Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

Brutus 2006-2018

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Previously: 2013 photos of Brutus with the kids 

I’ve spent several days staring at this box on my computer trying to figure out the best way to say that my dog is dead.

I don’t want to say “We lost Brutus this weekend” because we didn’t lose him, the way you think of losing a dog. He didn’t run away, he’s not missing, there’s no chance he’s coming back.

I don’t want to say “Brutus died on Sunday” because he didn’t just die. It wasn’t that easy. He got sick, really sick, really fast and I spent a week talking to vets about whether or not we could help him before we had to make the terrible choice that we couldn’t.

I don’t want to say “I had to put Brutus to sleep” because he’s not fucking sleeping. He’s dead.

I don’t want to say “I had to do the kind thing and save Brutus from his suffering” because when it came down to it, I couldn’t even do that. I sent my husband to the vet with the dog while I took the kids to a birthday party, so I didn’t have to make the decision or tell the kids right away.

And now our dog is dead.

Up until Sunday, November 4th, Brutus was basically a puppy. He was hit by a car when he was 3 or 4. I saw it happen, he went completely under the wheel of a big SUV. I carried him home, threw my infant in the car, and rushed him to the vet. They looked him over and diagnosed…a scrape on his lip. That was it. No other damage. He loved other dogs so much that walking him on a leash was next to impossible. As soon as he saw a dog he’d drag you into the road to say hi, barking and yelping and totally freaking people out. He liked to talk by making these growling-grunting noises. It made him seem scary until you realized it was basically the dog version of purring. When he had cancer last year and had to have a toe removed, he was up and jumping around long before the wound healed and had to have it restitched twice because he couldn’t be still. He was an amazing guard dog, barking loudly and alarmingly at everyone who dared to walk past the house, but calming down when friends came in and he realized they were good humans.

After I posted on Facebook that Brutus was gone and people started sending their condolences, I realized how many people had known Brutus, just like they know my kids. So many friends have pet him and rubbed his ears. So many kids have climbed on him or used him as a pillow or fed him their cheese sticks. We’ve had him since before we had kids, before we bought a house, before we were even real adults. He’s given everyone he’s ever met so much love, and I hope he knew how much he was loved in return.

You’re a good boy, Brutus. We’ll miss you forever.

Brutus at 3 months old, in our old house, on our old couch, when my face didn’t look like I’ve been crying on and off for days:

I took the kids out this week to take pictures, just in case. I’m so glad I did.

 

Knobels With Friends 2018

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Holy shirt you guys, this is the longest month of my life. I am trying to catch up on the photos I have to edit because this blog is basically just a photo album of my children’s lives now and I feel very guilty when I don’t keep it up. I mean, none of them have baby books, so hopefully, the internet still exists when they get old enough to want to see photos of their childhood. I thought I was two full months behind with updates. but then I realized our trip to Pennsylvania was actually the first weekend of September. AND IT’S STILL SEPTEMBER.

We spent a weekend with my freshman year college roommate and her family in PA. For most of the time, the kids absolutely DESTROYED her basement playroom while the adults ignored them, but once the kids started driving each other crazy we decided to take them out in public somewhere loud and crazy. Knobels is…hard to describe. It’s a free amusement park, in that there is no actual entrance and nothing to keep you from just wandering in (also no security checks which felt suuuuuuper weird). They have HUGE pavillions people rent for company picnics or family reunions. The rides all cost between $1 and $3 to ride. Most of them are legitimate rides, not the scary carnival kind from the fair, although a few of them are actual carnival rides. A lot of things are very old, but in a charming way. The food was shockingly good (get the pulled pork nachos). Sometimes they offer wristbands for unlimited rides, but most weekends they don’t. Luckily they did on Labor Day weekend so we got the unlimited bands for the kids and husbands. They offer free packets of tickets for military and vets though, so my friend and I both had $40 worth of ride tickets for ourselves. We didn’t even use half of them.

The kids had a blast. There was no height minimum for the kid rides, so little Finnegan got to ride a bunch of stuff. We split up so the big kids could ride roller coasters with the dads, and then met up later for food and so we could do some rides as a family. We were there ALL day and didn’t even see a single show or visit the water park side. I think next year we might rent a cabin and stay overnight. Mostly so the grown-ups could enjoy the no-rules nature of bringing in our own beverages while the kids ride.

I’m missing half my photos from our trip, but since I still have almost 300 I’m not too upset. You’ll just never see the pictures of the giant ice cream or the Ferris wheel or the kids soaking wet from the Viking boat log flume. I think you’ll probably survive.

p.s. You pronounce the “K” in Knobels, which is VERY HARD to remember.

 

The Gift of September

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Every year in New England, on September 1st, we all prepare for fall. It’s September. It’s Fall. It’s time to get out our cardigans and boots, sleep with the windows open and four blankets, pick apples, drink lattes, and throw around as many decorative gourds as we can.

And every year, on September 1st, we remember that it’s actually still summer.

But our surprise is a gift – doing fun summer stuff in September feels like cheating. I’m swimming in the ocean in September! (And don’t tell anyone the ocean is actually crazy warm in September, or we’ll have to share the beach with too many people.) I’m wearing sundresses in September! We’re having ice cream for dinner in September! Let’s jump in the car after school and do ALL of that on a Thursday!

All the things I was tired of – sand in my car, washing a million towels, late bedtimes, no plans for dinner, car naps – are once again charming and fun. I can sit on a towel by the ocean wondering why we don’t go to the beach EVERY day with absolutely no irony. It’s like my brain was wiped clean on the first day of the month and I’m ready for summer all over again.

The most pleasant part of the whole thing is in a few days (a week, maybe three if we’re lucky) it actually WILL be fall. I’ll vacuum all the sand out of my car and deflate all the floaties until next year. We will all start wearing pants and I’ll buy 3 new striped shirts. We’ll eat apples and chowder and cider donuts and the bakery in Mystic will smell like pumpkin and cinnamon instead of lavender and vanilla. We get our bonus, stolen summer right before the very best part of New England.

This is why we’re still here.

First Day of School 2018

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

This year, Evan is in 4th grade, Caroline is in 3rd grade, and Lincoln is going to full-day preschool. That means from 9 am until 4 pm every weekday I have only ONE KID to take care of. So far it’s going great, both here at home and at school. Evan and Caroline both love their teachers. Evan gets to take band this year and he’s chosen the trombone, so he’ll also get a pretty good workout carrying it back and forth on the bus twice a week. Caroline is pretty jealous but she’ll get to pick an instrument next year. Lincoln has gotten on and off the bus cheerfully every day, even if he is still mad he’s in a “downstairs” classroom instead of his old class upstairs. I’m not even sure his best friend goes to his school anymore, but I’m sure he’ll make a new best friend quickly.

Besides these big kids, Finnegan and I are SO excited to hang out together. He’s so NICE when he has my undivided attention. His language has exploded, he likes riding in the car and he has chosen to take naps almost every afternoon, so I’m getting our disaster house back under control and preparing for some big renovation work this fall. It’s a good time of year for all of us.

Sunflowers for Wishes 2018

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Previous year Sunflowers for Wishes: 2013 2012 2011 2010

Apparently, I didn’t manage to blog our trip last year, even though I know we went. I have one picture in my 365 project but I remember it being REALLY hot and crowded so I don’t think I took many photos.

This year was not at all crowded and only a little bit hot. I took a ton of pictures.

Key lime & chocolate brownie batter

Lavender honey

Peppermint stick

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