Thursday, July 31, 2008

Queen Amidala, anyone?

I walked past Natalie Portman yesterday and peeps, chicka is weensy. She barely hit my shoulder and I'm just edging in on 5'4". You really could carry her in the palm of your hand! (High-five, Project Runway!) She was surprisingly nondescript - most of the celebs I've run into fail miserably in that department. (Turns out, wearing sunglasses indoors doesn't make you invisible.) I honestly wouldn't have looked twice except that she was laughing at something on her iPod. Considering I'd just bombed two auditions, seeing her was a nice reminder that everybody sucks occasionally.

Favorite sightings:

Gabriel Byrne (Never gave him a second thought onscreen, but walking down the street in a fedora and a trench? Wowza.)

Sting (Worked an event where he was the featured performer. Watched him rehearse and perform 10 feet away. And he. is. stunning.)

Annabella Sciorra (Acted opposite her when she auditioned for a Terrance McNally play. Next to Sting, the sexiest person I've ever encountered. Who knew?)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Put! The cigarette! Down!

So according to the rags (or as I like to call them, "the news") Britney is spending $22 G's a month to get herself in shape. That's right - $22,000. A month.

First of all, I would never spend money on something as ridiculous as that. And second of all, who am I kidding? I totally would. If I'd paid off all my debt and set my family up for life and donated to every charity and traveled the world and ended global warming and still had twenty thou to throw away? Please. If it meant I could pull off a white bikini, hells to the y-e-s.

So give. What would you spend $22,000 on every month? No debt, no charity (we know you'd cure cancer first). This is pure fantasyland, peeps. If we can't be self-indulgent in real life, we can at least pretend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm not saying who...

I was sitting in the waiting room of a commercial audition the other day practicing hilarity (laughing on cue is hard, peeps) when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Standing over me with a look of unbridled glee was my friend Sam, who was there for a cereal spot. Before I could say hello he thrust a sheet of paper in my face.

"You have to read this."

I glanced down at the script. Father/daughter, breakfast table, cereal... Fairly standard stuff.

Until it went nutballs.

DAUGHTER (climbing onto father's lap): "Daddy, did you know that {wholesome breakfast cereal} can lower your cholesterol?"

FATHER: "Oh honey, that's not true."

DAUGHTER: "Yes it is!"

FATHER: "Sweetheart, everybody knows you're a liar."

DAUGHTER: "I am not a liar!"

FATHER: "Oh really? Did you clean your room?"


FATHER: "Really?"


FATHER: "{wholesome breakfast cereal} tastes great too but nobody is going to believe that either, coming from a liar."

And so on.

Although I am a very, very famous actress, I know surprisingly little about advertising. That said, this seems like an unusual approach. What kind of parent calls their 4-year-old a liar? To her face! While hawking {wholesome breakfast cereal}! Which is why I've decided it's genius.

This had to have been written by a parent. Only someone who has spent the day arguing with a 3-year-old over the merits of toothbrushing can understand the bitterness that went into this pitch. Kids lie! Hell, my 7-month-old lies and he doesn't even know what a lie is! ("You are too tired.") It'll never air, but the fact that this company, this tooth-grindingly All-American company, is even considering this restores my faith in advertising. Hell, it restores my faith in humanity.

It'll never air.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Really, kid. REALLY.

The boy would like the world to know that he can feed his ownself, thankyouverymuch.

It's going to be a long week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I luv her

MOXIE LIKES ME! SHE REALLY, REALLY LIKES ME! (What I wouldn't give for her readership... Get the woman a book deal already!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I don't care what your mother told you. Crossing your legs is ineffective.

I love finding a new place to park myself that isn't Starbucks. I'm sitting at Starwich, my new haunt (as much as anything can be a haunt, considering I never leave the house). This place got it right: comfy without being collegiate, interesting food, and cheap, correctly roasted coffee. Nice. (-2 for turning up the satellite radio.) Matt's spending the afternoon with the sprout which is just about the nicest gift he could give. Scratch that - taking over the 6 am feed this morning was tops. Baby B is going through a sleep regression as I'm sure I mentioned. We have a serious love-hate relationship, sleep and me - meaning I think it's awesome and it thinks I stink. Sleep is my Everest, my whale, my frenemy. I get seriously squirrelly when I can't have it. But there's little to be done, it is what it is, que sera sera, where's the freakin' wine opener...

