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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Accidental Lap Dance. At JCPenney.

I'm sure that when most people see me they immediately think, "Daaaang, she coulda killed it as an exotic dancer."  This is especially true if one has seen me dance. (Signature moves include:  the Running Man, the Roger Rabbit, and, of course, the Sway and Clap to the necessary beats (um, all of them).)

Proof?  Stripper snood, Hot for Teacher Specs, Flashdance sweatshirt
Now, just because life has gifted me the killer bod and sweet moves to be able to flourish in that industry does not mean I've ever had an inkling to pursue it.

However, sometimes opportunities just drop in your lap. Or rather, in someone else's lap.

(Wasn't that the best lap dance segue ever?)

(Are there enough lap dance segues to declare a best lap dance segue?)

(Now I totally want to google lap dance segues but I'm scared to.)

(Because something tells me the search might yield a different kind of lap dance segue than I'm looking for.)

(Of course I'm totally picturing lap dances that involve:

This is totally what you were picturing too, right?

I was at JCPenney, where all my accidental stripping/exotic dancing takes place. Proof? Here is one of my facebook statuses from 2011:

The correct order to exiting the fitting room at JC Penney is: shirt on, coat on, open door. A slight deviation in that order and you have to add the step: freak out as you make a sound that is a cross between a yelp of horror and the words, "I forgot my shirt!" P.S. In spite of my peep show, the doorbusters were awesome.

I was perusing the clearance racks with Black Friday-like intensity (because that's how I roll) when I turned and tripped over a person sitting by a display of shirts.  I totally didn't see this person at.all.  They came out of nowhere.

I fell in the most graceful way possible, grunting, "OOOOPH!" as I stuck my chest right in their face, and, as I was trying to break my fall, flailed with a fervency that only encouraged this person's up close and personal encounter with my heaving bosom. (Maybe if I wasn't so focused on that clearance rack maybe they wouldn't have had to be so focused on mine.)(Vocal rimshot.)(You're welcome.)

My decline of awesomeness continued I grabbed their stomach to slow my descent and landed fully across their lap like maybe I needed some discipline. I was unleashing a frenzied stream of "OhmygoshdudeI'msosorrydudeareyouokay?" before I was even at a complete stop. This poor person was frozen in shock, probably more horrified than I was. They wouldn't even answer me.

From my prostrate position, I took a steadying breath and glanced up.

My accidental lap dance customer?

Cheapster didn't even tip.  Not even a "thank you."

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Case of the Mondays: Communication, It Works

One of the foundations of a good relationship is effective communication.  As per these examples, my children and I are tight.  Exhibit A:

"Dear Mama, we love you, we are sorry we were bad. we love you more than you thingk. Ezra loves you to. will you forgive us. we love you. all are love. love Eve & Hosanna & Esther & Ezra"

I totally forgave them once they each did 50 push-ups.  (Dude, I'm kidding. It was only 25.)

Exhibit B:

Hosanna does not mess around.  Just in case I did not comprehend the full breadth of her wrath she drew a mad face with it's tongue sticking out at me.  That hurts, man.

Other parents seemed to have developed the same special closeness I share with my kiddos.  

It's specific.  Well done, Brendan.

It's hard to be accused of things you dident do.

Some kids, having mastered the art of communicating with their family, have branched out to communicate with other adults. 

This kid knows the perils of an iron supplement.

Annisa ain't messing around.  She got enough mess on that paper.

And finally, you should always communicate the important things in life.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Beat Goes On

Aaaaand now you're singing this.
I posted this because I am a trained
music educator
and I know how to
get others to tap into their own
musical potential.  You're welcome.
I majored in music.  This is an actual thing you can do. It's kind of like majoring in philosophy, but with less chance of a Jay Oh Bee once you have a diploma in hand.  (Unless, of course, you are going to teach.)(And if you are going to teach music you are constantly plagued by 1. Performance majors who snidely remark that "those who can't, teach" and 2. the knowledge that your department is the first cut when funds are tight. So, yay job security.)  That's why I'm using my four and a half year music education degree as a SAHM; if my funding gets cut, at the very least I still get to show up everyday.  Making myself indispensable = win.

What being a music major really means is that now I can do some fantastic impressions of other music students.  And vocal coaches.  And especially conductors. (In fact, Esther can do some fantastic impressions of conductors, which I'm pretty sure means I have succeeded at parenting.)

The integrity of this piece depends solely on how exuberantly I can portray this crescendo using my body and facial expressions and hair.

I also spent all day being surrounded by what the rest of the world describes as "those artistic type personalities."

Like the really quiet organ performance major (think church organ, not like your pancreas) who never talked to anyone but would occasionally don a Superman costume and run through the super creepy basement hallways of the music building because ... why not?

