Friday, March 15, 2013


Last Sunday we got a phone call from Guiding Eyes saying that a 14 week old yellow male lab was available immediately if we wanted him.  He had been sick with a urinary tract infection when the rest of his litter was tested and kind of forgotten after that.  After learning some more about him we decided that an older puppy would mean less housebreaking and he would have had all of his shots so he could be taken anywhere, including to work with me, which was a bonus.  Tuesday night we met the van and got our sweet Baldwin.  We knew he was a bit "soft" which meant that he was more of a cuddler and less hard headed than some of the puppies which sounds great, and it is for a pet, but guide dogs need to be super confident and even a bit stubborn.  But he was good enough to pass his initial tests so he has the potential, we just need to work extra hard to pull that out of him by building his confidence.  He slept great that first night but was having accidents all over the place the next day.  For a moment Jeremy and I asked what we had gotten ourselves into, but lo and behold Baldwin started to feel more at home and didn't have any accidents yesterday or today.  He is super gentle with the kids, in fact, the dog he watched a few weeks ago was much more active and playful and the kids were almost disappointed that Baldwin wasn't as much.  He will lay next to Gavin while he reads to him, Mason isn't afraid he will jump up on him, and Cameron could throw a ball for him all day long.  Jeremy loves to play hide and seek with him and I just just love to snuggle him.  He fell asleep when I held him like a baby yesterday and I was in heaven.  He is learning commands so quickly and you can tell he really wants to please you.  We love him!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Naked Truth

We went to the zoo on Saturday.  I had the best intentions of getting the kids out in the beautiful weather (60 and sunny after all that snow!) and going to enjoy something I thought everyone would like.  Jeremy told me after our trip there that I would post some pictures on my blog and talk about what a wonderful time we had even though it wasn't all roses because I just want to remember the good parts.  And he's right.  I do pick out the good parts and omit the bad in the hopes that one day my kids will have fond memories of the things we did when they were little.  But this time I will give it to you straight.  Gavin has been begging to go to the zoo.  He is on a real animal kick right now, reading all sorts of books about different mammals and spouting out facts every chance he gets.  We didn't leave for the zoo until 1 pm because Jeremy was helping some people in our ward move, which was sweet of him, but I had hoped to get there much earlier.  Mason fell asleep for the last 15 minutes of our ride which meant we had to wake him up when we finally got there.  I warned Cameron and Gavin that mason may not be in the best of moods and to please, please, tread softly with him so we could all have a peaceful time.  I asked all the kids to pick an animal that they wanted to see. Cameron picked the elephants, Mason picked a black bear, and Gavin could not decide between the cheetahs or the howler monkeys.  Mason was groggy, but we were all very careful not to set him off, it was like tiptoeing on an area littered with landmines.  First we entered the think tank which was a building with two orangutans that you could play tug of war with through the glass!  Mason was not impressed.  The smell hit him first and he refused to get over it.  Then we went to see the lions and tigers and Mason was already complaining about all the walking...  Every time we went into another building Mason thought it was stinky and uninteresting, while Gavin tried to soak everything in as we rushed him through.  Cameron was such a great big brother, trying to entertain Mason and distract him, and even hold him up so he could see the snakes and cockroaches better.  We made a giant detour to see the elephants only to be disappointed that they weren't out enjoying the weather like everyone else, and we had to walk uphill clear to the other side of the park to see the cheetahs, which truly were pretty amazing and even got to hear one of the zookeepers talk about them which was an added bonus to the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth we got from number three.  You know it has been several years since we have been to the zoo and I was so thrilled that this time we would not need a stroller, but I think we all may have enjoyed ourselves more if I would have brought one for Mr. Grumps.  It took us over an hour and a half to get home due to some unexpected traffic, and by the end I was wondering why I ever take my kids anywhere at all.  This summer I've decided to do a day trip with each of my boys going somewhere they are really interested in.  Cameron wants to go to the museum of Engraving and Printing where they make money, Gavin wants to go to the aquarium or maybe back to the zoo so he can watch the animals some more, and Mason?  I think I might just take him to the movies...  Truth be told it was not the day I had hoped it would be but at least there is some evidence that we tried to do something, even if it wasn't pretty.  Gavin still had a good time so in the end it was worth it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snow, glorious SNOW!

The Farmer's Almanac said we would get big time snow this year.  So of course, with this reliable information we stocked up on sleds and snow gear and waited for the big storm.  We had a couple of piddly ones early in the season, but never enough to even cover the grass.  The day after Christmas we pretended there was enough to go sledding but barely.  I think I get just as giddy for a snow day as my kids and as March approached we had given up on our snowy winter.  I knew better than to believe the weathermen when they started predicting this weeks snow, they had already let us down several times this year.  But as Wednesday approached it seemed more and more likely that we might actually get some of that white stuff.  Wednesday was also Jeremy's birthday and I could not even put into words how happy I'd be if he had to stay home on his special day- and the kids too!  Wednesday morning finally arrived and with it the snow, there was no disappointment this time, we got about 8 inches before it started raining and melting it away.  Well we took full advantage and sled not only in our backyard, but twice at grandmas house, and built two snowmen and had a glorious snowball fight.  It was heaven.  We drank more hot chocolate that I would care to admit and snuggled up as a family, celebrating the snow and the birth of a very special man.  It was absolutely perfect.  Now spring can come and I will feel satisfied.

Oh, and Mason had a preschool program all about having a healthy heart.  He learned all about blood vessels and healthy eating and exercise.  He even chastised me for not buying whole grain pasta.  We'll see how long these new habits last!