Saturday, February 28, 2009

When it rains...

When it rains, it pours. And water seeps in behind the liner of your pool and gives you a coronary attack big enough to kill a 400 pound man. That's how my day began today.

I fret over the pool. My husband would tell you different, but that's because he is neurotic, and no one - and I mean NO ONE - would ever be able to keep the pool in the pristine shape in which he wants it kept. So, I fret over the pool under my terms. I make sure the pump is set on the timer and will be on at the appropriate times. I do all the day to day things that need to be done - checking the skimmer baskets, emptying the Polaris bag (except here lately because it is still out of commission), skimming out scary bugs when the kids are swimming. You get the drill - I keep up the pool on a day to day basis. Does that mean it is always free from any debris in the bottom? No. Does that mean I don't occasionally forget to empty out the skimmer baskets on a leave free day? No. But I do something with the pool every single day of my life with the exception of Sunday because the neurotic fretter is home and able to take it off my hands for that one day.

One of the many things I have fretted about over the past two years I have had with the pool is the water level. During many a storm, I have donned my attractive rain coat and sprinted to the back of the yard to drain water out of the pool. On particularly stormy days, I may make three trips out there in the pouring rain with lightening and thunder and the works. So this morning, when I went outside to drain the water back down to its normal level, I was HORRIFIED to see huge bubbles on the sides of the pool. HORRIFIED.

All I could think was thousands of dollars. Thousands in repairs. Thousands in replacement costs for the liner. Thousands. Thousands we just frankly don't have to spare right now. I stood there at the source of so much daily fret and maintenance and thought I would vomit. I really thought I would surely vomit right there into the pool. I stood there and looked at it thinking it might just be one of those optical illusions. But it wasn't.

So I shared the news with my husband as he poured his morning coffee. There really were no words shared between us. Just a look we both understood. Please, not this; not now.

The good news is this - Scott was able to reach our pool guy and get some instructions on what to do. With today being the last day of the month, Scott had no choice but to go to work. My neighbor was so helpful and kind enough to come over and assist (or really, take over, as I didn't really have the upper body strength to do what needed to be done). And he was able to get the majority of the water pushed up and out from behind the liner. I think we are at a salvageable state now, and those thousands are quickly ticking back down into affordable range. Thank goodness.

I think I am just done being an adult. I am officially throwing in my towel. And I think I'll just throw it in the pool.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Jacked Up Grill

One of the amazements of medicine is the x-ray. Utterly amazing to me. I don't know how it works, and I don't really care. But how cool is it to be able to see into the human body - through the skin and the fat and visualize what the naked eye cannot. It is all fun and games until the orthodontist pulls up an x-ray on the computer screen of your son's grill. Then it becomes HORRIFYING.

I can't even put into words how grossly severe his problem is. He has all these teeth just waiting to come in. But unfortunately, even when he looses the baby teeth blocking their path, there is simply not enough room. So what's the solution, you ask??

This orthodontist wants to put a partial set of braces on my seven year old son. The partial set costs $3000. And what I am wondering is exactly how they put any set of braces on a kid with five permanent teeth. His objective is to try to correct the problem without pulling teeth. I do not consider myself to be nearly as educated as he, but I don't see this happening. At all. And I even questioned him so as to make sure my simple mind understood him correctly, "So, what you are saying is that you believe you could solve this issue without pulling any teeth???" He said he couldn't make any promises, but he was hopeful. I wanted to ask him how many toots of that happy gas he had taken that day, but I decided it probably wouldn't be the best idea. He doesn't know me very well, and he may not appreciate my sense of humor. Instead, I came home and made an appointment with another orthodontist for a second opinion.

