Life with Allison

Our family's journey with a special needs child

Training Day 4: Cool Smells and Birthday Wishes

We had an AWESOME day!!

We started the day with tracking again. It really is pretty cool to watch how fast she picks up the track. Of course, being this is her favorite game, she had no problem finding Ally. Saturday we should get our first chance to hold the leash in tracking.

We practiced STAND. This is used when we are in a HEEL and stop walking. Normally, the dogs would sit when you stop, however in the case of Ally, we will be using balance work and if the dog were to sit, Ally might fall over with the dog harness angled down in a SIT command.

Next up, HEEL with a shopping cart. Obviously this is to imitate real life when we need to go shopping. Perry heels a little forward, which is normal for the dogs. They do this because they need to see around the cart (or stroller, wheelchair, etc). Perry and I had no problem with this one! Its funny because I’ve caught myself saying that she doesn’t do this or that and then I have to correct myself and say, I can’t do this or that yet or the dog and I haven’t earned the proper respect for each other. Either way, both will get better in time.

The last half of the day was spent talking about how our nights were last night with the dogs and to voice any concerns we had. I was worried about the bonding and asked today. They settled my fears and told me basically there was nothing to worry about. I’m not doing anything wrong and Perry and I will have our own bond being handler and dog. I felt much better after this.

Then the conversation switched to tracking. We got TRACKING: 101. Jeremy explained how the dogs do their tracks. They are trained for trail scents and air scents. Each person sheds skin cells on a regular basis. They sort of float up over our heads about 2 feet and get caught in the wind and float down much like a leaf in the fall. The dogs smell these and run back and forth in an S pattern to find who/what they are looking for. It was really involved…..a lot more than you’d think, but it all makes perfect sense.  I swear I’ll never look at another dog the same way again!

Just a cool little tidbit about dogs and smells. People have about 5 million olfactory cells. This means we can smell something for about 45 seconds before our cells are maxed out and you can no longer smell the scent.  Dogs on the other hand, have 150 million plus olfactory cells. They can smell for 40-45 minutes before their cells are full. Amazing!

Tonight we practiced what we’ve learned so far and Perry and I did GREAT together! Its only been 4 days and there has been a vast improvement of the 2 of us working together. She is one amazing pooch!

Last, but not least, today was Ally’s 6th Birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALLY!!! Perry is a beautiful present 😉 Love you bunches!!

 

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Training Day 3: First Tracking

Today was the first day of tracking. We split the class into 2 groups, a morning group and afternoon group. We were in the morning group. We met at 4 Paws and then drove to a local park. The dogs were already roused because they knew what was coming. One at a time, Jeremy (trainer) had an adult and the child the dog was for, walk off with the dog watching. After watching the kids leave about 50 feet, Jeremy blocked the dogs view so they couldn’t see where the kids were. Once they were out of site, we had to do a ‘talk up’. To the dogs, all their specialty work, whether it is seizure work, tracking or mobility work, is just a really fun game! So Perry has been trained to track down Ally if she were to run away, but to Perry she sees her girl run off and is excited to hunt her down and receive hotdogs and her favorite toy, the tennis ball.

So Joe and Ally walked off and hid in the trees. Jeremy talked Perry up and then said ‘TRACK’ and off Perry went. The way dogs track by scent is the smell of your dead skin cells falling off. You are constantly shedding dead skin and they fall to the ground much like crumpled leaves in the fall. Perry runs in an S pattern. She checks one way till the trail runs cold then swings back the other way. She had no problem finding them! It all happened really fast too! As we walked back to the rest of the group, the trainer told me that tracking is Perry’s favorite game!

After the morning tracking, we went back to 4 Paws and worked on more obedience. It seems like a lot of SIT and DOWN, but it is much more. We did some more distraction work, once where a squeaky tennis ball was bounced in front of Perry. She wanted it SO bad, but she didn’t break command!! She was quivering, she wanted so bad. Good girl, Perry!!

We also talked about the training collar and how to use it properly. We will be working with them more in the coming days. We learned just enough, basically the proper way to correct with it, so we could allow the dogs off leash tonight in the hotels.

PLACE is the last command. We had mutt mats out and all I had to do was point to the mat and tell her PLACE and she walked over, turned around, and laid down. The requirement on this is they must have 2 paws on the mat. They are free to do whatever they want on it, just keep those 2 paws, front or back, on the mat.

