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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is there a greeting card to say, "I'm sorry for squirting you with windshield wiper fluid"?

Have I mentioned that I have a strong affection for Tim Horton's?  Really? Because usually that's one of the first things people know about me.  Funny I haven't mentioned it here...

I live in an area that has direct access to every suburban nicety you could need. Target?  Which one?  There are two within three miles of my house.  Kohl's? Same thing.  Grocery stores? I lost count at six within the same radius.  I can walk a half mile to McDonalds, Burger King, Arby's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Boston Market, Potbelly's, three Coney Island's, and Timmy Ho's all from my front door.  (That's just the fast food.  You can also add Outback, TGIF's, Applebees, and if you tack on another mile, Panera, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili's, Olga's... I could go on but this is making me hungry, and it's a loooooong time until lunch.)

It's a wonder I don't weigh 400 pounds.  (Although if I exclusively walked to these places it might take a slight edge off the caloric mountain.)(So maybe I'd only weigh 300.)

To some people all this convenience would be a dream. (I'm thinking of my Sister Wife Lyndsay who lives about 1000 miles from anything.)(Although it is really difficult to have a farm where I live.)(So Lynds would be totally out of luck with her goats and soap business.) To others it would be a nightmare.  (Truth?  The traffic is not my favorite.)(Neither is trying to ride my bike for triathlon training in said traffic.)

I'm a "take the good, take the bad, take 'em both and there you have" kind of girl, and so I'm happy to live in my sweet little commercialized town and am thankful that I can run out and buy emergency chocolate at 10:00 a.m. without it causing any major setbacks for the day.  (Who am I kidding?  Emergency chocolate can only cause the day to get better.)(Mostly because if you need emergency chocolate at 10:00 a.m. the track record for the day hasn't been stellar to begin with.)(So the odds of a delicious sugar rush improving your day aren't that surprising.)

See all those veggies?  It's like I'm eating a
salad and a bagel, egg, bacon, and cheese
show up to supplement.  #healthfood
I know Tim Horton's is my weakness.  When I am being faithful and obedient to my responsible eating plan I allow myself to eat there on Tuesday mornings.  When I am being a great big ball of hormonal rage fest that doesn't care about being a blobby mess of hotness I visit with increased frequency. The kind that loses track of meaningful time and says, "I haven't had a Bagel BELT in forever," and "forever" means "yesterday."

This might be why the people at Tim Horton's know me.

Since I've been sick, it's been about two weeks since I've contributed to Tim Horton's coffers. (I'm sure their stock has taken a hit.)  I had been looking forward to this reunion and anticipated the first sip of Iced Capp seeing my buddies from the drive-thru because people and relationships are more important than caffiene.*

(*This just became a huge "chicken or the egg" dilemma in my mind.  Sometimes in order to have good relationships with people you need to ingest some caffeine in order to be nice awake.  Does that mean that for the sake of people you need to prioritize caffeine? What came first - friendship or caffeine? Discuss.)

I took the Ford Flex out for my Post Flu Comeback Tour (which is the car that Brian drives and I'm not as familiar with).  It's wonderfully clean because the kiddos mostly stay out of it, so the back seat is not decorated in fossilized french fries and sour sippy cups. I was on the road less than ten seconds when I called Brian to ask how to turn off the rear window windshield wiper because I am too impatient to make a go of trial and error.  Once I had that all straightened out I headed to Tim Horton's to support Canada one breakfast sandwich at a time.

Understandably, my friends the people that work the drive-thru were frantic had noticed my absence.

Drive-Thru Intercom Guy:  Tim Horton's.  May I help you?
Kelly: May I please have a Bagel BELT and a small Iced Capp - no whipped cream?
Drive-Thru Intercom Guy (his name is Eric, FYI): OH HEY!  How have you been?
Kelly: Sick, dude.
Eric: Sucks. $5.60 at the window.

While I was waiting for my turn at the window I noticed my windshield was dirty.  I started pushing random buttons to find the fluid releaser.  I was unsuccessful.  (Surprise!)  Then it was my turn.