Or singers vocalists who insisted upon wearing scarves all the time to protect their throats (this was the 90's, way before the scarf fad exploded) from weird vocal strain that is apparently brought on by cold necks.

Or kids who are still legit pissed about that line from Goonies when Andi has to play the bones and she's trying to read the music and says, "I can't tell if it's an A sharp or a B flat", which is totally the same thing.  (Didn't the writers have any musicians on staff?  Or at least a freaking FACT checker?)

Or the guitar player who sat in the hallway playing the same opening verse and chorus of "More Than Words" a millionandfourtimes to the same three groupies for two solid years. #getsomenewmaterialamiright?

Not everyone was a WEIRDO.  I met awesome people who became great friends, many of whom have succeeded in the music industry and I will call on them if I'm ever in some kind of radio contest for Six Degrees of Famous People*.  (*Six Degrees of Famous People is a radio contest where listeners are challenged to get the most famous person they know to call in for them so they win a prize.  I don't know what the prize is; I'm sure bragging rights would suffice.  I'm actually quite prepared for this if it ever happens.  Antea, my favorite writer/music producer in the history of the world,  I'm banking on you to get me Jennifer Lopez or Justin Bieber. Or Beyonce.  Whatevs, I'm not picky.  I have faith in you.  Kris, touring/studio musician and producer extraordinaire, you are in the bag to connect me with Gwen Stefani or Billy Corgan.  (Because remember when you played at my wedding and I payed you in chicken fingers from Red Robin?) And since I personally know* rock legends NEEDTOBREATHE, I can always contact them via Twitter or their webpage personally.  And NTB obviously knows a TON of famous people, having opened for Taylor Swift.)(Daaaang, it's like I totally know Taylor Swift.)

*personally know = I've met them a few times.  Spread over a few years.  I am their muse in my head only.

Another awesome person was my piano teacher of three years.  This man was a Chinese citizen who trained in the Russian Conservatory of Music.  (One thing we did luck out with at my college is that since we were in the heart of Detroit, we attracted a lot of great musicians who played with the DSO and sang with MOT.)  He scared the bejeebers out of me.  He was the nicest man in the world (who would occasionally slap my hands when I made the same mistake too many times) but he was so talented I was beyond intimidated. He did not speak a lot of discernible English, but he tried valiantly to connect with me, his silly American teenage student.

"KELLY!  HOW IS YOUR BOYFRIENNNNN?"  He asked me this every.single.lesson.  At the time I was dating a guitar major named Brian, and my teacher was so tickled at this relationship I didn't have the heart to tell him when we broke up.  Thankfully my very next relationship was with another guitar major named Brian (yes, my Brian that I eventually married) so I just pretended it was the same relationship the whole time.  (Me, saving face through a big fat lie.) (Kids, don't try this at home.) (But Mr. Li was thrilled about the engagement.)

(Other fun piano teacher facts:  He made me wear red to juries, which are like final exams for private lessons.  Juries are judged performances in front of other faculty members that also play your instrument.  Red symbolizes good fortune and joy which apparently I don't possess on my own.  He also made me cut my fingernails, claiming, "I want you to play majestically, not have majestic fingernails." I truly miss this man.)

Mostly what music school taught me is that I never want to go into music again.  Until, of course, I become a rock star and tour the world performing for the masses that understandably know unmatched talent when they see it.  The End.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If Shakespeare had the kind of resources *I* have ... the possibilities are endless

Rose got me quite possibly the most awesome Christmas gift

"cool poem bro"

I was very anxious to channel my inner gangsta poet, but had to wait for inspiration and the right time.  The right time came in the form of me catching the flu. Inspiration came all on it's own, because thug livin' is my life.  I had all day to stay in bed and funnel my ghetto angst into jiggy rhymes that captured my penchance for flow.

The first thing I did was put all the words in alphabetical order on a cookie sheet.  Nothing says "Thug Life" quite like teflon.* (*Proof?  Click here.  Thank you, Urban Dictionary.)

I had to leave space at the top so I had room to create.  But it's hard to limit genius, y'all.

Next, I discovered some key words were missing. WTHeck, how am I supposed to write any kind of masterpiece without key words like "Imma" or "tryna" or "booty"?  So I did what anyone with Hood Acumen would do:  I got out my trusty label maker.

The other night I had a dream that I let Kanye West and Jay-Z get into their zone.  That sh*t CRAY.

Then, I had to decide what form my poetry would take.  A sonnet, perhaps? A limerick? Naaaahhh, Imma go with Haiku 'cuz I got a Japanese cuz.* (*This totally makes no sense but makes me deliriously happy because "cuz" almost equals a homophone in a world where grammar rules cease to exist. Plus I legitimately have Japanese cousins.  SHOUT OUT to Rika.)

Here are a few Ghetto Haiku's for your reading pleasure.  You can send your appreciation to Rose.

