Wednesday, July 30, 2014

To Underestimate An Estimate

"As sure as the rick rack on that dress, Marlene, we'll be out of this house by 2018."

Morning Readers,

I'm fried.

Which is unfortunate because I was planning on starting today's post by telling you guys about my perfectly clean house and how the kids haven't punched each other in the face at all this week. Lucky for you, I'm a terrible liar and it would take a world class liar to pull a straight face and convey how she doesn't have piles of rice all over her deck.

Can I just say that letting kids eat outside sounds and looks great on the cover of Family Fun, but in reality, turns into a scene a scene from The Godfather.

"You touch my rice?"
"I saw you touch my food."
"I'm comin' after your food, your family's food, and any food you ever thought about eating."
*Non-friendly rice fire is exchanged on both sides.*

Coppola probably had an easier time making that movie than I have keeping that deck clean. Which is a tad frustrating, considering my main goal right now is to clean, fix and get this popsicle stand onto its next owners. (By the way, if you're in the market for a charming split-level that's been extensively blogged about, I might have something you'd be interested in.)

Power washing grain off porches aside, the name of the game right now is estimates. Morning, noon, and night, calculations for the our newest financial undertaking eat up my brain's spare time. For example:

Estimate #1

Me: So, here's the thing. A long time ago, I decided I knew something about carpentry and tried to replace the trim around this door.

Handyman: I did see it's on upside down and backwards. Is that crazy glue?"

Me: You hit the nail on the head.


Me: I bet you hear that all the time. Anywho, what are we looking at, price-wise? Ten? Ten dollars and fifty cents?

Handyman: Well, including the rotting trim on the back door, it'll be 235.00.

Me: Yin?

Handyman: Dollars.

Me: I guess I could take another crack at it.

Estimate #2

Me: I was thinking we could list the house for this much.

Realtor: Hmm, I was actually thinking this much.

Me: Couldn't we just say a Kardashian was born here or something? I hear homes sell for ten times their actual value when they're marketed as an homage to an insignificant and fleeting piece of pop culture.

Estimate #3

Me: So how much do we have to put down to get this property?

Broker: Probably this much.

Me: That's an interesting figure.

Broker: It's pretty accurate. I like to err on the side of too high, rather than too low.

Me: I may have to err on the side of raising my family in refrigerator box behind the local theater.

Estimate #4

Me: Research says we can't find a handle to replace the one on the storm door.

Husband: Anywhere?

Me: Experts have concluded it was forged by some sort of wizardry in a local mountain.

Husband: Rip it out?

Me: Finally, a plan I can get behind.

So there you have it. The next couple weekends will be dedicated to more painting, more estimates, and a battle we may or may not win with the front door. I may not be able to control the outcome of this whole house debacle, but I do know one thing...

No more rice for the Kellerman children.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy the book!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Drugstore Cowboys: A Math Lesson

"Well, howdy there, Ma'am. Looks like you forgot to buy hamburger again. Can I offer you some moonshine?"

Afternoon Readers,

First off, I need to start by congratulating Cindy Alfino on winning the Blog Hop Giveaway! Just shoot me your info at, and I'll send a copy of Cankles your way.

Now then, I don't really want to brag on a Friday, but did you know I go grocery shopping at least five times a week?

(Anyone who had "low" on a high/low gambling option concerning my food procuring habits, my deepest apologies. Football season is right around the corner. You can make your money back then.)

To some people, five to seven times a week in the grocery store probably seems excessive, but when you have kids, packing them up and heading out to do anything that doesn't involve sitting around and watching them punch each other sounds downright delightful. Not to mention, this equation...

Things needed at grocery store x Bringing a child to the grocery store = Forgetting most important ingredient to make dinner.

The math gets even stickier when then number of children is multiplied:

List of groceries x three kids + instances you're asked to go by the bakery for a cookie = Forgetting toilet paper and having to use paper towels for the next day.

Lately, I've been bumped up to the calculus of grocery store math:

Pounds of hamburger needed to make casserole/Times the kids ask to ride the mechanical pony x Finding your credit card in a hobo bag - Being able to find frequent shopper card = I only bought gum because I was too busy yelling at kids to climb off the mechanical horse.

