Nicknames: A Dog’s Perspective

Hi, my name is Fred. My mom and dad think I’m just a pup but I wrote this blog all by myself.

“Checking my emailz after a hard day of blogging.”

My mom likes to write, and she told me that me and my sister are her favorite subjects, whatever that means. I like to write about Mom and Dad because they can be pretty silly.

They don’t always call me Fred, you know. Mom told me she really likes nicknames, which makes sense because her first name is Jen, and that’s basically a nickname. She said she had a lot of them when she was younger, and after she says that she cries a little and calls herself old.

My favorite nickname is “Bubba.” Dad likes to say it in a deep voice and drag it all out, and it makes my tail wag even when I’m mad at him. Sometimes he yells at me for licking my paws, but it’s the itchies! It’s not my fault.

“Maybe if I’m half-in and half-out, the itchies can’t find me.”

Mom likes to call me “Frederick McHandsome Face,” which is just darn embarrassing. Sometimes Dad just shortens it to “The Face.” They like to talk about that time they picked me up from the vet, right before I came to my fur-ever home. I remember being reallllllly sleepy, but I still heard them give the nurse lady my name, Fred. She got all excited because I had been charming her for hours before they put that yucky needle in me and I went to sleeps. She yelled out, “Ohhh, the one with the face!” Mom and Dad cracked up and they tell me all the time that I was the only one at the vet that had a face!

“This mug is worth capturing.”

Mom even has friends who give me nicknames. I’m sorta famous. She has a friend who lives far, far away, and she calls me “Golden Boy.” Mom and I have never even met her, but she loves to stare at pictures of me. It’s tough work, being so adorable. I guess someone has to do it.

Then there are times they don’t use a nickname at all, but my full name, Frederick. Unless it’s followed by “McHandsome Face,” it usually means I’m in trouble. I get in trouble a lot. But sometimes Mom sings me little songs, especially when I don’t feel like pooping. One of them goes, “Frederick, Frederick, where is your poop?” I like that song, because she only sings it when she’s in a good mood.

Chill, Mom. I will poop when I’m ready.”

My sister’s name is Angel, but she doesn’t have as many nicknames as I do. Dad likes to call her “Ang” and he says it in that deep voice. Her tail is lined with steel and when he does that, she gets really excited and hits me in the face with it.

“This is my sister. She’s pretty good at being a pillow.”

Dad also calls her “Girly Girl,” which is weird because we all know she’s a girl. Sometimes I try to hump her so she doesn’t forget who’s boss. Mom and Dad don’t think it’s too funny when I do that, but Angel hasn’t bitten me yet, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

Mom likes to call her “Pretty Girl,” and sometimes she will tell her over and over how pretty she is!

“She’s okay, for a girl.”

It’s the same thing as when Mom tells me I’m so handsome she can’t even stand it. I don’t know how she gets through the day sometimes, surrounded by such a good-looking crew.

I wonder how many dogs like me have human parents that call them funny names. I doubt they are silly as my mom and dad. Sometimes I give them this face so they don’t get big egos and think they are hilarious.

Mom says we have a little brother or sister coming, but it won’t look like me and Angel. I wonder what nicknames they will have for the baby? I’m just hoping it doesn’t smell too bad.

Thanks for reading my blog! My sister is pretty shy, but I keep telling her she needs to give blogging a try. Stay tuned, and maybe she’ll make her own appearance someday!


Some Things I Can Never Say

Dear ____,

You are unaware of this, but I am pregnant. And hormones are even nastier than you. Since I can never say this to your face, maybe one day you will stumble upon this blog and know it was for you.

If you have an appointment and you call five minutes after that appointment started to say you are late, you cannot get angry at the doctor if he doesn’t wait for you. Especially if this doctor is a surgeon and frequently gets called to the hospital.

Telling me you are a contractor and get paid “by the hour” holds no water with a doctor. Does he get paid to sit around and wait for you? Lady, he doesn’t get paid for a vast majority of the crap he does. People think doctors make so much money, but as a scummy lawyer, I am 100% sure you make more.

Speaking to me in that tone of voice only reiterates the fact that we shouldn’t have given you such a good price for that procedure. Kiss that discount good-bye!

By the way, when did you attend medical school? Saying it is “physically impossible” for him to do his job in the 15 minutes allotted for your appointment is insulting, to him and to me. It’s plenty of time if you are actually here for the appointment! Maybe you should come work here and run my schedule, since you are clearly an expert at time management.

Threatening to call the Better Business Bureau is a joke. What are you going to tell them? “I was late for my appointment and the doctor didn’t wait for me?” Are you kidding me? Let me know how that goes. I’m sure this is the first time in the history of the world that a doctor was late or missed an appointment.

Speaking of that, it’s not the first time it has happened in this office. I’ve had five patients in my waiting room and received a call that the doctor wasn’t coming. The best part? They were a lot nicer than you. So kiss my tush.

Perhaps you should find a doctor who isn’t a surgeon and have him perform that surgical procedure. Try to not die.

I pray the letter I’m sending you terminating the doctor/patient relationship arrives in a timely manner.



Spring is For the Birds

I don’t mean it in the normal sense of the phrase, but literally. Birds are lucky enough to not be afflicted with the dreaded allergies of this time of year.

Some dogs aren’t so fortunate. Every spring and summer, Sir Frederick is cursed with the dreaded itchies. He licks his paws until they are red and sore, also known as hot spots. This just makes him want to lick more.

Fred’s opinion of the itchies

We first brought him home in April 2010. Spring had sprung, and while we were dealing with his severe food allergies, we were also battling the itchies. We tried the Booties approach.

“Haha, I already lost one, suckers!”

He hated them. But worse, the darn things wouldn’t stay on. We found random purple feet throughout the house, and could hear him silently judging us.

I remember when I started feeling the effects of allergies. I never gave them much thought, other than the empathetic murmurs to my friends who couldn’t stop sneezing. I worked with a girl who sometimes had to call out because of her attacks.

Years later, empathy has turned to sympathy, because I feel the pain. Isn’t it awesome how our bodies can just change and start developing issues we never had before? I went to an ENT, who informed me I’m allergic to house dust and grass. So I don’t want to go outside . . . but I can’t really go inside for relief either? A friend suggested I invest in a quality bubble.

I don’t think they make bubbles for dogs. We started Fred on Benadryl, but like most medications, he built up a tolerance. The vet suggested Zyrtec, but for now we are trying a prescription. So far, it seems to be working well. However, it’s frustrating to constantly correct a dog for something natural like licking.

“Nope, not coming down. You guys are mean.”

Still, we must be diligent. Even if he is doing something simple like bathing, he has a tendency to perform such acts on the bed or couch. This produces a lovely wet blob, and I can already tell you can’t wait to come over and sit on my couch.

“I iz embarrassed by my itchies.”

Poor Fred. With severe food allergies on top of the itchies, he’s a lot like his mama; allergic to the inside and the outside. But I would still take his life in a heartbeat, because that dog is more loved than some children I have encountered.

*Note ~ Please, always consult with your vet before starting your pets on medications. Animals can have allergic reactions or stomach/liver issues, just like humans.*

Weird, Wonderful and Mostly Weird


Fact: Women’s bodies were made to have children. Lesser-known-fact: Some bodies are just more “made” than others.

You know who I’m talking about. That pregnant friend you had, the one who glowed, smiled, laughed and giggled for the entire 9 months. Maybe she had morning sickness, but in the midst of wiping the vomit from her chin, declared things like “Even though I feel like crap, this is a miracle and I’m enjoying every minute. I wouldn’t change a thing and life is frickin’ amazing.”

Pregnancy is all about weird stuff happening to your body while amazing things are happening to your body. It’s awesome, strange, confusing and pretty cool. But mostly, in the beginning, it’s just weird.

I’m currently in the four-month-funk. Otherwise known as “constantly wondering if people know  you are pregnant or just think you had too much fun at Chipotle over the weekend.” I don’t really feel pregnant, except for all the yucky stuff. I feel sick every day, walking up stairs is equivalent to a 5K, and I just want to know if it’s a boy or a girl, darn it!

I know when I start showing for real, can finally paint the baby’s room and settle into the “everyone is going to touch my stomach” phase, I’ll probably feel a lot better. For now, at least I can have some fun with all the weird.

Every woman is different, so I’m sure there are some who have never experienced what I have, and there are so many factors I will never experience. But somewhere, I know there is another woman who can say “YES!” about one of my weirdnesses (I am fully aware that is not a word, but I like it) .


What the crap happened to them? This isn’t an entirely new issue, since my eyebrows started rebelling around the age of 28 (I’m currently 31). However, hormones have turned them into a full-blown-experimental teenager. Some of them want to go up while others want to go down, and they never seem to want these things at the same time. I use my Revlon-eyebrow-wax-stick thing every day, but still find myself running to a mirror to check them out. Who runs to a mirror to check their eyebrows?


I read that you can feel the baby move extremely early, but most women aren’t aware unless it’s at least their second pregnancy. The closest thing I have felt to movement has been pain. The problem is, when the body feels pain, the brain immediately thinks “Something is wrong!” Since I have fibromyalgia, I have tried to distinguish between “normal” pain and “call the doctor” pain. When you’re pregnant, every pain is the latter. In order to not get blacklisted by your ob/gyn, learn to become BFF’s with Google and


I’d like to file a formal complaint on this one. I have said before that God gave me good hair because He knew how hopeless I would be at styling. Maybe my unborn child is testing my skills, because what was once easy peasy hair is now “Where’s my husband’s razor, because it’s all coming off!”
*Note* DO NOT do anything drastic to your hair while pregnant. You. Will. Regret. It. Thankfully I heard this advice before I hit the second trimester, and my hair remains ugly yet unscathed.


I’m one of those strange women who longs for the complexion of her teenage years. Right around the time my eyebrows went on strike, my face started to become difficult. Again, the hormones have jumped the weirdness into high gear. But, it’s nothing that an expensive online “professional” skin care purchase didn’t fix. Who needs a college savings fund? *sobs*


Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the good weird stuff! My nails are amazing. They are strong, grow like weeds and cling to nail polish like never before. Downside? I feel the “need” to take advantage and keep them looking their best at all times, but I royally suck when it comes to at-home-manicures. My nail salon couldn’t be happier.

All these fun weirdnesses have left me feeling rather abnormal. I know that the happy pregnant girls probably experienced something similar, but somehow managed to continue strumming their harps while they braided wigs for children with cancer. They never would have complained non-stop via blog.

The truth is, I’ve never been normal. But normal is boring, right? (That’s what weird people tell themselves to avoid crying into a pint of Phish Food.)

Mmmmmmmm. . .

Overall, I may not be the best pregnant chick, or have the best attitude about pregnancy, but I know I’ll be a good mom. Anyone who stresses, agonizes and obsesses over all this crap has to be good at the final product, right?

Don’t answer that.

I Just Can’t Resist!

This has been an eventful week. President Obama gave his two thumbs up in support for gay marriage while the entire state of North Carolina gave all gays the middle finger. (Interesting tidbit, courtesy of my smarty-pants husband: You can marry your cousin in North Carolina. But not if you and your cousin are gay!)

While this was happening, there were other fascinating events going on across the country, like breast-feeding. Since I am somewhat newly pregnant, anything regarding pregnancy, child-birth or kids in general has piqued my interest, at least more than it did before. You would have to be living under a rock to miss this story in Time Magazine.

I have only been aware of attachment parenting for the past year or so, but I didn’t know it had an official name until this week. I also found that if you want to create a black hole of chaos amongst women, start a conversation about breast-feeding, co-sleeping, vaccinations or “baby-wearing.”

And since it’s hard for me to stay quiet about controversial subjects, here’s my two cents (or maybe a few dollars worth . . .) on the topics at hand.

Breast Feeding

I am hoping breast-feeding works for me. I know it is best for the baby, it’s a great way to lose weight and it’s much cheaper than formula. However, if it doesn’t work, my child isn’t getting proper nutrition and I’m crying myself to sleep every night, I’m going to stop trying. I don’t think you are a bad mom if you don’t breast feed. I don’t think you’re a bad mom if you breast feed until your child is 6. I do, however, disagree with breast-feeding past the age of 1 or 2. Do you need my approval to let your child unbutton your blouse and suckle away? No, you don’t. Just like I don’t need your approval to have my opinions. I can disagree with something without thinking you are a horrible person (it’s a rare gift).

I feel that once my child is a certain age, it’s time to start weaning. Here’s why:

  • There are plenty of healthy ways to provide a child with nutrition.
  • I wonder what extended breast-feeding does to the psychology or personality of a child over the age of 2 (I said wonder, not assume, but I would prefer to not find out).
  • It is a serious commitment that will be difficult to keep up with while working full-time.
  • I only want to abuse my body for so long. (Yup, I said it! Go ahead and judge!)

That is how I feel, but I do not judge women who feel the opposite way. All I ask is for you to not judge me for the way I feel, and hopefully we can all get along.


I have zero problem with this concept, except when it gets to the point where the child is never put down. My concern is a developmental issue with walking or crawling at a later age. But if you want to hold your baby all the live long day, go for it!

I don’t feel like I can say, with authority, how I will handle the “cry it out” method. I would love to say “I’m strong! Cry, baby, cry!” But I’m a huge softie.

However, I crate my dogs, and there were many days I cried the entire way to work because they were crying in their crates. I hope this helps me be strong with a human child. Only time will tell!


I may appear slightly judgmental with this one, but I promise, that is not my intention. I think my problem is I just don’t understand it. This is coming from someone who sleeps with two 50-pound dogs. So believe me, I know there are millions of you who don’t understand what I do, and probably think I’m slightly crazy. That’s okay!

My reasoning behind the “Dogs-in-the-bed-is-okay, kids-in-the-bed-is-not” theory:

  • My dogs are not going to grow up and one day leave the nest. They will not be going off to college, or buying their own homes, or bringing little granddoggies home for me to meet.
  • My child, however, will eventually leave the nest and become an independent person (dear Lord, let’s hope so). I would like to start the independence early, like the first day (just with sleeping, I don’t plan on abandoning the poor kid).
  • I am too scared about rolling over onto the baby (they say you won’t, but I am Kaptain Klutz).
  • I need sleep, darn it.

I have several friends and acquaintances who swear by co-sleeping, and if it works for you, more power to you! You aren’t sleeping in my house, affecting my ZZZ’s, so I really don’t care. I will say, however, that not one of them had a husband 100% on board with the idea. In my life, in my marriage, I would consider that a problem that needed to be solved.

They say “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” and that statement is true. But if my husband isn’t happy, my house isn’t happy either. I spoke with my boss, and asked him, as a doctor, what he thought about all these things. The only solid medical evidence is this: Breast feeding is good for mother and child. Everything else is about what works for you and your family.

He had good advice, and it reminded me of the card he included with his wedding gift: “Keep doing all the things you did when you were falling in love, and you will stay in love.”

I loved that line so much! I thought it was wise, completely reasonable and perfectly attainable. Basically, the same thing applies when you have a child.

Wives, keep your husbands happy. Continue to take care of him, even after a child comes. He needs you.

Husbands, keep your wives happy. Give her a break, especially in the beginning, when she is sleep-deprived, self-conscious and wonderfully hormonal. She needs you.

And kids? If you have two parents (gay, straight, alien or purple-people-eaters included) who love each other that much, that they continue to always put each other first, you will have a happy, loving life, with a security that money can never buy.

Be confident in your decisions! There will always be someone who disagrees or judges. Aren’t we glad Breyers puts three whole flavors in the same container?

My Inner Girly Girl

I started out as a girly girl. When I was a baby, my mom tried to put jello on my high chair tray. I looked down my nose at it, scrunched up my face and she swears I said “Ew.” I had a collection of Barbie dolls, loved the color pink and embraced all things feminine.

When I got a little older, I rotated between making my little brother play the Ken doll and playing with his G.I. Joe action figures. Who cares what you’re playing as long as you have a buddy?

Then I found sports. I played softball in fourth grade, and then softball again in 10th, along with my love, basketball. I was still somewhat girly but I had an active side too. I still remember the day in 10th grade when a friend exclaimed “WHY do you not wear mascara? Have you SEEN your eyelashes?”

She applied the mascara, and it quickly became my favorite piece of makeup. Thankfully it was easy to do on my own. I was blessed with good hair because God knew I couldn’t handle something I had to actually style.

Today, I’m a nice balance of a girly girl and a tomboy. I love sports, love to sweat and love being active. I also love to wear dresses and heels, apply a little extra makeup for that special occasion, and I own quite a few pink shirts.

However, this does not mean I am automatically good at being girly. In fact, I kind of suck. My eyeshadow never looks quite right. My eyebrows will remain a mystery. I’ve been using the wrong concealer brush for the past several months. And to this day, if I end up with a bad hair cut, well you’re just going to have to look at Franken-Jen until it grows out.

But there are people who know this! They invent stuff to make our lives easier! There are girly tomboys everywhere! Here’s my collection of faves:

Almay intense I-color shadow stick

These. Are. Awesome. Lately, just getting out the door is a challenge, and all I want to do is sleep. But on days we see patients at work, I have to look somewhat presentable. These are easy to use, show quick results and stay on all day! The trick is, think of it as a crayon. It was taking way too long for me to get a good result, but now it’s a breeze.

Essie nail polish

I used to love painting my nails blue!

One of my favorite things about being a girl is: Manis and Pedis! If I had my way, I would get weekly manicures. My husband gave me an awesome spa package last year for my 30th birthday, and I was able to have a manicure at one of those fancy salons (the kind of manicure I would never actually pay for, because it was just too awesome). I was disappointed to not see any OPI colors, but when my manicure lasted a week and survived a fishing trip, I was sold. I don’t use anything else!

Garnier leave-in creme

I have naturally wavy hair, so I only use this for those curly days. I tried it for when I wear my hair straighter, and it worked well too. But I am lost without it on those rainy days when I can’t even imagine using the hair dryer.

Maybelline Full and Soft mascara

I may have been a late bloomer in the eyelash department, but I’ve done my research since then. I have long lashes but they are quite thin with blonde tips. I tried department store brands and always came back to Maybelline. This one in particular is fantastic and never gets clumpy. I’ve been using it for 5+ years.

Organix coconut oil for hair

I am love with the smell of coconut, and being pregnant has intensified this immensely. This product is awesome, but only use a little bit. Yes, there have been days I’ve wanted to dunk my head in the sink and wash it all over again. But when used correctly, this is great for fly-away hair or dry ends.

What about you? Any tips or tricks for those of us who struggle with looking flawlessly gorgeous on a daily basis?

An excellent post for Melanoma Monday.

I shall be a toad

Last year, I wrote mostly about the dangers of tanning. That information is certainly still relevant and I cannot stress enough how important it is to protect your skin and stay away from tanning booths, but I am not going to rehash everything I wrote last year. (Though, there will be some overlap, of course!) If you want to check out that information, here it is!

This year, for Melanoma Monday, I’d like to focus on how important it is to check your skin for moles and what to look for.

If you know me or have been reading my blog, you know I lost my mom to a reoccurrence of Melanoma. She was only 33 years old. When she was diagnosed 17 years ago, the cancer was found in her breast, her bones, and her brain. When she first diagnosed, she was only 17 years old and the…

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