Puddled on the floor because the two year old wanted to pour it thankyouverymuch.
My inspiration for this work was Ezra.  The same inspiration inspired a transition to a big boy bed.

Right as I was perfecting my  pièce de résistance, the unthinkable happened.  My label maker ran out of label.  I was all, "Dude."

This is my label maker that gave until it had nothing else to give.  This is my hand saying, "Dude."

A good blogger would have typed some words on the computer, printed them out, cut them out, glued them to magnets, and used them.  I remembered I had yellow sticky notes.

What up, Pampers?

In closing, here is a picture of Rose and I at the Red Carpet Run.  Brian is throwing up the midwest gang sign because that's why I married him.

Midwest 4 Life
Rollin' down the street, in my Chevy, sippin' on Faygo
Laid back (with my air conditioner and my furnace both on in the same day)

Monday, January 21, 2013

To Make You Less Miserable

Anyone can get a haircut, Anne.
On Saturday Sarah and I went to see Les Miserables.  As a former voice major I have spent my fair share of time being emo and performing "On My Own" and "I Dreamed a Dream" to the untold masses that gather to listen to me in my shower and minivan.  And while I do rock out some intense vibrato on the ascending "shame" line of "I Dreamed a Dream", I'll begrudgingly admit that maybe Anne Hathaway performed it a bit more convincingly than I.  Part of it had to be the costuming and makeup, but mostly somewhat slightly it had to do with her vocal chops and acting ability. (Seriously, she was amazing.  Not even ah-may-zing. Just, wow.)

I love Les Miserables because of the message of redemption.  It's a story of grace, and yes, revolution, which excites the warrior in me.  With this remaking I discovered it was possible to form an immediate crush on every dirty French revolutionary that sings (mainly because they are all young and attractive and have nice teeth despite the reality that that probably wasn't so) and also want to adopt a six year old boy who would doubtlessly give my own sweet Esther a run for her money.  I was pleasantly surprised by the performances and cried like a big fat baby through some of the scenes (effectively using my shirt to sop up the mess)(because I was too lazy to reach for the paper towel I brought from the bathroom for that very purpose).  Hugh Jackman was every bit as good as he was said to be, and Russel Crowe was aight.


I came upon a clip.  Thank you, Internets.  I'm calling for an Oscar duel.  An Oscar duet duel, if you will.  Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel vs. Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe.  It's on.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Some women are dripping with diamonds ..." - Miss Hannigan

Little girls
Little girls
Everywhere I turn I can see them
Facebook Friday!  Today is dedicated to my girlies.  I love 'em.  The good Lord gave me three in a row.  They constantly remind me to call my mom and apologize for my entire childhood that girls are aptly described as "sugar and spice and everything nice" because "drama and glitter and princess dresses" just doesn't have the same flow.

Here are some of my facebook statuses involving the Estrogen Clan at my house.

Facebook Statuses = From the Mouths of Future Babes Edition

Eve: It's not. It's perspiration. It's when the moisture in the air hits your cold cup.
Kelly: You mean condensation.
Eve: Yeah, condensation.

Esther: "Discreet" means don't tell anybody when you are about to go to the potty.

Eve and I ran into the sunrise a bit during our morning run. Her reaction? "Dude. Seriously, Sun? I'm trying to run here." Yep. It's official. She's my daughter.

Reason #327 I love my nine year old: Every time Eve makes a stupid joke she follows it with a vocal rimshot.

The children are peacefully watching Dinosaur Train while they eat a self-prepared breakfast of Pop-Tarts and granola bars.
Hosanna: Hey Mom - we're gonna call you Maiasaurus because it means the "good mother lizard." That's totally you.
I'm the Good Mother Lizard. Pop Tarts and D.T. It's a morning win for all involved.

Because just in case I didn't get the message every single time I turn on the radio, Esther constantly reminds me at home that Taylor Swift is never, ever, ever getting back together with her ex-boyfriend. Like, ever.

"Will somebody PLEASE get some coffee for mom?!" - Esther

Have a great weekend and I'll see y'all Monday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Hey yo fat girl, c'mere are ya ticklish?" - Shock G

All right!
Stop whatcha doin'
'cause I'm about to ruin
the image and the style that ya used to.
I look funny
but yo I'm makin' money see
so yo world I hope you're ready for me.
Now gather round
I'm the new fool in town
and my sound's laid down by the Underground.
(radio edit)
And all the rappers in the top ten--please allow me to bump thee.
I'm steppin' tall, y'all,
and just like Humpty Dumpty
you're gonna fall when the stereos pump me.
I like to rhyme,
I like my beats funky,
I'm spunky. I like my oatmeal lumpy.
I'm sick wit dis, straight gangsta mack
but sometimes I get ridiculous
I'll eat up all your crackers and your licorice
hey yo fat girl, c'mere--are ya ticklish?
-excerpts from the poetry that is the "Humpty Dance", circa 1990
Just go ahead and read the caption under the picture.  It really sets the tone.  I'll wait.

So this is where it gets real, sistafriends.  I may or may not have had a major freak out attack exhibited a teensy bit of concern over my Sunday weigh in.  It was not pretty.  I knew my pants were getting tight, but sheesh.

I guess if weight loss is basic math, where consistently eating fewer calories results in weight loss, then the opposite is also true.  Consistently eating more calories makes you gain weight.  And the Holiday Season practically dared me to eat more calories.  Consistently.  Like, "Hey, I'm a Christmas cookie, a special entity that only exists within this comparitively short season ... better eat me now.  Do you know what I would taste good with?  Fudge.  Fudge that the eight year olds in your Bible study made all by themselves. And when the youth of 'Murica show initiative with such a productive endeavor, it is the socially responsible thing to encourage them by partaking in their product.  It takes a village, Kelly." 

Also, if you maybe, say, traumatically injure your calf in such a way that it would be damaging to run  walk  frequent the gym with any regularity over the holiday season, then, well, perfect storm.

So here I am, two weeks into the new year with the same goal as the rest of the western world = to go from jiggly to jiggy* (*per Urban Dictionary definition #2.3 meaning "an exclamation that means "Sweet!" or "Tiiiiiight!")(You're welcome.)

So far all has been as expected.  I'm in that hellish period where my brain and emotions need to jump on board with my will to understand that we don't snack all day long just because we are feeling mad/sad/pouty/glad/happy/lazy/supercrazy/or any other way.  I've discovered a previously unknown love for tea because it takes a long time to drink because it is not as delicious as International Delight Mocha Iced Coffee and gives my hands and mouth something to do when I really want to just nosh.

I've also resorted back to the public food journal.  It can be found under the tab at the top called "My Pie Hole".

(Rules for reading my food journal include but are not limited to:
1.  You may judge me for how many carbs I eat/ how few vegetables I ingest/ my Taco Bell consumption/ the idea that I think Iced Capp is a food group.
2.  You may not express to me your judgement of how many carbs I eat/ how few vegetables I ingest/ my Taco Bell consumption/ the idea that I think Iced Capp is a food group.)

(Also, please don't model your diet after mine.  It is far from perfect.  Perfect would be if I had a Tim Horton's in my house.  If you want to know more about my food intake philosophy, I wrote a fairly coherent post called How To Lose 100 Pounds - Nosh Edition.)  (Plus?  There are before/after pics, which are always fun.)

My return to the gym has been fantastic.  I've gotten several surprise martial arts moves in as I've had to fight people -who only show up in the month of January- to get a spot in Ab Lab.  (Don't worry, I fight dirty and always get my spot - hoorah.) I took a kettle bell class and was all, "Dude, this is a wussy waste of time.  I'll stick to my kettle bell clean and press during weight training."  Fast forward to the next day and I was all, "Holy Glutes, Batman. Swinging that 50 lb  20 lb kettle bell actually did some damage."  Then I took back all the nasty wussy names I called kettle bells.

My running has steadily improved.  My last intervals were up to a half mile run/ one minute walk for 30 minutes with no calf pain or tightness.  I've decided to do a half marathon in October instead of April so that I don't rush recovery.  I have time to get back to where I was without any pressure and that's awesome.

Speaking of pressure, I attended a yoga class where I'm pretty sure the instructor expected us to dislocate our shoulders in order to accomplish some cuh-razy pose.  I was all, "Seriously?  Yeah, that's not gonna happen."  I cemented this inner vow by blowing a giant bubble with my gum, which apparently is not encouraged in yoga class.  We also did dolphin pose repeatedly, which makes me feel like I should have brought a rape whistle.  The instructor said soothing things like, "You should really feeeeeeel your hamstrings streeeeetch," and I was all, "I really feeeeeeel vulnerable with my tush so reeeeeaadily available and my arms now completely nuuuuuuumb and useless."  I kept this all in my head, of course, because I'm considerate of others who are feeeeeeling their hamstrings streeeeeetch.

A Sublurban Mama announcement:  While I am concentrating on getting myself back in shape I will only be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Somethings got to give so I can have more time to workout and sleep, and I'm pretty sure letting go of my responsibilities to my children is illegal.  Similarly, I really love Brian and don't want to get divorced, so I still need to focus some time and energy on him.  So, my dear readers, please bear with me as I take it from a five day a week posting to a three day a week posting. In the wise words of Stacy Ann Ferguson, better known by her stage name of Fergie, I need to "be up in the gym just workin on my fitness."  And she knows because she is Fergalicious.

As soon as I post some killer new before/after pics you will see that it is totally worth it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that ... right?

Monday, January 14, 2013

"You saw my blinker." - Will Smith

Good morning, y'all, and top o' the work week to ya.

Yeah, I just wrote that sentence.

I'm starting a new Monday series called "A Case of the Mondays."  These will be short posts to start your week off with a giggle.  Or a snort.  Or a lol that really is not audible at all but really just you exhaling forcefully through your nose with a smile on your face. (Hey man, we all do it.)

Today's "Case of the Mondays" is brought to you by the kind of old lady I aspire to become. As we've already learned from Will Smith, you don't mess with old ladies.  Let this video be a lesson for us all.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

This is Brian when he was four.  It's pretty much
what Ezra looks like. (Like he's about to totally do
something covert that will take for-evah to clean up.)

Happy Facebook Friday!  If you are new to Sublurban Mama, Facebook Friday is a day when I revisit some of my more memorable moments in Facebook status updates.  It's about celebrating Friday with a chuckle and certainly not about me phoning it in at all.

Today's Facebook Friday is all about my darling little boy Ezra. When I was at my twenty week ultrasound during my pregnancy with Ezra they told me he was a girl.  My Facebook status that day was : Officially renaming our house the Estrogen Palace.  I guess with three little girlies God decided what's one more?  Baby#4 = GIRL.  My poor, poor husband. 

I had to go back the following week for another ultrasound, as baby was being a little stubborn about showing off her profile.  After the appointment I updated my status to: Sometimes I think, "Really, what could happen in a week?"  Oh, baby girl #4 could grow a PENIS.  Baby #4 is a boy. (Also, Brian went out that night and bought tiny little khaki cargo pants.  Adorbs.)  

Here are some Facebook Statuses involving the boy child.

We've been calling it a "car seat" but Ezra is slowly renaming it "Fossilized Cheerios Buffet."

If you're wondering if a non-verbal 2 year old can still embarrass you by calling a random stranger at Home Goods a "stinky elephant" using really obvious sign language, yes he can.

If Ezra was twenty years older (and not my son) I would totally think about taking out a restraining order against him. I doubt the cops would buy the whole "separation anxiety" thing then.

When they said people with children couldn't own glass topped table tops, they meant people with male children ... Ezra = 6, Household Objects I Love = 0.

Note to self = When a man has waited patiently through the births of three little girls and has finally received a son, never cover that son in lavender scented lotion after his bath. It will not be a popular decision.

I can finally add to my "Conversations I've had with a toddler while using my Earnest Voice" list with : "Honey, don't sneak up behind me while I'm standing at the counter cutting cucumbers and bite my butt. It scares me and it hurts."

I really love my little boy.  He is a joy.  A very busy joy who loves his mom so much between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. it is a wonder she gets anything done because "NO! I have to make dinner and I can't hold you!" Lately, the girlies have been mentioning (with increasing frequency) that we need twin boys.  Esther even rubs my belly and talks to the babies that are potentially inside.  Sometimes, for a joke, Hosanna will put, "It's a BOY!" signs on the front door.  This is all hilarious.  Really.  I remain firm in my conviction that, much like getting a dog, we can have twin boys if everyone else helps clean up the poop.  I'm waiting for their agreements.  In writing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Calf Update

"Ok Kel.  Get back to running.  It's time to
moooooove it."

Remember the horrific calf injury that kept me from running for five whole weeks?  The one that necessitated I spend all day in my pajamas and drink real Coke for breakfast during my pity party?  The one that kept me sidelined during the most calorie-laden season of the year?  That calf injury?  Well, it's been five weeks and I tried out some running.  How's my calf doing?  It's vealing fine, thank you very much.

Because I really, really, really want to avoid re-injury, I decided my first post-injury run would just be the scheduled workout for week one of the Couch to 5K program.  It took every ounce of humility I had to get on the treadmill at the gym and run one minute intervals.  As we've previously established, every person at the gym is there with one unified goal: To watch me workout and judge my progress.  It killed me to get on the treadmill and run sloooowly for one minute when I am obviously a super svelte hardcore athlete.

Thankfully, because I'm not a heathen, I know my Bible and it tells me "Pride goeth before a fall". I'm pretty sure that what the good Lord meant by that wisdom was that if I was going to let my pride dictate my first post-injury run by jacking up my speed and distance, then I would surely and quite literally fall in a torrent of agony as my calf strained again which I would communicate in the most dramatic of YouTube worthy ways. And falling off the treadmill all broken and wounded and writhing in pain would have been way more embarrassing than running one minute intervals at 5.2 mph.

Still, I was completely unprepared for these feelings of inadequacy. Don't worry, however; I am an adapter.

The first thing I did was make sure my t-shirt was on full display.  This conveyed that not only had I already participated in a 5K, this particular 5K was also THE WARRIOR DASH.  I was way above the ranks of a normal runner; I could also crawl through mud and leap over fire.  This made me feel a little better.

Next, I picked some fights with people in my head who were not looking at me in the mirror opposite us which was proof they had already seen me and deemed me a poser and unworthy of their time.

Then I felt bad because I'm not a mean person who assumes the worst of others and these sweet people I had so rashly judged were just really focused on the televisions that face the cardio equipment.  Wheel of Fortune was on (and who wouldn't be altogether mesmerized since they now offer a grand prize of $35,000?).

Finally, I decided the back stories of all the people on the machines around me.  The lady on my left was flying on her treadmill (seriously, I think it's really rude to look at someone's speed but I totally did it anyway but had I looked I would've seen she was running around 9 mph.  That's about a 6 and a half minute mile).  The obvious conclusion was that she was doing a tempo run because no one runs that fast on a regular run.  But then I realized I was, in all likelihood, running next to a professional athlete who was just killing time at my gym before going into hyper-training mode for the summer Olympics in 2016.  (Rio, Baby!) I probably should have gotten her autograph. Or at least some training advice.

"Must ... get to ... the top..."
The man on my right was on the incline trainer, and not only was he seriously inclined, he also practiced the loudest exhale in the history of the universe. Ever.  He was no doubt in training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and needed to perfect his breathing in order to conquer any altitude sickness he might encounter.  I was in awe of his plans and drive.  I could never climb Mount Kilimanjaro because I have four kids and can't afford that mess. (This is when I started rapping -in my head- "Lose Yourself" by Eminem because "food stamps don't buy diapers, and it's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life" and even though I've never been on food stamps this lyric is about being driven and providing for your family and I can totally relate to that which is proof that I'm so thug.  Logic = there it is.)

By the end of my workout I had gone the distance of about 2 miles.  It felt fantastic.  I was encouraged not only by a calf muscle that held up but also by the greatness that surrounded me.  And that is why you should train with champions.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ain't no party like a cold and flu party 'cuz a cold and flu party don't stop

Someone stayed in bed all day yesterday wrapped in two cozy quilts with a space heater running while she moaned piteously every time a whiny child concerned family member stood outside the bedroom door demanding something voicing their concern over her well being.

She may have taken copious amounts of Aleve and Tylenol (don't ask why it's her cocktail of choice) and played unending rounds of Bejeweled Blitz on her iPad while her hubby took over the education of the offspring.

You know you are a mom when a day miserable in bed feels like vacation.

There may have also been some deep midday naps filled with awesome dreams that felt like starring in action movies.  And one dream heavily influenced by recent internet exposure.

(Conversation between the hubs and I after said dream:

Kelly:  I had a dream today we moved to Texas and I met Megan from that one blog I read and we worked out together and she taught me to love chevron.

Brian:  That's why they call them "dreams".

Kelly:  You know, dreams are just 'a goal without a plan'.

Brian:  Dreams are delusional pastimes by those who refuse to live in reality.

Kelly:  Way to crush my soul, Destroyer of All that is Fun.)

Actually, being sick is the one time I feel* it's physically beneficial to my body to eat a McFlurry for dinner.  So, thank you sore throat for justifying 670 calories of cold, soothing, wetness as a healing balm.

*"I feel" = "not necessary true at all".

(*Also, a rant for free = Why don't I ever get the puking-my-brains-out/lose-seven-pounds-in-two-days sickness?  I always get the your-throat-will-feel-so-much-better-if-there-is-constantly-something-sliding-against-it-as-long-as-it's-not-calorie-free-water sickness that makes me lay in bed and just gain weight.)(Also, did I just complain about not puking? Where is my brain?)

Yesterday I posted about the kids' rooms makeovers.  You saw Eve and Hosanna's room and clearly understood that I'm a SAHM and not an Extreme Makover: Home Edition designer by choice, and not because I haven't been in high demand for my ah-may-zing garbage picking finds. Here are some pictures of Esther and Ezra's room.  They went from a crib and a toddler bed to this:

Is that a BIG BOY BED?

Prints from Kenya from Grandma and Grandpa's last missionary trip.

A table and chairs Brian's dad made him as a little boy.

Mad organizational skillz.  Notice the same shoe organizer that Eve and Hosanna have? Don't fix what ain't broke, y'all.

Under the bed storage.  Two laundry baskets of dress up clothes, one laundry basket of dolls and stuffed animals.  And the IKEA rug that every home with children owns.

I have seriously happy kiddos with their new bedrooms.  And I am seriously happy I don't have to worry think about that project anymore.  Now ... what's next?

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Like I'm Joan Rivers

Woo-hoo!  Look who went and got a face lift!  Big ups to the hubs for spending a Saturday evening with me while I was being entirely specific about the fact that I wanted more than a template look to my blog, but entirely vague about what I actually wanted. (Times like these are why I married him.  Because not only did he *not* get frustrated with me, I actually had to say, "Dude, babe, let's stop working on the blog and go to bed okay?"  because he was all excited about getting me a twitter account (Pretty please follow me.  Right now I have three followers, so you betta hurry that mess up if you want to be in my first one hundred followers.)(Who will forever be my favorite.)

Some neat new features on the blog?  I thought you'd never ask.  Well, with a mere click of the "F" button you can totally get to my Facebook page where you can sign up to follow me.  (Oh my gosh, it's so easy it's like she's daring us *not* to follow her.) Also, right by the "F" button is a "P" button.  That one links you to Pinterest where you can also follow me. Similarly, a click on the little bird will take you to my Twitter account where, yet again, you can follow me.  (Jeez-Louise, if I keep this up it will be like I live with her. "Kelly at Sublurban Mama" all.the.time.  It's like a little slice of heaven in my day.) (I know. You're welcome.)

I obviously got a new header (the fancy title section, Mom)(I know you totally knew what it was and didn't assume it meant a fancy soccer* move like someone else I know who shall remain nameless)(but it's totally not me if you were thinking it was)(because the evidence might point to me being a bit tech illiterate).

(Okay, it was totally me).

Other parts of the blog are still under construction, but rest assured I will totally let you know about them once they are finished.  I care about you being an informed consumer. Which is why I tell you so often about Tim Horton's Iced Capp.  Because it is delicious.

Other things in my neck of the woods also got a face lift. (Nice segue, Kel.)  Over Christmas break we tackled the kids rooms.  Since they've been born we've been playing musical bedrooms, and they had yet to settle into a permanent room with a permanent roommate. All that changed once I decided I wanted to decorate. Thank you, Pinterest.  I used some of my Black Friday planning and shopping time to gather cheap items for the kids' rooms.

This is the part of the blog where if I was a planner I would post "before" pics.  We have none.  Like, I went through three years of pictures of us living in this house and found not a single shot of either kids' bedrooms.  So, bear with me as I describe the "before" awesomeness.

Eve and Hosanna had bunk beds, a dresser, and two of those cube bookshelves.  Their walls are pink but did not have a single piece of artwork or decorations of any kind.  Their bedding was on the floor mostly originally green, pink, red, and blue, and covered in birds. (Sounds hideous, I know.)  They ditched them and went with the down comforters I got on clearance that were brown and blue. (Sounds worse, right?  It was.) After two full days of getting my Extreme Makeover on, this is what they have now:

I did all this for about $100.  The twin beds came from the in-laws.  Remember how they are moving to Africa for a year?  We are storing these beds for them for free.  I know. How generous can we be? (I was all, "new beds would be hundreds of dollars, who loves us enough to let us use their furniture so we don't have to buy any?") The bedding was on clearance. Each set is six pieces - the polka dot was $23 and the butterfly was $29.  All the artwork came from Hobby Lobby, either on clearance or with a 40% off coupon, and I ordered the vinyl clings online for about $12.

The desk and mirror are my crowning achievements in Pinterestdom.  I refinished the desk in July (remember when I confessed I was a serial killer?) and I garbage picked and refinished that mirror around then as well.

The chair I got on Black Friday.  It is lime green.  On the bottom right is a shower organizer I got from the Dollar Store.  It holds all the girlies' lotions, necklaces, and sunglasses.  The desk and mirror?  I totally did that.

One of the cheapest changes but the one that has made the most difference in terms of organization was inside the closet.

I switched dressers with Esther so it would fit in Eve and Hosanna's closet.  I moved all their hanging clothes to one side and put the boxes for next seasons clothes underneath.  This way the closet doesn't become the black hole of death for any and everything they own.  I spent $5.99 on that shoe organizer and it is worth it's weight in gold.  Every shoe has a spot, and they are limited to four pairs or five pairs each.  No more lost shoes, no more smooshed shoes, no more dirt kicked all around.  Awesome.

Tomorrow I'll show you Ezra and Esther's room and you'll understand why my nights have gotten a tad "later".

So do y'all like the new blog look?  Let me know - please and thank you!

*Soccer = Football for the rest of the world who are deprived of Alabama football, but still know that Alabama will ruin Notre Dame tonight.  ROLL TIDE.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Back by popular demand, it's Facebook Friday! This is a return to a Friday series I did in the early days of Sublurban Mama ... you know, back in 2012.  Some would say returning to it is "so last year" but I prefer to think of this as a throwback. A retro throwback.  I'm just that cool.

I was going to call this "I Came Out in 2012", but I thought that might give my mom/husband a heart attack.  (And by mom/husband I meant my mom and/or my husband, not that I'm married to my mom.) (Which would be weird, perv.)  One of the most common responses I got to this blog in the beginning was that it was so nice to know that I am as big of a nerd as I am.  I wasn't sure this was a compliment, but I've come to embrace the spirit behind it, meaning "it's really nice to know that even though you look like you've got your stuff together, you're really a hot mess on the inside ... just like everyone else".  There's a lot of comfort in knowing you aren't the only crazy one, you know? (You're welcome.)

So here is a collection of some of my more "I've totally got my stuff together" moments in Facebook history.

Facebook Statuses = I've Got This Edition

Some people call it "running out of gas", but I prefer to think of it as "giving the lawn a mohawk".

There is no cool way to play it off like you meant to sneeze out your gum. None.

The best way to clean up $12 worth of hypoallergenic, high efficiency laundry detergent spilled all over your wood floors? WITH YOUR TEARS.

One of the reasons I'm not a running coach is that the best way I've found to practice sprints is to sit down to Facebook and remember ten minutes later that you are also cooking bacon in the next room. 
P.S. BLT's are ready.

While I concede that it may have been a bit melodramatic to call Ezra chucking a matchbox car at my forehead a "car accident", either way I think I deserve some ice cream.

I think the best part of having a bunch of new clothes is that it considerably ups the odds of leaving the house with sales tags still in place. Today did not disappoint.

Just single-handedly stopped a freezer avalanche comprised mainly of Hot Pockets.

It could be a crumb from the super delicious confetti cookies you noshed while standing at the counter. Or it could be a stray piece of minced garlic leftover from your crockpot dinner prepping. Go ahead, give in to the temptation, because it's pretty irresponsible to (maybe) waste cookie crumbs.
But FYI - it's totally garlic.

Happy Friday, y'all!  See you Monday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sometimes You're the Worm

This is what happens when Brian and I cuddle on the couch.

We are in the traditional "spoon" position.  Brian's arm has me in a vicious chokehold and is cradling my neck. It is wildly uncomfortable.  I have discovered that if I relax enough my lip goes slack and I can drag it in the grossest way across Brian's forearm.  Which of course I am doing.

Brian:  That is sick.  What are you doing?

Kelly: Pretending my lip is a worm.

Brian: ... (digs his chin into my shoulder)

Kelly:  THE HECK!  What are you doing?

Brian:  Pretending my chin is a bulldozer.

This is how babies get made y'all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Call me Master Mama

We are studying the colonization of the United States in homeschool and I had the most fantastic idea.

New Parenting Philosophy:  The Indentured Servant Method.

The parent pays for all the expenses of a child's travel into this world, and also the resulting maintenance fees and living expenses.  In return, the child, succumbing to debt bondage, trades the years he/she lives in the home for life spent under contract as an indentured servant, which means no talking back when you are sent to gather your laundry.  (In fact, I'm pretty sure it means that you do the laundry.)

This might fix our entitlement problem.  I totally just solved a major societal woe. Look out, Dr. Spock.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Confucius Says

New Year's Eve Chinese dinner is a tradition in our family.  I inhaled ate daintily like a lady sweet and sour chicken, an egg roll, and some fried rice.  It was delicious.  And by delicious I mean sub-par, but that's okay because we go to this particular restaurant for the company and the service, not for the food.  My children mainly go because it's illegal to leave them home alone for the fortune cookies.  I am more of an almond cookie girl, and so I steal the fortunes I want to claim from my children.  That way, I'm set with a fantastic future and they are left to "share the peace in your mind and not a piece of your mind."  Lay - ame.

This year I stole:

This is a reminder to stay away from the Tim Horton's drive-thru.  Instead, park and walk inside; that way you get some exercise.  I love this fortune because it reminds me of my standard for healthy living.  I must: maintain a level of fitness that includes regular (4-5 times a week) exercise and stay within my calorie budget (roughly 1600 calories a day).  This year my goal is to work on sleeping 7 hours a night and drinking three glasses of water a day (not including my water during workouts).  If I make those my non-negotiables, my "musts" if you will, then I can stick to them. 

I don't even know how this applies to me, but it had "warrior" in it, so obviously it was meant for me.  

Proof.  Kelly and Rose.  Full-on Warrior mode.

I stole this from Ezra, who is the last person on the face of the earth that needs to recharge.  If the kid was any more charged we would power our car with him. Instead, I'm claiming it and tried to sneak it so that Brian would think I for real got this and then I could have a Chinese fortune cookie backing up my continued argument that I need to spend a week in the Smokey Mountains all by myself.  But I'm sure this fortune will get all twisted up and I'll see it fulfilled when I find myself all alone and the closest I get to nature is the poop I am scrubbing from whatever surface my next potty-trainer sees fit to dump it.*

*Awesome Facebook status from my friend Joe:  Has your baby ever pooped so much that they had a poop tramp stamp? Yep, that just happened...

(  I snorted.  And yes, they totally have.)

And finally, the wisest fortune of them all and forever ruined by Flo Rida

"One of these things is not like the others..."
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