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Friday, August 31, 2007

27 Pounds and Counting

Today, we took Jasper to the vet for his continuing round of puppy shots. He's tipping the scales at 27 pounds, having gained 19 pounds since joining our family just over 2 months ago. Don't even make me calculate what % growth that is...you know I'm not good at math. Anyway, he continues to astonish and charm everyone he meets with his calm and sweet nature!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last Gasp of Summer

Remember back on May 25 (in one of my first blog posts) when I said that the summer stretched out in front of me with no end in sight? Well, the end is in sight. I cannot believe it's already Labor Day weekend. Here's a sampling of my goals for this summer and how they all worked out...
  1. Hire a teenager for activities direction (mostly to get Cameron out of the house during the summer days) - NOT ACCOMPLISHED. I never did locate anyone, and before I knew it there was only three weeks when the kids would be mostly by themselves with some miscellaneous activities thrown in. Oh well, boredom makes going back to school more appealing (says me...).
  2. Get a puppy - ACCOMPLISHED, AND HOW! We now have the most loving, cuddly dog in the world. Maybe that's why we all didn't mind hanging around all summer...
  3. Paint the side yard fence - NOT ACCOMPLISHED (yet). I took a nap instead.
  4. Go to the Renaissance Festival - NOT ACCOMPLISHED. For two years in a row we have not managed to get there. The weekends seem to fill up with other activities.
  5. Go to Seabreeze - ACCOMPLISHED. See post of August 14. The kids had a great time and it was a beautiful day. Annalisse surprised me with her daring - going on "scary" rides and the Tilt-a-Hurl. I, as usual, waited by the end of the ride for them to get off...
  6. Read the 7th Harry Potter book - ACCOMPLISHED (and enjoyable). And I also read many more books. Right now, I'm on a Kennedy family biography kick. What a wacked-out family...
  7. Ride bike, a lot - ACCOMPLISHED, SORT OF. I didn't ride my bike "a lot," but we got out a fair amount.

Some other pleasantries of the summer: we supported the Fairport economy through ice cream/smoothie/gelato/flavored coffee/latte/dessert purchases; I supported my mental health by hanging with the dog and taking naps. All in all, a lazy, hazy, not-so-crazy summer. Luckily, there will probably be a month-and-a-half of pretty good weather left before the real cold front moves in.

Coming up: we'll spend September adjusting to the new school year, then, it's "Bring on October!" ~ and "our" birthdays (Mark, Judy & Annalisse's anyway!).

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Simponize Me" Yourself

The kids turned me onto "Simpsonize Me" a site where you can make yourself into a Simpson's character. What do you think? (The image from the site was a full-body version.)

The Star of Puppy Class

Last night we had our third puppy class at Bill Payne's School of Dog Obedience in Victor. It's so much fun with all the puppies around. The class has two (hyper) Boxers, two Yellow Labs, one Australian Shepard, one Golden-Doodle, and a couple of other mixed breed dogs. Last week for the demonstration of "wait," and this week for the demonstration of a longer "wait", who do you think the instructor chose? The star puppy, of course! We do a lot of "wait" at home, so by the time we got there Jasper had mastered those two skills. He was very impressive, sitting at rapt attention until the next command was given, after which the instructor (known as "Uncle Bill" to the dogs) said to the group, "Don't you wish you had a Golden?" His family was beaming!!

Don't get me wrong: we have a really long way to go with excited pulling when he see people/dogs and pulling on walks. But it sure was a proud moment!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kids in Trees

A couple of weeks ago Mark's brother Dave and his wife, Mandy, were in town for an early baby shower (they are due with their first child in January). Next week they will be leaving the States for a two-year stint with the State Department in Turkey (or, "Churkey," as Cameron pronounces it). As always, we'll use any excuse to get together for an extended-family picnic.

We were joined by our cousins from Massachusetts, and, as all the kids are around the same age, it was a great time. Whenever the kids are all together we like to get a picture of them, preferably hanging in and around the front yard tree at Mark's Aunt & Uncle's house. Looks like trouble to me!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Day Trippers

On Friday, we took a day trip to Skaneatles (Mark and I had never been), which is about an hour-and-a-half from Rochester. It was a smaller town than we expected so by 2pm, after a nice lunch at the Blue Water Grill and walking around the shops, we were ready to head home. Another "must see" we can check off the list!

Waterdog in Training

What a fun weekend with Jasper! On Saturday, we went to Spring Lake (I think) Park on the East Rochester/ Fairport/Penfield border and took the dog into Irondequoit Creek to try to get him acclimated to the water. Along the way he met a lot of new "friends," and had a muddy great time! We were able to lure him into the shallow water with (what else?) a treat, and he was a natural at swimming.

