Thursday, May 31, 2007

on my honor...

"i pledge that i shall abstain from the purchase of 'new' manufactured items of clothing for the period of 6 months. i pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn, or other medium for the term of my contract. i pledge that i will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted, or created item of clothing on the wardobe refashion blog, so that others may share the joy!"
signed, hey mama.

i'll be posting on that there blog once a week, and i'll post the links to those posts here. oh look, here's the first one now! i think i babble a little bit....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

right back where we started from

maybe you recall, if you've been with us here at pookiellama since the beginning, that i used to talk about wile's sleeping a lot? specifically, that he really didn't like to do it? for the first year and a half, it was the defining issue of our lives. but we've been in such a good place with the sleeping for so long now that even though it hasn't been perfect—some early mornings, some ridiculously drawn-out good-night sessions in which i get called back in to the room to fix his blanket, put mets bear's hat back on, turn on the ceiling fan, find his water, take a booger off the tip of his finger, or some other important task—it hasn't been anywhere near traumatic enough to write about.

but now we've hit the next phase of sleep issues, and it's not pretty.

let me start at the very beginning (a very good place....). about two months ago, we found out that wile got in to our preschool of choice for the fall. which is totally exciting for many reasons, but that's another post. the thing about preschool that applies here and now is: it runs from 8:30 to 3:30. which means that they have naptime. and i will not be dropping by each day at that time to hit him with some ba-boo.

as i've mentioned, i've been afraid that the napping and the nursing were so tightly intertwined that if i tried to take away the nursing, the napping would follow, and that was a truly petrifying idea. but now, with preschool shimmering on the horizon, the time had come. so we started slow: we talked about school, and how awesome school is going to be, and that in order to take part in the awesomeness, he needed to get used to napping without falling asleep on the ba-boo. so we would sit up (instead of lying down) in bed and nurse for a short time, then i would lie down with him and we would snuggle* until he fell asleep.

and it worked! not only would he go down for a nap with me this way (after just 2 or 3 times with a little crying/lamenting the loss of the ba-boo), but both stephen and his mom were able to put him down with just snuggling! and then....oh my holy crap, and then.....he stopped asking for the ba-boo, and i could put him down with just snuggling. and he was still sleeping well at night, if waking up a little earlier than usual. it was a golden age, those two weeks or so.

then, of course, the crash. two weeks ago, we went up for nap, happy happy, changed the diaper, smile smile, and then: "mama, i not want to take a nap." oh no no no no no no no. no. i call bullshit. he insisted no. i insisted yes. he cried. i cried. i had to leave the room. i came back. he cried more. we snuggled. he finally went down.

we followed that pattern for 3 or 4 naptimes, until the day that he just wouldn't go down. no way, no how. less crying, more standing up and walking around the room. and what the hell was i going to do, stap him to the bed? so, no naps. and the night sleeping was definitely affected, with him giving us the same "i not want to sleep!" nonsense at bedtime, and waking up between 5 and 5:30, wide-eyed and clamoring for toast.

this non-napping has had some interesting side effects (aside from, you know, the gradual deterioration of my sanity). on friday we headed out to the met to see the paul poiret exhibit. at around 2, he told me he was ready to go home. i said okay, looked down two minutes later, and he was alseep in the stroller. he hasn't slept in the stroller in over a year, easy—he slept for 2 hours. then on saturday, he went down for a nap in his bed—unwillingly, unhappily, but he did it—at 3. he woke up at 9:15, ate a piece of toast, drank some water, and went back to sleep around 10 until around 6am. ooooookay! last night, he went down normal time (8:30) and slept until 8:15am. today there was no nap again, and by 6:30 he was definitely tired and cranky, and i whisked him through a quick dinner and had him alseep by 8.

