Sick of socal rain…

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Oct 19, 2010 Under kids


Rain, rain go away. Come again some other day. Or not.

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Yes, I realize these photos are long overdue, but I’ve been BUSY, people.? First, with the still flowing copious amounts of snot, and second, with the posting of hideous ancient photos of old friends on facebook.? Just because I can.

At any rate, here is the damage that hubby managed to inflict on our home while mommy was away.? Mind you he was watching two very small children at the time, children I’d like to keep for awhile longer.? Even given the feisty mouth on the older model.

Just in case you needed to see it from another angle:

And here’s a little something to warm? every mother’s? heart—a close up of? the particularly? large and undoubtedly deadly piece of glass hanging out with? your daughter’s ride-on toy:

Of course, then there’s the part where my husband reaches INTO THE BROKEN GLASS–HELLO!!!—and nearly becomes intimately acquainted with the trials and tribulations of being a four-fingered man.?

Apparently, my son, upon viewing hubby’s gushing finger, asks, “Daddy, are you going to die?”

My hubby of course tells him no, he’s fine, to which son matter-of-factly replies, “No, you’re not.? I’m pretty sure? you’re going to die.”?

Ah, such a glass is half-empty kind of kid—he does his mama proud.? Although, given the carnage, can you really blame him?


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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…..



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This morning was pirate dress-up day at preschool.? And water play day.? I suppose the two are compatible—after all, pirates did live on ships most of their lives.? Still, I felt a little strange having my son don striped pirate breeches over his blue and orange plaid bathing suit.? I mean, what would Stacey and Clinton think?

We picked up his friend on the way, which always makes for an interesting experience.? Here are just a few scintillating snippets of conversation? from the seemingly never-ending car ride (Note:? preschool is about two minutes from my house).

“Ahoy there, you scarfy dogs!”? (These being the? scurvy dogs’ more fashionable cousins, presumably.)

“Baby sister, quit being so full of happiness!”? (Ah, a budding Morrissey.)

“Go faster, mommy, go faster!”? (He won’t be allowed to drive until he’s thirty.)

“Yeah, Miss Debra, go fast!”? (Ditto his friend.)

Son:? “We’re going faster than a walking piece of nothing!”? (I wasn’t sure if I should take offense, or? if this was some sort of preschooler existentialism.? And how exactly does this relate to pirates?)

Friend:? “We’re going faster than poop plopping down from the sky!”? (Now, that’s an analogy I haven’t heard before, but I suppose plopping sky poop would be quite speedy.? ? Though I’m still not sure what any of this has to do with pirates.? Or Gordon Lightfoot, for that matter.)

Then of course, the inevitable round of “Quit touching me!”? “No, you QUIT touching ME!”? And so on, until my head? demanded? an IV of Extra Strength Tylenol.

You know, Wordless Thursday really has a nice ring to it……

And here’s the pirate swag my son created and brought home.? I’m? thinking less swashbuckler, and more, I dunno, Liberace meets Dead or Alive, maybe?? And the apple stickers are throwing me off a little.? ?

Unless? the? pirates ate them to fight off “scarfy”:


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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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On being a mom and peanut butter cups

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Jul 12, 2008 Under family life, husbands, mommies, parenting, Uncategorized

Moms complain incessantly? about the sneaky, manipulative and, well, hormonal ways of their teenagers (to put it quaintly).? And I’m sure teens come with a bevy of tricks up their sleeves.? I get that.

What? I don’t get, however,? is why those same mamas? don’t tell you this behavior can start much, much earlier—say, at age two?? Okay, so maybe not so much the hormonal behavior? (thank goodness!), but the sneakiness?? Most definitely.

I mean, I’m not one of those moms with her head? buried? in the sand? about her kids.? (Although, my son buries his own head in the sand—frequently.? So if you see him, no, that’s not dandruff).? I? own the peculiarities and challenges that? comprise my little mop-headed, opinionated, over-thinking? four year-old.? Hey, that was me standing in line at Barnes and Noble several years ago, clutching a towering stack of parenting books before my son even deigned to toddle.? Books with titles like “Parenting a Spirited Child”, and “How to Set Limits for Your Strong-Willed Child”.? ? And “How? to Keep Your Royal Pain? in the? Butt Kid? from? Driving? You? to Imbibe Massive Quantities of Alcohol and Smash Your Head and His onto a Very Hard Stone Surface on an Hourly? Basis.”? Okay, so maybe that last one? only existed in my brain.? ? But had? that title? been available for purchase, you can be 100% certain it would be keeping the other? manuals company on our bookshelf right now.

Still, there is no book on earth that prepares you for all the intricate nuances of parenting.? ? Or the minutiae of kids’ brains.? I mean, some children are just born thinkers.? And reasoners.? And lest you start thinking this is a wonderful thing, let me share a little story with you.

We call it “Connor and the Peanut Butter Cup”

Just before his third birthday, Connor is heading back home with hubby from some kind of male bonding experience, which, given my son’s utter enthrallment with trains at that time, undoubtedly consisted of the manly pursuit of visiting the hobby store and? fondling all the Thomas the tank engines.? For hours.? On the way home, hubby stops at the corner gas station for a drink, and of course, Connor asks for a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup (trust me–this is the lesser of many, many sugary evils that hubby exposed Connor to periodically at that same store).? ? Demonstrating? uncharacteristic restraint, hubby says, “You can only have one, and then we’ll bring another one home to mommy.”

So, moments after climbing into his car seat, Connor’s peanut butter cup vanishes, destined for a quick but fatal trip to Tummy Town.? And about a millisecond elapses before he’s demanding mine.? Hubby tells him, no, that one’s for mommy—you ate yours already.

Connor thinks for a moment, then says innocently, “Can I just hold it for mommy?”

Now, my hubby knows our son by now as well, so he’s immediately suspicious.? “You can’t eat it–it’s for mommy,” he reiterates.

Connor smiles again–”I know.? I just want to hold it for mommy, so I can give it to her when we get home.”

Melting under the radiant innocence of my son’s beatific grin, hubby caves and hands over? the peanut butter cup.? A few seconds later he hears, “Daddy, maybe I can just unwrap it and look at it for mommy.”

Hubby, who clearly did not read the “Setting Limits for Your Strong-Willed Child” book referenced above, says something to the effect of “Oh, that’s not a good idea.”? ? Basically, this kind of wishy-washy talk is like an open invitation to sin for spirited children.? Which means the wrapper? flies off said chocolate treat faster than the pants off a whore.? Then—”Daddy, this peanut butter cup’s broken.? ? Maybe I’ll? just eat this edge off, so it still looks pretty.”

By the time “No!” flies from my? sucker’s, I mean hubby’s,? mouth, it’s? too late.? The edge is gone.

? A? few moments later, “Daddy, it’s too small for mommy now.? I’m just gonna eat it all, and we can get her a new one later.”

Needless to say, I did not enjoy a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that day.


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I don’t know how you spent your last few minutes of awake time last night, but I’m reasonably certain they weren’t squandered discussing the merits of Gordon Lightfoot.? Me?? Not so lucky.?

Here’s how it happened: Hubby and I are getting ready? for bed, and at a decent hour for a change. Not that we’ve been up partying and closing down the bars lately.? But in our baby-driven lives, even eleven o’clock is pushing it.

Just as I’m fluffing my pillow and channeling Doris Day by pulling on my pink satin mask (it was cheaper than black-out shades), disaster strikes.? Because instead of the hum of our white-noise maker (okay, so it’s really just a humidifier sans filter and water–call me MacGyver)? I hear hubby’s voice.?

The talking is? brief enough at first—a few questions about facebook and linkedin, and who he’s reconnected with so far.? Then, mysteriously,? the topic? jumps from old college friends to Phish concerts to, of all things, Gordon Lightfoot.? No, I really have no idea how that’s possible, either.? But those kind of? random neuron firings? happen all too frequently around here.? Maybe it’s the 60′s coming back to haunt me.? Which is mildly perplexing, since I wasn’t born until the 70′s.

Of course, then? hubby? has to look good old Gordon up on the computer.? I mean, how could? one possibly? be expected to ever sleep again until they were reminded of which songs he sang,? songs that most likely held the talent and longevity of a Milli Vanilli number?? So hubby grabs his handy-dandy laptop, only it’s not so handy-dandy because the battery is shot so it always requires a plug, as does mine, come to think of it, and then we’re in business.?

I was pleasantly surprised to? discover that Mr. Lightfoot actually sang some pretty good stuff, including Sundown and If You Could Read My Mind.? So, after wasting even more precious snoozing time listening to samples of his music, then looking up the lyrics to Sundown (what did he say in that line about “sneaking” again?), we finally settle in for bed.

And it’s still only 10: 20 pm, so we’re in good shape. Until hubby starts in with some Connor-isms from earlier that evening.? How this relates to Gordon Lightfoot, I have no idea—hence the emphasis on random neuron firings.? Apparently, my son was having a little chat about swear words.? Connor told hubby that he could start? using some? bad words? when he turned? five.? When my hubby inquired which words those might be, Connor says, “Stupid.”?

Upon hearing that, hubby heaved a sigh of relief, which was short-lived.? “…And f*ck,”? Connor continues, disingenuously.

? I wasn’t there, so I can only imagine the sound of my husband’s jaw slamming onto the concrete and his eyes popping out of his sockets and flying across the garage.? I mean, hubby and I have been known to utter the occasional “butt-munch” or “fart-knocker” at home (and yes, maybe I’ve? spewed forth with? “jackass” a few times while driving), but our profanity pretty much stops there.? But Connor has bionic ears, so who knows.

Hubby said it took him a moment, but he finally came up with, “No, that one’s not okay until you’re at least eighteen.”

Connor apparently thought about it for a moment, then smiled and said, “Or ten.”

After that, of course, all bets for sleep are off, as I’m left pondering how I’m going to convince my son that the “f” word is only legal for use once you’ve reaching voting age.

And I still don’t get what any of this has to do with Gordon Lightfoot.


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Bravo TV or baker? You decide….

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jun 27, 2008 Under family life, kids

This morning, we’re laying in bed watching cartoons, listening to JoJo tell us we’re going to do some things with? our bodies that feel really good.? Yeah, I don’t really know what the? writers were thinking either.? Suffice it to say that JoJo’s Circus will not be making the leap to PBS anytime soon.

? Randomly, my son turns to me? and says, “Mommy, when I grow up, can I be a baker’s man?”?

? My first thought?? Wow, we’ve got to cut back on the Bravo TV.? Then it dawned on me.? He meant baker, not baker’s man.? As in chef.? My second thought?? Much, much more profound.? As in,? Score!? Please, please, please, major in desserts.

Later, though, I find him standing in the shower, naked, tousling his hair.? “All done?” I ask.? “Almost,” he replies.? “First, I’ve got to fix my hair, so that I’m pretty.”? He pats it a few more times and proclaims, ? “There!? I look good!”

I’m thinking about canceling our cable.? Or at least, all Bravo programming.

On the plus side?? At least he didn’t say “fierce”.

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Lights, camera, feet

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Jun 25, 2008 Under family life, kids

You know how you hear stories of? parents just sticking a? baseball bat in their kid’s hand, and voila, a young Babe Ruth is born?

Yeah, well, not so much with my son.? At least, not when it comes to? cameras.

In fact, I’m not sure if I should be alarmed.? It seems not only does my son have a psychadelic take on life, but apparently, he also has a foot fetish.? I’m really hoping it’s just a skill issue with the camera.? Otherwise,? we’re looking at a lifetime supply of psychologist bills down the road.? Not that there’s anything wrong with feet, per se.? Other than they’re dirty and yucky and smelly, and I really, really don’t like them.?

But here, you be the judge.

We like to call this one “Breakfast on crack”

And now we know what he really thinks of his baby sister.? From a psych perspective,? decapitated infants can’t be a good thing.? We call it “Baby, Schmaby.? ? Get a load of? those bananas!”

This one’s titled “Never piss off the photographer”

And of course, the heart and “sole” of his work:

“Baby, Schmaby.? Get a load of those toes!”? (maybe headless babies are his forte)

“My left foot, I mean, my right foot.”?

“Foot on crack”

Yeah, I don’t know what this one is called, either.? But it disturbs me.

Lord only knows what he could do with a video camera.? ?

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My kingdom for a (vacuum) hose

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Jun 24, 2008 Under family life, husbands, kids

Is it just me, or are ants? some of the most disgusting creatures known to man?? Second, of course, to cockroaches.? I mean, I don’t mind seeing an ant here or there when I’m out and about.? And yes, I get that ants are amazing—they’re strong, organized, and cooperative.? In fact, they’d probably? fare better in the corporate world than most humans.? ? But there are rules.? And I draw the line when the little? bastards sneak? into my home for a morning snack.? Then, amazing or not, they must die.

So, I? stumble downstairs this morning, into the kitchen, and there they are.? Dozens and dozens of ants, crawling all over our counters, in our sink, on the floor, and on the sliding glass door, where they’ve apparently snuck in.? (By the way, my computer is telling me that “snuck” isn’t actually a word.? Are you kidding me?? Who the heck uses “sneaked”, anyway?)

Hubby was down here earlier this morning.? He keeps his keys and wallet on the kitchen counter.? Did he notice any ants?? Of course not.? Most hubbies, as you may have realized by now, have a great knack for tunnel-vision.? If it’s not a snack, a golf club,? or a completely unnecessary and useless electronic gadget, then it might as well be invisible.? Our phone conversation goes something like this:

Me:? “Um, honey, did you go into the kitchen this morning?”

Him:? “I think so.”? (See that?? He’s already hedging his bets—his “danger-meter” must be going off like crazy).

Me:? “Did you notice anything….strange?”

Him:? “Is this a trick question?”

Me:? “How about…did you notice the ANTS ALL OVER OUR KITCHEN COUNTER??”? (voice rising about a? hundred decibels)

Him:? “Ants??

Me:? “Yes. Ants.? You know,those little six-legged black insect things that like it when you leave PEANUT SHELLS ALL OVER THE FLOOR??” (Voice rising again, most likely loud enough for the neighbors to hear.? The ones that live three blocks away.)

Him:? “Peanut Shells?”

Sigh.? The next step, of course, is to kill the little suckers with my non-toxic dishwashing liquid and water spray.? That part, at least, goes as planned.

Then the clean up.? After wiping up as many dead bugs as I can possibly find (yum), I head to the garage(always a scary undertaking, at our house) for the vacuum.? I get super excited at first, because I could see the vacuum right off the bat.? For once, I thought, I’d escape from the garage unscathed.? No searching under totaled cars that should’ve been enjoying a view at the dumpster for the last year, no getting bombed by precariously balanced pieces of junk.? No getting blown up by fireworks.? Or eaten by a rat.?

I should have known better.? ? Because as? I get closer to the vacuum, I do a double take.? Something appears to be missing.? And in fact, something is missing—the hose.?

Now, I don’t claim to be a vacuum expert, nor do I play one on TV, but even my housecleaning-impaired brain is pretty sure that since we do not own a Dyson (nor any other vacuum from the twenty-first century, for that matter) the hose is a crucial element to getting that particular appliance to work.?

So, I call hubby again—I seem to remember he and my son playing with something which, in retrospect, may have resembled a vacuum hose while in the kiddie pool on Saturday.

Me:? “So, I found the vacuum, but there’s no hose.”

Him:? “Hose?”

Me:? “Yes, hose.? You know, the thing that actually makes the whole thing work?”

Him:? “Um.? I think maybe Connor was playing with it.”

Me:? “O-k-k-k-a-a-y.? So do you know where it is?”

Him:? “Um.? No.”

Me:? “Just for curiosity’s sake, do you think it’s a good idea to let our 4 yr old play with the parts to our major appliances?”

Him:? “Um.? No.? ? But he likes it.”

Me:? “He also likes to eat ice cream and candy and Oreos right before bed.? And smash things with a hammer.? Shall we let him do that?”

Him:? “Um.? No.? But maybe ask him where it is.? I haven’t seen it.”

Me:? “You mean, you haven’t seen it since he played with it?? Because obviously you saw it then.”

Him:? “Oh, yeah. ZZZShhhshZZZ (obviously man-made static noises).? Do you hear that static?? You’re cutting out.”

Double sigh.? So I ask my son where the vacuum hose is.? In fact, he does remember where he put it–on the floor of the garage.? Now, if this were your garage, maybe this is the point where you start jumping for joy, or singing “Whoomp, there it is!”, or whatever? ritual it is normal folks perform when they’ve located something in their garage,? knowing the hose would be in your vacuum-grasping hands at any moment.? But we’re talking our garage, where the word “normal” doesn’t even exist, home to a million pieces of junk, and that junk’s offspring.? And, of course, the occasional rat.

At any rate, I finally locate the vacuum hose.? It is, indeed, on the floor of the garage.? And I guess I can understand why hubby? couldn’t recall? seeing it.?

? Now, I think my son is amazing and gifted.? ? Really, I do.? But even I’m pretty sure that he didn’t heft up the pedal car, which I can barely lift, and? toss it right on top of the hose.? Nor, to the best of my knowledge,? did he suddenly grow about two feet and trade his training wheels in for an adult-sized ten-speed.? So, it begs the question—how did that hose get there?

I’d ask my hubby, but? I already know what his response would be.

? “Hose?”

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