The Wednesday Redirect Smackdown!
Random Monday Recipedown!

Urban Wildlife Encounter

 Attention citizens of Washington, DC: If you have misplaced your shopping cart full of shoes, I may have found it.


So I've been making a concentrated effort to take Noah for a walk outside every day. I don't really enjoy it as much as you'd think, mostly because it is 1) outside, 2) not inside, and 3) full of nature.

But after two full weeks going by where I realized that I NEVER LEFT THE HOUSE, NOT ONCE, I decided that my child and I were getting our asses to the fucking playground, come hell or high water, if only because the playground is close to the Starbucks where I could get in my daily quota for face-to-face human interaction by ordering an iced coffee in a non-baby-talk voice.

So far, getting out for walks has not been quite as treacherous as other outings, mostly because there's no deadline. Except for the vague idea of "later."

(Digression: That's actually the best part of staying home with a baby. Your deadlines are fluid. Your time is not structured. There's no one to judge you for just how much time you spend chomping on the baby's thighs. You can do work unshowered and eat lunch at 10:30, followed by dessert at 11. No one really needs to know that you watched Father of the Bride on HBO and then followed it up with Father of the Bride Part II. And no one definitely needs to know that you maybe cried a little bit.)

I've also gotten better about the hysterical compulsion to take EVERYTHING Noah might possibly need along with me. I no longer carry a rectal thermometer in the diaper bag. I'm comfortable leaving the extra socks behind and now realize that five diapers and two bottles for a 20-minute walk may be overkill, just a little bit.

Instead, we take our walks on the wild side. The wild side of NO SPARE OUTFIT.

I always take Ceiba too, because I cannot bear the look on her face when she realizes I'm leaving her behind. Honestly, you can HEAR her heart breaking. It's like a high-frequency dog whistle of guilt.

Amy: Noah, do you want to go for a walk later?


*languidly arfs up some Cheerios*

I also cannot bear the look on Max's face when he realizes I'm depriving him of 20 fucking minutes of peace, serenity and open access to the dog kibble.

I don't know why I'm so compelled to take walks, because we're not exactly the happiest bunch of campers out there, since our respective criteria for contentment cancel each other's out. (Noah is happy when we are moving. Ceiba is happy when we are not moving so she is free to run around in circles and chase imaginary squirrels made entirely out of bacon. Mama is happy in the shoe department of Neiman Marcus while various Italian salesmen bring her espressos and Manolos while complimenting the delicate bone structure of her feet.)

(This is code for: Mama is happy when she is napping, because IN HER DREAMS.)

And yet. We walk. Outside. Everyday. Where there are bugs.

The original idea was to take Noah to the playground and meet other moms.  You know, cool moms. Moms with babies! Moms who would immediately invite me to martini-soaked playdates! (Go ahead and laugh at me, it's okay.)


Mom, you are totally killing me here. With the hat. And your lameness.

The first day there was a group of older kids and two glowering nannies, one of whom informed me that her charges were scared of dogs, and I thought she was kidding until two of the children spotted Ceiba and promptly scrambled to the top of the slide to scream in terror.

The second day there was a pack of teenagers hanging around the swings. Moving on.

The third day we had the playground to ourselves, which was downright pleasant until a woman walked through with a big yellow lab. The dog proceeded to take a huge dump in the sandbox, and then they both walked away without a word.

I am not so very enamored with the playground anymore.

So on today's walk, I stopped by our condo office to finally (FINALLY) turn in our application for new pool passes. (I've been, um, stalling.) (I also turned in the form stating that we have a child under eight years of age residing in our unit, and therefore deserve to be first in line for getting lead paint scraped off our windows.) (I think we need to move.) (Oh my God.)

Anyway. I am thinking that the reason I haven't met any of those cool martini-swilling moms yet is because they are all hanging out at the pool, and next week is going to be AWESOME, provided no one judges me for showing up in my maternity bathing suit, or possibly a poncho.

Oh, and just so I'm clear -- two bottles of baby sunblock should be enough for an afternoon at the pool, right? And like 10 of those Little Swimmer diapers?  Maybe I'll stick an extra one on my infant CPR dummy and bring that, just to be safe.

I should still have room to pack the cocktail olives too.


