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'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 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! 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'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 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 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!