Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

My friend NoLa had a big Halloween bash yesterday. The theme was Creepy Carnival, and she - along with her pal Cali - went all-out creating a huge set, complete with music, and everyone in appropriate carnival-esque costumes.

I had volunteered the Lopez family to go as the Freak Show, with my son, the Juban Princeling, as the Tattooed Baby, my husband as the Bearded Lady, and myself as the Two-Headed Woman. Alas and alack, October kicked my ass and I never really got around to creating our costumes.

Note to self: next year have all costumes DONE and READY TO WEAR by the end of September.

Instead, like the slacker loser that I am, I went to the neighborhood costume shop and bought us a family's worth of Star Wars-inspired costumes:

Help me, Juban-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

My brother went as Mr. Spock. Because our family is nothing if not geek-tastic.

May the Force be with you and prosper.

Before heading out, Husband and I took the Princeling trick-or-treating for the very first time. I bought him a 99-cent Star Wars-themed bag, and we stayed in our building. Even with just six floors and four apartments per floor the kid still made out like a bandit, especially considering we went trick-or-treating at 3pm, a time when most families were either watching football or still getting into their own costumes. More than one of my neighbors had to open their brand-new bags of candy for my son's benefit. But everyone was tickled by my little miniature Obi Wan Kenobi, and the Princeling enjoyed knocking on doors. He was too shy to say, "Trick or treat!" to anyone, but not too shy to take the proffered candy.

What disappointed me about this Halloween, besides disappointment in myself for not keeping up with NoLa's Creepy Carnival theme, was the number of little boys dressed in costumes from the new Clone Wars cartoon who did not recognize me as one of their own. One little boy said, "Star Wars rules!" or something as we passed him, and all the grown-ups got it, but more than one boy dressed as an Imperial Storm Trooper walked right past me without so much as a "We have orders from Lord Vader!" I even said to one of them, "Oh no! Don't arrest me!" and he looked at me like I just spoke in ancient Babylonian to him.

Now that Halloween 2010 is behind us it's time to start thinking about Halloween 2011...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here's What You Missed...

Wow, it's...uh...been a while since I've updated!

I shoved aside most of my other writing commitments in order to focus on getting my novel done, and I'm pleased as punch to say that I did it! Back in early July I told the Husband that I would finish my novel - approximately 75,000 words - by our son, the Juban Princeling's birthday, which is October 8. That would be 5,000 words per week over 15 weeks. And I did it, with a week to spare, even!

Sometimes it was hard, sometimes the words flowed, but the important thing, I think, is that I have a first draft of a novel. This is something I've been trying to write for the past 10 years. I have more first chapters of this damn book than I can even think about, so I feel satisfied that I've finally made it all the way through.

People often ask me what my book is about, and the short, easy (but mostly wrong) answer is: vampires.

The longer, more complicated, and more correct answer is that this is a book about the friendship between two supernatural women (one a Lithuanian witch, one a Japanese vampire) who have traveled the world together for over 500 years and now find themselves facing an increasingly terrifying enemy. Can they survive the devastation and horror around them, even as their own darker impulses start to take over their friendship?

Hmmm, I think I have my 30-second blurb there...

The first draft of my novel is now in the hands of my Alpha Readers, four people close to me that are familiar with the genre and know me well enough to be brutally honest about my take on it. While they work on that, I'm reading and doing the writing exercises from "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King, making a spreadsheet of potential agents to query, and devouring other dark/urban fantasy books. Some are by authors I'm already a fan of (Lori Devoti, Ilona Andrews, Kelly Armstrong) and others are established authors in the genre that I'm "meeting" for the first time and, so far, thoroughly enjoying (Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Kat Richardson).

The next step for me will be to revise my manuscript based on "Self-Editing" and the feedback from my Alpha Readers, then send a second draft to my five Beta Readers: three are familiar with the genre, one is doing line edits, and the fifth person is a longtime friend who will, again, be brutally honest with me. When they are done, I'll make more revisions, and then, hopefully, have a polished draft ready so I can begin the query process for an agent.

