Friday, December 9, 2011

Perverted Phone Calls...Back in Style!

I thought perverted phone calls were a thing of the past. Like, didn't that stop in the 90s when caller-ID came out? You know, the gross suggestions, heavy breathing into the receiver, conspicuous background noise?
I'm here to report that they are making a comeback! I got one today.

I was driving through Jack-in-the-Box with the kids. (Not everyday you get a pervert calling your cell phone when you are ordering a shake and a spicy chicken sandwich.)

I'm not going to go into details about what the caller said...let's just say HE KNEW MY NAME and it was GROSS and it involved specific questions about a specific part of my anatomy (which also happens to be another word for "feline.") I was taken aback and responded with, "What? Oh my god, oh my god, what did you say? Ew, GROSS, GROSS, EWWWW!" and hung up. Apparently he liked that, so he called for round two. I just hung up.

His number was blocked, of course.

The only way someone could get my cell phone number is through my real estate business (unless I have some really f-cked up friends), so I called my mom to warn her, since she's my partner.  Here's what she said.

Mom: Well, next time he calls, get a WHISTLE and blow it into the phone really hard.

Me: A whistle?
Mom: Yes, a WHISTLE. Keep one in your pocket and blow it into the phone if he calls again.
Me: (Sarcastically) OK, I'll go get my whistle. Wait, I can't find it. Can I borrow yours?
Mom: I don't have a whistle. I don't even know where you'd get one.
Me: OK.
Mom: He was probably jerking off, you know, the caller.
Me: Mom, GROSS! I don't need to talk about that.
Mom: Well, Christine...that's what they do. That's why he called you back. He was jerking off.
Me: Mom, GEEZ! I'm 34, I know what goes on in the world. We don't need to talk about it!

I don't know what's more disturbing. Getting a perverted phone call from someone jerking off, or discussing it with my mom.

So I guess I'm out to buy a whistle. So I'll be ready for you, pervert crank caller. BRING IT!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top 10 Signs You're a Crappy Mom

"You're such a great mom."

Ahhh....music to my ears! Nothing sounds sweeter. Those words make me glow. They make me feel like I've won an Oscar. Like I've scaled Mt. Everest. Like I've written a Pulitzer-prize winning novel. Like I've...well...you get the picture! To all the moms out there, I ask you... Is there a greater compliment in the world?

But some days I feel like I'm not a great mom. Like I'm not even a GOOD mom. Sometimes I feel like a downright crappy mom. Some days, the stars are not aligned. I'm not the happy, earthy mom with a perfect side-swept bangs peacefully breastfeeding her baby in public. I'm the ANGRY MOM with messy hair guzzling a latte and yelling at her kids in Target. I'm the impatient mom honking at the intersection because the old person in front of me can't find the accelerator fast enough. (I'm probably headed to Target where I'll  guzzle a latte and yell at my kids.)  I'm the mom who can't wait to put her kids to bed and pour a tall glass of wine. (I'm probably bitter because I have messy hair and have spent my day at Target yelling at my kids and honking at other drivers on the road.)

So yes, I've been feeling like a crappy mom lately. Since it's been bothering me, you know I have to write about it. Here are the Top 10 things that make me feel like I'm a crappy mom.Can you relate?

Top 10 Ten Signs I'm a Crappy Mom


1. I give my baby formula.  Everyone knows that breast milk is the best food for your baby. Yes, I managed to successfully breastfeed Marley for nine months with minimal formula supplements. The first month every time I nursed it hurt so badly I'd start crying. (And if you tell me, "If you're doing it right, it shouldn't hurt" I will smash my breast pump over your head. I was doing it right and it hurt.) Holland was another story. She was over 9.1 pounds and had low blood sugar so they gave her formula in the delivery room. Holland preferred the bottle, and I preferred to avoid excruciating pain, so I pumped five times a day, nursed once or twice a day and supplemented with formula. Needless to say, six months later she has opted out of breastfeeding and now enjoys a nice warm bottle of Enfamil. On one hand, I'm delighted to give away my breast pump, but sad that I was not able to nurse her longer. Did I screw up? Did I pump too much? Will she grow up at a disadvantage, more prone to infections and a host of other ailments because I didn't nurse her longer? The thoughts tug at the dark corners of my mind...
2. I don't use cloth diapers. Yup. I use landfill diapers. The kind of diapers that pollute our earth, thus making it less inhabitable for our kids and their grandchildren. There's nothing really I can say about this.
3. I don't make all my own baby food. With Marley, I made most of her own baby food. I made baby apple butternut squash, I made baby carrots, I made baby green beans. Look out, Martha Stewart! With Holland...well, I've busted out the baby food maker once. The rest of the time she gets Earth's Best. It's organic, right? So is it really worse for my baby then the mushy squash I made her? Last time it was so runny that she pooped twice in her bumbo seat during one feeding!
4. I let my baby cry it out. I'm not going to pretend to feel bad about this. I let Holland cry it out because there is absolutely no reason a 18 pound, 6 month old baby needs to eat at 4am. Sorry, kitchen's closed!
5. I don't "wear" my baby." I tried to shove Holland in the Ergo. I really did. Every time I stuck her in there, she screamed bloody murder until she fell asleep. Then she woke up screaming.  I DO however manage to cram her into the Bjorn facing front for a good 30 minutes at a time. Great success!
6. I give my baby a pacifier.  Marley took the binky. It was awesome! Holland...not so much. I do, however, sneak the paci in her mouth from time to time to see if she's ready for it. Fingers crossed!
7. I let my kids watch T.V. I celebrated the day Marley was old enough to watch Baby Einstein in the Zanzibar bouncer. Imagine, eating a meal in its entirety! Now she watches Disney cartoons in the morning, Yo Gabba Gabba before "quiet time" and enjoys the occasional Tim Burton DVD. Her favorites? Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas. A little dark, of course, but not so bad compared to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and some other creepy classics. Holland is just getting started on Yo Gabba Gabba.
8. I bribe my kids. Marley got an elbow to the head during soccer a couple of weeks ago, and decided she wasn't going to play anymore. I tried to get her to play again, but nothing worked. Finally, I told her if she went to soccer and "tried her best," she'd get to eat ice cream and watch a DVD. Now, every time she finishes soccer, she says, "Coach Shiloh! I get ice cream and a DVD!" So much for playing for the love of the game!
9. I got an epidural. Twice. And loved every minute of it.
10. I don't clean my own house. Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mom and I have a house cleaner. I know this doesn't really have a lot to do with parenting, but it bothers me. I don't really work anymore, so shouldn't I be able to clean my house properly? Alas, Marta does a MUCH better job than I could ever do, and she needs the work, so it's a win-win, right? My lack of skills is helping the economy and helping me achieve a clean home.

Anyway. This is what's on my mind lately.

Is there anything that's making you feel like a crappy mom?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Testing Your Breastmilk for Alcohol: A Step-by-Step Guide!


I must say, I'm loving my Milkscreen Home Test for Alcohol in Breastmilk strips. For raging winos casual drinkers like me, they are just the ticket. Although I don't drink often, I do enjoy the occasional bottle glass of wine, and it's great to know if my milk is safe for Baby Holland to drink. If I'm ever unsure, I simply test my milk with these bad boys, and SHAZAM! They'll tell you if your milk is safe, or if it's time to pump and dump. All you have to do is put a little breast milk on the strip, and if it changes or darkens in color...your milk is tainted with alcohol. If the strip stays the same, you're in the clear!  Weeee!

For your reading pleasure, I conducted several tests. Here are the results!


Specimen 1. FAIL!

Date: October 25, 2011.
Time of Milk Testing: 7:35pm.
Location of Drinking: Coronado Brewing Company. Kids Night. Ha!
Drinks consumed: 16 oz of Orange Avenue Beer. (Equals roughly 2 beers, but I was cool and drank out of a large mug.)
Food consumed: 4 buffalo chicken tenders and 1/2 a side salad.
Summary: I was pretty buzzed by the end of dinner, so I'm not surprised that my milk failed this test. I was disappointed because I was able to pump 6 ounces of milk when I got home from dinner, and was hoping it would squeak by. My buffalo chicken tenders were delicious though, and the dinner was quite enjoyable. I find it ironic that I was able to garner a big enough buzz to fail the milk test on Kid's Night. No place is safe!

Specimen #2: PASS!

Date: November 6, 2011
Time of Milk Testing: 6:45am
Location of Drinking: Night before...Ortegas Mexican Bistro for dinner, Candelas in Coroando for wine, Peohes in Coronado for more wine, and Il Fornaio for...yep...more wine.
Food Consumed: Fresh lobster, served up Baja style! Delish!
Drinks Consumed: 2 glasses of Sangria at dinner, and 4-5 additional glasses of wine (I lost count).
Summary: It was date night, and we went big. Incredibly enough, I was NOT hungover the next morning, which I could not believe. Either I am a total alcoholic or I went to bed early enough to avoid a hangover. Uh...yeah. Anywho, have you seen the episode of Kourtney and Khloe where Kourtney gets super wasted one night, and her milk STILL tests positive for alcohol the next morning? Well, to be safe, I decided to test my milk also. Amazingly enough, it passed!  Whoohoo!


Specimen #3: FAIL.
Date: November 8, 2011.
Time of Milk Testing: 8:21pm.
Location of Drinking: Casa de Van Tuyl (our lovely home)
Food consumed: Pasta and salad.
Drinks consumed: 1.5 glasses of red wine.
Summary: I was hoping that my hearty artichoke pasta would soak up more of the wine. Alas, it did not. Although I can't say I felt buzzed by the end of the meal, I was feeling spry and spunky. I only pumped a measly 3 ounces of milk, so no great loss. WHATEV.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this experiment. Happy testing!

Anyone else tried these strips? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top 6 Lessons Learned from This Halloween

This is my first Halloween with two kids. Most of it was awesome! Some of it sucked. Fun was had. Mistakes were made. Here are some of the lessons I learned this year that I SHAN'T repeat next year.

1. Learn the difference between a good costume and a bad costume. Good costumes are cute and require little or no adjusting throughout the Halloween outing. Bad costumes are DECIEVINGLY cute, yet have many, many parts that require constant fixing and tweaking throughout the evening.


Poor Costume Choice

Exhibit A. Marley's pirate girl costume. Cute, yes. Practical? No. Notice all the parts. Belt. Boot covers. Hat. Bandana. All it takes is one trip to the bounce house at the Halloween carnival to jack this costume UP. At one point I found her belt hanging from a tree.

2. Some costumes are mild forms of child abuse. No, I wasn't out to abuse Baby Holland when I ordered this adorable peacock costume.


Child Abuse

See how cute she looks laying there? Yeah. Now try to put this baby into a car seat or the Bjorn. And did I mention the A/C in my car doesn't work? Result: One pissed-off peacock.

3. Think your three-year-old doesn't know how to unwrap candy? Think again. That "quiet" toddler in the back seat is ripping through dozens of bite-sized snickers and smearing chocolate all over the window. She'll also probably wake you up twice in the middle of the night to poop. Awesome.
4. Eliminate questionable Halloween props. The harmless little pirate sword I bought Marley? Not so harmless when she runs through the house threatening house plants, Pekingese and princess figurines, "I'm going to poke you in the EYEBALLS!"


Questionable Accessory

5. Don't overdo it.  It's cool to try to hit up all the fun parties and Halloween happenings...but try not to go overboard. If you're on your way to the third dress-up party of the morning and your costumed-kid is screaming in the carseat, "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" then it's a sign you've gone too far.

6. Strollers and Haunted houses don't mix. No matter how "not scary" a haunted house is...it's still a HAUNTED HOUSE, people. It will probably still scare the crap out of your kids. And wheeling your stroller through cobwebs is a bad, bad idea.

Thanks for reading! Anyone else have any great Halloween tips I missed? If so, please share!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Top 11 Makeup Tips for the Tired Mom: Look More Awake and Refreshed!

Dammit.

Baby Holland still wakes up once or twice a night to eat. Marley—who’s had a spotless sleeping record for about three years—has decided to follow in her little sister’s footsteps, and wake up twice a night also. Awesome.

Some nights I go from Marley’s room to Holland’s room and back again. WTF. I wake up each morning feeling tired and pissed off. Worst of all…I LOOK tired and pissed off! NOT okay.

I decided to scour the internet to see what kinds of tricks the beauty experts had for me to help me look more rested, dewy, and beautiful. Here’s what I found.

Top 11 Makeup Tips for the Tired Mom to Look More Awake and Refreshed

1. Start your day with a big glass of water. Beauty experts say, "The best way to wake up skin is to hydrate, both inside and out." Okay, I can do this. No matter how exhausted I am, I can manage to pour myself an eff-ing glass of water.

2. Skip foundation. Opt for tinted moisturizer instead. "Tired skin tends to be rough and uneven, and foundation looks best on a smooth surface. Instead, go for a lightweight tinted moisturizer; it'll glide on and help tone down skin's natural redness. Tip: Make your own tinted moisturizer by mixing a few drops of your foundation with your moisturizer." Mission accomplished! Thanks to tips from a reader via Becca of Blissful Nest, I have purchased and now LOVE Stila's tinted moisturizer.




3. Cover that shit up. Experts swear by YSL’s Touche Eclat for an instant pick me up. Hoorah! I actually own this one and loooove it. It hides my mega dark circles and skin coloration under my eyes.


4. Curl your lashes. Curling the lashes instantly opens the eyes and makes them appear larger. According to one beauty expert, “the best eyelash curler on the market is Shu Uemera. It’s a little more expensive than the drugstore eyelash curlers, but so worth every penny! The wider curler fits the eye shape better and gently curves the lashes and doesn’t bend them in half.” Sold. I’m looking it up on Sephora right now...darn it...they say it's no longer available in the U.S., but they have the next best thing.

5. Mascara is another way to appear more awake. "After curling your lashes, apply two coats of navy mascara to make the whites appear brighter and more awake." OK. I will replace my black with navy. Done!



6. Eyeliners should also be deep navy or blue to make the whites look their whitest. "You want to avoid any purples, khakis or brown eyeliners on a sleepless night. Those colors will only accentuate under eye circles." Experts recommend MAC's Navy stain Powerpoint liner. "The color is not too bright but also has a hint of metallic that will also make your eyes sparkle in the early morning. The formula is long lasting, and waterproof but glides on effortlessly." Hmmmm.


7. Brows. "Do your best to keep up with maintenance of your eyebrow shape and skin condition. Yes, right, if you don't have enough time to sleep, how will you squeeze in a tweeze? But beauty experts say the eyebrow more than any other single feature will change the whole look of your face." Agreed. I visit my brow-master Janie at Sanctuary Salon in Coronado 1x a month to wax my brows.

8. Blush or bronzer is another way to appear more awake! Sometimes, sleepless nights require a little more blush to make you look refreshed and alive! I tried Stila cream blush and love it!


9. Lip color is a must! This will always make you look your very best in the early morning. Good to know. I often skip it.

10. Invest in a good eye cream. A good friend recommended Trish McEvoy eye serusm and says it works wonders. Haven’t tried it yet, but she looks great so I give it the thumbs up!

11. Wear Bright Colors. "Reach for bright colored clothes in the morning…they instantly perk up your skin. Avoid greys, black, kahkis, beiges and browns…they will make your skin appear lackluster and dull." This is an easy one but I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own.

Weee! I'm hoping these makeup trips help me look more awake and refreshed.

Here's a picture of me after trying out these tips, on my way to Stroller Strides. What do you think?





Anything I missed? If so, please share. For the LOVE OF GOD, DON'T HOLD OUT ON ME!!!

Note: As of two weeks ago, Baby Holland has begun sleeping through the night. HOOORAY!!! But it still took me two weeks to get this post up. Why? See this blog post.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Love Me Some Schweddy Balls

I have mixed feelings about the new Schweddy Balls Ice Cream from Ben and Jerry's. First I want to laugh. Then I want to eat it. Then I wonder if I'll ever have to explain it to Marley. But mainly, I just want to eat it.

But I wonder if it tastes as good as it sounds? Because there's nothing better than sinking your mouth around some Schweddy Balls.

Obviously a bunch of conservative groups have their panties in a bunch about this and are asking that the ice cream no longer be made and distributed.

"The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive," read a statement released by One Million Moms, a division of the Mississippi-based American Family Association. "Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket."


Fair enough.
What do you think about the new Schweddy Balls Ice Cream? Yay or nay?

Breakfast Surprise!

Marley was happily eating her oatmeal this morning. Baby Holland was slurping down her bottle of milk. Daddy was typing something into his iPhone. Then all of a sudden......AAAHHHCHOOO!

Marley let out a huge sneeze. I looked up to see giant boogers pouring out her nose! Oh, gross! I jumped up to grab a tissue, then ran back to see Ian staring at her in horror. They weren't boogers coming out of Marley's nose...they were STICKERS. What the hell?

"What the hell?" Ian exclaimed. "Marley, did you shove STICKERS up your nose?" Marley was horrified and started crying. On closer inspection, one was a Dora the Explorer sticker. I elected not to unfold the other one to see what it was.

"Marley," I said. "You can't shove stickers up your nose! Then you might get a big owie, and we'll have to go to the doctor!"

Marley continued to cry.

"Marley, when did you stick the stickers up your nose?" I asked. "Was it yesterday?"

"Noooo," Marley cried.

"Was it the day before yesterday?" I asked. How long had these stickers been in there?

"Nooooo," said Marley. "It was a long time ago. A very long time ago."

Yikes. How long can stuff stay shoved up your nose? I had no idea. Now I know what she's been doing during "Quiet Time."

I know, I'm not exactly innocent. When I was a kid I shoved a bunch of ants and rolly-pollys up my nose. I still remember sitting on the bathroom counter while my dad pulled their crusty corpses out with tweezers.

What's the weirdest thing your kids have shoved up their nose? And anyone know how long stuff can stay shoved up there?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Haven't Written a New Blog Post Lately


1. This juicy little thing, Baby Holland. Baby Holland is really into eating. Sleeping--not so much. This means I am feeding her all the time. I'm nursing her, I'm pumping my boobs, I'm cleaning breast pump parts, I'm cleaning bottles. Baby Holland is really cute and super snuggly, but she needs to take a nap. Doesn't she know that I have important things to do, like shop online, screw around on Facebook and catch up on Us Weekly?


2. Breast pump parts and bottle cleaning. Yeah. All the time there are random bottle parts and breast pump parts rolling around on the counter. They are gross and need to be cleaned.


3. Messy closet. I no sooner organize Marley's closet than it gets all crazy again.


4. Crazy bathroom. Needs to be cleaned. Note the naked Barbie Orgy in the bathtub.


5. Pekingese walking. Pagoda needs to be walked. Sometimes I try to let him out in our little courtyard, but I don't think he enjoys pooping on the flowers.


6. Playing doctor. Marley is pretty independent, and I've put her to work feeding Baby Holland, bringing me diapers and wiping down the countertops, but sometimes she needs attention. Right now her favorite game is "DOCTOR." She specializes in treating spider bites, but the other day a patient got trampled by a bunch of people who "freaked out" when they saw a lion. Playing "DOCTOR" always includes my involvement, because someone needs to be the patient. That's just the dynamic, yo.


7. Endless laundry and dishes. I swear someone sneaks into my house at night and fills my sink with dirty dishes. Ditto on the dirty clothes.

8. Stroller Chaos. Behold, the double-wide BOB Stroller. I'm always cleaning this thing out, and it's always getting re-filled with a bunch of crap.So I have to clean it out. Again. (Picture coming soon! The stroller was actually having a good day. I have to wait a good 4-6 hours for it to get fucked up again.)


9. Wine. I enjoy drinking wine, and this takes time.


10. Ian. When I do have a free moment (usually after both kids are sound asleep at night) I actually like to hang around this guy--my husband, Ian. Ian is pretty much a badass. (Let's just say he's the Honeybadger of all husbands.) Not only does he work his butt off selling boats to people who don't need to be buying boats in a shitty economy, but he makes our breakfast. If he wasn't around, there would be no breakfast. And no place to live since he supports us.

Are your kids, pets, or other family members selfishly taking up all your time and preventing you from accomplishing your dreams? What would you do if you had more time?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Not Your Bitch!

Seriously. Just because I am a real estate agent and I work on commission doesn't mean that I'm your bitch.

No, I'm not that desperate to make a sale that I will work with RUDE people. And I don't think anyone should be. Life is too short to work for people that make you feel like crap.

But real estate is one of those jobs that seems to bring out the ugly side of people, and everyone seems to think that we make easy money (we don't) and are desperate to make sales at any cost (we aren't) and as such, people can treat us like crap (they can't.)

To be fair, I work with my mom, and I don't show property or write contracts anymore. For the time being I am focusing on staying home with the kids. I only do lead generation, website updates, blog posts, and SEO...that sort of thing.  I also specialize in wiping butts, cleaning spitup, doing endless loads of laundry and spending a ridiculous amount of money on Diapers.com. Anyway, when we get an internet lead, I'm the one that follows up via email and sets up property email alerts. My mom does all the rest. God bless her!

(Let's just say, showing bank-owned foreclosures with my baby in the Bjorn with one-legged bums on the front porch smoking weed and drinking Jack Daniels wasn't my cup of tea.)

When we got an online lead this morning from someone looking to buy a home in Imperial Beach, I responded pretty quickly. I found out that the buyer was looking for a detached home in Imperial Beach under $400,000, but was currently living in Japan and wouldn't be able to look at homes until Christmas. Not exactly a hot lead, but certainly a potential buyer!

I responded saying that the best way to familiarize herself from the market from abroad was to get set up on automatic email alerts for properties that match her search criteria. I told her I'd be happy to do that for her, and when she got closer to actually buying, we could narrow things down a bit.

So I set her up and sent her a list of properties. I made sure they were close enough to the beach in Imperial Beach, which she wanted...and that they all had the 2 plus bedrooms and garage she was looking for. I tried to narrow the search for homes with big backyards, like she wanted, but that's pretty impossible to do. Anyway, I set her up on a good alert system. This is the response I got:

"Well wow. That's just the sort of help I needed. For you to type in exactly the same filters as me and come up with all the same houses I've looked at online. Your obviously not that bothered about making money then. Cheers."

Really? Really? Is that really necessary? Sorry lady, but I'm not f-cking Houdini. I can't conjure up exactly what homes will be on the market in DECEMBER when you are flying out and whether or not the gardening space is sufficent.

This is how I responded.

"You have a black heart and a sad life. I hate you. I hate you and your black, evil heart. Cheers."

Just kidding! Being the professional person that I am, I responded as such.

"OK. Since you obviously don't value getting information on new listings as soon as they come on the market (most people do), I will remove you from our email list.

Best of luck in your home search. I'm sure you will find a great agent to help you out.

Stay classy. I hate you. Best,
Christine

Anyone else getting treated like crap in their jobs lately? If so, please share, and help me feel better about myself!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Depressed Dog

It's true. My dog is depressed.

My first-born--a fluffy white Pekingese named Pagoda--went from being the baby of the family to an annoyed older sibling. Before we had kids, every poo or pee was rewarded with a treat, everytime he did something cute it was cause for a major celebration, and he received up to two walks daily.

Pagoda even had his own repertoire of songs. (Well, songs I would sing to him.) They included "Pagoda-licious" (sung to the tune of Fergie-licious) and "Pekingese," (song in the tune of Edelweiss). I've even included the lyrics to "Pekingese" below, for your reading pleasure.

Pekingese, Pekingese
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of fluff may you wag and ruff, wag and ruff forever!
Pekingese, Pekingese. Bless Pagoda forever!

When Marley came along, I was so careful to be patient with Pagoda. I made sure he still felt like an important part of the family. He got all his walks (well, almost) and still got plenty of snuggle time with me.

Now that there's two kids...well, I can barely find time to shower, much less brush the dog. And the last time he got walked...let's just say that day started with an "s."

I'm a terrible dog mother. And I'm paying for it. Pagoda has been acting out...pooping in Baby Holland's bedroom and moping around the house. I feel awful. I love him so much!

When I watch those terrible abused animal commercials--you know, the ones with Sarah McLaughlin singing "Arms of the Angels," that got me to send in $19.95 a month to the animals-- I run for Pagoda and snatch him into my lap and smother him with kisses. Does he also feel neglected and unwanted? Oh, the humanity!

I pray that Pagoda understands. I hope that things will chill out a bit and I will make time to walk him more regularly and make him feel important again.

Pagoda, I love you...you're my boy!!! (Even if you just pooped in my closet.)

Any other depressed pets out there?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Fearless Honeybadger



In case you were wondering, the honeybadger is one badass mother f-cker. Check out this video. Sometimes I feel like this when I'm really, really hungry.

What does this have to do with parenting? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Do you think the honeybadger is badass?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best Mom Clothes: My Top 11 Items!

So the other day I found myself on Gilt again, hoarding items into my shopping cart. They included a fun, flirty dress, some cute platforms (great for fun nights out on the town) and some cute pants (perfect for work!)

Then reality hit.

What the f-ck was I doing? I don't go out, and I rarely work. Why in the heck am I spending my money on items that will rarely--if ever--see the light of day?  When day after day, I reach for my same beat-up juicy tracksuit or my leggings with the rip in the crotch?

My friend Becca from A Blissful Nest set me straight when she came over for a visit a couple of months ago.

"Christine," she said. "What you need is cute mom clothes. MOM CLOTHES!"

"You are SO right!" I said. "Why am I buying all this other crap? I need MOM CLOTHES!" I need clothes for the park, for Stroller Strides and for storytime at the library. I need clothes for doing laundry and cleaning up spit up and trips to Boneys. I need clothes that won't make me look like a total slob but that can still get pooped on.

So here are my top picks for Best Mom Clothes!

1. Toms Shoes. These shoes are ridiculously comfy and a cool, and put an edgy, flippant spin on any outfit. Love all the sassy new colors and materials! I just bought these crochet ones. LOVE them!


2. Flip flops--casual. I love these super comfy flippies for walks around town. My feet could not feel better!

3. Flip flops--dressy. I love these Tory Birch flip flops. They instantly dress up any outfit. Yes, they are super pricey, but they are soooo worth it! (Insider tip: sign up on their website for their email list, and you'll get a 20% off coupon to use on your birthday. Whoohoo!)


4. Tunic-style tops. They cover the belly and can be worn over jeggings. Yee-ha!

5. Jeggings. Love me some jeggings. Why endure painful jeans when you can rock it in your jeggings?


6. Baby-doll sundresses. They emphasize the milk-engorged boobs while hiding your fat stomach. Yes!


7. Drawstring pants. I love these rip curl drawstring pants. They are soft and flattering!

8. Scarves. I've found that these frisky scarves sass up any outfit and also hid a bulging belly!


9. Yoga clothes. Even if you'd rather down a shot of tequila then do a downward dog, yoga clothes make you feel relaxed, peaceful and ethereal. All the yoga moms I know have placid smiles on their unlined, serene faces and look slightly drugged. I strive for this. This is who I want to be.



10. Juicy tracksuits. I know, I know, some of you hate these. I laugh at myself sometimes when I wear them. But unless you get them in bubble gum pink, they are decidedly comfy and cute. And hello, it is a TRACKSUIT people, which means you don't have to try and match tops and bottoms on four hours of sleep. Score!

11. Backpack. You are always on the go, so you need a cute backpack to stay hands-free so you can smack your kids when they are being bad. JUST KIDDING. I like this one from Urban Outfitters!


Did I miss something? What is your favorite item of Mom Clothes?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Rule of 50%



I used to be so dependable. Completely reliable! If I said I was going to show up somewhere, I was there. And most likely, I was five-minutes early! (Let's just say, I can't wait to get the party started.)

When I had Marley three years ago, things changed a bit. I would get there...most of the time. Usually barely on time, or a little late.

Now that I have Baby #2, sometimes I show up...and sometimes I don't. And when I do manage to drag my sorry ass anywhere, I'm now 15-20 minutes late. Now that I think about it, since I've had two kids, I only show up for roughly 50% of my fun kids activities or scheduled social engagements.

It's not that I don't want to, or that I'm not trying. Take tonight, for example. After enduring a Week from Hell with my two kiddos, my husband gallantly agreed to let me go to an art show with my good friend Julia tonight. A girls night out! I could wear makeup. I could wear a normal bra (with nursing pads inserted, of course.) I could wear earrings! I could wear my new coral lipstick color that I love and my husband hates! (It's beyond sassy, he just doesn't know it yet.)

Enter: sickness. I have a terrible sore throat, body aches, and a fever. And coughing up blood! (Or was that the cayenne chili powder I gargled after I looked up "herbal remedies for sore throat" online?) Anyway, I'm SICK and now I can't go to our fun and exciting girls night out. For f-ck's sake!

That got me to thinking what a terrible flake I've been lately. But it's not really my fault. I can't help not showing up if Marley has a nasty cough/Holland is constipated and grumpy/my husband is sick/I have to take my dog to the vet/I got locked out of my house all day/I backed my car into a pole/someone has pinkeye/my computer has a virus and I'm waiting for the computer guy/the cat ran away/a swarm of angry bees is trying to get inside my house.

Anyone else feeling like a HUGE flake lately?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sh-t I Love: Unsolicited Parenting Advice in Vons Checkout Line

You know you love them. Complete strangers who seem to know more about rearing your children than you do, and take it upon themselves to SHARE THEIR EXCELLENT PARENTING ADVICE WITH YOU IN PUBLIC.

Take yesterday. I was in the checkout line at Vons, and got this little nugget of wisdom from the Vons checker lady.

Date: July 26, 2011
Time: 10:20am
Location: Vons supermarket in Coronado
Nugget of Wisdom: My Baby is Cold

I am in the checkout line. I have managed to gather my groceries without my baby waking up. Great success!

Vons checker lady eyes my baby who is snug in her carrier inside the shopping cart, sleeping peacefully. I think she is staring at my baby because Holland is so cute. I WAS MISTAKEN.

"You should cover up your baby, it is very cold in here," she says.

I look down at Holland, who is blissfully content, covered in pajamas with feet, and a onesie underneath. She is practically RADIATING heat she is so warm in there. I am IMMEDIATELY ANNOYED.

"Oh, she's fine," I said, smiling and looking the checker straight in the eyes, daring her to challenge me.

Which she did.

"No, it's REALLY cold in here," she said to me, as if I wasn't standing in the very same store with her, less than 2 feet away.

"She's warm," I said. "Really, she is."

"But it's SO COLD in here," insisted Vons Checker Lady.

She then proceeded to REACH OVER THE CHECKOUT STAND and reach into my baby's carrier and PULL DOWN THE COVER on top of the carrier. Which then woke up my happily sleeping baby. "Waaaaaa!" cried Holland.

"There, that's much better," the checker said. "Your baby says, 'keep me warmer mommy, otherwise I will get sick!'"

Um....yeah. What the f--k? Did she really just talk to me in a baby voice, impersonating my child? I want to dump out my groceries and suffocate her in the Vons bag.

"Have a great day Mrs. Van Tuyl," said Vons Checker Lady cheerily, sliding over my receipt. She is jubulient that she has acheived her goal...saving my baby from certain illness, possibly death. "You saved $8.43 today!"

I looked at her nametag. Vons Checker Lady was actually the SUPERVISOR. Geez. Go supervise yourself straight to the hardware store down the street...because you are a TOOL!

Anyone else getting unsolicited parenting advice lately?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Questionable Parenting Hits Facebook Milestone!

Wow! Can it be true? Questionable Parenting has hit a milestone this week and surpassed 100 Facebook friends!  Hip hip hooray! And the best part? Of the last 50 or so followers my little blog has gotten, I hardly know ANY of them!  Weeee!

I know, I know. In the grand scheme of things, 100 Facebook friends is hardly something to be proud of. Other mommy bloggers have HUNDREDS of thousands of followers. Whatev.

I just can't help myself. People are actually finding my blog and actually LIKING it! I feel so cool!

You like me, you really like me!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top 6 Lessons My Daughter has Learned from Yo Gabba Gabba

The first time I watched Yo Gabba Gabba with Marley, we both stared at the television in disbelief. Marley, because she was stunned with its awesomeness. Me, because what the hell was going on here?

What kind of show was this? Little shrunken figures getting spirited out of a boombox, frolicking around and singing in their weird little shadow-box worlds? Including a one-eyed cyclops and a funky cat-dragon? Complete with retro touches and computer noises? Clearly, whoever thought up this show was on some serious drugs. Most likely hallucinogens, mixed with some kind of upper. Should I even LET my kids watch this?

Well. Turns out that I was too quick to judge. Although quite strange, Yo Gabba Gabba proved to be a stroke of sheer genius. Yo Gabba Gabba is actually chalk-full of helpful life lessons...it's like the "ABC After School Special" for toddlers. But instead of bulimia, drinking and teenage pregnancy, DJ Lance Rock and his clan tackle issues for the toddler sect, such as cutting in line, refusing to eat your vegetables and the importance of naptime.

Marley has taken many of the lessons from Yo Gabba Gabba to heart...so much so, I now rely on it to do much of my parenting for me. Why have a heart-to-heart with a two-year-old on the importance of sharing when Plex and Toodee can do it for me?

And so, without further ado, here are the Top 6 Life Lessons My Daughter Has Learned from Yo Gabba Gabba.

1. Don't Bite Your Friends. In this episode, Muno, the red-orange cyclops (who I think looks extremely phallic, hello?) gets a little too excited and bites Foofa, the "pink and happy" flower bubble character who dwells in the summer meadow. Yikes! But Plex, the magic robot, is quick to inform Muno that biting your friends is BAD.



2. Eat your vegetables...because they want to go to the party in your tummy! It's lunchtime in Gabba Land! In this episode, Brobee, the forest-dwelling green creature, eats his chicken, cheese and juice, but not the carrots and beans. The carrots and beans are upset and start to cry....boo-hoo! Brobee learns that the carrots and beans want to go to the party in his tummy too! Hooray, all the food gets to party together now!



3. Its fun to brush your teeth! Plex the Robot walks kids through the fun and exciting process of brushing your teeth. Sweeeet!



4. Try it...you'll like it! Along the same vein as "Party in My Tummy," this segment teaches kids that even if you think you WON'T like a particular food, if you try it...you just might like it!



5. Don't eat food you drop on the floor! Brobee drops some food on the ground, and ALMOST eats it. Thank goodness Plex the Magic Robot stops him just in time--and tells Brobee about the tiny, ugly germs that can make him SICK!



6. Please, and Thank You! In this episode, the Gabba Gang breaks out in a catchy song to praise the virtue of good manners, like saying "Please" and "Thank you!" Sadly, no YouTube clip exists for this song, but you get the idea!

Now if they could create a Yo Gabba Gabba for teenagers, then we'd really be in business! Screw the after school special. I've already devised some storylines. Plex the Magic Robot could get all wasted and roll around and smash into something. Toodee could binge and purge. Foofee could get knocked up, and Brobee could enter an abusive relationship. Maybe Muno would have to come out of the closet and tell his parents he's gay.

You get the idea. But seriously, Yo Gabba Gabba has done an amazing job of taking some common--yet pretty challenging topics--and keeping them simple. After all, as adults, we DO have a tendency to over complicate some of the most basic life principles.

Now, instead of teaching my kids about life (BORING!) I can dedicate my free time to shopping online, drinking wine, and making bread in my breadmaker machine. Sweeeet!

Do you watch Yo Gabba Gabba with your kids? Do you think it teaches valuable life lessons, or am I smoking crack? What is your favorite episode?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Buying My First One-Piece Bathing Suit, and Other Scary Adventures

I knew this day would come, but I didn't think it would happen until well into my 40s. Like a chin-length bob and mom-jeans, I always felt that one-piece swimsuits were for a slightly older fatter uglier different crowd.

And why SHOULD I wear a one-piece? I have more bikinis that you can shake a stick at. And provided that I didn't eat a giant burrito or down three beers before suiting up (both plausible circumstances, I might add) I'm pretty comfortable in them.

But let's face it. I just had my baby 1 month ago, and I am sick of refusing to go in our condo complex's hot tub or pool because I look like crap in my bikinis. My legs look OK, my boobs look great (hello, milk!) but my butt looks dumpy and my stomach...well...let's not go there. Let's just say I will not be "bikini ready" for at least another few months.

Enter, the one-piece. Clearly the only thing that can mask my mushy stomach is a one-piece swimsuit. I can either endure the entire summer in shorts and tank tops, or I can pony-up and buy a friggen one-piece bathing suit.
I've shared this shopping adventure with a few of my friends, and they all say the same thing. "That's cool! There are some really cute and sexy one-pieces now." Then I say, "Yeah? Do you have one?" The answer is always, "Well, no, but..."

Exactly. The world of one-piece bathing suits is not for the faint of heart. Never mind that I could never possibly find a suit that could accommodate both my milk-engorged boobs and my non-existent butt (without making it look dumpy), most one-pieces seem to make me look fatter rather than flatter.

And then there are those pesky "monokinis." What the heck IS a monokini, anyway? Just a sexy version of a one-piece? Part of me wants to go crazy and get something like this, but then, what's the point? That will hardly hide my fat stomach or support my crazy boobs.


                                                               The Elusive Monokini


Then I really like this blue one by Vix, but it is like $138. I think it will look great in the front, but it is questionable in the back...


                                                                           Super cute


                                                           Questionable .
The tankini is completely out--that will only make me look fatter. Then I feel kinda lame investing in the "miracle suit." But maybe a miracle is just what I need!

This one is cute and cheap, from Target.

                                                                        Cute from the front.

But then hello, check out the back! Dumpy Butt.



                                                                       Dumpy Butt

Enter the skirted tank suit.  I found one at Target.com for only $18! A little cheesy, and certainly my husband will hate it, but maybe this will enhance my boobs and hide my butt.



Then, I read the online reviews of this suit. Almost all of the reviews were from moms over 35 who wanted to hide their "imperfections." They all gave it rave reviews! One even called it "fun and flirty." Another said it "covered up lots of bulges."

BINGO!!! We have a winner.

And so, I ordered this suit online. Fingers crossed I feel as fun and flirty and bulge-free as the reviewers did!

Anyone else wearing a one-piece these days? Any advice?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top Six Things That Happen When My Husband Leaves Town

Ian had to go to France for a week. That's right...THIS week, over the Fourth of July. See, Ian is a yacht salesman, and one of the sailboat lines he sells--Jeanneau--is French-made. They had their annual dealer meeting in Nantes, France, and someone over yonder had the uncanny inclination to schedule it OVER THE FOURTH OF JULY. Really. I love the French and all (after all I AM part French,) but nothing says "Fuck you, American!" like scheduling an important meeting overseas during a major American holiday.

Whatever. I digress. In spite of an initial panic and breakdown, we survived his trip away--me alone with Marley, two-and-a-half; Holland, 1 month old; Pagoda, Pekingese dog; and Picasso, cat; (both with limited brain functionality.)

But no matter HOW well I try to keep it together during any of Ian's business trips, the shit always hits the fan. For your reading pleasure, I have listed the Top Six Things That Happen When My Husband Leaves Town.

1. My computer goes on the fritz. As soon as my husband crosses the county line, my computer takes a shit. The internet goes down, it gets infected with a virus, or it shuts down...and doesn't restart. GOOD TIMES.
2. Someone throws up and/or has diarrhea. (Bonus points if I step in it.) This time, Marley threw up...poor thing got the stomach flu. She puked all over herself, the bed, and the bathroom...multiple times. The dog got diarrhea.
3. The cat runs away. Nothing gives Picasso more pleasure than hearing me frantically call his name down the block. He always runs away for at least a day whenever Ian leaves town. I wouldn't worry so much, but we have possums the size of baby elephants that roam our complex at night, and I just KNOW they want a piece of him.
4. Some key appliance stops working. This trip, our Zanzibar Bouncer took a shit. This happens to be Holland's favorite baby device, and it is where she takes most of her naps. The "soothing vibration" feature simply stopped working. Yay.


                                                            The Zanzibar Bouncer

5. The "Check Engine" light goes on in my car. Nuff said.
6. A swarm of angry bees attacks our townhome. Seriously. This happened on Friday.  A giant pile of buzzing, freaky, festering bees took up residence on our driveway by the bougainvillea. Soon it grew to a swarm, and of thousands of the little creatures began hurling themselves at our windows. I was so scared the little buggers would squeeze through a hole in the screens that I was forced to close up all of our doors and windows and was held captive with two fussy kids indoors on an 80-degree day. Yeah!

Does the shit hit the fan when YOUR husband leaves town? If so, please share!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beating the Dead Horse: Why Baby #2 Isn't THAT Much Harder

Lots of my friends are cornering me and asking in hushed whispers, "So...how is it REALLY with two kids now? Are you going nuts?"

My answer, thus far, is "not that bad!" I know, I know...my baby is a mere three weeks old. I'm sure when she starts spending more time awake and demanding more of my attention I will be eating my words. I'll be going out of my mind and then you can all laugh. But for the time being, I think it's pretty awesome!  True, I am sleep-deprived, and have no idea where I am ,or what I am doing half the time. Sometimes I even forget my baby's name. But I am happy!

So here are my Top 7 Reasons Why Baby #2 Isn't THAT Much Harder.
1. Your ass has already been kicked by Baby #1.  It feels like I took such a beating with my first baby, that there's not much left my second baby can do to me. It's like adding insult to injury, or beating a dead horse. The horse is already dead! Stop beating it!
2. Baby #1 has already turned your life upside down...in other words, you've already adjusted to being a mom. Being a mom to Baby #1 has taught you some important life-lessons, like you CANNOT go out drinking until 2am and expect to wake up at 6am with your baby and NOT throw up.
3. You know what the hell you're doing. Even if you haven't mastered the swaddle, at least you know how your breast pump works, or how to put together the Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym.
4. You've learned that babies aren't as fragile or delicate as you thought they were. I only bought kimono-style jammies and onesies for Marley, because I thought it was "too hard on her" to pull things over her head. What a loser! And I'd freak out and roll her on her back if she rolled over to her belly at night fearing she would suffocate herself in her crib. Yeah. IDIOT!
5. You take time for yourself. Well, at least to shower and pee. With my first baby I rarely showered, because WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO HER when I was in the shower freeing my body of bacteria, dirt and grime? I also would race to her nursery to feed her at night, practically peeing my pants in the rocking chair because I wouldn't stop to pee first. Because I could tell by my baby's cry, she needed food IMMEDIATELY and could NOT WAIT while I went pee!
6. Four words: Stroller Strides Meal Train! Hopefully you have joined Stroller Strides with Baby #1 and you get to take advantage of the force of nature that is the MEAL TRAIN. Three days after my baby was born the home-cookin' started coming through my front door! In three weeks I got 15 meals delivered to my house, no shit. From shrimp and tomato bruschetta to home-made gelato to tator-tot casserole, there was even enough for leftovers. God bless the MEAL TRAIN!
7. You finally realize that everything DOES go by so fast...and you treasure every little moment. "It goes by so fast!" Everyone tells you this when you hold baby #1. But you don't really believe them...you are so caught up in the moment and looking towards the next milestone. When will baby sleep through the night? When will baby start crawling? Now that you've done it before, you realize that this time is fleeting! Now with baby #2 you get to enjoy and savor each passing moment, because you realize they will be gone before you know it!

Thanks for reading! And can you think of any other reasons why Baby #2 is so much easier? If so, please share!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pushing Out a Nine-Pound Baby: Helpful Tips and Tricks!

"You know when I told you Holland might be the same size as Marley?" This is my doctor talking, as he is pulling Holland out of my vagina. "Well, I lied. She's BIGGER."

My new baby, Holland Giselle Van Tuyl, weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 oz. THAT'S RIGHT. I PUSHED A 9-POUND BABY OUT MY VAGINA. I don't know whether to feel intensely proud of this, like I scored a Purple Heart medal or something in battle, or if I should be embarrassed, knowing that everyone is inwardly wondering about the wrecked state of my vagina.

It all started on Friday, June 3rd at around 6am. I woke up with some contractions. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks all week, but these felt a little...different. More intense. My adrenaline started pumping and my fight-or-flight response kicked in. This was it! We were fleeing allright...straight to the anesthesiologist!

"WAKE UP!" I hissed at Ian. "WE'RE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL. LET'S GO!"

"Huh?" said my bewildered husband. "Do I have time to take a shower? My hair is DIRTY."

"NOOOO!" I hissed.

5 minutes later, Ian ambled out of the shower and Marley and I were dressed and ready to go, waiting by the front door. This was actually GREAT timing, because my doctor was scheduled to be on-duty ALL DAY. Baby Holland was right on schedule!

"Whoa, you're at least 7 centimeters, and your sac of waters is bulging..." said Dr. Nystul as he inspected the situation 30 minutes later in triage. "We need to order your epidural now if we're going to get it in time! And we need to get you into a room right away!"

Turns out the hospital was FULL. The wait for the anesthesiologist was bound to be long! I instantly panicked. My worst fears were coming true. I wasn't going to get my epidural in time, and I was going to have my baby in the hallway! For fuck's sake!

Luckily, they were able to get a room for me, and they wheeled me in there. They didn't want me to walk in case my water broke before they could get me the epidural.

My doctor came in few minutes later. "Whew," he said, sinking into a chair. "It's crazy out there! It's like a bunch of jumbo jets, all trying to land at the same time." Apparently FIFTEEN PREGNANT PEOPLE were there, all trying to have their babies that morning.

Just then, the anesthesiologist walked in the room. "I'm here for the VIP," he said.

"Are you here with the epidural?" I instantly perked up. "If so, then yes, that's me, I'm the VIP!"

Turns out my doctor had messaged the anesthesiologist to haul-ass to my room, claiming that I was a "VIP." Yes!  Just then, a SECOND anesthesiologist showed up, again saying he was here to help the "VIP". 

Lookie here, I thought to myself. I have not ONE but TWO anestisiologists in my room! This is awesome.

Anesthesiologist #1 informed Anesthesiologist #2 that he was assisting the "VIP", and that it was all getting taken care of.

"Why is she a VIP?" asked Anesthesiologist #2.

"She's a friend of Nystul's," said Anesthesiologist #1. Yes folks, that's why it's helpful to get in good with your doctor! Needless to say, the epidural was administered, and my mood improved drastically. Maybe this wasn't going to be as bad as I thought!

20 minutes later, my doctor came in and checked me again. "Whew," he said. "Yup, you're ten centimeters. Are you ready to have a baby?"

So, I had my baby. I pushed through FOUR contractions, and out she came. No episiotomy and only a few stitches. And very little pain! Honestly, I've taken poos that hurt worse than this. I couldn't believe it!

Meanwhile, my husband was in a far worse state, huddling over the chair next to my bed, with the oxygen mask on his head. Luckily, he didn't pass out.

Soon Baby Holland was in my arms, like she had been there all her life. I had made it through labor and delivery! GREAT SUCCESS!

Anyway, based on my experience, I know consider myself an bona-fide expert on pushing out 9-pound babies, and have compiled a helpful list of tips and techniques.

1. Think you might be in labor? Get to the hospital. Now! It's better to get their early and get sent home then to delivery your baby on the side of the road.
2. Get in good with your doctor. Become a "VIP," and OWN it. It helps to wear lipstick, and maintain an aura of mystery. You COULD be a VIP. What do they know?
3. Get your drugs. Get them early. As my anesthesiologist said, "press the button early and often." Don't--under any circumstances-- forget about the epidural button. I forgot about the button the first time and boy did I pay for it.
4. Do not attempt this at home. Are you crazy?
5. Only have your baby when your doctor is on-duty. Do not attempt this delivery with a stranger.
6. Do NOT attempt to push out 9 pound baby if it is your first child. Wait for baby #2, after everything is a little more stretched out.
7. Make this your last baby. Unless you are sadistic, consider making this your last child. They say babies get progressively bigger with each one. What, you want to try pushing out a ten-pounder? You're in the wrong spot...go find a blog for crazy people.
8. Don't be afraid to ask for more drugs. After you've pushed out the 9 pound baby, there is bound to be some wreckage down there. You might be a little more uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to act like a weenie and request MORE DRUGS.
9. Don't even think about wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes yet. Your baby was 9 pounds. What, are you high??? Wait for that shit to settle down a bit. Rome wasn't built in a day!

I hope you have found these tips and tricks helpful should you find yourself in the precarious position of pushing out a plus-size baby. Good luck, may the force be with you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

...and Baby Makes Four!

Introducing Holland Giselle Van Tuyl, born Friday, June 3rd at 10:30am...weighing in at a robust 9.1 pounds! (more on that in the next blog post!)


As you can see, Holland has a full head of black hair!

Marley is a rockstar big sister! Fetches diapers, nipple cream and Motrin on demand.

And Ian is of course the wonderful and doting husband and Daddy. Thank goodness I married him!


So far, Holland is the sweet, mellow baby that I ordered. We'll see if it sticks! :)

As you can imagine, not getting a lot of sleep right now, but everyone is happy and healthy. I'll be back soon with the grisly, first-hand account of delivering a 9.1 pound baby!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marley and the Delicate Art of Parental Manipulation

Marley is quite the independent little 2-and-a-half year old. Every morning, she wakes up with the sun...usually well before 7am, which means Ian and I are still fast asleep. (But not for long.)

The first thing she does is go to the kitchen to get her morning sippy cup of milk, which we leave for her in the fridge. (Usually the first thing we hear in the morning is the door of the fridge slam.) Then she'll take off her diaper that she wears to sleep and throw it in the kitchen trash. Finally, we'll hear her plod up the stairs to our room, and soon we'll feel her warm, 33 pound body nestled in bed between us, happily slurping down her milk. She'll either accept the fact that both of her parents are delirious with sleep and lay quietly between us (though wide awake), or, if she's feeling feisty, she'll demand that we turn the Disney morning cartoons.

That's how we roll.

But this morning it went down a little differently. Instead of hearing the usual sounds, I heard, "Mommy, I went wee-wee in my diaper and in my pants!" Yup...that was my little munchkin, calling me from her room at 6:45am. Marley still wears a diaper to bed, and frequently goes potty in it during the night. Occasionally, she'll pee through her diaper and pants, which can make things a little messy.

"It's OK Marley," I called down, not ready to get out of bed just yet. "Just take off your diaper and bring up some new jammie pants upstairs. I'll help you put on new pants."

"NOOOO Mommy," she replied. "There is wee-wee in my PANTS!"

"It's OK," I said again. "Just bring some new pants up here and I'll help you!"

"NOOO Mommy, I went wee-wee AND poo-poo in my pants." Now this got my attention. I sat up in bed. She hasn't pooped in her sleepy-time diaper in months.-

"You went poo-poo in your diaper?" I called down, bewildered. This was new.

"YES. I went poo-poo in my pants, it's everywhere, it's REALLY GROSS."

Hmmm. Now I had no choice but to go downstairs and check things out.  As I slowly rolled out of bed, (apparently, far too slowly) an impatient Marley decided to share some new information to up the ante.

"AND MOMMY...I threw up too. There's throw up everywhere. All over my room. Wee-wee, poo-poo and throw up, all over my bed and pants. It's REALLY REALLY GROSS."

That got me moving. I scurried downstairs to her room expecting to find all kinds of destruction and carnage. But what I found was...Marley, sitting up in bed, smiling at me. No poo-poo. No throw up. Just a happy little girl, who had already removed her wet sleepy-time diaper, who appeared very pleased she had managed to get her mommy to come downstairs with this fabricated threat of explosive bodily functions.
"Marley," I said. "Why did you say that there was poo-poo and throw up everywhere?"

She smiled. "I wanted to snuggle mommy in my bed," she replied, with a twinkle in her eye.

Uh...yeah. My daughter is now officially smarter than me, and knows how to push all my buttons to get what she wants. Super. If she's this smart at two, what the hell is going to happen when she is a teenager?

Does anyone else have a master manipulator on their hands? If so, please share!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I'm Glad I Haven't Had my Baby Yet

So my doctor has been vacationing in the South of France. I haven't seen him 2 weeks. I was super excited to see him this week, hoping that he would have some good news...mainly, that I am super dilated and effaced, and that my body is ripe to have my baby! (I am ready to have my baby, God knows.)

Last week, when I saw another doctor, she told me that I was 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. And since then, I've had TONS of contractions, so I was confident that things were moving along nicely.

"Well, you're maybe one centimeter dilated, and about 50% effaced," my doctor told me after he checked things out.

"What?" I asked. "Dr. Pattengill said I was two centimeters and 50% last week...so I have to be more now!"

"Nope," he answered. "About one centimeter."

So. Needless to say, I am not having my baby right this second. Or probably anytime soon. It could be closer to my actual due date on June 6...or...God forbid...a little later.

This is a big problem because I have NOTHING to wear. I am so huge that even my maternity stuff doesn't fit me. (And what's the purpose in buying new shit to wear now?) So I am looking like a complete slob in my husband's XL Star Wars t-shirts that barely cover my giant belly. I look like crap.

Anyway, I was pretty disappointed. I was really hoping to have Baby Holland sooner rather than later. To cheer myself up, I have come up with the Top 10 Reasons Why I'm Glad I Haven't Had my Baby Yet.

1. Labor is painful. I'm not in labor right now, therefore I am not in pain. This is a good thing.
2. I can continue to eat like a total fatass. Arby's Roast Beef, anyone?
3. I can continue to dress like a total and complete slob. This is NOT my fault. Nothing fits.
4. I can't really work because I have nothing to wear. I can't show property naked or in Ian's Star Wars t-shirt. It's best for everyone that I am at home, watching reality T.V. Really.
5. I have an excuse for being a total sarcastic bitch. My hormones are raging!
6. It's completely acceptable for me to space out, or act a little deranged. Everyone just feels sorry for me.
7. I can blame excessive amounts of online shopping on temporary confusion. When boxes show up at the door, I can just play dumb and act completely shocked.
8. Braxton Hicks contractions are fun...whoohoo!
9. I'll get more opportunities to pee my pants in public. Good times.
10. I get to spend more time with my cute little family of three...before we grow into a family of four.  I'm trying to savor these last few days or (gulp) weeks with my beautiful little girl and my handsome, wonderful husband. Soon this journey will end and a new one will begin!

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment while you're here! Anything else I should be doing before I pop out baby #2????

Friday, May 20, 2011

My First Passion Party


Possibly the best thing about not going into labor yet is that I got to attend my very first Passion Party. My friend Ann Marie hosted the shin-dig the other night at her house down in the Cays.

In case you haven't been to a Passion Party, it's basically a girlie get-together where they showcase and sell all sorts of adult toys and lotions and lubes to spice things up in the bedroom. (Not that there's anything for me to spice up these days...at 37 weeks pregnant, that's the last thing I'm looking for.)

Still, I was super excited to check out all the stuff--for future use. I was sure there was something great and fun for me to buy! I would emerge from this party uninhibited...a liberated sexual goddess, ready to explore new boundaries!  (just as soon as I get Baby Holland out and I'm sufficiently healed...let's say in the next 2 months.)

First, the sales rep introduced the edible lotions and massage oils. We got to sample, smell and lick. All good stuff, but we seem to already have plenty of this stuff at home.

Then came out the toys. It was a parade of battery-operated items for all manner of titaltion and stimulation. Internal, external, you name it.

But I couldn't help but wonder...do people really need this much help in the bedroom? (Not that there's anything wrong with mixing it up a bit.) But are the batteries really necessary? What's wrong with good, old fashioned sex?

Then out came the Bunny Bliss. The Bunny is apparantly the mecca of battery-powered bliss. This dual-action contraption had everything from vibrating ears to rotating beads.

Well, this would definitely do the trick, I thought as I held the Bunny in my hands, testing out all TEN different speeds and pulse patterns. But wouldn't this thing render Ian and his appendage sort of...obsolete?

"I think maybe this is for single people," said my friend Jesi when I quietly posed the question to her.

Anyway, after inspecting all the items in their spinning, vibrating, pulsing and synthetic glory, from the Plush Bendie to the Blossom Bliss, I decided to bring home...a scented candle.

That's right. Clearly, I'm a total prude.  But at least I didn't bring home a big, black dick. That was an option. (Technically, it's called the Chocolate Thriller.)

To be fair, the candle is a special massage candle, called the Soy Seduction Candle.

"Look baby," I said when I got home from the party. Ian was laying in bed, watching TV. "I got us something from the Passion Party. It's a scented candle! Smell it, it smells sooo good!"

"I can't smell anything right now," he said to me. That's right, I forgot. He had a sinus infection. I left him at home with Marley while he was sick so I could attend the party.

"Well, anyway, it smells really nice." I noticed Ian was smirking at me a little bit.  "There was all kinds of stuff there, but you know what? I don't think we need any of it! I mean, what's the point of all the toys and stuff when things seem to be working out just fine without them?"

"I told you those parties were lame," he said.

But I noticed he was smiling.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment while you're here.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Facebook Friend...Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me?


Maybe it’s because I’m in my 37th week of pregnancy. Maybe it’s because I’ve gained more than 40 pounds. Maybe it’s because--although I'm excited--I’m tired and frustrated, and want more than anything for Baby Holland to come out and join us in the world.

But it’s true. I have been using the “F” word lately. A lot. With anything and everything that presents itself, I can find a reason to use it. I use it when I'm driving. I use it when I spill my green tea. I even use it out of joy, as in, "That's f-cking awesome!"

I’ve also been a little more snarky and sarcastic...less lady-like than usual. No doubt this is reflected in my latest blog posts, like “Top 8 Things Strangers Say to Me About My Huge Pregnant Belly” and “Up the Butt on my Birthday.” I used the F-word numerous times in the "Top 8" post, and…well… “Up the Butt on my Birthday"....let’s just let that post speak for itself.

Anyway, as I was writing these posts, I knew that I was being a little more hard-core than usual.  I knew it was a risk. And, today, when I checked out my Questionable Parenting Facebook Page and the number of my “Facebook” likes, my suspicions were confirmed…I have ONE LESS FACEBOOK LIKE! Somebody UNLIKED my Facebook page!

Was it the cussing? Was it the "up-the-butt" post? Or am I just unfunny and lame? Oh Facebook friend, why hath thou forsaken me???? Why???

In my defense, I can assure you all that I am actually a very classy individual. I'm a lady, allright? At least where (and when) it counts. All of my friends can vouch for this. (Right friends?) So I apologize if my sarcasm and bad language have offended you. I will try to start cussing less. I can’t promise anything, but I will fucking try.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment while you're here!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 8 Things Strangers Say to Me About My Huge Pregnant Belly

Here I am at 36 weeks. Yee-ha! Needless to say, the glory of my huge pregnant belly is attracting all sorts of strangers and their witty comments. Here are the Top 8 Things Strangers Say to Me About my Huge Pregnant Belly.

1. Are you having twins? Fuck you. This comment is so fucking unoriginal that I won't even glorify it with a response.
2. There's something in there that wants to get OUT! This one was actually kinda funny, because I was in Rubio's buying a burrito, and the guy that said it had a southern accent.
3. When are you due? Today? Ha ha ha. No, actually in a few weeks, but since you're so fucking hilarious I'll save you some of the afterbirth.
4. You must be soooo uncomfortable. No, not really. But come a little closer and I'll show you uncomfortable...watch me kick you in the shins!
5. I can't even tell you're pregnant from behind! Apparently this is a compliment, but it just underscores the fact that the only place I have gained weight is my belly, which means that my baby is going to be HUGE.
6. Is your husband a big guy? Again, insinuating that my baby will be HUGE and I must have a Neanderthal husband in order to create such a large baby. (For the record, at 5'11 and 180, I don't consider Ian a particularly "big guy.")
7. You're having a c-section, right? As a matter of fact I'm not. I am going to attempt to push this baby out, risking my vagina's life in the process. Thanks for reminding me!
8. You're having a healthy baby, so there's a lot of fluid in there. This comment was from my friend Barbie in book club. This comment actually made me feel sooo much better, because YES, I am having a very healthy baby, and with healthy babies come a LOT of fluid! So it's not all baby in there, it's just a lot of fluid. And it doesn't hurt when fluid comes out. Yay!!!

So next time someone asks me what's going on with my belly, I'm going to say, "Back off. Obviously, there's a lot of FLUID in there. GAW."

Anyway. I'm more than a little scared of this birthing experience. May the force be with me! (And lots of drugs.)

Anyone else here push out baby #2? Was it easier, faster, or less painful in any way? If so, please share!

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