Thursday Ten: It’s ALMOST MY BIRTHDAY Edition

1. You heard me. It’s ALMOST my birthday. The day after the day after tomorrow. And I’m getting older and I don’t really care (much). I love my birthday. I love your birthday. I love birthdays. PERIOD. Birthdays are a complete day of celebration to me, and my own is no exception.

2. Yesterday was a difficult day for me and I made a point last night of tabling my worries and just trying to relax and wrapping my head in an episode of “Top Chef: Just Desserts”. It worked. Today, I woke up ready to try for a better day. I even did my hair and put on eyeliner – so you KNOW I mean business.

3. Somehow, all the hours we have spent in puppy training class have faded. I have made it my MISSION to get this puppy to straighten up. I’ve had it with the puppy thinking he’s king of the sofa, and I’ve had it with him picking on Pumpkin and jumping on her. Armed only with a bag of freeze dried chicken breast (ew?), I am determined to make him into a nice family dog. So far… not bad.


4. In guitar this week, my teacher started me on 12 Stones’ “Broken Road”. It has some chords that we’re working on making sound less ugly (some of those major chords are a pain. A big ugly pain). I’d never heard the song before and it’s… just aight for me. Sometimes it’s fun to learn something I don’t know, though. I like to be exposed to new music.

5. The Michigan – Michigan State game last weekend. Sigh. It didn’t go well. For Michigan. If you’re a State fan, I imagine you were thrilled. Me? Not so much. My dad calling in the midst of the third quarter to play MSU’s fight song on my voice mail didn’t help. Neither did my (not so lucky) Michigan underwear. Oh well. At least they’re cute.

6. I got school pictures back for both of the kids this week – looked at them and then put them right back in their backpacks to send back for retakes. Now, I think my daughters are gorgeous, but the quality of school pictures is often poor. The coloring seems off, and I was slightly peeved that they couldn’t take the time to brush my kiddo’s bangs out of her eyes (or tell HER to) before snapping her picture. I had pinned her bangs back with a barrette before sending her to school – by the time they had pictures, they’d also had recess. Smart. The Princess’s coloring looked so “OFF” in her pictures, her skin had an orange cast to it. I really SHOULD skip the whole endeavor and just take my own shots of the kids.

7. Did I mention my birthday was coming up? I did, right? I’m pretty sure I said something.

8. The fall colors in Michigan are amazing right now. The leaves are gorgeous reds and oranges, and it’s like driving through an amazing tunnel of color when driving down a tree-lined road. Now, I’m grateful I only have one small tree, so I can embrace the beauty without having to rake it all up – but man, it makes me smile to see it.

9. Every parent has a limit to how many kindergarteners he or she can tolerate in one place. My number is somewhere less than three. Maybe two. Or, you know, just the one I have. I just got back from Pumpkin’s field trip – a visit to the pumpkin patch with TWENTY-FIVE kindergarteners. That’s TOO MANY. Not sure how that teacher does it, but, goodness – elementary school teachers deserve a big high five at the end of the day (and probably a drink too).

10. And in the interest of carrying on my good mood…. I love Michael Franti & Spearhead’s “Sound of Sunshine”.

“Here I am, waiting for the storm to pass me by…”

Somedays Are Just Puppy Days

It used to be when someone would tell me, “Oh, we’re thinking about having kids – but first, we figured we would practice by getting a puppy” I would laugh hysterically at them – on the inside, of course. Silly people, I would think condescendingly, you can’t put puppies and babies in the same category. They are hardly comparable. It’s just too different.

Well. I was right.

You cannot put puppies and babies in the same category because frankly (and this comes from someone who has had two babies): BABIES ARE EASIER.

Think about it: You tuck your newborn safely into her crib – you don’t have to worry that while you are out of the room, she might wake up, find your favorite pair of flip flops and sink her already sharp little teeth into them. A, your little baby doesn’t have teeth yet, and B) yeah, she can be safely confined in her crib*.

Or you need to run an errand and you can do it because your baby is wearing a diaper and isn’t likely to go to the bathroom all over the laundry detergent aisle of Target (partly because your adorable baby is probably wearing a diaper**).  Also, most stores allow babies in***.

And if your baby gets hungry while you are out and about, well, feeding is pretty simple too – no matter if you are breastfeeding or formula feeding. Both options are pretty portable. Schlepping a puppy’s bowls and doggy food? Not so much.

I feel that we’ve spent the first few weeks of our puppy’s life with us pretty much hanging close to the home front. First, we were house training him. It was pretty important to effectively AND QUICKLY get the pup trained to reduce mess, stink and inconvenience. Training took just over a week – which I credit to persistence in getting pup outside OFTEN.

Though originally, I intended to use the crate far more than we do, frankly, I don’t want to leave him in it for hours. We plan outings around his meal times (three times a day) and when he might have to go outside to “do his business”. And while we could CERTAINLY ease up on the freaked-out-edness and just LEAVE THE FREAKING HOUSE ALREADY, we’ve been kind of revolving around the puppy.

Yeah. It’s tiring.

I’ve joked for a long time how I am not really a niche blogger – I don’t have any one thing I talk about more than any other thing. Til now. I am talking about this puppy an awful lot, I realize – and please please please do not let me turn into a PET BLOGGER!  I’ve always had a tendency to just write about what’s going on and these days, that’s what is going on. Soon, this pet-owner thing will be smooth sailing – we’ll have adjusted on this learning curve, and I won’t be panicking (I hope) about the puppy’s tendency to nip and how I can’t get Pumpkin to be consistent and work with me on training him (“But MOM! I don’t WANT to tell him ‘no bite’!”).

I figure if there were any other new member of our family, I’d probably be writing about that a lot. And that’s what this doggy is. Despite the fact that I never really wanted any pets, didn’t want a puppy – he’s a part of our family. He’s a lot of work – so it’s a good thing he’s so photogenic.

*Yes, Puppy Dog has a crate, and yes we use it – but not nearly as much as I thought because now he’s house trained and I don’t want to just banish him to crate-hell all day.

**I know they make doggy diapers. I think they’re weird.

***Nevermind the rude stores that give you the evil eye if you walk in the door with a baby. Who likes THOSE stores, anyway?