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, November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas? Winter? A first tooth?  Yes, now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas (actually I could have said this after Halloween based on the mall traffic) and winter seemed to hit my neck of the woods at roughly the same time.  Oh, and Cameron has been an absolute BEAR for the last week and we are hoping that it is teething instead of illness.  Fingers crossed.  Seriously, he is crying and fussy all the time, can't keep things out of his mouth and is generally not the little Cammy that I know and love!  This Thanksgiving -- while I have so very much to be grateful for -- I was also grateful for Baby Motrin.  Besides the teething drama, we had a lovely Thanksgiving in Indianapolis and were even able to sneak away and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  It. Was. Awesome.  Thanks to my FIL for babysitting!

I caught some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade last Thursday and saw that the newly engaged Jessica Simpson was featured.  I have always felt a kinship of sorts with Jessica because we share a birthday and she and Nick used to live close to where my husband lived in California.  She apparently has a new Christmas album out, Happy Christmas...and although I will not be buying it (well...maybe a tune or two on iTunes), I am happy that she is attempting to keep her career going.  After a few rocky relationships -- John Mayer, Tony Romo -- she is engaged and seems well, happy.  Good for her.  Just don't attempt acting again and everything will be good...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pop Mama's Favorite Things, Part 2

Yesterday Oprah aired her final Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things episode.  In fact it was Part 2 of her Ultimate Favorite Things.  It was BANANAS!  Not only did she give everyone an iPad (expected), but she ended the show by giving everyone a 2012 Volkswagon Beetle!  OMG! There were so many amazing gifts -- Coach bags, Le Creuset cookware, gourmet foods, clothing, etc.   Her audience was going NUTS.  I have never seen so many women crying with happiness at one time.  There was also this awesome male audience member who was TOTALLY FREAKING OUT.  He really made the show for me.  The audience members were all members of charities or groups that do good work for others, so it made you feel just a little less guilty about the blatant consumerism / materialism that was going on.  What are we going to do next year when Oprah is off the air and women's heads aren't exploding at a pair of free sequined Uggs?  What a bleak future for America...

Whenever I see the Oprah Favorite Things episodes, I am always reminded of the SNL skit with Maya Rudolph as Oprah.  The audio is weak, so turn up your computer volume if you want to really hear it.

Well, in honor of Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things, I have put together The Pop Mama's Favorite Things, Part 2.  Remember Part 1?  http://www.thepopmama.com/2010/09/pop-mamas-favorite-things-part-1.html
I wish I could give every new parent each one of these...some of these are repeats (or classics...)  Check it:

1.  Video Monitor.  This bad boy is a sleep-saver and mind-easer.  I can actually hear my baby breathe over this thing and can watch him while he scoots his little body all around his crib.  It gives me peace of mind because I can peek in at him at any time.  It has color and night-vision and it is hand held.  What else do you need? 

2.  B.O.B. Stroller (with car seat adaptor and drink holder).  http://www.thepopmama.com/2010/10/welcome-fall.html 

3.  White Noise!  I use it at night and during nap.  It works.

4.  Exersaucer.  My mom gave us this tool as an early Christmas present for Cameron.  He LOVES it!  I think if Oprah was giving one away, he would cry with joy. 

5.  Graco Snugrider Car Seat Stroller Frame.  I like this because it is lightweight and perfect for trips to the mall or restaurants.  It is about 12 pounds and I can lift it easily out of my trunk.  The car seat just snaps in and we are off.  Great basket for storing the diaper bag (or shopping bags) and comes with a drink holder.

6.  Lots and lots of cotton bibs.  Luckily these little accessories come standard with many baby outfits, so it is easy to amass a collection.  I have come to rely on these to keep Cam's outfit dry -- he is drooling like a faucet these days!

7.  Aquaphor.  You know how in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the father always said, "Put some windex on it"?  Well, if you have a baby skin irritation, "Put some Aquaphor on it."  Liquid gold. 

8.  Wooden spoon.  Who needs fancy teething rings when a wooden spoon will do?  My MIL was nice enough to give us one with a short enough handle for Cam to work with and he will not let go of the thing.  I swear, I had to pry it from his chubby little hands so that we could get his 6 months pictures taken... Top Chef material?  Maybe.

9.  Laundry bags.  When taking off Cam's little socks at night, I pair them together and put them in his laundry basket.  Then, when I go to wash his clothes I put all of his sock pairs into a small delicates bag.  I also dry them in the bag.  This way, there are no lost socks -- after all, these things are teensy tiny -- oh, and my sanity stays intact too.

10.  The JJ Cole Bundle Me.  Now that the weather has turned chilly, we popped this product into his car seat and off we go.  No coat necessary.  It is a little shearling sleeping bag that you zip your baby into after strapping him into the car seat.  It is easy and eliminates the need for multiple layers and blankets that could just slip off.  I recommend this for anyone having to brave inclement weather with their bundle of joy.  http://jjcolecollections.com/original-bundleme

That finishes the list for today.  As my parenthood experience grows I am confident that I will come up with more "favorite things."  The wooden spoon won't keep him busy forever!

Monday, November 22, 2010

SkinnyGirl on Ice?

Since Bethenny Getting Married? wrapped I have been going through a little Bethenny withdrawal.  Sad, I know, but I just found her so amusing.  Well, she is back.  This winter she is part of the cast of new season of Skating with the Stars.  Lame.  I am pretty sure that seeing her in sequins attempting to pairs skate with some ice capades retiree is not going to give me the same chuckle that her show did...although it might -- depending on the cheesiness of the competition.  Does this mean that she has ceased shooting her own series?  I certainly hope not.  I think she had some good material and I was waiting to see her as a new mom.  Skating?  Really?  

I also don't recognize most of the other competitors...which for me is saying something.  Rebecca Budig (soap star) and Vince Neal were about it.  I have NOT a clue who the other cast members are... 
Is anyone going to watch this?  I may DVR the first episode to see what it is all about. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Someday my Prince will come...

When I was about 18 or so, I had a brief fantasy that I would somehow meet and marry Prince William.  That was when he was a cute polo player and not going bald.  I'm not sure how or where I was going to meet him, but apparently I thought briefly that "anything could happen," and I could be the next Queen of England.  In the words of Cher Horowitz, "as if!"  I'm sure that even if William and I had met and fell in love, the Charles and the Queen would not have allowed a, gasp, American to join the royal family!  Now that he and Kate Middleton are finally engaged, I am gearing up for the media storm that will ensue as their wedding draws closer.  If it is televised, I will DVR it.  I just hope that their marriage will last longer and be a happier one that that of Will's parents.

I wonder what it is like to have the rest of your life set up with the answer to one simple question?  I don't envy here-- the media will follow her everywhere, her life, her family's life and the life of her future children will be subject to public eye and she will not be able to yawn in public ever again!  I do wonder what her pet charity cause will be...apparently she works in fashion -- so, fashion victims?  Ha.  I know, bad joke.

Now, what about Harry?  What will that wild card do next?  He certainly keeps it interesting...and I think he is the cuter brother at this point.  There is something just a little devilish about him -- a little unpredictable.  I guess the pressure is off -- no real concerns of having to be King.  I may have a cousin who wouldn't mind not having to be Queen...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What does 15 minutes of fame cost?

Right now I am holed up in our sunroom/office trying to insure that the house is quiet so that Cameron can get some kind of nap today.  At six months old he seems to think that he does not need to nap (more than 20 minutes at a time) during the day...it is driving me insane.  I think the ladies at his daycare are also going a little insane with him at the moment.  The trade off is that he is sleeping in 11-12 hour stretches at night...which is an amazing blessing.

I recently read somewhere that Kate Gosselin gets $250,000 per episode for her Kate Plus Eight disaster of a reality show.  Again, no one cares that you can travel with 8 children.  Does the $250,000 compensate her and her children for the damages that this public life has to be causing?  People.com just ran a story on how Colin and Alexis Gosselin were expelled from their private school in Pennsylvania.  No real reason was given, but reports of bullying and violence were referenced in the story.  Apparently these two children are now being home schooled -- add one more care giving layer to the Gosselin household, not to mention one more line item on the budget.  No wonder they need the $250k per episode.

I feel sorry for the Gosselin kids.  Sure, they have had a wealth of experiences, but their parents are not together -- their father is a train wreck, their mother clinging to fame to pay the bills, and their entire family life is mocked by the media time and again.  These children are dealing with the divorce of their parents (which takes years to recover from - believe me) and doing it in the spot light no less.  I suppose I am part of that problem.  Just reading the school expulsion story caused me to think about this family again and if it was really worth it.

Comparing the Gosselins to my favorite super-sized TLC family (besides the Browns, that is), the Duggars is also an interesting exercise.  Do I feel sorry for the Duggar children?  No, not really (I mean, sometimes I want to help out with haircuts and makeovers, but no real pity here).  I think there are a few key differences:
1.  Michelle and Jim Bob are still happily married (uh, and still attempting procreation)
2. The Duggars haven't really changed because of the show and it's profits...sure they have a bigger house, but they were in the process of building that already.  And, sure they have different travel opportunities and speaking engagements, but I just don't see any dramatic changes in the family dynamic, appearance or values of the Duggars.
3.  The Duggars (as far as I know) are not going to appear on Dancing with the Stars, don't employ multiple nannies (they have older children for that), bodyguards or home school teachers (again, they have older children for that).
4.  Jim Bob is not about to run off with a 20 something year old girl and then adorn himself with Ed Hardy shirts (unless you can "Buy used and save the difference), cz earrings and massive tattoos...

I guess what I am trying to say is that the Duggars seem to have stayed true to themselves throughout the reality show process.  That is where the real stability of their family shines through.

OMG there is a lawn guy weed wacking right outside our house...I am praying that Cam doesn't wake up too soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Expecting the expected

Today it was announced (on the Today Show no less) that Anna Duggar is expecting.  What?  Another Duggar joining the world?  I'm shocked.  Anna and Josh, both 22 years old, have a one year old daughter, Mackynzie (yes, they really spell it that way...) and are expecting their second child in June 2011.  Apparently, Anna got pregnant months after Mackynzie was born and then suffered a miscarriage (another thing she revealed on the Today Show).  According to her due date, Anna is about 9 weeks along.  Based on her history, I am a little surprised that she announced it on television at only 9 weeks.  I am one of those super cautious people who doesn't announce a pregnancy until around 12 weeks or a heart beat is detected.  Sounds a little old school, I know, but I just get anxious about these things.  I didn't even tell my mother that I was pregnant until around 11 weeks because I knew that she would have worried about it until after that "magical" 12 week mark. 

This picture was taken during Anna's first pregnancy when she and her MIL were both expecting.  It kind of sicks me out a little -- both the picture and the fact that they were both expecting.  Can we also talk about the fact that Josh and Anna are only 22?  Wow.  At 22 I was just graduating college and moving out to Los Angeles to go to law school.  I had just applied for my first credit card and was renting my first apartment.  I was nowhere near parenthood and was just trying to make it on my own.  The fact that we have such different lives is another reason why the Duggars still fascinate me so much.  On the show this week Michelle spoke at a mother's group, the kids went swimming in their wholesome wear and we learned that Jill likes to cook and get the "little ones" involved.  Frankly it was boring, but I still watched it.  At least I got to learn more about wholesome wear.    http://www.wholesomewear.com/culotte-a.html
It's hot. 

While Anna and Josh have their lives together, at the other end of the spectrum is Amber Portwood (20 yrs old), the infamous abuser from MTV's Teen Mom.  Amber's daughter Leah was recently taken from her by Child Protective Services and placed with Amber's ex and Leah's father, Gary.  I think we all saw this coming.  I feel for Amber in a way because I feel like her life is in a total downward spiral and she cannot get herself out, but on the other hand, I just think she is immature and needs some time to grow up a little.  I hope that Leah is thriving with Gary...please tell me that he has a crib for her that does not double as a storage shed.  For the "full" story, visit:   http://www.usmagazine.com/momsbabies/news/teen-moms-amber-having-child-taken-away-is-lowest-of-the-low-20101111

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hot Mamas!

Is the world ready for another baby mohawk?  Well, the singer Pink (Alecia Moore) is reportedly pregnant with her first child.  The daddy is her (on-again) husband and motocross racer, Carey Hart.  Congratulations! This baby shower will be an interesting one...

Another hot mama to be is slashie Miranda Kerr who bared all for W magazine's family issue.  Reminiscent of the Demi Moore maternity photos and the Britney Spears copy cat shots, I still think her shots are amazing.  Capturing her body on film like this will be something she will cherish.  I have maternity shots (no, not naked ones...) and I love looking back and seeing my profile and how curvaceous I was!  I say get the photos now, because if she is anything like me, she will be a bit camera shy post-baby. 

Off to work-out (does lifting hand to mouth count?)...


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet November

November already?  I can hardly believe it.  Since I last posted I started a new job (still an attorney), Cam went trick or treating, got a double ear infection, and I am no longer wearing leafy vegetables as undergarments.  Cam is back to normal, although we will probably be paying a visit to the ENT for an ear tube evaluation by year end.  Other than that, life is good.  Fall is my favorite season of the year (with summer a close second).  I love fall weather, fall clothing, fall food, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Each holiday and tradition takes on new meaning this year because it is Cam's first time experiencing it -- even though he is only 6 months old, he still seems interested in new things and is very curious!  We did the Halloween thing and he was the cutest little monkey in his costume and for Thanksgiving we are going to my in-laws in Indiana.  I am looking forward to the holiday season unfolding...I even started Christmas shopping already.  After about 15 people recommending the Playskool Busy Ball Popper, I went ahead and ordered it and I think that Cam is going to love it.

So, you are probably wondering where the pop culture commentary has gone...me too.  Since Sister Wives ended, Bethenny hasn't reappeared (where are you girl?) and the RHONJ is on hiatus I have had little pop fodder to work with.  Here are some tids and bits to tide you over:

1.  Sad news: Lily Allen lost her second pregnancy (baby was due in January).  Now, she has septicaemia which is basically blood poisoning...poor thing.  I hope she can recover from this loss and this condition. 

2.  On 19 Kids and Counting, Jana and Jill Duggar joined the local fire department as first responders.  Kudos to the girls for getting out there in their community and helping out.  As you know, the Duggar girls do NOT wear pants.  According to sister-in-law Anna, the reasoning is that wearing skirts keeps them feminine and lady like.  So, in true Duggar fashion (ha!) the girls made some fire fighting skirts out of the standard uniform pants -- take that Project Runway!  The skirts were butt ugly, but had a cargo pocket, which made them instantly suitable for their work as first responders.  The best part of the episode was when they awkwardly went to show the fire department chief their handiwork...he could have cared less and I just felt embarrassed for them.  After they left the fire chief's office and were out of ear shot, Anna couldn't stop laughing at how awkward the situation was.  It showed me that there is a sense of humor somewhere in that family. 

3.  In case you were worried that she would never move on, Christina Aguilera has started dating again since her split with husband Jordan Bratman.  Apparently she has taken up with a production assistant from her new movie, Burlesque.  They recently were seen on a double date with Joel Madden and Nicole Richie.  And of course, the blurb still had to throw something in about how she is still a fantastic mom to son Max.  Okay already.

4.  Charlie Sheen trashed a hotel room, scared an adult film star, lost a $150k watch, and was hospitalized.  Apparently it was "a bad night."  In his words, "If a guy has one bad night, everybody goes insane and panics.  I'm not panicking."  Well, I'm glad that he isn't concerned.  I mean, is it really a problem if you are naked and trashing a room at The Plaza Hotel with a porn star locked in the bathroom?  Nahhhhhh

Let's hope that the pop world has more to offer in the days to come because this was slim pickins!  I have some shows on my DVR that I need to catch up on, so maybe that will bring up some topics.