lundi 17 octobre 2011
(All are actual things that I have experienced, several from the same person)
10. Your long, drawn-out, every single detail birthing story. You went to the hospital. You came out with a baby. Fabulous. Let's move on, because this is quickly becoming a minute-by-minute account, and I feel a contraction coming on.
9. More than two pictures of any event of your child's life. Your kid was Spiderman for Halloween. Got it. I don't need to see Spiderman from every angle, Spiderman getting into the car, Spiderman getting out of the car, Spiderman getting his first piece of candy, etc. After picture 10, it gets PDD (Pretty Damn Dull). I'm dreading the Christmas pictures already. You want to see endless pictures of my husband's speech on Diffusion in Silicon Germanium? Well, it's about that interesting for me too.
8. Photos of you, extremely pregnant, naked, in black and white. Demi Moore cover of Vanity Fair you are not. Automatic timer and the black and white setting on your camera do not make these photos "artsy". I'm just cringing for you. Save it for when you want to embarrass the hell out of your kid in 16 years. Or else for his wedding slideshow. Classic.
7. Photos of you, naked, breastfeeding, in black and white. See above. Yes, breastfeeding is a natural thing. No, I don't think nursing mothers need to hide in the ladies room or put a towel over their baby's head. Yes, I can handle you breastfeeding in front of me. But photos of mother and baby naked on a bedspread are just too much.
6. The "funny" things your child says. He pronounces it "patata" instead of "potato"? Wow. I'm dying laughing. No honestly, that must be the funniest thing I've heard all year. Where did you find the little comedian? He must be the first child EVER to pronounce it that way.
5. Pictures of your kid naked. It makes me wonder if the FEDS are secretly filming us.
4. Children's artwork. 90% of it is bad, 5% of it is really bad, and 5% is good. Unless it is really bad or good, I don't want to see it. And don't assume it is in the 5% good category either. Don't force me to invent compliments like "Wow, uh, what a vivid color palette he used!"
3. Video of your kid's dance/piano/singing/martial arts recital/competition. Barely tolerable if you cut it down to the four minutes of his or her actual performance. Unbearable if I have to sit through an hour of kids I care not at all about.
2. Your c-section scar or stretch marks. Want to see my appendectomy scar? At least I don't have to pull down my underwear for that one.

And, the winner...
1. The quantity and color of the pee your potty-training child just produced in the bucket. Seriously, you need to be told that this is over sharing? What do you expect me to say? Am I supposed to remark on the quantity or the vivid color of yellow?
Do you want me to not flush the next time I use your toilet and call you in for inspection of the quantity and color? No? Then what makes you think I want to see your 2 year old's?
I understand that you are new parents and have become inured to baby poop, pee, barf, drool, snot, and probably some other baby bodily fluids which I don't know about, not having a Lil' Pooper myself. In fact, there are probably some aspects of baby-owning that nobody tells you about until the baby is out and you have signed for it. A well-kept secret so that couples don't decide not to have children, like "toxic green goo spurts out of the baby's ears every 30 minutes, but only when the baby is not in the present of anybody who has not yet had a child." Once you bring the baby home, haha, sucker! But I digress.
Anyway, you are probably used to touching said baby fluids, cleaning them up, having them smeared on you, discussing it with your partner, doctor, or parents, and analyzing the color, texture, and consistency. You think nothing of calling out to your partner "Hey honey, come look at Junior's bowel movement. Do you think we gave him too many mashed peas last night?"
However, please try to remember that I not your partner, doctor, or mother. I don't want to comment on baby excrement. If I am babysitting, and it happens, I will deal. Otherwise, let's keep it to ourselves okay? Or else, hand me a pitcher of margaritas, and remove the dijon mustard from the coffee table.
Thank you,
Your childless friends who wish to remain your friends.
Okay parents (or grandparents), what have you been guilty of, honestly?
And what is the worst over share you have experienced from other parents?
dimanche 16 octobre 2011

Martial arts movies and magazines about motos,

Chocolate and peanuts and books about photos...

I got Alain a subscription to Moto Revue, a twice monthly magazine about motorcycles, as well as the movie Black Belt, which he has been wanting for a long time. 26€ at FNAC or 6€ on Amazon. Hmm...

Plus a box of chocolate from our favorite chocalatier Jeff de Bruges. I get two of every piece of chocolate, and then we have one per evening with our tea.

Gotta keep the husband happy.

samedi 15 octobre 2011
I found a place near where I work called L'Atelier des Chefs. They offer cooking classes, from half an hour to several hours.

