Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Kids' Dog

Adler was our dog - mine and Tom's. She grew up from a pup with us before we had kids. We didn't have to watch the toys on the floor or have any other little beings to give attention to so she was our world. It's a different life now that we have Sadie. Our kids want to be involved in training, feeding and walking her - well okay, maybe just Austen.

It's been nice actually having him do walks with Sadie or even just being responsible to let her out and feed her. It's a huge help too when I have Hailey having to go to the bathroom at the exact same time as Sadie - it's really like having two toddlers in the house!

So it seemed appropriate when we started Sadie in training classes that Austen attend with me. He's done great with her so last week Sadie had her first test to pass her puppy kindergarten class. I told Austen that I wanted him to do it. He was a bit nervous at first because all eyes are on you and you have to take your pup through a bunch of different commands. I remember doing this with Adler and I thought it was appropriate that he now do this with Sadie. After a little coaxing, he agreed to be the one to take her through her paces on the test. They both did great and Sadie received her certificate of completion. Austen was so proud of her and wanted to keep the certificate in his room! "After all," he said, "I earned it too!" And he did.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Austen Gets Braces

I can't believe my 9.5 year old has braces! It's true - there's proof in the picture!

I have been noticing kids getting braces at a younger age these days but the truth is that these days there a multiple phases of braces. Maybe it's a way for the orthodontists to make more money but even so I was beginning to wonder why Austen hadn't lost any teeth in almost a year. So his regular dentist (his uncle) took some X-rays and found Austen was missing some adult teeth that were probably preventing some others from falling out. This wasn't a total surprise as I am missing one of the two same teeth as Austen. Yes, if you look closely at one of my front teeth you may notice it's still a baby tooth. Lucky for us there are better options for Austen at this age to rearrange his mouth now so you won't know he's missing these and/or have to get an implant later on in life.

So out came two other teeth and on came the top braces. At first Austen was scared when we went for his consultation but the doctor quickly put his mind at ease so he was okay with the idea of getting them. And I was so proud of how he bravely went back to get two teeth pulled out and to get his braces on when they called his name. (Separate appointments of course - one to the dentist and the other to the ortho.) 

He's been great too brushing his teeth, managing the initial soreness and just adjusting to life with a mouth full of metal!

Monday, August 08, 2016


"Take vacations. You can always make more money. You can't always make more memories."

This was a quote that I first saw when we were on vacation in Anna Maria Island, Florida. I love vacations and if it were up to my husband we maybe would go on one vacation a year and it might be camping! Ha! In all seriousness, I am the vacation planner in the family so I am always planning the next vacation when we are on a vacation. I have to. I need to look forward to the next vacation although you really shouldn't call it vacation with kids because it's actually more work but that's a post for a different day.

We just returned last week from our summer vacation. We went to Saugatuck, Michigan for the week. Now we've rented many a houses in southwest Michigan but we had never stayed in Saugatuck. We knew we would have our new puppy by then so we wanted to get a pet friendly house and we knew we'd be doing a lot of walking with her so we wanted to be close to town. Well, Saugatuck did not disappoint.

We loved our morning walks for coffee and our evening ones just for exercise or a cocktail or shopping. The abundance of restaurants, the proximity to the beach, the pet friendliness of the town was wonderful. We read, we ate ice cream, we played mini golf, we built sandcastles, we visited our land (in South Haven), we met up with friends and family and saw Peyton's kindergarten teacher randomly one day on the beach! We enjoyed the time and we made memories. And, of course the next vacation is already planned!

Sand castle digging

Relaxing on the beach

Sadie's morning walk

Dinner out!

Photo time by our house which Hailey affectionately referred to as "The Farm"

Sadie's first vacation with the family!
Everyone's behaving! Yay, let's take a picture - quick!

And of course we had to play mini golf! Austen won!Hailey is really into it now too.

Michigan sunsets are the best!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Austen Learns to Cut the Grass

I remember when my older brother learned to cut the grass. We lived on an acre of land so we had a riding lawnmower.  Early on in training, my mom found him and the lawn mower across the street in the bushes!

Austen is about the same age and we don't have an acre of land or a need for a riding lawn mower so after a few times of Austen observing his friends and asking if he can do it, I asked Tom to teach him and he did! 

That just cemented the fact that I will never have to cut the grass myself!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

It has been a great summer weather wise, despite a handful of storms that brought a lot of lightning, thunder and torrential rains. Thankfully those storms have tended to happen more at night than during the day so we're still able to get out and enjoy the day. 

