Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boot Camp Day 2...

We enjoyed playing in the snow yesterday. We double layered the Brownies to go outside to play in the snow. Little Brownie was very shy and uncertain of all the white stuff when we came out. Big Brownie went for a huge scoop of snow to throw up in the air. We ran to the back yard and Daddy Brown used a box and some cord to fashion a sled. The boys loved it. Guess who loved it more... Sissy. As Daddy Brown ran with a Brownie on the makeshift sled, Sissy ran, jumped and hopped around. Then it was Sissy's turn and she LOVED it! The Brownies ran to the back of the yard. We still have berries on some of the trees. The Brownies had a blast and before long, everyone was chilled to the bone.

One good thing about Big Brownie potty training and running around with a bare toochy...the heat is up to 70 degrees inside. We all thawed out pretty quickly. Later in the evening, I went outside and loaded up a huge bowl of snow for snow cream. I made a huge batch using a recipe from a friend. 1 c of sugar, 1-2 tsp of vanilla, 1-2 cups of milk, 2 eggs (optional...we left this out because of the boys) and snow! Yummy! We enjoyed our snow both outside and in. Everyone was in the bed and asleep by 8:30p and everyone slept in until 9a this morning.

Now, as we assess our fridge, we are officially out of milk and juice. Daddy Brown is venturing out to the convenient store or grocery store depending on the roads. He has a love affair with snow and ice. In our younger days, we would go out on days like this with our overall on and boots. We would equip the truck with tow ropes and chains. With the truck in 4 wheel drive, we would drive around and help others out in distress. A luxury we no longer indulge now that we are responsible parents of the Brownies. is a treat for Daddy Brown to get out and play in the snow for a short amount of time. I don't worry a bit when he leaves because I know he was trained well. Daddy Brown's dad, Pops, would totally be out in it if his tires were in better condition.

Now...on to the big news of the day. Day 1 of Potty Training Boot Camp was a success! The conversation heart treats are the best, but unfortunately because of the snow, and the fact we just started potty training on a whim, we didn't prepare for the mass amounts of pee(ing) in the potty. Each #1 deposit receives 1 heart. Each #2 deposit receives 2 hearts. I started out with a 4 oz mason jar of hearts and as of this morning, we are out! Luckily, I had purchased some mint and chocolate chips last week on sale at Food Lion from the post Christmas clearance sale.

Big Brownie has been running to the potty to tinkle so he can taste the different treats. We were not brave enough to go without a diaper overnight, but we did use a regular diaper as opposed to an overnight diaper. He didn't overflow the diaper so that too is a good sign. The struggle...keeping Little Brownie out of the potty. He wants to put his toys in the potty, lift the seat and jump on Big Brownie's back while he's doing his business. Oh me...too bad he wasn't ready for potty training too! We move into Day 2 with an optimistic outlook on our progress. We'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Without a net...

This week has been a mixed bag of adventures. Monday, Aunt Berry and I drove to Atlanta for a rode trip to IKEA. I seriously could have done some damage there. My first experience and I was like a kid in a candy store. Because I have a compulsive personality, I knew I needed to have a control. So, I only brought $50 cash to spend. I efficiently used each dollar to the max. An art easel with paper roll $19.99, 2 baby stools for $3.99 each, etc. Aunt Berry purchased an entire bedroom suite, bed, 2 chest of drawers, and 2 nightstands for $550. What a deal! Tuesday, went to Hobby Lobby with Aunt Apple and the Brownies. LOVE ME SOME HOBBY LOBBY!!! After naptime, our sweet little nephew Peanut Butter Fudge came over to play with the Brownies. They had a blast!

Wednesday, we visited with my Grandmother and Aunt. The Brownies enjoyed running around eating cookies and biscuits...I know an odd combination, but they loved it. Yesterday, we visited a friend and her new 1st born son. Big Brownie wanted to hold him and to my surprise, Little Brownie didn't have a care in the world that I was holding a little one. After leaving, the Brownies napped in the car and once they woke, we had a snack and went to the park to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. We were the only ones there, but we had a great time. Cold as the dickens, but that didn't keep the Brownies from running from slide to slide having a blast.

