I love my dogs…I promise…

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I want to preface this by saying that while this is a rant…I really do love my dogs. But I just finished vacuuming for the millionth time and am feeling exasperated because of the hair (and stickers…but we’ll save that one for another time). Good gravy, the hair. Dog hair gets everywhere. I end up having to clean the house from floor to ceiling every week just to keep it at bay. I feel like I’m in a long drawn out war that I am steadily losing.
See, the problem is they’re old (about 11) and so they’re not really playful. While they tolerate our kid’s affections well…they aren’t going to run around with our kids until everyone is tired and quiet. Also, they shed so much that if I were God, I could collect the fur I’ve swept up and make a small litter of puppies every few days. No matter how much I clean, I’m picking dog hair out of food, off kids faces, and out of my mouth. Also, they bark. Being old, they can’t hear or see as well so they’ll bark at every slight noise they hear. You know, just in case it might actually be something. They want to make sure they’ve got all their bases covered. Of course this always seems to happen right when all the kids are finally sleeping…or at least quiet…and these ill-timed barks shatter any semblance of peace in our home. And when they stand up, they always have to shake and their collars make these loud noises that serve the same purpose as their barks…to ensure the house doesn’t remain quiet for too long. Did I mention they randomly eat things? Mainly toys and pens but they’ve also dabbled in koosh balls.
I love my dogs. We rescued them 9 years ago and they have been our faithful and adorable companions. They are sweet. They tolerate being “decorated” by Sasquatch with headbands and barrettes. They tolerate King Toot’s “hugs” and “kisses”. They are very obedient…they don’t even go on the carpet. They are affectionate and low maintenance. But some days I just want to shave them both just to save my sanity a little bit.

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My cute dogs…

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Get away!

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I know, you’ve almost forgotten who I am. Apparently, leading AWANA, caring for a new baby three days a week, and joining the PTO board on top of my previous responsibilities can make one busier. I know, shocked me too.
I almost entitled this one “Run Away! Run Away!”…to be read in your best Month Python and the Holy Grail impression. But I thought the reference might elude some (who need to immediately go and watch this movie. Now. Go right now. I’ll wait.) Anyway…a couple of weeks ago…you know, when I was still blogging and stuff…I went on a Ladies Getaway. Now, there are very few things about motherhood of which I am certain. One is that, if you have something all figured out and start preaching it to everyone else, God will send you a child that blows that theory out of the water and you have to start all over from scratch. The second is…every mommy needs a vacation.
Why? The obvious reason is it gives mommy a chance to unwind, relax, and walk from point A to point B without tripping over a small child, puncturing her foot on some sharp edged toy, or slip on some unknown wet area on the floor. But it also gives hubby and the kids a good lesson in appreciation. Mainly, it shows them very clearly how much mommy does for them on a daily basis….and how much they miss it when she’s gone.
I go on this getaway every year and it’s fabulous. We head off to San Diego and there is no schedule or itinerary. You show up, stay in a hotel on the beach, and basically just lounge around feeling fabulous. To top it off, the ladies at my church are fabulous. No one excludes others, everyone mingles, no backstabbing or gossip, and no kids. Just good old fashioned fun. Did I mention no kids?

Here are the highlights from this year (good and not so good).

The Butterfly Massacre of 2013 – On the drive there we noticed a lot of yellow stuff floating in the air ahead of us. Only to realize as we got closer that it wasn’t just stuff…it was butterflies. Beautiful, graceful, yellow, soon to be splattered butterflies. Hundreds of them. I have a fairly strong stomach and this traumatized me. To watch one butterfly after another meet a gutsy end on our windshield. I’m grateful our driver kept it together through the brutal massacre enough where we didn’t go off the road. So, a moment of silence for the Butterfly Massacre of 2013.

