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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Yoga for Dummies - Part 1

I love yoga. Not in the way that people who LOVE yoga love yoga, but more in the way where before class I look forward to going and after class I'm glad that it's over. The hour I spend at yoga is an even mixture of being bored out of my mind and killing the instructor in my head because ohmylanta I hate dolphin pose and you can't make me do this and you aren't the boss of me and most frequently learn to count dude that was way more than three breaths.

However, for a long time I was scared to go to class. What if I couldn't do it? What if everyone knew I'd never done yoga before? Would the instructor use language that I couldn't follow? Would I be expected to know poses and be able to do them without any problems?

Fortunately, my yoga experiences over the past few years have been in an extremely user friendly environment. My classes met in a multipurpose room at the community rec center, and were led by Natalie, who I love dearly simply because remember that time she ended class in a fight and then security showed up? (Still the best yoga class ever.)

Since I now belong to LIFETIME FITNESS (*cue angel chorus*), there are several yoga classes at my disposal. They range in style and proficiency level, and are offered at varying days and times. Because all that wasn't awesome enough, they are held in the brand new yoga studio. I was excited to try some new classes, in the new studio, in my new gym. I thought I would throw together a little tutorial for all the yoga newbies out there, written from a first hand account of my second time around newbie status. Here are my words of wisdom.

If you find you don't run well in hooves, you
may not be a goat.
First, if you are new to the class, arrange for what you think will be an early entrance so that you can get a spot in the back of the room. A back-of-the-room spot ensures that not only will you have a myriad of examples to try to emulate, but also limits the number of people who witness your graceful fall(s) out of tree pose looking to you for direction. Get to the yoga studio hallway and take off your shoes and socks. Shove them quickly into a cubbie so that no one will be able to pinpoint the source of the lovely smell wafting up from your kicks. (If you are outed for your stank shoes, justify this with, "I totally just ran three miles. Fitness ain't always pretty.")

The hallway outside the yoga studio will be empty save for a lone participant. Ask this fiiiiine young gentleman if you can enter the room (even though you are clearly seven minutes early and you will probably be the only one in the room for a while). You are anticipating a few minutes of solitude and probably that sounds wonderful because you are an introvert and new situations are hard. The fiiiiine young gentleman gives the go ahead to enter the room but warns Hot Yoga just got out so it will still be a bit warm inside.


You stride confidently to the door, twist the handle and pull it toward you. Unfortunately it is a "push" door, and your pull trick has resulted in some awesomely un-Zen banging against the door frame. You will giggle, turn back to face the fiiiiine young gentleman as you are entering the room, and say in your everyday indoor voice (which others describe as a "hollering to friends far in the distance" voice ), "I'm new at how doors work." Once both feet are in the yoga studio you will deduce three things.

1. 94 degrees in a yoga studio after running three miles must be what hell feels like. You will immediately renew your commitment to the Lord.

2. Although the room is dark, you can make out approximately twenty pairs of eyes that are enjoying your entrance. You just performed for a full house. Refrain from bowing but secretly expect flowers (or a standing ovation) after class.

3. Unfortunately, the people who yoga at your gym are a punctual bunch. Seven minutes early buys you one of the final two spaces left in class - both of which are smack in the middle of the front row. As you set up your mat mentally prepare for the performance of a lifetime. (The one where you play a supple young thing who exudes serenity and not the 34 year old mother of four who probably yelled, "EVERYONE STOP SCREAMING! CAN'T WE JUST BE QUIET FOR ONE MINUTE?!" approximately one and a half hours prior.)(Most importantly, you must be able to fake yoga mastery proficiency.)

Ribbit optional
Once you are all set up, the door will open and the fiiiiine young gentleman from the hallway will glide from the door to the front of the room ... two feet from you and your claimed space. He will glance around and with a voice that imparts tranquility say, "Let's take a deep squat," and that, my friends, is the last time you will ever trust a tone of voice for the rest of your natural life. Because "taking a deep squat"? Is the opposite of tranquil. For someone with hip flexor issues and a deep-seeded* fear of public flatulence (her own, not others)(most public flatulence is hysterical)(*deep seeded  - literally), "taking a deep squat" is as close to public torture as is allowed in the United States of America.