I can't even describe this office. It was beautiful, no doubt. But my first thought when I entered it was, "Wow. This dude makes a ton of money." And not that I have a problem with that. He went to school for forever, and he has a skill few people have. He should make good money from a good day's work. But he doesn't have to throw it in your face with video games in the waiting room, free fresh coffee and cookies for the parents, a consultation room as big as my children's bedrooms in our house, and autographed sports memorabilia plastered all over the walls. This place looked nothing like the offices I remember visiting during the five years I had braces. I think I may have had a fish tank and some magazines to look at while waiting. And that was sufficient for me. Ahhh, the simple days.

And, there was just something I didn't like about the orthodontist himself. He was a little flashy. He entered the room to do his analysis, and he immediately went into some sort of character. He was trying to be cool and relate to the patient, I could tell. But I just don't think it worked very well, and frankly, it left me feeling a little awkward. I mean, it is me he is trying to sell. And I don't relate to phrases like, "You know what I mean, brother?!?" and "Give me some skin on dat one." I don't know; call me old fashioned. I think you can be casual and kid-friendly without all the theatrics. In other words, Mama was not impressed.

Of course, David thinks he wants braces. That's because he doesn't know what it feels like to be fitted for bands where they put one on and then try two or three other sizes leaving your teeth literally hurting and your gums swollen from so much activity. Nor does he know what it feels like to have them tightened once a month or have the inside of your mouth gashed from protruding wire. My dear sweet boy wants braces because he can get orange rubber bands put on them and that would look cool. I am sure we could find a cheaper way to look cool. Perhaps an orange shirt??

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There Is Hope

We have hope today. Can't you feel it?? It is welling up inside all our souls and seeping out our pores. And it is all because of our president's speech last night.

Oh, you don't feel any different? Hmmm. Come to think of it, neither do I. Nor do any of those banks my husband has to talk to every day to try to get car loans approved. Nor does my checkbook which believes there is no end in sight to low balances. Nor does my credit score which is threatening to plummet if these banks don't start lending out money so we can sell some cars and my checkbook can show some positive balances. I think you get the point.

We wanted to watch him last night for two reasons. I think we believed that we might hear some good news - some strong plans to help our segment of the population (the one that pays their bills on time somehow EVERY month but is commission paid and really getting nervous). And, secondly, I think I was hoping to feel some of those positive vibes - the vibes that convinced so many (not me) to vote for him last year. I wanted to feel all gooey inside. I wanted to feel safer and that someone was thinking about me. But I didn't get it.

So here we are today. No different from yesterday. I guess the Blairs will just keep trucking along. We'll see if we will even have a paycheck for February. It will be minimal, but at least we will get something. We have salesmen at our lot that won't get anything at all. That's just the ones that are left there; I won't even mention the ones that lost their jobs earlier this month.

But there is hope. I know in my heart that we will never go hungry. We will always have a roof over our heads. My children will have everything they need. We can have faith that our God protects us and fills our needs in ways we can't even see sometimes. We just have to hold tight to that faith to get us through these rough patches. Because we will make it through. We always do.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just thought I would share...

My son is the most disgustingly dirty seven year old in the world. I just spent two hours in his room cleaning out and organizing and throwing trash away.

There are two types of trash in his room. There is the legitimate trash - assorted candy wrappers and bits of paper or the stray stale Cheezit that has fallen beside the bed. Then there are the things that mom classifies as trash and David classifies as treasure - pieces of paper with one sentence written or a picture drawn that have absolutely no significance to anything at all. But if you were to ask David what we should do with the five pieces of paper on which he tried to perfect the drawing of Sponge Bob Squarepants, he would say we definitely should save them. Definitely. And I definitely threw them away today. Thing is that David will never realize they are gone.

I wish I could freeze his room exactly the way it is now. It is straightened, organized, dusted, and freshly vacuumed. And this afternoon, when he arrives home, it will quickly be well on its way back to disgusting status. I give it two days, max.

Friday, February 20, 2009

One of those days...

Ever had one of those days when you feel like there must be someone sitting on the sidelines getting their laughs at your expense?? I guess I should rephrase - how many of those days have you had recently? Because I know we all have them. I just wonder if everyone else's are as numerous as mine.

It all started last night when we were getting ready to walk over to the school for the second grade musical performance. Buddy is still on activity lock down, so I am still having to put him on the leash to walk and do his business and he must be crated when I leave the house. So I had him in the backyard on the leash, and he was just acting crazy. Jumping, too excited, raging lunatic behavior. I really feel sorry for him because he's just unable to get his energy out. But last night, he jumped up on Madalyn, and so I told the kids to go on ahead into the driveway and I would get some space between them. Just as David made it to the gate and opened it, Buddy flailed up and bucked sorta and came right out of his collar which was, of course, attached to his leash. And off he went. And further and further away, hot on the trail of his maker only knows what. I was livid, not to mention scared. I could envision in my mind Buddy mid-stride just keeling over dead from one of those worms getting into his lungs. But he didn't; and he didn't listen to me or stop running either. I finally caught up to him two streets back. I cut through backyards and sideyards to get to him, and I was not in a pleasant mood when I reached him. So I tightened the collar around his neck and blessed him out the whole walk home.

So then this morning I make the fifteen mile trek to the pool place. It is around completely nowhere or nothing. I never venture in this direction unless going to the pool place, and I have been known to put the trip off to the last possible minute. I needed several things including bags of salt and a replacement part for the little vacuum cleaner thing. Got there - dressed and with makeup on, I might add - and it was closed.

I then went to my local Publix to pick up a few things. I have had a craving for some taco soup and thought that would be perfect dinner for tonight. I got back home and started unloading the cold stuff in the refrigerator only to find a jar of pickles - hamburger dills to be exact - with the lid half-way screwed on and leaning over on its side. That could only mean one thing, right? Yes - pickle juice ALL OVER THE REFRIGERATOR. Now, I am not one to point fingers, but there is a certain person (who, of course, will remain nameless) in this household who has a tendency to not screw lids on properly. Whether it be water bottles, milk cartons, apple juice, or, in this case, a jar of pickles, this person just has an issue screwing the top all the way around or even getting it back on its home at a level position - you know, kinda lopsided. I don't have any DNA evidence supporting my suspicions, and I certainly won't play the blame game with this person as it would just end up being turned around on me somehow (always does), but I know in my heart who did it, and I was totally aggravated.

I had to clean the fridge like no one really ever cleans their fridge. I had to take out the bins and clean them. I had to remove some of the glass and scrub them in the sink. I had to scrub the bottom of the fridge underneath the bottom bin (which, I'll admit, was long overdue for some attention). So, the fridge is clean. And that's a positive. But I'll confess, I didn't really have a thorough disinfecting of the fridge on my agenda today.

I guess since I didn't get the pool supplies I needed, I just used the time I would have spent on the pool on the fridge instead. And I'll admit that after I saw Buddy tear off through the neighborhood the way he did and not die from a dead heartworm in his bloodstream, I did feel better about his overall health and prognosis. Just trying to see the brighter side of things.

Things are looking up, though, my friends. Tomorrow night, we are sending the kids to their Gammie's and going to dinner. By ourselves. No kids. It has been months since we have been anywhere without the kids. I am so excited. And we are just going all out and blowing some cash and going somewhere really good and really expensive. Just trying to do our part to stimulate the economy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Shouldn't Be Alive

Y'all - seriously. You have all got to watch this show. Scott and I found it a few weeks ago and have been hooked ever since. It's a dramatic reenactment of real situations that have occurred where people survived the unthinkable. Shipwreck, lost in the rain forest, plane crashing in the ocean - you name it. I am amazed by these stories of strength and triumph over death. Fascinating.

