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Carine’s Blog

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  • An Unexpected But Loved New Arrival

    Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016

    Sunshine-our new arrival!

    I had been seriously wanting to adopt another cutie-patootie for a while.   Pepper, please Lord, will hopefully be around for another 5 or so years, but he’s 13 and while still healthy and active, he has gone from playing with Lucky all the time to just “now and then“.

    Lucky is now somewhere between 4-4/1/2.  My biggest concern is that since I’m no longer allowed to walk 5 days a week she’s not getting enough exercise and looking a tad “fluffy“.  I felt that maybe having another dog around the two would play with each other.  Especially now that Adam and Sam have adopted another dog to play with their Lily.

    Steve was NOT for the idea:  It will cost too much, two animals are just fine, what if there’s a big vet bill and we can’t afford it.

    So I let it drop.

    We had to go to PetSmart Tuesday to return some stuff that Pepper was refusing and get another bag of dry food and they host the Halo Rescue for both dogs and cats.

    I didn’t say anything, but Steve said, “Let’s go see the pups.”  No argument here.  There were mainly pit bulls, pit bull mixes and Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes.  All looking so sad, some barking, some hiding, some begging for a way out!

    Then we saw a little Chi/Daschund mix.  She was adorable and talking away at us.  And next door was a very quiet, sad looking tan and white Chi mix who just had eyes and markings that made us both tear up at how they reminded us of our beloved Goldie/lab Sunshine.  Steve asked the volunteer to bring her to a room so we could “meet and greet“.

    Turned out she’s a real daddy’s girl.  She looked up at him, kissed him and when he walked across the room she followed him.  We had them do a “cat” test and she did great.  

    We decided to come back with Lucky the next day.

    After picking the boys up from school, we told them we were going on an errand.  Lucky, so far, has been very happy with her new bigger, yet younger sister.  We did have a touch of growling this morning when Sunshine wanted to cuddle with Steve and Lucky was still firmly velcroed to my side.

    Also, Pepper has both smelled and kissed her and Sunshine reciprocated.  But Sunshine is big enough to jump on the bed herself (Longest legs on a Chi ever) and decided that Pepper’s usual spot in my left armpit was the perfect first night sleeping area.

    We‘re going to have to work on that.  We’d never want Pepper to think he’s not wanted!  Honestly, Sunshine sat either next to Steve on the couch or on top of him for the evening so I thought she’d want to continue that theme throughout the night.

    As I type this, Lucky is curled up on the couch in the office and Sunshine is right here on my lap.

    Details you ask (since her first picture isn’t that good)?  11 pounds, 1 year old, mostly tan with white markings and big brown eyes.  Curly tail.  She hasn’t tried her voice out yet.

    The boys were not really happy about grandpa wanting to use Sunshine’s name, “It’s sad grandma, what’s Sunshine going to do?”

    I was just a bit in agreement, but swallowed the lump in my throat and said, “Well, Sunshine was never sad, always so happy and loving.  While we still miss her dearly, grandpa really wants to keep her spirit alive, so I think Sunshine would love that we adopted a pup and gave her a chance to continue to be a part of our lives.”

    Now we move forward on potty training (Lucky’s helping with that!), family rules and how the 5 of us will sleep on that king-sized bed.


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  • Enough

    Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2016

    This past week has been tough. Our grandpup Lily came to stay for the week while Adam, Sam and the kids went on vacay.  We also went up to their home twice a day to feed and care for their two cats.

    Wednesday and Thursday we had the boys after school.

    But this is the norm, nothing out of the ordinary or difficult-the part that makes me want to quit things like cooking meals is that it was also the week I started my 3 weekly “torture” on gel shots to my worst knee.

    The shot was quite painful on Wednesday morning, but what did me in was the ortho “pushing” the gel around the area afterwards!  I swear to you all I literally saw stars, got nauseous enough to puke and then proceeded to practically pass out in a cold sweat.  It took about 20 minutes to feel better.

    The ortho said to use RICE for the following 48 hours and cancel my walk and water aerobics for the rest of the week.

