Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscars 2012

As usual, this post is going to be incredibly long because there are so many pictures of so many dresses. Including all of these crazy ones from the post-parties. I'll try to be brief.

Before we get to the fashion, a few notes about the show. I was excited that Billy Crystal was returning but all of his jokes seemed a little dated and flat. But he did a serviceable job. Truthfully, I think nowadays the critics and online bloggers would crucify any host because it's a thankless job. But it was fairly boring and predictable. I knew Octavia Spencer would win but I was mad they gave her like 10 seconds to make a speech when she could have been really moving but instead I just saw her get flustered because a giant sign was flashing "5 seconds". I was hoping Brad Pitt would win but I knew the Frenchman would win and he was charming as hell. Especially on the ABC pre-show when he said he loved America because of the cinnamon rolls. I have a feeling he's hit up the Cinnabon at LAX. When they called Meryl Streep's name I was immediately so sad for Viola Davis. I think she really wanted it and she deserved it. But then Meryl got up there and was charming as hell, as usual. How lovely is she? Okay, on to the dresses.

Good color, bad cut - Viola Davis
Like I said, I love this woman. She is smart and I LOVE that she ditched the weave and wig to go all natural. Totally ballsy. And I think the color is awesome. But I just really don't like the dress. The bust is not good and the bottom of the skirt is awkward. Too bad.

Shiny, wet, metallic is a thing now, huh? - Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Melissa Leo, and Judy Greer

I guess you have to have quite a body to wear tight shiny metallics and some of these work. I think Judy Greer's is the best. Kemper's copper color is kind of cool but her bangs are so long that they're distracting. And Melissa

It's 1988 and "Dynasty" is #1 - Jennifer Lopez
I don't understand this. I don't understand her. She is one of the most beautiful women in the world and could wear anything. And she chooses this ugly 80s gown. Or at least that's what I thought of it. My husband thought it "wasn't bad" and that's when I knew I was watching the red carpet with the wrong person.
I actually like her after-party dress slightly better, though it's the same designer.

Best I've ever seen her look - Tina Fey
Apparently this was custom Carolina Herrera. Tina should wear her every time.

Too pale, Dislike. - Melissa McCarthy and Berenice Bejo

Respect your elders - Glenn Close, Jane Seymour, and Meryl Streep

These ladies are 65, 61, and 62, respectively. They look pretty awesome. I actually really dug Glenn's outfit when I first saw it on TV. Good job ladies.

The Sisters Grimm - Rooney and Kate Mara

I find Rooney Mara pretty insufferable. What a wet blanket in every interview. And her dresses throughout the past year have been such a snooze. Always white or black and always ugly. And I don't know why she insists on keeping that severe haircut. So yes, I did not like her dress. I actually kind of like her sister Kate's dress but I suppose it doesn't really matter when barely anyone knows your name.

Finally! - Jessica Chastain
Well, Jessica FINALLY wore something that didn't suck. Though, truthfully, I really didn't love this dress when I first saw it. I just thought that the pattern made her hips look huge. But her hair and makeup looked beautiful. And I can't even describe how adorable she was in interviews on the red carpet. She brought her grandma and seemed so delighted when Seacrest talked to her Nana. And seemed legitimately flustered when Billy Bush told her she was the most beautiful woman on the red carpet. So cute.

Keeping it real - Shailene Woodley
I have to say...I may not love this dress but it really does seem like her. Good for her for not letting a stylist take her over and dress her in some monstrosity that Lea Michele would wear. This may not be awesome but I give her props for wearing something she was comfortable in.

Please stop with the neutrals - Kristen Wiig and Cameron Diaz

I don't hate Kristen's dress but it would have been so much better in COLOR. And Cameron...I just don't like this color on her. Or the dress. Or the hair. Or the makeup. So I guess that's a no.

Surprisingly good - Stacy Keibler
Girlfriend Barbie has trotted out a lot of bad looks over the past few months but I thought she looked pretty good here. Pretty color on her and even though I don't usually like giant hip flowers, she made it work. Probably because she's a tall skinny blonde.

I like her but don't like the outfit - Sandra Bullock
Marchesa is such a crappy designer. This is just not good. Though I will say it looks comfortable and like she doesn't have to wear a few pairs of Spanx with it. But what is poor Sandy doing to her face? So sad.

I don't like her but like the outfit - Natalie Portman
I do not like Natalie Portman and I think it's embarrassing she has an Oscar. That being said, her vintage red gown is very nice and pretty.

Yay! Flattering AND Pretty! - Octavia Spencer
Man, she looks like a million bucks. Good for her.

Twee-fatigue - Michelle Williams
Okay, looking at these pictures again, I guess Michelle Williams looks pretty good. I could do without the tutu skirt (I guess it's called a peplum?) But I just am a little over the delicate shrinking violet shy girl thing. I mean, she's even changed her voice tone since good ol' "Dawson's Creek". And I think it's cute she takes Busy Phillips as her date everywhere...but at some point doesn't her mom say "what the hell do I have to do to get an invite?"

Preeetttyyy... :) - Missi Pyle, Penelope Cruz, and Danica McKellar?!

I think these are all pretty. And I came across this random picture of Danica McKellar (of Wonder Years fame) and was shocked. I love that dress! Her hair is kind of a hot mess but she looks good.

Goop wears a cape - Gwyneth Paltrow
Because of course she wears a cape. And sort of pulls it off. Damn her.

Ugly, Uglier, and Heinous - Zoe Saldana, January Jones, and Gwen Stefani

Wow. I mean, just terrible.

A print I like - Kate Beckinsale
I know I may be crazy...but I kind of like it.

A print I hate - Lily Collins

Va-va-voom - Sofia Vergara

Is it wrong that I like this? - Kelly Osbourne

The dress I'd choose to wear - Salma Hayek
I love this dress. For real. I would love to wear it. It looks comfortable but beautiful. Not surprising that Salma looks good. I mean, how could she not?

I know, I know...but she's so likeable! - Emma Stone
Okay, so it seems that everyone hated Emma's red dress. But I didn't. I know it has a giant red bow. But I'm partial to red dresses and she seemed in on the fact that yes, indeed, she did have a giant bow on her neck. She said so in the ABC pre-show and she said it with a giant wink and a smile. But, hands down, the best part of the show was her presenting the VFX award with Ben Stiller. She was funny, she was charming, she was likeable. I've met her and she is all those things in person. So yes, I liked it. And her after-party dress was kind of crazy but but it was edgy and I liked that one too.

And, finally,

I'M CONFUSED - Angelina Jolie

Okay, so let's talk about Angelina. Here's the good... for once she smiled a lot on the red carpet and looked happy. And I forget what an awesome smile she has because she rarely flashes it. Her hair was lighter and full and lovely. Her make-up was well done. Her dress, while her normal boring black, was velvet, had a nice little waist, and was voluminous.

But then there was her leg. And while I'm doing this post 24 hours later so this has already been discussed to death, I don't understand. Angelina always seems to be in control, be smart, be above it all. She knows everyone calls her sexy but she makes a point to wear somewhat boring outfits and keep busy traveling the world saving children and stuff. I saw her on the red carpet and I was perplexed by the leg. It's so awkwardly out there. Like that must have felt so ridiculous. But, I guess some people feel the need to show off the slit of the dress so fine. Whatever. But then she marches on stage to present and strikes the same wide-legged pose. On TV. In front of 200 million people. The most awkward stance of all time. Which just doesn't make sense. She doesn't need to pose. Or try to be sexy. She is. So at first I actually thought she was in on the joke. Right? I mean, she's smart, she's been to enough of these things, what was she doing? Then I began to second guess myself. And then one of the winners for Best Adapted Screenplay (go Dean Pelton!) got up there, took the statue from her, and struck the same pose as her on stage. Three feet from her. Making fun of Saint Angelina to her face. And it was funny. And then suddenly I felt a little bad for her. Was she being serious and trying to look good and now she was the butt of a joke? Dammit! How did she get me to feel bad for her? Her?! One of the most beautiful, successful women in the world?! So, here I sit, 24 hours later, and I'm still confused. I don't get it. Why did she suddenly decide to try (too hard) at this one particular event?

Insert Oscar Post Here

I really am going to do an Oscar post but Jack and I are both really sick so it's slowing me down a bit. But I'll have it up tonight! :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Year One

Our little boy is one year old. I've been putting off this post because, while I'm fine at blabbing about Jack in little daily posts, I feel like this entry requires a little bit of thought. And I'm not very good at thoughtful, quality writing. I certainly don't have the writing skills to sum up something as complex as our first year of parenthood. So I apologize in advance.

A year ago (approximately), John and I were driving to the hospital to "check in" for my induction. It was not how I envisioned the birth going but, looking back, who really cares? As my friend told me when I was 9 months pregnant, "I spent so much time thinking about and planning the birth and I should have been worrying about the following 6 months." Ain't that the truth. I know Jack's birth was painful but, at this point, I can barely remember it. And I've seemingly blocked out the first 8 weeks or so. Not completely of course. I remember our little alien being with his jerky hands and alert eyes. But the details of the "dark days" are hazy. I remember some sort of adult diaper thing the first 24 hours. I remember pain. I remember barely being able to walk around the block the first week. I remember being tired and not sleeping. I remember crying because breastfeeding wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. But it really is all a blur.

Of course what I'll remember most about Jack's first year is sleep. Or lack thereof. And it's really such a boring topic that I hate to even go into it. People tell you that you won't sleep. They'll joke to get as much sleep as you can before the baby comes. I shrugged it off and thought that I was prepared for all of those sleepless nights. I read the popular sleep books and I had it down. You coddle them for the "4th trimester" (the first 3 months) and then you merely put them down drowsy but awake and they learn to fall asleep by themselves. And then sleep 12 continuous hours a night. Man, how wrong I was. So so so wrong. I learned quickly that every baby is different. And John and I truly experienced the torture of sleep deprivation. While a lot of things are blurry, I can clearly remember how miserable we were when we were only sleeping about 2 or 3 hours a night. For an hour at a time. So many hours bouncing on a ball, rocking him in our arms, pacing the house, and, my favorite, sitting straight up in bed with him because that's the only way he'd sleep. It was the worst I'd ever felt and the closest I've ever been to insanity I think. I'm so happy it's over.

Just as I thought I knew everything about sleep, I was wrong about so many other things. I had read so much and taken classes on breastfeeding and yet it didn't go as planned. I heard that post-partum was hard and that there would be a rollercoaster of emotions. As a normally pretty stable person, I really wasn't prepared for the highs and lows. I told myself we would never let our baby cry it out and then, 5 miserable sleepless months later, we did. Pre-baby, I couldn't believe that moms let their children out of the house with food all over their face, dried prunes on their onesies, and sand in their hair. I've done all those things. I figured I wouldn't be that mom who was at the grocery store with spit-up stains down her sweater but hell if that's not me three days out of the week. I didn't think I'd let my well-behaved future baby ever meltdown in a restaurant and throw food all over the ground. Oops. I've done that too. I never ever thought that I'd have to stop watching certain TV shows and movies. I mean, for crying out loud, that's my business. I love tv and films. But, damn, both John and I have had to turn off shows that feature sick children or kidnapping or just plain sad kid stories. I am happy to say that the one thing I've been successful at is showering every day. I am fanatical about that and I've been able to keep it up. My husband is happy about that I'm sure.

And about my husband. I didn't fully comprehend how cool it would be to see him become a father but it's been pretty neat. He's a natural (as you've witnessed if you know him) and I've loved watching him with Jack. I'm lucky that he got to spend time with him right after he was born so they had a chance to bond. I think it's really paid off now because Jack has no problem staying with daddy while I go off for some much needed alone time (read: buying shirts at Target). A lot of people warn you that a baby creates a wedge in a marriage and I've certainly seen that with a lot of couples. But I can safely say that we're lucky that that hasn't happened. We love our little family of three. Life is certainly different with a kid but, at the same time, Jack has pretty effortlessly folded into our lives and house and our friends and family.

But, that being said, we couldn't have predicted how much parenthood would change us. They tell you it will but you can't understand. Which is why now I don't bother telling pregnant friends anything about it. They won't listen and can't comprehend it. But I'll talk to them in a few months when they get to the other side. Because it really is like crossing over. Parenthood is the best thing in the world but also the worst. I've never felt worry to this degree. Just the deepest darkest pit of worry. About everything. The smallest everyday things and the bigger picture things that are at least 15 years away (hopefully). But the joy is pretty intense. My very wise aunt told me that it (childbirth and parenting) is the last true miracle left in life. And with iPhones and DVRs and Facebook making everything easy and accessible, it is truly miraculous to see our baby turn into a little boy.

So happy birthday to our adorable little Jackie Nunzio. He is handsome, inquisitive, and such an alert observer. A boy of few words, he is equally happy reading his books as he is throwing dirt and pebbles from one end of the yard to the other. And his smile and laugh can melt our hearts. Can't wait for year two.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five for Friday: Oscar Excitement

My top 5 predictions for the Oscars this weekend:

5. Billy Crystal will be likeable and effortless host, and the media will say he is too old and boring.

4. Jessica Chastain from "The Help" will look bad in spite of the fact that she's young, thin, and pretty.

3. George Clooney will lose. I hope.

2. The red carpet will be more entertaining than the actual show. Probably because Seacrest will be ridiculous and Giuliana will be far too tan.

1. Angelina will wear black. or a beige-y neutral. or MAYBE green but that's a long shot.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jack's 1st Birthday Party

Where to begin. Well, as a lover of all things sweet, I suppose I must begin with the cake. Isn't it gorgeous? Well, actually, I should probably start a little earlier.

As Jack's first birthday approached I knew I didn't want to do a big blowout with matching everything and a bouncy castle and a kids band and pony rides and all that. Sure, sounds ridiculous but here in LA, it certainly happens. I heard one friend tell of a birthday party with a live band, bartender, caterer, and a petting zoo. Anyways, low key was our style. And in our budget. Especially when Jack had no idea what was going on. I decided I wanted to have it at a park because the little guy does so much better outside. SO much better. His love of the outdoors is ridiculous. So we chose a cute little park with toddler size play equipment and invited our family and friends with little ones.

We just did some sandwiches and salads for all the guests as well as some healthy munchies for the kids.

There were hats and bubbles and a book all about Jack. What an attention hog.

Jack is enthralled by balloons so we got him a bunch.

His friend Lilly was equally pleased.

Now moving on to the cake. My sister-in-law Kelly is a master at cakes so she volunteered to make one for Jack's big day. I had no idea how complex and amazing it would be. Here she is putting the finishing touches on it.

And here's the final masterpiece.

What a hit! And Jack was impressed that it had all of his favorite animals on it. And that the little palm trees were made with wafer cookies. Yippee! Better yet? It was delicious! We got to choose between a chocolate cake with a peanut butter layer or a yellow cake with a raspberry whipped cream layer. Jack's still not doing peanuts so he dove into the yellow cake.

The ecstasy you see on his face is his first big bite of sugar. Man, why had I been keeping that stuff from him? What a mean mommy. Because it was GREAT. After that, there was no stopping him. He ate and ate and ate and ATE.

Daddy had to pull him away because I was worried he was going to get sick. He wasn't very happy about it.

To distract him, we moved on to presents. He got a lot of awesome gifts from some very generous friends.

All in all, it was so much more successful than I imagined. Mainly because I imagined him whining and crying and needing a nap mid-party. But he timed his energy surge perfectly and the weather was beautiful. Thank you to everyone who could make it!

And now, a few more pics from the big day.

Our attempt at a family photo

The cake was a big distraction though

Playing soccer with his friend Violet

The boys with Grandpa and cousin Johnny

Telling Leigh an amazing story about her keys

Jack's little friend Ethan exploring the dirt

The glee of reaching the top of the play set

Jack's youngest friend Harry

Cousin Christy with the birthday boy

Stacey and Violet stare down the cake

Aunt Kelly and cousin Hank

Aunt Leslie and Jackie

Graciously giving Leigh all the pebbles he found

Uncle Johnny and cousin Hank fooling around

Stacey showing off her new mom acrobatics

Yay for the slide!

Jack and Violet eyeing each other up

Trying to make our 1 year old laugh

My cute little boy