So, now here we are on Friday morning and it is actually snowing outside. We are so excited! We have also began a new adventure with Big Brownie...potty training. I have a friend that has a little boy about the same age as Big Brownie. After talking to her this week, she shared her success in potty training her son. A new approach I had never heard of previously. NO DIAPER AT ALL...ALL WEEKEND! I know, very scary, but worth a try. Big Brownie is running around the house with nothing on from the waist down. This has created an unexpected reaction from Little Brownie...inspection of his own manhood. We have had 2 successful uses of the potty so far this morning. Conversation hearts are the treat of choice for a successful deposit. We are ready for the challenge and here on one of the coldest weekends of the month, have turned the heater up to a balmy 70 degrees to keep his little toochy warm. Keep us in your prayers as we go through this weekend without a net!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sane Saturday...

Is it my birthday? No. Is it Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or my Wedding Anniversary? No, No and No. I usually don't get much consistent sleep at night. I get about 2 maybe 3 hour stretches of rest before one of the Brownies is up and needs some attending...diaper change, bottle, lost binkie, etc. Last night was much the same. Little Brownie slept all night, but Big Brownie was up 2 times...2a, 4:45a and then ready for his day at 7a. I'll add he didn't fall asleep until 10:15p, although we put him in the bed at 8:30p.

I went through my same rhetoric as every other morning..."I'll turn the television on and you can watch one of your shows". Desperately hoping for another 30 minutes of rest. To my surprise, Daddy Brown popped his head up and told Big Brownie that once he showered, he would get up with him to play. I fell back to sleep and the next thing I knew, Daddy Brown was sneaking in our room to ask me a question about Little Brownie. I told him, "I'll get up to help". Daddy Brown told me to go back to sleep...which I did. Big Brownie came in once to tell me he had a BIG POOPY! I asked him if Daddy Brown had changed it and he began to go into details. I asked Big Brownie if I could sleep a little longer and he said, "Ok Mama, you get some rest...I love you!"

Sound asleep I fell until Daddy Brown came in and gently rubbed my face. I opened my eyes and he said, "I thought you might want to come down and see the boys before nap-time". "Nap-time? What time is it?" I asked. "Oh it's almost 1 o'clock." he said. "WHAT? Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry!" I began apologizing. Daddy Brown was so cool and calm. I came downstairs and everyone was playing nicely and happy to see me. Big Brownie asked me, "How was your sleep, Mama? Are you rested?" I told him, "Yes baby, Mama is very well rested."

How lucky am I to have a sweet, precious husband that let me sleep in today. Not for any reason, just because. It reminds me to do something special for someone you love and care for...just because. Not because you have been asked or nagged to do it. Just do something unexpected and with a giving and willing heart. I have the most miraculous husband. The day is half over, the boys are in bed, Daddy Brown is napping and Sissy is snoring on the floor. What a wonderful treat of a Saturday and a great gift from my hubby!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freaky Friday...

Almost without fail, I check my Facebook home page on Friday mornings and there are at least 5 people shouting...TGIF! Don't know about you, but Friday's have a tendency to be one of my toughest days. Here it is a little bit after 11a on Friday morning and I'm just about at my whiny, not listening, kid meltdown limit. Here is a recap of my morning so far...

Beginning at 3:45a, Big Brownie comes out of his room to tell me he can't find his binkie. I'll admit I have not been very consistent with the binkie. That is about to change. I have done my best at making the binkie unavailable during the day and leaving it for naptime and bedtime. However, since Little Brownie still uses a binkie, they are still prevalent in our household. We found binkie in his bed, then he wants juice. I've started giving him water at night instead of juice because he is literally pee(ing) through an over-sized, overnight diaper. We have a small battle about, "This is water, I want juice!" Next we have the other requests, "Mama, will you sing me a song" and "Mama, will you sleep here in my bed with me...PLEASEEEE!" Because I'm exhausted, I lay there and sing songs until we fall asleep. I wake up around 5a and head back to my bed.

Then, Little Brownie wakes up at 5:15a. I go downstairs, let Sissy outside, give her water and make Little Brownie a bottle of milk. Put Sissy back on the couch and upstairs I go to rock Little Brownie back to sleep. Back to my bed at 5:45a only to fall asleep at 6:30a. Daddy Brown's alarm goes off at 7:00a and continues to go off every 9 minutes until he wakes about 7:30a or so. I fall back asleep and Big Brownie climbs into bed with me at 7:45a. I turn the television on and try to convince him to watch t.v. while I attempt to sleep a little bit longer. Daddy Brown leaves and Big Brownie begins jumping on the bed. I usually have this discussion with myself every morning...either I can get up and get in the shower before Little Brownie wakes up, or I can lay here for another 15 minutes. I'll admit, I choose the latter of the two most mornings.

Big Brownie and I come downstairs, I slam down a cup of coffee and make Little Brownie a bottle. Get Little Brownie out of bed about 8:45a and back downstairs for oatmeal and yogurt. Let Sissy outside to tinkle, fix her breakfast...slam down 2nd cup of coffee! Big Brownie goes upstairs and decides after many corrections from me, he wants to jump on the stairs. You know what happens next, he falls and bumps his leg. "I NEED A BINKIE...IT WILL MAKE ME FEEL BETTER!", he exclaims. Then, the battle of the binkie begins. Little Brownie is following me around wanting a cheese cracker, a butter cracker, a graham cracker...only to feed them to Sissy. Upstairs everyone goes to change out the laundry. Unload the dryer, with the help of both Brownies of course, load the dryer from the washer...fight over who is going to close the dryer door...pushing fight between the Brownies. Turn on washer, Big Brownie starts putting in anything he can find and Little Brownie wants to help but isn't tall enough. Little Brownie gets mad and pulls clothes out of Big Brownies hand. Get the clothes put in washer, Little Brownie gets to close the door. Get his hand caught in the bi-fold doors and meltdown.

I get him calmed down, and nature calls. I go to the bathroom for literally 2 minutes and I come back to find all my clean clothes inter-mingled with all my dirty clothes. AHHHH!!! I could have screamed. The boys are now in the middle of the clothes pile and throwing clothes up in the air...laughing their heads off. Gather all the clothes and put them back in the laundry basket. Come downstairs for story time. Battle of the books! We select 5 books each and begin to read our books. We peacefully enjoy our snack and juice while we read. Once the snacks have been eaten, mass chaos ensues. Little Brownie gets so upset he thrashes around until he finally realizes I'm not paying attention. We go back upstairs to organize our craft activity and I'm about to pull my hair out. I decide I need coffee cup #3 and end up turning on the television for a break. I frown at me, but I need a break! least for the next 22 minutes while the boys watch Nick Jr. I ask myself many times, why do I blog? Days like this is my answer. I'm at home with the sweetest 2 Brownies in the world. However somedays, like today, I need to share my day with someone. It's therapeutic for me and a giggle for you. I know that if you are reading this and you are a feel my every pain and you smile at each incident! It's ok, today is Friday and I'm sharing my day with you! I hope your freaky Friday is better than mine!~I look forward to Daddy Brown coming home and giving me a hand! Oh...and I just realized I forgot to turn on the dryer! AHHHH!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 kid meals please...

Over the last few days, I just haven't felt like myself. Partly missing my Bubba, the other is that we are waiting to hear from the vet about Sissy. She has been having some issues of her own and we are hoping for the best, but anticipating the worst. Sissy has been a little blue as well.

Since Bubba's no longer with us, it hurts my heart to leave Sissy all alone in the house by herself. Today, I needed to run some medicine to Aunt Fudge's house and then to Publix to pick up a few items. As I'm putting shoes on the Brownies, Sissy stands in the background looking at me. I remembered how much she loves to go for rides in the car. Bubba always hated the car, so we didn't take them riding that often. I got her leash, strapped it on and headed to the car. Big Brownie asked, "Mama, is Sissy going to ride in the car with us? Can I hold her in my lap...PLEASE?"

I opened the door and in she jumped...Shotgun Sissy. Panting and nub just a working, she was so excited to go with us. As we began our trip, she sat down looking forward as if she were a person. I cracked her window open and her little nose stuck out just enough for her to get a good sniff of cows, horses, hay and everything else in the wind. We went to Aunt Fudge's house, then to Publix. She was not thrilled when I got back from leaving her in the car. But then...something that blew her mind away. We went to the Burger King drive-thru. Oh the excitement! I got Sissy her own kids meal. HEAVEN! She was so good. The Brownies kept calling out her name and talking to her, but her eyes were focused 100% on me and my precious brown paper sack.

She had a cheeseburger and fries. The boys got to have her toy. She has been stuck to me like glue. Wherever I go, she is no further than 3 steps behind me. At night, I spend a little extra time with her after everyone has gone to bed, rubbing her head and talking to her. I hope she knows how much we love her too. The Brownies and Daddy Brown have been giving her a few extra pats on her back and rubs on her head. At naptime and nighttime when we are putting the boys to bed, she is on the floor or in the bed as we read books and say our prayers. We are including her more in our family life and she has very little restrictions. Hopefully we will get news from the vet soon and hopefully, it will be good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun!

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun,
Mr. Golden Sun,
please shine down on me!

I hear my mom sing this song to my Brownies and it brings back so many good memories. As the Brownies and I woke this was yet another dreary, cloudy day. As the morning progressed, we were SO happy to see the sun. The Brownies could hardly contain themselves in the house when they saw what a beautiful day it was outside. Big Brownie kept telling me, "Mommy, it's a beautiful, sunny day outside!" I agreed. We opened the back door and ran to our hearts delight. Little Brownie pointed at the trees, the berries, the slides, the steps and every other thing that he could see. Big Brownie commenced his digging of the garden from the fall. We ran and played with each other and with Sissy.

Time for lunch! I brought Little Brownie inside and allowed him to color in his high chair while I prepared lunch. I've been giving Big Brownie some opportunities to play by himself lately. A privilege he has relished. As we were coming inside, he asked, "Mama, can I stay outside and play?" I said, "Yes, you may play here on the deck and I will leave the door open." He used his sidewalk chalk to write on the deck. He used his yard stick to measure the chairs, table and decking. He popped his head in to see what Little Brownie and Sissy were doing. He had no idea that I was watching his every move from the reflection in the door's glass. He walked over to the grill and I yelled out to him, "Don't touch the grill!" I then heard an "Awww!"

Brownie belly's are full and off to sleep, and Sissy is snoring on the couch. I'm enjoying the beautiful day myself. Gonna start working out today. I figure if I say it out loud and to someone other than myself, it will help to keep me accountable., Billy Blanks, Denise Austin, Jillian Michaels and Tony Little are going to have a date for at least 30 minutes every day during naptime. The challenge..lose 50 pounds in the year 2010. Ready, the couch, tennis shoes on, knee brace strapped and get my booty in gear. I'm not getting any younger and the time is now. Get up and join me...won't you?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A little laughter...

Ok...some really sad days have come to our house over the last week or so. However, in this house...there is always laughter, even when we mourn. Big Brownie can pull out some real zingers. We have had them on a slightly earlier schedule for the last couple of days. Both Brownies have been up and at 'em by 7a. This is a stretch from the normal of 9a sometimes 10a. With 7a wake-up calls, comes 11:30a nap times. Again...a stretch from the 2p normal. And finally bedtime, which can range literally from 8:45p to 11:30p depending on our day.

Tonight, early bedtimes. Little Brownie was so tired at 6:30p, I thought he was just gonna lay down on my chest and close his eyes. I rushed to "tickles and giggles" to bring him back to an aroused state for another hour. He was out like a light at 7:45p. Since we have had so much going on this weekend, Big Brownie has been requesting me to rock him in the chair and sing to him as opposed to our normal nighttime routine. A request I welcomed and obliged. By 8:15p, completely asleep, with binkie falling out of his mouth and snoring. I laid him down in his bed, kissed his head and tiptoed out of his room. At 8:20p, a creak in the floor and out pops Big Brownie..."Mommy, I can't find my blue binkie!" I hustled him back to his bed, found his binkie and kissed him again. That child did not go back to sleep until 9:30p! He creeped out of his room once...BUCK NAKED! I asked him where his pajamas were. He crouched down on the floor and looked under my bed, then stood up and threw his hands in the air. He said, "I don't know, they fell off and now I can't find them." So off to bed he finally went, with pajamas ON, at least for now.

Little Brownie is certainly entertaining all by himself. He is a book worm to say the least. His new thing is to read only books that have "Hippos" in them. This absolutely narrows our book selection. Big Brownie will bring a book that he wants us to read and Little Brownie will throw it across the floor. His vocabulary seems to be expanding over night. He can shake his head "no" and actually does mean "no". Instead of nodding his head "yes", he'll say, "uh-huh" when something is acceptable. We watch Noggin on television and when Moose and Zee sings a song, he will stop everything, clap his hands in a pretty steady rhythm and stomp his feet. If I'm not in the room, he'll run to me, grab my hand and lead me to the television to sing and dance with him. He has the cutest smile. Currently 4 front top teeth, 3 bottom lower teeth (which looks quite funny) and a SLUE of molars coming in.