It's a lot of work, but I have to admit that I am really enjoying this! I get to read my favorite books by amazing authors (as "homework"), and I finally have a finished product to tinker with and prep for submission! After 10 years I finally feel like I've written the story that was meant to come out of me.

And, I already have plans in the works for the book's sequel, as I intend for this to be the first of a trilogy, which will (hopefully) be the jumping-off point for a larger series starring some of the other characters, ala Kelly Armstrong's Otherworld series or Lori Devoti's Amazon series.

Meanwhile, in non-writing news, the Juban Princeling turned 2 years old a couple of weeks ago...I know. I KNOW! I KNOW!!!! How that happened, I have no idea. Wasn't he JUST born?

He's doing so great, though. His pediatrician would not stop gushing over him at his 2-year checkup last week. He's still in the 90-95th percentile for height (he's a full 36" tall now) and 50th for weight, which means he takes after the men on my mother's side of the family: tall and lanky. His favorite word is "No!", which I know is normal for 2-year olds, but he is nevertheless an overall sweet, agreeable little boy. He loves to feel helpful and loves to do what we do. He chatters up a storm, even if we can only understand every tenth word he says. When we call my husband while he's at work, the Princeling loves to tell his dada about his day so far.

I'm so happy that my little boy is so happy and healthy. And, thankfully, he's also very independent. Sometimes I feel like a bad mommy at the end of the day, turning on the TV and letting him play by himself while I sit on the couch and read "Self-Editing" or one of my fantasy novels. But then I remember that the two of us just spent the whole day together, going to music classes or the playground or a playdate at one of his many friends' houses, and that he, too, needs his "alone" time when I'm not up in his face making him do this or go there. I'm so lucky to have a little boy who is so independent and content to entertain himself.

And I'm so lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive and loving husband, and so many wonderful friends who are all eager to help me out in my crazy writing career!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love Hurts

Yesterday morning I took my son, the Juban Princeling, to a nearby playground. I was actually quite looking forward to our day together, as it would be the last day of just us two for a while: today he has daycare, and tomorrow my parents fly into town for a week.

The Princeling was engaging in his favorite activity, swinging a gate back and forth. I bent down to pull up his pants, which were falling down, and he swung the gate, hard, into my head. Stunned for a second, I reached up to touch the tender spot where the gate had made contact, and my fingers came away covered in blood. I stuffed the Princeling into his stroller, called his daycare babysitter, and ran him to her. He was happy enough to be there. I then walked myself to the nearby emergency room, where, 2 1/2 hour later, I walked out with a tetnus shot in my left arm and two staples in my scalp:

It's exactly as painful as it looks.

I picked up the Princeling on my way home. Despite what my father said on the phone about my son being wholly unaware of what he had done to me, I considered pressing assault charges.

My mom: "For what, elder abuse?"

Hardee har har.

When we got home I cut off my hospital wrist band and taped it to the Princeling's baby book with a little description of what happened. This way I can use this as guilt-trip fodder for the rest of his natural life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Only 77 More Days Until Halloween!

I take Halloween very seriously. It's my favorite holiday. The only thing I love more than dressing in costume is dressing in a FAMILY costume.

Last year my husband had none of it. I went as a witch, and the Juban Princeling went as my black cat familiar.

The Princeling and I, and our friend Julie, Halloween 2009, Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

This year I can't convince my husband to do a family costume: I was thinking, since I have red hair and he has black hair that we could go as Ariel and Prince Erik from "The Little Mermaid," and the Princeling could be that little red crab who sings the Under the Sea song.

Not meant to be. :-(

Alas, I'm now charged with coming up with a costume for the Princeling and myself, sans husband/Da Da. I have a few ideas, but they won't be easy to pull off, and I'm not exactly Martha Stewart when it comes to DIY costumes. Tick-tock, tick-tock...I'd better get a move on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy 21-Months, Juban Princeling!

I can't believe this happened 21 months ago - and that in just three more short months I'm going to have a 2-year old on my hands!

I love you, little boy, so very much. You are the best son a mother could ever ask for.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Go Spain!

The hubby and I celebrating our 1-year wedding anniversary in Sevilla, Spain. May, 2007.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pirates and Parents and (Ball)Parks, Oh My!

My parents are on their way up to visit from Miami. Before their grandson, the Juban Princeling, was born, my father came to New York maaaaaaybe twice a year. Now they're both here every other month. Literally. They were last here in May, and before that in April, and they make no attempt to disguise the fact that they are here solely for the Princeling and no one else.

At least we get to ride along with the good times. Tomorrow we're going on a sailey boat! I have a cute little pirate t-shirt and matching shorts for the boy. My brother-in-law, Gilligan, has volunteered as a deckhand on the schooner Pioneer (part of the South Street Seaport Museum) for the past three years, so our new summer tradition is to sail on his boat. Back when I was preggo with the Princeling, being on the boat and enjoying the rocking motion was the only time I did not feel completely uncomfortable during my entire pregnancy.

The proud grandparents with the Princeling, on last year's sailey boat ride.

Then Sunday we're all going to a Yankees game, minus the boy and my mom. The only thing my mom loves more than seeing her grandson is getting alone time with him.

Sunday is also my parents' anniversary. My dad's perennial joke is that the country gained its independence...and he lost his! Har har!

Should be a fun weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Those Bastards Made Me Wear SUNBLOCK!!!1!!

My friend Tia took one look at this photo of my husband trying to get some sunblock on our kid and said, "Oh for god's sake, Meri, just get the spray kind of sunblock so you don't have to schmear him into therapy." And that's one of the many reasons why I love Tia - she tells it like it is.

"Daddy is a MONSTER!"

Mama's Little Mixed-Heritage Cutie Pah!

Check out this week's "Gratuitous Cute Kid" on Love Isn't Enough!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Novel Ate My Blog

I am totally slacking off at the Huffington Post. After meeting with Robyn last week and having her light the fire under my ass to finally get on top of that novel I've been working on for (10) years, I finally buckled down, put my nose to the grindstone, and several other cliches, and am DOING it. (Heh, I said "doing it.") I went to a few writerly websites, printed out some advice on fleshing out my characters, creating a semblance of a coherent plot, and not boring people to death with pointless setting descriptions and pointed myself in the right direction. I set a goal (75,000 words) and a deadline (the Juban Princeling's birthday, which is in early October) and sat down and just effing DID it.

After too many stops-and-starts to count over the past 10 years when I first came up with these characters, I finally have something on paper that resembles a plot. And now I have to translate that into an actual, you know, novel. I started exactly one week ago and as of right now I have 7,200 words done. I'm 1/10th of the way there!

Because of this, and because my freelancing career is finally taking off, HuffPo has to take a backseat for a while. I'll still do it when I can, but it's not my priority at the moment. I like writing for the Huffington Post, but they don't pay, and I have got to get this novel out of me. Like, NOW.

So off I go. Wish me luck! novel, that is.

(Graphic from Friendly Spirit's Booklovers Shop on CafePress)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Healing, and Growing

Meatloaf Face, Day 5:
"This had better be important, Mom. You're interrupting my Elmo time."

The hubby and I are amazed at the speedy healing powers of toddlers. If either of us got hurt like this on our face it would take MONTHS to heal. I've been putting anti-biotic ointment on his nose and forehead four times a day, and that seems to be helping the process along. I'm glad - it's hard to look at him without my heart breaking. But the Princeling is a trooper, and doesn't even seem to be aware of anything wrong.

Elsewhere in the Lopez household, my herb garden is really coming along!

Tarragon, planted from seeds in April.

Oregano, planted from seeds in April.

And then I did that thing on Facebook where I made it look like my face was painted to support the U.S. team in the World Cup:

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

And then my brother-in-law, The Professor, pointed out that it looks like I've turned myself into a Tea Partying ultra-conservative, because the right has pretty much co-opted all things patriotic, including our national flag. Well, I'm just not having that: I'm a liberal AND a patriot. I believe in reproductive freedom, gay marriage, welfare, health care reform, and I LOVE MY COUNTRY!

