Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Move over Vinnie

I'm feeling a little blue today. I don't know why and I don't know how to fix it. All I know is that all I want to do is sit around my house and feel sorry for myself. But that's really hard to do when you have a needy infant demanding your attention.
I don't want to fall into the Bitch trap, I want to focus on what makes me happy and maybe that will pull me out of this funk.
This makes me smile - it also sums up my mood.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Blissful weekend

We had a lovely weekend. Nice weather, a little shopping, dinner with friends and the Child missed her afternoon naps both days but didn't freak out in public. Pretty near to perfect. Then I slept wrong last night and woke up with a pain in my neck and now I can't turn my head to the right. Just another bitch slap from Reality.

I got tagged by Amy with this one. I'm new to blogging so this is the first time I've been tagged. Neat-o.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Donut Slinger and Donut Filler at Dunkin Donuts (I came home reeking of donuts everyday but I got all the chocolate frosted donuts and coffee I could consume. Score!)
2. Radio DJ (It sounds a lot cooler than it was)
3. Multi-Media Specialist/Voice-Over Artist for a Fortune 500 company
4. Dog Trainer/Doggie Daycare Manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Ocean's Eleven
2. Legally Blonde
3. Grosse Point Blank
4. Almost Famous

Four places I have lived:
1. Northern MA
2. Western MA
3. Southern MA
4. In the deepest recesses of my brain

Four TV shows I love:
1. Lost
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. American Idol
4. What Not to Wear (one day someone is going to nominate me for that damn show)

Four places I have vacationed:
1. Florence, Italy
2. Jamaica
3. Cancun
4. San Francisco/Napa Valley

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Risotto (pretty much every type I've tried so far)
2. Crab Cakes
3. Lobster
4. Salmon with 3 Herb Salsa (when the Hubby will make it for me!)

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Dooce
3. Mommies with Style
4. Boston Mommy

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In a warm tub with a glass of wine in my hand.
2. On a warm beach with my toes in the sand.
3. Cruising in a convertible up the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley with the Hubby by my side (in September so it would be warm out - are you getting the theme yet?).
4. Someplace Warm!

Four bloggers I am tagging
Again, I'm new to blogging so I've got to pass on this one. I'm so pathetic.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mothers and Daughters 1

I'm in the middle of watching tonight's 20/20 episode that centers around Mothers and Daughters and their special and, sometimes, explosive relationship. I've cried during a great deal of the program. Right now I'm watching the segment on Erin Kramp and it hurts. I'm thinking of me and my Mom and me and my Daughter.
God, I miss my Mom.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Divine Intervention

It came!

The best thing to happen to me in a long time (especially after yesterday) has finally arrived on my doorstep. Hand delivered by a chain-smoking man in a funny little white car and bad clothes emblazzoned with USPS all over them. The box that held my salvation inside its nondescript packaging from Amazon.com.

Ladies and Gentlemen (and Hubby - I know you're reading this) I give you...

Philadelphia Chickens

and Dog Train!

Dear dear Sandra Boynton and Friends, how I love thee.

The Child owns most of the Boynton library by now but we had not yet purchased these fabulous CDs and their companion books. Maybe you know about Sandra Boynton, but if you don't get yourself to her website and gaze upon the wonderfully imaginative creations she has bestowed upon the world. The books are great fun with lots of silly characters and even sillier writing. The Child seems to like them and, more importantly at this point, I like them. Our favorite book is "Snuggle Puppy" (natch) and its meant to be sung. After reading/singing that book for the umpteenth time and making up my own melody I decided it was time to find out what the song really sounds like. I can't tell you how happy I was that Eric Stolz was the celebrity singer. Yes, the man who was Rocky Dennis in "Mask"and Vahlere in "Say Anything" sings "Snuggle Puppy" on the Philadelphia Chickens CD. I'm so happy.

