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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Joel David Moore in New York City

(Disclaimer: Having a 5-month old is like, well, way more work than I thought, so this blog was started on Saturday, September 27th. Kindly suspend your disbelief and pretend that it is indeed still that day. Thank you.)

Last night was one of those perfect New York City nights. It's that beautiful time of year when the summer's heat and humidity have said goodbye for another year, but the cool fall nights have not yet said hello. And from a totally girlie point of view, it's the small window of time when your hair will actually stay curled for more than 20 minutes.

Last night was also the night when this Hollywood actor would get into a fight because of me.

Wait, what? More on that later...

We started the night on my girlfriend's rooftop and the views were breathtaking. The sun was fading behind the Hudson River, and the lights of the city and Central Park danced in perfect harmony. As I've said before, New York can definitely beat you up every now and again, but then something this happens and it totally redeems itself.

After a glass of wine on the rooftop, we headed to the West Village and had dinner and drinks at Zampa Wine Bar + Kitchen (which is amazing. Great food and service. Cool ambiance too. Try the lasagna.)

With a nice wine buzz that had kicked in, there was only one logical next step: Karaoke! Now, I know what you're thinking. Karaoke totally sucks, right? No! Not in NYC. At places like Karaoke on 7 in the Flatiron District, you actually get a private room to sing, so you can make a complete fool out of yourself, and no one will care.

As soon as we got there, I decided I needed to go to the bathroom, so I headed down the hall, only to discover the most dreaded NYC site: ONE stall for men and ONE stall for women. (In a city of 8 million people, you'd think the city's architects would be a little better at math.) Luckily the line wasn't terrible, just one woman ahead of me.

After she went in, a man came up and got in line next to me and told me if the men's room opened first, he would insist that I go before him. I assured him I was fine, but he was adamant that women should always go first. Okay, cool, the ol' bladder certainly doesn't work like it did before childbirth, so what the heck. Sure enough, the men's restroom door opened, so the man (let's call him Larry) grabbed my arm and gave me a little push toward the door. I guess he thought I really needed to pee.

At the same time Larry flung me toward the door, another man walked, and started going into what he thought was an empty stall.

Oh no. Larry wasn't having it.

He yelled, "No!! She's going to use that restroom! Ladies first, man!"

After Larry finished pushing me into the stall, I took a look at the digs he had worked so hard for me to get. Yuck. It appeared every man in New York must have been swinging a hula hoop at the same time they were peeing, because there was urine everywhere except for IN the toilet. Ugh.

But whatever. Larry had worked so hard to get me this glorious opportunity, so I was just going to squat and bear it.

As I squatted and realized my thighs are significantly weaker post childbirth, I kept thinking that the man Larry had just yelled at looked soooo familiar. I had to know him from somewhere...

Then, I heard the two fighting outside the door.

Larry: "You have to let ladies go first!"

Familiar looking man: "Dude, that's fine, but you don't have to yell!"

Larry: "You want to take this outside??!!!"

Me murmuring to myself, "How do I know that guy? And why is Larry so angry?"

After I finished and opened the door, I could see that Larry and familiar looking man were still yelling. I turned to the woman next to me and said, "How do I know that guy??"

"He's in Avatar and Dodgeball."

"Oh my god, that's it!" I had just watched Dodgeball the week before.

His name is Joel David Moore and he got into a fight just because I needed to use the restroom. Sheesh. After Larry finally left, I walked up to Joel David, not exactly sure what to say. Luckily he broke the silence with "I was totally fine with you using the restroom first, I just wish that guy hadn't yelled."

Me slurring: "Totally."

(In my mind, "Can we take a selfie?")

Sadly, it didn't seem like the right time to get a pic. So we walked down the hall together, and parted ways as he entered room #3 while I continued down the hall to room #7. I tried to tell my girlfriends about what had just happened, but I wasn't exactly sure how to explain it.

When I Googled him later, I realized it was just his birthday the day before, so I tweeted him a Happy Birthday.

When I told Mike about the tweet, he said, "Did you apologize for almost getting him beaten up?"

Me: "Nope, didn't mention that."

Oh New York...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bethenny Frankel's Return to the Real Housewives of NYC

To say that I like Bravo TV is like saying Justin Bieber is just kind of a douche. In other words-- it's a grossly inaccurate representation of the truth.

Bravo is THE channel I watch. In the rare moments I get to sit and watch TV these days, it's always on Bravo. In fact, when I'm feeding Jack, I'm almost always watching a Real Housewives of (insert any city here) or Million Dollar Listing NY, so his first words will likely be "Turtle Time!" "High Kick!" or "I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed...but I'm pretty!" (If you understood all of these references, I guarantee that I would like you.)

Last night, I got a lifetime of Bravo TV satisfaction by hanging out with Bethenny Frankel and Countess LuAnn De Lesseps from Real Housewives of New York City (Bethenny's coming back!! Yay!!!) and Fredrik Eklund from Million Dollar Listing NY. It was? The Best Night of My Life. (Okay, maybe not better than getting married or having a baby, but it least it didn't involve an epidural and worries that I was going to poop myself.)

Gilt City put together a cool and super swanky happy hour at Bagetelle restaurant in the Meatpacking District for the release of Bethenny Frankel's new book, Skinnygirl Cocktails. A ticket got each of us unlimited Skinnygirl cocktails (like a Pink Cotton Candy Cosmo), the chance to meet Bethenny and see her make said cocktails and an autographed copy of the book. (LuAnn and Fredrik being there was an extra bonus.)

When I arrived, Bethenny looked right at me and I felt like there was this moment where she was thinking, "How the heck do I know that girl?" I'm not huge on annoying people with pictures or selfies, but what the heck, Bethenny and I go way back. So I went up to her, tapped her on the arm, and said, "Bethenny, I was on your show a year ago," and showed her this pic...

She grabbed my phone and zoomed in on it and said, "Oh, that's so funny. What were you there for?"

"I was confessing that I had a dirty dream about Leonardo DiCaprio."

She laughed and said, "That's so cool you have a picture of that. Thanks for showing me." I then asked if we could take a selfie, you know, since we're practically besties. She agreed and said we should do brunch sometime. (Ok, maybe not the second part.)

With my Pink Cotton Candy Cosmo kicking in, I had the courage to keep going. I walked over to Fredrik and LuAnn and asked if I could take pictures with them too. The bad news? My camera started acting funky. The good news? I got some very artistic-looking pics.

I thanked Fredrik for the pic and said "High Kick!" He laughed.

I told LuAnn she has such a sexy voice (which is even sexier in person) and she said, "Oh, that's so sweet. Thank you!" She also has the most perfect, flawless skin.

Okay, I know what you're thinking at this point. "Jeannie, are you stalking these people?" (Yes) "Why don't you give them some space (not going to happen) and stop taking pictures? (Because it's 2014 and instead of enjoying the moment, we all have to take pics and post them to social media, stat, right?)

Plus, it's not like I'm REALLY a stalker who would try to sneak in their chimney's just because I love them so much.

Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, yes, I'm talking to you. How did these seem like a good idea?

Anyway, back to the night. It ended with a really cool Q & A with Bethenny who talked about her return to the Real Housewives of NYC. Yay! Here's a video I took where she first describes the differences between having a talk show and doing reality TV and how she feels about coming back.

All in all, it was a fantastic night. Thanks Gilt City, Bethenny, LuAnn and Fredrik! Call me maybe?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maternity Leave

I cannot believe it. It is the LAST day of my maternity leave, and honestly, I have no idea where the past 9 weeks have gone. It's been a slobbering, poopy blur.

When I found out Jack's due date was May 23rd, I was stoked. It was close to Memorial Day which meant I was going to have almost the entire summer off to enjoy brunches and rooftop cocktailing with my girlfriends. Plus I could squeeze in daily runs to burn off my cupcake and ice cream baby weight and trade in my elastic-waisted pants for some cute summer shorts. I also planned to work on my book I've been writing for several years (about my time as a news reporter), write and pitch several magazines on mommyhood and pregnancy, have the apartment cleaned and organized at all times and dinner on the table for my husband when he came home. I was going to take Jack to Central Park often and just enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.

