Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Take Off Your Raincoat And Stretch Out Your Arms

Yes, my dog died.  It sucked.  But a bunch of good things are happening, too and I am trying to focus on this and keep moving forward.  I hugged my other dog today.  Monday was hard for me.  The kids went back to school and life went on and there was Neji.  My other dog.  He's a good dog, too.  But sometimes, I look at him and I just get sad all over again.  He's had Abbey with him ever since he was six weeks old, and now he is the only dog in the house.  It makes me miss her more.  I really didn't know it was going to be this hard.  I threw away her collar last night.  My parents were here for a good-bye party for my brother and my dad said, "Don't you want to keep it?"  I really didn't.  It's old and dirty and gross, so keeping it would not be good.  But I saw Neji sniffing it yesterday morning and I ran upstairs to do something else (probably shower and get dressed), so it wouldn't make me cry.

But enough sadness.  Enough.  It's time to talk about the good things.

Waaaay back in November, Riley left his glasses on his bedroom floor and Kaleb stepped on them (it was an accident).  He broke off one of the nose pads on the frames.  I knew that come January, Riley would be going to the eye doctor and might need new lenses and so I said we'd just wait until then to worry about it.  They bugged him, though.  So he broke off the other nose pad and had some really funny looking glasses.  He had an appointment on the 8th, and by the 15th, he had new glasses.  He likes them much better.  I just hope he takes better care of them this time around.

He looks so handsome in them, doesn't he? :)

Good thing number two:  I auditioned for a play on the 7th and I made it to the callbacks on the 12th.  I didn't get the part that I wanted the most, but I did get a part!  I'm so very excited to be in the cast of the play, Death By Chocolate!  I get to play the plucky and cool assistant Dyslexia.  She's a great character.  This will be a fun play and so far, rehearsals have been awesome.
Good think number three:  Zachary had his first school dance on February 15th.  It had a western theme and so he wanted me to buy him some cowboy boots.  I went to the thrift store and bought some for $13.  I'm really glad I did because he hates them.  He put them on and he said, "I feel like I am wearing heels."  Ha ha ha!  That kids cracks me up.  I had to explain to him that all cowboy boots have heels so that cowboys don't fall of their horses.  They hook their feet into the stirrups and the heels keep the boots from sliding out.  Needless to say, he wore them to the dance, but he's probably never going to wear them again.
I got to come help decorate for the dance, so I took some pictures of the decorations.  They were really cool.  I did not go to the dance, though so no pictures of that.  I did ask him if he danced with any girls.  He said, "No."  Typical.

 This is a staging area where the kids could get their pictures taken.  Zach took too long doing an assignment and did not get to get his picture taken with his friends.  I was not happy with him.

 But the decorations turned out really cute and I think we did a bang up job.  :)
I have some other good things to blog about, but this is enough for today.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love Is Watching Someone Die

Death is a low blow.  Even if you did see it coming a mile away.
When I was pregnant with Zachary, I got this crazy idea that I wanted a dog.  I have always wanted a dog or a cat or both.  When I was a little girl, I would take my stuffed puppy, tie a string around its neck, and drag it around outside my neighborhood - up and down the street.  My mom is allergic to dogs and cats, so I could never have a furry creature in the house.  Instead, I brought in Box Elder bugs and kept them as pets instead.  It drove my mother nuts.
I went down to the animal shelter, thinking that I would get a puppy, but instead, I found a beautiful dog that was white with brown spots all over her body and face.  She came up to me and said, "Please take me home."  So I did.  She didn't have a name, so while I was bringing her home, I was thinking about what to call her.  "Her name is Abbey," I thought.  When I told my friend what we named her she promptly yelled, "You can't name her that!  I wanted to name my first daughter Abigail!"  "Whoever said you can't couldn't still name her that?"  We aren't close any more.
When Kurtis walked into our apartment, she started shaking and wanted to run and hide.  That's when we knew she was abused in the past.  She did not like brooms, or men.  She quickly learned that I was the crazy one (pregnancy makes me insanely angry), though.  She learned that if she got into the garbage can, and strew food all over the floor, I would not like that and I would yell at her.  She still got into the garbage can.  We got one with a lid.
When Zachary was born, we brought him home and they became best friends.  I have a picture of him in his book where he is crawling up behind her.  She started to wag her tail and whacked him in the face with it.  He loved it.  She put up with all of my boys.  Zach would try to ride her.  Riley liked to lay on her like she was a pillow.  She just licked them.
But she grew old.  Her face started to turn from brown to white.  Her hind legs started to give out on her.  It was a struggle to get up and go outside.  She couldn't hear us as well and she couldn't see.  She started loosing weight.  In her prime, she was 35 pounds.  Last week, I had Zach weigh her.  She was 21 pounds. :(  Often in order to get her to go outside, we would stick a treat under her nose and get her to follow it out the door.  You had to be careful, though.  You had to pull it away before she snapped it out of your hands.  She didn't want to bite your hand off with the treat, but if you just put the treat in your hand, she sometimes would.  And yes, it hurt.
Yesterday morning, after the boys got food ready for the dogs, Zachary let them in the house, but she wouldn't come.  Zachary carried her inside.  She refused to eat.  Kurtis and I knew her time to go was soon.  We tried to call the Humane Society, but they didn't answer their phone.  So we stayed with her as she lay on our kitchen floor just breathing.  She wouldn't drink anything either.  I knew she wouldn't make it through the night then.  I prayed that God would show her mercy and not make her suffer long.  Kurtis and I took Zach to get new shoes and go grocery shopping.  When we came back, he sat with her.  Kurtis had to take a break and go do something else.  While I was sitting with her and petting her and crying and telling her we loved her, she threw up.  She immediately started trying to lick it up.  I called Kurtis to come upstairs and help me.  She still wouldn't drink anything.  Kurtis told me to go to the other grocery store we go to and take Zach, so I could get my mind off it for a little while.  I had to stop crying first.
After we got back, Kurtis told me he managed to get her to drink something by squirting water into her mouth and down her throat with a spray bottle.  That seemed to make her more comfortable.  But her breathing slowly faded to nothing and her heart stopped.  She left us last night at around 7:30 p.m.
We took her to an animal ER and they will cremate her remains.  They offer a service where they take a cast of her paw print (like the little kid's hand print in the plaster of paris), and we decided to get one of those.  I'll show it to you when it comes.
She really was such a good dog.  We are going to miss her so much.

Christmas 2000.  She joined our family.

 Riley is playing with her tags.  They fascinated him.  Zach would sit on her like that.  It was cute, so I took the picture.  Then I told him to get off her. She never seemed to mind too much, though.  ;)


 Zach's third birthday.  Someone thought she should join in the fun.

 She came with us to Colorado once.

 Kurtis and Abbey loved to play together.

 Jeremy and Kaleb at another of Zach's birthday parties.

 Just hanging out.

 This picture just makes me laugh. :)

 Meeting the new puppy.

 Riley loved her kisses.

Meeting the cat.

 These pictures aren't really in any particular order.

Dogs make great friends.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Talk Like An Open Book

My neighbor is a producer for Studio 5.  It's a local lifestyle show shot and produced right here in Utah.  She asked our neighborhood Girl's Night Out page on facebook if any of us would be willing to go on camera and talk about babysitting.  I don't really have a lot to say about babysitting to be honest, but I'm always willing to pretend for the camera. :)  I said as much to her and she said, she could totally use me even though my kids are older.  Ha!  I thought.  Older really has nothing to do with it.  I rarely paid a babysitter to watch my kids when they were smaller.  I think I would say maybe twice at the most.  When I wanted to go out, I would call my bestest friend Nicole and we'd go out.  It was cheaper than paying for a sitter and Kurtis wanted to stay home and play computer games anyway.  Now, Zach is old enough and we never go very far away, so he watches them.  I'm using that term loosely.  Although, he does seem to be able to get them to go to bed better than we can.  I wonder what his secret is...
Wednesday, about five of us ladies went over to her house.  She had a camera man come and film us as we talked about babysitting and our experiences.  Then we all faced the camera and asked the expert a specific question.  Only one of my questions made the air, but that's fine.  I didn't make up my questions on my own either.  :D  It was a lot of fun, I must say.  And just like she promised, she did make us look good. :)  You can watch it here.  (Grandma, just click on the word "here".)  My two friends in the beginning are my favorite part.
The funny thing is, it aired today.  I totally forgot to watch it until my via facebook asked, "Were you on tv today?"  I totally face palmed and wrote, "Yes, I was! :)"  He responded with, "I was running on a treadmill and wasn't listening but I saw your face, and I was like, 'I know her!'"  Yeah.  I love my friends.  They're the best.  :D  Oh, and watch the clip.  It really is very informative.  I hope you like it! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

We Traded Blindness for Wisdom and Some Lines Around Our Eyes

My grandmother is turning 90 on her birthday this Wednesday.  That's a pretty big deal, so her kids decided to go to take her to lunch and then throw her a party.  I took pictures.  Probably not as many as I should have, but I did take some. :)  It was a very good day.

This is the woman of the hour with her youngest great-grandchild.  My cousin's baby girl. :)

 Kurtis took my phone and played games on it the whole time.  Then he got his out and let the boys have a Fruit Ninja War.

 Kaleb and Riley got the same hair cut this morning.

 I love his face!

 My grandmother is so beautiful.

We played a game and had to answer these questions about my grandma.  For everyone we got right, we got a piece of candy.  Kurtis and I helped Kaleb get all the answers right.  :)