My Dog Life

I have been blessed with many pets in my lifetime. If you have been reading here for a while, you know that I have two fabulous kitties, Moo and Pumpkin. But before adopting them (M. came to our relationship with them), I lived my life with dogs. In many ways they were my siblings because my mother loved and cared for them as she did and does me.

There was Grover, the dog we had until I was 4 and moved to California. I used to sit under the table with him and share my food like most kids that age do. Tabitha was my first dog and a Christmas present when I was about 7 or 8. I named her after the daughter on “Bewitched.” My Mom and stepdad got her from a rescue organization and, boy, could she run fast. She would tear around our backyard like a greyhound chasing a rabbit. In fact, we think that our second dog, Apollo, was trying to keep up with her when he fell into our pool. That golden cocker spaniel was sweet, but clumsy.

Both Tabitha and Apollo lived until I was in high school. They died within a month of one another. Their absence in our house was heart-breaking. We vowed not to get another dog. Then, six months later, Sable, a black Pomeranian, was the featured guest at my parents’ Christmas party. I don’t think there could be a more affectionate dog. She would wait on my bed in the morning and at the slightest move, she would pounce on me and start licking my face. After I went away to college, she would agree me with TONS of kisses when I would sit down. She had a bionic tongue and I went through a lot of face cleanser. Eventually, my mom craved puppy kisses again and adopted Blaize, an American Eskimo.

I never lived with Blaize, but he was happy to see me when I would go home to visit. When Baby A came, Blaize was patient towards this little boy who used him (as he did Moo) for support to stand, who insisted on petting him and who giggled as he drank water. He taught my son the meaning of the words dog and puppy.

This morning I received a text from my mom: “This morning Blaize joined Sable. He’s home.” This beautiful dog had grown old and feeble. His health was deteriorating and my parents took care of him as if he was their sick child…well, he was. I do not have words to ease their grief.

For me, he was one of the glorious animals who fill my life with joy, laughter and play.

My Dog Life

Today Begins Five Days of…

No Baby A. No M. No Kitties. No diapers. No tugging.

It’s just me on the East Coast. For five days I get to step out of my mommy role and back into my professional one. Today is day one and I already I feel like the pre-baby me.

It isn’t that I have changed (too much), but my circumstances have. Because my days are filled with child-caring and working, I’m in survival mode. The business-minded, go-getter in me gets muted, which has made me feel lost. Strange.

It only took me one day of talking with editors and walking through New York to make the business brain reemerge. Everyone needs some time alone to put things in perspective, whether it is a vacation, a business trip or a mixture of both.

So today begins five days of girl time. Sure, I’ll miss sharing my adventures; I know that when I return, I’ll be a better wife, mother…me.

Today Begins Five Days of…

My Mother’s Day Card

Today I received a card addressed to: “My Beautiful Wife.” Inside the pink envelope was this sentiment:

The most important job in the world doesn’t offer an hourly wage or days off or paid vacations. But it does offer real feelings, shining faces, bedtime stories, small victories, priceless memories, and many wonderful moments of joy…

Always remember, there’s no more important job in this world than the one you do every day will all your heart. Have a Very Happy Mother’s Day.

For M., this was a sappy card. But as he always does, he chose a card that was perfect to lift my spirits. Lately I have had a difficult time with being a working mommy and there are times when I feel that I’m failing as a worker or as a mommy. This card reminded me that everyday, whether I am at my computer or not, I am working and the end product is a happy child.

My Mother’s Day Card

The Pits

When I was a teenager, my dad used to go down to Bolsa Chica state beach—about a mile from his home in Huntington Beach, California—at 6 AM to claim a fire pit. This was a tradition when I was in town with my friends. We would join him later (about noon) and in the afternoon, he would return to the house to get the food for that night’s bonfire. Girlfriends from high school remember the police coming to make sure that we weren’t drinking; an old boyfriend remembers watching the Queen Mary fireworks from one of those fire pits. The whole thing is a very Southern California summer picture.

So you can imagine my disappointment at the news that the city of Huntington Beach will possibly remove nearly half of the 165 fire pits on the beach. Unfortunately the state of the economy is having its way with these memory makers. And the city council will vote on the fire pits’ fate next month. I hope that for the residents there, they remain untouched.

Photo: cc sflovestory

The Pits

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tomorrow I fly. Usually that means I get to the airport in plenty of time to check-in, go through security, get coffee and sit at the gate to read. Once I board, I sit down and continue to read. This is how I fly. But instead of carrying on an assortment of reading material and my laptop tomorrow, I will be hauling a car seat, an assortment of animated DVDs, toys and snacks. Baby A is flying with me.

My flying ritual soothes me. Because even though I like to travel, planes make me anxious. So if you can imagine, I’m a bit worried about tomorrow. I hope that my nervous energy doesn’t rub off on him. Thankfully, we’re traveling with Ya-Ya and that should help.

Wish us luck. Will Baby A survive a non-stop from LAX to Chicago? Stay Tuned.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Three Generations

Papa, aka M.’s pop, has been visiting us since before the holiday and it has been truly wonderful. The relationship he has was Baby A is truly magical. And honestly, he is just fun and my toddler picks up on that.

Tonight Papa cooked dinner for all of us. I’m so sick I’ve spent most of the day in bed so not only did I got kitchen duty off but I got taken off of baby duty. Of course, Baby A wanted to help and was insistent about it. To appease A., M. picked up the crying tot so that they could oversee Papa’s activity. It was at this moment that I looked into the kitchen to see three generations of men cooking, playing and laughing together. It was a purely wonderful moment that I will never forget.

Three Generations

It was a Memorable Christmas

The title of this post isn’t about the memories that were created today: the look on A’s face when he came out to the living room this morning or the day playing with all the toys relatives and friends sent him (Thank you to all). Today was memorable because Ya-Ya surprised us not only with her presence but with my toy box.

For decades, she has stored my dollhouse and my toy box until a few years ago when I had to decide which one to keep. Both were built-by my Nonno so the sentiment of these items runs deep. After some thought, I decided to part ways with my dollhouse. It stood about 4 feet tall and opened up. Each room was wallpapered and as a girl I loved it. The decision was difficult until my mom’s neighbor inquired about it. He was looking for a dollhouse for his granddaughter and was willing to fix it up for her. It was a sign (at least that’s how I saw it). The dollhouse would have a good home and be revived with love.

As for my toy box, it is a circus car that has a lion with a bee on his nose on the front. My Nonno isn’t the only person that had a hand in it; my mom painted the lion. One of the reason’s I wanted to keep it was that two generations had contributed to it. And since, A was born I was looking forward to him having it in his room, putting his toys in it and even, sitting in it (that’s what I did). So when my mom called this morning and told me to that she needed some help, I was surprised. Not only because she wasn’t planning on coming, but because she brought the toy box. A. went straight to it. Sit next to it, played with it, and within an hour he was sitting in it.

Tonight as we were winding down from the day, I sat in it with my childhood Pooh bear that was made by my aunt. (Baby A has also taken him as his own and sleeps with him each night.) And as I sat in my childhood toy box with my son giggling at his silly mommy, I felt strangely safe. Sure, I was at home with my family but there was something about the presence of my past that made me feel warm, comfortable and at peace. I hope that it gives Baby A those feelings one day too.

It was a Memorable Christmas