So, feeling patriotic, I bought some little American flags at Target, 3 for $1.99. (Made in the U.S.A.!) I put one between my two lavender plants.

So there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Phantom of the Playground

This is what the Princeling looked like upon waking up this morning:

"My mom calls me Meatloaf Face."
(And yes, that's his thermometer he's playing with.)

Since we live in a pedestrian city and therefore we walk everywhere, we got a lot of stares this morning on the way to daycare. People's general reaction to seeing this on such a little boy was a combination of horror and pity, as if I was pushing Quasimodo in the stroller. As we walked out of the elevator and our upstairs neighbor walked in - our neighbor whose dog the Princeling is in love with and plays with - he said, "Oh my god, is he OK?" I said that yeah, he's fine, just ate some sidewalk yesterday, as kids do. The neighbor got onto the elevator with a look that clearly said he was keeping an eye on me and had the Department of Child Services on speed dial.

Meanwhile, today while I was out I took a photo of the spot where the Princeling fell yesterday:
The scene of the crime.

This is on the north side of 10th Street between 7th Ave and 6th Ave, in front of the first brownstone closer to 7th. The Princeling was running from the top of the photo area to the bottom. It slopes down, so he gained a lot of momentum from running, and that uneven part where the two pieces of sidewalk meet is a good 2 inches or so. When you're only 20 months old that's a huge gap, and so he lost his footing and fell face-first. Poor little guy.

I'm working on finding out to whom I should complain about this. I love the trees here, but the roots are killing the sidewalks and this is a real hazard.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Was In the Sh*t, Man!

I love our neighborhood, Park Slope. It's family-friendly to a fault, Prospect Park is awesome, and we are never lacking for playdates and fun things to do.

However, the sidewalk situ here leaves much to be desired. The sidewalks are broken and uneven and a total hazard. Today I let the Princeling run down 10th Street from 7th Ave to 6th Ave and the downhill slope gave him momentum, and then he tripped over some broken sidewalk. He landed on his face, and after some kisses and bloody-nose wipe-ups from me, we kept going. The scrapes on his head didn't seem bad enough to warrant a trip to the pediatric ER, and within minutes he was back to himself, running along 6th Ave and playing with gates and such.

"Do I have something on my face, or something?"

Once we got home and I cleaned him up he looked much better. His forehead was barely scraped but very bruised. The tip of his nose and just below his right nostril were pretty bloody, but once cleaned up they made him look like he had a bad cold. It would be funny if it wasn't so heartbreaking for me to look at.

I called the pediatrician just to be on the safe side. The nurse I spoke with told me to watch him for the next 24-48 hours for any changes in behavior, and whenever he goes to sleep to make sure I can rouse him 10 minutes later. Well, his behavior is fine. We got home and he danced to Yo Gabba Gabba, colored, and ran around the kitchen floor as usual. When I went to rouse him from his nap he didn't quite wake up, but he's always been a deep sleeper. He did open his eyes and close them again, and kept moving away from me in his sleep. Since that's normal for him I'm going to go ahead and say that he's a-ok.

My nerves, on the other hand, are shot. This whole incident is reason # 4,692 why I drink.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Comedy Event Tonight!

I can't attend this because I'm a middle-aged mom who goes to bed at 7:15, but if you're in the NYC area and your bedtime is that of a healthy, child-free adult (or you have a babysitter), then I highly recommend Switzerland Neutral Comedy's swansong show at The Tank, which in honor of Pride Week will benefit SAGE: Services and Advocacy for Gay Elderly. It's hosted by my brother, Mr. Funny, one of the founding members of SNC.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Toddler Self-Destruction Hilarity

In which the Princeling tries to cut off his toes, eats self-tanner, and nearly electrocutes himself, all within 24 hours of my best parenting moments ever.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Baby DudeBro

My BIL Gilligan has this term, DudeBro, which indicates a dude, usually white non-Jewish, who is or was almost always in a frat, and engages in the type of privileged culture that involves any or all of the following: sports bars, Bud Light, college hats and sweatshirts, careers on Wall Street, GQ, homophobia, and date rape.

