Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby's first audition

I didn't get a great picture of it, but Zack had an audition today.  He did well.  He enjoyed the waiting room and all the other babies, and he was very social.  Then a couple of dogs entered onto the scene, and it was the fastest I've seen the boy walk yet.  He was way, way into the dogs.  There seem to be a lot of casting studios where pets are allowed.  That was just fine by Zack.

I've actually booked a couple of commercials though this casting director, and I think that might be why they asked me to audition as Zack's mom.  So we had to wait around for a while before a dad showed up.  He was very cute and very, very gay.  We made a beautiful family.

Zack got a little spooked when we got into the studio.  I don't know if it was the camera or just that we were away from the more social scene in the waiting room.  Or maybe just shutting the door in a strange room.  I've noticed Zack doesn't really like elevators, either.  But anyway, I had to put him on my shoulders for his picture, so he would smile.  But then he did great.

The "story" of the commercial was that the dad was watching The Closer, and the baby starts crying.  The dad changes the channel to Sesame Street and the baby is happy.  I stayed off to the side so Zack wouldn't get too upset.  I gave him a post card he had gotten interested in, and he sat there and played with it pretty happily.  When the baby was supposed to by crying, the camera guy played an audiotape of a baby crying.  The sound upset Zack and he actually did start to protest a little.  He didn't really cry, but he whimpered a little and made it clear he didn't like that noise.   Then when the camera guy turned off the tape, Zack stopped crying and looked very interested and engaged.  The camera guy couldn't believe how perfect it was.  It really looked as if Zack had gotten upset that Sesame Street wasn't on, demanded a channel change, and then was at peace and just involved in the show.  It was too funny how great the timing was.

Then I was supposed to do my part of the audition, which meant I had to find a place to stow Zack outside the studio.  I've watched a few babies myself at auditions and have previously handed Zack over to new and old friends in waiting rooms.  So Zack went to look at the dogs again with his new baby friend (who happened to be another HUGE 27 pounder whose mom said she was suffering with lower back pain because of carrying him around--and trying acupuncture to cure it, and well, good luck with that lady, but thanks for watching the kid anyway).

My part of the audition was that gay hubbie and I are watching Slum Dog Millionaire when we hear the baby cry on the monitor and have to pause the movie to go take care of him.  As you can imagine, this was a real stretch for me.

When I had to pull Zack away from the dogs to go home, he got really, really upset.  He had been pretty game all through the audition, but he just did not understand why he couldn't play with the little dogs some more.  So what if they were in a lady's office?  And she was making ten thousand phone calls?  (She looked a little annoyed, actually.)

We are home now, and Zack is taking the weirdest, longest afternoon nap.  It's lasted from 2:45 until now.  It's 7:45.  I think tonight might be tough.  But when I tried to wake him to stay on schedule, he was just so conked out.  I didn't have the heart.

Plus I am getting so much writing done.  Freakin' household full of wacked out artists on crazy schedules.

For all our east coast, not in the business folks, just know that if Zack was in any way distressed at an audition, I wouldn't let him stay.   For little babies, I don't think the business is really messed up.  It's only when kids get older that they can get a little tweaked by competition, superficiality, and rejection.  Zack is just out for a good time wherever he goes.

And if he gets this job, it's $5000 in the bank for him, which isn't bad for a day of socializing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sorry, it's been so long!

This is Zack's eleven month old picture!  The big birthday bash is being planned.  We're very excited.

This pic is from the day we went down to Mom's to give her some support after she got some very bad news.  She lost her job.

Ironically (and yes, I think I'm using that word correctly), it has been my brother's job that we have all been the most worried about, as he will become part of Microsoft's first round of layoffs ever on June 1st.  The politics involved in his job loss were vicious and ugly and unfair, but Pete rallied and worked his ass off, and he just got his dream job in Florida, right in the nick of time!  He is so happy and I am so relieved for him and for my three nephews!

And then Mom's company up and decided to move operations to Ohio.  The two bits of news happened within one day of each other.  Unlike Pete, Mom is in no shape for a cross country move.  She was offered a job in the new Ohio location, but she took the severance package instead.  Several nervous breakdowns, a few pain med imbalances that made her sound truly high and crazy, and one hospital stay later, she is finally sounding optimistic about finding another job.  She has never been able to remember Dr. Sterling's name.  It has gone from "Silver" to "Spurling" to "The one we like" to occasionally, "Meh Bleh."  But the meds seem to be in order now, and she is sounding much more lucid.  (Phew.  Major phew!)

It's been a tough month.  Mom got a social worker from the Counsel on Aging in to talk to the family, and it looks like they are getting Meals on Wheels, which is a significant relief to me.  I had been trying to cook big meals and bring them down there.  I succeeded in doing this exactly twice.  Grandma seems to be softening to the idea of a nursing home.  I have my fingers crossed.  The social worker was a great first step.  Very smart to have a neutral, expert person in to evaluate the situation.

With the grim news aside, we have video and pics to share, and Zack is really being great lately.  He's been teething and having a hard time with that, but otherwise, he is walking like a champ and his sense of humor and games and just his personality in general are developing so much every day.  He's cracking us up.  He looks more and more like I did as a baby, but there's no doubt that his personality is straight up Jeff!  Example:  he will push away anything he does not like.  Books, food, whatever.  He just pushes it away from him.  And if you stop playing hide and seek, he pushes you to play some more and makes a lot of noise about it.  Okay, maybe any baby does this, but to me this refusal to deal with anything boring and uninteresting, and the insistence on non-stop fun:  Jeff, people.  It's Jeff.

Or maybe Jeff is just a big kid.  Uh...maybe definitely.

And our fears that we would have a complete jock boy might be materializing.  Zack is so incredibly coordinated and loves to play ball.  I think we have a future red-headed Laker on our hands.  I don't know from babies, but it really seems like he's very, very good with a ball.  We've actually seen him just about dribble the thing.  It's impressive, seriously impressive.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Hey, where are the pictures?

We've got stuff to post. Some firsts (a couple of steps!), some seconds (another case of croup!), big big news from my brother Tim and Kristina's house (twins!), but we're recovering from a case of the croup and letting ourselves lag. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Tooth Number 5

Zack has been a bit of a drama queen lately, and yesterday we noticed he has busted out another tooth on the bottom left of the two that are already in.  So I guess he was having a hard time with that little tooth.  He was a lot calmer today.

We visited the grandparents and Zack put on quite a show, bouncing his ball, eating like a champ, and saying both "Mommy" and "ball," as well as doing some very impressive babbling.  He has gotten pretty physically coordinated and it's great to watch him navigate his way around the furniture.

Jeff bought the last items to childproof our place, so now Zack can roam from his room and pretty much throughout the living room without doing too much damage to himself or anything else.  We keep the door to our room and the bathroom shut, and the dangerous Lego / kitchen area is gated off.

Jeff is thrilled because Zack mostly feeds himself with his left hand.  And really, a dead giveaway, if he does pick up something with his right hand, he'll switch to his left before he eats it.  Mom is also a lefty so everyone has got their hopes up about this left handed thing.

He has started feeding himself with a spoon.  We are really cheering him on, although it's such a complete mess!  But he insists he wants to do it.  He also likes to wear his bowl as a hat.

Jeff finally caught him on video laughing, something that has been as elusive as Bigfoot.  But I swear it's real.

The latest word he is working on is "baby," although he doesn't seem to know what it means. But he says it a lot.

He also plays peekaboo with us by hiding his face with a towel or peeking around the corner.

Developing little games with him has been fun.  He bites down hard on the spoon after each bite, and then he wants me to try and take it from him.  We end up playing tug of war, like you would with a dog.  Cracks Zack up for some reason.

He used to play a game with us called Baby Attack.  Here were the rules.  We would say, "Baby attack!" And Zack would descend and slobber on our faces.  I have no idea why that one stopped.  And really, I have no idea what Baby Attack actually meant to Zack.  He cannot have understood it--this was a few months ago.  But he sure did love it.