In other news, I got my first baby kiss the other day which is the greatest reward ever. He'd spent the morning practicing puckering when suddenly he grabbed my face with his sticky baby hands and planted an honest-to-god kiss on my cheek. It's only happened once (we seem to be back to the open-mouthed slide which is nice, if a bit drooly) but damn it was cute.

I'm still trying to come up with my ideal career. Teaching is still in consideration, although I'm feeling a bit iffy these days. I'd probably have to know about things like math and science and geography and history. You know, fact based things. I could barely help the third grader I used to babysit with fractions; guiding America's young minds might not be the best place for me. The only other thing I'm considering is editing. I'm not sure how one gets into editing exactly or if there's money/stability/vacation pay involved but...

(Losing train of thought as she realizes Starwich's fatal flaw: no bathroom.)

I'll be right back...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guess who's counting Points these days?

I had a callback yesterday for a fruity, roll uppy snack product whose name I won't mention. Getting a callback was nice - I needed the validation. After two crummy auditions (and a year of none) making New York's scariest casting director laugh felt good. Unfortunately the callback wasn't so hot. We had to laugh on cue which sounds easy but is, in fact, not.

Very Nice Director: "Okay, I want you to burst out laughing on 3. One... two... Okay, now just a BURST - no build. You're serious, then you're laughing, 0kay? One... two... Okay, now make it really subtle, really natural, but quick! No build! One... two... Even smaller. Not the laugh but the build. And keep it nice and natural. One... two..."

I may never laugh again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The one where I feel like a shitty mother

I not sleepy now...

I knew it was too good to last.

Is there some fussy-farting-limits-testing-booshity thing that happens around the 7 month mark? Because the boy and I have been going ten rounds lately and he's kicking my parental ass. I don't know if it's the teething (it looks like his bottom eye teeth are coming in. I thought the top ones came before the sides?) or some sort of developmental thing (he's starting to sit unassisted for a few seconds and crawling is immanent, although I've been saying that for weeks) or if I'm just being punished for being smug, but Will is back to non-sleeping. It started a few days ago - a little extra rocking here, another round of Lullabye there. Small stuff that was easy to dismiss. Clearly a month of cushy snoozing (five minutes of rocking and he was out until 5 am; easy breezy naps) made us soft. Now he's taking forever to settle and once he is asleep it doesn't last. The minute his head hits the mattress he flips onto his back, grabs his blankie, and shoots us a self-satisfied grin.


That's what the grin says, I swear it. You can practically count the exclamation points in his eyes. Lather, rinse, repeat (two to four more times) and you've got yourself one pissed off mama.

I've left him to cry which sends him to Shitsville in a large, wailing basket. I've said Fuck It and gotten him up which leads to a grouchy, bleary eyed babe and a difficult day. According to the books (here we go...) he'll nap better if he sleeps longer at night and I should ignore him until 6 am. (Actually they say he should be sleeping until 6 am which makes me want to punch them in the snoot.) Seriously, there's no way: his diaper is practically deteriorating by 4:30 (the outside actually squishes, it's so full) and I defy anyone to get a baby back to sleep after an early morning wipe down.

I'm trying to convince myself that this is just a phase but there's an awful lot of You're Not The Boss Of Me happening lately, which is great developmentally but panty-twisting, mommy-wise. His new thing is refusing the bottle. Sure, the nipple is good for chewin' and have you ever just opened your mouth and let the liquid spill out all over yourself? Apparently it's awesome. Awesome enough to do over and over and over and over.

Excuse me while I take a moment.

Is this crap normal?

Monday, July 21, 2008

(insert pirate name here)

So it appears that the little guy is developing something of a lazy eye. While it's cute as all hell (mama's little drunkard!) and hasn't seemed to hurt Paris Hilton any, we've decided to go ahead nip the problem in the bud. If it's not treated early the brain will start ignoring the input from that eye which will cause the neurological pathways to deteriorate which will cause Will to go blind, which will cause me to spend years feeling guilty and frankly I haven't got time for that. Of course this means another trip to the swankiest optometrist in the world which excites me to no end. We saw this guy when Will scratched his corneas and I fell in head over heels for his bespoke suit and classy shoes and adorable, overqualified Gal Friday. (The one who followed him around in glasses and a pair of Laboutins, jotting down every word.) To be fair, he was also shockingly kind and thorough, plus he told me that I looked Susan Sarandon even though I was exhausted and wearing unlaundered maternity clothes, which is either a compliment to me or a shame for her, I'm not sure. Anyway, from what I've read, there are a couple of options: glasses, or a tiny baby eye patch.


