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

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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Top Five Ways To Tame the Stress Monster

Some of us could use some closure over here.
I've led a pretty charmed life. Sure, I've had my share of hard times and trials, but I believe wholeheartedly in a Pollyanna outlook so I really can't complain about too much. (Except for the cancellation of the hit prehistoric drama Terra Nova - BIG mistake, Fox Network. HUGE. *shows Fox my many purchases from other networks, including a hardcore allegiance to NBC's The Blacklist. Fox stands there speechless and watches forlornly as I waltz away to take my viewing time elsewhere* (Okay, that was totally a scene from Pretty Woman and never happened.)(Me and Fox are still boyz because MasterChef Junior.)(We've been letting Eve and Hosanna watch this in order to lay the groundwork for one of them to fall in love with cooking and become the family chef. For those who are wondering how good parents do it = television.)

Even with my Pollyanna outlook, sometimes life just takes you through hard seasons, and prolonged difficulties can require certain means of coping to endure. We've faced one of those hard seasons with Brian's recent illness. I thought I would share a few of my go-to methods for coping because I'm nothing if not helpful.

1. Hating on Inanimate Objects - I've focused on three main objects to bear the brunt of my frustrations.

The freaking potty seat that mocks me in the bathroom. Yeah, I get it, Potty Seat, that my fourth child completely refuses to use the toilet. That is certainly no reason to sit in the bathroom all braggy-like about your position in the home. Your only job seems to be to look pretty (which, not to get all Mean Girls, but you are totally failing because you are a potty seat) and even then I noticed you are totally covered in a thick layer of freaking dust, which in only evidence to show how infrequently you serve any purpose. Maybe I give you the finger every time I use the bathroom sometimes. Maybe if you were more comfortable/looked like Lightning McQueen/offered Goldfish crackers Ezra would be potty trained already. Way to fail at your only job.

This box full of items I need to finish the master bathroom. Yes, I'm really proud of the budget friendly way I've collected all the materials necessary to make my master bathroom function again. (A $40 shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond marked down to $10, with a 50% off sticker, and a 20% coupon? Sure, I'll buy it for $4.24. A $20 tension rod marked down to $10 and another golden 20% off coupon, making the total around $8? Twist my arm.) So, Box of Bathroom Treasures on the floor of my bedroom, while you are usually a source of pride and joy at my shopping prowess, the day I stumbled out of the bathroom and tripped over you, kicking half the contents around the room and waking up a sleeping toddler in the process, and also rendering my outer three toes a mass of throbbing digits, you no longer brought me joy. In fact, all the money I saved purchasing your contents transferred directly from my savings account to the family Swear Jar.

Pure Michigan radio spots with Tim Allen voice-overs.

Maybe it's because I don't even need to be premenstrual to tear up when I hear you. Maybe it's because you are usually spouting about the grandeur of Michigan nature when I am stuck in parking lot type traffic ready to freak the heck out because DOESN'T ANYONE KNOW HOW TO MERGE????!!!! Maybe it's the music. Or maybe it's because I'd love to marvel at the wonders around me, but someone has to do the laundry. And every time I take a deep breath of Pure Michigan it's tinged with poop because Ezra is not potty trained yet. Thanks for that reminder, Tim Allen.

2. Caramel Mocha's from McDonalds/ this potential BFF in my own hometown. I was on my way to Meijers (*honk if you're from Michigan and didn't even notice the added "s"*) and followed this car for close to a mile before it turned into the same McDonald's drive-thru I was about to frequent. It's like God knew I needed to know this person existed and could rest in the hope of an amazing potential friendship. Too bad I was behind her in line or else I totally would have paid for her Caramel Mocha because what else would she be getting?!, fully cementing any best friendship we already potentially had.

3. 1-2-3 NOT IT! Remember this gem from childhood? All you had to do was yell, "1-2-3 Not it!" and you were completely exempt from the task at hand. When I find I am absolutely at the end of my wits and Ezra spills an entire bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over our hardwood floors, I simply revert to my youth. Who's cleaning this up? 1-2-3 NOT IT, y'all.

4. The old "Oh, I can't control my circumstance? I'd better control my environment" method. This is mostly about me freaking out and throwing away a ton of stuff, making extremely important decisions about where to put the things we own, and craigslisting (totally a verb) the heck out of shelving units in which to house all our newly organized junk. I know, "Pics or it didn't happen", but seriously, that work is it's own post, so stay tuned for photographic evidence. As a teaser, I was inspired by this article, so, yeah, bizness got real up in here.

5. Googling videos of people that can't.stop.laughing. Also, because I use my time wisely (and who really needs clean bathrooms anyway?) I also watch videos of people that can't stop laughing at other people laughing. Incredibly stupid? Heck yes. But people once thought penicillin was stupid, too, so, yeah, call me Alexander Fleming. (Bonus: school for the day. Bam! You're smarter.) I dare you not to laugh at gems like this:

Esther's birthday cake - sole survivor.
I am most proud of the one thing I haven't done in order to cope. I've managed to avoid stress eating until I bought a bag or three of Halloween candy. This piece of cake (what was left of the 1/8 sheet cake we got for Esther's birthday) sat on my kitchen counter for a full week before I threw it in the garbage. And? It's a corner piece.

Right there? That is what victory looks like.

So go forth today, and stress less. Victory can be yours as well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Case of the Mondays: Welcome to the New Age

Some of you may find it a surprise to hear I have a fairly active imagination. (Haha - sike. That's called sarcasm.) Lately most of my daydreams have been supported by the soundtrack of Imagine Dragons and their hit Radioactive. I'm pretty convinced you could never top the original, but I found this version by Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix and it is some stiff competition. It makes my music school nerd heart leap. Also, this song has brought me the realization that I have the fiercest runway walk ever. And I apparently wear a lot of leather pants in my head. You're welcome for that visual. Welcome to the new age, y'all.

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 7, 2013

And they say that a hero could save us, I'm not gonna stand here and wait - Nickelback*

Eve: Mom, if I had a bunch of super powers, like, super strength and super flexibility, what would you do?

Kelly: Probably sell you. You'd be worth a lot of money.

Being a Super Hero is ruff.

If I was a Super Hero I would be Captain Patient Advocate (I'm still working on my name) and my super power would be Beating the System. It goes without saying that Rage Against the Machine would supply my theme music. I would be able to dance gracefully through red tape and get helpful, cheerful healthcare in a timely manner. (Feeling threatened yet, Big Insurance?) (Or, because I'm a non-partisan blogger, feeling threatened yet, Obamacare?)(Because *that* pot needed stirring, you know.)

I did not know there was such a void in our Super Hero collection until I experienced the need for such a hero. Superman is awesome, but can he get my husband an appointment with an actual physician on the same day we request one? And Ironman. Dude is amazingly good looking and aging remarkably well despite the *ahem* rough living in his past, but can he find a doctor who will take more than five minutes to treat my husband?

Thus the birth of a CPA* Super Hero dream.

*Now I'm truly convinced I need a new name. I'm taking suggestions immediately. The author of the chosen name receives: a sidekick costume that will rule, bragging rights, and a supporting role when the movie comes out.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining about all the care we've received just the "care" from our *Holy Ghost edit* Primary Care Physician. Even without Captain Patient Advocate we've sailed through the system with an ease I still cannot believe. Brian got sick on September 12th. That is the last day he worked, the last day he drove a car, and the last day he felt even remotely "normal". (Which is all relative, I know.)(I mean, the dude is married to me, so normal is subjective, right?) It is just under a month later and we have a diagnosis.

Brian has ... (this is where the Scooby-Doo reveal music goes) Vestibular Neuritis.

Vestibular Neuritis?! ZOINKS!

(Wow, drama much, Kel?)  (Um, have you ever read my blog?)

Basically, Brian caught a virus that attacked this tiny little nerve in his inner ear. This tiny little nerve controls balance for the entire body. This virus only took a few days to run it's course, but since it's departure he has been dealing with the damaging effects of the virus. And it's a destructive little sucker. If it were a volcano it would be Dante's Peak (which I totally watched this weekend).

Now Brian has to relearn balance. He is essentially learning to process all the stimuli his brain receives anew. No one knows how long this will take. The hope is that he will be retrained and return to a "new normal" within a month. (Although our doctor, because he is self-proclaimed hilarious, says, "Cancel your plans to walk a tightrope, because that will probably never happen." Haha.)(Whatever, Dude, you're not the boss of my Bucket List.)

The best way to retrain the brain is by resuming normal activities as much as possible. I immediately translated this to mean: Brian totally has to do the dishes again. Because honestly, we can all agree that has been the real trial here.

Thanks again for all the love and support. Thank you for words of encouragement, food, babysitting, and all the other forms of help that have been offered and delivered. We truly could not have survived this without all the help.

*Nickelback - I had to look up these lyrics because Nickelback sucks I don't fill my brain with crappy music other than the aforementioned Blurred Lines. I inadvertently left the web page of lyrics up and went to do some other business. That's when Brian sat down at the computer, found the Nickelback lyrics, and started planning an intervention. He confronted me with, "This is worse than finding porn, Kel." Point made, dear.
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