27 April 2012

One Month In

Well, my life currently revolves around a very cute, very demanding 5-week old human.  All I do is feed him and watch the news.  So unless you are interested in how many times he has eaten today (one million) or what is going on in the presidential race (Obama rules, Romney suuuuucks), I've got nothing.

Except for pictures.  

Coolest baby of 1987.

Sometimes CSF and I have an antagonistic relationship.

Oh, and I have this video for you in case you need to see hundreds more pictures of little Charlie.

17 April 2012

Things I Love

Man oh man.  Matt's parents arrived at our house right about the time my head was about to explode, shortly after I'd had a conversation with Shecky about how Charlie was growing so fast so quickly, and who knew that feeding on "your mother's soul" could provide such nutrition?  The last few days have been wonderful, and we've all been spoiled by the doting grandparents who are more than happy (and if they're not, then they're really good at pretending) to hold the boy who decided that he would like to be held 23 1/2 hours every day (he needs 30 minutes a day to hang out with his zebra).

So I'm much happier and content and un-crazy than I was this time last week, and I just wanted to share some things that I'm loving right now.

1.  Sleep.  I've been spoiled the last few nights by my in-laws who have been helping with the aforementioned needy young man.  I've always loved sleep, but now, oh man.  What I wouldn't give for a coma nap right about now.

2.  Girls on HBO.  Omigod.  Watch it now.  Later, after we've seen a few more episodes, we'll all talk about it like we're in film class with pretentious film students or like we're at a book club where people actually read the books and don't just go for the wine (a.k.a., a stupid book club).

3.  Grandparents.  Lifesavers.  For realz.  I'm happy that Charlie's grandparents are here right now, and I'm happy that my grandparents will be here in a few weeks.

4.  Mad Men.  Can't get enough of this handsome fellow.

5.  Crazy Baby Faces.  I told you he was possessed.

I think he looks like Chloe in this picture.

6.  Oreos.  Why are they so good?  And who buys Oreos that aren't double stuffs?  Crazy people?

7.  The cutest guard dog of all time.  Providing protection against the mailman and kids riding down the street on bicycles.

8.  The greatest sister in all the wide world, who turned 16 today!  16!  How did that happen?  I'm so lucky to have a sister who would send me this picture of an awesome bruise with an explanation that started, "Well, I was playing Hunger Games with my friend. . ."

Things Charlie loves right now.

1.  Boobs.  He's quite taken with them.  Apparently, last night Matt's dad introduced the boy to Christina Aguilera and her assets, and our boy wouldn't peel his eyes from the television.

2.  Justin Bieber. I told you that when the boy was all holed up in my uterus that he would go crazy kicking every time Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe" played, right?  Well, now it seems that whenever that little teen cuteness shows up, Charlie is quiet and happy.

3.  Zebra.  The boy lies down on his little mat and smacks at and loves loves loves his zebra.  Just last night, Charlie said to me, "Mother, when I am one can we please go on a safari so that I may see a zebra in the wild?"  He's very advanced. 

4.  Crap that makes noise.  I was all about avoiding any toy that played music or made a bunch of noise, until my boy screamed for the better part of a week.  And then it became Operation: Find Something That Makes the Boy Stop Screaming.  And what does the trick?  Yep, crap that makes noise.  It's fine, though, because there are different tiers of awful noises, and I can take lullabies and fake heartbeat sounds much better than I can take the sound of my kid screaming.  So there's that.  Sure didn't take long to sell out, huh?

13 April 2012

Love and Marriage

[While watching an episode of The Amazing Race, during which the teams went to Tanzania.]

Mandy: Oh, is this where The Lion King was filmed?

Matt: Yes.  The Lion King was filmed on location.

Baby STD's

You haven't heard much from us for a week or so because our sweet little precious babe became possessed with a screaming tapeworm demon (a.k.a., "3-week growth spurt").  Basically, for the better part of a week, young Charles decided that he had to feed for about 12 hours a day (I wish that was an exaggeration), and he demanded that we hold him for the other 12.  It was wildly fun, if by wildly fun you mean "so awful that it made me ugly cry in the shower twice."  So there was that.  

The good news, though, is that the screaming tapeworm demon (oh jeez, does my baby have an STD? I totes thought I'd be a better parent than this!) has since been exorcised.  Today he's been just lovely and delightful.

So he's no longer looking like this all the time.

And he's gone back to looking like this.

Still, I'm considering going in tomorrow to get my tubes tied.

Also, during my time trapped on the couch in the last week, I have watched an insane amount of stupid TV.  I did feel like a better parent when I compared myself to the girl on 16 and Pregnant who was determined to get back to training to become a professional cage fighter, and I felt like a better human during MTV's True Life: I Am Jealous of My Sibling that featured such loathsome humans that it made the cage fighting mom seem like a Ghandi rocket scientist.  Also, the Justin Bieber Proactiv commercials that aired during every break made me wonder if, perhaps, it was high time that I find some more age-appropriate programming?

Big week ahead for us.  We have in-laws visiting (and not a moment too soon!), and I've promised myself that I will (I swear it!) finally get this kid a birth certificate.  He'll need it in 35 years when he runs for president.

05 April 2012

Things I Love about Not Being Pregnant

Things I love about not being pregnant:

1.  Stomach sleeping.  Being able to turn over in my sleep without having to wake up.
2.  Lunch meat, cold and delicious.
3. Margaritas.  Sure, there was only one, and I had to drink it right after feeding so that I didn't get my baby drunk, but still.  It was the most delicious margarita I've ever had.  Ever.
4.  Being able to drink more than 1 tablespoon of liquid without having to run to the bathroom.
5.  Being able to clip my own toenails.
6.  Not going to work.
7.  Not having strangers comment on how fat I am.
8. Not living in constant fear of childbirth.
9. Eating cookie dough without feeling guilty.

But the best things about not being pregnant?  

Finally getting to meet my favorite little buddy, my burrito worm.

Getting to see my furry firstborn become a big brother.

And getting to see my favorite man become a super daddy.  

My heart can hardly take it.

01 April 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar-Doughnut Muffins!

So, before Mr. CSF arrived, Matt and I heard horror story after horror story about how awful it is to have a newborn, and how we'll never sleep again, and how we'll never have time to cook again, and yadda yadda.  It was kind of terrifying.

But here we are now, nine days in, and it's really not bad.  It's actually pretty fun.  Have there been some moments at 4 a.m. when Charlie started crying and I have been a wee bit on the grumpy side and asked him, "Again? Really? Already?"  Sure.  But I don't have to go to work for a while, so it doesn't really matter if I'm up at 4 a.m. because I can go back to sleep when he does.  And the boy sleeps a lot.  Apparently, that's what babies do.

Matt went back to work on Thursday, and I had the baby for most of Thursday, Friday, and all day yesterday, and it's fine.  We've still been able to cook dinners and clean the house and take showers.  It's good.  It's fun.  It's like a giant exercise in time management and napping, two things that both Matt and I are pretty good at.*

I mean, it doesn't hurt that I grew the cutest baby of all time in my uterus.

And maybe in a week he'll become a difficult baby and I'll be eating crow, but until then, I'd rather eat the Cinnamon-Sugar-Doughnut Muffins from the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, since doughnut muffins probably taste way better than crow, and because they're super fun and easy to make, too.  I think they are like a little more adult version of cinnamon toast, which was one of my faves when I was a kid.  These muffins make me wish I drank coffee, too, because I think they'd be a perfect accompaniment to a good cup of coffee.  What a delightful Sunday morning treat!

Oh, what?  You wanted to see another picture of my cute baby?  Okay!

Back to the cookbook.  I know I've already raved about this cookbook like a million times, but if you need a baking cookbook, you really should get this one.  It's out of control.  And if you're not a baker but want to be, you should get it because the recipes are so accessible and don't use a bunch of crazy stuff you could only find at a farmer's market in Portland.

To sum up:  motherhood is not as hard as they make it out to be on Teen Mom (haha, Audrey!), Charles is so cute that I don't mind getting up to fatten him up, doughnuts taste better than crow, and you should buy the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.

Here's the recipe.  Have at it, party people!

Cinnamon-Sugar-Doughnut Muffins
From The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (my favorite baking cookbook of all time!)


For the Muffins
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons buttermilk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs

For the Doughnut Coating

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


To make the muffins: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom.  In a medium bowl, combine the milk and the buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar.  Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth; do not overmix.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.

While the muffins bake, set up two bowls to dunk them in.  In one bowl you will have the melted butter, and in the other bowl you will have the cinnamon sugar.

Let the doughnuts cool completely on a wire rack.  Dunk them in melted butter, then coat them with the cinnamon sugar.  The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


Oh, what the hell.  Here's one more picture of Charlie.

*Are you mad that I ended that sentence with a preposition or what?  


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