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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Revealed: My favorite joke, ever.

HAPPY (...happy...happy...) MONDAY (...Monday...Monday...)

Happy Monday? Yes, there is a lot to be happy about.

1. This dude had freaking brain surgery on Wednesday. And here he is yesterday proving the healing power of Target retail therapy.

He may be down half of a C1 vertebrae and sport an awesome looking incision (which Uncle Brian is trying to convince him to tattoo a zipper over) but the boy knows where happiness resides. In the toy aisle, duh.

Thanks for all your prayers for my little nephew. He is doing great, and already talking about returning to football next year. He has a few more weeks of healing ahead of him, but he is keeping his strength up with fun size Kit-Kats. Which? Is really the only way to do it.

I'm pretty sure it should have it's own
zip code.  Cuh-razy.
2. Brian had four hours of evaluation and testing at U of M Friday morning. The hospital system is ginormous. I took the older girlies while Lauren babysat Ezra and Esther, and while we were waiting for Brian (doing our schoolwork like responsible homeschoolers) a cart came around and offered us free coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or water. I felt like I was on an airplane except that I was allowed to leave my seat and pee whenever I wanted. Brian sees a doctor on Thursday who will interpret the testing and hopefully have some answers for us. And a game plan. That would be nice.

3. My next door neighbor is going to take over our lawn care while Brian is sick. This is because I'm spoiled rotten. He brought over his special pulled pork (that he smoked in his backyard all day long) because he could see us drooling from behind closed doors, and then asked if he could mow our lawn while he was doing his own. Twist my arm. (He also wanted to ask permission because he knows how much I love to mow the lawn, which I thought was sweet, but geez-louise am I overwhelmed right now, so um, yeah Don, you can totally take that over.)

4. I fixed our bathtub all by myself. I made sure I was as professional as possible, using tools like my tweezers* so I didn't have to touch the massive hairball that came up in clumps when I snaked the drain. (*Don't worry, not my good eyebrow tweezers; I'm not that committed.) I even had plumbers crack. You can call me Super Wife.

5. With my new bangs the first five minutes of every day is spent looking like an 80's rocker. So that's pretty awesome.

Lookin' like a tramp, like a video vamp
"Do you take sugar?
One lump or twoooooo?"

6. And finally, my favorite joke, ever:

A man walks into a zoo. The only animal in the entire zoo is a dog. It's a shitzu.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

She's called a Primary Care Physician because she primarily cares about taking your money.


What. a. week.

I'm sorry I've been so quiet, but honestly, I've been so busy. It has been bananas over here. I've gotten so many emails and Facebook messages wondering how Brian is doing and offering up prayers and encouragement, and I am so thankful for so much support. I have no idea how people do this alone.

"Hhhhhhhhi, Baby. Ohhhhh, my breeeeaaaath is baaad?"
Firstly, I'll bring you up to speed on Brian's condition. (The condition where he is dizzy, not the one where he is super sensitive to smell due to his new meds and is apparently incapable of shutting his mouth about my freaking "garlic breath halitosis".)(Seriously, I get it already.)(I mean, I'm sorry my poor hubs is suffering so and my breath is rank.)(But honestly? California Pizza Kitchen has a frozen white pizza with spinach and garlic that is out of this world.)(Like, divorce worthy.)(Also? I totally went and bought him falafal and chicken shwarma because it was the only thing that sounded appetizing to him, so really, hey Pot, wanna keep talking smack about the Kettle you married?)

Last I blogged, Brian was waiting for an evaluation from a physical therapist who specialized in vestibular rehabilitation. He was evaluated last Thursday evening, and had a Friday morning session to see if they could make any headway, but I was called into his session because Nick the Therapist did not think Brian had Benign Positional Vertigo. He was hesitant to keep treating Brian, mainly because he did not want to waste our time or money unlike our primary care physician who will eventually rue the day she met me. He recommended we go back to our primary care physician and get a referral to see a neurologist and/or an ENT doctor.

This is where crap got real.

We've had a bit of a rough time with our primary care physician (let's call her Dr. G) mainly because she is a horrible person she was hard-pressed to actually spend five minutes with Brian before she handed us some sheets filled with exercises (that she refused to demonstrate) and referred us to physical therapy for a condition Brian doesn't even have. So...we went out on our own.

We found our own PT (Nick) who would see us sooner than mid-November. We finagled a neurology referral from Dr. G's staff in her name, and managed to see a neurologist first thing Monday morning*.

(*This story is amazing. Will you indulge me on a tangent? I'd be ever so obliged. Brian had PT Friday morning at 7:45. (Um, yes I dropped him off and went and ate McDonalds.) I was called in around 8:30 to talk about the next steps. We left around 9:00 with Nick's promise to email Dr. G right away with his report so we could get cracking on the neuro/ENT side of things. We had a referral by 9:30. I sent out a Facebook plea to see if we had any connections in the neurology world. It just so happened that my friend Lina checked her FB while she was sitting in a neurologist's office for an appointment her daughter was supposed to have had the day before, but got rescheduled last minute. She pleaded our case to a compassionate doctor, who in turn got us an appointment Monday morning at 8:45 am. This is usually a 2-3 month process, and we got in the next business day. Whaaaaa?)

Not Dr. G. But I'm pretty sure she looked
like this while talking to my dear, sweet, sick
husband whose wife just wants his normal
sense of smell back so she can eat more
spinach and garlic pizza.
The neurologist turned out to be the best kind of bust; Brian's vertigo doesn't seem to have any neurological cause. His tests all came back clean (!) and the brain doc referred us to the same clinic Dr. G originally referred us to - except not for Benign Positional Vertigo this time.

When Dr. G. got all the paperwork from Brian's neurology appointment as well as his MRI and MRA results she flipped the heck out in the most unprofessional way possible, calling Brian at home and giving him a "stern lecture in an irritated manner" (this is how Brian describes it because he's not the Drama Queen in our relationship) concerning the way her staff dropped the ball and how we should not have done the things we did to ensure Brian had, I don't know, actual medical care.

At the very least, this conversation seemed to light a fire under Dr. G's tush because she (in tandem with the neurology department) tagged us as "expedited" on the University of Michigan Vestibular Clinic waiting list. This clinic has upwards of a year waiting list. Dr. G marked us "urgent" before, and that gave us an appointment mid-November (remember the one we wouldn't wait for?!). I did not hold out much hope even with such a fancy word like "expedited" attached to Brian's name, but apparently I don't speak the magic language of insider medical scheduling, because "expedited" is freaking golden.

We received a phone call that day to schedule Brian's appointments. The clinic requires a series of three appointments of multiple hours of testing before you can even see a doctor. (I'm trusting this makes sense because I have to believe these people know what they are doing.) Our first appointment was scheduled for October 10th, our second the 21st, and the third the 31st. We were scheduled by my current favorite person in the universe, Judy, who promised she was still going to try to get Brian in sooner. Boy, did Judy deliver. She called the very next day to say she found a block of all three appointments for this Friday, and she got Brian an appointment with a doctor next Thursday.

Judy is getting a puppy. Or at least a fancy cup of coffee and some flowers if I ever meet her in person.

I am really thankful.

Right now Brian is better than he was, but that's mainly because he quit taking all the anti-vertigo drugs and his body is learning to compensate. He gets tired very easily. He has started to take short walks down the block once or twice a day, but they are very taxing. He can't drive or watch our little kids (he's okay with Eve and Hosanna), and if he overdoes it he is in bed all day long. He is currently on short-term disability (which is another hilarious post for another day)(and Dr. G actually charged us $20 to fill out our disability paperwork)(which she forgot to sign)(and I had to drive back the next day and get her signature), and I really can't stress how thankful I am to get into this clinic so soon.

I'm still coveting your thoughts and prayers, and a huuuuuuuge thank you to so many of you who have babysat or brought food, and the numbers of offers to be available for anything we need. We are abundantly blessed to know all of you.

Some of the support crew - Sister Wife Rachel, Sister Wife Lyndsay, me, and Sister Wife/Running Partner Extraordinaire Rose - holding me up on Sunday morning

This kid. Seriously.

While I'm talking prayer request (it got all church up in here), I need to drop another request on you all. I planned to have this post ready yesterday, but, you know, life, so while I was going to ask for prayers for my sweet 6 year old nephew who was having brain surgery, I'm now asking prayers for his complete recovery. We are praying he will be moved from ICU to the regular pediatric unit today, and that he will have everything he needs to manage his pain. Keep my sister Cassie and her hubs in your prayers as well. This is one of the hardest things a parent has to endure. Please and thank you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Taking the Zombie Trend a Liiiiiiittle Too Far - A.K.A. My Husband is Unbalanced

I just wanted to update you on Brian's condition. For those unaware, last Thursday evening the hubs started to get dizzy. By Friday morning, he could not walk or open his eyes due to vertigo and the resulting nausea. He has since seen a few doctors (wildly unhelpful doctors) and a chiropractor (much more helpful), and, through the power of social media and with great friends, we've managed to get him an appointment with a private therapist that specializes in vestibular rehabilitation. This appointment will take place this evening, so I'm hoping for some improvement in his condition after today.

(*We have seen some improvement since Friday by doing the Epley Maneuver at home, and with two chiropractic appointments. Brian went from 3 days of sleeping 22+ hours a day to being more awake on Monday. On Tuesday he could read and even study a bit. He still walks like he's drunk, so I'm a bit sad he's not actually feeling great, otherwise I could mess with him tremendously.)

Besides his health and well-being, we are a bit concerned with work. He is filing the paperwork for short-term disability because 80% of his job is driving around in a huge truck. Since he is unable to drive, he is unable to work. Also, he is unable to DO THE DISHES, which I am really concerned about.

Some Pollyanna Moments in all this include:

1. Brian has been able to obtain a laptop in order to study in bed (because remember that he just went back to school?!).

2. Although I'm not comfortable leaving him alone with the kids, he is being a fantastic dad and giving lots of cuddles and snuggles while he's down for the count.

3. I finally have the practical joke upper hand in our relationship. I'm waiting until he feels just a little bit better before I make any moves.

4. We have an excuse to slow the heck down. I just wish it wasn't the week we had perfect cider mill weather. #haveyoueverhadaciderslushie?

Other Non-Related Happiness

1. I got new running shoes. I exchanged them for a smaller pair after running a 10k. I'll update you on New Running Shoes 2.0 once I run in them. (Because I know that's the update you'll really want, because forget Brian and his "balance issues".)

2. I baked some unbelievable Snickerdoodle bread because stress eating.

3. I'm seeing, yet again, how amazing my friends are as they respond to our crisis mode. Much thanks and love go out to them all.

Thanks for the grace as we deal with Brian's health. Talk to y'all as soon as I can.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Case of the Mondays: There's Hope for Me, Yet

I'm off to practice. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dee Hai Dre Shun

Welcome to life, where anything possible can and will go awry, and situations are survived with the help of International Delight Iced Coffee. Mainlined.

This season of life is funny. Funny like, "Oh, it's cute when you thought you were going to have time to, I don't know, breathe." I seriously think the whole point of your thirties is to get your tush handed to you in as many ways possible so that you can finally just get over yourself already and spend the rest of your life *not* stressing over all the things that used to slay you. For example: it used to stress me out that when other people help fold laundry they do it wrong.

(I mean, not everyone understands the importance behind the force of snapping a piece of fabric in such a way that wrinkles instantly yield to the snappers will and clear the heck out in fear of the amazing laundry prowess at hand. But whatev's, we can't all be folding masters, I guess.)

Learning to let go of the fact that so many people seemed to have missed that vital Methods of Laundry Folding stage of development has been liberating. (Plus, I finally realized that even with the children's laundry folded to absolute perfection they render the whole process null and void when they crumple it into a ball and shove it into the dresser drawers.)(Did you know anyone under the age of 10 totally doesn't care about clean wrinkled clothes?!)(What is this world coming to?)

Every time I think our family is at capacity, that we have and are doing all that we can handle, we throw another element into the mix just to keep us on our toes. For me, life is pretty crazy between homeschool, training, and this blog. Brian works twelve hour days (five days a week) and uses the evenings to eat dinner, put the kids in bed, and collapse so that he can lather, rinse, and repeat it all tomorrow. Since we currently each average about five and half hours of sleep, we really thought this would be the best time in life for Brian to go back to school.

