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Everybody keep breathing, please

Summer is firmly upon us, and I am enjoying all of my unexpected down time. HAAAA. You know, in-between the driving lessons, ferrying children to and fro, working on a few different projects for the school (damn my need to be “helpful” and “participatory”), gardening, sort of working, various visits and engagements, and trying to keep everyone alive (which turns out to be harder than I think it’s going to be, all the time).

We had houseguests who brought their two dogs, and do it was DOGAPALOOZA here for a couple of days, and after they left, Duncan seemed REALLY tired, which, fine, I guess having two extra dogs all up in your face is stressful. But then he started refusing to get up… or eat… and he got up one afternoon and peed all over the carpet and lay back down right next to it. Plus he was blowing little snot bubbles out of his adorable little smushed-up nose and there was a lot of sneezing and some coughing. (Pro tip: Don’t Google “canine influenza.”) Anyway. The vet put him on some antibiotics and he’s perkier, now, thank goodness.

Monkey is very busy 1) eating everything that is not nailed down and 2) planning out various D&D campaigns and talking to his friends about said campaigns and showing up in my office to say things like “And each oracle gives you a one and a half modifier to your level for the next strike!” (I try to nod and look impressed.) Chickadee is very busy 1) working, 2) driving, 3) doing music stuff like joining a jazz band so that she can learn yet another instrument because apparently jazz flute is not so much a thing, 4) studying for the ACT, 5) binge-watching Netflix, and 6) insisting she is too busy to unload the dishwasher. I choose to believe this is all fine and good.

Because there’s not enough other stuff going on, I’ve finally ordered some paint for my office. You know, because I picked out that paint two years ago and I am nothing if not punctual. Otto said he’d redo the floor for me, too, if I picked out some laminate, so maybe that’ll happen, too. Then my office will be BEAUTIFUL and I will maybe have to, you know, work more.

While I try to relocate two overloaded bookcases (ZOMG), you can head over to Alpha Mom to read about how teenagers differ from toddlers. Spoiler: Notsomuch.

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Dog weirdness and a new chapter

Theoretically I could just say, “Oh hey I have a new post over at Alpha Mom you should go read” and link to it, but I have a couple of dog-related things to share (which, granted, have nothing to do with the Alpha Mom post) so I am just going to put everything here and call it a post. Because… reasons.

Dog Matter #1: Licorice has developed a super-annoying habit of licking the kitchen floor. I don’t mean occasionally, or just that she scoops up food I drop (that’s why you have a dog, after all, so that you don’t have to vacuum as often), but that she will park herself in one of two favorite spots—directly under my feet while I’m cooking/prepping at the stove and the counter space right next to it, or under the kitchen table—and lick, lick, lick, until we worry that her tongue is going to fall off. We have scrubbed the floor. It does not matter. I think she’s removed whatever remained of the protective coating on our ancient vinyl and is giving herself brain damage. I HAVE CONCERNS. Otto’s suggestion of “coating the entire kitchen in Bitter Apple” seems… ill-advised. But I feel like I spend every morning and evening when doing food prep saying, “Licorice, stop. STOP. STAAAAAAHP LICORIIIIICE!”

Dog Matter #2: The other night we finished eating dinner and were hanging out at the kitchen table and I decided to have a banana (the fruit bowl is right there and perhaps I am low on potassium). As soon as I peeled it, both dogs were all up in my grill, per usual, but when Duncan stood on his hind legs and put his paws on my thigh I figured, what the heck, I’ll just let him take a little bite. I lowered the banana to his face and instead of the dainty bite I had anticipated (because I am delusional), my 17-pound delicate flower turned into one of the aliens from “V” (you know, the ones who can unhinge their jaws to eat stuff?) and CHOMP, 3/4 of the banana disappeared. He then lowered himself to the floor and chewed as if his life depended on it, because he knew that if he tried to set his stolen prize down to manage it better, Licorice would steal it. I laughed until I cried, while Otto and Chickadee asked me what I THOUGHT was going to happen. (Me: “Not that!”)

But hey, did I mention I have new post up at Alpha Mom? Because I do. It may not be as entertaining as Duncan stealing most of my banana, but you should go read it, anyway.

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Apparently not Australian

It comes as no surprise to anyone who’s known me for any length of time that my favorite topic of conversation is dogs. Specifically, my dogs. Because they are smushy wuvvy fluffy balls of ridiculousness.

doggies-wanna-snack

“Help, my teeth don’t all fit in my mouth.”

When the bible talks about pure love and devotion, I believe it’s referring to something nigh unto impossible to achieve among fellow humans, but something that naturally occurs with pets. Just looking at them lowers my blood pressure by at least ten points. They’re the BEST.

Even when they’re, y’know, not. (more…)

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Crossing their furry little legs

It snowed this morning, which was Terribly Exciting. School was not canceled, however—SAD FACE—which was Terribly Disappointing. My poor, poor children, reared in snowy New England for the first half of their lives, complained that they would surely DIE on the school bus because of the tragic winter weather. There was an actual dusting of snow on the ground! THE HORROR!! Because we are suckers, Otto drove them to school.

Tempting though it is to declare the kids the wussiest wusses of Wussville in the face of this Major Weather Event, that title actually goes to the four-footed family members. You see, there is SNOW just sitting there ON THE PORCH. This is unacceptable. This means the dogs have ventured out just far enough to determine that OUCH OUCH COLD PAWS HELP OHNOES and then they run back inside. This means that it’s nearly lunchtime and neither dog has been outside to pee yet today. They have tiny bladders of steel, true, but I am still very afraid I’ll be stepping in a puddle sometime very soon. (So far they’ve just been sleeping here in my office, though, because Not Peeing uses up a lot of energy and they need naps.)

While we wait for His and Her Highness to deign to venture out for the ceremonial bladder-emptying, let us discuss the miracle of raising smarticles. Specifically, I’m examining a particular Very Dumb Thing a lot of bright kids do, over at Alpha Mom. I did it. My kids are doing it now. It’s making me INSANE. Please come tell me how to make them stop. Or lure the dogs outside. Either one.

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Dogs are stupid expensive jerkfaces

I guess I can offer up a small bit of further explanation as to why I hate everything and everyone right now, though this is just the tip of the iceberg, or—as we prefer to say in my family—the tiniest sliver of the crap cake.
140921_Duncan_tie_0058Hi there! My name is Duncan. I enjoy wearing jaunty neckwear, scaring the crap out of my family, and costing a billion dollars while I do it. Also, I have a toe fetish. Please walk over here barefoot so I can lick you.(more…)

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Pardon me while I distract myself

I actually had this whole funny little post planned about The Day Of The Mystery Puddle—it appeared in the middle of the kitchen and we started playing Dog, Garbage Bag Leak, or Oblivious Child Spill—but before I had a chance to write it, Duncan commenced peeing all over the place and generally behaving unwell. At that point the puddle seemed less amusing and more like something I should’ve been more alarmed by in the first place, y’know?

Anyway. Duncan is also kind of lumpy and bumpy (“Age!” said the vet, the first time I pointed it out. “Or maybe something else! Who knows!”) and checking him over revealed one of his bumps had significantly expanded. No bueno. Off to the vet he went, first thing Monday morning, and now he’s in surgery. We’re waiting to hear whether this is a small expensive annoyance or a big expensive heartbreak (or something in-between).

So! I’m working! And shopping! And not thinking about my smushy babykins having dubious lumps extracted! It seemed like a perfect time to share some shopping tips for hard-to-fit-teens over at Alpha Mom as a distraction. You could come read it, and then we could be distracted, together.

[Edited to add: Duncan came through the surgery just fine, and other than an abscess and couple of fatty deposits the vet found nothing we need to worry about. He (the dog, not the vet) spent the night fairly confused and this morning is mighty angry that we won’t let him eat his stitches. We lucked out.]

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I think he might be a cat

I keep trying to figure out how to tell you all of the cool stuff about our trip in some sort of logical way (i.e., in an order that makes sense, and also in such a way as to not sound like a privileged asshole, because HEY fun family vacation my dad paid for, that’s some serious good fortune right there), and I still haven’t figured it out. To at least begin, I figured it might be best to start to start at the end.

Actually, first let’s go to BEFORE we left, then we’ll talk about what happened when we got back.

Back when we decided to adopt Duncan, part of the impetus came from this incessant anthropomorphizing I engage in, which led me to believe that Licorice really “needed” a “sibling.” (Both of these words in quotes to acknowledge that I’m ridiculous. I KNOW. Shut up.) Anyway, I’m mostly home, but EVERY NOW AND THEN we spent a whole day out of the house or… we go on vacation. Wouldn’t it be nice for Licorice to have another dog with her for those rare occasions? Like, say, when we go to Colorado for 10 days and leave her at the kennel? Surely it would. One dog alone at the kennel might assume she’s been abandoned and be stressed out in unfamiliar surroundings, while TWO dogs at the kennel would cost an entire mortgage payment be comforted by one another and be less stressed. Surely. Right? (more…)

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Stupid adorable heartbreakers

If only our dogs could be… I dunno… a little less squishable.

“Oh, hello. I’m just here being lovable and stuff.”

That would make life a whole lot easier, is all I’m saying.

Today I’m over at Alpha Mom talking about how love is always a risk, and so sometimes you really do just sign up for having your heart broken, and maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Because, seriously, look at that face. LOOK AT IT. It’s not like I had a choice.

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Happy accidents and small heart attacks

When I last left you, I was talking about furniture and how my dogs are disgusting. This is perfect, because today I am happy to report that we have furniture and my dogs are slightly less disgusting but still super-stressful, because I am never happy unless something I love causes me anguish. HAHAHA.

Anyway! The new furniture was delivered on Monday, and the first piece off the truck looked wrong. After checking over the paperwork and discussing it with the (very nice) delivery guy, it was determined that yes, in fact, we had ordered a love seat with a center console (you know, a compartment for remote controls and built-in cup holders, because we are nothing if not lazy) but they had shipped us a regular love seat, instead. We’d waited all this time and they sent us the wrong thing! Such first-world problem-having! No matter, they said to keep the wrong piece until they could get us the right one. So sweet of them. And then… once all the pieces were in place (it’s a sectional setup, composed of a couch, corner unit, and love seat) it became clear that if the love seat was any bigger it would be Too Much. Our family room isn’t that large, the new furniture is very… floofy (totally a real thing). So! Yay for the wrong thing that turned out to be right!

Also there has been no stealth-puking from the pups lately (as far as we know…), but a couple of days ago Duncan became decidedly wobbly. This was concerning. I discovered he had an ear infection and began treating that, but yesterday morning he was having so many tremors and so much trouble standing that I was sure he was having a prolonged seizure. We knew Duncan was sickly when we adopted him but I AM NOT READY YET, let’s just say that. Fortunately the vet suggested he may just be really struggling with his arthritis, and gave us some anti-inflammatories to try, and today Duncan is 1000% better. Phew. MAH BAYBEE.

So! Life continues to never be dull. While I was away dealing with all of that and working and such, I also took to Alpha Mom and wrote my most controversial blog post yet. (Hint: It’s about beets. People have strong feelings about beets.) And then after I finished eating my beets (mmmm… beets), I wished I could save my teens from friendship woes with some sort of Borg mind-meld. Still working on figuring that one out.

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A brief (yet disgusting) interlude

For Christmas this past year, sometime in October Otto and I gazed lovingly into one another’s eyes and decided to forego traditional gift buying for each other to instead embark upon the most romantic of journeys… replacing our family room furniture. Truly, we are an inspirational model of “keeping the flame alive” to couples everywhere.

Although we have worked through our home bit by bit, making it OURS (as opposed to THEIRS—in the case of layers of wallpaper and paint left us by the previous owners—or MINE and HIS as begat by various legacies of our pre-marriage artifacts), the family room—the main hanging-out room in our house—remained a mish-mash of blended family remnants. Otto brought The Man Couch into our marriage, and although it is brown and ugly, it is very comfortable. I, in turn, brought the Other Furniture in this room, a pretty love seat and easy chair/ottoman combo (from a former rarely-used living room) which aren’t uncomfortable, really, but are showing signs of wear now that they host energetic non-adults and small dogs with too-long nails on the regular.

So: Furniture for Christmas. Which really meant, furniture when we could get around to it. (more…)

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