Cedar, Landscape Artist Extraordinaire

Cedar has really been the perfect puppy for the entire time we have had him.

Yesterday, he decided to thank us for feeding him so well by redoing the landscaping in our frontyard. Today he continued to work on the landscaping and decorated the porch.

Let me explain.

Cedar loves the porch, and we see him leave it only to go to the bathroom and to chase Max & Molly around when they come out.

We originally had him on a really long "chain" so that he could be on the porch or out in the yard, but not make an escape in the woods surrounding our yard. This did not really work very well, because our porch has a column that Cedar could not figure out. He wrapped the chain around the column over and over. So, now he is free in the yard. At first this idea sent my blood pressure skyrocketing, but after seeing how well he does staying in the yard, my anxiety has been somewhat relieved.

Chain-free and able to roam as he pleases, he still stays on the porch - just as before.

Yesterday when we came home, we saw that there was a spot right in the middle of our landscaping with a big, gaping hole and the tell-tale dirt piled around. Cedar was sitting on the front porch, as always, with not even a speck of dirt on his nose. It is as if he was saying "Hole? I have no idea what you are talking about."

Today, the hole has grown. Again, Cedar sits on the porch like an innocent, sweet puppy with no clue as to how the hole appears to be growing.

Also today while we were gone, someone went to the edge of the woods and grabbed as much of Max's hair as he (or she) could. Then he (or she) scattered this hair all over the front porch.

(Sidenote - Max's hair is from when we shaved him last night. Apparently, J dumped it at the edge of the woods thinking that it would discourage some wild animals from coming up in our yard.)

We know Cedar did it, of course, but we have yet to catch him in the act or see any remnants on Cedar himself. I guess we are going to have to catch him on video tape. Sneaky puppy.


Itchy Max

Tonight was dog bath night.

Molly got her traditional bath and combing, and Max got a haircut and then a bath.

Max has been having a hard time recently with Cedar, so we tried to be especially delicate with him during bath time. It is a ritual that all the dogs agree on - they hate it.

J gave Max the "Max Special" haircut, where basically he just completely shaves him. We had been putting this off, so he was a lot fuzzier than we normally allow him to get.

After the hair was gone and "Naked Max" emerged, we saw another reason for his misery. His has a fairly good size patch of skin that was completely raw.

A few weeks back, Max & J walked into a nest of tiny, tiny freckle-sized ticks. We got all the ticks off of both of them, but tick bites itch for weeks.

We had noticed that Max was scratching pretty frequently. You could even hear him. He would either do the Thumper reenactment or he would do this new growl-rubbing thing. He would stand on the sofa and growl. It took a while before we realized that he was growling at himself. After the growling, he would roll around in the corners of the sofa.

So, we knew he was itchy, but we had no idea the damage his little claws were doing to his skin underneath all that fuzzy hair.

Poor Max. I guess that we will have to keep him away from Cedar as much as possible for a little while. I am sure that was his plan all along.


A Cure for the Bees

Tonight after church our family made our ritualistic trip to McDonalds to get ice cream.

Meltdown opened the doors and headed straight for me. "I be stung."

Be? Stung? A bee? Oh, no. Bees are classified under the "things that sting" category, making them fair game for my insect hatred.

A few question and answer rounds later, I understood the situation. A bee had landed on Meltdown, and she flipped out. It did not actually sting her, thank goodness. She just equated the sheer terror of the buzzing maniac landing directly on her arm to a sting.

By the time she found me, the drama of the story had only increased. Fortunately, sharing her story seemed to make her feel better.

"Meanie bees - I know just the thing for that. Do you?" I asked her.

She grinned up at me. "Yup," she said matter-of-factly. "Ice cweam."


Soccer Moms, Dads, Siblings and Puppies

Today I went to the community soccer field to watch Monkey T play soccer.

Soccer is a sport that I actually enjoy watching. Especially little kids. Half of them have no idea what the rules are. Okay, more than half. Half of them do know they are supposed to chase the ball. The other half stand there either a) petrified with the ball actually comes close to them or b) bored.

In T's league (she moved up this year), the players are actually coming to grips with the principles of the game. Since T was top of her league last year, I was anxious to see how she would deal with being one of the smaller players.

However, most of the people there today were not there to watch the game.

For this group, soccer was more of a social event than paying attention. Many sports have parents that go crazy yelling at their kids, the coach, the team, the referees. Not so, with soccer - at least in this town. They were not even aware that the game was going on.

Take for instance, the people beside of us. There was a mother and two of her children, and their new puppy.

  1. They had an umbrella. Raining? No. Sun shining and in need of shade? No. Why else would one need an umbrella? Absolutely no idea. What I do know is that it kept blocking my view. Oh, and the little girl hit the little boy with it.
  2. The kids were talking and running around good ol' mom's chair. I'm all for kids playing and having fun outdoors. But when you are sitting directly on the sidelines with other people around you trying to watch the game? Perhaps you should take a back row seat instead. Or the playground at the top of the field.
  3. The puppy. Now - I love puppies. This one was especially cute because it had one blue eye. Other than the blue eye, it looked like just a regular little mixed-breed dog. But, dear ol' mom told everyone that walked by about how they have had the puppy for a week. I heard lots of other details about their puppy experience. Way too much for someone trying to focus on the game.

So, to my point - it was quite a struggle to watch the game.

At the end of the game as we were leaving, it actually did begin to rain. Good thing that our "neighbors" had their umbrella.

Monkey T's team took a hard loss by 2 points. T had to tell me this on the way home. Apparently I missed a couple of goals due to umbrella blockage.


What's Taking the Baby So Long?

This morning as I was on my way to work, I saw Farmer C outside in the yard.

His parents have explained to him that J & I are having a baby, but he - like most 4-year-olds - is a little fuzzy on how this pregnancy works.

"Where's the baby now?" he innocently asks.

"In my belly." I reply.

He looks at me with frustration. "What's taking it so long to come out of there?"

I believe that he thinks the baby will just drop right out and immediately play cars with him. So, he's getting a little impatient! Already!


Life with Three Dogs

Cedar's personality blossoms with every day. He quickly memorized our routine, and so far he is still as sweet as any dog I have ever been around.

He gets terribly excited when we come out the door. Especially if we have Molly & Max with us. He has been jumping a lot, which we are trying to teach him NOT to do, but he finds restraining himself extremely difficult when the door opens.

When I walk by the door and sneak a peak at him out the window, he is sitting (or lying) there patiently watching the door intently. I am sure that he stays right there all day, except to take the occasional bathroom break.

I am really thrilled with the progress he and Molly are making. He has learned when she growls, that means to back off instead of jumping in her face. He is bigger than both Molly & Max, so it's kind of sweet for him to let Molly boss him around.

Max, on the other hand, still has not figured out why we brought this dog home to live on our porch/yard. He does not understand why Cedar blocks his path from the door to the yard, and he certainly does not appreciate it. I want him to let Cedar know when to back off - like Molly does - but Max refuses to stand up for himself. He either cowers or retreats to under our legs. This situation will have to be resolved, because it is preventing us from being able to effectively take the dogs out to do their business. We have to practically drag him outside as soon as he remembers that Cedar is there.

We have developed a new nightly ritual. After dusk, we all - J, dogs & I - sit on the steps of the front porch and enjoy the night and each other's company. Okay, so Molly & Cedar sit beside us and Max tries to hide under our legs. But, we will get there - I am sure of it.


Baby's First Movie Night

Sometimes Monkey T really stumps me with questions that I have never even thought about, let alone know the answer to.

The latest: "A, which movie will be the first one the baby sees?"

I have no idea. I told her so.

So, for the next 30+ minutes, she gave me her suggestion list - including pros and cons of each selection. She wanted to resolve this dilemma before we left the car.

"But T, what if an even better movie comes out between now and then?"

Aha! Now I have stumped her.

She thought for a moment. "What theme will the baby's room have?"

Nice change of subject.


13 Weeks, 2 Days

Dear Unborn Baby,

Wow, you are really growing! Today you measured 6.93 cm, and you are beginning to fill up the womb. Your heart rate is still running strong. Now we can see your eyes, arms and legs. Your growth and development has been completely normal so far, and we are very thankful for that.

Today's appointment was what they refer to as a panel visit. The nurse did the ultrasound, questioned your father & I (mostly me) about family history and then did some bloodwork.

The nurse performed the ultrasound herself, and while the pictures are not as clear as they have been in previous weeks, we got to see you move! You moved your arms and legs quite a bit, and even your whole body once or twice!

I still do not handle bloodwork very well, but I stared at your picture while the nurse did what she needed to do. I barely felt the needle this time.

This week at church, my friends said to me "You're showing!!!" For the first time, people other than your Dad & I have begun to notice my growing belly. I am in maternity pants now, and they are still on the big side. I am continuously having to pull up my pants, and I think you would find that as funny as I do.

We got to tell more family about you this weekend, and we enjoyed that so much. Your grandparents are becoming more and more excited too. They have been very cautious, but now they are beginning to show how happy they are about you.

We are beginning to rearrange things so that we can clear out your room. We still have not decided on a theme, but it will probably be ocean or animals. I want you to have a love and appreciation for living things from an early age.

Today is the first full day of fall, and the leaves are just beginning to turn. I cannot wait for you to be able to see the beautiful colors of nature for yourself!

These weeks are moving so slowly! We cannot wait for March to roll around!

Love always,

Your Mom


I Left My Brain at Home Today

This morning, I was early for work. I walked up the stairs to my office, and got ready to sit down when it hit me. I had no laptop. I LEFT IT AT HOME.

From what I hear, pregnancy can make you forgetful. Cross forgetful with someone who is already absent-minded, and what do you get?

Someone who had to hold their head high, walk back down the stairs and drive all the way home again.



Today my family held a reunion out at the lake. This side (paternal grandmother) had not gotten together since I was in high school. Maybe even middle school.

It is a neat experience to see people that you played with as a child, and then have not seen in years. It is really interesting to see how everyone turned out, meet spouses and children, and actually still enjoy each others' company even after so many years of absence. Some people I recognized immediately, and some I did not recognize at all!

Not many families can reconnect that way. I am incredibly lucky to be a part of one that can.


Meet Cedar

Meet Cedar, the newest member of our family. We decided to get an outside dog since J will be out of town regularly. We wanted to do a rescue from our local animal shelter. We had thought we should get a girl that was several years old. That way, we would not have to worry so much about the competition in aggressiveness with the bazillion other dogs around here, and we would get a dog that had calmed and cooled from the states of puppyhood.

We saw the face of this almost 5-month-old boy, and fell in love.

Cedar jumped on the gate of his kennel when he saw us. He wagged his tail and acted very friendly. When the gate actually opened, though, he just trembled!

He was scared of Max and Molly, and when we brought him home he refused to run around and explore. Instead, he was content to take a nap with his head in my lap.

He is super sweet, which I want to be sure to establish this in my post so that when he is gnawing on my fingers, getting into my plants and scratching holes in my clothes later on I can look back and remember why I fell for this dog.

Now, a few hours after his homecoming, he is still reluctant to leave the porch, but he has fallen in love with Molly and scared Max into running and diving head-first into our laps.

P.S. - My dad came up and spent the day with us, so he got to be a part of bringing home our new addition. That just made the day even more special!


My Parents and the Cell Phones

Both of my parents own a cell phone, and have had the same phones for years now. Their cell phones came with chargers, I feel sure. However, they will NOT leave them on, making it impossible to reach them sometimes.

They are afraid to "run the battery down." My mom is paranoid about "using minutes."

When I got to see my parents last, they had a surprise in store for me. They got NEW ONES. Better yet, they verified that since we all have the same carrier, we can call each other for FREE!

My mother, for the first time, called my dad inside a store they were in together because she could not find him. THE CONVENIENCE!

I am so, so proud. (Insert single tear.)


Best Friends

Today, I came across this image that I had stored on my phone. These two dogs belong to the Vet, J's brother. Simon, the greyhound, has an unbelievable tolerance for Frisbee, the Shih Tzu puppy. Simon is the leader of the vet's "pack" and Frisbee is the youngest. Frisbee will grab Simon's tail and hang on for dear life. Simon will actually drag him around that way. I snagged this photo with my phone during a rare moment of Frisbee calming down long enough to snuggle up with his buddy.


This Post has been Censored

So, I wrote this long, drawn-out post about something that has been bothering me with a family situation. I even left it up for a little while, but then I decided to remove it.

It turns out that the details are not important. What's important is that I find myself as an interested third-party observer to a situation that I have absolutely no control over.

As a Christian, these are the kind of situations that I can only pray about and turn over to God.


J and the New Job

J started a consulting job back in July that is just not everything it was supposed to be. He left a management position in one of the nearest cities to us and came down to a smaller town and a smaller company.

Sure, the commute was much, much better. And, since it is not too far from where I am we can have lunch together! But, one of the disadvantages of being at this small company in this small town is that the people J works with have no idea what kind of sacrifices (i.e. pay) that he made to come work with them.

So, we had a talk.

Sometimes it is really easy for a spouse or someone close to you to see things that you do not see. Or, maybe even that you just do not want to face or acknowledge.

J & I have the kind of relationship that we can point these things out to each other. I knew he was not happy, and I want him to be happy.

J really did not have any trouble at all finding a new job. This job will be with a company that we both used to work for. 2 hours away from home. But, he will be allowed to telework. He will only have to go into the office about two days every other week. While he is there, the company will pay for him to be in a hotel.

Part of me dreads this new job. I remember all to well some of the struggles (mostly people) that we both dealt with at this company. And, most of all, I will miss him while he is away from home, especially with a baby on the way.

Even so, this could be a great opportunity for him. I just hope he will be happier at the new job than he has been the last couple of months.


Seeing Eye Dog

My brother-in-law, the Vet, has a new joke to tell to random strangers that he meets. He bought a book of clean jokes, and claims that most of them are not funny at all. This one was cute, so I will share it with you here:

There were two buddies - one with a German Shepherd and the other with a Chihuahua. The guy with the German Shepherd says to his friend, "Let's go over to that restaurant and get something to eat." The guy with the Chihuahua says, "We can't go in there. We've got dogs with us." The guy with the German Shepherd says, "Just follow my lead."

They walk over to the restaurant. The guy with the German Shepherd puts on a pair of dark glasses and he walks in. The waiter says, "Sorry, sir, no pets allowed." The man with the German Shepherd says, "You don't understand. This is my seeing-eye dog." The waiter apologizes, saying "Come on in."

The guy with the Chihuahua figures, "What the heck," so he puts on a pair of dark glasses and walks in. Once again the waiter says, "Sorry, sir, no pets allowed." The guy with the Chihuahua says, "You don't understand. This is my seeing-eye dog." The waiter says, "A Chihuahua?" The guy with the Chihuahua says, "A Chihuahua??? You mean to tell me, that they gave me a Chihuahua?!"


I Hate Bugs

I just want to state that for the record - I HATE BUGS.

Okay, I hate bugs other than butterflies, ladybugs and grasshoppers. Oh, and Praying Mathis are kind of cool.

Other than that, I hate bugs.

I have a special hatred reserved for ticks, gnats, moths and mosquitoes (which adore me). Oh, anything that will bite or sting me.

Gnats have been driving me insane lately. They sneak in the door when I'm not paying attention or when the dogs take too long to come waltzing back in from outside. And then, late at night when I'm tired and groggy, they chase me around the bathroom.

Now, I know that you are not supposed to go around hating parts of God's creation, etc. I know all species have a purpose. So, my question is - do they need to have their purpose around my house?


A Baby Named Cedar?

When you have tried to have a baby for 7 years, there are some things that you have planned out a long time in advance. Prime example - names.

I am one of these people that is obsessed with likes order. I like to have everything planned out in advance.

So, when we first started talking about having children, we discussed what we would name them. We did some name brainstorming, and surprisingly enough, we were mostly on the same page. We had it all figured out.

Now that it's happening? We are back to square one. Well, almost.

For a girl, we want to name her Grace Maeree. Grace because, well, we like it. "Amazing Grace" is my favorite hymn. "Dial M for Murder", one of my all-time favorite movies stars Grace Kelly. You get the picture.

Maeree (pronounced like "Marie") is a family name. It's a combination of two of my great-grandmother's names. It's my middle name, and my mother's also. I thought it was terrible until about college, but hey - I eventually learned how to appreciate it. And so will my daughter.

For a boy? We have no idea. We have completely changed our minds. We thought we might have a "J the II". I truly did not see another option from the same name deal - it is a family rule. I refuse to have a kid called "Junior". (No offense to anyone who does have a kid named Junior, it's just not my thing.) I was going to insist on "the Second", even though my mother-in-law thinks that is ridiculous. Now, fortunately, J has decided that our baby should have their own name. So, Jr/II disaster averted. Whew.

But, now we are back to the beginning for boy's names. We cannot really use J. There are already 4 variations of that same name in J's family. That makes it tough to come up with a new one.

I like Lucas/Luke. J does not. He thinks "General Hospital", and my "But, it's a Bible name" argument has not produced the results I hoped it would.

We both like Noah and Nathan, but I like Noah better and he likes Nathan better. My sister-in-law's third son was almost named Nathan, but she found out we liked it and sweetly changed hers. Now I will feel bad if we do not use it, even though I like Noah better.

So, for now, our "official" stance is completely undecided.

Because of this, the Vet insists we use his name selection. If Monkey T or Meltdown had been boys, their name would be Cedar James. He thinks that since he did not get the chance to use it, that we should. Cedar? Definitely unique. If I liked cedar trees a little more, I might even approve of it. Maybe one day he could even have his own little Cedar James the Second.


Not-So-Random Act of Kindness

This afternoon we were in for yet another surprise. My brother-in-law, the Vet, had the day off from work today. He used his entire day to shovel up dirt onto our sad, pathetic driveway. He nailed down railing that will help us save our dirt & gravel if (maybe I should just say when) it floods again. All this lays the foundation for J to be able to work on it this weekend if the weather holds up.

He did all this without being asked or without letting us know it was in his plans. That's just the kind of guy he is. We are certainly not the first or the last objects of his amazing generosity.

We are incredibly lucky to have him in our family and as our neighbor.


A Moment of Reflection

This morning, I was listening to the radio, as usual, on my way to work. I listen to this crazy morning show that forever makes me laugh with their outrageous antics. Every once in a while, they completely take me by surprise - like today.

The Shock DJ asked for a moment of silence. Then after it was over, he said "We're going to do something that no one does any more, but we feel it's appropriate. You don't have to listen if you don't want to." And then he began saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

It's true. You don't hear that anymore. The simple words of dedication to the country in which I live for the first time ever moved me to a tear or two.

On this day, during the attacks, my husband sent me an IM with a simple link to CNN.com. CNN was running its "darksite" (that's where they take almost everything off the site except maybe a picture and some text, and maybe some links in order to accommodate a tremendous amount of people hitting the site at once). I had never seen a "darksite" in use for a website of that stature. On the site, there was a picture of a plane hitting a building.

I closed down my browser. I thought to myself that a hacker must have gotten to CNN.

Almost immediately, other people around me started hearing about it too. I opened my browser again, this time realizing that this was indeed happening.

That was just the beginning. I worked in uptown in a city at the time, and all the buildings were evacuated uptown. I am confident in saying that no one enjoyed their unexpected time off. J & I sat at home, glued to our TV for the next few days. The shock and horror was completely overwhelming. The news repeated itself over and over, but for some reason, we could not turn it off.

I am blessed to say that no one that I personally know was injured our killed in this attack on the US. Today, I will be saying a special prayer for people that cannot make that statement, and for the many heroes that come out of such a terrible situation.

(Photo - AP Stock)


And there goes our precious gravel...

Today when I got home, J was heading down our driveway in his brother's excavator. I knew it was bad news.

We just paid to have gravel put down to recover from our disaster from this weekend. The check to the gravel guy had not even hit the bank.

And we're flooded out again.

This time, the water is not quite as deep, so we are really hoping that the damage is not severe. We are trying desperately to cling on that little bit of hope. Otherwise, all we have is what we see - all our hard earned money washed right down our river of a driveway.


Back for More?

One of my sisters-in-law is really shy when confronted with the whole family. It seems like she just doesn't like to be around a big group of people, which I understand. She's great one-on-one, but really quiet within a group. She doesn't stay very long when she comes to our get-togethers.

On facebook, we talk more than we ever have before. That's the great thing about social networking via the internet. You don't have to talk face-to-face, you can just write whatever. You can take your time to respond to people if you want, and it's so much more comfortable for introverted people (and I'm one of those, too) that might never reach out otherwise.

So we are friends on facebook, and she introduced me to Scramble. That was dangerous. I am really competitive with stuff like that, and I don't want to play unless I am really, really good. I also tend to get pretty addicted. Today she challenged me for our fourth game. Games 1-3 I tore her up. I didn't even mean to beat her by as many points as I have. And today, she's back for more.

Nothing to bond us quite like a little friendly competition.


I Feel It All Over Again

I just re-read the post about the conversation that I had with Monkey T yesterday, and thinking about her makes me so proud. She's such a great kid. Sometimes she really amazes me with her insight and her grasp on things.

I got to spend quite a bit of time with her at the beach, and she always makes me smile. Like Saturday night, at dinner:

Monkey T: (telling me about her school life)...and I got to see Alfredo. Sigh.

Me: Alfredo? I thought you were over him.

I'm not making that up, that's really his name. He's the boy that Monkey T liked during the school year. I got to meet him at her birthday party over the summer, and he's a cute kid.

Monkey T: I know. I thought I was, but every time I see him, I feel it all over again.

Tweens in love. She has no idea how cute she is.


Questions, Questions

Monkey T: A, does it hurt?

Me: Does what hurt, T?

Monkey T: Having a baby in there. (points at my stomach)

I thought about it for a moment. She's only 10, but she acts 30ish sometimes. And, she knows how babies are made and that sometimes kids a few years older than her actually have one of their own. And, we just finished discussing the boy she likes.

Me: No, it doesn't hurt while the baby is in there. But only if you wait until you are my age to have one.


Not a River

No, you are not seeing a river or even a pond.

This is my driveway today, thanks to rain from the tropical storm. We are stranded at home. The picture does not adequately portray the high speed in which the water is rushing over the driveway, and the deepness at it's lowest point. This one is going to cost us some serious cash to fix.


Happy Birthday J!

Today is J's 32nd birthday. I decided that to celebrate, I would take him to Outback and invite our favorite members of his family.

I tried to think of everything. I arranged to be at home early so I could take the dogs out before driving all the way back up to the nearest "big" town where the Outback is located. I called ahead for reservations, excuse me - choice seating, so that I would not have to hear any certain family members griping while we had to wait for seats.

Luckily, I remembered that J refuses to let the waiters and waitresses sing to him, and I was able to remind his mom before she attempted that again. Such a bad sport. Last year he made such a big deal about it, that the waiter left the cake and ran away, never to be seen by us again. For such an easy-going guy like J, it was a pretty big scene. I was just relieved that we already had our food at the time, so the waiter didn't have the opportunity to spit in it.

Anyway, we had a fabulous time tonight. Sometimes the best birthdays are just simply spending time with the people you love and that love you right back.


Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?

Sometimes, a little humor at work makes the day go by faster. Or at least more cheery. Okay, more tolerable.

A co-worker and I have resorted to quoting the awesome cartoon known as Pinky & the Brain.

We have to IM a lot (even though our offices are close by and it's probably more laziness than actual need. When things get too serious, one of us will IM "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Then the other one has to come up with the end of that sentence. Luckily for me, there's Wikiquote, although I've used most of the ones I really like, and unlike me, he remembers what I've used.

To brighten the day of any PATB fans out there, I would like to share a few of the endings to that all-inspiring question:

  • "I think so, Brain, but how are we going to get the bacon flavoring into the pencils?"
  • "I think so, Brain! How much deeper would the ocean be if there weren't sponges down there?"
  • "Yes Brain, but if our knees bent the other way, how would we ride a bicycle?"
  • "Well, I think so, Brain, but pantyhose are so uncomfortable in the summertime."
  • "I think so, Brain, but isn't that why they invented tube socks?"
  • "I think so, Brain, but if we give peas a chance, won't the lima beans feel left out?"
  • "Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and no one cares, why does he keep doing it?"
  • "I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?"
  • "I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?"
  • "I think so, Brain, but why does a forklift have to be so big if all it does is lift forks?"


Project Out the Door

After months of blood, sweat and tears my big project went live today. Okay, so maybe not blood & sweat. The tears are a little more accurate.

But it's over. And I can breathe


Conversations with Meltdown

My two-year-old niece, Meltdown, looks into my eyes with fierce determination. She moves her face closer to mine, and our noses are almost touching.

"Flob smar fop lupe good" she says very seriously.

This is just an estimate. I do not think that there is an adequate literal adaptation for the words that actually came out of her mouth.

"What, honey?" I say.

She repeats herself again. And again, a very serious expression covers her face.

I have no idea what she said, but I did not have the heart to ask her to repeat herself yet again. Normally, I do pretty well to translate her words, but this time I am clueless.

So I do the only thing I can. I grin at her. A really, big grin.

She grins back at me, her whole face lighting up.

We stare at each other that way for a moment, and then both collapse in giggles. I may not know what she said exactly, but I got the message. She was telling me a joke. And it was a good one.


Dog Sitting

My Dad came and stayed at our house to dog-sit while we were gone this weekend. The dogs love my Dad. He spoils them a lot, and they love to climb all over him. It's really cute to see.

When Max sees anyone coming, he barks. So when my Dad got to our house Friday, Max let me know. SOMEONE IS RINGING OUR DOORBELL. THE NERVE. Then I open the door to Daddy, and Max is all, Oh, it's you. You'll give me treats and let me lay on the bed.

Both my dogs are great manipulators like that.

Molly makes you think that we don't feed her. She is so desperate to be given treats by people that come over that she will sit at their feet and whine. Then, after you have given in to that adorable face, she will pretty much bite your arm off to get the treat.

So, when J & I got home, the dogs were excited to see us for 5 minutes, then back to my Dad.

We all hung out for a while, and then they were so sad when he left to go back home.

Looks like we are going to have to hire Daddy to come be our dog-nanny full time.