Day 366 and winning the Gold.

Training for the Baby Olympics

My Elmo Cake! Whoohoo! Stinker Loved it.

Curling is an Olympic Sport it takes skill and practice, but recently I think I’ve found an activity that really ought to be included. Diapering a one year old. Bonus points for poopy diapers. The skill with which I can get said diaper off and get him cleaned up before he gets up and takes off is, if I say so myself, impressive. I give myself extra difficulty points for the re-diapering procedure that is executed while chasing after crawling baby. Yes, diapering on the go. Sometimes I catch a break, like a nice breeze in sailing, and he decides to just stand and shake his groove thing to a little Rhianna Please Don’t Stop the Music and a dancing baby is easier than a crawling one to wrap up in Pampers. So maybe that’s a lower difficulty score, but it’s still up there. I wonder how many signatures we would need to get that on the docket.The competition would be fierce. And we can complete the event in hotels, hidden in booths at restaurants, in the back seat of a small car, the playground, in NYC my husband and I both crowded in a teeny bathroom at Palma and changed him while all three of us were standing up. So, no need to build us a stadium or anything, we could just use anywhere…toss in an obstacle course portion! We can handle it! Think of the corporate sponsorship, the possibilities are endless. Ah, the skills I never knew I had! Or should I say skillz. Cause I gots game where this is concerned.

Here we are on the first day of the second year of Baby Max’s life and I’m thinking: How long can I keep calling him Baby Max? I mean someday he’ll be like 15 and I’ll be saying “Baby Max come give mommy a hug” and he’ll be all “Moooooooooooooooooooooom, get away!” Now when I say it he crawls as fast as he can hands and knees slapping the floor haphazardly as he races to get to me and get a snuggle and a zerbert. I can’t resist a good zerbert. Can you? Admit, there’s something about baby skin that just says zerbert me!I’m also thinking where to keep all these wonderful toys? As you know we are living the American Dream currently and crashing in my in-laws posh and fabulous basement apartment. I say that with no sarcasm. Seriously, the place we are in in wonderful has more room that my first apartment it has a full bath, a big back yard, room for us the baby, the Prozac Puppy, almost all our furniture and now about half of the Toys R Us catalog. (and the added bonus of Grandparents who love to babysit. Awesome.) Baby Max (I’ve just now decided I can still get away with it till he’s two, right?) has more toys than a large preschool now. We’ve got a climber, a kitchen, cars, trucks, garage, Elmo, Elmo, Elmo. I thinking of taking my mother’s advice and rotating the toys
through. Even though we may be displaced from our home and struggling to get back on our feet we are blessed beyond measure. A roof over our heads, food in our bellies, surrounded by love on all fronts and most importantly our health. Doubly most important is Max’s health. On this day when I’m turning my thoughts to a Mom I’ve never met and a baby I’ve only read about and ask God to care for him and heal him I also take a moment to be extra grateful that Baby Max is healthy. Babies shouldn’t be sick. It’s not right. So please God, I know you’re listening, send blessings to Baby Stellan. We’ve got plenty to share over here, please send him some of ours along with our love.
The family post cake clean up.
How’s that for a rambling post?

Happy Birthday Max!

Hello, Gorgeous!

Dear Sweet Baby Max,

It was right about now that Daddy was insisting we go to the hospital and I was telling him how silly he was because we were all set to check in at 6:00 a.m. You see, I was having these rather painful cramps but I thought I was just nervous about the c-section in the morning.
You sure were stubborn! Getting all wedged in there kitty-corner. I always wondered why you never kicked and once we had that last ultrasound we knew why. You must have been very uncomfortable stuck in there with your legs up over your head! I am so grateful to Dr. K for assuring us that every thing would be ok. And it was!
You did me a big favor on the night of July 25th. I had kind of gotten hung up on arbitrarily picking your birthday, but you knew right when you wanted to be born. Maybe you and Dr. K had a little chat without telling me, but you were ready to get things in gear and come on out one way or the other on the 26th!
Auntie Janice met us at the hospital, Grandma was there and Aunt Jen and Uncle Eddie too. Dub and Zuzu were safely at home anxiously awaiting news of your arrival. Everyone was so excited to meet you. I was so scared of the surgery but so, so happy!
Imagine my surprise when they hooked me up to the monitor and declared I was in labor! Contractions only two minutes apart. You don’t know the phrase yet, but denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. So thank you for releasing me from the worry of picking your birthday. You came right when you were meant too.

Hearing your cry when you came into this world is the best sound I have ever heard. You are full of bests, you know. The first time you recognized me was the best feeling ever, your laugh is the best at lifting my heart, your smile is the best at warming my soul, when your eyes light up you are the best at reminding me there is magic in the world.
Feeling you fall asleep against me is the best, I am completely and utterly content. There is no where I would rather be. And as I know the nights of nursing you to sleep are further gone than we have ahead of us, I am so thankful to you Baby Max for teaching me so much about peace, about happiness and about divinity.
I’ve heard the phrase ‘A child of God’ before and thought…yeah, yeah, we are all children of God. Whatever. But then you were born and I understood the very proof that there is something bigger than us is in your breath, in your wonder, just…in YOU. You are a miracle to me, and now I look at all other babies as miracles too. You are what life is all about, children.
It’s pretty easy for me to get carried away in the sentimentality of your first birthday, so I’ll try to resist and just say thank you for being born. For being so perfectly you. For sharing your food with strangers, for offering your toys to others, for laughing at the puppy, for climbing over everything to get to me. I cannot wait to see what this next year holds for us, Stinker. Because this year has been amazing. I love you so much, unconditionally and for exactly who you are at this moment. I will strive to always do that…let you be who you are and not what I remember or wish.
You are so fun that I know it will be easy. And while I may long for the snuggly baby days, I am certain that you will teach me how great the toddler years are, and then school age, and then teenage….ok maybe not teenage, let’s just agree to get through that one as best we can and still love one another alright?
You are the coolest person I know, the handsomest and the sweetest. It’s gone so fast, it’s hard to say goodbye to this first year!
Happy Birthday Love Bug, Monkey, Stinky D, Baby Max, Potato Baby, Little Nursling. My heart wants to burst with love for you.
Happy First Birthday my Sweet Baby Max

In the words of the lovely Irish Nun who blessed you before we left the Hospital “and God, if there is any thing we’ve forgotten…You know.”

Things I have done to prepare for the First Birthday Party

  • Purchased an ungodly amount of plastic Elmo-ware sure to hasten the demise of the planet and choke the Pacific Gyre beginning July 27 th.
  • Made a donation to offset Liberal Guilt associated with Elmo-ware death to sea creatures.
  • Actively pursued the explosion of ToysRUs and Fisher Price in our home.
  • Dyed my Nightmare on Elm Street-esque grey streak that has developed this year as I feel it is inappropriate to celebrate the culmination of Max’s first year looking as though Freddy Kruger has scared the bejeezuz outta me. (even if he did.)
  • Had half the skin on my face ‘dermabraded‘ read: used a sander on my face in a vain (both meanings of the word, utter vanity and totally for naught) attempt to appear as if I have slept 1 of the 365 days since Baby Max arrived.
  • Baked Elmo’s head in the form of a cake.
  • Begged, pleaded and prayed for Elmo’s head to come out of the pan in one Elmo shaped piece.
  • Actually danced around the kitchen when Elmo’s head was successfully released from the pan.
  • Laughed at how honest to God pleased and proud of myself I was from this achievement.
  • Used all those fantastic make up skills learned from all my years of theatre to painstakingly turn Elmo from blank cake to frosty monster!
  • Thanked God that frosting, like make up, is forgiving.
  • Purchased a new outfit for me to wear to the party….yeah I know. Max doesn’t care.
  • New lip gloss may have snuck in there too.
  • I did resist the shoes….
  • Giggled as my husband put together the new play set for Max, and so it begins…
  • Wondered what on earth we will get him for Christmas! Surely we’ve purchased everything there is to get…
  • Oh! Looked at Fisher Price catalog and PBK, now have a new list for Christmas!
  • Realized happily how my priorities have changed since Baby Max has been born.
  • Decorated the house
  • Wished I could do more…
  • Wished for another year as happy and healthy as this one.
  • Held him close, and let him go as he takes his first wobbly steps towards two.
  • Love him. Love him. Love him.

Don’t wear a Maxi dress in NYC and other lessons learned.

Max ate this whole pie at Benny Todino’s in Hoboken

Very tired Mommy and Baby after a long car ride.
Max rocking it Bruno Style in Times Square. Diaper and sandals. Klassy.

My suggestion for a new balloon for the Macy’s parade.

Sweet Baby Max, ZD and I just got back from a lovely trip to NYC to visit Max’s Godfather Sean (also ZD’s producing partner) and his fiance Hallie (my awesome friend who just made Rockette! How cool is that?) Max is almost one, it’s about dang time he saw the Big Apple! Talk about a lot of stimulus for a wee one. He proved again, to be a total rockstar. Per usual.

Me? Not so much. I am so friggin out of shape and just a friendly suggestion, a maxi dress is a NO in the city. I shudder to think about all the wet that it picked up and slapped about my ankles for ten straight hours. I actually wrapped it in a plastic bag it was so grody I didn’t even want it near the other laundry. Ewww.
One of the items on our City agenda was to look for Hallie’s wedding gown. To anyone in NYC may I recommend Birnbaum & Bullock? The atmosphere is fabulous. Second Story Loft warehouse space, amazing gown and the kindest most helpful man there. They didn’t even mind Sweet Baby Max crawling all over and kissing himself in the reflection of their floor to Ceiling Mirror. I cannot recommend them enough. And the sight of Hallie in ‘THE’ dress stopped all of us in our tracks. Including Baby Max. Just stunning!!! After that we headed to Little Italy and Chinatown where I painstakingly resisted bringing home 200 little turtles. Poor little guys just looked like the needed to come home and have me force my FIL to build them a little pond. I resisted…barely.
We ended the night with some amazing Italian Food in the Village at Palma. Again, I cannot rave about the atmosphere or the food enough. Although I didn’t get to eat much of my dinner as Baby Max ate almost all of my Agnolotti con Spinacci. They were uber cool even though Max had a little, shall we say ‘accident’ and ended the evening a bit exposed. If loving a fat baby in a diaper is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

That skin! That Chub!

Since he hasn’t had cake yet, he did let me eat my own cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Delish.

All in all it was a great trip, and Pack the House Productions got a lot of work done which is what it was all about! Well, that and wedding gown shopping.

Happy Birthday Isaiah!

Me falling in love with Zuzu, less than an
hour old.
Zuzu 6 Days, Max 1 Day

I just can’t let the day go by without a public declaration of what happened one year ago today! My precious nephew Isaiah was born! And a mere 6 days later, Baby Max came reluctantly into the world! When Zuzu was born I would hold him and if he fussed Max would move in the womb, and when they were both here safe and sound we would put them together and they would instantly cuddle up hold hands.We are sure to tease them about this later in life.

Zuzu 3 weeks, Max 2 weeks.

Max and Zuzu only got to spend 9 weeks together before we moved but when we came back to visit they started right where they left off. Cuddling up and holding hands. I can’t wait to go back and visit in August and see them together, two 13 month olds climbing and crawling and negotiating a new friendship that will last all their lives. They really have no choice in the matter.
Happy Birthday Zuzu! It was an honor to be there when you were born and it breaks my heart not to be with you now, I wish you a strong and healthy second year and I hope to be with you soon!!!

I think I’ll keep him.

All because Little Boy and Little Girl can do it!

Something happened at the beginning of this month that caused me great joy. I’m pretty sure my husband was going to call the loony bin from the way I’d been moping about since we left L.A. and he’s tired of hearing me say dramatically “I miss my frieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeends“. But then, out of nowhere…my friend W moved here! I KNOW, RIGHT??? Now I’m pretty sure the husband is going to call the loony bin from the way I randomly squeak “I’ve got a friend!” at inappropriate times. And even better? My friend has kids. Two, effing cool, cute as a button kids. A daughter who is exactly one year older than Baby Max and a son who is 21 months older than her daughter. Cool kids, and they are so good with Baby Max, letting him use their toys and teaching them how to do things like dance and crawl through tunnels! He loves Little Girl, but Little Boy? He is obsessed with! It’s fascinating to see him at such a young age already know which one he is, and which one to emulate. And whatever Little Boy does? Max is desperate to try it too. I’m certainly that he will walk in the next week because he wants to go where Little Boy goes.

So, My friend has another friend in DC and that friend has kids too! We all went to the zoo together, three mommies and six kids from 6-1 and it went to well. W’s friend K has a 6 year old boy, so whatever Big Boy did was quickly imitated by Little Boy and then by Baby Max. Comedy gold people, and so sweet to watch!
Yesterday we all met at Cactus Cantina for a little dinner. This time all the husbands came a long so it was a whole to do. A great time was had by all. K and I were seated at the end of the table with Baby Max and her Baby Girl (who looks like Cindy Lou Who. All of her kids are so cute.) Baby Max and Baby Girl did very well at dinner, she is three months older than him and the differences are amazing! I can’t wait to see him at that age. They shared crayons and watched each other like crazy. Then it happened. Baby Girl some how in the blink of an eye smashed her chin on the table. She made what we refer to as ‘the saddest face in the universe’ and started that cry. You know the one, I know the one…and Baby Max knew the one. Baby Girl was of course, scooped up and comforted by Mommy. Poor Baby Max didn’t know what to do! He was so upset! He speaks her language! He knew exactly how bad that bump hurt and how upset she was and he kept reaching out to comfort her and trying to calm her down. Baby Girl was very busy with Mommy as she should be but that didn’t stop Max from trying! Once the crisis was over and Baby Girl was back in the high chair next to him, Max reached out and grabbed her hand. I swear to God, they looked at each other for a while holding hands and then he gave her hand a little pat and they went back to playing.
How fricking cute is that?
I’m totally gonna keep him!

