Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I heart 2 girls and a........

So, the age difference between our new love and the last kid is 6 years.  We really were not ready (not even a second) before now.  We'd contemplated it for a long while, ever since Saylor was baby.  And the girls had asked for one for a long time. Every Santa letter had a request for one and every birthday too.  Everytime we talked about having a third dependent we I would start spiraling off into my thoughts rant of "its another thing to take care of", "it's another thing to pay mind to", "what about vacations", "what about my house and all of our things that we take such good care of" and "its just another thing to be responsible for".  I just really didn't know how to work it in.  I was basically saying that I would willingly be adding more work and cost and care to my plate. On purpose!

Michael and I finally conceded and agreed that it was the RIGHT time to add to our family.  The BAMS were getting a d-o-g!!!  The search began.  What kind, what breed, what size, what color, what age, what what what.  Oh course my oldest had already classified each breed on a likert scale and this scale included making decisions on weight, height and temperament.  They both truly wanted a dog that they could carry...in my purse.  I am certain that every christmas and every birthday, Athena visualized this for her/me......

 Not happening.  Not in a million years.  I loved my kids, but, not this much.

The search got narrower and narrower and harder and harder to find a dog.  We'd told the girls that we were getting a dog on Christmas day and it was February and still, no dog.  My daughter once said to me "we're never getting a dog, are we"?  That's when I realized that I was being too anxious about jumping into the ol' dog ownership and I believe I was making it difficult, and delaying, on purpose (unconsciously, of course).  I think I was savoring the last bit of freedom only a dogless household leads.  You know the freedoms I speak of, not worrying about having to come home or being out too late, just worrying about your own human family's food, and your own fitness, and social interaction. 

We had decided on getting a rescue dog and we decided to get it from one of the many in our large city.  We'd traversed the city  and looked and looked and looked.  This ONE in particular was extra awesome because the lady who runs it (with all of the other volunteers) goes to the pound and picks up dogs on the day they're to be euthanized and rescues and re-homes them after they've been brought back to health and been at fosters homes.  We knew this is where we wanted our last baby from.

February 14th weekend comes around and I thought....that's it! They'll be stocked with pups at these places because that's what people do, give dogs as gifts :/ 

We left with..........a mangy mutt (no, for real, she had mange)

  And we. were. SMITTEN.  Simply smitten.  We named her Havana Autumn and got her when she was 3 months old, full of mites and ready to be loved and cared for.  Our puppies loved our newest puppy.

 She was so sweet and adorable and neither of us could help but love her! 

Everything she did was flipping CUTE!!!!!

I spent a shit-ton on this harness and collar set from Martha Stewart, but, who cares????

Over $400 was spent at the Vet AFTER the adoption fee and "stuff" we got for her, but, who cares????

She rides around in my car and I have to go to the car wash afterwards to get the dog smell and hair out, but, who cares??????

I took her running with me and nearly died.....but, who cares?

We even took her "Glamping" which she loved even though she is a crazy puppy and needed to stay on her leash......but, who cares???

She was itching due to the mites and I didn't hesitate to take a leotard of one of the girls' and fit it to her so she wouldn't scratch so much.  This outfit lasted all of 57 seconds, BUT. who cares??????

We've given her the best care, best food and even socialized her with a bi monthly "puppy party" where we have a massive puppy social with kibbles and wine.

We took her to a Houston Polo Match and loved every second of it with our bitch...

Tally o'Damage (off the top of my head and the tips of my fingers)
  • a book (repeat this bullet point about a dozen times)
  • a doll
  • socks
  • blankets
  • the comfy pad that was bought for her crate (she did this three times)
  • shoes 
  • she's pissed and pooped on rugs in each of our three bathrooms
  • yarn (a big spool)
  • patio chair
  • patio table leg
  • patio table glass from where she stood atop and it shattered
  • toilet paper rolls from garbage (along with everything else from said garbage)
  • wires and tigers and bears oh my!

