Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marley's Bathtime Chronicles: A Tale of Tragedy and Treachery

Welcome to tonight's episode of Marley's Bathtime Chronicles: A Tale of Tragedy and Treachery, starring: Elmo Head

Baby Duck

Baby Sister Duck

Sweater Duck

Nemo Fish

In tonight's episode, a disaster of catastrophic proportions befalls Baby Duck. If you can believe it, Baby Duck gets sucked up into the bath faucet! "Help me! Help me! Help meeee!" cries Baby Duck. "Heellllp meee!"
This goes on for quite a while. All of the other bath creatures, including Baby Sister Duck, Nemo Fish, Sweater Duck and Elmo Head are all lined up safely at the edge of the bathtub, watching Baby Duck's painful demise. Despite his increasingly dire predicament, they do nothing to help.

"Uh...Marley?" I ask my daughter, who is completely engrossed in the soapy drama. "Isn't anyone going to save Baby Duck?"
Marley ponders this for a moment. "Hmmm...." she says with a smile, finger to her lips. Clearly she's thinking it over, although she seems pretty content to squash Baby Duck's head in the faucet. "Hmmmm...Okay!"
Finally, Baby Sister Duck rescues Baby Duck from the faucet. Sadly, he has not emerged unscathed.
"Baby Duck has an owie," declares Marley, gently placing Baby Duck into the floating boat.
"Baby Duck has an owie and now goes sleepy-time," says Marley. Hmmm...a concussion perhaps? I guess no one told her about the no-sleeping rule.
Alas, this was not theonly drama to mar the spirits and health of the poor bathtub creatures.
Just when it seems like things are settling down, disaster strikes.
"Elmo Head, watchout!" cries Nemo Fish. Elmo Head wanders precariously close to the edge of the bathtub. "Elmo Head, don't fall! Hold the rail! Don't fall!"
But it's too late. Elmo Head falls off the edge of the bathtub, onto the tile floor, head first, of course. He lies there covered in bubbles. It doesn't look good.
"Elmo Head, oh noooooo," cries Nemo Fish.
"Elmo Head sad!" declares Sweater Duck.
"Elmo Head has BIG owie," says Baby Duck, arising from his coma for a moment. Then, apparently exhuasted from the effort, he collapses back into the boat.
Elmo Head is lying silent on the floor. All of the creatures, except for Baby Duck, line up to peer at Elmo Head's lifeless, head. He doesn't move.
What will happen? Will Elmo Head survive his terrible fall? Will Baby Duck recover from his freak faucet-sucking incident? Stay tuned for the next episode of Marley's Bathtime Chronicles: A Tale of Tragedy and Treachery.

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Barf or Not to Barf? That is the Question.

UGH. I know the first trimester is supposed to be tough. But I breezed through it so quickly with Marley! (Granted, I didn't find out I was pregnant with Marley until 7 weeks, and sometimes ignorance is bliss, but STILL.)

With this pregnancy, now at 13 weeks, I have been plagued with:
-Icky, barfy stomach
-Gnarly headaches
-Cold sweats and hot flashes (a sneak preview to menopause?)
-No energy
-General sickness
-Crazy mood swings
-Bad ideas. (Maybe I should buy that really expensive dress that I won't be able to fit into until next summer? or next Fall? It's a classic...a statement piece!)

The worst part? This is making me DEPRESSED. I've had no energy to do Stroller Strides, which is my lifeline. Because I'm not working out, I'm getting even more depressed, because I need to work out and get fresh air, but I can't. Poor Ian comes home and I am STILL in my pajamas, no makeup, looking like the frumpy wife and mother I promised myself I'd never, ever be.

The bummer is, when I feel like I'm going to barf, I can't barf. I can't even gag myself. There's just that PENDING DOOM of a barf-to-be, looming on the horizon like a creepy relative who's coming to visit you at some undisclosed date in the future. You have to always be ready for it, yet, it never comes.

Until last Saturday. I got the stomach flu. Oh yes, ripe at 13 weeks, so happy and joyous to be out of my first trimester, finally starting to feel better, and BAM. This time, the barf came. And came. I think I threw up about 10 times in 5 hours.

So now I'm on the mend, in jammies and no makeup, still no Stroller Strides, but looking forward to feeling better. Because I will start feeling better, right? RIGHT?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Top 15 Things that Don't Suck About Being Pregnant

There are so many negative things about being pregnant. No soft cheese, no sushi, no wine, no snowboarding. I thought it was high time to start focusing on the I came up with this super-cool list of Top 15 Things That Don't Suck About Being Pregnant!

1. People get out of your way in the grocery store. Large lady coming through!
2. You never drive around drunk anymore.
3. No more hangovers!
4. You can eat whatever you want. Arby's Roast Beef, anyone?
5. Caffeine is the new naughty. You used to feel guilty after 3 glasses of wine. Now, it feels downright scandalous to order a Coke with dinner.
6. People say endearing things like, "Oh, look at the belly. Isn't it cute?"
7. You live with the comfort of knowing that, if you were at sea, and your ship starts sinking, you will FOR SURE get a lifeboat. Because letting a pregnant lady drown just isn't cool.
8. No one offers you drugs anymore.
9. You don't have to suck it in! Finally you can exhale and let it all hang out.
10. No more ab exercises, because everyone knows you're not supposed to work out your abs when your pregnant. Duh.
11. Prenatal yoga!
12. Leggings become perfectly acceptable streetwear.
13. It is now completely acceptable to randomly stop whatever you are doing, and decide to "nap" or "go lay down for a bit."
14. Tie: No more cleaning stinky cat litter/no more working with toxic home cleaners. (The fumes could hurt the baby!)
15. If someone accuses you of being lazy, you can say, "Today, I was busy creating a new life in my body. What did you do?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ode to

How do I love thee, my
You're a friend when I need one the most.
You deliver treasures so great in brown, cardboard crate
Before I can butter my toast.

How do I love thee, my point-and-click friend?
I drag and drop into my cart
Pink princess pull-ups, organic fruit-rollups
No more trips to Target and Wal-Mart!

From carseats to baby wipes, to diaper cream (all types)
You never let me down.
Need some Earth's Best carrots? Or butterfly barrettes?
No need to drive all over town!

Whether your Bjorn or Ergo, Britax or Graco
Pampers or Seventh Generation
It's all there for you, organic and plastic
Oh praise, joy and elation!

And when I just haven't reached free shipping
You always let me know.
Just five dollars away? Check out the sales today!
And score, "Potty Time with Elmo."

And now that you've released
My ecstasy's at its height
From Garnier hair-dye to Saline (sensitive eye)
Shopping's never felt so right!

Don't ever leave me, my
My life would spiral into despair.
I'd have to get in my car, and travel afar
(And figure out something to wear.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Marley and the Glockenspiel," or "We've Got Problems"


What is glockenspiel? Glad you asked! A glockenspiel is a percussion instrument, composed of a set of tuned keys (see above!) It's very similar to a xylophone, but a xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the bars on a glockenspiel are made of metal plates. (Just a little bit of trivia for you.)
I'm proud to say I scored a glockenspiel for Marley just last week, at my home-away-from-home, TJ Max.

(I love saying it--Glockenspiel. It sounds like you are saying something really funny or dirty, but you aren't!)
Anyway, Marley loves her new glockenspiel and plays it all the time. Last night before bedtime, she asked me to play a few tunes on the glockenspiel for her. (I was pretty excited because it's not everyday that Marley asks me to play the glockenspiel.)
"What would you like Mommy to play?" I asked her. "How about, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?"
Apparently that was not her cup of tea.
"NO MOMMA!," yells Marley. "NO TWINKLE TWINKLE!"
"Okay, how about the Itsy Bitsy Spider?" I asked.

Sheez! Now I was vexed. What else could I play?
"Uh....Mary had a little lamb?" I suggested timidly.
Okay. Now I was running out of options. "What do you want Mommy to play?" I asked.
"Drop it Like It's Hot!" belts out Marley triumphantly, with a huge smile on her face.
"You want Mommy to play Drop it Like it's Hot by Snoop Dogg on your glockenspiel?" I asked incrediously.
"Drop it like it's hot. Snoop Dog. Mommy play please!"
Now I don't know if you've ever tried to sing and play "Drop it Like It's Hot" on a glockenspiel, but it's not pretty. Clearly, we need to stop listening to so much hip hop in the car.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

F-Bombs and Other Disasters

I knew it would happen one day. I have a pretty bad mouth myself, so I shouldn't have been so shocked when Marley said her first swear word.

"Christine!" My mom (let's just call her Margaret) yelled, as she marched into my kitchen. "I was playing with Marley in her room and she just said the F-word!"

"Marley said f-ck?'" I asked, bewildered. Really? I thought I had cleaned up my act a little bit. Except for this morning on the way to preschool, when some dumbass pulled out in front of me, resulting in some swearing and a double pump of the finger. "Are you sure?"

"Well, actually, she said f-cky," said Margaret.

"F-cky? With a 'y'? That's not even a word," I declared.

"I know, but Marley said it, and she said it like she knew it was a bad word. She knew." Margaret wasn't backing down.

Hmm. Yes, I've been known to release more than my fair share of expletives. Prime opportunities include (but are not limited to)
-interactions with other drivers on California roadways (as mentioned above)
-accidents posing great physical harm, ie, ramming my toe into the highchair. Mother f-cker!
-accidents creating messes of a large nature, ie, knocking over a full glass of wine. Holy sh-tballs!
-heated conversations with my husband. The house IS clean! I just vacumed! What the f-ck are you talking about?

Clearly, the world offers up a multitude of prime opportunties to engage in the colorful use of language. Among adults. Ahem.

I decided to go straight to the source.

"Marley, did you say f-cky?" I asked, holding her little hands in mine. She looked up at me with a big smile, and said, "Yes Mamma! F-cky!"


I decided to let it pass, and hope that it didn't happen again. But around dinnertime, Marley was jumping up and down in the kitchen, yelling "F-cky, f-cky!"

Then I saw what she was pointing at. The DVD of Disney's Princess and the Frog. She was saying froggy.

"See froggy! See froggy!" she said. She wanted to watch the DVD. So you see, of course my little angel wasn't using the f-word. Now I'll just have to call my mom.

Have any of your kids dropped f-bombs or other bad words? How did you handle it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Sharp-Toothed Snail

Marley has a terrible habit. She picks her nose. A lot.

I feel like every time I see her, she's got one or more fingers jammed up her nose, probing for the perfect specimen.

She picks her nose at dance class. She picks her nose at preschool. She picks her nose at the park. She picks her nose in her high chair. She even picks her nose while running, eating, crying, or going down the slide. (A true multi-tasker.)

I tried to get her to stop, but nothing worked! I yelled, "NO!," sent her to time out, I even smacked her hand.

Then, I stumbled upon the perfect remedy. It's actually a poem called "Warning" by Shel Silverstein.


Inside everybody's nose
There lives a sharp-toothed snail.
So if you stick your finger in,
He may bite off your nail.
Stick it further inside,
And he may bite your ring off.
Stick it all the way,
and he might bite the whole darn thing off.
-Shel Silverstein

Now whenever she reaches for her nose, I yell, "SNAIL!" and she stops.

Naturally, now Marley is totally obsessed with the elusive sharp-toothed snail. She brings me the book five times a day and says, "SNAIL, Momma! Read SNAIL please!" She asks me to look up her nose to see if I can find the snail.

"Oh, he's up there alright," I'll answer, squinting into her nose. "Let's see if he's hungry," I'll say, and put my finger by her nose.

"No Momma, don't!" Marley cries. "The SNAIL!"

In addition to helping correct Marley's bad habit, it's helping me as well. God forbid I ever pick or scratch my nose in her presence. "SNAIL MOMMA DON'T THE SNAAIILLL!" She'll yell.

Ahh, the power of the written word!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Car, the Sh-t Mobile

It's true. I'm not exactly a neat freak. In fact, some people (like my husband, my dad, former roomates, good friends, and some acquaintances) would call me downright messy.

Thing is, I think I've really cleaned up my act. Once I had Marley, I found that my whole life orbited in a spastic, semi-chaotic state, so I had to create some order. And once you have a kid, you have to clean your house, otherwise it's just not sanitary.

I now have an arsenal of cleaning supplies under the sink, and wage war on dust and clutter on a regular basis. While our condo doesn't always sparkle, I like to think of it as "fresh," "relaxed," and "relatively uncluttered" considering we reside with a two-year-old.

And then there's my car.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't manage to keep my damn car clean. When I put Marley into her carseat this morning for dance class, I took a cursory look at the back seat and was horrifed.

I spied a bevy of half-eaten crackers, an apple core, and spoon with Kraft mac-n-cheese stuck on it. (No, we don't eat mac-n-cheese in the car. How the spoon got there will remain a mystery.)

I also found some other nice little treasures, in no particular order:

-an old library book with half the cover missing (Ahem)
-a beach bucket with sand in it
-two packages of hot sauce from Taco Bell
-a size 4 diaper (Marley's been in size 5 for months)
-a pair of panties (Marley's, not mine)
-a sippy cup with old juice in it
-a headless Barbie
-A TARGET receipt from last December
-A CD called "Summer 2004."
-An old piece of string cheese.


What is the weirdest thing you've found in your car?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why Does My Husband Want me to Dress Like a Stripper?

Exhibit A.

This is just the sort of classy ensemble my husband will point out in a store window. Or worse, on a live human. "Wow, what a hot dress!" he'll say. "You should wear something like that!"

