Thursday, August 30, 2012

Confession Time

I have a confession to make. It started when I had my kids. At first I’d only do it in the car, but now it’s gotten worse. I do it all day long.


Here it is. I listen to bad music. SOB! I know. I used to have better taste, but then I had the kids and it all went downhill. I stopped listening to “my” music and put on the radio. I had the best of intentions. I just wanted no swearing (strangely enough I do not swear in front of my children. As soon as they go to bed though I like to curse like a sailor), and the radio seemed the easiest route to get that. Sure, is it fun to try to shout non-swear words over the swear words in songs? Yes. But it is just too damn hard.

Now I have the radio on ALL DAY LONG in my kitchen, listening to the same 12 songs over and over again. It was really cute when my daughter was singing along to Taylor Swift, but sort of less sweet when she’s singing Whistle by Flo Rida (which is unmistakably a song about sucking dick). So I need an intervention, which is where you come in.

I need some new music.

My tastes are pretty eclectic, so I’m willing to listen to just about anything. I’d still like to avoid hardcore swearing though.

Hard limits:

No country

No rar, rar, rar, head banging music

No Bieber

So, if you’d like to leave me your latest fav band or song, I’d appreciate it. Or, better yet, if you want to make me a sweet mixed tape and mail it to me, that’d be rad.

Monday, April 30, 2012


So this week is Screen Free Week or some such nonsense. IDK, I was too busy facebooking and pinning shit to thoroughly research the concept.

However, I am big on limiting my kids' screen time: Playstation, Nintendo DS (which I refer to as the Game Boy, just because I can never come up with the real name), TV, computer...They are supposed to get two hours a day per popular guidelines. I'm not sure who's guidelines those are, but I'm caught between feeling like that's an awful lot and simultaneously feeling like it's not enough. I'd like to plug the little snots into the TV for all but the 11 hours that they're sleeping, but Mommy Guilt prevents me from doing so. Well, that and I can actually see their brains melting after a particularly long Lego Star Wars sesh.

Today, Thing 2 and I were lazing about while the baby was napping, and trying not to turn on the TV for entertainment.

Thing 2: "Mom, don't you want to play a game with me?" The child never asks, Mom, mom would you play with me, or Care to join me for a game, or something that I could possibly answer, No to without feeling like a total failure as a mom. But don't you want to play with me? Gah. Of course I want to. Nothing else I'd rather...

Me: I suppose. You pick out a game; I have to switch the laundry.

I return to the room. Me: What'd you pick?

Him, extending a deck of holographic Star Wars cards to me: I couldn't find anything good. What are these?

Me, already regretting my decision: Playing cards. Want me to teach you to play War?

Him, nodding enthusiastically: Yes!

We spend the next hour and a half (I shit you not) playing War. He's like a War savant and picks it up within a nano-second. Well, it's also possible that you just need to know how to count and he's had that down for a few years now.

I'm really interested in the game for the first ten minutes, but this is mostly in a parental, oh isn't he having fun sort of way.

The next forty minutes I squirm around on the floor trying to alleviate the mounting pressure in my lower back cause from slouching over to repeatedly straighten the slippery holographic cards in their piles.

The next ten minutes, I find relief by lying on my stomach and playing. Thing 2 copies my position and seems to being lulled to sleep by our rhythmic card playing.

Double War!!! This could be it! Maybe he'll get all my K's and I'll go out in a blaze of glory.

Ugh. No. I spend the rest of the card game actively trying to lose; slipping my face cards into his pile when he takes a potty break, including an extra card into lost Wars. The game still plays on for what feels like eternity.

Finally, he turns to me with those sweet (almost) green eyes with beautiful, long lashes that are only seen on pre-pubescent boys and says, "Mom, don't you want to watch TV with me?"

Me: Yes. Yes, I do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I ate all the Easter candy for lunch; or, How's Your Diet Going?

I'd Do Anything to Lose Weight Except Diet and Exercise [COMIC]
I get asked that a lot. I guess that's what I get for putting before and after pictures on the Internet, hey? People everywhere are looking me up and down. Hey, eyes up here, all right? Focus on my EYES folks.

This last month has been...meh.

