We’re Back! Update on The Dogs + Kids Crew

Well, it’s been a while. I apologize to anyone who has tried to access the website in the past month. Our family went through a financial burden. So, I wasn’t able to pay my monthly domain hosting fee. But, we’re moving past that. I have declared that 2017 with our year. Because, honestly, 2016 really socked it to us.

Let’s see what has happened in the past two months. My daughter, Haley, was promoted to an advanced kindergarten class. Remember when we were so scared of kindergarten?! Well, it’s still a little scary. BUT, she got into an ADVANCED class! That’s a huge accomplishment.Vince also got a better paying job. But, with different hours. So, we’re slowly, but surely, adjusting to his new schedule.

I have a big project in the works, too. It’s something I attempted in the past. But, never put 100% into it. But, I have to make sure my family is taken care of. I’m ready to go in head first. I’ll release more details about that when details are finalized.

Oh, for your viewing pleasure I have to give ya’ll a few picture updates!

haley and dray dogs and kids

You can’t separate these two. They love each other so much!

haley kindergarten dogs and kids

This is Haley’s first school picture EVER! You can tell it took a lot for her to put on that smile. 😉

haley dogs and kids

As much of a tomboy as she is, she loves being a girl, too. She’s so sassy! Her grandma sent me this picture when she was spending the weekend there.

Oh, if you’re here because of my Twitter Party Calendar, it’s still here, too! So, make sure ya’ll check it out! I’ll try to update it as often as I can.

I’m so glad to be back! Don’t forget to follow me on social media. 🙂

Kindergarten, I Wasn’t Ready For It

Children bring a lot of joy to our lives. They show us a new beginning. I can’t remember life before Haley. But, there was one milestone I wasn’t ready for. That milestone is kindergarten. Haley began kindergarten over two weeks ago. Still, I am not prepared for it. Meeting new people is hard for me as it is. But, that didn’t stop Haley’s excitement for kindergarten. She was ready. I wasn’t. 

I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Okay, a bit doesn’t cover it. I procrastinate every single day of my life. I’m working on it. So, I had Haley’s kindergarten supplies ready. I had them ready before the first day. That made me thrilled. She had her binders, her pencils, crayons, everything was ready. She was ready. Her supplies were ready. Well, I say everything was ready. Everything was ready but one thing. That was me.

On Haley’s first day of kindergarten, her daddy met me there. We’re divorced. But, I’d say we co-parent better than most parents that are together. We spend equal time with her. We make sure that we both stay involved in all aspects of her life. Together we walked her to her classroom and said “see ya later.” I didn’t cry. I was sure I would, but I never did. Then he headed home. I headed to work.

When her first day of kindergarten let out, I was at work. Her grandma and papa picked her up from her first day. I shared the picture below of her being walked to the car. Within an hour, it had 100 shares. She had a great first day of school. She even got her first smiley face. The first day we didn’t even have to worry about homework. Those circumstances changed. We have homework every night. But, she enjoys doing it.

kindergarten milestones

My little girl is a bit needy. But, most days, I don’t mind. But, I see changes since she began kindergarten. She is independent. I walked her to her classroom this morning. A little girl was in front of us. Her mother was with her, too. The little girl let go of her mom’s hand. Then Haley let go of mine. That is when my heart sunk. That’s when the light bulb went off. I’m not ready for kindergarten. So, I didn’t cry on her first day. But, today, I cried the whole way home. She has never let my hand go before.

She always wants mommy right there. To hold her hand. She even asks me to carry her on a regular basis. It reminded me of a popular video that has circulated my social media feed lately. A mom in the car, crying, because her son isn’t ready for kindergarten. She talks about how he’s not ready to stay still for 7 hours. She even touches on how the teacher doesn’t know he needs so many kisses every few minutes. Of course, the video has a funny ending. But, I felt like that mom this morning. She was ready, I wasn’t.

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But, she has to grow older. I know this. I am aware of this. But, it’s so hard to let go. She will always be my little 7lbs 2oz 21 1/2 inch baby girl. I am starting to let the reigns go a little bit every day. But, I hope she always remembers, mama has her back. Forever and always.

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Happy 4th of July!

From our tribe here at “dogs + kids”, we want to wish all of you a Happy 4th of July! We hope you are able to enjoy time with your friends and family. Of course munchin’ away on delicious food. 

Thankfully all of us are off for 4th of July today! We cooked a low country boil last night. Tonight we’ll be spending time with family. My uncle and his family are grilling out. We’ll also shoot some fireworks off, too. Since fireworks are legal now in Georgia! Yes, please!

It’s back to the real world tomorrow though. Ten hour work days. Combined with getting awesome kids up, up and away in the morning.

Cutting this short, but, wanted to wish all of you..

4th of july

Orlando Survivors Comforted By Golden Retrievers

I am #OrlandoStrong for the Orlando survivors, families, and victims. June 12, 2016 is a date that is now etched into not just Americans minds. It’s also a date that will be remembered around the world. This day made history as one the largest mass killing in the United States. Regardless of where you are, I’m sure you’re aware of the incident at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. A claimed “terrorist attack.” There were 50 casualties. There were 53 injuries. A few Golden Retrievers from Chicago are bringing smiles to the Orlando survivors. Just as I am, these dogs are also #OrlandoStrong

I’m a social media freak. When I wake up in the morning, I check Facebook first. I normally don’t look at what’s trending. Just browse through my news feed. If I have enough time, I hop on Twitter. If anything is going on the world, I see it first on Twitter. Mainly because the trending hashtags are right there, in your face. So, when I logged into Twitter on 6.12.16 and saw #Orlando and #PulseNightClubShooting trending, I had to look. My heart sunk for not only Orlando. My heart sunk for all of America.

If you haven’t heard of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, I’ll give you a summary. At around 2:00AM EST, on June 12, 2016, Pulse Nightclub, in Orlando, Florida was the scene of the worst mass killing ever reported in the United States. Pulse Nightclub is a popular LGBT nightclub. The shooter has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen. Allegedly, during the attack, Mateen contacted 911 and reported his commitment to ISIS. His attacked claimed the lives of 50 individuals. His attack injured 53 individuals.

Mateen was a US citizen. He was married, divorced once, and has a beautiful daughter. It is believed that the US government had their eyes on Mateen for years prior. But, nothing ever came of it. Both of his parents are Afghanistan citizens. It was later revealed that Mateen posted on Facebook warning of attacks. It was also reported that Mateen may have scoped out Disneyworld prior to the Pulse Nightclub attack. His wife may also be charged in the attack. Due to text messages found after the attacks.

Mateen apparently became outraged when he saw two men kissing. This was allegedly stated by his father to several news outlets. Also reported is that he may have been gay. This was reported by numerous people. Including Orlando victims of the Pulse Nightclub attack. This was also reported by his ex-wife. Several survivors of the attack claimed they chatted with him on LGBT apps.

It’s a horrible thought that this happened here. It’s sad. It’s disturbing. It is amazing how many people have came together. People worldwide have came together. They’re donating to the Orlando survivors. They’re visiting the survivors. In just a few short days a GoFund me campaign broke a record. In four days, the campaign surpassed $5,000,000 dollars. With donors from over 105 countries. Orlando is receiving love worldwide.

The world isn’t the only thing that is #OrlandoStrong. A few Golden Retrievers surpassed their titles. We all know Golden Retrievers are great dogs. Fun, affectionate. They are often used as service dogs. With the right training, they are brilliant. They are a true people pleaser. No wonder they brought light to the lives of several Orlando victims.

orlando survivors

According to Fox News, the Golden Retrievers were “deployed” by a Chicago based Christian organization. The organization is known as K-9 Comfort. Eleven Golden Retrievers were deployed to comfort the Orlando survivors. They also comforted the first responders. K-9 Comfort also comforted survivors from past incidents. They were on the scene after the Sandy Hook massacre. They were also deployed after the Boston Marathon bombing.

It’s a fact that blood pressure may dropped in the presence of a dog. There’s no doubt in my mind this is true. They are beautiful, intelligent creatures. I think it’s an amazing thing what K-9 Comfort is doing. Make sure to check them out on Facebook here.

I hope you’ll remain not just #OrlandoStrong with me. I hope we can #AllUnite.

To those impacted by the Orlando attack, know my family is behind you. My family prays for you. My family is #OrlandoStrong. Never give up. There’s not just a nation behind you. The world is behind you. We support you. We love you.

We are #OrlandoStrong.

My Kids are More Important

Originally I was going to name this post: “Why My Kids are More Important Than You.” But, I’m not a blunt person. That’s a blunt statement. While it may be true, it’s just not my writing style. Regardless how many extra blog views I would have received. This isn’t a knock down of parents who enjoy “me” time. Believe me, I enjoy “me” time, too. This is more of an explanation. An explanation to those who just don’t “get it.” 

Before I was a parent, I just didn’t get kids. Why did they always want to touch me? Why did they always talk to me? Was it because I was as short as them? Did they think I was a kid, too?! Regardless, they freaked me out a little. As a parent, that’s a hard thing to admit. As parents were expected to meet some pretty hefty “standards.”

In all honesty, I’m over those imaginary “standards.” I like to consider myself an “adaptive parent.” My parenting skills adapt to my mood. One week I feel like supermom. I’m cooking healthy, vegan meals for the whole family before 5 pm. Let’s invite the neighbors over to eat, too. I made enough to feed an army! The next day I’m praying the kids won’t speak to me. Praying the pizza guy can still deliver still. Because, of course, it’s so late now I’m too tired to cook. Where’s a beer?

I’m not perfect. I have a lot of flaws. I’m not afraid to admit to them. I’m an open book. Your kid screaming in WalMart because you can’t buy him that $200 Power Wheels? I’m not looking. I’m not judging. Kids are unpredictable. Don’t be embarrassed, mama. It’s life. Kids love to try us at the most unexpected moments. Kids also love to make our hormones go into a rage. Especially when we think about our butterballs growing up.