We are having fun at puppy kindergarten, but he already knows most of what the trainer is teaching. For instance, the trainer called on Jasper to demonstrate the "wait" command (first you start with having him wait two seconds, then four, then six...), and I didn't want to break it to the guy that he is already pretty good at "waiting" as he has to wait three times a day until we tell him to come for his food. He has a really good attention span, and was very impressive as the demo dog.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bedroom Bat, Part Deux

"It's back!!!", screamed Annalisse at 4am this morning. Sure enough, another bat (the same one?) was in her room. We weren't quite as freaked out this time...like an old pro Mark trekked down to the basement to get his fishing net, we isolated the bat, and out the door he went.

On today's to-do-list (just a reminder - I am on vacation):

  1. CALL THE ROOFER TO FINISH THE JOB. After the last bat Mark incident, went into the attic to examine how it might have gotten in, and found that he could see daylight through the roof line. It seems the roofers never took the final step to caulk/seal the roof. When we called they said they would be here "some time this week." Well, they're going to get a "reminder" call today.
  2. PLUG THE HOLE IN ANNALISSE'S CLOSET. There is a small hole in the roof of Annalisse's closet that the bats are obviously slipping through. A trip to Home Depot is in order.

Hopefully, that should do it. Let's just hope there aren't more hiding in the attic...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vacation at Home

This week I'm off for a whole week...an unusual occurrence since this year's vacation has been mostly onsie-twosie days and long weekends.

We aren't doing much in the way of vacation activities. A new roof and unanticipated pet expenses this spring/summer (losing two pets and getting a new one) has put a squeeze on our vacations funds this year, but the great thing about living in Fairport is that you can take a vacation without leaving home. Bike rides on the canal, walks, and trips to the library and Candy Nation (an old-fashioned candy store in the Village) are a relaxing way to enjoy my time at home. Then, tomorrow we're going to Seabreeze Amusement Park on Lake Ontario, and on Friday we're taking a day trip to Skaneatles.

So many take hanging out at home for granted (and might even think it's boring), but those of us who work full-time see this time as a gift - a break from the routine and the grind of our jobs (I'm fortunate to like my job, but still...). It's chance to wake up late, linger over the morning paper, putter in the garden and, if I'm lucky enough, take an afternoon nap.

A vacation at home is the way summer should be!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pirate's Weekend

Friday night Cameron and I went up to Alexandria Bay for an overnight during Pirate's weekend (technically, it's two weekends worth of raucous "fun", but the first weekend seems to be the most popular). I've been going up for a couple of years now, meeting my girlfriends for a "What happens in A-Bay, stays in A-Bay" weekend. This year, I met just one girlfriend there, Gina, because our other friends couldn't make it (sometimes life gets in the way...). I brought Cameron along to spend the night with the son of my good friend, Pete (a.k.a. my 7th grade boyfriend). Pete goes by boat (from Massena) every year for the weekend, and has been meeting a group of people there for many years. So, Cameron hung with Drake, and I hung with the adults, and all was well!

Alex bay is very tacky and pretty run down, but still so much fun. It's pure escapism with some beautiful scenery thrown in. I think next year the four of us will go up for Pirate's weekend and do some tourist stuff as well, like fishing for Mark and a boat trip to Boldt Castle. Of course, Annalisse will eat that up since a lot of people dress like pirates (or wenches) and she always enjoys a themed-destination. Arrrr!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Dog's Life

This is Jasper's life. This picture says it all.
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Annalisse's Bedroom "Bird"

Last night around 12:30am, from some far away place, I heard a voice saying, "Mom, there's a bird flying around my bedroom." Through my cobwebby dreams I thought, if she thinks she sees a bird, it's probably a bat. A minute later: "Dad! Can you get this bird out of my room?" Finally, Mark gets up.

A loud, weird sound: Mark dodging the large bat flying around Annalisse's room. Annalisse screaming! (The two drama queens in the family reacting as expected.) I guess I better get up...

Swoosh! Down the stairs it goes. Swish! Into the kitchen then back upstairs. Mark gets his fishing net (finally being used for something), captures the bat and heads for the door. The bat is free and all is well. Back to bed. (Well, not really...we're really keyed up by this time and no one except Cameron who can sleep through anything and did not bother getting up) goes back to sleep easily.

It's amazing that for living in old houses 12 out of 18 years we've never had a bat in the house. I wonder how the heck it got in?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Presenting Storybook Amore a Prima Vista!

We got verification today from the American Kennel Club that Jasper is now registered as Storybook Amore a Prima Vista. "Storybook" is the name of the kennel, and "Amore a Prima Vista," is "Love at First Sight" in Italian. The breeders had asked us give the puppy a registered name with an Italian theme, and we had a hard time coming up with something considering his "call" name of Jasper was so un-Italian. But, my friend Elizabeth came to the rescue with some Italian phrases, and we liked the sound of Amore a Prima Vista because, as you can imagine, it was "love at first sight" for us (and all who meet him). The bonus was/is his great disposition!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August is like...

...a month of Sunday nights.

(Thanks to Linda for the quote. I think it captures the essence of August EXACTLY.)

Happy 22nd birthday, Anthony!