Thursday, October 30, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned from motivational posters

We all have something that someone else wants

Make no little plans
Sharting isn't cool

Always flush

Spiders are really scary

Don't ever make eye contact

Blogging is a great way to show our individuality

Not every answer is found in Google

That milk campaign is all bunk

Mullets are sexy

Everyone is beautiful in their own way

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't judge

Little Suzie wants to grow up to be just like her mommy - who works at Home Depot. Here is a picture of her selling a shovel. What were you thinking?

There is a life lesson here people - don't go off of first impressions.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone doggie gone. . .

. . . our dog is gone. 
I know, super bad reference.  I'm just trying to make light of a very sad situation, and I don't think its working well.  We had to get rid of our dog this past weekend, and it was sad.  It has only been about a month since we adopted her from foster care, and we really were naive.  We thought that we could just adopt a dog, not really knowing much about training a dog, and that she'd just magically fit into our family.  But, this dog came from foster care because she'd been abused.  Clearly, in retrospect, it was not a wise decision for us.  She actually did pretty well.  She and the kids got along great, and she would play ball with Ben for hours (he actually taught her to catch a ball mid-air).  She was well-behaved and knew several commands.  But for all of her good traits, there were several things that I just couldn't deal with.  Individually, none of them were big issues.  But the combination of it all was too much for me.  For example, she:
---made me sneeze, cough, and unable to breathe (I was incredibly allergic)
---dug holes all over the yard
---barked at the neighbors and their dogs
---chewed everything and was fairly destructive - she even shredded the cover to the bbq grill and tore the vinyl trim from the brand-new fence
---dug up and ate several of my plants (seriously, there weren't even any roots left)
---she had aggressive tendencies towards strangers
---needed more attention than we had to give her
Add all of this into the fact that I'm not a dog person, and we reluctantly decided that we needed to find her a new home.  We first of all called the friends we had fostered her, but they were unable to take her back.  I then tried to give her away to several of my friends from work who live on small hobby farms, but none of them were interested in another dog.  So, I put out a classified ad - to which I got a great response.  In the first 24 hours, I had 3 people come and look at her.  The first man who came spent over 2 hours with her.  She was generally well-behaved towards him, but a couple of times she nipped at him.  It wasn't overly aggressive, but it was enough to worry him.  He was a police officer, and asked if I minded if his animal control friends took a look at her.  I didn't mind, so they came over.  Doxie took one look at the uniformed animal control officers, and went crazy - barking, snarling, growing, and trying to bite the officers.  Obviously, he decided against taking her.  The other 2 people who came to see here created an equally scary reaction from Doxie, and no one wanted. her.
Including me. 
I developed serious anxiety worrying about her violent reactions.  98% of the time, she's a great dog, but the other unpredictable 2% was worrying me sick.  I just couldn't get the thoughts out of my head - the "what if" scenarios where she hurt someone.  It got to the point that a person would bend down to pet her, and I'd have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach worrying that she would attack.  In the end, I decided that taking her to the Humane Society (a "no kill" facility) was our best option.
On Saturday, we drove her out to the Humane Society.  I sadly took her inside, filled out the appropriate paperwork, and said our goodbyes.  I was feeling very guilty, even to the point of second-guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn't have tried harder.  Then, she attacked the man who worked there.  He deals with animals every day, and she frightened him.  I was told that she is unadoptable because of her violence.  They will try to foster her for 3 days, but if no family is found, then she will be put down.
I'm so very sad for her - she was generally a sweet dog and did love our family.  I know she's scared in that facility.  And I know that probably no one will take her because of her aggression, and will likely be put down.  It is sad to me that someone abused her to the point where she cannot trust people.  The whole situation is just sad, sad, sad. 
I actually held it together pretty well, until Ben told me that she would be his dog in heaven.  And then I cried.  Then, G told me that she couldn't wait to go to heaven so she could play with Doxie and Grandpa Duke.  Then I cried harder.  Bryn asked me where I was bleeding (I'm sure in her mind, only someone bleeding could cry so much).  What can I say - its been a difficult week.
Thanks too for all the great responses on my "Why Blog" entry.  I'm definitely not going anywhere - I love my blog too much.  But I may start being more candid. Don't judge me too much :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why blog?

I've been struggling lately.  There hasn't been much going on that seems like good blogging fodder.  Lately I feel compelled to only blog when I've got something interesting and/or funny to say.  And I guess my life has been boring, because nothing has struck me as important enough to blog about.  I'm feeling a bit unhappy with life.  When that happens, I tend to stay away for awhile, and not even read my friends' blogs.
It actually got me thinking about why I started blogging - back in 2004.  Initially, it was just for me.  No one actually knew I had a blog - it was simply my on-line journal.  I have posted to message boards and other forums for years - I still do.  But blogging was nice because I could keep and remember the things I posted about.  My blog was also completely uncensored - I wrote about frustrations and struggles - things that I normally keep to myself (I'm a pretty closed person).  Slowly I started making my blog known to people, but it was still primarily just for me.  No one in my "real life" knew about my blog - only my online friends (people I met on message boards, etc) were privy to that information.  I was still pretty honest about things back then.  Eventually, people in my "real life" found me, and honestly, it scared me a bit.  I actually went back and deleted several older posts that were a bit too honest/raw/uncensored.  I started feeling like I had to keep myself in "check".  This is when my current blog started to evolve - the blog that is mainly about trivial things.  Sometimes I'm actually afraid to post about the real me, because I never know who is reading.  Its not that I have any deep and dark secrets, but I am definitely more careful about what I say.  My current blog is mostly from my friends and family now - so I can let them know what is going on, and they can see how my kids are growing up.
I actually miss my old blog on occasion, especially during times like this.  I find that writing about my struggles and frustrations is cathartic, and really helps me work through it all.  I think that is why I go through these blogging lulls - kind of like the old saying:  if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I miss having something that truly reflected me, not just the happy, artificial me.  (not that I'm not a happy person, because I am.  But there is more to me.)
So, if I did blog about real life, would y'all think less of me?  Would you judge me?  I know that most of you wouldn't, but I guess that fear is still there.  Likely, there'd be many of you who could relate to things, and maybe even find it refreshing to know that others struggle as well.  I'm stuck in this conundrum, and my poor neglected blog suffers.  Does any of this even make sense? 
What causes the rest of y'all to blog?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

My mom and I took the girls to a local pumpkin patch, and then did Halloween mani/pedis. What else is there to say?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saying goodbye

My grandfather (Grandpa Duke) passed away yesterday. Although he was elderly, and had been ill for a long time, it was still difficult for me to say goodbye. We had known for a few days that the end was near. I actually expected to get the call some time on Tuesday, but I never did. On Wednesday morning, we were all running late, and then Bryn decided she didn't want to go to daycare (which is very unlike her - she's never done that). Knowing I was going to be late anyway, I decided to let her stay home with me for a few minutes. Ben and G had only been gone for a few minutes, when I got the call that my grandfather had passed. I made through the call strong, but once I hung up the phone, the tears came. I was still holding Bryn, and she was amazingly empathetic. She just held me, sighed, and let me cry. It was such a tender moment, and I felt like my grandpa was there too, watching me.

After I was through crying, she cheered up, and asked to go to daycare. I think she knew I would need her that morning.

My grandfather had suffered from Parkinson's disease, and recently had broken his hip and femur. I do think he was ready to go. Monday he called all 7 of his children to tell them he loved them. He knew it was time to go.

My grandpa was born in the early 1920s in a small agricultural building on his family's farm. He ended up being a very successful man, and he's always been such an example to me of hard work. He loved gardening, and has instilled in me a love of making things grow. He was a talented woodworker, and I'm blessed to have many of the things he made. He had recently (on September 25) celebrated his 64th wedding anniversary, and the relationship he shared with my grandmother is a great example. He left such a legacy, and I'll miss him. I do believe that he's now in a place where he can walk again, and is free from pain. And although I do think he was ready, it is still difficult to say goodbye.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My belated birthday

October 12, 1492 is supposedly the day that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Kirk Cameron was born on October 12. The Pledge of Allegiance was first uttered in school on October 12. It is also the day that I was born (in 1970 something). My birthday this year was fantastic. I awoke to a fresh coat of snow (the first in the valley this year). I love the first snow, and the heavy frost meant that I could breathe through my nose for the fist time since April (no more seasonal allergies - whoo hoo). My girls put on their hats and coats, and looked so cute. I was pampered and spoiled all freakin' day. It was heaven. Check it out:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My hometown

Tiburon posted today about her hometown, and it made me feel nostalgic for where I grew up. I've actually been thinking a lot about my formative years, since I just hung out this weekend with my BFF from growing up. So, out of nostalgia, this post is dedicated to my hometown:

I was born a poor white girl in Kentucky - (just kidding) - I actually was born in Gary Indiana in the same hospital as Michael Jackson. I was the only white baby though, so I suppose the poor and white part is true ;). But, I actually don't remember much about where I was born, and my family moved around a lot when I was young. I moved to Northern Kentucky when I was 10, and I consider that to be where I grew up. Northern Kentucky is really just a suburb of Cincinnati, but it does have some of its own unique features. It was such a great place to live, and I have some wonderful memories. Here's the top 5 things I remember.

1. Cincinnati Reds - I loved going to Cincinnati Reds games. We would park across the river in Newport, and walk across a bridge right to the stadium - the old stadium (Riverfront) before they had this nice new one. The cheap seats were only $3.50, so we would go numerous times throughout the summer. Good times! The Reds were actually good back then, and even won the world series one year (they swept the A's in 1990, and I can still name every single starter from that team). Although they totally suck now, I still follow them, and hope one day they'll be good again.

2. Kings Island - Kinds Island is the best amusement park ever! Seriously - I'm not biased. They have the best coasters - The Beast (once the longest wooden roller coaster ever), The King Cobra (where you stand up) and many others. Also, the Smurf Cones - blue soft-serve ice cream. I've been to lots of other amusement parks, and nothing else has been as much fun.

3. Natural Bridge State Park - The beauty of Kentucky is difficult to beat, so it wasn't easy for me to come up with my favorite place there. Land Between the Lakes is stunning, as is Cumberland Falls - but my favorite is Natural Bridge State Park. It is a large limestone (?) arch (see, they aren't just in Utah) surrounded by lush folliage.

4. Skyline Chili - many of my friends will be suprised to know this about me (seeing that this is not typically my type of food) but Cincinnati Chili is the food of the gods. It is a chili with an unusual combination of spices (including cinnamon and cocoa) with kidney beans served over spaghetti noodles - and piled high with cheese. YUM! I know it sounds disgusting, but it is so freakin' amazing. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. I've tried to replicate it myself - which I've done fairly well, but nothing compares to fresh Skyline straight from the source.

5. My amazing friends - which I don't have a picture for. I was so lucky to have some of the best friends, both at school and at my church youth group. There aren't a lot of LDS kids in that part of the country, and we really had to stick together. I remember how much fun it was playing mud football in the McBride's yard on snowdays (because the snow never lasted) and playing spin the bottle just so I could kiss some boys. We also took some of the most fun youth trips to Nauvoo, New York, and DC. Some of my best memories come straight from those trips (like the time Sister Hardy's luggage opened up on the top of the van, and her underware flew out over the freeway. Or the time she got us lost in ChinaTown, and some scummy guy tried to sell me "14 carrat gold") - Good times.

I could go on and on, but I'd only bore my readers. I did have a great childhood though. NK is the best EVER! Although my parents moved to the Ohio side while I was in High School, I still consider Kentucky my hometown.

**What is up with the spacing??**

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Reason 487 of why I'm a dork

Whenever I’m asked to recall my most embarrassing moment, I have a difficult time thinking of what to say. Not because I lack in embarrassing moments – I have them all the time. In fact, they all seem to blur together, and I cannot recall which was the most embarrassing. I had a classic moment yesterday that left me red-faced and wishing the floor would swallow me whole. It wasn’t a moment of complete mortification, but it is blog worthy. It all started (as many embarrassing moments do) when, on a Monday morning, I was surprised by a visit from my Auntie Flo . . .

I took an early lunch to run to the store. I only had one item to purchase (tampons), and thought I’d be right in and out. I was surprised though to see that what I had intended to buy was marked down to $1.18 from the typical price of over $8.00 a box. Being a person who cannot pass up a bargain, I decided to pick up several boxes so I could stock-up incase of another such emergency. I grabbed as many boxes as I could carry, and went to the check-out line. There were only 2 cashiers working, and both lines were quite long. I waited patiently in the shorter line, and when it was my turn I laid the boxes down. The cashier rung up box after box of what was supposed to be hugely discounted feminine hygiene products, only to have them ring up at $4.97 each – still a savings, but not nearly as cheap as I’d anticipated.

“Something must be wrong,” I said to the cashier. “They boxes were marked at only $1.18.”

She looked at me, and I could tell she was thinking “Yah right lady. Can you see the line forming behind you?” Instead, she called for a price check.

At this moment, I wanted to just pay for my purchase and get the heck out of there. I didn’t care if I paid $30 something for a year’s supply. The long line behind me was starting to look like an angry mob, frustrated at me for making them wait longer. I smiled politely at them, and tried to look somewhere else, but I could feel their eyes burning me. The poor cashier had no response to her price check, so she left the line to go find out for herself.

Standing there waiting for her, I was tempted to just leave my purchase there and to run out of the store. I could still make it to Wally World and not be late back from lunch. The cashier in the line next to ours kept glancing up at the long line, wondering what-in-the-heck the problem was, and then looking back at me, surely wondering what I wanted.

Finally, after what seemed like an hour (in reality it was at least 2 or 3 minutes) the cashier came back to the line. She told me that there had been a mistake on the price labeled on the shelf (probably by some 16 year old boy) but she would honor the price anyway. She manually changed the price on the register, and then had to wait for a manager to come and override it.

I finally made it out of there with my bag-full-o-goodies.


Why can’t this happen to me when I’m buying peas?

Monday, October 06, 2008

More kid funnies

Sometimes I wonder what I did for entertainment before I had kids. Their little minds come up with the funniest stuff. Take for example, the following conversation I overheard the other day between G and her older, school-aged friend as they were coloring Hello Kitty pictures:

Friend: I met a real cheerleader at school today
G: Wow. Why did they come to your school?
Friend: They were teaching us about the D.A.R.E program
G: What is D.A.R.E?
Friend: Its where they teach us to just say "NO" to drunk

There was also the story Bryn told our friends who came over to hang out on the same night:

Bryn: Mommy told me I'm not allowed to ride my bike in the road anymore. A car could hit me and I'd be a pancake. A yummy pancake. Can I have a cheeseburger?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

1:13 to meltdown

Timeline of last night's events:


6:05 pm – walk in the door from daycare with the girls and G’s friend who wants to see our new dog

6:06 pm – realize the new dog has somehow escaped the brand-spankin’-new fence

6:07 pm – begin frantically searching for said new dog, as girls frolic in the sprinklers that are mysteriously running

6:11 pm – realize I can hear the dog’s tags jingle, but still don’t see her

6:13 pm – see the dog’s nose peaking under the fence from inside the next-door neighbor’s fenced yard

6:14 pm – neighbor isn’t home, but open the gate and get dog back anyway

6:17 pm – feed the dog and work on feeding myself

6:21 pm – see a pile of what appears to be cat vomit on the living room carpet

6:23 pm – begin scrubbing the carpet, and realize that it is not vomit, but POOP that resembles chocolate pudding.  From the position on the carpet, I know that it must have been directly deposited from the bum of some animal in my house in that exact location, but I’m unable to pinpoint the source

6:27 pm – sit down to eat dinner, but realize that I’m still smelling poop

6:31 pm – neighbor rings the doorbell to see if I got the dog from his yard.  He put her there because he found her running through the neighborhood

6:37 pm - still smelling poop, but can't locate the source

6:38 pm – G fall off the counter while trying to steal gum – she’s hurt

6:42 pm – finally discover the source of the poop I’m still smelling – Bryn had a massive poo-splosion

6:46 pm – get Bryn cleaned up, and decide to leave her diaper off until bath time

6:51 pm – girls fighting over crayons.  I ground them from the crayons

6:56 pm – Bryn pees off of the barstool, and sprays urine all over the kitchen

7:05 pm – finally get the kitchen clean, and spray air freshener all through the house

7:11 pm – get the girls in the bath

7:13 pm – girls bickering is becoming too much for mommy to handle

7:15 pm – mommy freaks out, scaring Bryn and making G laugh.

7:18 pm – get things under control after G asks if mommy still loves her little stinkers.


Stranger danger

I decided the other day, that the girls needed a lesson in what to do if they were ever approached by a stranger. They were sitting at the bar coloring while I made lunch, and I decided to quiz them on what to do. Since she was older, G was up first. Our conversation went like this:

Mommy: So G, what do you say if a stranger comes up and offers you candy?
G: I say no! Then I run away and tell a grown-up that I trust.

Clearly, she's had this lesson before.

Next up was Bryn. Our conversation went like this:

Mommy: So Bryn, what do you say if a stranger comes up and offers you candy?
Bryn: I say yummy candy! Thanks! (with a giant grin on her face. I think she was expecting real candy)

Obviously, we need to work on her.