We came back to the hotel and tried to let Ally and Perry bond some more. We are having a few issues with the other 2 girls fighting and crying over when and how they can touch Perry. Its really getting old, but I know the novelty will wear off soon. Its just tough because they don’t understand fully why we are here and why this is so important. Perry has been doing what I ask in the hotel like laying around Ally but its just for the treats and praise at this moment. But that is the start. Ally is still shy about touching Perry for whatever reason I have no idea. I think this will all die down in time. My only fear is that Perry is bonding to me more than Ally. I’m not sure if it is the appropriate handler bond or not. I’ll need to ask about it tomorrow….if I remember.

Morning bonding

Morning bonding

A tired Periwinkle

A tired Periwinkle

More time together

More time together

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Training Day 2: Perry IS the right dog for us

Lots of new things today. We reviewed yesterdays commands and added a couple more. We learned the heel command, which is more strict than the free walk. The dog’s ears and shoulders need to be in line with my leg on the left side. In class, Perry and I performed this one perfect without a single correction! However, outside of class we couldn’t do it for 5 steps! LOL

When we reviewed the sit and down commands we added distractions to it. So I walked Perry out to the middle of the room and put her in a down. The trainer then threw pupperonis close to her and she wasn’t allowed to break command. She did AWESOME! Then the tennis ball came out. Perry thinks the tennis ball is THE BEST toy ever invented!! Seriously, this girl loves her tennis ball! So they bounced it and rolled it right in front of her. Perry was all perked up with her head bouncing up and down with the ball, but she never left her down!! So proud of her! 😀

Then we did some fun stuff. The dogs do some tricks just to be a great socialization part to help encourage other kids to take an initial interest in Ally. So Periwinkle can shake, give me 5, and high 5. Emma and Chloe thought these were really cool. Chloe was so impressed she had to announce to the family next to us how our dog could give her 5 (like they didn’t just do it with their dog as well:) ).

Today was also a very unexpected emotional day. They showed us what the seizure dogs are trained to do. So the specific trainer that worked with Perry came out and used her as an example. They walked across the room like a normal walk and then the trainer dropped to the floor and shook her body. Perry took about 3 seconds to realize what was going on and barked! When nothing happened and the trainer continued to shake, Perry barked a few more times before the trainer stopped and treated her for her work! I broke down in tears. If it was anyone else’s dog, I don’t know that it would have meant quite the same to me, but the feeling knowing that was our dog and quickly and well she did her job gave me a wave of relief that I don’t have to walk into a room to find Ally seizing on the floor and have no clue how long she has been there. I don’t have to guess if I need to wait 5 minutes or call 911. It hit home and I had a hard time composing myself for a while afterwards. It was an amazing feeling that washed over me. I wanted and did pet the hell out of that girl when she walked back over to me and gave her a kiss.

We got to bring Periwinkle back to the hotel tonight. She was extremely nervous. She actual tried to walk right out of the room as soon as we walked in and growled! She panted like a mad woman, paced the floor and refused to eat her dinner. We kenneled her up for us to go eat dinner and upon returning she was a new dog. I think a quiet familiar place was just what the doctor ordered. As soon as we got her out, she walked right over to Ally and laid down with her head on Ally’s lap! I didn’t command her to either! I think by the end of the night, Perry was getting the picture that when she was near Ally, the treats are plentiful! LOL She’d come back in from going potty and practically run to Ally for praise and treats! It’s a start and it was wonderful to watch Ally’s interest as well. Ally watched out the window when Perry was walked and plops down in front of the kennel to stare at her there. It makes it all feel so worth it!

Tomorrow is tracking for the first time. Looking forward to it. We have learned so much already. Too bad every pet owner couldn’t go through something like this. It changes the way you view animals. Dogs are not stupid. Perry has already showed us that yesterday! I know it hasn’t been quite 48 hours, but I love this little golden girl already. In Ally’s words, I love her ‘much’. ❤

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Training Day 1: Meeting Periwinkle

We got to 4 Paws a little early today to get situated. There were so many people there it was almost overwhelming when we walked in. Jeremy the trainer got up and talked a little bit and then they started bringing the dogs out 1 at a time. They gave each family about 5 or so minutes and then brought the next dog out. We sat right next to the line of kennels and the dogs were being lined up there to wait their intros.

