Sunday, August 29, 2010


... over the rainbow

A rainbow, spotted outside our window during one of Jayce's ABA therapy sessions. I do admit to bumping up the saturation a bit, just because the actual vibrancy that was visible with our own eyes didn't quite capture in a photograph.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My poor little baby

Just look at this little guy:

Every time I look in Shaggy'seyes, I fall in love with him all over again.

This dog has completely taken over our hearts.

And coincidentally, our house as well :)

We were not looking for another dog. In fact, Brian had told our daughter Jaina "NO!" several times in the past few months about adopting another dog. Alli is eleven years old and not very friendly towards most other dogs. It wouldn't be fair to her to make her change her lifestyle at this stage in the game.

However, fate intervened. Alli doesn't seem to mind our new addition nearly as much as we thought she would. I wouldn't go so far as to say she actually likes him, but she definitely tolerates him, which is a miracle in and of itself.

Jaina believes that all her dreams have come true. After a year of asking for a second dog, she finally has her wish.

We're still arguing about which family member Shaggy likes the best :)

And Jayce?

Well... he's a little timid around Shaggy. Our new dog has a lot of puppy in him still. He chases, he licks, and he nips. Hopefully puppy training classes will help with all of this.

Jayce has decided he likes Alli better. Which is great, since he's never paid Alli any attention at all.

Not quite sure how Alli feels about all this. Maybe she'll learn to like tolerate Jayce in turn!


And now for some bad news....

I took Shaggy for his first vet appointment yesterday. He had been limping slightly ever since we found him. We figured maybe he got hit by a car or something? Maybe he had a previous injury that healed poorly?

Ugh. I wish it was that simple.

The x-rays showed a much more serious injury than the vet originally thought after his physical exam.

This is what an x-ray of normal hips look like:

I don't have an x-ray to show you that is similar to Shaggy's, despite me pouring over the internet to find one. Basically, his right leg has come out of his hip socket. We can feel the top of his femur bone jutting out. Its not something we can just pop back in (like if your shoulder or wrist comes out of socket). Enough damage has been done that they are going to have to surgically remove the bone from its position and fuse it back together the correct way.

There is no alternative. Well, there's always an alternative. We could drop him off at the local humane society where he may eventually be euthanized. Like I said, there's no alternative.

I had just come to grips with the extent of his injury and the prospect of surgery that I wasn't quite prepared for the vet to point out something else on the x-ray.

"And this is where he was shot..." showing me the little metal pieces of buckshot that the x-ray picked up.

That did it.

I completely lost it.

Someone shot this puppy. MY puppy. My family's puppy.

Who would do such a thing? I can't even fathom it. And what's worse? It was probably someone in the immediate area. Maybe not in my particular neighborhood, but in one of the surrounding ones. It makes my stomach sick to even think about it.

My poor little baby.

He sure is lucky to be alive. And we are so lucky to have him.

And this mantra is what Brian and I will be repeating to ourselves again and again and again each month as we pay off the whopping vet bill that will come to over a thousand dollars.

Because you really can't put a price on family, can you?

Shaggy is definitely family.

* "Shaggy is his official name. Brian still calls him Scruffy and I still call him Sparky. Sometimes we call him Scrappy, too. Poor confused little guy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kindergarten Homework

Yes, my kindergartener has homework. But you won't see me complaining! Its not the endless repetitive practice sheet work that some teachers send home. Nope, its the "do an activity with your parents and bring back to school to show us" kind. I like that kind :)

Jayce brought home a sheet with a photocopied treasure box. On it, we wrote his name in the blank. Jayce 's Treasures. Then the directions were to cut out or draw pictures of your child's favorite items and put them on the paper inside the drawn box.

I wish I had had the foresight to take a picture of our finished project! But alas, I only have the pictures we took on Saturday. We picked up our prints in collage form on Sunday morning. Jayce worked hard cutting them out and pasting them with a glue stick on his page. That boy loves some glue stick!!

Here are Jayce's favorite items as of August, 2010.

His favorite vehicle:

His favorite pair of shoes:

His favorite subject to talk about (pool feet):

His favorite blankie:

His favorite stuffed animal from Build-a-Bear (Hobo):

His favorite little stuffed dog (Sheepy):

His favorite sister (well, his ONLY sister! hee hee!):

His favorite drink:

His favorite activity:

His favorite pet (Alli, our old dog.)

His favorite toy to play with:

His favorite time waster of all:

And that is my son in a nutshell!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello :)

Some of my friends have emailed me or found me on Facebook to tell me that my blog comments have not been working. Hmm... what am I doing wrong? If one of my readers is blogspot tech savy, can you trouble shoot for me?

Here are my settings:

Comments: Show
Who can comment: Anyone (includes anonymous users)
Comment form: Embedded below post
Default: New Posts have Comments
Back Links: Show
Comment moderation: never
Word verification: no

So, I'm saying anyone can post, you don't have to have a google account or an open ID. No comment moderation, no word  verification. Yet very few people have been able to leave comments. Weird! I should be getting tons of spam as well, and not a single one has happened.

Hey, if you read my blog and can't leave a comment in this post, can you please email me at and let me know?? Thanks so much!! Hopefully I can get this fixed ASAP!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Real Housewifes of Sparkle City

Most of my close friends know that being a stay-at-home-mom is quite enough job for me, thank you very much. I have no interest whatsoever to start a career right now. I have no interest in just getting any old job for $8 an hour, either. (Although a discount at Gymboree would be nice!)

So, only a handful of people (mainly Brian's co-workers, all male) have commented that I now have TWO children in school from 8-2 every day, so why am I still a stay-at-home mom?

What do I *do* all day? I mean, besides talk on the phone, eat chocolate ice cream on the couch, play on Facebook, and watch Days of Our Lives?

Well, let me tell you that I haven't done any of that one bit. One of these days I AM going to take a mental health day and do all of those things for an entire 6 hours to catch a break. But right now I'm too busy to even think about doing that!

I met two other moms today for breakfast at IHOP for a MOMS Club activity. One of my friends' husbands had called her cell and asked, "You are going to breakfast? That must be nice. With two other friends who don't work either? What are you all, the Real Housewives of Sparkle City?"

If so, where the heck is my mansion, maid, and gardener? They've got a lot of work to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New addition?

Nope, not pregnant. Well, at least, I don't think I am. I very well *could* be, but its way too soon to test. That's why the call it the "Two Week Wait". You just have to wait. Hmpfh. I hate waiting. And I'm typically a patient person!

A member of our household continually tests my patience. That's our dog Alli.

There are a lot of words to describe Alli...

-A princess

Um... those aren't good qualities to have. Honestly, she's much more trouble than she is reward. Partly I blame her breed. Wired-hair fox terriers as a whole are typically not people or dog dogs. And they tend to not like kids. Partly I blame Brian who never thought to train her to not jump on people or sleep on beds and couches. And partly I blame Alli. That's just who she is.

She's been with us for 10-11 years (I'd have to ask Brian what the exact date was that he got her). The important part is that she came before me and has never ever forgiven me for taking her man.

I love most dogs I meet.

I don't like Alli.

I make absolutely no secret of this, either. But I do realize you can't get rid of a member of your family just because you don't like them sometimes (or else my kids would be kicked out of here several times a year!), so I try to make peace with Alli. I'm the one that takes her to the vet and the groomer. I give her weekly baths and bring her inside when it rains. I help Jaina keep food in her bowl and her water clean.

And for all I do for that dog, what do I get? Never a lick, never a snuggle. Instead, I get growled at when I sit on the couch because the Princess didn't want to be disturbed by jostling couch cushions. Well, excuse me!

Because Alli does not get along well with other dogs (and believe me, we know this for a fact!), we've never explored the option of getting another dog.

Jaina, on the other hand, has had her heart set on adding to our canine family for years now. She goes online to our local Humane Society to fall in love with the photos of homeless dogs.

We're very familiar with our local HS. We found two stray dogs just last year that we had to bring to the shelter. One had an owner already, the other didn't. Jaina cried her heart out when we didn't let her keep that dog. But we could tell it wouldn't be a good fit for our family.

Then, last night, our family was walking back home from being at a neighbor's house for dinner. And here comes this little guy....

Isn't he cute? We call him Sparky. And by "we" I mean, the kids and I. Brian thinks his name should be Scruffy. So we call him Sparky :)

We let him sleep in the garage last night. We gave him food and water and looked at his hurt leg.

This morning we introduced him to Alli in the backyard.'

And to our surprise, they GOT ALONG!!

Is Sparky a keeper? Well, we'll have to see. First things first: let's see if we can find his owner.

Friday, August 20, 2010


There's a church down the road that we just love. Now, granted, we aren't members there nor do we attend church there on Sunday. But it still feels like "our" church. Our kids play soccer there. We go "trunk or treating" there at Halloween. We attend their Fall Festival. And our kids look forward to their Vacation Bible School each and every summer.

On the last night of VBS, the leaders put on a carnival for the kids.

There was a cake walk.

Jaina's number was called first. She was so excited!

Jayce started getting upset that his number wasn't called next. But soon it was!

(I know he doesn't look happy in that pic above, but he really was. He was just worried about getting frosting on his fingers by picking it up out of the container)

There sno cones and cotton candy. And friends, which were even sweeter!

