Monday, August 29, 2011

I want to tell you all about last night

Warning, there is mention of breastfeeding in this post. So if you are Bill Maher, or any other douchebag who thinks baby's magically feed themselves at Spago, don't read any further. Also go suck an egg. 

This is a story about one night. Well not really one night. It's a story of many nights run together through, one after the other, bleeding mercilessly into days packed with running here and there, peppered with laundry, occasional application of mascara, and many, many, many insurance, school, and bank forms to be filled out. This is my life. It's not war, and it's not bad, it's, its just endless. We're past long days, short years. We're into short days, short years, short hours. There are not enough seconds in each minute. I can see both of the boys changing daily, and even though I'm here, watching, I am worried I might be missing something. 

I'm not complaining. In the year 2011, this is a very good life. We have a home, a garden, the best swing chair ever, full dental, clean water, organic cotton socks, each other, you know, the good stuff. But I can't help but think that something is amiss. Don't worry, I'm not going to check out, and move my family off the grid to a farm in the ozarks, or anything, but when life's pace faster is than Usain Bolt at a square dance..that doesn't even make any sense. I'm sorry. 

(woah! I know! Shocking!) 

Ok, here's one example from this week and then I'll tell you about night. Yesterday I bought THE BRA. What? You don't know about THE BRA? I was told about THE BRA, by another actress and new mom at an audition a few weeks ago. She's a pilates instructor, as well as a new mom, and an actor, so she does a lot of driving. A lot of times our appointments are within an hour of each other on opposite sides of town. We were discussing when to pump, how to pump, etc... and she said "well you have THE BRA, right?" "NO! I don't have the bra! What is the bra?" and then another woman who had been eavesdropping chimed in "oh yeah, she's right, you have to get THE BRA." 

They explained that THE BRA, was actually a sort of tube top with a zip front, that has cut outs around the nipples (kinky! but not...) so you can put the little cups for the pump inside them, screw on bottles, connect the tubes, turn on your pump, and make milk out of BOTH SIDES at the same time. SO smart. I don't know why I didn't know about THE BRA before. I have a double pump, but I always just pumped one side at a time, and held the bottle in my hand. Now it takes only half the time. But that's not the best part about THE BRA. The pilates/actor/mom tells me: "this way you don't have to pull over to pump, you can just do it on your way to your next appointment". DID YOU HEAR ME? I can make milk out of my breasts while driving. This is the ultimate in mommy efficiency and it fills my heart with both joy and anxiety. OMG! Think of all the other things I can get done in the 20 minutes, I'm saving every 2 hours, from not having to PULL OVER and make milk. I'm sorry I'll stop shouting. I just can't imagine what my grandmother would think about me hurtling down the 101 freeway, milk pump attached under very stylish nursing cover. And I'm happy about it. I think. 

SO about last night. Here's how it went, give or take. Baby goes down around 6:45 after a very short nurseyloo. No problem. 45 minutes later he's up. Normally I'd just send Nipper in to soothe him. But I don't mind giving him a little more milk because he didn't really nurse much, and I'm pretty rested because I got to sleep until 7:45 that morning because my darling husband took both kids downstairs at 6:30, or maybe it was 7. I don't know. So he nurses again, this time for a long time, and I put him back in his crib. Good night Charlie. Now I join Jack's bedtime already in progress. We negotiate who is going to read, (daddy) and who is going to get the shaft with a "you can read tomorrow night" (mommy). We remind him not to suck all the toothpaste off the toothbrush like he does every night. We remind him not to pick his nose or he'll get a nosebleed (again). We say "ok, let's settle down, it's time for bed" 18,000 times. We say I love you, and kiss eyelids and cheeks, and he says cute, funny things, that we think "I have to remember that". One of us reads, and the other one RACES downstairs in order to get a precious 30 minutes to do WHATEVER they want. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMM! (I usually opt for laundry, the daily show, and checking email. The man's not going to keep me down) All of this takes an hour total. 

