Tag Archives: dog

Dear Riley and Charlotte

Dear Riley and Charlotte,

There are times throughout the day that you both do things that are either hilarious, adorable, or a little bit of both and I realize that you won’t do these things forever. Riley, you’ll be FIVE in a couple months, and that just blows my mind.

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Gone are the days of you calling our dog Lola, “Wahwhoa,” or saying that maybe some candy would, “feel me better.” I miss that little boy, but I love the little boy you are today. The one who:

  • Tells me on a daily basis that I’m the best mommy ever
  • Thanks me for making dinner and usually says it’s the best dinner ever, even when it’s just spaghetti
  • Asks uncomfortably inappropriate questions like “Mommy, why don’t you have a wiener?”
  • Loves his sister so much it hurts. Sometimes literally. Yesterday you hugged her too tight and too long and she struggled to get away. Apparently you still didn’t let go and she bit you right on the cheek. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I think she made her point.
  • Immediately takes my hand whenever you get out of the car. I don’t need to remind you, you do it automatically and I can tell it makes both of us happy.

And Charlotte, you are now 18 months old and you’re getting bigger and less baby-like every day.

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I love how you:

  • only call animals by the sounds they make, not what they’re called. For example, your favorite, a horse is a “neigh neigh,” a dog is an “arf arf” a cat is a “meow” a rooster is a “cock a doodle doo” – high pitched of course – and a bird is a “tweet tweet.” I should probably be correcting you, but it’s too cute!
  • are so observant. You see your favorite, a squirrel, from across the room, outside the window and up a tree across the street. You don’t miss much.
  • love kissing. You make a cartoon kissy face and come at us with a “mmmmmMMMMMMWAH!” until we let you plant one on us.
  • I love the way you say yes. It sounds like “yesssshhhh”. It’s too cute for words.
  • Whenever I’m holding you, if I sigh out of the sheer exhaustion of raising two kids and working full time, you instantly mimic my sigh. Because maybe your life is hectic, too.
  • At night, you insist on me reading “moooooon!” (Goodnight Moon) as one of your bedtime stories. However, you refuse to let me open it up and read the pages. Luckily, that was one of Riley’s favorite books too, so I’ve had 4 and a half years to memorize the book. I read it to you every night from memory, while you sit on my lap and hug the closed book.

This list really could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. You two are the best things that ever happened to your dad and me. We can’t wait to see the people you become. You will always make us proud.




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It. Just. Figures.

It’s been a rough week at our household. All four of us are currently nursing the same cold. Riley is on the mend, but poor Charlotte still sounds like Bea Arthur. Who knew babies could get laryngitis? Well, they can! It’s the saddest thing ever to hear her hoarse little voice croak out.

Anyway, because of all this, sleep has not really been happening in our house. In fact, every night this week, I’ve been up with Miss Charlotte three times. She’s so stuffed up that she wakes herself up, I think. I can’t blame her. Being sick blows.

On top of that, Riley has been waking up waaaaay earlier than normal. One day this week he woke up ready for the day at 5:45 a.m. He usually sleeps until 7 or later. He crawled in our bed in the pitch dark and was happy as a clam. Until I told him to go back to bed. Not cool.

So since I’m nursing the same cold, I knew I just needed sleep, glorious sleep. Last night, Charlotte woke up around midnight, just like she has all week. I went in her room and nursed her to try and get her – and me – back to sleep ASAP. It worked and we all happily drifted back off to sleep around 12:30. I prayed that she wouldn’t be up again at 2 or 3 like she has every night this week.

So imagine my surprise when I awoke at 6:16 this morning and realized she hadn’t woken me up again! And a certain little boy didn’t even sneak into our bed in the pitch darkness. Yay!

But wait, why was I awoken at 6:16 a.m., you ask?

Because of Lola, our dog, dry heaving on our bedroom floor. Yes, my alarm clock today was the sound of a dog puking. Luckily, I sprang out of bed like a superhero and dragged her off the area rug and onto the wood floor before she actually spewed. But spew she did! So Derek and I were up cleaning up dog puke early this morning, while the rest of our house slept until after 7.


The one morning the kids let us sleep in, the dog wakes us up.

Childless newlyweds – THIS IS YOUR FUTURE.

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Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to jinx it, but our little Charlotte has been sleeping in her crib for the last four nights.

Since the day she was born, she’s been sleeping next to our bed in this:

It’s the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper.

It worked great. I could give her a gentle rock or put her pacifier back in her mouth WITHOUT EVEN GETTING OUT OF BED. Hello, awesome! At her four month check up, the pediatrician said since Charlotte can now roll over, she better sleep in her crib or in a Pack and Play just in case she figures out how to sit up or roll out of the Rock n’ Play. I meant to get started on transitioning her in to her crib a month ago and for some reason, I never did.

It may be because she’s my last baby and I like looking over at her in the middle of the night and seeing her snoozing away. Or maybe it’s because she STILL isn’t technically sleeping through the night and it’s easier to pick her up and feed her in our bed rather than walking alllllll the way down the hall to her room to feed her in the wee hours of the morning. Mostly though, I think it’s because I belong to the mentality if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Charlotte sleeping in our room had been working, so why stop?

Here’s why. I decided to look online to find out the weight capacity for the Rock ‘n Play. It’s like 25 pounds or something, so obviously, we’re good for a looooong time. But then I made the mistake of reading some of the reviews on Amazon.com. Scary!

Almost every single review mentioned that the Rock ‘n Play causes babies to develop a flat head, some said their babies got torticollis, some needed physical therapy and some even needed to wear special helmets to help their heads develop.

Now, realistically, I don’t think that just one thing you do could potentially cause all these problems for your baby, but so many people posted comments about this that I couldn’t ignore it. And honestly, Charlotte DOES have a flat spot on her head. I thought it was because maybe we weren’t doing enough tummy time and we probably did more with Riley because he never had a flat head. Though, maybe the Rock ‘n Play has something to do with it. Who knows.

Either way, the girl had to get into her crib.

And KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD AND ALL THE THINGS, it hasn’t been very bad. I put her in her crib around 10 and she usually fusses for a bit. Sometimes we need to go in and pop her pacifier back in her mouth. But then she usually sleeps til about 2:30, when again, we have to go in and pop her pacifier back in her mouth. Then she’s been waking up between 4 and 4:30 wanting to eat. I bring her in our bed, feed her, and then place her in the Rock ‘n Play where she sleeps for about 2 hours before she’s up and wanting to eat again, then is ready for her day.

No, it’s not absolutely perfect, but it’s been working this week. So this whole week, Derek and I have gone to bed in our room alone. For the first time in months. And when the dog got a horrible case of flatulence earlier this week, we left her sleeping out in the living room rather than killing us with her farts while she slept in our room. It was really nice actually sleeping just the two of us in one room. It’s the little things that make me happy, obviously.

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Our Household These Days

Just an update on the status of our household these days. Half of this house is currently on antibiotics.

Riley has seemed really stuffy for the past few weeks. Not sick at all, just stuffy to the point that he would snort while he tried to eat. Then he started waking up with the remnants of a bloody nose on his face. Not good at all. In to the doctor we went, and out we left with a prescription for an antibiotic. Thank you, sinus infection!

I really can’t complain though. This is surprisingly only the second infection this little boy has ever had! One ear infection and one sinus infection. Oh yeah, and he was on antibiotics the time that damn cookie jar busted his cute little middle finger.

So we carried on that way for a while and then we started to notice our poor little pup Lola was shedding. A lot. Like, so much it was disgusting. I would vacuum the living room and literally, 30 minutes later, dog fur tumbleweed would be blowing across the hardwood floor. Her white underbelly fur would be caking the brown throw rug.

And the itching. Lola is a moderate-level itchy dog. She scratches and licks enough to be annoying. But lately, she’s been scratching a lot. With urgency. We knew something was amiss.

Today we went to the vet and got a skin infection diagnosis. Apparently, swimming in the water of my parent’s lake a few weeks ago was a bad decision. It was really hot out, the water was stagnet, I guess, who knows what bacteria was in the water, but it was enough to get her.

So now we’re living in a stuffy, itchy, furry house. When you add to that the colony of microscopic ants that have been invading our kitchen for the past couple weeks, and the stupid swarms of annoying gnats that are living in our garbage can, it’s almost like a biblical plague has been cast on our house. Ugh.






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The Results Are In

And no, I’m not talking about American Idol (btw -this season looks like it’s going to be a snoozefest, in my opinion).

The results to which I am referring are the DNA results that tell us what breeds our Heinz 57 mutt is. I wrote about the Maury Povich-style DNA mouth swab here.

About three weeks later, a fat envelope showed up in the mailbox and my husband could not wait to open it. He IMed me at work asking if he could open it without me. I was dying to know, too, so I said go ahead.

To refresh your memory, here’s what Lola looks like.

When we adopted her from the humane society a few years ago, they told us she was a German shepherd mix. The vet thought she was part beagle, too.

Turns out, they were both right.

But not 100% right.

The Bio Pet lab results tell you the percentage of breed your dog is. Since Lola is a super mutt, like we knew all along, she isn’t more than 75% of any one breed. Here’s her breakdown:

74-37% German shepherd

20-36% Beagle

10-19% Parson Russell Terrier

Less than 10% Great Dane

Take a minute to let that sink in. Our 60 pound mutt is part Great Dane???? That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. Mostly because my husband has always wanted a Great Dane. When we were looking at dogs at the humane society, a 6-month old Great Dane was waiting to be adopted. The dog already weight 80 pounds! I had to say no. (She was adopted before we left with Lola that day). Because they’re so big, Great Danes have shorter life spans. As someone who grew up with large dogs, I know the heartache of doggie arthritis and the sadness of having to put the family pet to sleep. One of the hardest things to do on earth.

But now I tell Derek that he finally got his Great Dane. Check that one off your bucket list, dear.

Through all this we also discovered Lola’s missing link. We couldn’t figure out where she got those cute, folded-over ears from. Now it appears that’s from the Parson Russell Terrier (a breed I had never heard of before). After a quick Google image search, there it was!


And here’s Lola as a puppy, before she grew into her ears.







I think we have found the missing link in Lola’s DNA. And the next time someone asks what kind of dog Lola is when we’re at the park, I’m going to say she’s a Great Dane.

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Swab the…

…dog’s mouth. (Possibly one of the weirdest sentences ever, right?)

So, we adopted our dog, Lola, from the humane society a few years ago. They told us she is a German shepherd mix. She really doesn’t look like a shepherd. The vet thinks she might be part beagle. We would really like to know what she is, once and for all. Here’s a reminder of what she looks like:

Enter doggie DNA.

For $30, we bought this little kit. We fill out a little form about her, including her age, the date that we adopted her (why, I have no idea), her gender, etc. Welcome to the 21st century of pet ownership.

We then had to swab the inside of her cheek with a long Q-tip type thing. It was just like what those deadbeat dads have to go through on Maury Povich. Awesome!

And much like those deadbeat dads on Maury Povich, she did not enjoy getting her mouth swabbed. But we did it.

Now, we mail the Q-tips off to a lab and in 2 weeks, we’ll know what our dog is! It’s so exciting. I’ll keep you posted.

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A Freakin Winter Wonderland

So, we live in Wisconsin. It snows here. A lot. It gets cold here, too. Really cold. And the winters are long. Oh, are they long. So there comes a time, usually around mid-January, when you have to decide that either winter is here for the next four months, we might as well make the most of it, or, I’m just going to lay down and die because it will never be warm again.

This weekend, we chose the former. We bundled Riley up in his new snowpants, his new boots, his warm, waterproofed mittens, his monster hat and his fluffy winter coat, and out we went. Derek bought him a girly purple sled. It was the only one left at the store. Apparently other people chose to make the most of this season, too.

The man was not the biggest fan of the sled, though. As soon as we set him in it, before we could even drag it down the tiny slope in our backyard, he was hollering, “All done! All done!” So much so that I have no pictures of him in it. The horror.

The snow itself, though? He loved it. Does this look like the face of a kid who cares that we may have snow for the next 4 months?

He had the best time. He ate snow. He threw snow at the dog. He threw snow at himself. He threw snow at his parents.

It was one of those days that parents remember when he stays out past curfew. When he dents my car. It was one of those perfect childhood moments.

And then, because life is not always a warm and fuzzy happy place of freely frolicking in the snow on a Saturday morning, we had to shovel the driveway.

But because we have the funniest, most awesome little toddler boy in the world, he somehow made that fun, too.

Since we’re down to one shovel, Daddy needed to use it and Riley threatened to melt down right there in the driveway.

But then! Derek remembered the oar! In the summer Riley loved playing with it, and it turns out, he loves playing with it in the winter, too.

So he “helped” shovel the driveway with an oar. An oar that his father unknowingly stole from a Canadian campground a few years ago.

And see this little dog?

This happy little pup who loves the snow? Well to further prove that life is not perfect, I took her to the vet today for her yearly check up and she’s ….10 pounds overweight! Ugh. I foresee more arctic walks in our future and more time frolicking in the snowy backyard. Hooray for winter!


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