I enjoy the judgmental stares of others.

I love coffee. I do. It’s my last vice. I’ve given everything else up! I refuse to give up my coffee, in fact I love it so much that I base my choice of Targets and grocery stores according to which ones have Starbucks (sorry NJ) in them so I can have a treat while I shop. Of course Sweet Baby Max wants what I have and I find myself playing keep away with a hot latte. Not good. The solution? Get the baby his own cup! No, not of coffee of course but his own empty cup.  Ah, success! He has what I have and he has a loverly time playing and ‘sharing’ his drink with me even if I won’t share mine with him. An added bonus of this practice is the crazy amount of judgmental looks and comments that I receive while Baby Max is happily ‘drinking’ his empty cup.  I’ve even gotten a couple of ‘you know, you shouldn’t give him coffee’ and I just smile and tell them it’s empty all the while thinking…are there really people who would give their infants coffee? And the answer is clearly yes, because people are idiots. I’m most certainly an idiot about some things, but not this particular thing. 

Check out how cool he thinks he is, lounging in the cart, all kicked back with his hat, his empty Starbucks cup recklessly cast aside. 

You might be thinking ‘is that precious child asleep with a Baby Tylenol bottle???’ And the answer is yes. I also abuse him by allowing him to chomp happily on an empty Baby Tylenol bottle. It’s empty, it’s been washed out and it’s hard to deny a little one who’s teething and all they want is to chew on that dropper top!! I fought him for a while trying to distract him or substitute other chewing toys, but this is my child after all and once he has his sights on something come hell or high water he’s getting it. (Ask my husband how often I fail at acquiring something material I really want. The stats are low, I assure you. ) There are rules for the Tylenol, of course, we must always be supervised and as much as Baby Max may want to chew on it in the car or in the crib the answer is no. This usually brings on a technicolor tantrum, but again, he is my child. I just know the second I look away is the second the little rubber top pops off and that is not a good scene. That picture is how he looks at this very second, I just took it. Asleep with his bottle and it’s his first spontaneous nap! Well done Baby Max. 

Yesterday we had a great treat! Sister Dub’s Mom was in town and we got to meet up with her and have a little lunch at CPK. Yum. It was so wonderful to have such a great visit with her and so odd too. It’s very neat and slightly weird to be having lunch and conversation like you are old friends with a woman who essentially helped raise you. All of my childhood memories involve Dub and her family and so here we are chatting about my childhood from two different perspectives and dealing with the now as if we are just old friends. This woman actually grounded me once. I deserved it, I’m sure. I loved having her to talk to and of course we spent much of the day talking about how amazingly wonderful and beautiful Dub is and how no matter how many times we tell her, she’ll never truly grasp it. I’m a lucky gal to have my second mom be among my friends and to be another grandmother for baby Max. She loved him up one side and down the other and he was really sad when she left. He thought she was really funny. 


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The Sadness and The Sweetness

Mike Tyson’s family suffered a terrible tragedy this week with the loss of his 4 year old daughter. God. Can you imagine? Sadly I think we all pretty much can, and my heart just aches for them. 

And it reminds me of a story. The only time I met Mike Tyson.
About a thousand years ago after the Paleozoic but before Y2K I worked at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Beverly Hills. Easily one of the the worst jobs I ever had. Gah. Terrible. I worked the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift. We got celebs in all the time so I waited on just about everyone, Johnny Depp, Jerry Seinfeld,  Jennifer Anniston, Bob Saget (hehehe). You name ’em, I served ’em eggs at 3 a.m. One night at about 4 Mike Tyson rolled in with 4 chicks all dressed to ring in the next round at one of his boxing matches.  Dude is wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide. Like he’s what? 5’10 or something and he’s got to be 4 foot wide. His neck? A tree trunk and his noggin? Seriously gigantic. Humungous pumpkin head big. This was maybe a year after the Evander Holyfield incident and not a one of us little waitresses wanted to wait on  big, scary Mike Tyson. So it fell to the smallest and sweetest of our crew, the one who didn’t know who he was. I am so ashamed I don’t remember any of the ladies names that I waited with, they were such a wonderful and funny lot, so I don’t remember the name of the poor sweet angel who had moved from the Philipines a mere two years earlier, who was still learning English and trying to master the minefield that are our colloquialisms. Bless her heart she trotted her nearly 5 feet of energy over there and introduced herself and took their order. Who knew Mike Tyson was a chatter? Not us, but he was and for all the scary tattoos and physical imposingness (I am well aware that is not even a word!) he was a total sweetheart to her. Polite, funny and we all felt very silly for being afraid to wait on him. Every time she went to the table he would chat with her for about 5 minutes, which is an eternity when you’ve got other tables! While they were chatting the bell rang in the kitchen and she glanced to the line knowing that his food was up and would soon be cold. She tried to make her excuses to go fetch his food (I don’t know why we all huddled around the computer watching and not one of us made an effort to bring it to the table for her. Shame on us.) Finally she smiled so sweetly at him and misspoke a phrase she’d just learned a few days ago. I know because we taught it to her, among several others while on shift.
“I’m sorry Mr. Tyson, I’d love to stay here and chew your ear off but I’ve got to get your food.”
And she scooted off into the kitchen. 
We all stood there, afraid to breathe and then with one rush of activity raced into the kitchen surrounding her with oh my Gods, and what did you just says.  And to answer your next question, no she hadn’t seen the fight and had no idea what she’d said that was funny/horrifying. 
He was not bothered at all by it. He smiled and even teased her a little for giving him a hard time. He continued to be a perfect gentleman, even with 4 scantily clad ladies as his dates and he tipped her a hundred bucks. Say what you want about him, the man handled that situation with class.
My memory of him will always be a pleasant one and my heart  breaks for his family. 

We’re so vain, we probably think this song is about us.


Having a camera on your computer is sometimes not a very good thing. Here we are getting ready to head out to a picnic and suddenly…Zach and I are posing for, well, for ourselves! It’s utterly silly but as my friend Mara says ‘never trust a mirror, take a picture before you leave the house to see what you really look like’ of course Mara is a frigging pinup model so she’s usually looking pretty dang good.Following this we scooted off the the National Geographic Geography Bee picnic. Trebek wasn’t there (which was probably good because all I can think of is Darryl Hammond/Sean Connery saying ‘Suck it Trebek!’) but Ken Jennings was and so Z and I still giggled as we walked away saying “what is a Ho?” Good times. At least we amuse ourselves. And the Piglet bless his heart just laughs at everything we do. My FIL works for Nat Geo and so Zach grew up attending the Bee Picnic and he admits to dominating all the baseball and basketball games while his dad begged him to go easy on the little geniuses. 

It was a lovely day, and since we’ve had about twenty gallons of rain every day the park was an explosion of green. These kids had been answering geography questions all day  so they were bursting at the seams with psychotic amounts of energy and it was fun to watch them race around playing capture the flag and basketball and being plain old kids. That is until they get close enough for you to overhear their conversations while playing capture the flag they are arguing scientific theories and the history of Mesopotamia. Totally beyond my ken.  Even though some of their hopes had been crushed earlier that day as only 10 of the 52 had advanced to the finals they were screaming, laughing and having a great time.  So many of them so far ahead of their classmates it must be so nice to be surrounded by other kids that could keep up with them. It was fascinating and fun and it was so neat to imagine Max ( perhaps not winning the Bee as Zach and I went through all the test questions with FIL months ago and the answers we knew were few and far between…man it’s hard!) running around with his friends, negotiating what they want to do next and having so much fun all you can do is scream with joy. 
I just wanted to wrap up all those kids and take em to Jimmy Cone. 

King Max was born ten months ago today!  I know I waxed poetic on his nine month-iversary so I’ll spare you this month but Max just rocks. Literally. He rocks out to Guitar Hero, trying to dance. He rocks back and forth on his knees working on crawling and he snuggles in so sweetly for a nice rock in the chair. He’s a rockstar. And as soon as I find the dang cord to upload some new crawling video you will all be forced to watch the Piglet wiggle…and reach for the camera of course. I’ve no idea where he gets it from! *whistles and looks around innocently* 

He’s so advanced, he drove us to the picnic.
It’s important to make sure the mirrors are properly placed before driving.
Ah, that’s better! 

Would you trust this man?




I hardly ever write about my husband which is a shame because he is such a personality. First off, he’s wickedly funny and a smooth talker, he could indeed sell ice to Eskimos. But more importantly, he’s a liar. Yeah, I said it. He’s a tall tale teller, a fibber.  And he’s amazing at it. He’ll craft a story and have you believing it so fast, it’s truly his superpower. He’s recently informed me that he told me a tall tale to me ages ago and I not only believed it but have repeated it to others as the God’s honest truth and now he is afraid to tell me which lie I’m telling. Surely Sister Mary Catherine who gave me a scar with a ruler for passing a note in the 7th grade cannot hold it against me that I am telling a lie if I believe it’s the truth, right? I’m wracking my brain to figure out which one it is…

At least I’ve deduced that the following was a lie. It only took me 20 minutes, but the truth prevailed!
About three years ago I was driving home from an audition, listening to NPR and they had a segment on about how scientists had actually made a Liger. I love the big cats so this was super exciting to me.
I ran in the house and it went a little something like this:
I was just listening to this show on NPR and Zach! They made a Liger, like in Napoleon Dynamite! And they made a Tigon too where the Tiger is the dominant gene, isn’t that cool? 
They made a Cowig. 
A what?
A cowig. Cow Pig. Cowig.
No way. That’s amazing.
Yeah, that’s where they’re getting bacon from now. 
You’re kidding me!
No, cause it’s big like a cow but meaty like a pig.
What does it look like? 
Like a pig but with cow coloring.
Unbelievable.
  This goes on and on for about 20 minutes. He has an answer for each and every question I have and I must reiterate that I had JUST heard a show, on NPR no less, talking about the blending of species just like this…otherwise I never would have believed it. (Honest! Do you believe me?) Finally I asked such a me question:
What noise does it make?
ummm. mmmmoink?
You fucking liar!! I can’t believe you got me so bad! 
And that’s what life is like with my husband. Just the other day he tried to get us to believe that the Aztecs nursed their whole lives.  And all because we had been talking about nursing and their happened to be a Pontiac Aztec driving on the Beltway right in front of us. That one didn’t fly and my sister in law and I just said ‘nice try!’ He smiled and said ‘ they can’t all be cowigs.’
He is under strict orders to never, never do this to Baby Max.

That’s how we roll.

We’ve spent the last week dragging friends and relatives around D.C. I’m exhausted. Zach is exhausted and honestly I think Baby Max will riot if I try to put him in his car seat one more time. He just looks at me like “woman! WTH are you thinking? I was just in this thing! A boys got to wiggle and dance to Guitar Hero” We’ve been to the American History Museum so many times I can tell you where to find every spatula in Julia Child’s kitchen, and the monuments? You want a tour? I’m your gal! So it was a lovely change of pace when my BFF from High School Jen came for a visit and was up for something a little more off beat.  After sampling many of our National Bakeries for cupcakes (we joke that everything here is ‘National’ ) we headed off to the Crime Museum. Yup. That’s how I roll…I take an infant to the crime museum. Awww hell yeah! Actually it was the perfect time because while it’s not scary, he is still much to young to pay attention to any of the actual information or visuals. Let me tell you, if you like crime stories, this is the museum for you! Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia, take your pick of serial killers, and while disturbing it is fascinating, oddly fun and very informative. And at the end you can have your child (although how many people are dragging their children who are old enough to understand this stuff should be limited) fingerprinted. They film America’s Most Wanted there and right next to the set is a very informative, and terrifying child safety section. Obviously something happening to our children is our worst nightmare, so after having Max fingerprinted we hurried upstairs to shoot some drug lords in the virtual crime fighting room to blow off some anxiety ridden stem and then played CSI. If it weren’t for the actual blood, guts ickyness and well, science, I could SO be a CSI! I got a perfect score! See? All those hours of watching Law & Order and CSI while pregnant paid off! 
Zach being the Medical Examiner. Note: Close proximity of infant to ‘dead’ body.

Medical Examiner Dulli explains the cause of Death.

“I knew him!”

Auntie Jen ruthlessly laughs in the face of death.

One Lovely Blog…lot’s of lovely women!

Bless their hearts both jenjen at Gotta Love Mom and Sha at Today’s Daisy presented me with

the One Lovely Blog Award! How sweet is that?
So the rules are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.  DONE!
2) Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. more than half done…





AH! I will add the rest this afternoon…Le Bebe has awoken!

He didn’t need me.

Me and the Bebe on Mother’s Day

Every night of his little life I have snuggled Max, nursed him, sung Baby Mine, told him how much I loved him and how proud I was to be his mommy kissed his sweet head and laid him down to sleep. Lately I’ve been able to put him down wide awake and he falls asleep on his own, it’s been a long battle but I’m so proud of the progress my little piglet has made.

We have a bedtime routine. Best decision we ever made. Dinner, bath, snuggles, bed. He usually goes down at 8:30 but with all the family visiting the last week it’s been at about 9:30. So I felt fairly confident that it would be A-ok that I could leave my little bugger with Daddy from 5:30 til I got home while I went and visited a sacred place. A real life salon. I used to hit the salon every 6 weeks like clockwork for a trim. Nothing feels better than a salon hair wash, cut and blow out. Heaven. Since the baby came I have had my hair cut once. And that’s a whole other blog post. I asked for two inches off the bottom (the night before my Shakespeare Theatre audition, mind you) and I ended up with 5 inches gone and some really bizarre short in the back-long in the front layers. Not a good look for me. 
So, I waited patiently for my hair to grow long enough for it to be fixed and then head off to my sister in law’s stylist. God. Bless. Her. Max reached for me and cried as I left and my heart just broke. Some Sesame Street and Daddy dancing distracted him long enough for me to make the great escape.
Fantastic time, fabulous haircut complete with coffee and robes for you to wear. Just like pre-baby life! I did text Zach oh, about ten million times asking if the baby was okay. After our hair was done we raced home and burst in the door right at 9 p.m. Zach met me at the door with a ‘Shhhh. He’s sleeping.’
Excuse me, what??? He just went to sleep with no snuggle, no kiss, no Baby Mine??? I cried. Totally admit it. He just went to sleep. And slept till 5:45 a.m. I missed him so much. I’m proud of him, but I wasn’t quite ready to miss a bedtime.

Happy Mother’s Day!


When Max was born my mother came to stay with us for two weeks. And when she left my mother in law Robin came to stay. Looking back we should have had them come after Zach when back to work after his 6 weeks of parental leave (I love you California!) because Max was, and is such an easy baby we were tripping over each other within days. We just didn’t need as much help as we had thought we did. We did however, just love and adore having them visit. Both of our mother’s make us nuts in that way that only mothers can. In a way that I will surely make Max nuts eventually but we were so grateful that they were able to share in that time with us. The birth of our child and the few weeks after while I was recovering and eventually working up the courage to put that tiny baby in the car and go where else? Target! Those memories will stay with us forever, and we know just how loved and supported we were and are now.

