Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Dinosaurs

Since Sadie is still in recovery mode, I try to buy her a few new toys every so often so she won't get completely bored since five weeks post recovery we still can't play with her and she can't run. Her walks are also limited although she can go a bit farther each week. So I brought home two new dinosaur toys for her to play with and I couldn't understand why Hailey was upset about it. Then I figured it out when I found Sadie's toys in Hailey's room and her playing with them as if they too were her own stuffed animals. Talk about taking what's not yours! After a few days I got her to give at least one back to Sadie but the green one she's keeping in her bed and she clearly doesn't want Sadie drooling on it. Seriously, I thought it was Sadie we had to worry about taking our kids' stuffed animals, not the other way around!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

On the way to Austen's soccer game. Check out Hailey!
Mother's Day for me started on Friday. Every year for the past couple, a group of women (moms of a few 4th graders) in my town get together to tour the Hinsdale Historical Society's Kitchen Walk. We start out at 9am for a little pre-party breakfast at one of our friend's houses and then jump in our cars to tour these fabulous kitchens. We round out the tour with a fun lunch. This year, the weather was perfect and it was nice to sit outside and catch up with friends, and not have to worry about picking up a kid at school or rushing off to some practice. Us moms just enjoyed our time together without our kids.

My day didn't end there though, that night I met up with my mom for our annual spa evening topped off by dinner. This is a tradition we started several years ago and have continued as we can never tell what Mother's Day will bring with the many games and practices.

On Mother's Day, Austen did in fact end up having one soccer game at a field close to Grandma Lou's house so she stopped by to watch him play. And, it was a perfect day to watch soccer! After the game, home we went to get some things done and then Austen was off to a baseball practice. It was the perfect low key Mother's Day started off by a great Friday with some special moms!

Being silly! Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 08, 2017

Where Did Austen and Peyton Go?

This is the question that I hear every day now and sometimes multiple times a day. Hailey goes to school and when she comes home she knows that Austen and Peyton are at school but when they come home from school she expects them to be here at home. Their schedules are busy so she's often asking them to play when they need to settle down and do their homework before they jet out the door to a baseball, softball or soccer practice or even religious education classes. "Where did Austen and Peyton go?" she would ask me. When I would tell her they were gone, she would respond with a pouty, "But I wanted to play with them!" I feel for her I really do - it must be terrible to wait for your brother and sister to come home all day long and then when they finally get there they either can't play or are running off to some activity. I, for one, certainly don't know what this feels like as I am not the youngest child in my family.

Just this past weekend, Austen had an evening birthday party and Peyton had her first sleepover with one of her friends. When Hailey saw Peyton packing her suitcase, she insisted that she also pack her own suitcase too. When Peyton left, Hailey broke down crying saying "I wanted to go with the girls too! I'm big!" Heart wrenching! After dropping Austen at his birthday party, we took Hailey out to get ice cream, but it probably still wasn't that satisfying for her as ice cream is always better when shared with your siblings.

Even more heart wrenching - later when Tom opened her suitcase he found she had just packed her blanket in it. That's it. Nothing else.

I guess that's the life of the youngest child. Hopefully, we make it up to her in other ways and she sees the benefits of her being the youngest as she gets older!

Monday, May 01, 2017

Peyton Loses Her First Tooth...Finally!

I don't know many almost 7 1/2 year olds who haven't lost a tooth yet so I was starting to get a little worried that Peyton's teeth weren't even beginning to show signs of loosening.
However, last week she finally joined her First Grade class in adding a tally mark to their classroom chart counting the number of teeth lost this school year.

It was just a few days before when she noticed that one of her teeth was loose enough to wiggle. And, she kept on wiggling it, eating apples and other things to get that tooth to come out. And come out it did, just a few short days later while she was brushing her teeth.

The Tooth Fairy visited that night with a $20 for her first tooth (I guess she didn't have any change) as well as a toy (fidget spinner). Looks like she has a few more loose now too so I predict by summer she'll be missing the top 2 and the bottom 2 so she'll look very cute!

Monday, April 24, 2017

I Thought We Had More Time...

before we had to start worrying about our almost 14 month old Bernese Mountain Dog having any sort of health issues that would impact her quality of life.

Not true. Just 18 months after we lost Adler, I found myself back in a similar situation with big decisions to make. After we returned from spring break, I noticed her dragging her back paws and almost stumbling. Since we had her groomed, I thought maybe one of her nails was cut too short. I watched her over the next couple of days and her wobbling seemed to get a bit better but on longer walks it definitely was more noticeable. After almost a week, I came home after Tom had taken her for a long walk to her front paws pretty bloody indicating that now she was dragging her front paws too. I called the vet and brought her in immediately. They noticed her gait was off and after taking an Xray that showed nothing they sent me to a neurologist for an MRI. After our initial consultation, they were pretty sure that what they were seeing was what's known as Wobbler's Disease found in large and giant breed dogs and sometimes in those under 3 years of age as their bodies grow so fast and sometimes due to this there are ligaments compressing the spinal cord. We did an MRI that showed 30-40% compression between the 5th and 6th vertebrae. The next step was either to take her right into surgery to relieve the compression or mask the pain for who knows how long with medication before she lost total use of her legs. Since she is so young we decided to do the surgery as we wanted her to have the best chance for a normal life.

So last Tuesday, Sadie went directly from her MRI into surgery. There her doctor injected a special cement around her spinal cord to relieve the compression. Surgery went very well and she spent three days at the hospital afterwards (in her own suite because she was too big - 106 lbs. -to be crated). She still has a long road ahead as recovery is 8 weeks with no playing, jumping or walking. Her gait will recover with time and we hope this is it for her and she never has to spend time at the animal hospital ever again!

Two paws shaven as she chewed the catheter guard and pulled out the line so for the second one they had to cast her forearm so it was harder for her to get to it.

The incision site. Just below her neck and at least six inches long, closed with staples.

She can't do much so she enjoys laying in our neighbor's grass as she's only allowed to walk a few houses down. And, today, she sat outside on our front porch for 45 minutes. Leashed but she was as happy as can be - even when another dog walked by!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Longest Easter

Easter started at 6:30am for our family because 7:30am was the only mass we could attend if we wanted to be at Grandma's by 11am. Keep in mind, I don't even wake up at 6:30am during the week! So it was a bit of a rough start getting everyone out of the house by 7:25am to get everyone to church on time. Good thing it's not a popular mass and we didn't have to go early for seats. I guess that's the benefit of attending the earliest mass on Easter Sunday. The kids were all great and came home to our own Easter egg hunt and their first Easter baskets. Although the yard was a little wet from an early morning rain, they still managed to track down their Easter eggs although Hailey was not thrilled picking up muddy eggs - she refused more than once even though they were Dinosaur Easter eggs.

After our hunt, off we went to Grandma Lou's house for a big brunch and the infamous big Easter egg hunt. Austen and Mark were not going to win this year as Grandma hid their eggs pretty well and went easy on the rest of us. Hailey placed second with Auntie Nina while Peyton and Uncle Mark scored third. First went to Papa and John John! Even a bad hip/knee couldn't slow him down although he was cited for not following the rules! The kids enjoyed big Easter baskets from Grandma too with lots of candy and toys. Too soon it was time to leave as we rushed home to get Sadie and bring her to Grandma Szurgot's house for our final Easter stop. We ate more, played cards, a bean bag game and they had another Easter hunt and an Easter basket with more candy!

I think it may have been the longest Easter on the books for us! I think we were all tired when we finally got back to our house about 8:30pm.
I found my Easter basket!

I found mine in the laundry room!

Easter hunt with "good hair" compliments of her cousin Ryan

I love Mickey Mouse and Grandma got me a Mickey Easter basket

I'm pretty happy because I got a lot of toys and candy!

Look at my Easter basket - I got a Blackhawks one!

Saturday, April 08, 2017


That's all we hear about from Hailey these days. I want to talk about Phillip. Phillip lives in that house over there. Phillip is afraid of the spooky house. Phillip is my best friend.

Apparently, Phillip is a boy in her class and a few months older than Hailey. Now, there are other boys in her class that she likes and talks about but no one can hold a candle to Phillip! In fact, her teachers recently told me that just before snack time she's anticipating where Phillip will sit so she can sit down next to him - and that's before the teachers even ring the bell to signal snack time.

Hailey has even gone so far as to move some other children so she can sit next to Phillip! I like it - a girl who knows what she wants and goes after it!

Here's an interview with Hailey about her BFF Phillip and a picture from the school newsletter of Hailey and Phillip working on a gingerbread house together.