children, family, humor, motherhood

No Lie (Part Two)

At breakfast we discussed T.Puzzle’s prospects of winning top honors for his class speech.  I know it seems like a stretch if you recall the topics he considered as a theme (see No Lie).  Much to my relief, he went with a speech about our two dogs.  He did a great job overall and I promised if he made the top 5 of his class (which he did!), I’d post the speech here in its entirety.  I kept our dogs names unchanged because it seemed more awesome that way.

IMG_4773
Max and Nora

Do you have dogs that wrestle each other? Well I do. Their names are Max and Nora. I’ll talk about how my family got them, about Max, and about Nora. Let me explain a little further.                   

First, my family got Max when I outgrew my allergies to our old dog Kisses. My family wanted to get Kisses back. So, we had to go to my Grandma’s house. We got Max too because he was also there. My family got Nora a year after Kisses passed. My mom was looking for a new dog on a website. It took a while but my mom finally found Nora. She came to our house and we decided to adopt her there because she was perfect.                                                                      

Next, I’ll talk about Max. Max has black and a little white fur. He weighs about ten pounds and is 14 years old. Max is also a Shih Tzu that has a mustache. Max sleeps a lot and loves to follow my mom around everywhere. The only time Max plays is when my dad gets home from work, but when he does Nora gets mad and usually runs him over. Max is super happy to go on a walk. His little tail wags up in the air. If Nora gets too close he will bark or sometimes bite Nora. One thing Max always does is sit on the top of our couch that looks out the front window. He will bark crazily at squirrels or lizards. Max also recognizes my mom’s car when it pulls in the driveway. He will whimper very loud when he sees it. One time I made a scary movie trailer about Max so he is a movie star.  Despite him being famous, he still loves my mom. Max always makes my family laugh when his face looks crazy after a nap.                     

Lastly, I’ll talk about Nora. Nora is a King Charles Cavalier/Bichon mix. She has white fur and some brown spots. Nora weighs eighteen pounds. She doesn’t like thunderstorms and she doesn’t do well in cars. Nora can be a spaz sometimes. She will wag her tail furiously at random dogs or people. She will also run like crazy and make weird noises. Nora also barks at the TV in my house. Nora can eat very fast and she will steal Max’s food. Whenever someone comes to my house, Nora will run and jump on them. One time Nora ripped an ear off a Yoda chew toy. My dad had to bring Nora to the vet, but Nora threw up the ear in his truck and was fine.  My dad was mad but not for long because Nora always throws up in his truck.  Nora is awesome because she always greets me when I get home from school.  On a scale of one to ten, she is over nine thousand. 

In conclusion, I have two amazing dogs. I talked about how my family got them, about Max, and about Nora. So, do you have dogs that sometimes act like they’re in the WWE?   

I told you it was awesome!

And, yes, I’m completely objective.

bad day, children, motherhood, parenting

Mommed

I was having a moment.  I had been cruising through the week and then, I wasn’t.  Mad Dog has been gone for over a week and won’t get back for a few more days.

I have no reason to complain.  My boys are older and they are about a thousand percent easier to manage compared to when they were small.  We also do lots of fun stuff together like special dinners out and movie marathons.  It isn’t perfect but it works.

However, we all miss Mad Dog and after a while, this feeling of missing him creeps over us and then it’s harder to be our best selves.

Yesterday, as I tried to order Full Speed’s track uniform (yay! He made the track team!  So what if all he had to do was show up, basically, he made the team at ‘hello’, still….he made the commitment to be on a team…woo-hoo!), I lost it.  Why? Part of it was that it was about my one-hundredth action item of the day, and the other part was that Full Speed is one of the hardest kids in the world to find clothes that fit properly.  I can’t explain it but he always seems to fall in between regular sizing.  I had stared at the computer screen completely flummoxed as to what size to purchase when I finally pulled the trigger.  As I printed out the receipt I realized after all that agonizing, I had ordered the wrong size!  Yes, in the grand scheme of life it is no big deal, but it felt really big right then and I started to cry.

Full Speed came over to me, put his arm around my shoulders and said:

“It’s okay, Mom.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I just appreciate you buying the uniform for me.  I know you miss, Dad, too.  Because you miss him that’s probably really why you are upset. I understand.”

I had to admit, the kid made some good points.

Then, it dawned on me…I got ‘mommed’.

He basically said every exact thing I would say to him if the tables were turned.

I’m grateful he had the empathy to comfort me.  Nice that some of what I say to him sticks.

Today was better.

Here I will share a photographic art installation which symbolizes how well I am managing.

Thankfully, Little Guy waived all modeling fees.

Happy Holidays, motherhood

Life Lessons of 2017

It’s hard to believe, but another year is drawing to a close.  To date, this has been a year of tremendous change as Full Speed became a teenager (!) and T.Puzzle jumped more solidly into the double-digit realm.  It’s not the age-number per say, 13 and 11 respectively, but the growth and maturation I’ve seen from them.  It’s been a lot to process as I am seeing more clearly the young men they are becoming.

A7DF3A67-8BB0-49EE-849B-612E7ACCB4B0
Full Speed is on the left, T.Puzzle on right

T.Puzzle continues to surprise us.  He developed a love of distance running.  How Mad Dog and I produced a distance runner is still a bit mystifying, but it is awesome that T.Puzzle is finding his own interests and pursuits.  LEGO construction and playing video games remain firmly at the top of his list, but nice to know that he likes to get up and go sometimes, too.

CE9B7C55-2DF9-4D21-B1F6-DA8B8A56342D

Full Speed became a middle-schooler this year (it starts in seventh grade in our region) and he has adjusted beautifully.  He shows leadership to his classmates willingly coaching them through Algebra assignments, and has a zest for presentations in class.  A recent assignment in Civics had him debating school politics and he was in his zone.  Leadership qualities and a passionate debater, hmmm…does that sound like anyone we might know?  He also learned that not every dream is realized as he tried out for his school’s soccer team and didn’t make the cut.  My favorite part about this life lesson was his genuine happiness for a long-time friend and classmate who did make the team this year.  It’s not to say Full Speed’s given up on soccer forever, but oh my, isn’t there a wonderful world of possibilities out there waiting for him?

E80DE6B2-FC32-4135-AEE4-DAFF0C214F2E

One of the very best parts of 2017 was the addition of our newest family member, Miss Lady.  She is by no means a perfect dog, but she absolutely has been the perfect dog for our family.  She keeps things lively here which I’m not so sure our senior resident (Little Guy) appreciates.

3031893F-3A67-4894-B7CE-444A5C6877F2
Little Guy’s shocked expression captures the essence of his disbelief at the amount of his new sister’s energy.

If you ever need to feel like you are the most amazing being alive, come on over and hang out at our house for a while, Miss Lady will not disappoint with her enthusiastic snuggles and love for you.

778F5487-A0BD-46AF-AB13-8185FA177047
Miss Lady is as sweet as she looks.

Mad Dog continues to travel all over America and then some as the scope of the call centers he oversees grows and grows. As hard as it is to be away from him sometimes, I see how fulfilling his position is and know it is keeping him challenged and inspired. That’s truly all I want for all three of my boys, to be challenged and inspired.

5922E780-B079-4FD8-963D-473DD81F5DC3

As for me, I’ve made a little more space in my life for the things I enjoy.  I continue to walk our dogs every day, have started a daily yoga routine and write as much as possible.

8E4713FC-F77E-4CE3-9CD6-2271907CF1AB

Life is short so whatever brings us joy is absolutely what we should pursue.  It’s as simple as that.

CD69D483-1BAA-4C97-A039-2CF77CCCDB71

 

Hope you had beauty-filled 2017 and that the lessons that lie ahead for all of us keep us growing in the direction of love.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

dogs, humor, motherhood

A Love Story

It has recently come to my attention that I need to up my game.  Apparently, there is a new woman in Mad Dog’s life and she is much, much younger than I am.  She also is fluffy and adorable.

AF0ABD13-053E-4AFD-9E42-FFBF47D56AD9

A few months back Mad Dog purchased a new truck.  He is a meticulous vehicle owner.  Some days if our boys breathe too loudly while in his truck, he gets agitated.  These rule do not apply to his fluffy new love.  She can ride shotgun and she can vomit uproariously all over his leather seats and it’s perfectly fine!

There is more to the story.  Mad Dog has a history of falling in love with adorable dogs.   First there was our White Fluffy Dog (may she Rest In Peace) and now there is Miss Lady.  I call her Miss Lady because she is anything but.  She is kind of gross in her penchant for finding the worst smells in our backyard and rubbing herself in them. She also loves to eat dead worms!  I have to be vigilant that no such worms are visible to her on our lanai when I let her out to do her business.

Yes….she is a gross little dog at times, but she also is magnificent.  She is the most loving dog I have ever known.  She is the queen of snuggles and if you let her, she prefers to be draped over your lap like a fuzz-ball blanket of adoration.  She kind of makes you feel like a rock star and all you have to do is exist.  That’s it.  Just exist and she thinks you are the bees knees.

With her remarkable temperament, I am attempting to get her behaviors in line so I can share some of her bottomless well of love with the world.  The world really needs more love don’t you think?  Training her is a long, long process.  Most days I enjoy it and Miss Lady loves it every day, but the time commitment is tremendous. I have to walk her separately from our other adorable dog so she can learn leash manners.  I also do random training session with her throughout the week.  I feed her, I bathe her and I snuggle her.  And you know what that gets me?  Second fiddle.  Despite all I do for her she prefers Mad Dog to all other beings.  I get it.  He is pretty awesome.  She’ll get no argument from me.

So, when Miss Lady ripped apart a Yoda chew toy (yes, Star Wars dog toys are mandatory in our home) and then proceeded to ingest Yoda’s ear, I panicked a little.  I didn’t know what it would do to her digestive system and if she would be able to pass it.  I raced to find Mad Dog who calmly and eventually concluded, taking her to the vet would be the best thing to do.  Off they went and naturally he put Miss Lady in the front seat of his pristine truck.  Soon, her nerves and her stomach gave way and the contents of her belly erupted all over his truck’s leather seats.  There was so much carnage that inevitably, some of her vomit soaked into the seats. Thankfully within the mess was the ear of Yoda fully intact (the force with was us!).

Mad Dog relayed all this to me in a phone call.  He wasn’t upset.  He did not care one bit that ‘his girl’ threw up in his treasured truck.  All he cared about was that Miss Lady was going to be okay.

I told you he was awesome.

6FB3AF8B-2B79-496D-939C-D0073FDBFF5E

children, family, humor, motherhood

Pushback

How is it possible to trash talk during a FAMILY DICE GAME?  As Mad Dog will tell you, he is gifted at a lot of things and trash talking is one of them.  For him, it’s a subtle balance of talking up his legendary gaming status and pushing buttons whenever one of his opponents shows any glimpse of weakness.  Not surprisingly, a recent game of Farkle pushed T.Puzzle to frustrated tears.  He cannot stand to lose, but to lose to Mad Dog is anathema.

Then there’s me.  I actually encourage family games.  I have this deluded notion that I can spark a positive connection between my family members (ha!).  Most of the time it is fun, even the trash talking part.   The crazy things Mad Dog says are classic and lead to laughter.  Laughter is where all the magic happens.  Then, there are the times when the laughter turns sour.  The game goes so far off the rails, you can’t turn back.

I also am not sure why I’m the only one in my family that truly appreciates the outdoors.  To get all three of my guys to do something outside takes monumental persistence and strength.  The pushback is incredible.  If they were left to their own devices, I’m guessing they would just be attached to said devices (i.e.-smartphones, laptops, gaming systems).

Why do I insist on family games and outings?  I like making the three of them step out of their comfort zone.  I like that they are forced to interact with each other.  This is how we learn and grow.  This is how we bond.

I have days where I lose motivation due to the enormous amount of resistance I encounter.  I asked Mad Dog why he always has to drag his feet on my ideas for family time.  His theory is that he is trying to maintain the illusion that he is still the alpha of the house.  Even though part of him knows what I’m suggesting is good for him and ultimately he will comply (mostly), he can only do so in his own complicated way.  I appreciated his honesty.  I didn’t fall in love with him because he always agrees with everything I say as soon as I say it.  I like that he challenges me.

That’s the whole point of loving someone.  You love them for exactly who they are, not who you think they should be.

I knew full well when I walked down the aisle towards Mad Dog on our wedding day, he was a trash talker of epic proportions.  I kept walking anyway because there was so much awesome in him that it made everything ok.  I knew my life would never be boring and it would be full of amazing adventures (see also Wrigley Rising).

I happened to get two bonus awesomes out the deal, too.

IMG_0281