Thursday, March 31, 2011

So...did Questionable Parenting Make it in the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs?

I begged. I pleaded. I whored out my blog to you for over a week, pimping out posts and groveling for votes. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Because why not? Why WOULDN'T I enter a mommy blog contest, going head-to-head with the top mommy bloggers in the nation? Why shouldn't I compete with mommies with thousands of followers, who get listed by Forbes and Time Magazine as top mommy blogs? Blogs who had actual, real SPONSORS? When I had but a measly 65 Facebook followers? Right. As if I don't have enough stress in my life. WHAT WAS I THINKING? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I know, I didn't think my blog would get any votes to make it to the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs to begin with. But...I started getting some votes! And then I grew...OBSESSED. I had to make it in the Top 25! I started waking up in the middle of the night, checking my phone to see how I was ranking. I lost sleep. I pissed off my husband trying to write witty blog posts to secure votes. I didn't walk the dog. Laundry started to pile up. I developed a nervous tick in my left eye. (Just kidding...I didn't get a nervous tick, but it wouldn't have surprised me.) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA And endured my posts, my endless pestering, my relentless, shameful self-promotion. And you VOTED! And guess what? I made it! Thanks to YOUR votes, Questionable Parenting made it in the Top 25 Funny Mommy Blogs! When voting ended, I was in position #21. WOW! You guys are AMAZING! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I'd like to point out that I am one of the few mommy bloggers who ranked in the Top 25 after entering the contest so late, and certainly one of the newest blogs with the fewest followers. But this proves that it's all about quality, not quantity baby! My readers are QUALITY! (Basically, you guys rule.) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA So thank you, thank you, thank you for voting for my blog. You have made one spastic, hormonal, hugely pregnant mommy very, very happy! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA And now that the contest is over, I can get back to stressing out and obsessing over other things, like scoring great deals on Gilt and Zulily, decorating the nursery, worrying about my boobs and watching Robert Downey Jr movies.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Privacy vs. the Potty-Trained Two-Year-Old

Marley has been potty-trained for about three months now. Hoorah! Once she decided to do it, the process was relatively painless. I'm so proud of her!

Of course, she has had a few memorable and major accidents--most notably while riding in the shopping cart at Vons with a cart full of groceries. It was Niagra Falls. I panicked. Fight or flight? Flight! I scooped her up and left the cart and mess in the middle of the pasta aisle. Sorry Vons!

The funny thing is, now Marley is hyper-aware of all the potty-time processes. She does almost everything herself, from putting her special potty seat onto the toilet, pulling down her pants, and flushing. She even offers an ongoing commentary on all these activities as she performs them. "I'm going potty, momma! I'm putting on the potty chair! I'm going wee-wee! Wait, wee-wee AND poo-poo! BIG poo-poo!"

The only thing she needs help with is "the wipe." So after she announces she is "going potty," I check up on her every minute or so, asking if she "needs help."

She also takes great pride in admiring her potty creations. For example, she might call me to the bathroom to view what is floating in the toilet. "See? One, two, THREE poo-poos! There's a mommy poo-poo, a Daddy poo-poo, and a baby poo-poo!"

The big downside is now she is also very interested in exactly what is going on when I go to the bathroom. She will pop her head in every 10 seconds or so, asking, "Momma, is it a wee-wee or a poo-poo? Not sure yet?" or "Momma, need help?" or, "Are you OK? You need help with wipe?" Or, even better, she will bring in one of her books and start reading me a story.

Let's just say that bathroom privacy is a thing of the past. But when all is said and done, it's pretty darn cute. And a hell of a lot better then changing stinky diapers!

Was this funny? If so, please take a moment to vote for me on the Top 25 Funny Mommy Blogs. Voting ends at 8pm PST tonight! I'm barely hanging onto last place by a few votes and the competition is stiff! Your vote counts! If I don't make it in the top 25, I will cry! You don't want me to cry, do you? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T MAKE ME CRY!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Icing on the Cupcake

It's that time of year again...that's right, it's birthday season!

Today we attended two fabulous birthday parties. The first was a surprise party for Marley's little friend Amoret who is five. Big girl! Although Marley was the youngest girl there at two-and-a-half, she made me proud.

The party was held at the Children's Museum in San Diego, which by the way, is an amazing place to have a party. Complete with a giant tunnel bouncer, a climbing wall and forced activities with clay, the kiddos were all smiles.

We managed to make it through the morning unscathed. No owies, no potty incidents and no major tantrums. Then, it was cupcake time! Like a true pro, Marley does not actually eat her cupcake, but instead consumes only the icing by licking it off. I sat across the room from her, watching her devour her cupcake (er, the icing) meditating on just how cute and perfect my little girl is. Then, out of the blue, I see her take her hand and scoop all the icing off the cupcake of the little boy sitting next to her when his back is turned. Uh-oh! I jump up, and in slow motion, run to her side of the table, trying to be nonchalant.

Before I can get to her, she licks some of the purloined icing off her hand. Then she looks down at her hand, horrified at the goopy mess of icing left. "Hmm, what to do?" I can almost see her ponder. NOOO! I scream inwardly, knowing that it wasn't going to be pretty.

Sure enough, she takes her hand, full of icing, and wipes it down the back of the girl sitting next to her.

"All done!" she announces. My little angel!

Thankfully, the little girl was unaware of the assault. So I swiftly scooped the icing off her back with a paper towel, all under cover-like.

"We'll talk about this later!" I hissed at Marley. No sense in drawing attention to the incident.

Good times.

Thanks for reading! And if you find me even REMOTELY funny, please vote for my blog on the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs! You can vote 1x a day until March 28th. Thank you for making me feel cool!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Naptime, R.I.P.

It's official. Naptime is a thing of the past.

I can't fight it anymore. It was becoming more stressful to force a spunky, unwilling Marley into nap time than it was worth. In the last two weeks, she's napped a total of two times.

She broke the lock off her door. She ripped her books to shreds. She snuck into her bathroom and created a soapy sloppy mess in the trash can with water, hand soap, shampoo, and a sock. One time she even managed to go pee 4 times in one hour--just so she had an excuse to get out of her room!

So we are done. Nap time, I bid you auf wiedersehen. It was great while it lasted. You were a wonderful friend. Something to look forward to on a busy, crazed day. A time to be enjoyed and savored. A time to mindlessly surf the internet, have a real conversation on the phone, or (God forbid!) get some work done.

And now we embark on a new chapter in our lives. A chapter with three extra hours of time to fill in the afternoon. Hmm....what the hell are we supposed to do?

The park is eerie at this hour. The last two times we've gone, it's been next-to-empty, with just a handful of non-napping toddlers Marley's age and some frazzled, tired-looking moms.

Target run? Perhaps.

Trip to the zoo or the Children's Museum? Library? Wouldn't be out of the question.

The good news? I guess now we won't have to rush home from our morning activities to get ready for nap time. And, we've been invited on some playdates with other non-napping friends. In fact, Marley's friend Heidi invited us to come over and see her chickens. Now we're talking!

So hello, to no-naptime...I will embrace you! This time is a gift! I will fill these hours with exciting, engaging, and educational activities for my 2 1/2 year old! She will emerge brighter, smarter, and more talented!

But if you bump into me at Target at 2pm, looking weary and glassy-eyed...just don't expect much of a conversation, Okay? I'm still adjusting!

Oh, and for the LOVE OF GOD, please vote for my blog to be in the top 25 Funny Mom Blogs! You can vote 1x a day until Monday! PUH-LEEASE! Just click this link, takes 2 seconds!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

7 Things I'd Say to Robert Downey Jr if I Sat Next to Him on a Plane

There is just something about Robert Downey, Jr. I admit it...I am smitten.

I believe he has even replaced my all-time celebrity crush, Daniel Craig.

(Don't worry Daniel, I still think you're hot.)

Anyway, I will sit through Iron Man (#1 and #2) just because I think Robert Downey Jr is so freakishly sexy. (And by the way, I didn't post these pictures just to gratuitously show off Robert and Daniel's abs...I just wanted to make sure you knew who they are.)

Well I found myself thinking about Robert Downey Jr, and what would happen if I ever met him. Who knows? It could happen. Perhaps a few years down the road, after I am a highly-paid celebrity blogger, and my book has been made into a movie starring Sandra Bullock. Maybe I would find myself seated in first class on the way to the big city for a press tour. And lo and behold...who would I find in the seat right next to me? Why, it's RDJ!

(Mind you, RDJ has nothing on my husband Ian, who happens to not only be a stone-cold fox, but is also a fabulous husband and amazing Daddy. But a girl can dare to dream, right?)

So, back to the fantasy. Perhaps RDJ would find me intriguing enough to order some champagne (he's not sober now, is he?) and engage me in conversation. Here are the top seven things I might say to Robert Downey, Jr if I sat next to him on a plane.

1. "Why thank you, Robert! I'm actually much older than 22. But what can I has been good to me!"

2."From the looks of your abs, I can see that fitness is a big part of your life. Can I touch them?"

3. "Why thank you! Yes, fitness is also a big part of my life. Yes I've had two kids. Oh stop're so kind!"

4. "I can see you are taking off your shirt. Does this mean you want me to pour syrup and strawberries all over your abs and lick them off?"

5. "I heard you used to be a total drug addict. Did you ever do LSD and have any wicked hallucinations? Please share."

6. "Robert, thank you so much for the invitation to join you for a drink in your penthouse suite at the Ritz. But I have to remind you--despite the fact that I am still licking strawberries and syrup off your abs--I am a happily married woman. So you'll have to find some other girl to join you for a drink."

7. "Yes, I would love to be your Facebook friend!"

Thanks for reading! And if you think I am even REMOTELY funny, please vote for my blog for the Top 25 Funny Mom Blog contest. Just takes one-click! Thanks people!

UPDATE: Let's just say that my husband was NOT super stoked on today's blog post, and has decided not to vote for me because I mentioned licking strawberries and syrup off RDJ's abs. I feel very bad about this Ian, and the truth is, I would MUCH rather lick strawberries and syrup off YOUR abs! Here is a picture of my super hot and wonderful husband. How did I get someone this hot to marry me? I don't know. But I love you baby, and I'm off to the store to buy strawberries and syrup! xoxo

Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have You Voted Yet Today?


Have you voted yet today? Someone (oh, I don't know who....ME) nominated my blog for the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs. And although I got a super late start in the contest, I've shot up to position #20! Here's the catch...I have to stay that way until Monday, March 28th!!
HELP ME HOLD ONTO MY SPOT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!! See this link to vote today. You can vote 1x a day until Monday! *Bonus points for readers who vote from their computers AND their cell phones!

Not So Much

In case you didn't realize it, I work part-time with my mom. We are real estate agents for Prudential in Coronado.

My dear mom, in efforts to help promote my blog, told me that she asked our office secretary to send out a mass email to Prudential agents in the office--asking them to check out my blog.

Hmm. I don't know how much of my blog you've read, but a lot of it is...well, let's just say it's not fit for business consumption.

I was mortified. The interaction went something like this.

"MOM! HOW COULD YOU? There is some crazy stuff on my blog! You can't send it out to all the Prudential agents! I cuss on my blog! I drop f-bombs! I talk about sex! I talk about my boobs! Have you even READ my blog???"

Let's just say the conversation went downhill from there. My mom has not been sleeping well since she adopted her new cat (he is still adjusting and meows all night) and I am crazy, pregnant and hormonal. Oh, and now I'm paranoid.

Anyway, here are the top reasons why my blog should not be sent out on a mass email to Prudential agents.

1. I talk about pre-marital sex and birth control, and a condom breaking.
2. I describe my painful episiotmy.
3. I bag on a local church.
4. I talk about my husband wanting me to dress like a stripper.
5. I discuss the pros and cons of getting a boob job.
6. For the LOVE OF GOD, I talk about hemorrhoids.

Clearly, my dear mother hasn't read much of my blog, because if she had, she would know that this is not exactly the kind of information that needs to be spread throughout a place of business. Anyway, we were able to intercept the email, and everything is fine. She obviously had good intentions and was just proud of me, which is sweet, but....

I understand that my blog is very public, and I am posting information out there for the world to see...and if people from work stumble upon it, or my mom shares it with others on a one-on-one basis, that's just fine! But again, I did have a small heart attack yesterday.

Or am I just stupid and paranoid?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mommy, You Broke the Car!

I was minding my own business, singing along to Madonna, backing out of my space at the Kaiser parking garage when... CRUNCH!!! I hit a big parking post, HARD! It was huge, how did I not SEE that? I hit it so hard, I was sure that the damage was going to be dismal. I could have pulled over and inspected the carnage then and there, but why ruin a perfectly-fine 20 minute drive home? Better to carry on with Madonna and view the wreckage when I got back to my little Island. When I got home, I cautiously got out of my car and braced myself for the worst. I suspected the entire back bumper, and possibly the whole back end of the car, was smashed in. And what I saw was... Not that bad! Then I walked around to the other side of the car and...
oopsies!!! Well, I guess that explained the crunching sound.

When I picked up Marley from my mom's house, Marley noticed the damage immediately.

"UH-OH MOMMY, UH-OH!" she said, pointing to the broken taillight. "Mommy, you BROKE THE CAR." She looked up at me, her eyes wide in amazement. "It's BROKEN."

I smiled sheepishly. "It's true, Marley," I said. "Mommy broke the car. But it was an accident."

Marley thought about this for a second. Then she shrugged, smiled, and broke into song...a lovely little diddy called "Accidents Happen" from Elmo's Potty Time DVD.

"Accidents happen, yes they doooo...accidents happen, to me and you....accidents happen, and that's Okay! See, it's okay Momma!"

Now, if only my husband would give me the same reaction when he sees the car...

Was this funny? If you think I am even remotely funny, please vote for me in the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs. I am barely clinging on to position #25, seperated by only a few votes! Thank you so much!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Power of a Band-Aid

I hurt my back the other day. I was doing a pilates move I thought was kosher during pregnancy...apparently, it was not. It didn't hurt too badly at was a minor annoyance more than anything else.

But last night we met some good friends for dinner at Station Tavern in South Park. (If you haven't been there...hello! Yummy, cheap food with an outdoor, gated play area for the kiddos. Think: drinking wine or beer while watching your kids engage in gravel-throwing, running and debauchery from a safe distance.)

When I took Marley to the bathroom for a potty break and lifted her onto the seat...OUCH! Whatever was wrong with my back got a LOT worse. I could barely walk out of the bathroom, and had to resort to a sideways, crab-like walk.

Whatever. I have an appointment with a chiropractor on Monday. Until then, I will survive!

Last night when I was putting Marley down to bed, she asked me why I couldn't lay down in her bed with her.

"Marley, Mommy's back hurts," I explained. "Mommy has an owie on her back."

Marley immediately ran to my side, stared at me intently with great concern.

"Mommy has an OWIE on her back?" Marley asked, clearly distressed by this information. "Where?"

"Right here." I showed her where the owie was, on my lower back on the left-hand side.

Marley pondered this for a moment. "Hmm," she said. "Mommy, you need a band-aid. You put a band-aid on your owie, and when you take it off, it will be MUCH better!"

She smiled triumphantly and kissed me on the cheek, so proud to cure my owie with this profound morsel of medically-sound information.

"Oh Marley, that's so sweet," I said. "Thanks for the great advice! Will any kind of band-aid work?"

Marley thought about this for a moment.

"No, Mommy," she said. "You should use a PRINCESS BANDAID."

Of course. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why I'm Boycotting Maternity Clothes...or, Top 10 Places to Buy Non-Maternity Clothes when You are Preggers

Maternity clothes...AGH, what a rip off! Sure, they require more fabric than normal clothes, but HELLO, do they really have to mark them up so much? Seems to me the average maternity garment costs DOUBLE the price of a non-maternity item with the same fabric and style.

Here's the thing that makes me really mad....they KNOW that pregnant women are hormonal, anxious, and feeling fat. They KNOW that shopping when you are 30 pounds bigger in the middle, tired, dying to go pee, possibly carting along a crazed two-year-old, is troublesome and depressing. So they are TAKING ADVANTAGE of us in our sorry, weakened state.

This has to stop!

And so...I'm calling for a MATERNITY CLOTHING BOYCOTT.

Pea-in-the-Pod, you make-me-puke. $185 maternity jeans? I think not. So here, for your reading enjoyment, I have listed the Top Ten Places to Score Non-Maternity Clothes when You are Pregnant.

1. Old Navy. I loooove me some Old Navy! First off, their stuff is cheap. Secondly, all you have to do is buy that cute sundress or tunic in a medium or large, and you're ready to party! I bought a dress for a bachlorette party and two more for upcoming weddings.

2. Forever 21. Again, cheap and cute stuff that you won't mind stretching out a bit. Keep in mind, they generally operate under juniors sizing, so you'll probably be getting a large in most items.

3. Charlotte Russe...same as above!

4. Wal-Mart. You have to go there anyway to stock up on some basics for the nursery, so you might as well check out their apparel. I've scored some cute, super-long 80's print t-shirts that are perfect for working out and running around town.

5. If you've seen my post on Gilt, you know I love this site. Well they have great yoga clothes and tank tops on sale made from nice, super-soft cotton. I just ordered some Michael Stars tanks in a large to get me through the last hot months of pregnancy.

6. Target. If you're like me, you know you can't leave that store without dropping a minimum of $150. Might as well contribute to the pregnancy wardrobe while you're spending all that dough.(But stay the hell OUT of the maternity section--they mark their sh-t up too! Just buy larger sizes in the normal section.)

7. Kate's at the Hotel Del. Yes they are more expensive, but they have great sales on designer clothes. Score a cute trapeze dress or baby-doll top super cheap!

8. The discount shops. TJ Max and Marshalls are my favs. Buy some organic, super soft tops and stretchy pants you'll live (and grow in) for the next few months.

9. Your friends. Ask other mommy friends if they have any pregnancy clothes they are anxious to get rid of. My friend Cyndi hooked me up with an insane baby-doll style dress that made my engorged boobs look great! Thanks Cyndi!

10. Your closet. Don't forget to shop your closet! Do you have a cute, cheap cotton dress that you could turn into a shirt and wear with leggings? How about that shirt that was always a little too loose? With your new pregnancy boobs and belly, chances are, it will fit just right!

And BAM! You have a rockin' new pregnancy wardrobe, without contributing to the gratuitous, predatory world of maternity clothing marketing.

And if you have any shopping tips to add, please share...inquiring (and anxious and hormonal) minds want to know!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Losing My Religion

Jesus Turning Water into Wine

I'm in search of a church. That's right, folks. I want to join a church...preferably here in Coronado.

I know, I know...when I was little, I hated going to church. My parents had to practically drag me to the car, kicking and screaming the entire time. It didn't help that this particular church was super hardcore, and basically outlawed drinking, smoking, and sex before know, all the good stuff.

I knew from an early age that I wasn't cut out for that particular brand of Christianity. As soon as I tasted my first sip of wine, I knew that I was destined to be a wino, living a life of sin and moral ambiguity. As soon as I was able, I abandoned my church and continued to slide down the slippery slope of ungodliness (all be it, with a smile on my face.)

Good times. So why do I want to join a church now?

Well, when I was pregnant with Marley, I found myself...thinking about God. And starting to pray. Because I was scared! I was having a baby. What was I DOING? I didn't know how to be a mom. How could I possibly be entrusted to raise a child? I could barely take care of myself. And the whole pregnancy thing was just so unnerving! All those terrible prenatal many things to worry about. So many things could go wrong! I thought Marley was safe, snug in my belly...and then I find out there are a host of ailments that could occur in nine months to threaten a healthy pregnancy.

So I prayed. And praying made me...happy. It gave me a sense of calm and peace. It gave me comfort, the assurance that there was a higher power, that my fears and worries weren't my burden alone. I was GLAD that I'd gone to church then...GLAD that I knew some of these prayers and bible stories. If Daniel could survive the lion's den, if David could overcome Goliath, I could handle an 8 pound, 10 ounce bundle-of-joy, right?

I continue to pray every day, even if it's just to thank God for the sunshine, or my healthy family, or the dolphins I saw leap in the waves this morning. It helps me focus on all the positive, wonderful things I have in my life and keeps me grounded.

So now, I am determined to raise Marley (and soon Baby Holland) in a church. I really want to expose them to religion and God, and give them some basis...some work with. And if they follow my rebellious footsteps, so be it! At least they will know what they are rebelling against.

Trouble is...which church is right for my family? I wish there was a church called, "The Happy Church that Believes in God and Jesus but Doesn't Hate Gay People or Judge Others that Don't Embrace our Church." Alas, none exists.

But, after a brief search, I thought I'd found the perfect place. It's here on the island, and is populated (for the most part) by smiling, serene old people. There were a few young families with kids, and everyone seemed really nice. I felt a happy, calming sensation the first time I attended a service. Although I didn't really understand what the pastor was talking about, it certainly didn't offend me. It seemed positive, happy, and benign. Could this be the right church?

I came back the next week, and a few other times. Finally, I brought Marley to the Sunday School. She loved it! I was all set to join. (My husband, God bless him, doesn't care which church we join. As long as I don't make him go very often and I don't get in his face about it and he can still drink lots of beer.)

So, a week later, I found myself back in this church. (I had attended maybe 5 services so far.) I had noticed a trend...the services seemed to get a little more...forceful. Yet, I was okay with it.

This time, the pastor was out of town. The speaker was actually the head of the children's Sunday School. Great, I thought. This lady seems so nice! Now I'll get to see first-hand who will be shaping the minds of my young children.

She started off the sermon with a true/false quiz.

"True or false," she said. "For the most part, people are mainly good."

True, I thought to myself. This would be easy!

"True or false: it doesn't really matter what you believe, as long as you believe in a higher power and you are a good person."

True! I was nailing this.

The quiz continued in a similar fashion for a few more minutes...and then she gave us the correct answers.

FALSE. The answers were all FALSE.

Apparently, the world is NOT full of good people, and was in fact populated for the most part by BAD people. Didn't I watch the news?

And I guess it matters A LOT what your specific belief set is, because you won't be climbing the stairway to heaven unless you believe certain matter HOW good of a person you are.

I was devastated. How f-cking depressing! It reminded me of an ex-boyfriend who was super smart yet SUPER NEGATIVE all the time, always viewing the world with an aura of pending doom. I had to break up with him, he made me so damn depressed.

Here, I thought I found the perfect church, and now my entire belief system was being challenged. But I knew I was right.

How can you think the world is made up of mostly bad people? Sure, the news is full of garbage and violence, but a bunch of happy people standing around and smiling does NOT a front-page story make. (Believe me, I know, I worked in news for years!)

And what about your day-to-day experience? Wouldn't you say that most of the people you encounter seem pretty good? Of course they aren't perfect, but if most of the people I encountered on a daily basis were f-cking as-holes, I wouldn't really want to be here!

I don't want my daughters raised thinking the world is populated with mostly bad people. I believe your experience is dictated by your mindset, and if you think the world is bad, your experience will be bad.

So. We didn't join that church.

There are a few more on the island I'd like to try, so hopefully I will find the right one. I know I won't agree with everything, and that's okay. And I'm aware that some of the beliefs mentioned above might be at the core of some pretty prominent religions, so I don't want to offend anyone here. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

But one thing I DO God is a good God. He loves all his children and he knows the truth in our hearts. He is a source of strength when we are scared and light when we are filled with darkness. And so, I send you off with this bible verse...

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Ps 33:5
So there!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Think I'm Cool Because... blog post, The Black Widow in my Bed, was featured in "The Saturday Spotlight" on Weeeee! (In case you didn't know, is a pretty sweet website for bloggers--you guessed it--over 30 years old. I just KNEW my thirties were going to be cooler than my twenties.)

Every week they feature some blog posts in their Weekend Spotlight, and this week they included mine. Hurray!

Anyway, if you're into that sort of thing, you should check it out. I've been pretty impressed with some of the stuff my fellow bloggers are coming up with...including some pretty amazing poetry!

This poem about motherhood, although it was dark, almost made me cry.

Anyway, thanks to the good people of for featuring my blog! You like really like me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Getting into Graham

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but it's true: I've been completely obsessed with getting Marley into Graham Preschool.

I know, I know. It shouldn't matter that much where she goes to preschool. After all, no matter where Marley goes to school, she won't emerge quoting Shakespeare. She'll probably still pick her nose.

But for some reason, Graham is the preschool to send your kid to in Coronado. Everyone talks about it and recommends it. Whenever I ask someone on the Island with older kids where the child went to preschool, the answer is always the same: "Oh, he/she goes to Graham. He/she loves it. It's the BEST. Is Marley on the list?"

There are, of course, other options. I've heard great things about Resurrection Preschool, and supposedly there is a Montessori school as well--it's just more expensive. (Mind you, I've never even VISITED any of these schools.) But Graham is the "it" school. Supposedly it's the best. And of course, for little Marley, nothing but the BEST will do!

Because GOD FORBID she not get into the "it" preschool. It could jeopardize everything! Her reading would suffer (do they even TEACH reading at 3 years old?) She might not be able to sing the ABCs on pitch, or be able to tell the difference between purple and magenta. She wouldn't be able to draw a perfect isosceles triangle. She would enter Coronado Village Elementary academically BEHIND the other kids, which would deflate her self esteem, essentially ruining her for life. I pictured her junior high school years filled with special-ed classes, and her dropping out of community college. (Never mind that Ian didn't even GO to college. True, he can barely read, but he makes more money selling boats then some doctors I know, lives a full and rich life, and never bemoans his utter lack of education.)

I digress.

Anyway, since it's getting so much more competitive to get into Graham, it's important you get on the waitlist as soon as possible (preferably at birth.) When it came to the waitlist, I was uncharacteristically slow on the uptake, and didn't get her on until she was 8 months old.

It was a terrible that would haunt me for years to come.

Marley's best friend Luca has been on the list since birth. His grandma tried to put him on sooner (actually, while he was in utero) but she was told they wouldn't put him on the list until he was actually born. (I guess that's a fair policy.)

When it came time for the fall enrollment process to start a couple of weeks ago, I sat on pins and needles every day, waiting for a phone call from Graham. Would she get in?

I placed a couple of friendly phone calls to the kind and ever-present Dana, who works at the school. You know, just to "check in" to make sure they had our new address, and say "how excited" Marley was to attend Graham in the fall to begin her academic studies. (Meanwhile Marley was sitting on my lap eating play-doh.) Dana assured me that we would hear something soon.

But we didn't. And others did. The news started to trickle in. Some of the girls at Book Club were getting calls from Graham...their kids were getting in. "Have you heard anything?" they'd ask me in hushed voices.

"No," I'd answer brightly, plastering a fake smile on my face. "But I'm sure we will soon!" Inwardly I panicked, silently cursing myself for getting her on the list so late.

The word on the street was that Graham was overwhelmed with the highest enrollment in history, and that many kids on the wait list would not get in.

I waited for the call. Nothing.

Then a few days ago, when I was rushing to get ready for an afternoon at the office, my good friend Cyndi called me. (Marley takes music and dance class with her daughter, Kaia.) Cyndi got Kaia on the waitlist just a few months before I did.

"Kaia got into Graham," Cyndi said. "She's in the Tuesday/Thursday program. I think she got in by the skin of her teeth. Have you heard?"

Although I was sincerely happy for Cyndi and Kaia, my heart started pounding and I heard a faint ringing in my ears. "THAT'S GREAT. I HAVE TO GO. I CAN'T TALK RIGHT NOW. I HAVE TO CALL GRAHAM. I'LL CALL YOU LATER," I said, practically in tears.

My hands were shaking. It took me three tries to dial the number for Graham correctly. "CAN I SPEAK TO DANA PLEASE? IT'S URGENT," I said to the receptionist when she answered. And, God bless her, Dana was in. She took my call, and gave me the most wonderful news...


I was practically in tears. When I got off the phone, I jumped up and down, let out a YIIPEEE!!!! and grabbed Marley and swung her around the room. I was as excited and giddy as I was when...well, I can't remember the last time I was so excited and giddy.

"Marley, you got into Graham!" I said.

"Mommy, I built a tower with my blocks and poured juice on it!" Marley responded, with an equal amount of enthusiasm.

So yes, I am very happy she got into her preschool. But seriously. Why must we put ourselves through these things as mothers? If she hadn't gotten into Graham, I'm sure something else would have worked out, and it would have been great. I mean, if I'm this emotional about Marley getting into preschool, how am I going to feel when Marley starts applying to colleges? Will I pull a "Forrest-Gump's-Mother" and whore myself out to college chancellors to make sure she gets into her first choice?

Of course not, but sometimes I wonder. I guess Motherhood makes you a little crazy sometimes. Go figure!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Love Drugs!

What do drugs have to do with my huge belly? Let me tell you: a lot!

First of all, let's address the obvious: yes, this is my belly at 27 weeks. That's right folks...I'm as ripe as a summer squash and I'm not even in my third trimester yet.

As you can see, there's not a whole lot of real estate left. Where is this baby going to go? Is it going to start growing out of my head? I get stopped by well-meaning people all the time who smile and ask, "When are you due?" Its pretty clear they are expecting me to say "next week!" or "tomorrow!" or even "yesterday!" When I say, " a few months," I watch the predictable succession of emotions cross their faces. Surprise, horror, then fear. Inevitably they recover and say, "Oh, well, you look great...just great!" Then they scurry off like scared little mice.

How in the hell am I going to squeeze this baby out? Maybe I should name her "Epidural" instead of "Holland."

I mean, Marley was no lightweight. Weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces, her birth felt (and probably looked) like something out of a horror movie. I didn't get my epidural until I was about 8 centimeters dilated (freaken slow anesthesiologist!) and until then I was feeling no relief or break from the contractions. After the drugs, I was allowed just over one hour sweet, pain-free bliss, before the nurse midwife came in and said, "Time to push!" and ordered the anesthesiologist back to cut my epidural in HALF. (The midwife said I was a "poor pusher" and needed to feel the contractions more. If I saw her on the street today I'd be tempted to run her over.)

Well, it felt like I had no drugs at all. I quickly grew delirious with pain, practically foaming at the mouth, head almost spinning like the Exorcist. At one point I grabbed Ian by the shirt and told him to go downstairs and get the car...we were getting out of here!

When the serious pushing began, my mom holding up one leg and my poor husband dutifully holding the other, I thought I was going to die. "I'm never having another baby again! EVER!!!" I screamed. But...I am.

Poor Ian was so beside himself he grabbed the oxygen mask off my face and started breathing it in himself.

I pushed and pushed. I screamed and screamed. Then, I heard the nurse midwife distinctly say, "It's not going to fit." Not exactly the words I wanted to hear.

"Christine, we are giving you an episitomy," she said, grabbing a pair of shiny silver scissors. "I will try to numb you up first, but I'll cut you during a contraction so you don't feel it."

I felt it. I let out a blood-curdling scream I am sure is still echoing through the 4th floor of Kaiser. And then, miraculously, Marley popped out. I was flooded with relief! My baby was here! The pain was over! AMEN!!!

So yes, I used the drugs, there just wasn't enough. Next time, I'm going to make the doctor or nurse midwife or WHOEVER is delivering me swear on their life to NOT TURN DOWN MY EPIDURAL. And if I have to get an episitomy, for the love of God, make sure I'm NUMB down there first!

Oh, I know, I'm sure there are lots of girls out there who did it naturally. If you did it "naturally" then good for you. That's just freaking great. Maybe you gave birth in a bathtub. Maybe you popped the baby out balancing on a birthing ball. Hell, you could have given birth upside down riding an elephant in a circus with your doula singing ancient birthing chants.

But unless you wear a size 25 jeans and your baby was pushing 9 pounds, I'M NOT IMPRESSED.

As for me, I choose the drugs. BRING ON THE DRUGS!!!

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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Black Widow in my Bed

I decided to do some housework after Marley went down for her nap today. First order of business: make the bed! I diligently pulled back the comforter to straighten out the sheets, and saw...


There was no mistaking it. A black spider with a red hour-glass shape on its back, clear as day!

Oh my god, oh my god, THERE'S A BLACK WIDOW IN MY BED! I screamed to myself. (I would have screamed outloud, but that would have woken up a sleeping Marley, which was even scarier than the wrath of a venomous spider bite.)

They'd been tearing up our driveway out back to install new pavers, and the bulldozers must have disturbed some secret, subterranean, Satanic layer of BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS.

What should I do???

I couldn't run would burrow under the covers and attack Ian and me while we slept. Or, it would make the trek downstairs to Marley's room and kill my firstborn. Or, it would bite our Uncle Andy who was driving down from Orange County for a visit. It could kill our Pekingese Pagoda AND our cat Picasso! IT COULD WIPE US ALL OUT! MY WHOLE WORLD WAS THREATENED BY THIS LITTLE SPIDER, THE SIZE OF MY THUMBNAIL!

My course of action was clear: the spider had to die. And it had to die NOW. Every second I waited I was giving it a chance to escape, to disappear somewhere to hide and give birth to MORE BLACK WIDOWS.

I panicked. I am pregnant, after all. What if it bit me while I tried to kill it? What would happen to me and my unborn child?

Luckily, I had left a tub of Homelife Lemon-Scented Disinfecting Wipes in the upstairs bathroom. I pulled out three wet wipes and folded them together so I could grab the spider with my hands and squash it with the anti-bacterial, flu virus-killing, disinfectant-soaked wipes.

There was no room for mistakes here. No second chances. I had to be SURE.

I quickly grabbed the spider with the wipes and squashed it as best I could, praying that it couldn't bite me through the wipes and send its poisonous venom soaring through my veins. But somehow, the spider jumped out! It fell onto the floor and hobbled sideways towards the stairs, towards Marley's room.

NOOOOO! I screamed, (inwardly, as Marley was napping) and I grabbed it again, threw the spider and wipes in the toilet and flushed.

I flushed one more time for good measure.

I did it. I killed the black widow. I saved my entire family from a certain painful death. I walked downstairs slowly, sweaty and flushed, fresh out of battle. I decided to look up the Black Widow Spider on the Internet.

When I saw the picture of the black widow spider, it looked a little...different. The black widow spider apparently has long legs. My spider had short, furry looking legs. I scanned through some pictures and found the specimen that looked exactly like my spider.

Meet the North American Red-Backed Jumping Spider.

According to Wikipedia, "It is one of the largest and most commonly encountered jumping spiders in North America. While the jumping spider can inflict a painful bite in its defense, its bite does not have serious medical consequences."
Hmm. While I feel bad for killing a non-venomous spider, I don't feel so bad about narrowly avoiding a "painful bite." And I guess that explains the spider's miraculous jump. It is, after all, a "jumping spider."
Sayounara, red backed jumping spider. Rest in Peace. Oh, and if you have any brothers or sisters or cousins lurking around, please tell them to stay the F-CK OUT OF MY HOUSE or they will meet an untimely death with a handful of anti-bacterial wipes.
Peace out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yup...Marley and I are Famous (Sort of)

I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal! They used my quote in this month's Parenting Magazine...SHAZAM! Check it out below.

Since we are now famous, Marley and I are anxiously awaiting our celebrity endorsements. It would be great if the folks at Serena and Lily wanted to sponsor us--like, they could hook us up with Holland's crib bedding so I don't have to spend $395 plus $40 shipping to furnish my second born's nursery. Or, Target could endorse us and ship us the rocking chair.

Seriously though, I do feel super cool that the nice editors at Parenting Mag chose to use our submission. If you haven't read the magazine lately, it's actually pretty awesome. I also friended them on Facebook because their posts are helpful and funny and not annoying.

Now, I'm just waiting for someone (oh, I don't know, like Parenting Magazine) to invite me to be a highly-paid celebrity guest blogger. Then, inevitably, someone will want to make my blog into a book, written by me of course. Naturally it will get turned into a screenplay and an Oscar award-winning film, starring Sandra Bullock. Then I could actually afford to buy the condo we are renting, join the HOA, go head-to-head with my lame neighbor and get the dumb rule overturned that says NO PRETTY AND CLASSY WHITE LIGHTS OR COOL LANTERNS ARE ALLOWED TO BE HUNG FROM YOUR BALCONY.

I digress. This is all besides the point. Thanks Parenting Mag for making me feel cool!