Loving Lucy Joins The Twitterverse

22 Feb

Confession: I kind of hate Twitter.  There, I said it.  Maybe I’m old and out of the loop but I just don’t get it.  I guess it’s good if I want to follow my favorite food truck or find out what Ashton Kutcher is thinking every second, but I find Facebook to be much better suited to my personal needs, which basically consist of viewing photos of people’s kids / pets / vacations (envious!) etc., and posting my own photos (of Lucy, natch).

I suppose to be fair that Twitter is only as annoying as its users.  Just like the old NRA refrain, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” I guess you could say that Twitter doesn’t name its kids Hashtag, only people do that.  (By the way, I guess little Hash or Taggy or whatever they end up calling him can sign off his emails, “xoxo, #.”  That’s kind of fun.)

Second confession: all of that said, I decided — dum da da dum! — that Loving Lucy needed to jump on the Twitter bandwagon.  I want to try to get a little more visibility for this blog, so now you can find me there – @lovingmylucy.  I also set up a Loving Lucy Gmail account so that my dear readers can contact me (see info at sidebar).

I look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. After I posted this for the first time, my mom called me to tell me that I had made a grammatical error in writing “peoples’ kids” instead of “people’s kids.”  I have since corrected it.  Even if you want to email me to tell me I made a mistake, I’d be thrilled to hear from you!

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The Whatever Works Club

21 Feb

Any of you who are mamas or have mama friends know that there are two main, and diametrically opposed, parenting philosophies: attachment parenting (babywearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding) and…actually i don’t know the name of the other philosophy, but it endorses crying it out among other things.  When I was looking for a Mommy & Me group, I specifically avoided one (even though it is located less than a mile from my house and came highly recommended by a friend of mine) because the description was very attachment parent-y.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I am all in favor of parents doing whatever they want to do, and have absolutely nothing against people sleeping with their babies, wearing them 24 hours a day strapped to their bodies, etc.  (I actually wish Lucy liked being worn, but she seems to feel too constrained.  I hope she’ll change her tune when she’s older and we can forego the infant insert.)  I just don’t want people judging me for my choices, and I get the sense that attachment parenting enthusiasts tend to be more judgy than the average mama bear (is that me being judgy about them being judgy?  Ok, now I’m making my head spin).

I love discussing all things mamahood with my dear friend T. because we don’t ascribe to either of these camps and rather share the same general philosophy, which is a hybrid best described as “whatever the hell works for you.”  Yesterday T. sent me this blog post with the comment, “finally a moms’ club we can join!”  The author shares our viewpoint and eloquently describes her club as the “I think I’m doing this ok but I might be wrong, but that’s ok too and maybe you’d like to join me group.”  I loved this paragraph so I’ll just paste in the whole thing:

Whatever happened to just being a middle-of-the-road mom? Can you try to feed your kid organic food, but still let them have a Nutter Butter? Can you insist on bedtime routines, but occasionally let your kids stay up late and or let them sleep in their superhero costumes? When did the rules become so rigid and extreme? I’d like to start a new club called the “I think I’m doing this ok but I might be wrong, but that’s ok too and maybe you’d like to join me group.” We meet every Wednesday night after the kids are asleep. And if you’re late because your kid was on a sugar high and you caved and read her 10 stories instead of two because you didn’t have the strength to argue, that’s ok. We’ll save some wine for you.

A couple of things:  First, I totally want to have a glass of wine with this author, based on this post alone.  Second, I ended up looking up this author’s bio because her tagline says “Lawyer/Mother,” and I thought, “I’m a lawyer / mother!”  It turns out in addition to having her J.D., she also has an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies (which explains why she’s qualified to blog for HuffPo and I’m qualified to blog for my enormous audience of 27 followers — no offense, I love all 27 of you, by the way!).  I have a close friend who also blogs for HuffPo (also one of the most impressive people I know), so I think I will try to find out how one gets that kind of gig.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my crying child and feed her a bottle of pumped milk.  Don’t judge!

