Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Well I don't think this is ok

Should the place where I got my glasses and get my eyes checked be sending me this?



Bring my "kiddies" to your eyeglasses store, the one I go to maybe once every 2 years when my eye insurance turns over, and leave them there with who? The "responsible staff?" Sure, I don't do Lexis Nexis checks on my sitter, but I need more than the word of this email from a total stranger...oh wait! There's popcorn, drinks and other snacks? Well, then. Totally fine! What time? 5pm, right before dinner? Snacks before dinner? WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I LOVE IT!

Can you not say "kiddies?" The word actually creeps me out, I think the Crypt Keeper used to say it before launching into a tale of horror...hmmm a tale, possibly about parents leaving their precious children at a store that sells eyeglasses and then go to a bar, only to return to find out that their children are dead but they get a great deal on eyeglasses that are in fact made out of their children! AHHHHHHHHHGGG!

OK, we leave our kids with a stranger, I like it, and then we go to a bar. Great. You know, I, like most parents, am able to TOTALLY relax when I go out and leave my child with my sitter or even a family memeber. I never once think about my daughter and how she is doing. Never. (cough) I can confidently say that leaving my children in a store while I go to a bar will allow me to unwind like never before.

Are you trying to sell me glasses? I guess holding an event in which I never actually hang out in the store will achieve that? Better yet, lets fill your store up with "kiddies" and let them go nuts with all the glasses that are on your wall at "kiddie" level. I am not expert parent, but to assume all the "kiddies' dropped off with you are going to be well behaved and sit quietly on the floor and watch UP rather than get over stimulated in a new place with other children surrounded by dress up opportunities with all those glasses sounds like a leap. All I imagine is that scene in Bachealor Party and that when I return Tom Hanks is going to be making out with an inflatable love doll and a goat will be roaming about.

I am sort of interested in coming without my child to watch this train wreck, or at least see who actually comes so I can keep my child away from them.

Good times. If you need me, I'll be calling child services.

xoxo, Biz

Monday, August 23, 2010

I am still not great at crafting

I believe I have said it before, and if you listen...right'll here me say it again.

I love to make things, but I am not very good at it.

I think part of the problem is that I get excited and start rushing, which leads to uneven cuts and bad sewing. I will instead blame limited space, a baby who takes short naps and a cat who likes to "help."

So what have I made? Pillows...I know, I, know, I have a weakness for pillows. I love them. They are easy to make and forgiving of bad sewing....but wait! Let me finish. I made PILLOW CASES. Awwwww shit.

Why spend a ton of money on what is essentially 2 pieces of fabric sewn together in a rectangle...with one end open. (Pillow case tip: Make sure you leave one end open.) You can instead spend LOT'S of money of expensive fabric, sew it in an irregularly shaped rectangle and admire it from afar.

There is no point in me giving you a tutorial because I don't sew well and you don't want an irregular shaped pillow do you? You are a smart person and can figure it out. I will give you some pillow case tips!

(really over emphasize tips and make it perky.)

1. Pick a fabric that you love but doesn't go with any of the bedding you already have. Fantasize about making sheets and then think about the space you have to sew. Stop laughing and take your fabric to the counter.

2. Remain calm when you hear how much the fabric is per yard and say "sounds great" as they cut the fabric.

3. I like to rush home and then not get to my projects for about 2 to 3 weeks. This is a personal preference. You may prefer 1 week to 1 year.

4. Make sure you have wine. No point in sewing without wine.

5. When the pillow is growing frustrating because you KNOW you measured and the edges should be even and straight, you KNOW THEY ARE despite not lining up and the pillow case feeling like it is bigger than the king pillow case you used as a template...just make a pie.

You can't sew an irregular seam in a pie. Irregularity in pie form is charming.

Ta daaaaaa....Pillow case.

Pretty sweet fabric right? Hello antlers and birds. I'll call them "fall pillows" and maybe santa will bring me some sheets that go with these.

Until the next poorly made but much loved project,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Its 4pm, where is my baby?

At the tot lot.

Let that sink in for a second.



(I can't decide if it is a compound word or not, but i think "totlot" looks weird, don't you?)

It is a playground in miniature for babies just learning to walk, so it is not usually filled with older kids running at top speed over your baby. Its mostly babies piling up at the bottom of the slide or falling and crying alot or all fighting over a plastic bottle or old bandaid found strewn about.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear "tot lot?" Well, for me its "killing floor" but for most people they hear "tot lot" and ask if that is anything like a "dog run."

Yes. It is actually just like a dog run.

You bring your baby (or dog) to the "lot" and they sort of roam about, sniffing each other and the parents really only know each other by their child's name...we actually talk more to each other's children more than to each other. "Hi Sophie! What a smart girl you are Sophie!" "Is that a new toy Adele? What a good walker you are!"

