What happens if you jump

9 Apr

“What happens if you jump in a muddy puddle?!” Daniel often asks me cheekily.

“What happens?” I ask him back.

“You get all MUDDY!!!” He says whilst laughing like it’s the funniest joke he’s ever heard.

Recently though, he’s started expanding his questions.

“What happens if you jump in a table puddle?” He asks, already laughing in anticipation of his answer.

“I dunno, what happens?”

“You get all CHAIR-Y!!!!”

“What happens if you jump in a tree puddle?”

“I dunno, what happens?”

“You get all LEAFY!!”

Then Hannah joins in and they ask each other what happens when they jump in random things.  One asks, the other answers and they both laugh heartily.

Eventually, it turned into people.

“What happens when you jump in a Mommy puddle?” Daniel asks Hannah.

She thinks about it for a couple of seconds and then says “You get better at stuff.”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a Daddy puddle?”

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Hannah: “You get ice cream!!!”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in an Aunty Jess puddle?”

Hannah: “You get babies!”

Note to self, don’t let kids jump in an Aunty Jess puddle.

Daniel: “What happens when you jump in a Rosie puddle?”

Hannah: “You get naughty!”

 

These are some funny kids

These are some funny kids

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a Daniel puddle?”

Hannah: “You get cheeky!”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a YaYa puddle?”

Hannah: “You get treats!”

Daniel: What happens if you jump in a Grandma puddle?”

Hannah: “YOU GET TREATS!!!”

Me: “What happens if you jump in a Hannah puddle?”

Hannah: “I don’t know.”

Me: “You get cute.”

Hannah: “YEAH!!!”

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And we’re back

8 Apr

Toy trains and wooden tracks were strewn about on the living room floor. The couch cushions we stacked precariously to make a little cubby house, or as Daniel likes to call it, a “bug house.” A big plastic truck sat in the middle of the hallway. Daniel’s pants were laying on the playroom floor (he likes to take them off). Dishes were piled on the kitchen bench. I only do them once per day, and I hadn’t and that time hadn’t come yet. Crumbs covered parts of the dining table because I didn’t have time to wipe them up before taking Hannah to school.

Daniel in his "bug house." Rosie loves bug houses too.

Daniel in his “bug house.” Rosie loves bug houses too.

At least I was dressed properly when the Telstra guy unexpectedly knocked on my door today though.  Not like the time the mailman knocked on the door when I was brushing my teeth and only wearing a towel. TPG did say that someone would come today, but then we called Optus, and requested to switch carriers. I assumed the Telstra guy wouldn’t come. Even if he did, I didn’t expect him to come inside.  How embarrassing.  Normally it wouldn’t be so bad, but Daniel has bronchitis and wasn’t at daycare today. Or yesterday.  He only goes two days a week.  I let him watch movies all day and even put the train stuff in the living room.  I normally don’t let them bring toys in there.  That’s what the play room (a.k.a. the dining room) is for.

Today was his second day at home all day, and he was feeling much better.  Yesterday he sat on the couch pretty much all day feeling pretty miserable and coughing lots, but today he was jumping around, dumping out toy buckets, making messes, and getting stir crazy in general.  I couldn’t play with him very much though because I have to keep up with my uni work.  The two days that he normally goes to daycare, I do my university stuff.  If I don’t, I’ll fall behind, and there’s no way I’ll be able to catch up.  Not with chemistry.

Needless to say, it was kind of embarrassing letting someone in the house when we were sitting on the couch watching a movie in the middle of the morning (I was watching my lecture on my computer. Daniel was watching a movie as he jumped on the couch and spread trains all over the floor) while the house is a bomb.  Oh well, we have internet now, so I don’t care.

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I have no internet

3 Apr

I’m going to make this short because it’s 9:31 (I’m usually in bed by now because I get up at 5am) and I’m still at YaYa’s house, borrowing her internet connection.  I had to come over and do all the uni work that needs to be digitally turned in by tomorrow.

The internet is kind of important when you’re an external university student (where everything is online except the 3 day workshop), and a blogger. But TPG doesn’t seem to care about that.  We haven’t had any internet in a week.  First it started annoyingly dropping out, then it totally died and hasn’t resurfaced since.

Aaron called TPG (our provider) who said they’d call us back in 48 hours.  They didn’t.  Needless to say, we called them back, and they guessed that the problem was due to all the recent rain.  Perhaps the exchange is flooded.  They rent Telstra’s lines, and they said Telstra can’t come fix it until the 8th.  Yes, the 8th.  That makes keeping up with uni very hard.  Not to mention my blog, emails, etc.

Instead, we decided to switch our service to someone more reliable, but the new connection isn’t getting hooked up until the 11th.  It’s to be another rough week, but hopefully it will be better in the long run. Plus we will have cable TV, which is a whole lot better than what we currently get.  Right now, sometimes we have reception, sometimes not.

So if you’re wondering why I haven’t answered your email, or posted anything, it’s because I have no internet, and when I do get a moment to steal someone else’s connection for a bit, I have to catch up with all the uni work I should be doing.   Sorry.
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The parasitic wasp

27 Mar

“Look mom, a flying bug!” Hannah said excitedly whilst pointing at the sliding glass door.

“Thanks Hannah.  That’s a crane fly, I’ll get it and put it in the bug cage!”

Crane fly.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Crane fly. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I gently grabbed it by the wings, which were straight up in the air, and flat against each other so there would be no damage. As soon as I grabbed it though, she furiously and repeatedly arched her abdomen towards my fingers, like she was trying to sting me.
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Needless to say, I transferred her to the cage as fast as humanely possible.  Just in case.  I don’t think crane flies sting, but hey, this is Australia, and we all know that Australia is out to get you.

As I sat back with the kids to admire our new bug cage addition, I thought about how cool it would be for them to see something that isn’t super tiny flying around in there. Instead, flying around being cool, it headed straight for the bright green caterpillar, ruthlessly attacking it as if the caterpillar had just kidnapped the fly’s babies.

The caterpillar is beloved by the kids.  Every day they want to see it and watch it move around the cage munching on leaves and leaving giant piles of poop.  It’s the easiest thing in the cage to actually see.  It is bright green.  That helps.

I jumped up, grabbed the big plastic bug tweezers and pinched the fly with them before she knew what was happening.  We were not about to let a psychotic fly kill our caterpillar.

Looking back in the cage, the caterpillar was on the ground, lifeless with it’s head hanging motionless over a clump of dirt.  Oh no, I’ve killed their caterpillar!!!!

“Maybe it’s just playing dead so the fly will leave it alone,” I told the kids, clinging to that hope.

Minutes later, it was still looking dead on the bottom of the cage, but when I came back with the tweezers to remove it, it was gone.  The caterpillar was climbing up a branch, off to munch on leaves as if nothing had happened.

A week or two went by and the caterpillar continued getting bigger, eating and pooping more and more each day until it picked a perfect spot right in the corner of the clear cage to make it’s cocoon.  We’ve never been able to see it quite that close up before.  Usually they pick hidden spots on the underside of a leaf or stick.  It spent all day spinning the delicate web cocoon, so we expected to wake up to a pupae in place of the soft green caterpillar the next morning.

Instead, we found this:

caterpillar

There was no pupae, only a limp looking, unmoving caterpillar.  I was hoping it wouldn’t happen, but I knew after the fly incident that it was a distinct possibility.  The crane fly wasn’t a crane fly at all.  I’m not sure if Australia even has crane flies.

You can see why I thought it was though, right (and keep in mind, I haven’t seen a crane fly in about 13 years.  Maybe that should have been my first clue…)?

NOT a crane fly. Image courtesy of Brisbaneinsects.com

NOT a crane fly. I don’t think the one we had was quite so bright though. It was a bit orange, but not overwhelmingly.  Image courtesy of Brisbaneinsects.com

I didn’t know that wasps came in varieties with slender abdomens such as this.  I did know that some of them lay eggs in caterpillars, temporarily and purposely paralysing them at the same time.  I’m pretty sure it didn’t sting or lay eggs in me when I CAUGHT AND CARRIED IT WITH MY BARE HANDS.  I don’t think that’s something I need to be worried about.  I hope. Wikipedia tells me that these wasps are harmless to humans.

The seemingly thousands of wasp larvae inside the caterpillar may not have been obvious the first time I took a photo of the slumped caterpillar in it’s cocoon, but it’s sure obvious now.  I tried to take some close ups to post here, but my camera had trouble focusing on the caterpillar, so here is one from Wikipedia instead (it looks just like this, only ours is slumped in an S shape).

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Gross, right?  Only fascinating at the same time.  And hey, they are great for my vegetable garden.  Not that I really have one right now, since the dog digs everything up.  She even started digging all the dirt out of my potted blueberry bush.  Sigh.

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Dinosaurs according to Daniel

23 Mar

“Dinosaurs are a bit scary,” Daniel told me one day as we were driving down the road.  He was looking at his Peppa Pig magazine.

“You don’t have to worry about dinosaurs buddy, they’re extinct.  There are no dinosaurs left, they all died.”  I told him.

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“No they didn’t.” He told me using his you’re-a-moron tone of voice.

“Yes they did, they are all gone.”

“Well they say RARRRRRRRRRRR! So there are dinosaurs.”

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Mommy as a measurement

21 Mar

The first time Hannah used my age to convey a number, it was kind of funny.  Daniel was being cheeky (as usual), and Hannah was making jokes about it.

“There are two cheeky Daniel’s!!”  She giggled, imagining what life would be like if Daniel were a twin.

“No, there are as many Daniel’s as Mommy’s age!!” She yelled, followed by raucous cheeky laughter. Clearly she thinks she is hilarious.

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But then she did it again.  I can’t remember what we were talking about, but it went something like this:

“There will be 5.  No, 10…20. No, AS MANY AS MOMMY IS OLD!”  Hannah told me while giggling.

My cheeky little girl

My cheeky little girl

Now every time she needs to quantify a very large number, she confidently says “as many as mommy is old,” or “as many as mommy’s age.”  She used to say things like 1,000 hundred for really big exaggerated numbers, like a normal 4 year old, but now she has her own large unit of measurement: my age.  And it seems that in her mind, no number is larger.

I’m torn between finding it hilarious and feeling ancient.

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The secret to getting streak free mirrors

20 Mar

My kids have a stand alone white and pink mirror (not with real glass, but somehow it’s mirror-ish anyway) in the play room (aka dining room).  Hannah loves standing in front of it and practicing her funny faces.  Daniel loves to wipe his grubby fingers all over it and giggle.  Needless to say, it’s a sticky, finger printed mess that I really need to clean far more often.

And to get it sparkling for the kids’ enjoyment, here is some advice in today’s guest post:

The Secret to Getting Streak Free Mirrors

If you have sprayed and polished and the mirror still shows streaks, this can become very frustrating. You will notice it every time you walk past the mirror and will know exactly where the streaks are! Cleaning mirrors to a great standard should not be a long laborious process. There are many secrets to getting streak free mirrors in a surprisingly short amount of time with minimum effort.

Never use newspaper

In days gone by, a spray and then circular motions made with scrunched up newspaper used to leave sparkling streak free mirrors. Today’s newspaper is printed with a different type of ink. This ink will actually leave a residue on your mirror so you can buff with the scrunched up newspaper all you want, but you will never get a good result. Paper towel is no good either as it will leave small flecks of lint on the mirror.

Use the correct cloth

A flat weave microfibre cloth will give a great result. Flat weaves dry fast and will leave not lint behind. Flat weaves also do not allow debris to accumulate on a microfibre cloth.

Always use a glass cleaner

Cleaning products made specifically for glass do not suds up and therefore will not leave any residue on the mirror. Using the wrong liquid cleaner can actually leave a slight haze over the surface of the mirror. Another good liquid option is a mixture of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Rubbing alcohol can also be used for a streak free finish.

How to remove sticky globs

Dab a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol. Bathroom mirrors tend to have spots of toothpaste spatter, flecks of soap suds and droplets of hairspray all over the surface of the mirror. Insects can also leave behind unsightly evidence that they have been on the mirror. Quickly rub any sticky globs with the rubbing alcohol.

How to finish the job

Quickly give the mirror a light spray with the glass cleaner. Fold you cloth in four and starting in the top left hand corner, slide your cloth to the right hand side. Then zigzag backwards and forwards across the mirror. Cleaning your mirror in this way will mean you won’t miss any spots. Turn to a clean spot on your cloth and immediately wipe away any streaks or marks. Your mirror will sparkle like a new one!

Clearly Glass is a company that offers glass cleaning solutions. Glass and mirrors are a great addition to any home as they can make a small area look spacious. Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes and are used in the home and in commercial premises. In fact, some people have a love affair with mirrors and become collectors. A streak free mirror will always look good and if positioned correctly, can enhance the room in which it is hung. Instead of hanging a piece of artwork, why not hang an ornate mirror instead!

*This post was brought to you by Clearly Glass.

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Adelaide without kids

14 Mar

I turned 31 last week.  Thirty one.  Turning 30 is a huge deal, it’s kind of a milestone of sorts.  But 31?  That just makes me feel old.  I became friends with The Jess’ (my sister in law) friend Romana 5 years ago when we were both pregnant at the same time.  Hannah and her daughter Violet are now best friends, and we’re good friends too.  For her birthday, she decided to visit The Jess in Adelaide.  Without Violet.  She asked if I wanted to go too.  A girls weekend away, seeing The Jess, and a break from the kids…how could I say no?  Plus my birthday is a day after hers (although she is 3 years younger than me), so we made it a birthday weekend away, all by ourselves. Yep, I left the kids at home for another round of Daddy daycare.

Our plane

Our plane

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Originally, we planned to don cute dresses and go out dancing.  Not that I’m good at dancing, I don’t have a rhythmic bone in my body, but I still love doing it, and don’t get to very often.  Dancing and morning all day sickness don’t really go together very well though, so we gave the dancing a miss.  No, I’m not the pregnant one, that would be The Jess.  She and Jim are expecting their very first baby in October.  Or maybe babies.  Twins do run in the family….

Instead, we giggled way too much playing Cards Against Humanity whilst downing copious amounts of chocolate.  Romana and I also giggled like school girls at a sleep over when we went to bed.  Air travel gives me gas, gas is funny, and I had lots of it all night.  Hence the giggles.  I’m not sure why I just shared that with you, but I am sure that many of you are secretly laughing and/or sympathising, so why not?

The next day we went to the beach, but not to swim because we both forgot our swimsuits.  Plus the water felt like it was about 0 degrees, and who wants to swim in freezing cold water?  Excuse my photos, they were all taken on my phone (so they are not exactly of high quality).

The Jess' "oh-my-gosh-this-water-is-freezing" face as she puts her feet in the water

The Jess’ “oh-my-gosh-this-water-is-freezing” face as she puts her feet in the water

Pregnant women need rest, so we watched Bridesmaids at Jess’ house after having lunch and decadent dessert at a chocolate cafe.

My bailey's mousse and ganache deliciousness

My bailey’s mousse and ganache deliciousness

The Jess eating her dessert

The Jess eating her dessert

The Jess and Romana at the chocolate cafe

The Jess and Romana at the chocolate cafe

It just so happened that the Fringe Festival was on whilst we were there, so in the afternoon, we headed into the city to have a look.

Jess decided to join the circus

Jess decided to join the circus

Me and The Jess.  We couldn't help ourselves.  I'm still not sure why Hoe was randomly written on a wall

Me and The Jess. We couldn’t help ourselves. I’m still not sure why Hoe was randomly written on a wall. I don’t normally wear leopard print, but Jess and Romana wanted me to, so I did.  It’s Jess’ dress.

I’ve seen freak shows in movies before, but I didn’t know they actually existed.  Guess what? They do.

Lizard man.  He shot an arrow and another guy caught it blindfolded.  As you do.

Lizard man. He shot an arrow and another guy caught it blindfolded. As you do.

Rubber man.  He makes like Gumby and gets his whole body through some tennis racquets.

Rubber man. He makes like Gumby and gets his whole body through some tennis racquets.

This guy has like 26 world records for swallowing things.  That balloon he's holding? Swallowed the entire thing, followed by a sword which popped it, followed by a giant pair of tongs which retrieved the popped balloon.  Gross yet fascinating.

This guy has like 26 world records for swallowing things. That balloon he’s holding? Swallowed the entire thing, followed by a sword which popped it, followed by a giant pair of tongs which retrieved the popped balloon. Gross yet fascinating.

The next day, we went home.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but you know, a family, and uni stuff awaited me back home, so it was just 2 nights and 1.5 days and then a flight back home.

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Enjoying a grand family vacation in San Francisco

13 Mar

I grew up in the U.S.  I’ve been to California on a number of occasions, as a kid and an adult, but I’ve never been to the famed San Francisco.  Maybe one day….  Since I am clearly not qualified to write about San Francisco, please enjoy this weeks guest post instead:

San Francisco is a fantastic destination to have a family vacation whether you’re travelling with toddlers or teens. There are so many things to do in this wonderful city: you can check out its wonderful tourist attractions, enjoy its culinary delights, and so much more! Simply put, boredom is the least of your concerns if ever your San Francisco trip pushes through because there are so many things to do in this Bay Area City and you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice.

Bear in mind however that there is one place that you shouldn’t miss on your trip. It’s a magical marine conservation centre called the Aquarium the Bay and since Aquarium of the Bay Tickets can be easily purchased online, you shouldn’t miss this world-class attraction during your San Francisco family holiday.

Situated at Pier 39 in San Francisco, you and your kids will definitely will experience a couple of jaw-dropping moments while touring its vicinity.

Aquarium of the Bay is home to close to 20,000 marine animals like the seven-gill sharks, giant pacific octopi, moon jellyfish, and a myriad of other sea creatures, all housed in 300 feet of aquarium tunnels that hold close to 700,000 gallons of sea water. It is open all year long and is flocked countless national and international visitors.

jellyfish

Your Aquarium of the Bay tour will be divided into three sub-tours: Under the Bay, Touch the Bay, and Discover the Bay. Their primary objective is to educate visitors like you about the vibrant sea life and inspire each and everyone to help conserve marine in every little way possible.

If you want a more exciting family vacation, you can partake in the Aquarium of the Bay’s “Feed the Sharks Tour.” By paying a little extra, you can enjoy a 75-minute tour where you’ll have a bucket of seafood that you can use to feed the sharks, sting rays, seals, and other aquatic animals. Take note however that your kids must be aged 8 and above so that they can participate in the said tour.

Summary

While there are a so many of other tourist destinations s in San Francisco, the Aquarium by the Bay should be on top of your list. Its facilities and attractions are simply world-class and you and your kids will definitely love your stay in this one of kind marine conservatory.

Need more proof? In its fifteen-year history, the Aquarium of the Bay has been visited by close to seven million guests and it’s about time to include your name on the list.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Puppies: dream vs. reality

7 Mar

Before getting Rosie, I had all these nice images in my head about what life would be like with a dog.

1. Dream: After a long day, the puppy would lay on my lap enjoying a pat and a cuddle.
Reality: Like a racing dog chasing a rabbit, Rosie thunders toward the couch, jumping onto my lap as her pointy claws scratch my legs.  Despite the scratches, I’m happy to finally have a moment of lap dog so I stroke her fur.  She lets me for about two seconds before she realises that my hand would be a fantastic chew toy.

2. Dream: When we’re outside in the back yard, the kids play together with Rosie, bearing the biggest grins on their faces that I’ve ever seen.
Reality: Rosie excitedly jumps up on them, accidentally clawing them in the process and makes them cry.  When the kids are playing with one of their outdoor toys, Rosie steals it and runs off. Daniel cries some more.

3. Dream: A dog will protect my vegetable patch from birds and other large pests.
Reality: She chases birds away only because she notices them whilst digging big holes in the garden, pulling leaves off of my beans, and pulling out and tearing apart anything that is not already established.  I even got a special plant that is supposed to deter dogs and keep them away from the garden in hopes of keeping her out.  She pulled it out and tore it up.

some of the holes in the garden.  This part of the garden isn't yet planted because it was finished too late for last seasons crops. Now if I plant anything, she tears it straight out.

some of the holes in the garden. This part of the garden isn’t yet planted because it was finished too late for last seasons crops. Now if I plant anything, she tears it straight out.

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4. Dream: Going for walks with the family would be an almost daily, fun activity, with our puppy loping along happily next to my heel.
Reality: The whole walk is spend trying to keep Rosie from tripping the kids by erratic walking/running/pulling.  My arm is dead by the time we get back from my attempts to keep her on one side only and not pulling like a maniac.

5. Dream: When in a playful mood, the kids and I can have lots of fun playing fetch with the dog.
Reality:  We throw the ball once and then she runs off with it.  Unless we have treats, in which case she brings it back and puts it at my feet knowingly every single time.

6. Dream: We could all enjoy watching Rosie frolicking about with her numerous toys when she’s in a playful mood.
Reality: Immediately she stashes all of her toys outside and then steals whatever she can (undies, shoes, kids’ toys, cups, toilet paper rolls, etc.) to chew to pieces inside.  I have lost numerous pairs of undies, a pair of pants, some of the kids’ art, pens, an expensive bra (one of only 3 that actually fit me properly), Aaron’s favourite shoes have a shoelace chewed clean off, and countless non-dog toys.  At first she stole whatever was on the floor.  We obviously started getting vigilant about putting things away, so now she takes things off shelves, out of laundry baskets, off tables, and off desks.  Things we would be happy for her to chew up outside, like small tree branches get taken inside and chewed to bits on Daniel’s pirate lounge.  The other day, she brought an earth worm inside and put it on the couch.  The night after that, she brought in two snails (one without a shell by the time she got it inside), a cockroach, and a cricket.  After playing with bugs to the point of death, she enjoys rolling on them to ingrain their stink into her fur.

One of Hannah's lovely drawings all chewed to pieces on the couch

One of Hannah’s lovely drawings all chewed to pieces on the couch

7. Dream: Visions of leisurely morning jogs with a dog running quietly by my side filled my head.
Reality: She is practically running on two legs because I have to hold her back so much, whilst at the same time she is darting this way and that, almost taking me out with every stride.  Even when I hold the leash below the handle to make it shorter, she still manages to trip me up.  Sometimes she stops suddenly.  The whole run is spent with my arm muscle engaged in vain attempts to keep her at only one of my sides.  The other night when I took her for a run, I dropped my phone after nearly falling over her and decided walking would be the safest option.  So much for our exercise.

The last run I tried to take Rosie on.

The last run I tried to take Rosie on.

9. Dream: Once trained, naughty behaviour would be a thing of the past.  Puppies don’t know what they aren’t supposed to do until you teach them.
Reality: Rosie does know what she is not supposed to do.  She just waits to do it until we’re not looking.  If we catch her in the act, she runs off immediately after only a glance in her direction.

10. Dream: The backyard we worked so hard to get looking nice, with lush green grass and a cleaned up cement patio thing would look a whole lot nicer with an adorable puppy running around.
Reality: Rosie is a digger. Everyday she digs holes.  As soon as we fill them in, she digs them up again, past bare earth to the point of dangerous ankle grabbing holes.  Bits of stuff she steals and chews up adorn the lawn and patio.  The thick plastic sheet I put on her dog crate when it’s outside is being systematically torn up each day and the little bits of chewed up plastic are strewn about on the patio, lawn, and even in the house.

Little bits of black plastic are everywhere

Little bits of black plastic are everywhere

One of the lawn holes.  Aaron tried to plant grass seeds in it after filling it up, but that didn't last very long.

One of the lawn holes. Aaron tried to plant grass seeds in it after filling it up, but that didn’t last very long.

She will settle down with age, right?

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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

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