A few weeks after my mother had left I called her and just said two words “I’m sorry.” I was a bit of a nightmare teenager (far longer than I care to admit). It took me way to long to get my sh*t together, as the saying goes and my mother went through a lot with me. Suddenly loving Max gave me a perspective I never had.  As miserable as I was as a teenager I had never thought of the soul crushing pain she must have been feeling watching me try my very best to self destruct. I think Max is precious, truly perfect. Every finger, toe, giggle, fake cough and temper tantrum is surely straight from Heaven and just flat out perfection. So if he were to hate himself the way I hated myself, I think I might die. 
So, I’m sorry Mom for putting you through that. I’m sorry for being so selfish. I’m sorry that you had to work so hard to provide for me and that I was such an ungrateful brat. I’m sorry I quit the cheerleading squad after you sacrificed so much to get that ridiculously expensive uniform. I’m sorry for every birthday present you picked out for me that I was less than enthused about. I’m sorry I never recognized how hard it was to be a single mom, especially when I probably needed a dad to kick my butt a little. I’m sorry I didn’t accept the love that you wanted to give me.  I’m sorry for every single time I was snotty to you. Including yesterday, I’m working on it!
The only thing I can try to do to make up for what a brat I was is to try to love Max as much and as unconditionally as you love me. I’ll just try to be the best mother for Max I can possibly be and maybe somehow that will make up for just a little bit of the Queen Brat I truly was. Even though it may not have seemed like it, I learned those lessons about patience, and kindness, manners and generosity in spite of myself and because of you. I love you Mom! Happy Mother’s day, I’m so glad to get to share it with you. My first one as a mom and my first one with a whole new respect and admiration for you.  Now, leave my bra straps alone, maybe I like them twisted!
Love, 
Stephie

My Mommy is coming! My Mommy is coming!

My mother has graciously decided to leave her precious dogs (she’s a dog trainer) and come to DC for Mother’s Day to spend my very first one with me and Sweet Baby Max! I’m pretty excited about it, I love my mother ever so much even though we have one of those relationships where we talk on the phone all the time but ten minutes after she arrives she’s straightening my bra straps and I want  to scream. It was just me and her while I was growing up and we’ve got one of those weird co-dependant snarky realtionships. But I love her to death and it means the absolute world to me that she is getting on a plane in, oh, one hour and flying here!! Well, let’s hope she is. She’s got a lovely habit of missing planes. And we tease her about it mercilessly. She actually hasn’t missed that many, four or five, which I say is more than most people miss in a life time, but it’s really fun to tease her. 

How do you guys all find the time to blog and such? I’ve never got enough time…

Me and Moms:

Thousand Word Thursday…Actually ON Thursday.

I know right? I’m gonna go all literal and do it on Thgursday! Go me! I’m just excited I know it’s Thursday. I only know this cause everyone is talking about Grey’s and I remember from when I watched it back before they relegated my George to piss boy, that it was on Thursdays.

So here it is! My picture of the week:
Rome. Sigh. My very favorite place in the entire world. I cannot wait to go back! I love this picture because Zach had grabbed my hand and we had run around the corner, Kelly came around the corner and snapped this picture. I love it. So there’s me and the Boy. The Father of the baby. I guess he should get some press too, right? I was already pregnant with Sweet Baby Max at this point although I didn’t know it. I suspected though, especially 5 days later when I puked in a trash can in Florence. Klassy, non?
In honor of Mother’s Day, and just incase any of you missed my insane tweets; this is Christa Hoffarth’s blog link: AMAZING
I had the pleasure of ‘knowing her’ from a website about a billion years ago. She’s a wonderful photographer and this week she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Charlie and she photographed her own birth while her husband was delivering the baby. Don’t worry, the pics aren’t graphic or anything, but they are amazing. I wish I had the skill to do something like this. Although I had a C-section so the pictures would have been very boring. Just a blue surgical screen. 
So, relive the emotion of birth…check it out. Again the link is: http://christahoffarth.wordpress.com/