Archive for January, 2009

Interlude: Pancakes

Saturday, January 31st, 2009


O Pioneer Woman! Grasshopper has failed you. Everyone knows your pancakes would never come out brown. Okay, black. Try as I might, I can’t reach golden/fluffy. I think because I get paranoid the cake isn’t cooked all the way through, thus—burnage (reminds me of my cookie exchange experiment). I hated eating half-cooked pancake when I was a kid (and attempting my own cakes because Pater and Mater were—not home). I shall keep trying. Some day, perhaps when I have a griddle and not an electric stove from the 1950’s, I shall—no, I will definitely be successful.

Luckily, though, the little boy loved them. His first multi-grain-sauteed banana-OJ-plain yogurt-wheatgerm pancakes. Wolfed ’em down. I love my baby.

MMR Maze

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

T toys-a-rama

Today we took T in for his MMR. He was supposed to have it administered in November, but I didn’t want him to have the MMR and THREE other shots, so delayed the injection. We were so sick in December, that month was out. And since T is working on the tail end of another cold, I made sure we saw the doctor before he got the shot this morning. The doctor gave the green light. And all I could say was: OMG, as I rolled up my little boy’s pant leg.

Until this day I have:

1. Asked mommy after mommy after mommy
2. Asked Dr. Sears
3. Asked my doctor
4. Asked myself
5. Prayed to the universe
6. Avoided the Internet’s terrifying tales of MMR horror
7. Prayed to the universe AND goddesses of yore
8. Spent too many minutes marveling over Amanda Peet’s opinion that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are “parasites.” I want those minutes returned to me.
9. Consulted a velvet bag of runes somone gave me way, way back when I was single and never thought I’d be married much less a mother—ever. O looney runes! Thank you. I guess.
10. Took comfort in the health and vitality (except for endless Dec./Jan. colds) obvious in my active, communicative, still-not-sleeping-through-the-night son.

A few mommies I know obtained the mumps and rubella shots and had them administered separately to their babies–but then there was a measles vaccine shortage. Even Dr. Sears seemed to think the shortage wasn’t ending any day soon and “seemed” to suggest going the MMR route—even if a child had been given a separate M and R vaccine already. Gah!

My way of preparing for the MMR:

1. Ignored snarling mommies who–in addition to insisting there is no global warming–snarled and snapped that the MMR vaccine and autism are in no way linked no-how and how could anyone be stupid enough to think otherwise, etc.
2. Started giving my son liquid vitamins and the Dr. Sears Omega stuff a month before the MMR.
3. Refused to look at anything Jenny McCarthy
4. Meditated on mountaintops (Calgon induced)
5. Realized I could either do it, or not
6. Coped with that realization
7. Bought T more toys
8. Went over Dr. Sears’ vaccination schedule for the 1,000th time
9. Thanked the universe I’m not Abigail Adams in colonial times and making the decision to infect my children with “the pox” so they won’t get “the pox”
10. Tried not to snap at my husband when we discussed my fears

It’s done. T is napping after playing hard after the injection, before which he ate a hearty breakfast and played hard and amused the nurses by making off with their wastepaper basket. After the injection, he cried hard all the way home. The doctor said a fever and rash might appear anytime between this week and up to three weeks. Apparently this happens to 10% of babies who are given the MMR. It doesn’t have to happen. But it might.

In a month we will return for the chicken pox vaccination. Until then, T and I are going back inside his plastic bubble to play games and breath purified air. Although I guess we’ll come out to go to the zoo. And the grocery store. The park. A mommy meet-and-greet. A toddler’s birthday party. You know. You know. You know.


First French Fry

Monday, January 19th, 2009


I’m still not sure how it happened. When I was pregnant I swore up and down that my baby would never EVER eat fast food. And while perhaps the amazingly fresh and delicious fare from Santa Barbara’s Shoreline Cafe must never be considered fast food, still, to borrow recklessly from Gertrude Stein—a fry is a fry is a fry is a F.R.Y…Somehow it was between his little fingers and in his mouth quicker than the cheeky seagull snatching food from our picnic table. And there it stayed for a bit—just the tip of the fry between T’s perfect, cherubic lips as he savored, considered, decided. All those in favor? One 14 month old baby. The guilty mama too, I guess, as she handed him another…And wept.

How We Coped

Sunday, January 11th, 2009


From Los Angeles to Singapore, Santa Barbara to Great Britain, from mommy blog to mommy blog I heard/read the same complaint: “Worst cold/flu I’ve ever had! Lingering fatigue! RELAPSE! RELAPSE! RELAPSE!”

The Winter holidays were a total bust for many. My son and I were hit the week before Christmas, suffered runny noses, but felt chipper enough on Christmas, then were hit with that virus right after and well into the new year. It is the worst cold/flu I’ve ever had, complete with relapses and certainly the worst illness poor T has experienced in his little life so far.

