Thursday, July 30, 2009

To think like a dog

To say I love her seems an understatement.


I can't quite explain it. It seems too obvious to blame it on being there when she gave birth to her pups. To go through that when our relationship was so fresh it had dew on it probably did have an indelible effect, yet our bond almost feels old, weathered, deeper than a mere 6 weeks--with any sort of experience--would warrant.

I know I need to let her go. It is becoming abundantly clear. There is a family who thinks of her, who want her with them, who long to love her for the rest of her life. I have these same desires and thoughts, but that's not what I signed on for and I know it, regardless of the pain that sometimes brings.

Just to be clear, I don't love her because she's perfect either. No dog is perfect, just like no human is perfect. She doesn't listen as well as Paisley, or as well as Bran for that matter. She has the most hilarious habit of chewing on pillows and blankets, sometimes when she seems nervous, other times when she is being silly and playful. She barks at phantom noises. She thinks she owns this place...and me (darn, I didn't realize I was that transparent).

So yes, I'll let go. I must let go. Not today though, thankfully. She's still mine for a while. Then, just like all the other dogs who have graced our family and then moved on, she'll reside forever in my heart and memory, bringing mysterious smiles to my face whenever she crosses into my direct consciousness. Holding so tight only to let go hardly seems worth it sometimes, were it not for those moments.


For now, I'll snuggle tight with Sula and I'll do my best to think like a dog: to be in the moment, to not fret over tomorrow or the next week or the goodbye yet to come. I can focus on the love before me and be thankful for all that it is, right now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You have another solution? ;)

So many memories conjured up by these photos.


I soothed a tantrum with spoon-licking. I'm not proud. I never said I was awesome at this parenting stuff, okay?! ;) I do things I shouldn' stop a tantrum with sweets. I wish I didn't, but I did.


And to make matters worse, I decided to photograph it. I'll never forget that {almost} tantrum. =)

Nighty night!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A boy and his skuut

The pep talk...


Check the love! Awww, Papa and Paisley both there to cheer the boy on. =)




He loves his skuut. Who needs training wheels? Who needs pedals?!


Hope your week is full of fun adventures. =)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Love me some...

Love me some happy dogs...


Love me some tired dogs too...


{Guess that's what mothering 8 sprightly, needle-toothed pups does to a dog!}

Love me some giddy, life-loving adult dogs.


For the record, if we ever decide to quit this crazy game of fostering dogs and finding them loving homes, I'm 97.865% sure it'll be because we adopted an adult dog. I flippin' LOVE adult dogs. =)

However, I also love me some puppy breath. ;) {Me getting lovin from Una, my kissee, and Fergie.}


Puppy breath: the most disgusting thing you'll ever love. HA! Well, for some people anyway.

Tre, looking cute and curious. You can't see it in this photo very well, but Tre has the most amazing blue eyes. I will be anxious to see if it stays that way or if they change.


J getting some lovin from Marie (left, and Paisley's mini-me by the way, crazy!) and Mugsy (right), the lone boy of the whole bunch. Good luck Mugs!


Fergie (left) and Dottie (right), aka "The Pokey Little Puppy" because she is often lagging a ways behind, watching the crowd, observing and making sure the time is right for her to pounce. Or to lay down and just nap away from the hubbub. She is known to do both. ;)


Charlotte, showing her ornery side, going after sissy Tre.


It seems every week, someone new takes the role of "biggest stinker of the bunch." =) Last week was Charlotte's turn at the title and I think this picture captures her reign quite well.

Bobbie, getting ready to pounce. Big time!


This photo is apt, because though it was taken last week, when Char reigned supreme at the top stinker, Bobbie has usurped her crown for the time being. Can't wait to see who's next! ;)

The whole bunch thinking of chasing down Momma Sula.


This is a popular game these days, as Sula is craving a tad more independence, the pups are eager to keep their Momma to themselves, nurse her dry, and then bite the hand that feeds them in attempts at play. Poor Sula! I keep assuring her this is the last time she'll ever have to do this. It seems my words are little comfort though. Oh well. Soon enough she'll be free.

Okay, now lest you say "Hey, Amanda...or Dougina...or whoever you are...didn't you have a child. Yeah, yeah, didn't you give birth a while back and he was quite cute and oh so fun? And you called him Bugga and...come on, wasn't that you?!"

Well, now that you mention're right! That was me! Don't fret, he's still here. ;) And still loved and still quite cute and fun.


And he's loving every minute of this current adventure. =)

*Thanks Trish for asking about the pups! I don't have a whole lot of readers, or at least not a whole lot of commenters, so you can bet I notice when someone actually comments and asks a question. Also an FYI regarding comments, I'm turning the word verification off, as it seems to deter some folks.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Teeming with life...

Summer is in full swing, even if the recent chilly temperatures haven't exactly supported that fact. ;) We are just teeming with life around here, most recent additions include the barn swallow chicks.


Turtle knows something is out there, he just can't see what. ;)


This is down on the covered patio of our walkout basement, also known as "the potty spot." what I would consider the ideal place for my babies, but then again, I'm not a barn swallow.


The Momma and Papa bird are not the least deterred by all the activity in and out of the basement door, the dogs, the crazy puppies, the super-crazy toddler. They just go about their business, doing what needs to be done.


Sometimes I think I could learn a thing or two from them in fact. =)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hang in there...

Hang in there Paisley girl,


He'll grow up before you know it.


Certainly too fast for me, though I often need to remind myself of this.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ghosts of Guests Past ~ Ode to the FAM

I'm back at the beautiful game of catch-up/time travel....woooosh, and we're back in the wondrous month of April, for Bugga's second birthday. What kind of mother doesn't blog her son's second birthday when it actually happens?! Well, I suppose I would be that kind of mother. ;) Oops!

Jeremy's parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their 3 darling offspring made the long trek up from NE for the weekend preceding Bug's birthday. It was so nice to have them visit and we had so much fun!!!

Here's Bugga with Jake (left) and Jedd (right). He loves being around his cousins, and these guys are so good to him even though they're older and more able and all that good stuff. =)


This is J's sweet sis Danelle, her hubby Kelvin, and all the kids, including our own, which I enjoy because it makes it look like they have 4 kids. And were there a companion picture of J and I at that same moment, it would look like we have none. HA!


Anyway, something interesting to know about our bro-in-law Kelvin is that he cannot...sit...still. No way, no how, the guy is go-go-go-go-go. And then go a little more. If you please. So you can bet the weekend was full of activity all around. I am by nature a tad lazier...eeek, at least I admit it openly, right?! But even I had to admit, we had a blast and saw stuff here in MN that we hadn't yet seen in our roughly year and a half of state residence, so that was cool.

We went to the cities, of course. We adult females absconded with Grady to IKEA while the adult males and remaining chitlins enjoyed the Mall of America. Then we had some fun--sure, that's how I remember it, "fun"--winding our way through traffic and finally landing near a park, the name is which is very much escaping me.

{I blame whatever happened to my brain after this occurred...for the record.}


We had a grand time exploring, nonetheless. You don't need to know the name of a place to enjoy it, right?! Right! =)


Jake did everything in his power to escape the ruthless glare of the camera all weekend. See here, he's looking away, taunting me. The scoundrel.


Jedd tried to run too, but I can still catch him. ;) Barely.


Jenna, on the other hand, knows how to work it. =) Isn't she beautiful!!!


See boys, does she look like she is in pain here?! It isn't so bad, I swear! Come back and let me take your picture. ;)


To his credit, Jedd and I seem to have a deal worked out, he'll let me take his photo, but he gets to be silly. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. Just don't tell him, okay?!


Jenna has her fair share of silly too. It's a slightly more quiet, subdued silly though. =)


We also traveled to St. Cloud, to yet another park whose name has left me. Anyway, it was a cloudy day...yup, on the day we went to St. Cloud...mwahahaha. Oh gees, sorry, the strangest things entertain me. Anyway, we didn't get a lot of good shots that day, but this kind of made me laugh.


Someone is undoubtedly making fun of me here. Either Kelvin or J, not sure. I have evidently blocked those details out too, and would happily be thinking it was all sweetness and light that weekend, were it not for the photographic evidence. Oh well, it couldn't have been that bad. ;)

We did spend a little time at home. This pictures cracks me up, I title it "Like Mother, Like Son."


So that was Bugga's 2nd birthday weekend! THANKS so much to the family for traveling so far to be with him, it really made it so special! =) Can't wait til we see you all again, whenever that might be. Much love and many hugs...

Friday, July 10, 2009


I just tore myself up off the floor, from amidst a pile of pitties--slobbery kisses, tangled legs, soft ears, sweet eyes, and pushy snouts all vying for loving attention--to bring you this public service announcement.

People suck. =( As certain dogs are vilified darn near daily in our national media, these horrible things were happening right under all our noses basically. Where was the media then? Where are they now?

378 dogs. The count is at 378 dogs that were being used--and in the most horrendous possible ways--by humans for profit. 26 people arrested, though you know that doesn't even come close to covering all the involved parties, all the sick, twisted individuals that got some kind of kick out of watching dogs tear each other apart.

I apologize for sounding angry, I really do, but my stomach aches over the evil treatment of animals at the hands of some humans. And that goes beyond this current story also. I try to remind myself that there are loving humans doing amazing things for dogs and cats and other companion animals and wildlife all over the world; it just gets hard to keep that in mind on weeks like this. When news like this breaks.

If you have it in your heart to want to do something, the Humane Society of Missouri could use donations to help care for the dogs as they await hopefully fair evaluations to determine their ultimate fates. As a fellow friend in rescue pointed out, it warms the heart that they include sturdy toys and creamy peanut butter in the wish list. I'm fairly certain these dogs have never known such simple pleasures.

If nothing else, love a dog today. Any dog you can get your hands on. Or just wave nicely to the dog owner walking down the street. Spread a little positive energy toward the 4-legged creatures among us. I know I'll be doing my small part. ;)


*Yes, all the hyperlinks are separate articles/sites. Just an FYI.

Back to your regularly scheduling programming soon...up next, Bugga's family makes his second birthday extra special. ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009



THANKS for putting up with me like no one else probably could. ;)

THANKS for making me laugh. Every day. =)

THANKS for being on the same page with me (most of the time, ha!)...even when most people consider me out in left field or I've turned the corner to crazy-town.

THANKS for our son, and for the being the most amazing co-parent I could have ever imagined.

THANKS for reaching for the stars when I'm often content to hug the ground.

THANKS for being the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, the orange juice to my M&Ms. (What?! Don't tell me you don't like OJ and M&Ms together?! Who are you people?!)

THANKS for being my handyman and makin' it happen, cap'n. ;)

THANKS for picking me.

THANKS for NINE's to 99 more. ;)

{Okay, that last bit, not possible really. Though I do imagine that by that point, 127 will be the new 101, so you just never know, now do you?! }

Love you J. I think I'll keep you. =)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Could it be...?

...that I'm dreaming of the weekend already?!


*Sigh* Sweet vintage-stove-turned-"firepit."


Of course, there's no law against lazy nights out by the fire during the week, it just never seems to happen that way. =)

*Yes indeedy these pictures are old, as evidenced by the bare trees in the background. But not as old as one might think...Spring in MN tends to test one's patience.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A different kind of holiday...

Happy 4th of July everyone! While many around the country light fireworks, have a barbeque, head out to parades, and any other manner of celebrating our country, we...well, we kind of had a normal day. ;) I know, go figure, go figure.

The Bug is just a smidge young yet for staying up late enough for fireworks. We tried it last year, and he melted into a heap of infant-becoming-toddler moodiness as we waited for the fireworks to start. Last night, we noted that at 7:45p, he had a eerily similar fit. We decided at that moment that staying up til 10p to watch fireworks was not in the cards this year either.

Fine by us, though. I can already hear some displays happening in our neighborhood, so we don't feel completely left out of the fun. ;)

I'm sitting on the patio, as J gets ready to start a fire, so I thought I'd post a few photos of our day. You know, to keep me from mauling the bag of marshmallows prematurely. ;)

More dirty Bugga.


Each day, he expands my horizons regarding all the ways dirt can be used, the ways it is funny, the heartbreak it can cause if you separate a boy from his dirt...the possibilities are endless (as is my laundry pile).


My funny-face Bran, always so happy just to be outside.


One of the many reasons I love dogs so much is their immeasurable pleasure in the simple things in life. =)


You can't forget resident girlie, Miss Paisley. Nope. Never. Because she would never let anyone forget her.


Just go ahead and try, she dares you. ;)

Sweet Sula loves her time in the sun too. Her small break from those 8 rapidly-growing, ever-hungry, increasingly-mobile pups of hers.


We took a 9.5 mile bike ride this morning. Whew...I was pushing it at the end. Jeremy, however, could have kept going for probably double that. I mistakenly tried to race J down one of the last hills--after a killer uphill. For me, that is. Not him. Drat! Anyway, the downhill proved just as futile. I call gravity on that one though, I mean really...he's bigger than me, plus he was pulling Bugga in the trailer. Now that doesn't speak well for the fact that he beat me up pretty much every hill too, but I'm choosing not to focus on that. ;)

No pictures of the bike ride, but on the other end of the spectrum of the day's activities, here are J and Paisley enjoying some hammock time.




Once up, he pretty much just disturbed the peace of the hammock for everyone else. What would we expect though?!


Pai and J, in slightly different light. And with some crazy eyes from Paisley, just to keep you all on your toes. =)


For some reason, I love this pic J took from inside the hammock.


Bugga cleaning up before going inside. ;)


Well...really, that water was for the dogs, but Grady makes little distinction between himself and the dogs, often drinking out of it just like they do, and just as often dumping dirt into it and taking his wet hands and making mud. Oh the joy!!! Dirt...water...together. Ahhhhh. The boy's heart swells at the thought I swear. =)

We ended our day with some cheap-rubber-ball soccer--inside, just to jazz things up--and now a little marshmallow roasting and doggie snuggling. Oooh, better go, J handed me my roasting stick, I can nearly taste them. =) Now if I can just keep the dogs from thinking they need to share....