Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another cold wave

Got out on our walk this morning after the bus came.  Yesterday morning we had to skip it because it was way too icy.  The wind was really sharp and cold and there are tiny, tiny flakes floating around, but I don't think it's supposed to amount to much.  South of here, they are supposed to get a lot more.  I don't think some schools have had school in IA for 3 days.  My small college in IA canceled everything today.  They've only done that 2-3 times in the last 15 years.  Almost everything there is connected via tunnels so you really don't have to go outside much.  Lots of times students are heading to class in shorts and slippers mid January.  So, if they cancel classes, it means really bad weather.

I have to go to the grocery store, and am sure that the weather will not be a problem here.  We did get about 4-5 inches of snow on Sunday. 

This past weekend John and I got to spend a day/night in Minneapolis celebrating our 10th anniversary.  We went to the Weisman Art Museum on the University of MN campus.  A nice, free museum.  Then we went downtown and had lunch, walked around a bit, visited Barnes and Noble, and generally hung out together.  That night we had reservations to eat at Spoon River and had tickets for As You Like It at the Guthrie.  It was wonderful to spend some uninterrupted time together, and I was even surprised with a new necklace.  Thank you to John's mom for coming up and spending the weekend to watch the kids!

Hockey Pictures!  (As I promised.  I hope I didn't promise "good" hockey pictures...because the lighting was really bad.)
Will is VERY excited to have Dad there to be his coach.

Will (on the far right) playing in the scrimmage.

I think ALL professional hockey players utilize the all-important "leg lift" as they shoot.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hans update

I feel like I haven't updated lately on how Hans is doing - other than wearing Batman clothes.  He had another puppy play time last night and although he's still the rude, pushy puppy, he seems to be learning SOME boundaries.  The problem is that he wants to go, go, go with every puppy there and many have issues where they don't feel comfortable or safe playing like that.  Many of the puppies who attend play time come from homes with an older dog.  The older dog just lays around (my kind of dog) and the puppies never really learn how to "play."  Then they come to puppy play time and meet Hans and like "What the HELL is he doing running around all crazy like that?!"  And Hans is learning to come at them a bit more controlled.  Well, kind of learning....

Sometimes when I go to puppy play time or class I come back and feel like crap.  Usually because Hans was in trouble the whole time.  SOME nights however, I come back feeling lucky because there's always someone who's worse off.  Last night was one of those nights.

Hans is in puppy class with a female German Shepherd who is about the same size/age as he is.  She has had some food aggression issues and has quite a sharp playful bite.  On the way into class one night the puppy took hold of her owners jeans at the knee and ripped them down to the ankle.  This past weekend she bit her owners hand hard enough to break the skin, draw blood and require bandages.  Her husband said, that's it; deal breaker.  It's time for her to go back.  She doesn't want to send her back yet, so they were hoping to spend some time with the trainer last night one on one. 

Many of the other puppies aren't house trained yet either, and some are older than Hans.  At least we aren't dealing with that anymore.  It's been almost 2 months since we've had an accident in the house.  Another benefit of a bigger dog - bigger bladder. 

Other owners also complain of their dog howling and crying all night in the crate.  We did have that - but for about 2-3 nights.  Then it got dramatically better.  I guess it's a good thing we didn't cave and open the crate on those nights because otherwise we'd probably be in the same boat.  And since they don't sleep in their crate at  night, they roam the house peeing all over and tearing things to shreds or chewing on the walls.  Again, at least we don't have to deal with that. 

We did teach Hans to roll over - he's very good at it if there is a treat involved.  He loves to shake now - even with no treat, and will go down with  mere point of the finger.  We also got him to "spin" in a circle - that one was easy.  We've also been working on "wait."  He always has to "wait" for his food.  He can't approach it until I say ok.  Because of that, we've had no good aggression issues, and I'm very thankful for that.  I can put my hand right into his food bowl if I need to.  I also make it a point to change his water while he's eating so he stays comfortable with me reaching in there.  Now he has to "wait" at the top of the stairs until we say it's ok for him to come down.  He also is supposed to "wait" when it's time to get out of the car or when we go through the door.  But it's been so darn cold that it's hard to practice those ones for now.  Ultimately these "waits" are supposed to make it easier for him to greet strangers.  We need him to do this in order to get his Canine Good Citizenship award.  In fact - do you want to hear ALL he has to do for that?  It's interesting....

The Canine Good Citizenship test requires that the dog:
1. "Accept a Friendly Stranger" - the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a friendly way, shake hands with the handler and exchange pleasantries.  The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator. 