Ha! Any of you who have had a baby are probably laughing right now.

Here's what I really got done:

* I fed the baby
* I changed the baby
* I started all over again
A basic blowout. This requires creative changing and a clean onesie.

Oh, and here are a few other "accomplishments:"

* I poured coffee into the baby bottle and breast milk into the coffee mug
* I called our dog "Jack" and our baby "Buckeye" more times than I'd care to admit
* I had a emotional and mental breakdown after we accidentally clipped off the tip of our son's finger while trying to cut his nails (That was the first and LAST time we have cut his fingernails. He will just have to get used to looking like Howard Hughes.)
* I clearly mastered the art of swaddling

* I captured beautiful moments of my son on videotape:


(Seriously is this kid works as hard at life as he does on a poop, he'll be the next Bill Gates.)

* I learned how to create a GIF from said videos...

SaLF1h on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

* I showed our son the art of a selfie...

* How to fist pump...

* The ever important air guitar...

* And to be a true New Yorker...

SaLF1h on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Friday, June 27, 2014

Giving birth in NYC

Well, that was sure exciting (and painful.) On May 24, I gave birth to a 9 lb, 5 oz hearty baby boy. Yep, apparently if a pregnant woman eats a cupcake (or 4), ice cream and Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding EVERY day of her pregnancy, her baby will be a little more on the husky side. Funny enough, the doctor estimated that his birth weight would be around 7.5 to 8 pounds, so as I tell people, thank goodness I didn't know I was in for something much heartier. (It also explains why I was SO uncomfortable a the end of my pregnancy and why I had cankles the size of a small country. Read that blog here.)

As I neared my May 23rd due date, things weren't looking good for an on-time delivery. That week, I was still only 1 cm dialted and hadn't made any progress from the week before. So that Friday night, I did the only logical thing you can do at 40 weeks preggo. I sent my husband to Penn Station to pick up Taco Bell in the hopes that spicy food would give the little guy a push. I mean, if it can cause explosive diaherrea, it's got to help push out a baby, right?

It worked.

That night around 2 a.m., I woke up to the feeling of my water breaking. And by breaking, I mean gushing. And it didn't stop for hours. In fact, it continued in the cab ride to the hospital at around 5 a.m., so I apologize to the next person getting in that cab who probably slid right across the seat and didn't know why it was wet. (This is also why you should always use Purell after a NYC cab ride.) Luckily our cabbie was super sweet too, and let me have another painful contraction in the back seat after we arrived at the hospital and told me to take my time (and the meter wasn't even running!) And as we walked inside he yelled, "God Bless You!" Isn't that sweet? He didn't even make us clean up my bodily fluids.

When we got inside, I realized Memorial Day weekend was a very popular weekend for babies in NYC. And specifically twins. The place was a downright zoo, and every nurse was fighting to help with my delivery since I just had one baby (which is much easier apparently). After several painful hours of contractions, and a few delays because of emergency C-sections they needed to attend to, I finally got an epidural and my life was much more enjoyable. As I laid there waiting for my 9+ pounder to arrive, I thought of what labor is like with and without and epidural and realized anyone who opts for a natural delivery surely must be a masochist. Here's how I would explain it:

Life WITHOUT an epidural is like a rainy Monday and you've forgotten your umbrella. You're running late so you miss the bus and must stand there getting soaked as you wait for the next one. As you wait, a little old lady "accidentally" runs over your foot with her wheelchair and doesn't apologize. When you finally get on the bus, it smells like someone pooped their pants and the man next to you is eating an onion sandwich. You get to work and realize your nemesis has lied to your boss about you and you're on the verge of getting fired. You later get a text message from your husband saying he'd like to take a break. Oh, and he's keeping your dog. You later stub the same toe the little old lady ran over with her wheelchair.

WITHOUT epidural
Life WITH an epidural is that trip to the Bahamas you've been saving up for and are finally enjoying. It's sitting on the beach under an umbrella enjoying a Pina Colada. It's the feeling of having a little bit of a rum buzz and hearing the waves crash against the boat you're going to take out later to do some dolphin watching. It's the smell of the saltwater mixed with Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen. It's looking over at your husband who smiles and says he's never loved you more. It's the realization that you still have 9 more days of this luxury, although you might opt to buy the island, because you just won the PowerBall.

WITH epdidural

Get it?

Welcome Jack Michael to the world! Who knew something that causes so much pain would also bring so much joy?? :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cankles during pregnancy

When you're walking around the streets of New York, you pretty much see it all. A man peeing on the sidewalk, homeless people yelling at each other over who has the right to that corner, dirty garbage piles, used condoms, you name it.

But it was this sight on the Upper West Side yesterday afternoon that made a woman stop dead in her tracks...

Oh my god, what is it??

That my friends, is the cankle and swollen foot of a woman who is 39.5 weeks pregnant. That woman is me. And the woman who stopped dead in her tracks? I don't know her name, but I do know this: she literally stopped walking mid-stride to exclaim to me, "Girl, you need to prop those feet up today!"

What that means is my canks are now bad enough to make a busy New Yorker stop what she is doing long enough to give me pregnancy advice. Yowsers. Oh, and she recommended that I drink more water too.

Here's the thing: I've been drinking a ton of water. And I've been working from home with my feet propped up. And I've been putting ice on them. But? Nothing helps. Of the 30+ pounds I've gained, apparently 10 of it has been in my feet. At my weekly doctor's appointment, I make sure to always show my doc just how big they've gotten, but she never seems concerned.

So, I just stuff the one pair of flip flops that still fit on my Andre the Giant feet and continue on my way. 

Oh, and I also try to look at the positives. Like #1, my canks have provided hours of entertainment for my husband (and dog) who find it amusing that when you push on the canks, a noticeable indent appears. Kind of like hail damage.

#2 Cank Positive: I've got great material now to "sext" my husband.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting ready for labor

There is a strange time in a woman's life when her due date is just a week away and she is excited scared as hell. For me, that time is now.

My due date is one week from this Friday and it's really the craziest time. As a first time mom (to a two-legged baby anyway) every kick, contraction and cramp is a new experience and I'm not exactly sure what to expect. My emotions go from thinking I'm going to kick butt during labor to what the heck was I thinking and is it too late to get my money back? 

Every night I've been reading books trying to prepare for both labor and just general baby stuff like what color his poop needs to be. Who knew an 8-pound creature could be so high maintenance? Apparently I need to feed him every few hours which then leads to burping and diaper changes, so essentially I'll be working around the clock to make sure he's happy. (I'm really starting to question if I'm still going to be able to sleep in and have time to watch Real Housewives of NYC.)

Along with the high maintenance stuff, apparently the kid is going to be kind of, well, weird looking at first. In one of my books, they describe the way a newborn looks and it doesn't sound good. Here are some examples:
  • Oddly shaped head- It sounds like the trip down the birth canal is as traumatic to a baby's head as it is to his mother's lady parts, so he may come out looking like this...

  • Vernix caseosa coating- In layman's terms: he'll likely be coated with a cheesy substance and I'm guessing it's not the kind you want to dip a cracker in.
  • Swelling of the gentials- Not only will he likely have large man parts, he may have swollen breasts that could leak a white or pink substance. (I'm totally telling his prom date about this.)
  • Lanugo- His whole body could be covered in hair. But this might not be a bad thing--perhaps this way, his brother and sister will accept him as one of their own. 

  • Puffy eyes- Apparently swimming around in amniotic fluid for 9 months has the same effect for him as a night of drinking and eating salty foods has on me. Oh, and the problem is made worse by the ointment they slather on to protect his eyes from infection. But this is actually a helpful beauty tip-- never put Vaseline on your under eye bags. Got it.
  • Birthmarks and skin lesions- I guess this means he may come out looking like a little tiny meth user.
Can you believe with this kind of description there are still 7 billion people on the planet? Can you imagine trying to sell anything else this way? Like the 2004 Chevy you're interested in buying is going to have a lot of dings and scrapes, it will smell like a 10-day old burrito and you'll have to service it 24-hours a day. Sound good?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pregnant woman kicked out of gym follow-up

After I recently blogged about the pregnant South Carolina woman who was kicked out of her gym for having an exposed belly, I heard from her! Melissa Mantor e-mailed me, thanking me for making her laugh and said my blog was the best thing to come out of this ordeal. Isn't that cute? I replied and told her that my belly and I were in full support of her.

