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

Monday, December 30, 2013


Words are usually my thing. In person I may have bouts of incoherency, but given time and a keyboard I can string along a sentence or two that adequately communicates the mess in my head. (But only if you include the word "totally". If "totally" was struck from my vocabulary I would be effectively rendered mute.) It is unsettling to stare at a blank screen for so many hours and discover language has failed me.

My Grandfather died on Saturday.

When I was little, The Grandfather took on mythical proportions. I was sure he was a rich business man who intimidated and ruled the whole world. He only furthered this perception by signing all my birthday cards "GRANDfather", because he was decidedly grand. He lived in a "fancy" house and owned a grand piano - two irrefutable symbols of success to an eight year old. He had a sun porch where I watched The Golden Girls and he drove a car that spoke. In 1990. (#baller) ("A door is ajar," to which he would reply, "Kelly! This car is crazy. A door is not a jar; a door is a door!")

When I was a bit older and he retired for the first time, my grandparents moved south and formally introduced me to one of my favorite places on this planet - The Great Smoky Mountains. My Grandfather would drive through the mountains to show off beautiful mountain properties on our way to Gatlinburg, where we would ride the sky tram, buy a personalized airbrush t-shirt, and explore the haunted house, all before piling back into the car to find the first appropriate stop-off on the mountain drive home. He would pull over and I would climb down the embankment and swim in the river with my clothes on. It was freezing, and more importantly felt forbidden and exciting and is one of my favorite memories of my youth.

This pic is saved on my computer under the title
"Tampon Boat with Grandpa".
Also, 1989 was a great year in swimwear.
In Tennessee* my grandparents also bought a boat, which my sister dubbed a "tampon" boat (because vocabulary is hard and sometimes "pontoon" and "tampon" get confused)(holy cow would that be an awkward mistake the other way) and we would take day boating trips on Tellico Lake to Fort Loudoun or to eat dinner buy hand-dipped milkshakes at Calhoun's. He put me at the helm, teaching bow from stern, starboard from port, and how to steer into the waves at the correct angle to avoid pitching or yawing (knowledge I still employ today when I am training in the water and using the kickboard for drills).

You guessed it. "Tampon Boat with
Grandpa 2".
(*Story for free* - Tennessee is also where my seven year old brother announced in a Subway restaurant he was going to live in a condom when he got older. At thirteen years old I was both mortified and tickled such a scandalous thing was said aloud. My mother quickly deduced he meant "condo" - which honestly has much better amenities and is a tad roomier - and set his terminology to right.)

My youth is comprised of memories of my Irish grandfather singing freestyle with a drink in his hand.

"Kelly Sue
 Don't be blue
 Grandpa loves you"

(I come by my lyrical skills honestly.)(He was also a faithful Catholic and to this day my children sometimes pray singing in made-up Latin using their best Gregorian-style Chant - just like Pappy.) 

Above all, I remember my Grandfather loved me. He was interested in my life. He talked with me about God and eternity. He wanted good things for my future. And, most importantly, he made sure I knew all this. What a gift.

Thank you for leaving me with that memory, Grandfather.


Goodbye, Grandfather.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Merry Christmas! Love, The Internet

Friends, it's been a rough season of life. Thanks for hanging in there with me as I mostly get out these "Case of the Mondays" posts and very little else. Life is beginning to ease up, so I am looking forward to the new year when I can regale you with tales of my physical therapist, surviving weight gain, and how (knock on wood) I totally potty trained Ezra is just two weeks like a rock star mama. (We begin December 26. Pray for me, y'all.)

Since I'm adding Christmas Cards to the list of "Crap I Never Got Done This Christmas", I wanted to share the next best thing with you. This is how the Internet sends out some holiday cheer. Enjoy!

This year when I took the kiddos to see Santa, he looked right at 6 year old Esther and said, "What do you want for Christmas, little girl?" Esther firmly stated, "A maid."
That's how it's done.

Everything about this man makes me giggle.

I'm putting "Friends like these" on my Christmas wish list.
UPDATE: It's like the Internet is Santa Claus. The woman who made this card contacted me so I would source her work back to her like I'm supposed to because she totally answered the call on my Christmas wish list. You can visit her at:

I would add "Friends like these" to my list as well (because do you see the festivity of those sweaters?!), but I don't do well with lap goats. Which she is holding.

Close your eyes, Kids.

These people are doing our Christmas card next year.

Love, The Johnsons

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

He only needs to pass the bar.

Ezra is three years old. He has speech and fine motor apraxia. While his language is delayed, I'm discovering that his cognitive abilities are spot on.

Also, I think I just got played.

This is how you raise a lawyer.

Ezra: Mama, I want snack.
Kelly: I want world peace.
Ezra: I want snack. I huuuuuungry.
Kelly: I want a subscription to Runner's World.
Ezra: I thirsty. I want drink.
Kelly: I want my foot to stop hurting.
Ezra: (smirks) I want puppy.
Kelly: (thinks, "That backfired.") Esther is scared of dogs, Dude.
Ezra: Me get mean dog, me throw him away and get nice dog.
Kelly: We can't throw a dog away, Dude. A dog is alive; we don't throw away living things. We take care of them. (Gives a two minute lecture on animal care to a now glazed-over three year old.)
Ezra: Yeah.
Kelly: Besides, why wouldn't we just get a nice dog first and skip the mean dog part?
Ezra: Yeah, we get a nice dog. First. For Christmas.
Kelly: Um, what?
Ezra: You say, "Get nice dog." (smirks again) I get nice dog for Christmas.

