Here's the part of the program where Allison says one thing in a previous post and then the thing she says in this post ends up contradicting or entirely negating the previous statement.
Remember the dog we adopted? We had to make the really hard decision to return him to the shelter yesterday. He is a beautiful, sweet dog who doesn't have a bit of malice in his entire body. And he's as wild as they come.
When we went in to visit him, we weren't aware of how wild he was. We put in the paperwork to bring him home because he seemed like a perfect match for our family. He was then sent to a vet to be neutered, and we picked him up the next afternoon. He was calm when we brought him home. When the sedation wore off, he couldn't be contained.
None of it was malicious, but it was too much for kids. He knocked Julian and Audrey down a few times, and even on a leash, lunged at Audrey, knocked her down, and scratched her face. Behavior like that can be curbed, I am sure, but how long would that take? Would my kids have to get seriously injured before he was calm enough to be around people without knocking them down?
I feel like I let him down. He needed a family, and I wanted to be that family for him. But I also feel like making this decision early on would benefit him because it would be a less traumatic transition for him than if he were to stay with us for a few months. That it would give him a better chance of finding the right family for him.
When I looked at the facebook page for the rescue group that was adopting him out, they had posted some information about how he had been returned to the shelter and was available for adoption again.
And then came the character assassination from people who don't know me or my situation at all. Mean things, like how clueless I am, how a dog is not a pair of pants that you can just return, how I shouldn't be allowed to have a dog at all if I'm that kind of person. That I didn't put any thought into the process, and the dog would be better off without someone awful like me.
And honestly? He will be better off with another family. I don't question that for a minute. A family that doesn't have small kids. And when I tried to defend myself and say that, people started chiming in and saying that I was putting down the dog by defending myself. That I just needed to give it more time, and that I obviously didn't think it through or give him a chance at all. Also that my kids are obviously not closely supervised because none of it would have happened if I had been more careful about watching them.
Nothing about the decision to take him back was easy, but somehow a bunch of strangers have decided that I'm basically an awful person for not keeping this dog longer than I did.
The only validating thing about this entire ordeal is the reaction from staff members at the shelter. Once we returned him, they acknowledged, "Yeah, he is kind of a spaz." And another person told me that he jumped up on her, which pushed her backwards into a door and she cut her shoulder. Not an aggressive dog, just a hyper dog.
I don't even know how to end this post. I'm sad already because of the choice to return the dog, and now because I feel like an entire group of animal lovers thinks I'm the worst thing that could happen to a dog.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Hey, doods. I am not even going to pretend to make excuses about why I haven't written anything on here in a long time. But all is well. Here's some stuff that's been happening:
Julian goes to the most amazing art school in all the land of Winston-Salem and everything they do there is pure magic. I wish I could be a student at his school. Anyway, his class read the book Because of Winn Dixie. For an assignment, they had to write a letter to one of the characters. Either Opal, or Winn Dixie. Opal is a person, Winn Dixie is a dog. Julian chose Opal. I asked him why he picked her to write a letter to, and he said, "Well when I thought about it, writing a letter to a dog didn't seem very productive." Heh!
Here is a photo of his letter, below. My very favorite part of the letter is where he says he, "held the door open for these really really old people that were coming in the door and they said what a beautiful young lady but I'm really a boy with long hair so they thought I was a girl but I'm not so anyway that explains why I am a respectful citizen."
In the car today, Audrey angrily shouted, "I DON'T WANT TO MARRY JUJU!" Like we were forcing her into some disgusting inbred hillbilly marriage with her brother. So I told her, "Don't worry, dude. You can't anyway. You'll find someone cool to marry one day." And then she said in the creepiest, smarmiest voice ever, "I want to marry you."
I have been wanting to get another dog for a while now. Molly is a really smart dog and loves to run, and needs a ton of interaction. And she gets all of that, but I still feel like she's lonely. So we've been tossing around the idea of adding another dog into the mix so she could have a buddy.
Anyway, I have been looking at pictures of dogs on the local shelter's website, which is very dangerous for me. I want all of them. It upsets me to think that they don't have homes, and I could very easily see myself turning into one of those crazy animal ladies who has like 10 dogs. But then I remember that I don't like squalor and am content to have just a few well cared for pets.
So this dude came up on the shelter's facebook page: (I flagrantly stole it from their site since I don't have any of my own yet.)
You guys. He's the boy equivalent of Molly. They think he's a border collie/lab mix. And he's awesome; super friendly and loves everyone.
We adopted him today.
Tomorrow he gets neutered (or as I so eloquently said to Wade, "We can pick him up tomorrow after they steal his nuts.") and then he comes home with us in the evening.
