Winter is realllllll pretty when you’re not living in it.
We’ve had tons of snow days here. And I realize after this week in the news, the whole country _ even my peeps back in Texas, can relate. So, without further ado, here’s a list of thought from this week:
1. Why can’t my kids shut the damned door?
2. 2 kids + snowboots = 7 boots on the floor? That’s odd. Pun intended? Get it? cuz 7 is an odd number…
3. I’m addicted to watching the school cancellations.
4. The Omaha ice skating classes just got canceled. That’s pretty funny, right? Especially since my kids are outside right now ice skating on the driveway. Mind you, they do not have ice skates.
5. Seriously, y’all…ANOTHER snow day!? C’mon! We’ll bundle the kids up and they’ll be so cushioned if they fall on the way to school, they’ll be fine. Driving the kids to school on ice would probably go more smoothly than driving them into that mommy_road_raged parking lot on dry hot day anyways.
6. I just shoveled a path for the mailman to drive up to our mailbox. He better get my mail right and stop giving me my neighbor’s bills and court orders.
7. I’m averaging running the dish washer three times a day, folks. THREE TIMES A DAY! Is it possible for a home to be overused?
8. I just tripped over a snow boot…in the bathroom.
9. It turns out that 6 hours straight of iCarly on Hulu just isn’t enough.
10. Facebook status: “I’m taking the kids to school tomorrow. Whether it’s open or not.”
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: The World Is Going Up In Flames _ Charles Bradley
Please click here to see a little Farley video.
There are so many things to explain.
Farley was able to walk and greet guests. But it was like a 5 minute delay. And then he fell down the stairs. And the good days shrank down to good hours. About one hour a day, the dog was perky and eating. At the time, it seemed like we could help him and adapt and that it was a long process. But in hindsight, Farley’s health regressed very rapidly and we soon realized he would not be pulling out of this nor improving.
So, in a desperate effort to make sure we didn’t keep extending his pain that he was clearly toughing out, Ricardo made the dreaded appointment. And we mapped out a plan on what we would do in telling the kids. The kids, Farley once sorely resented, and now painfully protected and watched over.
We picked the kids up and explained that Farley was in pain and couldn’t walk on his own anymore and that it was time to put him down. It turns out, since I said, “They’ll give him medicine and it’ll make him go to sleep. And he won’t wake up.” For some reason Max thought he was going to sleep at the doctor’s office. Probably because that is exactly what I explained. In hind sight, that makes sense because he was not as sad as I thought. And once he realized what really happened, the emotional shit hit the fan. So, it’s my best advice to be sure not to tiptoe around the word “die” when explaining what happens to your pet.
Both Max and Lucy opted to not be present when we took Farley to the vet. JulzHOLLA! picked up my kids, cried with me, and let Ricardo and I have our last moments with our dog.
We took him in, sobbed, and told him how much we loved him and thank you for all that he’d done for us. And then Doctor very sweetly explained when we were ready it would happen quickly.
I really kinda
thought hoped that Farley would survive us putting him down, or atleast fight it a bit. Just wow the vet one more time _ maybe by standing up and start speaking in English _ probably a British accent _ “Cheerio, ol pip! You thought this would take me down? Acting like a couple of poodles are ya now?”
Sounds stupid, I know (probably the British accent) _ but I was at a low point, y’all. That, and the dog had survived getting hit by a car, quilled by a porcupine, sprayed by a skunk, ingested an entire chicken carcas, made a 7 foot jump out of a cabin after pushing an a/c unit to the side, 2 dozen tamales, 2 pounds of bakers chocolate, raisins that are apparently lethal, and he’d survived twin toddlers. So yes, for just a millisecond, I allowed myself the thought that the dog would survive euthanasia. Ricardo _ by my side_ said that would make sense if he had. But Farley did not. And our boy _ the constant in our 13 years together laid his weary head down without even a blink _ and left us.
I miss him most when I wake up in the morning. I’m usually the first to get up and I’d let him out. After taking the stairs down, he’d be exhausted. And I’d give him a happy greeting and pep talk about keep on going out to pee. You know, encouraging him to stay alive and all.
The other time my heart breaks every day is when I walk into the house and he’s not barking at me nor meeting me at the steps.
We are now being trained. Ricardo finished a yogurt and then automatically held it out so that Farley could lick it. Farley could tell by the sound and trajectory as to when we were finishing up a bowl or container of anything. So, he should have been right there for the yogurt. But he wasn’t.
It is so silly as to how much grieving we have going on here. But then, if you knew our Farley, you know, it’s not really silly at all. It’s necessary.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day from the video _ Satisfy My Soul by Bob Marley
We are deliberating the very delicate decision of when Farley’s time is up. And although we’ve seen him slow down and have mentioned him getting older for the last 4 years, it’s caught us off guard as to how fast it is happening. His age seems to have caught up with him. We are surprised to discover that Farley is indeed mortal after all. Its gotten to the point that we might have called a false alarm and texted MyDaph made her cry with a message that simply said “we were gonna have to pull the plug” only days after Christmas.
Its been a while since I’ve toyed with MyDaph’s emotions. But she’s forgiven my jumping the gun _ so to speak. A false alarm because that darn dog sprung right back. I think he hears us talking about his demise. Making plans. What do we tell the kids. He looks up at us as if to say, “I hear every effing word your saying!”
Then we got low on his arthritis medicine and had to make a decision whether to order more. We did. One more month’s worth. Sadly, we’ve switched from a month_to_month watch, to a week_to_week watch.
Then we got notification from the vet that Farley was due for his annual vaccinations. Hmmm. What to do, what to do? So we took Farley in to the vet. Our vet is the best guy ever. He knows his stuff, he knows Farley, and he knows how much we love this dog. We went to see if we were just anxious to kill our dog or what. The deal is _ the struggle is _ I do not want to extend this dogs life for me. I do not want this dog in pain. And I do not want to look down one day and realize that I’ve kept him alive two weeks, two months, two years too long. The vet said many things _ but what spoke to me most was before even examining him _ just taking one look at him _ he said “well I can tell you right now _ that dog doesn’t need any vaccination.”
Then he did this test where he had Farley stand up, which was a task, because his office has slick tile floors, and Farley’s hind quarters are not cooperating to stand up without assistance. So, Farley stands up and he rolls his paw kind of under. A healthy dog would naturally correct the foot. Farley did not on his back legs.
Today he fell down the stairs again. We have to carry him up to bed every night. But getting down the stairs in the morning has never been a problem. Until this morning. On top of all that, the most revealing moment is now he’s pooping, while laying there. And he doesn’t even know it.
Before all of this started to snowball into an inevitable decision, I remembered an author who spoke at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop _ and a book he had coming out: A Dog’s Purpose _ by W. Bruce Cameron. I really mean this, if you have a dog, get this book. It’s brilliant. And yes, it’s a novel _ for humans. But it’s simply beautiful and resounding. When I finished it, I handed it off to Ricardo. We don’t read the same books. We’ve tried to share. And when we do, it’s the only time we quit on books. But this book was the first book ever that we both read, finished, and appreciated. In many ways, it’s helped us make the very hard decisions we are coming to for our Doodle Dog, Farley _ the Wonder Dog.
When people ask me if the twins are all the kids I have, I immediately correct them with, “Well, yes, and the dog.” Farley is our family. And although our biggest concern is how Max and Lucy will deal with this, losing Farley is a tough loss for Ricardo and I. I think I can sum up what Farley means to us with one quick explanation: When Ricardo asked me to marry him, we took Farley to the park to tell him the good news. Seriously.
So, please say a prayer for us, that we make the right decisions for Farley, and for Lucy and Max.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Man of the Hour by Norah Jones
There’s work to do here. Really.
As most of you know, I like to get my co_pay’s worth out of a doctor’s visit. The closest I got to a New Year’s Resolution was giving up on all efforts and making an appointment for the dermatologist. I promised myself the next zit I get, I was calling a doctor. And lo, thar she blows right on my face. Let’s do this.
So, I called a guy and got an appointment. I hung up relieved that I kept a promise to myself and also loaded with hope that the doctor was going to tell me to eat more garlic and try homeopathic cheap remedy. Uh, right! That or he was going to try some new dramatic infusion flush under my skin to cleanse my derma. I was just starting to think FaceOff, when I realized, when I made my appointment, the chick never asked my reason for my visit. Odd. And then I remembered that FaceOff didn’t really end well.
Three weeks later, and a couple of days before my appointment, the dermatologist’s office chick calls to confirm my appointment and I say _ “Do y’all even want to know why I’m coming in?”
“Well, not unless its something really weird.” I swear to you, that is exactly what she said.
Slight pause and then me,
“Well _ its not weird to me but I’m gonna tell ya anyway. I want smooth pretty glowy acne_ free skin. And I want it all done right away and I want my insurance to cover it.”
And the chick laughed. Apparently it was weird.
