Tuesday, July 29, 2008


LA Baby's first quake!

It's been a pretty crazy day for LA Baby and the whole Wieland family. By now you've probably heard that we Angelenos had a 5.4 you-know-what today just a little before noon.

Now everyone knows about California and the earthquakes. There's practically a whole subplot in Superman: the Movie about them. It's trade off that Golden State residents accept in exchange for missing out on hurricanes, blizzards, dense humidity, static electricity, and roving gun and knife shows.

But for outsiders, the quakes are a big black mark of Cali's permanent record. The fact is, if you ask dyed-in-the-wool midwesterners (or southerners, or easterners)why they'd never, ever consider a life out here on the left coast, well, first they'd probably tell you it's because they don't want to live around all those crazy liberals.

And then they'd use that old chestnut about change of seasons, and how important it is to . . . whatever. (Our Man in LA never really bought into that whole line of reasoning, anyway - and hell, with global warming, who knows how many seasons there'll be anywhere before long?)

But the third reason folks would say that they avoid California like they avoid a stuttering Jehovah's Witness is the earthquakes. And to be honest, they're not all that much fun. Today's quake was only about 30-40 seconds but seemed longer. At Our Man in LA's office in Koreatown, the building shook.

At Casa del Wieland, Our Woman in LA and LA Baby both experienced their first quake (Steph has managed to be out of town for the other two we've had since 2004). Books and photos came down off the bookshelves, and it was a bit scary. Particularly for Steph, who knew what was happening. To Gracie, I imagine it was sort of like having the entire apartment become her bouncy chair.

And bouncy chairs are fun, right, LA Baby?

Ah, any excuse to get a photo in the blog of my daughter smiling . . .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Welcome to LA, Baby . . .!

Now that little Gracie is a full month old, Our Man and Our Woman in LA are thinking that it’s time for the LA BABY to start to get to know her surroundings. Sure, right now, Gracie seems to have a firm grasp on the rooms in Casa del Wieland (she sees them virtually every night as we walk her around, trying to get her to sleep). But she doesn’t know much about the city she lives in – apart from having seen the insides of Cedars-Sinai and her pediatrician’s office.

So look here, Gracie, this post is for you. You need to understand this mixed-up world that your Mommy and Daddy have placed you smack dab in the center of.

That's right. This blog's for you.

You live in Los Angeles, after all. It’s a city that virtually everyone in the United States and all over the world knows a little bit about. They’ve heard of the Valley, though they don’t understand why people choose to live there or not. They talk about the shopping on Rodeo Drive. They know the beach, and that big, tall building that got destroyed during INDEPENDENCE DAY.

But people know this kind of thing sight unseen. They’ve seen LA on TV, in the movies, and they’ve read about it in those nasty magazines at the supermarket checkout line. That’s why – when you travel this great country of ours, you’ll hear people say things like:

“Ugh, I hate LA. I would never live there. Of course, I’ve never been there. But you know, I heard about it.”

Ignore these people. There’s a reason they’re living in their parents’ basements. You live here. What’s more, you’re one of the few people here who are actually native to the area. And what does that mean, in a city of nearly 10 million?

OK, the 10 million is actually the standardized metropolitan area. Daddy’ll explain later, when you have language. Stay with me. What does that mean if there aren’t sooo many natives?

Simply put, Gracie, you’re growing up somewhere where people have made a conscious decision to live. They chose to come here in droves. They came for the weather, the people, the beaches, the mountains, and this city (also for the Industry, but we’ll get into that later).

Just like your mom and dad, they chose to live in SoCal.

So let’s tell you a little bit about the place they chose. Let’s do a little bit each day. That’s right. Daddy’s promising to blog more than once every six months.

He’s planning a series of posts.

So sit back and get comf. It’s going to be a regular blog-y thing.

OK, so “sit back” is a Daddy getting a little ahead of himself. Have your Nana Flo prop you up a bit.



Guess Who's a Month Old . . .!

Actually, it's more like 5 weeks now.

But look, I know I'm delinquent in posting here. You know I'm delinquent in posting here. The baby knows, too (and she's disappointed, if I interpret her behavior at 3 this morning correctly). So let's leave it at that.

Either way you cut it, it's been a month or so since Gracie Wieland made her first appearance, so I'm bringing you this pic (above), which shows the girl right after a particularly good feed.

For those out there who haven't totally abandoned the blog yet, what a month (and a week) it's been. In the last 36 days or so, our Gracie has dealt with --

1) A particularly nasty double ear infection;

2) Two trips to the E/R and an emergency gall bladder surgery for Our Woman in LA (aka, Mommy);

3) Visits from assorted friends, relatives, and well-wishers (pictures coming soon).

. . . And so much more.

But here's the skinny: L.A. BABY (like it? It's her official nom de plume!) is doing great. She's about 10 pounds now, and 22 1/2 inches long, which puts her in the 95th percentile for length and the 75th percentile for weight.

She's lifting her head, focusing on faces and objects, and starting to grab things with both hands (like her bottle, her pacifier, Nana Flo's glasses, Daddy's shirt, etc.)

Good times. So good that I can't resist a second picture.

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