I have always had a belief that there are two types of people in the world - quitters and survivors. They demonstrate themselves in various ways throughout life. There are the day to day situations, and then, there are the big ones. I think most of us know what kind of person we are deep inside. We fight our own battles every day. However, when you think about whether or not you would drink water from a puddle on the rain forest floor, or if you could handle floating in a life raft for six days on the ocean with sharks circling around you without drinking a drop of salt water, or if you could drag your body weight with your arms aways from a plane wreckage because every bone in your lower half is broken - well, that's just a different story. And I just don't know how to answer those questions for myself. I don't think any of us really knows unless we are put in these situations ourselves.

I am telling you, the show is fantastic. I am always on the edge of my seat towards the end. It's so stupid, really, as the show is narrated by the people who survive. So, you know who lives from the very beginning, but you just don't know how they live.

We watch it on Animal Planet at 8:00 pm on Wednesday nights. I guess it comes on the Discovery Channel as well. Check it out for yourself. As for me, it has definitely confirmed that I don't' want to make that trek across the Amazon Rain Forest to find out what a real native tribe village really looks like. Oh, never mind. I never really wanted to do that anyways.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Facebook Etiquette

I need a little advice on proper Facebook etiquette. I got a friend request today from a guy I knew when I lived in Louisiana about twenty years ago. Literally - it was almost twenty years ago, meaning I was all of about 13 years old. I guess we had a crush on one another shortly before my family moved away to Florida. We went to church together where my father preached at the time. But we were thirteen. We never even held hands or a kiss on the cheek or anything.

So this morning, I get a friend request and a message in my inbox asking, "Is this the Tamara that used to live in Zachary, Louisiana?" Why, yes - yes it is. But I am not so sure I want this fellow to know that. I don't know anything about him. Hello - it has been TWENTY YEARS since I knew him. Who knows what kind of person he is today. And his profile picture is strange. It isn't a picture of himself but rather of some robot looking head or something.

So, how do you politely respond to someone and not accept their friend request on Facebook? Or do you just click that ignore button and hope they go away???

The internet is a wonderful but strange thing indeed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Disappearing Act

Madalyn had already found an exciting career path. I am certain she will make an excellent magician's assistant one day, complete with flashy red dress and amazing smile. I think her specialty will be the disappearing act.

Friday was a particularly long day with my dear, sweet Madalyn. From what I had remembered with David, turning four marked a turn into the rational phase - you know, one where the child could actually begin to rationalize things and would begin to stop throwing themselves to the ground and thrashing about on the floor. I have looked forward to this phase with Madalyn, wishing and hoping it would help me like her more. Before you gasp in horror, I did say like, not love. And, yes, I am brave enough to admit that there are times (numerous times) that I can say I don't particularly like my children. I do love them beyond comprehension, but like is a totally different word. Anywho - Madalyn's move around turn number four has been more like a move backward to two. She has resumed more frequent meltdowns and throwing fits of rage and inconsolable crying. And the whining. I just don't quite understand, but I swear I will make it through one day at a time and in one piece. In other words, I am closing my eyes and holding on for dear life.

So, back to Friday. Long day. Many fits. Many fights. Lots of noise from Madalyn. We had a little batting practice at a local indoor facility for David's team that evening at 5:00 due to the rainy weather, and when we returned home, I ordered pizza on the internet (cause, you know, I can't stand to call and order pizza - big unexplainable phobia of mine). I went upstairs and started running Madalyn's bath water and called her to some get in. No surprise, she didn't come running. Never really does. So, I went in her brother's room to retrieve her. No Madalyn. Checked in her room. Not there either. Checked my bedroom, downstairs computer room, behind the shower curtains, in the front yard, in the driveway, in the master closets, in the closet underneath the stairs, in the pool, on the side of the house - still couldn't find her. By this point, David has joined in the search and is in tears. And I am keeping it all together and rationalizing that she has to be there somewhere. We came home with her, and all the doors were dead bolted, and it was raining outside pretty heavily (surely high-maintenance herself wouldn't venture out in that). She just had to be there. Had to. But where was she, and why was she not giggling and giving up where she was like she always does???

