Pets

The Elmo on the Shelf

A baby, two jealous bulldogs and an annoying Sesame Street character. It sounds like the beginning of some really lame joke, but it’s actually our very own, brand new Christmas tradition called The Elmo on the Shelf.

Like The Elf on the Shelf, Elmo on the Shelf is also a thing that sits on a shelf of some sort. Except our tradition started after Christmas, is not at all magical and you only move it when the bulldogs find it.

So, we just celebrated our first Christmas as parents with our 10-month old daughter.  She was elated to find a small Elmo in with her Christmas presents, her favorite Sesame Street character. Elmo immediately became her favorite Christmas toy out of the bunch. Christmas was all about her hugging him, burying her face in his and doing that nails-on-the-chalkboard shrieking thing she does when she’s happy.

You know who else was excited about that little red Elmo? Mack.

At 14 years old, Mackie has a touch of the Doggie Dementia, which means his behavior is starting to revert back to a puppy-like stage. Which also means that Mack is not above stealing a prize Christmas toy away from an unsuspecting infant, for the sole purpose of ripping Elmo’s little head right off, purely for sport.

While Hubs and I were preparing a Christmas dinner for my mother (who was not at all thrilled at having someone else host Christmas for the first time in 25 years) I was also busy trying to gently wrestle Elmo (don’t want to tear it!) out of Mackie’s mouth. I tried coaxing Mack with treats, blowing in his face, flicking his nose, trying to pry open his jaws, all while hearing the tiny threads of Elmo’s legs pop one by one. Eventually he dropped it once it became a team effort of Hubs and I sticking our fingers in his mouth and screaming obscenities at him (all the while my oblivious mother was clamoring on about what time we should eat dinner next Christmas at her house, a year from now).

After that scenario replayed itself a few more times, Elmo got a Christmas bath in the washing machine, Mack was separated from the baby toys and I cracked open a new bottle of wine.

The next day or so we paid extra attention to make sure that Mack didn’t get a hold of Elmo, coming close several times. Just when it seemed that Mack had given up on Elmo, here comes Peterbilt trotting into the family room with Elmo in his mouth, ready to curl up in front of the fireplace to disembowel that poor, now slightly tattered, red muppet.

And that is how Elmo on the Shelf was born.

Elmo’s been sitting above our fireplace now for the last 48 hours. Fortunately for our daughter, she’s young enough where once something is out of sight, it’s out of mind as well. Not so much for the bulldogs, who have been looking woefully at our fireplace. Until we figure out how to keep those cold, calculating, murderous bulldogs from torturing a baby toy, Elmo is going into witness protection as an Elf on a Shelf.

 

 

Categories: Babies, Bulldogs, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Dogs, Farts, Funny, Old People, Pets | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Triangle

OK, not a triangle exactly. Maybe a square. Or a pentagon. But either way, shit is going down in a polygon kind of way.

The addition of a baby to our family has been the equivalent of taking an ant farm and shaking the living shit out of it. With schedules, restful sleep, meal times (and blogging times) disrupted, we didn’t know which way was up. Now, 9 months later, the little ants of the family have picked up the pieces and finally have some normalcy again. However, the pecking order has changed.

The pattern has been emerging over the last few weeks. It goes something like this: Me <- Peterbilt <-Peanut <-Mack <- Hubs.

blogpic1Nov2015_edited-1

Actually, that diagram is only representative of us on our best days. Or best day. Meaning that one Wednesday a month ago where we were a well-oiled machine for like 2 hours. Most days it’s just me leading a farty, 4-legged parade throughout the house while I cook and clean and Hubs is over there somewhere on his iPhone:

blogpic2Nov2015_edited-1

Okay. So maybe it’s a shape. More like a line segment. Or a bulldog-baby conga line. Either way, this is how it works. Starting from the bottom:

Mack loves Baby Peanut: Mack doesn’t move around much. He’s old. However, that dog can still bust a move for a tiny, single baby puff, stuck to the ass of a crawling infant.

Mmm mmm. Ass-puffs.

Ever since Mack rearranged our kitchen table and chair set over a small noodle, carelessly tossed by a crabby infant from her high chair, Mack has been banned from the kitchen during Peanut’s feeding times. Now, the highlight of Mack’s day is tracking that squirrely little girl down after meal times and giving her a good ol’ thorough lick down, eating those stuck-on pieces of food straight off of her fanny. And they way that kid smears food all over herself, it’s like a tiny, mobile butt buffet cruising through our house, just ASKING to be nibbled. At least, that’s how Mack put it. At first, Peanut found these bulldog cleaning sessions delightful and hilarious but now in their frequency, they’re annoying and intrusive. The minute that high chair tray comes off, Mack comes barreling out of nowhere like some young and spry 10 year old bulldog. And the unwanted licking advances ensue.