Desperately needing to increase my recipe repertoire, I decided to give it a try.

It is perfect for me because their lunch formula is 15€ and includes their chef teaching you a main dish, then you eat what you made, and they provide a dessert, bread, and sometimes a glass of wine and/or coffee (I guess depending upon how much it cost them for the ingredients for the lunch).

The first time I went, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

I had chosen the "Saumon mi-cuit en croûte de pavot, fondue d'épinards et tomates cerises cerises confites et acidulées" (half-baked salmon with poppy seeds on a bed of spinach with cherry tomatos).

There were 5 other students, and one chef. All the ingredients were already measured out and washed, and he showed us what to do, and then we went at it.

We juiced an orange, removed the stems from the spinach leaves, cooked the cherry tomatoes, lightly fried the salmon, rolled it in poppy seeds and put it in the oven, then cooked the spinach leaves while the cherry tomatos were being carmelized.

It was quickly finished, and we decorated our plates and then took them to the table. It was quite good, though I would have preferred fully-cooked salmon.

Last Saturday, I bought the ingredients and tried it out at home for Alain. It took a bit longer as I had to prepare everything myself of course, but it was fairly quick.

It was very good, if I do say so myself. (and I do).

Alain liked it too, but didn't like the poppy seeds quite as much as I did.

However, when people come over, it is something I can now make.

I went again this week, and this time about 12 German exchange students were taking the class. It was a bit crowded.

This time we made "Gambas rôties flambées au cognac et à l'estragon, mouseeline de chou-fleur" (roasted gambas flambéd with cognac and a cauliflower purée).

Some of the kids didn't want to touch the raw shrimp, too bad, none for you then.
I haven't yet made it at home, I am a bit scared of lighting the thing on fire in our kitchen, which does not have a hood.

Anyway, I am trying to go once a week. I pick the recipe that appeals to me the most on their website and reserve online. They seem to do a lot of fish, I guess because it cooks quickly.

Here are the recipes if anyone is interested:
lundi 3 octobre 2011
There is a type of mother, usually a new mom within the first few months of her baby's life, who cannot stand to see anyone else holding her precious precious.
She can't quite explain or even recognize her unease when someone else (relative, friend, coworker, and sometimes even the father) is holding the little bundle of joy. Worse, if the bundle of joy is not screaming its head off, and is actually happily gurgling or kicking its feet or sucking its thumb or generally giving off signs of contentment.
The new mother starts to worry.
"Maybe my baby is starting to get confused, after three minutes of being held by another woman, as to who is his mother."
"The precarious bond I have developed over these past few months of feedings, changings, outings, and all the rest is in danger!"
"I must take my baby back now before the mother-child bond is forever severed!"
The new mother then snatches the baby away, with an excuse like "I think he is about to cry." Or "He definitely must need changing now." Or "I forgot, I haven't fed him for a whole 15 minutes."
Sometimes the baby then does begin to cry, reinforcing the mother's belief that "Oh thank goodness, he was really unhappy being held by that other woman", though in reality the baby is just crying due to being yanked from one position to another.
The new mother then disappears with the baby into another room, to attempt to feed or change or calm the baby, then re-emerges half an hour later, the mother-child bond back in place.
Any other offers to hold the baby are met with "Oh I would love to, but it is best not. He gets
fussy when held by strangers."

Or maybe the new mother is scared I will drop the baby on its head. Now, I know I don't hold babies daily, I mean, I don't go up to mothers in the grocery store and ask if I can hold their baby just for practice, but come on. In my (ugh) almost 32 years, I've held a few babies. I know which way is up. I'm not drunk, I'm not high on drugs. I'm not about to pass out or have a seizure. I'm not going to try juggling the baby and two sacks of flour. I know they are slippery little buggers, but unless he gets suddenly covered in grease, I think I can manage. I've got a firm grip, but not too firm, and am not trembling all over.

If I break him, I promise I'll get you a new one.


Luckily, this behavior usually disappears after a few months, and certainly by the time a second child arrives. At which point the not-so-new mom will practically throw the kid at you and ask if it okay that she go take a long bath/shave her legs for the first time since her third trimester/disappear for a long weekend.

"Yes please! god thank you! may mary, jesus, and joseph bless you and your loved ones!"

"Do whatever you want with him, short of medical experimentation!"

"Take him to hit on women! Take him to worm your way to the front of the line at the grocery store, post office, and tax bureau!"

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