The kind of nature I can totally get behind.



you can't swim in a poncho, whore. it's just.not.right.


Oh my goodness totally get the spray on aerosol coppertone spf 30 it makes things so much easier! And the waterbabies sunblock stick for his lil face so you don't get sunblock in his eyes! and a hat! and a little ring to float in! I am so jealous you have a pool!


Yay! Pictures of Noah swimming are on the horizon!

Yes, I have an illness. I don't want my own baby; I want yours. And no, not in a weird-stalker sort of way. Just that he's so freaking adorable. (I know that you know this, I'm just saying.)

In any case, this blog used to be about you and how much we love Amalah and cool Amalah is. It's now all about Noah and how much we love Noah and how much Amalah loves Noah. And it's all so bloody precious!


I've found that the cool moms only exist on the internet. Although I did have a Mary Kay pedicure party last week and made margaritas but nobody but my sister in law came. She had to because she was the Mary Kay lady and we drank the entire pitcher of margaritas. I also spent a buttload of cash on MK, if only she hadn't gotten me drunk first I might have withstood it.
I thought I found some cool moms at a co-op preschool, but haven't really connected with any just yet. Although summer is starting, so I might be able to get some kick ass playdates in. Complete with swimming and liquor and cookies.


I have one girlfriend with whom I have martini playdates. Yes, really! But we ususally have coffee instead of martinis, because we have to DRIVE home from the park, which sucks.

BUT! When our children ( four of them, ages 3.5 to 6) run up to our shady bench and say, "Will you play with me / push me on the swing / help me build a castle?" we say, "No! Play with each other!" and they do. And then we get back to our Very Important Conversation, which is always almost about shoes or other preschool parents who are having affairs (there are a LOT of them, it seems).

It is magnificent, and if you and Jason felt like moving to Oklahoma City you could join us every single day. I might even hire a driver so we could all swill REAL martinis. It would be worth it.


Had no idea you were in the DC area (nice shopping car); I'm in Arlington and also contemplating the world outdoors as an alternative to channel surfing and fridge raiding...My little man is only 4 weeks old, though, so I am still packing rectal thermometers, spare outfits, extra receiving blankets, pacifiers and aspirator bulbs in my diaper bag; it's part of my "get back in shape" weight training to carry it around with me...


the poncho would be handy for sneaking in the booze.


I lurve the random shopping cart full of shoes.

DC has nature? Wait, I am so confused. I thought it was all sidewalk and historical buildings. And random shopping carts with shoes. hmmmmmm


Nature is scary. People who camp are in nature. CAMP. As in they voluntarily SLEEP ON THE GROUND! Where there is DIRT! And BUGS! And no MATTRESSES!

So nature? Not so thanks.


See, I'd have picked up the dog's crap from the sandbox with a diaper and thrown it at the owner. That shit's not cool (literally and figuratively).


You are brave to be outside in this miserable weather for any longer than absolutely necessary. It is going to be a long summer in DC.

I wish Eastern Market had random shopping carts of shoes on display...

Isabel Kallman

Just saw that you posted the pic of Noah with the onesie (below)-- so sweet and delicious. Thanks.


Poor Noah is totally hating the babyBobDenver hat. Way to go, little buddy!


i told myself that i was going to take my little man for a walk everyday, and that actually lasted a couple of weeks -- walks around the neighborhood, walks down the street, walks at the park. but now it is FUCKING HOT so we just make do by sitting under a tree and watching everyone else walk. it works for him, so it sure as hell works for me because anything that keeps him from screaming right now is perfectly frickin' fine.


Oh.. you found my remote and my cart of shoes? I was wondering where I left those things..

I can so totally sleep now knowing that they are safe!

I'll be by later to pick them up!!


Anne Glamore

I hated nature so much that I never got a "big" stroller. I just used an umbrella stroller for emergencies. I counted on my husband to give the boys their share of outdoor time and that continues, 10 years later. How's that for a plan??

You can totally plead bug bites/West Nile/ avian flu stuff.


Perhaps we will see Noah in a poncho as well at the pool so as not to make others stare ONLY at you...Like it's just a thing. You two do.

You know you peeked at those shoes to see if any were stylish and worth saving. Oh admit it!

