Family Vacation: The Ultimate Involuntary Workout

The ultimate summer workout doesn’t involve much gym time, but I can promise this: you will be sore, and you will be tired.

It is called “family vacation.”

Total body workout includes:

1. CARDIO. Your cardio routine will begin as soon as your car is put in reverse backing out of the driveway. Run back into the house at least five times for forgotten items. Did you adjust the thermostat? Did you remember the iPad charger? Are you sure you locked the front door? Really sure? Way to go the extra mile and hurdle over the garage door sensor on your way back out the third time. I am convinced that traveling with a large family is how Bruce Jenner stayed in decathlon shape, back when his family was young, and back when he was a he.

2. UPPER BODY. When you’ve got ninos in the backseat, upper body is what your car’s co-pilot seat is all about. You’ll have the opportunity to stretch unused muscles and contort yourself while fishing for dropped items. It would be unfathomable to wait another 20 minutes until you stop at Jack in the Box to rescue that Paw Patrol figurine wedged in the seat crack between Graham crackers. It’s just like having Jillian Michaels yelling at you…for free!

You may have a seat belt rash on your neck from being nearly decapitated, but did I not promise you soreness?

3. LOWER BODY. Unloading the car will provide you with ample squatting/ bending/lifting opportunities. If you’ve got a great workout support team like I do, they’ll hide necessities all over the car and keep you running back to get them, individually. Oh, wait. The wipes. Oh, and where’s his other shoe? Oh…the stinky diaper. Did we leave that in the trunk? Good looking out, team. At least when you arrive up the elevator for the third time, your family will switch up the USA chant for, “M-O-M! D-A-D!”

Just kidding, they won’t care, but they will point out that you dropped the iPhone charger in the parking lot, and they’re wondering when it’s time to eat.

4. Upper body, again. If there is a pool, and you have little kids, it will be assumed that you are a shot-put Olympian. You will launch all of your posterity, one at a time, “one mo’ time,” over and over. And one more time for a picture. It was blurry, though, so one more. Your arms may be on fire, but when it comes down to it, you’ll toss your kids a million times over for those laughs.

5. CARB LOAD. I don’t know, but it’s vacation, so it just seems right.

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A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trophy Wife-ing

My trophy wife data comes from observing a good handful of Las Vegas women who have forgotten they’re not Kardashians…

A COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A TROPHY WIFE

Regardless of your social media platform of choice, avoid taking selfies without Snapchat filters. Use only the dog or flower crown filter lest you should reveal your age (and pores).

If your Starbucks order is not to your liking, or if the drive-thru employee put the order label over the cup’s logo AGAIN, thus ruining above mentioned selfie with your drink, address the issue. Let your complaints fly off of your lips with the same sharpness as the needle that has just injected them. If that sounds harsh, you’re better suited to hang out with the soccer moms, not the trophy wives.

Make an effort not to furrow your brows in your Starbucks scolding. Never show signs of emotion, specifically on your face. Trophy wives everywhere look to Victoria Beckham for inspiration. Not only will this impassiveness keep you mysterious, it will also prevent you from draining your Tom Ford fund on Botox. A few more laugh lines and you’ll be shopping at The Rack.

Although some may interpret this unexpressive attitude as heartlessness, it’s better than being considered sweet. Trophy wives should never like anything sweet, unless it’s the agave-based dressing on sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic kale. Anything made without this sugar substitute will later be carved off by a surgeon.

In the rare and unfortunate event that this should happen, clothe yourself in as much Lululemon as possible to distract eyes from any healing scars. Better yet, accessorize your Lululemon with jewelry, preferably something with a giant designer logo. Sparkly Chanel logos are best. This is a typical trophy wife defensive maneuver used to blind those that seek proof of plasticity.

Plus, nothing says, “I work out hard,” like Lululemon and Bvlgari jewels.

Below, trophy wife fail. Fail fail fail.

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California-ing and Wondering When Webster’s Going to Employ Me

Vacation mode. I want to say something like, “It’s where your mind is, not where your feet are,” but my mind wanders away from me exponentially more often than I’d consider myself vacationing.

Currently: trying to figure out how to sleep my little family in one room, with a two and three-year-old who both still nap, and a two-year-old who is a little big for the pack and play but won’t go to sleep without one, climbs out sporadically, and spends an hour at bedtime trying to find other people in the dark room using echolocation style squawking.

In fact, I’m writing this at 6:40am as I’m feeding that little two-year-old Goldfish crackers to keep him quiet. Low volume cartoons aren’t helping the cause with the occasional, “I WANT THAT,” at every commercial.

Sooo I’m not sure if he caught the vacation mode drift.

I’m readjusting my original vacation mode statement to, “It’s not where you are, it’s where your child who doesn’t sleep later than 8AM is.”