BAM! That's how you play Mom.

I find about 14 thousand of these on my iPad camera roll.
Three years old and already a whiz at Photo Booth.
Sorry if you can't handle this much awesome.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

'Tis the Season to be a Hot Mess And a Rant For FREE

Guess who got prescribed a muscle relaxer?

This girl did.

I've been faithfully attending physical therapy three times a week for a neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. The pain started as stiffness in my neck towards the end of October and morphed into a pretty impressive headache (not in intensity, but in longevity), and by the end of November I couldn't tilt my head back to wash my hair, and looked like I was doing the Robot whenever I was asked to look sideways.

I knew I needed some sort of physical therapy when my self-treatment (a.k.a. Googling videos of people stretching themselves out and doing massage with tennis balls) proved ineffective, but first I needed a referral from my Primary Care Physician because that extra appointment scheduled two weeks out doesn't waste time at all.

After all we went through with Brian's PCP, may I take a moment to love on my PCP? She is amazing. First, her name is Carol King, which is pretty sweet. Second, her husband is an Ironman, so she is well versed in the sport of triathlon. When I went to her and said, "I can't do any of my normal activities," meaning swim, bike, and run, she knew that was kinda sorta a big deal for me. The first thing she did was tell me to take more drugs if I was comfortable doing that (twist my arm), and then she referred me to a physical therapist.

The drugs are awesome. The Ibuprofen is dealing with the pain and inflammation, and the muscle relaxers are making me sleep um, very relaxing.

The hardest part of physical therapy is finding child care so I can go. I've been trying to schedule as many sessions as possible during Ezra's school, but I still have to take the three girlies with me. One day when I had Ezra all day, Stacy down the street took my littles, and a friend from church is watching all of the kiddos during my Friday sessions. (Those sessions are longer because they include massage therapy.)(Like, it's been medically prescribed for me to get a massage once a week.)(Yep, if it wasn't for the knowledge that I'm dealing with constant pain, I'd hate me too.)

I've only been seen a little over a week, but I have faith it's helping. My therapist told me she needs a jackhammer to loosen up my trapezius muscle, but she's been making do with her bare hands because she is a beast.

In other news, I'm a little miffed at Facebook. Roughly half of my blog page views come from people who have personally chosen to follow me on Facebook with the sole purpose of getting updates when I post them. Facebook is now charging fan pages to show their updates to everyone who follows them, resulting in a 60% decline in my Facebook blog traffic. (Because I math-ed that mess, y'all.)(That's how you know it's a serious issue for me - the occurrence of voluntary ciphering.)

You know what? I'm a stay at home mom with four kids. One of my kiddos is in (really expensive) therapy. Another takes (really expensive) medication. I have this teeny-tiny blog as a means of preserving my own sanity in this season of life, as well as carving out a space in this world to capture the craziness of raising my children. All so I can remember it and be thankful when I'm old. I really can't afford to spend money on a recreational blog.

But blogging does take time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time. And especially because I'm teeny-tiny in size I treasure every person who takes time out of their day to read whatever drivel I'm peddling. If they have signed up to read it, all the better; I treasure these people because it's like a promise they will be returning. But when Facebook won't let me post to everyone unless I pay at least $5 each and every time, well, that's some buh-loney right there.

In conclusion, I have no idea yet what to do about this. But I needed to rant, so thank you. Have a lovely day, and, if you read this from Facebook, throw me a "like" or a comment to let me know you are among the treasured few. Please and thank you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Yoga - Discover Your Inner Poop Chute

The other day someone wrote a lovely blog about how she didn't understand why women found the holiday season stressful. With proper organization, she reasoned, all the tasks could be broken into manageable bits. There was no reason for anxiety!

Silly me. Apparently I'm just not organized enough. I'll add "Get organized for the holidays" to my To-Do List.

Since that's not likely to happen anytime soon, I realized I should probably pursue methods of stress relief. Since my yoga class is so relaxing, I'm planning to attend as much as possible between now and Christmas. To celebrate that decision, I'm bringing you a Case of the Mondays post filled with actual quotes from yoga instructors. Enjoy. And for Pete's sake, go make a list so you can relax.

Did you read this in Forrest Gump's voice? If not, you're doing it wrong.

Yoga is way more about gardening than I previously thought.

Now we know what's really in the Advocare "fiber" shake.

Sadly, something I could actually do.

*snort* No, she didn't.

I feel kind of conflicted about this one, because that's
almost verbatim the way I describe labor.

Make sure it sticks - like spaghetti.

This is why I'm bad at yoga. When I read this I thought,
"What's my anal canal?" and then my brain
answered, "Poop Chute." And then I
got the giggles because I think my brain is hilarious.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 6, 2013

For the Sake of the Ovaries ... Please Stop

Dear You,

I'm reaching out to you as a desperate woman.

You see, I have four kiddos. I love them madly. Sometimes I want to freak out because I didn't know it was humanly possible to love so much.

Mixed in with all that love is a quiet desperation. While my children are some of the greatest joys of my life, parenting is slowly killing me. Which I'm pretty sure it's supposed to do. Parenting is about learning to sacrifice joyfully for someone else's needs. It's calmly cleaning up puke at 4:00 a.m. and soothing an irrational and scared child when really you need to be in bed because you cleaned your own puke 45 minutes prior. It's wanting "just one freaking second to think without interruption" but helping with school work while cooking dinner and tying a shoe. All that sacrifice makes you a better person. But it is hard, and I've become very familiar with the end of my rope.

