Travels with Sam

I'm happy to report that Sam aced his first plane ride. Alissa and I flew back East last week for the wedding of our friends Sara & Pete in Annapolis, MD. Despite our worst fears, Sam was a complete angel on the flight. The only stressful moment we had during the entire journey was actually in the terminal at LAX, when Sam once again demonstrated his knack for comedic timing by deciding to poop through his clothes seconds before pre-boarding began for our flight. With all the speed and grace of a NASCAR pit crew, we changed his diaper on the floor of the waiting area in full view of our fellow passengers. With no time to spare, we whisked him onto the plane without pants or a shirt on, classy parents that we are. Once aboard, we were thrilled to discover that the flight wasn't full and that we'd be allowed to bring his car seat onboard with us and give him his own seat. That was a huge help, and once we got him dressed and fed he fell right to sleep! He woke up a few times during the trip, but for the most part he was the perfect traveler. When we got off the plane the man in front of us even turned around to tell us how impressed he was with Sam and said that he'd been quieter than most of the adults on the plane! Needless to say, we were very proud of our boy.

We had a great time at the wedding and really enjoyed introducing Sam to his Uncle Alex for the first time. Alissa's parents were there as well, as were all the members of her extended East Coast family who I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know these last few years. There was a wonderful rehearsal dinner Friday night in town, and a beautiful ceremony at the Academy Chapel on Saturday, followed by a reception at the Chesapeake Bay Club. Since Alissa was a bridesmaid, I had baby duty on Saturday, and with a lot of help from my mother and father in-law, we made it through the ceremony. Incredibly, Sam fell asleep on the way to the reception and dozed through the entire night!

Sunday we woke up and drove down to the harbor to explore. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. After lunch we drove over to visit Alissa's Great Aunt Marion and her family. Marion is quite a character and I really enjoyed meeting her. She and I hit it off right away, and I couldn't help thinking how much she reminded me of some members of my own family with her sharp tongue and razor wit.

Later that afternoon I drove myself back to BWI to fly home to LA, while Alissa and Sam went up to Pennsylvania to visit her Grandparents. They'll be there all week, and I'll fly back out on Friday to meet them and spend the weekend before coming back to LA on Sunday.

Meanwhile, I just wrapped up 2 new shows for the network that were a lot of fun to produce. The series is called Life & Rhymes, and we shot 2 episodes this week, one with 50 Cent and one with Kanye West. It was quite a struggle to put these shows together, but the end results were fantastic and I think they'll be big hits on the channel. Look for them on air in early November.

At any rate, that's the update for now. I'll post more pictures when we get back from Pennsylvania. Alissa says that Sam's been smiling all the time and that he's as cute as ever. I can't wait to get back there and see both him and his mommy. I miss them both so much!


A Sad Day

I met Rosa Parks in 1996. In my career I've been fortunate to meet and work with, many famous people. None of them have ever come close to moving and inspiring me the way she did. Rosa Parks was a living piece of American history. When we met, she was a frail, quiet old woman. But the power of her deed that day long ago in Montgomery hung in the air and vibrated through me in a way I will never forget. I can remember an overwhelming feeling to thank her in some way, even if the best I could do was to be respectful and to listen well to what she had to say. I can remember feeling intensly aware of the fact that I was in the presence of a great, honorable person who had changed the course of American history for the better. I can only hope that in death, she is remembered by every American that way.


Football & Friends

It's Sunday afternoon, Sam is sleeping, Alissa's getting things together for our upcoming trip and I'm recovering from a long ride in the mountains this morning. It's been a great weekend. Sam's been sweeter than pumpkin pie for days now, and the realization is starting to sink in that we may actually have survived the worst of the "dark days." I've got no doubt that there will be many trying times ahead, but for now we're really enjoying how fun Sam has become.

Yesterday we had a bunch of friends over for burgers and football. Shane & Sandra came over with their little boy Emmett, who is just 10 days younger than Sam. It's amazing how much they've both grown! Our friend Patti, who's in town producing a show for VH1 came by, as did our buddy Tom and my good friend Nikki, who brought her boyfriend Charlie along as well. My cousin Phil also came over with two of his buddies from OU. Phil and his friends were kind of blown away by all the babies and baby gear on display, and I laughed when I thought about all the times I'd been in similar situations when I was their age. They were real troopers, even though they all agreed that they were a LONG way from being ready to have babies of their own. Just for fun, we let Phil try his hand at holding Sam, who didn't seem to mind at all. Phil on the other hand, looked like we'd just handed him a live bomb.


