We’ve Gone to the Dogs!

We’ve talked about getting a dog for some time. Sam has always wanted a dog, but there were so many things that we needed to do first. We don’t have a fully fenced in yard, for example. We also were concerned with how the dog would react to the kids – not to mention our cat. We always knew that at some point, we’d be getting a dog. However, I don’t think either one of us thought it would be … well, today!

Here’s the scoop. Yesterday before Sam left for work, her sister texted. She asked if we would be interested in a four year old lab who is good with kids. The story behind this is that her friend’s daughter had diabetes and epilepsy. It was recommended that they get her a service dog. I guess the dogs didn’t really get along. So her owner wanted her to have a loving home.

Her owner said that if things don’t work out, she will gladly take her back and try to find a home for her. They obviously love this dog a lot. I think we both figured that it would be a trial run, but we knew pretty quickly that this will be her new home.

This is Maizy. Coincidentally, Maizey is also our cat’s name. She made herself at home after sniffing around a lot. The kids were MORE than excited to have a “puppy friend” of their own!

I guess by the look on my face, I was pretty excited, too.

The one thing I worry about is that when the kids are at my mother in law’s, they can lay on top of their golden retriever. They climb all over her and she takes every bit of it. I’m not sure Maizy will be as happy about it. So we have to tell the kids to be very careful with her and to use nice hands.

After she got used to all of us, we piled into the van and headed to PetSmart. We had to get food, food and water dishes, a lead for her to run around in the backyard until the fence goes in, and a pet bed. It was an expensive trip, but we expected that.

She is making herself at home and at one point curled up in front of me and fell asleep … and so did my leg!

The only one who is still not too sure about our newest family member is Maizey our cat. That hasn’t stopped her from sneaking up on her while she is asleep to check her out and make sure she is ok …

I laughed when I told Sam, “Well, one thing is for sure. We won’t have to worry about cleaning up food on the floor anymore ….”

We are all looking forward to having our new puppy friend living at our house!

This Looks Like a Job For …

I could have used Bob the Builder or Handy Manny today! I would have settled for Tim the Toolman Taylor! Sam bought a climber/triangle/something or other for the kids and it arrived today. I figured it would be an easy thing to put together, especially since the reviews said so. Then, I opened the box to discover that the only tool I needed was – the allen wrench!

If you are unfamiliar with my thoughts on this God awful tool, you can read the blog I posted about it back in 2018 here:

Here’s the thing – Andrew is climbing everything. The other day, he had figured out how to climb up the living room windows. Don’t ask! Sam figured this would be a good way for him to climb things. It really is a very cool thing. It has a rock wall/slide that they can climb up and slide down. The triangle is perfect for climbing and then there is a half circle thing that reminds me of something you’d see on a playground.

It didn’t take long for my fingers and thumb to start hurting because of how hard it was to get the screws in. After screwing in about 30 of the 50 screws, my thumb started to blister. Eventually, I ripped the skin off my thumb and needed to throw a bandage on it. My wife ran and got me one – a Cocomelon bandage.

My wife got a kick out of me having to out that silly thing on!

Once the project was finished, the kids really had a blast!

At some point, the rock wall/slide became a table and they had a tea party!

My favorite thing, however, is the fact that they took the half circle piece (seen above on the left) and turned it over. They put a blanket over the slats and rocked in it.

God, do I love these two!!

Yesterday we took a walk around the neighborhood and even played a bit outside. Ella is always excited to see her puppy friends. Melody is one of her favorites. Melody has cancer and her owners are always so nice to us when we see them.

It seems like we’ve been cooped up forever and they were loving being outside. Andrew was excited to see the sun!

This picture was taken just before he got in the red and yellow car. It had rained the day before and of course, it collected some water on the seat. That didn’t stop Andrew from going for a drive. Naturally, I had to get a picture of the results of that drive ….

I’m so glad it is warming up. I’m looking forward to many days outside with them!

Weekend Ride on the Emotional Rollercoaster of Life

It’s been a crazy past few days. On Friday, we took Andrew to the ENT to discuss the results of his sleep study. He has severe sleep apnea. Usually, this means that the tonsils or the adenoids need to come out to open up the airway. The doc took a look at his and said his tonsils were not too big and he didn’t think his adenoids were a problem either. So he did a scope in the office to look further.

