Monthly Archives: March 2013

Speling Roks

Some of the world’s most intelligent and amazing people have not been the world’s greatest spellers.  Look at F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was once labeled a ‘lamentable speller.’  He ended up doing ok, right? And there are plenty more where he came from.  Other lamentable spellers include Jane Austen, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and even Alfred Mosher Butts (inventor of every nerd’s favorite word game, Scrabble).  All this is really good news for my little genius.

Here’s Jadon’s latest spelling test.  It came home with the Kindergarten 3rd quarter grade card:

If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the first word on the list is ‘shit.’  Now, unless the Kindergarten teacher really wants the kids to have a colorful vocabulary at an early age, I would hazard a guess that this is not the intended word.  In fact, you can see that the word should be ‘ship.’  I’m sure the teacher had a nice laugh as she corrected this one.  Note to Kindergarten teachers everywhere:  ‘ship’ is an unfortunate spelling word for these youngsters…lots of room for error here.

I considered writing a quick note to the teacher, something to the effect of:

“Dear Teacher,  I must apologize for my son’s abhorrent language on the spelling test.  I don’t know where he gets the idea he can say shit like that.”

I wondered, though, if she would find the humor in my note.  So I abstained and instead decided to save this little gem of a spelling test for him to see when he’s older.  This is scrapbook material, people.

In the meantime, we’ll keep working on our spelling words.  Bad spellers of the world, untie!

Home Invasion

What would you do if your home were suddenly invaded?  No, I’m not talking about aliens or zombies.  I’m talking about simple humans, the kind that sneak up on you in the dead of night when you least expect them, like when you are casually watching Investigation Discovery and drinking a diet root beer and contemplating lying to the kids and telling them it’s a half and hour later than it actually is so that they’ll go to bed earlier.  That kind of invader.  The kind that seems innocent enough, but OH NO.
I’ll tell you what you do.  Well, at least here’s what I do, and it seems quite logical.  At the first sign that an intruder might be encroaching upon my sacred domain (you know, getting ready to ring the doorbell), I immediately abandon all my material possessions (diet root beer and remote control), race for the stairs, and leave everyone else downstairs to fend for themselves against whomever may be about to enter our home.
“Why?” you may ask.  Well, I’ll tell you why.  Because I am a troll, and if you can conjure up an image of Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings, all hunched over and mumbling as he makes his hasty departure into the shadows, you can pretty much imagine what I looked like last night as our unexpected visitor rang the doorbell.
I have been like this for quite a while, however, I will admit that as I get older, I fear my symptoms may be getting worse.  Still, my husband looked at me running up the stairs and told me I was crazy as I mumbled things like “It burns us” as I made my departure.  He knows all about this particular character trait of mine—I’m not sure why he was surprised when I left him to deal with our guest.
The threatening intruder happened to be the parent of one of Micaela’s friends.  I initially blamed my sudden departure on the fact that I was in pajama pants and I was not wearing a bra.  Because we all know that any sane parent would not allow their child into a home where the mother has (gasp!) boobs, and let alone boobs that are free of a restraining device past the hour of 8 p.m.  What kind of den of iniquity is this?!  Riiiight.  Ok, so I’m a troll.  I’m facing my problems.  Maybe.
So I stayed upstairs and pretended to be extremely busy folding laundry until Jason finished talking to the parent of the friend, at which time he came upstairs and mocked me for my troll-like tendencies.  In my opinion, people with disabilities should not be mocked.  (I think this might be a disability.)
He told me the coast was clear and that I (and my boobs) could come back downstairs, but of course I already knew that because I had enlisted the help of my 11-year-old, who is now apparently my mole.  So in essence, I am training my daughter to compensate for her mother’s lack of social competence.  I think that’s totally healthy.  She had already told me what the conversation was about, AND she’d told me when the coast was clear.  I am being enabled by an 11-year-old.
Before you judge, I have friends…I really do.  I even have one really good friend over at who would totally understand my irrational troll-like behavior.  This is why we get along so well.  We can act like Smeagol together and hide from people and sunlight and well, whatever we want because we are trolls.
Oh, and if you show up at my house looking for me, chances are I’m either a) doing laundry b) running around braless or c) breathing into a paper bag upstairs because there is another human being at my residence.


A scream.  Like one of those screams straight out of the scariest horror flick you can imagine.   Picture the girl who goes wandering into the dark basement, the foreboding music, the faint sound of a chainsaw and maniacal laughter in the background.  Yep, all that ran through my head when I heard the scream.
It wasn’t just a little yelp, like a crap-there’s-a-spider scream.  And it wasn’t a damn-I-kicked-my-desk-and-possibly-broke-my-toe scream.  No, it was a someone-is-KILLING-ME-RIGHT-NOW scream.  And it came from my older daughter, who was downstairs in her room alone…apparently except for the masked intruder who was at that very second ripping her toenails out one by one.
The scream was so loud and piercing that everyone in the house went running.  Jason wasn’t home, so it was just me and the rest of the kids—we all went running.  Quickly, however, I instructed them, “Get back!”  Because I totally had this under control, you know except for the fact that I was about to pee my pants.  With a wave of my hand and a flourish of my weapon of choice, a soggy dishtowel I had been using in the kitchen, I ran toward the stairs.
Flinging open the door, I yelled for Micaela.  “What’s happening?!  Are you okay?!”  (I simultaneously wielded the dishtowel like a pair of nunchuks, ready to attack in a split second.)  As soon as I flung open the door, I saw her standing at the foot of the stairs in distress.
“WHAT HAPPENED?!” I demanded, worried that I still needed to extricate an intruder from the house.
Gasping, sobbing, she managed to get out the words.  “Some…one (sniff, sniff)…It’s Johnny!” she said.
“Huh?” I asked, perplexed now.  (However, at this point I was starting to think, what the HELL is she talking about?)
She tried again.  “Someone threw my jeans down the stairs, and they hit Johnny.  He’s BROKEN!!”
All of the adrenaline that had previously been surging through my body suddenly turned into a big overdose of Is-She-Freaking-Kidding-Me.  I realized she was talking about the life-size Johnny Depp cardboard stand-up that occupies the space at the bottom of her stairs.  I had been right.  There had definitely been a murder.  Someone had murdered Johnny.  And I was going to have to attack that person with a limp dishtowel, apparently.
And for all of you who may be wondering, no, teenagers do not overreact at all.

Pickle On Your Nibble

This is Micaela.

Micaela has many facets.  Currently, one of her personalities is gangsta rapper girl.  (Please, do not tell her she is a red-headed white girl living in the suburbs.  This will greatly upset her, and as it is, we are maintaining a fine balance of hormones, mood swings, and general teenage angst.)
Being the street-wise and talented rapper that she is, she can often be heard hittin’ a beat and making up her own lyrics to describe just about any situation in daily life.  It can be quite entertaining–fo realz, yo.  Just the other day, she gave quite an outstanding performance dedicated to the Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos taco.  It was brilliant.
This is Jadon.
He is the little brother.  As you probably know, little brothers like to mimic what their older siblings do.  So in the car yesterday, he came up with his own rap, which really didn’t have a bad beat and internal rhyme scheme—for a 5-year-old kid.  I was impressed.
Except.  Well, it could be my many years of being a cynical adult or the many, many years of abusing the English language with dirty euphemisms and then laughing hysterically at what I deemed wholly inappropriate, BUT I think that the first time he recites his little ditty in school, I’m gonna get a phone call.
Here are the first couple of lines for your reading/singing pleasure.  (Remember, you have to get a rap beat going first.  It doesn’t work without it.  Word.  Yo, y’all.)
“I put my pickle on your nibble,
and I had a tasty snack.”
Now, being a part of the ENTIRE conversation, I happen to know that my daughter was rapping about food.  Therefore, Jadon decided to rap about the finer aspects of his Happy Meals.  The boy likes pickles.  Makes sense.
BUT.  Taken out of context (which I did…and started to giggle helplessly when my teenager looked at me aghast), these lyrics could seem a bit…hmmm…inappropriate.  Especially in today’s school environment of overreact-to-everything-and-suspend-the-kid, I’m thinking this might not go over well.
Imagine if you will a sour-faced administrator calling you up and demanding to know the meaning behind the term “pickle on your nibble.”  I’m not sure I could explain it properly.  And I’m not sure I could keep from giggling, which would probably mean my butt would end up in detention as well.
I am SO not answering the phone this week if the school calls.  In fact, I need to make sure Jason’s number is at the top of the contact list.


This word sucks.  It literally sucks the life right out of you.  It takes away your motivation and your drive to push forward and move past your roadblocks.  It’s a terrible word, and I am hereby demanding that Mr. Webster or whoever is responsible for placing it in the dictionary remove it immediately.
What I Could (Very Easily!) Sound Like…If I Wanted to Focus on My Shortcomings
  • I can’t do a muscle up.  (Ummm, suck it up, Buttercup.  Scale it and get better.)
  • I can’t do double unders.  (So what?!  Keep trying, and in the meantime do a crap-ton of single unders.
  • I can’t do a pull-up.  (You are closer than you were a few months ago.  Stronger is stronger.  Period.  It takes time.  Shut up and practice.)
  • I can’t run fast.  (Moving your feet at ALL is faster than sitting on your ass.  Get up and move.)
  • I can’t box jump very high.  (Jump as high as you can, and then take a chance.  Practice.  Scrape your shins a little.  You’ll get there.)

What I Am Very Capable of Sounding Like Every Single Damn Day
(Or…Things That Make Me Smile Every Damn Day)
  • I can walk.  I can run.  I am healthy enough to GET MOVING.
  • I can do as many single unders as my coach tells me to do.  (He may have to yell.  But I CAN do them.)
  • I can lift heavy weight.  It gets heavier every week.
  • I can build muscle and burn fat and feel healthy and strong.
  • I can use all the tools I am lucky enough to have—great coaches, great friends, great workout facilities!
  • I can deadlift and press and clean and squat.
  • I can now FINALLY do a push-up on my toes and NOT from my knees.
  • I can control what I stuff into my face.  (This is new…just now figuring this out, so if you see me with a french fry, kindly conduct an immediate intervention and smack it out of my hands.)

I don’t know about you, but the list of CANs in my life sure makes me a lot happier than the list of CAN’Ts.

Trifecta of Awesome

The thing about making yourself better is that no one else can do it for you.  It’s hard.  It can take a really long time.  It can be brutal, backbreaking work.   It makes you sweaty and stinky.  But all that aside, you still have to do it yourself.
With that said, there can certainly be people along the way who play a huge role in guiding you in the right direction or maybe planting flashing neon signs that say ‘This Way, Oh-Slowest-of-Learners’ in your path so that you have an idea of which way to turn.  It just so happens that on this CrossFit journey, I have been lucky enough to have a lot of those people placed in my path.
Today’s enlightenment is brought to you courtesy of Coaches Carl, Justin, and Blake.  They may not know exactly what they have done, but THEY, my friends, are the Trifecta of Awesome.  If you would like to experience the AWESOME for yourself, you could step into the hallowed halls of CrossFit Cerberus, but in case you choose not to, I’ma gonna tell you about what I realized this week.
It’s simple really.  I work too hard to eat crap.  (I know.  Let the universe be aware of my newfound knowledge.  It is powerful.)
Here’s how I came to this sudden conclusion.  It was like a little train wreck in my mind, actually—something Carl told me would happen at some point.  “When you are ready for it to happen, Young Grasshopper…”  or something like that.  He told me at some point I would realize I was putting WAY too much energy into this whole CrossFit thing to not focus on making my nutrition better.  At the time, I’m pretty sure he may have sounded like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon episodes, not because I didn’t want to pay attention, but because I wasn’t READY.
Any-hoo.  Fast forward.  Enter Coach Blake.  He may as well have taken away Christmas and my birthday when he forwarded me a little gem of an article on facebook about the evils of Diet Coke and how it is destroying my body from the inside out and slowly allowing zombies to take over our planet.  Or something like that.  Anyway, it wasn’t good.  But it was one of those things that made me go ‘hmmmm.’
And then there’s Coach Justin, who during the very same week told me I needed to follow Crossfitters Eat  to Perform on facebook.  (What is up with this facebook think all up on the internets?)  So I started following that.  And pretty much read until I couldn’t read any more.  And their stuff is cool.  Really cool.  Damn…I felt inspiration coming on.
And finally there is Coach Carl who has imparted more wisdom than my little pea brain can possibly absorb, but let’s for a moment just focus on my squat.  For months Carl has been working with me to get my knees out on my squat.  Now, Carl is WAY too nice to actually tell me this unless I wordsmith it myself, but he did nod ascent when I mentioned that any significant load-bearing squat leaves me squatting like a little girl who is trying to tinkle in the woods—knees together, butt up in the air.  In the gym, this is not a good squat position.  In the woods—if I’m afraid a grasshopper might land on my ass—it’s a great squat position.  My enlightenment here is that this must be improved posthaste.
Hence, the trifecta of awesome has struck.  Three great coaches.  Three inspiring things all at once.
So I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve cooked an entire week’s worth of paleo food.  Real food!  And all the information that should have my head spinning instead has me super-excited to really be real this time—committed and improved.  (Notice I’m not committing to perfection because that would be crazy talk!)
And if any one of y’all offers me a candy bar or a sandwich, I might have to give you a smackdown.