Oh, Toodles!

At first, I think I projected “likes” onto my girl.  As in, “She just LOVES that Lamby!” (No, it’s in front of her face, and she doesn’t know how to turn her head) or, “She is OBSESSED with that lion rattle and won’t let go!” (Nope, she doesn’t know she has opposable thumbs and possesses the power to drop things.)  But eventually, one thing rose to the surface above all others and was able to capture her attention— and her little heart:

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a cartoon on Disney Junior and possibly the world’s best invention, perhaps even beating the toilet and Ziploc bags and ZzzQuil.  I know it’s not recommended that babies under two watch television, but who are we kidding? I’d rather she watch this than Game of Thrones, which her father was totally okay with. In every episode, Mickey calls on his mouse-eared floating iPad named Toodles (“All we have to say is, ‘Oh, Toodles!‘”), who presents four “mousketools” of the day to help them solve whatever dilemma’s afoot, be it Donald turned into a frog or Goofy turned into a baby. More likely than not, somebody got turned into something, and they need a key/banana/watering can/shoehorn to fix the problem.

This morning, two of the people I love most got stranded for the second day in a row at an airport in Europe, and the first thing that popped into my mind was, “Oh, Toodles!” Where the hell was he when I needed him? Here are the Mousketools I could have used today:

  1. A competent American Airlines representative
  2. A literary agent who’s just wild about my pilot script
  3. A phone that connects to the internet in places outside my bathroom
  4. And finally… the Mystery Mousketool: An invisibility cloak to shield me from judgment when I walked out of a Boot Camp class today

What are you hoping Toodles hooks you up with?

Pregnant Claire Danes is a Winner

A mellow yellow and pregnant Claire Danes won an Emmy tonight for Homeland.  Her golden moment reminded me of Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Oscar win– because both actors received their trophies while expecting.  I imagine it must feel odd to win one of those (an Emmy or an Oscar, not a baby), but even more so when there is a stranger swimming around under your maternity Spanx.

But maybe I know a little bit how it feels. I mentally bookmarked a few major highlights while I was pregnant for the “Remember to Tell Her About this Day Someday” collection.  I think every woman does this to some extent.

Cool Stuff that Happened While I Was Pregnant:

  • A trip to Hawaii: Posey kicked like crazy during a magic show we attended. In fact, it was the only week of my entire pregnancy that she moved around consistently.
  • Price William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding: I woke up at 3 a.m. to watch it… with her. It was one of the first things we did “together.”
  • The Final Week of Oprah:  Not only was it a moment in American cultural history for everyone who watched, but I (and therefore Posey) were a part of it, behind the scenes. There’s even a brief glimpse of us in the final show as she bid adieu to the staff.  Will Claire and Natalie watch their moments on the future-version of YouTube one day with their kids? Cause I’m sure going to.

Alone, these events were pretty magical. But the fact that I got to share them with someone who would one day hopefully proudly share the tales at school one day… it’s an award-winning feeling.  What “While I Was Pregnant” story can’t you wait to tell your kid about?

Maui, 2011.


My Baby Sleeps Through the Night, but I Can’t: Part 2

Once upon a time, I complained about this issue.

When warm milk won’t cut it, and you’re scared Ambien will make you sleep-drive– let me introduce you to your new best friend (and it’s so helpful when you fly a red-eye, too).

Have you ever taken NyQuil just to help you sleep? I’ve done it. And I guess a lot of other people have, too, because they smarted up and released this:

Dear ZzzQuil,

I love you. Thank you for doing what you say you’ll do without making me sleep-email, sleep-blog, sleep-eat, or sleep-murder. I sleep a lot more soundly not worrying about any of those things happening.

Love, Me


…But You Will.

Two things on TV made me openly weep in the last two days.

This morning, I saw a commercial for Dreft. Unless you have a baby, most likely you don’t know what that is, so I’ll tell you. Someone figured out how to market a laundry detergent specifically for baby clothes, and it’s like 10 times more expensive than any other detergent. But I used it religiously for months, because IT’S RECOMMENDED BY PEDIATRICIANS. So the commercial. It said:

“You have a child forever, but you only have a baby for one year.”

I only have 13 days left of that year. So I lost it.  But ultimately, Dreft should be crying, because Posey switched to All Free & Clear half a babyhood ago.

And then there’s Glee.

I’m behind, so I just watched the season premiere yesterday.  If you watch the show, you may share my sentiment that the best character by far is Kurt’s Dad. Kurt’s Dad is the Midwestern, Salt o’ the Earth, Car Shop-Owning Guys’ Guy who happens to be the single father of a gay son. And he couldn’t be prouder. In the episode, he encourages Kurt to follow his dreams to New York City, where he’s sure to find more people like him– people not afraid to be different. Kurt’s scared, but his dad reassures him that At the airport, Kurt tells his father, “I’ll miss you, Dad.” His father responds, “You can always come home.” Kurt exits car. Kurt’s dad says to himself…

“But you won’t.”

Ohmygod. I just started crying again TYPING it. I watched this while Posey stood beaming at me from her “play yard” (read: brightly colored cage). For now, I literally have her locked up under my watch. And yes, she falls over and bumps her head a lot on my watch. But she’s all mine, and we’re together every single day. And I know it won’t be like this forever, because while you have a child forever, you only have a baby for One Year.




100 Best Companies for Working Moms

When is the right time to go back to work, for those of us who want to?

For millions of women, the answer is immediately following maternity leave– by choice, or by necessity. For others, becoming a stay-at-home mom is a no-brainer. For me (and maybe for you) the decision falls somewhere in the middle. This week marks the one-year anniversary of leaving my full-time career.  I’ve only recently begun dipping my toes in the job search pool, and….  It’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s stretching me in new ways and introducing me to new ideas and people. But it’s hard.

“Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” — Conan O’Brien

I guess, then, that Working Mother‘s 2012 list of the Best 100 Companies for Working Moms comes at just the right time. Get the full list here.

How does your company stack up?

And now that you’ve gotten to know me, what kind of career do you think would be my best next move?

Winter Coats for Babies & Toddlers

Pie was so small last winter that she barely needed a coat. She went everywhere in her car seat, which was protected by this:

Behold the JJ Cole Bundle Me, and Bundle Her, It Did.

Or else, she rocked a pram– like this or like this.

This winter, she’s already set in the winter coat department (thanks to some fantastic hand-me-downs from friends)–but I may also decide to invest in the big girl Bundle Me for the stroller. However, let me take a moment to pretend I’m not a Practical Mom, as I run down some totally adorable (but wholly unneccesary) choices for the upcoming fall/winter. Before you yell at me because none of them have hoods, let me remind you that hoods just bunch up and get in the way in a car seat.



First pictures of Bill & Giuliana’s Baby Boy!

Presenting Edward Duke Rancic!

Life  & Style has the exclusive with the proud new parents. Having gone through IVF at the same time they did (and even consulting with their Chicago doctor, Dr. Brian Kaplan at FCI), I was so thrilled to hear their wish was granted via a surrogate. Congrats to the whole family! Hope to have a Edward ‘n Posey playdate soon at their Chicago eatery, RPM Italian! Do they have highchairs?