WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

Greetings! Before I fill you in on our big news, let’s get reacquainted. It’s been 3 weeks since my last post. Utterly unacceptable. I’m not sure how I got to this point. Oh, I know. Christmas hoopla, New Year’s hoopla, New Year’s Day Flood in my Basement, the Flu, and so on. I’m just glad to be back. Actually, what has really hindered my progress lately, is the Honey Badger. Her school is undergoing construction, and they had to extend “Christmas Break” until 1/14/13. She’s not real hip on going with the flow; she marches to the beat of her own drum. That pretty much consists of wearing PJ’s no matter what time of day. And, since it’s winter, she likes her silk, sleeveless nighties best of all. (During the summer, she wore only footed fleece pajamas.) Honey Badger don’t care what season it is. She likes to wear her PJ’s wherever we go, and pack about 3 extras in her bag.  She likes those extras in case of an emergency. Getting her out the door is literally most of the battle. After that, she’s a happy little camper. Once we step foot back in the house, though, she disappears to her bedroom to get new PJ’s on before you can blink your eyes. She’s a very complicated HB.

Anyhither, let’s get back on track. The Baby. Am I having a baby? Good God, no. Do you think I’m insane? I tiptoed quietly into the bathroom this afternoon to, you know, go potty BY MYSELF, when it trotted in and declared to me, in the most serious tone I’ve ever heard it speak, “Mommy, I’m ready to have a baby….a REAL LIVE one, all by myself.”

Let’s stop here for a moment. Lots of things were going through my head, but the intent, imploring, naive face was too much. I felt awful. It needed to hear the truth, and quickly.

“Sweetie, you are WAY too little to have a baby.”

“I know…”, it said, “I need to be in high school first.”

Um, negative. “You need to get MARRIED first!”…..says the mother that had a child out of wedlock and we both turned out just fine, thank you very much.

“I know, Mommy! I’m going to marry Dylan [NO!], then go to college [YES!], then go to high school [IT’S SO CONFUSED!].”

“Erin, that’s a looooong wa -”

“I know, Mommy, I just want a baby for ALL of us to have!!!”

“Erin, you have a lot of time, like many, many, MANY years before you have a real, live baby, honey.”

“It will need a changing table, a rocker, and diapers!”

“At some point in – ”

“AND A CRIB!”

I must kiss it and reassure it. “One day you WILL have a baby, but not for a long, long, time….when you’re a grown-up.”

“Oh!!,” it exclaims, as the light bulb goes off in its head, and it runs to its room to pull out all of the baby things I’ve ever saved for her. “The baby can wear THISSSS!!!!”…..she proclaims it. So loud and proud to be getting ready for the baby’s arrival, which is set to come, in her mind, at any moment.

Quite possibly, the scariest part of this entire scenario, is that for the next 30 minutes, she dragged out things that were exactly what a baby would need. She was spot on. Bibs, sleeping, eating, clothes, I mean, we are covered. Honey Badger is not playing games!! To take a break, I interrupted the imminent arrival of the baby to make some banana bread. I thought it might distract her. It did. Until bedtime.

Her poor Daddy is sick in bed with the flu. He had a rough day, and went to bed at 6:30pm. I got everyone fed, Dylan’s homework and studying done, then I thought both kids were in bed, and I was working in silent bliss.

It was still awake.

I quietly made it to her room to investigate. I caught her playing in mid-act. Discovered, it blurted out, as if we were so stupid to not think of it before, “THE BABY NEEDS BABY TOYS!!”.

I guess we’re not over it. She was tripping over her words and excitement to tell me what more she has stockpiled for The Baby. It all might as well go into a time capsule, because this baby isn’t coming anywhere near us for another 20 years. We will make do with her Christmas gift of Baby Alive (AKA “Baby Shits Her Pants”, “Baby Chokes on Food That’s Been Caked on For Many Days and Hardens”, or a plethora of many other colorful names). Ah, well, what can you do.

Here is a picture of my Modern Day Mother Warrior…..in her, uh, Jake & the Neverland Pirates outfit from Xmas. I’m sure she’d make an awesome Mommy right  now. I mean, Flash is still alive and that’s HUGE.

Christmas Eve and Day 2012 157

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The Bacon Standoff

Wow, time has flown by. I have been busy, busy, busy. My mother-in-law came from Georgia to visit for almost two weeks, and Erin, consequently, turned us on our heads. It was a great visit, but the person/thing that profited most from the visit was definitely Flash. He’s currently suffering from PTSD, however, he had a bit of a reprieve given that Grandma Vicki brought two furry little Shih-tzu puppies with her : Hannah and Sadie. They might be able to get a discount on group therapy, if it weren’t for the fact they live 11 hours away from each other. Misery loves company. Oh well. Anyway, Grandma Vicki slept in Erin’s bed, which was perfectly fine since she vacates her bed every night to form the letter H formation between her father and I in our bed. The draw of the puppies was too great, though, and she spent many a night in her sleeping bag, hunkered down on the floor next to Grandma Vicki, right where the puppies slept.

Here is a pic of the happy camper. (Singlular, not plural.)

I called the puppies for a comment, but they are still  working through their own PTSD issues.

I called the puppies for a comment, but they are still working through their own PTSD issues.

Then there were nights like this, when she refused to sleep anywhere, so we had to put the gate up in our bedroom to keep her in there.

She's picketing. On the floor in front of Rudy's crate. She's smart as shit.

She’s picketing. On the floor in front of Rudy’s crate. She’s smart as shit. Plus, she got caught 1) not being in bed like we asked and, 2) enjoying herself reading books. Double whammy.

Ok, so her sleeping situation became a bit unglued, no fault to anyone, it’s just that there was too much excitement with Grandma here! She did manage to bust out gymnastics in her usual fashion. The usual fashion being, a giant smile, stories for her teacher about how her Mom with one leg cannot do cartwheels (oh, but I can! And my husband told me to stop because I was going to hurt myself…..), picking her wedge gratuitously every 5 minutes, and the best of all – Honey Badger Jumping Jacks. Oh God, they are THE BEST.

Most kids get a stamp on their hands after class. Erin sticks her foot out and makes them stamp her foot. Can't see it here, but that's how she rolls.

Most kids get a stamp on their hands after class. Erin sticks her foot out and makes them stamp her foot.

We had a super time with Grandma Vicki!! Grandma Vicki is super organized, on time, and totally on top of everything. She was a part of our chaos for just enough time to spur her to get the hell out of dodge back to her organized, clean and on time lifestyle.

So, here we are and we’re getting back into our routine. I thought we did pretty well for a Monday morning yesterday. As usual, Erin and I were about 10 minutes late to school. Today was an entirely different story. I spent 45 minutes trying to wake her up, while I rushed around and got ready. Nope. Shirtless in my bed, she snoozed comfortably while I finally decided we weren’t making it there today. I had a Dr’s appt at 10:20am, and I’m trying to get her dressed 15 minutes before we absolutely have to walk out the door.

Me: “Erin, it’s time to get dressed.”

Erin: “Bacon.”

Me: “Erin, you need to get dressed RIGHT NOW.”

Erin: “Bacon.”

Me: “Are you saying blanket, or bacon? We don’t have any bacon, but you can bring your blanket.”

Erin: (Stomps foot on ground), “BACON.”

Me: “Come onnnnnn. I need you to get dressed. Santa Clause is watching you!”

Erin: (Stomps foot again, just once, because less is more), “BACON.”

Ok, this was almost as much fun as last week, when she did the same thing, but the super cool word was : “Daddy”. Same exact scenario, different key word. Also, this went on much longer than you see here, which is sad. I just argued with a complete crazy person who repeatedly said the word “Bacon” in response to my begging and pleading.

I have lost all threatening power with regards to Santa. She doesn’t flinch. I have no leverage. I’m over Christmas. What good is it if you can’t use it to threaten your children?

It doesn’t matter anyway, because Erin summed it up tonight to Dylan. “I don’t really like Christmas. I like Halloween much more better.”

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.