Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Love Change, What Do You Mean You Don't?!

As part of my new job as a people manager I took an assessment so my HR department would be able to assign me a ton of training courses.

Well, maybe it was to identify by strengths and weaknesses and help me improve in a targeted manner.

Whatever the intent was, I now have 15 training classes to take.

One item that was identified as a weakness was my ability to cope with change.

I was shocked! I thrive on change, I honestly really like it.

I like to think I am pretty self aware and when I identify a problem I try to fix it.

But that's my weakness. The fixing it part. I always try to fix it even if it is not really my problem.

I know that. And I am working on that.

However this class showed me another weakness. My inability to understand that not everyone thrives on change like I do and how to work with and implement change that effects this segment of folks.

I was shocked to learn that most people fall into this resistance to change group.

No, that's a joke. I was not shocked to learn that. I know that, I am reminded of that by my boss, my husband, my father on a regular basis.

What I needed to learn was how to lead the change with them tagging a long, not dragging along.

The course I took was provided by Harvard ManageMentor. I think this program is available to employees of a lot of major corporations as a lot of my friends knew about Harvard ManageMentor when I mentioned it.

And yes, on successful completion of my first class I did pat myself on the back for scoring 100% on a class from Harvard. And yes, I do plan to tell people I graduated from Harvard when I complete all these training courses.

Come on. You would too! Admit it!

Throughout the training there were a few quotes that really stuck with me.  These are motto's I try to live daily.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Well, that one by WW isn't something I live as much as something I need to remember when I try to institute change.

I also have to remember that Rome was not built in a day.

I like this list, not just because I LOVE LISTS, but because it really is a great reminder of how to implement change in either the work place or your life.

Characteristics of an effective unit implementation plan:

  • Be simple
  • Be created by people at all affected levels
  • Be structured in achievable chunks
  • Specify roles and responsibilities
  • Be flexible

And this list. Not just another list but it is a LIST about COMMUNICATION. How can I not love it?

What to communicate

  • What the change program is and what it plans to do
  • Why the change is taking place
  • What the scope of the change program is
  • What hurdles stand in the way of implementation
  • What the criteria for success are and how success will be measured
  • How people will be rewarded for success

The most important thing I took away from this course, besides all of the memories of times I have witnessed poorly rolled out change, was how to deal with resisters.

If you encounter resisters, try to gain their support by:

  • Encouraging them to openly express their thoughts and feelings about the change program
  • Listening carefully to their concerns, exploring their fears and taking their comments seriously
  • Engaging them in the planning and implementation processes—making them a part of the solution
  • Identifying those who have something to lose and anticipating how they might respond
  • Helping them find new roles either in your group or somewhere else in the organization—roles that represent genuine contributions and mitigate their losses

Also, as you consider resisters, be sure to evaluate what part you may be playing in causing their resistance. It's possible that your approach to managing change or your leadership style may be threatening to others, thereby causing unnecessary friction and conflict.

That part about evaluating what part I might be playing in causing their resistance is HUGE! That's the part that most people are missing.

I am excited to put these practices into action and see if I can fix some of the failed changes we have implemented around here lately.

At least until I take the course about now not to be a fixer...

I am off to turn this weakness into a strength!


My source for this information is Harvard ManageMentor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Update - Oh, How I Love Weekends Like This One

I am having a very difficult time typing this blog. Not because anything bad happened this weekend, in fact it was a nice and peaceful weekend.

I am having a difficult time because as I type there are two dogs fighting on my legs.

Hang on. I need to make this stop.

Okay, I am back. Cakes is nuts but Siri just wants to go back to sleep.

Ugh! Now Cakes is chewing on the tablet. Cakes, please stop.

This focusing thing on Monday morning at 6 am with only two sips of coffee in me and Cakes being nutzo is a bit much...

Anyway, this weekend was full of a lot of time to get organized and relax. After the summer we had this is exactly what I needed.

Hang on, Cakes is eating the cat tree.

They are super annoying this morning!

I was fully expecting they would be exhausted this morning after the evening they had last night. They took their first trip to the Saint Anthony Parkway Dog park and they loved it. Siri met a bunch of dogs who were much larger than her (three were Great Danes) and ran with them for about 45 minutes. She would get right in the mix like she was a 60 pound, two eyed dog, not the 40 pound, one eyed dog she is.