The scope showed that he has laryngomalacia. This is something we are seeing more and more of in the sleep lab. Basically, there is extra tissue in the larynx.

This explains why his sleep is so crappy!! When he falls asleep, that floppy tissue blocks the airway.

Lateral view of child’s face showing blocked air flow caused by laryngomalacia.

So it looks like he will have some surgery to correct this in the near future. It will also mean 24-48 hours in the hospital. This will not be fun at all, as he loves to be on the go. I’m sure sitting in a room all day is not going to be pleasant at all! We are waiting on the hospital to call and schedule the surgery.


My Godmother/cousin recently had a stroke. She is currently in hospice. I was able to see her over the weekend to say goodbye. It is never an easy thing to do. There were many people in the room, so I kept it pretty simple.

I’m not sure if it is just in Italian families or what, but at some point there was a stretch of years where certain members of the family didn’t speak to each other. I have no idea what it was about but I am sure that it was just stupid. Life is too short to lose that much time. This hits home a lot with my Godmother.

For years, I didn’t see her because of an argument that I wasn’t even a part of! Shortly after my grandmother passed away, my dad began to reach out to cousins that we hadn’t talk to. Thankfully, the peace was restored and I was reunited with my cousins.

I remember seeing her for the first time in forever and just hugging on her! I was so happy to see her. We spent a long time catching up. So many years lost to ridiculousness. So many things we both missed out on.

I am kicking myself because a week before, I was thinking about her and meant to call her and catch up. I never did. I regret that. I am grateful to have had a moment with her this weekend to tell her how much I love her.

My Godmother and me at Ella’s baby shower


I’m not trying to make excuses, but I am an emotional eater. When I get stressed or worry – I snack. I made a lot of mistakes on my diet this week. I found myself grabbing goldfish crackers and “estimating” how many I had. We hadn’t gone grocery shopping, so almost all of the veggies were gone, so I snacked on crackers and stuff I shouldn’t have. I was completely ready to see a gain on the scale, but actually lost a pound this week. This brings my 10 week total weight loss to 30 pounds.

The heat and rain didn’t help much. It was hard to get my daily walks in last week.

30 pounds is progress and I am back on track. Sunday and Monday we got to go out and walk the neighborhood! Ella is making it a bit more difficult as she wants to walk instead of being in the stroller/wagon. He being out, does make it easy to get pictures, but she walks a LOT slower than I am used to.

A ray of morning sunshine

He puppy friend, Louie, was so excited to see her the other day he “ran” to the fence to say hello!


I went to the store on Sunday and bought some new sand for Ella’s sandbox. We moved it to another part of the yard because where we had it, the sun beat down on it. We moved it to a shadier spot and both kids are playing in it. Andrew really doesn’t understand that the sand is not for eating … one would think that after the third time putting it in your mouth, you’d stop, right?!

The sandbox is just another example of how my kids will grow up to be best buddies. I love to watch them play together. I hope it stays warm for a while longer. I’m not sure just how they are going to handle being cooped up in the house all day in the winter.


The range of emotions experienced this weekend was overwhelming. I’m hoping that things slow down and return to normal – whatever normal is!

Hello, Louie!

The photo above may be a bit deceiving, in that this blog is NOT about the hit song by the Kingsmen.

It is also not about other famous Louies (or Louis) like comedians:

Louie Anderson

Louis CK

Or trumpet players:

Louis Armstrong

Louis Prima

Or his animated alter ego:

King Louie

Or fictional TV characters like:

Louie the Lilac

Louie De Palma

So just WHO is Louie?!

Well, if you are a regular reader to my blog you know that over the past couple years, my daughter (and now my son, too) like to walk our neighborhood. There is one house where there is an old Bassett hound that is occasionally outside. That dog has been her “puppy friend” for a long time.

We never knew if it was a boy or a girl. We never knew its name. It has been a mystery for some time. Not any more!

Yesterday, as we were walking, her puppy friend was out in the middle of the yard soaking up the sun.

Ella asked to get out of the stroller so she could go up to the fence to say hello. She stood there saying, “Hi Puppy! Come here, Puppy!” The back door of the house opened and a young guy peaked his head out and said, “That’s Louie! He’s too old to be doing a lot of walking. He’ll be ten years old this week.”

I told the guy we had wondered what his name was and were glad to finally know it. Ella must have said, “He’s Louie!” about 40 times and “Hi, Louie!” another 40 times. She was thrilled (as was I) to finally know his name!

We took a family walk this evening when I woke up and got to see Louie again. I think I’m going to go to the store and buy a box of dog treats and a birthday card and have Ella hand deliver it to Louie’s owner for his birthday. That dog has brought many smiles to our walks and “10” is a special birthday!

Physically … Fat!

The pandemic has done a number on a lot of us. The first year of the Pandemic, when we were forced to stay home, it was easy for me to fall of the wagon. We drove through a lot of places and it seemed like we were having pizza more than usual. It didn’t take long to gain some extra weight.

Last Tuesday, I got back on the wagon. The focus is now on healthier eating and healthy snacks. It is also on moving more. I’m SO glad that the weather is allowing for more outside time. I have an app on my phone called Map My Walk.

It uses the GPS on my phone and actually maps the walk (or run) around the neighborhood. It will tell you how many steps you took, how long the walk was, and how many calories your burned.

I’ve been averaging about a mile and a half a day. I’d do more, but I always walk with the kids in the stroller. Sometimes, the walk gets a bit slow when Ella wants to get out and walk. She loves being outside and walking.

Today, I did my normal mile and a half (with a pitstop to say hi to her puppy friend) and when we walked up the driveway I told Ella we were going inside to have lunch. She said “More walking?” I asked if she wanted to keep walking and she said yes. So I ventured back down the driveway and walked a little bit more. According to my app, I walked an additional 7/10 of a mile. I was happy with that.

Back in the day I’d walk 4 miles daily. I’d love to get back to doing that, but I am always afraid the kids will get bored or will start getting upset. On the bright side, I’m glad to be getting out and walking.

Today was weigh in day and I was down 6 pounds. Hoping that it continues. I am being very deliberate and making sure I am drinking a lot of water, which will help for sure.

Looking forward to fitting into some old clothes soon…

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

I hope this blog finds you well rested after the holiday weekend. It was a relaxing weekend for us for the most part. We had lots of outside time and actually got to enjoy some family time.

Andrew will be walking on his own and without any help VERY soon. He’s taken some steps randomly here and there. Yesterday, he took like 10 steps from the couch to where the cat was. That’s the most I’ve seen him take so far without falling.

He had some lasagna the other night for dinner and he was so soaked with sauce, we had to give him a bath, Afterward, he was sitting in the living room and I had to laugh that his hair was like Alfalfa from the Little Rascals.

One day while he was napping, Ella and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. She always asks to see her “puppy friend.” Lately, the pup has been up on the back porch. She was so happy to see it closer.

When we got closer to home, I noticed the smell of lilacs. Sam planted them when she moved in about 7 years ago and they are getting so big. They smell just amazing. It’s always a spring highlight when they bloom.

She got some mommy daughter time this weekend, too. Mommy took her out Monday morning for donuts. She got to order donuts for everyone. She knows dad likes Boston Cream, mom likes chocolate dip, and she loves Tim Bits. She loved sitting at the picnic table watching the cars go by before bringing home my donut.

Still in PJ’s! Eating Tim Bits with Mommy.

Andrew’s high chair needed a good cleaning. The last few meals were messy. So Sam took it outside and used the hose to clean it up. This caused a big pool of water to build up on the driveway, which Ella immediately wanted to play in!

Sam knows she loves the water, so she got Ella (and Andrew) a new water table. I spent the day putting it together so they could play with it. It came with plastic fish, turtles, and buckets. I’m sure they will have a lot of fun playing with it. Now, we just got to get Ella to share!

After the lawnmower fiasco (see previous blog), we stayed home and enjoyed the remainder of the holiday. We threw some brats on the grill and afterward, had ice cream. All in all, it was a nice family weekend.