Obviously I'm hoping that the doctor will say that it's self-correcting and that Will is perfectly fine and aren't-you-Susan-Sarandon? But if he doesn't, then by god I want my eye patch! And no namby-pamby flesh colored one, either. If we're doing this we're doing this right - which means full-scale pirate, baby. How cute would it be to have a teesy pirate rolling around, shouting for milk and eating the floor? I suspect we'll have to whip out the duct tape to keep Will from pulling it off but that's beside the point. Yo-ho-ho-my goodness, it's gonna be awesome!

Friday, July 18, 2008

10 points for the quote

We got trouble right here in River City...

I've decided that there needs to be a new description for what I do because "Stay At Home Mom" isn't cutting it. That expression has always rubbed me the wrong way. Something about it implies relaxation, like I'm calling in sick. ("Yeah, I think I'll just Stay At Home and Mother today!") Here I am, sticky and gross from the daily house clean (once your kid gets mobile, mopping seems less like a burden and more like an imperative), wearing maternity shorts and one of Matt's college tees ("you know the one. With the curry stain. Mrrrroooow!") and nursing a hardcore desire to kvetch, so bear with me, m'kay? I see mommies at the garden in their Toby Birch flats and flowy hippie dresses (ain't nothing peaceful about the price, I guarantee) and I wonder how they do it. It's not even about the fact that they look so good, although that's definitely a component - it's that they seem so TOGETHER. An acquaintance of mine somehow finds the time to market her hilarious 'zine, The East Village INKY, which she writes and illustrates, while simultaneously penning a monthly column in BUST Magazine, meeting the deadline on her FIFTH novel, arranging readings and book tours, acting in downtown theatrical productions, and raising two children under the age of 10 with her equally-talented husband (who co-wrote "Urinetown", one of my favorite musicals). JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while her kid napped. I have one child, 2 cats, and a tiny apartment and I am ashamed to admit the lengths I go to to avoid the laundry. (I've been known to throw a burp cloth over the wet spots in Will's crib.) He's great at playing independently (good thing since I'm not getting any younger and adoption isn't getting any cheaper) but even when he wants to be left alone, I can't seem to focus on anything longer a blog entry. Most of you work outside of the home yet still manage to keep the house clean and the kid alive. How do you find time for a creative life? Or do you? And for those of you who don't work outside the home, what do you say when you're asked what you do? What do you call yourself?

Oops - I hear the impatient coughs of someone who would like to get out of his crib now, please. Time to make the donuts!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A snapshot of my day

Dear Boy,

Please stop eating your floor. I know you want to. I know. I know. I know that you spend every waking moment scoping, planning, plotting - ready for the moment when I head to the bathroom so you can shove a tasty floor part in your mouth. I'm certain that the combination of foam, cat hair, and dirt is delectable - I haven't tried it myself, but I hear good things. But here's my concern - No, don't start rolling. LEAVE IT. LEAVE IT!

Where was I?

I realize that the packaging says that the floor is safe for all ages but you know that gagging sensation? The one that makes you choke and cough and gasp until your eyes water? That sensation means that the floor is not good eatin'. I understand how upsetting it is to be constantly dragged away from your favorite edge pieces but I - Leave it! Jesus Christ...

Where was I?

Please stop eating the floor. For me. Plea-! LEAVE IT!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What have you got to lose?

After 6 months of bitching about my post-baby bod, I'm issuing a moratorium on feeling schlumpy. Why yes, I do realize that I am issuing this statement while fondling a mug of coffee and a day-old chocolate croissant. NEVERTHELESS! Arrivederci, empire waists. Bye-bye "bye-bye" arms. Starting Saturday, I'm taking back my life! And going back to Weight Watchers! (Wow, no matter how you spin it it's just. so. depressing.) Of course this means I'm on a mission to eat every crappy thing imaginable before Saturday. I think I've got a few more croissants around here somewhere...

I also want to get back to the g-d book I've been working on for (counts fingers). I used to run a writer's group and I totally dug it. It was small, 4 of us total, but it was really good to get opinions that weren't clouded by marital bonds. Anyway, I was thinking of starting it up again. With you. I can't be the only person who's got a half-written manuscript languishing in the bottom of their drawer. I figure it'd be just as easy to run a group over the internet as it was in person; all we'd have to do is email comments. My group was focused on chick lit but I'm open to whatever you want to write. It doesn't even matter if we've never met. (In fact it might be easier to be honest if we haven't.)