Roscoe sure is a cutie, though!

Other than being a little tired, Gus and Roscoe have been having the time of their lives. You can tell by the photos that Roscoe is still lukewarm about beaches…

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Baby Showers: The Ghost Expense in my Wallet

I love babies, and am kind of obsessed with watching my friends become parents. Truly. Witnessing my best friends experience parenthood is, unexpectedly, one of the biggest joys in my life. I get emotional thinking of the new love that reroutes their lives, the parenting inspiration they are to me, and…

I am wiping tears right now, so I’ll just stop there.

Consequently, I enjoy celebrating with them at baby showers.

Modern times (and Pinterest) also call for baby “sprinkles,” which are usually thrown for second, third babies, etc.

This is all great, unless you’re Mormon, like I am.

THAT’S A LOT OF BABIES.

Showers and showers mean we LDS women make it rain more than Lil Wayne.

Weddings and babies, man. I don’t know if I can afford this religion. I definitely can’t be forking out money for everyone’s Dock a Tot registry dreams for five people a month without signing up to be an Uber driver. How about a nice box of breast pads?

(If you’ve seen me at a shower lately, don’t worry. Now you know that I REALLY wanted to be there. 🙂 )

If you haven’t been to a baby shower or baby sprinkle recently, let me lay it out for you:

The expectant mother’s mom squad is always there, talking in high voices about baby names they love, that, in my humble, I-named-my-child-Gus opinion, are not names. If there are multiple X and Y and silent Zs and stuff, that’s just not a name, or even a word, but I’ll be by the brownies.

There are not brownies at showers these days, only mini donuts. I wish they were full size donuts. I know cronuts are too much to hope for, so I won’t even address that.

Expectant mothers love flower crowns, which I also like! Flower crowns are pretty, until someone gets carried away with foliage…in which case, I am reminded of Jesus. Don’t be offended. Overzealous flower crowns remind me of Jesus’ crown of thorns, but maybe that’s just because I’m just super holy all the time. Who am I to say? I feel guilty about my thoughts being borderline sac religious, so I look for brownies again, just in case I missed them.

My next baby, I am throwing a party called the “Fat Ash Bash,” and there will be brownies. In lieu of gifts, there will be a donation for postpartum mom reconstruction, because, what the.

Hold me to it.

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From the Fluent in Blonde Archives: Mom Swimwear for the Community Pool

Even thought this was originally posted in 2014, right before my first postpartum swim season, I still haven’t quite figured it out. I’ve stopped caring, I guess, but maybe I should still seek out the “community pool swimsuits” runways this upcoming Fall Fashion Week.

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Ahh yes, pool season…brings so many nicks to my legs, and new hurdles to motherhood.

Lathering a baby in sunscreen is kind of like greasing a pig (I would imagine). The other babies in the pool probably assume Gus has some sort of skin discoloration disease because his mom can’t figure out how to completely rub in the sunscreen before he slips away to lick the chair. They are just dots of impenetrable sun protection.

And, question: how do you know when there is something other than water in a swim diaper?

Another question: what do moms wear to the pool? The Victoria’s Secret 2010 swimwear is left in some unseen corner of the dresser, and maternity swimsuits are not applicable here…so. Do moms wear Speedo brand for Michael Phelps speed in catching a pooping kid across the pool? Do moms wear goggles if they need to rescue a sunken Sophie? Do they wear the swimsuits with skirts attached? Do moms even wear swimsuits? I know they aren’t actually swimming, and I know for a fact they don’t lay out, so maybe just some kind of moisture wicking active wear is best for the pool.

I kept asking Gus, but he was busy emptying his diaper bag for 20 minutes.

A favorite activity.

Gus gave me his insight on motherly swimwear choices after we got home. While I was rocking him to sleep after the pool, he broke it down for me.

He said, “Mommy, if you wear a:

wet suit, that would be ideal. I’m sure you can find one on eBay!”

bikini, you will remind me that I’m hungry all the time. It’s like a self serve ice cream machine on a cruise. ”

tankini, I will assume that the glaring white skin around your waist is a floaty and try and grab on when the water at the steps gets choppy.”

one-piece, you will have a perma-wedgie, because one-piece suits are not one size fits all. I don’t mind that, though, because you won’t be standing still long enough for anyone to notice…unless you stop chasing me and just let me eat those dead bugs I always find.”

We really bonded over our swimwear heart to heart. I like to think that, and not the afternoon of wading, was why he was extra cuddly all evening. I love that little head resting on my shoulder.

If there is a seasoned mother that has any suggestions other than wetsuits, that would be great. At least no one will pay much attention to me with this cute face nearby.

(Maybe my next post will be a 2017 “seasoned mom” answer.)

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What If I Match My Babysitter? Age Appropriate Shopping Concerns

I just have a question under the category of “adulting.”

What am I supposed to be wearing at age thirty?

It’s less my age, maybe, than my stage of life.

Here’s my sitch: pregnant, postpartum, disproportionate nursing bod’, pregnant again, think-I’m-normal-size-but-not-really, back to normal (ish). Another baby wanted.

Am I given a pass to buy inexpensive clothing where sixteen year old girls waste time in line posting their Coachella pictures?

Or, is having a real-life wardrobe imperative to my being taken seriously during squabbles with our pediatrician’s front desk staff? (“Oh, you’ve been sitting in the empty room with a fevering child for over an hour? I must have not checked you in. What’s your name again?”)

Next time, I want to be like, “THIS IS A CHICO’S BLAZER, KAREN, DO I LOOK INCAPABLE OF A TERRIBLE YELP REVIEW TO YOU?”

I’ll bust out any amount to have the upper hand at a pediatrician, I’ll tell you that much.

I dislike paying $75 for a made-in-China shirt that I will ruin with hair color at my job, or Cheetohs at my other job, but I’ll break out my Southwest credit card if needs be. I’m happy to rack up enough points to get to San Juan this summer.

Well, at least Wichita.

(Below are some of my most complimented pants. I wasn’t aware they were pajama pants when I purchased them. I just assumed Kate Moss for Topshop meant English chic. I DO wear them to social events, and you SHOULD be jealous I found the only comfortable high-waisted pants ever made. Or just bless my heart.)

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Nursery Rhyme Meanings That Keep You Guessing

 I’ve heard convincing arguments that Mother Goose is the key to Ivy Leagues. I’m all for brain stimulation and early developmental progress, but I don’t remember many nursery rhymes. I’ve had to go off of memory, and it has proven to be a little fuzzy.

By “a little fuzzy,” I mean that I can’t remember even half the words. “Ring around the Rosies” is the only thing that’s clear in my mind. Sadly, that’s only due to years of elementary school repetition, because of the fascinating rumors of its morbid meaning that were shared in the shadows of the tether ball poles.

I looked up a couple nursery rhymes to keep in my back pocket.

Have you read them recently? There are some real creepers in there. How many young children go to sleep smiling serenely after hearing about some egg-dude Humpty that fatally fell off a wall, anyway?

Why do none of these have conclusions? Are there sequels?

What do these even mean, anyway?!

Here are a handful of my loose interpretations.

“Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.”
Translation: Little Miss Muffet sat on her stool, or possibly Kim K booty (haven’t checked “tuffet” on Urban Dictionary), and ate 2% cottage cheese. She regretted not keeping the pest control guy’s magnet on the fridge.

“Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old.”
Translation: Someone spilled frozen peas in the steel cut oatmeal. Before finally throwing it out, Mom kept it for nine days, because there are starving children in Africa.

“It’s raining, it’s pouring;
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.”’
Translation: He got the Advil mixed up with Ambien. Or else…

“The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, to see what he could see. To see what he could see, to see what he could see. The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.”
Translation: This was a “she” bear, probably a mom, just trying to get out of the house. Sometimes I do that. I go to Target, to buy what I can buy, to buy what I can buy.

“Old Mother Hubbard, went to her cupboard, to fetch her poor dog a bone. When she was there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none.”
Translation: This is an ASPCA commercial. Cue Sarah McLachlan.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread,
Whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.”
Translation: This lady came home from Saks with new Louboutins, and her husband said, “You better be living in those shoes, because that was as much as a mortgage payment!” She was like, “Fine, I will.” The new leather smell made her go crazy, and I really don’t know what happened after that. I’m sure the husband has full custody, and a pending restraining order.

I don’t think I’ll read that one to my little guy.

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Taxes are the Worst Because my Math is the WORST

My only questions in math classes were, “Can I bring Kleenex for extra credit? Is that once QUARTERLY? If not, when is the last day to transfer out of here?”

I definitely lean towards the arts. If only it could fill my bank account like it does my soul.

Or help me with taxes.

Unfortunately, no one is interested in Transcendentalism and other fascinating methods of literary criticism during tax season.

Instead of writing, I’ve been working on taxes the past few nights I’ve had off work. Alright, I’m not even “doing” my taxes, just preparing our eleventh-hour submission for our accountant. Just looking at all those numbers is still exhausting and terrible, though.

It gives me flashbacks to math classes and I can almost smell the pencil shaving aroma of classrooms. Ugh. Is this PTSD?

Let me reminisce about my math class career path, or as I recall it, a walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

After the alphabet began adulterating math problems, and imaginary numbers were discussed (excuse me? they’re pretending?), I banked on passing high school math with Kleenex and other extra credit opportunities.

My ACT/SAT scores didn’t include math scores, just skulls and cross bones in the shape of a sad face.

Luckily, I still attended college and began basic math.

Or so I thought.

The first day of my freshman year math class, we discussed decimals. And then the next week, we talked about decimals. And the next, and the next, and…and then I looked around and realized that most of my classmates seemed to have special needs. (I don’t mean “most,” actually.)

And that’s cool. They were way nice. Except, it was going to take me three semesters to work my way up to entry level Math 1010.

Lo and behold, I had a neon green flyer on my windshield one day with bold print: DO YOU HATE MATH?

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Because my dad pitied me for being such an idiot, he was willing to sponsor my enrollment in “EasiestMathEver.com,” which was an intense, six week independent study program that guaranteed (or your money back) your passing Math 1010 and transferred the credit to your school.

I took the class with ten other Kleenex-clinging people, and was taught what the squiggles on graphing calculators mean. The day of my final, I had a cold, but popped a DayQuil, plus one more to be safe, and then realized I’d opened the wrong end of the two-in-one box.

I’d taken two NyQuil.

I somehow earned the highest grade I’ve had on a math test since fifth grade (which wasn’t that high) (87%), passed Math 1010, dropped my remedial math class, and got a free shirt that said, “EASY” on the front.

Annnd that’s why I pay an accountant to do my taxes. Cue hair flip.

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A Letter to the People Telling Me I Have My Hands Full

To Humans That Throw Me The Old, “You’ve got your hands full! HA! HA! WINK!” Comment Every Time I Leave The House,

Okay, okaaaay. First of all, duh. I have a one and three year old, so, yes, you’re right.

Second of…wait. Are you referring to my children, or the large drink and two Starbucks sugar cookies in my hand as I’m steering the Target cart with my wrists?

Just making sure we were on the same page.

Does, “WOW YOU HAVE SURE GOT YOUR HANDS FULL!” translate to, “Hello!” in some kind of Costco/Target dialect of English?

Could you at least hold the door open for me while you say it?

Maybe not run to try to beat me to the check out?

Buy me a Twix?

I am beyond grateful to have babies with strong personalities and strong bodies to keep me busy. I adore them. I want more. Also, I won’t tell you that they’re actually being very angelic right now because I bribe them with orange Tic Tacs at the register.

If I have another baby, the only reason I’m hesitant to save my placenta to throw at people like you is because I don’t trust my aim. Pulling a placenta out of a Rebecca Minkoff bag and drilling the wrong person in the back of the head at Nordstrom Rack sounds like a news worthy assault suit.

Except, quite a few attorney friends are coming to mind as I’m thinking of it. I could probably count on some feminist friends to rally in front of the courthouse…so tell me I’ve got my hands full one more time and we’ll both see if I’m joking.

Juuuust kidding. We both know I’ll just fake smile at you again, like every week, and maybe say something much classier, like, “So is my heart!”

But, really. Knock it off.

Thanks You’re Annoying,

Ashton

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Beware the Ides of March…Madness: A BINGO board for YOU to look like you care

My husband has played basketball his whole life. To say he is a fan is to say Mormons use cream of chicken soup.

Understatement.

My experience with basketball is…nothing. Well, except for the time I was on an intramural team in college, but that’s a different story.

Now, look. I enjoyed making March Madness brackets during seasons past, but I still most definitely did not watch all the games. However, for my husband’s sake, I tried to be interested in basketball. The jig was up after about a year of marriage, and that constant squeaking of shoes just gets me. This could stem from my childhood of being a hamster owner and listening to it run in a squeaky wheel all night, but either way, after a certain amount of time, I hate squeaking of basketball shoes and hamsters equally.

Still, it would be nice of me to sit with Brian and pretend to like a game, but I would be mad at myself for wasting time…and what the heck would I do? Laundry? Work on my Kegels?

I’d love to make a social event out of it, but then I’d definitely not be watching.

So, friends of both genders who watch games against their wills, I have created a BINGO board for you with some game watching activities. They include items like “over contoured girl,” and “lip reading a bad word.” I can’t help you with your Spring Break bod’, but I can help you impress your special someone with basketball attentiveness.

Click on it here…I believe you can print it… but you can also play through your phone. Each time it’s clicked, a new board is generated, so everyone’s will be different. I’m half joking/half serious, but tag me if you really do it so I can tell Brian why I was making BINGO boards during nap time instead of laundry.

And, boys…if your lady is watching the screen, I’d say there is a 93% chance it’s not because she is absorbed in the game. She may just be reconsidering the Target items she left behind, she is making a grocery list in her head, or she is avoiding all the snacks because she restarted BBG (bikini body guide). Summer soon, you know?

(Brian doesn’t agree with my statistic and says way more girls watch than I think. If only he were so lucky as to have married one of them.)

Thank goodness I redeem myself during football season.

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