Granted I enjoy making people laugh and all but this time, I’m half serious about it.
I get in to my appointment and they suggest that part of the routine visit is a skin check for sunspots, moles, freckles, you know _ skin cancer.
Now I’m sitting in a waiting room with a robe on for mole check 2011. What the hell just happened?
How did I go from making my face pretty to taking my pants off? Well, this is how it starts in Hollywood, I’m sure, but I’m in the Big O,y’all. Still, I’m flattered. I’ll show him. Poor guy. I was just going in for him to make my face pretty. So, when they said a full body skin check, I realized I didn’t even have my pretty undies on. Or atleast the common courtesy of briefs.
So, when the doctor goes to sell me his products, I’ll listen. Because he had to see stuff that he, nor I’d planned on. Dimply white pasty butt kind of stuff. When I get naked with my man, I turn the lights off and then _ just in case that level of pasty white glows in the dark _ I get under the covers. I spare my husband. But the doctor was literally blind_sided.
Once again, I got my co_pay’s worth and then some.
Song of the day: Poker Face _ Lady Gaga
A few years ago, I wrote about my take on a shooter here in Omaha at a mall. It was a very disconnected take. And although the recent events at Millard South High School down the road, did not involve me directly, with my kids in school, and on LOCKDOWN, I venture into the new found change of being connected with a shooter. Please know, that this did not occur at our kids’ elementary school _ it was at the high school 5 blocks away.
We’ve had several talks with the kids in the last few hours about facts versus rumors and gossip and irresponsible news reporting. But I guess when you’re 8 years old, and wedged into the safety corner with 20 other 8_year_olds for almost an hour, imaginations and speculation begins. Ofcourse, I actually saw a tv reporter say on the air, “Well I heard he….” and then “Back to you Suzy.” Uggh. Here’s what we know.
About 8:30 Wednesday morning _ the first day back from holiday break _ this kid and another student, decided to do donuts with his car on the practice football field. They tore it up. So, the school found out who did it, and suspended the boys. Both kids left the campus. Well, it turns out this kids’ dad is an Omaha police detective. I’m guessing, he was probably not really excited to go home and tell daddy what happened. He’s only been at this high school for a month _ transferred from Lincoln. So, at lunch time, the kid (just the one) comes back with a gun _ it’s presumed it was his dad’s gun _and walks into the assistant principal’s office who had the audacity to suspend him, bothers to shut the door a bit, and shoots her twice at point blank range. The principal comes in to see what’s going on, and the kid shoots him three times on his way out. There have been sporadic reports that he continued to fire the gun in the commons on the way out. Since he got away, they locked down all of the schools in the district.
Max and Lucy called it “Code Red” _ they piled into a corner of their classroom for an hour while police searched for this kid_ now a shooting suspect. Within minutes, they found the car. The kid had parked a few blocks from the school, bothered to update his facebook status with apologies and how his new school had driven him to do this, then shot and killed himself. Once they figured out who it was and that there were no more shooters, they took all other schools off “Code Red”. It was about 1:55. School gets out at 2p. There was a point where they didn’t know if the guy was working alone or the poor other kid who did the donuts with him was as mad about it as he was and in on it. So, that poor kid, they had to find him and probably scared the bajeezus out of him over what he thought was just doing donuts in the football field. The assistant principal died later that night. The principal is in stable condition. No one else was physically hurt.
The school backs up to the subdivision we live in. Helicopters hovered all afternoon. Police cars combed the neighborhood. I was out of the house all day, and had only one text from Ricardo that said there was a shooter at the school, but they found him. As I waited in the parking lot to pick up the kids, I received an automated call from the district letting me know that the schools had been on lockdown, but were going to be getting out at their regular time today. That was two minutes until school got out.
I picked up Max and Lucy from school and asked them each for hugs. They seemed to know why and that I needed a hug. They could probably use one too, and they obliged. As I took them home, helicopters circled above us. It still didn’t feel safe, so I asked them to stay home and inside. Again, they were happy to oblige.
My kids seem fine. As a matter of fact, they’ve both decided on their own that if approached by fellow students on this topic, they will simply say they don’t want to talk about it. I think the rumors and gossip talk stuck with them and they don’t want to fuel that fire, nor do they want to be sucked into it.
