Thursday, October 1, 2009

So I'm a married man now

I'll make a longer post on this later (I swear) but for now...
I'm a married man.

Mr. AML, if you will. ;)

I have to admit that the occasion was bittersweet. We said "I do" and exchanged rings and kissed and made it "official", but there was no paper to sign. No legality. Maybe 2012 will be our year. Maybe we can celebrate our anniversary with something legal.

Sophie looked beautiful and did her job beautifully and the reception was the awesomest party ever with the best group of people ever and some great tunes. I'll be changing the blog playlist shortly to a shortened version of the wedding playlist. Such fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Barmaid Sophie

I think just about every parent on the planet has party tricks for their kids. It's human nature. We make tiny versions of ourselves and then we make them humiliate themselves in public for our own selfish amusement. What else do you do with kids?

So Sophie's party trick is drink mixing. We think our friend Cass got her into it. Cass is an awesome swinging bachelor with a huge wraparound bar and a hot tub in his basement. Cass throws epic parties, and Sophie is invited due to her total awesomeness. On the first or second party that Sophie came to, just before she turned four, Cass propped her up on the bar, pulled out a jar of jellybeans and taught Sophie how to mix a martini. In exchange for making the martini, she got jellybeans.

She's been Sophie-the-barmaid for almost a year now, and every party, Cass ties a little personalized apron around her waist, plonks a notebook in her hand, and gets her to take orders. Then, he counts out the beans--4 for each order she took--whips out his little picture dictionary of drink mixing, and Sophie and Cass go to town. She delivers the drinks (one at a time!) on a little pink tray. People love it! This teeny precocious toddler standing there giving them drinks she made herself. Awesome. We are just the best parents EVER.

Hey...I never claimed to be good at this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I never CLAIMED to be good at this

Sophie, blissfully, still loves us. While many of her 4-and-5-year-old peers are in the hateful, vitriolic habit of flinging an "I HATE YOU" for everything from bedtime to not getting a new toy, but Sophie still skips around blissfully claiming that we are the best parents in the WORRRRRRLD! :D 

We're really not. It's high praise from a 4-year-old, yes, but we are really not. I've never claimed to be a good parent or even a great parent. I'm too lenient. "Bedtime" is a suggestion. If we want to eat something, we eat it. We like to blast the BAD BAD GIRLFRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEND song at obscene volumes and sing and dance. Occasionally, I lock myself in the bathroom and tell Sophie I'm having a crisis and to go watch TV. 

There's a lot of pressure in the world to be good parents, to raise your children a certain way, and I think that it's important to sometimes embrace the bad parent in all of us. Do things others don't approve of. Feed your kid junk occasionally. Let them listen to inappropriate music. Let them dress themselves. Do things that scare all of you. The life experience they'll gain from your "bad parenting moments" will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Babies...not skank-hos.

As parents, it is our duty to raise children with integrity, class, and dignity.

Somehow, I doubt pants emblazoned with "Juicy" across the ass and t-shirts proclaiming your infant to be a "hottie in training!" will help your cause.

It may come as a surprise to the people who are reading this blog and know me only as "Braaaa--oh yeah, the guy in the skintight gold hotpants from Samantha's party! Heeeyyyyy!", but I'm actually a pretty conservative kid-dresser. I'm not saying that Harlow doesn't occasionally rock a bejeweled diaper (no, was a present from our friend Cass. Cass is awesome. He bullied his mom into making a TON of cloth diapers for Harlow, all with personal, unique touches. I hope that as the blog develops I'll someday begin to show off Harlow's Awesome Cloth) and a pair of gay pride babylegs (okay, they're rainbow babylegs but CLOSE ENOUGH, PEOPLE.), or that Sophie hasn't worn the tutu she got from a hippie lady at Burning Man with no shirt and a pair of glittery red Mary Janes for four days in a row now, but typically, I like to dress my kids like, you know, kids, not tiny prostitutes.


Seriously. It's not. Sophie has a closet and two dressers full of cute, age-appropriate clothes, and she has never suffered for it. She's never gone, "Dad, these Hanna Andersson dresses are cute and all, but WHY CAN'T I JUST HAVE A PAIR OF BOOTY SHORTS? That's ALL I'VE EVER WANTED!" So I guess we're doing well, you know?

Now, I'd like to give you a compendium of links to clothes that are age-appropriate and cute. Miniature skank-hos, take note! Tell your mamas and your papas, there's hope!

Hanna Andersson's "It's a Playdress, It's a Daydress" some might say that 38 dollars is a little steep for a dress, but this dress is worn at LEAST 3 times a week (yes, I wash it, although we have 3, in various colors and patterns) and lasts forever. We buy one size up from what Soph usually wears in Hanna because it lasts so damn long. She's been in her oldest Playdress/Daydress since she was two. She's almost five, and it's starting to get a little short, so we're going to retire that one and save it for Harlow. The best part is that it never goes out of style, so I have no qualms with saving it for Harlow, whereas some things get tossed or donated once Sophie outgrows them because Harlow would look like a dweeb in them in four years.

Janie and Jack's "Soda Fountain dress" I am a sucker for little dresses like this, that can be worn as sundresses or jumpers. Sophie has been wearing this one as a jumper with a Gap Kids long-sleeved T in New Babe Pink and some Hanna Andersson microfiber tights. It's super cute and classic.

Janie and Jack's Herringbone Gabardine Skirt  this is BRAND new (as in, we bought it on Saturday), and I love it. She's wearing it right now, with the above-mentioned Hanna microfiber tights and Janie and Jack's Ruffle Collar shirt and she looks so adorable I just want to squish her.

Gymboree's Argyle Heart dress I prefer J&J to Gymboree, but Gymbo sometimes surprises me with their cute pieces like this one. Sophie wears the hell out of this one, over jeans or with leggings. I'm kind of crazy about it.

GapKids smocked dress Sophie's complexion looks great in chocolate brown, but it can be hard to find. This dress is soft, comfortable, and cute.


Mostly, Sophie wears GapKids jeans, although she does have a pair or two from the Children's Place. Our favorite GapKids jeans are the skinny jeans (great for layering), the straight leg and the classic jeans.


We try to keep graphic shirts to a minimum, so separates like Janie and Jack's embroidered collar tops and Gymboree's heart tees (she has a pink, green, and brown one) are adorable and wearable. We also rely a lot on Old Navy and The Gap's plain or striped separates like these and these. She does have a few band t-shirts and things of that like, but nothing with sassy sayings.


Most of Harlow's clothing comes from Zutano. I missed Zutano after Sophie outgrew it so we kept lots of hers and bought some more. Some of my favorite new Zutano:

Orange Candy Stripe

Harlow also has a few matching outfits with Sophie. She has a Soda Fountain 2-piece and a Heart Dress to coordinate in.

She recently got this Baby Bird dress from Hanna and we've been dressing her in it a lot, but she's really too little for "clothes".

That's really just a small sampling of Harlow and Sophie's wardrobe, but it is proof that you don't have to skankify your infant.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fathers, be good to your daughters.

In all of Sophie's memory, we (her dad A and I) have not lived together. She's four now, and her memory extends back about a year or so now, which, to a child nearly but not yet five, is a long time. But, try as she may, she cannot remember everyone living together under one roof.

She went away on vacation with A for an interminably long time, and she was not privy to the fact that when she returned back home to LA with him,  he would be coming to live in our house with us. We expect that it will take several months to realize that he isn't going back to the "atarpment" as she calls it, that we're really, officially a family.

The thing that I have noticed is how incredibly good A has gotten with her in the last several weeks. He's always been a good father, the best I could imagine (except for me, of course!) but he wasn't really a parent in the feeding-dressing-bed-bath type of way. In that way, he fell flat. After eight weeks without me, entirely without me, in a different state from me, he learned. Fast. Efficiently. I watched him shower  her today, wash her hair, smother her with lotion and spritz her with her favorite body spray, dress her easily, and send her off to play. It was a moment where my heart swelled with love. I am fiercely in love with both of them--in different ways, of course--and it makes my heart skip and swell and flutter to know that they are mine, mine, mine, all mine, forever mine, and that they are so close. I can have the baby (which is good, because A doesn't know how to pick a cloth diaper and Babylegs to match if his life depended on it and I was holding him at gunpoint), but Sophie is firmly A's girl, and it thrills me to see them so close. For so long I was afraid that they were never going to have a relationship, but I am so happy they do.