Monday, July 31, 2006

The Tale of Two Tails

Well, this morning started out okay. I was going to try to be chipper, try to hold it together as best I could. Try to keep a positive outlook... try to be happy and know that it's a new day... it's a beautiful morning and we are together for a little while longer...

Gidget's tumor had ulcerated on top of the ulceration and she was in pain... panting. It was quite uncomfortable I could just tell... and by the positions she chose to sprawl out in, you could easily see she was just uncomfortable. I had numerous blankets scattered about the house so that she was never far from my side the past few days... and she stayed near.

They all got extra cookies today... I had to give Gidget an aspirin in a piece of hot dog.... just to try to make her a little more comfortable. I changed her dressings on her wound one last time... and tried to keep an upbeat attitude and get Josh to interact with her instead of treating her like she's already gone.... we took a series of photos together... Josh even got behind the lens to get a couple of photos of me and Gidget.

I think animals just sense things... she'd been hiding under the bed an awful lot lately... like she just knew she needed to be away. Andy took off work early and came to get her to take her for me because I told him that there just wasn't any way I could keep it together... and it'd just be too ugly. She needed someone with her that could remain calm instead of someone clinging to her and stressing her out (that'd be me.)...

Josh was outside doing tricks with the flyswatter -- don't ask -- it's entertainment for him!?! I knocked on the window to let him know to come inside...and I said, do you want to get Gidget out from underneath the bed for me? He said, "Why"... and I said, "it's time for her to go now." That was so hard saying that to him... and his voice broke as he was trying to coax her from beneath the bed. She came out, tail wagging, as usual. Almost like she was trying to comfort us... to let us know that she was going to be alright. We took turns sitting in the floor petting her... Josh tried so hard to be strong... but no one can at a time like that. When it was finally time, I just leaned over and gave her a big hug and pet her chest with my hands... and for once in the last week that I've embraced her... she held very still and just let me hold her... and I told her that I loved her so much and that I was sorry her body wasn't strong enough. I wrapped her up in the big navy blue beach towel and carried her out to Andy's car outside. Josh and Drew were close on my tail. She acted nervous… like she knew what was going on. Josh just lost it… Andy was holding Drew… trying to comfort Josh… so I shut the door and went into Mom mode to try to comfort my boys…. Drew didn’t want to say bye to Gidget either and when I put her in the car he started crying too… I took Drew and led Josh to the inside of the house. Andy backed out of the drive and they were gone down the street. Josh immediately walked over to one of the chairs and just stared bawling… so I carried Drew into the living room and set him down to go get a toy. The Josh and I sat down on the couch, I leaned his head to my chest and just held him and we cried together. Drew realized Josh was hurting and he crawled up onto the couch beside the two of us and just kind of looked at me and then Josh and then he wrapped his arms around us both and said “big hug” and the leaned over and embraced us both and then gave Josh a kiss… then kind of watched him… then walked away… he was trying to make Josh’s boo boo all better… it was just such a tender moment between us three…

Andy came back after it was done and said she didn’t suffer … but he, too, believes she knew what was going on. The vet even said so… He placed the towel and her colar on the counter in the kitchen. I went upstairs and gave her collar to Josh to put on his shelf… after josh melted down he went upstairs to build a Gidget out of legos – and cme down and gave it to me to put on my night stand (she used to sleep on the floor on my side of the bed)

On the way to dinner tonight Andy told me he told Gidget to say "hi" to Jericho for him (that was his favorite dog he had to put down a few years ago)… and that made the waterworks flow. He said that at first he was okay because he knew we were doing what was beset for her but when it was all over he was lke… wow… she’s gone and he teared up….

So I regained my composure before dinner. Andy's parents wanted to take Josh out to eat before school started and especially now to get him out of the house and out of the absence of Gidget. We ate at Springcreek, it was nice… got home... then I walked into the house and the silence was deafening. There wasn’t anyone there to greet me. Gidget was the only one of the 3 dogs that gave a shit that I ever walked in the door (boomer’s deaf so he has an excuse – he usually just takes a cue if he sees the other dogs get up and goes to see what’s going on)… but he never really cares, he just wants someone to throw the ball for him. So, I walked in the house alone—the boys were out front…and it was just too quiet… no little pitter patter of her toenails running across the hardwood floors estatic that I'm home just to see her and to give her a little pat on the head... to her I was just the queen of the castle and the king of the world all wrapped into one... and when I walked in tonight, I was just no one... and it just killed me – (like it is right now). So I went to the bathroom and just started crying.

Then I had to make their dinner…. and only had to make two bowls… and again, lost it.

Boomer has been walking around looking for her… he’s pacing the floors. And now, he's sleeping directly beneath my chair. This will be his first night without her ... since we got her. He's still walking back and forth from my room looking for her. I need to wash the blankets so her scent isn't on them anymore... or do I?

I just keep thinking -- Where The Red Fern Grown... with Gidget, probably Boomer's spirit will go too. I know he's not too far behind her... and that makes things so hard. When that point comes in the very near future I fear, I really do not know what I'm going to do.

You never realize how much these little four legged kids are woven into the very spirit of your being until they're gone -- or threatened to be gone... and your life just won't be the same... Hopefully, you realize at that point, just how privileged you should feel to have been loved by one of God's sweet creatures that was put on this earth just to be loved and spoiled by you.... and you just hope and pray that they know what a wonderful impact they've had on your life and hope that they can even comtemplate even a tenth of what they meant to you.

