Zoo-rific

Zoo-tastic!

Zoo-mazing!

Zoo-redible!

Not to brag or anything, but we are a pretty spectacular zoo here in good ol’ O-town.  Every year I gladly fork over my $100 to renew our membership and in return we receive 365 day access to the greatest zoo around.  (Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You’re zoo’s good too, but mine’s better.)

Since we can go anytime we want, on any day we want, we go often.  Sometimes we’ll pack a lunch and make a day of it.  Sometimes we’ll just swing in for an hour to visit a few favorite friends.

Whenever we go, there are a couple of exhibits that are a must see.

Jellyfish

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Check

Hippo (My FAVORITE!)

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Check

Two-toed sloth….lazy SOB

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Check

Big A$$, angry Gorilla

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Check

And a trip is never complete without a little monkey business.

Aww the monkeys.  I could sit there all day and watch their antics.  As I watch them goof around, entertaining us lemmings, this is what I envision……

“I hereby call the 8 am meeting of cage 5 to order.  Roll call!  Steve!”

“Here.”

“Jim!”

“Here.”

“Bob.”

“zzzzz, hmmm, What??? Oh, here.”

“Let the record show all four of us were present and accounted for this morning.”

“Larry, is this really all necessary?  We live in a cage.  We can’t get out.”

“It’s all necessary Bob.  One can never be too careful.  Now boys, today is Monday, typically a slower day, but I need to remind you that it’s Memorial Day, so I think we need to on full assignment today for the anticipated higher crowds.”

“Seriously Larry?!?!  Do you really think it’s necessary?”

“Yes, Bob.  We’re still in the running for ‘Most Entertaining Exhibit’ this month and I’m not going to lose to those darn polar bears….again!   Steve, you’re on creepy smile.”

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“Aye aye Captain!”

“Jim, you’ve on butt patrol today.”

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“Ugh…fine.”

“Bob.  You know what that means.  You’re on orange duty.”

“AGAIN!  How come I always pull the short peel?”

“You know why Bob.  The rest have tried and they just can’t kill it like you do….

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….plus you already have the orange stains.”

 

 

 

 

 

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A mighty giant

in a tiny package.

Well it appears that winter has finally decided to exit stage left here in ye’ ol’ Nebraska.

The claps and cheers at the local university baseball games can finally be heard in full force, fans being able to leave the thermal gloves and knitted scarves at home when they flock to the ball parks.

The temperature topped 70, causing us all to dig through last years shorts and shimmy into a pair, daring to expose our neighbors to our winter paleness while we steal those first few rays.

And it’s the type of weather that sparks all humans, whether hard-core athletes or couch loving potatoes, to strap on some shoes and hit the trails.

Now while those trails and roadways get backed with runners, bikes, and strollers, another breeds squeaks in its four paws, adding to the congestion.   The dog.

I love dogs and I love people who take out their dogs on runs with them.  When I go out for a run, I used to be jealous of those out with their jogging companions, wishing I had a four-legged friend I could take out with me, especially on my early morning runs.  Unfortunately, when you’re a woman and  you run alone at 5 am, there are times that you feel uncomfortable and desire a furry protector.

Almost three years ago, we added a furry member to our family.  The kids had been asking forever, begging to be loyal and responsible dog owners.  Santa finally caved and deposited a cute little, Yorkie-Poo, Maddie, into our home.  Why a Yorkie-Poo you ask?  Well, the answer is two-fold.  Paige has a dog allergy, any puppy we were given need to be non-shedding.  Secondly, I’m not a big dog person.  Just thinking about 87 pounds of slobbering, shedding dog sends my OCD into a tailspin.  In my eyes, dogs should be fluffy, soft, little and cute.  It should be able to fit under my arm, in a purse, or curl up in my lap.  (Ok, mock me now.  I’m woman enough to handle it.)  I do draw the line at clothes.  You should not dress your dog….except on Halloween…. and during football season…. and, screw it.  I dress my dog sometimes too.

Anyway, back to the nice weather.  Maddie LOVES to go for walks.  And when I say loves, that’s an understatement.  We cannot even say the word ‘walk’ in our house.  We have to spell it, because, if you say it, you had better be prepared to grab the lease and the poop bag right then and there.  When you do walk her, she pulls you, going full throttle at the end of her leash the whole time.  She comes home still hyped, still leaping up to your waist, still looking for you to throw her ball.  Seriously, how much energy does this dog have?

Too bad I can’t take her on a run.

Or can I.

I don’t know where the unwritten rule about what type of dog you can take on a run came from, but today, I remembered that my dad didn’t call me his ‘little trendsetter’ for no reason and set out to re-align the universe.

I laced up my shoes, strapped on my music, and asked the spunkiest Yorkie-Poo on the block if she wanted to go on a run.  Want to guess what she said?

She took off like a dart, practically dragging me off the driveway and up the first hill, proving she was up for the challenge.  The only thing Maddie might love more than being out on her leash…. is peeing.  She is forever at the door, scratching to be let out.  She will go out, come in, then go right back out again.  Apparently, I have the cutest puppy with the smallest bladder.  That, and the largest ‘little dog’ syndrome, so she must spread her scent wherever she goes.  Our run started out like this.  Mad dash at puppy full speed, nearly choking herself trying to make the leash longer.  Squat in grass.  Be passed by Kerry. Give up squat to pass Kerry and take the lead back.  Repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.

About twenty minutes (yes, I said 20 minutes) into our run, Maddie started running at my side, matching me stride for stride, no longer trying to drag me.  I thought, maybe, just maybe, this was it.  I had found the point at which one can tire out a Yorkie-Poo.  Then she started running behind me.  Crap, I’m about to break my puppy.  I’m going to have to carry her all the way back home.  You know what looks sillier than running with a Yorkie-Poo… running while carrying a Yorkie-Poo.  Well, my fears were completely unfounded.  As it happens, my puppy was nowhere near spent, there just happened to be a runner approaching me from behind and Maddie morphed into protector mode.  I stepped to the side to let the runner pass.  Maddie again took off at full speed.

We hit the half way point and pulled a U-turn, heading for home.  She didn’t let up the whole way back.  I was in awe.  At any moment, I expected her to throw in the figurative towel, to sit down and refuse to lift one more paw.  But it never happened.

We rounded the last corner and caught sight of the house.  She did it!  She made it the whole run.  Hot Dog!  No, seriously, she was hot, thirsty, and panting like crazy.  I rewarded my superstar runner with a puppy treat and giant bowl of cool water.  She eat, drank, and crashed.  Literally.

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Remember the Tootsie Roll commercial…’How many licks does it take to get the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?’  I still don’t know that, but I now know how many miles it takes to tire out a Yorkie-Poo… 4 1/2.

If only it lasted.

Later in the day, IP made the mistake of saying the “W” word.

Guess who made a B-line to the door…..

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The other S word

“No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks…”

Schools out for…Spring Break!  (Hey I get called plenty of S words a day.  It’s about time I gave one back!)

That’s right ladies and gentlemen.  It’s that other break that is music to the ears of those in education, Spring Break, coming second only to those other magical words…Summer Vacation.  (But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  We still have 9 weeks to go!)

Spring Break always awakens in me all those feelings of renewal and rebirth.  It’s a time for me to throw back the curtains, dump out those drawers and reorganize my chaos for a fresh new season.

I was so excited for spring break this year that I could hardly contain myself.

Weeks ago, I started making a list of all the things I would get accomplished.  Closets cleaned, drawers straightened, flowerbeds and yard raked, paperwork filed, holiday preparation done, photos in the photo albums, scrapbooks up to date, books read….oh all the books I was going to get read.

Then I looked at the calendar realized the joy of all joys….

MY BREAK IS THE SAME TIME AT MARCH MADNESS!    I know I have mentioned time or two that I am a slight insanely, ridiculously obsessed sports fan.  March Madness is such a great time of year that even the novice of fans fills in a bracket and sneaks a little game watching when the boss isn’t looking.  Usually I’m stuck at work, so I’m connected to my computer those first two days of the tourney, hoping to catch a glimpse of an upset or that must-see buzzer beater.  Now, thanks to the school calendar scheduling gods, I will be home in my sweats, kicking back on my couch, getting to see every glorious second!  (Can you tell I’m excited?)

Well the final bell ran on Friday and I couldn’t get out of the building fast enough.  Sayonara school halls….see you in 10…maybe.