During all of this I'm thinking about those awful morning news programs, and magazine blurbs about how you shouldn't just eat the kids leftovers before you scrape them into the garbage, and how you can exercise in your "downtime" as a parent. "Just a few crunches while you bathe the kids! Take the stairs!" Who the FUCK do these people think they are? There should be a law. 

Now it's almost 9 o'clock. We don't usually eat dinner. Just a big late lunch. Sometimes I make us a green smoothie for dinner (racy).  But last night I had cereal instead. He's been asleep 2 hours, so I pump a bottle. Because the milk train NEVER stops. But I don't get very much because it's night, and I had to do that 2nd bedtime nurse, and I'm irritated, that I spent 15 minutes of my "me" time pumping, when I could be sprawled on the couch not thinking about anything. I'm so irritated that I go to bed. Well, I SAY I'm going to bed, and then I spend 30 minutes perched on the edge of the couch watching whatever Nipper has on the tv, and stating every commercial break that I need to go to sleep. At 10 I give in, and go upstairs. 

But I don't go to sleep. I check facebook, twitter, email, read a blog or two. I go over the day in my head, make lists for the next day in my head, try to solve everybody's problems IN MY HEAD. After I come with a solution for world peace, and a good retirement plan, I fall asleep. Moments later, I hear Jack's door open. He trundles across the hall, piles into the bed, lays on top of me and whispers "mommy I want to snuggle you". Fine. All of my daytime fight is gone. "Ok, shhh". We fall back to sleep. This for me is a minor miracle and a sign that I am no longer me. Most nights, if so much as Nipper's toe is touching me foot, I can't sleep. It's like that toe is trying to BURN A HOLE IN MY SOUL. 

I used to read. Books. I used to read books. Before bed. Every night. Now I don't even read magazines. I don't even pick them up to look at the pictures. It's too much information. My brain can not contain any more information than it now contains. Not one more item. 

Because I made a bottle at 9, I assume Charlie will wake up early just to torture, me. But not tonight. He sleeps. He sleeps like a motherfucker. I wake up at 2am TWO AY EM! I slept for almost 4 hours with Jack and his jimmy legs sprawled on me. He's managed to have his 100lb head on my neck and somehow at the same time have his pointy little elbows and knees in my sides. All of them. All 4 elbows and knees are poking into me. I sit right up in bed look at the clock on my phone. I grab the monitor in a panic and watch for signs of life. He's breathing. Ok. I pee. I'm up. I just slept for 4 hours. Longer than I've slept in months. I'm going to pay for this. I am wide awake. 

Charlie wakes up at 2:30 and I go in his room to nurse him. I go back to bed. Jack has noodled all the way over to my pillow, and so now I must wedge myself 1/3 of the way down the bed on the side. I check facebook. I check twitter. Why? I don't know. I look at pictures of the kids on my phone. Charlie wakes back up at 3:20. He slept too long. Now he's up too. Fuck. I nurse him again and he goes back to sleep. Jack wakes long enough to mumble "mommy I want to snuggle you". Tomorrow we are going to have a talk. His head is on my pillow and the rest of his body is sideways across the top of the bed. His little behind is right in front of Nipper's face. He farts. LOUD. And for about 4-5 seconds. It must be like a nuclear cloud over there, but Neither Nipper nor Jack wake up. Serves them right for sleeping through all of Charlie's fussing. I'm laughing, trying not shake the bed. It is now 3:40. 3:42. 3:51... At last I sleep. 

At 5:40 Charlie cries again. I drag my carcass out of the bed. I want to pee, but it's early, and if he cries too long and it get's louder, he's going to wake Jack up, then Nip will be tired, and Jack will be tired, and everything will be TERRIBLE, ALL DAY LONG. So, I hold it. Charlie is sort of wide awake when I put him back in his crib, but I give him his pacifier and his eyes roll back in his head. I go back to bed. I go through Jack's room (we have a Jack and Jill bathroom) so I don't walk on the creaky part of our bedroom floor and wake anyone up. This is the kind of information that is now in my head, replacing other important information. Sigh. 

