Sunday, March 28, 2010

Did I Say That?

Long story short, we took ourselves out of the running for the puppy. After having our whole family meet the puppy and finding out some unexpected things about him we really started to think hard. The hubby had many concerns and really seemed stressed out at the idea of getting a pup and adding more craziness to our craziness. His stress stressed me out. And not only that, but the whole time we were meeting with the pup the boys kept asking when they could go look at the turtles. Egad. It just didn't seem as perfect as I had imagined it.

When we left all we did was rack our brains to try and figure out if we should get this dog (the lady had already told us that we were her first choice). I really wanted the dog, but I wanted everyone to be excited about it. Not stressed. And the more we talked about it the more I saw I was being unreasonable.

Here is a short list of our negatives:

- Yes, we have a large yard but right now it doesn't even have any grass. It is a huge ball of mud. And I think it will be at least 4 months or so before we have a solid lawn. Not good for puppies.

- Technically we do not have a fenced in yard. There are two smaller sections that can not be done until the lawn is in (because the landscapers have to get their big equipment back there) so we could never just let the dog out in the backyard. That is not great.

- The boys were only mildly interested. And we came to the conclusion that they are probably still too young to form a real emotional attachment to a dog right now. Maybe in a couple of years.

- The dog had a real scary medical history. He was not healthy, but we don't know details. That made us nervous.

- He wasn't really potty trained all the way. ?? The lady said she thinks he is but he is always with about 10 other dogs (another negative to us) so she never knows who has the accident.

- The dog was adopted out last week and returned because he was resistant to crate training. Uh-oh.

- Coming into the new year the only thing I wanted out of 2010 was to live less chaotically. Last year was so crazy. We have been through SO MANY big events in the last 8 months that I just wanted calm. I think that it really would be nice to live less chaotically for a while. No puppy. When I think about it I'm surprised that the words "let's get a puppy" even came out of my mouth.

Still, I'm kinda sad about it. I really love the idea of having a dog. And he seemed like such a sweetie. Part of me feels like I missed out on a really special dog. It makes me think of one of my favorite sayings, "The right love at the wrong time is still the wrong love." I guess that is true for dogs too.


Friday, March 26, 2010

I Guess We Leave It Up To Fate

Okay. So, as I was saying, I am crazy.

On Friday evening Todd and I took the boys to PetSmart to pick out a fish tank and some fish. We ended up leaving empty handed when we spent a half an hour talking to the self proclaimed "fish nazi" about how much love and attention a few guppies are gonna need. I was overwhelmed and freaked out, so we left. The boys were disappointed but handled themselves very well. I was so proud of them. I, on the other hand, pouted and sulked all night.

Saturday morning I went to another pet store certain that I could get a fish tank and some fish without all the hoopla and craziness we had experienced the night before. That was short lived when I found that everything at this pet store was twice as expensive. I decided to make the trek back out to PetSmart hoping that the "fish nazi" would not be working and I could grab a fish tank and some food and hightail it out of there without someone else telling me I also needed to buy a million and one things to make my fish feel all warm and fuzzy so that they can reach their maximum age of 25 years.

Thankfully, when I got to PetSmart I discovered that the "fish nazi" was not working. A nice, young kid was very helpful even though he did get me to buy some extras and would not let me leave the store with fish seeing as how I had not set up the fish tank and let the water settle for the minimum 2-3 days. Egad.

I pushed my too full cart up to the register and stood in line. And that is when it happened.

The doors of the store opened up and in walked a beautiful, little pup. At least I thought it was a pup. He was bigger than most puppies. And, even with my vast knowledge of dog breeds, I couldn't figure out what kind of dog he was. Of course, being the nutty, dramatic dog lover that I am I immediately plopped myself down on the ground and watched as the little cream colored angel puppy trotted over to me. My oohs and aahs must have been music to his ears because he came right to me, curled up in my lap and laid down, resting his beautiful little face right on my shoulder. I can't explain it but I felt like we already knew each other.

"Oh my word! Aren't you just the sweetest little thing! You are an ANGEL PUPPY!!! Oh my WORD!!! Hello sweetie!!!" I gushed to the pup. "How old is your puppy?" I asked the lady attached to the other end of his leash.

