Category: Uncategorized

Dealing with the death of a dog

In January, we lost our dog of almost 14 years.

I think it’s something a lot of people are currently/ will have to deal with soon.

It’s like when we were all in our 20s we got these dogs and now…it’s their time.

They’ve seen us through our weddings and pregnancies.

They’ve been there when our babies took their first steps.

Their muzzles have slowly gotten grayer.

It’s hard.

It’s one of the hardest things to have to do.

Facebook memories will suck.

So will TimeHop.

You will worry about your other dog (if you have one)

You will look for new puppies

You will swear you’ll never have another dog

You will cry more than you did for a relative. That’s normal.

When the time comes:

Spoil them. We had picked a day when it would happen so we knew in advance, but sometimes that’s not possible. We gave him eggs and bacon for breakfast, peanut butter, doggie ice cream, a new duck and tennis ball. You know your dog best. Give them the things you always said they couldn’t have. Take them on a car ride if they are still able. Let them up on the couch. On the bed. Cuddle with them. Let them eat a cheeseburger.

Be there. When the time comes, don’t leave your dog alone in a vet’s office. They have been there for you their entire lives, be there for them when they need you. Tell them it’s ok. Tell them you love them. Tell them to wait for you on the Rainbow Bridge.

Cremation services. There are companies who will lovingly come and take your pet from your home and cremate them for you. The two men who came to pick up ours were gentle with us. I will forever be grateful for how they treated not only us, but him as well. They’ve been through it so they knew how hard it was to say goodbye. We chose a beautiful rock to have his ashes placed in with an engraving. They will take a paw print and fur for you to keep as well.

Telling the kids. We told our children that our dog was old and was going to die. We chose not to keep it from them or hide it from them. We feel death is a natural part of life, especially growing up on our little farm out here. It was awful. We all cried together. But they understood. They helped us spoil him over the next few days. They were not present for the actual euthanasia. Now, each of them keeps a picture of them and Kobi in their rooms. We read books (I highly recommend Jasper’s Day) about death, specifically the death of a dog.

Ways to remember:

I created a memory box with his collar, leash, toys, fur, pictures and more. Anytime I needed to, I looked through the box. The kids have also gone through it when they have needed to. They have also drawn pictures for him and added them to the box.

It took me a while to actually be able to do it, but I did eventually make a scrapbook for him as well.

Jewelry. A friend of mine bought me a bracelet from, it has a heart and paw print as well as 22 white beads, symbolizing the 22 shelter dogs it helps to feed. I also ordered this necklace from Amazon for myself and a friend, when she lost her dog.

Tattoo. I’ve researched paw print tattoos, but haven’t actually pulled the trigger on getting one. But they are a lovely way to remember your pet forever.

Rock garden and/or garden stone. I ordered this one from Amazon for our garden.

Whatever you do, remember everyone grieves differently and let yourself, your spouse and your children to go through the process in their own way.

This is Six

This is six 

The age of Barbie’s and horses 

First sleepovers 

Girl Scouts 


This is the age of Nail polish and hair bows 

First diaries 

Non-cartoon movies and tv shows 

Staying up late 

Riding the big kid rides 

Playing school 

Six is sequins and sneakers 

It’s still pigtails but also makeup 

It’s magical 

It’s new friends 

It’s bikes with no training wheels 

It’s still singing and dancing like no ones watching 

But it’s the first, Mom 🙄🙄 I’m too old or big for that 

It’s homework and computers but still juice boxes and packed lunches.

It’s reading and writing.

It’s the sweet spot. The middle. It’s special. 

This is six.


The day I miscarried

Will be a day I will never forget

I will always remember

What it felt like

To feel a life leave me, my body

It was a Monday morning in December

I was at a staff meeting, taking notes

I started to feel flush

I ran to the bathroom to throw up

And of course everyone thought I was pregnant

Morning sickness

Little did they know…

I felt weak

I unzipped my boots because I felt so hot

I had them call my husband to pick me up because I couldn’t drive home

And he already knew…

We both did

We had already started calling each other Mommy and Daddy 

We had gone to a Christmas party and I hadn’t drank, telling people I was the Designated Driver 

Then I got the phone call 

At work 

The tone in her voice was different. 

I knew what she was going to say before she said it 

That my HCG levels were dropping instead of rising

I apologized profusely to my husband 

I swore this was my fault. Something I did 

We had been trying for two years…

3 IUIs….

And had finally gotten pregnant on our own

Only to lose it again

Here’s what they don’t tell you:

It’s not just one day

You don’t just cry in the shower and it’s over

My body went through this process for nearly a month…

All while we attended Hanukkah and Christmas with our families…

who had no idea

we went to parties

We went on a cruise

As my womb was failing me

We faked smiles

Only to come home and cry


How running helps me be a better mom

It’s my alone time. My me time.

My sanctuary. My therapy.

When I can think without being interrupted. Or not think at all.

It’s when I feel most myself.

I’ve laughed on runs. I’ve cried.

I’ve picked up leaves or acorns for my kids.

I’ve thought about my grandfather who passed when I was 15. I felt like he was running with me. Like he would be proud of me.

It’s when I get to take care of me. So I can be healthier. And live longer.

It’s when I get to be in nature. See the animals.


It’s when I get to listen to what I want.

And the endorphins. Runners high is no joke.

I’m calmer after a run, especially with my kids.

Running makes me a better mom.

A better person.

A better me.

Raising Monarchs: Our Family’s Adventure

I’ve always loved butterflies and teaching the girls the life cycle of a butterfly was seriously on like my top 10 reasons for homeschooling.

There are a million books, crafts and snacks having to do with the life cycle.

But actually watching one grow- that’s a little harder. Like A LOT harder than I thought it would be.

I was all, sure, let’s bring in some caterpillar eggs! Until NONE of them turned into a butterfly….cue new talk on death instead of a beautiful butterfly.

I bought milkweed plants from my local Lowe’s/ Home Depot and one more from my produce stand (which already had one caterpillar on it!)

I bought a mesh container for housing from Amazon, but for my first cats (butterfly lady speak for caterpillars), I used clear plastic cups from iced coffees, etc. and poked lots of holes in the top.

I have only collected (so far) much larger cats- they call them instars- 4th or 5th instars. They seem to be hardier.

I bring them in and put 2-3 milkweed leaves in with them to eat. Once they go through those, I clean out the frass (caterpillar poop) and give them new leaves.

Once they go into chrysalis (DON’T call it a cocoon!), ours eclosed right around 14 days.

After they came out, I waited 24 hours to release to make sure their wings were dry.

OH- and then there’s making sure the milkweed doesn’t get TAKEN OVER by aphids, aka disgusting yellow bugs that eat caterpillar eggs!

I’ve squished them (blech), sprayed the with water, insecticidal soap and in extreme cases (but also the most effective and quickest way), Sevin Dust. I’ve made sure there aren’t any cats on the plants when I use the Sevin.

I’ve also joined Facebook groups, where people have MUCH more experience than me and have been extremely helpful!

Strawberry Festival

It’s March here in Florida, which, for most people means Spring Break.

For us here in Plant City, it means strawberry season.

And strawberry season means The Strawberry Festival!

It’s kind of a big deal.


People wear rhinestoned strawberry shirts. Kids get dressed up in strawberry dresses and headbands. There’s a court and a Queen.

And the debate on whether you should put a biscuit or shortcake underneath your Strawberry Shortcake? It can get ugly. (BTW, shortcake ALL. THE. WAY. over here)

Before we had kids, we avoided it like the plague.

Tourist attraction.



Three of my husband’s least favorite things.

The first year I took Emma by myself since Eric was out of town for work. We watched her older cousin dance. And she wore these adorable pajamas:



Emma 2013

The next year, Addie was a baby so baby carrier all the way. Plus, I had to get “matching” pictures of both girls in their strawberry jammies.



Addie 2014


Ferris Wheel ride= sun right in the face of the baby. #parentingwin


The next year, my parents joined us. Addie had just turned a year old and demanded to try some of my “Memomade” aka lemonade. I told her she would hate it, it was bitter and let her try it. Little shit drank the whole thing.  And is STILL obsessed with “Memomade.”




This year, I met my mom and her friend there, we HAD to get a lemonade and ride the ferris wheel, but I also got this adorable side-by-side picture of my girls.


What a difference a year makes.


In Plant City, we do strawberries. And we do them well.

Can’t wait for next year!