I don't even want to think about how much hair I'm going to be cleaning up. But I love that little mofo already.
Friday, April 19, 2013
I can't watch the news. Not just now, but always. There is so much sadness and fear on the television and I just can't let it in or it will grip me tightly. But especially lately with all the awfulness happening. Maybe this is not the best method for being informed and up to date on things, but it certainly is the best for my heart.
So in the middle of all the scary things happening in the world that are far out of our control, I am choosing to spend my mental energy on happy things, and not being weighed down by all of it. Because as real as it is, I am unable to change any of it. I will instead have as much positive impact on my surroundings as I can. That's what I can change. I can make our home a happy place for my kids. I can be kind to the people I encounter. I can tend our small patch of earth and marvel at the food it grows for us.
I'll stop talking like a woodland faerie now and show you a picture I found of this old-timey saloon owner who also is wearing kitty makeup. I don't know when this picture was taken. Early 1800s, maybe?
My friend Jenny Foust just introduced this band to me. This is probably old news to everyone else, but since I don't have a "real" job and talk to other adults every day, I don't get the chance to listen to new music when it's new. It's new to me though, and I dig upon it mightily. It's happy and beautiful and makes me want to pick up a guitar and write some pretty songs:
I hope you have a great weekend that is full of hugs, kisses, and high fives. And cookies. Obviously.
For some reason, the video link is wonky and plays a different song than what I linked to. Still a fantastic song, but not the pretty, happy song I talked of. Here's what I was talkin' bout, Willis:
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I read a lot of crafting and sewing blogs. Most of the stuff they post is far too ambitious for me and I never end up doing it because it seriously looks like people are making insanely detailed things while all their photos show happy kids and a very clean house in the background.
Right now, my house has tumbleweeds of dog hair and there are random toys scattered all over the floor. Audrey dumped out the shoe basket by the front door, so there are shoes everywhere, too. So I don't try to keep up with the perfect lives portrayed by those craft blogs. But dang. They really are nice to look at sometimes, and they have some good ideas.
About a million years ago, it was all the rage to carve your own stamps. Okay, maybe it was more like 5 years ago. It was something that caught my eye and always looked simple enough that I could do it, but I was always far too broke to buy the tools required and never got around to making it happen.
For my birthday, I was like, "This is my year of Gettin' Shit Done and I'm not waiting around any longer for this stuff I want to do." So I used a 50% off coupon at Michael's and bought a stamp carving kit by Speedball for myself. Just a few days ago I decided to finally start making stuff, so here are some of the things I've done lately.
|A feather. Or a leaf. Whatever turns your crank, man.|
|adorably wonky beehive|
Not an actual craft, but I did make these people, so I'm listing them. And I think they're pretty cute.
I read all 7 Harry Potter books aloud to Julian when he was in kindergarten and loved every single one of them. In book 5, The Order of the Phoenix, there was a line that I had to stop at because I was laughing too hard. It was the line pictured below. I searched through the pages, took a picture of it, and then made it fancy in PicMonkey because I think it's funny. Because, taint. Come on. That's crazy funny. Taint. Heh.
Speaking of Phoenix, a friend recently shared this pronunciation guide for Joaquin Phoenix's name, and I have been talking around saying, "Ja-coo-coo Puh-hwheenis!" because it cracks me up.
Audrey has learned the word "dong" (probably from Julian) and told me tonight, "Girls have jinas…but I think there are some girls with dongs." I didn't know how to respond to that other than die laughing. But you know what? There are totally girls with dongs. Audrey is sympathetic to the transgendered community already at the age of 3. Party on, Audrey.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
What is up, my homies? (Or is it homeys? I never know.) I have returned from my week in America's Wang. I got to see so many good friends that I've been missing for so long. And visit with my family, although that always seems to come with a healthy dose of ridiculous drama. Wade had to stay in NC because it's a really busy time at work for him, and he was sad that he couldn't be with us.
I got the chance to visit with my 96-year-old grandmother, and Audrey met her for the first time. She suffered a significant stroke about a year ago and hasn't been very mobile since then. Most of her days are spent in her armchair by a window, with the television on. She needs assistance to get up and even just to get over to her bed, which is just a few feet away from her armchair. But the day we visited, Julian was playing piano in the living room (or what used to be the living room - my uncle moved in to take care of her, and it's kind of become his space now.) and Gram heard him from her bedroom. She said, "Help me get in my wheelchair; I want to play some scales with Julian." So my cousin and I carefully maneuvered her into her wheelchair and wheeled her down the hall. She sat right beside Julian and they played piano together. It was so amazing that I had to stop myself from ugly crying all over the place. And then after they finished playing piano, she wanted to go into another room of the house and listen to Julian play the organ. It was the most she's probably done in a very long while and was such a good day.
