Friday, April 29, 2016

Trashcans and Tea Kettles

Morning Readers,

Do you ever get up in the morning and just find yourself thankful for making it through the weekend full of children and dogs?

But then you realize it's actually Friday, the week is almost over, and, really, you're about to charge into it all over again?

We have that in common then. Which, when you think about it, is better than having things in common with me, like the way I can take half a pound of Doritos and turn it into thirty pounds of fat, or the way I snort when I laugh.

Actually, I was informed, recently, I make a lot of sounds I'm not aware of. Frankly, it's probably been this way for years, but it's not until you get married and have someone committed to taking note of the horrible sounds you're emitting, you can really start to sketch out how disturbing the whole thing is.

It's a little disappointing. If I'd never gotten married, a perfect picture of myself would still sit securely in my head, a stunning Sleeping Beauty, never drooling or reaching out to slap at things in the dark that aren't there.

"I can't tell the difference between you and the dog."

Stunned and regretting asking why Husband was so tired, the only thing I could reply with was, "What?"

He yawned before he said, "Nothing personal, but when I'm listening for the dog at night, I fall asleep, wake up to him whining to go out, and then realize it's actually you making this weird noise through your nose."

"Oh."

"Nothing personal. But it's exhausting."

"I'm really sorry," I said. And I was sorry. Sorry I was not only ruining Husband's sleep, but that, apparently, I sounded like tea kettle at 2am. There were several explanations for this:

a.) Allergies

b.) I wasn't perfect

c.) Exhaustion from keeping the dog out of the trashcan

It was obviously "c". The Kellerman children's one, saving grace is their ability to stay out of the family trashcan. Possibly set things on fire?

Yes.

But my kids have an excellent record of not dumpster diving. No one eats things out of the trash pile or gleans things from the recycle bin. Every week, I burst with pride as I wheel our oversized bins full of undisturbed crap down to the corner for the trash man.

"Don't worry," I yell at the neighbors. "They didn't try to eat anything out of here even once. See you a the barbecue on Saturday."

When I'm at a social gathering, it's also a relief to be able to lead with this shining attribute. "Oh, well, it's great little Timmy joined student council, but do realize that none of my kids ate a sandwich out of the trashcan this week? There are winners, and then there are winners. Am I right?"

But Ned Yost is a different story.

The dog is a dumpster diver extraordinaire. Pizza, juice boxes, old diapers, it doesn't matter. I've spent the last week walking down to the kitchen and surveying a trail of trash from the island to the backyard, over and over again. Ever seen a dog eat a used diaper? You don't want to.

I thought that sort of thing was supposed to stay in my nightmares. Hyper-aware is more of an understatement at this point in my life. Where there was once a shining ray of sunshine that looked like Mrs. Jones being able to sit for a second on her own, there now sits a dog who's chewing half a discarded, over-cooked steak and washing it down with melted yogurt.

Does a blog count as an SOS? Or should I start spelling out HELP in milk jugs on the ground in the backyard?

You guys would come save me.

Right? The trashcan is hidden now, but it's only so long until he finds it.

So this is me signing off....



Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mrs. Jones and the Cactus Chase

I can't watch the puppy right now. I just put on my best, giant floppy hat.

Afternoon Readers,

How is everyone?

If you answered, "No getting the crap bitten out of me by a Labrador," then congratulations, you're about eight steps ahead of me both in life and chances of becoming a hand model.

I'm being maimed by puppy teeth. Shoes are being maimed by puppy teeth. My favorite sweater that makes me look like I own a yacht, boat shoes and a charming vacation home off the coast of Maine has been ravaged. Me no likey. If there's some sort of patron saint for people who aren't animal people but have to take care of animals all day, I hope they're listening. Because let's recap last week, shall we?

We shall.

But first, it's noteworthy the cast of characters has been tweaked. No, I didn't have another baby in last seven days, but the smallest Kellerman has finally earned somewhat of a permanent title, gifted to her by Doc, adopted by her mother, and used until she turns eighteen and refuses to speak to me anymore.

It started in the hospital.

"Mrs. Jones. But why Jones? Why not something interesting, like Piggle Wiggle or Barbara Walters?" I asked.

Doc looked at the new baby and back up at me. "Because her name is Jones," he said with the finality only a three-year-old commands. No negotiating. Just the facts.

And so it came to be that I set the baby down on Monday and gave her strict instructions not to go anywhere. "All right, Mrs. Jones. I'm going to take the dog out to potty. No rolling off the play mat. No scooting. Absolutely no miraculous walking behavior. I'll be right back. Two or three minutes, tops." I instructed.

Mrs. Jones smiled and hugged her beloved zebra, more intent on biting it's nose off than watching me struggle to get Ned Yost out of his kennel. I picked up the brown puppy and carried him outside, praying he wouldn't pee on me or wiggle so much I dropped him before we got to our designated poop zone in the yard.

"Ok, do your thing." I tapped my foot and waited. Thankfully, the little dog did his business without needing to be talked into it. While he finished up, I turned to look at the postman pulling away from the mail box. I turned back around. "Ok, let's g-"

But Ned was gone. I spun around a few times, calling his name and gesticulating at no one until I finally spotted him... in the neighbor's yard. This wouldn't have been so bad if:

A. The neighbor's had a way to access their yard by gate
B. Dog retrieval didn't require my thirty-one-year-old body to hop a fence as high as most fences found running along America's most beautiful prisons
C. There wasn't an inexplicable, giant patch of cactus growing just on the other side

"Ned! Ned, nooooo." But it was to late. The puppy charged, headlong, for the freakishly big group of prickly plants. "Stop. Stop right now." I shouted.

There have been two times in my life where I've been forced to engage in acts of valor. Once when I had to dive to save a perfectly-good ice cream sandwich from hitting the filthy carpet on a hot July day, and now this. I took a running start.

"Oomph." The fence hit me in the middle and got stuck on my baby gut. Like a maimed pole vaulter, I dragged myself over the iron rail and fell onto the other side. "Ned Yost, you get the hell out of there. You'll be covered in needles." Inching closer and nursing a bruised rib, I reached for the dog.

But I was too slow, a sure indicator of my lack of enthusiasm for cardio.

Ned shot back through the fence and headed for the far side of our yard. Taking another running start, I managed to clear the fence, catching my right boob on the aluminum, and sprinted after the animal who'd barged in on my life and was doing his best to make sure my calves looked amazing.

So close. The dog stopped at the edge of our yard just long enough to spot Salvador Perez, decide to pop through the fence, and chased the black cat around the garden and to the front porch.

I hit the lock on the gate and ran as fast as I could, no doubt letting the neighbors know they were lucky enough to be living next to woman who just barely had her life together.

Where were her kids?
Who gave her an animal?
Why was she wearing running shoes if she had a bumper sticker on her van that read, "If I'm running, it's because the zombie apocalypse has started"?

Gathering the last of my energy, I ran to the front porch and caught Ned by the butt and somehow pulled him to my chest. Breathing heavily, I limped us both back inside, where Mrs. Jones was crying pitifully into her play mat.

"Look, I found him."

More crying.

"I know you're upset. In baby time, fifteen minutes means you've been abandoned and have to raise yourself. But you really should've seen me clear that fence. Two parts horrifying. One part false hope."

Mrs. Jones wasn't keen on forgiveness, choosing instead to cry on my shoulder while my heart rate dropped to something that wouldn't kill me.

So that's pretty much where we're at. The baby has learned to resent me at five months old, and everything I own has teeth marks in it. But as long as I don't have to hurdle anything else in 2016, everything may be ok.

I hope.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash and stretch my sweater back into a human shape.


Until Next Time, Readers!



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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Fun of Being Completely Overwhelmed

If you're not following my friend, Lurk At Home Mom, you can do that here and thank me later. She just gets me, you know?

Morning Readers,

You know what pairs well with crippling self doubt?

Coffee.

Sometimes a Toblerone.

I've realized something about myself over the last week. Namely, my instincts regarding living creatures pretty much come to a screeching stop at babies. Oh, feed, clothe, change, and keep a baby happy? Check.
Figure out when a dog has to pee? ...Bueller.

The last ten days have been rough. There's really no other way to put it. I suppose I could wax all sunshine and rainbows, but where's the fun in that? Surely, pure elation lies in the details I need to relay, like watching the dog poop on the carpet over and over. Or maybe some poop in the kitchen. And the living room. Oh, and let's not forget the explosive diarrhea on the deck just now.  

(Gonna have to hose that one down. Or stain the whole thing brown. I'll have to check the budget for this year.)

Say what you want about babies, but can I get an 'amen' for diapers? It's more than a tad frustrating to be able to buy the Little Lady some nice size twos but not be able to wrap some extras around the dog. Put some Pampers on your Labrador, and all of the sudden you're the town crazy.

"Oh, Paige Kellerman?  One minute she was putting her dog in Huggies, the next, she was handing out pamphlets at the neighborhood barbecue, all about not really being out from under the shadow of the Y2K scare yet. She also ate all the potato salad that year."

The amount of times I've wandered around this week, with a baby under one arm and a puppy under the other, is staggering. Literally. That's a ton of weight to haul up all three flights of stairs in The Oak Palace. My calves look fabulous, but everything from the knees up is pretty rough. Meanwhile, Doc trots behind, asking my thoughts on the complexity of the week's installment of Power Rangers Dino Charge. Which doesn't bother me, I just wish I had more mental energy to commit to the complexity of the plot up to this point:

Will Shelby get together with Riley?
Where the hell is the missing intergem?
Is it ok for a thirty-something mom to have a thing for the Black Ranger? *folding laundry* "Ok, he's supposed to be sixteen, but the actor's really about twenty-seven. Not weird? Weird. Weirder that I Googled that. I've been staying home too long. Oh, there's that missing sock."

So, whereas I thought I'd be kicking off spring with many projects being undertaken and trying to figure out why we have ants the size of semi trucks roaming the halls, I'm containing yet more poop. There's also a smattering of...

Bills
Vacuuming
Wondering if I'll mop the floor in 2016
And trying to get the twins to the end of Kindergarten.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering what Kindergarten's been like so far, here's a snapshot.

Me: Time to rise and shine for school!

Sundance: No.

Butch: No

Me: Come on. Socks, shoes, outfits, breakfast. Move it.

Sundance: Life is hard and you're mean.

Me:  I am mean. Lucky for you, I retired from a life of knife fighting on the street to wash your socks instead.

Butch: I give up.

Me: Yes. Yes. Mommy did that years ago, but that doesn't mean we don't have to put on a fresh t-shirt and tackle the day. Kisses! I have to run down stairs and milk fresh Lucky Charms from the box for my babies.

Repeat scene endlessly.

School's almost over though, and the potential for having everyone home, chasing after the dog, and trying to paint the cabinets and all the woodwork in the Oak Palace white is looming.

Aren't you glad we get to spend the summer together?

That's what I thought. Pass the Toblerone.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: