Sunday, June 28, 2009

Calling All Tooth Fairies

We’re getting ready to go pick up Greg’s mid-life crisis vehicle (our little MLC) and to spend a much needed week near the ocean. In fact it is just bout as close as you can get to the ocean without being on a 42’ sailboat owned by a certain husband’s cousin, sailing across the Juan de Fuca straight. Memories, misty water colored memories. I digress. Anyway, I’m hoping this year will go better than the last time we went to the coast two years ago when Emily refused to sleep. In fact, if you listened carefully you could hear her mumbling something like:

I am Sam
I am Sam

Sam I am

That Sam-I-am!
Than Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am!

Do you like
deep sleep in a bed?

I do not like that,
I do not like
deep sleep in a bed.

Will you like to sleep
in a car?
Will you like to sleep
in some arms?

Not in a car.
Not in some arms.
Not in a house.
Not in a blouse.

I will not sleep here or there.
I will  not sleep anywhere.
I will not sleep deep in a bed.
I do not like that, Sam-I-am.

At the time we didn’t worry about her frightening mumbling so much as we worried about our ability to function as a human being during our trip. Because, trust me, it was a struggle not to look like a troglodyte seeing light for the first time. A troglodyte addicted to coffee who has had his stash taken away for months. One that had to use toothpicks to keep his eyes open. Yeah, THAT kind of pretty.

So, we’re worried about our ability to sleep a TOTAL of eight hours over the week, let alone consecutively each night. This year we have an additional concern. My son’s teeth. Last night at dinner, Braedyn managed to turn my stomach to mush. Not in the cute, hey look at me do my own hair kind of way or the watch me slide down this slide by myself kind of way. No. He took his index finger and wiggled his bottom tooth. I may as well be in an operating room elbow deep in someone’s intestines because watching him wiggle his tooth does the same thing to my stomach. RETCH. Just ask Jacob who will be 18 soon how I reacted when he wiggled his teeth in his wee youth. You got it. RETCH.

In addition to losing my dinner, I started to cry. My son is growing up! I’ve told him he’s not allowed to do that, but he heeds that warning just about as much as when I tell him to stop playing at bed time. When he was 5 months old I saw that first tooth coming through and I raced him to the nearest Kiddie Kandids for the last of his toothless wonder grins. Well, until he’s 98 and fanatically licking his lips.

So, here we are, getting ready for our vacation and Braedyn has a loose tooth. I’m calling all tooth fairies and asking them to please, please have some spare change with them while we are away from home. The tooth fairy will not be able to scrounge around our house for a gem to trade the tooth for, so she had better be prepared! What could be worse than not finding anything in our vacation rental to give for this monumental first tooth loss? Well, not finding anything AND being sleep-deprived I suppose.

At least my son is still fully enveloped by his innocent youth, even with that revolting loose tooth. I overheard this conversation yesterday:

Braedyn to Emily: Will you let me marry you when I grow up?

Emily: No.

Braedyn: Awww!

Emily: <muffled noise>

Braedyn: What? You’ll let me marry you when I grow up?

Emily: Yeah.

Braedyn: Will you go in my room with me?

Emily: Why?

Braedyn: Because I’m scared by myself.

And then later to me:

Braedyn: When I’m a daddy, and Emily is a mommy, she’ll let me marry her.

Good to know. I guess if that comes to fruition I have more things to worry about than teeth falling out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day 2009

How Father's Day 2009 will be remembered.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look at All the Money You Could Save!

I will admit it to you. I’m one of the millions of people who have a gym membership. And don’t use it. I was pushed encouraged to join because I was informed I needed to get the feel-good endorphins pumping through my body through exercise, and because a professional I have a tremendous amount of respect for prescribed this, I took it upon myself to make it so. I sucked it up and joined a gym. Yeah, I know there are other ways to work up a sweat, but we have two small children in the house. ALL. THE. TIME. (If we went that route and waited until they were in bed each time, I promise I’d lock the door.) But come on, let’s be real. The professional said at least three times a week for 30 minutes each time. Pfffft!

Gym shopping was actually fun. I had three in mind that I was going to check out, but only made it to the first two. The third one was touted as a meat-market by both gym #1 and gym #2, so I took their word for it and stayed away from hunky young people ready to pump each other up. I didn’t want to seem like a chaperone after all.

I chose gym #1. Why?

  1. They have a kids center where I can drop off my munchkins while I work out, so I can’t very well use them as an excuse as to why I SUCK AT GETTING MY NOT-SO-FIRM BUTT THERE.
  2. The average age of my fellow sweaters is mid-thirties, so I won’t feel like a dirty old woman as my tongue hangs out at all the tight youngens as I lighten the weight load on each machine before I take my turn.
  3. All of the cardio machines have a TV hooked up to them, so I can’t possibly say I’m bored while exercising. I can zone out on crap TV. What could be better to get through the monotony of bicycling, climbing, or running in place? Unless, you know, each and every available channel is playing cooking shows. That’s right. *GASP* You can now say you know someone that doesn’t like cooking shows. Of course, those channels are probably all banned from the gym anyway. Otherwise, wouldn’t that be considered at least a little bit of a form of cruel and unusual punishment? The gym wants people to stay and work out; not go home and binge after all.
  4. They have a racquetball court. Greg and I can drop the kids off at the kids center and then duke it out in the court. Well, we all know how that one turned out.
  5. The place was freaking huge! There was a nice amount of space between machines, so no worries of needlessly offending the olfactory senses.

So why don’t I go? Blame Greg. Seriously; it’s his fault! For “my birthday” he got me a Wii Active, the fitness video game. And you know what? It rocks. IV Real. I can work out for 25 minutes, work up a sweat, get my heart racing, and all in the comfort of my ugliest clothes ever. Barefoot even. I don’t have to DRIVE anywhere. I don’t have to look like a dork in front of others. Well, besides my family, and they already know I’m a dork and love me in spite of it.

If you are looking for a way to work out at home and save the cost of a monthly gym membership but are tired of the same old Yoga tape you’ve had since the 1980’s, this is really the way to go. It’s 60 bucks (assuming you are geeks like us and already have the Wii gaming system), and it provides such a variety of exercises that it keeps it interesting and new. And it doesn’t let you slack at all. I’ve tried. Several times.

Now if I could just figure out a way to slack on that damn gym contract I signed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Susanne and I took the kids to the river today.  We are trying very hard to socialize Charmin so we can work on our training in various locations. 

We visited Rock Park which was recently completely landscaped anew.  It looks great.  For those of you not of this area, the Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe and the water can be well…a bit chilly.

I had a bit of fun trying to get Charmin to go into the water.

“Get the stick, get the stick!”  After three or four sticks thrown in and Charmin simply looking at me like “Dude, you are crazy” I felt I had to be the big man and lead her into the river. Let me assure you I didn’t want to get in the water any more than she did, so I stepped out onto a rock in the river.

It started out ok.  She looked a little skittish.

Then the panic set in or her girly parts hit the cold water.

I think her claws left scratch marks in the rocks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goodnight Koko

A letter to my two youngest children, not yet old enough to understand.

Emily and Braedyn I am sorry I was not able to tell you the complete truth. I told you a story as close to the truth as best I could to spare you the pain that your mother and I are feeling. We did try to share with you as much as we could. We didn’t want you to just wonder where Koko went, or lie outright. So we did our best. When we told you that Koko was leaving, you yelled at me, you told me you didn’t like me anymore and that’s ok. At that moment, I didn't like myself very much for going down the path I chose but I had no choice.

I told you that she is in a place where she is happy and has other dogs to play with. I told you she is in a place with no children and no one to bite. I will continue to tell you that until you are old enough to read this, until you are old enough to understand. I hope you will forgive me and understand I did it because I didn’t want you to hurt or be hurt.

The truth is, she is gone. The truth is although Koko seemed to be the perfect dog, a gentle dog there was something in her that we just could not see. Something that we could not predict. Something we never saw even when you were putting your underwear on her head, or throwing a blanket over her.

The first clue was when she bit the vet and drew blood. This was nearly enough to put your mother and I over the edge. Koko almost went away then, but I convinced myself and your mother that it was the situation, the stress, the fear, the feeling cornered in a strange place. She bit the vet to protect herself. That’s what I told your mother. That’s what I told myself. But we both knew there was something beneath. Something we could feel.

The final straw that something was not right happened this last weekend. Koko bolted out of the house and attacked the neighbors dog. A small fluffy animal no larger than a child’s stuffed animal and she took it in her mouth and shook it like she meant to kill it. She shook it so viciously that I was shocked by it and was sure she would kill it. I was appalled that my gentle Koko would do such a thing. Then the owner of the dog stepped in to save his pet and she tried to bite him.

And I stepped in.

And she tried to bite me. She had never done that.

I want you both to know that the the fury in her bared snapping teeth and wide eyes staring at me, staring INTO mine scared me. I had never had a dog of my own ever scare me like that.

It was not any easy decision for us and it was not one made in haste or without discussing with the vet or the trainer.

In no way did I ever want to have a dog in my house that could hurt you and I didn’t want to give her away knowing she could hurt someone else. So we decided to have her put to sleep.

I have only had to do this once before when my dog Bear was so sick she was dying and it was to stop her pain that I chose to put her to sleep. Never have I consciously chosen to put an animal to sleep for any other reason. This breaks my heart to tell you that she is gone because of this. Because I called the vet. Because I drove her there. Because I gave her the tranquilizers.

I did this because I love you all so very much.

And I loved her very much. And I sat with her. I held her and I talked to her until she was gone. And I cried over our loss. And it breaks my heart. And I will always remember her as a loving member of this family as you should too.

From September 2008

Remember how she slept with her paws crossed.
Remember how she ate your Bubbles and drank from your baths no matter how dirty and soapy they were.
Remember how whenever we played on the floor she wanted to play too.
Remember how she would NEVER bring back the tennis ball when you threw it.

Remember the good things about her. I will because there were so many more great times with her than bad.

From 1-18-2009

So when you are old enough to read this and to understand, I hope you can forgive me and understand why I did not tell you the truth.

Understand that it hurt me to say goodnight to Koko one last time.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hang On, We’re Almost at 50!

No, no, I’m not talking about age here. Well, I guess in a way I am.

Greg has a way of wearing me down when it comes to getting new stuff. It generally takes me a while to warm up to the idea of purchasing something like an iPhone, or a shed for the yard, or new tires on the car. Greg likes to tell the story about how I really didn’t think we needed to get a DVR when they first came out, but he kept talking about it, sending me emails, researching the product, hinting at it, and playing the recording of how great it would be while I slept to stir the subconscious consumer beast within.

And it works. I love our DVR. (So does my bladder.) And my iPhone. And the shed for the yard. OK, the new tires aren’t very exciting but they do provide quite the peace of mind.

To date, he has gotten several new laptops, a motorcycle, and the DVR this way. I am certain he will soon be getting his own iPhone since he has been bombarding me with hints (subtle and not so subtle) so that I cave or go crazy, or both. It’s not that I don’t want him or us to have nice or new things. It’s not that at all. I just prefer to get things at a much discounted rate at garage sales. Waiting to see an iPhone on a card table in front of someone’s house on a Saturday morning may take too long for Greg though. Go figure. *Shrug.*

His latest burning desire, well, besides me (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), is being presented to me over and over and over and over again with a slightly different angle this time. THIS time it’s all about Greg feeling old. He has declared himself in the throws of a mid-life crisis. And what would soften this self-imposed blow? Thankfully, it is not a Corvette and an 18 year-old (although we ALL know how he likes them young. JUST KIDDING!). No, he has no desire for the sports car or a fling. Thank FSM. Instead, the ONLY thing that will successfully ease the pain of this transition is a VW bus. That’s right. The man wants to turn himself into a hippy. Thankfully, he wants the family along for the groovy ride.

So over the last few months, during the depths of despair of his self-professed mid-life crisis, Greg has thoroughly researched what years are better than others, which engines have a little more umph, which ones had an A/C option, and which ones can have an after-market three-point harness installed to match today’s seat belt standards. Over these last few months, he has sent me many (and by many, I mean TONS) of pictures of buses for sale. You see, he is wearing me down.

Then last week, he firmly planted me on Team Mid-Life Crisis. He’s flung me, albeit gently, into pro-bus mode. How did he triumph, you ask? He took me to look at one. You see, there is a soft spot in my heart for these little gems. My mother and I traveled from El Paso up into Canada and back down the coast over a two month period in one of these things when I was growing up. Not only did we take on the open road, singing 100 Bottles of Bear on the Wall, we did this trip twice, once when I was about 8 and again at 15. As a child I used to love sprawling out in the back while my mom drove us to our next destination. (Of course, my kids will be firmly planted in their 5-point harness cages car seats.) Camping and crabbing on the sand dunes of Dillon Beach was by far the best time we had in our little bus. It really does bring back great memories.

So we’re actively making plans for a purchase (and subsequent sale of our current mommy-mobile). Now I am just trying get my lead foot to understand that “giving her all she’s got” means, we’re almost at 50 mph!

Greg's mid-life crisis vehicle. Oh, and I am also practicing my Spicoli-sounding version of, “Duuuuuuuuude.” I’m getting pretty good. It’s actually a little uncanny.