Five seconds ago you were praying they’d fall asleep. Now you’re curled up in bed. You’re bawling like a little baby. Because, well, you just realized something. They aren’t going to want to be around you forever. One day you may feel like them. Awake, in a dark room, staring at a ceiling. Feeling lonely because the one person you want by your side won’t be there. Yep, that sucks, doesn’t it?

My kids are my little sidekicks. I’m with them almost every day. We do everything together. But, I’m human, I need a break sometimes, too. My two kids are awesome little individuals. But, they’re 4 1/2 and 8 months old. You can only answer a 4 year old’s 400+ questions a day so much before you feel a bit insane. You can only give undivided time so much before you’re questioning your whole life.

I’m all for “me” time. How can you care for someone else if you can’t care for yourself? How can you properly be involved if you’re only emotions are either: stressed, mad, hungry, and confused. You need time to recharge.

I’ve always enjoyed working. Plus, who doesn’t like making money? I enjoy going out with friends. Bonding time is always a good time. But, I also have to make sure my kids needs come first. Not because I’m one of those cliche people. When you have kids, well, you have a responsibility. You have to make sure they’re cared for. Because, let’s be real, if you don’t, you’ll go to jail. I don’t know about you but, I don’t think I’d do well in jail.

As parents we have that harsh reality. You will get reported for anything. They will handcuff for you these things. You could possibly lose your children over these things. Think people are worried about your parenting skills now? Imagine their opinions if you’re in handcuffs.

I want my little monsters to turn into valuable people. I want people to look up to them. I want them to be independent. So, of course I believe in teaching them lessons. But, as children, they need someone to teach them how to be that person. They don’t just come in the world with a brain filled will pre-knowledge. You once couldn’t use a fork. Someone taught you how. We have to teach them. They’ll get hurt in the process. You’ll cry during the process. But, it’s life. It happens.

I’m not being rude when I say my kids are more important than you. Although that may be a rude way to express it. I’m not saying that I have them wrapped in bubble wrap trapped in my closet. Although some days that may seem like a good idea. I’m saying that I have a promise to uphold. A promise to teach them. A promise to care for them. A promise to make sure they are protected.

So, to all the people I’m sure I’ve insulted. The people I’ve blown off for my kids. Here’s my explanation. My explanation why my kids are, well, more important than you.

my kids

Why My Kids Are More Important Than You

My past + possible future bosses: We all know this scenario. You have to work. You just called out last week because your daughter decided that catching the flu would be a good idea. You know, a better idea than sitting in front of a desk for 10 hours. Then, BAM, out of nowhere.. she decides to bust her front lip open. You told her those shoes were too big. You told her to stop running. But, what do you know?! You’ve only been on this earth 20+ more years than her.

Now, you’re already late. She’s crying. It’s pouring blood. She needs to go to the ER. You’re going to get fired. All these thoughts run through your head. So, what do you do? If you take her to school, daycare, or whatever in this condition they’ll call the authorities. So, you do what you have to. You call your boss. You take her to the ER.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have that family backup member. We’re all just struggling to get by.

I’m sorry I have to take a few hours off to register them for school. I’m sorry registration is at a certain time. But, if they don’t go to school, I go to jail. Sure, I could ask them to reschedule registration for everyone just for me. I don’t see that going well, though.

This scenario could go one of two ways. Your boss could be understanding. They could tell you to take care of your daughter. That work can wait. Or they could talk about you behind your back. Talk about how you’re a liar because of all your “bad luck.” They could fire you. They could throw everything up under the sun you’ve done in the past 6 months.

What if your boss isn’t so understanding? Well, a few things could happen.

Listen up all the “be here or be dead” bosses out there. If we don’t take care of our kids, this is what could happen.

Can’t pick up your child because your boss will fire you? You may look good in orange. You not showing up to pick up your sick or injured kid isn’t a good look. It also doesn’t look good to the authorities. So, bosses, before you threaten your employees, or fire them, for caring for their kids, think about this. If the authorities are called your employee is going to need more time off. Because, getting out of jail isn’t an “instant” thing. Even if they don’t go to jail, if authorities are contacted, missed time could still happen. Because, then your employee may have to go to court or other legal type meetings.

Believe it, most of us would rather be at work than at the doctor with a screaming child. We don’t enjoy seeing our kids sick. That’s just what happens. They get sick. They’re little people. We don’t look good in orange!

The best case scenario would be that nothing happens. But, I don’t see many people too happy about a sick child whose health may be neglected.

To my past, present, + future friends: I really want to go to the movies with you. Believe me, I NEED that drink you want to go get. But, things happen. Kids get sick. Baby sitters, day cares, and schools don’t want or need sick kids. Because, well, then they end up with 50 sick kids. Have you ever hung out with a sick kid? It’s not fun. I promise I’d rather be at the movies with you.