so, clearly it's not that he no longer needs the naps. he just doesn't want them. still, i can't accept that we'll never nap again. because, dude. i can't hack it. for serious. what i've done in the last two days, after we've lay down and it becomes clear that the nap ain't going to happen, is insisted on "quiet time", in which he's allowed to play in his room, in a calm and orderly and independent fashion, while i semi-nap on the bed. so i've been able to catch up on a little rest, but haven't been able to get anything done or gotten any time to myself. which is going to wear reeeeeeealy thin after a few days.

actually i did get some time to myself today, between 7—when i woke up and couldn't believe that he wasn't up yet—and 8:15. and, granted, he was asleep by 8 tonight, which means that i have a couple of hours to get some things done now before exhaustion sets in and i'm too braindead to do anything but watch blake lewis videos on youtube. and i could handle this schedule, if i thought it would last. but, i don't. i'm too shell-shocked by all the recent 5am wake-ups. plus, it really cuts into our social life if we have to be home for dinner at 6:30 for bedtime at 7:15—in the summer, we're usually just wandering out of the park at 7!

so, sadly, i think this all proves my theory about the napping and the nursing. and i definitely felt, in the past few months, that by giving him the ba-boo at naptime i was kinda....drugging him. so what we're dealing with here, i guess, is withdrawl?

but i'm just as addicted to the nap, yo! i can make do with the early bed/late rise methadone, but really, i want the hard stuff.

*i have to describe wile's conception of "snuggling": he starts by burrowing in close to you, very sweet. then he takes his forehead and presses it against yours, also very sweet. for about 30 seconds. until he keeps pressing, harder. and harder, until it feels like he is trying to phase through you to the other side of the bed, if he....only....had.....the....power....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

yay! boo!

good job, nbc!!

bad job, america!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


i am currently the kind of tired where my eye sockets are burning. wile was up at 5 this morning, carrying on, and we ended up downstairs making toast at 5:30. he, with that wise toddler intuition, asked to watch bob the builder after he ate his toast, so i got some sleep on the couch for a couple of hours (two bob episodes, one firetruck dvd, and some playing with his wooden food that i only know about because i woke up with wooden carrots and bread and apple slices strewn about my head), but it wasn't the good kind of sleep, it was the kind of sleep where i woke up feeling more exhausted than when i started. and now wile is napping, and i should be too, but i can't fall alseep. so, let's talk about food.

my favorite meal this week was the one i made on sunday night. yes, i made dinner on mother's day. the horror! except not, because 1) i like to cook, 2) stephen took wile into the yard to play baseball so i got to cook alone, which is a rare and beautiful thing these days, 3) stephen did the dishes, 4) i knew what i wanted and if stephen had insisted on making it just because "it's mother's day and mothers don't cook on mother's day" or some such nonsense, he would have had to ask me questions and checked in with me a bunch of times and it would have been not at all the "break" for me that it would seem, and 5) we had gone out to a great dinner the night before.

i made pork chops and a salad, which sounds pretty boring, no? except. i've discovered, thanks to cook's illustrated, the perfect way to cook pork chops. it's a little wacky, but you really honestly do end up with the juiciest pork chops ever. here's the deal:

take your pork chops (bone-in or bone-out, but bone-in is better; either way, try to get them at least 1" thick) and rub them all over with some vegetable oil, then salt and pepper them. on one side, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. if there's a lot of fat on one edge, make a couple of cuts into it, just down to the meat, so that the chop doesn't curl up in the pan. then grab a non-stick pan and put it onto a cold burner. yes, cold. take the chops and put them in the pan sugar-side down, pressing them into the pan. (i've used two kinds of pans for this technique, a calphalon and a cast iron pan. with the calphalon, i found that i needed to put a little bit of oil into the pan, in addition to the oil that i rubbed on the chops, to keep then from sticking totally. with the cast iron pan, not so much. so, see how it goes with your pan.) turn the heat on under the pan to medium high, and don't go far away. the chops should start sizzling within 2 minutes; if they don't, turn the heat up. let them cook for somewhere between 2-1/2 and 7 minutes, until they're browned on the one side (that's why you put the sugar on, to help with the browning). then turn them over, turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and find your meat thermometer. i usually start checking them after about 3 minutes, 2 minutes if they're on the thinner side—you want them to come up to 140˚ in the center. this could take up to 10 minutes, depending on your pan, what "low" means on your stove, the meat itself, etc etc. when they've reached temp, take them out and throw them on a plate, tented with aluminum foil.