On another side of this happening, I was just having a conversation with my pal today about this new generation of kids who feel they are entitled. In the academic circles and attempts to understand and update new students, entitled seems to be the buzz word. That should be their tag _ The Generation of Entitlement. It’s frustrating just as a part_time instructor. I swear to you, I’ve gotten three emails from students wanting to know when they are supposed to COME BACK TO CLASS. Seriously? I was a solid C student, and I had no gumption as to contact my instructor and not only out myself of my incredible lack of self_accountability, but to also suggest to that professor that it was his or her responsibility to answer that question for me. On another account of emails, when I explained to a student that it was not my responsibility to fill him in on what he missed in my class, he countered that indeed, it was my responsibility to teach. I explained that I teach in class. He wrote back that he was just kidding and likes to test his teachers. I was not impressed and explained that to him. And when I won’t answer the questions they should know, they can’t seem to know when class is but they know who my boss is and her phone number. Not their dean, but my boss. They seem to track that information down just fine on their own. This is all such a small fraction of the depths of what happened today at that high school.
I can’t imagine how a high school administrator disciplines any kid and lets them leave campus and thinks “Okay, well that went well. I’m sure he/she has learned his/her lesson.” It’s frightening. Enough that someone who did hold that kid accountable for his actions was shot and killed today.
Max and Lucy have talked a lot today and asked really great questions. We are doing our best to answer honestly. Sadly, most of our honest answers are “I don’t know yet. We have to wait and see.” Still, I’ve asked both of them if they felt safe today, and they both said yes.And then Lucy on the way to school today explained that she wore comfy clothes, just in case they are in a Code Red again.
What has happened here, in my opinion as a very outside party, is that this kid just thought it would be cool and hilarious to do donuts on the football field. He never thought about being caught, about any disciplinary action. “If I do this, then what could potentially happen?” never crossed his mind. So, anything in the aftermath, to him, was unfair. Because it’s not what he wanted to happen. So, it must be unfair.
We’ve explained to Max and Lucy that if they get in trouble, they will deal with any discipline and consequence, and we will love them even when they get in trouble. That we will not bail them out of trouble, but we’ll help them see where they made a bad choice and figure out how to fix it.
That particular talk was not out of the assumption that this kid was bailed out by his parents, but from the themed lack of accountability examples I get from some of my college students. And no, they are not all like that. But it is apparent that it has to be addressed each term.
I cannot imagine how this kids’ mother and father feel or what they must have been going through with their kid before all of this happened. The students at the school, the administration, to walk in and be re_assured that school is safe.
So, today, I say this _ hug your kids. Discipline them. Then hug them again. Teach them to be accountable. And then hold yourself accountable for your actions. Then hug your kids again.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) by Jason Mraz
I’m only blogging on this because I’ve been in constant laughter for the past 17 minutes. I’m trying to think of sad puppies to stop laughing and end the pain in my abdomen. It’s not working. Now I’m laughing at sad puppies. It’s weighing on my over zealous ab workout I did earlier today.
The kids have been unusually rambunctious. Perhaps it’s the 17 pounds of candy that Santa left in the stockings. Or the lack of discipline that the school has irresponsibly discounted what with this holiday break and all. I mean really 20 days for a break? Five would have been sufficient, y’all. So, the kids have been crazy. And they’ve been getting along. It’s refreshing and eerie, all at once. When they unite in force, I hide in the closet with Ricardo’s sonic boom ear plugs that he uses when he goes to dirt track races. For the record, the ear plugs cancel out the noise of 20 modified race cars. They don’t get near canceling out the decibels of the Max and Lucy show.
Today, Ricardo and I just opted to stop fighting it, and let ‘em go. For five hours. Imagine, if you will, immersion therapy. It would be a close second what we survived today. But we did it.
And we counted down the minutes and then seconds until they were forced to read.
“Can we read to you!?”
Dreamcrusher (that’s me): “NO WAY!”
So, they stall for a while, and then succumb to the pressures of reading in silence. I’m so mean, I know.
Ricardo turns on some football and we start chatting. Very important information,
Him: “Hey, there’s your boyfriend.”
Me: “My Bobby (Costas)?”
Him: “Do you even listen to what he says.”
Me: “Yep. Whatever he says is the absolute truth.”
Him: “Oh God.”
And then Max chimes in with, “Uh, can you two guys talk quieter, I’m trying to READ in here.”
In my head I say, “Now you know how we feel, chump.”
But instead, Ricardo called out to Max, “Hello pot, I’m kettle. You’re black!”
Then Max retreated to his room because I was laughing so loud. I’d show him where my closet and the ear plugs are, ut I’m paralyzed with laughter.
That’s how we roll.
Song of the Day: Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez