Category Archives: animals

Because sometimes I go a little crazy…

I didn’t check Webster for this one, but if you asked me the definition of “exile” I would tell you that it’s when a person is removed from its previous existence against its will and placed in a foreign land. And that’s exactly what’s happened here this week. Currently, as I type, there are four residents of our household who are currently in exile. Did they break a law? No. Did they do anything to deserve exile? Probably not. So why then are they in exile?

Because Mommy went on a rampage.

I never knew about these rampages before I was a mom. I mean, I’d seen them before, but I’d never really experienced one. I’ve never experienced sitting in one spot, feeling completely normal and then BAM! the next second you can’t stand the dirt in your house one.more.instant. and so you jump off the couch, start cleaning, and God help the person/animal who gets in your way. I’m there. Right now. With my house. Actually, because I’m typing and not cleaning…I’m actually only almost there, “there” will probably happen this weekend.

Rampages aren’t limited to just cleaning…they can happen for a variety of reasons. Hormones. Animals. Being touched too much in one day. Clutter. You name it, a Mommy Rampage could happen because of it.

My most recent rampage happened because of the animals. I have four pretty great animals and we are currently dogsitting two little daschounds. One of those six, who will remain nameless to protect the innocent, likes to cuddle. On an average day, I’m fine with that, I even enjoy it sometimes. But? On other days, I literally can’t handle it. Wednesday was one of those days. The animal who shall remain nameless would not listen to me when I asked it to stop cuddling. Wouldn’t stay on the other couch. Wouldn’t even stay on the other end of the couch. No, it had to be right there on my leg. I got up and went to the bathroom, where another animal who will also remain nameless, followed me and sat right outside the door staring at me. The logical thing to do would’ve been to shut the door. But, instead, my frustration just inched higher. I then went to wash my hands…and, you guessed it, another animal who will also remain nameless jumped up on the counter to assist me. I sat back on the couch and the first animal cuddled right up next to me. Up to this point in the evening I had been pretty silent about my frustration, which had been climbing steadily since the afternoon. It seemed like I was walking through a sea of animals all day. When I sat back on that couch and the animal cuddled up next to me, I lost it.

I got up quickly and announced that I was going to bed. I made sure that Brad knew I was in no way shape or form mad at him and went upstairs where I got into the shower. I figured that’s the one place in our house where no animals come. {Although, more than once one of the cats have come to sit on the edge of the shower…can’t a woman get ONE spot that’s completely solitary?} I sat in there and tried to talk myself out of giving away every single animal that we have, and the only way I did was by repeating this saying on a billboard I pass every day, “Totally giving up is a permanent solution to a temporary situation”. By the time I finished my shower Brad had locked up the house and was coming up to bed too. As I was removing the litter box from our room and placing it in the hallway I announced that no animal was sleeping in the room that night. Brad looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I was as cool as a cucumber. I couldn’t give my animals away, but I damn sure wasn’t going to see another one that night. You know what I mean?

And, you know what? Unfortunately for the four animals that sleep in our room, I slept deeper than I’ve slept in a long time Wednesday night. Maybe it was because I didn’t have a cat wrestling me for foot space, or sleeping on my pillow. Go figure.

Last night my sister {who is staying with us for the next four months} asked Brad if I was still crazy or if the animals were allowed back in the room. No, Jess, Mommy’s still crazy.

A little bit of an identity crisis

When I first suggested the name “Zoe” to Brad he said absolutley not, that he only knows dogs named Zoe. He said the same thing about Chloe. Well, maybe he was right…my child believes that she’s a dog. My dog believes he’s a human. It’s a mixed up world we live in people. Seriously though. Zoe has no siblings, she just has animals. So, somewhere in her tiny little brain, a brain that functions like a genius 99% of the time, she has convinced herself that she is a dog. Maybe it’s our fault, we do, after all, tell Hemmingway to be nice to his sister. He’s a great big brother, he really is. Maybe I should rephrase that and say he’s a great HUGE brother. So many times I’ve put Zoe on the bed {before she could move} and I would tell Hemmingway to watch her while I went to the bathroom, got dressed, did my hair. He really is a fantastic babysitter. And as she learned to scoot her little body, she would scoot right over to him and tug away at his ears, his tail, pat his body. Hemmingway looks at me for direction and I tell him that he’s being a good boy and to stay very still. That dog has a sixth sense about Zoe. He steps on my feet 50,000 times a day…but Zoe? Never. Well, to be completely truthful, probably like twice in the past 10 months…so in my book, that counts as never.

{Meeting each other for the first time}
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{I LOVE Hemmi’s face here}
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Ok, maybe she doesn’t really think that she’s a dog. Maybe it’s just that dogs and babies like the same things. I began to really pay attention to this last week when we were playing outside with Zoe’s water table. There are some balls that come with it, and as I was playing with them I noticed Zoe and Hemmingway’s heads moving simultaneously. So I did a little experiment. Up, down, side to side, I moved the balls and to my amusement both heads followed. I tossed them in the air, they both flinched. I put it down the center tower, their eyes were riveted to the ball slowly going through the tower. I started paying attention to how much Zoe loves balls…like, really loves them. She has this purple medium sized plastic ball and yesterday she crawled around the floor chasing it. I say “chasing” because as she tried to grab it she would inevitably push it farther away from her. Around and around the living room she went until she ended up under the dining room table. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

Lately, Zoe feels like she should have a crate like her big brother. We’re dog sitting, so we have a second crate set up next to Hemmingway’s. On more than one occasion I have found Zoe crawling into the crate. I keep telling her that she has a nice cozy crib upstairs…but she prefers the crate, at least to play in. Hemmingway, on the other hand, as we all know, believes that it’s his divine right to sleep on our bed. There is confusion in the ranks =)

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Last week I bought Zoe a new book. This isn’t an isolated event. We buy books all the time. She loves to read. She crawls over to her bookshelf and goes through all her book dozens of times every day. But, this book is different. It’s a book about how God made frogs special, and there’s a little frog that you’re supposed to squeak every time that you turn a page. Zoe loves it. Hemmingway loves it. When we read this particular book Zoe sits on my lap and Hemmingway sits immediately next to us, ears alert, both of them focused intently on that book. It’s kinda funny to watch. To them, there is nothing better than a squeak toy. Once, after a trip to the groomers I bought Avery a chicken toy as a treat. Avery loved that toy. I’ve never seen her play like that. At the time I’d also never seen the daughter that I birthed put a dog toy in her mouth and try to play tug-of-war with the dogs! That happened the first day the toy came home. That toy lasted for about 3 weeks before it met the jaws of Hemmingway, and every single day of those 3 weeks it rotated between Avery, Hemmingway, and Zoe. They played tug-of-war with it, fetch, hide and go seek, capture the flag…you name it, those dogs {and my daughter} played it with that silly toy. Her latest obsession is Hemmingway’s Kong. I swear, if you put her in a room full of toys and throw in a few dog toys…she will gravitate towards the dog toys. Every time.

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And I don’t know what it is about dog food that Zoe finds so dang delicious, but on numerous occasions I have had to retrieve dog food from her mouth. I tell her every time how disgusting it is, but she just doesn’t agree with me. To Zoe, dog food is a delicious delicacy to be enjoyed in those brief moments that mommy isn’t looking. And the water dishes? Oh, boy! The water dishes are the most fun toys EVER! In fact, Zoe has discovered that it’s fun to get soaking wet in 1 minute flat just by splashing a little bit and then turning the whole thing upside down.

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{naked after she got herself soaking wet}
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But, more than anything, Zoe just likes to hang out with them. To her, Hemmingway and Avery are her very best friends in the entire world. She delights in their presence. She loves on them, laughs with them, and plays with them all day long. They watch over her, they comfort her when she cries, Hemmingway gets genuinely distresses when Zoe is upset for long periods of time, they check in on her if they happened to be in a different room than she is, at the dog park they race around like madmen but believe you me, they come back to check on their Zoe. It’s really quite something to watch.

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{This one was taken today, when Zoe was trying to climb the stairs again. Please don’t freak out…I was there the whole time.}
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To be completely honest, the relationship between Hemmignway and Zoe is the only reason that I haven’t given him away. So many times in the past 10 months I’ve wanted to put him up for adoption. It’s not his fault, the dog’s a really good dog…it’s just that somedays a baby + 2 dogs + 2 cats + a husband + me = way too many needs to fulfill in one day. But, alas, Hemmingway will remain a part of this family because of his love for us. Dogs really are a man’s best friend. And in this case, a babies.

Do you have kids and animals? How does it work in your house?