"He is four months old. And he is up for adoption with Two Left Paws. He was rescued from a high kill shelter down south." She enthusiastically answered back.

"REALLY? He is up for adoption? Oh my WORD!" I said as I smooched and hugged angel puppy.

"You should get him!" The lady said.

"Wow, my husband would be so mad if I went out for fish and came back with a dog. And I have four kids! I can't!" I tried to talk myself out of it.

"Well I have seven children and he is wonderful with them." She prodded. "Besides, kids like dogs better than fish. Just go put all that fish stuff back and get the dog."

"Oh, I want to. You are just so sweet angel puppy! What kind of dog is this?" I asked.

"He is a Labrador Retriever and a Great Pyrenees mix." The woman answered.

"I thought he looked like a lab puppy, but he is so white and so big! And my gosh, what a calm little thing! AHHHH!" I couldn't help but squeeze the "little" guy.

Seeing how much I liked the dog the woman suggested a few more times that I put back all of my fish gear and get the dog. I stayed strong, reluctantly said I couldn't, and stood back up. I watched as the woman walked the pup to the back of the store. Though there were other dogs in the store the puppy never barked or really even acted like a typical lab puppy. He just calmly walked on his leash and sniffed at one or two dogs before moving on. What an angel!

The entire way home I thought about getting the dog. When I got home I set up the fish tank for my excited boys and didn't even dare mention the dog to Todd until later that night when the boys were in bed and Todd was giving me grief over our newly acquired fish tank.

"Hey, you are lucky I just got fish. I almost brought a dog home!" I teased him. Then I told him the whole story. I told him how the dog just seemed to "know" me and vice versa. I told him how I just felt like he was a little angel puppy. Like he was supposed to be our dog.

Before I could finish my story, the man that was so against getting a dog for at least another 5 years, said to me, "Let's get him!"

"HUH?" was my genius response.

"Call and see if he is still up for adoption. Or go online! Check it out! Email them!" he encouraged.
It took me all of two second to jump off the couch and pull the angel puppy's picture up on my computer. Todd melted when he saw it and again told me to check and see if he was still available. I emailed the agency and found out that he was still available. The agency asked that if we were serious about adopting the dog we should fill out an application.

The next morning I did a little research. I know a lot about Labradors, heck Todd even field trained them when he was younger, but I didn't know very much about Great Pyrenees other than the fact that they are very large. This is what I found from the AKC site:

In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle, and affectionate. While territorial and protective of his flock or family when necessary, his general demeanor is one of quiet composure, both patient and tolerant. He is strong willed, independent and somewhat reserved, yet attentive, fearless and loyal to his charges both human and animal.

Um. Does it get any better than that for a family with four small children? I think not! And I could just tell he was a laid back dog. He wasn't jumping all over, frantic and excited and barking, like every other lab puppy I've ever seen. He was just really chill, taking everything in. Just watching everyone. And he is only four months old! I couldn't believe it. I felt like I had hit the jackpot. Like this was all fated. I wasn't supposed to be in that store. I was supposed to be in a pet store by our house, but instead I drove to the complete opposite side of town to go back to PetSmart even though I really hadn't wanted to go there again. And I was at the check out at the exact right time (thanks to all my hemming and hawing over the fish tanks).

And I've ALWAYS wanted to rescue a dog. Todd has always grown up with labs "with papers" so I knew that is what he would want, though I've always felt that mixed breeds really do make better dogs. And I liked labs just fine, but they really are one of the most hyper puppies you could find. Not this one! He is a perfect little gentleman. And a rescue puppy! Yeah! And, get this, the woman said he is POTTY TRAINED! Seriously folks? It doesn't get any better.

So I did it. I filled out the application and sent it in to the agency. We were approved! But, unfortunately so were three other families looking to adopt him. The next step is tomorrow. There is a meet and greet at PetSmart for all of the families interested in adopting angel puppy. We can ask the foster mom any questions we have about him and see how he interacts with us. Then the foster mom picks the family who gets to keep him. At first I was really bummed to hear that so many other people want my angel puppy too, but now I guess I get to see if it was really meant to be. If he was meant to be my dog, he will be. It really is up to fate now.