I searched the entire house again (and outside - AGAIN) and even called out that this wasn't funny and she needed to reveal herself if she could hear me. Because, I assure you, it was soooo not funny. And then at some point I turned to David and asked him, "We did bring her home with us, right?" It just didn't make any sense, and I knew it didn't . She had to be in that house somewhere unless someone had come in and taken her literally right from underneath my nose. Finally, I had searched all I could and I called my neighbor to check with her to see if Madalyn had wandered over there to see her friend, Noah. It was dark and cold and raining, but I just had to check. When I began to talk to her, I just lost it. Crying. Couldn't breathe. The works. She said she'd be there in a second to help me figure out what to do. And that's when David and I went into Madalyn's room for about the fourth time. And I heard it...

Giggling. Soooo not funny.

It was emotion unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I was so angry, but, at the same time, I was so relieved to find her. I wanted to slap her and hug her at the same time. There she was, tucked neatly in the corner behind her bookshelf. I wouldn't have dreamed she could fit there, but apparently she does. She was so pleased with herself. Me and David stood there crying like a couple of fools, and she stood there with her hands over her mouth LAUGHING. I couldn't even deal with her at that point. I really was afraid I would hurt her if I put my hands on her. So I just turned to David and we hugged and cried some more. And she kept on laughing.

I know she is four and that she really doesn't understand things the way an adult does. Maybe she didn't' get that she scared us so bad. But she heard us looking for her. She knew we were upset. And she just thought it was funny. That is what bothered me so much. But I had something for her to help her better understand how we felt. I took her precious piggy and blanket and hid them from her. And boy, let me tell you, if that didn't teach her a lesson then I don't know what will. She searched and searched and cried and cried. And I finally called her into the room and asked her how it felt to not be able to find something she loved so much. I hope it worked. I hope she understands. And I hope I never feel that feeling again. No matter how much she can drive me crazy, I love her more than anything and can't imagine a day in my life without her.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Miss B

I have a bone to pick with someone. Only problem is she is about four feet tall and probably weighs less than fifty pounds. But she has committed a cardinal sin in my book - she ripped up my baby's heart and threw it in the trash.

Let me explain - On Wednesday evening, I watched my precious little boy, who has shown no interest in any particular girl since kindergarten, cut out and color a heart for a little girl in his class. (I will refer to her as Miss B to protect her identity as I am sure anyone who reads this post will hop in their car or catch the quickest flight here to hunt her down and give her a good old talking to.) He didn't just make one heart; he actually made three. The first two just weren't good enough, and after he had thrown them away in disgust, I stepped in to school David on some paper-heart-making technique. After showing him how to fold the paper in half and cut one out, his end result was perfect enough for his beloved Valentine. He then colored it and drew more hearts on it and wrote her name on it - To: Miss B From : David.

That night, as he brushed his teeth and we went through our nightly rituals, he told me he was nervous to give her the heart. He was a little afraid she would laugh at him. And at that point, I tried to convince him that it was perfectly fine to like someone and not tell them. He could just keep it to himself. It was my mommy way of begging him not to put his heart out there (literally and figuratively) so that it couldn't be broken (or torn up and thrown in the trash).

It was second grade for me that I first remember liking someone. His name was Wade, and he is the guy that was killed in a car accident while we were in high school and that I still dream about. I can remember writing the notes in class - you know, the "check yes or no" notes. Often times, he checked no. I continued to set myself up for that elementary heart break over and over and over again. And then, in the ninth grade, history repeated itself with Wade, and he broke my heart again. So, I remember those feelings. And it is so hard as a mother to watch your son set himself up for that first heart break that he will remember. So hard. I just want to protect him from that as long as I can. I know that these things don't' really mean anything, but his feelings are as real as they can be. He does have a heart, and no matter how little it might be, it can still be broken. By a stinking girl. And I have no control over it.