What follows the deep squat are fifteen of the most hellish minutes imaginable. You will probably be dripping sweat from the tip of your nose, chin, elbows, and fingertips as you attempt different poses, praying for the apocalypse simply to escape yoga.  As everyone around you flows from one pose to the next you can't participate in true vinyasa because you have no standard in/out breathing. There is only desperate gasping. And panting. And, or course, acting like you are calmly breathing iiiiiinthroughthenose and oooooouuuuutthroughthenose.

Fiiiiine young gentleman will say, "Now that we are warmed up ..." and then he will not say anything else because you will bum rush him and karate kick him in his throat.

Just chill, 'til the next episode
-Snoop Dogg

Okay, that will not really happen. (Well, only if you want to avoid jail, because you know, assault is illegal.)(Especially assault with a deadly weapon.)(Namaste, you Killing Machine) What will happen is that you will take a cleansing breath and prepare for the real fun to begin. And don't worry - you will survive this class.

Stay tuned for Monday when you will learn how to deal with yoga choreography (fake it 'til you make it), inappropriate touching (don't pet the downward dog), and recovering from a crash (floor burn on your chin?!) all in Yoga for Dummies - Part 2. Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Weekend Update - Tuesday is the New Monday

*Insert dramatic proclamation about the intensity of the weather and the havoc it is wreaking upon my life*

TL;DR = It's been coooooooold.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel so much better now.

Friday I braved the sub-zero temps to take four children to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials. That night was our turn to babysit (we swap with Chris and Stacy down the street) and with the prospect of eight children under the age of ten (six under the age of six!) "essentials" meant hot dogs and bakery cookies. 

I'm a really great babysitter.

Once we filled the kiddos up with those nutritional powerhouses the only thing left to do was dress up and have a dance party. (The girlies dressed up. The little boys wrestled with each other the only way two little boys each with three sisters can wrestle. That is, fervently.) Everyone got in on the dance action, including the one year old, who would raise her arms in the air and then crawl in a circle when the feeling got really intense. And a dance party to Switchfoot is always a bit intense.

When we completely tuckered out the kiddos, we plugged them all into a video. I snuggled with baby Anastasia while I fed her a bottle (and my ovaries exploded a little) and then hung out with Chris and Stacy when they got back from their date while the kiddos finished their movie.

I got up early Saturday to do the rest of the grocery shopping (because although hot dogs and bakery cookies sound divine as a week long meal plan, Brian made me go get vegetables being a responsible adult I knew we needed some healthy choices as well).

(Lately I've been grocery shopping at 6:00 on Saturday morning. I'm a morning person so this is not as horrendous as it sounds. There are pros and cons to shopping this early. A pro? Store is about empty of customers. Con? The aisles are filled with boxes as employees restock. Another con - my store only has self-checkout available that early. Can I just say that their is nothing quite as stressful as doing self-checkout when you are buying your weekly groceries? I've never felt so incompetent in my life. I am now thoroughly convinced cashiers have secret powers for scanning the barcode the first go around.)

I hit the gym at 9:30. I met Sarah on the treadmill. I did a five minute warm up while we chatted a bit, and then I left to bike. My heel has been acting up ever since my four minute run cycle, so I took a week off from running to see if it will calm the heck down. I was pleasantly surprised to pull a 16 mph ride out of my tush (ha - literally), and logged 9.7 miles on the bike before Sarah put me through a torturous arm workout.

(I was all stretched and ready to shower when Sarah was all, "I'm just going to do this quick arm workout; want to join me?" For those of you who are confused and think that quick means something that happens in a short amount of time, there is a new element to the definition of quick; quick = it will wreck your triceps and shoulders for the next three days. We did some planking, pushups, tricep dips, shoulder presses, and bicep curls. I tried not to look miserable and like I could totally keep up with Sarah the whole time.)(I'm a really great actor.)(Sike.)

Saturday night we were invited to Colleen and Andy's house for dinner. They have three little boys so Ezra was in heaven. We had fajitas and Colleen made from scratch brownies that made me realize how delusional I am about box mixes. Never again, Duncan Hines. The thing I love most about Colleen and Andy is that I feel like we all click with one another. It's awesome to be able to chat with any adult in the room like they are your family.

Sunday started too early. I got up with the kiddos, but Eve ended up needing to stay home from church because of calf pain. I totally googled her symptoms and diagnosed her with BACM because apparently I'm an internet doctor. She spent all day drinking water and lounging around on the couch. I did lesson plans, laundry, and organized my Pinterest boards, so yeah, it was a party.

Sunday night we celebrated Lauren's birthday. I dressed up by showering. Kidding. (But for real, I *did* shower.) I also put on adult clothes and a bit of makeup. We had dinner with Lauren, her husband, and a few other couples at a restaurant nearby. I had the best sweet potato fries. For those that missed it, LAUREN IS PREGNANT AND IT IS A GIRL! (Can you tell I am excited?)

That's it for my weekend escapades. Thanks for pretending it is still Monday and not late Tuesday night so this post makes a little bit of sense. (But tomorrow you can totally resume business as usually.)(Because we do not want to miss Wednesday.)

Never gets old. Except when it does.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Getting Old Sucks

Over Christmas we received a version of this catalog in the mail.

This exchange followed:

Brian: Don't tell me they are bringing the Walkman back.
Kelly: No, honey, those are robot vacuums.

Great Scott, Marty! It's the future!*

(*Proof you are old? You understood that reference.)
Happy Friday!

P.S. In some other housekeeping news (no, she did *not* drop a housekeeping pun during a vacuum joke post)(no, she did *not* drop a vacuum joke post), less than 2 percent of you that follow me through Facebook are receiving my notifications when I post*. (One way you can fix this travesty is to follow me via Bloglovin or Google Friend Connect. Just click on the fancy buttons on the right of your screen and voila! you are totally always in the know.) But if Facebook is truly where you check for stuff, please, go to my Facebook page, hover over the "Liked" button, and check "Get Notifications", not just "Show in News Feed". Please and thank you. I would be forever grateful.

P.P.S. *Mark Zuckerberg? More like Mark "Suck"erberg. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Me, Jermaine, Justin Timberlake, and Lifetime Fitness

Well, it happened.

In case you're wondering if you know anyone VIP-ish, look no further because this girl? Is totally a member of Lifetime Fitness.

picture insane back lighting and an angel chorus singing

You may remember my previous post involving my feelings for Lifetime Fitness. I swore I wouldn't succumb to the seduction of clean towels, Eucalyptus steam
room, rock wall, or seemingly unlimited supply of cardio equipment. I told myself it wasn't my scene, with its population of healthy women outfitted in trendy workout attire, their perfectly tweezed eyebrows and perky ponytails looking not at all mom-like. These are women who have never pretended it wasn't them when a teeny tiny bubble of flatulence escaped during a treadmill long run when GU consumption went horribly wrong. (For the record, it totally wasn't me.)(That time.)

The pull proved too strong. When my membership expired at my current gym my loyalty wavered. Lifetime beckoned to me like feta cheese on a greek pizza. (Which I'm pretty sure could bring about world peace if brokered carefully.) Also, I was gifted the price difference between my old gym and Lifetime, so it was actually cheaper (for me) to sign up at Lifetime.

It's a very spiritual diet.
My first dilemma was what to wear to sign up. I knew I would be working out that day but faced the reality that after three solid months of sedentary lifestyle while my foot and neck healed, combined with Thanksgiving  Christmas  daily nosh fests  less than responsible eating, none of my clothes fit. I mean, my yoga pants were alright because they are extremely forgiving. But every shirt I tried on left nothing to the imagination. You no longer had to imagine I had fat rolls padding my killer abs, my clothing put it allllllllll out there on fantastic display. I finally went with a cotton t-shirt that scored the highest in the non-clingage category (which made me die a little inside)(because everyone knows hardcore athletes wear Sweat Wicking Performance Tops for their sweat sessions and *not* cotton)(and I am totally a hardcore athlete in my mind only).

Sarah met me in the lobby while we waited for my friendly Lifetime associate to come and sign me up for membership.

And waited.

(In all fairness it was a Saturday morning.)

The wait proved to be worth it because when I met Jermaine I knew I now had a face to put with the phrase "I know people." I went to Lifetime expecting a regular old membership. And while that's pretty much what I got, I also got a bunch of promotional perks given to everyone in January the hook up from Jermaine because he's The Man. Don't get too jealous, but I'm on my way right now to pick out a Lifetime Fitness duffle bag. FOR FREE. Also, because Sarah and I gave him a hard time with math, he gave us $30 to spend in the Lifetime Cafe, which bought two smoothies, a black bean burger, and a chicken sandwich. (Confession: I didn't try to redeem the voucher until the next weekend. That's when I realized it had expired. I simply hunted down Jermaine and he gave me a new one.)(Jermaine doesn't think I'm a PITA at all.)

I took my temporary membership card and used it to lock up my stuff in the fabulous locker room (where I could have reclined on a couch and watched television if I'd been so inclined). Sarah and I went upstairs so I could embark upon my very first post-injury run.

I haven't attempted running in about 11 weeks. My last runs before my bone spur broke were a three mile tempo run, a ten mile long run, and a six mile run. I comfortably run a 5k in about 31 minutes. My half-marathon pace is 11:30 minute mile. Sarah suggested my first run back be a two minute run/one minute walk at a 12:00 minute per mile pace. My first honest thought was, "Dude, it's like I won't even be working out today." Then I hopped on the treadmill and reality smacked me in the face.

I was hyper aware of my body that first run. I was listening to my foot, my ankles, my hips; I was sensitive to every ping and creak in every muscle and ligament. All my bones and muscles held up; what gave me a hard time were my heart and lungs. Ohmylanta, I thought I was gonna die after a few of those two minute run intervals. My heart rate was in the upper 170's the whole run.

I ran/walked for a total of 33 minutes. (I also tagged on a five minute walk warm up and another five minute cool down.) Sarah was next to me on a treadmill doing one of her billion mile long runs, so I waved goodbye, went to stretch, and hit the showers. I felt appropriately humble.

After a week of enjoying the fine facilities of my new gym, I have graduated to four minute run/one minute walk intervals. It is getting easier. My heart rate is now hovering around 155, which is much closer to where I would prefer it during my runs. While I'm tempted to rush ahead with getting back to where I was, I'd much rather stay injury-free. Recovery is gonna be slooooow.

For now I'm enjoying my runs. I'm enjoying sweating again. I'm enjoying finding my groove (and performing Justin Timberlake hits while on stage at American Idol in my mind) while I run through Lifetime. I'm bringing sexy back, y'all.

Friday, January 17, 2014

For moms thisclose to losing their shizz. Like, literally. (A.K.A. Combing The Desert**)

Spaceballs - proof the '80s were good to us.
Reporting Live! from the front lines of the War on Poop (in pants).

We decided two months before Christmas to start preparing Ezra for our No Turning Back Potty Training Tour, which was scheduled to begin December 26, 2013. The highlights of this tour included an absolute NO RETURNING TO DIAPERS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE rule, and a solid week of staying at home. We said things like, "Hey Dude, after Christmas diapers are all gone," and "After Christmas you get to wear BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!"

The big day began with the fetal position and screaming. Once I got a hold of myself Ezra was upright and stopped screaming, "I WANT MY DIAPER" we were good to begin.

Day one was wet. Very, very wet. We set a timer and took little man to the potty every 15 minutes. I fulfilled my weekly squat quota in just under an hour between toilet time and laundry. (Note to self: Market a Potty Training Workout to better your booty. Then watch Shaun T struggle to come up with a more extreme alternative.)

Day two was slightly drier. We kept Ezra captive with wheat thins and the job of Master of the Television Remote. The older kiddos started saying things like, "Monsters University again?" but I held firm; anything to keep little man from total mutiny.

Day three we got the call that my GRANDfather died. The next day would be the viewing. It was 40 minutes away and would require we look presentable. (Insert evil suspense music.) We were still using the potty every 15 minutes and while it was drier than day one, keeping pee out of the underpants was still hit or miss.

At the funeral home Ezra stayed contained and acted appropriately in every manner. That's the new way I'm describing him borrowing people's phones to play Angry Birds and sneaking away to take pictures of my GRANDfather in his casket. Since the funeral home also had an indoor playscape (oh, you mean the four steps up to the next landing in the lobby that are the perfect height for jumping off while screeching "YEEEAAHH!" isn't really a playscape?) he worked out all the "I spent all morning cooped up at church, followed by a scenic Sunday drive to get to this building where everyone is somber and you are supposed to act reserved" ants in his pants throughout the visitation.

Me, Cassie, and my future SIL Natalia.
That's how you do family. BOOM.
We continued to take him to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so, which really helped me have time to connect with my out of state family. I had many deep, meaningful conversations that went something like, "Hey, my Only Brother in the Whole World! How are you? OHMYLANTA you got engaged last night?! And my future sister-in-law is standing right here with her gorgeous ring? Tell me all about the proposal. I want to hear every detail - oh, I need to take Ezra to the potty. I'll be right back. DON'T MOVE."

Ezra actually stayed dry until around 4:00. I put him in plastic pants as an extra measure of protection in case there were any accidents. This allowed a layer of protection and provided three surprise perks to the potty training process. First, it actually contained the mess when he finally crapped his pants that afternoon. Secondly, the plastic also held any body heat he generated from jumping up and down the stairs. This resulted in the following restroom conversation about a dozen times.

Kelly: Hey Dude, are you wet?
*Kelly and Ezra both feel his underpants. They are slightly damp all over.*
Ezra: No wet.
Kelly: I think you are right. I think it's just sweat.

(Of course, because we are efficient we developed a convenient shorthand:
Kelly: Wet?
Ezra: Just sweat.)

The final benefit of the plastic pants was the awesome rash that resulted from hours of stewing in his own tush sweat.

(#ParentingTip = if you want to experience extreme potty training, add a layer of A&D ointment to the diaper area of your child. Having effectively greased up your child, challenge him to stay seated on the toilet. Award bonus points for any horizontal dismount that may occur.)

Things were actually progressing better than I thought they could, given the circumstances. Even with his one accident, Ezra proved to be my favorite child ever when he finally pooped his pants during Brian's turn to take him to the potty.

Since Brian is a really good dad and believes a child should experience natural consequences for their actions, he required Ezra to carry the little blue bag we used to hold his poopy underpants. This bag was tiny, fragranced, and, most importantly double-knotted, so I had to agree this was a fair plan.

As we made our rounds to say goodbye (we thought it best to leave on our personal high note of crapping our pants and stealing all the cookies from the deli trays left out in the family area of the funeral home) I jokingly told everyone possible a few trusted individuals that Ezra was carrying a bag of poop. (This is because I value discretion and understand appropriate conversation topics at the viewing of a loved one.)(Also, poop is hilarious and "Boy, that Kelly, she's sure a hoot".)

This was amusing until we were on our way out the door and realized Ezra no longer had the blue bag of poop.

If you want to know the reason you end up at a funeral home quietly asking all your relatives if they've seen your bag of poop, this is it. And when no one can find it you will have to check with the kind staff, being as vague and diplomatic about the missing item as possible:

Kelly: May I check your office for my blue bag? My little boy had it and I wondered if he dropped it while he was in here stealing all the candy off your desk visiting earlier.
Funeral Home Worker: Sure, honey. Is that the one with the poop in it?
Kelly: *open and closed dumbstruck guppy mouth*
Funeral Home Worker: I'm sure it will turn up.

Thankfully you will find it stashed on the podium before your uncle gives the eulogy, and sneak out clutching it while pretending to be invisible. Unfortunately your invisibility skills are sorely in need of practice, because two different people will comment on your way out, "Oh good! You found it."

**The only thing that will run through your mind is a super inappropriate scene from SpaceBalls, and you will picture yourself as an African American man in the desert with a giant pick replying, "I ain't found (Holy Ghost edit)." Which? Almost redeems that part of your day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Heinz 57 (the post where we ketchup)

Seriously. I've been doing stuff and things.
This is how relationships die.

You're plugging along, living life, enjoying the relationships you've be blessed with, and suddenly busyness locks you in a choke hold. Not even fun busyness either, but the time consumption that comes from putting out a dozen little fires daily.

By the time you've survived the day, you lie* in bed at night (*totally correct - I Grammar Girled that mess) thinking of all the things you didn't get to, and communicating with loved ones falls into that category. "Tomorrow," you hazily think as you collapse into blissful unconsciousness.

The problem is that eventually too many "tomorrows" pile up, making the amount of sharing needing to happen grow into a monster sized accumulation of correspondence. This is wholly overwhelming, and cannot be undertaken in five minute bites and chews.

"I can't call because I only have twenty minutes and wouldn't know where even to begin with that amount of time." "This weekend I'll set aside a whole day just to catch up," and Saturday finds you grocery shopping at 5:00 a.m. just because you can't fit it in anywhere else in the entire day. (Hypothetically.)

This is where I find myself with blogging. How can I write a post about my return to running if I haven't even written that I NOW BELONG TO LIFETIME FITNESS?! How can I write about potty training when I haven't finished writing my post on grieving my GRANDfather, which includes the dawn of our potty training saga? How can I speak on dealing with weight gain when I haven't even written about BLACK FRIDAY* and the experiences in the dressing room which were the catalyst for admitting said weight gain?

(*I'm pretty sure we can agree that the Black Friday Recap Post ship has sailed. I mean, I'm pretty flexible about the unwritten blogging rules, (i.e. I make mine up as I go along) but I think a good general rule is to write about something within the same calendar year it happened.)

My brain can't consolidate any of that stuff, I get totally overwhelmed, and I'm left with the mantra (usually said in corpse position)(while under my covers in bed at night)(it's my own personal yoga studio)(#healthnut) "I'll blog tomorrow."

I don't want our relationship to die. So here is my Heinz 57 post. (I briefly thought about writing 57 bullet points of updates but then I had the epiphany of fifty seven bullet points, so I bailed on that plan.)(You're welcome.)

1. Ezra is sloooowly learning to pee in the potty. This was, of course, up until he got sick yesterday. He spent a miserable day dozing on the couch, with frequent breaks to throw up and/or scream for me to hold his hand. His fever has been a pretty consistent 101 degrees, so I'm not too worried. After having to physically carry him to the potty the third time, The Best Mom in the World said, "Forget this", and put him in a diaper. Smartest decision I made all day. (Which says a lot about the rest of the day.)(Or my decision making ability.) He asked, "I have diaper on?" every half an hour or so, effectively giving him the go-ahead to pee while still reclining on the couch, so, under certain standards, it was a pretty great day for him.

2. I had my first post-injury run on Saturday. It was brutal. I'm a hot mess. I'm writing a post called, "Bouncing Back from Injury". (Sike. I don't know what it will be called yet. Probably something sensationalist that really misleads the reader because I'm a creative genius.)

3. Lauren is PREGNANT. My bestie is having her first kid. My oldest will be able to babysit her oldest (in about two years). I'm gonna be an aunt! (A friend-like-a-sister aunt.)

4. My master plan to finally get cable totally backfired. I got Brian hooked on back seasons of The Walking Dead. Because we don't have cable our internet connection is snail like. After watching season 4, episodes 6 and 7 via Brian's iPhone, his data for the month ran out. I thought, "This is it. I'm finally getting cable. We have the mid-season cliffhanger finale left before the show resumes in February. One stinkin' little episode is going to get me cable!" I started daydreaming about House Hunter marathons, the deep clean my kitchen receives after watching Hoarders, and not messing any longer with rabbit ear antenna. Brian crushed my dreams by upgrading his iPhone data plan.

We huddled around his iPhone like fiends and watched the finale all zombie-like. (Yeah, I went there.) The current dilemma is what we do on February 9 when the shows returns.

Unrelated: Is creating a Kickstarter fund to raise money for cable out of the question? Asking for a friend.

I wish I had a fancy way to finish this post, but it's simply that my allocated time to write is gone, so I have to wrap it up. Esther and Ezra just woke up and they are discussing the merits of different methods of vomiting. That's a good place to end for today, don't you think?

Thanks for visiting. Let's do this again soon, OK?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crazy or Awesome? #47

Scene: I am at the grocery store loading my bounty onto the belt for scanning. The two kiddos I brought with me are almost berserk with stress because I gave the go-ahead to choose a piece of candy. They repeatedly ask inane questions that show far too much thought about the decision to choose a confectionery treat. I finally say, "Dude, Girlies, I need like five seconds where nobody talks to me." The cashier laughs and says, "I have a friend who changed her name. One day she just decided that BAM! she would no longer answer to "Mom", and she changed her name. She wouldn't talk to any of her kids until they guessed her new name. And then, only if they could spell it correctly." Cashier leans in and whispers, "Try it, Rumpelstiltskin." *huge, exaggerated wink*

Is it crazy that I'm tempted? 
Don't answer that.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Don't worry, I survived.

There are people in this world that have never seen a real snowflake. They probably made one out of a coffee filter in elementary school art class, or have eaten a snow cone from the county fair (suddenly they live in Mayberry because county fair?), or have grand illusions of the experience of building a snowman. But guess what? These people don't come from Michigan. In Michigan it snows almost every single year. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot. Regardless of the amount, Michiganders are no strangers to snow fall.

This is where I need to ask: Michigan, what. the. heck?

A big storm was predicted to hit Sunday. We were to expect anywhere from 6-12 inches of the white stuff in about a 24 hour period. I usually grocery shop on Saturday morning, so on Saturday morning I took Hosanna with me to the store, expecting a regular shopping day and OHMYLANTA.

Everyone in Southeastern Michigan was panicking about Snowmageddon 2014 doing their shopping as well. Brian went back to our grocery store later that day to pick up one little thing and took these pictures with his cell phone.

When it all hits the fan, I hope you don't need pre-sliced vegetables.
Or potatoes.

There is now a black market for bagged salad greens.

After all that roughage, you're certainly going to want to be prepared for the end result.

In case you are wondering, we did get the snow. It snowed all day Sunday. Thankfully, we had a delicious salad for dinner because I was prepared.

Today we are planning to make a snow fort in the front yard like rednecks, eat some snow ice cream, and probably screen Monsters University for the bazillionth time. Happy Snow Day, Midwest!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm pretty sure this post qualifies me as a "Lifestyle Expert".

Lifestyle Expert Profile Picture
(totally looks legit, doesn't it?)
If you've ever wondered, "Gee, I could really use some advice on how to make my own bricks and glue using average household goods," I have the post for you.

With a bit of accidental ingenuity I have discovered the secret to thinking you are concocting delicious treats, but in reality are creating weapons and adhesives.

I've found the best way to do this is to notice the bananas on your counter are past their prime, and perfect for using in banana bread. Get out your trusty banana bread recipe (any one will do) and proceed to math. Be forewarned, this is the most time consuming part of the process. If the recipe calls for three bananas, and you have eight, go ahead and decide to triple the recipe, eight is totally close enough to nine to justify tripling. Eight and nine are neighbors.

Once you have correctly multiplied, employ a three year old to peel all the bananas while you gather the rest of the ingredients. Next, take a few minutes to unearth all the stringy peel leftovers that made their way into the banana bowl, and unleash the three year old to smash the ever loving daylight out of the bananas. When banana soup consistency is achieved, bribe the three year old to stop smashing with a promise he can hold the measuring spoon while you pour some lemon juice. Midway through measuring your tablespoon(s), your three year old will freak the heck out because he found some rogue banana guts still clinging to the inside of his wrist. Call upon your previously unknown skills as a hostage negotiator to convince the little terrorist dear child you will thoroughly clean his hands after you finish measuring and pouring the lemon juice.

Next, send your three year old on the world's most important mission to find the banana bread pan. Hurriedly measure and pour your oil before he can return and demand to "help" with this part. Make sure that in your haste you only measure enough oil for the original recipe, and not the tripled one. This part is crucial. If you are lucky you can add the (tripled) sugar before the completion of the bread pan mission, but unfortunately you probably selected the most competent bread pan retriever in the history of the world, so he will arrive just in time to aid in the addition of the sugar.

The sugar part is sweet. You will end up with a model of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes composed entirely of Domino Sugar on the kitchen table. This is mostly because for a three year old, a ten inch target from one inch away is surprisingly difficult to nail when a cupful of sugar is involved.

Get out the mixer because now the real fun begins. This is the most spiritual part of making bricks and glue. You will practice what the Apostle Paul refers to as "pray without ceasing" while the three year old mans the hand mixer "ALL BY MYSELF, MAMA". Some phrases I found helpful were, "Please Jesus, let him keep it in the bowl", and "Oh Holy Spirit, please bless this child with a steady hand and an obedient heart." Feel free to use any alternate wording you've found to be helpful.

Once your wet ingredients are mixed, get out a separate bowl in which to combine your dry goods. Do some more math. Do it again, because you remember you are tripling - or was is quadrupling? - your recipe. Glance in the garbage can and guestimate how many banana peels you see. Deduce there are a crap-ton, which roughly means you used about twelve bananas for your recipe. That means you must have quadrupled the recipe. Pat yourself on the back because math just happened and it found you smart.

Quadruple the flour. If you are a food allergy family using a vegan banana bread recipe, quadruple the what germ. Quadruple the salt, baking powder, and the baking soda. Let the three year old stir.

How *you* doin'?
Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones. The three year old will attempt to stir them together but will quickly give up because "it's too hard". Do not be deceived into thinking he's just quitting because his sisters started watching Monsters University in the other room. Yes, he is being seduced away by Mike and Sulley, but he was accurate in his assessment that it really is too hard to stir the banana bread mixture. Like, crazy hard. Like, "Uh-Oh I Did Something Majorly Wrong Here" hard.

Release the three year old to Monsters University. Decide to bake a trial run of six muffins. For twenty two minutes you will bake banana bricks. Eight minutes after they come out of the oven you will determine that banana bricks taste horrendous. Quietly dump the batter, but not before spilling some on a few Christmas cards and some unopened mail on the counter. (Don't worry, it wasn't your card. Your card is lovely and is being displayed prominently on my kitchen wall.)

Until you discover Banana Bread Glue.
Later that evening, as you are cleaning the kitchen before bed, discover the spilled batter when you try to clear the mail so you can wipe down the counter tops. The mail will not budge. It is stuck firmly to the surface by banana bread glue, which seemingly rivals Gorilla Glue in effectiveness.

If you faithfully follow the steps above, you too can make your own bricks and glue.

(I will gladly supply the three year old.)

Happy Baking Crafting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...