Peanut loves Peterbilt: Babies always want what they can’t have. Mack is the dog that is always available for her to climb, pull his ears and touch his paws, when he’s not forcefully licking her face. Peterbilt, on the other hand, doesn’t put up with ANY of that baby grabass shit and tends to keep his distance from the baby. And that makes Peter all the more enticing to a curious 9-month old.

While Mack spends his non-eating hours laying around, Peterbilt is still young enough to have daily bursts of energy. Much like cats getting ‘the zips’ once a day, Peter does funny things like races through the house on hardwood floors, bumps into furniture, spins, twirls, leaps and shakes his toys….much to Peanut’s delight. She squeals with excitement if he actually stops to acknowledge and sniff her. She watches in admiration as Peter does his best Whip-Nae-Nae (I’ve seen it. It sucks).

Peanut is the only living thing on this planet who thinks Peterbilt is cool and most of her time is spent trying to get on Peter’s good side.

Peterbilt loves me: Meanwhile, Peterbilt spends his time trying to get on my good side.

A year ago, Peter was the type of dog that tolerated my hugs and kisses at best. He’d grunt with annoyance if I tried to snuggle with him. Now that his ‘mom’ is a mom to another, more high-maintenance member of the family, Peter has changed his tune. He’s now constanly on my heals; stealing kisses, hugs, snuggles and nuzzles from me while I’m down on the floor with the baby. He’s also been getting in the habit of laying ON me on those rare occasions I get to lay on the couch. That’s 91 lbs on top of 112 lbs. He’s not exactly a dachshund.

Most recently, he’s taken to licking and being nice to Peanut, just for the praise and kisses he receives from me in response.

And I love….uh…: Mostly I just look at the clock to see if I can start drinking wine.

So here’s an example of how this works: I was playing with Peanut in our family room one evening, before dinner. I opened my arms, knelt down and called Peanut over. Peanut smiled, squeaked and started to crawl over but before she could get to me, Peterbilt walked into my open arms and turned his ass towards my face for a butt-scratch.

Peanut, seeing Peterbilt in my arms, races over.

Mack then follows that tiny, graham cracker flavored cherub.

So it ends up looking like this:

comictiles1

So, as you can imagine, household chores get kind of …..crowded:

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Untitled-1 copy

That’s right. Multiple bodies packed into a 8 square foot area. Everyone with their smells. I found myself relishing my commute to work as it’s the only time of day I’m was myself.

Then one day the in-laws decided to babysit Peanut overnight. Ready for a break, I had her packed up and ready in record time. They came and left. Now was time for a celebration! Kid free adult time!

Hubs and I went out for dinner early and came home. I was leisurely putting away laundry (yes, even baby-free time is still full of chores) and I noticed how eerily quiet it is. Just one link of the chain was missing and everything was different. Peterbilt, no longer competing for attention, was sleeping on the couch. Mack, with no baby butts to lick, was sleeping on the area rug. I was by myself. And although the peace and quiet was nice, it was also rather boring.

It made me count my blessings. Although I’m always followed by a crowd of knee-high animals, I am needed and loved. And with Mack’s limited time left on earth, I now try and take snapshots with my mind so years from now, I can remember clearly when the time when it was just me, my husband, my baby girl and my two crazy bulldogs in our Minnesota home. I may feel pulled in all directions at once now, but one day, I know I’ll give anything just to relive one of these hectic, fart-filled days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Babies, Being Married, Bulldogs, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Dogs, Farts, Funny, Pets, Potty Humor | 4 Comments

“You’re Killing Me, Smalls.”

It still amazes me that such a tiny demon human can wreak so much havoc.

7 months old. The “golden age” of babyhood, so they say. Baby’s developing sense of humor, curiosity and inquisitive nature are in full force and boy is it a fun time. Except when it wasn’t, recently.

Peanut was (still is) such a good baby. Good sleeper (kind of), cute, happy and healthy. Always eager to try the next step, I started her on solids at 5 months old. Baby sweet potatoes. Baby carrots. Baby peaches. All met with a gooey, smiling face smeared with food. ‘What a good eater!’, I thought to myself.

And then it came to a screeching halt when she turned 6 months old. I started having a real time trying to feed her dinner. I’d get home. She’d start to fuss, I’d whip out her favorite, pureed carrots, slap a bib her and BOOM!….ready to go, right? Yeah no.

Her cute little nose turned up at the sight of carrots, meal time soon became a horrible shit show of screaming, tears, a messy child and mom cracking open the wine a bit too early.

“What IS this kid’s beef?”, I asked myself. “This kid is hungry but she’s not eating. I must be doing something wrong.”

“Probably!”, said Hubs with a grin, the smart assery not being withheld.

So I had Hubs try to feed her, thinking maybe she just hated my face.

Nope. Apparently she hates his face, too.

Golden age my ass.

For weeks we struggled with dinner and during the weekends, all meals throughout the day. I’d get 2 spoonfuls in of food in and the crying would begin. I’d have to resort to force feeding her during her loudest, open-mouthed wails. Meals typically went like this:

Me: “Okay, peanut! We’ve got some carrots tonight! You like carrots, right??”

Peanut: (staring back, suspiciously.)

Me: (getting about 3 spoonfuls in)

Peanut: (turning her head and starting to fuss, closed mouthed)

Me: “Oh, c’mon. You’ve barely started. C’mon! Say ‘ah’!”

Peanut (continuing to fuss)

Me: (getting a spoonful in when she opens her mouth to moan)

Peanut: “Pbbbbpbbb!” (yeah, that’s her razzing, spraying the food out back at me)

Me: “C’mon! Say ‘ah’! ‘Ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah ah!”

Peanut: (starts to dance to the beat)

Me: (eating her carrots)

Peanut: (starts playing with her hands)

Mack Truck: *fart*

Me: “You’re killing me, Smalls.'” (and I start to make her scrambled eggs for the 3rd night in a row)

The shittiest part? She’d eat for everyone else in the world except me. Daycare lady reported she couldn’t feed her fast enough during the day. Grandma said she eats just fine for her. Hell, I’m pretty sure that shifty homeless character that roams our neighborhood and remarks at how good of a watch dog Peterbilt must be (ha!) would have better luck at feeding her her strained peas. Cigarette in tattooed hand and all.

I felt ashamed. “I’m a joke of a mom!”, I’d say to myself. ‘I might as well get Mama June’s phone number so I can get pointers on how to integrate Mountain Dew into Peanut’s diet.’ As a mother, I’m supposed to be the one to keep her well fed, clean and happy but meal-times were the exact opposite of that. To add salt to the wound, she’d wake up hungry multiple times in the night. So now not only was I Suck-mom, I was a very sleep deprived Suck-mom.

I ran myself silly trying to figure out what was wrong. I tried using different high chairs (nope). Different bibs (still ripped them off). Not using a bib (lol). Finger foods (kid can’t live off of scrambled eggs and baby cheese puffs, despite what Mama June said). Buying a special high chair toy (she chucks it across the kitchen. Now a bulldog toy). Re-positioning her high chair to face a different direction (running out of ideas here).

I even (stupidly) tried introducing meats during this time. DO YOU KNOW WHAT JARRED BABY MEAT SMELLS LIKE? For those of you who don’t have kids, it smells an awful lot like wet cat food. And for those of you who have never owned a dog and a cat at the same time, cat food is like caviar for dogs, the holy grail of all foods. It’s stinky and they’re not supposed to have it, which makes it even more irresistible. All it did for me was create an audience of wide-eyed, drooling bulldogs around me and the high chair while Peanut wailed in frustration. Peterbilt with 6″ drool fangs, trying to lick the air and Mack licking the baby’s feet, probably imagining that they were cat-food flavored Popsicles.

I was about to accept the fact that mealtimes were just going to suck thoroughly until Peanut went off to college.

Last week, on whim, I gave her a taste of pears while preparing her dinner. She opened her mouth for more. And more. And more. And I opened a full container of pears which were inhaled. Once that was done, I had her finish off her carrots from the day before. Done. Cracked open a jar of baby beef. Woofed down. No tears. No crying. In fact, she was doing her little happy little babble noises and performing a primitive form of ‘wax on, wax off’ on her high chair table.

Holy crap. I figured it out! I have to prime the Peanut. Basically, start off each meal with a food she really enjoys (pears, yogurt, etc) and then once her appetite has been whetted, start with the veggies and meats. It’s worked every time since. We even have a baby food vocabulary built up:

Baby opens mouth, eats food, gulps, opens mouth in fast succession = Is good.

Baby casually eats = Meh.

Baby sprays out food at face = Rather not.

Baby spits out food and shudders = Um, yuck?

Added bonus? Her large supper allows her to sleep through the night. And I’ll drink to that.

Cheers. To the next hurdle. *Clink!*

Categories: baby, Being Married, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Farts, Funny, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Fiddle

Having an infant in the house has brought forth a lot of changes. Out of everyone at Casa del Fartos, I’d say that as a mom, I’ve naturally had my world turned upside down more than anyone else. Baby cries? Everyone hands a crying baby to Mom. Baby sick? Mom is the one up with her all night, rocking her. Baby not going to sleep after being rocked for an hour? I’m the one sleeping in the rocking chair with her, as she gleefully whispers “Ahhh! Ahhh!” and plays with my face at 3AM. This is the definition of a sleepover when you’re 5 months old.

My husband and Mack would agree with me: Hubs, because admitting that I have it hardest is still easier than having to get up every night to feed the baby and Mack…..well, it’s not that he agrees, it’s just things really haven’t changed much for him. He laid around the house farting before the baby and continues to lay around the house farting now. “Oh, you had a baby? Right on. (ppppffftt).”

Peterbilt, however, would argue that his quality of life has gone down the shitter now that the baby absorbs our time, energy and attention.

