Thursday, 26 February 2009

We all hate the cold

Except Wynn. New Jersey freak that he is, he thinks winter is for playing in the snow, calls freezing your ass off "chilly" and is actually happy in the cold dark grey of winter. I like the summer.

Bird and fish fell in love, moved to Spain and had a child. Poor child is bundled up until he can't move by mom and taken out to play hacky-sack in the snow in baby Birkenstocks by dad. Neither is strictly true, but the critter has a cold. 

His baby instincts are in high gear and he is nursing a ton, hoping the wonderfulness of breast milk will ward off the cold. He has a runny nose, and we respond by blasting the humidifier and playing in the bathroom with the shower running nice and steamy for hours. Poor critter has not seen un-humidified land in days. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

My son, the artist

I hate when people say that. Let your darn kid be whatever he wants to be! A drawing - finger painted, at that - does not an artist make. Let him draw to his little heart's content without you labeling him. Say lovely cow, little baby, I love its purple stripes and it's so great that it's playing the guitar! Leave that pressure pushing attitude for your bum-y husband, who, frankly, could use a little shove in the right direction anyway. 

But I digress.

The point, is, Wynn went to Valencia and brought back Giotto bebé pencils for the critter. He's recently started scribbling away (mostly on paper) and we got super excited. Short of setting up his own atelier, we were happy to find something he can draw with and occasionally suck on. These pencils are safe to suck on, glide on easily for optimal critter drawing and ... they wash off faces, floor and table as well as fabric. There's not a lot more you can ask of a pencil.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Food disappointment

I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I loved every show, from when he was young with odd hair to when he got rich and cocky. His food is amazing, and his books are genius and beautiful. He has changed the way I think about food, convinced me of going organic, made me a more dedicated cook - which is why Wynn likes him and book by book makes Jamie richer and me happy.

Things were fine and dandy with me and Jamie - until the magazine. Obviously, as Rachael Ray has demonstrated, no good can come of celebrity chef magazines. Rach you can forgive, she's not the real deal to begin with, just a loud chick with a skillet. My lovely mil got us a subscription and I loved every one of them, to the point of knowing them by heart. But, Jamie, come on, mate. 

Wynn was in London and brought back the first issue. First of all, relax, you can launch a magazine without calling in the big guns, ie, Ange and Bradley. Specially when the "in depth" article are ten questions answered in 50 words or less.

The recipes- we know them by now. I've let it pass that the different books tend to repeat a slightly modified version of some recipes. But the magazine just rips them right off. Photographs included.

Don't even get me started on the final note by wife Jools. This woman cannot make up her mind wether she hates cooking (like she claims here) or is the cook of the family (as she conveniently claims in her book, recipes included.) 

The whole magazine is an excuse for Jamie to get his face out there and push push push his Jme line of flatware cookware whathaveyou. 

But, alas, there are some great new recipes, in depth feature articles on produce, gourmet city tours, cuisines. Bottom line: I won't go through the trouble of subscribing, but every time Wynn jumps the pond, I'm sure he'll bring one back. And we'll both be so happy.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Sunny enough. Finally.

Madrid is trying to shake off the winter.  My mom got the critter this bike helmet and Wynn attached a bicycle seat.

The critter loves it. He doesn't love the helmet, but he'll tolerate it once he's seated on the bike. I stopped a few times to check how he was doing, and the only thing that bugged him was my stopping. Pedal, woman!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Drink up, little monster

I bought into the whole BPA scare of 08. But we only had plastic sippy cups, so the poor critter mainly just went without water. I didn't want to leave water sitting in the cup, and it seldom occurred to me to refill and offer the poor child some water. His first words might have been I'm thirsty, you moron. 

Swiss aunt to the rescue. Lucas now has a funky new Sigg bottle. He loves it because it is so darn cute. I wasn't sure he'd be able to drink form it, since it has a sport bottle type of sprout, but he just went for it (probably cause he was so thirsty from waiting). 

I looked into other non plastic sippy cup options. I know Born Free is BPA free, but I'm iffy about all plastics now and would rather avoid them altogether if possible. Klean Kanteen and Safe Sippy are less cute, bulkier options. And just wait, in 09 cuteness will be proven to reduce risk of cancer in laboratory rats. Foogo, besides being a a funny word, has adorable stainless steel sippy cups with handles (Marcia Cross's girls have them.) These I like too. But we're Sigg people all the way.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Big people books

Jhumpa Lahiri, besides being gorgeous, is a marvelous and sensitive writer. My favorite of her books is The Namesake (I know, Jacinda Barrett, don't hold it against her). Probably because I like novels - I get sad when stories end. Unaccostumed Earth is beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable. Interpreter of Maladies is great too. Oh what the hell, I love Jhumpa.  

