Tuesday, June 28, 2005

lulu strikes again!!!

yesterday morning stephen and i were performing the dangerous and unpleasant (though, honestly, always amusing) task of grooming trucky. this time it thankfully didn't involve the butt area—no, we were just trimming some kitty dreadloacks off his haunch, cause, you know, the haunches are sooooo hard to reach with your tongue, there's just no way he should be expected to keep the haunch fur clean and untangled! noooooo!

so stephen was containing the front paws and i had his rear end in a vice grip and was weilding the scissors. and though i'm being super careful and definitely not nicking his tender kitty flesh at all, he's raising a huge fuss, hollering and yowling like the drama queen that he is.

as i'm about to finish, i can see lulu out of the corner of my eye, approaching from my right. i honestly figure she's just coming to laugh at him. but then she jumps up on the arm of the couch next to me, peeks over, says "unhand my brother, you wench!", and reaches over and claws me in the thumb! i scream, she goes flying, trucky goes flying, blood is running down my hand, stephen is yelling at lulu, and wile is starting to whimper.

so, how was your morning?

Monday, June 27, 2005


the best thing i've eaten this week was the dessert at meg's birthday dinner, on friday. we took the birthday lady to miracle grill, which was great—the much-hyped garden is as fantabulous as everyone says it is; the service was great; the peach sangria was yummy; and my grilled shrimp, mango, jicama, and toasted pumpkin seed salad was the perfect dish for a summer night out. but, no offense to miracle grill, the best thing that i ate that night wasn't from their kitchen.

for dessert, liz (aka icebox) brought cream puffs from choux factory, a japanese-owned cream-puff store near her apartment. when we talked about her bringing them, she said how hard it is to not stop for a cream puff every single time she walks by this place. now that i've had them, i can absolutely sympathize. these things were so unbelievably luscious and perfect. they were rich but not too rich, sweet but not too sweet. the inside was gooey, the pastry was flaky, the sugar on top was crunchy. plus they looked like little cauliflower (choux), which means many bonus points in my book.

i took the leftovers home and gave one to stephen....i think if i brought home cream puffs every time i went out, he'd be willing to babysit whenever i wanted. i may have set a bad precedent here....

dog butt of the week

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

it's not all whining and sleep-deprivation, really!

i've been thinking lately that many of my posts have been about my little lover boy's less endearing qualities, and that i should balance that out with some happier tales, 1) in fairness to him, and 2) because i'd like him to have some playmates eventually....

so here's one:

today we were sitting on the bed and he realized that he could fall backwards and it wouldn't hurt, so we spent ten minutes playing "falling"—he would tip over and we would laugh hysterically, then i'd help him sit up, he'd look at me and raise his eyebrows, and then tip over again. more laughing. then i'd bite his fat thighs and he'd laugh even harder.

and here's another one:

last week we laid side by side on the blanket out in the backyard for about ten minutes just watching the ivy blow in the wind. he would watch the ivy wave around, then look at me like "mama, did you see that?? that was so cool." then we'd both look back at the ivy and wait for the next gust of wind.

yes, the good bits only last about ten minutes. but i only need a short spurt of complete happiness to keep me going.

Monday, June 20, 2005

lying in wait for her next victim

dog butt of the week

joe cool

wile 6:18

and the foolish mother said, “for lo these past five days, we have rested for one and a half turns of the hour hand in the morning and then again in the afternoon, and then bedded down for the night at half past seven in the evening. therefore, i will plan the course of our saturday around this schedule.”

the baby god heard the foolish mother, and he was much angered. “how dare the foolish mother suppose that just because i have done something for five days straight that i will do it again on the sixth! has she forgotten that it is i, the baby god, who is in charge here, not her? i shall punish her presumption by resting for two and one half turns of the hour hand in the morning! and then showering myself and my car seat with regurgitated milk! and then going to sleep at half past four in the afternoon as if it were night-night time, and sleeping for four turns of the hour hand! that should remind her of her place!”

and the baby god did these things. but the foolish mother, though slightly perturbed and concerned by the massive amount of regurgitated milk, did not seem to learn her lesson. for the lengthy morning rest allowed her more time with the new baby goddess, and the lengthy afternoon rest allowed her more time with some visitors from the west coast at the home of the grandparents.