Wacky Mommy

Me, to my friend a couple of years ago: "Before you became a mom, did you think you were going to go for a lot of walks? But you don't?"

my friend: "I was going to be the walkingest mom in the neighborhood. Ha."


I knew I left my shopping cart somewhere.


Trying to track down the cool moms is not as hard as infiltrating the cool moms. They are already a clique!! I thought I was in, I had a cool dressed kid, came packed with organic and funky snacks and brought decent sand toys. I kept winding up with a rastafarian mom who brought nothing but a tape deck that played Marley over and over and over again. Its like high school but I can't eat chocodiles and still fit into my "cool" jeans. Damn.


Is that a remote control? See, walks are fun if only for the random shit you find lying around. Seriously, who loses a remote? It's like seeing one shoe on the side of the highway - how in the hell does that happen?

Hope you two have fun at the pool!


Not that I want you to fully investigate all trash/nature, but is that a cornhusk next to the remote? If so, does that mean someone is making or selling tamales nearby? I may need to move to D.C.

Amalah, you will find cool martini-swilling friends soon. You have many of us on the internet, but I'm positive there are boozers, I mean, young, hip moms in your neighborhood that you'll meet soon. Maybe at the pool! Definitely not in the sandbox at the park..


I think I read once you live by Tenleytown? I used to work near there (before I got my little man) and once in a while I'd go for a walk during a break. Those teenagers that hang over by the Starbucks are monsters. Enough to make me really dread having a baby. Then they go into the CVS and throw lotion at each other and call each other bitches. Sigh. I need a martini playdate, too...

Jerri Ann

Hey, I am in the corner that hates long walks in the heat. I am fat for that reason too, lol! Swimming on the other hand...oooh, if I can find a swimsuit that looks like a poncho that would be awesome!


Dude, all the cool moms are out here in the suburbs! We stand around and talk about how we would really love to be living somewhere a little more urban and hip and trendy but then we remember that we're really not cool enough anymore anyway. And then we crack open a beer and let our kids run around in just sandals and diapers in the backyard all willy nilly with the dogs. And granted, I'm not a mom quite yet, but I'm practicing pretty hard and I think I'm pretty convincing.

Reston's where its at, baby!!


"...provided no one judges me for showing up in my maternity bathing suit, or possibly a poncho. "

Honestly, you fucking kill me. A PONCHO.


Oh my God, Father of the Bride. When I was a sophomore in college, my roommate, a senior who was engaged to be married the following year, watched this movie EVERY. DAY. And I remember feeling so aggravated that Diane Keaton and Kimberly Williams were so aggravated at poor Steve Martin just because he didn't want to spend eleven hundred dollars on a fucking cake. Poor Steve Martin was just tryin' to make sure they didn't have to foreclose on their house, but NOOOOO, Annie had to have swans on the lawn and new flooring installed downstairs and blah de blah blah blah. No wonder he tried to steal hot dog buns from the damn grocery store.

And yet, I loved this movie. I STILL love this movie, and it makes me cry, too, especially that stupid little flashback bit where Annie is a wee girl in pig tails and then all of a sudden she's sliding down banisters and getting felt up by her hottie boom bottie fiance. Good times.

That roommate and I are great friends today. She's actually the one whose blog I once recommended you check out for Mom's Daily Dose:

Motherhood Uncensored

Um. If you find those martini mommies, let me know. I've been looking for them around here but all they seem to want to drink is Sweet Tea. And I checked. Nothing good in it. Just a lemon. Can't even smoke that.


FYI don't put the little swimmer on until you get to the pool. Its more of a.... well... strainer and poop holder than anything else.

Sarcastic Journalist

Everytime I see the Moms here, they are too busy eating McDonalds. And then I cry because really, McDonalds? Seriously?

Also, breakfast here happens at 11am. I am not lying.


you need to move in down the street from me.

there. i've said it, and i'm not sorry.


You don't see us there because we're in the Burke/Springfield area... Subrbia requires Vodka. Or Tequila. Or Rum. Whatever... we're not picky here.


They're out there...the martini playgroup moms. Though they might like wine or beer or mojitos.

The trial and error though sucks huge amounts of ass. It took me 7 years. Seven Long Years.

But I'm socially retarded, it will be easier for you. I am certain of that.