How different is this than talking to dogs? "Who is the best boy!? Did you get that stick? Did you get that stick? Such a good boy!"

Like the dog run, parents can quietly stand around judging each other and how much or how little freedom we give our dogs...I mean children vs what they think is best.

Also, children and dogs both come home equally dirty and with something in their mouth that is gross.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

EPIC Year 1

Its happening…all memories of not enjoying various parts of pregnancy and trying times of last year fading…desire to give unsolicited advice growing stronger….OH NO!

They were right! I hate it when "they" are right. It has been one year and I remember my pregnancy as a dream and this last year as a breeze.

Let's take a moment to reflect on what I wrote a year ago: "I hate being pregnant!"


I never had "mommy brain" though I did have to start writing things down (keep a notebook ladies). I was tired but who cares and who am I to tell you, unless you caught me on a really bad day. My friends didn't abandon me.  By respecting the baby, we found it very easy to travel and "party" with the baby. I give advice all the time and I surrender to the fact that it is impossible not too...though I try to keep it simple: Respect the baby, you know don't force the baby to adjust to what you want, adjust together, your baby needs help sleeping just like they do eating, and you can't spoil a baby with love and support. 

I remember all these books and people telling me I had to be careful always responding to my baby's every cry because it would spoil her or she was trying to manipulate me. You know when we saw the first sign of "game playing"? Yesterday. At a year. 

What should you do with my advice? Nothing. Ignore it. Tell me to shut my mouth because it is your baby. See, its hard to not give it!

I leave this first year with being comfortable with remembering everything as if it was magnolia scented, unicorn, pots of gold. 

Thank you to everyone!  Want an amazing first year.

And now I present EPIC FIRST YEAR!

Katy Belle, Year One from Epic Family on Vimeo.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Guess who turns 1 tomorrow?

That girl!

My baby turns 1 tomorrow. 1 year old. 

High fives to me and Stefan for keeping Katy Belle alive for a whole year. Not to say there weren't fact: no matter what someone tells you, babies should not drive cars. They are very bad at that.

So how do you celebrate a birthday for a baby? I mean she is a 1 year old. She just mastered "tilting" in terms of drinking from a sippy cup...I am not sure she can grasp the grand concept of life and aging and Barnys.

Katy Belle doesn't watch TV. She is 1. What does she care about TV? Besides, Top Chef sucks this year so what is there for a baby to even watch?  Outside of the Sesame Street branded diapers, we haven't given her any "celebrity" Elmos or Barnys or Mickeys. So she doesn't have a favorite character or the like that you could go into the store and buy plates with pictures of said celebrity on. 

We have made a few "baby" friends at the park, but not good enough to invite to a party. All babies at this age seem to do in terms of playing together is swarm any toy on the ground and then cry over it. Plus I am not sure Stefan and I want to spend an afternoon where the "party" is a bunch of parents holding minute long conversations and at the same time swarming over there babies. Let's save that for the playground.

We do have friends with a baby who is younger than Katy Belle, but otherwise, all our friends are still enjoying staying up past 8:30 at night. Penny (the other baby) is cool so, you know, she doesn't count in regards to crazy babies at a party.

So Stefan and I thought about it.

1. we wanted to hang out with our friends. (check)
2. we wanted to make a honorary cocktail to have for Katy Belle (check...slippery punch, check it out on Bon Appetit)
3. we wanted the party to be themed around Katy Belle's favorite thing. Limes. (check)

Yes, Katy Belle's favorite object is a lime. Lime's are Katy Belle's Dora.

I present Katy Belle's first birthday party...lime light. (that is a stretch)

First you need one baby in her birthday suit...redneck style. (you can take the girl out of the south but not know the rest)

(excellent placement of the ship baby girl)

Then you see if your friend Penny can take time from traveling the Oregon Trail to join you.

You put up lots of decorations...(cough)

Then you realize ants are taking over the table so you throw down a table cloth...that luckily goes with the theme...kind of.

That is the Swedish cake Stefan made for Katy Belle! Sort of a sugar cake, with strawberry jam, whip cream and strawberries...all from scratch!

What do you think baby girl?

hmmmmm....what do you think J?


What makes perfect sense is for Katy Belle to put it on her head. She has been really into putting things on her head. Cake obviously goes on the head.

And obviously I am to eat the cake off of her head....

...and obviously, Stefan is to eat our babies hand.

I foresee an unfortunate tradition developing in Katy Belle's future. 

Let's get back on track here and remember what this day is all about!

And coming together to celebrate limes,

and Monica. 


Strangely, this was pretty much like any other weekend minus the green attire.

Sleep well baby girl, for tomorrow is your actual birthday and it is going to be just as weird.

Thank you to all our friends who have supported us over this last can't back out now, we'll notice your gone....suckers.

xoxo, Biz

Friday, August 06, 2010

Found a peanut

Last night I walked into my bedroom, turned on the light and found...

A peanut.

Just because I don't think it was the possum...though perhaps he has brought us an offering or maybe it was food he is bringing to his babies he (yes, I know I am saying he, relaaaaaaax) laid in my Crate and Barrel chair...I know that it wasn't my husband or baby.

See Possum and  Possum Returns  for back story.

See this picture of a close up of the peanut.

By the way, it was rotten, but I ate it anyway, got sick, called the doctor who said I wouldn't die, but I died anyway, got to heaven, the gates were locked, went the other way...and now I am in hell.

Or referencing a children's song that ends with going to hell like all good children's songs should.


xoxo, Biz


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I am breaking up with you Top Chef season 7

That was it. I am done. No more Top Chef this season. I said it last week for "Cold War" but I gave in because my husband claims he enjoys watching me watch things I hate. I am pretty funny when I loathe things. So I gave "Power Lunch" a try. 

Here is why it is all about the game this season…no one can cook. Ok, they can cook, but not once have I finished an episode craving to eat anything I saw on the show or frantically search the internet for the chef's restaurant.

Last week I organized a conference down in Atlanta. Two months ago when they asked me to coordinate it, the first bought I had was "dinner at Kevin Gillespes!" I had a 5 course tasting at his Woodfire Grill for 25 of my executives and it was amazing. Everything was as delicious and as carefully prepared as I had imagined it would be when I watched him cook on Top Chef last season. I am not one to go ga ga over a chef on a reality show, but every season up until now has made me google and ga ga at least once. 

That is the inspiration I seek when watching Top Chef. This year, all I get inspired to do is change the channel…but I got rid of cable and bought the dam season on iTunes!

I don't mean to over think this, but could the problem be your new sponsor? Dial Soap? Soap? Food? I don't get it. Please tell me the connection isn't supposed to be that Dial Soap is scented…or flavored…I don't know how this works, I guess tastes like Lemon Grass, Cherry, Peach…Coconut? So your soap is food? What? By the way Dial, you have a body wash called "Spring Water." (scratch head) Spring Water? Are you selling me water as soap? "Brace yourself for a clean as pure as a woodland spring." No thank you. Last time I was in a woodland spring I had my intestines cleaned with a nasty bacteria. 

I checked out your Facebook page, Dial. I am not sure I am comfortable with soap having a Facebook page but I guess you "need it?" Anyway, I found this:

Dial TGIF! Pamper yourselves this weekend with Padma's recommendation for an easy at-home spa treatment: "Once a week, I mix together jojoba oil and coarse sea salt for an at-home exfoliating body scrub treatment. Simply rub and massage this mixture vigorously into the skin just before you have your shower. It’s moisturizin...
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Summer is officially here and to celebrate, Padma Lakshmi, model, award-winning cookbook author and Emmy-nominated host of the popular Bravo TV series Top Chef, is offering her favorite beauty tips to help achieve radiant, healthy skin.

Dear Dial, Padma is not  using Dial.

So here I am Top Chef. It's Tuesday night and you are looming out there…the pull of 5 years of commitment vs an awful season is overwhelming. What will I do? I think I am going to go onto Hulu and watch Wipeout…and you know what? I am going to sleep just fine tonight.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Things I like

Hello PPPAers!

I was having a nice day in which I was enjoying things and I thought, "You know who might like these 'things?' The five of you."

So here are some things I like and suggest you try if you want to have a nice time.

1. I like having $40 in my pocket. $20 is nice but still can make me feel limited. $40? Well, it can make any day feel like pay day! Plus, you never know when the technology apocalypse is going to happen and won't you feel good with cash when that ATM just went Maximum Overdrive on that dude.

2. The Splendid Table. If you like food and listening to a someone sound like they are constantly in a state of joyous ecstasy, this is the NPR show for you. This isn't just recipes, its conversations about food and people who like food. Go download a podcast...any episode.

3. Castle on ABC. Just give it a try. Its cozy. Just come to terms with the fact that even though you still listen to your Breeders cd, you are older now and the poor man's Brendan Frasier is a turn on.

4. The Urban Homestead. This is a book that was suggested to me by Martha. It is all about learning or relearning how to make your urban living environment less urban....from pickling (which I already love, but will help you from pickling botulism for the winter) to raising chickens (a girl can dream), to saving on electricity (fine, I guess my charger doesn't have to be plugged in when not in use), to composting...and pooping in a bucket. What I like about this book is that despite talking about pooping in a bucket, it is  2 out 10 on the militant scale where 10 means "did you enjoy that tomato? I grew it in my own poop. There is a bucket under your chair, please recycle...the tomato."I felt like a new person just reading it even though I know I won't leap to implement.

P.S. I will never poop in a bucket...unless of course there is a technology apocalypse.

Jordi, I miss you.