A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Welcome to your new home, little goats. May 11, 2012

What in the world am I thinking!?  I am NOT an animal person, and I just spent the better part of the morning wrestling with two baby goats that we brought home last night.  Goats are strong, by the way.  And stinky.

Why do I have two goats in a cage?  That’s a good question.  Let me begin by sharing how we acquired our other animals.

The day we got our dog, we were not even considering a puppy.  I took the kids to the pet store just to look at the animals.  Then I saw her.  She was sitting in that pitiful little pen.  Just sitting there looking at me with those big sad eyes.  Begging to be rescued.  Then I noticed the sign on her pen – CLEARANCE.  I knew I had to have her.  So I paid the slashed price and asked the shopkeeper to hold her while I ran to Wal-Mart to buy the things normal people purchase in preparation for a puppy.  And to call my husband to inform him of the new addition to our family.

Who could resist those eyes?

I was guilted into our next pet acquisition.  Kendra really played me on this one.  How could I not buy her the little kitty when her brother had a puppy.  After all, she had always dreamed of having a kitten for her whole entire life.  So, we bought the kitten and then went back to Wal-Mart for kitten stuff.

Sparkles the kitten.

The dog and cat were enough for a long while.  Until one day, the kids really decided they absolutely couldn’t live without pet rabbits.  So, we bought them.  They had to live in a dog kennel in the garage for a few days while Ronnie built them a hutch.  Why?  Because, once again, we were unprepared.

Pleeease, Mom and Dad, pleeeease!?

Well, after that, we tried fish, but that didn’t work so well as you remember if you read my post To Flush or Not to Flush.  Moving on.

Time went on.  We went through several rabbits, and my sister added a dog to the mix, but we pretty much stayed the same for a few months.  Then, my son started really taking interest in frogs.  Since I’ve always been very determined not to pass my irrational fear on to my kids, I helped him build a habitat in the unused fish aquarium, and we put four frogs he captured in it.  I have to concentrate on not letting it bother me that there are frogs in his bedroom.  I don’t go in there much.

Then, Ronnie decided to get chickens.  Fresh eggs, teaching responsibility, all that good stuff.  I went along with it because the baby chicks were so cute.  However, since we were – you guessed it – unprepared! – the chickens lived in a container in my kitchen too long for me to end up liking them.  And, honestly, now that they’re older, they scare me to death.  They’re like frogs with feathers.  And beaks and long claws.  Terrifying.

So, that brings me to the goats.  We knew we were going to buy them, so we bought all the supplies to build a fence for them.  We even started on it.  Good, huh?  Unfortunately, that’s all we did, so when we went to get the goats last night, we brought them home and had nowhere to put them.  Typical of us, really.

I was supposed to put collars on them this morning, and tie them to something so they could be out for the day until we finish the fence tomorrow.  Good plan, huh?  Well, it was a failure.  Goats don’t like collars.  Goats don’t like being led on a leash.  Goats make a lot of racket, poop all the time, and jump around like bucking broncos.  Who knew they’d be kind of like little donkeys?  Not me, that’s for  sure.

So, Max and I managed to get them to the backyard, but the collars I bought were too big, and everything that could go wrong went wrong, and they probably hate me already, and they’re only 106 days old and now they’re probably traumatized, and I’m afraid they’re going to bite me, and the dogs are barking at them like crazy, and the goats are bleeting at the top of their little lungs, and I have goat pee and poop and hair all over me, and I’m not really sure how I feel about goats now.

We’ll build the fence tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve heard a rumor that someone we know has a pot-bellied pig they don’t want any more…



Shopping with Max May 7, 2012

Filed under: children,family,gardening,humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:44 am
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Since we decided to add goats to our family mini-farm, we needed to go to Tractor Supply and Lowe’s to purchase a few supplies.  We’re picking up the goats next weekend, so the most important thing is to have a place to put them.

A day of shopping at these particular stores is not high on the kids’ list of fun things to do, so we usually try to make it at least a little bit fun for them.  At Tractor Supply, we let them each pick out one thing to buy.  Kendra picked a book about training and caring for pet rabbits.  A very sensible choice.

Max searched the store high and low.  He wanted a finch feeder for his stuffed animals.  I said no (that just didn’t make sense).  He wanted a hard hat.  I said no (it was too big for him).  He wanted a die-cast car.  I said no (it was outside of the price range).  Finally, he found a vibrating ball that we both agreed on, so we bought it.

At Lowe’s, we ran into some friends of ours so we stopped to talk for a while.  We were pretty close to the restrooms, so when the kids asked if they could go, we let them as long as they promised to stay together.

Several minutes later, a rather guilty looking Max came running back to us.

“Where is your sister?” I demanded.  “I told you two to stay together!”

We went to look for Kendra, and when she emerged from the restroom, she was indignant.

“What happened?” I asked as Max buried his head in my leg and wailed, “I’m sorry!”

Kendra was hot.  Max started fake crying.

“When I was using the bathroom, Max went in all the stalls and locked them and then crawled out.  I was telling him not to!  But he wouldn’t listen!  Then he left and I had to crawl under all the doors so I could unlock them!!”

We looked at Max.

“Why did you do that?”

He shrugged.

We thanked Kendra for undoing his naughtiness.  Then we went to the garden center to finish our shopping.


Waiter, I’ll have the French toast with a side of earplugs. March 27, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:37 am
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When a restaurant is promoting the most popular kids’ movie currently showing in theaters, it is safe to say it is a family restaurant.  Right?  So, when we go on a Sunday morning for a breakfast with our kids, we can expect a family atmosphere.

This didn’t happen last Sunday.

The table behind us had two girls and a guy who had apparently just worked a horrendous night at some other eatery.  They had choice words as they compared customers and co-workers.

The f-word is not okay in IHOP, is it?

I looked at the surrounding tables, all of which had kids seated at them.  Surely, I was not the only one who could hear the constant barrage of bad words coming from the guy and girls.  They weren’t even trying to be quiet.  Or considerate.

I thought about saying something.  I thought about nicely turning around and simply asking them to tone down the language in front of the kids.  But I didn’t.  And neither did anyone else.

To be perfectly honest, I was disappointed in myself and all the other parents sitting there.  It ruined my French toast and my conversation with my little family as I just could not manage to block the voices out behind me.  I should have said something.  It was IHOP, for crying out loud!

That’s why, when I was presented with a similar situation only days later, it was more than I could stand.

I was really trying to be on good behavior that day because Kendra had a friend along.  I was trying really hard.

When the girls went to the restroom, and Ronnie took Max, I was alone at the table.  Sitting next to us were two men chatting it up, rather loudly.  And pervertedly.  The sexual references and vulgarities were just out there for everyone to hear.

I’m sorry, I don’t mind a conversation about pirate booty, but my four-year-old son does not need to hear about a butt pirate in a bar-b-que restaurant.

At one point, one of the guys even told his friend to cool it a little and quiet down.  The goon just laughed it off and continued.  Thankfully, when their food arrived, their ribs occupied them enough to shut them up for a while.

I was just itching to say something.  I knew we had a friend along.  And I knew Ronnie wouldn’t want me to start something that he would likely have to finish.

But, I couldn’t help myself.

When we got up to leave, the guys got up too.  And the loudmouth stretched as he got up from the table, clearly showing his fly completely down and open.

I walked by him (thinking this was what people call karma – the perfect opportunity for me to embarrass him, thus getting him back for ruining my fried-green tomato BLT) and said (very loudly), “Your. Fly. Is. Down.”

I walked away, so satisfied with myself.

I didn’t understand why Ronnie was so mad when we got to the truck.  And we couldn’t talk because, you know, the friend was along.  So we rode home in silence.  He was seething.

Finally, after an eternal ride home with my squirming in my seat and shooting him puppy-dog eyes and nudging him apologetically, we got the chance to talk.

“What’s the big deal?  I actually helped him!  Imagine how embarrassed he would he would have been if he walked around like that all night!”

My husband looked at me.  “You didn’t hear what he said to you after that?”

Ummm…obviously not.

“What?” I asked, a little sheepishly.

“He said, ‘Oh, you noticed!’ I wanted to punch him in the face!”  That blood vessel in his forehead was still sticking out a little bit.

Well, that sure explained the angry ride home.

Next time, when the conversation isn’t kid friendly, I think we’ll just move tables.  I think we’ll all enjoy our meals more that way.


What’s for Dinner? March 19, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 7:02 pm
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Here’s another recycled incident from when the kids were a little younger…

My children are truly wonderful and well-behaved. They are clever, funny, and sweet. They constantly surprise me with things they know, say, and do. I am about as proud as a mother can be without positively bursting at the seams. I love them and my family is my world.
But, let’s be honest. Who wants to read a mother’s gushings about her little angels? I mean, really!
So, with that in mind (you know, the fact that they really are good kids), I just have to get this off my chest.
I picked Kendra up from her second day of kindergarten today then went and picked up Maxwell. Things were going well, so I thought we’d stop by Ingles on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.
When I pulled in the parking lot and saw the front “mothers with children” parking slot vacant, I thought it was going to be a fantastic trip to the market.

I got out of the car and went to the passenger’s side to get the kids.
Those of you who know Ingles, know that it is a rare occurance for that valued front space to be open, and that it would only be open if the parking lot were relatively empty. Such was the case today. Parking spaces galore.
That didn’t stop an old bat driving a classy oversized luxury car from wanting the slot adjacent to mine, even though I was clearly standing there with the doors open trying to put my daughter’s sneakers on her feet.
She inched her way into the slot, eyeballing me the whole time, so I courteously closed the door enough for her to park.
The lady could clearly see what I was doing. Last time I checked, it only takes a matter of minutes to put shoes on a child. She obviously didn’t have a minute because she threw her car in park and immediately tried to open her door though my door was blocking the way.
I was courteous once. This was too much. I gathered my kids, and quickly zapped the impatient lady with my laser-vision-I-reserve-for-the-most-annoying-of-individuals and walked my children into the store.
Little did I know, my problems would not end there.
I got a buggy to put my purchases in and Max immediately jumped on the prime spot on the front so he wouldn’t have to walk through the store. Kendra (who I feel compelled to say is very overtired both physically and emotionally from starting school this week), instantly broke down crying and whining/screaming that it was not fair for Max to get to ride. Her feet hurt. Sneakers make her feet hot. Blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah. You get the idea.
Well, in the process of trying to stop her from shattering the glass windows in Ingles with her shrill, piercing screams, I guess I may have maneuvered that buggy a bit too enthusiatically and, well, I threw my son off.
He landed on the floor and of course screamed louder than his older sister was.
Once again, those of you who know my son, know his unique talent of being able to vomit on command. Since Kendra’s screams were still louder than his, he pulled out the big guns and barfed all over me and himself.
I took those two little buggers to the restroom, cleaned them up, chewed them out a bit, then gave up on the whole grocery shopping endeavor for the night.
When we were leaving the store, Max shirtless and both of them afriad to cry anymore, I had to step over an ever-so-small spot of vomit in the deli department (and that, incidentally, is why you should never eat off the floor in public places). I sincerely hoped that my new dear friend from the parking lot wouldn’t be so unfortunate as to step in it.
We got in the car, with no incident this time, and left.
I still don’t know what we are going to eat for dinner.


And Kendra February 25, 2012

Filed under: humor,Kendra,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:54 am
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This one gives a pretty good picture of Kendra and of how the kids typically interact.

Jack and Jill

I don’t know why Kendra wanted to dress up Sunday afternoon to go outside and play, but she did.  She had on a frilly skirt with a matching shirt, dangly earrings, bracelets almost up to her elbows, make-up, and a funky hairstyle.  She looked adorably funky, which is her usual style of choice.  She was playing in the backyard with Max, and Ronnie and I were out front.  Everything seemed to be going well.  Until…

Kendra came running around front looking exactly like a wet cat, a fancy wet cat.  Max trailed closely behind her with a look of concern on his face.  Kendra was soaked – from the top of her pretty hairstyle all the way down to her tiered skirt.

“What happened?” I asked, though I already had a pretty good idea in my mind after noticing Max’s conspicuously dry clothing.

“Max just poured a whole cup of water on me!” she yelled quite indignantly.  Max remained uncharacteristically silent.

“Why did he do that?” I asked.

“I don’t know!  I asked him to get me a drink of water and he poured it all over me!”  Boy, was she mad.

“Why would he do that?  What exactly did you say to him?”  For some reason, I had a hunch that there had to be more to the story.

Kendra answered a little sheepishly.  “I asked him to fetch me a pail of water.”

I looked at Max, still standing silently with a faux-angelic look on his face.

“Max, what does ‘fetch a pail of water’ mean?”

He shrugged his shoulders and them made a motion of throwing a bucket of water all over Kendra.

I had to laugh.  He may not have known exactly what “fetch a pail of water” meant, but something tells me he knew it didn’t mean to throw water all over his dolled-up sister.

I gently suggested to Kendra that perhaps she should be a little less poetic when she requests things from her brother.  They are too funny!


Introducing Max

Filed under: humor,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 1:55 am
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I thought I’d repost a few old stories about the kids for anyone who hasn’t properly met them yet.  Here is one of my favorite Max incidents:

I am still breathing heavy and my heart is still pounding from my latest adventure with my son.  If my hands stop shaking enough, I’ll be able to write this down before I forget the intense emotion I just experienced.  Warning: this story is not for the faint of heart.
It all started this morning when Ronnie caught our cat Sparkles (don’t let the name fool you) with a baby rabbit pinned to the ground.  Ronnie rescued the bunny from the claws of our feline huntress and brought it to show to Max and me.  Well, being the loving, caring mother that I am, I didn’t want Kendra to miss out on the baby just because she was at school, so I put it in a plastic storage bin with some leaves and carrots and set it in the laundry room.  What a cute little thing it was looking at us with those big, round eyes.  Adorable.
Well, we all went on about our business, and mine happened to include leaving the house for about an hour.  I thought that innocent little babe would be fine just resting after the near-death experience with Sparkles, so I left it in the laundry room.  Imagine my horror when I returned home only to find the rabbit was gone!  That little beast was loose in my house!  It could have peed or pooped or nibbled on anything!
The first thing Max did was check on the cake I had cooling on a rack.  “Mom!  The bunny ate your cake!!”  I ran over to look, and of course it wasn’t true – he just couldn’t resist the chance to tease me.  I started frantically looking through the house, scared to death that when I put my face on the floor to check under the furniture, the little monster would pounce at me and bite my nose.  I actually had thoughts in my head of myself running through the house, arms flailing, with a baby rabbit latched on to the end of my nose.  I told Max to help me look and to call me if he found it.  “MOM!!” he promptly yelled.  “Did you find it already??”  I gushed – very relieved.  “No,” he chuckled.  UGH!!
I honestly considered for a moment who I should call to help me.  Ronnie was at the dentist and probably wouldn’t share my opinion that this was an emergency.  The fire department probably wouldn’t either.  My dad came last year and saved me when there was a snake in my yard…Nope.  A BR does not compare to a snake.  This was a mission I would have to accomplish with just myself and my highly amused two-year-old.
Well, I finally spotted the critter under my bed, so I closed the closet and bathroom doors and sat Max on a stool in my bedroom door to guard the only exit while I ran outside to get some heavy-duty commercial-grade cow-hide work gloves.  Then, once I had donned my protective gear, I entered the BR (that’s Baby Rabbit, of course) Zone.  I told Max to scare him out so I could catch him, and that resulted in one of the most comical scenes I have ever played a part in.
Let me just say, I don’t really like animals that much (in case you couldn’t tell), but I try hard not to show it around my kids because I don’t want to influence their feelings towards animals.  I failed today.  I screamed my head off and actually ran away from a baby rabbit at one point – in my own bedroom at that.  Max was screaming.  I was shrieking.  We were both laughing hysterically, and the poor rabbit was so scared that it was literally trying to jump through the walls.
My mind, in the midst of the chaos, thought about the time when I was a little girl that a lizard got into our house and my mom sucked it up with the vacuum cleaner hose.  I thought about the time a tree frog got into the house and my mom screamed that it was on my head (it wasn’t).  I thought about a good friend of mine who had a snake loose in her walls somewhere, and how a BR paled in comparison. I thought about how stupid I was acting and how ashamed I would be for anyone to see me running and screaming like I had a Tasmanian devil in my bedroom instead of a traumatized infant bunny.
None of it helped.  Max and I laughed and screamed and yelled until the rabbit apparently was just exhausted.  I cornered it, picked it up (thus, the reason for the gloves), and put it back in the storage bin for Kendra to see.  This time, though, I put a screen on the top to prevent further escapes.
Max is now in his bed for his afternoon nap.  And here I sit.  Rather embarrassed.  Feeling silly.  And wondering if that nappy little creature really did pee in my house somewhere.
We’re taking the kids to the zoo tomorrow.  I may need to consider some medication before that trip.