Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is My Pillow Back

One of my fondest memories, with both my kids, is resting them on my pillow at night, when they were babies, and listening to them breathe softly in my ear as we drifted off to sleep. I am sure no one could argue that in those moments there is nothing more lovely.

But let us compare that to sleeping with a puppy.

Now there are, I am sure, sensible, pragmatic people out there, who dash out to buy the Cesar Milan books (and read them cover to cover, nodding enthusiastically), and then obediently stick their puppies in their "den" or "kennel" or "cage" at night to sleep. But not me. Z is lucky to sleep three hours a night in his den. Otherwise, I am desperately trying to cuddle him like he's a newborn babe.

If any of you are teeny tiny dog owners, you will agree that their lives are spent mostly living in ridiculously close proximity to our faces. For some reason, we all feel compelled to be nose to nose with these petite creatures every moment of every day, even when they have little pointy dagger teeth, sharper than shark teeth, teeth that could literally tear your nostrils to bloody shreds as you coo "you're so CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!" at them for the bazillionth time while kissing their right eye.

Because of this constant and real threat to my nose, I took to creating a chihuahua goiter at night by letting Z sleep on my neck. Because see, sleeping puppies do not bite. I even let him do this when he was infested with roundworms...and giardia...and coccidia, even though every roundworm Yahoo thread I read screamed at me in BOLD LARGE TYPE TO NEVER EVER EVER LET THEM SLEEP IN YOUR BED BECAUSE THE WORMS WOULD CRAWL OUT AT NIGHT AND INFEST YOU THROUGH YOUR TORN UP BLOODY NOSTRILS! Naturally he was bathed under the faucet three times a day and pumped full of meds until he was completely well, but, we all know that story...

So for the first two months, I bragged on little Z, because he would sleep through the night and kept my neck warm like a little hot water bottle, barely moving, barely waking up. He was 1.5 pounds of utter and complete ooooey goooey cuteness...

Now he's a 4 pound teenager...

Currently nights consist of him deciding it's time to terrorize his favorite toy, Ms. Pink Poodle, while we sit in bed and watch our favorite shows. He is not sure if he wants to have itty bitty pink ChiPoodles with Ms. Pink Poodle, or rip her front left leg off entirely and endure me or my husband constantly reaching in his mouth to retrieve cottony stuffing. The whole process is horrifying, amusing at best, but at least he is exhausted after about 20 min.

From here I often stick him in his den, hoping he will stay asleep for the night. There are nights he sleeps several hours, but, there are nights he wakes up completely ravenous, or in desperate need to use his potty park. After addressing his needs, I try to slip him into bed with us, and, for a while he cooperates and seeks a warm space on the bed under the comforter.

But, he is a teenager, after all. He is embracing his inner Alpha...

He wants my pillow.

So, around 4 in the morning, he starts moving around the bed, trying to lick my husband's face and rattling his ears so forcefully I think there is a bat in the room, which is NEVER a good thing for me. With my adrenaline surging, I try to coax him back into a curled-up position under the covers, to which he balks as he maneuvers himself up to the middle of my pillow, and plops right down.

From here, I try to wear him as a hat, but I think he hates my hairspray scent, so he then proceeds to move around the pillow, staying as close to the middle as possible. There is very little possibility for me to share the pillow without having dog feet, or worse, right in my face.

So I decide to put him in his cage.

That goes over VERY well...


Three minutes later he is back out of the cage and nuzzling my neck. It's like he says, "oh! I get it! I will sleep riiiiiiiiiiight heeeeeeeeeeeere to avoid my cage!" And I say, "oh! He's finally curled up under the covers and there are no more frightening bat sounds to contend with!"

I fall asleep, and 20 minutes later it starts all over again.

Around 7 or 8am, depending on the night, I stagger out to the living room with a pillow to endure the last few hours of my much needed beauty sleep on my 7 ft long, 2 ft wide park-bench-200-year-old "couch" (ya know, the one that was infested with alien spider pods? The kind of alien spider pods that make your ears burn and your heart jump right out of your chest while you try to suck every last one up in your vacuum?). For some reason this is when Z decides NOW is bed time, and he falls asleep IMMEDIATELY, sometimes until almost noon.

Amazingly, I manage to sleep without permanent damage done to my neck and spine or being attacked by remnant alien spiders, though I am painfully aware I should have listened to Cesar (or, ahem, my actual husband) in the first place...

Just as a quick side note to this post, I had to stop writing mid-way because Zimmel started vomiting up frothy bile, and walking around the house much like Gollum walked on all fours in LOTR when devising an evil plan. Thank goodness for the hubs and Google, because I was able to deduct that this frightening display of malaise was simply and over-production of stomach juices and bile because he was very, VERY hungry.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I *might* be a wee bit crabby today, and it *might* have to do with the fact that I can't turn my head to the right, because it is completely whacked out from nothing more than the apparently dangerous activity of sleeping...but in fact, I think it's mainly because it is snowing outside. This is what I think of snow right now...

See this remnant of a snowman? Someone around here built him with love and joy and all that blah blah yakity yak yak. And yesterday, he had a sweet lil' smile on his face. But then, he slowly started leaning towards the ground at the end of the day. This morning I found the happy snowy guy bent over with his head splattered all over the pavement.

No, I did not kick his head off his body and smash it into obliteration. Moving on.

See, we now live in an area of the country where snow is a novelty, at least in any amount over 1 inch that stays for 3+ days. We are experiencing that phenomenon at this very moment. This is all great and gravy and wonderful, when you're inside, next to a crackling fire, drinking a home-made eggnog latte off your fancy espresso machine, watching Elf for the 76th time, because you have nothing else to do and HEY! it's snowing so, going out in your fancy light windbreaker, and sandals, would be just plain crazy!!!

But I have kids.

Kids want to go outside. In the snow.

They want to play in the snow. And make cute little forts and happy snowmen and serene snow angels and have AFV-worthy snowball fights. This is GREAT in oh, say, the NORTH...

But in the southeast portion of the US?



Here's why:

Kids: "MOOOOOOOOOOOM! We want to go outside and play in the SNOW!"

Me: "Blarghing Cripes!"

I proceeded to open every closet and drawer to concoct some sort of winter attire, suitable for my kids to romp around in slushy, wet snow, most certainly mixed with dirt, dog poop, and any other nasty germ that isn't killed by freezing weather.

20 minutes later I had torn apart my entire house to come up with two pairs of jeans, two pairs of thick polyester track pants, two pairs of soccer socks, two pairs of wool socks, 2 three-layer sets of shirts, a pair of rain boots for the boy, my fancy pair of GAP brown boots for the girl, two pairs each of "one side fits all" cotton gloves, one pair of over-sized "wow, we didn't throw these out when we moved here?" gloves, and my fancy leather gloves, for the girl...all of this covered by their "winter" coats and hoods.

It doesn't snow where we live.

Do you know how long it takes to get two squirming, semi-cooperative children, talking randomly about everything from Pokemon to jumping spiders, into ALL that attire? I'll tell you. About 25 minutes.

45 minutes of my life. Gone.

It was then time to go outside.

Me: "OK kids, here are the rules. Do NOT throw snow in each others face, or down each others back, do NOT touch any yellow snow, do NOT eat ANY snow, yellow OR white, do NOT mix snow with dirt to make mud. Understood?"

Kids: "YeahmomwegotitletusgooutsideandplayNOOOOOW!"

15 flippin' minutes later, they were begging to come inside. Here's what happened within those 15 minutes:

Audge: "Moooooooooooom! Jake won't stop throwing snow at me!"

Jake: "Moooooooooooom! There is yellow snow EVERYWHERE!"

Me: " Jake, do NOT throw any more snow at your sister! And, that is not yellow snow."

Jake: "Yes it is, there is dog pee EVERYWHERE!"

Me: "Jake, do you see any dog tracks?"

Jake: "No?"

Me: "Well, I know dogs are talented, and can mark their territory with amazing precision and distance but, that is not yellow snow."

Jake: *Brings me a chunk of snow* "See mom?"

Me: "That is DIRT! Don't play with it!"

Jake: "I am not having a good time, there isn't enough snow!"

Me: "This is KENTUCKY! What do you expect??"

He rallied and made a small snowman.

Jake: "MOOOOOOOM! Look at my snowman! MOM!"

Me: "I can't!"

Jake: "Why?"


So I took a quick picture by sticking my arm out the door.

See it? It has a branch for a scarf.

They also made a small fort and endured an agonizing papped pic for me, as I stood outside in my PJ's, holding Zimmel, who was shivering so hard I was pretty sure he was gonna shake his eyeballs right out of his head.

Then, after those 15 minutes, they were COVERED in little snowballs, which were beginning to melt, and they tried to barge in the house at the same time.

Even though their noses were red and running and their fingers were nearly blue, I made them continue to stand outside as I beat them from head to toe with the gloves, to get all the snow off that I could (not because I was angry or anything), and then I forced them to stand on towels, laid over plastic bags, while I slowly peeled off the outer layer of their freezing wet, germ-laden clothing. This took another 20 minutes. An hour of my life had been used up for 15 minutes of playing in dirty, wet snow. Joy to the world!!!

I am NOT about to go out and by snow suits and gloves and boots for kids who won't fit into them come next year for a season that normally looks like this, like last year, on Christmas Day:

It does not snow here!!!

After the 15 minutes of playtime I had at least TWO loads of laundry to do and I had to clean and disinfect the kids and the surrounding areas exposed to the outside elements.

Once they were clean and thawed, the kids were glowing and bouncing around, demanding hot chocolate. I gave into their demands, and, just as the last dollops of whipped cream were added to their cups, I collapsed on my park bench couch to write this post.

Can someone make me an eggnog latte for the love??? I am about to cry!

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