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!




Hmmmm.....






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

Vegas...Baby?


"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. Gilt.com, 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 Gilt.com. 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 more...adult.

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 Peas...baby 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. "I...er...do 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 anything...you 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

Spastic

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 people...it'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 than...say...one 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?