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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We adopted Houdini


The most highly ranked dog crate, regardless of breed, is the Midwest Life Stages Dog Crate. Dog forums and dog owners alike love this crate because it is safe, functional, grows with the dog and is almost impossible to escape.

Yes! This is the one we have!

Guess who got a paw onto the latch, pushed it over, and squeezed out of her crate in the middle of the night to sleep on our couch?


I am soooooo busted

The best thing is that now she is trying to get back INTO her crate to get her peanut-butter stuffed Kong.

Tonight we will instead wrap her in a straightjacket and hang her from her back paws. I expect she'll escape in less than three hours.

note: we will not really be hanging her from her back paws. . .but we're considering the straightjacket.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Why I'll be wearing black every day from now on. . .

I am a dog owner for the first time in my life. My girls and I drove to Connecticut to meet the van that held our new family member, all the way from Indiana.


We were at the end of the pick up line, and so we watched dog after dog come out of the van to meet his new owners.

Finally, Star came out to meet us. I wasn't sure what to expect having seen only a couple of photos of her, but my first thought was, "Oh, she is so cute and so much smaller than I thought!" And then I thought, "ZOMG, she is STRONG! And can PULL!" as she dragged me across the parking lot.

The hour-and-a-half ride home was long, but, all things considered, awesome. No barking, no whining, no eating my minivan's back seat despite all the food that is ground into it.

And now that she's home, she seems so eager to please and to be a part of our family. On Twitter tonight, I joked "This dog already looks at me with way more devotion than any of my kids. She's going to do wonders for my ego."

I can't tell you how many times I've thought of Jesse today, the dog I met years ago when I volunteered in an animal shelter. There is something in the goofiness of Star's mannerisms, in the way she tries to jump up to kiss you---not a great behavior, mind you---and in her wish to be with a person all the time, that reminds me of the little shelter dog I loved so many years ago but couldn't adopt.


Welcome home my silly, eager, slobbery* baby.

*have you ever seen a lab drink out of a water bowl? oy! good thing she's cute!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011


It's 9:39 and quiet, for the first night in a while. 

For some reason, my girls have been fighting sleep. It started with my oldest, a shift I felt right after we returned from our July vacation when our family had slept in the same room for a week. She started getting anxious when I left her at bedtime, sometimes working herself up into a state of panic over the prospect of going to sleep.

After ten years, you'd think this would be easy by now, wouldn't you?

Things would ebb and flow from week to week, from "normal" to "not", but it wasn't until this past week when my middle daughter started to exhibit anxiety at bedtime that my ability to handle this cracked. Every night: Up and down to the bathroom, 6, 7, 8 times each. Stomachaches. Tears. Crying. Sometimes by me.

I fluctuated from Understanding Mother to Samuel L. Jackson reading this book. I took away TV privileges and allowance. I tried reasoning with them during daylight hours, assuring them that their bladders could not fill up in ten minutes without them chugging a gallon of water. I sat on the floor outside their room for so long, my butt grew numb.

Then I found an article online this morning on a godawful-looking website that really helped. I had hesitated to even search for articles because, seriously, who the hell has 8 & 10 year old kids who can't fall to sleep on their own? 

Oh, Google, I should not have doubted you. I was amazed at how many people I found online with older children who were literally shaking at the prospect of going to sleep. Maybe it has to do with kids reaching an age when they realize how helpless they are while asleep, or maybe they worry about death or fire or theft, but I don't think we are the only family going through this.

Tonight, I took a different tact---calmer, with rules for when they could visit the bathroom "one last time". I stopped in to check on them a few times, to reassure them that they were okay, and there were hardly any tears. 

The sound of three sleeping children is a beautiful one. 

And now I will knock on wood because, heaven help me, I have never been able to say a good thing about my kids and sleeping without it coming back to bite me the next day. In other words: Tomorrow night? Send cupcakes and wine. I think I'll need it.