Monday, May 12, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY--just a little late.

Heyo,  Happy, happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmas, aunties, step moms, new moms, kind of moms, almost moms, mom wannabes and mom has beens. Today is your special day. I hope it was everything you wanted and deserved.

 Being a mom can be hard work, but it is often the funniest, happiest, goofiest job, full of free entertainment and a never ending supply of laughs, especially if you don't take yourself or your kids too seriously.  I've seen some pretty intense posts on the old FB lately, where it appears many mothers are stressed, freaked, and entirely too intense. No offense, but for those of us who've been raising kids for a few decades now, you all need to calm down a bit.  Sure, you have a few toddlers, and sure, they are kind of loud, demanding and messy, but remember, you're bigger than them, smarter than them, you have all the money and you can drive a car…It's pretty much your show, You call the shots, so call them in your favor.  Please, don't let a three year old boss you around.  Really, you're better than that. And don't forget that you are an adult. You've got this. And kids really are pretty resilient. (thank God) So, even when you screw something up, generally, it doesn't do any permanent damage...

Trust me, you will make some mistakes.  We all do.  Get over it and move on.  Stop trying to be perfect.   Not every meal has to be organic, not every activity has to be educational, not even milestone has to be etched in the baby book) Just relax.  Even the best moms mess up at times…but guess what? Their kids live to tell.   So, here's a repost of one of my favorites--Enjoy, and feel really good about yourself as a mother.  Your Welcome:

A Real Favorite and Perfect for Mother's Day

Now, on to today's topic: motherhood moments that we are less than proud of, those lapses in judgment, effort, or timing that just didn't work out. I'm not talking abuse and neglect here, but as you all  know, motherhood is a series of weighing competing interests (money, time, sex, sleep, laundry, exercise, personal hygiene, children's health, activities, carpool, etc) and making the best/most convenient, least disruptive decision. It's one big story problem all day long: 

Example 1: School gets out at 2:45. It is 2:15. You've been putting off getting groceries all day, because you were updating your blog...Do you have time to get to the store before picking up your fifth grader?  Important Factors to consider: how far is the store? how many groceries? how hungry are you, really? Is the fifth grader embarrassed to be left in the school parking lot...(again)? Discuss...

Example 2: As of this morning you have $300 in your checking account, and $35 in your wallet. You need groceries, soccer shin guards, lunch money for 4 kids, picture money for 3, ACT prep money for the big one, and the cleaning lady only takes cash. How can you best divide the resources so no one gets stiffed? Don't be fooled, the answer to this one involves a Visa card, overdraft protection and Ted from Johnson Bank. We moms are nothing if not resourceful...

Example 3: Your baby is fussy. He cries a lot. He is just finding his fingers. He seems to enjoy sucking his thumb. You know that this will probably result in serious orthodontia later down the road. Do you encourage or discourage this behavior? This is a no brainer...beg, bribe, force the kid to suck his thumb. It is way better than a pacifier because he can never lose it. Sleep trumps all. Unless the situation involves fire or major vomit, always, always go with sleep. 

In the course of any given day, let alone in the course of any given childhood, bad calls are going to be made. Something or someone is just going to slip through the cracks. The life of a mother is one big gamble and we are all just playing the odds. . Here are some real life examples of where I read the tea leaves wrong. And you just know they will come out on an analyst's couch, on those days, where you blew the call and think that you are the worst mom ever, ...well, let me tell you, you have some competition...

  • Late/fogot to pick your kid up from school? Done that...a lot...
  • Really late/forgot to pick your kid up from the game, practice, the dentist, pre-school screening, family movie night?....done that too--The phone call from the preschool screener was pretty humiliating.. 
  • dropped your third grader off some ghetto gym for basketball practice, was too lazy to walk him in, and come to find out, practice was canceled? Oooops...scary
  • dropped your kid off at the wrong football field for the playoffs, because you were too lazy to make sure that those kids in the purple jerseys were actually his teammates? Oooops again.
  • Left your baby under the Christmas tree in his infant seat for two hours because you forgot him while you bathed and put the other kids to bed? (Pete--Christmas 1996)
  • fed your kid hot dogs, bologna, cheese balls and twinkies today? Hell, my kids have packed that for their school lunches... Chris spent his entire childhood living on Tombstone frozen pizza, pretzel goldfish and kitkats...and once he could make his own pizza, I so didn't care.
  • Let your baby suck on toothpaste while you showered? Why do you think Annie's teeth are so white?
  • Told your two year old to  keep an eye on the baby while you made the beds and took a shower? Seriously, this one ended with Baby Nate stuck outside on a screened porch...nice work, Jack. ..but all the beds had hospital corners.
  • Sent your six year old to soccer practice with a broken collarbone? --the first set of x-rays were inconclusive...what? they just put that figure 8 thing on them....He's fine....
  • had to  have your two year old's stomach pumped because he od'd on baby tylenol that you left on the kitchen table? --(I sweat the lid was locked on)  (Nate, Fall 1997)
  • The baby fell down the stairs in his walker, because you were trying to fold laundry and forgot to put the gate at the top of the stairs?.. (Jack--1993---seriously, he was sneaky fast).
  • Let your son skip the June ACT because he was painting an enormous ND sign in your garage for his brother's graduation party? Try telling that to his guidance counselor.
  • Ignored your son's limp and leg pain after he dropped a 55 pound weight on his thigh...for two months...?
  • Missed your son's graduation from 6th grade? (this was not me, this was Dave McKeon, whose response was "Who in the hell graduates sixth grade? 8th grade graduation is stupid enough. Sixth grade? Yeah, that's a moment I don't want to miss..."
Well, just the other day, I heard the best, the topper, the very honest, totally could be me, parental miscall, that will make us all feel a little better. Please, please understand, I mean no disrespect to my sister Wendy (who have I mentioned? is building a summer home) I am just using this as an educational example for all of us on just how easy it is, even with playing the odds, going with history, following your gut, to make the wrong call.  Hey, Wendy, I hope this won't keep me off the summer house list. Please realize, I'm doing this for the youngsters, the rookie parents, who still feel guilty when they eat all of their kid's Halloween candy, who don't realize that you can read a magazine in your car during Little League games and lie to your kid that you saw his "big hit", you know, those parents,the ones who haven't yet learned to make up the dates on their kids immunization forms. (Oh,hell, my kids have had all of their shots, I just don't know exactly when...or where....) These newbies need to know that even a superlative, fine, fine, experienced and knowledgeable mother like yourself, can every so often make an ever so slight error in judgment. 

So, here is what happened. Last Monday, my nephew Teddy comes home from football practice complaining that he hurt his lower leg. He's limping, and in some pain, and Wendy says, "Let's see how you feel tomorrow" Perfectly reasonable, perfectly legitimate response, given that teenage boys spend their entire adolescence pulling, spraining, straining, or dislocating body parts, when they are not busy dropping heavy shit on themselves (see above). (Don't even get me started about the time Pete hurt his stupid finger and it involved three different physicians, a growth plate, a specialist, a referral from our insurance company, 15 x-rays, and the final diagnosis was:"Yeah, he broke his finger. Tape it to a buddy" which means tape "ring man" to "tall man"---$3500 worth of medical attention for a seven year old's digit and the best you've got is "tape it to a buddy"? Holy Christ. I should have gone to med school. ) I digress...

Ted's limp/pain continues, but it's a really busy week, Ted seems to be able to put weight on the leg, he continues to go to practice, he's got a game on Friday, he's a starter, he's not crying out in pain, and again, it's a really busy week. (In Wendy's defense, if we took our kids to the doctor every time someone whined about an injury, hell, they'd all be glowing in the dark from the unnecessary radiation....and seriously, tape it to a buddy???) Wendy, takes a very legitimate wait and see approach. Teddy goes to his football game Friday night, goes in for the first play on defense and literally cannot run on his leg. He makes a valiant effort  but has to eventually come out of the game. The trainer, who is "trained" in these sorts of things, along with the coach, recommend that Ted see an actual physician. A little side note, Ted's leg and limp did not prevent him from going out with his friends on Friday night. 

Now, did I mention that the Notre Dame home opener was taking place on Saturday? Preparation for the tailgate the following day kept Wendy away from the game. Ted got home late, Wendy and Tim left very early, and no real communication regarding the leg took place Sat. morning. During the day on Saturday, Ted begins to text his parents noting that his coach/trainer expects him to see some medical professional over the weekend. His parents enjoy the Notre Dame victory (totally short lived,---goddamn Michigan shoelace dissing, dreadlock wearing quarterback) and then decide to go visit some friends who live nearby. 

Teddy spends his Saturday night texting his parents regarding their status, and possible arrival home, so he can get some medical attention. Wendy and Tim spend their Saturday night with, among many fun Notre Dame friends, a nurse, an opthamologist and the CEO of a hospital,who all reassure them that Teddy is totally fine. (Question: What the hell was in the punch at that party??there is not a hospital administrator in the world, let alone a CEO, who would ever advise anyone with insurance NOT to go to the hospital) Due to Wendy's "migraine", they decide to spend the night with their friends. It is almost a week since Ted's injury and his leg hasn't fallen off yet, so surely it can wait another day. Just ask the  opthamologist. Well, once Teddy's parents arrive home... some time Sunday EVENING...they finally take Ted to the urgent care/doc in the box.  (Wendy is extremely concerned...about her kitchen floor and the laundry back up.)..When the doctor views Ted's films, they discover...THAT HE HAS A BROKEN LEG!!! granted it is a hairline fracture in a small, non weight bearing bone, but it is indeed a broken leg.  Way to diagnose, drunken opthamalogist. When Wendy called me with the news, I laughed my ass off.  Uncle Dave McKeon's assessment: "That Teddy, he's no pussy". (the "unlike my four shidiot sons" was implied in that comment)

Wendy did say, "Do you think that I am the most negligent mom in the world? To which I replied "Of course not, you think that's bad, I have a friend who is a NURSE, who didn't realize her kid had TWO broken arms and sent him to school for a week. You're just a teacher, how the hell were you supposed to know it was broken? There wasn't a bone sticking out or anything..."  "I'm sure PLENTY of moms send their kids to football practice all week on a broken leg, and PLENTY of moms ignore their kids repeated texts for medical help,... for two solid days... while spending the weekend with their college friends..." (granted, these moms are now attending court order parenting classes, but hey...) And the whole time I was thinking, "Hey, I look like Florence fucking Nightengale for just ignoring my kids "deep tissue bruise" for two months. I am clearly not the worst mom, second worst possibly, but not the worst in the world" .

Wendy knows that I am just kidding. And I'm sure she realizes that the point of this whole anecdote is to show that all moms, even the best ones, make mistakes. So, to all you self-flagellating moms who are sweating out missing your kid's 2nd birthday because you have tickets to a Cold Play concert, or who are racked with guilt for refusing to play Candyland one last time, or who think that it's child abuse to miss one pee wee soccer game, "Get over it...Stop beating yourselves up already.... Don't set the bar too high, and pace yourself, it's a long race...We all screw up the motherhood thing sometimes. As long as you're not doing chronically, constantly or totally on purpose, you will be fine, really.  and so will your kid.  Just ask the drunk opthamologist. 

I love this post and I love the lesson here--Hey, there are no perfect moms.  There are no perfect kids either, so I guess it all evens out. I hope you all have/had a great Mother's Day.  Here's my Mother's Day highlight--Me eating a huge piece of cake, after having a big old lobster dinner at Smith and Wolensky in Chicago. I am so very, very  glad that I can celebrate this special day.  Thanks, Annie, Chris, Jack, Nate, Pete, and Posey! I wouldn't be a mother without you. 


1. Big, fat lobster

2. Big, chocolate cake--even I couldn't eat this whole piece

3. Champagne cocktails--makes the lobster taste just that much sweeter. 

4. The Sharkanator--it's awesome, and Pete got me one for Mother's Day. It's for peeling, pitting and cutting avocados.  AND it's shaped like a shark. 

5. The NFL Draft--I totally watched a ton of this. I'm not a big Johnny Manziel fan, but he should really shake things up in Cleveland and I'm really glad they got him.  Let's just hope he can last longer than my boy Brady Quinn and doesn't end up broke like Bernie Kosar.  

6.  The article in this month's Vanity Fair about how the OJ Simpson Trial begat the entire realm of reality TV. Totally Fascinating. 

7. This JMcLaughlin dress--My kids bought me this for Mother's Day (ok, I picked it out). It's way cuter in real life and even has pockets. Be prepared to see me wearing this all summer long. 

8. Fr. Hesburgh's office on the 13th floor of the Hesburgh Library- i had a chance to see it today and it's an amazing testament to a life well led.  

9. The view from Fr. Hesburgh's office.  It's spectacular. Truly spectacular. 

10.  All Mothers, grandmothers, step mothers, almost mothers, acting mothers, mothers to be, mothers in law,  and mother like people.  You're the best. Lobster, cake and champagne, for everyone. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


It's been just a few short weeks since Lentertainment came to an end, but doesn't it kind of seem like forever? I know…I miss the fun, the excitement, the deadlines, the captions, Karla and Judy's entire posse.  I have delivered all of the prizes except yours, Kiki…please let me know where to drop it off soon, because Posey McKeon asks me EVERY day whose box of candy that is…I can only hold her off for so long.  Also, huge thanks to Jan for donating her box of sugarfina to the McKeons.  It's long gone, but not forgotten. And yours, Sue E, but we will discuss this once you return to the US from Turkey...And in other candy related news--the 5 lbs of sugarfina Swedish fish I ordered the week before Easter were totally consumed (yes, mostly by me) in approximately a week--which averages out to about there quarters of a pound of Swedish Fish a day…or more, which sounds about right...And I still want more….yes, I realize I have some sort of candy addiction, but admitting it is the first step, correct??

Just to prove to the entire cyber world that I'm not a fake, cheat or liar, I've posted a photo of all the Letertainment prizes for your viewing pleasure.  Check out the huge amount of booty awarded in this awesome blog contest--I know, it's pretty impressive--this is for sure a full service blog that always comes through:

I had a slightly difficult time explaining the many purchases on this month's VISA bill to Dave McKeon…This may come as a bit of a surprise, but Dave McKeon is really not all that interested in buying stuff for the followers of my blog…He's really not all the interested in buying stuff for his own kids, so I never fully came clean on the large charges from Tory Burch and sugarfina (though the sugarfina charge did not come as a total surprise. It's getting to be a monthly expense. I'm an addict)….What happens on the blog stays on the blog. so, please, let's just keep these awesome blog prizes on the down low from Skinny Dave, because it would just upset him and make everyone's life (ok, mostly my life) ugly, small and miserable.

Here is the Tory Burch tote (at least I sure hope it's in this beautiful package…I was afraid that I would be unable to recreate that Tory Burch bow, so I never opened this bag…) I delivered not one, but two of these bags of joy. Linda and Judy, please send a photo of the tote so we can all covet it and once again be reminded of your absolute domination in Lentertainment.

Here is the second place prize, scored by a well deserving John Heinzman. That's the "Bringing Home the Bacon tasting box from Sugarfina. It actually has little gummy pigs in it.  I could eat that whole box right now (as you can tell, I am going through sugarfina withdrawal) John, please send a picture of your new lawn mower or whatever you put that $100 toward--or just send a picture of you eating those bacon flavored malted milk balls--just send some photos--I like to see you all in your natural habitats :

Here is the lovely gift won by our third place winner Rob Fredrickson. He got some super sweet sugarfina candy (The Bringing Home the Bacon Bromance tasting box like John AND the cocktail sampler, which frankly, I could use right about now) AND those very useful Chipotle gift cards.  His co-workers can thank his captioning prowess for their lunches and they can also thank me, by checking into this blog on a regular basis.  C'mon. I need to get some traffic flowing again.  (point of interest--Did you know that you can get Chipotle gift cards at Sam's Club for a nickel or so under face value?? I know--I was quite surprised, but pleased.  I am fascinated by Sam's Club and spend more time there than you would think.  And they have that really big, big bottle of Grey Goose at a pretty nice price, so between that, their microwave bacon and now these bargain gift cards--who needs to go anywhere else?  Well, me…because I still need many, many other things, like boots, totes, and dresses.)  Rob, please send a picture of you and your co-workers--preferably Jessica--enjoying the always delicious burritos and such from Chipotle

 And finally, here are all the parting gifts that our  many, many funny friends received.  I LOVE every single one of these sugarfina tasting boxes--just on pure looks alone.  (Do you think if I insert the word sugarfina enough times in this blog they will send me some free candy??--they really should. I am the sugargina--hahaha--ambassador of the midwest, I truly am. And I am going through Swedish Fish withdrawal in a very big way). Below you will find, in descending order: 1. The Sugarfina Faves tasting box, full of a wide assortment of their candies--note the blue caramel robin's eggs--they are both beautiful and delicious, 2. the Cocktail tasting box--those are beer flavored gummies in the shape of beer mugs on top, and a bunch of other cocktail flavored candy as well.  The Champagne bubbles--the white ones toward the back are excellent and 3. The Kid at Heart tasting box--this one is chocked full of different kiddish treats, and this is the box that is sitting in my pantry right now, waiting to be delivered to Kiki.  (it will happen today or I may just eat it myself).    Jessica, I left your candy in the capable hands of the Fredricksons,  If you do not get it, get after Rob…He and Jean got their own candy, so there is no reason for them to poach yours…and sometime ask Jean about the robin's egg caramels…they've pretty much been keeping her alive.

While these prizes are terrific, great to see and fun to read about, the best parts of Lentertainment were the cleverness of the captions, the delightful comments, the crazy "wrinkles" in the angels robes, the "kid in the bag"/fish that some of us saw and others did not, the anticipation every time I posted a photo,  and especially the friendships, camaraderie  and good will the contest inspired.  You all are the best.  (and thanks, Joann, for the note--LOVED it). We have many more moments of fun and joy to share.  Keep reading the blog and I will keep posting.

Today's Top Ten:

1. Sugarfina--I just really, really, really want some free candy. You know they have to google their own name all damn day, so they HAVE to see my shameless promotion.

2. Jean Fredrickson--for many, many reasons

3. The American Panthems at Bonobos. I really love these pants for some reason. If all goes well,  plan on seeing a bunch of them this summer…. on my sons…if they are good…and make the dean's list….or earn them in some other important way….Do you hear me, McKeon brothers?? You know you want these pants.

4. Shotgun Lovesongs-- very good new book by Nicholas Butler. I saw that the Lake Forest Book Store was recommending it, but by that time I HAD ALREADY READ IT…of course I did, because I am at the front end of many, many up and coming trends.  Don't make me mentions Stan's donuts again, ok?

5. Julia Louis Dreyfuss--I really think we would be friends in real life, if we lived in the same town.  ( I have these same delusions about a bunch of people--from Jen Lancaster to Richard Russo…but I really mean it with JLD--as I would call her, in our BFF relationship) The GQ spread on her was hilarious.

6. Hydrangeas--check these out. I bought them at the infamous Sam's Club and have managed to keep them alive for almost three weeks in the fake spring we are having.  Soon I should be able to reintroduce them into the wilds of my front porch in my lovely pots…

7. Sam's Club--full of wonderful surprises at times….(however, I do fear that I may just come home with an enormous bouncy house or something, as I can often get caught up in a strange sort of Sam's Club fever--which I'm sure they count on from others, too)

8. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. You should be able to tell by now that I spent my two weeks off from this blog reading books.  It's totally true and I will not deny it.  I will not, though, tell you just how many books I read or you would know what a total, nerdy freak I really am…

9. The Blackhawks--super fun to watch. I am almost afraid to mention them, because I, like the Sports Illustrated Cover, have been known to jinx a team or twenty.

10.  Mother's Day--the most important holiday of the year.  Children, husbands and all related parties need to pay close attention to this special, special day.  It can make or break the rest of your year…..Again, McKeon progeny take heed.

Monday, April 21, 2014


What a masterful ending for Lentertainment, with so many captions, votes and new voters coming to the blog…(Welcome, Pope John XXIII and Sr. Jovita--nice to know that some of those in the afterlife is checking out the blog and also that they have retained a sense of humor--is it too much ask for you to sign up as followers? I'd like to have a few more nuns in the fold--and a Pope would be quite a coup).

Before we get to the scoring, the chart, and the winners, I just want to thank each and every one of you.  This contest exceeded my expectations all the way around.  The blog ticker went sky high, we all made some new friends, (John and Rob--you can thank me later for your budding bromance and Jessica, let me know when you are in town--we need to have lunch, drinks, dinner or all of the above.  Karla, we need to meet in person because after counting the last set of votes, I think I need to confirm that you are indeed a human and not a robot--and ask your niece if she knows any of my kids…if she does, tell her I apologize in advance) but even more importantly, you guys had me laughing EVERY single day.  There were so, so, so many funny captions and comments.  Who knew just how clever you all could be? (I'm talking to you, Joann Speca) And who knew just how many oddities every one "saw" and described in the pictures/photos? (crotchtacular anyone?) And how many new words we would all create? If you ever get the chance, go back and reread some of the captions--you will start laughing all over again.  Truly, thanks for the rocking good time--it made the Lenten season fly by.

Now that Lent and Lentertainment are over, please, don't be strangers.  Stop by, read the blog and post a comment or two for old time sake.  (It's going to be very hard going from the over 1,100 comments that the last post generated to the single digits again…)   I promise we will do another contest, but not for a few months (I need a break and I'm sure you all do, too).  AND we will have a blog party/reunion at some point this summer--(Karla and Judy's entire posse will be invited so we can make sure they are real and try to figure out just how the hell Judy got them all to keep casting those votes. Seriously, it was some sort of crazy, ass phenomenon).

Ok, the here is the scoring Chart--don't freak out and please keep reading as it requires a bit of explanation which you will find below the chart:

Names       Previous       Quantity           Quality           Voting                 EC            Total
Judy 678 83 30 50 100 941
john 658 96 20 40 100 914
Joann 463 3 466
Linda 507 40 20 20 1009
Rob 700 51 20 30 100 901
Jessica 565 21 10 20 616
Stacy 368 133 30 30 200 761
Sue R. 160 1 161
Brian K 50 50
Sue E 496 6 502
Michelle 110 8 118
Nate 106 3 10 119
Chris 99 99
Mr. DelFava 122 122
Joe Laken 2 2
Kim W. 2 2
Tricia 490 7 10 507
Kim P. 2 2
Ginny 170 2 172
Becky 114 114
Brifry 51 51
Kiki 294 8 302
Marie 407 5 10 422
Jan 303 5 10 318
Molly 1 1
Jean 500 500

Quantity--every single caption on the Nuns having Fun photo got a point, so yeah…that took some time.   AND the old captions that Stacy applied to this new, nun photo garnered a point for the original author, AND a point for Stacy--who by the way, was a total captioning machine with 133 whopping big, HUGE captions--nice, nice job, Stacy. I like your strategy and your Bob Freund caption was genius. Hall of Fame for you.

Quality--you know how that one works, and I must say, with over 400 captions, it was super hard to narrow it down to just 15 great ones.  Thanks to Nate "Bad Will (egg) Hunting" McKeon for assisting with the final Top 15-I appreciate your efforts and willingness to help sift through the captions--an extra pair of large check Chubbieshorts for you--I know…Chris will be SO pissed…


  • Judy literally had well over 600 votes--I know because I counted every, single f'ng one of them. For that she got 50 points and she earned EVERY single one of them, because she singlehandedly brought several new people to the blog--thanks, Judy.  You are a fierce competitor.  
  • John made a truly valiant effort and entered over 300 votes himself.  AND he made a lamb cake mid voting. For this very impressive effort, he was awarded 40 voting points
  • Rob and Stacy had a bit over 40 votes a piece (Stacy's were more comments than votes but they were hilariously hilarious) and for that, they got 30 big points
  • Linda and Jessica each had 9 votes…which gained them 20 voting points (I know--like shooting fish in a barrel, isn't it??) 
  • Nate and Tricia both got a vote, and as a result got 10 super easy points.  

Extra credit--Extra credit was super hard to award.  I had 1,000 points to give away, but really struggle in how to divvy it up.

  • Judy had to be rewarded for the impressive voting record,  AND for all the new, very funny traffic she channeled to the blog. Karla, Mary Werwie, Pope John XXIII, Sr. Jovita, Paul, son John, Leo, Grace Montemurro and all the others that voted for Judy not only help the ticker move, but also added a ton to the Lentertainment value of the season. For that, Judy got 100 large points. 
  • John shared great Catholic school stories and day in and out a ton of great captions, comments and links to knowledge that I really appreciated--and I really did watch the nun-monster truck video. He, too, got 100 points of extra credit. 
  • Rob owned the personal sharing portion of the competition and excelled in sucking up to the blogmaster.  This did not go unnoticed and as such, Rob also got 100 big points.  I know, I know--that doesn't really change the end result, but I did want to acknowledge the efforts of all
  • Stacy got 200 extra credit points because her 133 captions were pure and utter quality.  She had me cracking up the entire weekend, (which was fine because technically speaking, Lent was over, right?) and capped it all off with the great, great comments during the voting…I loved her "Hey, Mary Werwie, do you have a dog?" comments.  Such a perfect strategy. So well played, Stacy.  Very well done.  Btw? Was Seebeck's really having a sale??
  • Finally, and I warned you that Extra Credit is incredibly random--I awarded 500 points to Rob's wife Jean, because once I heard the 7 lb plus twin comment--(yeah, Rob, super smart of you not to mention just how heavy your big boy twins were to the woman who carried them attached to her body for nine long months) I really felt I had to recognize this achievement.  Seriously, TWO over 7 lb babies at one time?  My eyes about popped out of my head when I read that…Hooray for you, Jean Fredrickson.  I hope Rob properly rewarded you for that incredible accomplishment….and continues to do so. 
Game Changer: During the voting portion of the last photo, Marie asked if she could gift her points to Linda.  I read the rule book several times and could not find anything precluding this per se, so I granted Marie's request….Marie is going on a pilgrimage to Rome and I really need her to put in a good word for me with the big guy, (especially after this contest) so, I'm pretty much going to do whatever she asks…and she was such a terrific competitor that I have a hard time denying this selfless request.  Adding Marie's 422 points to Linda's total gives her a whopping 1009 points which is astounding and kind of awesome, However, that puts me in a bit of a dilemma…. which I think I've resolved quite nicely… because you all know I'm always, always thinking. 

Here's how it all shakes out: 
  • First Place--Judy and Linda will BOTH win Tory Burch totes, because OF COURSE I bought two of them, because I knew something like this would happen…I've done this before and always err on the side of generosity.  (don't you remember the Fit Club contest??  which Judy also won...) So, congrats to both of you.  You were both terrific and worthy competitors. I am very glad these totes are going to such great homes. Enjoy them in good health and let me know when and where to drop them off. Also, I hope that you ladies will allow Karla and Marie, respectively, to tote the tote every now and again, as these two women were quite instrumental in your victories…well done, one and all...
  • Second Place--John, you are the second place winner and are bringing home the CASH.  Yes, cash is king and so are you.  The $100 visa gift card is yours and you earned EVERY single penny of it.  In addition, because you are such a great sport and so very, very funny, you will also receive a "Bringing Home the Bacon" Tasting Box from Sugarfina, for bringing home the bacon in this competition.  Nicely, nicely done--and seriously, if you want to play a round of golf at the Creek, let me know.  However, you may have to play with my sons, so you might want to rethink that …
  • Third Place--the $50 worth of Chipolte gift cards AND the sugarfina candies (ONE Cocktail Tasting Box and ONE Bringing Home the Bacon Tasting Box) go to our very own Rob Fredrickson. FYI--those combined 15 lbs of twin babies are now about 500lbs of big man twins.  I hope they enjoy Chipolte, because $50 will may buy one meal for your twin towers of sons…You were a very tough competitor and wrestled the lead from Judy on more than one occasion. We are all very glad that you threw your captioning hat into the ring. Every single round, you made me laugh again and again.  Thanks for being in the game. 
  • Finally, I have a few consolation prizes for those of you who consistently captioned, voted, chimed in and added to the fun.  Stacy, Jessica, Tricia, Joann, Sue E, Kiki, Jan--basically any competitor with over 300 points will get a lovely box of candy from Sugarfina…(their tasting boxes are terrific). Those of you who live out of town, email or FB message me and I will ship the candy to you.  Sue E, I'm not sure how well the candy will transport over seas--We may need to work something out… And yes, Marie and Jean Fredrickson will get some candy, as well.  You've both earned it, with your giving natures, you are the embodiment of Lentertainment.  Congrats all the way around.  
  • And honestly, everybody is a winner with Lentertainment…good fun, big laughs and new friends. What more can you ask for? 

Thanks again to everyone who captioned, voted, read, or shared this blog.  Keep coming back… I will do my best to keep you entertained--and who knows, we may be doing an Adventertainment contest come December….

MCKEON EASTER FUN--why Lentertainment scoring was not done until tonight.

I apologize that I did not get the scoring done sooner, but it takes a serious amount of time to go through over 1,000 votes and attribute each one to it's proper contestant and I didn't have six spare, uninterrupted hours to sit and compile the results until this evening.  I was a little busy yesterday having some serious Easter fun and I have the photos to prove it. Here we are in the yard post Mass, pre Egg Hunt. Yes, Pete is making another face…trying to ruin another picture…Classic Pete.

As many of you know, every year, since our kids have been little, we have a highly competitive Egg Hunt, (think Hunger Games without any real blood shed) Similar to the Lentertainment contest, prizes are awarded for both quality and quantity.  The person who finds the most eggs gets $50.  Second place takes $20 and 3rd place gets $10.   Quantity pays, but hunting skills are rewarded as well.  Dave McKeon hides about 160 eggs, many are just tossed in the rocks on the beach or thrown in the prairie, but a few are very well hidden. These special eggs are worth serious cash so they have to be hard to find: there is one prize egg worth $50, 2 eggs worth $20, 4 worth $10 and 8 worth $5.  Yes, we blow a wad of cash on the egg hunt, but it is worth EVERY penny in pure entertainment value.  We have years of great Egg Hunt memories and it is an anticipated event.  Even when we are out of town, we have a big money hunt.  One year we actually hid the eggs in the exercise room and pool at the Four Seasons in Boston.  We had planned on hiding the eggs in the park across the street from the Four Seasons where we were staying (this was the year we took all the kids on Annie's East coast college tour--14 schools in 9 days--we have never looked at another college since--even though Pete and Nate were only in like fifth and sixth grade) The weather was freakishly cold, so I called down to the front desk to see if we could hide eggs indoors.  They said we could use the pool/exercise area but we had to be done by 7am. We hid most of them and then just threw the rest in the pool--needless to say, the early morning swimmers were not too pleased…typical McKeon holiday.  Good times, good times. 

 Here are the kids this year pre-hunt.  Posey seriously regretted wearing a skirt...
 The eggs are hidden in our yard, from the beach all the way across the road into the Prairie Preserve.  It's a lot of real estate and most years, some of the kids eventually give up. This year, all of the kids are broke, so they were hunting forever…(side note--it took us like ten years to figure out that we should NOT put actual cash in the eggs, because Dave could never remember where he hid all the money eggs and as a result, we often left $20-$40 out in the prairie somewhere.  Two years ago, we started marking the eggs and then handing out the cash post hunt…and this year, Dave took notes on where he his the money eggs so he could provide clues if the hunt went on too long.  One year, we had to take a break for dinner and then the boys went back out to hunt until dark…pouty Pete eventually found the last $20 egg) This year, though I pegged him as a real contender, figuring that since he can now move his arms and legs that he would be totally primed to do whatever it takes to scoop up all the eggs, Nate got shut out in both quantity and quality.  He only found a handful of eggs and only one had money it--However, it was an egg from three years ago that had a single dollar in it.  We were laughing our asses off.  Obviously, plastic eggs live forever.  Jack brought his friend Tim home for Easter and he cleaned up. Tim wisely wore long pants, he had a good stride and he was smart to draft off of Chris (who usually finds the most eggs) .  This year, Tim not only found the most eggs, he also found a few money eggs. I think he took $70 off of us...He most likely will NOT be asked back.

 Here are some action photos:
Nate, sucking it up in the Egg Hunt.

Annie scouring the beach.  Annie is not our strongest competitor. Usually once she finds any money she calls it quits and just comes in.  This year, she and her cousin Nora (both poor grad students) stayed until the bitter end. However, Annie did not land in the big money….again. 

That's Posey "Prairie Beast" McKeon on her way to finding the $50 prize egg. Mid hunt, she actually got stuck in a thicket out in the Prairie and had to be freed by her father, as the other competitors would not stop or slow down to help her. It's every man for himself in the McKeon Hunting world.  However, Posey once again showed them all. And though her legs look like they got caught in a thresher,  for the second year in a row she won the most money of any of our kids. A good time was had by all, but it left little time for scoring the contest.  See the next post for the scoring chart and the prizes awarded.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

NUNS HAVING FUN need your votes.

There were so, so many excellent captions, I had to call in reinforcements to assist in choosing the final TOP TEN---After a delightful family dinner of shrimp fajitas, queso blanco, massive amounts of guacamole and peach margaritas at La Fogata,  (yeah, the McKeons are really feeling the sacrifice of Lent in that Good Friday meal….however, it really was our only meal of the day--though I'm not quite sure how margaritas fit into the Lenten fasting rules…) I turned the blog over to Nate to get his opinion on the best of the best, asking that he mark his favorites before midnight.  While his siblings and their college cronies played Cards Against Humanity (another super appropriate Good Friday endeavor--though they did wait until midnight to start making meat based food) Nate got to work.  When I woke up this morning, here is what I found on my laptop: 

Hello my dear readers. My sweet mother Laurie was composing the final blog post when, out of nowhere, the ground opened up below her and she was swallowed into the depths of hell by a fire of Biblical proportions. This should be a warning to you all. Stay on your guard, any one of you could be next (Mr. Fredrickson). My main concern at the moment is figuring out how I’ll explain the gaping hole in the family room floor to my dad, because we all know that it’ll take some serious dough to fix this bad boy. I’ve taken it upon myself to complete the Lentertainment journey by posting the final Top Ten. You all have competed marvelously, and should be proud of yourselves. But not that proud. Only the winner can be truly proud. Without further ado, it gives my great honor to present to you the Top Ten of the final Lentertainment blog post. Let’s boogie:

 Before we "boogie" I must confess (Lent and all) that I edited Nate's TOP TEN this morning, turning it into a well deserved TOP FIFTEEN.  (Stacy really came to play--she had about 20 great captions all by  herself)  Also, my descent into Hell has been greatly exaggerated at this time--though it could be imminent, today is not that day. And I'm sorry to say this, but I fear more than a few of you will be joining me on that fast train to hell, as Rob nicely pointed out. But, I hope we've all enjoyed the ride. 

Here are the FINEST FIFTEEN--someone tell Karla so she can spend the whole day voting. The voting stops at MIDNIGHT!! at which time,  I will ruminate, tabulate, and congratulate the winners.  

Remember, ONE THOUSAND very important extra credit points will be awarded this round.  I am incredibly impressed by the quality of nun captions.  You have all outdone yourselves. Please continue with your winning ways during the voting section--It's not just about the quantity of votes--quality comments ALWAYS get noticed and often get REWARDED…Let's keep the LENTERTAINMENT coming and finish strong.  

My other car is a Prius         Linda

Since nobody can hear me, I'm going to say it: "I think Mr. Freund is hot."       Stacy
(This made every single one of my kids laugh out loud) 

I'm picking Jesus up at the Tomb on's a long drive.             Judy

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas and a half pack of cigarettes ... We're on a mission from God…    Jan                (I LOVE this one…very much) 

I can't wait to hit that bitch Sister Mary Catherine, for stealing my rosary.          Jessica (not Jess)

"What are the nuns doing that they can't answer the phone?" Pope Francis said.           Judy
(Thank Maggie for this one getting in the Top Fifteen. If Maggie likes it, it's good) 

God dammit, get your ass out of the slow lane, Sr. Jovita!            Judy

Sister Ignatius may have just peed a little?            Stacy

The Fast and the Furious!         Linda

Racing to confession with that cute Father Joe.                      Rob

After Vatican II, they began driving real cars.                      Marie Pitt Payne

Sister Catherine instantly regretted not wearing her sports bra.      Stacy

 I think Laurie lured us into this so she'll have company in Hell.              Rob
(This may or may not be true) 

"All the single ladies, all the single ladies, put your hands up" timing is everything.        John

" Let she who is without sin crash the first car".                  John
  (excellent use of Bible verse)