Saturday, March 29, 2008

Treasures By The Pound

I received the paragraph below in an e-mail from a family friend of ours and was hoping that all of you who read this would help her out.

I have a favor to ask. Would you consider going to this site -- -- and voting, in the pet supplies category, for Treasures by the Pound? You may have to register with the site, but that's free and carries no obligation. Your vote gives our little boutique, which benefits the Wayne Co. Humane Society, the chance to win advertising money, and it also helps get our name out there. Your effort could really help us in our struggle to stay afloat.

When we were in Wooster for Christmas we made sure to stop by and visit, so that she and her hubby could meet Brynn!! (They're patiently waiting for some grandkids of their own!!) We were hoping to see Amy and Jill but they had already headed home to California by the time we had a chance to make it over there!! Marilyn and Jim have one of the neatest houses ever... they took their old barn and converted it into a house. Here are a few pictures from our quick visit with them at Christmas!!

P.S. Marilyn... had to post a picture with your favorite dog EVER in it!! ;o) JUST KIDDING!!! To everyone else, Marilyn has a column called "Piece of Mind" in Wooster's "Daily Record" newspaper on Sundays. This is a copy of a recent article about their dog pictured above... (I completely understand what she's talking about, I have owned a Jack Russell before and will NEVER EVER own one again. He was a pain in the ass, mean dog.)

Oh, I get it. First I was the Doyle clan's baby girl. Then I was the vet's wife. And now I am -- are you kidding? -- the JACK RUSSELL LADY?? For only four months, I've owned this dog and suddenly I'm the Jack Russell Lady after more than a half-century of striving to attain my own identity?

I don't even LIKE the stupid dog.

That's a lie. But I reserve the right to use a bit of poetic license here, if it serves my purposes. The fact that I love this pup doesn't alter the truth that he's brought on more anxiety, sleep deprivation and cloudy- mindedness than all three of my kids did when they were babies. Love hurts, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Besides, it's my husband who owns him. I refuse to accept the blame.

Yet everywhere I go, everyone I see comes up to me and asks either, "Aren't you the Jack Russell Lady" -- or -- "How's it going with your Jack Russell?" Whatever happened to "Hi. How are ya?"

Let me give you a little advice. If you're a reasonable, pet-loving person who has gently transitioned into your mature years with docile, intelligent, people-pleasing dogs that would never dream of, say, waking you up in the morning by jumping on your face and inserting his toenails into your eye socket or using some kind of mysterious psychokinetic power to draw an elastic exercise band off the dresser into his adjacent crate and chewing it into thousands of rubbery little snowflakes, do not, I repeat, DO NOT get a Jack Russell puppy.

Forgive the run-on; I'm a bit overwrought.

You read me right. The woman who can never seem to get enough "fur therapy" has just about maxed out on this spazzy little Brillo pad that's rubbing my nerve endings raw.

I hold out hope it builds character, but I'm thinking it's a stretch to link this to self-improvement.

I figure the race is on. He's nine months old now and most normal dogs calm down a bit when they reach maturity. Neutering is supposed to help too, so by golly, we took care of that little matter tout de suite. So, the deal is -- will he grow up before I lose my mind or vice versa?

And allow me to say at this point, no one -- not even a lifelong Jack Russell owner -- has indicated that these guys EVER grow up. So there's a lot of ungrounded faith and pie-eyed optimism on my part.

Why? Because I have no choice. My husband, my Prince Charming of 30-plus years, is absolutely crazy about this dog. That's why I'm hanging in there, although sometimes I get the impression he's just holding out until I'm absolutely crazy, too.

He probably doesn't have long to wait. I mean, he's the one who coined the phrase, "This is like living in a pinball machine."

But when that dog is around, there's a smile on Jim's face. In fact, most of the time he's laughing. So in good conscience, how can I continue to resent something that brings such joy to the person I love most in this world?


But don't worry about me. I'll carry on. If it doesn't build character, at least it's a free class in self-defense techniques. That is, if you don't count the cost in material loss.

I wonder if there's insurance available for Jack-Russell damage. Seems like a natural disaster to me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bri's blog!

So, I think Bri made a record. Five blogs in one day, all about Brynn! I'm impressed, that's almost as many as she did total in 2007!! ;o) Click on the link to her blog to read her stories about her fun trip and fun time spent with the most awesome niece ever!

P.S. She beat me to the Easter blog too... It's been a long week and I haven't had a chance to post much!! Just got back home ten minutes ago from playing Bunko at Jenn's and it's almost 11:00!!

Time for bed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My boss's niece (her name is Amanda too!) has a blog of her own and this morning she was showing me some pictures of her family... and realized that you can add music to your page! I was super excited!

So, I have uploaded the program/site that Amanda used and only have time to add one song to my playlist! I love the song though, Brynn and I dance to it when it's on tv.

I'll work on the playlist this weekend!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Auntie Bri, Auntie Bri!

