don't let the bed bugs bite!

do you know about bed bugs? when you live in new york you are under constant threat of bed bugs. 

here, read up. hope you're not eating right now!

(pausing here for a henry holbrook intermission)

one time i saw a bug in my bathroom that i was convinced was a bed bug. i called brandon in a near panic, and then, while hunched over all pregnantly to get a better look at it, it up and flew into my face. i said calmly into the phone, "never mind, it can fly." 

this morning we were dressed and ready by 10:00. i had a pair of knit pants from forever 21 that i'd hoped were jcrew-inspired but weren't even close that needed returning, so i strapped huck to my chest and took the 3 to times square, where we saw this:

and then i spent three dollars on a hot dog, because it was times square and i was starving. 

i was telling brandon about it later this afternoon--about how much i regretted it, and what a waste of money it was--when he interrupted me and said,

"did it make you feel sick?"

and i said, 

"noooo . . ."

and he said,

"then it wasn't a waste. a water dog is never a waste."

a water dog!  

the end.

testing the market

what my sunday morning looked like

okay okay. here's the truth of the matter: living in new york city can be hard.

immediately after church today we had an appointment to look at a two bedroom apartment in midtown. chances we are making ourselves a permanent fixture here are looking pretty good, and while our green palace of tiny wonders is a lovely and quaint little home, and while we love it very much, let's be real: this place is a tiiiiiiiiny dancer, elton.

you know how there's this one part of arizona where you can stand in four states all at once?

my living room is sort of like that. you stand there, and simultaneously you're also standing in the kitchen, the foyer, the hallway, the oven, and the shower.

and do yourself a favor when you're living here and don't ever go into anyone else's apartment, because nine times outta ten their place is five times the size of yours and also they're paying fifty dollars less than you a month somehow.

so, we're looking for an apartment. sort of. not really but kind of.

when we walked into that two bedroom apartment this afternoon it was a rude awakening. maybe we's forgotten it was nyc, where it is perfectly legal to advertise something as a two bedroom if the living room is big enough to fit a bed in it while still having room for a couch.

don't you think that's rude? i sort of think that's pretty rude.

and so, the search (sort of) continues. (kind of.)

a few pictures of my tiny dancer apartment right here.


magical moments and some exclamation marks !! ! !!

look, not to be cheesy or anything, but today was pretty fantastic. look at that brownstone! you better believe i am going to write all about it, in excruciating detail.

i scored some insane moccasins today for so stupidly cheap that i still can't believe it. i want to pet them lovingly and sleep with them under my pillow for the rest of my life.

i went out for the afternoon with the huckadoodle to visit a friend. while we were out we discovered that yesterday's piles of snow had multiplied, and that it was now necessary for me to lift the entire being of the stroller using just my spaghetti noodle arms to clear past the snowdrifts blocking the intersections.

there was so much snow and sludge and muck in the streets that at one point we got hopelessly stuck. out of nowhere a man and a woman appeared on either side of huck's stroller. they gently lifted him up and over those mountains of snow, and as he soared through the air a goofy smile broke across his sweet chubby face.

when we were safely across the street and back on firm ground i thanked them profusely, only to discover that they were italian!

i just love that!

but there's more.

the laundry mountain in the southeast corner of our bedroom has grown to such monstrous proportions that i think i could climb it and yodel from the top! 

how fun would it be to learn to yodel? 

today my holbsginger had a job interview. the very best four syllable phrase on the entire planet earth after "hamburger cult!" (wait for it.)

while he was wowing job people over the phone with his sultry job interviewing voice and huck was napping off a particularly bad mood, i was sent off to procure dinner.

"anything you want! and take your time!" my holbsy said as i piled on my winter gear.

so of course i went to shake shack because i am programmed brainwashed uhhhh . . .

on the way there i stopped in a store i've always wanted to stop in. strangely i was the only person in there aside from at least million employees, who were all there to set up "the february line."

i was asked how i was doing no less than thirty times. it gave the entire operation quite a mystical feel, like possibly i had opened those doors and waltzed into some magical bizarro world where everything existed just for me.

and then i passed that danged old lenny's, where i happened to look up and see this on top of it:

the j.m. horton ice cream company?

i found out today that david hasselhoff follows me on twitter.  david hasselhoff.  whaaaat.

the pajamas i bought for huck in soho five years ago finally fit him. this is my very favorite. seeing your dream baby in a pair of pajamas you bought for him when you were so young and hopeful is such a very wonderfully trippy feeling.

and  then a reader emailed me this.

i don't know, but i think this is just about it for me. best day ever.


marshmallow jungle

this morning i looked out the window and--snow!

i love a good snow storm like i love a good bag of popcorn at midnight. which is to say, i love it, but also it gives me a vague sense of anxiety . . .  i can't really explain it.