I have four kiddos. I homeschool them. I have a food allergy child. I have a child with speech and fine motor apraxia. We are on our ninth month of potty training. (Shut up.) I have a six year old daughter who is on a pirate joke kick. This is an intense stage of life. We have reached capacity.



But maybe probably not.

Which is why I am publicly pleading my case.

You, dearest Facebook/Instagram/Twitter parents of the world, please stop. Stop with the pictures of your babies.

Your baby in her Christmas picture, with her chubbo cheeks and unruly wisps of hair peeking out from beneath the Santa hat? Just stop.

Your tiny newborn all swaddled in fleece, showing off his first gassy smiles in the midst of peaceful slumber? C'mon on.

And you with the video? Do you know happens when I see the ten second clip of your three month old expressing their pleasures with their new-found ability to coo? Puppies wrapped in red bows shower down from rainbows and Dove chocolate grows on the boxwood hedge in my front yard. And honestly, that's too much happiness for one planet to contain.

The worst by far is this type of picture:

Do you know what happens when I view any baby from this angle? I am made acutely aware that my "baby" is now three years old and it has been a long time since I snuggled someone using only my arms. And then my ovaries explode.

Every time I see one of these adorable pictures, I want another baby of my own. To snuggle, to feed, to coo with. My kids would looooove another baby. But we are at capacity.



Or maybe probably not.

So please, for the sake of my ovaries, stop. Your baby is awesome, and I just can't handle it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maybe I wouldn't mind a padded cell. Also, Bradley Cooper and I are working on a thing.

Stephenie Meyer built an entire empire based on a dream. Not an idealistic Martin Luther King, Jr. dream comprised of a desire and vision to better the world, but a literal dream. While peacefully at slumber she experienced the meadow scene from Twilight when Edward and Bella declare themselves to one another. She turned that scene into a four novel series that spawned a career as a Hollywood producer. Whaaaa? The lesson we can all learn: your billion dollar idea is on the other side of consciousness so you should take every opportunity to sleep.

Because I've always suspected my genius was buried deep within (and consequently mostly inaccessible), I now sleep with a pad of paper on my bedside table so I can record any brilliance a nocturnal muse might deliver. This has been a fruitless endeavor thus far. (With a brief exception of an idea that garnered so much enthusiasm in my reposing brain it carried over into wakefulness. It was only when I was describing my idea to Brian that my revelation of stupidity was achieved.*)

(*Okay, twist my arm. The idea? I'm still not entirely sure. But you know how "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" is a thing? Well, I totally dreamed that Bradley Cooper and I were going to start a "Bradley Cooper Photo-bombing" thing. I'm a little fuzzy on how this makes me a billionaire, and I hadn't yet worked out the logistics of how I was going to convince Bradley to give up acting to, you know, go into professional photo-bombing, but for a solid fifteen minutes I was pretty sure my idea was golden.)

But the other night I had a legit idea as I was trying to go to sleep. I was reviewing my Black Friday purchases in my head (because it makes me way happier than counting sheep) and thinking of the amazing memory foam bath mat I scored from JCPenney at over 80% off.

This bath mat? Is amazing. I'm pretty sure the "business time" spent on the john in our house has increased ten-fold because no one wants to remove their feet from the coziness underneath. As I was remembering the way my feet were enveloped in the heavenly comfort I thought, "Duuuuuuude. That's it."

(This is when the angel choir sang and Keanu's face (in my head)(I don't know Keanu personally) was all, "No waaaaaaay," because he was astounded by the magnificence of the idea before him.)

Because I'm a good wife, I thought I'd give Brian a heads up that our lives were about to change forever.

Kelly: Hey, Babe. I had the best idea ever.

Brian: Yeah?

Kelly: Seriously. We are going to make so much money. We'll finally be able to afford to move to Disney World so I can front a cover band that performs in all the parks.

Brian: What's the idea?

Kelly: *huge dramatic pause* *wide eyes* *smirk* *head nodding yes*

Brian: *rolls eyes* What?

Kelly: Wall-to-wall memory foam carpet. *waits expectantly for the accolades*

Brian: They already make that.

Kelly: What?! Why don't we have it? I've never seen it!

Brian: Oh, I can find a way for you to see it.

Kelly: ... ?

Brian: It's called a padded cell, Babe. I'll just finally have you committed. Enjoy your carpeting. *laughs because he thinks he's hysterical*

And *that's* why I'm patenting wall to wall memory foam carpet in my name only.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Case of the Mondays : Memeday Morning Cheer Up

It's been so long, am I right? I think I only blogged four times the whole month of November. They say bad things happen in threes, and I'm relieved to count Brian's sickness, my broken bone spur, and the Horrendous Stomach Bug of 2013 as my quota of craptastic events allowed to occur at present time. I'm declaring I'm officially in the clear. Name it and claim it, yo.

Brian returned to work on November first; he is as healed as he's going to be. He did fall off a chair putting lights on our Christmas tree, but, in his defense, maybe I shouldn't have pushed him the chair was a bit wobbly, and anyone's balance would have been challenged.

My foot is slowly healing. That's all I can really say about that (without copious usage of colorful phrases that would feed the Swear Jar). I do have an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday to discuss my neck and headache. For those keeping track, that's no running, elliptical, or swimming now for over a month. As a result, I'm super fun to be around, and looking incredible in my skinny jeans - or, as they are known by their new name - the Jeans Formerly Known as my Skinny Jeans.

