Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Perfect Maine Blueberry Muffin

Now that you have been blueberry picking--or will be soon--you need to start making things with them. I have finally created the Perfect Blueberry Muffin and I am sharing my recipe for the first time. If you want to make a double or triple batch, you can individually wrap muffins in seran wrap (once the cool) and freeze them in a gallon freezer bag...

but they usually don't last long enough to store...

Maggie's Perfect Blueberry Muffins, makes about 16.

Preheat oven to 375. Either spray or line muffin tins with cups.

Combine 2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour; 2 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp baking soda and pinch salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Melt a stick of unsalted butter (like local gem Kate's homemade) and let cool. Then, in a large bowl, whisk the butter; 2/3 cup vegan sugar; 2 large farm eggs (I love Pineland Farms eggs); 1 tsp pure vanilla extract; a little more than 1 tsp grated lemon zest; fresh grate or two of nutmeg; and one cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt.

With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mix until just combined. Don't over mix or it will make the muffins tough. Gently stir in a pint of wild Maine blueberries (the little ones).

OPTIONAL CRUMB TOPPING: Place 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup room temperature butter. Pinch with fingers until a crumbly texture. Don't over mix or it will be greasy. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 22 minutes, until lightly golden. Don't over bake, they will continue to bake in pan for a minute or so after you take them out.

After a minute, remove muffin from pan to cool on wire rack. Store in a airtight container for 3 days.

Sexy 4am

All weekend long I was waking up at 4am. Thanks to the marriage of a huge moon and crappy blinds, it was like trying to go back to sleep at noon.

This morning I actually needed to get up at 4am to finish my column. Nice to see procrastination habits formed in high school really never do reform. I was so exhausted, I ended up hitting "snooze" until 6. Two hours of mindless arm swatting with 8-minute rests in between. Quality.

I still could not get up regardless of mounting panic and guilt. What I need is an alarm clock with an arm that will hand me coffee while it strokes my hair and tells me how gorgeous I am. Then again, I thought that would happen when I got married.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

UNsexy String

I saw our 6-year old guest eyeing me as I walked past in my bikini.

"She's too young to know what cellulite and stretch marks are," I convinced myself.

"I think your bathing suit is broken," she said, pointing. "I see a string. It must be coming apart."

I quickly knew what "string" she was referring to.

"Ah, yes." I coughed. "I'll go tuck, I mean cut that right now."

Damn observant children.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Blackberries, Please

Baby Boy pronounces "berries" like "boys."

Along the entirety of our driveway are blackberry bushes; they are his new favorite treat.

I wonder what the neighbors think when all day long he has been yelling, "Mama, more black boys! Pick black boys! Eat black boys!"

I, for one, cannot stop laughing. Until the NAACP shows up anyway.

Sexy Camping

Our friends from L.A. were visiting for the week.

We have a lovely cottage that we use as a guest house. It has great high ceilings with cherry beams and mica lights. It sleeps six, has a foosball tables, an eating area (that I stock with lobster shaped cookies, blueberry wines, fancy creams and VIA coffee) and an entertainment system. All windows face the lake.

However, when one spends their days in a concrete jungle, they still consider this "camping."

Imagine their kids' disappointment when they showed up to "camp" and see where they are staying.

Maybe I should have made cookies in the shape of wet, collapsed tents, black flies and hemmorrhoids.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sexy Menthol

Just when I thought I had nothing interesting to write about...

I heard the yelp only seconds before getting a noseful of menthol.

It was only a few seconds after that I found Baby Boy, naked and glistening in Vick's VapoRub.

He was crying, (menthol will do that to your privates) but still in awe at the goo dripping from his hands onto his new rug.

I suppose, if there is an upside, it will prepare him for High School when fellow daredevils line jock straps with Tiger Balm. Sigh.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sexy Twilight

I never read Harry Potter. I have never read any of the Twilight books. But I was at BFF's house yesterday and she the first Twilight book in a box.

"Did you actually read this?" I asked cautiously, assuming she would have mentioned it.

She hadn't but I took it home. I need a light read after Little Bee.

However, I care a lot about what people think. That is why I always rip off anything having to do with Oprah's seal of approval or if a book has the movie characters on it. I certainly didn't want to be seen as a middle 30's sad housewife trying to grasp a bit a fantasy while reading about sex with vampires and wolves.

The book was pretty worn so I didn't feel too guilty about ripping the cover off before heading into a restaurant to wait for Darling Husband.

I sat at the bar and opened the book. Sadly, I had ripped off most of the binding glue and hundreds of pages fluttered to the ground.

It was the opposite way I wanted to draw attention to myself as people crawled around gathering pages, all stamped TWILIGHT across the top.

"I have a teenage daughter," I stammered.

