Thursday, April 28, 2011


Nipper is out tonight at a bachelor party. I am home with the boy. We made a new Thomas the Train track in the living room, played legos, had slot car races, ate In&Out burgers, watched Shrek, read SIX (he insisted) books, and now here I am, alone on the couch. I took a shower and ate a quesadilla. F U I'm pregnant, I can eat a burger and a quesadilla if I want to. Every time I have a moment to myself these days I think I'm going to go into labor. But so far, tonight, nothing. Although what I'm about to show you just might start me having contractions. 

You all remember a year ago, when Nipper drove to NEVADA to get me this knotted melati chair from Anthropologie. It was out of stock online, and 75% off in the store, but there were only 2 of them, one in Northern California for full price and the Nevada one for 75% off. He loves me. It's been hanging in our breezeway for the last year, and we sit in it and swing and swing. I had originally planned to hang it in the yard, once we built the deck and pergola, but that's going to take some time. Which is perfect because now there is THIS:


I'm so excited. It's pink and orange and yellow and looks like if a hare krishna was a chair, and I want to sit in it with my two babies wearing a marigold necklace and a Lemlem dress, and OH this is going to be a good summer! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foot in mouth disease

I have a terrible tendency to say whatever is on my mind. Except when it counts and then I keep it to myself. If you were hoping I'd be that friend who'd tell you you're husband is cheating or that your opinion on world news is fecking ridiculous and you shouldn't speak in public, I'm not your girl. I prefer to lead by example. Sticking my foot in my mouth at every turn so my friends have LOTS to gossip about behind my back thus forgetting their own problems, and perhaps keeping them from talking about subjects on which they are ill informed. I'm the Mother Theresa of helping people feel better about their lives, because they're not me. 

Half the things that come out of my mouth are deeply regretted, and I'm suspicious of my thought process as the words are unfolding. I'm pretty sure I know why I do this, but I'm not telling. Do you ever find yourself for instance, in the middle of a heated discussion, saying something that, as your saying it with so much conviction, you'd think it was the Gettysburg address, thinking "well, that's bullshit". This happens to me all the time. 

The other day I was talking to the receptionist at Jack's school. She's pregnant as well, and her due date is a week after mine. Every day on my way out, I stop and have a little polite conversation about the aches, pains, and oddities of pregnancy. Yesterday she asked me if I had my bag packed for the hospital (she doesn't really know me). I said yes, but it was just a few nightgowns, a cardigan, some hand lotion and a few bunny sacks for the baby. 

She said she needed to pack hers, but also didn't the hospital provide onesies. To which I replied "Oh, yeah, I don't even remember if we took clothes for the baby last time, but I got such cute baby gifts, I thought I'd take a few for this one, but then realistically I'll probably just hand him to the nurse and say HERE, YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM". WHAT THE FUCK?! The world began to move in slow motion as I finished my sentence. What are you talking about?!

You know how sometimes in email, tone doesn't translate? That's how I felt. But I was actually talking. As soon as I said it, I thought, "Jesus Christ's Crackers, she doesn't know you're joking! She doesn't know you can't fire your gardener or ask your cleaning lady to stop stealing the lemon fresh pledge (3 bottles in 4 months, and yesterday a full bottle of Mrs Meyers Verbena dish soap...maybe I should make her a lemony gift basket). She had no idea that you moved a 75lb garden pot and filled it yourself yesterday because you don't like asking for help. She doesn't know that when Jack was born, you kept getting into trouble with the night nurse for refusing to let him sleep in his little plastic hospital crib, and kept pulling him into bed with you so you could sleep all smushed together. She doesn't know that you wouldn't let your mother in law push the stroller through The Grove when he was 3 weeks old, because YOU had to be in contact with the baby at all times. All she knows is that you just got all Scarlett O'Hara on her, "Fiddle-dee-dee Mammy take that baby, Ms. Scarlett needs her rest", and now she has to smile awkwardly, and nod, and hope you go away promptly. I did. 

Then I realized that Jack's teacher was around the corner in the teacher's lounge, probably listening, and rolling her eyes at the other teachers, with a look that said "Can you believe that lady?! We watch her kid all day and OH, she's tired...bitch please"

I wonder if I sewed her a baby quilt in the next 2 weeks, she'd forget that I've revealed myself to be a complete ass. At least she'd think "that lady is a real ass, but it was nice of her to sew me this baby blanket". 

Don't let me forget to tell you the jujubees story sometime. It's a classic.. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Le Grille

Our house came with a built-in outdoor grill. It sounds fancy, but it's not. When I hear the term built-in outdoor grill I think of those fancy brick ovens that have viking mini refrigerators, and they are alway in an olive grove or next to a pool that has a water slide hidden in a succulent garden. Ours is in the driveway, and attached to the garage. 

It was also brick, and the metal parts were painted maroon red, and the sides were pale yellow tile, and the whole thing was FILTHY. It works well, but was pretty ugly. 

A few years ago I asked Roberto to tile it and paint it for me, and as you can imagine by now, he said "No, I think it looks really good". And no I haven't fired him yet, but I'm going to. I'LL DO IT TODAY! SOON. 

Last month I found that little tutorial on how to make decoupage coasters using mod podge hard coat, and it got me thinking that maybe I could just decoupage the tiles on the grill. Then I could paint over the ugly maroon, and voila, still hinky, but much prettier built-in outdoor grill! I found paper that looks like those pretty moroccan tiles they have at Mission Tile that cost 10 kajillion dollars a piece. I am still thinking of painting the whole thing to match the house, but for now the white is a massive improvement, and makes the whole area look brighter and cleaner. 

Now I just need to tile the patio, get new outdoor lighting, and hang some more plants, and it'll be done... until I think of something else. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

hee hee hee hooooooooo

For those of you who follow me on twitter, or have 'liked' my facebook fan page, you know I've been pre-occupied with my impending due date. Not because I'm worried about it. I'm not, but because it's coming up so fast! My pregnancy with Jack seemed to go on forever. This one has flown by. I'm a little sad, because I know this is our last, and I'm trying to savor every moment, good, bad, bladder related. I'm excited to meet the little dude. I'm also scurrying around like something that scurries (thank you pregnancy brain shrinkage) getting the house, Nipper Knapp, and Jack ready for baby.

I went to the doctor Friday and she did her little measurements, and pronounced that the baby was measuring between 7.5-8lbs. Uhm... I have 4 weeks to go. She gave me the caveat that it could be up to a pound off in either direction, but she was guessing no less than 7. Ok, that's fine, I don't mind having a possibly 10lb baby. YES I DO! I like my vagina! It doesn't deserve this! Just kidding. Not really. 

So my friend Kelly sent me an invite to this site Pinterest this week. At first I was all "geez Kelly, I don't have time to go around cataloging the things I like on the web, I'm a mom, and pregnant, and still working (sort of) and, and, and... I've been "pinning" things non stop. It's so easy, and now I have all these little pinboards with things I like for the house, clothes, destinations, books, etc... 

I found this little nest on someone else's pin board. I would camp if tents always looked like this

I'm sort of thinking of it as fantasy football for girls. It's like fantasy lifestyle league. It serves no purpose, takes lots of selecting, and considering, get's you no where, but you can share it with friends, so it's social. I LOVE it! 

the mobile was made by this brilliant woman who just had a baby boy, 

I found this mobile on one of Kelly's pin boards. I have a frame from an old chandelier that was in the house when we moved in. It's hideous, and we replaced it with a nelson bubble lamp. But I kept the frame because I thought I could fix it up somehow. I'm totally going to make it into this dealie, but with lights for my office! SO cute! I just need to pick fabrics, cut out more leaf shapes (kill me now) oh and hope this baby doesn't come in the next 2 weeks, because I still have to finish the lilly pilly tree quilt for Jack's nanny, paint the grill, hang our new street numbers that I got at anthropologie last year, re-pot the big hardenbergia in the yard, build a deck, oh and sleep...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Good Girl Dinette

Just realized that tomorrow night is the "multi-cultural potluck dinner" at Jack's school. Each family is supposed to bring a dish that represents their culture. The kids made tie-dye shirts this week to wear to it. Uhm... 

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out if I should have one of our favorite restaurants pack up a take-out order for us, or just be honest and drive through In-N-Out Burger. 

The meal that best represents our culture would be someone else making it, and then a waiter taking away the dishes when we're done eating it. Sad, but true. Maybe I'll take a few gallons of Fosselman's cinnamon ice cream, and be done with it. Or a box of frozen soy "chik" nuggets". Or some Annie's naturals mac and peas. Or toast. I could just take a whole loaf of toast right? A few boxes of cereal. Green smoothies for everyone! A bushel barrel of honeycrisp apples. A baker's dozen fancy cupcakes. 

I know, I know, I'll take 3 large Village Pizzeria pizzas, 1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 cheese, and 6 meatballs in sauce. Done. Phew...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I have been reading the most grim books lately. I don't know what's come over me. I can barely watch the news, and yet I've been reading grisly murder mysteries, and a bunch of compelling but disturbing non fiction. The other night I was lying in bed when I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is great, but I was feeling my hope for human beings slipping away and decided I needed to read something happier before I went to sleep. I went into the ibooks store and found Tina Fey's new book Bossypants. I got a sample and started reading. 

15 minutes later, I finished the sample, bought the book, and had to force myself to go to stop reading and go to sleep around 1:30am because Jack was going to be up early for school, and I was going to be wrecked. I finished it the next day after a long nap. SO GOOD. 

If you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, or have a vagina you should read this book. Also if you don't have a vagina, but you have kids and a job, or a wife, or both, you should read this book. If you hate laughing, and think women shouldn't have jobs because they need to be home sweeping, then as Tina Fey says (I'm paraphrasing) you "can go shit in your hat". 

She talks about her background in improv, the behind the scenes stuff from SNL, what she learned from Lorne Michaels, and how she navigates working 70 hours a week on 30 Rock, while being a mom, a wife, and all around ass kicker. Did I mention she had to personally call Oprah and ask her to PLEASE come and shoot an episode of 30 Rock they already had half shot, all while planning her daughters 3rd birthday (Peter Pan themed), and doing her first performance on SNL as Sarah Palin. Ass. Kicker. 

And finally FINALLY, a wealthy, intelligent, powerful woman cops to the whole nanny/babysitter, I do all the parenting myself lie. (Gwyneth and her "first I get the kids dressed, and make them all breakfast and off to school before I go to my photo shoot"... Ok Gwynie, I'm sure your cook/nanny/housekeepers don't help you with that at all.) My favorite footnote in the book was this one:

*"I know it's bullshit that I say "babysitter" instead of nanny. What I have is a full-time nanny, and I should be roundly punished for trying to make it seem like the teenager next door comes over one night a week. But I don't like the word "nanny." It gives me class anxiety and race anxiety. And that is why I will henceforth refer to our nanny as our Coordinator of Toddlery. "

AMEN! I would now like to apologize for referring to Brenda as Jack's babysitter. Until he started school he was with her 25 hours a week. She was, and still is, indispensable to us. She comes during the week on Jack's non-school days, and takes him to the park or a museum, for walks. He loves her, and a lot of times when she's here, I am too. She allows me to pay bills, take a nap, blog, finish one of my 10,000 projects. Jack can come and get hugs, and most of the time Brenda and I end up gossiping while he says things like "ugh, what are you guys talking about?!?!?!?!" I usually say "feelings" or "jesus" and he goes back to playing. 

So... Having read Bossypants, I now love Tina Fey, even more than I already did. She's smart, funny, and has a tremendous ability to navigate a business that I have only succeeded on the fringe of. (dangle) Read it today, or you can go shit in your hat...

Friday, April 8, 2011


I borrowed this beached whale from here

I am massive. I'm putting odds on this baby being born 2 weeks early. I'm also putting bets on me going just a little crazy if it doesn't. I can't bend over at all, which is weird. I swear I don't remember not being able to bend over when I was pregnant with Jack. I also don't remember Jack having razor blades for bones. I have pointy elbows, and Nipper has pokey sternum (it's true!), so maybe this one has inherited those charming traits. 

Nipper Knapp's niece and her best friend came to visit us this week from Michigan for their spring break. They are 13. Oh holy cuteness. They are all at once sweet kids, and eye rolling, Katy Perry sing-a-longing teens. We did the rounds with them, taking them to the Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, the beach, the giant Forever 21 in Pasadena that used to be a Saks Fifth avenue (so depressing). 

On Tuesday I had my friend Deanna do their hair and make-up before we went out for the day. Deanna works in film and television and I thought it'd be fun for them to get sort of a make-up lesson from a pro. Aren't they pretty?! 

Tuesday afternoon I had arranged for them to take a dance class at The Edge Performing Arts Center. It's the place in town where it seems like all the professional dancers and choreographers train. I had sent them a schedule of classes and they decided they wanted to take a hip-hop class. I asked them if they wanted to take a beginning class or a regular one. They said "I dunno". They're both dancers and have been taking for years. So I asked if they had ever taken hip-hop before. "Nope". Ok, so beginning it is...

Nipper texted me from Universal and said they were both a little nervous about the class. Oh and that their feet were sore from walking in flip flops all day. My  Knute Rockne brain took over, and I gave them my version of a pep talk.

I told them about the time I was in Cuba my senior year of College. I was there studying Santeria under Communism. I had befriended some people who worked in our hotel, and they were showing us around, introducing us to their families, and showing us how they lived. I asked if anyone could take me to meet a Babalawo or Santero (you know like a priest or shaman). The lifeguard at our hotel said his sister knew a guy, who knew a guy. We went into a shanty town a few miles from our hotel. We went to her house, and then she took us to the Babalowa. Also later that day, I may or may not have made out with the lifeguard, but I left that out of the story for the girls, didn't seem pertinent to my point. 

The Babalawa had people lined up outside his house waiting to see him. He had an alter in the main room and was in the process of helping some little girl who's mother was sick, or maybe she wasn't doing well in school, I can't remember. I asked if there were any sort of rituals or ceremonies I could be witness to. He told me to come back later because they were going to do something important later than night. Then he pointed to the half door that led to a tiny space behind the house. There was a goat and the biggest rooster I had ever seen in my life. They were going to slaughter them, then do something with the blood. OH MY FUCKING GOD. 

In my time there I had seen a newly killed pig being cleaned for a roast in a yard, and I wouldn't say I was squeamish, but something about seeing these two animals live and in the flesh did me in. I didn't go back. I think about it all the time when I'm afraid to do something or try something new. I regret it all the time. It was a good lesson. I should have gone back that night, seen what it was all about. Instead me and Radio Raheem necked in the stairwell of my hotel.

So I said to the girls "sometimes life presents you with an opportunity to do something you may never get a chance to do again." Not that hip hop class in LA is equivalent to ritualistic animal killing, but still. I said, "you are never going to see these people again! Even if you just stand in the back and sort of half dance/watch, what've you got to lose?! SLAUGHTER THE GOAT!"

Needless to say they skipped the class and we all met up for pizza instead. I can't wait until Jack tells me he wants to quit his interpretive dance class, or flag football. "SLAUGHTER THE GOAT JACK!"

Can you see the resemblance. The lifeguard was cuter though...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Evie's baby quilt

Last week I was overcome with the urgent need to make a baby quilt for my friend Allie who is due 3 weeks after me. This whim hit me around 10:30 on a Tuesday night. I knew I was going to see her for dinner this week, and wanted to have a little baby something, since I didn't know if I'd see her again before we are both in the baby black hole of newborndom. 

Alexander Henry's Birdsong

I used pieces from the pink laura ashley ticking sheets I had on my bed when I was young. The benefits of having all my fabric in one place where I can see it is already paying off. The binding is made from some shabby chic sheets I bought when I thought we might have a girl. The rest are bits of dreamy fabrics I had in my stash. I was trying to make it girly, but not too, and to match the crib bumpers and bedding I knew Allie had just sewn from Alexander Henry's Birdsong. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pregnancy pics

Can someone clarify something for me? Am I the baby mama? Is Nipper the baby daddy? I don't really know. Like if Nipper said "I'm tired of all this baby mama drama", he'd be talking about me, right? 

Ok, that settled, it's time for me to show you guys some of my favorite pics from the pregnancy shoot I did with my friend Ingrid Franz Moriarty (check that link for her GORGEOUS pregnancy photos and portraits), of Signs Of Labor (check that link for great pregnancy and doula swag). Ingrid is a genius photographer, and founder of a company that helps raise awareness of pregnant women and pregnancy on the roads. I feel so lucky to have gotten a chance to have her capture this tiny moment in time with me and Jack (and baby #2). If you are in LA, and are pregnant or have kids, I demand you contact her for pics. Genius.