Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Trip to England PART ONE (Arriving in London and Teignmouth)

I'd never flown internationally before. We flew to Atlanta and met my mom there, then we all got on a nine-hour flight to London. I was impressed with the amount of food we were served--so many snack/drink services; a dinner of pasta, salad, bread & butter, and brownie; and even breakfast the next morning (but was it really breakfast or a midnight snack?? It was 3 am our time/10 am England time). I watched a movie on the plane, Rabbit Hole, which I cried through from 1 to 3 am when I couldn’t sleep any longer because it was so uncomfortable to still be sitting and Portia was sprawled on top of me while she did sleep.

We rented a Ford wagon (lots of Fords there really) and had quite a fun time watching Eric drive from the right side of the car on the left-side of the road. It was even harder driving a stick-shift with the left hand (I'll try not to mention the stalls). I refused to drive. Too scary. It was about a three-hour drive to the coast, and we stopped along the way to see Stonehenge and for a late lunch at Gisson’s.

We arrived at Yannon Towers in Teignmouth. Portia and Bianca chose a double room on the third floor and Mom chose the room next to theirs, with one of the best views in the house. Eric and I picked an octagonal room on the second floor. We all fell asleep in the family room after we unpacked down in the family room (the time-change and loss of a night was so difficult on us). The woodwork in the castle was beautiful (look below at the ceiling of the family room!). 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Is there such a thing as too imaginative?

Portia thinks she's a dog. A chihuahua normally. But somedays she's a lion or a mouse or a duckling or a turtle. I don't try to stop her "imaginative" play, but this phase sure has been going on a long, long, long time.

Unfortunately, as we've been helping our real chihuahua Tigger learn how to use the backyard as his bathroom, Portia appears to have become confused. The first time I noticed a problem was several weeks ago when Portia and Tigger were playing out in the backyard. I looked out the window and there was Portia, completely naked and squatting, peeing on the grass. Well, maybe she's showing Tigger how. I thought it was a little funny until I witnessed several other times. Then we sat down and had a talk. Friday night, as the babysitter was walking out the front door, she explained she found Portia peeing on the tree in our front yard. I've heard of people having problems with little boys peeing outside, but not normally little girls.

Yesterday, on Mother's Day, was the worst of all. I walked into Portia's room where she'd been playing with the door shut, so quietly and nicely. I thought it was a special "Mother's Day" gift. I walked in to get her ready to leave and she tried to shut the door on me. "Don't come in," she said. Then I walked in and found her naked and a fresh puddle of urine on the clean "pee" pad we still keep in Portia's room, in case Tigger gets out. But Tigger was caged up in his kennel sleeping at this particular moment. And I hung my head in shame. How could it have come this far?

We threatened this time. If that happens again, you'll lose everything chihuahua you own--both Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies (her favorites), all her stuffed chihuahuas, her chihuahua pajamas. Whatever it takes.

This morning, Portia was a cat. I immediately went to the computer and pulled up some youtube videos on cats using toilets, real toilets, and showed them to her. I'd hate to be the one trying to rescue Portia from the litter box downstairs or washing off her litter-caked feet.