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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back in the Saddle

When I posted this blog about Gus learning to ride his bike back in March, I thought that was it. I thought that was the bike riding blog. He learned. He rode. He was a bike rider. I even confidently said "once you learn, you never forget."

But apparently you can forget. Whether it was the long, hot summer or a bad fall down a hill, Gus DID NOT know how to ride his bike anymore. We tried a few times but were unsuccessful. And I'm not exactly up for bending over and holding on while he rides.

Luckily, Frank is. He took him up to the Sweet Apple Elementary parking lot and practiced for a long time two weeks ago. And he got it. Then Frank came home and took off Gus' beloved Balance Buddy and he rode in the cul de sac.

Last weekend we tackled the Greenway (side note: Frank and I always accidentally call it "The Greenbelt" from our Austin days).

video video

He's still a little shaky on down hills but this time I really really think he will never forget! (As long as we keep rolling through the winter!)

Oh, and as I went to post this blog, I saw a draft of a blog that I never posted from October. So, this will be a little dated but bear with me:

Gus had planned to be Luke Skywalker for Halloween. Then one day he mentioned something about a pirate zombie and I stupidly said, "That would be a good Halloween costume." And Gus surprised me by responding with, "What? No! I already have a Halloween costume! And it costed a lot of dollars. Someone would have to be an idiot to buy another costume."

Hmmm...sounds a lot like his dad!

Okay, back to Gus riding his bike :)

He looks like a ten year old riding a toddler bike in this pic!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

And Smitty Makes Five!

We did it! We got ourselves a dog. We have all had dog fever for awhile now and have been perusing the internets for just the right rescue dog. We'd find one, email about him/her, and often the response would be, "Rex is great but..." isn't good with kids, has a major squirrel thing or is missing one leg. 

We weren't ready for a project. 

Then we saw "Peanut." 

How could we resist? I went to the shelter where he was bunking and he was as sweet as the description said. I called Frank who said, "We don't have a lot of time to search for a dog. If he seems good, just get him." 

The shelter peeps had said that they would keep him there a couple of days to get neutered and microchipped. However, they were backed up with neuterings so they said, "You'll have to take him today." 

I was mildly panicked, but only because I was thinking, "I better get some dog food." 

Ha, dog food. Like that's all I would need! 

I had NO IDEA how huge a responsibility it is to get a dog. Besides the training and extra time it takes to take care of one, here is a list of all the things you "need." 

  • Food
  • Treats 
  • Different types of treats
  • Bowl for food, bowl for water 
  • Bones
  • Raw hide
  • Leash
  • Different type of leash 
  • Collar
  • Different type of collar
  • Tag 
  • Another tag for the second collar 
  • Poop bags 
  • Poop bag holder 
  • Crate 
  • Bed for the crate (that he doesn't even sleep on) 
  • Three bone toys 
  • Two "kongs" in which to put peanut butter 
  • A deer antler that the pet store guy swears he will like but he doesn't 
  • Balls--tennis, pretend tennis, squishy, rough, soccer, bouncy 
  • Squeaky toys 
  • A bone that looks like a log 
  • A gate for the stairs (borrowed from neighbor) 
  • A genie (from the makers of Diaper Genie) to dispose of poop bags 
  • A tie-out cord 
  • A ball that holds treats that he doesn't care for 
  • "Pet Corrector" spray 
  • "Bitter Apple" spray 
  • Little Green Machine steam vacuum to clean up poop and pee accidents 
  • Special spray so dog won't smell where he had said poop and pee accidents 
  • A trainer 
  • An invisible fence 
  • Dog boarding services 
  • A vet 

$3,000 later...

We are all set! 

While he has been cute and sweet from the get-go, it wasn't an instant love connection. In fact, I even made some efforts to "re-home" him. See, I wasn't particularly fond of having poop and pee in my house (and having to take up all of my rugs!). I also wasn't in favor of taking a dog out on a leash to go potty--I'm not exaggerating--21 times per day! I think most of my re-homing efforts took place on the sixth day, when Gus let the dog out and Smitty got a hold of one of the full poop bags with his mouth, flung it from side to side causing poop to fly all over our front porch. I may have sent a text to Frank saying something like, "I am done. Done. Done. Done. I can't live like this!" There were so many tears that first week. 

But then... 

He must have heard me making plans to find him another home and realized, "Hey, I've got a pretty good thing going with these fools" cause he stopped pooping and peeing in the house. 

So instead of re-homing him, we will be his "fur-ever home." 

Here are some pics of our first two+ weeks with Smitty. (Oh, and we got his name from another rescue dog that we had inquired about. He had only been Peanut at the shelter for a week so we figured it was okay to change it.) 

Our first meeting at the shelter! 

First night at home

Learning to love his crate 

His coat all shiny after his first bath (well first with us) 

Hanging out on the mat where I like to stand to make meals 

Getting a rare gentle pat from Gus 

His favorite place to hang out--the first step! 

Another favorite spot

Learning new tricks! 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Gus' First Day of the "Young Fives"

We knew we wanted to red shirt Gus. But what to do with him while we wait around for Kindergarten? I thought about forgetting preschool and just doing a year of finger painting at home. But then I remembered I'm not crafty and I don't even like doing his "popcorn" words with him.

"It's A!! The word is A! Not P! P is not a word! Well, I guess it is but it wouldn't be a popcorn word! Sit in timeout until you figure out that it's A!"

Luckily, there were enough kids in this same situation so his preschool offered a "Young 5's" class. There are nine kids and one teacher! I'm so happy about this situation for Gus--small class, half day. It's a good way to spend this gap year.

He was excited that he knew almost all the kids in his class from last year!

Some pics are from "Meet the Teacher" day and some are from the First Day...just in case you thought I have my kid do wardrobe changes throughout the day.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Leo says the Darnedest Things: First Week of School Edition

Leo started second grade!

Being in second grade means you get to sit more towards the middle of the bus, rather than up front. You get to sit in the "spinny" chairs at the library. Also at the library, you can check out TWO books at a time. You get to try out for the school play, which Leo is going to do. You get to be in the school play, cause everybody gets a part. And if you're Leo, you get to buy lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY.

That's because I HATE making lunches. I actually don't hate making lunches for Gus because he likes normal lunch stuff--PB&J, salty snack, etc. Leo does not like sandwiches or salty snacks so I was always stretching to think of something not in the dessert family to put in his lunch. We compromised on a jelly sandwich. But after FIVE YEARS (preschool for three, Kinder and 1st) of making jelly sandwiches, I quit. I cannot make another jelly sandwich. It grosses me out. If it doesn't have peanut butter on it, it's just soft toast.

So that, plus the fact that I felt absolutely euphoric on the one or two days a week last year when I let Leo buy his lunch, led me to this decision: NO MORE PACKING LUNCHES!

Every day I read him the menu and he always says he likes it. On the second day they were having chicken enchiladas.

Me: Leo, they're having chicken enchiladas at school today. Do you like that?

Leo: Oh, yes!!

Me: Are you sure? Cause I know you like it when I make it but...

Leo: They basically make everything you make, only better.

So...not only do I cook like a school cafeteria but their cooking is superior?

I was insulted for about a second but then I remembered I didn't have to make a jelly sandwich, so I got over it.

I have a feeling it's going to be a great year for both of us!