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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, January 31, 2011

A Trip to the Shore

Last night as I was finally folding the baby clothes that had languished in the dryer for days, I tuned into a re-run of Jersey Shore.  This was my first experience with the Guido gang and I have to say, I understand (kind of) the obsession with this show.  The episode I caught was the "Free Snooki" episode where she gets arrested for being fantastically and publicly intoxicated --during broad daylight no less and then is released from jail and decides that she is depressed (so she spends one night not going out)...until she meets a new guy. 

P.S. - This is a good picture of her...on the show she typically looks like she rolled out of a truck stop bathroom and put on her bump-it and make-up in a sauna.

I mean, this episode ran the full emotional gamut -- destructive drunk --> confused sobriety                          --> contemplative cigarette smoking --> hop into bed with someone new hopefulness.

My favorite parts of the episode were:
1.  When JWOWW (ummm, okay) calls Snooki's father and actually says to him, "Is this Snook's dad?" Really?  and
2.  When Snooki calls her dad to tell him about her arrest and release.  She doesn't really understand why he is disappointed in her...she even says, "It's not like I murdered someone."  Snooki then gets all upset / depressed (i.e. sober) about her dad being disappointed in her.  Really?  That is what she is worried about?  How about having a police record?  An STD? Skin cancer? Bed bugs?  All very plausible scenarios.  Oh, I can think of a lot of other things to be concerned about.    

I also found it interesting that her father was pretty lenient on her...I mean, yes, Snooks is technically an adult and yes, her father has to know that she is bound to get arrested  in her line of work (drunken, slutty reality star).  What is he really going to say?  His parenting cred was gone long ago... 

If my son ever went on a reality show like this, there would be much more than disappointment thrown his way.  As entertaining as these people are, no one really aspires for their children to grow up to be like them...it is more like a cautionary tale.  A trainwreck that I will enjoy watching while my boring 30 year-old self folds laundry while wearing a snuggie.  No, my snuggie is not leopard print...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Ginormous Step Back...

You know what really frosts my cookies?  Needless censorship--particularly when some pseudo authority figure takes it upon him or herself to make a decision of what is decent.  You know how grocery stores have little shields now to cover up the fronts of magazines like Maxim or Cosmopolitan?  Well, if you have ever read the racy headlines on these magazines, you probably understand why they are shielded from early readers...or just anyone else who doesn't want to be bombarded by "15 Hottest Songs to Have Sex To" or "Megan Fox's Bi-Sexual Confession" (true headlines...).  I get it.  However, what I DO NOT UNDERSTAND is censoring the Us Weekly magazine cover featuring Elton John, his partner David Furnish and their newborn son, Zachary.  Yes, this happened, right here in a the United States of America...

A grocery store in Arkansas put a "family shield" (sounds to me a like a euphemism for birth control) over the Us Weekly magazine cover where Elton John and David Furnish debut little Zachary.  Wow.  It doesn't really surprise me that this happened in Arkansas, but it does make me angry.  I wasn't aware that a gay couple being photographed with their newborn son was indecent or offensive...heaven forbid that a child see a gay family.  Who gets to censor some families over others?  Should Kate Gosselin's magazine covers be censored because she is a single mother?  Should they cover up the magazine displaying Kate Hudson's baby bump because she is unmarried and pregnant (gasp)?  What about interracial relationships?  Polygamists?    

Apparently, the grocery chain, Harps, censored the cover because the store had received customer complaints.  Harps claims that censorship of the magazine is in no way the store's opinion on the issue.  Interesting.  I bet my bottom dollar that the magazine cover of Jesse James adorned in Nazi garb was NOT censored -- I'm sure it received NO complaints by concerned shoppers in this particular pocket of our great country.

After being called out by the media and gay rights activists and supporters (there was a boycott called for against the chain), Harps has taken down the family shield.  I wish I had a shield to protect others from this kind of ignorance. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Ray of Hope

The amazing story of Carlina White -- the girl who went missing in 1987 at 19 days old and was recently reunited with her parents after 23 years -- gives hope new meaning.  This story makes me smile because although Carlina (named Nejdra by her kidnapper) missed experiencing childhood with her birth parents, she now gets to know them as an adult.  Carlina suspected that she did not belong to her "mother" Ann Pettway, a suspicion that grew when she asked for a copy of her birth certificate and Pettway couldn't deliver.  Right around Christmas, Carlina called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's hotline and started the search -- informing the call operator that she believed that she was the "missing person" and that her parents were out there looking for her.  I cannot imagine the joy/shock/awe/thankfulness that her birth parents feel knowing that their little girl is alive and well.  I am so happy for this family that they are now reunited and can experience life together. 

When Cameron was born, a security bracelet (looked like the kind Lindsay Lohan had to wear when under house arrest...just kidding) was placed on his teeny tiny ankle.  The bracelet would set off a series of alarms which would lock down parts of the hospital if he was taken through the doors of the maternity ward still wearing it.  Even though he roomed in with me after he was born, it made me feel better knowing that all sorts of precautions were being taken by the hospital to ensure his safety. 

The Carlina White story gives hope that maybe some of children who have gone missing are still out there, just living with other people.  Does anyone remember that book The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney?  It was definitely a middle school read, but a good one.  Synopsis: Jane sees a little girl's picture on a milk carton and it brings up memories of her childhood.  She figures out that she is Jennie Spring, the girl on the milk carton.  The decision of whether to meet and form a relationship with her biological family forces her to deal with lots of questions and emotions.  This story reminds me of that book, except that Carlina White is real and kidnapping isn't on par with a Babysitter's Club type of issue... 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Well, that didn't take long...

Jesse James is diving into marriage again.  This time with 28 year old tattoo artist and star of LA Ink, Kat Von D (what does the D stand for?).  With his divorce from Sandra Bullock just finalized last June, he sure isn't wasting any time.  In fact, it was less than a year ago that the news broke about his affairs and Sandra ended up leaving him.  Frankly, this whole story makes me a little ill.  I am happy for Sandra because she obviously got away from a very unstable man and has seemed to move on, but I am still repulsed by Jesse's behavior and feel sorry for his children.  This has got to be a roller coaster ride for them.  How many times will Dad get married?  How many step-mommies will I have?  On another note, I did not know that Kat Von D was younger than me...disturbing.     

What a lovely couple.  How many tats do the two of them have combined?  Yes, the math will make your head explode.

Another thing that made me grimace today (and I could just be in a bad mood b/c of all the darn snow) was the headline "Five Things to Know About Jodie Sweetin's Fiance."  There are so many things wrong with this story -- 1.  the words "to know" imply that I want to know about Jodie Sweetin's fiance; 2.  there are five things too many; and 3.  why is Jodie Sweetin still in the press.  Give me a break, all this girl does is get pregnant and get married (and divorced)...oh, and recover from addiction (which I am not mocking, but just saying that is what she has been known for lately). 

If you are even slightly curious about this dude named Morty (no joke), here is the gem of the little known facts about Stephanie Tanner's betrothed..."He didn't watch his future sweetie on Full House."  Definitely a news worthy factlet.   Also, by the picture he looks significantly older and possibly an extra on a show like Brothers and Sisters.  Just sayin. 

That's Enough, Mr. Snow

Remember when you were young(er) and the day before a big snow storm got you all excited because school would most likely be cancelled and you could spend the day sledding, watching movies and drinking hot chocolate?  Well, as a working adult / parent the reality of a "snow day" goes something like this...

1.  Wake up extra early so that you can immediately turn on the television to get the latest news on the snow, traffic and school / business closings. 
2.  Realizing that traffic / accidents / weather is only going to get worse the longer you wait to get on the road, begin rushing around the house trying to get out the door to risk your life on the roads as soon as possible. 
3.  Become frustrated at the lack of definitive news relating to the weather and roads.
4.  Become bitter that your place of business would rather have your risk your life than heaven forbid, work from home.
5.  Pack snow boots, ice scraper, extra food for child, extra layers for you and child and all of your normal everyday bags into the car, which is hopefully started and warming up...
6.  Drop child at daycare (which never closes) and get to work to find that half of the employees have called in because their children do not have school.
7.  Anxiously check weather reports and road conditions all day while trying to get work done.
8.  Try to explain to your boss why you are leaving early, even though he/she plans on spending the night at the office if needed and has four wheel drive in his/her car.
9.  Slide down roads to get your baby at daycare to find that the parking lot is snow covered. 
10.  Pack baby in the car, say a prayer and get into a traffic nightmare in the middle of which you will sit for approximately 2 hours to go 7 miles home.  At least you will be taking it slow...
11.  Listen to baby start crying after 40 minutes.  Start crying yourself after first hour.

It is a bit difference from those carefree days of childhood when snow day meant a freedom.  So, Mr. Snow please go away.  Now.   

Friday, January 14, 2011

Separated at Birth...

Am I the only one that sees Demi Moore every time I look at Kyle Richards (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)?  I may be crazy, but don't these two look like they were separated at birth...or at least had the same plastic surgeon???

Ummm...seriously?  Anyone else have any good celeb look-alikes?

Who is who? You tell me.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Little Local Flavor

While channel surfing yesterday, I stumbled upon a promo for the latest installment of the TLC series Real Police Women and learned that the fifth season is set in my home town -- Cincinnati!  The Real Police Women of Cincinnati debuts tonight on TLC at 9pm EST and I am definitely going to record it.  I am pretty excited that Cincinnati is going to get a shout out on TLC, but am a little nervous that it is going to give Cincinnati a rough reputation...let's be honest, these women are taking down perps, not dining at Cincinnati hot spots or enjoying cultural exhibits.    

The ladies of the Real Police Women of Cincinnati seem like an interesting lot -- two Iraq War vets, a former victim's advocate from the Prosecutor's office and a tough woman who take the midnight shift in one of Cincinnati's most notorious neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine.  I can't wait to see what their job is like on a day-to-day basis...I admire these women (not to mention police women everywhere) for the bravery it takes to work in this field.  Since becoming a mother, I am even more risk averse than I used to be.  I think it is normal because you want to make sure you are around to raise your child, but I couldn't imagine risking my life every day on the streets like these women.  I am in awe -- and I haven't even seen the show yet!

I have an idea for a cross-over episode -- the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to trade places with the Real Police Women of Cincinnati for a day.  I can just see Camille Grammer prancing around in a custom tailored police uniform, asking a male officer to show her how to shoot the gun.  What a joke...but possibly genius TV.  Later skaters.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Babies Babies Everywhere

Whew!  2011 has started with a rush of celebrity pregnancy announcements!  I've already commented on Natalie Portman's baby news and the Beckham's impending arrival and now there are a few more...

Jewel and Ty Murrary are expecting their first child.   I wasn't really surprised when one of my favorite late 90's artists (saw her at Lilith Fair -- remember that concert tour?) married a real-deal cowboy and I just love that they are now having a little one.  She is the host of the upcoming Bravo reality (what else) show, Going Platinum.  I bet Jewel will be a free-spirited mama who sings her baby to sleep...ahhhh...  Congratulations Jewel and Ty!!!

Jane Krakowski and her fiance Robert Godley are expecting their first child this year.  She was photographed in the Caribbean obviously showing.  She does such am amazing job on 30 Rock and I bet she will be a good humored mommy.  I kind of wish that her pregnancy was written into the show because I can just imagine the hilarious situations that would occur...I mean, her character is currently dating her celebrity impersonator (yes, a man who dresses as Jenna).  It is genius!  Congratulations Jane and Robert!

Owen Wilson is also going to be a father in 2011 -- what?  I didn't even know he was dating anyone.  Apparently, he and Jade Duell have been dating for more than a year and are expecting their first child.  Good for him.  I would like to see him with a newborn...  Congratulations Owen (and Jade)!

There are rumors again about Khloe Kardashian being pregnant...will these rumors ever turn out to be true?  Well, I'm sure that the rumors will be true, just in time for Lamar and Khloe's spin-off reality show to air...coming this year.  At least Khloe is married and isn't with a psycho like Scott Dissick -- ahem, Kourtney.
One of my favorite comedians, Vince Vaughn, became a father at the end of 2010.  I have always thought he would be a great dad-- especially seeing him in movies like Old School (earmuffs!) and Couples Retreat where he had interactions with children.  I can see him taking parenthood in stride and really enjoying it.  He said the cutest thing to the ET Canada about new parenthood and his baby daughter -- “I’ll tell you … When Kyla and I had the first pediatrician appointment, we gotta get the car seat and put it in the back of the car. Kyla buckled up and I got in the car. And I was like, ‘We’re a family.’ We’re going to an appointment as a family. It’s just a great feeling.”  I love this quote.  I remember when we brought Cameron home from the hospital and how we realized from that moment forward that it was the three of us.  It is an amazing feeling... 

One more comment before I sign off... I saw this picture of Natalie Portman and although I cannot see the entire outfit, what is she wearing????  Please let this be a costume.  The ring is beautiful though...


Monday, January 10, 2011

Totally Tubular

Tubes are in and baby is fine.  He actually rebounded better than I thought he would and wanted to play with his toys when we got home instead of nap...Mommy did not like this because she was up at 5:15am to report to the hospital.  He is napping now - thank goodness.  I am working on my laptop and half-listening to my new favorite show - House Hunters.  Life is good.

I was just reading that Victoria Beckham is expecting her fourth child -- I wonder if this one was a last ditch effort to have a baby girl.  She has three boys (Brooklyn - 11, Romeo- 8 and Cruz - 5 1/2) and she is 36 years old.  I never tuned into the Beckham's reality show, but I do like them as a couple -- mainly because there isn't a lot of scandal surrounding them and they have been together for a long time.  I hope she gets her baby girl -- she definitely needs to pass on her sense of style to someone.  Congratulations Posh and Becks!

Reading about the Beckham's impending arrival reminded me of the lavish christening they had for Brooklyn and Romeo.  Supposedly the Beckhams built a gothic-style chapel on the grounds of their Hertfordshire estate to use for the baptisms of their sons.  A little much, huh?  Maybe they would argue that this was the only way that their family could have privacy for these important events...and I'm sure that there is some truth in that.  Cam's baptism is this weekend and I'm relatively certain that there will not be paparazzi there, but just in case, I'm not disclosing the time or location (Ha!).   

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bring it on 2011!

Happy New Year!  I have been MIA for a little while now, no excuse except for the crazy holidays and a sick baby, but I'm BACK and ready to blog through 2011.  Although the past year was a mere moment in time, it was a big year for me (you know, becoming a mom and all that jazz) and a big one for pop culture (Betty White made a comeback for goodness sakes!).  I am thankful for all the blessings of 2010, but I am also ready to continue my adventure in 2011. 

First things first - Cameron is getting ear tubes!  It was bound to happen and hopefully it will cure his recurrent ear infections and make our household a little less of an infirmary.  I am anxious for the surgery -- mainly for the anesthetic -- but I know he will be in good hands.  After next week he will have new and improved ear canals...or something like that.

Secondly - the end of 2010 came with some interesting bits of pop culture news...

1.  Natalie Portman is engaged and expecting.  Now, do you think that the engagement came before or after the positive pee stick?  Just asking...  Congratulations to Natalie and her fiancee, choreographer Benjamin Millepied.  I have yet to see Black Swan, but it is on my list of movies...(chances are that I will not see it until it is On Demand because I rarely get out to the movies anymore and when I do, it is on a date with my husband and I truly doubt that he is going to be itching to see a ballet thriller).  Natalie has been one of my favorite actresses since I saw her in The Professional. This little baby is sure to be a cutie.

2.   Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth (talent agent) are engaged.  Congratulations!  I was slightly surprised by this news, as I have thought of Reese as "trigger shy" on the marriage issue since she dated Jake Gyllenhaal seriously for years but never tied the knot.  I always love when the press goes to the ex-spouse for a comment...I mean, what is he or she going to say?  "That guy isn't as hot as me."  Well, just to be clear, Ryan Phillippe is "very happy for both Reese and Jim."

3.  David Arquette entered rehab.  Interesting.  Not entirely surprising after his behavior post-split from Courteney Cox.  I hope he can pull it together and then they can get back together and have a Hollywood ending.

Third - during my holiday hiatus I discovered the following:

1.  HGTV.  I knew it was there, but had never watched regularly.  For about two days I became completely obsessed with House Hunters International.  Then, I started watching Selling New York and Property Virgins.  I am addicted.  

2.  The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  This was inevitable.  During a holiday marathon of the newest installment of the vapid, materialistic and totally engaging series, I caught up with Kyle, Camille, Lisa, Taylor, Kim and Adrienne.  I find it so intriguing how the women on these shows can fight about almost anything...it has to be scripted.  I'm not sure who my favorite Bev Hills housewife is yet, but I'm leaning towards Camille for crazy drama and then Lisa because her accent and Joan Collins-ish persona is so fun.  Also, I must point out that some of these women do NOT even live in Beverly Hills (ahem, Kim)... The show is not called, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Adjacent).    

3.  Bruno Mars.  I love his music and I have to say that he is pretty darn sexy himself.  Such fun songs...Marry You, Count on Me, Just the Way You Are.  Love him.

I wish everyone an amazing 2011!!!
Later skaters.