So, our home is now quiet of the pitter patter of quick little steps running to the gates to welcome me home... and we're down to two tails.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Saying goodbye to a good friend.

My little dog, Gidget, is being put to sleep tomorrow. She and Boomer were the first "kids" I've ever had the complete responsibility for so this is incredibly hard for me… harder even more so because I’m trying to be strong for Josh. He’s old enough to know that she will be gone and won’t ever be back. He’s had a lot of questions about death because of this and I’m trying my best to answer him in a way he will understand. He wants to make sure that when they do it, it’s not going to hurt her… that “daddy’s going to be there with her so she’s not scared”.

Tonight at the dinner table, he just lost it… He’s asked me why we can’t have the surgery for her and try to make her better. Honestly, I fear that what’s on the outside of her is only the tip of the iceberg and feel that she probably has more wrong with her than we realize.

Gidget is a spunky little girl… my mom and her friend Vel brought her home from Trader’s Village (I think) or Canton – one of the flea markets. The person selling her actually released her too early – she was a week and a half short of being old enough to be adoptable. She was SO tiny… and was brought to me in a shoebox. This soft little black and white Boston Terrier. I couldn’t think of a good name. My mom wanted me to call her “Buttons”…so that I’d have Boomer and Buttons. Her name was ALMOST Gucci but I chose Gidget after seeing an infomercial for a rerun of the Sally Field TV series of the same name. It just stuck.

Having another puppy again really wasn’t what I wanted but my mom thought Boomer was lonely and that he needed a friend.

She was such a little cutie… I had her in a laundry basket by the bed and she hated being in there so at night, I’d pick her up and put her in the bed with me. That turned her into my little lap dog. She was just like having a baby… get her up, make her food. She was so little that it had to be softened up in milk first. I’d then take her outside to do her business – nearly every 3-4 hours – even sometimes at 2 am (very much like having a baby – getting up that much) and then try to get her back to sleep when she was then ready to play!

We went through a spell with her getting the “snorts” is what I called them. The vets nebulized her and said she needed to grow into her epiglottis because it possibly was long and tickling the back of her throat – common in pug nosed dogs. One night it was especially bad so I thought I’d give her some baby medicine… little did I know it had caffeine in it and I gave her WAY too much and she was like a little Chihuahua dog on about 50 cups of coffee. Boy when she crashed .. she CRASHED and slept for like a day. I was so paranoid I’d damaged her.

She was always the one that would lay right next to me in bed for a while IF you pet her…otherwise, she wanted to root under the covers and lay at your feet. Usually the entire bed would start shaking (she got too hot and was panting) so you’d have to raise the covers up and either put her on the floor, or at least make her move to a cool spot.

She loved to play ball. The funny thing is the dynamic between Boomer and Gidget – in the house, Boomer wouldn’t ever let her catch the ball but outside, she’d kick some tail! She loved to chase balls! We’d go buy her little play balls and just throw them on the ground and they’d run themselves silly out there with those things.

Gidget took everything very personal. If another dog was in trouble, she’d slink away and hide thinking the backlash would come her way as well. Her little ears would lay flat on her head… she was just very sensitive.

I’d never known a dog to hold a grudge but boy she did. Josh’s father has a half-brother named Jason. When we were living in Colorado, they came out one year for Christmas. Gidget had JUST been fixed so her tummy had stitches and was still very tender. Jason couldn’t seem to remember this and kept trying to pick her up which, I’m sure, hurt like the dickens. Years after, when he’d come around her, she’d just snarl. LOL… I got a kick out of it b/c I just thought it was too funny….

She had some quirky habits and characteristics… she HATED having her toenails trimmed. I’d NEVER clipped them too close or made them bleed but she would lie on her back and just shake all over. It was funny… in the last few years…. She started eating poop in the back yard. I’d catch her and she was like “BUSTED” and would put her ears down like she knew she was in trouble. I’d leave her in the back yard for a little while just to make sure I wasn’t going to have to pick it up again. YUCK. The other habit she had was that of caring for others – she like to lick ankles, toes, feet. That’s how she showed her love. Each of her front paws has four white nails and one black one. And her crooked little tail… most Bostons either have a snubbed tail or just a little tiny tail but hers was longer than most… and crooked. It was special – just like her. As a pup, our home in Abilene had wooden floors and she would slide across them… get under your feet and you’d wind up pushing her across the floor. So now, as an old woman, if you get near her walking, she just squeaks like “HEY WATCH IT BUDDY!” It’s annoying but that’s why she does it. When you least expect it is when she does it too…. And it kinda freaks you out.

She is a smart dog and knows where her room is – I’d put her and Boomer either in the closet on some blankets or the laundry room on blankets to sleep together so that they weren’t alone – company is always good to make you feel safe. And besides, they’re buddies. I don’t know what Boomer is going to do without her. Thor doesn’t like anyone… I fear his day isn’t too far behind hers. I always say Boomer is my favorite because he is just smart and gentle…but she’s my favorite in her own way… I could pick her up and carry her around…and used to all the time until Josh was born. I don’t think she knew what to do when someone else took the place on my lap. But she’s my favorite in that she let me carry her like my little one, she liked laying near me in bed and keeping me company. She was the first one when I walked in the door to be excited that I’m HOME! It’s just little old me and you’d have thought I was covered in t-bones just because I walked in the door. She was that glad just to see me. She was MY loyal dog.

Gidget is a brave little thing… she may have been the little dog in the house but in her mind… she was bigger than Thor, the Rotweiller. She’d snarl and growl at him… snap too. Thor would look at her like she was crazy and just walk away like “whatever”.

Over the past couple of years, she’s developed a growth or series of growths. One on her right side is about the size of a non-shelled pecan. It didn’t look bad just weird… just a lump. Then on May 1, 2006, when I took her to the vet, she had a spot on her back just above her tail. It was the size of a dime and just looked like a scab. I was worried because that was how the other “tumor” started. Today, at the end of July, it’s literally the size of a hockey puck and is ulcerated and causing her great discomfort. They can do surgery but this I just what we can see on the outside of her… who knows what is on the inside. The surgery alone – and getting her teeth cleaned (I’ve been afraid to do since Boomer aspirated under anesthesia for his growth removal) was about $700. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money… but when the unknown is greater than the known… sigh… what do you do.

Her health -- the vet did say her heart sounded great and that all in all she wasn’t old in his mind just that the growth needed to be removed. Her eyesight is going, though… one eye is totally cloudy but she's still got vision in the other. You can see that she uses her hearing more to know where noises come from because when I call her, she doesn’t look for me, but she listens for where I am. Then she goes searching until she can see my shadow… I know she’s just getting old.

For the past couple of weeks, I took an old t-shirt and cut about a 6” band off the bottom. I then slit that and made a long bandage… I’ve been putting rags on the ulcerated tumor and then tying the band around her waist so that she was protected (from flies, the other dogs, etc.) and so that the furniture and my carpet was protected. She is so uncomfortable and keeps turning upside down on her back rubbing back and forth across the carpet to scratch it which, in turn, leaves a bloody mess for me to clean up.

For the past couple of days, she’s been getting spoiled. I’ve been dragging their fuzzy blue blanket around wherever I am for her to lie on. She knows I want her there…

I’ve been giving her extra treats – bacon grease in her food, extra food, lots of cookies… and plenty of pats on the head, scratches behind the ears… I tried to hold her last night when I just broke down on my knees in the laundry room… and she backed up and sniffed at my tears… then licked them away… like “don’t cry mom”… she has no idea… has been so spunky and happy today… and tomorrow it just all stops.

I feel like I’m letting her down. I feel like a traitor. I’m the one that is supposed to take care of her and I can’t even be there to hold her because I’m so selfish that I know I just can’t take it. But if something were happening to me… she’d be there…

Connections with pets are such strange things… Pets are so loyal -- so trusting… even when they’ve done something to let you down, they will try to return to you to get your acceptance and approval back. They want to approach you to let you know they’re sorry. Connections with them are almost deeper than a connection with another person because pets offer something that no person can … unconditional love. So with their demise, so goes your unconditional love.

So, tomorrow is just going to suck. I wanted to get one last picture of me and Gidget together… the last good one I have is from when she’s a puppy… but I’m going to have red puffy eyes and a tear stained face. Not the most photogenic of photo ops. Josh wants some photos… so we’ll try to do that in the morning when everyone is fresh… We’ll take her outside in the front yard and let her play ball one last time…. We’ll take her to Arby’s for lunch and get her a roast beef sandwich and some curly fries… we’ll give her a lot of love and attention… we’ll shed a lot of tears and probably just cry and hold one another when they leave at 2:45 for the appointment at the vet…my home will be 4 feet shorter, one tail fewer and many heavy hearts full. She was my dog… She was my friend… and tomorrow she’ll be gone forever.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The end of negativity

I've reached a point in a close family relationship that it's best to sever ties and remember the "good ole days" rather than continue to suffer through the unknowns of the future.

This just stems from the fact that my sister and I are, I believe, polar opposites in many ways. In my family, I've never been one to hold a grudge. You just suck it up, bury the hatchet and forgive and forget to get through things... I believe that's true for most any relationship. When you're close, you're going to hurt one another somehow, some way, somewhere along the lines... it will be done, but you just have to not let any "thing" get the best of an entire relationship. Generally, I go by those rules. Life's just too short to hold grudges about the past, to let it fester and eat at your insides like a cancer, to let it turn you into a bitter, negative, self absorbed person... life's not about that. But, I've just reached my breaking point with her.

She came to visit -- that alone is enough to take up about 4 blog pages -- one of these days I'll get it down so that I can look back and remember why it is that I did this (sever ties). But she has a tendency to send out these epic length e-mails to a mass of people telling about the details of their life -- good and bad for everyone to read... regardless of whether we care to read them or not... some of the information just seems ridiculous to include and it's stuff that I honestly just don't care about. Oh well, but as a family, we just get them read them and delete them. She does it as a way to document so that if she ever does start scrapbooking, she'll have resources to pull from for her journaling. That's what I’m going to tell myself anyways.

So she came to visit -- and I knew when she got home it would be soon to come -- the epic e-mail... and it did come. I read it and dismissed it... and then reread it... and got a little angry... and then read it again, and got even angrier so I forwarded it to a select group of people to read... and none of THEM could believe what she'd wrote either...

It said something to the effect that she looks 27-28 (because she claims one of the moms from my playgroup asked her if she was going to her 10th high school reunion) and I look older than her... that my neighbors and my playgroup think I'm the older sister and that at a cookout my neighbors were asking her who was older and she was telling them to "guess" and so they went up to my brother in law and asked him and his reply was "you'll just have to ask her"... she was in town for her 20th high school reunion... then she didn’t comment on anything positive about staying here... she just commented on how her youngest, Cannon, didn't get to walk around or play in my home at all because Drew had it in for her and she began to detail how abusive he was towards her. She stated he took HER toys out of her hand and hit her over the head with them. She said she took my son Josh to my mom's with her and the girls to at least "give me a break from one of the boys"... ?? I hadn't SEEN my son in FIVE WEEKS like I NEEDED a BREAK from him? It was basically how her kids are wonderful and little angels and I have an abusive bully and one that is just too much for me to handle so she has to help take him off my hands.

First of all, I have fair skin. I’m 33 so yes, I do have fine lines around my eyes – crow’s feet I believe they’re called. I have no grey hair. I have no sun damage to my skin. I still get carded to go out. She, however, has grays, has LOTS of sun damage to her face and wrinkles too. Is it a big deal? No…but to go through your life trying to tell me I look older – she’s 4 year older than I am – it’s just typical her – belittling and putting someone else down to build herself up to make her feel better. She says that at my play date at the park that she and her girls went to that one of the mom’s asked if I were the older sister and that she was going to her 10 year reunion? I’m so sure… and to think that people at the July 4th cookout were going to her and asking who was the older sister (like anyone would really even GIVE A SHIT?) and when she wouldn’t give them an answer other than “guess” she said they asked Robert (my brother in law) … like my neighbors would seek out a total stranger to find out who is older – me or her? I mean, give me a freaking break?! But she doesn’t just make this shit up… she makes it up and sends it out to everyone on her e-mail list… (that she sends these epic e-mails to).

Then to go on and on about how Cannon didn’t get to walk around and that she had to be carried the entire time because Drew just had it in for her… that Drew kept taking HER toys out of her hand and hitting her over the head with them.

First off, was Drew acting out? Yes he was some but there is a good reason for it…

a) He’s TWO
b) He’s a boy
c) He was finally bigger than someone he was around
d) He went from being an only child in his home for 5 weeks since his brother was in Iowa visiting his biological father to having to share his toys, home and space with 3 girls to having his brother return half way through that

Drew’s little world was literally turned upside down. Did he as for that to happen? No he did not so acting out, yes, I knew it was because of all of this. Is that a reason to make him out to be some horrible child and that her children had to learn how to defend themselves and how to block hits… That’s just malicious and hitting below the belt.

And to be clear, Drew didn’t take HER toys out of HER hand… he took HIS toys.

At first, I thought, just let it go, who cares. Be the bigger person here... you're giving her too much power and control over your emotions. Then I felt hurt and betrayed and used and manipulated and realized that I ALWAYS feel this way after any extended contact with her. She is the single most negative person I have ever met in my life. She can't look at the positives... her rose colored glasses have been dipped in tar... her glass is eternally half-empty. It's true that misery loves company... because she wants to bring the world down with her. She thrives on DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA and I HATE drama. So why in the HELL would I want that in my life? I wouldn't so I chose to reply to her e-mail. Not in order to start an e-mail war (which usually is what happens -- I send her then she replies then I reply to her's just stupid) but honestly, I didn't even care to give her an explanation of anything. I just replied and said remove me from your mailing list... this and all future ones. I blocked her e-mail address and removed her numbers from my phones. I'm just done. Her malice in her choice of words, topics, adjectives and such just struck a nerve with me. So, I replied and asked her to remove me and then said “I’m done.” And that was it. It was sent and the removals began. I almost feel liberated because of it.

My son, Joshua, 7, even noticed how she was…. He asked me, “Why is she so mean?” He commented that she yells at them all the time. He said that the girls never listen to her. My SON NOTICED THIS?!

My explanation to him was that people mother in their own ways. She’s doing what she thinks is right because it’s her way…. I do what I think is right because that’s my way. And Josh replied…well, your way is the right way, she’s just wrong. I said… that’s called an opinion… and your opinion is that I’m a better mom. Her opinion would be different from yours because she obviously doesn’t think I am a better mom… but she’ll go back to California and we’ll just have to pray for her girls that they don’t turn out like her because I don’t think what she’s doing is right either.

But like I said, she likes to make everyone else look bad so she and her girls look like little angels. Her e-mail didn’t say anything about how her daughter wouldn’t eat a single thing that was put in front of her (cooked by me). Before she ever knew what was being served, before a plate was even placed before her… she’d just whine “I don’t want that”…. She threw a fit at dinner one night because Drew had tater tots and she didn’t. So I made her tater-tot casserole the next night – she wouldn’t eat it. I continually asked my sister if I should just cook them some chicken nuggets, fish sticks or something – I had a freezer full. She just said – no, they’ll eat what you cook or they’ll go hungry. So I don’t think a night passed that Sorenna didn’t go to bed hungry.

Everything about their entire lives is controlled by her. It’s just so sad and I was so ready to have that negativity out of my space. The only time I ever saw her smile was when she was holding her youngest in the morning or at night. She yells at her kids all the time… counts to them like she’s a drill sergeant. She wont even let her 6 year old pick out her own clothes… they get no choices. It’s just so sad.

