December 31, 2010

In A New Year's Minute...

Tell me how a
14 year old
never kenneled
hasn't seen another dog in months
senile, hard of hearing
pitbull gets Kennel Cough?! 



yes, we were a bit surprised too, but no worries, Dr. Bear was at the ready with his stethoscope and box of band-aids.

Kennel Cough is basically a respiratory virus in dogs, highly contagious in a boarding, grooming, obedience school type setting...


Sterling's current setting is none of the above which made this whole ordeal so intriguing!  None the less, our most favorite vets took quick care of her and she is already on the road to recovery (and honking less).

I personally think Miss Sterling was a bit jealous of Trot's recent posts and attention and decided it was about time she got her own 15 minutes of fame here.

Nothing like leaving 2010 behind with a little gusto, right?

We have less than an hour to go until 2011 and I'm really ancy for it to get here.  Sterling's been given her limelight, Trot has healed up nicely and the rest of us are doing just fine:

I should be golden for the next 12 months.

                                     (Bear's most recent art work)
 
Happy New Year All!  Wishing you a golden 2011 as well.


December 29, 2010

Holiday behavior

Yes, the snow hit, but nothing too crazy for us.  In fact, the only note I will make of it is that good ‘ol Champ was out there the day it arrived, snowblowing everything in sight.  

champ snowblows
(see the snow piled up on the window sill…)


“Everything” would include our lake skating rink so that Bear can test out his new pair of hockey skates that Santa brought (I’m SURE that will be a post in the future!). 

Indeed...

really
Trot likes the opening part best of all 

We all got just what we wanted for Christmas.

In other news, Bear has started a behavior chart and I keep meaning to mention it here...

but haven’t. Or didn’t have time to.  Or forgot.

So hey, it's the New (almost) Year and a new chance for me to tell you about it!

I never was one for full on behavior charts, but I do think a bit of simple incentive here and there can’t hurt,  Especially when used to commend a genuine good action rather than to act as a carrot in front of the donkey child.  I originally got the idea here and then tweaked it a bit.

IMG_2514

In our household God, Others, Self is the order of the day and we figured now was as good as ever to start passing that mantra on to Bear.  The sub categories under it are: show love/listen/give thanks, speak kindly/hands that help

I took that picture of the chart waaaaaaaaaay back when we were beginning this whole thing, so there are not too many stickers, but you can still get the point.  As Bear goes about his day, if Champ or I (or whomever he is with) see him doing a good deed that matches with the chart, we might compliment him on it and have him help us put a sticker in that category.  So, for example:

feed the dogs without being asked- sticker in "hands that help"

gives a genuine, warm greeting to one of his friends- sticker in “show love”

and so on.  We don’t reward EVERY awesome deed of his, but as we see it and if it comes at a good “teachable moment”, then we pounce on it.  As for accumulated stickers ( he also gets to pick one to wear each time he puts one on the chart), it’s open to interpretation.  Usually, once he gets about 4-5 stickers in each of the categories we have a small celebration: extra time to play, special snack after naptime, pick out something small at the bookstore, etc.  It’s not so much about the reward, but the completion of a goal and I’m happy (and honestly surprised) to report that Bear takes more pride in completing a row than gaining a treat.

I’m all for conserving paper, so once a row is filled with stickers, I draw a line under the stickers and then slash out each completed category above it so that, basically, we are starting with a clean slate.

It’s simple enough for us and yet gets the point across.  As Bear gets older, we’ll adapt it to his needs (or who knows?  Maybe do away with the whole thing), but for now it helps us teach him proper behavior and it gives him some positive goals to work for.

Now enough of all this good behavior talk, I’m going to bed so that I can spend tomorrow on the ice with my up and coming hockey player!!!

*comments closed*

December 25, 2010

glad tidings he brings

Merry Christmas to all


and to all...


a good night!


December 10, 2010

Merry Crow

My birthday season was lovely, Thanksgiving flew by (with an awful stomach bug raking our household, ugh) and now

OH MY

it’s almost Christmas!!!!  For us, that also means Champ begins working weekends at the mountain which adds a lovely dimension of panic to my already slightly (ha) hyper seasonal mood.  

I’m gonna try to keep it cool, remain calm and carry on. Promise me you will do the same this Christmas?  Good!  Because otherwise we will miss all the true joys of the season and that would be a travesty.

My caveat here is that occasionally, for whatever the reason, I do  recognize the brilliant joys.  

Like yesterday when I took Bear to see the holiday concert at Champ’s school.  It was all that one would expect at a concert encompassing K-8th graders and it was perfect.  I nearly cried with pride as I watched some familiar faces sing their hearts out, clap their hands in almost perfect time or wail away on their recorders.  It struck me that if I feel that connected to these young souls then how moving it will be when my own son is shyly (or maybe not so shyly) up on that stage some day.

Another moment came earlier this week as I was orchestrating our holiday storytime at the bookstore.  I felt it when the bright, icy sunlight began to stream in and the little faces gathered around me looked up eagerly as I read from the comfy, worn leather chair.

This, this was what I missed the most when I stepped away from teaching.  Here it was:  a glimmer of that wonderful unexplainable feeling, gifted to me on a random Wednesday morning.  I savored ever second of that gingerbread and giggle infused moment with my young listeners.

Let me pause here to remind you that “young listeners” also means active listeners, so I gauge my stories accordingly! 

merry christmas merry crow

“Merry Christmas, Merry Crow”  by Kathi Appelt is a new favorite of mine.  With rhythmic, rhyming text the crow flies through the town picking up a scrap of something here, a bit of something there.  Where is he headed?  Why to an evergreen tree in the middle of town, of course!

The children helped me decorate our own crow tree as we read through the story and the end result was a whimsical, lovely replica.

crow tree

If there is one gift I could pass on to you this holiday season, it would be the feelings gained from my recent experiences.  The thing is though that we all experience events differently; so instead,  I wish that you may come upon these full hearted feelings of love and contentment each in your own time and your own way.

With love and cheers,