Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dance recital

Hello, hello, is this thing on? Mom wants to see some pictures of the girls' dance recital, and somehow in 2014 emailing is still the most difficult way to share photos (at least larger, non-phone photos). And I'm pretty sure that my mom doesn't have (and would have no idea how to obtain) a dropbox account. So, it was Facebook or the blog, and I chose the blog! I was looking at old blog posts recently and realized that I am SO happy that I've done the posts that I've done. Our family photos are not organized (who's surprised?) -- we have random boxes full of photos from around 2005 and earlier; by Caroline we were totally digital, so we have various hard drives, discs, and computers full of photos that have never been culled or organized. But darn it, at least we've got some blog posts to remember some of our family shenanigans over the years. I've never been successful with scrapbooking, but blogging has some similarities to scrapbooking in that it typically contains both photos and journaling (but no ric rac borders). I did not decide to stop blogging; I just got out of the habit of doing it (I've also been out of the habit of taking photos, and the two are kind of linked.) Also, it's gotten a little harder to blog as the kids get older, because I don't want to embarrass them. And the stories that I find funny now might embarrass them, at an age when being embarrassed is kind of traumatizing. So it's a little more difficult. But I want to do it on occasion, as it is still (for me) the best way to remember what's going on with our family.

Anyway, the girls had their dance recital yesterday. Caroline took ballet, and Elizabeth took a hip hop class. That is why Caroline looks like a little garden fairy and Elizabeth looks like a refugee from a Stacey Q video circa 1986. I'm encouraging her to wear the costume for Halloween this year. BELIEVE ME, it was not the craziest costume at the recital. But both were adorable and did a great job with their dances! So anyway, here are the photos, mom:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beach trip

I'm going to try really hard not to talk, or I will just keep talking and talking and never actually hit publish, but I wanted to post some pics of our beach trip with Diane, Sal, Alex and Emma. We are having such a great time!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Let me tell you about my puppy

When I was a kid, we'd visit my grandparents in Florida almost every summer. I LOVED these trips and have many happy memories from them. I remember big things and small things about them. One weird little detail I remember is seeing bumper stickers on large American sedans that said "Let me tell you about my grandchildren." Even at a young age, I knew that those bumper stickers meant (1) that car would be moving very slowly, and (2) I wanted to avoid getting stuck in a conversation with that sweet couple. Well, now I want to find one of those couples so we can spare the people around us and they can tell me about their grandchildren and I can tell them about my puppy.

Here is Lacy at 12 weeks. She weighs 12.5 pounds (her adult weight will be 55-70 lbs). She is definitely looking less like a puppy to me and more like a dog.

Her first smile:

I'm still the one who gets up with her in the morning, usually in the 5:30 range, and David takes her out late at night. She's still a lunatic when she first wakes up. I've started taking her on walks after she does her business to work off some of that energy. It usually works, because she pretty much conks out when we get home.

Her "Whatchoo talkin' about Willis?" look:

Here she is chewing on a stick. This generally buys us 30 seconds before we need to stop her from chewing on something more dangerous, like mushrooms of indeterminate origin, or the Calico Critters dalmation family, or one of her siblings.

Chewing on a dwarf Japanese holly bush:

She loves her daddy. She immediately rolls over for a belly rub when she sees him.

Actually, she immediately rolls over for a belly rub whenever she meets most new people. She runs up to them, tail wagging furiously, then pees out of the sheer excitement of it all, then she rolls over for a belly rub. You can't buy that kind of charm.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Laid back summer days

I've definitely suffered the stress of wondering if I was going to run out of gas many times before, but never two days in a row. That's because typically if the gas light goes on, I do what most normal people do and get myself to a gas station pronto, and then, after a silent moment of gratitude for making it to the gas station, I fill up my tank. But yesterday my gas light went on as I was rushing home with the girls from swim lessons to make our appointment with the dog trainer. So I didn't stop for gas because I didn't want to be late for the dog training appointment. And then after that was over, I had to take Elizabeth to soccer practice, and we were again running a little late, so I pulled into a gas station and put like $4.00 worth of gas in the tank -- just enough gas to get her to practice, but not enough to make a meaningful change to my low gas situation. And then I forgot that I was still low on gas (since the $4 was enough to turn the light off for like 5 minutes) so the VERY NEXT DAY, I found myself in the exact situation of being almost out of gas when we were leaving swim lessons. This time, I was rushing to get Elizabeth to piano lessons on time, so once again I gambled and didn't stop for gas. Both things (the prospect of running out of gas and the prospect of being late) stress me out big time so it was a tough call, but I figured that since I HAD put $4.00 in yesterday, I probably had enough gas to get her to piano (I am not a car person at all, and I hope that I can drive my 7 year old minivan for another 7 years, but when I do get a new car, my one must-have feature will be a gas gauge that tells me exactly how many miles I have left to drive until empty. That would be so much more helpful than the gas light, which could mean I have 40 miles and could mean that I have 1/4th of a mile left. Oh, the camera that shows you what you are about to hit when backing up would be helpful too.)

