September, 2011 Archive

BabyFest 2011: Madelyn’s New Friends

Madelyn got to meet some new baby friends this past week! Over the summer, there was an explosion of babies all around the time of Madelyn’s birthday. Hmmm there must have been something very romantic about last November and December… Anyway, in the first few days of September, a new friend and a new cousin came into the world and little M got to meet both of them this week.

Becky and George’s new baby girl, Día, will be the beautiful new dancer star in the front row of all the big numbers in future Simi shows. Her not-as-dancey pal, Madelyn, will probably take after her two-left-feet mommy and daddy who are always in the back row fumbling through Becky’s choreography. No rivalry there! BFF for life.

But for now, Día and Madelyn are enjoying babyhood with all the girly cuteness and the theater moms (all of ’em!) continue to gush.

And then, the next day, Madelyn’s cousin Ocean came for a visit and they even linked arms and schemed together about all the future trouble they’ll plan for the mommies, my cousin Jaimie and me. They began their commotion while making their entrances into the world because both Jaimie and I had the same last-minute c-section after our babies decided it would be much more fun and dramatic to hang out at the end and not budge through to the outside world. Thanks, kids.

Ocean was surrounded by women and he tolerated it well. Looks like he’ll have no problem being the class heart throb! He’s a cutie, for sure, and all of Madelyn’s girlfriends are going to want to meet her gorgeous cousin. We’re all going to have lots of fun times at Ocean’s Grammy’s house at the beach with all the other adorable kids and gushing grown ups.

A Star Is Born. No Really, It’s Not Just A Stupid Cliche

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

Set the DVRs. This Friday, Madelyn will be starring on the series finale of All My Children. The show airs at noon on ABC, or check your local listings. If it wasn’t for our daughter being on the show, I would be ashamed to see a soap opera on my DVR queue — that’s right, never been a soap fan. But when an agency calls you to come in for an audition for an iconic series, you go!

Our friend (Hi, Jan!) submitted Madelyn’s picture to her adorable granddaughter’s agency on our behalf (surprise!) and sure enough, they liked her Sally Field-style (they really liked her!) and requested she go audition for the role of “Infant” on All My Children the next day. What? Too soon! We didn’t have time to prepare for the audition and go shopping for new diapers, make an appointment at the Aveeno Baby Lotion Spa, or get her gums whitened. At least she had no lines to memorize. Phew!

I managed to put clothes on that didn’t resemble jammies and become human for the afternoon because I was three days post-infection diagnosis, dressed the baby in her most soap opera diva onesie, and drove off to the studio with Bryan and the star-to-be in tow.

As is typical with showbiz, we waited in an office hallway and filled out some simple paperwork before meeting with the casting people. Madelyn was on fabulous behavior and didn’t make a peep as people walked by without blinking when they saw a 15-day-old baby in their workplace. So Hollywood.

Our name was called and we met with a super nice man who casts talent for the show. We made sure to be polite and upstanding citizens because we know that they’d hate to cast a baby with obnoxious parents, so we abstained from making potty jokes and discussing politics. Then the audition began. It went something like this, are you ready?

Super Nice Casting Man: Wow, your baby is gorgeous. Let’s see here, this is, uh… Maaaadelyn. Let me record her on camera.

Madelyn: BLANK STARE ON CAMERA

Alison: Smile, Madelyn!

Madelyn: WHIMPER

Alison: Oh, she NEVER does this! She must be cold. Are you cold, Madelyn? Madelyn, do you want your blanket? She can’t be hungry! We just fed her. She’s actually really a good baby, Super Nice Casting Man! This isn’t how she normally is. She’s very sweet and is usually really easy and —

Super Nice Casting Man: It’s fine. They’re babies. It’s what babies do. She’s beautiful. She really is.

Alison: BEAMING WITH SATISFACTION

Meanwhile, Bryan stood there holding Madelyn like a strong, proud father as his newborn daughter made a minimal, cooing whimper and his wife began to have a nervous breakdown. THIS COULD BE COLLEGE MONEY!!!!!!!!