But it gets better. Dog Train is fantastic. Philadelphia Chickens had a lot of well-known stars (Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, the Bacon Brothers) but Dog Train is chock full of artists that you'd want to listen to and your kids will think are kinda cool, too. How's this for a line-up... The Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Mickey Hart, the Bacon Brothers (in a repeat performance), Kate Winslet, Alison Krauss, John Ondrasik, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian (the Hooters!!). Okay, some of them are a little past their prime, but at least its not Raffi.

Chicky Baby is a little young to get the subtle nuances of songs like "Tantrum" and "I Need a Nap" but I really enjoyed the humor and the music. These CDs/Books will be purchased for every child's birthday party that we have to attend for the next 6 years or so.

It will be a joy to learn all of these new songs to sing to Julia, because if I had to sing "Wheels on the Bus" one more time I was going to throw myself in front of one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Where the hell are my hip waders?

I think the Chicky Household can now be categorized as a Bio-Waste Site.

The Child and I are both sick with head colds of the coughing, sneezing, runny and/or stuffy nose type. Who knew a wee babe could produce so much mucus? Between her nose and mine I'm knee deep in snotty tissues. After a day of non-stop wiping she is now giving me looks of horror after every sneeze, like she knows that the tissue is on its way towards her sore, little snout. And I wish that snot was the worst of it. Boy, do I wish. Let's recap my day. Shall we?

We woke to a normal day in New England. In other words, Snow. Shit, now I have to go out and shovel.

After an uneventful breakfast (mmm, Bananas and Oatmeal) with very little food throwing on the Child's part, we settled down on the floor for some playtime and Today Show watchin'. Then off to bed for the morning nap (Oh, dear Morning Nap... I'll miss you when you're gone). Chicky Baby even slept pretty well, about an hour and a half, which gave me time to watch a bit of Regis and Kelly. Emma Thompson was on and she looked fabulous. Loved the boots.

The Child wakes, is promptly changed and dressed for the day, and we park ourselves on the couch with a bottle that she drinks with gusto. Half of which she promptly throws back up all over me and herself after a nasty coughing fit. Yippee, its not even 11:30am.

We change out of our nasty clothing and into clean outfits (okay, I was in a clean outfit, she was in a diaper. I wasn't taking any chances with another change of clothes - I have enough laundry to do). I do some vacuuming and she chews on the power cord. And, no, I'm not kidding about that. When I'm through cleaning up the pet hair that has gathered overnight, its time for lunch. After a bit of a struggle we find something that she will actually let pass her lips. Apple, raisin and granola mush, just in case you were wondering. The pieces of kiwi that I lovingly cut into teeny bits for her were thrown on the floor, much to the delight of the circling vultures... I mean, the dogs. Twenty-four nose wipes later (or, roughly, 1 every 2 - 3 minutes) and, thankfully, no more vomiting, its time for nap.

Nap does not go well. While I'm out shoveling (friggin' New England) The Child wakes up a few times. She eventually puts herself back to sleep but, unfortunately, that means that naptime was not as restful for her as it should be. And you know what that means... The return of Cranky Baby! When she's up for good I go to her room and find that Chicky Baby is covered in snot. But not just over the nose area. Her face is completely covered in a thin film of mucus like a layer of skin that's peeling off. I promptly wash her face which pisses her off. Its 3pm. What am I going to do with this sick child for four more hours until bedtime?

Let's try a bottle! It worked so well the first time and it will give Mommy's Boobs a rest. She drinks 2 ounces. Oooh-kay. The Child starts screaming so we play with blocks, she loves pushing them over. She's bored with that after 2 minutes. Stacking rings? Nope. Books? Uh-uh. Pulling tissues out of the tissue box? Fun for about 30 seconds. She's crying again. Does she have a fever? Ever so slightly, about 99.2 degrees. Ear Ache? Don't think so. Let's try a snack... Bananas and Cheerios, that's always a big hit. We occupy ourselves with snack time for a while and then off for more play. The snack obviously worked because she sits happily on the floor and plays with her blocks. Ah, peace at last.

Not so fast... I hear a strange noise coming from the upstairs landing. As I round the corner to investigate I see Lana, the black lab, throwing up on the floor. I shoo her out the back door and return to the mess armed with paper towels and cleaner. I'm cleaning the small puddle when my eyes wander up the stairs and its ALL THE WAY UP THE STAIRS. The newly carpeted stairs. God Dammit! As I'm cleaning the child starts screaming again.

Again, is she feverish? Not really. Is anyone sticking her with pins? Not yet. Does she want some dinner? Get the hell away from me with those carrots, Woman! We dance and sing until its close enough to bath- and bedtime. Close enough. I run the bath and get her undressed. She loves being naked so this should make her happy. The Child crawls away from me a bit, turns to look at me and then pees on the floor. SonofaBitch. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

And here I am with Mommy's Little Helper du jour, a not horrible Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, watching American Idol and surrounded with used tissues. Tomorrow has got to be better. But those stairs will never be the same.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A little too close to home

This story has been all over the local news today. Since its close to where we live, it literally hits too close to home. A woman and her 9 month old baby girl were found shot to death in their house, huddled together in the woman's bed, under a pile of blankets. The missing husband, of course, is a suspect. Actually, they're calling him "a person of interest" which says to me that the authorities don't want to jump to any conclusions. But in the wake of the Laci Peterson murders, I'm willing to bet that the husband in this case has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

On the Boston news stations they're showing pictures from the family website. Pictures of a happy couple and they're adorable infant girl. Nice pictures from happy times. Looking at them I can't help but wonder Did She Know? If, in fact, it is the husband to blame in this case, did the woman know she married a man who had the capacity for murder? Did they start out together on this journey called marriage like most people, full of promise and hope, or was there always something menacing lying underneath the surface? And what about the baby? What makes a person shoot a helpless infant? You can't tell from the pictures.

My baby, the Child, is also 9 months. When I look into her face I'm horrified at the idea that someone could kill her. Someone could look at that same beautiful face that I'm looking at and could pull the trigger of a gun and end her life. What drives a person to kill a woman and her infant? I'll be asking myself that question for a long, long time.

My family's thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this woman, Rachel Entwistle, and her daughter Lillian. I hope your killer is found quickly and that justice is swift and fair. And I hope your spirits rest easy, where ever they are.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Little Victories

After a week of sickness the Child is finally eating and drinking again. OhthanktheLordJesusChristAlmightyhallelujah. Amen. It almost makes me want to go back to church and say a prayer of thanks. Almost. I would probably be struck dead by a very large lightning bolt if I even drove my car close to the parking lot. But anywhoo...

She will now eat some foods, but only those foods she deems worthy to enter her darling, stubborn little mouth. The Child has opinions, oooh does she have Opinions. The sweet baby who once trusted me to put tasty things into her mouth and took them willingly now looks at me with distrust and scorn while I'm preparing her food. And her sense of smell seems to have heightened during her sickness. She can now smell a food she doesn't like at 5 paces. And she has no problem letting me know what she doesn't like.

Tonight I gave her 4 choices for dinner before we finally settled on one she liked. And, yes, it was the same thing she's eaten for the past 3 days. You may be asking yourself "Why didn't you just give her the tried and true dinner the first time?" Because I'm the Mommy, Dammit! She doesn't realize it yet but I can be as stubborn as she is. I will persevere. She will learn to like what I've prepared for her. I will win this fight.

Who am I kidding? I'm going down - Hard.

Losing to a 9 month old... That's going to help my self-esteem.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The most addicting website EVER

I love reading other people's blogs, if only to find cool websites to check out(thanks Red Sox Bat Girl). This one is the best one I've seen in a while.

As a warning, make sure you pick the right photo. With one picture I looked like Helena Blavatsky. I had to find another picture IMMEDIATELY. With another I most resembled Catherine Deneuve. In yet another, and I'm not sure how this is possible, I most resembled Kate Winslet and Lucy Liu. The only one I really agreed with is my similarities to Alyson Hannigan.

This website is addicting... You have been warned.

What's the sign for "Bite my Ass"?

I took the Child to a baby sign language class today. The other mothers and I tried to teach our babies the sign for ball, more and book. After about 20 minutes I completely lost her attention and just let her crawl around the room with her little buddies. We had a good time, though, and I'm really going to throw myself (and, because he lives here, the Hubby too) into it. I've heard that ASL - American Sign Language - really works for babies, helping reduce their frustration when they reach the age when they really want to communicate more but don't yet have the ability to speak. Its fascinating stuff. For instance, did you know that The Experts (don't ask me who The Experts are, but They write books so They must know what They're doing) say that children have learned 75% of their language skills by 3 years? I guess I'll have to start watching what I'm doing when Julia is around. Don't want her first sign to be the Bird.

I bet that would be a big hit at family functions.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Angelina Jolie's future adopted children are starving all over the world, Dammit!

Julia has had some sort of a stomach bug for the past few days. Besides the puking, which really only happened twice, I haven't had to change this many poopy diapers since she was a newborn. And, yes, I did just use the word poopy. Used it twice, in fact.

I can handle the sickness, what I can't handle is the not eating. Every morning for the past 3 days I have tried giving her cereal, fruit, yogurt. I have tried all of her favorite morning foods and she won't eat any of them. The same thing happens at lunch and dinner. I can slide a spoonful or two past her lips while she's not paying attention, but for the most part she just slaps the spoon away from her face and gives me a really pissed off look. You know what she will eat? Cheerios. That's it, just Cheerios. She will shovel great handfuls in her mouth, choking herself in the process. Then she will finally force them down her throat and start again. I try to explain to her that Baby can not live on O-shaped cereal alone. That mama worked hard to cook, puree, and spoon the yummy yams into sterilized ice cube trays then thaw them in the microwave to just the right temperature as to not scorch her precious pink tongue. She blew me a raspberry, splattering all over me the small spoonful of yummy yam that I snuck into her mouth between Cheerios.

And if that wasn't bad enough she won't drink much either. If I can get 3 ounces into her at a time I start doing cartwheels. And I really suck at cartwheels. We saw the doctor yesterday and she didn't seem too concerned about it at the time. I'm really trying not to stress about it because I'm sure once she starts to feel better things will go back to normal. But isn't she too young to stage a hunger strike?

If this is what she's like now, we're in deep poopy when she hits the teen years.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

10 minutes before she lost her lunch

She waited until I was at work and then, whoops! All over the hubby. Thanks chicky baby. I owe ya.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Julia Update - 9 months

The child is 9 months today. I can't believe we've actually made it 9 whole months without some serious mental breakdown, but we have.

Here's some highlights from the past few weeks:

Once Julia figured out how to crawl, at around 8 months, there was no stopping her. I take that back, baby gates work wonders in stopping a crawling baby from, say, falling down the basement steps or smacking a dog in the face. I have them all over my house. Gates not dogs, although it does feel like that from time to time. Because of all the barriers I think we now qualify as a gated community.

As soon as she figured out how to become independently mobile it only took a few days after that to figure out that she could pull herself up into a standing position on things like the couch and the laundry basket. Observe...

Here I go!

Assuming the position...

Steady now...

Ta Daa!

Now that she can stand up Julia is starting to understand fear and pain. She knows that if she tries to get down from her standing position that she could potential hurt herself. So she just stands there until she can't stand it anymore then she cries until someone comes and puts her back down on the floor. Fun for the whole family.

The hubby is enjoying this age because the child can now play interactive games (simplistic ones, but still). For example, he found out last night that if he rolled a ball to her she would pick it up, hand it to him, and wait until he rolled it again. I don't know who enjoyed the game more, hubby or Julia.

I'm enjoying this age because she's learning how to communicate. The other day I put Julia in her high chair and went to prepare dinner. After she sat there, oh so patiently, for about 3 SECONDS she started crying. When I gave her my full attention she looked me straight in the eye then looked at the Cheerios box on the counter and pointed at it! Then she gave me a look, ooh you know the look, the look that say "Dammit, woman! Give me what I want and nobody gets hurt." Friday we attend a sign language class for babies... Can't wait.

Happy 9 months, kid. You crack me up.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Seven Sevens

Got this one from Binky.

Seven things to do before I die
1. Learn Italian
2. Travel more
3. Get off my butt and put at least one title on Fisher - I'd settle for a CGC at this point
4. Find my inner peace. I'm not sure where I left it
5. Open my own business
6. Tell my husband I love him every single day
7. Raise my daughter to be a confident, self-assured, happy woman

Seven things I cannot do
1. Stop myself from cracking a joke during extremely tense situations
2. Drive a stick
3. Dance
4. Ice or Roller Skate
5. Ski
6. Knit
7. A decent cartwheel

Seven things that attracted me to my husband
In no particular order!
1. His kindness
2. His Humor
3. His ridiculously amazing intelligence
4. His beautiful blue eyes
5. His music collection
6. His smile
7. The way he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world

Seven things I say most often
1. No!
2. Yes, Nice, Good (works for dog training and husband training)
3. Aw, hell.
4. Fuck a Duck.
5. I know I'm forgetting something.
6. If we're going to get to where we're going we need to boogie.
7. Cool.

Seven books I love
I have loved far too many books in my life to limit the number to 7, but these are the ones that come to mind first
1. Drive: Women's True Stories from the Open Road - Jennie Goode (editor)
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
4. All of the books by Sandra Boynton
5. A Million Little Pieces - James Frye (I don't care if he may have fabricated a few things or not)
6. Dog is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship - Bark
7. Come to think of it, pretty much anything with "Dog" in the title or in the subject

Seven movies I watch over and over again
Again there are far too many, but here's the short list
1. Grosse Point Blanke
2. PCU (I know, its stupid, but it makes me giggle and I love Jeremy Piven)
3. Gigi
4. An American in Paris
5. Ocean's Eleven (the one with George Clooney, not the original one)
6. Grace of My Heart
7. Sixteen Candles/Pretty in Pink/Breakfast Club/St. Elmo's Fire (The Brat Pack Baby!)

Seven people I want to join in, too
1. Anyone
2. who
3. stumbles
4. across
5. this
6. blog
7. Thanks!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Old Faithful

Like most babies, Julia is fascinated with remote controls and phones. After fighting it for a while I decided to give in and give the child her own remote. Its one we don't use anymore, so what's the harm? She loves that thing. But, really, how long can it possibly hold her fascination? Its a remote control, it doesn't do anything. I figured that after she got all of her new Christmas toys she would finally give it up. Silly, silly Mommy...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why I named her that

For as long as I can remember I've been coming up with baby names. Even before I knew for certain that I wanted to have kids the idea of baby names fascinated me. Imagine being responsible for the name that a new person was going to carry for the rest of their lives. It was very important to me that my child have a distinctive name, one that was unique enough to be memorable and special but not too unique so she would have problems with it later in life. In a world of Emma's and Madison's and Olivia's I wanted my baby to stand out from the crowd in some small way. Not that I have a problem with those names. I think they're beautiful and apparently I'm in good company.

From the time that the hubby and I were a serious couple the poor guy has been subjected to my crazed lists of baby names. What about this one, what about that one? What do you think of (insert name here)? I was a woman obsessed and he was a man besieged.

For a long time the only name that was not up for discussion was her middle name. That was decided long ago. My dear sister, whom I love dearly, is and always has been a terrible klutz. I mean horrible, if there was a puddle or stream nearby she would fall in it. If it was picture day you could guarantee that she would fall and end up with a split lip. If she were eating the food most likely end up on her clothes. Her real name is Kelly but my family ended up nicknaming her Grace Kelly or Grace Slick or simply just Grace. So, for my sister whom I love dearly, I decided long ago that Grace would be some part of my first daughter's name. Unfortunately, the man I married has a last name that does not go well with the name Grace. Back to square one.