Sometimes it may be a bit overcast and Peyton frets and frantically checks the weather on my phone to make sure it's not going to rain - not because she has something to do outside but because she's petrified of rain. We were sitting outside at a restaurant the other evening watching the magnificent lightning show in the distance and Peyton was hysterical wanting us to move inside. I mean when did she get so afraid of rain?! And forget it if our power goes out which it has too given that our electrical wires are all above ground and in a pretty wooded area.

Despite Peyton's reticence to go outside when there's a hint of rain, we've had a pretty full summer so far. We've taken a lot of morning walks with Sadie. Done some outings to my old town where the kids got to visit a penny candy store I used to love when I was a kid. They've had playdates with their friends and Austen had his first sleepover (at someone else's house). We've seen movies, played rounds of mini golf and spent afternoons at the local pool. The kids have decorated cookies (Finding Dory), delivered block party fliers and kept up with their school work through workbooks and homework packets sent home by the teachers.

Austen and Peyton have also done a lot of camps including soccer, cheerleading, flag football, lacrosse, theater, vacation bible school, safety village school and a craft camp. Not sure what has been their favorite but I will ask them this week when they are all done with camps for the summer.  

After this we head into the home stretch of those last few weeks of summer before school! Then we'll have a 4th grader and a 1st grader!
Making and eating Finding Dory cookies.

We've got spirit!

Yes, we do!

Mini golf! Don't tell Peyton we went without her while she was at camp!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sadie in the City

Adler was our city dog. She lived there for 9 of her almost 11 years. She was used to the garbage on the ground, the loud noises, sirens and no backyard. Sadie on the other hand is and will be our suburban dog.

It's so different raising a puppy in the city than in the suburbs. Number one - you have a backyard so when the puppy has to go out in the early morning there's no need to put on anything else but your pajamas and wander into your backyard. Number two - the puppies are so used to loud noises in the city that they are seldom startled by the squeals of tires or the sirens of an ambulance. Number three - you don't have to go farther than your own backyard to walk them and they don't need to be on a leash to do it which means they get to run!

I forgot Adler used to have these spastic episodes in her younger years where she would just be so hyper running up and down our hallway and jumping over obstacles in her way. She would mess up our carpets, jump off our two steps and fly through the air. I was reminded of this recently when Sadie did the same thing in our house and I quickly took her outside where she proceeded to sprint around the yard like a mad puppy.

Anyway, last Friday, Sadie went with us to the city. It wasn't really a planned trip but we needed to head downtown for dentist appointments and she hadn't been feeling well the night before so I was reticent to leave her at home for what surely would have been at least four hours. So we decided to bring her with us and while the kids and one of us was having our teeth cleaned the other would walk around some of our old stomping grounds with Sadie and Hailey.

Sadie was so excited by her first trip to the city - all the smells, all the people, all the garbage on the ground that I certainly got a workout from having to restrain her often on our walk through Lincoln Park. Add trying to maneuver a stroller with Hailey in it while trying to restrain her and it was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. By the walk back maybe she was tired or she finally go it because she walked a lot better on leash.

I don't think she'll be a city dog - that was Adler's domain but she wasn't afraid of a little adventure in the city either.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

4th of July

We wasted no time in coming home from our wedding in Boston and getting right into the 4th of July festivities kicking of the red, white and blue holiday with a morning parade. Tom and Peyton walked in the parade as part of the Indian Princess group (think Girl Scouts but with Dads!). So Austen, Hailey and I scouted a good spot on the parade route and settled in to watch the parade.

I used to hate going to parades. Even when Austen was little, I wasn't thrilled about it, but we've been going to the one in our neighboring town for awhile now - even before we moved here and it's like a little piece of Americana. Nevermind that the houses look like they are straight out of New England, it's the people having parties on their front lawns - not a keg type of party mind you but elaborately set up displays with mimosas and yummy breakfast items. I wish I lived on the parade route so I could throw a fun party like this! Hence why I now think the parade is a great way to kick off 4th of July morning.

After the parade, we had a few friends over for some barbeque and then hit the fireworks in our neighborhood park. Of course the  night is not complete without sparklers, glow sticks and many red, white and blue desserts! This holiday is moving up on my list of favorites for sure.

Two out of three!

When is this parade going to start?

Our Indian Princess - "Dancing Pony"

Tom marching right along in the parade with Peyton in front of him.


Hailey's first sparkler!