Archive for category tv

Dodging playgroups and hugging my calling card

I had somewhat of an epiphany yesterday…after watching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives.

Yeah, I really just said that.

I’ve always said that I don’t refer to myself as a “housewife” or as they say, SAHM.  We don’t go to playgroups or hangout at Starbucks or Panera like some of my mom friends in town are known to do.  Not that anything’s wrong with that—aside from the work that is being a mother, I consider myself a mom who works at home.

jack and his computerAnd I do…every day while trying to raise a toddler practically by myself during the week, while spearheading a website, making industry connections, attending meetings with toy executives, wiping a resistant booty, while fielding emails and ignoring laundry.

I work.  Just like so many other mamas, my daily struggle is trying to find that balance.  Yup, I’m still going at it.  Boohoo, right?

Nah…but as of late, I feel so completely overwhelmed by this existentialist crisis I have going on.

WHAT am I doing and where am I going with all of this?  Was dropping out of the conventional “rat race” worth it?  If I’m home most of the time caring for my own kid, then why do assholes look at me as if I’m the pariah?   If I went back to work in an office to work for the man again, just to feel worthless and constricted creatively, who wins then?  The kid who goes to daycare from 7am to 7pm everyday?

I’m over a year into this now, but as I get deeper into this path I’m on, I hear/feel/see more flack than you’d ever believe.

Is it really 2010?

This mommy wars stuff is bullshit.  And it’s hitting me hard.

I’ll save the rest of my dialogue for another day, the one where I’ve created this website that fuels my passion and creative desires.  The one where companies fill my mailbox with their new products, just to have a chance to be mentioned on my little site.  I’m only a year in, and I’ve barely scraped the surface.  Again, I’m not moving mountains here, I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do…

It’s exciting to experience the progress of this new direction and watch my vision grow.

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Too much for whom?

It’s been quite a busy week for us, and I can hardly believe it’s already Thursday AND Memorial Day Weekend is already here. Seriously, how did that happen?

I have plenty to share, but I have so much information to sift through before I do so. As many of you already know, we spent the day at PBS/WNET Channel thirteen yesterday; what a fun and informative day! I got to hang out with more NYC and NJ mom bloggers, many of whom I’ve been reading for years. But, the best part of the day was that I got to be a part of something so near and dear to us: learning even more about an educational tv show that promotes literacy.

station identification

I used to think I was one of those parents that would outlaw “too much tv.”

Eh. Who was I kidding?

As much as I watch tv AND love to read and essentially be a geek, how could I be such a hypocrite? I’m immersed in every aspect of media because it’s the fiber of my being. Internet, magazines, tv, radio, books—all of it!

What I took away from the event was that like other moms, I’m not going to apologize anymore for allowing my kid to watch tv. Instead, I’ll continue to watch educational shows ALONG with him in moderation, in addition to cultural outings and activities, outdoor play and all that fun stuff. Life is too short to make limitations.

Media, in general, has come a long way since we were kids, there’s no doubt about that. What was pretty awesome was getting to understand the brains behind our favorite educational shows, because those same brains are other parents who grew up on shows of the 70s and 80s, just like you and me.

Parenting is tough enough without all that “research” reminding me that everything I’m doing is wrong. So, excuse me while we go watch another show before we go play outside.

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The truth about motherhood

Yesterday’s Oprah was the talk of Twitter last night.  I have to admit, I was napping because I’m on “vacation” (well, as much as one can consider vacationing in your hometown and sleeping in your childhood bed) The napping part is the vacation part.  But, since I have extra help this week, to me, that translates into sleep.  So, we napped…and I missed Oprah and friends talking about motherhood.  But I did have the chance to read and watch Oprah online and I found it so interesting.

Just like the moms said, there’s so much about motherhood that no one really vocalizes.  I mean, not just the bodily fluids, but the resentment, the guilt, the constant exhaustion, the new types of “flutters,”  the greatness of this love… But for real, I could’ve used that memo a year and a half ago!

  • No one ever warned me that EVERYONE else knows more about my child than me, you know, the person that they poked, prodded and yanked him from.
  • No one ever told me that not only would I not be able to go to the bathroom in peace, but that I’d never be able to change my clothes in peace, either.
  • No one ever warned me about the icepack to the ass.  Um, hemorrhoids?  That phase of pregnancy was an entire hemorrhage.
  • No one ever told me the guilt would eat me alive–not just the working mom’s guilt, but the judgmental guilt, and the am I doing the right thing guilt and as of late for me, the discipline-sometimes-sucks-so-bad-I’m-a-horrible-mom guilt.
  • No on ever told me exactly how much poo and the wiping of another person’s butt would be involved.  I knew there would be a lot, but one day, at the height of the fun–I think there was four poopy diapers in an hour and a half.  Holy crap–literally!
  • No one ever told me just how powerful the little boy hugs and sweet kisses can be.
  • No one ever warned me that getting pregnant wasn’t as easy as I imagined.  It’s easier said than done to plan to wait to have kids once “the time is right.”  When you’re ready, your body/circumstance/nature might think otherwise.
  • No one ever told me how rewarding it all is, you know, after all the poo, Tucks and lack of showering.
  • No one ever told me just how happy and content these two human beings can make me feel.
  • No one ever said that being imperfect is perfectly fine.
  • No one ever warned me about the magnitude of it all.

Jacky and mom
I could go on forever about what I’d wish I’d known about motherhood, but hearing all of my truths would surely get redundant and for some, a lot more TMI!

Based on the “expert” panelists on Oprah, it sounds like none of us are alone in this thing we call motherhood.  Among the “expert” panelists were some influential mom bloggers and writers including, Heather B. Armstrong from Dooce, Mindy Roberts from The Mommy Blog, Daphne Brogdon from CoolMom , BlogHer CE Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks. Heija Nunn from The Worst Mother in the World, Vicki Glembocki author of The Second Nine Months were all Skyped in.  Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile, co-authors of the book I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper and actor Cheryl Hines, star of ABC’s series In The Motherhood joined Oprah in the studio.

While not everything was relevant, it was informative nonetheless.  Running out of diapers?  What?  We live 15 steps from the bodega and CVS.   I know nothing about that.  However, I’m sure not every mom can relate to the amount of discomfort I felt when my kid melted down on Park Ave. or the fury I felt the time not a single person offered to help me hoist our stroller up a set of stairs from the subway platform.

We all have different scenarios.  Some of us are rural, some are suburban and others are urban.  Some have calmer, less acrobatic children.  Others have help.  Some have the juggle down to a precision.  Others handle stress much differently.

And that’s why I put it all out there.  So much of what I do makes up what I blog, what I tweet and influences how I update my status on FB, just like many of you do, too!  I’m not perfect.  My kid is not perfect.  My husband?  Well, he’s close to it (or so I tell him).

But that’s it.  That’s what makes motherhood for our generation so intriguing.  Each mom, each family, each child has their own story, and combine that with the immediacy and convenience of the internet and social media, it truly makes the world such an interesting place in which to live and learn.  I learn so much from what I read online, especially from the people I know personally.  We all influence each other so much, which makes motherhood *that* much easier, or at least not as lonely.

I sure as hell don’t know it all, but it’s pretty cool reading and learning from other people’s experiences.

One of the most memorable quotes I got from the show:

Mothers need to know that if they can’t do it all—or if they don’t want to—that doesn’t make them failures, Amy says. “We need honesty,” she says. “We need to support each other more.”

Lets be honest friends, the lack of sleep, that’s to be expected.  But listen, there’s a lot of poop involved–literally and figuratively.  But it’s so damn worth it.

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Bars, bars and MORE bars

It’s no big secret that we’re huge commercial fans, here in our house.  But it’s those AT&T ‘More Bars in More Places’ commercials that always get us talking.  The Sweet Pea commercial?  Love them.  The Techno Twins? Um, even though they’re not really part of the ‘bars’ commercial, they crack me up.  The new long distance boyfriend and girlfriend/picture mail one?  Been there, love that.  But the most recent one, with the guys launching the new brewery, has us rewinding and yelling BARS, BARS and MORE BARS!

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Well, okay, I’m the one cheating by just yelling bars.   Bars, as in more coverage in more places, not the happy hour, beer and shot-filled kind.   Jeff and I play a game where we point out all the bars in the commercial that are made out of mundane objects–baguettes, vases, beer mugs.  The bars, that represent AT&T’s tagline, More Bars in More Places, are sometimes ever so subtle that each commercial is a new game.  Does anyone else do this or are we the only nerds that are so easily amused?

Yes, these are our new bars.  A few years ago, we were that couple that memorized our local watering hole’s beer specials for every day of the week.  Long gone are the days of walking the block and half home after having said beer specials.  These days, we’re counting bars on those damn AT&T commercials—while having beers and enjoying it, of course!

Funny how times change…

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New beginnings

It was a monumental day today, one that I shared with Jack and watched proudly, just like millions of other Americans.  It was an emotional inauguration for me, just like it was for many others, but most certainly, it was amazing to witness the culmination of a new era.

Jack and I stopped what we normally do–me, type, write and read; him, run around and destroy things– and stood still with everyone else to watch and applaud.  I’m not ashamed to admit this, but I’ve probably watched 10 hours of coverage (so far) because I simply could not look away.

Over the weekend, Jeff had a great conversation with our friend regarding the excitement about today’s Inaugural events.  Jeff said something to the nature of, “The Inauguration of our first minority president is huge.”  And from that one statement, he reminded us that Barack Obama represents much more than race.  Again, in Jeff’s words, Obama represents the scope of the American people.  Not only am I so proud to be an American today, but like many of you, I am full of hope.

In the late Tim Russert’s words, “What a country.”

Inauguration day

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Further proof that we need more hobbies

In the rare singular hour I have with my husband on any given weekday night (before he dozes off in the chair like he did tonight), we often have deep, prolific conversations pondering the most important things in life, including but not limiting: whose turn it is to take out the recycling, which grocery store has the cheapest Miller Lite and which piece of furniture Jack destroyed/rubbed food all over/jumped off today.

Last night, in between said conversations, we had a chance to catch up on the excellent Tuesday night tv programming.  After watching Monday night’s DVR’ed Chelsea Lately, According to Jim was our top only choice.  (Who knew this show was STILL on TV?!?!)

We stared and watched the characters go through the redundant motions of seasons past. Jim yells at hot wife.  Hot wife yells at Jim.  Dorky brother annoys Jim.  Kids wreak havoc, etc.

And then Jeff piped up with a very Andy Rooney observation:  “Have you ever noticed that many sitcoms have those swinging doors that lead from their living room to kitchen?”
And he started listing:
The Cosby Show
King of Queens
Full House
Family Matters
Who’s the Boss
Three’s Company
Everybody Loves Raymond
According to Jim!

And then I tried to list:
Mad About You


um…

I’m not very skilled in remembering household details of sitcoms, apparently.

But for real?  Do real families have these obligatory swinging doors that separate the kitchen and living room?  Now that I’m thinking about it, I kinda sorta want one.  (In addition to the giant kitchen and all that other stuff that I whine about not having.)

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Set your Tivos and DVRs

for the Montel show. You might see a familiar face in the audience today.

The show I attended with a friend explored Explosive Controversies, including topics such as the war and illegal immigration. It was extremely enlightening and interesting. I’m glad I had a chance to attend since Montel was recently canceled.

Considering the embarrassing news of a certain governor, the show title is pretty timely.

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Just call me Tony

We waited patiently in our designated exam room at Jack’s pediatrician appointment on Monday, while we watched the two doctors whizz by and visit the patients before us. As crying babies and toddlers served as the cacophonous backdrop, we shut our exam room door since Jack thought it was a good idea to chime in with his own shrilly cries.

I fed Mr. Hungry and 15 minutes later, still no dr. Not only was Jack getting impatient, but so were we since Jeff and I strapped the kid in his stroller and walked him to the dr, immediately as we got home from work. It was 7pm with no dinner, no doctor and nothing to do but wait.

After all that waiting during the dr’s office “rush hour” my attention span was shorter than a 3 year old’s. So, I picked up one of the many magazines that sat on the table next to the sink. I flipped through a coverless, tattered magazine and noticed a bunch of ads for products that caught my attention. As Jeff tried to shush the sleepy boy, I found myself buried in this particular magazine that I’d never read before. I went straight to the masthead and studied the magazine’s details, just like I always do whenever I come across an engaging publication.

I started reading an article and looked up to check and see if the door was still closed. It was. Sweet!

I closed the old magazine and hastily decided to help myself. Everyone takes magazines. I work for a magazine I thought, so I should take it for “research.” hahaha.

As I shoved the ragged magazine into the diaper bag, I looked up at Jeff and whispered, “You think it’s ok that I take this?”

He furled his brows and looked at me like I had 17 heads.
“Um. No, it’s not ok.”

I shot back, “Uh, it’s probably a comp copy anyway. I’m sure they’re just going to toss it soon. I mean, look at it.”

“Well, did you PAY for it?”
He didn’t even give me a chance to bitch back before he justified himself even more.
“So, NO, it’s NOT ok that you take it.”

In a very entitled and Tony Soprano-esque way, I put the stupid magazine back on the table and pouted in the corner, not because I couldn’t take the magazine, but because I knew I was wrong.

(There, I said it. I’m wrong A LOT and this whole admitting my wrong-doing is a whole new thing for me.)

If I learned anything from watching the Sopranos, it was to not steal magazines from the dr’s office. Clearly, mommy was not the moral compass that night, but I wanted that damn magazine! hahaha.

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July 4 & Chicken McNuggets, yeah.

With a few shakeups at work and getting ready for our departure next week, things have been hectic. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Happy 231st Birthday, America!
It was strange to have a mid-week break, especially since it was so cold and dreary in the NYC area. Since we had to work today, Jeff and I spent the day relaxing at home yesterday. I spent most of the day laying in bed because it seems like the nausea is back. bleck. Oh well– It was nice laying in bed, pretending that it was Saturday. However, I did get out of bed for lunch…specifically, for Chicken McNuggets. More on that in a bit.
Since it was cold and rainy, we opted to stay local for the fireworks. We usually go out west to hang with our friends, but with the nausea and mid week rush, it made more sense to check out the Macy’s fireworks from our friends’ friends’ roofdeck. Good times were had by all despite the soggy climate.

Now, about those Chicken McNuggets: My husband loves commercials. His favorite commercials are usually ESPN ones, but every now and then, a beer or food commercial will catch his attention. And then, he’ll sing and repeat it over and over and over and over again for weeks– until I ask him to get over it and find something new to repeat. So, this week, his favorite commercial is the latest McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets commercial.

Has anyone seen it? It’s basically two dudes, standing in front of McDonald’s somewhere in middle America, beat boxing and rapping about their fervor for Chicken McNuggets. yeah.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSZ6k3QIsAk]

It’s ridiculous and catchy and it’s something that has been viewed over and over by dudes like my husband on YouTube. (almost 34,000 times to be exact!) So, as one can imagine, Jeff spent the whole day playing and replaying this commercial. I hope my child doesn’t inherit that repetitious habit my husband thrives on. If he does, someone help me.
After listening to the commercial play so many times, I started to crave those damn Chicken McNuggets. Despite the requisite heartburn and excess calories, I made Jeff drive me down to McDonald’s to get one of those 10 piece value meals. We’re the type of people that makes McDonald’s billions of dollars a year, thanks to their marketing tactics. We’re a ridiculous pair, let me tell you.
Almost as ridiculous as the two dudes rapping about those damn McNuggets.

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+ 8

Just when I thought I could rest my brain and lay off the tv for the summer, I go and get hooked on another show. As if I need to get hooked on another show!

As I flipped the channels on Sunday night while cooking dinner, I came across a show on Discovery that was titled “Sextuplets.” Jeff came into the room and was immediately hooked.
“You’ve GOT to see this!” he yelled to me from the living room.

When I poked my head out of the kitchen, I saw this woman’s very engorged pregnant belly. eek. I was immediately hooked too.

Discovery had a marathon and I ended up watching about 5 or 6 episodes. I just couldn’t turn away! This young couple, probably no older than us, had fertility treatments and had their twins. Several years later, they endured treatments again and had six more babies. I can barely imagine life with one baby, nevermind 8!

This family is so incredible. They’ve been on Martha and Dr. Phil before, so it’s cool that they’ve got their own show. Though things seem inevitably hectic, there was so much organization and structure. I was amazed when Kate, the mom, went grocery shopping for her family of 10. She was a coupon cutting-fiend and a religious sale paper checker. I believe she said, to feed all 10 of them per week, she aimed to spend around $150. Amazing to me, considering we spend that amount on takeout when we’re too lazy to brown bag it.

To boot, all of these kids are the cutest little individuals and so adorable. It looks like the new season of Jon and Kate + 8 starts tonight at 10 on the Discovery. So for you people that go to bed early, if you have a chance to DVR/TiVo definitely check it out.

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