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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 01/29/10


In a move usually reserved for poorly translated Japanese products (see accompanying photos below) Apple has blundered in naming their latest product.

I mean, the iPad? Really? Did they have the same marketing research company as the folks who came up with Anusol, Vagisil and Grey Poupon?

Already the internet is flooded with complaints and jokes (mostly from women) about the name for this new and apparently very underwhelming product.

Fellow MAMMAKAZE Trudy has already railed against it. She says on her Facebook:


Ipad. Sorry, from a female’s perspective that is THE worst possible name. “I’m just going to plug in my ipad”. “I need to refresh my ipad”. “Do you have a spare ipad?” Don’t they have any women working at Apple?

Apparently not, Trudy. Apparently not. And by the way, very funny.  Know what else is funny? The following is a skit about the iPad from those jokesters at MadTV.  Enjoy.



Other really BAAAAAAAD NAMES for products. I mean, who thought of THESE? Steve Jobs?




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Author: toni

~ 01/27/10

I remember a moment, within the first 24 hours that I brought Julia home.  She was crying and crying. I had no idea what was wrong with her. I held her up in front of me and stared at this scrawny, screaming, chicken-legged thing with an outstretched neck and a round little head sitting atop it that made her look like ET when Gertie scares the crap out of him and they’re both screaming insanely.  

And in that moment, that’s exactly what she was to me. An alien life form. Strange and confusing. Appearing suddenly in my life (well, following the requisite gestational period which, if you think about my C-section, was not unlike what happened to John Hurt in the first ALIEN movie).

And rather like an alien life form, I had no idea what the heck Julia was trying to tell me with that noise that was coming out of her mouth or how to convince her that I was a “friendly” and to please, please not take over my life.

Well, clearly the message about “not taking over my life” did not get through. BUT, I did eventually learn the meaning of each of her cries. Within a matter of weeks I could distinguish between the “I’m wet”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m pissed”, and “I’m just plain bored so put down whatever you are doing wench and come entertain me this instant” cries. It’s what a mom does. It’s part of what nature has wired us for.

Well, apparently, nature is on its way out.  Because next time your baby cries and you can’t figure out what it wants, don’t sweat it. Technology will figure it out for you.

Yep, that’s right. There’s a new app for the iPhone called The Cry Translator that will tell you if the cry means the baby is hungry, tired, bored, sleepy, stressed or in some kind of discomfort. AND how to fix it… in ten seconds flat!

Of course it doesn’t say anything about the stress or discomfort or TRAUMA that might be caused by sticking an electronic device into your baby’s face every time he or she is shedding tears. 

Okay okay. How, you ask, is that any different than me sticking a digital camera in Julia’s face every hour on the hour since she was surgically removed from my abdomen after 40 hours of labor during which I didn’t dilate a single centimeter (yeah, I’m still bitter about that).

Honestly, probably not any different. I mean, the poor kid is so attuned to that flash of silver followed by a flash of light that everytime she sees a camera or something like it, she automatically flashes a magazine cover smile. I mean, the other day I was making pancakes and my stainless spatula caught the reflection of the pendant lights and the next thing I knew Julia was voguing like Madonna.

Okay. I guess the app isn’t so horrible.  I guess that’s just me being bitter that this thing wasn’t around when Julia was first born. Like those fabric shopping cart seat inserts. I NEVER got to use one of those!

Still… there’s a part of me that wonders if The Cry Translator can REALLY tell what a baby wants or needs. Or if it can ever really replace a mother’s instinct. And if it can, how far off are mothers from being replaced totally? I mean, are we going the way of the do do bird? Or VHS?

Nah. Unless the iPhone comes up with an app that can change a poopie diaper, mothering will still be a necessity. Although Google might be working on something. There are rumblings. An alien conspiracy. Pod mommies……

Anyway, until then, we mommies, armed with our wipes, have job security.


For you desperate mommies who NEED The Cry Translator NOW! Click the following link.


And remember… Mommies DO NOT judge other mommies in their moments of desperation.

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Author: toni

~ 01/26/10


As usual Uma Thurman, that paragon of motherhood, is at it again. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times she has come to my rescue when I have felt confused as a mother. Doling out advice on how she handles the trials and tribulations of being a working mom. I so relate. It’s like she’s my mommy doppelganger (well, except for the long legs, the international fame and the billionaire boyfriend). But otherwise, we are one, Uma and me.

It’s gotten to the point I don’t even need to ask her for the advice (which is good since she’s apparently unlisted). It’s as if she reads my mind or something.

Like the other day, I was painting and cleaning when I realized I was out of food and dinner time was rapidly approaching. But my window of time before Julia got home from dance was very narrow. So I ran to Trader Joe’s in my full house cleaning regalia (paint stained ill-fitting overalls from 1997, ratty Keds and a white shirt that has come in contact with more of my Starbucks than I have). Naturally I was embarrassed to run into absolutely everyone I knew as I went up and down the aisles.

What a loser I am. What must they think of me, looking like I was just pulled from a dumpster? And then fellow Mammakaze ERIN sent me this picture.

  Erin said:

“This is how Uma does motherhood.  It’s like some weird homeless chic look. I knew I should have renewed my W Subscription. I’m so out of the fashion loop these days…”

And to further reinforce Erin’s point, here’s a photo of Patricia Arquette and her actor husband Thomas Jane that hit the internet that very same day! (I love the internet. The immediacy with which it feeds my need to scoff.)

Again, thank you Uma (and Patricia). Turns out I don’t need to feel crummy about my appearance in public. Turns out homeless chic is in.

And THANK YOU Erin. I can hit Target today without caring that anyone I know will see my wood stain stained fingernails (the result of staining Harry Potter wands for Julia’s upcoming birthday) and judge.  Cuz no matter how crappy and untended I look, I’m “in”, baby! Oops, gotta go. The phone’s ringing and it might be In Style calling.

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Author: toni

~ 01/20/10


For those of you who don’t have an urban dictionary handy, what I mean by that title is that the unsightly dimpled flesh that I take great pains to camouflage with jeans in the cool months and board shorts in the summer… is actually good for me.

Yeah. I couldn’t believe it either. It certainly doesn’t LOOK good. It’s horrific in fact. At least that is my perception as a result of decades of having it pounded into my head by such scientific publications as Cosmopolitan and the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

But just the other day posted an article on how FATT BUTTS MAY BE HEALTHY. In fact, unlike the inner tube around the gut which is apparently very bad health-wise, the padding in the butt and thighs may actually even help prevent disease.

I’ve heard of it preventing sex but NEVER that it could prevent disease. Hmmm. Interesting.



Turns out, lower region fat is actually different from the fat that accumulates around the belly. Stomach fat is more “active” in a metabolic sense. And while I normally equate the word “active” with all things positive (and really, really taxing)  in this case, it isn’t. It means it breaks down more easily thus releasing substances called cytokines (no idea what that is) which have been linked to heart disease and diabetes (definitely heard of these).  

Butt and thigh fat, on the other hand, produces helpful hormones that protect against diseases. Aw, that’s so thoughtful. In a jiggly, cellulite-y kind of way. Well, they think it protects against diseases. They need more research to “firm up this expectation”. Yeah, they used those words. Even those brainy, science types can’t resist the puns about buns.

They go on to say that the fact that this butt fat is hard to lose is also a good thing because it keeps it from travelling to other organs like your liver. And really, who wants a fat liver? Not me. How unsightly! In fact, the only fat anything most women want is a fat lip and NOT from a bad boyfriend or poor balance resulting from lightheadedness brought on by crash dieting. We want Angelina Jolie fat lips. Preferably those that occur naturally in nature. And since they don’t, also acceptable from the tip of a needle courtesy of your dermatologist.

I guess the bottom line (see, even we mommy bloggers can’t avoid bun puns) is that “if you have to gain fat, the butt is where it should settle at”. I know. Bad grammar. But I went for the rhyme. Me and Johnnie Cochran. Know why? Cuz I’m feeling pretty cocky and full of myself at the moment, knowing I can have that goat cheese appetizer from Trader Joe’s and still expect to live a long, healthy, albeit “pencil skirt challenged” life.

So you ladies with the loaded trunks, be proud of the junk you’re carrying in there. Because much like tire chains, that junk in your trunk could one day save your life.

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Author: toni

~ 01/19/10


So last night I had this dream. I was at the grocery store and I saw a register with no line. I know, only in a dream, right? Anyway, I smoothly and expertly drove my cart into it and began unloading my groceries. The CLERK looked at me and said,” You got here in the nick of time.” He indicated behind me and I looked. And there was a line of people at least 50 deep.  At which point I felt such an amazing sense of pride that I had been so efficient (although I don’t know how getting to a line first made me efficient. But it was a dream, so I went with it).  I continued unloading my groceries onto the belt and literally beamed with that overpowering sense of pride.

Then I woke up and as that feeling of  pride slowly dissipated, another feeling came over me. One of horror… mixed with a little bit of disgust. What the heck kind of dream was that?!

I mean, I used to have AMAZING DREAMS. Dreams with elaborate storylines and vivid imagery. In color even. Dreams about a post-apocalyptic Earth, still in the throes of turmoil. You know, A Boy and His Dog and Mad Max kind of place.  Danger lurking everywhere making survival tough. UNLESS you had the wit and wiles to survive it. Which, naturally, I did, it being MY dream and all.  And not only did I survive in a very Sarah Connor T2 sort of way, but I helped others survive, too. Along the way I would take time out to save what was left of the world and help bring it back to order. Because see, I could fight off the madmen (and let’s face it, there are ALWAYS madmen in such scenarios). Madmen with names like the Colonel and Little Psycho – drunk on the newfound lawlessness of a civilization thrown into chaos AND who, if it were a movie instead of my dream would be played by Dennis Hopper or that guy who played the crazy Nazi in Inglorious Basterds. So in my dreams, I would fight off these madmen while at the same time bringing the ragtag band of survivors together to start civilization anew. And better, of course.

I mean it was exciting and inspiring stuff. We’re talking the stuff of which Roland Emmerich would be in awe. And now my accomplishments in my dreams are getting in the grocery line first? WHAT THE HECK?!

I know. As Freud would say, “Sometimes a grocery line is just a grocery line.” But I’ve always been more in Jung’s camp. Because truthfully, don’t our dreams reflect our inner selves? And if so, does this mean that I have gone from a leader to… a housewife? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But really. THIS is what I find satisfaction in now? Getting in a grocery line first? Geez.

Then I think about it and I think, you know… some of the lines in the stores ARE really long. And aren’t we all thrilled whenever we can avoid them? Come on. Admit it. I will. I’M THRILLED WHEN I CAN AVOID THEM.

Okay,  so I’m no longer dreaming about saving the world. But maybe I’m getting satisfaction out of saving something equally as precious… TIME. Because as you get older and you have less of it to waste, you kind of realize the importance of it.  And you realize that every minute you save is a minute you can spend with your friends, your family, doing what you love.

So I guess instead of lamenting the loss of my grander dreams, I’ll celebrate the shifting of my priorities to the more realistic and, yes I’ll say it, more important ones.

And as I think about it, maybe June Cleaver didn’t become a beloved icon because she was the perfect mom and wore pearls while basting a pot roast. Maybe it was because she had her priorities straight.

That’s how I’m gonna rationalize the dream anyhow.

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Author: toni

~ 01/15/10

Welcome to Good Mommies in Movies where we review movies that feature “Good Moms”. This is for us less-than-perfekt mommies who sometimes need a little INSPIRATION to get through our days. One way to get it: by watching impossibly great movie moms in action.


THE BLIND SIDE – Okay. I don’t know when SANDRA BULLOCK went from playing ingenues to moms of teenagers, but it’s making me feel really old. But that icky feeling is pretty much forgotten while watching this movie because this is one the most feel-good movies I’ve seen in a long time. Sure this true story about a wealthy Christian white family (The Tuohy’s) taking in a homeless black kid and ultimately turning his life around to the point that he becomes a huge college and NFL football star (Baltimore Ravens’ MICHAEL OHER)  is a little Hollywood-ized and whitewashed. But did I mention IT’S TRUE?! And it’s nice. And it has a happy ending… So far anyway, because I haven’t read any locker room incidences involving him and guns or dogfighting. And I gotta hand it to the director for not overplaying the sentimentality of the piece or dwelling on the tragedy of his life. And forget Sandra Bullock, who pulls off a career-rekindling performance – I want to say KUDOS to the real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy, who is the real inspiration to me as a mom. Wow. The world could use more moms like her. She is soooo amazing in fact, she makes me feel a little inadequate as a mom and a human being that I haven’t gone out and adopted a bunch of needy kids. But then, I don’t own 30 something Taco Bells which allows me to to easily pay for private school and buy new cars for kids I take in off the street. I’ll be lucky if the Harry Potter party I’m throwing for my kid’s 8th birthday in our garage doesn’t break me. I know, I know. No excuses. Get out there and do something good for a child today. Like Leigh Anne! In theaters now.

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