Baby Proofing Our House

9 Aug

My friend Lela is coming to visit this weekend with her baby/toddler. I keep calling him a baby, but he’ll be 2 in October, so that makes him a toddler… right? I think? You’ll find out in a minute just how baby clueless I am.

My family had no young children for like 18 whole years. Well, I mean my family that I see most often. First cousins. Second cousins and beyond there were probably some young’ins, but I was never really around them. My brother was the youngest of all us cousins for I think it was 18 years. Now there are two little ones, one who’s almost 3, and one who’s 2 weeks! But I still don’t get to see them that often. And, I’m racking my brain here, but I think the only (close) friend I have who has a child is the one coming to visit this weekend.

I don’t know anything about anything when it comes to kids. How old are they when they start walking? Talking? Driving? What do they eat? What do they watch on TV? Do kids still know how to get to Sesame Street?

So I’ve been bombarding my friend with emails concerning what he will eat and what kind of baby proofing I may need to do. Lol. Lucky for me, we have the puppy, so we already have some baby gates in place and there’s pretty much nothing on the floor or her height that she can get to, which, to me, can only be a step in the right direction for a 2 year old… right? Oh right, but my dog doesn’t stick her paws into electrical sockets (according to Lela, her son doesn’t either, but I did think about it – and obviously asked her). I also realized last night my dog also doesn’t reach for things (it’s that lack of opposable thumbs thing, I think) or open cabinet doors. We have lotttts of cabinet doors.

Lela said to just try to move things 3 feet off the ground. Which is kind of impossible in our guest bedroom unless I take everything off the book shelves. So I decided to just leave things I wouldn’t mind getting tossed around a bit, if it came to that. I do have the bookshelves covered in lace, so maybe that will deter him? Or maybe not. She also says that he doesn’t seek out to destroy things. Really?? Not all boys are like that? Because my brother sure as hell was! I’m pretty sure that’s why I am the way I am with all of my things. I keep my belongings nice because my brother always ruined his (and sometimes mine). Anyway, I started moving breakables up higher, but then I was like, OH NO, what if he reaches up for it and it falls on his head? Oh god. So basically I’ve kind of given up, because I don’t feel like installing 5 foot high floating shelves all around my house in order to keep things from breaking and/or being reached for. Lol. I seriously don’t know how parents do it – how do you permanently baby proof your house?? I’m literally going to have to do just that (the 5 foot high shelf thing) when we have kids. I can’t think of any other possible solution to keeping a child (not a visiting one, but a live-in one) from A – destroying things and B – not hurting themselves on things. LOL but not really because I’m serious.

Food! I asked around and got some suggestions on food he would eat. Lela said he’d “eat anything” which was totally unhelpful because OBVIOUSLY I was going to go out and buy things for him. This is the first baby/toddler/child of any sort that has EVER been in my house (let alone any of the apartments I lived in before). Just like I like to be accommodating for my guests, I need to be baby accommodating, too. Well, to an extent. I’ll let him play with my stuffed animals, but I’m not going to go out and buy him any toys or anything… ok really the only reason I’m not doing that is because I have no idea what’s age appropriate.

Otherwise I totally would.

But I digress. Back to food. As I was shopping for kid friendly foods (according to my research), I realized something interesting: My husband and a 2 year old pretty much have the same taste in food. I ended up buying things that I would buy for my husband if I were going to be out of town and he had to fend for himself. Mac n cheese, yogurt, and cereal. I was going to buy those smilie fries they make, but decided they were disgusting and if he didn’t like them I didn’t want to be stuck eating them. Plus we already have sweet potato fries in the freezer, so I figured he’d probably eat those. Maybe? I think the only thing I actually ended up buying for him, that wasn’t just an excess for my husband’s stockpile, was apple sauce. Oh, and cheese when she told me he’d eat cheese for hours.

Do 2 year olds drink kool-aid? I keep buying packets of kool-aid and don’t think I’ve made a pitcher in like 5 years. So really I’m just looking for an excuse to make me some kool-aid.

Also, I was way too happy when I realized I still have my rubber ducky towels from college. Go me! Kid friendly towels. Oh, and matching nightlight. Score. He better be all “I love these towels and nightlight!”

Or wait, maybe he can’t speak full sentences yet. I guess I’ll take “ducky”.

-C

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Theme Parties Are Awesome – Christmas In July (Post Party)

1 Aug

 

banner made last minute… the “happy birthday” part never made it out. oh well!

Sorry.

