Saturday, April 23, 2016


I was taking these pictures of Rowan yesterday swinging in our backyard jungle (yes, I know we need to mow, it would be helpful if it would stop raining...which is something Austinites NEVER get to say, but it's true..). Anyway, I'm looking at these and I'm like, WHERE DID THESE LEGS COME FROM? Did someone sneak in our house in the middle of the night, detach his chubby little guy legs and replace them with these giant limbs that look like they belong to a 10 year old? When did that happen? (probably Wednesday because I don't remember him being this tall on Wednesday).

And then I measured him on the Wall of Measure and it looks like between February of 2015 and April, 2016, this kid grew 4 inches. Four inches. FOUR. 

I can only assume this is from eating 5lbs of goldfish crackers every day of his life. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sharp Toothed Snail

I'm having a day where I need to think about something other than the fact that Prince is gone because I've already kind of embarrassed myself TWICE over the whole thing. When I found out yesterday, I was in a managers meeting that was three hours long, so I was trying to be all sly about checking my phone when I saw that first breaking report. I had to get up and leave because I did that thing where you're so shocked you sort of start crying without any warning--I mean not sobbing or anything but: tears, you know? so I took off out of the room like  I had to go to the bathroom really bad because having your coworkers think you have diarrhea is preferable to explaining that you're upset that Prince died, right? (Sarcasm) 

 So, I left and got it together and came back after a minute but I guess my face was still blotchy (I'm an ugly crier) because somebody sitting at my table asked if I was ok and I'm all, "sure! I'm fine! Just something in my eye!" Thinking I am totally playing this off. And then I guess someone else checked their phone because right then there was a gasp and someone said, "holy crap y'all Prince  died!" And then everyone at my table looked at me and my blotchy face at the same time: busted.

 The second time involves being at a stop light with the windows rolled up but the music turned up so loud my windows were vibrating while everyone waiting to cross the street is staring goggle-eyed at me and my middle-aged white lady self  doing full body involved car dance to Gett Off but now that I am thinking about it, screw those people because seriously, what ELSE are you supposed to do when that song comes on?

But yeah, I'm heartbroken. It's a sad thing when our idols die. Is it ridiculous to cry about it? As my friend A'Driane says, JUDGE YOUR MOTHER. But I've got a headache from being sad (a sad-ache?) So I'll leave you with this poem that Hopper memorized and told me on the way home yesterday. It's by Shel Silverstein, another idol. It has nothing to do with Prince, it just makes me smile and I sorta need that today.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spirit Animal

Hopper recently checked out a book from his school library that is part of this series called "Spirit Animals" and I've been too lazy too look up the reviews, but I am assuming it has something to do with finding a member of the animal kingdom that best represents your inner being.  So, he's telling me about this book and I ask him, "So, what do you think your spirit animal is?"
This renders him speechless for a couple of minutes while he's thinking furiously about it. (I have to remember to use this the next time he talks at me for 45 straight minutes about the intricacies of the worlds most inane Disney show "Lab Rats" ) and I give him a bit before I ask,"Well?" and he says, "I don't know."

"Hopper," I say, "you're ignoring the obvious."
"What's obvious?"
"What your spirit animal is..."
"WHAT. What is my spirit animal?"
"A grasshopper."
He looks dubious.
"Think about it," I say, "they're fast. They play in the grass. They're green, (your favorite color is green). They have cool tentacles. YOU have cool eyebrows. They can jump twenty times the length of their bodies. You jump off the top of the playscape even though I always tell you if you land wrong, you'll break your legs. YOUR NAME IS EVEN HOPPER. I mean.."
"I don't know, mom..."
"And a lot of people think they're really gross, but.."
"I'm not really gross!"
"Trust me son. You are totally disgusting."
"Remember this morning when you sneezed really big and there was a solid stream of snot that came out of your nose?"
"And what did you do with that?"
"Um. Uh, I wiped it on my sleeve."
"And then what?"
"You licked it off your sleeve, didn't you, son."
(quietly) "yes."
"BOOM. You're a grasshopper."

Suggestion Box

I totally realize that I haven't written on the blog in almost a month. It's not for lack of things going on, but rather a lack of inspiration. So, I'm taking the lazy way out and asking you what YOU want to see, other than the 418 pictures I'm about to delete off of my phone.  One caveat, I'm not currently fostering anyone at the moment (we're on a necessary break for both mental and safety reasons). Leave me a comment either here or on Facefart and I'll see what I can do before the end of the week!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

DeeCee, Pt2

I had planned on doing a run-down of all we did in Washington DC with photos, but I was plagued with technical difficulties and also, we walked anywhere from 6-9 miles every single day, which made me feel like I was 90 years old at the end of every day, but had no discernible effect on my children other than to make them want to stay up and party til Midnight. Instead, I'll just share some of my favorite shots from the trip, though these were a little few and far between because apparently, my camera may be dying. (but my birthday is in 6 months so maybe I'll get a new one!). This isn't gonna be very organized, but I just got off a five day stretch of walking our nation's capitol with two rabid meerkats, so let's just get started.

Tuesday was our wettest, coldest day, so of course this is the day that we set aside to walk the Mall and see all the monuments. I love this shot of Rowan and Abraham Lincoln, even though Rowan kept calling him "Skinny Santa."

Here they are actually discussing whether it is, in fact, Skinny Santa or one of the presidents. It was Hopper who finally went with "one of the presidents" because of this air-tight logic: No elves. 

Rowan is definitely prohibited at the White House. Trust me. 

We got to go up inside the Washington Monument and I didn't even throw up. 
 This is looking from the monument to the Lincoln Memorial.

I have many, many photos of my children at the National Zoo. Most of them are terrible (camera issues), but here you see a blurry shot of the new baby panda, Bei Bei hanging precariously in a tree. His mom was hanging out somewhere below in the enclosure. Best I can tell, he's a terrible climber and spent most of the time I was there almost plummeting to his death. Good times. 

Luckily, I have at least 5 pictures of my children next to various forms of animal scat. 

Hopper would have probably spent about 3 days in the Museum of Natural History had we let him. Rowan, however, not a fan. I don't have any pictures of him there because he was usually off somewhere in the Rock Exhibit screaming his fool head off. (why, I don't know, because that Rock Exhibit is seriously cool). 
We also toured the Botanical Gardens which had an amazing exhibition of regular and rare orchids and neither of my children picked a single one. I won't say someone didn't end up trying to take a dip in the water feature, but the flowers were safe. 

At the Building Museum which was a little off the beaten track, but fun. 

Finally! A rare showing of weakness. In front of the Capitol Building, no less. 

Sam and I also got an afternoon away from the kids to check out the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn. Yay for Art!

In short, there's about 5 million things to do in DC and we only got to about 2 million of them, so we'll be back someday!  

Monday, March 14, 2016

DC Monday

We are in Washington DC, land of a million museums. We spent most of our day in one of them and the other portion standing in a cafeteria line behind 1/2 the middle school student population of North America. 

Can you guess which Smithsonian we were at today? Hint: it rhymes with Bear & Face. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Priorities: Bluebonnet Edition

We leave for vacation tomorrow. I have to pack, buy dog food, replace Hudson's missing tags, finish the remaining laundry, find Sam's other shoe, fix our back gate and mow the lawn. So, of course that means it's time to go get our annual pictures of the boys in bluebonnets. Priorities.

We begin with our tradition of me cajoling them with the promise of getting to eat the last of the Halloween Candy if they'll just look at the camera.

You see how well this works out for me. (but it's okay, I gave out their Halloween Candy at the office three months ago).

Then, it's just pretty much a free-for-all

This year I let them run up and down the hill a few times. I did tell them to make sure and jump if they saw a snake.

The important thing is, we've at list got this marked off the to-do list. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Kind of Blue That Would Stay

The morning that Rebel died, I woke up at 4am, well before sunrise. I walked out into the kitchen where the puppy pen lives and I picked up my little cuddle buddy and lay on the couch with him nuzzled up under my chin. I could feel the little jerks, head tics, just the tiniest of motions, sort of like hiccups, but they weren't hiccups. He shivered a bit and I tucked him into a little fleece blanket and held him close until it was time to wake up everyone in the house, and get ready for work and school. Ever since his brother died a week earlier from distemper, I had been looking for the signs that he or his sister were beginning to succumb to it as well, so when I felt those little tics which were a sign the virus was affecting him neurologically, I knew it was the start of the end for him. I cried as I packed up his little crate. I would take him into the vet for humane euthanasia right after I dropped the boys off at school. But when I closed the crate door, he yowled at me in protest. I let him out for a quick second and he ran for the water bowl, ate some breakfast, and grumbled at me in what I can only describe as a tiny puppy reenactment of the famous scene from Monty Python and The Holy Grail: "I'm not quite dead yet."  I cancelled the trip to the vet. By lunchtime, he was comatose and I ended up taking him in anyway. I sobbed the rest of the afternoon. I knew it was going to happen, it wasn't a surprise, but still, leaving the vet's office empty-handed was a punch in the chest.

Last week, I had taken pictures of the remaining two puppies: Rebel and BlueJean and posted them all over my facebook page and our group's volunteer page. It felt like pushing my luck because I didn't know if they were in the clear yet. They were still under quarantine after their brother's diagnosis, the incubation period still ticking away, but still. They were so beautiful with their unnaturally blue eyes,not just puppy blue, electric blue, the kind of blue that would stay. I was pushing my luck.

For the rest of the week after Rebel died, I would pick up Bluejean and whisper in her ear, "Please don't get sick, Please don't get sick. Please." It was probably stupid of me to be so hopeful. The vet told me it was pretty much a given, since they were exposed at such a young age, that they'd all get sick and die.  But I once fostered a puppy who survived both parvo and distemper--today she's a happy thriving 3 year old beautiful dog. It can happen, I've personally seen it. She's made it this far. She only has to make it to Monday to beat the quarantine, Please don't get sick.
Today, she got sick.
At first, I thought maybe she would just get a mild case. She's been stronger and feistier than her brothers. Dogs that survive this might have some lifelong effects, like a head tic or bad teeth, but they can survive, if it's a mild case, if her body can fight it. She's not going to survive. She's been steadily getting worse through the afternoon. It's not staying "mild," it's getting worse. There's no fight. There's a big ugly monster in the room hovering over her, stealing her away, hour by hour through little tics and jerks and as much as I love her and I want her to beat this, I won't watch her go down like that, it's not right. It's not humane. Right now, I'm holding my girl and I'm steadily telling that monster in the room to fuck right off. Just give me a goddam MINUTE, OK. If she survives the night, I'll take her in the morning and just like I did with her brother, I'll kiss her little head and tell her how much she was loved, and how sorry I am that the world couldn't find its way to being kinder to her and the other puppies.  They would have been six weeks old tomorrow.

Please, if you or someone you know isn't vaccinating their pets, do it now.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Boy and his Dog--7th in a series

I asked Hopper to write a few words about Mr. Bean on the occasion of one of them just turning seven a few weeks ago and the other one having a birthday in just a week. Here is what he wrote:

"I like Mr. Bean because he listens to me."
(This is a straight up lie. Mr. Bean listens to no one but the unholy yowling of a stray neighborhood cat who apparently tells him to bark loudly and steadily at 3am.)

 "He likes to eat good things." 

(Also false, Bean-o here eats poop, various grasses and once, inexplicably, half a box of dryer sheets). 

"I like him because hes' the best." 

Oh, okay, fine. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pup date-diamond dogs #2

So. Yeah. If you're looking at this photo after seeing a previous photo of the Diamond Dogs, you may be thinking, heeyyyyyy wait a minute, where's the rest of them? Where, indeed. 
If you're a Facebook friend, you know that midweek last week, the smallest pup China Girl went into distress and died on Wednesday. I was really upset about it but I guess not totally shocked--she was half the size of the others and really weak. I tried to help her but I think Nature was just not on our side.
Then, this past weekend, I went in to check on the babes first thing in the morning and Stardust was just...gone. And I don't mean he had somehow escaped on his tiny wobbly legs. This one was a shocker for me, as I had literally just been cuddling him right before putting them all to bed the night before. I'm not sure what happened (I have a theory), but once again, Nature reminded us that you just can't force things, no matter how much you want them to happen. I wanted ALL the babies to overcome their rough start, but I can't overcome bad genetics with some puppy formula and mega cuddles (though I really wish that I could).
So here we are: the remaining Diamond Dogs. Here's hoping Mother Nature takes a $&@(ing week OFF.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Pupdate: Diamond Dogs Edition

An update on Pudding: Still not dead. Despite being told by one vet that she would die and another vet that she probably might have something that would kill her, she didn't die. Hoo-Ray for wrong diagnoses, amirite?  We had a rough couple of weeks, but Pudding Pup pulled through and she even started becoming less bald.  This is her at her most recent vet visit:

Dr. B was listening to her heart and talking about how much healthier P-pup seemed since her last visit, when all of a sudden she said, "HEY, She has HAIR!"  I was proud. Then Dr. B told me, "You know that love did this, right? The medicine helped, but LOVE did this." And I told her to shut up because I can't be crying all over the place. People might start thinking I'm a softie. 

The day after her checkup, Pudding went to another foster home. I had several people ask me why I wasn't adopting her or how I could let her go and I understand why people ask that, I do. But a long time ago, when I first started doing rescue, I had a really hard time letting my fosters go when it came time for them to go to their new homes, especially those that I had spent time nursing back to health. Every time they would leave, I would cry. Every time.  It was emotionally draining to the point where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to continue fostering. Then someone who's been in Rescue a lot longer than I have told me something important:  She told me, "You've got to stop convincing yourself that you're the only person in the world who is capable of loving this dog. Don't be so selfish. Let other people love too."  

And once I thought about it, it made a lot of sense.  Fostering is a huge commitment with a lot of emotional investment but don't let yourself be so caught up in it that you can't recognize that other people are good too. 'Cause here's the thing: LOTS of people are good. And the part where I clean them up and get them ready for a family--that's an important part, yes, but so is the part where someone takes them home and loves them forever. You don't have to do it all yourself. In fact, it's better if you don't! So, yes, I let her go. I didn't want to be selfish.  

She went to a foster home where there's another dog. As you can tell, they hate each other:

And she seems really stressed out. I mean, you can SEE the tension here:

I do miss her though, I won't lie. She's a good egg. She's going to make someone so happy because, while I'm pretty sure she loves me back, she's got a lot of that to spare.

But we didn't really have time to sit and relax after she left because we've taken on a new project: The Diamond Dogs

As you can tell from this photo, the Diamond Dogs consist of a mama dog and five puppies so precocious they ran away from home at the tender age of...six days old. I mean, they seem pretty much like guinea pigs in a coma to me, but the shelter had them listed as "stray" so they had to have come from somewhere on the streets, so I imagine they're only this sleepy because they've been running around, shoplifting, smoking cigarettes.. (kidding, someone let their dog get knocked up and then didn't want to deal with the puppies).

We named them all after David Bowie songs: Stardust, China, Rebel, BlueJean and Major Tom. I would post individual photos, but all I have are blurry ones because Mommy won't let me take them for a photo shoot.  I've discovered that her protectiveness is pretty much for show, however, since she is (for lack of better term): A TERRIBLE MOTHER.
She is supposed to clean them thoroughly and nurse them almost every couple of hours. At this point (a few days in), I have to wipe them down with a warm wash cloth multiple times a day, clean their bedding at least 5 times a day, and I have to either sit with her and hold her down or lock her in a small room with them to get her to nurse. The smallest baby (China), I'm having to supplement feed because she's so tiny and Mommy doesn't really seem to be all that concerned?

In her defense, she's young and stupid and probably not much more than a puppy herself. You can sort of tell she doesn't have a clue what just happened. "I mean, I just went to go poop and the five of them just fell out!" Most of the time, she sort of half-heartedly licks at them and then wanders off.

I'm hoping like hell she continues to nurse at least for another couple of weeks--I'm a little doubtful, but we'll try and make it work til then.  I'll be posting lost more Diamond Dog pup photos once they do something more than sleep 23.5 hours a day. But I must say, it's awful cute with a lot of this going on:

It's always an adventure.