We said that a lot over the last week and a half, that's for sure!! Auntie Bri spent basically every single minute of her spring break here, she was visiting from Thursday night (3/13) at about 10:30 until Sunday night (3/23) at 11:30pm, arriving back in Cleveland yesterday at 6:15am!!

Her trip started out pretty interesting, on the way back to our house from the airport, two police cars came flying up behind us on the 202 and it scared the crap out of me... I knew I wasn't speeding that much!! They flew past us and a few minutes later, we realized that there was an accident at the Higley off ramp. A truck was flipped over, there were about six police cars, two ambulances and two firetrucks. The accident must have just taken place because shortly after we drove past, they shut the freeway down for the night. We watched the news the next morning and they told us that there were fourteen people in the truck (it looked like a Chevy Colorado!), most of whom were illegals. Ah, welcome to Arizona.

Friday, I took Brynn to the babysitter so Bri could enjoy a day by herself relaxing in the sun. Right Bri?

Saturday, we went on our trip to Sedona!

Sunday, we went and got pedicures and of course, Bri hated hers. So picky.

From Monday until Friday, Bri watched Brynn from 6:45 until Chad got home at 4:30!! I think it was kind of a reality check for her, she told us she's not having kids until she's 30! She had a lot of fun while she was here, she and Brynn really seemed to bond this trip. One day, Bri said "We have a secret hand shake, you wanna see?" I told her it wouldn't really be a secret handshake if she showed us... ;o)

Some cute pictures from her trip...

Thanks for coming to visit this week, we all had a lot of fun!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

8 Months Old!

Brynn, you are such a big girl!! I'm serious, you're wearing a lot of 12 month clothes already!!

Yesterday was your very first Easter. You, Daddy, Auntie Bri and I all spent the afternoon over at the Butler's house and we got to see all of our Arizona family. Before we had our Easter lunch, Grandma Ann said a prayer, like she does every year, but this year was very special to us because she mentioned you and how she hopes that everyone keeps you in their thoughts and prayers because you are going to have surgery on your eyes next week. She said you are a very special little girl, that we are a part of their family and they love us all very much. (Yep, a tear just fell...) Mommy and Daddy thought that was really neat and we appreciate how much they have all done for us and for taking us into their family.

This month, you have developed quite the attitude which also makes you extremely predictable. If you hear another baby crying, you start to cry. If we're holding you on our lap and your puppies walk by, you lean towards them and laugh, squak or scream to get their attention. If you are petting them and they walk away from you, you cry or scream at them because you always want them around.

We're still working on teaching you "nice hands", when you get excited you flail your arms and hit anything that is close. (Including our faces!)

You know what "no" means. When we lay you on your changing table, you like to put your feet on the wall or on the blinds and then you try to grab the blinds with your hands. We tell you "no touch" and you know exactly what we mean. You pull your hands close to your body, turn your head and you give us a sad face.

You always want to eat what we're eating, you don't want your bottle when we're eating our food, you want to eat like a big girl. You're officially on Stage 2 baby food. You seem to like it a lot better, there are a lot more flavors than what you were eating... your absolute least favorite food so far is Garden Vegetables (I don't blame you either, they smelled yucky and I wouldn't even try them!!). This month, you have tasted barbeque sauce, honey barbeque sauce (you LOVE both of those!), wheat tortilla, a roll, potato, some kind of jello desert yesterday, and you really like those little stars and shapes that melt in your mouth.

You know what "more" and "open up" mean. Auntie Bri was really working with you over the last few days to teach you "more" in sign language. You're getting there...

You don't like to be hot and sweaty. (You're going to have to learn to deal with that though, we live in the desert!!)

You love to chew on your shoes, shoe laces and pretty much everything else you can get your hands on. Especially anything with a strap. You love your bath letters and numbers, they seem to give you a sense of comfort while you're getting all cleaned up. You like the squeeky noise that it makes when you rub your gums on them.

You are still obsessed with any type of paper... wrapping paper, wax paper, receipts, tags for on clothes...

Your favorite noisy toy is your piano. Your favorite quiet toy is any of your stuffed "bugs".

Here are some fun pictures that we've taken of you in the last few weeks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


So, if you know me, you know that my favorite restaurant ever is Oregano's. (Chad and I had our rehearsal dinner at the one in Scottsdale!!) Since Bri's in town, she requested to go there and of course we couldn't turn down that request!! Here are a few pictures from last night:

It looks like Brynn is a fan too!!

P.S. Chad and Bri call this Brynn's devil hairdo...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seven random facts

I have been Tagged!! Becki tagged me on her blog (Click on the Sweet Daisy link to the left of this post) and I think Heidi may have a long time ago too (?)... so here we go!!

I don't have seven people to tag on my page, so I won't tag anyone, you can just read my random facts!!

1. I didn't realize how much I love being a Wife and Mommy. Thank goodness I signed up for!

2. When I was a kid, I used to rollerskate competitively. My mom used to pick Bri and I up from school and drive to practice almost every day. Apparently I haven't told as many people as I thought I did about this huge part of my life because TJ and Jenn didn't even realize it until a few weeks ago!! I even came in 4th place at Nationals one year!! To see some embarrasing pictures from my skating days, just click on the link to Cassie's blog and go to her January link. (I'm horrible at linking things on the blog!)

3. I played lacrosse when I was in junior high and high school.

4. I am addicted to reality tv shows. We originally heard Brynn's name on the Real World Las Vegas. If we had a boy, we liked the name Evan. That came from the Real World/Road Rules Challenges. Brynn's name is also a combination of my sister's first and middle names... Brianna Lynn. Her middle name is a combination of my Grandma (Opal Mae) and Chad's Grandma (Ida May)... so we spelled it Maye!!

5. I came to the conclusion that I am always stressed. Everything stresses me out. I think the only way to resolve my issue is to win the lottery. I keep playing but not winning. Maybe my luck will change soon.

6. I really do love that we have the Bug. It's a fun car and I'm amazed at how well Chad has restored it, he's done a great job!! Everything on it has been super easy for him to work on or restore and he's had a lot of fun doing it. We've also met some really great people because of it.

7. I love Arizona but I wish my family was closer. A four hour plane ride or a thirty eight hour drive is too far away.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What a crazy day!

This afternoon, Brynn had her presurgical appointment and everything went well!! (Other than the fact that the eye doctor's office moved and their computer system has changed to a new system and they didn't have Brynn listed as having an appointment today like it said on her appointment card. Um, yeah. That's all I'm going to say about that.)

Her surgery is still scheduled for April 1st and I'm pretty excited about it. Nervous, but excited. Chad went with me to the appointment today and Brynn did really well, she was in a good mood the whole time and was such a big girl!! We are pretty sure that she's going to be the first surgery of the day, we won't know for sure until a few days before though. I'll keep you posted.

Today was Auntie Bri's first day of watching Brynn by herself... it seemed to go pretty well!! One down, four to go!! Thanks Auntie Bri! ;o)

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Normally when Bri comes to visit, we don't do a whole lot, we just relax for the week. Well, this week we decided to take her on a day trip to Sedona!! Part of I-17 ("The 17") had a bunch of construction and about an hour and a half detour so we took a different route up north. We went through Payson and Strawberry to get there and on the way, this is what we saw!! SNOW!! (Brynn was sleeping in the van, she didn't even get to see it!! No, that wasn't us up on the hill...)

Here are a few pictures of the beautiful red rocks.

When we take people to Sedona, we always take them to the Church of the Holy Cross. It's a beautiful church that has some really amazing views and rock formations. Here are pictures of the church as well as the eagle and turtle that you can see from the church.

When we were in town, we grabbed some lunch and Brynn drank some water from a big girl glass (with some help from Daddy)!!

Here is one that we took of Bri and Brynn at lunch!!

The sunset on our way home... a nice way to end a fun day!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brynn's first word!

Was "DADDY!!" She said it a few times on Tuesday night and was smiling when she did it!!

I meant to post this sooner but I forgot!! (AND I was jealous that her first word wasn't MOMMY!! I think that had something to do with it too...)

Quick one...

Had to change up the color on the blog again... the green was horrible.

Auntie Bri is flying in tonight at 10:30! Wait, what? 10:30PM ON A THURSDAY NIGHT! The first thing she wants to do when she gets here? Buy beer.

I think tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Don't get me wrong, I don't mind snow but this is what it looked like at my parents' house in Ohio over the weekend... 17"!! This is Shadow, he can't believe how much snow there was either! The second picture is my parents' grill. My mom took this one for Chad because we used ours like five times while she was here!! The third is of my Dad snowblowing the back patio so the dogs could get out the door to go to the bathroom!! (Notice the snow covered picnic table to his left!!)

Sorry everyone, we enjoyed some nice 80 degree SUNNY weather over the weekend!!

Chad and four of his other VW friends went on a nice drive to Tortilla Flat (basically, it's just a post office and a bar but it's a nice drive through the mountains on a SUNNY day!), here are a few pictures from along the way.

After their drive, Brynn and I met Chad and like twenty other VW's for dinner at a place in Gilbert and then we went to our new friends Troy and Lisa's house with a few of the other families. Here's a picture of Brynn with her friend Liam. He's two months younger than her and weighs almost as much as she does!!

Yesterday afternoon, we took a drive to visit our friends the Deegans!! We didn't get to spend much time with Reilly while we were there (she was sleeping!) but Kailey LOVED hanging out with Brynn!! While we were there, Amber, Kailey and I went through A TON of the girls old clothes and we ended up bringing home about five trashbags full of stuff!! Brynn is going to be one stylin little girl, that's for sure!! THANK YOU DEEGANS!! Here are some pictures from our fun afternoon!!