Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bianca's new room

So, it's not actually a new room, but with her new wall color, it seems like a whole new room. I'd bought the new bedding that wasn't babyish (that I hope will last her ten years) about six months ago. Then I told Bianca what she needed to do to get her "new" room, which was keep it picked up and make her bed in the morning. It was great for a while, then she forgot, then I reminded her, she didn't care, then she started to care again, then she finally started making her bed again and keeping her room tidy. Just in time, because I love doing projects in January so that I don't get depressed with all the gray muck in the sky and the cold days. We chose a nice blue color, called "Surfer" at the paint store, that went along with the color scheme. We spent Saturday painting, then we reorganized and alphabetized all Bianca's books and pulled out the new bedding. I think the room seems brand new.

Eventually, I'm going to get Bianca a chair for this little reading nook we made, with a chandelier and beanbag chair. But for now, this works great. Bianca loves it. She better. I'm really not good at painting and don't want to do this again. This should work until Bianca moves out for college.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Teaching an old dog new tricks

I just couldn't do it. I felt too much guilt. I sat around the house wondering where my little companion was (where the cat was through all this I have no idea as she seems to disappear throughout the day). Bianca wouldn't talk to me. Eric admitted (and I quote) that he "loved that stupid dog." Then I got an email from my mom that said (in a few more words than this)--"How could you? I would have taken him." Eric called the Humane Society, told them we hadn't completely agreed, and asked if there was any chance we could get our dog back. They said to come pick him up.

So on Saturday, Eric and the girls went to get him and when Tigger saw Eric, he wriggled himself out of the arms of the Humane Society worker and into Eric's arms. It makes me laugh, really, to see Eric care so much about this 6-pound chihuahua.

And I know, the problem isn't over--BUT we have a plan. Since Saturday, it's working. We keep Tigger in his kennel and take him outside (outside, not on pads inside the house as he was trained to do for seven years) to go do his thing. Then we give him a treat if he goes and then put him back in the kennel. He gets to sleep in Bianca's room at night as usual. He seems like a changed dog. Not an accident in the house yet. Maybe the Humane Society stay scared the crap out of him and he realized what he had (are dogs capable of this type of cognitive function?). I like to believe he's finally warm and comfortable again and he's going to be the dog he should be. So far, so good. And now I have a safety net: If it doesn't work out, I can ship him off to grandma's.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goodbye Tigger

I hate myself. I hate myself because I'm one of those people--you know, the kind who love my pets conditionally. I've been battling Tigger ever since the wood floors were installed a month ago over who's in charge at this house. Tigger didn't want new floors. Tigger didn't like the change. Tigger peed on all the rugs, carpet, anything he could pee on.

I sit here crying because I hate myself for taking away Bianca's best friend and leaving him in a cold, sterile place where the sound of dogs fighting permeates through slivers of doors. I hate myself for signing all the papers, paying $25 even, and then telling the guy across the counter what a good boy he is. I hate myself for sitting here crying over this stupid dog that I've never even liked, who stunk, that I would nudge away when he would settle his warm body on my lap. I hate myself for checking The Humane Society's web site to make sure they're marketing him correctly. Because I want to make sure someone adopts him and knows that he likes to chew only on The Dog toys (pups) from McDonald's Happy Meals we used to buy on ebay so that he could chew the eyes off, then the collar, then each ear, the leather nose, the stuffing, until it was a little scrap of fabric that could FINALLY be tossed into the garbage. I left a full bag of brand-new pups with him at The Humane Society and the blanket Bianca sewed him. I want him to find a new family. I want him to be happy. I guess I proved who's in charge, but I hate myself for it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Portia's Spanish Preschool

Two weeks ago, Portia's spanish preschool teacher (Maestra) told us that her full-time job was changing and she wasn't going to be able to do the preschool any longer. In fact, because of the loss of the preschool income, she was renting out her house and moving to an apartment. I'm really sad. She's a good friend of mine and Portia adores her little girl Elinor who is less than a week younger than she is. And Portia liked learning Spanish. She knew a lot of animals, all the colors, could count to ten, and could even say some conversational Spanish--not to mention all the Spanish songs she could sing. This gives me more time with Portia at home but it also gives me a little less time to myself and to spend writing. I know Portia will really miss her Spanish preschool and I'll miss hearing her singing her Spanish songs around the house--but I'm glad I had a backup preschool.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frogs v. Toads

I had a great December having Bianca out of school. Sometimes (especially during this particular break) I love having year-round school. On one snowy morning, Bianca and Portia came up with a game using a piece of cardboard they found lying around the house--probably a remnant from some Christmas packaging. Bianca spent a morning coloring and putting it all together. She used the old frogs and toads I used to collect when I was a kid and still have sitting around the girl's bathroom, which is themed a frog pond. I thought it was fun game. It's a little bit chess, checkers (the frogs and toads can hop over each other and take them out), and a little bit original--especially the boogie square, which allows for some dancing and an extra roll of the dice (that Bianca made herself). We played Frogs v. Toads a lot this break. Bianca also plays it with turtles against the frogs/toads.

Bianca's accumulating quite a collection of turtles (the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, I suppose). I just hope she has kids that are as creative as mine and will be able to put her little-used collection to use when she's a mom.