Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adventures in Dogsitting

Or "how to drop the f-bomb 50 times in 5 minutes."

The Background

1. When Gracie dozes off in the car and it's around nap-time, we do everything in our power not to disturb her fitful slumber.  We quietly open the doors of the car and leave them open, prop open the door to the house from the garage, and keep the dogs outside as we gingerly unclick the seat and tiptoe upstairs to her bedroom.  This does work sometimes.  Sometimes it does not.

2.  Burton, our dog-sitting charge, is a big, warm, fuzzy lug of a nut from across the street.  He's a Burmese mountain dog, and not a small specimen.  And he's still got a lot of puppy in him.

3. I do not love dogs.  I like them okay, but it isn't my pet of choice (trivia: what is Lori's pet of choice?  See end of post for the answer!). Mild diversion from main topic: my dear friend and former roommate Jacque decided to get a dog when we lived together in our first apartment in Greenfield, WI.  During the two weeks the dog lasted at our home, we only managed to name the dog "F-cking Dog," because that's what you call a dog that leaves "gifts" for you at the bottom of the stairs after breaking out of the kennel in the kitchen.

The Adventure
I brought Burton over this morning for some play with Moose and Hailey and left him there as we left to do morning errands.

I came home from attempting to attend a library story time, which was abandoned because the start time was right around Grace's nap-time.  True to form, she dozed off.  Enter situation #1.  I get her successfullly upstairs.

This is where the adventure began.

I managed to get Moose and Hailey inside, and I went outside to bring Burton back to his house across the street.

I realized my mistake soon as we came to the front yard and Moose and Hailey were there to greet us.  I left all the doors to the car open and the door from the house to the garage ajar.

This is the conversation that followed:

Me: Moose, Hailey. STAY.  (I walk across the street where Burton is waiting to go inside the house.  I walk to the side gate to the yard, because that is where he stays during the day.)
Me: Burton. COME.  (Moose comes barreling across the street.  Burton does not come.)
Me: No.  Moose.  STAY.  (Both dogs freeze.  Then start playing together.)
Me:  NO.  BURTON.  COME.  (Both dogs come.)
Me: NO!  STOP!  BURTON COME!  MOOSE STAY!  (Both dogs pause, come, and then decide to stay.)
This continues for a while, as my voice gets louder and angrier, and the f-bombs start dropping
Me: BKSLEIRHFII!  I HATE DOGS!  (I stomp into the neighbhors backyard where I want Burty to go, both dogs come inside, then I exit and quickly shut the gate when Moose follows me)

Then I get to the garage where Hailey has sequestered herself in the backseat.
Me: Hailey.  Get out of the car.
(She attempts, but then decides to stay put.  She is in the backseat behind the driver's side.  I walk over to that side and open the door.)
Me: HAILEY.  Get out of the car! (She moves into the front passenger seat and sits.  I close the backdoor and go to that door and open it.)
Me: HAILEY!  GET OUT OF THE F-ING CAR!  (She moves back to the backseat.  I'm turning purple by now.)
Me: HAILEY!  GET OUT OF THE F-ING CAR RIGHT F-ING NOW!  (She moves back to the front seat.)
Me: (take a deep breath, and walked back to the front seat and opened the door)  Hailey (I say with great restraint).  Would you please get out of the car?

And that bitch gets out of the car.

Lessons Learned

1. The dogs that I know of do not differentiate between what command is for whom.  They hear stay, regardless of the name that precedes the command, and stay.
2. Some high and mighty queens must be asked nicely and NOT commanded in order for them to "obey" (or in Hailey's case, deign to acquiesce to your request).
3. One must remember that dog's barking and slamming of car doors are not the only things that wake up babies.  A nutcase, at-wit's-end mother screaming profanities at dogs can also rouse a slumbering child.  Dammit.

So what is the answer to the question "What is Lori's favorite pet?"  Fish.  They seem to be the only animals that bend to my will.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I've Been Doing

Protecting us from the sun..

Pushing G on a swing...

Making pacifier tethers...

Watching my devoured rose bush return from the dead...

And dryin' diapers.

You know, a little of this, a little of that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Baby Food Post

I use 4 resources to come up with baby food recipes:
1. The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet
2. Feed Me, I'm Yours:
3. Friends and family
4. Common sense

I waited for G's pediatrician to say, "hey, start trying solids" before I started her on solids.  And I mean "mush" when I mean solids, because solids came later.  And those are quickly mushed or dissolved solids.

We did the whole "introduce 1 food at a time" for the most part, with the occasional foray into the abnormal.  We did a bit of turkey on Thanksgiving and Cheerios and yogurt bites way before recommended.

She survived.

I have to admit: it's stupendously easy.  I can get that, when you are a working mom, finding 2 seconds to do anything is hard.  So take this all with a grain of salt because, frankly, I have a bit more time to focus on this because it's sort of a part of the job description.

Here are some tips:
1.  I buy organic for her, and it's honestly cost effective because she simply doesn't eat very much.  I bought a small bag of frozen organic garden peas over a month ago and I haven't even finished the bag.  I've made about 20 cubes of peas for her, and she's been through 2/3rds of them.
Quick recipe: 1/2 c frozen peas with 1/4 c of water, cover in microwavable bowl, nuke for 5 minutes, forget about them for hours, remember, nab from microwave, blend in any way you can (add water if too thick), pour into ice cube tray and freeze.  Pop out into ziplock and keep frozen until needed.
2. I blend in a variety of ways.  I have a hand grinder, a Magic Bullet, and an immersion blender.  But I use a fork most often.  A fork makes mush of a great many items, including bananas, avocados, potatoes, and carrots.  They just have to be soft enough.
Quick recipe: Cut off 1/3rd of a banana.  Mash with fork.  Give to child.
3. I prep the food in a great many ways.  Bananas and avocados I do raw.  I bake potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I steam carrots.  I boil fruit.
Quick recipe: Stab russet potato many times, pop in 450 degree oven for 60 minutes, set out on counter to cool, forget about it, remember it, then cut up into cubes for finger food.
4. Sometimes I get fortunate and find organic canned food ready to throw into cube trays.  I got 15 oz cans of sweet potato, pumpkin, and squash (all organic), all pureed and ready to go.
Quick recipe: Get can of pumpkin.  Open.  Spoon into ice cube tray.  Freeze.

Aaaand, my sick little darling is calling for me.  Please feel free to contact me with questions or anything.  And be sure to use your family and friends if you can't afford the books.  People are wonderful resources.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

What I do with insomnia.

This has happened twice now in the last week: when I go to bed, instead of being blissfully and immediately whisked away to dreamland I am caught in a whirlwind of thoughts.

Nothing special or earth-shattering.  But little niggling thoughts nevertheless.  Sleep robbing, pesky thoughts.

About dinners this week.  Of cleaning humidifiers.  Of play dates.  Of the library and unreturned items.  My new African violets that are terribly wilted.  Of pasta.  Of Gracie.

Of course.

So I got up, took some allergy medication (because I was also suffering a bit of the sniffles).  Ran the dishwasher.  Set up coffee for the morning.  Made a to-do list for the week.   Sent some pictures to smugmug.  Check Words With Friends.  Consider playing boggle, or a bit of an MMORPG.  Research this week's dinner recipes (might try this one...

Then I look at the clock and decide that a quarter of 11 is late enough.  And I call it a night.

Good night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Because it's too long for a FB status

Grace is napping, and I was sitting here thinking about a quick status update to write out when I realized that I have too much little bits and pieces I want to share.  Hence, a blog post:

1. Heading out soon to do our first of our weekly 4 mile and a lunch walks with our dear friend Selena and her adorable son Jonah.  I'm very excited; it's the longest in our series of daily walks, but we split up the 4 miles by picnicking 2 miles in.

2. The weather here is unbelievable.  It'll be 70 by the time we go for our walk.

3. I just emailed a stranger on Freecycle to score a set of African violets.  I've never tried to keep them, but I want to try.

4. I sprayed Bobbex on my plants to deter animal munching.  It smells so bad that I almost threw up during application... it just had better work.

5. I transplanted my succulent (mother in law's tongue) back into a tiny container.  Apparently transplanting it to larger container and using Moisture Control Miracle Gro is a sure fire way to kill this hardy loves-dry-soil-and-tiny-spaces-plant.

6. I got a philodendron.  A tiny, wee one for $2 to add to my lush forest I'm cultivating inside my house.

7. I got Grace her Easter outfit all bought, budget be damned.  Not like I went out and got those ridiculous $170 dresses (oh yes, they do exist) but a jaunt to Target and Babies R Us was enough.  She is going to look soooo cute.

8. I may or may not have purchased $1 bunny ears for her too.  May or may not have...

9. We've changed her formula, and our formerly OHMYGODSTOPCRYING child has become normal.  She's only crying now when she's tired, hungry, or when she's trying to crawl but ends up going backwards.

10. She has her first tooth!  I can't believe she cut her first tooth!

11. I gained some weight during the last couple of weeks, and this last week has been about re-engaging my motivation.  The weather has helped me undo all the damage, and I'm proud to say I'm back on track.

12. I've lost a bit of my baking mojo.  The last couple of baking attempts have been lackluster, but I remain vigilant!  *fist pump!*

So there you go.  12 FB posts, condensed for your enjoyment.