Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We Are Dog People

Now, if you are a dog person, you know exactly what I mean when I write that. We love having dogs for pets, we see dogs and oh and ah over them like other people do babies.

Our neighbors across the alley recently got a puppy and suddenly we've gone from just nodding and waving a brief "hi, how are you, yes, I'm acknowledging that you do exist" wave, to our dogs having play dates, and us chatting it up in each other's backyards. The new neighbors in the rental across the street also have a dog, and yes, we've introduced ourselves. We never even thought about talking to the previous tenants, and you guessed it, they were dog-less.

Just now, I was letting Emma outside, when the puppy next door came running into our yard, and the dog across the street, crossed the street and raced up the alley to join in the fun. We all had a good laugh, and one neighbor remarked that it sure is funny that all the dogs run away to our house.

Well, it stands to reason. Dogs are pretty smart, and we are dog people!

Side note: anyone who doesn't like dogs seems suspect to us. There are some countries in the world, who shall remain nameless, who not only are not dog people, they prefer cats.

Cats! That is so unspeakable, I will not speak on it further.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Written Remembering

When we go camping, late at night, when we are all bedded down in the tent trailer, my kids ask if I will tell them a story. Sometimes I tell them a condensed version of a book I've read. As anyone who went to school with me can attest too, I don't know the meaning of "condensed"....every part of the book is important to understand the whole story! Other times they ask for stories from when they were babies.

Last time we were camping, my daughter, the youngest, asked why all the stories were about her brother as a baby. Didn't I remember anything about her? I paused and thought. Huh. That might be true. The answer I gave her was when she was a baby, she was D's shadow. Anything he was doing, she was doing. It's hard to separate a baby story of hers, from a story of her 2 year old brother.

But it is more than that. When D was born, he was our first. He was our sole focus, and we did everything with him in mind. We were living across the country from our families, so it really was just the three of us. Then we moved back home, realized we were expecting baby number two, and things in our life got fuller.

When she was born, I remember thinking this was going to go by way too fast. I knew she was the last baby we'd be having and I wanted to savor every moment. But, with a 2 year old at home waiting to meet "baby", I knew I wasn't going to get the same chance to focus on her that I did on her brother.

When D was born, my OBGYN gave me a daily journal to record the first year of D's life. I wrote in it every day, but sometimes the entries were just a line or two. I kept a journal for L's first year also, but it is full of page long entries. I knew I had so much going on, so much to do, that it was hard to find the time to just sit and marvel at her perfection, like I got to do with D. So, at night, when I could find a moment, I would write and write and write.

I might not have memories I can pull out of my head at the drop of a hat for her, but I have the journal. It is full of all the things I wanted to remember about her being a baby. Maybe I'll take it on the next camping trip, and when the kids ask for their stories, I pull out the journals, get out the flashlight and wow them with stories they might not have heard before.

Like, March 25, 1998: L looks so cute today! I wanted to give her a ponytail, but one was impossible. So she has two curly pigtails on top of her head. It is just too adorable! Went to Seattle see Aunt A;s house, L was good. She got screaming mad in the car though. Grandma K said she was glad to know L had such a strong personality! As soon as Daddy came home, her pigtails fell out. Daddy loved them and was so excited he got her all excited. Pigtails weren't meant for rough housing!

And to be fair: March 25, 1996: Boy can D move! He's not a crawler yet, but soon. He twists and turns and wiggles all over the place. He rocks forward, leaping really, and moves all over our laps when he's on the ground. Next steps are crawling and sitting up on his own.

A written remembering.....I'm so glad I took the time to write it down, for them, but mostly for me. It did go by too fast, and I love reading and remembering....those were great days....but these days 11 and 13 years later are pretty darn good too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why I Might Turn To Drink

In one crazy moment of complete insanity, I asked for a puppy for our 15th anniversary. I just blurted it out when my husband asked what I wanted, I was almost as surprised as he was to hear those words. More surprise followed when he said, "Okay."

On our anniversary, I opened my gift bag to find a tiny stuffed Beagle and a letter listing all the reasons why we should get a puppy. I can't say I was disappointed...I was pretty darn excited. And very nervous!Emma is a fantastic Beagle. She always has been, from her puppy days to now. What if the new puppy was not so good? What if, even worse, Emma hates her?

We did not rush right out to buy a puppy. We have some very strict guidelines, such as it has to be a girl, raised mostly outside, but not in a kennel. So I told the kids, and anyone who asked, it could be months before we find the right dog. We waited 8 days.

And then we saw the add for Beagle puppies. In the next town over. Two girls and a boy left. Both dog parents on the property. My husband went over to visit and came home very happy. He was pretty sure I'd like the one he picked out. We went back the next night, but I stressed over and over again, if I didn't fall in love with this puppy, we weren't going to get her.

Of course, I fell in love with that puppy! There was really no doubt, I love dogs. I sat on the floor of a house that smelled like it had six puppies and three adult dogs living in it, and let puppies and dogs run all over me. I loved the puppy's big eyes, and petite little paws....she was ours. On the way home, we tried out name after name, deciding that the original name "Bailey" was totally wrong and "Midge" just didn't have the two syllables we like to holler but "Sarah" might be just right.....but mostly we worried that Emma wouldn't like her. Sure, Emma loves having the neighbors puppy over to play, and even herded him into our house, but a puppy living with her full time was going to be a change.

When we got home, I put the puppy down on the ground, the kids and Emma ran over...and little Sarah took a wiz all over my bare foot. Flip-flops do not give any protection against a dog peeing on you!

It took a few days. I won't lie. When Emma wanted to play, Sarah was tired. When Sarah wanted to play, Emma was so not interested. Then on day 5, magic happened. They both wanted to play and they took off running and wrestling. When they finally slowed down, it was to sit close to each other. The wind came rushing through our yard, their ears both started to lift up like Dumbo's, and they closed their eyes and sniffed....It's so cute, so adorable, so sickeningly sweet, I'm not sure how other people can stand to listen to us gush on and on about them.

The down side is, they wrestle from one end of the house to the other! There is no peace when they are feeling full of the dickens. With all their barks, growls and teeth, their tails are wagging non stop.

It's enough to warm my heart, give me goosebumps of happiness...or it's going to drive me to drinking. One or the other!

And if I do turn to drink, it will have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with three thirteen year old boys having a party, running around in the dark with squirt guns and drinking tons of coke. That's just good times!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dancing Dolphin, You Sicken Me

I hate dolphins. I know, right, totally weird. I think they are repulsive, sinister, creepy ocean creatures, with sharp teeth, and a freaky sound system.

When the Simpsons had a Halloween special where dolphins take over the world, I was not at all surprised. They are pure evil. Nothing that lives in the ocean should be that friendly with you. Be afraid, be very afraid!

In Mamma Mia, there is a mosaic dolphin in the courtyard. I choose to ignore it. An otherwise fantabulous movie lost a point for having a dolphin.

During my third viewing of it, my husband whispered, "How do you like it when the dolphin dances?"

Um, what? I have no clue what he's talking about.

Thank goodness I'm recovering from vertigo, and can't stand to look at spinning things, because when they are all dancing in a spinning circle in the courtyard, I close my eyes, and sometime during that scene, the dolphin dances to the beat.

I had been feeling sad that I was missing a part of the movie, missing it four times, but now that I know the mosaic dolphin gets to have a bit part, I am glad I missed it.

Dolphins. Pure Evil. Should not have a place in one of my favorite movies of all time!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Am So Jealous!!

I honestly thought I wasn't going to get anymore tattoos. Honestly! Even though my daughter laughed when I said that, and my husband said he didn't believe it, I really was sure I was done.

Then my husband came home with his new-rocking-absolutely-fantastic tattoo on his right forearm, and I am so insanely jealous I can hardly stand it! I want another one! Or three!

The best part is, he went to a new tattoo shop in our little cow town, in what used to be an abandoned building, before that it was a church, and he was so impressed with the artist, the shop, everything. He even told the guy he was pretty sure after I saw how great his tattoo looked, I'd soon be down at the shop.

He is totally right. I have a folder of ideas and I'm ready to go!

And when my husband told me that it really hurt right there, and pointed to a certain spot, I was challenged. I can so handle that momentary pain!

I've heard all the concerns about how will I like my tattoos when I'm old and wrinkly, and my answer to that is, I will love them. I didn't smoke or drink to excess or do any sort of drugs. I didn't run away from home, stay out all night partying, or really, have any wild stories from my youth to tell my grand kids. But I will have tattoos. Lot's of them. And I will proudly show them off, wrinkles and all!

Now if I only had time to get something done before the family reunion in a few weeks.....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mama Mia!!

I was raised on Musicals. I grew up thinking EVERYONE knew, watched and loved L'il Abner, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers....Turns out that is not the case. Musicals died out long before I was born. Thank goodness for DVDs!

But suddenly, we are having some Musicals making a comeback. Wicked Awesome!

Today I saw Mama Mia with my daughter, both sisters, my Mom, my Grandma, and my second Mom. It was a girl day and it was fantastic. The youngest sister sat between the older sisters, since we have a tendency to giggle when it's a sad moment, and as the opening music started to play, I thought, "I'm going to LOVE this movie...."

That is an understatement. This movie is so good, I was ready to leave the theater, buy two more tickets and go back in right away! There is nothing like a good musical: romance, comedy, drama and tragedy all rolled into one wonderful movie, with toe tapping music. Where is the theater that you can sing along to the songs? We would have been belting out every word we knew, and mumbling through the ones we didn't!

I know, Pierce Brosnan got all our hearts racing, but really, when I saw Stellan SkarsgÄrd riding his motorcycle, with the tattoos on his knees, I shivered. I might have a thing for old dudes!

But the best part of the day was afterwards, when one sister called to tell the other two she had already purchased the soundtrack and it was awesome, the other two rushed over to the store and bought it too, ripped the plastic off before we even got into the car and listened to it LOUDLY all the way home.

Mama Mia!

Friday, August 1, 2008

White Rabbit Syndrome

For years and years I have thought the slowest person I knew was my youngest sister. Sorry, but it's got to be said! I can count on her to be late for most things.

Then my daughter was born, and the crown and scepter were passed down to her. She honestly ate one grain of rice at a time. So slow!!

This has been my first year of working outside of our home. I love my job, love getting ready for work, really enjoy everything about having a job. I don't think there was a day during the school year that I wasn't running late. I thought it might be due to not having to leave for work until I got her off to school, which meant I could didn't have to leave the house until 9....

It has occurred to me yesterday, as she and I were running late to Seattle to babysit my nephews, she might not be the only one with a problem. I've done some serious soul searching and have discovered an unpleasant truth.

I am usually running late.

Yes. For work, school, church, movies...you name it, I'm running late for it.

Apparently, the white rabbit gene is strong in me. And when I join forces with my daughter, Whoa Nelly. There is no way she and I can get our act together when it's just the two of us. My son was so pleased the day he started middle school and was no longer waiting on us to get ready.


Well, I'd say I'd work on that, but I'm a procrastinator also, so what's the point? I'd just put it off and put if off, and the next thing you know, I'm running out the door thinking, "I'm late!!"