We just knew that she had magical schnauzer mix puppy powers to make us overlook all of this!!!!!!!! 

Our family is now complete, and I mean that, wholeheartedly.

My husband caught this picture which I believe tells a thousand words.  


We don't care and we are so happy that she is the silent H in the BAMS.  More stories of Little H to come.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Riled up and maybe Derailed

So, has anyone else noticed how whiny we've become?  Like, we love to dramatize and complain about our children....a lot.  Blogs/writers/authors are making a living out of it.  The snarkier and more irreverent the better.  I mean, I get the commiseration piece, we're all in the same boat, but, the cost seems high to me.

I have to say that I am a little bit tired of reading the parent blogs out there that are written in a cynical and sarcastic tone, aimed at writing about their "real experience" of parenting.  The mundane.  The daily.  Their tone seems to be getting whinier, more impatient, entitled and quite honestly disrespectful of their children.  It's become so commonplace and truly a societal norm to rag on your kids, and your experience that we don't even bat an eyelash when someone says or writes it.   Bitching and sighing and huffing and puffing has become our knee jerk response. Insidious, really.  The wallowing and woe-is-me attitude is getting trite.  Can you just envision our parents, our aunts, or grandmothers constantly kvetching about how hard it is and how much trouble it all is. 

Also, our judgement of others astounds me.  You want to fuck around on pinterest and give your kid an awesome *insert whatever here*, go, do! I can't wait to partake.  If you don't want to do that, go, don't.  You want to elf on the shelf?  great.  You don't?  great. You co-sleep? great. You cried it out with them? great.  Not happy with being a stay at home mom, get a part time job.  Not happy being a full time employee, tweak schedule.  Make choices and commit.   Onward.

Does. it. work. for. you and your family (not being contingent on what Sally or Susan are doing)?  Great. I call this "assured parenting", notice I didn't say  "correct parenting", or "perfect parenting".  We're doing the best we can.

Parenting can feel like the abyss at times, right? right.  Short of drop kicking your child, starving your child, selling your child on craigslist, or having sex with your child, you're probably doing an ok job at parenting and I wouldn't dream of getting involved.

I believe what a child needs from us is unconditional love/safety/security/support/boundaries AND OUR PRESENCE.  An example of this is the time our wee family went to Oahu.  Amazing trip.  All sorts of activities, fun for all.  Snorkeling, surfing, eating (not too much because its too expensive), etc, etc, etc.

About after a month upon returning form our trip, my 5 year old is in the back seat of my car and I see her sorta sullen.  I ask her what's up and what she was thinking about.  She says "oh, I was daydreaming about Hawaii".  I assumed she was daydreaming of the beach, the stuff and the beauty of it all.  I said "what about Hawaii are you thinking about"?  She says "the pool.  And that little room".  "That little room"?, I ask.  "Yes, the room all four of us were together in.  It was so much fun."  I nearly cried.  What my daughter had remembered and was feeling nostalgic about was the time we had spent together.  Unencumbered, present, and focused on each other.  It was a real eye opener for us.

As a marriage and family therapist, I've seen my share of families.  When a couple has brought in their 16 year old to get "fixed", I always say "First off, Congratulations, you have a teenager". AND I say "what sort of discipline/boundaries did you have in place when they were 6 years old?  how about 16 months old"?  Meaning, that parenting begins instantly. 

But wait.   Is parenting hard?  Fuck yes it is!  It should be.

We sometimes act like we'd signed up for this though.....

Listen, we are raising beings.  Guiding characters.  Modeling behaviors.  We're demonstrating resilience, vigor, gratitude, how we're fallible, kindness, grace and acceptance.  

All of this suffice it to say that I believe we don't need to sugar coat and romanticize parenting (please, no), but, lets also rethink the way we communicate the bitch sessions.  Our children hear us.  They can feel it from us. 

You may or may not agree with me (and that is totally ok), but, alas, it's my space to write my thoughts.  Get your free blog at blogspot.com and go buck wild, mate.