Thursday, October 30, 2008


LA Baby's First Flight

About a month ago, LA Baby took her first plane ride. Suffice it to say, happily, it was for the most part uneventful. Grace was a champ. She slept most the trip (including one takeoff), and played with her toys - including a very cool spherical rattle (I got to get me one of those).

Of course, there were a few trips to the airplane bathroom (you have not lived until you've changed your kid's diaper in the airplane bathroom - or as I like to call it, "The Other Mile High Club").

And sure, there were those few times she spit up all over me and Our Woman in LA. But, that's why you travel with spare shirts. A few of them.

Here is LA Baby and Our Woman in LA pre-flight. LA Baby is getting snuggly in the baby sling (this one is called the Baby Pouch, not very manly looking, but the kid loves it, so Our Man abides).

The second pic is Gracie on the plane, playing very intently with the aforementioned ball rattle. Notice the bib? Yeah, she started teething right before this trip. That means extra drool. Fun times. And by fun, I mean, a baby's body weight in saliva.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Our "New" Man in LA?

Wow. Just re-read that last post. Has this blog changed its stripes or what?


Four Months

Hello out there . . .

Wow. Is that an echo?

Yeah, OK, OK, I get it. This post is long overdue. But seriously, put yourself in Our Man in LA’s flip flops (that’s right, Chicago and Midwest readers! Flip-flops! Eat it! Weather jokes never get old!). There’s the job – with all it’s traveling (for the man, don’t you know). There’s been some personal travel (back to the wife’s old stomping grounds for a wedding), and the usual accoutrements of the rock n roll lifestyle. Trips to Albertsons, stuff like that.

Oh, yeah, and there’s this baby. LA Baby’s been a very busy munchkin the past few weeks. Took her first plane ride (more on that later, but suffice it to say that you should never, ever give your breast milk to Debra the flight attendant). Went to her first mommy and me yoga class thingie. Had her first play date. Big times.

And she’s practically a teenager now. Gracie turned four months old a couple of weeks ago – which, if I know my calendar, now makes her four and a half months old (you can never underestimate the value of that half – seriously; like, I would have thought that was a joke, but it really is different). Before we know it, she’ll be buying her prom dress or prom “outfit” - she might rebel against the whole dress thing, who knows.

Either way, I’ve got one of those tuxedo t-shirts with her name allllll over it.

Anyway, at her four month check up, she continued to kick check-up ass. She weighed in at 14 pounds, 7 ounces and 25.5 inches long. She was healthy and strong, even flirted with the doctor (at least, that’s what Steph tells me, I wasn’t there, I was traveling for the man).

Wait a second. Who’s this doctor? What’s his name? Who are his parents? Flirting with my daughter? Time to switch pediatric practices!

Of course, two days after her check up, LA Baby got her first cold. That was awful. Not run of the mill awful, either. Oceans of snot awful.

Sneezing, coughing, a nose that was a runny mess. I tried to explain to her that she wasn’t supposed to even get these things. It’s in the 80s outside! Stop with your retro rhinovirus!

Sigh. No avail. The worst feeling in the world is watching your kid sick. But, I’m happy to report that she is doing much better now.

Of course, Our Woman in LA and I are now sick as dogs. Do you think the reason everyone wants their kid to grow up and become a doctor is because they’re such slobbery little Petri dishes as children?

I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Hear that, Dr. Wieland?

Now a photo. . .

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


You talkin to me?

Happy three months, Gracie.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Almost three months....

L.A. Baby turns three months old in just a week. Can hardly believe it. A few highlights about our girl Gracie.....

She's measuring at 24.5 inches long. Yep, she's grown 4.5 inches in the first ten weeks of life. She's outgrown all her 0-3 month clothes and is wearing onesies for 6 month olds. We have our eye on the WNBA. Go Sparks!

She's also gained 5 pounds in 10 weeks, weighing in now at 12 pounds, 7 ounces. Grace has learned to roll from her back to her side and is starting to be able to hold her head up by herself in sitting position. She is really vocal and loves making all sorts of sounds. She just started experimenting with her first consonant sound yesterday. It was the letter "B," as she regaled us with the sound "Baaaa." Love it. She just had her first immunizations last week, and handled it like a pro.

Below, the "L.A. Baby montage"........

L.A. Baby wakes up:

L.A. Baby plays:

L.A. Baby thinks:

L.A. Baby attempts to sit:

L.A. Baby with her mama:

Stay tuned for more on the L.A. Baby front!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


L.A. Baby makes a political statement

Our Woman in L.A. here.

I forwarded the below picture of our girl Gracie to Chris this week. Here's a recap of the conversation.....
Steph: I'm forwarding you a picture of Grace for your blog.
Chris: Okay, cool.
Steph: You can use it for a political blog entry.
Chris (looking at the picture): Her onesie says "peace". When did peace become political? (pause) Oh, yeah, now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


LA Baby Around Town: Welcome to Los Feliz

As promised, Our Man in LA has finally gotten around to showing little Gracie around her neighborhood - the slice of heavenly SoCal also known as Los Feliz (pronounced, by the way, L-ow-ss Feel-isss; anyone who calls it L-aw-ss F-uh-leez is a total poser).

So let's get ready, Gracie. It's time for LA Baby to have a look around.

Like all stylin' California girls, Sweet Baby Grace goes nowhere without her shades (courtesy of official friend of LA Baby, comedienne Laura Rosenberg).

Anyway, let's look at the hood. Truth be told, LA Baby is so small still that we haven't done much venturing out, so Mom and Dad will have to cover the basics for her. Here's a simple tutorial about the place Ms. Grace calls home.

Where the heck is it?

Los Feliz is in north central Los Angeles, north and west of downtown, due east of Hollywood, at the base of Griffith Park (editor's note: Griffith Park is the largest inner-city park in the country, and as far as Our Man in LA knows, the only one named after a guy who donated land to a city and then promptly shot his wife in the face. Seriously. Look it up. It's still a beautiful park).

What's so great about it?

It's pretty much got everything. Heck, the aforementioned park alone contains the LA Zoo, the LA Observatory (one of the coolest buildings around), pony rides, running trails, a boss merry-go-round, hiking trails, the Hollywood sign, and even the occasional Coyote sighting. Cool, huh?

Then, once you get into the hood itself, there's truly a legion of bars,restaurants, cool little stores, and movie theaters all within a five- or six-block radius. Do you have a hankering for Mexican food? Check out Mexico City (Our Man in LA's favorite) or Machos Tacos for late night culinary danger. Italian food brings Farfalle Tratoria, Little Dom's, and il Capriccio to the table. For vegans, there's Green Leaves. For Japanese food, there's two great sushi places (En and Niko Niko) and one Japanese country cooking joint (San Sui). The organic crowd digs in at Purans and gets their fix at Nature Mart. Plus, there's good diner fare at Fred 62, and the House of Pies has pretty amazing . . . oh, well, take a wild guess.

OK, pal, besides eating yourself into a food coma, what's so great about it?

Look, I'm not finished. So OK, the neighborhood's been made famous most recently because of the movie SWINGERS. And if you're a barfly, you can head to The Derby (at the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz Blvd), where Jon Favreau grabbed Heather Graham and took her for a dance. Or you can head down Vermont Avenue to the Dresden, where Vince Vaughan took the boys to take in cheesy but fun singers Marty and Elayne (they still play there, weekly - check local listings).

And if your drinking tastes run this way, there's way more - from the Chinese-themed Good Luck Bar to the Tiki Ti emporium of strong island drinks and so on. Of course, Ms. Grace won't be of age for a while, so she'll have to take her old man's word for all of this.

But besides drinking and eating . . .

Stop interrupting! Look, SWINGERS may have made people sit up and notice the neighborhood again, but the place has history. Bukowski used to hang out here in his drinking and writing days. Raymond Chandler lived here (and his famous sleuth Phillip Marlowe lived at a couple of different places on Franklin Avenue, if you believe what you read). The neighborhood's a piece of old LA, with its hills, its bungalows, and even its own movie palace (the Vista - easily one of the two or three coolest places to catch a movie in the city).

But it's LA. Where are the celeb sightings?

Deep, heavy sigh. Look, pal. Celebs are just people. They live here like the rest of us.

But yes, Los Feliz has its share. Our Woman in LA spent nearly an entire meal at the Alcove on Hillhurst staring dreamy-eyed at Adrian Grenier from ENTOURAGE. And she rarely notices celebs when we pass them.

And yeah, they shoot Grey's Anatomy in the neighborhood, so we've caught glimpses of all those actors, but that would probably mean more if we watched the show. And there was the one time that Danny Bonaduce called Steph by name at the Copycat.

So OK, where have you taken Grace?

Well, as we mentioned above, she's little. And she's been sick, on and off. And Our Woman in LA's still recovering from gall bladder surgery.

But I'll quit stalling.

We've taken her to Coffee Bean. She's been inside the Albertson's. She's been to the children's boutique Dragonfly Doulou. And our pediatrician's office (just a block away).

But man, is she in for an adventure or what?

No time for pictures, Mommy! We've got places to go!

Monday, August 04, 2008


Not so much, this Colic

See? Gracie doesn't fear the colic . . .

As new parents, Our Man and Woman in LA have become nervous about a lot of things that didn’t even register before about seven weeks ago. Things like hiring babysitters and post-partum doulas, what store has the best selection of diapers after 10 p.m., whether we can eat our dinners before LA Baby comes to.

Oh, yes. And Colic. Whatever the hell it is, we fear it the way we fear McCain winning the White House.

For the uninitiated, Colic is a malady (or illness, or sensibility – I’m not really sure) that affects children between the ages of 2 weeks and, I’m thinking, 17 years. Babies are fussy all the time, they cry for no reason, growl and complain, and are generally difficult to please.

At this point, Our Man in LA will take a dramatic pause to recognize the number of cheap, easy and funny jokes that he is not posting. You know the ones. Yeah, just revel in them.

Anyhoo, it’s because of this fear that Our Man and Woman in LA had a new kind of dread a couple of weeks back. Little Gracie was exhibiting symptoms of this so-called Colic thing. She was fussy when we put her down. She cried for no reason, refused food from time to time, woke up in the middle of the night screaming (perhaps dreaming of that McCain White House?), and so on.

We were defeated. Because according to the books, if a baby’s colicky, you’re stuck with a miserable period of . . . well, I think about 25 years. Give or take, you understand.

So for days there, we were walking around, miserable. Un-consolable. Until the day that our post-partum doula showed up for a late afternoon/early evening session with Grace. When the baby miraculously went down without a fuss, Our Man in LA went to investigate.

It went like this –

Our Man in LA: You got her down?

Doula: Yes. Easy.

Our Man in LA: Really, because she’s been colicky.

Doula: She’s not colicky.

Our Man in LA: But she is. Every night she fusses and –

Doula: Oh, that. I’ve been meaning to tell you. You know the burping? Like when you burp your daughter.

Our Man in LA: Sure.

Doula: You suck at it.


Doula: She’s got a bunch of leftover gas. Just burp better.

And so ended our bout of colic.

Editor’s Note: No, the Doula didn’t tell me that I sucked at burping, though she certainly would have been right. It just makes a better story there, but I don’t need to sully the doula any further for my silly jokes. Of course, having this experience replaced my fear of colic with a fear of burping my daughter either too hard or too lightly. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

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