2. Sit Politely for Petting - the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog should sit at the handler's side as the evaluator approaches and begins to pet the dog on the head and body only.  The dog may stand in place to accept petting, but must not show resentment or shyness.

3.  Appearance and Grooming - This test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so.  The evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.

4.  Walking on a loose leash - This test demonstrates the handler is in control of the dog.  The dog may be on either side of the handler.  There must be a left turn, right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end.

5.  Walk through a crowd - This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.  The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least 3).  The dog may show some interest, without appearing overly exuberant, shy or resentful.  The handler may talk to the dog or praise the dog throughout the test.  The dog should not be straining at the leash.

6.  Sit and down on command/staying in place - This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's command to sit and down, and will remain in the place commanded by the handler.  The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down.  When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks a 20 foot line.  The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.

7.  Come when called - The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog and call the dog.  The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come.

8.  Reaction to another dog - This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs.  Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 15 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue moving.  The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.

9.  Reactions to distractions - This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog.  The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and/or appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away or show aggressiveness or bark.

10.  Supervised Separation - This test demonstrates that the dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners.  Evaluators are encouraged to say something like "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash.  The owner will go out of sight for 3 minutes.  The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

There you go - pass all 10 and you get the award.  I want to do it because basically, this is everything I want our dog to be able to DO.  Later this summer there is a class that covers and helps train one skill a week, then at the end you take the test. I feel like Hans could do #4, 6, 7 and maybe 9.  But he's a holy mess for #1, 2, 5, and 8!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 years!

Today marks 10 years that John and I have been married.  If there's such a thing as the 7 year itch, it must have been scratched by now.  According to the "taditional" gift rules, this year is tin/aluminum.  Hmmm....a can of pop/beer?  I have that on hand.

The "modern" gift is diamonds.  They make their appearance at 30 and 60 years as well.  Diamonds for 10 years already?  Maybe not enough people were making it to 30 or 60.  Next year is marked as "fashion jewelry."  That, to me says costume jewelry.  Who wants that after a year of getting diamonds? :)

We don't have anything going on tonight to celebrate.  I was thinking of making our traditional key lime pie, but Katie is home with a cough and it's so cold that the idea of going to the store to get a can of condensed milk seems silly.


I just had a flash moment....checked to cupboard and there it is.  A can of condensed milk.  Now I remember...I was making some thing spur of the moment and at the store I couldn't remember if it called for condensed or evaporated milk, so I got one can of each. :)  Obviously I had used the evaporated milk and now have a can of condensed milk.  So that's it, if I can manage to make my own grahm cracker crust I'm all set.  I even have whip cream, and of course lime juice from Key West.  It's expired according to the date, but hell - it's lime juice. 

We usually have a special supper too like crab, but I'm not feeling it this year, not in the mood for crab.  (Katie is, however.)  So I will have to root around in the freezer a bit more to save another trip to the store.  Can't be too complicated though because Hans has puppy play time tonight. 

It seems I've posted and re-posted the same pictures.  If you really want to see them, go here.  After 10 years I've already picked the ones I liked, and going back through them I remember why I didn't like others.  The high today in Key West is 75.  Just about exactly what it was 10 years ago.  That year was bitterly cold in the midwest as well.  Made it cold all over.  The few days we spent in Miami before driving south it was 50!  And we came home a week later to over 15 inches of snow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Wow, it's cold now, especially after a warmer stretch last week.  Taking the dog outside right now is not very appealing.  I think we are going to have to skip our walks tomorrow.  I'll have the 3 year old all day and I can't see dressing her up to tag along. 

I finished knitting my scarf - Katie wore it to school last Friday.  I've started a pattern on a pair of slippers, but have had to re-start it 3 times in order to get the purl stitch right.  I don't think I have the yarn in the right place before I put it around the needles.  I'll get there.  I haven't had time to work on it more than 10-15 minutes.  These slippers are for me, but I'm going to have to put some rubber soles on them or I'm going to get shocked to hell.

Katie and I had play practice this afternoon. She learned some choreography and I worked with my fellow "parents" and our "children" to block our scenes.

You can't see me...but I'm there.  I'm in the back next to Isaac (in the orange shit).  He's Mike Teavee, me "son."  Laura in the black sweater is "Mrs. Beauregard" and her daughter, "Violet" is there with the purple script.  She's the one who is getting blown up like a blueberry.  Danielle is behind them - she's spoiled, "Veruca Salt."  The other two guys are "Grandpa Joe" and "Charlie."  We are having a VERY good time, lots of laughs.
Mary asked about wanting to hear me careful what you wish for.  The great thing about these songs are that they are more conversation singing, where the words matter more than the harmonies.  Also, the range of notes are not as challenging as in "Annie" that we performed last year.  And we seem to be moving through scenes a bit faster too.  It's early though. 
I went to Goodwill last week to do some searching for costumes for Katie and I.  I need something of a "June Cleaver" look and Katie needs to be a drab, dull, poor, towns person.  I found some options for both of us, although Katie's needs some altering.  Luckily because they are supposed to look kind of shabby, I can do it myself.  While I was there I walked though toys and games section because you can't beat prices under $2.00.  I found a game called "Tripoley."
Mom, Dad, Denise, Wally, Janet, Jeff or Jeff - do you remember playing this!??!?  When we had it, it was called "Rummy Royal."  It looked like this:

 Between John, Katie and I, we've all been winners!  We should bring it back to IA with us next time to play - the more people, the more fun it can be!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

College bound

We had to take Katie to school early today.  She was selected along with some other 3rd graders to attend the University of Minnesota's Creativity Festival today.  So at 7:40 this morning they got on a bus and headed to campus to spend the day there.  She gets to take part in 3 different sessions/classes taught by professors and others.  She got to select a 1st choice and 2nd choice, and then they were going to randomly assign the 3rd one.  Turns out she didn't get any of her choices, but they are all very cool sounding sessions so I think she was pretty happy either way.  Here were their choices:

Create Your Own Superhero - professional illustrator will show you how he illustrates his books and then work with students on creating their own superhero using different illustration techniques.  THIS was Katie's first choice - any one that has read her "Dancing Potato" series that she has been working on for the last year will know why.

It's Not Magic, It's Science
Intro to Improvisational Comedy
Professor Sepoc's Potions Party (Katie's Second Choice)
Drawing From Observation
Rhythm and Poetry

Here's what Katie got into:
Balinese Rhythm and Chanting
Fun with Chemistry (which she is very excited about)
Jazzy Geometry an Funky Fractals (which I am very excited about)  They are going to look at patterns that repeat over and over again and will create their own Sierpinski triangle. This touches on what I worked on for a year when I was a senior in college.  Here is Sierpinski's triangle.
Now, I'm sure you can see why I'm so excited, right?!?!  :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, Monday

It's a cold Monday up here, but the sun is shining bright.  I took the dog for our morning walk and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I was pretty bundled though.  I gotta head out with him again in a few minutes because I'm going to be with friends this afternoon for a bit. 

I had a dentist appointment this morning - just a cleaning.  I go every 3 months now, have been for about 2 years.  It's helped me get over my anxiety of going in the first place, and my teeth have improved overall.  I don't mind it - expcept when I do.  There is ONE hygenist who bugs the living crap out of me because she is so brutal and keeps me there for fricking EVER.  She cleans, and picks, and cleans, and picks and stabs, and scrapes and jabs over and over again.  The last 2 times I went I was lucky enough to have 2 other very wonderful hygenists.  They remarked over and over again how well everything was looking, there was hardly any buildup, etc.  I was in and out in no more than 20 minutes. 

Today I had the "other one."  I was in that damn chair for over an hour.  And she made it sound like I was at the end of my rope....things looked grim.  However, there were no cavities and my tissue pockets - which she loves to check with great force were shallow.  She got out the cavitron, which I never have to use when I see anyone else.  A cavitron is a dental tool that uses high frequency sound waves to clean teeth.  It's like little needles jabbing into your gums, which you get used to after a while, but the high pitch sound gives me a headache.  I need to get comforttable with saying "You, know what - I'm done.  I gotta get out of the chair.  This is ridiculous."

I try to look on the bright side, that she probably cleaned my teeth pretty well, but I have a bad feeling that she poked and proded so much that a crown got loosesned.  It just feels extremely weird and I can feel it move more than it should. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Knit wit

I went to the knitting class at church last week, and, low and behold, they taught me to knit!  I'm very early on in the whole thing, but I am working on a scarf and it isn't looking to bad.  It doesn't look like it's going to fall apart anyway!

