Monday, December 17, 2007

How our pets make life not-so-boring

Well, I am well into my second trimester now with the pregnancy. We don't yet know what we are having, but I just had blood work/tests done last week to make sure everything is normal. For anyone who prays that may read this, please say a prayer for us that all is normal.

Being in the second trimester, you would think the nausea should pretty much be gone. However, it has gotten worse for me. I have thrown up so many prenatal vitamins that I could have bought an extra bottle. I try to take them as I am going to bed, but many times I am back up in the bathroom 5 minutes after I lie down. Sometimes it's a smell, sometimes the thought/fear of throwing up seems to help trigger it. I know, a lot of it is in my head.

The animals aren't helping me, either. Last week, our 12-year-old Golden Retriever decided that he must protect our house (where our yard backs up to a large hay field) from a curious skunk who wandered into the yard. Well, not only did the dog get sprayed, but he managed to chase the skunk under my van just before the spraying occurred. If you've never smelled anything freshly sprayed by a skunk, you may not recognize the smell upon the initial moments. In fact, I was not sure the skunk was the culprit of his stink at first.

So, I angrily (I have to be angry because he won't go into the bathroom unless I threaten him) get him to the tub and shut the door. Why not bathe outside, you may ask? Well, it was after 8 p.m., and I didn't want to hold him by his collar the entire time. So, as I shut the bathroom door, I am overwhelmed by the smell and begin my now-seemingly-nightly routine of throwing up. We were out of the tea tree oil shampoo I usually use on him (great for ticks and fleas in the summer months, and good for sensitive skin). So, I proceed to use whatever I can get my hands on. First, it was the kids' Vanilla Scream shampoo. It didn't touch it. Then, I got my Suave White Lily and Aloe shampoo. Again, nothing, but the skunk smell was more prevalent now. At least it was not how he smelled before (so strong you couldn't even tell that it was a skunk). After the Suave shampoo, I tried some orange and ginger body wash I had on hand.

Now, many of you are saying, "tomato juice," but, I didn't have any on hand, and where I live, you don't make a trip to town for a can of tomato juice. So, I managed to give him the bath, and then set him out on the back porch. This all occurred last week on Wednesday night. It has been 4 days now, and the smell is still there. Thank goodness it has diminished quite a bit. I haven't bought tomato juice. All the guides I have read online give a peroxide + baking soda + liquid dish soap recipe that is supposed to be more effective. I did this yesterday, and it has helped quite a bit. I had gone to the pet store on Thursday for some skunk odor removal solution. I discovered later it is mostly citronella oil. It helped a little, but the peroxide recipe has been the most effective. I have also periodically treated him with the Gold Bond powder (I'd rather smell the menthol than skunk). It is much more tolerable. Luckily, the smell in my car only lasted about 3 days.
The cat has managed to throw up on the linoleum a couple of times, which has helped my daily appointment with the porcelain throne (at least it was on the linoleum). I can smell his litter box as soon as he uses it, so my oldest has been on litter box detail for a while. I have to admit, I have been a dog person all my life, but even with the litter box, the cat is so much cleaner than any dog I've ever had. He sleeps with me every night, which will probably have to change when the baby arrives. Here's his favorite place to sleep (besides across my big belly). . . under the Christmas tree.
We also have a dwarf hamster that luckily is not responsible for any of my nausea. He only uses one place to go to the bathroom, and his cage does not get too messy. He's also very tame. The girls enjoy holding him, and the cat likes to stare into his cage. He's close to three-years-old now, so I don't know how much longer to expect him to live. It will be a chore keeping the baby away from his cage if he's with us for another year. I don't see another hamster in our near future after this one because of the baby.

So, there you have it, our official food chain. It is as complete as it will ever be. After the skunk fiasco, I have sworn off having another large dog in the house. Especially one that sheds like our Golden. Our next dog will be a non-shedding breed. And that may not be for another 4-5 years. I'll just be glad when I can normally clean up after them all again. I despise the nausea, but at least my 8-year-old does not complain when I ask her for help. She's seen me gag enough lately (tonight I threw up because I had a hair in my mouth... my own hair).

The next post will be much more pleasant. We find out the baby's gender on the 27th (hopefully, unless legs are crossed or something like that).
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