I don't think anyone bought it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sexy Ovals

Baby Boy is obsessed with ovals--or offuls as he calls them. Hates the circle. Don't even get him started on the square. He has drawn offuls on the sidewalk, driveway, my shopping list and Darling Husbands checkbook.

Today, as he drew perfect pink offuls all over the driveway, I put two blue dots on the center of two adjoining ones.

"Hey, look buddy. If I do this (dot dot) what did I make?"

Certainly, the answer I was going for was "eyes."

Didn't even miss a beat. "Boobies."

And so it continues, I have a boy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Swimming with the Fishes

We took one of our friend's 7-year old sons waterskiing this morning. After a fall we were instructing him on how to get up. It was right at that moment I smelled a very distinct dead fish odor, which the boy also noticed.

"Why does the water stink? This is gross!!"

By now, the adults in the boat had realized he was in the middle of about 10 dead fish quickly bobbing close to his face.

I don't think we have ever pulled a skiier up quite so fast--thank god he got right up. I wouldn't have wanted to witness that scream.

We got a text later that night from his father.

"After 2 baths he still smell like dead perch. At least he doesn't have a girlfriend."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sexy Marriage Threats

I wish I had WHINING with the red circle and slash through it tattooed on my forehead, perhaps then Baby Boy wouldn't have misunderstood The Only Real Rule I Have and spent the past 9 hours headlining Whine Fest 2010 (without the parade and fried dough that would make it somewhat bearable).

I finally looked right into his eyes and said, "If you keep this up no one will want to marry you and you will spend your life alone."

Isn't this the equivalent of telling them in February that Santa won't come if they don't go to bed?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Real Sexy Beach Babies of Jersey

Back at Banned Beach (http://sexynaptime.blogspot.com/2010/08/sexy-beach-day.html).

The first thing I noticed when we pulled up was a giant van with THE OUTDOOR CLUB OF SOUTH JERSEY slabbed on the side.

The second thing I noticed was a line of over-tanned, over-processed, over-bleached women in matching chairs all pointing directly into the sun. Apparently the mission statement of the Outdoor Club is to "bring women to small, semi-private beaches along the Maine coast so they can smoke, text, read People and paint their nails in the serenity only not-Jersey can offer."

Share Jersey! Share the wealth!

We lasted until the bikini tops came off and the fifth round of Marlboro Lights sparked.

"Whadda they gonna do," rasped one woman as she slathered oil on her zucchini boobs. "Arrest us? HAHAHAHHAHAHA coughcoughcough."

If we ever go back to that beach, I am bringing sage to burn.

Monday, August 9, 2010

OMG, I Have a BOY

I always wanted a boy. I love being a momma to a boy. For the past two years, I really didn't think there was that much difference between the genders. I mean, he has Gigi the pink doll and even enjoys a romp around the yard in my expensive stilettos. (Until I catch him.)

Until now.

All of a sudden he is obsessed with trucks. Obsessed. Which wouldn't be a problem per se, except that he wants to know the name of them. RIGHT. NOW.

Darling Husband has this magnificent talent that he can glance at a grill zooming past at 65-MPH and tell you the make, model and if its been repainted. I can't even make up the names of trucks to try and fool him.


"Um, it's a...Ford 60-ton, ah, dumperheffer...orange bus-like thing..."


Driving to the grocery store is super fun.

I need to get my Mack-on and waste some brain space trying to learn names of trucks. Of course, by the time I can rattle off a few he will have moved on to dinosaurs and then I may just run away.

Shoeasaurus, anyone?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Should Breastfeeding Be Law?

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar U.K. that hit newsstands yesterday, Gisele Bundchen declared, "There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months," she said. "Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sexy Spray Tan

Feeling as hungover today as I did on any given Saturday in my 20's (it was our annual summer party last night), I counted down the minutes to nap time. The second Baby Boy's head hit the pillow, I was mentally asleep in the sun.

Zombie-like, I made it into the bathroom closet and picked up the new can of aerosol sunscreen.

It was only after I had doused myself perfectly from the neck down that I realized it was hairspray. And it wasn't even the 3 showers it took to get rid of the extra-hold stick that made me crazy--it was I just bought a super fancy brand and wasted the entire thing. Trust me, if the label said it was even SPF 10, I would have sucked it up and laid out anyway.

I need to go to sleep...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Overwhelmed R Us.

There is a proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Most cultures take this to heart--families live very close to each other, sometimes several generations under one roof. There are aunts, grandmothers, sisters and cousins to pitch in with cooking, advice and swaddling.

For some reason, however, many American mamas hit the ground running at the first sign of a baby bump and put up a proverbial “Do Not Disturb” sign when it comes to raising families.

