Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'll miss you all now that I'm rich!

Not only have I won the UK lottery (numerous times) but I received this letter via email today that is just too good to pass up.

Dear Friend Greetings to you and your family.I hope you are having a blissful week.I am Mr.Joseph Chau of Investment Banking,Union Bank Of China.On July 6, 2004,our client Mr. Irvin poot,a businessman,made a numbered fixed deposit for 6 (six)calendar months,with a value of Twenty million,Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him and no response came from him. Another notification was sent early February and still no response came from him. The Bank officially sent a two-man delegate to his residence in Malaysia were he resides only to find out that the businessmogul and his family perished in the Tsunami disaster.After further investigations,it was also discovered that Mr.Irvin Poot did not declare any next of kin in his official papers,including the paper work of his bank deposit.So, Twenty million,Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it.According to the laws of my country, at the expiration of one year (1 year) the funds will revert to the ownership of Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. MY PROPOSITION:I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Mr.Irvin Poot to enable you receive the funds.Lets put headstogether to claim and transfer these funds out of Hong Kong and use it judiciously.I have contacted an Attorney that will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of kin to Mr.Irvin Poot,all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your full names and Address including your direct phone and fax numbers for my Attorney to commence his job.My Attorney will also file in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the funds to be moved to an account that will be provided by you. Regards,Joseph Chau.

Now, I must say, I don't know Mr. Poot (doncha just love the name) personally, but I have no hesitation in claiming to be one of his relatives. I'm sure that the government will waive the one year expiration date, since this all took place in 2004 and it's now 2008. Maybe I'll even change my last name to Poot. That way none of MY relatives will be able to find me and I'll be able to spend all of the Twenty million, Five hundred thousand United States Dollar on myself. See you on the beach!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Big Apple Circus

Last Thursday, we went to the Big Apple Circus. A family event. Actually, a pretty rare occurance for us. It was GREAT! If they ever come near you, you should go. It's a one ring circus and no one sits more that 50 feet, that's right, feet, from the ring. It's small, but the performance was great. They had clowns, animal acts and acrobats. My girls were entralled. Rena laughed through the whole thing, Riley was fascinated with the acrobats and Rachel loved the music. All three of them were focused on the show most of the 2 hours. Blair and I were too. While I thought the whole thing was great, my favorite part had to be the end of the show when the acrobats stole the show. They did all the flipping, jumping death-defying acts you could want. Their skill was incredible and breath-taking. Most of what the did involved stilts. Now, if you popped me up in the air like they did to these guys, I would probably do all the flips and turns too. Probably not as gracefully. And I can pretty much guarentee that I wouldn't be able to 'stick the landing' on 2 sticks, muchless one. That's right. One guy did it on one stilt. Now that's impressive. If you get a chance, google them and see if they are coming your way soon. I think it was $29.00 apiece and the twins got in free. Worth every penny. And we got to spend time together as a family. Priceless.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am surprised my ears aren't bleeding! I have 3 girls, so there is alot of talking in my house. Alot. Rachel wakes up (early) talking. It's amazing. The house can be still, dark and quiet and when she wakes up it starts. "Mommy, where are you?" The answer is almost always "Right here". "Oh, Good morning Mommy!" "Good morning sweety." "I hungry. Let's go down-tairs." "Let's go Mommy." "I want milk." and off we go.

Riley, her twin, goes to sleep talking. I am not kidding. Once she gets settled in, she talks herself to sleep. I'm not even sure what she's saying most of the time. She talks to herself, she sings songs, she complains about her sisters, she tells me she loves me she talks to the dogs, to any babydoll or stuffed animal she has brought to bed with her. It keeps going until she's asleep. Sometimes, that's the only way I know she has gone to sleep.

Rena is a normal talker. She wakes up quiet and she goes to sleep quietly. Durnig the day, she does her share of talking though. Mostly bossing her sisters a nice way. After all, she is a big girl and the big sister, which she reminds me of daily.
They are all in preschool today and the silence is almost deafening!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I am soooo freaking bored and lonely, I can't even stand it. I've checked my email a million times today, and as usual, nothing. My Dad is the only person who's called all day, besides Blair. The girls are here, of course, but Blair's at work, of course. So it just me and the daily grind. I don't know if it's the remains of the anesthesia from friday, or if I'm just depressed, but this day has sucked. It's been overcast and now it's raining. I tried to take a nap so I could at least sleep part of this boring day away, but Rena interupted that with her request for a PB&J. Seriously, she must be growing. As soon as Rena fell asleep, Rachel woke up, so no break for me. I have nothing to look forward to and no one to do it with. I'm tired of doing laundry and dishes and picking up the same freaking toys over and over again. I have no time for myself, and when I do, I don't have anything to do with it anymore. I need a break. A long, serious break. I'm tired of carrying the load on the homefront. More power to those single mothers out there. I feel your pain. I'll probably feel better tomorrow. I'll at least have somewhere to go and be able to talk to another adult for a few minutes. The other adults in my life probably think I'm depraved. I get so excited when there is an actually adult conversation in which I can participate. Well enough bitching. I've gotta go make dinner. Ye-ha.

Our family decided we were ready to adopt a dog. We wanted another lab since our dog Trouble had been so wonderful. We decided we would do the responsible thing and go through a lab rescue group. Here's how the process went. We communicated only through email.

Thank you for your interest in adopting a lab from Labrador Friends xx xxx xxxxx, Inc. We have received your application.

In order to process your application, can you please send us contact information for your veterinarian so we can conduct a vet check on your animals? I tried looking up the vet's phone number based on the information provided, but when I called them, they did not have record of you, so I think I called the wrong one.

We will continue processing your application once we have heard back from you.-- Sincerely,KristineAdoption Coordinator

Our Vet is xxxxxxxxx xxxxx Animal Hospital, Brandon xxxxx, DVM,, xxxx Hwy xx E., xxxxxxville, xxx-xxx-8381. I hope that helps. We are new to that vet clinic, but I have taken my dog Max in for a check and our cat Mark/Boomer had his first vet visit there and was fixed. So, if there are anymore problems, please let me know. If you have any other questions, please let me know thanks,Leigh xxxxxxxxx

_________________________________________________________________ What name are the animals under? That is the one I called, and when I said the name Mxxxxxxxx, they did not have a record for you...

Ok, I just talked to them and they do have my records. They thought you said "Lxxxxxxxx not Mxxxxxxxx. They should be expecting your call again. Sorry for the confusion! Leigh MMMMMMxxxxxxxxx

Thank you for the information.

On your app it states you had a dog that had an accident in the backyard. Can you please explain what happened?

We apologize for the internal nature of our questions. We just want to gather as much information as possible about our potential adopters to ensure our Labs are going to great forever homes.

Thank you in advance to your response. We will continue processing your application once we have heard back from you.


Hey Kristine, Well, it's kind of a long story, so I'll see if I can do it in an email. We had been living in our new house in Ga. for about 7 months. Most weekends, we went out as a family exploring the area and trying to get acclimated. Whenever we would leave, we would leave the dogs in the fenced in backyard. We also did this in our last home that also had a fenced in yard. Well, we got home from one of these excursions and only Max (our current dog) met us at the gate. I knew immediately that something was wrong and I got out of the vehicle to find out where Trouble was. I found him with is head stuck in our gate on the other side of the house. We're not exactly sure what happened, but we think a neighbor was shooting off fireworks and it scared him and he tried to push through the gate. Once his head was through, he couldn't break the fence and he couldn't pull back in because the gate opens in. It took both Blair and me to get him unstuck, but he was already dead. It was a devastating loss, as he was born on our property in NC and was 7 years old when this happened. If this is a concern, we'd be happy to show you where it occured. Hope this helps. Leigh

We are so sorry about the accident that occurred in your backyard and for your loss.

In light of this information, we do have some concerns. We adopt our dogs as inside dogs only, and since you leave your dogs outside while you are gone, we have decided to deny you for adoption.

Please read the following articles to see why we feel so strongly about this subject.
Outside Dogs
Many potential adopters ask "Is this an 'Outside' dog?" Our answer is, "Not anymore." We attempt to place dogs with people who understand the need of a dog to be a part of the family. Even thousands of years ago when man and all animals lived "outside", there was a cave or den for shelter, and man and dogs lived in small groups or "packs". The truth is, times have changed but we and the dogs haven't. Both humans and dogs are "pack" animals, we do not tend to be solitary. Domesticated, companion dogs no longer have packs of other dogs to live with, so dogs now need to be members of human families or packs. Furthermore, both people and dogs are "den" animals. This is the reason that dogs can be housebroken. Dogs want shelter in a safe, secure den - your home - and they want their den to be clean.
Obviously dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their families. But to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things you can do to him. Such a life goes against a dog's two most basic instincts: the pack and the den. If you have any doubts about these ideas, think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen tied up alone outside. Dogs trying desperately to get their human families' attention, and then just giving up to become hyperactive, listless, fearful, or vicious when the stress of enforced solitude becomes too much to cope with.
The rationale given by people who permanently keep their dogs outside is that they will spend time with the pet outside. Even the most well-meaning pet owner does not spend significant time outside, particularly when it is raining or cold. Consequently, under the best of circumstances for the outside dog, a bowl of food and water hastily shoved before him, a quick pat given, and his owner, his WORLD is gone, leaving the animal to spend another 22 or 23 hours alone.
A dog brings you the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love, and joyful companionship. Unless you can responsibly accept a dog's offer of these great gifts, please do not get a dog. If you already have a dog, perhaps this article will help you to see things from his point of view, and possibly motivate you to change your relationship with him. A sad, lonely, bewildered dog, kept outside, wondering why he cannot be with his family, brings only sadness and unhappiness to the world.
- Michigan Humane Society
Outside Dogs
I'm familiar with hundreds of dog breeds, but what's an outside dog? Unless you're medically intolerant of the dog (and therefore can't take care of him in a medical emergency, so you shouldn't have the dog anyway), making a dog stay outside is a costly waste. If he's for protection, what do you think I want to steal - your lawn? When you leave, do you put your valuables and your kids out in your yard? Just what is the dog protecting out there? Most dogs kept outside cause far more nuisance complaints from barking and escaping than any deterrent to intrusion. Such complaints cause teasing, antagonism, release and poisoning. With your dog a helpless victim, it's no laughing matter.
If I'm a crook and your dog is out, your fence protects ME, not your possessions or your dog. If I just open the gate, 9 out of 10 dogs will run off! I can safely shoot, stab, spear, poison, snare, strangle them, or dart through the fence and you just lost your dog AND everything I steal!
If he's tied up and I keep out of reach, he's useless. He'll bark, but outside dogs bark so much, they're usually ignored. But let a dog hit the other side of a door or window I'm breaking into, and I'm GONE! I can't hurt the dog until he can hurt me, and nothing you own is worth my arm. Deterrence is effective protection.
Protection and aggression are not the same. Protection is defensive, reactive, often passive, and threatens or injures no one. Aggression is active, harmful and offensive, threatens all and benefits none. Yard dogs often develop far more aggression than protectively because everyone who passes by or enters has already violated the territory that dog has marked dozens of times a day for years. That's not protection, it's not desirable and it overlooks two facts of life today:
First, property owners have implied social contracts with others in the community. Letter carriers, paper boys, delivery people, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, meter readers and others are allowed near and at times on your property without your specific permission. And sure that ten-year-old was not supposed to jump your fence after his Frisbee; but neither you nor your dog are allowed to cause him injury if he does. Imagine this: A neighbor looks into your yard or window and sees you, your wife or child laying on the floor in a pool of blood. They call 9-1-1 and your dog prevents paramedics from assisting! Should they shoot your dog or just let you die?
Great choice.
Second, even if the intruder is a criminal, few places allow you or your dog to cause physical injury to prevent property loss. Convicted felons have sued the dog's owner from jail and won more in the suit than they ever could have stolen!
Appalling? True.
And don't be foolish enough to believe your homeowner's insurance will cover the loss. Now you see why many feel that an outside dog is a no-brainer.
The more a dog is outdoors, the less behavioral control you have. It's easier to solve four or five indoor problems than one outdoor problem. The reason is valid and simple: The more you control the stimuli that reaches your dog, the more you control the responses. You've got a lot more control over your living room than you do over your entire county! When your dog is bored, but teased by every dog, cat, bird, squirrel, motorcycle, paperboy, airplane, firecracker and backfiring truck in the county, OF COURSE he'll dig, chew, and bark.
Would you sit still all day everyday? Do you want unnecessary medical and parasite fees, especially as the dog ages?
When a dog is alone indoors, you are still 30% there because your scent and things he associates with you, constantly remind the dog of you and your training. When he's out, your dog is alone whether you're home or not. Do you really expect him to keep YOU in mind while the entire world teases, distracts and stimulates him?
The media is full of stories about the family dog saving everyone's life during a fire. How many people, including children, would be dead today if those dogs were kept outside? SURE - you ALWAYS get up to investigate every time your yard dog barks. And I've got this bridge.
An outdoor dog has an address, not a home. Dogs offer real value as companion animals. Stop behavior problems and start enjoying real protection and companionship. Bring your dogs inside.
By Dennis Fetko, Ph.D. Reprinted from August 1995 issue of Whiskers & Wags, Halifax Humane Society Newsletter
Thank you for your interest. We hope you understand our position.

Now, I realize that there was miscommunication on their part. Our dogs are far from outside dogs. But I was so mad by the time this was all said and done, I just burned this bridge and moved on. I did respond to them. These groups make it sound like they have the best interest of the dogs at heart, but I'm convinced it's really a power trip for those involved. We ended up getting our dog from a breeder...supposedly part of the problem. And I feel bad for all those dogs that are looking for good homes. They seriously missed out by passing us by.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hello, Hey!

