Monday, March 16, 2015

Maria Kang Told Me I Had No Excuses, And Then Jillian Micheals Tried To Murder Me

They're called Rolos, Maria. And they're delicious.

Afternoon Readers,

Unless you live in Antarctica, did you hear the first, glorious sounds of spring this week? I'm not sure if the beautiful weather will keep on trending here in Kansas, but, dear, sweet, Lord, let it be so. Right now, the birds are chirping, I have coffee, and a new outlook on life looks immanent.

*This spot reserved for clever transition from happy coffee thoughts to unhappy topical thoughts*

Maria Kang, she's pretty much old news at this point, hashed and re-hashed. Mostly, I ignored her when she jumped on the scene, but then I've never taken kindly to people who tell me to exercise.

(Try me and see if you get invited to my next chili cook off.) 

So, off the radar she fell, until she popped up again recently, telling me, for the second time, I still had no excuses for not exercising. 

"Shit. Give it a rest, Kang. I have Skittles to eat," I yelled from the pantry.

She doesn't know me. Doesn't know that, while not particularly heavy, my post-baby stomach looks like an angry bulldog not even Sarah Mclachlan would adopt out. Angrily, I shut my laptop and padded downstairs to the living room, where I turned on the TV and stopped, right before I collapsed on the couch.

"Am I really making excuses?"
"Maybe. No. I don't know."
"I stay home. There's time."
"Wait, did you change over the laundry?"
"No idea. Maybe just two crunches."
"Hold on. Where'd I put the kids?"
"Hmm, I think the twins are busy, but after I pulled the toddler out of the toilet, I think he got distracted with putting bread all over the stairs. Ok, let's do this."
"Cool. Down with excuses!"
"Wait, is that my toddler trying to climb in the sewer outside?"
"Look at that, it's already lunch. I'll think more about this after a solid pb and j."

Over lunch, I chewed some bread and the thought that perhaps I was just lazy. Sure, I had sixteen loads of laundry, four hundred fights to break up, and twenty-one meals to plan a week, but there were people who surfed with one leg and blind orphans who climbed Mount Everest, and hadn't Heidi Klum shopped at Target once?

Get it together, Paige.

Because I'm serious about proper form, I didn't put a bra on and wandered in search of a workout video on Youtube that fit the bill of a thirty-something looking to subdue guilt and not really sweat a lot.

Abs of Steel
Five Hundred Miles of Running Fun
What Doesn't Kill You, Isn't Working: A beginner's guide to lifting

There had to be something. "Ahh, here we go. Jillian Micheals. People seem to like her. Why not?"

Important: What She looks like at the beginning

"I've come to deliver you from your fat. I am the Pied Piper of cellulite."
     Cautiously optimistic, I hit play and prepared to have the abs of a Spartan warrior delivered to me before dinner. Maybe I'd been wrong all these years. Maybe fitness could be fun and happy and...

"And that's it for our warmup."

From the spot on the floor where I'd prostrated myself, I looked up. "What?" Suddenly, where peace had formerly resided, a storm cloud parked itself on Jillian's face.

"Part two. Abandon all hope."

The baby, covered in strawberry jam and holding a stack of unpaid bills, wandered over and sat on my back so I couldn't get up.

"Pick up the pace. You can do this."

"I can't."

"You can!"

"I have a toddler sitting on me. Where's your toddler, Jillian?"

Gingerly, I rolled out from under the baby and clawed a path to my knees. "You know, I heard, once, if you hear a hamstring snap, you should stop. Something's crackling in there like the Fourth of July."

Without an ounce of pity, I was marched on. "Up to the sky! Down to the ground! Commit to this. Commit to you. Don't quit!"

I yelled desperately to any one of my children who could hear me. "Ten dollars to the kid who takes mom out with a butter knife in the next sixty seconds." I could only survive on witty banter for so long. 

From the corner of my eye, I saw the baby slipping back upstairs. "Hey, where do you think you're going? Jillian didn't say you could leave."

"I'm thirsty."

I lunged and heard my knee shatter. "We're all thirsty down here in the tenth circle of hell."

He ran his chubby legs up to the kitchen and never looked back.

A billion crunchs
A trillion lungy things
Something I don't know the name of but almost snapped my spine in two

When it was all over, I had just enough energy to hit "off" and go in search of the destruction I was sure had kept the children busy while I'd been downstairs fighting for my life. Now that I've had a few days to process, these are my findings:

Do I make excuses? Yes.

Are these excuses legitimate? Yes. Because Jillian Micheals will try to murder you, and your kids will burn your house down while you're distracted.

Final Note: While I enjoyed the resulting endorphins, working out almost resulted in my untimely death and also the baby taking my absence to mean it was OK to pour an entire bottle of body wash into the shower, dump out the pickles, and try to increase his lash volume with my treasured staple, Maybelline "Blackest Black" mascara.*

*Will be billing Maria Kang for new mascara.

P.S I'm hopeless case, but if you're looking for a guide to working out with kids that's actually helpful, pop over and grab some wisdom from Grace

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy some Cankles
And if quick bathroom reads are your friend, grab The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Young House Love, We Ain't: Or Things I Almost Did This Winter

This grainy reality captured in substandard light could be yours too, for the low price of avoiding renovations.

Afternoon Readers,

I had to start the day with green tea because Husband actually took the time to ask if I needed anything from the store last night, and I said, "Nope."

Because I'm a huge idiot.

"Oh, coffee? The lifeblood that sustains any and all hope of me being a decent person over a twenty-four hour period? I clearly saw we were out this morning and tattooed it on my arm that I needed to go buy a gallon tub, but that very important detail must've just flown out of my head when my other half generously offer TO GO GET IT FOR ME."

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Problem With Mustard Seeds

Ahh, if only there were this much variation to winter.

Morning Readers,

Oh, Winter.

What can you say about it except you wish it would die a thousand deaths and never return? Granted, last year's cold season was way worse and filled with ten times more snow, but being trapped inside all day is treating me about as good as it always does, and there's just not enough liquor in the world, my friends. Not enough.

But, even in the valley that is cabin fever, there are little peaks from time to time. Namely, me getting to run to the mail box by myself for sixty glorious seconds, drinking so much hot cocoa I'm pretty sure I have the diabetes again, and Sunday school.

Sunday morning goes a little like this:

Drop the twins off for their catechism hour.
Spend sixty minutes with Doc buying donuts and things I don't need at Target.
Pick twins up. Eat all the donuts. Get more diabetes.

Things usually go according to plan, except when they don't. Two Sundays ago, I got to dip my toes into the water that is feeling like a terrible parent.

As the hour ended and I walked through the door of the school, a worried teacher came up to me. "Hi Paige. We've been trying to call you for an hour."

"What? Why?"

"Sundance is very sick and needed to go home."

We rushed down the hallway in West Wing fashion, trading info as we went.

"She shut down the whole class. Said she was so sick, the other kids needed to get away from her in case she was contagious."

"I'm so sorry. I forgot my pho... Wait, she did what?"

"Seemed pretty serious."


"No, I think it's bad. She's down here in the office."

Expecting to see her petite frame prostrate on the floor and burning up with the plague, I rounded the corner into the office and stopped short.

"Hi Mommy." 

The little blonde girl smiled up at me and went back to neatly coloring a picture so intently, I was sure she was saving it to turn in with her application to Harvard. 

"Are you sick?"


"You don't look sick."

"I might feel better now."


She tucked the pictured under her arm and pranced back to the van, in anticipation of donuts. After we were buckled in, and Long Johns had been passed out, I decided to get to the bottom of what was going on. Most of the world is unaware, but Sundance has a giant flare for the dramatic. Just behind her blue eyes and elfin features lies an ability to make Hamlet look like and episode of Barney.

I looked around my donut. "Ok, what happened?"

She poked at some icing absently before she answered quietly. "I ate it."

"Ate what?"

"Umm... the mustard seed."

The pieces started snapping together. "You ate one of those blessed mustard seeds they brought back from Jerusalem?"

She nodded. "Please don't tell anyone. I just. I just- "

"Wanted to see what it tasted like. Ok, I get it. But why did you tell everyone you were sick?"

She looked down for a moment before she answered. "They said it would grow."

And there it was. "Ok, let me see if I've got this straight. You ate the mustard seed, and then your teacher told the parable of the mustard seed. After which, you were convinced a mustard tree would sprout out of you. Is that close?"

"How did you know that?"

"I'm old as the hills and twice as dusty."

So, while the rest of the school worried about poor Sundance, the truth of the situation was trapped in the van. One little girl sat, willing her faith not to grow so she wouldn't grow branches and be permanently rooted in the parking lot. 

The peaks of winter may be few and far between, but I'll admit that when I found out the truth, I was laughing so hard, I didn't even care about cabin fever. 
Until Next Time, Readers!
Like what you read here? Buy some Cankles
And if quick bathroom reads are your friend, grab The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Boxelder Conundrum and Blogging Once A Week

"Oh, hello. I'm just popping in to creep you out and look at your unmentionables."

Afternoon Readers,

I'm honored to be here today to state with what I know to be unflinching finality that, after much testing and debate, Chocolate Toast Crunch is now the best breakfast cereal on the planet. 

Don't even try to argue. The jury's in. I have the extra weight to prove it. Buy some and get on board with the movement.

*pours more cereal*

Now then, let's get down to business. What's on the table today? First off, I'd like to call this meeting to order and apologize for my absence. Not that you sit around waiting for the not-so-riveting details of my life, but the scarcity is real, people. Why?

Book makery.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Cut Below the Rest

"You wanna know how I got these bangs?"

Afternoon Readers,

I love my kids for so many different reasons, but one of my top faves is that they listen to the ridiculous plans I make sometimes and still continue to take me seriously. Except when they don't.

"Umm, I think we should just go have someone else do that."

My eyes crept over the top of the computer. "I think you're being a little uptight. There's absolutely no reason this wouldn't work."

Unconvinced, Sundance looked over my shoulder. "But you said someone else would cut my hair and we could go to the hairstylist's."

I avoided further eye contact and went back to scrolling through tutorials on Youtube. "Yes, but that was before the van wouldn't start."

"Why won't it start?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You Aren't Fit To Cat Parent: Part II

"Maybe you should just put me in cat jail. I need a vacation like yesterday."

Afternoon Readers,

If you haven't guessed already, I'm the worst at cliffhangers. Mostly because my "to be continued" turns into a "Did I ever tell the rest of that? Because it seems like maybe I got mesmerized by looking at hair products on Pinterest and forgot."

But seriously, if you guys have a mild obsession with hair products, yet only do your hair once  a month like I do, please follow me over here and we'll waste time together. Seriously, I discovered the magic that is hair chalk, this weekend, and I'm in love. In love, I tell you. If I started a blog just dedicated to hair, how much would you hate me? Probably a lot.

Moving on.

So there I was, unsuspecting, shoving pizza in my mouth like there was no tomorrow or five minutes from then, when the call came in.

"Mrs. Kellerman?"


"This is Officer Jones. We need to talk about your cat, Felix."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

You Aren't Fit to Cat Parent

"If we get a cat, will you promise to feed it, groom it, and bust it out of jail?"

Afternoon Readers,

I'd like to start today by congratulating Andrea on winning the Minted giveaway! I really appreciate you playing along with the ridiculousness around here and wish you the best of luck with all future endeavors involving shutters and the teeny, tiny nails that keep them perilously in place. 

Pet ownership, I never wanted any part of it. I'm not a regular Cruella or anything, but anyone who knows me well, also knows I'm no Jane Goodall.

I have to feed it?

Groom it?

Not step on it?

And it's not my kid? Pass.

Don't get me wrong, animals are wonderful, but if it weren't for Husband, I probably would've left the care of pets way behind me and enjoyed a hair-free couch my entire adult life. The day he brought Salvador Perez home, I made it clear the cat could stay, but also that the feeding, litter box, and stopping the yowling at 3am duties were all his. His alone.

And that's why, of course, the cat has now become permanently tied to me and sole beneficiary in the event of my demise.

But let's put this in reverse for a second...

Amidst the hubbub that was last year's contender for most stressful move ever, we lost the cat. I lost the cat. The cat was lost by accident. As the last boxes were unloaded, and the race to beat the coming snow ensued, my haste to grab the kennel out of the van went something like this:

Me: The kennel just broke! The cat's running away!
Husband: I forgot to tell you about the special way to pick it up!
Me: Why?!
Husband: I don't know!
Me: Come back, cat! You don't know where you are!
Husband: Salvador!
Me: Pretend you're a dog and turn around!

It was a maelstrom of exclamation points, but there was nothing to be done. Much like Kevin Costner's career, Sal ran off in to the night, never to be seen again. Sadly, we turned back to the house, quietly dreading telling the children of their parents' ineptitude to transport the family pet five miles down the highway. Acceptance set in. A week went by. The cat was gone forever.

"They found the cat."

I set down my thrice reheated cup of coffee and stared. "What?"

Husband set down his phone. "That was animal control. They picked up Sal and want us to come get him. Umm... "

"Umm, what?"

"It's gonna cost some money to get him out."

"We need bail money for the cat? I thought we were saving that for the kids."

Responsibility tugged at my insides, and even though I felt the checkbook flinch when I grabbed it, I loaded all the children in the van and headed out on a freezing cold Monday to bust the cat out. He was just a little cat, after all. How much could it be to hold him for a day or two?

"That'll be seventy-five dollars."

I choked on my own spit. "Are you sure it's not eight dollars? What'd you feed him in here, prime rib?"

"Well, it would've been three hundred and fifty to re-adopt him, so it's actually a deal. Also, we're going to need your driver's license and all current personal information, so we can find you if he runs away again."

The children looked at me expectantly. "Fine. But if he runs away again, we're relocating."

"What was that?"


Grudgingly I handed over the money and loaded the cat back in the van for a second try. "Please don't run away again. That was all the grocery money. I can feed the kids ramen this week, but any longer than that, and it might stunt their growth."

All was well with the world. Upon arrival, Sal curled up in his new spot and became acquainted with all the various spots he'd spend the rest of his life napping on. Paying to get him back had been worth it because we could now move on. Sort of.

*Ring Ring*

"Mrs. Kellerman?"


"This is Officer Jones. We need to talk about your cat." 

To be continued...

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy some Cankles
And if quick bathroom reads are your friend, grab The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: