Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daisy Daisy I'm Half Crazy All for the Love of You

I never grew up with pets, unless you count my three brothers. The answer my parents always gave my brother, Jeff, and I when we asked for a dog was a definite, hard no, if they even answered at all. They usually just pretended not to hear the question. My youngest brother, Kyle, did manage to persuade them into getting him a dog, though. An adorable Beagle named Phoebe that ended up not only being loved deeply by him, but by my parents too. My husband grew up with dogs, Dobermans in particular, and truth be told until we started dating, I always used to be afraid of dogs. While my mom was NOT a mail carrier, she was an Avon lady for quite some time and got bit, on the butt, one day while delivering catalogs door to door. True story. It scarred me.

Over the years I got over my fear of dogs, solely due to the fact that Alex's parents' had two Dobermans and his sister had two Pit Bulls. No better way to get over a fear than to just jump right in.

Xander started exhibiting very young, really while still an infant, that he had a love of animals. Due to the fact that the verdict is still out on whether or not he'll have a sibling, I often imagine him growing up not with siblings, but surrounded by and loving animals. I have a feeling he is going to be a Veterinarian. I know all parents imagine their kids doing this or that, but I really truly have a sneaking suspicion he is going to be a Veterinarian. I just know it. The compassion and interest he shows in animals is above average for someone his age. It quickly became apparent that a canine companion would be in our future. We had to wait for the right time. Is there ever a right time in life for anything? Yes, this time there was...

Since late February/early March, Xander started exhibiting some pretty out of character behavior. He's always been an active kid, but upon being moved to the 3 year old class his behavior went to an extreme. Keep in mind with us at home, or with his tia or his abuelos, he was business as usual, but at school a total different story.  Biting was running rampant at his school and he got in on the mix. He wasn't listening to his teachers. He was playing too rough with friends. He was being the class clown. He started telling us he didn't like school. He even started telling us he had stomachaches to get out of going to school. I expect this behavior from a junior higher, not someone in a 3 year old preschool class.

Alex and I were completely perplexed. I wrote a blog, made some comments on Facebook, but none of that really exemplified how I was feeling on the inside. Completely helpless. Sad. At my witts end. It literally consumed me. It was all I could think about. While I never thought his behavior was due to my work travel schedule, no doubt people who read my blog, or saw my facebook posts did. Don't act so surprised. I know who you are. I know you did. And, it's the truth. I still don't think it has anything to do with that. It has everything to do with an independent, extremely intelligent 3 1/2 year old pushing boundaries to see what he could get away with. And he was getting away with murder at his school. After all, he didn't act like that with us at home because there is never an option to. Xander needs structure, Xander needs to know he can't push you around and Xander doesn't respond well to negative reinforcement. It was time to find a new place for Xander. And we did.

At the same time we put Xander in the new school, I had a feeling NOW was the time to find him a dog. We knew we wanted a Doberman since that's what his abuelos have, and we knew we didn't want a puppy. We started looking at Doberman Rescues. The first few inquiries we made, we were denied. This Doberman has food aggression issues, we won't give a Doberman to a household with a young child, blah, blah, blah. Truth be told Alex and I were getting quite annoyed with all of these Rescues and now we're left with a bad taste in our mouths for them. Despite the fact that we would have felt comfortable with any of these Dobermans, and been a truly loving household, they apparently weren't meant to join our family.....but, Daisy was.

I found Daisy on Petfinder, also being placed by Rescue. A five year old Doberman, raised with kids, needs a new home because her current family was moving and couldn't take her with them. Um, perfect for us! I sent an email. And, was ignored by the Rescue. This time though, I couldn't stop thinking about Daisy. She looked and sounded perfect in every way for our family. After some sleuthy Internet research, I tracked her owner down and called her directly. She was so happy I had reached out. The Rescue had never even told her about us, yet was trying to convince her to place Daisy with a breeder!!! Can you believe that??? The owner put the kabash on that! So far, the owner said, there had been no one interested in her that fit their standards.  It was perfect.

The current owners and their two kids came to our house on April 13 to see if Daisy would be a good fit for  us. We fell in love with her instantly. That day she became a member of our family. Xander helps feed her, Xander helps put her to bed, wake her up, let her out, let her in, picks up poop, helps walk her. The sense of responsibility and pride of accomplishment I see in my little boy is awesome. He's even started waking up a full 30 minutes earlier on his own these last couple of weeks to get her up. I no longer worry about him playing in the backyard by himself. Daisy protects him from any country critters that could be out there. The other morning I heard him tell her he loved her. He asks me to take his picture with her. The first thing he says to us when we pick him up is that he wants to go home to see Daisy. And funny enough these last two weeks he has been damn near behaving perfect at school. I don't believe it's a coincidence. As a reward for him, we even brought Daisy to school to pick him up last Friday. In the first few weeks on the job, Daisy has been an amazing success.

I'd be omitting the truth if I didn't admit she's had a calming affect on me too. Her mere presence has been such a welcome comfort to me. I worked from home the other day and moved her bed into my office. She slept at my desk as I worked away. I loved having her by my side. Rarely in life is there a "right time" for anything, but THIS not only was the right time to add a dog to our family, but it was also the right dog. Perfect in every way. A saving grace.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Closet Project: It's Still Happening

It is SLLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLYYYYY but surely. You'll recall the whole purpose of The Closet Project was to transform my side of our walk-in closet into my own, very favorite store. I can honestly say since embarking on this project, I have spent far less money on clothes than I used to. Now that I've tackled displaying the bags, showcased my accessories and seriously edited my wardrobe down to my favorite pieces, I really do feel like I'm shopping my closet. I had so many great pieces I plain just couldn't see because my closet was so full of crap and unorganized. Now I can see everything I own and can mix and match away. But, I'm still not finished.....

The next part I'm working on is finding really cool pieces to display my shoes on/in, all while doing double duty hiding my tanks, skinnies, undies, socks, tights, bras, etc. So here's the latest two additions to my closet:

This piece from Crate & Barrel circa 2001 was in one of our upstairs guest rooms. I brought it downstairs to the closet and have it positioned in the corner by the doorway into our laundry room. I have it showcasing some of my black, grey and white shoes. The drawer conveniently hides my camisoles. 

This bench I picked up on the super cheap from TJ Homegoods. Upon it sits two other pieces I picked up from Homegoods. One houses my socks and tights while the other my undies and such. The shoe theme that these pieces showcase are my metallics, which as of late have been my most often go-to neutral. I really like the finished look of this. 

I'm heading to the Gypsy Chic Antique Pop Up Shop that happens once a month in my town on Thursday to look for any cool, cheap pieces that would be good for more shoe displays. We'll see what I find. Check out my previous Closet Project posts to see how this is all coming together, again slowly but surely!