March 29, 2009

I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING...

This weekend, T-Ko and I took Baby-Ko to the LA Zoo for the first time. Although he may have not fully digested the fact that it's not every day that you stand face to face with a 16 foot giraffe, I do think the sights and sounds delighted him.  Every time we get in the car lately, he says "munt-ee! munt-ee!" (translation: "No More Monkeys on the Bed" song). So when we found ourselves at the Monkey cage you can imagine how excited Baby-Ko was. However, these monkeys were doin' a lot more than just jumping-- they were literally going ape shit, swinging back and forth from the cages and making noises that had everyone in the park gathering to witness....

video

Alas, I now understand the term "f**k like monkeys...."

March 27, 2009

J-KO TELLS ALL...

Want to know The Reality of Reality Television? Check out the interview I did with my new favorite website Breezy Mama for the low down on what goes on behind the scenes, the drama, the controversy, and the ins and outs of actually getting cast on one of these nutty shows!

http://breezymama.com/2009/03/27/the-reality-of-reality-television/

March 24, 2009

POOP SHAME

The other day, our nanny ("Bee-Bee"), proudly exclaimed that Baby-Ko has been mimicking her. She told me that when she went to change his diaper, it was stinky and she said "Ooof," and he copied her and said "oof!" She thought it was hilarious and I guess created a little game and while making a "pee-eww!" face says, "Baby-Ko, do you have poo-poo?" He then says, "Nooo. Ooof!" She  proudly showed me their little poo-poo shtick game and I laughed.  Funny (smart) kid, I thought.  Poo-poo is "ooof."

But the next day, when I saw he was sort of struggling while making poops, I said, "Baby-Ko are you making-" and he, almost defensively, answered, "NO!" 
He seemed to be in pain. "Ooof?" I said, trying to lighten things up. 
"NO," he said sadly and walked away.  Did I shame him???

Suddenly I remembered hearing that you're not supposed to embarrass or call attention to your toddler's poop or smell. "It will make them feel bad and make them not want to go." I have no idea where I heard it, but I can only assume it dates back to one of Wacky's lectures or a play date with a PREPMM (Perfect Read Every Parenting Manual Mommy).  But maybe this time, those nutty broads are right... Maybe "ooof" makes him feel bad. Maybe he likes his poop and wants to go freely.

I told my mom my theory and asked her if she thought I should say something to Bee-Bee -- tell her that I would prefer not to "tease" Baby-Ko about pooping. "I don't want him to have poop shame," I said. "He should poop without any judgement..." As I was saying this ridiculously "West side" mommy thing, I started to laugh right along with my mom.
"Nahh. Don't say anything. He'll be fine. He'll still poop... 'Ooof' or not... He'll go. Believe me," she said.
"He won't feel bad? Ashamed?"
"J-Ko, have you known any man in our family (or in the world?!) to feel shame about pooping?"

POINT TAKEN.

But just out of curiosity and because my OCD is raging tonight, does annnnnnnnnyone think ooofing at his pooping may cause a little poop drama down the road? Or is Wacky's word, once again, a load of crap? Literally...


March 23, 2009

THE LUCY CLOSET


Growing up, I can remember there being one closet in the house that was an "open at your own risk" type of closet. My mom called it the "Lucy Closet" (I assume there was an episode from "I Love Lucy" where Lucy shoved everything in one closet to clean up and every time it opened, everything fell out... ) Well that was like our closet....

Without a doubt, my office/guest bedroom has become a Lucy Closet of sorts-- Every misfit item that needs a permanent home seems to end up in there. I've got containers of Baby-Ko's old clothes, toys, files, gifts, chatchkes, you name it... It's just a throw it in there kind of a room. Just thinking about how badly I want to organize everything which translates in to how badly the garage also needs reorganizing gives me anxiety.

But when I saw these photos that T-Ko took of Baby-Ko using the clutter as his very own bench and window, my love of all things p-touch and compartments melted away... 

Or at least until he started playing with our tax returns...

March 17, 2009

WHEN IT RAINS....

I've heard stories from the BTDTM (Been There Done That Moms) about how after years of having kids, you start to listen (and like) the music they listen too. You can name all the Jonas Brothers (and even have your own favorite) and you are the first one to go out and buy the High School Musical CD. I used to wonder if that would ever happen to me. I mean, those little Rockabye Lullaby Baby songs are pretty relaxing...

YESTERDAY:
I got in the car. Started the engine. The stereo is on but I can't hear it. 
I'll change the channel in a sec.
I pull out of the driveway, turn the street. Time to settle in for my 40 min commute to work. Traffic on the 101 blows.
I miss Adam Corrola.
What CD is this?
I turn it up.
"Showers always make you gaaaay..."
WHAT?
"Robin in the rain...such a lovely fellow..."
What is this?!
Ahh. Raffi. Of course.
I listen to another few lines. Cute song. NEXT.

**
Back in the car after a long day. Time to settle in for my 45 plus min commute home. Mommy needs wine. Nothing on the radio. CD #4. Sara Bareilles. Ehh. CD #5. My "Birthing CD" (Don't ask). CD #1. "Robin in the rain....."
I turn it up. God. This song IS pretty cute. Reminds me of a Cole Porter song or something. Is it?

I play it again.
Damn. This Raffi is good. But why am I listening to this? I should take advantage of my time alone and listen to some T.I. or J.T.
I look in the rear review mirror just to remind myself that Baby-Ko is in fact not there. I switch to the hip-hop station. It's all crap really
Why try to fight it? I mean it IS a good song....

45 minutes, and 3,000 rounds of showers-making-me-gay later, I have arrived. Literally.

http://music.yahoo.com/track/764603

P.S. Out of nowhere, Baby-Ko spit up all over me this morning-- my jeans were covered. I suppose I could have changed, but I opted for a little wet wash clothe action and went on my way. On route to work, I caught a whiff of myself. What have I become?

March 15, 2009

PRETTY PLEASE

For several months, Baby-Ko's language has really started to bloom. He's definitely mastered Mommy, Daddy, Up, Down, Baba (bottle), Bye-Bye and a slew of other "common" (no shit) words that a 17 month old might say. But what I find to be so funny about hearing this little person speak is some of the other words that he's decided to include in his repertoire. Moon, "Okee-Dokee," Deer (one of our neighbors has a fake deer on their lawn. Don't ask) and other little shticks we have like .... "Baby-Ko, who's your favorite Laker?" and he says, "Koobee." Brilliant. Or my husband's favorite show off phrase, "Baby-Ko, who's your favorite Dodger," and he says, "Manny."

Yet, no matter what I do, I can't get him to say the word "PLEASE." I'm no Emily Post, but I've heard that it's important to start to teach manners early on. I've been trying really hard to get him to say it when he wants something. Like every other word that I try to teach him, I repeat it, "Say, 'More, pleeaaase, mommy. Pleeease." Nothing. Just a "moooooooooore!" and a temper tantrum and me giving him whatever it is that he wants. He just will not say it. But, if I drop something on the floor and mutter "Crap," for the rest of the day you might hear my litttle one shouting "Cap. Cap!" Or today, I was on the phone and said something about (me) being "dumb." For the next 5 minutes, I heard, "Dup. Dup!" (I can only assume he agreed that I was in fact "Dup.") Yesterday, my mom's friend looked at him and said, "Boy are you 'Adorable!'" He smiled (as if to say thank you) and then said, "Aduuwabel." I mean.... Really? Adorable? A four syllable word but  you can't say, "Please?" The easiest word other than "No" and you can't say it? Seriously?!

No matter how hard I try on this one, I've got to say, I think my kid isn't going to budge on this one. I think he knows what I want and this is his first instance of independence and defiance. I think he's gonna say Please and Thank you when he's ready to say it. In the meantime, with the amount of repeating he's doing, I definitely need to stop talking like a truck driver as much as I do. Because hearing him say "Pass the fucking baba, PLEAASE" isn't exactly what Emily Post is going for...