The yarn and the needles are nice and big - I was told this was easier to learn on.  Plus, you see your progress a lot quicker and something that's motivation that is necessary to continue!  I should be done with this by Thursday and then maybe they can show me if there is anything special that you do to it when you "finish."  I want to make a thicker scarf for myself, some slippers, a hat and mittens.....
We had musical rehearsal this afternoon and it was funny because 3 of us "newbie" knitters were knitting together, in awe of the fact that we had actually learned a new trick.  Musical rehearsals are going well.  Katie and I didn't need to be there for the whole time today, but starting on Wednesday night I think it picks up a bit.  I had to sing a little today, but I think we work on my solo Wednesday night.  It's a fun group, and there are lots of new faces in it this year.  Seriously going to be hard to keep a straight face on stage.
Will is at a birthday party this afternoon as well.  It was at the nature center - a very fun place to have a party, I would think.  

Oh, and we dressed up the dog.  Because that's what you do when you have a dog.....


Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First night of hockey

Nope, no pictures.  Sorry.  I was too busy trying to prevent teeth from getting knocked out.  Actually, the kids did a great job - no one got hurt.  A few fell down, but there were no tears, except for a little boy on our team anytime the other team would score a goal.  At the end of the "game" he even slammed his stick down on the ground and screamed (through tears) "I'm not playing anymore!"

Hope he develops a better attitude, otherwise it's gonna be a long 6 weeks.

Will had a blast, got to hit the puck in the game a few times and ran like crazy.  We work on "skills" and stick handling the first 30 minutes and then the last 30 minutes is a scrimmage with the green team.  Next week I have to teach Katie's church class so John is going to coach.  Originally, it was going to be John's deal, but it's hard with his schedule to assume that he can be home by 6 every Wednesday night.  So on those nights, the kids get me.  Poor things.

It's a rec center program, so it's run by a few workers there and volunteer parents who can help out.  By noon yesterday no parent had come forward on out team to coach.  There were 4 kids on the team (now there are 5), and 2 of them are twins.  Maybe I'm crazy, but if your children make up almost half of the team - you should try to coach.  And believe me, there were PLENTY of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles sitting in the stands tonight. 

On a brighter note, I worked out today!  It wasn't much, but I do feel better - as I knew I would.  Running outside right now is out of the question on so many levels, and getting to the treadmill in the basement for 30 minutes while the dog barks upstairs isn't enjoyable.  So I printed of some daily workouts from Pintrest, and I did one.  It only took about 15 minutes, and wasn't anything special, but I was able to fit it into the time I had today.  I did get out for 3 walks, like we usually do - but I don't feel like I can count them because the pace is quite slow - not because of me or the dog, but because of the 3 year old that is usually puttering along with us. 

On a not-so-bright note, I can't stop biting the side of my tongue today!  Have you even done that?  It catches on the side of your teeth while you are talking or eating and then develops a little bump that swells a bit, well that just means it's easier to bite the next time, and the next time, and the next time, ugh.  It hurts!

Ok - I want to stay positive.  Tomorrow is Thursday - a trip to the vet, hopefully a trip for an oil change, a puppy class and knitting 101.  I hope my brain can grasp something beyond the idea of crocheting.    Oh, and it's going to be warm again....well, 30 or so. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vet issue

I called the vet office that is administering Hans' puppy shots/exams.  Since we got him from a shelter, they have a vet they have partnered with.  As long as we go to their vet, the shelter covers the first 3 doses of distemper and the rabies vaccines.  They also cover the spaying/neutering.  We have an appointment for this Thursday to get his rabies shot and I called to see if they would be willing to add the Bordatella vaccine, and I would pay for it.  It's a virus spread by dogs eating fecal waste of other animals infected with it.  I don't know anything about it, other than the boarding kennels here require it.  I found out the hard way when we tried to kennel Hans for a night so that we could go to a hotel.  When I called our regular vet to see if they would administer the shot, they said they would but would require an exam be done first (at an additional cost) since they had no history of the animal on file. 

Short story even longer - yes, they would give the vaccine, no problem. I mentioned that we would be there on Thursday for the rabies shot, and they can do it then.  I was told by the person on the other end that Hans already received his rabies shot on the 27th.  They said he got 2 shots that day.

Me: Ummm, no - he only got the distemper.  I remember vividly because I kind of begged for them to give him the rabies shot while we were there so we wouldn't have to make another trip up, but I was told quite loudly that he was far too young for the rabies shot.

Her: No.  Our records show that he was given the distemper in the upper right shoulder, and the rabies on the rear right side.

Me: - No - I held him myself for the shot, and we only got ONE.

Her:  He was probably taken from the room and given it somewhere else.

Me: No, he was with us the entire time.

Her: Well, it clearly states that David administered both shots to Hans....

Me: That's wrong too!  It wasn't a male tec - it was a female, about 5 feet tall in bright pink scrubs, short red curly hair.

Her:  We can give Hans a second rabies shot, but it will be at your cost.

Me: He wasn't given a FIRST!  And as I'm looking at our calendar, we weren't even there on the 27th.  We were there on the 20th.

Her: Oh, well, the dates don't really mean anything.  When the information is added, we're supposed to just click on a date around the time we ate entering the information in.  Sometimes they can be off by as much as 2 weeks.

What?  Is that normal for a vet office?  Ok - whatever.  She agreed to pull the file and have someone look at it to make sure it's right.  I hung up by saying that I was absolutely positive it was not right.

I just got a call back from the vet whom we actually saw (and who remembers us) saying that it was a mixup on ID numbers, and they got it all squared away.  But then she left off saying...."Hans is all set to come get his distemper on Friday."

", it's his rabies shot and we're coming on Thursday."  Lord help us.

It's a vet-filled week because Molly also gets to go get her rabies shot on Friday.  As I remember, the last time we took her to the vet, it was not fun.  I'm taking her by myself this time so maybe that will be easier.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Here we go...

The first full week of 2013 begins and everything now returns to a routine.  Activities resume, school in full swing, and my official countdown to spring begins.  This January thaw is very nice, though.  It was almost 30 degrees at the bus stop this morning, so instead of our usual 15-20 minute walk after the kids get on the bus, Hans and I did 45.  We still stay away from the busy streets, stick only to the residential neighborhoods.  FedEx trucks and garbage trucks freak him out.  He likes school buses very much.

Katie's school bus driver (who NEVER says anything to us in the morning or afternoon - even if I utter a 'hello' first) gave Katie a big dog biscuit on Friday to give to Hans.  He always is outside with us when Katie gets on the bus, and sometimes when she gets off.  I swear I laughed so loud when she came in the door with it because it's just another striking example of how dogs seem to really open some people up.  This morning as Katie got on the bus, Hans and I thanked him for the sweet treat.  He asked if he liked it and I said he did very much.  So then he sits there with the bus door open for (NO KIDDING) 2 minutes telling me how his girl dog just loves them and she only goes in the crate if she gets to have one, and here's where I can find the best deal on them, and oh I can find a coupon for them in this place and on and on and on.  It's the longest conversations I've have with him in our entire busing career.  And 2 minutes is a LOOONG time in a bus driver's world.

Yesterday was our first rehearsal for Willy Wonka!  Katie and I are both in the musical again this year.  For the next 7 weeks we will have rehearsals every Sunday from 1-4 and almost every Wednesday night from 8-9.  There are 94 people in the production this year!  (Most of whom are Oompa Loompas.)

Here's a picture from our first rehearsal - some group singing time! 
Katie and I are in the middle right.
Will also starts floor hockey this week.  He plays every Wednesday night at the rec center.  That should be fun to see too - I may have pictures of that soon.  Hans has puppy play time and puppy class every Tuesday/Thursday night.  That pretty much books up a lot of my evenings all of a sudden!  That's ok - it forces me to get good with leftovers and freezing/prepping meals ahead of time.  I have a feeling being busy on weeknights is only going to get worse as the kids get older!

Oh, and one other thing I just signed up for....our church offers free classes every Thursday night for the month of January (J-term) - everything from yoga, aerobics, tax planning, funeral planning, CPR, playing cards, scrapbooking, etc.  Well, I signed up for a "learn to knit" session!  I don't have any shred of knowledge about knitting, but they are promising me that I will learn to knit a scarf. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013


I have to vent, otherwise I may just end up calling the guy back to bitch him out.

I have been on the lookout for ice skates for the kids this week.  I found 2 pair of adjustable ice skates for $20 each.  (different sellers)  One guy called me back after we had a pickup time scheduled to say that his wife just gave them away to the neighbor.  She didn't know he was selling them Okay - well, thanks for calling.

The other guy called me bright and early Thursday morning while I was out to say that he wanted to get a pickup scheduled and he could do anytime Friday or Saturday.  I told him that I thought 1:00 on Friday would work for me, but I would have to double check my calendar once I got home.  I called him back at 3:30 that afternoon to confirm that it did indeed work for me.  He asked that I call him 10-15 minutes before I get there to make sure he isn't on a conference call and will be available at the door - he works from home.  Sure, I can do that.

So I head out, with kids in tow, on my way to his house.  It's up in Crystal so I figured I would call him once I get a little north on 169.  I had to pull off at a gas station because the tire pressure light came on - which often does, due to a slow leak.  After stopping at TWO gas stations to finally find a working air pump, I had to pay $0.75 for air!  Anyway, before we took off I called the guy to let him know I was about 10 minutes away.  Here's the call.

Jerk: Hi, this is Chip.
(Yeah, I shit you not.  His damn name is "chip".)
Me: Hi Chip, This is Deb Pladsen.  I just wanted to call and let you know I'm about 10 minutes away.  You had asked me to call.
Jerk:  Uh, you'll have to remind me what you're calling about.  (Ok, it was only about 20 hours ago that we last talked.....but ok)
Me:  I'm on my way to pick up the adjustable skates.
Jerk: Those are already sold and spoken for.
Me:  Yeah, I know.  I'm the one you talked to yesterday and set the pickup with.
Jerk: No, someone came last night and bought the skates.  She could come yesterday, first come, first serve.  That's how Craigslist works.
(Now I was PISSED, not just because I had lost the skates, but because I had driven 40 minutes out of my way!)
Me:  WHAT!?  I could have come yesterday too!  You didn't give me that option!  You said Friday.  And that's not how Craigslist works.  We had a pickup time scheduled.  Why didn't you call me to let me know?
Jerk: Sorry.

Well, you know what Chip?  Chip who's cell, address, home and work e-mail I have?  You better hope I get over my childish fit pretty damn quick or I'm gonna sign you up for every friggin' porn site I can find.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Katie's artwork

Once or twice a year the District Education Center puts together a gallery of artwork submitted from the school's art teachers in grades 1-12.  Last year Katie had a piece on display, and she does this year as well.  We get a card in the mail letting us know that the artwork in on display and it's always fun to go hunting for it.  We found it relatively quickly this year!

Here's Katie with her framed watercolor.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On to 2013

Our holidays are over for now.  I realized I really do love Christmas and New Year's because we have so much time together at home.  John had two long 4 day weekends, and of course the kids were off school.  I didn't have the little 3 year old - so we were all on a vacation.  We went out to eat, watched football, parades, boot skated, went sledding, went swimming (inside of course), had movie night, ordered pizza, etc.  Oh, and had fun with all the new toys and presents. 

Now everyone is back at school and work - except for me...."Pebbles" doesn't come back here til Friday.  So I guess I have a couple days to get caught up on my work too. 

Hans went to puppy play time last night at the pet store.  We finish up one puppy class tomorrow at noon, and start a new one with a different instructor tomorrow night.  It's this "new" trainer who runs the play time.  The two trainer are VERY different.  They both have things I like about them and things I don't like so much.  I spose that's why I'm trying to see as many trainers as possible - different philosophies.  Anyway - this new trainer refers to Hans as "the one you have to watch out for"....meaning he's the trouble maker who goes after the other puppies too aggressively.  He is certainly not that way with people - but I do see it with the other puppies.  He just won't let up on them most of the time.  This results in the trainer grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and pushing him down into submission on the floor...while saying "Not in MY house!  You aren't gonna get away with that here!  You're in puppy jail!"  The first couple of times - ok, it was funny.  But last night she had to grab him like 5-6 times....either because he was growling too much, humping some other puppy, or had hold of an ear.  The other trainer would never dream of pushing down a dog into submission.  Her tool of choice was a squirt bottle - which seemed to work well on Hans. 

I think I'm probably just being overly sensitive about it because the other people there didn't seem to mind that Hans got put in "jail" - it's not like people are staying away from play time because of Hans - more the opposite.  People are striking up conversations with me trying to schedule times we can both be at play time.  I guess it's more of the grass is always greener type of thing. 

Also - I've decided that it's mostly my fault because I take him to these darn classes and play times just after he's woken up thinking - Oh, he'll go and get some good exercise at play time/class time.  I SHOULD be taking him for a long walk BEFORE we go so that he can get rid of some excess energy first.  Duh. 

Here's some fun pictures from our holiday fun!
Katie and Hans having a staring contest.

The kids building cars with Will's new kit. 
FYI - the wheels roll amazingly well, and make for really smooth rides!
On the pond in our backyard.  Neighbors have been shoveling the snow, and taking care of the ice so that the kids can skate.  They have chairs set up, a portable fire pit, lights, hockey sticks, pucks, and 2 goals all set up!  We don't have ice skates - so I'm in search of some used ones this week.

Will really liked slapping the puck around!