Seriously? She's wearing pink tights and a dress with flowers all over it. COME ON!

okay so not in this picture. but she is wearing a skirt and a heart headband. same diff.

Fable has her father's hair. When Archer was a baby he did, too.

I always figured Archer's boyish manliness was why he was never once referred to as a "cute baby girl." Always a boy was he. But now I know. There was nothing manly about his infancy. He was just bald and therefor assumed to be a dude. Because girls are supposed to be born with full heads of hair apparently. And by the time they're one-year-old they're required by social law to have long flowing locks.

And when they aren't? Hairclub for babies is born. And/or infant ear-piercing.

Recently, I've taken to barrettes because Fable sadly refuses hats. Headbands, too.

(although not on this particular day.)

Anyway, the other day, whilst pushing Fable down the boulevard, en route to Latte-ville, a kind-looking and apparently-blind person bent over and waved her hand in Fable's face.

"How cute is he! Weaing his sister's barrettes? Aw. My son used to LOVE wearing his sister's clothes! It's so sweet!"

Now I will explain to you exactly what Fable, "my darling son" was wearing. Not one. Not two. But ALL of the following items:

1. pink.
2. purple
3. rainbows
4. flowers
5. sparkles
6. pink sparkles
7. hearts
8. a vagina
9. floral barrettes
10. a pink and purple blankie with floral rainbow sparkle heart vaginas on it.

Right? I mean...

She was literally wearing head-to-toe pink and purple frilly, floral femininity and this was the fourth, maybe even fifth time in less than two blocks someone assumed she was a boy.

Because of her hair? I guess?

The truth is? For the last year, 99% of people have been all "what's his name! I love his dress!"

Seriously, people. There's a fine line between being open-minded to cross-dressing infants and plain-old idiotic.

...So anyway - I was minding my business totally fine and ho-hum-whatever re: correcting people's disregard for the obvious when this chick comes up to us and compliments "my son's rainbow sparkle pink bow barrettes."

I mean seriously what the fuck.

"Really? You think I would put pink-glittered heart-barrettes in my son's hair?"

"Oh! I mean... I don't know."

"You think I would dress my son in purple flowered tights and a pink dress with little heart shoes and push him around the neighborhood? Order a soy latte at Starbucks? Pick up some dry shampoo at the Beauty Supply store? Meet a friend for lunch with my son and his rose petal sparkle hairclips and purple-hearted leg warmers?"



"Well... he? looks great in purple."

"Fuck you! She's a girl. A goddamn motherfucking girl."

Okay so I didn't say that. I'm far too nice. But that's totally what I meant when I said, "Thanks! Have a great day! Love your shoes!"

(She did have very nice shoes.)

(For someone who obviously had no clue.)

(This is why people pierce their daughters ears at birth, right?)

(Not that I would per se.)

(I just get it now.)

(How annoyed are you that I'm typing in parenthesis right now?)

(Good. Now you know how I feel every time I leave the house with my "son" who has a vagina and wears girl's clothes.)



Dream in Little Jeans with me

Sometimes the only way to deal with a kid who hates getting dressed in the morning is to clothe him the night before. Behold:

...That afternoon, after picking Archer up from school, I announced our new rule.
"Tonight, you're going to wear your clothes to bed, okay? Because these tantrums are breaking me and there's absolutely no reason for them."

"Alright, Mommy," he said.

I was skeptical but optimistic. Please let this work. Please let this work. Please let this work.


My dear friends just moved from Copenhagen to Los Angeles and on their first night here introduced to me their friends' band, Choir of Young Believers, who I got to see perform at Spaceland last week. Lovely people. Beautiful musicians. Charismatic performers.

I searched videos when I got home from the show and found the following video, a BOOOOOOM collaborative music video for COYB's hit, Action/Reaction.


Choir of Young Believers - Action/Reaction from jeff hamada on Vimeo.

If you're not familiar with BOOOOOOOM (I wasn't until last week) it's the brainchild of a dude named Jeff Hamada who launched Booooooom in hopes of fostering a community of people excited to go out and be creative.

Check out these Wild Thing forts, for instance. So much awesome.

17. Choir of Young Believers - Action/Reaction



Yesterday, in the costume shop, shopping for the accessories to complete the kids’ Halloween costumes, I had a moment.

A discombobulated, where the fuck am I? Who am I? moment. I used to have them frequently when Archer was a baby. When I was dealing with the authorities, trying to bust the perpetrator with my identity theft.

“Ma’am, I’m afraid the thief is you.”


But I've been past that point for a while. I don't fantasize about running away like I did back then, rebelling against responsibility - masking truth with make believe. Kicking and screaming because No! I don’t want to grow up. Motherhood, don’t make me or else! Or else I won’t invite you to my birthday party!

I used to think it mandatory to reinvent myself often. With dramatic haircuts and color: from platinum to blue black to platinum again. I'd wander into a tattoo parlor or get something pierced. Just to look different - to send a message to the universe and myself that I was willing to change. Because sometimes the only way to feel different is to look the part. Put on a hat and do a new dance.

I have since found new and less external ways to reinvent myself but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes, I find myself struck hard by the other side of the mirrored glass – the fork in the road like a giant whY in the middle of the room. And yesterday, in the costume shop, surrounded by disguises…

Fable was asleep in her stroller as I perused the walls of masks, costumes and liquid latex, pulling items off the wall, comparing wigs in nets, waving magic wands.

Then I turned a corner and into a new world.

Three young women reached for the various costumes stacked up the wall, stood-on-tiptoes, jumped and knocked them off the shelves, held the various disguises up to their American Apparel clad bodies. They were laughing. They were excited.

“You’ll look so hot in that,” one of them said.

“That with a pair of fishnets would be UH-Mazing.”

“Don’t you wish we could dress like this everyday?”

“Yes, I do!” I said.

The girls turned toward me.

Apparently, I was blogging out loud again. But it was more than that. For a moment I forgot who I was. I’d fallen down the rabbit hole into a parallel universe where I, too, was shopping for my “sexy witch” costume to wear to my friend’s Halloween party. Where I got to hang out with my girlfriends, spend the afternoon costume shopping, nary a wedding ring on my finger or a stroller in my hands. I wanted to look so totally hot in fishnets, too. I wanted to be the sexy witch again.

The moment lasted ten seconds at most and yet for those brief moments, my world fell apart. I was lost and confused, spun out and turned the wrong direction.

“I mean… what? I’m just… excuse me.”

“It’s okay. Cute baby.”

Cute life... I mean… “Thank you.”

I tried not to sound bitter. Resentful of their ability to be whomever they wanted whenever they wanted. Truthfully, I was jealous. I wanted to be there with my friends picking out my amazing costume, too. But where would I wear it? Certainly not trick or treating with my children. Or to Archer's preschool Halloween carnival.

I often wonder where I’d be right now if life went according to the plans I had at eighteen when I moved out of my parent’s house and into my own life. My plans to travel through my twenties, be free of commitment, live alone, host theme parties, excel at independence, shop with my girlfriends for Halloween costumes on early evening Wednesdays.

I’ve never regretted a decision, let alone the decision to devote my twenties to raising children and coloring within the same lines I used to twist and tear, shopping for costumes not my own for Halloween.

My family is my one true love, the thing that matters to me most of all and yet? I still have moments, same as before-- when I find myself with face pressed to the window, envious of the costumes that people wear on Halloween and year round.

Times I want to sit in the smoking section even though I say, “non.”

I took a turn out of the costume aisle and back to the accessories wall. Where I quickly found what I was looking for and fled to the checkout line. Past the girls with their arms full of wigs and the ghosts with flashing lights for eyes.

“You only live once,” people always say but its bullshit. You live a hundred thousand times – in a hundred thousand places with a hundred thousand people passing through, getting caught in the various webs we build out of cotton in our front yards. An infinity of flashing lights for an infinity of choices. Left or right? Up or down? Here? How about there, instead?

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?” the man at the register said as we approached.

“Yes, er... kind of."

Not really.

And then this afternoon, as I was putting away my laundry, I found two pairs of fishnets still in their packaging, leftover from years ago, never worn.

Apparently, I was never the Sexy Witch for Halloween kind of girl. Not even then. Before the husband and the kids.

How could I have forgotten? Did I ever really change?

Time is a magician waiting to saw us all in half so that we might put ourselves back together again.

“Ma’am, I’m afraid the magician is you."

"Maybe so."

Here Comes the Bribe

*updated, below*

Hal and Fable at a friend's wedding last Saturday

My favorite Momversation eps have to do with story-telling and deep, dark secrets so the following episode (about funny wedding experiences) was especially fun because weddings much like life, never quite go according to plan, womp womp.

I mean, if you told me at age fourteen, that my wedding would be held in a tiny chapel, chaperoned by a receptionist, attended by the chapel ghosts, legitimized by the power vested in Reverend Mothball Breath and the state of Nevada, I would have been like, "No way. I have big plans with Prince William and Buckingham Palace."

But it happened in Vegas. And it happened with Hal who is far funnier than Prince William. And it was awesome. And I wouldn't change a thing. Except for maybe the purple velvet maternity pants I was wearing. Bad call, self.

It just so happens, we have a few wedding attendance bloopahs of our own as evidenced by the facial expressions in the following photo, taken soon after Hal tried to bribe Archer with a scone that was not a cupcake:

More on that story, here

Speaking of bribes, tell me what went wrong/unexpected on your (or a friend's) wedding day in the comments below and be eligible to win one of four autographed copies of Laura Joy Rennert's new children's book, Buying, Training and Caring for your Dinosaur. Names to be picked at random by Friday 5pm, PST.

Looking forward to your tales.


**UPDATED: Congratulations to Prasti, Paula, Amber and Gaby (2:02pm) for winning the autographed books! Please email me so I can get your books to you! Thanks to all for your most entertaining stories!**



Hark! Another Takeaway Show!

This time with Sufjan Stevens covering The Innocence Mission's Lakes of Canada.

Beautiful, I say. Let's all curl up beneath the bookcase next to the fire. Or if you're like me, the faux fireplace full of misplaced toys.

16. Sufjan Stevens: Lakes of Canada


And in other, less musical news, let us all raise our glasses and drink to our health...

Double Take

Last night I helped Archer with his first ever Homework assignment. It was one of those All About Me posters that brought me back to my own childhood. Where for the first time, a child is to write about her dreams, his wishes, their favorite colors…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A doctor.”

So I cut out a photograph of a doctor.

“Where is your favorite place to go?”

“Gooey and Papa's house.”

So I cut out a picture of Archer in my parents' vegetable garden.

“What is your favorite thing to do?”

“Eat ice cream.”

So I pulled a picture of Archer clutching a paper bowl of Pinkberry. And he drew pictures in the squares where I couldn’t provide a photograph – his imagination colliding with our memories.

He wrote his name across the top of the poster and I wrote the rest. And then I rolled the giant poster, rubber-banded it and left it by the door, beside Archer’s field trip permission slip and his order-form for school pictures.


Last night Hal turned Fable’s car seat around because it was time. Because Fable turned one year old and weighs more than twenty-five pounds and she was becoming increasingly frustrated having to cross her legs against the back of the seat.

“All done,” he said.

“Thank you.”

I thought nothing of it buckling the children into their car seats this morning. It wasn’t until we pulled away from the curb and I checked my rear-view mirror that I did a double take.

Fable babbled, her legs free and kicking as Archer clutched his All About Me poster to his chest.

And suddenly: there they were: Older.

I reached my hand back and Fable took it, her grey eyes focused out the window, the world from a new angle, no longer backwards.


…And then she turned toward me. With eyes that appeared at once different. A shade darker. A degree rounder. A millimeter bigger than they did just moments before.


A new view can do that I suppose.



“Did you notice Fable’s seat? It looks like yours now.”

But Archer’s attention was elsewhere. He looked away.

We drove to school in silence. Too busy studying homework and windows and the changes that occur in children that used to be babies with rear-facing car seats.

When we got to school, Archer handed in his first ever homework assignment and Fable waved to her brother, goodbye. And it was just like any other day except it felt so completely different: Watching Archer run to his friends without looking back. Buckling Fable into her car seat forward facing.

“They’re getting so big,” people sometimes say.

But change is slow for something that feels so fast.

A watched pot never boils and a watched child never grows until one day he comes home from school with his first homework. Until one night her father turns her car seat around. And before you know it the pot is empty - its water evaporated. Gone.



I want some France and Spain and Morocco and I want some chaos.

If you don't want to jump into a large body of water with your clothes on right this very second, well then I'm afraid there's nothing I can do.

Also, everyone in music videos has bangs.

"How does it feel to be unorginal?"

"It's not so bad once you get the hang of it."

15. Tokyo Police Club - Your English is Good


Sisterhood of Girls Vol. 2

Happy, jumping broad photo poached from the immaculate Jenny the Bloggess' flickr stream.

Spent the weekend celebrating life and ladyhood with friends new and old. Yet another reminder that girls rule. That generosity is power. That lack of cell service isn't always a bad thing.

A quick shout out to the lovely Broad Summit hostesses. Thank you for organizing a much needed getaway of awesome amazingness.

I'm still jumping for joy.

with my new friend and Broad Summit roommate, Mai.



No Shame in a Name

I'm fascinated by the "why or why didn't you change your name when you got married" discussion. I always thought I'd change my name if I ever married. It wasn't until I became someone's wife that I realized I HAD to keep my name.

1. Because I belong to myself first.
2. Because Woolf is a badass last name.
3. Because my husband would never take my name therefor why should I take his?

It's a complex discussion, especially when kids are involved. My children have my husband's last name but in retrospect I kind of wish we would have hyphenated our names for our children. It makes me a little sad that my kids won't be carrying "Woolf" around with them as well as their father's last name and family legacy.

I mean, this is 2009... right?

I'd love to hear from you, ladies. (Gentleman, too, if you care to share.) Did you keep your name? Did you take your husband's? I'm especially interested in hearing whether or not your kids took their father's name(s). Did you hyphenate like I wish we would have? Is the name issue a non-issue for you or has it been something you've spent many months mulling over like I did*?


*I went back and forth for an entire year before I decided to keep my name, which for me was the right decision. This is not to say that the right decision for me is the right decision for anybody else! I think names are extremely personal things and we all must feel comfortable and happy with whatever we are called!

and then they laughed themselves to sleep and I wrote this post

This whole house-hunting, wanting-to-move thing is consuming me. It’s consuming all of us as, as evidenced by the amount of times I’ve blogged about it these last few weeks and I apologize.

But here’s the thing I’ve realized in my short time here on earth: focusing on the things you can control are great distractions from the things you can’t.

The last year I've spent in professional retrograde - busting my ass behind the scenes of these blogs pursuing things that I have yet to really write about here. Because what is there to say? A lot of maybes. Maybe nots. Question marks. Close calls. High hopes. Low mopes. Et al.

But most of all, a lot of writing. A lot of writing about women who are a lot more interesting than I am, children who belong to me in different ways - stories I want desperately to come true.

I’m sharing this with you because over and over I’ve been asked where I’ve been and why I’m not writing as much as I used to, and I feel like I owe you an explanation.

The last several months have included a string of panic attacks. Posts written that I have decided not to post at the last minute out of fear:
1. Because I’ve opened myself up to strangers and as of late have had to deal with the repercussions.
2. Because some days? I want to just live my life without feeling obligated to write about every. fucking. thing. FUCK.
3. Because too often I have asked myself, “is this worth it?” and then answered, “no.”

... ... ...
We’ve been in our house for as long as I started this blog. (I was blogging elsewhere for three years before starting GGC.) Four years is a long time to be in a small space with a growing family but it wasn't until recently that I started feeling antsy.

It started when Fable was born and escalated dramatically when Fable moved out of our room and into her brother’s and we all lost sleep.

When Fable wasn’t waking Archer up in the middle of the night? Archer was waking up Fable until we were all awake, exhausted, frustrated, unhappy, tripping over sharp objects in dark halls during wee hours.

“We need to find a bigger house,” I said to Hal. “We’ve outgrown this one.”

So we started looking. To buy. To rent. To whatever.

We saw our first place, yesterday.

Looking for a new house has held larger meaning for me these last few months as I pursue new stories not my own - making meetings, deleting drafts, trying to define high-concept in three acts and five acts and eight acts and ninety-five versions of the same story later...
"Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience."
So I refresh craigslist instead of waiting by the phone. Because I can control a cursor and a mouse. Because that was always the beauty of writing online. Of being online.

Still is.

... ... ...

Last night I put the kids to bed, kissed them both goodnight and left the room. Fable whimpered as she often does when I leave her and then...

“You need to learn how to sleep, Fabes. Here. I’ll teach you. First? Put your head on the pillow like this and then you close your eyes and then you sleep, like this, see?”


“See Fablela?”


“Are you sleeping?”

And then... laughter. First hers and then his until both Archer and Fable were laughing hysterically in the darkness. I couldn’t see, outside the door was I, but hearing them make each other laugh was like a remote control falling ninety-five stories onto my head.


I paused, waited for their laughter to subside into silence. Then I turned around.

"If they didn't share a room they wouldn't be able to make each other laugh in the dark," I said to Hal. "Fuck a good night's sleep when there are moments like that."

Hal agreed.

"I need to chill out."

Hal agreed.

I stopped refreshing craigslist. Swept the floor. Made the bed... watched the children sleep.

Content. Safe. Sweet dreams.
... ... ...

Today, after dropping Archer off at school, I came to the coffee shop to write as I do three mornings a week. I took a swig of my latte, opened up my computer to resume work on a script and wrote this post instead.

It was the first time in a long time that I wanted to blog. That I really, truly wanted to share in a non-obligatory way.

Because last night I had an epiphany that gave me permission to slow down. Because, contrary to all the ways I've been pushing myself this past year, the spinning of wheels with vibrating wings, I stopped still and was happy. And now, as I write this post I am reminded of why I started this blog in the first place: so I could work my shit out.

... ... ...

It's clear to me now that we don’t need to move tomorrow. Or even next month.

Because the children are happy sharing a room. And most of the time I'm happy writing about my life, talking about my experiences.

Of course it isn't all awesome all the time. (Nothing is.)

Of course there will be nights when the kids wake each other up and none of us get any sleep. Just like there will be days when I’m tired and scared of sharing – sick of the sight of “I” and “me” on my Blogger and Movable type templates. Stagnated in my own hypothetical puke and predictability.

1. I'm lucky.
2. We're lucky.
3. All of the above.
The truth is, changing homes and jobs isn't going to answer all of life's questions. I've realized dreams before only to wake up the next morning and feel just as defeated. It never goes away - the drive - the need to move forward- to change - to want to make your family, friends (even strangers) proud.

At least, it never has for me.

But I have to remind myself that fulfillment comes in all forms. Perhaps, then, it will be my finest life achievement to learn to be happy with what I have. To be ambitious, sure, but also to be content, here. In this moment - buzzed on caffeine and realizations.

I'm happy where I am. I recognize that today. I recognized that the moment I sat down to work on a script and wrote a blog entry instead. I recognized that last night when we went to see the perfect house and I didn’t feel at home.

One day our family will move and I will move on. Pull my life and my kids from the infinity of the Internet, label large cardboard boxes with a sharpie and move into our dream house, but for now? I must recognize the importance of sharing. For my children on the nights they laugh each other to sleep. For myself on days like today when with all my heart I want to share my life with you.



It's been a Sweet Virginia kinda day.

gotta scrape that shit right of your shoooooooe...

14. Rolling Stones - Sweet Virginia

Speaking of Sweet Virginia, me thinks there is another baby in our future.


Rite of Passage

Fable's first cupcake - a happy birthday, indeed:

(Thank you all for your kind words and wishes.)


Chapter (Month) Twelve: One, The Road

I had a hard time putting Fable to bed tonight so consumed was I with the fact that she would be waking up a one-year-old.

So I lagged. I stalled. I rocked Fable in my arms and told her the story of where I was one year ago ... I told her what I was thinking about and what I was hoping for and all of the things that consumed me whilst in labor - all of the dreams I had for her unknown. I tried to describe the way she looked when I first saw her, the tiny movements, her glow.

Fable: hours old

And then I went on. And on. And even though she didn't understand me, she still listened. A noble lesson.

I have enjoyed this last year so much. Reveled in every moment - clutched Fable to me with all my might because this time I knew how fast the time would fly.

I had the floppy-haired proof standing before me in beat-up sneakers.

Passeaster, 2009

Tonight as I placed Fable down in her crib she held her arms out for me. Cried but only for a second. Archer's voice interrupted her. "It's okay, Fabes. Sometimes I get scared of the night, too. But you don't have to cry."

Too fast.

Time is the greatest tragedy. The repercussions of moving forward - of age and change and every moment ephemeral.

two days old

seven months

eleven months

Life is cruel that time cannot be paused. That babies grow. That humans must learn to speak so that they can talk back, learn to walk so they know to run away, but that's life and that's the journey and what a blessing it is to be a hitch-hiker for as long as our children will allow us the ride.

Hanging off the back of Fable's pick-up truck this past year has been an incredible trip. What a view.

This following chapter is a special one because it's the last in my series of Fable's first year videos and also because the song I used was written and performed by my brother, David (vocals, lyrics, guitars) and his Boston-based band, Self Assembly.

I'm going to miss creating these "fable films" every first of the month. They've been an absolute, heartbreaking joy to compose and this last year of my life? My most profound spiritual journey.

Happy Birthday, sweet Fable: