Feeling Snarky about Arnie

It’s been over a month since my last post! Clearly getting a dog has radically changed our life or at least made me too tired to talk about it.  The dog has been quite an interesting addition. In fact, just for fun, here are the things the dog has made me think in the last month + we’ve owned him:

1. Why do humans have carpets in their homes? Or white couches?

2. How about if we just rip up all the carpet and walk around on concrete floors? I’m sure Pinterest has some great staining treatments we can do to make it look really great…

3. Mud. Everywhere.

4. I clearly have cleanliness issues.

5. Walking the dog plus pushing a stroller plus dealing with two little boys when I am the only adult present and we are out of doors…not a good plan.

That should give you an idea of our learning curve. Right now the area of carpet in the den near the back door is completely covered with beach towels. Not because of potty in the house though, it’s mostly because of the mud on his giant paws.  YAY spring!

  • We are down one door in the basement (he tore the back off the door-yes really).
  • We’ve had to secure Arnie’s crate to the stud’s in the wall because he moves the entire thing all around the room by freaking out. We have his metal crate secured and reinforced with tarp/boat tie downs (the rubber ones with metal hooks), 550 cord (military grade rope) and metal brackets/screws. This dog is Harry Houdini and freakishly strong. He has decimated 2 crates.
  • He tips his food bowl over when he eats. We have no idea why. He broke 3 bowls before we bought him an unbreakable variety.
  • He is a submissive pee-er. If you imply unhappiness with him, he will pee. And not just a little.
  • People are deathly afraid of his bark. Understandable too because it is loud!

Those are the downsides to having a dog so far. But here are the upsides to having a dog!

1. The kids are so happy to see him and vice versa every single day. If it is moderately nice out (as spring in St. Louis goes at least) the kids all go out side to play with him while I make dinner. WINNING!

2. I am seriously completely unafraid of anyone snatching one of my kids from my back yard while he is back there. He would end anyone who tried anything. He always lets me know if someone is out in the front of the house too.

3. When my husband is gone I feel total safety in my home.

4. He is so great with the kids. We’ve had 2 incidents we do not love with the kids but right now we are chalking them up to kids being kids and dogs being dogs. We are still cautious nonetheless.

5. It’s fun to think about going places and bringing him with us. We have a great time walking him and having him share in our little family excursions. Plus, he is such an athletic dog that we don’t worry about taxing him.

Arnie still needs some obedience training and we are pretty confident that the things that annoy us most can be taken care of with some hard work and consistency. All in all I am happy to have a dog. He is still very cute and a great companion!



Snowmageddon and Pukefest 2013

Catchy title eh?

So last week it was predicted St. Louis would get snow. The accumulations varied as the week progressed but most of St. Louis was either giddy about it or just plain dreading it. We in the Nevil family are always on the giddy side of the fence when it comes to snow. It’s pretty. It’s fun. And hey it’s winter. I’d way rather have snow to look at then just dead trees and grass. IT IS SO SPARKLY!

Plus, how can you resist the lovely sounds of snow and ice covered trees? The creaking of the ice covered branches, the stillness of the night, the bright way the sunlight reflects off all the glittering white…ahh…it’s breathtaking. Did I mention it’s fun to play in?

Thursday morning began with my hubby heading off to work as normal. The kiddos and I were having a lovely and relaxing day at home as school had already been canceled the night before for the impending storm. The boys and I had gone on a spontaneous donut run to our new favorite shoppe (Old Town Doughnuts and they are open 24 hours!) very early that morning. The snow wasn’t expected to start until 10 am, so when we left the house, it was a totally normal winter morning in the Lou.

The snow came as expected at 9:55 am on Thursday. WOW was it nuts! We haven’t had a real snowfall in St. Louis since the winter of 2010/2011. This was awesome to behold!

My hubby left work at noon (or a little before) and it took him 2 hours to get home! He had crazy stories of death-defying traffic too. People stopping in the middle of the highway, yes just stopping, getting out of their cars and cleaning off their windshields and windshield wipers. In the middle of the highway! Cars were abandoned all over the highway and people weren’t even attempting to get them out of the middle of the road. They just left ’em there! “It was pandelerium!” he he he he….Anyway, he made it home safe and sound that afternoon. (We made it out with more than 6″ inches of snowfall here in St. Charles!)








At home, we were watching the snow fall, I worked on my photo album for 2012 (I’m up to July people!) and the boys were watching movies. But shortly after 3:00 pm, my tummy started hurting. I didn’t think much of it because I had been sort of nauseous off and on for the past day or two. I didn’t even think about Wednesday and how sick Cecelia had been. (Poo-splosions all day long and I couldn’t get her to eat). You would think I would connect the dots a bit quicker…but alas, sparkly snow blurred my vision. Hindsight is always 20/20.

By 6:00 pm, I knew I was sick. And it was coming fast. By 6:00 pm I also knew I would be throwing up soon and frequently. And by 6:00 pm, I knew that whatever Cecelia had the day before is definitely what I was coming down with. I only hoped it was food poisoning….


I started around 6:30 pm. Thankfully, Jeremy told me he had the kids and dinner under control. Good thing because every smell made another wave of nausea flow over me and sent me reeling to the bathroom. I felt better for a few minutes after I threw up the first 2 times. But then, I heard Chase crying. He was saying his tummy hurt and he didn’t want to eat. Jeremy was telling him he had to eat his dinner. And it clicked.

I ran out to talk to him. To beg him not to make Chase eat. But you see, Chase ALWAYS says he doesn’t want to eat. This was nothing new. But my Mommy Spidey senses were telling me he really wasn’t feeling well. Jeremy wasn’t buying it. I was too sick to fight it. So I went and threw up some more.

Somehow, the kids got to bed. I vaguely remember attempting to nurse Cecelia before she went to sleep, but it didn’t work out so well. She slept fitfully for the first few hours. By 9:30 pm, I had a break in the puking. I gave Cecelia a proper feeding and curled up in bed. And then I heard Chase cough. And he threw up. Twice. Once in his room, once in the bathroom on the floor. (And I guess once in the toilet. I’ll give him a solid 3 times.)

My poor baby! I knew it was a bug at this point and that the others would be destined to follow suite. Sweet Chase had never thrown up before and kept crying and looking at Jeremy confused saying “I coughed”. Jeremy was so sweet and tender. He is the best Daddy! He explained it all to Chase, cleaned him up and sent him to cuddle with me while he cleaned up the gargantuan mess in his room and the bathroom. Chase and I cuddled and compared puke stories.

Jeremy got everything situated and somehow managed to maintain his own composure. (I seriously don’t know how. It was gross people. So, so gross.) He told me he was going to go downstairs and finish watching his movie he had rented. I told him I didn’t think he should go that far but he thought it would be fine.

Then, about 11:00, I heard Cooper cough. Jeremy must have heard it too. And probably me jumping out of bed and screaming “JERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”. He was upstairs in 2 seconds but Cooper (an experienced puker) couldn’t make it. He was down from the top bunk and 1/2 way through his bedroom when he lost his dinner. But the 2nd time he made it to the toilet! Poor Jeremy….

I couldn’t attend to anyone at this point. I had chills and was still crazy nauseous and cuddling Chase. But the conversation between Cooper and Jeremy was so priceless! When he was done puking he said to Jeremy (who was congratulating him on making it to the toilet and knowing what to do), “Wow, my tummy actually feels much better now!” in the happiest tone! Cooper joined Chase and I while Jeremy cleaned again.

By midnight, as much cleaning as could be done was done. (We were out of carpet cleaner by the way. Yes. Completely out. The smell was atrocious.) The boys had clean sheets and clothes and all were sent to their own beds. A weary Daddy laid down next to me for sleep. At 1:00 am, he joined the rest of us. Thankfully, we gave the boys each their very own puke bowl to sleep with. Jeremy was up with Cooper multiple times all the rest of the night. Not to mention his own sickness that had set in. By 5:00 am when Cecelia was awake, we were thoroughly miserable. I couldn’t even pick Cecelia up out of her crib because  I was so weak and trembling. Jeremy had to help me, but he wasn’t much better!

I have no idea how we made it through the morning. Chase woke up totally fine as did Cecelia. But Jeremy, Cooper and I were in and out. The day is a blur to me. I remember seeing all the beautiful snow. There was so.much.snow. And I remember listening to my neighbors shovel their driveways and thinking “sooooooo not happening in this house!”. By noon on Friday, I had managed to keep some fluids down for several hours. So I hydrated like crazy. By 1:00 pm, I was able to manage some toast with only nausea. Then I realized it. I had one diaper left for Cecelia. One.

Jeremy was doing the best out of all of us (who could drive at least). So off he and Chase went to Target late that afternoon while the rest of us slept.  Praise God for Gatorade people.

He returned with carpet cleaner, juice, gatorade, diapers, lysol wipes and 12 pack of paper towels.  Everyone ate toast and went to bed at 7:00 pm. And everyone slept! Around midnight, I woke up and realized suddenly that I felt better. WAY better. Oh man was I relieved. I went back to sleep and woke up Saturday morning feeling like a real human being! We all got up and got moving and celebrated with more toast and gatorade. hurray!

Then, the great clean up began. We shampoo’d carpets, we scrubbed floors, door knobs, handles, toilets and did loads and loads of laundry. By Saturday afternoon we had graduated to grilled cheese and gatorade! The boys dug out our driveway and we decided to take a break from cleaning and take the boys sledding. We went to Blanchette Park in St. Charles by the river and OHHHHHH what fun they had on those hills of death!



Cecelia and I sat in the car where it was warm and cozy while the boys played. It was actually a lot of fun watching everyone careen into one another! We headed home after an hour and a half of snow and sledding bliss. Everyone was tired and ready for more food…this time we were up to quesadillas! Tortillas and cheese! And we graduated to apple juice! (Water was in there too throughout the weekend I must add. We were intentionally trying to replace some salts and sugars.)

Oh and I forgot to mention that on Friday, Cecelia stood up/pulled herself to standing for the first time! It’s a grainy shot but here is a picture of her right after she did it. She was very proud of herself…but completely lost as to how to get back down again.


By Sunday, we were all 100%. I even made dinner! Well, I reheated the chili I had made in the crockpot on Thursday when this drama all began. And we tried our hand at the banana ice cream people are raving about on Pinterest. It totally worked and was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!

Just bananas? YES!
Just bananas? YES!

So while we didn’t get to enjoy the snow like we wanted, we missed out on the Home and Garden show and I missed celebrating a friend retiring, we made it out alive. And a few pounds lighter.

Saturday night after family prayers Cooper snuggled up in his fresh, clean, warm sheets and smiled. He sang out “Goodnight fun family!!!” as we turned off the lights. I love that he views our week and weekend as “fun”. But we did have some hilarious good times. Somehow, being miserable together is bonding. Weird huh? I guess the family that pukes together stays together?