Yep. So I'm shacking up with a college student. (I know, it's so cougar-like, am I right?)(I'm thinking of starting to wear leggings as pants and play beer pong on the weekends.)(I also will probably incorporate sweatpants with words on the butt into my daily wardrobe and see if I can finally master the messy bun.)(Oh, and heels with skinny jeans. You know, for when I get fancied up for the grocery store.)

Life just got a bit more complicated.

I was all, "Honey, I will totally support you in this." And I will, because marriage is mostly about compromise and taking turns. Brian is largely the reason I have been able to work out the way I do, and he is incredibly supportive of my work (mainly by acknowledging that homeschool is work)(you would be surprised at the number of people that still assume I eat bonbons and watch tv during the day)(because housewife), so it is my turn to sacrifice a little for his sake.

However, when I said, "Honey, I will totally support you in this," I subconsciously meant more like, "I will totally support you in some abstract, intangible way that doesn't mess with my life at all." Because when Saturday rolled around and I had my first double digit long run on the schedule, grocery shopping, lesson plans, and cleaning to do, I had to figure out how in the heck the hubs was supposed to fit in four solid hours of studying, and it seemed a bit impossible.

So I skipped the long run. Because? There is always tomorrow.


This is how that worked out.

We got home from church around 1:30 p.m. I would have run before church except that would mean I would need to run outside no later than 6 a.m. Normally that's not a problem. But this week my lovely little safe suburban town (really, people that know my city are going to be shocked) has both a flasher and a man stalking female runners (because we are like, "Ah heck naw, Detroit isn't sweeping The Most Dangerous City category again this year") and without pepper spray I couldn't run my regular route.

By the time I got home from church I was all, "Forget this, dude. If I don't do it now I won't do it at all." So I got ready and was out the door at 2:15 p.m.

It was a lovely day, albeit a bit warm and humid. It was sunny with a tiny breeze, with temps in the low 80's. The humidity was a bit much but beggars can't be choosers youknowwhatI'msayin'? I started off with my water belt full and two different types of fuel Sarah recommended trying.

The first two miles were uncomfortable. I was just trying to find my groove but I was already thirsty and normally I don't drink anything that early in the game. I sipped a bit of water, and at three miles I ate two GU squishy gel squares. Miles four through seven were really hard. My lower stomach was cramping, and I actually had to stop and walk every mile and a half for a minute until the cramps subsided. I ate half a package of sport beans and continued on. The rest of the run went something like this:

"Dude, Kelly, just make it to that stop light. It's only a half mile away, and then we can reassess. You make it there and you are at 8 miles. You've got 8 miles." Then, "Okay, you made it to the stoplight. See that telephone pole twenty feet away? Make it there. Okay, now let's do one more." (Repeat that process no less than 40 times)(seriously, I counted.) Then,"Ok, just make it to the next stoplight, only one mile to go. If you need it you can walk after you cross the road ..." (FYI - I TOTALLY needed it.)

The run ended with me literally counting every single step I took until I reached home. Once there I tried to stretch but my calf muscles were so tender I couldn't do it right away. I had to ease into it because they were so tight I thought they might snap. I went into the house to get some water, found Brian recaulking the shower, and cried ugly tears because at that moment I didn't even care that I just covered my First Double Digit Run. Instead I was sure I was done running for life and would never, ever, ever (sing it like you're Taylor) be able to run a half marathon.

Hair all a mess? Check. Fake smile? Check. Front porch that needs to be repainted? Check.

Upon reflecting, guess what I did wrong? My fuel was okay even though my tummy was cramptastic. My main problem was that I went into a warm run naturally a bit dehydrated, and then only drank about 25 ounces of water on a ten mile run. Duh! Now I just have to start preparing for a long run the day before by pounding as much water as possible. Also, I'll probably salt it a bit to help me retain some of that mess. (Help me retain water?! Ohmylanta running is weird.)

In conclusion, I am married to a hot college student, I'm spoiled rotten by my awesomely full life, and I learned a good lesson about running 10 miles.  Namely, you should pay someone else to do it for you make sure you are hydrated. Next week is a recovery week so I only have a 10K for my long run. THANK YOU JESUS.

The End.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Good marketing is THE BOMB.

Sometimes the best way to sell a television ANYTHING is with a Candid Camera* style prank. Check out what LG Ultra HD TV did to prove their television's picture quality is blazing. Do you think these interview candidates were convinced?

This commercial got bonus points from me because when I saw it I laughed hysterically and then said, "Dude, that was kinda bogue." So, yeah, any commercial that makes me revert back to using slang from the 80's is a win in my book. Happy Monday Everyone! I hope your day is explosively good.

*Candid Camera = Kind of like "Punked" for you younguns.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Robin Thicke's Guide to Potty Training

Ok, now she was close, tried to domesticate you
But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature,
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don't need no diapers
Facebook Status: In a marketing move that is totally paying off, I've renamed Potty Training "Go Ahead and Pee on the Floors, I Don't Mind So Much". Other possible name include: "8 Pairs of Underpants An Hour Ain't A Thang" and "Laundry Celebration Month".

I would rather do anything else in the entire world than potty train. By the grace of God and by the skin of my teeth (you just got hit with a Cliche Bomb - BAM!) I managed to teach three little girls how to use the facilities for their *ahem* voiding, but honestly, I have no clue what I'm doing, especially when a penis is involved.*

(*Case in point - Brian was all, "The heck are you doing?" when I was teaching Ezra to "dab-dab" after peeing in the potty. "Dudes shake it off." I tentatively reached forward to show Ezra how to "shake it off" (ugh, really?) and pantomimed a movement that closely resembled ringing a church bell, further convincing both of us that the parent with the lady bits should not be the one teaching the toddler how to handle what's a-dangle.)(I totally could not help that.)(Also, in my head that rhymed more.)

I've been slacking in the potty department with the idea that the Fairy Godmother of Underpants would show up on my doorstep and magically train Ezra with a wave of her wand (because my method of crying in frustration bribing him with Lightning McQueen underwear and/or m&m's just ain't getting the job done). I also loiter hopefully around the diaper aisle in major stores waiting for a film crew to waltz up with a grandmotherly saint of a host to take over this overwhelming task, a la Kitchen Crashers on HGTV, but with Toddlers and Toilets instead. (Oh wait, that sounds too much like a different toddler show that already exists.)(But maybe not, because at the end of the day Toddlers and Toilets would be about literal crap, and Toddlers and Tiaras is about figurative crap)(ZING)(#grammarlesson)

With all this information in hand, you may wonder exactly what was the catalyst that spawned me into Must Get Ezra Potty Trained overdrive. It started with a little trip to Target ...

At a mere half mile away, we frequent Target on a (minimum) weekly basis. We have been visiting our particular store for years now, and like any family with little kids who never stop talking to anyone within earshot we meet a lot of people. We are familiar with many of the employees, especially those within certain departments *cough* dressingroom *cough*.

On our latest trek to the Land of "What I Want for My Birthday" (what, your kids don't play that game at Target?) we had only a few items on our shopping list. Namely diapers, because my kids have all had skin issues and for some reasons none of them reacted to Target brand diapers. This trip was the quickest we've ever managed to get in and out, blowing past the Dollar Spot with a speed that surprised even me. While we were in the checkout line, waiting for our favorite cashier, Esther started to sing.

One of my favorite things about Esther is that she has close to perfect pitch and can imitate entire melodies within the first two hearings. As a former voice major, this totally makes my day. However, she has also inherited my gift for language; specifically the gift of misinterpreting song lyrics on a colossal level.

Her repertoire is quite varied, but her showstopper is usually a 7-10 minute medley of the soundtrack from the Sound of Music mashed with any song included during the entire Christmas season. Lately she has thrown Alicia Keys Girl on Fire on the set list, and also Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines.

Oh? You haven't heard Blurred Lines? Then you must live under a freaking rock because it was physically impossible to escape this song if you ever left your house even once during the last few months. Here is a snippet of this masterwork bound for the classics:

Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

If you can't hear what I'm trying to say
If you can't read from the same page
Maybe I'm going deaf,
Maybe I'm going blind
Maybe I'm out of my mind
Everybody get up

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey

One might think, if this lyrical poetry is any indication, that this song would be doomed to flop. Also, it's horrendously exploitative. But it has become the 2013 summer anthem. Why? It is catchy as heck. It is everything awful and lovely about pop music. You cannot go anywhere without hearing this song. In fact, all you reading that are convinced you have never heard this song - you've totally heard it. Just trust me. And guess who loooooooves this song? My five year old. And since words like "domesticate" and "liberate" are a bit above her pay grade, she has done some interesting things with her interpretation of these lyrics. Usually she substitutes amazingly creative hybrid words that mean nothing but fit syllabically. But none could have prepared me for the one she thought she made up and dropped at Target.

We finally made it to the front of the line. Esther looked straight at the cashier and with her darling little smile and sweet soprano voice sang,

"Oh Baby can't you see, I'd like to master bate ya."


That's when I died.

And that's why Ezra has to pee in the potty, because I can never return to Target for diapers for the rest of my natural life.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kummerspeck: Because Cupcakes Always Love Me

Losing weight has taught me when to recognize when I am eating my feelings. And if you are wondering how I've been feeling lately, what with it being the last week before home school starts, I've been feeling = cupcakes. Specifically, carrot cake cupcakes. Oh, and chocolate cupcakes from Kroger with fluffy white frosting and yellow sprinkles. Because my feelings are both delicious and beautiful.

I've been justifying this because *guess who ran nine miles?!* and also because I've been so stressed out with doing lesson plans that I gave myself my period two weeks early. I'm pretty sure a doctor on Wikipedia would suggest consuming copious amounts of miniature cake to negate the stress of any situation so taxing it affects the natural rhythms of my reproductive cycle. But don't worry too much, I took note of my sweet weekend noshing and reined that mess back in.

How is lesson planning going? Fantastic. A few months ago I won a night's stay at the Hilton Garden Inn and I redeemed it Friday night. I locked myself up in my room with nothing but my school supplies, coffee from my friend Stacy, and Twister on cable television (starring Helen Hunt)(which I have almost memorized)(because I appreciate good cinema*) and knocked out a month of lesson plans. September is looking pretty rad, my friend.

(*Warrior has recently replaced Pump Up the Volume as my favorite movie of all time. This has less to do with my love of all things MMA (which doesn't exist) and more to do with my intense love for the Conlon brothers as they reconcile their relationship. Also: Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. You're welcome.)

In other news, did you hear the one about the girl who ran nine miles for the first time ever Sunday morning? 

It was totally me

I've decided my favorite part of half marathon training is that I have to remember mid-run to eat jelly beans. Or "sport beans" as true athletes call them. (I think I finally found my running fuel of choice. I can not handle the consistency of Gu, and protein bars are a bit too heavy for my tummy. Eating nothing made me light-headed and grumpy, and dried fruit combatted my iron supplement a bit too aggressively if you know what I'm sayin'.)

The weather has been hot, humid, and threatening thunderstorms, so I woke up really early and ran three miles to the gym (just beating the rain, score!) where I hopped on the treadmill and ran four more miles, and finished with two more on the indoor track. I "fueled" while I was walking in between running destinations. I only feel mildly ridiculous eating jelly beans while slightly out of breath and covered in sweat at the gym. I also still kind of feel like I should be able to run that long without any kind of fuel, but both Sarah and my friend Stephanie have talked with me about the importance of fueling for these longer runs, so I get it. However, that doesn't stop me from trying to shove what looks like candy into my yammer both quickly and discreetly so no one sees me and assumes I'm a complete junkie (which honestly only perpetuates the fat girl sneaking food mentality that already messes with my brain).

Today's agenda includes organizing the homeschool prep desk (be still my heart - I looooooove to organize), laminating (don't get too jealous), and a happy little three mile run. Also, we are having blt's for dinner, but I promise I'll keep myself from suffering Kummerspeck. Happy Labor Day!
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