I always cry at Father of the Bride!


I cry at the most unreasonable movies. It's so strange. But *everyone* cries at weddings, so you're good. ;-)
I was the sound engineer for a wedding a few weeks ago, and the groom cried. There is NOTHING that'll choke me up faster than that, I swear.


Trust me, all the martini mom's have play dates in their homes so the kids can watch Barney whilst they imbibe. At least that is what I think they do -- I have never met one and had no idea they existed.

My new endeavor as Summer Vacation quickly approaches is to become a totally cool martini mom. Or at least drunk enough to survive the Summer ne'er-do-wells that frequent my yard.


Also, the outside stuff mentioned at the top? Totally agree and therefore, I <3 you all the more.

Suzy Q

Ok, I cannot relate to most of that because 1) I am not a mom and 2) WHERE ARE THE FUCKING MARTINIS?

The kids who were afraid of Ceiba? Need martinis. Also their nannies.

But I can totally relate to the not leaving thre house thing. I have a 12-pack of Cottenelle and two big bottles of wine. Also cat food (for the cats). I am good. For at least a couple of days.


Here is something to entice you to begin your own super-cool mommy martini play group.

Also, Sorry for 3 comments but felt this one was worth sharing. As for me, I shall stock my coffee cupboard with these items pronto.

spammit/ anne nahm

The trick to finding the cool moms is to befriend one mother who works part time. Try to find an educated one - my favorite 'cool mom' works at the local college teaching.

This kind of mom feels so guilty for working part time that she spends her 'mom' time surrounding herself with full time moms and throwing glorious parties to show that she is really a good mom even though she works.

She will love you because she thinks you are living the dream. You will love her because she will have something to talk about besides her kid.

You so owe me for this. This is like a Level 9 Mommy Secret.



I think we all know that the grocery cart was really just a picture of Noah's stroller. And the poncho you spoke of? Really that rain-protector you used the last time you left the house.

Fess up.

What stroller do you have by the way? I'm doubting you have a bugaboo (because are you Apple Martin?), but what about a bumbleride or the like?


Make friends with some Super Moms from the 'burbs! They probably have playgrounds in the backyard to die for, inground pools and a well stocked bar! (I do!!)

Now there may be some small dog or kitty poop in the yard that gets cleaned up by the neighborhood Poopy Patrol! (Honestly, some kids in our subdivision would go around and pick up yard poop for you on a weekly basis for $20/month!)

Imbibe upon a drink made with Cachaca. Ever tried a Caipirinha (from Brazil)? Our latest South Texas neighborhood favorite. Yummy! You can even mix them with Diet Sprite. It REALLY gets hot down here!

Our walks are always before 9am or after 7pm to avoid the 115 degree killer heat indices.



tAKE tHAT marTINI MOms. Ooops.

Ursula, we bought a Peg perego and hated it, then bought some weird eurOpean one called an iCoo Infinity that's exactly likt teh Bugaboo but waaaaay cheaper from Amazon.

I fergot. Did anyone else ask a question I should be Answering? Oh yes, Shoes in cart were totally ugly, and yes i Checked, because who knows? Maybe some crazy person decided to throw out some vintage Prada! But: no. Bitch.






You should boozy-blog more often! And, seriously, hooray or ew on Bill Paxton's ass? I've seen it so often I sort of feel like we're dating.


I am missing out - what is this Big Love goodness everyone keeps talking about? I do love Bill Paxton from his Twister days though.. although I have not seen his ass.

I did the same thing Amy, minus the park and the child. Took up running as a way to meet people, ended up canning it and buying a treadmill because outside? Is overrated.




Sometimes I get crazy too when I must bring EVERYTHING my son will probably need along the way. Especially when I or DS wouldn't use any of it later.

- aurora -


I had the cool mom, margarita playgroup when my kids were younger. We had fabulous lunches and, shopping while the kids were in preschool. And all the best playdates do take place at someone's house for 2 reasons, TV for the kids, unlimited access to alcohol for the moms. Unfortunately it all went to hell and became very highschool. Perhaps we weren't partaking in enough margaritas.

I LOVE, Big love. Which is your favorite wife?


Big Love Rocks and yes I watch that show way more than is necessary.