Rest Stops – I have shared my opinion of rest stops before here. At least at this one there were no children. Of course instead it looked like a utility building for power lines, surrounded by multiple large dumpsters, and smelled like a sewer. I was blessed in that I didn’t need to go, but was informed by Ash that there was poop smeared on the walls in one of the stalls. Yummy. We did stop and take pictures:

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It was a charming spot.

Breakfast – Ash and I went running together along the beach…which was awesome. Then we stopped and picked up K and headed out to breakfast. We were told that there were sea lions out with the surfers so we brought our food out onto the pier. But instead of sea lions, we see a couple seemingly drunk people hugging on each other and heading to the beach. Then a practically naked chick shows up and the guys starts making out with her stomach. The other lady disappears (she either drowned or passed out somewhere) while the new couple continues to make out in such a way as to make even “loose women” blush…in the water. He then proceeds to grab large quantities of sea weed and drape them over her shoulders and head…pausing occasionally to remove trash from the sea weed. So we had breakfast and a show.

For the sake of time here are the other highlights…cliff notes style – learning to boogie board. Running early in the morning before the sun and watch the ships and boats leave the harbor. Midday naps that were uninterrupted. Playing some bizarre form of charades called Anything Goes (my favorites…hyperdrive, unlocking a door with a key attached to your head while spraying a stranger with perfume, spider, suddenly, and the chicken…aka constipated duck) and my most epic of farts witnessed only by Ash.

I can’t wait until next year.

An FYI about your FYI about an FYI…

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A response to the FYI post and responses flooding the Internet about Mrs. Hall.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here is the original post. Here is one of the responses I don’t agree with. Here is the response I have found to be most objective and fair…and yet still biased.

I think everyone loves to be right. Everyone loves to feel they’ve got it all figured out. So everyone sits on a judgement seat thinking they know best. I am here to say…I don’t know it all. I don’t have it all figured out. I just have a few basic things I firmly believe and the rest comes from trial and error.

As a parent, my primary goal is to protect. I don’t want my child to experience pain, or heartache, or anything like that. But the fact remains, that they will…actually must…experience these things. It is what causes us to learn and grow. These bloggers all have one thing in common. In their zeal to defend their children they start to point fingers at what others should do. But I will not place the responsibility on the “other” person. Male or female, young or old, bully or victim…the fact remains I can only control my own actions and no one else’s (not even my own children’s…but don’t tell them that).

The problem with Mrs. Hall’s post, and many of the responses is not necessarily what they say about the other person. It’s the fact that they all address how everyone else should act…instead of how they want their own children to act. I do believe that when girls dress provocatively, it will cause a gut reaction in the opposite sex. Dressing provocatively, low cleavage, shorts that work more as underwear, tank tops that cover less than a bikini…these do not reflect a person’s style. Unless your style is to sell your body. I would hope my daughter’s will not need mini skirts and low swooping necklines in order to express themselves. I do expect them to dress in a way that, while attractive, also is considerate of the fact that men are very visual…in ways we females cannot even understand.
That said, my son will always understand that while he can’t control how girls dress…he can control his thoughts and reactions. His responsibility is to still treat every girl with respect and dignity. A unique and beautiful creation of God. I will not blame others for how my children behave.

I love that Mrs. Hall sits with her family and checks their social media. I read a response post that accused her of sitting with her family and condemning all the pictures…like they were doing it to demean the girls who posted. While Mrs. Hall is not clear about how exactly she went through each post, at least she is checking! When did the idea of checking your children’s online activity become a bad thing? Kudos to her for protecting her children! Again, the responsibility is hers to filter out those images. If someone is posting constant pictures that are causing issues for my son in how he treats her will I block her? No idea. I do know that every time I say I will never or will always do something, God comes along and humbles me. I don’t know everything, and I know very little about what these pictures actually looked like. They may have been shocking, or maybe not. But I do know that I will talk to my son and ask him to really think about how these types of images are affecting him…and see if maybe they do need to be blocked. Not to demean the girl or put her down, but to protect her image in my son’s eyes. And that, I don’t see as a negative thing.

As for saying you will be tolerant and accepting. I call bull crap. No one, I repeat no one, is tolerant and accepting. Everyone has a line they will not cross. One of the responses was so ironic I was amazed they didn’t see it. They outed Mrs. Hall publicly for being self righteous and having a double standard and being a hypocrite because she is judging girls based on one Facebook photo…but then berated her based on one blog post. This is the picture of intolerance and lack of acceptance. I reserve the right to guide my children to be people of integrity and respect. They will not tolerate inappropriate behavior…like driving drunk, acts of hate, bitterness, etc. They WILL be respectful and loving towards those they disagree with. But I will step in when I see things that are leading them down a path that will cause more harm than good. The judgement on Mrs. Hall for doing the same is bewildering to me.

So, basically, we all need to set the ego aside. Instead of focusing on how what other’s do affect us…we need to focus on how what we do affects others instead. Imagine what the world would be like if that happened.

The Velcro Child

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I should preface this by saying…I love my children. I really do love my children. Why am I saying this? Mainly just to remind myself because at the moment of all the emotions I’m feeling….love isn’t at the top of the list. If this were a Facebook status, mine would read something along the lines of “feeling aggravated to the point where I will either perform random acts of violence on a plush toy or find some mild (or not so mild) sedatives to escape reality for a moment”. Yeah. A couple of my kids are going through phases. Now…I used to assume that we’re all going through a phase of some kind. But those of us with children understand. Phase is code word for, “I can’t believe my kid is acting like this, I have tried everything in the world to make them stop, so now I just call it a phase and pray to God morning, noon, and night that they will just grow out of it.” King Toot is still in a destructive, I want to die before I hit 2 phase (I think he’s been in this phase since birth). Here is a post I wrote back in March. Not much has changed except the methods he now employs when he tries to off himself. Apparently he even crawled onto the dining room table and tried to swing from the chandelier last month. While I was cooking, he wandered to the fireplace (which is in sight of the kitchen…and me), opened the ash bucket, and used his sister’s lunch box to then fling ash straight into the air. He had a couple inches of ash covering everything in no more than one minute. All I did was turn around and stir something, and when I turned back he was covered in soot.
But the kicker for me recently has been Urpling. She has been soooooo emotional.
The drama…oh the drama. I leave the room she was sitting and she wails saying she wants me. Her sister talks to her and she starts bawling because she doesn’t want to talk. She gives no warning. She spent weeks at preschool without incident and suddenly for two days last week she screamed like she was dying when I dropped her off. It was so loud and lasted so long that I listened to it for the entire 10 minute walk back home. Also, her normal voice no longer exists. Intead she sports the classic whine…where she adds extra syllables where vowels used to exist. Tonight was the cherry on top after dealing with these roller coaster emotions with as much grace and charm as I could muster. Tonight was the first night of AWANA. I volunteered to lead story time at Cubbies, and also the puppet time. Well,Urpling is now in Cubbies. To say it was a long night is like saying Adolf Hitler made some bad choices. In other words, an understatement.
First she wanted to hold the flag, but then was upset we put the flags away. She spent the rest of the night asking if she could have a flag every fifteen seconds or so. I went to do the puppet show, and she pulls the curtain back, tries to grab the puppet while yelling, “can I have it?” and then asks to have the flags. We go to color and I ask her who loves her (for the craft) and she tells me that grandma, grandpa, “Sasquatch”, and our two dogs do. She also inserted flag in there a couple of times too. During the singing, I was trying to do the motions and she was gripping onto my leg like she was rock climbing. She then asked again to have the flags. We go out to play and she cries because she wants to color. We line up to go in and she cries because she wants to stay outside and then asks if she can have the flags.
So I keep repeating to myself….”You love her. She’s a beautiful and unique soul. She brings you great joy when she’s happy.” Which is all true. But at the moment all I can think about is that I actually want to reactivate my WOW account and go kill some gnomes until I stop seeing red. But I guess crushing some candy will have to suffice.