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The Daily Dish Newlyweds: The First Year

Tina Sugandh: "Babies Are Torture!"

The Newlyweds star also shares pics of her son Tarzie.

By Tina Sugandh


Newlyweds: The First Year stars Tina Sugandh and Tarz Ludwigsen welcomed a newborn, Tarz, a.k.a "Tarzie," in June. It's the first child for the married couple. And over the next few months, Tina will be sending dispatches about motherhood and sharing them with the Dish: she'll open up about everything from decorating her nursery to little Tarzie's first milestones. Check back for more updates. This week, Tina explains why it's torturous raising a newborn—but it's not for the reasons you think.

How dare I call cute little innocent babies "torture" you ask? I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, here’s our Mazel-Baby! The reason he’s wearing a Bravo/Andy Cohen "Mazel" onesie is because he was bitching about not being born in time to star on Newlyweds, so my hubby Tarz and I told him to quit being a crybaby, throw on a Mazel-onesie and try to look cute...and then maybe one day he can be a Bravolebrity like his Mama and Dada.


So whatcha’ think of our Mazel-baby? Pretty cute, huh? I guess he’s a keeper!

Tarzie’s now 2.5 months old and already a bit tall for his age! Just to be clear, I’m pretty sure the height thing is from the giant Nordic family I married into. (Us Indians are stereotyped for being intelligent and all that, but we’re definitely not known for towering over the masses.)

Check out Tarzie’s scrawny little body in this pic, back when he was just a month old. What a difference a few weeks makes!


OK. So now for the "babies are torture" explanation. I say that babies are torture because no one told me that I was going to become an emotional wreck after having my son. No, I’m not going through any sort of post-partum depression. I’ve always been super-sensitive and emotional as it is—and this little thing is so damn cute, that it has become downright torturous! Here’s an example:

In our family, we have something called "Pizza Friday." It's a sacred non-negotiable tradition where we force ourselves to stop work for a couple hours every Friday night, and the seven of us— Tina, Tarz, Baby-Tarz, our two sweet pups Xena & Loki, and our two stuffed pigs Peegu & Poofers—all cuddle on the same couch, stuff our faces to levels of possible regurgitation, and watch a movie.

When I say we all "stuff our faces," I mean Tarz and Tina have tons of pizza and ice cream, Xena and Loki have a little bit of pizza and "Frosty Paws" (doggie ice cream that I highly recommend), Peegu and Poofers have imaginary pig food, and Baby-Tarz gets some blended pizza and ice cream mixed in with his breast milk. (Ok, I’m kidding about that last one. Please don’t call child services!)

So anyway, last Pizza Friday, my hubby decides that it would be a beautiful experience for me to watch the classic cartoon "Tarzan" as our Pizza Friday movie. I figured, why the heck not? I really could use a light-hearted Disney classic after my long and stressful work week! (Also, I really should see the movie that both my hubby and son are named after, right?)

The movie starts and I have a big smile on my face, but as it progresses, I begin to bawl like a two-year-old, and then throughout the rest of the movie I experienced pretty much every torturous emotion possible: sadness, worry, fear and anger! First of all, Tarzie looks SO much like baby Tarzan in the movie, so it was impossible not to draw direct comparisons. So then, in this movie, I have to see "Tarzie" grow up and go through a series of heartbreaks and betrayal and have his innocence taken advantage of, and see the bond with his mom being insanely beautiful, etc etc....and then that damn Phil Collins with that heart-wrenchingly beautiful "You’ll be In My Heart" song! (OMG! Phil, are you trying to make me end it all?)

So basically, seeing "Tarzie" grow up in this movie makes me suddenly question what I’ve signed up for with this whole "baby" thing! I have like 100 revelations all at once such as: Tarzie could fall and get hurt one day? No!! Some douche-bag kid is going to tell my son he does not want to play with him? No! Tarzie is going to leave me and go to college some day? No! Some "ho-bag" is going to rip his heart out and stomp on it one day? Oh HELL no! (By the way, "ho-bag," I realize you are probably not even born yet, but just beware...that’s all I’m saying).

So by the end of the movie, it was back to the Newlyweds premiere episode cell-phone blowout where I was calling my husband a "f**ker" for making me sit through this Disney classic where I was forced to realize that I am so painfully and deeply in love with my child that life is about to become emotionally, heart-wrenchingly insanely difficult...and wait-I have to feel this way FOREVER???

Like I said, "torture."

OH-and here’s yet another explanation of baby-torture. Tarzie just figured out how to con me into anything. (Yeah, I know he’s only 2 months old, but kids are getting smarter and smarter these days, and I swear he's doing this on purpose to get what he wants). He now can produce a tiny little drop of liquid from his eye when he cries. (Whereas during his first two months, his eyes were not yet able to secrete actual tears). Right when that little droplet starts to leave his eye is when it all ends for me. Tarzie could tell me that he wanted literally anything-10 more doggies, chocolate breast milk, a new daddy even-and I would do it! (Sorry big-Tarz!)

Speaking of crying, why do babies occasionally cry as if they’ve been beaten, tortured, and starved half to death? Is that another sneaky tactic they have to get us to do whatever they want? Here’s how I know my son if faking me out. Sometimes, Tarzie has the most tortured look on his face when he’s hungry, (accompanied by that "you better haul ass and get my milk because I haven’t eaten for 10 weeks" type of screaming of course), but then when that milk gets within an inch of his face, it immediately turns to a SMILE! What a little con-artist....I’m doomed, aren't I?

He doesn't only use the crying to torture me and get what he wants. He also has this ridiculously-adorable new trick where if you stick your tongue out, he will copy you and stick his out. SO stinkin’ cute. (Sigh...I give up...what do you want from me, Tarzie? The Taj Mahal is yours. Just give me a few days to get to India and back in order to bring it to you please.)

In conclusion, babies are emotional-torture, but it’s the kind of beautiful torture that I am eternally blessed to have. (BRING IT, Tarz Sugandh, I can handle it!!)

I’ll leave you with a time that we turned the tables and recently tortured Tarzie (for a change) during his first big magazine shoot! Poor little newborn was just trying to fall asleep, and that was of course right when OK! Magazine rang our doorbell for his photo shoot! For those of you that saw the picture, the reason he looked like a blob-face in the magazine is because we were holding his head up like a puppet, and trying to get him to open his eyes more than half-way. (We failed to do so, the result being a picture of what Tarzie would look like if we had spiked his breast milk.) OH well! OK! Magazine may have been his first editorial shoot, but I have a feeling it will not be his last! :)

OH! I need to also fill you guys in on how my dogs Xena and Loki are doing with the baby since I’m very surprised at their behavior, but I’ll leave that for an upcoming blog since I’ve blabbed enough for one blog!

Also, I wanted to share some more products that I’m loving that make “Mommyland” a better place to live in.

Bath time! Tarzie loves his "bathies" in his 4 Moms Cleanwater Bath. It’s quick and easy since fresh water constantly flows in while dirty water flows out, and there are different plugs so that you can keep the tub filled a bit as well if you want (which Tarzie loves).

Handsfree breastfeeding!!! Need I say more? (I mean, how else would I have been able to write this blog to you all?!) Check out the Koalakin. Here’s a little secret. My hubby, Tarz, is thinking of getting one for himself. No, he’s not able to magically produce milk out of his breasts (I wish) but he just loves the thought of being able to have Tarzie close to his chest while he’s typing.

As usual, I LOVE talking to you guys! Check out my website:

TONS of love, health, and happiness to you all!

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