Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I don't think it's a big secret that, for whatever reason, I don't handle stress very well. And if I feel overwhelmed with responsibility, I get a little nutty. So what better way to send me over the edge and into the arms of madness than to bring home a puppy. The primary reason for bringing another dog into the family was the boy - he wanted a dog so badly. Whenever we encountered dogs, he would ask the owner if he could pet their dog and tell them, "Our dog's dead!" Then later he would say to me, "Mom, we need a dog that's not dead." How can you argue with that kind of logic?

Then there is the girl’s irrational fear of dogs, which some people would argue is a good thing for a young child as it will deter her from petting strange dogs and possibly becoming the dog’s next meal. However, as a lifelong dog lover, I simply cannot allow my kids to grow up with a fear of dogs. I believe dogs teach kids a great deal about loyalty, companionship, and unconditional love. Yes, there are some dogs that are aggressive and need to be handled with caution, but our pup doesn’t fit in that category.

So we decided to go ahead and get a dog. In my defense, I wanted to adopt an adult dog, one that was already housebroken and loved kids. My husband wanted to get a puppy because it could “grow up with the kids." A friend of mine told me one day that a friend of hers had some black Lab pups he was giving away for free and I should have run screaming from the table with my hands over my ears, but instead I think I told her, "I want one!"

So the puppy came to our house and the first thing we noticed was that she was big. HUGE. With enormous paws. That's when we found out that one of her parents is a Lab/Great Pyrenees mix. She's going to be a little bigger than the average lab. And really, I'm okay with that. She's mostly calm, fairly gentle with the kids, and very sweet and affectionate. What I'm not okay with are the enormous lakes of urine and mountains of poop on the kitchen floor. Yes, she’s a puppy and will eventually learn to hold her bladder and bowels longer than 30 minutes at a time, but it’s very frustrating right now. My husband keeps saying, “She’s going to be a great dog when she grows up.” So I sigh and keep cleaning up the pee and poop in the house, and giving her treats and lots of praise for doing her business outside.

And let’s talk about the chewing, which I’m surprisingly okay with. So what if she chewed up the phone book. I never use it anyway. So what if she has peeled the wallpaper off the wall in one spot. I wasn’t married to that wallpaper and had secretly dreamed of redoing it – she must have sensed that. And the kitchen table and chairs that now have teeth marks? I have had my eye on a different set for months now so this is remarkably not bothering me. This is not to say that I condone her chewing on my furniture. If I catch her chewing on something she’s not supposed to, I will gently scold her, give her a toy, and then praise her for chewing the toy. But I realize that all puppies chew so I am cutting her some slack.

It took us a while to come up with a name because each one we’d suggest was shot down by the boy, who wanted to name her something bizarre like Spider-Man, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee or Chickee Boo Boo (I’m not even kidding). Finally the hubby said, “Hey, what about Socks because each of her paws has a white spot on it?” The boy liked it, the girl could say it, and I said, “It’s settled then. Her name is Socks.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two times the fun

I have such grand plans for keeping this site updated and posting on a regular basis, and damned if it ever happens. Which is pretty typical for all aspects of my life really…grand plans and no follow through. But I have so much to share! Just to make myself post more frequently, I’ll spread all the things I’m dying to share with you out over several posts instead of making you sit here for a boring eternity.

First and foremost, my baby is now two years old. TWO. Seriously, when did that happen?

She is equal parts sweet angel and demon spawn, wrapped up in an adorable little package. And I mean demon spawn in only the most loving manner possible. Don’t judge me. But seriously, there are times when we are out in public and she is perfecting her tantrum techniques, and I secretly wonder if maybe I was drugged and she was conceived ala Rosemary’s Baby style. Then an hour later she is the sweetest little angel again and I feel ashamed for ever comparing her to Rosemary’s Baby.

In short, her behavior is normal and completely age appropriate. It’s me that has the problem dealing with it. But isn’t that why God invented pharmaceuticals?

Just look at that face. How can you not fall in love with something that cute? There is no shortage of the cuteness in this house.

She absolutely loves her “Bubba,” and he’s crazy about her as well. Lord help her when the boys start calling the house.

(Please don't tell me she needs a haircut. Her daddy is on my case constantly about her hair. He doesn't understand that if we cut it, SOMEONE will have to style it in the mornings. And I'm usually doing good to style my own hair and get the kids dressed, so that leaves him. I know for a fact that he knows even less about styling another person's hair than I do, so he's not going to be a good candidate for that job either. So for now, I pull it back with a bow or a pony on top of the head. It's fast and easy and looks semi-ok-ish. You will note that in the picture above, it's just all loose and hanging in her face, and sometimes that just happens because she won't leave the pony tail or bow alone. Deal with it, daddy.)

Developmentally, she is awesome and able to communicate extremely well. She’s not afraid to wake me up at 2:30 in the morning to ask for a “cup” or “more milk.” If I ignore her, she will even throw in a “please.” Gotta love that! It makes it only slightly less annoying at 2:30am.

Happy birthday, sweet girl. Mommy loves you. (And she’s sorry for calling you demon spawn.)

Next up: Our new puppy