when i woke up i thought, oh! i have a baby! gosh his grunting is cute. how long has he been asleep i wonder?

i looked at the clock. i blinked a few times. i did the math quickly (and incorrectly, twice) in my head.

eleven hours.


later that morning, my huckleberry friend all bundled and happy and strapped in his stroller, the two of us set out for playgroup and a bagel with sliced tomato.

my arms burned as i shoved that stroller over mounds of show on the sidewalks. my breath came in heavy swirls before my face as i passed grown men wielding shovels and salt and big happy grins, wishing me a good morning and stepping aside to let me and my tromping snow boots pass.

we dipped through a few sludgy pools of murkiness at an intersection. we dodged a couple of old ladies in elaborate furs, snow sticking to their coats like white confetti. we peeked in at the abc studios as we passed. the standby line for regis and kelly had gotten pretty long and the doorman said to the snow shoveler, "you missed a spot!"

the air was white and thick and the buildings were blurred behind and when i ate that bagel i felt like i had earned every last bite of it.

on days like today i think that even if i could have the white picket fence, or the fully-loaded SUV, or the big back yard, or the deluxe laundry room down the hall, i don't think i'd want it anymore. 

we're supposed to get another ten inches of snow in the city tonight and i can't wait. i can't wait to show it what i'm made of.



check it: nothing exciting is going on down here.

sooooo boring.

which is so not helpful when you are trying to have a blog about stuff.

here, i am thinking . . .

today i bought a pillow. i stood there in front of the display for almost forever, staring at pillows and stuff while thinking horribly deep thoughts about things having nothing to do with pillows really.

i had store credit but nothing was speaking to me. and then i got all philosophical about shopping, which is incredibly dangerous.

so now we have a yellow pillow. it matches nothing!

i spent forty five minutes trying to get huck's footprint immortalized in white plaster today. it was surprisingly difficult.

it snowed this morning but then it mostly melted by noon.



no, just kidding.


nothing exciting.


three guesses where we went this weekend

on saturday afternoon the highs reached a balmy 24 degrees in nyc and we were dying a slow and painful death of the worst cabin fever ever. 

huck wasn't interested in napping and i needed an excuse to put on a shirt, so we decided to bundle the kid up in every article of clothing he owns and go for a brisk, chilly walk to lull his tired bones to sleep. 

at about 59th and 6th avenue huck woke up and smacked his lips at me, so we ducked into the first warm building we could find so i could feed him. it happened to be a pretty rad toy store. we ransacked the place like kids hopped up on sugar. 


::new sponsor:: darlybird


i am excited today to introduce you to darlybird, my newest sponsor. 

darlybird is a fun online shop with unique, hand-made and vintage jewelry, party supplies, and miscellaneous sundries (i love that word, sundries). 

if you're looking for something really rad, might i recommend the earring of the month club
(it's like a cheese of the month club, only you can wear it in your ears!)

thanks, darlybird!

* * * *
are you interested in sponsoring nat the fat rat?
email me here


the life and times of huckleberry hound

this is what happens when you let your husband dress your hucklebaby.

grandpa pants.

and this is what happens when you leave your holbshusband alone with the camera.

and with that, i bid you a good weekend.


a recipe for shin splints

today i had some errands to run.

so there i was, dashing about the upper west side, pushing my baby in his stroller, dodging crowds at intersections, exchanging things at the gap, you know, saving lives, when suddenly my baby up and went to sleep. poof! knocked out cold.

i looked at his sweet sleeping face, at the way his little rosebud lips fought for space between those two sugary cheeks that i love to kiss and kiss and kiss, and then i thought to myself,

dude, how far south do you think i could get before he wakes up?

we started at west 72nd and broadway. at first i had no idea what i was going to do or where i hoped to end up. i figured i could say hello to a bagel somewhere, but really it was just an incredibly inane idea that seemed so blasted genius, even though actually all that is south of where i live is times square and sometimes going to times square is a bit of a suicide mission.

it wasn't very cold out though and what else was i going to do? clean my apartment?

at 59th street i ducked into the time warner center to have some moments at j. crew. a sleeping huck is an angelic huck and those j. crewbies loved him up hard and i got to gasp at some price tags.

at about 53rd street the spirit moved me to turn right, so i did!

i said hello to radio city music hall at 51st and pondered calf muscles for a bit.

at 47th i said 'no thank you' to a billion 'free comedy show' offers, and then some nice gentleman tried to give me a free hip hop cd by calling me "juicy."

"juicy, want a free hip hop cd?"

when we reached 42nd street my huck got angry. poof! not asleep, angry.

the 30 blocks that took nearly an hour to wander aimlessly down took a mere 15 minutes to power through on the way home.

here is what i have learned from this experience:

1. trapper hats on the street cost $20.
2. there are a lot of irish pubs around 53rd street.
3. you can tell the tourists from the new yorkers by their winter wear: tourists look color-coordinated, new yorkers look warm.
4. a man behind me had just seen a matinee of 'mamma mia,' loved it, and was going to pass on friendly's for some ice cream, but he hoped his friends had fun. he had a very loud talking-on-a-cell-phone voice.
5. cabs don't slow down when they see you pushing a stroller through an intersection.
6. sixty blocks might sound like a lot of walking, and actually, it is.


gray skies smiling at me

i woke up this morning to a beautiful landscape of grays.

out the window beyond our gray drapes lay heavy gray skies, bent low to kiss the cold, gray buildings deeply rooted in murky, gray concrete.

in his gray and white crib, my huckleberry grunted and kicked against his tight swaddling, as the dogs yawned and brandon rolled over and i pulled off the heavy covers and fought through the gray haze of sleep to find my squirmy little chub of a baby.

i pondered the day ahead as i lifted my gray shirt so henry could suck furiously with his eyes shut tight. i pointed my toes hard and thought about what a cold diet coke could do for my disposition, and whether the rain would clear up in time for an afternoon walk.

as is the case on dreary january days, the rain never stops, and the dogs come inside from their walks all wet and excitable, the husband leaves for class with his black umbrella in hand, and the two of us make our way to the couch to watch the fat gray drops fall against dark red brick.

tiny apartments turn to suffocation on bright, sunny days, but when the gray descends my cramped quarters are right cozy. i can honestly think of nothing better than a day spent humming to a baby and singing to a baby and maybe also cooking up a hefty bowl of oatmeal and eating it as fast as possible. on gray days like today, you get to make your own sunshine, is i suppose what i am saying.

luckily, when it comes to sunshine, i've got it covered.


did you see this?

i don't think they're real.
my gut feeling tells me this.

adipose tissue tip
attn: nat the fat rat mommy. 
your child has a great excess of adipose tissue. 
this increases his chances of being a fat man quite a bit. 
he needs a slightly less wholesome diet.

you do know these blogs are recruiting tools, right?
these women and their photos may not even be real.

* * *
i knew a mormon girl once.
she ate one in&out burger a day 
because she said it satisfied her. 
(see the rat's photos of hamburgers . . . 
have we got a hamburger cult here?)
* * *

above you will find one nat, of fat rat fame, ingesting what is likely to be the best cheap slice of pizza on columbus avenue between 68th and 70th street.

just below that, you will find some really awesome comments from the comment section of the article i was interviewed for regarding mormon lifestyle bloggers. (don't read the comments. really), including one conspiracy theory, courtesy of an intelligent commenter.

now. this entire business gives me great pause.

because actually, i did survive my entire sophomore year at byu by only eating one half-pound arctic circle hamburger a day, along with a giant order of fries with fry sauce (fryyyyy sauuuuuuce), and an extra large dr. pepper. and oh, it was gooood.

and, i did eat enough hamburgers while pregnant for my anemia (doctor's orders!) that i was able to rank with conviction of spirit all of the best burgers in the neighborhood. (best one is shake shack and that is not product placement (i wish!)).

even worse: we did have plans to go to the shake shack tonight with our friends.



what if i am part of a hamburger cult, i started to wonder? do you think i'd know it if i were? or is it like having bad taste in men, you don't think you do, but only you totally do and everybody knows it.

luckily, at the last minute my friend had to work, so we ended up getting a slice instead, which also freed my poor mental state of its nagging cultish mental anguish.

for dessert we had cannoli and hot cocoa at the shop around the corner, which is now called "cafe sonatina." they don't allow cell phones inside, which really boiled my gourd! (the cannoli was only so-so. good cocoa though!)

when nursing in public it's important to stay hydrated. fresca does the trick.


because ophiuchus is not a dirty word

ok, so, a virgo, a libra, and a scorpio walk into church one sunday. something something something, punch line, badum-ching!

while they were there, the virgo helped pass the sacrament, the libra played the piano in relief society, and the scorpio looked really cute and kicked his legs when people smiled at him.

when they got home they said hello to their dogs (a libra and a taurus), and then they all probably took a nap or something, because going to church is really tiring.

this week, three virgos walked into a church. a virgo, a virgo, and a virgo. the one virgo helped pass the sacrament again, the other virgo played the piano during relief society, and the third virgo stubbornly refused all his naps and spent the majority of the afternoon with a tired, quivering chin.

when they got home they said hello to their two dogs (another virgo and now an aries), and then they wished they could take a nap, only instead they had home teachers coming over and a viewing of you've got mail to attend to (very spiritual matters indeed).

this is the part that's a joke: all of the sudden, this week i wasn't a libra anymore. when i found out, i died. i was properly devastated. because being a virgo is silly. i know this because i've seen it happen.

brandon is a virgo. he is such a virgo-y virgo that when the horoscopes up and changed on us this week, he was still a virgo. his virgo essence is too pure!

but i am a libra, or i've been a libra. and you don't just go from the fairest astrological sign in the heavens to the nerdiest without feeling at least a little bit depressed about things.

and anyway, huck can be a virgo if he wants to be, because that's how much i loooooove him.

as of this week, the holbrook household is four-fifths virgo. based on that information, and on my vast knowledge of psychoastrologicalcosmonaut type things, i am really quite qualified to provide for you the ultimate character description of a virgo:
1. virgos love beautiful things, and love to shop. virgos could shop all day long! virgos love to shop online, in malls, in thrift stores, in grocery stores, shopshopshopshopshop.
2. virgos HATE to shop. virgos would rather have their eyes pulled out of their sockets with a toenail clipper than have to shop. virgos would much prefer to watch cheesy scifi movies. nothing is more beautiful to a virgo than a calculator.
3. virgos have seasonal allergies.
4. virgos do not have seasonal allergies.
5. virgos are exceptionally poor at math.
6. virgos get their third post-graduate degree in tax law because they like adding up complicated strings of numbers.
7. virgos like to eat socks and puke them up under the bed on sunday mornings.
8. virgos have very sensitive stomaches and tend to get sick a lot.
9. virgos don't ever puke because puking is a sign of weakness.
10. virgos say things like, "are you ever going to post?" and "you should really post something new. try to sound intelligent though."
you got it?

so obviously it was looking pretty dire for me. but then i saw on twitter that this horoscope change only applies to people born after 2009? (if it's on twitter it must be true. i've prayed about it.)

so, libra again.

it's too bad, i was starting to embrace my new virgo-ness. so being a virgo is nerdy, so what? i love the nerds! and anyway, it could be worse. i could be a sagittarius. (i don't know anything about being a sagittarius.)

i guess i'll just be satisfied to be the one lone libra in a sea of handsome virgos.

so, two virgos and a libra walk into church one sunday . . .



In a startling bit of news, I discovered today that it is still not even the middle of January yet.

Surely we have been in January for almost two months by now?

I think I'm pretty much finished with January.

In anticipation of February, which is coming someday, here are some fat babies. 


all covered in snow

we're supposed to get over a foot of snow tonight. i'm ready for it! i can't think of anything better than staying in all day and loving on a real fat baby.

here are some pictures i took last weekend. we got all bundled for the trek up to shake shack. while we were out  stomping through the snow i tested out the new instagram app. 

and this shot, taken on brandon's phone. pretty!


it's my job not to play favorites

I spent half of my day today laughing at the memory of my ginger sitting at the Met Cafe, eating a PBH and some pudding, and saying to me "Do you remember that whore unzipping my jacket?"

To which I stopped everything I was doing and said, 'WHAT?'

To which The Holbs looked at me innocently and said,

"The horse? Do you remember?"

I do remember the horse that unzipped Brandon's jacket, because that was the day I almost died. We rode Brandon's cousin Scottie's dang horses in the snow for ten minutes before mine got all grouchypants and I had the sudden realization that I WAS SOMEBODY'S MOTHER and as such SHOULD NOT BE RISKING MY LIFE.

I spent the other half of my day congratulating myself on finally figuring out that my baby is not angry or mean spirited, but rather he is sleepy. lightbulbs! I had no idea babies slept so much. All day long, really. Even when they stop falling asleep on their own.

Tricky, those babies.

Less tricky are dogs.

For instance. If you notice a dog is missing, and also so is the other half of your candy cane, chances are high that they are both together, enjoying sweet puppy love making, under your bed.

Dogs are so easy! I should write a book. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Dogs. Is what I would call it.

Did you know sometimes you have to help your puppy go to sleep, even when he does not act tired?

There is nothing worse than an overtired terrier.

The husband is off watching a football game with friends tonight, and so it is just me and the dogs and the off-and-on sleeping baby holding down the fort, and as such there is nobody here to keep me accountable to anything. How many Diet Cokes have I had tonight? THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING!

The other half of my day I spent staring at this part of my apartment:

Oh boy I am turning into my mother, and all I want to do is stare at this corner and ask myself out loud what I am going to do with it.

What am I going to do with it??

It is in my nature to just stick everything that is appealing to me onto the walls and call it good, but I have been informed by The Boss (he wishes) that this apartment is "too small to be cluttered."

Which is too bad, because the other day I acquired these guys.


And now to cap this off, here is Barney: