Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I Would Do Anything for Love but not Mountain Climbers

*Grey's Spoiler Ahead*

I am having the hardest time concentrating on this post, mainly because Mark Freaking Sloan just died.  For those of you who don't know Mark Sloan, temper your sympathy while I explain that he is a character on Grey's Anatomy which doesn't make it hurt me any less.

Today is another Foreign Language Friday and I was going to post all about mountain climbers. Brian was going to take demonstration pics (well, pictures of me demonstrating mountain climbers, not pose so I could take pictures of him doing mountain climbers)(which would have been more awesome)(but he is totally refusing because he doesn't love me according to Meatloaf's standards)(because Meatloaf would do anything for love)(but maybe mountain climbers were the thing he wouldn't do when he said, "But I won't do that*.")

(*mountain climber pictures for your blog.) So maybe Brian loves me after all. Whew.

(Also, for the full Meatloaf scoop)(isn't the "full Meatloaf scoop" a meatball?)

Dude, don't hate.  XZIBIT gets it.

So, Brian was going to take demonstration pictures for the post, but I went swimming with Sarah and then showered, came home and threw my (non-permed) hair into a bun, and then cried like a baby during the hour of Grey's, so, yeah, no mountain climber pics.  Because this is my current look:

Goodbye Mark Sloan.
I think you should all thank me for not subjecting you to a whole series of "how-to" pics involving this hawtness.  You're welcome.  Also?  Can we just go ahead and give a blessing for the perm already?  It's not like the current hair situation can get much worse.  Srsly.

Honestly, I need a moment to grieve the old season of Grey's.  Because now, everything is different and I don't do well with change.

As an abbreviated Foreign Language Friday I am going to explain the world distance of an Ironman Triathlon in honor of Sarah, my training partner extraordinaire who is on her way to compete in her first 70.3 Ironman.

The 70.3 Ironman Triathlon is an exercise in craziness.  Specifically, dedicated and intense exercise over the span of months.  Because you have to be dedicated and intense to complete a 1900 yard swim (that's nineteen football fields, y'all), a 56 mile bike ride, and a half marathon run (13.1 miles) back to back.  It is accomplished with sacrifice, two-a-days, and lots and lots of sweat.  I am so happy and proud of the hard work Sarah has put in.  She is a BEAST!  (Figuratively. I mean, literally she's really tiny.)

I know this was a cheater FLF, but next week's will be RAD.  Ridiculous And Dy-no-MITE!  Promise. Have a happy weekend, y'all.  See you Monday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Intervention: My Chemical Romance

I have a problem.  It's really embarrassing to talk about.  In fact, this is the first I've spoken of it publicly.  Even the bestie hasn't been privy to this secret.

There is something I long for.  I'm constantly tempted.  I see it all the time in real life, but even a simple photo can set my heart to yearning.

I know it's not a smart decision.  I know I will live in regret for the rest of my days if I give in.  I know I'll be mortified to actually do it, but the heart simply can't help what the heart loves.

This is where I need you.

Is it an intervention when you are staging it for yourself?

Friends, help me.  I really want a perm.

There, I said it.

My whole life I've struggled with this desire.  In fact, I gave in to the temptation so many times in my youth it's like I gave no thought to my future.  Specifically, no thought to one day having pictures like this:

"Hey Mom, it's 1988.  How's about we get matching perms? Tubular."
(Brian interjects, "Why do you look like a Cabbage Patch Kid?")
Boom box?  Check.  Peace sign?  Check.  Wood paneling and deer picture?  Check.  PERM?  Heck yes.

Curls just woo me.  They say, "Imagine how awesome we would look with your new pearl headband!"  Or, "Look at how wild and free we are just bouncing around on your naturally curly friend's head!"  They mock me in all my baby fine straightness.

I know it's the whole "grass is greener on the other side" thing, but I've also heard that the grass is greener where you water it.  So I've been trying to water my poker straight hair.  (Like, I literally water it everyday because I have to.  Because it's baby fine and has a penchance for getting greasy. Sick.) But nothing helps.

I'm afraid if I don't face this now it will plague me for the rest of my life.  Or I will end up succumbing to my desire and be in bondage to chemicals and rods for all my days.  And be "that girl with the awesome hair perm."  Help me out, Friends!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

You ever get a phone call that starts all lighthearted and "this'll just take a minute"-like and then your Perceptive Friend on the other line asks all the right questions and you end up locked in the bathroom spilling your guts while the kiddos play a screamingly fun round of Jump from the Kitchen Counter Onto the Couch (because there is an (imaginary) flood all around them, of course) and Mama is totally too busy to intervene and stop the madness?

