Forgotten Son

Do you forget we have a dog? I do. I mean I remember every morning when Alex tells me he has fed him or when I ask Alex if he has fed him. I also remember at night when he is throwing himself against the door because he wants to come inside. I also remember when Zach tells me that “shut-up Norman” is a bad word. Noted.

But most of the time, let’s face it, he is our redheaded step-child. Which I obviously feel I can say being a redhead. Between jobs and two babies we have time to feed Norm, pet him at night and “encourage” him to lay down on his mat in the back room. Might I point out his “mat” is a flat dog bed with not much padding because he has torn apart every other mat he has ever had.

Well this Christmas Lauren gave Zach a chair to match James’. James got his for his birthday and Zachary has been coveting it and sitting/squishing/standing/rolling on it ever since. Well now he has his own to torture at will.

Or does he.

That does not say Norman.

But my sweet first born said, “That’s OK Norman we can share.”

Totally Normal

If you had dogs prior to having babies did you wish you could just put said baby in a crate and go eat dinner?
No? Me either, that would be super scary.
Anywho, this is what has been going down in our house as of late:

I promise I did not put them in there, nor did I close the door. James started it due to his obsession love for Norman, but in true big brother fashion, he can’t have anything to himself. As soon as James was in there here comes trouble. Zach insists on crawling in there too. And squishing his brother.

Forcing him to leave.

So he can have it all to himself.

Luckily chubby baby does not mind and gets just as excited about looking out the window for the dog (he is not out there) and let’s his big brother play in the dirty crate. Which PS is really, really dirty. It makes me squirm to even think about them playing in there. But I am just too lazy to fight it some days. And by “lazy” I mean I don’t want to hear the shrill screams of James as he bangs on the door of the crate.

Sometimes when Norman is in there trying to get some peace and quiet. The look on Norman’s face is very reminiscent of mine at the end of a long weekend…you all know it.

2 Days is all it takes

Monday night Zach’s right eye started swelling up. I was not really that concerned. I mean the boy had just wandered in drinking his sippy cup while wearing my black work flats – he totally could have tripped. But I was suprised that I did not hear him go down or the aftermath of the fall. Alex tries to get worried (that is his job) but I just make a “pffft” noise and put Zach to bed. One caveat – I did go check on him once he was sleeping thinking that perhaps his eye was swelling becuase his brain was swelling. What? Where do I get this?
I was sure the next morning it was going to be swollen shut, but it was just the same puffiness. Anyway, off the doc we went, me in my work makeup and clothes to find out that Zach has pink eye and I will not be going to work for a few days. At least. Well this is just awesome. No, really I did think it was awesome!

In my heart of hearts I am constantly sure that I am meant to be a stay at home mom. I mean I love to cook and bake, I craft, I sing, I read books about games to do – how could I NOT be? Well let me tell you all it takes is two days with my child and I am reminded that no, I am a working mom. Well, a part-time working mom. And I love it.
I am just not cut out for the stress of entertaining and teaching my child all day. I have such high expections of myself – well of his school and I just know that his school is doing a much better job than me. We didn’t do art or music class these past two days. We went to the vet and to lunch and to the park until I wanted to die and had to hussle him home. I keep wishing and thinking that someday I am going to become a SAHM but I am just not cut out for it. I need to keep my day job.

Zach at lunch Zach & Norm before our trip to the vet where both boys pooped in the exam room.
At least I only had to clean up after one of them.
The vet said I could use the table Norm had just been on, they would clean it first.

Forgotten Son

Did anyone who knew Norman before Zachary think these pictures would ever happen? As I have mentioned, Norman was petrified of babies. So scared he would bark and back away from them. But now look at him! Though I secretly believe he is just glad to be in the house and not relegated to the backyard or (gasp!) the side yard, he really is awesome with Zach now.
Yes, he has run him over a time or two but come on, the baby needs to learn somehow to get out of a running dog’s way. And Zach still loves Norman even saying “Norm” when he sees him and points at the window to get a closer look. Zach is not a huge fan of Norm licking his face, but neither am I, actually. Gross me out.

Dog? Dog? Dog?

Zach loves Norman. Norman is not so sure about Zach.

Last week when I picked up Zach from school he was thrilled to find out that Norman was in the back of the car. The entire ride home consisted of him saying “dog, dog, dog” for the very long 10 minutes it takes to get home. Norman on the other hand was trying to alternativly leap out of the car and lick Zach for any food that might have been on his clothes.

Not my vision

This weekend my parents came to help us get ready for Christmas. We put up the tree, got the wreath on the front of the house and took a family picture of our first Christmas. Needless to say getting 2 adults, 1 baby and 1 dog to all look at the camera (eyes open) and smile was really, really hard. Especially given Zachary’s new fondness for not smiling and just staring at the camera. I think we got one that was OK – not great, not terrible, just OK.

This one is NOT that picture and is totally not my vision for our little family…but more like the reality that it is.

A Boy and His (doubtful) Dog

One of Zach’s favorite things to do now is scoot on over to the window, pull himself up and begin pounding on the window while “talking” to Norman. Or just “talking” to the outside if Norm is not available.
As I might have mentioned before, Norman was really not a big fan of Zachary (or any other baby) when he arrived at the house. My sweet sister worked with him and worked with him to get him comfy with this squirming, screeching ball of baby. And he did great. However, with each stage Zach goes into – moving his arms and legs, turning over, pulling up and now scooting across the floor – Norman regresses a little and seems to wonder what in the world this little blob is now doing.
The same goes for the window scene. Norman really wants to be inside, and Zach really wants to be anywhere Norman is. Norman is not really OK with Zach standing and moving so they tend to stare at each other until Norman blinks, which he always does.

As close as it gets for now

Anyone that knows our dog Norman knows how he is scared of babies. Yes, scared. He is 50 pounds of shaking, barking, and terrified dog around anyone smaller than 5 feet tall. No, he was not an abused dog, adopted from some carny midgets. We brought him home when he was a puppy and no one has ever hit or kicked him. So when Zach came around Alex and I were very, very concerned that Norman would have to go live with his Aunt Lauren, if he and the baby could not get along.
I bought 2 books on adding a baby to the family – And Baby Makes Four was the title of one – and a CD of baby noises to get your dog ready for the new addition. What none of the books, internet sites, or Dog Whisperer addressed was how to combat the issue of the sight of a child/baby making your dog scared. They discussed the smell, sound, and toys that come with a baby, but not the actual baby that could make your dog cower in fear.
Luckily, Aunt Lauren was there to get us through. She worked with Norman to ignore Zach the first week and progressively he has gotten less fearful of him. For a while he did not love it when Zach was on the floor, but Norman would just lay behind me, his “protector” from the scary baby.
So imagine my shock when the other day I was at the computer, Zach was sitting on the floor next to me and Norman lays down not 5 feet from him. Zach was even able to make eye contact! We have come such a long, long way.
I should mention that Zachary loooooves Norman. He wants to pet him, grab his ears and watch him wherever he goes.

Beautiful Day

April showers better bring some May flowers, as we have had enough rain here in Houston to grow acres of flowers. On one of the nice days, Zach and I sat outside with Norman. Zach loved to sit between my legs and watch Norman run and run about the yard. I can’t wait for Zach to get big enough to play with Norm. Poor Norm. He is such an active dog and we just don’t have the time to be with Zach and play with Norm as he needs to be played with. So my compromise is to take Zach outside and spend some time with Norman.