Tuesday, August 26, 2008

dog lovin's

My kids were happily playing a game of "construction Star Wars" in the living room, when our dog Charlie stopped by for a visit! He plopped himself in the middle of their play area and layed on his back for a belly rub. This is Ben quickly moving toys out of the way to make room for him:
You see, Charlie weighs about 90 pounds, but he thinks he's the size of a gerbil. He'll come over to wherever someone is standing and literally lay on top of that person's feet to be "loved".
This is Jake loving him back! After this photo was taken, Charlie patiently and happily laid there while Jake explained the various Star Wars characters to him.

Sprinkle Art

If you don't mind getting a little messy, this is always a fun art project! I drew the outline of a "cake" on a piece of paper, and then made "decorative" designs with glue... then Ben got to shake sprinkles all over! I'd highly suggest doing it on a tray or cookie sheet, or in a pan to help contain some of the mess!
I said, "Ben, show me how fun this is!" and this is the expression he gave me:
And the finish product...
After Ben was finished and had left the room I began to clean up. I instantly regretted my extra-positive cheers of "shake it harder!" as my feet began to crunch on the floor with every step I took. It's been about eight hours since that project and I'm still finding green and red sprinkles here and there... maybe next time I'll do it outside and let the dogs lick up the remains!

Monday, August 25, 2008


This morning Ben was scheduled to go to Kaiser for a Radiology appointment. He was supposed to drink a very chalky, thick, milk-of-magnesia-consistency drink and then the Radiologist would track his digestion through a live x-ray machine. Ben's Pediatrician had called me on Friday and set up the appointment for Monday (today). Because the appointment was so sudden, and because we had no time for me to be mailed the appropriate paperwork about the appointment, Ben's doctor "reviewed" with me the instructions over the phone.

During the call he had said, "Let me just zone out here for a minute and see if I can find any specific instructions (on the computer)." Then he followed with, "Nope, nothing. Just show up a few minutes early." I asked him at that point, "So it's okay for him to eat a normal breakfast?" and he agreed that that should be fine. He and I went back and forth for a minute discussing fasting and he said he didn't find any special instructions regarding that, so I decided I would just feed him an early breakfast so he would be "hungry" enough to drink the "smoothie". Ben's doctor agreed that "yes, that should be just fine."

Back to this morning...
We arrived at the Radiology appointment a few minutes early and they ushered us in almost immediately. As we were led down one of the millions of hallways (Hubby commented that a person could get seriously lost in a hospital) the technician inquired as to when Ben ate his last meal. So I happily replied, "Oh, he had breakfast at about seven."

No joke she stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me. She checked her watch, it was about nine o'clock. Hesitantly she continued, "And what exactly did he have? Because he's not supposed to have eaten anything! He was supposed to fast from Midnight on!"

I'm sure my expression was more than shocked! I am rule-follower down to the umph detail, so to me this was a completely humiliating moment. I stuttered for a second and answered her, "Well, he had about 2/3 of an Eggo waffle and one small strawberry." Again she lectured me on the importance of fasting before an event like this. I then explained that Ben's doctor had booked the appointment and he didn't mention fasting. I told her the big long story I just told you. She "needed to check with the doctor on staff", so we sat in the hallway and waited. A little while later she returned to tell us that we needed to reschedule for another day so Ben could properly fast.

Rescheduling was not an easy task! I asked for the earliest appointment possible since he's so little, and she informed me that 9:10 was the first appointment of the day. We walked to the reception area and she announced at the top of her voice to the receptionist, "She needs to reschedule because she fed the baby breakfast and he was supposed to fast." Naturally the waiting room was filled to the brim with other patients, causing me to feel like I deserved a "World's Worst Mom" award.

Then as the receptionist looked through the computer database, she found an appointment a couple of weeks away at 10:45. I shook my head "no". She found an open spot for a day this week at 11:30. Clearly the woman does not have children. I said, "No. He gets up at 6:30, there's no way he can make it that long. It HAS to be the first appointment of the day." So then I waited for another twenty minutes while she tried calling the Vallejo office for an appointment. Finally we were successful and were able to reschedule for later this week.

I was irritated with the whole situation. I could not believe that Ben's doctor didn't know he was supposed to fast! I couldn't believe we wasted an hour out of our morning in the company of a rude nurse. And now we had to drive to a different city on a different day because of Ben's doctor's incorrect information! We get to go through all of this again on Friday. woopee.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This week Jake started Kindergarten! It was a chapel day, so this was his uniform:
He seemed very excited to go and didn't seem in the least bit nervous. I was sweating like a pig out of anxiety, but blamed the "early morning heat" so as not to appear wimpy. I didn't think Jake would cry (he puts on a pretty tough exterior), but still it was a new place with new people and I had no idea what would happen! Well, he marched right in and sat down and was ready to go!After he sat down I leaned over a bit and whispered in my Mommy-knows-best tone of voice, "You let us know when you're ready for us to leave and we'll step out!" He waited all of three seconds and without barely a glance upward he mumbled, "Okay, go! Bye!" I was a little surprised to say the least! "Can I at least have a hug?" I ventured. That comment was met with this kind of face:
Sheesh, throw a dog a bone! "Fine, we'll stand in the back of the classroom for a few minutes." I glanced to my left and found many teary eyed parents and not one teary eyed child. I looked over my shoulder to the right and found a poor Mom waving to her daughter. Her daughter was absorbed in a fit of giggles with another little girl and didn't seem to notice. I could sympathize.

I slowly stepped out into the hall and looked at a woman standing guard next to me. She raised her eyebrows to me and said, "Well I thought he'd have a hard time but he's so involved with the dinosaurs I think I can leave now." I smiled politely and glanced around the corner at the dinosaur area to where her son was playing. Yep, no tears in that department! "Good for him!" I encouraged. She asked which child was mine, and I pointed to my little lad sitting at a table already engrossed in conversation with another blond-haired boy. The woman stated that Jake seemed to be doing alright too! I nodded... but still we waited.

A couple of times I thought Jake was glancing in my direction and I'd raise my hand to wave to him but he never looked over. He was content, which is every parent's dream for their child's first day of school, but something was troubling me. What was this hold he had on me? Surely I could walk outside, drive off and not look back, but something was holding me firm. My feet felt glued to the spot! I guess it was love, or something sappy like that...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another blog about weight...

I had a very unsettling resolution the other day: I had gained weight. An obvious, too-many-nachos-and-soda kind of weight. All of my shorts were snug across the bottom (if you looked closely enough you could read my Victoria's Secret label) and my buttons and zippers were practically bursting at the seems!

This past Saturday we were traveling to my sisters house, which isn't a fancy affair, but I wanted to look cute and it had been hot out so shorts seemed necessary. I actually went through four pairs of shorts trying to find some that were suitable. One pair were to "exercisey" for me; another pair were too tight across the waist; and a third pair were okay (if spandex was back in style).

It was the forth pair that did me in! They were just fine when I was standing up, but as soon as I would start to sit the fat would just ooze out like extra cheese on a pizza. So I thought, "well, what if I just stand all day?" That's no good, surely I'd get tired. But I seriously weighed over this decision. What IF I stood all day? That's not that awkward looking, right? Who would notice? I could just casually lean against the counter tops, and rest one foot up here and there on a stool... Oh, but the car ride down... it's over an hour! So I told myself I could just unbutton the shorts in the car, and when I got there I'd suck it in and put the button back in place!

I tried out my plan on a chair in my dining room. However, as soon as I sat down there was a muffin top explosion! I was quickly becoming short of breath, so I hurriedly unbuttoned my shorts and before I could stop it, the fat had taken on a mind of its own and unzipped the zipper by itself! I looked like Al Bundy from Married With Children. This wouldn't work at all!

My self-esteem and body image were bypassing depression and heading straight for suicidal when I got a sudden burst of hope! My safety jeans! Every woman I've ever met has a pair of safety jeans. These are the jeans that look fabulous no matter what size you are! If you've lost some weight they hang off your hips in a funky, casual, too-skinny-to-care kind of way, and if you've gained weight they "accentuate" your curves in a most flattering way. You can pair them with heels, sandals, or tennis shoes and they always look great!