Eric:  Here's your Iced Capp.  It'll be a second for your sandwich.
Kelly: Cool.

This is when I put my straw in my Iced Capp and gulped took a sip (Brain freeze?  Ain't nobody got time for that) and then decided I should make good use of my time and find the windshield wiper fluid thing.  Being the triumphant morning of the Post Flu Comeback Tour, I totally found it.  I found it and was liberally dousing my windshield as Eric opened the drive-thru window to hand me my Bagel BELT.  At the exact same moment Eric handed me the grub, some snow melted on the wiper blade and helped to uncovered some jacked up sprayer hole that released windshield wiper fluid directly into the open window of Tim Horton's.  I couldn't have aimed better if I tried.  Thankfully Eric is fast and dodged, allowing the stream to hit his arm and the counter instead of his face and hair.  He looked appropriately freaked out and I was all, "DUDE!"

And then I giggled.

There is no amount of apologizing that will seem sincere after you laugh at squirting someone with windshield wiper fluid.

Eric was cool about it as I tried to hand him some Tim Horton's napkins from my stash in the car ("Yeah, we have some here, thanks.") but I think it will be a while before I can return without being completely mortified.  I guess I'll have to drive either a mile south or a mile east in order to go to a different Tim Horton's until the dust settles. (Or fluid is forgotten.)(Whatever.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Bring It On

I love this little girl. I have no idea who she is, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to start every day this way.  Dancing on the bathroom counter, hovering over the sink, and cheering myself on in the mirror.  Because first, yes, I can be a shark.  But second, everybody needs a few moments of encouragement.

"I like MY WHOLE HOUSE! (*clap for emphasis*) I can do anything good!"

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Um, YEAH, I totally meant my ovaries.

It turns out that me feeling so much better on Saturday was a total fake out.  It was merely a reprieve as my body unknowingly prepared for experiencing why some people use "violently" as an adverb with "ill".  I have never felt so sick in my entire life.

That's how I ended up at Urgent Care Sunday evening crying into my Throw Up Bowl (run to the bathroom?  Ain't nobody got time for that) fully convinced I was going to be the first case in history of some crazy hybrid flu that made even the hardest of doctors sympathetic to my misery.  I would be the woman the staff gather around to garner bragging rights that they were the first to see "Sublurban Mama Close to Death Flu" in southeastern Michigan, 2013.

I had the best nurse.  Her name was Rebekah, and she is the youngest of five, and a triplet. The first thing she did after my hour and a half wait yielded me a trip back into the coveted land where there are Actual Nurses and Doctors was transfer me to a room with a gurney so I could lie down.  Rebekah, because she is an awesome nurse, knew being in a room with just an exam table was not going to do the job.  (Although, in the interest of full disclosure: I totally crashed on the floor in the waiting room because I have no shame I'm not that picky.)(And the waiting room was full of chairs and love seats that were deceptive in the way they looked like they could handle a curled up 5'3" woman.)(But they couldn't.)(Handle me.)(Don't worry, the floor stepped up.)(Or rather, I stepped down.)(Okay, I slid.)(Pouty faced and pathetic.)(The important part is that I rested and did not throw up in public.)

Rebekah was 100% supportive in all the right ways, even though I was probably the fiftieth case of the flu she had dealt with that day, and each case knew theirs was the worst case Rebekah had ever seen in her career. (Sorry guys, mine was the worst.  True story.)  She got me water and warm blankets and didn't make me feel like an idiot that I came to Urgent Care even though I knew no one could do anything but Dear God, make it stop I was desperate.  She even suggested I get an official pregnancy test since Aunt Flo is running a little behind schedule this month. (Negative on the bun in the oven.) She also totally made up for Dr. P, who was a (Holy Ghost edit).

Dr. P was not 100% supportive.  This is the story of our relationship.

Scene:  Kelly is on a gurney, probably dying of a weird flu that will be named after her. There is a sharp knock at the door, and as Kelly is registering sound (although not processing the source) the door sweeps open and in storms a young, tall, attractive man.

