August 14, 2007


I began taking a very popular prenatal yoga class in Los Angeles when I was 10 weeks pregnant. They're definitely a chant-y, spiritual, almost voo-doo kind of bunch, but I love it and am now (35 weeks) addicted. When I was about 15 weeks pregnant, I attended a class that I will almost certainly never forget. The teacher was this gorgeous, tall, Croatian woman. She just exuded positivity and grace. She told us about her all natural home birthing experiences (By the way, when I think of "home births," I picture all those freaks from "Real Sex" on HBO that go to those sex communes where they all hug and give group blow jobs and talk about their feelings. Sorry. Just a side note). Anyway, the yoga teacher told us about her experience with such enthusiasm that I literally considered never shaving my armpits again. I was feeling that crunchy and enlightened.

After about an hour of various movements and poses that remind me of old ladies in a swimming pool (I'll be honest, prenatal yoga is far from strenuous- one of the many reasons I love it), she had us all sit in a circle. There were probably about 20 women, ranging in ages, sizes and weeks... some about 8 weeks pregnant, others 38 weeks pregnant. She asked us to go around the circle and share with the class what are biggest fears are (about pregnancy, of course. I doubt they wanted to hear about my fear of birds).

I was in the middle of the circle, so I had plenty of time to formulate my thoughts. As I listened to these women talk about their fears such as their dogs liking their new baby, or how they would juggle a baby and a career, fear actually started to set in for me. I have like 8 thousand fears on pregnancy alone! All of theirs seemed so minor... so basic. So rational. Suddenly, I feared that if I shared my fears of miscarriage, pre-term labor, and death during childbirth (to name a few) that this supposed non-judgmental group would think that I was crazy.

It was my turn to share. Suddenly, tears welled up in my eyes. Goddamn hormones. "I guess I worry that my worries are going to affect the baby. That the stresses that I feel will cause emotional distress and harm to the baby..." I said fighting the tears.
The Croatian tilted her head, "Ahh, yes. Babies can feel what we're feeling. But it's okay. If you're stressed, that is your path. Maybe your baby needs that. Maybe it thrives off of that energy."
I nodded. I'll buy it. After all, I was paying top dollar to have my shakras shaken up, so her words of encouragement were working for me. "I just feel so guilty... Every time I feel stressed or worried."

Now the tears were full blown. I looked around the room: 20 pregnant women now are crying. Wow, my hormones are powerful.
"This is why we must come to yoga," the teacher said smiling. "So that we can share and let our emotions out of our bodies- to give ourselves and our babies a release."
I thought of my weekly therapy sessions with M and remembered that she told me that it's okay to have a range of emotions during pregnancy and that having anxiety is a part of who I am and that it's okay. Remembering that I said, "I guess I just have to accept that I worry. It's something I do and I cannot feel guilty about. I'm a worrier."
"Yes, you are a WARRIOR."
Huh?! She misunderstood. "Yes, I'm just a worrier. That's what I do."
Oy. Maybe it's her accent?! I said "WORRIER" loud and clear. Great. Now I was worried that these women think I'm pompous enough to call myself a "warrior."
"I see in your eyes your determination and your spirit and your baby will feel that as well. You can do this. You will be okay." She smiled. I smiled and nodded and wiped my tears, not knowing what else to say. "Thank you for sharing." She said and nodded to the next woman who because of me, was now crying.

As the woman next to me shared her legitimate fear about bonding with the new baby as much as she had bonded with her first baby, I couldn't help but think about what the teacher had told me. On one hand, I loved the idea of being a warrior. A TROOPER. A hard-ass who can work through any problem and any fear. On the other hand, Attila the Hun doesn't strike me as someone with anxieties and I was having trouble getting past that.

Finally, the last girl in the circle spoke. She was bawling. "I'm really worried right now because I'm only 15 weeks pregnant and my husband and I are having a lot of problems..." Poor thing. Now we're all crying again. Her problem is serious and for real. The teacher gave her kind words of encouragement and had us wrap up the class with the studio's signature chant and song.

Despite a very intense class, I still focused on what I would eat afterwards (I can only clear my thoughts so much people). I headed straight to their smoothie bar for a "Fantastic Fruity." My fav. The teacher came up behind me. She smiled. I was trying to fight my obsessive thoughts, but I couldn't resist. I had to know.
"Um, you know, I said that I was a 'worrier.' Did you-"
"Yes. I know. I heard you. But I cannot accept that."
"Oh," I was confused.
"You spoke with such a spirit that I cannot accept that you are a worrier. You are a GOLDEN warrior."
For a minute I thought I was falling in love with her. "Thank you," I said, " That is really nice to hear."
"I'll see you next week," she said loading her plate with mung beans and rice (Jesus, where am I?)

I left the yoga studio that day feeling fantastic. For the next few days, I brushed off my worries with my golden warrior stick and enjoyed the changes and unknowns in my body. I AM A WARRIOR. Hear me fucking roar.

About 15 weeks later, T-Ko and I ventured to our first Childbirth Preparation class. The teacher decided to open the class by having everyone go around and share their names, due dates and some worries or concerns that they are having. Ugh, great, I thought. Here we go again. Me with the crazy fears. Them with their minimal worries about what to pack to the fucking hospital.

As I wracked my brain trying to think of what I will say that won't embarrass my husband about his nutcase wife, yet could still possibly elicit free, valuable information about my stage of pregnancy from the teacher, a new couple walked in and sat down. I know her, I thought. She looks so familiar. She looked around the room. Her eyes met mine. She tilted her head. I smiled. "Yoga???" She mouthed. "Yes. Yoga."

IT WAS HER. The girl with the husband problems! Is that her husband? They seem fine now. I tried to whisper to T-ko through my teeth that she was the girl in class who was crying more than I was at yoga. But he was too focused on the birth book, flipping through pictures of laboring women with bad short haircuts and hairy vaginas.

About an hour an hour in to class, and 15 couples with really boring concerns later, we broke for "recess." I made my way to my yoga friend.
"Hi, I'm J-ko...."
"Hi, I'm S! We met in yoga."
"Yeah! Wow, that was like 15 weeks ago. How are you feeling?"
"Good. Thank you. You?"
"Good. Bigger. Tired," I said as if she was too. "Tired" is the best pregnant icebreaker.
She turned to her husband, "Honey, this is the girl who took the yoga class with me where I told everyone I hated you."
He laughed. He LAUGHED?! "Oh, great!" He said sarcastically.
I was dying to ask her if everything was okay now. Instead I added nervously, "Yeah, that class was intense. We were all like crying..."
"Yeah!" She said, "I know. You made me cry."
ME??? I made her cry. I was the one who pushed her to confess that she and her husband's marriage was failing? OY. I'm a pushy warrior.
"Oh my gosh. I know. It was crazy. A bunch of women with raging hormones."
We giggled about and caught up on the last 15 weeks and where we were with our pregnancies while our husbands made small talk.

One month and everything you need to know but don't want to know about labor later, T-ko and I completed our childbirth education classes. We have become quite friendly with S and her husband- who I'm happy to report has a very happy, healthy relationship with her husband. With about 5 weeks left until D-Day, I definitely have my fair share of worries. I may have days that I can muster up the warrior spirit. But for now, as I sit here worried if the baby is actually puncturing a hole with his finger in my bladder, or if my areolas are going to stay this dark, I take a deep breath and thank god for this blessing. I consider calling the doctor to discuss all these fears, but again, I take a deep breath. The baby is fine. I am fine. I AM A SPIRITUAL... WORRIER. And THAT is just who I am.
Sat nam. :-)

August 2, 2007


Now that I'm 33 Weeks Pregnant (that's almost 8 1/2 months for you non-pregnant minded people out there), I have come to terms with my "range" of emotions. By "range," I mean crying and by "emotions" I of course mean HORMONES. Early on in my pregnancy, I waited for these so-called hormones to kick in. I wasn't overly emotional or bitchy (T-Ko might disagree), and I reveled in the fact that I would be "normal" and not be one of those loony pregnant chicks we see in the movies.


It was a glorious, 73 degrees, gray skies (smog) , and bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 101 as I creeped my way towards Downtown. I was about 5 months pregnant. Sick of Kevin & Bean and disgusted by Danny Bonaduce's whiskey voice, I flipped to my FM2 stations - you know, the stations you have programmed when all else fails... 104.3, 101.1, 103.5. Ah, 103.5. KOST 103.5. Mike Sackalaretes (sp?), Karen Sharp... Names that will always be associated with love and sounds of fake waves and seagulls.

I wasn't expecting to hear sappy dedications at 9am, but maybe, just a little Phil Collins or Billy Joel... Something light and fluffy to sing a long with. What I got was far from fluffy and far from light. The song was called "I HOPE YOU DANCE" by Lee Ann Womack. I think she's a country singer (I can only assume as I didn't know any "Lee Ann's" at Hebrew School). I started listening to the song and my eyes started welling up with tears. I'm not someone that normally cries when they hear songs or sees puppy dog commercials, and here I was. Pregnant. Hormonal. Listening to a song about a mother (I presume) wishing their child (my unborn child) happiness and above all else a chance to DANCE (a metaphor for life, of course). It was beautiful. I was waiting for her to praise Jesus as I'm sure this song has some sort of Christian undertone, but I didn't care. Jews can hope their kids dance too.

Now every time I hear the song, my eyes well up. I pretty much only tune in to Kost 103.5 these days just so I can hear the song. Here it is below. I hope you like it. And I hope you cry. :-)


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....i hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin might mean takin chances but theyre worth takin,
Lovin might be a mistake but its worth makin,
Dont let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....i hope you dance.
I hope you dance....i hope you dance.
(time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that youll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....i hope you dance.
I hope you dance....i hope you dance.
I hope you dance....i hope you dance..
(time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone

July 31, 2007


I have a list. An important list. A list that has taken years to compile. In fact, I would have been pretty comfortable setting it in stone, but after my dream the other night, I've come to the tough realization that throughout the years, the list will change. More importantly: This list will NEVER come to fruition.

Like most happily married couples, my husband and I have created A LIST.... We each have a list of 5 celebrities that we would be allowed to sleep with SHOULD we have the rare and unlikely opportunity to do so. I think it's safe to say that I'll never have to whip an actual "list" out or have it notarized so I can say "I told you so", but just in case, I'm well aware of the celebrities in my top five.

T-Ko and I have had many fun conversations with our friends about who we'd have sex with if we ever got the chance and it's always a pretty fun debate. For instance, T-Ko (at one point) had the Olsen Twins down because he felt that they counted as one. Though I disagree and am shocked that he'd choose them over someone like (pre-pregnant) Jessica Alba, I have to give him credit for being so creative and trying to "buck the system."

But now that I'm pregnant and feel that our lives are going to change forever, I believe that this list has bigger meaning than T-Ko finding the Olsen Monkeys attractive. In fact, I think my dream the other night was a reflection of the list and it's meaning in our lives...

Being pregnant (for the first time) is pretty amazing. (I'll save this topic for another post). It's true about pregnant dreams. They're very vivid and very real...

The other night, I had a dream that I was at a tennis match (I hate tennis). All of a sudden, Brad Pitt sits down next to me and totally starts flirting. (In the dream, he's married to Angelina). Paparazzi are everywhere. Brad tells me not to worry, just smile and be cool as they take photos of us talking. He even takes my hand and touches my back. I'm pregnant in the dream but not showing so I decide not to tell him. I'm in shock (even in my dream) that Brad Pitt is talking to me. Then he asks me my plans for the night. I tell him I have plans with my girlfriend N. He invites N and I back to his hotel room to hang out with him and Heath (As in, Heath Ledger, of course. Who, by the way, I found attractive, like by osmosis, because he got to make out with Jake Ghylenhal (no. 2 or 3 on the list) in "Brokeback Mountain.") I say I have to check with my friend but it sounds really fun. (In the dream I'm married but because it's a dream, this of course is not an issue). The next part of the dream is blurry... but I remember that we go back to his hotel room and while N (who is also married) is making out with Heath, Brad and I making out too. ...

I WAKE UP. Damn! I have to pee. Just when the dream was getting interesting. T-Ko has already gone to work. The phone rings. It's T-Ko.
"Good Morning, Love" he says sweetly. "You still sleeping?"
"No. Just got up. But I had the most bizarre dream about Brad Pitt."
"Really. What?" He asks. I tell him the whole dream. I tell him how odd it is considering that I'm not even really attracted to Brad Pitt. In fact, he's not even ON MY LIST.
"Would you let me?" I ask.
"What? Sleep with Brad Pitt? No."
"No, go to Brad Pitt's hotel room if he invited me."
"Of course not. Are you crazy?"
"But what if it was George Clooney... He's on my list. Number one, in fact. What if he invited me... knowing I was married of course. And I went, because it was George Clooney and George Clooney invited me to his hotel room."
"I get it. George Clooney. I get it. No. The answer is no."
"Wait. So Jessica Alba, on your list, invites you to her hotel room. Says she and another hot starlet, also on your list, are going to be hanging out. You wouldn't go?"
"Oh well, if it was Jessica Alba yeah. But I'd call you first and find out if it was okay," he says matter of factly.

WHAT?! WAIT. Am I hearing correctly? Brad Pitt, most famous celebrity on the planet invites ME, pregnant ME, back to his hotel and I can't go. But Jessica fucking Alba invites T-Ko and I'm supposed to give him the thumbs up to go for it. The hypocrisy!

"If a hot celebrity is going to be inviting me and a buddy to hang out, I'd tell you. What's the big deal?"
"The big deal, " half laughing as I realized what the dream really meant, "is that I'll never sleep with Brad Pitt."
"And not because I might not ever get the chance-"
"You'll never get the chance-"
"But because I'll never sleep with Brad Pitt."
"I know you'll never sleep with Brad Pitt. What's your point?"
"My point is, I'll never sleep with Brad Pitt, I'll never sleep with George Clooney, I'll never sleep with Michael Buble (my proudest addition to my list). My sleeping with the stars days are over. I'm married."
"You've been married for 4 years."
"Yes, but I'm married and PREGNANT. You think Brad would have wanted to sleep with me if he knew I was pregnant?!" I said starting to feel bad for myself.
"I want to sleep with you and I know you're pregnant."
"True," I laughed. He was sweet. It wasn't about Brad Pitt (he obviously has a thing for women with kids anyway). It was about my life changing. Changing in a way that I don't think I've been able to fully understand or realize... I am so ecstatic, so in awe, so thrilled for my life to have a new meaning and new joy that I can hardly grasp it.

However, with life on the brink of changing, I'm going to take full advantage of my raging hormones and vivid imagination. If my list never sees the light of day, at least I hope it gets some action in my dreams. Even in my dreams, I doubt they'll get too risqué or drawn out... I have to pee far too often.


I usually laugh at the absurdity of the US Weekly heading “Stars… They’re Just Like Us” where they have candid pictures of celebrities doing “common people” things…. Drew Barrymore sneezes…. Jake Gyllenhal picks up dry cleaning…. Courteney Cox goes to Starbucks. As if I’m supposed to feel better that they run errands too. But sometimes, I actually think that just maybe, I am like Hollywood’s elite in more way than one…

“Stars… They’re Just Like Us.”

Last night, I was sneaky, calculating, and stealth. I was greedy, invasive and possibly inappropriate. I was like paparazzi without a camera. A reporter without a credible lead. A detective without evidence. And I … was at…. Therapy.

The truth is, it’d probably be less embarrassing to say that my behavior all took place within my weekly session (in which I divulge personal and harrowing accounts of my life… like the weird look I got from the woman in line that made me think of how I got lost at the supermarket when I was 3…how my husband’s hair on the sink drives me nuts… how my mom needed to borrow my cuisinart. You know, really, really deep deep stuff that only a licensed professional can help analyze and resolve).

I see a wonderful, kind, sweet therapist in Beverly Hills. Been seeing M for about 3 years. Every so often, while I’m waiting to be seen, I can hear muffled voices coming from her office. It’s usually a male’s voice (and hers- soft, patient, reassuring). I acknowledge that she’s probably in session and it’d be rude of me to really really try to strain my neck closer to the wall to listen to what they talk about. (Because let’s be honest, chances are his problems are bigger than mine.) So I don’t strain- all the time. But recently, and don’t ask me why it took three years to realize this, I noticed that when their session ends, they say their goodbyes and then I hear doors close and NO ONE walks back out into the waiting room. I was baffled. I had to ask…

I walked into M’s office and inquired about this peculiar door/non-door thing. I was honest(ish). I told her I’ve heard voices (the non diagnosable kind) and doors slam and no one comes through the waiting room. She sort of laughed and said that many of her clients uses “the other door.” The other door? Like a secret door!? How exciting, I thought. M tells me: She and her associates coordinate patient schedules so that no two patients will be in and out of the office at the same time, AND when the session is over, they leave through an “exit” door down the hall- that way they don’t have to encounter anyone in the waiting room. M then added, “Plus, it’s Beverly Hills. We sometimes have ‘high profile’ patients …. Some of them don’t want to be seen. They worry people will recognize them… Some of them won’t even use the exit door. They exit thru my office which leads into the hall.”

What?! An exit EXIT door?? Who the hell are her clients?! I started racking my brain for all the celebrities that clearly have issues. Britney Spears: Oy. She’s a clinical dream and nightmare rolled in to one. Brooke Shields: She was like a spokesperson for depression. And for sure she councils Katie Holmes: M specializes in anxiety. Silent Birth. Need I say more?

As we started in to our session, and began to talk about the problem du jour, my wild imagination started to fade and like any good narcissist, I began to focus on myself. M is that good. Our session ended and I exited M’s office. I was faced with the hallway. One door leading to the waiting room the other to the private exit door, which M, by the way had encouraged me to use from now on if I’d like.

I walked down the hall wondering if M was watching me go. I wondered if it would it say something horrible about my mental state if I went back out through the waiting room? I mean, I had been doing it for years and never had an uncomfortable encounter. Wait. There was literally ONE time, and one time only that I did walk out after a session and saw this girl, probably my age, crying hysterically. I don’t know if she was there to see M, but like the fucked up little starlets, her problems are probably way worse than mine and I felt great because of it. But I digress…

So two doors at therapy: which one do you choose? (It’s like a metaphor.) And I being the V.I.P that I am, chose the private exit. I turned the corner and there I was. The private exit. I don’t know what I was expecting to see… Maybe headshots with autographs like at the dry cleaners. “To the best therapist on south Beverly Drive… With Love, Lonnie Anderson.” But alas, no headshots and no velvet ropes. Just a hallway with big metal file cabinets, probably holding one of my files: “Crazy.”

I exited the very unglamorous secret exit and walked out in to the “common people” hallway. How sad, I thought, for the people that only have one choice, one hallway in their lives. I’m so blessed. As I waited for the elevator, I felt like someone was watching me. I turned and noticed that the cleaning crew, was watching me leave. Hmm. Of course. They’re checking me out because I could be famous. If I’m the famous 8:30pm client, then I can only imagine who her 7:30 client is…

Wait. WHO IS HER 7:30 client? She said something about “he” using her private entrance because “the other private entrance isn’t even private enough.” Alec Baldwin? Hey, anger management is becoming trendy. Could be a possibility. Brad Pitt-When he’s not in Namibia or taking care of Maddox? Isiah Washington? He got kicked off the best medical drama like EVER. Okay, I thought. The possibilities are endless and there is only one way to find out who the mystery therapy celeb is: WAIT FOR HIM.

I decided that for my next session, I’d get there early and “casually” wait in the hallway, the common hallway, that is, because there’s only one way to get to the elevator. But the following week, I got there late and my plot was foiled. Over the weeks that followed, I admit, with each session I got lazy in my investigation and chose to read Psychology Today over stalking M’s last patient. Ha. How appropriate.

But last night, as I flipped through People magazine in the calm and peaceful waiting room, I heard “the voices.” He left her office. If he goes out the secret secret secret door in her office then I’m fucked and can’t see him. But if he goes out my secret exit than there’s a chance. THINK FAST. I grabbed my cell phone, instinctively dialed my husband and swung the waiting room door open to the common hallway. I stood in the doorway “on the phone” as if I didn’t want to disturb “the others” in the (empty) waiting room and as if I’d “lose the call” if I went too far from the cell range. Damn I was good. This was improv acting at it’s finest. I hear a door open and close. HE’S ABOUT TO OPEN THE SECOND DOOR TO THE COMMON HALLWAY. Door opens. THERE IS HE IS. THE FAMOUS GUY THAT GETS HIS HEAD SHRUNK BY MY VERY OWN SHRINK. He smiles at me and continues down the hall to the elevator. I quickly finish “my phone call” and go back into the waiting room. WHO THE HELL WAS IT? Not handsome. Looks familiar. Dressed conservatively- kind of dorky even. Tall. Dark hair. Normal looking – in a dorky grown up way. Looks familiar… Familiar. Suddenly DUSTIN DIAMOND comes to mind. Is it possible?? THAT was Dustin Diamond? SCREECH?! FROM SAVED BY THE BELL?! OH MY GOD. I THINK IT IS. I THINK IT WAS SCREECH FROM SAVED BY THE FUCKING BELL. Can you imagine what that life must be like for him? He’s a “has been!” I felt so bad for the guy. His problems are way worse than mine. And suddenly, it dawned on me, even Dustin Diamond needs his privacy. No more stalking for me. No more wondering for me. Therapy should just be therapy. And everyone should have that right. It’s not about glitz , glamour, or gossip. SHAME ON ME.

Did I mention that Sandra Oh thanked an “M” during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes? Thanked her for being her “rock.” “M” is my rock too. Oh, stars, they’re just like us…. I hope.