Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lucky #10

Baby's first Christmas was wonderful.  We didn't travel anywhere, just stayed home and had a quiet day to ourselves.  DH and I were so tired after having stomach flu earlier in the week that we were didn't get presents opened until midday.  LO got a shape sorter toy, a talking story book, several board books (she loves books), a frog mirror for the car, little maracas, clothes and a few other small things.  Her favorite so far is the shape sorter; second is the Christmas touch and textures book and third are the maracas.  She loved the colorful packages and opening the gifts, but the first time she tore into a tissue wrapped gift from Gram, she looked at me as if unsure whether she had done something wrong.  Our favorite present so far is the Trivial Pursuit '90s game from my sister and brother-in-law.  At Thanksgiving we played the '80s version and sucked terribly, so we envision being better at the '90s since we were adults in that decade, but really that just makes it more embarrassing when you can't remember stuff like who was Secretary of State during the Clinton administration (Madeline Albright).

Boxing Day today was quiet for us too.  No shopping malls or crowds, just US time.  DH and I danced and sang to Frank Sinatra's "Luck Be A Lady" while LO giggled and wiggled.  It made me think about the trip to Vegas DH and I took when I was about four months pregnant.  I was just starting to show a bit and could hardly fathom what it would be like to have a real life baby.  We stayed at the Bellagio and for kicks whenever we passed through the casino, we'd stop at the same roulette table and bet on the number 30.  LO was officially due to be born on January 30, 2010, so we figured that was our lucky number.  We bet and lost over and over again.  Another particular number kept winning, we noticed.  But we kept with our number 30 anyway.  For some reason, tonight I randomly remembered that winning number -- 10.  Ironically, LO was two weeks past due.  She was born on February 10.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rocker Dad

My husband graciously kept LO all weekend while I attended a seminar on comedy.  Yes, an entire weekend devoted to studying how to write funny.  It was inspiring and mind boggling.  While we watched and analyzed Seinfeld clips, I struggled to keep my mind from wandering to the topic of how to discipline a 9 month old.  She has taken to screaming at an octave that sends animals scattering.  It's mostly to get attention or to express her displeasure with not being able to do what she pleases.  All I know is that it cannot continue.

So I worried all weekend about DH having to endure this on his own.  I imagined him sitting on the floor with his hands over his ears crying "Stop the insanity!" while LO crawled around him laughing and screaming.  On Sunday night, I came back sure to be walking into disaster.  But that's not what I found at all.  There was no screaming.  Only music.  Foo Fighters, "Everlong."  I followed it into the living room and saw DH sitting in front of the TV rocking out, playing Guitar Hero with LO sitting next to him on her boppy watching the screen, transfixed.  Now that was funny.  LO swayed back and forth to the music like she does lately and squealed at the screen when the crowd roared.  She loves music and this was a double win for her because we don't let her watch TV (except for tennis and, apparently, Guitar Hero).  As soon as she saw me, she got distracted and the moment was gone.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Fever

Thanksgiving came and went and so did the relatives with colds.  Right before my brother left to catch his flight back home, LO came down with a fever.  Her first.  The pout on her face and sad whimper tore me up.  It's unnerving to see your baby sick, something which I've managed to escape until now.  I sat with her in the dark last night and held her while she tried to sleep.  As we rocked, images of my childhood kept popping in my head, times when I was sick and my mom brought me soup, put cold rags on my forehead, took my temperature.  I remember so many of them.  I felt so helpless not being able to snap my fingers and cure LO, then I realized that my job was about more than making it go away.  It was about being there for LO when she needed me.  Making her feel loved.  That's what Moms do.  Nobody likes to have the flu, but there's something about parental TLC at those times that makes you feel better.  LO won't remember last night because she's too little, but that's okay, I will.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


My grandmother can't pronounce my daughter's name.  Grandma is 83 and sharp as a tack.  We call her Omi.  She's a tall, German spitfire with no qualms about sharing her caustic opinions.  Her diagnosis of the financial crisis is "That's because of all those shitasses over there."  "Over there" being the White House.  So this is Omi.  Cross her and you'll know about it really quickly.

I call Omi to tell her about my daughter's birth.  The conversation, a veritable "Who's on first?" goes like this:

Me: Her name is Sienna.
Omi (German accent): Siahna.
Me: See-enna
Omi: Siahna.
Me: See-ENNA.
Omi: Oh, See-AI-na.
Me: No, Si-enna!
Omi: Oh crap, couldn't you pick a better name?  It's unusual, you know.

So the verdict is in, Omi dislikes the name.  We kept LO's name a secret between us until she was born to avoid this very reaction.  The "Oh, isn't that nice" when what people really want to say is they don't like it.  (How did Gwyneth get away with Apple anyway?)  My parents always told me the that when I was born, my grandmother lobbied quite hard for me to have a name she approved of.  I was almost an Agatha.  Maybe she feels I should've named LO something more Germanic.

Now LO is 9 months old and I call Omi with an update.  I tell her LO is crawling and standing up now.  "Aw, that Siahna is so cute," Omi coos.  I just say yes and go with it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

When you're single or married without children, you don't wake up on a Saturday and say "Let's go to the Zoo."  I don't know exactly why, you just don't.  It's not on your fun list like, say, shopping (for yourself) or backyard beer parties.  Suddenly with a child kid stuff is fun because you get to experience new things with your little one (LO).  You're like a tour guide of sorts.  Our LO is obsessed with dogs already, so with this in mind we trekked out to the LA Zoo this weekend to introduce her to more of the animal kingdom.

It turns out if you want to see animals, don't go to the LA Zoo.  When we got up to the ticket booth, there was a sign saying a bunch of exhibits were closed due to a water main break and construction so tickets would be half price.  Fine.  We did manage to see orangutans, a giraffe and some pig looking thing, to name a few.  But most of the animals looked rather sad and withdrawn hiding in whatever crevice or corner they could to avoid the people.  Maybe that's because they're single or married without children.  Or maybe it was because of the heat.  I'm convinced it's because they were full...of people food.  There are more food stands at this zoo than animals.  Every corner has a stand serving sugar in a different form.  At the meerkats, the candied almonds stand was jumping.  One grandma let her granddaughter throw her almonds to them.  A few indignant parents told her to stop but she didn't speak English - or at least pretended not to - and the meerkats had a feast.  Outside the Australia area, little ones were lining up for churros.  God only knows how many those wallabies had eaten and the koala looked downright bloated.  Sorry, mate!

The giraffes were a hit with LO and overall she had a great time.  It's not hard to please a 9 month old baby who would be just as excited seeing a pig looking thing as a herd of wild elephants.  As we drove home, I wondered what delicacy I could've bought outside the South America area if only it had been open.  Crepes?  Linzer torte?  Guess I'll have to come back again sometime and find out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hang Nails

I had a hang nail yesterday.  It started in the morning as a break halfway down the nail and by the end of the day was a full dagger.  This is one of my pet peeves in life because with all the complex mechanisms our bodies have built in, the hang nail seems like a small, yet annoying flaw.  The neurons in my baby's brain right this minute are forming complex connections and computing frightening amounts of input for the first time.  "Yes, it is a flowwwweeeer!"  "Look at the dogggggie!"  But my little nail just sits there helpless and worsening, waiting for me to tend to it.  On my list of bottle washing, baby feeding, floor cleaning, etc., there's no place for this nail.

Sorry, Mr. Hang Nail, I don't have time for you.

Big mistake.  The nail weaved a path of destruction that in one day is unparalleled by any moth or pair of scissors.  Here's the damage:

3 hairs ripped out while washing hair
3 sweaters snagged while getting dressed (takes a few try-ons to find something that fits post-baby)
1 baby sweater
1 scratch on baby's leg
2 snags in muslin baby blanket
1 stuffed animal
1 new pair of pants
2 kitchen towels

And then by the evening I finally got around to cutting it.  What I've learned from this is (1) that you can't put things off in life and (2) I either need to find an invisible mending service or get regular manicures.  I think I'll opt for the latter.

Monday, November 1, 2010


In February 2010, a beautiful baby girl was born.  Along with her, two people became parents.

I am a new mom living in Los Angeles.

I've avoided the mommy blog for months now.  The only problem is that since I'm a writer, these thoughts pass through my head throughout the day until I've virtually written and edited an entire essay in my own brain.  They say if you call yourself a writer, you should write.  This is Hollywood and while that makes perfect sense, this town is full of people who "write" but never actually do such a thing.  (Said people also wish to "direct").  So enough already, it's time to get these words out into the world.

Now that I have an 8 month old daughter, a short blog entry fits perfectly into the time available to me to string complete sentences together.  This is also known as nap time.  I've got my laptop battery charged, I can see LO in the baby monitor sleeping away and I figure I've got a whole twenty minutes before she wakes.  The world is my oyster.

So think of this blog as a "momedy," an account of a real life Carrie Bradshaw now entering the world of parenthood.  I've traveled the world, lived abroad and even once went on a date with a Belgian rock star (oxymoron?).  I've eaten, prayed and loved.  I married the man of my dreams and we have a beautiful 8-month-old baby girl.  Now I diaper.