It's been kind of crazy this month.

My dad had surgery.  It was elective surgery and we had been planning for weeks for it to be a certain day, which was good because he had time to get out-of-state family help (otherwise it's just me) and I had time to arrange childcare for four kids on the big day.  Except he was offered a two week bump up in queue.  And he took it.  Which meant he had no extra out of state help and I was left scrambling for childcare.

Thank God my in-laws are The Jam and cheerfully helped me out of one.

But it was a week full of logistical headaches as I tried to figure out how to help out the patriarch while still holding up my responsibilities at home.  (His surgery went well.  My highlights included sitting with him for five and a half hours in a 100 bed recovery bay, but not on the chair with wheels because "you might get hurt."  The nurse could not be swayed by my argument that I am a 33 year old college graduate routinely left with four children in her care; simply put, I pose too much of a danger with a cushion-y chair on wheels.  Apparently I could handle a hard plastic folding chair with a tiny seat that made my tush feel gargantuan without wheels which was way more my speed anyway thankyouverymuch.)

(Also, I forgot to eat lunch because I was rushing to the hospital so when I left the hospital at dinner time I went to the closest fast food joint and ordered some little fried chicken sandwiches, because obviously when fatty food is smaller you can order more of it.  That's how nutrition works, y'all.)(The best part of my KFC experience was that I didn't know how the money exchange part works in a drive-thru when bulletproof glass in involved.  I'm so suburban.  It's not like my soccer mom outfit and father-in-law's hot Ford Flex with Sirius Satellite Radio were helping me look more street.)(But the Midwest gang sign I threw as I was leaving totally did.)(The Midwest gang sign is like the sign for "Westside" but it's just upside down.  You know, like an "M".)(I was going to go with the actual sign language sign for "corn" but it's a little suggestive when you don't know actual sign language.)


Also, I quit Jillian.  This stresses me out but I know it was the right decision.  The whole point of a personal exercise challenge is to keep me interested in exercise.  I realized I was dreading her video to the point that I chose to skip it.  It wasn't that it was too hard (although it was totally hard, for sure) but more that I do really badly working out on my own.  My pride is simply too big and flourishes under public forms of exercise.  You know, like running down the street, knowing everyone on my block has dropped what they are doing in order to judge my form, pace, and stamina.  Or taking a class with people who are spending every second of their own workout checking out my progress.  Clearly.  So the next challenge is a 10K in a few weeks.  That is training I will stick to. And enjoy as much as one can truly enjoy the pain of training.

Then Esther had an incident.  You know, the kind where she jumped on the indoor trampoline (don't judge me) and flew face first into the coffee table.  (This was prior to the current game of Jump from the Kitchen Counter Onto the Couch.)  Which meant a trip to Urgent Care with the four kiddos.  At lunch time.  When Ezra had speech in an hour.  40 minutes away.  (Thank God again for the in-laws.)

She ended up needing two stitches in her lip.  We She did really well because I promised her a Frosty afterwards and me some Wendy's chili.  I love that mess.

I ended the stress of the week by using a Groupon I had for Jungle Java to provide an outlet for my little darlings, and a couch and cup of sugary caffeinated deliciousness for me.  This is where Ezra had access to three stories of fun climbing things, slides, and padded walls and floors, but instead opted to sprint to the cafe kitchen, restrooms, and water fountain whenever my head was turned.  He also took full advantage of the uncovered power outlets which he doesn't give the time of day at home.  Sheesh, son.  All I wanted to do was sit.   And drink expensive coffee while I sat.  And not really do anything other than...sit.  But thank you for all the dashing, squatting, and lifting you put me through because it just gave me the best business idea ever.

Toddler Tone:  Personal Training for Real Life.

This is the plan.  You hire me to be your personal trainer.  We meet at Jungle Java, where I unleash my girlies to wreak havoc to their heart's content.  I pass along responsibility of Ezra to you, and you chase him for one hour.  I can guarantee a calorie burn of around 300, along with increase in muscle fibers, the testing of reflexes, and most importantly, the knowledge that it will officially be over in an hour.  You don't have to survive until bedtime.  (That alone is priceless.)

All I ask is you learn three simple phrases to aid in communicating with your Training Assistant:

1. "That's not your juice box."

2."We don't touch the potty/outlet/refrigerator inside the kitchen we shouldn't be in anyway."

3."Say please, Dude*."
*'Dude' is optional per your personal taste.

I will be busy during this time sitting on the plush couches, drinking expensive coffee, and occasionally correcting your squat form.

