Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

So I was a bit late on the 30 days of giving thanks thing on Facebook. Meaning, I missed it entirely. That's not to say I'm not thankful, I am very much so. But in my attempt to streamline my life I've tried to stay offline, so there you go.

Anyway, here is my list, done in Alphabet format. Enjoy!

A = Addison. My firstborn, my emotional twin.
B = Bandit, our poor neglected cat. He loves me and lets me pet him even when I forget he exists.
C = Clarisonics. My awesome face washing machine that I love.
D = My dad.
E = Elephants. Really, when Sam says them... "Efalants."
F = Facebook. Yes, I'm really thankful for it. As long as you don't creep someone out by mentioning something you saw about them on there during some light internet stalking.
G = God, and getting to be closer to him over Addi's first year in Catholic school. I forgot how much I missed that environment.
H = High school friends, once that I can keep up wtih on Facebook
I = Internet connections. Not sure how I got through life before Google.
J = Jay, my best friend and the best dad I know.
K = Kathy, my mom, who is great at being my mom and even better at being Grandma.
L = Lee, my brother who I love even though I never see him.
M = My May Mommy friends. Not sure what I'd do without them.
N = New friends (since I've been at Cat).
O = Old friends (who liked me before I was gainfully employed.)
P = Pets, who remind you why you have stained carpet and force you out of the bed at 5:30 am for a walk.
Q = Quaint stores that sell random stuff you can't live without.
R = The entire Ralph family. I really married into a great group of people.
S = Samantha, my crazy, insane cuddly, turning into a boss kid.
T = Tacos. I love mexican food.
U = Umbrellas. I really dislike walking the dog in the rain.
V = Very long weekends.
W = Walking and Running, something I love to do.
X = X-Rays, especially when they tell us Sam really doesn't have a broken arm.
Y = Yummy food.
Z = Changing leaves, fall, friends, swimming, playing, work, scrapbooking, crafting, and a Zillion other things I forgot.

Friday, November 18, 2011

4. Get a new pet for our family.

Ok, fine. We got a dog.

When I put “Get a Pet” on my list, I had romantic visions of us going to the pound, seeing THE puppy in the kennel, and taking it home amid kisses from the kids and laughs from us. We’d name it something super cute and meaningful to our family and within days we’d have the Christmas card picture already taken – the Ralphs, a happy family of 5.

Wait… 7. We already have a cat that hates everyone and a fish we forget to feed.

Our reality was a bit more… real… than expected. We knew if we ever got another dog we’d want to rescue one, based on our inability to re-home our last dog when it was needed. So when a coworker of Jay’s explained the sad story – her sister was getting a divorce and moving to an apartment, unable to keep her sweet, 2 year old dog – our hearts went out to her. She was good with kids, sweet and loving, and they were heartbroken to have to get rid of her. On our quickly-made pros and cons list the "pros" totally won out, so we arranged a meet and greet with the explanation that if Samantha was afraid, it would be a definite no.

The next Saturday, Sugar (you can bet that her name was on the “con” list) came to visit. She was cute, friendly, and a little skittish but warmed right up to us. Even Sam fell in love, hugging her within minutes, so we agreed to a trial weekend. Her owner told us over and over again how happy she was that we were interested, as we have a large fenced in yard, and made sure that we knew we could return her should Sam become afraid or if we couldn’t keep her vs. sending her to the pound. Win win for everyone.

Addi meeting Sugar for the first time

Sugar pretending to like our yard

After a few days I gave the old owner a call to iron out a few details. Yes, Sugar (the kids wouldn’t let us change her name) was sweet and good with the kids. Yes, Sugar loved her belly to be rubbed and got along well in our house. But, Sugar seemed afraid of the backyard, not leaving our sides even to go potty. She actually preferred peeing in our playroom, if she went at all… Was that normal for her? Michelle said, “Oh, yeah, she has a shy bladder. Try walking her and turning your head and she’ll go then.” We tried it and it worked.

When I called her the second time and asked if Sugar (seriously, who names a dog that??) was used to being outside alone, I was told, “Oh, yeah, she’s afraid of grass. And the dark. And bubbles.”


The third time I called and asked why I woke up to a dog on my head having a heart attack because of the thunder, I got a crisp, “Thunder scares her. Gotta run!”

And when I called to find out why, after crating her and working all day, I came home to a broken crate, trash shredded all over the floor and an entire wall missing, I was met with silence. And no returned call.

We might have been duped. Perhaps you can see my delay in admitting we had a new pet.

I’m unfortunately leaving out a lot of details but I’m happy to say that after 6 months of dog classes, Zanax for both the dog and us, two Dog Whisperer books, three crates, and endless patience, we have a dog who will stay home alone, go in the yard by herself for short periods of time, and hasn’t chewed on drywall in months. We love her despite her name and have our fingers and toes crossed that she doesn’t develop a fear of snow.

To help admit “we have a new family member” to the world, I even got her a tag with our real address and phone number on it.

Welcome to the family, Sugar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Kindergarten is harder than I remember.  I actually don't remember much from it other than some blurry memories her and there, but I still think it was easier back in the day. 

Addi's homework is getting a littler easier now that's she's gaining some confidence in herself and now that we know how to pump her up to do the work.  Her homework this past weekend was to talk about what she learned at church on Sunday, so heading into the building we reminded her to pay close attention.

The sermon was pretty good - he talked about how, just like with retirement planning, people wait until they are old to worry about going to heaven.  I leaned over to see if Addison was paying attention.

She looked up at me and said, "God and Jesus know the right time for everything."

Dude.  She stuns me sometimes.  I considered homework to be done for the day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year, Addison decided to be a Vampire. I'm pretty sure she just wanted to wear a black wig which I didn't by her, but even after hearing that devastating news she didn't change her mind.

Samantha went back to the cute baby costume and wanted to be a pumpkin... which was fairly impossible to find. So I convinced her that an orange and purple witch costume was a pumpkin fairy witch and we were good to go.

We headed to the Dettman's for a party and to trick or treat. And, it was a pretty great day!

Trunk or Treat!

So, it's been a while since I posted. Turns out I MIGHT have over-committed myself just a tad. While talking the dog on one of her 30+ minute walks (that we do at least once a day) I was thinking about the half marathon I'm signing up for, and Girl Scouts (for which I'm a co-leader), and work, and running the girls to swim lessons and gymnastics... I started to feel a tad overwhelmed. What's a girl to do...

So, I joined the Parent Teacher Organization and Event planning team at Addi's school. Why not, right?

Our first big event was Trunk or Treat - basically trick or treating out of the back of cars. It was a great event, about 250 people came, and most importantly the kids had a blast. One of the fun parts is to dress up your trunk, so Jay and I decided to paint pumpkins instead of carving them and do an Angry Birds trunk.

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