The Perilous Piñata Beatdown

What could beat a whacking, smacking good time?

Why, whacking and smacking a helpless piñata, of course!

But not just any piñata.

cheeseburger piñata!

On a crazy child’s birthday!

Stegosaurus Boy celebrated his birthday in his typical bat-swinging style earlier this week.

He requested a Calvin and Hobbes theme.

Which, evidently, fits our typical pattern of choosing the most obscure themes possible.

No cake decorations, no paper plates, no banners, no nothing to be found on the face of this earth.

Not on Amazon, Etsy, Party City, or anywhere else in the world. 

Well, besides on eBay. 

For thousands of dollars.

Like that’s gonna happen.

Sorry, boys.

I love you, but no way will I be spending more on birthday party supplies than I did on my own wedding.

Last year, my older son begged for a WWE-themed party.

Easy enough, right?

Oh, but he had a special request for his cake design:

John Cena vs. Bill Nye.

Bill Nye?

The Science Guy?

Hmmm.

Interesting matchup, but okay.

I’m always up for a challenge.

Especially with a couple of great sidekicks, namely Google and my printer.

Unfortunately for Stegosaurus Boy, I was not able to find a Calvin and Hobbes piñata this year.

Nor was I able to create his requested life-sized Hobbes plush out of God-knows-what on six days notice.

I also couldn’t find a Stegosaurus piñata.

That would’ve been the next best thing.

After all, my boy likes Calvin and Hobbes, and Calvin likes dinosaurs, and so does my boy…

See where I’m going with this?

Yeah, well.

Excuse my far-fetched logic.

At least I try.

But fortunately, there was a fascinatingly unique one at Target that caught my eye.

A cheeseburger!

A freaking adorable smiling cheeseburger piñata.

And so I bought it.

And then I stuffed it with glow sticks and plastic dinosaurs and Dum Dum pops.

Because I’d long learned my lesson about stuffing Matchbox cars into piñatas.

Bad idea.

Especially if you’re not a fan of having dozens of small metal objects raining down on you like the dangerous little projectiles they truly are.

Whack, smack, whack!

In this household, it’s just not enough to whack the crap out of a piñata, collect all the candy, and happily move along.

Nooooo.

These boys have to tear the piñata apart like maniacs with a prized wishbone for the grand finale.

No one is content until the poor thing looks like it’d been ripped apart by a pack of feral wolves.

How’s that for a cheeseburger-smashing celebration?

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying the first few days of summer so far! (Or winter, if you’re lucky enough to be chilling in the southern hemisphere.) Have a great weekend!~

The "before" picture. Look at how happy this sweet, smiley cheeseburger was...until my boys came along.

The “before” picture. Look at how happy this sweet, smiley cheeseburger was…until my boys came along.

Jarring Judicial Jitters

Augh!!!

It’s the single-most dreaded piece of mail to ever plague humanity.

That’s right.

A jury duty summons.

So many ponderings raced through my brain.

But luckily, No Man’s Land offers an exemption for parents with kids under the age of 12.

Twelve?!?

Are you kidding me? 

Have you seen my kids in action?

While I’m fortunate that one of them is indeed still younger than 12, they’re both probably going to require constant and direct supervision for a long time.

Like, until they’re 30.

At the very least.

I can’t, in good faith, leave them unattended for prolonged periods of time to burn the house down or clear out all of the neighbors’ refrigerators.

Uh uh.

Yet, there are seemingly no provisions for a lack of remaining sanity, other than the requirement of having sound mind and good judgment.

But isn’t this all relative?

I mean, my own questionable judgment leaves me scratching my head at times.

But am truly I insane in the brain?

Or insane in the membrane?

Probably not, by any clinical definition.

(Sorry, Cypress Hill.)

I’ve been told some people actually enjoy jury duty.

This is difficult to fathom, but more power to those good citizens for carrying out their civic duty without complaint.

For me, though, I can think of a whole host of reasons for why I personally might not be a good fit once I no longer qualify for an exemption.

I’d probably start off by pretending I’m anti-everything-under-the-sun.

Do you believe in justice?

I don’t know. Maybe?

Are you a fan of leniency?

No.

Are you for the death penalty?

No.

Do you even like people?

Hell, no! 

Ah, so you’re an antisocial people-hater.

That’s right! But at least I’m an equal opportunity people-hater!

Alrighty then… consider yourself excused. Seriously, please go ahead and show yourself the door.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly true.

I am not a people-hater.

I do like (most) people well enough.

Along with peace, rainbows, butterflies, and all that good stuff.

Ooh, a butterfly!

Did I mention I have the attention span of a flea?

It’s true.

I can’t sit still for five minutes.

And my overactive, imaginative mind is also prone to wandering.

Big time.

Should I show them I’m a raging psychopath by pairing a badly painted on Joker-like smile with completely mismatched shoes and a pair of Depends over my pants?

Or start roaring like a stegosaurus?

Or make a show of entering the courtroom while head banging to Let the Bodies Hit the Floor?

Or better yet…

Sing a catchy duet with a scruffy stuffed teddy bear that’s perched on my shoulder.

And if that doesn’t work, I could claim that the stuffed animal is actually a service pet, then bring it into the courtroom and proceed to defiantly whisper garbled, jumbled nonsense to it throughout deliberations.

Oh, yeah!

Or why not employ serious Valley Girl talk?

Like, oh my god!

He, like, did what?

Like, oh my God!

Oh my God, oh my God!

That meany man, like, totally maybe, like, killed somebody, and stuff! 

Hmmm.

Act smart!

No, pretend to be stupid!

No, just act totally average!

Say what?

It’s all such conflicting advice.

Well, when in doubt, why not mix things up a bit?

No comprendo!

Me not be get it!

What is this ‘reasonable doubt’ and ‘guilt’ you be speaking of?

Me still don’t not get it!

Or why not break out in laughter at totally inappropriate moments?

Or demand to be exclusively assigned to incredibly bizarre cases?

Preferably one about a guy who stole a Blue Ribbon winning pot belly pig named Bacon and then really turned him into bacon.

Or a case with an old lady who ran over a farmer’s favorite cow when the cow stuck its head out of a fence and into traffic to eat greener grass.

Or what about the true story of an elderly gentleman in Kansas City who robbed a bank…

And then stuck around until the police arrived to inform the cops that he’d only robbed the bank because he couldn’t stand to spend another minute at home with his wife.

Must’ve really been a match made in heaven for a guy to decide he’d rather go to jail than be home with his own wife.

But unfortunately, it didn’t turn the way he’d hoped, because along with probation and community service, the guy was also sentenced to 6 months of home confinement.

Well, so much for that.

Oh, but I really shouldn’t worry so much.

After all, I have virtually no sense of direction, so it’s unlikely I’d ever find my way to the courthouse, anyway.

If I truly had to go, that is.

Although…

To be fair, escaping to jury duty when you’ve got wild and crazy kids might not be such a bad thing.

Hell, it might even be the next closest thing to a vacation

Especially if there are spinning chairs involved.

Wheeeeee!!!!

~Happy weekend and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!~

As fun as this looks, why add to the mayhem? I think it'd be best for me to do everyone a favor and keep my hyperactive, overactive-brained self safely at home.

As fun as this looks, why add to the mayhem? I think it’d be best for me to do everyone a favor and keep my hyperactive, overactive-brained self safely at home.

Rowdy, Rawring Stegosauruses

Rawr!

Fear me!

I’m a Stegosaurus!

Um, yeah.

Okay.

My cute, cuddly Stegosaurus Boy stands in the backyard, wielding a neon orange baseball bat.

Keeping himself occupied, he pitches himself a Nerf football while waiting for me to hunt down an actual baseball.

I like squirrels and Stegosauruses!

I wonder if he’s forgotten that he also likes cheese with his squirrels?

Eat my cheese! It’s spoiled!

First of all, eww.

And secondly… what?!?

I’m a Stegosaurus!

Fear me, foul creature!

I pitch him a ball.

He lightly grazes it with a foul.

Come on, you sweaty savage!

He’s clearly talking about himself.

It may be 90+ degrees out, but I don’t sweat.

I sparkle.

Cheeseburger! Cheeseburglar!

Did I miss something?

Is Cheeseburglar McDonald’s new counterpart to Hamburglar?

I want to be hit by the ball. I want to be harmed!

Sorry, but going to the hospital isn’t on today’s agenda. So pay attention and use the freaking bat!

Yay! That’s harassment!

We switch up, and crazy Stegosaurus Boy refuses to wear his baseball glove.

Swing, batter batter, swing!

He pitches to me.

Crack!

The ball soars over the neighbor’s fence.

I didn’t know girls could hit like that!

Oh, but I’m not just any girl.

I’m apparently the mother of a crazed Stegosaurus.

I’m freakishly powerful.

His next pitch is hurled in the general direction of a plastic bucket.

The bucket misses.

Bucket, you suck!

Sniff my butt!

By this point, I can’t be sure whether he’s trash-talking the bucket, the innocent ladybug sitting atop the bucket, or me.

Rawr, rawr, rawr!

I think that’s our cue to go back inside.

So Stegosaurus Boy goes inside to continue a riveting game of The Sims.

Come on, you freaking deranged lunatic! Get up and go find a job!

Unemployed and stressed out, one of his poor Sims putters around a humble little house with a dozen wild cats.

The possessed cats were peeing everywhere in this house lined with toilets, treadmills,  and foosball tables.

Puddles of cat pee spread across an alarming portion of the floor.

I gave you toilets! Toilets! Use the toilets!

Meanwhile, my other son keeps himself occupied in a similar fashion.

Playing Disney Infinity, he’s clearly the master of chaos.

At the bottom of an ocean lies Fear from Inside Out, a horse, spinning teacups, monster trucks, flying beds, bulldozers, an elephant, a Muppet bus…

And a wrecking ball.

Such torturous carnage.

So much for being a G-rated game…

What is it with boys?

They both wake up and start shooting and destroying everything in sight on games like Deer Hunter and Roblox the moment they awake.

Which, ironically, seems to be earlier than they ever got up for school.

Is this what summer vacation is all about?

And I’m pretty sure the only reason they haven’t been eating cookies for breakfast is solely due to the fact that we’ve run out.

Because they’ve eaten them all already.

Ah, the glorious start of summer.

~Happy Friday, friends! Have a fantastic weekend!~

Rawr, rawr, rawr! We're all a little crazy around here.

Rawr, rawr, rawr! We’re all a little crazy around here.

The Big 1-0-0!

Woo hoo!

Today was the last day of school!

And, coincidentally…

Today also marks my 100th blog post!

I realize that I’ve been blogging for nearly two years, and some people churn out 100 posts in a single month…

But unless you want to read about my daily adventures of unclogging the toilet during mealtimes or dodging armadillos near fields of cows, one post a week from me is in the best interest of us all.

Seriously.

Anyway, what better way to celebrate this milestone than by honoring a remarkable lady with a tremendous talent for witty humor?

A woman whose views on domestic pursuits meshed beautifully with my underwhelming domestic ineptitude.

Her wisdom was unparalleled, and her ability to find humor in the most ordinary and extraordinary circumstances makes her a true gem.

Ladies and Gentleman, presenting some of my all-time favorite quotes from none other than the incredibly hilarious Erma Bombeck!

(That’s right- an animal doctor for kids who behave like wild animals. Or better yet, deduct the cost of that toy from their allowance and wait for it to pass through their digestive tract.)

(The moral of the story? If tomorrow comes, great. But if it doesn’t, you’ll regret leaving this world without having one final slice of quadruple chocolate cake.)

(Much like Lewis and Clark were famous explorers of land, some of us enjoy exploring the depths of our refrigerators.)

(It’s a futile attempt in productivity and there’s nothing to show for it. The more you clean, the bigger the mess becomes.)

(While humor itself is funny, the circumstances that it stems from aren’t necessarily all that humorous at all.)

(Seriously, the stress from excessive happiness is downright overwhelming!)

(I wholeheartedly agree with this handy guideline. It really puts things in perspective.)

(If I were to take myself seriously, I’d probably become seriously depressed.)

(I love this motto. Besides, “self-cleaning” ovens are anything but self-cleaning. Why is that?)

(And that’s the truth!)

(It’s like running on a hamster wheel. You’re actively doing something, but you’re not getting very far.)

(Tell me about it. There’s more food on the floor than in anybody’s mouth, and whatever isn’t on the floor is going to waste because no two people in this house like the same foods.)

(But I didn’t do it! I swear, it was him! Really!)

(Hell yeah! Besides, prolonged streaks of cleaning leaves me feeling like a sweaty hog, and there’s definitely nothing godly about that.)

(Okay, so I wouldn’t go quite that far. But there’d be consequences, for sure. Like screaming until I pass out, for instance.)

(Don’t get me wrong. I like things neat and tidy. But mostly, I just don’t care enough about domestic pursuits to worry myself over something so trivial.)

(Laughter is always the right medicine. It’s been scientifically proven!)

(I knew it! There’s a reason cookbooks and I don’t get along…)

(When I can’t figure out if an article of clothing at the store is meant to be a shirt or a dress, I don’t dare try it on for fear of unintentionally injuring myself.)

(Always full of surprises. That’s the beauty of humor.)

(Hey, wait a minute! I’m a vegetarian, but I’m more lion than hippo! Clearly, those hippos must be supplementing their diet with red-meat-eating lions.)

(Using mad ninja skills to bust down the door has some pretty cool dramatic impact, too.)

(Now that is a memorable and highly effective way to get a point across. In your face, doubters!)

(They may not lack self-esteem, but they are kind of lazy. Shouldn’t they be a bit more self-conscious about that?)

( I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you this: eating takes precedence of 99.9% of everything else in life, especially if you don’t want to see me become crazy hangry.)

(I find myself on that very same figurative treadmill, going nowhere while getting very little accomplished.)

(I mean, yeah, I do find myself swatting flies some days. But I also manage to do this while carrying a load of laundry and balancing a pile of dirty dishes, so I earn all my meals, thank you very much.)

(Humor plays an understated, yet vital, role in civilization that cannot be underestimated.)

(Yes, but it’s a vicious cycle. It’s challenging to try to hug a child when they’re shooting Nerf darts at you.)

(It’s crazy how true this is. One minute, we’re eagerly awaiting a child’s first words. The next minute, we’re telling them to shut up.)

(Especially if it’s being passed off as “lemonade”.)

(Can’t go wrong with this philosophy. Although, in my case, it usually seems to be the other way around…)

(I be a goodly fine example of this here quote. Clean no more!)

(I wonder if this is also true for ulcers?)

(I wouldn’t know. Some days, I have my doubts about making it out of motherhood alive. But it’s good to know there’s a reward for those who do manage to survive.)

(Or a tornado. Or a tsunami. Or a typhoon…)

(All I know is, that first one is never mine. Then again, neither are any of the subsequent 78 pieces of luggage…)

(While not exactly funny, this one is 110% true.)

(I’m also an expert worrier. Yes, I’m good at it, but it brings me no joy. Perhaps I should find some new, more productive hobbies.)

(Which might explain the clouds of smoke coming out of my ears. System overload!  Reboot! Reboot!)

(This is actually the title of one of Erma Bombeck’s books, but I frequently find myself wondering the exact same thing.)

(Time sure does fly. Fortunately, almost any note can be salvaged using this clever approach.)

(This is much harder than you’d probably expect. I mix up my boys’ names on a daily basis, and there’s just two of them. I can only imagine the struggle for parents with twice as many kids.)

(We all fail, from time to time. And to be successful, one must learn from their failures. So learn from your mistakes, then get out there and do something amazing!)

(The way I look at it, my kids didn’t come with warning labels at birth. I think any future spouses of theirs ought to find out what I figured out for myself. From experience. Good luck with that!)

(The fact that I’m still alive means I must be doing something right…but evidently, that something isn’t housework.)

(Sounds good to me! I laugh a lot. Mostly at myself, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.)

(That’s really not so bad, is it? I mean, I’d personally rather be a majestic tree than a cow.)

(How I love this one! It makes me laugh every single time.)

Erma Bombeck.

Proof that humor transcends time and change.

~Happy Friday, my friends! I hope you’ve  enjoyed reading these quotes as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. Have a fabulous weekend, and remember to always, always look for the humor in life.~

Countdown to Colossal Craziness

176 down, 3½  to go!

Days of school, that is. 

My oldest son and I discussed this over breakfast the other morning.

Can you believe it? You only have only a few more days of school! Where has the time gone? 

He thought about it for a moment, before providing his honest input:

Down the toilet?

Interesting.

It’s been yet another enjoyable year of school-related fun, between emails, phone calls, and general chaos as usual.

We’re all tired of the crazed school morning hustles, and afternoons filled with homework that none of us seem to have enough brain cells to sufficiently decipher.

(Hello, Google!)

We all need a break.

I need a break.

It’s so much easier to get myself up and off to work at 3 am than it is to get two zombie kids out of bed and out the door in time for school.

The leftover breakfast carnage of overturned yogurt cups, toast crusts, and banana peels has long gotten old.

And I’m running out of lunch box ideas.

What’s next?

A water bottle and a chocolate bar?

Or maybe that box of powdered sugar that’s been sitting on the counter since last Christmas?

How’s that for a treat?

Well, one thing is for certain:

I may not always know what to pack for lunch, but I sure don’t lack creativity!

In order to remind kids of the high stakes, it's often helpful to add subtly veiled threats directed at mythological creatures.

In order to remind kids of the high stakes, it’s often helpful to add subtly veiled threats directed at mythological creatures.

Nothing spreads joy (or concern) faster than my good old lunch notes!

(Run, unicorns! Run!)

Whew!

We survived!

Well, almost….

~Happy Friday, everyone! For those of you with school-aged kids, you may want to take a moment to indulge in a stiff drink or two before school is out. You know, for sanity’s sake. Have a great weekend!~

Sensationally Sarcastic

Did you just fall?

Pftt. Noooo! I attacked the floor.

Backwards?

What can I say? I’m talented like that.

Good ol’ sarcasm.

It’s an age-old art that’s near and dear to my heart.

Unfortunately, sarcasm is lost on some clueless people.

Bless their hearts.

Ha!

But seriously, sarcasm does have its virtues.

For instance, sarcastic people tend to be quite intelligent.

And they are skilled at abstract thinking.

And, of course, don’t forget the astoundingly high level of creativity that goes along with it.

Besides, being normal is just plain scary.

(Shudder!)

So let’s take a moment to celebrate this sadly misaligned quality, shall we?

(Words are so awesome! Who would’ve guessed that a simple combination of words paired with a witty undertone could be so satisfying?)

(Actually, I just so happen to be a sarcastically-fluent smartass.)

(Sadly, it doesn’t cover medically necessary shots of hard alcohol, either.)

(Sometimes I find myself taking a moment to reflect on the words that may or may not have just come out of my own mouth.)

(While I wouldn’t recommend actually doing this, don’t ever underestimate the power of the element of surprise.)

(Amen to that!)

(It’s a fine line, but I think it’s safe to say I haven’t personally crossed that threshold. Yet.)

(Not speaking from experience or anything, but I’d imagine there’s some truth to this.)

(This could cleverly be passed off as clumsiness, especially during a pretend fit of sneezes.)

(Yeah, so this is probably a wee bit messed up. But it is a fairly accurate assessment.)

(Quite possibly the most beautifully poetic backhanded compliment I’ve ever heard.)

(Exactly! Some people just express affection a bit differently, that’s all!)

(I realize this is a distinct possibility, but the gratification outweighs all else. It’s a chance I’m willing to take.)

(In that case, I’ll just stick with my new favorite catchphrase: “Go to Michigan!” On that note, there’s a special club especially for those of us who love sarcasm…)

(Hmmm. Oh well, it was worth a try, right?)

Gotta love humor with attitude.

After all, common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden.

It’s like that expression:

Silence is golden.

Duct tape is silver.

Now, if only more people were fluent in silence…

~Happy Friday,  friends! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!~

World’s Okayest Mom

I am the best mom, and I am the worst mom.

I am amazing, and I am far from exceptional.

I am strong, and I am a total wuss.

I am kind, and I am pure evil.

I am funny, and I am without a trace of humor.

I am your best friend, and I am your worst nightmare.

I know everything, and I know absolutely nothing.

I am not perfect. I am perfectly imperfect.

I am the World’s Okayest Mom.

In a world where too many strive for the very perfection that is only perfectly impossible, okay is sometimes, well…okay.

I’m not gonna lie. There are definitely times where my sweet, adorable boys drive me to drinking.

And if they were of legal age to drink, they’d probably be tempted to do the same after a long, hard day.

But since that isn’t an option for them, they demonstrate their frustration by peeing off the top of the staircase.

(Just kidding! I’m not raising a bunch of barn animals. Geez!)

In all seriousness, my boys are happy, compassionate, well-adjusted kids.

And that, my friends, is a fairly accurate indication that I must at least be doing something right.

Which is why I took the liberty of awarding myself the title of The World’s Okayest Mom.

After all, I’ve got the shirt to prove it.

And if the shirt fits…

~Happy Mother’s Day to all the marvelous moms out there! And while we’re on the subject of moms, a big shout out to my own incredible mom. Some of you already know her as Tink the Belle from Playing By My Own Rules. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting her, please stop by and check out her inspirational blog. She’s simply amazing. ~

Seriously, I've got a shirt to prove I'm The World's Okayest Mom. How cool is that?

Seriously, I’ve got a shirt to prove I’m The World’s Okayest Mom. How cool is that?

(World’s Okayest Mom originally appeared on Comically Quirky on 5/6/16)

Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell!

Evidently, this simple three-word phrase is heavily frowned upon in some places.

Especially in Bible Belt country.

And especially when used by a child.

In school.

(Gasp!)

How do I know this?

Well, from recent experience, of course.

I honestly don’t believe that is, by any stretch of the imagination, the worst thing a person could possibly say.

At the same time, I also don’t personally go around telling all my friends to go to hell…

Plenty of people struggle to speak a single, coherent sentence without the added flair of numerous, strategically placed curse words.

I am not one of those people.

Yes, I do occasionally use such words here on my blog for comedic impact.

But not in my everyday conversations.

And certainly not when speaking to my kids.

My child-free brother, on the other hand, ironically tends to pepper his speech so heavily with curse words that nobody even seems to notice anymore.

Including him.

Or my kids.

It’s like our brains have been trained to filter through to register only the important information.

In fact, I asked my sons whether they ever notice their uncle cursing.

After careful consideration, they both answered at once:

No!

But then my older one paused for a brief moment before correcting himself.

Well, there was that one time, on Easter.

One time?

And on Easter, of all days?

Seriously?

But that was more a question of curiosity, on my part.

Besides, my poor Easter-cursing brother lives too far away to be all that big of an influence.

If anything, YouTube is by far the bigger offender of the two.

It’s paradoxically helpful and a bad influence, all at once.

Damn it, YouTube!

But anyway…

This past Monday, I received a somber phone call from the assistant principal informing me that my little darling would be spending the entire day in in-school suspension for this uncharacteristic transgression.

I had to marvel at the severity of the consequence.

And, of course, I also had to question how that statement had even come about in the first place.

Oh, that!

Yeah.  

So-and-so said “hi!” to me in a weird voice.

So I told him to “go to hell”!

Right.

Because I can’t imagine any other plausible way to respond to such an appalling greeting.

And the best part?

That’s actually the kid’s real voice.

And, the child seemed to find this response humorous enough to laugh.

Geez.

The joys of middle school.

The struggle of trying to figure out who you are.

The struggle of trying to discover where you belong.

The struggle of simply trying to fit in.

This, evidently, is where the smartypants humor kicks in.

Who doesn’t love the class clown?

I know I’m a sucker for humor.

If someone makes me laugh, they’re my friend for life.

There’s no escaping my friendship.

Ever.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

At any rate, I had to attend a conference at school the next morning.

And I had to put on real pants before going, because it seemed like it would probably be a good day to do so.

Perhaps I should’ve worn my World’s Okayest Mom shirt, too, but I didn’t think about it beforehand.

At least I didn’t burst out in laughter at any point during the meeting.

But I wonder if I should’ve pointed out that Hell is also a place in Michigan, and so perhaps my child was merely recommending a vacation idea…?

Or perhaps not.

Oh, well.

At least this makes for good writing material, right?

So…

If Hell is a place in Michigan…

Is it okay to tell someone to go to Michigan?

Sigh.

On a side note, maybe we really ought to go to Hell…

Hell, Michigan, that is.

Hey, you have to admit, it does sound rather intriguing…

~Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you all have a heavenly break from it all!~

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Misadventure Merriment

Melee.

Mayhem.

Misfortune.

I’m a magnet for disaster.

I suppose that in itself isn’t particularly shocking.

But the thing is…

A disturbing percentage of these incidents seems to be birthday-related.

It’s astonishing, really.

Coincidence?

Perhaps.

But you have to admit, the timing is utterly impeccable.

I mean, I’m prone to chaotic situations in life.

Period.

But as my birthday started to get closer and closer, it became glaringly obvious.

Case in point:

On my very first birthday as a mom, my baby managed to get ahold of a dangly earring.

He innocently toyed with it.

And then the little Hulk yanked that sucker right out of my ear.

Well, they say love hurts, right?

A couple of years later, we decided to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

I was 7 months pregnant, but up for an adventure.

At least, I thought I was.

When we arrived, a thick fog closed in on us.

It obscured the entire view of the canyon.

The fog was so thick, and visibility was nonexistent.

If that wasn’t bad enough, droves of hail started falling from the sky and pelting me in the face.

And in my big baby belly.

We left the Grand Canyon without ever actually seeing the Grand Canyon.

Talk about a memorable trip.

Then there was that year of pink eye fun.

First, my oldest had gotten it.

Damn school and their teachings of sharing everything.

From crayons to chicken pox.

Anyway, a week later, he passed it along to his brother.

But lucky me!

I escaped without incident!

So my husband and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate.

My birthday, that is.

Not the kids having pink eye.

We went to a kick-ass Steel Panther concert at the House of Blues.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going to Vegas, it’s basically a city that never sleeps.

Where parents bring their kids to roam smoke-filled casinos in misguided judgment of what constitutes quality family time.

Where trucks advertising topless dancers fill the streets and abandoned pornographic trading cards are plastered to the sidewalks.

Where moms push strollers at 3 o’clock in the morning with one hand, while balancing twenty-inch cocktail glasses in the other.

Very interesting place, that’s for sure.

Especially on The Strip, the best place in the world to go when you need to feel better about yourself.

I mean, aside from Walmart.

But all good things must end.

And so we returned home.

The next morning, I woke up with pink eye.

Evidently, there’s no escaping the great conjunctivitis epidemic.

Another year, my mom and I spent the day at the beautiful resort where my husband and I had gotten married several years prior.

After strolling the scenic tropical oasis grounds, we decided to head indoors and explore some more.

We marveled at the magnificent brunch setup we’d stumbled across.

Then realization dawned on us when we saw a giant Welcome! banner.

We had unwittingly wandered right into an Ophthalmology Convention.

It was a bit awkward, but we hung out for a while and acted like we totally belonged there.

In retrospect, we should’ve grabbed some coffee and a bagel or two on the way out.

Maybe next time…

Another year, we’d dropped the kids off at school and hit a local casino.

I’m hardly a gambler.

Mostly because I lack the attention span and get bored easily.

Besides, how many slot machines can one play before their eyes glaze over and their butts become permanently fused to the chair?

When it was time to leave, I didn’t even bother to cash out my big winnings of the day:

A whopping 34 cents.

Woo hoo!

But the highlight of that day, by far, was the email I had received from my oldest child’s teacher:

“Happy Birthday! Your son asked me to wish you luck at the casino today!”

Oh, my.

I’ve had my share of other memorable birthdays since.

We’d gone to Chuck E Cheese.

We’d gone to Legoland.

We’d spent the day on a pontoon boat on the eerily brown waters of Lake Texoma, where I didn’t dare to dangle so much as a single toe in the water for fear of contracting something that would surely lead to some sort of unfortunate mutation.

And, of course, there was that one horrifying, traumatizing day with Princess.

But this year wasn’t so bad.

My darling sons repeatedly threatened me with a trip to Cabela’s (a.k.a. Vegetarian Paradise).

Complete with dinner consisting of moose.

Fortunately, they didn’t make good on that promise, and we ended up having a nice family day a few weeks before my birthday.

At the zoo.

Because we hadn’t been to a zoo in several years.

Oh, well.

At least it was a beautiful day.

But on the night before my birthday…

I accidentally gave my little one a fat lip.

While it may seem like payback for that Easter nearly a decade ago, when he knocked me in the face with his hard head and I had to go to work the next day with a fat lip, this was totally a freak accident.

You see, the little sneak had been watching clips of The Walking Dead on YouTube.

That night, I turned out his light and tucked him in.

Next thing I knew, he was on the floor, sinking his teeth into my leg.

Presumably, he had been protesting bedtime.

The little Walker zombie’s role-playing earned him some brain rattling, lip splitting action when I landed on his bed and our heads collided like asteroids.

Geez.

Do we know how to celebrate or what?

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week, and enjoy the last weekend of April!~

This card was undoubtedly designed for me...

This card was undoubtedly designed for me…

Gardening in Gnome Man’s Land

Who would’ve thought I’d moved to No Man’s Land to become a farmer?

I certainly didn’t see it coming.

My garden gnome would probably agree, too.

But he doubles as a bird bath, so what does he know?

Gnomes are thought to be symbols of good luck.

And, as protectors, they’re meant to watch over crops and ensure a bountiful harvest.

But I have to wonder if my gnome has gone into hibernation.

Or passed out drunk.

Every time I go outside to water my plants, I get eaten alive by fire ants or chased around the yard by kite-sized dragonflies.

But that doesn’t stop my determination.

Not even a bit.

Now, I don’t particularly have a green thumb.

But I do like living things.

And I also like green things.

Particularly if they’re useful. 

Especially if they’re edible.

Sure, I may be a bit rough around the edges…

But I can be very caring and nurturing.

I want things to grow and thrive.

Unless they’re prickly weeds.

Or hairy spiders.

Anyway…

Last year for my birthday, I begged for my very own veggie garden.

Seriously.

It was an experiment of sorts.

I knew nothing then.

I know slightly less nothing now

But this year, I am so ready.

In fact, last year’s oregano and parsley plants are still going strong!

In spite of unintentional neglect.

Meaning there may have been a month (or three) when I had completely forgotten to water them.

In my defense, it’s been a very hectic year.

Last year, we started with two strawberry plants, along with some cucumbers and tomatoes.

The tomatoes and cucumbers each yielded respectable levels of output.

And the strawberries?

They lasted six days.

Apparently, the adorable rabbits needed them more than we did.

This time around, I opted for a different variety of herbs.

Unfortunately, you can’t plant vodka.

Or Prozac.

So, I bought some lavender for my frazzled nerves.

And peppermint.

And purple basil.

Purple!

Green is great and all…

But diversity is a great thing.

In retrospect, I probably could’ve used an aloe vera plant for my gazillion bug bites.

Oh, well.

Maybe next time.

I was on a roll, though, and decided we also needed a tree.

And so a tree we did get.

A tree named Bob.

Yeah, you read that right.

Bob is named in honor of a generous Home Depot employee.

Nobody could find a price on the lone little Redbud tree that I so desperately wanted.

The checkout line was starting to snake all the way around the garden department.

So, Bob sent us off with a wave and a “Merry Christmas!”

Who says Christmas cheer can’t last all year?

Oh, but I wish I had remembered to ring the specially-designated bell for great service.

The only time I ever think about doing that is when I use self-checkout.

How funny would that be?

Besides, who doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for a job well done?

Maybe next time, I will remember.

And I will ring it.

For Bob, not myself.

No matter how awesome of a job I’d just done scanning and bagging my own crap.

But getting back to Bob the Tree.

My mom has taken a liking to calling our new tree Bob Hope.

After all, we really do seem to need all the hope…and help…we can possibly get.

Hope.

It sounds so promising.

So prosperous.

Plus, Bob Hope was a humorous centenarian.

A centenarian, for goodness sake!

Yeah, the guy was clearly on to something.

~Happy weekend, friends! As Bob Hope once said, “A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heartburn?”~

Meet Bob. He's the coolest little tree in town.

Meet Bob. He’s the coolest little tree in town.