My husband and I fought the urge to scream in terror and rush our baby to the ER every hour with our heads twisting around on our necks and instead consulted books and and Dr. and Google (I from my sick bed, S from his laptop a safe distance from the rabid-Hydra that was me) and we pestered the 24/7 advice nurses when middle-of-the-night crying weirdness happened. We purchased a—you know, the thing filled with water that bubbles and the hood attaches and steam comes out—vaporizer, yes a vaporizer. We squirted saline drops up the little guy’s crusty nose. We plunged his crusty nose. We made the bathroom a steamroom and sat in there with him. We added OJ to the water in his sippy cup. We tucked him in the car at 1am and drove around NoHo avoiding drunks and road rage (mine) until he fell asleep. We kept in touch with our doctor. We came close to harrassing the 24/7 telephone nurses, but that eased off, it did. I nursed T whenever he wanted, which turned into four times during the night, all previous OMG-baby-sleeping-through-night miracles and pipedreams of weaning out the window along with the stupid piece-of-CRAP expensive ear thermometer.

In short, it took two weeks, but we’re still married and mother and child are better, despite the mommy’s two disgusting relapses and embarrassing behavior as she writhed and moaned on the king sized bed forever dominating the living room, calling for Advil and OJ and a shotgun.

In short, we made it.

And although it was often a total nightmare and a complete pain-in-the-ass always, part of me is glad we went through it—because now we know even more about our baby, his FOR F’S SAKE I’M SICK, PEOPLE, DO SOMETHING cries, that when he’s sick he is going to wake up in the night, frequently, that he can have repeated fevers and not need instant medical attention, that longer naps during the day don’t mean he’s going into a coma, but are actually helpful to his psyche and recovery, that he can NOT eat much, but drink more and still be on the road to recovery, that an extra Baby Einstein DVD viewing is okay, it’s just okaaaaaay.

In short, our baby is a trooper in diapers.

My husband and I learned so much and although this might sound elemenatary now? At the time, when S and I were covered in baby’s vomit or baby’s snot and T was beyond uber-unhappy? We wondered…

A la votre! Hope you’re feeling better, wherever you are.


Happy Barfing New Year!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

2009 Baby!

The PF (pater figure) visited NYE and day, taking the train up from the fabulous ocean cool of Dana Point, arriving with a Trader Joe’s bag chock full of that store’s mmmmms, including amazing pecan toffee types and a tall bag of white popcorn to go with serious Rose Bowl watching 1/1/09. I’d had the foresight to drag my vaguely recovering cold/flu hiney to pick up potato soup fixings, remembering the cilantro, even, and cooking sherry and a super soft ciabatta bread tucked in garlic and cheese and lo and behold despite a stuffy head needing to explode, despite being a sleepless mother, I made my first potato soup of 2008, enough for left-overs in 2009. The PF arrived shortly after T’s morning nap and we headed for the inert trains of Travel Town, where my camera died just in time for T’s first miniature train ride, but the sun was glorious and Griffith Park green for a change and the train driver waving and friendly, so the camera was forgotten in lieu of family funnish things, like setting T loose in a train car, where he toddled delightedly from one end to the other as the PF expounded about steam engines so old they are disturbing ghosts unto themselves—even in the glorious sunlight.

Not to wax on, but perhaps it was all the running in the train car, or December sun overload, or just too soon after T’s cold (nose still leaking like a sewer) for him to be out. Because he ate the fresh yam I made him, enjoyed his post-dinner bath, ignited in a fever and, all changed into pajamas, barfed up his meal on me as I was carrying him to bed. S quickly ran the shower and I rinsed T, fresh pj’s were procured and all was well, meaning T went to sleep, and we even witnessed Universal Studio’s fireworks show from our balcony, and though we stayed up until 1am, all was okay, the PF jolly, myself: jolly-in-my-Advil—until 3am when one of the cats started barfing and wouldn’t stop until three separate barfings had been committed, fortunatley not on the king sized bed. Exhausted, we vowed to clean it up in the morning and S did so and an hour later PK(psycho kitty) was barfing on the kitchen table, right in the middle of the Rose Parade and the PF’s feasting on browned-butter eggs and during nap time T woke up sobbing and barfed over the edge of his crib onto the primary colored mat and shortly after that my bare foot stepped on a recently regurgitated hairball and then I really, seriously wondered why I’d greeted the New Year when I should have been sleeping having had the stomach flu and then the cold/flu and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it was definitely time to lie down and I did, while S and the PF watched football elsewhere, and I tried not to think about being all on top of each other here in the NoHo condo with the terminally vacant lot next door and to remember all that I have—devoted barfing cats, beautiful barfing baby, a husband who is great with the shamelessly candid PF and previously barfing, irritable wife and so, so tender with his barfing son and we don’t live in a bombing zone or the wretched Congo and now we even get KCET since the TV turned digital.

In short, I have become one who counts blessings and have determined I have everything to be grateful for. 2009—the year of the family. I’ll give it all I’ve got. Happy New Year!

Eve Ensler’s VDay Campaign
Mia Farrow in the DRC via UNICEF: Help!