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February 2014

How "Toy Story" Messes Me Up As A Parent

Way before we had Harper, Toy Story had given me pause any time I came across toys in real life. The movie is so charming and funny and brilliant that how could you not consider that your toys come to life when you are out of the room?

Now with Harper and her toys, it's double trouble there. A pile of stuffed animals, baskets of balls and toy cars, the Gabba Gang, a stable full of horses. It's a lot. Most are on the floor or on shelves. But there are a few in the crib and they tend to stay in the crib. I started feeling bad about them, that they can't just jump out and play with the others. Prison. They are in toddler prison.

CribRabbitI feel especially bad for one very soft, furry rabbit. (She's the grey one on the left.) Except for Harper's little bear, which goes with her everywhere, Rabbit was the only other toy in there for months. I've slowly put in a few others and now I feel that she's not so lonely in there. Is that weird??

Or how about this? Mom gave Harper this awesome "Impossibly tall" rabbit doll for Easter last year. A lovely girl rabbit with a cute dress, a flower on her ear and fancy espadrilles. Harper loves it. For Christmas, Harper got the brother doll, also cute with sweater, jeans and Chuck Taylor type sneakers. Well, Harper is in the phase where all doll clothes come off. So one day I come in and both dolls are naked, their clothes strewn around and I realize they are both the same doll model underneath. There is nothing to distinguish them from each other without their clothes.

RabbitsToyStoryaMy worry? When I put the clothes back on, how do I know that I put the clothes back on the right doll? What if brother rabbit is not happy wearing his sister's dress and fancy shoes? Or maybe he loves it and can finally be his true self? What if the other boys are laughing at him? It's a tough call, man. I hate to think of any of Harper's toys being unhappy. I like to think they live in a warm and open group but can you really trust that crazy pelican puppet?

Catching Up (Again) - Isn't That Parenthood On Some Levels?

So yeah! Time flies. I haven't even done any pics from Christmas, not that there were many. I'll get to that later I guess. My intentions are good, but making the time, well that is a negotiation with myself (and sometimes Kurt). Blogging falls by the wayside to make room for our own creative project work, meetings, lunches, general life errands/shopping/maintenance, etc. Throw in some tax prep and preschool applications (oh yeah! and she would even start for ages!) and boy the days fly.

HippoonscaleYou might be wondering how the fasting and weight loss has been going. Or probably not because you have a life! Well, it's been on and off for me these last few weeks. I had a stomach bug in January and haven't quite gotten back on the fasting. But I'm back on tomorrow. I had lost 11 pounds overall since starting that. I've put two back on and so I'm hovering at 183 these days, nine pounds down. The good news is, I started carving into my time with exercise. Just some neighborhood walking but it's been really good to get out and move my body with a fast-paced 35-40 minute walk three to four times a week. My intention is to get back into the weight loss regime, get the pounds off and up the exercise wherever possible.

In day-job news, I got nominated for a Visual Effects Society Award for my work on White House Down. That ceremony is on Wednesday night. Going to dress up and go to the Beverly Hilton! Woohoo! Pictures to follow.

In my creative work, there are irons in a few fires, all of which are really fun and exciting. Hopefully they pay off in all kinds of ways in the not too distant future. I've started waking up before Harper to write for about 30-40 minutes every morning (except Sundays). She gets up around seven, so I've been up around six. It's been amazing and the thing I'm working on is a story that just bubbled up recently so I'm playing around with it. Writing makes me feel great.

And Harper is getting bigger and cuter (not possible!) and the language is opening up more and more. Sometimes she says stuff that makes me think, where did you even hear that word? (And no, not a swear word because I know that will come from me, no matter how hard I'm trying to clean up my potty mouth.)

Here we were at the park the other day (accidentally had the camera set to B&W). She had her sippy cup in one hand and had tried to step up on the climby thing on the left but tumbled down (not far). She ended up in this position, drinking her milk like "Oh yeah. I'm cool. Totally meant to do that."


Here she is in Ponytails. Adorbs. Hard to wrestle the curls into ponytails without much pulling, but man it's worth it sometimes for the "big girl" look.


Back in December, I came to get her from a nap and found this scene. Not sure if she was teacher, cop, or conductor, but it was amazing.


Harper is a style maven, FYI. She has two pairs (TWO! Gawd, I can't control myself) of Bee pajamas. Or as she says "BEE!" One morning we were in her room before breakfast and she went out to the living room and came back like this. "Shades, bitch!" (Sorry, still haven't shaken off Jesse from Breaking Bad.)