It’s like all that crazy, pent-up energy from the first three quarters of the school put me in hyper drive and I hit my to-do list with a speed and swiftness I didn’t know I had.

Day one – closets cleaned, drawers straightened, donation pile made, rooms all spic and span.

Day two – Garage cleaned and organized, Christmas lights down (yes, finally), yard picked up, garden raked and ready, business paperwork caught up.

Day three – Photos in photo albums (Yes, I still print all my pictures and make photo albums.  Nothing digital will ever be the same as flipping through an actual photo album!), scrapbooks current (Yes, I make the kids scrapbook pages from each school year.  They’re not as pretty as some other’s make, but my kids love them and I love reliving the year as I do them.), shopped for upcoming birthdays and holidays, finished book #1.

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Day four – Car to the shop for a quick fix, more business paper work, decorated for the Easter, start book #2….

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You know what happens when you are super, duper organized?  You get everything done before noon on Tuesday of your Spring Break and you end up sitting on your couch, looking at your March Madness bracket, trying to decide which upsets to go with, and painfully watching the clock tick down the seconds until game time.

I hate to even type the words but……. I’m so bored.

Poor IP has taken the brunt of my boredom today.  I keep walking into his office and staring at him, then offering up ridiculous suggestions of ways for him to play hooky with me.  Take me to lunch… go to a movie…  nap on the couch….  all code for – entertain your wife who’s going bat shit crazy with too much free time on her hands.

Despite all my talk about longing to have hours to sit and do nothing, when I actually have time to sit and do nothing, I realize that I actually like to be busy.  I think my internal clock craves lists and schedules and chaos.  If I don’t have eight things to do and am not being pulled in four different directions, I don’t know what to do with myself.

‘The quiet scares me ’cause it speaks the truth.’ – P!nk

(Sorry to get all reflective on her here, but hey, it’s my blog, I can type what I want!)  That’s one of my favorite song lyrics.  Maybe this is a chance to develop a new side of Kerry.  Work on slowing my mind and enjoying the calm.  Focus on just being present and enjoying the minute that is in front of me without have to plan, schedule, and do.

Or…..

Maybe I can clean underneath the couches and behind the washer and dryer.  Then I could sew clothing for my dog and organize the attic.  Hey, I’m all for self-reflection, but I just realized being inside my head is scary place to be….

So apparently I’ve lost it

You ever had one of those times where you just look at yourself, what you’ve just done, and burst out into hysterics?  Well today was my day.

I had, what felt like, a week of stress and tension that grew exponentially by the day.  I kept looking around for the license plate of the truck that hit me, but it was never to be found.

Then the weekend arrived.  The glorious weekend.  Those two days that you get to sleep in, relax and rejuvenate yourself.  Wait…what, that doesn’t happen in your life?!?!  Me neither.

My weekends are spent running to and from kids sporting activities, games, practices, and then squeezing in parties, errands, and cleaning.  All the while, passing my empty couch, staring longingly at its cushy, plushness.

After getting through my morning cleaning, getting the boy to baseball, attending a fun baby shower with friends, and running my daughter to the mall for a “must-have, can’t-live-without” One Direction T-Shirt (maybe now I’ll get my NKOTB jacket back), I was starting to feel a little giddy.  I was on my way home!  I was going to get to put on my sweats and lounge on my couch to watch my Huskers!

I pulled up to a red light, my leg bouncing with excitement.  Change light, change!  I started to do the creep forward trick to trip the sensor.  Opps!  I realized I had crept up too far, so I crept back in reverse.  Seriously, how long is this light?  Then the light changed.  I stepped on the gas and my truck went….no where.

What the hell?!?!   I can not be having car trouble, no, no, no!  I’m almost home.  I can feel my couch!  This can not be happening.

Then I looked down and saw this.

Apparently you can not drive a vehicle while it is in park.

D = Drive.  Got it.

 

Letting it all hang out

 

I’m not that parent who would allow our children to sleep in our bed.  My son never really tried.  He prefers his own bed and his own space.  My daughter on the other hand….

Paige tried about every hour to get permission to jump in and snuggle up, or more correctly, take over.  If Paige had just crawled in and went nighty-night, I might have considered it, but she tossed, turned, flailed, and flipped herself horizontally across the bed.  Sorry sweetheart, you’re cute, but you’re not sleeping in here.

Our peaceful, spacious sleeping arrangements were going so well….then we bought a puppy.  When the puppy was brand new, we closed her into our room, so that she couldn’t roam the house getting into things while we were sleeping or leave us unwanted surprises on the floors.

At first, she’d lay on the floor, looking up at the gigantic bed that her 3 pound frame couldn’t get up on…yet.  She quickly learned to channel her puppy power energy and leap up on top, finding its plush softness more appealing to the cold hard floor.

Bit by bit, she inched herself up from sleeping by my feet , to curling up in the crook of my legs, to this…

Please, by all means, make yourself at home.

 

One of those days…

It didn’t look like it would be one of those days when I rolled out of bed.  If I had known what was in store for me, I might have just stayed under the covers.

I started the day in a hole, digging out from the paperwork I abandoned the previous day when I went running for the hills at quitting time.  As I began to scribble on a few pieces of paperwork when…

BBBRRRIIINNNGGG!

WHAT!?!?!  That can’t be the start of the day bell, I’m not caught up yet.  Great.  This better not be a sign.  As I walked to the door, I heard the familiar voice of a student making demands.  No hello, no how are you…just demands.  Man I wish I had worn my armor and closed toes shoes today.

This isn’t my first day at the rodeo, so I strapped in and prepared for the roller coaster ride that I knew was about to become my whole day.  I’ll spare you the details and cut straight to the cliffs notes.

Today I was..

– Called the following names: F*#^ing C*#!  / P*#@y / B^&#% / Stupid A&*$h#@e / Dumbo (clean and funny) / You A#* / Stupid C*#! / F*#^ing A&*$h#@e.  (I quickly realized that we need more swear words in our vernacular, as the student had to keep changing up the combinations so as not to repeat insults.)

-Pushed, grabbed, pulled, picked up, run into and flailed at by flying body parts.

-Insulted and threatened repeatedly.

-A witness to my office be torn up and my desk attempted to be ransacked. (Ha Ha!! I lock that baby everyday for a reason!)  Good luck I’ve played a fair amount of dodgeball and can move away from flying objects.

-A lightning quick magician who wrestled scissors away from angry hands.

-The luck recipient of a milk shower.  Yes, as a finally thank you from my student I wore the milk from their lunch.

Finally, 5 and 1/2 hours later, the dismissal bell rang (why does it sound oddly like a tap out bell?) and I was free to put my angel on a bus and begin my endless phone calls and paperwork.  Crap!  I still have yesterday’s paperwork.

As if I wasn’t already drained and living on one frayed nerve, I received a personal phone call telling me a medical procedure we were waiting for approval on is delayed.  Awesomeness!  Because if my professional life is going to blow up, might as well have a personal crisis join the party.  Sweet!

Last nerve officially gone.

I wanted to put my head down and cry.  (I think I might have a for a little bit, but don’t tell anyone.)

I set my mind on auto pilot, sped through my phone calls, packed up my paperwork to finish at home and made a beeline for the door.

When I got home, I switched into mom mood, hoping I could muster enough strength to push through to bedtime.  I was knee-deep in homework and getting ready to start the sports taxi when it happened.  The universe began its work to even itself out.

Not knowing how much I needed a boost today, a neighbor read my ‘cry for M&MsFacebook post and snuck a package onto my porch.  I opened my door and saw this.

I instantly smiled, laughed, and cried.  She could not have known how terrible my day was.  She could not have known how low I was feeling.  She could not have known how much I needed that.

Thank you Caryn.

 

 

Anywhere you can pee, I can pee better…

I have the world’s cutest Yorkie-Poo, Maddie.  No, seriously, I do.  What, don’t believe me?  Well look at this face…

See!

A couple of times a year, my parents will go out of town and bring their Miniature Schnauzer, Otis, over to my house to hang out with Maddie while they are gone.

Maddie has a problem.  She has to pee on every scent she smells.  Taking walks with her is a chore.  When Otis visits, potty breaks become an interesting round robin.

Hmmm.  I like this scent.  I will pee here.

Oh, you peed here?  I will pee here too.

This looks like a good spot.

Yes!  You are correct!  I love this place too!

It’s like they are in some secret competition where the only real winner is the grass…