Several months ago my mother decided it was time to let her hair go grey. Twenty-five years of covering her silver roots and she was sick, literally sick, from the hair color and the migraines and scalp shingles that would occur as a result. She had flirted with the idea of going grey for years, asking my siblings and I if we would mind.

"I'll look older," she said. "I'll look different and older and if that bothers you I won't do it."

"Of course you should do it," I said! "You'll be beautiful grey. A silver Fox. Rarrrrhotstuffrrrr."

It wasn't until this winter when she finally made the decision to go for it, reluctantly, self consciously, go for it.

"My friends keep asking me why," she said to me a few weeks back, her grey roots then about an inch thick. "I feel like a skunk."

"Sexiest skunk I've ever seen," I said.

My mother seemed unconvinced and I annoyed that she could possibly doubt her beauty, she who is the most luminous woman on earth, so I came up with an assignment for her, a book to write about her year Going Grey. A book to empower herself and women like her to be real, to embrace age with grace and dignity.

She began work on it right away.

Two days ago I found my first grey hair sticking out of the top of my head, silver and jagged as a pube. I plucked it out, examined it and shrieked.

"Mom! Mom! Mom! Guess what just happened!" I said to her over the phone.

"What! What! What!"

"I found my first grey hair!"

"Uh oh."

"Dude! Not uh oh. Amazing. My hair is totally standing behind your hair. It's solidarity! My hair is supporting your cause!"



I could hear my mom smiling over the phone.

Judgement Day

I'm having a hard time deciding whether to keep comments on this post open or closed, mainly because I already feel like far too much ado has been made over Nadya Suleman and her decisions, her doctor and everything else surrounding her story. I've also felt very uncomfortable with the bru hate-hate occurring as a result. 

This topic is interesting (and unsettling) to me because it makes hypocrites of us all. Myself included. Is it easy to judge her? Of course. Are we all judging her? Yes! But my mother always told me "when you point your finger at someone, three fingers point back at you." And I believed her. Still do. So here I am pointing at myself, feeling like a dunce.

I personally feel like right now more than ever we should be standing beside each other, rather than tearing one another new assholes which is why I was wary of this particular subject (as well as wary of opening up the floor for dialogue.)  I also think that it speaks volumes about our society that this has become a major news story. In many ways I feel like Nadya has become a sort of scapegoat for our economic woes, (First the bank bailout and now Nadya? Down with Nadya!) as well as THE personification of "The American Dream" gone totally wrong. (Families bought homes they could not afford, trusted in loan officers, the market... not too different from Nadya essentially buying a pregnancy she could not afford, trusting in doctors, the system. Down with Nadya!)

If you have an opinion on the subject or want to add your .02, that's fine. (I guess I decided to keep comments open, then, eh?) But do something for me? Pretend she's here, sitting in front of you, and you are telling her to her face how you feel about her decision. And then, if you feel so inclined, cite an example of something you have done as a parent that would most likely be judged as wrong. 

I'll start: My almost-four-year-old still sleeps with a pacifier. My daughter often watches television with us at night. Archer's often late to school because I suck at getting up in the morning. I keep a stash of cigarettes in my glove compartment for nights spent out on the town. 

The anonymity of the Internet often makes us fearlessly uncensored as a responding force, forgetting that there are feelings attached to every human subject, blogger and fellow commenter,  but we needn't forget that our voices carry and that hate is inexcusable no matter the circumstances.


I also would like to add that Portraits of an Economy has thirty-five heartbreaking, always enlightening, even optimistic stories that span twenty-four states and four countries. As I have said before, all submissions are accepted and desired. Or you can post your stories on your own blogs and email me the links. Kiss.

"Slumber Party"


The lovely Angela Boatwright (one of my oldest besties),  Valley Girl  (Two words: Nicolas Cage's freaky baby teeth), Vogue magazine, and Fable's giggles (which, if they don't kill you? Will surely make you stronger.)

Yet another example of girls not sucking:

It's never too early to heart fashion

Angela explains photographic lighting techniques to Fable

But the real highlight of the night was watching Fable bust a gut for three minutes:

Life be good. Like totally to the max. 


Girl of my Dreams

I didn't want a daughter. I always figured I'd grow up and have babies. Boys, only boys, I said to myself and out loud. I would be a natural mother to boys. Me with my fart jokes and inability to function in large groups of women. Me with my love for skateboards and cannonballs and snakes and spiders. Me who always preferred boys as friends and roommates and confidantes.

Women are supposed to want girls. Especially after they've already given birth to boys but the concept of mothering a daughter always frightened me. What if boys were mean to her when she was older, called her a dog (woof! woof!) while the girls called her "ugly" to her face during her awkward years? What if she became popular as she aged, even pretty, so that the older boys liked her and the older girls hated her, threw eggs at her face at parties, graffitied DIE SLUT on her garage door with chocolate syrup. (Remind me to tell you the story about how the most popular girls are always the most unpopular.)

What if in High School she decided to hate me? Told me to go fuck myself, slammed the door in my face, like I did my own mother throughout my teen years. What if she had her heart broken, locked herself in bathrooms, flirted with older men so they would buy her beer? What if she went on to hang out with drug addicts, had to watch them die, drove too fast. What if she fell in love before her heart was mature enough to handle a fracture, was taken advantage of by bad men who were old enough to know better than to touch her, hurt her, convince her that she was worthless, turn her inside out of her mind.

What if she became... me?

What if I was unable to guide her through the torrential downpour that is adolescence and beyond? What if I forgot how it felt to be a girl becoming a woman? What if I punished her wrongfully and she was never able to trust me again?


After giving birth to Archer, I never knew what to do around little girls. I never knew how to act around friend's daughters, so rarely did I spend time with small children who weren't boys. Who weren't Archer or his friends, but one day, a couple years ago, I met a little girl. A daughter of a friend of Hal's and she liked me. We all met at a restaurant and the girl brought a book she was reading and immediately started telling me all about it and how much she appreciated fantasies.

"I especially like fantasy books with animal characters," she said so I asked her if she knew of the Redwall Series books, because those were my favorite when I was her age. Mossflower especially. She had never heard of them before so she asked me to spell the author's name for her as she carefully wrote it down in a little spiral notepad.

We spent the whole evening talking as friends, about animals and books and boys and our favorite kind of pizza and for the first time I thought to myself I could have a daughter. Little girls aren't so scary.

On our way home from dinner I told Hal that I wasn't afraid of having a daughter anymore.

"I didn't know you were ever afraid. I just thought you didn't like girls."

(Dear Fable)

I had a feeling you were in there the moment I peed on the pregnancy test. Even when you were only a bundle of cells I dreamt I had a daughter and she was running and laughing and blonde and you.

"I think its a girl," I said to your father. "I had a dream."

And Hal laughed because I'm always having dreams and there are always "signs" and I'm always talking about good omens (today I found all of these quarters in the coin return of the parking meter so I rushed home and proclaimed WE'RE RICH!) and I shrugged and said "just watch. It's a girl and she's going to have blonde hair like in my dream."

And your dad made a face like I was crazy and said "we'll see about that."

six months pregnant with you

I was right about the dream. About you being a girl and when the ultrasound tech said "Congratulations! It's a girl!" I said "I know!" like I was psychic or something. And I drove home from the doctor's appointment hunched over my steering wheel, nervous. Excited, of course but also nervous and even scared out of my mind because holy shit, I was going to have a daughter.

That night I had another dream about you and your hair was still blonde and you were once again laughing except this time you were chasing me. And in the dream I was crying because I was laughing so hard and it felt so real that I woke up and looked for you in the darkness. Forgetting you were with me. In me. And for whatever reason, just knowing that made me feel Safe. Less afraid.

You played in my dreams every night after that. Playing peek-a-boo behind trees, leading me out of the rain on one occasion, and by the time I went into labor many months later, I was no longer (not even a little bit) afraid. Not of giving birth to a daughter. Not of you or becoming your mother. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life was but a dream.

And then you were here and I wanted to punch myself in the face for ever thinking for a second that I didn't want a daughter. That I didn't want a little girl. That I didn't totally and absolutely need you as my child.

I was instantly changed in that hospital room, the moment the nurse handed you to me, under the delivery lights, my blood still thick in your hair, your mouth searching for me, lost and found. You're presence was familiar, like we had met before, like we had known each other since the beginning of time. (Maybe we have.)

...and now

It's amazing how wrong a person can be about things. About herself and what she wants. About her ability to be someone, to love something. Until you were born I was jealous of the boys and the fun they got to have. A reluctant woman in isolation, little desire to make girlfriends or pursue female relationships that extended beyond the surface. Closed little clam, I smiled and waved and faked my way through social functions, befriending few, keeping secrets from most. "Girls suck," I mumbled, expecting every woman I met to pull me down, knock me over, throw eggs and chocolate syrup. Guilty until proven innocent.

Girls don't suck anymore.

In my dreams you were faceless and now I know why. I never would have believed such beauty was possible.

like magic, you are.

It is my greatest honor to be your guide for as long as you'll have me.

Thank you (Dear Fable) for being mine.


Still farting on each other after all these years

I once read an interview with Dita Von Teese about how she kept her marriage fresh with Marilyn Manson. She wrote of the importance of mystery i.e. never let him see you peeing with the door open. Lingerie is a must, always wear makeup and don't you dare let your mate ever smell your poop! A lady never farts! Etc. You get the picture. 

I remember reading the piece and thinking my marriage was doomed because even at the beginning of our courtship, peeing with the door open was just... I dunno... what we did. Farting in front of each other came soon after. Was I crazy to think I could fart in front of my mate one minute and then seduce him moments later? 

Uh... no. Dude never refused sex because I was gassy. Nor have I ever been turned off by a good old-fashioned fart. Because guess what, people. EVERYONE FARTS. Just like everyone looks at their snot in the kleenex after blowing their noses. Am I wrong? 

Of course it's important to look good for one another, to put forth effort to keep the marriage sexy and interesting, share fantasies, give one another hot oil massages while listening to Enya or whatever it is that turns you on as a couple. 

But as well as taking garter-belted, hotel-porned, feel-eachother-up-at-fancy-restaurant weekend getaways, couples need just as much a good old-fashioned burping, farting contest where the winner gets to pee with the door open. Because, really?  What good is a "fresh" marriage if you can't be real with each other?

I guess what I'm saying is this; put on some blush once in a while, some sexy heels for a night on the town but don't hold in your farts. You'll get a stomachache. And if you're Dita Von Teese? A divorce.


And when I'm not participating in romantic candle-lit farting contests, there's always a snot rocket or two to be had. Fun for the whole family!

Portraits of an Economy: Los Angeles


"Where is he, now?" Hal called from the kitchen.

"He's merging onto the 10, it looks like."

The slow-speed car chase had been on for hours and we could not look away. Neither could many Angelenos, our eyes glued to our respective television sets. Rumors spread quickly that the man in the driver's seat was a celebrity. A rapper, perhaps. In town for The Grammies. I even went so far as to follow White Bentley on twitter. We watched, Hal and I, shaking our heads.

"Why don't they just put the spikes down on the freeway, already?"

"I know. I'm getting bored! Something happen, already, geez."

"Why is he driving so slowly?"

"Why is he heading back home to North Hollywood where the chase first began?"

"Why is he using his turn signal to change lanes when he's the only car on the road?"

"He's using his blinker?"


A man running, afraid to stop. A man who used his turn-signal to change lanes on an empty highway while running from dozens of LAPD and Highway Patrol. A man at the end of his rope, squinting from spotlight of helicopters and news crews, his very demise a sort of demented entertainment for me and thousands more. We watched until midnight when the news story ended to make room for diet pill infomercials and went to sleep curious as to his fate. How did it end? How does it usually end? Why must it always end?

The next day we found out he had died, turned the gun on himself during the four hour standoff, alone in the $120,000 car he could no longer afford.

He wasn't a celebrity at all but a man who owned a business that failed. A man who lost everything financially and couldn't emotionally deal, a George Bailey without the Clarence.



Hal and I have not been financially affected by the economic downturn. The thing about having nothing is that you can't lose anything. We don't own a home or have investments. We don't drive fancy cars or go out for meals. We don't have to cut corners because we've never had corners to cut. We rent a two-bedroom duplex in a neighborhood surrounded by mansions and victims of Madoff. We're safe because we've always lived precariously.

Hal is a freelance writer/producer for reality television. The production he's currently working on ends Friday and he will be out of work once again as he usually is after a show ends. We have lived for the past four years on work ephemeral, our income(s) mostly unstable and jobs temporary so for us the uncertainty of work is nothing new. And for that I feel lucky. Prepared. Just as, in a way, I feel relieved to be investment-free, and yes, even broke.



I watched an elderly man ask for a job application at Trader Joes, yesterday. He had to be in his 70's. Maybe older. It was disconcerting, watching him negotiate with the store assistant manager. He had lost everything, he explained, and was eager to work.

"I haven't worked in a few years and you probably can't tell by looking at me but I'm a strong man. I have big arms," he said, flexing his biceps. "Plus, I like Trader Joes. Sometimes I shop here."

"I'll see what I can do," the assistant manager responded, clearly affected by the man who walked with a slight limp out the glass doors and toward the bus stop on the corner of 3rd Street and La Brea.


I started a blog in case any of you were interested in writing your own posts about how the state of our world economy is affecting you, your neighborhoods, cities and suburbs. Please, if you're interested in participating, send me your stories (rebeccawoolf at gmail dot com) so I can repost them in the group blog I hope to update throughout the year, a project I'm calling, Portraits of An Economy.

I also wanted to direct your attention to another blogger's group blog/cause: Post to the President. Also very cool and worthy of your participation.

Breed Responsibly?

Today on Momversation, Heather talks about the Childfree by Choice Movement with Dana and me. I'm all for choice. Pro-choice. Child-free by choice... Whatever empowers women (and men) to make their own decisions is awesome and fantastic. 

What I think is uncool is dissing OTHER people's choices. Especially when you call yourself "Childfree by CHOICE." Hello! Can't we all just get along? 

don't hate me because I'm baby...ful

There was a lot edited out of this episode, including a discussion about the environment and how many childfree-by-choicers frown upon our choice to have children, looking at us as environmental homewreckers of sorts which I find interesting because ... Hello? Aren't the children our future? Shouldn't we teach them well and let them lead the way? Isn't it important (and crucial to our society and planet) to raise aware, intelligent, learned human beings? 

Perhaps the issue isn't "breeding" so much as responsible breeding? As in maybe not the best idea to bring eight babies into a single-parent home living on food stamps? Then again, who am I to judge? It was her choice, was it not? (This is when things gets tricky/hypocritical/common sense rears its commonly sensical head.)

Then again again... anyone ever seen Idiocracy

That movie scared the shit out of me and now? I'm all for the spawning of intelligent and even halfway intelligent people. Read books? Make babies. 

I digress. Here's our vid: 

Your turn! Tell me how children (or not having children) has changed your life for the better (or the worse) and one lucky reader will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of the fabulous Geralyn Broder Murray's book, "Light at the End of the Diaperpail: Inspiration for new motherhood."


**Updated: Congratulations to Sarah for winning the signed copy of Geralyn Murray's book!

Dimple, stay

Her eyes appear to be going green. Like my eyes are and Hal's and her uncle Russell's. Green like both grandmothers' eyes.

Her hair is turning red, like her great aunt Francie, her late great great grandmother, Frances. She looks more like Hal every day and when she smiles, a tiny dimple appears in the middle of her left cheek, my favorite place to kiss her.

Her eyes may not stay green. They may go brown like Archer's did.

Her hair may end up blonde like mine was my whole life until my 21st birthday, when it suddenly went brown.

Her dimple may fade with age as dimples usually and unfortunately do. But not yet. Not now. Not for a very long while.*

*I hope


Because I Love You

Per your request(s), I just made and posted an eye-makeup application tutorial on my youtube channel

Disclaimer: Please know that I'm no professional. I didn't go to beauty school nor have I ever consulted a makeup expert for any makeup application tips. I just know what works for me and hope I can be helpful to those of you seeking assistance. Also, in case you were wondering, its quite awkward trying to do your makeup backwards into a webcam.

Also, per your request, I have been posting Fable's daily wearings on flickr as well as listing the various makes, models and stores where you can find such adorableness. For instance, the frequently asked after owl beanie? Currently on sale at Anthroplogie

Inspired by the lovely Whoorl's The Working Closet photo set, I present to you... The Drooling Closet.

Fable rocks an old velvet Gymboree number purchased at a resale store in Encinitas


The Pills. Like The Hills only ... yeah.

We have no idea if you will think this is as funny as we do. Probably not but here you go:


NONversation: Like Momversation but with less talking


visiting hours are far from over

Dana arrived Wednesday night and will be here through Friday so forgive me while I take a step away from the computer and into the arms of the one I love. Here is a video of Archer singing Carmen (which has become an obsession. He literally has been singing the song in HIS SLEEP. Who does that?) And here is a tale of two binkies. (I have one child who won't take one and one child who won't give one up. You can take a wild guess which one is which.) 

Lots of crazy going on around here. But such is life with a professional amateur

Back to regular scheduled blogging, soon. 


Month Four: Chubby Legs and All

four months ago she was born

Today is the first day of Fable's fifth month and I don't want to talk about it. She's so perfect just as she is right now that I'm having a very hard time parting with so much as an hour, a moment... Hell! I don't even want today to end because tomorrow she will be a day older. 

And so I cling to what's left of her infancy, holding on to her tiny hands for dear life.

Time moves far too quickly. Someone please invent a pause button. 


musical credit: Cinnamon by The Long Winters

Formula is NOT the F-word...

...And I say this because there are lactation consultants in the LA area who say it is. And that's not cool. In fact, I'm thinking maybe I should start a support group for formula feeders: The Fa Formula Foundation. Any takers?

The thing is? I LOVE breastfeeding and I've blogged extensively about my experience doing everything I can to do so. I even wrote a piece about breastfeeding after reduction, here. 

Still, few things piss me off more than the people I love (myself included) getting ridiculed for giving a baby a bottle of formula no matter what the reason. And to those who think it ok to ridicule? A Momversation starring the lovely Dana and Maggie with you in mind: 

Phew! I feel much better now. What about you? What do you want to get off your chest this Monday morning?

Spill. I'm listening.