Sunday, June 27, 2010

tough week for Sprout

Sprout had his adenoids removed this week. The surgery went off without a hitch and was really quick. He had a hard time as he was coming out of the anesthesia, but after we got home and he took a nap, he was in much better spirits. Then Friday, he fell and bashed his eye on one of the steps with a metal edge. He cried so much, and it's left him with quite a shiner. Poor guy. He and I stayed home from church today and I had fun taking pictures of him playing around the sofa. He's such a trooper.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


So, back when I had fewer dogs (only 2), still 2 cats, and more "other" pets (4 rats and a rabbit {now deceased} and a fish), my sister and her (then) four kids came to visit. After her kids thoroughly enjoyed helping Noodle & Spud with their pet chores, she commented to me, "I can see why you aren't in a hurry to have more kids. With all these pets, it feels like a houseful." She was right. And even though we've mixed it up a bit since then, by adding a third kid AND a third dog, two tank-dwelling frogs, and not "replacing" the smaller mammal pets, it's still a houseful.

Most of the time, it isn't overwhelming and is just our regular, happy life. Usually it is Noni, our male cat, who throws me in to "WHY DO I HAVE ALL THESE STINKIN' PETS?" mode, and it is usually because he gets a UTI or starts showing his displeasure at something by peeing/marking. The latest thing is his displeasure at Orbit's arrival, and he has marked a few places in the kids' room. I've been trying various home remedy conconctions, but it has been a big pain. I ended up moving Orbit's crate into their closet, so I can block it off from the cats, and closing the doors during the day. Also, I've put around butcher paper and other things cats don't like to walk on. I don't think there has been any additional marking, but I still can't quite get the full odor out. It doesn't help that I have a super sensitive nose. So, that's the current frustration.

We had Orbit neutered about 3 weeks ago, and for the next 10-14 days, he seemed to have some difficulty urinating. Plus, he was peeing in his "playpen crate" a LOT. He'd been doing so well with his housebreaking prior to the surgery, so this was disappointing. Over the last week, though, he seems to have gotten back to his pre-surgery level of bladder control, which is a relief. Since he was a cryptorchid (that means he had undescended testicles), they had to do a more invasive surgery than a standard neuter. I was afraid they might have messed something up inside him, but it looks like all is well.

It's funny, because I don't blog about the pets that much, but I really enjoy talking about pets with other people. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of friends locally who share my interest in animals. I've been spending bits of "free" time lately reading through some of my issues of Bark and have really enjoyed it. I love reading books about dogs, dog training, dog behavior, dog evolution, etc. I also enjoy all of those dog movies targeted (usually) at kids, like Hotel for Dogs and (especially) Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Well, I am not a huge fan of the "Buddies" movies, but they are harmless enough. I'm kind of a sucker for animal movies in general. Babe and Babe: Pig in the City are two of the best movies of all time. The latter has so many fabulous quotes, such as "It's all illusory. It's ill, and it's for losers." David and I use that one quite frequently.

Here are some pics of two of the pooches from today's game of Kitchen Fetch. Also, one crappy shot of Orbit modeling his "Sit." He was a hard one to teach sit, only because the best way is to catch them sitting, click&treat, and then after doing that a dozen or so times, you teach them the word "Sit". He almost never sits down. He runs around, jumps, and lies down, but seldom sat except for in his playpen, which made training difficult. In my experience, Sit is one of the most useful commands because you can then require that the dogs be doing a good thing before you let them inside, outside, give them their meals, etc. When they are sitting, they can't simultaneously be jumping around or otherwise going nuts. I make Rudy sit and stay while I pour his food out (he eats outside or in the garage, off the floor so it takes him more than 1 minute), and he is so good, he'll sit even as I walk away until I give him the "Okay," release. He doesn't know too many other commands, but we get a lot of mileage out of Sit.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I am grateful today for my own father. I'm especially grateful that he's still around. I love him a lot and am so appreciative of the man he is.

And, I'm still madly in love with this daddy, even after nearly 9 years of marriage. My kids are pretty lucky. I hope they know it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

50 years!

Yesterday was my parents' 50th Anniversary.

50 years. 6 kids. 31 grandkids. (Not everyone is pictured here.)

Not too shabby.

Thanks, Mom & Dad, for saying "Yes" all those years ago.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

to my daughter...

At this time, 8 years ago, I was trying to figure out if it was time to go to the hospital. We eventually decided that it was, and tomorrow morning is the 8 year anniversary of your birth.

Until I became a mother, I never really had given any thought to the fact that it's almost funny that the birthday is all about the child, because the mom is the one who did all the work. Since they obviously won't remember their own birth, the memory of the original birthday is something that only the parents will recall each year. I wonder about my own birth day.

Nothing in life changes you so much as becoming a parent. At least, nothing in my life has. Getting married, while a big change, doesn't demand so much. You are still yourself. Your spouse sees you as an equal, a peer. But to your child, you are, at first, the world. Then as her world grows, you move in to the background. I don't know how much kids "see" their parents. Certainly it varies from family to family, but so much of parenting is what goes on in the background of kids' lives.

I remember feeling so much worry when Noodle was a baby. She had some weeks of colic, and I thought it would last forever. I also thought her never sleeping well would last forever. I chose "This too shall pass," as a mantra of sorts after David reminded me, yet again, that it wouldn't last forever. Nothing does. I'm so grateful that with Noodle we made an effort early on to enjoy the stage she was at, not to wish away her infancy, or babyhood, or toddlerhood, or childhood. The most important baby item we've ever owned are the Maya Wrap baby slings. They are only "holdable" for so long. Even with my big giant boys, I still have been so glad to hold them and carry them as long as possible.

I can't believe it's been eight years. Looking at her first year album (the only one I truly commit to doing), I can remember how I felt being in charge of this little person. Since we were in grad school, we hauled her around with us. Though she was our daughter, we kind of viewed her as the Mascot of Team Gonzo. Not that people haven't and don't regularly do harder things, but we felt like the two of us going to grad school as parents was a grand challenge, an adventure. We were still newlyweds, too, really, having been married not quite 11 months when Noodle arrived.

I love who Noodle has become. Granted, I could do without some of the attitude that seems to be springing up, but I appreciate her kindness and her artistic talent and her willingness to include her younger brother in her fun. She is a hard worker (when she wants to be) and I am grateful to get to spend so much time around her. There is so much I know now that I wish I would've known 8 years ago when I was starting down this parenting road, but I guess that's the flip side of being the first child. You might have some time of undivided parental attention, but you are also the guinea pig.

Ah, Baby Z (as we called you in utero). How I love you.

And here she is at one:

And two:

And three:
And four:

And five:

That seems sufficient for now.

since I do, in fact, have three kids

I have rather enjoyed this website:
Having Three Kids