We haven't told the kids about any of this yet. I wouldn't want them to be devastated if we didn't get to keep him. I guess I'll just tell them that we are heading out to the pet store to get more fish and then casually take them over to see angel puppy. I really want to see how he is around the kids. But if the woman said he is great with her 7 children I don't think my 4 would be a problem.

Anyway, that is where it is at for now. I loved all of your comments on my last post. They really made me chuckle. Yes, I really have given it a lot of thought. I am under no delusions that the boys will help with the care. I know I will be doing it all. Although those crazy boys always fight over who gets to pick up dog poop at grandma's house because they love the pooper scooper, but I'm sure that wouldn't last here. I know I kind of have my hands full at the moment, but I guess I figure that as long as we are somewhat tied to the house because of our young boys and baby adding a puppy now (rather than when we are more mobile and able to travel and go places in 4-5 years) actually kind of makes sense. And as for walking the dog? Well, we go for tons of walks anyway. Plus we have a huge fenced in backyard. A doggie heaven, really. See? Doesn't it all sound rosy? I think so.

Now I am just keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow goes well and it all works out. I'm hoping that fate will throw us a bone, so to speak.

Keep your fingers crossed!

(Did you seriously read all that? Sheesh! That was long. Sorry. I just felt the need to completely explain my insanity.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Is A Sign That I May Be Losing My Mind

Do you see what I did? Do you see this? On Friday I up and decided that I needed fish. Apparently I was looking for another way to complicate my life. I HAD to have some fish. So, I got a fish tank, all the extras, and then I had the boys help me pick out a bunch of fish. Very exciting.

Unfortunately, three of the fish have already died. Great. When I told Tommy that another one of the fish died he said, "Oh great! Stupid fish. We should have just gotten a dog!" Little does he know that while at the pet store picking out the fish tank his mumma fell in love with a rescue puppy that is up for adoption. Oh yes. We may be getting a dog too (more on that subject at a later date). I guess a 7 year old, a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 7 month old don't keep me busy enough. Now I want to throw a 4 month old puppy in the mix too.

Yep. I may have officially lost it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Big Day

Five years...
go by so quickly when you're having fun. And Tommy, you make life FUN!
Oh my dear boy. What a treasure you are. What joy you bring to everyone who knows you. You are thoughtful and sweet. Strong and determined. Kind hearted and gentle. Competitive and fun. Silly and dramatic. Handsome and snuggly.
Thank you for being my sweet, goldensbear. I am so proud of you. I love you, Tommy!
Happy 5th Birthday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

There He Goes!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily
Thanks to the unusually warm weather we've had this week we were able to get out of the house and get some fresh air. The boys were so thankful to finally be outside again. We still don't have any grass around our house, and since the mudhole of a backyard was off limits, the boys were designated to the front driveway. The driveway was a lot of fun, but after watching Joey have a blast speeding up and down the cul-de-sac Tommy decided that he was going to learn to ride his bike before his 5th birthday. And once he sets his mind to doing something it is as good as done.

Tommy talked his daddy into taking the training wheels off his bike and sawing part of his bicycle seat off so that he could finally touch the ground with his tippy toes while on his bike. After the bike was ready it was sheer determination that got him to his goal.

No matter how many times Tommy tumbled off that bike he would pick it up, get back on, and tell us, "I'm just gonna keep on trying! Just keep trying! Just keep trying!" He remained so positive and so focused. I was incredibly proud.

It really didn't take long and he was off on his own.

Way to go, Tommy! I am so proud of you!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One Year Ago Today

It was one year ago today.

It wasn't how I pictured it. I was nervous. I was nervous and excited. I held my breath as my eyes traced up your perfect spine to your beautiful little head. You were moving and jumping all over. You never sat still long enough for me to count your miniature fingers and toes. It looked like you were practicing your yoga moves and I tried to stifle my laughs as the sonographer moved her magic wand over my belly. She was quick to tell me that all your parts and pieces were working perfectly, and you looked as healthy as can be. I was flooded with relief and could finally exhale.

Then she told me what I thought I would never hear. "It's a girl!"

I always thought those words would cause a strong reaction on my part. I'd thought about hearing those words for so long that I was sure I would break down in tears if I ever actually heard them spoken. But I didn't. Part of me thought the tears would betray my undying, undeniable, unbelieveable love for my boys. And part of me didn't actually believe "It's a girl!"

I spent the next 6 months trying to make myself believe those words. Trust those words. Yet every time I bought a sweet pink outfit I kept the receipt. And everytime I would tell someone, "It's a girl", I always followed it up with, "But I'll believe it when I see it."


This morning I held you on my lap. We were both drenched in the sunlight that was pouring in through the patio doors. I bounced you up and down on my knees and you laughed and threw yourself to me. Your sweaty, little hands grabbed at my face and you nuzzled your head into my neck, smothering me with kisses. Over and over again we repeated this scene. Both of us hungry for more hugs, more raspberries, more tickles, and more kisses.

When we finished our silly routine we snuggled on the couch, you nestled in the crook of my arm. You reached your arm up and grabbed my chin. I looked down at you and smiled and you smiled right back. Happy to know I was happy too.


It has been a year since I first heard those magical words. A whole year of wanting to believe, learning to believe, and believing. "It's a girl."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mommy And Me Mondays

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn

Ben: "I like you, mommy."

Me: "I like you too, Ben."

Ben: "I wanna buy mo' mommies."

Me: "You want to BUY more mommies? Why?"

Ben: "Cuz I like my mommy. I want mo' mommies."

Me: "Where would you buy more mommies from?"

Ben: "Da gwosee stowa."

Hmm. I am at the grocery store a lot. I guess that makes sense.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Feeling Funky

I'm in a funk. I feel all funked up. I'm just funky.

Just when I was really starting to get back into running again I went and injured my knee. It really bums me out. This is an injury I've had before and there is no telling when I'll get to run again. Bum-mer. *sigh*

I tried on swimsuits yesterday. It made me sick to my stomach. I took 6 or 7 suits in the dressing room with me and freaked out every time I put one on. I looked like I was made of out Pillsbury pizza dough. Eww. I walked out of the dressing room and saw an older woman sitting on a chair waiting for her daughters. Clearly she had heard my guffaws so I said to her, "Well, that was awful." She laughed so hard I thought she was going to choke. I guess every woman knows how bad the whole trying on swim suits thing is. Boo.

The thing that gets me is that I have given up all sweets and junk food since the beginning of Lent almost three weeks ago, AND I have been running 3-4 miles 4 times a week and I have only lost a few pounds. What the hell? That just doesn't make sense. Guess Todd will just have to wrap me in a big plastic tarp when we take the kids to the indoor water park for spring break.

The funny thing (funny=sucky, not funny=haha) is Todd is in the BEST shape of his life. He looks HOT. Hotter than he normally does. Which was pretty hot anyway. But now he is even HOTTER. It is insane. Freaking guy. So not only is he super smart, funny, compassionate, everybody loves him guy, he is SUPER HOT too. He just keeps getting better with age, and I just keep getting older. And doughier. AHHHHHH!!!!

Okay. I'll just have to let it go for now. I keep telling myself what I know I would say to someone else. You just had your 4th child! You just started working out a few weeks ago! You are still breastfeeding! It has only been 7 months! But ya know what? That doesn't necessarily make me feel any better. Grrr.

Hmm. What else is bothering me?

I haven't picked up my camera in a long time. I don't know what my problem is. I just haven't felt like doing much. I feel blah. Blaaaaaaahhhh.

I think I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I usually get it in January, so I guess late March isn't too bad. At least I know spring in coming soon. It is just that this last week has been dark and dreary and rainy and it makes me a bit depressed. I love all the snow melting but we still don't have grass anywhere around our house so it just looks like a big mudball. Yuck.

So. There ya have it. I am a big whiner. See why I haven't posted all week? Aren't you glad I posted today? Don't you feel all warm and cozy on the inside? No? Oh...


Monday, March 8, 2010

Mommy & Me Mondays

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn

When Krystyn started Mommy and Me Mondays I thought it was genius. Most of the time us mommies are the ones taking the pics, and we hardly ever actually get in the shot. Mommy and Me Mondays challenges you to get in front of the camera with your kiddos and share a cute story too. Genius, I tell you!
Okay, so here is my story. You know that beautiful header pic I have up at the top of my blog? Go ahead, scroll up and take a look if you like. Yeah, that one. I can't seem to part with it. I love it. I don't want to take it down. But, as you can see, Grace is not in that picture. I feel very badly about that. I figure that come spring I can take another picture like it with all of my kiddos, but until I do I can not bear to part with this one. I have to leave it up there. So, because Grace is not in the header picture, I decided to take this picture
and save it as my profile pic. That way all of my kiddos are displayed prominently on my blog. Is that fair, or what? I think so. And this mama is all about fair. Whew! Problem solved. For now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Playing Catch Up

I am so random today. I have a million and one thoughts floating in my head and no way to put them in order. In the past two weeks I've had so many blog posts written in my head but they never made it to my blog. Instead I filled up the screen with my kiddos birthday posts and utter cuteness. So is the life of a mama, I guess. No matter what is going on in our own lives it seems to take a backseat to our children. And that is okay.

Unfortunately, I don't know when all of my brilliant posts will make it to my blog. I am having major computer problems. Stinking computer. Have I mentioned how much I loathe this freaking ancient computer? Well, I do. Especially now since I have so much to share and very few opportunities to do so.

First off, I wanted to tell you all that I finally got fed up with my sloth-like attitude, and my binge eating, and decided to take charge. I began running again and have been shocked with how quickly I bounced back into my running routine. The eating part is a bit more of a challenge for me, but I have a little bit of help with it being Lent right now. I have given up all sweets (yes, ALL sweets) and junk food. Completely crazy, I know. But I convinced myself that eating an entire box of mini cream puffs a couple times a week is NOT OKAY. Apparently it doesn't help get off extra baby weight. Bummer.

I've only lost a few pounds so far, but I'm hopeful the rest will come off when Grace weans herself from breastfeeding. I never loose all my weight until the breastfeeding is done. Most people tell you that breastfeeding helps you loose the post baby weight but I've found that I always hang on to at least 10 pounds until weaning. I'm okay with that. But not this extra 20 I have right now. Hopefully I can get down to a more comfortable weight soon.

I also wanted to let you know that my house is covered in snot. Good to know, right? All my kiddos have been sick for the past two and a half weeks. It has been seriously crazy. Horribly running/stuffy noses and an awful barking cough. Poor Gracie still has it. It is so hard for her to eat. I just feel so badly. And she is such a trooper. We had her 6 month check up and I was happy to hear that even though she hasn't been eating as well as she normally does she is still growing like a weed. She is in the 90th percentile for height, 60th percentile for weight, and 25th percentile for her head. Tall girl with an itty bitty head. Ha! Anyway, the kiddos have been super troopers dealing with their colds, but I am ready for this nasty cold/flu season to be over with. It is so hard to be cooped up in the house with sick babies for so long. Ack!

Which bring me to my last bit I wanted to share with you. As I said, I had been feeling kinda crazy with all the sick kids stuck in the house for the past few weeks. It has been draining and aggravating. The boys have been wild despite their colds and I just didn't feel like I had it in me to handle their craziness. I was moody and snippy and so, so tired. Basically, I was feeling like a pretty rotten mom.

It must have been kismet because I was reading Catherine Newman's blog and in her post she asked her readers what was the best parenting advice they ever received. I read through the 110 plus comments and MAN! Some of the advice just clicked with me. They really made me think. One of the readers, Sara , said that the best advice came from her father regarding her daughter when he would say, "Remember, she won't pass this way again." That struck me to the core. How true it is. My kids will never be this age again. I will never have this day back. Another reader, ELN5, wrote about a woman who told her, "Oh, when you have young children the days can be so long, but the years are so short". So, so true. I could keep quoting comment after comment, but really, you should just go over there and check it out for yourself.

I am telling you, it completely changed my week around. I almost feel like saying it has changed me as a parent. I have not raised my voice ONCE this week. I feel like a new person. Every time I feel frustrated, or annoyed, or tired, or angry, or bothered, I hear, "Remember, he won't pass this way again." And it is like magic. It immediately snaps me out of my funk and helps me focus. And I am so grateful.

So, my dear readers, now I will ask you. I want all the great advice you've got. You'd think that with four children I'd have this stuff figured out already, but I'll take whatever help I can get. So tell me, what is the best parenting advice you've ever received?

(This post has taken me FOREVER to write because my computer keeps shutting down on me. I will try my best to get around to your blogs, but please be patient with me. Thanks!)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson