It Could Be Worse

I was standing in the vet’s office this morning feeling rather sorry for myself. It was only 10:30am and already the day had succeeded in being utterly horrible and disgusting, filled with yelling and rushing the kids and extensive amounts of dog vomit. So I was very much thinking that things just kind of sucked, like the rest of the day just could not be faced.

Then one of the nurses came up front carrying a small box and a clear envelope that had a small amount of hair clippings in it. She asked the receptionist if she knew where the urns were.

So I guess this day could have been a whole lot worse.

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Today, I Shall Blog

Oh! Why, hello there . . . um, yeah - over three months since my last post. I have very little to say for myself. Sorry. Nothing horrible happened that caused me to drop off the face of the blogosphere. Time just . . . passed. I almost didn’t think I’d remember how to log in.

Naptime was lost, and I’d say that was a key factor since naptime was always blog time for me. Getting the dog, another factor since I had to figure out how to take care of kids AND a dog. And it’s always hard to start up again after so long. You feel like you have to have some wonderful post in order to warrant putting something up after so long.

I don’t have a wonderful post.

But I suppose this is the first step to starting up again, just putting something up so that ohmygosh it hasn’t been three months since I blogged!

To follow up on those last few topics I left hanging in the air:

On the subject of dogs being walked to school - I did continue to walk Kiki to Sam’s school, that is, until recently when it just got too darned cold. Eventually the school sent out a notice to everyone confirming that they are dog friendly, saying that bringing along our pets is just fine as long as they are on a leash. It was clearly a notice in response to some people bringing non-leashed dogs with them, which I consider rather insane. In my very short time as a dog owner, what I can say is that even if you think you know your dog and what it will do, you DON’T know all the kids going in and out of the school and what they will do. Many of them clearly have no experience with dogs, and I would argue that even if one knows their dog well, putting them into a situation where there are so many kids running around, not to mention other dogs in the area, a new situation could arise in which you have not yet seen how your dog will respond, and you best have them leashed so you’re ready.

Anyway.

Sam is in Kindergarten. I still feel my stomach drop just a little when he walks through the gate by himself every day. Since I’ve recently started driving him I’ve had the added bonus of experiencing the complete aggressive chaos the beautifully fair and just system that is “the carpool line.”

Holy crap. Carpool drop-off and pick-up sucks. It’s almost, almost worth walking really freaking far in extreme freaking cold in order to avoid it. Almost.

Yesterday I was chastised by the carpool line patrol for getting out of the car to help Sam out and hug him goodbye. See, apparently I, the driver, am not supposed to get out of the car at all. Let me just point out though, that there is a separate spot for Kindergarten drop off that is just past where every other kid is getting dropped off. So typically when I drop him off there is no one behind me at all because there are fewer kindergartners, and the line for everyone else is about 50 yards back - that’s where the jam is.

When the woman had words with me about not being allowed to get out of my car because I was blocking the line, I was able to turn to the area behind my car, where there was absolutely no one. As in, NO LINE to be blocked.

Let me also point out that my kid is in a carseat (no, dwell not on the fact that my kindergartner is still small enough to be in a carseat. Let it go.) and cannot physically get out himself. And I’ll also throw in that he is in KINDERGARTEN, and I’m simply not ready to just pull up by the curb, have him get out himself lugging all his stuff and walk away from us just yet. The kid gets a hug, ok? That’s all there is to it.

So now I park and we all get out and walk up to the gate together.

Anyway.

What else?

The boys are all about Star Wars now. We had A Very Star Wars Christmas.

We also had our entire yard dug up right around Thanksgiving because they were replacing all the gas lines in our neighborhood. Nothing like standing at the window watching dudes with dozers digging really, REALLY close to the two Magnolia trees that had huge bearing on our decision to buy this house in the first place. Yeah, these ones.

Oh! and speaking of Thanksgiving, we hosted it this year for the second time. And my kitchen sink got utterly clogged first thing that morning (peeling of the sweet potatoes, my fault, my fault) rendering it totally unusable. So I got to prepare Thanksgiving feast while stepping over my husband and my father and the huge pool of water in the middle of my kitchen floor and with no sink. I washed the turkey in the bathtub.

No, seriously. I did.

And I think I’ll leave you with that, for now (and hopefully not for three months).

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Debate: Should Dogs Be Walked to School?

robby and kiki Ok, so as you know, we just got a dog. She’s awesome. She’s very well-behaved. And she’s particularly good with children.

When we thought about getting a dog I always envisioned walking her to school with us when we took Sam to kindergarten and picked him up. So by the second week that’s what we started doing. Kiki walks right next to me on leash and stays with me the whole time. Often kids come up and ask if they can pet her. I have her sit and then they do so.

To me, this all seemed like a win-win for everyone. Kiki got two extra walks a day. Kids that like dogs can visit with one before or after school if they want to. Sam gets to have her with him longer and he seems proud to have his dog there, particularly when it is clear other kids love her.

Several other walkers bring their dogs to drop-off and pick-up. None of them are ill-behaved and all us dog owners just kind of keep them away from each other so no one gets riled up. To me, everything’s been good.

Then today, after we dropped Sam off, Robby, Kiki, and I were waiting at the traffic light to cross and head home. Coming from the other direction a woman and her daughter came up onto the sidewalk. When this mom came to my other side and saw that I had a dog sitting there (and yes, Kiki was sitting right next to me waiting for the light along with everyone else), the woman made a horrible, angry face and proceeded to pick up her daughter by the arm and swing her past us. The as they were walking away I heard her daughter asking her mom why she picked her up that way. I was not privy to the response, unfortunately.

Ok, so I’m not worried in particular about this weird woman who is swinging her kid around by the wrist. She was clearly running late and was flustered. Whatever.

But it did make me wonder if there are other parents out there who are frustrated by those of us who are bringing our dogs to school. I only have interaction with the kids and parents who actively come up to us. What I am not having, is interaction with the non-dog people, so to me, things have seemed great.

Like I said, Kiki is well-behaved, even more so than at home. She sits and lets kids pet her. Other than trying to eat Sam’s backpack when he comes out she is calm and obedient (but seriously, what is it with the backpack? Shes crazy for it.) When at school I try to keep us off the path so as not to get in anyone’s way or freak out kids who might be afraid of dogs. When waiting at the light I usually keep us a bit back instead of moving into the crowd. But is that enough?

For people who don’t like dogs or have kids who are apprehensive, am I making it more difficult for them just by being there with one? Please tell me, especially non-dog people. Is it annoying to you when other families bring their dogs to drop-off and pick-up? Is it disrespectful? Does it make your day harder? Dog owners, do you bring yours with you to places where there are kids (assuming dogs are allowed)?

And I’m not even saying I’d change what I’m doing necessarily, at least not as long as Kiki is doing nothing wrong and seems to be making lots of kids pretty happy. But the way this woman looked at me, it made me wonder who else is scowling around, potentially complaining about “that dog woman.”

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And then we decided to adopt

Kiki and boys2

Our first meeting.

Kiki and boys

Kiki and robby

And a week and a half later.

sleepy kiki

I never knew our family had the ability to tire out a big, energetic dog.

Kiki up close

But apparently we do.

sleeping Kiki

And I had no idea a dog, especially one with her very sad background, could jump into our family and hearts so quickly, but she has.

According to Sam, “She’s the best thing in the whole world,” and he “Quadruple loves her.”

Robby “weawy, waewy yubs her.”

My husband and I love her too.

And so, Kiki becomes part of the family - two parents, two boys, two cats, one big dog.

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Blink

And just like that, he belongs to someone else for most of his day.

Sam's first Kindergarten day

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From Dirt To Dinner - Tomato Love

I know. I was supposed to talk about tomatoes. Like 2 weeks ago. And the thing is, we’ve been eating a ton of tomatoes. Seriously. And there have been several meals that I would have deemed “post-worthy.” But again, the thing is, it’s summer. And August is nuts over here.

We’ve got two birthdays in our family in August - Robby turned three and Hubby turned . . . my age. We went to the shore for a week. I even took my tomatoes from our garden and the peaches from our CSA with us. We ate peaches every morning. We sliced tomatoes on everything. Oh, and then there was my wonderful and amazing Mom does LA on her own weekend. And that was great and everyone survived without me just fine. Clearly I’m totally dispensable. I expect to be let go any day now.

Plus we are on the brink of adding to our family. Let me be more clear lest you misunderstand. We are on the brink of adding a four-legged addition to our family. More on that later, I’m sure. But it’s not for a tomato post.

No, for my tomato post, I think part of my severe procrastination has been due to some minor gardening insecurity I’m feeling. I’ve lost a lot of tomatoes this summer. Several Brandywines had blossom end rot. I tried to rectify that, and I think I did. But now I have a chipmunk problem. And the little bastards are getting them just as they start to ripen. They break a hole in my lovely fruits and suck the freaking life out of them, and they’re driving me nuts. Get it? Chipmunks…nuts…ok.

We’ve had a lot of tomatoes that made it, don’t get me wrong, but it hasn’t been tons, so I’m feeling rather down. I have a zucchini plant with a powdery mildew problem. Chipmunks are leaving little poop gifts for me in the remnants of my heirloom tomatoes. My pepper plants are falling over and need to be restaked. It’s kind of a mess, a big garden mess.

And yet, for dinner last night we had a meal that consisted almost entirely of food from our yard, so I’ll try and focus on that. A dozen roasted peppers of various colors, a few lovely Brandywines rescued before being snatched away by the vermin, about a pint of mixed cherry tomato varieties, basil from one of several plants that are doing well, and the garlic I planted last fall that has officially been harvested and cured - all of these mixed with some chopped olives and olive oil and baked in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

I served the concoction with some pizza dough I made from Daisy Mill flours and baked on its own to make a crispy flatbread type of thing, and then topped that with a little crumbled goat cheese. And it was yum. And I grew most of it. So I’ll just keep telling myself that as I clip away at the squash leaves and turn over what I expect to be a beautiful tomato on the vine only to find out the other side is completely demolished.

They’re such little bastards.

Got tomatoes? Where from? And what are you doing with them?

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Summer - Will it Ever End?

I kind of feel like this sums up my summer fairly well:

Report: Mom Just Locked Her Door

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