Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Muffy Report

[So very cute! We love our Muffy puppy!]

Our little Muffy puppy has now been with us for 3 weeks -- no need for an alarm clock anymore -- she wakes me at 5:30 AM by her yip-yip bark every day! Such an improvement though from the first week when she was barking at 1 AM and again at 4:30 AM -- and then she wanted to play after her 4:30 AM bathroom break. So, we are headed in the right direction. Even so, Maddy and I wish she could learn to use the bathroom!
Is that really asking too much??

I'd be lying if I said it was all rainbows and puppy tails and my Momma said never to lie! It's been a bit of a challenge, especially since our backyard is not totally fenced in, so someone has to be outside with her at all times . . . and that would be . . . who???

[Chewing her ball-launcher and wondering if she should stop and eat a few rocks!]

So, instead of a somewhat leisurely "read the paper, get dressed and get ready for work", my schedule is more like this from 5:30 AM - 7:30 AM: take dog out, walk her, pickup after her potty breaks; wipe her paws when she comes back in; feed her; run to 2nd floor to shower and attempt to fix own frizzy hair; run back downstairs to take her out again; wait while she dinks around and tries to eat dirt, acorns, rocks -- pry that gunk out of her mouth; run back inside to wake up Maddy and get her breakfast; take Muffy out again; wait some more; run back in and grab something to wear, throw some makeup on; make lunch for Maddy; take Muffy out again; jump in the car [oops - running late]; take puppy to puppy daycare (don't laugh -- it has saved my sanity!); take Maddy to daycare; race to work; have a cup of coffee and begin the workday!

Not saying that no one else helps, Maddy is an awesome little dog walker and we both keep a careful watch on when we think she might need to go out and take her out constantly! Usually, Mr. Tennis assists with the drop-offs and pick-ups of Muffy and Maddy at daycare, but he's been out of town a few days this week. It's been hectic, believe me!

[Walking Muffy -- our first week home -- look -- she found some dirt, worms or acorns to eat!!]

It's not all gloom and doom though -- she is a funny and cute little doggie! If she sees something new, she sits and barks at it. Though she's a feisty little terrier, she ignores squirrels and instead tries to chase birds!

Our vet says acorns are poisonous (true?), even so Muffy wants to eat every single acorn out there. The bad news about that is that our trees lose probably 1,000+ acorns every fall and they have already started dropping!

Her other favorite tasty morsel is dead worms! Yes, we've had a ton of rain the last few weeks and there have been lots and lots of worms and worm bodies out there for her to feast on -- what -- are they protein or something? Ewwww! More good news --her little ears are pointed up most of the time now and while Maddy said that means she is a good listener, I'm not totally convinced.

I just reread this -- forget all the negatives -- she is a sweet puppy though the cute puppy stage is vastly overrated! Soon, we start puppy manners classes - fingers crossed for speedy results!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicago Wrap-up!

[Look who we saw on the way to the Hancock Tower!]

Whoa -- it's taking me a while to get back here and wrap up our Chicago adventures.
Having a new puppy in the house will do that to a person -- put you behind on absolutely everything!! More on that later!

We abandoned our plans to go to Navy Pier on the 4th to see the fireworks as it was so busy and crowded there, the police closed it off by 6 or 7 pm. Instead, we took a carriage ride around hoping to see some fireworks. We didn't see any fireworks, but saw lots of characters! I'd forgotten how fun big city living could be.
What a funny photo -- am I freaking out or what?

On our last day in Chicago -- Maddy and I headed to the Hancock Tower and Amy and Grace to the Sears (now Willis) Tower and other sights! Since it was a workday, neither place was very busy, so that was really nice.

[From the Tower!]

And then, guess what we saw -- the American Girl store! Maddy and I had not really planned on going in, but out of curiosity, figured that we needed to check it out. What a place!!
We had watched the AG Kitt Kittredge movie previously and loved it --
if you haven't seen it and you have a little girl, you must watch it. Such a good little movie! Anyway, that put us on a hunt for a Kitt doll! We found a sweet little one, so got that.
The larger dolls and one named Ivy (who looked like Maddy) tempted us, but we knew it would be too much to carry home anyway.
I can see how that store and their beautiful dolls are so mesmerizing!!

Later, we met Amy and Grace at Navy Pier. Amy has a bit of a thing about heights (how she went out on the ledge at the Sears Tower is beyond me?), so I rode the ferris wheel with the girls. Let me tell you -- that is the tamest ferris wheel ever! It goes so incredibly sloooow!!
Then we rode a wave-swinger that swung us around up and down in the air! We laughed so hard -- it was fun!
As soon as we got off, Grace, Maddy and I ran and got another ticket!
Truthfully, I was a little bit leery of it, but I knew Maddy wanted to ride it, so I acted brave and went too. So glad I did -- it was FUN!

Lucky me -- that evening I was able to get together with some college chums for dinner. It was so great to see them and it just seemed like yesterday (well, maybe a couple years ago) that we graduated. So sweet of them to come into the city to see me.

That wraps up our Chicago adventure.
We thought there would be a LOT more shopping, but we were so busy,
we barely had time to even venture over to Nordstrom --
and it was right across the street from the hotel!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dancing for Chocolate!

If you give these girls some chocolate, they will . . .
dance around for more!

One of the freebies we received in Chicago was a coupon for a free Hersh*ey bar! Now, anyone who knows me, is sure to know that there is no way I would ever pass up free chocolates! And guess what, Miss Maddy and Miss Grace love chocolate too.
So happy to pass along such a healthy habit! :)

The Hersh*ey people knew just what they were doing with that free coupon! Once we got inside, the intoxicating smell of chocolate put me in a trance and the answer was YES to whatever the girls asked for in the store.
Luckily for my pocketbook, they didn't ask for much!

One fun thing they both did was to try their hand at being a chocolate factory worker. Now, there's a job for me -- how did I miss out on that occupation!?!
They quickly turned some wheels, filled up a bucket full of chocolates and received a special "Chocolate Worker" id along with the chocolates!

[Grace was so focused!! Her bucket was actually overflowing!!]

Not to worry -- we did our best to gobble up those chocolates before we left town.
It was hot -- we couldn't let them melt after all!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Chicago Edition - Sightseeing and Graffiti Artists!

After the required visit to the Disne*y store the first day (and almost every day thereafter), we decided it was time for some sightseeing.
It was July 4th -- time to paint the town red!
So, we chose one of the City's finest red double-decker sightseeing buses to go
to the Shedd Aquarium. Bonus -- when we bought the tickets, we received coupons for free* Hershey bars, free popcorn and a free t-shirt! What a deal, right!

[Amy and Grace on the double-decker bus!]

Our guide was kind of funny and clever, but really, he was his own biggest fan, and a ride that would probably have taken 15 -20 minutes by taxi took over one and one-half hours! Yep - that's hours people! Holy cats! We thought we'd never get there!

[Chicago Theatre -- very historic!]

Evidently, lots and lots of other people had the same idea -- the line to get in was so long
and at 11:30 AM, the temp was inching very close to 90+!
But, there was a short "go to the front of the line" option
if you bought a Citypass so you could go to other museums too.
Since we figured we would be going to some, if not all of those,
we bought the passes and went directly to the front of the line.
Love it when a plan comes together like that!
The aquarium did not disappoint and we enjoyed an "Earth" movie in 4-D and
a live dolphin show along with looking at all kinds of aquatic and fishy-type stuff.
Don't want to get too technical here.
We spent nearly the whole day!
And then it was back to the very slow big red bus back to the hotel, where Amy and I had an icy cold frappe-something or another and plotted our evening.

[Whoa -- we don't have these kind of buildings in Nebraska!]

Another dinner with Cboo was planned and this time, we just HAD to have some Chicago-style pizza so went to a close-by famous place called Gino's East.
Another line to get in! Geesh -- people in big cities have to wait in line a lot!!!
The pizza was tasty and the place was fun.
Anyone and everyone could write all over the restaurant -- like on your table,
chairs, wall, ceiling, anyway.
Graffiti was everywhere!
Truly, there was hardly anyplace to add our own monikers.
However, Grace and Maddy searched high and low and found a couple places to sign in for posterity!

Look at the little artists -- do they look like trouble or what!?!!

[Caught red-handed writing on the railings!]

July 4th was just getting started and that big city was hopping!

Next up -- free chocolates!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Chicago Edition -- Death by Gin???

Cousins -- Grace & Maddy!

Maddy and I had so much fun in Chicago with my sister and her daughter, Grace. Before I go in to all of our numerous activities and sightseeing (and beware, photos and long posts will be forthcoming), I thought I would start out on a funny note.
One of those, yeah, it's funny now!! :)

The girls -- Amy, Grace, Maddy and me.

On our first evening there, we met my son, Connor a/k/a Cboo, to go out to dinner with him.
We went to a newish, trendy spot (trendy in my book anyway) called "The Purple Pig" that was close to our hotel.

The menu was a bit different than our usual steak, burgers, chicken strip joints,
it was good and we enjoyed it.

Perhaps I enjoyed it a bit too much!?

Amy, Connor and I decided to have a drink with dinner --
we were on vacation, after all!

I had one gin and tonic -- my fave summer-time drink.
Cross my heart -- I only had one!

Almost immediately, I was loopy from that drink!

Granted, I had not eaten much all day long, so decided that must be the reason it hit me so fast.
Amy and Connor said -- what a lightweight!

The next day when I looked at the receipt, I figured out why that drink was so potent --
it was called "Death by Gin!"

You can tell from the photo above (before I figured I should put some
shades on and hide my loopy look)
that the drink definitely has an appropriate name.

And could somebody (Amy, Grace, Maddy?) have suggested I put on some lipstick?!?!

Note to self: always check on lipstick before photos! :)

Amy & Grace, Maddy and Me!

Later, Amy said, "wow, that was so nice of you to hand Connor your credit card and tell him to go shopping!" WHAT -- I really said that???

It was so much fun to have him meet us in Chicago, visit with him and have dinner together a couple nights - we've missed him so!
It was the start of a very fun trip!
Grace, Connor and Maddy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Long Road to . . . Muffy!

It was a long road and an even longer drive to our little Scottie pup, Miss Muffy! Maddy and I returned from Chicago last Wednesday, Mr. Tennis picked us up at the airport and we hit the road to Muffy's home - a longgggggg drive away! That evening we arrived at a stopping point to stay overnight and then go the rest of the way, another one and one-half hour drive away, the next day! Oy -- already we were tired of being in the car! Maddy was so excited, asking constantly, "how much farther?" Difficult to answer since we weren't exactly sure where we were going. Let me tell you, it was almost all the way to Arkansas!
The next morning, we climbed back into the car and headed out. After going up and down some steep hills (we don't have those in Nebraska), we found the country road out in the woods, where Miss Muffy spent her first 8 weeks.

Maddy with Muffy and Muffy's parents, Wallace and Logan

Immediately, we met the owners and Muffy's Dad -- Wallace! Love that name! Wallace was so fun and cute! He thoroughly checked us out and approved us to take home one of his girls. There were two females left to pick from and both were so adorable! Muffy is all black and the other pup had a bit of brindle and had an eye infection earlier, so we opted for Miss Muffy. We also met her Mama -- Logan -- a beautiful, albeit tired-looking, Mama. I felt for her -- I know just how she felt -- I often look tired and like a bit of a wreck!

Maddy was so thrilled to finally have her little puppy and either held her or petted her all the way home. That was an even longer drive as we left there around 10 AM, finally pulling into our own driveway at 6:30 PM. We were greeted by all the girls in the neighborhood who wanted to pet and hold Muffy -- they were so sweet. One has a fairly new puppy of her own, but declared Muffy to be cuter!

Muffy has been doing great and better every single day, though truthfully, she has had an accident or two, but not very many! Last night, she was up twice (not so bad, right??), but after our 4:20 AM outdoor call of nature, she thought it must be playtime! Since I knew she would bark her little head off if I put her back in the kennel, I played with her until 5 AM when she conked back out. Puppy naps are often needed! Then I headed out for a little morning run as the extremely SLOW walks we go on with her don't really count as exercise!

Muffy is so sweet and adorable, but as I already knew, a puppy is a LOT of work! Way more work than Maddy and Mr. Tennis anticipated, but each day gets a little easier. Housetraining seems to be going pretty good -- she's a very bright Scottie after all!! More adventures to follow, I'm sure!

Friday, July 9, 2010

D Day is Almost Here

So exciting -- "D DAY" -- you know -- "Doggie Day" is almost here!
We have to travel a bit to pick up little Miss Muffy and Miss Maddy is beside herself with excitement! I thought the kids gave me gray hair, I'm thinking that surviving the puppy and puppy stage may make me lose my hair -- as in pull it all out!
No really, I think (hope, hope, hope) it will be fine! Not sure which one of these puppies will be Muffy -- but aren't they adorable!!! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Strumming Along!

Maddy loves music!

She loves singing along and dancing. Her fave songs lately seem to be Taylor Swif*t songs or some from Alvin & the Chipmunks!

That Alvin cd is a little painful for me to listen to
(yikes -- chipmunks singing -- oy -- they need some voice lessons!),
but Mr. Tennis listens to it with her every morning -- bless his heart!

Recently, she was interested in getting a guitar. However, in the store,
a ukulele caught her eye -- isn't it cute!?!
The strings are nylon so easier on the fingers and only 4 strings!
A handy instruction DVD came along with it, so we're watching that daily and practicing.
After she gets a little better, I think a prize of some Disne*y ukulele picks will be just the thing to keep her motivated!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Almost Ready!

Miss M and I are getting are bags packed and ready for our little "Girls trip" to Chicago!
We can't wait to see my sister and her daughter again and give that Grace some great big hugs! If Grace were reading this, she would be rolling her eyes right now, even though I know that she secretly LOVES my big hugs!

We have a little surprise for her when we get there! Aren't they cute! They were made by an etsy friend, Stacy, who whipped them up very quickly for us. My sis, Amy, says this is a shopping tour -- like the girls need coaching on shopping???? I don't think so! But we're hoping to also see some cousins and lots of big city sights!