Divide all that by the square root of "Please don't snap its tail off by sheer force.", and what you have, my friends, is seven trips a week to the grocery store, very few groceries, and twenty-five rides on an animal that's not real.

In case you're still with me, the kids have found the Lone Ranger's Horse's plasticine cousin, and attacking the poor thing when we get to the checkout counter is all the rage right now. The store officially made pony rides "free," which means that has become priority one for all Kellerman kids. And I say "free" because, although it doesn't cost actual money, it does take the following currency:

-Trying to look the other way when the twins are trying to ride it at the same time and I'm too far away paying to yell.

-Pretending not to notice while they pick the horse's nose.

-Pretending not to notice when they poke the horse in the butt.

-Pretending they might not be my kids when they stake their claim to the horse and try to kick the other kids off it.

-Taking responsibility and apologizing to the other families in line by explaining that we're the type of family who eats frozen pizza three times a week and just don't know any better.

-Making sure the baby gets to ride, even though other kids are waiting.

-Dealing with the baby's wrath the one time I didn't let him ride.

-Taking the baby back by himself so he can ride and I can buy the toilet paper, hamburger, and dish soap I forgot.

-Grabbing the baby midair when he yells, "Yee Haaaaw!" and throws himself off backwards.

Ok, so what have we learned today, class?

Things needed at the grocery store x (3)kids I'm taking with me x number of pony rides + a substantial amount of coffee = I have to go get the kids ready for the grocery store because I just realized I forgot to buy milk yesterday.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy the book!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why I Never Shower

"This isn't a headband. My hair's so dirty, it grows around itself."

Afternoon Readers,

Did you know you can break a garbage disposal three times in a week?

Well, you can.

And if my super patient husband fixes it again tonight, I'll let you know if you can break it four times in a week. Also, I'm mentioning it now so if he murders me, all you guys can chime in that you last heard my very unique voice on July 21st, before my not-so-mysterious disappearance.

So, at this point, I'm not putting any more food down there. Which is fine by me because my hand gets super gross if I have to reach down and clean out that death trap. And at the rate I get to shower...

What's the actual rate I get to shower?

In case you don't have a thorough knowledge of calculus, let me tell you a story instead.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who was filthy beyond a degree that's even suitable to go drop a movie off at Redbox.

"Alas," she cried. "I cannot shower during the day, for my children feel the overwhelming and annoying urge to crawl in the tub or bring the dog in so he can lick the shampoo bottles. The baby crawls up and tries to get into the knives. And if I take the time to condition, all three kids escape and try to run down the street. I shall forever look like the Unibomber."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Want To Keep Your Kids In One Piece? There's a Class For That: A Review of MomAssembly

"Yes, Denise, I understand your toddler just poured a jug of milk on the cat. Now, put down the vodka and visit MomAssembly instead. They have a video for that."

Morning Readers,

Let me tell you a little story about about how all of my kids have choked on something before.

The end.

Yeah, I was going to add more details, but I thought I'd leave out the parts where I panic, flail my arms around, and try to remember what it is I need to do to save their life.

...I also omitted the part where I look heavenward and call out, "Why would you entrust the care of other human beings to me?"

The good news is, after knowing I needed to do it for a while now, I took a fantastic CPR class on MomAssembly this week. What's MomAssembly? Well, let me just tell you.

Meet Jill Spivak and Jen Waldburger...
Jill's just getting ready to star in the new reality TV show on Bravo called, "There Goes the Motherhood." Ain't no thang.

These lovely ladies founded MomAssembly and I now consider myself a fan. Not a creepy stalk-you-behind-your-hydrangeas fan, but close.

They have every class on parenting you can imagine and it's not done in a silly, condescending way:

Infant and Child CPR
Birthing Babies
Surviving the First Months
Why kids stare at you in the middle of the night because they have to go potty, but it really freaks you out because it's 3am, child.*

*I may have made that last one up.

And the even better news is you can start and stop classes when your toddler and his absent motor skills pulls the entire jug of milk out of the fridge and tries to pour himself a glass. They're broken down into short videos, so it's easy to do kid damage control and then get back to where you left off.

Loved that.

A little snippet on what they're all about...

"Parenting has never come with instructions - until now! The world’s first online video-education site for moms, MomAssembly is an interactive university, available 24-7 from the comfort of your home, that gives you all the information you need to raise happy, healthy kids. And because moms are more than just parents, we also have plenty of offerings to help you look and feel your best, explore your creativity, and discover other interests and passions you may not know you had. Too busy or tired to read a book, or too far geographically from that expert whose seminar you’d love to take? No problem – we’ve assembled the world’s top parenting gurus, lifestyle and beauty experts, and health and fitness trainers, all available with just a click of your mouse. Bring your curiosity, your imagination, and all of your questions – and get ready to learn, grow, and love."

I try not to review anything unless I have something to offer my favorite Readers on the planet, so I was excited to see they want to offer a free month to the first ten people who sign up here. Like what you see? Stay. Don't like what you see? Well, no one's going to hog tie you and make you click around, but I guarantee you'll find something appeals to you.

And now if someone accuses you of wasting time on the internet, you can shout back. "I'm not wasting time, I'm learning valuable tips about keeping our kids alive."

Righteous indignation is a hobby of mine.

(It's fabulous companies like MomAssembly that keep this little operation afloat, so I was indeed compensated for reviewing how surprisingly awesome their site is.)

You can follow MomAssembly on Facebook here or Twitter Here. Oh yes, and their fabulous Pinterest board is right here.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Letter To Me on My Second 29th Birthday

"I heard standing in natural light makes you look younger... nope."

Afternoon Readers,

Isn't it a lovely day?

The sun's shining. The birds are chirping. My youth is fading into a black abyss.

Luckily, I remembered to buy coffee a couple days ago, so I have the presence of mind to type words to commemorate the occasion. So, because I'm not getting any younger...

A Letter To Me On My Second 29th Birthday

Dear Me,

Today you celebrate your second twenty-ninth birthday and your first year of being completely in denial. 


I hate to break it to you, but it looks like all you can handle, from here on out, is four beers and absolutely no Taco Bell. You thought you could, but you can't. Remember that volcano fire that was your morning? Learn it. Live it. Over the next few decades, each of your internal systems will give out. Gastrointestinal just won the door prize for 2014.

When you were fourteen, you were absolutely convinced you'd have everything together by now. That's not really the case, but the good news is, you only have a few things you do with irregularity:

Save money
Realize childhood dreams
Wear matching clothes
Own more than one good bra
Eat right
Get sleep
Not worry

(There were a few more but I decided to just send them to you in a two hundred page Word document.)

At this point, you have three beautiful children who never listen to you, which is why you're constantly yelling, "You're lucky you're beautiful. Now run before I change my mind." I know, I know. You really thought the parenting thing would be under control. You also thought there was no way Mariah Carey would marry Nick Cannon. We're all wrong from time to time.

The good news is none of them told you happy birthday. 

Still, they're all four and under and seem to love you very much. Although, the baby did spill a quart of paint all over the kitchen floor this morning. Maybe he doesn't love you. No, he probably does but how do two-year-olds survive? Honestly, I'm asking. 


Yeah, I didn't think you'd be spending your day weeping, swearing and wiping paint out of every crevice of the beloved room you make frozen pizza in, but at least you only got it on your feet and half the coffee table.

On the upshot, Husband picked out some beautiful jewelry and you just heard the kids tell the neighbor it's your birthday.

The hard part will be explaining to her that this is your second twenty-ninth birthday. Maybe she can get them to tell you happy birthday.

Maybe she just wants you to get the dog to stop barking at her and her baby.

Oh, and before I forget, you know how some people say they don't feel any older? That did not apply to you. Your joints creaked and practically snapped in half when you half crawled/half Emperor penguin failed out of bed this morning. 

As far as vitality seeping out, you're pretty much at the Brita pitcher stage of life.

You know what? It doesn't matter. You still kind of have your looks and there's a 13.99$ cheesecake in the refrigerator just waiting to watch you not be able to button your shorts tomorrow. Don't worry about how much time has passed, look bravely toward tomorrow. In fact, go ahead and drink that fifth beer in celebration for what's to come.

Just don't say I didn't warn you.



Until Next Time, Readers!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Hop Book Giveaway!

Morning Readers,

I know I rarely post on a Sunday, but any time's a good time to give away books, right?

Ok, maybe not at a funeral.

Or during a cooking class with a curiculum centered entirely around pudding.

Today's good though, and when I was asked to participate in this little hop, I got excited. I love giving things away, especially books, and if you hop around to all these other lovely authors on the list, you can win their books too.

And now a word from our lovely host...

What's on your summer reading list? If you're searching for a book to read, we may have something for you during summer vacation. Mary Buchan of Midlifestyle RNventor is hosting this book blog hop during her virtual book launch of OveriT. Thirteen amazing authors will make you think, cry, laugh out loud, or all three. Each author will give you a chance to win his or her book in a giveaway that ends on July 23rd. Follow the links below and make sure you enter all of them for a chance to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time, Readers!

Friday, July 11, 2014

How to Not Swear Around Kids

"I'm patient as hell. Damn it."

Morning Readers,

This is the second day in a row I've forgotten to buy coffee.

Part of me doesn't want to be on the Earth anymore, and the other part is too lazy to go drive anywhere until noon.

Paige Kellerman: Creating vicious cycles in her life since 1984.

The lack of caffeine is making the tedium here a little harder to work through. Spackling walls. Breaking up fights. This summer's starting to feel like I'm interning as a bouncer at a club that's open all day, and all the patrons are addicted to pop ice.

"Can I have another?"
"That's your thirty-fifth one today."
"Just one more. I need it."
"Get the hell outta here!"

Ok, I try not to tell them to get the hell out of here, but it's so hard. Now that they're getting a little bigger and running in three different directions, my patience is shall we say? Non-existent.

(The funny part of it is I used to brag about how I was such a patient person. "Why yes, I consider myself a ridiculously patient. I wait quietly in lines. I never yell. Swearing is at a minimum. And most people don't want to punch me in the face, even though I'm really good seeming disinterested when conflict stares me in the face.")

The dirty secret is most of us think we're patient, until we have kids.

Ok, some of you still are, but I've found I'm actually not patient at all. I try. We all do. But the fact of the matter is it's almost impossible not to cuss after you have kids. So, after much research, here are the things that help me...

How Not To Swear Around Kids

1. Don't be around children at all.

2. If you ignored number one, the key here is to pinpoint where your kids are going to be during the day and then go hide.

3. Ok, they f***ing found you hiding in the hall closet. The good news is you found the old Garfield umbrella that's been missing. Wrap it around your face and yell into it. Now go eat some lasagna.

4. Make lunch when everyone's playing outside.

5. The good news is everyone stayed outside for two minutes. Three people have now stuck their damn hands in the peanut butter. Instead of yelling, "This sh*t's getting ridiculous. Who are you people?", try stuffing a spatula's worth of peanut butter in your own mouth.

6. Look for the milk. You're choking on the f***ing peanut butter.

7. Make a swear jar.

8. All right, who broke the old as sh*t swear jar? So many tiny, f***ing pieces.

9. Hit yourself in the mouth with the broom bristles.

10. Hug your kids. Give them a pop ice. You'll f***ing try again tomorrow.

Until Next Time, Readers!


Like what you read here? Buy the book!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spider Summer

"Oh, you're enjoying summer? Let me ruin that for you."

Morning Readers,

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend. As predicted, all Kellermans sat around, over-ate, and watched Husband set off smoke bombs, paper chickens, and tiny tanks in the backyard.

My sincerest apologies if your fourth wasn't filled with enough flammable, paper chickens.

In addition to the hoopla, renovations to the Split level continued and more spackle was spackled. And, with the exception of the two drawer fronts that keep falling off, I finally finished the cabinets in the kitchen. Now all that's left is to level the entire house, rebuild it, and we should have something awesome to put on the market.

Wait, I need to adjust my music station. It's supposed to be solid gold seventies, but there's been a little too much James Taylor and Carly Simon to induce any type of real party feelings in my soul.

Please hold.

Now then, let's talk about how I'm being attacked. Not that I love playing the victim, but this summer is slowly spinning out of control in the spider department.

*This area reserved for anyone who needs to shudder uncontrollably.*

Be brave. I need you to should on with me. Someone needs to stand by my side while I wax horrified about the recent events on the home front. Those of you who've been with me for a while know I like a spider about as much as I like someone else's spoon in my jar of Nutella. But does that stop them from showing up?

Does Nicholas Cage keep making films?

Exactly. And at this point, I'd rather see Nicholas Cage in my bathtub than one of those hairy, little freaks. This summer, they've been everywh-


No, I was fairly indifferent about National Treasure.

They've been in my bedroom, in the hallway, on the ceiling. I even had to stop this post so I could go kill a striped one that had taken up residence on the baby's toy truck.

"You think you can get that close to my son?"
"Not today, you son of a... Do I look like Sally Field in An Eye For An Eye sans ball cap to you? Because I should."
*Sounds of a Stride Rite dealing out justice.*

I've been killing spiders left and right, right and left. Right and left again because I'm right hand dominant. Do you know what it's like to be reading on the couch while kids jump all over you, and then a spider hast he gall to show up in your window? Just as inconvenient as it sounds.

And then you can't remember what page you're on.
After which, you're pretty sure you'll just quit reading altogether.
But are you really going to let a spider stop the constant pursuit of furthering education through the literary arts?

I'm doing battle on a lot of fronts right now. I have operation "Spray spider who lives at the top of sliding, glass door with Windex, until he shows his face" going on, while, at the same time, trying to save enough Windex to actually clean the door. But nothing compared to what I had to do last week.

Husband: So, what'd you do today?

Me: I did battle.

Husband: ...

Me: I had to clean the front porch. Turned the hose on the house. Big mistake.

Husband: Why's that?

Me: You ever watch Henry V? Huge casualties. Only half of us spoke English.

Husband: Are you talking about spiders again?

Me: They scattered. I pursued. That power nozzle means business. Surveillance tells me there's still one living at the top of the doorway, but I fell back on grounds it wasn't worth spraying the entire kitchen down.

Husband: Spiders aren't that bad. Just leave them be and they'll leave you alone.

Me: Suuuure. Can you tell me what page I was on?

Husband: What?

Me: Exactly.

So battle continues. Trashcans, living room, basement. It's all become a little unsettling. But I'm going to take a page from Nicholas Cage and just keep trying. Enjoy your Tuesday, guys. If you need me, I'll be the crazy lady swinging a broom at the mailbox.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Until Next Time, Readers

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Salad, Sentiment, and An Eagle

Whoever wrote this captured how I feel about eating outside on holidays.

Afternoon Readers,

Happy Independence Day!

Ok, I know today's only the third, but tomorrow I'll be trying to fend kids off while I make a salad people may or may not like, so I'm dishing up patriotism ahead of schedule.

Wait. What?


Standard flag placed here to show I am indeed proud to be an American, even though I'm doing this post a day early.

Wow, she's really spacing out her sentences and putting graphics all over the place. Why do we read her blog? I really wish she'd put up a picture of an Eagle instead.

True, things seem a little sparse today, but it's only because I still have to grocery shop, clean, read softly to myself, and fake that I know what's for dinner.

Did I also mention the sketchy salad? Maybe I can think of something inspirational. Never mind. Here's a picture of an eagle.

Paige put me here because I'm freakin' majestic. Also, eat the tortellini salad because she's going to spend all day making it, and if you don't, I'll consider you a little less American. - Actual quote from Bald Eagle

So, from all of the Kellermans here, we wish you the happiest of 4th of Julys. Eat a lot. Relax. And try not to blow your hands off.

Oh, and if you want to listen to me babble about not lighting people on fire, check out yesterday's show. I'm the one making nervous hand gestures.

Until Next Time, Readers!