To Party Like A Rockstar.

We don't want to run the risk of being banished from future guest lists, so the party host will remain anonymous . . . in other words, don't expect any scoop spilling or tacky TMZ tattling tidbits in this blog . . . but Noah was invited to his first rock star birthday yesterday--and it rocked. Rock stars--or at least rock stars with babies--party just like us . . . well, almost . . .

Gifts and beautiful people abound, the party was equipped with a "home delivery" petting zoo that was cute enough to make Old McDonald rethink his farming aesthetic. Under the shade of a tree sat "Lil' Red's Traveling Buckaroo Ranch" where a two-foot high freshly painted red picket fence housed together for two hours (and two hours only for the well-being of the animals, we were told) the following: one large white duck with a bright yellow beak, one big fat freshly sheared sheep, two brown-spotted chickens with lively afros (one of which spent the entire time standing on the back of the sleeping sheep), one black pot-bellied, one absolutely adorable white bearded billy goat and a frisky miniature black pony--and tied around each animal's neck was a neatly pressed bandanna.

Next to the pen was a golden brown pony ride ready with saddle and stirrups and adjacent was a bunny snuggling station--a small area with cushions laid on the grass and napkins (poop protectors) for your lap where you could snuggle baby bunnies until all of your bunny snuggling yearnings were satiated.

What was even more incredible then the fact that this myriad of farm animals were so happily cohabitating, was the sheer cleanliness of the entire operation. A husband and wife team clad in movie set quality matching bandannas, cowboy hats and flannel shirts saw to every detail all the while taking people on pony rides. The animals were groomed to the point where you would feel perfectly comfortable eating off of their well-fed backs. Tied to the outside of the fence with ribbons were small vintage napkin lined buckets holding hand sanitizer--and not a single turd was in sight.

It's so L.A., isn't it? Instead of going to the farm, let's bring the farm to us! Nevertheless, Noey Finn partied like an animal--slobbering on each four-legged friend as if to say "you're too clean, so here, take that!".

As fun as the petting zoo party was though, I suddenly feel exceptionally unfit and underfunded to host Noah's first birthday--which is still a far and away 7 months off. Perhaps we could pen together Miles and Linus for petting, and if we're feeling extra extravagant perhaps we have enough time before the big day to teach them a trick or two?!


Don't Wake The Sleeping Giant, Please.

Okay, he's not a giant by any measure, but his presence at any time after bedtime sure does feel portentous.

In response to my parent's efforts at keeping quite during their visit when Noah was three weeks old, Dean and I proudly declared that we were not going to have that kind of baby--one that you have to go out of your way not to wake. Nope. We planned to go about our domestic tasks as before and, as a result, the baby would become naturally acclimated to the sounds of our home. Yeah . . . no. That's not really the way it works in real life. No.

We live in a one bedroom apartment, but it's a fairly large well laid out one bedroom apartment. Nevertheless, all activity that produces more than a whisper of noise stops after Noah goes down for anything even resembling sleep. We tip toe, we whisper, we mute the t.v., we silence the phones, we plan showers or wardrobe changes prior to the sleep act else we must brave the world in whatever we find ourselves wearing without access to our closets or dresser drawers, we don't do dishes, we don't do laundry else the creaking of the wicker basket under the weight of a full dirty load is considered in the noise "danger zone".

Why do we do all of this? Because there are only very few things that return the babe to his sweet, albeit always brief, slumber--okay, there's really only one--my boob, and it cherishes its few sweet minutes of freedom from the sticky grips of drowsy infant paws as much as its owner does. And because the promise of a few minutes of rest for the weary, both him and us, is well needed on all fronts.

If anyone out there has any tips on helping an infant sleep more soundly we're open to all advice because the dishes and laundry are piling up . . .

Mommy Model# 2009: "Off Switch" Not Included.

During a free hour this morning while both of my boys napped, I fled to run boring errands with the greedy excitement of an escaped convict. To the post office I skipped, to the bank I frolicked and to the car wash I putted to get five months of grime, soot and other L.A. air poop off of our car.

Without baby in tow, I initially found my mind wonderfully free in its ability to drift, wander and meander about the most whimsical of thoughts. As I sat on the uncomfortably warm and sticky orange pleather seats in the outdoor waiting area, I studied the scene laid out before me: rows of wet cars amidst a sea of sweltering, Amor All soaked men dousing wheel wash onto dusty black threads of well worn rubber--an old cream bio diesel Mercedes with an USC alumni window sticker--a severely dented minivan with missing side view mirrors and chipping paint--"it's hard to be green" licensed plated new VW bug with a fresh daisy in the dash vase--a shiny red Land Rover with spinney hub caps and extra large muffler--a large blue nondescript SUV with fuzzy bunnies suctioned and hanging from the inside of the windshield next to a collection of air fresheners dangling from the rear view mirror.