Jack is now starfished, kitty corner across my entire half of the bed. I'm mad. I'm not going to lie. What the fuck kid? You've got a bunk bed in your room, A BUNK BED! With a shark nightlight, and stuffed animals, and a moby light, and a feather bed! My 4yr old has a feather bed, because I'm aiming to make my kids as poncy as possible. I'm sure they'll get roughed up by the world. Why not expect a comfortable bed? So that's TWO beds, and he doesn't even have to nurse a baby, or wear mascara. I contemplate going into his bed to sleep, but I know that's not going to work. I'll just lay there pissed. SO, I pick him up and move him 12 inches, into the middle of the bed. I know it's a mistake, but I'm fed up. He wakes up. DUH. I know he's going to wake up the moment I scoop him up, but I can't help myself. My brain is scrambled. 

He rouses a little, rolls over onto my pillow (does this thing have a gravitational pull?) and says "mommy I want to snuggle you". It is 6:04. Good morning Nipper. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Should I be worried?

Full disclosure: On the way home from our Jack and Mommy night out the other night, he was playing out a scene in the back seat where the Boba Fett lego was asking the Mandalorian Clone lego if he wanted to go on a date. Fett sounded pretty nervous, but when the clone said yes, he was pretty cool about. This charming boy with decapitation fascination is my spawn...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You got Mike Tyson'd

Have I ever told you guys the story of how Nipper and I met? I'm turning into the old ship's captain who regales you with the same boring fish story every night at dinner time. Except this one begins with me trying to throw the catch of the day back into the drink. 

The night before I met Nipper I had a little birthday party with some friends. And by friends, I mean, my friend Stephanie, her husband, and 3 guys who wanted to date me, went bowling. I had been single for about a year, after two long term relationships in my twenties right after each other ran their course. Oh to have the perspective I have now! 

So we bowled. We drank. I wondered repeatedly if the pink seersucker corset top I was wearing was really appropriate bowling attire, and wished that I had just worn a dress, or a t-shirt, or pajamas. It was really too girly to go with the seven jeans and bowling shoes, and YES, I do remember what I was wearing, and I regret it even now. SO. Stephanie's husband had this friend named Teddy, who was a stone cold fox. He was a man child who was ALL bad news, but I was single and totally willing to disregard all signs that this person would torture me emotionally until he moved on to his next victim, or I imploded. I feel much the same way about Colin Farrell, who I ran into in the elevator at Cedars Sinai when I was 9 months pregnant with Charlie. He didn't seem to notice me. Weird. 

SO this Teddy guy showed up at my bowling party. He drove up from Newport Beach, or some far flung land like that. I took that as a sign that he LOVED ME. But then he didn't bowl. He had one drink, didn't talk to me, and left. WHAT? Boys are so confusing. Did he drive all that way to see Steph's husband? Did he come bc he was like "what girl? oh ok, I'll come check her out, like it's a sale at the meat packing plant". Then he got one look at the ground chuck and bolted. 

I turned to Steph and said "that's it. I'm done. I have dated half of Los Angeles and I'm done." I had been on so many 1st (and last) dates that year, that I was starting to get bored with my own "this is who I am" spiel. Who cares! I decided I was swearing off men for the foreseeable future. I was going to play my guitar, and take pictures, and shop, and eat dinner in my pajamas, and to hell with dating. I met Nipper Knapp the very next day. 

I was in my agents office the next afternoon when she caught me walking by her door and shouted "MARIJA THIS IS NIPPER, HE'S FROM MICHGAN TOO!" "So what..." I thought. But then he and I started talking. Our families lived really close to each other, we  both loved the blues, he showed me pictures he had of his niece and nephew he had in his wallet, and he was thinking of quitting acting. We got all of this out in a 1 hour conversation we had AFTER we had walked outside together. Our agent said she was watching us out the window talking after we left, and she just knew. Well, I didn't know. I gave Nipper my number and walked away. I was wearing my favorite paper denim and cloth jeans (oh how I miss those jeans) and a peach eloise rib tank top, oh and my caramel suede boots. Much better. 