Cupcake, ugh, hang on again, Cupcake just found a paper bag and is dragging it around the house. I am debating on taking it from her. Never mind. She is bored with it.

Man, dog. Just go back to sleep! She just flopped down on the couch. Which she can jump on now!!  I think she might go to sleep. Siri is happily snoring on my foot now. I am horribly uncomfortable but I don't dare move. Luckily my coffee is in reach!

Where was I? Oh! Cupcake was the hit of the dog park. She played with all the people and soaked up all the hugs and love. Then she met Lola, an ugly little terrier who was about her height and they spend the rest of the night rolling around in the dirt together.

Cupcake was covered in a healthy layer of dirt when we left but she had a blast and is looking forward to going back.

Siri ask if she could live at the dog park. We explained that dog parks close and with the sun going down all the other dogs would be leaving soon. Then she asked if she could marry the dog park. While we were explaining why that would not be possible she passed out in the back of the van under the fully blasting AC. Where she stayed until Cupcake jumped her.

Those stinken dogs came home, ate dinner, then went out in the back yard and played with each other for another 15 minutes.

Now we know, dog parks are a must for these too!!

Other things we did this weekend:
We went swimming on Friday night where Willy passed the deep water swim test for the first time so he was able to go on the diving board with Heidi. We were so proud of him!

We finished cleaning the guest room and now, finally, have a fully functional guest room that someone could actually stay in with no notice. Hooray!!

We cleaned the walkway part of the storage room so now you can actually get to the freezer and pantry. What a novel idea!!

I made a menu for the week using a new board on Pinterest I called "meals for this week" and a task in my Cozi calender for a reminder of what is to be cooked each night. I am very excited to get back to cooking dinner most nights!

Shawn and I logged 5 volunteer hours at the Ice Arena with a very slow shift in the concession stand. Our second shift was canceled but on the up side we only have 15 more hours... ugh, 15 hours...

Heidi had Emily spend the night marking Heidi's first ever sleep over at our house. They ate ice cream, watched a movie, camped out on the floor in the living room, and had a great time!

We met up with my parents for breakfast at Birdtown Cafe in Robbinsdale. If you live in the area check them out. They are pretty good.

The dogs are finally both sleeping, one on either side of me so it is time to shut the tablet down and get ready for work.

One parting thought -

My thoughts and positive energy is being sent to my friends and Co-workers in South Florida who are being hit by Isaac right now.

Happy Monday everyone!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Letters

Well, it's pretty much official. Our summer just about over.

Shawn went back to work yesterday. Heidi spent the day with her Grandma and will be with her Granny part of the day today and all next week.

We will hit the State Fair next weekend and then school officially starts on Tuesday, September 4th.

Where the heck did this summer go?

Dear Heidi: I am so proud of all the things you accomplished this summer. You never cease to amazing me and I love watching you transition from a first grader to a second grader. I love you Lulu.

Dear Shawn: I am sorry I adopted so many dogs this summer which in turn meant you didn't get much on your project list. Thank you for building me a fence so Siri cannot run away. I love you.

Dear Siri: you were a total rockstar at your first training class last night. I have some ideas on how to keep you from chasing Eddie and Pete and I am excited to start working with you on them.

Dear Cupcake: You are cute beyond words. Thank you for cuddling with me on the couch this morning and for being such a wonderful bulldog.

Dear Pete: You frightened me when you got outside the other day but I knew you would come home. I hope you enjoyed your time hunting in the neighbors yard.

Dear Eddie: I am sorry I kicked you last night when I got that horrible cramp in my foot. I totally deserved to be bitten. I hope letting you play with the water in the bathroom sink made up for kicking you.

Dear Mean Neighbor: I hope you are happy we put up a fence. I have so much more I want to say but I will keep that to myself.

Dear Weekend: I don't have a lot of plans so I hope you decide to hang around a little longer than normal. I will do my part by starting you at noon today. Please do your part and not fly by.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh, My Aching Foot!

