Crack Muffin.

Our family’s introduction to Crack Muffin came about in a bizarrely serendipitous way.

It all started last summer. We were at our usual grocery store one day, casually shopping for our usual groceries, which did not include any boxed baked goods. As I surveyed the cracker aisle for the cracker option that was on sale that week, a rather desperate looking firefighter in half uniform (not full uniform – he wasn’t wearing the big fireproof jacket or anything – he had on one of those too-tight t-shirts that showed off his firefighting muscles) nearly bumped into me as he frantically scoured the aisle.

“Oh, sorry,” I said to his massive forearms.

“Can you help me? I can’t find them anywhere!”

“Sure! I shop here all the time. What are you looking for?”

“Well, Church of the Highlands did a SERVE day at our precinct and they brought these amazing mini muffins with them. We all LOVED them. We asked where you buy them, and they said that they got them from THIS grocery store. So all the guys sent me to get some. I don’t know the brand name but I’ll recognize them when I see them.”

How hard could this be? And does this firefighter not know that boxed baked goods are disgusting preservative bombs?

But I agreed to help because I’m here to SERVE, much like Church of the Highlands.

(Church of the Highlands is Birmingham’s mega church, and one of the things they’re known for are their SERVE days. They blanket the city with red t-shirts and Facebook statuses while serving the community in an endless variety of ways – including, apparently, crack muffin.)

I looked up and down the cracker aisle with him, but there were no mini muffins. We checked the chip aisle, the baking aisle, the baked goods area – no muffins. We found some Little Debbies on the endcap, but he said that he would have remembered if they had been Little Debbie. But in an act of near-resignation, he said, “But how could Debbie go wrong, amIright? I’ll grab these just in case.”

We parted ways, only to run into him again a couple aisles away, and then again two more aisles away.

He was a desperate man. He NEEDED crack muffin.

I kept looking for random mini muffins on each aisle I traversed, but could not find any.

Until…we were walking between the next-to-last aisle and the absolute last aisle, and there was a table set up with Entemann’s snack products on them.

And there they were – large boxes of Little Bites.

I knew this had to be what he was after, and I also instinctively knew that he had given up his search and was about to leave.

I told the kids, “RUN!!! GOOOOO! Find! That! Fireman!”

They ran across and up the store to find him in the opposite corner, as I suspected – in line to check out. He saw them running and his eyes lit up.

He knew we had found them.

He jumped out of line and followed the children as if they were the Pied Piper of Crack Muffin (which they were.) They led him to the back of the store to the table that housed Little Bites.

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“That’s it!! It’s them!! Oh my gosh we found them!!”

He was practically leaping with joy and promised my kids the best fire station tour of their lives.

He filled those lovely forearms with a sufficient number of boxes to feed a herd of firefighters (almost all the boxes) as the children begged me to let them experience this magic of muffin as well.

I am vehemently opposed to pre-packaged baked goods. I don’t eat Little Debbie or feed her to my children. Powdered mini donuts and Ding Dongs give me the heaves. The amount of preservatives that it takes to make baked goods taste good until the year 2034 seriously skeeves me out. I’m no granola crunchy organic kale eater, but pre-packaged baked goods go past my limits. They’re hanging out in my no-fly zone with Cheese Curls, McDonalds, Waffle House, and Jack’s (with the exception of their iced coffee) – I just don’t believe in them.

But Crack Muffin was buy one get one free. And our firefighter friend was acting like a toddler in an all-you-can-eat candy store. So against my better judgment, I told the kids to pick out two boxes from the vast expanse of nearly (and newly) empty shelving.

And that was the moment that marked the end of their non-addicted lives.

I tried one of these mini muffins and they were surprisingly fresh and soft, as if Entemann’s had magically transported them from their oven to the package right before we opened it. I still couldn’t get over my pre-packaged snobbery to love them, but I didn’t hate.

But the children. The children became immediate junkies, needing Little Bites to survive the morning. And the afternoon. And the night.

At four mini muffins to a pack and five packs to a box, their habit quickly became expensive. They began selling their stuffed animals on the street corner to pay for their next fix. Or at least that’s what I thought about suggesting every time I saw the empty boxes.

As Little Bites became a part of our lives, I was shocked at how many other people already knew about Crack Muffin. As it turns out, many of our friends and their children had been addicts for years and we had no idea.

You just don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors, people.

Even our babysitters knew of Crack Muffin and joined me in my fight against the children overdosing.

 

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The situation became severe, but I couldn’t wean them because I was afraid of their systems going into Crack Muffin Shock. And so we live, trying hard to keep our addictions in check, silently blaming the fireman who introduced us, and the SERVE team who introduced him.

SERVing is awesome, but beware of a person in a red T-Shirt offering you a muffin.

24 Hours with a Five Year Old.

The following happened between the hours of 8:30am December 21 and 8:30am December 22.

Monday.

8:30am: I threw clothes at him and told him to get dressed – we had to go to Physical Therapy. After a few mandatory whines about the unfairness of having to wear clothing, he disappeared into the bathroom.

The next time I saw him, he looked like this:

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I sent him back to the bathroom to turn all the things around. I could only assume his underwear was on backwards too because what are the chances.

9am: In the car, on the way to Physical Therapy…

“Is God wearing sandals right now? Because the last time he was here he got holes in his feet and they probably hurt.”

9:05am: still in the car…

“Hey Mommy whoever wants to go to heaven should touch a power line. Because that’s how they can die.”

Such a problem solver. But maybe not that great of an Evangelist…

9:30am: Arrived at Physical Therapy…

He pulled out 4 Sour Punch Kids from his pocket and ran them back to my Physical Therapist. (Because I’m nice, I had supplied him a Ziploc bag for that treat before we left the house…after he’d been carrying them around in his hands for a while.)

11:45am: In the drive-thru line at the bank…

We were behind a ridiculously slow person, and after realizing that the other lines had turned over four times, I backed up to get in another line while saying “Good grief what is this lady DOING!!??”

To which Noah added with a huff, “O…N…G!!!”

I asked him where he heard ONG.

“Oh, you know….TV shows. And a babysitter.”

I texted Chris our son’s newfound vocabulary.

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3pm: I noticed a BabyBel cheese sitting on the coffee table – one he’d offered me but I didn’t want.

“Hey buddy – go put that back in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad.”

He looked up, surprised, and said, “But I have the rest of the cheeses in my treasure box!”

“What??”

“In my box. See?”

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“When did you put them in there?”

“I don’t remember…a couple of hours ago….”

5:30pm: (After putting the BabyBels back in the fridge), he apparently decided that I needed an awesome hug. I was laying on my side on the couch trying to get my neck comfortable, and he got a running start and leapt at me, aiming directly for my neck.

In an effort to protect my rather damaged neck, I instinctively threw an elbow in front of myself (oops) which caught him in the cheek.

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We ended up both quite damaged in that exchange.

5:35pm, after recovering from taking an elbow…

He threw a large blanket on the coffee table, where there was a cup of water he’d insisted on bringing me.

Water everywhere, cleanup ensued.

6pm: I sent myself to my room until after the children were asleep…to “rest my neck.”

Tuesday.

8am: Noah came running in my room, where I was still in my pajamas but had my computer out and was doing a little work from bed before getting up.

“I’m cold I’m cold I’m cold I’m cold and YOU ARE SO HOT, Mommy. You’re the kind of hot that I like.”

I suggested he get in bed and cuddle with me while I finished my work. He went back to his room to retrieve his favorite blanket, then gleefully shoved himself into my armpit.

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“OOOOOOOH You are SO HOT, Mommy!!”

He dove under the covers to steal all my warmth, then peeked his head out and said,

“….I can see part of your bottom, Mommy.”

“Then you shouldn’t be looking at it!”

“But that part of you is so hot I can’t stop touching it!!”

“And why is your leg so GIANT?? I mean look at it – it goes from here to here. It’s so BIG!!!”

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Five is going to be a good year for him. I can tell.

How to Properly Celebrate Two-Turd-Fifteen.

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When I originally blogged the above phrase on the first day of April in the blessed(ly almost over) year of Two-Turd-Fifteen, I really had no idea. Sure, we’d been pretty much constantly sick since The Unspeakable Christmas four months prior, but it was nothing compared to what would come.

Some would say I asked for it, speaking it forth so early in the year.

I prefer to think of myself as an oblivious prophet.

As we began the approach the end of this memorable year, I knew I needed to do something significant to cleanse us of its filth. I had to put it behind me and gleefully move into what I am preemptively referring to asIMG_4163.

I finally decided on what that should be.

We needed to eat it.

Eat 20154-2 in all its glory.

The time had come, anyway, to order Chris’ biannual Cake Pop order from the brilliant artist Jamie, and I always try to make it new and unique when possible.

So I took a chance and asked her for an extremely custom, specific order.

Even as I sent her the list of all that 20154-2 brought us, 20154-2 kept piling on, presenting us with The Holiday Hole:

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(Chris wrapped it lovingly for Christmas Day, though I told him it really needed Elf-On-A-Shelf or Santa legs dangling down. And maybe some lights. And tinsel. Oh and definitely a giant bow.)

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(No worries. The Holiday Hole is covered under warranty from the original flood. It’s pretty much the least stressful thing that has happened in the entirety of 20154-2.)

But I did indeed send Jamie the list and asked her to make our year in cake pop form, along with a few applicable emojis, for good measure.

And, as I expected, she depicted it in pure brilliance.

And we gleefully ate our year.

We ate all of our illnesses,

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We ate 20154-2,

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We ate my running injuries,

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We ate my tonsillitis hospital stay and resulting tonsillectomy,

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We ate our house flood,

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We ate our epically catastrophic camping trip,

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We ate our countless prescriptions,

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We ate the sad demise of Flexi,

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We ate my long and still continuing recovery from the wreck (there was actually a better emoji for this – the one with bandages on its head – but we ate it before I got to photography. Because edible therapy is the best, y’all.)

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And….we even ate the spider that ate his way out of Noah’s underwear.

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As I explained to the kids all of the cake pops, I gave this special one to Noah and asked him what it was. He stared at it for a minute, read his name, looked at the spider, burst out laughing, then gave me many bemused looks.

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Because if you can’t laugh at your penis spider bites, what is life?

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But we absolutely ate that spider.

(Not Ali, though. She said, “I know it’s not real….but I don’t think I want to eat that one.”)

After discussing each pop and the incidents surrounding them, Ali considered all these things in her heart and then said, “Wow. We’ve really had an….INTERESTING year, haven’t we?”

Yes, honey. And that’s why were eating it.

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May your IMG_4163be infinitely bright. Like ours is absolutely going to be.