A blog is born.
Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sum Ergo Cogito

For those who don't speak latin (who does?) the blog title today is: I am therefore I think. Translation - I am so damn exhausted today that I am only thinking (barely) because I have to in order to drive to work, work and take care of my little beaner who has yet another ear infection. This time it is in the other ear and is much worse than the first. He was completely out of sorts this weekend, running a fever and unable to be comforted. Parenthood slapped us in the face.
I don't have much energy to delve into the pop culture world today, but here are some things that made me smile:

1. Modern Family cleaned up at the Emmy's winning Outstanding Comedy Series and some other awards -- including Eric Stonestreet winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Cameron Tucker. Love this show.

2. Paris Hilton was arrested in Las Vegas for possession of cocaine. Apparently her boyfriend was pulled over for driving under the influence and because marijuana was "wafting" out of his vehicle and a police officer on a motorcycle smelled it. As if this wasn't ridiculous (and blatant) enough, when the police were dealing with the boyfriend, Paris pulled a chapstick out of her purse and a little package of cocaine came out with it. Busted. Of course she is denying that the cocaine and purse are even hers. Yes, this story made me smile. Classic.

3. Amy Poehler looked hot at the Emmy show 3 weeks post partum. And, I'm not talking airbrushed Kendra Baskett hot, I'm talking real glowing mama hot! Yea Amy -- we love you!

That is all I can handle for now. More later -- especially since I just saw that Lindsay Lohan got pulled over this weekend for running a stop sign...awesome.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hot Mess in the Press

Lots going on today -- a recap on the RHONJ episode, Tiger Woods' divorce is final and Lindsay Lohan is released from rehab. First, before I delve into all of the pop mania, I want to share a baby issue that I am having. My son is almost 4 months old and is about 14 pounds and he gets cuter by the minute -- but almost every night he is SOAKING himself! He did just change diaper sizes a few weeks ago, but the size 2 diapers he is wearing are not that big -- he is just filling them up. Unfortunately I cannot find an "overnight" diaper for his weight group. Any suggestions on how to avoid the "baby wet the bed" scenario? Oh, and on the same subject -- has anyone seen those Huggies Jeans diapers? The commercial is hilarious, especially the line "I poo in blue." Has anyone bought them? I think they are ridiculous and akin to designer water, but I'm still curious...

Okay, so last night I watched the RHONJ from this week and it was a showdown between the two "matriarchs" -- Caroline and Danielle. While Caroline definitely seems to qualify as a "matriarch," I just don't see Danielle as one...I think she envisions herself as an Italian matriarch on par with a character on The Sopranos -- I mean, did she really need security detail for her meeting with Caroline? It was disturbing to me how Danielle involved her daughters in the drama of her going to meet Caroline, including having her daughters "thank" the two security guys for keeping their mother safe. Gag. Bottom line - Danielle blows the drama up to epic proportions. I am wondering what is going to happen next season...there are rumors that Danielle will not be back to the RHONJ and may be getting her own show. I'm not sure that there is any story line left for her to come back to the RHONJ -- the drama of Danielle vs. the world is a little played out. Please Bravo, for the decency of human kind, don't give her own show.




In other news, Elin's and Tiger's divorce is final. Elin did her first and final interview on the subject for People Magazine, which hit newsstands this week. Elin shares how the sex scandal took its toll on her, causing her to have insomnia and lose weight. I can imagine. The poor woman was stalked by the press so much that she had to flee the country for weeks at a time and spend time in her native Sweden. I feel for her as she raises her two young children -- without the partner she thought she had and also trying to keep them out of the spotlight. It is going to be hard for these children to avoid the spotlight with a famous / infamous father, especially since the press watches his every move. I just hope that for Elin's sake she can find some peace and privacy!



Not like it is a big surprise or anything, but Lindsay Lohan was released from rehab-- so anyone in LA should stay off the roads. Apparently she is no longer in a residential program (after only three weeks of her 90 day term) and is now in an outpatient program. I have heard reports that while she was in the residential program, doctors determined that her substance abuse problem was not as bad as originally thought -- there were even reports that all of her problems were caused by her Adderall prescription. Now, chances are that these "reports" are an attempt by her PR agents to spin the coverage in Lindsay's favor. If Lindsay looks less looney there is more of a chance of a director and producer taking a chance on her in the future. It took Robert Downey Jr. several years of rehab and sobriety to get producers to agree to casting him in movies again -- basically, if an actor seems like he/she could be unreliable (drunk or on drugs all the time), the insurance for the production will sky rocket and no one wants to risk losing money. I just hope for Lindsay can turn her life around and be healthy, whether or not she never gets another role.

That's all for now -- happy hump day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Bathing Suit Ready" takes on whole new meaning...

Summer is almost over and I can hardly believe it. Having a baby in May has caused me to spend most of my summer indoors comforted by air conditioning and out of harmful UV rays (and watching countless hours of TV and movies). However, this past weekend I spent a precious 1.5 hours (baby-free!) in the sun at my friend's pool. It was glorious -- not necessarily being baby-free, but just being out enjoying the summer weather and relaxing poolside. It was awesome that I was able to fit that 1.5 hour time block into Cam's feeding schedule (feed at 1:30pm, rush to friend's house, leave by 4pm to feed again at 4:30pm...) AND that my wonderful husband was willing to stay home and allow me some time out! Thankfully one of my pre-baby swimsuits fit me -- kind of -- but at least I didn't have to don the maternity suit for lack of a better option. Which leads me to post-baby body topics...
Losing pregnancy weight isn't without some effort and since I am breastfeeding, I am sooo hungry all the time. According to the books, I am supposed to eat an additional 600 calories a day while breastfeeding. What? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure that I am eating that many more calories because I am not avoiding ice cream sandwiches (hey, it's summer!), second helpings of pizza and the occasional Oreo cookie -- but really, who has time to make uber healthy meals and snacks with a baby around? Yesterday, amid washing bottles and pump parts, throwing in laundry and paying bills while Cam napped I had a small window of time to throw together a turkey sandwich and call it lunch -- and that was SUNDAY! When I prepare for work, I try to bring healthy snacks -- yogurt, fruit, salad -- but that is on a good day.

And, what about gadgets that are supposed to aid in the slim down process? For example, Kourtney Kardashian swears by her Belly Bandit. http://www.bellybandit.com/ For only $65.95 you too can own a Kourtney Kardashian special edition Belly Bandit to help slim down your post-pregnancy belly faster. It is an "abdominal compression binder" (ouch) that helps supposedly reduces uterine swelling and water retention and also helps with posture. Hmm...has anyone tried this? It sounds like an old school corset. Is this how the Civil War-era mommies got their figures back? Apparently there is an entire history of belly binding -- see the Belly Bandit website. Is this the celebrity secret that helps them all get their bodies back so fast -- or is that just plain air-brushing? Celebs that swear by the Belly Bandit (according to the website): Bethenny Frankel, Minnie Driver, Poppy Montgomery, Julie Bowen (she had twins) and Ana Ortiz.


Working out has also proved to be difficult to fit in between working full-time and being exhausted. I have done it twice since Cam was born and I couldn't do it without looking at the monitor every five seconds to make sure he was still asleep. I try to get walks in whenever I can, but it has been soo damn hot this August that I have to go either early in the morning or late in the evening. Hopefully this fall I will get out more with the stroller. So, I'm not trying to make excuses, but getting the old bod back to normal is not easy.
Does Bethenny Frankel do her own workout tape? Did you see the RHONJ where Jacqueline and Teresa "worked out" to lose their baby weight? What do you do to lose baby weight or try to eat healthy as a new mom?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mama Movies, Part Deux

It may be a bit much to post about parenting / pregnancy related movies twice in one week, but after I posted the first list I realized I had forgotten some great movies and readers have chimed in as to some of their favs...plus it is Friday and who doesn't like a movie to start off the weekend?

So here is Mama Movies, Part Deux (there can always be a Mama Movies, the Third if we have more to add).

1. Mr. Mom (I can't believe I forgot this one before!)

2. Three Men and a Baby (whatever happened to Steve Guttenberg?)

3. Look Who's Talking (pre-fat Kirstie Alley and pre-Pulp Fiction John Travolta)

4. Waitress (a lovely little indie film starring Keri Russell)

5. Kindergarten Cop (I don't know if this qualifies, but it is fun nonetheless)

6. Fools Rush In (pre-famous Salma Hayek and Friends-era Matthew Perry)
7. The Switch (just coming out and I haven't seen it, but it fits the category and I pretty much like anything with Jason Bateman)

8. Where the Heart Is (Natalie Portman gives birth in Walmart. Enough said.)

9. Cheaper by the Dozen (Steve Martin in another harried parent role)

10. Raising Helen (Kate Hudson inherits some kids and John Corbett is a Lutheran Pastor)

Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trashy TV Recap -- oh and a summary of what happened on 19 Kids and Counting

I just finished watching Tuesday's episode of Teen Mom. To recap - Farrah got swindled in a Craigslist fraud scheme, Maci introduced Bentley to her new beau, Catelynn and Tyler made up and Amber and Gary had yet another fight, threatened to break off their 3rd engagement and then made up? I think I have that right, although Amber and Gary are hard to follow -- I swear she yells at him more than she talks to him. I hope that their daughter, Leah, doesn't grow up thinking that all the yelling, swearing and fighting is normal -- it can't be healthy.

I felt bad for Farrah who fell for a scam on Craigslist. The scam is that you are selling something and a prospective buyer contacts you, offers to buy it and says that he will send you a check for the amount of the item, plus shipping costs. He then wants you to take the check and wire him the extra money that he paid for shipping. It doesn't really make any sense, but Farrah fell for it and wired the guy $3,000 before finding out that the check was fraudulent. First - shipping a car doesn't cost $3,000. Second - why she went and wired him the cash so fast is beyond me...she could have just waited until finding out if the check was bogus or not. Anyways, I was wondering who fell for these schemes and now I know. I do feel bad for her though because I can imagine how sick she felt when she realized that she lost $3,000.


Catelynn and Tyler made up on this episode and Tyler is going to try to begin trusting Catelynn again. I was happy to see them back together, but when they reunited, he ripped up her phone records and threw them into a river. DON'T LITTER! I don't care how symbolic of a gesture this was, please try an alternative like putting them in a paper shredder or even burning them! That really bothered me. I don't get why people think it is okay to litter. Just the other day I was driving and this chick in front of me just threw a drink bottle out of her window, followed by her still burning cigarette. I felt like making a citizen's arrest. Get a clue people.

In other trashy TV, I also caught up on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. This week the group (Teresa, Caroline and Jacqueline + 500 members of their families and the Bravo crew) was still in Italy and wrapping up the trip with a visit to Joe's and Teresa's extended family in a tiny town called Sala Consilina. It looked very picturesque and old school. A few memorable things about this episode: 1) Joe Giudice trying to explain that bidets are no longer in America and that they are like a "douche;" 2) the spread of food at the relatives house -- YUM; 3) Joe bitching about how much they spent at the hotel in Naples -- over 850 Euro; 4) the absolutely hideous custom made dresses that Teresa dressed her girls in for their last night in Italy (are they going to sell those at the bankruptcy auction?); and 5) Danielle back home in N.J. searching for her birth mother. Also, Danielle said the word "panini" about 5 million times in this episode and it was driving me bonkers.
Now that I scraped the bottom of the TV barrel, let's end this post on a more wholesome note -- yep, you guessed it -- 19 Kids and Counting recap! Michelle Duggar is still in Little Rock tending to Baby Josie while Jim Bob and the rest of the family visited another mega family -- The Bates. The Bates live in the hills of TN and have 17 children (Mrs. Bates is pregnant with her 18th). The Bates are a lot like the Duggars. They dress modestly, are very religious and also home school their children. It was kind of a boring episode and the highlight of the episode was that they visited a bird sanctuary. Yes, a bird sanctuary. Enough said. We also got to see how Jana and John David were doing on their mission trip in Southeast Asia -- looks like they were having fun riding elephants and sightseeing. I'm wondering what kind of mission this is and hope to see more of their trip next week.
So, that's it for now...next week's RHONJ looks to be an amazing blow out of an episode with
Caroline Manzo going head to head with Danielle. I also heard that Danielle may be getting her own spin-off like Bethenny did! She is so not worthy...

Mama Movies

This past weekend while driving from Indianapolis back to Cincinnati, my husband and I brainstormed a list of great parenting /pregnancy related movies. Here is what we came up with -- in no particular order of greatness:

1. Parenthood (love Steve Martin)
2. She's Having a Baby (old school Kevin Bacon)
3. Baby Mama (seriously could watch this every day)
4. Nine Months (vintage Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore)
5. Baby Boom (Diane Keaton in 80s power suit)
6. Knocked Up (seen it about 500 times)
7. Kramer vs. Kramer (on the serious side...)
8. Father of the Bride Part II (combines two favs - Steve Martin and Diane Keaton)
9. Juno (great dialogue)
10. Precious (just kidding)

I want to hear if anyone has a favorite parenthood / pregnancy related movie that I forgot. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why not?

This past weekend I rode a mechanical bull for the first time. I was out for one of the first times since the baby, at a bachelorette party, my cousin had brought shorts to wear under our dresses and I was feeling good after my 1.5 skinny girl margaritas so I said -- Why Not? It was a blast and a good workout -- my thighs still hurt two days later. When else am I going to ride the bull? I'm certainly not taking Cam there in his Baby Bjorn! I doubt I will go back to that bar anytime soon, so bull riding is not going to become a habit, but I'm glad I did it...I may be a 30 year old new mom, but I haven't lost my sassy side.


Speaking of sassy -- one of my favorite actors -- Neil Patrick Harris -- is going to be a dad! He and his longtime partner David Burtka are expecting twins via surrogate this fall. How exciting! I loved Doogie Howser, M.D. and I love him in How I Met Your Mother -- oh, and did anyone see his guest appearance on Glee? Very talented guy and I bet he will be a great dad. Surrogacy is such an amazing miracle -- to think that without surrogates, many people may never be parents.


More on non-traditional parenting:

Last week Jennifer Aniston took heat from Bill O'Reilly for comments she made while doing press for her new movie, The Switch. In The Switch Jennifer plays a woman who uses artificial insemination to become a mother on her own. During a press conference Jennifer said: "Women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child...Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere." O'Reilly commented on her quote on his show calling her words "destructive to our society." Wow. Really? Destructive to our society? That seems a little ridiculous. Jennifer is saying that there is more than one way to have a family and to raise a child. I don't think that loving a child and surrounding that child with others that love him or her is destructive. Not every family is a mom and dad -- some are mom and mom or dad and dad -- and MANY families in this country are just mom because the dad left. What destroys our society most? Disrespect of others. Oh, and wasn't Bill O'Reilly accused of sexual harassment?


Thoughts on non-traditional parenting and/or pregnancy -- or bull riding? To me it is not a political issue -- it is a people issue...

Friday, August 13, 2010

TGIF!

Yippee for Friday! After the week I have had, I am very very excited for the weekend -- mainly because I just need to relax and get over this nasty cold that my son gave me. This morning as I was driving to work I was listening to my usual morning radio show and a main story was about the Duggar family. Apparently, the Duggars are under attack again for publicly stating that they were open to having more children -- even after the ordeal that they just went through (and are still going through) with Baby Josie.



I've talked about the Duggar family a lot on this blog already and in my opinion, they are entitled to live their life the way they want. However, I do think that their actions are somewhat risky at this point. Michelle is 43 years old, which is considered "advanced maternal age," and with the complications she experienced with Baby Josie -- preeclampsia, I think that she and Jim Bob may want to call it a day with number 19. Even if they don't want to use contraception, try the ol' rhythm method and that would at least lower the risk of another pregnancy. My thought is that the older she gets, the more likely the complications for her and the baby. I had preeclampsia with Cameron and it didn't come on until 38 weeks and I am 13 years younger than Michelle. The fact that I had labor complications gives me pause when thinking of having another child and causes me to consider the risks -- to me (stroke, seizures, etc.) and to a baby (premature birth, developmental problems, etc.). The Duggar's convictions are very strong and I understand wanting to stand by those convictions, but I would also like them to acknowledge the fact that by "being open" to another child they are putting Michelle's life at risk, which could end with her leaving 19 (or 20) children without a mother.



In other parenting news, Dina Lohan was on the Today Show this morning talking to Matt Lauer about how Lindsay didn't deserve to go to jail and how as a parent, she had to "let go" of Lindsay at some point and let her make her own mistakes. I didn't watch the entire interview (uh, hello, I was trying to doing a million things to get out the door with the baby), but Dina Lohan just comes across as almost apathetic to her parenting duties. Sure, Lindsay is an adult now, but when she entered show biz, she was NOT an adult and that is when all of this nonsense started. I think it is interesting that Dina would take jabs at the Judge who made Lindsay go to jail (albeit for 2 weeks instead of 90 days) and to rehab (for like the 1000th time). Her daughter is a public train wreck and is in need of help. The Judge was enforcing the law and personally, I wish that every Judge would treat celebrities the same as anyone else in their courtroom. Kudos to the Judge for showing Lindsay that she could no longer get away with lame excuses for violating probation. I wish that instead of defending Lindsay and criticizing the Judge that Dina Lohan would have admitted that there is a problem and it is being taken care of -- for Lindsay's health and well-being.

Thoughts on the Duggars? On Dina Lohan? Did I just open up a can of worms? Probably. It is amazing how two totally different families - the Duggars and the Lohans -- can incite such strong opinions! I want to hear yours.











Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer TV not so hot...

Yesterday I could barely keep my eyes open. Cameron got a cold and ear infection from daycare and then passed the cold to us. My husband is the sickest he has been in years and I am feeling pretty crappy myself (sore throat, congestion, headache). Of course there is no rest for the weary mom -- I still had to get up in the middle of the night with Cam (when is that going to end?) and still had to get up with him this morning and get us both out the door. Ain't motherhood grand?

While my husband and I were practically comatose on the couch we caught up on 19 Kids and Counting and Teen Mom. 19 Kids and Counting was not all that interesting except for the family being extras in the newest family Christian film, "Courageous." Also, Michelle Duggar is still back in Little Rock tending to little Josie who (thank God) is looking healthier each episode! With all of the other kids back at home, Michelle was saying that she is not used to so much peace and quiet. She said it was like having her first child again in that she could nap when Josie naps and just pay attention to her. I am feeling the effects of just one child and cannot imagine the degree of tired that Michelle Duggar must feel having 19 children. That poor woman has probably not had a full night of sleep in 21 years.

From the wholesome Duggars I went to the trainwreck of Teen Mom. What an episode.
First, could Gary's proposal to Amber be any more ridiculous and could her response be any more rude? I love how she basically gave him the script as to how to ask her to marry him and how they argued about it while he was in the process of proposing. What are the odds that there will actually be a wedding? Umm, slim to none. She kept saying that she was "old-fashioned" when it came to marriage. What? Anyways, so Gary and Amber are engaged...I think.

The saddest part of the Teen Mom episode this week was seeing Catelynn and Tyler's relationship disintegrate. They were my favorite Teen Mom couple because they were mature enough to know adoption was the right choice for their daughter and because they were so nice and supportive of each other throughout the entire ordeal. Now, they are fighting because Catelynn lied about communicating with an ex-boyfriend. I just feel for these two kids. I want to see them succeed in life and in love. Hopefully the couple's counseling will help out...although I know enough to say that 17 year olds in couples counseling probably won't be together in 20 years.

I am really ready for my shows to come back on the air because summer TV is slim pickins'

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bambino

First week of daycare last week, first ear infection this week -- I should have seen it coming. This is Cam's first illness and I am so glad that I caught it when I did. When I was taking the obligatory Baby Care class before Cam was born, my one question for the instructor was how to spot an ear infection. Well, I can't say that I spotted it this time but he was fussy, congested and coughing and that is why I took him to the doc and luckily, the doc found the ear infection before it had gotten too bad. Not to put a damper on things, but apparently babies will have about 11 illnesses during the first year of life. Something to look forward to...

One of my favorite 90's musicians and former Nickelodeon stars, Alanis Morrissette is expecting her first child. Congratulations! Apparently she married rapper, Souleye, back in May. Now, look at the picture...rapper? What?



Yesterday I caught up on the Real Housewives of N.J. while I tried to calm my very irritable son. Sometime last winter / spring Caroline, Jacqueline and Teresa (and about 20 other people including children and in-laws) went on a whirlwind trip to Italy. The episode followed the planning of the trip and the first few days in Italy and on the cruise ship. I'm sure that there was fun being had, but it looked like hell to me. First, traveling internationally with infants does not look like a good time to me. Uh, hello time change? How does that affect a sleep schedule? Second, I hate huge group trips. I hate having to get everyone on the same page and coordinate what is going on...too stressful for a vacation. There was a scene in the show where the group is trying to celebrate Milania's (Teresa's 3rd daughter) 4th birthday and the child is asleep in her chair. I don't blame her -- I'm sure it was late, the child was exhausted and there is only so much Teresa anyone can take -- including her own children. The other thing I kept thinking about was how Teresa and Joe had no place going on the trip (unless Bravo subsidized it) due to their financial troubles. No wonder Joe seemed so grouchy the entire time.

Lately I have been on a kick of watching "old" (like 80's and 90's old) movies about adventures in parenting and/or pregnancy. Among some of the recent views: 9 Months and Baby Boom. I loved 9 Months because not only does Hugh Grant have his signature floppy hairstyle, but also because Joan Cusack and Tom Arnold are great as the "experienced" parents that Hugh Grant wants nothing to do with. Oh, and Robin Williams is also pretty funny as the crazy OB/GYN.

Now, Baby Boom was one that I didn't really remember that much about until I started watching it again. This is really a story about the power suit/ working woman turned mother. Diane Keaton stars as an executive who inherits a baby from her long lost cousins and then baby turns her life upside down and has her moving to Vermont to "simplify" her life. I enjoyed it because I love Diane Keaton and I love seeing the working woman's fashion from the late 80's. It is a nice story that gives me hope as a working mother -- that you can have the proverbial "all," you just have to be creative.
Tonight I will be catching up with 19 Kids and Counting and Teen Mom. Ciao!





Sunday, August 8, 2010

Motherhood 101

Week two of our new routine has begun and I am learning more strategies as to how to stay organized so that Cam and I can make it out the door on time each morning. First - get almost everything ready the night before. That means all bags have to be packed, bottles and lunch made and shower taken. Second - my teammate has to be on board. Husband has own duties in the morning, from making me my to-go cup of tea and taking the dog out. Last week wasn't too bad although as the week wore on I did NOT want to get out of bed. Hopefully this week the shock will have worn off and I will start to feel comfortable in our new "normal." Any other helpful tips out there for keeping mornings smooth?

In other news, I watched the season finale of Bethenny Getting Married? and laughed out loud quite a few times. That girl is funny -- vulgar and blunt --but funny. I enjoy her and I especially enjoyed seeing Jason (her husband) react to the things she said on last weeks episode. The episode chronicled the first family trip to the Hamptons and the whole gang was there -- Bethenny, Jason, baby Bryn, Gina the baby nurse, Julie (asst. #1) and Max (#2) (also- I can't decide what I think about Max - clueless? charming? weird?). Check out Max's bio pic to the right...what is up with that hair?
On the way to Montauk, Bethenny and Jason realize they forgot a bassinet or pack & play for Bryn and Bethenny's Brest Friend. Yep, you read that right -- her Brest Friend, which is a nursing pillow. http://www.mybrestfriend.com/ When she realized that she left the Brest Friend behind, she had a moment of panic which I could totally relate to!

When I was new to nursing, I had such a set-up for each nursing session. In the hospital, where I was for about a week, I used a total of 5 pillows to nurse Cameron and people had to help me strategically place them for optimal latch and positioning. It was nuts and I worried about where I was going to find that many pillows at home. At home, I started using the Boppy nursing pillow along with two small couch pillows and it worked pretty well. Now, over three months in, I go to Cam's daycare and feed him MacGyver style with no pillows and only my sheer arm muscle to hold him. Last week when I fed him at daycare, the two rockers in his daycare room were being used by the caregivers so I had to sit on this miniature chair. No seriously, my knees were as high as my breasts -- it was the kind of chair that preschoolers sit on to eat snack. I could hear Tim Gunn in my head saying "Make it work." So, I did.

As all moms know, there are certain moments during motherhood where your dignity and modesty comes second to the well-being of your child. Sitting on that teeny tiny chair with my shirt pulled up trying to feed my son in the middle of 20 infants and four caregivers was one of those moments for me. Anyone have any "no dignity" moments to share? Don't worry, I never seem to run out of them...

Also, I want to wish two of my favorite comedians Congratulations! Amy Poehler and Will Arnett welcomed their second son, Abel James into the world last Friday. Very exciting!!! One of my favorite movies is Baby Mama with Amy and then I just watched When In Rome this weekend which features Will. I can just imagine what kind of parenting commentary these two have together -- I'm sure it is hilarious!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feed the children / Feed the models (or children of models)

Happy Friday!!!

Last night I finally watched the new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. There is nothing like the good clean family fun of the Duggar family to cap off my Thursday night. It is a far cry from Thursday nights at the bar during college...and hangovers the following morning!

This season there is a lot going on with the Duggars, including baby Josie being released from the hospital and being diagnosed as lactose intolerant (join the club Josie) and two of the older Duggar kids heading off for a mission trip in Southeast Asia. What caught my attention the most on these episodes was something that I have been writing about a lot lately -- and that everyone is probably sick of reading about -- breast milk! FYI - It's World Breastfeeding Week - so suck it.

While baby Josie was in the NICU (for many many months), Michelle Duggar was busy pumping over 500 gallons of milk and storing it in what I can only imagine to be a walk-in freezer. As a fellow pumper, I know the dedication it takes to keep that up -- you have to carry that damn pump everywhere and you learn to get creative -- i.e., how to pump in the car without truckers getting a birds eye view. Well, now that Josie is lactose intolerant she cannot use any of Michelle's frozen milk. I'm sure that Michelle was somewhat disappointed, but also relieved that Josie's issue was finally figured out and that she wasn't going to be connected to the milk machine anymore. (I should have sent her a link for the easy expressions hands-free adapter!)

Thankfully, it appears that Michelle is donating her vast stores of milk to either the hospital or a breast milk bank. That makes me happy because I know that it will go to good use for adopted children or children whose mothers cannot produce milk (or shouldn't, hello crackheads). For more information on human milk banks (I know, the name sounds creepy), go to: http://www.hmbana.org/

Another celebrity mom was also making headlines this week talking about breastfeeding -- Gisele Bundchen. In her interview for Harper's Bazaar UK, Gisele actually says that in her opinion there should be a "worldwide law" that mother's breastfeed their babies for six months. Ummm, I know that she is a model so I'm trying to cut her some slack, but I'm not sure that there is such thing as a worldwide law... That being said, her comment has proved to be pretty inflammatory. People were lighting up parenting websites and blogs commenting on Gisele's statement. Breastfeeding is supposed to be the healthiest option for your child (assuming you aren't smoking anything or drinking excessively and you eat healthy), but not everyone can do it and not everyone wants to for 6 months.

When I decided to breastfeed Cameron, I made a goal for myself to keep it up for 6 months. In my mind 6 months was ample time for him receive the health benefits from my milk and seemed like a reasonable time period considering I would be having to pump 2-3 times a day at work. That being said, I have my own office with a door and I work with all women who understand the concept. I think that if the situation was different -- such as not having an office, working with guys or having the type of job where taking breaks was not an option -- I would not have continued breastfeeding after maternity leave ended.

At this point in my breastfeeding journey I don't mind it -- I like spending quality time with Cam and I think it is kind of cool that my body can produce his food. I also like not buying formula, but am not convinced that breastfeeding is cheaper. After tallying up what I have spent on a pump / pump supplies, milk storage, breast pads and nursing bras, I think I may be breaking even with the cost of formula.

Even though I don't mind it, it doesn't mean that breastfeeding is for everyone. I was not breastfed and I'm sure most people would agree that I turned out perfect (ha!). Some of my friends couldn't breastfeed for various reasons - not enough milk production, other health problems, babies wouldn't cooperate or they simply didn't have the support to do so. Who am I to judge? In the days after giving birth, I was told that I may not be able to breastfeed due to the health complications I experienced. It was hard to hear that, but it would not have been the end of the world.

So, in the fashion of many other celebrities, Gisele had her "foot in the mouth" moment. Thoughts on Gisele's comment? Thoughts on the Duggars? Lactose intolerance?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends (and family)...

This has been my first week back at work full-time and I am bone tired. I could barely drag myself out of bed this morning and Cameron didn't seem to want to get up either. So, I guess I have a case of the Thursdays -- the weekend is just one more day away, but still seemed so far when I woke up. It has been a busy week so far and I am trying to get into a routine that allows me to stay organized, hang out with my son and spend some time with my husband...forget exercising for the moment. I have to give a shout out to my husband for all of the support he has given me this week -- letting me go to bed early, keeping up with cleaning, cooking and other household crapola. He has pulled more than his fair share of the weight. Thanks honey!

With all that goes on in the first few months of parenthood, I certainly have relied on the support of my husband and family. After having a very difficult delivery and recovery, I don't know what I would have done without the help of my parents and in-laws. For the first few weeks of Cam's life there was a constant stream of helpers - bringing over dinner, walking the dog, picking up the house and taking care of the baby. It was amazing and we are truly blessed to have such an awesome family.

That being said, my heart went out to Farrah this week on Teen Mom. The viewers never knew what happened to Farrah's baby daddy and this week we learned that he passed away and that before he died, her parents were doing their best to keep her away from him. He may not have been the best guy for Farrah (in her parent's eyes), but Farrah is clearly still grieving him and the loss of a father for her daughter. Understandably, the relationship between Farrah and her mother is especially strained right now after her mother assaulted her causing physical injury, but I noticed that there is a mutual lack of respect between mother and daughter. On the episode, it was Sophia's (Farrah's daughter) first birthday and Farrah was going to meet up with her father for dinner to celebrate and she agreed that her mother could also come. (P.S. - I find it weird how the family seems to call each other by first names rather than "mom" or "dad.") So, Deborah (Farrah's mom) came to dinner and basically hijacked Sophia the entire time, even when Farrah was trying to read Sophia the birthday card she had chosen for her. TV shows Farrah asking a few times for them to leave Sophia alone for a minute so she can read the card to her, but they just seem to ignore her. It was sad because it was clear that Farrah wanted to have a nice day with her daughter, even making a t-shirt that said "Sophia's Mom" on it and wearing it for the day. All in all Deborah seems a little looney what with the physical assault, crazy grandmother behavior and snubbing of Farrah.

So, Farrah no longer seems to have family support -- or she doesn't want it because she finds it toxic, but nonetheless, she is alone with her child. Now, at age 30 I could probably handle it -- it wouldn't be fun or a piece of cake, but I have been living in the adult world for some time and have a career, some assets, etc. -- but at age 18 there is NO WAY that I could have been on my own with a baby without family to depend on. NO WAY. I suppose you do what you have to do and I hope that Farrah can keep it going for her daughter's sake.

The polar opposite of Farrah's situation is that of the Duggar family. I have two 19 Kids and Counting episodes waiting for me on my DVR. Oh how I miss maternity leave!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh no she didn't!


Today I was going to write about going back to work full-time and putting my darling in daycare, but I will wait to do that later this week because what I just watched cannot be ignored -- it must be commented on. On the Real Housewives of N.J. last night Danielle continued her campaign of embarrassment by taping her daughter Christine's first visit to the gyno. I know -- WHAT? Now, before I comment on this lunacy, I want to say that thank goodness for Christine's sake, there were no stirrups involved and it was more of just a talk with the doctor. But, seriously, this display of "reality" crossed the line.

I remember my first visit to the gyno and it was embarrassing enough just to sit in the waiting room, much less have a sex talk with a doctor. I don't know if this was Danielle's attempt to show that she is a responsible parent by educating her daughter on STDs or if she is just an attention grabbing nut job. I'm going with the latter. Going to the OB/GYN for the first time is a sensitive matter between a mother and daughter and has no place on television. I mean, even MTV only shows visits to the OB/GYN after the teen mom is knocked up. I feel like Danielle missed the boat -- whatever happened to normal mother / daughter bonding activities like manicures and shopping? I don't watch the Real Housewives to hear a gynecologist educate a mortified teen about sex and HPV, I can watch the Discovery Channel, TLC or ABC Family (Secret Life of an American Teenager anyone?) if I want to go down that road.

Thoughts on Danielle's antics? Embarrassing stories of your own?
I can't even write about how my week has been so far because I am so bone tired from starting back to work full-time and getting up with a hungry baby in the middle of the night, so I am going to have to give the update later. In the meantime I will be setting my DVR to record Teen Mom and 19 Kids and Counting tonight.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Out Damn Spot


On last Thursday's episode of Bethenny Getting Married? I watched a woman stumble out of bed in the middle of the night to feed her infant. Even though I did not have the baby nurse to come and get me out of bed and change my baby, I could totally relate to Bethenny in this moment. I remember the first few days after getting home from the hospital and how utterly exhausted and shell shocked I was to have to get up ever 2 to 3 hours. For the first week or two of my son's life I was like Bethenny -- bleary eyed, stumbling towards the baby with breast milk leaking through my nursing tank top.

Speaking of breast milk on clothing...it is the one stain that I am having trouble erasing from our laundry! Thank God for breast pads. Any suggestions for getting breast milk out of dark fabrics? Just another thing missing from the What to Expect series. Perhaps I should ask Michelle Duggar, after all she and her family do about a thousand loads of laundry each week.

This weekend I have done about 5 loads of laundry -- mostly baby related! I always thought it was so ridiculous when the Kate Gosselin or Michelle Duggar would talk about how much laundry their families created, but I have to admit, one little baby creates much more laundry than I thought possible so I can't imagine what kind of damage sextuplets could do. I'm actually kind of envious of their multiple washer and dryer set-ups. If you haven't caught on by now, I'm kind of a laundry freak. I relish the memory of moving from an apartment (shared laundry machines) to a house and purchasing my own front loading washer and dryer. Ahhh...

Besides allowing me time to absorb every ounce of trashy television that I can, my maternity leave also opened new horizons in stain removal tactics. Now, everyone knows what a blow-out is -- and not the type that you would get at your local salon. My son creates quite a few of these on a weekly basis and I have become quite skilled at erasing the evidence. My technique is very complex and passed down through generations -- really it's a family secret, but I'll share. First rinse the offending stain with cold water, then soak the clothes in an Oxy Clean solution with luke warm water for an hour or two, remove from solution, ring out and then spray with Spray and Wash and toss in the next load of laundry (wash on cold). Voila -- 99.9% effective!

It's not really a family secret, just a tip that my mom showed me when I was having a laundry fit during my first few weeks of motherhood. Now, poop stain removal from a Restoration Hardware couch is another story...