SORRY. I know. I say “stay tuned” and then get busy… and… ok fine, A LITTLE lazy.

So you want to know how the party went, right?

Well, in true MY HUSBAND fashion, it did not go off without a hitch. Let me just tell you the whole story:

Our ruse was that our friends Cassie, Sarah, and Stevon were coming up to visit another friend of theirs Friday night for his birthday, but that they were going out of town the next day so they were going to stay with us Saturday night. My husband is seriously the hardest person to get out of the house. EVER. No joke. Nothing we came up with would have worked without him being suspicious. The best thing we got was him taking Stevvy to yoga, but I knew he’d be super embarassed coming back all sweaty to a bunch of people at his house. So… basically I just told him that when they got there, us girls needed to go to the store to run wedding errands (Cass is getting married SO SOON!), and that when we got back we had to do wedding crafts and that the boys needed to leave the house at that point. When I first told him this plan, he didn’t question it, because he had just come home from having drinks with a friend, and was just tipsy enough to not care, lol. But then, of course, he started questioning it. “What are we going to do?” “Why can’t we be here?” “How long do you NEED?” I am kind of a really bad liar, so when he asked these questions I was just like “I don’t know” “I don’t know” “I don’t KNOW”. Which actually worked to my advantage because eventually he came to the conclusion that we were helping Cass do a super secret wedding craft for Stevvy. So, I went with that, because it meant Stevvy absolutely couldn’t be around.

What I wanted to happen, was them to hang around the house while we did our errands, and then leave when we did our crafts. Since I know how hard it is to get my husband out of the house, I knew I wouldn’t have long, so I knew he wouldn’t be able to stay out for BOTH things. Just before we were leaving he asks Stevvy if he wants to go to the bar for a few beers. WHAT? NO! (was my actual response) And then I asked what he would do when we came back, if he went to the bar now. He said “walk the dog”. Ok, my husband takes the dog on long walks, but no more than 45 minutes. “How long do you think crafting takes? You need to be gone longer than it takes to walk Stevie.” He seemed to agree and accept what I was saying, and now, remember, HE thinks HE’s the one keeping Stevvy out of the house. When, in reality, it’s Stevvy keeping HIM out of the house. Win-Win, right? Off we go to run errands.

Then Cass gets a text saying they’re at the bar. SONOFA– are you kidding me?? So when we get home, I text my husband asking where he is, and when he says the bar, I say you better text me when you leave because we have to hide all the crafting stuff. Oh, btw, we told Stevvy to keep my husband out until 6pm. They probably went to the bar around 3.

They BOTH text us at 5:30 saying they’re on their way back. Because of course they do.

I literally RUN down the street (we live in a small little area between two dry towns, so all the bars are in walking distance), and try to intercept them. If they get down our street, game over. I’m running, in flip flops, because we have like nothing set up at this point. We had like a table and a cooler. I see them from afar (luckily Stevvy wore a red shirt that day) and quickly decide to run back and get the dog and make them walk her. I do this and tell them both they can’t be back until 6. They reluctantly agree and mumble something about coming back earlier if they have to go to the bathroom. Oh great. Just what I need. OK FINE TEXT ME IF YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. Geez.

Off they go, back to the house I go. Ok we have 30 minutes. I’m lucky to have such helpful friends, let me just say that! Chopping fruit and veggies, running to the store for ice, setting up tiki torches and christmas lights. Oh, remember those duffel bags of decorations I prepped? Yeah, they never even saw the light of day. *sigh* The Christmas tree didn’t even get set up. I really wanted to do that! But luckily I had gone overkill on the food and chose things that were Christmassy, so they made up for it. Also the Christmas lights. Those were essential.

I didn’t even have time to put makeup on. I think I’d put on eyeliner earlier in the day?? And maybe (hopefully) deodorant?? I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to wear.

They texted us as they were walking up the street, and we pretty much just had to stop doing everything and get ready with our noisemakers when my husband starts walking up the driveway. He sees me, and has this confused look on his face. Even though we had just squealed our noisemakers at him, and I am now wearing a green dress versus the shorts and tube top I was wearing 30 minutes ago when he saw me, all he wants to know is why there’s an extension cord in our driveway (for the lights). Really?? Not why all these people are here, or why there’s all this food outside… just why there’s a GD extension cord in our driveway? Lol. To say the least, he was confused. Then he got it, and was really happy. I felt bad because there were a lot of people who couldn’t make it, but he was really happy that all the people that did were there. It also may or may not have had something to do with the fact that he and Stevvy had had FOUR beers while they were out. Way to go getting him drunk before his own party Stevvy!