Anyway, after I dropped Elizabeth at piano I pulled into a gas station with Caroline and gave my car a proper fill up. And we don't have any appointments after swim lessons today. I think I'll roll down my windows, crank up the Daft Punk and thoroughly enjoy the anxiety-free ride home from swim lessons!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


When I was younger, I remember flipping through the L.L. Bean catalog and stopping at the pages with the dog beds, because L.L. Bean frequently filled them with golden retriever puppies for their photo shoots. That was a smart business move, because golden retriever puppies are pretty much the world's cutest living creatures. Those photos made me come close to buying a dog bed from L.L. Bean even when I didn't own a dog. So golden retriever puppies have always evoked a "squeeeeee!!!" response in me.

The drumbeat to get a dog got louder over the last year or so. The kids started tampering with my grocery lists:

At first, David and I just told the kids flat out that we loved them dearly but simply could not handle another needy living being in our house. Then, as the kids got a little older and things started to feel a little easier, we told them that we couldn't get a dog as long as Caroline was still deathly afraid of dogs. Then Caroline conquered that fear, so we told them that we couldn't get a dog until they started to show a little more responsibility around the house. Then we realized that if we waited for that to happen, we'd never get a dog - haha! Just kidding. Sort of.

In any event, somehow things progressed and the dog negotiations between David and I got more serious. He wanted a young dog, but not a puppy. I wanted a puppy. I promised that I would clean up after my puppy and get up with it in the middle of the night and take it outside before I did my homework. Once I wore him down persuaded him that we should get a puppy, the talk turned to the kind of puppy. We have friends with golden retrievers, and we've heard that they are a wonderful family dog -- sweet tempered, playful but not hyper, mellow, great with kids. Plus, as I knew from the L.L. Bean catalog, the puppies are just mind-blowingly adorable. Then one day, I was out for a walk with my friend Rita and her 3 year old Golden, Ally. I was telling her that we felt like we were getting closer to being ready for a dog, and she told me that the lady from whom they got Ally just had a litter. So at that point, things got rolling in a hurry, and the next thing we knew, we were driving to coastal Mississippi to get Lacy.

We first saw her in the middle of a little pen set up in the middle of the breeder's backyard. She stood up and wagged her tail and bounced around when she saw us, but she did not bark. In fact, despite the presence of 5 or 6 adult dogs and a litter of 10 puppies, we didn't hear any barking on the property. She told us that her dogs are pretty quiet by nature, but if barking starts in any of her dogs, she nips that in the bud. So far, Lacy has been the quietest little dog. Which is a good thing, because on the rare occasions that she does bark, I have no earthly idea how to get her to stop.

Here are the kids when we first met Lacy:

They really love her so much. The kids (especially the girls) don't seem to realize that she is not going to be a lap dog. Or maybe they realize it, so they're treating her as a lap dog while they can.

So far she's been the sweetest, funniest little dog. We're trying to take the whole "don't let your 8 pound dog do anything you don't want your 70 pound dog to do" thing seriously (except for picking her up all the time and placing her on our laps) and priority #1 is stopping the play biting. She is REALLY crazy and nippy when she first wakes up in the morning. I'm usually the one who gets up with her, so I'm trying to work on my Stern, Scary Voice. The kids say that I have the least authoritative voice in the world and I sound like I'm telling her how much I love her when I'm really trying to discipline her (e.g. in high pitched, sing-song-y voice: "Lacyboo we do not bite! That hurts mommy! Aw, you want a belly rub??") So, I'm trying to work on that (and also work on improving my voice of authority with my human children while I'm at it).

She does insanely adorable things like sleep on her back sometimes:

And play catch:

And tolerate romps on the playground equipment:

I feel like I can actually see her growing -- she is noticeably larger than she was just under two weeks ago. I know she won't be small for long and I'm really trying to savor every moment of this puppy stage. But we're also excited about the fun we'll have with Lacy as she gets bigger -- taking her on jogs, hikes, to the beach, etc. She is such a sweet dog. I'm really not sure how we lived without her.