Category Archives: Family

Cork Vaca Day 4

On the fourth day of our vacation, we decided to chill out on the beach. We I arose bright and early at 6:30 am to spend some time with God on the patio overlooking the beach.  It was so sunny and beautiful and was giving promises that it was going to be a beautiful day.  Mr. Stan came out a little later to wish me Happy Anniversary (it’s been 14 years y’all) and we chillaxed with a few minutes of chatter less time from the babydoll. 

After breakfast, we changed to swimwear, grabbed our beach haul, and headed off.  The sun was mighty bright so we decided to rent an umbrella (it was only $15 for the day; I don’t know why we haven’t rented one in the past).

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Now I’ve said multiple times that the babydoll is a water baby; but for whatever reason the ocean intimidates her.  Do you think it’s the sight of the vastness of the ocean?  Don’t get me wrong, she plays in the water and digs for shells, rocks, and crabs a lot, but there is a limit to how far and deep she will go.  Now that I think of it, it may be the taste of the salt water that she doesn’t like, so if there is a possibility to it getting in her mouth she heads in (I just had that epiphany…my own “lightbulb moment”).  Having said this I feel like I won an Olympic event when I convinced her to jump a few waves with me.  We didn’t go as far out as some people, but it made it to her waist people.

I forgot to check the exposure before Mr. Stan started taking pics so they were a little over-exposed.

We got Mr. Stan to come out with us and she was really able to jump, because we were kind of helping her out.

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The craziest part of the day for us was when the tide came in.  As many times as we have spent on the beach we have never witnessed this. 

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The waves got REALLY high and soon passing the line where everyone was chilling out under their umbrellas.  You would be playing in the water and then you would see your shoes floating by from being grabbed by the  receding tide. Surprised smile  At one point I was scrambling to get my camera bag and beach bag – my beloved Nook and camera were in jeopardy of being damaged.  It was supposed to end soon (someone was telling us that it would end around 2:15 pm) but the waves were still pretty high and coming in when we headed back to the room around 5pm.

As stated it was my anniversary and we wanted to go to someplace nice for dinner.  We are not buffet people…we had gone to one the second night we were here because we were told it was the “normal” place to go around here; but we weren’t making that mistake twice – especially not on our anniversary.  The front desk recommended the “Flying Fish”. 

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It’s in the Barefoot area – a off the water that has quant shops and restaurants.  It reminded me a lot of an area we went to while in Seattle.  The food was good and we had a great time as a family.  Babydoll took a few pictures of us so that I could have one of me and hubby.

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(Excuse the lipstick at the bottom of my chin, it was right after eating and I didn’t realize the corn on the cob had caused the smearage.)

When we were walking back to the car, we noticed some young gentlemen with HUGE animal crates.  As we got closer I said, those are baby tigers.  They had the cutest faces. Smile  We were told the adults were in another location around the corner and to check them out.  I took several shots, but it was dark and they were moving around a lot (playing with each other)and I was shooting through glass, so none of the shots came out worth squat (If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated  – keep in mind I’m in Manual mode on my camera). 

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All in all it was a great family day.  When I woke up that morning I was thinking about my anniversary and reflecting on our 14 years…thinking about what it will be like after 40 years.  Mr. Stan is my friend…even when he makes my butt itch as my husband, he’s still my friend and he still “pops my panties” when I look at him so I think we’ll be good.

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Cork Vaca 2012, Day 2 & 3

With me being sick on my birthday, I felt like the next day should be a do over.  We got up and had a nice family breakfast (this is why we always try to get a room with a full kitchen…who wants to have to rush getting up just so you can find someplace to have breakfast?  we want to lay around a bit..it’s vacation after all.).  Then we headed to the beach.  The weather here has been very mild, not too hot at all; so we have been able to chill out without feeling like we are going to pass out from the heat or have to gussle tons of water to keep us from suffering from heat exhaustion. 

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After around 3-4 hours on the beach we came inside had a snack of meat, cheese, and crackers along with some grapes, everyone hit the showers and we headed out.  I really wanted to get to Bath and Body Works because they are having their Semi-Annual sale and this is the only time I can get my favorite body wash – Dancing Waters- that I take with me on all my trips. The babydoll had picked up a $5 off coupon for Build-A-Bear and that was her requirement for the day.  We found an outlet mall and I found some items at Old Navy while trying to find a light sweater for my babydoll (I can’t believe I let her leave without checking that she had a sweater of some kind).  I walked out with stuff for her, but no sweater.  We spent some time in the Adidas store, cause I love shoes and I’ve really wanted some shell-toes in pink and white every since I saw a pair at the mall in Natchez, MS when we were in the South for my grandmothers funeral.  I didn’t find the shoes there.  And can you believe it…there was no Bath and Bodyworks to be found in the outlet mall.  We headed to another mall, Boardwalk on the Beach, to get the bear.  We walked away with Myrtle Beach (yes that is the name of this bear Smile with tongue out)

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and some fabulous earrings, because I have short hair and must have my dangly earrings to emphasis I’m a girl (like my hips and backside don’t emphasis that enough) and I love, love, love my accessories; (I found this accessories store, Bijuju, be still my over beating heart)

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but I still found no Bath and Bodyworks. 

We went to dinner at Captain George’s Seafood Buffet (there are a lot of seafood buffets around here) and came home for some more of the wonderful ice cream cake.  It was a better day than the previous, so I couldn’t complain.

The next day was a beach and pool day.  Two hours at the pool and another three/four hours on the beach.  It was another cool day (it was actually a little chilly) and Stan and I didn’t feel any burning desire to get in the water.  My babydoll spent a lot of time finding shells and and attempting to find a crab. 

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We encouraged her to search without us being right beside her.  She got so comfortable and distracted that my little one had walked away from us and hadn’t noticed.  I had to go get her.  On the walk back we came across a baby stingray.  Of course I didn’t have my camera…can you imagine my angst to miss that photo opportunity. Sad smile

We had Mexican for dinner.  And I was finally able to get to Bath and Bodyworks to get my shower gel.  They didn’t have the creamy version, but I have gel no-the-less.  As much as we wanted to walk down Ocean Blvd to look at some to the night attractions, as I stated earlier it was too chilly.  We wanted to get to the room to warm up.  Maybe tonight we can do some nighttime sight seeing…the day promises to be a warm one.

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Cork Family Vaca 2012

When we plan our family vacation, the babydoll has two requirements…a beach and a pool.  Because of this we have tended to find ourselves somewhere in Florida or California.  Don’t get me wrong we have traveled to some amazing cities that do not have a beach, but we can’t spend a week away and not have a pool.

This year we wanted to try something different.  We have heard from many people about Myrtle Beach, SC.  It’s funny to think that we’ve never been here, but have been to locations really close by.  We decided to make the drive (for several reasons – the cost of airfare is crazy stupid right now and there’s a boat load of stuff you need for the beach that we already had at home so why buy more when we get there to throw it away when we couldn’t take it back with us on the plane.) and headed out Saturday morning.  I have to have a side note really quickly…we left a lot later than we expected Saturday and one of the biggest reasons was my niece gave birth to her baby girl at 3am Saturday morning and we needed to get keys to my brother (the proud grandfather), who was dog-sitting for us, so we had to go to the hospital.  Of course we weren’t leaving without seeing my new great-niece who looks like a beautiful babydoll.  She reminded me so much of my babydoll.  There were a few complications with the birth (just like with my babydoll), but I’m confident babygirl will be just fine.  Now back to our vaca.

The drive was fun and very mountainy (is that a word?  it should be.) and we didn’t arrive at our hotel until around 11 (did you know that North Myrtle Beach is actually the name of the city and not a division of Myrtle Beach?)  We checked in and got on pajamas and checked out for the night.  I’m an early riser…so I was up at 6am the next day to a beautiful view of the beach.  It was my birthday…the big 4-0.  I was excited to begin our time here to see what everyone was raving about.

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Unfortunately I ate something for breakfast that deflated me.  It hit me while we were in the grocery store (which was about 30 minutes after breakfast) and stuck with me for the rest of the day.  My birthday dinner consisted of a piece of chicken from Bojangles (first time having that) and the ice cream cake that my hubby picked up while at the grocery store.  Another side note: some people would think an ice cream cake is cheesy, but my favorite dessert is ice cream and cake so this was perfect for my especially since it contained tow real layers of cake sandwiching vanilla ice cream.  I have got to make one of those when I get home.  Smile

The babydoll did get to spend some time in the pool.

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I think she would have had a hissy fit that would have made any “queen” be proud if she had not.

Stay tuned for more details of our trip.

How about your family…are there any big trips planned for the summer?

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(I’m including a signature, tell me what you think.  Should it stay or should it go?)

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The busy season

I always knew the month of May was a busy one for me with the Babydoll’s birthday, ending of the school year, Babydoll’s choir Spring concert, Mother’s Day, etc.  This particular May I also had to add my annual Book Club trip to West Chester, OH for the Lori Foster Reader/Author Appreciation Event (check out sugarbookclub.wordpress.com for more about that) to the schedule as it is always the 1st weekend in June and that ended up including the last few days of May as well.  Oh yeah…did I mention my sister, her husband, and eldest daughter graduated this month.  My sister and her husband finished up Bachelor degrees and my niece from high school.

I was prepared to tackle this month.  I had my game plan ready.  One thing I could not, nor had I not, plan was the death of my grandmother.  My grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago when we had brought her up her from Louisiana for a visit.  She had doctors here because we just didn’t feel that she was getting adequate diagnosis where she was.  Not to say that the doctors where she was were not competent, just that here there was more thorough testing done.  Anyway, Mrs. Lady as I ended up calling her along with the formal Grandmother, lost her fight with the disease the same week of Babydoll’s choir concert and birthday (yes, there were in the same week – dress rehearsal and concert Wednesday & Thursday and party that Saturday. Surprised smile).  My family had to coordinate massive travel arrangements because we had to go back to Louisiana for the funeral and burial and we had quite a few of us coming from various locations.  It turned out we headed out the week in-between the birthday party and my trip that was already paid for.  But ended up missing Aleesha-Boo’s graduation (she’s going to get me for saying that – she Tweets that I always find a way to embarrass her; but I remember her as my beautiful niece who stole my stuffed bear when she visited before going to Italy.)

The funeral was very nicely done with a minimum amount of drama.  And I stress the word minimum – this could have been a colossal event that went down in the history books of drama.  Better than any episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I’m going to really miss Ms. Lady and her quick wit, sharp tongue, and abundance of love.  My dad used to call her the 4 foot general (I think she was around 4’10” or 4’11”, but she was a short one compared to my 5’10.5”)

My Babydoll’s spa party was another big success.  We had sent out 10 invitations, but I’m really glad only half of that showed up.  The girls had a good time getting facials,

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getting mani’s and pedi’s

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and drinking “champagne” from champagne flutes (plastic of course).  I spent three weeks making face mask and spa robes and they really didn’t wear them long.  You see, the control panel for the HVAC battery went out and so we were unable to adjust anything until we had a battery.  It had been cool enough throughout the week that we didn’t need to have anything on, but Saturday it got HOT.  By the time we found a battery it took a “minute” to get the house cool again.  The girls just didn’t want to wear the robes longer than what was needed for the facial.  I hired a wonderful young lady to do the mani’s & pedi’s and I did the facials.  It was loads of fun for everyone.   I can’t wait to hear what her thoughts of next years party will be.  She’ll probably coming to me soon with her thoughts on the matter.

Another big event was my Babydoll receiving a “Personal Best” award from the school Superintendent.  It was a surprise for her, and Stan and I had to act like it was school as usual that morning.  What made it super crazy was the fact that there was a lot of construction going on on the way to school that morning and I got her to school just in time to walk down with her classmates to the gymnasium.  I had to run back out to the car to get my purse and camera and find us a seat.  The only bummer was that I didn’t get a good picture of her getting her award.  The zoom lens that I’m currently using is not for my camera; it’s my husbands old lens and it was made for a Nikon that has the focus built into the camera and my camera requires the zoom to be in the lens.  I have to manually adjust the zoom and tight focus and sometimes my camera does not recognize the lens as being attached to the camera – usually at a crucial time like when I’m ready to take a shot.  Can you say birthday gift boys and girls?  This is what I did get (excuse her attire…it was PE day and I couldn’t dress her up without giving away the surprise)

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Memorial Day was spent relaxing and doing laundry (I had to go to work the next day and leaving for Ohio two days later.), but we did spend several hours in the French Quarter before we came home.  Can you say HOT?  I mean HOT!!

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I had every intention of sitting down to have Biegnets at Café du Monde and getting a Shrimp Po’Boy.  The line at Café du Monde was way too long.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the line that long.  I just kept walking on by.  We went to the shopping part of the market and I was able to find a few things (a gift for my Mommy’s birthday & a couple of souvenirs for Babydoll – she loves to bring home something for every trip we take.)

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My husband and daughter was able to get a crawfish Po’Boy, but we could not find a FRIED shrimp Po’Boy for me. Sad smile  I did get a icee – Tigersblood is the bomb, and found my Po’Boy once we got of the Quarter Smile man do I love those things.

With all of the traveling that I did, I’m glad I’m back home (for now) and I had a great time.  Even my grandmothers funeral trip was enjoyable because I had the opportunity to spend some time with family members that I had not seen in a while.  Aren’t we a handsome group (this wasn’t everyone either –  more like half)?

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My handsome brother in his suit (everyone wore a touch of purple because it was my grandmothers favorite color).

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The one I married 14 years ago…be still my heart.  He cleans up so nice.  He really isn’t a drinker…I think that was iced tea. Smile with tongue out

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My cousin from New York husband…all the men looked really good.

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The month of June promises to be just as busy (my Mothers birthday, my nieces baby shower, MY BIRTHDAY!!, MY ANNIVERSARY!!, family vacation) you know how my life is. Smile

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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Caramel

Happy Tuesday everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and President’s Day.  Last Friday was Stan’s birthday and my babydoll decided that she didn’t want to have barbecue (Stan had told us all week that was his planned meal for the big day) so she called a cousin to get out of the meal and didn’t return until late yesterday evening as much as we tried to persuade her to come home.  What do you do when you have a three-day weekend with no crumb snatchers underfoot?  You catch every movie that has a high kill count you want to and hang out with that loved one like you did before you began to procreate.  🙂 Mind you we still had Sasha-bear, but my pup is starting to lose some of her rambunctiousness (or maybe it was because babydoll was gone) so she was pretty chill too.

I think I’ve mentioned several times that I love to bake and I’m pretty darn good at it, so you can imagine the total and utter confusion I feel that my husband purchases himself a birthday cake from a bakery or grocery store every year. 

I mean if I wasn’t made of sterner stuff I would be totally offended, but I just go with the flow of it.  Regardless of his purchase on Friday, I had already come up with a plan for dessert this week…and it involved, you guessed it…chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.

I knew I was going to make a chocolate cake and I wanted to make something different with it, so I thought why not peanut butter.  Everyone loves Reese’s Cups right?  I was discussing my great idea with my mother (I always bounce ideas off of her) and she started telling me about a peanut butter-caramel cake that she and my babydoll had seen Giada make a few days previously.  I asked her if it was a chocolate cake and she said no.  She said it was a vanilla cake and she that she had used caramel that she melted.  I said I would make a homemade caramel sauce and that it would be even greater with a chocolate cake…I mean chocolate and caramel go well together and chocolate and peanut butter go well together, so let’s do a trio.

I made my caramel sauce

 

and basic chocolate cake with the addition of about 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the batter. I tasted the batter and found that it didn’t have enough peanut butter taste, so I decided to mix some peanut butter with the caramel sauce.  This I swirled into the cake batter before baking (I felt this would help the caramel sauce from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking).

Once the cake had come out of the oven and began cooling, I took some more of the caramel sauce and put it all over the top of the cake layers after I had poked holes in the layers (I do this with my caramel cakes to help infuse the cake with the caramel flavor).

To make this cake extra luscious I thought what icing would push it over the edge?  Mocha Chocolate Buttercream Icing of course.  I don’t like coffee, can’t stand the smell or taste of it actually.  But you add coffee to chocolate and something magical happens. 

 The chocolate becomes more chocolate if you can imagine or believe it.  As you can see from the beater that I stood in the  middle of my kitchen and licked clean, it was a dessert all on its own.

The final product was soooooo good.  The plate is not really neat after I finished, but doesn’t it look delicious?

My favorite dessert is ice cream and cake.  Of all the delicious things that I make, there is nothing that gives me more joy than having a slice of birthday cake and ice cream.  And you must have an equal amount of both with every bite….no bite of cake without ice cream on the spoon at the same time.  You HAVE to have the complete package.

What about you…how did you enjoy your weekend?  Did you have to work on President’s Day?

Caramel Sauce

1 cup light brown sugar

1 stick of butter

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp of vanilla

pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook until desired thickness is achieved.  This stuff is good, you can pour it over ice cream also and swoon. 🙂

Mocha Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1 stick of butter softening

2 tsp instant coffee

2 tbsp boiling water

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

2 cups powder sugar (confectioner’s for you sticklers)

1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

Combine coffee and water until dissolved.  Add melted chocolate and set aside.  Beat butter until light and smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Add coffee/chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.  Lick the beater clean( :)) and frost you cake accordingly.

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We finally did it

Happy New Year!!

The last time I wrote to everyone, I was discussing the “curses” “joys” of housetraining puppies and the relapses associated with them.  Well…I’m happy to announce that we are no longer having relapses.  In fact the puppy has learned to ring the bell (large jingle bells that we purchased from Garden Ridge a few months ago) when she needs to go out.  We did have a couple of accidents this past weekend, but that will be explained a little later.

I have some very exciting news to share…After almost a year of searching and disappointments and ‘I think we found it’ and ‘we’re going to build’ and ‘we’re in a bidding war’….we found and bought AND moved into a new home.  YEAH!!!! 🙂

OMG!!!  This has been the rollercoast ride of our lifes.  We had thought we had found “our” house a couple of times.  The first time, after we had looked at the house for over two hours only to find out of that an offer had been excepted on it the day before (our realtor was so not happy about that).  Our “second” house was lost after being in a bidding war for a week.  This one was perfect or so we thought…right around the corner from Kristian’s school, it had the rooms that we needed and it was move in ready with the need for a few minor repairs.  A month later we were still looking at houses and getting more depressed by what was out there.

One Saturday after we had looked at one two many houses (even going to look at a house that we had previously rejected) when my husband suggested we look  at a builder.  I had just told our realtor that I wanted to be in a new home by the end of the year.  I knew going to a builder would have us moved in after the new year, but my other options weren’t looking too good.  We checked out the builders and were ready to make a go of it.  We called our realtor to share the good news and she said and I quote, “don’t build there….I can find you a house in that same community for less than what you will pay for new construction and you can be in before the end of the year.”   Did I tell you that I LOVE MY REALTOR?  Within 2 hours she had emailed us listings for around five properties.  One rang a bell for my husband…DING! DING! DING! DING!  We arranged to go see it the next day.  I was so done from all of the previous looks, that I was in a ‘I don’t care’ phase.  When we went to look at the house, I didn’t even worry about how I looked.  I went in thinking I was going to hate it.  I LOVED IT!  It had the basement space for my husbands media room, his office space, a formal dining room, my office/craft room, a guest room…it was great!  My realtor checked to insure that there were no offers (didn’t want that to happen again) while we were looking.  It was all good.  We were like let’s get on it before someone else does.  Needless to say we had to get rid of the mortgage broker we were working with and we put in an offer by Wednesday and got our reply back (counter) by Saturday.

I would love to tell you that the whole process went by so fast that I can’t remember, but it didn’t happen that way.  It seemed to drag on forever.  Even with packing over 15 years of stuff it still seemed to drag on for ever.  Oh yeah and to add stuff onto my stress, I said we were going to host Christmas Eve dinner with our family.  That was two weeks after our move-in date.  YIKES!!  We moved in on the 10th of December and yes I did host Christmas Eve dinner.  It was great, and there was more than enough food.  Sasha seemed to be overwhelmed by all of the people in the house because she ended up having two accidents – one when she was trying to get to the door and someone was blocking it and the other time was discovered after she had hid under the table for the evening.  Yes…the little terror, my Sasha-bear, became overwhelmed and hid under the dining room table.

I have to say that I really am happy with my new home.  The kitchen is butt ugly, but I knew that going in.  It is a very nice size and I will get tons of joy decorating.  I will try my best to post as many pictures as possible.

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Puppy relapse

The house training process for our puppy, Sasha Fierce, has been going really good until recently.  Sasha is a Standard Schnauzer and therefore when groomed most hair is cut off with the exception of the  hair on her legs and her “beard”.  When we picked up Sasha, the breeder recommended that we not get her groomed until we have her completely house trained.  We thought we had gotten to a great point with Sasha.  I announced to the family if she could go for two weeks without an accident, we were going to make the appointment.  She had her Bortadella vaccine so she could go to a groomer setting.  Week one was amazing!  We had learned Sasha’s “outside” ques (she does not go to the door, she nips) and we were on it.  Week two started off amazing as well and then ONE day before the end of what would have been two weeks….she starts having accidents.  I mean having ACCIDENTS.  We would take her out and then ten minutes later she we would find a puddle.  You clean it up and take her out and 20  minutes later there was another puddle.  What the what? 😦

So what did we do?  We had to regroup and re-evaluate our strategy.  What were we missing as far as ques go?  Were we not understanding when she was telling us she needs to go out?  We concurred that it wasn’t us…it was Sasha.  She is being stubborn folks.  For instance…this morning I had taken her out and we are doing our usual in the kitchen in the morning.  I’m making lunches and breakfast and straightening up my kitchen (I hate to come home to a dirty kitchen, I can’t cook, I can’t think; it’s awful) and Sasha is sitting on my feet or laying by the cabinets – occassionally she would walk over to her food/water and take a nibble.  At one point I turn around to go to another countertop and I sortof slip…I look down and guess what?  There is a puddle.  No nip, no bark, nothing.  What the what?  It’s not me, I didn’t miss a que; it’s my stubborn puppy!  She’s sooooo adorable, I mean this face is adorable who can stay angry at that face – but Stan announced to me that if we don’t have her house trained by the time we move in to the new house she can’t come.  (Oh yeah…we finally found the house and have an excepted offer.  The details will come later.)  I have a month (actually I have a week before I go insane) to get this taken care of. 

Oh My God (and I really need his help on this one folks, I’m not being over dramatic.) what am I going to do? I need some help here folks.  If you have ANY advice concerning the fastest way to house train pass it on.

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