Friday, December 21, 2012

Our Christmas Eve

Today is our Christmas at home.  Santa is coming tonight and we are doing our family Christmas tomorrow morning.  John mentioned exchanging ONE present tonight and the kids are all excited about that.  (Although I don't know if they will still have the excitement once they see what I'm letting them open....more of a "needed" gift rather than a fun one.)

I'm all done wrapping presents....Santa needs to catch up though, I hear.  My fingers are sore right now though from all the tape tearing so I think I'm going to lay down and read whilst eating a snickers.

I have to go register Hans for his next puppy class today too.  The instructor said if I did it before Christmas, she'd knock $20 off the class price.  This one will be with a different pet store.  The trainer is pretty crass and rough, but I kind of like that when it comes to the dogs.  No nonsense training, I guess.  We go to her free puppy play time twice a week to meet other large breed puppies.  Every time we go to the pet store we get the same "Oh my, he's going to be a BIG dog!"  I don't think their definition and my definition of "big" are the same.  I mean, we didn't want a 10 pound dog.  We were shooting for 40-60 pounds and if he ends up being close to 70, that's ok.  To most people, I guess that's a BIG dog...especially around the metro.  But to me, it's what we were going for. 

I just weighed Hans, and he's weighing in at 29 pounds.  He turned 14 weeks on Wednesday.  There's an old wives tale that you can double the weight at 14 weeks and that's what they will be at a year.  (I had heard 16 weeks too....)  So spose that means like 58-65?  Assuming he might gain another 5 pounds in the next 2 weeks.....

We got a call from the crass trainer on Tuesday night asking if Hans could come in to play with a 4 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever who was having trouble socializing.  Katie and I took Hans in and the trainer worked with both of them for almost an hour.  Boy, this other puppy had some issues.  Seemed he's only played with their much older dog, and obviously puppies play a LOT different.  He was very aggressive toward Hans, which freaked  the other owner out.  It didn't freak me out at all - it was actually really interesting and good for Hans to find out that other dogs have limits.  You can't just play, play, play as hard as you want to.  Sometimes it's good for him to be told by another dog - cut it out!

Anyway - she'd grab Hans by the collar saying she didn't want her dog to hurt him.  I told her not to worry about it - I trusted the trainer and she would take the steps to make sure both dogs were safe.  She kept calling her dog a "brat" and a "bad dog".  Finally, the trainer had to send her out of the training area to just walk to store because her tension was freaking the dog out.  It was interesting because after she was about 20 feet away - he was a different dog.  Still timid, but actually ran around and played a bit.  We always knew when she was close because the dog would go back to his old habits.  I guess it's very similar to moms and kids.....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Funny...a little early

I needed a good laugh today as I wait and wait for the weekend to finally get here and have enerything crossed off my to-do list.

...and oh, what the's another one.  Merry Christmas. :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Alright....I'll try

Here goes.  I know that I don't have anything close to words of wisdom or insight into what happened in Connecticut last week.  In fact, I probably know less about it than many of you do.  Because of the young children in my home I kept the TV off on Friday, and John and I did not let them watch TV for most of the weekend. 

(I think they did watch some of Elf on Sunday night....seeing Will watch "the burp scene" is about as good as it gets.  He almost fell off his chair in fits of giggles.)

I tried to keep up with developments on my ipod on Friday.  Then on Saturday night they started releasing info about the victims.  I think I read one story about a teacher and one little girl named Emily, and I lost it.  The tears filled my eyes so much I couldn't continue to read the words. 

By Sunday afternoon John had taken the kids into his office so that he could grab some work for at home.  I was getting ready to bake cookies for the neighbors and the office staff at Katie and Will's schools.  I thought - I'll try it again, this time I'll have the TV on and listen to some stories about the victims.  This time it was about Jessica.  The parents were having a hard time explaining to her little brother why his sister wasn't at home to play with him.  That's it.  That's all it took and I had to shut off the TV and it was 10 minutes of sobbing before I could go about baking in silence. 

