Friday, September 30, 2011

Dog Days, Part II

Remember when I said Molly was welcome anytime?

Did I speak too soon?

The dog ate an entire can of playdough! Melina had her little playdough treats on plates, and the dog took it upon herself to eat them.

I called Tara to find out if she wanted me to take Molly to the vet. To be honest, playdough is not meant to be eaten, but it is non-toxic, and made with wheat. How bad could it be? Tara said she'd call her vet and find out the protocol.

Tara's first words to me, upon calling me back, were: "Please don't kill me."

Apparently the dog will be fine, but we might have to deal with loose stools. Good times.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poor Baby!

Ferdinand and Lucy were our original twins. After the girls arrived, I feared that every child or animal that entered our abode would be in sets of two! Ferdinand, hasn't been doing well lately. It became apparent over the last couple of months: his coat was suffering, he was drinking and urinating quite a bit, and he lost some weight. He lost so much weight that when Tara visited this was our conversation

Tara: I see, you finally put Ferdinand on a diet.
Me: Um, I think he is sick.
Tara: Oh.

Furthermore, his energy levels were down, and he was complaining. My first thought was diabetes, but after some investigation, I realized that it could be hyperthyroidism or perhaps chronic renal disease. It didn't really matter what it was, I just knew he had to see the vet.

Trying to get the cat to the top of the priority list is tough. It took some time to do so, but we finally managed to take him over last week. The doctor suspected diabetes, and confirmed it with a blood test the next day. After speaking with her on the phone, we headed back to the vet to find out what the course of action would be.

As of right now, Ferdinand gets one unit of insulin, two times a day. We will head back to get his blood sugar checked in a couple of days, and then we will adjust the dosage, if need be. At some point, we will be changing his food, too. It is amazing what just one unit of insulin can do for a 13 pound (used to be 18 pound!) cat. Within the day, Ferdinand wasn't drinking as much, and the litter was staying drier! He seemed to have more energy, and we saw him around the house more.

It has been tough to remember to take care of the extra dog as well as giving Ferdinand what he needs on time. However, it makes me very grateful for having healthy children. I would much rather give my cat insulin than one of the kids.

I'll keep you updated on his health.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dog Days

I usually don't double post, but today, I just felt like it.

We are babysitting Molly, who is a rather large black labrador of some sort. She is not some random dog off the street -- she is Tara's dog. Why do we have her? Tara and Todd babysat the kids for us a couple of weekends ago, and they left the dog. Leaving the dog was prearranged. If we have her, then they don't need a dog sitter for the times they would like to go camping over the next couple of weeks.

My mom thought I was crazy to say yes to watching the dogs, but I guess the same could be said of Tara saying yes to watching 4 kids. Either way, we both are getting something out of the deal. So far, everything has been fine with Molly. She is pretty calm and doesn't bark (yes!) as much as Shadow does. However, I realize just how nice of a dog Shadow is, now that I have someone to whom I can compare him.

  1. Molly slobbers. On the floor, on the people, on the couch.
  2. Molly goes upstairs. She sneaks by the baby gate (put there just for her) in order to investigate the upper floor. The cats have no place to hide anymore!
  3. Molly digs in my purse to get snacks. Not dog snacks, either. I came home yesterday to find that she had pulled out Melina's snack container and managed to get the lid off and eat all of the cheddar bunnies. Those Annie's bunnies are expensive! I'll get back at her somehow!
  4. Molly has flatulence that cannot be described as anything less than abominable. Okay, I'll be honest, Shadow has this problem, but perhaps I am already more used to his odor, having spent the last 4 years with him.
  5. Molly eats out of Shadow's bowl, even after she has eaten her own food.

And reason #5 was the one that sent me over here to write. Because Molly was standing there, RIGHT IN FRONT OF SHADOW, eating his food. AND SHADOW DID NOTHING! Not a growl or a grimace. If someone were taking my food, I'd have shown more emotion than this dog did. And that is why he is just right for this family of 4 kids and 2 cats.

Truthfully, Molly is welcome any time.

Things

A student who plans on becoming a nurse, just said to me: "I wish these anatomy professors would concentrate on the anatomy, and not the physiology." Apparently, she doesn't plan on knowing HOW everything works, she just wants to know WHERE and WHAT things are. I will be putting her name in my mental rolodex and avoiding her at all costs, should I encounter her in the hospital.

***

Last week, I volunteered in the girls' classroom and helped with a science experiment. I was at Talia's table. There were two boys there that just didn't want to listen to me. One consistently chattered and the other didn't pay attention. Talia could tell I was frustrated. At one point I said, "My rule, when I am teaching, is that you pay attention!" I didn't yell, but I spoke in a stern manner. The kids still didn't cooperate.

I spoke with the teacher afterward, and she was apologetic. She doesn't want to run off the volunteers afterall! She actually spoke to the students, and then to the prinicipal! Two days ago I received letters from both boys apologizing for their behavior. I am guessing those two boys won't want to see my face again!

The experience taught me, though, that I think the school is trying to do the right thing. Mrs. M wasn't going to let the behavior slide, and neither did the principal. Perhaps the boys will think twice the next time they are to do a project with either a volunteer, or their own teacher.

***
I have a confession to make: my will power with respect to desserts is declining. I gave the kids dessert twice on Sunday so that I wouldn't eat the leftover eclair cake!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pictures That Need To Be Posted!

1. Melina fishing. Don't ask. She decided it.


2. The girls' farmer's market. They were hoping to make some money, selling produce we'd already paid for, but no one had any cash.


3. Aaron, just being Aaron.


4. A penguin, named Elvis, at the wedding reception of Juan and Lisa.


5. The kids on the first day of school. Melina didn't start until this week. Pictures of that to come.


6. A nice picture of our friends, Tim and Laura, and their kids. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grounded!

I received a phone call today from Aaron's teacher.

When I saw her name on the caller ID, I thought perhaps she needed me to volunteer my time.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Remember, this kid has red hair, and a passion like no other.

He needs to channel that passion properly.

Wrestling with another child on the playground and practically choking that child is NOT the proper channel.

I was completely livid, not to mention mortified that I had just spoken to Aaron's teacher about a behavioral problem. I dragged Aaron upstairs to my room, shut the door, and sat him down for a conversation. According to Aaron, the kids were playing. What were they playing? Vampire and Werewolf. What is that? I don't know, but it might explain why necks were involved. We discussed, at great length, how playing cannot involve touching other kids (tag not included). We discussed how he cannot push other children, and that he cannot be aggressive. We talked about making good choices, and whether or not his decision to put his hands around another child was a good choice. He acknowledged that it wasn't.

I don't think Aaron is a bad kid. I don't try to make excuses for him. There is no excuse to possibly hurting another child. But I do have to say that Aaron loves to play, and sometimes, with other boys, it can get a bit rough. Can the teacher ascertain from a distance what exactly is going on? I don't know. I didn't make any excuses to her, and I didn't let him make any excuses to me. For now, the kid is grounded: no computer or TV for the week, which means no Dr. Who! If we hear about another issue, then soccer is off the table completely. I am hoping that the idea of no soccer is enough of a deterrent to put my little man in line.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

All Things Scooby!

I happened upon a website today that is pretty neat. In fact, it goes by the name of Neatorama. I found it when I googled Chinese footbinding. You might wonder why I was looking to learn more about that practice. A book I am reading, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, has a pretty graphic description of the procedure used to bind women's feet. I don't doubt the author's description; I just want more information. In any case, Neatorama had an article on that practice, and then I stumbled upon a very informative series of articles regarding Scooby-Doo.

If you have kept up with our blog at all, you know that Melina is a Scooby-Doo fan. She was Scooby-Doo last Halloween, and if she is given the choice to watch something, she will choose Scooby-Doo. "I want the old ones, Mom," she says. By old, she means the ones I watched when I was a kid. I guess they are pretty old, aren't they?

My plan is to bookmark the website and let the kids peruse the wealth of information on Scooby-Doo. It talks about when the show first started, and why it first started. The articles give some background on the actors that do the voices, and what show served as Scooby-Doo's model. (Do you know which show? I had no idea.) I think the kids will find the information rather interesting, perhaps even Melina someday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh How The Time Flies!

The kids have been in school for two weeks already. And I haven't posted since August 30. Yikes! Melina and I have been so busy here, the days are flying by! We spent much of the first two weeks at the kids' school, helping with first grade lunch and a random science experiment for the fourth grade. This week, Melina and I are finishing up some odds and ends before we both head to school next week.

Today, Melina had her first real dentist checkup. The last time, she sat in the chair while Miss Maria counted her teeth and showed her all of the instruments. This time, she sat through an entire dental cleaning, AND had an X-ray. One of her teeth never did come in, so the dentist wanted to see if the permanent tooth is at least there. As far as he can tell, it is. I forgot the camera, but the look on Melina's face when she went up and down in the chair, and then backwards, was priceless!

Aaron is enjoying first grade, but he is worn out by the end of the day. We just bought him a new pair of sneakers, too, with lights. The kid has been looking for light-up shoes for a while now, but each pair we found was at least $55. I told him that I wasn't going to pay more for his shoes than my own (he doesn't need to know that I pay top dollar for my running shoes!). Luckily, this weekend we found a cheap pair, that was then on-sale! Yippee! I don't mind $16.98 for a new pair of light-up shoes! And, Aaron is happy.

***
I wrote, back in August, about the girls' first book club. The author posted the kids' pictures on her website, and wrote a short paragraph. If you are into reading juvenile fiction (for young ladies, really) I do recommend Tracy Trivas' book, The Wish Stealers. Overall, a good read.

And speaking of good reads, Gina recommended The Art of Racing in the Rain. Read it. Loved it. Still processing it. But I came away with a new appreciation for my dog, race car driving, and life in general. Can't complain about that!

***
We can't forget to shout out a quick Happy Birthday! to Tara and Elli! Many more to you both!