I began to wonder how successful I'd be at correctly matching those waiting around me with their perspective vehicles . . . scruffy young guy in wrinkled pants with untied sneakers and tie dyed shirt. . . yes, that bio diesel is yours . . . and um, old Hasidic Jewish man with the long beard . . . yes, the dented minivan is yours (you'd have to live in a predominantly Hasidic Jewish neighborhood to understand)--and then--Noah! . . . is he still napping?, does he have a fresh diaper on? . . . . hmm, wanna-be gangster on my right, that spinney gas guzzling beast must be yours--and then--Noah! . . . is he happy right now?, is he comfortable?, is he hungry?, does he need me?, is daddy managing? . . .

Well, so much for my mind being wonderfully free in its ability to drift, wander and meander about the most whimsical of thoughts. I guess it's just a curse of being a mom--there's no darn off switch.


Bring On The Blankies.

So, since we've last reported we've made leaps and bounds in the sleep department. I don't want to speak too soon or jinx our newly found sleeping success (because things change very fast in baby raising land), but I must rejoice in the progress we've made. Well, and I shouldn't even say "we", because as everyone who has a child knows, there really is no "we" when it comes to a tiny tot's decision or readiness, as it may be in many cases, to do or not do something. It's solely the child's doing--we, as parents, just sit on the sidelines, powerlessly watching, wishing and hoping that whatever we are waiting for (potty training, sleeping through the night, weaning, etc.) comes with great speed and ease (either of which is rarely the case).

So what's all the fuss about, you ask? Well, today is day two--mark it, the second day of Noah napping twice--hear me, twice--in one day. Without a swaddle, without white noise, without bouncing, bopping, swishing or swaying, without waking up two dozen times, without clinging longingly to my boob keeping me a naptime prisonmate, without any tricks, trances or trepidation he has slept for two--hear me, two--hours twice--hear me, twice--a day.

Big deal, you say. Big deal? No. This is huge. For a child who has not napped twice (much less once lately) since he had his umbilicus stump still attached, this is huge and we are so proud. He's sleeping like a big boy, a real big boy. Leaps and bounds I say, leaps and bounds.

Much to our chagrin, however, he has recently developed a fondness for one fuzzy polyester (oie!) blanket from the PX (similar to a Wal-Mart, just on a military base) in Fayetteville, North Carolina to be his newest sleeping companion/naptime soothing/insomnia slaying trick--but hey, whatever, we'll take it. Opps, did I say we weren't using sleep tricks anymore? Well, okay, maybe just one.

Now, let's just work on nighttime. Opps, did I say *let us*? I meant, Dean and I will sit on the sidelines, powerlessly watching, wishing and hoping that Noah's "readiness" for nighttime sleep comes with great speed and ease (neither of which will probably be the case). But, we can wish, can't we? Because like everything else with our little Noah Finn, he'll surprise us when we're least expecting it. And, we'll be proud, so proud of our big, big boy.


Confessions Of A Killer.

Or, sleep killer, that is. What . . . or . . . Who is a "sleep killer", you ask? My son. My son is the killer of sleep. He has efficiently and effectively snuffed any rogue Zzzz's that were managing to occasionally pay a visit to our sleep deprived abode since his arrival four and a half months ago--and he is standing guard at the front door to ensure that none return, at least any time soon.

Last week we decided to ditch our robust social schedule of yoga, play dates, classes and play groups for a more sleep-attentive one--one where I would "pay attention to his tired cues" and attempt to immediately follow with a "prenaptime or prebedtime routine". This we were trying in lieu of our previous non-method method which included Noah sleeping wherever we happen to be whenever the mood of sleep may strike him as we had been doing with lukewarm success. Some days this worked quite well while others it didn't.

The results of our sleep experiment of sorts, however, failed to bring the rewards of rest we were anticipating. Instead it brought Noah no closer to naps or nighttime sleep than before and created an incredibly frustrated and interaction-deprived mommy. We are returning to our social schedule--we must, or else mommy will have to join the league of cuckoos at an institution with padded walls and drooling babblers--and we are crossing our fingers that Noey Finn one day finds the gentle folds of sleep as appealing as mommy and daddy do. In the meantime, on we trek down the dense woozy path of sleep deprivation--seeking a cozy cottage somewhere in a clearing hopefully up ahead where babies and their parents sleep all night and even perhaps nap during the day.


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