Monthly Archives: April 2008

Succumbing to temptation

All mother’s want what is best for their child(ren). It is one of the most basic tenets of motherhood (hopefully). However, sometimes this desire is overshadowed by the need to do what’s best for me (the mother). While this might seem paradoxical, mother’s are also very adept at rationalizing. So, for a baby to be happy and healthy, he NEEDS a happy and healthy mother. This translates into “What’s best for the baby is for mommy to watch 6 hours of Desperate Housewives which requires succumbing to the temptation of buying yet another large brightly colored plastic thingy to entertain you while I do this.”

After reading an article that claimed exer-saucers (aka activity saucers) hindered motor skill development (something about babies not being able to see their own legs), his father and I decided that we would NOT be purchasing one of these large plastic circus-like things.

Oh, how quickly resolve falters…

At a play date two weeks ago, my little guy was introduced to the exer-saucer. He LOVED it. Squeals of delight, cooing, and best of all a mother with two free hands. SOLD. I didn’t care that I was about to spend yet another $100 (yes, it appears that everything baby related costs at least $100) and turn my back on a “scientific study” (after all, can’t you find a study to support any/everything these days?). So literally the next day we went to Buy Buy Baby and purchased the Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center by Graco. It’s even named to make parents feel better about abandoning their children to a plastic babysitter. It makes you think, “He’s discovering new things all on his own. And it has Einstein in the name. We must be creating a little genius by purchasing this toy”. And just that quickly, another acre of our former life was resettled by brightly colored plastic.

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Food, finally (Bolognese sauce)

So for all of you who have been waiting to read something actually about food, your time has arrived. Unfortunately, being a new mom (a.k.a absentminded caregiver), I seem to always forget to take pictures of the food. Honestly, I’m too busy keeping my little guy happy in his bouncy chair, spending a few minutes with my overworked traveling husband, or just zoning out staring at the pot of boiling water (ahhhhhh – it’s like a mini-facial).

Having experimented with this recipe for a while, I’ve tried some good recipes (Food and Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, The Joy of Cooking, Mario Batali, NYTimes, etc), but have yet to find perfection. So, I decided to combine what I liked of them all – and it was GREAT!!!! So here it is… (please take all measurements as rough suggestions – it’s the only way to cook – unless you’re baking)

Bolognese Sauce

1/2 cup celery diced finely

1/2 cup carrot diced finely

1/2 onion diced finely

2 garlic cloves minced

2 quarter inch slices of pancetta diced (bacon could kind of work)

2 cans diced tomatos

1 cup whole milk

1 cup dry white wine (no chardonnay, please)

1/2 lb ground pork*

1/2 lb ground beef*

1/2 lb ground veal*

5 Tablespoons of butter

Saute celery, onion, and carrot in 3 Tablespoons of butter until translucent. Add garlic and saute briefly. Add and brown ground meat and pancetta. Add milk and simmer over low heat until absorbed (about 25 minutes). Add wine and simmer over med/high heat until pan is dry (about 20 minutes). Add tomatoes (partially drained) and simmer with lid on for 2.5 hours. Finish with 2 Tablespoons of butter. Serve over a wide flat pasta with Parmesan.

*1.5 lbs of ground beef can be substituted. I found this blend of pork/beef/veal labeled as “meatloaf” mix.

Enjoy!

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Thank you, Pampers

A lot of parents today swear that Pampers are the best brand of diapers. For those of you in doubt, please read on.

After a long day tending to my recently immunized grumpy little boy, I decided that I needed some amusement. Since my husband was working from home, I decided that he would have to suffice. In a fun game I like to call “Guess what I’m holding under your nose”, I decided to have a little fun with my hubby.

As I put my little guy down to sleep I noticed a poopy diaper sitting out (I know I should have thrown it out immediately – but it was a tough day and the diaper was sitting next to the changing table). I immediately thought, “This is the perfect object to trick my hubby into smelling.” I approached him and tauntingly asked him to close his eyes and guess what he was smelling. In a show of true trust, he obliged. As he began to sniff, it was nearly impossible to not chuckle. With a quizzical brow, he said “Wait, wait. I know this smell.” I thought, “You sure do.” He continued sniffing in delight for close to 30 seconds. He guessed, “Cookie dough. No. Cake. No. Frosting. No. A CUPCAKE!!!!” It was a priceless moment. My husband confused the smell of a poopy diaper for a cupcake. Thanks, Pampers.

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Stuff new mommies like

This post is dedicated to the blog Stuff White People Like.

Today I threw my first “Mommies Who Lunch” gathering. Much like your first dinner party ushering in adulthood, it is a right of passage into mommyhood. I truly felt like a mastermind. I instigated the planning. “Hey D_____, let me get your email address so we can get together outside of the mother’s group.” Emails were exchanged. A date was set. And then the magic began.

Being a full time mom is like going to work with one hand (that loves to cry) tied behind your back. So, yesterday (T minus 24 hrs) I had planned to head to the grocery store to shop for my luncheon. But no, no, no. It was rainy and my little guy was grumpy and honestly, I didn’t feel like going to the store. So, I decided to go first thing this morning. First thing in the morning with a 4 month old means 7:00 AM. Good morning, Stop and Shop. I must admit that it was the most pleasant Stop and Shop experience I have had. It was empty. Everything was freshly stocked (including produce). And there was no line at the deli!

By the time I get home, my little muffin needed to be fed and to take a nap (T minus 4 hrs). While he napped, I preped everything. The red pepper tomato soup (I’d give you the recipe, but it’s from a box that I purchased at Costco – organic and pretty darn good) was in a pot ready to be warmed. Croissants were sliced and loaded with fontina and parmesan, turkey, whole grain mustard, and arugula and ready to be panini-ed (I think I just created a new verb). Plates, bowls, silverware, and napkins – ready. White wine chilling (just in case).

(T minus 30 min) Baby is awake and fed.

(T minus 2 min) “What was that sound? Oh no! What is that smell? Oh no!” Oh, yes. And it was a big one. He prefers to poop every few days, which means when it happens, it happens BIG.

To make a long story, well, short. A new outfit was needed for my precious boy. And everyone arrived while I still had poo on my hands. But the food was delicious and the company was great. It’s fun to have a living room filled with little babies cooing at each other. And by the end, the homemade limoncello (I had to offer something homemade to impress my guests) definitely hit the spot.

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