not last weekend…

but the weekend

before, the family

descended upon

los angeles to eat a

lot of hotdogs.

or so they thought.

yeah, they’d be

eating some hotdogs

on sunday…

what i didn’t

tell them

was that they were

also in town to

do some work for me.

that’s nothing new,

i suppose, considering

i never really

tell them that

i need help with

anything until they arrive,

and when they

get to my house

they get hit with

a list of tasks.

the grandpas?

they had various

assignments related to

installing a water line

in my refrigerator

so that maddy will

have an indoor

water toy to play

with when she finally

figures out how to

move and climb

onto a chair

to reach the ice maker.

the grandmas?

they had some cleaning

and organizing to do

because i’d let

the house become

nearly impassable in the

last few weeks.

my 16 year old

nephew, travis,

visiting los angeles

for the first time?

he played with madeline.

my brother, david,

just off the plane

and in town

from a 6-month

study abroad trip

in new zealand?

surely he would be

exempted from work…


he painted my bathroom

(but i paid him in beer).


i did nothing.

except run back

and forth to

stores to buy

everything they needed

to complete their jobs.

the grandpa piece

is fun…

there are levels of

handiness among them.

my dad (grandpa tom l.) is the

handiest of them

all, mainly because

he has been

a contractor his

whole life.

my step-dad (grandpa rodney),

is not too shabby for

a non-professional.


dad (grandpa tom g.)

is just slightly

more handy than me,

which is to say,

he’s better as

an observer.

with that crack crew

in place, i expanded

their duties to

include installing a

new dishwasher, oven,

and tankless waterheater.

the dishwasher was

broken and

it was necessary

to have a new one

because madeline

is still too young to

wash dishes by hand.

and i figured that

since i had the

free labor, i may as

well get the stove

replaced because

it was next in line

to break.

the tankless waterheater

was put in so i

could gain back

part of my laundry room/kitchen

(yeah, the room is so small that it is both a kitchen and a laundry room).

so from friday – sunday morning

everyone worked hard and fast

dad working on my house.

so we could have

a bunch of people

over to my house

on sunday.

the only breaks we

got were when:

1. my dad stayed home with maddy and i took david out for a night at the pirate bar in downtown los angeles. (we met a dude with what we both thought was the coolest tattoo of all time…a portrait of uncle buck-era john candy on his forearm).

2. i kidnapped the grandmas and took them to a dinner at jayneoni’s place in honor of heather, mike and maddie


sunday was the

big day.

a 27-foot hotdog

on top of a

car arrived in

griffith park

me, dad, david.

noelle, madeline.

to feed people and

raise money for

the liz logelin foundation

great turnout,

with lots of new

and old friends stopping by.

in the park.

during the event

in the park,

the weinermobile folks

raffled off a couple of pedal

cars, an rc car and

a ride in the real

thing, helping

raise $691 for

the foundation.

totally awesome.

after griffith park,

a few of us

went back to madeline’s

house where the

party continued.

the two very capable

drivers of the weinermobile

(aka hotdoggers),

crystal and adam,

offered us a ride

back to our place

so david

noelle, david.

and maddy

adam, madeline.

joined me.

(note, these hotdoggers were not the ones responsible for this)

madeline was out

within 5 minutes


and 10 minutes later

we were home.

with grandma broccoli.

soon enough the

party was in full-swing,




at some point

people wanted to

take photos of

the thing,

so the crowd

moved to the front yard.

got lots of photos

of madeline and

her friends

the girls.

maddy and sophie.

the robot even

got involved.

madeline with robot.

walking to grandma and grandpa.

hotdoggers with robot.

eventually it was time

to give everyone

a ride, so adam

drove all interested

parties in a loop

around my neighborhood

while david did a

little entertaining:

david does some entertaining.

(special thanks to kris and noelle for making everything happen)

noelle and kris.

by the end of

the day i was

sunburned and exhausted,

the visitors were gone,

and it was time

to say goodbye

to some of the family.

maddy was already asleep.

i stepped into her

room and gave her

a couple of kisses.

then i was

off to bed to read.

on monday we got

an early morning visit

from my mom,

rodney and travis

before they took off

for the airport.


they really came

over to say

goodbye to madeline.

we spent the rest

of the week

at work

and daycare

while david toured

los angeles.

here are some

photos of madeline

from that week:

a little happier.

she won the hair battle today.



that last photo made

me think of all

of those pregnant

photos i took of her


16 months earlier.

7.5 months.

how very different

this moment with


was from the one

i expected.

sometimes it’s hard

to think about

what it is

that could have been.

but there,

on that wednesday

afternoon, with my

brother trying to

convince my

daughter to stumble

into his arms,

i felt pretty okay.

well, sort of.

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