As for my daughter's first name, now that's a bit of a long story. A few months before I got pregnant my Mom died. Mother's Day was really tough that year. It was a day that I didn't want to acknowledge, hell, it was a day that I didn't want to get out of bed. But my grandmother wanted me and my sister to spend the day with her, so off to my hometown I went. Driving in my car on the way to my Grandmother's house there was a Beatles marathon on the radio and every song was about a woman or a mother. On came a song that I know I must have heard before but hearing it then was like hearing it for the first time. It was a song so sad and beautiful and a bit like a lullaby. It was a song written by John Lennon for his mother who had died tragically when he was 17. It made me cry and it made me happy and it made me sad and it made me think about my Mom, and miss my Mom, and mourn my Mom all over again. And it made me want to name my baby girl (I was totally convinced at that moment that I was going to have a girl even though we had not yet conceived) for this song that made me think of my Mom. This beautiful, haunting song that I couldn't get out of my head. So I named her Julia, the title of the beautiful song I heard on the radio on the first Mother's Day I spent without my Mom. She is named for the two most important women in my life, my Mom and my Sister and yet she does not carry their names. Julia Grace. The two most beautiful names I could think of. Julia Grace. I hope she likes the names and the stories behind them when she grows up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Minor Miracle

I almost feel like I should knock wood before writing this... After almost 9 months of life, Julia seems to be a little more accepting of having someone else watch her while I leave the house.

Waiting for lightning to strike...


Nothing yet. Phew.

Last night I had to leave the Child with my Mother-In-Law so I could go to work. Aaron is out of town on business (Las Vegas - Damn Him) and I can't take her to class with me. (I have thought about it though. Can you imagine taking your dog to training class and your instructor has her 8 month old baby strapped to her chest in a Baby Bjorn? Treat for doggie, treat for baby. It kind of makes me giggle thinking about it.) Julia is famous for having major meltdowns when people she doesn't know intimately (in other words, me) try to hold her, never mind sit for her while Mama leaves the house. Last night, though, I actually walked out the door while she was on the floor playing with her Grandma and SHE DIDN'T FREAK OUT. She didn't even notice. And, apparently, she didn't fuss at all until it was time to go to bed and she does that anyway.

Ah, progress. I guess that time in Florida with the fam-damily helped.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I want my two hours!

I have been to one - count them, one - movie in a real movie theater in the past year. While I was pregnant I had such terrible back pain that simply sitting in a movie theater seat was enough to send me running to the bathroom close to tears. After Julia was born we found out very quickly that she wasn't going to be the type of baby who would take kindly to being left with a babysitter, even if the sitters were her own grandparents, so there went our chances of sneaking out for a couple of hours to catch a flick. A month ago, though, the hubby and I actually got out long enough to see the new Harry Potter film and it was well worth incurring the wrath of Cranky Baby's evil sister, Screaming-Bloody-Murder Baby. I loved that movie. But, for the most part, we watch a lot of Movies On Demand at home.

On Friday night Aaron convinced me to rent "War of the Worlds". You know, the one Tom Cruise thought sucked enough that he had to jump on Oprah's couch to get enough publicity to save it. And you know what? He was right, it did suck. It sucked with a capital S-U-C-K-E-D. If you saw the movie, Dear Reader, then you know what I mean. If you haven't, consider this a public service announcement. Do not see that movie! Please, for the love of all that is good and holy DO NOT SEE "WAR OF THE WORLDS"! I don't know how many exclamation points and warnings in caps I have to use. The movie was that bad. The best part of the movie was Morgan Freeman - and he did the voice-over at the beginning and the end of that damn movie for Christ's Sake. Thankfully we didn't waste a trip to the theater on it.

I can never get those two hours of my life back (as much as I begged for them after I sat there through the whole damn thing). But if you decide, after reading this, that you want to see that movie for yourself - let's say you're a big Tom Cruise fan, I guess that's still possible these days - don't say you weren't warned. But, my God, it was SO BAD!!!!!!

I really want those two hours back.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Its the sport of kings, better than anything...

It seems in the last 30 minutes that everytime I glance up from my computer the Patriots are scoring another touchdown. God, I love these guys.
Score (as of 10:30pm Eastern time) NE - 28 Jax - 3 in the 4th.
Go Pats!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Positive Dog Training for the Whole Family

About 3 years ago I gave up my job at a Fortune 500 company to work with dogs, mainly as a Dog Trainer. Not a day goes by that I don't silently thank the hubby for taking on more (okay all, dog training doesn't pay much) of the financial responsibility so that I could work in a field that I am passionate about. I love being a Dog Trainer. I honestly enjoy helping new dog owners live in harmony with their new puppies or older dogs that they have acquired. And if I get to squeeze and cuddle a few wiggly pups from time to time, so much the better.

Sometimes, though, my training techniques creep into my life in the strangest ways and they don't always have the desired results. The other day I put Julia down on the floor and then, without even thinking, I said "Sit" and "Stay" complete with hand signals. If you've ever taken your dog to training classes you know what I mean.

Did I really do what I think I just did?

Yep. I put the child in a sit/stay.

And she didn't listen, she took off crawling in the opposite direction.

I'm better with dogs. Honestly.

For instance, I could probably teach my dogs to write their names in the snow before I could consistently get the hubby to close a cabinet door, turn off a light or put something away when he's done with it. But I'm going to keep trying. He's already getting better about things. Part of the trick is catching him in the act and praising him when he does what I want him to do.

(Damn, he's probably reading this. There goes the element of surprise. Guess I'm going to have to up the treat ante!)

I plan on applying my training techniques to my parenting duties as well. Praise, reinforcement and the occasional treat. When someone in my family is moving in the wrong direction in life - redirect. Try to tone down the yelling and harsh words, they don't work anyway. Lots of loving touch, hugs and kisses. Clear boundaries and guidelines. Don't get me wrong, I know life isn't that clear cut and I know I'll stumble as I go along. But I'm optimistic and I'm going into this with a positive outlook. And, honestly, squeezing and cuddling a wiggling baby is just as satisfying as a puppy. Maybe more so... but don't tell my training buddies!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Vote for Us!

If you have a few seconds, vote for Fisher or Lana to win Best In Show at the Dog Show USA website. The winner gets to go to the National Dog Show (I know, its only cool if you're a geeky dog person), AND 10 voters will be randomly selected to win video iPods. So its win-win for everyone. And who doesn't like looking at cute doggy pictures? You have to do it quickly, though. I think voting ends soon. Procrastination wins again.

As a side note, I'm a little ticked off at the people who take care of that website. They totally cut off Lana's description and I worked really hard on it. Its difficult to sum up her fantastic personality in 300 words. And all of their pictures didn't upload. At least the ones that made it were adorable.

Don't forget - vote for us now! Thanks.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


On my mind...

Christmas was a lot more fun when I was a kid and someone else was responsible for taking down and putting away all the decorations.


This is the most impractical and most wonderful thing my sister has purchased for Julia so far... My GOD she looks cute!


I am so psyched for the new season of "Dancing with the Stars" if only to see Tia Carrere still carrying her post-pregnancy weight. Its refreshing to see a celebrity (okay, granted, a C-list celebrity) who is comfortable enough to appear on television looking like a normal person.


My dog has the worst breath in the world. He's lucky he's damn cute.


I know this isn't timely, but I can't stop thinking about it... I will NEVER forgive Johnny Damon. EVER.


There are WAY too many primary-colored toys in my house. Its kind of freaking me out.


Because of the holidays I haven't seen the women in my Mother's Group for a few weeks. And I really miss them.


I hope everyone has a wonderful and healthy 2006.