Dog Days

dogWhat a difference a week makes. Last week I wrote about our new puppy and how miserable I was since we got her. I was ready to give her up. I really was. But it’s getting better.

We met with a dog trainer on Sunday, and he taught us the ins and outs of crate training for housebreaking — how to do it right. The puppy doesn’t quite get it yet, but on the plus side, I’m not running after her with a spray bottle and a rag all the time.

The trainer told us that the kids should stand still when she attacks them. The puppy’s playing, but she growls and bites their clothes (mostly) and scares them. They dance around trying to avoid her, or they scream and run. Either way, the puppy thinks it’s part of the game so she keeps growling and jumping up and biting. We tried standing still and it works. Mostly. read more

Our life in pictures

cameraAs you ascend our stairs, the photos on the walls tell the story of our family. The photos from long ago (okay, ten years) show my husband and I, thinner, younger and surrounded by friends. They’re pictures of parties and festivals and debauchery – there’s a picture of my husband trying to eat  the “Chest Mix” in my cleavage. Everyone’s always holding up a glass. There are pictures of weddings and christenings – family’s, friends’ and our own. There’s one wedding picture we have to take down because the couple’s divorced. There’s a photo of a friend I lost ten years ago. There are pictures of friends that grew apart. read more

Sick Days

imagebot (6)Last week we went to New York to take care of some of my dad’s business. Everything was fine until we left my birth mom’s house in Queens. On the way out, my son was a little cranky, then he completely wilted. We absolutely had to go upstate, so I scooped him up and strapped him in the car. He slept through the whole two-hour ride and when he woke, his eyes were hooded and he said he was gonna throw up. I worried that he had the flu. So we skipped picking up Italian combos for lunch and headed to my BFF’s house.

When we got there, my BFF offered to take our daughter to pick up food while we brought my son to urgent care. So that’s what we did. There was a total of two cars in the urgent care parking lot, so we figured we’d get express service. After a half-hour wait, they called us in, did an exam and a flu test. My son didn’t have the flu, but he did have strep throat. We picked up some meds and brought him back to my BFF’s house, where he fell asleep on the couch. read more

Raising a stand-up girl

bad girl“She called me hideous.”

“What? What happened?”
“When she wouldn’t let me play darts, she said I was hideous and so did her friends.”

“Well, you’re not hideous and I’m gonna talk to the teachers about that.”

It happened to my daughter at her brother’s preschool. When my daughter’s school has a snow day, she can go to his preschool, to the school-age class. Winter scares the crap out of the school districts in Maryland,so she attends fairly often. It’s important to my husband and me that she can go to his school because she gets stir crazy on snow days and crazy begets crazy. So I didn’t want this one incident to preclude her from attending his school. read more

Back to normal, and not soon enough

imagebot (1)One. More. Day. Tomorrow starts the first normal week we’ve had in two weeks. Fifteen days, to be exact. Fifteen long days.

School started last week, on Thursday, but it snowed Friday so school was cancelled. At least we got a one-day reprieve. My husband and I don’t have any alone time these days unless both the kids are at school during the day. Since we moved, the kids won’t go to sleep in the new house without a parent in the room (See “Home Strange Home” below), so we rarely see each other at night.

We were luckier than some parents. Our son’s preschool is also a daycare so it was open most of the break. Only our six-year-old daughter was home with us for all of that time. She takes up a lot of our energy. She bores easily and then she starts trouble or she whines. It’s not like we don’t give her attention. We do. We play with her. My husband taught her checkers and chess. I bake with her. We made peanut butter cookies. We take her to the supermarket – she likes anyplace that sells stuff. We even had a girls’ day. I took her swimming and to lunch and to fro-yo, but we can’t compete with the entertainment that school offers. read more