There was a lot going on in March; three birthdays, three birthday parties, two double ear infections (consecutively), a sprained ankle, a mini-vacay, spring break, going back to work part-time, and trying to find time to work on my own business. There was also very little exercising going on (damn you self), and while I managed to eat fairly well, my kids' Easter candy called my name a few times. So did Franzia. He whispers my name softly to me every evening. I try to drone out his sweet voice by screaming even louder at my kids.

While technically, I only gained a pound and a half, I feel like I gained 5. My midsection feels mushy and my energy is way down. This week I've managed to drag myself back on the exercise bandwagon and I'm starting to feel a little better.

I have two weight loss goals coming up.

1. OBGYN visit in early May. What? Don't look at me like that. That scale is OFFICIAL, yo. Plus, is it wrong to want to look your best while up in stirrups?

2. Kiddie pools open June 9th. That's 53 short days from now, but who's counting? Oh, that's right. Me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Seven Wonders of My Parenting World

I love the sound of unconscious children.
The other day my manfriend asked me what the seven wonders of the world are. I said, "I have no idea. The Great Wall of China maybe? Some gardens too. Check out wikipedia, my friend."

But that got me are the seven wonders of MY world. I'm sure there are more than seven. Feel free to hit me with suggestions.

1. I wonder how you are unable to hear me telling you to brush your teeth when I'm right in front of you, yet you can hear the Dorito bag opening from across the house.

2. I wonder why you will walk past your father seventeen times in order to find me to ask me a random question that he totally could have answered.

3. I wonder how you fit so much shit in your tiny pockets.

4. I wonder what could possibly be so enticing about your boogers that you would want to eat them.

5. I wonder why you are so opposed to wearing socks.

6. I wonder how it is physically possible for you to produce so much poop.

7. I wonder how you can be hungry ALL DAY LONG. Have you got a tape worm?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now We Are Six

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.

When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
 But now I am six,
I am clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six
Now and forever.

Poem by A.A. Milne

Monday, March 12, 2012


What Maid Tin Sign
I'm not Alice!
Don't get me wrong. My kids are good kids. They are bright, kind, and, in general, happy. They are generous with each other and do well in school. They are also lazy little bastards! But their days of freeloading are over. That's right. Put a suit on and get a job, son!

Well, maybe I won't go quite that far. How about some simple chores? Sounds good to me. My kids have daily chores that are just assumed  of them. For example, make the bed, brush your teeth, pick up toys, etc. However, at nearly 6 and 4, I think that they are old enough to take more of an active role in keeping this house clean. I did not make this mess on my own; I will not clean it on my own.

So, today I made them (and you!) this handy little chore chart. You can download it as a PSD if you want to customize the colors or fonts or turn off the chevrons or add your kids' names or just as a PDF if you want to just write the squiddo's names on it. There is also a customizable chore list or a PDF of the chores. I plan on laminating mine, but didn't have immediate access to a laminator.
Time to get busy, slackers.
OK, edit the documents if you want or just print them out as is. You can print the chores onto magnet paper available at office supply stores, or you can make your own. Here's what I did:
Gather your supplies. Mod Podge, scissors, chore print out, paint brush, and an old magnet.
If you haven't got Mod Podge, you could just glue the paper on, but you risk the corners peeling up later.
Sometimes you have to take risks though.
I save the magnets that we get from stores, restaurants, and various other random places
and use them for projects like this.
Wash your magnet off for better adhesion.

Mod Podge those little chores on.
Let that dry.
Cut them out.

Affix to something to which magnets will stick. I put it on the fridge.
You could stick it on some metal and then frame it. That would be adorable.
I was too lazy.
And there you have it.
The baby can still freeload, I guess.
I almost didn't use these because you can see my kids' names. Try not to stalk us, OK?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Case of Mistaken Identity

It's almost embarassing. I mean, it happens all the time. I'll be just walking along, or standing in line at the post office and it will happen. Someone always asks!

Here's what I look like before showering and without makeup. That's actually probably a pretty fair sampling of how I look most of the time. Sorry to those I encounter on a daily basis. And to the lady who just came to my door and caught me with a carrot juice mustache.
This is me in my readers.
So, you can understand why people might come up to me and say...
"I'm thirsty." I mean, the resemblance is uncanny.
I also get told, "I'm hungry." All the time.
And at least once a day, someone comes up to me with a yogurt lid or granola bar wrapper
having mistaken me for the picture above.
And, of course, anytime I sit down I am immediately mistaken for this.

Friday, March 2, 2012

In which I get on board with subway art

I know this post is a day late (and a dollar short, zing!). I apologize for the delay. Sike. I don't. I'm busy, and shit got in the way.


It became pretty obvious to me last month during my zen challenge that I am not now, nor will I ever be "laid back." It just ain't my shtick. But, you know what is? OCD, making lists and charts, and my kids. So, this month I am going to cram all those things together in lots of fun little projects.

Here's the first one.

Maybe your mornings go a little like mine. The kids have school, yet are running around butt ass naked because they seem to be unable to comprehend that they need to get dressed EVERY SINGLE MORNING. So, as a helpful little reminder to them I've made these cute subway signs outlining our morning routine.

And the evening routine. Good night, sleep tight is supposed to be like the title. Does it look like I'm telling them to go to sleep and then do all the other shit?

After school special refers to their free time. Get your mind out of the gutter.
I printed those bad boys off and affixed them to a board and now they are waiting patiently to be hung in the kitchen. I'll update with a photo when they're done. And, because I love you and everyone loves printables I have them available for you to print. They are high resolution digital files. Do with them what you will. Rise and shine jpeg and Good night jpeg. Don't like the colors, wording or font? Tough shit. Just kidding. Here they are in a .psd. Rise and shine psd and Good night psd. Go nuts.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 8 Weigh-In: I barely make it out alive

This is my treadmill. That chick in the red workout bra and boxing gloves is my role model.
Is it weird that I stare at a bunch of hot chicks while I work out?
So, I gave up the scale this month. In the beginning of the month it was really hard; I wanted to get on the scale nearly every morning. I needed it to tell me that I was working hard enough; that what I was doing was right. Just any form of validation really.

Near the end of the month, I felt liberated by it. I measured how well I was doing by my ability to run another mile on the treadmill or by being able to fit into smaller jeans.I've done sit ups until my tailbone was raw and bleeding. My abs are looking pretty good for someone who had three kids in the last six years. I still wanted to know what the scale told me, but I was more satisfied without knowing than I had ever been before.

This morning was my weigh-in. I've been nervous about it for days. Did I do enough? Will I have any success at all? I've been tracking my calories out with a Body Bugg, and I've met or exceeded my need caloric burn nearly every day. I've also been tracking my calories in and I've done pretty well. Last weekend my mom was in town and we splurged, but nothing over the top. According to the Bugg, I should have lost between 7-8 pounds.

So imagine my surprise, nay shock, when in the pre-dawn hours this morning I stood naked and trembling (from cold y'all. My house is cold) and saw that I was down....two pounds. Now, my manfriend and my mom warned me that this scale read at least two pounds heavier  than my previous one. So, even if I give myself those two pounds that's still only a four pound weight loss in eight weeks.

Big sigh.

Maybe the real solution is to give up the scale for good and just go by how I feel. Because yesterday, I felt great...and today I feel like shit. All because of the scale.

From January first until today.

You can't really see it, but I have a little ab definition from this month's fab ab.

Monday, February 20, 2012

111 Days...

Pinned Image

...until the kiddie pools open, ladies. Are you going to be rocking your bikini whilst you splash with Junior? Or are you going to wear your extra baggy track shorts and tank top? You decide.

I am going to be rocking a bikini, and I don't care if other moms give me the skank eye for wearing one. (I swear I won't wear a string bikini or anything ludicrous).
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
modern triangle bikini

I'd really like a bikini that looks somewhat like Wonder Woman's costume. Because I'm pretty badass.

I still haven't weighed in, though it's getting harder to stay away. I am officially waiting until the 29th of February. I'm fitting into smaller jeans (although I might be slightly pouring myself into my favorite pair of them), and I feel fantastic. I'm only down a quarter inch from last week, but I'm up a mile from last month! Woot, woot!

Also, I've un-given up Diet Coke. I just like that shit too much. I couldn't lie to you. Well, I could lie to you because you wouldn't even know. But I respect you, so I'm not going to do that to you. I really didn't find it making a difference in my weight loss, and I missed it.

So, make your choice. You've still got time to rock it this summer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aebleskiver, or Tiny Balls of Delicious

Step inside. I'd like to introduce you to something special...
I bet you didn't know that I'm Danish.

That's because I'm not. My manfriend is, but I do enjoy a tasty little Danish breakfast called Aebleskiver.

Once a year at our church (and on other occasions for Sunday brunch if the kids can talk Gramma into making them), we celebrate...hmmm. I'm not sure what we celebrate other than eating the delicious Aebleskiver. I guess we're celebrating togetherness. And possibly fat pants. Anyhoo, it's a great tradition and it is an awesome fundraiser for the church.

Aebleskiver Fest is just around the corner, and I intend to woo you with tales of delight.
You start with a hot, greased Aebleskiver pan. Ours is from a hardware store, but Williams Sonoma
has a ridiculously priced version of it here. They even have an electric version!

You add buttermilk. That makes it super yum.
There are meringued eggs.
Keep the squids busy.
We had two pans going because we're hardcore. At church they have a million going. No less than 10 anyway.
There's a knack to the cooking. William's Sonoma sells a fancy turner. This is a pickle fork.
We've used a coat hanger in a pinch.

Serve with sausage,
homemade applesauce and grape juice,
and cheese. The cheese flower is optional.
and enjoy. I didn't get too many eating action shots because, well, I was eating.
Not up to making Aebleskivers? No worries. You can come to Aebleskiver Fest, February 25th and get your eat on.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I am Jack's Feeble Brain

...and then the children cleaned their rooms, got mommy her drink, and went straight to bed. The End.
I am the most unzen person that ever lived.

Yesterday was Sunday, and the fam and I prepared to go to church. Meaning I ran around and packed snacks, got water bottles, packed spare diapers, found tiny AND quiet toys, prepared dozens of Star Wars printouts and mazes, ironed shirts, and managed to get four people ready and out the door mostly on time. I swear, it's like getting ready for a week in the desert. I have no idea why my children cannot survive an hour without a snack or a drink, but there it is. The manfriend showered and got himself dressed.

Then I did a lot of praying. It went something like this:

Me: Dear Lord, please make these children shut up and sit still.

Me: Dear Lord, I swear if you can get the little one to stop screeching like a monkey I will give up Keeping up with the Kardashians for lent.

Me: Lord, I hate to bother you, but do you think you could turn the full water bottle that my daughter spilled on the pew into wine?

Me: Are you there God? It's me Poppysmocks. We're having a bit of a moment here, what with the baby trying to knock down the pew in front of us. Think you could strike the kids dumb just for a few minutes?

Me: Jesus Christ. Really? Really? You've got nothing you can help out with down here? Now I know why You were the only begotten son.

Me: God save the little children.

In other news, I broke my 1980s treadmill. Sad face. But, an incredibly amazing person, who is also on a fitness journey, gave me her old 2005 treadmill. Upgrade! I got to test it out this morning at 5:30, and boy has it got pep. Love it.

I still haven't weighed in, which is about as close as I have come to meeting this month's goal. Any suggestions on how to calm the anxiety beast? Short of medications that is. I've nothing against medications, in fact, I would love a zanax. However, I don't want to go to the doctor. Partly because I've been going to my OB for the last six and a half years and wouldn't begin to know who to go to. Also partly because I'm lazy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The un-weigh-in

Mmm hmm.

I don't like it. The not getting on the scale. Not being able to track my progress. The double hyphen in the title of this blog post...

It's making me sort of nervous to not know where I'm at, but at the same time I know that I'm doing good things for my body. I don't want the scale to make me feel that I'm not. So I'm just going to keep on keepin' on. I did measure this morning and I'm not down much. A half inch on my hips and maybe a quarter inch on my waist.

And, if it's possible, I'm feeling even less zen than before. It's possible that it correlates to my daughter's new ability to take her jammies off, or tax season, or some sort of hormonal imbalance, or that my abdominal muscles are in a near constant state of pain, but I think it's just that I'm thinking about it too much. So, maybe I need to be zen by not being zen? I don't know.

This week's step toward being more zen is to put a notepad on my nightstand so I can write down a To Do List of things that keep me awake at night (write out thank you cards, pay phone bill, follow up on some work business, etc...) and then tackle them at an appropriate time. Anytime after dawn would be fine.

I'm also going to give myself 10 minute a day to do nothing. I don't mean nothing like dicking around on facebook, but just nothing. Just sit on the couch or lie in bed and do nothing.

The yoga instructor at the super awesome yoga studio that I've been going to said that so often people ask, "What should I do to feel more relaxed, more zen?" Her answer is, "Nothing. Do nothing."

Le sigh. This is not up my alley. Even when I'm doing "nothing" like watching TV I enjoy doing several other nothing-like tasks like folding laundry, sewing, or facebooking. But, this week doing nothing is hitting my high priority list. It's sort of freeing. Maybe I should put that on my To Do List...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My husband's trying to kill me

...with kindness, I guess.

So, remember when I said that I'd given up the scale? Partially for zen and partially because my manfriend broke our scale? It's probably 60/40. Or maybe 50/50. Definitely not any lower than 20/80. Well, today manfriend comes home from Fleet Farm (his idea of heaven) with...a scale. And not just any scale ladies and gentleman (because I'm pretty sure I only have one loyal male reader. Shout out to you J-Tony. Isn't that odd that it's not my manfriend who's a loyal reader?). It's a scale that tells your body fat and your mother fucking water weight.

Breathe deep. I didn't weigh myself. Well, I did weigh myself but I CLOSED MY EYES and my manfriend looked at my weight and body fat and wouldn't TELL ME. Because that would be cheating. And I wouldn't cheat on you. Unless I get really desperate.

We did, however, weigh all the kids. The boys top out with a whopping 5% body fat a piece. Boo was not quite where I thought she'd be at around 15% body fat. Of course, the scale was assuming that they were all 10 year old midgets because we could only make the age go down as young as 10. I don't know why the scale manufacturers would have a problem with people checking out their prepubescent children's body fat percentages. That's not unhealthy or anything.

Anyway, I've been fighting the urge to weigh myself all day. Somehow I want to revert to all my bad habits, possibly weighing myself while drink a diet coke spiked with rum. Hell, I might as well smoke a cigarette while I'm at it. I'm thinking about putting a rubber band around my wrist and snapping it every time I get an urge to weigh myself, but I don't think that's very zen.

One day at a time. I might start weighing things in the produce section just to get my fix.

Oh, and some of you were wondering just precisely how he broke the scale. Funny story. I was all, "Do you think it's possible that the scale might need new batteries? It doesn't seem to be working properly."

Him: I don't know. Did you look at it?

Me: I did. I couldn't find anywhere to put a battery. Plus it was kind of yucky.

Him: Yucky? Did you try cleaning it?

Me: Well, I wiped it off. And it was still pretty yucky. And I still didn't see a battery keeper.

He picks up the scale and cleans it. Then takes it apart looking for a battery. He finds a battery and tests it.

Him: The battery is fine.

He puts the battery back in and puts the scale back together.

Him, standing on the scale: Huh. That's funny. Try this.

Me, standing on scale: Ooooh. I like that. Oh, wait that's not right. I don't weigh 99.5 pounds.

Him: Yeah. That's kind of what I figured.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Zen {without Zanax}

Isn't it curious to see the traits that you've inherited from your family? I've got my dad's curly hair and his keen eye for photography. From my mom I got my green eyes and my intense desire to hide behind corners and jump out and scare my children (don't worry they love it, right mom?). I've passed some of these traits down myself to my hair, green eyes, curly hair...and a bit of a fiery temper and more than a smidge of anxiety.
That's my rents. Aren't they suuuper cute? They were living in Canada, eh.
Which segues nicely to this month's Be Inspired topic...zen {without zanax}. Life with three kids is pretty crazy. Hell, life is probably crazy without three kids, but for me it's the three kids bit that's harshing up my zen. Top that off with a daily dose of not having enough money and constant worry about how to make more money makes for one anxiety-riddled little poppy. It means that I snap more than I should, that I sleep less than I should, and that, in general, I am a nervous nellie.

So, this month I am going to be inspired by my grandma Fran. My Franma.
That's her on the left with the red lipstick and nice rack.

I loved my little Franma so much that I named my son after her. Well, his middle name. I don't think that he'd forgive me if I made his first name be Francis.

Franma was always  calm. Intense psychotherapy may have helped that case, but I like to think that it was her nature. She did crossword puzzles, smoked a lot of cigarettes, and loved talk radio. She ate tofu before tofu was cool, and worked well into her 70s because she liked it.
Franma making her famous oven fried pearls.
Now, I'm sure there were times that I wasn't around where Grandma wasn't completely cool, but as far as I know she was the epitome of cool and collected. I wish THAT was something that I could have inherited.
My dad apparently got that gene.
I remember talking with her when I was in high school and suffering through one of my many bouts of depression. She told me that when she was feeling down, or out of control, she pictured herself floating above the chaos and the sadness. Sort of on a cloud of well being. I thought that was beautiful. And sort of hippy dippy, but whatev. Still a nice thought.

A few action points on my plan for zenness (I can't get zen all willy nilly at once. Baby steps, remember?)
  • Yoga. I've been an on again off again practicer of yoga, but this month I promise to try to actually concentrate on my breathing and the poses instead of mentally going through my grocery list.
  • Exercise. Check that one off the list. I'm still going strong on my Kendra plan, but experts say that 30 minutes of exercise is enough to get you an endorphin boost to help fight anxiety and depression.
  • Scale. I've been toying with this one for a few days now. I obviously have a bit of an unhealthy addiction to the scale. In order to "trust in the process" and accept that I am doing what I need to do to make my body healthy I am not going to get on the scale this month. This process has been made easier since my manfriend broke our scale yesterday. I'm pretty sure that's kismet, or maybe my grandma telling me to stop obsessing. In a month I'll buy a new scale, and will hopefully be in a better place with myself and the number the scale tells me.
  • Yelling. None of it. This is going to be a doozie. I am a yeller, but this month, instead of yelling at my kids, I am going to sing at them. That's right. If I want to shout, "Put your boots on! You're going to be late!" I'm going to sing it to the tune of...well, whatever pops into my head at the time.
  • Cloud. Floating cloud of well being. I'm going to try floating above my problems for the month. Not avoid them, but not allow myself to become bogged down by them.
Also, unrelated to achieving zen, but more on the getting a smoking hot body, I am also participating in the Fab Ab February plan shown below. My manfriend is playing along as well. Join us and on the leap year we shall bounce quarters off our abs.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weigh-In Week 4

This is what he's saying to me as  I run on the treadmill.
I've been pumping it in my living room, running on my treadmill, lifting weights, and contemplating my zenness in yoga allllllll month. Six days a week for four weeks and I'm ready to see some results.

This morning I got on the scale and pound. But not one pound down. One pound up. FROM WHERE I FUCKING STARTED. Math may not be my best subject, but I know that aint what you want to see. Those of you can do math (and possibly who are women) also realize that four weeks from my PMS-y rant last month would lead me right to the same spot this month in my cycle. So, it's possible  that this is water weight. It's also possible that I have bad karma and Jesus hates me. OR maybe, and maybe guys this is what Diet Coke should start advertising...if you stop drinking Coke, you'll gain weight. I can see their new ads now. (BTW, I totally don't have any DC cravings now. It only took a week)

I do still have those baseline measurements to rely on, so here we go...

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Right arm
Left arm
Left thigh
Right thigh

I've lost eight inches, but gained a pound. That's pretty demoralizing, but instead of letting that stupid pound break me down, it is motivating the hell out of me. I just banged out 50 minutes on the dreadmill and ate a ridiculously healthy breakfast and lunch. While this post technically ends my Be Inspired by Kendra month, I am going to continue on this fitness journey that I have started, and I hope all of you will keep at it with me. Starting the first of February, I'll have a new Be Inspired topic, but I will keep checking in with my weight loss progress (or lack there of) too.

And because I promised them to you, here are my progress pictures. You're welcome.
I cut bangs and changed the white balance on my camera,
but otherwise I'm pretty much in the same spot living room-wise.

I can feel the most difference in my muffin top, butt, and saddle bag area.