For awhile there, whenever Riley answered the phone before I could get to it, she would say, very enthusiastically, "Hello, hey!" It cracked us up. Then I started thinking about what part of the conversation she heard that went something like this: Me, "hello". Other end, "blah, blah, blah." Me again,"hey". And then on to the rest of the conversation. Smarty girl.

The girls have a play kitchen that has a "cordless" phone. I think this is THE only toy ever to get put back where it belongs. Quite often I am forced to carry on imaginary conversations on this little wooden phone. Today, I got to talk to Cinderella. Riley's favorite. I'm glad I finally got to talk to her. I've been watching her life for months now. Really, I think she should have put the mouse under the teacup on purpose. Those step sisters are a nasty bunch. I'm sure, if she put her mind to it, she could think up all kinds of evil things to get back at the whole lot. Well, being Princess of the Kingdom should be punishment enough. I'd have them be scullery maids for the rest of their lives. Of course, that's just me.

Riley enjoyed talking to Cinderella too.r

Monday, February 11, 2008


Here Nixie 'not' chewing on something she's not supposed to.

Rena and Nixie napping.

Who's walking who?

Well, here's the new dog. Despite the fact I didn't really want a puppy. She is a doll though. She's really good and I think she's pretty smart. She's 4 months old and the girls love her. She's also made Max perk up a little. She has been an active new member in our house.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Rena is 4 1/2. She knows these letters:
Not bad considering we don't really work on this at home.

Riley is almost 2 1/2. She knows these:
The other 23 were also A, so she really only gets credit for 2.

These are the letters that Rachel knows. She's not quite 2 1/2!

I am amazed!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Laundry Hell

How did they do it? How did our Grandparent, great-Grandparent, etc. do it. I have a XL capacity washing machine and I NEVER get all the laundry done. Never. If it appears that I might actually be close to having ALL of the laundry done, someone will pee in a bed, or throw up, thus creating at least 2 more loads. Maybe the secret is to not have as many clothes. 2 outfits for everyone. One to wear and one to clean. That would sure cut down on the laundry situation, wouldn't it? We could also practice wearing the outfit we are in for more than 2 hours at a time. That would help.

But seriously, can you imagine having to do laundry the 'old-fashioned' way? No way. I do love hanging clothes on a clothesline. I can't have one here, in HOA hell, but in my old house, I loved the clothes line. The great thing was I didn't have to use it. But I love being outside and I hate doing laundry, so it made it a little easier. Plus, seriously, they dried faster.

In raising my girls, I've thought about my Granny alot. She had 7 children. No indoor plumbing. No Pampers. No Gerbers. No Babies-R-Us. No formula. What a woman!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Whirlwind Trip

If I get to leave this lovely state of Georgia, there are always a million other places I'd like to be and people I'd like to see. We need to go to Maryland to a friend's baby's Christening. Of course we drove...separately. Blair had to work and it didn't work out that we could meet anywhere and leave a car. So, I packed up all three girls (of course. What, was I only going to take 2...or 1) and the dog and headed north.

First stop, Raleigh. I love being home. I know where I am. I know where things are. Even though it's changed alot in the last 2 years, I still recognize (most of) it. I went by the school where I used to teach. God, I miss being there. I got to hang out with the kindergarten teachers and it was like old times. The girls loved playing on the playground with the other children and I enjoyed the brief time that I got to spend with my friends. I got to see one of my Aunts and got my hair cut by my favorite hairdresser of all times. My time was way too short with everyone.

My Aunt holding Riley while she sleeps.

Raleigh Nana with Riley at school.

Rachel, Daddy and Riley.

Next stop, Grandma and Grandpops. This was the longest I stayed anywhere. We got to be here 2 nights and Blair met us the second night. Rena loves her Grandmom! Everyone had a great time and once again, we just didn't have enough time.

On to Maryland. Our friends have a new house and I hadn't gotten to see their new baby. What a cutie this little girl is! They also have a son that is a doll too. They had gotten us a puppy for Christmas, so we 'took possesion' of her while we were there. Ironically, we missed the actual Christening that we had driven all the way from Georgia for. No, I don't know how we missed it. I wasn't in charge. (If I had been, we would have just been late, not absent.)

Back in the car. Next stop: Raleigh, again. It's a good stopping point. I got to meet another friend and her daughter for lunch. After lunch, Blair took the girls and headed south and I got to do a little shopping, all by myself! Then I headed south too.

It was almost good to be home. It was nice that we didn't have to work out of a bag and the girls had their toys to play with. Back to the daily grind.

We'll probably make this trip again this summer. It will be longer. In the mean time, we'll hang out here.