Our Last Night

Packing up the last few boxes, here. Archer is asleep in our bed, on the soft pillow under his blankie.

We let him sleep with us sometimes, Sandwich de Archer Sage. It's fun. Last night he slept between us too and I woke up at some point in the wee morning hours, nose to nose with him. He must have been watching me because when I opened my eyes, he smiled. I had no idea being a momz would be so intense. I was warned about the early morning feedings but never prepared for the early morning smiles. These last five months have been awe-inspiring.

Anyway, moving. Tonight marks the eve of our big move into the grand palace royale: a two bedroom with a laundry room and small yard for the dogs. I know! I know! It is just too exciting to fathom! Bad news = our internet will be down for the week because the friggin DSL dude can't hook the shit up until Thursday which is annoying but whatever.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween with their little ones decked out in their pumpkins and elephants and chicken eggs. We don't have any big plans, obviously. Archer will be swinging the night away in his devil costume as we unpack. Pics to follow.

GGC signing out on our last night on Detroit Street. No more cramped living. No more sharing a room with Archer in his too-small-for-a-five-month-old-bassinette. This is the big time. The fam is all growns up. Sniff.


Excuse 1 of 1798791039283901389

I have been posting every single day (sans weekends) since launching GGC but today I am unable to think of/write anything clever. I am moving on Saturday and being surrounded by boxes with a baby in one arm and a tape gun in the other stimulates minimal effort. Maybe tomorrow something notable will happen, like Archer will do something amazing in the dust of our moving-on-up adventure like do a headspin on a flattened cardboard box in the only remaining space to move in our living room. Ugh. Bleh. G'nite.


GGC Recommendations for Momz and Little Ones

Music is very important to us here at GGC Headquarters. Archer falls asleep to music, plays to music, eats to music, plays his baby piano to music. Before Archer was born, I bought The Innocence Mission's newest record, Now the Day is Over, looking forward to playing it for little Archer or Colette. (We didn't know what we were having yet) when he/she was born.

I have been a fan of The innocence Mission since puchasing Birds of my Neighborhood in 1999 and am still as in love with every song they produce. Now the Day is Over is a collection of lullabies, both standard and original that Karen Peris (vocalist, pianist) and her husband, Don Peris (guitarist) sing to their children. Disc includes Mancini's Moon River, my all time favorite song since I was a child, What a Wonderful World, Edelweiss, Over the Rainbow and other melodies perfect for sleepy-heads and turning wakey-heads into sleepy-heads.

Portions of the proceeds benefit orphaned children in Africa so besides being an essential in your child's lulla-brary, it is the perfect gift for yourself and CBH's to be.

Listen to a sample here. Buy here and sweet dreams.


Baby Einstein

Now that my brother is officially attending Harvard for his PHD in Applied Physics (I know. He is the brains and I am the boobs of the family unit) I am officially convinced that uncle David's attendance will guarantee Archer's admission in 2023. Of course, Physics might not be the chosen major. My husband and I are what both sides of our families like to call "creative-types" so perhaps Archer will major in Russian literature or stand-up poetry. Don't laugh. Stand-up poets are hard-core. Have you ever seen DEF Poetry Jam?*

I digress. Harvard. Harvard is for lovers and poopers and now, thanks to Big Dave, descendents of the Woolf pack. Even before my brother had "decided" to accept Harvard's generous offer, he bought Archer a beanie, onesie and socks boasting the Harvard name for all Angelenos to gawk at as we passed on the streets, decked out in maroon.

"How old is your son."
"Why, he'll be five months next week."
"Wow. A prodigy?"
"Why yes."
"What is he studying?"
"Everything, actually. My kid is smarter than Jesus**"

Not that education matters. I dropped out of film school on my first day and the husband went to the University of barefeet. Still, secretly (er, not so secretly) I have my fingers crossed. It's only natural. The kid is already good-looking and we all know that intelligence is second to beauty***.


*I will most likely make fun of this countless times in the future.
** This is a good bumper sticker idea.
***this is not a joke. i am being serious.

GGC for Babycenter.com

What has changed since you've had a baby?


Lights! Camera! Acne!

Archer has infant acne pretty much since the day we took him home from the hospital. At nearly five months, its still going strong. I hold myself responsible no matter what our pediatrician says. My skin hasn't been blemish-free since the ice age and he is my son, expelling my hormones for the both of us. Magically, my skin has been perfect since his birth. The doctor tells me that it will go away by month three. Ahem. Here we are on the verge of month five, still going strong.

Anyway, like most momz, I am camera-happy when it comes to Captain Sagebrush. I have taken at least 10,907,678,298.0675 pictures: Digital, manual, black&white, sepia toned, medium format... I shot a roll of especially cute photos about a month ago and decided to blow up a couple to send the extended family. 8x10's, a few 5x7's, several dozen 4x6's. I wanted for every person I have ever come into contact with to have their own piece of Mr. Sagebrush. In my past life of odd jobs I made a few bucks freelancing as a headshot photographer so naturally I went to my usual professional photo lab to place my order.

"I would like 5A and 6A blown up, please. White borders. And would you mind, airbrushing the cheeks a little bit?"
"Sure. Is this for a head shot?"
"God, no. The kid is three months old."

Around Here, everyone has headshots. The plummer. The landlord. The headshot photographer. That's why it didn't surprise the photo lab that I was blowing up 8x10's of my (then) three month old.

The lady gave me the "sure thing, stagemom" look (yes, there is such a look) and gave me my mock-up reciept.

It should have been that simple. Dropping off an order for pick up next week but there were problems with the proof and I had to come in to make sure the touch-up was suitable. There were prints to approve and weeks of decision making all for a friggin photo touch-up.

When I went back to lab to aprove the "final," another woman was working the front desk.
"I know this face. He does comedy, right?"
"He's three months old. He is not an actor."
"I see."

No one believed me. What the hell? Is it so odd to touch-up blemishes on a family portrait? Does that make me a stagemom? What would Jesus do? Is it not true that Sears and and every other cheese-louise portrait studio does the same thing? And yes, the pictures turned out gorgeous but was it worth it: all the pain and sweat and tears and eyerolls and "sure thing, stagemom" looks?



Archer Sagebrush Tastes the Nothing

Tonight was Archer's first solid-experience. Rice cereal+formula = smells like creme de la goop, tastes like nothing. I know because I tasted it. I am a curious lady-momz, quick to experiment with substances and I wanted to insure its kosherability. Archer gave me the "what the fuck?" face and then enjoyed an entire plate full of nothing. He ate two plates of nothing and was still hungry. I had to change his clothes three times and I ended up stripping down to my underwear to save my Chloe blouse from another trip to the dry cleaners. (I had previous dinner plans, hence the ensemble.) We were all sticky: the floor, the papasan chair, the binkie, the dogs. Who knew nothing would be such a mess?

In conclusion, the graduation from milk to creme de la goop is a very big deal in our household. We are oh-so proud.


Milky White Pukey Face Furniture Salesman

One of my first entries was about Archer puking at Amoeba. Today the kid puked all over the (forget-the-name) furniture showroom, and me, and the salesman, and my flip-flops.

This time the salesguy didn't notice. I had to tell him, "hold on, while I clean up" so I could pat my teets and shoulders and Rebe diaper bag and clean the gooey milky stuff between my toes. Dude was on a mission, trying to sell me couches and tables and dressers and whatever else he was trying to sell. He could care less about the spit-up on his collar. "Whatever. Check out the upholstery on this one."

Ah, sweet, sweet man. Sweet, sweet milky puke bath.


Highlights, Lowlights and Mediumlights


The boy wants to chew my fingers all day. They look like prunes from his little mouth. Poor little drooly face. Poor little teetheez.


Sometime in the last week or so, Archer grabs at toys and wants to play with them. He bats at his hangy toys, bangs on his Octopus-piano and tries to eat my cellphone. He can also eat his stuffed duck and french-braid my hair. I mean, WOW!


Although bathing is nothing new to Mr. Sagebrush, these pictures were especially cute and worth sharing.

Stay tuned for more adorablelights...


Poop Culture Weekly

Psssst. Remember the Maddox blog? Well, seems Mommy got pissed off and the popular blog featured in People/Defamer/WWD/and Details has been removed from the interweb.

In her defense, I would have probably been equally as tyrannical if someone (other than me) was writing an "Archer blog." The whole situation is still very sad. The GGC really feels for the author: the man/woman behind the mohawk. Love that man/woman.

On the upside, the less popular Zahara blog is still up and running... I can imagine, not for long.


K-rock: Clearly a GGC To Be (Minus the "To Be")

I was in my native hometown of Encinitas over the weekend and was lucky to spend some time with preggo K-rock.

Archer was there and we introduced him to -3 month old, Kennedy. Archer flirted with Kendra's belly button. No word yet if he got her phone number.

Naturally, the old crew wanted to get together to see Kendra's belly and reminisce over the scandalous stories of our pal and Mommy-to-be. Kendra insisted that we all meet at the bar, so we did.

There she stood, decked in maternity duds, looking hot and round, sipping water, welcoming each of us at the door. Totally oblivious to all of the drunken, halter-top wearing drinkers.

"Is that girl pregnant?"
"No way."
"Yeah look..."
"Did you hear? There's a pregnant here."

Kendra is the only person I know who can pull off the whole pregnant-in-a-bar thing. I was impressed. She even managed to fight off a potential suitor who overheard us discussing her concern for "pooping during childbirth" and then asked if the lot of us wanted to join him and his buddies in the booth.

Nothing like poop talk to get the boys excited. Nothing like the local bar for a meet n greet.


PTSF Repost: 7 Months Later

I was going through PTSF archives and found this post. I had forgotten that I wrote the thing. I had also forgotten what it felt like to be pregnant and full of the anticipation that comes with watching your body change shape, the nerves, the questions. When Archer was born it was like Christmas morning x infinity-gooleplex-infinity, a feeling that has lasted and I assume will last forever. Anyway... a repost for the momz to be:


Thoughts She Might Have While Waiting

He moves inside of her, trapped in the only world he knows. In two months, he can stretch his legs and touch strange faces, pulling stories and light through the holes in fallen leaves, nibbled by inchworms on the topsoil. He will open his eyes and see the doctors, then his Father and finally Mom. And soon he will see the medical machines and the Renoir prints framed by brassy gold that hang slightly crooked on the bleak hospital walls. She cannot imagine what he will say to himself when he sees these things for the first time. The congruency of seeing and knowing based on first impressions. Everything, a first impression.

This little human, spawned from a single moment, the biological gift of pleasure's metamorphosis- and soon, a baby boy, vulnerable and soft-skinned. The mother pats her belly. She draws circles where she thinks his head rests, like a halo round and round. She wonders what he is thinking about. If he will be claustrophobic like her, feeling the need to burn holes in the sky, to climb out of the world that seems at times so low like the ceiling of a dollhouse or the 6 1/2 floor. How does he cope with his growth? Curled up in a ball, walled in by humidity and darkness, blinded by the occasional beam of light through her belly button.

He has a name and she calls to him, so that he can hear her voice and love her as he grows beneath her rib cage, sagging quietly toward the hole between her legs, his escape. Full of life, she pushes her belly out and walks him down Detroit Street, to the end of the block and back with her dogs in tow. The dogs recognize her voice when she calls to them. She wonders if they know about the baby, like a beanstalk curling through her, green and freckled like her husband's eyes. She wonders if the dogs can sense that two hearts are beating in the same space, her body, layered like a Russian Matroska doll. Perhaps they can hear the two drums in harmony

She thinks he will have a sense of humor because every time she laughs he bumps her with his heels, stretching to the rhythm of her giggles. She thinks he will be a musician like his father because when her husband sits down to play the piano, the baby moves, kicking and clawing and waltzing. She thinks he will have his fathers lips and her eyes because that is what she imagines when she dreams of him. She knows that he will be beautiful, strong and sensitive, stubborn with the willpower of an idealist, and that perhaps she will have to teach him as she has been taught that the real world seeks not another dreamer so he must be aware of the risks involved. She hopes to be like her mother- aware of her child's potential, generous with love and the freedom to explore. That she will remember to send her child looking for his own hiding places and mountaintops, rather than mapping out her own. She tells herself that he will find the way without her, so long as she packs him lunch and an umbrella. "Just in case it rains," she will say and he will roll his eyes and tighten the laces in his boots.

When people ask for his name, she tells them, introducing her belly with pride, as almost a shadow would, for in the sun he stays in focus as she stands behind him slightly blurred. She knows that everything is about to change, that he will escape her violently and enter a world that she and her husband are wary of. They speak in the night, cuddled together, about the future of America and where they think the baby would be happiest, stimulated, free. They have agreed that the suburbs are no place to raise a family. They laugh at this and the baby spins and pushes on her side. He tickles her with the voltage of trapped enthusiasm and she laughs again.

His moves become rapid and she turns on her back so that her husband can press his ear to the stretching shell and hear the ocean. So that he can trace the movements with his fingers and feel an entire world, under water, white as skin, ambitious with nature's willpower: the balance of natural beauty and disaster. Her husband looks at her, still resting on the conch of questions, anxious and excited. They feel his movements together. Three sets of hands exploring her body, motivated by life's natural impetus, the forces that be. And they lie together through the night and wait.



Candy Striping at Cedars Sinai


There comes a time in a young man's life when he must dress like a pumpkin and spread holiday cheer to all the hospitalized boys and girls.

That time is undoubtedly now.

p.s. we love you, lauren.


Beware the Old Wives of La Brea

If I have learned anything after birthing a human, its that when old ladies flag you down from across a busy intersection, keep walking. They do not need help crossing the street. They are simply trying to tell you that you are doing something wrong as a mother and your child will surely suffer because of your inadequacies. This has happened to me 12,345 times already and Archer is only four months old.

On our way home from Ralphs, while crossing 3rd and La Brea at dusk (the sun is down and it is pretty close to being completely dark outside), an old Italian/Polish/ Russian/ woman stopped us on the crosswalk. I should have known right then, but alas... She was muttering and I thought, once again, that the mangy, mustache- cursed woman needed my help. She was lost? Having a heart attach? Etc.

"Heylowwww missus. Your child no see at this time. Light bad for eyes!"
"Excuse me? It is nearly completely dark out."
"Yaaaaaaah! Zis light makes bad eye for child. You cover the face like zeeeees."

The babushka tried to pull the stroller shade over Archer's face.

"What the hell are you doing? He's fine."
"Wha? No! Cover eyes. Its bad from streetlights go bright. He go blind!"
"I think he will live. Thanks."
She shrugged and pouted. " Fine. You are ze bad mother. Bad, bad mother."

The light turned green. I rushed to the sidewalk, pushing Archer to safety. The old wife was still in the middle of the street stopping traffic with her outstretched pointer finger, wrinkled in the lamp light.

I rushed home to the sound of her voice in the distance. "Bad, bad mother. He go blind! Bad mother.."

12,346 times and counting...


Baby Bjorn To Rock

I used to spend every weekend at the record store browsing the used section for one-of-a-kind vinyl and new indie-rock CD’s. Even when pregnant I killed anticipated time digging through the rock section, clad appropriately in a maternity shirt with the graphic of headphones carefully placed over my bump so my fetus could look like he was listening.

Archer kicked when he heard Mozart. He also kicked when he heard The Rolling Stones and The Trashcan Sinatras. He was a man of fine taste. My husband and I were proud.

As Archer approaches his four-month birthday I finally feel the time right to introduce him to the pleasures of record store perusing and purchasing. Excitedly I explain that we will be going on a field trip this afternoon. Archer smiles and pounds his fists in his papasan. That’s my boy.

I dress Archer in his finest record-browsing clothing: plaid shirt, jeans, guitar graphic onesie, pirate booties and golf-hat. I squeeze into my favorite jeans, throw on my newsboy cap and we’re out the door. When Archer and I arrive at our destination, I untangle him from his seatbelts and teddy bears and burp cloths and strap him to my body in the Baby Bjorn, face out. I adjust his little hat and slip through the strap of my oh-so-cute and one-of-a-kind carpet diaper bag. We look good. We look ready. We look rock-and-roll.

We begin in the new section of A’s. I introduce Archer to my favorite records in alphabetical order. Archer burps and kicks his little legs. “I agree. Appetite for Destruction is one of the greatest albums of all time.” It is obvious that we are the only mother, baby duo in the entire store but we don’t mind. Archer burps again.

The college boys look up from their limited edition Radiohead box sets and smile in our direction as we walk by. A spiky-haired local DJ nudges his local DJ buddy with armfuls of Japanese imports as we wade through Bjork EP’s. The DJ’s are talking about us but I can’t make out what they are saying.

“Excuse me?” I ask an employee busily organizing S’s. “Do you have any Baby Bach CD’s??”
“There’s classical music in the back next to New Age,” the man snickers.
I don’t understand what is particularly funny about Baby Einstein records but I thank him and walk on.

Archer has a thing for Yanni. Don’t ask me how Reflections of Passion ended up in our apartment but anything that helps Archer (and me) sleep through the night is a best friend. We decide on Yanni’s vintage classic, Optimystique and a Bach record for adults.

The more ground we cover the more people stare. It takes a minute to realize that it isn’t because we are insatiably cool with eclectic taste. It is something else.
An employee suddenly pokes me on the back.
“Your baby puked all over the Moby CD’s.”
“What? Who? How do you know?”

The employee looks me over. I contort myself to get a good view of Archer and the front of the Baby Bjorn. Sure enough, spit-up is caked in long strands down the Baby Bjorn onto my legs. On my shoes. On my Bag. Even in my hair.

“Oh, that,” I say. “That’s nothing.”
I follow the employee to the spit-up coated Moby section. Teenage girls snicker. The DJ’s roll their eyes.
“He must have projectile vomited because I was not browsing Moby.”
“Well, congratulations. That’s quite a feat,” He spats.
“Are you asking me to clean it up?”

My embarrassment is quickly replaced with anger. The fact that the employees can’t find it in their hearts to be more accommodating to young, fashionable mothers with great taste in music and diaper bags, is beside the point. I look at “Hello, my name is Billy,” the poseur with his Mohawk and tattooed neck and I think to myself, what does he know? So I ask him.
“What do you know?”
“Huh?” he answers.
“Look at you, with your safety pins and Sid Viscous t-shirt. You think you’re dirty and reckless? Archer spit-ups because he feels like it. He doesn’t care. What do you call that?”
“Well, I call that punk rock!”

And right on cue, Archer roars. A little roar mind you, an infant’s roar, throaty and less than intimidating but powerful; the voice of a boy who will not be made a fool.

“You see?”
The teenage girls start laughing and Billy shrugs.
“It’s no big deal,” he says. “We’ll take care of it.”
I thank him for forgiving my reckless, puking child and we part ways. The people are still staring but this time they support our cause.
“Right on, Archer.”
“I’ve never liked Moby either,” they say.
‘You rock, little man.”

Archer and I march through the crowded isles of the record store, shaking hands with the fans, drenched in curdled breast milk, proud. We make our purchases and say goodbye. I kiss Archer on the forehead and promise to stand behind him always, no matter who or what he throws-up on.

Archer and I head home, drenched in vomit, blasting Yanni with the windows down for all to hear. Partners in crime. Rock-and-roll.