The Sleeping Habits of Honeymooners

(updated below)

I wrap my arms around her, rest my chin against the top of her head. She's stirring and I'm bleary-eyed. Archer's voice carries down the hall as Hal calls after him. I'm not sure what time it is. Is it 7am? 7:30? Could it even be 8am? 8:30? I'm bad with mornings. I don't test well in the blue light. It makes me squint. I build a cocoon of duvet and pillows and wait for wings.

Meanwhile, my cherub sleeps against me, folded hands against her chest.

In nearly seven months, Fable has seldom woken up before I have, sleeping at times until 11:00am, 11:30, when I've been too sick or too tired to acknowledge the bright light and sounds of neighborhood lawn mowers and revved engines and people talking loudly on their cell-phones in the front yard.

She wakes when I do. No matter how carefully I remove my hair from her hands, how quietly I tiptoe out the bedroom door, she wakes within moments. Her legs kicking and eyes wide-open by the time I finish my morning pee, flush the toilet.

I promised Hal she'd be in her own bed on her six-month birthday. I promised myself. She's nearly seven-months old and I can't bear the thought of sleeping without her. Of inhaling nothingness where her exhales used to be. Of collapsing in a bed empty of Fable at 1am.

It would be like telling a five-year-old that her favorite stuffed horse must suddenly sleep in another room, when the smell of drool and broken button-eyes are her most comforting sights and smells. (I slept with my blankie and stuffed animals well into my teens.)

We didn't co-sleep past two weeks with Archer. He slept on a pillow between us until he outgrew the tiny space. We moved him to a bassinet after that where he slept soundly through the night and when he outgrew that, a crib. The bed belonged to Hal and me. No babies allowed.

Why so different this time? Was it chicken who changed or was it egg?

(The chicken would be me.)

How will I sleep without her now that I have become dependent on her chubby wrists in my hands as I drift off, dream on?

And what of the morning? The two of us nose to nose, a couple of cyclops when we open our eyes, eskimo kisses in our pajamas, Fable straining to sit up against the current of my lips to her brow. Oh but I'm stronger, little girl. And I will eat you up against your will if I have to.

And then... laughter. Laughter like a round of applause, like water its sound.

Nothing sweeter.

One of these days, I'll wake up and say, "enough is enough! My arm has cramped for the last time!" Or Hal will put put his foot down or Fable will turn sixteen and get all weirded out that I'm sniffing her hair as she sleeps. Or one of us will fall out of the bed because the little one said roll over, roll over...

In the meantime, wild stuffed horses couldn't keep me away.

Sweet dreams.


This week I'm giving away the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance (pictured below) which is Fable's favorite hang-spot and the only place besides my arms she will cat nap for ten minutes at a time.

I also have two autographed copies of my friend, Andrea Richesin's book, Because I Love Her, a poignant collection of essays about mother/daughter relationships. Book trailer, here.

To win*? Tell me your story of sleep.


*Winners picked at random by noon Friday. Good luck, sleepy dreamers.

** Congratulations to Keri at ASL Junkie for winning the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance, and Amy at Not An Only Child and Mamacita in the City for winning the signed copies of Because I Love Her. Please contact me with your information so your prizes can be awarded to you. Thank you all for participating! (Check out to see if Andrea will be in your city signing books in your city this week, here.)

The Almost Divorce

If I were to write another memoir, a sequel(ish) to Rockabye, I'd call it, "The Almost Divorce," because almost divorcing? Is something most (every?) married couple goes through at some point. Something many couples are going through right this very second. Something my husband and I went through for two plus years.

When Hal and I were in the trenches, lighting and putting out cigarettes on each other's hearts, we regularly spoke of divorce, how we would deal, who would move out. It was Archer that kept us together, mainly because neither of us could mutter the words "custody" or "step parents" without seeking a toilet bowl to puke in.

I have never been a jealous girlfriend, or wife. Quite on the contrary, actually. But the thought of my son with another mother figure singing him to sleep? Broke me.

I have the utmost respect for couples who make it work, who pick up and glue together the broken pieces of their marriage "for the kids" AND for themselves because I've been there and it's tough fucking work. I also very much applaud the couples who understand that it's soul suicide to fake it work.

Unadulterated honesty, when it comes to one's heart and well-being is mandatory practice as far as I'm concerned.

For a lot of couples, that means getting a divorce:

For Hal and me? It meant almost...

And today our marriage is all the stronger for it. We needed to come out the other end of that hell. We needed to face head on, an almost divorce in order to wake up, covered in dust, happily married. Which is why if I ever get around to writing another memoir? It will be about that.

How it almost happened.

But didn't at all.


The One Night Five Year Stand

Five years ago, tonight, what started as a "one night stand" ...

... turned into:

-- a five year relationship,

-- a four (plus) year marriage

-- two of the most beautiful children to walk/squirm the face:

THAT'S how good the sex was.

Oh, yes.

In all seriousness, though...

I could not have been booty-called at 3am by a better man...

... and (soon-to-be) father.


The very best.

Archer is absent from this photo because he's going through a stage where he refuses to pose for pictures. Bummer.


P.S. Hal started a blog a while back where he collects insanity and funny business. Be forewarned, 99% of what he posts is NSFW!! Welcome to my world. All I do all day is sort through these videos, which Hal forwards to me on the hour. Enjoy!

Solidarity, The Sequel

Remember how a couple months back I found my first gray hair? Well, I totally went and pulled it out of my head, even though everyone told me not to. Mainly because I was so intrigued by its existence I wanted to study it up close and personal because WHOA! I had a gray hair! No way! I'm so mature! My hair is so wise beyond its years! I'm totally silver fox material!"

But also because I was like "get the HELL OUT OF THERE! WTF, HAIR!??!"

Of course, two months later...

... Just like the old wives' tales swore to be true:

... I found two long pube-like strands hanging out in its place like it was their JOB to dance among the strands of brown in my bangs like a couple of platinum attention hogs.

Once again, because I couldn't help myself, (ed: I don't know how people don't yank their gray hairs out. It's almost reflex-like, the need to pluck them. Kind of like finding lint on your shirt or an eyelash in your eyeball) I plucked them out, one by one and took pictures:

After studying the hairs and thinking long and hard re: what I was to do with them. I decided to give Hal the gift of reverse hair loss.

lock of love

Because that is one of the many things prematurely-gray wives are willing to do for the men they love.

At this rate, we'll be able to do a full hair transplant in about four years.

Lemonade, people.

Look how stoked Hal is off his new hair! So sweet.



Losing His Marbles

How is one supposed to childproof for a second child when her eldest LOVES the kind of toys that double as choking hazards? *Cough, marbles, cough.*

Psh. Like I'm supposed to know? Psh.

Now accepting very solicited advice, here


Motherhood is an All Ages Show


These days most couples wait until they have kids. They wait until their careers are established and their homes are owned. They wait until they can afford a safe, comfortable car and around here (Los Angeles) a few hundred thou in the bank. They wait until they're successful, emotionally mature: ready.

And it makes sense. To wait. But some of us didn't. Some of us don't. Some of us got pregnant unexpectedtly and were like "fuck! I'm fucked! What the fuck?" And then were like "fuck it! I'm going to DO this. I'm going to have this baby in a one bedroom apartment with a dude I just met and make it WORK Goddamnit!"

Or... "fuck it! I'm just going to DO this on my own! Without the dude because I CAN ROCK this motherhood thing alone."

And they did. They rocked it. Are rocking it. Will continue to rock it. Young moms raising amazing kids on their own. Young moms raising kids with a mate... And yet? The age thing? The fact that homes aren't owned and cars aren't luxury and careers aren't secure is confusing to some. For those who waited. Because when I was your age, I was in no place to have a child. No way.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that? I'd be parking my luxury SUV in the driveway of my fancy estate. No joke.

The isolation that comes with new Motherhood is standard. It doesn't matter who you are or what you own or whether you're raising a child as a single mom in her teens or a happily married mother in her forties. And yet, we purposefully block one another and push each other away, condescend upon and judge. Patronizing young moms, labeling them "incapable" and "irresponsible"... Disrespecting teen mothers sometimes to their faces, calling them "bad influences" ... isolating them even more than they are, as new, young mothers is uncool and uncalled for.

Last year I wrote this post, inspired by Jamie Lynn Spears, a girl I felt compelled to defend. Because she was one of us. Regardless of her age, family, celebrity, she was going to be a new mom. A new mom who was being attacked by the media and blogosphere for her choice to become a mother.

I dealt with the same condescending "when I was your age I NEVER..." shit at twenty-three so I cannot even imagine what teen moms deal with.

Some of the greatest people I know were born and raised by young mothers, myself included. A mere generation ago, it was standard fare for women in their late teens and early-twenties to have kids.

Today? The stigma surrounding young mothers is inescapable. Especially in urban areas where we are told we must find success in our careers before we dare think of becoming pregnant.


Just because some women wouldn't have a child at sixteen or twenty-one or twenty-three doesn't mean I/we/you shouldn't. It certainly doesn't mean anyone is a better mother and yet, some seem to think its okay to insinuate otherwise.

Motherhood is an all ages show. Drinking bracelets be damned, we're all in the same concert hall, trying to see the stage.


I have two copies of the lovely and amazing Christine Coppa's new book, Rattled! to give away. Chrissi's story is kind of like a NYC version of mine except way more impressive because she? Is doing it all on her own. As always, two lucky winners picked at random c/o


**Congratulations to Misty at The Doan Gang and Melinda at The Stacer Family! Email me so I can get you your copies of Rattled! Thanks to everyone for your empowered and empowering words. **


Every time she reaches her chubby little hands toward me, eyes wide, open-mouthed smile, I am reminded of the way things ARE. Not the way they were. Not the way they will be but the way they are right this very moment: 

Lovely, happy Sunday.


The "Wrong Fit"

*updated below*

This time last year my book came out. An April 1st release date delayed two weeks c/o life and its unexpected kookiness. I thought it was a sign as I usually do. Nothing ever goes right when you need it to. But that's okay. Because sometimes what is "right" isn't at all, not even close. Challenges are mandatory in life, especially when it comes to dreams being realized, spring arriving and with it the birds. Life is full of reminders that no matter how high we fly we are never above tragedy, loss or bad reviews.

This time last year I felt desperately alone and completely out of control. But I also felt elated because holy shit!!! I did it! I drew heads and legs on dreams and watched them walk out into the world and happy trails to you, little book. Happy trails.

After years of rejected manuscripts and kicking at doors, I had sold something. And it was out. Like, in stores.

It was as petrifying as it was liberating. I felt like I could do anything, regardless of how it was received. Learning to walk away from a critic smiling is like bungee jumping for those afraid of heights. I got to work right away on new projects and proposals and ideas I wanted to send out into the world. Because I can do anything! No one can stop me! Not even the voices telling me "Go on, you damn fool!" NOTHING!

But it hasn't been easy. Lots of work to be done. And I've been working my flat ass off this past year, not on Rockabye II: The Rockoning or even another book, but on a television pilot/script/proposal about new unexpected parenthood and the rebellion that follows. About the reestablishment of identity. The isolation. The utter ridiculousness of it all. Kind of like this blog in five acts.

Because I was so tired of the way mothers and fathers and families were depicted on television. All older and freshly pressed and wealthy with picket-fenced houses built out of brick and cliches. Because the only on-screen pregnant chick I'd ever related to was Juno and she gave her baby away. To Banana Republic's version of a "mom." Because moms don't look like Juno. Except actually? They do.

Because Jack Bauer on 24 is more relatable to new moms than the force fed politically-correct characters in In the Motherhood, Notes From the Underbelly and every other "parenting" show that lives briefly on network television before falling off the air. (I mean, really. Who are you seriously trying to reach with "rocker mom" Megan Mullally and her leather jacket circa 1996?)

not us said the fly!

Real mothers relate to women who are real -- who do not airbrush their lives or tuck in their shirts or bake heart-shaped cookies, sans burnt edges. Real women do not want to be bombarded by punchlines or political correctness. Real mothers are an all-ages show, a music festival with side stages and main stages and DJ tents to choose from. Why then must we all be lumped into the same category, herded by faulty shepherds toward the headlining act?

I was recently considered to be on Oprah with my friends from Momversation. After several exhaustive interviews and a week of waiting by the phone, I was told I was the wrong fit for the show.

"Cool. No problem. I understand," I said. And then I cried. Because who wants to be "the wrong fit" for anything?

The wrong fit for what? The wrong fit because... why?

"Because you're not exactly the 'down-the-middle' mom."

"Who is?"

As evidenced by these comments, very few of us feel like we "fit in" anywhere. And great because none of us have to.

Because it's a waste of time and heart to be anything but authentic.

Because unfortunately, what constitutes as "real parenting" on television these days are the Fake Housewives of New York City and Notes From the TV Executive's Wife's Playgroup .

But that will change. Or so I tell myself. Because no one wants to watch the "right down the middle television show. " No one relates to the "every-mom USA" advertisement.

Don't they?

Do you?

In the meantime I chase maybes, prepare proposals, rewrite scripts to land meetings with dudes who greenlight shows starring Horatio Sanz as the "manny" in order to convince them that the modern mother looks like me, too. Like US.

That in order to appeal to the audience they are so desperately after they must first tell an authentic story. (This, for example.) No talk of underbellies or motherhoods necessary.

Because "right down the middle" no longer exists. "The wrong fit" might pertain to jeans but not to people. Not to motherhood or parenthood or any other hood. Because an authentic experience is always right. Always appealing. And always relatable. Regardless of what it is or who you are or what the tattoos on your arms say.

(100% authentic grade A. happy baby)

So I'll continue to write what I know. Because that is what I've always done: knocking on doors, trying to convince strangers and executives and production peeps to spare some change re: the same old same old. And when I'm done knocking? I'll just knock again. Because quite often that's the only way to get anywhere with anything.


Happy Birthday, little book. You dream come true, you.

And many more.


In lieu of dreams and their anniversaries, and "wrong fits" being right on and me going on tangents like crazy, I'd like you to tell me what you're doing today to further your dream? Whether it be writing a book, screenplay, studying french, learning to tap dance or start a photography business, opening an Etsy store to sell your homemade jewelry, fighting for a cause...

One of you will be picked at random to win a First Act Acoustic Guitar, a signed copy of Rockabye and a year of free GGC adspace for your product, Etsy store or cause. Thank you for supporting this blog and my book and everything else. Thank you for always being real.

You rock.


Congratulations to the lovely Heather for winning all of the goodies above. And thanks to all of you for your words and support and loveliness per always.

talkin' bout my procreation(s)

Archer kisses Fable's hand. Nana's garden, Easter

Want to hear something weird? I enjoy talking about my kids.

Crazy, right? You're probably so totally surprised to hear this news but it's true. I'm completely batty-obsessed with my kids. I'm totally dead serious when I say that I absolutely believe my kids will change the world. Totally convinced. Or conquer war, disease, become superheroes with magic powers -- that the sun will shine out of their asses and the whole world will gather to sunbathe in their .... ass... sun... shine. Or something.

I mean... Seriously.



You don't think so?

You think I should shut up?

You don't want to hear me talk incessantly about all the crazy, amazing shit my kids did today? What about yesterday? How about the day before? Don't you want to hear every detail of every mundane moment, milestone, diaper change?

You don't?

Oh, right.

I knew that.


Today* on Momversation we're talking about talking about our kids and what the hell our problem is that we I can't shut up about how smart Archer is and how sweet Fable is and blah blah this that and the other thing and aren't our kids so awesome and they're just total geniuses it's so great and fabulous and we're so lucky how about we go have coffee and talk for three hours about our kids because that's what parents do because we can't help it and we really need help.

Seriously, you guys. We need to stop with the babytalk 24/7 because MOM JEANS ALERT! We're annoying our friends and colleagues and selling ourselves short. Because we're perfectly capable of intellectual conversation.... The problem is? Sometimes it slips our mind to go there.

Because Archer IS smart and Fable's IS sweet and it's hard to keep it a secret. Even though I'm constantly reminding myself that no one really cares. No one who isn't immediate family anyway.

And yet, not talking about my kids? Is like trying not to fart after eating Mexican food for four days straight. Impossible. As impossible as it is trying to hold in a story or a milestone or an "omg, Archer did the CUTEST thing today omg."

But you knew that.

It's not like I'm blogging about horses, here.


*super cute flower headband in Momversation c/o Etsy store, eighty8.
**super cute flower children c/o unprotected intercourse.

The Never-Napper

After fourteen three hours of trying-to-knock her out with bottles, boobs, dance routines and a song about a gigolo that only works when Hal sings it, Fable finally fell asleep. And now I'm so exhausted I'm going to bed. 

Mama needs coffee. And a nanny. Preferably one who lactates because the whole human pacifier thing? Kind of over it, gotta say. 

Screw the coffee. Mama needs Stoli.


Disorganized Religion

I will never be this cool. 

Tonight, on the way home from Passover Seder at my grandparent's house, Archer turned to Hal and me and said, "Are we going to go have dinner, now?"

"Archer! We just had dinner!"

"No. That wasn't dinner, Mommy. That was Matzo. I want Macaroni and Cheese."

...and green M&Ms in my dressing room!

And SO? Our non-Jewish/Jewish son was born. Joining his non-Jewish Jewish father, and his mostly Jewish/Non-Jewish/Whateverish Mother, and his sister who worships Boob and attends Nipple on Fridays at sundown. 

Ahem. Or should I say, L' Chaim? 

Today on Momversation, Alice talks interfaith marriage with Karen and me.

Personally? I'm not big on organized religion but I very much appreciate family togetherness, singing around pianos and wine. And holidays tend to amass those things so Shalom, my children, let's go paint eggs.

I cannot get over these pictures. So ridiculous. 


The Outsider Inside Her

ed: updated below


When your first child was born you were alone. Unable to talk to the other moms at the playground or the Music Together class or the YMCA. Every time you opened your mouth everything came out wrong so you stopped even trying. Everywhere you turned you found yourself faced with another mother's subscriptions to parenting philosophies you didn't understand.

You were almost part of a group once but it didn't work out. You weren't their type. You knew it the moment you pushed your son into the shade of their tree. You were "so young" they said, patting you on the head like a puppy, so cute how you always forgot to bring extra wet wipes, so sad that your son's fingernails were always too long and so dirty.

"When was the last time you cut them?"

"Um... Wait. Are you serious?"

You thought you were becoming friends until that one day happened when you all went to lunch and everyone ordered while you were in the bathroom (trying to workshop a diaper that exploded and the tantrum that followed) so your food came late and no one waited and it shouldn't have mattered but it did and then everyone left while you were still eating because "the kids were rowdy and sorry about that. Hope you have a nice lunch."

So you ate alone with your baby in your lap as everyone else walked on, pushing their matching strollers in their matching yoga pants down the boulevard as you sat by yourself at a vacated table for six, dejected and that was the end of that.

You never found your group so you stopped looking. Pulled your hood over your head and called yourself a misfit. Crossed the street whenever you saw a stroller coming in the opposite direction. Smiled first but always crossed the street.

You threw away emails from PR people trying to sell you antibacterial detergent and tupperware and khaki pants, free samples of hamburger helper, coupons for baby food. You changed the channel whenever accosted by the white-shirted "every mom" and her perfectly white walls without fingerprint stains.

Birthday parties were always interesting. You never knew whether to stand by the BBQ or watch your son on the bouncie thing. You were awkward with introductions, felt like the token little girl at the adult table because you were young and new and never attended parenting classes or lamaze or even college. So you said, hello, and sipped your tap water and checked your cell phone for missed calls you didn't have.

Sometimes it's safer that way. To be on the outside. To stand in the back of the birthday party and watch all the other parents drink beers and talk about private school and when a good time might be to fix the deck. It's safer to take your place on the outside. So instead of making small talk you try to visualize them all having sex with each other and when they ask you what's so funny you shake your head and say, "kids say the darndest things."

You always felt like a child with children. You wished you could find a group of moms who felt the same way, who were just like you in a land where everybody ate together at lunch.

Then one day you wake up to the face of your second child, your baby, and you realize you're kind of a grown-up now so maybe you should start acting like one. You're twenty-seven years old. Which sounds so much older than twenty-three when you say it aloud.

And you go about your day feeling differently about people and yourself. Less need to rebel against the stereotypes you were always afraid would swallow you whole because you've been a parent for four years, now, and you've never stopped being yourself.

"No one is going to steal your identity," you tell yourself. "You can relax"

You feel like a grown-up now. Like someone who has a husband and a family and a career. You never felt like that until now. Until the baby came. No one is going to steal your identity. You can relax. It's called growing up and you're happy to do it. You're tired of sitting at the kid's table. The chairs are too small.

You start to look closer. Pay attention. Listen. Strip away the twin jogging suits and matching strollers. Forget about the age differences and opinions and the fact that you will never remember to pack extra wipes, until everyone is just like you. Not on the outside of course. Not in experience or in parenting philosophy but in the way you always felt like you never belonged.

And the next thing you know you're at your son's friend's birthday party, talking with the other parents, and it isn't weird or awkward but totally organic and even though you don't have a deck to fix you do have an opinion about private vs public schooling. Something you never had an opinion on until recently.

You're on the inside, with no recollection of how you got there. Surrounded by other mothers. Mothers of all ages and opinions and styles and professions and you're proud to be among them. You don't want to stand by the BBQ or by the bouncie thing but with them -- you want to hear their stories and share yours. You wonder what changed. Was it them or was it you or was it the weather? Global warming is known to melt ice caps.

Everyone is just like you on the inside, you think. Outsiders who don't know who to call or where to sign or how to belong or which PPO plan is good for their families. And everywhere you look you see the women in their matching yoga pants and strollers, jogging down the sidewalks. Except you see them differently all a sudden. They no longer scare you or threaten you or cause you to turn around.

Instead you keep walking, maybe even wave because we're all in this together. Because sometimes we have to run away before we turn around and come home. And it's nice to be a part of something.

You don't always have to be on the outside of things to be yourself...

How has motherhood made you a misfit? Have you found that parenthood has made it easier or more difficult to make friends? Do you rebel against the cliches of modern motherhood or embrace them? How have you changed?

I'll pick one commenter at random to win a brand new Micralite Toro stroller (pictured above and below), care of my fab friends at Micralite and Scandinavian Child.

Winner will be picked at random by noon PST Wednesday. Good luck!



Update: Thank you so much for your stories and support and ever honesty. For reminding me daily that I'm not alone. For reminding each other. You are my people, my mom's group, my best friends. I love you all and wish I could pick all of you at random to receive presents.

Congrats to Sarah at Becoming Sarah for being comment #110 ( and sharing your story. Enjoy your new Toro stroller and congrats on your pregnancy!

And to all you local-to-L.A. moms -- I'd love to organize a "judgment free" meet-up so we can love on each other, make friends, lend support, compliment each other's shoes. Please email me if you're interested!

the post-half-birthday world

At 3:23 this morning (PST) Fable officially entered her post-half-birthday world. And I? I have officially become inconsolable. Typing this with one hand (much improved, eh) as Fable suckles at the motherteet (Which reminds me! Winners have been posted!) and I pretend with all my might that the little girl of a babe in my arms is actually a sleeping infant clad in 0-3 month tinies.

The sad news is: she's growing up. 

The happy news? She's growing up. And more delightful by the second, little tulip. 

tulips are better than one... lip. 

Hal and I spent the majority of our evening side by side on the couch, watching Fable Films as I cried and Hal asked "Are you crying again?" which yeah, okay? Leave me alone.

The truth is? I hate crying in front of anybody but my shower head. Which is why I'll turn away, now. 

Without further ado, Month (Chapter) Six, in five, four, three, two....



Six Months of Fable Films:

Month (Chapter) Five: Brave New Girl
Intermission: Church Giggles
Month (Chapter) Four: Chubby Legs and All
Month (Chapter) Three: When You Are Engulfed in Kisses
Month (Chapter) One: Infant Jest



musical credit: The Greatest, (R Kelly Cover) Bonnie Prince Billy