Lahiri writes simple prose that conveys a detailed setting and personable characters. I suppose it is important that she writes about Indian immigrants. More importantly, she writes about loss - of cultural identity, of loved ones. There is no doom in her stories - even with the melancholy yearning for a homecoming that can never be because when one sets sail no home will ever again be able to claim us. Lahiri writes about people, with an understanding of their complexity, their love, and acceptance of the limitations that life imposes. I like these books. I wish I hadn't read them so I could read them new again. 

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Stupid things we bought

There's a fine line between being prepared and being a sucker. First time parents eagerly fall into the sucker category.

We bought a little hamoc-y bath chair for the critter. It was cute as hell and, we thought, insanely important. The teeny baby would lay on it safelly for his bath. 

When he was small enough to use it we ended up having to fill his tub higher with water to accomodate the chair. He felt safer in our arms without the chair in the way. A week later, he got too big for it anyway. 

It's now in a bag in the closet, making Wynn mad it adds to the mounds of crap we have to pack. I want to hang on to it, though. We might need it for when we have another kid - the colors are so pretty and I'm sure it will be useful. (I am a pack rat with the memory of a goldfish).

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Donna Martin procreates

Check out the cover for Tori's new book. Beautious.

There's something about this woman, I just cannot look away. It's like a train wreck- a needy, money-whoring train wreck.

But, the title. Is mommywood a pet name for daddy's hard on? Is it a laudatori tale of Dean's thing?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

PanchuMom disclaimer

Things around here are crazy. Wonderful and happy, but crazy. 

We're moving house - actually, my whole family is moving, in what can only be described as insane house swapping and coincidence. My mother is coming to visit/help. I'm attempting to write what might be a book while putting in my two cents in another more advanced book. 

Posts will come as permitted by the mess.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Sleepy time stories: co-sleeping

There are many benefits to co-sleeping. The main one: everyone's happy. The baby is warm, cozy and safe. You can nurse very easily during the night, which means you sleep better too. 

We did the co-sleepign thing for a while. Then we tried having the critter sleep in his crib, in his room. Which worked out fine, except we missed him. 

Meredith Small explains that "the usually recommended solitary sleep is exactly the opposite of what is the naturally evolved sleep situation for babies, and tus not what the baby really needs." This seems to intuitively make sense.

In The Aware Baby  Aletha Solter share that her son slept on a mattress next to her until  "he was three-and-a-half years old, [when] his grandmother came to live with us, and he was quite happy to move into a room with her." Which give way to the only hiccuo in this otherwise lovely sleeping arrangement: when do you encourage the kid to sleep on his own? And is it awkward when he brings a girl home? Does dating make the fmaily bed uncomfortable?

Friday, 6 February 2009

Mom, you're ruining it!

It's the demice of facebook. It's coming. Brought on by your mothers. How did they get on it? When did they decide it was ok for them to sign up? Why do our friends keep accepting their friend requests?!!? 

The cool kids are going to move on to another friendster-facebook-Hi5-where in the world is-small world- what have you soon. And Fcbk will be left to thirtysomethings who just post pictures of their new babies. And you know, our moms.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Open Letter to Jessica Alba

Dear Jess,

Congratulations on the baby and the hotness. Although, dear, you are making us look bad. And I don't mean by the hotness. So you wore a girdle and the pregnancy weight velcroed right off with it. Good for you! I mean it.  I wore a girdle and the only thing I got were creases on my skin from where the poor stretchy band was tightening for dear life. 

I do take offense on your comment on contractions, though. They feel like bad cramps!? Next time around I want your drugs. You must have had an epidural for the whole last trimester at least. And keep it coming. 

Contractions are not cramps, just like orgasms are not a quirky giggle. Perspective, my friend. 

The Elle shoot was beautiful, your girl is adorable and I'm no hater. Just, seriously, don't be going around creating myths. Or we will all be paying for it quietly with our stretch marks and distorted female geography. 

Peace,

Cheli

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Non-stupid kid music

Saturday mornings Wynn plays Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child for us. Unlike Rockabye Baby, which I kind of hate, it's music for kids that is cool, enjoyable and won't make you regret you ditched the pill. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Not all gyms are created equal

We checked out another baby gym today. Not great. It was more important for the facilitators to stick to their schedule and go through all their planned activities than to give the kiddos time to explore. 

During the "warm up" the parents moved their kids' arms. Moved them! They're 9 months old, they can move their own darn arms. There was free exploration of the gym time, but only for however long it took them to bring out the next activity. We must have gone through 8 different activities in 40 minutes.

These facilitator ladies had that 9AM on a Saturday morning children's TV show vibe, with too much fake energy right up in the kids' faces. The music was too loud. We could have been playing with kittens instead of kids for all they cared. I spent the whole hour trying to fend them off the critter. 

The bonchibón is taking a nap now. I'm blogging - but, I swear, I'm still a bit overstimulated. 

Monday, 2 February 2009