The 7th dog came walking out to its partner, and there next to us sat Periwinkle. Ally watched the other 4 goldens come out and didn’t make one sign of interest or recognition. As Perry sat there fairly close to us, she started struggling off my lap. I restrained her but she just looked at me and kept saying ‘puppy’. Perry came out next and was a hit for the whole family!

Treats were being passed out like crazy, hair was flying and we all smelled like dog food and dog breath (at least our hands did)!  Perry was a little jealous we forgot to bring her SOMETHING special. She was eyeing the other dogs with balls and nylabones. Every time Ally got close to Perry, Perry would get REALLY excited and even jumped up and licked her face from chin to forehead! Ally thought that was hilarious! Eventually, Ally couldn’t handle the noise and all the people and had to be taken back to the hotel.

After lunch we started some basic obedience commands.  We worked on sit, down (lay down), both of those commands which we then walked around them without them breaking command, and free walk. Free walk is not as strict as a heel walk.  Perry did really well but liked to test me. For instance, on the down command, she would put her front legs down but her butt was still in the air. She mocked me when I treated her for it before I realized she wasn’t fully down. Free walk…..yeah, she walked me I think! But for Joe she walked like a champ! Hmph! Go figure, the girl is a flirt.

In the middle of training, I get a phone call from my mother in law who is watching Ally back at the hotel. Ally had a seizure. This was the second one since we’ve been here. She had one last night, probably from being up for 4 hours in the middle of the night and she is so out of routine. Anyway, it got us thinking…..maybe the reason Periwinkle was so excited and licked Ally over the rest of us might have been an alert!  Jeremy confirmed that it was possible but only time will tell. We will have to see if she alerts a couple more times the same way, but it was definitely a possibility!  Oh, and it was 4 hours before she had the seizure!!

Funniest thing……Periwinkle is pretty energetic and  quite the character! We brought the nylabone to the second half of class and she loved it! All the other dogs were calmly chewing their bones and tennis balls, but Perry…oh no. She’s over there tossing that bone in the air, rolling all over the place trying to get it. At one point, she tossed the bone to the side and nipped at one of the Bloodhound/Lab mix’s back paws! What a little stinker! She’s perfect for our family! LOL

So all in all, it was a really great day! We all survived and still had energy to feed the kids. Woot woot! We brought a kennel, food, food bowls and poop bags back to the hotel. We might bring Perry home tomorrow or maybe Wednesday, just depends on how everything is going.

Waiting our turn

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Bittersweet goodbyes

We said goodbye to our respite nurse today. 😦 For those of you who don’t know what respite is, it is when a nurse comes in and takes care of an individual with medical needs to let the caretakers to have some leisure time. Basically, they babysit while you get a break. Its really nice to know that the person watching whomever is qualified and had training in handling your specific medical needs. Not to mention the relief you get to walk away for a few hours.

When our nurse came to watch Ally, I often took Emma and Chloe out to do something fun. Something we normally couldn’t do with Ally because she can’t handle it or she can’t last long at. This would include going to parks, swimming, shopping, bounce houses, visiting friends, etc. I always felt bad leaving Ally behind but there is something to be said for recharging the batteries. I’m not a robot.

It was bittersweet to say goodbye today. Bitter for losing someone Ally looks for, a friend, someone who has become a constant. Sweet for finally reaching a point that we no longer NEED someone to watch over her. It is not what it used to be 2 years ago and this Joe and I are very grateful for.

So if I were to write a goodbye letter to our nurse, it would go something like this:

Dear Pau-ween 🙂  –

                It was very hard for me to allow a stranger into my home and watch over Ally 2 years ago. I knew I needed the help, but its hard as a momma to let go and allow someone else to take over. Hell, it took me years to relax and let my own husband do some things! But 2 years later, we are at a completely different place.

                You have left footprints in our lives, memories and hearts. I remember the first time you saw Ally have a seizure. It really shook you up. You gave me a hug and said God bless me for dealing with the medical hardships our family was enduring. Because at that time, it WAS very hard. I remember you talking about rocking her to sleep. How great it was when you came back from vacation and she ran into your arms and gave you her big bear hugs! Ally loves you.

                You shared our joys and our pains. You watched Ally progress and take steps backwards. You’ve been there to witness us finally finding a successful medicine! It only took us 5 years!! You were the encouragement that pushed me over the edge to seek our soon to be new service dog, Perry. You watched all the work that went into that too. You saw us find a new house. Lord knows how badly we needed that! I cried on your shoulder. You wiped my tears.

                So thank you. Thank you for everything.

 

‘Much’ love,

Becky

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WE GOT OUR MATCH!!

Went swimming at the lake

Went swimming at the lake

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Finally, our match came in!  We thought it would be Friday, but something came up and they didn’t release them to us and there was a promise for Monday.  However, Monday came and 2 of their dogs went into labor, 1 was early labor.  So the early one (Pande) delivered (Monday night as we were waiting for matches) very tiny 2 oz puppies!!  Yikes!  One pup didn’t survive 😦 but the rest are now over 40 hours old and hanging in there.

So Tuesday came and we hear the second dog (Diva) is now in labor. After hearing how bad Pande’s delivery was with her preemies, our whole class had decided to try not to act like whiny school kids and shifted our focus to following the dogs and their pups progress. Thankfully, Diva’s pups were a healthy 7 1/2 oz! But this did push our match emails off yet another night.

Today was the day! In Emma’s words, it was THE BEST DAY EVER! I had just posted in our FB group wondering if now that the pups were all born if we might get those matches today or tomorrow. About 30 minutes later, my phone chirped at me to say there was a new email. When I looked and saw it was from Karen (the CEO and founder of 4 Paws) I flipped a lid! I came storming out to the living room yelling ‘WE GOT OUR MATCH! WE GOT OUR MATCH!’ I must have sounded like a lunatic from any passersby, but I didn’t care.  I just had to see the picture of our dog on a bigger screen than my little phone! And here is what our letter said:

Dear Ally,
  My name is Periwinkle, Perry for short, and I am a sweet golden retriever. I am from the Secret Wings litter. My brother Clank is also in this class. We were born Aug 20th, 2012. My mom is Melody and my dad’s name is Vic. My favorite toy is the tennis ball and I love playing fetch. Everyone who meets me says I am a super sweet lovable girl. I love to get hugs and give kisses. I went to the University of Kentucky, so I am super smart too! I can’t wait to meet you. Will you give me lots of hugs and kisses???
XOXO,
Periwinkle
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I couldn’t believe it! There was going to be Ally’s new BFF. She’s so beautiful! I showed her picture to Ally and told her her name is Periwinkle. I repeated it a few times and Ally attempted to say it! I know its a mouthful for her, but I don’t think it will take her long to figure it out!
I’m so past words for how I feel about this. I had a secret feeling that we wouldn’t get a match. That for some reason we would end up getting denied. Fears are laid to rest and full blown excitement has entered!! I wish Ally could share in this anticipatory joy and excitement too, but I’m hoping when Perry gets to stay with us in the hotel it will sink in for her. I can’t wait to see her reaction and how her world (and ours) will change. I hope Perry loves us as much as I already do her! Ha, I just told one of the women on my FB 4 Paws group that I don’t cry over happiness and here I sit with tears in my eyes!
Stay tuned for next weeks adventures! Sunday we leave for Ohio and Monday is the first day of training. I will try to blog every day we are there. For now, here are some pictures.
Found a clam!

Found a clam!

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Awaiting our Match

OMG, I just wrote the ENTIRE post and it got deleted! AAAAAHHHHHH! Sorry, this one may be a shortened version.

We are 10 days from our first training class with Ally’s new service dog and 9 days away from leaving! Gosh, how fast time has flown. Seems like it really wasn’t 11 months ago when I got the email stating what class we would be in! Its been an experience going on this journey and one I can look back and be proud of. I had a lot of personal accomplishments through this so far. Found out what I was made of, (this little girl IS made of gun powder and lead). Guess I know where Chloe gets it from! LOL

It has been a long road. We started our 4 Paws journey nearly 2 years ago! I am glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m nervous. I’m nervous for something new. Nervous that Ally will like the dog but the novelty will just wear off like most things. Nervous to see how the other 2 react when they REALLY get that they can’t have much to do with this dog. Its gonna be a meltdown for sure for them. I am also excited though. Excited to see new possibilities come to life. The stories I’ve heard from previous 4 Paw families and what their dogs do for them is amazing! I just pray it is even half (I’ll hope for more) that for Ally. Facebook has put us in contact with many AWESOME families. Its a great way to keep in touch.

We have a group just for our class and it is a buzz with excitement! I think there has been more posts and comments yesterday than there has been in the last month! LOL We are all anxious. Some are refreshing their emails every 5 minutes and some of us (uh, me) are making crazy dance videos (which I will try to post) to occupy our time. Its gotten kind of crazy and silly in there and we all are loving it! I even made up some new tunes that got everyone singing and their kids laughing at them or with them, no one is quite sure which.

Along with meeting the new dog, I am looking forward to meeting the ladies in our FB group. We’ve spent the better part of the last 11 months getting to know each other on a computer screen and it will awesome to hear a voice with the words I read on a screen! Its been so nice to have some people who can really get where you are coming from when I say things like my 5 yr is still in diapers, she’s had a seizure and completely exhausted or irritated, I want to rip my hair out with the screaming she is doing because of medicine. They get it. And its comforting to know I have people to bounce ideas off of. Example, I posted a picture of Ally doing something and asked if anyone else’s kids ever do that. The response was unanimous between 6 or 7 people. But I got a response from people that deal with that kind of reaction. Makes me feel good and that I’m doing the right thing and they help point me in the right direction. And vice versa. I offer my experience when someone else has questions I know and deal with.

Well, back to reality. I need to go refresh my email again. Heh heh heh! 😉

http://www.jibjab.com/view/fh_BJQHSRh-Qxu9G3ibxXw

http://www.jibjab.com/view/QutWU0HCS1C-q0zxFh8qtA

 

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Escaping into the night and beyond

You know that feeling when you are at a store and suddenly you look down, your heart stops, and you think ‘WHERE’S MY KID???!!!’? This was my feeling in my own house this past week.

 

One of the last couple Sunday nights (when it comes to ‘time’ references, I’m not very reliable because my mind left the building years ago) Ally apparently didn’t think sleep was important. The thought of playtime at midnight was very appealing because she kept attempting to watch tv and escape her room and enter her sisters’. THREE TIMES I had to drag her out of her sisters’ room and back to hers. She wanted in to watch their tv.  Mind you, she normally can’t open doors. Its very sporadic when she does and I KNOW those doors were latched because I was practically slamming them by the 4th time out of frustration. Lets recount this…..

1. I found Ally in their room just having turned the tv on. Chloe was crying from being woke, though I don’t think she was really awake. She didn’t have clue to what was going on. Emma was like ‘What? What’s going on?’  Zzzzzzz.  After putting Ally to bed, I laid down with Chloe to help her go back to sleep.  She falls asleep and I go back to bed.

2. Ally makes it into their room but I catch her before she gets to the tv. However, she walked all over Chloe and made enough noise to wake an elephant, but not her father. 🙂 I put her back in bed and give her a melatonin to help.

3. Again in her sisters’ room. This time Emma comes to get me. Ally is watching tv doing her little Eeee, Eeee sounds (not like a monkey, its a longer Eeee sound repeated over and over) and stomping back and forth on her feet. Back to bed, again! Another melatonin. Frustrated.

4. She must have gotten tired of trying to get to the tv in Emma and Chloe’s room and forewent that altogether this time. This time I found her in the kitchen opening the basement door. She was going to attempt the stairs in the pitch black and find the tv down there. I got to her before she took the first step. THANK GOD! She does ok on the stairs but she isn’t proficient at it and the added darkness scares the hell out of me! I give up on trying to sleep in my own room and pack up my pillows and blanket and join her in her room to discourage little Houdini from exiting again.

So no more leaving her room, however she wasn’t done trying to get up. Over the next couple hours, she would talk, hit the wood frame of her bed in repetition, roll around nonstop, try to get out of bed which I wouldn’t allow, and she would watch me. And every time that girl thought I shut my eyes, she would begin laughing really loudly until I’d open them and tell her to be quiet. Its time to sleep. Night, night, Ally.

I might as well have been talking to the wall. Ugh. Frustration overload.

So that was a bad night. She didn’t go to sleep until about 6 AM and only did because she had been giving enough melatonin for an adult AND Benadryl. I’m not one for drugging my kids, or to give unneeded medicine, but there are exceptions to every rule…..and I’m only human and wanted some sleep too. Oh, BTW, she did end up watching tv for about 45 minutes because I gave up on forcing her to lay down and got up to visit with Joe before he left for work.

 

Then we have what happened about 2 days ago. I had just gotten home from work in the evening. Joe took me to the basement to show me some new arrangements he made (we moved into a new house in May so we are still trying to find where we like everything).  So after about 10 minutes, Emma comes hurrying downstairs and she’s on my phone. Its my mom calling to say Ally had come to visit them and did we know this? WHAT?!! I charged out of that basement, out the door and to my parents house (next door). Why I felt the need to run when Ally was just fine in their care is one of those irrational I-need-to-get-to-my-kid adrenaline rushes. She had opened the side door and walked herself to their house where they heard her talking on their front porch. All I could think was THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SO BAD! And we wouldn’t have even know.

Baby doorknob locks in place now. No escaping her room. No letting herself down the stairs without our knowledge. No LEAVING THE HOUSE! I am so looking forward to our new Service Dog. I don’t know if he/she will alert us to her attempted escapes or what but I’m hoping it will be incentive for Ally to stay. BTW, WE LEAVE TO GET OUR DOG IN JUST 16 DAYS!!! Excited and nervous.

 

Ok, on a funny note and nothing to do with anything above. Ally came out of her bedroom and plopped herself down right in the middle of her sisters on the living room floor. And what does she do?? She drops a centipede out of her hand onto the carpet! The other 2 girls jump up and scream! LOL It was the funniest thing! I don’t know how it was in the house but I’m glad it didn’t end up in her mouth! It was great seeing her pull that on Em and Chloe though! Wish I would have caught their faces on camera for that one!

 

Now just some pictures.

Emma said her and Chloe are part of The A Team (for Ally!)

Emma said her and Chloe are part of The A Team (for Ally!)

Ally and Mommy

Ally and Mommy

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OMG, What just happened kind of stories

Anyone with kids has at least a story or two containing a poop, pee, or throw up incident in their house. I know you just rolled your eyes and were thinking ‘you have no idea’. So let me share some of the more interesting predicaments my children have left us to clean up.

Lets start with our first born, Emma.  She has ALWAYS had a weak stomach. If she even gets a cold, you better have the ‘puke pan’ ready.  Our first night home with her went something like this. Happy, sleepy baby. Hungry baby. We fed her but there seemed to be no end to the girl’s appetite! She would down a bottle, we’d burp her, and then she would cry till we stuck the next bottle in her mouth. So over the next couple hours (its after midnight) she ate more than a 3 month old would have in 2 feedings! But she kept crying! It was 3 am and I was exhausted from pacing the floors with her so my husband was kind enough to relieve me, and I headed for bed. I wasn’t in bed 10 minutes when I hear Joe wail, in a Peter Brady cracking voice, B-E-C-K-Y!!  Yikes! What happened?? I walk out to find Joe and Emma covered, literally, head to toe in white baby ‘spit up’! I laughed so hard I think I cried. I didn’t know if I should take the baby or find a towel, but we found out that night not to overfeed an infant!

 

I have quite a few stories with Ally though most just strike me as gross. However, a recent event I shared on Facebook was pretty good. Ally often pees so much in her diapers that they will just fall off her because the diapers are too big. So she wakes up from a nap and it is so full it is hanging to her knees!  She had pee running down her legs. I go grab the wipes and clean diaper and head back to the kitchen where I left her. I get the old one off and wipe her up. The little stinker walks just out of my reach (I’m on my knees doing this), so I was just gonna let her go and throw the dirty stuff away and then track her down. Well, when I stood up and took my first step towards the garbage, I slipped. In a puddle of pee!! It had run down her legs and all over the floor. So I slipped and fell, landing on my hands and knees. My hand holding the old diaper, lands directly on it, exploding on the floor! Like wringing a washcloth, I spread more pee everywhere. I didn’t even know where to start. I was covered from my knees to my feet and my hands in pee. I just chuckled and the cleaning began.

 

Chloe has more funny things that fall out of her mouth. She totally should have been on Kids Say the Darnedest Things.

On my birthday I got some money. The whole family is in the van and Emma asks what I’m going to spend my $100 on. Chloe says, in a really shocked and awed voice, YOU HAVE $100!?!

Me: Yep

Chloe: do you have one whole dollar?

Me (chuckle): Yes, Chloe

Chloe (honestly asking): Do you have 2?

 

What are your favorite funny/embarrassing stories that your kids have done or said?

 

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People vs People = Difference

Yesterday, I was not a very proud momma of her kids.

 

I went to work in the evening as usual, and when I returned I received an earful of the misbehaving acts of 2 of my girls. Any guesses as to which 2 I’m talking about?? Well, if you know my family, or maybe you’ve already heard this from me, then you should know I’m talking about Emma and Chloe.

