Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dr. T. Sounds Off

Everyone loves a wiener.
Today on Austin Moms Blog, you can get to know a little more about Dr. T. and his thoughts on parenthood. Among the questions I omitted were, "Are you having any more kids?" A: NO and "What was your first reaction when you found out you were having a girl?" A: Oh shit.
I give him lots of credit for suggesting I want another bathroom but after thinking about it a lot more, I'd take a bigger kitchen, too.
So hop on over to AMB and get to know the man behind the mama a little better.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Nothing in Particular

It's been a busy week in Hip-Baby Land. I have two freelance clients and they both were nice enough to pile on the work. Despite the fact that it really takes me a while to get going on a project, I relish the opportunity to work.
I may actually be able to afford a haircut soon.
I also had a root canal, which was a nice day of a hot endodontist, throbbing pain quelled by delicious pain pills and some banana pudding. I can't complain too much about it, but root canals suck.
That day I got hooked on Hemlock Grove. It's cheesy but surprisingly addicting and well-acted.
I have a big day tomorrow. It's the second annual Austin Food & Wine Festival and I am attending to help the Delysia Chocolatier team. I'm so excited to spend more time with Delysia and sample some more of their amazing and unique truffles. Chocolate, yay!
I had a weird nostalgia moment when I discovered that my childhood home is for sale. It was nice to see the photos of what used to be my room, which looks even smaller than I remember. But the paneling...gah, it's still there!
If these walls could talk...(they'd probably say, "This kid needs therapy.")
My brother-in-law wants to buy it.
L.E. and I had a girls' night out last night. We went to dinner at an Italian market and L.E. ooohed an aaahed over everything from the clear class lemonade dispenser to the huge selection of gelatos. I'm so happy that she's become so well-behaved in a restaurant. Dining out is one of my favorite things and if she wasn't cooperative, I would probably resent her and leave her in the car with the windows cracked. *kidding*
That's my faux wrap-up of the week. Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yum Yum: Banana Bread

Delicious and golden-brown
While reading Ladybug Girl and her Mama, L.E. decided she wanted to do all of the same things Lulu does when spending the day with her mom. That included making banana bread. Daniel Tiger also recently made banana bread, so it has been at the forefront of our minds.
It's certainly not hard to find a decent recipe for it. I borrowed this one from Food Network.com


Banana Bread
Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

(This is the part where L.E. was a big help!) In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Dream Jobs

It's been three months since I quit my full-time job to strike out on my own.
It's been a challenge.
I have some clients and I'm extremely grateful for them. I love the work that I'm doing; it's different and fun.
But I think I need the peace of mind that a steady job provides, even if it's just a few hours a week.
Here is a list of my dream jobs.

  • Bestselling author. I've already written a chapter and a half of Hip-Baby Mama's Guide to Parenting in the Real World. Real original, I know. But it's fun to give unsolicited advice in an already saturated market. So where is my 6-figure advance?
  • Publicist. As of right now, I'm dabbling in PR as a 36-year old intern. I love it! Writing press releases has come pretty easy to me. I've written two of them so I'm totally ready to be the next Liz Rosenberg
  • Life Coach. But I think I would be terrible at it.
  • Preschool Teacher. Who wouldn't love to spend days outside with intermittent breaks to fingerpaint and read stories? It's like parenting but you get paid!
  • The person who names nail polish colors. The perfect shade of bumblebee yellow would be Steeltown Gold. A beautiful shade of light blue? Azul, The Gatekeeper. Do you hear me OPI? You need to hire me. 
  • Professional Cheese Taster.
  • Professional Wine Taster.
  • Copywriter for ModCloth. They have the best descriptions and names for their clothing. I would call a black dress Mourning Glory and it would be perfect to wear to the funeral of a friend's obscure relative.
  • Zombie Extra. I should live where they film The Walking Dead. It would be so fun to be a zombie without all of the disgusting parts of it like eating brains and rotting flesh. Are there any zombie movies filming in Austin this year?
  • Pageant Mom. Let's face it: L.E. is ADORABLE! I just need to teach her some ridiculous self-absorption and she would be the best Little Miss Daffodil ever. I would look amazing in tight bedazzled jeans with hair extensions and fake nails. I can teach her my old cheerleading moves. Next stop, Toddlers and Tiaras!
  • Sleep Study Candidate. I can be the one in the control group who sleeps uninterrupted so they can set the baseline to my patterns.
  • Fashion Stylist or Personal Shopper. I love fashion but can't afford it. This would be awesome to live vicariously through my job and look fabulous.
  • Paid Blogger. I don't get paid to write Hip-Baby Mama, but I do have a few fun paid gigs. So in essence, I'm doing one of my dream jobs!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Top Ten Signs You Didn't Get Any Sleep Last Night


10. You pour salt in your coffee but drink it anyway

9. You forget to lift the kid-potty-seat on the toilet

8. You call your husband "Bob." His name is not Bob

7. You don't even bother sorting the lights and darks before throwing them in the washer. You may have forgotten to use soap

6. While trying to blog, you rub your eyes and stare off into space for 20 minutes

5. You tell your husband that so-and-so told you about a great place that's kid-friendly. He snaps back that you just told him the exact thing ten minutes ago. This happens three times

4. You can't find your phone so you call it. Your daughter's teacher answers because you packed it in her lunch

3. A spider dangles down in front of your face. You try to pet it

2. You wander into the same room of the house looking for something but by the time you get there, you can't remember what it is. This happens three times

1. Your daughter, who was up all night screaming and crying, is perfectly happy and pleasant

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Overexposure

Too many questions.
© Aydindurdu | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images
A conversation Dr. T and I had recently sparked some serious thought. He worries that by blogging so much about my life, I run the risk of over-share territory and worries that L.E. will one day be bullied because of it.
Am I sharing too much of myself and my family with this blog? Will L.E. one day be the subject of ridicule once her friends find out that I willfully let the dog lick her face clean? Or that I gave her demon eyes?
At least five people have sent me the link to Reasons My Son Is Crying. I think it's cute but it's not something I wish to do with my daughter. Yes, I have my lists of why she freaks out but showing pics of her crying doesn't appeal to me. There is a such thing as too personal in the land of Hip-Baby Mama, believe or not.
I'm not trying to be holier-than-thou. I put plenty of myself and L.E. and Dr. T out there to warrant over-share criticism. But there are some things that I would rather keep private.
I have my little list of blog rules in my head:

  • No topless or naked photos of L.E. 
  • No bodily fluid photos or references.
  • Try not to use stupid texting abbreviations.
  • Proofread, edit, repeat.
  • Don't write about things I don't know anything about.

Then there are our names. Yes, you can figure out my name very easily. With a little more digging, you can figure out the names of my family members. But I will make you work for it.
I have a very morbid reason for keeping L.E.'s name withheld: if a pedophile uses this blog to masturbate to photos of my kid, he doesn't get to know her name.
Yeah, I know that's fucked up. But so is the internet. And pedophiles.
We took an adorable video of L.E. not too long ago. I sent it to my parents and some friends. Someone said we should put it on YouTube. I thought about at least putting it on this blog. But I didn't.
Some things are too personal to share with the world. Some things I want to keep just for us.
Heather Armstrong of dooce.com faced the privacy issue when she announced her divorce. A part of her life that she'd readily shared with her readers was suddenly off-limits.
And that is her right as a blogger.
Yes, blogging does bring about some level of exploitation of my family. And if I ever achieve the level of fame and respect some of my favorite bloggers do, I'll hopefully handle it with the right grace and dignity that they do.
And with that includes the backlash.


Monday, April 8, 2013

I Miss My Dog


As regular readers and friends know, we put our dog P-man to sleep right before Christmas. It was an easy decision to make because we could tell he was ready. He was 12 and struggling to walk. Hearing him whimper when he tried to stand up was more proof than we needed.
It was time.
And I still miss him.
Every morning, I still step over him when I get out of bed. I still anticipate him bum-rushing the door when I unlock it. I don't pick up food I drop on the floor because I still think he's going to help me clean up. I still save him cheese when I'm grating it for tacos.
I hear something creak in the house and I get scared because I now know it's not him but something else.
It's hard because I'm home all the time.
I'm lonely.
We've had a discussion about getting another dog. I'm not sure if I'm ready.
I don't want another dog, I want P-man back.
No dog I ever have will be as awesome as he was.
But I suppose I have to give an animal a chance.
We've looked at ads for Boston Terriers and other Labs. Part of me doesn't want a Lab because it's too soon. Another part of me thinks a Lab is the only way to go.
As long as it's not a HUGE one like P-man was.
I just miss him.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yum Yum: Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup With Ham

The color is weird. But weird is delicious!
I have a problem with ham. Every holiday, I buy a 10-lb ham for like four people. So there's a huge amount left. What do we do with it? Either eat ham sandwiches for the next week or get more creative.
Dr. T. made split pea soup right after L.E. was born and it was a hit. I figured I could make it better.
And I did.
I culled from varying recipes but the basis I used is this one. I also made the croutons from Martha Stewart's recipe.

Split Pea Soup With Ham

16-oz dried split peas (They have them in the bulk food section)
1 meaty ham-bone from your leftover Easter ham
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons dried parsley (You can use fresh parsley, but I absolutely hate the taste of it)
1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt (I like Lawry's)
1/2 teaspoon to pepper (You can add more later)
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups hot water
Diced ham to add later
Shredded potato to add later, optional
4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed with crusts removed
1 tablespoon of butter

Layer ingredients in order listed, excluding diced ham, potato, bread cubes and butter. Water and broth go in last. Do not stir. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Remove ham bone. Blend soup, either by using an immersion or hand blender or in batches with a regular blender. Return to slow cooker. If soup is too thin, peel, shred and dry off some potato to add and it will thicken nicely. You might want to use the hand blender again after adding the potato. Add diced ham, ensuring to avoid using slices that have glaze on them. For the croutons, melt butter in a skillet and brown bread cubes for 8 minutes. Portion soup in bowls and top with croutons.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Runner's High


I've been keeping up with running surprisingly well. As in running at least once a week. For me, that's a huge feat.
But I've always been kind of a lazy runner; I still use the Couch-to-5K app but I have it set to week three or four so the runs are mixed in with some walking. I know this seems lame but I like to vary the workout. And I'm lazy.
Yesterday, I decided to go crazy and set it to week seven. This was a five-minute warm-up walk, run for ten minutes, walk for three minutes, run for ten minutes and finish with a five-minute cool-down.
I have to say, that elusive runners' high I hear about all the time finally kicked in.
I never run continuously for a long period because I didn't think I could. But there I was, Franz Ferdinand blasting as I ran over two miles all at once. I barely even took advantage of the three-minute walk between runs.
It felt really good.
I didn't even have to stretch, which I know is stupid but again...lazy.
I'm very glad that I was wearing my real sports bra. The built-in-shelf-bra cami I sometimes run in isn't very supportive so I was able to do all the miles without a lot of bouncy-bouncy.
I finally felt validated that something I've been putting effort into is paying off. Granted, it hasn't been a ton of effort but enough for me to feel like if my pants weren't fitting better, it was a waste of time.
Lately I feel like I'm putting so much of myself into things for very little payout. Yes, I should be writing because I love it – and I do – but love doesn't pay the bills or buy a much-needed new pair of shoes.
So it was nice to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment. I hope to keep it up.
But it's supposed to rain tomorrow...



Monday, April 1, 2013

Where Did THOSE Come From?

Every morning after Dr T and L.E. leave, I take some quiet time for myself and figure out how I'm going to spend my day.
Then I take a few minutes for some "maintenance." I call it my morning tweeze & squeeze. Blackheads need popped, grey hairs need plucked and I have to wonder how long that mole has been on my face and if it's getting darker.
Don't be squeamish; you know you do it, too.
This morning, I was in my squeezey groove when I noticed it. Them. I have no idea how long they've been there. I don't know if other people have noticed them.
Nose hairs.
I thought maybe they were an April Fools' joke.
Seriously, aren't those just for men?
Apparently not.
I've fought more than my share of facial-hair battles. I've had to bleach or wax my mustache since high school. While pregnant, I had some lovely long black hairs growing along my jawline. I have random moles that sprout hair overnight.
Hence, the daily tweeze & squeeze.
I can handle wrinkles, grey hairs and sun spots. I view my laugh lines as proof that I enjoy life and love to laugh. Even my trace of smoker's curtain lip doesn't freak me out because I rarely smoke anymore.
I can handle the occasional grey pube.
I get that I have to use anti-aging skin care products now instead of the same Neutrogena I used in as a preteen.
But nose hairs are different. Nose hairs are scary. They are irrefutable proof that I've crossed over from just being Italian to just being old.
If you tweeze them, you sneeze uncontrollably. Plus, you're using your good Tweezerman tweezers in your booger-zone.
I have yet to notice a single errant nose hair on Dr T. Even his ears are normal and he was a wrestler.
I'm too embarrassed to buy a nose hair trimmer. I might make him purchase one instead.
I don't even know where to get one! Is that the Beyond part of Bed Bath and Beyond?
Do they make them for ladies?
Will any of these work?
© Kryu | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

What's your embarrassing beauty secret? Let's make it fun; tell me a real one and a fake one in the comments.