Poor Baby

Christmas is drawing near, and so is the end of Baby’s stint here on earth, I’m afraid. Baby is Erin’s doll. She goes practically everywhere with us. (See example from Halloween here.) Baby has had it pretty good, despite being perpetually dirty, and never having any clothes on. These small imperfections matter not. She is lacking in a couple of areas, though; she doesn’t eat and she doesn’t crap her pants. Erin is asking for Baby Alive for Christmas. Or, Baby Shits Her Pants, as my sister calls her. It’s only a matter of time before somebody puts Baby in the corner. Permanently.

Yesterday, Erin, Baby, and I went to the park. I took the time to document what might possibly be one of Baby’s last hurrahs. I feel kind of sorry for her. As you will see, she had a really great time with us.

Baby on the slide. Weee!

Baby on the swing. I think she likes the swing best because HB sends her flying so high.

Baby on the rings. She doesn’t really care for the rings, but she rarely stands up for herself. Like never.

Sadly, I think she will miss the choke hold from the Honey Badger most of all.

Well, that’s it for our fun day at the park. We have other pictures, but those are just between us. It’s been a fun ride, Baby. We’ll see you on the flip side. Or we’ll see you flipped over, or on your side, under the bed, or stashed in the corner closet, come December 25th.

You’ve been a heck of a pal.

The Thanksgiving Experiment

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, everyone! I am relaxing in the Wellness Center, with a tall gingerbread latte and a view of my Christmas tree, to report to you the findings of my Thanksgiving Experiment. I was having a lovely, quiet morning until my husband started playing the theme song to Flash Gordon (“Flash! a-ah AAH! Sav-ior of the Un-i-verse!”). This prompted the kids to run and get Flash to join us all in here. It’s a small party. At least I have coffee.

Ok, a couple of Housekeeping items before we begin.

1) Does anyone want a hamster?

2) The Honey Badger has a new nickname. She’s our little Mississippi Mud Flapper. I didn’t know that “safety scissors” could cut through hair. I won’t be leaving the room during crafts anymore.

There was lots more where this came from. However, after originally, albeit mistakenly, blaming radical hair loss on the dog, the rest of the evidence was sucked up by the vacuum.

The Mississippi Mud Flapper is not the name of a dangerous fugitive, but rather something to behold at tractor pulls, county fairs, WWE events, and the like.

“My Mom banned me from scissors until I’m at least 15 yrs old.”

Ok, now that we are current on everything else, I shall reveal the Thanksgiving Experiment that my unknowing family and acquaintances were subjected to. In retrospect, I probably should have been more forthcoming from the start, as I truly pissed off one of those in attendance, but it wouldn’t have been as much FUN!

Every other year, my sister hosts Thanksgiving. It’s a huge group of people, consisting of our family of 16, plus her husband’s family of 8. We are all tasked with contributing one or two items. I was assigned the stuffing/dressing this year. (It didn’t go inside the turkey, but I’m still going to call it “stuffing”.)

My Mom makes the best stuffing in the world, so that was an obvious choice as far as recipes go. Since there were so many of us, I had to bring two of ’ems (as the Mississippi Mud Flapper would say). It seemed kind of boring to just double it, so I was going to branch out and make the other stuffing from my friend Christine’s Food Blog, “Chew Nibble Nosh”. That was the plan, until we were hanging out at my parent’s house and pure GENIUS was unleashed. We had the best idea ever for a stuffing, but it was so outlandish, that we couldn’t tell anyone what was in it for fear that they wouldn’t eat it. Hence, the Experiment.

First, my ingredients:

Yes, these are White Castle sliders.

I sent my husband to White Castle at 8am on Thanksgiving morn. He got a free Coke in the drive-thru after patiently waiting for the piping hot bag o’ twenty sliders to be freshly prepared.

Next, the Honey Badger quickly destroyed them with her hands.

Finally, after adding sauteed celery and spices, and a 1/2 cup of chicken broth, I mushed it all together and put it in a pan.

Which is which? One is my Mom’s recipe, the other is White Castle Stuffing.

I arrived with clear instructions. I told everyone that Sean made one stuffing, and I made the other. We were having a “Stuff-Off”, and we needed everyone to vote for only ONE stuffing. I labeled them #1 and #2, and we refused to tell anyone who made which stuffing. This was a properly conducted blind experiment.

There they sit. Stuffing #1 is on the RIGHT, while Stuffing #2 is on the LEFT.

Ready to be shoveled into unsuspecting bellies.

After everyone ingested both stuffings, but prior to any second helpings, I went around to each table, and tabulated the results. Everyone was quite excited to be participating in the McGill Stuff-Off. It was an absolutely unanimous vote – Stuffing #1 was -hands down – the winner. Everyone said it was “delicious”, that it “had so much flavor”, and they “loved the meat in it”.

It was then that I declared that Sean McGill made neither of the stuffings. “I made them both.” I revealed that Stuffing #1 was Slider Stuffing. Immediately, I feared one of the members of our group was going to lose her dinner. After a guttural noise escaped her, she choked, “I’ve never had White Castle in my whole life. I’ve completely lost my appetite.” I worried about her for a little bit. I felt a bit of regret at helping defile her lean, healthy temple. She recovered quite nicely. I was kind of proud of her.

In the end, I think we all learned a big lesson:  It’s all in your head about what’s gross. All you White Castle naysayers, I’m talkin’ to you. You may think it’s disgusting, but according to my blind study, it was deemed delicious at Thanksgiving dinner. One cannot turn away from the evidence. Besides the verbal praise it received, the almost empty pan of Slider Stuffing at the end of dinner was the loudest testament of all.

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

The Beef Song

A couple of months ago, it was a nightly ritual for Erin to request songs for us to sing at bedtime. She would choose something completely random, by glancing around the room, and come up with some totally arbitrary theme.  For example, she’d look up at the ceiling fan and say, “I want you to sing the fannnn song!!”. She was granted only two song requests per evening. We could only shoot from the hip so much. It was all good until you sang a REALLY good one, about the wall, window, or closet door, and then you were requested to sing it again the next night, and…GAH!…you totally forgot your awesome lyrics and tune. Happened all the time. We moved right on past that phase, as fun as it was. For awhile now, we’ve settled back into a more conventional routine of reading a few books and calling it a night…like normal parents.

Until last night.

Sean read Erin a couple of stories, as usual,when she suddenly looked up at him and said, “Daddy, will you sing me the Beef Song?”

Sean replied, “the beef song? I don’t know the beef song!”

Erin let out a most disgruntled sigh. Quite annoyed, she said, “YES, YOU DO!”

Sean really thought she was referring to the “bee” song from Monty Python: “Eric the Half a Bee”.  He said, “do you mean Eric the Half a Bee?” In the rotation of “actual, existing songs” that she was familiar with, this was not a far stretch, by any means.

“NO, DADDY, the bee-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-[strongly emphasizing the “EF” sound] song.” Not necessarily in a rude way, but a very exaggerated, tired of repeating herself, kind of way.

After a little bit of arguing about Monty Python vs. bee”F-F-F-F”, Sean finally succumbed to the old ritual of making shit up on the spot and singing about beef.  He doesn’t even recall his lyrics. We rarely do, because they are usually so lame, and they dissipate into the air as soon as they are crooned, and should be forgotten forever. It’s only when she requests real lullabies, like Michael Jackson tunes, that really matter anyway.

I do wonder, though, what impressive lyrics Sean sang last night. I am really curious. Or lack thereof, I suppose, as she did go to sleep quite quickly. Hopefully, we can get back on to normal nighttime routines, like sticking to books. But, when the honey badger demands these kinds of shenanigans out of nowhere, you better damn well get yourself together and perform. Thank God we’re both good under pressure. You never know what’s coming with HB. She likes to keep it fresh.

FREE BACON!!

Either I had you at “free”, or I had you at “bacon”. Does it really matter? They both are pretty awesome.

Listen, I only take orders. One of my bosses is The Honey Badger. And, when she wants bacon, well…she’s not joking around.

Does she look like she’s kidding? “ARE YOU GOING TO GET THE GOODS, OR NOT? STOP MESSING AROUND.”

So, I set off on a mission today. Retrieve bacon for the badger….among other things. I was desperate to get out of the house, anyway. I have been cooped up here for two days with a child that was possibly feigning illness to stay home, and the one pictured above. Ok, ok, Dylan was not actually feigning illness. He had really swollen tonsils, a fever, and is quite bored to tears now, and is ready to get back to school tomorrow. Usually, I despise going to the grocery, but my husband doesn’t mind one bit. Today, I was absolutely THRILLED to go myself! I had a ton of coupons; one of them was – free bacon! Who gives away free bacon??? You have to be on your game, but it can be done.

Proof.  I speak the troof.

It’s been a rough week. I redeemed myself by saving over $90 bucks at the grocery. I would like to think I could do this every week, but I think it’s absurd  to even tease the idea that this might become a regular occurrence. Too…..much…..work. Too much organization, prep, execution…not to mention, embarrassing yourself while standing at the cash register with a mountain of coupons while everyone else is pissed off that they ended up in your line. (Alright, let’s be honest, this last one doesn’t really bother me. It takes a lot to embarrass me, and this is not one of them.)

What it all comes down to is this: “SNACKS”.  Be it bacon, or vegetables, or fruit, or carbs, I don’t go more than a millisecond without hearing the words, “I wanna snack!!”. I absolutely loathe the word “snack”. It’s one of those words that just…strikes a chord. I just got a chill even thinking about it. Usually, I hear it in a slow, animated motion, “I WAAAAAANNNNA SNAAAAAAAAACK.” So simple, yet so LOADED. You offer up several different suggestions, all turned down. It’s a true testament to will power to give something healthy, but not redundant….lest they lose their healthy-ability (new word, just made up.)

Speaking of snacks, the  Honey Badger was also enjoying a “snack” while her Daddy read her a bedtime story.

Sean starts to read the book and Erin says“HOLD ON, SISTA!” as she quickly indulges her snack. When she was done, she acknowledged that she was indeed finished, and ready to move on with the story.

It’s hard out there for a honey badger.

Sean McGill Strikes Again!

My husband was exchanging text messages with a couple of friends last night. There were some references to my post on here about the turkey meatloaf. This morning, he was quite pleased with himself for sending his friend, Mike Jones, the following text:

I hear you like Meatloaf.

Only, he sent it to the wrong Mike Jones. So, the stranger that received this message had no idea who Sean was, or what this meant. He quickly realized his mistake when the guy wrote back and said, “Who is this!?”.

To which Sean replied, “Damn it. Wrong Mike Jones. With any luck, that will be the weirdest text message you get today!”.

Turns out, it’s a fellow Hurler, whom recently lost all his contacts in his phone.

Now, please go back and just imagine getting the text message above from a complete stranger. 

Only Sean.

Last Night’s Dinner

It’s been awhile since my family sat down to dinner together at the kitchen table. Football practice from 5:25pm-7:30pm really threw a wrench into our routine, but now it’s over, and things are settling back to normal. Or, at least I thought they were. I like to think I feed my family a healthy dinner. So, when I saw a “Turkey, Spinach, and Parmesan Meatloaf” at my favorite place on earth (Costco), I was super excited to pick up this $8.79 gem and head home to pair it with some mac ‘n cheese for dinner. We had asparagus in the fridge as well, but that was too much work. Don’t judge, it was still a school night.

Anyhither, I was reclined in the leather sofa in the Wellness Center when my husband was ready to get the dinner ball rolling. He tried to preheat the oven, then became completely confused when I said we didn’t need to bake the meatloaf.  I admit, I didn’t read the directions before buying; it was a complete impulse purchase. I was also a little taken aback that it didn’t cook in the oven. Reluctantly, I boiled a pot of water, per the directions on the package, and placed the heavy (gross looking) mass of meat into the pan. Sean came into the kitchen and immediately displayed a very foul face at the boiling meatloaf on the stove. “I’ve never seen meatloaf boiled before. I might be sick.” I said, “Honey, you just wait, this will be AWESOME.”

Cut to all four of us sitting down at the dinner table. Dylan actually loves meatloaf. Homemade, that is…with meat, cheese, and BBQ sauce. So trusting, he was actually excited for this humdinger. I felt nervous, like I was blindsiding him with this high tech, futuristic loaf. Poor kid. As for Sean, I was ready to kick him under the table for the exaggerated, vile faces he was making to…. just me. He “allowed” me to transfer the tiniest sliver of meatloaf onto his plate. However, I cut up generous portions for the kids, and myself.  Truth be told, the more I cut into this thing, the more disgusted I felt. But, I wouldn’t let Sean know that. Furthermore, I took a bite discreetly. I tested the waters. No one saw me, and so they didn’t know what I knew: It was repulsive.

Then, Erin took a bite. She has a very, VERY discriminating palate.

“Mommy, this is sooooo good!”  Wow. I’m second guessing my own opinion!

Clearly, she then swallowed it, because next,  “It tastes like THROW-UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.  Of course, we all three completely lost it. I almost wet my pants at the dinner table, Sean was choking he was laughing so hard, and Dylan was completely red-faced and losing it . We were such a sight, right in front of the giant kitchen window. All of us were bent over at the table laughing, except Erin. She was looking from side to side, no head movement at all, just furtively moving her eyes back and forth. That’s what Honey Badgers do when they are at a loss for words, apparently. She thinks she is so funny when she does this! It was her contribution to the party. Oh, the jokes did not stop rolling in. Sean choked out between laughs, “This looks like something FEMA would hand out to survivors!”  We really had a field day with the meatloaf. It provided a litany of memorable quotes and hearty belly laughs. It did not provide nourishment to our bellies, but it did to our souls.

Below are some pictures for verification purposes. Side note: I really do love Costco. Please do not let this post sway you either way on the  ever, in your whole entire life, purchase the “Turkey Spinach Parmesan Meatloaf”.

“SPAM WANNA-BE”. It failed miserably, and so will you if you ever try to feed this to your family.

Sean is trying so very hard to muster up the strength to just keep pushing the meatloaf around on his plate, to make it look like he’s really digging into it. Or, he might be trying not to throw up.

After she stopped furtively glancing back and forth, she thinks she’s pretty hilarious, which, let’s be honest, she is.

“MOM!!! STOP MAKING ME LAUGH!!”
Me: “The Turkey Meatloaf started it!!!!”

Pants on Fire

The Honey Badger and I head into the girl’s restroom on our way out of preschool today. There are two stalls. She clearly strides towards the one on the right, so I head to the one on the left. Disgruntled, she says from her closed stall door, “*I* was going to go in THAT one.” Oh well, I say, she can choose this one next time.

A minute or so later, I’m washing my hands at the sink. It’s awfully quiet in the stall on the right. One might actually be pretending to be a statue in there, based on visual evidence of two legs firmly planted on the ground, not moving, and certainly not dangling from the toilet. I can tell that we are having an impromptu standoff. Suddenly, I hear and see commotion between the two stalls. There is a blonde haired honey badger on all fours: stomach, hands, legs and feet gratuitously touching every nasty ass square inch of the tile floor, army crawling from her stall on the right, to the more desirable one on the left.

“ERIN!!!! NO! We don’t CRAWL on the ground like that! GROSS! Come on, honey!!”

“Yes, we do! It says right here on this door, Mommy! It says, ‘Please, everybody, crawl on the ground to the other bathroom’. It says it right here on this door!”

She set the bar for bold-faced lies today. I’d like to see what might top this. It was pretty impressive.

Heavy Petting

Erin is completely, utterly, recklessly, 100% infatuated with Flash, her brother’s hamster. Dylan has been at his ‘other’ Dad’s house this weekend, so he has been spared the flagrant love affair. So far. He has no idea the extent of her crushing devotion to his pet. I am awakened every morning to a tiny, sweet whisper, and a tug on my arm, “Mommy?…… Mommy? I wanna go pet Fuh-lashhh!”  It’s such a simple statement. With many, many, many inconspicuous undertones. Such an awesome thing to wake up to. Of course I would love to torture the hamster, in the name of petting, prior to my first cup of coffee. Sean had the pleasure of hearing those sweet words Saturday morning and early this Sunday morning. I get to do it 5 days a week and he’s only relegated to 2. That’s not counting the multitude of times during the day that she requests to pet Flash. She’s under his spell. And, poor Flash, he’s under lock & key. He’s in the slammer until he gets monitored visitation from the Badger and her keeper.

Definitions of “To Pet” as per the Honey Badger

1) To fondle, grope.

2) To remove from cage by manhandling.

3) To place into her brother’s toys for amusement, such as: A-Team Van, and Military Transport Helicopter, and, well, see #4.

4) To nearly decapitate in the “Back to the Future” DeLorean (with working lights and actual swinging doors!).

5) To kiss, despite our pleas. “Erin, please don’t kiss Flash on the lips, or anywhere else for that matter.”

6) To fly in her pink airplane.

**Hang on, I need to take a swig from my Banana, Blueberry, Avocado, Kale, Flax Seed, Psyllium Husk, Almond Milk Smoothie that my husband made me a moment ago. **

Ok, I’m back. Erin just asked her Daddy if she could go “Pet Flash” again. We said he was pretty worn out from their playdates yesterday and this morning, sooooo he’s sound asleep.

Before I post pictures of their love in action, I will close with a quote from HB herself. Sean had to leave her alone with Flash for just a second to run into the other room. He shouted to her, “How’s Flash doing, honey!?”.

Her haphazard response:

“He’s still alive, Daddy!”

The exercise ball is intended for….wait for it…..exercise. I suppose he is getting exercise when he is scrambling to get somewhere, like OUT, while she holds it and colors in her coloring book, does a puzzle, or watches a movie.

In case you couldn’t see him before. Here’s his head shot, or profile, or whatever.

“1.21 gigawatts!” I bet Flash would really enjoy watching “Back to the Future” from solitary. I mean, from his exercise ball.

Flash could stand a little bit of a makeover. I wonder if I can find some gold chains, Mr. T style, that would fit around his little neck. Might help his self-esteem.

It’s not fun for Flash unless he has NO WAY OUT of anything, ever.

HB is a gentle giant.

“HE’S FLYYYYINNNGGGGGGGG, MOMMY!!!”

Ahhh, playtime is over and he’s back in the Clink. Erin will stand there and watch him until we drag her away. Bye, Flash!! See you in few, when Erin pleads with us to “pet” you again!

You Must Be 3 Yrs. Old to Read This!

Seriously, if you are reading this, then you are breaking the rules. The nerve! Oh well. It’s OK, I break the rules every day. I typically forget that I’m 37 and start singing songs to “Annie”, then I’m quickly chastised by the Honey Badger: “Mom!! You’re not 3!! You can only sing that song if you’re 3!!”. I almost ruined Halloween for my Little Orphan Erin…in a couple of ways 1) by singing and 2) trying to curl her very, very fine hair, especially when we were already under the gun for time. I’ll illustrate with pictures.

First of all, let’s start with a pic of how the Honey Badger gets her beauty sleep the night before Halloween, to allow her to beautifully transform into Annie the following day:

Not only does she don her PJ’s, robe, and slippers after we return home at 1:00pm in the afternoon, but she wears said clothing, including robe, to bed.

Next, we can’t forget “Baby” when it comes to Halloween. She needs a costume too. HB was sooooooo busy crafting Baby’s costume AND her little puppy’s costume, it was so sweet watching her.  As it turned out, they were so spooky!!!….in a horror movie sort of way.

Baby and Puppy (in the green costume) are “ghosts”.
Translation = “Horrific murderers with sinister costumes, posing as children’s toys.”

Now that those ^ yahoos are set, it’s time to get Annie’s hair curled.

Right about now I think I’m doing a pretty magnificent job on her hair. 🙂

Here is what her hair looked like when I was done:

I’m thinking: The one curl on top turned out really, really nicely. She’s thinking: Don’t you dare start singing.

These guys are ready to get the show on the road.

Me: “Smile guys!!!”
Dylan: “Seriously, Mom, do I really have to smile?”

Now then. After all was said and done, Annie went running door to door and very sweetly sang, “the sun will come out toMORROW!” ; the one little voice that is actually allowed to sing, because she’s 3. It just might be the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard, even when she is disciplining me for not following the rules. Speaking of sweet, she was blown away by all the sweets in her basket. Her loot might have been the most glorious thing she’d ever seen. She was purely in a state of bliss:

*Only hears angels singing and sees bright light upon discovering this piece of candy.*

I’d say it was a pretty successful haul. And, she even let me sing a little bit on the way home because she was in a sugar coma and couldn’t speak. 🙂