Anybody game?

Monday, July 14, 2008

We really need to put away that box

Once he starts crawling, our cats is dooooomed.

Check out that baby mangling coffee table!

Our apartment now

What we're aiming for

Although Will isn't crawling yet, there's a glint in his eye that suggests that he'll soon be scooting around the apartment like a Roomba. Unfortunately Matt and I have given babyproofing about as much thought as... ohhh...

(hours go by)

Yep. That's how little we've given it.

So yesterday we decided to tackle the problem head on, which mostly consisted of us standing in the middle of the living room having conversations like this:

Matt (eyeballing the glass topped coffee table): "We should probably babyproof that."

Me: "Yeah, we probably should..."

Matt (pointing at the easily opened, glass front bookshelf): "And that too."

Me: "Uh-huh."

Matt (kicking at the tangle of computer wires): "And these."

I could go on.

Obviously we needed to narrow down the field a bit. A search for babyproofing turned up sites offering such essential items as a Choke Tube Tester (a toilet paper roll works just as well), Baby Knee Pads (These medical-grade neoprene knee guards give little crawlers unparalleled protection, while slip-proof "traction beads" guard against skidding!) and something called a Bumper Bonnet which has to be seen to be believed. We also discovered a wealth of professional babyproofers who'll be happy to come to our home and do the work for us, starting at only $200 an hour. (Pardon me while I search the couch cushions for change.) Since we're planning on doing an apartment overhaul in the next few weeks (moving our bed into the living room and turning the bedroom into Will's room-slash-Matt's office) we figure we'll just do it all at once. And by "we'll do it all at once" I mean "we have no idea what we're doing".


- What did you do with floor lamps?
- How did you handle glass panels? (i.e. bookshelves, coffee tables)
- Litter boxes. The hell?

I'm just assuming that cat food will get eaten and that at least once I'll find the child with his head in the garbage but if you have any advice to throw my way, I'll gladly take it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How is it that my spellcheck doesn't recognize "internet"?

I think one of the biggest lessons I'm learning as a mom is that nobody knows what the hell they're doing - which is either frustrating or comforting, depending on how much coffee I've had that day. Now that we've introduced solids, I have no idea when or how much Will is supposed to be eating. My pediatrician was maddeningly vague ("Follow your instincts!" Uh, I have no instincts. That's why I'm writing you) so a few days ago I decided to troll the internet for advice. What I should've done is picked up the remote and watched a few minutes of The Office and let Jim's cuteness distract me. Instead I Googled. And we all know what happens when you Google. says that babies should eat 1 Tbsp of food per sitting - along with 40 oz. of milk. filetofspam claims that 6 month olds should be eating 2-3 full jars of baby food at a time, while lil'tiger10 skipped the feeding question completely, insisting that "if you go like a doctors office they can give you a sheet 6month olders usually sleep like 11 hours during the night like 7 hours during the day", which is good to know because that was my next question. Right now Will is eating four times a day and napping three. I tried to read "Healthy Sleep Habits" to find out when he should transition from 3 naps to 2 but man, those sleep books make me tense. According to "HSH", Will is supposed to be sleeping 11-12 hours straight. My son sleeps 10. Period. And I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT TEN. What I am not grateful for is the admonishment that comes from so-called "experts" when your child doesn't adhere to their idea of what "normal" should be. And with that I'll go eat an apple because it's clear that I'm getting a little crotchety.

But before I do, I'm going to take a few seconds to morn the loss of the Things That Will Once Loved: 5 month edition.

- watching me rub my hands together. Joy unparalleled has been replaced with a wan grin. (Once you can rub your own hands together the magic is gone I guess.)

- "Goodnight Moon" (which is actually kind of fine. There's only so long one can spend in the great green room without losing their great green mind.)

- Cooing (those dulcet tones have been replaced by consonants. A-da. A-DA!)

- Staying put.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My favorite

No BFA for you, kid.

Matt: "So, when Will starts going to pre-school... uh..."

Ali: "Yeah?"

Matt: "What are you thinking of doing? With your days?"

Certain questions that strike fear into the heart of performing artists. "What are you working on?", "Have I seen you in anything?", "So how long are you planning on keeping up this charade?" (I'm not sure anyone's ever asked me that last one but I'm certain they're thinking it.) I think I muttered something vague about "auditioning" and "finishing up that novel I've been trying to write" before pretending I had to pee. Frankly I've been so caught up trying to keep my increasingly mobile child from killing his fool self, I haven't given a thought to what I'll do when Will doesn't need 24 hour surveillance. What Are You Doing With Your Life is an ugly, ugly question - one that I've successfully avoided for years now. Since college I've managed to make enough money to get by, cribbing together this and that - the life of a typical artist-for-hire. It was fine when I was in my 20's but now that I'm very not, the thought of scrambling for the next 20 years seems a touch pathetic. I'm not asking for RSVP's to my Pity Party (nobody forced me to get a theatre degree) but it's eye opening to realize that you're inching towards 40 and the sum total of your career can fit on a 5 minute acting reel.

Everybody comes to this at some point, right? Realizing that the path they're on isn't necessarily the best one but feeling unsure of how or when to change it? Ever since Matt mentioned it I've been wracking my brain trying to think of how I want to spend the rest of my days, but aside from "Full-time cast member of The Office" or "Really famous author" nothing's coming to mind. I considered maybe, possibly going into teaching. I've worked with kids and they seem to like me. I like structure and rules and can veer toward control issues which practically guarantees that I'd be the most unbearable teacher in town so, yeah, maybe that's out. Plus I'm crappy at math. What did you all do when you came to this? Did any of you come to this?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Welcome to the jungle. (Or the garden, whatever.)

The boy and I spent a lovely morning at the community garden. The place is beautiful, plus you have to have a key to get in which gives it an oomph of exclusivity that I totally dig. I'd love to have my own garden plot but the waiting list is almost as long as the one for our building's two-bedrooms. (When last I checked we were #51 on the list, which means Will will get his own room just in time for Kindergarten. I really wish I was kidding.)

Everything goes into his mouth these days. Eh-hev-erything.

I call this one "World's Longest Head". (Trick photography, I swear.)

I don't know which is funnier, the scowl or the Sears Portrait Studio arm cross.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Welcome to 2006

I've recently done something I'm none too proud of. Something that I swore I wouldn't do. Something that not only wastes my time but... okay, it pretty much just wastes my time.

I joined Facebook.

For someone who lives to Googlestalk (I'm not too proud to admit my failings) Facebook is the shit. Not only can you waste a lot of time tracking people down, you can waste a lot of time tracking people down. It's like going to a reunion - without actually having to go to the reunion!

Bye-bye book I've been meaning to write. So long, sink full of dishes. Facebook is my new god now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Is he touching her weird or is it me?

A lot of people sure are excited about this whole "Madonna divorce" thing. Frankly, I couldn't care less about anyone involved. I don't care that A-Rod is boinking Madge (allegedly) or even that his wife is examining Lenny Kravitz's wang (allegedly). I'm not even that bothered by the fact that they're (ALLEGEDLY) leaving their two kids, ages 3 and 2 months, with nannies in Miami while they're busy trying to out-fuck each other. (With parents like that, maybe it's best that the kids be raised by others.) What I can't get over is the fact that this is happening two months after their baby was born! Two months after Will was born I didn't even think about sex, much less have it. WITH A ROCK STAR. (I thought you weren't even allowed to go near the area for at least six weeks. I know it's Lenny Kravitz but still.) I get a little clenchy just thinking about it.

In a related note, I will not cry over the fact that J-Lo is already in a bikini after having twins.

The boy is 6 months old and he has come a long way, baby. Gone are the 15 hour crying jags and screaming fits! (I expect a return at around age 3.) Gone is the constant need to feed! Gone are the hormonal horrors and debilitating depressions that Tom Cruise claims don't exist! The kid and I have turned a corner, peeps. It may not be a sleep-through-the-night type corner, but it's still real good.

I will say that for the most part - and realizing that this will change - he is sleeping through the night-ish. He generally wakes up once either with a nightmare (what's up with the nightmares? Is it a developmental thing? I know there's a lot of harrumphing in parenting circles about whether or not infants are even capable of having nightmares but I vote yes) or with an itch to show off his newfound ability to turn on his musical aquarium. He still wakes up at 4:30 every morning so that's awful, but I've found that if I lay him on my chest and jiggle him while humming "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" it sometimes puts him back to sleep. And I will do anything if it sometimes puts him back to sleep.

Our boy is completely weaned. I'm still feeling crummy about it, mostly because of all the grossness I've been reading about formula. (The lawsuit I wrote about in my last post is legit, although very few babies have actually been sickened by the additive. The bigger culprit is BPA, that crap that leaks out of plastic. Apparently almost all metal cans are lined with the stuff. It doesn't affect adults so much - although if you want to be completely safe, Eden Organic is the only company that doesn't use it - but in babies it's a problem. Which is why it makes complete sense that manufacturers use it to line their formula cans. The ready-to-drink formula is the most dangerous. Of course for the first few months we used formula, Will had reflux so we had to use a special kind - which was only sold ready-to-drink. Apparently the concentration of BPA in the lining is really high - much higher than in the plastic baby bottles that everyone is so up in arms about. (Rumor has it, Schwarzenegger is trying to ban it in California.) The safest formula to use is the ready-to-drink in recyclable plastic, which is what Matt and I use now, followed by Similac or Enfamil powdered. Their cans are only metal on the top and bottom, unlike Earth's Best which is completely metal, all of which is more than you ever wanted to know about this topic.) Anyway, the most surprising thing about the weaning is the fact that Will seems to have no memory of what the boobs were for. Seeing as how they were such a fundamental part of his life it's sort of shocking. It must be nature's way of keeping things running. Nothing would get done if men were constantly snuffling at women's tops, hoping for boob. (There's a joke in here somewhere.)

He's also obsessed with funny things. Certain songs. (This week's top hit: Jump Around by House of Pain.) Wet washcloths. Sucking his bathwater out of wet washcloths. (Seriously, it's like wrestling a greased pig trying to get a washcloth away from this kid.) He desperately wants to crawl although he's doing a fine job propelling himself by rolling. When he's motivated - and he's always motivated - he can get from one side of his Skip Hop flooring to the other in less than 10 seconds. (I've timed it.) He also really, really wants to touch everything we'd prefer he not. (The sharp, potentially eye-gouging corners of the coffee table for instance. Wow, we really need to babyproof...) I used to be able to set the kid on the floor with some blocks so I could get the dishes done, but no more. I'm not sure what people do with their kids at this age... Stick 'em in a playpen? Do they still make playpens?

Solids are going well. He loves everything except spinach (which bums me out because I ate a lot of it while I was pregnant, hoping he'd develop a taste). Unfortunately every time he takes a mouthful he grimaces. I've taken to mixing it with something sweet like carrots or sweet potatoes so he'll gag it down. Ah yes, force feeding nutritious food! One of the many joys of motherhood!

A quick shout out to you, darling readers, for being so supportive through my... (don't say journey, don't say journey) through my stuff. It's hard to admit to feelings of inadequacy and ickiness, especially about parenting, especially when you - and by "you" I mean "I" - started out feeling nice and smug about how easy it was going to be. (At one point during a particularly frustrating pregnancy phase I actually said, "I think I'll get more sleep once the baby's here." Can you contain the laughter? Because I can't contain the laughter.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

My panties are officially in a twist

I know most of you don't supplement with formula but for those who do (OR THOSE WHO DRINK HORIZON MILK) you should read this.

Organic Infant Formula Ingredients Processed with Toxic Chemical

FDA Reports Indicate Infants Sickened From Algae/Fungal- Based Nutritional Supplements

CORNUCOPIA, WISCONSIN - April 15 - The Cornucopia Institute (
http://cornucopia. org/) filed a legal complaint with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today, demanding that the agency enforce the organic regulations prohibiting toxic solvents from being used in the production of organic food.

The Institute, a nonprofit food and farm policy research group, found that baby formula and other food manufacturers are using hexane-extracted omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (DHA/ARA) derived from algae and soil fungus.
Perhaps more startling, through a Freedom of Information request at the FDA, Cornucopia found algal- and fungal-based DHA/ARA have been linked to serious side effects such as virulent diarrhea and vomiting in infants consuming infant formula, many of whom required medical treatment and hospitalization.

"The federal organic regulations very clearly prohibit these oils in organic foods, so this is not a case of companies finding loopholes in the regulations. What we're seeing is the latest in a long string of USDA actions that blatantly cater to industry interests at the expense of consumer safety," said Mark Kastel, Codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, based in Cornucopia, Wisconsin. "USDA officials are simply allowing these companies to freely break the organic rules in their pursuit of profit," he adds.

Organic products with the prohibited fatty acid supplements include Horizon Organic milk with DHA (Dean Foods) and organic infant formulas, including Similac Organic (Abbott Laboratories) , Earth's Best (Hain Celestial), and Bright Beginnings Organic (PBM Products).

Right, like I don't feel shitty enough already about having to give my baby formula instead of breast milk, now there's this. Here I am, shelling out money that we can't afford to buy organic formula thinking that it's the next best choice (for the baby, for the cows, for the environment) and instead we end up with potentially poisoned baby food. And milk! Poisoned milk! Tons of people buy Horizon milk! (Granted I haven't purchased Horizon ever since I worked for an organic dairy in LA and heard disturbing things about their farms, but still.) To make matters worse, I just bought an entire case of Similac Organic ready-to-drink and a can of the Earth's Best powder. (We also use Earth's Best baby cereal with the DHA/ARA. I wonder if it's tainted too.) I'm going to write to Similac and Earth's Best and ask for a full refund. I'm also going to inform them that I'm bawling them out on my parenting website (website, blog, whatever) AND that I won't be purchasing anything from their product lines ever again. (I'd do more but I can't think of anything.) Don't mess with this monsterflippin' momma, you greedy corporate asswipes!


Will loves cats. From the looks of this pic I think it's safe to say that as soon as he starts crawling, our girls are doomed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Go baby, go!

I decided to dial up Ford Models today and find out their criteria for baby models. Figuring I'd get a recording - this was Ford Models, after all - I wasn't prepared when a decidedly disaffected voice answered on the other end.

"Ford Models."

"Hi! Wow!" (I tend to get panicky when surprised.) "I was calling to find out what you need... what you look for in babies."


"Model babies."

I could hear the woman sigh. She probably gets 500 calls a day like this, from parents who think their child is beautiful. It reminded me of the last time I called Ford. (Believe it or not, there was a last time.) New to the city and desperate to quit my job at Banana Republic (barred from the registers, I spent weeks relegated to the dressing rooms) I somehow got it into my head that I could become a hair model. So I called Ford. Why start small?

(1996) "Hi. I was calling to find out what you need... what you look for in hair models?"

"Are you at least 5'9?"

"You have to be 5'9" to be a hair model?"

"It's modeling."

Welcome to Ford.

Every mother is convinced that their child is beautiful. But there's beautiful and there's Beautiful beautiful. Transcendently beautiful. Ford Model beautiful. I have a friend with a baby like that - delicate, vaguely European. The child practically glows - and while my baby is cute as a whole button factory, he is not necessarily that.


If you think that's going to stop me from submitting his picture though, you don't know me at all. (My kingdom for a faster aperture!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille. (Or not.)

Yesterday I dropped by my commercial agency for the first time since giving birth. I brought Will along under the guise of introducing him to everybody, but mostly I was hoping his massive cuteness would compensate for my lingering belly. (What's the statute of limitations on claiming that you've "just" had a baby? Three months? Six?) Lucky for me, it worked. As soon as Will gave that wide, two-tooth grin the agents practically shoved me out of the way to get to him. No "Good to see you" or "Glad you're back" from this crew. Nope, the first thing out of their mouths:

"So, is he going out?"

Is he going out? Outside the apartment? On hot dates? It took me a minute to realize what they were asking. Is he going on auditions. Meaning, will I let him go on auditions. Meaning, Do I Know My Kid's A Star.


We used to think about getting Will into baby modeling. As a dear friend reminded me, college doesn't pay for itself. (Hell, pre-school doesn't pay for itself.) We figured we'd do what our friends do: Stop auditioning when he turns 2. That was the cut-off. I'm an actor. (Or was an actor. I'm not sure of the statue of limitations on that either.) It's a Really. Hard. Life. I don't want my kid to feel the ick of competition before he absolutely has to. I spent years chasing fame, and while I still spend an inordinate amount of time pretending to be interviewed by Vanity Fair, for the most part I'm content to let it go. But then there's the other part - the part that, 20 years from now, could end up sad and alone, chain smoking outside of Mr. Chow's. (I'm Will Cody's g-d mother! Don't you know who I am?!) Show business can suck, and I'm a grown up. I don't need Bonaduce to tell me that getting Will involved is a bad idea. So what did I tell the agents when they asked if Will was going out?

"Um, I'm not sure I guess so maybe."

We'll stop when he's 2.