Man: How are you? I'm Dr P. (Keeps talking.)(Dude is like a freight train of talking.)
Kelly:  (still on first question, interrupts)  I've been better.
Dr. P: (looks confused - is she talking to me?)
(this man has no sense of humor)
Dr. P: So what's wrong?
Kelly:  I have the flu and it hurts everywhere.
Dr. P: Well, you have the flu.  It can hurt.  Sit up.
Kelly: (tries to sit up and gets tangled in the blanket.)(Is also still wearing her coat zipped and hood on.)
Dr. P: Where does it hurt?
Kelly: Everywhere. But mostly... (pantomimes rubbing her abdomen.)
Dr. P: Show me exactly.
Kelly: (unzips her coat at the speed of molasses.)(Thinks she is being the fastest coat unzipper-er ever.)(Jabs at a specific spot in her stomach.  But since she's a mom who has lost 100 pounds and is hunched over on a gurney, it's not nearly specific enough for Dr. P.)
Dr. P: Lay down and show me.
Kelly: (Has enough brain power to register that maybe she should be embarrassed that she is not wearing a bra that could have been some kind of veiled reference to the Mama Gut she is still rocking.)(Gets offended that she is really sick and this doctor just barely by the craziest interpretation possible kind of called her fat.)(Also, maybe when Kelly feels picked on she starts verbally spewing any excuse of justification that comes to mind.)

(I'm explaining the motivation of the character here.)(That was totally a character note, Dude.)(This is like, a professional level screenplay dialogue.)

(Back to Kelly feeling the need to seem smarter and more altogether ... together than current situation would suggest.)

Kelly: I'm a triathlete.  I mean, I know what it means to persevere.  You know, when you're in pain. I'm not a wuss.  So I don't really know anatomy, but I'm pretty sure it's my kidneys. Can we just rip those out?
Dr. P: Show me.
Kelly: (Juts her hips in the air and digs her fingers in to the spot of torture.)

This is a picture of my reenactment once I felt better the next day (because if I were President the first thing I would do is give every household Zofran.  And complimentary fiber.  Holy Side Effects, Batman.)  If you know anatomy this picture is already hilarious.  If not, don't worry, I'll explain soon.

Dr. P: Anywhere else?
Kelly:  Just my whole stomach hurts.
Dr. P: (Steps closer and begins to probe.) Tell me if it hurts.
Kelly:  (Is in full panic because now she is worried that 1. it's going to hurt and 2. she might throw up.  This realization brings that panic that 3. she has never throw up without pooping at the same time, and now she has to try to accurately assess a pain level and not throw up and poop on this doctor who already thinks she is a hypochondriac retard.) (Finally answers) It's all ... sensitive.
Dr. P: Okay, we'll put you on an IV for dehydration and give you Zofran for nausea.
Kelly: My mouth tastes like metal. (What she means is, "Hey Dr. House, here's a weird symptom that you can add to your puzzle in order to correctly diagnose and treat me. Because I am too sick to have the normal flu.)
Dr. P: Yes. You're dehydrated.
Kelly: (Desperate) And my hips and knees are killing me. (C'mon, House, work your magic.)
Dr. P : Dehydration. (Leaves the room.)

End scene.  Well, not exactly.

The next day, having received my IV and Zofran from Rebekah the Angel Nurse and feeling almost close to normal (just a lot worn out) I also was able to fully distinguish a flu-like stomach ache from period cramps.  And then when Aunt Flo visited around noon I finally put together that when I asked Dr. P to rip out my kidneys?  You know, these kidneys?

The kidneys all the way in my lower abdomen that were trying to kill me?  The kidneys that I asked Dr. P to rip out were really my ovaries.

So yeah, I *did* have some weird hybrid flu.  Pee Em Ess Flu, Dude.  Don't hate.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Nothing says "love" like VD*

I have dreams of being *that* mom; you know, the one who actually does all the crap she pins on Pinterest, whose children have amazing memories of themed breakfasts and color coordinated holiday desserts, but who also gracefully handles normal life with aplomb.

But instead I'm the kind of mom that actually has kids.

However, this year was going to be different.  I had my Valentine's Day game ON.  I picked a Pinterest craft to make for my beloveds:

and even started saving toilet paper rolls like, two weeks ago, which, in my sweet little family of six means I have a collection of about 25 in my immediate possession. (Which also now puts me on the Black Market Hit List for every elementary school art teacher in my vicinity.)  I bought candy with which to fill the bombs, and, because I know the perils of too much junk in the trunk, I also bought some heart pencils and rulers.

I don't even know how it happened but I finagled my way into an invite to a homeschooler party that I wouldn't need to plan at all.  I could just show up with a treat or two and have the kiddos prepared to hand out cards.  Which? I also had the foresight to purchase last week. Cards with stickers and pop out cardboard jewelry.  (Oh my goodness.  I get the chills just thinking about how ahead of the freaking game I was.)

My whole "This Year I Will Be An Awesome Mom" Valentine's Day plan was going so well.

Enter Saturday night.

Kelly: Dude.  I don't feel so good. (The exact wording may have been a bit different because maybe I feel Brian doesn't take me seriously unless it seems I am dying.)(So it probably was more like, "Briiiiiaaaaan.  I feel like I'm gonna diiiieee. Seriously, Babe.  I've never felt so sick in my Whole. Entire. Liiiiiiiiife.  Except that one time in our old house - remember then?  When my limbs were so painful that I couldn't even lift the sheet off the bed and you had to stay home from work because there was no way I could lift two children in and out of cribs let alone be expected to change any diapers? That time was worse.  But thiiiiis is reeeally bad, toooooooo.")(I'm paraphrasing, of course.)

The next few five days were a blur.  A blur of the worst moments of my life.  (Really, Drama Queen?)(Um, yes.)  Because not only did Mama get the FLU FROM HELL (symptoms include high fevers  - averaging 103.5 because we are not underachievers - extreme body/muscle aches, fatigue, chills - and night sweats, score! - sore throat, headache, nausea - maybe I even took a pregnancy test because this wretchedness could not all possibly be just the flu, right? - sinus pain, etc.) but all four kids got it as well.

Brian came home from work most days to discover me cashed out on the pullout couch, covered in four feverish children.  I think we were all whimpering.

I do know this week included copious amounts of television.  And the viewing of the entire "Buddies" puppy movie catalog.  And probably the Spy Kids franchise as well.  We consumed exactly four sleeves of saltine crackers, one and a half gallons of apple juice, and 19 berry flavored Minute Maid juice boxes.  The highlight of the week was undoubtedly this:

Facebook Status:  Thanks to the wretched flu, tonight was my first attempt at dinner in 4 days. About 30 seconds after I realized the Greek yogurt I drizzled all over our Greek pizzas was spoiled, the doorbell rang, and there stood my friend Carrie with homemade chicken noodle soup and warm bread. It was the happiest moment I've had in a long time. I feel so loved :)

Best chicken noodle soup of my life.

So, in conclusion, Next Year I Will Be An Awesome Mom for Valentine's Day.  Unless there is a tornado.  Or something else as equally unplanned and horrifically destructive as this flu. Until then, well, I guess our St. Patrick's Day is gonna be piiiiimp.

*"Nothing says 'love' like VD" is the name of my Valentine's Day board on Pinterest.  It makes you totally want to follow me on Pinterest, amIright?  Good news for you, click on the P over at the top right and you are all set.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Things that are not funny

Do you know what's not funny?  Four kids with the flu.  Wanna take it to a whole 'nother level of unfunny?  Give mama the flu first.  I'll be back soon, friends.  Until then Holla at The Lord on my behalf, pleaseandthankyou.

P.s. Awesome autocorrects for this post include "take it to a whole Mother level" and "until then Holland at The Lord".

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Case of the Mondays: Three simple words can change your life.

Those words:  Leaf Blower Photography.

A photographer named Tadas ńĆerniauskas (watch your mouth) invited a hundred people to get their picture taken while subjecting themselves to the powerful gusts of a leaf blower.

Scientific evidence proves that laughing for ten minutes can burn up to 45 calories*.  Also around 45 calories?  Two Hershey kisses.  So if you look at the pictures linked below while eating two Hershey kisses, the candy becomes a negative calorie food.  That's the way logic works.  Negative calorie foods are those foods whose calories actually get burned off while eating them.  Like celery.  Which is awful on it's own and needs a big dollop of peanut butter or cream cheese to make it palatable and even then it's only redeeming quality is that it becomes an edible spoon.  Laughing also strengthens abdominal muscles.  So as an added bonus today's post also offers an ab workout for free.  I'm like the best personal trainer in the world.

Click here for the full awesomeness.  And Happy Monday.

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's What's For Dinner

Just an average family dinner at my house.
It's 6 a.m., so I've obviously got one thing on my mind.

What's for dinner tonight?

Food.  I eat it everyday, so, I'm pretty much a fan.  Everyone has a personal philosophy about food, conscious or otherwise, because they make food decisions several times a day.  Some people even think their ideas about food are the ideas about food for everyone. Since I'm a little funny about others telling me what I should eat (not a pride thing, just a natural consequence of having food allergy kids and being a woman that has lost 100 pounds and is terrified of gaining it back)  I adopt a bit of a free-lovin' hippie-esque view of personal diet.  My current food philosophy is:  everyone is different, discover your needs and your wants, and exercise balance (in your diet, not on the Wii board) (although that's okay, too) (geez, stop being so touchy).

In 2004, a documentary called Super Size Me prompted Brian and I to try thirty days of whole foods, which is as close to clean eating as I have ever done.  We should have known this challenge was doomed from the start, when 45 minutes into a documentary showcasing how revolting the fast food industry is we broke for a Big Mac run.  We committed to the "Whole Foods Challenge" on a whim, even though my idea of healthy food was iceberg lettuce and the occasional apple. I guess you should theoretically know how to cook before you embark on a whole foods diet.  It was my practice to pass over any recipe that started with "chop one onion" because it was too much work.  So, you can see how prepared we were to go all whole foods for a month.

It did not go well.

Starting with the twenty-four ingredient Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Burgers was probably a bad choice.  The menu sounded wonderful to Brian until he came home from work to discover me crying in the kitchen because I was so overwhelmed mostly because I didn't want to touch the mushrooms, and prompt me to leave him with a 19 month old, a 5 month old, and an unfinished recipe while I took a long drive to recover from feeling like the worst wife/mother/chef ever. And maybe stopped to buy myself some "therapy" Subway.

Eventually I learned to cook,  which came in handy when God gave us a child that is allergic to milk.  And eggs.  And peanuts.  And tree nuts.  And sesame seeds.  And berries with seeds on the outside.  And citrus.  And high fructose corn syrup. (Up until that last one you were all, "That's not so bad, we could manage that."  But then I dropped the HFCS bomb and you were like, "WHAAAA?  HOW DO YOU FUNCTION?" I know, right?)

Actually, with that last allergy we are perfectly set up to eat a clean diet.  There is just one problem.  Taco Bell is delicious I am so lazy.  That's not 100% true.  It's more like 75% true. There are so few convenience foods our family can eat that when I discover that generic Fruit Loops are free of any of our families allergens, I'm all (and say it like you are a queen bestowing favor upon the land), "FRUIT LOOPS FOR BREAKFAST FOR EVERYONE!"

Which actually sounds like tonight's plan for dinner.  Full circle.  Done.

Totally not our generic Fruit Loops.  And I am so jealous.  These have an angry eagle throwing up a rainbow of cereal.  It's almost downright patriotic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How I Became an Ultra-Ironman Triathlete

I should not have put off writing today's post for as long as I have, as it is now late Tuesday night and instead of reveling in my normal hilarity I am sad, sad, sad.

Brian just took the in-laws to the airport. You know, where they will be boarding a plane to Africa.  For a year. (And by that I mean they will be living in Africa for a year, not boarding a plane for a year.)(It's just that my sentence structure was confusing and I didn't want anyone to be misinformed.)(Because here at Sublurban Mama we care about factual and accurate information.)(And avoid redundancies and repeating ourselves.)(Did you like how I said "we" like Sublurban Mama is more than me, a SAHM blogging in my jammies, wondering if Ezra will remember he has a Milky Way Valentine's heart from Grandma in the fridge or if he is still young enough that out of sight means out of mind, and if that is the case I should totally eat it?)

For those who already live far away from family, or just plain don't see yours much, in-laws in Africa for a year will not seem a big deal.  But I'm close with my in-laws, and the kiddos see their grandparents several times a week.  We live 3.1 miles apart (which is an excellent running route, because there's always cold water and a potty half way through)(and a ride home if I wuss out).  This will be an adjustment.  Because honestly, I can't see myself going out for a jog to Malawi anytime soon.  I am an ultrarunner at heart, but I should probably cover more than 6 miles at a time if I'm going to attempt intercontinental running.  Plus there's that whole "ocean" thing.  Although that could be the most intense triathlon ever.

The Ironman Triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim.  The Visit the In-Laws in Malawi Triathlon is about a 4,000 mile swim.  The Ironman follows it's swim with 112 miles on the bike.  My VTILIM Triathlon would have a 3300 mile bike ride.  The run would undoubtedly be the easiest part. The Ironman finishes with a little 26.2 mile marathon, and I think the VTILIM run would be about the same.  Except in a third world nation.  With no support or paved roads.  A trail run marathon.

Actually, my Visit the In-Laws in Malawi Triathlon sounds a lot like what I imagine is an everyday Navy Seal workout.  In fact, with a few minor tweaks (like the rule where you have to carry a weapon and wear camo body paint) I'm pretty sure I should rename this the Navy Seal Triathlon for Hardcore Endurance Athletes that Know Second Place is First Loser and that Pain is Just Weakness Leaving the Body.  It's catchier and more inclusive, don'tcha think?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Case of the Mondays: No habla Espanol

Confession:  My children refer to Super Bowl Sunday as "the day we get to eat." Now before you call CPS because apparently I don't ever feed the kiddos chill the heck out.  They are simply accrediting game time to the unsupervised nosh fest that is tradition in our home every SBS.

The highlight of the game for me was my third chocolate chip cookie when two of my children wrestled on the floor and the t.v. remote became an unintentional participant.  This resulted in the t.v. spontaneously only speaking in Spanish, which resulted in the fastest grown adult freak out panic you've ever seen because Beyonce was about to perform.  While we were waiting for the English to be restored (because HURRY!  THIS IS 'MURICA!) this video is a bit what the game was like for me.  Here is some more goodness from the fine folks at Bad Lip Reading.

P.S. My commercial viewing was sporadic as we had little kids in the room and frequently switched to the Snow Channel* due to "inappropriate content", so of the commercials I saw I loved the Dodge farmers commercial, the Doritos goat commercial (because OMG did you see that one part with the face and the noise?), and the Labatt Blue commercial with the bear, "C-A-N-A-D-Eh".  What others ones should I youtube today?

*Snow channel - the fuzz you get when you have no reception because you have no cable and it's the year 2013.  Part of me wants to give you Brian's email so you can protest directly on my behalf.  I mean, I shouldn't have to watch Hoarders on my tiny computer screen like some kind of barbarian. #firstworldproblems

Friday, February 1, 2013

I don't even ask anymore

This is the lovely view out onto my front yard.

Welcome to suburban Michigan, y'all.  This is our neighborhood.  We have nice neighbors.  There are more families moving in as the original owners become Empty Nesters and choose to downsize.  My kiddos enjoy playing in the front yard with other neighborhood kiddos.  Just a nice 'lil slice of Americana, right?

Look closer. 

Whaaa?  Is that .... ?  No.  Why would ...? Hanging from the tree in our front yard?

Suburbia.  Because why *wouldn't* you have handcuffs hanging on the tree in the middle of your front yard?

("We were playing Jail, Mama."  Oh. Duh.)
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