I think I finally found my million dollar idea.

So, thanks for making it this far in my "I'm a big fat whiiiiiiiiiiner post."  As your reward:
Dear Faithful Reader,
Love, Kelly

I'm heading for brighter days.  I know this mainly because:


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to Get Free Stuff (You'll thank me later)

Sometimes people* question why I waste invest so much time on Pinterest.  Not to brag or anything, but I am really good at Pinterest.  I am diligent in my searches and committing to pinning anything that strikes my fancy awesome things in a systematic and logical way. Like this:

Whaaa?  Are you kidding me?  Why don't I have this already?  TheWaffsicle Maker.  A waffle on a stick you dunk in syrup.

I'm diligent in my pinning for one simple reason.  One day, the fine makers of reality television are going to spring a new show on us.  I am convinced of this.  And when it comes, I will be ready. Because I am already steadfastly planning for Extreme Makeover: Pinterest Edition.

Extreme Makeover: Pinterest Edition will happen when your Pinterest boards are hijacked and everything on them either purchased, created, implemented, or personally taught to you.  It's like a first world life makeover, and I am not messing around with my preparation.

Whenever I see something on Pinterest that I like, my sole criteria for pinning it is "What if it were free?"  An outfit that is okay but I really love the purse?  Better pin the whole thing, because EM:PE will be giving every piece.  A crazy exotic vacation destination that I will only visit in my dreams? Better get my passport ready because EM is sending me on their dime.  It's not practical to own a glass canoe when you have four kiddos?  It's totally practical when it's a gift.

Can't you see my children absolutely destroying this me freaking out as I search for leeches relaxing as I row through the crystal clear waters of paradise?

My "Lookin' Good in the Hood" board is extensive because I have fantastic (internet) style.  In fact, I'm pretty sure if Pinterest were invented when I was in high school (the dark ages)(not really, it was the 90's) I would've swept Best Dressed Not in Real Life but on Her Pinterest Board during mock elections.  So, you're really lucky, Class of '97 Reigning Queen Julie D.  Lack of technology handed you the crown for that one.

My fashion pins revealed to me that I really like 1950's housewife dresses:

(How many do I own in real life?  Zero.)(Which is a shame.)(But I'm a size 10.)(If you needed that information for any reason.)(Like buying me a dress.)

And, I apparently would really like to be adorned in birds:

(Also?  I like leaf jewelry too.  Who knew?)

(Whooooooo wants to buy me this owl bracelet?)

I also have about a thousand skinny jean/t-shirt/cardigan/scarf/purse combos pinned just like everyone else, because I'm not at all trendy.

Once I'm on Extreme Makeover: Pinterest Edition, my home will be filled with the cutest handmade crafts.  You are going to be so jealous, mainly because I didn't have to do them so they actually look just like the picture said they should.  Not at all like the t-shirt tutorial I tried and ended up throwing away.

<----- Lies.  All of it.  Or I just suck at crafts.  But it's probably lies.

Suburban Detroit, y'all.

I can't wait for my Pinterest Edition home.  It going to have a waterfall built into it, and a three story wall of windows.  It will fit in perfectly on my suburban block down the street from the garden gnome house.

My Nom Nom Nom board is the biggest, because I really like food.  Specifically, eating chocolate, which is reflected accurately in my pinning choices.  I'm really excited for my personal chef to make all the cute mini-food I pinned that I will never take the time to make but enjoy looking at because it's darling.

Awwww ...  Panda Bears made out of rice!
Mini Pineapple Upside-down cakes?  Don't worry, Producers, I already bought the pan to make these four months ago and haven't gotten around to it yet.

But honestly, I think the number one reason (without a doubt) that I need to be on Extreme Makeover: Pinterest Edition, is that I will finally own this:

This is a cross stitch of the genius that is Kayne West on twitter. "I hate when I'm on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle"

I die.  Every.single.time.  There are no words for how sharply I giggle when I see this.  It's like a little slice of awesomeness I could glimpse several times a day if I owned it.  It might be better than iced coffee (yeah, I just went there). (Interestingly enough, you don't even need my correct size in order to gift this.)(It will flatter me regardless.)(It's a gift where everyone wins.)(And by everyone, I mean mostly me.)

So, just a heads up, all you slackers out there that are missing out on prime preparation time, squandering your time away by making dinner instead of pinning recipes.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  The Pinterest Edition is coming.  Be ready.

P.S. Now I don't do this for just anyone, but yeah, you can follow me on Pinterest if you need some extra help with your preparation.

*my husband

Monday, September 24, 2012

The (J-Lo-less) Wedding Planner

Conversation with 9 year old Eve:

"Mama, when I grow up and get married I want to dress all my bridesmaids up as Secret Service Men.  And my flower girl will have a gun and it will shoot flowers.  My ring bearer will have a briefcase that the rings are in, handcuffed to his wrist.  I'm going to dress like a spy, because I'll probably be coming back from a mission.  Of course there will be a stunt show."

Of course there will be a stunt show.

I'm sure we can all agree that as a mother I am doing something right.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Plank You Very Much

All my friends?  Consider yourselves put on notice.
We will be doing this.
Foreign Language Friday!  Be prepared to get your smart on, because I've come ready to drop some knowledge up in here.

On Foreign Language Fridays I will attempt to decode "gym speak" for you, so that it doesn't feel too Alice in Wonderland-like when you work up the courage/make the time/decide once and for all to go to the gym.

Today I'm going to talk about my favorite nemesis part of the body, the belly.  Specifically, how we can help to banish it forever from our sight.

I'm pretty sure hearing my 62 year old father talk about his "core" means this buzz word has reached it's apex.  But lest you find yourself on the cusp of completely missing out on the Core Craze (not on my watch, you aren't) here is some help with the vocabulary.

Core: the central part of a fleshy fruit.  (The literal definition. *giggle* I personally own the "fleshy" part.)  The core of your body is actually just your abdominal and back muscles.

Abdominal muscles: try to produce some flatulence.  Feel that? Those are your abdominal muscles.  The tragically hip call them "abs".  There you go.

Here are some sweet moves to develop your Abs of Steel.


Plank is the Granddaddy of abdominal work.  It's actually a yoga position that is a stealth bomber of effectiveness.  It's crazy deceptive in it's simplicity.  Plank is like having a contraction during labor; it's the worst minute of your life but will yield some results, dude.  Unless you cheat with an epidural. (Haha - that's just a Mommy War starter because I had 4 C-sections and a boatload of drugs - thank you Jesus.)(Also, please don't fight Mommies; your labor and delivery was the hardest, bar none. Everyone knows that.)

There are a few basic plank positions.

Straight Arm Plank and my man triceps again (Also this is where your fitness instructor will tell you to look down at your feet because if you are in the proper position they are the only part of your body you should see.  No shins or knees.  But some of us may look down and see only our Mama Gut. Don't get discouraged.  Just keep workin' it.)
Forearm Plank and my totally clean carpet.  Don't be jealous.
Side Plank (where I wonder if I shaved my armpits).

What do you do once you are in the proper position?  Not a darn thing.  Stay there.  Try to stay there for at least 30 seconds at first.  Then gradually build up, stretching your time out longer.  After you get good and strong you can vary plank position with leg lifts or other movements.

The most important part of plank?  Sister Friend, tuck. in. your. booty.  We are not making mountains here.  Your back should be straight and your tush tucked in.  Also, wrists below shoulders.  (See the way I nailed that in the side plank photo?)  When in doubt, or you find yourself shaking like a 7.0 on the Richter Scale, pull your belly button in to your back.  I don't question the methods that work, y'all.

Stability Balls

Awww yeah - that's my gangster face.  (Because I'm a Ball-er.)(Get it?)  I'm totally channeling 50 Cent here. (And?  I didn't even plan it but my finger pointing at the ball looks totally like I'm pointing my gun.  Snap.)

I think the most common way to use this piece of equipment is to kick/throw it around the living room until Mama notices and goes apoplectic when she yells, "FOR THE LAST TIME, THAT IS NOT A TOY!" to which the children think, "Dude!  It's a giant ball.  Of course it's a toy, Mama Dear."

The stability ball is awesome because any way you use it you are engaging your core.  It's like the best thing next to riding a mechanical bull.  (How do I not own a mechanical bull?)(Friday nights would vastly improve if I had my own mechanical bull.)(Who am I kidding?  Every night would vastly improve.)(Bill Gates better own one because it would be an insult to immense wealth to drop the ball on that one.)

You can do anything on the stability ball.  Crunches are most common, but you can do a ton of different exercises using the ball.  In fact, here is a YouTube video I stole full of them. You can even do plank position on the ball!  (And that's how you come full circle.) Some people even sit on it to watch t.v. or surf Pinterest work on the computer.  There are three common questions about the ball.

1. How do I get on?  (TWSS - M. Scott)
Sit down on the ball.  Walk your feet down to where you want the ball positioned. While different exercises require different positions, mostly it's a matter of taste and comfort.  There are no Stability Ball Police at the gym ready to call you out.  (I know, I checked.)

Brian has been laughing at these pictures all freaking night.  Don't feel too bad, I know where he lives.  Also, I have no idea why this font is so big. 

2.  How do I get off? (TWSS)
See how you got on?  Do the opposite.

3a.  Is it possible to fall off?

3b.  Has it happened to you, Sublurban Mama, Queen of Coordination?
Maybe once.  But only because I hate crunches and was trying to escape reality by closing my eyes.  That does not aid in balancing.  On a positive note, I have made my embarrassed face so many times at the gym that it doesn't even embarrass me anymore. (How does that even work? Paradox! It's like my mind is blown.)

So, there you go.  Another Friday, another massive amount of sweet information.  Happy Planking! Happy Stability Ball-in'!  See you Monday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Under Siege ... and Dethroned

It's the stuff of nightmares ... my panic room was breached.

I thought I took all the proper precautions.  It's out of the way.  It has locks. A lot of people don't even know it exists.

And yet.

It happened last week.  The day was a normal one.  The kiddos were driving me bonkers because they are awesome at what they do. Sometimes, after spending ten straight hours with the darlings,  a mama just needs to escape for a minute or twenty.

I made my break for it right after dinner.

While everyone else was finishing up and the girlies were on clean up duty, I "used the restroom." The restroom in point is hidden far within the depths of the master bedroom, with two locked doors standing between the solitude of the throne and the chaos of the hallway.  This is good because Ezra likes to sit outside the bedroom door and say, "Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama" until my head explodes or I yell, "WHAT, BUDDY?" from the confines of my bedroom.  It's kind of like Chinese water torture, but without water.  Or the Chinese.

But in the restroom panic room, I cannot hear the little guy.  It's like silent-ish bliss.

Then it happened.

I was taking care of business, deep within the safety of my sanctuary, when from outside my house, on the other side of the window in my panic room came a little voice:  "Mama, Mama, Mama .... Mama."  It was totally Chucky-like and super creeper-esque.  Two year old Ezra had breached the compound.

HOW HAD HE SLIPPED PAST THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS?  The window is a good five feet off the ground.  How was he standing on the other side? Three words:  Mud. Pie. Table.

The best father in the world built a mud pie table for the girlies.  It's like outdoor counter space to be used to concoct the best in culinary compost creations.  I made Brian put up part of a privacy fence so our mud pie station didn't ghetto up the neighborhood anymore than the garden gnome house down the street already does.

Two year old Ezra figured out how to climb up on the table and somehow realized through the frosted glass window that I was on the other side.  (I'm pretty sure that's some kind of super power.) Then, with the patience of a stalker, murmured steadily from outside a siren song, "Mama .... Mama .... Mama ... Mama."

Dude.  It's like I'm not safe anywhere.

In Awesome Contest News:  Congrats to SHAUNA, the winner of her very own Fuzzy Viking Hat for turning in an answer with her information source as proof that homeboy's tattoo says "Steffes".  We don't have to understand, people, just be able to read it.  Mystery solved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It Feels Good to be a Gangster

Victors.  Champions.  Warriors.
I came.  I saw.  I took a cup of water in the face because Rose had a mini-tantrum.  I conquered.  Awwww yeah. Warrior Dash 2012.

Can I say that I freaking love Warrior Dash?  For those of you who have been denied the knowledge of the existence of such an event, let me first apologize for how broken your heart will be when you discover what exactly you have been missing.

Warrior Dash is a 5k-ish run filled with 10-12 obstacles that will test your strength, endurance, and aversion to mud.  There are two story cargo nets to scale.  Fires to leap.  A pit of mud under barbed wire through which to belly crawl.  Also?  It is totally fun.

I somehow convinced Rose to do it with me this year.  Next year I'm coming after YOU (yes, you) so you better start training now in order to be ready.  (Or like a month before, whatev's.)

Since Brian needed the minivan to ferry our barrel of monkeys around town (or out to Pizza Hut because Papa "cooked" dinner), Rose agreed to drive the two and a half hour commute to Warrior Dash.  Thanks to that sweet ride, I have fulfilled my quota of Little Wayne and Young Jeezy for a while.  Rose does not share my intense personal love for Needtobreathe, but that's okay, because Little Wayne provided some inspiration a la songs I totally didn't understand but felt hardcore and plenty street while nodding my head and gritting my teeth as I listened. (Wesley Snipes is totally telling me I may have listened but I didn't hear it.  Sheesh.  Chill out Wesley Snipes.)
This is not me.  It's Curtis James Jackson III.  But picture me making this same face while listening to music in Rose's car and nodding my head.  You're a little intimidated, right?
Rose has a friend that lives a few minutes from the race grounds, so we went there first to pick her up.  Kathleen graciously offered to be the official photographer, and made available her shower after the race.  (And?  She's totally doing the dash next year.  Because she saw in person the sheer awesomeness.)

Because every WD is different, the map of the obstacle course I ran can be found here.  It was a little different from the WD I did in 2011.  Mainly, there was a lot less mud, which was mildly soul-crushing.  It was probably due to the fact that my first WD was held on a BMX course and that day it rained buckets.  This dash was held in a beautiful park and some of the trail was actually paved.  (It was like WD-lite for those parts.)  Plus our weather was suburb; sunny, cloudless, and 75 degrees. What it lacked in mud it made up for in hella hard water obstacles.

If you clicked to see the map, you would see right away there was about a mile run.  This was dusty, as it was a trail run with a few hundred people.  The fine people of the WD offered us water at the one mile mark, and after another quarter of a mile came the Deadman's Drop.  This obstacle is awesome because it requires climbing up and over a wooden wall about 15 feet high and sliding down an almost 90 degree wall of plywood on the other side.  If you were me, you were probably glad you wore your running capri's because the huge line of people at the bottom of the wall couldn't look up your shorts at the nasty granny panties you were wearing they seriously cut down on splinters.

Barricade Breakdown.  Over a four
foot wall, under a two foot barricade.
Five or six times.

The next obstacle was one of my favorites.  It was the Barricade Breakdown, followed by the Chaotic Crossover.  Since I've done them both before, I had a technique that involved not being scared and flying through them, occasionally going, "whoa - dude" whenever I slipped.

I'm not gonna lie.  The next obstacle, the Deadweight Drifter, was sum bul-loney. There, I said it. The idea of the obstacle is to get over five floating barricades in waist deep water.  At the last WD I did they used giant logs that we team-worked (totally a verb) pushed down and hopped over.  It was, as described, in waist deep water.  This year's obstacle used huge plastic flotation devices in water well over our heads.  There was no way to get up on top of them without some serious brute strength. Or, if you lacked that, mental consideration. This is where Rose proved her weight in gold.  I never expected to walk away from WD saying, "Thank God I had a cheerleading coach with me."  But Rose got stuff done.  Before I knew it we had a team of five or six working together.  Rose would do some fancy cheerleading foot boosting move (genius) to get me on top of the flotation device, and then I would pull her up.  It was by far, the hardest obstacle I've done.

There was another water obstacle with those same stupid floating things, but this one was in waist deep water, and the only sick thing was sinking into shin deep muck.  This is where I reveled a bit in all the mud.  This is where Rose took the opportunity to inform the world that her nails were totally done.  (In her defense, she then mentioned that she sounded a bit like a little um, female dog when she announced it, so that was kinda like she took the nail complaint back.)

The next few obstacles were good; mostly walls to climb, cargo nets to scale, balance beams to cross, and barbed wire to crawl under (over gravel - not too cool).  Rose and I walked all most of this portion.  Rose was feeling a bit *cranky* and said several hilarious things that she has forbidden me to post in this blog.  So you can thank her for ruining everyone's good time.  This is also where she threw a cup of water in my face.  Maybe because I finally told her, "Yes, everyone is totally looking at how bunched up your granny panties are, what the heck is wrong with you for not wearing a thong to WD?" For no reason at all.

We also discussed our mutual fear of leeches and she confessed that she was thinking of them during the two water obstacles we did, but out of love for me did not mention it out loud.  I was very grateful.  Then our very next obstacle was this:

This is an actual picture from the WD we did.  (Someone else took it, I just stole it from the Internets.)  Notice the ideal leech breeding ground?  Perfect timing for discussion of leeches?  We have it.
For the final three obstacles, Kathleen was able to capture on film the beauty and athleticism we displayed as we conquered The Dash.  Prepare to be awed.

Rose is in the black (really purple) at the very top.  I am below in pink.

"Hey Kel, is that you smiling while you leap over some roaring flames?"
"Why yes, it totally is me smiling.  Also, I perfectly timed it to block Rose's face with my arm.  Way to ruin a potentially awesome(r) shot."

Swimming through mud under barbed wire?  Check.
Big Muddy Finish
Warriors.  Mud beards. Snap into a Slim Jim!

So, Warrior Dash.  In conclusion, Kelly means "warrior woman."  I think it should really be called "Kelly Dash" but I'll be the first to admit "Warrior Dash"  just has better flow.  And after all that Little Wayne and Young Jeezy, I should know a little bit about flow.  Until next year, WD.

For the first time ever in Sublurban Mama history, I am having a contest.  WOO-HOO!  While waiting in line to take a picture with the Warrior Dash sign, we stood behind this young man:

The heck?
Whoever can figure out what his tattoo says is the winner of a lovelynever been taken out of the packaging, Fuzzy Viking Hat. (OOOO - say it like you're in a game show audience.)  It retails for $10.00 y'all.  For real.  So get crackin', because this tat is driving me crazy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Secretary to the Ministry of Cupcake

In high school I had a history teacher named Mr. Grant who kept McDonald's coupons in his wallet (this was in 1996, way before electronic gift cards)(it was kind of like the Flintstones Era)(the Flintstones were a cartoon)(from the 1960's)(1960's? For real?!) so that when a person of a homeless nature approached him for a handout he could feel confident his money was going towards food* and not a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.

(*food = this was also before Eric Schlosser and the rest of the Fast Food Nation would tell us the ingredients and preparation of many a McD's menu item, effectively ruining chicken nuggets for the rest of humankind.)(Who am I kidding?  Chicken nuggets are still awesome.)

I was thinking about Mr. Grant's coupons the other day as I was accosted by yet another person suffering from an irascible nature.  These people seem to be everywhere.  Walking by on the sidewalks, shopping in our stores, dining in our restaurants, texting while their kids play forlornly alone at the playground.

They are easily recognized because they look like they are personally offended simply by your presence.  They are hurried, short-tempered, and hindered by a litany of first world problems including being upset that "the Iced Capp machine is being cleaned and therefor unavailable to produce me Iced Capp".  (This may have been a personal experience.)  In short, they are suffering from a disease I like to call Splenetic Syndrome.*

(*this is simply because I'm too radio-friendly to call it the A-hole Syndrome, which I first wanted, and then every alternative I came up with was equally as curse-y and slang-ish.  Then wouldn't let me search for the swears.  It kept asking me if I really meant "assail" which I didn't, so stop judging me, since I had to settle for crabby, "splenetic" is way more alliterate and has the same meaning.)(Vocabulary word for the day.)

Don't despair about these crabby/splenetic/irascible people, y'all.  I have a plan.

Being election year, I have a taken a page from the politician's handbook and decided to tell you why everyone else is handling this the wrong way be proactive in dealing with these poor, peevish, suffering people.  You see, on my birthday this year (way back in June, don't worry, you can send me a card next year) all I wanted was a Grasshopper cupcake from Just Baked.

It's like glass enclosed happiness.

Well, seeing as the fine people from Just Baked have decided that the grasshopper cupcake is best provided via phone ahead order (who plans a cupcake run?) I had to settle for the next best thing: two Snickerdoodle cupcakes A Just Baked gift card in the amount of one cupcake.

Because I am so committed to authentic blogging I took time to personally visit the fine establishment to capture digitally the glory of the Just Baked gift card because I used my birthday gift card on a triathlon cupcake.  And because it would be rude to waltz into Just Baked and simply take a picture of the gift card, I was morally obligated to purchase and inhale a Chubby Hubby cupcake.  Because I have manners.

I never knew such a gift card existed.  There is now a whole list of gift giving possibilities that could be taken advantage of for an excuse to visit Just Baked.  It's your birthday?  Have a cupcake on me. Valentine's Day?  Here's proof I love you.  The second Tuesday of every month?  Every day is a gift, people.

Thanks to Mr. Grant, here is my plan.  I will keep several Just Baked gift cards in my wallet, each with the amount of the purchase price for one cupcake.  (I think it's about $3.13 if you live in southeastern Michigan.)(Just a rough guess.)(It's not like I go there enough to have the price of one cupcake memorized.)(That would be vaguely loser-y sad the sign of a great memory.)  Every time I run in to someone who could clearly use some good cheer I will

1. Apologize profusely that their day sucks so much because that is the only reason they could possibly have for behaving so poorly.  I, too, have suffered bad days. (But I might have a lot of judgement for people that have awesome lives and are just whiiiiiiiiiners.)
2. Present them with a cupcake gift card.
3. Stand back and watch the joy.

All of this is just a plan in theory at this point.  I haven't actually presented anyone with a gift card yet, so step #3 might actually be 3. Stand back and get cussed out by crabby person who feels super judged to be the recipient of such a gift, but hey, sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice for others.

In other cupcake news...

Not to brag or anything (totally bragging here) but I made these.  Turns out my best artistic medium is powdered sugar.  Who knew?  And they are vegan.  Woot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Duran Duran curriculum

Eve: So, is the wolf like the hungriest animal?
Kelly:  Compared to what?
Eve: It keeps saying, "hungry like the wolf." So are wolves really hungry or something?

Homeschool = we're doing it right.

If you don't follow me on Facebook why the heck not? you missed my interview with the fine folks over at Mom Colored Glasses.  Check it out!

"Hi.  I'm Kelly.  You should go read the interview.  For real."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Too much soda pop? Try some Burpees.

I'm a mid-western girl figuratively torn apart by this title. Here in the good old state of Michigan we call our carbonated beverages "pop".  That's it.  Just "pop."  No soda.  No soft drinks.  And certainly none of that "coke" nonsense that happens down south.*

*This is an actual conversation that occurred during a family vacation to Tennessee.
Waitress:  What kind of coke do y'all want?
Family Member:  Sprite, please.
Me: ... The heck?

Back to the title.  I love me some play on words, but I didn't want to confuse the rest of the world who doesn't understand that saying "pop" is way shorter than saying "soda" and therefore a considerably more efficient use of your time.  So I had to go with "soda pop" instead of "pop" which feels like a betrayal to my heritage.  It also brings the fear that I'm on the cusp of selling out because truly, where does the compromise end?

I had a thought about Fridays.  First, let's take a moment to say, "Farewell," to Facebook Fridays. We may revisit them at some point, but I want to introduce you to a new friend:  Foreign Language Fridays.  (Alliteration again?  How does she do it?)(I know.)

This is the idea.  You know how you go on Pinterest, and you see something like this:

and you're all, "I could totally do that.  I might finally get myself in shape.  This is totally doable. Who knew it could be this eas- wait.  What are Russian Twists?  Is that some kind of mixed drink? Now I have to google 'Russian Twists.'  Then I'll totally do this workout."  But you are a big fat liar because you will never google Russian Twists and this workout will get pinned on your Move It Pinterest Board and just sit there falsely shaping your identity to anyone who follows you.  Your whole life is now a lie, all because of your ignorance over Russian Twists.  But I am here to bring you hope; the Cold War is over, sister, and I can enlighten you.

This is where Foreign Language Friday comes in.  Every Friday I will attempt to define those terms that seem to exist only in the fitness world.  (Because seriously, everyone else in the world would assume a Russian Twist has some kind of vodka in it, amIright?)(Note to self:  It still could; business idea ... drunk circuit training?)

This will help alleviate those fears as being outed as someone who infrequently frequents any kind of exercise facility.  So, here is a little bit of knowledge that will hopefully transfer into a hardcore attitude that will propel you to strut your stuff at the gym.

Russian Twists

Sit in an inclined sit-up position/modified v-sit position.  (I totally just made up that terminology.)  Schwarzenegger arms and MJ crotch grab are optional. 
Fully twist right.  Mug for the camera.
Fully twist left.  Panic about back fat.
That is it.  That is all there is to a Russian Twist.  One twist is a full right to left rotation.  (Or left to right; no hate for the Southpaws.)

"But Kelly, that move is so easy.  Is there any way to make it harder?"
"Why, yes, of course there is."

You can modify by lifting your feet and using a medicine ball during your twists.  You can also twist your knees opposite your arms to up the challenge for your coordination.


Burpees are awesome.  They are a 4 count move.  

Count 1 : easiest exercise ever.  Just chill out.  Also fake smile because the two and five year old just got in a fight over who gets to play with the medicine ball.  
Count 2a.  Squat. Consider if there is any slenderizing way to take a photo in squat position.
Count 2b.  Jump back into plank.  Smile at the camera and don't think at all about your man triceps.  You are planking, y'all.
Count 3.  Jump back into a squat.  Or leap like a frog.  Because you are probably saying "Ribbit!" to keep the two year old happy.
Count 4.  Jump super high in the air.  Look at the sick height I got on that jump.  (In all fairness, my 9 year old photographer was the jam.  But the action shots are a bit out of her pay grade, youknowhatImean?)
That's it.  One full Burpee.  Now you can do 'em until you drop.  Goooooo Burpees!  (Say it like you're a cheerleader.)(Anyone will do.)(I personally picture Kelly Kapowski saying, "Gooooo Bayside" because Burpees interchanges nicely.)(But do whatever feels right.)

Happy Russian Twisting and Burpee-ing!  (At my new drunk gym they obviously go well together.) And Happy Friday - I'll see y'all Monday!

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