If you have a look at our boy, I suppose the motivation can be found in his smile.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby and Dad





Of all the choices I've made in my life, this has to be the greatest. Sure, I met my husband in a bar (hey, its New York folks!) but something about him felt like forever. I'm sure if you asked him, the story would go a little differently, but for me, it was something out of a rom-com. As soon as I dig up the previously-printed story of how we met, I'll post it here. All I know is that this little love of ours has turned into a big love. And my husband is teaching that Big Love how to swim. This melts my heart and solidifies the truth of what I've known since April 1, 2005: I've met the long-lost lid to my Tupperware.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Ol' Jumperoo - Our Fatman's Gym


This thing is simply awesome. We use it about 5 minutes a day and Baby D LOVES it. He's a natural bouncer (thanks to Dad teaching him how to jump up while standing on your lap). A plus - his pediatrician gave the ok for us to use it (moderately of course).

She also called him 'gigantic'. What? He weighs 21 pounds and is 28.5 inches long at 6 months... World: meet a breastfed baby.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear BlogHer '10 Folks: Enter the Born Free Contest!

http://bornfreemom.com/2010/06/01/attention-all-blogher-2010-moms-you-need-a-time-out/

Friday, July 2, 2010

Baby Hands are Fascinating

In the last couple days, I have noticed that Baby D stares with great fascination at his outstretched hands as he flexes and relaxes them at the wrist. Twirling each dimple-knuckled hand around and around with calculated timing as I imagine a Geisha doing a fan dance would. He studies the back (just a tad browner than its counterpart) and the front as if he were seeing the plump little tentacles for the first time. It amazing how his hands (at least these days) can keep him more preoccupied than any toy we could put in them. What a magical time to be a new little human. It warms me to think that I too was just as in awe of such simple things. Wait, apparently I still am.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

BlogHer Tickets

I finally scored a ticket to the BlogHer '10 Conference! More on this later...
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