Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cute things the baby does

I sometimes record kid-friendly TV fare to play in the background during the day. I recorded some Dr. Seuss around Christmastime and I still have that on the DVR.

So I put on the Grinch this morning and Jack is in his swing singing along with the "Bahhoo Boray Welcome Christmas" song. It's incredibly cute.

He has also become a kissing bandit! Except his idea of a kiss looks like he's attacking you with a drooly, gaping piehole. He leans forward with his lips in an "O" and kisses you on the cheek, leaving a large deposit of drool in his wake. We don't mind at all, we love his sloppy, sweet baby kisses.

The other night, Tim was giving Jackson a bottle and after feeding, Tim wiped up the dribbled milk from Jack's chin. Then Jack grabbed the burp cloth and dabbed at Tim's face. It was like "Here Daddy, I'll do yours now!"

He's 5 months old today, and has grown fascinated with FOOD. Time for me to buy that food processor so I can get started making his Super Baby Food.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fo dinner:

Extra firm tofu, cubed, tossed with chopped garlic, basil, oregano & olive oil. Simmered in with 1/2 jar pasta sauce and 1 can chopped tomatoes. Served over angel hair with garlic toast on the side. 2005 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages to drink. (One of my fav reds EVER.) Dessert: dutch apple pie.

Sounds yummy, huh? Too bad for you, leftovers were sent home with my guest. Except for the leftover wine - I just drank that. :)

Monday, February 26, 2007

We don't even miss meat!

Dinner tonight was a creation of my own invention. I will take suggestions as to what to name it! :)

I prepared a batch of quinoa while chopping and tossing together 6 organic roma tomatoes (on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99/lb. this week - SCORE!), 2 c organic baby spinach, 1/4 lb. of organic feta, and 1/4 lb. of kalamata olives. I made a quick little Greek vinaigrette from olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, chopped fresh organic garlic, dried oregano, a dash of salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. I tossed the chopped veggie/olive/cheese blend with some of the dressing and then laid 1/4 c of the prepared quinoa on a Rudi's Organic Bakery Whole Spelt Tortilla then added about 3/4 c of the veggie blend, rolled it up and served it as a wrap. I garnished each plate with a fanned fresh strawberry. Hey, it's all about the presentation.

It was freaking AWESOME. Seriously, my best meatless effort yet. I'd have seconds, but quinoa is really filling with the fiber and protein content. I thought I was doing good after dinner last night, which was a tofu stirfry with a ginger-lemon sauce served over brown rice. I'm having a friend over for dinner tomorrow, so I'll have to come up with some new smack. :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Add a new thing to the list of Things I'm Allergic To

Things I'm Allergic To:

  1. Chicken
  2. Corn
  3. Celery
  4. Dust
  5. Dust mites
  6. Mold
  7. Cockroaches
  8. Dogs
  9. Cats
  10. Guinea Pigs
  11. Horses
  12. Tree Pollen
  13. Ragweed

and now...water.


I frequently joke about being a Princess, but truth be told I am a delicate little flower. I'm very sensitive to a lot of things. But the water thing is just blowing me away! I bought a four pack of Target's Kiwi & Watermelon naturally flavored water, and I had 2 of them yesterday. The entire inside of my mouth is swollen, irritated, red and raw. It has to be the water, because it's the only thing I had yesterday that I had never had before.

My tongue is huge! It all feels very swollen, raw and torn up, even my gums. I took a Benedryl last night before bed and some of the swelling is down, but I can't take any more or I won't be able to function today!

You know how Trix cereal tastes yummy but tears up the roof of your mouth? That's how my entire mouth feels all over inside. My tongue, my gums, the inside of my cheeks, the inside of my lips, everything.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

The trouble with eating healthy...

It's midnight, I'm recovering from a blood sugar low, and I am craving something sweet and decadent.

I open the cupboard, and the naughtiest treat I can find is...drumroll please...this.

Oh, Mother may I? Pretty please with sugar on top? Or at least organic raisins on top?

I miss junk food right now.

*kicks bag of raisins across kitchen floor*

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm running for President.

OK, not really but doesn't it seem like everybody and their brother is? The ticket is getting a whole lot a bit crowded, especially on the Democrat side.

I for one am especially thankful that there are so many viable candidates who are excited about and committed to changing our world. That's a really great thing! But with so many of them all lunging towards the same position...wouldn't it make more sense to have them team up? They all want to do good, and lead our country to change. That's awesome. I don't even think the staunchest Republican could say that we don't need a change. But this is turning into a situation where too many cooks are going to spoil the pot. America is so desperate for an immediate panacea to her woes that almost anybody can sway her affections. And with so many suitors, we fall in love every day!

As an Illinois constituent, I love Barack Obama. I don't care if he smokes. What I care about is that he has been a Senator for all of 2, going on 3 years. Now I firmly believe in living green, but a Senator with 3 years of experience is a little too green for me. Green in the bad way. He is lovely, he is eloquent, he is a great balance of conservative ideology and democratic leadership. He is dynamic. It's hard to not love him. But he's too new! I wouldn't want a third year Senator running the country the same way I wouldn't want a third year resident performing my open heart surgery. There is a tiny part of me that thinks that Obama not being at the dance for very long is a good thing, he hasn't had years and years of political corruption coursing through his veins. But for the job of Leader of the Free World, I think we need someone with a little more experience under his (or her) belt. That's why if I made up the Democratic ticket (in my imaginary world where there is no primary, I just pick it) I would have an Edwards/Obama Prez/VP matchup. But do you think that would be too many dynamic men in one White House? Maybe they'd spontaneously combust.

You know who else needs to humble themselves and go for VP? Wes Clark. Let Hills shoot for the moon, with Clark by her side. Former First Lady + Retired Army General = Presidential Gold. Although, in my opinion, Hillary already got to be President. For two terms! ;)

I wish someone would put a little bit of chlorine into the candidate pool. But until they do...this will be an interesting race to watch fo sho. And if Edwards does take the Primary, this registered Republican will gladly volunteer to work the Republicans for Edwards campaign in Chicago, just as I worked on the Republicans for Kerry campaign.

This political rant has been fueled by 2 cans of Enviga. Holy cow, that's a lotta caffeine in one tiny can.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Joy of Soy

So my Monthly Feminine Discomfort looms on the horizon. This is more information than anybody really wants to know, but it plays a key role in the story.

I am usually horribly crabby around this time. Like I want to kill people and run away. But right crabbiness. Since Jackson's birth, I have been getting a monthly PMS Migraine, which has required at least 2 doses of Frova. This month, no migraine. I normally gain at least 4 to 6 pounds of water weight. This month, no bloating.

The only thing I've done different is that I've given up meat for tofu and regular milk for soy milk. That's it. It must be the phyto estrogens in the soy or something. That's the only plausible explanation I can come up with.

I can't guarantee that everyone who tries it will have the same results, but if you suffer from really bad PMS stuff, it's certainly worth a shot!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tofu. It's what's for dinner

Operation Bean Curd was a huge success!

I drained and pan fried Nasoya Garlic and Onion flavored firm tofu with some chopped onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. I seasoned with oregano, basil, Emeril's Essence, a generous grinding of black pepper and a pinch of salt. I added a jar of Whole Foods 365 Organic Basil pasta sauce, and simmered that together for a spell. I served my tofu and sauce over a bed of freshly baked spaghetti squash, and it was delightful.

While dinner was cooking, I had a batch of organic brown rice going in my rice cooker. I added the leftover tofu/sauce concoction to 2 cups of cooked rice, stirred that up and put it in the fridge. It will make lovely stuffed peppers on Monday night after my mini High School reunion!!!

Tomorrow we're having salad and leftover veggie pizza (from Friday night's weekly Peepa and a Movie ritual) for dinner and Tuesday is Boca Burgers. Wednesday I will try my hand again at cooking tofu when I make a Chinese stir fry with Nasoya's Chinese Spice Seasoned Firm Tofu, frozen organic Chinese stir fry veggies served on a bed of the rest of the leftover rice that I cooked tonight. I'm very excited that basically I don't have to do any real intense "cooking" until Thursday, everything else is very easy throw-together stuff.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Boldly going where no man in this house has gone before...

We're venturing into ovo-lacto-pescatarianism. This basically means that we're no longer eating beef, pork, turkey or chicken. Beef and pork is no big deal, and I'm allergic to chicken. I can't remember the last time I made a turkey.

Organic tofu and legumes have been purchased. A pasta dish, using seasoned & marinated extra firm tofu as a meat replacement is scheduled for tomorrow evening's

I don't have anything against meat, in fact I think it's delicious. However, I came across a disturbing tidbit of information about a month ago, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. When you eat meat, you are eating for 17 people because of the grains fed to the beef that could have gone towards feeding others. When I learned that, it certainly gave me pause. We've been slowly going as organic as possible, so eliminating meat is a logical next step. I've been hesitant to research more into how dastardly meat consumption is, because I don't want to puke. I know that the animals are treated inhumanely and that slaughterhouses are disgustingly dirty. I like to not think about it. I have frequently said that if meat weren't conveniently available to me
on a foam tray, wrapped in cling wrap at my local market, that I wouldn't go out to hunt & kill my own. I would just go meatless.

So meatless it is. Except for our cage free, organically fed eggs, organic dairy, and the occasional fish or seafood treat.

I will miss BACON. But have you seen piggies? They're adorable, and said to be as smart as a domesticated dog. I shouldn't be eating that, no matter how delicious it is. Look how adorable! (The pig, not Dakota Fanning). I cannot chaw him.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Funny Valentine

So far today, this is my fav email Valentine's Day greeting:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I wish the baby swing spun a better selection of tunes

We have this swing. It does the job, and has a capacity of up to 30 lbs., which rocks compared to most other swings. But here's the deal. It plays 5 songs and 5 sounds of nature. That's it. Sounds like a lot, until you have the baby in it for more than 5 minutes, and you've already heard the loop of 5 songs a few times over. It makes you crazy. Sometimes, when the swing is off and all is still and quiet in the house at night, I hear the damn electronic synthesized "music" in my head.

I wish the swing had an input like our Pack & Play. That thing rocks my socks all the way to the hamper. You can plug any mp3 player into it and crank out your baby's favorite playlist through the attached entertainment unit.

Speaking of baby's playlists, my dear friend H, who is expecting her first child, sent me a mix CD she burned for her baby boy who will soon make his earthly debut. We gave it a listen today, and I fell in love with a song I hadn't heard before:

Childhood Dreams - Nelly Furtado

I can't believe you need me
I never thought I would be needed for anything
I can't believe my shoulder would carry such important
As your head and your tears
I can't believe you chose me, in all my fragility, me
It hurts so much when I love you, it makes me cry
Every time

You, you are, oh you are
The little boy made for me in the stars
In the stars, that's why I can't let you go
The little boy made for me in the stars
That's why I love you more the further I go
And before this existence you were always there
Waiting for me
You are, you are the realest thing I know
Hands down
The realest thing I know

It reminded me of when I got Jackson's ultrasound
done that revealed his gender. I was so convinced
that he was a she, the news really rocked my
foundation. We both had our hearts set on a
daughter, so getting used to the idea of preparing
for a son was an emotional hurdle. But now he's here,
and how wrong and stupid I was! I cannot imagine
him being anybody else. He's the little man who
was handcrafted for me by God Himself, the boy
He planned for me to have and to love
and to raise.

And along those lines, I decided today that if
God doesn't give me any more children, I will
be okay with that. Jackson is wonderful and
amazing and fulfilling and just everything
that I love in life. I would love to be a
mother to more babies, but if that doesn't
happen it's okay. I have already been blessed
richly, beyond anything I could have dreamed
of or asked for.

Now watch, I'm going to end up getting knocked up.
It wasn't until I had decided that I would be
satisfied just being single that I met my
wonderful husband, who is so much more
and better and fantastic than I would have dared
ask for. Back in the day, I said to myself
"I can handle being single forever, who
needs men?" And then I met Tim, and before
I knew it, I was on the phone with my friend
telling her I was going to get
married again...

Stay tuned. :)

Ooh, look! A shiny thing!

As mentioned in my profile, I love sparkly things. I finally sucked it up and had my wedding rings sized up 1/2 a size to fit on my post-pregnancy snausage fingers. Behold, the crappy quality cell phone photo:

And Super Bonus Score, now my right paw is finally skinny enough to fit into the gorgeous push present I received in honor of Jackson's birth. It's a radiant cut sapphire (Jack's birthstone) surrounded by 4 diamond baguettes. Can you say YUMMY? Check it!