Jayce loved the duck tank best!

Jaina won a ton of prizes from the "fishing" booth.

Back for more sno cones and cotton candy!

Caroline won some snakes :) She was proudly showing them off to me. Usually she just hides when I point my camera on her, so this was a vast improvement!

The highlight was the big bouncy water slide. What more could a kid want?

We had such a great night, we stayed for hours! Boy were we tired when it was all said and done :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Atlanta and a favor to ask

I had forgotten one thing about my kids going back to school:

They aren't around for me to take their pictures. Hmpfh.

And when they are home, they are busy with homework, 100 Book Challenge, piano practicing, and therapy. Hmpfh.

I guess its time to play catch up with all my summer photos that I haven't gotten around to posting.


So, a few weeks before school started, we took a trip down to Tucker, GA to see my parents. Unless you went to High School with me (or are one particular blog reader who lives in proximity), you probably don't know where Tucker is. That's okay. Its a small town. Its not really known for anything. I usually just say, "We're going to visit my parents in Atlanta. " Everyone knows where Atlanta is :)

My dad had just had foot/ankle surgery to repair his fallen arch and reconstruct his bones and cartilage. Eeek, that does not sound fun at all. Thankfully, my dad reported that the recovery from the surgery was much less painful than the actual pain from his fallen arch. Which then makes me wonder how much pain he was in before....

Anyway, my stepmom Kim wanted us to come down and keep dad company and his mind off of resting. Well, we tried to do that, but he pretty much insisted on not resting. Instead, he took us all to Movie Tavern for pancakes and a morning showing of "Despicable Me" in 3D. It was pretty cool :)

We also got to hang out with my middle brother Jeff. He's currently my kids favorite uncle. Not to be mean to Jeremy or Jason by any means. They just happen to live in Florida and we never see them.

And you know what? I was a slacker and didn't take any pictures. That is, until my kids got dressed up to attend the Brockett Ward of my parent's LDS church. Oh my... they look like angels, don't they??

It makes my heart happy to look at these pictures, especially the one of Jayce. Its just so rare to capture his essence in a photograph.

Speaking of that picture, will you guys do me a favor?? Please??

If you happen to be on Face Book (and who isn't, except for my friend Ana :P ), can you go to Gena Murphy Photography 's fan page and click "Like"? I know Gena personally (she is my main photographer I use for my kids) and I promise she won't spam you. She is just trying to get the word out about her photography business. Anyway, if you go to her photo album entitled, "August Photo Contest", there's a picture of Jayce 17 rows down on the left. Its the black and white version of the photo above. Once you click on the photo, just hit the famous "Like" button and all is well :)

Photo with the most "likes" will win a free photo session with Gena :) YAY!

Thank you and goodnight!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Report

I am happy to report that the kids are both doing so well with their first two days of classes :) If you are a mom, I am sure I don't have to tell you how much my heart swells with happiness to hear my children excited to learn. They love their teachers, they love learning, they love their friends.

Jayce was a bit antsy on his first day, frequently wandering around the room during small group work or rug time. That's totally to be expected until he learns the new routine. He already improved with that today.

Jaina is in an all female classroom this year and couldn't be happier. And her teacher doesn't believe in giving homework. She said that sometimes there would be a math sheet that needed to be finished for extra practice, but for the most part, they do their work during school hours. I think I was more excited to hear this than Jaina! :)

We're back in the swing of things with our new semester of ABA. We still have our same lead, Meg, and our same line therapist, Allie. Because Jayce is only receiving 8.5 hours of therapy a week, we only have one line. We will keep in touch with Miss Cindy and have playdates with her boys now!

As for me, I'm in the dreaded 2ww. I'm only on day 16 of my cycle (but its almost tomorrow and then I'll be on day 17!) I need to wait until day 24 to test. Its gonna be hard! I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I totally can't help it :)

So, that's us in a nutshell! I have so many backlogged posts to write from summer. I will get them done eventually :)

And because my blog posts without pictures are boring, here's one:

(its not my cat. I'm terribly allergic!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Babies

Aren't really "babies" anymore :)

They had to go and grow up on me.

Show me your lunch box, Jayce!

Miss Jaina, the rock star!

Her friend Macie has great taste in skirts, too!

Jayce sat down on the rug right away. He barely said "bye mom" to me!

Jaina waited against the wall with her friend Eva before school started :)

All in all, they had great days. Jaina is so in love with her class, her friends, and her teacher. I have a feeling she is going to have a GREAT year!

Jayce did pretty well, too. I think he was a little overwhelmed and had a few first day issues, but nothing major. He was EXTREMELY tired when I picked him up. We'll see how tomorrow goes :)