Keepin’ up with the Joneses

To listen to our breakfast-table conversations lately, the most anticipated event of the summer in our household is NOT the arrival of our second child.  No, the most anticipated event of the summer is the release of Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 on June 24th.  Actually, for me personally, the most anticipated event of the YEAR is the release of Cars II on DVD sometime in the Fall, so that I can finally halt the endless loop of the original Cars film -- and, when enough TV is enough, the Cars motion picture soundtrack, or even just Babyman's running narration of the entire Cars plotline -- in our ... [READ MORE]

The Apartment of Homeland Security

The Big Boy Bed has prompted us to consider the possibility of Babyman exiting the apartment in the night.  I know from experience that his first (and probably only) stop is actually our bedroom, but I live in fear of waking up in the morning to find that, outside of the comfortable cage-like confines of his crib, he has decided to go somewhere...else.  Despite the fact that there are 15 stories of apartment building for Babyman to navigate (by way of an elevator in which he can only reach the buttons for floors B through 4), followed by a vast lobby, I am convinced that he *could* find ... [READ MORE]

Cookbook Love

Is it ironic that the mark of a really wonderful, well-loved cookbook, is when you don't open it anymore? My first real cookbook was Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef.  It was a first-apartment gift from a friend of my mother's who was living in London when rakish Jamie had just burst onto the BBC scene back in 2000.  The spine of the book is so faded you can't read it anymore in a line-up of cookbooks.  I have not made every recipe in there, but I have probably made most of them with varying degrees of success, and what I have learned in the intervening decade is that most of the Naked Chef is ... [READ MORE]

Transitions! Transitions…

My husband woke with a start at 1 a.m.  Hence I woke with a start at 1 a.m., to find that Babyman was standing about two inches from my husband's face, barely whispering, "Daddy?", like some tow-headed, munchkin-sized apparition.  Both of our hearts racing (but me being too pregnant and groggy to respond coherently to the situation) my husband got out of bed and quietly walked Babyman back to his room, where he snuggled in without protest and immediately went back to sleep. We have transitioned to the Big Boy Bed. This is actually our second attempt: Big Boy Bed, Redux.  The first ... [READ MORE]

On Elmo the Dentist and Other Marketing Perils

Babyman ran to me when I picked him up from school, so excited he could barely get the sentence out: "Mommy, may you -- may you -- may you please put Cheetos in my lunchbox?" Huh?  For a brief, hopeful moment I assumed he meant the cheese-flavored rice cakes I've been packing lately, until his teacher explained: Babyman's lunch buddy gets Cheetos at tea-time every afternoon, and Babyman is hell-bent on getting his hands on some of that neon orange goodness. I looked at the teacher and murmured, "I'm afraid that would be something of a departure for me."  Even as the words escaped my ... [READ MORE]

Princess No More

Remember your first pregnancy? The one when you still had no idea what you were going to be up against, and your body was a temple, and it actually felt kind of good to sacrifice booze and brie for the benefit of your unborn bundle of joy, and people carried even your lightest grocery bags for you, and you loved the way your hair looked like a Prell commercial when you blew it dry, and you got to (HAD to!) discover a whole new world of retail, and pedicures were a weekly must -- especially once you had gained a few pounds? That was nice. It's good to be Princess for a month or ten. This ... [READ MORE]

Ch-ch-ch-change it up!

Babyman is off yogurt.  This happens from time to time; he'll devour something for months, then want nothing to do with it for a while.  Of course eventually it works its way back into his heart...provided I keep offering it every so often. Some of these hot-n-cold foods don't really pose much of an issue (sweet potatoes, squash, bananas) as they are easily substituted or concealed somehow (usually in muffins or oatmeal).  Others are a big pain.  Yogurt falls in the latter category, as it is one of my breakfast-lunch-snacktime staples, easy to transport, and fun to mix with other ... [READ MORE]