Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Greatest Toy in the World

Emmy has discovered the greatest toy in the world...its called the top of the pasta sauce jar.

When washed and presented to an infant, assorted lids can keep children distracted for hours. I discovered the value of this specific spaghetti sauce lid when Em figured out how to open the sprinkle canister. Desperate to distract for an additional five minutes so that I could pull the cookies out the oven, I frantically handed over the nearest, non-choking hazard object.

This lid was it.

She's been fiddling with, passing it back and forth between her hands, and slobbering on it for quite some time.

I also gave her an ear of corn but it didn't go over as big.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Me Want Food!

I am having an eating day...

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to eat all day long? I have them once about every 30 days or so. I'm usually pretty well behaved, appetite-ly speaking, but then, BOOM!

Doritos are consumed by the bag, I suck down brownies and whole loaves of bread. I dip apples in peanut butter and drink milk from the carton. I'm kinda bummed this is happening again because from what I had heard, the little friend that comes to town bringing these shark attacks of food consumption, was supposed to be gone for at least a year, as that is how long I plan on breastfeeding.

But no. No, not for me.

Aunt Flo came back in full force last month...while we were on vacation.

The SECOND DAY of the first vacation K.O. and I had taken in three years.

I just don't get it, my sister-in-law is still holding off the backslide and HER baby is over 12 months old. Emmy is JUST seven months today...what the hell?

The only difference is that she exclusively breastfed her daughter until she was almost a year and we started incorporating solid foods into Em's diet four weeks ago. Maybe the extra toll of breastfeeding a VERY HUNGRY, larger baby convinced her body to keep itself barren for longer. Maybe her boobs sent a message to her brain, complaining of all the EXTRA work they were putting in and filed for an extended vacation at the end of their run as "food source".

All I know, I could get pregnant again.

Arg. No thank you.

I like that Emmy gets to be the only little girl, that she gets all of my time and all of my energy. I don't think we'll be "trying" again anytime soon; I'd like for Emmy to be in pre-school (at least!) before we bring home a little sister.

Yeah, a new baby is not what we need.

What I do need is some glass cleaner and a candy bar.

I think I'm going to look on line as to how to make Windex out of home ingredients.

I will not be looking up how to make candy bars as I'm pretty sure you can't make chocolate out of vinegar and tomatoes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bagels-Crazy Rings of Madness

Man, those bagels took FOREVER right?

...and guess what?

My bagels were not as good as anything I've bought from Wegmans.

I don't think my bagels were as good as anything Wegmans throws AWAY.

Ends up, bagels are harder to make than just punching a hole in some dough. There was boiling, 15 minutes of hand kneading, and all other kinds of nonsense involved. It took forever...and what did I end up with?

10 or so tiny, misshapen bagels that tasted kinda gluey and smelled like cheese. Now granted, I did ADD cheese to the dough, so the cheesy smell, while a bit off putting, wasn't completely unexpected.


Now ask me if I learned my lesson and STOPPED making bagels.

No, no I did not learn my lesson and tried to make another batch on Friday, the results?

11(!) small, misshapen bagels that taste MUCH less like glue and don't smell like the rind of a wheel of Parmesan...'cause I added more water and no cheese this time. I also found out that if I bake things on the bottom shelf of my oven they come out much more delicious than if I bake them on the top.

Crazy super skinny mystery oven.

So what else is happening in the Myers household?

A sad thing, K.O.'s grandmother, Isabell, died. While it was a quiet and peaceful passing, it was still unexpected and we are making arrangements to head up to Wyoming, Pa to attend her funeral. Isabell was a lovely woman who gave me cookies from the tin she kept in her room and told me I always smell good. She never met our daughter and that is a disappointing and regretful situation. Currently, we are trying to decide the best way to travel such a long way with Emery. We are anti-drugging, but pro-no-screaming-forever-in the car.

In other news, hubby's website launched to some genuine success. Its a skeptical-based initiative focusing on connecting like minded people with groups and other skeptic based folks in their area. Interested? Check out the site.

I'll be posting about what its like to be married to/raising a child with a skeptical partner. Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of criticism for things like holistic medicine and the fundamental rhetoric, but I don't identify myself as "a skeptic". I'm Jewish. I like being Jewish and we're raising our daughter to be Jewish. The difference, at times, is frustrating, but we're makin' it work.

'Cause we're like that.


Gotta go-Em's frozen bagel is beginning to thaw and is no long acting as the stand-in teething ring/parent I need it to be.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bacon and Bakin'

I love bacon...we had breakfast for dinner last night, and I must say, organic, wholesome preachings aside, Smithfield bacon is the best bacon in the world.

