Monday, June 30, 2014

Sonny's Escape

Sonny may look sweet (she is) and innocent (she isn't) on the outside, but she is mischievous to her core. 

When we lived with my parents for a short time pre-Ridgemont, she would find any hole in their backyard fence to escape from.  I can't even guess how many times we were out there looking for her, listening for her collar jingle-jangle beyond the fence, and how many patches my poor dad had to make to try and keep her inside.  She always escaped, and we always found her.

I mentioned that our new backyard is only partially fenced, and because Brock and Sonny have a new fondness for chasing the birds and wild bunnies that frolic in the yard, we put them on their leashes when they go out to potty.  Normally I've got Camden in my right arm/on my right hip and a leash in each hand.  It really is a sight.  Brock is an idiot, but listens pretty well.  Sonny is mischievous and doesn't listen particularly well.  You see where this is going, yes?

Yesterday evening, right after Ryan got home from his seventh consecutive 12-hour shift, I started dinner when he went up to shower.  Both puppies were sitting at the deck door so I grabbed Camden and their leashes and made a big, big mistake.  Normally, I either put their leashes on while still inside or they are good little puppies and wait while I put their leashes on immediately after stepping outside.  Not today.  

The door opened and they both took off.  And I mean, took off, heading right for the line of trees that stands between our backyard and a ravine.  

I ran down the steps and into the yard, almost stepping on a playing-possum-rat (gah!) yelling at both dogs to come back.  Brock, bless his big, dopey heart, stopped at the tree line, obeyed and came right to me.  Sonny ran into the trees and didn't look back.

I stood there, looking like an idiot, calling her name, and could still hear her collar jingle-jangling, then confident that she would hear the tone in my voice and come back with a proud smile on her face.  Nothing.

I ran up into the house, put Brock inside, and came back out with treats (and Camden in the Ergo) thinking that she would certainly be lured out by the sound of me shaking the treat bucket.  No collar jingle-jangle.  Nothing.  The I'm-about-to-lose-it-lump started it's creep up my throat because I knew exactly what was (or wasn't?) beyond the trees.  The ravine.

I started to panic and kept yelling her name, my voice really starting to shake.  I went next door to ask permission to go look in their backyard.  I kept shaking the bucket and calling her name, stopping every few seconds to try and hear the jingle-jangle I so desperately wanted to hear.  Nothing.  Ugly crying commences.  

Ryan joined in the search (just what he wanted to do after another long day at work), and I don't know if it was because he was so tired or what, but he was emotionless.  Emotionless as if he was preparing for us not to find her.  Forget ugly crying, I was hysterical.

I kept calling her and calling her.  Nothing.  No rustling of bushes, no jingle-jangle.  Nothing.  Just the image in my head of her falling down the ravine and me becoming exponentially more panicked with each passing minute.  For every time I called her name, Camden would echo with "Shu-She" and I became even more hysterical at the thought of him losing his Shu-She.

About 15 minutes into the search, I called my parents for reinforcements.  I don't really recall the conversation with my mom, but somehow she understood my words through my sobs and said they would be right over.

I ended up going to three different neighbors houses, asking I could look in their backyards, and giving them a quick description of what she looks like.  They were all very nice and obliging to the crazy-hysterical woman who's child wasn't wearing pants (sorry, Cammy).  Each one of them was quick to point out that, "You know if she goes down the ravine... She's not coming back up."  All I could do was swallow what I really wanted to say and respond with, "That's what I'm afraid of." In case you were wondering, what I really wanted to say was, "THANKS, EFFING ASSHOLE!  I HADN'T CONSIDERED THAT POSSIBILITY!" They also let us know that bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and big daddy raccoons roam the woods surrounding our neighborhood. Fabulous. 

More "Shu-She" calling, more bucket shaking, more time passing.  Nothing.  Except more hysterics, hyperventilation, feeling nauseated, and every few seconds Camden giving my mid-section a little squeeze with his arms (which by the way, he'll never know how precious and perfectly timed those squeezes were).

For whatever reason, I kept going back to this one section of our neighbor's yard.  They had a small rock wall dividing their yard from the ravine, and behind the wall growing on what small amount of land left was a bunch of bushes.  There was a small path/opening beside the wall where they could drop their yard clippings.  Standing in that opening and feeling totally defeated, I shook the bucket again.  And guess what I heard?  The faintest little jingle-jangle.  All shakiness left my voice and I called her name.  More jingle-jangle and the slightest rustling of bushes.

From wherever Ryan was looking, he could hear the change in my calls and came over with my parents. I did the really stupid thing, of course, and went into the opening to stand on some seriously unstable pile of yard debris, calling her name, trying to encourage her to come out.  I could hear her trying to move and could tell she was stuck.  Ryan, the hero, came over and ventured out further to try and see her, and he spotted her right away.  She was so far back (and stuck) in these bushes that I had to go get our hedge clippers so Ryan could cut his way into her.  He got her out, handed her to my dad, and then my dad helped pull Ryan out.  It was like our own damn 45-minute search and rescue mission.

We headed back towards the house and once my heart started beating regularly I sat down on the grass and said that since I knew she was alive, I was going to kill her.  Just kidding.  But I really did say that.   

Once everyone was back inside, and Sonny in timeout, I kept thinking that this little search and rescue mission could have ended differently, and I forced myself to just focus on the fact that we found her.  She's ok.  Perspective really set in when I realized, she's a frigging dog (who we love very much, obbbbbbviously), and cannot begin to imagine how indescribably awful it would be if I thought I'd lost Camden.  I won't even go there.

So, you might be asking yourself - did she just blog about losing her dog for 45 minutes?  Yes, I did.  Was it a dramatic and traumatic experience?  Hell yes.  But, trust me when I said that I also realize it pales in comparison to others misfortunes.  Sometimes, with everything we have going on in life, I have very little patience left for these dogs.  This experience served as a good reminder of how much I love them both and how important they are to our family. I wrote out this dramatic manifesto because I want to be able to look back on these 45 minutes someday, maybe someday when Sonny isn't around anymore, and laugh at how big of a little shit she was.  

And how Camden called her "Shu-She."

Take Luck,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Move

We officially moved this past weekend and I officially never want to move ever, ever again.

When I starting packing up the Ridgemont house, I kept thinking that we didn't really have that much stuff and we could whip it out in a day.  Wrong, wrong, wrong, with an extra side of wrong.  Ryan and I were amazed at the amount of stuff we had packed into our 1,500 square foot home. 

After we signed our closing documents last Monday night, our relator gave us our new keys and I commence the cleaning of the Terrace View house.  We purchased it as a short sale, and it was pretty obvious that the previous owners gave up on the upkeep of the home when they gave up paying for the home.  Mom and I started with the carpets on Tuesday night - vacuuming, spraying, scrubbing, and shampooing like crazy.  A few hours made a big difference.

I took Thursday off of work and spent the entire day cleaning the rest of the new house and started to wonder if they had owned cleaning supplies of any kind.  I'm not a clean freak by any means, so for me to say it was bad - is really saying something.  I totally understand them knowing that they were losing the home and losing motivation to keep things up - but good grief people you were still living there.  I worked my booty off.

Friday was moving day which meant Ryan making trips back and forth with the big stuff in the U-Haul, and me making trips back and forth with the smaller stuff in the Subaru.  Cam also had a hard little lump on his neck that wasn't going away, so I threw in an appointment with his pediatrician to confirm lymphadenitis (a swollen lymph node) just to make the day even more interesting. While Jess watched Cam, Ryan's buddy Mat came to help us out, and without him - we'd probably still be moving.  Just kidding, sort of.

Saturday we woke up feeling much better than we had anticipated. We kept moving out of Ridgemont and making trips to Terrace View.  Once all our crap was out of the house, I started the deep cleaning process and was so thankful that 1) it's only 1,500 square feet and 2) we are clean people so it didn't take a crazy amount of time and effort to get it done.  I started to feel a little sad knowing that we were leaving our first house and that soon, another family would be living in it.

Sunday we woke up feeling like we got hit by a New York City taxi cab, but persevered and went back to Ridgemont for the last of our stuff.   On the way, and proving just how pooped we were - we had McDonald's and Red Bull for breakfast.  Let me just say that other than their hashbrowns, I had never eaten McDonald's breakfast. Maybe this experience was influenced by my overall state of exhaustion, but I was drooling and swooning over my Sausage McMuffin like I haven't drooled or swooned over food in a long time.  It felt good to be bad.

We had to make one last trip to Ridgemont on Sunday afternoon to load up Dad's truck with the pile of crap that was left on the side of the yard, ready for the dump.  When we arrived, the property management lady was inside doing her walk-thru/inspection in preparation for the new tenants to move in Monday.  She is nice (but super condescending) and didn't waste any time in telling me that the cleanliness of the kitchen was unsatisfactory and that the tenants were "going to have a conniption fit."  I'm pretty sure I gave her the look of death and explained that the kitchen was cleaner than it has ever been.  She walked us through the "deficiencies" and proposed that we refund the tenants anywhere from $150-$200.  Yeah, no.  Not so much.

Long story short, between Ryan, my mom, and some neighbors, over six more hours were spent cleaning the kitchen, just to make sure there would be no reason in hell for the tenants to complain, or for the property management lady to make the same proposition again.

I'm not usually one to gush about how wonderful my hubby is.  I gush plenty about how he irritates me, clearly, but I have to say that Ryan really (and I mean, really) impressed me this past weekend by how much he stepped up.  I lost my shit when the lady was pointing out everything that was "unacceptable" in the kitchen, knowing how hard I worked to get it ready.  I knew/know she was just doing her job, but I was mentally and physically done and not up for doing anything else.  Ryan saw this, hugged me, and was lightning fast to tell me not to worry about it - that he would handle it.  Uhhhhm, I'm sorry, who are you?!  Whoever you are - you are amazing.

He stayed at Ridgemont until 1am.

So, like I said, many unexciting paragraphs ago - we are officially in our new house and getting settled, while new tenants are in the old house.  I drove by Ridgemont on Monday evening after picking Camden up from daycare and was surprised how sad I felt seeing someone else in our house.  I decided I shouldn't drive by there anymore.  It's still pretty chaotic at Terrace View with painters tackling rooms that needed therapy and boxes needing to be unloaded and organized.  Oh, and did I mention that Brock seems to be terrified of being left alone and is peeing all over the place? There's that, too.  

The new house doesn't feel like "ours" quite yet, but I think it will once things quiet down a little bit.  We are loving the views, loving the layout of the house, and all the extra space we have.  Cam has had no trouble with the transition and seems to love running through the house and climbing up the stairs to his new bedroom. The backyard is only partially fenced so I am not loving taking the dogs out on their leashes and standing there while they do their business.  I'm pretty sure dogs like their privacy, too.

We now live 4.0 miles from Target and 4.2 miles from Panera Bread Co. AND Fro-Yo.  Dangerous, I tell ya.   

We could not have done what we did without my parents going above and beyond and saying "yes" to anything we asked. They rock. 

So, congratulations.  If you are still with me, you just finishing reading the least exciting blog post in the history of exciting blog posts.  You deserve a medal.  Or some fro-yo.

Take Luck,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camden - 18 Months

My Camden Boy is 18 months old.  A year and a half.

I keep asking myself how this even happened, but with the craziness that has been the past few months - it really is no surprise that it snuck up on me.  Time sucks.  I am loving this stage of his little life, just like I've loved all the rest before it.  He has moments of starting to test my patience, but he is still a sweet, funny, and wild little tornado child.  So much so, that my mom has started calling him Camnado.

It's been awhile since I laid out the latest happenings of my man cub, so without further ado:

- He doesn't walk.  He runs.  Everywhere.

- Climbs on everything.

- Loves to play with balls and his baby golf clubs. These toys quickly become weapons. 

- Favorite songs are "Barbara Ann" by The Beach Boys and "Starships" by Nikki Manaj (not even kidding), "Hot Dog" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and of course, the Bubble Guppies theme song.

- Loves to blow kisses and give real ones, too.

- Gives the best little man hugs and if you are lucky, he will pat your back, too.  A few times I've been crouched down/bent over picking up something and he's come up behind me and given me a backside hug and pat.

- LOVES his daddy.

- Does not tolerate wearing shoes and/or socks while in the car and tries to pull his socks off with his teeth.  Usually unsuccessfully.

- Had his last shrimp swim lesson and will start kipper class at the end of the month.

- Is quite the little chatterbox.  We can't understand 90% of the things he says, but he sure tries.

- Says mama, mommy, dada, daddy, ball, baby, dog, gaga (Grammy), papa (Grampa), Ray-Ray (Rachel), ouch, nana (banana), hi, bye-bye, and Xbox.  That last one, I'm not as proud of.

- Thinks any fruit or vegetable is a banana (nana) and refers to it as such.

- Loves his puppies and tries to say "Sonny" but it comes out "Shu-she."

- Signs "more" and "please."

- Has 12 teeth.

- His favorite books are Barnyard Dance, Is Your Mama a Llama, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  The scary thing is that he can pick these three out of a stack when asked. The scarier thing is that I can recite each of these books by heart.

- Recently started jumping.  Or maybe it's hopping?  Seeing a toddler jump/hop is hysterical, by the way.

- Still wants his breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And yours, too.  And many, many, many snacks.

- Uses a spoon and fork to feed himself.  We're still working on minimizing the mess that comes with self-spoon feeding.

- Can point to his head, nose, tummy, and toes, and thinks "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" is a hoot.

- Has started making diaper changes really, really difficult.  Legs are kicking, a pelvis is thrusting, and there is just generally a lot of squirming going on.  If I had four feet I'd be able to pin his shoulders and his legs.

- Can mean mug like nobody's business.  He gets that from his mama.

- Loves crackers.  Any kind of crackers, really - but his favorites seem to be Ritz, Honey Maid Graham, and Annie's Honey Bunnies. Whatever you do, don't try to give him Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.  Apparently those are not so much his favorite and he will let you know that you've eff'd up.

- Double fists when eating crackers.  Always.

- Smiles and laughs at himself when he lets out a burp or toot.

- Loves to "help" vacuum, sweep, dust, carry things, and put things away.

I could go on and on about this little busy guy.  He lights up our life and we are so grateful to get to be his parents.  I see his smile and hear his laugh and everything seems right in the world.

Until next time.

Take Luck,
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