Breakfast can be a tough time of day. When I worked, it was always a mad-dash to get to work on time, and I had neither the time nor inclination to make myself bacon and eggs or anything like that. Most mornings I didn’t even have time to sit down to a bowl of Lucky Charms. So it was sometimes toast and/or a piece of fruit on the go. More often it was the drive-thru or nothing. I’m particularly fond of a Starbucks about two miles from my house with a drive-thru. Drive-thru Starbucks is both wonderful and evil.

I now have theoretically more time to make and eat breakfast, but some mornings it’s just beyond my capacity to make and consume a proper meal with only one free hand. To help on those days when Zooey demands constant attention, I made myself some breakfast pastry:

These are carrot walnut muffins with a caramelized cream cheese topping. All I need to do to these is grab one and pour myself a glass of milk. It’s totally possible to do all that while holding a baby.

It’s just a basic carrot muffin recipe, and normally I put a little dab of cream cheese frosting on top. But this time, I heated a little butter & sugar until it just started to caramelize and added cream cheese. Then I put a spoonful of this mixture in the muffin tin with the batter before it bakes. Since it’s on top, it caramelizes even more and gets a kind of crispy brulee consistency. Mmm.

My husband does not really do sweet for breakfast, and so for him I make these:

These are garlic bagels, which I have never seen in a store, and are only found in one bagel shop in our area. Since it is neither cost-effective nor convenient for him to go to this one shop all the time, I make these bagels about two dozen at a time, and put them in our deep freeze in bags of 3-4 bagels. Whenever he’s out, he brings a bag in from the freezer and in the morning he makes a little sandwich out of them with a piece of cheese and a turkey-sausage patty. Not quite as good as the giant bagel, egg, sausage, bacon, and cheese sandwich at the breakfast place, but rather less likely to make your heart explode.

I don’t usually like bagels; usually they’re huge and much too dense. The homemade version, however, is much better, and they keep well in the freezer. They’re a little labor intensive–as yeast breads sometimes are–but very much worth it, particularly if you do a double-batch on a Sunday afternoon.

So that’s how we do breakfast around here.


love & work

The house is a bit of a mess, there are dishes & clutter, there is lots of laundry, but I am sitting up in bed, with a sleeping, feverish infant on my chest.

I was trying to get some work done; get some of her new clothes organized and put away. Little girl ran out of patience though. She didn’t want me to restart her music toy, or move duckie so she could reach him. She wanted to be picked up. I thought maybe I could move her to her bouncy seat and that would buy me a few more minutes to get something done around here.

But the second I picked her up, she rested her hot little forehead on my neck and went to sleep. It was such a simple thing. At this age she doesn’t speak or really even gesture. She doesn’t yet laugh, or reach out to me. Because of this, I don’t really get a lot of feedback. Sometimes I wonder if she just thinks of me as a giant food dispenser.

She doesn’t. I know that now from the way she found comfort in my arms. All too soon she’ll learn to talk, and kiss and hug, and make Mother’s Day cards with glitter and macaroni. But I think I will always remember today as the first time she told me she loved me.


I’m working on the craft room again today. The current task is pretty daunting, because right now the craft room is pretty empty, but my spare room looks like this:

After the move, and shuffling around of boxes, any lingering organizational structure has been obliterated. During naptime this afternoon I managed to get one box of books put away, and a few items from a basket of yarn sorted. It made no discernible difference in the mess. This weekend, though, I’m thinking about ducking out of mommy duty for a couple of solid hours on Sunday and getting this mess cleaned up. Once that happens, maybe I’ll be able to find enough of my supplies to actually finish a project. Check back Monday for updates, and in the meantime wish me luck!


Talking to Zooey:
“This is a monkey he goes ‘ooh ooh ahh ahh'”
“This is a lion, he goes ‘rawr!'”
“This is a koala, he doesn’t make any sounds of which I’m aware.”


We’ve been in our house for about five months now, and it has taken that whole time for me to even begin working on what I’ve been calling my “craft room.”

My craft room is actually a closet upstairs, next to our bedroom. It’s about six feet wide, and about twice as deep. It’s not much of a room–there is no window or anything–but it’s enough for a couple of shelves and a sewing table.

Until last week, however, it looked like this:

Which is not really conducive to, well, anything. It was a mess. So I took a couple of hours two Saturdays ago and emptied it out.

I set up the bookshelves, moved my sewing table and machine, and went to plug it in…

You know what most home manufacturers don’t bother to do in closets? Install outlets.

Yeah, it’s always something.

conversation in my head

Since I had a baby I feel sometimes there are two of me. One of me is the “mama me”; she’s the one who maintains a soothing tone of voice as she sings a lullaby to a small creature that has been screaming for an hour. She’s the one who has at least temporarily allowed that yoga pants can be worn in public, and can do the complicated arithmetic involved in knowing the timeline and supplies that give the best chance of preventing an utter meltdown in the checkout line at Target, or in the car on the way home from a visit to see grandparents.

mama-me is not jealous that the baby has cuter outfits.

There’s also “other me” she’s the one who is kind of shocked about how much things have changed. There once was just her and the cat in a studio apartment with no TV and a pull-out sofa for a bed. Now there are two cats, a husband, a mortgage, and this adorable baby. This is the me that sometimes still gets a little grossed out to be responsible for touching another human’s poop. She sometimes forgets that spur-of-the-moment dinner dates, and to-do lists that are composed exclusively of tasks that require two hands are not really feasible options any longer.

Both “me”s are totally in love with this baby and the time I am spending at home with her. But it’s weird sometimes to take a step back and see how things have changed so completely.

This is what it’s like in my head sometimes:

Last night was amazing!

Did you have sushi again? You were pretty pumped about that last time.

No, the baby was asleep before ten! she slept for seven-and-a-half hours! both of those sentences get exclamation marks! also this one!

And that’s your current definition of an amazing night? Remember the night at the karaoke bar in Aspen? Or when you’d go see that Michael Jackson cover band in college? Or last year in Cancun? Those were amazing nights.

My eight-week-old baby let me sleep until five in the morning. Then she ate, and went right back to sleep, and I slept almost three more hours. New mom, eight hours of sleep.

I guess that is pretty amazing.

But I do see your point about the Michael Jackson thing.