Where real moms tell it like it is.

Friday, January 27, 2006

We're Live!

Dear Readers:

Initially, we intended for this blogspot site to be only temporary. We are pleased to announce our final move to At our new domain, anyone is welcome to post comments and even start a "diary," or blog of her own. We hope you will follow us there, start up writing careers of your own and bookmark the site as a source of parenting news.

We hardly told anyone about this blogspot site and, yet, received responses in the "comments" section. Thank you for reading!


Amy, Elisa, Erika and Gloria -- the original "MotherTalkers"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Puberty and The Importance of Looks/Confidence

Ok...I have a problem. It's not a big one, but it's a problem, nonetheless. My daughter is 11-years-old. She is growing up and looking beautiful. She's smart, kind and funny. She's the daughter that anyone would be lucky to have. So, what's the problem? She takes after me. Now, before you jump into conclusions, let me explain. She's hairy.

I consider her hairiness to be cute. She's fair skinned and the hair she sports on her arms and legs are blond. So, they're not a big me. When I was her age, I was sporting hair that made me feel like a primate. A monkey. I'm very ethnic looking. Mexican. Dark. My hair? DARK! I remember wanting to shave my legs and arms SO BADLY, and not being allowed to by my VERY strict parents. I wasn't allowed to start shaving until I was 16-years-old. THE HORROR!!

My daughter has recently shown self-consciousness and has even asked...BEGGED to start shaving. Not only legs. No. Arms too. My problem is, how young is too young to start shaving?? I'm open to any suggestions!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shameful Marketing? Or Weak Parenting?

It's bad enough parents must compete with the alluring messages broadcast by toy companies, clothing makers, and even cell phone providers.

Now credit card companies are targeting teenagers and one parent even asked an MSN columnist if it was okay for her 15-year-old child to have a credit card. What?! At that age, I was lucky enough to scrounge up cash for a movie.

But as author Jan Faull wisely pointed out in her column, credit card companies are targeting kids, even though they have no income. She wisely suggested talking with kids about savings accounts, credit cards, stock and bonds, insurance and interest rates, but to limit the plastic to a "guarded" debit card instead.

A credit card could be a good financial teaching tool, particularly if you've been a good financial role mode. He can learn the importance of establishing good credit. On the other hand, a bad situation could unfold if he sees how easy it is to acquire one, uses it to his financial limit, pays the minimum amount each month, and then applies for another one.

Call me old-fashioned, but 15-year-olds walking around with a MasterCard are a gross sign of over-indulgent parenting.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Only Child

I know I am young -- 28-years-old -- to stress over the decision to have a second child. Nonetheless, I admit it is something that sometimes creeps up on me as I go through my day: "If I were to get pregnant next year, Ari and his sibling would be four years apart. Will 'starting over' be worth it for him?"

"Could I continue to attend school and blog with two kids in tow?"

Admittedly and guiltily, I fantasize about the day my two-year-old son grows up and my husband and I will spend more time together. Then I am brought back to reality and told by well-meaning friends and family -- including my husband -- on what I will miss out to make such a drastic and premature decision to have only one child.

I haven't ruled out having a second baby, although I cannot handle a second one right now -- even as the age gap between my son and Baby No. 2 widens. Still, I am often sucked into discussion on this very topic as I most recently was on Julie's "A Little Pregnant".

Besides hearing from dozens of people on the matter, she also cited this University of Chicago study as food for thought and comic relief:

Look, it would take a scientist to explain it — Happinessi j = _0 +_1 _ partneri j +_2 _ fertilityi j +_3 _ Xi j + _j + _i j, for God's sake -- but the basic conclusion of the study was that while having one child does increase one's feeling of well being, having an additional child does not. In fact, the study's findings indicate that having more than one child actually tends to decrease women's happiness. (Women with more than one child are still happier, however, than women who have none. 'Magine that, infertiles.)

Julie said she is "considering each of the messages carefully" to make a decision herself, which would require fertility treatments. I look forward to her response.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Feel Your Pain!

When I read studies aimed at ferreting out gender differences, I get poised to do a little kung fu. Not because I think such studies shouldn't be done, but because so much cultural bullcrap gets poured into the analysis of the findings. Here's the latest: Men tend to enjoy revenge more than women, while women empathize more.

How were these generalizations arrived at?