I have a question for you though, I have a min pin also named China ( I didn't pick the name and she already knew it.) But anyways she pulls out of every harness, collar EVERYTHING. We have a big back yard for her but I would like to be able to take her for a walk. Did you ever have this problem with your min pin?


Those looked like wild shoes, beware the rabies.


The worst thing about living in NYC (aside from being poor on a salary that could buy us a house in the city I grew up in) is hot, sunny summer, and the fact that we walk everywhere because it's not practical to have a car. I walk a mile a day, minimum, and today it'll probably be 2-3 miles. Blech. I am a delicate flower.

If only I could get one of those golf-cart pod cars, I could drive my kids around the sidewalks of Manhattan while sipping an iced coffee.


heh, Hollowsquirrel, I thought that thing in the picture with the remote control was a piece of driftwood. (Shut up.)

If I ever have a baby (which would first require someone to love me and commit to me, or at least for me to get really drunk and take that guy Steve who lives at the bar home with me, whichever) I will totally join your awkward indoors drunken mothers' playdate group. But by then Noah will probably be like 12 and 'playdates' will seem creepy.

Heather B.

The bugs are a minor detail, but it's also like 453 degrees with 85% humidity. I went running this morning and you would think that I had been swimming.

Also, I watched Big Love for three solid hours last night. Apparently HBO is showing all 11 episodes in four days, continuing tonight. I think it would be really awesome if you tivo'd them...


You should start the fun in DC, how about organizing a Tots and Tonic!

It is the only way to beat the city heat during the hot summer months. Play inside a nice cool air-conditioned bar with other moms. Only babies young enough not able remember a playgroup in a bar. The kids drink milk and the moms just drink, chat & chew (if food is avail).


That's my remote! How in the hell did it get to DC?


You can come to my house for a martini playdate, and I should mention,we have a ton of wine!!! Come on, I have a 14 month old who can teach Noah the important things, like how to walk, and turn the tv on.

I'm on the Md side of DC, and you guys are welcome, anytime.


And here I thought I was the only person who watched Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride II yesterday. I actually DVRed part II so I can watch it again. What a dork I am :)


You get dog poop in your park? Wow, all we get in ours are broken beer bottles, cigarette butts and used condoms. Nature rocks, apparently.

Y from the internet

I want to take you for a ride in that shopping cart. I'll push you fast and you'll laugh and we'll sing songs of BEEFLOGS.

I don't know. I just really want to push you in that cart.


nothing better than martin short in father of the bride. i still say caechk instead of cake.

I agree with whoever it was up there who said the only cool moms are on the internet.


Something compelled us to go to a cabin in the woods last weekend. And once we got there, and found ourselves pulling ticks (TICKS!) off of our children every night and swatting at mosquitos and stepping between the kids and the huge disgusting spiders that were crawling all over the paths we used for our "nature walks," I just kept thinking, "what the hell made me do this? Nature walks = bugs. Nature walks in Oklahoma = heat, dirt, humidity, and uh, more bugs."


Oh you cracked me up today! Taking out Noah and Ceiba sounds like my walks! I can so relate about the outside part- hello- inside is perfectly wonderful people!


Ha, I just the hook dog up to the kid and watch the ensuing hilarity.

Noah may be a little young for that yet. Or possibly not. Ceiba is kinda small and Noah is quite a big boy. I bet he could handle her.


Ha... I watched both Father of the Bride's yesterday too! Hilarious.


At least when you take along a rectal thermometer its because you have a baby.


Martini Moms - figment of our collective imagination. They aren't hanging out at the pool either. I checked. Instead there are a bunch of tanned women with fake ta-tas and no stretch marks. Bitches.


Amalah dear, if you move to L.A. I will put you in touch with the Martini Mommys.


My martini moms group is more of a margarita moms group but we have lunch faithfully every Tuesday during the school year -- almost always at my house and we take turns bringing the soup. We go out for birthdays. It hasn't been a playgroup for several years because our kids are all in school now but it's a group that is very near and dear to our hearts. We only drink on special occasions but we're definitely Jose Cuervo girls although we did have hurricanes on Mardi Gras (yes, we celebrate lots of special occasions).


I have to admit that I also watched the Father of the Bride series the other day too. And, i am sad to say, i cried, too. Well, a couple of tears squeezed out. The sad part is that it actually took all day to watch all of them. That means I kept pausing it and coming back to it.
Maybe if we bring martinis to the playground others will follow.

J's Mommy

I don't think there's much more I can add to the comments except that I laughed and I really needed to laugh today!


The Cool Moms thing is a (Sub)Urban Myth. I'm in year 14 and still searching. Just hang on to your old friends and adapt at will. You're cool, Amy. You'll be fine.


ahhah, my shopping cart full of shoes. Dammit. I knew I left it somewhere near wherever in the hell you live. Thanks for keeping an eye out. Arrgh.

Angela F

I have watched so much Big Love that last night I had a dream that my husband and I were going to become polygamists. We picked out the wife (she was a blonde) and we gave her the ring together when we proposed. I was a little pissed because her ring was bigger than mine, but it was ok. My husband thought we should let her plan the wedding since I had gotten to plan ours. Then, the next day, I suddenly realized that we couldn't marry her because what would we tell our families? How would we explain the wedding?

I think I need to step away from the HBO.


I can so relate to, euwwww, nature. I am an indoorsman... okay, an indoorswoman, but I borrowed it from Garrison Keillor. I think that says it all.

My work mates ask if I have a garden to go out in and I look at them in horror, "Is that, like, outside?!!"

Jo Anna

Have I told you lately how much I love you, Amy? No, seriously. Your blog is fast becoming my happy place.

Can't wait to hear how you broke a heal on your new Manolos kickin' ass at your reunion!

Magistra Omnium Domina Nihili

OK, now I have stroller envy. We have an older Combi, which was great at the beginning, but is ready for retirement after several moves and other indignities of handling (hood got crushed a little to one side, one wheel now hates turning). We're at an in-between stage, with a 3-year-old and starting to plan child #2, so we're making do for the time being. I'm dying to get a new stroller since a 1.5 mile walk is still a bit much for my son, but I just know that if I invest in a nice new stroller, I'll go and have twins.


I swear there is always weird debris around Tenleytown. I am glad someone else has noticed! I also blame the random teenagers. It is a minefield when you are running.

Mrs X

Ok, I know these 'cool' moms exist but I can never seem to find them. It could have something to do with where I live though.


You and I should totally get together. Because I take The Baby on a walk everyday and have been since we got home from the hospital. But since I live in the city, there are no parks. Meaning we go to Old Navy and Gap, everyday. Which sucks. Hard.

And totally I realized the same thing about the diaper bag. I don't need it for these little walks. Mostly because I've never needed anything out of it, even ONCE. And because I live a block away. So I can just walk home if the kid needs a diaper change.

So let's just hang out at the pool. Okay?


When I take my duaghters to the pool, I am AMAXED at what great shape the other moms are in! I sware, I feel FAT!

In regards to finding other 'cool' parents, I would suggest putting together a playgroup by finding a local parents/moms club. Here in silicon valley, there is the Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Club - - which is JUST AMAZING for finding 'like' parents. Maybe there is something like that where you live...

Good luck finding other cool moms. They are out there..... just takes some finding!

Silcon Valley Moms Blog


Martini Moms are a myth? Really? So probably it would be a bad idea for me to have a baby just to meet people...
Also, I actually miss city-nature, i.e. plastic bags in trees, random household items in drainage culverts. Real nature tends to be buggier.


man, you are one hilarious chica. as a new mom (to a 3.5-month old), what you wrote is exactly how i feel. it's like i feel compelled to take the baby out for a walk when all i really want to do is nothing and maybe take a nap. and then i force myself to take a walk to meet other moms, maybe, but then i don't really feel like talking to them either, and the only reason i really go out is to buy a mocha from starbucks so i can feel better about myself. =D


Hi Amy, Getting a daily outing was my religion when my son was a tiny baby. When I graduated from my first year of motherhood, I wrote up daily outing suggestions for every month of your baby's life on my web site Come check it out.

Mary Tsao

Congrats on ditching the rectal thermometer. You'll be throwing a single diaper (no wipes even) in your clutch and taking off with kiddo in no time.

Just think.. Soon he'll be old enough to wear a little backpack and then he can carry his own diapers! Oh, happy day.

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