Monday, May 21, 2012

Un Baguette versus Une Baguette

So as many of you know if you live in my neighborhood your HOA dues encompass an array of wildlife that would make some small zoos jealous.  I recently wrote about a close encounter with a 9.5 alligator here and his new succcessor, Francis.  It was nothing short of terrifying, and now I diligently check the front and back before I go outside.  You can imagine my dismay when Francis appeared. 

 Note: If you did not already know you can click on the pics and they will get bigger, which you may want to do since I was not getting closer!

Here is Francis with his/her head facing the shore and tail towards the lake.

He/She seems to be just chillin in the lake not bothering anyone.  I can be ok with this as long as he stays in the lake.

Did I tell you that I am reading a book called Bringing Up Bebe about the differences between French and American parenting?  It's very enlightening.  In the book the author tells a story about an American lady living in Paris.  The lady could never remember when she went to the bakery whether she was supposed to order un baguette (one loaf of bread) or une baguette (one stick (really thin) loaf) so she just ordered deux (two) baguettes.  (This is why Americans and their obesity stick out like sore thumbs in Paris.)

So I want to know who the idiot was that ordered deux alligators for our lake? Look closely there is one facing the shore and the eyes and snout of the other once swimming the other direction.

Francis number 1 (F1) as seen through the safety of my tele-photo lens from the safety of my back yard.

As I was taking pictures of F1 further down the lake, the other Francis (F2) swam up and watched me.  I was not about to leave the gated safety of my backyard for fear of feeling like I was on the wrong side of the fence at the zoo.

 Then F2 went on his/her merry little way to join F1.

See I told you F2 was going to meet up with F1. 

I did eventually get brave enough to walk down the sidewalk in front of the house to try and get closer pics.  I always wanted to win the lottery, but I guess I should have specified which one, and that I really didn't need multiple alligators in my life.  Maybe now NN will cave to the fact that we really do live in the country!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Their Continued Love Affair and My Third Wheel Status

The Nutrition Nazi and the Team Leader's love affair started the day we picked her up over three years ago and has only continued to develop like the plot of a cheesy chick flick!

In the picture above, from that day, she is already practicing her 'I can't be bothered with your life right now.  It's just so involved being ME!' look. You can read all about her story here.  The bond between these two is something very special that I must admit I am jealous over, and being the third wheel flat out sucks!  She very rarely wags her tail when I come home, but that could be because I don't wrastle with her or run like an idiot through the yard.  However if she thinks that NN might be pulling in the driveway she is at the garage door pacing.

I definitely don't get this kind of height on the rare occasion that I do run through the yard with her.

It's like he is a Red Bull or something and gives her wings.

I try to play ball, but inevitably she just gives up on my crappy throwing ability.  I certainly don't have any luck putting it on her nose and then her sunsequently catching it.

Maybe it's because they really are both athletes under it all, although NN thinks she has very little athletic ability and hopes that baby has more athleticism than his big sister.

Maybe it is because one antagonizes the other.

And then the other one pushes back with the 'Is that all you got' bouncy-ness.

This is the dog I get when I try to spend time with her.  She will put on a happy face momentarily, but once the camera is turned off she acts like I personally deprive her of all of her basic rights like laying in grass or a crappy old tennis ball.

Which would be fine if she weren't standing in her pool with the lake view as the sun is setting in the background as I take her picture.

Or running through the yard with the toy that I searched all over the internet for because she lost the other one playing in the water at Uncle Neal's house. 

Yep it's hell being the third wheel, but I can only hope that our newest addition does not have the same level of enamouredness with the Nutrition Nazi or the Team Leader.  Maybe I should start my plan now of how to buy win his love!  I wonder if he will like the spa or dessert as much as NN does because if he does I am numero uno in his life since I can make both of those happen easily!  I am also his best friend if he shares my love of Nordstroms!

Have a great week and don't settle for being second best!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

This week's post is a basic principle of life, but so often we get caught up in our lives that we forget how meaningful random acts of kindness can be to another person.  A couple of years ago after seeing the movie The Blind Side, I was very moved to find out more about the Tuohys who had given so much to a child in need of support, financially, physically, and mentally.  They have several books out now, but I read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving.  Now I am a huge skeptic that a book or a movie can change any one's attitude, but I am happy to say that I was proven wrong. 

The book is long and deep in the weeds at times, but the overall message is clear in that you give what you have to give, even if only a smile, and expect nothing in return.  As long as you give, that is all that matters.  The (Almost Perfect) Nutrition Nazi is very good about living his life in a manner similar to this mantra.  Even on a bad day he still will ask you how your day is and genuinely tell you to have a nice day!

 So why did I post pics of essentially a mess on my family room carpet and what does this have to do with giving?

To show an extraordinary act of kindness by one of my co-workers.  She was blessed with 2 little boys that she loves dearly, but she no longer needed their baby clothes so she passed them along to me, simple as that.  I could never have imagined the number of clothing items, blankets, etc that she would just give to us.

And since I wasn't sure you would get the full effect of the sheer volume of clothes from the first pic, I sat on the floor and took a picture to show how tall the piles of clothes are compared to furniture.  Simply put - Amazing.  A random act of kindness that not only saves us money, but re-affirms my belief that underneath it all that people are truly good.

In another random act of kindness we were also fortunate enough to be given a jogging stroller in really good condition, by another one of my co-workers.  We feel very blessed because while these people have a connection to us, they may actually never see our child, and that makes it even more meaningful.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of all of the things we have been given, but just a few examples to remind us all that the things, physical or emotional, that we toss into a corner and forget about can make an extraordinary difference in another person's life.

To all of you mothers out there I would also like to wish you a Happy Mother's Day!