See also: Garfunkel and Oates' hysterically funny video, This Party Took a Turn for the Douche.

It also usually involves polo-style shirts with the collars popped up.

So, since the Princeling and I had a few minutes to kill before his daycare babysitter arrived this morning, I decided to do an experiment: does a popped-up collar automatically make one look like a DudeBro, even of one is only 20 months old?

Let's see:

Non-douche collar...vs...Douche collar

Yup. Even a toddler looks like a douchey DudeBro with his collar popped up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Her Bad Mother recently posted about her daughter being a picky-eater, and how she's coping with it. I like HBM's philosphy: live and let live. That's pretty much what we try to do with the Juban Princeling. I don't believe in forcing him to eat things he doesn't want to eat. He's not going to let himself starve, it's true, but he's also inhumanly willful and stubborn and WILL go to bed hungry if we let him. (And then he'll wake up every hour thereafter until we give him something he'll eat.)

When he first started on solids just over a year ago, he ate anything and everything he could cram into his piehole. Lately, though, he will only eat most fruits, but especially grapes and bananas, a few veggies like green beans, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, and the occasional organic cheese bunny. And popcorn. And you know what? I'm fine with that. Because now and then he'll pick some food off our plates or try something new. He scarfed down half my edamame at a local Japanese place a few weeks ago, and ate some spaghetti off my fork the other night. (The night before I was diagnosed with strep. Hooray for awesome parenting!) So, you know, he's getting there. I honestly feel like this will not hurt him as he grows up. I'm confident that he's not going to turn 30 eating only grapes and peanut butter. So if he really doesn't want to eat Sunday night's leftover butternut squash and plantain mash that my husband made from scratch, that's OK with me. Someday he will. I can wait.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We Have To Go Back!

Anyone else stockpiling anti-depressants and booze for tonight's "Lost" finale?


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Safe & Sound & Exhausted

What is it about vacations that just wipes you out?

We had a fantastic time in Florida - the Princeling had so much fun we were quite tempted to leave him there. We're sure that his grandparents and he would have loved that, not to mention my friend Tia who plans trips to NY just so she can babysit him, and my cousin One-L with whom the Princeling developed a total Mutual Admiration Society. She may be 21 years his senior and his second-cousin once-removed (...I think? We just called her Auntie One-L), but the two are in luuuurve. I told her if she wants to intern at any NY firms this summer she's more than welcome to stay with us on condition that she babysits for her room and board.

Meanwhile, the Princeling was a total champ on both plane rides and the entire time we were down in FL. He behaved very well, only threw up twice (once in the car going to LaGuardia, and once on his way back from being forced to visit my father's father, and honestly I don't blame him as the man makes most of us puke), loved the pools, and came back to NY with a slight tan and even blonder hair than normal. This bodes well for any future vacays we might need to take with him.

The hubby and I celebrated our four-year annimiversary on Thursday. My parents were kind enough to send us to the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne for the night. We enjoyed the luxuries we've so missed since the Princeling was born: a late dinner with no high chair or booster seat or toys, sleeping in, and peace and quiet all to ourselves.

Still, as much fun as we all had, we're glad to be back in Park Slope. Despite the Princeling's absolute meltdown once we got back in the apartment (like what, was he storing it up all week?), realizing that we unplugged our DVR and it therefore didn't record any of our shows, and my current massive headache, there really is no place like home.