She and Willoughby love to play in the car. Momma is not too thrilled with this but what can you do? I thought the other day about this new family member and how if all goes well with Willoughby, Harper will know her until college! Amazing.


We go to a park near the Santa Monica Airport sometimes. Harper likes to play with the sand. Just not necessarily IN the sand.


It's been a lovely day today. Lazy Sunday watching Olympics (Ski Jumping!) and doing laundry and cleaning up and eating bagels. Harper loves bagels. Glad to catch up a little!


Meet Our New Family Member!

WilloughbyInTreeWe adopted a new cat. Well, I should say she adopted us. She showed up in October as a kitten, just hanging around our house. We started feeding her because she never seemed to go anywhere else. No collar, very very scared and seemed feral. But she started warming up to us and in the last month or so has spent a lot of time with me and Kurt in the office, sitting in our laps, playing, napping, just being a cat. So this week we took her to the vet and she has now spent two nights in the house, officially ours. Her name is Willoughby and she's really sweet. Though the claws are a drag from time to time as she hasn't quite learned to retract them when playing!

Harper has helped us feed her while Willoughby was outside. Harper says her name but it comes out "Ee-bee" or "Wee-Bee". The CUTEST thing was one night we were going to feed the cat who had not appeared and Harper stood on the porch yelling, really yelling, "EE-BEE! EE-BEE!" OMG I about died. Cute Overload.

Mouse, our 17 year-old odd-ball cat is not too pleased, but she's also curious. I hope they become good friends soon because Mouse needs a snuggle buddy. She's not a lap cat but used to snuggle with Bunny.

Mouse has not slept on our bed since Bunny died two years ago. Very sad. We want her too, but she just doesn't. So having Willoughby in the house and sleeping on the bed is so sweet. Her purring is LOUD and that makes me laugh. I really have missed a cat on the bed at night. Bunny used to sleep under the covers in the winter. She had cold toes. I miss Bunny a lot.

Welcome Willoughby!

I'm Going To Miss You, Treme

Treme-Done-NOLATreme, the drama on HBO about New Orleans after Katrina has ended. The last episode aired on December 29, 2013, but I only watched the last two about a week ago. I just couldn't let it go.

I fell in love with all these amazing characters and places and cultures. When I watched, I always thought about how I would feel living in NO and realized that on some levels, it would be like living in Hawaii. There is a very public version of the place that all the tourists come to and enjoy. But underneath all that there is the true soul and long history of the place that you might only know having been born and grown up there or maybe if you lived there for decades and truly opened yourself up in a humble manner to take it all in. Having grown up in Hawaii, I know I could never call myself a true "local" in a place like NO, even if I lived there for 25 years. There is something deep and spiritual in places like this that you can't just read about, show up for a few years and "know."

Treme made me miss living in Hawaii. I often wonder if I could move back home to live. When people ask me, I usually say "I could have a house there, but I couldn't live there full time." I think that is still true because while a deep part of my heart will always be in Hawaii, always, and my ashes will be scattered there someday far in the future, I am too restless to stay. I love LA, I love the bustle and the bigness and the always present opportunity to go somewhere (without the five extra hours from HNL to LAX).

Treme-costume-590x319But back to Treme. I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss Big Chief Lambreaux and his hard commitment. I'm going to miss Antoine and his laid back style. I never got to eat at Desautel's or to meet Miss LaDonna and have a drink at Gigi's. I would like to.

So long Treme, I'm going to miss you!

The Best Feeling In The World

This blog post is not going to be about what you think it's going to be about.

In college I was on the crew team (Go Lions!) and we had to wake up "dark and surly" for practise every morning. Usually around 5:15 to get there at 5:30. One year we had to be at the boathouse at 5am every day so we were waking up at 4:45...but I think that was the year we were West Coast Varsity Lightweight 8 Champs, so it was worth it.

But I digress.

We use to talk about the best feeling in the world and that was: waking up in the middle of the night, thinking your alarm was about to go off (at 4:45) but looking at the clock and seeing that it was only 2:30. Oh that feeling of HOORAY! I CAN SLEEP FOR TWO MORE HOURS! It was almost like we wanted to wake up accidentally a few hours early to get that feeling.

The worst feeling? Waking up two minutes before your alarm went off, thinking it was 2:30.

I thought of this this morning because I woke up about two minutes before my alarm and I thought it was still about 3am. Alas no.