Three Kids and a Dog

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coming Home

Well my seven days in Las Vegas came to an end yesterday and I couldn't wait to get home and see Austen and Adler (okay, Tom too!).

When I came in the front door Adler was so excited to see me that she followed me around trying to jump on me for at least 10 straight minutes. She then wouldn't let me out of her sight for the next two hours until I went to pick up Austen. I'd say she missed me.

After Austen's nap time at school, I went to pick him up. I couldn't wait to see him. I knew he had his moments missing me while I was gone. The one that broke my heart but secretly made me feel good occurred the morning after I left. As told to me by Tom, Austen went to find me in bed and was so upset that I wasn't there that he starting crying, 'mommy! mommy! mommy!' He then proceeded to run down our hallway crying and threw himself on the floor. Tom finally got him calmed down by showing him pictures of me. Of course there were a few other mommy moments too but all in all Tom said things went well and I think Austen was really happy to see me since he kept grabbing the back of my head with both of his hands and planting big fat kisses on my face throughout the rest of the day.

Last night, Tom also had an "aha" moment from when I was gone. Austen was eating his ice cream - his reward for eating a good dinner - and I asked Austen if he wanted sprinkles. He nodded vigorously. Tom mentioned that he didn't give Austen sprinkles when he gave him ice cream when I was gone. I said, Austen always has sprinkles on his ice cream! Tom then went to look at some video he took of Austen for me while I was gone. Sure enough one was of Austen eating ice cream and pointing to the cabinet with the sprinkles in it. Tom missed that sign only to see it later when we watched the video. Next time, Austen, daddy will remember the sprinkles.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leaving for Las Vegas

Well as John Denver would say, "All my bags are packed now and I'm ready to go..."

It's that time of year that I dread. When my work calls for me to be gone for an entire week from Austen and Adler. In fact, I leave in a few hours. This morning, I lingered a little longer in bed with Austen and spent an extra hour with him before he had to be at school. I think he could sense I was leaving because he was unusually clingy and defiant this morning. It took me forever to get him out of the house and when I dropped him off in his classroom, my big boy who typically marches right in, clung to me crying. I silently berated myself for being selfish and not letting him follow his normal morning routine with him kissing me goodbye at home and Tom dropping him off at school. But I wanted that last hour with him.

I know he'll be fine. I'm sure he'll say mommy a lot (at least I hope he does) and when I come home, I know he'll probably give me the cold shoulder for a little while before running to me. I am counting the days til then. In the meantime, I'm posting one of my favorite videos of Austen so that I can see him when I'm gone. It's his first pony ride. He loved it and kept saying, "more!"

As for Adler, she got an extra long walk this morning by herself and lots of hugs and kisses. I don't think she thought anything was unusual until I pulled out the suitcase. She's been more mopey since that came out. But I did tell her she doesn't have to go anywhere, it's just me and she can sleep on my side of the bed if Tom will let her (fat chance of that)!

Good luck, Tom. I'm sure all my coworkers will be asking who is taking care of Austen (and Adler) and I will proudly reply you. There aren't too many men who can take care of their children for a whole week by themselves. I'm glad I found one of them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Adler Trick or Treats at CarX

Adler's trick or treating started early. Our local CarX is very pet friendly and they give big bone treats to dogs that stop by. They always have their doors open in the warmer months so when we walk by the store, she pulls me in and sits in front of the desk until they produce a dog treat. She then does one of two things - stands on her hind paws to reach it or rests her front paws on the desk and grabs it ever so gently from their hands before breaking it into a million little pieces and making a mountain of crumbs all over their nice white tile floor.

This week, she dragged me in there and as sometimes happens there was no one at the front desk to dispense any treats. Noticing this, she then proceeded to lay on the floor in front of the desk to wait. A couple waiting for their car looked at me quizically. I just had to shrug my shoulders and proclaim, "They give treats here." It took me another few minutes to convince Adler that the treat that I had in my pocket was much better than the one she wasn't going to get today from CarX and we went on our way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Trip to Legoland

A few weeks ago when the skies opened up and the rain came down in droves, we decided to take Austen to Legoland by Woodfield Mall. At first, I thought he might not be old enough yet but after reading a few reviews, I was satisfied that a toddler could have just as much fun there as someone who was four or five.

So off we went. When we first entered Legoland after paying, we were ushered off into a room that had a really elaborate Chicago Legoland. We saw Navy Pier and State Street and Tom took lots of pictures (I think he was more excited than Austen). We then went through a little jungle with lots of lifesize Legoland figures. After we got through the jungle, Austen got to play with huge, foam Legos. He loved stacking them up high.

Next came my favorite part of the whole day. We got on the Legoland ride through a dark cave and got to see many different Lego animals, people, etc. Austen was mesmerized. See photo below with his eyes wide open so we went twice.

After that Austen sat through a 13 minute Legoland movie. He sat on my lap the whole time and just absorbed the whole thing. Other kids cried when a big spider appeared on screen and the 3D glasses they gave us made it seem like it was coming towards us, but not Austen.

Next it was time for free play. Tom helped Austen build a Lego car to use on Legoland's many ramps but it was the big foam Legos that he could stack higher than himself that Austen really liked. At the end of the day, I wasn't sure who had more fun - Austen or his dad:)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Adler Gets Sprayed by Skunk

So the night we came back from vacation, we went to pick Adler up at my mom's house. I entered her backyard and Adler, who was playing out back, came bounding over. I was glad to see her and wanted to give her a nice big I miss you hug and kiss but I quickly backed away when she got close. I smelled skunk. My mom came out of the house moments later and I said "Adler smells like skunk." She must've thought I said it smells like skunk out here because she replied that they had been smelling skunks a lot in the neighborhood lately. I said, "No, Adler got sprayed!" "Really?" she said, "Because I just let her out and she didn't smell bad before." Well, in the 15 or so minutes before we got there and Adler was let out, she sure got sprayed by a skunk. Right on top of her head. We had to drive all the way home with the windows down and when we got home, we had to bathe her outside.

I bet you're wondering what we used. Well, it wasn't tomato juice which I heard doesn't work and leaves your pet red if he/she has any white fur. It was some other potion I got off the Internet. But, it didn't work. She still smelled bad. Apparently, Adler thought so too because the next day when I got home from work, her fur was all over our house. She couldn't stand the smell of herself either so she ripped out big chunks of her fur. That's when I paid money for another potion on the Internet. This time, it worked a lot better.

Today, she still smells a bit like skunk but at least I can pet her without my eyes watering.

Photo: Adler shortly after she got sprayed by a skunk and moments after she punctured my mom's kickball she had for Austen.