*cough* Black Friday *cough*

I will write about how I am dealing with this in an upcoming post, but in my best Pollyanna moments I simply insist people call me Ariel.

Since I promised a "Cheer Up" in today's post title, I'm leaving you with something to ponder. This is mainly because I believe that stressing your brain makes you smarter, and we can only do this by occasionally asking the really hard questions. Today's brain teaser:

Mensa, here we come.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

You're All on HIGH ALERT

I know as a professing Christian I'm supposed to be filled with grace and mercy. However, as we are suffering day five of the most violent stomach bug I have experienced (with my sweet six year old getting the worst of it) I send out this as a warning to whomever spread this virus our way and to the virus invading our lives:

I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Are you scared yet? Good.
Oh, and Happy week before Thanksgiving, y'all. I hope it's a blessed time filled with being thankful that you are not throwing up. ;-)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Some of us do *important* things with our free time.

There are two types of people: the doers and the watchers. Today's post is a tiny slice of encouragement pie made by someone who uses their time wisely ... doing things. Important things. Things like making sure Barbie and Ken have a wedding album. Because honestly? No bride should be without a wedding album.

Click here to see more evidence of the big day.

So go forth, friends, and do. Society will thank you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Then our house (almost) exploded

It was just an ordinary Sunday morning.

I was calmly and leisurely getting myself ready for church. While I chose pearls and impeccably made up my face, the children sat scrubbed and shiny in their Sunday best, reading peacefully to each other in the family room. I can't be certain, but I would wager it was fine 19th century literature they were enjoying. Brian was busy digesting the hot and delicious breakfast I'd lovingly prepared.

No? Not buying it?

So maybe what really happened is that I was frantic, because although it seems like every Sunday I fear I will be attending church in my birthday suit with my sopping hair dripping down my back, this Sunday threatened to realize that fear. We were late. Like, "MOM WHERE IS MY HAIRBRUSH / TOOTHBRUSH / SHOES / FAVORITE PACK OF MARKERS THAT I ALWAYS TAKE TO CHURCH / UNDERPANTS / SANITY" late. Also, I might add this was my first Sunday on crutches, which may have contributed to us being a bit behind schedule.

The kiddos gulped down Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Kelly crushes dreams with, "NO! We don't have time for Toaster Strudel today!" because I am the Worst Mom in the entiiiiiiiiire world) while Brian controls chaos so I could take a shower. Once I was "ready" (consisting of black skinny jeans and leopard flats *with inserts, Sarah*)(because that is what matched my crutches obviously) I switched with Brian so he could get ready. The kids were fully ready to go when Brian came and gave me A Serious Look.

"Hey, Kel? Can you come here and tell me if you smell gas?" I laughed and replied, "There is no way I am falling for that again." He gave me a sigh of exasperation (does anyone else ever feel like they are married to their mom?) and said, "No, I'm serious this time."

I went to our master bath and confirmed with my gas expert olfactory skills, "Yep. That's *totally* gas."

That's when all hell broke loose.

I guess I wasn't prepared for the seriousness of the smell of gas in the house. I was all, "Hey, that's weird," and planned to go about our day. Brian reacted more along the lines of, "OHMYLANTA THE HOUSE IS ABOUT TO BLOW UP! GET THE KIDS OUT OF THE HOUSE NOOOOOOOOOW!" as he shut off our furnace and ran outside in his pajamas.

The kids were all, "Is our house okay? My blanket is inside! Where are Dad's clothes?!" I was a picture of calm, definitely not speaking in a too bright voice while trying to make sitting in the Ford Flex in front of our neighbors house a few doors down the street seem like a fun little excursion. Brian went to get our neighbor, and these brave souls walked into our death trap of a house to check for gas.

Within five minutes Brian stood at the drivers window, a sheepish expression on his face as he stood in his jammie pants like he was ready to shop at Walmart. (Sorry, Walmart, that was completely unprovoked and uncalled for.)

"We're okay. Come on back to the house; I have to go get dressed."

I turned around and parked in the driveway. I followed him in to get the details of how we knew our house wasn't going to explode. (And to ask a few timely questions about homeowners insurance that had been tickling my brain for, I don't know, the last five minutes.)

When Brian and Don went into the house they smelled all the places you should check when you smell gas. After a thorough search it was determined that the smell of gas was isolated to the toilet. And while a few things can cause the smell of natural gas in a toilet, most of them involve a gradual breaking down of parts with a progressive onset of the aroma, and only one seemed a proper explanation for the abrupt onset of stench.

Or maybe our house is just haunted?

Apparently, sometimes leftover waste in your plumbing can release pockets of vapor as they decompose. Those vapors are as pleasant as you would imagine them to be. The general consensus is that this is what happened in our master bathroom. Which, if you break it down (a decomposition play on words?! Ridiculous!) means one thing:

Literally, our crap farted.

And *that's* how our house almost exploded.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Case of the Mondays: The Privilege to Whine

When you see it ...
My internet is currently working in 3-4 minute windows. I want to go all rage-fest about this, but I don't know enough about computers to know if this is a modem, router, or provider problem, which leaves me completely without a target to blame. Instead I've chosen to be pissed at the world in general, because suddenly my life has become 1996 all over again, which honestly (with the obvious exception of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise) was not that great the first time around. In the last few days I've been forced to call someone for directions, use a cookbook to make dinner, and physically drive to the library to look up a book in person.