then make a sauce in the pan. my favorite thing to do is saute some shallots in the residual pork fat, then throw in some brandy, let it cook down, and finish it with a tablespoon or so of butter. i've also made a good one with just a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and a couple of teaspoons of mustard, boiled down a little bit. last night i wanted the brandy sauce but we were out of brandy and shallots, so i used some slices of garlic and medium-dry sherry instead, and it was delicious. when the sauce is made, turn off the heat and throw the chops back in the pan for a second the coat with the sauce and warm them up, and serve.

and for our salad, we had some baby swiss chard that i got from the crazy hydroponic organic people at the farmer's market. it was really tender but a little bit bitter, so i made a honey vinaigrette (1t honey, 1t mustard, 1t white vinegar, 1/3 cup walnut oil) to go with it. it was a great salad, much more interesting than any lettuce, but the best thing about it, and the reason that this was my favorite meal of last week, was that wile ate 7 helpings of it. he went to bed 45 minutes late becaue he kept asking for more salad, and there was no way in hell i was going to say no.

ps - one of my tag-ees has risen to the challenge.

Monday, May 14, 2007


i've been tagged. it's a blog thing.

here's the rules:

1. List 7 random facts about yourself on your blog
2. Tag 7 more blogs , making sure to let them know.

and away we go....

1) i have no spleen. or gall bladder. but i do have a lovely 18" scar on my abdomen, shaped like this: ^.

2) i hate bananas. but i love banana bread.

3) when i was in 8th grade, the popular girls (who were my best friends the year before) organized our entire class against me. they came up with a lovely nickname that i......nope, still can't talk about it. thought maybe i could, but no. it'll go to the grave. and when they "apologized", i was too shell-shocked to even tell them to eat shit and die. however: one of them got knocked up our senior year, one of them ended up married to the loser local cop who used to bust us for doing donuts in the school parking lot, and one of them got in a car accident and screwed up her throat in some such way that she can't speak above a whisper. lesson? don't fuck with me. hee. just kidding. maybe.

4) my favorite book is anne of green gables.

5) i didn't learn to ride a bike till i was 10 years old.

6) trucky has a recurring zit under his right armpit, and once a month or so, i squeeze it for him .

7) in 6th grade, for our "yearbook", we had to write an essay about what our lives would be like when we grew up. mine said that i would be living in a brownstone in new york city with my husband and some cats and that i would be an artist. yes, yes, yes, and working on it.

okay, so but as far as rule 2? i don't think i can hit 7. i'll do 3. i'll let you know if they comply...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

hello amoxicillin my old friend

so, it's strep throat. which, now that the worst of the illness seems to be over, is actually good news, since i've got the meds and hopefully i'll be back to normal by next week. i went to the walk-in clinic this morning and the doctor took one look at my throat and said "oh honey, i don't even need to swab you. you've got it." i have the kind of strep throat you can see from space.

the worst part, now that i can swallow without feeling like my saliva is made of crushed glass, is keeping up with wile, poor thing. i can't pitch. i can't dig. i'm no good in the joint. he's had it with me, and i don't blame him.

i'm going to go take a nap now, while he naps, but i'll leave you with this bit of entertainment: when we were up at aunt peg's house, wile got a rake and a hoe for his gardening work. which means i now get to hear him say, "mama, where my ho?"

and if you don't find that funny, we can't be friends.

Monday, May 07, 2007


have been out of town for a couple of weeks.

have returned.

have come down with some sort of lovely illness that constists of a headache, body ache, chills, and the feeling that i have been stabbed in the throat.

hope you're all better than that!

back soon.....