Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

Last week with the extra girls around, I had a pretty good time being the "fun" aunt. No, I didn't let them get away with anything they wouldn't do at home. I'm very consistent with my behavior expectations, even to my nieces and nephews. I just find it is SO much easier to do nice things for kids when you expect them to be nice in return. Kids will always rise to meet your expectations.

I didn't get to do everything I wanted to last week. There were a few days in a row of "bad days" that messed with my mellow, but I did get to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun, sleepover craziness, and special treats with the houseful of girls that I had. My only regret is that I didn't remember to catch every single moment on film. I got a few pictures, but not nearly enough. I need to be better about that.... all these golden moments slipping away. My memory is so horrible that I almost rely on photographic evidence to piece together the fun times I've had. Maybe someday soon I will be less afraid to actually GET IN the picture. Maybe after another 30 or so pounds are gone...

Now that the kids are back to school, the house is settling back into the routine of "normalcy" again. My days are much more active than they used to be now that I have Daisy to look after. I get at least 15 minutes of walks in - even on a bad day. On a good day, I might walk her 1/2 a mile or more. While the main responsibility usually falls to LH, I don't mind the excuse to get moving. The darn scale must have been glued because it still won't budge downward a bit, but I am improving every day with less pain and more energy.

Something occurred to me today while I was out running errands with Daisy wagging happily in the back seat - having Daisy with us feels very natural. She fits into our life very well and the kids say it feels like she has always been with us. She does things that R.O. never did, like play fetch with squeaky toys, go for rides in the car just for fun, or curl up on the couch with us. Just thinking of that, though, brought back the pain of missing him so distinctly that it was as if we had come home to his dog tags on the door just yesterday. I had a dream this morning about all the old things of my past and while I couldn't SEE him in the dream, I knew he was there.

It feels odd to miss a pet so much. Growing up, we never had a pet for more than a few years or so and there was never much ceremony about getting one or losing one. Having R.O. for 10 years, though... he was a part of my life longer than one of my kids. He was such an easy and laid back dog, that sometimes I wouldn't think about him being there. Now that he is gone, though, I feel like I wasted all the time I could have been playing with him. I regret that I didn't groom him more, which caused him to scratch, which caused me to be irritated with his fidgeting. I wasn't a very good pet owner, I don't think, leaving him home overnight while we went out of town. I guess I'm just going through the normal grieving process, and it doesn't really hurt any less that it was my pet I lost instead of a human. It isn't on my mind as often, but it is just as painful. I try to be comforted at the thought of him running through the fields in heaven, herding sheep like a work dog should, his fur is thick and shiny, and enjoying all the DQ fries he can eat.

I have to put my sadness aside for now. The kids are home from school and there is homework to be finished, chores to be done, walks to be had, and dinner to be ... attempted. (I'm still not sure what we're having.) On this rainy, windy day I hope each of you is blessed with a fresh breeze of the new season to come.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So many new things...

The reason I haven't been posting much is because I've been too darn busy! We got a new four-footed addition to our family - Miss Daisy Mae - and I've had my hand full helping everyone get used to having a doggie around again. She's part lab, part terrier (probably corgi) and she is just the sweetest little thing. She is small, which is awesome for many reasons, and she is pretty well house trained, nicely crate trained, and is an absolute dream to walk. The walking thing is a big deal for me, because I walk her about half the time. She is technically LH's pet because it was her friend that gave her to us and because she had known LH longer than any of us. The rest of the family pitches in their fair share, but by the way she follows LH around everywhere and sleeps in her room, we all know who Daisy's favorite is. I'm ok with this. I have wanted a boxer puppy for the longest time, and I still plan on getting one eventually. So, LH can keep Daisy and I'll keep looking for a wrestling buddy for DH and a jogging buddy for me. Ok, maybe not jogging... but at least a dog that wants to take longer strolls than just around the cul de sac.

Other than adopting Daisy, things have been pretty busy elsewhere in the house, too. We are into Spring Break right now so I have taken one of my nieces for the week. Awesome is around the same age as EG and TD, so it is kind of like having triplets instead of twins running around. I've been trying to find all sorts of thing to keep them busy, like living room forts, sidewalk chalk art, and trips to the park. I still have a few days left of this week and I am running out of cheap/free/low mess ideas, so any suggestions you all have would be greatly appreciated. Did I mention I would rather they be outside or quiet? Yeah... especially quiet.

While trying to keep my own sanity intact, I have been hanging out on Pintrest a WHOLE bunch and I have some really great ideas and inspirations in the works. DH and I have overhauled and dejunked the craft area so there is plenty of room to work and most of our supplies are within easy reach. My biggest issue now is that the overhead light in the office/craft room has gone on the fritz so the amount of light I have in the most comfortable place to sit is limited. We will have to call in a contractor to get the light fixed so I really have no idea how long it will be before I can craft at my desk again. Anyone know any really good and really cheap electricians?

I get to cut this short now since Daisy needs to go out AGAIN and the "triplets" are about to rip each other apart over "singing and judging each other" while they attempt to (poorly) help with the dishes.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it...

Deb "The Crazy Aunt" Lollar 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Year Older ...

Saturday was my birthday and for once, it didn't suck. In fact, it didn't even come close to sucky. Actually, the past few weeks have been pretty darn good.

Now, I don't normally expect to get birthday presents and I'm ok with that. In my house we have made a tradition of birthdays being about having fun and spending time with family and friends. For the kids, there are usually one or two small gifts, but they aren't really the highlight of the day and I like it that way. Besides that my birthday is barely two months after Christmas, so I generally don't have a wish list yet. This year all I asked for was that I could go to a salon for a hair make-over. In November, right before my littlest sister got married, I put a "temporary" red wash in my hair to spice things up a bit. Nearly four months later it was still there but faded and rather ugly (think across between tomato juice and orange crayons.) I knew I would need professional help to take care of it so a week or so ago I found an excellent salon nearby and managed to get a same-day appointment with their top colorist. The stylist was amazing and I don't think my hair has looked this good in years! It cost plenty (as I knew it would) but you really do get what you pay for. Even though it was a few weeks early, I counted it as my birthday gift and I thought that would be it for me this year.
Imagine my surprise when both my husband AND my father presented me with gifts a few days later! First, DH went out and found the small handheld sewing machine that I have been looking at since I bought WP one for Christmas. I had the choice of opening it then or waiting until my actual birthday, but I couldn't wait and I've already used it twice. A few days later, WP drove down to hang out for the day and brought me a really awesome yarn and ribbon rack that he made himself out of PVC. Again, it was early, but of course, I didn't mind!

If nothing else happened to commemorate my birthday, I would be just fine with it, but things kept getting better. My favorite Native American Pow Wow of the year just happened to fall on my birthday this year and we all planned on going. Friday night, however, DH told me that he wanted to take me out for dinner since we wouldn't be able to do anything but the pow wow on my actual birthday. LH had a friend stay overnight so we left TD and EG with them and had a child free night without having to pay for a sitter! We had a nice, quiet evening out enjoying dinner, drinks, and dessert without kiddos in two. No public humiliation or waitstaff singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of their lungs. Just an incredible dinner paired with the perfect wine and delicious dessert to wrap it up.

The next morning I got to sleep in without interruption and I woke up refreshed and ready to take on the world. DH always has a lot to do to get ready for a pow wow but the morning was free for me. So, I took the opportunity to do a little bit of shopping FOR MYSELF!!!! Boy did I need it, too! I was down to one pair of jeans (without holes in conspicuous places), two pair of gym shorts, and a handful of t-shirts. With the little bit of weight I managed to lose over the last month I haven't really dropped a dress size or anything, but I have built up my self esteem enough that I want to look halfway decent when I leave the house.

I drove out to my favorite department store - the one with the awesome petite section - and took my time searching through the clearance section for great deals. I found plenty! I even treated myself to some new foundation wear and some comfy (yet stylish) sneakers. It feels so wonderful to have clothes that fit comfortably, are flattering to my figure instead of covering me up, and are even fashionable and classy. The new bra makes me look at least five pounds thinner! Between the new hair do and the fabulous wardrobe I feel like I won an extreme makeover!

The rest of the day was just perfect, as well. I got home just in time to help everyone braid their hair (it's traditional to wear braids with your pow wow regalia.) I wore one of my new outfits and felt like a million bucks. The girls were all in great moods and everyone had a good time dancing and eating fry bread and scrambling for candy. At the end of the night, we even managed to get the girls (and the husband) changed and out the door before the last of the vendors had packed up. Normally we are the LAST ones out of the building. The girls were exhausted from all the fun so we had no trouble getting them to bed and they even slept in the next morning.

We wrapped up the weekend with a slow day. The weather was just amazing outside so the kids got to go out and run off some cabin fever and DH got to take care of some work in the garage. Unfortunately, I was right in the middle of rearranging the office when The Migraine hit. I figured a perfect weekend was too much to pay for. I guess I had to pay somehow for all the fun I had. I was SO frustrated! After being so happy and energetic it felt awful to have to crawl into bed and cover up my head. I was in too much pain to consider anything else. I did, however, have a few more weapons in my arsenal than I usually do. I don't take any of the meds that are specifically made to combat migraines anymore because the side effects end up being as bad as the migraine. Instead, I used the TENS Unit that Dr The Mann gave me and it actually worked! It wasn't a quick fix; it took a few hours to get the pain to go completely away. The fact that it DID go away was miraculous! I don't know if this will work for every headache, but I am going to try this first from now on. Today I still have a bit of a headache, but it is bearable compared to what it was like yesterday.

So that was how my birthday weekend went. How did you spend your time? Did you have awesome weather like we did here in Texas? Let me know!

Deb Lollar