Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Pasadena. Our weather has been particularly spectacular this winter. I am starting to take it for granted! I don't want to complain, because I know the rest of the country has been experiencing a hellish winter, but I'm ready for some cooler temperatures. I want to cook some comfort food dammit! There is a Ragu dish that has been on my bucket list for ages, that involves pork butt, but I can't spend an entire day making a fancy ragu when it is 80° outside. Okay, enough grumbling from Paradise. (Pork butt - sorry, couldn't resist saying it once more.)

Pippa and I recently started taking a music class and we love love love it. Love it! Forget all those toys that make annoying beeps. I want to hook my daughter up with an awesome music box. With symbols and tambourines and bongos and those awesome triangles. When friends and family visit, I am going to trick them into joining our music circle. Music is one of the most joyful things out there, and making music is even more joyful than passively listening to it.

I play the piano. I'm no Elton John, but I do love playing. Pippa is now getting into banging the piano keys and she looks so pleased with herself when she makes some music. The piano is in our guest, a room we rarely use. So I forget about the piano for days and days. Methinks it is time to get back into the piano! I have bought some sheet music for old children's songs, and as Pippa gets older, I would love to play tunes while she dances.

So you have fair warning: if you visit the cranky pumpkin household, be prepared to shake a tambourine and beat a drum!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Babies Are Weird

Pippa wanted to sleep tonight while sitting up. Every time I put her in her crib, she would scramble to a sitting position and fall asleep that way. I would sneak back into the nursery and try to lower her to her back... and then she would wake up and give me a look that said "if you are not going to let me sit up, then at least have the courtesy to hold me all night." This happened six or seven times.

Once, I let her sleep for about thirty minutes while sitting up, hoping that if she got into a deep enough sleep, I could finally transfer her to a supine* position without waking her. After thirty minutes, I checked the video monitor to see how she was doing. At that very moment, she toppled over and woke herself. This was not funny at all. (Just kidding. It was hilarious.)

Finally, after two hours of playing this fun new game, I was able to get Pippa in an appropriate position for her nighttime slumbers. Hopefully she will stay that way for the rest of the night! If not, hopefully she will at least stay that way until Nathan gets home. (On the night our baby decides to be extra weird, Nathan of course has to go to a charity event for work.) I am sure he will be totally thrilled to play this game at 3 a.m.

Why the hell did Pippa want to sit up in her crib and fall asleep that way? It was not a teething issue, our usual scapegoat for sleep issues. (If she was teething, she would not be sleeping sweetly in her crib as I type this.) Ah well, babies are weird.

*It took me about 30 seconds to summon this word from my "Vault of Words I Rarely Ever Use." And now I send "supine" back to the Vault. Don't worry, he's in excellent company with words like "kerfuffle," and "panacea."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 100 Podcasts Project

In December, I realized I was bored. I love being a stay at home mom, but holy crap, peek-a-boo does not exactly stretch my intellectual muscles. My brain was crying for stimulation. At first, I thought I would attend some lectures at libraries and museums. Maybe I could audit a college class! Or take a literature class at Pasadena City College! Then I looked at my baby and realized I was crazy. Pippa is a trooper and is happy to go just about anywhere, but "just about anywhere" does not include lecture halls.

Then I had a light bulb moment: podcasts! I have always thought I would enjoy podcasts but was too damn lazy to find shows I like and download them to my iPod. But now there are iPhone apps that make it easy to listen to podcasts. I am using PodCruncher and love it. I would marry it except (a) I'm already married and (b) you can't marry an app (yet).

I decided listening to podcasts would be a good project for 2014 and instituted the 100 Podcasts Project: I am going to listen to 100 different podcasts by the end of 2014. That does not mean I can listen to 100 episodes of the same podcast. I have to listen to 100 different podcast shows. I want to expose myself to lots of new ideas, voices, stories, etc. etc.

Thanks to PodCruncher, I have already listened to twenty-one different podcasts . My favorites so far are WTF with Marc Maron, Welcome to Night Vale, Poem of the Day, Slate's Culture Gabfest, NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour, and Books on the Nightstand.

I realize I'm many years late to the podcast party, but I'm not going to let a little tardiness hold me back. Would you ditch a wedding just because you go lost on the way to the church? Of course not! Now excuse me, I have to go dance on the table with Marc Maron and get a glass of wine from NPR. This podcast party is awesome!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

As I write this, I am sitting at my dining room table. Pippa is in her highchair, having some delicious pureed green beans for breakfast. Don't worry, I'm not a total monster. She will get some oatmeal in a few minutes. The grownups will be having waffles shortly. Okay, I'm a total monster.

Outside, one block from my house, hundreds of people are waiting for the Rose Parade to start. Many of them camped out overnight. Fools! Even though this is Southern California, the nighttime low was still in the low 40s. Sometimes we even get a little frost over night. I wonder if there were any orgies.

I made some resolutions last month, none of them having to do with this blog. But this morning, I woke up with a strong desire to get back on the Blog Horse. So hello. Good morning. Happy New Year!

I have a lot to blog about, but the waffle iron is calling my name. (His name is Wally, in case you were wondering.) Then I'm taking Pippa to see her first parade! I'm sure she will be more interested in pulling leaves off the neighbor's hedge, but at least we will still be able to say that her first parade was the Rose Queen of all parades.