mandyholbert

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…

 

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Why I am Late for Work – Excuse Number 103 April 2, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,Max,parenting,pets — mandyholbert @ 6:16 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a fear of frogs. Not just a casual “ew, gross, a slimy frog” kind of fear. It’s more like a my-heart-is-pounding-get-that-thing-away-from-me-before-I-have-a-heart-attack kind of fear. I know it’s irrational. I can’t help it. My friends used to torment me with it in high school. I remember several times frogs being placed on the hood of my Civic so I could not get in my car therefore could not drive anywhere.
Anyways, it’s dumb, I know, but like I said, I can’t help it. I’ve tried really hard not to let my fear influence how my kids feel about frogs. Kendra (the little angel that she is) understands the repugnance of them and hates them almost as much as I do. Max, on the other hand, catches them and plays with them.
The only benefit in this for me is that when I’m gardening and one jumps out at me (or just sits there, like they normally do, even though I’m screaming and dancing around like a fool) I can call him to rescue me.
This happened three times this weekend, resulting in his capturing three frogs, which he decided to keep as pets. (For those of you who care, I managed not to wet my pants even though I was pretty much on the brink of insanity when the third one tried to attack me.) I tried to encourage him in his amphibian-loving, so I had Ronnie get our aquarium from the attic so we could build a proper habitat for Max’s new pets.
And that’s what we did. We lined the bottom of the tank with mulch and mud and sand and leaves and sticks and rocks and grass. We put a bowl of water in it. We caught a nice variety of bugs to serve as prey for the frogs to hunt. Then, Max put his three new friends in their new home, and Ronnie and I went back to gardening.
When I checked on the frogs several hours later, one of them was rather conspicuously missing.
I asked Max about it, and he grinned and shrugged and altogether avoided answering my inquiries about the whereabouts of the frog in question.
At dinner, I asked again. After brushing me off several times, Max finally gave in and answered me: “I put the frog somewhere where you work a lot, so when you pick something up, it will jump out at you.”
Ronnie almost spewed his drink, and Kendra clutched me in fear.
“Max!! Where did you put that frog!?” I demanded.
“Somewhere where you work a lot,” he repeated.
“I KNOW THAT! Where is it?” I asked again. Ronnie was not helping. He had tears running down his beat red face at this point.
“Mom, I’m just kidding. April Fools!” Max said.
“Okay…very funny. So, where exactly is the frog then?”
“In your car,” he stated, very matter-of-factly.
Ronnie was doubled-over and about to fall out of the booth. I should say here that he would have deserved falling flat on his face – his idea of an April Fool’s joke was to pretend to pick up one of those frogs and chase me with it to put it down the back of my shirt.  Kendra gripped me even tighter as she thought about the ride to school in the morning.
“Maxwell Trenton! Did you really put that frog in my car?”
He ignored me.
I changed strategies. “I know you wouldn’t do that to your mommy. You love me, and you know I’m afraid of frogs. You didn’t really do that, did you, Max?”
He still ignored me.
“Max. Seriously. Where’s the frog?”
“Max.”
“Stop ignoring me.”
“I’m not getting in the car in the morning,” Kendra announced.
“Maxwell, answer me,” I begged.
“Ah, I was just kidding, Mom. April Fools,” he said, with an unsettling straight face.
“Hilarious,” I said, “so where is the frog?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it just got away.”
And that is why I will be late for work Monday morning. That frog is somewhere. It’s either somewhere where I work a lot – the laundry hamper and kitchen sink immediately come to mind. Or, it’s in my car. I’ll look there as a last resort. First, I’m going to turn this house upside-down looking for that little beast.
Thanks, Max.

 

Roxy the Wonder Dog March 2, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:40 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

One would think it only fair at least to have a well-behaved dog when blessed with a child that could star in his own comic strip and at age two already give Dennis the Menace a run for his money.  But, no.  I do not have a well-behaved dog.

Well, I used to think I did.

I had sent Kendra to sell cookie dough to the neighbors for her school fundraiser and I gazed out the window and smiled as I watched her walking home down the long picturesque driveway littered with fallen leaves on the beautiful autumn day that is today.  I was cheesing it pretty hard, sitting there thinking how perfect for my kids to be growing up in the country with their trusty dog always following them to watch over and protect them.  I thought of the many memories they would have of traipsing through the woods, shooting things with a sling shot, always followed by their best friend, the dog.  La, la, la, la, and fiddle-dee-dee, what a perfect (almost poetic) moment I was enjoying sitting there looking out my window letting my imagination run wild.

When Kendra got home, I met her at the door and greeted her and Roxy cheerfully.  Did you sell any cookie dough?  “Mom!”  she answered,  “I am so mad!  That dog will never learn.  She disappointed me so much!  She will never learn to stop following me!”  And with that, she burst into tears.

Well, this is certainly not what I had been imagining only moments before.  What’s wrong honey?  What did Roxy do?

Kendra finally managed to tell me in between sobs that when she knocked on our dear neighbor’s door, he opened it, and in ran Roxy, the filthy, stinky, muddy puppy that she is.  Kendra felt it was all her fault.  She was embarrassed and very upset.  I can only imagine what that dumb dog looked like running around my neighbor’s living room with Kendra standing there watching in horror.

I sat calming her telling her Roxy’s just a puppy and will naturally do wrong things; it’s not anyone’s fault, when Ronnie came barrelling in the back door, a teensy bit on the mad side.

“We’re getting rid of that dog!!  Get her locked up right now!  I mean right now!  That stupid dog has trash all over the yard!  She ate Johnny’s cigarettes (Johnny happens to be our kind neighbor who was giving up his Saturday to help Ronnie clear and burn the brush in our woods) and his water bottle!  We are getting rid of her!!”  I nonchalantly tried to ignore the veins pulsing out in his temples and the unusual red hue of his face.

I didn’t think it a good time to tell him why Kendra was crying.

I went outside, locked Roxy up, and cleaned up what remained of the cigarettes, my Crocs, our car-washing mitt, a two-liter bottle, some shredded paper plates, a turtle shell, and other miscellenous items in varying stages of destruction.

I’m sure Roxy was just having an off day.  After all, she’s normally sweet and generally laid back.  Today was no such day.  I don’t really think we’ll have to get rid of her – Ronnie was just a little angry when he said that.

I’m just thankful it was me, and not him, who was barefooted the other morning when she stepped in a fresh pile of dog mess IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRIVEWAY!!