Saturday, September 25, 2010


THANK GOD WE ARE ON A BREAK!!!!  No, not the "Friends" kind of break, the school kind break.  I am exhausted.  And this blog is dedicated to Kelly...Guido that is...because she expressed her disappointment in me on my slacking in the blog department.  Guido...this is for you, now get off my back!

I have the best news to report....I am now exclusively a fifth grade teacher again!  YEAH for me!!!!  I did something on Friday that I have never done at school before...I got emotional and a little farklempt.  I never do that.  And I almost lost it yesterday in class because I had to say goodbye to my sixth graders.  Even though I am much happier being a straight fifth, both classes been warriors together this first quarter of craziness and I was heartbroken to let them go.  Our team was broken up and now they have a new coach and because I have control issues, I see myself still coaching from the sidelines from time to time.  

Dude...what's with the sports analogy???  I know, I know.  It must be because we are back to double sports.  Matthew is continuing week 117 of football and Ryan started basketball this morning.  In true Ryan fashion, boyfriend was all business and followed what the coach said like a pro. 

And now that we have this break it is time to take back my house!  This is the first school break that we have had that we are not taking a vacation and I am so grateful.  I have so much to do.  Transfer summer clothes to fall/winter clothes, potty train a dog, clean the bathrooms, potty train a dog, dust every surface that air touches, potty train a dog, organize the kitchen area so that it is a functioning kitchen again and not an office space for my husband, and most important....potty train the damn dog!!  If I am not successful with that, emotional scaring put aside, Rich is going to do away with little, lovable, peeing machine Teddy! 

He's trying.  Really.  He is. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marini Family Weekend

The Marini Family was in town for the weekend....not us, the other ones.  Nothing makes my boys happier than a little cousin lovin'.  On Friday night Mason stayed the night with us.  Matthew was in HEAVEN!!!!  Ryan stayed with Mikayla at Richard and Sharon's.  I don't have pictures of that...however if I did it would probably be a pic of Ryan leaning over Mikayla's face waiting for her to open her eyes because that is what I hear happened.  I told Mikayla sorry...he was just so happy and excited you were here and wanted you awake!!!

The boys took over the toy room and played until 12:30AM!!!!!  
Look who wasn't invited in and he was NOT happy about it!!!

Saturday we headed to Matthew's football game!

Ryan and Lulu trying to stay cool under the umbrella.

The another game of skins and ....skins.
Lulu getting some sun.
Here are my boys after they left.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Jack

He showed up in a basket with a red gingham towel. I had just gotten back from the store and my mom came around the corner with this puppy, that at nine weeks already had paws the size of small hands. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe he was actually here and he was exactly what I thought and hoped he would be like.

You see I had started this campaign the previous June. I had started cutting out pictures and putting them on the refrigerator in hopes of wooing my parents with the “ultimate family dog”. They thought I was crazy. I was. I was also determined to change their mind. I had even named him. I thought Jack sounded like a strong name for a strong dog. My relentless nagging was carried on through the holidays and I remember my parents asking me what I had wanted for Christmas and I said…”Hello? The dog of course.” And in true na├»ve fashion I assumed he would be there Christmas morning. Because that’s how it works, right? You ask Santa…and he brings it! I was truly shocked Christmas morning when there was no puppy barking under my tree. I thought for sure my parents had grown soft on the idea and they too wanted a dog. I was wrong.

It wasn’t until two months later in February when my mom shocked all of us and brought him home. He was perfect. He was exactly what I had thought he would be like. And we named him Jack.

We soon became aware that this dog was not just any dog. He was truly a member of our family now. He was a lap dog….even at his heaviest weight. The floor and backyard did not apply to him. He simply was not going to follow any rules or guidelines that any other dog followed. We know that to be true because he failed two obedience classes….badly. We joked that he was a disgrace to his breed because he was afraid of water and what kind of a retriever is that? When it was clear that he preferred to lounge rather than get his coat messy, we simply renamed him “Just Jack” courtesy of the character on Will & Grace. Being a little light in the toes will get you a nickname like that.

I truly believe that we have been blessed with the best dog. He would never think to harm anybody and as much as we joked about his lack of being a strong guard dog, it was simply because he loved to be around people. And frankly, at times, he thought he was one of them. He put up with three grandkids coming into his house using him as a pillow and trying to ride him like a horse. He never once growled at them or snapped at them…he was just happy they were there.

As much as my heart aches…and it hurts like hell…I know that he is better now. There is no struggle to get up anymore. There is no pain in his step and there is no hurt in his eyes. He is at peace. There are no words that can express our loss. Our family, especially my mom, has lost a true friend.

I will eventually get used to opening the door and him not being there…but I am not there yet. His love and commitment to us was showed every time we opened the front door or the garage door because no matter how tired he was or hurt he was, he ALWAYS got up to come greet us. We would say to him…your fine, we see you, just don’t get up. And he would ignore us and come greet us, tail wagging.

For my mom, I have no words. Jack has been a savior to her the last couple of years and I don’t think she can imagine life without him. His companionship is irreplaceable and for that we will forever be grateful. Yes, she’ll get another dog someday, but it will not be the same. Because he is Just Jack…and will forever be in our hearts as the greatest dog and we were lucky to have him in our life.