We enjoyed an all out crafty, sugar high, awesome birthday party with a friend this weekend. A much needed distraction for everyone and a chance to get out of the house and enjoy some good friends and fellowship. I say, the host, maybe one of the most creative individuals I know. An outdoor craft party was planned and when it rained, she adjusted and made such fun alternative indoor crafts. When my outdoor parties have been rained on, we simply rescheduled the party. She inspires me to be more creative and we had a BLAST. Water-gun painting in the bathroom shower, fruit loop bracelet making and icing a cake (more like eating all the icing, sprinkles and candy to be used for decorating, then maybe, just maybe the cake). The Brownies were so tired after we left the party, we were afraid to come straight home thinking they would crash. So, we went to the store and bought a new coffee maker for me and Daddy Brown. We brought everyone home, made and fed supper, quick bath time and off to bed the Brownies went without so much as a peep.

With early bedtimes, a welcomed surprise...Daddy Brown and I have some quiet time to ourselves. I asked him yesterday, "So do you think this is why other parents put their kids to bed so early?" This extra quiet time with Daddy Brown was so needed with what has been going. It gave Daddy Brown and I a chance to talk, comfort and love on each other this weekend. I can't say it enough, I love my husband. He knows me inside and out. He can tell when my mood changes and he adjusts accordingly. This morning, I let him sleep in so he could catch up on his rest. When naptime commenced, we laid down for a nap ourselves and he let me sleep in a little to catch up on mine. The best feeling this weekend...his touch. He rubbed my face, wiped my tears, held me close and with that, each day has been better then the day before. I love my family, even one member shy, we made it through this very difficult weekend through tears, heartache and most importantly...a little laughter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Resting and at peace... is done. Our Bubba is now peacefully resting in our backyard. It has been a tough week and even tougher day today. Daddy Brown and I are terribly heartbroken, but know that we have made the right decision for our Bubba. He will no longer be in pain and will suffer no more. I began preparing Big Brownie for what was to come. Yesterday, I explained that Bubba was sick and he had to go to the doctor. I told him that Daddy Brown and I would take Bubba to the doctor and then Bubba would go to be with Baby Jesus in heaven. I told him that when he came home from his play date at Aunt Fudge's house, that Bubba would not be here.

As much as a 2 year old could comprehend, he knew something was happening to Bubba and that I had been upset. He comforted me all week. He would ask me, "Mama, are you sad?" I would tell him, "Yes baby, Mama is very sad?" More than once, he told me "Mama, let me hold you", "Mama, do you want a hug?" "Here Mama, drink some juice, it'll make you feel ALL better" and "Mama, here, have a binkie". All things that are comforting to him when he is feeling sad. It helped me know that my son knows how to recognize emotion and how to accommodate accordingly. He knows how to have compassion and he knows how to comfort. I'm so proud of my boys. Even Little Brownie came and gave me hugs and kisses all week for no apparent reason. Big Brownie told me several times, "Mama...Daddy will be home REAL soon to hold you and make it all better." That helps me to know that he sees the love between Daddy Brown and I, and he knows that I find comfort in his Dad and that I love him very much.

Yes, it has been a tough week. Aunt Apple and Aunt Berry both came by yesterday to say their goodbye's. Aunt Berry took a few pictures of Bubba and Sissy while she was here. I'm thankful that today was the most beautiful day and that I was able to take my Bubba and Sissy out to play in the backyard while the boys took their naps. We played and I took a few more pictures of them enjoying each other and enjoying the day. The Lord blessed us with this last day to be with them, love on them and hold them. Daddy Brown came home early from work and had time to spend with our Bubba before we left for his appointment. Our heart aches and we have held our Sissy all night. She knows something is different and I'm sure is wondering where her Bubba is too. Big Brownie came home tonight and asked about Bubba. He wanted to know when he would be coming home. I reminded him he was with Baby Jesus now up in heaven. His response..."Oh, right. Are we going to sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus again?" So sweet.

We will all remember our Bubba. He was a great pet, friend, companion and family member. It is difficult for me to sleep tonight. I want so badly for him to be inside sleeping on the couch with Sissy. I want to rub his sweet face and see his little nub wag with happiness. Daddy Brown and I will rely on all the sweet memories of our Bubba to help us through the next few days. Each day will hopefully get a little easier. Each day will hopefully get a little better. For now, we have comfort in knowing that he is finally resting and is now finally at peace.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Before you begin to read this, I'll apologize now for it being really long. If you keep up with our family, you know that we have 2 four legged children that we have had for 8 1/2 years. They have been with us for 2/3 of our married life. For many years, they provided and filled the void of not having children and actually helped us to learn some parenting skills. I know, you laugh, but caring for inside dogs at times can be just as much responsibility as our Brownies. Until about 2 years ago, we didn't have a fence in our backyard. So, at least 3 times a day, either myself or Daddy Brown would walk our pets around the backyard to allow them to do their business. In the Spring, Summer and Fall months, we would take them for walks down the road to give them some extra exercise.

Bubba and Sissy came from a Boxer Rescue locally. We knew we wanted a male and female dog. We wanted them to be each others companion. I had my eye on two very large boxers. Weighing in at 80+ pounds each. Daddy Brown had his eye on Bruiser and Shasta, this was Bubba and Sissy's name at the rescue. They weighed in around 50 and 45 pounds respectively. They were smaller and even though they played a little rough with each other, he felt that handling 2 - 50 pound dogs would be easier than 2 - 80 pounds dogs. Have I mentioned I married the smartest man on the universe?

We brought Ben and Sarah home, a.k.a. Bubba and Sissy. They came into our new home and ran all over the house smelling everything. We ran upstairs and jumped around with them in the bed. We fed them their first meal and they fought over the food. We separated them and for the first year of their lives in our house, we fed Bubba in the house and Sissy in the garage. We made a special meal for Sissy every day. She has a tremendous under bite and so the rescue recommended wet and dry food. Bubba has food allergies and is allergic to plastic. His food bowl made him breakout with "doggy acne" and he can't eat beef or chicken proteins.

So, life with Bubba and Sissy finally settled in. We went to work in the morning and tried leaving them in the house. Monday and Tuesday's were always perfect. Wednesday's, we would always regret leaving them in the house. Their first Christmas, Gran Gran had given me a hot chocolate/popcorn/movie gift. It had assorted flavors of hot cocoa. You would think leaving it up in middle of the table would be a sign that this was not for dogs. However, they had a full 8-9 hours to plan and execute their take over of the hot cocoa...and they succeeded. We came home to HUGE hot cocoa stains in our beige house. Not only had they busted into the cocoa, but then they laid on the floor licking and wallering it into the carpet.

We had a VHS tape stand in our living room. All my favorite movies were stored here. One day we came home and they had opened, eaten and ran through the house at least 10 or 15 VHS tapes and the house was draped in tape. As we were yelling at them and cleaning up the mess, one movie uncovered under the mess was left completely untouched. Wanna take a stab at the name of this saved and honored VHS tape? "ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN" Seriously, can they read too? It made us laugh so hard and still does.

We finally resorted to putting them in the garage during the day. We put a couch out there and Daddy Brown fashioned some pretty fancy dog beds out of PVC pipe so they would not have to be on the floor. I also used the garage for storage of my paper products. I have a little bit of a hoarder in me. I like to buy on sale and I like to buy a lot. I had purchased enough toilet paper and paper towels to last to the next coming of Jesus. We came home one afternoon and it looked like it had snowed in the garage. Nearly every roll of toilet paper and paper towels had been ripped to shreds. What fun they must have had. We joked many times about putting up a video camera so we could see what they do during the day...but we never did.

Over the last year or so, Bubba has been experiencing little strokes that have progressively gotten worse and more frequent. Last Thursday, he had a full blown seizure. I knew something was up when he followed me into the kitchen and his feet kept slipping out from under him. I picked him up and put him on the couch. The Brownies were running around not really paying much attention to what was happening. I held him and rubbed him and thought, ok, it's over.

Then, he jumped down, walked around the table and it began. I made Big Brownie get up in the chair and I put Little Brownie in his high chair out of harms way. Sissy came near and laid down in the floor. Bubba's arms and legs stretched out as he lost control of his muscles and he began to cry. Then, he began to scream. He lost his bowels and his toes curled up. It was the worst doggy seizure I'd ever seen or heard. I called Daddy Brown and thankfully he was less than 3 minutes from the house. I called the vets office and they said to bring him in. As Daddy Brown walked in, I'm in tears and upset. Bubba is just laying in the floor. He was still somewhat unaware of what was going on. Daddy Brown picked him up and took him to the vet. I was sure he probably wouldn't be coming home. By the time they got to the vet's office, he had recovered and was acting fine. They drew blood to sent to the lab. Daddy Brown brought him home so we could talk about how best to care for our Bubba. We heard from the vet the next day and he either has cancer or a brain tumor, or both.

I've never been a fan of putting an animal to sleep. However, the vet said it was not advisable to leave the boys alone with Bubba in case he has another seizure. Seizure can cause uncontrolled behavior and if one of the boys got curious and got to close...who knows what might happen. There isn't really anything we can do to heal our Bubba, only make him comfortable at this point. Any measures taken, would really only prolong the inevitable. I wish we would come downstairs and find that he had passed in his sleep. Unfortunately, that's not realistic. As responsible pet owners, we have to make decisions...the tough decisions.

We've picked out Bubba's final resting place in the backyard. The place he loves to lay when the sun can warm his little body. The place he can graze on his favorite grass. The place he loves to watch the peaceful breeze of the wheat field gently sway in the Summer and Fall. These are our final days with our Bubba. We continue to feed him boiled hamburger and rice for his meals and for dessert "Frosty Paws" (found in the freezer section at the grocery). It's been a tough weekend. Daddy Brown and I love our Bubba and Sissy almost as much as our Brownies. They have provided us with so many wonderful laughing moments. They have loved us unconditionally and loved our Brownies the same. The next few days will be even tougher as we get closer to his appointment. When he is finally at peace, I know he will run and play in heaven because...All Dogs Go To Heaven!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Old man winter...

We had great expectations of some really big snow today. We went to the store yesterday to get the usual...milk, bread, eggs, etc. All the schools closed yesterday before the snow had even arrived. I went to sleep thinking how exciting today was going to be. Getting the Brownies out playing in the snow and building a small snowman in the backyard.

Big Brownie woke up this morning at 5:30a to get a refill of his juice. I ran downstairs to look out the window and see our big snow event of the new year. I felt just like I did when I was a kid and hoping for enough snow for school to be out and sledding to be the main activity of the day. I opened the window...BUMMED!!! It was a bust! The weatherman's prediction of 2-4 inches dwindled down to a dusting for us. It has snowed most of the day, but no real accumulation. The Brownies and I have watched the snow fall and at times, 1/2 an inch would pile up on the porch and I'd get excited again...but then I'd come back 30 minutes later...melted.

Even though there is no snow...IT IS COLD!!! The coldest January so far that I can remember. I don't usually like to go to bed with more than just my night shirt, but now, I'm draped with long sleeved thermal shirt or two, sweat pants and socks. Daddy Brown doesn't go to my extreme, but knows that if he gets cold, he can just snuggle up next to me and warm up pretty quickly. We have never kept the house below 69 or 70 degrees during the winter. For two reasons, we now run the thermostat at around 64-66 degrees day and night. First, the obvious of the electric bill is skyrocketing. Secondly, the unit would never turn off if I kept it much higher than 66 degrees. I don't want to burn it out and if it never turns off, that makes for an even higher bill.

We have adjusted well. Long sleeves, long pants, socks are our wardrobe inside everyday. Warm foods and beverages are also on the menu to help keep ourselves warm and toasty. As weird as it may sound, I have really enjoyed having the temperature lower. Lots more cuddling and snuggling with my Brownies and with Daddy Brown...and who can argue with that? Old man winter is here, I just wish we could get a little more SNOW with the cold!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where oh where have my Brownies gone?

So, with the new year has brought new challenges. Each day has been what seems a repeat of the day before...a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. Big Brownie is testing his limits and pushing me a little harder each day. The innocent, compliant toddler that was here in 2009, has been replaced with a strong will, stubborn, can't hear me, won't do what is asked toddler of 2010. Is it the terrible 2's or the terrible 3's...or both? He has decided that he can also give direction. I think my favorites are, "Mama, quiet" and "I'm not eating breakfast" or the "I'm not taking a bath, I'm clean". Seriously, where did all this come from?

It's tough love for Little Brownie too. He is feeling out his place. I love that my Brownies love books, but Little Brownie can take it to the extreme. From the moment he gets up, to the time he goes to bed, he is following me around with a book in his hand saying, "BOOK". We have story time at least 3 or 10 times a days, but that simply doesn't satisfy his need to read all 100+ books we have in this house. However, he is a fantastic eater. He is taking control of his food and wants to do it on his own. His absolute favorite food is homemade chicken and dumplings. He can eat almost as much as me.

My Brownies are outdoors kinda kids. If we could be outside from dawn to dusk, they would be in hog heaven. I think being indoors for the winter months are going to be a tough go for us. I am hoping to introduce some new interesting activities over the next couple of days. I am hoping for some sanity and normalcy back in my schedule as well. Because both Brownies are teething, they are both up and down throughout the nights, so I'm running low on my sleep tank as it is.

Even when I have been having some tough days, "Mommy, Mommy" is the most beautiful sound I hear. There are great moments too. Last night Daddy Brown and I put mounds of pillows around Big Brownies bed, and it was an at-home JumpZone experience. Brownies jumping end over end, flopping off sideways and the laughter, oh the laughter. The uncontrollable giggles of the Brownies fills my spirit with happiness. Putting Little Brownie to bed is one of my favorite times of the day. Not for the obvious reason of a sleeping baby, but because he wraps his arms around me so tightly and puts his little head in my neck and waits for me to kiss his cheek as he drifts off to sleep. It's pure heaven. Tough days, sleepless nights...but wouldn't want to be anywhere else...most days!

Friday, January 1, 2010

To infinity and beyond...2010!

I remember in the early to mid 1980's, the year 2000 and beyond seemed like an eternity away. I seriously didn't know if we would last as an existence beyond that New Year's Eve 1999. Would all the computers of the world think it was really 1900 as opposed to 2000? Would traffic lights stop working, electrical grids go down, computers fry and would animals and birds walk and fly backwards? It was the hype of Y2K and the possibility of life as we knew it was threatened.

This week for the first time in a long time, I watched the news. I normally don't really know what is going on in the world around me. Daddy Brown comes home and tells me of something crazy that has happened. I'll be at Tutu Nani's house and I'll remember that someone like Walter Cronkite passed away, but thinking it was last week, not 6 months ago. I'll check my facebook home page and realize something tragic has happened. I'm kinda in my own little bubble. I think I like it that way. It makes me sad and terrified and scared what lay before us in our future. Full body scans at airports...really? Intelligence that should have alerted our government of this individual...failed. So, this terrorist now makes it necessary to take x-rays of all our law-abiding citizens. X-rays that show your body basically naked...and who will see these images? Does that mean that government will now have an image of my body to put on file? Does that mean that pregnant women will be subject to this radiation? just makes me frustrated.

The helm of our country isn't really showing us any leadership. Not surprised. Don't get me wrong, they make a beautiful Christmas card. Even things that I don't agree, hasn't materialized. Abu-Grahib prison is still up and running, the war is still going, we are still sending troops to the Middle East and more and more are being sent specifically to Afghanistan. What will transpire over the next decade? How do we wake up everyday and live life not in complete and total fear?

My and prayer! I find myself praying harder and longer everyday. I'll not make the mistake of turning the news on for a long while. All the news that makes me fearful and sad, it's painful and I can't bear it. Philippians 4:4-7 says: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of god which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ."

Clinging to his promises help me through the day. Days of sorrow and depression are melted away when I find a verse or proverb that jumps off the page at me. Everything can't be bad...he gave me a wonderful family. He gave me Daddy Brown. He gave me two beautiful, healthy, smiling joys of my life, Brownies. What more could I ask for...peace on earth? Psalms 34:9-17 says: "O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desire life, And loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and purse it. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles."

I still have hope, I still have faith, I still have the promises of our Lord that the infinity and beyond includes me. One day there will be no pain, there will be no sorrow. I look forward to those days. 2010...maybe the start of a new year, but can also be the start of a new day for those who seek to do evil. "Depart from evil and do good" I still have hope, I still have faith, I still have the promises of the Lord!