Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fil-Am Baby Breakfast

What does a tiny human who sprung from the loins of two cultures consume? How does a little Am-boy (American boy) break his fast? 

With rice and Cheerios, of course!

Indeed, this combination of highly glycemic carbohydrates and, let's face it, donut-shaped cardboard, has been known to provide nutrients, calories, and pincer grip practice. In ancient days, cave husbands and cave wives fed their offspring this very combination to improve the species' chances of survival. 

Or I'm just a weirdo who throws stuff in my baby's bowl for giggles. Yeah, I think that's it. 

I'm pleased to report that Fragrant Junior has impressed The Supreme Judge (that would be Fragrant Mother/ Mamala) with his eating skills. Bonus: his aunt, Fragrant Sister, also praised his hand-eye-mouth coordination! What can I say--he's my son, of course his face-feeding skills are consistently at master level. 

That said...his sleeping still needs work. We started sleep training on Wednesday (we took turns going in every five minutes to soothe him) and on Friday, HE SLEPT FROM 8PM TO 6AM. IT WAS AMAZEBALLS. Then we must have displeased Cthulu, because the next night he went right back to his 12AM and 3AM crying jags. Blergh.

Still, it's all okay when his eyes pop open in the mornings and he beams while staring deeply into my eyes. Then he shoves his little fingers up my nose, because who knows why babies do things. 

The point is, new parents should get a year off from work to bond with their babies and to become human again. Heck, I'll take six months. But since the US is terrible about family policy, I got three months off without pay. Awriiiiiight.

TL;DR: My baby can eat rice and Cheerios with his chubby digits and also my husband and I need sleep. 

This post brought to you by grilled foods! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect 2 is as giddily ridiculous, unapologetically off-color, and full of heart as the first movie. Director Elizabeth Banks (yay!) did a terrific job in her first behind-the-camera outing, and of course she's as hilarious as ever in front of the camera as Effie Trinket, I mean, acapella announcer Gail.

The movie winkingly offers a veritable trope-fest: an incident causes the formerly celebrated Barden Bellas to lose their position and privileges as the top collegiate acapella group. The intimidatingly huge Das Sound Machine, world acapella champion, becomes the Bellas' rival -- to regain their honor, they must defeat DSM at the international competition in "sunny" Copenhagen.

But how will the Bellas win when their leader Beca is busy trying to have a post-college career, romantic complications loom, and the group has lost their harmony? Could the earnest new legacy (Hailee Steinfeld) help them on their journey? Will love find a way?? WILL SISTERHOOD TRIUMPH OVER ALL ODDS???

Like I said, Pitch Perfect 2 is as formulaic as its predecessor, but it has so much heart and love for its core audience of nerds that any missteps are forgiveable. I refer specifically to that over-the-top practice montage that lasted maybe a minute but felt like a thousand years, it was such visual overload. The Treblemakers' performance was also lame. 

Fortunately, this movie piles on the awesomesauce, e.g.:

Keegan-Michael Key as a music producer losing patience with his hipster intern;
The acapella Laser Ninja riff-off;
The Green Bay Packers;
Fat Amy's unnecessarily physical love song to Bumper;
Beca's pathetic inability to talk smack back to Das Sound Machine's giant blonde leader;
Mention of Filipino ladyboys;
Hana Mae Lee;
Girl power!;
And more!

I love this movie like my mom loves cheesecake: I will buy it immediately once available and binge on it, your judgment be damned. 

TL;DR: Loved the first one? Watch the sequel. 

This post brought to you by Medela Pump in Style Advanced, because nothing says "the glamorous life of a working mom" quite like this contraption!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My First Mother's Day!

To start the day, Fragrant Husband took Fragrant Junior into the other room so I could catch another couple hours of sleep. Once I shambled out of the bedroom, Hubby made French toast (my request from the day before). Over breakfast, he explained his new bacon-cooking technique, because he is the best.

Since it was gorgeous out, we took Junior out for his first swim. It was only 10am but he had already pooped twice, so we figured it would be safe to slap a cloth diaper on him (new swim diapers en route). After slathering him in sunscreen, Hubby and I took turns floating him around. He had fun, I guess? In any case, he was very fetching in his shark bathrobe.

Back in the apartment, Junior immediately passed out from the excitement. I did, too! Knowing my tendency to dawdle, Hubby tricked me by saying we had to leave for dinner at 3pm so we would have time to walk around the wharf. We ended up leaving at 3:30, as per his (accurate) calculation.

Dinner was at Legal Harborside, because I specifically said I wanted lobster. Alas, the prix fixe Mother's Day menu only had lobster soup, but that was okay! I had the "treasures of the sea" (crab claws, shrimp, oysters), the striped bass, and chocolate pudding. Hubby had the lobster soup, lamb loin, and parfait. Junior stole bread from my hand and gnawed on it for a while, then focused on trying to get all the ladies to look at him. I am not even kidding -- he was baby-yelling at women, and then beaming when they looked over. I'm so proud.

Then we walked 45 minutes back to our place. Apparently, being pushed around / carried for that long was incredibly exhausting for Junior, who pitched an epic fit when Hubby gave him his bath. Junior was so upset that he was red in the face from screaming while his whole fist was in his mouth. I then nursed him (skin-to-skin, as Hubby suggested), and he calmed down. He promptly resumed melting down when I put him in his crib. I got him calm and rolling around, then tiptoed off like a ninja.

He started screaming again very shortly after, and when I went in, he was sitting up!!! It was the first time he has sat up from a supine position, and he was overwhelmed by his amazing feat. He was babbling hysterically and yet sleepily while I marched him back and forth the room, possibly saying "ermehgerd mom did you see that i am on the precipice of crawling!!!" ...Now he's snoring away.

The day ends with a super tense episode of A Game of Thrones. My book knowledge is now almost useless. Ah well.

TL;DR: WHEEEEEEEEEE OM NOM NOM 

This post brought to you by love!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


Avengers: Age of Ultron Whedons hard. The film shows the humans behind the heroes as the Avengers are torn apart, their fears exposed and old wounds reopened. There's a lot of tension, plenty of action, and the definite sense of a larger, more hostile force out there.

The movie introduces Ultron, a terrific supervillain voiced by James Spader. Ultron is by turns coldly calculating and almost petulant, but always incredibly dangerous. He's out to end the Avengers, and enlists the help of the Maximoff twins, Wanda and Pietro. Oh, and he builds a robot army. 

For their part, the Avengers take a beating. Each hero must then take a journey to return to the path of righteousness! Viewers learn more about the Black Widow and Hawkeye -- AND BY THE WAY, WHERE IS THE BLACK WIDOW MOVIE, MAY I ASK -- and meanwhile there's a romantic subplot that I didn't see coming. No, it's not what you think. 

And just like in the first Avengers movie, Captain America and Iron Man call each other out on what each sees as the problem in the other. Fragrant Husband's theory is that it all leads up to Captain America: Civil War. We shall see. 

Anyway, this movie delivers, as expected. We get the hero shots, triumphant music, snappy dialogue, etc., etc. Elisabeth Olsen, kid sister of the Olsen twins, is damn good as the creepily effective Scarlet Witch. 

My only thing was the editing -- some bits in the early parts of the movie feel rushed, which made it difficult to understand everything that's going on. Hey, maybe it's part of the studio's strategy: make them have to watch them again! 

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, MARVEL! I shall indeed watch this again, because it is a fine example of a film that examines the flawed humanity that is at once the genesis of and the obstacle to true heroism!

TL;DR: "Infinity times" better than the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight! -Fragrant Hubby

Movie Review: Hereditary (2018)