I'm sure my lack of computer usage is becoming a problem for you. I'm sure those that follow me on Pinterest are like, "What the heck? Did Pinterest shut down?" due to the decrease of new pins in your feed. I'm sorry. I assure you I am working on it. Especially if "working on it" means unplugging my computer 50 times a day and whining to Brian to FIX IT ALREADY.

Since my first two paragraphs were probably the most First World Paragraphs in the history of modern civilization, I'd like to dedicate the rest of my post to the men and women serving to protect the privilege I have to live in a place where shoddy internet connectivity is viewed as a travesty problem.

I am quite thankful to be an American, in all of our flawed glory. I do not take for granted the lifestyle and luxuries I have been afforded, simply because of my nationality. I never worry my children will have enough food. I can go to church, or to temple, or to mosque, because I have the freedom to choose who/where I worship. The only bombs my children have been exposed to are in the context of my amazingly resilient 90's slang. (Which? *Was* da bomb, yo.) All these freedoms were put in place by our forefathers and are protected by the men and women in uniform.

Thank you for your choice to serve, your time, and your dedication. Thank you for your lives.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The early worm breaks her foot falling into the sunken living room because it's too.dang.early to remember the layout of her house.

This is my "Dude, seriously?" face
Motherhood is about making sacrifices. I think a good 75% of those sacrifices involve a sleep offering.

I find that when I need some extra time I'm most productive when I wake up before the rest of the family. Sometimes I plan lessons, sometimes I do food prep, and sometimes I surf Pinterest blog. At ten years on the job, I'm pretty familiar with the sounds of birds chirping in the rising of the sun while I catch up on chores.

Sunday morning was no exception.

I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. with the expectation that I would blog a bit, go for a run, and then get ready with my family before it was time to leave for church. It all started according to plan. Then ... children.

We have a rule in our house. No getting out of bed before 7:00 a.m. It's one of the hard and fast rules we employ. Sure, there are exceptions (ain't nobody want to clean up a pee bed because it wasn't time yet to leave your bedroom and use the bathroom) but this rule remains largely unbroken. Until the kiddos are old enough to tell time, we manage this with nightlights set to timers. Every day at 7:00 a.m. a sweet little timer switches on the nightlight, signalling that it is okay to roam freely about.

I'm a huge proponent of the solitary crack of dawn start to my day, but really hate an o'dark thirty house party comprised of prepubescent guests. This "stay in your room until 7:00" plan really works for us. Well, until *someone* plays with the timer and *completely on accident* sets it for 5:45 a.m. the same day I set my alarm to go off an hour and a half early to get some work done.

So on Sunday morning as I was finally settling into my writing groove and heard the stomp-clomp-stomp of children hoofing it down the hallway accompanied by the excited cry of, "OUR LIGHT WENT ON!" I was like:


Maybe I stomped-clomped-stomped to the hall and cried, "WHHHHHHHHHY IS YOUR LIGHT ON?" (Because I knew everyone else was still asleep and was certainly doing my best to maintain a peaceful atmosphere for those still blessed with slumber.) "NO WAAAAAY IS IT TIME TO GET UP. GET BACK IN BED."

*Enter mass chaos*

Okay, I get it. Routine clearly dictates that when the lights come on it's game on for milk or apple juice and snuggles on the couch. And here I was, freaking out like a banshee because OHMYLANTA I WOKE UP EARLY TO GET WORK DONE AND I CAN'T GIIIIIIIIIIIVE ANYMORE HERE. (Top 5 Parenting Moment, for sure.)

This is when Brian rescued me, promising to snuggle with Ezra and Esther until it was time to get up. I left them all in the bedroom, equally thankful and pissed that Brian was going to be of service. Because while of course I'd rather be tangled up in a heap of cozy quilts and darling kiddos, snoozing an extra hour or two, I had important crap to do. (Are you hearing my Martyr Violin Concerto playing in the background?)

I stomp-clomp-stomped my way down the hallway and through the kitchen, promptly forgot we have a sunken living room, and plunged almost to my death. (Okay, that was a bit dramatic.) The truth is I stumbled fantastically down one step, pulling a kitchen chair with me to break my fall. (The kitchen chair did nothing but provide a laudable and resounding soundtrack to my spill, BTW.) I ended up on the floor, not that hurt, still a little pissed, and almost laughed because of course that just happened.

I went over to the computer and worked for an hour, thinking if I hurried I could get in a short run before I needed to be back home to do our morning routine. I tried to stand and sat back down. I was at Urgent Care in less than an hour.

Guess who treated me? Remember the doctor I saw in February with the worst flu in the history of the world? I wrote about it in a post called "Um, YEAH, I totally meant my ovaries". You can read it by clicking here. I was reunited with Dr. P.

He totally didn't remember me, which both irritated me and relieved me. I had the same reaction to him as I did last time; namely, I felt like an inferior idiot who had to prove that I was really hurt. And totally not just looking for drugs like last time, you know.

Dr. P :*storms in and mumbles a question*
Kelly: *in my head, "Dude, what's with all the storming?"*
Dr. P : *stares blankly at me*
Kelly: *realizes he asked me something* Um ... what?
Dr. P : ... You hurt your foot?
Kelly: *immediately defensive because I am a smart, capable woman and not a hypochondriac which is of course what his question implies, right?* Yes, my right foot. I can't bear any weight on it.
Dr. P: *starts to probe my foot*
Kelly: *starts to panic, because I'm suddenly sure I'm just overreacting even though I can't walk and he's going to prove it with his magic doctor fingers* Also, my foot feels really hot to the touch.
*because I read once that serious injuries feel hot to the touch**and then I remember the nurse has been making me ice it while I've been at Urgent Care so I clumsily speak again*
Kelly: Except it doesn't feel hot now, because, you know, the ice. *Smoooooooth*
Dr. P: We have to do an X-ray. *leaves the room*

At this point Brian calls me and we arrange for him to bring Ezra to me so he and the girlies can go to church. I go get my X-rays done.

X-ray Tech: Could you be pregnant?
Kelly: Nope. No way. Not a chance. Just finished up my period. (Good thing I mentioned that.)(Now I feel I need to redeem myself) It's a good thing I hurt my right leg because it's the leg I chose to shave yesterday. So, that's like a gift to me and you. (Ohmylanta, really, Kel?)
X-ray Tech: *has the decency to at least laugh* I always tease my daughter because she takes such good care to shave her legs but always forgets to shave her toes. *looks pointedly at my very hairy big toe*
Kelly: *she did not just call me out on my toe hair* ....
X-ray Tech: Don't worry, it's a sign of good circulation.

I do have really good circulation.

While I was waiting for Dr. P to read my x-rays, Brian brought Ezra to my room. This is how I discovered Dr. P's kryptonite.

Dr. P is totally uncomfortable with little children. (Or, at least, children who appear out of the blue.)

I may have used this to gain the upper hand in our relationship.

Dr. P: *storms in the room* Well, you have a br-- *sees Ezra, looks confused*
Kelly: *waits patiently*
Dr. P: - a broken bone spur in your heel. We don't usually see this. It's an odd break.
Ezra: Doctor, husodhteeeefnkalfkalfkalkveeeee?
*Ezra has apraxia, and while he is getting so much better with his speech, there are times even I can't decipher what he is saying*
Dr. P: *looks desperately at me* Uuuuuummm, what, Buuuuuudy?
Ezra: DOCTOR,  hisodihfiosteeeeendslfidsoifoveeeee?
Dr. P: *giggles nervously, stares at me pleadingly* Um ... I'm not sure ....
Kelly: *that's right, ME! TO! THE! RESCUE!* He has apraxia. He's asking where the t.v. is, because they usually put us in a room with the t.v.
Dr. P: Oh. Down the hall, Buddy.

In the end, I have a broken bone spur in my heel. Sarah has doctor privileges at the treatment center where I was seen, so she pulled my x-rays and is just as confused as everyone else as to how this happened. I have been told to follow the RICE plan (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and to see how it feels in about a week. By then I should be able to walk on it. After I can walk I can return to biking and elliptical, but no running for about 6 weeks. No Turkey Trot this year :(

Yep. Toenails painted circa August 2013. In the background? The offending step down into the living room.

Pouty sad face.

I declined pain meds at Urgent Care because I obviously wasn't thinking clearly. I sensibly chose the next best option:

740 calories of Tim Horton's goodness.
That works out to about 1 smile per calorie. Oh Happy Day.

So much crap on the refrigerator.
Iced Capp.

Timmy Ho's for pain management.
I think I just won health care.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sex Education Level: Shart

The most needed item on your baby gift registry?
A sense of humor.
(Alternate caption: child saying, "No mama, I don't
want to pose like this. I insist you take a different
pic of me with my arms crossed like a gangster.")
I love my kids. They are a tremendous source of hilarity and joy throughout my day. My kids are awesome.


Sometimes being a mom is pretty crappy. Literally. It's literally crappy. I want the millions of teens who make up the MTV Teen Mom demographic to know just how crappy it can be before they continue the trend where a fifteen year old mom-to-be gets fame and notoriety and not, I don't know, a giant reality check. (It's been my experience that the giant reality check usually occurs at 3:00 a.m. with the realization that not only have you received zero hours of sleep so far, you won't have any other opportunity for at least another day.)(Also, there is usually puke involved.)(Which we call "yammy.")(As in, "Dude, the baby just totally yammied* all over your back.")(*a verb and a noun, apparently.)

I think we are in desperate need of a new campaign to fight against teen pregnancy. This is mostly because I don't even know if there is a current campaign. The general mentality seems to be "For the love of God, if you are a teen who happens to find herself pregnant, hurry up and at least get a Twitter account, because if you play it right there could be a book deal," and that is just not a whole lot of incentive to keep your pants on/be a bit more diligent about birth control.

"Like this, Mom. Totally gangster.
It's important people see you take me out in public with
 my pockets hanging out and a giant stain on my knee.
Also, both a toilet and a toilet paper dispenser? Pottery Barn
Kids is going to seek you out to stage their
next catalog."
So I came up with an idea.

Expose the masses to real parents. Real children. Real life situations. Let each parent make their own commercial, each with their own tagline. It should totally speak for itself.

Here is the ad for my campaign, "It Only Takes One Sperm".

A gorgeous mama of four children, let's call her Kelly, takes her brood to the public library. She watches her two youngest get out every.single.puppet in the metro Detroit area (seriously, opening the puppet drawer is like watching clowns tumble out of a Volkswagen* Beetle).(I don't mean to name drop, but there are clown passengers that include the puppet versions of Elmo, The Hungry Caterpillar, and a three foot tall Barney.)

(*my whole entire life I've been calling it "Voltswagen." Thanks, Spellcheck*, for the realization that my whole life I've been living a lie.)(*Also? Irony is spelling "spellcheck" incorrectly. Deal with it.)

It was not long before Kelly noticed a peculiar odor in the air. Some creative sniffing led her to the rear end of her darling three year old who no, isn't potty trained yet and you shoosh your mouth about it. After ripping a flailing toddler away from the mountain of his best friends (cue child yelling, "NO!!!!! PLAY WITH ELMO! PLAY WITH POOH! PLAY WITH BARNEY!") she struggles to carry the wriggling mass of boy to the public bathroom, where she can only pray will exist a changing table that supports the vast mass and length of a three year old.

Because 'Murica, the restroom sports a clean and functional changing table, complete with a fully stocked changing pad pocket. (Just kidding. That's called wishful thinking.) What Kelly finds is a changing table six inches too short for her darling child, with loose hinges requiring she balance on one leg, using the other to brace the table against the bulk slight weight of her son. This results in a flamingo like stance, if the flamingo had to bend at the knee and jut out her pelvis in order to achieve just the right angle and pressure needed to bolster the table and generate a steady surface. #Physics.

A teenager joins Kelly and her son in the restroom. She is using the restroom to leisurely wash her hands, because maybe with her disposable teenage income she bought a bagel and a coffee at the library cafe and casually ate her breakfast without any threat of heartburn because for her, smear cream cheese/chew was an "and" situation and not the "or" experience a breakfast with toddlers provides.

The teenager watches as Kelly changes the child. Mom is a magician, displaying mind-bending feats of skill and athleticism as she speedily conquers the task at hand. She is an entertainer, singing songs and playing games. This is simultaneously the peak of her mommy ability, her strongest suit, and her ultimate demise.

The teenager looks on as what was a sweet bonding moment turns to crap. Literal fecal matter. Because what undoubtedly happens next is that our Flamingo Mom, balancing on one leg in order to brace the unsteady changing table, her pelvis grinding the plastic edge like Miley on Robin, is in the worst possible position for self-defense. The muscles used to produce the peals of laughter at mom's hilarity engaged during this diaper change are the same muscles used in the force behind an expulsion of flatulence (i.e. some kiddos that laugh fart at the same time). If lucky enough, one might discover with that expulsion of flatulence the child had a bit more in the tank (i.e some kiddos that fart poop at the same time). Shart = pent up gas with an extra gift. Mom will discover this perched directly in the line of fire, while a horrified audience observes.

In my commercial this is where the camera cuts from the loving domestic scene of a giggling child getting a fresh nappy to slow motion. The following shots are shown in sequence:

1. Giggling baby begins to laugh harder, tensing in anticipation.

2. Mom's eyes widen because she is an oracle who knows what the next .5 seconds has in store.

3. The too-late parental cry of "NOOOOO" as the child does a fluffy* and she is sprayed from below with a fine mist of residual waste.

It is Parenting Level: Shart Shower.

In my commercial this is where the camera cuts from a poop-sprayed mom to the horrified teenager watching from in the mirror over the sink. The defeated poop-covered mom will meet her eyes in the reflection and say, "It only takes one sperm."

Thank you, God, for the scarf trend that allows for creative draping and bit of dignity as I leave the library in defeated shame. Also, smelling like roses.

So take heed girls. A shart shower is only one sperm away. #itonlytakesonesperm

(*Does a fluffy = In our house, farts are called "fluffy's". I totally don't know why. Imagine how delighted our children were to discover that the neighbors got a new dog and named her Fluffy. This was hilarious for days.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Hidden Danger of Fist Pumping - a Morality Tale of My Return to the Gym

Notice Robert's use of the underhand
fist pump. It is well executed with just
the right mixture of humility and
Since I missed so much workout time with Brian being sick, I was really anxious to get back to my normal routine. Since I'm not training for anything specific (half-marathon got derailed due to taking care of Brian) I could go do anything active I wanted my first day back. It was like trying to choose a favorite child, y'all. (Sike, you know Ab Lab won hands down.)(Just don't tell the pool.)(Or the bike.)(Or all the lovely free weights that have been so down since I've been gone.)(Literally down.)(Because they haven't been lifted up.)(*accepts my Worst Joke Ever award*)

Of course the first thing that happened to me, cementing any remnant of middle school fear I still had firmly in my heart, was that I forgot my locker combination. I planned on getting to the gym early to do a few miles warm up on the bike before the torture Ab Lab began. Instead I stood at my locker trying every combination known to man (full disclosure: I tried the same wrong combination close to 30 times because I was so sure I was right and obviously the locking mechanism was just being stubborn and was going to realize, by my persistence, that it should just give it up and open already) for almost ten minutes. I was at the point I was deciding that my lock was broken when I had an epiphany. The kind of epiphany that comes with the memory of the correct combination. You know, the one that is nowhere near the one I tried 30 times.

Lock = 1, Kelly = 0. By this time I'd missed any chance at a warm up, but could hurry and make it to class.

I was thankful I was coming back to Ab Lab on a day Kathy would be teaching. Kathy is everything I want to be when I grow up. She takes good care of herself, makes fitness a priority, and I'm pretty sure that God gave her my portion of coordination, because she is a genius who can not only do step aerobics, but teach them as well. In fact, Kathy calls out step instructions while mirroring what she calls without any hesitation. In all likelihood that's a Super Power.

I strode confidently into the Ab Lab studio (ok, I was late so really what I'm calling "confidence" was really just hurried preoccupation with making sure I got my favorite spot) so I missed that Kathy was not teaching Ab Lab. I settled nicely on my mat with seconds to spare only to find myself looking at Janice. *the lights dim and a spotlight shines on my face as the camera zooms in to capture the look of horror before I release my Jamie Lee Curtis-like scream* (Just kidding. Y'all know I have the wussiest girl scream ever)(camera zooms in and catches me lip-syncing the most horrific scream ever)(and then the public strikes back in outrage because first it was Ashley Simpson on SNL and then Beyonce at the inauguration and seriously what is this world coming to if even Kelly is lip-syncing her blog fantasy screaming?)

What is the problem with Janice teaching Ab Lab? Normally nothing. Janice is amazing. She is a retired physical education teacher, and she's my favorite Boot Camp instructor. (She also makes me simultaneously love and hate Spin Class with such intensity I wonder if I have Multiple Personality Disorder.) Janice is a really involved instructor. She believes in injury prevention by using correct form. If you read between the lines of those last two sentences you know that Janice will tail you and correct your form at any time. (And truly I am thankful for that. At least, my knees are thankful for that.) Consequently? Janice scares the heck out of me.

Janice once *literally* kicked my tush because I was "making a tee-pee" while holding plank and told me to "get your a** out of the air." She also chased me during sprints yelling, "YOU CAN RUN FASTER THAN THAT! RUN LIKE I'M STEALING YOUR GAS CARD!" (Listen, she's older, cut her some slack on her insults.)(And don't worry, she'll make up for it in the next few paragraphs.)

If I could sum up Janice with just one story it would be this one. Because Janice's classes are so popular, we often have to "squad up" to run our drills simply to save space. (Ohmylanta, remember "squading up"?) This means that at any given time, five or six of us will be doing the drill while everyone else suffers through some form of cardio nightmare while observing the chosen few do the burning OH LORD MAKE IT STOP drill Janice planned for us. One day we were doing moving squat jumps. The key to healthy squat jumps is to land soft in order to save your knees. Janice is a visual learner/teacher. The best way to teach soft landings according to a visual learner is to watch for *ahem* tush jiggle. Soft landings don't have any jiggle.

I wouldn't say my most awesome moment in life was doing squat jumps in front of forty people while being shadowed by a 50 year old woman in much better shape than me who yelled, "I CAN SEE IT JIGGLE" ("IT" =  my hindquarters) every time I landed, but it ranks up there as Pretty Freaking Awesome.

So what I really mean is I love/hate Janice. Mostly I love her. But I don't know if I was ready for a "first day back to Ab Lab" with Janice. But guess what? It totally didn't matter if I was ready. It was happening. Game on, son.

My fist pumping is much more in the style of
Sean Connery. It is overhand and about ear
high. My face is much less subdued. I mean,
we can't all rely on our James Bond past
for cool points, can we?
In the end, I survived. I modified a lot. Plank on the BOSU ball? I looked a bit like I was trying to jackhammer the floor with the ball. It was ... seismic. My hip flexors are still alllllllll a hot mess, so while doing "clock" abdominal leg raises I timed out at 3:00 and 9:00 respectfully. (20 Awesome Points for a clock pun.) I left Ab Lab a whimpering, sweaty mess still excited to go run, so success.

I don't why I expected the run to be so hard. I had not done any running in almost three weeks, but my two previous runs were a six mile run and a ten mile run. I almost drove myself into a panic attack thinking I wouldn't be able to run three miles which.was.ridiculous.

I was about a half mile in when I started to feel like a rock star. Why was I so worried? Here I was - my first day back - owning the treadmill and solving puzzles with Pat Sajak and Vanna White like nobody's business. (Seriously, why is Wheel of Fortune always on at my gym?)(And why won't anybody ever change the channel?)(I know my gym gets HGTV.)(Hasn't anyone ever seen Property Brothers? It's waaaaaay better than Wheel of Fortune.)(Why don't I go change the channel?)(*next fitness goal planned*).

This is really closer to the
model I follow.
So there I was, back at the gym, Queen of the treadmill, clearly seeing the puzzle answers in record time, you know, generally winning at life, when I looked down to see the entire three miles had passed before I even realized it. I hadn't lost my fitness after all. I raised my arm in a triumphant fist pump (a subtle one - I'm not *that* girl)(I'm totally *that* girl) because I'd just finished my run without needing to convince myself to finish it even one time, when I noticed the woman next to me giving me a dirty look as she wiped herself off. Turns out she's going to feel really bad later when she realizes the sweat I'd accidently flung on her when I fist pumped was the sweat of a mother-freaking champion. 

There's really not a whole lot to say after you fling sweat on someone. Usually "I'm sorry," is customary, but next time I would stop short of adding, "I promise I don't have any weird diseases." (FYI - that totally doesn't help the situation.) (You'd think I'd be a pro at this kind of thing after the mishap at the San Diego Zoo.) I finished my cool down in the kind of awkward silence where we both pretend we are really excited Jeopardy is starting.

With the exception of the last five minutes, it was a fine first day back. As for my little social blunder, I think we can all learn a little something here. I got a little too big for my britches on that treadmill. Understandable, being good at Wheel of Fortune can do that to you. But you know what they say: Pride goeth before the sweat falls on a stranger.
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