Then Super Nice Casting Man wanted to show Madelyn to his boss who is a big time casting director in the soap world. People, like, know her. I didn’t. But still, she wore a flashy red suit and had platinum blonde hair and just looked very soapy and important. She got oogly eyed over Madelyn and accidentally slipped and gave away WHO SHE’D BE PLAYING (but I can’t tell you here or my ass will be sued, and my ass is already very much in post-partum trouble). Madelyn started to whimper-coo again, I began to sweat in places I didn’t know existed, and then Soapy Important Casting Lady asked to hold her and Madelyn silenced. Good one, M! Well played! Now this woman felt like Soap Important Casting Lady AND Mary Freakin’ Poppins. This was looking good.

After that golden moment, we got a little “our people will call your people” lip service (SO HOLLYWOOD) and then we drove home. That was Madelyn’s big audition. She really nailed it. I mean, auditioning to play a baby? The kid’s got talent.

Then we drove home and about a freeway exit away from home, Madelyn’s agent called (ha! That just sounds so ridiculous) and said she booked the part. So now my freshly un-wombed daughter had a job and I am still unemployed. Wow, I didn’t think my kid would be taking care of her old, decrepit parents this early in life. Hey Madelyn, when you’re finished changing your own diaper, why don’t you change mine after Bingo in the dining hall?

We were super excited, but then began the wild goose chase of making her eligible to work. With one day before the weekend, Bryan rushed around to pick up her birth certificate at the Ventura County records office, file her work permit in Van Nuys, and get her pediatrician to sign off on her ability to work. Oh, and we also had to open up a special bank account so we don’t Jackie Coogan/Gary Coleman-ize our kid. It was totally nuts!

The weekend passed and Monday came. Like the rest of America, it was to the salt mines for Madelyn! She began work on the set and it was the start of a fabulous day. First there was a lot of paperwork in the production office regarding financey stuff that I don’t understand, and then the on-set child actor social worker (basically, the child actor pimp who makes sure the the production peeps don’t take advantage of our baby’s fresh-face naivete) escorted us on set and to Madelyn’s dressing room which was also Eva LaRue’s dressing room (Eva LaRue… anyone?? I just IMDBed her. She had guest spots on Charles In Charge and Perfect Strangers. I love her and I don’t even know her!).

I was required to call the wardrobe department over the weekend to give Madelyn’s measurements. I know they’re probably used to hearing 32-33-23 from their female guest stars, so when I said, “Ummm, newborn?” I expected some pretty couture Gymboree threads to fill her dressing room closet. This was not the case. Madelyn’s wardrobe was one of our own Pampers diapers and they provided a fake swaddle blanket that was really a white felt wrap made out of an old poodle skirt. Not so Hollywood.

This is where I give my warning: there were two babies on set. GASP. Yes, they hired two babies just in case one had a meltdown or blew out their diaper or something babyish like that. The other baby was almost 3 weeks older than Madelyn and had lighter brown hair. We were told they loved Madelyn for her youthful looks (ha!) as a newer newborn and her dark brown hair which matched [INSERT SECRET CHARACTER’S NAME HERE]. None of us know who will actually be aired on Friday and who made it on the cutting room floor. They filmed both babies. If they end up using the other one, I would tell you to boycott All My Children forever, but they’re doing that for you since Friday is the final episode after 40 years.

Production paged Baby Madelyn to go to the stage, but her genius mother decided it would be fine time to milk drunk her so she’d be quiet and calm. This required a diaper change and since there was no time to waste (so Hollywood), they asked for the other baby to come to set instead. Bryan and I panicked that we just became those difficult parents and worried our fate was sealed. That they’d give up on Madelyn and the other baby would be used instead and Madelyn would lose her chance to become the next “it” face of Disney and then end up a slutty Sunset Strip underage party-goer and Lohan’s BFF. Thankfully, those chances are still up for grabs because they did indeed call Baby Madelyn to the stage after the other one (future Nicky Hilton?).

We got to escort Madelyn as she was carried by the baby nurse (a real nurse is required to handle babies on the set because of liability and health concerns) and watch the scene as we stood ten feet from her and her scene partners. Bryan watched through the monitors and I watched the live action. They did two takes and wrapped! They said she did great and everyone gushed over her. I wonder if they gushed over baby Nicky Hilton the same way. Tiger Mom curiosity comes out!

And then we dressed Madelyn out of her poodle skirt wannabe swaddle and put her back into her normal baby clothes. Said goodbye to the staff and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s dressing room which was right across from ours. Drove home and got reacquainted with commoner life.

We really don’t know much about the episode, but I’ve been watching bits and pieces of this week’s shows to get an idea of how Madelyn’s character will play out. So don’t forget to record or tune in this Friday to All My Children or, as it always is in our house, All My Child.

  1. Mimi
    9/21/2011 6:14 PM

    Beautiful Sweet Madelyn! What an unexpected & exciting way to start off your recent arrival! You are already a super star to me & the bright light (on stage or off) of my life!
    I love you,
    Mimi

  2. 9/21/2011 4:59 AM

    ONLY YOU could have this story – because NOBODY could have written it any better! I don’t know that I’ll get to see the episode, but I am so roaring in hysterics from your story! You are the best! Good luck and don’t let fame and fortune go to M’s head!

Madelyn’s First Month

by Bryan Friedman in Photos

A Pain in the Rash

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

There’s never a dull moment in the Friedman household. Just as I’m finally well and able to be more hands-on with Madelyn after my nasty infection, Madelyn is battling an a-hole of a diaper rash. It started out as the classic red tushie and I thought I had conquered it, proving to be a rockstar mama while recovering with gauze in a hole on my tummy. WRONG! Rockstar? More like a mockstar. Ugh. After a strict routine of air drying and Maximum Strength Desitin that seemed to help make the skin clear nicely, the diaper rash came back with a vengeance and now I’m on mission to kick it for good.

At Madelyn’s one-month check-up on Friday, I mentioned my recent battle to Dr. Baby and she prescribed a special cream that would help because it wasn’t just any old diaper rash, nooooo. My daughter has to be all special and get designer diaper rash that comes in the form of a yeast infection! No, not that kind. Just yeast. On the skin. On the tushie. It makes angry red bumps that glisten on top of the cheek, or, as Dr. Baby describes it, “beefy looking.” Lovely. No more Ruth’s Chris steak for me.

So, $48 later (and that’s after the co-pay), this miracle cream was purchased and I dashed home and, of course, researched the heck out of it on the Internet. Why I do the Googling after the purchasing, I don’t know. I learned that its ingredients consist of zinc oxide (Desitin), white petroleum (Vaseline), and miconazole nitrate (basically Monistat cream), all over-the-counter ointments that can be purchased for a total of under $20, but this rookie mom fell for the prescription all-in-one version. I feel like a sucker, but then again, I also don’t want to be playing chemist and figuring out the proportions of each ingredient. We started using this miracle drug (and for $48, it better be!) on Friday morning and as of now, I don’t notice a huge difference yet.

The rash has improved slightly, but I still wince every time I change Madelyn’s diaper and see her little behind looking so red and painful. Mommy instincts have kicked in because after three days of seeing this monster, I am now one pissed off mother bear who has become obsessed with killing this rash that’s eating away at my daughter’s perfect tuchus. Looking at it makes my own skin hurt and then my heart sinks and my stomach turns with sympathy. The diaper change usually ends with tears welling up in my eyes because I’m so frustrated about this rash and only want the best for Madelyn. She’s barely five weeks old and she has a file at the pharmacy with her first prescription in it. Can’t she just have a clean record for, like, the first year of her life? Is it fair that she — we — are already dealing with a pestering — albeit, rather benign in the grand scheme of things, thank goodness — ailment?

I want her to always know only good health and never feel irritation from anything. I know this won’t always be possible or hold true as we humans have our ups and downs with our health, but I now officially know the feeling of wanting to trade her discomfort for my comfort.

In my very early days of mommyhood, I was dealing with my c-section infection and experiencing extremely painful incision packing sessions twice a day. The ordeal would only take 20 or so minutes, but I would cry through the whole thing, curling my toes, and biting on a free finger. The rest of my hands were clenched in my mom’s as she held me for comfort and distraction from the awful procedure. I never looked at the infected incision site, but my mom did and knew exactly what was going on down there. When it came time for the doctor or nurse (or even, sometimes, Bryan!) to pack the wound, she held me tight, squeezing my hands, and narrated the process so I knew there’d be an end in sight. During the first few days of packing sessions, through the tear dropped slits of my closed eyes, I could see my mom grimacing with me and becoming emotional. Once, in a breakdown of pity in my dark bedroom, I sobbed and sobbed about how unfair this turn of events was and vented about the excruciating pain. And then my mom cried with me.