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Now, the majority of the time, Emma is one excellent kid. She is the kind every parent wishes their kids behaved like (well, in my opinion of course but I guess I could be biased). She, usually, listens well, has a good sense of safety, knows mostly right from wrong, and tries to help her sisters with these. Even at the age of 2, I knew if she walked too close towards a road that a simple ‘Come away from the road’ was all it took to keep her out of harms way. One of her downfalls, she’s a follower not a leader. Potential is there, but she doesn’t have the confidence to assert it.

Wow, those are big words for me when I’m used to the 4-5 letter word vocab I have to use with the kids! Point for me!! 🙂

Chloe, on the other hand, is total opposite. She is opinionated, willful, stubborn, and a leader. She does not keep the best watch on her own safety. She often needs calling back over and over and over and over and over and………oh, darn, I just have to go get her! I know one day she will be a force to reckon with….and I mean that in a totally GOOD way, its just making us want to tip our glasses just a little bit more. She’s also a lover. Constant flow of hugs and kisses, the girl can’t get enough of them! When she is sweet, she is SWEET. How’s that saying go, when Chloe……is good, she is very very good, but when she is bad, she is horrid. Yep, that’s my girl! She knows when to flip that GOOD  switch on. More like brown nose switch because it is often preceded by naughtiness of some kind.

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So, anyway, on with the story.

I come home from work and here’s what Joe tells me. Ally is in the basement. Peed her diaper so much it has fallen off (because it is a Medicaid-paid-for-diaper that is too big, but the lower size is too small).  Being Ally, she just steps out of it and keeps on her merry way. Joe picks up wet diaper and shorts and goes upstairs to get new clothes and diaper, leaving Ally in the basement half naked.

I’ll just stop here and say, yes, maybe this could have been stopped by taking Ally upstairs with him, however, for all you parents out there who have spent your work day in very hot and humid conditions doing lots of manual labor with heavy lifting, you know how tiring it can be. And when Joe gets home from work, he has about 35 minutes to eat and bathe before I drop all the kids on him and head off to my job. I think some of you can relate.

So while he is upstairs getting the new garments, Emma and Chloe and a friend (girl) go down to the basement to play since that’s where the play room is.  When Joe makes it back down to Ally, he finds all 3 girls pointing and laughing at Ally for being naked and saying how gross she is. He was livid! And I’m sure I would have been if I were there. Its one of the first things we have told friends that come over, we will NOT tolerate ANYONE making fun of  Allison. And that goes for our girls too. The girl friend was sent home after the storm outside had quit and he waited for me to decide on punishments.

It was a sad moment as a mom. I almost felt Ally’s betrayal for her since she doesn’t. Family turning on family. Left us speechless….for a moment.

Time for a learning lesson. I spoke to the friend’s mom and that went really well. She agreed that wasn’t how we act and sent her girl off to write sentences. I dreaded having to tell someone’s mom that their child participated in acts we considered unacceptable but it went very smooth and I felt good about it.

My girls. We had a long discussion about family. What it means, how we are a unit, and how we stick together. I used Lilo & Stitch the movie as a reference (I patted myself on the back for this one as I’m not always good at showing them relations between real life and something they really like). Emma is very ashamed of herself. She said she was just doing what everyone else was (the follower, not the leader). I told her that is why it is so important for her to do what SHE thinks is right. Chloe sat up in her chair and said, ‘What should I have done, Mother?’ (there’s the leader, and the lets-get-straight-to-the-point girl).

I’d like to say to all the kids out there, different does not mean bad. Different, does not mean stupid or retarded (hate that word). Different is something to celebrate! That’s what makes life interesting, people interesting. Have you ever sat and listened to a war vet sit and talk about military stories? A foreigner talk about their country? What life was like for your grandparents as children?? I don’t know about you, but when I’ve heard these people get talking, I have so many questions for them. I don’t want the stories to end. Its fascinating!

So why do so many of you ‘think’ different is something we should make fun of? Laugh at? Next time the moment should arise, take a second to think, am I laughing because my friend is laughing at them, or because I’m just plain mean? Because if its the first, you can change and not be the follower. If your answer is the second, you can change that too. Think about this. What if it was your brother or sister everyone was pointing and laughing at? What if it was you? In the words of Michael Jackson, lets all ‘start with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.’

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