Last week, we were in Vegas all of two hours before it happened. Ian spies a super slutty dress in a store window, and is mesmerized.

"Wow, what a hot dress," he says. "You should get it!"

Sure, it's flattering Ian thinks I can pull off a dress like that. But I can't. (And shouldn't.) Besides, I already dress up like a slut one day out of the's called HALLOWEEN.

And it's not like I'm a nun! I've been known to rock some pretty short skirts. And back when I had nice boobs, before Marley sucked the life out of them, I was always showing off my cleavage.

Back to the dress.

"Um, that's a little skimpy," I reply.

"But we're in Vegas," he protests. It's true. We are in Vegas. But we are on a family vacation in Vegas. I am pushing my child in a stroller, for Chrissake!

"That dress is ugly," I say.

Case closed.

Anyone else out there have a husband who wants them to dress like a stripper in broad daylight? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

While the Cat's Away...

Don't get me wrong. I am always sad when Ian leaves for a business trip. But...sometimes, it's kind of fun, like my own little party! After all, I get to do anything I want! Here are the top 13 things I like to do when Ian leaves town.

1) Don't make the bed. I leave it intentionally messy, like a pillow monster exploded all over it.
2) Eat cold cereal for dinner. With wine, of course.
3) Let animal furballs form in the halls. The vacuum has left the building!
4) Go to Target at night. Something about wheeling Marley through Target after dinner, when everyone else is home hanging out with their families, makes me feel like such a rebel. BADASS!
5) 80s dance party with Marley.
6) Invite other moms to bring their kids over for "happy hour." Make mac-n-cheese for everyone. With wine, of course.
7) Apply scary blue face mask.
8) Watch Devil Wears Prada.
9) Leave all cabinet doors open.
10) Watch reruns of Beverly Hills, 90210 all day. (Only the high school years, of course.)
11) Wear ugly nightgowns around the house.
12) Let Pagoda, white Pekingese, sleep on Ian's side of the bed.
13) Go to bed at 8pm! Wheee!

Good times indeed. the time Ian boards his plane back to San Diego, I am always happy to end the chaos. I am excited to bust out the swiffer, make the bed, do my hair, and fix dinner. And when he walks through the door, I am reminded that I am so lucky to have such a wonderful man in my life...forever.

Ok girls...what do you do when YOUR man leaves town?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

Most people think I'm a pretty laid-back, happy-go-lucky kinda gal. That's true. Except, of course, when it comes to time management. Therein lies my dirty little secret. You see, I'm a SUPER PLANNER.

What is a SUPER PLANNER, you ask? I'll give you an example. I was walking by my neighbor's house the other day. You know, the cool mom with the three little kids. She's hanging out in the front yard, rocking in her porch swing with a glass of ice tea in her hand, watching her kids play in the dirt. She's always doing that, you know. Just sort of swaying in the breeze. I think it's pretty cool.

"Hey Christine!," she calls. "We're heading to the beach later today. You and Marley should come with us!"

I should have been delighted. After all, it was a beautiful day for the beach. Not a cloud in the sky, and barely enough breeze to ruffle Marley's pigtails. But I wasn't delighted. I was appalled. Appalled! Why? Because going to the beach wasn't part of the PLAN.

"Oh, thanks so much!" I reply. "But we have a really busy day. Maybe next time!"

"Oh yeah?" says my neighbor. Clearly, I'm not off the hook. "What are you up to?"

"Well," I respond. "We are going for a little jog, then over to the park. Marley's really into the swings now. Then we're going to the library, because we REALLY need some new books, and I have some old ones to return, and, you know, I don't want to get a fine."

I'm feeling really stupid now, because none of these things are THAT important. I COULD go to the beach and still have time to return the books...but...well...I planned on doing these other things.

"Stop by some other time then," she says. "Just bring Marley over to play. She'll have a blast! Come anytime."

"I will, I will, thanks!" I say, and we are on our way.

Later on, when we're inside the library reading books, I look out the window at the sunny, perfect day. I silently wonder if I'm depriving Marley of a fun day at the beach. I wonder if I'm depriving myself of a fun day at the beach. I vow that in the very near future, I will bring Marley over to my neighbor's house to play. I will be more spontaneous. I will not plan everything, I will let life happen to me!

I guess planning is my nature. It's my way of keeping order out of chaos. I have my special black day planner, and every day is carefully planned out. Most of it is fun stuff--Stroller Strides, Marley's dance classes, playdates, the occasional date night or happy hour with the girls. Of course, I also list work-related items, like updating our real estate website, following up with clients, etc.

And then there's the home-related stuff. Every week, I list what I will make for dinner that night. I also list dumb things like WASH HAIR (les I forget) and VACCUM/SWIFFER (because I do forget.) Once a task is completed, I strike thru it with a blue (not black) pen. If a task is eliminated (ie, playdate cancelled) I mark it out with my special dryline whiteout, so it looks like it never existed, and therefore cannot be mourned.

In short, if it's in my planner, it's probably going to happen. And if it's not in my planner, it probably won't happen.

In many ways, managing my time so well enables me to balance a lot of good stuff. I think it helps me be a good mom, hopefully a good wife, run a business, and still have a pretty rockin' social life. But in other just feels so limiting.

Finally, a few days later, I stop by my neighbor's house, unannounced. I'm doing it! I'm coming over for a spontaneous playdate. At first, I am nervous. I hesitate before I ring the bell. Then I hear three pairs of feet charging the door, and Grace, the oldest, announces with a huge smile of delight, "Marley's here to play!"

And that's how it is. My neighbor and I drink iced tea and sit in the porch swing in the afternoon sun. We watch all the kids playing in the dirt. And it is beautiful.

Is anyone else out there SUPER PLANNER like me? How do you remind yourself to just go with the flow, and let things happen?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Really Bad Parenting...Caught on Camera!

The other day I decided to do a Google image search of "questionable parenting" to see what popped up. Man, was it funny...and disturbing! Here are some of my favs.

This is just wrong. It's like the Bjorn and the Snuggie got drunk one night, and this is their lovechild.

What do I even say about this? It looks like Daddy drank a six-pack of Old Milwaukee, crashed the Gator into the toolshed and found the duct tape. Something tells me this house has a "mud room."

At a loss for words.

This has to be my favorite. Look at that sincere high-five on the left! Is that Grandma in the background with her hands on her hips? The baby is clearly intrigued. Nice wood paneling on the walls!


I'm pretty sure this is not our country.

Genius! A wonderful form of child labor.

Anyone seen any real-life examples of bad parenting? Please share, so we can all pass judgement!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"Who's watching Marley when you go to Vegas next week?" asks my well-meaning friend.

"Actually, she's coming with us," I answer. Friend's eyebrows shoot up--WAY up. "Oh, okay....well, that will be fun."

Will it?

See, Ian's grandma, Barbara, has a timeshare. And she's very generous with it. We used it on our honeymoon in St. Martin, and in Cabo and Playa del Carmen. Turns out, she had a bunch of points that were set to "expire," which means you never get them back. So, she asked us to take some points off her hands. We gladly obliged.

The only catch? We had to plan our trip before October of this year. Needless to say, ALL the good resorts were taken. We were hoping to go to Hawaii, or up to Santa Barbara. No can-do. Then we thought...hmm...what about our old friend, Vegas?

Immediately we decided that we should leave Marley behind. Until we thought about it a little more.

What do we like doing in Vegas?
We like to eat at the buffets. (Marley likes to eat at buffets.)
We like to swim in the pool. (Marley likes to swim in the pool.)
We like to see cool stuff. (Marley likes to see cool stuff.)
We like to drink. (Marley does not drink, but drinking in her presence is easily achievable.)

What we DON'T like to do--anymore at least--is to stay out dancing until 2 in the morning. In fact, if I have more than 3 drinks and stay up past 10pm, I turn into a crazed zombie, and puke my guts out the next day. So partying is out, regardless.

So...why not just take her?

Actually, I've had a blast planning our itinerary. We are staying at the Wyndam, a "family-friendly hotel" located 1 mile off the strip. We have a suite with 2 full bedrooms and a kitchen, so we can stock up on milk, juice, and cheese sticks, not to mention beer and wine!

Here's what we're planning to do:

-Dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, where supposedly a bunch of citters jump out of the trees and sing and dance
-Brunch at the Mandalay Bay
-Shark Reef Exhibit at the Mandalay Bay
-Shopping at the Forum at Caesers, with a stop at FAO Schwartz
-Buffet at the Mirage
-Visit to the Secret Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage
-Visit to the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand
-Plenty of time splashing around in the hotel pool!
And, I have a couple more options to keep in my back pocket, just in case...
-Circus Circus, where apparently they have a kiddy play area, and acrobatic shows every 15 minutes
-The Fun Dungeon Arcade at Excalibur
Whew! So, yes, I THINK it will be a fun trip. Can we pull off Vegas with a kid? We'll see...I'll post the results of our trip next week.
Anyone traveled to Vegas with a toddler? Please share the hits and misses!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Gilty Pleasure

It's true. I am addicted to online shopping., to be exact.

You see, under normal circumstances, the only stores Marley will tolerate for more than 20 minutes are TJ Max and Target. Don't get me wrong, I love TJ Max and Target. They are fine, fine establishments, ripe with juicy shopping opportunities. There, screaming babies and toddler tantrums are a dime a dozen. No one even throws you a second look if you're on the other end of a meltdown.

Even so, trying on clothes is a race against time, like running a sweaty marathon. I'm ripping things on and off again at lightning speed, so fast that I once got a security tag tangled in my hair. I almost dislocated my shoulder trying to get out of a turtleneck. I emerge from the dressing room hot and flushed, slightly crazed, eye makeup smudged, my hair jacked up and Marley jumping up and down in the shopping cart, waving her arms around, trying to make a break for it like a caged monkey. It's not pretty.

Enter I understand why they call it that, because now I have bonafide, therapy-inducing SHOPPING ADDICTION. Every day at 9:00am, Gilt starts its online sale, tempting you with a range of choice items from Marc Jacobs dresses for $79 (hello?) and designer purses for under $100. (Come to mamma!) Now, I'm flushed and sweaty, dialated pupils, spastically hoarding items in my cart as fast as my fingers can point and click.

It seems to take forever for the stuff to arrive, so I get a good week or more of titillating anticipation. When it arrives, I stack it neatly on my counter until NAPTIME, the holy grail of motherhood. Then, I get to slowly take my time trying on all my beautiful items, languishing in the sheer wonder of it all. And if it doesn't fit? Or the cut is unflattering? FREE SHIPPING ON RETURNS, baby. You just put that sucker right back in the box and drop it off at the nearest UPS!

Mind you, when you return the items, you don't get your money back. You get a store credit. Now, you've got this great store credit, and you have to use it! Better get back on Gilt the next morning, because now its like you're shopping for free! (And the cycle continues.)

Now that I've shared my mommy guilty pleasure, do any of you have any spastic online shopping addictions? Come on girls, I know you have them!

Number Two

That's right, I am taking pregnancy tests. The time has come. We are trying for number two.

I'd really like to have another baby. I think other people think I really want to have another baby, too. I took Marley over to our neighbor's house the other day, to play with three kids--all siblings. Grace, age 8; Cameron, age 4; and Aja, age 1.
Aja is really little, and sorta looks like a sweet little baby. I pick her up, carrying her around the yard, and little Cameron runs up to me, very serious. "Please don't take our baby," he whispers, tugging at my jeans. "Are you going to take our baby?" Must have been something in my eyes.

Not that there's anything wrong with being an only child. I'm an only child, and look how great I turned out! And some of my very favorite people in the world are only children...Julia, Brie, and Claudia.

And if we only have 1 kid, then we won't have to move. We can continue renting our awesome two bedroom condo in Coronado. And if we are eventually able to buy something on the island, a two-bedroom would be way more affordable than a three bedroom.

Also, if we have just Marley, we can start doing a lot more traveling soon. There are sooo many places I'd like to go....Italy, South of France, Costa Rica, Bali...the list goes on and on.

And, if we only have one, my life starts getting a little more interesting! I can work a little more, maybe make some money, embark on some new adventures. Oh yeah, and not to mention, not having to work my butt off to get back in shape again.

Also, let's face it, trying to procreate is EXHAUSTING! I refuse to get to crazy with "timing it out" because Marley came so naturally, I think if it's "meant to be," my second child will be just as easy. But doing it every other night is out of control! Every other night, people. I'm TIRED!

And then, it's like, hello! Things JUST started getting so much easier with Marley. Then what, I'm going to mess it all up and have another kid?

And then, there's this: Everytime I take a pregnancy test and it comes out negative, I breathe a genuine sigh of relief and smile, and pour a nice glass of wine. All logical signs point to the fact that I am not ready to have another child.

But....then....the other night, while at my friend Charity's house, I got to hold baby Sunny, who is about 6 months old. I didn't want to put her down. Ever.

I want another baby. Funny how the desire to have children doesn't necessarily conform to the standards of logic in any way, shape or form. I suppose it makes sense... the most important decisions you make in life usually come from the heart, not the head. Just like love, I guess?

Anyone else thinking of having another kid, but still sorta on the fence? What made you decide one way or another?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pour Me Something Tall and Strong

I've been noticing a curious new trend. Marley is singing...all of the time! But not the songs that I expected.

When I imagined my little girl singing her first songs, I anticipated the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Rockabye Baby and some Elmo. While Marley does enjoy belting out an occasional "Twinkle, Twinkle," most of the time her musical repertoire consists of something a little

Exhibit 1: Her love for the Lady. (Gaga, that is.) Marley can sing the chorus to Poker Face, LoveGame and a little Bad Romance too. All is fine and dandy until she starts singing lines like, "Lovin with my muffin" and talks about wanting to "take a ride on your disco stick."

Exhibit 2: Black Eyed style. Marley loves "Imma Be" and requests it as a bedtime song every night. Which, again, is sort of funny until she tries to sing parts like, "Imma be shakin my hips. You're gonna be lickin your lips." Really?

Exhibit 3: Mumford and Sons, "Little Lion Man." This would be OK, but the one verse she seems to know is, "It was not your fault but mine. It was your heart on the line. I really f-cked it up this time, didn't I my dear..."

Clearly I need to watch what we are playing in the car. That, or start purchasing the edited versions from Itunes. But even the EDITED versions of most songs on the radio are pretty skanky!

Even so, Marley's singing skills are dwarfed by her good friend Bella. Bella, who is 2 and a half, has cornered the market on adult songs. For example, Bella can sing "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." You haven't seen funny until you see a sweet little girl with pig tails and bangs, singing, "Pour me something tall and strong. Make it a hurricane before I go insane."

But it gets better. According to AnnMarie, Bella's mom, Bella has a new fav--"Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum. She sings the lines "It's a quarter after one and I'm a little drunk and I need you now..."

And, last but not least, she can sing "California Girls" by Katy Perry. "California girls are unforgettable...daisy dukes bikinis on top."

Does your kid sing a wildly inappropriate--yet hilarious--adult song? What do they sing?

Pirouettes and Pull-Ups

Marley started her first ballet class. Seeing her hop around in a pink tutu, smiling her head off, makes my heart swell with pride like nothing I have ever felt before. I think she is the most amazing little dancer I've ever seen, with such an intense flurry of promise!

I stand on the sidelines, watching her spin around, with visions of top-notch dance performances in my head. I see her dancing the role of Clara in the Nutcracker, and getting invited by prestigious dance schools to attend their summer workshops. I see point shoes and pirouettes. I see Mikhail Baryshnikov tossing her into the air. (Is he still alive? Oh yeah, he guest-starred on Sex & the City.)

OK, reality check: she's TWO. It's not ballet, it's dance FUNdamentals. It's not Baryshnikov, it's Barney. They aren't spinning around to Swan Lake, they're jumping around to "Five Little Monkeys" with beanbags on their heads, making time for an occasional nose-pick. They don't know a demi-plie from Dora, a pas de deux from a number two.

Why then, all these intense delusions of grandeur for my little girl? I tell myself, I won't let her quit ballet like my parents did (spineless slackers!) and she will escalate into stardom! And I will be by her side, every step of the way, the dreamy stage-mom, who still looks like she is in her 20s!

Why am I so bananas over Marley starting ballet? Why does seeing her in a tutu give me such a thrill? Do you have a slightly crazy dream for your kid? Or am I just nutso?

Does Drinking Wine Qualify as a Hobby? And other pressing questions.

The other day, someone asked me if I had any "hobbies." Hobbies. Hobbies?

I was dumbfounded. You might as well have asked me what was the square root of 4958.

"Uh....hobbies, yes I do!" I answered, eager to prove to this person that I had hobbies. " Stroller Strides with my daughter, it's a great way to get in shape outside with your kid! We also do lots of playdates. Oh yeah, and we take a great music class! SUPER fun."

"Oh," she said. "Do you do know...just for you?" Mind you, this person does NOT have a kid.

"I sure do," I answered, then drew a blank. "I like to read?" PAUSE. "And drink wine?"

Hmmm. When I asked this person what HER hobbies were, they ranged from rock climbing to poetry to Zumba dancing. (Did I remind you, she doesn't have a kid?) Wait a second here. Why did this conversation make me feel like such a loser?

The thing is, pre-baby, I had TONS of hobbies, loads of them! I was a cool, sassy, chick-about-town, always up for an adventure, and full of many talents! My past hobbies have included: flamenco dancing, guitar, belly dancing, hip hop dancing, yoga, oil painting, sailing, snowboarding, and even nonprofit work for La Jolla Friends of the Seals and the Barrio Logan College Institute.

I used to be a woman of so many interests and talents! How did they all...dwindle? True, I LOVE being a mom, and I work part time, and I'm a devoted wife helping my husband with his business, so my schedule is pretty full. But don't I have time for SOME hobbies? Couldn't I muster up enough energy to take a yoga class? What about starting a painting?

My other mommy friends still have hobbies. My friend Adaline started a baby blog. My friend Liz is an artist. My friend Julia is starting a jewelry business. My friend Jenny has a farm that makes organic olive oil. Andrea can grow a watermelon the size of a 3-year-old. My sister Christy is sewing up a storm. Charity and Grace surf. Claudia does yoga. My friend Becca is turning her hobby--party decor and styling--into a business. I'm sure my other mommy friends have hobbies too; I just don't know what they are yet.

So, even if I can't garner enough enthusiasm for a hip-hop class or to plant some veggies, I can still write, dammit! So...starting today, I pledge, to take at least SOME time for myself and write in this blog. Not only is it super fun, but it qualifies as a bonafide HOBBY!

So take that cigar and smoke it.

Are you a mommy with a hobby? What are your hobbies?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Uh...I have a confession. I got so busy, I completely forgot about my blog! What a loser.

My friend Adaline asked me about it today. I was like, "Oh yeah, my mommy blog! It is super awesome." I went online and checked it out. Super awesome! What's not super awesome? My last post was in January. Hello's September! What happened?

1. Spastic Toddler Activities. You know what I'm talking about. Now that Marley is highly mobile, ambitious, and...uh...restless, our days are filled with a myriad of activities, including (but in no way limited to: Stroller Strides, Shake Rattle Roly Poly Music Class, Dance FUNdamentals, swim lessons, and playdates.
2. Spastic Husband Work. Yes, I am so proud of Ian for selling so many boats in a down economy, but it would be nice if he had more day off in the last 3 weeks. But hey, I can't complain.
3. Spastic real estate work. Need more details? See my last post, Baby Vs. the Bank-Owned Foreclosure.

Needless to say, I am having a blast, but yes...I'm SPASTIC! Anyone else spastic out there? Why are YOU spastic?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baby vs. the Bank-Owned Foreclosure

“You’re a real estate agent?” asked Other Mom, while pushing her baby in Stroller Strides a few mornings ago. “How do you do that...and…well, you know…” she nodded towards Marley who was rolling along in the stroller in front of me. Marley was busy plucking goldfish out of her snack pack one-at-a-time, launching them into the air, then punctuating every throw with a surprised-sounding “uh oh!”

How did I do it? How do I do it? The answer is, I’m still not sure.

I guess it helps that I work with my mom. We divide up our work so I do all of our marketing—the email newsletters, the internet marketing, database search updates, etc. I also work in the office one afternoon a week while mom watches Marley. Mom, on the other hand, does most of the open houses, property showings and negotiations…the bulk (and the most stressful) part of the job. In turn I get a percentage of every sale we make, ranging from 30-40%, depending on who brought in the lead.

That’s unless the client is a friend of mine. In that case, I do all of it myself. After all, it’s not really fair to pawn my friends off to my mom, is it? And besides, my friends know I have a kid, so they usually aren’t annoyed (at least visibly) when I have to take Marley to showings and inspections.

But things have gotten…well, complicated. And I had to learn the hard way to be careful about which clients I could work with.

Take my client Bob. Dear Bob was looking for a single family detached home under $300,000. In San Diego, that means you’re buying a bank-owned foreclosure in the bowels of southeast San Diego. Which means that I spent a good amount of time showing some pretty crappy houses in pretty crappy neighborhoods where no one speaks English. And if they do, they’re drunk, high, or missing a limb. Sometimes, all three!

I knew I had to rethink things when Mom couldn’t watch Marley one afternoon, and I had to meet Bob at a little gem of a house in a very special neighborhood, made special in its distinction of having the lowest-rated schools in San Diego. Marley sat quietly in her baby seat, smiling obliviously while I silently cursed myself for taking on this client and outwardly cursed when I saw the house was located just a block away from a halfway home.
But, I was a working mom, so I pulled over, strapped Marley in her Bjorn and grabbed my lockbox key. When I got to the front of the house, I saw a bum sitting on the doorstep. He was missing an arm, but he seemed to be doing just fine with one. He sat there, smoking a joint and holding a Millwaukee's Best. I turned around and went home.

Things got even more better when my friends Jesi and Brian bought a bank-owned foreclosure out by San Diego State. It was a gnarly transaction and when we closed, I couldn’t wait to greet them at the house and hand over the keys. I pulled up into the driveway with a bottle of champagne in hand, delighted to welcome them to their cozy new home. When I opened up the house and turned on the lights, I had a nice surprise….someone else thought the home was pretty cozy too. I found a bum in the kitchen, cooking himself a frozen pizza for dinner.
Good times!