feb. 2 – feb. 8.

monday,

second day of feb.

woke up in my

bed again,

looking forward to

two days of the

mundane, then

it’s time for us

to take off again.

after work and

daycare, i set out

to make up for

the time i lost

with madeline while

i was in nashville.

for the first time

i watched as

she pulled herself

to a standing position,

using her little

pink piano for leverage.

i got a phone

call from the g.

grandparents and i

told them about her

newest trick.

they told me that

she was doing

that while they

were in town.

shit.

she pulled

herself up, then

dropped her diaper-padded

ass back on

the floor,

over and over again,

as if to say,

“see what happens when you leave? you miss out on shit like this!”

i felt guilty as

hell as that

i missed the first

time she did this,

but then i remembered

a comment from

a blog reader

left many months ago…

it went something like,

“the first time you see it is the first time it happens”

(she was a bit more eloquent than that, but you get the idea).

along with this

whole pulling herself

up trick, she

has also learned

that she can

get quite a thrill

by standing up

and falling backward.

you should hear

the laughter.

this is fine

if she is

on the long part

of the couch,

in her crib or

in my giant bed,

but not quite as

awesome when she

does it on the

living room floor.

let’s just say

there were a

few tears when

her head hit

the ground.

tuesday.

feb. 3.

time is moving

way faster than

i am.

can’t remember what

happened on this day,

and i don’t

have any notes

or photos to

help jog my memory.

i know it was

like many others

in the past

few weeks…

i packed two

suitcases,

one for madeline

and one for me.

wednesday.

four days into

the second month

of the year.

round trip flight

#13 for madeline

this flight proved

that my perfect

little traveler never

really went away,

she was just hiding

behind a lingering cold.

the flight to

the nyc was lovely.

got into

town in the late

afternoon and headed

to our hotel to

drop off our stuff.

had dinner with melissa,

lauren and talia

that evening at

a wonderful italian restaurant.

melissa bought maddy

an awesome kid’s

book about our

new president.

went to bed

early that night,

taping rachael ray tomorrow.

thursday.

feb. 5.

this should be

an interesting day.

got a call from

one of the producers,

arranging to meet

us at our

hotel for the short

walk to the studio.

i asked,

“what should i wear?”

“wear anything you want.”

seriously?

awesome.

one of my biggest

fears was that i was

going to have to

get all dressed up

for this thing.

(remember, i am 31 years old and i don’t know how to tie a tie).

i’m a pretty informal

guy and looking

fancy is just

not me.

and if this

appearance was going

to work,

i had to be me.

that said, i

did bring a

suit and some

nice clothing,

just in case.

who cares what

i’m wearing anyway?

it really only

matters how maddy

looks, and i knew

that she would

look incredible.

one of

liz’s

former coworkers owns

a rather awesome

kid’s clothing store,

and offered to send

maddy a couple

of outfits.

i got her

all dressed up,

and couldn’t believe

how old she

is starting to look.

photo.jpg

lauren met

us in the lobby

where we waited

until the producer

arrived, then we

all headed over

to the studio.

as i walked in

i realized i

wasn’t at all

nervous about this.

10+ months ago,

there is no way

i could have

entertained the thought

of going on

national television,

but after standing

up and speaking

at two memorial

services for

liz,

i’ve gained an

unbelievable amount

of confidence.

i know now

that i can do anything.

well, almost anything.

made it to

the green room

never again will this happen.

and madeline napped

passed out.

out.

while i spent

some time talking

to the producer

about what was

going to

happen on the show.

maddy woke up

and got a lesson

on how to high-five

from our green room

next-door neighbor.

high-five.

we spent some time

talking to her

and she invited us

to hang out

with her after

the show

so that maddy and

her daughter could

play together.

yes.

of course we’ll

join you.

i went to

hair and makeup

then came back

and talked to

a few people

in the room next door,

while madeline

charmed them.

happy.

awake and happy.

then we were on.

maddy did a

great job, entertaining

the crowd during the

entire segment.

we were surprised

with the life-time

supply of free

diapers from the

folks at pampers

as well as the visit

from jenny,

a blog reader who

sent me a

wonderful e-mail

many months ago.

and yes,

rachael was kind

enough to let

maddy keep her bracelet.

after the show

we met jenny,

and invited her to

hang out with

us until her

flight took off

that evening.

we went over

to the unicef office,

where we watched

maddy, daddy.

a press conference

with our

green room neighbor

delivering some words

about a very

worthy cause.

after the press conference,

i spoke with a

few mommy bloggers

talking to some mommy bloggers.

and some folks

from pampers and unicef,

talking.

then it was off

for lunch.

me, madeline, jenny.

we joined our green

room neighbor

and her daughter

in a room

and watched

as our kids

played with play-doh.

eventually we said

our goodbyes,

then maddy, lauren,

jenny and i

went out for a drink

before jenny’s

return flight.

had a great time

talking and laughing

the afternoon away.

maddy and

i said goodbye to eveyone,

then it was time

to head to

dinner with our

friend kate c.

it was at this

meal that two

very important

things happened.

1. kate c. presented me

one of the greatest

things of all time…

an original painting

by bob ross.

2. i caused an

injury to madeline

that would require

her first visit

to the hospital

(well, first since she was born).

so…

maddy likes to

sit on my shoulders

and throw her head

backwards, as i hold

her arms.

we’ve done it

countless times during

the past few

months and she

always laughs.

tonight…

she did what

she always does

but this time

i heard a

crack and then

came the tears

and the screams.

“oh shit. i just broke her arm”

kate tried to

reassure me that

i hadn’t done so.

i took maddy for

a walk so she

could get her

screams out

she fell asleep

in my arms rather

quickly, so i figured

she was okay.

said goodbye to

kate, went to

my hotel to pick

up our luggage

and then off

to the apartment

we were going

to stay in

for the rest

of our trip.

we got to the

place and maddy

woke up.

on came the

screams and the

tears again.

they subsided into

a dull whine,

but as i played

with her,

it was obvious

that her arm was

bothering her.

a lot.

it just hung

there, not moving.

i realized it

was time to

go to the hospital.

jumped in a taxi

and headed north.

the whole way

there i had this

fear that we’d be

admitted and within

minutes some child

services worker would

take her away

from me,

claiming that i

had abused her.

fuck.

got to the hospital

and was extra

careful as i explained

what happened.

careful not to

make it sound like

i was trying to

cover up a

pattern of abuse

or something.

i mean,

what does it

look like when

a father who

looks like a

common street bum

brings his daughter

into a hospital

with an arm injury,

at 11:00pm on a

thursday night,

without her mother?

double fuck.

luckily the thoughts

in my head were way

more dramatic than

what actually happened.

the wait to

see the nurse/doctor

was minimal.

no one questioned

whether i had

abused my child

(well, at least not out loud).

when we got back

to the room,

i offered up my

now well-rehearsed,

but absolutely true story.

the nurse explained

what she thought

maybe wrong with

my girl.

her opinion was backed

up by that

of the doctor…

nursemaid’s elbow.

“what the hell is that?”

the doctor explained

it all to me.

“did i ruin her?”

she laughed,

“no. she will be fine.”

the doctor grabbed

her arm and

gave it a

quick twist.

maddy’s face turned bright

red, mouth wide open

she held onto

her scream for

what must have

been record time.

the doctor said,

“she should be back to normal in 24 hours. now i have to get out of here.”

as she stepped out,

madeline let out

the loudest, shrillest cry

i have ever heard.

within two

minutes she was

done screaming and

swinging her left arm

all over the place.

it was good

to have my baby back.

and it’s good to

know that we

weathered this crisis,

even if i feel

like the worst

father in the world.

made it back

to the apartment

and passed out quickly.

today was amazing.

liz

would be so fucking

happy about all

of this,

(except, of course, the hospital visit)

i just wish

weren’t happening

because she died.

friday

feb 6.

another busy day

ahead of us.

woke up early and

headed north for

a few meetings.

maddy acts as if

nothing ever happened

to her arm

and i once again

feel like i’m

not the worst father

in the world.

decisions made,

it was time to

celebrate with friends.

aj is flying out

tonight to hang out

for the weekend,

but he won’t be

here until much later.

had dinner with

cara d. at some

chocolate place.

maddy passed out next to cara.

we laughed the

entire meal.

then we met up

with lauren and melissa

for a drink.

maddy sat in the

restaurant and happily

screamed at everyone

she could see.

madeline, lauren.

later, we found aj

wandering the streets

in front of

the apartment.

got him upstairs

and we spent the

rest of the night

talking, playing with

maddy and drinking

some wine.

saturday.

7th day of

the month.

aj, maddy and i

wandered off to brunch

with a bunch

of friends,

maddy slept through

most of it.

out.

then we did

a little walking

around the city,

statue.

buildings, clouds.

stopping long enough

to witness a

memorial service

carrot man memorial.

waiting.

madeline.

then we took

the subway

melissa, madeline.

over to

the brooklyn bridge

for a quick

photo shoot.

madeline, me.

maddy + daddy.

on my head.

upside down.

wires, city.

then i realized

that madeline’s diaper

was soaked.

no restrooms nearby,

so i changed her

in the middle of

the brooklyn bridge.

brooklyn bridge diaper change.

she was sort

of pissed at me,

brooklyn bridge diaper change.

but it had to

be done,

and she got

over it rather quickly.

maddy + daddy.

from the bridge

we headed north

and west,

stopping long enough

for a few

more photos

me, aj.

alone, but not really.

i got a phone

call and had to

run to meet

up with someone,

so aj and lauren

offered to hang out

with a sleeping

maddy while i

took care of

a few things.

an hour later

i met them

for a drink and

then we headed to

an indian restaurant

for dinner,

and later,

stopped by a hotel

bar for a nightcap.

in the lobby,

aj snapped what may

be one of my

favorite photos

of maddy and me.

sitting.

exhausted, we

went to bed pretty early.

feb. 8.

heading home again.

the next morning

we were up early

and out the door

Hello!

for our trip to

the airport.

said goodbye to

aj, knowing

that we’ll see

him and his

family again

at the end of march

when we meet

down in mexico to

celebrate maddy’s birthday.

5.5 hours later and

another perfect flight

with my baby,

we were back in

los angeles.

after traveling every

weekend since mid.

decemeber, i’m happy

to know that

we’ll be staying put

for a little while.

unless, of course,

something comes up…

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