We had Easter Sunday at my parents' house and it was cool for Julian and Audrey to meet some new cousins they've never met before. The littles had an egg hunt and I got to catch up with my really wonderful brother who I don't see nearly enough. Stuff like that makes me wish it wasn't such a far drive to see my family.
The wedding I attended was so sweet. I was actually in the wedding, as one of the bridesmaids. And a week before the wedding, their musician bailed and my friend called me and asked if I'd fill in and sing, and I actually pulled it off. Sadly, I have no pictures of the entire day because I was running around tripping balls trying to help out with bridal stuff. But it was a great day and I hope I get to see video of it sometime.
This is completely random, but I started taking this a few weeks ago at the advice of my sisterwife Becca, who I turn to with every single medical question because her dad's a doctor and she knows many things. (I realize this makes me sound like such a knob because I should be seeing an actual doctor, but I swear she really is crazy smart and is in nursing school, and I sometimes get anxiety about talking to a doctor about how crazy I am. So she helps me figure stuff out like a righteous sisterwife would.)
There are times when I feel like it is such a privilege to be able to stay at home with my kids and watch them grow. And there are other days when I'm all, eff this shit - I hate being a stay at home mom and have done it too long and want a real job that involves a paycheck and talking to adults. I find that when it's the latter, I get entirely too screechy and kind of hate everyone. It's the worst. Or probably more accurately, I'm the worst. So Becca told me this stuff is great and it's kind of like an anti-anxiety medicine for hippies. Just a supplement. And seriously? I have felt really level and calm for most of the time I have taken it. Even today, I was vacuuming the house and started to lose my shit because Audrey puts stickers on every motherloving surface and Julian leaves his stuff everywhere despite claiming that he picked it up. And I started getting screechy and being like, "I AM NOT YOUR MAID!"
So I took a minute and paused, and asked the zygote Jesus (I think the baby Jesus think is played out - let's all refer to him in zygote form now) to take the wheel, and went and took a hippie crazy pill. And I am not shitting you, it calmed me down immediately (because it's sublingual and those absorb into your bloodstream quickly). I stepped right back from my screechy ledge and spoke in a calm voice to my kids. Magic, I tell you! (If you are interested, it's GABA Calm, and I got it here.)
Today Audrey watched me get dressed like she normally does and she asked me, "Mama, why do girls always have to put on their pants like this?" And then she jumped up and down while struggling to pull up a pair of pants. Because I am her only model for women getting dressed right now, and apparently I struggle to pull up a pair of pants even over my disappointingly flat white girl ass.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Yesterday Julian's class dressed as Moravians because they are a large part of the history of this town. The look and general idea is to be old timey. Juju went hardcore and wore tights (under his rolled up pants) and my boots, which are actually men's boots (Holy crap, man. He wears the same size shoes as me now. Whaaaaaaaat). Well, boot. The left foot is wearing the geezer boot to support his broken foot.
Look at this awesome pose, where he looks like he's some kind of early settler. Those guys always looked super badass and serious, and like they didn't have time to take some fucking pictures because they had to work the land. At first, he just stood like a normal kid and smiled, and I was all, "No way, man. Pose like a Moravian, all serious and stuff." And he did. Because Julian is the man.
Hello, fashionable and attractive internet people. I bet you're all dressed quite nicely and have well groomed nails. Do you want to see what I wore today? BEHOLD:
I was wearing normal clothing at first, and then Julian came home sick from school so I was all, eff this, and I changed in to grub clothes and cleaned my house. In my tall socks and short pants. And scraggly hair that hasn't been brushed since 9:00 am. That's how I roll, baby. In muh' tall socks.
When Julian was a baby, we started calling him "J Dubs" as his initials are J.W. When we moved here, he was four. I remember being at a park one time shortly after we moved here, and calling to him, "Hey, J Dubs! Over here!" And a woman walked up to us and said, "Oh, you guys too?" We didn't know what she meant. She said, "J Dubs, right? Jehovah's Witness?" Ummm, no. That is totally not what I was yelling across the park, ma'am.
We had no idea that this town has a rather large population of Jehovah's Witnesses when we moved here. We even made the mistake once of driving into the parking lot for a huge convention they were having because we were lost and trying to find something else. And these two really helpful dudes were like, "Here for the convention?" And then we peeled out of the parking lot. No, just kidding. No peeling out. We turned around and left like the un-assholey folks we are.
When Audrey was first learning to talk, she couldn't say "Julian". It was too much for a tiny person to say. But she could say "Juju" and it became a new nickname for him. Over time, I have shortened it to simply "Ju" if I am calling him. "Ju, can you please feed Molly?" That kind of thing.
It occurred to me recently that both of the nicknames I have given my kid could inadvertently offend two different religious groups if I were to yell them across a park, as I did with that first encounter (although the lady wasn't at all mad, and totally thought we were kindred spirits). J Dubs for the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Ju could just be construed as me yelling "JEW!" in a park. Which would be totally nuts. I mean, who just yells "JEW!" in a park? Still. Someone could hear that, and get totally pissed about it and think that I was an anti-semite, and then I'd have to be all, "No, no, no. I love err'body. And Larry David is possibly my favorite person ever. We're cool."
Monday, March 18, 2013
I really, really like food. And I thought it would be nice to share some foods that are treasured among Meeps.
Costco makes this pesto. I want to say it's like 6 or 7 bucks? It isn't that costly, considering you get so much of it. Have you looked at the price of pesto in the regular grocery store? I ran out of my amazing Costco pesto and considered buying some from the grocery store in a pinch and it was the tiniest container ever for about $6. I balked. And then walked away. I'll never cheat on you, sweet Costco pesto. I know it's better to make it yourself, but even my bountiful basil harvest from my pallet garden wasn't enough to fill the pesto demands of our house.
We use this in so many ways. As a salad dressing, as a pizza sauce topped with goat cheese and artichokes, and on noodles. We also use it on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise sometimes. I nearly had a stroke when I couldn't find it last time I went shopping, and I had to explain to the Costco guy just why we love this so much. He was dubious.
This is balsamic sweet onion jam, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the company had a statement on their website that was like, "Baby Jesus and all of the angels make this, and FedEx it down from Heaven right to us." Because it's that delicious. I buy it at World Market, but I have heard it's available at Williams-Sonoma, although for more money and good luck getting any of the snobby employees there to make eye contact with you or treat you like a human. So just buy it at World Market. A small bonus: the container it comes in can be cleaned out and used as a drinking glass afterward. It even says 'preserved in European drinkware' on the label. Fancy!
Aside from the obvious spreading on toast thing that people do with jam, I have made grilled cheese sandwiches with this spread on the inside of the bread. Obviously, you want to use awesome quality cheeses for this. If you even dare to think about using that disgusting shit that comes wrapped in plastic singles, there could be dire consequences like universes losing their balance.
I also use this as an alternative pizza sauce. Here is the basic construction: spread the jam onto pizza dough, flake on some goat cheese, cover with a layer of arugula, then cover with prosciutto. I must warn you though, if you make this pizza and want to marry me, I can't accept. I am already pretty happy in my marital circumstances, and will have to decline your offer of betrothal.
Since I have gone and outed myself as a cheese snob by reviling Kraft singles, the responsible thing to do is to tell you about the most glorious cheese known to man: Kerrygold Dubliner. Here's a picture I grabbed off the internet. Why didn't I just take a picture of it like I did with the other stuff? Because that mofo is half eaten in my fridge, wrapper long discarded. And you better believe I buy the block of it the size of my thigh at Costco. It's just so much cheaper than buying those tiny rectangles in the grocery store. All hail Costco for their fabulous cheeses.
This weekend my friend Kim came over and showed me how to make her marinara sauce because I crave it like hot vampire Eric craves Sookie's delicious faerie blood. And in addition to The Best Sauce Ever, I made these meatballs and they were truly fantastic. I only made slight changes to the recipe by using my own gluten-free breadcrumbs, and using grated Dubliner instead of parmesan. I love this sauce and meatball combination like cowboys love horses. Like Oprah loves a good book. Like Lady Gaga loves a good meat dress.
In unfortunate news, I was glutened last night accidentally. We had dinner with some good friends who are always so wonderful and careful about making sure the food they make is gluten-free so I don't get sick. And in a simple mix up, our friend bought key lime graham ice cream instead of just key lime. So I had one bite and realized it was too delicious and tasted like cookies, walked over and read the label, and realized that I was effed. But I drank about a gallon of water (seriously) right then, and we went home right away. Luckily, we literally live 4 driving minutes away from them and we got home and Julian got a huge glass of aloe vera juice for me to drink. I've noticed that when I drink aloe vera juice after accidentally eating gluten, it really helps me to not get as ill as I would otherwise.
The aloe helped, but I still felt sick all night, and feel not so great today. I apologized in advance to Wade last night for all the dutch ovening (thhhbbbbppppptpttttttttttffffff) I was bound to be doing in bed. It's not pretty.
The irony is not lost on me that I was glutened on St. Patrick's Day, when it's my Irish genes that have made me gluten-intolerant in the first place. Oh, genetics, you tricky bastard. Punked by DNA.