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Edyta Sliwinska Welcomes a Son
Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo

Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo

Edyta Sliwinska and husband Alec Mazo will be on their toes more than usual these days! The Dancing With the Stars alums welcomed their first baby recently. Son Michael Alexander Mazo arrived January 4th. Edyta shared the happy news via Twitter, saying, “Our bundle of joy, born on Jan 4th! We are in love and as happy as can be!!!”

Dania Ramirez Reveals Babies’ Names
Dania Ramirez

Dania Ramirez

Devious Maid star Dania Ramirez is coming clean! The actress and her husband, director John Beverly Amos Land, welcomed twins on December 17th, but they chose not to make the new arrivals’ names public. Now, though, Ramirez is dishing! In an interview with People, Ramirez shared that their daughter’s name is Gaia Jissel Ramirez Land, and their son’s name is John Aether Ramirez Land (and goes by Aether). According to Ramirez, when counting Land’s 12-year-old son Kai, that now gives the family earth, air and water. Think they’ll go for fire soon?

Sherri Saum Is Expecting Twins
Sherri Saum

Sherri Saum

Sherri Saum‘s family on The Fosters was looking to expand, and now the actress’s own family just got a little bit bigger. Saum and her husband Kamar de los Reyes found out earlier this year that they are expecting their first. But Saum told Access Hollywood recently that plans have changed slightly. “We were like, ‘Awesome! A baby!’ And then the next ultrasound, she’s [the doctor] like ‘looks like there’s a freeloader in there hiding.'” Saum went on to share that they babies are due in May, and that the couple know what they’re having but aren’t sharing.

David Arquette Will Welcome a Son
David Arquette

David Arquette

David Arquette is expecting a son with his girlfriend Christina McLarty — at least, according to his ex-wife Courtney Cox! Cox was recently on the Ellen Degeneres Show and shared the happy news, quickly followed by an “I hope I’m allowed to say that.” (Here’s hoping that reveal wasn’t an unwelcome spilling of the beans!) According to Cox, Coco (the couple’s 9-year-old daughter) is very excited about becoming a big sister.

Justin Bartha’s Going to Be a Dad
Justin Bartha

Justin Bartha

2014 is going to be a big year for Justin Bartha! The Hangover star started the year off with a wedding: his own, to Lia Smith on January 4th in lovely Hawaii. Now, Us Weekly is reporting that the couple are also expecting to expand their family later this year! The couple haven’t confirmed, denied or shared any additional info, so we’ll just have to wait and see!

Daniela Ruah Is a Mom!
Daniela Ruah

Daniela Ruah

NCIS: Los Angeles star Daniela Ruah is a mom! According to People, the actress and her fiancé, David Olsen, welcomed their first baby late last month. Son River Isaac Ruah Olsen arrived on December 30th. The next episode of NCIS: Los Angeles will air January 14th.

Jeremy Davis Is a Dad
Jeremy Davis

Jeremy Davis

Jeremy Davis is probably daydreaming of a full night’s rest these days! The Paramore bassist and his wife Kathryn Camsey welcomed their first baby late last month. Their daughter, whose name hasn’t yet been shared, was born on December 28th. Davis shared the happy news via Twitter, saying, “So Everyone…Mine and @kittykatdav Baby Girl has been born! She doesn’t have a name yet but, weighs 6lbs 14ounces :l.” The band, whose single “Daydreaming” was released December 2nd, is set to perform about a week-worth of sets in Australia later this month.

Gail Simmons Is a Mom
Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons has been cooking up some exciting news: she’s a mom! Simmons and her husband Jeremy Abrams welcomed their first baby late last month. According to People, Simmons’ daughter Dahlia Rae arrived December 29th. Now there’s a good way to ring in the new year!

Super Stoked to be an LA Mom

I’m getting in my car to drive to our local farmer’s market and my ten year old rushes out of the house, waving frantically, an intense expression on her face. “PLEASE get me the lotus root and spicy daikon. They go so well together. I’m serious, Mom. If you don’t get both, DON’T EVEN BOTHER COMING HOME!”

She sure told me.

As I drive off with my strict orders in tow, I can’t help but think: OMG, that is so LA! I mean, where else in the whole United States would a ten year old be jonesing for daikon, lotus root and seaweed tempeh? And while it might have made me barf a little a few years back, I am now super stoked to be an LA mom.

My youngest daughter does gardening and yoga in preschool. I once walked in while they were all doing their “cell phone” pose: the kids flat on their back, one leg stretched up behind the ear, talking to their foot…“Hello, hello, one moment please”. One five-year old boy was imitating his father: “Morty, it’s your agent. Let’s do lunch!”

Okay, I give you permission to barf a little right now.

In a recent cooking class, these preschoolers rolled sushi using seaweed, sushi rice, avocado, cucumber and Japanese radish. Come on, we used to make jello mold! Admit it, it’s kind of bitchin’.

My eldest daughter’s fifth grade class helps with their school’s edible garden and even had a hot-shot TV chef come in and teach them how to make “sauce” using all ingredients from their garden. This being LA, they don’t just grow carrots and tomatoes. Heck, no! They grow things like cilantro, quinoa and root vegetables. And even though it’s a public school, from third grade on, they practice composting as well. I am hopeless in the kitchen and this gives me serious hope that my daughters won’t subsist on popcorn, cabbage and ramen noodle soups, the way I did after college.

My mom and dad who live back East roll their eyes at some of the entitlement that pervades the lives of these So Cal kids. I get it. There are a lot of Veruca Salts out there. But there are also children who march the picket lines when their parents’ union goes on strike (Writer’s Guild) or march in support of the Brady Foundation for those killed at a mass shooting (Newtown, MA). These same kids work tirelessly for the animal adoption sites and work bake sales to help raise money for numerous causes.

caltreesMy daughter and her best friend (and her BFF’s brother) supplied big boxes and drew fliers to encourage parents at their school to donate to a specific orphanage in Africa. And they are not alone. This charitable spirit extends to many of the California schools. I know quite a few children who, alongside their parents, work the soup kitchens at either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I also totally appreciate that LA public schools take off the few, big Jewish holidays as well as the Christian ones. I get to teach my kids about their heritage without worrying about missing tests and finals. In my daughters’ progressive Sunday School, the humanistic approach to Judaism teaches social activism and respect of all faiths. We have Muslim and Christian leaders come in and share face time with the members. There is dialogue and there is debate. These California kids are awake and involved, their eyes open to the world at large. They are earnest about making a difference.

It took me years to embrace Southern California, to really get down and dirty with it. It took my children to appreciate this wonderful state and all that it has to offer, through their various activities and by meeting other like-minded parents.

My parents were recently in town and made mention of how some of their friends back East don’t envy their many excursions to Los Angeles. It took twenty years, but I finally had LA’s back. “I’m sorry they feel that way, but I love this city. It is my home” were the words that flowed out of my mouth, surprising even me.

I’m proud to be an LA mom. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids anywhere else.
That is, until the next earthquake.

Rob and Amber Mariano Are Expecting Again
Rob and Amber Mariano

Rob and Amber Mariano

Rob and Amber Mariano (née Brkich) might need all those skills they honed in the Survivor wilds! The pair recently announced that they’re expecting their 4th child together in 2014. The couple are already parents to three daughters: Lucia Rose (4.5), Carina Rose (3) and Isabetta Rose (almost 2).

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