Water Mama and Her Water Baby

For Varda's benefit: The Princeling in his harness

Having a snooze on one of our two balconies at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. It's tough being so pampered and spoiled. And why yes, that IS champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries by my chair.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where the Orange Blossoms Grow

We arrived in Florida on Saturday after a blessedly uneventful flight with the Princeling. He was clearly tired but couldn't get comfortable in our row. Still, he was a champ and didn't have any meltdowns. He colored with his crayons - and, yes, I let him color the window shade and tray table in front of him because the airline was a total ripoff and didn't have pillows or blankets and charged for water - and climbed up and down the seats. Half an hour before landing he fell asleep in his father's arms:

Once in Florida we rented a car with a toddler seat, despite Florida law that practically allows newborns to wear only an adult seatbelt. We stripped the Princeling down to his diaper and flip-flops because Florida is one giant swamp and we didn't want him to melt. We drove through a McDonald's and gave the Princeling some fries and felt very South Florida - here's some fast food for our almost-naked toddler! Yee-haw!

So far so good down here. The Princeling seems to really enjoy it here, though mostly indoors - outside he walks two steps then demands to be carried. In West Palm he only napped in the car, but here at my parents' in Miami he seems to be napping well in the rent-a-crib my parents got for him. And his night sleeping is excellent. His first night here he slept 14 hours! He's terrified of the ocean but loves the pools. He learned how to play catch with his bisabuelo (my hubby's grandfather) in West Palm, and was the absolute star of the show at my grandma's retirement community. We bought him a floating lobster for the pool that he loves, and my parents are by far his favorite people on the planet for whom he goes down to sleep with no issues and eats without fighting them. At this rate we'll probably just leave him here when we return to NY on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New HuffPo: Shat Shout-Out

In which I actually HOPE for a gremlin on the wing of the plane to entertain the Princeling:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tricksy Hobbit Strikes Again!

This morning the Princeling stood up on our couch and made to pull the cord of the standing lamp we have. He knows he's not allowed to, but he keeps trying anyway. He looked at me. I looked at him. He giggled. I gave him my "Oh no you'd better NOT!" face (perfected on Hubby over the years). He pulled the cord and turned off the light. Then he clapped for himself and looked at me. I said, "NO!" He reached for it again. I said, "Princeling, NO!" So he...grabbed Hubby's book, which sat on the shelf just below the lamp. Then he sat down with it on the couch and pretended to read. Then he looked at me all, "What? I fully intended to get the book this whole time. What did you think I was going to do? Geez, Mom, paranoid much? Can't a kid read in peace?"

Yeah right, like I really believe that kid is so interested in travel stories about Cuba all of the sudden.

Tricksy Hobbit!

Mother's Day 2: The Wrath of Mother's Day

My second Mother's Day was lovely. Spent the day with my mom and Aunt L. and the Princeling, who gave me the gift of a 3-hour nap (his, not mine).

Meanwhile, despite my husband's whining about it, my adventures with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone continue unabated. Here, some "art" of my naked son.

And some "art" of the Princeling walking with an entourage of Baby Boomers.

Friday we fly down to Florida for 8 days, so I won't be posting much. But I promise photos and hilarious anecdotes when we get back!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Profiling the Mother Load

The May issue of New York Family is up on the website - keep an eye out for the print issues in the teal-colored kiosks around New York - and in it is my profile of actress, author, blogger, and hysterically funny mom Amy Wilson (scroll down):

Check out Amy's website here:
and her blog, Mother Load, which is so funny it makes the Hubby and I laugh so hard we cry, here:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Keeping a Fresh Fruit Bowl Makes Me Feel Like Martha Stewart

The apples and pear are from yesterday's farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza. The citrus (limes, lemon and oranges) are from the supermarket. I like keeping our freshly bought fruit in a big bowl on our dining table. It makes me feel wholesome and good.

Imaginations Gone Wild!

I've always been a big Freddy Krueger fan. He's witty and ironic and the entire Freddy franchise is just so silly and ridiculous and absurd that they are more like funny cartoons than scary slasher films.

The other night my brother-in-law Gilligan was here, and we got to talking about horror films and whether or not any of us was planning to see the new Freddy remake. We haven't heard great things about it, and in my humble opinion a non-tongue-in-cheek Freddy just isn't worth watching. I mean, come on! The guy is a former kiddie killer who now hunts teenagers in their dreams. How is that not funny???

Then Gilligan told us about a movie he heard about called The Human Centipede, and I will spare everyone the details because just hearing the premise of this movie will make you want to stab yourself in the face. I made the mistake of reading an online article about the film right before going into the shower today. Hubby and the Princeling were downstairs getting the laundry. I was all alone in the apartment...

Our bathroom door has trouble staying shut, so while I was showering it opened of its own accord. Which, of course, made me think of Psycho and that infamous shower scene. Then I turned off the water and heard the doorbell ringing over and over. Of course. Of course! This is a classic set-up in horror movies: the female victim, her vulnerability emphasized/visualized by her nakedness, lured into the killer's trap. Except that instead of being a hottie teenager I'm a slightly overweight 34-year old. Dripping wet and wrapped in a towel, I checked the peephole on our door. It wasn't a sociopathic slasher, it was just Hubby and the Princeling. When they went downstairs I had accidentally locked them out.

No more horror movie discussions right before I take a shower alone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wasn't, Actually...

...saved by the bell, that is.

This seems to pop up every once in a while in my life. Somehow, my brother Mr. Funny and I seem to be the only people who were raised in America in the 80s who did NOT watch Saved By the Bell. Why not? Who knows? Who cares? We went to play outside; we used our imaginations instead; it was stupid and we knew it; we were working on our dissertations. Whatever. We just didn't, OK????

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

This is the first sprout from the tarragon seeds I planted three weeks ago. The parsley and oregano seeds haven't sprouted up yet, but the rosemary - which I bought as a pre-grown plant - is thriving. We plan to hit up the Grand Army Plaza farmer's market this weekend to get some fresh ingredients to cook with our fresh rosemary. Of the two pre-grown lavender plants I planted, the lavendula is thriving but the Provence Lavender is drying out. Eh, you win some, you lose some.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crayola Washable Crayons are the Greatest Thing EVER EVER EVER

Ropa Vieja

Last night I made my first ropa vieja, or Cuban pulled steak hash. I have to say - it came out quite delish. For a blancita such as myself, I do cook up some rather tasty Cuban food if I do say so. (And Husband confirms.) We have so many wonderful cookbooks at home, and as we are a family on a budget and trying to be healthy(ish), I don't often take advantage of all the delicious recipes I have laying around. With that in mind, I pulled out my copy of Mary Urrutia Randelman's "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen," and made some ropa last night. I bought the book years ago, back when my Cuban-American Husband was still just my Cuban-American Boyfriend, in order to impress him with my mad Cuban cooking skills, yo.

My first photo of the ropa was taken with the Hipstamatic app for iPhone, which all my friends have been downloading and posting photos all over Facebook with. I wanted to capture that authentic, old-fashioned Cuban feel, as if this was a ropa made during the Revolution. But Husband said the Hipstamtic just made the food look green and gross. So I took another with the regular camera feature on my iPhone.

Soylent Ropa is's people!!!!

Ropa even Jose Marti would love.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Am Angry Red

My poor little guy has major diaper rash from his recent teething. Seriously, the kid is almost 19 months old - can't he just get all his teeth already? The last time it was this bad he cut four teeth at once. Actually, the rash is worse this time, and I'll refrain from going into graphic detail about why that is.

We can see two teething already poking through; I wonder about others. My son is teething at the speed of plate tectonics.

And it's a pain in the butt - literally. He hasn't not complained about a diaper change in months, but now the process is actually painful for him. The poor kid shrieks and pulls away from me, hiding his toushie on the changing table so I can't reach it with the (alcohol-free) wipees.

Please please please let this pass soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Because I Have ESPN

...just a few short hours after my last post, and "Love is a Battlefield" came on my Pandora. I'm p-sychic.

Mommy-1; Mr. No-Nap-Crankipants-0

Naptime was a battle field today. Not unlike love ala Pat Benatar. But I persevered. And I won.

Sometimes parenting is about the small victories that get you through your day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coming Soon!

Welcome to The Baby Ate My Blog - my site for keeping up with my freelance writing career, HuffPo blog, hilarious (...or not) anecdotes about the mothering life, and other things I find interesting (...or not).

New posts and pages coming soon!