HostSecret Week XV


Straight From the Bottle Recaps:

Home, Sick: Moping around the house with a sick little fish with sick little fins.
How Did I Live Without Her?: The joy (and relief) of help.



Photo of the Week

Sick Baby. Broken heart.


SheNANNYgans: Introducing Lauren

I met Lauren three years ago. She was 18 and paralyzed from the neck down after contracting a rare form of Acute Porphyria. After waking up from a six-month coma, Lauren was bedridden, a prisoner on her own skin. Unable to eat after digestive failure. Allergic to light of any kind. Unable to move anything but her one arm she used to type. We met in the Starbright chat room and were friends ever since.

On Lauren's 19th birthday I flew to Kansas to meet her. We spent a long weekend together, watching bad movies, fake-smoking cigarettes and rolling around the Kansas City suburbs blasting music from the boombox we rigged on the back of Lauren's wheelchair, making pathetic looking shadow-puppets with our hands against the street:

Months later, Lauren did the impossible. She taught herself, slowly, how to wiggle her toes and then how to bend her knees and soon to walk. With canes at first. And then about a year later, without them. Her feeding tubes were soon removed after slowly introducing her body to food again. And her skin to the light.

She moved to Los Angeles soon after to pursue film making and was offered a prestigious internship with Spielberg this summer on the set of Indiana Jones IV.

Lauren circa 2004:

Lauren circa today:

People keep asking me how I found a nanny.

"Who is she?" they ask.

Who is she?

Lauren. Just.. Lauren.

I don't know what else to say.

Today, watching Lauren chase Archer around the park, it is impossible to believe that three years ago she was bedridden. That she had tubes in her chest and couldn't walk or expose herself to any kind of light. That she couldn't eat or feel her feet, numb and paralyzed. It seems like the whole thing was a dream.

Finding someone to trust enough to be with Archer is almost impossible, but having him in Lauren's care is such a blessing. I don't know if there is someone I would trust more.

Lauren taught herself to walk. She taught herself to heal. She defied every odd and shocked every doctor. She persevered. I watched her take her first steps. I watched her receive a standing ovation as she spoke in front of hundreds of beneficiaries and celebrities, walking onto the platform radiant and beautiful, the personification of endurance and faith. The REALest star of all.

I am blessed to have been able to be there for her, to witness her miracle:

...And in turn she gets to be here for me, to witness mine:


Lauren will be soon be nanny-blogging here at GGC under the tag: sheNANNYgans. Word.

In Honor of Meredith's Vagina

BFF spawn hath arrived!!!

Nolan Matthew Toraason
April, 24, 2007
7 pounds. 19 inches.

Mama is doing AMAZING and I'm pissing my pants with excitement!!! Exclamation points for all (!!!!)

Congratulations Mere!


Miss Misery

I used to go out every day. I managed to lunch and shop and work-out five days a week. I tried on jeans in cozy boutiques while archer snacked on rice cakes in his stroller. I met up with friends while they hung their paintings in galleries. I went everywhere and did everything I used to do, before I had a baby.

Archer slept in his stroller on walks. He held my hand down stairs. He stayed close to me and enjoyed flirting with the pretty shopgirls in the local boutiques. He nibbled madeleines at cafes, while I sipped coffee and read my book. He played quietly with Legos at the Y daycare while I read Entertainment Weekly on the bike.

"I don't know what everyone is complaining about," I thought. "This is easy."

Because more or less, everything was wonderful and motherhood was a joy. Kind of like giving birth to a best friend whose farts you like the smell of.

I miss those days.

I miss them when I meet a friend for lunch and have to leave halfway through. I miss dressing rooms and sorting through sale racks for summer dresses. I miss chatting up strangers on busy boulevards as Archer smiled sweetly on. I miss being able to stop at an intersection, without holding my son down in his stroller. I miss hanging out with childless friends and having intelligent conversation (because what childless friend wants to hang out with two psychos?) about things that didn't involve child behavior patterns.

I miss taking Archer to museums and libraries and on nature walks without him throwing a temper tantrum because the sun is in his eyes, only to throw another temper tantrum because I tried to put a hat on him. I miss being able to work out for longer than five minutes without being asked to leave by the daycare ladies. I miss magazines on the porch and Archer playing with the dogs on the stoop, without running off.

"Being a mother doesn't have to change your life," I have always said to myself and to my friends.

But that was before I was the mother of a two-year-old.


HostSecret Week XIV


Straight From the Bottle/ Huffington Post Recaps:

Mommies Who Leash: I will never judge a mother who leashes her child AGAIN...Whoa, Nelly. This one's a controversial sucker.
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Theme: I have this to say about planning Archer's 2nd birthday party:
Totally whatever.
I Tell My Mother all my Secrets: Originally published here.

... Check out other essays in the Ivillage/Huffpo Mother Daughter Campaign including this piece written by the lovely and fabulously talented, Joanne.


Photo of the Week

(more) fun with crazy hose


I, Bitchbot

I always thought I was the "nice girl" in high school. That I was "victimized" and in no way would ever do or say something mean to anyone because of it.

Then I read the following message in my my myspace inbox:

Hey Becca,

Remember me? You were a real bitch to me in high school!!!!!! (endless exclamation points.)


So maybe I did get beer bottles thrown at my face and was sold to the new girl for $2.00. But at the risk of being a hypocrite, I will also admit to being on the other side of things from time to time.

A bitch?


But for the record, "Me"'s profile photo was a glamour shot. And not in an ironic way.

I'm just saying...


Apparently, It's Video Week Here @ GGC

I know. I know. But come on? Everyone loves a little film festival action, right?


(I had to remove the video from the page because it was playing automatically, but if you haven't seen the video and would like to, click here.)

Oh, how I love drunk, swearing toddlers named Pearl.


**I will be chatting about blog-anonyminity/ True Mom Confessions with Kristen, tonight on her radio show. If you're interested in tuning in, go here. We'll be on around 6:10 pm EST. **

Over, Rover.


Diggin' On Mad Hose

Happiness is this:

This video has saved my ass several times over the last week from complete and total mental breakdown.

Toddlers may be crazed, tantrum-throwing, psychopaths from time to time, but for the most part they are the ultimate catalysts for joy.

Thank you, Archer.


HostSecret Week XIII


Straight From the Bottle Recaps:

One Friend is All You Need:
On making girlfriends out of mommyfriends-- a surprisingly difficult task.
Revenge of the Sippy Cup:
Luckily, this post is already outdated. Archer is no longer obsessed with el sippy cup-o. He's back to his old glass-spilling/drinking ways. Sigh.


*True Mom Confesions buttons are here! Support the site by posting our button in your sidebar. Thank you!
**Also wanted to mention for those of you who asked, True Dad Confessions launches in the next week or so, because, duh! Dads have top-secret confessions, too.


Photo(s) Of The Week

My father, my son...

...oh, but they're *Jewish* eggs...

What? They are!


Metaphor? Or Coincidence

Today, my car got its ass kicked by a palm tree. AGAIN. I'm starting to wonder if maybe this is a sign. Maybe my love/hate relationship with Los Angeles is becoming more of a masochistic one? Or maybe the Gods are punishing me for driving a green station wagon. Maybe if I get it painted black with flames on the sides and tint the windows and hook-up some phat reems, the local trees will stop fucking with me. Maybe?

RIP $400 I should be spending on a very cute bag.

Second thought, probably not. Some trees just cannot be reasoned with and/or befriended. Is it just me or does this tree look like a total dick?

"I like long walks on the beach, trunks with big coconuts and fucking up green station wagons..."

I mean, seriously? Who says that?

Sometimes I just shake my head at life. I just shake my head.


True Mom Confessions Goes Live

True Mom Confessions is live! We're still working out some technical glitches and updating our visual content, but we're up and, well, a little depressing, actually. (I guess confessions aren't usually "happy" though, are they?)

Also look for the True Mom Confessions radio show launching in May. Hosted by the lovely Romi Lassally (and myself) and and guest-starring all kinds of wild and wonderful women (and men) as we probe a confession of the week for discussion and debate.

More information to come as the site evolves!

Go. Confess. Now.

Word, mamas. Woooord.


New Babies Make Me, Um, Want A New Baby

I know I have written about this at least ten-thousand times, but I happen to be coming off a weekend new-baby-in-the-family-lovefest and I feel a little babysick.

Every day is a battle of the hormones. I click open my birth-control pills, shake my head and down the hatch, bitches. I carry on business as usual. I've even had myself convinced for the past four months that I don't want another baby for a WHIIIIIILE... "Maybe an only child is for me," I've thought on several occasions.

"I'll be a one-child, career mom! Archer is all I need! Baby #2, Shbaby #2... Psh. Whatevs."

Then I met her:

Baby Anushka...Beautiful AND quad-lingual!

Stop me if you've heard this one before (and yes, I know you've heard this one before x 7817298173) but there is something about a gorgeous, smiley, new ten-week-old baby that causes a mother to look long and hard at her own baby, and see, well, a non-baby.

I used to think of Archer as a tiny wittle person with tiny bitty-witty fingers and teensy tiny ears. Except all of that has changed since he became a full-grown man. A bonafide dude:

See? Archer and my mom are almost the same height!

It doesn't help that my childhood BFF is going to give birth any minute and every single dingle woman on the local playground is either pregnant or "trying" and frankly, it's hard to fight the urge to smoke crack when you're neck-high in crack. Baby-crack. Little tiny, powder-smelling, upchucking, baby-crack.

So much for having the baby-craze-thing licked. So much for 2010 as the perfect year to start thinking of baby #2....

My major problem is this; I look at Archer, my manly adult son and I think:

A. He's too cute not to make another.
B. He's going to need a friend to fuck with (I had my brother for a solid twelve years before he grew to be 6'1000)
C. He's not a newborn baby anymore which is weird and confusing
D. My vagina ain't getting any younger. Kegels or not, I might as well get this party done and over with by thirty so by fifty I can be a hot GILF like my mom (pictured above.)

I do realize that having a new baby is a giant pain in the ass and pregnancy is even worse, but I also now know, more than ever, how wonderful it all is. The first days. The first year. The love and the smell and the feeling you get in your heart watching them grow. From newborn to toddler to lead guitarist in a college indie band:

"I'd like to thank you for coming out and supporting our band, Archers of Archer..."

I'm going to go ahead and blame my cousin for all of this. And hope that, just like last time, I lose the urge and move happily along with my life, as a proud (and camera-happy) mother of one.

At least for now.


HostSecret Week XII


Straight From the Bottle Recaps:

No More Mommy Niceypants:
My being a tough, "I ain't gonna take no shit from no toddler" mofo is totally paying off.
Not Allowed: When playground bullies strike...

Huffington Post Recaps:

When Doctors Make Our Children Sick:
I have written about our experience with the Chicken Pox vaccine, but until now have not spoken openly (besides a rant or two) about our experience with Archer's circumcision. Pediatrician hell, anyone?

Several weeks ago, The Huffington Post also published my New York Times response to David Brooks' Mosh Pit Meets Sandbox piece, Moshing in the Sandbox. If you haven't already read it, you can find it here.



Photo(s) of the Week

peek-a-boo, street.

deep thoughts with archer sagebrush

lil' buckaroo

just... perfection.


The Art of Play

The other day I took Archer down to La Jolla Cove when we were staying with my parents in San Diego. The seals come to the Cove to play and on this particular day the beach was covered with mothers and their calves. It was poignant for me because I must have visited the cove a hundred times in my life. Maybe more. But this was the first time I had brought Archer there. The first time I had ever seen the mothers with their new calves.

"Just like us!" I thought.

Archer and I watched from above as they chased after one another, making great waves with their fins. They nuzzled faces on the shore before pushing off awkwardly toward the water. Flapping around on their bellies toward the sea. Making waves. Having fun. Diving through the kelp garden and curling around rocks and playing hide and seek.

There was a not a mother seal in sight that wasn't playing. Not a mother who wasn't watching from the perimeter. Text-messaging her colleague or her husband. It was pure and natural and beautiful.

I am as guilty as anyone for being distracted from one world by another... Blackberry in my front pocket. Texting with one hand, pushing Archer on the swing with another.

It is a constant juggle for most parents and that's okay. But on this particular day I decided to take notes. To put my phone away and to lie in the grass and watch Archer splash puddles and get dirty and laugh. To live in the moment. Stop thinking about the book and how to fix the issue with chapter six. Stop thinking about the messages that are piling up and the emails and work... Stop... AND LOOK!

We have a lot to learn from nature. From watching the great creatures in the wild getting dirty in the sand with their babies. Making a mess. Joining in the fun. Chilling the fuck out and enjoying life, mud-splattering puddles and all.

Because nature truly is our greatest mother, and if she has any parenting tips for us, I do believe it has to do with getting off our computers and phones and playing. Really playing.

Our kids are growing up during a time so saturated in technology, their physical lives, I feel are at stake. It's a dangerous time for make-believe and rolling around in the grass. A dangerous time for parents, constantly struggling with distractions-- pulling away from our physical selves not to mention our children. Is play a dying art or just a soon-to-be forgotten one? Either way, it's pretty scary what has happened. What is happening.

It's easy to forget but I think, so important for us to put away our phones and computers and Blackberrys once in a while and get all dirty like. Because if we can't do that than what is the point? Of blogging and writing books and doing business and pulling in new clients? What's the point of even getting out of bed? Of having a family?

Children don't remember how their parents provided for them but they do remember climbing trees at Balboa park. They sure remember riding Dad across the beach like a pony and making mud pies after the rain.

And so I've decided that playing needs to be first priority. I'm pretty sure everything else can wait.


My Son Ate My Blogwork

I have been contemplating making every Tuesday Terrible Tuesday because the "twos" have hit us with such a vengeance there seems to be little else to blog about.

Not to mention the fact that Archer's nap time is my blog time and therefore without a nap there is no blog.

Hence the following Archerfilm which illustrates perfectly how annoying it is that dude's so friggin cute when he's pissing me off:

So... my dear readers, please standby... I'm thinking positive and hoping that naps will return asap on the double. Or else. Something.


In other more impressive news, my beautiful friend, Pascale made a beautiful book featuring her photography along gorgeous quotes and prose. It's called Birth of a Mother and it truly is a labor of love (no pun intended.)

...stunning photographic images of pregnancy coupled with inspirational text and uplifting quotations. Speaks honestly and realistically all the while honoring the transcending metamorphosis that occurs in every woman when she becomes a mother. The message within is to empower every soon to be or new mom and give her the tools to navigate this huge transformation.

Take a look. Buy a copy. For yourself or as a gift for your friend, the mommy-to-be. You can sample the first few pages here by clicking the book preview.

The book is gorgeous and unique just like its author, my dear friend, Pascale.


HostSecret Week XI


Straight From the Bottle Recaps:

Dread Asphalt:
Tantrums are NOT a mom's best friend. Especially when they occur in the middle of Los Angeles intersections
Good Without Me: Leaving Archer with a Nanny isn't as easy as I assumed it would be.