July, 2011 Archive

Big Girls DO Cry

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

This morning, it happened. I turned into the C word. Ew, get your head out of the gutter. The C word, in the land of pregnancy, is “crazy.” Or, more clinical, probably: hormonal. For the love of all things pituitary, there I was, driving in my car with sobby, snotty tears streaming down my face. And why?

Because of a song! One that I had never even given a moment’s consideration in the times I’d heard it in the past.

So there I was, minding my own business and driving to lunch on the 101 and I heard “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and as I listened to the words, I bawled! And it wasn’t even the real Frankie Valli singing with The Four Seasons. I was listening to “Jersey Boys” because not only am I apparently an emotional wreck, but, newsflash, I’m a huge theater nerd! So anyway, there I am listening to a showtune cover of a du-wop boy band and having an Oprah moment.

And I realize I’ve heard this song a zillion times. And then I realized even further that this song is usually associated with weddings or first loves or big fancy marriage proposals. But here I am thinking about my little girl. It was weird but then I had an epiphany: Do you know how many times the word “baby” is in the lyrics? I mean, really, it’s like overkill for a 38-week pregnant lady. It’s actually about 21 times because of all the chorus repeats. But, as crazy as it sounds, it totally works as a love song to a new little girl.

Even though I haven’t seen her yet, I know she’ll just be too good to be true and I won’t be able to take my eyes off of her. And after 10 long months of carrying her, I do want to hold her so much. Every lyric just lined up so nicely with how I’m feeling about our daughter who’s due any day, and I’ll admit, I felt like wannabe Frankie, John Lloyd Young, was totally complimenting my kid through my Jetta’s stereo, calling her a pretty baby and all. I answered back like a prayer lady in a Southern Baptist church: Mmmm hmmm, sing it!

I dried my eyes in time for lunch, transformed back to a normal person, and carried on with my day. But now I know I have a new song to love and a new reason to love it. During the drive, I had mini daydreams and visions of being up with the baby at night in her room, gliding her to sleep, and telling her all about the adventures we have in store. Because just as much as she needs us to thrive, we’re excited to need her in our lives. It’s amazing what music can do for the soul.

And no, we’re not naming her “Sherry.”

You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

Pardon the way that I stare
There’s nothing else to compare
The sight of you leaves me weak
There are no words left to speak
But if you feel like I feel
Please let me know that it’s real
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

I love you baby and if it’s quite all right
I need you baby to warm the lonely nights
I love you baby, trust in me when I say
Oh pretty baby, don’t bring me down I pray

Oh pretty baby, now that I’ve found you stay
And let me love you baby, let me love you

You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

Deconstructing Dad

by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner

I can hardly believe it’s been almost nine months since we took the positive pregnancy test and more than six months since I set up this baby blog. We’ve seen all kinds of fruit on the way, going from a poppy seed to a watermelon! I’ll tell you one thing, I definitely have a renewed respect for the female of the species. A woman’s body sure can do some incredible things — not to mention the woman herself being able to handle them too.

We’re in the “home stretch” now as we’ve moved past the 36-week full-term requirement. I know it’s not over yet, not until our daughter decides she’s ready to see the outside world. But we’re to the point where she could come any day if she wants to, and trust me, we’re ready for her. And even though we might have as many as three or four weeks to go (oh please let her come well before that!), these last weeks are really making me reflect on what a great ride this pregnancy has been. (I know, the real ride is just about to start.) Anyway, I knew how great Alison was when I married her, but there’s nothing like watching your wife go through the experience of being pregnant to remind you how amazing she is. I love her so much and I’m just so thrilled and ecstatic to get to partner with her in parenting. After all, she’s making one of my longtime dreams come true — I’m so close to being a dad!


Of course now that we’re closer than ever to getting off the pregnancy train and onto the parenting roller coaster, the concept of fatherhood has never more real to me. Thinking back to just how clueless I was when this all started, I’ve come a long way. Of course, I still feel pretty clueless. I’m guessing that no amount of labor and delivery, breastfeeding, or baby care classes can really “prepare” me for what’s about to come, but hey, they can’t hurt.

You may remember how much I raved about The Expectant Father, the book I’ve been reading to “prepare” me for all that fatherhood brings. I’m going to share two of the most interesting passages in that book because I have to say, I’ve never felt like anybody was inside my head more than the Armin Brott, the brilliant author of this book. I guess I’ll have to buy the sequel — The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year. 😉

In The 7th Month chapter, Brott talks about the way a father-to-be visualizes his child during the pregnancy, and in my experience, he couldn’t be more dead-on:

…Ask [a woman] to describe herself with the baby…chances are, she’ll talk about a brand-new, fresh-from-the-oven baby. Now do the same thing for [a man]. More than 90 percent of the expectant fathers…describe a scene where they’re engaged with a three- to five-year-old child, holding hands, leaving footprints on the beach, playing catch, reading together, or doing something else interactive… Women, perhaps because of the physical link between themselves and the fetus, have no problem seeing themselves as mothers. And mothers can simply be. But for [men], fatherhood is about doing—teaching, mentoring, preparing our children to meet the world. If you’re ever out at a park or some other place where new parents are hanging out, carrying their babies in front packs, you’ll see a perfect example of this being-vs.-doing approach. Moms almost always carry their babies facing in. Dads almost always carry them facing out, as if to say, “Hey, baby, this is your world.”

Interesting, right? Well now that we’re in the ninth month, how about this one:

…Your partner is going to be increasingly dependent on you—not only to help her physically, but to get her through the last-month emotional ups and downs. At the same time, though, you are going to be increasingly dependent on her as you get onto the last-month roller coaster. [This] increased dependency is considered a “normal” part of pregnancy. But thanks to the ridiculous, gender-specific way we socialize people in this country, men are supposed to be independent, strong, supportive, and impervious to emotional needs—especially while their partners are pregnant. So, just when you’re feeling most vulnerable and least in control, your needs are swept under the rug. And what’s worse, the one person you most depend on for sympathy and understanding may be too absorbed in what’s going on with herself and the baby to do much for you. This results in what Dr. Luis Zayas calls an “imbalance in interdependence,” which leaves the father to satisfy his own emotional needs and those of his partner.

No sympathy required…I’m handling things just fine. 😉 But I still found these passages to be very eye-opening when it comes to being the unpregnant one in a pregnancy.

Bring on baby!

A Chore I Don’t Mind

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

Dear Baby Girl,
On Sunday, I did your first load of laundry. I normally really don’t like doing laundry. Actually, that’s not true. There’s something really fun about sorting all the clothes and towels and underwear, but the act of carrying it up and down the stairs and dealing with the machines in the hot garage is not fun. Oh, and don’t get me started on putting it away! But, it’s always worth it to have an empty basket and fresh clothes to wear. But I digress. Get used to it. Mommy does that a lot.

Anyway, I did your first load of laundry and I enjoyed it. I loved it. Your clothes and blankets from all the people that already love you were so perfect and pristine, but needed to be washed so they’d be soft and snuggly for your delicate skin. I gathered up all your newborn clothes, blankets, socks, and burp cloths and brought them down for their very first trip to the washing machine. I filled up the machine with water, poured in my first encounter of Dreft and got a lovely whiff of its powdery and gentle fragrance, and inspected each item as I dropped it into the water. Little onesie. Tiny sock. Bright burp cloth. After the whole load went into the machine, I asked the laundry gods to be nice to each of your garments and keep them safe in the cool, gentle cycle.

About an hour later, I came back to put your first load of laundry in the dryer. One by one, I pulled out each damp item, inspected it to make sure it survived its first swirl of laundering, and then placed then in the drying machine. Normally, with my own clothes, I barely look at them and toss them in crossing my fingers that the old t-shirt or towel actually makes it inside the dryer. But with your things, I care more. Your things can’t touch the garage floor. Your things can’t be tangled up. Your things must have a safe arrival as they start the next leg of their journey to being worn by you.

By the time it was time to take your clothes out of the dryer, I was really tired and Daddy came to pick them up, fill the basket, and bring it upstairs. We sat in your room together as we stared at how tiny all your things are. It was a relief to know that nothing shrank horribly and no colors bled disastrously. We stared into a basket of your clothes that had never met your body, but are now ready to dress you.

I sorted each item and thought about all the other clothes you’ll have that I’ll get to launder and sort. Your baby naming dress at the temple. Your first dance leotard. Your first first-day-of-school outfit. Your first school play costume. Your first uniform for a sport or organization. Your first school dance outfit. Your first class t-shirt. Your first first-date ensemble. Your first prom dress. Your first college sweatshirt. Your wedding gown.

And I know laundry won’t always be fun. You’re going to poop and spit up and get pureed carrots all over your adorable things. At school, you’ll lose your sweatshirt on the playground or trade jackets with a friend that will result in two pissed off moms. When you’re a teenager, you’re going to leave your clothes all over the floor and not put them away, and we’ll probably have a few fights about it. But still, even with these not-so-fun laundry experiences, the act of washing your clothes now, preparing for the person we’ll soon be meeting, and dressing you in all of your cute outfits, I’m more than excited for your poops and trades and fights.

So, little girl, soon you will be making your arrival into the world in your birthday suit, but you have a closet and chest of drawers that will welcome you home and provide you with many memorable moments. And as an adult, you’ll look back on your baby pictures and revisit those token moments in a special outfit like Osh Kosh overalls or a Dodgers onesie. And I will have washed them with love and anticipation of seeing you in them.


  1. 7/12/2011 5:41 PM

    Totally made me cry. And I just did my munchkin’s laundry last night…perfect timing!

  2. Aunt Pattie
    7/12/2011 4:22 PM

    Laundry has NEVER made me cry…. Until now!

Mom’s List About Pregnancy

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

I’m reflecting about all the changes I’ve experienced in the past 36 weeks and all the changes that will happen when this pregnancy adventure is over. I actually really enjoy being pregnant despite the discomforts that spilled on toward the end. There are things I will miss, and things I won’t miss! I made a list because that’s what moms do, right?

Things I’ll Miss About Pregnancy:

  • The full head of hair! I rarely shed it and it’s been growing so fast! DON’T STOP!!!
  • Horizontal stripes. I am partly kidding, but I never wore them pre-pregnancy and I think I lose my excuse to wear them post pregnancy with the widening illusion they provide that I certainly don’t need.
  • Exchanging looks of “go us!” with other pregnant women I see out and about.
  • Feeling my daughter’s little kicks and squirms and learning about her personality while she’s inside me. Such a cool connection!
  • The other pregnant women in my life! I have so many friends — and my cousin! — who I’ve experienced pregnancy with (we are all only weeks apart) and I’ve loved sharing all the things we’re feeling.
  • My husband’s hands on my tummy while he connects with his daughter! I’ll even miss his daily analyses of my belly button protrusion.
  • My maternity bathing suit. I like not having to suck in to wear a bikini.
  • My maternity pants. One word: ELASTIC.
  • Eating without a care in the world. Hence the bullet point above.

Things I Won’t Miss About Pregnancy:

  • The back pain! Since the beginning of the 3rd trimester, I’ve been experiencing everything from dull achiness to sharp shooting sciatica-like pains. Sitting, laying, standing: nothing helps!
  • The bladder psych outs of feeling like ohmygoshiHaveToGoSoooooBadGetOutOfMyWayRIGHTNow and then going through the motions of sitting down to pee only to feel: Drip. Drop. What?! That’s it?! What a tease!
  • Seeing my favorite bottle of wine in the fridge from my favorite winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, Brander, and whispering sweet nothings to it like, “Don’t worry, my sweet. We’ll be together again soon.” What a sad song for a sauvignon.
  • The heaviness: my legs, my feet, my belly. Everything feels like I am a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon with strings pulling me to the ground.
  • Sleepless nights. Okay, you’re laughing because I’m going to have my share of sleepless nights once the baby is here. But the only reason why my nights are sleeples now is because I can’t get comfortable in bed! Nothing feels good and I toss and turn out of frustration. For some reason, sleeplessness due to a crying, hungry baby seems more acceptable. I know, talk to me later.
  • The fear of the unknown: birth. I am becoming increasingly more aware that this baby is going to be coming out of me and very soon, too. I am driving myself insane with fears and apprehension. I know it’s normal since I’m a rookie, but not knowing is almost worse than knowing!
  • Snore throat. This is a sore throat from pregnancy-acquired (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) snoring. I never thought I’d ever be so unladylike, but my bedmate tells me I’ve developed a little purr. I blame a less-than ideal sleep position!
  • Bumping into stuff and having to clear a path for my belly just to get in a car or sit in a restaurant booth. I want my own space back.

Overall, I’ve had a really nice and easy pregnancy. It’s really only been uncomfortable for the past couple weeks, but everything leading up to then has been smooth, anticlimactic, and actually really positive. For the most part, I felt very sexy — not in a “let’s doooooo it” way — but in a confident, female, “I am woman! ROAR!” way. I felt empowered and strong, like I’ve been doing what my body was made to do. That’s quite an accomplishment, because my body was also made to run marathons and eat 1500 calories a day, but I don’t do either of those. But now, at 36 weeks, I think I finally reached my “I’m over it!” breaking point. Thank you for coming, now get out. It’s not that I wish her to come early because I certainly want this baby to cook as long as she needs to inside to be as healthy as possible outside, but I am looking forward to seeing this journey wrap up so I can have my body back and hold my daughter in my arms. And stop snoring.

Baby View – 6/29/2011

by Bryan Friedman in Photos

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