The Old Girls’ Club

20 Feb

It’s no accident that shows like Sex and the City and Girls are so popular.  (Ok, maybe I’m a little bit obsessed with Girls right now, sue me.)  I’m a die-hard SATC fan (even movie 1, but not movie 2 — shudder — except for one part I’ll get to in a moment), and I love Girls.  There is great writing in both shows, yes, and they are both risk-taking and include lots of sex, but what I personally adore about both shows is their focus on female friendships.  

These shows celebrate what all women know: there is simply nothing like great girlfriends.  In SATC movie 1, the part that gets me to cry every single time is when Carrie rushes to Miranda’s house in the snow in New Year’s Eve so that she won’t be alone.  Carrie went through many men (and, though I love Chris Noth, I was never a fan of Mr. Big),  but it always came back to the four women.  In the second movie, which I highly recommend avoiding, Charlotte and Miranda have a late-night tipsy conversation that is the only moment in the movie that does not reek of frivolity and excess.  They commiserate about how motherhood is hard — OK, just watch the clip.  And in Girls (spoiler alert!) Jessa comes over to Hannah’s house to take a bath and drown her sorrows.  (I can’t say I’ve ever gotten to the level of bathing with my girlfriends, but to each her own.)  And when there are conflicts with girlfriends they can be as difficult and heart-wrenching as any fight with a significant other — think about Carrie and Miranda’s falling out in movie 1, or Hannah and Marnie’s blowout at the end of season 1 of Girls.  As I wrote about previously, Susannah Sonnenberg’s memoir She Matters explores the passion and friction in her female friendships in a very interesting way.

When I got married, in her toast my friend M. said something to the effect of “Men come and go, but girlfriends are forever.”  Setting aside the fact that statement may not have been entirely appropriate for a wedding toast, I do appreciate the sentiment.  I hope and expect that Hubs and I will be together forever, but because we met a little later in life our relationship will still never be as long as my friendships with my girlfriends.  And while Hubs knows all my ins and outs and I can talk to him about anything, there are some things that are just better understood by a girlfriend.

For example, since Lucy was born, I feel like I have some strange kinship with other moms.  Not just my close friends, who I love trading war stories with, but also casual acquaintances.   A friend of a friend, who I used to see regularly for dinner with our mutual friend but hadn’t in a long time, had a baby this month.  Suddenly after I had Lucy I became very sympathetic to her and bought her a baby gift and made plans to see her.  I also feel compelled to regale pregnant friends with advice (since I am such a veteran – HA!), which I hope they don’t feel too annoyed about.

As I’m trying to write about other things I keep coming back  over and over again in my mind to this theme of female friendships.  Although I worry a little bit about tackling this and seeming too derivative of the shows I talked about in this post, I wonder whether this is speaking to me for a reason and perhaps I need to just go with it and see where it takes me.

A Voice of A Generation

20 Feb

“I’m the voice of my generation. At least I’m a voice. Of a generation.”  — Hannah Horvath, Girls

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Whenever I watch Girls — which, if you haven’t seen it, is a funny, often shocking, bitingly well-written show on HBO about four twenty-something girls in New York — I have the following three thoughts, not necessarily in this order:

1.  CRINGE!
2.  I am SO glad I’m not in my 20s (especially my early to mid 20s) anymore!  This is one of the rare times when my age, 33, sounds like the perfect age to me.
3.  Wow, Lena Dunham is a damn good writer.

Lena Dunham is incredibly impressive because while the show (and its predecessor, her film Tiny Furniture, which is like Girls‘ unfunny indie cousin) center on characters played by Dunham that are clearly drawn at least in part from Dunham’s life, Dunham herself is obviously a lot more put together (or at least a lot more focused) than her character Hannah.  If Dunham purports to be confused and struggling twenty-something, then she’s a twenty-something with a Golden Globe and a show directed by Judd Apatow – not too shabby.  I can only imagine how amazing it must feel to have someone, especially someone with so much cache, really “get” the appeal of your voice and your point of view and decide to get on board with it.

I laughed aloud watching this week’s episode where one of the characters, Ray, commented that “when people say they want to be writers they just want to eat and masturbate.”  It suddenly occurred to me (hello, Captain Obvious) how many people are aspiring writers.  Especially in L.A., if you go to a coffee shop I guarantee that among the college kids and grad students with their laptops, you will see at least one dude working on his screenplay.  (I was tempted to write, “You can’t swing a cat without hitting an aspiring screenwriter,” but that expression is kind of gross.  Sorry, Noodles.)  And now that blogging is so easy that anyone can figure it out, people can get their worldview and their writing out there instantaneously.  But among all the ordinary “here’s what I did today” writing out there (guilty as charged!), there are some real standouts, and Dunham is definitely one of them.

I think what Dunham does so incredibly well is just what Hannah Horvath says — she really speaks to and encapsulates the experience of a particular generation (or at least a particular white, New York-dwelling subset).  I think I’m on the young end of the prior generation, so I can’t attest to whether Girls is true to life for today’s twenty-somethings (those crazy kids!  Ok, now I sound old), but it certainly comes across that way.  And maybe that’s what I’m aspiring to do as well.  Maybe I won’t be the voice of my generation, but I can be a voice of a generation, right?

While Dunham’s girls are trying to find jobs, boyfriends and generally figure out what to do with their lives, many of the “girls” in my generation have jobs and/or husbands (and in many cases, kids) and now we’re all trying to figure out how in the world to manage our lives.  What kind of job and work schedule do we have?  Do we work full time, part time, flex time, are we stay at home moms?  If we have kids, what do we do for child care?  How do we focus on our marriages and our partners when we are also so focused on our kids?   Not the sexiest,  most glamorous, or most titillating issues in the world, perhaps, and maybe not the stuff good TV is made of, but these definitely the issues that keep me up at night and I know I’m not alone.

Recently I joined a Facebook group of other moms who attended the same women’s college as I did.  The group has grown to a couple hundred women, all of whom attended sometime in the mid-late 90s to the mid-2000s.  People post questions and get a flurry of responses from moms who have been there before — it’s a really awesome resource and I love reading the posts even if Lucy isn’t experiencing a certain issue yet, to sock away the information for future reference.  Last week one woman posted saying that she’s unhappy with her current work/life balance and wanted to know what other peoples’ work arrangements consisted of.  She received about 40 responses from every variation from full-time work to stay at home moms.  I found it so fascinating what a vast difference of opinion there was with respect to the desire to work outside the home or not, even among women who attended the same school at approximately the same time.  One woman admitted that she finds playing with her kids really boring.  Another said that she couldn’t imagine working outside the home and being away from her three small children.  One woman described herself as a “reluctant” stay at home mom who regretted having left academia when her son was born, and another expressed that she wished she could afford to stay home.

But despite all the differences between these women,  absolutely nobody makes judgy or condescending remarks (which, if you’ve ever looked at any online mom resource, you will know is quite a feat).  I’ve written before that one of my biggest pet peeves — at work, with parenting and in life in general — is when women cut each other down instead of supporting each other, so it’s wonderful to know that I can pose questions in this forum and receive nothing but positive encouragement and advice.

I must say…. if this is my generation, I’d be honored to be a voice of it.

Paparazzo

19 Feb

Before Hubs and I met, he took photos as a hobby.  I’m not sure if it’s because he had less free time after we started dating or some other reason, but he has done much less photography over the past 4 years since we met than he used to.

But now, Hubs has found the perfect subject for his photography:  Lucy!  And while I snap photos all day long on my iPhone, Hubs actually has a nice Canon for which he recently purchased a new lens.  In the past 3 months, his photos of Lucy have been getting progressively better, and now some of them look almost professional.