Apparently I’m not the only one…

Last night after a marathon bedtime routine with the little one we headed out to see Bruno. I admit that while Borat offended the heck out of me I did laugh hard enough that my belly hurt so while its not really my ‘thing’ per se I happily went with Zach to see it. Knowing he would take me to Harry Potter to even the score.

Bruno is not nearly the movie that Borat was and while I don’t think it will perpetuate homophobia I admit it’s because I come from a mindset of no homophobia and enough experience with ‘real live homosexuals’ to know that it is just a silly character. Watching some of the non actors I could see how people could think that this was indeed who all homosexuals are. So perhaps GLAAD has a point. If you’ve never known any gay people I can assure you that the vast majority of them really are just like you and me except for the sex of the person they love.
We were in an audience of mostly teenagers and college student and the laughter was pretty even throughout the whole movie except at one point.
The children’s casting call. From the previews (so I’m, not spoiling anything for anyone) we all know that Bruno adopts a little boy from Africa, who seriously is so.dang.cute. I mean, this baby is ridiculous cute. Make your ovaries twinge cute. Cute. But that’s neither here nor there…
Bruno wants to be a star so he decides to have a photo shoot with the baby and he has a casting for other babies to be in the pictures with little O.J. Yes, that’s what he’s named the baby.
The parents of these children in the casting call might want to prepare for a visit from CPS. As is his norm he asks all sorts of outrageous questions as to what people would be ok with their babies doing. Would you get your 2 year old liposuction if she can’t loose ten pounds in a week?
Whatever it takes, said the 2 year old in questions mother.
This was the one and only section where no one laughed in our theatre. There were plenty of “oh my Gods” and “No ways” I glanced around the theater and almost everyone female had their hands over their faces and then men just looked astonished.
Having lived in Los Angeles and acted professionally for years I was horrified but not surprised. No matter how you slice people are willing to do anything to be famous. So maybe Bruno works on another level…I don’t know.
So apparently I’m not the only one who has lost their sense of humor where babies are concerned.

I wonder how long it will be before I stop sneaking in at night.

I can’t help myself. It’s an addiction. There are so many nights I am so tired and think “I can’t wait for him to go to sleep” and sure enough 20 minutes after he’s asleep in his crib and I’ve had a breath I just miss him. I sneak in and lean over him and take one more breath of that sweet, clean baby smell. I smooth his soft duckie fuzz hair and rest my hand on his back to check his breath even though I see his ribs rising and falling and I hear the sweet little sleep nursing noises.

I do this…oh, 3 times a night. He’s almost a year old and I still can’t believe he is here. He’s real and every morning when he wakes up my first thought is not “ugh, more sleep “it’s “thank you God, he’s still here.” And then it’s “ugh, more sleep!”
We had a lovely family vacation in Myrtle Beach, I’d never been there and I cannot wait to go back! What a fun mix of resort luxury and kitschy fun!
At South of the Border.

This is why we have kids right? To put silly things on them and take pictures?

Showstoppers was a blast and little cousin KK got a gold medal! Man, I would have loved to participate in something like that when I was little. Max, who already goes into a trance anytime dancing is happening was enthralled. We hit the beach and he loved digging in the sand, but wasn’t a big fan of the waves.

But the resort had this pool. A warm saltwater pool and Max just flipped out over it! He was trying to swim and his whole face just lit up like he thought it was a big bah and we all go to play together. Honestly I wish we had skipped the beach entirely and spent all our days in the pool. A decision that I think was only slightly reiterated by the fact that I was stung by a jelly fish on my face right under my eye. Yeah. That sucked. Other than that it was a pitch perfect trip! Good food, great company, good shopping and a happy baby discovering new things and growing and exploring. It’s truly miraculous.
I’ve been on stage and had the applause of thousands of people and his one little clap when he succeeds at something and gives himself a ‘good job’ clap is a billion times better. Amazing.