Wii Wii Wii all the way home

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Nov 30, 2008 Under babies, family life, health, mommies, Uncategorized

Oh yeah.? There’s nothing like a baby on a time change to? put a little extra spring? in your step.? Or a little? extra baggage? under your eyes.? No, really–I enjoy waking up at 4:45 in the morning.? Almost as much as I enjoy cutting hound dog toenails.? It just hacks me off a? teensy weensy? bit that she goes back to sleep instantly, whereas I toss and turn, beat my pillow, and check the clock every five minutes in? some? sort of psychotic, sleep-deprived, delirium-induced ritual.? Hopefully this is not indicative of what to expect for the upcoming month.? Because there’s nothing worse than? a grumpy Santa.? Bah humbug, already.

So, I just had a birthday the day after Thanksgiving.? Which was actually quite nice, once we got past? the baby plane vomiting incident.? And no,? I did not turn 45, regardless of what the stinkin’ Wii fit says.? That has got to be the most masochistic birthday present ever.? I mean, I did ask for one, which demonstrates that? I’m obviously a glutton for punishment.? But seriously, to add 7 years to my actual age just because I can’t stand on one leg and balance without my foot looking like it’s having a seizure?? Totally unfair.? It’s not like the darn thing can actually see my wrinkles.? Or can it?? CAN IT?? And I fail to see what’s wrong with missing a measly eight gates on the downhill slalom game.? I mean, if they were all that important, they should really think about putting them closer together.? Like in a straight line.

I don’t know about you, but so far, I’m finding 38 to be a bit of an awkward age.? It’s too old for mini-skirts, yet too young for a mid-life crisis.? Maybe I could combine the two and have a mini? crisis.? Which is in the works if that baby keeps waking me up butt early.? How can I be expected to assume crazy? balancing poses? when I can barely keep my eyes open?? On second thought, maybe I should try closing them the next time I slalom–it could only be an improvement.

I guess I’ll give? the Wii fit another chance–’tis the season, after all.? But seriously–if I see “Wow, your wrinkles look way more pronounced this morning–Add five more years to your Wii age,” up on the screen, I’m getting out the jackhammer.

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Back to the blog with a little Thanksgiving gag

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Nov 29, 2008 Under babies, dogs, family life, Uncategorized

Um, yeah.? It really has been that long since I’ve blogged.? I guess that makes me either the laziest person on the entire planet, or somebody who seriously needs to think? about off-loading a few of? her dogs.? Or kids.? Possibly both.? In fact, would you be interested in borrowing some?? Just for a short time–say, six months?? A year, tops.? Fergie promises to be good.

But I’m back.? At least for now.? ? See,? I’ve been trying to keep up with the writing gigs that actually contribute towards my monthly mortgage payments, rather than just gleefully ranting away on here for free.? Okay, so? maybe my funded articles really only contribute towards a few outings to Target.? And rather? minor ones at that.? But given my dollar bin addiction, it’s probably a worthwhile endeavor to continue.? Even if I do sometimes get to write about less than scintillating topics. (Don’t ask.)

So, on to more crucial stuff.? For starters, can I just say–what is up with Meaningful Beauty?? I mean, have you people read the commentage coming in about that? rotting? honeydew excrement? masquerading as face cream?? No?? Well, all I can say is–if you see Cindy? Crawford walking down? the street, peg her with a melon, then run like hell.

Speaking of melons, Thanksgiving was great.? Not that we ate melon. or even anything remotely resembling melons, come to think of it.? Unless sweet potatoes count.? Although they’re not all that melon-esque.? But we did go to Chicago, kids in tow. Because everyone knows what a hoot it is to take a four hour plane trip with a 13 month-old and 4 yr-old.? We just kicked back, watched the in-flight movie, read a little, had a beer, and slept.? Well, maybe in a parallel universe somewhere that happened.? Just not in our world.? Actually, the kids were troopers. Provided, of course, that we entertained them for virtually every second of the plane rides.? And there was that one baby barfing incident involving parmesan peppercorn cheese spread.? But we don’t need to sweat the small details.? At least? no melons were upchucked.? All in all, it was a nice visit.? I mean, who cares that our house smelled like an? immense urinal once we came home?? Just chalk it up to? the joys of dogs on prednisone.?

As for what I’m thankful for this year?? Oh, the usual stuff.? Like family, good friends, and a (fully mortgaged) roof over our heads.? And the fact my husband was the one holding the baby during the above-mentioned? plane hurling? episode.? What can I say?? Sometimes, it’s those little? things we cherish the most.

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Okay Kiddie Kandids—Kandid This!!

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Oct 15, 2008 Under babies, family life, mommies, Uncategorized

I can’t believe I’ve been so remiss as to neglect? posting? our? Kiddie Kandids? photos from my daughter’s first birthday.? First, I had my son and daughter pose together:

? Cute, huh?? Next, I had my daughter sit by herself for the “real” birthday shot:

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What’s that you say?? You? can’t see anything?? Strange.? Well, actually, I suppose it could be because before we got any shots we could use, Finley? SOMERSAULTED OFF THE ELEVATED STAGE AND LANDED ON HER HEAD.? No, I’m not kidding.? It was seriously horrifying.? In fact, I’m pretty sure I gasped loud enough to be heard at the Babies R Us in San Francisco.

Apparently, the photographer must have been new, memory-impaired, or on crack, because instead of reciting the safety rules and having me sit right by my daughter the entire time TO PREVENT HER FROM BRAINING HERSELF ON THE FLOOR, she instead had me stand back behind? the camera? and make faces, so that my daughter would smile.? ? And don’t get me wrong–I’m all? about smiling baby photos.? Heck, smiling baby photos are the bomb–so long as? your baby doesn’t do? a header off the stage and land with a loud “splat” on the cheaply padded Kiddie Kandids bargain carpeting.

Having rarely been to Kiddie Kandids before, I guess I didn’t realize that kids actually might try to crawl off the platform.? Although, in retrospect–duh.? And I should have known to be cautious after the same photographer? kept attempting? to? perch my twelve month-old daughter on a completely uneven, unstable, and unsuitable? rock prop? lacking even? one iota of? back support.? ? I’m thinking she finally? realized it wouldn’t be safe after I uttered for the fifth time, “This isn’t safe.”? But? when the props were removed, I just went? along with? the photographer’s? directions, never? imagining that my poor little Fin-bucket would topple off the stage.

To make matters worse, they had their insurance company call me a few days later.? Not out of any genuine concern for my child, mind you, but rather just to get me to sign off on any store liability.? When I told them I really wasn’t interested in suing, but it would be nice if they offered to pay for Finley’s doctor’s appointment (to make sure she had no major brain damage) and chiro visit (her neck was totally out of alignment), the lady huffed and puffed and told me she didn’t think the policy covered any medical expenses.? Say what?? And when I said I probably wouldn’t sign anything right away, just to be on the safe side? (a personal family experience turned bad has left me cautious), she basically told me never fear, they wouldn’t need me to sign because her client probably wasn’t negligent anyway.? And I repeat–Say what?? Um, since when is the client not? negligent when they not only neglect to inform? the customer? of company safety policies, but also? violate those same policies?? Because after talking to a bunch of friends who frequent Kiddie Kandids, well, frequently, it becomes readily? apparent that there was? a flagrant lack of regular procedure during my visit.? Namely, that parents MUST be within an arm’s reach of their child, on the stage, at ALL times.?

Oh, and just to top off what was already an utterly miserable experience–the one photo they got of my daughter prior to the fall?? That I might have purchased?? Well, apparently, I’m not allowed to have it.? You see, silly me, I put her in a denim overall dress with nothing under it,? going for that? cute chubby baby look.? Little did I know that flashing a? minuscule bit of my baby girl’s? skin would be considered pornographic by Kiddie Kandids.? Not that they said that in so many words.? What they did say, however, was that infant girls are never allowed to expose their, eh-hem, “chest”, EVER.? As in, ever.? And little boys?? Only until they’re 9 months old.? And if that isn’t absolutely the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard in a very long time, I’ll eat my hound dog.? Well, maybe just the tip of her tail–with all the junk Fergie consumes on a daily basis, I can’t imagine she’d make a very tasty meal.

Needless to say, I think my Kiddie Kandids days are over.? Picture People, with your on the floor photos and hopefully less? moronic policies regarding exposed baby flesh, here I come!

So, how’s that for Kandid?

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Finley’s 1st Birthday, or “Me Like-um Cupcakes!”

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Oct 8, 2008 Under babies, family life, Uncategorized

I know this is such a cliche, but I seriously can’t believe how quickly time has passed. Finley celebrated her first birthday yesterday.? It’s almost unfathomable how our tiny infant girl morphed into this sturdy little toddler.? Okay, well, at over 9 lbs at birth, maybe she was never exactly “tiny”.? But you know what I mean.?

I guess a huge part of? the bittersweet aspect is? that we seem to be enjoying our daughter’s babyhood so much more than our son’s.? Not that we didn’t love him equally as much when he was that age.? But it just seemed so much more stressful, that whole fear of the unknown thing.? Whereas now we’re baby pros.? Or not.? But it is easier.? ? However, I’m still? soliciting insight as to how to manage a four year-old dude with a ‘tude, so if anyone has any nuggets of wisdom they’d care to throw my way, I’m all ears.? Barring that, a gift certificate for a month at the spa might work wonders as well.

At any rate, happy 1st birthday, Finley!

Finley and her new “gumball” machine

Finley meets the cupcake.? “Hmmmm, what is this strange looking creature?”

“No matter—it must be edible.? Isn’t everything?”

“W-o-o-o-w-w-w-w-w!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? This sure ain’t broccoli!”? (Did I spell broccoli right?? Wow, that’s a first.)

“Dude.? Cupcakes are? da BOMB!”

“Finger-lickin’ good!”

(In the interest of full disclosure–no, we didn’t let her have the whole cupcake.? Just a few bites, in fact.? Those of you who know me probably already assumed this without me saying anything.? Actually, I planned to make healthy, low-sugar and oil zucchini cupcakes, but in all honesty, I just got lazy.? Plus, I figured with my genes, the poor kid is going to like her sugar, no matter when it gets introduced.? So, I ordered delicious cupcakes to share with friends from our neighborhood Cake Lady, Nicki.? Totally sugar-laden, but totally worth it!)

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Today started out much the same as any other day? except that my husband stayed home from work. Why?Because the two of us have? turned procrastination into an art form.

In a roundabout way, my husand? took a day off work due to our failure to? file? our ’07 taxes.? You may remember that we, or more correctly, I, birthed our? second child? at home.? Supportive as my husband was, I don’t recall him straining his nether regions for hours attempting to push our 9+ lb daughter’s head into the world.? Private parts aside, when you deliver your child at home, you must apply for a birth certificate through the? Office of Vital Statistics, presumably to make sure you and your child are actually legal residents of the state of California.?

Personally, I fail to see how this all works.? Us homebirthers have to cough up three proofs of address,? three notarized affadavits as proof of preganancy and residence, and a bunch of other completely nonsensical papers.? When I had my son at the hospital?? I’m pretty sure I just filled out? this two-minute? form and paid my hospital bills and they were all like, “Okay, here you go–your son’s all legal and stuff.”? ? Obviously, I need to send the midwives of our state some industrial strength backscratchers and? then? thrust? them forth into the governement offices, to perform a few backdoor deals of their own.

The? government? generously grants you a year to apply for the birth certificate before you have to appear in court and explain to the judge why you are so lazy and imcompetent that even with a twelve month allowance, you failed to drag your sorry ass? and that of your infant to the designated government? office.?

So yes, we pushed it a little close for comfort.? In fact, had we been participating in a drinking game in which every time our government worker tsked or commented on how LONG we waited to get our daughter’s birth certificate, pink elephants would have started appearing.? But really–we did have over a month to spare.? I guess the converse of that is we waited eleven months to get the certificate.? And truth be told, we weren’t really motivated by concern for our daughter’s legal status, but rather, by greed.? Not only is that second baby a big tax write-off, but we want us some of good old Georgie’s economic stimulus money as well.? I figure it will buy my Orange County commuting husband about one day’s worth of gas.

So most likely our tardiness in procuring the most important document our daughter will ever possess alone grants us the imcompetent parents of the year award.? And then there’s the part where later that same day, my husband? shatters our coffee table and manages to bleed all over my son and the rest of our house, right before people are? scheduled? to take a class in? our home, except they’re really not because I got the date wrong.? But that’s going to have to be part two—all that bleeding and tsking and goverment office smell makes me sleepy.

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Wordless Wednesday…Let sleeping dogs, er, babies, lie

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Jul 29, 2008 Under babies, dogs, kids, wordless wednesday

Oops–just a few words first.? Don’t forget to enter my contest–it ends Thursday night (and a new one will begin).

As far as WW goes, Just call me indecisive…..

Babies…

Dogs:

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And my least favorite bodily fluid is…

Posted by houndrat on Monday Jul 21, 2008 Under babies, family life, mommies, Uncategorized

Everybody’s a fashion critic these days—even Finley.? ? And? here’s what she had to say about my Tar-jay bling bling sandals:

(In case you’re wondering—yes, that is a gi-normous pile of baby spit-up.? On my foot.)

So they’re obviously not Manolos.? But really, are they that bad??

Well, we obviously know Finley’s opinion.? Then again, just about anything can make her upchuck.? Even her own drool.? The real question here is—does it make me a bad mom to admit how high on the icky scale I rate massive amounts of baby yak?

And for the life of me, I can’t fathom how something so cute produces such a vast amount of yuck:

Stacey and Clinton, don’t get any fancy ideas!

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Wordless Wednesday…..Dogs and kids

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Jul 16, 2008 Under babies, dogs, kids, wordless wednesday

….and just in the nick of time!

“Hound dogs make the best friends”

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Baby’s first solids—so much for planning

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Jun 22, 2008 Under babies, dogs, family life

I forgot to mention—another big thing that happened while were in Colorado?? Finley started solids.

? Well, that’s not 100% accurate.? Actually, my baby started solids when we were in Utah, before we got to Colorado.

Here I was, so proud of myself for delaying solids.? Not that I started Connor super early—he pigged out on his first bowl of rice cereal right at six months.? But this time, I wanted to be more patient.? I waited.? And waited.? And researched.? I carefully read all the websites and articles, and then picked out a few things to start with.? No overly processed grains for my little girl, no sir.? I was going to start with wholesome organic avocado, bananas, and maybe a little sweet potato.? And I was going to wait until around eight months.

So, what happened in Utah?? Well, apparently, Finley wasn’t interested in waiting.? ? Basically,? she decided to take matters into her own little hands and feed herself.? ? Of course, her choice? didn’t quite make my list of top ten super baby foods.

Instead, Finley’s first foods were comprised of this:

In case you’re wondering, “this” is a dog toy that Fergie won lure coursing.? Fergie, being the dainty little hound that she is, promptly destroyed it in about three seconds flat once we got back to the hotel room.? Of course, the fuzzy stuffing exploded everywhere, and I obviously missed a few of the fuzz balls.? So Finley just helped herself.? Yum.

She followed that meal the next day with a bit of paper, at which time I threw in the towel and decided to start her on real solids.? You know, the kind she might actually be able to digest.

Here are a few photos from Colorado of Leo and Fergie helping “clean her up” after she dined on some bananas.? ? So thoughtful of them.

? Oh, and for the record?? This is what Finley thinks of avocado:

I guess the dog toy was tastier.

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Breeding children

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday May 14, 2008 Under babies, dogs, family life

I think my background in show dogs has really warped me (hubby would be happy to agree).? I mean, I know most parents notice little genetic things they’ve passed on, things like blue eyes, curly hair, etc.? But? are we supposed to? notice the totally random, not-so-cute? stuff?? Because I do.? Much to my chargrin.? And I figure it’s got to be because I’m always analyzing Ridgeback puppies, trying to figure out where they got their ears from, or the color of their? toenails, or maybe from which side of the family tree they acquired the special skill of opening cabinets to go trash-diving.

But? all of? that’s? okay, even expected,? when you’re breeding puppies.? Not so much when breeding humans.

So, all you dog people, beware—-and try not to breed for these things:

Exhibit A:? My husband and my son—take a look at those knees, that posture (Eek!? The physical therapist in me cringes).

Exhibit B:? My toes? and Finley’s toes? (Yes, you need to get past the fact that I haven’t had a pedicure in, oh….never, to appreciate that we both have the same long, crooked, and just plain ugly toes.? Actually, I take it back—I’ve had one pedicure in my entire life.? And obviously, it shows.? But seriously—how do women sit still for those things several times a month?? Sigh…and I wonder why my kids are fidgeters).

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