Wednesday, July 30, 2014


13 years ago, The Hubs and I decided our family needed a dog.  He was still just The Boyfriend back in the day and he was still navigating a never ending divorce along with the older girls who seemed to be wrapped up in it no matter how hard we tried to keep them protected from it all.  We thought having a little ball of happy puppy fluff to come home to (when they came to our house) would do them good.  I had a very specific idea of what I wanted.  And I know you're not surprised that I'd made a list:

  1. Must be good with kids.  - In the middle of a divorce the last thing we needed was an aggressive dog!
  2. Must be short hair. Honestly folks, we live in So Cal, on top of make the poor pup suffer in this heat, I didn't want to be cleaning up dog hair for days.
  3. No drool.  Seriously, this was a deal breaker.  I don't like animals to lick me, but drool? Yeah, no.
  4. On the smaller size.  Do any of you remember that my house is like the size of a suitcase?  I wanted a dog who wouldn't take up all of the living room just by lying down.

We discussed these items.  We all agreed.  And then we started searching the local humane society website DAILY for our new little addition.  We looked for a long time before an adorable face popped up along with his two brothers - one of who was a bleu, and the list kinda went out the window.  As an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, we were sure he'd be good with the kids - both herd dogs and watch dogs he wouldn't be aggressive.  And, he wasn't a drooler.  I expected him to be on the small side due to his mixed breed, but no. Our dog ended up being HUGE, and clearly he wasn't a short hair, but at least I got 2 of my 4 wish list items right? Oh and they were all so pretty, so I called The Boyfriend and had him rush down to the humane society.  By the time he got there, our pups two brothers had long waiting lists, but not our boy.  He was clearly waiting for us.  The Boyfriend put our names on the list and we figured we'd have him home before Christmas.  Little did we know...

A few weeks after we were assured to get him, we got a phone call from the Humane Society letting us know his brother (the bleu) had come down with Parvo.  A very contagious and deadly disease.  All three pups were being quarantined just in case. So, we waited.  We hoped the phone WOULDN'T ring because that would mean he still hadn't come down with the disease.  Then we heard the news the blue hadn't made it and we all held our breath.  It was agony waiting to see, but six weeks later, we finally were allowed to pick up our pup, who by now was much bigger than we'd anticipated.

Our pup has gone on camping trips, grocery runs, and hikes.  He's slept on the floor in each of the kids rooms often wandering from room to room to check on everyone (including us!) as the night wore on. Although I will say here, that he was way more LW's dog than anyone else. She was most definitely his person.  

He was our watch dog, sure to alert us if anyone came to the house or just got too close.  He patiently put up with first the two cats with Jack playing head of house and then later when he was much older still patiently put up with our two new kittens (now 2 years old).  As the years wore on, he started having a lot of trouble with his hips and couldn't get around as well as he used to, but he still LOVED a good roll in the grass.  

It transformed him back into the little puppy we all remembered.

Yesterday, our pup's old age finally caught up to him, and he passed - I believe - peacefully in his sleep - doing what he did best, guarding us all.  We had 13 amazing years with our boy - 13 years of loving and being loved.  We hope he's at the rainbow bridge with Jack who left us a year ago tomorrow, just waiting for the rest of us before starting our next adventure together. We already miss you.  


Friday, April 4, 2014

That Girl!

Every Wednesday, The Tweedles' school sends home a folder with all sorts of announcements and important notices (field trip slips, after school programs and the like).  This past Wednesday, Bunny had an extra little orange slip tucked into her Wednesday Folder.

So today, I hauled myself out of bed, showered and put on actual clothes to take my kids to school.  At car line drop off no one sees your jammies.  And because I had to do all that actual getting ready stuff that I normally put off until around 11 when I take a break from my day job, we were late.  So picture the three of us.. parked two blocks away from the school because kids with parents who aren't lazy have taken all the closer spots.. sprinting - DOWN HILL - backpacks flying - to make it in time for the Friday Assembly. I'm surprised no one broke a leg to be honest - but I did tell them not to fall and they should always listen to their mother.  Parenting at it's finest people!

Bunny started to suspect something was up when I didn't drop them off at car line.  She got more suspicious when I followed her down to the lower playground for assembly.  This was the face she gave me when her teacher mentioned how glad she was I was able to make it.

Clearly the cat was out of the bag.  She kept bouncing and laughing and hugging me. 

I'm surprised she didn't take the microphone out of the principals hands and launch into an Oscar speech. But she kept it cool.  "Yeah, I got an award.  I'm cool." Yep, she's That Girl.

The award incidentally is for Excellence in Math.  I could not be more proud.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Remains of Spring Break

Spring Break is over and The Tweedles are back in school.  This is what it looked like after drop-off this morning.

Okay, not really.  And actually, I admit to being a little sad that it's over.  The Tweedles and I had a pretty good time after a rather rough start.  

There was some time at the beach to play in the waves.

Play in the sand.

And get a little wind blown..

and water logged.

And then we went to an Army/Navy store and this happened.

And of course, not to be outdone by his sister, this happened.

There was a lot more fun including movie nights (Frozen and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2), pool time, games, hanging out, staying up late, Armenian dinner with family and lots and lots of giggles, but I was too busy enjoying it all to take photos.  All in all, not a bad Spring Break.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An Exercise in Persistence

When the economy turned 5.5 years ago, The Hubs managed to hang onto his job for multiple rounds of layoffs until the final one in August 2008.

Wow, let me just process that for a second. 2008.

Anyway, he lost his job but got a pretty nice severance package that we both were pretty sure would hold our household together until he got a new job.  Little did we know.  After sending out what felt like a bajillion (yes, that's a technical term) resumes with no resulting job offers we knew we were going to be in trouble.  At this point I'd like to tell you it was out of some sort of insight into the current job market or a real understanding of the state of the economy and the projections for the next five years that prompted me to encourage The Hubs to go to college (his first time ever) and get his undergraduate degree.  I'd LIKE to tell you that, but really just him being home all the time bored out of his mind was getting on my nerves.  I did it out of self preservation because if he didn't get out of the house and do something, anything, it was going to get ugly up in our house. The Hubs will never be allowed to retire.

Regardless of the reason, he enrolled in the local community college full-time with the intention of just getting an AA/AS so he could put 'some college' on his resume.  He graduated in 2011 with both associates degrees and with no change in the job market he enrolled in a local University to finish up his degree in Computer Information Systems.  Somewhere along the way, he decided to dual major with International Business which we knew was going to push out his graduation time, but we both felt like the Computer major combined with the Business major would give him even more job opportunities in this very uncertain economy.

For 4 years, with the help of student loans, unemployment, a few government programs, and a lot of extra contract work on my part, he'd managed to stay focused just on school.  For the last year and a half though, when all of that ran dry, he was forced to not only work a full time job, but also attend school full time in an attempt to finally complete all the credits required for his degree.  It's been an exercise in persistence for not just him, but our whole family.  And a pretty good example for both the older girls and the younger kids about what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

I am happy to report, The Hubs has just completed his last final for his last class.  He has finally completed all the required courses for his degree.  His official Graduation Ceremony won't be until the end of Spring but I can't begin to express how proud we all are of him, of all of his hard work, his persistence and his commitment to do what he needed to benefit all of us.

Congratulations Hubs.. You did it!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, March 17, 2014


This morning was the first official day of Spring Break.  The kids and I have a plan pulled together where Bunny will complete her book report project Monday through Wednesday and Bug will leave her alone long enough to do it.  As a reward, we'll take ourselves down to a friend's house who has access to a pool (and wifi so I can work) for Thursday and Friday.  This was the plan. However, several unplanned things have come up and again, I can't stress this enough, we're only on the FIRST DAY of Spring Break.

The first unplanned event was a 4.7 (downgraded to 4.4) earthquake that rocked us awake at 6:25 this morning.  I was NOT amused.

The second unplanned event... well, let me give you a little background. Bunny adores her older sister GG.  ADORES.  She watches her put on make-up every chance she gets.  Watches her do her hair and pick out outfits.  Bunny loves every bit of it. So, this afternoon Bunny decided she wanted to put on eyeliner just like big sister GG.  She didn't talk to me about it first.  Clearly, at 8 years old, she doesn't have eyeliner.  So what's the next logical step in Bunny's head?  Marker.

Yes.. you read that right. Marker.

It's only the FIRST DAY of Spring Break.

Someone save me.

Seriously... Thoughts?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Q&A:How Well Do you Know Me? Bug - Age 6, Bunny Age 8

A very good friend of mine has been asking her kids the same questions every few years for awhile now, and I loved it SOOOOO much, I thought I would shamelessly steal her idea (question for question even!). It is really interesting to see how the answers have changed as her kids have gotten a little older.  So I'll probably do this again, even if just for my own amusement, in another year or two.

But today, for your amusement, read below a Q&A session with The Tweedles about how well they know me. And honestly, they're not too far off on most of these. Enjoy!

1. What is something I always say to you?
Bunny: I love you.
Bug: I love you.

2. What makes me happy?
Bunny: When I don't mess around when I'm doing my chores.
Bug: Playing outside with us.

3. What makes me sad?
Bunny: When I yell at you and say mean things about you.
Bug: Maybe when we don't win the lottery.

4. How do I make you laugh?
Bunny: Tickles
Bug: Funny Faces

5. What was I like as a child?
Bunny: Good.
Bug: Friendly

6. How old am I?
Bunny: 39?
Bug: Yeah, this is hard - 25?

7. How tall am I?
Bunny: Really tall - like 5 or 6 feet tall.
Bug: Okay that's more harder - 25"

8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Bunny: Read books and play.
Bug: Read- that one's not even hard.

9. What do I do when you're not around?
Bunny: Read and work.
Bug: work

10. If I becomes famous, what will it be for?
Bunny: For making a book.
Bug: Dollars!

11. What am I really good at?
Bunny: Reading! That was easy!
Bug: Reading.

12. What am I not very good at?
Bunny: Hmm.. Basketball.
Bug: Hmm.. let's see here - running.

13. What do I do for my job?
Bunny:  Architect?
Bug: Work so you can get money.

14. What is my favorite food?
Bunny: Kit Kats
Bug: Deer meat.

15. What makes you proud of me?
Bunny: When you say I love you.
Bug: When you get $100 from your work.

16. If I was a cartoon character, who would I be?
Bunny: Wendy from Peter Pan
Bug: Cinderella

17. What do you and I like to do together?
Bunny: Snuggle, read, play.
Bug: Can you give me a hint? Hmm - Snuggle!

18. How are we the same?
Bunny: We both have blue eyes and we both like painting our nails and we both have blond hair.
Bug: We both get goosebumps.

19. How are we different?
Bunny: You're taller than me and get to do bigger things.
Bug: You jog and I run.

20. How do you know I love you?
Bunny: Because normally you just say it and hug me and do nice things.
Bug: Because you give me kisses.

21. Where is my favorite place to go?
Bunny: Ooooh.. the Farm!
Bug: Easy - The Farm!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Another Day At The Beach

Hat? Check.
Shorts? Check.
Field trip t-shirt? Check.
Sun block? Curious George Pink - because pink is cool mom - Flip flops? Packed lunch with store bought ham sandwich because they're way better than homemade?  Check. Check. Check.

It's just another day at the beach for this kid.