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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Target dollar bin junkie

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jun 26, 2008 Under dogs, family life, random stuff

I have a confession to make—I’m a Target dollar bin junkie.? I? seriously must have? the biggest collection of their random holiday crap on the face of the planet.? ? When I see all those little holiday knick-knacks, thingamajigs, and doo-hickeys, I just lose it.? I don’t care? that they’re utterly useless, that they’re going to fall apart as soon as I get home, or even that? they’re made in China, and probably letting off enough toxic emissions to blow up our house.? I don’t even care that for all I know, they’re lining those suckers with crack. I just have to have them.? All of them.

And I had every intention of putting this special Target purchase on my daughter for an Easter photo.? Of course, they immediately got devoured by my closet, never to be seen again.? Until today.? Come to think of it, I forgot Easter photos entirely.? Oh well, there’s always Christmas.? And as long as a Santa Bunny craze is sweeping the nation this year, I’m all set.

At any rate, I’ve decided to get my money’s worth out of these things.? ? I like to think of it as an unconventional? temperament test.

Skye:? You bore me with your undignified human tomfoolery.

Now I’m ignoring you.

Fergie:? Yeah, yeah, this is great.? So when do I get to eat them?

Finley:? ? Yeah, yeah, this is great.? So when do? I get to eat them?

Peanut:? I hate bunny ears.? Come to think of it, I hate cameras.? And photographers.? In fact, you have exactly three seconds to start running.

See?? Those Target dollar bins really are useful.? You just have to be creative.

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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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More on my trip to Colorado–6 dogs, 1 kid, and a baby

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jun 19, 2008 Under dogs, family life

So, back to my 3-week trip to Colorado, kids and dogs in tow, sans hubby.? (Yes, I realize, I must be certifiable.? Then again, if you’ve read much of this blog ((or even one other post)) you’re probably already familiar with that neurotic and crazy? place I like to call my brain.)

You may know this already—I think most sane folks do.? But just in case you don’t, let me just state for the record—taking a ten hour road trip following a lure coursing weekend with two kids and six dogs, from Utah to Colorado?? Not the brightest idea.? To be honest, the kids did pretty well (except for maybe the time when Connor dumped his water on Fergie’s head).? But I certainly don’t think any of us would classify it as a treat.

Did I mention yet that? my 7-month old daughter decided to start crawling and standing right before we left?? How very thoughtful of her.? Especially in light of the fact that my parent’s house contains possibly the steepest staircase in all of the Western hemisphere.? And it goes down to the basement.? ? Also, for reasons unknown to me, their kitchen chairs have rollers on them.? Yes, rollers.? It should be illegal.? And their coffee table?? Bi-level and glass topped—just the right height for a baby tunnel.? All of this, of course, made for great fun.? I think Finley had a bruise on her forehead within milliseconds of our arrival.

And then there were the dogs.? All five or six of them, depending on the day.? And that’s not counting the other? four or five at my aunt’s house.? Hounds galore.? Yes, they did have their own “dog room”, which is actually about ten times? larger than any of the human guest rooms (I see where the humans figure in to my parents’ equation), complete with nice white pillars, a mirror (those Ridgebacks are quite vain, you know), carpeting, and of course, a slider and French doors.

It was? great that the dogs could be sequestered to their own space when the kids were sleeping. Except, during this trip, I learned something.? I learned that we have some of the nicest puppy owners ever.? Why?? Because they’ve never once to complained to us about Leo, who just happens to be Fergie’s liver nosed litter mate.? And let me tell you a little something about Leo.?  He is, without? doubt, the noisiest Ridgeback on the face of the earth. And I’ve lived with his mom Sunni, so I know about noisy Ridgebacks. You see, when Leo wakes up, Leo lets you know. When Leo wants outside, he lets you know.? Of course, if Leo is outside, he usually wants inside. And yep, he lets you know that, too.  He lets you know when it’s breakfast time, he lets you know when it’s dinner time.  And when there’s nothing else going on? Well, Leo just likes to let you know he’s alive. All I can say is, thank god my mom bought some white noise-makers for our rooms.  My kids are pretty good sleepers, but heck, it’s challenging for even good sleepers to snooze when they’re being serenaded in the morning by the Happy Hound.

Leo is lucky that, like the Ferganator, he’s also about the sweetest Ridgeback on the face of the earth.  Plus, he’s quite the kennel decorator. And so generous with his skills–not only would he pull his own cover into his crate, but often, the covers of the dogs on either side of him as well. I’m sure Skye and Sunni were thrilled.

I have to admit, the five acre backyard was great for my son.? Although I’m not sure my mom was super jazzed about the million or so pine cones and rocks he collected and arranged on her dining table.? Or the fact that he liked to roll in the dirt.? In his pajamas.

And of course, there was the dog show weekend, thrown in to make things even more exciting. I was trying to juggle the four dogs I was showing, help make sure the other three my aunt was showing were okay, call my dad to check on the kids, and still manage to squeeze in a few minutes to use the old breast pump once in awhile (thank you , Patty, for the use of your motor-home–you’re a lifesaver!) And people wonder why I don’t get to many dog events any more—sheesh.

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Babies and cell phones don’t mix

Posted by houndrat on Monday Apr 28, 2008 Under babies, family life, husbands

One minute, you’re having a nice meal outside with your family.? The next, your 6-month old daughter has set a new secret password on daddy’s phone.? And she ain’t talkin’.

Don’t let this happen to you—-another good reason to Just Say No to infant cell phone usage.

Cheeky little sucker, isn’t she?

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Sometimes Ridgebacks are good

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Apr 23, 2008 Under babies, dogs, family life

So, just when I was getting ready to return Fergie to her breeder, express mail no less? (yes, mom, I was going to let you know before the delivery man showed up on your front porch), she? had to go? and show me why I can’t quite muster up the desire to drop-kick her naughty tushy back to Colorado.

This feeling will probably last until such time as when she decides to make another collage out of the kitchen trash (yes, she can open cabinets, an-oh-so-special genetic trait handed down from her Grandmama, Shani) or track sand throughout my house (apparently, she thinks my son’s sandbox doubles as a hound sunbathing spa)—which will basically be twenty minutes, tops.? But I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Seriously, though—don’t let anyone ever tell you Ridgebacks aren’t good with kids.? And I suppose I’m stuck with the Ferganator, if Finley has anything to say about it.

Exhibit A:? ? Hey, look, mom, I’m a Ridgeback, too!

?

Exhibit B:? Hey Fergs—what’s shakin’?

Exhibit C:? ? ? ? Look, I got a hound dog leg!? Wonder if they’re yummy?

Exhibit D:? Forget the hound dog leg—-get a load of that ball!

Exhibit E:? ? I’m going in for the kill…..

Exhibit E:? ? ? Wow, this is oodles better than any teething toy my mom gives me…..Thanks for sharing, Fergie!

So, I guess instead of one of those highly sensationalized Dog Eats Baby news clips, we’ve got the slightly less sensational Baby Eats Dog Toy thing going on here.

Can I just say—yuk?

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The question of when to introduce baby solids finally answered

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Apr 22, 2008 Under babies, family life

So, lately I’ve been wavering back and forth on when to introduce solids to my 6.5 month old baby.?

I realize it’s not rocket science, but decisions aren’t exactly my forte (okay, so? maybe that’s a bit of an understatement—sort of akin to saying pit bulls don’t like Michael Vick).? Hey, it’s tougher than it sounds.? On the one hand, Finley eyes our food with a ravenous expression? (at least in my imagination it’s a ravenous expression, but I’ve never been? especially skilled? at reading baby signs—I suppose it could also be her “I’m going to poop” or “Where did my foot go?” look), and she’s reaching for every morsel we eat.?

Of course, she’s also? grabbing for? grass, my hair (can you say, “ouch”?), and our dogs’ butts with equal excitement, so I’m not sure this behavior is as relevant as its cracked up to be.

On the other hand, once I introduce those solids, there goes that nice exclusive breastfeeding immune bubble we’ve got going on.? Hey, it might not sound like a big deal, but let me ask you this—do you enjoy grumpy, snotty-nosed, hacking-up-half-a-lung? babies?? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And then, as I’m looking through a bunch of old photos of my son, I get my answer.?

Exhibits A, B and C:? ? Connor meets pad thai

? So—not only will I not be introducing solids at six, seven, or eight months, I’ve decided to forgo them altogether until Finley can? adroitly handle? a fork and spoon and get every morsel into her mouth accurately.?

I’m thinking sometime around? 10th grade? or so ought to do it.

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No crawling allowed

Posted by houndrat on Monday Apr 21, 2008 Under babies, family life

Our lives, as we’ve known them for the past two years, are over.? Done.? Finished.? Caput.

No, my family hasn’t been diagnosed with some rare disease (although, if we were, I’m sure it would? probably be hound-dog transmitted).? Nor are we moving to Siberia or Mars, or even the foreclosed house across the street.? In fact, there’s nary a runny nose in the house at the moment (although that changes on an hourly basis around here) and? it’s not like we could sell our house even if we wanted to? (in case you haven’t been watching the news for the last year or so, here’s a tip—nobody’s buying).

What’s happening around here is equally huge, though.? Maybe huger (okay, is that actually a word?– because it looks awfully strange).? At least in my mind.? You see, our daughter is trying to crawl.? And she’s getting darn close.

Before you break out the champagne and propose a toast, let me educate you—this is not a good thing.? Not even close.?

Of course, with the first baby, you think it’s great.? Amazing.? The most spectacular thing ever to happen.? I mean, can you imagine?? A baby that actually crawls?? It’s got to be some kind of miracle, akin to the parting of the seas.? Or having the entire family sleep in past 8:00 a.m.

And then reality sets in.? You see, once the baby can crawl, the baby can get into trouble.? Lots and lots of trouble.? Okay, so maybe if you have a tidy, Martha Stewart-esque home, a crawling baby is no big deal.? But c’mom, folks—we’re talking about our home.? You’ve seen the photos, you know the chaos.? And it’s about five thousand times worse than when our son started crawling.? Why?? Because now his plethora of completely useless stuff has? mated with our plethora of completely useless stuff, and? said stuff’s mutant offspring? has taken? over the house. (Obviously we’ve been cursed, because it looks like he’s inherited those pack rat genes from my dad and I.? They really should do genetic testing for that kind of thing.? Really.)

And I have nightmares.? Scary, terrifying nightmares.? Not about serial killers or massive earthquakes (but thank you, Mr. Newsman, for sharing that tidbit of info with us? about the expected big one in California—perhaps I can oblige you with a horrifyingly bad dream sometime in the near future), or even massive blow-outs on airplanes.? No, I have nightmares about not being able to? locate my daughter, because she’s been buried alive in a? sea of papers or junk somewhere in our home.?

In fact, the idea is so frightening that we might actually have to (gasp!) keep our house tidy on a weekly basis.? And I’m not sure it can be done.? My brain just doesn’t work that way.? And hubby?? Well, I don’t even think that part of his brain existed in the first place.

Okay, so I realize she had to start crawling at some point.? It’s just that thus far, I’ve managed to live in blissful denial, suppressing that concept so it only existed as a vague, fuzzy notion in the far, far reaches of my brain.? Sort of like ironing.? And there should be some kind of age limit.? No drinking until you’re twenty-one, no crawling until you’re two.? Hmmm….maybe if I’d actually obeyed the former law, I’d be having better luck with the latter.

So, based on the photographic evidence provided below, can anyone tell me how much time they think we have left?

Exhibit A:? Okay, so technically it’s not an attempt-to-crawl photo, but it was so darn cute, I had to include it.

Exhibit B:? What, has she been watching the Jane Fonda work-out video or something?

Exhibit C:? Oh no, here come the knees:

Exhibit D:? And this one is just way to close to comfort:

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Finley works from home

Posted by houndrat on Monday Apr 14, 2008 Under babies, family life, husbands

For awhile, I couldn’t find the little doo-hickey (technical term) that attaches the photo card to the computer (I know, it seems so strange that something would go missing in our uber-organized home), so I just came across a few photos that didn’t get posted.

? This one is from when I was sick last time and hubby worked from home, with his little helper.

And here’s a close up of Finley.? Note the finger in the mouth—that was the beginning of the end. (Actually, she did much better this weekend with the nursing–knock on wood, or hound-dog heads, or whatever else happens to be convenient to knock on at the time).

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