Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby vs Cats vs New Carpet: A Moral Conundrum

I love my baby - I do. I also love my two cats, though one is missing a leg so I guess that makes 1.75 cats - total.

I only speak of these things because recently I have been forced to consider and perhaps come to terms with this truly devastating reality: I may just love my new carpet more than anything.

Can this be possible?

We already had the cats, one of whom had been w us from the beginning, the other a more recent arrival as a "lady friend" for the seemingly lonely and grumpy three legger. They have always gotten along, which is why we expected the transition from a 4-roommate household, to a 5th one to be easy as pie.

When junior arrived and was brought home for the initial introductions, lady friend hightailed it under the bed - more out of shyness than anything. Cripple cat did not. And as wobbly and awkward as it, he stood his three-legged ground, eventually transforming from cute, cripply kitty to scary lashing out at newborn baby bad kitty.

And while I was too busy being yelled at round the clock by our newest addition, this did not go unnoticed by either of our families, particularly the grandmothers who as the protors of the clan were determined to wage an all out war involving shooing, cursing, all night lockouts and overall shaming of both kitties (good kitty and bad kitty), all in the name of protecting our new helpless little junior from the constant danger (although he didn't now it) always lurking inches away. And finally, my husband's mother came to me w a deal: Get rid of the cats or else.

As the sole litter box cleaner outer and the feeder (both activities I had conveniently read I shouldn't partake in before, during or anytime after pregnancy - ever - tho I can't remember where I read that), my husband was in complete agreement w the worried humans. I, on the other hand, fought an impressive battle engaging my personal weapons ignoring and denial.

And then the new carpet arrived.

Every night when we'd go to sleep, it was WAR and every morning we'd wake up to the shredded woolly remains of a cats gone wild party (minus the sex and big boobs). Piles of carpet scattered across its own helpless multi-colored self. One morning, I even woke up to a pile of ladycat's cat yack (I guess they really do party hard). Tho after racing to the kitchen in horror to arm myself up w everything swiffer, I returned to find the yack pile gone and in its place a guilty, yet satisfied lip licking mancat after a little snack of his lady friend's regurgitation. But, you know what? As glad as am I that they can help clean up - TMI! I don't want to know.

And now after months of my baby's little life being threatened day in and day out, and the phone calls, the emails, each one begging to please please please get rid of the violent meowing baby hunters, now that the perky red, green and yellow little life of my carpet is threatened, NOW it's on. And now I want those cats gone.

That thing cost me 250 bucks! It's a matter of life and death.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Budget cuts affecting area library baby/toddler reading times

The Williamsburgh branch announced a new "six weeks on, two weeks off" schedule beginning April 8. There will be no toddler time or babies and books the weeks of May 18 and May 25.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mamalu officially closed, rumors swirl over possible buyer

Mamalu, the doomed indoor playspace and cafe, finally had to shut its doors. The last day of business was April 5, 2009. I'm not surprised that Mamalu closed. The food was tasty but the playspace needed help.

Because of the lack of toys, it was really only suitable for older children who could have fun playing make believe with the large foam structures that were scattered about the floor. Children under about 2 really didn't have much to do there except get run over by older kids.

If someone does try to resurrect the business please:

- keep it clean
- have a protected play area in a corner for crawlers
- have a variety of toys and structures that appeal to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
- rotate the toys every month to keep children's interest and imaginations growing
- have a special "big kids" only time so that older children can run free
- consider making the eating area smaller so that there is more room for playing.

Great inspiration can be found at

Thanks to the owners who put in countless long hours trying to keep the place afloat. It was a great resource for me when Junior was a newborn. To have a place where you can breastfeed and no one cares if your kid is wailing... that was great!

It's too bad that this neighborhood doesn't have any child-friendly indoor playgrounds. If I had the money I would love to open something.

Friday, April 3, 2009

WWJE: What Would Junior Eat?

Junior has days when he won't eat anything except for crackers, so I'm constantly on the look out for new lunch and dinner items. Here's a list of this week's favorites. Please share your ideas.

Baked eggs with shredded zucchini and cheese: whip up all the ingredients in a bowl, place in a small ramekin or other heat safe bowl and bake in oven or steam in beaba or steamer basket til cooked through.

Veggie bread: Use standard muffin recipe, then add 1 cup shredded green veggies (broccoli, squash, etc) and 1 cup shredded carrots. Bake in mini muffin or bread pan.

Baked sweet potato with chopped up whole wheat pasta and peas.

Tofu squares with tomato sauce.

Veggie burgers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sounds like Mamalu is staying open... for now.

Everyone thought Mamalu was going to sell and if they couldn't find a buyer, they were going to close. Well now it looks like they are going to stay open, although, when I asked one of the owners if they are still looking for a buyer, her answer was a firm "yes".

I'm glad it'll be open, at least through the rest of winter. I do sincerely hope they do some things to make it more appealing so more people will come. I would gladly pay a higher entry fee if the playspace had more activities and a roster of toys that change every month.

I also think they should have a little foam structure play area for babies, so moms with the youngest guests can have some protection from the running and jumping older kids.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mamalu Closing?

Rumors are swirling over the impending closure of Mamalu. Apparently, the owners don't like each other and want out. But that's not the whole story. I talked to one of the owners recently and she was very upfront and honest about the financial state of the business. In the 2.5 years they've been open, they have never made a profit nor have the owners made a salary.

The rent is $4,500 a month, and they have 6 years left on their lease. I believe they are asking $25,000 for the business. That doesn't sound like a lot until you start factoring in the other costs associated with maintaining it (insurance, utilities, accountants, lawyers, staff, etc)

I think there are some things that could be done to make Mamalu profitable, but it would be an undertaking and would require capital. I hope that someone comes through and buys it because it's one of the only things to do in the neighborhood with your kid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gadget Alert: Beaba Babycook

My husband bought this for me for Christmas and at first I thought that we were a little past the appliance's must useful time period (when Junior was eating nothing but purees). But now that I've used it for a week, I love it.

We don't have space for a microwave so this thing really comes in handy. You can cook foods in it as well as reheat stuff. You don't have to puree but that still comes in handy, especially for leafy greens like kale and chard.

Very neat.