Anyway - David carried his little heart to school yesterday. He told me that he gave her the heart and walked away. Then another girl in his class told him that she tore it up and threw it away. So he went to the trash can to see for himself. And it was there. He didn't seem to be upset by it. He just said, "I'm just not going to talk to her anymore." To which I replied, "No way - don't talk to her." And, of course, I had to reiterate what I have been telling him all along in his short seven years - stay away from the girls because they are nothing but trouble. Oh, and that his mama is the only girl that will ever be good enough for him.

I also told him that if Miss B tried to talk to him, he should just tell her that someone has something for her. His Mama. His Crazy Mama. Miss B just doesn't know - one day, she will long for a boy to cut her out a heart and color it, to fret and toil over something with pure emotion and desire to give her a gift from his own heart.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy Weekend

My weekend began at 5:00 am on Saturday morning. The alarm clock went off, and I laid there a while wondering why. Who was it that needed to get up before the sun on a chilly Saturday morning?!? Oh - ME. And up I went and off to work a yard sale to benefit our travel baseball team. Can anyone say, "YUCK."

Yard sales are soooo not me. The last one I remember doing was when we (meaning me and my mom and dad) made our final move back to Montgomery. I think it was right before school started back that we decided to have a yard sale to get rid of the things we probably should have rid ourselves of before the move. I just remember we made a couple hundred dollars, and I think I got to use the money to buy school clothes. Dream come true for a ninth grade girl. But for the most part, I think that yard sales are a little gross - no offense to the people who enjoy that sort of thing. I am fully aware, especially after this weekend, that you can find some fantastic deals on things at such sales. And I now know that some people make an awful lot of money flipping things they find on Ebay. But I don't relish the thought of digging through someone else's things, no matter how cheap they might be.

Anyway - it is amazing the things you will do for your kids. Especially when those activities can save your wallet a little cash. We made nearly $900 for our team in seven hours. Not too shabby, I must say. That should cover the entry fees for three tournaments this season, thus requiring a little less dough from each family's pocket book. And there are more fundraisers to come. I think we all know that in this weird economy, no one is shying away from any fundraiser. I think most of us would even resort to begging if we had to. So, if anyone is interested in donating, please feel free to shoot me an email. Just kidding. (Well, I was kidding. But if you really feel inclined to spread your wealth around, I wouldn't want to be the one to hold you back.)

I will admit, there's nothing like a good yard sale to remind you how blessed you are. I think that one is self-explanatory. I just looked out at all the stuff we had spread across the grass at our location and wondered, "How much money did we spend on all this stuff collectively?" And there it all was, gathered together and considered junk. Not needed. All the stuff we all collect over the years. The toys and clothes and do-lollies and sit-prettys now available to anyone for 25 or 50 cents. Crazy.

Also on this weekend's agenda was taking care of the sick dog. Buddy came home on Friday, and I was a little apprehensive of how he would be. Would he be real lethargic or sickly from the medication? Not hardly. The poor dog just wants to run and play. And he can't. And I feel so sorry for him. He is supposed to be confined and not run or jump. He has to remain fairly calm. So we used the gate that once had been at the top of our stairs to gate off the deck. He hangs out there, and I have to leash walk him in the yard several times a day. It is one more thing for me to do, but I must admit that I don't mind. I love that little dog. He is so sweet, and he loves me. I have become his person - probably because I feed him, or maybe because he can sense I am the mom of the group. When I go outside to visit him, he will come and put his big ole head in my lap and nuzzle in and wants me to pet his sweet head. He would lay like that forever I think. He just wants someone to love him. And I do. I think I need Buddy, and I can't even explain why really, but I just can tell that I need him. Does that sound really strange? There are just times in your life when you can tell that something has been sent to you. And Buddy was sent to me. Now, no one needs to notify the authorities that I have officially lost it or call the looney house. I know he's just a dog. But I really think he is a gift. It was certainly not a coincidence that he was found. He is here for a purpose. What that purpose is, I don't know. But he has one.

So, I am glad it's Monday. The husband is at work. The big one at school. The little one is content (for the moment) to just be alone and catch some cartoons. And I have laundry up to my armpits and a treadmill calling my name today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Is it just me??

Is it just me, or am I the only one in the entire country that does not think Jessica Simpson looks fat?!? She is one of the most beautiful women ever, and if she is fat then I don't know what that makes me. Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest.

Anyway. I got to hold a baby today. A sweet baby. A little tiny baby that can't talk or walk or hit or ask you to do anything for him. A precious little baby that wears diapers that smell good (before they have actually been used, mind you). A baby so new that he still keeps his little legs and arms squinched up and stays in a ball. Oh, I do love babies. That probably sounds weird coming from me who makes no bones about the fact that I absolutely do not want any more babies of my own. But the only reason why I don't' want any more is because they grow up. And they are just so much work and so stressful. But if I could have a baby that would never grow up, that would just be heaven. Unfortunately, there is no such deal available. Eventually, they start moving and talking and needing more and more. And you have more to worry about than if their feet are cold or where you hid the pacifier. No - those babies don't stay babies for nearly as long as we'd like them to. And for that reason, I am so glad I can't have anymore. Because I think we all know that when we hold one of those smell-good precious little babies, it lights a fire in our soul that says, "Oh, I want another baby."

And at least I know for sure I can answer back, "No, my dear. You are definitely not having another one."

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Post To Myself

Dear Crazy Mama,

Will you please do yourself a favor and back away from the birthday cake. I know you paid good money for it, and I know it beckons you each time you get within, say, fifteen feet of it. However, swimsuit season is just around the corner. And you know you will be wearing one everyday. In other words, you will have sets of new boobs if you don't stop now - one on your stomach and one where they should be.

Oh, and you might just want to back off of anything that comes in a box or plastic bag. In other words, stay away from the carbs. Unless, of course, they are nutritious whole grain items. But I don't believe there is much of that in your house right now, so there probably won't be much confusion there.

Please stop eating so much. Please.

With love and concern,

We are keeping the dog...

Yes, we are keeping the dog. How can you not? Once your husband has picked him up off the side of the road, you sorta feel obligated to him. And he is so likable and sweet. He definitely needs to be neutered.

Yesterday, the neighbor's little boy somehow ended up in the back yard on his bike by himself. We were just all scattered about and a little unorganized yesterday. We heard a crash and discovered that he had fallen over on the bike. Before we could get to him, Buddy did. And to my horror he was - well, how can I put this delicately? - trying to have his way with him. I was glad he didn't try to bite him. But still, that is certainly not an option either. Then Buddy found another child exciting as well. Watching a dog hump on a child is just plain disturbing. And it is behavior he really should have saved for further into our relationship, I believe.

After these occurrences, one of our friends nicknamed him Buddy Love - you know, Sherman Klump's alter ego in the Professor Klumps movie. Too funny. Now I can't just call him Buddy - he is definitely Buddy Love.

There is just something about the dog. He looks at you with grateful eyes. He just wants to be loved. He will follow me around, wagging his bushy tail wanting me to pet him. Just to be petted and loved - that's all he wants. So, he is a part of the family now. We will end up spending on him what we could have paid to get a full-bred something or another. But that's okay. At least we know already that he enjoys the kids and likes to play and has a fairly laid-back personality (unless you appear to be a female dog in heat). And those are things that you are just never sure of when you go somewhere and purchase a puppy - you don't know what you're getting.

Buddy is at the vet today and having blood work done to determine the exact course of treatment. He will be there probably three days and will then come back here and have to be kept very still and calm and rested for the remainder of his treatment. That will be difficult, but I think I can handle it. And hopefully, we can get him healthier and happier than he's ever been.