Yesterday I decided to pick up Hubs’ camera and start snapping a few photos.  Hubs commented that there are tons of high-quality shots of me with Lucy, but very few of Hubs, since most of the photos of him to-date were taken with my phone.  So now, I am making a concerted effort to get comfortable with the camera so that Lucy can have great photos with her daddy too.  I took one photography class in my senior year of college and found it to be very difficult — I ended up with nothing but a lot of blurry prints (despite many hours in the darkroom), so lucky for me (and Lucy) Hubs’ camera is still basically a point-and-shoot with autofocus.

Here are my favorite photos of Lucy from yesterday (I got some great ones with Hubs too but I am leaving those out to protect his privacy on the internets):

Hmmmm....

Hmmmm….

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Auntie Love

18 Feb

Lucy has lots of adopted aunties.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an only child, so my close friends have often felt like family.  That being the case, Lucy has no shortage of amazing women to shower her with lots of love, cuddles and gifts!  I think everyday about how blessed we are to have people who love us so much.

Lucy also has a real aunt — Hubs’ sister who lives back East.  This weekend she came out to meet Lucy for the first time.  It was so fun and so heartwarming to see the two of them together.  She even made Lucy laugh for the first time!  It was the best sound in the world.  Hubs and I have been trying in vain to replicate it, but apparently Aunt R is funnier than we are.

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It was a gorgeous weekend in Los Angeles, and we took advantage by going to Santa Monica on Saturday to have lunch and walk near the beach, and yesterday we walked down to our local farmers market.

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Wide awake on the ride to the beach

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Not so awake on the jaunt to the farmers market

Today Hubs doesn’t have to work, and we celebrated by sleeping in (otherwise known as getting up with Lucy at 6:00 then going back to bed till 8:00) and having bagels from our favorite place.  Right now he’s getting a haircut, then I’m going to get a pedicure (I haven’t gotten my nails done since Lucy was born and I’ve actually ripped a hole in a sock with my clawlike toenails.  I know, ew) and go grocery shopping.   I don’t know that I ever would have considered that a terribly exciting day, but I’m loving it now!  Then tonight Hubs and I are having a date night while my parents watch Lucy, which we haven’t done in a few weeks.  I wouldn’t trade my days and nights with Lucy for anything, but I admit it will be nice to take a quick break from focusing on Lucy’s sleep patterns (which are definitely improving slowly but surely, but it can be taxing being the nap police!)  This week if her naps continue to get better I also hope to have time to do some more substantive blogging.  On tap:  an update on my struggles with my oldest friendship, thoughts on work/life balance, and more!

Baby Steps

13 Feb

Good news: Lucy was much less of a fussy bunny during the day yesterday!  After getting up for good at 11 am (!) she was in a great mood almost all day, which emboldened me to try my nap-in-the-crib plan.

Around 1 pm, I swaddled her and put her in her crib.  She was having none of the swaddle, so I gave up and kept her arms free.  She was fine for a while — not sleeping, but quietly continuing in her ongoing effort to eat her hands:

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My hands are delicious.

However, when she caught on to the fact that I was going to leave her alone in the room and try to have her sleep, she was not a happy camper.  I was scared at setting a bad tone for the rest of the day, so I moved her to the nap station in her Pack n’ Play and she slept for 45 minutes.

Around 4 pm, my mom was over and we wore Lucy out with a good tummy time session so I decided to try again.  My mom inadvertently changed the sound machine from white noise to classical music, and Lucy quieted down immediately!  She then fell asleep in the crib and slept for 45 minutes (yes, I dared to take a photo):

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I heart classical music – who knew?

Nighttime was another story, with us trying to put her to bed in her bassinet at 9 pm and her not falling asleep for the night till 11 pm, but we are trying!   To be continued…