Thursday, January 29, 2009

Furry Malfunction

Furry Malfunction: noun. Any problem dealing with pets (including hairless ones, in case you are wondering).


The little buggers are tough, aren't they? Come on, admit it. Sometimes animals just get fleas, no matter how clean your house is. Let me tell you about our battle with fleas as of late...

We adopted a beautiful (and protective) female purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi from a local Corgi rescue group. Beautiful dog, very loving, and not one of the nipping Corgis (as herding dogs, some do nip as a way of "herding" children). When we got her, her "foster mom" that she had been staying with warned us to get heartworm and flea medication. We knew heartworm meds were important, but we didn't think fleas would be a problem. Until, of course, she got them.

In the pet section of our local Target, we found some "natural" powder meant to kill fleas. We put it on her, did the trick, no more fleas. Problem solved.

Or was it? Fast forward several months (possibly a year or so?) A flea infestation on her little tender belly and up onto her back. I blame the neighborhood wandering cats, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I break out the powder again. Not only did the powder not work, I'm pretty sure the fleas made an obscene gesture at me. I'd heard that Dawn dish washing liquid does wonders if you really get it lathered. I tried it, it killed most of them...but not all and they sprung right back, the little buggers. Next, we tried some over-the-counter drop stuff for about $15. No dice. We decide to go back and get the more expensive drops and see how that went, expecting to pay about $30. No, it was over $60, I think. We opted, instead, for some flea shampoo.

Again, most were killed, but not all. And I really don't like things that advise that I should wear gloves while handling and call the poison control center if I get it on my skin. I really didn't want to use that shampoo again. I told Husband, again, that we may have to just get the more expensive treatments. I caught his attention when I told him we had spent almost the amount of the expensive treatments on things that did not work. A quick thought confirmed that this was true.

Eventually, he gave in. After reading several reviews, I opted to buy Advantage, which comes in drops that you put down the dog's back. I put it on her yesterday, and I have only seen her scratch twice last night. This morning there doesn't seem to be any problem at all, which fits with the product description (may take 12 hours to fully work).

I hated that we had no carpet when we moved in. Now, I don't mind so much...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Night Confusion

Night Confusion: noun. The state of mind of a child that wakes up only partially.

Have your children ever woken up crying but not been able to tell you why, only to drop off into a deep sleep moments later? Or maybe they try to talk to you but make no sense? At our house, this happens often.

A few days ago Monkey Son #1 woke up crying, saying he didn't want any of something, but I couldn't understand what the something was. I kept asking him to repeat it, but it made no sense to me. Finally, I just said, "OK, you don't have to have any." Then he grabbed his feet and said, "Can I borrow this?"

Another instance was when he was about 3. He woke up and said, "It wasn't a dragon. It was a sheep. Sheep say 'Baaaa!'" That was probably the most entertaining one.

As little sense as half-awake children make to us, I'm sure the world makes as little sense to them. When my brother was young, my parents had a smoke detector that talked and said, "Low battery," when the battery needed to be replaced. One night the smoke detector did in fact need a new battery. My brother went to go tell my parents, who did not hear the alert. brother didn't understand what the smoke detector was saying.

"Mom! The smoke detector keeps calling me a blueberry!"

Say it out loud. You'll get it.

See also: Sleep Action

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Guest Entry: Hanitizer

Hanitizer: noun. Short for hand sanitizer.

Thanks to Kristin for this great word!

My friend Kristin and I took our families on a zoo trip. Picture it: birds that land on you. Deer you can feed. Children that are falling and their hands are landing in the ickiest places on the walkway possible. Giraffes that are not shy and have really big tongues. (Seriously. They suck these weird giraffe crackers right out of your hand. It is the most awesome and strangest thing.)

She was smart enough to be packin' hanitizer. I was not. Thankfully, she shared.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Sneak

Sweet Sneak: noun. Child who sneaks junkfood.
-verb. The act of sneaking junkfood.

So, this morning Monkey Son #1 woke us up. When Husband and I pulled ourselves out of bed, Husband was very upset with him, but I wasn't sure why waking us up deserved such a stern talking to.

"Did you hear what I said, Mommy?" Husband called.

"Yes. What did he do?"

"Did you want pie?" Husband said. For a moment I thought he was asking if I wanted pie for breakfast. Then I looked down to the counter where the day before had been a beautiful pumpkin pie. We were able to salvage the untouched side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Knowiquestion: noun. A question a child asks, although they really already know the answer.

OK, to be honest, I don't know if Monkey Son #1 really knew the answers to the questions he asked me, but it seems like he should have. We've talked about this subject enough.

I was sitting at the computer, I think actually doing something involving the Mom-tionary, when Monkey Son #1 came running up to me and announced that he has seen Chicago (the place, not the movie, for those of you who briefly wondered).

"Yes," I replied. It's true, we have.

"What is Chicago?" he asked.

Wait, if you don't know what it is, then how do you know that you've seen it? Oh, never mind. "It's a city."

"Where is it?"

"In Illinois." Now, I know we've talked about Illinois enough, for it is the magical land that contains the ever important Grandma and Grandpa, 3 doting aunts and a soon-to-be uncle.

"What's Illinois?"

What, really? "It's a state."

Maybe he thought I was having too much computer time, but his questions lately have been so frequent that I've occasionally answered "Why?" questions with a "It just is."

Really, Monkey, I don't know why the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is magic. I didn't know yesterday. I don't know today. And I won't know tomorrow. It just is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's been rumored, and now it is confirmed...

...that I really do rock. Thanks to Nicolle at The Pink Chandelier for granting me this cute little award. And of course, awards come with rules. This one is that I must pass it on to ten or so other blogs that I love. Well...I don't have that many that I read regularly that I think would be interested in this kind of thing, but I'll do what I can. After all, I would hate to be stripped of my crown, uh, award.

So here's who I am granting the award to and why:

A Year of CrockPotting (very cool recipes)

Banana Peel (because stories about her kids are adaorable)

Utah Desert Runner (so cute)

Banned from Baby Showers (so many reasons!)

Winners can now take that little picture and put it on their own blog.

Thanks to all my readers. *Imagine I am holding a dozen roses, decked out in a ghastly shimmering dress that is way too long and earrings that hang down to my shoulders, while bowing and blowing kisses*

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hardware Hunt Part 2

We were able to go back to the sewing store today. About $13 later, we have a new bobbin case! Hooray! I was so afraid they were going to tell me to come back later, in, you know, that tone they use. You know the one. The "you're an idiot for even asking" tone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Phibia: noun. A childhood or long ago fear that you tell yourself you are over, until the ugly truth comes out.

I was never a huge fan of spiders. When I moved to my current home, I became even less of a fan. But, as I became more used to my surroundings and the "natural" wildlife, I started to get over my fears. I learned that when I could point to a spider and say, "green orchard spider," or "wolf spider," I wasn't so afraid.

Until recently.

On Christmas Eve, awestruck Monkey Son #1 pointed out a spider about the size of my palm in the house. I moved a little closer so I could get a look at its markings and be sure that it was nothing venomous. As I did, it lifted it's body up off the wall and ran like Willy Mays Hayes. I jumped back and lost track of it as it ran to hide in the dining room.

I poked at various objects with a broom, to see if I could coax it out of hiding, but it was nowhere to be found. I spent the rest of the day freaked out. However, I did find out that it is a huntsman spider and is pretty harmless. Except, of course, for the fact that it was large enough to eat one of my children.

Later that night, I spotted the thing in the corner of the ceiling. Husband decided that we would catch it and take it outside, but also told me that it was not the size of my hand (notice I used "size of my palm" in my earlier description. I think that is a little more accurate). He grabbed some plastic containers and told me to watch it so I would know where it went if it escaped him. soon as the thing moved I screamed and ran out of the room like a little girl. A few moments later, Husband emerged with his prey in a little container. As he and the boys admired it, I was jumping up and down, shaking my hands and screaming, "Take it outside!"

In case you don't know what a huntsman spider is, here is an example. This is not my video, but very much like what I saw.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hardware Hunt

Hardware Hunt: noun. The hunt for a simple but apparently elusive item, especially but not limited to a piece of hardware.

My ancient and secondhand sewing machine kept getting jammed over and over and over and I didn't know why. It had worked fine for weeks. I was yelling and banging my hands on the table like a toddler. Monkey Son #1 wanted to know what was wrong, i.e., why his mother had gone crazy.

Husband came home and announced the problem was a screw missing from the bobbin case. No problem. We can find a screw at the hardware store, and if not just get a whole bobbin case.

So, the guy at the hardware store put up a valiant effort, but couldn't find that particular size and type of screw. Husband was sure, though, that they had it. But we went home for the day.

So today, we went to a sewing store that boasted of sewing machine repairs and thought that surely, they would have the part. We were told that yes, they have parts, but the tech wasn't in at the moment, which meant that he would not be in at all, and we should come back some time during the week and try to find him then. Great.

We took a trip to the secondhand store we had bought our first machine from. Last time, they had several sewing machines. Maybe we could buy another for cheap and take its bobbin case. Today, though, no sewing machines at all.

Back to the hardware store, as Husband was still sure that they must have that screw. But they didn't.

We plan to go back to the sewing store on Monday, but if that doesn't work, we will just have to order a new bobbin case. In the meantime, my project is on hold, which makes me one cranky momma.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Storiquestion Time

Storiquestion Time: noun. A situation that begins as story time, but results in endless questions.

I've been having a hard time getting the Monkey Boys to just go to bed. They're up and down and running around and crying and laughing and begging for just one more snack.

For crying out loud.

So, I've heard that one thing you can do for this is really get into a routine, and that will help the kids settle down. I try to plan bedtime for around 7, so around 6:30 they get their teeth brushed and we head to their room for story time before lights out.

Tonight we were reading a condensed version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe (one of those ones with pictures from the movie). On the first page I pause to explain to him why the Pevensie children are leaving, but then we have to stop because Monkey Son #1 wants to know why London is being bombed.

"Are they bad guys? Why are they doing that? I saw a soldier at the Y and he had a son..."

And then the wardrobe.

"There's a wardrobe! It's a magic wardrobe. It has doors like that. Is it a magic wardrobe? Why is it a magic wardrobe?"

You get the idea. Eventually, the questions lessened, but did not stop. You'll be proud to know we did in fact make it through the whole book.