And the Winner Is…

Earlier today, I offered some of the worst Easter photos ever taken. They were taken by me. And though they are a wreck, I’m so thankful I felt pressured to take them. They represent an honest moment in time.

Tonight I present to you the winner of the Reverse “Best Easter Photo” Contest. It is a reverse contest, because the winner is announced first and you get the opportunity to unseat this winner…if you can. It’ll be tough to do, though, because this photo clearly represents the world of parents who drag their children to the mall to sit on the laps of a predatory costumed character. Then they watch their children dissolve into heaps of traumatized screaming. And then they pay at least $20 to preserve those chuckles forever.

I’m not judging.
I’ve done this.
Not with the Easter Bunny, but I have turned the hearts of my children away from Mall Santas for all eternity. Oh yes, I have. But you’ll just have to wait on that one. It’s only April.

So I present to you the following Winner. Should you have a photo of an Easter fiasco that trumps this, please send it to me. Perhaps we CAN unseat this winner. You have until Easter to try.

Just to make sure we don’t miss the impact of this moment, I have cropped this down into the cast of four characters. Continue scrolling…

This is Mr. and Mrs. Informinator’s firstborn, clutching Mr. BunBun for dear life and obviously pleading to be removed from the situation. He was fine up until the moment the cameras started rolling.

Below is Jessie. You may have seen her beat me in the Cone Off at the park. She was apparently screaming PRIOR to the photo. But after a good healthy spit-up, she was at peace with the holiday. I’m fairly certain she does have feet, but they are lost in the fur of this very large predator.

And this is Jocelyn. She was loving this. Totally.

And let’s not forget this guy. Does he look innocent to you?

I am completely creeped out right now…
Hoppy Easter.

Down the Hatch!

Well, good Friday evening!

What a day it was. It had Crazy Town Awards Ceremonies, kid meltdowns, one kid beating another kid with a girl’s bracelet, and some horseradish.

If you watched the recent Cone Off in the Park, then you will recognize The Organizer. Erin. She’s really, REALLY efficient. One day recently, she called me and said, “I think we should eat horseradish. For your blog.” Huh? Why? Well, because it will be torture and torture is funny. I agreed. Apparently, Erin showed up at the park last Friday with horseradish and spoons in hand. The only thing she didn’t have was me. And I was using a port-a-potty out in the middle of a forest. But I won’t take you down that nasty road again. You may or may not have already endured 4300 words about all of that.

So, today was going to be the rescheduled horseradish-off. I called her just to make sure we were still on. And then I called her again to ask what our goal was with this. And then I called her one final time to reconfirm what I had previously confirmed. There’s no real need to do this with an efficient person, but I am not efficient, so I had to keep calling. It did work out in my favor, though, because by the end of the third conversation, she had volunteered to pick up my kids (well, they’re not really mine…but they were in my charge today), bring the horseradish, the spoons, some Little Debbie Swiss Rolls to take the taste out of our mouth afterward, AND bring a camera. I couldn’t find my camera. It was hidden under a pile of non-efficiency.  And at the end of her list of what she was bringing, I said, “Then I’ll just bring me.” Awesome.

But back to that Cone Off for a second. If you saw that, then you know that Erin rocked that like she was born to eat that one melty ice cream cone from McDonalds. Three years later, I finished mine, long after even the 7-yr-old had savored hers. I came in dead last. But today, the results were different. It really wasn’t a contest, exactly. It was just a weird way to spend time. I don’t want to call it a waste, though, because I have a new talent and a new sauce for my hot dogs.

When you watch this video, take note of just a couple of things:

  • When I start yelling “I did it!”, you start watching Erin. It gets funny.
  • When Erin tries to talk, listen to her voice. She’s lost it. It wasn’t a put-on. She is practically suffocating here. It sounds a little like she swallowed a talking gerbil whole.
  • When she leans over, notice how close to vomiting she is. It would have been so awesome if she had. Vomiting is fun. Especially when it’s horseradish.
  • During all of this, her sweet daughter keeps trying to give her water to save her life.

Who knew that the girl who can’t handle medium picante sauce would be able to swallow a teaspoon of horseradish without a runny nose? It’s really too bad this is a worthless talent. And in case you are wondering if I am aware that I am a dork, I will answer that here. Yes, I am aware that I am a dork.

So Erin is still the most efficient person I know…except in the eating of straight horseradish.

The Miranda Doll

Meet Miranda.
She’s my first official guest writer. Yeehaw.
Following the lovely photo of her hands and her offsprings’s feet, there’s a story. And while this is me babbling, her babbling begins there.

So back to Miranda. Besides meeting her, you’re going to meet her grandma. And you’re going to meet her version of Chuckie.
Miranda’s a Machine, so I’m going to call her The Machine. She’s a writer, a mom, a wife, an extreme couponer, a funny person, and 1000 other things. She does all of that, plus the 1000, because of that whole Machine thing. She’s a Machine. But I already said that.

Her baby has lips that you could kiss forever and still not run out of prime real estate. If he were normal, or my girls were, I’d be working on an arranged marriage. But as it is, he’s a little wacky and my girls are a lot wacky, so it’s probably best that all three of these cherubs try to find someone that can ground them.

At any rate, when we started talking about Doll Week, The Machine sent me the following story. I tried to find a real picture of one. You know you’ve got a very VERY unique toy when you can find NO TRACE OF IT online. All she has left is her memories. Before her story, I’ll post a picture of her hands and her baby’s feet, because it’s one of my favorites. After her story, I’ll post my photoshopped attempt of…The Miranda Doll.

Fresh from God

Let me open with this: I heart my grandmother. I didn’t just love her….I hearted her, which carries a meaning unto itself nowadays. She was not the Donna Reed type. Not by a long shot. She smoked for many years, made very large, baubly jewelry to sell at the flea market each weekend, took me out to eat, and played Bingo. She always made sure there were tiny glass bottles of Coke in the fridge and plenty of game shows to watch on her 1000 inch television.

And she loved us so much.

That being said, she was not a natural gift giver. Some people have a talent for that sort of thing. Finding some rare trinket, wrapping it in an emotionally-significant way, and passing it along at just the right moment, with just the right expression.

Nope, not MawMaw. She seemed to really enjoy buying things from infomercials. And no wonder, really. Bad gift ideas just seem better on a 1000-inch television.

And so this is how it came into my possession—“the monstrosity,” as I like to call it. It was Christmas, some year, and we were opening gifts under the lovely tree (one of the greatest things about the holidays at her house). And I pulled out a perfectly wrapped package, tore into the paper, lifted the lid…and froze in terror. This was not a too-small sweater, or too-bold nail polish, or too-old candy.

It was a baby doll screen-printed with my own face.

And not my baby face, either. No…my teenaged smile captured in a senior picture just weeks before.

I like to think of myself as a decent actress when it comes to gifts. Good, bad, mediocre, I can pretty well feign surprise and delight. But in this case, I remember only choking out a “Oh…wow. Thanks,” which was a feat, since every cell in my body was screaming at me to fling the unholy thing from my person.

Somehow we made it through the Christmas Day, with the Baby-Adult Miranda doll grinning from the corner. But you can bet she lived the remainder of her days under my bed.
Behind a bag of clothes.
With a box resting on top of her.

I’ve seen movies. I’m no fool.

And then I moved on to college and she went the way of all old toys (Toy Story 3, all the way). But every now and then, I think about her. Not the doll…my MawMaw. And how she perhaps saw an emotional significance in that gift that I could not.

At least, not until now. Now that I am 30. Now that I am a mother, and a wife, and an employee. Now that there is no baby left in her only baby granddaughter. Perhaps “the monstrosity” was just a reminder to stay young. Stay fresh. Stay sweet and innocent.

Or maybe it just gave her a good laugh.

Oh dear...

One of our faithful readers just sent me a real link to these disturbing dolls. If you are disturbed and want to be further disturbed, visit

A Good Doll is Hard to Find

This post goes out to anyone who has ever had a doll who suffered some gender confusion.

First, let’s talk for just a brief moment about Cabbage Patch Dolls. I never had one. I think I was just barely past the doll phase of life when these dolls hit the local KMarts. So I watched the craze through suspicious, judgmental eyes. Apparently, my meat roll comrade, Kelley, bought in FULL FORCE. In fact, she bought in with such force that, after whipping down a frothy mob of cabbage patch shoppers, all she could get–all that was left–was a boy. Maximillian. Maximillian? Really? Did they want people to buy him? Maximillian is the boy version of the name Dolores. You just can’t snuggle that.

At any rate, Kelley fought for this guy. Then she made him a girl.

“I helped her through a  difficult life decision in her early years.  She decided she was more comfortable as a girl,” Kelley said. “This is Chrissy Marie.” Ah, Chrissy Marie. The fact that one cannot tell you were ever a Maximillian is a testimony to something. I don’t know what that something is, but it’s something.  After you gawk at the picture of Chrissy Marie sitting amongst the flowers of her grandmother’s garden, take a gander at the 1980s Cabbage Patch TV commercial. It stars the original Maximillian, so you’ll be able to better imagine the extreme nature of the transformation from Maxi to Chrissy.

From Max to Chrissy

And then there was my doll. She was a Drowsy doll made by Mattel in the 1960s and  70s. Apparently she was re-released last year. I didn’t know that. When I got her, I think I named her Cindy. Then I decided she didn’t look like a Cindy, so I renamed her Tom and she full-out became a boy who wore a pink jump suit with white polka dots. Tom was awesome. He went everywhere with me. He even took a nasty swim in the toilet one day and I went running and screeching into the kitchen where my mother was on a corded avocado green telephone that was attached to the wall and you had to dial with your index finger. What is this, 1975? Oh, yes. Actually it was. She rescued Tom from the toilet, but his quality of life was gone after that. I don’t actually know what happened to him. I suspect my parents threw him out. I do remember him being layered in dirt and filth. And after that toilet swim, it was layer upon bad layer, if you know what I mean. You do. We’ve all dropped dolls into toilets. You know we all have. So Tom disappeared. And Mom and Dad replaced him with one just like him.

Replacements are usually underwhelming. Unloved. Poorly reviewed. This one began just that way and then found his way into my heart. I named him Thomas. I know. I really stepped out with that one. Thomas, like his predecessor, went everywhere with me. But my fondest memory of Thomas was his speech impediment. He could not say Ls. They came out as a ‘y’. For example, “lullabye” came out “yuh-yuh-by” when Thomas was talking. Thomas talked a lot.

One day, while on our way to Niagara Falls IN A CAR (this takes about 3 years if you are driving from Florida with 2 kids and a doll with poor speech patterns), my brother decided to undertake some speech therapy. He was going to teach that boy to say his Ls.

“OK, Thomas, now say this…Luh,” my brother said. I went along.
“Luh,” Thomas said. Bro lit up. He was making progress!
“OK, good,” he continued. “Luh…”
“Luh,” Thomas said.
“And now ‘Bye,'” he said.
“Bye,” Thomas finished.
“OK. Now all together. Luh-luh-by. Lullaby.”
“Yuh-yuh-by,” Thomas said. My brother dropped his head.
“NO!” he fussed. “Let’s try again.”

And we did. 1843 more times. We did that same sequence all the way to Canada, people. How my parents didn’t turn around and smack the lullaby out of us, I don’t know. I guess they were just glad we weren’t asking how much longer so they wouldn’t have to answer “2 1/2 more years, kids.”

Ah, Thomas. Love you, man. Still.
He still can’t say his Ls. And I won’t have it any other way.


Get Your Cheer On, Doll Fans

Feeling a little underwhelmed today? No worries. Here’s a little message from Cheer Baby.

Yeehawwww! Wahoooo!

What in the world is she saying? Susan’s remarks made me laugh and then I listened to the cheer about 8 more times. I think she is saying:

Munchkins say, “How-de-do!”
We are here to cheer for you.
Yeehawwww! Wahoooo!

It’s really the only nice cheer she has. The rest of them involve taking people down in vicious, awkward ways…

Doll Week – Day 1

I recently acquired a new doll. This one belonged to the Informinator’s daughter. We’ll call her InformiJunior. While I laughed my head off when I first heard what this doll can do, I must sincerely acknowledge the following:

  • InformiJunior loved this doll.
  • My own girls now love this doll.
  • I think I love this doll, too. Just enough so that I panicked when I couldn’t find her today. There’s a lot to be said for a person, or a toy, that can cheer for you while simultaneously mocking the other team.

Anyone that can get by with these cheers has my vote. So to kick off doll week, we’ll start with my favorite cheer and the other four will follow each day this week.

Just to be very sure you understand what Cheer Baby is saying, I’m posting the lyrics. Chant along. It’s a tad addictive.

Riding on a donkey, sitting on a cactus.
We think your team needs a little practice.
Jump in the tub.
Pull out the plug.
There goes your team,
Chug, chug, chug.

I wish I could extend the hand of friendship to the man or woman that wrote those words. I mean, cactus and practice? Pure genius. And then, with a stroke of vengeful rancor, Cheer Baby wills the other team into the tub, where she sends them spinning down the drain with a triple chug “take that!”  Awesome.

And just for my own edification, I did a Google Images search on Cheer Baby. It didn’t turn up my baby, but it turned up these little gems.

Some Teletubby Cheerleaders…

Some Cheer Teletubbies
This is somehow very scary to me.

And then this one. Little too much mixture of doll and reality for my taste.

Here’s Bad Hair Cheer Baby in a laundry basket or something…

And here’s one in a perpetual squatting position. She must have great quads.

And a shout out to the Longhorn fans…

Whoa. I’m going to stop after this one, because there is just nothing else to say. What in the world?

Balance? Not so much.

My house looks like a very rude cat burglar came in, attacked it, and left it without taking anything.
I’ve realized just this week that I really am incapable of balance. I do one thing, fairly well, and that is all. The lucky winner is the thing chosen for a span. All other contenders should just go home and find another activity. I just can’t do more than one thing.  Around Christmas time, I was on a crockpot meals kick. That was nice. That lasted like a week. Maybe two. Over the summer, it was the 30 day Shred with Jillian Michaels. That lasted…30 days. I didn’t shred. Probably because it required me to exercise while eating well. That’s two things I have to do.
This week it is the blog. It has been ONLY the blog. I will soon add a menu for Formal Apologies. There I will begin letters to those I am stiff-arming on a daily basis. I will leave ample space for those wronged to write me back. I think that’s only proper. I concentrate very hard when I’m writing. For me, that’s what it takes, because as we’ve established, I’m just not smart enough to do two things well at once. Often I come out of my fog to the 15th in a series of Mommy, Mama, MOM, Mommy, Mom, MOMMY, Mommy…you get the idea…to see one of them standing there. How long has that crusty stuff been on your face? What is that?

So the other night, there was a member of my household snoring like a souped up 1979 El Camino. And as much as I tried to work this into a construction dream, in which I have a new house built that comes with servants and a very cool library, I just could not fall asleep. So I got up. To blog. And right before I finished that entry, I checked my email. There was an email from AG’s cub scout pack leader. Nuggets. That never goes well for me. I have determined that on top of stinking at balance, I am totally not smart enough to be a cub scout mom.  Here is how the email went for me:

Subject Line: achievements (I knew we were in trouble right then…)

Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to tell you all that I have just gone through all of the boys’ folders to see what achievements have been earned for tomorrow night’s pack meeting. If this information is incorrect, let me know as soon as possible.
Cody – Has completed enough to earn one bead.
Adam – Has completed enough to earn one bead and one belt loop.
Enrique – Has completed enough to earn two beads.
Patrick – Has completed the requirements for Bear and will receive his Bear patch tomorrow and his last two beads.
Nathaniel – Has  completed enough to receive 1 bead, an archery and BB Gun belt loop.
Collin – Has completed enough for his last 3 beads and ahs completed the requirements for Bear and will receive his bear patch tomorrow.
AG – The folder was not filled out. I know he has done some activities, so please get with me so we can ensure he is getting credit for what he has done.

Oh dear. I had many thoughts go through my head at midnight as I read this email.
I thought that folder was just for attendance. I guess now that I think on it, it did seem a little thick for just an attendance log, and why would you each have a folder for attendance. If it were just about attendance, there’d be a central roll book. Nice one, Missy.
What’s a BBGun Belt Loop? I want one of those.
What’s a bead?
I hate being more stupid than the other cub scout moms.

So I sent her a “wow, how stupid of me” reply. Needless to say (but you know me, I have to say it anyway), we didn’t get any beads, belt loops, candy stripes, wild animal badges, or winks and smiles the next night at the pack meeting.

I still don’t know what a bead is.
Or how to get the Bear badge.
And I still can’t juggle more than one activity.
And why are there so many cub scouts that are punks? Is there a bead for “Stopped Acting Like a Punk”? ‘Cuz we could get that one!
Please come finish my laundry.

Speaking of laundry. And balance. I took this picture today.

Large Family Laundry Basket. Uncle Jake standing next to it.

You know the old science books that have a man standing next to a T-Rex so you can see exactly how large the T-Rex really is? Well, that’s what we  have going on here. Uncle Jake stopped by. He apparently felt it was safe to stand there next to the basket of clean laundry. I have two problems with the laundry in this house:

  1. The clean laundry.
  2. The dirty laundry.

And so. In one week’s time, I have to get this house cleaned up. Totally. While blogging. I’m never going to be able to do this.
Wait till you see the pictures I took of Scary Room. I had to go get my wide angle lens, no kidding. But I’m saving those. For now.