Monday, August 25, 2008

I fell down the stairs today

You know when you see something, and think to yourself, hmmm, that looks like an accident waiting to happen, but then go on your merry way and do nothing about it? Well, don't let your son throw his ducky rain boots down the stairs and leave them on the steps. Its NOT a good idea. Yes, I fell down the stairs today. My kids heard me fall and yell stuff (and can't tell you what words came out, because I can't remember, but they were probably not the ones you want your kids to hear). They were trapped upstairs on the other side of the puppy gate, and laughing hysterically, while I laid there in pain. I shouted to them, to quit laughting because I was hurt. They responded soon afterwards by kissing my boo-boos, so I forgave them for being so heartless. I came away with a sore ankle and some bumps and bruises, so it turned out ok. But, just like your mother told you, "Don't leave stuff on the stairs!" Oh yeah, I'm the mom now, aren't I.

My daughter is obsessed with growing stuff. I have my heart in the right place, but I'm not a very good gardener. Her pumpkins are wilting and have some kind of mold on the leaves. She is expecting a big crop. So far, there are four pumpkins, and they are hanging on for dear life (literally) while all the vines around them are dying. Our cherry tomatoes are doing really well. And, we got one bell pepper. Just one. And the other pepper - no one knows what kind it is. It was suppose to be a bell pepper, but it isn't. My husband doesn't think its a hot pepper, but then he can tolerate much hotter stuff than the rest of us, so I'm just leaving them there for now.

Back to pumpkins. The plants all have names. I think my daughter believed that pumpkins- orange and round- would simply pop up from the ground. When you are five, the concept of waiting for four months for a vegetable to possible grow, is really hard. When I say the plants have names, well, each plant has a labelled stake, "Molly Kirk", "Daddy Kirk", "Elmo Kirk" etc. She told us in June, "These pumpkins with be my class. I will be the teacher, and I will teach my pumpkins how to read. I will teach them how to jump and stuff like that too." All this imagining was happening as I started to homeschool her. She was teaching stuffed toys too.

So, we had the talk about how the pumpkin plants were wilting, and they might not make it to her birthday in November. She was ok with that, as long as I bought nine pumpkins to replace the nine pumpkin plants that she was growing. I thought we were on the same page. Until tonight. My son had preschool orientation at the church. He will be going two mornings a week. The teacher invited the families and had a craft for the kids and their siblings. My daughter heard the teacher talking about a Halloween party, and the pumpkin discussion began. The preschool teacher is growing a pumpkin patch, and having great success. She talked about bringing in pumpkins from her garden for the kids to paint, and one huge pumpkin that was already as big as a basketball. My daughter misunderstood and thought the teacher was going to bring the pumpkins in NOW. Now as in, "Oh yeah, I've got a trunk full of pumpkins outside in my car." Ummm, no, pumpkins two months from now, honey.

So, my daughter cried the whole way home. She cried and screamed for 45 minutes, and yelled about how it was going to be a really long time until October, and it wasn't fair! Oh, how I wish all the pumpkins in Northern Michigan still weren't green. But, such is life, and we all can't have what we want whenever we want it. Life lessons are hard. Even if the life lesson is about growing a pumpkin patch so that you can teach pumpkins how to read.

Now, I'm going to take some Motrin for all the aches and pains I have from falling down the stairs. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scotty the "helper" dog at school

My daughter had a therapy dog (Great Danes) at preschool each day. There were several over the two years she attended. So, now that we have Scotty, she has decided he must be a "helper" dog, because he comes to school with us. (He really comes to school with us, because I don't want him to chew on stuff, poop in the living room or play to rough with my son, while I teach my daughter!)

Scotty isn't much of a therapy dog yet. He looks angelic while asleep. My son is so sweet to Scotty. After Scotty falls asleep, my son will gently pet him and yell, "No Scotty don't bite me! You stop that!" It has caused me to run in the room to help my son, only to find him yelling at the sleeping dog! Scotty does bite A LOT. Puppy teeth are really sharp. The trainer taught us to shove two fingers down the back of his throat to gag him briefly when he starts to bite our hands. Its kinda gross, and doesn't feel to good, but it is actually starting to work sometimes. And, I hold him firmly on my lap, do the finger/gag thing as needed, and tell him, "I'm the boss!" Relaxing my grip as he stops trying to bite and squirm away. When my DH does this, his, "I'm the Boss" sounds a bit like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader.

Why is it that puppies act crazy when they have to take a crap? I take the pup to the same spot outside. He has to go, but won't. Instead he tries to bite the lease, my ankles, ride my leg, or eat leaves and bugs etc. Once he gets around to why we are out there, he's normal again. Do all puppies do this? If I don't endure this torture, or crate him inside, the moment I turn my head, he's going poop in the living room. Gross! Ok, this has only happened a couple times, but twice was enough. The crazy puppy poop dance is all the time. Do puppies grow out of this?

The one thing that is working is this dog crate. I love Scotty's crate! He is starting to like it a lot too. He sleeps in it at night, NOT on my bed. I can put him in it when I go out, or am too busy with the kids. I truly love his crate. Can I have a crate to hide in when I want to get away from it all?

My DH spoke with the owner of Scotty's brother yesterday. They told him, "Yah, he whines to go out, no accidents at all. And, he never tries to bite us." Do you know what I think about that? JERK! No really, are you kidding me? I am working my butt off trying to train this dog to behave nicely, and his brother is already a trained family pet? Maybe I should send my puppy to their home for a few weeks. Either he will come back angelic or corrupt his brother.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"I want to be fancy, like Fancy Nancy."

My daughter has two "Fancy Nancy" books and has decided that she should be fancy too.

For the last few days, she has studied her book. Last night, she wanted to wear a towel on her head, after her shower. And, all week she has been wearing dresses. It is so much fun! We went shopping for "girly" stuff at Rite Aide tonight. She got blue and orange nail polishes, a face mask, hair stuff, an emery board (although she had no idea what it was for), and lotions. After my daughter told her what all the stuff was for, the stupid cashier responded, "Wow! Your mom spent a fortune on you!" (I don't know why she tried to spoil our fun!)

So, after a shower, brushing her hair with a fancy brush, putting on fancy pajamas, and using the fancy face mask (it wasn't green, but she got over it), she found a doll in her toy box, and took her to bed. The dolly is named, "Fancy Nancy" of course. My daughter has really never played with dolls, and she rarely lets me brush her hair without a fight.

I'm not very girly, but I am loving this. And, I love my fancy little five year old girl : )

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"Beam Me Up, Mr. Scott!"

We have a big puppy. Scotty is a golden retriever, and adorable. He joined our family a week ago, and is now 7 weeks old. He sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, eats, drinks water, pees, poops, and goes crazy. Repeat.

My hands and neck are covered with little scratches, and when he goes crazy, he is all teeth. The kids jump up on the couch when he does this, and my DH and I attempt to shove dog toys in his little mouth. Its amazing how sharp puppy teeth are!

I have decided to crate train, and it is going really well. Not too many accidents, except for one huge one (the worming medicine made him go). My poor DH, he tried to get Scotty outside when he started, but it was impossible. I am a lot more relaxed about poop than he is, after all, I've just spent 5 years wiping butts on daily basis.

My daughter told me today, "Scotty is my very very best friend and the best dog in the whole wide world." My son loves to pet Scotty when he is asleep, because he isn't biting.

Welcome to our family, Mr. Scott!