*does Happy Dance*

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I have determined the cause of my diet's failure

He's cute with hot facial hair. Perhaps you know him, or have heard of him.

His name is Duff Goldman.

I am a sucka for the show Ace of Cakes on Food Network. I see their artistry & think "I could totally do that!" (I am a baking genius).

But it never fails. They made a RAT cake this week, a cake that looked like a gigantic rat, and I STILL wanted cake after watching that damn show.

I am pretty sure I have mastered the art of the Cake One Hitter. Mix up 2 T of cake mix, a splash of water or milk, then pour into a small plastic container that has been sprayed with Pam. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Turn upside down onto a plate, and allow to cool. Or don't. Either way, it's a couple bites of cake available in less than two minutes.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MOMMIES: A Call To Action!

The following blog entry contains adult language, violence, human rights violations
*and* Samuel L. Jackson.
Reader discretion is advised.

I'm writing from lovely, scenic Mt. Laurel, New Jersey this morning. The skies are blue and clear and the air is insanely cold. Like it-hurts-your-lungs-to-breathe-it-cold. But still, it's about 20 degrees warmer than the bitter, windy cold we left behind in Chicago so huzzah!

In other news, Jackson rolled over today. It wasn't a full, do it yourselfer roll, he had his chest supported on a pillow on the hotel room bed during tummy time, and he just *floop* rolled himself onto his back by pushing up on his left arm and knee at the same time. I suspect this will become a new favorite past time - look out! :)

Yesterday was our first time flying with our 4 month old son. Baby needed his own suitcase! Between clothes, bibs, diapers, bottles, formula, pacifiers, toiletries, baby jackets and was a very full suitcase! I also packed my diaperbag (formerly referred to as my "durse", it is now my "dackpack" as I have found that while not incredibly stylish, a backpack makes a FAB diaperbag) to the BRIM with diapers, burpcloths, more formula and more bottles. Of water.

I had 4 bottles of sterile water to mix with Jackson's formula. As we all know, Jackson is recovering from serious GI surgery. I don't feel quite comfortable yet using tap or even bottled spring water for his bottles because I'm concerned about introducing unknown elements to his delicate GI tract, so all the water I use for him is distilled and sterilized.

The TSA took my baby water. They would not allow me to have it even though I had:

A baby
A car seat
A stroller
A baby bjorn
Formula Powder
Burp Cloths
A nasal aspirator...

And the list could go on forever, but the point is that all the evidence was there that THIS WATER WAS FOR THE BABY'S MILK but they took it away. I was ready to throw down. I am not usually a rabid bitch, but you fuck with my baby, you're fucking with me and I will fight you to the death over the health of my child. It's a good thing they don't allow knives in carry on luggage, for if they did, surely I would have cut a bitch. What angered me further is that according to the TSA Travel Safety Guidelines, you can have expressed breastmilk in a bottle, and you can have formula in a bottle and you can carry them on without question. However, carrying water AND formula powder is a NO NO. Oscar Mike Golf Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Bravo Bravo Quebec! (I will give a dollar to the first person who can tell me what that means.)

For those of you not familiar with the preparation, storage and feeding of commercial formulas let me debrief you. Once the powder is mixed with the water, it must be consumed within 1 hour or refrigerated or it will spoil. After 24 hours, the formula must be discarded for safety. The very kind, concerned and accommodating TSA Agents (Are you sensing the sarcasm here? Because I'm being TOTALLY sarcastic. They was bitches.) offered me the option of mixing the formula powder into the water at the checkpoint, and taking the mixed formula which would spoil in an hour since I don't have a CARRY ON REFRIGERATOR. (Can I check my refrigerator? What? There's a fee for luggage over 50 lbs.? Aw, shit.) The TSA Agent first asked me, "Why don't you just nurse?" and I know I'm hypersensitive to this but I could have sworn it was coupled with a snotty glare as she looked down her nose at me. To which I replied, "I can't nurse. I'm a breast cancer survivor and my milk ducts were cut during my surgery to remove my tumor." And I hope she felt like a gigantic asshole because SHE WAS.

Let's rewind. That isn't totally a lie. Four and a half years ago, I had surgery to remove a very suspicious hard lump in my right breast and then chose to undergo breast reconstruction and augmentation. The lump turned out to be benign but technically any overgrowth of cells anywhere is medically considered "cancer". It just wasn't a malignant tumor. But it was a tumor just the same, and the TSA Agent didn't need all the gory details, only the pertinent ones.
I am loathe to play the Cancer Survivor Card but I've decided that any time anyone feels it is their right to give me grief for not nursing, I'm going to use it. I am going to make them feel just as shitty as they make me feel when they ask me why I don't breastfeed. I have multiple suspects in my lack of breastmilk mystery. It could have been my mass removal surgery. I suspect this because when I pumped, I always got more droplets from my left, non-surgeried boobie than I did my post-mass-removal boobie on the right. It still wasn't a "supply" but there was more on the left. It could be due to my augmentation, although plenty of women who have undergone a BA have nursed with no troubles. It could be because of my diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that sometimes jacks with the lactation hormonal response. It could have been because Jack was born on Thursday and I didn't get to see him until Saturday or start trying to nurse until Sunday. Like I said, multiple suspects. I don't know who to blame, so I struggle with blaming myself. Like that's healthy. Anyway...

So back to the security checkpoint with the Asshole TSA Agents. Who were ALL WOMEN, may I add. They say I can't take the water, but I can mix the formula and take that. I don't know what that says to you, but it says to me that these bitches knew the water was for the baby. Tim mixed up two of the four bottles and the TSA made him dump out the remaining water. I knew I would need one bottle for takeoff and maybe one for landing, so I wanted to have at least two. However, I didn't know how I was going to keep them cold to prevent spoiling and I knew I wouldn't need them until well after the 1 hour expiration time was up.

It was a miracle of God that as we passed a Hudson News, purveyor of overpriced snacks, candy and reading materials to all airports, I spied a clerk removing about a dozen bottles of water and Coke that had gotten too cold in the cooler and frozen. I said, "Is that bottle of water FROZEN?" in a tone of voice that sounded like I just hit the Lotto Big Game Jackpot. He said, "Yeah" in a tone of voice that sounded like in his head he was adding on "Crazy Lady" to the end of his reply. I said, "Can I have it?" He said "Yeah" in the Crazy Lady tone of voice again. So I bought a bottle of Dasani that was frozen solid and placed it in my dackpack betwixt the two mixed bottles. However, don't ask me how this is going to work on the way home because you also can't bring ice. So unless God magically provides another frozen solid bottle of water in the airport on the way home, I am el screwedo.
That's Spanish for "fucked over big time".

I was furious. I was livid. No, I take that back...I AM LIVID. My four month old son is not connected with Al Qaeda or the Taliban. He doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction (unless you count his #2 diapers, because those...hoo boy!). We don't know how to make a bomb with distilled sterile baby water. I actually don't know how to make any kind of bomb with anything. Urban legend says that if I put Mentos in a 2 liter of Coke, it will blow up but I haven't tried it.


How does taking milk away from a baby serve to enforce National Security?

How does forcing a mother to choose to either feed her baby spoiled milk or starve him make our skies safe?

At this point in the story, hopefully you are as pissed off as I am about this. And you may ask, "What can I do?" Well, my friend, let me tell you what you can do.

Do what I just did and contact the TSA by calling 1-866-289-9673 toll-free or by writing them via email at For maximum impact, do both.

Tell them that denying parents the right to take a baby's water and formula powder onto a plane separately is a potential health hazard to infants.

Urge them to allow sterile water in baby bottles in carry on baggage when accompanied by the appropriate formula powder and of course, a baby. Obviously the person taking the water and formula is going to need it for the baby.

Tell them that it is a violation of a baby's basic human rights to deny them sustenance in the airport and on a plane. I mean, even Southwest hands out peanuts after the cattle call onto their Everybody Sits In Coach flights!

Tell them that refusing to accommodate an infant traveler's needs in this manner does NOTHING to provide security or ensure safety on our airplanes.

Tell the TSA that the carry on liquids rule needs to be amended to accommodate all the precious tiny travelers that need their bottles.

And then please tell all your friends to do the same, and to tell their friends. If enough people raise their voice about this gross injustice, we can make a change.

Jackson and all the other formula-fed babies of the world thank you.

Oh, and as promised...Samuel L. Jackson: