Friday, February 22, 2008

More stuff

After making a huge fuss over the arrangements to California, it’s all taken care of and I think it worked out just fine. The girls and I are flying out a week from today (Thursday) and will fly back the following Wednesday. Hubby will be in Santa Clara, he has a conference that goes until Friday. He will be flying down to meet us when he’s done. He was supposed to be going to New York that next week, but I haven’t heard that the contract there is firming up, so it might be that he can stay longer in Oceanside. Either way, it means I don’t have to endure the 14 hour road trip over and back, and we’ll have two more days on the beach. Also the girls love to fly, and 2 hours is a pretty easy flight to do with them.

So. Thing 2 is really loving her ballet class. I REALLY love it. I think she gets so much more out of it that the rather free form classes we’ve had, and probably more than she’d get at Virginia Tanner. She’s learning some of the basic movements and postures, and in the mean time she gets to wear a tutu. The teacher is this charming guy from Chile, I suppose I should have recognized the Chilean accent on his English. But he’s very good with the little girls, very tolerant yet he pushes them a little. I would love to sit in the class and watch, but I distract her and she spends too much time looking at me and waving. So I sit with the other moms and wait outside.
She dosen't know it, but here's her Degas impression.

Today Thing 2 and Lilly, another little girl, go prancing into the studio and Christobal, the teacher, closes the door behind them so they can start the class. Not 60 seconds later he opens the door and pokes his head out laughing, and he says something about how we need to be careful about telling secrets to our little girls. He’s laughing and seems embarrassed to tell us what secret he has learned. Finally he says, “I have learned that one of you likes to wear a wig, and it doesn’t really match your hair color.”

This is Thing 1 being her lovely self - uncharicteristicly holding still for a picture

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Dog

So. Kristin’s dog.
He has settled in a little, and has started playing with the girls. He is absolutely fabulous with them - going down on his elbows and waving his butt in the air, then racing around and back to get them to play with them. He's quite gentle, though one of their shirts has teeth marks in it now. They think he's amazing.
When we play music and dance in the living room, he gets up on his back legs and cuts in. It's really funny. But that's only the good part.

The problem is what to do with him when we’re not home. My sister didn’t bring his kennel. It’s freezing outside… So I’ve mostly taken him with me and left him in the car when I run errands, or with me to walk the kids to school, wherever I go, he’s with us. Until this morning. I had to go to the church at 8:00 am to set up for a breakfast we did for the Primary. Hubby brought the girls at 9:00, and then went to a coffee shop to get some work done. We put a couple of our dining room chairs against a swinging door we have between the kitchen and the dining room to keep the dog out of the front of the house, and shut all the doors in the back, hopefully corralling him in the kitchen, on the tile floor.

The dog scratched up the swinging door until he got it open enough that he could reach the back of the dining room chair braced against the door. He scratched along the top of that until he moved it out of the way enough to get by it.

Chair and Nice 100 year old solid wood door 0
Dog + 2

I found poop on the floor of the office, the door of which opens onto the front entryway, and pee all over a painting smock that the girls had left on the floor of the office, urine was tracked all through the front entryway. All of this is wood floors, though the dining room and living room rugs are kind of right there….

Office Hardwood Floor 0
Dog + 1

There was a small bamboo plant on the windowsill behind the front couch. He snapped it off by the base, and the water in it was dumped down the back of the couch.

Plant 0
Dog +1

Our front door is a large glass panel framed in wood. For privacy there is a curtain thing, gathered in the center with a sash of cloth and attached by little rods at the top and bottom. The curtain had been ripped in two and was lying on the entryway floor. The rods were bent and the metal rod holders screwed into the door were really bent.

Curtain and rods - 0
Dog + 2

Aww, heck, I’m not keeping score anymore.

There was dog hair on the front couch and pillows. Oh. And a plastic bag that had been on the kitchen counter and at one time had either two or three bagels in it was laying on the floor, bagels were of course gone.

Of course all of this wouldn’t have happened if we had just left the dog outside. Our yard is fenced but the door to the garage is too warped to stay shut, and there’s tons of crap in the garage that I'm not sure what he'd do with. And besides, Kristin tells me he has the run of their house while they’re at work. So I’d hoped nothing would happen. The idea of sanding down and refinishing my beautiful dining room chair… and the same thing with the lovely old swinging door… Sigh.

Suddenly I find myself very uninterested in getting a dog.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dog sitting

We are babysitting one of Kristin’s dogs this week. I got my choice between which of her two dogs, boxers, I chose the older (housetrained) one that she just got a couple weeks ago over the younger, more rambunctious one that she’s had since before Christmas. He’s a very good dog, all in all, but based on the size of our yard and neighborhood it means I’m picking up every poop that comes out of his body immediately after he poops it. He’s good with the kids, quiet, and sleeps most of the afternoon. As long as he’s near me. If I leave the room, he follows.
There wasn’t a lot of uncomfortable missing Kristin terribly time with him, within a day he seems to have settled in happily enough.

There are a couple of bad behaviors that I really hate about some people’s dogs, when you call them and they run in the other direction, and when they tug incessantly on the leash when you walk them… and when they defecate on my floor.

So far, Ruger does none of these. He likes the kids well enough, though he’s not much of a player, like Kristin’s puppy Willo is. He plays a little rough for Thing 1and 2, but loves to chase his rope around. Kristin has a “gentle leader” collar for him, which hooks over his nose and snaps high on his neck, and I think it transfers the tug on the leash directly to his face. He may not like it, but it means that Thing 1 and even thing 2 can walk him without him pulling them off their feet. I think given the two dogs, Thing 1 and 2 would go for Willo. If she grows up to be as mellow as him, I’d be okay with that. But right now she’s a pack of boundless energy. Un-housetrained energy.

I walked him to pick up the girls and he did just fine, until someone else’s rambunctious border collie mix came over to where we were. Next thing I knew, Ruger and this collie were growing and fighting with each other. The other dog was not on a leash, which I think was bad behavior on the owner’s part, but… Of course that makes Ruger look bad on the playground, but I guess that’s not my problem either.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Look at me and tell me what you see...

Thing 2 was sitting in my lap, squirming happily and snuggling like a puppy. She looks up and me and says "Some people might look at your face and think it doesn't look so good... but when I look at you, all I see is the LOVE." She follows this up with a big happy loving smile and more happy snuggling.

Hmmm... here's a photo of Thing 2's 2nd birthday. Long ago, I know.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ballet lessons

Thing 2 is taking ballet. It's in the mornings, while Thing 1 is in kindergarten. I absolutely love it. She has this great teacher, a guy from Chile, who is amazing. There are a couple of other little girls in her class, but it's never more than four of them in there. It's just the cutest thing, I hope she keeps it up. My daughter the dancer.

I don't get to watch the class, it distracts the girls. So I sit in the hall and gab with the other moms, who are great.