Category Archives: pets

Don’t lick the dog!

“Riley, don’t lick the dog!”

Sadly, that is a true quote and a real frequent incident in this household. If you have read any of my previous rambles you have probably heard me type about Hurley Jayne, my shepherd/lab mix that is more of a baby than a dog. She even wore diapers for a few months during her puppyhood, we even have pictures to prove it. And if you haven’t already figured it out, I am one of those sickening animal lovers. My animals are the sunshine to my mornings, the cream cheese icing on my cupcake, they are just as much my pride and joy as my biological offspring (sometimes even more, but don’t tell my tot that). They have their own personalities, attitudes, preferences, insecurities, flaws and niches. Each and every one of them is an individual. But back to the point.

Hurley, being the lovable, sweet girl that she is, loves to give kisses. Pretty much everyone she comes in contact with has to earn her slobbery seal of approval before fully being accepted into our home. The only thing she might actually like more than kisses is a little person. Perhaps it’s because they are more likely to play with her. Perhaps it’s because they are right at tongue level. And to be very specific, her favorite face to saturate is Riley’s. And Riley’s new way of showing her strong fondness for the pooch is a hug and a lick to the snout. I yell at her to not lick the dog and she tells me, telepathically of course, ” She kissed me first.”. I then respond, verbally, ” You don’t kiss with your tongue, Riley.” I then realize how awkward it is going to be when she grows up and I have to tell her about french kissing. Now that I think about it, I’ll probably just leave that lecture out. She comes back with, again telepathically, ” But Hurley kisses with her tongue.” I then just give in and decide to just start disinfecting the dog’s head.

Riley enjoying a rest on top of canine sister

Riley enjoying a rest on top of canine sister

When we first brought Riley home from the hospital, we were nervous. Not only because I had no idea in hell how to keep a baby alive but because of our older children, the furry ones. We were terrified Maxx, the border collie, would nip at her if she got to close. We were scared Hurley would be too rough and jump on the tiny  squeaky toy look-alike. But I was the most afraid of the diva of the house, my feline dictator companion, Kia. Once we got home everything was completely different from what we expected. Yes, Kia was angry but she didn’t try to kill me in my sleep like I expected. Now, Kia is one of the first to investigate a cry and is the best nurse when the tot gets sick, she won’t leave her side. Yes, Maxx would scream and run away when the threatening, stationary infant got within five feet of him but he has never shown any aggression towards her. You can even catch them cuddling up to one another every so often but of course only when they think no one is looking. And yes, Hurley was idiotically excited but surprising was very gentle and protective of her new squeaky toy. With all the success between the four and two-legged kids, the most successful and rewarding one has to be the one between the kisser and her tot.


puppy ear

The beginnings of a friendship

I think it was from day one, maybe two, that I think Hurley fell in love with Riley. Which kind of baffles me because what could Riley do for Hurley that made the adorable pooch love her so much? She couldn’t play, pet or feed the canine so why the impromptu, unwarranted devotion? I think it was the infants eyes, remember TIP#1. From then on out they were inseparable.  Before Riley could even sit up, Hurley would deliver toys to her and plant them in her lap as she sat in her bouncy seat.  Riley would then giggle and kick the toy out of her seat, Hurley would chase after it and return the toy to her new-found friend. This would go on for hours until one of them passed out. Then came the cuddling on the couch together. When the infant turned mobile, the game became, what I called, doggy roadkill. They’d chase each other around the house, Riley close on Hurley’s tail with her push buggy. From that to blowing bubbles, watching movies, playing dress up, and getting into trouble. Always together.

TIP #5. If you find your friends’ kids to not be up to par as a playmate;

 dogs, cats, guinea pigs and ducks make excellent replacements.

I do advise staying away from the smaller buddies, that almost always ends badly.

Baby N Hurley Play

They play like sisters and they fight like sisters just the same. When Dad gets home from work, he heads to the bedroom to change and there are his girls, fighting one another to be the first to get to him. I will be in the other room listening to them giggle as they play on the bed, all three of them. Occasionally giving out a fuss if one of them is getting more attention than the other. Hurley knows how to get under Riley’s skin and vice a versa. My favorite is to watch them fight over the godly blankie. Hurley might decide to use it as a pillow, Riley screams and tugs it from under her. Hurley might decide it looks like a good bed, Riley screams and tugs it from under her. Hurley might decide it looks like an excellent toy and take off with it, all hell breaks loose. Riley never really wanting it but will be damned if her canine sister does.Hurley baby pillow

It’s the same thing during meal and snack times. Hurley will never take her eyes off Riley in her highchair, always waiting for something to drop but is also always helping with cleanup. During snack time I often find them both sitting together, one apple slice for Riley, one apple slice for her accomplice.

I always knew Hurley was an exceptional companion and a good family dog but she has exceeded all of my expectations. Sure, having a child has made our family complete (yada yada yada) but Hurley has added even more excitement and gratification to the package. She’s my little Xanax in a world of stress and restlessness. My doggy savior, my Hurley Jayne.

There’s no greater story than that of a girl and her dog. 


If the Ricardos can do it, so can we!


Times seemed simpler in black and white. Didn’t they? In the 50’s children obeyed their elders, the streets where safe to play on and childhood obesity was non-existing due to all the “duck and cover” drills. Can you believe the divorce rates in the 50’s were less than half of what they are today? That makes me ask the question, “What the hell did they put in the water back then?”. Some say the low divorce rate was due to the early morals, others say it’s because of the thriving economy. Me on the other hand, I say it was due to the sleeping arrangements. I mean think about it.

Take the Ricardos for example. I can only imagine their bedtime routine would go something like this; assemble night wear, brush teeth, do some reading, indulge in a little mattress cha-cha, then return to their own, separate beds to sleep through the night and probably pretty well after beating the Cuban Conga. Was this the key to their thriving relationship? Even after all the “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining’ to do”, Ricky kept Lucy around.

Recently there has been a lot of research done on the benefits of couples with separate sleeping setups. The research brings up the argument that sleeping separate leaves each individual more rested, happy and healthy. Then there is the question on the effects on the relationship itself. Does the lack of canoodling kill the love?

TIP #4. Nothing kills a romance more than suffocating your loved one in their sleep.

Let’s look at my sleeping scenario, or the lack of sleep scenario. I love cuddling with my man and waking up to his morning breath, I really do, but the time in between cuddling and waking is a nightmare. It’s very rare that my husband and I go to bed at different times. Usually, one gives the cue, “I’m going to go lay down.” ( discreet, huh?) and then the other says “Okay, I’m coming.” and follows like a sad puppy into the bedroom. My husband then unknowingly pulls me out of my pre-slumber to complain about how he can’t sleep or get comfortable for about ten minutes, then the complaining is drowned out by his hypocritical snoring. I am then left wide awake and annoyed. I lay there staring at his face, wondering how bad I would really feel if I did happen to smother him in his sleep. I try ignoring the snoring but it is just so tenacious and monotone, that I actually end up physically feeling the agitation grow inside me. I end up having to nudge him to get him to stop. He then replaces the snoring with what he calls cuddling, I call it suffocation. Oh wait, did I say replaces, I guess that was wrong because soon after the cuddling begins, the snoring returns, this time in my ear. I nudge him again and again and again till finally the alarm go off.cant-sleep-353x210

Then there is the issue of space. We both prefer sleeping on our stomachs or backs with our legs going in all directions. Well this does not work. So again, whoever falls asleep last looses because they can not get comfortable. We also have to add in the four-legged bed buddies. Lets start with the cats; one on my chest, one between the two human bodies, and one at the foot of the bed, always where I want to put my feet. Then add the dogs. Hurley, who also snores, either has to share my pillow with me or joins Carter by my feet. Yes, can’t you imagine a cute little Yorkie sleeping by my head or cuddled up with a cat? Yes, that would be cute but Hurley is no Yorkie. Shes a solid 65lb German Shepherd/ Lab who thinks she is the size of a Yorkie.

Now you see why I am a sister for separate sleeping. In my situation I am not the only one who suffers. Me nudging the hubby five or six times a night ruins his quality of sleep as well and his snoring does mine. Like I said I love sleeping with him but I think this issue is hindering our relationship. He gets cranky when he doesn’t get enough sleep and I’m starting to resent him and his ability to sleep. Think of all the benefits of separate sleeping. You get a more restful sleep, no boners in the butt first thing in the morning and you don’t have to deal with the sudden sexual light switch your bed buddy might get in the middle of the night. Plus, if the husbands out of the bed then there is more room for Hurley and I.

So I say, if separate beds saved the Ricardo’s marriage, why not ours. If the Ricardos can do it, so can we!

Can you smell the CATastrophe in the mornings?

Hurley Jayn, the alarm clock

Hurley Jayn, the alarm clock

So I have found myself in a rut, like I imagine so many other mothers have found themselves. Every day it’s always the same thing.  Wake up to either dog kisses, kitty prances, or toddler screaming. No time to listen to the birds sing. I either let the affectionate pooch outside to G.O., feed the irritated feline, or grab the incarcerated toddler from her pen. No time to enjoy a cup of joe, got to fill the screaming, meowing, and whimpering mouths with breakfast. Then its off to the magical land of kitchen-choria where I frolic in dirty dishes and dog hair coated flooring.

Vacuum, laundry, NAP TIME!

Nap time, oh the words of relief.

Those glorious sixty minutes, those 3,600 seconds. I plop down on the couch and b.r.e.a.t.h.e.

Everyday the same thing. I feel like I’m stuck in the movie Groundhog Day, but without the pay. Where is Bill Murray when you need a laugh? That’s when you make yourself laugh at the small things. Hopefully I’ll be laughing after this morning.

TIP #3.  Counter top cleaner and Lysol result in a slippery surface and bruised bottom.

Well, the fuzzy and the not-so-fuzzy kids decided to mix it up a little this morning. In between breakfast and kitchen-choria, I ran into a river of pussy cat puke. I didn’t find it very interesting but the tater tot did. She pulled herself from her pancake sticks to investigate. Oh, when I say investigate, I mean investigate. I returned to the scene of the accident to find mommy’s little detective finger painting with feline bile. I freaked out. She tried to flee, but in the process she ran right through the mess, slipping and turning her finger painting master piece into a slip-n-slide. Not cute.

Sadly, this is not the end. After the frantic plunge and coating of vomit, I decided a mandatory bathing became first priority. So I dropped the paper towels and cleaners and ran the bath. One spanking clean tot later I returned to the mess to find the dogs also found the pile appealing. Needless to say, I didn’t think paw prints were cute either.



Finally, the mess was taken care of. I finished the job off with some disinfectant and a sigh of relief. As I was putting the cleaners back to their settling positions, I was distracted by the sound of little feet, a big thud, and a wail. *NOTE I DID NOT SEE A WARNING ON THE BACK OF THE LYSOL CAN* I then did the motherly thing and comforted my little one and her bruised little bottom, thinking it was all over. I then caught the familiar sound of gagging kitty. Yup, the kitchen still isn’t clean.

I guess a mother’s job truly is never done.

Doc says: “Rest and plenty of fluids.” Doc doesn’t have children.

Yes, I have missed a couple of days of posts. But before you assemble the angry mob and gather your pitch forks and torches, let me explain. My dear, loving, caring husband got me sick. And being the great, amazing, unselfish mother I am, I got the kid-let sick.

So while I have been drowning in baby snot and trying to extinguish the fire that is burning fiercely in my throat, I have  noticed that I am not alone. Everyone in a twenty-five mile radius of me ( I actually measured and remeasured) has the highly contagious, life altering illness, that around here we call, the CRUD.  So healthy folk beware, stay out of the heart of America because the state of Ohio is infected. Might as well stay out of West Virginia as well. That would be the state of West Virginia, not Western Virginia. And yes clan, there is a state called WEST Virginia . I know crazy huh. My expertise doesn’t just stop at great parenting, I can teach geography as well.

Anyways, I thought since there are so many diseased and feeble parents out there, or soon to be, I thought I might give out a few of my no fail tips on how to deal with illness when with demon child. Not all of us can make it to the doctor and even if we do, he might start talking about “antibiotic resistance”. In other words you are dying infected with a virus. Even for the blessed (adjective used lightly) that were honored with those horse pills, they take time to win the fight. I mean look how long the Iraq War took. Ouch, sorry, awful analogy I mean after all those pills are actually working for…. Take it as you will.

So what do we frail care givers do?

Option One

Telephone the babysitter. Oh wait, your babysitter is a sixteen year old girl whose parents don’t see fit to drag their daughter out of school to care for your adult ass? Well, fine. See if you send them a Christmas card this year.

Telephone the grandparents. If you don’t get an answer like I do so many times, then what? I like to call this the Moses Method. This method does take a little energy but will hopefully pay off. You strap your little one into their car seat, of course using the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended guidelines. You then load the car with little one’s favorite toys, snacks and necessities. Then you choose which grandparent you want to grace with your child’s presence today, I recommend the one most likely home. Once you reach your destination, or close to, you unstrap little ones car seat. You drop the car seat with said little one still attached to the lucky grandparents door step, you ring the doorbell and run. Oh don’t forget the very detailed note explaining the situation. This is a win-win situation. You get a day off and grandparents get to spend time with little one while learning to answer the phone next time.

proper example of the Moses Method

proper example of the Moses Method

What if we can’t call into the office of parenting and request a day off or the Moses Method has caused a few phone calls to a certain unnamed agency? We then resort to my favorite option.

Option Two

The Malfunctioned Housewife Method.

This method was constructed by your’s truly, hence the name, with the collaboration of Dr. Sophia from the Institute of Imaginary Medicine*. Again this method involves energy, probably more than option one, but like I said before it pays off. The first step in the MH method is to collect the needed materials.

Dr. Kia Sophia, CIM(cat of imaginary medicine)

Dr. Kia Sophia, CIM
(cat of imaginary medicine)

Needed Materials:

  1. baby/dog gate
  2. duct tape
  3. sippy cup and bowl
  4. child’s favorite toys
  5. patients medication of choice
  6. T.V. (optional)
  7. couch or bed

After gather the materials we first start by applying the baby/dog gates to any and all doorways that will confine little one to the room you choose to be your restful locations. Ex: living room or bedroom. Then, using the duct tape, you tape down all doors, drawers, loose furniture, your cup of hot tea and anything else detachable in the room. Be thorough in this step. Failure to do so can result in a mess or broken something at the end of the method.  The next step is to fill your restful location with easily obtainable snacks, sippy cups, and toys for little one. The next step is my favorite. This step you ingest your medication of choice; rather it be cough syrup, NyQuil, or just a pint of ice cream. Whatever you choose, I recommend not over doing it. You want a healthy amount to where you can wake yourself if your little one alarms you with serious crying but enough to where the flying Lego blocks are not bothersome. Before your relief sets in you must decide if you want to go with the T.V. optional  or not. If so turn on and select age appropriate channel. Dr. Sophia does not recommend local channels, informing me soaps or talk shows are very poor influences for small children. Once little one is settled in, you are encouraged to hurry to couch or bed to rest.

Simple as that.

TIP #2. Last time I checked liqueur was 

considered a fluid and an antiseptic. 

Feel free to add any comments on how the Malfunctioned Housewife Method worked for you or maybe you have your own advice when dealing with your children while you are broken down.

* Dr. Kia Sophia, CIM, is a self titled Doctor. She obtained her fictional degree from a fictional institute and does not hold herself responsible for any outcomes from the advice she has given. Think of her as the Dr. Phil of my blog.
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