Workout DVD For the Rest of Us

I own my share of workout DVDs. And I have actually used them. Yes, really. Multiple times. But eventually, I get tired of the program, find something different, or want to stab the trainer so I move on.

Not one to give up entirely, I recently tried another series and so far so good. But it got me thinking. These workout DVDs don’t reflect real people. Everyone in them is already incredibly toned. If you can banter while doing burpees, then we are not even close to similar fitness levels. I cannot relate to you.

What if there was a home workout DVD for the rest of us?

A workout series that features a supporting cast with varying degrees of fitness, forget the Auber-sculpted, picture perfect “after” people. I want to see Nancy who has a visible muffin top and is there strictly to make us all feel better about ourselves. Our new best friend, Nancy, keeps pausing to take giphydrinks and then just phones it in when she can be bothered to return. This DVD features one keener, let’s call her Sheila,  and the rest shoot her dirty looks and roll their eyes whenever the instructor singles her out for her exceptional stamina and skill. Sheila shows everyone up and likes it.

Let’s see some people struggling with the coordination some moves require. And at some point someone needs to trip. At least once. Or just fall over for no reason.

On to workout gear. No spandex. Alright, the top performer is allowed, but everyone else needs to wear an old t-shirt with loose shorts. Preferably, we’re going to see repeated clothing adjustments as the workout progresses. Top marks if there is a chronic wedgie issue for at least one person.

There should be a counter at the bottom that let’s you know the amount of snack food you have burned off. “That’s ten M&M’s, not bad.” “Keep going, you’ve almost neutralized the spoonful of peanut butter you ate after lunch.”

Hair. We all stop our workouts to redo our pony tail or clip or what-not. Minimum, someone in the background must have bangs that keep getting into their eyes.

giphy-1When the instructor announces that the workout is halfway done, I’d like to see some defeated expressions, possibly gasp. The best would be a cast member moaning “come ON, that’s IT?”. Bonus if they walk off in a huff and give up altogether.

Everyone else is still trying, but there’s that one woman keeled over, gasping for air and holding up a finger requesting a minute. During jumping jacks or a similar plyometrics-inspired segment, one of them stops, looks horrified, a rushes off stage only to return minutes later wearing new shorts (I think we all know what happened there).

During the cool down, someone needs to pass gas. Preferably the most fit member in the group, yes, you, Sheila. The others quietly moves a little farther away, smirking. While everyone else is stretching, Nancy just waves it off with “nah, I’m good,” and slowly unwraps a Snickers.

As they exit the studio, an especially exhausted participant hi-fives the instructor and then, barely audible, mutters “you’re dead to me.”

That’s a DVD I would buy.


Should We Be Friends Flowchart

We meet potential friends everywhere – work, school yard, the park, 7-11. The possibilities are limitless. But how do we know if a new acquaintance is a strong contender for the serious business of friendship?

Relax, just keep this simple flowchart handy and let it do all the work for you. The vetting process has never been so easy.

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5 Free Valentines For Your Kids

Valentine’s Day is the holiday that helps you get through the bleak days of winter. And it’s also a great opportunity to eat chocolate let people know you care. But do your kids really need more candy or cute stuffed animals to grasp your love for them?


So, this year why not show your offspring how much you love them by your actions? It’s the sugar-free, budget-friendly way to let them know they will always be your special valentine. The possibilities are endless, but to get you started I present:

Five FREE Ways to Show Your Child You Love Them

  1. Announce in the school hallway that you won’t forget to buy your son new underwear, just like he asked. Kids need to know you’ll keep your promises, it helps them feel secure. 200-5
  2. Did your daughter miss a text while in the shower? Go ahead and reply for her. She’ll thank you. Be sure to include LOL at least twice to keep it authentic.200-3
  3. Wait to choose your outfit until after your child is dressed, then you can match. Disregard any eye rolls or protests, they secretly love it.unnamed
  4. If you don’t already have a cute pet name for your child, now’s the time to create one. Then use it loudly and frequently in public so all of “Poopsie’s” friends know his mom is the greatest. unnamed-1
  5. Start an after dinner family sing-along. Preferably with rounds. Music = togetherness.200-2

See? It’s that simple. Economical relationship-building is so rewarding. Make room on your mantle for all the “Mother of the Year” trophies that are coming (it’s okay to buy a few yourself, just to get started).

Blue Day

Look! It's Blue Day again, but not "Style Your Hair and Put Make-up On" Day

Look! It’s Blue Day again, but not “Style Your Hair and Put Make-up On” Day

It was a typical morning. The beds were made, boys were dressed, I got myself ready and headed to the kitchen to join the family for breakfast. That’s when it all changed. One simple, seemingly harmless observation was all it took.

“Hey! You’re wearing a blue shirt and so is Daddy – did you guys plan that?” I asked Son #3 who was busy eating his cereal.

He paused, mid-shovel, looked down at his clothes, then gasped, “I’m wearing blue, too!”

“Yes, that’s what I just said.”

“I’m wearing blue and Daddy is wearing blue!”

(do I not get credit for stating that very observation ten seconds ago? Nothing? Not even a nod?)

“I’m wearing blue, Daddy is wearing blue and so are you!” and he pointed to Son #4.

“Yes, it’s almost like you planned it. Is today Blue Day?”

“So, Daddy is wearing blue, I am wearing blue, that brother is, but NOT THAT BROTHER.”

“Right, like I said, lots of us are wearing blue today.”

“I have blue on my shirt, see?!” piped up Son #1, clamouring to be included in this momentous occasion.

“But it’s not ALL blue, like Daddy and me,” retorted #3.

“It’s blue. Right. Here,” #1 shot back.

“That means one, two, three, THREE of are wearing blue.”

“And me,” #1 angry-whispered, not willing to back down.

Me: “I’m wearing a blue shirt today, too, but it’s not the same shade.” (What? Why was I still engaging in this conversation? Somebody stop me).

#3 glances at me and shouts, “Hey! You’re wearing blue, too. That means, one, two, three, FOUR of us are wearing blue.”

Are you even hearing me? Maybe they can’t see me. Wait, Bearded Husband just rolled his eyes at me, so I’m definitely visible.

#2 Son strolls into the kitchen.

“Wait, that brother has blue on his shirt so that means, one, two, three, four FIVE of us have blue on. But only me and Daddy are wearing the same blue. ACTUALLY, he has some blue on, too. So that means, one, two, three, four, five SIX of us are wearing blue today. But only me and Daddy are wearing the same blue.”

#2 shrugs and exits kitchen.

#4 randomly shouts out, “NooooooOOOO,” just to be controversial, then struts out of the room.

This will not do. #3 throws his arms up in the air in exasperation, “But it ISN’T.

I’ve lost track, what were we debating? Is it hot day? Did I put pants on? I’m so confused.

#3, “We all have blue on, it’s like it’s Blue Day.”

Yes, yes it is.





The Brother Commission

Brothers, gather round. Our agenda for today’s meeting is quite full, so we should get started on time. Keith, I believe we talked about not bringing our light sabres to these discussion groups. If you feel that strongly, then you should have added that to today’s agenda.

Item one: Play Time.

We are only partway through winter and the novelty of our Christmas gifts wore off weeks ago. Let’s face facts, Mom isn’t exactly bringing her A-game when it comes to our recreation time. We all heard her recent rant about it not being her “job” to “entertain” us and if we are “bored” there’s “dusting” we can do, followed by some muttering about that’s why she gave us brothers. So we are on our own. At least until Daddy gets home.

Everyone loves a round or two of Toilet Tag, but let’s workshop it a bit to make it more fun. No, Keith – you know weapons are not allowed. Keep thinking.

Let’s hear from Littlest. His attention span is the shortest so he will likely leave before we adjourn.

Brilliant! Underwear Toilet Tag. So simple, yet so effective. Same game, but in only our underwear. All in agreement? Motion passed.

Ok, technically the Chair does not recognize Littlest again, but to avoid a tantrum, let him speak.

Another home run idea! Underwear Basement Balloon Soccer. It combines two of our favourite things: physical aggression and pantlessness. Pass him a gummi worm, he deserves it.

I move we continue to workshop this skivvies theme. All in favour? Great, let’s do this.

What else is better in underwear? Speak slowly, the five-year-old is taking minutes.


Pet Store

Train Station

Sibling Sandwich. Someone is going to have to get Mommy on board with us using the couch cushions. She wasn’t thrilled when we made that labyrinth last week and then “forgot” to put them back.

Air Hockey. Probably to do with aerodynamics, further study is needed.

Hide-and-Seek. I think we all remember last Thursday’s unfortunate incident, so a reminder to steer clear of folding doors.





Snack. Yes, Keith, both snack times will be proposed.

Dinner. Let’s agree to keep working on Daddy regarding this one, he’s so focussed on “hygiene”. I think Mommy has just resigned herself, so she’s a potential ally.

Listen, we need to adjourn for Snack Time. Sorry, Keith, for now, keep your pants on.

Bast and Moyer Return

Months ago we decided it was time to vlog again. So we did. Then we forgot about it. But fear not! The footage is safe and sound and ready for its debut.

No, I can’t recall why we wore shower caps, but I stand by that decision. More good news! There are other episodes coming and I don’t remember what we said on those, so we will all be surprised together.

No, YOU Must be Busy

Picture it. My living room, mid-winter, a playdate with a few girl friends and their preschoolers. I was on a maternity leave with our fourth baby and needed to vent.

“Four boys. Are they all yours?

Wow. FOUR boys – you must be busy.

You know, I’m getting a little tired of being asked that. What? Since I have all boys they must be holy terrors that run me ragged? I don’t think I like the implication that having male offspring automatically means I live in a zoo. Humph, I bet if I had a mix of boys and girls I wouldn’t get asked that. I bet if I had ALL GIRLS no one would say that to me. Sure, I have temporarily misplaced a son in grocery store. And there was that time that I couldn’t find one of them in the library, but that’s because they are little, not because I have too many or that they are boys.

Ok,  they are MOSTLY good boys.

Ok, they are MOSTLY good boys.

When strangers gawk in disbelief that I can smile while carting my four young sons around, I feel defensive. THESE ARE GOOD CHILDREN. They don’t run out into traffic, they haven’t broken any bones (yet. There was that gash to the head during a game of Naked Run, but come on, every kid does that).

I’m not some freak show that people can just come up to me and comment on my procreation. I WON’T BE YOUR DANCING MONKEY.”

My friend slowly sipped her coffee, placed her mug down and calmly asked, “well are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Are you busy?”

I pondered this question for a few seconds, lowered my eyes and quietly answered, “Yes.”

“So, maybe they are just honouring that fact and in a round-about way giving you a pat on the back.”

“Yeah, well… MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT.”


This is why we need friends, people. To talk you down from the ledge, to tell you that your sweater is looking a little frumpy, that your eyebrows need attending, that your house is “clean enough”, and that maybe, sometimes you need to just settle down, Crazy.


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