Needless to say, we butted heads on more than one occasion… Tuesday night she told me that she had no plans the next day…that it was the first day that she had nothing to do. I was unaware of her schedule or anything so I had made plans to take my boys to my moms, take my car into the shop and have a friend pick me up and go to the mall and to lunch… she told my mom that she couldn’t come over there because my boys were going to be there and she’d have to hold cannon the entire time and watch sorenna because Drew was just after them all. And she couldn’t just leave them there because that’d be too much for my mom to handle. So that was her excuse. I overheard her telling my mom this on the phone. So I called my mom and said – you can see my boys anytime…I’ll take them with me and you can spend the day with the girls. She doesn’t need another excuse not to come over there. It’s not a big deal. Your granddaughters live in California and you haven’t seen them in two years… have some fun with them. We’ll come see you after they leave. So she told my sister and then she just can’t because there’s been too many changes of plans and now… had plans to go to a water park… have a play date, etc…. I’m like…?? She told me last night that she had no plans. So my mom – who was going to get to see her grandsons – I took that away… now her daughter and her 3 granddaughters weren’t coming over so she was really going to be the one missing out…so I called her and said, do you want me to still bring the boys over? She said, sure… go ahead… so I did…. I had to stop for gas on the way and my sister called me to ask me a question and we got into it on the phone. I just flat out told her that it was really crappy for her to make all these plans to do stuff with her friends when the girl’s grandmother WANTS to see them but she’s making more time to spend with her friends than her own family and that I thought that was pretty crappy. She tried going off and saying, “well, I TOLD mom on Sunday...” and I said, “I don’t care what you told mom.” She interrupted and said, “I TOLD MOM…” and I said clearly and slowly, “I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU TOLD MOM” and she hung up on me (we didn’t talk much after that for the rest of her trip). So, I got to mom’s house and got the boys settled in… and she said, do you know who called me after we got off the phone? I said?? No. She said, “Your sister – she’s on her way with the girls.” I said… but I thought she had play dates and water parks? She said, apparently not. She didn’t tell her that the boys were there… she just figured it out when she got there. Apparently they had a good time together.

My dad is a wonderful man though sometimes (in my opinion) he just needs to have an opinion. Fatherly advice isn’t a bad thing. If you choose to never express your opinion to your children, how will they ever learn to grow from your knowledge and experiences? He came over to watch her girls Friday so she could attend her high school reunion mixer – (the 20th reunion – not the 10th – keep dreaming!) and when she got back, my dad asked her a simple question. Did you have a good time? Her reply was, “yeah BUT…” and went on this laundry list of negatives… he did interrupt her and said… That’s not what I asked. I asked you if you had a good time. She said, “yes”... and he said Good. And that was the end of the conversation. So I KNOW that he sees the negativity she spews forth in every conversation.

She still goes on and on about a funeral she never even went to … her ex-step son – who she really never had anything good to say about anyway -- died in a vehicle accident this year. She tried to tell me that his family that got up to speak at the funeral just made it all about them… She hasn’t been involved with this child in MANY years… he could have been a completely different person.. She didn’t know how his family dynamic had changed… but she just had to comment on something she had no first-hand knowledge of...??? Why? I just don’t understand why it had anything to do with her ever again???? And she still feels the need to beat it up? My response to her was that the death of a child is something I can’t even imagine how they must have felt trying to deal with it publicly at a funeral where everyone spoke (even the parents) and if they needed to make some things known about the type of parents they felt they were, then that was their right. Everyone handles death in their own way… and that since she wasn’t there we shouldn’t really even talk about it… and I changed the subject.

Do I hope to gain anything by choosing to distance myself from her? Yes, the cancer and disease she brings into my heart and life…. The negativity she spews forth in every conversation – it will be absent from my heart… she won’t be.

Everything in life isn’t about her – this entire blog entry is.LOL… but the rest of life doesn’t revolve around her.

OK… on to bigger and better things..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Balloons, Potatoes and Ceiling Fans Do Not Mix

So I tied the remnants of Drew's 2nd birthday party (2 Buzz Lightyear mylar balloons) to the handle of the basket holding all the dog toys. Drew had puzzles, pegs, and all sorts of entertainment so I thought he was safe to leave alone so I could go pee. I walk back into the living room (literally 6 feet) and he's figured out how to untie the balloons and they are headed straight for the ceiling fan. BAM... the string rips one off and shoots it across the living room ceiling...the other (the one that had the 100 foot of blue ribbon attached to it) proceeds to spin with the blades wrapping ever so tightly around the motor. Nice huh? I freak and run pressing every button on the light switch not remembering which one controls the fan. I climb onto the coffee table -- not the smartest thing to do with your 2 year old watching I'm sure.... but I try in all desperation to STOP the blades with my hand.. realizing that I can't get it unwound b/c I'm too short, I run to the kitchen with the little man on my coattails watching my every move. He's studying how to handle stressful situations no doubt -- I grab a pair of tongs from the metal utensil drawer (the good kind from Williams-Sonoma work well for this) and a pair of scissors... after cutting the balloon itself free, I work on unwinding the blue ribbon. I grab the tongs and hold the ribbon out so I can cut it... then unwind it a time or two with my fingers... that's when I realize my little shadow is in the metal utensil drawer in the kitchen as well. I'm sure he's about to break out the pots and pans and "cook" up some grub... but alas... he comes into the living room weilding a sparkly silver potato masher in the air. He's there to fix it all and make it better... one potato at a time. I laughed so hard I cried. He was so proud of himself...every time I held the tongs up... that potato masher was waving down below. Together, he and I, got the blue ribbon unwound, the balloons to safety and the fan running again. All in a day's work.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sent Packing!

Josh's first day of summer camp was today! He's going to Adventure Team Kids camp at Meadowmere Park on Lake Grapevine. When I picked him up, his eyes were so bloodshot, he looked like a little stoner. They shot pellet guns, practiced fishing, played in the lake, kayaked... it was a great time for a boy in the summer! I bought a CD of photos from his week there so hopefully I'll get that Friday morning and get to have some great shots to scrap!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wow what a day!

My dad is such a wise man... has noble quotes... noble thoughts... good deeds... no short tongue... and once he said, "You choose how you respond to a bad situation. People don't make you angry, you have to choose to react that way." Well, today, I was PISSED STRESSED over-done and just UNGH ready to collapse!

Drew woke up on the wrong side of the crib this morning. WHat's so sad, however, is that he knows now when he does something and will say "saah-eee mommie" or if he has an odd request like handing you the plate before he's taken a bite because it doesn't particularly suit his palette... he will spout out "keh-koo mommy" (thank you mommy). And I guess that's supposed to make it all better. I'll have to admit, however, that it IS awful cute!

So, get the little guy up... get him fed... get my life going... he just whines and cries and screams and pouts... starts hitting his brother... and throwing things. You name it, it's been done today. I finally got sick of listening to the whine.... so I started to vacuum. LOL... nothing like drowning out the shrills of little people with a big ole Hoover Windtunnel! :) Works every time. Until you go to do the play closet and your oldest (Josh 7) is grabbing his head crying. So I shut off the deafener only to hear him whining because he got whacked with a buzz lightyear on the head by none other than the little slugger himself -- Drew. Oh the drama! I'm ready for them to be able to just duke it out so I can get out of the middle of it. I tried telling Josh... if he does something and we're not around to take care of it for you, you say no...get up and leave. Let him know that if he does things like that his fun (that would be YOU here son) goes away. Eventually he will grasp the concept that he can't hit people. But Josh, too, was a hitter...

Lunch... what a joke... he wouldnt' touch a thing on his plate... popcorn shrimp. He chewed the breading off of one and put the little shrimp over to the right side of his tray. He was more concerned that they were on his NEMO plate than whether or not he chose to dine. So, he drank a sippy cup of "buh buh buh" juice (we call it vegetable juice -- it's actually a V8 fruit/vegetable juice). I'm trying to get him to realize that buh buh buhs aren't a bad creature...they're actually good...see.. you ahve buh buh buh juice... why can't you EAT a buh buh buh. But alas, he just refuses to eat anything. It's probably the single most aggravating thing ever. Having a picky eater is not what I signed up for. I feel like my mom card is going to be revoked at any minute.

What he will eat.... cereal -- prefers it dry mostly. If you give him Lucky Charms, he'll pick out all the marshmellows and ask for "mo" (more)... unless you help him scoop up marshmellows AND cereal...then he'll eat it. He likes waffles -- usually. Lately, however, he hasn't been finishing those either. He won't eat pancakes, french toast, sausage, cheese toast, eggs or oatmeal.

Lunch.... Dinner... pretty much the same thing around here. Chicken nuggets and french fries. Staple in our diet. peanut butter and jelly -- but they have to be the Smuckers Uncrustables. He's finally starting to eat grape jelly. For a while, it was only strawberry. He DID eat about 75% of an Arby's Jr. roast beef the other day. He USED to eat popcorn shrimp but today he wanted to simply set them free. He won't eat fish sticks, sandwiches (though from time to time you can get him to eat a grilled cheese). He will eat a quesadilla and a bean burrito from Taco Bell.... and I've seen him eat a cheese burger once.. not all of it... but that's it... not a vegetable to save his life.

TOday was also grocery day -- Wal-Mart...walk in the door and what does he do? SCREAM FOR COOKIES at the bakery. Now this is AFTER he KNOWS he won't get anything else to eat at home b/c he hasn't eaten anything all day (his lunch went untouched but he sucked down the ENTIRE cup of buh buh buh juice before I realized he was doing that and filling up on liquids). So, of course, we can't break tradition, to the cookies we went... only to have him be a toot and throw one on the floor and then scream because he can't have it back -- -would YOU eat off a Wal-Mart floor? I didn't think so.

Did I mention he likes to sing now..??? sing/scream.... he tried out his opera lungs at Wal-Mart this evening..and of course, once I get to the check out aisle... I realze I have forgotten the one thing we were eating for dinner tonight. UGH! It's been THAT kind of day.

Tomorrow Josh has his week long summer camp at Lake Grapevine and I'm looking forward to my dr's appointment on Tuesday to get myself healthy and checked out. Drew WILL be a better kid tomorrow... if not, I can always lock him in the toy closet right?


I'm ready for my life to get back to normal...trying to entertain the "I'm boreds" 24/7 is getting very old!

Friday, July 21, 2006

What a bunch of CROP

It's Friday... it's Friday. (doing the happy dance) I'm going to a crop at Recollections organized by another scrapper in my neighborhood. I'm quite excited. Got the boys up and ready ... me packed... fed kids again... (taco bell -- make it a quick lunch)... dressed and to Adventure Playcare they went! I was so excited to get there and get working on my projects (finished both of them by the way! WOO HOO).... then 6 pm rolls around and the rest of the gang starts showing up. I recognized 2 of them. Then I asked and they were all in the neighborhood playgroup. I kind of made a face because it really makes me sad that the organizer won't let me back "in". I WAS in the playgroup -- or on the mailing list for it -- but it was when Drew was still taking 2 naps a day. Unfortunately, most of their activities were during his naptime so I didn't go. When he was able to, however, I did attend. Then I just stopped receiving the newsletter. I asked why and was told that if you don't come to the events you're out -- without warning, just deleted from the list. So I asked to be put back on the list and still have never received anything. So, I e-mailed the special groups coordinator and asked why it's for the moms in our HOA if you're really not allowed unless she wants you on the list? Is it my fault that things were organized during the times that my kid naps? No...but why am I not allowed to try to make the events that I can? She agreed with me and said she'd talk to the organizer and see about getting me back on the list? I'd asked... I don't understand why I'm being singled out and given such ill-will over a stupid mailing for a play group? Why? Isn't it hard enough trying to find entertainment for preschoolers alone... moms find strength in numbers... why is she trying so hard for me to not feel a part of the group? What have I done to offend her that she won't find the time to add my e-mail address to a group distribution list? It just seems so petty to be like this. I simply want my son to know some kids in his neighborhood. I don't see how that's too much to ask? What if a mom had a baby and couldn't come to events for 3-4 months? Or just had surgery? What if whe was put on bedrest? She going to just drop her too and disregard her requests to rejoin?

Does she jsut have it out for me? The coordinator called one of her friends that was attending the crop and she asked her specifically if I was there. Why would she care if I was there? Is she concerned I'm going to bad mouth her to her friends? I'd never do that. I do feel I've been unjustly ousted but I've got better things to do than talk about someone behind her back to her friends....that's kind of juvenile.

I did say (and did mean and hope) that I wished she'd been there so that I could have talked to her and asked to be "un kicked out of the playgroup"... they were like ? you were kicked out? And I said, well, my name was removed because most of the events were during Drew's nap time but we've changed his naptime now so I can be involved but she won't add me back to the list.

I"m not trying to stir up anything but I don't see how you can have an organization that is FOR the entire HOA's moms and their children and NOT let all the HOA moms and their children participate unless they come to the amount of items YOU feel they should? That, to me, sounds like a personal playgroup and not one for the HOA. It's not fair and I don't see why I'm being singled out.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lunch, Pictures and Meetings

I took the boys to Mi Cocina after my sister-in-law asked for us to go with them for lunch (they were in town from Houston)... I knew Laura was going off to college soon, Mande starting school and who knows when we'd see them again so of course, we went. Drew had a great time at first... trying on Mimi's reading glasses. They had little red frames and he thought he was the cutest thing. Kept asking for "bip"... (chips)... ordered him a quesadilla... Josh some nachoes (Drew ate about 1/2 his lunch)... I think Josh ate 1 or 2 nachos. For a growing boy, he sure don't eat much. I had some enchiladas -- yum-o! :) It was so miserable stinking hot...walking back to the car I almost thought I'd locked my keys inside. BLECH!

Home for naps... then we went to JC Penney's to get the boy's pictures taken! The room we went in -- the camera broke the second we were there (when drew was actually in a good mood and ready to say CHEEEEEEEZE)... so we had tdo wait and after that he wasn't much fun. Josh is in the stage of the fake smiles... so I really didn't get good pictures of him for turning 7 ... but I ordered one of the shots anyway. I got a few more of Drew... he looked quite the little charmer! Most I bought were in sepia. Love that!

I hate how grainy they look on their proof page though. Kind of sucks because you can't really make out some of the shots... otherwise, I'd have bought more of JOsh... couldn't tell if one was a smile or a snarl....

After that, I went to a GCSML Planning Meeting at Amy Vermillion's house. It was quite lovely....lasted about 3 1/2 hours. There were some good nibbles there! Some people also brought some decadent desserts -- I passed on those and just grabbed a few pretzels, celery, etc. I drank Diet Coke too (big mistake b/c couldn't sleep later).

Was glad to get home and get in bed to just go to sleep. I've been so tired lately...something going on w/my bod... gotta get it checked out.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Clubhouse Playdate

I met Erica and Zane at The Clubhouse for Kids Only in Bedford for a playdate. Also invited Heather, a mom I met off Mamasource that is new to Keller. We had a great time for about two hours... until Drew hit that whiney zone from expending too much energy and not enough food. I'd never SEEN so many kids there. There were several area day cares on "field trips" there that day... it was freakin CRAZY! The little guys that are between 20 months and 4 years old just don't stand a chance to those older kids running on fruit juice and donuts! Josh was really good watching out for Drew...they spent most of their time hiding in the bottom of the tree house.

Erica looks so adorable -- she's having a little girl and is about 5 months along.... starting to show (BARELY!) but she's so cute!

Zane... jsut has the teeniest of bumps... pregnant too.. they're finding out what they're having soon. She looked adorable too though!

Nothing else to report. :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Drew turned two - and my sister caused a scene (shocker!)

Today the littliest Driggers turned the big T-W-O. Hard to believe it'd been two years since the day I thought I was going to explode -- this girl got HUGE. We started out the day great.. breakfast... I'd decorated the night before with some streamers and "Happy Birthday" sign so that it was something fun to wake up to. I think that will be an annual tradition for anyone who has a birthday -- make waking up on their birthday somethign extra special. IT's always nice to start your day off with a surprise.

So we get breakfast cleaned up and then get packed up to head off to the park for our cupcake social (with my playgroup) at the park. My sister and her 3 come soon after. The kids play... and eventually have some pb&j sandwiches, juiceboxes, and cupcakes... then play some more. They'd installed a nice sandbox since the last time I was there and I should have brought some toys for Drew to play with... he was getting quite sleepy and wanted to play in the sandbox... with the other kids' toys... but his friends wanted to sing happy birthday to him... so I retrieved his sandy bootie from the box and held him while he welcomed them with a wail and he cried in chorus to happy birthday to Drew.... it was naptime. It was quite fun. My playgroup are good people with great spirits and great attitudes!

We come home, put the little man to bed and I proceed to decorate his cake. It came out quite cute I think! Once I learn how to put photos in my blog, it'll be better! I started getting everythign ready for the party. I had Josh and Thorin help me hang streamers and just get things taken care of.

Drew was only turning two so I wasn't going to have a huge party... I bought some Buzz/Woody balloons off e-bay and then some regular ones because balloons just make the atmosphere more festive. I went and picked those up... I'd made a tetrazzini the night before and had it in the refrigerator ready to pop in the oven before the guests arrived... I made a fresh loaf of french bread and a salad. That should have been plenty. But, I knew my sister's kids... I knew they wouldn't eat anything I made SO... remembering a prior conversation with either my dad or my sister I decided to make something special so I didn't have to listen to anyone whining about having to eat bad food. So, I asked Thorin (because I already knew Sorenna was going to say she didn't want whatever it was I was going to offer her) specifically.. Thorin, I made a casserole for dinner that I don't think you girls will want to eat so I bought something extra special to make JUST FOR YOU for dinner, would you like to see? She said (very excitedly -- YES) so I showed her the egg noodles and plain spaghetti sauce I bought just for them... and I asked would you like me to make this special just for you? She said, "oh yes, thank you very much".... Sorenna piped from across the room, I don't like that, I don't want to eaet it. I'd had enough of her lip so I just looked at her and said, Well, girlie girl, I wasn't talking to you was I? NO, I was talking to your sister. I just looked at my dad after that and rolled my eyes... he just gave a shrug.

So... the only invitees were immediate family and my cousin and her kiddo. Everyone arrives, we start making the kids plates. Dad knows that Sorenna won't eat anything I make but he said...get me a bowl... I'm going to make her some butter noodles. They have them at their house all the time and so at least she'll eat something. I gave him the butter and the noodles and away he went mixing. Sorenna was actually EXCITED to eat something at my house (other than McDonald's chicken sandwiches)... I was a night with no meal struggles... a great day! My mom made Thorin's plate -- she forgot to give her the noodles and spaghetti sauce so she said to me as sweet as she can, "Auntie, I think whoever made my plate forgot to give me the noodles like Sorenna has -- I don't want this." I just said, "you'll have to go ask your mom".... since no one is allowed to make any decisions concerning those 3 kids... it all has to be run through Hitler. So she went to ask my sister who then let her volume escalate greater and greater until she was literally screaming at her two girls...??? She made a HUGE scene... she told Thorin, no that she didn't get butter noodles like Sorenna, that she will eat what's on her plate or she gets NO CAKE...and then she took Sorenna's bowl and told her.... eat this but unless you eat the other stuff NO CAKE... so my mom said, it's no big deal, I'll just make Thorin some butter noodles too and it'll all be good... so my sister -- in her highest voice ever was like "why doesn't everyone just feed my kids for me?" and went storming into the kitchen. Like her kid having freaking butter noodles instead of tetrazzini was a big freaking deal. She was a GUEST AT A PARTY in MY HOME and had NO RIGHT to cause such an embarrassing scene. Thing is, Thorin just wanted the different pasta... she wanted what I told her I made special just for her...but my sister wouldn't let them eat what I made special for them. She had to have complete control and they had to do what she said... or NO CAKE... this resulted in both the girls crying and ruining everyone's start to dinner... thanks! EVERYONE -- and I'm talking EVERYONE was looking at one another in disbelief of the complete spectacle she made of herself. It was just SO utterly embarrassing to witness her tantrum.

Dinner was over... Josh put on a precious magic show -- I still have no idea how he did it... but it was quite entertaining -- I got it on video. He had a great time being the life of the party and the entertainment.... When Josh was finished, Thorin wanted all the attention so she performed "Grand Old Flag" while Sorenna (and Canon I think) danced. AFterwards we had some cake -- drew really didn'dt want anything to do with the cake... other than getting the toys off the top. :) But everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

He loved the big red car his Mimi and Pop got him... he loves his dump truck from Grandma and the puzzles from Pawpaw... I got him a lot of Toy Story figurines off e-bay and he loves LOVES those... went to sleep with his Buzz figurines that night.

My cousin Laura got him the cutest little Thomas push toy... you push in the top of the train and it zooms across the floor. cute cute! She was one of the firsts guests to arrive and he decided to tear open her gift first... LOL...before anyone even arrived... and tried to change clothes immediately to wear the little Thomas shirt she bought him. :) She just laughed and said, "I take it he likes the shirt?" LOL... I was like... yep. :) That's a good sign.

Drew didn't have a lot of interest in opening bags or gifts... he wanted to play with the one had in his grasp and don't try to take it away from him. It was SO cute! I think it took him over an hour to open all his gifts just because he took his time making sure they all got attention.

He was tuckered out and went to bed quite late... but it was a good day -- for the most part.

Cake? Fuggetaboutit!

I want the TOPPERS!

The birthday boy ate NO cake but did licked the frosting off Buzz Lightyear's feet.