    Ever try to take care of 6 animals, 2 kids and just regular stuff in this condition???

    Thankfully Steve had all of Wednesday off and I only had to drive to school Thursday while he was at work.

    Dylan, 9-1/2, looked at my bandage and my even more swollen joint and asked, “Grandma, did you get a shot in your kneecap?”

    When I confirmed it-he turned a few shades paler and behaved both days he was with me. “Boy, that had to have hurted, a lot.”

    Now I have the next two repeat “performances” to go through.  Let me tell you-this had so better work on improving my knee pain and mobility!  Because the thought of having spent about $700 on the 3 appointments and the eye-crossing and clothes changing (yes, I really did sweat that much) and it be for naught is too much to consider!

    Since we‘re committed to do this the rest of the month and have been told that I probably won’t know the actual results/improvement amount for 6-8 weeks-I’m thinking that my time of standing and preparing anything more than the simplest of fare has come to an end.

    And given the circumstances-I’m okay with this decision.


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  • Art Linkletter was So Right

    Posted on Friday, August 12, 2016

    Art Linkletter’s show was a great place for kids to really say “the darnedest things“.  Probably many people reading this have no idea who Art Linkletter was or how hilarious his program was-but even though I was just a kid I remember laughing at the kids myself.

    My grandkids are a constant source of laughter.

    Last week the boys were truly driving me insane and I said, “That’s it, now you‘re going to watch what grandma wants for the rest of the day.”

    I put on Mysteries at the Museum and it’s sister show Mysteries at the Monument.

    Aidan was none to pleased, but Dylan became hooked.  He didn’t even want to eat dinner because he wanted to watch the episode that was on when I said it was time to wash hands and come to the table.

    When he got home that night, Sarah reported the following on Face Book:

    “Dylan came into my room after I tucked him in and asked me to Google Yellow Fever...apparently he saw it on Mysteries at the Museum and was worried he would catch it. So I told him it’s mostly found in Africa and South America..not the US.  His response “I asked you to Google it, not Mom it” I totally burst out laughing at this kid.

    While at Adam and Sam’s home we all started talking about the little fact that school was about to begin and how much it was costing to get kids everything on the “must have” list that the school district had e-mailed to parents.  It seems the poor teachers do not have any funding and now require parents to supply everything that everyone in my age group counted on just being passed out on that fateful first day of classes.  

    Aidan added his two cents worth to the conversation,  “Teachers really deserve a raise because they don’t get paid enough to have to see all us kids who don’t listen 5 days a week.”

    Jackson, who just turned 3, loves the show “Little Einsteins“.  He loves the characters, especially “Rocket“-who takes the main characters on all kinds of adventures and is able to turn himself into boats, planes, submarines and who knows what else.  It’s really a pretty good kids show-teaching them about the classic artists, musicians and all kinds of pretty sophisticated stuff.

    We celebrated his birthday last weekend he was totally bowled over by one of his presents from his Auntie Sarah-a rocket (actually 3 that enveloped each other)!  From the moment he saw that rocket he began mimicked the “lead” boy in Little Einsteins:  “I cannot believe it! The best rocketship EVER!”

    He also thanked his cousins and aunt for “all of my bibs.”  Of course he did mean gifts, but he was too busy eating cake and gasping at what his own rocket could do.

    Before opening presents, we were having dinner and Jackson was so excited about his birthday cake that he refused to eat!  He loves fruit and wouldn’t even touch his grapes or pineapple.  

    Big problem: The rule is NO dessert until you’ve eaten your meal.

    Well our little pre-adolescent dug in his heels and refused to take even a single bite of fruit, tomatoes (yes, I know it’s also a fruit), not a chip or some of the turkey out of what was now a de-constructed sandwich.

    Finally, his two cousins tried to coax him into eating. Dylan got nowhere.  But Aidan kept trying.

    At last, Aidan finally said, “Listen Jackson, you just have to take one bite buddy.  Just one!  I’ve known your mom and dad longer than you have and I’m telling you they won’t let you eat your birthday cake unless you eat some dinner first!”

    Jackson stared as his cousin and then picked up some of the food and ate it.   “There, now I get birthday cake!”

    Biggest problem of the day solved by an 8-1/2 year old.

    Of course for every hilarious thing that pops out of a kid’s mouth, there’s double that amount that has parents, grandparents and teachers cringing-but I’d rather have a good giggle than a red face.

    Either way,  I can vouch that there are many more fun sentences that come out of the mouths of my grandsons than I can remember to put down here.  

    Now that Bryce is almost 9 months and can definitely say “mama” and “dada“, I’m waiting with bated breath as to what her first sentence will be and what kind of sense of humor she will add to the mix of our family.


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  • Happy Birthday, Jackson!

    Posted on Friday, August 5, 2016

    Happy Birthday to our favorite Jackson!

    It’s so hard to believe that Jackson is now 3 years old!  

    He’s got quite a sense of humor-rivals his dad and grandpa.  He has a heart as big as the wash abutting our homes and he loves his “baby sister“.  He told me so, “I take my baby sister Bryce everywhere!”

    And at 8-1/2 months, she adores him!  The other morning, while running a fever of over 102, she was still crawling after him all over the house and laughing at the way he could throw a ball for the dogs, dribble a giant play ball around the playroom and thought he was so entertaining that he deserved a round of applause.  Listening to the two of them laugh uproariously is heart-warming and wonderful.

    This is such a great age:  At 3, Jackson walks, runs, talks about everything imaginable (Thank you to Little Einsteins for teaching him so much) and he’s typically social.  Yes, we knock on the door and he comes running and presses his nose on the glass telling either mom or dad to let us in.

    He’s very observant too.  A few weeks back I shared that he was looking at a Men’s Health magazine that Adam had on his night stand and he realized that the front picture of a man in work out clothes looked liked “Daddy Home” and the back photo of a man in a suit and tie was, “Daddy Work“.

    Thanks to his love of Little Einsteins, Jackson can tell you a lot about our planetary system, classical music and classic artists.  He knows various instruments too.  He loves all kinds of trucks and dinosaurs.  He has a few hats and has to wear them while playing with the accompanying toys.  Baseball hats with nerf balls, Fireman hats with his fire truck (It’s actually a storage truck for Lightning McQueen, but it’s big and red) and sunglasses to be cool in the pool.

    It’s amazing that Jackson has gone from 9.5 pounds of newborn to over 30 and holding an intelligent conversation in such a short amount of time.  

    Watching children grow and change is fantastic-besides my two who are firmly in their 30’s, I’ve watched over 150 other children grown and become adults through my day care provider years.

    But being part of watching our 4 grandchildren morph into the beings they are is the most satisfying.

    It’s fun to be there to experience their changes on an almost daily basis.  Some days are harder to get through, but fun nonetheless.

    Jackson will be gone for a week to celebrate his birthday with the California family.  We’ll miss them all.  We’ll enjoy having Lily stay with us and I’ll be walking down the block to feed and care for the cats.

    What I’ll look forward to the most is what changes will happen during this absence and what both Jackson and Bryce will be like upon their return.

    Happy Birthday to the best 3 year old I know!


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  • I Love August

    Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2016

    I know you are all thinking I’m crazy-but there’s some “method” to my loving August in the desert:

    THE KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

    Yes!  Monday, August 8th-the boys will be back in school.

    It was hard enough when they were really little to keep them busy between grades but now?

    Well-let’s just say I applaud our local librarians and the volunteers.  Without them I’m not quite certain I would’ve kept my sanity for the last two years.  They are FAN-FREAKIN‘-TASTIC!

    The volunteers sponsor the summer library reading program.  As you saw from a few pictures the boys were kept quite involved in creating everything from solar ovens and solar meals to stress balls and tee shirts.  This past week was the last of “Maker Camp” and the Thursday morning “Open House” events.  

    The boys made their own coasters with plastic beads, vanity buttons and were allowed to have a last afternoon of both lego creating and electrical robot activities.  On Thursday morning it was “Celebrating the Olympics Around the World“-they made their own “Gold” cookie medals, Felt medals, tattoos, balloon ping pong, soda bottle bowling, made their own “torches” and so many other crafts.

    In general, going to the park is out after 11 a.m., the boys refuse to wear the under armor shirts and it’s too hot to entertain the pool even with the added protection.  There are sun “sails” over the areas but that only works when the sun is straight overhead.  Otherwise-you have that blazing heat coming in sideways.

    Next week, in lieu of these activities, I’m using our HOA community center and hoping that there will be some other kids to play:  ping pong, foosball, basketball or whatever else is around.  It’s supposed to be total monsoon weather and 112, so I’m doubting even a toe dip at the water park or a few laps in the pool will be possible.

    Back to loving August.  I will love being able to NOT breaking up sibling fisticuffs, hearing that everything is “boring” (didn’t that used to start around the teen years????) and feeling as if I somehow was given a position as head cook in a diner.  

    It’s going to still feel wonderful to get in the pool and do water aerobics in the morning and it will still be easy to walk at 6 in the a.m. twice a week (especially after my 3 faint-worthy injections to the most pesky knee).  Still won’t be thinking “the cooler weather is near at hand“.  Summer will be in complete full swing.  

    Going to the market without hissing “Dyl, Aidan-behave!”  will be really nice.

    I love those boys with all my heart, wouldn’t have the summers any other way-except “all good things must come to an end“, even if it just goes from having them from 7-6 to 3-6.  It’s a nice toss up in the schedule and in our lives.

    Just to be sure we re-establish grandpa/grandma time alone-I’m skipping my water class as you read this and Steve and I are taking the “harrah’s coach bus” to a local casino for a few hours of totally unlike us frolicking.

    They do the driving, give us $10 to play with and bring us back to our parked car!  Yes!  August is almost here, I hear the school bell gearing up to ring and the finish line on another summer vacation period coming to a calm and peaceful end.


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  • Human Pin Cushion

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2016

    Funny and sad:  I am a human pin cushion.

    It is NOT pleasant.  I feel like a Dr. Seuss book:

    I do not like a needle in the house,

    I do not like a needle with a mouse,

    I do not like them with some ice,

    I do not like them-they are NOT nice.

    This is the thing when you have chronic illnesses-you don’t have a choice.

    My week thus far?  

    Monday:  Mammogram (clear!), DEXA scan (sorry, Carine let’s try osteoporosis medicine #3 and hope for some improvement-in the meantime, don’t let anyone hug you without it being in “air” quotes) and two gel injections to each one of my hips.

    The needles HURT!

    Tuesday:  Time for my 6 week blood tests.  4 vials.  Lovely.

    Wednesday:  Oh joy!  Time for my Humira injection.  Being a big needle with an acid base, let me just say I think Steve’s hearing loss is partially due to my screaming as the meds enter my body.

    And wait, that’s not all!  Oh no!

    My “shoulder/knee” guy got approval to torture my most offending knee with orthovisc.

    I know I shouldn’t have done it but I looked up “patient reviews” on these gel injections.  

    EEK!!!

    A few people said they fainted from the pain!  A neighbor said she had them and hopes it works better for me than it did her.  Pointing out that she didn’t want to finish the series but felt she had no choice once she paid for and went through 2/3’s of the effort.  Thank goodness I had the wherewithal to set them up on Steve’s day off.  Now the nurse told me not to read the reviews as it wasn’t that bad.  Really?  Dollars to donuts they hurt as much as at least the Humira.  Epidurals are a cakewalk compared to that.  

    And oh how lucky-three of them, exactly one week apart.  One of them-I also get my Humira injection on the same day.

    Some days I really just want to scream.  I really do-and then to offset things, I take it to a very literal level.  I’d try and run, but that’s not in my “game” plan anymore.

    Just am feeling a might “pissy” today.  Next week, back to my regularly scheduled breakdown.


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