Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weimaraner Woes

Our Weimaraner, Blue will turn 9 in June.  9 going on 1.  Weimaraners are basically puppies until they die.  Or at least that's what ours seems to be.  We've even had multiple random Weim owners tell us, "Don't worry...  They slow down after 5 years or so."  No, they don't.  Not this one.

I'm not even sure how it came up, but we were talking about Blue's age with Em tonight.  Jason laughed as I did the mental math of a) how old he is and b) what this means in dog years.  I have my Master's degree yet STILL have to count by 9's to get to 63.  I'm going to pretend this is a MS thing.  Just go with it.

Emily suddenly said, "I'm going to be sad when Blue dies."

This was a moment.  Pet loss is a big deal to kids.  I've worked with several kids on this topic and felt like I should say something important here.  I hate those moments.  So much pressure!  I remembered the message we heard at church on Sunday that centered on grief and realizing that the time we have with loved ones is a remarkable blessing to be appreciated no matter how short.

"We'll all be very sad when Blue dies, but we'll also remember all of the times he made us happy."

Em replied, "I don't remember that."

Oh, my sage 4 year old....  This quickly turned into banter between Jason and I recounting the many times this dog has brought joy to our lives....

Remember the time he ate the walls??  That was a happy time.
Remember when he had an accident in your parents' house?
I remember the time he ate your earplugs.
Which time?
Remember when Blue nipped at a toddler?
Or lunged and growled at a family friend?
Happy, happy times.
I remember when Blue ate a plush toy and had to be taken to the emergency vet.
And when he ate a baby sock.  And an ornament.  There's a theme here.
Remember when we had to replace ALL of the flooring in our house?
Or when he damaged the wood floor in our new house?  Good times.
Remember when the groomer asked us NEVER to bring him back for nail trims?
Or when the vet told us to feed him boiled turkey and rice because he has food allergies?  
And then I didn't feel like cooking because I'd already cooked for the dog.
Remember when we had to buy $90 prescription dog food?
Like it was yesterday...  Because it was.

Believe it or not the pros outweigh his many neurotic behaviors and expensive health issues.  We make him wear boots these days to save our wood floors.  It's a fair trade.  I love our goofy dog.  It will be a very sad day when his time comes.  It will be an amusing day when one of the kids asks a friend, "Hey!  Where are your dog's boots?"  Could be worse.  It's not like we make him wear a jacket.  Oh, wait...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

So, I tried to wash my face with toothpaste.  Not on purpose.  It's not like that time I followed some crazy Pinterest advice to slather my feet with shaving cream then wrap them in a Listerine-soaked hand towel which, by the way, does NOT remove dry skin as promised!  Minty fresh feet are weird.  And that was a mean joke.

Monday was a holiday then Em was sick.  Our routine is off.  That's my excuse.

Yesterday Jacob wigged out in publicPeople were visibly cringing from the high-pitched screams.  I yelled to the guy at the deli counter as if nothing was happening.  "CAN I GET TWO...  OF THE SALMON FILETS!"  We were beyond ridiculous.  We waited to check-out when I realized I was going to be late picking Emily up from gymnastics.  Ugh!  I explained to the cashier that we were in a HUGE hurry.

"Wow...  Frozen chorizo...  Where did you find this??"

Seriously??  At this point I totally exaggerated my non-verbal cues.  READ ME.  I looked at my watch repeatedly.  Took my keys out.

"Oh, I just LOVE this almond butter.  You know, I've actually considered buying one of those machines.  But they use roasted almonds.  I wonder how expensive those are..."

You've got to be kidding.

I was the mom who showed up to parent pick-up 10 minutes late.  Sweet.  I made it up to her by playing one of her games 50 times while Jacob napped.  Then my friend from college called.  The one I've been meaning to talk to FOREVER. 

"Em, I need you to be really quiet so I can talk on the phone, OK?"

"OK, Mommy!"


Em spent most of my conversation trying to get my attention.  Singing, dancing around me, "Excuse me...  Excuse me...  Excuse me..."  At one point she clipped a helium balloon to my back!  I finally walked out the front door just so I could have a conversation in peace.

Then I heard the dead bolt.  That's pretty much when I began swearing and tried not to panic.  She eventually let me in, I yelled too much and told her to go to her room.  She was singing before I closed her bedroom door.  SINGING!!  I calmed down and returned to talk it over.

"Did you hear my singing?"

"Yes, Em.  Lovely.  Do you know why you're in time-out?"

"Did you hear the words, though?"


(Cue sad puppy face)

"I was singing about how I'm all alone in my room and I don't like to be all alone."

"Ooooh...  Was the next verse about how you're in here because you were being rude while Mommy was on the phone and then made an unsafe choice by locking me out of the house?"

"No.  It wasn't that song."  Of course not.

I was still fuming when Jason came home.  Thankfully he knows how to diffuse me quickly and offered to teach her a lesson by locking her out of the houseOvernight!  We even made up our own little song to the tune of "Blinded by the Light."

Locked outside all niiiiight.  If you get cold, there's a dumpster to the right!

I felt better immediately.  For the record, she did NOT sleep outside that night.  We don't have a dumpster.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Little Miss Shares Too Much

Kindergarten students are my favorite.  Every year they crack me up and this year is no exception.

During an assessment where I asked a student how milk and water are alike, a little girl made a gesture with her hand as if she were drinking from a cup.  You don't get points for that, but I was curious if she could eventually get there with some prompting.

Me: "OK.  Can you use your words and tell me what that means?"

Kid:  (Stands up and staggers around my office) "I'm SO drunk!"


Me:  "Umm...  Where did you hear that?"

Kid:  "My Dad says that.  He drinks beer."


Next sweet Kindergarten moment happened last week while talking with a student about his home life.

Kid:  "My mom makes weird noises."

Me:  "What do you mean?"

Kid:  "At bedtime.  She makes lots of weird noises."

Me:  "Hmm..  Are you saying you're worried about her?"

Kid:  "No...  Her boyfriend says I just need to knock before I come in."


All of you parents think it's middle school and high school you need to fear...  Au contraire, mon ami.  Fear the 5 year old!!  They share EVERYTHING and they have no idea they're doing it.  Your 5 year old makes my work day so much more entertaining.  The downside is that my daughter turns 5 in May.  I'm in so much trouble.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Multiple Tips for Multiple Sclerosis

I haven't written anything about my health stuff in a long time.  Actually, I took a long hiatus from writing partially because of my health stuff.  Things got hard.  Everything is much more under control now with the help of my amazing support system and 132 pills each week.  How do we fight medication side effects??  With MORE medication, of course!  I'm a Western medicine poster child.  I spent a whole dollar on a Monday through Sunday pill organizer at the Dollar Store.  They barely fit, but it was worth all 100 pennies.

I'm definitely feeling back to myself again and have even scraped up time and energy to once again raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  My team has raised over $4,000 (AWESOME!!) and I'm thrilled by our 40+ member count so far.  I've even found creative ways to raise funds for this important cause and support businesses I love.  I'm all about dual rewards.  MS Society gets $$ (hopefully to find a cure) and my friends and I get to shop.  Win-win. 

For anyone else battling MS, I have a few fun tips worth sharing.  On Rebif??  A nurse with MS Lifelines called the other day (again) and I finally called her back.  This woman speaks at an even faster clip than I do AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING!  I mentioned that shots still hurt badly on my thighs (I gave up on the arms a long time ago).  The nurse told me to try using two hands with the auto-injector.  One hand should push the button to inject and the other should hold the base (against the skin) to avoid pushing the needle in too far.  I've been doing this on all of my injection sites for the past week and it's so much better!  My skin reactions are still pretty gnarly (you're welcome for that 80's flashback), but the profanity has gone from Tarantino script-worthy to just your average sailor.  It still burns after the meds are injected.  What did you expect??

Tip # 2 is really a lifestyle change and may not be appropriate for everyone.  Jason and I drastically changed our diets back in October and started doing the Paleo thing.  It's pretty restrictive and I can honestly say it was brutal for the first few weeks until our bodies adjusted.  But now I never feel gross or bloated and I learned (from an unfortunate eggnog latte craving) that I have a bit of a lactose intolerance and (from every time I OD on dark chocolate chips) that too much sugar gives me a horrid headache.  Now I know.  The rest of the time I feel pretty good.  In fact, I've lost 15 pounds I wasn't trying to lose and I can actually feel my massage therapist working on my legs (vs. the vague pressure I used to feel).

Tip # 3.  Watching Kitchen Nightmares is a little like passing a car accident and trying to look away.  You can't.  This has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that it's hard for me to type and watch television at the same time.  I suppose that's not a tip at all, is it?

I'm glad to be back in the blogging world again.  I'm also glad I don't work for a crazy Italian in a family restaurant deeply in debt.  More importantly, I'm thankful for the amazing support I've received from family and friends in my fight with MS.  Truly, truly blessed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Embarrassing!

The word of the day on Sesame Street today was "embarrassed."  Em asked me at dinner for examples of times I have felt embarrassed.  I told her, "Take a bite of veggies.  I'll give you a story for each bite."  I immediately realized two things...

1)  I'll do anything to get this girl to eat vegetables and

2)  Most of my embarrassing stories are NOT child-friendly stories.  Quick...  Think...


One time in high school I went to the hair salon and asked for a 'Rachel' haircut.

Jason:  "Wow.  That IS embarrassing."

Thanks.  So, I asked for the 'Rachel' haircut, but left with a really awful mullet.  Clearly she was the only person to never have watched "Friends." 

Bite.  "Another!"

I came up with several stories.  I wore two different shoes.  I backed into a trailer in front of our house.  Vet visit that turned ugly.

Jason:  "There was that time you went to work and forgot to wear pants."

That didn't actually happen, by the way.  Too late.  My 4 year old was HYSTERICAL at the thought of it.  I think it falls under the preschool-no-pants-underwear-humor category.  Awesome stuff.

I'm trying to appear human in the eyes of my daughter.  I do embarrassing stuff.  All my embarrassing stuff was purely the result of miscommunication, forgetfulness, dumb luck and NEVER because we polished off a 3 liter bottle of wine before the dance even started.  Now that would be embarrassing!