The scientists scanned the brains of 16 men and 16 women after the volunteers played a game with people they thought were other volunteers but who in fact were actors. The actors either played the game fairly or obviously cheated.

...Each volunteer watched as the hands of a "fair" player and a cheater received a mild electrical shock. When it came to the fair player, both men's and women's brains showed activation in pain-related areas, indicating that they empathized with that player's pain. But for the cheater, while the women's brains still showed a response, men's brains showed virtually no specific reaction. Also, in another brain area associated with feelings of reward, men's brains showed a greater average response to the cheater's shock than to the fair player's shock, while women's brains did not.

Okay. Here's an alternative theory: Maybe the women didn't give a rat's ass if some research monkey cheated at a game in a lab. Maybe it has to do with how much members of either gender get worked up over games in general. If the cheaters were cheating on their wives rather than a game, I bet the lady brains would show feelings of reward when the cheater got zapped.

This weekend, I'll be watching a football game at a friend's place. My brain will register neither empathy nor revenge, no matter who wins or loses. My brain will register great, silvery waves of pleasure when a plate of hors d'ouvres passes my way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Smart Read: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

Even when I became inundated with laundry, dishes, soiled diapers and other childcare two years ago, one guilty pleasure I have kept up to the detriment of my sleep is reading. I have always been moved by the written word and read anything I can get my hands on: "chick lit," history books, childcare and other science books, books by my favorite stand-up comedians, political and entertainment magazines. Most recently I finished the The Alphabet Versus the Goddess (Viking 1998), an erudite -- but readable -- tome that suggests misogyny may have been introduced to society (no) thanks to my favorite pastime -- the written word.

In his book, Dr. Leonard Shlain initially set out to discover why all Western religions condemn goddess worship. “There is overwhelming archaeological and historical evidence that during a long period of prehistory and early history both men and women worshipped goddesses, women functioned as chief priests, and property commonly passed through the mother’s lineage,” Shlain wrote in his preface.

At first I was skeptical of his claim that the written alphabet may have led to the demotion of the goddesses -- thus women’s standing -- in society. After all, girls are more advanced than boys in speaking and meeting other developmental milestones. Boys don’t catch up with girls in cognitive development until the third grade, according to boy developmental book Raising Cain (another good read). But after plunging through his evidence in the 432-page Alphabet Versus the Goddess that combines anthropology and history, Shlain convinced me there was a connection between the introduction of the written word (which Shlain says is the product of left-brained, male thinking) over once ubiquitous female images (art is a right-brained, female trait, he said) to the decline of women’s rights in society. Consistently, in every religious atrocity he cited, including the most gruesome episode of witch-burning in Germany where the printing press was invented in the 16th century, some religious pamphlet had been disseminated to the public.

Thanks to the power of the written word, a charismatic, male scholar was able to convert the masses on even the most outrageous claims: Mary had no sex, yet still had a baby! Woman was conceived by a man's rib! The worship of (pretty) images was strongly discouraged as in the case of the exiled Israelis' grave sin of praising a golden calf -- a popular story in the bible's Old Testament.

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess is a fascinating review of world religions, including Eastern beliefs. It would make a good book club pick for its controversial thesis and ability to stir discussion.

The frog doth protest too much, methinks.

Hey Moms: did you know a plush, talking frog has the power to sway your child's sexuality?

That's the amusing conclusion I've reached after discovering Learning Friend Lily and Learning Friend Tad, two talking frogs from the LeapFrog company that sing songs about numbers and colors in English and Spanish.

My daughter received not one but two Lilys for Christmas, gifts from relatives who know we want to teach her both English and Spanish as she grows up. Lily's pretty fun: she sings and counts and announces, in a chipper voice, that her flowers are PINK! You get the idea.

Then I went to Target and stumbled across her male counterpart, Tad.

Lily sings that she has "lots of pretty colors." Tad, on the other hand, has "lots of brilliant colors." Because HEY!! Tad is NOT a queer! No "I wish I knew how to quit you!" moments for this froggy friend.

Lily counts girly things like butterflies and bunnies; Tad counts manly things like cars and sailboats. He even has keys attached to his left hand, while Lily's left hand is, sadly, barren.

