Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Registratus Interruptus

I've sent out an Open Letter to my childed friends...

I've read and analyzed all the responses about things I absolutely must get. Many of them conflict. Most list items I've never heard of.

I've abandoned the responses and stared blankly at endless pages of baby items. Most of them I've never heard of and don't understand how to use.

I've made decisions based on careful research on safety and effectiveness, which was quickly given up completely by colors I liked, cool animals, or if it came in neat packaging.

I skipped categories that seemed too hard. Even if my friends had given me exact items to buy.

And so, I'm happy to report, I'm donish. Just in time to focus on tearing apart my kitchen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

This is technically not about the She-Blob, but as her vessel, I feel I'm entitled to a totally self-indulgent moment, even if it IS on her blog. Especially today. It's my birthday!

Things I get to do on my birthday:

Bask in the fact that I'm not at work...

Have an amazing birthday lunch at Daichan, one of my favorite Japanese places...

Get my birthday surprise - an incredible print by Nicoletta Ceccoli called "Crows"...

image by Nicoletta Ceccoli

I picture She-Blob like this, with ravens flying out of her hair. Is that weird?

Looking forward to part 100 of my fabulous birthday - dinner at Grace tomorrow night!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life in Hell

Image by ul_Marga

We are in hell, caught somewhere between the 7th and 8th circles. My only consolation is that at least we're not scraping the bottom. On the other hand, that means there's still room to fall further.

Registering sucks. Registering for babies sucks worse.

Even though one of my editors very kindly wrote down for me all the items we need to register for, following his step-by-step directions is taking FOR FREAKIN' EVER, as we try to navigate our way through bibs, high chairs, bouncy/swingy things, and something that is alarmingly called Butt Paste. I have yet to discover what this mysterious substance is but really, how hard should I be trying to track this information down?

For all of you moms-to-be that were "so excited" that "you couldn't wait to start" your registry... I have some words. But I'm a lady, so I'll just sign off instead.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Registry Offender

image courtesy of

Disclaimer: Before I come off as a complete and utter ingrate for all the free baby-related stuff I'm hoping to acquire from all you kind people in exchange for some food and booze, let me say: You are generous to a fault while I am motivated by avarice. My whining is just a symptom of my weakness as a human being, so pity me, and do not be angered.

That said...

We have to register. Apparently the future of my non-baby-shower, as well as the balance of the force in the universe rests upon me and Bree walking into a store and scanning items that we hope our kind friends and family will then purchase for us.

Being a working girl, the only time to register is on a weekend. Being as the invitations can't be put in the mail until we register (something I'm still a bit fuzzy on) we are holding up the shower and postal processes. Being that the date for the non-shower is quickly approaching, our registry procrastination is causing all kinds of complications. All that being said, I will now have to spend MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND in the bowels of Babies R Us with a laser zapper. Yes, I'm bitter.

I decided to do some research. Perhaps if we could narrow down the big-ticket items we could be in and out of that land of screeching babies and irate parents in record time. And then... a light. We could use the power of personal computing technology and the invention of the Information Superhighway to our advantage.

We could...Register online!!!!

So, taking the kind responses I've gotten to my Open Letter, I began the painstaking research process that "responsible parenting" calls for. About 20 minutes later, my dreams of a quick and painless registry were being replaced by the cold, hard reality that there are about a billion baby products out there and someone has a horrible story that resulted in death and/or dismemberment about each and every one of them. They ALL break. They ALL have construction issues. They're all...dangerous.

Moreover, even after you think you've gained a little ground by narrowing down a general brand, read all the conflicting reviews, decided that for you, "ease of storage" and "product weight" are more important features than "safety" and "durability," and made the somewhat haphazard decision on which of the 15 identical-looking but differently-named models you'll go with, as you are prepared to hit that magical "register for this item" button on your screen you notice the final, ultimate, utterly disheartening detail: there are about 10 different items with the same brand AND model name, whose only discernible difference is the color of the fabric/tray attachment/wheels. However, they are all at different price points, and have conflicting reviews.

Why is the jungle fabric stroller $50 more than the pink version? And why is it more likely to kill She-Blob or fall apart? I'm really not sure.

My supervisor was walking by when she saw my look of despair while staring at a web page filled with pictures of strollers. "I think I may have one in my garage that I'm not using," she said. "Let me check for you."

Thank goodness for pity.

She-Blob's Day of Beauty

Image courtesy of
This Sunday, She-Blob got carried along to a spa day. This is not her first visit, though last time she visited Burke Williams she was in her first months of embryonic life, so I doubt she remembers it. To her credit, she did survive a soak in the spa (NOT recommended) as well as a body wrap (also, NOT recommended). Suffice it to say, She-Blob is a warrior.

This time, I decided to go "by the book," opting for the doctor and spa-approved activities for the knocked-up set. It left me with far fewer options, but we're really past the point where I can convince people that I just ate too much at lunch. So while Kate dangled legs in aforementioned spa, I lumbered off to my complimentary pregnancy milk bath.

As an infant, I'm told that the only time I would put a sock in it was when my mother placed me in a bath. She seriously contemplated letting me sleep there, but ultimately the likelihood of me drowning dissuaded her. As an adult, I have a more complicated relationship with baths. On the one hand, they're warm, comforting and give you that "return to the womb" fuzziness we're all chasing after. On the other hand, after the first 5 minutes, sitting in warm water with cucumber slices and a cool, wet towel on my eyes while candlelight flickers and the soothing sounds of Zamfir's pan pipes fill the air gets a bit, well...boring. Thoughts of "Am I supposed to be doing something?" and "I wonder how long this bath thing goes on for," enter the mind.
I used my time sloshing around in milky, warm water to realize that we are not confined to the initials B.L.O.B. to achieve my diabolical naming coupe. A simple S.B. will give me the desired result of a She-Blob shout-out. "S" names anyone?

After being removed from my bath (and trying to step out of the tub the wrong way - I told you, I'm not good at this spa thing), I was led off to my Pregnancy Massage. I have one thing to say: I should have faked being knocked up a long, long time ago. This was possibly the most relaxing, comforting 50 minutes I've spent in a while. I wish I could say I had epiphanies beyond faking pregnancy, but I was too busy cuddling up to a bolster wondering why I'd never thought to ask for this before.

She-Blob seemed quite happy and re-energized by the whole procedure as well. After resting comfortably all day, at approximately 12:30 a.m., she spent an hour kicking me so hard I would double over in bed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Clothing Crisis

All my old clothes make me look like an overstuffed sausage.

All my new clothes are identical, just in different colors.

Pretty dresses make me look like I've had a bad run-in with a picnic tablecloth or worse, at tent.

I am buying elastic-waisted pants.

I am shopping at Old Navy.

I am now a size 8. And I've gained all 3 sizes in one area.

You so don't care. Fine, whatever.

Time to get another candy bar.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Open Letter

Hi guys,

Sorry for this crazy letter but I really need help. The time is apparently coming for me to register and I have NO IDEA what one is supposed to get for babies. You are my friends with children, so those of you who offered your advice (and those of you who didn't), I'm cashing in now.

Could you please recommend items, as well as brands/types that you found you loved and needed? What kind of strollers work best? Baths? And what did you get that you didn't really end up using?

Thank you so much! The She-Blob is very grateful!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Holy Mother!

image courtesy of Hillstock Images

This past weekend was Mother's Day, a holiday I've long believed to be a sham. Nevertheless, I dutifully phone my mother, sent flowers to both mom and MIL and was just congratulating myself on a job well done when Bree reminded me that I didn't send Grandma any flowers.

"Isn't that my mother's job?"
"If it wasn't for her, you wouldn't be here," he said.
"Yeah? Well where were you with your sage advice when I was ordering the damn things?"

We celebrated the weekend by taking Bree's dad (the FIL) to Palm Springs, for a long overdue Xmas/birthday present. Palm Springs is the West Coast's answer to Florida, where old, rich, white people go to retire. It was two days filled with resort living, putting greens and dining where every food group had a similar, mysterious consistency (not much chewing required). I suspect She-Blob felt right at home.

Late Saturday evening, under cover of night, I slunk down to the swimming pool for a surreptitious swim. I had to utilize the bathing suit, come hell or high water, and so, like a nylon-clad manatee I plunked into the Marriott's pool and treaded water like a mad woman.
Come Sunday, I made a discovery. Apparently Mother's Day now applies to me as well. Kate called to wish me well, and I realized carrying She-Blob could be parlayed into something advantageous - namely, a bizarre, rubber chicken purse. Only in Palm Springs.

Returning home, Bree and I went out to dinner. Families gathered to eat, drink and celebrate all things "mom." At the end of our meal, the waitress came over with a bag of chocolates with a pretty bow. I could just imagine the conversation in the kitchen:
"Could we get some chocolates for the fat, knocked-up chick?"
Happy Mother's Day to me.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Photo by Denis Lepage

I've got a confession to make. In my heart of hearts, I fancy myself an interior decorator. Not that I have any experience or credentials, beyond hanging the occasional curtain rod or photo in my home and hoping that no one will notice that it's crooked. But if I were to wake up tomorrow and my fabulous television career was no more, I think I'd be perfectly happy moving furniture around people's rooms.

I feed the obsession by poring over design blogs and websites, purchasing expensive glossy magazines and occasionally looking into design classes only to realize that they're way too expensive-so-why-don't-I-just-shut-up-and-concentrate-on-putting-together-TV-shows-which-is-what-I'm-supposedly-being-paid-for-anyway.

Having She-Blob could, theoretically, fulfill my decorating dreams, while providing me with a concrete justification for the hours of procrastinating I spend on decor8, design*sponge, Apartment Therapy and Domino Magazine's website. She will, after all, need a safe, cozy, colorful and (most importantly) stylish room to call her own.

Since Bree and I decided we're still way too selfish to give up our guest room to a mere child, She-Blob's fate is to spend her infant years in our office. Now before you roll your eyes in disbelief at our self-centered-ness, I would like to point out that I spent my initial days in a basket and a drawer, so I am, dare I say, providing a better life for my spawn.

On the downside, the office is inconveniently taken up by office furniture. Which poses a problem. But unlike a month ago, when Bree and I faced parenthood by purchasing a chair, we now have a PLAN.

Step 1: Purchase a crib that won't kill the kid. Check!

Step 2: Purchase a changing table/dresser thingy that won't kill the kid. Check!

Step 3: Purchase an office cube that will replace the desk that is currently too big to allow Steps 1 and 2 to actually be placed in the room. Also...check!

Step 4: Wait for items to be delivered.

Step 5: Come up with a theme for the room. This CANNOT be too girly or involve large areas of pink of swathy fabrics. And since the foreseeable future she's gonna be living in our house, it really doesn't matter if she likes it or not. We need to find it appealing. Besides, she won't be able to talk for a while so there'll be no complaining. Jungle room...check!

Step 6: Select paint for the walls. This is more complicated, as the paint not only has to be the proper colors, but must also meet the environmentally safe, low emission requirements that won't send me and She-Blob into a swoon.

We seem to have stalled out at Step 6, though we have considered a stencil border that will make the Jungle Room come alive, if we ever paint it...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Naming of She-Blob, Part 3 of Several

Another gauntlet has been thrown into the naming ring:

Belinda Leticia Ophelia B.
courtesy of our family friend and Honorary Auntie-to-Be

Now we're getting into "B.L.O.B." territory. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yes, I Still Drink Coffee (and Other Confessions of the Rebel Pregnant Woman)

The other day at work, I was clutching my Coffee Bean (size large) cup. To the casual passer-by, I was, by all appearances, chugging down a gargantuan dose of liquid caffeine. It was filled with tea, but that's not really the point. I may as well have been snorting cocaine.

At least 3 people commented on my alleged prenatal, coffee-junkie ways, never actually condemning my actions but implying, by their very comments, that this was worth commenting upon.

So it's time for me to come clean - or dig my own grave - regarding my "bad" behavior. And while it may sound like I'm only justifying my actions, I do this only to explain my thinking in making some of the decisions I've made.

WARNING: What follows is an unedited account of all my pregnancy-related misbehavior. It contains detailed, graphic descriptions of actions that are frowned upon by the American medical community, as well as my parents. Those of you who are by-the-letter adherents to What To Expect While You're Expecting should probably stop reading now...

1. I Still Drink Coffee
Not every day, and not all day. But I've had coffee and even (gasp!) espresso.

2. I Still Dye My Hair
I had just changed my hair color to a glorious, completely artificial-looking auburn-burgundy when I found out I was knocked up. I just couldn't give up on the color so soon after introducing it into my life. On the other hand, I don't really paint my nails (another no-no, I hear). Not so much because I think nail polish will damage She-Blob, but because I'm too lazy and can't stay in the lines.

3. I Fall Asleep On My Back
Sometimes it just happens. I'm sorry, I haven't learned to wake myself up every time I turn on my back at night. In my defense, She-Blob is still kicking daily, so I'm pretty sure my rebellious back-sleeping hasn't permanently damaged her.

4. I Eat Sushi
And not just California Rolls. I hear you all gasping. But so do all the pregnant people in Japan. And I haven't heard of any population decline in the country. I don't eat at "All You Can Eat Revolving Sushi for $0.99" I'm hoping this reduces my chances of death by fish-poisoning.

5. I've Eaten Unpasteurized Cheese
More gasps... I refer you to the populations of Europe, who have not been done in by raw milk in several thousand years. Though I do hear they have far less lactose intolerance and fewer digestive problems...

6. I've Had the Occasional Glass of Wine
Medicine is on my side in this one!!! Views are changing, and even my OB told me I can! I'm not downing a liter of vodka a night. Or even a month. So lay off, people!

Why am I such an unapologetic rule-breaker?

  • Because I believe that I'm a relatively intelligent adult able to differentiate between real risks and fear-based propaganda pushed on us by our culture.
  • Because living in LA and breathing in smog every day, while eating chemical-laden "all natural" produce is far more damaging than a cup of Starbucks. But no one seems to warn me about that.
  • Because one of the most detrimental things to a pregnancy is stress, and I'm trying to keep myself as stress free as possible. And if the price of that is a scallop roll, I'll take my chances.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bathing Beauty

We're going to Palm Desert this weekend and with "desert" being the operative word, the area tends to be rather balmy. Luckily for us, our hotel comes with a lovely pool that invites lounging. Less luckily, that requires a bathing suit.

Now I've seen the proud mamas-to-be, strutting their stuff in tiny bikinis, inviting the world to admire their fertile physiques. And while I applaud their self confidence, the idea sticking some dental floss between my ass-cheeks and some triangles over my boobs and prancing around like the day-glow pale Earth Mother that I am fills me with overwhelming dread.

So, a bathing suit needed to be purchased. One that covered a lot of me.

Given my horror of clothes (let alone bathing suit) shopping on the best of body-image days, and taking into account my near break-down at Macy's some months back, I decided that I couldn't face this shopping excursion alone. And since he made the mistake of marrying me and tying his life forever to mine, Bree got roped in for the trip.

We arrived at Macy's at 8 pm. This was good, since few people go bathing suit shopping while American Idol is on. We were focused. We had a mission:

Get in.
Get out as quickly as possible.
Preferably with a bathing suit.
Hopefully without the shedding of tears (me or Bree).

First things first. Bright colors are IN. In a big way. This is not conducive to staying inconspicuous while lurking in the shadows.

Secondly, designers seem to be skimping on material under the guise of fashion...

Seriously, do these look good on anyone?!

But we were determined to walk away with a suit. Bree was the hero of the operation, refusing to succumb to tears or my insistence that the pool is really over-rated. And after a few missteps (the fluorescent green flowered number, the numerous brown floral options, and the retro striped thing - btw, horizontal stripes are NOT my friends) I finally came away victorious, clutching my black tankini. (A tankini, for those not in the "know" is basically a one-piece suit that has been cut into a top and a bottom, so they can charge you for both pieces separately.)

Mind you, I look NOTHING like this in it. But I can now lounge about with the Palm Springs poolside set. I just hope that with the black and white, they don't mistake me for Shamu and try to net me and return me to my natural habitat.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Will She-Blob Be Damien?

I've read that it's only natural to have doubts about your abilities as a parent-to-be. Will I know when my child is hungry? How will I balance being a mother and a working professional? Can I be a good role model? Will I accidentally (or not so accidentally) lose my child at Target?

Sure you have your qualms, but you can actually take steps to prepare yourself for parenthood. But what if your doubts are about what your actual child will be like? I mean, did Lionel and Joyce Dahmer suspect the hand they were going to be dealt?

I'm not suggesting I expect to birth a cannibalistic serial killer. And I should also point out that I'm currently working on a show that involves very, very bratty children. So granted, my outlook is somewhat slanted right now. But seriously, what do you do when your child's idea of a good time is setting small fires or stealing cars? A simple "time out" seems a bit, well...simple.

Many people have told me that ultimately we will be the ones to set the parameters She-Blob will evolve under, and that if we parent vigilantly and well her offences should be minor and manageable. And I want to believe them. This morning, on the way to work, I heard a story about a boy who stole his grandmother's car, drove it 3 miles hitting mailboxes, parked cars and moving vehicles along the way while he and his friend smoked cigarettes. When asked if he realized that he could have killed someone, he said yes, but it was fun to do bad stuff.

He's 7.

What do you do with that? Seriously?