Ok all that stress put aside, it turned out to be a good time. We had yummy food, pretty lights, and perfect weather. It had been close to 100 degrees here in the days leading up to the party, but it was only mid-80’s on Saturday. We got to sit in our back yard with our firepit for the first time since moving in (I love a good firepit!), and people got to see the house and meet the pup.

Ok now for the pics.

 

Christmas tree shaped veggie tray and Christmas shaped pizzas! Tree, candy cane, and Santa (I see it now, but totally couldn’t that night, lol)!

 

 

boom

 

bread bowl “wreath” – note the red pepper bow at the top!

I think I mentioned that I had to do some cooking at my neighbors – yeah, my 8lbs of pork in a crockpot at their house! Well my awesome neighbors also were truly awesome enough to pull off a couple ideas I threw their way – which were the Christmas shaped pizzas (although they came up with Santa on their own!), and the bread bowl wreath. I mean, how cool are our neighbors?

So, uh, I also had decided we were having beef and black bean burgers (we had a couple vegetarians)… and was inside prepping those things for quite a while since people were probably getting a bit hungry at this point. Anyway, my point is that I didn’t have much time to snap photos, and sorry this is blurry, but here is where we spent most of our night:

yay firepit and tiki torches! bugs be gone!

It may have been his “birthday” party, but that didn’t mean he got off the hook for cooking the burgers.

MIL – remember that apron? I was lucky enough to find it in the basement at the last minute!

Have I mentioned how much I love having a Christmas Tree Shop right by my house? We ran there on our “wedding errands” (aka liquor and tiki torch run). How perfect are these plates?

flamingoes wearing santa hats = awesome

I really wanted to do a lot of things, but one that actually got done was a holly in a mason jar with cranberries and candles project. It turned out super cute – we have holly in our backyard and even though I was unable to find cranberries in the store, pulled some sort of other red berries off one of the many unidentifiable plants in our backyard. Thank you Cass for putting it all together for me!

I’m not mentioning any names, but somebody was exhausted the next day.

it’s hard work being a puppy.
PS: she snores.

Also, I’d bought her a Christmas bandana to go on her collar and totally forgot to put it on her. So then I made her wear it for 3 days after the party until my husband made me take it off. Stevie and I decided she needs to have one for every holiday.

yup, still sleeping

-C

Theme Parties Are Awesome – Christmas in July (Pre Party)

20 Jul

Shhh… I’m throwing my husband a surprise party this weekend! His birthday is Christmas Day, so it should be a pretty good surprise… in July. Also, it’s just an excuse to finally have people over our house!

Step 1 of throwing a surprise party: Do not marry my husband.

Someone please remind me never to throw him a surprise party ever again, will you? He is seriously the hardest person to keep things from EVER. Like, no joke. He has impeccably annoying timing, is very particular about where things go in the house, and notices every.little.addition/change. You have no idea.

A couple of people pulled out of the party last minute and I’d love to change it to another weekend so more people could come, but I CAN’T HANDLE THIS ANYMORE.

This is what I’m talking about:

Story: I went to my mom’s house for a day a couple weeks ago. She did some party shopping for me while I got my hair done. I came home with some things that needed hiding. I also needed to convince my husband that I came home from a trip to my mom’s house without buying anything (impossible scenario – we shop, it’s what we do)… or at least not much. I had to keep him away from the trunk of the car when I got home. Oh yeah, and I also bought him this really cool cabinet that looks like it should have a dart board inside (I have since bought a dart board to go inside), and was going to give that to him as his “birthday” present.

What happened next: I got lucky and my husband was out walking the dog when I got home, so I brought everything in myself and left a couple things hiding in the trunk (he doesn’t drive, so won’t be going in the trunk for any reason other than helping me get things out). The whole way home I tried to think of places I could hide things, and the only conclusions I had were the back of my side of the closet, under the bed in the guest bedroom, and the basement. The basement is off of our side door that leads to the driveway, which means it was the closest place to try to hide them after getting them out of the car. Basement it is… OH RIGHT I forgot he chose that weekend to organize the basement. I went downstairs, bags in hand, hoping to throw them in an empty bin, but COULDN’T FIND THE EMPTY BINS BECAUSE HE’D MOVED THEM!! I knew he’d be home any minute, because, like I said, he has impeccable, unfortunate-for-me, timing. Panic mode. What do I do? What do I do?! Ok first thing’s first, get the dartboard cabinet inside. CRAP – it’s much bigger than I remembered! CRAP – I have shoes at the back of my side of the closet – it won’t fit! CRAP – I have tons of stuff already under the bed in the guest bedroom! I ended up putting it on the far side of the bed in there, and just kind of put it under a blanket until I could find a better place for it. I ran to the basement and stashed a few things before he walks in the door and wants to know what I’m doing in the basement. “Umm… I bought this, uh, Christmas tree thing at the church thrift store that I needed to bring down…” (You should know that I never, ever go in the basement, other than to run to the freezer and back. I’ve been in the basement more times in the past two weeks than in the whole 3 1/2 months we’ve lived in our house.) Weird looks from him, and then he goes downstairs to make sure I didn’t mess up any of his organization. Yes, this is my life.

Next story: I’ve hidden several 2 liter bottles of soda in the basement. I didn’t have much of a choice as to where to hide them, really. I was pressed for time when I first brought them in, so I hid 3 behind my basement freezer, and 3 stuck in a stack of borrowed moving blankets.

What happened next: Two things. One, last weekend he randomly asked me if all the blankets were my friend Amanda’s (we originally got some from her, and some from my mom). My response? “Yeah, but I don’t think she’s going to pick them up… (this weekend)… um, anytime soon…” I almost blew it there. But why the hell is he randomly asking about the blankets?! Two, when I got back from our weekly Target trip last weekend, he asks why I didn’t buy him any Sprite. We NEVER buy soda. Like, ever. Sometimes if I’m running out in the morning and coming back to make lunch, I’ll buy us each a coke. Yes, I know the price of two individual cokes is about the price of a 2 liter bottle of soda, but then we’d be drinking lots of soda. Anyway… so where did this random Sprite suggestion come from? See, you’re probably like me and the first thing you think is HE FOUND THE DAMN SODA. But I don’t think he did, because if he did, I don’t think his first thought would be “she’s throwing me a birthday party in July”. I think it’d be “why the hell did you buy so much damn soda and why are you hoarding it in the basement?!” I’m pretty sure he would have confronted me if he found it.

Next story: My neighbor is getting married in a few weeks and she’s borrowing some lanterns, tablecloths, etc. that I used for my wedding. We were in the basement one day last weekend going through things, and also stashing some stuff to the side for the party (that I told him was for her and she was taking it later). She ended up taking one of my bins home with her full of wedding stuff.

What happened next: My husband inspects the basement the next day, probably to make sure I didn’t mess up any of his organization again. He comes up and asks me why there’s a gap between the bins (yes, seriously). I have zero clue what he’s talking about, and say I don’t know, we were moving stuff around. He’s so not satisfied with that answer, and just stands there wanting another one. So I think hard and I’m like OH she took one of the bins. And he was like OOOH ok, and walked away… BACK to the basement. WTF?! I hear him moving things around and hope to god he’s not touching those FREAKING BLANKETS because DAMN that soda is going to sell me out in a heartbeat. What excuse would I have for stashing soda inbetween blankets?? I’m a closet soda-holic?? So I pretend I need something out of the freezer and go down and push things around in it until he’s like “someone has to be upstairs with Stevie” and I say ok, I’m just getting something… let’s go. And I manage to get him out of the GD basement… for the moment.

Next story: I was allowed to go to Target without him last week (he had better things to do, I guess, which is fine by me). Which meant that I decided I needed to make some side trips for party prep. One of which being the Christmas Tree Shop. If you don’t know, now you know – this store is awesome. And no, it has nothing to do with Christmas… except twice a year. Yes, TWICE, because guess what – they celebrate Christmas in July, too! I found the cutest paper plates that have flamingoes wearing santa hats on them. How freaking perfect is that?! I also got a snow globe of Santa surfing. Anyway, they’re just a bargain store, and I got a bunch of other things while I was there – including 100 tea light sized citronella candles. We have a bit of a problem with mosquitoes in our back yard, so I’ve been hunting down a solution to this problem so that people will want to come back to our house someday after this party, and also not get West Nile. So I bought 100 of those, and a set of these stick candle things as well and I don’t know, some other stuff. When I got home from my shopping trip, I hid the bags from the Christmas Tree Shop behind some bags of clothes I’m going to donate that have been in my car for a bit too long, and brought everything else in and closed the trunk.

What happened next: What was supposed to happen next was I was supposed to find 5 minutes when my husband was out of the house where I could sneak off to the car and bring the candles (and also the 4 packages of hamburger buns I bought at Target) inside. Have I mentioned recently our temps have been topping 100 here in the Philadelphia area? Um… yeah. So… I forgot about the buns and the candles until the next day. LUCKILY my neighbor (who I am going to owe big time by the time this party is over) is a teacher and is off in the summer, so I was able to text her to get them out of the car before everything melted and exploded in my trunk. Ugh. *facepalm*

I have since discovered that I have smaller areas that he won’t go into, where I’ve been hiding things like a banner I’m making, party recipes, and other random things I’ll need for the party. Because I’m sure you’re dying to know, those areas include: the china cabinet, the basement freezer, pretty much any kitchen cabinet except “his” and the pantry, the bar we have on the back porch, the upstairs linen closet, and the guest bedroom closet. I mean, I don’t have a lot of space in these places either, so it’s like hiding small things EVERYWHERE. I fear the day when we have kids, because I am convinced they will be just like him and I will never, ever be able to hide anything from them (like, um, Christmas presents?!). I even contemplated the attic, but he randomly goes up there to check on the air conditioner (I KNOW).

I also tried to skip yoga the other day when we were both supposed to go. He skipped it with me (that never happens).

He’s started doing these knee exercises in our guest bedroom… precariously close to the dartboard and duffle bags I have stashed in there.

Also, just so you get the full idea of what I’m dealing with here, I’m probably going to have about an hour or an hour and a half, TOPS, to actually set this party up. I’ve managed to come up with a way to get him out of the house, but that is, like, zero time to prep for a party… or at least the type of preparations I want to do. Cooking for this party? HA, yeah, ok. That’s not gonna happen. So I’ve enlisted help from my friends, including one who is making cupcakes, and my neighbor who is not only making a pizza and a bread bowl dip for me, but I have commandeered her kitchen for 8 lbs. of pork and my crock pot for two whole days. Oh right, and this slab of pork was frozen in my basement until Tuesday, when I brought it over and took up a whole wing of her refrigerator with it so it could thaw out. Told you I owe her big time! I haven’t been able to get beer or wine or anything bulk sized for the party because… what would my excuse be? And my tiny little hiding places will not hide a case of beer. And I’m not about to hide individual beers in cabinets. I’m desperate, but not that desperate. Did I mention the garage and shed are out, too? There’s so much space in them both – it would be perfect! If they weren’t also inspected daily by my potentially OCD husband.

So basically tomorrow I have to do everything I’ve been thinking of doing for the past two weeks, but have been unable to. Like buy beer and tiki torches that probably won’t fit in my trunk and who knows how I’ll be able to explain that one. And make mac ‘n cheese and cookies and sangria. And figure out how to hang a dartboard cabinet. And construct my banner. And, OH RIGHT, decorate my entire back yard for Christmas. That shouldn’t take long at all… I have this vision of me and my helpers just running around like chickens with our heads cut off as soon as my husband walks out the door. GO TIME is what my to-do list says. There is a list a mile long of “GO TIME” items.

Last night he went out with his friend for drinks and as soon as he was gone I ran to the basement with three duffle bags and started stuffing Christmas decorations in them so that when “GO TIME” is here, I can just grab the duffle bags. Sad, right?? Don’t pregnant women do this for when it’s go to the hospital time? Except I guess they don’t have to hide their bags from their husbands.

Positive thinking: The party’s going to be fun. I just can’t help but stress about it because I’m used to making preparations wayyyy in advance before any party/event. Sure, there’s always last minute things to be done, but you don’t usually have to do everything at the last minute! And yeah, I probably shouldn’t be putting up as many decorations or making as much food as I am, but I can’t help it. I love a good theme party!

I’ll let you know how it all went next week! Wish me luck!

I need a glass of Santa Sangria, stat.

-C

Theme Parties Are Awesome – Indoor Picnic

18 Jul

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of throwing a theme party at work. I try to utilize a theme whenever possible for our events (you’ve got to know your audience, though – for example, I could NOT have done this for our New York office). We don’t usually have much of a budget for decorations, so what I’ve gotten used to is decorating with food – my new favorite thing actually! I love carrying a theme from decor to food.

Since we don’t have much of an outdoor space in our building, and had to utilize our own space for this event, I went with an “indoor picnic/bbq” theme.

I hit the dollar store and got some gingham napkins and plastic gingham tablecloths. Before you cringe – because most people did when I told them about it beforehand:

See? Not too shabby!

I am telling you now that it did NOT look cheap. This event was pretty much living proof that you can decorate with even the most MINIMAL of budgets (if you couldn’t tell, I’m big on decorating for everything!). I also felt like it wouldn’t be an “indoor barbecue” with white linen tablecloths. Who has a barbecue with white linens?? Nobody, ever. Well, we put them underneath the gingham. Whatever.

In addition, because I know that was just one table, I also got some dollar store baskets and some sunflowers from a local florist.

Anyway, onto the goodies – the food! I love planning menus for theme parties. It’s like hmm what do I really love at a barbecue? Ok fine, and what do other people like, too.

Our menu (and yes, we are lucky enough to have a fantastic in-house caterer to make all of our culinary dreams come true):

– Grilled vegetable skewers
– Pigs in a blanket
– BBQ chicken skewers
– Slider bar (with options of beef burger, BBQ pulled pork, and veggie burgers)
– Fresh watermelon wedges
– Potato salad shooters
– Deviled eggs (what’s a BBQ without deviled eggs?!)
– Strawberry shortcake

A few things that I thought were awesome (if I do say so myself):

1 – The slider bar. Bars of any sort (as in, build it yourself bars, also called stations) are such a good thing to have at an event. It breaks up the monotony of walking around and scooping up some preassembled food onto a plate. And all the fixin’s placed around instead of on, give people the opportunity to be as picky as they want. Bars that are “so in” these days include: mashed/baked potato bars, taco bars, cupcake bars, slider bars, and, of course candy bars (which most of you know I had at my wedding).  Mixing up the slider bar options is fun, too! We’ve done turkey slider bars for fall receptions – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.

2 – Carrying the theme through beverages as well! I went with both red and white sangrias, and also flavored water decanters. Delicious, functional, and pretty! All that fruit floating around in the glass decanter. It’s so… summery. I also had our caterer seek out some old time-looking sodas (you know, glass bottles, pop top). He was even able to find Philadelphia soda! I didn’t even know such a thing existed.

3 – The potato salad shooters (think shot glasses of potato salad). Shooters are awesome. They just are. I don’t even like potato salad nor did I eat any of it, but it’s just the idea of shooters. We use it often. For Mardi Gras we had jambalaya shooters. For a fall reception we had pumpkin bisque shooters. Shooters go along with everyone loving mini everything these days at events. Think about sliders – everyone loves sliders! They’re mini and cute. Shooters are mini and cute. Also, easy to hold and eat at a cocktail reception. Also I’m going to share my favorite thing that I can’t wait to try for a fall event (soup isn’t really a summer thing, unless it’s gazpacho!): grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters.

MIND.BLOWN.

Ok, I’m a big geek for stuff like that, so maybe YOUR mind’s not blown, but mine sure was when I first saw it. And I am SO doing this at some point this fall. Or in my home for myself.

Anyway, this was just a post to tell you about my (not so cheap looking) cheap decorations, carrying a theme through food, and leading up to what I’m planning for this weekend…

Stay tuned.

-C

Our Dog Baby

3 Jul

I know two types of people, those who say getting a dog will prepare you for having a child, and those who say it is NOTHING like having a child. I’m here to tell you that it’s somewhere inbetween, and no, I don’t have children, but hear me out.

We set out to get a young-ish dog from a rescue a few weeks ago. Totally didn’t intend on getting a puppy because, well, my husband and I are both (ok, him a bit more than me) very particular about keeping our things nice. So we didn’t want a puppy who would destroy things. The sweet girl we ended up taking home we were told was 1-2 years old… but when we took her to the vet we found out she was 9-10 months MAX, so, yes, she IS a puppy! Surprise! It does explain her behavior a bit more, though.

Since getting a puppy…

We have been woken up many times in the middle of the night by her crying.

We have had to deal with pee and poop in lots of places they’re not supposed to be.

We are now the proud owners of 3 baby gates.

Our schedules are totally off – my husband (bless him) now gets up around 5:45am to walk her. (I do the night walk.)

We are totally sleep deprived.

For the first 2 weeks I couldn’t even wrap my head around cooking a real meal. (Now she “helps” and lays on the floor watching me cook.)

 

Helping mommy cook.

 

We have to follow her every move around the house, because the minute we don’t, she decides she has to pee or wants to be curious and destroy something. (Like last Friday when she was building up trust being left alone on our back porch. I left her alone for 15 minutes, came down, and she had eaten a candle. Yes, EATEN. Ok, maybe not digested, but there was no part to the candle that resembled the candle. I didn’t even know what it was until I did a survey of the room and realized the candle was missing! My husband and I take turns with her when she’s not in her crate. “Can you watch her while I go to the bathroom?” This is our life now!)

So in recap, I think having a dog (or at least a puppy) DOES prepare you for having a child: cleaning up after them, being responsible for feeding them, lack of sleep, crying, following them around ALL THE TIME. Is it exactly the same? Of course not! It’s not like you can lock your baby in a crate when you leave the house. Or toss it a rawhide to keep it busy for 20 minutes. Well, ok, I’m sure there’s some baby equivalent for that.

I love my daddy.

Anyway, we love our puppy, and obviously knew she would be work, but I’m just pointing out that there are some similarities even though some people get VERY adamant about it being nothing like having a baby. I know it’ll take time, but she’ll learn that candles and shoes aren’t for eating, mommy’s rugs aren’t for peeing on, and (fingers crossed) not to get mad when mommy and daddy leave her alone for a minute. Our *sweet* little girl (90% of the time) has a bit of a… hmm… what to call it. Oh, what the hell, bitchy streak. She is a little lover, loves to be held and cuddled, but if I spend 5 minutes with the guinea pigs and my husband is in bed or not around? She purposely goes and does something bad. Like, “Oh, you’re going to ignore me? Fine, clean this up!” I can only half get mad at her for that, though… I mean, just look at this face.

Ok, I have to tell you the story behind her name for any of those who don’t know yet. My husband told me months ago that when we got a dog we were naming it after Steven Gerrard, Liverpool Football player. He apparently didn’t even think of the possibility that we’d get a girl! I told him if we ended up with a girl, we’d name her Stevie anyway, like Stevie Nicks. Well, when we finally got her, and were on the way home (weeks after the earlier conversation), he was like “Who’s Stevie Nicks?”. Lol. So of course whenever we tell someone it’s a girl and her name is Stevie, they’re like, “Like Stevie Nicks?” and we have to go through this whole story all over again… lol. My husband told me he’s started just saying yes, even though he claims (liar) he doesn’t know who Stevie Nicks is.

Our neighbor popped in a couple times to visit with little Stevie the beagle while we were away this weekend, and she told me when we got back that you can tell she just hasn’t “figured out the world yet”. When she said that I started noticing exactly what she meant. Stevie wanders around from room to room with this little quizzical look on her face, all the time. It’s adorable, but I never really thought about it before. She’s a little puppy just trying to figure out the world.

 

Stevie and her best friend Liono.

 

Say it with me…

AWWW

-C

Animal House

8 Jun

My husband has put limits on the amount of animals we can have in our house. I’m allowed two guinea pigs and one dog – our house is too small for any more! My husband loves cats, but has never had a dog, while I, on the other hand, have been dying to have my own dog for many, many years now. You know those people who are baby crazy and goo goo and ga ga at every single baby that goes by (you know who you are!)? Yeah, that’s me, but with dogs. If there’s a dog in the house, I’m probably on the ground playing with it, versus talking to the humans.

Anyway, I was told we could get a dog once we were in the house for two months. Guess what? It’s been two months in our home! And while I’d love to have been able to run out to all the shelters within a 50 mile radius last week (when it was EXACTLY two months) and snatch up an adorable pup, I had to ship off to the West Coast for the week for work. Technically we could’ve gotten a dog last weekend, but leaving my non-ever-having-a-dog husband, alone with our new furry child, while humorous, would have been mean.

Oh well, I guess it gave us a little more time to prep for doggie arrival! Since my husband has never had a dog, I think he doesn’t really know what to expect, and therefore we are planning like parents about to have a baby! My husband likes to be prepared for things. Like, I had to do a research project for him showing him the costs of owning a dog. That prepared. But since I did that, now it’s onto all the things a dog needs that I’ve been acquiring. I guess we like to be prepared in different ways. 🙂

– I acquired an only used once, still in the box, dog crate (for crate training) from Craigslist. Score!

– Dog toys: We have not so squeaky ones, NON anything that could look like a guinea pig ones (our dog will have nothing that looks like a real animal – yellow furry crocodiles are fine), durable bitey rings, and plenty of old tennis balls.

– Dog training clicker and tiny treats for training (I’ve never actually trained a dog before, so this should be interesting!)

– Baby gate (…and now Amazon keeps recommending baby things to me, great)

– Food bowls for in and outside the crate

– Flea treatment collars that were on clearance at Target (What?? I’m sure we’ll need them at some point…)

– Oh, and a leash! The shelter provides a collar (and a week’s worth of dog food).

– A dog bed that may or may not be too small, but was too cute to pass up (I can always return it).

So, Amazon, Overstock, and Craigslist love me right now.

And… we are ready for puppy! (I think??)

Did I mention we also got another guinea pig last week? We let our other guinea pig, Tyson, pick him out from the Have a Heart Guinea Pig Rescue!

Meet… Jake!

Jake (and Tyson) got new cages – that I built!

xxx

Door Update

9 May

Oops – just realized I never updated you on the locked guest bedroom door situation! Thanks for the emails and comments, you all had very helpful tips! But in the end, my husband was right when he said… my mom can fix anything.

Before I get to how, let me tell you what I tried:

– Credit card sliding the bolt back in (it was too deep into the door, couldn’t get to the end of it to push it back)

– Also tried the same with a flat head screwdriver

– Every key the previous owners left us (seriously, if you were to see the amount of keys they left us, you’d think one of them would be it!)

– Attempted to open it using the little hole on the side of the doorknob, but I think the handle was lined up wrong since there was nothing to “press” once inside that hole

– Popped the pins out of the door hinge (no screws on this side of the door), but the door itself wouldn’t pop out. I’m thinking it was an odd angle, and we would have had to pull it straight out, which we couldn’t do because the door handle was locked therefore making it go on an angle instead of straight. (Confused yet? Just trust me on this one, it didn’t work.)

– Watched numerous videos on how to pick a lock (my favorite is one video that starts “Always pick your OWN lock or you could get in serious trouble.” lol). It’s a good thing I didn’t pick a life of crime because I’m pretty terrible at it.

– Went to Home Depot and talked to a guy making keys in the lock aisle (sounds like a good guy to ask, no?). I asked him how one would open a bedroom door that was accidentally locked. He said, “Take the door off.” I told him I tried, and he flinched and looked impressed! Then I told him what else I tried and he basically told me I was screwed and his only recommendation would be to take a sledge hammer to the doorknob. So apparently there was no key for my type of lock and also there was no gel you could pour in to make a key.

– Tried flathead screwdrivers of all sizes, straightened out paper clips, hammers, crowbars… but the one thing that ended up working?

Destroying the doorknob. But not with a sledge hammer (probably just because we didn’t have one).

We’re going camping this weekend, and it’s a trip that was planned ages ago and SOMEBODY didn’t look at a calendar when the date was picked, and oops, it’s Mother’s Day (I somehow always manage to be out of town on Mother’s Day, oops!). So we were going to meet up with my mom for a pre-Mother’s Day lunch this past weekend to make up for it. We have a spot we usually meet that’s about halfway between our houses. But my mom is crazy and when she hears there’s something I can’t fix she gets fixated on it and can’t get it out of her head until she’s exhausted all options. Which, I guess, makes her pretty successful at fixing things. So when she heard about our door being locked she was like “Well, I guess I’m coming down there this weekend.” and she did. My husband and I were feeling kind of bad about it, because it’s her Mother’s Day meal and she’s driving all the way to our house for it instead of us to hers, but now when I think about it I think she probably didn’t even see it that way because she was so fixated on fixing that damn door (also, she’s been trying for weeks to figure out how to fix our ice maker and it’s driving her nuts)!

After trying all the things I’d tried, it was time to just accept destruction and she started taking a flathead screwdriver and these crazy sharp scissor-type things to the doorknob. The “gold” plating around the knob peeled off and we were able to see where another hole that the little hole on the doorknob was supposed to line up to (I was right!). The problem with telling you what we did is that… we don’t really know. It all happened so fast and we were kind of doing eight things at once (did I mention my husband was downstairs watching TV while we were upstairs destroying a doorknob? lol), so we’re not entirely sure what actually “did it”. It may have been that I stuck a screwdriver in that hole we found. It may have been that taking the gold plating off somehow had something to do with the mechanism and doing that “killed” the mechanism. We don’t know. All I know is I turned the handle and it was open. Then we had to put the pins back in so the door didn’t fall on us. 🙂

Anyway. Moral of the story = my mom can fix anything, locksmith be damned! Also, sometimes destroying something is the way to fix it (I guess we’ll have to get a new knob, eventually).

Thanks again for all your help! Even if nothing else worked because my door is special, I want you to know that I explored/tried all the options you gave me.

xxx