It all got me to wondering about the gender roles we insist on assigning our children, starting in early infancy. While I am guilty of swathing my daughter in pink and arranging her full head of hair in any number of cute hairstyles, I just don't care what kind of toys she plays with. Her favorite toys are a Tonka truck and a toy bus. She prefers her dad's laptop computer and cell phone to dolls and stuffed animals. I'm kind of hoping that ever-obnoxious Princess fascination that is so typical of little girls won't kick in when she gets a little older, but if it does, I'll be a sport and indulge her.

Another Christmas gift my daughter received was a set of Baby Abuelita dolls, adorable singing dolls meant too look like a Grandma and Grandpa. They sing classic Spanish lullabies in the sweetest voice. A fellow mom saw the freshly unwrapped dolls and said, "Oh! We should get these for our son!" But dad protested immediately: we're not going to buy our son any dolls, he said.

What are we so afraid of? Why can't boys play with tea sets and toy vaccuums without people making weird comments? What's wrong with little girls racing Hot Wheels if they want? Why must we put our children in boxes from the time they're born?

All I want is for my daughter to be herself. Not who I want her to be, but who she is. I will do my best to instill good values, teach her right from wrong and all that jazz. But who am I to tell her she has to like Disney Princess dolls, if she's more of a Lego kind of girl? I think we tend to get too wrapped up in the idea of molding our children into mini versions of us, rather than letting them become their own person.

I like to think I'll be just as open-minded if I ever have a son...because let's face it, there are much worse things than a boy with a Barbie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Migraines and Babies

There is no doubt that being a parent is hard work. It's a constant heartbreak and many times a thankless job. But, I have to say that this past weekend has been one of the most challenging for me.

My son, who will be 7-years-old next month, has recently been suffering from debilitating headaches. It was VERY disconcerting for me to see him hold his little head and cry. As a mother, my first thought was to make him as comfortable as I could. Then I would pray to the Gods that there could be some way I could transfer his pain onto myself. Then, I would fight my damnedest to not think the worst, which, of course, inevitably happened... (Dear Lord, he has a brain tumor!!)

I took my little man to the doctor yesterday and had him undergo a variety of tests. Glasses? Ruled out. Brain Tumor? Thank God! Ruled out! Migraines? Oh, my baby may be suffering from migraines.

As it turns out, this is more common that I thought. Apparently, the National Headache Foundation estimates 60 percent of all children suffer from occasional headaches. But up to 20 percent of children may suffer from chronic or recurrent types of headaches including tension-type or migraines. How terrible is that!! My baby's doctor has ordered me to keep a journal of my son's headaches and has scheduled a follow up for 2 weeks.

I hope these headaches let up by then...

Monday, January 16, 2006

BART Ads Rile Pro-Choice Activists

A Catholic group buys ad space in BART trains and stations. The ads question the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision. Activists from Code Pink and other abortion-rights supporters throw a hissy fit.

"I couldn't believe BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?''

You get the general idea.

This is a BAD case of losing focus. As a government transit agency, BART is not in the business of censorship, or catering to a particular viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. I can't believe that the ladies in Code Pink would advocate for clamping down another advocacy group's First Amendment rights. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

So you don't like those "Abortion: Have we gone too far?'' posters staring at you during your commute? Then read a book. Or better yet, raise money and buy ad space for your own counterpoint posters. And if you don't have deep pockets, but buckets of passion, then manufacture clever stickers and surreptitiously slap 'em up on the Catholic's ads. Stickers that undermine the ads' message or deepen the dialogue. The antidote to expression you don't like is more expression, not censorship.

As a pro-choice Bay Area mom, I'm woman enough to handle subway ads I don't agree with, so long as the ads aren't libelous or peddling misinformation. And I always love to see evidence of culture jamming on billboards and transit kiosks. Talk back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Baby Slurps Rocket Fuel and Lives!

The milk that passed between my breasts and my son's mouth, the milk that kept him alive and sated and soothed that first year, contained flame retardants, pesticides, and rocket fuel. Breastfeeding, for me, was an intimate bonding experience. I consider the presence of these chemicals in my breasts, my milk, and my child a profound act of TRESPASSING.

A colleague just turned me on to MOMS (Making Our Milk Safe) – a group that has formed to address the threat of toxic chemicals in human breast milk. They hope to have local "MOMSquads" sprout up and join together to support progressive legislation like California's AB 319 and to "shape corporate behavior through strategic market-based campaigns," whatever that means.

Did you know?
More than 85,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, with an additional 1,000 new chemicals added each year. Less than 10 percent of these chemicals have been tested for their effects on human health, much less babies.

