February 28, 2011


My entire life, I have dreamt about going to the Oscars. Not just going to the Oscars, but being in the Oscars... that is, RECEIVING an Oscar. As a little girl, and then a young adult studying theater at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, my dream was to win an award for Best Actress. Now, it's for Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay or Sound Editing. I'll take anything really. The point is, I really want an Oscar. Just seems so magical.

And I've been practicing my speech (again, it's always with a British accent for some reason) since I was 4.

Well, after watching an entire evening of Anne Hathaway's over the top "I'm so honored to be here" shtick as she "wooted" for legends like Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, I felt inspired to jot down some of the things I'm truly thankful for....

So in no particular order....

Thank you to Tricia, Jonah's trusted and loving nanny and my right hand gal. You keep us all straight and might be the only one able to talk a 3 year old down off a non stop "poop" talking ledge without losing your mind.

Thank you to my modern day pen pals: Nic of My Bottles Up and Debi of The Truth About Motherhood. If only we all lived closer, I have no doubt we'd have a lot more to connect over than our blogs. Your comments and enthusiasm keep me going. Also, thanks for not being perfect. Makes me like you even more.

Thank you to my writing partner Lisa Gache. Everyone should have a Lisa in their life. Calm, poised and an example of graciousness, Lisa's become a great friend.... And the only person I know who truly despises her arms like I do. (My arms, that is. Not hers. I think hers are perf).

Thank you to my boyfriend J. The fact that you love me despite how many socks I've stolen, how little interest I have in Seinfeld (yep, I said it ;-)) and how many sentences I start and never finish, is amazing. Also, the fact that you keep a running "Jenny quotes" list in your phone... Um. That's love.

Finally, a thank you to my mom, for never having your keys ready when you need to get in to the car, or in the front door. This unbelievable and comical phenomenon has, not only made me insane over the years, BUT made me a strive to be more prepared human being (and perhaps triggered the type A control freak side of me too. But that's a whole 'nother post). But mom. Thank you. You're always there. Thank you.

There are at least two dozen other thank you's that would need to go on my actual Oscar acceptance speech... including one to my darling and sweet Jonah. My life. My pride and joy. There are no words... And there are no spanx under this "workout" get up of mine. So I think I'll save it....

February 24, 2011


There's a sudden piercing in my shoulder, like my clavicle is snapping, which convinces
me I'm having some sort of heart attack... The nurse tells me not to worry, that it's just gas. Gas in my shoulder? That is some bad, bad gas." - Teresa Strasser, Exploiting My Baby

Ahh, gas. Bad gas. One of the many things no one warns you about. I mean, we all know the stereotype-- pregnant women, hunched over a carton of ice cream and pickles, simultaneously popping Tums to curb the heartburn they're bringing on... The thing is, NO ONE tells you how bad the heart burn is. No one, tells you it's going to feel like a heart attack. Or that breastfeeding sucks. Yup. I said it.

Anyway, I got a chance to sit down with the hilarious and smart Teresa Strasser, author of Exploiting My Baby, to talk about becoming a mom and all the inane fears we had and challenges we faced during and after pregnancy. Teresa is one cool chick. And her book is very relatable. Oh, and she has fantastic legs. I mean, fan-friggin-tastic.

February 23, 2011


In one of my many Wacky's classes, we were told that telling a child how "good" they were or how amazing everything was that they did would actually be damaging. "Don't label your child," Wacky would say. Instead of them doing a "good job" when they built a tower of blocks, you should praise them for their efforts... their concentration... their architectural ingenuity. Blah blah blah.

Here's the thing, to some degree, Wackidoo has a point. If you're constantly telling a child that they're good, when they do something not so good, they will feel bad. And apparently, there's something wrong about a child considering themselves to be "bad." (like they turn into serial killers or something. I have no idea). Anyway, I totally understand how too much praise can actually lead to a child having little self confidence-- if their focus is on a result and on a reaction (from a parent). However, as a parent, I find it soooooooo difficult, especially during these developmentally magical and slightly crazy making years, to not kvell over his every move.

For instance, today we (he) spent about 30 minutes tracing in a new book Grandma L got him. Initially, he wanted my help as he didn't think he could do it (and wasn't entirely comfortable or sure how he wanted to hold the marker). After a few tries though, he was on his own and tracing all the pictures. Now, I only know what my 3 year old is doing so maybe it's not so impressive, but to ME, I was floored by his tracing ability. I found it hard not to "Wow" and "That's so great, Jonah!" him with every stroke.

Do you think everything your child does is magic? How much praise for a child is too much?

... I mean, I was so proud of him, I decided I'd film some of it to send to grandparents and great grandparents who I know would be equally proud of their budding artist, Rhodes Scholar, and future Justin Bieber. (Being a pop culture icon is just as impressive as studying at Oxford these days, isn't it?) Of course, it didn't take long until the 3 year old interested in all things poop became entirely DISINTERESTED in mommy's praises....

I'll have to figure out a different way to label this sort of behavior.... ;-)

Hey! BTW, we're giving away $150 on Parents Ask to Amazon. Leave a comment on the video, telling us your favorite children's book and you'll be entered to win. Oh and ignore my iphone in the shot. I promise it's not next to me during "quiet, reading time." ;-)

February 18, 2011


Last weekend, a friend of mine told me that as a parting gift at a child's birthday party, her 2 year-old son was given a goldfish. I had 3 responses, consecutively:
#1) Are you fucking serious?!
#2) Wow. That's cool.
#3) Did they give you a bowl?

No... she said. They did not. No bowl. They just handed her a fish IN A BAG, and said thanks for coming. That was it. I tried to spin it in my mind... Perhaps that was a clever and cool alternative to Silly Bandz, candy, or some chatchke from Oriental Trading Company (seriously, spare me the junk people). But I never was really able to decide how I felt about such an extreme parting gift that a child really won't be able to "part" with anytime soon... unless they have parents like me, who let fish die and/or send them to fish heaven.

Anyway... all of this reminded me of our own dead fish incident of 2010. It's hard to believe "Nemo" has been gone a year. In memory of losing nemo, I thought I'd share with you an old post. Enjoy. And never give me a fish as a gift.

Originally posted: February 9 ,2010

Last week, our lovely and adorable babysitter Ash-a-wee texted me to see if she could buy Baby-Ko a fish. Hmm. This is tough.... On one hand, a goldfish would be the perfect pet for us to have as I, a) am not an animal person and, b) Baby-Ko is fascinated by them. On the other hand, a) I am not an animal person and fish are right up there with birds and b) I have killed every single fish I have ever owned, not including the one from the very intentional murder/Purim incident of 1985. In fact, I have another confession: When I was 13, I killed my sister's goldfish with this fake "Cinderella" perfume she had in her dress up chest, just 'cuz. Point is, me and fish, notwithstanding sushi, don't do well together.

BUT, Baby-Ko... sweet Baby-Ko... I want to give him the world, and if that means feeding some slippery slimy fish and skimming out poo, then goddammit, I'll (vomit in my mouth) do it.

When I got home from work that night, Baby-Ko opened the door and beamed, "Mommy! Ash-a-wee bought me fish! In my house! Come, mommy, come!"
He marched me in to the living room. There, on the coffee table was a (dare, I say it?) a pretty-ish Black "Beta" Fish.... Living in my VERY pretty Kate Spade round vase. "Oh, goooood.... you found a bowl," half laughing.
Ash-a-wee told me she'd be going back to Petco tomorrow to pick up a proper bowl and some rocks, and also: She would clean the bowl and feed him when she came. PHEW. The fish has a chance at living.
"What did you name him?" I asked.
"Nemo!" Baby-Ko exclaimed. "He is Nemo, Mommy!"
"Nemo. Perfect!"
Though I desperately wanted to rename him something clever, or something even obvious like 'Bemo' (short for Black Nemo, which potentially sounds offensive), I shared in his pride over his very first pet. Nemo it is.

From the beginning, Nemo seemed to be a "slower" more "static" creature, if you will, never really moving from one place (even when Baby-Ko put his face up to the vase and shouted his name). However, it was to my shock and dismay when less than 24 hours later, I returned from a party and my mom whispered to me, "I think Nemo is dead." Shit.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Nothing. Nemo wasn't even belly up... Rather, he was on the bottom of the bowl. Upside down. Dead. Asleep. For good.

"What happened, Mommy?" Baby-Ko said, noticing my concern.
"Nothing, love. Nemo's sleeping. Let's go play with your trains." Not prepared to talk about life, death, and beta fish heaven, I redirected him to the other room...

A few minutes later, we got a call from T-Ko asking if we could Skype, as he is out of town for work. (BTW, I guess now is as good of a time as any to tell you that T-Ko and I separated last May and are getting divorced... At some point I'm sure I'll share more. But for now, let's honor Nemo... :-)) Anyway, over Skype, which we routinely do, we told him about Nemo and that Nemo is "sleeping" (wink, wink). I was fully prepared to do a bait and switch of Nemo the next day, but T-Ko had a different idea.
"Baby-Ko, look at my view," he pointed the computer camera out the window to the river. "Daddy's hotel is on a river. You should send Nemo to the river!"
"Go with Mommy to the bathroom and you can pour Nemo in to the toilet and flush him down to the river so I can see him."
"Good idea, Daddy!" I said, with a smile like Chandler Bing.

In to the bathroom we marched... Without much warning, I picked up my very pretty Kate Spade Vase. Swoooosh....
"Bye bye Nemo, go see Daddy!" I said.
Baby-Ko stuck his head to the toilet, "Where Nemo go?"
"...To come see me!" T-Ko said, "I'm going to go down to the river and get him."
A few more questions and love-you's later, Baby-Ko and T-Ko finished their chat.
Now every time I go in to the bathroom, Baby-Ko does look somewhat concerned. Because Baby-Ko's only 2 years old, I can't say that my first choice would have been to send Nemo to Savannah to see T-Ko and the river... But I admire T-Ko's quick response to putting the fish to rest for good.

In the meantime, any suggestions for how to explain to said 2-year old that when I sit down
on the toilet, Mommy isn't "sending her poo-poo and pee-pee down to the river to go see Daddy???"

February 14, 2011


Growing up, I was very lucky to have parents that knew about cool places in and around LA to take children. My weekends were spent taking drives to places like Santa's Village or San Juan Capistrano or eating at dive taco stands that everyone in LA would/should know about like Titos tacos.... Anyway, now with a child of my own, I'm equally eager to explore LA and it's surroundings with my little guy in tow.

(Check out my interview with Red Tricycle about some of my favorite things to do).

Of course, I must admit, big elaborate day trips and activities are not always easy to orchestrate week after week. Plus, even if we are going to spend the day at the zoo or at the beach collecting shells, there's still a good 3 plus hours in the morning that requires some creative entertainment until we (Me) can get the show on the road.

And sometimes legos just don't cut it.

So, I've introduced Jonah to baking. It's simple. He sits on the floor. Equipped with a baking pan, a whisk, a measuring cup, I let him concoct a pie. From a handful of cheerios, to a dash of salt, to M&Ms from 3 Halloweens ago, to
packets of chili flakes from a pizza delivery, Jonah spends a good 25 minutes making sure his pie is perfect. When he is done (and/or breakfast is ready , or I'm done folding laundry, or doing dishes, etc), it's time to put the pie in the oven.

"Cook it for real, mommy," he says.

"Of course for real. BEEEP!" I say "pushing" the buttons to "350." "We need to let it cook for about 45 minutes or maybe even all day. This is a big cake."

"It's a biiiiiiiig cake," he echoes.


And that's that. Cheeto Shredded Wheat Garlic Salt Pie. A masterpiece. And truly, an awesome time suck AND fantastic use of stale food.

Of course, a week later, discovering this treasure is slightly horrific. And a sad reminder that I don't use my oven as much as I should.

February 10, 2011


Genetics. Sometimes it works in your favor. Sometimes it does not.

My legs: A positive result of strong genes and good gams on both sides.

My nose: A fluke.

My boobs: Well. My boobs....

When I started this blog, (and it had a different name), I shared the story about how at an early age, I saw my Great Grandmother getting dressed and putting on a bra (a "brassiere" she called it) over some sort of medieval looking Spanx getup (It was the late 70's... which meant her undergarments were from the late '50's). Long story short, I remember watching her with wonderment-- How is it possible for boobs to fall that low? Were they ALWAYS like that? Will she trip over them?

30 years later, I've figured out the answers to those questions, and frankly, I'm not so happy about the "knowing" part. Lacking in size, my boobs are not. But lacking in all things Sophia Vergara, they most certainly are. Though my boobs have never been a deterrent on the boy front (in fact, I was felt up 2 years before I even had my first kiss), it's an area that I've always been self conscious of....

Oh, and breastfeeding a baby who wiggled and squirmed like an Octopus getting electrocuted, did not help.

Anyway, this is all coming up because of a lovely little exchange I had with my 3 year old this morning. Amidst a lovely lego fort building session, Jonah leaned in to give me a hug.
J: "Mommy, why are your boobies so weeeeird."
Me: "Huh?! My boobies are weird?!"
J: "Yeah. They're just ... (wiggling his body), so WOBBLY and like... (He lays back with his mouth gaped open like a corpse)... THAT."
Before I let my mind start racing with all the things that "That" could mean, I nod, say "thank you" for his observation, and knock over his fucking fort. NO. I'm kidding. He knocked it over. And that was that.

What I'm getting at here, is that I was obviously NOT NAKED during our little boobie extravaganza, so a) why did he think about this and b) are my boobs, covered by pajamas, seriously that "weird???"

Have your kids ever commented on your body? How do you respond?

February 9, 2011


As someone dedicated to hypochondria and overall "shpilkes," I'm pretty hardcore when it comes to popping pills. That is, I DON'T like to take medicine of any kind unless I have to. I have this irrational fear about mixing medication with just about anything: wine, coffee, Pink Berry... No joke, I have called a doctor before to ask if it was okay to take Advil with Diet Coke. (What if just one time, my body couldn't handle the ibuprofen, caffeine and NutraSweet combination, and POOF, I die?! This is a valid concern!)

I think one of the scariest things about being a single mom is feeling like you can't get sick-- you always have to be in control and the one in charge. So, I especially get nervous when I get sick (or have an itchy leg... ) and need to take something that could potentially, though probably not, make me drowsy when I'm alone with Jonah. God forbid he wakes up at night (which he almost always does lately), and I'm in a Tums induced coma?!

Anyway, herein lies the issue: I have not been sleeping well at all. I'm exhausted. I need a GOOD, solid night of sleep. I ALSO, really need to relax and reconnect with friends and would absolutely benefit from a lovely glass of Pinot Noir or two. Jonah will be sleeping at his dad's.

It's one thing to mix a Motrin with orange juice, it's another to pop a Lunesta with chardonnay. Uh, uh. No, NO.

So the question is: What do I need more? Wine or sleep? What do YOU need more of? Has there ever been a time when you've mixed? I'm even more curious about this: Have you ever OR would you ever take a sleeping pill to help you sleep when children are present (sleeping)?

One thing is for sure on my end: unless there was another coherent adult present (and even then, I would be nervous about doing this), I don't think I could take a medication that might potentially keep me from having to pick up J's Pillow Pet off the floor 3:45 am or any other mothering matter. In fact, I'm pretty sure on the Ambien warning label it says: Do not mix with goldfish, toothbrush battles, preschool drop off, or dirty lunchboxes...

Speaking of zoning out... wouldn't a day at the spa be amazing?!

Well, now through February 28th, my friends at Red Tricycle are giving away a luxury spa treatment to Burke Williams!
  • Simply go to http://redtri.com/newsletter-signup and sign up for Red Tricycle
  • Enter "Perfectly Disheveled" in the Referred By box
  • A random winner will be selected from all entries. If one of my referrals win, I'll also win a spa treatment!
Now THAT is a win win situation. (And, a night that neither pills nor wine will be necessary to induce sleep!)

February 7, 2011


I have yet to see a cover of a gossip magazine that shows how much worse a celebrity looks AFTER they've had a baby. It's seriously ridiculous. Every celebrity looks BETTER post baby-- and like immediately. How do they do it? Serious diet and serious workouts, that's how (Oh, so my hand in a jar of nutella is not going to help?)

What also helps these hot new mommies: a relationship with equally hot men who take care of their figures (and are not likely to gain the "sympathy weight.") Well, I got a chance to talk to Courtney Mazza, girlfriend to hottie Mario Lopez. Courtney gained 30lbs during her pregnancy with daughter Gia and in less than 5 months, was back to her starting weight of 113 lbs. Of course, she didn't do it by sitting around and giving in to pizza and pink berry cravings. (Not that I know anything about that).

1) In Hollywood, it seems a lot of the time women who have perfect figures, "let it go" during their pregnancies? Considering you gained a very average 30 lbs, were you careful about your diet? Did you exercise?

I did not deprive myself when it came to eating...I just ate the right portions and exercised!

2) Would you say you had an easy pregnancy? How about labor and delivery?

My pregnancy was a breeze besides having placenta previa. The labor was not bad..I have a high tolerance for pain. I ended up having a c-section and Gia was born within 20 minutes!

3) How long after your daughter was born did you give yourself before you decided it was time to work on shedding the weight you had gained?

I slowly started working out six weeks after I gave birth to Gia and when I was finished breast feeding at eight weeks, I started Healthe Trim!

4) What were some of the motivating factors for you during your "hard core" training sessions?

Ha! Hardcore training session is correct! I love to do kettle bells, kick boxing...

5) You lost a significant amount of weight in a short time, do you think it would have taken you twice as long had you not been taking the supplements?

You never know how your body is going to react. They say it takes as long to lose the weight as it took to gain it and I did not want that to be the case!

6) As busy mom, what's your trick for avoiding pitfalls like being too tired to exercise or eating snacks or, my favorite, the kid's leftover macaroni and cheese?

I was really worried about not having the energy to workout but Healthe Trim takes care of that! If I want mac and cheese, I eat it! Taking Healthe Trim, I feel fuller faster so I'll only eat a couple of bites and feel satisfied....and I never feel guilty afterwards!

7) Do you incorporate your daughter in to any of your exercise routines?

Picking up Gia helps keep my arms in shape! She's getting heavier!

8) You said you cheat on food during the weekend. I envision you and Mario ordering pizza in bed or eating foot long subs and watching the game. Am I right? (Please tell me that your cheating is like my cheating and not "oh, I maybe have a bite or two of a carb." )

I am a carb junkie!!!!!!!!!! I usually cheat with pasta! My moms sauce is addicting!

9) Finally, the world wants to know: Growing up, were you a Zack or A.C. Slater fan? Be honest!

Ha! Zack all the way baby! Mario knows it too!

February 3, 2011


It's official: As long as my 38" partner in crime is in tow, I will never be able to "zip" in and out of anything or anywhere. Ever. Again.

With a 3 year old, there is nothing quick, fast, seamless, or easy about getting anything of importance done really.

Everything requires patience, precision, and a go with the flow mentality.

As a former master of errands, multi-tasking, and to-do list crossing, this hurts me greatly.

However, I have learned that adding 20 minutes (and a bag of peanut butter pretzels) of THIS....

... to do what would have/ should have taken me 20 seconds to buy THIS....

... is priceless.

February 1, 2011


A couple months ago, I was approached by Stacie of One Hungry Mama to take on a recipe swap. After making Stacie's spiced up latkes and confessing that just weeks prior, I nearly burnt my kitchen down thanks to an inability to toast bread, I started to feel like I needed to spend more time in the kitchen. After all, cooking is therapeutic and I of course want to make dishes that my son loves because it's something only his mom can make. (I've come to terms that my meatloaf or spaghetti sauce won't win awards).

The point is, I want to cook more. Expose Jonah to more fruits and veggies than just spinach and broccoli, which luckily he enjoys. So when Reisha Fryzer, founder of Farm Box LA approached me I was thrilled. Farm Box LA delivers weekly organic produce to homes, restaurants, and institutions in Los Angeles. She sources from different local farms in order to put together an abundant farm box. It is aimed for ultimate health and wellness.

When Reisha made the delivery, I was so excited but I must admit, overwhelmed. Like I said, I'm used to a head of broccoli, a bag of baby spinach and maybe already cut up butternut squash depending on how well stocked Trader Joes was that week. What was I going to do with fennel, acorn squash, Swiss chard, butter lettuce, Maui onions, and a ton of other fresh fruits and veggies? I mean, I knew what I should do, but it felt a slightly daunting. Reisha shared some recipes and I also hit up people on twitter and facebook for ideas.

I decided to take a little advice from everyone and came up with my own plan. I decided to roast the fennel, acorn squash and Maui onions together with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. SIMPLE. (Why don't I roast everything???)

The Swiss chard, I sauteed with a little maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Delicious... though I admit, Jonah was not so in to it.

The one thing I did that was a major rookie roasting move, was use the stalk and leaves from the fennel- not just the bulb. I don't think it made it any worse, but now I know.

Anyway, LOVED that everything was organic and hand picked by Reisha. In my head, and maybe even in reality, everything tasted CLEANER. If I could tailor this service, or one like this so that I had enough fruits and veggies for me and a 38 lb picky eater, and not more than I'd ever really eat, I would totally do it. It seems worth the price. And the time it takes to rinse and cut up the veggies.

In the meantime, I plan on exploring all the other things I can roast. It's just so friggin' easy and tasty. I think I'm going to have to break out the Ina Garten Roasted Chicken Recipe that I used to make many moons ago. If only I could find an organic chicken farm that would deliver an already clean chicken for me, then I'd really be cookin'....