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Friday, August 30, 2019

week one, check

well, we survived the first full week of school!  yay!

the bean's annual "first day" photo got featured on the local news again, which seems to have turned into a tradition by now.  i'd set the broadcast to record on the DVR, but we both happened to be up at the time it came on and so we managed to catch it live.  when she saw it she was all "huh, i'm on tv again?" trying to act all blasé and shit, but you know she was secretly stoked about it.  heh.

she also had her first girl scout meeting with her brand new cadette-level vest this week.  they're going to do all sorts of stuff this year and the troop is going to focus a lot more on being girl-led since they're getting older.  they voted on what badges to work on and talked about what they need to do to work towards earning their silver award, and it sounds like it'll be a pretty great year.  i still can't believe she's in this tan vest, though.  when she was itty-bitty and still in the daisy tunic and then the brownie sash, the girls who wore this vest seemed so much older...and now she's one of them.  sigh.

i ventured upstairs after school one day this week to meet up with her in the library, and stood there for a good five minutes before she realized i was there.  i hadn't seen where her locker was at that point, so it was kind of fun to see her in action and watch her interact with her friends for a few minutes. 

i wasn't trying to be a creepy stalker or anything, and a couple of her buddies walked by and smiled and said hello to me, and i even managed to introduce myself to one of her teachers when she caught my eye and asked if i needed any help.  we've been at this school for quite a long time by now, but junior high was always a whole different animal and i'd never met the majority of the teachers on this side of campus before.  they don't even need room parents in junior high, so i'm not going to be as involved as i was before, and it struck me that she really is growing up and things are definitely changing as we transition to the next stage of her life.  it's exciting and sad at the same time.

her first small group project for one of her classes involved making tinfoil hats for her and the two other girls in the group.  we were cracking up as she realized that she looked like our little gnome:

and i'm getting used to spending my days solo at home again.  well, mostly solo - i've got these two knuckleheads to keep me company, and they alternate between fighting over toys and cuddling up for naps.  we're finding our groove and i'm figuring out how to get things done while keeping an eye on them at the same time.

this morning, on my way to an early orangetheory class, ryan seacrest was on my radio making a "free gas friday" announcement.  they pick a gas station in the l.a. area and the first 102 folks who get there get to fill up their tanks for free.  pretty cool, right?  and this time, the location was in nearby la verne.  it was 6:00 when he made the announcement, with the gas pumps scheduled to open at 7.  the old lady sent me an excited text right as he said it, and while i knew i couldn't go (we have to leave the house by 7:30 to get the bean to school on time), i encouraged her to give it a shot.  after all, the station wasn't too far from home and if they were all out of freebies, no big deal. 

i was already home with the dogs and waiting for the bean to finish getting ready when the old lady sent this:

number 89!  we were pretty surprised to find that there were still spots left over an hour after they'd announced the location.  she joined the long line and managed to get her free gas with a half hour to get herself ready for work.

the first full week of school done, free gas for the old lady, our first trip to this year's l.a. county fair later today and a nice long holiday weekend.  happy friday to all!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

BTS goes to the fair

it's that time again!

on tuesday, the bean and i hopped in the car to head out to the fairplex in pomona.  i've done this enough times now that i know exactly where i need to go and how to get there.  we pulled into gate 1, checked in with the security guard and found a parking spot amongst the other vehicles that were there getting set up for the fair that starts in two days.

we're only ever there for maybe a whole five minutes, but it's really fun to drive through and look at all of the colorful booths advertising all of the fantastic and ridiculous fair food that we can't wait to dive into.

i totally forgot to contact the media department and so i didn't score an invitation to the annual media preview event to try all of the fun new foods that'll be debuting this year.  bummer.  but i did manage to remember to order the souvenir box containing four season passes that will give us access to all of the fun for the duration of the fair.  and so when they open on friday we'll head down there to check out the shopping, the super-bad-for-you grub and of course...see if i managed to place in the cookie competition. 

the theme for this year's fair is "fair goes POP," putting a spotlight on pop culture and local landmarks and businesses.  i decided to put my own twist on the theme and indulged the bean with these BT21 cookies:

if you didn't know, BT21 is the collection of animated characters created by the members of - you guessed it - the bean's beloved k-pop supergroup BTS.  there are a total of 8 characters, but the competition requires only 6 cookies to be turned in.  so i picked the ones i felt most comfortable duplicating in cookie form and made a couple of each.  i had the bean choose the best ones to turn in, and i think they get judged today.  i'm still pulling for 4th so i can have one of those pretty pink ribbons.  heh. 

cross your fingers!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

dog days of summer

i didn't think i'd turn into one of those crazy "dog mom" kinda people. 

wait.  it's me.  of course that was going to happen.  come on now.

i mean, i take a ton of pictures of stevie and he isn't even mine.  so yeah, i look at my camera roll and it's pretty damn full of dog photos now between him, cocoa and teddy.  heh.

but how can i not capture sweet shots like this?

we got the chance to dogsit stevie for a weekend, and it was fun watching him interact with the puppies.  i'm still not sure he's happy about having them around after being top dog for a few months, but hopefully he's amused by them at the very least.  during his visit, we got to take all three to the vet for their vaccination clinic and having all of them on a leash was...interesting.

in the car, i took charge of stevie while the hub handled the two little ones. 

the excitement (and the shots themselves) kind of knocked them all out for awhile that afternoon.

but then they were right back to playing again after naptime was over.  poor stevie...the little ones love to take whatever he's playing with or chewing on.  he totally looks like he's asking for help here.

he's such a sweet, handsome boy.

the puppies love to pounce on the hub, especially when he's trying to take a nap on the couch.

and i'm forever chasing them out of the fresh bark that our gardeners put on the ground last week.  ugh.

the bean took them both into the pool for a dip, and then i got to cuddle them as they dried off in warm towels afterwards.

teddy was feeling particularly cuddly here, and the hub grabbed my phone to capture the moment.

we took cocoa for her first full grooming appointment yesterday, and after her haircut and bath she looks so pretty.

teddy got a bath too.

doggy kisses.  they're the best.

we noticed this morning that teddy is definitely starting to overtake his sister.  his legs are starting to stretch out and he's getting taller, so the days of watching them run around together like one big fluffball are probably numbered.  bummer.  and i'm on the hunt for a good training instructor that'll come to the house so we can get some help teaching them how to listen to basic commands.  we never did that with molly and i really don't want to have to chase them down the street in terror should they happen to dart out of the house unleashed.

i'm getting too old for that.  i'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Monday, August 26, 2019

heading up to the mountains

we decided on a whim one weekend to head up to big bear for the weekend.  the hub managed to find a cabin that was available for one night that had three bedrooms and was dog friendly, and so we coordinated with the old lady and her special friend and packed a bag.

i say "packed a bag" like it was that easy...because packing for the puppies took longer than anything else.  heh.  we had to make sure there was a pen of some sort, food, leashes, beds, toys...it's seriously like having new babies.  sheesh.  anyway, we finally got our shit together and packed up in the truck and then off we were.  i'd bought a waterproof hammock-style seat cover for the dogs - you know, in case of any potty accidents - and after we figured out how to get it set up so that there was still room for the bean to sit back there we were finally on the road.

of course, they didn't want to sit on their side of the back seat.  instead, they made their way over to the bean (who was more than happy to cuddle them the whole way anyway).

because we couldn't check into the cabin until 4pm anyway, the hub made a pitstop once we got up the mountain to do a little reminiscing.  he'd gone to this boy scout camp every summer when he was a kid, and he was pretty crestfallen to find that it didn't seem to be in operation anymore.  it made for a good potty break for the puppies, though.

 we stopped here too:

as we made our way towards the office to pick up cabin keys, we found a fun little dirt road to bounce along.  the bean and the puppies held on for dear life while the hub and i giggled like little kids in the front seat.

the cabin was rustic and pretty much what you'd expect for a rental up in the mountains.  it was just right for a quick little family getaway.

the old lady and co. arrived not long after that.  stevie wasn't sure how he felt about everything, but he was distracted by the puppies, who were thrilled to see their friend.  i'm not sure if he was as happy to see them, but he played with them anyway.

i must not have been in the mood to take pictures for the rest of the night, but we did have dinner at a mexican restaurant nearby.  we came back to the cabin to find the dogs getting along nicely and the guys went out onto the patio to smoke cigars and enjoy some adult beverages.  the rest of us conked out one by one and called it a night.

the next morning, i remembered to take pictures of the upstairs bedrooms.  the bean was being a moody tween and didn't want to get out of bed, so she ended up in the shot i took of her room.  heh.

she didn't even want to come to breakfast, so we left the dogs under her care and went without her.  yelp brought us here, for gigantic pancakes:

it was a really pretty day up there, with temperatures in the 70s.  perfect.

we piled everyone in the truck and went driving on more dirt roads, which was really fun.  it was so bouncy that i couldn't get any decent shots of anything, but there really wasn't much to see anyway.  you just kinda had to be there.

and then on our way home i realized i'd never gotten any shots of the lake.  everyone and their mother was out there in their boats, and some folks were even playing in the water.  it was warm, but not THAT warm.

maybe we'll head back up there in the wintertime, when there's snow to play in.  it'll be hilarious to watch the dogs' reactions to that.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...