Friday, July 30, 2010

Do I have bugs in my teeth?

Ace has lots of behaviors that I would call "quirky".
As he gets older he seems to get "quirkier" (is that a word?)
I'm beginning to think I could fill a book on his "quirkiness"

I know it's a Border Collie thing...
or at least I think it is.
I don't have that much experience with dogs.

Take riding in the car for example.
Ace loves riding in the car.
Yeah, I know, most dogs do.

It's what he does when he's in the car that is "quirky".

Most of the dogs I see in cars are either sitting there calmly
or they have their head hanging out the window.

Not Ace.

If the windows are closed, Ace paces.
In the backseat.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
you get the idea.
It's nonstop.

If I open both back windows (his favorite)
he sticks his head out for a minute
and then runs over to the other one and sticks his head out for a minute
and then runs back and forth, back and forth.

I thought that if I opened just one window he would stay and look out.

Nope, not Ace.

he will stick his head out the window for a second
then paces back to the unopened one.
And he goes back and forth over and over again.

The only way Ace will not pace is if we are on a two lane road where cars are speeding past us in the opposite direction.

He will stick his head out the window and chomp at the cars that rush by.
Like he's biting each one.
The more traffic the faster he chomps.

His attempt at "herding" cars?
I don't know, but it definitely brings lots of laughs to whoever is riding in my car.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

it's a tough job, butt somone's gotta do it

The twins that I babysit showed up in these little outfits yesterday.

I thought "how cute" and they kinda remind me of something
not sure what it is...

but then as the day wore on I noticed a problem that seemed to go along with these outfits.

Do you see it?

how about now?
(sorry, that's a little too obvious)

Yes, for some reason these outfit caused a battle of the crack.
One that I ended up fighting all day long.

I don't remember having to yank up baby britches over and over ever before.

Butt...that's what I did all day yesterday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The first day of the rest of my life....well, maybe

I may have mentioned just a few times how I struggle with ADD.
okay, more than just a few times.

Usually I talk about my ADD while making fun of myself.

Or how it has affected how I handle a situation.

Most of the time I can find humor in it.
But I've noticed (and my family has too) as I get older it's getting harder to deal with and not so funny any more.

I wasn't officially diagnosed with ADD until my oldest son Bud was diagnosed.
I was around 32 (I think).

I had never considered that I might have something like that (did we even have that diagnosis when we were kids?).
Up until that point, I had struggled through school, I was unorganized, forgetful, a horrible reader.

I figured that I was just stupid.

When I heard the doctors describe what ADD was and how it affected Bud, I started to notice similarities in the way I had struggled and was continuing to struggle.

I ended up going to a specialist and getting tested and diagnosed.
My doctor put me on Ritalin.

It was like a miracle drug to me.

For the first time in my life, I read a whole book.
Actually, that's when I fell in love with reading.
I read constantly trying to make up for so much lost time.

I noticed I was more organized and able to finish tasks.
I didn't forget things so often.

But I hated the way the drugs made me feel.

This was right around the time that we were going through another major relocation for The Hubby's job.

I let my prescription run out.
Didn't ask my new doctor for any more.
I learned some new coping mechanisms.

And have been getting along "okay" since then.

Well, those coping mechanisms aren't working so well anymore.
I think it has something to do with getting older (oh joy!).

So I broke down and went to the doctor and asked her about getting on some meds again.

She wanted me to be retested to help choose a medication that is right for my symptoms.
Turns out the severity of my ADD is off the charts....hmmm. that explains a lot!

So today I start on my new medication.
I'm excited to see how these new meds work for me.
I'm excited to be able to concentrate for more than 10 minutes on one thing.
I'm excited to not forget to pick my kids up from school anymore.
I'm excited to see if I can get a little more creative.

Don't worry, I'm sure there will still be lots of blog posts about how I screw things up, look at things a little off and make lots of mistakes parenting.

I'm not expecting miracles here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How can it be?

Tony has gone and grown up.
In the span of 30 minutes.

He left the house today my baby
and came home a young man.

All due to a haircut.
Well, not really.

Sure, he's had plenty of haircuts before,
but I think there's this magically age
(usually around 8th or 9th grade)
where one day you look at your child
and suddenly you see a young adult.

With my 4th baby it just seemed to happen with the removal of about 5 pounds of hair.

I clearly remember the day I noticed Nae had changed over night.
It was the summer before her 8th grade year.
We were sitting in an auditorium for 8th grade orientation.
I looked over at her and thought "Holy cow! I see a woman!"
And I couldn't take my eyes off her.

And she noticed.

"Why do you keep staring at me?!!" she whispered.
"I'm not." I said nonchalantly and turned and tried to focus on the lady speaking.
That lasted all of 2 seconds and I was staring again.

"Will you stop?!!" she hissed.
"What?" I tried to pretend I was looking at something else that just happened to be over her shoulder.

She didn't buy it.
Mostly because I kept gawking.

But hey, I went through 38 hours of labor!
I figure I'm entitled to a little gawking.

Can I have an 'amen' ?!

Anyhoo, of course, I'd love to prove my point by sharing "before and after" pictures of Tony.
And of course, being the teen that he is, he refused to let me take a picture.

I could go up and take one of him sleeping....

Please note that I am showing great restraint right now.
Yep, I'm a good mom.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

how The Hubby and I met

The Hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary today.
We've been married 20 years.
In honor of our anniversary, I thought it might be fun to tell you the story of how we met.
Plus, I'm not a real mushy person (meaning no love poems here).
This seems more my style.

Our story begins the fall of my junior year in high school. That was the year my sister, Alex, left our home in Holland, Michigan and to move in with my dad and step mom in Kalamazoo (about an hour away).

One Friday evening I arrived in Kalamazoo for a regular weekend visit. My step mom was busy making dinner and asked if I could go pick up Alex. She told me Alex was over at Matt's house.

Matt was Alex's new boyfriend who I had never met.
I didn't bother writing down the directions or his address. It seemed pretty simple and figured I could remember.

I pulled into Matt's driveway. The garage door was open so I walked into the garage and knocked on the back door.
I waited a minute or so and then I knocked again, a little harder this time. I could hear music blaring on the other side of the door and I figured they must not be able to hear me. After another minute and still no answer, I knocked again, a little louder this time. Waited some more, no answer, so I banged my fist on the door as loud as I could.

Before I can finish knocking the door flies open and simultaneously the guy opening it yells impatiently "WHAT?!!!"

Oh, this is where I should mention that he is soaking wet with nothing but a hand towel clutched around his waist.

For a very long second I'm standing there, my fist still in the knocking position. The only thing that moved was my jaw dropping open.
I quickly put my arm down (and close my mouth) and try to remember what I'm there for.

I blush, stammer a couple incoherent words and then ask if Matt is home.

Naked Hand Towel Guy is blushing too.

All over I notice.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy tells me I have the wrong house. That Matt lives across the street and a couple houses down.

Now I'm feeling really stupid.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs must be able to tell how uncomfortable I am.

He starts rambling.
He tells me how he is good friends with Matt.
How he thought the knocking was Matt messing with him.

I start rambling too.

Telling him who I am.
That my sister is dating Matt.
Where I'm from.
My social security number.

Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs And The Most Beautiful Eyes I've Ever Seen makes some more small talk and then points me in the direction of Matt's house.

And I leave.

A little dazed and confused.

We ended up running into each other again later that night.

It turns out Naked Hand Towel Hot Guy With Really Nice Legs And The Most Beautiful Eyes I've Ever Seen Plus Really Great Hair has a girlfriend.

She must have heard the story of our meeting.

I was guessing by the way she glared at me.

But that didn't stop Future Hubby* and I from becoming friends.

*I will call him this now because if I continued to add all the other adjectives for his appealing characteristics as I got to know him better to "Naked Hand Towel Guy"...well, we could be here forever.

And he turned out to be a wonderful friend.

Over the next couple of years we had a lot of fun hanging out. He was always there to make sure I was doing okay.

He showed up at the hospital when Nae was born and I was all alone.

If I heard a motorcycle pull up outside the little apartment Nae and I lived in, I knew it was him stopping by to see how we were doing.

he sold this to pay for my engagement ring. that's when I figured out he must really like me

When my sister, Alex passed away he listened to all the endless talk I did about her and comforted me when I cried.

We started dating not long after that. It only took 3 years after that awkward meeting in his garage.

Hubby says he can still remember what I was wearing that day (he IS the ultimate "detail guy").

And for once, I can say the same.

It was a towel.

A green one.

Or maybe it was blue?

Friday, July 16, 2010

missing my blueberries

I'm headed back to Kalamazoo this weekend.
Nae is a bridesmaid in a wedding.

I can't decide what I'm more excited about....

seeing a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while



I have been waiting for Michigan blueberry season since February
That's when I ran out.

Every year I freeze a bunch.

I eat them every morning in my oatmeal.

Mac and the Hubby love blueberry pie
I make a lot of those
they will fight over them.

Tony likes it when I boil the blueberries down and make a sauce for his pancakes.

I haven't found blueberries here in Illinois like the ones back in Michigan.
Maybe other states have ones just as good.
I just haven't had them.

Blueberries that are huge and sweet.

This year I've decided I will bring home 40 pounds.

Sounds like a lot but we'll see...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ace and the electric fence

This spring the Hubby and I installed an underground electric fence around our yard.

As I've said before, our yard is the size of a postage stamp but I wanted to be able to let Ace out and not have to stand outside with him while he does his "business".
It was a long, cold, brutal winter. Well, not really but when you're potty training a puppy it's miserable standing out in the snow.

We asked one of those name brand underground electric fence companies to come out and give us an estimate to put one around our yard.

It was thousands! We said no thanks. A friend told me how they installed their own so we decided to do it ourselves.

The Hubby did lots of research on line and picked one that suited our needs.
Installing it wasn't fun but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I carefully followed the directions to train Ace to the fence.
It only took once.
He got his first "correction" (the word electric fence manuals use that's supposed to sound more humane than the word "shock") and he never went anywhere near the fence (or anywhere near the treats I used to lure him to the fence) again.

Actually, that's not completely true.
He will go near the fence, for a good reason.

And there are two good reasons that live next door. Bob and Sue.

Ace loves Bob and Sue.
They give him wonderful treats.
They always stop to rub his belly.
They have a dog named Tucker that Ace loves too.

When either Bob or Sue comes by Ace chooses to get near the line of the fence.
But he does it in a curious way.
I always laugh when he does this and today I had my camera to catch Bob coming home from work.

first the tail starts going back and forth...

then he gets flat on his belly....

all four legs out to make himself as low as possible....

and he "army crawls"....

very slowly....

Bob thinks that Ace is trying to crawl under the fence.

almost there....

saying hello...

getting ready....

for the belly scratch!!
I love you Bob!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ace's new trick

Something is going on with Ace.
I'm not sure what it is.

All of the sudden, it seems, he is a genius dog.
And I don't say that to brag.
It's just a little eerie.

He seems to be absorbing massive amounts of information.
You can see it in his eyes.

And preforming new tricks.
After just showing him once or twice.
Several tricks a day, in fact.

Even the commands he obeys while at the dog park amaze people.

Yesterday morning I picked up his paw and said "Hi-five Ace" and slapped his paw against my hand.
Then I put my hand up and said "Hi-five Ace" and he did it exactly like I showed him.
On the first try.

I was pretty amazed.
I had tried to teach him "shake" a while back.
He just looked at me like I was an idiot.

I shrugged, maybe "Hi-five" is cooler so he's willing to do it.
We practiced it a few more times.

Later that day, after I had showed everyone and their grandma Ace's new trick, Nae came home.
I thought she'd get a kick out of it.

"Watch this" I said all excited.
I knelt down in front of Ace.
"Hi-five" I commanded.
Ace just looked at me.

"Hi-five" I commanded again.
He continued to stare at me.
And I swear, all of the sudden, I saw impatience in those eyes.
Along with a little embarrassment and defiance.

Hey, I've had 4 teens, I know that look when I see it.

I sat there with my hand in the air "hanging" (yes, it's even awkward with a dog).
And Ace continued to stare at me.
Then he looked over at Nae.
Then back at me again with the same impatient-embarrassed-defiant look.
As if to say "Enough all ready! This is the lamest trick ever! How many times are you going to force me to do this? It's embarrassing!"
I'm sure if he could have rolled his eyes, he would have.

He never did preform "Hi-five" for Nae last night.

But he has done it for me today.

I'm pretty sure he is humoring me.
It was a pretty stupid trick after all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

how people find my blog (ie. weird google searches)

When I started getting more serious about blogging someone kindly told me about Site Meter. It's a service that helps track visits to your blog.

I have the most basic level of this service (which is the free-you can spend money and find out a lot more!).

Site Meter lets me see how many visits I have per hour and per day. How long visitors looked at my blog and how many pages they looked at.

Sometimes I can see the country, state and city the visitors are from.
Sometimes I can see how they were referred to my blog.

What has been fun is seeing what words people type into google and end up here.
Sometimes it can be a little confusing (and disturbing)

I thought I'd share a few with you today.
Some gave me a chuckle and I hope they give you one too. (and there's nothing else going on today...)
my comments are in red.

~"I'm gonna blow my diet on vacation and die" (I know that feeling)

~"I got disowned now what do I do?" (it depends...if it was your teen disowning you then I say're doing something right!)

~"I lost my high school yearbook and now I can't find my mojo" (poor guy, I'm quite sure they didn't find any mojo here)

~"how to get back at your friend who is a *%#@&$!" (Yikes! I don't think I've ever talked about that before!)

~"the mission has failed, tell Sally I love her" (is this a song lyric or something?)

~"how to disown my daughter" (kinda sad)

~"all i wanna say is that we are going down" (hmmm. lyric again?)

~"things that make me angry" (does this have something to do with parenting teens?)

~"are doughnut trees real?" (uhhh, DUH! of course!)

~"that blog people like in kalamazoo" (I'm flattered but I'm sure not everyone in kzoo likes it, probably just my dear friends)

~"what's that foul odor is Kalamazoo?" (gosh, I glad I'm not there to smell it)

~"skinning a Kenyan goat and cutting up a Belgian sheep" (now that's a little scary!)

***and my all time favorite!***

~"Are there any cool people left in Kalamazoo?" (I know quite a few, actually.)