That's nothing new - people are crying and sad and the whole country is mourning.  I feel guilty because I literally can't watch or listen or read about any of the victims.  I feel like their life ought to be shared and celebrated, but am sad because I can't bring myself to do that.  This happened in a town about the same size as ours in a school about the same size, with the same layout.  It's obviously hard for me not to "go there" in my head.

Now that we've got to "my head" - let's stay there.  I have an over-active mind and especially ever since I've had kids, images of bad things happening to them sometimes pop into me head.  A few months after Will was born I began to have reoccurring nightmares of him and Katie - but especially Katie - walking along the edge of a skyscraper.  She'd get to the end and just keep walking.  No matter how loud I yelled or how quickly I tried to get to the top of the building, the same thing would happen.  And I would wake up with tears on my face, go back to sleep and have a different version of the same events.  The next one would be them on fire.  Then they'd be in a car going off a cliff.  Then someone was grabbing them and abducting them.  No matter how fast I ran, I couldn't catch up.  After about a month of this I decided that I needed to talk to a professional about these dreams because I was becoming very overly protective of Katie and Will while I was awake and was having a very hard time letting them do anything that I wasn't not a part of.

In talking to someone, she helped me learn to categorize rational worries and irrational worries.  Honestly, we spent about 1/2 an hour on this and about 2 1/2 hours on other stuff that just kind of creeps up with you're talking to someone only about yourself!  Anyway - walking off the edge of a skyscraper - irrational.  (Still, it makes me want to throw up having them at high heights....) Bursting into flame spontaneously - irrational.  Yep - that came up. 
Being in a car accident - rational.  And let's talk about ways to minimize that.  Riding on a tractor - yep, this was one too.  Rational, to a point.  Cab tractors/combines - great.  Open seated tractors - take a pass and wait for a better chance next time.   Anyway, I'm constantly categorizing any fears I have about their safety into these two categories.  Most of the time, I'm doing ok, but I never thought I would have to ask if going to school was a fear I needed to consider.  So these events have sort of shaken my radar a bit.  Katie had the opportunity to go to the Mall of America with Girl Scouts tonight and have some play time at the Microsoft store while they earned their computer badge.  Cool right?  Well, all I could think of was a crowded mall a week before Christmas, icy roads and Katie's ability to get lost and blend in in a crowd.   I couldn't go, and John was sick.  So I chalked this up to an irrational fear and let her go - and she had a blast.  But I would have hated myself if something had happened.

So yes, I've had a bit of therapy.  2-3 sessions to be honest.  I was scared and ashamed before I went - I even kept it a secret from John until after I'd gone a couple times.  And how do I feel after my time with her?  Awesome.  I think therapy should be offered as freely and without judgement as yearly check-ups.  It's preventative care just like a mammogram or dental exam.  There's something in our society about viewing people who need to seek help as weak or damaged goods.  And don't get me started on the cost of something like this if you don't have great insurance. Or the ability to even GET good help for seriously ill kids.

I kind of forgot where I was going - common these days.  I have ZERO answers or ways to make these mass killings go away.  I just know that I'm not even close to being able to watch the news yet.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do you realize....

Do you realize that I have been outside more in the past 4 weeks than I have probably all winter most years?  I know that is sad and pathetic, but I really detest winter - actually, I just detest being cold.    And here I am, taking the dog for a walk - 3 times a day most days.  (The weekends are more like 2....and sometimes John will do 1.)  But I would say I've gone on 50 walks in the past month.  Granted, they are pretty short - 15-30 minutes, but a few have been over 40.  Hans is getting better on the leash.  I had developed a blister last week and it ripped open on one walk - ouch.  But I realized today that my hands don't hurt and my shoulder doesn't hurt as much when I correct his pulling habit.  AND I realized that I don't mind being outside.  Let me rephrase...I don't mind being outside as long as I have my snow pants, boots, scarf, gloves (double layer) and warm coat. :) 

Now, don't ask me how much I've run in the last 4 weeks.  (3 miles.....I think I'm gonna have to start all over again.  Oh well.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Puppy class

Katie and I took Hans to his 3rd puppy class this weekend.  Usually we go on Thursdays, but the instructor encouraged us all to take in as many classes as we could so we are going to try to go on Saturday mornings too.  This class is through PetSmart and is, well....ok.  It's an hour long class, and it seems this is the way it goes -
10-15 minutes of off leash puppy play time. 
Potty break outside
10-15 minutes practicing our 'skill' for the day - come, sit, down, etc. 
30 minutes of lecture where the instructor just tells us stories of her and her dog. 

Now during the 30 minutes of lecture....Hans is going ballistic.  He wants to play, he wants to be off-leash, he wants to go greet the other puppies.  So there is a LOT of barking from him and constant pulling and yanking to get away.  The last 2 classes I've had to get on the floor with him and literally hold him own with both arms.  It's either that, or feed him treat after treat after treat after treat after treat.....  It seems none of the other dogs are going ape-shit, however I'm not paying much attention to anything else.  It bugs me that SO much time during the class is spent sitting and listening, when the puppies would rather be doing something else.  I love the instructor, but wish that she would give me some helpful tips to keep him calm.  After class when I asked what I could do to stop the barking, she suggested a squirt bottle.  I said he doesn't bark at home - only here at puppy class and puppy play time.  Oh, then I wouldn't worry about it - try massaging him.  Ok...  She did mention that she could see in him, during play time, a very strong "herding" instinct that may be hard to break. 

After January 1st, when this class ends - we will try another puppy class at Petco - the other pet store in the area.  We go there right now for free puppy play time.  Their instructor seems a bit more gruff and "to the point" - ready with suggestions and orders before you even ask the question.  There is also a great dog school in the area that offers classes as well. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The tree...

We put up our Christmas tree this weekend.  And it's big.  It's big and great.  I'm pretty sure it's the biggest tree that we've gotten since we've been doing "real" trees.  I spose it's 7 feet tall and would take 2 people to get their arms around it.  Luckily, thanks to the kids making ornaments over the past 8 years, we have enough decorations to fill it quite nicely.

You'll notice there's gifts under there already....
Be ready Grandma Mary, Grandpa Hanson and Grandma Lyla -
the kids got your shopping done already!
No you're all asking what about he leaving the tree alone?  Well....Molly is leaving the tree along.  Is that enough? :)  Honestly, he isn't too bad.  He hasn't tried to pee on it yet...only chew on some branches.  Maybe they'll improve his breath.
Remember Katie and I tried out for the church musical a few weeks ago?  Well they e-mailed the cast list to us today!  Katie is a "townsperson".  She will sing 3 songs and be in 5 scenes.  All of the other "named" parts went to junior high/high school kids or adults.  (Which I knew they would.)  Katie is happy with her part because that means she gets to watch the scenes inside the chocolate factory.  She also thinks it's funny that I got cast as "Ms. Teavee."  I'm the mother of "Mike Teavee" the kid who wins the Golden Ticket and gets shrunk by Willy Wonka's invention.  He's the last kid to get into trouble inside the factory - which means I'm onstage for kind of a long time.  It's the biggest part I've ever gotten in a play and I'm pretty excited about it. :)  I listened to one of the songs I have to sing, and there are some (GULP) solo parts.   I also read a bit about the character online and I think I know why I got the part:
"Ms. Teavee is a take on all television moms of the distant past. Think June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) or Marion Cunningham (Happy Days) or even Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch). She's perfectly put together and a bit vacant. She sings "I See It All On TV" but does not require a polished voice."

A vacant mom with an un-polished voice?  Um, YEAH! :)

Rehearsals start in January....I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday Silly...

Remember - this is just for laughs!  I have a bunch of friends who are English majors.... :)