Hey Baldy

Ever have a stranger come over and ask to rub your belly? When you weren’t pregnant? Maybe that didn’t happen to me either. But it might if I keep making more of that awesome Mousse. Mmmmm. Mousse. Aaaaanyway, even when I was pregnant no one really asked to rub my belly. 

The other day I was standing in line wearing Lisi in the baby carrier and a lovely lady started chatting with me. Nothing crazy, small talk. How old is he? Oh, how old is she? Oh yes, what a pretty dress! Does she sleep well? She’s so smiley! Sorry, but I have to ask, can I rub her head? Rub her head??? Um, yeah, absolutely (you weirdo)! Well no one has ever asked me that before. 

Yeah, she’s bald. I get it. But rub her head? Why? Here’s one of Annie in her pre-fro days.

Craig and I were both really bald for a while so we kind of expected bald babies but somehow I doubt anyone ever asked to rub our bald heads!

Judah Leopard and the Skinny Jean

So I finally learned how to spell his middle name (L-e-o-p-o-l-d) but I think Leopard is so much cooler and my autocorrect recognizes it so that’s his name for now. Sorry Craig’s Opa!

Before Annie was born she a had a wardrobe that would practically allow her to wear a different outfit everyday for 6 months. It was a little crazy and we didn’t own a washer dryer at the time but I was so excited and in my defense I got some really great deals. And then came Judah. While I did buy him a bunch of outfits from various sale racks he had nowhere near as much as Annie had, in fact most of his pajamas were Annie’s too! Maybe it was because he was #2 or because he puked so much I didn’t care but at the time boys clothing just didn’t excite me so much. 
When he turned 1 he started walking and stopped puking. I started embracing the world of  suspenders, bow ties and oxfords. One day I was shopping at Gap and I found a great pair of orange skinny jeans. They were $6.97 and 40% off so obviously I didn’t miss a beat. The next day I put them on him and they looked awesome. I went to pull off the sticker and saw that it said toddler girl in pink letters. I stopped to think about it for a minute, thought about what Craig might say, what a potential shidduch might think and went on to cut off the tag. I mean they looked gooooood.
Then I started thinking some more. Annie has tons old clothing. And then I found the jegging. Sure, they’re a little snug but they’re comfortable and I really like the way it shows off his little tush. Too far? I know. But they do look cute!
 Can you guess which of these are girls’?

You guessed it! All of them! And for anyone that may have been concerned, I put the trench he’s wearing in that last photo in storage for Lisi!

Oh, and BTW…….

^^^^see the moccs Judah’s wearing? Well stay tuned folks…. I smell a giveaway!

Mo’ Mousse

And now for the recipe portion of the blog (who can forget my quinoa), I bring to you the richest, chocolatiest, most decandant mousse I’ve ever made. 

Eggs were on sale last week so I went a little wild. I knew I wanted to make a really awesome chocolate mousse because I had a not-so-great one recently and I’ve been craving since. I searched for recipes that met my criteria but had no luck so I took inspiration from the ones I found  and made it up as I went along.

You will need: 

10 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup of water
1 generous splash of red wine
5 eggs separated
2 tbsp sugar 

That’s it!

1. Put the chocolate, water and wine in a glass bowl and melt. Ever use a double boiler?  You don’t want the bowl to be directly on the fire so you place the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. I happened to be making soup at the time so I just put it on top of the soup pot. Stir occasionally until it’s perfectly smooth, then take off the pot to cool. 

2. Meanwhile,  seperate the eggs. Put the whites in a large bowl, yolks on the side. Grab you hand mixer and whip up those whites! A minute in, add the sugar and keep on mix it until it’s stiff!

^^^it’s not quite ready but I feel like giving Annie a small cameo

3. Now that the chocolate cooled off, mix in the yolks. (If you’re feeling healthy you can use 3 or 4, if you want all 5, I won’t tell)

4. Fold in the white until it’s mixed!

5. You’re done! I like to put it in the freezer, the fridge is fine too! 

6. Bathe in it. 

Note: I do not have a photo of the finished product because we ate it so fast. And no, I did not bathe in it. Maybe one day.

Show and Tell

I don’t really talk about Annie much on here and that’s probably because I don’t really see much of her these days. She’s in school full time and if she’s not playing with her friends after school there are probably 500 things she’d rather be doing than schmoozing with me. I actually kind of miss her. 

She’ll be 4 next month but if you ask her how old she is she’ll tell you 3 and 5/6 –I’m not sure why I got her into that — it was really unnecessary. This weekend she’ll be 3 and 11/12. Do I have to tell her that too? I mean she won’t be 3 and 5/6 anymore so if she’s already saying a mouthful I’m thinking she may as well be accurate?
In Annie’s class Thursday is show and tell day. I’d always imagined that Annie would be the kid to rock show and tell day. Maybe she would do some crazy magic trick, put together a rubix cube in under a minute, paint an oil painting of her class when no one was looking and present it at show and tell. When I realized she wasn’t going to do that in nursery I lowered my standards. I’d suggest she bring in a doll, she’d suggest a handful of shriveled balloons, I’d suggest her new doctor’s kit and she’d suggest a broken birthday hat with a used plate tied to it. True story.
This morning I was intrigued. She ate her pancakes and syrup for breakfast and asked me if she could bring the sticky plate for show and tell. Willing to entertain the idea, I asked her if the plate was special. She’s like “yeah, I turned it into a boat”. 

Well, she sure rocks the abstract art department! Since it was probably the most interesting boat I’ve ever seen I told her she could bring it. She put it down on the chair and asked if she could bring her  Princess Sofia book. Fine.

Shopper’s Anonymous

I would never admit to writer’s block but let’s just say “various shapes of poo I’ve seen in the last couple days” was a front runner so consider yourself lucky that I veered away from that route and instead I’ll talk a little about my college days. 

I got my bachelor’s from Queens College (QC WAHOOOOO) in Textiles and Apparel and minored in Studio Art. What was I thinking, right? I mean it’s a good day when Judah is able to identify my doodle as a  fish-when it’s actually fish that I’m doodling. So while I didn’t improve on my studio art skills and I’d sooner buy Craig a new coat than sew on a button, I did make lifelong friends and who can put a price on that?  After that I did a year at FIT where I majored in Fashion Merchandising Management. I quickly learned that I really had absolutely no interest in that. I just liked to shop. So when it was time to pick out internships I was matched up doing wardrobe styling for Rachael Ray*. I rocked it. Who wouldn’t like walking into Prada to buy Oscar shoes or leave the Loubouton store with 7(7!) boxes of shoes? Good times.

At the time, I decided to co-author a blog with a good friend. The topic was fashion. My friend and I were both avid shoppers so it seemed appropriate.  Back then I was a student and single. I was shopping for myself, occasionally perused over to the Alfred Dunner section at Macys for Granny (does he even still exist? he’s an old people designer) but that was really it. Here’s an excerpt from our blog, circa 2007:

Yesterday was a pretty big shopping day for me. At the height of holiday shopping, I hit up all my favorite joints. I went to the Barney’s Warehouse Sale-I usually go at the beginning, check out the hock and then go back at the end because it all gets marked down. When you walk into the sale, they check your bag, it’s not unusual and I’m totally cool with it. Although yesterday, I didn’t have any bags, I had a purse. Yes, my purse is slightly bigger than other purses, but I did not think they would check that too. The nice bag check lady/man asked me for my purse, and I didn’t really want to give it to her/him simply because I saw other shoppers carrying theirs. So I said “you want my purse?” and some woman that was giving in her bags answers “yes, they take purses”. Who was she? Does she work there? No! Just mind your own business lady! But whatever, I checked my bag, and you know what-it was for the best, one less thing for me to carry.A few stops later, I was in Daffy’s. I was desperately in search of a photo album. As I was browsing, I passed by the dressing room. Instead of saying “fitting room” or “dressing room” on top, it said “undressing room”. All I could think was how clever these Daffy’s folks are! I mean they’re totally right, you go into the room and get undressed, yeah, you get dressed again, but calling it an undressing room just seems to make much more sense! We can all learn a few tips from Daffy’s-and there they don’t check your purse!

Big problems, I know.
Fast forward 7 years. Yes, I still shop for myself. I still do a little Granny on request but let’s add men’s, home, kids, baby, baby gear, toys and then all your necessities-food, pharmacy, bric-a-brac. I mean this is literally a shopper’s dream come true. So technically, technically,  I’m still working in the field I went to school for, right? College wasn’t a complete waste? That’s what I thought.

*Fun fact: Rachael Ray gave me the nickname “Big Al” hence the title.

Ice Cream Keeps Me Warm

Well, jeez it’s getting cold out there! When I was checking the weather on my phone I had to make sure it was programmed to Fahrenheit because it’s going to be freezing!

I’m always trying to find good indoor activities this time of year. Something easy, non-committal, cheap…. For now the front runner in that category is 16 handles. Obviously, it’s good or I wouldn’t go. I like that it’s pay by weight so I don’t have to share my ice cream (I know it’s officially frozen yogurt but who am I kidding? It’s ice cream!). Everyone gets their own cup, own flavors, own toppings. Done. Did I mention I don’t like to share?

^^^^^^That’s the first time Craig went and he didn’t realize you pay by the ounce!
It’s always a toss-up on which location we visit. The upper east and west locations have kosher gummy bears. That’s huge. But we often end up at the downtown locations since there aren’t many other kosher options down there. Recently we discovered one down on Bleecker street, about 2 blocks from the West 4th station (elevator A station, holllllla). The topping selection was fine, no kosher gummy bears and no whipped cream that day which I can only hope and pray was a fluke. The back room, however, was awesome. The ceiling was mostly glass so you feel like you’re outside. There was plenty of seating and the wallpaper was all grass. The bathroom was pink, so it got a 10 from Annie, and there were cool funhouse mirrors that we had fun with. 

We had a great time although Craig was pretty bitter about the gummy bear situation. I told him next time I’ll just bring our own. He says it’s not the same. Whatever.

Half a year old (The birth story)

I know, nobody cares about half birthdays. It was mine on Tuesday and you know how many people remembered? 1. Wait, does it even count if that 1 was me? With an end of June birthday it usually got ignored since school was over and camp had yet to start. Whatever.

Today is Lisi’s half birthday so I’m just reminiscing about the day she was born. Who doesn’t like a good birth story?
Her actual due date was the 28th. Annie was a day late and Judah was induced on his due date (gestational diabetes, shudder) so I figured she’d come out around the 28th. My doctor was talking about inducing but I felt fine and wasn’t in any kind of rush so I just chillaxed.

At 2:15 am on the 27th I got up for my middle of the night cereal or what we fondly call, first breakfast. I did some online impulse buys, had some seconds. Typical Wednesday night. I felt a small cramp so I excitedly set up my contraction app. I hit the button when I thought I felt something. They were like 15-20 minutes apart and really not exciting at all. I decided to take a shower before going back to sleep. With every contraction I popped out to touch the app. When I was done I realized they were 3 minutes apart, like a minute long. Should I call the doctor or have more cereal? At 5:15 I called the doctor who said I sounded fine but if I wanted to come to the hospital and hang out I can. That’s when it hit me that this realllllly hurt! We called a cab and arrived at Mount Sinai at 5:45, (chuckled when we saw the sign for the “breast center”) and slowly made it into the building.

By the time we reached the check-in I was screaming for an epidural. They had Craig fill out the paperwork and told me to go to the bathroom. I hobbled along, got on the toilet and a gush of what looked like poo came out of me (I later learned my water broke and there was meconium, yuck). I totally flipped out–I mean it was the wrong hole! What’s happening to me? Craig ran down the hall “can we get some help in here”? Um, I need a epidural like now
Ok maam, what number child?
Oh, this might be fast. 
Cool. Epidural?
Hi, I’m a resident, I know what I’m doing in case your doctor doesn’t make it.
Cool. Epidural?
Ok, let me just check you first. Oh wow, there’s no cervix. You’re fully dilated.
Umm, oh look, you’re doctor is here!
Hey Doctor, can we call anesthesiology please?
Sure…. but I’m not sure they will make it on time.
No worries, I’ll wait. Oh, I feel like I have to poo!
Like you want to push? Ok, let’s get out of the hallways.
(they pushed me on the stretcher through the halls as I screamed and held my crotch)

We get to the room. No bed. We’re doing this on the stretcher.

Hi, I’m the anesthesiologist. I need to ask you some questions,  give you the shpiel, get this started and then it needs to kick in in. The baby can probably come out before then.
Ok, we’re wasting time, let’s do this.
She started asking questions, I screamed and held my crotch every minute. Everyone in the room was nodding their heads. And it hit me. I’m not getting my drugs. My awesome Jamaican nurse assured me that I’ll be fine. It’ll hurt but then it will be over. I very hesitantly told the anesthesiologist she could leave. My doctor propped a bedpan underneath my butt since there was still no bed and told me to push at the next contraction. I pushed. It hurt. I can still hear the nurse’s accent screaming “push like you’re making a bowel movement, make the bowel movement, push out the bowel movement“.

And at 6:13 am, out she flew. Welcome to the world baby Elisabeth!

Bleecker Playground, Success!

This past Sunday had record breaking highs in the 70’s. It was insane but who’s complaining? Although I had laryngitis we still managed to get out of the house. We took the A to 14th street and got completely lost trying to find Bleecker street (it’s confusing!). No big deal, I love exploring the West Village, there’s nothing like it!
On our way to the park there was a truck parked in front of the Marc Jacobs store and they were doing holiday pictures!

^^^^ Say FREEEEE!

On to the park. At first glance it’s a toy graveyard, there are toys everywhere. Some were broken, some weren’t but I was excited to find a toy that Lisi could enjoy!

Here’s my Round-up:

Swings: Check
Sand: Check
Bathroom: Check(but they were closed)
Picnic Tables: Check
Toddler friendly equipment: Check
Big kid equipment: Check
Sprinklers: Check

I mean, this park pretty much has everything. It’s kind of thrown in the middle of traffic but the doors lock. I think it’s the perfect park to stop by in after a day of shopping but not necessarily a destination park. That said, I’d totally go back. Well done Bleecker Playground, we’ll be seeing you again shortly!

Laryngitis Fun

…and by fun I mean not fun at all. I mean really unfun. In fact I should call this “Laryngitis not fun at all” but I don’t want to be a downer. Even when I try to make the most of it , it still sucks. I made this sign to keep near my door because the UPS guy must have thought I was a thankless bitch.

Then I realized I should carry it around with me at all times. Now that I’m moving on to laryngitis day #5 I’m contemplating having it laminated. Jeeez, I used that sign a lot. And it’s awkward. Like yesterday I was at the park and there was a mom there who was inching her way toward me since our kids were kind of playing together. Sadly, we would have had plenty to talk about but out came my sign. She left within minutes. I saw my neighbor in the elevator who immediately bombarded me with questions. “You lost it?”, “how’d that happen?”, “when did it happen”, “how long will this last?”, “did you go to the doctor?”, actually I did go to the doctor-with my sign- and she laughed! Actually laughed. Probably didn’t help that I wrote out my symptoms on a red piece of construction paper with sparkles embedded in it. It’s the same piece of paper that I used to place my order at Coffee Bean.

I was walking around the West Side today alone (which is very rare) and I wanted to grab a bagel but was too embarrassed to make a new sign. When I was running late to the doctor I wanted to hail a cab but couldn’t. At J Crew I saw a cute sweater for Judah but there was no sale sticker on it but couldn’t ask the cashier to just scan it so I had to just buy it (it actually was on sale, came out to $37 which isn’t really much of a sale) so I now I have to go back and return it. 
Wondering how the kids are handling this? They probably haven’t even noticed. Well, Judah totally did. He knows I won’t yell at him so he constructed a tower in our pantry made up of boxes (even a box with drinking glasses in it) and he climbs up this wobbly construction to get his juicebox. The guy must have finished at least two 8 packs? I keep finding half empty boxes lying around. What a stinker.
I’m hoping some positive will come out if this experience. For you Jewish folks, I haven’t said any loshon hara in 4 days (doesn’t mean I didn’t text any!) (but I didn’t!) which is sadly a huge record for me. I want to say that this has taught me to listen more but it hasn’t. Maybe this taught me to sit back and take it all in? Nah.  I just can’t wait for my voice to come back because I have sooooo much to say!

Bleecker playground—fail

I walked by this playground a week ago when it felt like zero degrees outside and told myself I’d totally come back. The equipment looked like it would be the perfect size for a 2 year old (omg, he’s 2!) and there were toys everywhere!

Well, a week later we went back and it failed for several reasons. 

^^^Really? A nap in the afternoon? Who are you? This guy only naps if there is something seriously wrong but I think this was his way of saying “mom, sit down, enjoy your coffee and remember I love you”. Well Judah Leopard, I did just that. Thank you.
I walked by the park anyway hoping he’d wake up once he smelled the park but we failed again.
^^^Playgrounds close when there’s snow! So I did get to peek but I guess we’ll have to come back when someone is actually awake, it’s not freezing and there’s no snow.
In the meantime I got to explore the area. I love walking around the West Village.  I always get lost–it’s so confusing! Don’t even get me started on going from 10th street to 4th and back to 12th? That’s a rant in and of itself. I walked by the Marc Jacobs store and when they saw me with a stroller they started screaming “you have to go to the Little Marc store….70% off…2 blocks away…Bank Street and West 4th“. So I headed north, saw 11th street and ah, next block was 4th (seriously, how does that happen??). 
 And $114 later…..

^^^^that happened. Yes, more than if normally spend but come on, 70%

Stay tuned for the day we actually go to the playground!