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Jul, 2010

Pneumonia & Other Fun Stuff

A quick update from the land of the FunnyYellowMom…

My nanny is terrific, but last week around the 4th of July holiday, she started coming down with what seemed like a cold and then, woke up one morning with a high fever. She went to the doctor and it turns out she had pneumonia. She was instructed to quarantine herself, especially from children, and has been gone for 6 days now. Sniff sniff. Yes, I’m crying a little bit.

My only saving grace at this point is that Aubrey is in preschool three mornings a week so at least I get a little time to get some work done. Nanny may be back tomorrow afternoon but she texted me to let me know her fevers are gone as of this morning but she still has coughs and “green snot”. Hmmmm… I don’t know. So far no one else over here got sick and I’m sure my laundering everything and spraying every square inch of the house with Lysol had nothing to do with it. Yes, I’m totally OCD.
Other than that, things have been going pretty well over here in Amy and Aubrey land. Aubrey is really digging preschool and has amazing teachers. That is her in the photo above, prancing around in front of her classroom banner. Her room is “The Piranhas” and yes, someone spelled “piranha” wrong on their banner. Oh well. At least they can’t read yet.
I am patiently awaiting my 20th high school reunion in Minnetonka, MN next weekend. Yes, that’s right. I know it’s hard to believe I graduated in 1990, but I am here to entertain and amaze you. Be amazed. I know I am.
In some ways, 1990 seems like, well, a couple decades ago. But I still feel like a kid. OK, not a kid. If I still felt the way I did in 1990, I would have jumped off a bridge by now, but I certainly don’t feel like a grown up. Even after becoming a mom – I just can’t get used to the idea of approaching the “middle-aged” bracket.
Here I am with three of my besties from childhood. We all graduated together and I think we look way too cute to be attending a 20th high school reunion. And we don’t even look good in this picture. We were slaving away in the roasting sun…
My mom had four kids by the time she was my age, so I guess I should count my lucky stars that I have one, fairly easy kid and that people still guess my age 5-10 years younger than it is. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret to youth: 0-1 children. I’m pretty sure that if I had had another kid, you’d be mistaking me for my mother by now. Well, if my mother were a little old Asian lady. But she’s not.
Well, I had better get around to labeling more of Aubrey’s clothes for school and checking my bank account obsessively to see if the last check I deposited cleared yet. Have a great day everyone!

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Jul, 2010

Oh Boy, You're Having A Girl

Over the next several months, I will be posting some of the blogs entries I contributed to LAMomsBlog. Sadly, SVMomsBlog (the umbrella mama blog for the LAMomsBlog) has decided to hang up their blogger hat. While I’m not nearly as prolific a blogger as many of the women from SVMomsBlog, they introduced me to the world of blogging in a kind and gentle way and fostered a sense of community for a unique group of intelligent, savvy, talented women here in the Los Angeles metro area that I was honored to be a part of. The upside is that through our posts and gatherings, I have made friends with several of these women and my life is definitely better knowing them.

Blogging also has allowed me to record thoughts and memories that I may have lost in the fog of early motherhood. For this, I am eternally grateful.

So please, allow me to take you back to July 2008. My little Aubrey was only 13 months old and I was thinking about different things back then. In particular, what it meant to me to have a little GIRL…

I have a daughter. I am NUTS about this girl! She’s everything I aspire to be and more: happy, adventurous, intelligent, snuggly, funny, laughs easily, has an insatiable desire for learning, fearless, strong, loving, peaceful and beautiful. She is almost 14 months old and she’s my hero. I have told many people that all of my good karma must have accumulated and manifested in this kid because she’s a real gem and I don’t think I would have made it through my post partum depression with anything less than an “easy baby”.

When I found out I was having a girl, I admit I was disappointed for a split second because I had a gut feeling it was a boy for weeks. However, once that passed, I was excited at the thought of having a mini-me and was eager to share the news. Responses of, “Girls are so fun to shop for!” and “I hope you like pink,” were heard a million times. But amongst the cutesy, positive responses were a shocking number of anti-girl, Debbie-downers that really threw me for a loop. These continued even after I had my daughter, and still today at 14 months. AND people will sometimes say them right to my face while I’m holding my daughter! Things like:

“I’m so glad I had boys. Girls are so emotional.”
“Little girls get the ‘I Wants’. They learn it from their mommies.”
“Wait ‘til she hits puberty – they’re terrible.”
“Enjoy her now while she’s still sweet.”
And the ever popular:
“Girls are easier in the beginning, but wait until she’s a teenager!”

Hearing these comments make my blood boil and the most amazing part of is that about 99% of the time, these comments are made by… women. I actually had a colleague tell me that her 5 year old daughter was, “a bitch”. WHAT?! I am a professional comedian, but she wasn’t joking. Being on the receiving end of these comments made me examine my own feelings about being female and my feelings towards my own mother.

I was well aware of my mother’s own lack of self-respect from day one. She has had a weight problem since childhood and spent years living vicariously through me as a somewhat overbearing stage mother. I really cried and begged her to not make me wear a muumuu and sing songs from South Pacific in front of all of my friends in the school talent show. And I begged her to not make me sing in church or play the piano for relatives. And when I was in 4th grade and asked her why women couldn’t be pastors in our church, her response was, “I wouldn’t want to listen to a woman’s sermon anyway. Their voices are so shrill.” When I told her I got my period, she said, “Well, now you’ve got THAT to deal with for the next 40 years.” Instead of buying me a training bra, one day she told me how embarrassing it was that she could see my nipples through my shirt. I could fill a novel with examples of how my mother taught me to hate being a girl.

Why is it that we, as women, are so quick to project our own self-loathing on to our girls and that all to often, women are their own worst enemy? I’ve been told that many women are afraid of dealing with daughters because they remember how terrible they were as girls. This may be true, but I’d be willing to wager that a mother or some female role model laid the same blanket of self-hatred and less-than onto them. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m determined to break it with my own little emotional, bitchy, selfish, promiscuous, difficult, defiant, fat, ugly, catty, gossipy, bad at math and science, bimbo, air-headed girl.

And just for the record, I really love my mother dearly and I know the only reason she did it was because her mother did it to her. There are far worse things she could have done to me and I give her all the credit in the world for raising four bratty kids without any help. I file it all away under the “Live and Learn” tab and I’ve learned to let it go by joking about it on national tv with a microphone in my hand. And I still get a little surly whenever I put on a muumuu.

Oh, and one more thing. Writing this post made me think of a plaque that hung in our dining room my entire childhood. When I was first learning to read bigger sentences, I used to practice reading it over and over. The words from Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte stick with me still, today.

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Jul, 2010

Scary Story 3... I Mean Toy Story 3

It’s movie review time! Here we go…

I took my three year old daughter to see Toy Story 3 this morning. $6 matinee! WOOHOO! I never saw Toy Story 2 and Aubrey, my daughter, has only seen Shrek Forever After and Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – poor kid. But I loved the first one and Aubrey already has a Woody, Jessie and Bullseye toy package so we were excited to check it out.

Aubrey just started going to movies in the theater as she is finally old enough to sit through a rated G film and enjoy herself without annoying everyone else in the theater. Especially me. While she still likes to yell a little something out every now and then, like, “Hey, let’s dance!” or “Why are you crying mommy?!” attending weekday morning matinee is pretty much a guaranteed crowd of other parents/care takers and young kids who are also talking a bit. Overall, she’s a pretty good three year old in a movie theater. I’m no fool though. I will not be taking her to see Inception later this month. Not quite yet.

Let’s just start with the Pixar animation – AMAZING! As always, it blew me away and the short before the feature, Night & Day, was really wonderful. As a matter of fact, I think Aubrey and I both liked it better than Toy Story 3. (foreshadowing… and watch out, mild spoilers)

The movie started off nicely and while the exposition maybe took a little too long, it was delightful to watch. However, after the main plot point is laid out and the toys then end up in in the Sunny Side Daycare, things get a little hairy. Or actually boring, then scary!

I don’t want to give away too much but there are some absolutely creepy characters in the daycare scenes, including a giant baby doll with one broken eye and this screaming asshole:

Yeah, remember him from the horror movie, Monkey Shines? Enough said.

After that there’s a very lengthy, dark, intense string of scenes in which the Toys are almost chopped to bits in the blades of a loud trash shredder and then burned to death in a blazing incinerator that looked something like the seventh ring of Dante’s, Inferno.

Of course, we have a nice happy ending as all Disney movies do and Aubrey stopped huddling in my lap with her eyes squeezed shut and enjoyed the last fifteen minutes or so.

Then we walked down the theater stairs and Aubrey proceeded to have a “dance party” down by the movie screen during the ending credits music. No permanent damage done, but she wasn’t asking to see it again.

This movie is rated G, which stands for General Audiences, but I would warn against taking little ones under the age of 5, maybe even add a few years if you know your child is scared easily by intense, sinister images supported by booming Dolby Surround Sound. I’ve heard from several parents now that this movie scared their child and they were disappointed.

One other parental note: This is a LONG movie for a “kid’s” movie. I’ve seen the run time listed anywhere from 1 hr 42 minutes to 1 hr 49 minutes. I suppose it depends if you count the Night & Day short at the beginning. But add in all of the previews and commercials at the beginning and it’s a long show for little ones to sit through. A couple with a little boy in our row ended up leaving early.

As a general adult moviegoer, I can’t say this one was as terrific as the first, but when are they ever? It was entertaining but I’m glad I only paid $6 for it. If you’re into animation, any Pixar film is a must-see and if you have older kids, even tweens, it will probably be a lot of fun for you!

Hope this review helps some of you out there and happy viewing! What have you seen so far this summer?! Let’s hear your opinions!

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