Something For Everyone (Because this IS home.)

Posted by on May 30, 2013 · 31 Comments

Over the past month I’ve had two encounters where I’ve been talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while — both of whom I know outside the industry but work inside it — when they said to me, “I thought you went home.”

“No, no, I’ve always been here,” I said.

“You didn’t go home and then come back?” Both of them said that, with a cock of the head. “I could’ve sworn I’d heard you left.”

Both of these people are Facebook friends, which pulls from my Twitter feed. This means I’m not doing a very good job of representing myself lately. And yes, I do a lot of work I’m not allowed to publicly discuss, and I’ve learned important lessons in my million years on the web about what is and isn’t wise to share on the Internet, so I probably err on the side of not enough information.

It has been a very busy year, so I’ll try and give something for everyone here. A little work update for those of you who enjoy reading about the writing life, a little bit of baby info, for those of you who want to know the latest on Qwerty, and finally for those of you who just want to know what Mom’s up to next, a little something special.

WORK

I mentioned in my last entry that I was working in the corporate world, which maybe was too vague because people started thinking I was back in tech support. I’ve been hired by a studio to be an in-house screenwriter on a film in development. That’s legally all I’m allowed to say. (Actually, I think I’m allowed to mention the studio, but I’d rather err on the side of not enough info for now.) I love it so far as it takes everything I like about working in a writers room, combines it with everything great about locking yourself up in a room to write pages, and then throws in a coffee shop one floor down. (And since it’s LA, I feel the need to add it’s also a very convenient commute.)

For those of you who loved reading the confessions from my teenage diary, you might be excited to learn I’m working on a comedic memoir of my teen years that should be coming out sometime at the top of the new year. Currently titled NOTES TO BOYS (AND OTHER THINGS I SHOULDN’T SHARE IN PUBLIC), I have to admit with every single page I am convinced I am doing the wrong thing, which is how I know you will truly enjoy it. Just chapters and chapters charged with my superpower: absence of dignity.

Other than You Take It From Here, everything I wrote last year is either dead or in development. Sometimes that means the projects die a slow, silent death. Sometimes it means you see your name in the trades in the middle of someone else’s press release. Sometimes it means you put things on a shelf and let them wait for a while.

Television development is starting up, which means pitching season is starting again. I have a couple of things I’m going out with, but this year I plan on sitting down and launching into a description of Behind the Candelabra just to see how far I can get before someone says, “Wait a second.”

For ladies of Los Angeles, I’m performing something from the teen memoir this Sunday as a part of the girls-only Sunday Night Sex Talks. [Click the link for tickets]

I talked a whole lot of comedy and whatnot with Robyn Morrison over at her TV comedy writer podcast The Send-Up.

And now…. BABY STUFF

It is difficult to dress for work when you basically have to be prepared for partial nudity all day every day.

I want to look nice, but I also have to lock myself in a room two to three times a day, expose myself, and sit still while I collect food from my body for the baby. There are only so many wrap dresses, people. And because things can get pretty busy in the morning I find that no matter how cute the outfit, by the time I get to grooming all the parts on my head it’s like, “Well, at least the dress is cute.”

I worry my style currently says, “I just put the baby to sleep and then drove here.” It’s a valid concern, as that’s what has been happening for the past month. I got to shoot a little something for a project I’m working on the other week that had me sitting in hair and makeup for fifteen minutes — which is basically time enough for false eyelashes and a flat-iron — and you would have thought I was runway ready, the way people were reacting. “Oooooh, someone has a BIG meeting today!”

I’m spending so much time trying to figure out how to nicely dress the concept of open-boob clothing that I’m letting a very important part of me– the part people have to stare at all day long — go neglected. Is there a wrap dress for the face? Because I need it. You guys, I’m so desperate to figure out what to do with my (quickly falling out in clumps) hair that I bought a snood. I bought a snood! This morning I spent five precious minutes trying to figure out how to wear it without looking like I worked at a factory. I finally thought I got it right when I presented myself to Jason, who broke into an Italian accent and said, “Yo, you tell Tony if he gives you any trouble on the line today I’m gonna bust his bawlz.”

Anyway, the baby is great. Qwerty is smiley and loves music, bouncing, watching people dance, and screeching like a dinosaur in heat. Our house is still under Infant Rule, which means the half of the house that has the baby’s room in it becomes off limits after the child’s bedtime. It’s a problem because the nursery butts up against the kitchen. Turning on the oven heats up the baby’s room. Accidentally letting the fridge door slam shut might wake the child, even though there are TWO noise machines in the nursery to drown out all other sound. We are tired, yes, but we are also hungry. Very hungry. People ask my secret in losing all the baby weight and I tell them it’s easy: “The baby won’t let us eat.” In the morning I’m too busy nursing and/or adjusting my snood. At night we can’t risk waking the world’s smallest dinosaur. We are going to have to move just so I can cook a decent meal some day.

Finally: MOM

If you haven’t heard, Mom’s now a TV Critic. (I’m working on getting her second edition transcribed as we speak.) She’s also looking for some fun things for seniors to do in Los Angeles. Do you know of any area Scrabble groups? [It'd be great if their one requirement is "Must take an hour to decide which tiles to play. Maybe two hours. ...Some amount of time where the opposite player contemplates gouging out her own eyes just to have something to do." Because that's what she needs.]

Mom and Qwerty have lots of fun times, but the baby takes a lot out of my mother. Consequently, at the end of the day sometimes she’s flying out the door. Other times she carefully gathers her things, even though she’s pretty sleepy. It doesn’t matter which style she chooses, Mom will forget to pack something. She’s left so many items at the house day after day it’s like she’s trying to get a second date with someone we haven’t discovered lives here. I present to you this partial list.

THINGS MOM HAS FORGOTTEN TO TAKE HOME WITH HER

Her watch.
Her cell phone.
Her computer.
Her watch (by the sink this time).
Her computer charger.
Her shoes.
Her other shoes.
Her credit card.
Her mail.
Her camera.
Her watch (over the sink this time).
Her socks.
Her camera’s software for the computer.
Her Kindle.
Her Kindle.
Her Kindle charger.
Her cell phone’s SIM card.
Her cell phone charger.
Her computer bag.
Her water bottle.
Her container of milk.
Her watch (by the bathroom sink).
Her sweater.
Her shoes AND her other shoes.
Her watch (by her things at the door).
Her keys.

Still, she wonders why we have yet to let her drive anywhere with the baby. I told her just as soon as she keeps that watch in her care for a week straight I will think about letting her take that baby to a second location. Until then, no way.

I suppose if you only heard me talking about having a baby, getting married and living close to my mom again, you might think I went home. But the reality is that home came to me. Life is now messy and busy and each day is stuffed until every minute is exhausted. Already the weeks are flying by because there’s so much to do and so much that can’t possibly get done yet. Home is swirling with to-dos and just-dids and milestones both big and small, and it’s amazing how all of it can sometimes just stop on a dime because the smallest member of this life gave the biggest, drooliest, toothlessest, silentest smile.

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31 Comments

  1. meadowgirl
    May 30, 2013

    i love any and all updates. i’m glad you have your mom around to help with Qwerty. that is the part that makes me the happiest. i wish you had more time to tweet, esp HItsFromMyMom. bc they are the BEST STORIES.

    and oooh Little Pam. i can’t wait.

    Reply
    • curious
      August 28, 2013

      Why is Pamie calling her baby Qwerty? Why not just tell people what the baby’s real name is?

      Reply
  2. Annie
    May 30, 2013

    Oh Pamie. I think I AM your mother. This is a little scary.

    Reply
  3. Lucy
    May 30, 2013

    As someone who just ended this phase of her life – separates are the way to go for convenient baby-feeding. And, as ridiculous as the pictures look, a hands-free bustier. Really, truly. I kept thinking dresses would be convenient, but they just leave you woefully exposed. And if there’s a side zipper, absolutely not. Just put those into storage for the time being.

    Reply
    • Pamie
      May 30, 2013

      I have one of those but it’s beyond a pain to strap myself into that contraption. It sometimes takes just as much time as doing one at a time, having to position everything just right so I don’t cause… painful moments in suction. Am I doing it wrong?

      Reply
      • Page
        May 30, 2013

        I felt the same damn way about the strapless, handless nursing thingy. Never could do it without accidentally giving a pumping hickey to at least one side of my chest. Agreed, separates are the way to go. I even made a couple of the “Undercover Mama” type tanks to wear under less appropriate pumping tops.

        As of last week, I stopped pumping and started wearing normal clothes again, which prompted a lot of the “WOOOOO” sentiments you shared above. I could seriously use that wrap dress for my face and head, though. My coiffure and lack of makeup are just sad.

        Life IS busy, messy, and stuffed to the gills when you have a kid, and in a way that no one without children really understands. AND your Mom is around. Whoa.

        Reply
  4. Emily
    May 30, 2013

    I had better luck with a lanyard kind of contraption for hands free. You can rig something up with hair ties or just a string (I think I used a piece of yarn, but I also worked from home, so I didn’t have to pump regularly). It didn’t make sense to me until I tried it – you really just have to hold the pumping horns/bottles UP. The suction does fine to keep them on your breasts. I had one of those pumping bra things and I didn’t like how it squashed the pump against my boobs. I think that might be more comfortable if you have a smaller chest? I don’t know how dressy your job is, but I usually just lifted up my tshirt and stuck one of those small hair claw clips on around the neck area to keep it up (why do I have so many of those?? I have never even used them on my hair? Where do they come from?) That would probably leave a woven shirt wrinkly, but it was fine for a knit.

    (Examples: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/hands-free-pumping/ and http://www.pumpinpal.com/html/hands-free_breast_pumping_strap.htm)

    Reply
    • Pamie
      May 30, 2013

      That’s a good idea! Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Valeri
    May 30, 2013

    Well, now I need to find a babysitter for this Sunday. Because there’s liquor, right? Is your mom available?

    I think of Qwerty every time my kid turns another month old. Time flies. Is Qwerty trying to crawl, too? Because god help you.

    Reply
    • Pamie
      May 30, 2013

      Qwerty is trying to crawl, but hasn’t figured out it’s the big belly keeping everything firmly rooted to the ground. Once crawling begins… again, we’re probably going to have to just move.

      Reply
  6. Tashi
    May 30, 2013

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you.

    My son sounded so much like the velociraptor in Jurassic Park I wondered if Steven Speilberg had used an actual baby for the sound effects.

    Reply
  7. Alexandra
    May 30, 2013

    “It is difficult to dress for work when you basically have to be prepared for partial nudity all day every day.”

    BEST GD description of motherhood I have ever heard in my life.

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      I forgot to add the part where you’re constantly finding wet spots on your clothes in the space between your boobs and your waistband. And they aren’t from you.

      Reply
  8. amanda
    May 30, 2013

    I’m so curious why Qwerty is neither boy or girl… You’ve always had some great thoughts on gender stuff and I’d love to hear your take on things. My little girl is just 2.5 and already getting weird gender messages from her little friends. I’m a true feminist and try to walk the line between discouraging “pink stuff” and just letting things evolve. It’s been very interesting and I do a lot of thinking…about all of it.

    And occasionally think about if I have a second and it’s a boy, what line will I walk then? I hope one way or the other we hear more about Qwerty and your mom-ness.

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      Thank you. I guess for a little while we’re being a little sheltered with some of Qwerty’s more personal facts mostly because it’s so easy to be extremely public with your personal life before the people actually in it get a chance to experience things.

      I know I’ll be discussing the sex of the baby at some point, but right now it doesn’t seem to factor into my parenting style, other than we dress the baby in all sorts of colors, which seems to drive the grandparents crazy. “But how will people KNOW if the baby is wearing ORANGE or BROWN?”

      Reply
  9. Sister Surprise
    May 31, 2013

    I found that some of the Hot Milk nursing bras were juuuust the right configuration to go hands-free without any additional finagling. . .as long as I sat very, very still.

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      I think I just can’t get on board because of the name of the brand. It makes me feel momporny.

      Reply
  10. Kristen
    June 1, 2013

    Hm, I am confused about the pumping-at-work thing. Do most people sit in an office and continue to do work? I work in a cubicle, so I have to pump in the accounting storage closet (we are a fairly small company with no other options). The closet locks, so I just yank up my shirt. There isn’t a place to put my laptop, so I just hold the bottles in place with one arm and read my tablet using the other.

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      I can’t do like work-work. I have basically a thumb free for phone scrolling. During that time I rely heavily on status updates from other people’s lives.

      Reply
  11. Sarah
    June 3, 2013

    A sassy short haircut that needs NOTHING but shampoo is the way to go!! My hormones talked me into cutting off all my hair when I was pregnant and I discovered how EASY short hair is. I have gone back and forth from long to short a few times since then (he’s 18 now) and right now I’m back to short and LOVE IT!

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      I just grew out of a short haircut where I kept reminding myself — out loud — “I don’t like it when I have short hair because I can’t wear it back!” It’s never been an easy cut on me — my thin hair requires even more work when it’s short, unfortunately. I will not be tricked again!

      Reply
  12. Terri in SF
    June 4, 2013

    I don’t know nuthin ’bout babies or pumping or any of that – but – I do know that ‘absence of dignity’ is my favorite thing ever and is what caused me to follow all of y’all and makes me laugh. So thank you for that. Also loved ‘You Take it From Here’…more please.

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      Thank you! I’m working on another book right now! It will have zero dignity!

      Reply
  13. Paul Tabachneck
    June 5, 2013

    CAN’T WAIT for the Little Pam book!

    So good to see an update, and great to see that there’s so much going on!

    Reply
    • pamie
      June 5, 2013

      Thank you! I look forward to your percentage report.

      Reply
      • Paul Tabachneck
        June 5, 2013

        It’ll definitely come quicker and more often. YTIFH was so intense, and I was so worried about anything that was coming next that I didn’t want to spaz every 5% about it….

        Reply
  14. Hollie
    June 20, 2013

    I feel like I already left this comment some time in the last six months, but its always relevant: it gets so much eeeeeeeasier! I also love layers, HotMilk bras (yes, the name is unfortunate but the fit is superb… 36G over here, as in “Gee, I hate my boobs”). Check out milkfriendly.com and aintnomomjeans.com for postpartum/nursing/pumping clothing ideas
    High messy top knots are in style… got enough hair for that? And I think I’d add one of those ridiculous pieces of false hair to my bun instead of a snood. REALLY, a SNOOD, PAMIE.COM??
    Everything sounds just awesome. Congrats :)

    Reply
  15. ann
    June 23, 2013

    Why have you camouflaged your baby’s gender and name by calling it Qwerty for your blog readers? You just don’t feel comfortable revealing whether it’s a boy or girl and what his/her name is?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  16. Heidi
    June 27, 2013

    I went back to work in March (when my daughter was 1… Yay for living in Canada with one year paid maternity leave!) and have been pumping at work since then. I only pump once, midday, since my daughter is older and doesn’t need as much breastmilk as younger babies, which makes things a bit easier. At first I would be careful to wear nursing-friendly tops and dresses but I have since realized that sometimes the easiest thing is to strip down to topless so that’s what I do. The door is locked, after all, so it doesn’t really matter if my boobs are visible! So it’s liberated me from the shackles of nursing-wear. I wear anything I damn well please now, and it’s lovely! A few days ago I resumed wearing my lovely, colourful, lacy bras and the combination of their prettiness and my boobs’ newfound perkiness is a real morale booster :) Nursing bras are so frumpy and I found they provided little support for the girls… How I wore them for 14 months, I don’t know!
    Anyway, YMMV but that’s my experience! I love reading about your parenting adventures, keep up the good work!

    Reply
  17. Caren
    August 14, 2013

    with every single page I am convinced I am doing the wrong thing,

    Yep. I know that feeling. It means you’re a writer.

    I need to read your blog more often! I remember the good old days.

    Reply
  18. curious
    August 28, 2013

    Why is Pamie calling her baby Qwerty? Why not just tell people what the baby’s real name is?

    Reply

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