Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Missed So Much In The 80s Due To My Lack Of MTV, And, Well, Coolness

So there's a sign in one of my neighborhood roundabouts.  It looks like this:

And, while it could just be a friendly persons intent to rectify the confusion that can happen around traffic circles, it could also be someone's wicked, illicit and downright unethical intent to get "You Spin Me Round" by Dead or Alive to repeat over and over and over in everyone's heads. Like a record.

And, I was inclined to believe the last reason until I watched the original video on You Tube.

There is too much awesome here to prove malevolent intent*. Too. Much. Awesome.

*Except for the lyrics. They're kinda creepy. And stalkerish. Luckily Pete Burns eye patch distracts you from  all that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I. Finally. Got. IT. (insert victorious Rocky type scene here)

Dudes! I finally got the Mike I've been fantasizing about ever since I read about them in one of my triathlon training books!


I'll go get it to show you!!!

(Rustles through book case)

Found it!:

OK, so, maybe it wasn't exactly a traditional triathlon training manual.

But, seriously, I have a Mike. IN REAL LIFE!
And she's way cuter than all the other Mike's I've seen. 

We took the scenic route from preschool pick up the other day and for at least 3.5 of our 6 mile trip I heard this from the back of the bike, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

The other 2.5 miles? Ellie varied between sustained bike bell ringing (It sounds like two women screaming, Mommy!) and belting out a few rounds of that traditional ditty "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". And, of course, whenever I would yell out, "Pedal like you mean it!" when the hills got tough, Ellie would motivate us with an original composition that, truthfully, should totally catch on among the CrossFit crowd.  It goes something like this, "We're building muscle! We're building muscle! We can do it! We're building muscle!" The tune is original too. Just wing it.

But now, I'm wondering, do you think I can pass Ellie off as legal bike gear with the governing body of USA Triathlon for next year's tri season? Because, dudes, I'm pretty sure I have the sources to back me up to prove One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a full on legit tri training manual:
This is exactly what the first leg feels like. Dr. Seuss had, quite obviously, fought his way through a swim wave or two in his time. 

And that final leg? I've seen the spectators lining a tri course, sunshades in one hand, cupcakes in the other*. They think we're nuts. 

This case is going to be a total slam dunk! I wonder if they make bike shorts in a 4T size?

*True story. She was lounging in a lawn chair too.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Four Words You Should Never Say To Your Kid's Teacher

It's that time, the start of school for us up here in the Northwest. And this year? Both girls are being edjumacated. By other people. Outside of the structural walls of our house.  (And all the homeschoolers give a sigh of relief. Because I just used the word edjumacated. In a sentence. Twice.) But this leaves me with the problem of hiding certain things from Katie and Ellie's teachers. Well, not so much as things, as really, well... words. Four words that bring casual conversations with other adults to an You know what I'm talking about. The same four words that when said are either overly praised for the courage it took to own up to or viewed with well meaning disapproval. Exactly: "Stay-At-Home-Mom".

Now those types of awkward social situations can be quietly dealt with, either with a humble "thank you" or a quick self deprecating, "I'm like the kitten on the poster, just hanging out!"

But then? Then, there are the predators. The people, who when they hear the words "stay-at-home-mom" begin to ponder and plan all the ways they can take advantage of your special family situation. And then they wait. For the perfect time, their diabolical plan, pulsing, waiting, festering in the deepest darkest parts of their hearts. Their hearts of greeeeed and INIQUITY! (Wait. googlegooglegoogledef:iniquity:wickedness Yep. That's right. Iniquity. Moving on.)

I call these people teachers.

And they usually launch their plans in September.

I'm looking at you with my serious face here, people. The one I reserve for small children and their close proximity to my caffeine cup.  Yes. That one. Because, Katie's teacher actually sent home a form for me to fill out! And? The first question? "When can you volunteer in the classroom?" Dude! I already went shopping for school supplies. At a store! That I had to drive to! Haven't I given enough? Is the depth of my parental love now to be solely measured by the amount of time I spend helping other kids master their fast math facts!?!

Apparently, yes.

So, now, I'm working on making my lies excuses more, well, plausible.... These are my top four:

1. I'd LOVE to volunteer! Unfortunately, right now I'm swamped with all my science volunteer work. The molecules in our allotrope control group have completely blindsided us with their hydrocarbon polymerisation and we need to get them into some sort of stasis, otherwise, as I'm sure you understand, one environmentalist to the other, the pinus strobus will be compromised. And, really, we don't have the time to waste. 

Pro: I sound really smart. I also rocked pre-chem back in 9th grade, so, obviously I have the credentials to back myself up.
Con: I would need to memorize a lot more science terms. That would be a lot of work. Because, truthfully? Thanks to the slackadaisical teaching of Mr.Tillet back in 9th grade, I'm not really sure what a polymerisation is...

