Sunday, March 28, 2010

Springtime Sundays

I like to hide out in my sun room and spy upon my family as they play in our yard on days like today. Listening to them laugh and play together makes me smile. It kind of makes my heart hurt a little bit too.

You know, because it's so full it might burst.
*photo of The Husband playing ball in the back yard with The Boy and Bumblebee:

Spring softball practice
*another photo of the same scene:
Spring softball practice 2
*photo of Bumblebee climbing on TH's back while they lay on the grass and pet Reggie:
Springtime Play
*another photo of the same scene:
Springtime Fun

Oh Spring...

How I've missed you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monogamy Gives Me a Headache

My apologies to The Husband, but I just can't do monogamy anymore.

It gives me a terrible headache:
*photo of a glass of wine next to a bottle of wine:


*closeup of the wine, which is called monogamy:


Truly Madly Deeply indeed.

*photo of a cup of coffee next to a bottle of Excedrin:


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey Self. We Need to Talk.

Dear Me,

Can we be lovers again? I miss your warm embrace.

Love, Me

I'm reading a book that was recommended to me by a message board that I frequent. It's called "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck. It's a weight loss book, and to be honest, I'm struggling with it. The writing style is great, but the approach to weight loss is very different from what I'm used to, and I'm not 100% that I buy into it all. I had high hopes that it would be the silver bullet I was looking for, that A-HA moment that would snap me back into shape and help me drop the twenty (which really means thirty) pounds that I need to shed. But of course there is no Easy button, is there?

I follow a blog that has been very interesting to me lately. It's been inspirational to read about this person as she is emerging from a troubling period in her life. Her journey is bringing her to an awareness of self and a true love of who she is. This blogger leads a very different life from me, but she has captured the emotionional highs and lows of her experience so cogently that I feel like I understand what she's going through. What I love the most is how much she loves herself.

All bloggers love ourselves, right? How couldn't we, when blogging itself is about the love of "me". We spend our free time writing about things that most people probably don't give a rip about, but we do it anyway. The mere act of blogging is narcissistic. But true self love is so much deeper than that.

She really seems to have herself figured out, and I've been inspired by that. I'm going to quote her here, and I hope that it's ok since I didn't link to her first. If she doen't mind being linked to, she can leave a comment and I'll update it here. Anyway, here's what she wrote that got me thinking:

But really, that's the message I want to send. I'm not single, alone, looking, in need. I've become quite significant to myself, we have a strong bond, we are really happy, just the two of us. But others are welcome to join us, if the situation is right.

Now I'm a married old hag who's been with the same dude since I was a child. Seriously. I don't know what it's like to be recently single after a long relationship like she does. So I can't really say that I know what she means, but in a way, I kind of do. Because it all comes back to loving ourselves, doesn't it?

One of the things that the book I mentioned earlier in this post suggests is making a timeline of yourself. The thought is that you can try and look back at times when you've been successful at staying thin, and see what was your driving force behind the success.

If I do this exercise, I reflect upon a specific period in my life where I was successful at losing weight and maintaining the loss. It was about six years ago. During that time, I remember feeling empowered (I had just taken a new job that was a fabulous fit for me, and it felt great); I felt in control of my time (my kids hadn't gotten into the ultra-crazy schedules that were to come a few years later); and I was at a happy place in my marriage. Thinking about that particular year or two in my life, reminds me that I spent a lot of time feeling happy and loving myself.

I'm in a different place now; am twenty-five pounds heavier, and feeling pretty down. It's no coincidence that I'm drawn to stories and articles about self love. It's kind of like when you're having a craving for a juicy burger when your body needs iron. My body needs self acceptance and love, instead of the rejection and loathing I've been feeding it, so it's seeking out and identifying with experiences that shout "I love me" from the rooftops.

Knowing that I need to find my self love again and actually discovering it are two different things. But I'm getting closer. I know that I've become busier in these past few years. But I've also begun to make time for myself too. That dream job changed significantly for the worse when my manager and some coworkers left for different parts of the company. So I found a new position that is beginning to be a great fit for me as well. I've had some struggles in my marriage over the past few years, but things are in a nice place right now, and I think we are making strides to make it stronger than ever.

The pieces are slowly falling into place. Maybe that weight loss book I'm reading is helping me find the answer after all. If this answer helps me lose weight in the long term, that's a bonus. But I think more than anything, I need to love the me that is me now. Not just the 125 pound version of me. All variations of me. I just need to continue shaping my life into one that helps me say, you know what? I'm amazing and I love everything about me. (And there I go: I've used up my italics ration for the day.) True self love will make me a better wife, parent, friend, daughter, sister, employee, woman.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Poor Little Guys

Monday night I was on my way home from work when I received a phone call from The Boy. He was crying so hard I couldn’t understand him. I recognized the panic in his voice and fear gripped my insides. “Are you guys ok?” I yelled through his tears, as images of horror flew threw my mind. He recognized his inability to explain what was going on and handed the phone to Bumblebee, who was equally difficult to understand because she was talking so quickly. I caught a few words here and there.

“Reggie… hurt really bad…squeals like a goose.”

Thankfully, I was only a minute or two from home when they called me, because I couldn’t understand what was going on, other than a vague sense that something had happened to Reggie.

My first instinct was to panic about the kids being hurt. As soon as I realized they were alright, I was a teeny bit relieved. But not by much, since Reggie was hurt.

What? That dog is my life these days. He loves me. I mean it. He really, really loves me. I don’t mean to go all “Sally Field”, but it’s true. Little Dude thinks I’m the bees knees. And the feeling is pretty darn mutual. I gathered from the phone conversation that he was hurt. Possibly by getting in a fight with a goose.

I hung up the phone and pulled in the driveway. Bumblebee’s eyes were huge. “That was fast!” she exclaimed, thinking that I had made the entire 45 minute commute from work after the phone call. She didn’t realize that I had been almost home when they called me.

Turns out that Reggie jumped out of The Boy’s arms and landed awkwardly. He flopped on the ground, writhing in agony, despite the fact that it couldn’t have been more than a three foot jump. He couldn’t put any weight on his front paw, and as Bumblebee so aptly described it, he squealed like a goose.

I could tell right away that it was bad, but not life threatening, so I turned my attention to The Boy. He was heartbroken. He felt totally responsible for Reggie getting hurt, and he was sobbing with remorse. He gulped in between words as he struggled to tell me the following. “Mom, I was carrying him inside and he nipped at my face. It startled me and I flinched and he jumped out of my arms.” My little man’s face was streaked with tears, red and puffy from the kind of crying that leaves you feeling like you were hit over the head with a cast iron skillet. He took another gulp of air, shuddered, and said, “I dropped him, mom.” And then he sobbed into my shoulder. He said it as though he was admitting to a horrible crime instead of an accident.

Ack. I can’t even type this out without feeling all sad for The Boy. He was beside himself with guilt. I explained that it was an accident, that it could have happened to anyone, that Reggie would be ok. He calmed down a bit and went with me to the vet, which is where we found out that he has four broken bones in his front paw:
*photo of Reggie's X-ray:
Reggie's broken hand

As we were leaving, the vet jokingly told him not to break any more puppies, and I froze in my tracks upon hearing it. Oh Lord. If she only knew the angst that boy went through when this happened, I thought. But The Boy just laughed it off and said, “Hey!” to her. I was so glad that he didn’t take the comment the wrong way.

Isn’t it ironic, though, that I could bristle at the vet’s comment, and not use common sense of my own, just moments later? I was talking to The Husband on my phone as I drove home from the vet and we discussed the ordeal. Originally, the vet thought Reggie might have to have specialty surgery up at the vet medicine school at Iowa State University. I told TH that if we had to do that, we’d probably cancel the trip we are planning to San Antonio because of the cost involved (pet surgery is EXPENSIVE!) It didn’t even cross my mind to wait to have that conversation with TH when The Boy wasn’t in earshot. He made a comment about us not getting to go on our weekend getaway because of him. I could have kicked myself. Hard. Why had I let him hear that? I reassured him that it was ok. Again with the ‘it’s an accident’ emphasis. Poor kid. He was a guilt factory that night.

We were asked to bring Reggie back to the vet today for an examination by the orthopedic specialist at the vet clinic. His opinion is to take a more conservative treatment approach, and not go the surgery route. (Yippee! San Antonio here we come!)

Reggie is on the road to recovery. He hates the fact that he has to wear a splint/cast that’s almost as big as he is, but he’s doing remarkably well with it. The worst part is that we have to confine him for the next- 4-6 weeks. 3 month old puppies don’t like to be kept kenneled all the time. They want to play! The month of May will be here before we know it, and hopefully Little Dude will be able to frolic among the May flowers. Until then, he’s got a big old cast to deal with and a doting mom who caters to his every whim.

I think he'll survive; just look at how cute he is:
*photo of Reggie with his giant cast:
Reggie's Cast

He got a new (and even bigger) cast put on today. If you can believe it, it's supposed to be more sturdy than that big clunker was. He can barely lift it. I think I’m going to find a Green Bay Packers sock to cover the cast and keep it clean when he goes outside for potty breaks. Wouldn’t that be adorable?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Snowfall

Y'all are going to be so sick of seeing pictures of my dog. But... I can't help but post these ones. They are too cute not to share.

Thursday it was 65 degrees and sunny. Such a beautiful day. Friday night, we got 5 inches of snow dumped on us.

I was not amused. In fact, the words I used when I looked outside and saw this would make a sailor blush:
*photo of the back yard filled with snow:
Spring Snow

Reggie has a much more optimistic attitude about snow, however:
*photo of Reggie in the snow:
Reggie loves snow 2

In fact, he thinks it's yummy:
*photo of Reggie with his tongue out licking the snow off his face:
Reggie loves snow

And he loves to bury his face in it:
*photo of Reggie with snow all over his face:
Reggie loves snow 3

His enthusiasm almost made me appreciate the snow.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Show Choir

They didn't have show choir when I was a kid. And even if they did, there's no way in HELL you could've talked me into trying out for it.

Singing and dancing in front of a crowd every weekend for a couple of months? No way.

But, Hollywood does it (see why we call her Hollywood?). And she's really enjoyed it. I absolutely love watching her group perform. I was really sad to see this year's show choir season end. And good grief, should we count how many times I say 'really' in this blog post?

They did songs from three popular musicals: Jersey Boys, RENT, and Mamma Mia. Of course you know I love RENT - the music is ah-mazing! So I squealed in delight when Hollywood told me that she landed a solo during the RENT songs. She did a great job, and had to hit a really high note during the song. Here she is singing that solo: (All photos were taken by Kelly Fourez of 4A Digital Photography - I just played around with them after I scanned them.)

Brie show choir 2010 003

Here she is again - another closeup of her singing:

Brie show choir 2010 005

This is a fun group shot, because they seem to be having such a great time out there:

Brie show choir 2010 004

And finally, another solo shot of her:

Brie show choir 2010 006

Pretty great pictures, and also a pretty great kid. I think I'll keep her.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Having a Puppy Completely Rules Your Life

Having a puppy is fun. Really.

But I'm exhausted. Really, really.

Reggie is a mild mannered, good-spirited furball, though. I've been calling him "Little Dude" but he's growing so quickly that I won't be able to call him that for long:
*photo of Reggie on his leash:

Look at all that mud! He loves getting dirty, but at least he's ok with getting a bath and being brushed too.
*another photo of Reggie:
Look at all that mud to play in!

He enjoys playing with other dogs. Here he is with his 'cousin' Chloe (my brother's dog):


And here he is with his 'Aunt' Bella (my mother-in-law's dog):

Reggie and Aunt Bella

He has a problem with mouthing/play biting, which is normal for a puppy. We tell the little ones that if he gets too rough while playing to cross their arms and turn their backs to him.

Uh, yeah. That technique didn't work out so well for my nephew:
*photo of Reggie humping A's back:

Bumblebee thinks that when he does this, he's "hugging" someone's leg instead of "humping" it, as she's undoubtedly heard the adults say.

He doesn't mind his kennel, which is good. We have a giant sized one, so that's why there's a laundry basket in the back half of it. As you can tell, he gets all comfortable in there while he takes his naps:
*photo of Reggie sprawled out on his back in the kennel:

He's a bit of a psycho, though. We gave him a pig's ear and honest to God, he barked at it for half an hour before he started chewing on it. I'll leave you with the video:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Things Just Got Crazier at the Frazzled House...

Ack! I missed a birthday post for my little man. That's not good! I did post pics and birthday messages to The Boy on Facebook, so it's not like I forgot or anything, but still. His birthday was Wednesday. Here's a picture of him on the morning that he turned 13. A teenager. I can't believe it:
*photo of The Boy:

And, here's what happened when I sent Hollywood out for some wrapping paper for him. Disney princesses. Kid's got her uncle K's sense of humor, Lord help her. The Boy didn't seem to mind, though:
*photo of The Boy in front of presents with pink princess wrapping paper:
Princess wrapping paper

It was a nice birthday. We took him to Red Lobster for dinner, and he got lots of fun presents. He's having a sleepover party tonight to celebrate with his friends.

Thanks to you all for the kind words about losing Merlin. We miss her, she was a great dog for our family, and it was hard to see her go.

We didn't waste any time getting a new furball, though. Meet Reggie, our new collie/retriever mix:
*photo of Reggie and The Boy:
the teenager with Reggie

Isn't he awesome? Check it out, he loves having his belly rubbed:
*photo of TH rubbing Reggie's belly:
Belly rub!

And he loves getting kisses from Bumblebee:
*photo of Bumblebee and Reggie:
Puppy kisses

He also loves humping people's legs, but I didn't take a picture of that. Isn't 9 weeks kind of early for that kind of thing??

He's definitely full of energy, making things a little nuts at our house at the moment, but we love him and are having fun teaching him new things!