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Wife. Mommy. Lover of cookies.

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RT @HonestToddler: Toddler Tip: She has a bounty of nerves underneath that "last" one. Don't worry :)

Archive: July 2008

Happy Birthday NASA!!!

Today is NASA’s 50th birthday!

Dear Asshole That Keeps Opening My Gate

Please stop. I have THREE dogs, all of whom love to run free. At first, I thought maybe you—the culprit—was the pool guy. Or the lawn guy. These two services (along with the fact that we live next door to a cop AND a police dog) are the reasons I do not have locks on my gate. That’s all about to change, however, since I’m sick and tired of the dogs running past me to see if the damn gate is open.

So, Mr. Trespasser Guy, as of right this second, you will no longer be able to open my gate. And sorry Lawn Guy and Pool Guy. Your jobs just got a little more complicated.

Puppy School Update

We had our third puppy class today, and WOW! Oliver is definitely a smart dog. He’s mastered “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, “Leave it”, “Off”, and “Drop”. We had the teacher all to ourselves today (and she’s awesome, BTW), and we focused on working on his specific “beagle idiosyncrasies” which, to my absolute horror, included letting him try to find us both purely by scent and the “Come” command. We basically hid at completely opposite ends of the store, let him off the leash, said “Come”, and lo and behold, he found us. EVERY SINGLE TIME. With no distractions along the way. I swear he came right to me, and then back to the trainer. Then we hid again, and he did it all over. He’s frickin’ amazing.

He’s also the most social dog I’ve ever had. He LOVES people, and he obeys EVERYBODY. People will come up to the enclosure while he’s playing, and if they say “come”, he comes. If they say “sit”, he sits. He knows what he’s supposed to be doing, and he’s conditioned enough (via food reward) that he’ll see it through. Granted, we’re still working on potty training, but the good news on that front is that he hasn’t had a single accident all day.

Now if we could just get him to behave for Kevin as well as he behaves for everybody else, we would all be a whole lot happier.

Stoopid Allergies

When Kevin moved to Texas, he would often complain of sinus headaches brought on by allergies. I had no allergies, so while I felt bad for him, I didn’t really understand the depth of his pain. Until we moved to Florida. Ouch.

Every single time it rains (and since it’s Summer, it rains every day) my head hurts. Each sinus cavity begins to throb; dully at first, and then like knives stabbing my face. I’ll say it again: ouch. This is karma for all of the years I didn’t really sympathize with my husband. For every time I secretly thought he was being over-dramatic. Allergies have attacked me in earnest after more than 30 years without them. Now if only it would hurry up and rain so my headache would go away….

Couch Potato

Not me. The puppy. Now that he has discovered television, he LOVES it. He’s mesmerized. It’s all I can do to get him to go for a walk. This won’t end well….


We ran over to Tampa tonight to have dinner with my Dad, who flew in tonight for a meeting tomorrow morning. For those familiar with the DFW metroplex, that’s pretty much how close Orlando and Tampa are (although I have a feeling that O-Town and Tampa residents feel like their respective cities are really far apart, but by Texas standards, they’re a stone’s throw). When I talked to my Dad on Sunday and he mentioned that he would be in the area today, I was all about “Hey, we can drive over and have dinner” (again, people really have no clue just how close the two cities are; it took us just over an hour to drive from our front door to the Tampa airport).

I’m so glad we did. I’ve adjusted quite well to living outside of Texas (which will, of course, always be home). I even like it here (which I totally did not expect). But other than when my Dad flew in when Kev had his heart attack, I haven’t seen him in almost a year. We had my Mom out for a week at Christmas, and we had my little sister here a week or so ago, but every now and then, a girl needs her Dad. And it sure was nice to see him tonight.

I Found His Kryptonite


When Chloe was a puppy, nothing would calm her down and knock her out quite like Teletubbies. No, I’m totally not kidding. It was like Xanax to her. 30 seconds of that annoying baby sun, and she was out like a light. With Rigley, it was my voice.

We’ve had a hard time with Oliver, but today I finally found it: Jack’s Big Music Show on Noggin. Now, I don’t know if it’s just because I’m older and a lot more tired, but I don’t remember ANY of our other dogs being quite this….energetic when they were puppies. And Oliver is like a two-year-old: He’ll do ANYTHING to try to keep himself awake. Since I’m tired of not having any sleep, I gave children’s programming a try today, and boy, did it ever work. Thanks Noggin!

It’s A Good Week

I love my puppy (who is doing VERY well with the training), I love my husband (who has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow), I LOVE that my big dog is feeling better thanks to large amounts of antibiotics, and I LOVE Rock Band! I can’t wait for Oliver to take a loooong nap so I can rock out on the drums. Side note to Camille: You seriously have to check it out. Me on the drums, you on guitar, and there’s no WAY we could lose!

I’m The Luckiest Woman In The World

Three weeks ago, Kevin brought me a new puppy (who, if you can’t tell by now, I absolutely adore). Last week he took care of said puppy (even leaving work early) so I could enjoy Disney with my sister. Yesterday he ordered Rock Band for me. Today, he woke up extra early and headed over to the mall (which is faaaaar, Camille!) and waited in line for a little while to buy me a shiny new iPhone!

My poor old cell phone was DEFINITELY on its last leg; anytime banging something on a table is the only way to get it to work, you know you have a problem. I don’t use my cell phone all that much, either, but when I need it, I need it bad. I’ve managed to resist the lure of the iPhone for a realllllly long time, but today, she is mine! MINE!!!! I’ve been playing with it all day, and it rocks *so* *much* *harder* than Kevin’s Blackberry, which I am too much of an idiot to use.

Hooray for my iPhone, and THANKS BABY!!! I love you!

Captain Sig and Me

Originally uploaded by merrindonahue

You know you’re jealous. Admit it. Yep, that’s me and Captain Sig, the most badass captain in the Bering Sea. It was seriously one of the coolest things ever! Special thanks to Rob for getting there ahead of us and holding a place in line!


After a phone call to Kevin to come home and take Rigley to the vet and a day at Puppy 101, things have settled *way* down at Chez Donahue. Rigley is high as a kite on opiates and various painkillers for a nasty infection and some bad arthritis, and Oliver is like a whole new dog. I finally feel like I’ve gotten some control back in my peaceful house for the first time since we brought the new puppy home, and even Kevin is wondering what I did to calm things down.

Smalliver got some good play time in with dogs who actually *wanted* to play with him, and he’s even started to pay attention and listen to me instead of being so ADD. He even managed to leave Rigley alone when she got home, which is no small miracle, believe me. Unlike last night, tonight I’m not heading to bed frazzled and frustrated, just happy and calm, and beyond thrilled that I feel like I can face tomorrow with my crazy menagerie (and yes, I’m including Kevin in that equation ;-p )

Not Soon Enough

I love my puppy. I really, really do. BUT. Tomorrow and puppy school can’t come soon enough for me. Oliver has worn me out today, and I’m pretty sure Chloe is ready to pack up her stuff and hit the road. Smalliver is currently running around outside (unsupervised) while I take a couple of minutes of silence.

He really is a great little dog, and I know that if we can be patient with one another then poor Kevin will be sidelined by the little man. Now, excuse me please, I have to go run herd on my, um, herd.

Swimming. I Haz It.

Originally uploaded by merrindonahue

Senor Smalliver is learning more and more every day, although he’s still having quite a bit of trouble with learning that *outside* is where he should pee. Yesterday we put him in the pool, and he absolutely hated it. We did make him swim to the edge twice, though, just so we knew he could. Chloe sinks like a stone, and Rigley panics too much, but Oliver did great. We also thought it was important to introduce him to the pool so he would know that 1) he doesn’t like it and 2) he should stay away from it.

I enrolled the two of us in Puppy School today (the dog and me, not Kev and me), and we start on Wednesday. It’s a 6 week class, and after that we’ll head to Basic Training, then Clicker Training, then Tricks, and then we’re getting his Canine Good Citizenship certification. This dog is gonna be Einstein by the time I’m done with him. We didn’t have the time (or the money) to do that with the other dogs way back in the day, but this dog is getting the works.

Yeah, he may make us crazy sometimes, but nothing in the world beats a good puppy snorgle in the morning!


Whew! I packed up the blonde-headed child and put her on a plane back to Texas today, then promptly went home and took a nap. Poor Smalliver’s routine has been disrupted the last few days, so of course he was up all night last night—ergo, so was I.

Kiddo and I (and Kevin) had a blast at Disney this week, and I swear we managed to do everything at least three times (although we rode Tower of Terror six times in a row!). I highly recommend the 4th of July fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, even though it’s kind of like Mardi Gras: Everybody should do it once, but once is enough. We staked out our spot more than two hours in advance, and boy, did we ever have a good view! The Disney staff (ummmm, Cast Members) did an amazing job of crowd control, and almost every one of them had a smile on their faces, which is a really big deal considering that the park was past capacity (read: OMG there were a lot of people there!).

For now, though, I’m tired and headed to bed. I’m super glad that blondie came to spend the week with us. We had a lot of good sisterly bonding time that I think we both needed.


They grow up so fast. Young Master Oliver is doing an excellent job of learning the whole “go potty OUTSIDE” thing, but I suspect that’s due in large part to the whole reward system we’ve got going on. We only had one accident in the house yesterday, and–so far–none today. He’s settling into his routine *extremely* well, but I’m still dead-set on getting us to some obedience classes. I’m so in love with this puppy, and poor Kevin still only has one dog that likes him better than me (although Rigley is pretty mad that I’ve introduced Oliver into the mix, so she’s defected to Kev’s side).

I’m headed to the airport in a little while to pick up my little sister. She’ll be staying with us for the week, which of course, means a whole lot of Disney World. Plus, I think Kevin will enjoy having someone else around to distract the puppy!




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