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. 🙂

One-Hit Wonders

My husband sent me a text yesterday morning on his way to work, and it said,

“I can’t stop thinking about how badass your pumpkin is.”

Why is he still thinking about the pumpkin I carved this weekend?  Because I completely, utterly blew everyone away with my mad carving skill. (I hesitate to say “skills” because I think it was a one time miracle, a fleeting moment in time, an absolute MARVEL that I could not possibly reproduce.)  No one expected it at all. I struck out of nowhere. It all started when I told my family that, this year, we were raising the bar. I was tired of the same old jack o’ lanterns. It was game on. Sean obviously didn’t take me seriously. He knows, or THOUGHT HE KNEW, all about my artistic (dis)ability. For example, dating back long ago: When I was a Freshman in high school, I paid a Senior art student $5 to make my clay pottery assignment because I knew my creation would suck so bad. I’m talking about you, Chris Kilander. (He later went on to Herron Art School, by the way.) Turns out, mine was the only one that blew up in the kiln. Thanks, Chris. I want my $5 back.

Well, as many have already seen, after two hours of intense handiwork with a couple of knives, a pattern that I paid $2 for, and completely hiding the project from my husband and kids until I was done, here is the final product:

Yes, I busted this out of nowhere.

I have to give credit to the Murphy’s for inspiring me with their own amazing pumpkin pictures. They set the bar for me. I am not joking about a Carve Off in 2013, I can hardly wait!! See you all there! BYOK! (Bring Your Own Knives).

Aside from Frankenstein, I tried my hand at something else completely new this weekend. I had always wanted to learn how to stain and polyurethane wood, so I got my first shot with refinishing a beautiful oak desk that my father built from scratch. More importantly, I got the chance to work alongside him. I got to learn straight from the master. It reminded me of when I was little honey badger myself, and hung out with my Dad in our garage while he completely rebuilt an old MG into a beautiful, shiny, apple red speedstress. Years of toil and sweat he put into that car, and it was gorgeous by the time he was done. My brother got to drive it to school shortly after it’s makeover was complete. It was a sight on the curb of Bishop Chatard High School. How could you miss it? I’m sure it was bedazzling, just hanging out in plain view. Someone obviously missed it, though, and drove a nice, fat dent right into the driver’s side door. As Erin would sing, “Womp, womp”.

Back to my burst of creativity, though, I am so thrilled with the results of the desk. I know my Dad is too. I worked and worked on it, and now I am ready to stain and polyurethane the shit out of everything!!! I feel like I really learned a valuable life skill. My Dad has taught me a lot over the years, I just hope he can pass on his knowledge of woodworking to me. The sky’s the limit! I busted out a pumpkin carving of Frankenstein, I can do anything!!

Here is the Before of the desk:

Forgot to take the picture with the drawers in. Oh well, you get the gist.

Here is After:

Does anyone have any marble lying around? I’m ready to sculpt something clever up in this piece. I have to take advantage of this flash of artistic ability before it completely vanishes!

Of Hamsters and Honey Badgers

It finally happened.  After 364 days of grueling anticipation, my son finally celebrated his 10th birthday! He found out last month, by accident, that he was going to get a hamster from my Mom and Dad. He begged us all to let him just get it “early”, but we all stuck to our guns. The actual word “hamster” was banned in our house, lest this year’s entire birthday be canceled. Oh yes, it went to that level. So when my Dad left work early to drive he, my Mom, and Dylan to the pet store yesterday to pick out the lucky gal or guy, I was most excited that I didn’t have to almost cancel his 10th birthday anymore.  Dylan came home with “Flash“, the newest male member of our family….and the most galvanizing creature to Erin, the Honey Badger.

Let me interject a bit about our track record with pets. (Not dogs, we have a good track record with those.)

When it comes to amphibians, we are 0-2. (Flash may stand a chance by default, just because he is NOT an amphibian. This is what we are banking on, anyway.) First there was Robbie, the turtle. Oh, how I loved Robbie. I just couldn’t snuggle with him and kiss him. One must assume all turtles have salmonella. So, from the moment we rescued him from the giant water tank at the surf store in Myrtle Beach, I was adamant that no one touch him. Poor Robbie. What a lonely life he led.  He grew and grew. He played Hide ‘n Seek a few times, slipping out of his tank somehow, once hiding under my bed and another time hiding in Dylan’s pajama drawer. Luckily, we always found him and scrubbed ourselves ridiculously clean afterwards. Sean was in charge of cleaning out the tank, and I was in charge of asking him incessantly if he touched anything that may have touched Robbie that may have touched the tank, etc, etc. Finally, we grew weary of the ritual. To be honest, I think I’m the only one that *really* liked (ok, loved) Robbie. Sean had to talk me into reality, and I reluctantly agreed. He then pitched a pretty impressive, yet subtle, plea to Dylan: We raised Robbie from birth (practically) and now, he was a grown man (the turtle, not Dylan). It was time for us to do the right thing: Set him free. We’re keepin’ the man (turtle) down. We decided, as a family, the time to respectfully part ways would be on our way to Florida for summer vacation. I envisioned setting Robbie free somewhere along the backwoods of Alabama, where there was plenty of green, lush forest and rolling, clean waters. My husband envisioned gently tossing him out the window. I can’t confirm this; it’s just a hunch. Like any turtle on a road trip, Robbie was in a Tupperware container on the floor of the van, practically riding shotgun, not quite riding bitch. It was pretty small and he couldn’t quite see out of it, compared to his vast, glass tank that he called home most of his life. Unexpectedly, it started to smell really, really bad. Then, it started to smell really, really, really, REALLY, bad. Robbie was in his own urine and feces. We were in the McDonald’s drive thru, somewhere in Alabama, when it became….an issue. Sean and I looked at each other and silently said, “It’s time”.  There was an apartment building nearby, some vacant stores, a dumpster, some dirty water, and a patch of about 10 trees. We looked at each other and nodded. It was perfect. To Dylan, “Hey buddy, this looks like a GREAT place for Robbie. I think he’s really wanting to strike out on his own.” Dylan wasn’t emotionally prepared for this to be “the moment” to let Robbie free, but the odor in the van was unbearable. It was definitely time. Dylan put on a brave face and I let Sean handle this one. (You’re welcome, Sean.) They meandered down to the trees: Sean, Dylan, Robbie. I saw them let Robbie go, and then they were out of my view. They were gone several, long minutes. I had my phone in hand, ready to speed dial 911. It was just that kind of atmosphere. They finally came back to the car, and we all had a moment of silence. There was a creek back there, it turns out, and Robbie leaped for joy. Strike out on his own, he damn well did. We wish him lots of love wherever he is (heaven) at this moment. Present or future, may you always R.I.P., Robbie.

And then there was Tony, the Toad. We found him in our yard. We set him up in a similar pad to that of Robbie. They were neighbors on Dylan’s dresser, back in the gold ol’ days. I sure did like Tony. We all did. That’s what makes this whole situation so sad. Tony ate live crickets. So, you can imagine what a pain in the ass it was to head to the pet store on a regular basis to buy live crickets. Well, one time we forgot. Just that one time. That’s all I can say about Tony because the rest is Top Secret. As far as YOU, or Dylan, or anyone else is concerned, Tony ran away. And, we know this, because there was a recent Tony sighting in our yard, and we reassured Dylan that Tony was just checking in to show what a grand life he was living and that he was relaying to him how super happy he was/is.

So, now there’s Flash. As I said, Flash has A LOT going for him – he’s not a frog or a turtle! But, I do foresee a very small (3 feet, to be exact) threat. I’ll just come right out and say it: Repeated exposure to the Honey Badger COULD possibly result in peril. Her face constantly pressed up against his cage should be enough to frighten the living daylights out of him. Or, it could be the way that she talks about wanting to hold him non-stop. When she does get to hold him, she “opposite of gently” handles him so that his eyes almost pop out, despite our numerous attempts to help her be careful. Just like Lennie, she has all the best intentions. She LOVES Flash!! She thinks about him day and night and every moment in between! She has been restricted from her brother’s room unless he is in there, or  an adult. We found her in there all by herself today and it was a very, very scary moment. Oh, how she loves Flash. SHE LOVES THE SHIT OUTTA HIM!!!!!!!! Quite literally. But, we are teaching her that you can love from afar. Like the examples below! I will leave you with those, and our very sincere reassurance that we are doing everything possible to save Flash’s life every moment of every day! 🙂

“Flash” is in safe hands for now. If Honey Badger’s eyes were open, you would notice glazed look.

This is an example of “loving Flash from afar”. Notice he is running down a flight stairs (one of Dylan’s skateboard toys). No hands needed! We can play with Flash without touching him!

Another example of loving and playing with Flash from afar. HB is literally trying SO HARD not to touch him. Ultimately, she fails.

She is swooning. She states she wants him to sleep in her bed.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE CAN’T BREATHE?”

Stars of the Week….Dylan Edition

Dylan is a big star this week to0! He is turning TEN. A milestone. Double-digits. I’ve been a mother for 10 years. My life changed for the better 10 years ago. I really could go on and on and on….but, let’s get back to today.

Today was a special day. I took Dylan and 5 of his friends from school to Dave & Buster’s. I had an absolute blast. What a GREAT group of friends he has. I wanted to invite more, I really did, but it wasn’t in the budget. In fact, I guess I should start with how I robbed Dave & Buster’s today.

It is approximately $120 to have a party with 6 boys at D&B’s, where they each get a $15 game card. I had a better idea: Find a “Buy $20 of Game Play, get $20 of Game Play FREE” coupon. Better yet, find 3 of these coupons and split it between 6 cards and you’ve paid only $60 for the birthday party! This was a rock solid plan. The funny thing is, not only did I end up with 6 gift cards, I ended up with THREE of them having a $40 balance. Plus, it was half-price Wednesday. Can you imagine how many credits we had to play with? I not only confused myself, but the Manager, his employee, and by the time it was all said and done, I had paid $54 total. The boys went on to win piles and piles of tickets and they all walked out with bags full of fun stuff. It was a great time.

For me, the best part was driving them to the party and driving them all home. On the way to the party, they were all talking about the awesome game of football they played at recess. Sam threw a “beautiful” pass to Dylan for the touchdown. They relived every moment of that football game at recess. They paused only to sing the “Save Big Money at Menard’s!!!” song as we drove by Menard’s, then pick up where they left off. They are getting so big, they are so into sports and talking about Nike Elite socks, all things completely boy and such bruisers….so close to the teenage years.

On the way home, the talk was completely different. They all had won some kind of stuffed animal. One of Dylan’s friend’s gave him an Indianapolis Colt’s bear he won from a claw machine. Several of them, including Dylan, shared their cards with each other and helped each other win points. They were so kind to each other. They were so genuinely happy in each other’s presence. This really brought tears to my eyes.  One boy, the strongest, fastest, most incredible athlete (who NEVER boasts or thinks highly of himself for his amazing abilities) opted for a stuffed white unicorn from the gift store with his points that he won. I was just in awe of the lot of them being completely themselves in front of one another, which was this: They have one foot in the pre-teen years, and one foot in the “I’m only ten, I’m still really little” very present year. They are so very young and so “old” at the same time but, more importantly, they are just good, GOOD kids. This was a beautiful day. Dylan was a star today, not because it was his birthday, and not because he took his friends out to a cool place, but because he was really shining with all of his friends.

Stars of the Week….Erin Edition

This has been a big week around here! Erin waited all school year, two months to be exact, to be Star of the Week in her classroom. This was HUGE. She was sent home last week with the coveted “rainbow can” and a special assignment to fill it with things that start with the letter “G”. We promptly found a giraffe and a green toy. Those two items sat in the can all weekend, until Monday morning when we decided we needed just one more “G” item. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! Keep in mind that we spent all weekend working on the Wellness Center (which has also been dubbed The Wine Room). This means that the rest of the house was neglected….in a massive way. I couldn’t fathom coming home to the mess after the kids went to school, so I told my husband that he could find me in the Wellness Center with a fire extinguisher blowing out the flames because I had lit a match to the rest of the house. He promised me he would defecate in the (piled high and overflowing) sink on his way out the door to work just to perfect the theme we had going on. Anyway, I am rushing around trying to get Erin’s lunch packed before we leave for school. As if the kitchen wasn’t cluttered enough, I knocked a giant cup of water over on the counter and just left it there dripping everywhere because I didn’t have time to clean it up. I was still busy trying to get her lunch together. I went to the refrigerator, opened it up, and a bottle of salad dressing fell out onto the floor, splattering everywhere. That was neat, too. So, on our rush to get out the door I had a flash of genius. “Erin, we could rename Audrey (the caterpillar) GUS – Ga Ga Ga GUS starts with GEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and you could take him in the can!!!!!!!!!!”. She thought that was a SUPER idea!! So, I haul Erin, myself, her backpack, her lunch, and the can out into the pouring down rain, along with a Costco-sized bag of Goldfish for the “G” snack, and no umbrella. I hate umbrellas and I never, ever use one. I felt sorry for Erin when I saw all the other parents with umbrellas, or better yet, their kids had their own umbrellas, and wondered what my problem was. I used to think I was simple, but Monday morning I thought I was just plain dumb. Plus, she started to get a little sad and start to cry on the way to school because she didn’t want to call Audrey “Gus”. I toughened her up and told her it was just for the day and she said, “Ohhhhhhh kayyyyyyyyyy”. Mission accomplished. I got her off to school without (much of) a hitch.  She had a fantastic day and I’m sure it was mostly because she got to be the Line Leader, one of her all-time favorite passions. Her day was smooth sailing until I picked her up and she wanted to hold my keys for me while I drove. She cried her eyes out when I took them back and THEN refused to sit with her in the backseat. I can’t do anything right….can’t drive without keys, can’t sit in the back and drive. I’m a horrible mother.  That little Honey Badger finally fell asleep on our way home. She knows not what she does. It’s absolutely exhausting being Star of the Week.