Let me just say this Melissa: I know the public has been brutal in regards to your story. During my 10 years working as a news reporter, I know first hand how brave people are behind their computers. My favorite story I like to tell is when a viewer e-mailed me and said she could tell I was a slut by the way I looked on air. Ha! (I guess the business suits I wore daily gave that impression?) The good news is that the American public gets bored easily, so they'll be moving onto the next person to criticize in no time.

I also had to laugh when I got this e-mail today and I thought of you. It's from the New York City gym I used to belong to, Equinox, asking me to re-join. Here's the image that came with the e-mail...

Hehe, see Melissa? I told you nothing shocks New Yorkers! Feel free to print this out and take it to your gym. It's good for one free pass to wear whatever the heck you'd like. :-)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pregnant woman kicked out of gym

Wow. Have you been following the story of the pregnant woman kicked out of a South Carolina Planet Fitness gym because her belly was showing and she refused to cover up? Apparently the gym has a no-midriff policy that she was "violating" with her 19-week preggo belly.

Look at how cute she is! (And anyone who thinks this belly is shocking clearly hasn't been to a water park in July.)

When I started reading the story on various news outlets, I was expecting to find comments from people who would be supportive of this mama named Melissa Mantor with posts like, "You go girl!" and "Let it all hang out!" But instead, people are really being mean...

Really? They think HER belly was hanging out? Clearly they hadn't seen my Instagram photo from a few days before...

See, here's the thing. I'm not trying to be an exhibitionist or offend anyone. I just have a HUGE gut! It happens! I have exactly ONE maternity workout top, but on this particular day it was dirty, so I wore a pre-pregnancy one. At 37 weeks pregnant, I don't want to invest in a ton of maternity clothes because a) They are expensive and b) I could pop at anytime, so why bother? So yes, I wore this outfit to the gym and no I didn't get kicked out or have America bashing me.

Here are the major problems I have with this story:

1) Have you ever in your life heard of a dress policy at the gym? I have worked out in a lot of gyms in my day, and it's not at all uncommon to see various states of dress. And I'm not just talking about in New York or Chicago either. I used to belong to the YMCA in Fishers, Indiana which you'd expect to be the most conservative gym in America, but I often saw women in sports bras. WHO CARES? You're sweating. It's hot. You're working out. No one expects you to be in a business suit.

2) Have you ever been to Hot Yoga? People are basically naked in hot yoga. Why? Because it's FRICKING HOT! Even the men practically wear speedos. I'm pretty sure I once saw a man's "man parts" in a hot yoga class and didn't think a thing of it.

3) Have you ever been to Wal-Mart? Yes South Carolina, I'm talking to you. There's a reason there are entire websites dedicated to what people wear to Wal-Mart because it's, well, bad. Here's a friendly reminder...

And I'm fairly certain this woman (man?) isn't wearing this outfit because he/she's expecting a little miracle and nothing fits anymore.

4) Have you ever been to a major city?? Perhaps I'm a jaded New Yorker, but nothing really shocks me anymore. A few weeks ago I saw a homeless man "enjoying" himself on the subway platform, so I simply turned my back so I didn't have to see the outcome. I didn't inform him that he was violating the subway's rules and "enjoying" oneself is best left to do in the privacy of one's cardboard home.

5) Have you ever paid attention during summer? I wonder how many of the people who commented on Melissa's story look like this in the summer...

And yet if I asked any of these women to cover up, I'd probably get punched in the face.

So Melissa, the moral of this blog post is that I feel your pain. Anyone who says just "cover up" clearly has never been pregnant and realized the daily battle of trying to find something that fits. (Let's be honest--you know it's bad when you can barely shove a flip flop onto your swollen and nasty-looking foot.)

And to America-- if Melissa's (or my) belly really offends you that much, I would suggest you NOT tell us about it because we're A) Emotional and B) Hormonal and C) Likely to kick your butt. Just look at what I did to this guy...