2. Bless your heart, I've added you to my prayer list. Have a great year!

Pro: Technically, this could be totally true. And, let's face it, anyone attempting to wrangle 25 kids for six hours a day and stay sane could use a little prayer.
Con: Looking at it Biblically, I bet during those three roosters crowing, and everything else, Peter prayed for Jesus during his trial. And we all know how that turned out.

3. I'm sorry, I simply don't have the time to volunteer in the classroom this year. I'm thinking about going pro with my pole dancing. I'm close, but I'm having real trouble with the flipperty bits. It just doesn't show off the gibblets like it should, you know? 

Pro: It shows commitment to my dreams.
Con: I don't have the wardrobe to really keep this one floating all year. I don't own near enough yoga pants.

4. Once my sister dared me to stare directly at the sun. I did.

Pro: It's obtuse. It doesn't lend itself to inquiry. And, it's completely true.
Con: Can't see any. This may be the winner!

How do you get out of volunteering in your kid's schools?

UPDATE, because, dude, with this post the troll comments just write themselves:
I gave Katie's teacher Thursday afternoons.

Once a month.

And, yes, that is how much I love my kids.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Welcome To My Totem Pole Of A Life

Do you know what totem poles have?
Right, tops.

And, you know what they also have, right?
(Insert knowing stare and one raised eyebrow here.)

Dude. I can totally see your expression from all the way over here and I raise your exasperated "Martha, again?" sigh with my famous piqued look. Wait. PERFECT PLAN!! Is there such a thing as a facial expression poker series? Because, you and I, we'd totally be a lock. Or, we'd completely draw thin during the frenzy that happens when one of us plays the chameleon. Just kidding. I'm totally coffeehousing you*.

The Scene: Yesterday. In the car. While I was driving the kids to get pizza. For dinner. After playing at the splash park. For five hours.

Katie: (looking up from her book) Mom?
Me: Yes?
Katie: (sweetly) You're the best mom ever.
Ellie: (Interrupting. Like a chicken. It's a thing. You can Google it.) NO SHE'S NOT! BELINDA IS!
Katie: (in her, I'm-Right-Voice) No. Mom is the best mom ever.
Ellie: (Interjecting. Like a chicken. But don't bother Googling it. Interjecting chickens is not a thing. Because the Internets is boring like that.) NUH-UH! BELINDA IS! WENDELL TOOOOLD ME SO!
(FYI: Wendell is Belinda's son.)
Katie: (eye roll, continuing, in her explaining voice) It's just something you say, Ellie.

And, because I've seen this article floating around Facebook, this totally means I'm kicking Belinda's butt in the the mommy wars. Right?
Um, Dudes, RIGHT!?!

OK, fine, there's a dessert in it for you if you just agree with me here people.

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Feel free to blast "We Are the Champions", because I totally am. (But not you. Belinda.)

And, because I follow through on my promises:

Enjoy. I just saved you 11 grams of unnecessary sugar. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Sister Broke Her Foot. She Blames Me. But, Dudes, She Hardly Has A Leg To Stand On. Ba-Dum-Bum-CHING!

I broke Pearl's foot.

It's either because last week I literally* pushed her off the stairs by having this conversation with her during our family vacation back in July:

Pearl: I was thinking, maybe I should walk more for exercise. It's just so hot in the summer in Ariz-
Pearl: I-
Pearl: You-

Then, a weirdly weak high five and a, supposedly??, embarrassing Carlton celebratory dance later, Pearl walked out of the room. To contemplate on the awesomeness of our phenomenally perfect plan. Obviously.

Of course, it could also be because I'm *^*~magical~*^*. But, not *bibbi-di-bobbi-di-boo* a hypoallergenic cat serving an endless supply of coffee and almond croissants has just appeared in your living room magical. More along the lines of *bibbi-di-bobbi-di-BWHAHAHAHA* here's 4-6 weeks of horrific pain and inconvenience magical.

I don't know how it happened either. Someone should alert Hogwarts.

But, because I'm a caring, thoughtful, although unfortunately unintentionally evilly magical, sister, I've been sending her text messages to keep her mind off of the pain. The agony. The pounding torment and suffering constantly radiating from the crumbled, crushed, mangled and fragmented small bones in the middle of her foot. (Related note: Thesauruses are fun!)

Of course it took a bit to ramp up:

Me: Still standing? Like a flamingo?
Pearl: Yeah. You're funny.

And, after an evening of honest personal reflection, I realized, you know? I really am.

And so the next day:

Me: It's Friday! What's hoppining this weekend?
Pearl: I'm meeting up with some friends for my birthday and Chester (my nephew) wants to take me out to lunch. Then I have some work to do.
Me: That's an awful lot HOPPINING!
(no reply)
Me: Maybe you should SKIP something.
(no reply)
Me: It just sounds like you're BOUNCING around from thing to thing.
(no reply)
Me: Are you sure you want to JUMP into it all?
(no reply)
Me: Aw, never mind. LEAP into adventure!
(no reply)
Me: Maybe add another TRIP.
(no reply)
Me: You're right. Your opportunities should be BOUNDless on your birthday weekend.
(no reply)
Me: You shouldn't be HOBBLED by conventions.
(no reply)
Me: Don't let me put a HITCH in your giddy up.
(no reply)
(no reply)
Me: Um, I feel like our conversation is just LIMPING along.
(no reply)
Me: Dude, you're leaving me in the LURCH here.
(no reply)
(she's probably just busy or something)
(still no reply)
Pearl: This has gotten really old.

That's when I stopped texting her.

But not because Pearl was becoming tired of my ingenious punny humor. Pish! As if! That was shear comedic GOLD! Obviously. But because Katie asked to text her poor gimpy Aunt Pearl a message. All by herself:

Katie: I hop you feel better soon.

Kids. They're kinda awesome.

*I am not using the word literally correctly. Unless you're Pearl.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Post Where I Pretend To Be A Lifestyle Blogger

I am not a crafty person. I don't really knit. I don't make furniture out of old wooden pallets I found by the side of the road. I don't make my own pinwheels to stick into the mini cupcakes I'm planning on serving at my summer party under the tree in my backyard that I've lit up with lanterns made out of vintage mason jars. I mostly use my PinINterest account for sarcasm. 

Then, Jon and I decided that a three week road trip with a 7 year old and a 4 year old through five different states would be an AWESOME idea! We'd stop and see things like:

A GIANT hamburger, french fries and a shake on top of a building!

A GIANT teapot gas station commemorating everyone's favorite scandal: The Teapot Dome! 

A GIANT John Wayne statue. Because GIANT statues of the Duke should be in every state.

And really, any place that came with a sign like this. 

Because, let's face it, where else but a certified geological site could you dress up as a pioneering paleontologist? 

But, like most parents, before we left, we asked ourselves, how are going to keep the kids from the constant whine of "MoooOOOooommm! DaaaaAAAAaaaaddd! When are we going get to the house they dynamited out of the huge rock mountain? You saaaaiiiid it had a trading post and a zooooo!"* And, then a week before we loaded the car and hit the open road with a cooler full of Dr. Pepper for Jon and a coffee mug full of caffeinated fortification for me, I had a brilliant idea! 

No more whining!
No more questions!
Utopian Road Trip Bliss Would Ensue!
The kids would get their own maps! 

Step 1: Go to AAA and load up on at least a dozen Western States maps. Because, let's face it, you need to cut them up and you're not the measure twice cut once type. 

Step 2: Cut out the states you need. Then cut them again. Because, seriously, you're not a spacial person. Don't forget the map legend. The kids will definitely be referencing that at least three times a day! Especially the four year old.

 Step 3: Tack it all together with scotch tape. Add a sticker you found under the table. To make it even more awesome.

Step 4: Highlight your route. Circle all the good stuff!! GIANT John Wayne statues! Fossil beds! Houses made out of rock! Museums! Geological sites!!!

Step 5: Find all that packaging tape left over from your last move and tape that bad boy together! Because nothing is more valuable than durability on 1500 mile car trips! (Except for caffeine. And Cheeze-Its.)

Step 6: Stop. Notice how pretty and shiny the tape makes the map. Take artistic photos for posterity.

Step 7: Trim all that excess tape. Whew! You'll be glad for one less sticky mess to clean up in the car at the end of the day.

Step 8: Take one more artistic photo. Man. That juxtaposition is simply amazing!

Step 9: Fold for easy insertion into the little one's seat pockets. Marvel at the indestructibility, user friendly design and compactness of your creation. Treat yourself to a well earned cup of coffee.

Step 10: Sigh. Mutter, "Whatevs" and cross compactness off your To Marvel At List. Drink your coffee anyway. You have a three week road trip with kids coming up. Might as well start caffeinating now.

And, if the maps don't bring all that promised bliss and harmony, find a hotel with a pancake machine. 

Nothing seems quite as bad after a morning spent watching pancakes materialize with the touch of a button. A TOUCH OF A BUTTON PEOPLE! 

*This is a real place. And it's for sale. Anyone interested in going halfsies? Or, maybe more realistically, 75thsies??

Monday, July 14, 2014

You Know It's Time To End The Family Reunion When...

Ellie decides to bomb the grandparents from the second story balcony:

with a pig that shoots green balls out of its nose.

And laughs maniacally about it.

In her defense, Mom and Dad, you were the ones that brought the shooting pig toy to the reunion.