Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pollie









I've been pondering adopting a dog for quite a while.  I've been divorced 5 years and I still get lonely in this empty house when the kids go to their dad's.  I've especially noticed the quietness since we switched to a 7&7 schedule.  I was planning to adopt a smaller dog since that size wouldn't need as much exercise but either I wasn't finding what I thought we should adopt or the dog already had a pending adoption before I got to meet it.  Early in my search I found Pollie at the Beatrice Humane Society.  She looks like my first dog, Emmy Lou.  I really like bigger dogs for walking and just feeling the safety of having somewhat of a guard dog.  I told myself that I needed to get a smaller dog this time.  About once a week, I'd go back to the Beatrice Humane Society website and look at the pictures.  On January 27th, I called to ask questions.  They told me that she was indifferent to the kids from the local elementary who came to read to the dogs (neither excited nor aggressive).  She'd been through training and had possibly been previously house trained as she had not had any accidents in her kennel since adjusting to the staff schedule of letting the dogs out.  I took about 20 minutes to decide and then drove to Beatrice to get her.  She was very calm when I met her and I knew within minutes that I was taking her home with me.

The last 6 months had been rough for Pollie.  She'd been surrendered in IA weighing 25 pounds.  That shelter got her up to 50 pounds but no one wanted to adopt her so they were going to euthanize her.  Second Chance Pups brought her to Nebraska where an inmate at the state pen trained her for 8 weeks.  I was told she'd passed her AKC good manners test, but later I read the paper signed by the tester and realized the "did not pass" box was checked!  During that 8 weeks no one adopted her, so Second Chance Pups asked the Beatrice Humane Society to take her since they are the only no kill shelter in Nebraska.  She'd been at the humane society for 2 months before I adopted her.

The first kennel I bought off facebook was too small for her.  I made her stay in it while I went to the basketball game to watch Mena.  When I told the girls that I'd adopted a dog, Maggie declared that she didn't want a dog.  Um, I already adopted her and she's at home.  Mena asked if I was serious.  I told her yes and showed her the picture of Pollie in my car.  By the time we left after Mena's performance, Maggie was asking if we would introduce Pollie to her and Mena so she wouldn't be scared.  Her step-mom and I assured her that I would introduce them and it would be fine.

After the game, I took Pollie to Petco to buy a bigger kennel.  The one in the picture was too big and too expensive, but it worked until I was able to borrow one from a friend.  Then I ordered the right size off Amazon for a much better price and it is in the living room now.  Who knew I'd have so much trouble over a crate for her!

Monday night the girls came home.  Mena bonded with Pollie immediately.  Maggie was excited as long as there was a good 6 feet between her and Pollie.  Tuesday morning, I took the picture of Mena and Pollie in my bedroom shortly before Maggie came in.  Maggie came into my bedroom with her hands behind her back and asked if we smelled a dog bone.  I replied that we had a dog and there would be lots of dog smells in our house now.  She then turned to Pollie and excitedly yelled, "Sit, Pollie, Sit!"  Pollie laid down and Maggie threw a milk bone at her.  There was only 2 feet between Maggie and Pollie so I called that progress!  Tuesday night is when I took the picture of Maggie brushing Pollie and shortly before bed, Maggie actually touched Pollie with her hand!  Huge progress in a short amount of time.  Wednesday morning, Maggie came into my bedroom and took Pollie's leash while telling her, "Come on, it's time for me to get dressed!"

Maggie had a time out with Pollie in her room and later told me that Pollie helped her calm down.  Mena enjoys petting and sitting with Pollie.  I think Pollie has a calming effect on all of us!  

We bought Pollie a dog bed which she loves laying in.  Within a week, I was able to let Pollie sleep in my bedroom rather than kenneling her at night.  She's been doing great with my training.  I can definitely tell she was previously trained.  I'm still working on training her to stay off the furniture, but it's getting better.  The only time she barks is when she sees someone near our house.  She likes running from the living room window to the kitchen window to watch out both the front and back yards.  She barks and tries to go play with other dogs she sees on walks.  She pulls on the leash so that's another thing I need to work on. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mena and Holly - Future Cheerleaders









Mena and Holly went to a cheer camp at Northeast High School on Saturday afternoon and then performed at half time of the varsity boys basketball game.  It was nice to be able to sit in the stands with Maggie between Gene and I, and Jess on the other side of Gene.  Both made pleasant conversation with me.  We think Maggie was nervous being around the high schoolers.  I took her to the bathroom 3 times during the first quarter and in high school a quarter is only 8 minutes!!  Mena is only 3 months older than Holly, but she is a lot taller!  Holly is more outgoing and I think Mena was more comfortable knowing she was with her.  Mena did a great job on the dance and cheers in front of the basketball crowd!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Snow Day


School was cancelled due to weather.  Maggie and I played Life while Mena did 7 puzzles.  They were all 24 piece puzzles and I realized we had one 48 piece puzzle and nothing else.  We put the puzzles away and later that week I donated them to a daycare I serve a child in.  The next time we were shopping, I took the girls to Dollar Tree and they each picked out 3 different 100 piece puzzles.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Children's Museum






Sunday afternoon, we went to the Children's Museum.  The first picture shows their gear creation.  They each made their own and then connected them.  I was proud of their cooperation and coordination!  They've never shown much interest in the black light room until today.  They creatively found ways to spell their names.  They each made owls in the art center.  Maggie was persistent through her frustration and happy with her end result.  Mena calmly made hers and was happy with the end result also.  Every time we go, they want me to go in the gopher tunnels with them and every time I tell them no!  They pop out and I wave.  Otherwise I sit to the side playing solitaire on my phone.  It was a fun afternoon!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Beds





My double bed isn't as supportive as it used to be and I was getting backaches.  When looking at new mattresses, I decided the double bed was really too small when both the girls got in bed with me.  Notice in the first picture there really isn't room for me to even get into my bed with my girls!  

We moved the double bed into Mena's bedroom and moved the chest of drawers back into her bedroom so there was room to put the piano in her room, also.  Then we moved the twin bed with bookcase headboard and matching dresser into Maggie's room.  She was excited to have a dresser again.  I moved the labels to the drawers so she could continue what she learned about folding clothes and putting them away.  Maggie was really disturbed by the change of bed but adjusted.  Maggie's old twin bed was given to a co-worker of mine whose daughter is ready to move from a toddler bed to a twin bed.  

I ordered a king size mattress with a platform frame.  There is so much room that sometimes I don't even notice there is a kid in bed with me!  One night all 3 of us were in the bed and I thought we fit just fine.  Mena was upset when Maggie rolled from cuddling with me to the other side and was cuddling with Mena.  Mena didn't like Maggie's hands on her face or body.  Maggie got tired of listening to Mena tell her to scoot over so she just went back to her own bed.  I laughed the next morning and told Mena that's what it's like having kids; they want to constantly be touching you!  Mena didn't find it as funny as I did!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Painting Nails & Almond Bark Pretzels







On the 27th, we painted our fingernails and made almond bark covered pretzels.  For the first year, I let the girls do a tray all by themselves.  Then I did the rest of the pretzels by myself when they got bored.  Mena was very excited to wear her new chef hat, apron, and oven mitts that she received from Jake for Christmas.  I cautioned them not to touch the crock pot because it can get really hot.  She was very safe.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Star


On the morning of the 26th, I took the girls to Omaha to see "The Star."  It was a cute animated movie telling the story of Jesus' birth from the point of view of the animals.