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, December 19, 2011

Henry is here!

And then we were four.  Henry was born on December 8th via c-section bursting into the world a full 8 lbs with a set of healthy lungs.  I was teary eyed and smiling from behind the surgery curtain and also jealous that my husband would be the first one to touch him, hold him and kiss him.  I concentrated on the sound of his cries and the fact that he was doing all the things that a newborn baby should do -- pinking up, screaming and rooting around for food.  I was grateful, humbled and proud.  I am a mom to two boys.

When I had Cam I was unconscious, so I didn't really know what to expect with a scheduled c-section, but I was delighted to find out that I had envisioned (and semi-prepared myself) for something much worse than it turned out to be.  I suppose that after my last birth experience, anything would be a piece of cake, but really the entire experience (surgery and recovery) was pretty easy.  The worst part for me was being prepped for surgery -- the IV, being wheeled down the hall without my husband, getting the spinal block -- and that is only because I didn't know what to expect on the other end and I was nervous.  After the spinal kicked in it was pretty smooth sailing.  The spinal was an out of body type of experience...I watched as nurses moved my legs around and it took me a second to realize that it was my body that they were moving.  My husband watched a lot of the surgery and got to take some good video of Henry being delivered.  I am thankful that he was there to witness this birth as we were both absent for Cam's.

Henry is a calm little guy (so far) and I am loving cuddling with him and getting back into the hang of newborn life.  The sleep deprivation is a killer and Cam is not adjusting as well as we would have hoped, but this too shall pass.  It is only day 11 and we have nothing but time.  For now I am back on the couch breastfeeding and living in my pajamas.  I'm soaking up every minute because I know how quickly it will pass.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In the words of Michelle Tanner - HOW RUDE!

So, the time has come again where I sit on the couch and catch up on all the junk television while my new baby gets his fill.  My newest son is here, healthy and adorable -- more to come on his birth story and other mommy related topics -- but for now, I have to comment on something that has been on my mind...

Yesterday as I was healing, resting and feeding on the couch I caught up with my favorite vapid television family -- the Kardashians.  I watched a few episodes of Kourtney and Kim Take New York and ultimately decided that the least offensive Kardashian is Khloe...if you can believe that.  The episode that I want to comment on was the one where Kourtney and Khloe go to visit Scott Disick's parents in the Hamptons, for what appears to be Labor Day weekend.

The episode is pretty much a snooze with Kourtney and Scott fighting (what else is new) and Kim and Kris fighting (separately in Minnesota), but the part that got my attention is when Kourtney takes it upon herself to "help organize" Scott's parents house...without them knowing.  She literally throws things that she finds irritating or dated outside in the yard of their house without asking them.  She says she is "helping" and that they appreciate it.  Later we find out that Scott's mother does NOT appreciate it -- duh!

Kourtney's behavior on this episode is literally some of the rudest behavior that I have seen out of the Kardashians and that is saying something.  It is one thing when you are rude to your own family, but when you go into someone else's home and mess with their belongings just because you think you know better than they do, that is revolting.  Kourtney comes off as a complete idiot to think that someone may not take offense to her actions and it just proves that she is living on a different planet than the rest of us...a self-involved one at that.  It was encouraging to see that Khloe thought that these actions were also out of line...and that is why I find her the least abhorrent of the sisters at this moment.

No more Kardashians for me for awhile...unless there is nothing else on and the baby needs to eat...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Hair Gone.

On Saturday I let a random hair stylist cut off Cam's baby hair.  My son was born bald (despite my copious amounts of hair/curls) and pretty much stayed that way until his 1st birthday when his hair finally started to fill in.  I had held off having his 1st haircut until now and although his do wasn't out of control (like many a celebrity kid), getting a trim was definitely needed.  We took him to a "kiddie" place where they have animals to sit on, a movie is playing on the TV and the haircut literally takes 5 minutes (depending on the hair I suppose).

Of course he wanted nothing to do with sitting on the animal so my husband had to hold him in his lap.  I watched as the hair stylist clipped around his little head while Cameron sat watching The Polar Express and curiously peeked at the other customers.  I watched as she cut off his baby curl at the nape of his neck (which in truth was starting to look like a rat tail circa 1986).  I was sad.  My little baby is no longer a baby.  He is a boy -- with definite opinions about what he wants, likes and needs.  He is a toddler who throws fits when we have to leave a playdate and he is a big boy who will blow me a kiss good-bye when it is time to go into daycare.  The 1st haircut will be recorded in his baby book, the locks of hair will be saved in a tiny envelope and the pictures uploaded.  I'm glad I went to do this with him before my new baby arrived because I know that things are going to get pretty hectic for awhile.  I am savoring my moments as a mother of one and this was one that I won't forget. 

                                                       getting trimmed up...

                                                                 All done!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey and Vampires. Yum.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was relaxing and full of family and FOOD -- not to mention heartburn and acid reflux for this very pregnant girl.  I carry Tums around with me everywhere now and am looking forward to relieving my purse of the load when this baby arrives.  Speaking of babies -- mine is going to be born in about 7 days if all goes according to plan and Kourtney Kardashian's is going to be born sometime this summer  (I'm guessing).  So, it is baby number 2 for Kourtney with the lovely (gag) Scott Disick.  Seriously. 

As part of my prep for being a mommy of two I have done a little pampering...a pedicure, some spa time and some girl time with my friends.  Over the weekend my fabulous friend Katie and I continued our tradition of going to see the Twilight movies together and we went to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1.  Did we enjoy it?  Yes.  Did we have a commentary running the entire time that also included hitting each other during the cheesiest of moments?  Yes.  The people behind us probably hated us -- unless they thought our comments were as funny as we thought they were.  I realize that the Twilight series is by nature very cheese ball, but I think that Breaking Dawn took it over the top at times.  The last movie, Eclipse, was in my opinion the best so far and I had high hopes for Breaking Dawn.  For example, there is a scene with the werewolves where their human voices are dubbed over like you can hear their thoughts...hmmm...I couldn't contain myself and was laughing out loud.  Bad choice by the director.  The movie was also too drawn out with long looks between the characters, sappy music and dramatic pauses.  It was clear that the franchise was trying desperately to stretch the last book into two movies. 

Will I see the next one that  premieres in November 2012 (why the dramatic wait?)?  DEFINITELY.  It may be cheesy, ridiculous and kind of bad, but I am a fan and it is harmless fun.  Plus, Rob Pattinson was hotter in Breaking Dawn that he has been in any of the other movies.  At least they got that right!

I just read a report that Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson are planning to get married...I really hope that it is a rumor and not true.  No, I don't want Rob to remain single -- I just don't advise any 21 year old to get married.  Just keep dating you guys...I'm sure that is what they are doing anyways and the whole marriage rumor is just a PR ploy. 

Okay, I have to get off the couch now in order to wake up my sleeping child from nap so we don't have a meltdown later...I have a feeling that I am going to feel like the newborn is easier than my 19 month old..

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving is next week?

We have taught Cameron the baby sign for "thank-you" and he uses it, mostly with a gentle reminder, but sometimes he does it on his own.  When he does it on his own, I swell with pride.  As November ramps up and Thanksgiving is just next week, I have been thinking about the things / people / moments in my life that I am thankful for.

Here are a few -- some silly, some serious:

1.  The handheld cordless vacuum.  I just purchased this and it has come in handy for all of the crumbs that seem to multiply like bunny families on my hardwood floors, in Cam's highchair and on the couch -- oh, and the stroller.  Last weekend my husband and I cleaned out the baby car seat and both of Cameron's car seats and this thing made the job less painful.  When we were done I emptied out about a pound of goldfish, 1/2 eaten peanut butter crackers, vanilla wafer crumbs and cheerios.  I'm considering implementing a no eating in the car rule.  We'll see how long that lasts...

2.  The baby who is squirming around inside me waiting to be born.  Here I am at almost 37 weeks and although I am feeling pretty crappy, I am so thankful that this baby has a strong heartbeat and killer reflexes.  I can't wait to meet the little guy!

3.  My husband.  The past few weekends have included a "Saturdaddy" break for me.  Cameron and my husband have gone to Gymboree class, lunch and done errands just to give me some time to myself to rest.  He also puts up with my whining, out of whack body temperature (he has a down comforter and I have a sheet) and general hormonal attitude.  Thanks Babe!

4.  Yoga pants.  At this point even my maternity clothes are uncomfortable.

5.  Cameron.  I wouldn't want to leave out my sweet and sour toddler who makes me laugh everyday and after he hits me out of frustration, usually hugs me.  I can't believe that he is going to be a big brother (and he has no idea that his world is about to be rocked).  I never understood people talking about how they couldn't imagine loving a second child as much as their first -- UNTIL the second child arrived and their hearts swelled to new proportions.  Now I understand.  I don't have my second here yet, but I'm anticipating his arrival and looking at my first born son and wondering how I will ever find another face as precious as his.  It will happen and I will be amazed at what the heart is capable of.  I'm excited to find out.  Here is the little monster on Halloween...he caught on to the free candy concept real quick.

6.  The new Dunkin Donuts drive-thru on my way to work.  Need I explain?

There are so many other things / people / everyday miracles that I could add...I feel very blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I hope that this holiday week is a good one for everyone.  Remember, don't fry a turkey inside the house.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

45 and Pregnant - TLC is the MTV for old people.

Yes, it is official -Michelle Duggar is expecting baby number 20!  It was announced on the Today Show this morning and she is 3 1/2 months along and "craving pickles."  She is also 45 years old and had SEVERE complications with her last baby who was born around 25/26 weeks.  I am not really surprised by this news as the family has always been open about welcoming as many children as God would give them, but I thought perhaps her age would work against her this time around and she wouldn't be able to have any more kiddos.  Silly me.  This woman was born to breed.

TLC is going to give me the chance to watch a 45 year old woman carry her 20th child, while no doubt traveling the country in a family bus and sporting bangs circa 1995.  It is almost as fun as watching the 16 and Pregant series on MTV where little teeny boppers deal with cheating boyfriends, crackhead parents and no longer fitting into the Victoria Secret PINK line.  Wholesome fun = Duggars vs. Can't Tear Yourself Away from the Teen Trainwreck = 16 & Prego.  From my vantage point as a 30 something year old mom, it is almost a tie as to which show is more intriguing.  I can't imagine what Michelle Duggar's life is like and it is SOOO different from my own so I enjoy the spectacle and then I watch the knocked up teens and am so darn thankful that I never had to deal with that situation and find myself rooting for at least ONE of them to succeed (as in graduate, keep their relationship going and be a capable mother...).   

I am a fan of the Duggar family in general...I sometimes think that they are pretty extreme (the no dancing, no pants on women, etc.), but I tend to cheer them on.  So, congratulations Duggars on number 20 -- may this pregnancy be a HEALTHY one and yield a full-term baby!!! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daylight Saving Time-- Made up by People without Children

So here in the midwest we observe daylight saving time.  For the first 29 years of my life I loved the time of year where we "fall back" and get an extra hour of sleep.  This year and last -- not so much.  Cam has been getting up extra early as it is and we have tried everything.  We have put him to bed earlier, put him to bed later, done two naps during the day and done one -- none of those combos seem to make a difference and he has been getting up between 5am and 6am for the last few weeks.  It is hell.  This morning he gave us a 4am wake-up call and would NOT go back to sleep.  I tried having him cry it out, comforting him, giving him milk, rocking him, reading books and then moving to a different venue with him.  He would NOT go back to sleep.  Thank you daylight saving time -- instead of an extra hour of sleep, I got an extra hour of dealing with a whiny toddler.

Parenthood -- the gift you continually (and willingly) pay for.

I hope that the rest of you all didn't have as horrific of an experience this year.  I am thinking of planning a pancake breakfast for all of my parent friends for next year -- one that will start around 6:30am.  We'll all be up anyway, right?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Do you have no shame?

I am glad that I never got around to watching the two part E! special on "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event" as her second marriage lasted only 72 days.  What a fairytale -- or nightmare!  I don't really keep up with the Kardashians and only catch their reality show brain drain once in awhile, but I do remember thinking -- are these two really right for each other or is it a trumped up romance for the cameras?  These two were up against a ton during their courtship -- living on different coasts, crazy schedules, a VERY demanding and judgmental family who is not afraid to air family business on television, age difference, lifestyle difference...and most likely having NOTHING in common.  But, yes, let's get MARRIED.  On TV!  I have no idea what the real nature of their relationship and I really don't care...however I do have one thing to say -- SHAME ON YOU BOTH.

Although America may not treat it as such, marriage is sacred.  I don't care if you are two men, two women or polygamists entering into the institution of marriage, so long as you take it seriously.  It is my belief that when you say "I do," it doesn't mean "I'll try" or "We'll wait to see what the ratings do."  Kim is now claiming that she knew she should have ended the engagement, but had gotten caught up in the "wedding hoopla."  I get that...it is scary to make a huge decision, especially in the public eye...BUT then why not postpone the wedding (oh, wait, they were probably under contract) and try some premarital counseling first.  I would have respected them more if this had been the course they took. 

I have found that when celebrities blab about their personal lives on television and in magazines (especially when you know that they were the ones to solicit the interview), it usually backfires.  I mean, how many times did Jessica Simpson tell the press that she could see herself marrying and starting a family with Tony Romo?  And then, she was dumped. 

Marriage is hard, marriage is wonderful and marriage is something that should be taken seriously -- and not sold on television.  I may be being too judgmental and harsh, but seriously, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries (I am blaming both of them) cheapened the whole meaning of marriage -- first by selling their dating period, engagement and wedding to television and then by ending it all after only 72 days!  Is she returning the gifts at least?

I will step off of my soap box now and give you another piece of news -- Jessica Simpson is pregnant.  How far Jessica has come -- from abstinence ring to pregnant out of wedlock.  No judgment, just amusement at how thing change...

Here she is dressed as a "mummy" for Halloween.  I find the costume idea a cute one, but the picture ridiculous.  Happy Friday Y'all!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adventures in Grocery Shopping...and other things that most celebrity moms probably don't have to do with their kiddos

Okay, so it used to be EASY to grocery shop with Cameron.  When he was a wee one I would tuck him into the Baby K'tan and he would just snooze through the store.  Then, when he was able to sit up he would sit in the cart seat and play with whatever I gave him (an empty water bottle, a measuring cup, a box of cous cous).  Now, as a wiggly, squiggly toddler it is near impossible to have a completely smooth trip to the grocery store.  I try to avoid taking him, but sometimes it is necessary.  This weekend for example, our fridge and cabinets were bare.  My husband offered to go on his own with Cam (sucker) to give me a break, but his back was killing him so I thought -- well, let's all just go together and that way we can bear the brunt between the two of us.  Perhaps I should have just gone on my own...but being almost 8 months pregnant and carrying grocery bags isn't too enticing either.

So, we get there and find a cart that has a car attached to the front of it -- you know, the one that is IMPOSSIBLE to steer and looks like it has a fisher price kiddie car attached to the front.  This was Cam's first ride in one and he LOVED it.  There were two steering wheels to mess with and he was facing forward (bonus).  He did pretty good until we got about 2/3 of the way done with the shopping.  Somewhere in the frozen food aisle he decided that he wanted to get out.  Too bad.  He whined intermittently for the rest of the trip, but wasn't too annoying so we ignored him.  Tuning him out when he whines is a skill I recently picked up.

Then we came to the checkout line.  This is where Cam stopped whining and discovered the utility of his new ride.  He was about halfway through emptying the candy shelves into his car when we caught him...holding a 5 hour energy bottle and sitting amongst tons of Starburst and Skittles...pretty much whatever was level with his little klepto hands.  He was so proud of himself.  I wish I had had a camera to catch the speed and agility with which he emptied the boxes of candy into his vehicle.  Luckily our checkout lady found the entire thing hilarious and we caught him before we left the store without paying for his loot.  Needless to say, we put it all back and didn't let our son purchase any 5 hour energy shots. 

I learned my lesson...push cart past candy shelves before unloading so that Cam doesn't get us both arrested for shoplifting sugar.  Anyone else have any good stories of grocery store mayhem with toddlers?  I'm just waiting for the day he has a complete meltdown in a store with me...hopefully I won't have one too.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Catch up.

The past month of my life has been one hectic event after another and I apologize for being MIA.  In short, husband traveled, Cam got sick, we closed on our house (YEA!), moved into rental, I went on a business trip and then we went on vacation.  Oh, and in the middle of all that I tried keeping on top of work projects and unpack with a crazy (and I mean CRAZY) toddler running around.  Needless to say that I am tired (even after vacation) and also 32 weeks pregnant.  At times I forget that I am pregnant...did that happen to anyone else?  I think it is because this is my second child and because I am running at full speed all day every day. 

Things on my mind today:

1.  Crazy toddler.  Cameron's energy level literally doubles every day (or at least that is what it feels like).  He is sooo busy -- playing with toys, trying to get into the washing machine (I'm not kidding), trying to unpack boxes and get into them, throwing toys (any suggestions on curbing this?), fighting me on EVERY SINGLE diaper change, hiding things that we find later in the randomest places...and basically running everywhere while his pregnormous mother chases him.  He is a little domestic terrorist -- but an adorably sweet one at that. 

2.  Fear.  Fear that I have another child on the way in about 7 weeks (if I go to my c-section date) and don't have any clue as to how I am going to manage it.  People have been telling me that adding a second child is very tough...and while I appreciate the warning, I am hearing it about once a day now and each time I can feel my blood pressure rise.  My husband seems to be more relaxed about this pending transition than I am...of course, he doesn't have to get up in the middle of the night and breastfeed and deal with all of the other body trauma that comes along with birth and recovery.   You would think that after my last birth experience (summary: preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and almost dying) that I would be concerned about the actual birth, but right now I am more scared of the days and weeks after we get home from the hospital with Baby Boy #2.  I'm sure fear about the birth process will come -- probably when I am on my way to the hospital either in labor or for my scheduled c-section, but right now I am foolishly focusing my energy on what will happen post-delivery and how my little whirling dervish named Cam will handle it all.  OY.

3.  I did not DVR Kim Kardashian's Dream Wedding special.  What did I miss?  I was too tired to care.

4.  Even after moving away from LA, I still have celebrity spottings ...I have seen Drew Lachey at the playground and when we went for ice cream one night.  Actually, both times I have seen him (we live in the same area of town), he has had ice cream with him.  He has a son that is around Cam's age or a little younger and a daughter who appears to be around 4 or 5.  Who knows, maybe his son and Cam will play on the same soccer team later on...

5.  I read I Don't Know How She Does It while I was on vacation and although it is a good read, it actually made me anxious.  Basically, it depicts what most working moms go through to juggle family life and career.  I haven't seen the movie and I probably will (when it comes to Redbox), but I have to admit that at times the book was kind of depressing -- because it was so true.  The main character has a high powered / high stress job and two children (not to mention a husband, an extended family and friends) to maintain and she often feels like she is "faking" one "job" for the other.  I don't work full time per se (30 hours a week), but I often feel like I am still juggling -- furiously at times -- to keep up.  In the book there is a character who actually writes a manual for her husband called "Your Family: How it Works," in order to guide him after her death.  I often wonder how smoothly things would function if I passed away unexpectedly and left my husband to handle all the details and minutia of our family life.  I know he would do fine in time, but seriously, how would I account for all of the tiny little things I do without thinking or the planning ahead / anticipating that all moms / women seem to do?  It goes beyond purchasing life insurance and completing estate planning (which I need to do) and is more about remembering to repack the diaper bag, have a clean blankie at the ready, pay daycare, have a stock of swim diapers, know what Cam's favorite book is, or where I keep the band-aids and motrin.  I liked the book because it was entertaining and the characters were funny and relatable, but it made me more nervous to bring another child into this circus act. 

More later...hopefully some vacation pictures and pop culture-ish things -- I need to catch up.  I am watching Sister Wives on TLC this season and when I was watching it the other day I actually forgot they were polygamists...they just seem so much more normal than those peeps with bad hairstyles that we usually see.  Did I ever mention that I went to a Halloween party with a group of friends dressed up as polygamists?  BEST, MOST COMFORTABLE COSTUME EVER.  Not sexy, though...unless you are into that...Feel free to steal the idea.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I can relate.

Because I love the lead actors so much and am a new-ish parent, I DVR'd the pilot of the new NBC sitcom Up All Night starring Christina Applegate (Reagan) and Will Arnett (Chris).  I just watched it last night and am still giggling.  The writing is hilarious and on point.  It reminded me a lot of 30 Rock, which made sense once I saw that it was produced by Lorne Michaels.  I feel like after a few failed attempts Will Arnett has finally found a vehicle that will work for him as a lead and Christina Applegate is his perfect foil.  I have always found Ms. Applegate to be a gifted comedienne (hello, Anchorman) and I think this is the right show for her -- witty and relatable, with a talented cast to boot.  Maya Rudolph, who plays Christina's Oprah-ish boss, is amazing (what else would she be?).  I don't want to give too much away, but I can't resist recapping some of the pilot.  The next episode airs Wednesday on NBC at 8pm -- Watch it!

There were three scenes that I felt that I could have written myself...

1)  Reagan and Chris are watching their new daughter sleep and they just keep saying how f-ing beautiful and f-ing amazing she is.   Then Reagan says that they have to lay off the cursing...which they of course revert back to within minutes.  I am not proud of it, but I sometimes have a prediliction for making my point using profanity.  I have tried, somewhat successfully, to lay off the swear words around Cam -- both for my own improvement, but mostly because I don't want to have a toddler who says "sh$t" when he drops his sippy cup at daycare.

2) Reagan and Chris have one of those nights with their daughter where they take shifts getting up with the baby.  In the morning neither one will be topped as to how much sleep they lost -- each thinking that he/she was the one up the most.  Classic.  Been there (and no, really I have lost more sleep than my husband -- much more).

3)  Reagan and Chris go out for their anniversary, which is their first night out after the baby, and proceed to go overboard, partying all night and ending up with killer hangovers in the morning.
Like Reagan, my first real night out on the town after Cameron was born did not end well.  My husband was far better with "moderation" and didn't have the same experience of laying on the bathroom floor as I did.  Hangovers feel worse (much worse) when you are a parent.  Babies don't wait and you cannot just lie in bed or on the couch all day...The upside?  When that hangover lifts and you have survived and parented that morning, you feel like a complete champ.  I don't recommend parenting with a hangover, but it does give you the well-rounded parenting experience.

I can't wait until the next episode.  Enjoy your Tuesday.  Oh, and I failed my glucose test (damn donnettes) and have to do the 3 hr marathon test later this week.  I am mad and hoping (praying) that I do not fail the next one...I need a little dose of sweetness in my life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

E! Just Made My September

Just when I had given up on getting my Bethenny Frankel fix this season, E! brings it home.  On September 21st at 10pm E! will premiere THS: Bethenny Frankel.  Yes, Bethenny is getting her own True Hollywood Story and why not?  Snooki has one and Bethenny is FAR MORE DESERVING than the Snooks.  The show will delve into Bethenny's childhood, her struggles and her rise to entrepreneurial fame and reality television.  I have been missing her presence in my TV lineup and am psyched to see the newest Bethenny programming.  Here she is with Cam's future wife, Bryn.

In other news, here are a few things that made me laugh today: 
1)  seeing the "All the Pregnant Ladies" spoof of "All the Single Ladies http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2011/09/beyonce-all-pregnant-ladies-music-video-spoof-alaine-kashian."

2) the headline: Michaele Salahi Was Not Kidnapped as Husband Claimed -- these people are the ones that crashed the White House State Dinner and were on Real Housewives of D.C.  -- needless to say they are ridiculous and fame hungry.  I love a good fake kidnapping.

3) the fact that under the spell of a pregnancy impulse/craving I bought an entire bag of Hostess Donettes (you know, the little chocolate covered donuts that also come in the powdered version) and have been eating them with full disregard that my glucose test is tomorrow...No, really, this is true and I need to put the bag down. Now.

4)  Farrah on Teen Mom is getting braces;

5) This little mug. 

Have a fantastic Thursday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade Too Close

Ten years ago today I was a senior in college and most likely at a prayer/memorial gathering for the 9/11 victims at this time that day.  We didn't know the extent of the fall-out, but we knew the basics -- even at our little college in rural Indiana.  It was a very strange day, one that I will never forget.  Such a surreal event to occur in the first semester of my last year of college, when everything was looking so rosy and I had just finished a semester and summer living in New York City.  I felt connected, disconnected and overwhelmed at the same time.  Over the years since 2001, I have tried to take a moment each 9/11 to remember that day -- to reflect on the lives lost and the hearts broken.  Yet today, I shied away from all the ceremonies and commemorations.  Knowing that 10 years has passed is too much.  Perhaps it is my own realization of how much I have aged (and hopefully matured) since that day, but I think it is also the fact that I now have a family of my own and cannot face what palpable pain the families of all of the victims still feel.  I cannot go there right now and I know that I would if I watched the coverage and the specials.  Not only am I too emotional from pregnancy, but I can also empathize too well with those wives, husbands, children, mothers, daughters and sisters who lost it all that day -- and it is too scary.  It may make me a wimp for keeping the tributes, video montages and heart breaking song mash-ups at an arm's length, but it is self-preservation for me at the moment.

Like everyone else I will never forget.  I will never stop being thankful for the women and men who protect and serve America.  I will never take our freedom, our security and our safety for granted.  9/11 changed the shape of America and I will never forget.  I hope that everyone had a chance to reflect today and be thankful for the blessings surrounding them and remember those that were lost that day.  I hope you did it in your own way.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When it rains...

Last Friday it was about 99 degrees and now it is in the 60s and raining.  And, when it rains...well, you get the picture.  This week has already brought a trip to the ER (nothing is really wrong, thankfully), a terrible awful day at work and a teething toddler.  To top it off, my little family is in the midst of a move, which is both a blessing and a curse.  If any of you out there have moved with a little one, you know what I am talking about.  I am excited that our house sold and we are moving on to something with more space (actually we haven't bought anything, just renting until more inventory comes on the market), but packing, organizing and just plain getting things done with a 16 month old running/stumbling around is NOT IDEAL.  Thank goodness for my mother, who has helped out a ton and for the fact that Cam is still on two naps a day, but seriously people, I NEVER WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN -- at least with child(ren) in tow.  I started back in August sorting through stuff and packing up what we wouldn't be using and I have been at it most every weekend and some weekdays since.  Yet, there is still too much crap, I mean stuff, and I am getting bigger and more pregnant by the day.  I have this fantasy of being one of those European families who have just what they need and travel with just backpacks and children wearing cute hats, preferably berets.  Oh I don't know.  I just want to purge all of the crap, I mean treasures, in my house and start over.  I can tell you this, I would have NO problem being on one of those shows where you clean out the house and sell everything at a garage sale.  My sentimentality went out the window on Labor Day and I find myself chucking things I never would have dreamed giving up a month ago...less to carry, less to store, less is MORE.

A few things that help me keep my sanity: 1)  Teen Mom and the trainwreck that occurs in every episode (uh, hello Amber); 2) looking forward to the fall show lineup -- Parenthood, Up All Night, 30 Rock; 3) Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls; 4) Cameron saying "cheese" when we take his picture, and 5) my supportive husband.   

I watched the season premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and it was a snooze fest.  First, they did have a little scene at the beginning where all of housewives, except for Taylor, discuss Russell Armstrong's suicide.  It was ridiculous.  I appreciate that they wanted to do something before diving into the show that was taped months before he died, but it was so fake and I really couldn't get into the rest of the episode.  This cast was never my favorite or anything, but now there is a taint on the show that I'm not sure they will be able to overcome.  We'll see.  I'll probably get bored with it and quit watching, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. 

Later skaters.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's up with Beyonce?

In a hilarious moment back in 2006 my mother asked "But, guys, what's up with Beyonce?"  At the time my mother speculated that Jay-Z and Beyonce were indeed already married (secretly) and she really wasn't far from the truth.  They "allegedly" tied the knot a short time later in a very private and never confirmed ceremony.  And, today Mom, what's up with Beyonce is that she is straight up prego!  Confirmed in a very public way on last weekend's MTV VMA awards (I know, I'm a little late to the party).  My theory on the public announcement is that Beyonce felt that she had to tell people before Kayne West got up in the middle of someone else's speech and announced it for her...

Well, congratulations to you Beyonce and your hubs Jay-Z!  I'm sure you guys will be great parents of the next rap/r&b/pop mogul.  Oh, and I am fully expecting a maternity clothing line to be launched by Beyonce and her mother...get ready world.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cruel and Unusual? Discipline decisions that put you in hot water.

At Cam's 15 month check-up, our pediatrician (who I adore) gave me a few tips on disciplining this age group and it basically boiled down to saying "No," "We don't _______" and keeping the child safe.  A 15 month old doesn't comprehend the meaning of a "time-out" yet, but our doc said that at our 18 month appointment we would talk more about discipline ideas, including "time-outs."  This was all helpful information for me because I truly didn't know what was appropriate for this age group.  Turns out I was on the right track already because a combination of "No, no" and distraction was what I was using to keep my son safe.  As time goes on and I have a little boy who needs true discipline, I will have to become more savvy with philosophies and techniques for raising a responsible and well-mannered human being.  Until then I am going to follow my doctor's orders and take it step by step!

Since I just experienced my first "how to discipline your child" lesson, I was acutely interested in the story of Jessica Beagley, an Alaska mom who videotaped disciplining her 7 year old son by forcing him to drink hot sauce and then putting him in a cold shower.  Last week, the mother of six was found guilty of child abuse and was sentenced to 3 years probation.  To complicate the story, this mother was sending this videotape as an "audition" for the Dr. Phil Show on "Angry Moms."  I think the show got more than it expected with this particular tape.  Also, this poor kid was adopted from Russia along with his twin brother.  A whole mess of issues with this story.

When I was growing up I got a few spankings and although I don't believe in hitting my children, I don't feel that I was abused or that my punishment went above normal bounds.  However, my parents never force fed me hot sauce and then made me take a humiliating cold shower.  The fact that this mother thought it was okay to do this, much less videotape it, shows that she is clearly ill-equipped to be a parent to six children.  Was she fame-seeking or just plain out of her mind?  I remember reading stories of the Warren Jeffs polygamist cult and how the parents would repeatedly dunk the children's heads into water if they were crying to teach them to be quiet and it sickened me.  Every family has its own philosophy on discipline, but there are acts that cross the bounds, and force feeding hot sauce is one of them.  I personally am not a fan of spicy foods or hot sauce and have actually choked when I accidentally ingested some...so being forced to have some would probably send my body into shock.  I really feel for this child.

I am sure that there are people out there that would not consider what this woman did to be child abuse and personally I am worried for their children.  To come up with a creative punishment is not to figure out what is going to physically hurt the child most (without leaving a mark) or embarrass them -- it is to come up with a consequence that works for the situation.  For example, a child who mouths off may not get to use the phone for a week (if that means something to them).  I just hate that this lady obviously premeditated the entire situation and videotaped it.  In the article I read on people.com, she and her husband claim that this child (Kristoff) has a "special problem -- Reactive Attachment Disorder" and that they don't know "how to handle him."  Well, I have a suggestion, get some help.  Don't further damage this child (who was adopted and probably has issues stemming from that as well) by brutally punishing him, taping it and sending it to Dr. Phil for all the world to see. 

Parenting is hard and I am sure that I will have days in the future where I lose it a little bit with my kids.  Nobody is perfect and I hope when I have a "moment," that I will be able to step back and take a break before acting irrationally.  I certainly won't be reaching for the Frank's Hot Sauce (b/c that sh*t doesn't belong on everything) and my video camera to go an torment/torture my child.

I think the Alaska judiciary did right by the child and gave this mother something to think about...she will now forever be branded as a child abuser and will think twice before she comes up with a "creative" discipline solution.   


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lizzie McGuire is knocked up.

Just as I was complaining that the pop world was a snooze a few items made the media that I thought were worth a shout out.

1.  Hilary Duff -- is she old enough to be married? -- Is pregnant with her first child with husband Mike Comrie.  I did have to double check her age and she is 23, so I guess we can't consider her the little Disney star that she once was.  I was too old to watch Lizzie McGuire, but that is how I will always think of Ms. Hilary.  Now if Raven Simone would up her game and throw some grown-up gossip on the pile that would be icing on the cake...that's so Raven.

2.  Jessica Alba gave birth to her second daughter, Haven Garner Warren.  Congrats Jessica!  I'm a teensy bit jealous as I will be a mother of two boys come December and I'm not sure if I am biologically capable of making a girl. 

3.  My idol, Tina Fey gave birth to her second daughter, Penelope Athena on August 10th! 
Congratulations to Tina and family!!!

4.  Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy presented the first pic of little Bing and he is a cutie. 

5.  CAUTION: DOWNER ALERT -- Russell, Taylor's husband from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was found dead in Los Angeles of an apparent suicide.  Very sad.  I don't really know what to say except that I feel for their young daughter and for Taylor.  Taylor filed for divorce in July and cited physical and verbal abuse as allegations against Russell.  He was also being sued for $1.5 million dollars in a lawsuit for breach of contract.

6.  Gerard Depardieu relieved himself inside of an airplane cabin.  Yes, I know you are saying "who?"  But, seriously, he was the father in My Father the Hero -- an oldie but goodie.  Also, I just like saying his name.  Apparently he was told that he would have to wait until after take off to use the airplane bathroom and instead he just peed in the aisle.  I hope it was first class.

7.  And, last but not least, K-Fed welcomed his FIFTH child. Women are still choosing to breed with this guy.  Inconceivable (ha!), I know.  I'm not sure what he does for a living these days, but I'm sure a lot of his time goes to dealing with baby mama drama...he has three of them now. 

I hope everyone is having a superb week and enjoying the weather now that it is not 100 degrees everyday!  Yipee! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mid-August ALREADY?

I don't have a good excuse for not blogging in a couple weeks, except that I was traveling for work one week and was just generally lazy (pregnant) the other week.  I swear, this pregnancy is zapping my energy much more than the last one.  I'm sure that chasing around a 15 month old (and I truly mean chasing...through parking lots, through the house, away from danger...) has something to do with my lack of get-up-and-go, but I am really exhausted these days.  Plus, just imagining what I will feel like come December when I have a newborn makes me really tired.  Oh, and there wasn't a ton to blog about in the pop culture world either...I felt like I was grasping for things to write about; some ideas included:

1.  Why no one cares that Ricki Lake is getting married again.  This was a cover story on one celeb site I scan...
2.  Kim Kardashian's Wedding (but then I thought I would just wait for it to actually happen and then comment)
3.  The end of the Harry Potter movies -- tear.
4.  The break-up of Jennifer Lopez's third (?) marriage.  I think it was her third...wait, yes, it was definitely her third because she and Ben Affleck never made it down the aisle (thank goodness).

The topic I thought the most about blogging about was the J-Lo / Marc Anthony divorce, but then I didn't have a good take on it because, really, who cares?  He is skeletor-ish and she is still sexy-dancing on American Idol.  Besides having two children together, everything else they have produced together has been an epic fail ( El Cantante anyone?)...what would be different about their marriage?  I also always found it a little distasteful how soon they got hitched after she broke it off with Ben Affleck and he received the final divorce papers from his ex-wife (days, people, days).  My only remaining question for Jennifer -- who's are you going to marry next?  It will be someone non-Latin probably and definitely a big name...she has a comeback to sustain. 

On a parenting note, Cameron and his dad fared very well while I was out of town for work for 4 long days!  Cam was super happy to see me when I came and seemed to have grown-up while I was away...he was jabbering up a storm to me (inevitably telling me how his dad let him eat tons of cookies or something) and pointing to my nose and eyes (he is learning about body parts).  When I travel I always wonder if people can tell from my outward appearance that I am a mom (besides the baby bump that is getting more obtrusive by the day).  I know that is a weird thing to wonder, but I don't know what gives it away.  I can't always tell if someone is a parent.  I don't think that there is any badge that you wear that gives it away (except for the fact that I am long overdue for a haircut and most of my clothes have some kind of mark of graham cracker goo on them that I somehow miss cleaning off).  Any telltale signs of a parent that you notice? 

Being so proud of my son and my family I sometimes wonder if that shows through on my face or the way I carry myself (waddling, these days).  I suppose most people wonder what kind of assumptions others make about them when they are in public and alone.  Although, I think if the average person saw Michelle Duggar in public by herself, they would just KNOW that she is a mother (and could probably guess that she had a litter of children) -- no offense Michelle.

I almost forgot, has anyone seen the Lifetime show Dance Moms?  It is kind of a poor man's Toddlers and Tiaras, but in some ways it is more scary -- if that is possible.  The show follows an elite dance troupe from the Pittsburgh area and the director/choreographer Abby Lee Miller.  First, you would think that this lady is training these girls for the Olympics (uh, hello Bela Karolyi) -- she is demanding, harsh, no-nonsense and just kind of annoying.  Second, the "Dance Moms" are batsh*t insane, particularly one named Cathy.  You just have to watch to see what I am talking about.  As any parent, I am invested in my child and would love to see him succeed at what he loves, but I vow to myself to NEVER BE A DANCE MOM (or a soccer mom, etc.)  This may sound selfish, but I don't want to spend all my weekends and nights at a dance studio or practice for my kid.  These women are at this dance studio and traveling for competitions the equivalent of a full-time job.  I kid you not.  And, the dads never seem to be at any of the practices or competition, so the burden is squarely on the mother.  It also costs a TON of money.  A lot of the girls in this dance troupe seem to love it, but some are over it and even complain that they are only really doing it for their moms now.  Where is the balance people?  Lesson of the day - everything in moderation.

Have a wonderful week!   

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bruce Jenner - I don't know what to say.

Yesterday as I lay exhausted on the couch while Cameron was napping (I tried sleeping too, but I think I have pregnancy induced insomnia), I tuned into ye old Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  This show both disgusts and intrigues me.  The latest crapisode was about Bruce Jenner finding out that his daughter Kendall is on birth control and Kim getting diagnosed with psoriasis (gasp.).  First off, Bruce freaks out about the possibility of Kendall even needing birth control, but then in a conversation with his "wife" Kris, he refuses to have the "birds and bees" talk with Kendall (15) or his other daughter Kylie (13).  He instead gets Khloe to figure out what is going on with his youngest kids -- I don't know what is worse parenting -- refusing to do the talk or sending Khloe to get the scoop.  Also, isn't it a little late?  I think I was given version of the talk starting at age 8 or something...

This whole debacle was just uncomfortable for everyone and I had second hand embarrassment watching it unfold.  I refuse to believe that Kendall and Kylie don't know "much" about sex being that their sisters have pretty much all made sex tapes (well, maybe not Khloe).  Man up Bruce, you fathered these girls, now figure out how to raise them into responsible women -- considering that Kris pretty much failed in this area with her first three daughters, you would think that he would be stepping up to the plate.  All of this also made me dread giving Cameron "the talk," although I am thinking that it will be more of an on-going dialogue in our house.  Right now I just want to stop him from throwing food on the floor or sticking Little People in the subwolfer.

Watching this show also made wonder what Bruce Jenner used to look like before he became scary plastic surgery "man."  Really, his face doesn't even look like a man anymore.  It is freaky.  Here is a pic of him from back in the day and a recent shot.  Enjoy! 


Friday, July 22, 2011

Am I in the Middle East? and other summer musings...

Good afternoon.  It is so hot that I thought I was in Abu Dhabi this morning.  I am not really complaining though since I LOVE SUMMER and would take this over 13 degree temps any day.  However, being prego, toting a 14 month old and still having to look "work appropriate" three days a week does not jibe with the heat wave!  I have a complaint to make -- why don't carseats breathe better?  Poor little Cameron has emerged from the car soaking wet, with a sweaty head and smelly feet (now that he wears shoes, it seems unavoidable...).  The kid literally is losing a pound of water weight every car trip --- even when we pump the air, the car is still too hot when we get in it and he just never cools down on our short trips.  I have been pushing the water and fluids, but he is still too little to understand that he needs to hydrate...any suggestions???

My son has also just recently started purposefully FLINGING his food off of his high chair.  He looks right at me when he is doing it and gets pretty good range for a 14 month old (future sportsman?).  Apparently this is hilarious to him.  I have tried to maintain stern looks, telling him that "we don't throw our food," ending the meal early and just generally ignoring him to see if he will stop.  I have spoken to other mom friends who say that this is pretty normal for his age, but seriously, how do I curb this behavior?  Maybe I just ride it out and keep cleaning the floor, but it is getting exhausting!  I see him testing me and it is both amusing to me (since he is a little person with a personality now) and infuriating.  I'm sure this is just the first in a long long line of things he will do to push my buttons...Welcome to parenthood.

I also want to apologize for being a delinquent blogger.  Time has gotten away from me the past week or so and we are in the midst of lots o' change in my little household.  After almost 6 months of sitting on the market, our house finally got a contract and now we are in the midst of house hunting, purging and organizing and praying that our buyer doesn't decide to walk away from the deal.  We are ready to move on to a house with different space and get settled before baby deux arrives this holiday season.  Pregnant and packing...I will be digging deep for energy to get it all done.

Things that may keep me going through the hot mess of summer --
1.  Sugar-free snow cones from the shack in the shopping center parking lot.  I don't even have to get Cam out of the car...just pull up right next to it, hop out leaving the air running and door open, order, get back in car for a few minutes, then hop back out pay, get handed frigid treat, hop back in and get the hell out of dodge.  So convenient, even if it seems like a lot of hopping...

2.  Thoughts of a beach vacation in October.  I will be pregnormous and in a very flattering (not) maternity swimsuit, but who cares, it is the promise of the ocean, sand and eating out at restaurants that keeps me going...

3.  Day dreaming up decorating ideas for a new house.  New place, new canvas.  A little daunting, but exciting too.

In pop news, there have been a slew of celebrity babies born.  Welcome to the world of Hollywood and the "beautiful people" (as my mother once called them):

Baby boy Kase Townes born July 11th to Jewel and husband Ty Murray.  Congratulations! 

Baby girl Harper Seven, born July 10th (my birthday!) to David and Victoria Beckham.  She joined three big brothers.  Cute name and very cute obviously posed photos...don't even try to tell me these were candid shots taken with an iphone or something...

Baby boy Bingham Hawn, born July 9th to Kate Hudson and fiance Matt Bellamy.  The little one's name stems from both grandmother's maiden/last names.  Very sophisticated indeed.  I have considered this naming convention, but not sure that my mom and MIL have very first/middle name friendly monikers.  Kate Hudson didn't find out the sex of the baby before birth, but had told the media that she thought it was a girl this time around (she has older son Ryder from first marriage). 

Have a great weekend!!! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Talk about a Birth Experience from Hell

The entire Jaycee Dugard saga disturbs me greatly.  This poor woman was abducted at age 11 and lost out on 18 (18!!!) years of her life being held captive by her kidnappers who raped, abused and tormented her the entire time.  I feel the utmost sorrow for this woman and her two children (fathered by her abuser) and I cannot imagine the relief, joy, confusion and other mix of emotions they all must have felt when they were finally rescued and let free in the outside world.  Jaycee is 31 -- the age I am reluctantly turning this Sunday and I can't help but keep trying to imagine her nightmare. 

Today, on http://www.people.com/ I read a short recap of Jaycee's interview with Diane Sawyer.  This was the headline: "Jaycee Dugard Recalls the Pain of Giving Birth in Captivity."  First off, try to ignore the fact that the headline makes her sound like a zoo animal -- the writers at People are not literary masters.  Second, if you have ever given birth, you know that it is not a pretty process...and you were probably educated about what it entailed, had the chance to oh, you know, have prenatal care, and had supportive people surrounding you.  This poor girl gave birth to her first daughter at around the age of 14, while locked up in a makeshift prison and attended to by her rapist and his wife.  Sound like a good time?  In the article she states that she didn't "realize she was in labor."   How would she know?  She was 14 and had been hidden from society for three years.  She probably thought she was DYING.

Jaycee's book, A Stolen Life is out and I may buy it for my iPad.  I am fascinated by this woman's story -- her strength, will to survive, her journey into motherhood and her re-entry into society.  Her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, was sentenced to 431 years in prison and his wife, Nancy, to 36 years (not sure why the leniency on her...).  I'm not even sure that justice was served.  I'm sure that Jaycee wants to move on with her life and I don't blame her, but from a citizen's standpoint -- hell, from a mother's standpoint  -- I am contemplating whether the death penalty would have been more appropriate.  The crime was premeditated and the torture and abuse systematic and unrelenting for 18 years.  It makes me wonder how many other children are out there being hidden and abused by kidnappers while their parents mourn. 

I'm just glad she is free and that her daughters don't have to live like that any longer.  I wish them the best. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks, Guns and Doing the Splits -- American Style

I love a long weekend -- who doesn't?  This Fourth of July was special because Cameron could participate.  Last year he was only a few months old and basically a lump that I had to keep out of the sun and heat.  This year he was a maniac, riding his bike (well, being pushed on it) in the 4th of July parade, swimming in the lake with me (floating more like it) and enjoying many snacks that random family members let him try.  He had a blast and I loved watching him.  Fourth of July has always been a big deal in my family and is typically celebrated down at a small lake community where the club puts on a midway, pool games, a parade and fireworks.  Total Americana.  Did I mention that summer is my favorite season? 

Back at work today I was pretty dismayed to hear the Casey Anthony verdict.  I don't even want to go into it, but I do understand that there was a lack of conclusive evidence to convict her...I just wish there hadn't been.  I look at my son and even though he drives me a little bonkers every so often, I could never hurt him.  Hell, being pregnant I can't even drink a soda without feeling guilty -- even a caffeine-free one.  I just hope that the real story comes out someday so that Caylee's family can have peace... or at least the guilt will drive Casey mad.

On a lighter note, I am still processing last week's Real Housewives of New Jersey.  All I can say is wow.  The episode featured Teresa and the gang going to Joe Giudice's family cabin.  When I say gang, I mean Jacqueline and her hubs, Teresa and Joe, Caroline and the Manzo boys, her sidekick and possible new cast member Dolores and about 689 members of Joe Giudice's family.  I don't even know how to describe this, but there were about 700 people there and apparently only 2 bedrooms.  I assume Bravo rented the entire rest of the mountain to put up the cast and crew b/c I can tell you that Caroline did NOT stay there...by her facial expressions, it was clear that she was looking for the purell the entire time she had to appear at this location.  It was totally one of the circumstances where her real response to the invite was hell to the no, but her contract said otherwise.  Quick recap of what you would have seen:  Teresa and Melissa half-heartedly making up (or should I say resolving to "move forward"); Teresa shooting guns; Joe attempting to do the splits; Jacqueline actually doing the splits; a picture of a younger (still beefy) Joe doing the splits and sporting a mullet; a 1:30am pizza making contest; Teresa talking openly about a certain uh, intimate toy; more shooting of guns, and oh, a visit to the chapel situated at the end of the driveway.  Yeah, it was a goldmine.

I almost forgot -- the other 1/4 of the show featured Joe and Melissa taking their daughter Antonia to her ballroom dance performance and Kathy and Rich looking at starting a restaurant.  Both are too ridiculous to cover, but if you want nightmares, check out the other performers at the dance school (all are about 30 years older than Antonia) and Kathy's restaurant location shopping outfit --uh, what?  I can't take it. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Some Random Thoughts...

These are a few things that I have been thinking about but couldn't quite flesh out into full blog posts:

1.  For all you parents out there that may have seen Mas and Ruby on Nick Jr. -- is Ruby the most patient big sister ever or what?  Anything that Max does to ruin her parties, her shopping trips, her cooking, she just gives him the benefit of the doubt and moves on.  What a saint.  Sadly I cannot say that I was as tolerant a big sister as Ruby the Rabbit.  Also, where the heck is Ruby and Max's mother?  We see Grandma, but never parents.  Does Ruby raise Max?  I need backstory people.

2. Does anyone find it weird that Rhianna, a victim of domestic violence, would go ahead and sing a song about S&M?  Anyone?

3.  I am interested, bored and frustrated with the Casey Anthony trial all at the same time.  Just convict her already.

4.  No one cares about Lindsay Lohan anymore.  She is on house arrest and I really don't care what she is doing. 

5.  Oh and just because Pippa Middleton is wearing it doesn't make it cool.  Although I do like her style. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When your husband has to sign your permission slip to skip gym...

Here is the headline that jumped out at me this morning: Doug Anthony Hutchinson Marries 16-Year-Old Country Singer.  I didn't know who this guy was (apparently he is an actor that appeared on Lost), but I do know that he is a freak.  He is 51 years old and he just married a 16 year old in Vegas (of course).  SO GROSS.

According to him, "We're aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial," he said. 'But we're very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless."  35 years age difference is one thing when you are both of legal age, but she is 16!  He just comes off as a sick freak pervert.

I am disgusted, as you can tell.  Here are my follow-up questions to this story:
1.  What was the hurry?  If you are so in love, wait until she is over 18 to get married...at least it doesn't look so perverted that way.
   2.1.  Are they friends with her new husband? 
   2.2.  Is that how the happy couple met?  At her parent's house?
   2.3   Do they realize that the photo posted of her makes her look like a porn star?
   2.4   Were they paid to let her marry him?
   2.5.  Are they INSANE?  Answer: Yes.

I am totally creeped out by this entire thing.  I can't believe he announced it on his website.  I can only hope it is a publicity stunt to bolster both of their careers and they are not actually married and have not been doing inappropriate things together.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Babies, Babies Everywhere

Spring seems to be a popular time for birthing -- you know, animals hatch in spring, bears come out of hibernation and give birth (I just made that up) and the maternity wards get packed with newborns.  I had Cameron in spring and while I was in the hospital they had to open up the rarely used overflow wing because it got so packed.  In the spirit of spring babies, here are some birth announcements for your enjoyment:

1.  Willow Sage Hart -- the new daughter of Pink and Carey Hart was born June 2nd.  The new family has already been spotted out and about in Malibu.   I wish I was in Malibu right now.

2.  Baby Boy Millepied -- Natalie Portman and fiance Benjamin Millepied welcomed a baby boy sometime in the past week or so...no date was released and no name either!  Congratulations Natalie!

3.  Baby "M" Duggar -- the newest member of the Duggar clan was born June 15 to parents Josh and Anna Duggar.  The baby boy's name was not released, but was confirmed to start with an "M."  I hope that they don't do all "M" names, but I think that is where this is headed.  Baby "M" was born at home in Arkansas.  Brave woman.  Check out the picture -- this kid was supposedly born yesterday...they really have good PR people (but don't most reality stars?)

Two of my girlfriends - Erin and Amy -- also joined the spring mama club and gave birth to little boys in the last few weeks.  Congratulations! 

Who is next???  Happy Thursday!

My Big Boy Baby

The other day I got sentimental as only a mother can and went back through all of my facebook albums and realized my baby is not such a baby anymore.  He is a big boy now.  I look at his old albums and how chubby his cheeks were and how he literally had no neck at all and I can hardly remember what he was like back then (oh, it was only about 4 months ago, but still).  Today he is walking everywhere, climbing up on everything and gesturing/pointing his little heart out.  He "talks" to me and laughs with me.  He mimics what I do.  He has actual shoes now and he eats with his fingers.  The last few months have changed my baby into a boy.  This photo is Cam at a few weeks old.

The other day I found a video of myself in the hospital the day after Cam's birth.  I had never seen it before and besides being somewhat horrified at what I looked and sounded like (I was pretty sick), I couldn't believe that he was once that small.  I remember moments of those first few months with him, but for the most part it is hard to recapture those pictures in my head.  He has changed so much.  Thank God for cameras.  Here is Cameron at 3 mo., 6 mo., 9 mo. and 1 year!  He still looks neckless in the 1 year photo, but he now has some neck (I swear!) and he is walking everywhere...emptying all of my cabinets and running away from me when it is time for diaper changes. 

In about 6 months I will get to start all over with a new addition to our family and Cam won't be "the baby" any longer.  He will be the big brother.  It seems surreal that I will go through the newborn stage again, but I am so excited to hold a little one in my arms again.  Cam will no doubt be trying to crawl into my arms as well and I will always be stretching to open them wider to accommodate everyone.  I can't wait to see what Cameron will be like as a big brother -- I'm sure he and his sibling will get into lots of trouble together.  We are thrilled, nervous and overjoyed to become a family of four!   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gypsies - my new polygamist?

While Sister Wives is on hiatus until fall (when sh*t looks like it will hit the fan for the Brown family) I needed a new extreme cultural phenomenon to occupy my summer TV time.  Now I love plygs just as much as the next girl, probably more actually, and I will stay loyal to my polygamy obsession, but this summer I am going to dive deep into the world of gypsies.  Yep, that's right, gypsies.  I don't know much about this people, only what I've learned from cartoons (that they travel in circus like wagons and wear loose clothing) and the propaganda our local news station spouts each spring warning that the gypsies are coming to run their scams in our fair city.  So, basically all I know is that gypsies are criminals who wear baggy clothes and travel in wagons.  Therefore, I was hoping that the TLC show (of course it is on TLC) My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding would learn me good on some gypsy knowledge.  Learn I did. 

To preface, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding follows English and Irish gypsy / traveller (the more PC name) families in the UK and specifically profiles gypsy weddings, christenings and first communions.  These three events are sacred events in any gypsy girl's life and the dresses are FREAK FABULOUS.  The girls end up looking like a cross between a Disney princess, a drag queen stripper and a pre-Civil War Southern Belle.  For the most part the dresses are tacky as hell, weigh about 70 pounds and are almost impossible to walk in. The show did not share how much one of the dresses cost, but I cannot imagine how these families afford them. 

Besides the crazy dresses, gypsy culture is pretty much riddled with strange ironies.  For instance, the girls are raised to be housewives and to stay chaste and alcohol-free until marriage -- yet, they dress like strippers, pose (clothed) like they are getting test shots for Playboy and wear more make-up than a tranny on Halloween.  It is the strangest juxtaposition of immodesty and 1950s anti-feminist ideals around.  Gypsy and traveller girls typically drop out of school to help out with their large family.  The bride I watched last night, who was 16, had dropped out of school at 11 to help with her 8 siblings and cleaning the house.  The girls typically get married before age 18 and the courtship with their boyfriend/fiance must be chaperoned.  Now, imagine that you are the chaperon for a beefy gypsy guy (they are usually a few years old than their bride) and his fiance, a teen girl wearing a sports bra, booty shorts and more Wet-n-Wild make-up than a junior high dance -- I would want to throw a sweatshirt over the girl.  I'm not a prude in the least, but the juxtaposition of strict religious values and bare midriffs just doesn't seem right.  I'm not saying that I want to see a repeat of the Duggar wardrobe, but seriously, these girls put their bodies on display with a "Look, but don't touch...unless you want to marry me, p.s., I am 14" sign attached.   

Gypsy culture definitely intrigued me.  I am so confused by the rules placed on young girls (the boys don't have any of the same rules), how it is acceptable for them to dress so provocatively and the expectation that every gypsy woman will be a house wife.  As one older gypsy said, "it is bred into us."  Hmmm...  I plan on watching more of these shows.  TLC is also looking for US gypsy and traveller families...so, this should be interesting. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Really? (or Seriously. Part 2)

Okay, so after blogging about it and then finding out that so many intelligent women also have gotten sucked into this show, I watched Monday night's new episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Have you ever been in a situation that was supposed to be fun or silly and then had it turn out horribly wrong?  For instance, when I was a fun loving second semester senior in college, the hip hop group 112 came to our campus to do a concert.  What brought them to small town (and I mean small) Indiana I will never know, but since they were a one-hit wonder (uh, hello, Peaches and Cream anyone?) at the time they agreed to come and perform in our Division 3 gym.  Anywho, my friends and I did a little prepartying before hand, purchased our $10 tickets at the door and went in to enjoy some good ol' fashioned hip hop fun.  Well, just as it was getting good -- everyone was dancing to a mash-up of Peaches and Cream and some other song I will never remember, the band stopped and asked for a moment of silence for 9/11.  WTF?  Maybe at the beginning that would be appropriate, but in the middle of your only good song?  Really?  The momentum was lost and there were so many people there that were a little past tipsy that it did not go well.  A girl in front of us started giggling and then fell off of her chair.  We left shortly thereafter -- buzz killed. 

That long story mimics what happened to me last night when I finally sat down to watch Monday's Secret Life.  Okay, so a few episodes ago there was a teen wedding (Adrianne and Ben), mainly because Adrianne is pregnant with his baby.  This episode, besides having ALL the other characters talking about having sex, not having sex and marriage, was when Adrianne and Ben were going to have their baby (a girl).  Well, things did NOT work out so well, in fact, the baby ended up being a stillborn.  I know.  WTF?  This is ABC Family.  I really DO NOT understand what demographic this show is shooting for.  So, here I am, giggling away at the atrocious writing and waiting to see the baby and next thing I know there are tears running down my face.  This show is so ridiculous that they threw in a stillbirth. 

There may be an argument for adding realism to the show, but this was just inappropriately serious for this series.  I just cannot imagine a parent sitting and watching this with their tween or teen and not thinking it was crazy town.  Not only are there pregnant married teens, teens that are "going away for a sleepover" that their parents are okay with, teens that get paid for NOT having sex, a down syndrome kid that thinks he is marrying a lady he met on the bus and oh, lest I forget, a very involved guidance counselor played by Beverley Mitchell (as in Lucy from 7th Heaven) -- the writers had to thrown in a horrible tragic birth story?  I'm not sure if they realize this or not, but this show is NOT going to be up for an Emmy.  Ever.

So, that was me last night -- my husband went running and I ate Ritz Bitz sandwiches on the couch crying about a stillbirth on ABC Family.  I will never get that hour back. 

Monday, June 6, 2011


I just happened upon a marathon of the The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family -- I know, I know, what the hell was I doing that I tuned into ABC Family.  Curiosity people.  Has anyone else ever seen this show?  I have seen a few episodes before and basically it is Seventh Heaven but the teens on this show are either having sex, talking about it or railing against it 24/7.  Two of the female characters are pregnant teens (well, to be fair, one already had her baby) and everyone is always talking about getting married --there is NO mention of college.  I'm not even kidding.  The characters on this show cannot have a scene without the word "sex" or some variation of it being spoken oh, about 100 times.  I CANNOT TAKE IT!  But strangely, I keep watching it.  I mean, it is NOT going on my DVR schedule or anything, but give me a few loads of laundry to fold, a napping 13 month old and no work emails to respond to and I will take this over Dr. Phil any day. 

There should be a drinking game - albeit for seriously deranged and prime time starved peeps - that goes like this...take a drink every time someone on the show says the word sex or some variation of it.  This will be more of a drinking challenge than hour of power, plus you will get to crack up at seriously AWFUL writing and plot lines.  Win Win. 

Apparently this show is in its 3rd or 4th season...WTF?  Who is the audience?  I would DEFINITELY not let one of my children watch this show, unless they were over 21 and we were playing the Secret Life drinking game together. 

I also found a new blog that I would highly recommend reading -- it is the blog that I would write if I didn't fear future job prospects and what my great aunts would think.  I love this blog so much that I feel like I should be hired as this girl's PR agent.  Just check it out and you will understand what I am talking about ...www.2birds1blog.com.  I recommend reading the "Fan Favorite" posts.  But don't forget who referred you...keep visiting me too! 

Later skaters.