One of the funniest moments of the day happened when Notre Dame scored a touchdown. We all jumped up and started yelling, and completely forgot that Sam and Emmett were in the room, peacefully watching the game. I wish I had a picture of the look on Sam's face; both his arms shot straight up over his head, his eyes were wide open, he was bright red, and he was making the face we've started calling "the saddest face in the world." He froze there for a couple of seconds in complete shock, then burst into tears. I picked him up to calm him, and suddenly realized that both Shane and I were doing the daddy dance in the living room with two screaming babies. It was definitely a Kodak moment.

Sadly, USC ended up beating Notre Dame to extend their wining streak, and assuring me another week of having to listen to their insufferable fans talk about the USC "Dynasty." (I'm not bitter, I swear) OU managed to beat Kansas, though they looked like a high school team doing it. The only consolation of the entire weekend sports-wise, was that the Cowboys beat the Giants, which means that my dad and I officially have bragging rights on Kerry's fiancee Kristin, who for some unknown reason, is a Giants fan. I'm pretty sure Kerry didn't know that before he asked her to marry him but I think that the fact that he's chosen to look past this obvious flaw in her personality says good things about their future as a couple.

At any rate, I'd better go give Alissa a hand getting ready for our trip. On Thursday we fly back East for a wedding and it should be quite an adventure. It's Sam's first trip on a plane and we're both excited and completely terrified. I'm sure everything will be fine and I know we're going to have a great time, it's just funny how what used to be a one bag trip has become like packing for a mission to the moon. Let's just hope that we remember to leave room for our own clothes!

Here are a few new Sam pics to keep you all entertained. Just click on the photo for a show.



The Good, The Bad, and the Cuddly

Well, it was quite a weekend for sports in the Millar house. As expected, OU finally got what was coming to them in the Red River War, getting spanked by Texas 45-12. As sad as I was to see the Sooners lose yet again, I do think we had it coming. And compared to the ways we've humiliated the Longhorns in the past, this was a relatively gentle beating. I'm just glad Sam is too young to remember these dark days. Hopefully by the time he's old enough to tell the difference between a touchdown and a tailback the Sooners will be on the path to glory once again. Elsewhere in the college sports universe, Uncle Kerry's Georgia Bulldogs put the hurt on the Tennessee Vols and Great-Grandpa's Penn State Nittany Lions had a great win against Ohio State. It's nice to see Penn State and Alabama back in the Top-10. Good old-fashioned smashmouth football!

On a happier note, the Cowboys crushed the Eagles and are starting to look like a playoff contender again. And the Yanks won last night, forcing a game 5 showdown against the Angels tonight in Anaheim. Sam will once again be donning his pinstripes to cheer Jeter & Co. to victory. Bring on the White Sox!!!

In the spirit of the MLB playoffs, here are some pics of Sam in his Dodgers cap.


Yes, I know the Dodgers aren't playing and Sam totally roots for the Yankees, but when you're this damn cute you can do whatever you please.


Best Day Ever

yesterday, sam had what might be described as his Best Day Ever. you know it must have been a good one, as i have resorted to capital letters to get my point across. he slept like a champ on thursday night - from 7 pm to 7:30 am, getting up only briefly to have a bottle at 5 am. at 7:30, he woke up smiling, and played for a while in his bouncy chair before having his morning bottle. he then took a long happy poop - always a good sign. then i changed his diaper and got him dressed, and he smiled his way through the next few hours, seeming delighted to be in the world. he took his quick first nap of the day with no crying at all - just drifted happily off to sleep. then he woke up again, he played in his chair, and we even read a book while he sat on my lap (well, more accurately, i read it while sam tried to eat it). he also played for a long time lying on his back in his play gym, practicing kicking and swiping at his toys. his smiles just melt me - the day was off to a very, very good start.

kyle worked from home yesterday, so he also got to witness and enjoy the Best Day Ever. so at 10:30 am, i said a silent prayer to the God of Good Babies and handed sam over to Daddy so he could take over Sam Watch 2005 for a few hours while i went to get my hair cut ... my first hair cut since sam was born! i never knew that two hours to myself could feel so good. i got in my car by myself, listened to grown-up music in my car, and went into the salon like any other grown up might do - with no diaper bag, and no spit-up on my shirt. it was decadent. when i got home from my hair cut, the house was quiet and kyle was working ... he'd gotten sam down for another nap with no trouble, and said they'd had a long, happy stroller walk before that. he said that sam had been a perfect angel. the rest of the day was the same - sam woke happy and played, we took another stroller walk (during which sam drifted off again), we played some more - all with kyle working nearby, which was nice. then in the evening we had a long bath - with even more smiling and some underwater kicking of the feet. sam even tolerated the rubbing in of the dreaded after-bath-lotion with smiles. at bedtime, he ate his bottle happily, smiled when i put him down in his crib, yawned, and went off to sleep again. kyle and i had a terrific steak dinner (kyle makes amazing marinated steaks on the grill), and watched a movie together. we both marveled at how low our stress levels are when sam is that happy.

then of course, just to keep us on our toes, sam had a complete freak-out-melt-down first thing this morning. it seems that we put some uncomfortable new clothes on him this morning that gave our sensitive kid a skin rash, and it took us several hours to figure out that that was what was going on! he thrashed around on the bottle, and cried until we thought we might have to take him straight to the doctor ... then we took his clothes off to change his diaper and he started smiling like crazy.

ah, the ups and downs of parenthood. well, at least my hair looks good.


Under the Weather

Sam and I have both picked up a little bug this week and suddenly our house sounds like the waiting room at a Doctor's office in January. Sneezing, sniffling, coughing and general malaise is the unfortunate order of the day. According to the pediatrician, Sam has a viral infection that should go away in a day or two. He already seems to be doing better, and this morning he was all smiles after a full night of sleep. I'm still battling what feels like a bad case of hay fever, courtesy of the Santa Anna winds that have blown into town in the last 48 hours. When I moved to LA people talked about the Santa Annas in weird, mystical ways. The way people talk about the Bermuda Triangle or the Northern Lights. But I now I can say from experience that things definitely feel different this time of year. When the winds kick up, it becomes strangely hot and dry, with this weird energy in the air. Hopefully we won't have any more of the huge wildfires that we usually get, and with a little luck and a lot of Claritin, my hay fever should die down in a day or two as well.

In the meantime, things are chugging right along. Work is suddenly busy again as we get ready for a couple more shows and look ahead to the end of the year. At home Sam is still doing great and Alissa is making an art form out of mommyhood. I'm also thoroughly enjoying watching the Red Sox getting beaten by the White Sox and the Yankees continue their post-season march. OU Plays Texas on Saturday and I think I'll spend at least the first half outside doing something fun with Sam, instead of indoors screaming at the TV. If the Sooners do pull off a miracle I'll be thrilled. But if they get what is so rightfully coming to them, I won't be at all surprised.

At any rate, that's all the news for now. We'll send more pictures later in the week. Take care everybody.


That's my boy!

I sent Alissa an email this afternoon asking her how her day was going. When I left home this morning Sam was a little fussy and it looked like she might be in for a long day.

This was her response:

"Sam's been generally gassy and fussy and uncomfortable-seeming most of the day. Earlier he passed gas so hard that it scared him and made him cry. It was pretty funny, except then he cried for almost an hour."

Ahh, parenthood.


Yankees Win!!!!

In honor of the Yankees clinching their 8th consecutive American League East Championship this weekend, Sam donned his Derek Jeter jersey and joined me for a victory lap around the apartment. It thrills me to no end that I'll finally have a son to share the post-season with. I can only hope that things work out better this year for the Yanks than they did last year.


In other exciting news, the Sooners actually won a game this weekend, beating the hated KSU Wildcats 43-21. And as an added bonus, OSU got thumped by Colorado. (Sorry Becky, had to throw that in just for you.) I'm planning to savor this victory all week, since it's doubtful that OU will continue their string of wins over Texas next weekend. In fact it will probably get pretty ugly in Dallas, with the Longhorns making up for 6 years of humiliation. But at least for one weekend in October, both the Sooners and the Yankees were winning, and all was right with the world.

When we weren't watching football and baseball this weekend, we did actually get outside and enjoy the sunshine. This morning Alissa and I laced up our rollerblades and hit the beach with Sam. We bladed up to Sunset and back on the beach path in Santa Monica and had a great time. The whole rollerblade-stroller combination actually works great and is a fantastic workout. Plus it was like adding training wheels for me, which can't hurt considering what a terrible rollerblader I am to begin with.

Tomorrow it's back to work and another week of insanity. It turns out that my shows have been moved back to LA once again, so the next few weeks promise to be fairly stressful, to say the least. Though I'll have the memories of a great weekend with my family and a couple of nice wins for my teams to carry me through. Have a nice weekend everybody, and I'll write again soon.

In the meantime, here's a new slideshow to get you through the week.

(click on the photo to see the show)


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