You can’t find love in the freezer section (of Wal-Mart).

Between my son and my god-daughter, the teenagers keep my weekend nights busy. They both have learner’s permits but not full licenses yet. That means I get to be taxi to and from both jobs. I’m not complaining. It gives me one-on-one talk time with them to catch up on the week. (let’s me be honest it makes me feel like I’m still cool and needed)

I had just picked up Bree from her job and had about a half hour to kill before picking up Dru. Ice cream run it is! Normally 9pm on a Friday is a pretty safe time to venture through Wal-mart. The creepy dudes are already at the bar and the drunken freaks don’t come out until midnight. I should be just fine to rock this in jammies.

At least that’s what I thought until I reached the frozen food section. If this was a movie I would’ve had the quiet piano melody to warn me not to turn around when some random dude started complementing my hair. He seemed harmless and friendly so I was the same back. He was smooth. In all the simply questions “What do you do? Are you from around here? What’s your sign?” He casually snuck in the “what does your boyfriend do?” I was totally honest. I told him without hesitation that I’m married and he is a mechanic. I swear to god this guy then made the calculating face that all the piranhas at the bar make. The one that tells you right away the chick is married and trying to figure out if you work with her husband before proceeding. He then asked which mine my husband works at. I was honest about that as well. Yep, total piranha face again. He tells me that he works for a different mine.  It happens to be one that can come to my office so I give him the sales pitch, bid him goodnight and turned around quickly like I just remembered to tell the teenager something important we forgot to grab. I don’t trust piranhas…..

It’s pretty bad when the teenager that is just as socially awkward and clueless asks if that guy was just trying to flirt. Glad it wasn’t just me that picked up on that. Luckily I stuck him down right away with the “I’m married”  or so I thought…… a few minutes later this guy comes walking up to us again!

“Is it true what they say about Coalminer wives?”

“And what is that?”

“That they have a lot of fun while their husbands are on night shifts?”

You have got to be kidding me right now

“Oh yeah, totally true! They say you don’t lose your wife, you lose your turn. That’s why you make sure you never leave her unsatisfied before you leave for nights. Make sure she is taken care of and you don’t have to worry about her straying. Remember that when you get a girlfriend”

“I’m going to be at Boothill later if you what to come out”

“You have fun with that. Goodnight!”

We are both booking it in the opposite direction now, completely disgusted that a guy would have the balls to ask a question like that. Bree is completely floored that I haven’t hit this guy yet. We have a short conversation about staying professional at all times and about how you need to not bring yourself down to other people’s levels. Always have respect for yourself. It was short conversation because now this guy is in the make-up section right next to us! I pretended to not hear him try to talk to me again and was on a mission to the back of the store. I made Bree promise to tell Travis this story because there is no way he is going to believe me!

Okay, we are taking the long way around to self check-out. Bree is on watch duty. We just need to get out of here and make it home to enjoy our ice cream. Scanned. Paid. Bagged. Go! HOLY MOTHER FLIPPING CRUD BUNNIES HE IS IN FRONT OF US AGAIN!!!!!

“so, do I have a chance of seeing you at boothill tonight?”

“NO! I’m married and I’m faithful! GO AWAY!”

I should’ve taken Bree up on the offer of a million points if I ran him over in the parking lot. He managed to place himself directly in front of the car.

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Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!!!

It’s no secret that I am Biggie Piggie’s favorite person. He’s my favorite puppy. I have never loved a dog before him. I’ve liked a few and tolerated most but I love him like he is one of my own children. That big bully-dog smile of his just melts my heart. I look forward to coming home and playing with him or just lying on the couch and cuddling.

The last few months poor Biggie has been put on the back burner. Between arrangements for my brother, my house being under construction, the other puppy having major health issues; he has not gotten the attention he deserves. I started noticing a few weeks ago he wouldn’t cuddle with me anymore, then he started shying away from me the same way he does everybody else, he got into a “food fight” with my best friends dog, aaaaaand he started marking the house. Okay time to step up and be a good dog mommy again. He shouldn’t have to cause problems to get my attention.

I started setting aside one-on-one play time with just him each evening again. We are burning off energy and my sweet loveable pup is coming back. I hadn’t noticed this until the other morning (my husband says he does it a lot) that he copies my movements. If I sit on the floor so does he. If I lay down he watches me and lays in the same position. If I move towards him, he will sploot-scoot towards me. That just makes me all giggly now, I love it! He had sat down to look at me in his prissy little cross legged way Frenchie way. I slid onto my belly to give him pets and he flowed to a perfect downward facing dog and into cobra pose, completely in sync with me. I sat down in front of him and asked him to come here. Instead he moved his legs out to each side so they looked just like mine. I laughed and wiggled my feet on the floor and asked him to come again. He stared at me dead in the eye and wiggled both his back feet. I laughed, he smiled. I asked if he wanted belly rubs. BAM!!! Perky ears and an instant red rocket! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!

“You put that away mister!”

He startled and looked down all ashamed. He sucked in his tummy really trying.

“I’m serious! No belly rubs while you have that hanging out!”

He kept his head down and franticly starts swallowing and sucking his tummy in repeatedly making a little success. At about half mast he looked up quizzically.

“No way buddy. Not happening. Put it completely away or no belly rubs. I mean it”

He looks down again and tries sucking in his stomach more. The problem now is he is lifting off the ground and dropping back down. The rubbing on the carpet is being counter-productive. At this point Travis is almost falling off the couch laughing!

Travis: “You can beat in on the ground all you want boy but it’s not going to help your situation!”

Poor Biggie just sat there looking crushed as his dream of belly rubs on a Saturday morning was slowly fading away. He even had little tears running down his cheeks. Travis then was all sympathetic.

“It’s okay bud, she tells me the same thing in the mornings too. Mom is just mean”

Sooo not funny. Apparently the heartbreak worked and he was now able to compose himself. I’m still laughing and tried to scratch him but he shied away like I had just told him “we can still be friends” I followed him around the living room like he was a baby duck.

Me: “Just let me love you!”

Travis: “He tried to love you, you wouldn’t let him”

*Insert evil glare at both boys*

He did finally forgive me later in the morning but it took some bribery with ham. I didn’t realize males of ALL species got their feeling hurt when you giggle at their pecker……

PS we really do call him Biggie Piggie. then we sing the “you can be a big pig too!” song from Timon and Pumba in lion king. He loves it!20180411_181858.jpg

Yep, I am a crazy mom

It has been my week to fight for my kids. A little bit of me is glad that I shelter them from how crazy their mother can be. Another part of me wishes I had it in me to let them watch me unload on someone, that way they would never question how hard I am willing to fight for them. Any momma bear knows exactly what I’m talking about. I thought I had handled the issue with my son quite well but maybe I still had a little bit of it built up. It’s very possible she was overreacting when I was evicted from her office. It could be she just had a strong sense of self preservation and knew she crossed the line with a redhead. Let me break it down.

The School Nurse at my girls elementary school is a totally power freak. We have had issues for years with this gal. I love everything else about this school and have heard the same from many parents. She will get on a kick of sending every kid home for nothing and then follow it with a spell of refusing to let anyone know their kid was in her office. That is frustrating enough on its own but she HATES being questioned. She once told my step-daughter that her dad is an a**$#!@ (This isn’t heresy, she thought she had hung up the phone but missed the receiver. We heard her say it.) She was sending a 9 year old home for being flushed after recess. We weren’t arguing weather or not we would come to get her. We just wanted to know if the symptoms were bad enough that we needed to speed. Instead of telling us symptoms we got a lecture about her degree and a phone slam.

I have snuck over the counter meds in both my girls backs packs because I have been told many times that the nurse won’t give them unless she has a doctor’s note. Sorry chick, I’m not paying $100 (per child) for an office visit to get a note saying my kid can have cough drops for a cold. This time I didn’t feel right sneaking meds in. My youngest had come home from a friend’s house feeling terrible. Body aches and stomach ache but no fever, no GI issues.  I gave her some Tylenol and ibuprofen and had her take a warm bath. 45 minutes she was way better. The next morning she felt crappy again but we had just passed a stomach bug around the house. All of us had a few days of upset stomach followed by a few days of explosive vomiting. I wasn’t going to keep her home the first few days and burn her sick time if it wasn’t going to be eventful. I told her to go to the nurse if she felt bad again and I would call and tell her it was okay to get over the count meds. I wanted her checking in with someone in case it got bad sooner for her.

What a joke. I never got a call from my daughter. Her dad did but not me. I called to check in when I heard from him instead of her. Big surprise, she wouldn’t give her anything over the counter, wouldn’t let me talk to her and informed me that my daughter needed counseling. “kids don’t cry from stomach aches, she has something emotional going on” I think I know my kid better than a nurse that only sees her a few minutes a year. So I made a trip to the school.

I won’t go into all the details but I will tell you it was ugly. I had my daughter come to the office so I could check on her. She said her skin hurt; and her tummy and her head but wasn’t running a fever. I gave her a few otc’s right there in the hallway, gave her a kiss and asked if she could tough it out until after school. She said she could so I sent her back to class.  I then asked to talk to school nurse. Big surprise here too, instead of answering any question she pointed at the picture on the wall and told me how she graduated top of her class from the best medical school in the country with doctors and neurosurgeons and that she knows a little bit more about giving medications to a child than an MA. And if I had a license maybe I would understand that there are certain things she can’t do since she has a license to worry about. I held back the laugh but did ask if she hated her job since she was more worried about her degree than helping children. I did also remind her that if she was so worried about her license she would have gathered more information before making the decision it was an emotional issue versus physical. Blah blah, more heated debate. You can’t tell me how to do my job, Wah Wah, I’m not, I’m asking why you won’t answer my questions, BLAH BLAH BLAH I have more important things to do than call every parent over a stomach ache WAH WAH WAH really because you call my husband every time my step-daughter has a stomach ache BLAAAAAH!!! YOU JUST VIOLATED HIPAA!!!! Sorry honey, YOU just violated HIPAA. You left a whole pile of paperwork out on your desk where anyone walking in can read their protected information. You just got lucky and the top name also belonged to me so it really isn’t a breach. But all those other kids…….

She demanded to know the name of my supervisor which I gave more than willingly. I even asked if she needed the phone number. Instead she told me that my daughter didn’t need pills, she needed someone to care for her. That took balls to yell down the hall in front of an office full of witnesses. I was at the crying point of angry now.

So there I was, kicked out of the nurse’s office waiting for the principle to get a private room ready. The cute little ginger sitting next to me asked if I just yelled at the nurse. I apologized to him and told him that sometimes moms get a little upset when they are worried about their kids but I shouldn’t have argued in front of him. To which he told me, “It’s okay, my mom has yelled at her too. My sister got hit in the eye and there was blood and a bruise and the nurse didn’t even call her” I giggled a little. “I would be mad too” This kid would be perfect for those Chewy’s granola bar commercials. God he was adorable!

Things went fairly good with the principle. My daughter’s dad had just made it out of class so he met us at the school as well. (we rock at co-parenting)  We didn’t get empty promises, we didn’t get excuses. We got a heartfelt apology and that he would do his best. (Have I mentioned that I love 99% of the staff at that school.) And he reassured us that next year would be better since her contract was ending with that school.

The next day I got a very polite call from the school nurse. This time she did a VERY THOROUGH exam before calling. She doesn’t think it is an emotional issue this time since there are diminished bowel sounds on the left side. She was a little nervous when I asked to talk to my child but I wanted to make sure she hadn’t been treated the same way as the day before. I thanked the nurse for her call and got my girl an appointment that day. We made sure to get some x-rays for those “counseling issues” and now she is doing great. Just took a few more over the counter pills 😉

They is nothing quite like going a few rounds in a boxing ring to make you feel like a super parent.

And I’m not totally insane, as soon as I start telling anyone in the medical field this story they immediately interrupt me to ask “Was that Mrs (BLANK)?!” How does everyone in town know her so well??????

That’s one way to get a free beer…

With all the recent “bathroom” dilemma, I feel I should let my opinion be known. I Identify as “Wanting Short Lines”. I don’t care which stick figure is on the sign. I am going in the restroom that doesn’t have a 3 mile line full of drunk crying chicks. Especially in a crowded casino. Especially on a holiday weekend. Especially when the guys look far more sober. Especially when the girl 3rd from the end just threw up on her own glasses out front. Yeeeeaaaaah……..that so isn’t the line for me……. plus I’m wears pants and so is the stick person over here!!! It’s a sign I should be here (haha get it?!)

The guys usually seem to be okay with it as well. I have only embarrassed a few over the years. It was way easier to explain when my son was young and I could just claim I was helping him. He was only 4 and we were halfway across South Dakota. (Anyone who has done this drive knows the struggle) The last restroom for the next 3 hours had 9 women waiting outside of the door. After 5 minutes only 1 gal had come out and in went a mom with 2 toddlers and an infant in a carrier. At the same time 2 men had walked in and walked back out of that restroom. Screw this, I’m going in. Since there was an available sitter I took that. No need to make it more weird than I had to. I heard someone come in but I had the door latched. When I finished and went to wash by hands, there is my teenage brother in law absolutely horrified!

Him “Did I go into the wrong bathroom?!”

Me “I would assume no since you are standing at a urinal. I didn’t want to wait an hour for the ladies room”

When I walked past the 7 women still waiting in line I had my head up a little higher. A few looked disgusted, a few looked envious. I was relieved so I didn’t care what they thought.

Now that my son older it’s way more fun to explain! I have a whole list I could go through. Depending and the location and age of guests in the porcelain room, my answers can go anywhere from simple to fun to crazy. I’m a big fan of “I have just at much rights in here since I don’t have a uterus” then I give high fives to anyone willing because we both don’t have periods. If the guys are creeping I use “it’s a habit since I used to be a dude. I’m still healing from surgery” it keeps them from following me into the stall.

This last St. Patrick’s Day I just used “Everyone’s Irish on St Patrick’s Day, so all the bathrooms are fair game”. This group was way more talkative than normal. I got a few smirks asking what I was going to do if the urinal was what came open next. I guess I will have to figure it out when I get there. (I already knew I was going to use the urinal, I don’t use sitters on drinking holidays, too much vomit to avoid.) The look of shock when I walked straight up and unzipped was totally worth it. I swear these guys had never seen a girl use a urinal before. Do they live under a rock? I happened to have tissues in my pocket so I didn’t even have to do “The Shake” (This is the true reason women know how to twerk.) The old cowboy poked his head out from the stall before walking out. He wanted to know if the “lady” was still in there. He was waaaaay more embarrassed than I was. He turned really red when he saw me standing there still using it. I know the standard rule is don’t use the one right next to someone else but it seems like a waste that they left the one next to me open the whole time I was there. Especially with a line going on.

I spent the rest of the evening getting random guys asking me if I was the girl from the men’s room. They were totally buying me beers! I got to avoid the whole “wanna dance? Can I get your number?” Maybe I have better aim…..Their girlfriend won’t even pee next to the truck on a country road! My buddy said you did it standing up, there is no way that is true! Or girls asking how I could physically do it. Oh honey, you just have to be willing to practice. (I really hope they hover in public restrooms, I can’t even imagine what is all over those seats…gag!)

I have agreed that I would not use the men’s room while my son is in there since it does causes questions he feels uncomfortable explaining. Luckily he doesn’t get embarrassed easily. He doesn’t want to hear the locker room comments about his mom now that he is almost 18 and we look nothing alike.

I’m the reason we can’t use WebMD

ewIt is way awesome when your work is able to get rid of outdated electronics and update to the latest and greatest. Everyone that actually works with these machines day-to-day thinks an IT upgrade is a nightmare. Sometimes you are left with an eye twitch for life. This would be my case.

We had an IT specialist come to our office to help with the transition to new equipment. Everything that is supposed to go smooth never does because we are 500 miles from the nearest server and the building is full of nit-picking perfectionists that are smart enough to know when something isn’t running correctly. And we will not hesitate to complain about it. If it’s new we want it to work properly. (Heck, we even demand the old stuff works properly. It isn’t truly Thursday until someone has gone “Office Space” on the fax machine)

Poor Christopher Robbin* was not prepared for the building he walked into. Sarcasm for days, yo!! Insane amounts of un(under)medicated ADHD combined with genius level I.Q.s as far as the eye could see! Squirrel!

 “Please click that icon right there”

“The one for the angry piggie?”

“The what?”

“The scanner, duh. It looks like an angry pig, plus it eats everything we put in it”

“I cannot unsee this……wow”

“Just talk nicely to it. It likes being call King Pig. The last person that yelled at it died”

“HOW?!”

“It scanned in a paper and shot it out so fast that it went flying straight for her neck. Paper cut to the carotid artery. Bless her heart, she never had a chance.”

Christopher Robbin found excuses to be in the back office the rest of the day. I think he was afraid he would be the next sacrifice to the scanner. I’m still surprised he didn’t show up in a turtle neck the next day. Some people have no sense of self preservation. Tsk tsk.

That next day things were running fairly smooth in the front office so I figured I would take advantage of this rare moment and get some work caught up. We have pretty much full internet access since we are responsible enough to know what sites are appropriate for work. I went to WebMD so I could print out patient information sheets on antidepressants. Got the one I needed and went to go back so I could get the extended release form next. Weird, nothing happened when I hit the back space button. Tapped it a few more time. Screen goes black for a second. Great, the new computers don’t follow old school commands. Oh well. Wait… Awesome! The page is finally loading!

“What…….the……FLUFF!!!!!!!”

The picture that loaded was not WebMD……none of those 5 pictures were WebMD…….none of those 5 videos had any business being on a work computer………. SWEET FUDGE CICLES!!!!! Those videos have audio!!!!! AND IT WON’T STOP!! I am diving over the brand new high definition screen like it is a grenade! I’m trying to shield the family with small children that are coming down the hallway from this explosion! WHY WON’T IT STOP?!?!?! I found the power button on the new computer but all it did was kill the picture, the sound was still going! SCREW IT!!! I started ripping cords out of the back of the machine as fast as I could until the moaning and wet slapping finally stopped. The 2 other girls up front had turned around to stare at me unsure of what was happening. I took a deep breath and grabbed the overhead page

“Christopher Robbin to the fax seat please!”

Instead of coming to the front he called my extension.

“I’m trying to set up Denise’s computer right now can it wait?”

“No! It cannot wait! I need you to get up here and help me right now!”

He walked in a minute later and looked at my black screen and mess of wires that used to be a brand new Dell. He had a very obvious mixture of confused and pissed painted across his face.

“What happened?!”

*whisper* “there was porn on my computer”

“Don’t mess with me. What really happened?”

“There really was porn on my computer! High-def collage of videos taking up the whole screen!”

“That’s not possible…..”

“I wouldn’t make this up!”

“But there are firewalls in place that keep this from happening”

“Well, your firewall sucks more than the blonde in the upper left hand video!!”

“But… how….???”

“You figure that out. Use holy water and gloves if you need to. I have to go explain this to my boss before I get fired”

I walked to the back manager’s office to beg forgiveness. Probably the worst walk of shame in my life. They had to send out a company-wide email banning EVERYONE from going to that site until we got clearance from their security department.

At least once a week someone finds a reason to bring up WebMD. “Why are the computers acting up? Was Rya on WebMD again?” A little part of me hopes to never hear the end of the jokes.

*not his real name but it is the one we gave him because he was so sweet and innocent. For real, we gave him that name. I have no idea what his real name is but he answered to it after the first day, even on overhead pages. What a sport. But we always rename our IT guys. Its tradition.coke

He’s mine, that one

I offer my kids unconditional love. I will defend them until the end of the earth but I will also be the first one to step back and let them reap the consequences of their actions. Sometimes tough love is the best kind. It will really stick with you if you have to learn the hard way. At least that was always my case growing up.

I have come to accept that my new mantra in life is “What’s next?!” When my phone suddenly showed up with 2 new voicemails but no missed calls I should have been ready for it. The first one was a call I had been waiting for all last week. The second was from Officer Fischer, the School Resource Officer. Oh goody. He needed a parent to come into the school so they could ask my son questions about an anonymous call they received stating someone worried he could be the next school shooter. (The school had already been on high security with a recent threat right after the Florida shootings) Of course I’m going to call them right back on that one!!!

Background for anyone that needs it, my son is awesome! Not just because he is my son but because he really is. Whenever something bad happens in life he will be the kid to step up and help while trying to make everyone involved laugh. He stops on the sidewalk to move caterpillars so they don’t get squished. He won’t let people kill spiders. He loves playing with small kids and animals. He still says “Yes sir” and “No ma’am”. His dream is to save sea turtles. He has a great sense of humor. He is the person you can go to with any problem and he won’t judge you. His most common reason for being in trouble is reading too much. He is very intelligent and truly open minded. He thanks us regularly for not raising him to be “normal”.

He did inherit a few of my bad habits……. “Honesty is a virtue” is a phrase we use quite regularly in our house. It usually means I just said something very blunt and rude but it needed to be said. He says that phrase all the time as well, even at school. He was even described as the perfect balance of logic and humor. The exact words were ”if Jim Carrey played the next Spock”. We have very low tolerance for stupid. We don’t like to conform just to make other people more comfortable. We disturb the comfortable. That’s what we do.

After a fun game of phone tag we had a time set up to meet at the school. You bet your speckled bum that I brought a notebook. This has to go on my blog!!! (Yes, I did get permission from Officer Fischer to put him in here) The officer did a great job. He asked all the questions you should if this was a real report “Do you value life? Do you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or others? Do you own or have access to weapons at home?” I give him total props for being very thorough and professional. Once Dru aced the first quiz he let us know what the caller had said. APPARENTLY the caller was concerned because my son is “angry, evil-minded, and god-y” God-y? Really?! Like in an ugly necklace way? Is the word they were looking for “superior” maybe? Whelp, I already know my kid called whomever out on being undereducated, so now we have a motive. The caller also stated that my kiddo had brought “swords and guns” to school earlier in the year and was showing them to students. How original. I didn’t know a picture on a phone of a decorative wall mount of Excalibur, was bringing weapons to school. Words hurt? I blame the tide pods.

We were now given the chance to explain any reasons why this call was made about him. It could be the ex-girlfriend that hates me because I exposed her as being a total slut to her grandparents/legal guardians. (she sent my son nude photos and begged him to have a 3-some with her ex-boyfriend. I made her disappear, quick) or maybe because he wears my brothers leather duster since he died last September, people like to label it as a trench coat (He did wear it on purpose when there were threats of a school shooting. He said it upped his chance of survival if the hoodlums thought he was one of them. I can’t argue that logic) or it could be that he was laughing about a Hitler meme in class (“I said glass of juice not gas the Jews!” I laughed too. Guess we are both going to hell) or it could be because he is different and doesn’t let anyone get under his skin. You can say anything you want about him and your opinion will not change his view of himself. Sheep hate when you refuse to join the herd. Bully’s hate when they can’t make you a victim. People hate what they don’t understand and he doesn’t need anyone’s understanding to validate him. He is everything I hoped he would grow to be. I hope my brother is looking down on him in that leather “trench coat” and smiling; because god knows I am proud of him.

We thanked Officer Fischer for doing his duty and investigating all possible safety threats. We can’t blame him; that is what he is there for. Plus, we would all feel horrible if a real concern slipped through the cracks.

I will give you two guesses who agreed to go to school dressed as Jesus tomorrow!!!!

Just a fresh coat of paint….

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My husband and I probably have the worst combination of ADD, OCD, and artistic ability possible. When the stars aligned to bring us together it was the most perfect match the universe could create. We can take an idea and bounce it back and forth between our heads with barely a word, just a deeper connection. We both have very expensive tastes. We will pick out the same thing and know without looking it was the most expensive version available, just because we both liked it. We will get identical visions of what we need to do on a simple task but somehow they will morph into insanely large construction projects. Like one time we thought it would be a great idea to get rid of the muddy carpet in the front entry way, maybe switch it to vinyl tile, just something easier to clean with kids. 4 days and a couple thousand dollars later we had a beautiful hardwood floor, a new door, new trim, keyless entry, Victorian carpet stair runners, and a custom made shoe rack. You know, just a simple quick project.

This winter we decided that the ugly “30-years-of-coffee-and-a-cigarette brown” walls and poorly prepped “hooker-red” kitchen cabinets needed to go. We started right away by attaching new decorative trim to the STILL red cabinets, because you know, why not do the exact thing we complain about daily and start the cabinets without properly stripping and priming them. PPPSSSHHH! That’s only important when other people are doing the work. So now let’s strip the “back-seat-of-a-70’s-Nova-scarlet” nail polish off with a fun obstacle course to work around. It’s a bonding experience really. Maybe it would be easier if we did the drawers first since we can take them down to the garage.

Sweet, now that those are all ready for the last few coats of paint why don’t we just check on the price on that flooring we picked out. (We had agreed that we would put in hardwood floors before trying to house train a second puppy HAHAHAHA!!! Allee was adorable and my Biggie Smalls needed his own therapy puppy to deal with his grieving mommy) Look! The exact wood we had picked out is on clearance and they have just enough to do the entire upstairs! WE MUST BUY IT NOW!!! Aaaaaaand if we are going to put down hardwood floors we really should paint the upper level before that so we don’t ruin them right away. Sure, why not?

Now our fresh cabinets have turned into; decorative cabinet trim, chalk paint, new knife rack, hardwood floors, new color on the walls (changed twice), new floor trim, new drywall (don’t use command strips!) new ceiling fan blades (duh it has to match now), a new bannister (the 80’s butt-plug had to go!), new rugs, new door trim, new door knobs, a chalkboard, new home stereo setup, new back, new knees, new respect for the guys on HGTV and a partridge in a pear tree.

I have to give some credit to all the help we have gotten. The girls contributed slave labor by pulling tack strips and staples from the subfloor. (Even in their Father Daughter Ball gowns) Gazzy has found a way to let us know when EVERY surface is still wet. (A few shirts have been sacrificed. Apparently “don’t touch anything, I just painted” means rub your body sideways down the hall or wipe the dust off the bannister) Timberly and Micha have come by every day after work to help lay flooring and clean. (Fairly sure this is why I can’t keep friends. At least Micha is awesome at cleaning, I bribe him with ice cream) The underpants gnomes have been organizing and moving every tool that Travis sets down into a place that only Rya would think of. (At least I feel useful since I’m always finding the “missing” tool) Mr Biggie Smalls and Allee Sioux have been phenomenal at picking up scrap wood for us! (A few time we have turned around to pick up the piece we just cut only to see it being drug under the kitchen table by a pup half its size into a bed it has no chance of fitting in) I didn’t realize dogs could be so helpful in constructions projects. Allee has been licking every paint stir stick clean (even the ones still in the paint bucket) and her puppy bed looks like a prison stash. Complete with chewed down shank-spoons and boards with nails in them. (I literally cannot go 30 minutes without shaking my head and grumbling “you are worse than a toddler” but oh that face she makes when she rolls on her back and gives me the huge puppy bull-doggie smile! SQUEE!!!)

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And guess what? We still haven’t finished those drawers! They are still sitting in the garage primed and ready to go, but the upstairs looks fabulous!!! At least it did until my sweet little puppy-angels had a near death experience. Not to point fingers (Travis) but someone (Travis) didn’t put the puppy gate back up before leaving to run errands. When he returned the brand spanking new white trim was chewed up right at the top of the stairs. They are only alive because they are fast and small and really good at hiding when they mess something up on purpose. And right after complaining that I put out new rugs even though we had more cutting and sanding to do, someone (Travis) knocked over my glass of red wine! (You have no idea how happy I am that it wasn’t me, little secret, it’s ALWAYS me) I think no one is to blame except for those darn underpants gnomes. Those things are so destructive.

My hubby pointed out that I forgot to mention the 1500 mile road trip to Minnesota in a blizzard that happened halfway through the week of remodeling

Did anyone else know that French bulldogs are part beaver? And part skunk?

Now my dreams of owning Frenchies, beavers and skunks have all come true!! How do I get a fox next………