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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cabbage Patch Kid

First off, the founder of Cabbage Patch Kids is Xavier Roberts and no joke, there is a child at my son's day care with the exact same name.  I laughed when I saw his name up on the cubby and I truly think that I am one of the only people my age (and a former Cabbage Patch doll collector) with the insane memory to know that fact.  Do you remember the names of your Cabbage Patch dolls?  I remember mine had really weird names like: Miles Malcolm or Carol Knight ...who came up with these names?  I would inevitably end up renaming mine with some cool 80's name like Tiffany or Kelli.  The Cabbage Patch phenomenon spawned the Garbage Pail Kid phenomenon, which I was not allowed to partake in because my mother found the Garbage Pail Kids disgusting (not that I blame her).  My husband has an entire scrapbook of Garbage Pail Kids and I recently enjoyed looking through all of the cards -- and yes, they are completely disgusting.

Second, I am wearing cabbage today.  In.my.bra.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And, no, I am not pulling a vegetarian Lady Gaga stunt.  I am trying to dry up my milk supply and apparently this is one way to do it.  I am finished with breastfeeding and now I just have to relieve myself of the pesky problem of engorgement...fun stuff.  I had never heard of this remedy until I was pregnant and listening to other mother's horror stories of birth and breastfeeding.  Doing the research I learned that if you wear a cabbage compress, it is supposed to help with engorgement and decrease your milk supply. 

Cabbage compresses have been used since the 1800s to help with swelling for all sorts of things -- ankle sprains, broken bones, breast engorgement...  http://www.lactationconsultant.info/cabbagecure.html.  Apparently, the natural properties found in cabbage can help dilate local capillaries, which help promote blood flow and may allow the body to reabsorb trapped fluid in the breasts.  I found many websites tout the benefits of using cabbage to help reduce breastfeeding related engorgement and assist in decreasing milk supply when weaning.  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/engorgement.html

So far I am still in pain, but I have only been using the cabbage compress for a few hours.  Just one more thing about being a new mom that no one seems to mention...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boo! What scares you?

Just in time for Halloween -- scary new mom things.  With all the crazy stories I hear on a daily basis (from the media, well meaning relatives and cautionary tales), I can't help but get the new mom jitters once in a while.  
 
Things that cause my new mom radar to go nuts:

1.  Rashes on my baby's skin...my mind instantly starts questioning -- what is he allergic too?  is it eczema? what should I put on it?  when to call the doctor?  Typically the rash goes away after a day and it doesn't seem to bother him, but I have caught him on his video monitor scratching his little head in an oh-so-cute-I'm-thinking kind of way...

2.  Finding my son face down in his crib after I had so carefully put him on his back ("Back is Best") to sleep...apparently he is able to turn over on his own and actually prefers to sleep on his stomach now.  Still scares the beejeezus out of me every time. 

3.  A cough.  After the whooping cough deaths in California -  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/10/27/cases-whooping-cough-california/ - I am freaking out when he makes the smallest sound. 

4.  The sniffles.  He also seems to be congested all the time so I am on the look out for another ear infection, which will probably appear any day now.

5.  Autism spectrum disorders.  The warning signs, the red flags, the symptoms...yep, hearing about the rate of autism in boys gives me the chills.  

The list could go on and on, but I'm not going to let it take over my life.  I know I sound like the biggest worrier and dooms-day mom, but seriously, these things do weigh on my mind.  To make myself calm down, I have to stop and take a step back and remember that babies are resilient and have survived with much less supervision than Cam has.  Plus, what does worrying accomplish?  

Any other mommy worries to share?  I'm sure I can empathize! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Betty Ford, meet Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is going back to rehab until 2011.  Judge Fox made this decision at her probation violation hearing today.  I hate to give her any more press than she already gets, but I have to comment on a few things:
1.  This next stint in rehab will be her sixth.  She is 24 years old. 
2.  The Judge ordered her Scram alcohol monitoring bracelet to be removed.   Why?  To make her more comfortable in rehab?
3.  She wore jeans to court.  Yes, jeans.  Not acceptable in this attorney's eyes...at least put on some black pants, a skirt or a dress.  Dress like you are serious about your situation, not going to lunch at Chateau Marmont. 
4.  If she slips up after her Jan. 2011 release from rehab, he is going to sentence her to six months in jail.  So, count on Lindsay being in jail from at least February to July 2011 -- sorry studios, she will be unavailable for projects for personal reasons. 

As a mother, I will do my best to raise my son so that he does not have to deal with rehab or jail.  I will try to help him make good decisions and I will teach him respect for himself and others.  And, if for some awful reason he does have to go in front of a judge (hopefully just a traffic ticket or something...), I will make damn sure he is wearing appropriate clothing. 

P.S. - Cam is outgrowing all of his clothes...at 5 1/2 months, he is already in 6-9 month and 9 month clothing.  Crazy!  I never thought he'd grow this fast. 

I laughed, I cried...

Last night I watched the 2 hr. Teen Mom Finale Special: Check-Up with Dr. Drew.  My emotions ran the full gamut -- including getting teary for Catelynn and Tyler and laughing inappropriately at Amber.  First, I would like to adopt Catelynn and Tyler.  Yes, I know that they are technically of adult age, but I would like to adopt them and send them to college (or at least help them get scholarships) and give them the opportunities that they currently have to struggle and fight for.  I love these two.  I am thoroughly impressed with their emotional maturity and their kindness (towards each other and people in general).  When the home video of Carly taking her first steps came on and we saw that Catelynn and Tyler were present for it, I got teary.  When Tyler told April (Catelynn's crazy pants mom) that she deserved more love and deserved better in her life, my heart broke.  These two kids are amazing.

On the other end of the spectrum sits Amber and Gary.  Hot mess.  Amber's behavior this season was atrocious.  She physically and verbally abused Baby Daddy Gary, seemingly neglected her daughter Leah, and took up with some shade ball guy that she met at WalMart.  Dr. Drew made a point to show the violent behavior on tape several times during the TV special, which reduced Amber to "tears."  I would love to believe that Amber is truly sorry for her actions and wants to improve, but throughout the season I always felt like she was "acting" for the cameras.  She has a way of turning on the tears after she finishes behaving badly.  I'm just not buying it.  All I have to say is: Gary, WALK AWAY.  Not from Leah, but from Amber.  Dr. Drew told you both that it would take some hard core couples counseling over a very very long period of time to fix the relationship -- is it worth it? 

As much of a sad train wreck that it is, I couldn't help but laugh inappropriately several times during their segment as I watched Amber unsuccessfully try to throw Gary's TV down the stairs (a la Precious style) and  when Dr. Drew asked Gary how he felt after Amber abused him and he said hurt as she was saying "embarrassed."  Classic.  Domestic violence of any kind is unacceptable.  This family needs some serious help and I hear they are getting it in the form of an investigation by Indiana Child Protective Services.  I feel for Leah, but it seems that Gary has her best interests at heart and will hopefully do the right thing for his daughter.

Maci and Farrah seem to be trucking along in life and doing better than before.  Maci is still in Nashville and back with Kyle.  Ryan (her ex and Bentley's daddy) showed up and was entertainingly clueless.  Dr. Drew interviewed Farrah and her mother (which I fast forwarded through because Farrah's mom irks me).  I assume that he covered her domestic violence charges, Farrah's grieving, yada yada yada.  If anyone has any other info on that segment, please fill me in.  I just didn't have the extra 15 minutes to kill...had bottles to wash, a shower to take and laundry to fold.

All in all it was a fantastic season of Teen Mom.  Now, a whole new season of 16 and Pregnant is beginning, but I am going to abstain (ha!) from recording it.  I just can't get invested in a whole new crew of prego teens.  I have enough prego 30 somethings to keep up with in my own life!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Splitsville

Marriage is hard.  There, I said it.  I'm trying to be a realist and not paint it with rainbows and unicorns because marriage is complex.  It has its ups and downs and while marriage can offer great joy and comfort, it can also be a source of frustration and conflict.  Apparently more than a few couples have fell down the marriage rabbit hole lately and it is so disheartening to see so many people break-up. 
  • Courteney Cox and David Arquette -- split up, but haven't filed for divorce.  Parents of Coco, age 6.
  • Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman -- divorcing.  Parents of Max, age 2.
  • Laura Dern and Ben Harper -- divorcing.  Parents of a 9 yr. old son and 5 yr. old daughter.
  • Vicki Gunvalson and Donn Gunvalson of Real Housewives of O.C. -- divorcing. 
  • Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee) and husband Bobby Salomon -- divorcing.  Parents of Penelope, age 4.
  • Al and Tipper Gore -- divorcing.  Married 40 years!
It makes me sad to see people end their marriages.  Perhaps it is the best choice for them, but it doesn't come without heart break and turmoil for their family.  I understand that the reasons behind a split are nobody's business...and I get why many of these famous couples don't make a public statement at all.  However, it irks me when the public statement that is made always includes a message about how they are going to focus on being parents to their child(ren), or how they are still committed to raising their child (ren). 
Ummm, duh?  Did getting a divorce somehow imply that the entire parenting thing was also not working out for you and that you decided to dissolve that too?  I sure hope that you were committed to that child all along -- from the time he or she was born.  I never thought that divorce meant giving up on the children too, so just making a statement like that makes it feel disingenous.  Just saying.  I'm sure that people have their own reasons for making this kind of statement (or at least their PR agent does), but how about just saying -- "we are splitting up, it sucks and we would request some privacy for our family."

In happier news, Kody Brown and his fourth wife, Robyn, tied the knot on the season finale of Sister Wives.  She wore white and there was a reception for around 200 guests.  I kind of wish that I could have attended...the cake looked delicious.

I have Teen Mom recorded so my next post is going to be a dissection of all that is the crazy train of Amber (especially Amber), Farrah, Maci and Catelynn.  A mom blogger that I follow, Christine Coppa, wrote a great open letter type post to Amber and other teen / single moms out there.  Check it out: http://www.parenting.com/new/blogs/mamas-boy/christine-coppa/3-tips-teen-and-young-single-moms



Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Monday

What? Monday again?  Last week flew by and before I knew it, it was the weekend.  Now another week is beginning and October is passing in a flash.  Can you believe Halloween is just around the corner?  My awesome MIL made Cameron's costume -- a monkey suit -- and he is ready to roll.  My little monkey.  Let the photo ops begin!

Some congratulations are in order for two celebs who recently became parents:
  • Alicia Keys gave birth to a baby boy, Egypt Daoud Dean, on October 14th.  Egypt is her first child with husband Swizz "Kaseem Dean" Beatz (Yes, I typed that correctly).  Congrats Alicia!!!  That lucky kid is getting free concerts with every lullabye!
  • Neal Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka welcomed twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace on October 12th.  Congratulations guys!!! 

Last week I caught up on Sister Wives and Christine (Wife #3) had her 6th baby, Truly Grace.  The Browns were also featured on Oprah -- and as intrigued as Oprah seemed with their lifestyle, she really didn't ask very many good questions.  A little disappointing.  The topic of the investigation and possible prosecution for bigamy did arise and Kody Brown admitted to really not expecting anything like this to happen when he signed on for the show.  I don't know how he couldn't have at least acknowledged that possibility... I don't necessarily agree with the enforcing the bigamy statute against this family, but the family is throwing it authorities faces by having a reality show about it. 

The topic of pregnancy / birth also surfaced on Grey's Anatomy this week with Dr. McDreamy and Meredith talking about procreating and the fact that Meredith had a miscarriage because of a "hostile uterus."  Hostile uterus?  Well, I looked it up on the trusty internet and apparently it has something to do with the antibodies in the cervical mucus... Anyway, Meredith Grey may have a hostile uterus.  I'm wondering where they are going with this story line, because I feel like Meredith and Derek having a baby may cause the show to "jump the shark."  As in, after they become parents and the show has to be somewhat realistic about what that means for two surgeons, is there any real story line left for that couple?  We'll see...

I have Sister Wives on my DVR to watch from last night and I have more shows to catch up on...I haven't even touched on Teen Mom from last week because it was such a hot mess that I need to devote an entire post to just that show and it's "recap show" that is airing this week.  I can't wait to see how Catelynn's mom reacts when Dr. Drew calls her abusive.  Awesome.

Later skaters.




Monday, October 11, 2010

Here it comes...

The 1st tooth.  My little buddy is in the beginning stages of teething -- gnawing on everything, biting down (hard) on things that he is sucking on (like I said, the weaning has begun...), drooling until he is drenched and being a little fuss bucket at night.  I keep waiting for a little tooth to make its appearance, but so far, nada.  I keep feeling his gums, which he hates, and giving him teething rings to help with the irritation that he seems to have.  I think the teething ring was a hit this weekend because although it was too cold for him to hold for very long, he couldn't get enough of it. 

I was reading The Parenting Post blog on http://www.parenting.com/ today and new mom Taylor Newman posted about her son teething and the use of an amber teething necklace.  The necklace is not for the baby to chew on, but it is supposed to omit some kind of oil or essence that is soothing for the pain of teething -- http://www.amberartisans.com/.  Since I am hesitant to pump him full of children's Tylenol and would love a homepathic alternative, I may consider getting one of these once teething gets worse.  Does this sound crazy?  Has anyone used one of these?  I am going to do more research so that I don't get taken (for $19.95 + S&H)! 

Some other homeopathic remedies that I found were Chamomilla tablets that are crushed and can be added to milk and clove oil that is mixed with other oils and rubbed into gums.  The clove oil remedy sounded a little scary as there was a warning about gum blistering if too much oil is used.  The Chamomilla tablets contain chamomile, calcium phosphate, coffee and alkaloids in a sweet milk sugar base that apparently makes them taste like powdered sugar.  Most of the reviews that I have read rave about these tablets and say that the babies just love them, but there was some disconcerting news -- the tablets also contain an herb called Belladonna which is typically used to treat migraines and can cause constipation and neurological reactions -- uh, scary.  I'm not going to use these until I talk with my pediatrician.

Anyone have any other suggestions to ease teething pain?  Hope everyone had a fabulous pain-free weekend!   

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bleb bleb bleb

Ever heard of a bleb? Yeah, me niether -- until this week.  If you had asked me on Monday what a bleb is, I would have imagined that it is a mythical swamp dwelling creature found in Harry Potter's world.  Unfortunately I now know that it is not a strange creature from Harry Potter and instead is a painful and irritating breastfeeding complication.  On Tuesday I had the awesome privilege of ridding myself of a bleb.  I will not scare / gross you out with the details, but if you are interested in learning more about blebs - how to prevent them and how to get rid of them you can visit: www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/nipplebleb.html
Ouch!  Just another bump on my breast feeding journey -- literally.  Let's just say that the weaning has begun...

However, I was still able to fight through the pain in order to catch up with my favorite polygamists - the Browns.  This week on Sister Wives, the wives shared their feelings on Robyn joining the family.  I think the show is ramping up and getting to the meat of the issues that surround a plural marriage.  This week showed Kody "courting" Robyn and Robyn moving her family to live by the Browns while she and Kody are "engaged."  The three wives, Meri, Janelle and Christine discussed how Robyn joining the family was making them feel -- jealous of Kody's time, nervous that the entire household dynamic would change and also joyful that they were getting a new sister wife who they adore.  There was an interesting moment where Meri was crying and saying that she doesn't want things to change and that she has considered leaving the family but would never do so for her daughter's sake.  Christine also sounded off about not liking the process of Kody courting Robyn and how it made her feel threatened at times-- like she was losing her best friend. 
I am really liking this show.

Sister Wives has become the topic of many discussions with friends and co-workers.  All in all, people seem to feel the same way -- if the Brown family isn't hurting anyone (i.e. marrying 13 year old girls, engaging in child abuse or tax evasion), then who cares and their choice of family should not be a crime.  The Browns are currently being investigated by the Lehi, Utah police and could face criminal prosecution for the crime of bigamy. 

The law in Utah makes bigamy a crime for someone to be married to one person and "purport" to be married to another.  This is a very broad statute.  From a lawyer's standpoint, I feel that it is time to tailor the statue to target the type of criminal behavior that is present in some polygamist circles -- underage marriage, incestuous marriages / relationships, child abuse and fraud.  Apparently there is a policy among law enforcement / state attorneys that bigamy charges aren't typically prosecuted unless other criminal behavior is also present.  I understand the awkward position that the police / prosecutors in Utah are now in -- this family is flaunting their lifestyle.  Thus, the Browns have wisely lawyered up... http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700071894/Sister-Wives-family-hires-attorney-as-prosecutors-mull-charges.html

We'll see what happens next...oh, the suspense.  Much better than another Paris Hilton arrest - those are so predictable.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome Fall!

Yesterday morning was gorgeous -- perfect fall weather -- high 60s, sunny, blue sky and crisp air.  I love this time of year.  Our little family took a walk to our local coffee shop and tooled around the neighborhood enjoying the season change.  There are only a few baby products that I absolutely adore and my BOB stroller is one of them.  I live in an older neighborhood with cracked, uneven sidewalks and many hills.  So, when I was shopping for a stroller to accommodate the terrain, I knew I needed more than the rinky dink version that comes with the car seat/stroller travel systems.  Doing the research we found the BOB and ordered it before Cam was even born.  We LOVE the BOB -- seriously it is the best value for the quality.  It is easy to push, sturdy, not too heavy and smooth riding (even along all of those ancient sidewalks).  We have the Revolution model and it has served us well...we had to get the car seat adapter to use until Cam is big enough to ride in the regular seat, but we use this thing all the time.


I caught up on some of my TV from last week and was HORRIFIED by Amber's behavior on Teen Mom.  Not only is this girl abusive to her baby daddy (full out punching him and trying to kick him down the stairs), but she came off as a neglecting parent as well.  First - why does baby Leah have SOOOO much crap in her crib?  Literally, it looks like they use her crib as storage and she just sleeps among all of the stuff.  My first thought was that they are lucky that she hasn't suffocated.  Anyways, I can imagine that Amber's life as a teen mom is difficult -- sure, no money, no job, no degree, no stable family support -- it cannot be easy.  However, she needs some intervention -- for Leah's sake.  I have to say, that although Gary is no prize, I respect him more every time I watch the show.  He walks away when Amber is berating and abusing him, he takes care of Leah and is attentive to her and he tries to keep his family together.

After watching Sister Wives this week and blogging about it, the show came up as the topic of conversation more than once among friends and co-workers.  The consensus was if these people are all consenting adults when they enter the marriage and there is nothing else illegal going on, then why should their family situation be considered a crime?  There is a lot more stuff going on in our world to be concerned about than a family living independently and lovingly.  They are not on public aid as far as we know and they don't hurt one another (as far as we know), so perhaps the police and prosecutor in Utah should use their time pursuing more serious crimes than bigamy.  I know that this family is flaunting their violation of the law and the state of Utah probably doesn't want to get a reputation as a polygamist haven, but seriously...who cares?  Plus, it makes good TV!

Off to enjoy the rest of my weekend with my one husband and one child.  Peace.