How to Downsize your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Jan 4, 2009 Under family life, Uncategorized

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of coming up with resolutions at the end of every year, only to realize by the? conclusion of the following year I’ve been a miserable failure at each and every one.? So I’ve decided to change things up a little bit this time.? Instead of making a bunch of lofty goals that I haven’t got a a snowball’s chance in hell of achieving, I’ve decided to go the underachiever route.? Basically, that means I’m scaling way back on my? New Year’s resolutions.? You know, so that I can actually be successful for a change.

Here’s how it works.? For example, instead of saying that I’m going to get in great shape next year and hit the gym at least 3 times a week, I’ve made it just a teensy bit easier–my goal is to do at least one sit-up a month.? I figure if I can’t accomplish that, I deserve to have my abdominals atrophy and fall off.

? As for organization-related resolutions?? Well, you saw how far we got with those last year.? ? New, improved goal?? To? get my mail organized just enough so that I don’t lose my daughter’s social security card the day after it arrives, thus rendering us incapable of getting our full tax refund or stimulus check (yes, that actually happened).? Or proving that we have a daughter in the first place.? ? ? I really want to add? a resolution that states we’ll? clean our garage? up enough to attract one less rat this year, but I thought that might be pushing it.

When I go to Target to pick up baby wipes and a magazine, I resolve to spend no more than $99.99, no matter how tempting the dollar bins are.

I promise to? pick up? the mail at least once a week, and more importantly, open it at least once? a? month.? I also plan to keep my aol inbox monthly average at 950 emails versus 999.? Alas, the answering machine is on it’s own.

Oh yeah, and I resolve to only use feminine hygiene products of the human variety this year.

I have a few more.? Like, when Skye eats a shoe in 2009, I vow to throw the other intact one away immediately, instead of hanging on to? it in hopes that the shoe fairy will magically grant me an unchewed mate.? Don’t snicker–that’s a tough one.? You just never know when the shoe fairy might strike.

? And Fergie has assured me she’s cutting back as well.? For starters, she’ll try to destroy one less item per month.? If I were her, I’d probably think about starting with Santa’s? head–I figure it can’t be good present Karma to go around munching the face off of Old Saint Nick ornament.?

Also, she’s going to try not to jump up on the counters any more–unless there’s actually food up there for her to steal.? Impressive, huh?

? So, with goals like these, I’m reasonably certain I can achieve some success by the end of 2009.? And if not?? Well, social security cards are over-rated, anyway.





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A profound New Year’s Eve conversation with my son

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Dec 31, 2008 Under family life, kids, Uncategorized

son? “I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, please”

me:? “What?? You want a peanut-booger and jelly sandwich?? Coming right up!”

son, shrieking:? “EWWWW!? That’s gross!? I don’t want a peanut-booger and jelly sandwich—I only eat boogers straight from my nose!”

Silly mom.?

Happy New Year, everyone.? May your sandwich and your nose? remain booger-free.?

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Why my womanly cyle is going to the dogs

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Dec 31, 2008 Under dogs, family life, random stuff, Uncategorized

Okay, this is a warming upfront for any of you menfolk who get squeamish at the slightest mention of, oh, how shall I word this? Let’s try “womanly cycles”.? How’s that for vague and non-masculinity threatening?

At any rate, consider yourself forewarned, and on with my story, which happens to be about how I am so disorganized that I managed to use species-inappropriate womanly cycle devices.?

You see, recently, I just started having my womanly cycles again (somehow,? I’m finding it unbelievably amusing? to use that phrase as much as possible in this post–chalk it up to my uber-maturity).? Now, one would think with my vast experience in the womanly cycle arena, I would be beyond making mistakes of this variety.? In fact, one would think my five-year old son would be beyond making mistakes of this variety.? Okay, granted, between pregnancy and nursing, I hadn’t had a womanly cycle (how many times is that now?? four?? five?) in over two years, but really, when you think about the fact that I have over twenty years previous experience? in the womanly cycle? department, I should be familiar with the equipment that goes along with it.? I mean, how hard can it possibly be??

And yet, there I was, reaching for another, um, piece of womanly cycle paraphernalia (yes, I’m still snickering like a seventh grade boy) when I make a little discovery. Mind you, I’ve been using the items in said box for the last few days and didn’t notice anything unusual.? Possibly because my bathroom cabinets are in such a state of a disarray that I don’t know if I’m grabbing my hairbrush or a stray porcupine half the time.? But I don’t know–maybe it’s not that big of deal.? I mean, I don’t think Fergie or Skye would really care that I accidentally borrowed from their stash:

? Um, yeah.? So maybe it is a little out of the ordinary to erroneously be sticking your dog’s womanly cycle products in your undies for days without noticing.? But in my defense, notice they don’t actually put the word “dog” or “canine” on the box.? Granted, it would be a little odd to buy a box of human womanly cycle items with a picture of a Yorkie? on the front, but really, that’s just a minor detail.? Besides, advertisers are getting crazier every day–who’s to say the next Tampax commercial won’t be sporting a Labradoodle in a white dress, waxing poetic about the joys of riding the white cotton pony while playing tennis and sipping a cosmo?? Okay, now I’ve really gone and done it–my apologies to any males who are feeling completely violated right about now–I may as well piss off the feminists? while I’m at it? and blame it all on hormones.?

And actually folks, I’ve got a little secret to share—those dog products? really aren’t? half bad.?

Of course, who knows?? That could just be me growing fond of that ‘fresh from the groomers’ scent.



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Oh Christmas Tree

Posted by houndrat on Monday Dec 8, 2008 Under Christmas trees, family life, husbands, Uncategorized

Never, ever tell a man that something? just isn’t big enough.? Never.? Because any comments on size or lack thereof? are merely going to send? him into a “bigger is better” frenzy.? I mean, let’s face it–there’s a reason our inboxes are flooded on an hourly basis with emails entitled “enlarge your penis to 100x it’s actual size!”? ? Um, ouch.

But I’m not talking just private parts, people.? I’m talking ANYTHING.? Take, for example, a simple Christmas tree, and an innocuous comment about how last year’s six foot tree wasn’t quite tall enough for our vaulted ceilings.? In the same conversation, I’m pretty sure the words “eight feet would be nice” were mentioned.? But I could be wrong.? Because hubby did not come back with an eight footer. Or even a niner.

No, he proudly proclaimed, “I got the BIGGEST ONE on the lot–what do you think?” with a goofy smile on his face.?

What I think is that the twelve foot green monstrosity dwarfs our entire living room.? And sheds like an SOB.? We’re going to have to fork over some serious cash to buy about a? billion more lights to deck it out, and that goes double for? ornaments.? Also, the tree skirt is not remotely large enough to go all the way around that sucker, and I’m afraid if? it? tips like last year’s tree in the Fergie incident,? the resulting quake will be read on the Richter scale up in San Francisco.

On the plus side, it does smell super piney–always a good thing when you’re trying to mask the not so fresh “my dog peed on the carpet while I was in Chicago for Thanksgiving” odor.? Especially? when you just? hosted Bunco at your house.? And regrettably, the theme? was “holiday pajama party”, not “boarding kennel brouhaha”, so eau de doggy bladder would most likely not have been a big hit.

But the biggest problem? I’m having with the giant? Christmas tree?? Well, I can’t think of anything that rhymes with “ginormous”.? See, I tend to make up little ditties all the time in my head, and this one, if you’ll pardon the pun, is stumping me.?

So pretty please–if you can come up with a second line for “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, why are you so gi-normous?”—my brain would be eternally grateful.

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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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Fergie’s new tanning bed

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Nov 2, 2008 Under dogs, family life, Ridgebacks, Uncategorized

I’m sipping a? glass of water (yes, exciting beverages abound when you’re trying to de-caffeinate yourself), and just happen to glance out the window.? And there she is, in all her patio table hogging glory.?

I realize that Ridgebacks love to sun, but surely there should be some boundaries involved?? Like, say,? no putting your stinky hound dog body on the same surface where I might eat my lunch?? I mean, God forbid she has to be in the yard for even a millisecond without at least a drop of sunshine.

Next she’ll be demanding I actually polish the sucker before I let her out in the morning.

You’d better watch it, hound dog.? Or else I’m moving your sun-lovin’ tushy to Seattle, home of the dreary gray drizzle.? Nothing like trying to? satisfy that UVA jones? on some? damp chilly glass.


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Ridgebacks and napping

Posted by houndrat on Monday Oct 27, 2008 Under dogs, family life, husbands, Ridgebacks, Uncategorized

You’ve gotta love a girl who’s okay with her? station in life…….

….of course, it’s easy to be okay when your station is Queen.

At least? Her? Royal Fergieness? was gracious enough to? allow hubby a blankie while he broke his back on the floor.? Perhaps in the future I can persuade her to toss him a pillow as well.? And while she’s at it, maybe pass a decree mandating the use of matching socks.

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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:




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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