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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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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mom’s night out photos

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Apr 9, 2008 Under family life, kids, parenting, SAHM

Well, since Finley is still on a semi-nursing strike, all I really have the energy to do is post a few photos from our Mom’s Night Out event last Saturday.?

? You know you’re not a spring chicken anymore when the old eyelids start drooping before midnight.? Sigh.

We went to an interactive mystery/ comedy dinner theater.? The mystery and comedy?? Great.? The dinner?? I’ve had Swanson’s frozen entrees that put it to shame.? Oh well—it was still nice to have a night out.

The short-lived stay at the local bar afterwards?? Well, let’s just say I really know I’m old after attending that venue.? At least we left before I could disgrace myself by singing (very, very bad) karaoke.

Photos:

Here’s our motley crew.? I guess I should let you know which one is me, since I assume the vast majority of folks reading this have no clue what I look like.? I’m the blond, second from the right.

me and Brandy (I’m still the blond, second from the right):

Crys with the cast of the play (Because she was actually paying attention to the plot and figured out who the murderer was.? Me?? Ha!? One drink and I can barely remember who I am):

me and Elyse:

And that’s all folks—got another hot? date with Mr. Pumpy.? Woo hoo!

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Where, oh where, did my sick days go?

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Jan 16, 2008 Under family life

Well, it finally happened.? I officially have the flu.?

I mean, it wasn’t like I had a shot in hell of circumventing it, what with my son tossing his snot rags to and fro throughout the house, and my husband? “borrowing” my toothbrush (isn’t it a universally known fact that a toothbrush is the one item you don’t share, even in a marriage?? I mean, really, it goes beyond the laws of all common decency).? Of? course, since histoothbrush was mangled beyond repair by the Ferger Berger, I guess his options were limited.?

Given that our house? at this point is probably one? enormous petri dish of flu virus, I probably stood less chance of getting sick than? if I’d mainlined the stuff.

By now, you’re probably asking–is there a point to this pathetic tail?? ? In fact, there is.? The point is that? this situation leads me to decry yet another indignity foisted upon the stay-at-home mom.? ? What I want to know is, where are? our sick days??

I mean, come on.? Every one else I know gets to call in sick.? The butcher.? The baker.? The candle-stick maker.? Heck, even the candle-stick maker’s dog walker can call in sick.? My husband just? took two sick days himself.? Of course, now that I’m on the down and out, he’s back at work, leaving me with two kids and three dogs, when my head feels like it just exploded and was sewn back together with fishing line.? Without anesthesia? (Been there, done that, during my homebirth—except it wasn’t exactly my head getting sewn together drug-free.)

The fact is, there is no calling in sick when you’re a stay-at-home mom.? And I think we should protest.? Unite as one.? Rock the vote, or something to that effect.? At the very least, we need to fire our human resources specialist.? Because, let’s face it–some of our perks (or lack thereof) suck.

I know, I know—look who’s whining now?

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I ain’t no housewife

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Jan 12, 2008 Under babies, family life, husbands, kids, SAHM

My friend recently told me she’s a good wife, but not a good housewife.? It got me thinking (always a dangerous? pastime in our home)—what the heck is a housewife?? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I? married a man, not the outrageously? over-priced tract house with the world’s most minuscule kitchen? in which? we currently reside.? Although? I suppose I could be wrong—we did have a helluva? lot of booze? at our wedding.

Seriously, though, I think the? term “housewife” epitomizes all of the outlandish expectations men have? of their wives–for example, things like mopping the floor daily (sorry, I don’t live in a Brady Bunch rerun), or cleaning the toilet until it sparkles (I’ve never really understood the need to clean an appliance that will be instantly sullied by human excrement within hours of washing it), or discarding dirty toenail clippings (hey, they’re biodegradable).? ? I don’t know about you, but my wedding vows were to love, honor, and cherish—not love, honor, and pick up thy husband’s dirty undies ’til kingdom come.? And I’m pretty sure the latter statement would have penetrated even? the haziest of? booze-impaired brains.

So, instead, I like to call myself a stay-at-home mom, or SAHM, for short.? (or, if you read dooce, it’s actually an acronym for various profanities–which is equally apropos on any given day).? Honestly, though, I? have no problems with this moniker.? I do stay at home—well, except for the plethora of playgroup meetings, music class, gym class, grocery shopping, dog walking, outings to the zoo or Legoland or the beach, picking up the dry cleaning (okay, so I’ve only done that once in my entire married life, but it sounded good), etc, that force me to vacate my? residence for seemingly hours on end.? And I am a mom, unless those two little fiends living in my home were beamed? down by aliens, whose sole purpose? is to? study the effects of supreme daily chaos on the human body? (boy, are THEY getting an eyeful).?

Come to think of it, I had that second? fiend au naturel—and since certain body parts, which shall remain nameless, will never be the same, I suppose the kids are legit. (In case you’re wondering, “au naturel” means no drugs, no hospital—just my own house, my own bed, and a leather strap to bite down on—oh, wait, my husband is now telling me that was actually his arm.? Oops.)

But note, the title is stay-at-home mom.? Stay-at-home MOM.? The problem being—this title is an evil lie.? Or, an evil lie of omission, if you will.? Because implicit in this title is a whole list of other things we SAHMs are expected to do on a daily basis, things that are far less appealing than just being a mommy.? Let’s face it, you hear the term stay-at-home mom, and and what do you envision?? Images of smiling, cooing babies,? pictures of pristine moms in Jimmy Choos ruffling their equally pristine toddler’s hair, thoughts of decked-out MILFs and beaming, spotless children skipping hand-in-hand through the meadows, right?? ? Wrong.? It’s all a bunch of cow manure.? Essence of steer.? Meadow muffins.? It’s a load of poppycock propagated by men so that women will agree to be stay-at-home moms in the first place.? They cunningly neglect to mention all the fun extras that come with the job.?

For example, would you sign up to be a stay-at-home? poopy bottom wiper?? A stay-at-home dog barf cleaner?? A stay-at-home dirty undie scooper upper?? I think not.? I mean, seriously, who is going to pee their pants? with excitement? at the prospect of? being a stay-at-home snot sucker outer?? (There may be a lot of pants-peeing going on around here, including my own due to the above-mentioned baby-damaged body parts, but I can guarantee you it ain’t out of? glee over mucous).? Or a stay-at-home-hubby’s-nasty-hair-clippings-in-the-sink cleaner?? ? The last time I checked, my Master’s degree did not? adequately? prepare me for? such topics.? Maybe I should petition my school.

One time, my husband? proclaimed that he would make a great stay-at-home dad and a great househusband.? ? I? actually think I heard God laugh out loud.? Either that, or one of the dogs blasted us with another of those high-pitched farts.? Don’t get me wrong—my husband is an extraordinarily devoted dad, and an awesome husband and dad in so many ways.? Unfortunately, none of? those ways? involve? either a single? iota of ? consistent discipline or acceptable human cleanliness.? Basically, our house would implode within a week of leaving him home with the kiddage and doggage.? Think Home Alone, only? set in Bosnia instead of the suburbs, and you’ll get the picture.

So, please, make sure you read the fine print before signing on to be a SAHM.? That way, you can start learning how to be a stay-at-home-crusty-booger-wiper-offer far, far in advance.

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My baby is part of a conspiracy

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Dec 27, 2007 Under babies, naps

My baby is part of a conspiracy.? Seriously.? The goal of the conspiracy?? For me to never, ever nap again.? Ever.

I know what you’re thinking.? Not napping is completely normal when you have a baby, right?? Some babies are just fussy, want to be held all the time, have extra needs.? But, see, that’s not the case with my little Finley.

I know, I shouldn’t complain.? I have a wonderful baby.? Really, she’s great.? What you would call, for the most part, an easy baby.? ? I mean, what mom in their right mind would complain about a baby that started sleeping 8-9 hour stretches at night at 6 weeks old?? In fact, my little one goes to bed before 6 p.m., gets fed once before I go to bed, then isn’t up again until 6:00 in the morning.? In fact, it’s almost like we don’t even have a new baby at night.? It’s like she’s beamed up at sun-down and then beamed back at sun-up.?

So,? I know what you’re thinking now.? You’re thinking, this baby sleeps so good at night, I bet she doesn’t nap at all during the day.? Or she fusses a lot.? Or screams.? Or demands lots and lots of trains from Santa, even though she already has so many that our 3 car garage is going to be declared a train depot soon.? No wait–that’s my four year old son.

At any rate, none of the above is true.? She rarely fusses.? She take several nice naps during the day.? All in all, she is a happy, beautiful, easy baby girl.

So, why is it, that this wonderful sleeper will never, EVER take a nap when I want to nap as well?? I mean, on a typical day, she will take 3 or 4 hour plus naps, and yet, when I go to lie down and take a little snooze myself, that same nap-aholic baby decides sleep is over-rated.? Seriously, what are the odds that Finley just randomly decides not to nap on the, oh, 50 or occasions when I’ve tried to nap??

And just to rub salt in the wound—if, on any occasion, I’ve thought about napping but decided not to? chance it, knowing she won’t nap—the little turkey takes? a marathon 3 hour nap.

? I’m telling you, it’s a conspiracy.? I don’t know who, why or how, but when I find out, I’m sending Finley to their house.? So I can nap.

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oh, music to my ears

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Dec 2, 2007 Under kids

My three-year old’s constant whining makes me want to kill something.? Seriously.? Why is that?? You would think that parents would be programmed to at least tolerate whining.? I mean, how much easier would life be as a parent if your kid’s whining didn’t bother you?? Or better yet, if your kid’s whining sounded just like baby cooing to your ears.? “Oh, how sweet, little Johnny is whining about not getting another Thomas the train again.? How adorable!”? What? a killer biological adaptation that would be.? Of course, if that were the case, I think people would have a lot more kids, which would? lead to more planetary over-crowding.? Hmmm….so maybe that’s why the sound of my son’s whining makes me want to drop kick him to Cambodia.? That Darwin sure is a sneaky bastard.

? Seriously, though, have you ever noticed how whining can drive even the most calm and rational parent into a crazed frenzy?? ? I swear I have heard even the most laid-back of moms say things like “Jamie, if I hear you whine one more time, I will take? every single toy you own? and? one by one throw? them into? a huge bonfire and make you watch them burn!? until they die!? What’s more, I will flush your fish down the toilet, lock you in the closet until daddy comes home, and then daddy and I are going to take you to the used toddler store and trade you in for a non-whining variety (as if such a thing exists).? Oh yeah, and I’m going to take away your FRUIT SNACKS (gasp)!

Which leads me to the lies we tell each other as parents.? Really, wouldn’t things be easier on all of us if we could just be honest?? Instead, we? all feel compelled? to try to be super-mom.? Which basically means we lie.? A lot.? For example, if I had a quarter for every time I heard “Oh, I’m just feeding little Susie this because I’m afraid she wouldn’t eat anything otherwise”, I sure as hell wouldn’t be worried about the mortgage man coming to take my house at any minute.? I mean, do we really think our kids are going to starve to death if we don’t feed them goldfish, m & m’s, chips, or fruit snacks??

The straight answer is no.? It all goes back to the whining thing.? What we are really afraid of is more whining.? Little Susie wouldn’t starve, but she would probably whine enough to send her mom back to rehab.? And since none of us are hard-wired to deal with whining. we lie.? We also don’t want other parents to know our kids whine.? Which is ridiculous.? All kids whine.? But it seriously turns into some type of competition at the park or gym class.? We think, “Oh, look at little Tommy—he sure is having a bad day.? Of course, my little man is being an angel.”? Of course, the little man in question probably has his mouth stuffed? full of? Fruit Snacks.? If we could all just admit that we use food as a bribe to stop whining, I think life would be so much easier.?

I’ll admit it—we used to use Fruit Snacks as a bribe for our little guy to sleep good at night.? Did they work?? You bet.? Unfortunately, they had the added effect of making him act like a crack addict all morning long.? I don’t know if it was the artificial colors, the sugar, or the….what the heck else is in a Fruit Snack, exactly?? ? Anyway, we’re on to something much more nutritious—-cookies (hey, the box says organic).

So, anyway, I think there’s some money to be made in this whining thing.? Hypnotists should forget about? all that stop smoking and over-eating crap.? It’s so passe.? Why not offer sessions to parents that will make them enjoy whining instead?? I know I would be there in a heartbeat.

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