Like most couples, you get a dog because you like dogs, you fully intend to take care of a dog and it’s good training for when you have kids, with all of the poo and vomit and eating of the vomit……wait……

And like most couples, we knew that getting a dog would mean that one day, this dog would take a backseat to future babies and kids. After all, if everyone who bought a dog didn’t have kids in fear of hurting their dog’s feelings, the human race would pretty much be wrapping shit up in a matter of generations. You just expect your dog will adjust to it eventually and just be happy with the larger family. Except that we picked out a Peterbilt, the most emo of all bulldogs.

It tugs at my conscience to see this bored, mopey looking bulldog sulking on our couch because now I only speak to him when I’m whisper-yelling “NO BARKING! BABY IS SLEEPING!” at him, usually followed up by me grumbling his eternal damnation when I hear the baby is awake in her crib.

So my days now go something like this: I get home from work and my husband is already there with Baby Peanut. I walk in the door, both bulldogs come to greet me. Then, Peter tears ass to his basket of toys, usually pulling out a rope to play with, and runs to me to play with him. This has always been this way; something about mom coming home that makes this dog’s heart sing.

I grab onto his toy and we play tug of war and catch a few times. Then Hubs comes at me holding out a wiggly baby, who’s reaching out for me. I drop the dog toy, take the baby, and Peter is left standing there with a look on his face that screams, “God DAMMIT!”

Playtime isn’t the only facet of Peter’s life that has taken a proverbial dump. Even his walks have turned to suck. Although I have now mastered walking with a baby stroller and a 90 lb clown on four legs, Peterbilt really wants to walk on wooded paths and terrain that isn’t easily navigable with a stroller. So he’s left to just doing that same old boring walk around the block at a snail’s pace with me and the stroller.

At home, when I’m on the floor trying to entertain an infant with one hand and playing with my iPhone in the other, I will catch Peter out of the corner of my eye, gloomily looking over, wishing he could play with his Mom. After all, I was his Mom first. Stupid baby and her awesome toys.

Meanwhile, baby is really getting good at her army crawl and is so excited to see and touch everything in sight, including the bulldogs. She’s their biggest fan.

Mack conflicted by his love for Peanut and his hate of having his paws touched.

Mack conflicted by his love for Peanut and his hate of having his paws touched.

While Mack is more than willing to let the baby pull at his ears and grab at his face (which I can tell you from experience, is quite painful), Peter will grumble and walk away when the baby touches his face, collapsing into his nearby dog bed with a heavy sigh.

Going through my pictures the other day, I was surprised at the amount of Peterbilt photobombs. For a dog who used to just HATE it when I took pictures of him, he now photobombs baby pictures in an attempt to get any kind of attention. “Look at me, everybody! I’m that cute, precocious bulldog with all of the health problems, remember? I eat left shoes? What did I get into now, right?!?!” Poor guy.

See the baby legs in the background?

See the baby legs in the background?

The following night, after two glasses of wine, I sat outside in a lawn chair despairing over Peterbilt’s quality of life. “What happens if he never grows to like Peanut? What about when we have more kids and even less time on our hands? Will we ever be able to provide this dog with the proper exercise, love and attention that he needs? Is this just temporary? God, I’m such a dick.” I walked over to Peterbilt, laying on his dog bed and gave him a hug. He grunted.

The next morning, the in-laws showed up to take our Peanut and spend a day doting on her with grandparenty love at their house. When I came home from work that afternoon, I was the first one home, for once. I fed the bulldogs, let them out and soon after Hubs showed up.

In laws texted me apologizing that they were going to be an hour late dropping Peanut off. I replied “DON’T APOLOGIZE.” Do you have any idea how much stuff I got done??!?! Do you know how hard it is to vacuum your house when you have a baby? There’s never a good time for that when the baby’s around.

Once they did arrive, they brought in Peanut in in her car seat, dropped her off in our kitchen, waved goodbye and took off right away. Peterbilt ran right over to Peanut, slobbered her face with kisses and ran to his toy basket to get that same rope. There he went, running all over the house, leaping and spinning. He ran to me with the rope in his mouth, stopped and went into a play bow.

“Well, shit.” I thought. So it wasn’t me coming home that made him happy after all. What made him happy was the pack being complete and totally accounted for. Peanut was the last member to arrive home and now that everyone was here, it was time to celebrate and play.

I did Peterbilt one better and took him outside in the backyard to play frisbee until he collapsed in exhaustion the cool, green grass. That is all any dog wants: to be exhausted.

I learned that even though Peterbilt still isn’t crazy about the change in our family dynamics, he still loves lil’ Peanut. It’s going to take some extra work (and caffeine) on my end to make sure Peter gets his time everyday. Hopefully, Peanut and Peterbilt will grow to be good friends.

 

Categories: Babies, Bulldogs, Dogs, Farts, Funny, Pets | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Really??? REALLY????

I woke up on Sunday morning fully expecting the day to be uneventful and secretly hoping to get a nap in at some point.

It certainely seemed to start off normal: I woke up around 8 AM to Mack sneezing in my face, his head eagerly perched on the edge of my bed with his nub wagging, hoping to get his breakfast. I got up, let Peterbilt and Mack outside to do their business. They both took their wizzes as fast as they could and raced back to the back door. I quickly opened the sliding glass door as they clamored over each other to be the first one in, both running to the refrigerator where we keep the dog food. That scene in Christmas Story played in my head where that gang of multiple, neighborhood mutts stampede into Ralphie’s kitchen and devour their Christmas turkey.  And Ralphy’s old man though he had problems…the next few minutes would prove his ornery ass WRONG.

Preparing the dog food, I spilled some of the kibble on the floor. This started WW3 between the hungry bulldogs as they growled and fought for their share. I started to yell at both dogs, mostly Peterbilt since he’s the bigger asshole of the two, and my husband ran into the kitchen and dove into the pile. Peter started to run off, with my husband chasing him down. Peter did a quick turn and my husband rolled his ankle. All we heard was a SNAP and him collapsing to the floor in pain, howling.

I ran over to assess the situation. Both bulldogs, over their food rage and clearly feeling guilty, shifted and paced nervously by my husband, who was holding his left foot and rolling around on the floor. Peterbilt even doused my husbands face in a few, sloppy, submissive kisses.

I helped Hubs back to our room, elevated his foot and grabbed an ice pack. The bulldogs hovered over him like nervous, untrained nurses, sniffing and resniffing my husband. Eventually within 5 minutes, things calmed down and they both forgot my husband was injured, going back to their default task of hovering around the pregnant lady. Sorry Hubs. It’s time to play second fiddle again.

After an hour, we decided to take my Hubs into urgent care where we waited 2 hours, surrounded by people with the flu, to be told what we already knew: a broken ankle bone.

Hubs is to wear a brace, use crutches and not put any weight on his left foot for 6-8 weeks.

Baby’s due date is in 2 weeks.

My doctor told me 1 week ago that she doesn’t want me on my feet as much because of the swelling in my legs and ankles.

Hubs started graduate school 2 weeks ago.

Great job everyone and a big thank you, Peterbilt, you fucking assclown. This couldn’t be timed anymore perfectly.

Do you know that bulldogs don’t care if you’re tired or injured? Even when said injury is a direct result of their misbehavior? Nope, much like small children, they want what they want and they want it NOW!

Why am I suddenly not getting walks?!?!?!

Why am I suddenly not getting walks?!?!?!

So now instead of spending my Sunday napping and assembling last minute baby gear, I’m on my feet, letting a belligerent, senile old bulldog outside before he revenge pees the kitchen rug, keeping the bone-snapping-ankle-crushing-maniac-bulldog from humping my maternity body pillow AGAIN and refilling Hub’s glass of juice for the third time.

A couple of very unlucky, Century link sales reps came knocking at our front door not to long after that and let’s just say…..they have probably black listed our address from all future sales calls. I’m the Bitch from Hell in the Tan house. Don’t go there.

So now I’ve got a needy husband, two shrieking bulldogs and baby girl is finding new and painful nooks and crannies to stick her legs into. And then there’s me, looking at the calendar and counting down the days until I can drink white wine again.

Grumpy and tired, I went to bed around 10 PM. As I’m drifting off, Hubs started to laugh. Laughing so hard he’s shaking the bed. “What.”, I said.

Hubs said to me, “I just love so you much.”

“Why?”, I asked.

He laughed ever harder and managed to compose himself after a while to say, “Because your fucking awesome! Here you are: full-term pregnant, taking care of my ass while I snap at you because I’m in pain, Mack’s shrieking for his Kong

Now, woman!

Now, woman!

and Peterbilt’s…..well…being Peterbilt…… and your still keeping this family glued together!”

Well now thanks a lot, Hubs. Because now I’m crying. Again.

February is going to be interesting.

Categories: Babies, Bulldogs, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Dogs, Pets, Pregnancy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Christmas Miracle

Besides a healthy baby on the way and Mack and Pete’s ever growing tolerance for each other, our family had even more to be thankful for this past Christmas season.

A few weeks ago, Hubs and I decided Mack was ripe enough to toss his ass in the tub and give an old, pissed off bulldog something more to complain about. Mackie got a double shampooing, full-on brush treatment in the bathtub and a detailed wash between his toes, which he absolutely despises. He was good and pissed off by the time the bath was over.

Hubs and I split the bathing of the bulldogs in half, Hubs half being bigger than mine, of course. While Hubs lifts the dogs in and out of the tub, wrestles the bulldogs in the tub and washes them, I chase them around the bathroom and towel dry them the best I can.

Towel drying the bulldogs is a wrestling match all on its own. Mack usually takes a few laps around the bathroom to walk off the aggravation the bath causes. I’m toweling him off the whole way but it’s all I can do not to jump on his back and ride him like a bull.

I went to dry off Mack’s head, neck and ears. Knowing that I had just a few seconds of Mack holding still for me, I quickly and aggressively toweled off his head and ears, Mack fighting back by thrashing his head all around inside the towel. After a few minutes, I finally got Mack dried off enough to set him free, Mack making a bee line for our fuzzy area rug in front of the fire.

After a half an hour or so, we noticed Mack’s right side ear was puffed up. Like, REALLY swollen. His ear flap is normally about an eighth of an inch thick. Now it was an inch thick.

My knee jerk diagnoses was allergies, but Hubs was already on his iPhone Googling away. His diagnoses was spot on: Aural Hematoma.

Mack’s ear flap was bleeding internally, all from my asshole toweling methods. Even worse, every website and thread from dog owners said that aural hematomas were only corrected by surgery, since the bleeding only continues to the point where the ear basically explodes. A visual of Mack shaking his head off in pain, spraying blood in every crevice of our house played out in my head.

I felt awful. Not only did I injure my poor, fat ol’ puppy Mack, now it’s looking like I will have to hand over my Christmas bonus to a vet for the 2nd year in a row (see https://houseoffarts.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/why-i-havent-posted-in-a-few-weeks/  )

Even worse, a 13-year old geriatric bulldog will now have to go under for surgery, which is quite risky.

Distraught, we took Mack to the vet, where they confirmed that he would probably end up on the operating table but the doctor wanted to give it the good college try before doing so, given Mack’s dinosaur age status.

Mack’s ear was drained, then flipped over to flatten it against his head. A bandage was tightly wrapped around his head to keep the ear compressed, hoping the ear would start to heal on its own. The doctor again warned us that this would be a long shot and promised to get a quote for the surgery over to us right away.

Babushka Mack mourns for your soul.

Babushka Mack mourns for your soul.

We were told to remove the bandage in 5 days. After Day 4, Mack decided he’d had enough and removed it himself. One moment Mack was just sitting there, sporting his head wrap, not giving a fuck.

Mack, not givin' a fuck

Mack, not givin’ a fuck

The next, Mack was wearing nothing but a flesh-colored infinity scarf and a shit-eating grin:

This isn't the actual picture, but that shit-eating grin is pretty much the same.

This isn’t the actual picture, but that shit-eating grin is pretty much the same.

And his ear, was back to its inflammed state. Shit.

The next day, we brought Mack back to the vet. The doctor wanted to try draining his ear again, but this time taping it down to prevent a certain, crafty old bulldog from removing it. They also put him on a regimen of Prednisone to hopefully speed up the healing process. Which, by the way they had to run up bloodwork for. And which we found out, that Mack’s heart and kidney function are FUCKING OUTSTANDING for his advanced age. So that was our shred of good news.

5 more days went by of Mack, trying his damnedest to take his bandage off. Hubs and I started calling him Babushka Mack, made Yakov Smirnoff jokes and sarcastically asked Mack what he missed about the old country. Mack was not enthused.

Do not ill speak of Mother Russia.

Do not ill speak of Mother Russia.

Hell, Peterbilt even felt sympathy for his dickhead dad and even gave Mackie a lick on the face. It was awkward for all parties involved.

After 5 days, we brought Mack to the vet where they took him in back to remove the tape.

After 20 minutes or so, Mack came running full speed at us, away from the vet techinician……his ear back to normal appearance.

The doctor warned us to keep Mack from flapping his ears around, possibly undoing the healing, for the next 2-3 days.

And I am pleased to tell you that that was 2 weeks ago and Mackie is 100% healed! Hooray! No surgery!

We managed to skirt a risky and most likely painful dog surgery for our Christmas present and that gift beats the PANTS off of anything else we could have asked for. Including those As-Seen-On-TV Glow Candles I got. Thanks, Mom.

Because one minute you may want a red candle and the next, you may really want it to be blue.

Because one minute you may want a red candle and the next, you may really want it to be blue.

Categories: Being Married, Bulldogs, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Dogs, Pets, Potty Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Double Trouble

2014 has been the year of change at House of Farts.

Ladies and gentlemen, after 4 long and work-intensive years, Mack and Peterbilt have decided to bury the hatchet and have agreed to coexist (somewhat) peacefully on the same level/room/area of the house. That’s right, no more keeping the bulldogs separated within the house.

This was decided recently by Mack. The older and more deaf Mack gets (and the more visibly pregnant I get) Mack is finding it harder and harder to leave my side. “Ok, Ok, I concede”, Mack told me one afternoon about 2 months ago. “I’ll acknowledge Peterbilt as my son. Now let’s all lay on the area rug and lick our paws.”

Peterbilt, less than enthused about now having to split our attention with his dickhead dad, agreed to treat his dad’s now constant presence with respect.

Yay! Right?? We can have a normal-ish family again! Eh, Yes and no. As much as we are happy to have everyone get along, having 170 lbs of bulldog to deal with versus 85 lbs at a time, is a lot of work!

Over the last several weeks, Hubs and I have noticed that there are as many PROS as CONS to our new living situation.