March 12, 2009

SEX AND THE MOMMY

Last night, I stood at the kitchen counter, frozen in fear. In front of me was a counter lined with boxes and bags full of horribly fattening (and undeniably delicious) snacks. Doritos, Girl Scout Cookies (CooKIES being the key word: Tagalongs, Samoas, Thin Mints...), a box of Triscuits, a box of Sees candies... I mean, it was a fat fuck's paradise and I was the queen of the island. But as I eyed the row of all things good, I was suddenly overcome with anxiety. You see, my husband is out of town this week for work and will be traveling off and on for the next 2 months. How will I contain myself with no one watching? 

Now that I think about it, we always have "junk food" in our house, and I think visitors have even commented on how come we have all that shit and how is it that we're not both 750 pounds and stuck in a bedroom with a Nutter Butter up our asses. (Sorry. I got carried away). But the point is, I DO monitor myself... Growing up, my mom NEVER had junk food in the house. Come to think of it, there was never really food in general (Yes, mom, you always has food on the table. But as a hungry, hormonal teen, steamed broccoli and grilled chicken wasn't what I wanted). So when I would go to friend's houses, I would raid their pantries looking for the good stuff.  In fact, I chose many of my "after school" friendships purely based on what kinds of snacks their moms would offer us when we came home.

But I digress... As I stood in the kitchen, punishing myself in advance for having 1... okay just 2... Oh, who am I kidding, FIVE! thin mints, it occurred to me why single women are either super fat or super skinny (not like us "in between" moms).  You're either the "Sex in the City Girl" who has nothing but baking powder (to keep the "nothing" fresh, of course) and AN egg from 1982...  OR your the "Fat Closet Eater Chick" also with nothing in your fridge, BUT open up those cupboards of yours and you're rockin' more than just cans of food for Whiskers! You've got chips, and popcorn, and cookies, and BonBons (don't all fat, single chicks have BonBons??)

Okay, fine.  Maybe I'm stereotyping just a wee bit here.... especially, since every one of my single girlfriends are gorgeous, fit and like to eat (normally).  The point is, left alone to my own devices, I might eat my weight in girl scout cookies and die alone like Mama Kass choking on Triscuits dipped in ice cream. No one was there to stop (i.e. silently judge) me!   

Tonight, I have my meal for one already planned out (hello, Smart Ones), accompanied with a glass (or two) of some shitty Cab from Trader Joes.  I finally went to Tae Bo and got in a good work out, so I'd like to have some control and refrain from the counter of doom and all that it holds... But if I call you crying because I've just eaten a piece of chocolate cake out of the trash can, just don't tell my husband, okay? He doesn't need to know everything I do when he's gone....

March 9, 2009

THE NEW YORK PASTRAMI INCIDENT OF 1995

On Saturday night, we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday. It was a great party and a ton of fun (especially because I chopped 5 inches off my hair... maybe I'll post a little pic. Hmm) ANYWAY, my brother Uncle G, Auntie "Addie," and I were asked to say a little something. We all conspired and wanted to share some very hilarious (but probably too inappropriate stories for a party of colleagues and coworkers), so we opted to tell memorable stories that wouldn't embarrass my dad for the rest of his life (and still sound funny after 3 Vodka Sodas in. Plus champagne.)

My sister introduced us and told everyone that we were going to share some of our funny memories, because after all, our dad is a funny guy. So here was my portion of the speech:

**
As many of you probably know our dad is a very funny guy. He goofed off a lot and went out if his way to be silly for us...I think it goes without saying he has a great sense of humor. When I think of my dad I often think of laughter. The other thing that comes to mind when think about memories of my childhood is food. My dad loves food. In our house he was affectionately referred to as the "Junk Food Dad." And I could always count on him to be the one to deliver on total crappy and unhealthy food- and I loved it.

One of my favorite food memories, is when my Dad and G came to visit me in NYC when I was at NYU. Dad had been adamant about having a "real" New York pastrami sandwich and asked me to plan that lunch for weeks before we had arrived there. (Btw, my dad is the only person I know- other than me and my siblings- that can tell you on Saturday, what he wants for breakfast on Tuesday, and get completely obsessed with having to have it.)

Anyway, back to New York and pastrami.... So we made plans to go to Katz's deli , but when we got there it was closed! Baffled, we got in a cab and headed to the equally famous 2nd Ave Deli. We pull up in front and from the cab we see another "CLOSED" sign. WHAT?! Also closed?! So we hopped out and went to the door. "CLOSED FOR YOM KIPPUR." But that wasn't going to stop this Jewish family. Oh, no. Some of us needed to eat!

Dad was annoyed and in a fit of food rage, threw us (back) in to a cab. The Middle Eastern cab driver said "where to" and Dad said, "Where can I get a good pastrami sandwich?"
The guy said, "No problem. I know."
My brother and I are dying. This guy does NOT know where to get a "real" new york pastrami-effing sandwich.
"Dad!" we screamed, "Every deli is going to be closed. It's Yom Kippur!"
"No! Drive!" Said my dad and the cabbie nodded, drove 30 blocks, stopped short and said "there."
We look up and it's "Hop Lee's Westside Deli."
Needless to say, we opted for some real new york pizza instead that day....
On behalf of A, G, T-Ko, The New JB, and of course Baby-Ko... I just wanted to say we love you dad. Here's to another 60 years filled with, love, happiness, health, and lots of grandchildren.

March 6, 2009

THE BACHELOR TELLS ALL... TO ME!

Check out the unedited, RAW interview I did with America's (now) most hated Bachelor Jason Mesnick.  I'm no Barbara Walters, but you can hear me asking  him some reaaaaal hard hitting questions...  and confirm the fact that my voice is very manly sounding. (It totally is, right???)

http://community.momlogic.com/forum/topics/is-the-bachelor-a-bastard

P.S. BTW, he's waaaaay cuter in person than on TV/video... and not as "bastardy" either.  Trust. :-)

March 5, 2009

SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE

Like most new moms, I was a bit frazzled and dazzled by the all the information I was constantly being fed when Baby-Ko was born. I'm sure I could have shut myself off to some of it, but the over-achiever, neurotic and Hollywood mommy in me ate it up like crack.  Plus, what did I know about motherhood and parenting, really? I certainly wasn't about to take advice from my mother in law (who thinks you can get a "cold in your vagina" if you walk around barefoot), and I certainly wasn't going to "wing it," (that would require giving up control). I needed to KNOW things and I looked to experts, authors, and money-making, yenta-loving mommy and me teachers like Wacky for advice. Often times, however, her advice was down right scary....

One of the many "no-no's" that Wacky imparted on us was television watching-- Letting your baby (under the age of 2) is a cardinal sin and will make them very, very dumb. I remember she passed out an article about some study done stating that letting your child watch television or videos, specifically Baby Einstein, will make actually LOWER their IQ and can even cause language delays. What? Really? Okay, guess those videos are getting re-gifted. Let some other person dumb down their kid. Not my little dude. No way. Television is staying off. FOR. EVER. (The Today Show doesn't count... right?)

Then my life changed. Drastically. I went back to work full time and left my SPSAHM (that's: Super Perfect Stay at Home Moms) behind.  I started working at a mommy website, listening to stories from BTDTM (that's: Been there Done That Moms) and slowly but surely, the slacker in me started to surface. The more tired I got, the harder it became to be so cautious, so concerned. The harder it became to do "the right thing,"  the easier became to cave in to "just this one time" mode. It was like I went from organic only! to "fuck it, just give it to him" overnight.  

Next thing I know, we're buying (which means it's totally intentional and active) DVDs like Signing Times for him.  For the past 5 months or so, we've been letting him watch these shows  and while I initially really hated the idea of him watching any television at all, I reassured myself that at least it wasn't Dumb You Down Baby Einstein.  At least he can learn really important words like "Baseball Team" or "Soccer."  Yeah. right.  Soccer?? Why does my 17 month old need to know the word soccer when he can't even say the word "milk?"

Ironically, as mentioned in my previous post, I attended a Blogger Summit at the Baby Einstein Headquarters last week. It truly couldn't have come at a better time in my life. First of all, let me preface this by saying, I was surrounded by some seriously smart, funny and awesome mom bloggers. Second, the women from Ketchum were lovely and equally sharp. And the Baby Einstein group couldn't have been sweeter. They shared with us their philosophies, products and debunked a lot of the "beware the boogy-man" type myths that mommies like me were eating up. They sent me home with a lovely basket of products and DVDs (including the World Music coming out March 31st).  

After listening to the other moms talk about how much their kids loved the videos and how perfectly fine and verbal their kids were, I knew that letting Baby-Ko watch images of magnetic balls and what looks like a homemade green puppet dance to Mozart could hardly be harmful. More importantly, I realized that even a study from Harvard (that came out last week), telling me that TV viewing is neither harmful nor academically effective for children under two, wasn't going to stop me from feeling like I'm constantly dazed and confused.  No matter what I do, I think I'm bound to feel some guilt and question some of my own judgment, EVEN when a scientist, pediatrician, or a signing Frog tells me otherwise. That's kind of just who I am.

And while all those reports I heard were scary, I know that some things I'll just have to let go. Besides, something's gotta give.  I'm friggin exhausted. In fact, tomorrow morning, when Baby-Ko gets up at 5 effing 30, I'm popping in Baby Einstein and I may even follow it up with some "Teet" (i.e. "Sesame Street") -- that'll buy me at least another 15 minutes snuggled on the couch next to him before I have to leave for work.  Now how harmful can THAT be?

March 1, 2009

BALANCE, SHMALANCE...

As I closed Baby-Ko's door, I glanced at the clock and the "how much time do I have until he wakes up from his nap" game began. My to-do list is never ending, yet not enough drip from Starbucks could cure my exhaustion. Take a nap or take a trip to the grocery store? Take a nap or write? Take a nap or put away laundry? Take a nap or spend time with my husband? It's always about trying to find the balance and choosing between me, someone, or something else. I remembered what Dr. Karen Hill-Scott, Early Childhood and Development Consultant for Baby Einstein had to say: THERE IS NO BALANCE.

**
Last week, I had the privilege of attending a blogger summit hosted by Baby Einstein. They gathered several "mommy bloggers and writers" to see what the mommy world had to say about BE and share with us some new products. It was a really interesting event and I met some incredibly smart and talented women (which I plan on blogging about this week!).  When the topic of motherhood came up,  Dr. Hill-Scott, who I believe has 4 children and 8 grandchildren, shared what I thought was a beautiful analogy. She said she didn't believe in "balance." She said life is a freeway with 6 lanes... you just got to go and look over your shoulder as you change lanes.... There's no way to have it all- and unfortunately, (if you're a working mom) putting your husband first is totally unrealistic. Just go fast, go slow, change lanes and drive at a speed depending on what's going on... You're either in the fast lane or the slow lane but you can't drive in all lanes at once...

Obviously, Dr. Hill-Scott didn't just reinvent the wheel with her analogy but hearing it on a day  that I was dealing with what felt like 900 mini disasters (including a major plumbing issue due to me accidentally flushing the toilet paper holder down the toilet... don't ask), meant so much and resonated with me deeply....

**
I ended up taking a nap, then writing a bit, then sitting with my husband for about 25 seconds before the baby woke up. I even got to see my best friend for dinner last night. The laundry never got put away, but there's always tonight... depending on how fast I drive home...