He called me the next day. Which made me laugh. Who does that? He asked me if I wanted to go to the oldest blues bar on the west coast. To which I said "sure, so long as it's not a date". WHAT?! I had never said anything like that in my life! I even said yes to guys I knew I would never date, just to get them off the phone. Who was this new me? And then, he surprised me even more by saying "Well, I can't say I'm not disappointed, but ok". WHAT?  He didn't say "fuck you", or "you're a twat", or "well in that case forget it". He said "I'm disappointed". I should have known then this man would have the power to make me return a $1600 Chloe bag (true story). 

When he came to pick me up, I peeked out the window and thought "oh he's cute". We went to sushi. I wore a white blouse with a black bra, which was pretty sassy for a girl who just said she didn't want it to be a date. We went to Sushi, before going to Babe's and Ricky's. We sat at the sushi bar. Half way through dinner, I turned to him and said "remember how I said I didn't want this to be a date? I changed my mind." He laughed, put his hand on my back, and said "ok". I asked him years later what he thought when I said that. He said "that I was going to get lucky". Boy howdy. Welcome to mortgage-land honey. 

At the Blues bar there were more people in the band, then in the rest of the bar. We were the youngest people by about 50 years. It was awesome. We were disappointed to find out there was no all you can eat fried chicken buffet, but the music was awesome, and a couple who were about 90 years old, were dancing with each other, the whole night. I knew about half way through my drink that I was going to marry Nipper Knapp. I went outside to have a cigarette (yes it's true, I was a rebel) and he came out to smoke with me (mr. asthma WAS trying to get lucky). I was leaning against the wall of the club, smoking my stupid cigarette, and Nipper Knapp put his hands on the wall on either side of my head, and kissed me. After we kissed he told me about he saw Mike Tyson do that to a girl in NYC one time. This was true love. 

We said "I love you", within two weeks, married six months later, and didn't spend a night apart for almost three years. After running as fast, and as far from my childhood home as I could, I found a boy from Michigan, to make a new home with a million miles away. We've been married seven and a half years, and since we don't have real jobs, and spend every waking hour together, I figure it's more like 42 in dog years. 

Two days ago on my birthday, I was having a hard time saying the actual number of years I am now, out loud. I was feeling pretty blue. Nipper Knapp, love of my life, excitedly said to me "you aren't even half way to your expected death age!"

ladies, can I pick em or what?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

so this is happening

I'll be thinking of you all day little man. 

12pm Santa Monica
1:10 Hollywood
2:15 Santa Monica

That's my audition schedule tomorrow. Those of you who live here and do this for a living are just laughing at me right now. For those of you who don't here's what this means. The babysitter get's here at 10:30, I only have 2 bottles in the fridge, so hopefully I'll have time to make one in the morning, after Jack goes to swim class, and while I'm putting on my make-up, probably with Charlie in the bjorn, PRETTY. I'll nurse Charlie one last time, that means, I need to pump somewhere around12:30-1:00. Right around the time I'm in my callback in Hollywood. Uhm. Ok. This isn't stressful. Not at all! At least I'll be in my car. In traffic. And then intermittently being judged by strangers. Don't forget, I will have slept from 11pm to 6 am, in hour and a half intervals, then gotten up to nurse and soothe a fussy baby, so Ill be SUPER well rested. My armpits are going to smell SO good.

Also, everything in LA is 30 minutes from everything else. Except when there is traffic. Then it's 45 minutes to an hour. Also, you always wait an hour (at least) at every audition. So if you have gotten through the basic math, something's got to give. I'm actually just hoping to make it to the first one early, get through fast, without a casting assistant sneering at me when I check where I am on the list for the 17th time in 37 minutes, get to my 2nd one, a callback, do that fast (hahahaha, yeah that's going to happen, when you add agency people, a director, and a client, it ALWAYS speeds up the audition process), pump in the car before going back to Santa Monica for my 3rd one, which I'm hoping they don't mind me being exceptionally late for. It's for the new show Whitney, I have one line. Can't they just look at my picture and imagine me saying "what's the name"? I won't feel cheap at all. 

Then race home because by the time I get there I (and Charlie) should be ready to nurse again. By which I mean, my boobs will hurt, and Charlie will be crying his little eyes out. 

SO, to that grade A suck bag who called Maternity leave "a racket" last week: (Click this link here), you sir can go fuck yourself. Also to Megyn Kelly, "sigh..." 

Now hold your breath and tell me to break legs. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

patent #965,456,782,349,784,219,888,537

This hippo doesn't have anything to do with anything. I took her picture at the LA Zoo last year. 

I dunno how many patents there are. That was just a guess.

Here are two things I would like someone to invent. 

Some kind of pop-up lap cradle for airplane travel. It would have to be small enough to fit in a diaper bag, but then unfold quickly (pop-up) to cover your lap, while keeping the baby off your actual lap so your ass doesn't fall asleep on the plane, and you can't move because if that baby wakes up and cries so help you god you and everyone around you is going to FREAK OUT. Someone get on that. Might I suggest using some space age fabrics and mechanisms? Great. 

The second thing I think would be great is some way to wash your armpits when you are just out in the world. Not like a portable sink and soapy washcloth, but something more like the flowbee, but for armpit cleaning. I dunno how it would work. But it would have to be quick, quiet, and (obv) discreet. You don't want to be all "excuse me folks, I'm just going to go use the ladies room, if you hear a jet engine sound coming from that direction, it's NOT my portable armpit washer. Not at all." All I'm saying is there are times when I would like to just duck into a bathroom and take a mini shower. 

So how's YOUR week going? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mommy Dearest

In case anyone missed it, Nipper Knapp called me Joan Crawford when I asked him to throw the kitchen towel he used to wipe up the floor into the hamper instead of putting it back on the towel rack. This from the man who gets the boojeebees when there is MAIL on the kitchen counter. 

Oh ok, I may have also mentioned that he didn't rinse all the soap off the frying pan, so Jack's quesadilla was all soapy. I know, I'm a monster. NO SOAPY FRYING PANS!

I'm going back to work today. My still slightly larger than usual arse is packed into my "hip mom casual" pants, and my blotchy face is covered with spackle. The only upside to taking 8 months off is that my eyelashes have repaired themselves from 20 years of curling and mascara and are long long long. It's the little things that are going to keep me going today. 

Fingers and toes crossed today people. Legs breaking. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I got down so low

Some of you were probably speculating as to why I haven't been writing lately. I'm sure you think "oh she just had a baby", or "she's on summer vacation". But no, it's not either of those things. Yesterday when I got out of bed, I noticed a tiny little spot of what can only be described as baby poo juice on my sheets. Charlie's diaper had leaked a little while he was nursing before we got up. By the time I noticed it, it was dry, and really only the size of a quarter. You see where this is going right? I stood there, about to pull the covers over it thinking, "it's not really poop, it's just the poop juice, which is sort of like pee really, and that is STERILE, and he's only a baby, and it IS dry, and oh I'm so tired."

I just feel that a person who has slid so low as to consider sleeping in her baby's poop, really shouldn't be writing about much of anything. I should be seeking help. So... As soon as I'm able to master paying all the bills, feeding my family, and conquering the nightly poop/sleep/laundry battle, I'll be back. Did I mention I go back to work next week? 

Lord give me strength. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm trying really hard to fall asleep. But we're at "the cottage", Nipper Knapp's parents house in northern Michigan.

This photograph is hanging next to the bed in my room. It's really bothering me. Who are you trying to call baby Nipper Knapp? Is it a wrong number? You look sort of like you just got caught.

Or maybe you just said "just a sec, let me ask, hon, do we want to add a second pizza for $9?" and are waiting impatiently for the answer. Like "yeah, ok, c'mon, the pizza phone guy is waiting, gah!"

Also, I like your red phone, and the cheeks you passed down to both our boys.

Good night.