PRO:

1.) Less Shrieking.

Having both dogs in the kitchen as I make dinner is a lot quieter than having Peterbilt in the kitchen and Mack in the finished basement, shrieking with every pang of his broken heart at his exclusion. Now both bulldogs can stand by my feet and hold their breath as I chop carrots, hoping to God that one slips off the counter and falls to the floor.

CON:

1.) Higher fart content

Having both bulldogs in close proximity means more fart air to regular air, in parts per million. Tonight, we will be serving Dijon Chicken and baby carrots with hint of fart. Just dab some Vicks under your nose, dear, It’ll be alright.

 

"We heard there were carrots..."

“We heard there were carrots…”

PRO:

2.) Bigger fan base.

Now instead of one bulldog totally devoted to following me and watching my every move, I have two. The bulldogs totally give my location away every time, no matter where I am in the house. Are the bulldogs totally quiet? That means they’re laying with me on the bed sleeping. Do you hear thunderous noises? That’s the bulldogs following (trampling) me as i go downstairs to put in another load of laundry? Two bulldogs glumly laying outside the shut bathroom door? Well, you know I’m doing then. Painting my nails. Because ladies don’t poop.

CON:

If I don’t close the bathroom door all of the way, it means now two heads are poking inside to check on me instead of just one. I get very little privacy.

The good old days of only only bulldog head.

The good old days of only only bulldog head.

 

They’ve already figured out that they have Hubs and I evenly matched with a 2:2 ratio and have used this to their advantage already, using teamwork to knock a bag of dog treats off the table and to take out a 40 lb bag of kibble, even sharing the spoils. And our bedroom has been converted into “Bulldog HQ”. They’ve taken over that room as their area of choice for gnawing on their bones, Kongs and other toys. We kick twice as many dog possessions of our of bed now and It is almost guaranteed I will stub my toe on a half-chewed up antler on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

We love it and are daunted by it at the same time. With the new workload, it makes me wonder how we will ever fit in time to take care of a newborn, but I guess that will all work itself out somehow.

 

In the meantime, Hubs and I thank God that he’s given us what we’ve asked for, for so long: a loving, little bulldog family. At least, that’s what we try to repeat in our heads while cleaning up 40 lbs of kibble and drool off of the floor.

Categories: Babies, Being Married, Bulldogs, Crappy Adulthood Problems, Dogs, Farts, Funny, Pets, Potty Humor, Pregnancy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

And Baby Makes……5?

Yes, it’s true! We are expecting our first child! We are due right around Valentine’s Day, Feb 13 to exact and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Pregnancy has been treating me well and isn’t nearly as scary or weird as I thought it would be.

It’s funny how this pregnancy has altered our household already, even though I’m just now starting to show. The Hubs is racing to get all of his race cars up and running before the end of the year. Without my consent, my brain has switched into full-on nesting mode and can only comprehend words and notions as they pertain to the baby.

For example, when my husband talks about spraying weed-killer on the lawn, my response is “Make sure I’m not around because I can’t be exposed to those chemicals with the baby.”

Or when the conversation shifts to ordering custom seat covers for the backseat of our Jeep, my reply is “Make sure they also allow hook-ups for a baby car seat for the baby.”

Sounds normal enough, right?

It gets more obscure. When Hubs talks about:

-The weather

-Apples

-Snowglobes

-The conflict in Israel

he gets:

-“The weather is going to very cold when the baby is born.”

-“Babies can’t eat apples, Stupid.”

-“Fake snow is toxic to babies.”

-“………..I’m sorry, what? I was thinking about paint colors for the baby’s room.”

This mindset was funny at first, but is now taking a toll on my husband, who is perpetually taking off his glasses and massaging the bridge of his nose in frustration.

Even the dogs have been stepping it up a bit. And by stepping it up, I mean Mack has put on about 3 lbs in sympathy weight and Peterbilt has resorted back to peeing in house, after a nice 4 month break. See? Everybody is chipping in to make sure the house is baby-ready.

Plus, everybody in the house has benefited greatly from my recent subsequent sobriety. As someone who regularly walked the line between wine-lover and high-functioning alcoholic, I’m actually surprised at how easy it was to give up drinking. Mack’s relief is palpable now that 9:30 PM surprise dress-ups have ceased to exist

Mack is ready for his date!

Mack is ready for his date!

and Peterbilt has enjoyed the decrease in humiliating, Pinot Grigio-induced iPhone pictures. The Hubs is happy that he just doesn’t have worry about stepping on any verbal land-minds past 9PM, or about walking into our bedroom and finding me half-sloshed and crying, watching Ice Age 3 on Netflix.

And finally, although I’ve managed to escape fatigue and nausea for the most part, I have experienced some of the classic early pregnancy symptoms, so I though it would be only appropriate that I update my banner drawing, now that I am a major contributor:

 cover

More fart-filled pregnancy stories to come! Stay tuned!

Categories: Babies, Being Married, Bulldogs, Farts, Funny, Pets, Potty Humor, Pregnancy | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Mack’s Staycation

It may seem that Mack has it real easy, but if you ask him, he’d say that he gets just as burnt out as you or me. I mean c’mon….you sleep 8 hours, get up, woof down your food, shit, climb back up onto your couch and sleep 8 more hours, get up again, woof down your food, shit, shriek for an hour or two, chew on a toy, grumble through a walk around the block and climb back up onto your couch and sleep for 8 hours.

Modern Bulldog Life. It’s stressful.

Mack appreciates an occasional escape from the daily rigors of being a dead-beat father to Peterbilt. And one of his favorite places to stay is at my in-laws house.

As soon as the last mound of snow melted, my in-laws showed up on our doorstep, just in from Arizona, ready to spend the next 6 months in their Minnesota home. Within minutes of their arrival, they had already asked to dog-sit Mackie for a few days. Here’s how that conversation went:

In-Laws: “Hey guys! Good to see you! Long time no see!’

Us: “Good to see you guys, too! How was–”

-and then they rush over to Mack to say hi.

So on Sunday, my husband dropped Mackie off at his parents (or Mack’s grandparents) house so Mack could chill with them for a few days. As always, Mack could care less about you when you turn to leave. The minute he’s at his grandparent’s house, you’re now chopped liver. Not even so much as a good-bye glance when you head out the door. He’s already on to bigger and better things.

I like to think that to Mack, going to his grandparents house is a lot like a taking a weekend trip to a beach or some other relaxing place. I like to think that if there were ever a travel a brochure about staying at my in-laws that would be intended for a target audience of old, crotchety bulldogs, it would like a little like this. Enjoy:

travelbr1 travelbr2

travelbr3

After a few days, I decided that the in-laws were probably tired of being endlessly berated by a 4-legged creature.

Even though Mack loves his grandma and grandpa, Mack was sure happy to see me yesterday when I came to pick him up.

I’ve never received such a welcome. From the dog who’s typical first reaction to when I come home for the day is to shoot me a look and walk off in the opposite direction, I got the full 5-star treatment. Full-on nub-wagging, twirling, marching of the paws. Ears pinned and everything.The grandparents had to restrain him every time I went out to the Jeep to load up his stuff. By the time I was ready to load Mack up, he was running at full speed towards me, which is something that Mack reserves for only special occasions.

“Get me out of here!! These people never sleep! They’re always home!!!”, Mack seemed to say.

Oh, did I forget to mention that my in-laws have more energy, more plans and have bigger social circles that we do?

I suspect Mack had his fill of constant company, bright, sun-filled rooms and not being allowed on any couches, whatsoever. Because what kind of shit is that?!?!

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got, til it’s gone?

Mack may shriek when left by himself in his downstairs apartment, but that room also comes with his very own, scrubby-ass couch that he gets to lounge around on.

He may be left alone all day long while we’re at work, but our finished basement is ideal for sleeping: always dark, cool, quiet and comfortable.

Our ice cubes may be inferior, but we are fully stocked with dog treats.

Peterbilt may be totally annoying, but Peterbilt is totally annoying. I got nothing on that one.

Mack, feeling very happy about being at home and very sleep deprived, didn’t hesitate climb onto his ratty old couch and fall asleep when he got home.

sleepy

“Oh, couch. How i’ve missed you”

Categories: Bulldogs, Dogs, Funny, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A walk around the lake

Sunday was a perfect day for a walk around Theodore Wirth Lake in Minneapolis and we figured the bulldogs would be just dying to get out and run around. Well, Peterbilt anyways.

So we got Peterbilt all dolled up in his choke chain, dusted the cobwebs off of Mack truck and threw both of their asses in the Jeep.

The lake had several people already walking their dogs, walking with their kids and playing volleyball. A few kids were already running wild on the beach. Peterbilt could barely be contained the first 1/2 mile or so, pulling and zig-zagging around the trail, here and there, almost taking a jogger or two in the process. Mack employed his normal stalling tactics of smelling random patches of grass and peeing every 50 feet.

We all had a pretty good walk. Peterbilt ran in and out of the recently thawed lake, the cold water acting like rocket fuel, propelling him out of the water and sending him careening down the trail at full speed until the retractable leash reached its limit. This repeated itself about 4 times.

20140506-082512.jpg

Mack’s highlight was when he found a pregnant woman eating string cheese on a bench and proceeded to panhandle her for food.

By the time we reached full circle, we found someone to take our portrait. Notice Peterbilt’s wide grin.

20140506-082450.jpg

All and all, it was a good day. Many laughs. Many smells. Many dumps. Mack even jogged a little. Peterbilt would have loved another lap, but Mack was waving his white flag around so we have to give the old guy a break. He’s going to be 13 years old in just 10 days, you know.

 

20140506-082520.jpg

 

Categories: Bulldogs, Dogs, Pets | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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