We are in the process of integrating Siri with our cats. It's not very scientific. Basically the cats are barricaded in my bedroom during the day or anytime Siri is not in her crate and have free run of the house when she is in the crate.

They also are able to go into the basement anytime they want but they have to make the trek from my room, at one end of the house, to the basement door, at the other end of the house.

It's been about 3 weeks since Siri moved in and I am not sure if it's getting any better between the cats and her but the cats are getting a little bolder.

I think Peter is just sick of being suck in my room or the basement, to be honest.

On Monday Peter was out in the living room when Siri was also in the living room. Siri has the scratches on her nose to prove it.

Siri just wants to meet the cats.

The cats think she wants to eat them.

Therefore the cats hiss and spit and growl anytime they see her.

It's a ton of fun.


Stop by and witness it for yourselves... But bring protective footwear or you will end up like me with three swollen and bruised toes from whacking said toes on a door frame when trying to scale a semi-Siri proof barricade when Peter decides he needs a window with a front yard view instead of a backyard view, makes his way into the guest room, and gets busted by Siri on his way back to my room.

Fun times.

Instead of showing you my ugly foot (again) I will share a picture of our bedroom barricade and the cat door in the basement door that Siri totally can fit through.

Our bedroom door, a pet gate that Siri leaps in a single bound, and two laundry baskets that Siri cannot jump.

The "cat" door on the new basement door (ignore the lack of molding, that's how we roll...)

If any of you have any ideas on integrating these wild beasts, I am all ears. Just know that holding the cats near the dog so she can sniff is not an option. These are two very large, fully clawed boy cats. I have the puncture wound on my thumb nail to prove it.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What We Have Been Doing For The Last Five Days...

You may have noticed I have been a bit absent the last few days.

Or maybe not.

In any case, things have been nuts at work so I come home exhausted. Home has been nuts because who ever thought it would be a good idea to adopt two dogs within 5 weeks of each other was insane.

Oh, that was me?

Um... I guess I am insane.

Last weekend we went out to see our friends new house. The dogs were in their crates for about 5 hours and when we got home Jess and the kids came over for dinner so it was normal crazy town in our house with in minutes.

Siri went into her spinning out of control mode that we, at this point, are not sure how to curb. She starts dog school on Thursday so that is number one on my list of things to learn.

Anyway, Siri goes outside, is totally cracked out with excitement and pent up energy and she spots a cat in the neighbors yard.

Next thing we know, she is in the neighbors yard.

Just like that! Jumped right over the fence.

Shawn went over the fence after her.

I was in the house finishing up dinner when Heidi walks in.

Let me tell you, this girl needs to upgrade her sense of urgency.  She just walks in the house and says "I have bad news..."

I ask her what her bad news is, expecting her to say Siri popped another ball when she says "Siri jumped the fence right into the mean neighbors yard and dad is trying to catch her."


Jess jumped in her car and took off to meet Shawn, I grabbed the leash and ran around to the other side of the block to help. By the time I got over there Shawn had Siri by the collar and was tossing her into Jess's car.

That was the moment we knew we needed a bigger fence.

Siri spent the rest of the week on a tie out while on the backyard.

Shawn and I spent the rest of the week being mad about having to build a new fence.

And then we did what we always do.  We got over it and got to work.

First Shawn had to take down the old wire fence along the back of the yard.

Cupcake thought she was helping by surveying the folded up fencing.
Ryan and Shawn, with some help from Willy, and Tony marked where the new posts will go.

This is where the pictures stop for awhile. I was not able to be Team Photographer this time. I stained all the panels and was on Dog Duty. During one Dog Duty task I had to bring both dogs inside to get them out of the sun. I may or may not have watched two episodes of Warehouse 13 on the Netflix.

Many trips to Menards, a few trips to Home Depot, a trip to Patio Town, two days of hard labor, and a lot of sore muscles later, we have a beautiful fence.

We had it fully installed by Sunday night but it wasn't fully stained until Tuesday evening.

Siri posed for some pictures. She is such a ham!

And that's it. That is really all we did this weekend. It's really all we did Friday through Tuesday night.

While we were not expecting to install a fence this weekend, I am pleased with the finish product. And for once we are actually 100% completed with this project when we are walking away from it. No lose ends, no details. It's done.

What made me the most happy about this project was watching Siri and Cakes zoom around they yard together with no worry about them leaving the yard.

When my dogs are happy, I am happy.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not to Busy to Be Funny...

I am to busy to write a proper post.

And my foot hurts.  I will tell you about that tomorrow.


Or Monday.

No promises.

Since I am too busy to write a proper post I will share two conversations with you that prove I am funny.

Shawn, take note.

Conversation 1 via IM:

Me: Do you know where that is?
Friend: Wisconsin
Me: Sounds Cheesy.  HA! Aren't I funny?
Friend: LOL wow, I see where Heidi gets it
Me: See what I did there? Wisconsin? Cheese? I am funny.

This is the point where my friend stops responding to me, walks over to my office and says, "I had to stop responding to you because you were cracking me up and I didn't want to encourage you any more."

Conversation 2 via IM:

Co-worker: here is my rant of the day:  Tired of rumors about bigger iPhones and smaller iPads
Kara: I bought a table a few weeks ago
Kara: an Asus Transformer
Kara: I love it.
Kara: it docks to a keyboard.
Kara: and runs on Andriod Ice Cream Sandwich
Co-worker: in lieu of my joke...you should complain about it being too big and your phone being too small
Kara: Okay, I will
Kara: My table it too big and I can't believe how small my phone was.
Co-worker: lol
Kara: I wish my phone was the size of a notebook
Kara: because that would be super cool.
Kara: I miss the days of cell phones that weighed 17 pounds. I want to go back to that.
Kara: But I want the battery to only last 4 hours.
Kara: Don't go back to the days of the 5 day batter. That would suck.
Kara: Okay. I am done.
Co-worker: lol
Kara: HAHA! I must type to fast. I did not buy a TABLE, I bought a TABLET. But I think you got that from the context.
Co-worker: I figured but then I thought you have a legit complaint about your table being too big
Kara: HA!!!
Kara: My table doesn't fit in my bag very well.
Kara: by my tablet does.
Kara: I need more sleep.
Co-worker: The only difference between the two is a 't'
Kara: Thanks for the laugh

See! Other people think I am funny. It's not just me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Time We Had Three Dogs For A Minute

I am in the guest room trying to put stuff away, throw stuff away, make a donation box, make the room not look like a storage locker, when I look out the window and see a Chihuahua run up the driveway.

"There's a Chi-wow-wow on the driveway." I call out to whoever is in the living room.

"Yeah, we have seen that dog before" they call back.

Me: "No, there is a Chi-wow-wow on the driveway right now. It just ran up towards the cars."

Heidi: "I will go get it!!"

Shawn: "Um Heidi, wait for me."

And then run out the door.

For the next 20 minutes Heidi, Shawn, and my nephew try to bribe this little Chihuahua out from under the van. In that time Heidi has named it "wah-wha" and Shawn has decided we will keep it and hang up fliers. And my eyes are aching from all the rolling they are doing in my head.

They finally pull this little dog out and we pop it into a cat carrier.

Shawn is telling Heidi to go get food and water when I say "I will not, cannot have another dog in this house so please tell me I can call Animal Control. PLEASE..."

Shawn reluctantly agrees.

Honestly, this dog has been at our house for about 30 minutes at this point and no one appears to be looking for her. How long do we have to keep her?

I call 911 and request the dog be picked up.

Fast forward a very long 20 minutes waiting for the Community Service Officer to come pick her up. Shawn has run out to pick up dinner and is just returning to the house. The dog is in the cat carrier on the front lawn. Siri and Cakes are in the backyard making a lot of upset noises because we are ignoring them.

The neighbor walks by with her dog and notices Siri. She has not met Siri yet so we invite her up to introduce the dogs.

Siri get all crazy because she LOVES other dogs but they are separated by a fence. She is on her tie out (a very temporary measure until we can get a bigger fence because, guess what?! She is a fence jumper! Yay me!!) so she cannot get out but when Shawn opens the gate out runs Cakes.

Just as Cakes runs out, the neighbor dog backs out of her collar.

