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, October 29, 2012

It isn't supposed to be EASY

If raising kids were easy, then every moron would turn out the next Nobel Peace Prize winner.  People always tell you that having children "changes everything," and it is the "hardest job" you will ever do.  When you are pregnant you choose to ignore this and believe that, oh no, not my child.  My child will be perfect and say please and thank you every.single.time and probably potty train himself and sleep through the night at 6 weeks old.  I can't say that I thought all of that, but I certainly thought -- look, I'm a moderately intelligent, strong, self-aware person, I can certainly raise a successful member of society and hey, I can probably do it without all of the tips, tricks and trappings that my parents had to use.  Hmmmm...who feels like the moron now?

We moved Cameron to his racecar bed last Monday and the first few days were smooth sailing.  Then we got to the weekend and Cam threw a humongo fit on Saturday and would not nap in his bed.  Bedtime wasn't a huge deal, but he did get out of his bed in the middle of the night and show up in our room (turns out he had an ear infection) completely ignoring his stoplight alarm clock, which was clearly still RED -- which means "STAY IN BED!!!"  Anywho, the night time thing didn't bother me as much as the refusal to nap in his bed, which he did again on Sunday.  This time we employed the gate at his bedroom door and he literally shrieked and howled for about 1 hour until he finally passed out sprawled at the end of his bed and slept for 2 hours like that.  Clearly he still needs the nap.

Right now I am listening to him yell for me, then cry and then plead for me to let him out of his room (yep, that gate still works) and I am trying desperately to ignore him.  Don't get me wrong, I am TOTALLY fine letting him work this out on his own and learn that he is not leaving his room during naps, so it is either sleep or read books, but what I am NOT okay with is him waking Henry up in the process.  Poor H didn't get a good nap yesterday or the day before because of his crazy banshee of a brother.  The white noise can only drown out so much and Cameron is VERY loud.  For instance, right now he is screaming and playing a tambourine that he found in his room (note to self: clean out his room of anything FUN or noise making).

So, here I am, wondering how long this stand-off is going to have to go on for...3 days, a week, two weeks?  Anyone go through something similar?  The gate keeps him corralled, but he is still loud as anything.  Oy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making My List.

Everyday when I open up my mailbox I am amazed at how many trees were killed to bring me the catalogues I NEVER ASKED FOR.  I understand the marketing strategy of sending a catalogue to everyone who ever bought anything from a catalogue or website, or somehow got his or her name on some kind of mailing list, but the strategy is wasted on me.  Basically I buy everything on either: Amazon.com, websites or in the actual store.  It is rare that I see something SO special in a catalogue that I have to buy it, so please stop sending me wasted paper that goes into the recycling bin straight out of the mailbox.

With that being said, yesterday I got a catalogue in the mail that made it past the recycling bin based solely on its name -- Magic Cabin.  Has anyone else seen this one?  It looks kitschy with a photo of elfin dolls on the front, but seriously, Magic Cabin just sounded magical to me.  Turns out, it is pretty damn magical.  Magic Cabin carries just about everything a child would need to pretend that he or she lives in a land full of fairies, elves, forest people and woodland creatures.  It.Is.Awesome.  Even my husband appreciated how cool it is.

For example, here are some product titles straight out of Magic Cabin:

  • Classic Cloaks -- just what they appear to be...in "Floral Pink, Little Red Riding Hood, Celestial Blue, or Teal Leaves."  I'm asking Santa for one in Teal Leaves.
  • HugglePod --  a hanging cocoon for kids.  It holds up to 175 lbs. so I should be good.  See below. 
  • Play Silks - let your imagination run wild.
  • Kirin the Unicorn - yes, please!
  • Bilibo - literally the description says "It's whatever a child wants it to be!"
  • Ladybug Thumb Piano - for making fairy music, of course.

I reviewed this catalogue more carefully than I have reviewed legal documents and I was entranced.  Where was this mystical vendor when I was a child?  If I had seen this catalog when I was a kid, I would have gone ape and probably circled every single thing it as a "need."  Call me a nerd, but I was pretty upset that the Harry Potter series didn't come out when I was a kid.  It would have seriously changed my childhood and probably would have made for more than a few Hermione Halloween get-ups.  I mean, I already had the hair.

Check out Magic Cabin, even if you don't have kids. magiccabin.com  You won't regret it.  I'm trying to figure out just what Henry and Cam need...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm so hip.

I was a big fan of the show Up All Night when it first aired, but now in season 2, I think they have jumped the shark a little bit and the story line is struggling.  Basically, Ava's show got cancelled, they got rid of Jason Lee's character and although the writing is still good, the plot has fizzled.  Anyway, I was catching up on it last night (it is basically my DVR filler) and it was the episode where Reagan and Chris steal their neighbor's babysitter.  I hear this happens, but I have never done it (nor have I had the opportunity to, since my mom is typically our go-to babysitter).  So, towards the end of the episode my husband turns to me and says, "Hey isn't that girl the smoothie lady from Fresh Beat Band?"  He was talking about the actress playing the pilfered babysitter and he was dead on right.  I knew that she looked familiar, but couldn't place her...yep, she also plays Melody on Fresh Beat Band.  It was incredibly satisfying and SAD to realize this connection.  Clearly, Nick Jr. is on too often at our house. I have found myself absentmindedly humming "It Was a Great Day."

Is anyone else watching Parenthood?  Does anyone else think that there are too many things going on and that it is becoming somewhat ridiculous?  I still really like the show, but seriously, what other major life issue are they going to bring on next and I totally called Amber getting set-up with the soldier...it was too easy.

I am also being pounded by campaign calls and sometimes, just to play I answer the polls differently if I get more than 1 call in a day.  What can I say, I'm a tricky Ohio "Walmart Mom" (but I typically shop at Target).

It has been a big week so far at our house and I am a bit discombobulated... Henry had ear tubes put in on Monday morning (at 7:30am - oy) and Cameron started climbing out of his crib.  The ear tube surgery was no big deal and seeing as how it was our third time doing this (Cam had two sets), we were like old pros.  The worst part was just leading up to it -- getting the pre-op physical done and then actually waiting at the hospital for the procedure.  We had to get there by 6am...and we did, lattes in hand.

So, Cameron started climbing out of his bed.  I knew that this would eventually happen, but for the longest time he wore a sleepsack, which acted as passive restraint and deterred the act of climbing.  Then, he started saying "No sack," and we relented.  He stopped wearing it months ago and only just now figured out he could get out of his crib.  On Sunday morning he showed up in our room at 6:30am saying, "I got out of my bed."  Yep, you did you little...  Anyway, I went on a mission to get a toddler bed immediately and found a very nice Little Tikes race car bed on craigslist.  We picked it up Monday afternoon and he has been raving about it ever since.  Now, let's just hope he stays in it!  We are trying a nightlight/alarm clock that is a stoplight that goes to green when it is time to get up.  He has "obeyed" it for two mornings now and I am praying that the novelty doesn't wear off.  Fingers crossed.

Today is abnormally warm (around 80 degrees), so we went to the park this morning to play.  My boys love the slide!  Could Henry get any bigger?  He is 10 months old, 24 pounds and walking.  Although Henry adores Cam, I am anticipating the day when Cameron takes away one of his toys and Henry just decks him.  The other day Cameron took all of the toys away from him and I said, "Cam, that wasn't very nice, what is Henry going to play with?" Cam looked at me and said, "Henry can play with a shoe."  I had to cough in order to hide my laughter.  What a clown.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A little bit of this, a little of that.

Last night I cuddled up on the couch with some Ben & Jerry's, a blanket and my husband (who was surfing the iPad - I just needed to clarify so that there is no mistake how little interest he has in my TV choices) and the second installment of the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion show!  It did not disappoint.  First we got to see my favorite day player, Rosie!  Her hatred for Teresa is palpable and her relationship with Kathy never stronger.  Go Rosie!  Next we got to witness a ton of yelling, mainly between Melissa and Teresa, over who said what and yada yada yada.  There is NO mistaking the fact that Teresa stirs crap up, makes up stories and is a flat out liar...very interesting to watch it all burn down on national TV...  My favorite part of the whole show was when they brought stone-faced Joe Giudice on to fess up to his sins.  I seriously felt like he was coached and the entire thing was forced.  When questioned about the infamous phone call in which he calls Teresa some choice names and forgets he is miked, he feigns remorse and says it "cost him a lot of money."  Andy Cohen jumps on that and it is clarified that in order to get out of trouble with Teresa, he had to purchase some jewels for her.  Healthy.  Those two make me ill.  I'm just gearing up for the showdown next week when they bring on the men (sans Albert Manzo who has too much common sense and apparently a great contract loop hole) on the show.  I'm waiting for some good one-liners from Richie.  Question of the day -- how can I get a Real Housewives of Cincinnati started?  Without being rich or catty?  Hmmm...

Fall weather has officially touched down here and I am loving the jeans, sweaters and vest attire.  I even broke out the Uggs this past weekend...soooo comfy!  I have also taken an interest in fitness again and have started going to Zumba class.  If you would like to see a bunch of 30, 40 and 50 year old women awkwardly break it down to Latin inspired tunes, come and watch -- on second thought, don't.  The space where I take the class does NOT have mirrors, a fact for which I am most thankful as I have zero interest in catching a glimpse of myself sweating up a storm and shaking my toosh.  Oy.

In addition to Zumba, I have started (kind of) training to run/walk/stagger a 5k.  I don't have one booked yet, but I am thinking about doing our local Thanksgiving Day 10k and just walking/jogging it.  My goal is to actually run a 5k in the next 6 months.  The other day I went jogging/walking with Henry in the stroller around our neighborhood and I thought I was going to die, but you know what they say, you have to start somewhere (and that Henry is HEFTY).

I have had a lot of random thoughts lately, one of which came to me at around 5:45am the other morning while I was up feeding a sick child -- 80s and 90s pop culture really overused the word "Cop."  Think of all of the movies with "Cop" in the title or the television show Cops.  Off the top of my head I can name Robocop, Cops and Robbersons (did anyone else see that one?), Beverly Hills Cop, Kindergarten Cop and I am sure that there are more.  Deep thoughts for a Tuesday afternoon.

Back to work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tardy to the Party (yes, I used that as a title)

On Friday night my husband and I settled in to watch our DVR'd lineup of Thursday television (the old standards of Up All Night, Parks & Rec and The Office).  We were all geared up to see the season openers and started with Parks and Recreation.  The old characters are still doing their thing, but Ben and April are no located in D.C. and it wasn't really explained what was going on...I mean, we remembered that Ben had taken a job there, but April?  So, we were a little confused and I felt late to the party.  Next up was The Office and it jumped right into Roy's wedding and also some plot line with these two characters I have never seen, and Kelly and Ryan were inexplicably gone.  What?  Somehow, in my sleepy "Friday is finally here" daze, I just accepted this and moved on.  I was certain that by the end of the episode I would get an intro of these two new characters.  Uh, nope -- but it didn't really bother me so I popped a zzzquil and went to sleep.  Fast forward to Sunday night.  We started watching the DVR'd episode of Up All Night and were wholly confused.  There is a new character who is in business with Chris and Ava's show is cancelled?  WTF?  I reached for the iPad, looked at the episode guide on-line and realized -- we were a week behind.  We had completely missed the season openers of all our Thursday night shows.  Pop culture fail.  Thank goodness for On Demand to assist in catching us up.

Although the story I just relayed was pretty boring, it kind of tracks with how things have been going lately...FAST and I'm continually feeling as if I'm playing catch up.  On the work front, life is fine and manageable, but on the family/house/kid front, things are clipping along quite quickly.  I would kind of like it to switch and for work to be busy and the family front to settle down a bit...keeping my fingers crossed.

Henry is officially WALKING.  At nine and a half months.  He still falls down A LOT, but he is able to get himself up and across a room unassisted.  He is very proud of himself, not to mention ADORABLE.  Cameron is learning new things by the second and talks up a storm.  Constant questions, constant repetition (Mom has to watch what she says!) and lots of funny quotes...such joy!  Cameron and Henry are up in each other's business all the time and I know it is just the beginning of a lot of squabbling, loving and craziness between two brothers, but it is kind of driving me nuts already because Henry is still too little and Cam is unknowingly too rough.  Just yesterday we took Henry to the doctor because I suspected an ear infection (and was correct) and so all day Cameron was saying, "Henny's sick."  Yes, so leave him alone.  But no, last night after dinner my husband found Cameron  wrestling/playing with/smothering Henry and when asked what he was doing Cam replied, "Henny's sick."  Yeah, so was Cam trying to put Henry out of his misery?  Two year-olds.  Oy.

Cameron is also growing a bit of a 'tude, which shouldn't surprise me seeing who his mother is, but seriously, at 2 years old?  We are working on time-outs and consequences (like taking toys or other privileges away), but he persists in his behavior and I really don't know where to go with it...is it just age 2, or is there something I am missing?  Most of the time during his time-outs he gets up and just smiles at me, which causes me to have to stifle a laugh because of his precociousness.  His favorite phrase is "No way," and just the other day he crossed his arms and he said "I'm mad," when we wouldn't let him do something.  Please, other parents, I need some tips!

Did anyone watch the first installment of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion show?  It was gold, but it is bound to get better because -- dum, dum, dum, they are bringing ROSIE out on the next one!!!!  After hearing her crazy, enraged outbursts coming from backstage, I cannot wait for them to bring her out, although not to disappoint all of you, she is not wearing one of her signature caps.  Damn.  P.S. - Teresa is a pathological liar or a Fabuliar.  Kisses.

Okay, must go jump on a conference call.  More later...I have some awesome crock pot recipes to share which are just in time for fall weather.  Happy Tuesday!