the baby god saw that his tactics had failed, and he was further angered. “the foolish mother is really asking for it now! the big guns shall have to be pulled out. i shall stay awake the entire car ride home from the house of the grandparents, then trick her into thinking that she is safe by going to bed quietly when we arrive home—only to awake at two in the morning and stay awake for three-quarters of a turn of the hour hand! i shall go back to sleep after that, but refuse to be put down in my crib! i shall remind her of her hubris all the following day with much wailing and lamenting! i shall sleep for only one turn of the hour hand the next afternoon—and only if she stays right beside me, staring at the wall and going slightly mad from boredom!”

and so it was done. and the foolish mother saw the error of her ways. and the baby god was sated. for now....

Sunday, June 19, 2005

now starting at shortstop for the 2026 ny mets...

a couple of weeks ago i was down here on the computer and stephen was upstairs playing with mr. baby man, and all of the sudden he yells down to me, "you've got to come up here! i taught him how to play catch!" when i didn't come running immediately—i mean, catch is exciting and all, but i was in the middle of an email—he yelled again: "seriously, you should really come up here! he's throwing the ball!" i've never heard him sound so proud. eventually i went up and took stephen's place across from wile to experience the catch for myself, and, well... i threw the ball into his lap, he picked it up and kinda dropped it down by his feet, so i was all "oopsie!" and waiting for him to pick it up and burn one in to me, and stephen said "no, that's his throw! now you throw it back!" ah-ha.

okay, to give stephen's enthusiasm some credence, wile definitaly did seem to understand the back-and-forth concept. and every once in a while he managed to get it beyond his toes. it was, as stephen said, "the larval stage of catch."

but, people, that was a couple of weeks ago. now? my baby is a throwing machine. this has its good and bad points....

on the plus side:
- catch is a no-fail way to make him happy when he's cranky
- when there's a ball in his line of vision, there is no question what the eeeeeeehhhhhhhh!!! means.
- the look of joy on his face when he's playing catch is pretty amazing

on the minus side:
- a good trip to the swings can be ruined by some kids playing ball on the other side of the park....
- the throwing is not limited to nice squishy balls. anything that he can get his hands on is now a projectile. the other day stephen asked me why my legs were all bruised. i wonder.
- his aim is still a little bit iffy, so i have to position him (and me) in just the right place or i end up chasing the ball (or whatever) around the room, under the couch among the tumblefur, into the hallway....
- catch is a two-person game. this is not always a minus, but sometimes it really, really is.

the other day we were at the playground playing catch with his hackey sack (he now has a tennis ball, a zoomph, a baseball (more on that later), a purple kickball, and a hackey sack) and we met two 1-year olds there who were trying to show wile up with their walking skills, but could they throw? not even a little bit. one did a little underhanded roll kinda thing, but then wile took the ball and threw a heater and showed him who's boss.

last week we went down to philly with aunt syd to go see the phillies play the diamondbacks from the sweet 9th-row seats that she gets through her work. in the middle of the ninth inning, max took wile down to the dugout to see if he could get him a ball. kenny lofton, who had caught a fly ball for the final out of the top of the ninth, ran right into the dugout and didn't give the ball to anybody. so max kept yelling for a ball for "his son" (heh) until bobby abreau popped out of the dugout and threw him a ball. so please join me in hoping that bobby abreu makes the all-star team and keeps carrying the phils, and that kenny lofton, oh, i dont know, pulls his groin or something nice like that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

the best thing i've eaten this week

note: i meant to do this from the beginning, but never got it off the ground. then on saturday when we were at the big apple bbq, with matt and ann, matt said through a mouthful of pork that he'd been thinking he should start a website that just lists the best thing he's eaten each week, and it inspired me to get on this. so i'm starting with this week, but will be posting some retroactive btietws too.

the ramps are gone (which is probably good, since stephen thinks that they didn't agree with his stomach, so if they were still around this week we would have had to make separate dinners a couple times this week....), but there were new treats at the farmers' market this week: squash blossoms and garlic greens*. more cynical shoppers may say, "hey, they're just trying to sell us stuff that they would normally trim off the actual vegetables and throw away". to those cynical shoppers i say, "more for me, suckers!"

