Rant

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    Maternity leave is supposed to make moms' lives easier -- and their babies' lives better. But if you've ever had a co-worker drop a snide comment about your time off after giving birth or dealt with a boss who hemmed and hawed about giving you your legally protected leave, you know it's hard out there for moms who take maternity leave. And a woman's unusual break from work is about to make it even harder for all the moms out there.

    Tanya Oliva is on maternity leave .... for her puppy.

    No, this is not a story out of a supermarket tabloid. Oliva did not give birth to a canine.

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    Matt Lauer had an opportunity to hit the CEO of a company in the midst of a major scandal with some hard questions this week. So what did the Today show anchor do when he got GM CEO Mary Barra in the hot seat on the morning show? Why, go the tired old sexist pig route, of course!

    Lauer, who has three children and still manages to get up and go to work every day, asked Barra if she can really expect to be a good mom what with all that doing a job thing. Yes. Really.

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    Hey, did you hear the one about the romantic comedy coming out about ... wait for it ... abortion? On Friday, Obvious Child, a new movie starring Jenny Slate about a female stand-up comic who contemplates an abortion after she gets pregnant from a one-night stand, opens in theatres. As is to be expected, the movie, which won a Producer’s Award at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, is creating all sorts of controversy even though it hasn’t actually opened.

    According to The Guardian, when approached by a media buyer representing the movie, NBC asked that the word “abortion” be removed from online ads as they considered it still taboo. This caused Planned Parenthood to get over 10,000 signatures on a petition accusing NBC/Universal of censorship.

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    This past week Jason Biggs, the current star of Orange Is the New Black of American Pie fame, took time from his busy schedule to start a fight with his former co-star Tara Reid. Reid, once a "girl next door" type, has become famous in recent years for her hard partying and plastic surgeries. Or, as Biggs said so sweetly to Joan Rivers on her show In Bed With Joan:

    "Tara's body — I don't know what's going on with it. I don't think she ever knows what's going on with it."

    Quick memo to Biggs: When a woman gets a lot of plastic surgery, it's NOT because she feels super great about her body. It's because, for some reason, she doesn't. It's pretty basic stuff. But insulting a woman's looks -- especially when that woman is a celebrity -- is nothing new.

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    E! News co-anchor Giuliana Rancic has been through a lot in the last few years. She and husband Bill Rancic have been transparent about their struggle to become parents and the host not only suffered a miscarriage right before her third trimester, but underwent three rounds of in vitro fertilization treatments -- which is how she wound up, thank God, sitting for a mammogram and discovering she had breast cancer. She had radiation treatments AND a double mastectomy.

    Rancic has had joyful moments too -- with the help of a surrogate, she and Bill were able to have a baby boy. But this can't be stated enough: the woman has survived a great deal. So yeah, she may have looked a little skinnier than usual at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards, but she still looked fantastic. And anyone who is quick to jump on the anorexia train should pause and think for a moment.

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    Since Here Comes Honey Boo Boo first showed up on TLC, the crowd has been pretty much split right in half. One half found the eponymous star to be a delightfully sassy little creature who speaks her mind and therefore embodies the sort of child we all want to raise. The rest of us? We took one look at Alana Thompson, and the word "brat" came to mind.

    So, who was right? According to Christy O'Shoney, a writer who happened to be at Honey Boo Boo's recent taping of The Tonight Show, the folks who want nothing more than to give the famous tot a dose of discipline are right on the money.

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    As far as milestones for teenagers go, the trip to the DMV is one of the biggies. It's supposed to be a happy occasion -- for the kids anyway (Mom and Dad, just go ahead and cry) -- but it was anything but for a South Carolina teen recently. Chase Culpepper went to get his license photo snapped only to be told by motor vehicles officials that he'd have to clean the makeup off his face if he wanted a driver's license.

    The incident back in March is now making national news as it opens up a discussion about children's rights to freely express themselves.

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    Just when we thought everything was peachy-keen between Mackenzie Douthit and her hubs Josh McKee, the Teen Mom 3 star tweeted a message that all might not be well in paradise after all.

    Not only that, but her most recent complaint about Josh may be adversely affecting her health! Keep in mind that Mackenzie is a Type 1 diabetic, in addition to being a busy mom of two little ones and a competitive cheerleader. And oh yeah, she's already prone to stress and insomnia.

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    How's this for a parenting conundrum. Your kid comes home from school clutching a birthday party invitation in their little paw, and they just can't wait to go spend a day filling up on cake and bashing on a pinata? But then you look at the date: little Junior is having a birthday bash on Father's Day.

    Hey, Dad, we love you so much we're going to run off and spend the day without you! Can you imagine someone scheduling a kid's birthday party on Mother's Day?

    Not gonna happen! But it's come to our attention lately (thanks to a number of party invitations) that people have no qualms about throwing a birthday bash on dad's big day.

    And, quite frankly, we're a little annoyed on Papa's behalf.

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    As a wishy-washy Agnostic who was raised Catholic, I don't believe most of what I've read in the Bible. I think God could definitely exist, but I wouldn't bet money on it either way. Basically, I question it all but would never be presumptuous enough to argue against religion, either. I try to respect others' faiths, but as a mom, I find others don't always respect my beliefs -- or in this case, the beliefs I don't hold to be true.

    The number one offender here is probably the last person you'd expect: my mom -- my children's otherwise amazing and loving grandmother. A religious person who just can't help herself and refuses to stop taking my toddler to church.

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