Friday, December 12, 2014

Why is my child crying...

Because his hot dog "broke".

(The bun really just cracked and fell apart, but - at this age - a 
broken hot dog is right up there with the end of the world.)

Popping in to say HI...


Just popping in briefly to let everyone know that I'm still alive.  Things are good.  My brother got engaged to a great girl (Hi, CEO) over Thanksgiving, and Banner is rocking the big boy pants.  He is even waking up dry some mornings.  I know, I mind is blown.  I guess I figured potty training would take longer or be more of a struggle than it has been (I'm not kidding when I say THIS was the worst of it).  Someone told me it would click when he was ready, and I supposed that's really true.

And, yes, I am fully aware that I just jinxed myself my writing that down.  All the more so since we have a brand spankin' new sand colored couch arriving on Tuesday.

As for me, I've been trying my best to open up to those closest to me.  2014 has been a hard year - not just for me, but for many that I know and love - and I've really appreciated all your thoughts and prayers.  My fingers are crossed for good things in 2015.  I'm not sure I can see the light at the end or the proverbial tunnel yet, but at least I'm starting to optimistically believe that there might be one.  Baby steps, right?

In other news, I would just like to come out and say that I think the whole Elf on the Shelf thing is completely creepy.  And I don't mean that as a slight to anyone who does it.  Power to you if you do.  It is just that I've been tricked into seeing movies like CHUCKY since I was little (I somehow avoided seeing Annabelle this fall, but that sh*t is bound to come out on demand sooner or later), and I can think of nothing more disturbing than voluntarily bringing a doll into your home that moves around on its own volition, disappears randomly and causes mischief.  Mischief, might I add, that I will presumably have to clean up.

Plus, the d@mn thing has mitts for hands.  MITTS!

No thank you!

Trevor, of course, completely disagrees.  He is willing to sacrifice our safety in order to bribe our child to behave for three weeks in December.  It is obviously a good thing I'm around to stop him.  FOR ALL OUR SAKES.

Happy weekend, y'all, and enjoy all the back posts. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

50 random Bannerisms...

  1. Almost always says his favorite number is "eleventeen" and color "geen" (green).
  2. Thinks all football teams are the Dallas Cowboys.
  3. Is currently a camo belt in karate.
  4. Loves all things lollipop and ice-cream (because duh).
  5. Will randomly tell you that he is feeling "awesome".
  6. Still sleeps in a crib (he tried to climb out and fell over a year ago, and has never attempted to escape since).
  7. Knows Peter Parker is really Spiderman.
  8. Prefers to wear his underwear backwards so the picture of Spiderman is on the front.
  9. Desperately wants a bike.
  10. Still obsessed with sushi, edamame and raw ginger and requests it for dinner at least once a week.
  11. Almost never puts his shoes on the wrong feet.
  12. Always gets three dog cookies out of the treat jar when we are leaving.  One for each member of the Awesome Pawsome.
  13. Asks if Haskell is a girl despite being told repeatedly that Haskell is a boy (poor Haskell).
  14. Thinks all things train, plane, tractor and automobile are the best ever.
  15. Gives the BEST hugs, kisses and snuggles.
  16. Calls milk boxes "juice".
  17. Doesn't like cheese.
  18. Can't wait to go to swim class.
  19. Frequently asks me if "mama need more coffee?"
  20. Sometimes fakes a cough to get a teaspoon of honey before bed.
  21. Insists on zipping up his own coat, and buckling himself into his carseat.
  22. Tells the dogs to "walk away" when they try to steal his food (Gypsy is the worst.  She's old and just doesn't care if she gets caught).  Related: calls CEO's dog, Pilgrim, "Wigwam".
  23. Loves pickles.
  24. Believes burping and "pooting" to be the very pinnacle of hilarity.
  25. Whenever he sees string lights anywhere, says "Look!  Christmas!"
  26. Is terrified of Santa and the Easter Bunny, but LOVED it when Clifford the Big, Red Dog visited his school.
  27. Speaks in complete sentences and is usually very observant.
  28. Thinks all snowmen are "happy".
  29. Can't wait to move up to pre-school so he can play with his buddy, Charlie.
  30. Loves to flush the toilet, but is frequently scared of the flush.
  31. Can be bribed into smiling for a picture if someone faux hits someone else or pretends to throw up (ah, boys).
  32. Is always asking to use mama's "Wapstick" (chapstick).
  33. Says his favorite animal is the "horsey".
  34. Loves books.
  35. Bites his nails.
  36. Uses a blanket as a "pillow" every night.
  37. Is still a little iffy on his colors.
  38. Likes to blow out candles.
  39. Is utterly confused (and angry!) when the moon is up during the day.
  40. Never misses an opportunity to splash in a puddle.
  41. Prefers to eat muffins or waffles in the morning before school.
  42. Will say, "Look, mama!  That's a pretty park over there!" whenever we pass a playground.
  43. Asks to go to the "alley-eat-um" (arboretum), ranch and the "Durango house" constantly.
  44. Fights bedtime with ploys like "I need water", "I need to go to potty" and "I need another hug" every single night.
  45. Always prefers to be outside.
  46. Refers to his home as "Banner's house".
  47. Loves to have his hair brushed at school.  Related:  Has repeatedly told me that he "no like Amelia" and "Amelia no my friend".  Which is hard to understand since Amelia is adorable, very sweet...and well, (a young) two.  I've tried to get to the bottom of it, so much so that he now whispers "I no like Amelia" to himself when he sees her down the hall in the hopes I won't hear it and question him about her again.  I guess you don't have to like everyone in the world, but this is the first time we've added person to the same category as cheese (which the little weirdo also doesn't like). 
  48. Generally wakes up between 6:30 and 7 AM every morning.  No matter if he stays up late the night before or skips his afternoon nap.
  49. Is very stressed out by falling leaves.  Says "Oh, no!" with alarm, and always wants to know what happened and why they fell.
  50. Believes his name to be "Banner Winkle".

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving (mostly in pictures)...

Thanksgiving 2014 followed a similar pattern to last year, except we didn't run the Turkey Trot (I know:  lazy a$$es).  The day began with lunch at Brook Hollow with Mimi, Bud, Ann and Harriet followed by dinner with Gram, Pop-Pop and Uncle Spencer.    Then, still in a turkey coma, we drove to the ranch bright and early Friday morning for Thanksgiving Part III.

Banner insisted on wearing his bike helmet for about 2/3rds of the three hour car ride that morning, because - as he so eloquently put it - "safety first".  Eventually, the novelty wore off, though, and the little guy was content to "read" his books for the remainder of the journey.  Thank goodness he packed a bunch!

The real reason we got such an early start Friday morning was because we were privy to a secret.  Namely, that my brother was (finally!) going to pop the question to his girlfriend, CEO, on top of the peak.  

(Spoiler alert:  She said "yes!")

Squeeee!  Congrats, you two!

The rest of the weekend was filled with family, good food, lots of tractor rides, two glorious trips to Eve's and hikes around the ranch.  No wonder it is one of Banner's favorite places.  Just looking at the following images makes me relaxed and happy.  Nothing beats late fall in the Texas Hill Country.  It is a magical place.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the weekend:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Anna's Army...

My other family.

One of my best friends, Anna, was diagnosed with breast cancer back in May.  I won't talk too much about it here.  It is, after all, her story, but a Jac, Kes and I got to join her parents and boyfriend up in New York for her third chemo session in late October. 

The trip was a bit of a whirlwind.  We all arrived on a Saturday and left Tuesday, which is sort of a random time to go anywhere.  But it totally worked.  We even had time to go to the Today Show with signs supporting Anna's Army, and for Jac and I to accidentally end up on an express train to Harlem.  Because of course that happened.

Looking a little rough on the subway (coming back from Harlem),
but - to be fair - Kes had us up at 5:30 that morning.

(Jac and I have been besties since our first day of high school, and so far we have twenty years of misadventures to keep us entertained in our old age.  She won't remember them, but that's why I'm around.  ;P )

As for Anna, she's always been like a second little sister to me.  Jac and I used to babysit her when she was little, and she was in my wedding.  I'm so proud of how well she's been doing (can you imagine a cancer diagnosis?  At 25?).  She's handled the last six months with a strength and grace well beyond her age.

It makes me so grateful, that - even after all these years (or maybe because of all these years?) - we can still get together, regardless of the distance and circumstances, and laugh like we've never been apart.  True, there were tears that weekend in NYC.  How could there not be with cancer being the reason for this particular reunion?  But there was significantly more laughter.  And isn't that always the best medicine?

