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… 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.


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.


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!

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.

How the Honey Badger Helps With a Project

Here we are, it’s Sunday night and I’m relaxing in my brand new “Sitting Room / Office”. Sean and I spent the entire weekend working on this “little” project where we revamped our traditional dining room. The walls went from a deep burgundy to a subtle light blue. The giant gold chandelier was ditched for a more modern light fixture. The chocolate leather love seat and recliner were brought upstairs from the basement. And last, but not least, we were given my father’s handmade oak desk from my sister. It’s huge, heavy and absolutely gorgeous. I have been sanding and staining it meticulously the last two days. Anyway, the room has quickly become (as of tonight) a place where we quietly enjoy wine, a sophisticated set-up and it just so happens to be the furthest room from the kids’ bedrooms. I think we should call it: The Wellness Center.

We couldn’t possibly have gotten this project done without the help of the Honey Badger. Dylan was gone for the weekend, so he came late this afternoon to the…….aftermath. The Honey Badger helped A LOT. Here are the ways in which she helped:

1.) A well versed game of Hide ‘n Go Seek : HB Style. It gets painting underway like nothing else. This version consists of hiding in a blanket on the floor and HB tells you exactly where to look for her (even though she’s a big lump on the ground in plain sight) and then she giggles loudly. For example, “Mommy, look for me in the garage!! Mommy, look for me under the coffee table!!”  Here’s a visual aid:

Oops. This isn’t Erin! Silly me. It’s Sean, following her directions when it’s his turn to “hide”.

2.) All painting prep work and anything in regards to dining room project must pause for Dylan’s playoff football game. We drag Erin there, with a bag of full of books, toys, snacks and beverages. Dylan played great, but took a really hard hit to the head in the 3rd quarter. He left the game with me wondering if we should be heading to Medcheck. He likely has a mild concussion, but he’s doing ok. It was a gut-wrenching game, with horrible replacement officials making horrible calls, to the point where we lost the game by ONE point. I was devastated. Dylan looked at me and said with a smile, “Football’s over!!!”. Last week was CYO Basketball evaluations. He mentally checked out of football and checked into basketball at that time. Poor Sean had to watch the game from the playground because Erin insisted on playing. She was a ball of mud by the time we got home.

3.) Back to painting….Erin really, really, really wanted to help paint. We set her up in the kitchen with her Crayola easel paints and paper. That lasted about 5 minutes. She was intent on the real deal. Then, Sean had to leave while he ran to Menard’s.  She was happily sucking on a pouch of applesauce when he left. I had just started painting, I was so happy to be done prepping and finally getting underway. Erin wasn’t amused. She was actually pretty tired of asking to paint. So, she squeezed the rest of her applesauce into my (full) paint tray. That was neat. I used her middle name when scolding her. She cried. I didn’t feel bad. But, then I remembered I wasn’t three. So, then I felt bad. She just wanted to be in the mix. And, so on to #4.

4.) Finally, I succumbed to her requests for painting and set her up on the dining room floor with a real can of paint (small, it was a sample can), a paintbrush, and a box. She was absolutely thrilled to be painting a box. She asked for tape as well, so I sent her to the drawer for some scotch tape. I didn’t need to know what the tape was for, I didn’t care. Here is Exhibit A:

“I’m in my pajamas AND I’m painting. This is the best day EVER.”

Here is the final product. She’s so proud of it. You might not be able to see all of the many, many strips, so many strips, of scotch tape:

Anyhither, she helped in a lot of other ways too. She stayed in her pajamas all day and so we didn’t have to get her dressed. Also, she helped herself to snacks in the fridge and pantry, so we really didn’t have to feed her all that much. We were REALLY busy, so she was doing a super job of handling the most basic of tasks – dressing herself and eating. Oh! she also found a caterpillar and named it Audrey – a boy – and she set him up in the lap of luxury with a container with holes in it, a SKATEBOARD, half a Lego man, and a Crayon. He is livin’ the life. Or, he was, until she set him loose. Then, it’s all kinds of crazy here while she and Sean try to track him down at BEDTIME and suddenly Erin (amazingly) finds him and we get him back in his home. We are AWESOME with “pets”. Annnnnnddddd, if you stay tuned, it’s about to get EVEN BETTER. Dylan turns 10 this week, and well, you should just stay tuned.

I leave you with the Before and After pics of the Wellness Center:


AFTER. Decorated with some lovely stuffed animals.

Regarding the Honey Badger…

Hi there. This is officially my first post. Many friends and family encouraged this endeavor, mostly as a result of my posts about the Honey Badger. (The Honey Badger would be our 3 year old daughter.) I can’t do a blog just about Erin, although she IS hilarious. My son is also the epitome of humor, but he’s more reluctant to let me “share” online. Since so much encouragement has come from the stories of the Honey Badger, it is only fitting that I share with all of you a story about her that is very near and dear to our hearts. Sean and I have only told this story to a few very close people to us. So far, that’s been family. I usually tell funny stories about her, but I would like to open this blog with a very staid story about her. Perhaps what I am about to say will let my readers know just how much of a treasure she is, and why she is here.

My pregnancies for both my children were painful, problematic, and utterly agonizing. As a result of going into preterm labor with Dylan at 5 months, and prohibiting his early exit up until he was 5 weeks premature, I enjoyed a weekly shot of progesterone in the hip to ensure Erin didn’t try to do the same. We also opted to have all the prenatal testing done, not to entertain any thoughts of abortion should the markers indicate a problem, but to ensure we went into any situation with our eyes wide open. Having said that, approximately 3 months into my pregnancy a huge flag alerted us to the fact that our baby was likely to have Downs Syndrome. This could have been a false positive, so we opted for an amniocentesis to know what we were up against. It took 4 scheduled visits, 3 of those utter disappointments, to get the perfect window where the placenta could “safely” (although there is no guarantee of safety) be plunged with a giant needle, shipped off to the lab, and results back to us. Those results would tell us if we needed to arm ourselves with every weapon at our disposal to make the best life possible for our Downs baby, or breathe a sigh of relief that the test was false. It made no difference to us if he/she was or wasn’t Downs, except for how we would prepare mentally and financially. Speaking of mental, by the 4th visit to have the test done, we were wound pretty tightly and pretty emotionally. So, when the tech asked us if we would like to know the sex of the baby, which up until then we had opted not to find out, we busted out a “YES, PLEASE!”.  It was a girl.  My son begged for a little sister. This was swell, except I only knew I could raise a boy. A tomboy myself when I was little, this was quite a shock to me. My husband was THRILLED.

Now, before I go any further, I want to expand on the wonderful facility that was taking such good care of us during this process: Maternal Fetal Medicine in Indy. Being huge Indianapolis Colts‘ fans, we were pleased to find out that my M.D. there was Lauren Dungy-Poythress. She is (ex) Coach Dungy’s sister. If you ever had respect for that man, wow, you should meet his sister. She is an amazing doctor. I have never met a doctor like her, and my husband feels the same way. To say she is a warm person is an understatement. I can’t even describe the calmness and serenity she brought into every room she walked into. She would put her healing hands on my belly, talking very softly, slowly, intelligently, and made my husband and I feel as though we just left church after we spent time in her presence. I have been in countless numbers of Dr.’s offices in my 37 years. I have never had a near-religious experience with a Dr. like that EVER.

So, when the amnio was done, and we were walking out of the room and wiping tears of joy that it’s a GIRL!, we headed to the check-out to schedule our follow-up meeting for the results. We were stopped right at the back desk by one of the other doctors. This was an older woman, African-American, with a very similar demeanor to Dr. Dungy-Poythress. She was very inquisitive, asking if we knew what the sex of our baby was. We hadn’t even told our family, but we felt comfortable sharing with her. We said, “Yes, we just found out she’s a girl!”. More tears. She very calmly asked me if she could place her hands on my belly. Of course, she was a very calming presence. I invited it. I felt her warm, healing hands upon me, only this was different. She was reflecting on something that meant a great deal to her.  She paused for a moment and looked up at us. She was very intent on what she had to say and looked us straight in the eyes, this old, wise woman. After a pause she said, “She is going to be a very, very strong woman. She will ease the suffering of many.”

This story of Erin’s beginnings still gives us chills.