I've had Amish bacon, Trader Joe's organic bacon, turkey bacon (or "facon" as I had taken to calling it), every bloody kind of fried up fatty pork strip that exists under the sun.

I declare that Smithfield bacon is the superior product.

And it was just on sale, so double win.


In other news, I am attempting to bake bagels today, as I am out of bagels and too lazy to go to the store.

I'm confident that my bagels will turn out at least as good as anything I can buy at Wegmans. I'm basing this belief on the fact I've been making a lot of bread recently and it has all turned out rather lovely.

I mean, how hard could making a bagel be?

What? I have to add a hole to roll?

I can add a hole no problem! In fact, just the other day, I added a hole to my wall accidentally! And if I can add a hole to a WALL on ACCIDENT, imagine what I can do to bread dough when I'm TRYING.

This will be awesome.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bend me, Shake me...

Emery and I finished up our stint at Yoga Child last Saturday...the class that wouldn't die is finally over, and I have mixed feelings. I'm sad that its done, mostly because it means this chapter of Emery's babyhood is closed. I remember being pregnant and thinking about how wonderful taking Mommy and Me yoga would be, I remember rubbing my belly and thinking of all the friends I would make and the things we would learn...


That really didn't happen.

I feel seriously underwhelmed and its a shame because the pre-baby lessons K.O. and I took at the studio were great! Its one of the reasons I was so pumped about post-natal classes; I thought if their couple's classes were so comprehensive, well then the actual baby classes were gonna blow me away.

Not so much. I found the instructor less learned than I had hoped, I didn't really connect with anyone else, and I felt frustrated throughout, spending more time trying to stop Emery from rolling off the mat than I did getting to practice any actual yoga.

So here's a break down of the good stuff and the bad stuff, just in case you were thinking of joining up. A lot of people talk/write about Yoga Child and this class, but there are very few ACTUAL reviews. I'm hoping this sheds a little light on the subject.

Lets start with...

The Positive:

It got me OUT OF THE HOUSE every week and there's a big part of me that says it was worth the price of the class right there. Knowing you have something to look forward to, knowing that if you just hold on for two more days there is a something other to do than go to the grocery store and stare at the wall, can get you through some tough spots.

I partially credit going to yoga with helping Emmy conquer her fear of strangers. She got to see other adults in a calm and quiet environment-as opposed to what usually happens-somebody or another is trying to take her from her mother, making googly faces inches from her own, all the while screaming about how cute she is. That's a lot to handle and I never understood why people were surprised when Emmy would recoil in terror. I think class helped with teaching Emery not all people are asses.

There were a couple of things my instructor said that made a lot of sense. I was able to bring a few lovely one liners home with me which I try to hold on to them when I am feeling stressed. The one that I really meditate on is about trying to give from an empty basket. The gentle reminder that its okay to take some time just for me has been exceptionally beneficial and I try to remember that metaphor when I feel myself overextending or trying to take on too much.

I got a little bit of exercise and now know just HOW out of shape my abs are.

They are very out of shape.

Moving on to the...

The Negative

The class wasn't as yoga-ish as I had hoped. A lot of the exercises we ended up doing were Pilate's based, and while yes, I do want a toned tush...I didn't sign up for squats, v-shapes sit-ups and crazy isometric tummy work. I wanted to gently stretch and rediscover my body...thus the reason I signed up for a yoga class...not a Pilate's class.

I didn't make a single friend. Now, its not that I didn't get along with the other ladies, the other women in the class seemed very nice, but I was the youngest there by a good ten years and Emmy was the oldest baby by a good 2 months. I blame this mostly on the fact I had C-section and had to wait 12 weeks before I could be cleared to take the class, most women only have to wait 6. No one really had much to say to me, and while that's not Yoga Child's fault, its still a negative for me.

The instructor seemed to be making things up as she went along. She kept trying to give us these calm, focused meditations, these insightful little tidbits of wisdom...only they were kinda based on the toys I'd brought Emmy to play with. One day she started talking about butterflies and cocoons, siting the Eric Carle book "The Hungry Caterpillar". I know this book very well, mostly because Emmy has both, a stuffed caterpillar and stuffed butterfly from said book

...which I bring to yoga

...which she was chewing on as this woman was going on and on about our metamorphosis.

She also had us try to do infant massage on our last day, which left the outfit Emmy was wearing that day smeared with oil which doesn't really come out in the wash. Don't get me wrong, she was a very nice woman, I just don't know how experienced she is, or well thought out the actual classes were. This leads me to my next point.

The schedule that the class was supposed to follow was, apparently, more of just a suggestion than an ACTUAL timeline for when we were to meet. I was supposed to be done with yoga the first week of August but my instructor had to cancel so often it was pushed back four weeks...right into the middle of my vacation. Granted, Yoga Child would let me make up two of the classes I missed with either the alternative baby class on Thursday or any adult class I'd like. And that's very nice...but I didn't sign up for the Thursday class and I don't have the time to take a class without my daughter...that's why I took the Saturday baby class.

Yoga Child is a great studio. The owner is wonderful, the staff is warm and helpful, and they're are right next to Whole Foods so parking is free. I wanted to write a happier review of my experience, but this is mucky hand I was dealt. Maybe Thursday's class is better, maybe I just stumbled into a bad round. Its possible, and I sincerely hope that's the case. Yoga Child deserves nothing but great reviews and I'll be hoping to get lots of email siting the awesome experience other people had in the same class.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bargin Basement Mommy

So...I just got back from my mother's house in North Jersey. Emmy and I had a (mostly) lovely time, what with the excess of grandma love that spills out like a torrent and covers everyone in a warm and comfortable goo of teddy bears and jelly beans.

I also got a chance to drop off a bunch of clothes Emmy had out grown at the local consignment shop which was awesome because those bags had been sitting in our hallway for months. My mother came with me to the store and while I wanted to look around for a while, she kept frantically shifting her eyes to the door and asking me if I wanted to leave and go Kohls, the massive department store my mother would move into if it was permitted.

I tried to brush her off, but she kept insisting and made it clear that she was quite anxious to leave. I finally gave in to her persistent questioning and agreed to leave the store empty handed. When I asked what made her so nervous (maybe there was a killer robot I didn't see, or a lion hiding behind the door) she told me that it made her upset to think of her granddaughter in second hand clothes, that Emmy just deserved better than that.

This threw me for a loop.

I am a big fan of doing some bargain basement, consignment or thrift store shopping for kids, and cannot, for the life of me, understand why people do NOT take better advantage of these great resources. I'd say at least two-thirds of Emmy's wardrobe are either hand-me-downs or something we purchased second hand and she looks great.

I never thought twice about this topic until my mother said something.

Am I doing wrong by my baby by refusing to pay retail?

After a couple of days of tossing and turning over this offhanded comment, I've come to this conclusion:

I love my mom, but she is wrong. Wrongy, wrongy, wrong.

My husband and I aren't poor, we aren't starving, and Emery has everything she needs and many things she doesn't. We go to baby yoga, baby music class, and she tends to get lost in the piles of toys and books that are slowly taking over the space we once used for things like our sofa and our bed. We are constantly taking trips to farmer's markets and have never, ever left without bags and bags of delicious treats. She has great medical insurance, fancy strollers, and a mom who doesn't have to work and stays home to bake challah.

How do we afford so many extras?

Because I don't have to use all our disposable income buying her new pants every two weeks.

Anyone who has had a baby knows that children have a closet full of clothes they have never worn. People give you gifts without gift recites, sleepers that are too big, onesies that are too small, or cable knit sweater that your baby will grew into around July. Or maybe you did what I did, and stocked up the wardrobe with newborn sized clothing only to have a baby the size of a Volkswagen.

And what did I do with all those too small clothes? I offered them to friends and turned over the rest to consignment store for resale.

I think the stigma that seems to attach itself to clothing and other stuff you get from a second hand place stems from the idea of purchasing something that someone else has thrown away or deemed not worthy for THEIR consumption.

I think this is ridiculous.

How many people buy used cars?

If you shift your perspective and look at places like consignment and thrift stores as a communal resource, a place to pass on the good stuff you've received and no longer have need/room/patience for, the "ick" factor fades away. We've picked up high end, major label clothes (Janie and Jack, Baby Dior, etc...) for peanuts and you can bet that when we're done with them, we're packing them up and passing them on.

So what do you give up when you do some shopping at thrift store? Well, I guess you don't get the mass size selection. There is only one of each item (unless someone had twins) and sometimes its a hit or miss selection, but I think that's all secondary to saving an incredible amount of money on adorable stuff for your child.

And naught for not, but if you ARE in a situation where you're struggling to put food on the table, its nice to know that getting a winter coat for your baby isn't going to ensure that you and your family have to eat oatmeal for two meals a day for a month.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh! And I also write this column...

Hey everyone,

Just in case you didn't already know, I write a column for Philyist.com. Every week I go out and find something great to do, and, in these shaky times maybe more importantly, inexpensive to do with a baby/child/adult who likes to do things babies like.

The latest edition is about our local farmer markets, where to go, what to buy, all that good stuff.

If you're interested, check it out here: