Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 'Other' Children

For many years Elijah and I were parents of a different kind.  We spent several years with our lovely 4 legged friends and were very content.  Elijah wasn't a huge animal person.  He really enjoyed lizards, reptiles, and other caged creatures.  I, on the other hand, will take in every kind of animal because it 'needed' me.  When Elijah and I first moved in together he brought with him a savannah monitor and a pesky cat who I grew to love.  I had 2 ferrets at the time.  Soon after we added another cat into the picture and a baby ferret.  Through the years we have had to say goodbye to our many ferret friends as they crossed the Rainbow Bridge and that 'pesky cat', Cleo, passed away a couple of months after Audrey was born.
  Elijah and I were together for 11 years before Audrey was born and soon after we decided that we can no longer keep adding to our animal farm because having a baby was going to add to all the chaos.  We finally said goodbye to our last ferret, Duke, shortly after the New Year.  We now have 3 dogs, 1 cat, a bunch of fish, wild birds that I feed, and 1 toddler.  I wanted to make a post about our beautiful pets since I seem to always post about Audrey.  Yes, she is the apple of my eye, but these guys deserve some love too!
  Our oldest 4 legged child is Sunny.  I always like things in pairs because "they will get lonely."  Since we just had the one cat we decided to hit up the stores and find Cleo a friend.  We were randomly in this store called 'Clarks' and they were displaying cats from a local adoption agency.  Sunny, as he was already named, caught our eye.  We asked to see him and he so perfectly headbutted Elijah.  We signed up to get him, but were told that someone else might want him, but if that fell through then we could take him home.  His bio on the cage said that he was needy and in need of a home who would give him extra love and attention.  Boy were they right.  About a week later we got the news that he was ours and we went to pick him up.  Randomly enough, his adoption fee never got cashed and I bet for good reason.  They neglected to tell us that he was a carrier of ringworm and infected me, our other cat, and 1 of our ferrets.  He really has been an awesome cat.  Yes, he is needy and purrs about 80% of the day, talks over you, and has the worst case of halitosis that you can imagine, but he is mine.  He wears a collar that says, 'Sunny I'm lost' in case by some freak of nature he gets outside then someone will know he is an indoor kitty.  He does like to be a tom cat every now and again and look for bugs out back with us, but that is totally supervised.  Even though he is almost 14 years old, you would never know.  He runs around the house after taking a good potty break, if you get my drift.  You can almost bet that he is either laying in someones lap or sprawled out in the sunlight.  He also goes by the nicknames: Sunika, Bubba, Tuna, Bobby, and Soonokabebop.
He has perfected the 'sexy eye'

Going in for some love bites

And here he is eating the camera.  You can almost see down his throat.

More sexy eyes

Handsome Tuna.
Our second oldest is our Rottweiler/Chow mix we named Sidney.  After moving into our house we really wanted to get a dog.  We fell in love with this older dog, but for some reason we never picked him up.  Elijah had told his sister that we wanted a dog and she told us that her dog, Tiny, was pregnant.  We said that we would 'look' at the puppies and decide.  Well, she took that as we wanted one.  She found homes for all the puppies except this little girl they named Tieena.  It's like Tiny and Tina mixed together.  We couldn't resist so we took her home.  We changed her name to something a bit more appropriate, Sidney Vicious.  It suits her well.  She will be 10 years old this month.  She is a fairly territorial dog and while she generally loves females, she doesn't like males.  She has been known to take a nip or two at some unsuspecting people.  She is definitely a momma's girl, but when her Uncle or Grandpa are around I become chopped liver.  About 4 years ago Sidney started showing signs of hip problems and struggles with getting up or going on long excursions.  She is on glucosamine and chondroiton pills and that seems to help her.  She spends most of her days lounging and grazing like a cow.  You might even catch her chasing her tail or doing what we like to call  the 'ass run' where she tucks her butt and runs at full speed.  She is a very smart dog and about a month ago she opened the pantry and ate every single dog bone in the middle of the night.  She is a walking garbage disposal and eats everything at Audrey has or has not dropped. She loves a good belly rub, pushing under your arm or legs so you can pet her, and being right there and waiting if you have food. She is such a sweet dog (if you know her) and I love her dearly!  Sidney also goes by the nicknames: Squid, Squidder Dog, Poochie Pants, and Boo Boo Loo.
Look at those googles.  She has about as much extra skin around her neck to cover a small dog.

Doing what she does best.
After taking Sidney to the dog parks a few times we discovered that she really enjoyed small dogs and would kind of take a motherly role with them.  We thought it would be fantastic to get her a 'baby'.  So again, we had the thought in our mind and were randomly at Petsmart one day and Watermelon Ranch (no kill animal ranch) was there with these adorable pups.  We came across a very special one, who didn't have a tail and was a bit cross eyed.  He was also spotted, unlike his siblings.  We were told that someone surrendered a dog who was pregnant and this was one from the litter.  He already had the name Zane and it suits him well!  We don't know what kind of dog his father was, but his mom was a Blue Healer. We were also told that we would need to raise our walls because he was a jumper and would be around 40 pounds.  We raised our walls and took him home.  Needless to say, the jumping 40 pounder turned into an 80 pound arctic seal that can barely jump on the couch.  He has a round body and long stick legs.  He is our character.  He will hit you with his paw and then fall over so you can play with him.  He will be 6 years old in June and still acts like a pup.  He is double jointed (we think) because when he lays down his shoulder pokes out and his leg looks like its going the wrong way.  We've had it checked and he is fine.  He is very much a teenager who likes to sleep in, relax on the couch with a pillow and gives tiny little kisses.  He also has an alter ego named Bat Boy.  He will lay on his side, show his teeth, and grunt so someone will play with him.  Sunny, the cat, also thinks Zane is his best friend and will rub all over him.  Zane is also the one who wakes up the neighborhood by barking at the air.  He wants everyone to know he is up and ready to go.  Zane also goes by the nicknames: Zano, Bat Boy, Dirt Ball, and Buddy.
Doing what he does best

Using his gams to attack his prey

Alter ego: Bat Boy

Zane has also mastered the "I'm abused" look.
Our youngest 4 legged child is Bruno.  He is a big Black Lab.  Enough said.  Bruno came into our lives somewhat unexpectedly.  We had just put down one of our ferrets the week before and decided that we can't get any more animals.  It was time to let them slowly go.  We had just come home from bowling with my dad and we pulled into the driveway only to see this puppet of a dog come barreling down the sidewalk.  He was so cute!! We looked around to see where his own may be but there was no one.  We leashed him up and took him around the neighborhood asking people if they knew who he was.  No one knew who he was and there were never any signs on the mailboxes or postings on Craigslist.  He was also wearing a very small collar that was starting to dig into his skin, he had sandpaper paw pads, had massive dander, and wasn't neutered.  The next day we took him to the vet and he wasn't chipped either.  We decided to keep him.  What a trade off.  We lose a 2 pound ferret and gain a 70 pound 7ish month old lab.  I'd like to say he handpicked us.  He probably got dropped off in our neighborhood because he was too much to handle and now he is spoiled rotten.  We ended up getting him neutered and chipped and his paw pads have become soft again.  It was weird having this huge dog who obviously had never been in the house.  We had many a nights where we were woken up to poop explosions all over the living room.  Thank goodness for tile!  Bruno has really fit our family well.  I LOVE labs so much and it's all because of him.  He is house broken now and tips the scale at about 103 pounds. He can go out front with us without running away, he helps with the mail, he will carry a diaper for you, and is always at your side.  He is an attention hog and always needs to be the last one to get love.  He sleeps on the bed with us and snores like an old man.  He loves the water and Audrey.  He is protective of her and you can tell how much they love each other.  Zane and Bruno are play buddies.  They wrestle and play all day long.  Bruno likes to get into trouble with Sidney and follows her around looking for scraps of food.  Bruno also goes by the nicknames: Beazy, Beazy Weazy, Big Black, and Bocephus.
The tongue that can hit your whole face in one lick.

"Hi Mommy. I wuv you."

Eyeballing Zane.

Attack mode.

Typical Lab stance.
I know this was a lengthy post, but I wanted to document the other children.  I really do believe that animals make people happy and better people. I am a strong advocate for animal welfare and well being.  They truly are unconditional lovers.  I encourage people to spay and neuter their pets because there are so many fantastic animals already waiting for a family to love them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


While giving Audrey a bath earlier she decided to be silly and call out for her Daddy.  It went a little something like this:
Audrey: "Daaaaaaadddddddeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"
Elijah coming down the hallway and to the bathroom door
Elijah: "What?"
Audrey: "Hi."
And this proceeded for about 6 minutes.
**Turn off the music at the bottom of the blog.**

Backyard Shenanigans

For the past month or so Elijah we have been working hard to get the backyard into tip top shape so we can enjoy it.  Through the years we have had grass (3 times) and it's been killed by random things and then eventually we sort of let it go.  Now that Audrey enjoys being outside we decided to get on with fixing it up.  It really has been great, especially in the early morning and evenings.  To add to the toddler fun we decided to spoil Audrey.  Well, just about everyday we spoil her, but today was extra special.  We went out and bought Audrey a pool...with a slide!  She loves the slides and after taking her to one of the local public pools I discovered that she loves slides going into the water.  She has yet to take a significant nap today (that just means early bed time is in her near future) so I decided to get her suit on and take her outside.  She didn't know that we got it for her since Audrey and I stayed in the car while Daddy went in to get it.  It took a little coaxing to get her outside since she was fixated on a basketball.  When I grabbed her and took her outside she threw a mini fit until she saw her pool on the other side of the lawn.
Totally unrelated photo, but look how adorable she looks at the zoo!

Running to her new pool

Ready to hop in

Climbing over

Just about there

Water racing to the slide

Climbing the steps

Adjusting her weight

And there she goes!

Ladybug lounging

Posing like a mini supermodel

Blowing bubbles

Licking the water.  Who DOESN'T do this??

"nigh nigh"

Squirrel mentality and got sidetracked by the pavers.

Jumping up.

Jumping off.
 Along with having a toddler, you just have to expect that what is a normal time to spend in the pool is, you have to cut that in half and then in half a few more times and then that is their attention span. So our "hour dip" in the pool lasted about 10 minutes and then she discovered this box.  What is this???  This is what happens when you go into Sams Club for dog food and pull-ups and right at the entrance is a playhouse already assembled.  I Audrey fell in LOVE at first sight.  Being the parents that we are, we caved.  It's going to look so cute under the tree with her little flagstone walkway.  The assembled pictures will go along with a future post that deals with the transformation of our backyard.
Daddy: "Yay, we brought you home the box!!"

"Holy cow...I remember this."

"Oh my gosh, the telephone and sink!"

And here's daddy working on an ADDITIONAL project to the already numerous ones lined up.

And you can't forget the three amigos.  Can't you see how helpful  they are?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dog Pool O'Fun

We had to clean out the dog's pool today because the wind had blown in so much debris and dirt.  We have yet to buy Audrey her own personal pool, so she has taken it upon herself to make do with "being one of the dogs."  Right after we dumped out the old water and started filling it with clean water she jumped right in.  Of course she is wearing the proper outfit to go swimming in.  Who cares if her diaper weighs 22.7lb.  Being the awesome parents that we are, Elijah decided to trick Audrey into thinking the hose was malfunctioning and would blast her in the face with water.  It was pretty funny!  **Don't forget to turn off the music at the very bottom of the blog. **

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yackity Yack

It is so wild to see your child grow up. It seriously feels like last week that I had her (minus all the pain).  Now she is 20 months old and soon to be 2!!  It's crazy.  Lately, Audrey has been a blabber mouth. She carries on these in depth conversations with us...the only part is, 99% of it is totally unrecognizable.  She's probably telling us she's hurt or asking us for food and we usually respond with, "oh yeah?" or "cool!"  The other day she was taking a bath and I heard her across the house yelling, "mommy!!!!"  So I came to see what she wanted and she says, "Mommy...dub-ee y!"  So I give my regular response and start to leave again to which she replies, "Mommy, mommy.  Dub-ee y!!!"  She told me this about 4 times so obviously it means something.  I just wish I knew what it was!  She has quite a few words in her vocabulary now and I know any day now those complete and understandable sentences will kick in.  For now, we are stuck with the "WTF did she just say?"  But it really is so cute!! Tonight she rediscovered her phone (even though our cell phones and the house phone are her #1 favs).  Here she is having a fake conversation with "pampa" i.e. Grandpa.  **Turn off the music player at the bottom of the blog so you can hear the video.**