At this point we have one very large yellow lab running circles around our car, a portly 4 month old English Bulldog chasing her, a one eye pitbull on a tie out behind a fence standing on her back legs dancing and crying at full volume, and a Chihuahua in a cat carrier.

So, because it only makes sense, this is the exact point when the CSO shows up to get the little dog.

My neighbor and I are running around like crazy women trying to catch dogs while laughing hysterically about the irony of the situation.

It was madness!

We had everyone back in their place by the time the CSO walked into the yard but we were still laughing so hard I am sure he thought we were nuts!

The CSO took the little pup out to PUPS in Maple Grove where they will try to locate their owners and we went back to being a slightly crazy normal family with only 2 dogs.

Yes, I did make Heidi talk to the dog in Spanish. No, I do not think there is anything wrong with that. Had Spanish class not been canceled for this week she would have been speaking Spanish with her friends and tutor and not entertaining this little pup anyway so it all worked out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Midday Suprise!

Work has been beyond crazy lately. I am getting used to the new job which comes with many training sessions in addition to the added responsibility. And we are shoulders deep in yearly planning. Not to mention the full plate of projects I continue to manage.

So when Shawn stopped by my office today to pick up something he had left in the truck I was happy to break up the day a bit with a visit from all the girls!

Siri and Cakes stayed in the van with Shawn.

Siri in a booster seat. See how small she is?!

Heidi, and the two girls Shawn watches, Sophia and Piper came up to see the office and say hi to a few people.

Piper attending a meeting being driven by Heidi and Sophia. (They had strict directions not to actually type!)
It was a very quick visit, under 15 minutes including the walk to and from the van, but I loved seeing them and getting to hug the dogs midday.

And the best part, when we were walking back to the van to return the girls to Shawn, Heidi and Sophia were touching the stone sidewalk outside my building.

Just as I was saying "Girls! Please do not touch the sidewalk, it's covered in Pigeon poop!"

Just as I was saying that a Pigeon Pooped on Shannon's shoulder! GROSS!

The girls all squeeled and ran to the van to tell Shawn.

Shannon cleaned up using a tissue from the van and we headed back into the office cracking up about the girls and the poop.

And now I am refreshed and ready to get back to work! Thanks ladies and Shawn!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Am I Building an Arc?

Shawn says I have to have everything in pairs because I am building a arc.

Well. Maybe.

But if I am building an arc then why are both of my cats boys?

And if I am building an arc then why are both of my dogs girls?

That would be very interesting.

And then how do these three fit in?

Bull, Heffer, Bull (I love bullies!)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Letters and A Cupcake Update

Happy Friday everyone! Another week just flew by meaning the kids around here go back to school in three weeks, ACK!

I don't have a lot of letters this week so lets get to that now.

Dear Cakes, I cannot believe how big you are, I love you so much!

Dear Siri, You have really fit into our family well. I cannot believe it hasn't even been two weeks.

Dear Pete and Eddie, Things are getting better. Just try to stop spitting at Siri so much and this adjustment will go much faster.

Dear Shawn, Thank you for being the best Director of the Honey Badger Day Camp I could have imagined. One more week and then you will go back to being a teacher. You are so amazing!

Dear Olympics, I love you but you are killing me.

I also want to give you all a quick Cakes updated.  Nearly 7 weeks ago we brought this little English Bulldog into our house but it seems like a life time ago.

We weighted her at PetSmart last night and she is now 24.5 pounds. She can walk a decent distance now and is still doing well with house training.

She started Puppy School two weeks ago and it was no surprise that everyone loves her. She is doing great in class and I think it's good for her and Shawn to have some time together with out Siri or any kids.

She is now sleeping through the night in her crate right next to Siri's. They seem to comfort each other.  They also spend most of their time playing and chasing each other around the yard. They really do love each other.

Last week Cakes woke up covered in boogers. If you missed that you can read about it here. She has been on antibiotics for over a week now and she seems to be a lot better. The vet said she may have picked up a bug from Siri but she may have also snorted up a ton of swampy water a few days before. Whatever happened, she is on the mend.

And she is just so darned cute!

Have a great weekend everyone! I have no plans Saturday morning and nothing at all on Sunday. Please send me positive energy for a relaxing weekend and I will return the favor for you!

Cupcake (Cakes) 16 weeks, 24.5 pounds



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why The Olympics Are Killing Me

Top Eight reasons why The XXX Olympic Games are killing me.

8. I want to watch the Olympics 24/7 for the entire 17 days however I am stuck only being able to watch from 8 to 11 pm and only what is on NBC because cable made me fat and lazy. Yep. Sure did.

7. My alarm goes off at 5:30 am. I should be asleep by 9:30 pm. However I am glued to my TV until 11 making me dog tired when the alarms goes off. Who is not dog tired when the alarm goes off? The dog.

6. I now want to be on the Olympic Crew team

5.  I sit on the couch entirely too much watching TV. This is how I got fat in the first place. Watching people play beach volleyball does not mean I get to count their calorie burn as my own. Trust me on this. I checked my bodybugg. No luck.

4.  I get entirely to stressed out when Misty and Kerri are not up by at least 3 points.

3. My current role model is a 16 year old girl named Gabby Douglas.

Dogs playing while I lay on the couch watching the Olympics. You can see my bodybugg not capturing the greatness that is the summer Olympics and sending it my way. Heidi also looks a bit board.
2. I hate post game interviews and my lack of TiVo is forcing me to watch so many painful interviews with breathless winners/losers. I swear it's taking years off my life.

1. These are the games of the 30th Olympiad meaning they are the XXX games. It kills me that no one is talking about this. Come on people. Really. All the missed jokes...

Congrats to all the Olympic Athletes. Just making it to the games is simply amazing. And a huge butt slap to Misty and Kerri for their third Gold in Women's Beach Volleyball. Best wishes for a fantastic retirement to Misty.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Hobby Paid Out!

I didn't blog on Tuesday because I had to use my little bit of free time working on a different hobby.

A few months ago I saw a pair of flip flops decorated with balloons on the floor at Heidi's gymnastics gym so I made her a pair. Then I made some for her friends. Then I thought, well, this is easy, I should throw them up on etsy and see if anything happens.

I sort of forgot about it, save for the emails etsy sends me reminding me I have a store, and went about my daily life.

Then on Monday morning a woman emails me asking for 12 pairs of balloon flip flops for party favors for her daughters birthday. I made sure I had the inventory and would be able to ship them in time and we struck a deal.

It took me just over two hours to make and package the shoes and now I am up a little spending money.

Not to mention I had fun!

Maybe I will sell more. Maybe I will see that necklace I posted.

Maybe I will just go back to my life and forget again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Update

Morning everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I sure did!

If you are visiting from Cutesy Bootsie, welcome! I have a fun guest post about our Winter New York trip running over there today. Stop by and check out her super fun blog!

Friday night we went to the pool to celebrate the girls awesome swim session. They all passed the deep water test and had fun jumping off the diving board and going down that water slide. They start their next session today!

Saturday Heidi and I got up early and went to cheer on my friend Erin and her running partner Pat at the 9 mile marker of their half marathon. We parked over at Shannon's house and enjoyed spending time with her. Heidi was thrilled to spend the morning with Aunty Shannon and see Erin run and so was I!

When we got home I took Siri for her first run. I was very please with how it went. Considering I am running and she is just walking fast it worked well for both of us.

Then we met up with some family at a local park for a picnic. My brother and his fiancee, Dawn,  organized it and it was a great time. Dawn's extended family was there as was both my Mom's Sisters and family, my Dad's brothers and sister and family, and my step mom's brother, and my Grandpa. We had such a good time and it was wonderful to see everyone. I brought my camera but got to busy catching up with everyone it never made it out of my bag.

Saturday night was spent in my chair with my dog watching Olympics while Heidi went bowling with her cousins. I needed a night to relax and did not feel guilty about it one bit.

Sunday morning I slept in until about 8 and it was wonderful! I cannot remember the last time I did that. I spent the morning cleaning, going thru the paper, drinking coffee, playing with the dogs (Cupcake is feeling better but still not 100%), and watching the Olympics while Heidi was over at her Grandma's playing with her cousins and Shawn was installing a door on the basement to keep the dogs upstairs.

Siri and I went for another run and went a bit farther this time. Then we met up with Erin and the girls to see Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Man, was that a funny movie!  We were cracking up, tears rolling, bent over at the waste. And that was just Erin an me! You should have seen the girls!

I love going to movies like that with the kids! There is humor for the adults and humor for the kids. It's fun to see what they think is funny and we all have a good time together.  As we were leaving we were discussing what movies we want to see next and are all looking forward to another movie date. 

Hey, Erin, maybe next time I will not lose the popcorn!

After the movie I made a quick Grocery run then made PW's Pasta Primavera for dinner. Ryan, Jess, and the kids came over and we all hung out until I crawled in bed at 10 pm exhausted.

Now it's Monday and I am starting a new week. Siri and I started our morning with a run and I was able to spend a little time with each cat before I left. Not to mention there is a roast in the crock pot for Pulled Pork Sandwiches for dinner. I am finally feeling back on track.

The trick? Take a weekend off from adopting dogs or hanging at the Swamp!

Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday Letters on Saturday

Yes, I know it is Saturday. But that is how I roll and you love me for it.

Dear Gabby Douglas – I love you. You are an amazingly gifted and beautiful girl. You are going to do wonderful things for your sport; I hope you are ready for that. I am so proud of you for being the first in your sport to win gold in both team and individual All Around. Bravo.

Dear Michael Phelps – Happy retirement. Really.

Dear Ryan Lochte – I wish you would have won gold in the Men’s 200 Medley. I think it would have been the perfect hand off from Phelps to you. This is in your hands now. Make me proud.

Dear Olympics – I love you but you make me tired. I cannot stay up until 11 pm for 17 days straight.

Dear SiriWelcome to our family. I am amazed at how strong our bond is after only 6 days. It warms my heart and I look forward to our many years and many walks together. Thank you for being the dog who gets me out of bed at 5:30am for a morning walk. (Olympics, did you hear that? 5:30 am.)

Dear CakesI am sorry you were sick this week but I am so happy you are getting better quickly. Thank you for breaking your shoe eating habit so quickly. And I promise I will stop holding you like a baby as soon as you are too heavy for me (which I fully expect to happen here in the next few weeks so hang in there baby!)

Dear Heidi – I am so proud of you for passing your swimming lessons and moving up to level 3. You are such a rockstar!!

Dear Erin – You are going to rock your half marathon today! BIG HUGS!

Dear Shawn – Thank you again for getting me another dog. You know what this means to me and how happy this makes me. I love you.

Dear EddiePlease stop waking me up at 3am to pet you. Let’s try to schedule some other time to do that, say 7 pm?

Dear Peter I wish you would come upstairs more. I miss you horribly. I promise I will not let Siri eat you. Let’s try to work on this next week. Okay?

Dear Pig and DaisyI miss you every single day. Don’t ever doubt that.

Dear Coworker who had your last day on Thursday – It’s not good bye. But please get a facebook page. I want to stalk you. Kidding! Miss you already and I look forward to our first lunch date.

Dear New JobI heart you! You are awesome!

Dear Manager – Thanks for the fantastic Mid-year review. Your kind words always motivate me.

Dear House – I will clean you this weekend. I promise. I might even put the laundry away. Maybe. Probably not.

Dear Readers - love you all!!



Friday, August 3, 2012

The Cutest Bulldog Puppy And Her Boogers

I was going to ask if you all are sick of my dog posts lately but my page views, the number of comments, and emails I have been getting tell me you are not. Which is great because I love talking about them. And my kid. Those are my favorite topics.

Today I am going to talk about both of them so hold on to your hats!

Cakes and Pete playing last week (before Siri moved in and Pete moved to the basement)

I woke up Thursday morning to a bulldog puppy covered in boogers. Since I am not the person who thinks to take a picture of the mess before I deal with the issue (sorry) there is no photo to prove this. You just have to believe me.

When I say she was covered in boogers, I do mean that half of her head was finger nail deep covered in greenish yellow slime. It was gross.

And freaky.

But mostly gross.

So as any mom would do, I touched the snot and rolled it around in my fingers to see how sticky it was. Then I smelled it.

What? You would too.

Then I woke up Shawn and told him something was wrong with Cakes and he needed to get his ass out of bed right now. Okay, so I admit. It was as freaky as it was gross.

He agreed that they were boogers, cleaned her up, and let her sleep on the couch while Siri and I got ready for our walk.

Shawn took Cakes to the vet while I took a few hours off work and got to watch the girls at their second to the last day of swimming lessons.

Heidi, Sophia, and Piper rocked their swimming assessments and I was so happy to be skipping work for a bit to watch them. They are amazing little fish.

Heidi, Piper, and Sophia. Not only do they love swimming, they love cupcakes!
Cakes is fine. She is on antibiotics for a week or whatever (I don't really know, Shawn needs to worry about that, not me) and she is supposed to stay out of her pool for awhile (which sucks for you because I was totally going to get a video of her in her pool) and also out of the sandbox (suck for you again because that was another planned video!).

Don't you wish I would do things when I think about them not put them off for later? Yeah, me too. That is my biggest pet peeve. Ask my daughter.

They think Cakes might have gotten a cold from Siri so we are supposed to keep an eye on Siri (ha! Just one eye since she only has one eye. Get it?) in case she shows any symptoms and then bring her in if she does.

The only time I have seen Siri cough was that time Eddie spit at her and it freaked her out so bad her heart stopped. She coughed when it started again.

Speaking of the cats. My awesome sauce husband built an awesome sauce shelf for them to hang out on in the living room where Siri cannot eat them while they sleep. They are still debating if this is cool or not and I get to have a big hunk of carpet attached to the wall above my chair. So that's super awesome.
Eddie on the Awesome Sauce Cat Shelf over my chair

Cannot wait to see how many times I get jumped on by either a 30 pound pitbull or a 20 pound, fully clawed, Orange Tabby when I doze off while watching 30 Rock or surfing the interwebs...

Happy Friday people! We have a fairly low key weekend planned (which means we only have 17 things on the calendar instead of the typical 20) so maybe I will go to the grocery store tomorrow. Shawn mentioned something about not having any food in the house and I realized I don't remember the last time I was at Cub.

Oh, and I will try hard not to adopt another animal. No promises.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Introducing Siri Anna

I have had a lot of people ask what possessed us to adopt another dog only 5 weeks after adopting Cupcake.

Well, it all started the night we adopted Cupcake and the breeder asking if we would be interested in adopting his four year old Bulldog Bunny who will no longer be able to bread in the next few months. That planted the seed for a second dog and started Shawn thinking about having a friend for Cakes.

Fast forward 3 weeks. Cupcake is a good puppy but she is a puppy! She chews, she plays, she does not sleep through the night.

Some friends of ours rescue a pug and we are dying of jealousy.

One night, while sitting in the parking lot at the public library waiting for Heidi to finish her Spanish Tutoring lesson we pull up Save A Bull on my phone and start looking at pictures of super adorable Bully Bread dogs.

What we want is a high energy dog who will be able to run with me and who will play with Cakes.

The next two weeks fly by with an application being filed, references being checked, a meet up being scheduled.

Before I know it it's Saturday and we are heading to Minnehaha Park to meet all of the dogs in the Save A Bull Foster program.

We went there with three dogs in mind.

Dog 1 - Didn't come to the event. Not entirely clear on why.
Dog 2 - Nice, sweet, energetic, athletic, no idea how she will like or tolorate cats. Deal breaker with the cats. We cannot bring an adult dog in the house with no idea what she will do to the cats.
Dog 3 - Nice, sweet, energetic, athletic, lived with two cats in foster care, has one eye (lose of eye was due to a mole that grew from lid to lid and attached to the eyeball causing pain and was therefore removed back in March.) She does not miss her eye at all.

Within an hour we had fallen in love with dog 3. She is an American Stratfordshire Terrier and possibly mixed with another bread making her a small dog or a Pocket Pit. She is 30 pounds right now and they do not expect her to get any bigger. They put her age at a young 1 year.

Yes. An American Stratfordshire Terrier is the same as a Pitbull.

We scheduled a home visit for the next day and within 24 hours of meeting this pup she moved in with us and we were a 4 pet family again, just like I always want to be.

Her name is Siri Anna, she is a pitbull, and I love her!