Legislation works. Levels of flame retardants in the breast milk of first-time mothers in the U.S. were 75 times higher than their counterparts in Europe. In Sweden, regulations of flame retardants resulted in a dramatic drop in their level in breast milk over a short period.

I'm gonna go check out a MOMS meet-up in a SF cafe later this month. It features a discussion with author, biologist, cancer survivor, and nursing mother Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., an expert on the environmental links between cancer and reproductive health. She wrote the book "Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment" which reveals the extent to which present environmental hazards threaten each crucial stage of infant development.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Devastating Break-Up

Maybe it was their eight years of marriage, which by Hollywood standards is a LONG time. But I was surprised and a bit sad to learn that actors Hillary Swank and Chad Lowe are getting divorced.

I haven't felt this disappointed over a Hollywood break-up since Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman called it quits in 2001. (Then again, Nicole should be grateful she is no longer with Crazy Tom.)

Swank's publicist released no details of the break-up. I bet it will be in this week's People Magazine cover. Stay tuned...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Time Travels with Alito

I listen to a lot of NPR as I drive to work and back. This morning I sighed heavily as the live coverage of the Sam Alito for Supreme Court hearings began. Always a great opportunity for stuffed white guys to grandstand. Yechhh.

One of the most troubling documents that has surfaced is Alito's job application to obtain a promotion in the Reagan Administration's Solicitor General's office in 1985, the year before I graduated from high school. In it, Alito touts his membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton – a group formed during the 70s to contest the admission of women and minorities at Princeton. Alito joined this group at a time when Princeton was opening its doors to women for the first time.

I wonder how his daughter feels about this. His public response to this discovery? He doesn't remember being affiliated with the group. Wow. A sexist and a liar. Or a wimp. Cool. Since the Supreme Court decides cases that have such enormous impact on women, it's reassuring to know that one of the only two women on the court may be replaced by a guy who believes that Ivy League universities are degraded by the enrollment of women and minorities. That kind of sentiment may have been the norm during the 50s, but in 1985? No way. This guy's a throw-back.

Post-Partum Depression

Now, I sympathize with new mothers suffering from post-partum depression. I suffered from post-partum depression with both my kids. True, I didn't suffer in the severity of, say, Brooke Shields or Andrea Yates, but I did suffer with bouts of depression following my children's births.

What pisses me off though are these mothers such as Andrea Yates, who methodically and systematically drowned each of her five children; ranging in ages from 6 mths to 6 years old. One by one. She allegedly suffered from severe post-partum depression following each of the five births, yet she continued having kids!! Now, she's pleading non-guilty by reason of insanity in the retrial of three of her five children. NOT GUILTY?? Please!!

On Spanking, Day Care, TV and other Choices

Letting your kids watch TV for three or more hours a day hurts school performance. But well-chosen and limited educational programming has been linked to increased creativity, according to major studies cited in this week's Newsweek.

The magazine's January 9 edition, printed a chart -- sorry, it is not available online! -- comparing the stances of child experts Benjamin Spock, T. Berry Brazelton, James Dobson, Penelope Leach and John Rosemond with those of recent scientists. The magazine compared these child psychologists' views on spanking, disciplining, the stay-at-home mom versus day care debate, potty training and TV with studies from the last 30 years compiled by another psychologist, Jane Rankin.

Rankin's findings?

Spanking: Not much difference between kids who are not spanked and those who are spanked sparingly. Frequent spanking, though, is associated with unhealthy levels of aggression in kids.

Setting Limits: Giving your child reasons why is key. Too much punishment and not enough explaining can lead to delayed development of conscience and more transgression when adults are absent.

Working Moms: Long hours in substandard day care have negative effects on social adjustment. Stay-at-home moms get more face time, but working moms are more social with kids on weekends. No links between day care and ADHD or depression.

Day Care: No strong evidence that delaying entry into day care past 2 years of age is better. One small study suggests less socially competent 2-year-olds in group care have elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Potty Wars: Different kids learn at different times. Training takes about nine months (more for boys). Frequent prompting works.

I was bummed to learn that potty training takes so long, especially for boys. My 26-month-old son has shown ZERO interest in his potty chair, except to use it as a toy chest. But I was relieved about the TV findings because I have no qualms about plopping my son in front of Plaza Sesamo to cook dinner or do other household chores. Glad to hear he may even gain some creativity for it!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Baby is Cuter Than Yours.

And smarter. And more physically adept. Did I tell you she walked at 6 months and was speaking in complete sentences a few weeks later? No, really. She did. It must be because she's so much smarter than your baby!! But don't feel bad. Your baby is still...special...and hey, cute outfit he's wearing!

Sound familiar? According to the latest dubious New York Times trend story, it should. Apparently, a new generation of overzealous, overeducated but insecure parents are making bragging about their children a competitive sport via baby blogs, goofy t-shirts and even those annoying "My Kid Made the Honor Roll" bumper stickers that seem to be affixed to every other yuppie SUV on the road.

According to Arlie Hochschild, a UC Berkeley sociology professor whom I happen to admire greatly, upper-middle class parents tend to believe in "intensive cultivation" via endless soccer practices, piano lessons, play dates, even going so far as to lend a (very) heavy hand with homework and science projects.

Parents are anxious about passing along to their children their own station in life, Dr. Hochschild said. "And they can't do it through land or money in a meritocracy," she said. "You do it through your kid's skills. And that may lend itself to bragging."

She also pointed out that there is a "culture of blame" involving working mothers that might lead them to brag... Mothers who spend long hours at the office may become anxious about how their children are doing. When the children do succeed, Dr. Hochschild said, "despite themselves they may brag because their child is an emblem that, against all odds, the kid is thriving."

Oy. This is a toughie. As a new mom who is completely besotted with her daughter, I'm sure my friends and co-workers get tired of my celebrating each new milestone like my baby is the next Einstein: "Guess what? She stood up today!" And I worry that baseless bragging and adulation will lead my child to end up like one of those poor American Idol rejects: completely convinced of her talent where there is none, and utterly crestfallen when Simon Cowell tells her, "You're dreadful!" and Randy Jackson chimes in with, "Yo Dawg, that was bad."

At the same time, my own mother often praised my intelligence, told me I was beautiful, and generally led me to believe I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. My father was supportive but not as effusive, and didn't hesitate to put me in my place when necessary with a well-placed sarcastic jab. The result: a fairly confident, secure and successful woman who is well aware of her shortcomings and mines them for humor.

As with all things, I suppose striking a healthy balance is the key. Love your child, but don't try to live through him. Praise your child, but teach her humility and compassion.

And don't forget: an occasional dose of snark never hurts...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grrrreat Piece Debunking Women Trends!

This article in today's SF Chronicle was like manna from heaven. It discusses the trend of media outlets publishing controversial pieces that identify women trends. Now I understand why so many of these stories stimulate my bullshit detector.

Do these ring a bell? Droves of professional women "opting out" to be stay-at-home moms! Highly educated, high earning women can't find mates! Women bad at math! The list goes on and on.

Too often, these stories are built upon single, small-sample studies; over-reaching conclusions; and anecdotes from the writers' social circle. The trends these stories purport to spot are often at odds with large scale statistics gleaned from census data. Taken as a whole, the stories seem to serve as a warning to women: don't fly to high to the sun, don't want too much, don't get too educated, don't make too much money.

This is not to say that every trend story is inherently faulty or that all trend stories are being written about women...
But women are more vulnerable to bad reporting. As Julie Hollar, the communications director of media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, says in a phone interview, "Women's lifestyle choices are subjected to greater scrutiny. In fact, the only other group that I can think of that get so many trend stories are youth."

GOOD STUFF. Read it and be disabused of a lot of myths being propagated about women and their choices.

A Sane Voice in the Mommy Wars

As Dr. Phil, feminists, stay-at-home mothers and journalists can attest, no topic generates more online flame wars than the stay-at-home-mommy debate. Salon's Rebecca Traister warned a New York Times op-ed writer – who she slams in her column today -- to "buckle his seat belt in preparation for a bumpy 2006" on more articles about domesticity. Feminist Linda Hirshman dissed "choice feminism" -- college-educated women who "choose" to quit their jobs to stay home with their children -- because it perpetuates traditional gender roles and keeps women out of positions of power. In order to acquire power, Hirshman argues, a woman needs "to find the money."

Almost without exception, the brides who opted out graduated with roughly the same degrees as their husbands. Yet somewhere along the way the women made decisions in the direction of less money. Part of the problem was idealism; idealism on the career trail usually leads to volunteer work, or indentured servitude in social service jobs, which is nice but doesn't get you to the money."

Of course, Hirshman never tries to sell these "social service jobs" to men and, instead, wishes for women to abandon their ideals. When I read such articles, I often feel defensive because, I too, am one of those pesky college-educated women who chose to quit her job for stay-at-home motherhood. Hirshman's piece really struck a deep nerve because I had no idea that I had abandoned the feminist movement -- actually it failed me, according to Hirshman –- for my temporary choice to stay home and make zero money. (I plan to return to school this month and will cut back on some domestic duties. Nonetheless, I have no regrets of quitting my job to stay home with my son.)

But thanks to the Traister piece, my focus turned to perhaps one of the most heartfelt, objective and non-judgmental pieces in a long time on the stay-at-home motherhood versus "work" debate. Terry Martin Hekker, a mother of 5 children and grandmother to 12 children, used to write newspaper op-ed pieces and books, defending her choice as a full-time housewife. Then on her 40th wedding anniversary -- when she was 60 years old -- her husband unexpectedly handed her divorce papers.

Without denigrating other mothers for their choices -- she comes off as a gentle grandmother dispensing good food for thought -- she reveals the financial bind she faced after her divorce. She had no formal job training and very little alimony for a limited amount of time. In an inspiring ending, she picked up the pieces -- in her 60s! -- to become mayor of her town, retire, and help raise her 12 grandchildren (full circle from her earlier days with her own children).

Considering that stay-at-home mothers do not pay into social security, have no 401K plans and other money and benefits, planning for any future calamity is smart. However, I still disagree with Hirshman that the only way for women to succeed in life -- to be true "feminists" -- is to display their prowess on Wall Street.

Red Rover, Red Rover

SUVs roll over. So says a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics and sponsored by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in collaboration with State Farm Insurance.

According to the study, parents ought to rethink the notion that SUVs ensconce their kids in a protective steel cocoon. Although there are obvious advantages in the greater mass of the hulking autos, there is a doubled risk of rollover--which virtually negates the safety edge.

I have long noticed, when driving in the Sierra or Rocky Mountains in inclement weather, that the roadside ditches become littered with overturned SUVs. I always chalked it up to irresponsible advertising: TV ads for SUVs invariably show the machines tearing over virgin landscapes like monster trucks on steroids. I figured that SUV owners must have internalized the balls-to-the-wall sense of indomitability the ads portray because they would drive like frickin' maniacs on icy roads in driving snow, oblivious to physics.

Over time, research continues to fill in the picture. A couple of years back, NYT reporter Keith Bradsher published a book– "High and Mighty" – that dug into the safety stats. For a taste, go here. You'll never believe the hype about SUV safety again.

One of the more unusual facts: There's a curiously high incidence of SUV drivers backing over their own children.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Stinky Diaper Award and Other Funny Honorable Mentions...

In the last few weeks, I've heard a lot about the "Stinky Diaper Awards" but I hadn't heard of these other Honorable Mentions. Here are a few, for a laugh:

The "Glow to Hell Award": Bill Maher. For saying that being pregnant is sexy. That's not sexy!! We were sexy before we got pregnant.....duh!

The "Dad Got a Better Offer Award": Kevin Federline. He left pregnant girlfriend Shar Jackson, who is also the mother of his 3-year-old daughter for Britney Spears. I wonder if he gets paid time and 1/2??

The "Malnourished Mom Award": Liz Hurley. Remember, this is the woman who said that if she were a size 12 like Marilyn Monroe, she would kill herself. Let's thank God she had a son instead of a daughter and let's hope that her eating disorder won't rub off on little Damien, now 3.

The "Spilt Milk Award": Barbara Walters. In May, Walters said on an episode of her television show, The View, that sitting near a nursing mother on a plane had made her "nervous" and "uncomfortable." Talk about putting her foot in her mouth...

The "Nanny Says It's Time for Bed Award": Jude Law & Daisy Wright. All I can say about this one is HOW EMBARRASSING, and EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! I mean, come on!!! They were caught, in the act, by one of Jude's children!!

The "Man Imitates Toddler Award": Russell Crowe. I'm sorry, I'm partial to Russell Crowe. He can throw a phone at my head any day!!

The "Preaching to the Postpartum Award": Tom Cruise. I wonder if there is an addendum in the contract between Tom and Katie, er Kate, in the off chance that she may....**gasp** suffer post-partum depression!!!