I ran to my closet and threw on my safety jeans. Okay, so they were more "accentuating" than "hanging" but by golly they worked! I instantly felt better... okay maybe I'd been watching too much of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but I needed anything at that point to boost my confidence. *sigh* It was such a great movie... now on to real life...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweeter Than Chocolate

Meet Maia (pronounced My-uh)! She's a beautiful chocolate Lab pup that we "rescued" from a family who could no longer care for her. She's purebred, with AKC paperwork and she's a total sweetheart! She'll be staying with us for a few days while we find a suitable home for her (we have several positive prospects right now).

She loves to play in the hose water, she loves to play with cats (yup, you heard right) and she's an all-around well mannered pup. We read over her AKC paperwork and found out she's the same age as our pup Charlie! They were born on the same day, March 26, 2007! What a small world!

It was love at first sight for Hubby when he picked her up today and I had to remind him that NO we are not keeping her and YES we will be finding a home for her ASAP! Hubby's walking around like it's Christmas morning, while I'm standing by ready to throw coal in his pants the next time he "suggests" she stays here. The last thing we need is another mouth to feed! Especially when we already have two that drool and shed like it's going out of style.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dog Drama

I had just emailed my Mom this evening and told her I was behind on my blogging when God saw an opportunity and ran with it...

I walked by my french doors that open to the backyard and saw my lab, Charlie, lying on the grass casually holding something between his paws. Then I saw him lean down and nibble a bit. It looked dark in color so I immediately begin muttering under my breath something about the kids not keeping their toys picked up. I sighed heavily and yanked the door open.

"Charlie! Leave it!" I scolded. He glanced up casually as if to say, "You called?"

"Leave it!" I hollered again, and then pointed toward the side yard. "Go!" Clearly he was not willing to budge (stubborn mutt, gets the trait from my Hubby). I huffed out toward the lawn and said, "Come." Again he stared at me and cocked his head sideways a bit. I swear he curled his claws into the grass roots even deeper as if to say, "Go ahead, make me."

As I walked a little closer I couldn't quite make out the dark object. I squinted my eyes a bit and leaned forward. It seemed to be shredded some, as if he'd been working on it awhile. It looked like a type of hand glove or towel. I bent down a little closer... nope, dead bird. It was a dead, torn-to-pieces, de-fluffed, partially de-feathered bird carcass. EWWW!!!

I shrieked, jump backward, and then threw up a little in my throat. I shaked the willy-nilly's out of me and tried to swallow some saliva to ease the vomit sensation. Charlie took my commotion as an invitation to play and began dancing around trying to lick me. "Get away! Shoo! Ew! Gross!" spewed out of my mouth at warp speed in his direction.

I locked him behind the side fence and tiptoed back toward the dead bird. I quietly looked at it again, gagged, and headed back inside toward the phone. I dialed Hubby at work and explained my drama. Much to my surprise he started to chuckle. "Well look at that! He's doing what he was made to do. These are bird dogs, you know!" The man couldn't have sounded more impressed.

"Oh, really! How exciting! Good for him! Now come home and clean this mess up!" I snapped into the phone! He casually instructed me to "just get a bag and scoop it up and throw it away."

"But I can't!" I wailed. "It's a bird! A nasty, gross, disgusting carcass... with the head still attached!" To this comment he pointed out the obvious, that I change poopy diapers every day. "Yes, I said. But that's poop; I know what I'm expecting! I don't open the diaper and occasionally find a dead animal laying in there!"

Needless to say, I removed the "debris" from my yard but not before almost dropping it on my foot, twice, and then using said foot to soon after step in dog poop on the way to the garbage. I swear the next time I look out and see that dog chewing something, I'm just going to let him have at it. And if his poop is in the shape of a squirrel or woodpecker or owl, then Hubby can discard of that himself!

And thanks, God, for your lovely "suggestion" of a blog!

Monday, August 4, 2008


A friend recently sent me an email with this link for the Kraft Foods website for some dinner ideas. These are all very simple, very easy to make, even for those that struggle with boiling water. I made the Crisp-and-Creamy Baked Chicken today for Hubby to pack for lunch and for the boys and I to eat for dinner and it looks delicious! It turned out exactly like the picture looks--which is an obvious statement, but sometimes I'm a little cooking-challenged myself and my food doesn't always resemble the pictured entree (who knew pesto can turn purple).

I printed out several recipes and plan on giving them a go over the next few days. I thought the jumbo meatballs looked pretty tasty, so we'll try those tomorrow!