i'd only ever heard of frying squash blossoms, so that's what i did. first, you have to split them open to clean them and remove the bugs. i'd say about half the blossoms i cleaned had little stripey bugs inside them.... you also have to take out the stamen (or is it pistol? i forget my flower anatomy) from inside the blossom. i wasn't sure if i should take off the base of the blossom, which was covered in kind of soft prickly fuzz, but i didn't and it didn't taste prickly or fuzzy once it was fried. i filled them with little balls of chevre, and twisted the tops to seal them. then i followed my standard frying technique: dip in egg, dip in mixture of cornmeal and flour, fry in about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil, drain them on paper towels, sprinkle with salt. keep the temperature of the oil as hot as it can get without splattering, and err on the side of more lightly browned—they really only a take a second. you are, after all, deep frying a flower. the combination of the crispy texture of the fried and the silky texture of the blossom is killer. and, as stephen said, "we're eating fried cheese." amen.

considering that 90% of the things i cook start or end with garlic, i can't believe i've never heard of, let alone seen, garlic greens before. the proper name for them is garlic scapes. they look like psychadelic chives, and they taste like, um, garlic—but greener and more subtle. apparently they will keep for weeks in the fridge in a brown paper bag, and also freeze well chopped up, so i'm going to stock up if they still have them at the market this week. stephen was making pork chops to go with our squash blossoms, so we just chopped up a couple of scapes and he threw them in the pan when he turned the chops over. i wish we had used three times as much as we did—they got tender but not at all mushy, and i wanted a whole lot more of them with each bite of pork. then last night i roasted some zucchini and threw in some scapes that i cut up into matchsticks, and they were perfect that way too. i'm currently trawling the internet for recipes, but i think that thursday night when stephen is working late i might just saute up a pan-full of them and have that for dinner....

Monday, June 13, 2005

hey buddy, they're not dentures!

in all the mothering and pregnancy books, they show these idyllic photos of mothers nursing their infants. they're staring into each other's eyes, the baby cradled in the mom's arms, and it looks like about the most peaceful thing you could ever imagine.

may i present an alternate scene:

it starts off fine: we're sitting on the bed, in the blessed, blessed air-conditioning, i'm leaning on some pillows and he's sprawled across my lap. however. he likes to take his little baby claw and put it in my mouth, which is okay and actually kind of sweet until he grabs on to my lower front teeth and tries to rip them out of my skull. run your tongue along the tender gum area below the back of your front bottom teeth. now imagine someone digging their nails into that area. (now imagine how hard it is to resist the impulse to bite down with your top teeth and nip those little sausage fingers right off....)

oh and meanwhile he's trying to drill a hole in my upper arm using his big toe.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

why yes, i believe i'll start with the rice cake, with a few scraps of chicken for my entree, and for dessert i'll have the boobs of the woman across the table. excellent.

dog (not butt) of the week

i couldn't get his butt, but you tell me, how could i pass this guy up?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

if this lasts till he's 15 months old you may have to have me committed

as the wise and witty dooce has already described my current situation just about to a tee, i won't even try to do any better.

here's a pookiellama-specific example: i pick him up from the changing table. he stretches his hand out to the mantle, where his stuffed animals live, and makes that "eeeeeeehhhhhhhh!!!!!" noise that haunts my dreams. we walk over there, and i wait for him to reach out and grab whichever animal he seems to be pining for with every fiber of his being, but he doesn't. he just continues to reach out and make the noise. i walk him up and down the lineup: "who do you want to see? pooh? elephant? piggles? seal? for the love of god, who??" still, he doesn't grab anybody, just continues to hold out the hand and "eeeeehhhhhhhhh!!!", like whatever it is that he so desperately wants is in the chimney or something. after about 2 fun-filled minutes of this, i just have to walk away. to another part of the house. where we will repeat this exercise, with slight variations on substance and style. the squishing sound you hear is me biting my tongue to stop from yelling "stick a cork in it, fat boy!"


love you, wile!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

nine-and-a-half pounds of fury

our cats were found in a welding shop in williamsburg, when they were about 2 months old, by two girls who already owned two adult cats who were not down with having kittens around the apartment. so they put up signs, and sarah saw one and immediately called me, as stephen and i had just moved in together and were on the hunt for the some cat flesh. the signs specifically said that they wanted whoever took the cats had to take both of them, which was perfect for us, so we went to meet them. the girls who found them told us that the reason they wanted them not to be separated was that the little girl was very shy and skittish and they weren’t sure if she would make it without her big brother.

i look back on that statement now and i think: ha!!!!!

last weekend syd was in town and came over with her dog henry for an afternoon barabeque. i was upstairs putting the boo down for a nap when she got here, and when i came down i ran in to stephen coming up from the yard, and he said to me "lulu attacked sydney. there's lots of blood." oh dear. when syd got back from her trip to the dollar store to get band-aids, i got the whole story:

stephen, truck, and lulu were in the yard; lulu was reclining under the adirondack chair on the side of the yard, truck was in the bushes in the back of the yard. all of the sudden henry burst into the yard, and went straight over to say hi to lulu, who puffed and spit and basically told him back the fuck up, which he did. but then he went over to where truck was, and that's where the real trouble started. lulu came out from under her chair, fur puffed up to three times her normal size, and stalked across the yard to where syd was trying to hold henry back. trucky bugged out and flew inside, but lulu still advanced, like a little, stripey terminator. syd put out her arm to try to keep lulu back from her obvious mission to make confetti of henry's snout, and lulu reared up on her little back haunches and went all wolverine on her ass, gouging the back of her hand and her forearm. there were many, many band-aids.

i'm a little scared of her myself.

how to make 35 minutes feel like an eternity

8:15 - i take the little man off the boob and begin the walking-to-sleep prOcess

8:16 - hope that my parched throat will hang in there so that i can continue to hum the bedtime song [note: why the offspring of a jew and an atheist ended up with this particular bedtime song is, yes, a very good question]

8:17 - how is it possible that when you whack your skull into my mouth so hard that i taste blood you don't really seem to notice that anything has happened?

8:18 - still completely awake, looking around the room, reaching out the little paws for everything

8:19 - still awake, giving me the baby heisman and swiveling the head around like linda blair

8:20 - no, now is not the time to play with the buttons on mama's shirt. no, it's really not. no, i'm telling you it's no—okay, off comes the shirt.

8:21 - don't you look at me like that. you are not cute right now, not even a little bit. alright maybe a little bit. i'm going to close my eyes now so that i don't smile at you by mistake.

8:22 - oh, so laying on my chest like you were, where your weight was evenly distributed and my shoulder was supporting your head wasn't comfortable? no? you like it better when you're at this cockamamie angle where i have to lean back in a semi-limbo position to keep you from slipping and the muscles in my left arm feel like they're going to start convulsing in a few minutes? i see.

8:23 - getting...limper...

8:24 - ...head...going down...

8:25 - ...oh, hallelujah, you seem to be asleep.... okay, now just need to walk for another 10 minutes or so till i'm sure you're really out.

8:27 - butch's friend opens the door of his car and pumps the stereo, which somehow doesn't wake you up but makes it kinda hard to keep on tune with the humming...hope you like r&b remix of the bedtime song...

8:30 - stephen coughs downstairs, sounding like a grizzly bear hacking up a hairball. astoundingly this also doesn't wake you....

8:32 - for some reason this pops into my head and i nearly choke trying not to laugh out loud

8:34 - i think my lower vertebrae have fused. no, seriously.

8:35 - okay, going to gently try putting him down...getting hand out from under head...hand out from under butt...it seems like we may have accomp—uh oh. writhing...head-tossing...aaaaand open eyed fussing. gaaaaaaaaaar!! up we go again.

8:38 - oh, the whining.

8:40 - the limpness has set in again. and we are back at square one, which makes me think about the awesome show that used to be on channel thirteen. my favorite part was "mathnet" (you know, like dragnet. duh), and the one case that i always remember is the one where the famous singer got kidnapped and they found him b/c when he was allowed his one phone conversation with the mathnet detectives, he sang "please do what these people say" to the tune that the phone number of where he was being held would be if you dialed it (cause this was back before cell phones), and i thought that was very cool and can still sing you that tune to this day, and stephen remembers a mathnet case where they were finding a lost gorilla and yeardley smith played the girl who lost the gorilla but i never saw that one and think he must be making it up.

8:45 - sweet! reminiscing about square one killed five minutes!

8:50 - i am putting him down again. sliding...hands...out.... slight bit of movement...aaaaand.....goooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaal! goalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoalgoal! high five myself silently and get the hell out of there.