March, 2011 Archive

What’s In A Name?

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

If you haven’t noticed already, we live our lives like an open book (Blog, meet World. World, meet Blog). Between all the online self promotion a person can do, we Friedmans utilize it all. From our baby blog to our Facebook pages, putting ourselves out there has never been an issue. And that’s just online!

As a woman, I’m not shy about the belly. Hey, it’s the first time in my life I don’t have to worry about sucking in (not that I can anymore, anyway). I’m not trying to hide the bump and when other women want to cop a feel, I don’t get offended like some moms-to-be. I know that most people really like pregnant ladies and babies and I’m happy to oblige a belly grab. I guess I should qualify that I’m okay with women I actually know touching the tummy. If I’ve never met you, then that’s just weird. See? I do have boundaries.

And when it comes to those in our inner circles like family members and close friends, if they want to hear the details of the pregnancy and the doctors’ appointments, we’re happy to share. There’s nothing too personal since it’s our belief that the whole experience is natural and normal for man and womankind.

There is just one thing we are keeping secret, though. And that’s the name of our daughter. Early on in the pregnancy, we easily agreed on the first name. It’s a classic and timeless name that I’ve always loved. When Bryan heard it, he felt it was right for our baby girl. No fighting, no convincing. It just clicked with us. But we also decided just as early on that we would keep the name to ourselves for a number of reasons.

The most obvious is that many people feel it’s okay to give their opinions — good and bad — about the name. Frankly, we just didn’t want to hear from anyone that they knew a XXX back in junior high and gee, she suffered from life threatening halitosis; or that so-and-so had a college roommate with that name and man, what a biatch. But even positive associations can be awkward just by the nature of not knowing the commenter’s frame of reference. Ever been told “OMG, you totally look like my friend’s cousin I met at the beach party and you guys are so identical, it’s freaky!!!!!!!!!” ? Yeah, it’s weird, because then you’re always thinking, “Hmmm, I’d like to be the judge of that.” So, unsolicited opinions and associations are small reasons why we’ve chosen not to share the name with anyone.

We also just feel like it’s a lot of pressure to name a person! We went through turmoil just trying to come up with a perfect name for Princeton (who wears his doggie name swimmingly, we believe!), so it’s definitely hard to name a child who will carry the name for life. What if she doesn’t like it? What if she’s born and she doesn’t look anything like the name? Bryan and I are not fickle people, but it’s definitely hard to commit to a name. And while we’re pretty sure “the one” is “the one,” we want to be absolutely sure and utilize the whole pregnancy before finally signing her autograph on her behalf at the hospital.

Bottomline, our baby is still cooking. She’s got 18 more weeks to do what she needs to do in there before making her way into the world. She’s not yet complete and each week she grows new human attributes and elements that will make her personality sparkle. I wouldn’t serve a dinner and declare “bon appetit!” before the timer goes off. So it just feels right that we should avoid snacking and instead chow down when the whole meal is served. Okay, okay, so I’m comparing our baby to food — again! — but that shouldn’t be surprising coming from a 24/7 hungry lady. You can be sure that when we announce her arrival, we’ll also announce her name.

So as our little family begins to grow, we want to save one thing that we can enjoy and play with before the rest of the world eats it up — and that’s her name. Every day, people ask us what we’re naming our daughter and I always make a joke about being those annoying people who keep the name a surprise. They are always so understanding and for that we are thankful. I’m sure these 4.5 months will fly by and before we all know it, we’ll be sick of hearing “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” (No, that’s not her name. And it’s not Cindy or Jan either).

On some hot summer day not too far from now, we’ll introduce her to the world and introduce the world to her. After all, as our daughter, it’s more than likely she’ll also be an open book.

  1. Marilyn Hollander
    3/31/2011 9:43 PM

    I totally understand about the name. It’s nice to have something that’s just for the two of you. It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only mom-to-be who is completely un-offended by family and friends saying hello to the “bun in the oven,” with a little pat or rub. I always knew it was because they were excited about the future munchkin, and were just sharing their joy with me. So, I am officially asking permission to say “hello” to the mystery guest the next time I see you two.

Random Thoughts From a Neurotic Mom-to-Be

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

1. Do I have to cut my hair as a rite of passage into mommyhood? Prenatals and pregnancy have made my hair so full and shiny, that I want it to stay this way FOREVER. I really hope I don’t have to give myself Mom Hair.

2. Confession: I’m supposed to be drinking more water than I am. Drinking water has always been a problem for me. I’m generally not a thirsty person so I forget to drink it. I know the tricks — lemmon spritz, cucumbers, Crystal Light… but I just don’t remember to drink! Your job is to send me a message to make sure I’m drinking.

3. I’m afraid of baby stores like Babies-R-Us. We just started registering, and I had a panic attack. I have no understanding of what I actually need and all the lingo is so foreign to me. Oh, Baby Registry Fairy, please fly into my pocket and finalize the list for me.

4. I’m good at multi-tasking. I’m typing this while catching up on DVR traffic (there’s so much back up, I’ve decided to officially give up on “Glee”), checking Facebook, and reordering my contact lenses online. Can I do all this with a baby, though? I mean, I’m really concerned about staying on top of our television shows.

5. I’m never not wearing maternity clothes again. No kidding. Why would any woman want to wear anything except elastic around her waist? And when you eat too much/you are five months pregnant, you can pull up a smoothing elastic panel that goes up to your boobs and avoid being afflicted with the plague otherwise known as muffin top. Sure, it’s totally unsexy when it’s time to strip, but I’ve decided to stop caring in advance since I imagine I won’t even be sexy-ish once the baby comes and there’s spit-up on my shirts. I’m such an overachiever.

6. We got a really shnazzy camera to document our soon-to-be new lives as parents. Or, I should say, Bryan spent hours of research to find the right DSLR for his needs and decided on a Canon T3i. He’s learning how to use the fancy-shmancy camera and make use of its amazing capabilities, but does that mean he’s going to always be on Daddy Cam duty? I want him in the photos too! Can I just hire my own personal paparazzi to document our digital Kodak moments?

7. I’m surrounded by really good people. I feel very lucky about this and know that our daughter will get the same good lovin’ when she enters the world. This is awesome. The faculty and staff at Walnut Elementary School are the best people to work with and I actually enjoy going to work every day. My friends from the theatre are incredibly fun and give me every reason to stay busy with my creative outlet. My family on all sides are so excited for Bryan and me and I can’t wait for Baby to feel the same love on the outside that she’s been getting on the inside.

8. I had to buy a new bra. Something tells me this won’t be the end of new bra shopping. This is a very good problem.

9. Ooo! She just kicked. Apparently 9 is her lucky number. Quick! Baby, what’s 9 X 9?

10. I’ve read that a lot of women do the whole shave/wax/pedicure routine around the time they think they’ll go into labor. I’m actually not concerned with any of this. Well, maybe the pedicure. But I’m going to go out on a stirrup and bet that doctors don’t really care what’s showing and growing. Right? I mean, isn’t their main focus on getting the baby out safe and sound? Methinks landing strips, O.P.I. colors, and silky, smooth legs are not a priority. I might, however, make sure my hair has a decent blow out. I don’t want any of Daddy’s Canon T3i pictures of me holding a newborn to be mistaken for the Bride of Frankenstein with Baby Friedman. I’ll make sure the flat iron is packed in the hospital bag.


  1. K
    4/2/2011 8:04 PM

    Well, the hair will fall out about 2 months after baby is born, the pants will fall down, you won’t have time or interest in watching anything on TV because sleep will be more important, and if you are like me, you will still hate Babies R Us even after you have the baby. Enjoy the pregnancy! It’s an awesome time followed by an even more awesome time!

  2. Mom/ Sharon/G'ma to be
    3/27/2011 9:52 PM

    Drink water!!! Here’s the reminder your requested (that I’ve been pestering you about for how long now????).

Babe’s Anatomy

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

Last week, we made the trek down the 405 to Beverly Hills to see a perinatal geneticist who focuses on fetal orthopedic and genetic disorders brilliant doctor. We were referred to Deborah Krakow by our regular OB, Dr. Fiiiiiine, because Mama was born, in case you didn’t know, with extra toes on my feet. Yes, the nurses counted and my mom plotzed — six toes on each foot, known as a genetic disorder called polydactyly. Look, if you’re going to be born with some kind of abnormality, a couple extra tootsies is not such a bad deal. But, Dr. Fiiiiiine wanted to rule out that the polydactyly wasn’t part of a greater classification of genetic disorders, so to Dr. Krakow we went.

Our 20-week anatomy scan was much more detailed and comprehensive than if we would have gone to the usual perinatologist that Dr. Fiiiiiine usually works with. This means we got to have a 20 minute session with the sonographer who measured every bit of Baby Friedman and confirmed, yet again, that she is all girl. Whew! It was fascinating to watch her examine every organ and point out many of the important areas. We’re starting to get really good at identifying fetal body parts: Alison and Bryan Friedman, M.D.


The sonographer was like the warm-up act. She got us all excited and in the mood and then in walked the Real Deal. The Big Cheese. The Big Shoo.

We weren’t sure what to expect from Dr. Krakow. She teaches at UCLA and has been on the forefront of many big research papers and journals, so we knew she had the brains. But we didn’t know what her bedside manner would be like. Not only was she brilliant, but she was so easy to talk to, like an old friend, and kept a very casual and light vibe in her ultrasound room. That’s our style! We cracked jokes and she bonded with Bryan about the marketing scam that is 4D ultrasounds (no such thing as 4D. It’s just movement, and as Dr. Brilliant said, just “bullshit marketing.” A woman after our own heart!). When she took a look at Baby Friedman’s vagina, she was delighted to see a “good looking hoo-ha.” Her words. Not mine. Love. (This brings me to the question: what is a good looking hoo-ha? And how do women of the world acquire such glowing reviews? Is there more to what we already know? As far as I know, I’m not supplying a Brazilian aesthetician and jar of hot wax up inside there).


I digress.

Dr. Brilliant also got down to business to check out what we were really there for. She counted every single digit and their corresponding bones to confirm that Baby Friedman has…

drum roll…

10 fingers.

and 10 toes.

Despite the 50% chance that our daughter would inherit my freaky feet, Bryan’s half helped to negate the acquisition. Also, Dr. Brilliant said that usually, genetic disorders like this one can skip a generation. But what about the fact that my grandparents and great grandparents walked through life with the appropriate number of digits? Well, the gene could start with me. Who knew I was such a trend setter? Except it’s in genes and not jeans. Not even designer ones.



After all the nerdy, clinical stuff, Dr. Brilliant had fun on the ultrasound machine and got some cool shots of our daughter in 3D and 2D images. It was cool to see her face and watch her little hands and feet put on a show. Our daughter likes to tap dance in utero (and I’m currently feeling her perform right now) and wave her hands like she’s practicing for Miss America pageants.

And then there’s that face. Sigh.




I have to admit, I’ve been struggling to find my connection with her because up until recently, our baby’s movements could not be felt and our few views into her womb world were anticlimactic. But seeing her move around and look like a very mini person was absolutely breathtaking. And I feel like I got to know her very well in those 40 minutes in Dr. Brilliant’s exam room.

Bryan and I left that appointment feeling great about this pregnancy, our relationship together as soon-to-be parents, and the future our daughter has. We have 19 or so weeks until we get to meet her, but we already feel like she’s such a great part of our lives.

  1. Rachel
    3/28/2011 9:51 AM

    Can I just say that the comment about your daughter’s “hoo haa” is hilarious. Hilarious. I am so glad you are so blunt and believe in sharing everything.

  2. Charlotte
    3/27/2011 9:56 PM

    Alison, you and Bryan are going to be the best parents and that little girl will be the luckiest little one around. The two of you are so special and have bonded with the little one already. You will witness what a miracle children really are. The good, bad and the ugly…they are still miracles. I love how you are documenting all of this. She will love reading it one day.

  3. Atrisha Newton Biesterfeld
    3/27/2011 3:10 PM

    Sound slike a great experience! I am happy for you and Bryan. Parenthood is truly an amazing blessing in life!

  4. 3/26/2011 5:23 AM

    Wow – Alison – what a great blog! Thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts and pictures of your beautiful daughter. I cannot wait for you to experience the joy of Motherhood. It has been my most rewarding purpose in life, for the last 24 years. You will be a great Mommy! SO happy baby Friedman is anatomically fabulous! She will be even more fabulous the first time you hold her in your arms. Talk about true love….It doesn’t get any true-er.
    Sending you lots of warm hugs and love!

Tales From The Bib

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

Woo hoo! We got another exciting gift in the mail today. As soon as I saw my Aunt Pattie’s handwriting, I knew it was going to be something cute and clever. She’s famous for giving really clever and thoughtful gifts, and she remained consistent this time around.

Pattie, who’s married to Barry, one of my dad’s brothers, has the best luck when it comes to shopping. So when I read the note that said “Silly little thing that reminded me of you!!!” I knew it would be far from silly.

I unfolded the note and found a bib! Baby Friedman already has a little bib collection going, and this novelty bib definitely has me pegged.


Too funny, right?

Here’s what’s really special about our relationship. Pattie has two daughters who I adore. Corrie, the older daughter, is already mama of the year, raising three adorable kids. And Jaimie, the younger daughter is sharing the pregnant card with me! She and her fiance, Matt, are due with their baby boy at the end of August, so it goes without saying that it’s going to be an exciting summer in the Siegel family!

Jaimie and I are about four years apart, and I’ve always enjoyed her company. Not only is she a brilliant veterinarian, but she’s a really kind and compassionate person. I remember when I was a kid, I copied her every move and followed her around hoping to become like her through osmosis. We were close enough in age that it was appropriate, but distant enough for me to see her on a pedestal.


And now it seems like we’re closer in age and we’re both having babies together, and I couldn’t be happier! I can’t wait to watch her son and our daughter grow up together. They’re going to have so much fun at family Chrismukkah gatherings and playing on the beach in front of Pattie and Barry’s beautiful home. As the youngest in my generation of cousins, I’ve watched the kids of my older cousins grow up together enjoying fun times from Barbies, to bounce houses, to baseball, and I’m so glad that Baby Friedman will know a life filled with other cute and well-behaved kids who can lead the way. And she’ll have Baby Pernice, her own birth buddy, by her side.

And I will blog about it.

  1. Aunt Pattie
    3/22/2011 2:19 PM

    Sounds like an incredible family! OH WAIT! It is and I am proudly part of it!!!

Second Trimester Anatomy Scan – 3/18/2011

by Bryan Friedman in Videos

  1. nic
    3/21/2011 7:39 PM

    very cool guys! xooxoxox love you and so excited for you