Thursday Ten: It’s Almost the Puppiversary Edition

1. Puppiversary. I made that up. Yesterday signified a year to the day where we went to meet our little pupsadoodle. And tomorrow (or the next day) the one year anniversary of when we brought him home.

2. On a related note, “puppiversary” reminded me of the show Friends when Monica and Chandler had a “planeaversary” so I went looking on YouTube for that episode and found that there is someone who posts a lot of music montage videos with clips from Friends and while, sure, I liked the show Friends (enough to remember a “planaversary” reference), I certainly have never liked it enough to devote time to setting Monica and Chandler clips to music.

3. This past weekend, I was able to join Nate & J$, the awesomeness behind Love Drop, on their SIXTH LOVE DROP. We went to visit a family in Michigan and it was an amazing time. I love watching the Love Drop process – watching as people brainstorm, come together and work to make life a little easier for an individual or a family. To be a part of the process is pretty much a “drops in my bucket” kind of experience – getting to see how a little bit of love can go a long long way – it’s good for the heart.
good morning

4. It’s official: The Princess is the queen of making frosting. She made cupcakes yesterday, and the frosting? Light and fluffy like little sugar clouds. I need to take lessons from that kid.

5. Last night I ended up watching an episode of “Toddlers & Tiaras” and I have to say… whoa. Those poor little girls were competing for some title that had the word “centerfold” in it and I have to wonder to myself, as a parent, I don’t really think I want my daughter to be a centerfold… much less…compete to be one.

6. I want pizza. Like, now.

7. Just over a week until I walk 39.3 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco! I’m so excited! Also? A little freaked out. There are no hills to walk in the Chicago walk. In San Francisco there will be hills. Also… the Golden Gate Bridge. The camera-happy side of me is like, “YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF PICTURES I’LL GET?!” The bridge-phobic side of me is saying, “Duuuuuude. A bridge. I hope I don’t puke.”

8. I often pull subscription cards and makeup samples out of magazines – I recycle them or use them as bookmarks, as it annoys me to have these loose cards falling out of my magazines willy nilly. I just opened my book to see today that the card I was currently using as a bookmark was not, in fact, a subscription card but rather a sample of a pantiliner. Uh. Fabulous.

9. I took Pumpkin with me to the store today to pick out a hair color (I may not fill my wrinkles with Botox, but the few gray hairs I have really annoy me). I let her pick my color. I hope to not be sorry later.

10. I have just gotten off the phone. I’ve been talking to my dad for nearly 45 minutes. THAT IS A LONG TIME TO BE ON THE PHONE. TOO MUCH TIME. My ear hurts.

Thursday Ten: When Your Kid Makes a Cake and the Dog Eats It Edition

1. I took the kids to Barnes & Noble last week. After much hemming and hawing (and an epic shower of tears) in the store, The Princess opted for two books on cake and cupcake decoration. And so this week, she made a cake. Yesterday, the dog jumped on the counter and proceeded to eat half the cake. Thankfully, there was no chocolate in the cake and I talked to the vet who told me to watch for “GI upset” — but the darn dog didn’t seem upset at all. Not even a little bloated (NO FAIR! I’d have bloated if I ate half a cake). My upset kiddo decided, “Okay. Guess I need to make another one.” So she did. Yep. I have a baker.

2. Though the weather in Michigan has been sporadic and we have had snow as recently as this Monday, I have been getting kind of tired on Pumpkin’s insistence on wearing her snowboots every day and everywhere. I’d tell her to wear her regular shoes. She’d whine. So… I hid the boots. I know, in the overall scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal but those boots have been through a lot and are looking kind of rough. They had to go.

3. This month’s book club selection is “Water for Elephants”. I’ve read it before, but loved it – which was why I didn’t mind the prospect of re-reading it…however… I’ve dropped the ball. I’ve been so busy lately that when I am reading, I want to read something NEW, not something I’ve already read – no matter how great it is. Here’s hoping next month’s selection is something different.

4. This week marks 21 years that I have lived in Michigan. Whee. Thanks, mom, for moving me to the land of never-ending winters. Eternally grateful I am. (Not so much)

5. Been spending a lot of time with the camera lately – in the past few weeks, I’ve done a few portrait sessions – and both have been such tremendously different experiences. Probably the most fun was photographing a two-year-old. I had FORGOTTEN just how high energy toddlers can be – I certainly got my workout chasing that little guy. On the contrary, when photographing a baby’s six-month shots last weekend, it wasn’t so much running around, it was clicking quickly before she tired of the experience. Every shoot is a different experience, and I’m really happy with the opportunities I’ve had and the photographs I’ve taken.

6. Tuesday evening, a friend was in town and she and I were able to catch up over dinner. We ended up talking so long the restaurant emptied around us. I ended up driving home in a tremendous rain storm – one that I might have avoided had I left the restaurant an hour earlier, but you know what? Sometimes you just need to sit down over dinner with people and talk and catch up and listen and just…chill out. It was super fun. Except the driving home part.

7. Guitar lesson today, we are keeping on with the Jack Johnson marathon with “Better Together”. Hey, Jack? You are wicked cute – but ix-nay on all the bar chords. I walked out of lesson pretty smiley and with this song stuck in my head.

8. Easter is this weekend. How do you celebrate, and more importantly are you Pro-Peep? Do you prefer the Cadbury egg? I have to say, I find Easter candy pretty disappointing in general.

9. There’s been a lot of new music in my ear but the most recent is Ingrid Michaelson’s “Parachute”.  I love Ingrid.

10. It has been a crazy week with crazy deadlines and I feel like I’ve been barely hanging on. I’m getting things done. In some cases, it’s been a miracle. Ready for this week to be over. O – V – E – R.


Thursday Ten: The COUCH IS NOT A CHEW TOY Edition

1. I just got back from Target. At Target, I bought a bunch of rawhide bones and chew toys for the puppy because IF HE DOESN’T STOP CHEWING UP MY SOFA I AM GOING TO GO NUTS. I think he’s just very bored (aren’t we all? Winter has gone on long enough) but… I would like to have some furniture left by the time the snow melts.

2. Music I’m loving these days? Jill&Kate. They are singer-songwritery, former backup singers for Kelly Clarkson. They even blog. I love when they mash up one of their songs with Jann Arden’s “Insensitive”. They have EPs available on Amazon and iTunes.

3. We wrapped up Mat Kearney’s “Closer To Love” this week in guitar lessons. We have moved on to Jack Johnson because I’m kind of sucktastic at the bar chords, yet. So, “BANANA PANCAKES” here I come.

4. I woke up to snow flurries outside this morning. Here’s a memo for winter: BE OVER. BE OVER NOW. PLEASE BE OVER FOREVER.

5. March is apparently National Reading Month – the elementary schools are celebrating big time, which is awesome. I love reading and think it’s fun and awesome and think it’s something kids should be encouraged to do from a young age – it’s not just educational, but FUN. Speaking of reading, I’m reading fluff now. The new Jodi Picoult book, “Sing You Home” is what I’ve been reading. It comes with a soundtrack – which I find odd. The melodies of the songs are actually quite pretty – but the voice? Meh.

6. Yesterday, I was thrilled to have gotten to watch a live stream on the internet of the shuttle Discovery’s landing. Amazing. I love technology. I love how you are able to see things as they happen – important things, history being made in front of your eyes. It’s not just blogs and Facebook, y’all. Technology brings history. Pretty freakin’ cool.

7. Starbucks dropped a new logo the other day in conjunction with their 40th birthday. I love it. I hated when Gap tried to change theirs (I’m still not sure that wasn’t just a publicity stunt). But the new Starbucks logo? I love it. I love the white space on the cups. I love that I overthink the Starbucks logo. I’m such a dork.

8. With the snow falling this morning, I thought I might try to indulge my need for cheap sundresses from Target. I hate wearing shorts, but I like to wear dresses when the weather warms (I used to wear shorts all the time… the older I get? The MORE I HATE THEM). I didn’t buy any dresses. Or that sweater.

9. I bought a huge tub of fortune cookies from Cost Plus World Market earlier this week. I am hooked on them. They’re small enough and low enough in calories that they nip a sweet tooth in the bud… AND I GET A CRAPPY FORTUNE WITH EVERY COOKIE! Yay. Really. I’m kind of in love with fortune cookies.

10. I admit – I’ve been watching American Idol. Last night, one of the guys sang Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up” and J-Lo didn’t know it. And “I know a lot of music but I don’t know that”. REALLY J-LO? Pffft. Get with it. And since I’m talking about American Idol, can I just say it strikes me as odd to watch Steven Tyler get these uber-big smiles on his face when people are performing? He’s not supposed to have a real heart. It’s supposed to be mummified and wrapped in cigarette ashes somewhere in his chest cavity.


There are days when I feel I have adjusted to pet ownership. The dog is housebroken – and he’s a lot easier to like when we’re not so worried about him leaving piles on the carpet. He’s finally trained to go out in the backyard to do his business, rather than needing someone to go stand outside with him in the snow in the front yard. He is less of a dork when we need to put him in his crate when we’re leaving the house or for the evening.




See that mess up there? That was a throw pillow for the sofa. Was is the operative word. Yeah, there’s still some fluff in it – but most of the fluff ended up in the trash.

Two weeks ago, I sent Pumpkin’s homework back to school in her folder – well, the pieces of her homework that remained after the dog chewed it up – with a note to her teacher, “The dog literally ate her homework. Here’s what’s left.” He ate a paperback book. Pencils. He gnawed open a pack of hot cocoa. Ponytail holders. Plastic cups. The plastic milk carton top.

If it’s within reach (and do not even dare to underestimate his reach), it’s fair game. HE WILL EAT IT.

I swept a pile of stuff off the counter into a bag the other day – because he can reach the counter. He jumps up and tries to eat from the dirty dishes in the sink. Trying to figure out how to stop it is like trying to figure out how to babyproof again – only for a REALLY REALLY TALL BABY.

It’s driving me crazy.

I’m not a fan of this part of pet ownership.

We didn’t opt for the “pawdicure”

Nearly six months of pet ownership and there may be a little bit of a groove we’ve fallen into. While the pup is by far still WAY more work that The Princess’s pet fish (Admittedly, I can go days without remembering there’s a pet fish), he’s a little less of a pain than he had been as of late.


He is one crabby little puppy when he feels neglected. It’s not uncommon for me to come downstairs after a few hours of work to find that magazine I was saving to read later shredded by vindictive little puppy teeth in a huge pile in the dining room. And know what’s uglier than a generic Croc? Pieces of a generic Croc scattered around the living room.

But things have been better lately – pulverized publications aside – especially since the puppy has learned the joys of going outside BY HIMSELF to do his business. Somehow, he’s a lot more enjoyable when I don’t have to accompany him around the front yard, holding his leash and shivering while he looks for JUST THE RIGHT SPOT. (And seriously dog, REALLY? Three laps around the front yard in thirteen degree temps? In the dark? In the snow? JUST TO DO THAT?)

So, now that I have a little more love for my pup it was with pet ownership pride (or pure laziness) that we booked pup for an appointment with the groomer to pretty him up (trim the nails, trim the fur and a bath to make him pretty pretty).

There are so many options of things you can have done for your dog – a stress relief bath (WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES HE HAVE TO BE STRESSED ABOUT? Up until a week ago, he had people following him around waiting for him to make a mess of the front yard like he was some kind of royalty. Him, stressed? I should think not). An anti-itch bath. A pawdicure (uh, whut?).

So, I’m being pretty frugal comparatively – just a trim for the fur, a bath, the nails. He doesn’t need a deep conditioning treatment (but I do – and I haven’t had one so by god, even if the dog DID need one…ME FIRST). No to this, no to that.

And then she said…

“Would you like me to address his sanitary areas?’


The uh – sanitary areas. She gestured to the vicinity of his undercarriage.

Yes. YES. THAT I’m more than happy to let them do. Whatever it was. Whatever they did. I don’t want to do it. I’m not that great of a pet owner.

Sanitary areas.


P.S. That picture above is the dog post-grooming – he looks adorable and is very soft and fluffy. As for the “sanitary areas”, I didn’t check but I’m just gonna assume that it’s all a-okay and I don’t have to deal with it.

Um. Hey dog. Don’t eat that. That’s not food.

Last week, the dog ate  hairbrush, a few socks, he ripped a hole in more than one shirt, he ate my slipper and an American Express bill. Last night, he chewed a branch so thoroughly that the little splintered pieces of branch made him throw up all over the living room carpet.

This owning a dog thing? Yeah. It’s… something.

If you’ll remember, I wasn’t the one desperate to add to our family. I was cool with the status quo. Great kids – both potty trained, both able to not eat paper off the table. Life was good.

And then?

I caved.

I caved and this pup came into our lives and it’s with a mixture of pure love for this new member of our family and revulsion while scrubbing puppy puke out of the carpet that I go through my days.

Puppies are HARD WORK.

And when Sir Pups-A-Lot (name changed to protect the naughty puppy that lives in my house) chewed through my AC adapter last night? I was not – I repeat, NOT – a happy camper.

What are you gonna do?

(Short answer? Fill the little puppy chew toy with peanut butter, sulk and stamp my feet around a bit and then spend too much money on a replacement adapter. )

This time of year, people keep talking about how their kids are asking Santa for puppies and it makes me cringe – because in case you didn’t know? Children LIE when they say they will do all the work. When they say that they will feed the puppy, take it on walks, scoop all the puppy droppings, and play with the dog — I’d say 80% of the time, that’s probably a lie (that percentage might decrease based upon the age of your children). Realize when you commit to getting  pet that they’re REALLY FREAKING DIFFICULT (I would have a plethora more babies before getting another puppy – babies? They’re just easier) and they’re not that cute when your favorite sweater now has a hole in the belly button region big enough to put your head through.

Luckus Fergus McPuppus (as he’s more formally known in our house) is not a bad dog, per se. He’s just a puppy. But I have discovered time and time again that puppies make me crazy. Chaos makes me crazy. Disorder makes me crazy. And most of all, standing outside in the dark at 6:30 a.m. in 24 degree waiting for a dog to find the perfect place to poo REALLY MAKES ME CRAZY.

But, we deal.

As best we can.

But, just take all that into consideration when your kids ask for a puppy for Christmas. If you’re not onboard with completely altering your life (at least for a while), this may be the better gift choice:

Thursday Ten: I’ve Missed Tim Gunn So Much Edition

1. Whew. Project Runway season eight begins tonight. Yeah, I never got into the show “Lost”. Or “24”. Or “Mad Men.” But Project Runway? I love. Tim Gunn? I love. Can’t wait.

2. For those of you in the midwest, you’ve no doubt heard that there was an oil spill in Michigan. In fact, ONE MILLION GALLONS OF OIL may have been spilled. Devastating. Right now, they are trying to keep the oil from working its way into Lake Michigan. News reports say that Enbridge, the company responsible for the pipeline that leaked, has been cited several times in recent years for violations in the Great Lakes region. Now, I’m not one to get all politicky (I’ll save that for others who are far better at it, and far more informed than I am) — but seems like we heard similar things about BP. The way these companies are monitored seems wholly inadequate, and it’s our natural resources and our wild life that pay such a huge toll for irresponsible business practices.

3. On a lighter note, Pumpkin had a fantastic birthday on Tuesday and has been playing with all her new birthday loot and wearing new birthday clothes daily. Admittedly, that’s one of the best parts of getting clothes for one’s birthday: getting to wear all fresh new gear for awhile.

4. If you follow me on Twitter, than you probably already know that on Sunday before Pumpkin’s birthday party she was playing with the puppy, lost her balance and landed on his leg. He has a green stick fracture in his right hind leg and he’s bandaged up pretty good. He seems to be recovering well – but it makes me nervous – he bounds around like all of his bones are perfectly fine. Yes, that’s probably an okay thing – but remember, this is a puppy in a big puppy cast-like wrap. It just looks… sad.

5. Still plugging away at the 200 Situps and 100 Pushups program. Are you doing these too? If so, let me know how you’re progressing. Admittedly the situps are way easier. In five sets of situps today, I managed 171 situps. The pushups, however, I am procrastinating and will do later. Much, much later. And the app is functioning perfectly now – so it must have just been a glitch.

6. In the Nook/Kindle battle, I had just about decided to purchase a Nook – and then… Today Kindle announces a new version of Kindle* which looks… much Nookier. Still think I’m leaning towards a Nook though.

7. Alot of people are gearing up right now to venture off to NYC for BlogHer ’10. I’m not going – but I hope y’all have fun. I really fell in love with parts of NYC (yeah… parts) while I was there this spring – and would love to see it again… but, it’d be hard to justify a second trip so soon.

8. I have had “one of those weeks” where I’m just an irrational grump. Ice cream hasn’t helped. Workouts haven’t helped (though, go Jillian Michaels’ Shred – my quads have been on fire for two days). I hate those times when I’m moody. It’s no more fun for me than it is for the people around me.

9. Swim classes are OVER! Pumpkin did alright – she’ll need to remain in that level for another round (for some reason, she didn’t want to put down that pool noodle and try to swim without it). That’s alright. I don’t need or want her to be an Olympic swimmer. If we can just keep building her basic swimming skills so she’s comfortable in and near the water, I’ll be happy.

10. Tonight is book club – we didn’t end up meeting in June and so now, we’re discussing two, two, two books in one (night). The Nicholas Sparks book is on my shelf – I bought it and never read it. The book for July, well, I’m half way through rereading it. I’d read it before, but… honestly, I’m going to be a horrible contributer to tonight’s gathering. Oh well. Maybe there’ll be french fries.

*Affiliate link.