Monday, October 31, 2005

Just one of Sara's beautiful photos.

One of my Flickr contacts, awfulsara (Sara Heinrichs), is a brilliant photographer in Northern California and has fallen on hard times. To read more and possibly help her out, please visit her site.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Does This Mean Trouble Later?

Me: "What's that cord you're carrying around?"

Son: (irritated) "It's the cord for one of my consoles (for Gamecube)!"

Me: "How do you want to talk to me?"

Son: (trying unsuccessfully to sound less irritated) "It's the cord for one of my consoles."

Me: "Try talking to me nicely."

Son: (deadpan, looking in bathroom mirror) "It's the cord for one of my consooooles."

Me: (laughing) "How old are you, anyway?"

Son: (irritated again) "Four!!"

Me: "Are you sure you're not thirteen?"

Son: "Mommy, just stop being funny."

Me: (winking) "I can't help it. I'm naturally funny."

Son: (walking away) "No, you're not..."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Learning Not to Be Surprised

So today my son was drawing with his Magna Doodle:

Son: "Look, Mommy -- it's a house with rain coming down!"

Me: "Wow, that's great, sweetie!"

Son: (erasing and drawing something else) "Now it's a picture of me!"

Me: "Wow, that's really cute!"

Son: (erasing and drawing again, then looking at me for a moment)

Me: "What's that, sweetie?"

Son: (grinning) "It's a giant PENIS!"

Me: "! So...what made you decide to draw a penis?"

Son: (nonchalantly) "Oh, I just thought it would be fun. Look! I'm drawing a car now!"

Me: (heading to kitchen for Tylenol) "That's really great, sweetie..."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Last night when my son's dad brought the kiddo back to my house, he brought his girlfriend with him. Although she didn't come upstairs, I saw her in the car. It's not like it's the first time my son's dad has not honored my feelings/wishes about something -- far from it. But until this point he would either not bring her, or at least would park on the street if she was with him, instead of under my deck, so I at least didn't have her in my face. I am really pissed off and feeling like there's nothing I can do about it, and I would like to break something.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Doggie Downer


I was optimistic about finding a dog for us, so after many phone conversations and emails about a 25-pound mix in need of a new home, I picked up the dog on Sunday...and she barked at me a lot and stayed as far away from me as she could. "Oh, she's like that," the owner's fiancee said. "She just takes some time to warm up to you." Okay. After a few minutes, the dog hopped into my open car and waited for me, although she didn't seem happy and friendly -- just very wary. I petted her for a while and then we took off. As we were driving, she looked out the window, and when I reached out to pet her once, she flinched. Okay. We rolled into town and I took her into the pet supply store with me. While we were there, three women petted her with no problem -- she was friendly toward them. When a man reached down to pet her, however, she backed way up. Okay. I bought some food, toys, chewies, and a couple of other things, and we headed back to the car. On the way to the lake, I gave her a couple of treats. She was starting to become a little attached to me, I could see. We took a walk by the lake, but she didn't go potty. Hmm.

We headed over to my house and got there just as my brother and his girlfriend were arriving. The dog barked like crazy at the two of them, which set off the little dog next door, and my (almost) dog was scared enough that she didn't want to go upstairs. We finally got inside my place, and my brother went upstairs to check email while I sat downstairs with his gf and the dog. The dog was fine with the two of us, although she stayed close to me after drinking a little water. A couple of times, the dog ventured upstairs to check out the place (and my brother, I presumed) and was quiet. She came back and napped a bit next to me. Then my brother came downstairs and the dog went a little nuts, barking and backing up. My brother sat on the couch and I sat next to him to show the dog all was well, and the dog gradually came to us with some coaxing. Then my brother and his gf took off for a few errands.

While they were gone, I discovered the dog had peed upstairs. Okay. I had carpet cleaner, so I took care of it, and spent a couple of hours just hanging out with the dog, petting her and letting her look around. Finally she took a little nap.

My brother and his gf came back later, and I thought maybe the dog would be okay with them since she'd already met them. Nope. She barked like crazy again, backing up. It wasn't happy barking, like "Yay! People!" It was more like "Get the hell out!" barking. My brother and his gf sat at the dining room table and the dog sat by me, looking at them and growling repeatedly.

The initial barking wasn't a deal breaker in itself, nor was the peeing upstairs, which I chalked up to nerves, but after spending the afternoon/evening with the dog, I didn't feel good enough about it to subject the kiddo to her overly cautious temperament. I figured if she was barking and growling at people who were just sitting there doing nothing, she would react even more strongly to a little person trying to get in her face. So...I called the owner's fiancee and told her I was bringing the dog back.

Although the dog was very pretty, she was definitely not as good-natured as the owner had described her. All I could think was that if I were childless, I might have been willing to take the time to work with her on the shyness thing, but I had a bad feeling about what might happen if the kiddo startled the dog or tagged her to play. Just not a good dog for us.

As I drove the dog back to her home (I'd originally planned to keep her overnight and introduce her to the kiddo in the morning to see how things went), she seemed to recognize the area and got excited. By the time we pulled into K.'s driveway, the dog was on my lap and trying to get out the window. When K. took the leash, some other people walked past us and the dog barked like crazy at them, too. Whatever. I'm definitely not opposed to some barking if it's happy barking, but barking and growling out of fear and skittishness just seemed like a precursor to a possibly less fortunate incident down the line, dog this time.

Back to the drawing board. I was definitely disappointed, but I could feel in my gut that I was making the right decision by bringing her back. *sigh*

Sunday, October 16, 2005

That Neighborly Feeling

In the wee hours of the morning, with all the windows open upstairs, I can hear the alarm clock belonging to the neighbor across the way, as well as the neighbor himself, loudly blowing his nose and coughing something up. This is a lot of togetherness between me and someone with whom I'm not intimate, and it also leads me to think that I should probably start closing my bathroom door more often. ;^)

On a different subject, last night I saw In Her Shoes for the second time. I'd seen it once by myself, but my sister and I wanted to see a movie and I thought she'd like this one; besides, I liked it a lot and didn't mind seeing it again. The movie follows the book by the same title, and it just so happened that my sister and I had read the book. There was a time when I wouldn't have spent time reading what one friend calls "brain candy," but since I my son's birth I often seek out light reading for sleepless nights, and popular novels are just the ticket. I have to tell you -- the movie version of In Her Shoes is waaaay better than the book, although the book did get me through some bouts with insomnia. I'm not going to say a whole lot about the movie, except to tell you that if you don't fall in love, at least a little bit, with Mark Feuerstein's character, you must have a heart of stone -- stone, I tell you! ;^)

Anyway, we were to meet a friend at the theater, but she accidentally went to another one, so she saw the movie there and we met up later for dinner with our friend and her boyfriend and had a delightful time. We had to shout a bit above the general Italian restaurant din, but it was fun swapping stories and drawing on the paper-covered table top (yes, one of those places), and the food was good, and I hadn't done any of that for longer than I'd like to admit. Good stuff. Our friend's boyfriend slyly picked up the check and adamantly refused reimbursement later, which, as my sister pointed out later, is a sign of true graciousness and, I might add, typical of that couple. I really appreciated their kind gesture.

Afterward, I drove the 90-odd miles home (yikes) and made it in one piece. I'm quite accustomed to the drive, and I'd had about 50 Diet Cokes, so I was in no danger of nodding off. Once home, however, I stayed up to watch a few minutes of television and fell asleep on the couch. I awoke about four or five hours later and here I am. When will I learn to pass up the couch and go straight to bed?

A man is due to notify me soon of his dog's return to California (from Mississippi) and there's a slight chance I'll be able to meet the beautiful pooch today. If not today, then possibly tomorrow. If we hit it off (the dog and I), there's a chance it'll come to live with us right then and there. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The house is pretty darned quiet with the kiddo away.

In the meantime, there's work to do...