Clearly I needed a few more weeks and regular mothering practices — like changing painful diapers — to finally understand why my mom looked just as miserable as I felt. And she was in one whole piece! She felt no physical pain, obviously, but it’s now dawned on me that she was feeling emotional pain for me, as she worried about my condition and wanted the situation to be over. Just because I am an adult, I am still her child and seeing me suffer was probably killing her.

I am 28 years old and my mom cringed about my open, infected wound. Madelyn is just over 28 days old, and I am torn up about her flaring skin. No matter the age of her child or how long she’s been a mother, a woman’s compassion for her kid is powerful and ongoing. I’m part of this club of women — the mothers club — and I know my membership comes with a lifetime of worrying and concern. I just wish I knew the secret handshake to banish this ugly diaper rash and get Madelyn’s little booty back to normal.

  1. K
    9/16/2011 9:26 PM

    And now you probably understand why our mothers sometimes treat us like we are still babies…

    Fiona has had some diaper rash issues and also had yeast. When she has a rash, I sometimes use those cotton make-up removal pads with a little bit of lotion instead of a baby wipe. They are much less abrasive. Also, Desitine and Aquaphor work really well on diaper rash, and I’ve heard Triple Paste is the best stuff ever, though I have never used it. Good luck!

  2. Aunt Pattie
    9/11/2011 9:15 PM

    Alison!!! It takes me forever to read your blogs because I have to keep wiping tears away so that I can see!!! You have an incredible gift. Don’t stop writing and rest assured you will get that nasty infection under control! Sooner than later I hope for you and sweet little Madelyn.

  3. Katy
    9/11/2011 9:05 PM

    Ouuuuuch!!! I really hope both of you feel much, much, much better in the coming couple weeks.

One Month!

One month ago, a foreign creature entered our home and we’ve managed to survive as we learn to adjust as roomies. A pat on the back goes to us for bringing home a baby and managing to all stay in one whole piece (well, I’m not one whole piece, but that’s a whole other story).

September 9th was Madelyn’s one month birthday and she’s already changed so much from fresh newborn to adjusting baby.

  • She can track objects and colors with her eyes, side to side, and keep a pretty good focus on us when we speak to her.
  • She responds well to Harvey Karp’s method of The 5 Ss and is calmed when she’s in her swaddle, hears the “sssshhh” sound, and sucks her Soothie.
  • She likes to hear white noise and we thank the Sleep Sheep and Bryan’s white noise iPhone app for this soothing sound (meanwhile, we’ve learned to tolerate these new sounds!).
  • She started tummy time and doesn’t love it, but is pretty damn good at it since she’s able to lift her head for a good amount of time and scoot her legs and tushie (which is really cute).
  • She has battled some pretty gnarly diaper rash which breaks my heart and makes my mother bear instincts come out since I want to beat the fothermucking sugar out of the bacteria that causes the beefy and painful-looking redness on her adorable cheeks.
  • She drinks about three to four ounces during each feeding and makes the most beautiful and satisfying burps that literally come straight from her toes! Such a little lady!
  • Her eyebrows and eyelashes have grown in a lot, and she still has a head of hair that looks like it will end up curling as it fills in more.
  • She is still really tiny and barely fits into even her newborn clothes! So, she’s living in onesies and swaddle blankets, which is okay because we don’t really go anywhere.
  • She conks out in her swing, loves her bouncer, enjoys being in our laps in the comfy Little Castle glider chair in her room, and totally snoozes during car rides, so the key with this little one is motion, motion, motion!
  • On her one-month birthday, Madelyn weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces and measured 21.5 inches long.

Love you, little Madelyn! It’s been only a month of joy but we know we’re in for a lifetime of love!


  1. Bryan
    9/10/2011 2:41 PM

    Erica – My thoughts exactly. It’s already in the works. 😉

  2. Erica
    9/10/2011 11:51 AM

    So cute – even while crying!

    I think it’s time Madelyn gets her own bio on the “About” page 🙂