December, 2012 Archive

The First Five Days

by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner, Marvelous Madelyn, Videos

Many months before Madelyn was born, I realized that becoming a father meant that my responsibility as an amateur photographer and filmmaker increased significantly. Well, when it comes to capturing moments, I think I’ve been doing pretty well for the most part – of course along with a lot of help from both sets of grandparents and an already very photo-conscious mommy. Over the past 16 months, we’ve taken [tens of] thousands of photos and [a few] hours of footage and they have all been shared [possibly too] liberally with friends and family on Facebook as well as right here on this blog.

I do feel that there is one thing that’s been missing though – Madelyn’s “First Year” video. I mean, my version of this video was just basically my dad using the camcorder for a couple of mornings and afternoons and stringing all the footage together sequentially on the same VHS tape. It wasn’t exactly a creative masterpiece but at least it was all contained and easily accessible (as long as you had a VCR). Now, most of our videos are scattered across iPhones and they are all two or three minute clips that are perfect for YouTube but hardly worthy of snuggling up on the couch with Madelyn and a bowl of popcorn and watching in sequence so we can reminisce about the early years. All these video clips and pictures need to come together in a single sensory masterpiece.


As you might have guessed, I’ve already begun working on it. In fact, the plan was to have it ready by Madelyn’s first birthday, but of course, no one ever really thought that would happen. With any luck, though, maybe I’ll have it ready by her second birthday and perhaps I could even extend it to be Madelyn’s “First Two Years” video. If my four-year honeymoon video project is any indication, though, I may actually be working on Madelyn’s “Pre-Kindergarten Years” video.

Well, luckily, I’m not a complete failure. I have been able to pull together a great opening sequence for whichever version of Madelyn’s “First Year[s]” video ultimately gets completed. It covers the first five days of Madelyn’s life in photos, video, and music. Of course, while this may seem like a small achievement, rest assured that the amount of available content is slightly skewed toward the beginning of M’s life – we were all a bit camera happy back then. So the good news is that while I still have [at least] 360 days left to cover, I’m hoping it won’t take me as long to put it all together.

So, enjoy the first few days of Madelyn’s life and have fun being as amazed as I am by just how small she once was:

(If you watch this and feel like you may have seen it before, perhaps you’ve followed this blog for a while and are just having a little deja vu.)

  1. Mimi
    12/25/2012 11:13 AM

    OK, Bryan. You made me cry! What a beautiful 1st 5 days & I love the perfectly & appropriately matched music. What a wonderful compilation of pictures and music (that I was thrilled to be a part of)!
    You know I can’t wait to see day #6 and beyond! So what are you waiting for–get going.
    Thank you for the unforgettable memories—as Mimi, this is so special.

Baby Mama

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings, Videos

I look pretty good… for a grandmother. Madelyn received two babydolls for Hanukkah and has since taken motherhood very seriously. Sigh. There’s nothing like watching your daughter become a mother. Thankfully, the birth was easy, like tearing paper off a box, and there are no diapers to change because the fabric crotch is stitched on pretty heavily. The babies don’t sleep, but they’re also never awake, so ya know, Madelyn is a well-rested mama considering her two-week-old newborns in the house.

It’s actually pretty fascinating watching Madelyn mother the fruits of her… imagination. She talks in soft, playful Madelynese (Madelyn language) to them. And she pats their plastic-grooved hair with such toddler tenderness (read: like Ringo on his instrument). She carries them everywhere with her, never letting go, even if upside down. Her nurturing skills are so innate. I wasn’t there for one of the births (Bryan and I were out on a date when the baby was born/gifted by Mimi), but I was told that as soon as Madelyn could have skin-to-plastic with her new baby, she instinctively picked up the plastic pink bottle that came in the doll box/the hospital provided and brought it to the baby’s mouth for the first feeding. I know I’m a little bit biased, but holy mother of dolls, my daughter is brilliant.

I love watching her with her baby dolls. She loves to push them in the stroller and she even rocks them side to side and sings. Is this imitation? Is this nature? I don’t know, but it’s pretty effing cool.

Mother and daughter bonding with singing and laughter.

Baby Mama pats Baby Doll’s back to get a good burp out of her! All that air milk will really make a doll gassy…

“Gotta work off the baby weight with a run in the jogging stroller! We’ll take the route that goes from the mirror to the crib. No hills. All scenery.”

“Safety first! Buckle in baby and no one gets hurt.”

Hey doll, I just met you. And this sounds crazy. But here’s my Fisher Price Cell Phone. So call me, maybe?

Madelyn showcases her instinct: even when she falls off a padded chair that’s 7 inches from the carpet below her, she maintains her grip on her baby, never letting her get away.

As they say: It takes a village.

Madelyn puts her baby into a milk coma. Smart mama.

And then, just when I put the camera down, I put the video camera on to capture the ultimate bottle feeding. Rookie moms, take note: THIS is how to be a Jewish mother and make sure your child eats.

  1. Wendy
    12/21/2012 2:18 PM

    LMAO…I die.
    Your posts are hilarious, and your daughter is ridiculously delicious. I would read ANYTHING you write…you are just so damned entertaining.

My Daughter’s First Love is a Red Furry Monster

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

The recent news about Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer genius behind (and under) Elmo has been a nightmare on Sesame Street. Clash has resigned due to accusations that came out about his sexual activity with three men. I’m not really looking to get into a discussion about the whole soap opera, but I would like to say that it’s just a tad bit interesting how these men are going public about their relationships with Clash that happened handfuls of years ago. This, after a widely available documentary about Clash and 20ish years of Elmo success as the icon of “Sesame Street” via books, videos, iPad games, and of course gimmicky toys. They knew what they were getting into and they’ve even since said their activity with Clash was consensual. Bottomline: The pitchforks and torches are glowing in dollar bills.

Since the news hit earlier this month, I’ve heard several moms dismiss Elmo. The character. You know, the red, squeaky-voiced guy. Who’s fake.

Kevin Clash is separate from Elmo. And frankly, his personal life is separate from his employment by “Sesame Street.” Elmo and what he stands for are foundations in toddlers’ worlds, and to see Elmo differently because of Clash’s current troubles is wrong. The children, Elmo’s biggest fans, have no idea that there even is a puppeteer in the first place.

I’m happy to say that Elmo is alive and well in our house. Madelyn is a huge fan of “Sesame Street” and she absolutely freaks out over the theme song like a 60s teenager at a Beatles concert. Her first kiss was with an Elmo doll and she happily points and squeals over her Elmo books. My mom even bought Madelyn her first novelty t-shirt that proudly displays a happy, smiling Elmo.

We’ve always joked that Bryan would lock up Madelyn in her room so that she’d never have contact with boys and go on dates, but I think she figured out a loophole in this plan. There’s no such rule against fraternizing with little red monsters! She loves Elmo very much and she’s fallen hard.

We love to go see Teacher Joy in our Mommy & Me class on Mondays. Her classroom has a larger-than-life Elmo doll that Madelyn has taken a liking obsession to. She runs in, grabs Elmo, and drags him around wherever she goes. It’s almost like she’s a married Jewish woman already. She never wants to put him down ever. She tantrummed until she was almost as red as Elmo when I tried to take him away so she could do an art project. And when faced with the option to eat Nilla Wafers and apples at snack time or hold onto Elmo, well, Elmo won.

She absolutely adores Elmo, and I’m so glad she doesn’t need to know about the overblown controversy regarding his genius creator. With so many wonderful words, feelings, and morals that Elmo teaches, I am glad that Madelyn loves him. I just wish that the men who’ve suddenly come into the limelight to damage Clash would take something away from Elmo’s teachings as well.