Monday, January 28, 2008

Classic Disney

Ahhhh.... what a great feeling. I just watched Blackbeard's Ghost, a Disney movie from 1968. Funny. Clean. Just a good movie. Reminded me of Herbie movies and the other ones I watched as a kid and always liked. They just don't make them like they used to.

I think the world could use a little more Classic Disney.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dora Lives!

Dora Bingo has been resurrected! Yea kids! Boo me!

Yesterday afternoon I went up to the very big plastic bin to look for our state quarters map. We were about 2 years behind in adding the quarters and I decided that yesterday was the day to finally get caught up. Luckily I still remembered where the missing map had been stashed about 2 years ago when we first started moving furniture/pictures in the kids' rooms. So... quarter map out. Stashed quarter collection out. Map fixed! We're only missing two now - Wyoming and Nevada I think.

While looking in the ginormous bin I also found... Dora Bingo! The very loud game that my girls love but that I hate because it's just soooooo loud! The girls were looking for it several months ago and I couldn't find it. I figured I must have donated it to Purple Heart since it was nowhere to be found. But good news for them - we still have it!

So now they are upstairs practicing their spanish color and animal words. It's like Christmas all over again.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am who I am

I am who I am.

I prefer to stick my head in the sand rather than face it (whatever "it" may be).

I didn't grow up in a church.

I procrastinate.

I am not a naturally driven super-achiever.

I like to cook.

I like staying home with the kids.

This is who I am. I am who I am.

I am also married. To a man that doesn't get along with my mother (now, I know I'm not the only one in the world with this problem). I am being forced lately to choose sides. As a wife to a man who loves me and does not in any way abuse me and a mother to three children I must choose my husband and my immediate nuclear family.

The fact that I am a different person from my mother means that we see the same things in different ways. Our personalities and our life experiences influence our perceptions.

I am who I am. I'm pretty happy where I'm at. Sure, I'd love to see more of my mother and let the kids get to know her better but can't choose the currently proposed situation at the expense of my marriage. What we've got works for us. But not for everyone. Which is really too bad. Be careful what you wish for because it might just open up a can of worms you'd really rather not have around. It sounded good initially in theory but I'm not sure I want to live in no-mans'-land between husband and mother. Perhaps the wrong choice. Maybe I'm supposed to fight the good fight and make it work.


I am who I am. So I don't know that I can.
Just checking in to report:

*Had a great reunion trip in Richmond this past weekend.

*Bella is sick. I had forgotten how sick she gets when she falls prey to the germs. I'm thinking she may be home from school again today. She's been sick since Saturday. She did finish her science share project though and we got it set up at school last night.

*Work! I've got work! Of course I have also procrastinated this work so now I'm feeling the crunch but some things never change.

*It's still January. For some reason I keep thinking that February should be here already but it's not. Of course, that's good since I haven't finished my work yet. :)

*Ryan is reading Candy Shop Wars. He picked it up at B&N with Christmas money. It's over 400 pages - definitely the longest he's ever read. He has also been inspired to make up a new game to play with his sisters. Something about the candy being magic and having powers. It's still in the planning stages though since the girls are a little too sick to be running around playing. Well, Felisa is okay now but Bella has been sticking to the couch and bed all week.

And now I need to get back to work. How much will I be able to get done before the kids wake up for school?!?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Get Off My Tail!

Felisa was playing the Scooby Doo video game yesterday that Ryan got for his birthday. Apparently the driving race game is her favorite. I wasn't watching too closely but another driver in the race must have been tailgating her because she kept saying "Get off my tail!". Hmmm... wonder where she's heard that one before? At least she didn't say what I'm usually thinking which is a little less kid-friendly (Get off my ***!).

In other news...

Bella has a dentist appointment this morning to have a cavity filled. Starting last night at dinner she has been telling me that she is nervous.

Ryan's story, Boxy the Fat Pig is getting a lot of mileage... Since he won the contest, he has read it twice at the sponsored events. We video-taped the reading so that has gone out via the internet to his fan club of afar. Then since his teacher missed the reading this weekend, she asked if he wanted to read it to the class. He said okay. That reading has since morphed into a reading for the entire second grade. Yikes! He's not nervous at all when he reads which is great. Apparently he did not get the shy/nervous DNA from me. Which is good!

Mom was here for the weekend. Nice visit. I drove her downtown Monday morning for a meeting. After meandering around the back side fo the white house and numerous other one-way and closed roads filled with double-parked delivery trucks for about 15 minutes, we decided a jump-and-run was the best option. And so at the red light, with no cars coming, Mom jumped out. Then I drove away, leaving her in the middle of the road, in the middle of DC. Yikes! Luckily she found her way to the meeting and then home again on the train without any trouble. Phew!

Tonight is the Pinewood Derby. Ron and Ryan finished his souped-up super car this morning. I have been given instructions on how to apply the graphite to the wheels and how to remove a link from the bicycle chain if the car is overweight. Hope I can manage all that!

Bella is having a playdate this afternoon with her boyfriend, Coby. He's coming here so I'll be able to check him out a little more - see if he's really a nice kid. I've seen him at school a few times and he seems nice but you never know, right?! Ron will be in class tonight so he won't be able to use his big Marine Corps voice on Coby today. Lucky Coby!

And that's about all I can think of. We are dog-sitting for Cody (are you confused yet with coby-cody?!) this weekend and possibly heading south to visit Allie.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Gone but not forgotten

I started this post on Thursday as Bailey and I enjoyed a peaceful coexistence on the sunny living room couches... I have finished it up this evening and am ready to post a eulogy to my crazy dog - so hard to love yet I loved her all the same...


Born in August 1996. Has been a part of my life since October 1996. Almost like a marriage… for better or worse, in sickness and in health…

As we sit together in a spot of afternoon sunshine, I would like to take a few minutes to reminisce over this crazy journey, reliving the good times, remembering her crazyness, and sharing the lessons I have learned.

One of Bailey’s first nicknames… Houdini. As in, can escape from anything! When we first got her, we would leave her in the backyard while we were at work. She would chew through her leash, jump over the 6 foot fence, and run free through the neighborhood. One of Marta’s favorite stories to tell about Bailey is how, when she arrived at our house one Friday afternoon to dogsit, Bailey’s chewed off leash was hanging over the fence and Bailey was nowhere in sight. She went inside and sure enough there was a message on the answering machine with Bailey’s location.

Bailey loved to eat paper products… Kleenex, toilet paper, feminine products, diapers. I really have no idea what the attraction of used paper products was but she loved to eat them. Consequently we kept all the trash cans (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) either behind closed doors or at counter height.

Not that counter height was a deterrent to the climbing wonder. Just as she could leap a six-foot fence in a single bound, she could also go from floor to table top in the blink of an eye. My mom told me a story once… She was staying with us after Ryan was born. On day, Ron and I left with Ryan. Mom was still there but I guess Bailey didn’t realize this. Mom said she watched Bailey as she watched us pull out of the driveway and drive away. As soon as we were gone she made a beeline for the dining room table and jumped right up, looking for crumbs. Boy was she surprised when Mom yelled at her to get down!

In another counter-climbing story… Ron and I were in NM, visiting his parents. His sister was also home and had made pizza for dinner. She and Jared went out for the evening. When we all returned, the pizza that was on the kitchen counter had been eaten by the furry monster known as Bailey. I don’t think Elena will ever let me forget that. We quickly learned that all food products must be put away before we left the house.

Even in her old age, we would occasionally arrive home to find evidence that Bailey had been scrounging on the table top… a knocked over glass, a plate licked clean. This would serve as a reminder to at least keep the chairs pushed in. She could no longer leap with ease to the countertops but would still climb up if assistance (in the form of a chair) were properly aligned and available.

Bailey failed obedience training. Or, more truthfully, I failed obedience training. Growing up, Mom was always in charge of the training when we got a new dog. She would send my brother and I out to take a turn with the daily lessons. I only did it because she told me to. When I moved out and had my own dog to train, I was a little lax in the practice and enforcement. Turned out to be a big mistake. Remember Houdini? Not only could she escape from anywhere but she would never come to me if I called. I would have to ask total strangers to call for her because she would go to them but would only run away from me. The only other way to get her back was to drive after her in the car. Once I found her, I could open the door and offer her a ride. She would always come back for a ride in the car. Yep, I definitely failed obedience training. But I learned my lesson and you can bet I’ll be doing more daily practice sessions with my next dog! And I will give Bailey credit… She was good at “Sit”. Not Stay. Or Down. Or especially not Come. But she would always sit when told. So at least she learned something in doggie school!

Bailey was also referred to as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on occasion. She would be so happy to see you and want to be petted. Until she didn’t. At which point she would start growling at you. It was always about what she wanted. If she waned to be petted by you, okay. If she didn’t, then look out! By the time Bella was born, I knew there was no way I could monitor a new baby, a toddler, and a crazy dog all at the same time. Ron’s parents were nice enough to take her in. She flew to NM and lived in the garage and backyard. Emilio had to raise the fence height after she escaped several times. I’m surprised she wasn’t eaten by a coyote out there in the western wilderness.

By the time Felisa was two, I decided that the kids were old enough for Bailey to come back. Ron’s parents were traveling a lot and had to have a neighbor watching Bailey, bringing her food and water. Four years in solitary confinement had done wonders for her Houdini tendencies. Never once ran away after returning home. Unfortunately it did not improve her crazy split personality tendencies. She spent many playdates shut in my bedroom and everyone who visited regularly knew to just ignore her. She did have a few favorite visitors though – Ron’s brother, Richard, and Jon. And of course Eleanor, the source of many thousands of miles walked through the neighborhood.

Eleanor walked Bailey almost every day. Took care of her while we were on vacation. Loved her even when Bailey growled at her. Bailey’s quality of life in a house full of kids was definitely improved by Eleanor’s loving devotion.

I often joked that I thought Bailey either had Short Dog Complex or was part cat because she loved to sit up on the back of the couch. Her spot… She would lie on the back of the couch, looking out the window, barking at passers-by every day. She owned that couch. No one else ever dared to sit there for fear of the growl. Almost every picture taken of her since her return from NM shows her in that spot. It’s that very spot which seems so empty now that she is gone. She rarely got up to greet us when we got home but she was always there in her spot – I could count on it. It feels empty now. I keep looking over to say hi and check on how she’s doing. She’s not there.

She’s doing fine though… living the good life in Doggie Heaven.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

One last day in the Sun

Bailey has not gotten better. Her pain seems to have subsided but she has no interest in food or in anything other than lying on the couch. She has an appointment in doggy heaven tomorrow morning.

I'm glad that she feels well enough to spend one last day in her spot, soaking up the sun.