It's a Little Campy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I dropped my children off at camp Sunday afternoon.

I dropped my children off at camp Sunday afternoon - the same camp I've been reading about for the last three years.

The very first time I read about it, I cried like a helpless, emotionally incompetent person.

Same thing happened the second time.

Then I learned that a dear friend of mine went to that camp when she was younger.

The next thing I knew, each girl had a friend signed up to go with them to camp, and the rest is history.

Here's the thing. Summer Camp is awesome; however, I do think there should be some sort of parental preparation program to accompany the fact that you are dropping your kids off in the middle of the higher-than-average-socioeconomic-status-woods (doesn't quite have the same ring to it as Hundred Acre Woods, does it?).

Despite the fact that I cannot communicate with them, but instead can only communicate to and from via snail mail, camp has been great. There are now photographers on staff who happily snap photos all day long and occasionally hand off their SD cards to other happy people who then upload the photographs to a private website so you can see how happy your kids are and how much fun they're having.


Also, if you happen to have the kid who requests lots of extra face paint on the first night, don't worry about it. It's simply a sign that you have adequately taught her how to self-advocate. Seriously.

The pictures are a modern-day godsend for people like me.

When I say people like me, I am referring to those former-campers who, after the 2nd day of Girl Scout camp in the bottom of some random canyon somewhere in the Panhandle, decided they were miserable hanging out with strangers, doing strange things, singing strange songs, and dodging the fierce, venomous, leaping, vengeful tarantulas in the midst of their angst in the morning dew.

People who 'accidentally' dropped their toothbrush into the depths of the port-a-potty thinking that was enough to get them sent home...

People who falsely claimed they were vomiting blood in said port-a-potty...

People who used their limited medical knowledge at the tender age of ten to fake anything possible to get out of the last 2 days of camp (which was a bit difficult without the ET-esque thermometer and accompanying lamp as a heat source)...

What can I say? Being introverted is a real thing, and apparently it starts early.

It makes me beam to see that the girls are hanging out together even when they don't really have to, it makes me smile to know they each have a sweet friend with them at camp, and it makes me happy that I can see their smiling faces online when I can't see them in person.

But nothing, and I do mean nothing, made me smile quite as much as the latest from The Bloggess. If you have a kid at camp right now or if you have a kid going to camp later this summer and you've got a case of the blues, just pour yourself an extra large glass of wine, kick your feet up, and read her take on camp.

It's magical.

I promise.

Wad-a-lee-acha and plenty of peace...

(and a doodly doo for good measure!)

Life with Mae

Friday, July 11, 2014

After a full week with Mae, I have to say that we are all just smitten with her. She is the sweetest little thing and such a snuggler, and she is already completely spoiled!

I wish I knew her whole background, but all we know is that she was taken in by someone in Austin in April and was very reluctant to trust anyone at that time. Our local shelter rescued her from the Austin shelter because she was on the "countdown" list, and she was with our local shelter for two months before we brought her home.  

She had never seen a TV before, and she is still fascinated with the concept. She is also enthralled by our fake fire which is usually only used in the winter. 

She is happiest when she is right in the middle of the mix, and she is partial to Vera Bradley products while nibbling on her bone.

We learned on day one that she is not crazy about men at all. She was very quick to growl at the girls' grandpa and their uncle, and when we took her for her first checkup (free of cost, thanks to PAWS and the wonderful generosity of Williams-Sebby!), she nearly came unglued at the thought of having to be so close to a man for an extended period. He whispered to her the entire time, "Nobody's hurting you...nobody's hurting you..." which pretty much broke our hearts in two. 

She also growled at the girls' dad, who was quick to say, "No comment on your new dog, but she's just like her mama - hates men." This was actually a big moment for me because it's the first time in a long time that I could have cared less about his approval (or lack thereof). I also realized he has zero understanding of how someone can create their own happiness without hating anyone or anything. 

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Anyway, back to Mae. 

It's hard to imagine how anybody could have been unkind to such a sweet pup, but it is also pretty obvious that was exactly the case for her. She isn't necessarily jumpy, but she does flinch and wince from time to time- usually when our hands are above her. Jay has spent a lot of time covering her face when Mae has this reaction, and Cee broke down the other night thinking about all the other dogs that still need to be rescued. 

We will do everything we can to let her know she can trust us and to let her know we aren't going to hurt her. Speaking of trust, she does great on her leash, but honestly prefers to be carried. Walking on your own is hard work with you have two little ladies who are more than happy to carry you around with them where ever they go! 

As for Mae and Browning, they don't do much more than acknowledge each other which is a good, neutral response. I think they are both intimidated by each other's size, and Browning would much rather nap than play.

When I tell you she is constantly with us, I'm 100% serious. Even when she's sleeping, she's touching one of us in some form or fashion, and we learned this morning that she is a Flappy City Enthusiast and likes to check on the flappy thing after it dies!

More than anything, I think she finally feels loved. It kind of reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit when the rabbit realized he was a real toy. I think Mae realizes that now she has a real home and a real family, and we couldn't be any happier to have her with us!!

That's all for now. 


Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's been awhile, so let's go with a simple summer formula for this update...

Old -
My first child is getting old. My fur-kid is no longer a kid. He's something closer to my fur-elder now. He's approximately 102.2 in dog years. Understandably, he's really starting to slow down, and it makes me sad.

Fetch used to mean I'd throw the ball or toy or frisbee or whatever and he would run after it, eager to retrieve it and bring it back to me. Nowadays, fetch is more like I'll throw something and sooner or later he'll get it. Bringing it back to me usually happens after a short nap.

He's 90% blind and has 90% selective deafness, too. The only words he chooses to hear are "food" and "good boy," and that's where we are. I just love him.

He's still the center of our world, and we will keep his golden years the happiest for him!!

New -
When school starts back up in 6 short weeks, I will no longer be in my classroom. I said a bittersweet goodbye to this room a couple of weeks ago...

...and I said hello to my new room!

Instead of teaching kids next year, I will be working with teachers. I am truly going to miss working with kids and getting to know them (and their families), and I can't wait to work along side the amazing teachers on my campus!! As much as I love summer, I can't wait for the school year to start.

Borrowed - 
I'm not sure if borrowed is the exact term I need for this section, but we're going to play along for the sake of my catchy post title. Yesterday, I accidentally took Browning with me to PAWS so we could look at the strays. And what do you know?? We found a little lady named Annie with whom we both fell madly in love.

So we accidentally permanently borrowed her from them and now she's at home with us! There may or may not have been some adoption papers that were signed in the process, but again...semantics.

I just love how she effortlessly pulls off the black eyeliner while keeping it classy and natural instead of all Kardashian or Snookie.

I think Annie, who is now known as Miss Mae,  will be an easy addition for our family, and the girls are completely smitten! I can't wait to see all the tricks they plan to teach her, and I guess we will have to start a special fund for her outfits.

Blue -
There are a couple of things that have me bummed out right now. First, the "Hobby Lobby Decision;" and second, the immigrant children who are crossing the borders.

As far as "Hobby Lobby," I admire all of the Supreme Court Justices, and "respect" doesn't even come close to how I feel about the female Justices and their Opinions, collective or individual.

As for the children who are crossing our borders, I have mixed emotions. As a parent, it is difficult for me to understand the circumstances that would have to be in place in order for me to send my children trekking through the desert, headed for another country. In the same breath, as a parent, I can't wrap my mind around how much I want to help these kids. Like bring a couple of the youngest ones home with me. Which would be completely illogical at this point in my life...

I don't feel informed enough about either of these issues to speak much more about them, but I know where my heart lies with both issues.

So...I guess we're kind of caught up now.

I wish you a wonderful 4th of July and I hope you are able to spend time with your friends, family, and loved ones.


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