You need a license to drive, vote, drink, fly...but people are having babies every minute with little to no education or support on what to do. No one will argue (they better not!) that raising a child (well) is the biggest responsibility one can undertake. Yet, outside of a half-day class the hospital offered about safety (surprise! half of our house plants were poisonous) and an hour postpartum power-point lecture we had to sit through before being released (where the glassy-eyed new mothers used it as a prime opportunity for one last nap), there isn’t a lot of parenting prep-work.

We have all this technology to make being a parent easier--video monitors, Baby Bjorns, teething tablets...why can it feel so darn hard?

I think there is an assumption of failure that moms (especially) have if they ask for help. They feel guilty when they can’t balance being a mom, wife, daughter, friend, employee, chef, housekeeper, teacher, treasurer, family organizer, doctor (you don’t need a prescription for boo-boo kisses!), cheerleader, chauffeur and therapist all while still maintaining a bit of who they were before they took on 15 new jobs.

Here is my biggest advice for not only new parents but seasoned ones as well: ASK FOR HELP.

I promise no one is going to judge you or criticize you or throw dirty diapers at you. And if they do I am sure you can find one in your purse (oh, that’s where that went!) to chuck back.

This column came to light when a friend and new mom posted that she was ready to snap, that she couldn’t deal with everyone expecting her to be perfect all the time when she has so much to do.

We all feel this way at some point. It really takes away from enjoying time with your kiddos when there is a to-do ticker flashing in front of your eyes all day.

When I mention the “H” word to moms they immediately stop me.

“No, I can’t spend that kind of money. I can do it all...” then they burst into tears.

I am not talking about hiring a full-time staff to do your bidding. There are plenty of choices that won’t break the bank. I am giving you permission to spend a few dollars in order to feel some peace and order in your mind (at least for a few hours).

My son was born five weeks early and before I had my baby shower. We were so not prepared when we got home. I was only on Month 4 in “What to Expect.” We hired a postpartum doula to come a few hours each week to help with breast feeding, bathing, nap time, and for all the little things that are as alien as (albeit much cuter than) Snooki. This is a fabulous baby shower gift a bunch of people can chip in on and will be appreciated much more than knitted socks. Dona.org is the official doula website where you can search your area for accredited doulas or ask your OBGYN.

I am sure you know someone with a tween daughter that needs money to go see Justin Bieber. Hire her to be a mother’s helper for like five or six dollars an hour. She entertains the kids in the house while you catch up on laundry and US Weekly. How is that not worth $15.00? (Give up lattes for a week.)

And if any family or friends ask what they can do--don't be a martyr. Say, "Please make me enough frozen lasagnas to get me through the winter."

Just because we don’t want the village in our living room helping raise our kids (hell no, I just vacuumed!) doesn’t mean we have to go it alone, either.

(This piece is slanted toward moms, but I certainly know and respect that there are plenty of dads equally invested in and overwhelmed with parenting.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sexy Van Gogh

My son's name is Van (not after Van Halen as many more people that you would expect ask me. Considering my appearance is quite anti-1984, I wonder what sparks this curiosity. I digress.)

Van, as of late, talks about himself in the 3rd person e.g. "Van do!!!" "Van eat!!!" "Van drive!!" and my favorite, "Van go!!!"

We were at the local gourmet store when he decided to lose patience and freak out to leave.

"VAN GO!! VAN GO!!" he screeched dragging me toward the door.

In order to save some sort of face, I smiled at the people around me. "It's his favorite artist. He just has so much passion for his Arles work."

Not one smile. One older man even quipped, "See Donna. I bet he goes to private school."

Some people really need to lighten up.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sexy Beach Day

I have always wondered at the moms who can load up the brood for a whole day at the beach. I itch just thinking about the pounds of sand and tubes of suntan lotion that end up all over, well...everything. For months.

Today, on the spur of the moment, I decided to go with the flow of summer and pack up for a few hours at the local lake beach. Optimistically, I even packed a few gossip rags just in case Baby Boy decided to nap in his giant LL Bean Suntent (that actually takes about 4 men to set up. Optimistic, I tell you).

Now, two local beaches are closed due to high-levels of E. Coli in the water. This occurs when obvious environmentalists leave this behind, (and the dinner time news is not shy about posting videos of) poop, diapers filled with poop and used condoms.

People are on edge.

The first 30-mins was great-I was wondering why I hadn't done this before. I turned to chug from my thermos of iced-coffee when I hear a screech from a nearby bather.

BB goes running by, naked and holding his crotch--which I have come to learn means anything can happen.

I caught him as he started to pee and tried to soak up as much with my padded bikini top as possible, saying loudly. "Oh you silly one. Stop spilling water on Mommy!"

I quickly packed up as everyone glared at me.

As we sped away, someone yelled. "If this beach closes, it is all your fault!"

"Being tan is overrated," I guess is my new motto of summer.