Stay strong, Little Bonzi!

Note:  I'm posting this on November 17th - the date of Anna's fourth and final chemo treatment. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Potty Training Confessional...

Y'all.  Potty training?  It isn't for the faint hearted.

This past weekend was our first foray into a brave new world without pull ups.  I've been prepared for weeks.  In late September, I ordered the Ban Man about 20 pairs of big boy undies with all his favorite things on the front (Spiderman, Superman, Thomas the know, the usual suspects), and waited for the appropriate time to start using them.  And October did not disappoint, either.  Banner has made spectacular progress over the last six weeks when it comes to all things potty, so I really wasn't all that surprised when his teacher asked if we could "give the big boy pants a 'go' this weekend" to, you know, see how it went.

And, honestly, I was impressed.  True THIS HAPPENED on Saturday night, but really no harm no foul:

Until Monday, that is. 

Apparently, when it comes to using the potty, Banner is all or nothing.  He will dutifully do his business in the potty all day if he feels like it.  If not, meh...he doesn't seem to care if he is wet or sitting in a puddle.

Except I do.  Especially when that puddle is on my couch.  Twice.  In less than fifteen minutes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The thing is, we had been doing SO.WELL.  Saturday and Sunday were AWESOME, and I was feeling optimistic about our chances of being out in public without a pull up (I know, famous last words, right?!).  So, I took him out for a celebratory sushi lunch (his favorite) after swim class on Monday.  A meal that just happened to coincide with Banner deciding that the whole potty thing was completely overrated.

It didn't start out that way, though.  He peed in the potty like a champ three or four times after swim class - including TWICE at the restaurant.  My confidence was up, and my guard was down.  The food arrived, and Banner started shoveling avocado rolls in his mouth like he hadn't eaten for days. 

Which is, of course, when it happened:

Banner:  "Mama, Banner sittin' in a puddle."

And, sure enough, he was.  Did he care about it?  No.  Just scooted over and picked up another avocado roll from his plate completely unfazed.  He might as well have been commenting on the weather. 

Me, on the other hand, went into crisis mode.  Because that is what you do when you are on a lunch date in public with your two year old son on his third day in underwear, and suddenly discover him sitting in a pool of his own urine. 

Since the restaurant was crowded, I didn't want to make a scene.  So, instead, I surveyed the situation and tried to breathe:

  • No one, except me (and technically Banner), was aware of what just happened.
  • Thanks to the color of Banner's pants, they didn't even look wet.  They were, in fact soaked through, but you'd never know it just by looking at them.
  • We were sitting on a wood bench (Thank God).
  • Thanks to an earlier spill, we had a bunch of extra black, fabric napkins.
  • Both of us were almost done with our meal.

You see where this is going?

If not, this is the point where I confess.  Be forewarned, however, that my coworker thinks I've done "the most horrible thing".  I say desperate times, desperate measures.

I discretely cleaned up the puddle using the extra napkins, while - simultaneously - finishing my California rolls (so no one watching would suspect anything).  I also grabbed a handful of ice from my water glass and tossed the cubes on the bench next to the wet napkins.  When the waitress came by, I told her Banner had spilled his water again.  She brought more napkins over, and I did my best to wrap the damp ones around the dry ones.  Then I moved the entire bundle into the sun, because the original puddle was...well, warm, and I didn't want anyone to suspect that the majority of the liquid was anything other than spilled water.  When the waitress returned, I hastily paid for our meal, tipped her very well and GOT THE EFF OUT OF THERE.

I know, I know.  Judge away!  I'm 100% guilty!

Personally, I feel like this story PALES in comparison to a similar one from my youth.  And since I'm telling this particular story about Banner, it is only right and fair that I share one from my own childhood.

I was about nine months old when my parents took me with them on a trip to Europe.  Apparently, I discovered pear juice somewhere along the way.  Unfortunately said juice did not agree with me, and...well, to quote my father I "blew my diaper off" at some cute, little restaurant in France.  He even has a video taken immediately after the incident occurred so he and my mother could immortalize it and bring it up from time to time throughout my childhood, because that's the kind of people they are.

Except the video clip, oddly enough (or not so oddly if you know my dad), ended with him getting distracted by his sudden need to "document" the slew of topless sunbathers he stumbled upon mere moments after zooming in on me in my mother's arms and taking a close up of the restaurant I had just disgraced.  This segue (or lack thereof) to early 80s European boobies has shocked, awed and confused people for years.  Including Trevor, who - after seeing the clip for the first time thirteen some odd years ago (THANKS, DAD!!) thought he was seeing a video my father shot of ME sunbathing topless on a beach in France.  Which, NO.  No, no, no, no, NO!  For SO many reasons NO!  It was almost a relief to clarify that I was the adorable nine month baby who just crapped herself at the restaurant across the street from a beach full of partially naked women.

(Note:  my father also showed this very same video to a movie theater FULL of people a decade and a half ago during a party in my honor.  Because of course he did.  And - even better - PEOPLE STILL REMEMBER SEEING IT.)

But I digress.

When I so unceremoniously exploded post pear juice, nothing was spared.  Including the chair cushion I was sitting on.  My parents, having just paid, looked at the situation in horror, and - not wanting to own up to what just happened - flipped the chair cushion over and fled like the building was on fire.

Not that my situation on Monday was much better, but at least I tipped well.  Even if I have no European boobies to show for it.

End of confession.

Friday, November 07, 2014

I know. I am a terrible blogger...

Y'all.  I have so much to say, and yet writing it down has gotten so hard.  It is like I have no words.  No voice.  Every day I think to myself, "Baby steps.  Just jot a few things down, and hit publish."  But - even then - nothing flows, and I end up with nothing but a bunch of half a$$ed drafts on my blogging dashboard. 

I hope know it will get better.  And I guess I should consider myself lucky that this is the first time I've encountered any kind of writer's block in the (almost) ten years since I started this little corner of the Internet. 

The truth is:  I'm stressed.  I'm worried.  I'm think I'm more stressed and worried than I ever have been in my life.  And stress is incredibly exhausting.  All my energy is going into the things that I have to get done.  Everything else is falling by the wayside, and I hate it.  Writing has always been my outlet, and it seems almost cruel that I can't find my voice at the same time I need it the most.

Anyway, this too will pass, so please don't count me out.  In the meantime, if you get a second, please send a positive thought, prayer or hug my way.  This is one of those times I could really it.

Thank you so much,

Friday, October 31, 2014


We've had THREE costumes since late August/early September.  The idea was (since they were only $15 each) that Banner could "gently" wear them all before Halloween, and then have a pretty decent costume bin for dress up after the holiday had come and gone.

There was much debate, leading up to Halloween, about which costume Banner would ultimately choose for trick-or-treating.  Spiderman had been favored for weeks, and that was the costume of choice at Brook Hollow's annual costume party the Sunday before Halloween:

The boots make the outfit.

However, as Halloween approached, Captain America jumped ahead of the competition.  Banner even announced to his classmates that he was going to be "Cap'in Murica".  Many assumed the matter was settled.

But then the holiday arrived, and - after all this choices were presented to him - the HULK was ultimately triumphant.  It was an amazing come from behind victory that no one saw coming.  It was also very short lived, because the Hulk mask "hurt".  So short lived, in fact, that someone's mama didn't even get a chance to snap a picture (sigh).

So it was second place Captain America that actually made an appearance on Halloween night.  Fellow superheroes Superman, Ironman and Spiderman also joined in for the fun, because OF COURSE:

The best part of the night was how seriously Banner...err, Captain America took his superhero responsibilities.  Because, clearly, crime fighting is no joking matter:

(Well, mostly...)

Unexpected problem:  knocking while holding both a
shield and a bucket is impossible when you are two.

Captain America also had quite the haul of goodies.  Lucky for us, he was too tired to appreciate it.  In fact, he was too tired to even take a bath.  Poor little guy was out like a light (because, again, crime fighting is hard, y'all). 

Until next year...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why is my child crying...

Because daddy tried to help him
put wings on his lego airplane...

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Me:  "Banner, are you a big boy just like daddy?"
Banner:  "No.  Daddy is a big boy just like me."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That week we hit our head a lot...

I know it is all part of the boy package (or maybe he is just clumsy like his mama?), but we recently had one of those weeks plagued with injury.  First Banner managed to get attacked by his train table.  Still not entirely sure how he managed it, but I think it involved his desire to flip the table top over to the side with the waterways and trees.  Which is how he ended up with the goose egg in the photo above. 
And, yes.  In case you are wondering, he IS smiling in that picture because he got an ice pack AND a band aid.  Nothing makes a boo-boo totally worth it like an ice pack and a band aid (even if the band aid is on your hand...NO WHERE NEAR THE BOO-BOO). 
And what's icing on the ice pack and band aid cake?  Getting to walk into your classroom with said icepack and boo-boo, and all the other kids and teachers are like, "Oh, no!  Banner, what happened?"  To which he PROMPTLY replied, "I bump my head on my train table" (complete with oh-so dramatic sigh).  He was pretty much a celebrity at that moment, and he milked that attention FOR DAYS.
Then he fell off the couch after school a day or two later and landed on his head because of course he did.  Sadly (for him) I refused to put a band aid in his hair.  I'm guessing the poor boy will need years of therapy to recover from this slight.
Finally, Saturday rolled around and with it karate class.  They were warming up with a game of RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT when Banner failed to stop and rear ended the kid in front of him with his face.  All was okay for about 30 seconds, but then the blood started to gush from his nose. 
Sigh.  Boys.
Luckily, Banner was fine (as was the kid he ran into).  Well, technically Ban sort of started to stutter about this same time, but I was told by his pediatrician that that is pretty normal.  And I mean that developmentally.  Not because he broke himself by bumping his head so many times in a week.  Because, believe me, I asked for clarification. 
Also, I got all that blood out of his uniform.  I was so proud of myself until Trevor informed me that blood stains make you look tough and give you "street cred". 
Even when I win, I lose.
In other news, after nearly a month hiatus, I'm feeling the urge to write again.  Mainly, because it has been a stress filled September and October and I need an outlet before I implode.  No promises, of course, but I'm optimistic.  If nothing else, writing about my little guy makes me happy, and...well, I need a little of that right now.

Trevor promised to take him camping, so this keeps happening...

In related news, Banner has gotten waaaaaay too comfortable peeing outside.  I blame Trevor and our attempts at potty training on top of a mountain back in August.

Not long after the lower two pictures were taken, Banner announced he had to pee and immediately dropped trou.  He was alarming close to my head (I was lying on the ground), so I told him to quickly relocate to his big boy potty inside.  He complied, and ran inside sans pants.  I stayed behind briefly in the backyard to gather up all the blankets, his pants, miscellaneous toys, etc.

And that's when I heard it. 


The doorbell ran, the dogs went crazy and - most alarmingly - I heard Banner veer off course AND OPEN THE FRONT DOOR.


I immediately dropped everything, and ran inside only to discover the following:

1. Haskell "hiding" on his bed.
2. My son, without pants, standing in front of a very open front door screaming for Alley.
3. Alley SPRINTING across the front yard for the street.
4. Gypsy eagerly greeting a very confused looking cub scout and his father on our front porch.

I confess:  I just stood there for a split second not knowing what to do or where to start.

Since the most pressing issue seemed to be my suicidal dog, I ran after her first, convinced her freedom wasn't all it was cracked up to be and got her (and Gypsy) back in the house.  Then, I told Banner to go to the potty before he had an accident (he did and - thank goodness - returned wearing pants).  Then, and only then, did I turn my attention to the poor cub scout and his dad, who - bless them - were only trying to sell popcorn to raise money for their troop. 

I tried to apologize by buying the biggest box I could find.  Banner was thrilled we had visitors, the dad seemed amused by the entire spectacle and his son left with renewed hope that he might be able to raise enough money to qualify for a prize.  Hopefully a win-win for all.

Except for me, and my poor mortified heart.  ;P

Monday, October 20, 2014

Eyes gots a pickle...

That time Banner thought he found the world
 largest pickle in a pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October 8th...

I know.  I know.  I'm behind.  But to be fair, it's been a little overwhelming lately with the fair, Ebola and that severe storm last Thursday that took out left hundreds of thousands (including us) without power for DAAAAAYS.

Also, I haven't really been in the writing mood.  I try and nothing comes out.  I have about twenty drafts saved on my blog dashboard that are little more than main ideas with little to no sentence structure.

Part of it is stress related.  Work has been crazy lately and I've been working a lot of overtime.  It is good to be busy, but it is also exhausting.

The other part is more emotional than anything, and just makes me sad.  For the last three weeks, I've been counting down the days…until today.  October 8th was my due date.

I went to a wedding over the summer, and one of my mom's friends took me aside and asked me how I was doing.  At first I didn't know what she was talking about, and I was all, "I'm fine!"  Then she confided that she, too, had a miscarriage decades earlier.

"How are you doing?  How are you doing really?" she asked.

I paused.  This was back in June when - honestly - I was still a wreck.  Physically I was experiencing frequent heart palpitations and inexplicable weight gain, and emotionally I felt hollow.  Like a complete failure and waste of space. 

"Does the pain ever go away?"

"Not really, but it does get easier.  You will never forget, though.  Whenever you see a child celebrating a birthday around the time yours should have been born, you will remember.  You will imagine how old they would have been, milestones they should be reaching, lost teeth.  And later, when you are my age, you will think of them at graduation ceremonies and weddings and the birth of grandbabies.  There will always be little reminders.  But with time, I promise, they will sting less.  Although, the ache...the ache will never truly go away."

So much of what she said resonated with me.  Since the miscarriage, there hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about where I would have been in my pregnancy.  Symptoms I would have been experiencing.  When I hit what should have been the 37 week mark, I started thinking about whether or not I would have gone into labor on my own, scheduled a C-section at 39 weeks or insisted on trying for a VBAC.  I've stared at other women's pregnant bellies with a combination of misplaced resentment and longing.

It's been a very difficult 28 weeks.  I have so many more white hairs now. 
But here we are:  D Day.  If that little boy hadn't died in my womb, he'd be here by now.  And is just another Wednesday in October.

Things have gotten better, though.  Really.  The heart palpitations now have an explanation (benign heart murmur and PVCs), and that random weight I gained disappeared - literally - overnight in late July.  I had complained to several doctors about the 10-12 pounds, and not one of them took me seriously.  They just told me it was most likely because I was getting older or eating more because I was still depressed about losing the baby.  No one would even consider that it was hormonal or water-related, which was crazy-making.  I was oh-so literally running until I bled trying to get it off, and borderline starving myself.  I had all but given up hope, and then *poof*.  The water went away, the PVCs all but stopped and I finally felt like my body was starting to get back to normal. 

Emotionally, though, I still have plenty of moments.

For instance…

…Trevor and I became Godparents on September 21st, and Banner absolutely adores his God sister, Abby.  Banner and I have taken her to the Arboretum on playdates, and he loves to push her stroller and check on her.  One time, at lunch in August, she was fussy with reflux and red faced with tears.  Banner wanted so badly to help her feel better that he covered her infant carrier and feet with stickers.  Since then he asks frequently to go see "Baby Abby".  He will hold her hand and smile at her, and Abby will stop crying and smile back when she sees him.  It melts my heart to see them together, and I can’t help but tear up when I think that he was supposed to be a big brother by now.


…Back before Banner was born, my mother bought a newborn Santa outfit.  Ban was supposed to arrive before Christmas, but was stubborn and showed up nearly two weeks late.  When he finally arrived in January, it never occurred to me (blame first time parenthood) to shove him in the tiny little outfit for a photo before he was way too big for it.  Something I’ve always regretted.  When I found out I was pregnant back in January, one of the thoughts that made me happy was having another opportunity to use the never worn Santa outfit.  After all, the timing would have been perfect with the holiday’s right around the corner.  Maybe an announcement photo?  It is a silly thing to be sad about:  an unused Santa onesie.  But I am.  I tear up when I think about it sitting in a bag in attic with the tags still attached.    

Maybe tomorrow I'll find my words and finish one of those drafts on my dashboard.
Here's to hoping.  Here's to tomorrow.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I know you are jealous...

This might be my FAVORITE piece of art that Banner has produced to date.  Mainly because I have no earthly idea what it is or even what it was supposed to be.  It is simply a glorious lump of paper mache and purple paint. 

A glorious purple lump, might I add, that I proudly displayed on our kitchen island until Trevor couldn't take it any more it mysteriously disappeared. 

Thank goodness I took pictures (you are welcome!):

So you can get a since of scale, it was about
the same size as a large dog's head.