Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012 AND Hello 2013!

Tonight is New Year's Eve, and I certainly have never been a big fan of this holiday.  As a school kid, college student, and now as a teacher, I have always come to associate the beginning and end of the year with the school term, so the holiday has never really impacted me that much.  If it is not full of glitz and glam, then it seems like something of a disappointment.  For all of you out there who feel the same way, do not worry because someone else (me!) shares your sentiments. 

On carefully reviewing my New Year's resolutions from last year, some did not come to fruition.  I started out strong reading three books per month, but that eventually tapered off with the rigors of student papers.  Although I remain diligent writing cards for all the big holidays (Christmas, Easter) and the small as well (Halloween, Valentine's Day), I did fall off in writing one "just because" card a month.  The yoga headstand, my prized resolution, simply never took off despite some really good intentions.  My main achievement was scoring a new job that I love.  Funny enough, the dog, subsequent blog, and the house were nowhere to be found on last year's list.  So, sometimes life just happens.

2012 was the Year of the Milt for Jeff and me, so here are some of our fondest Milton memories.  Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Momma bonding with "Drake," soon to be Milton, at the puppy pick

Daddy bringing the Milt home for the very first time

Milton making himself feel right at home

First bath

Potty training disaster

Making friends

Taking trips

Taking risks

Being naughty

Naughty again

Getting dirty

New friendships

And some more

Lotsa Doodles Calendar Mr. May

Mr. Frog

Daycare Days

Cone Head

Bed Head

Milton the Black-Nosed Reindeer

Some doods never learn

Momma's boy since April 7, 2012, and onward!

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Friday, December 28, 2012

A Dollop of Humor!

Equinophobia.  Has anyone ever heard of that before?  Translated from Latin it means "fear of horses," and our goldendoodle has it!  Jeff and I first discovered this fear when we visited the local White Rock Lake dog park, and we decided to take a walk on the trail encompassing the lake.  Everything was going as smoothly as can be expected, when walking the Milt, when all of a sudden a  black stallion trotted over the bridge.  The horse was massive and astride the horse was a very tall, thin man also decked out in all black complete with a cowboy hat.  The thundering of the horse's hooves scared Milton to death.  He immediately began raucously barking and cowering with his tail between his legs.  He was very, very frightened by this "Big Dog."  It was awfully difficult to coax him back into walking mode, so home we went. 

Reminiscent of the brand I wore in middle school

Well, I thought we would not see a horse again for a long, long time except I did not factor in that we live near the Highland Park neighborhood.  During the holidays, this lavish neighborhood is resplendent with horse and carriage rides to view the overabundance of fantastic, and pricey, Christmas lights.  Last week, nearing the end of the Katy Trail, Milton and I ran into a dilemma as he watched a horse and carriage traverse the cross walk up ahead.  After that Milton refused, absolutely refused to walk in that direction.  I actually pulled his collar off twice trying to get him to move.  So, we backtracked, and I tried to take him through a restaurant and shop parking lot area to take him to the car.  Once again, Milton dug in his heels, and this time he refused to move even an inch in spite of all my cajoling and begging.  At times I hugged him to calm his frayed nerves, and at other times I dragged him scolding all the while. 

How did we finally get home?  Milton parked himself, quite literally, next to a parked car and refused to move just as the owners, a very lovely couple, walked up.  I quite awkwardly asked them if they would hold his leash while I ran and got the car.  They agreed but first, very politely, asked what his name was!  I was off like a shot and back within minutes to collect my troublesome little boy.  The couple was extremely gracious and insisted that he was no trouble at all.  The Milt shook for a little bit in the car but soon settled down.  Thank goodness the holidays are now officially over, and the carriage rides will finally cease.  Milton might have been born out in rural Oklahoma, complete with "Big Dogs," but he is now a Dallas city boy through and through.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Officially Demoted from the Nice List

During the month of December, Milton was trying really, really hard to be on the "Nice" list for Santa.  Jeff and I thought he was giving it some valiant effort which is why we bundled up all his Christmas presents, along with his stocking, and sent him off to his grandparents' house.  We did not anticipate any problems.  Yesterday we received a report that Milton has been quite obstinate - tugging on his walks, refusing to walk, and insistently pestering people to play tug-of-war.  I just want to remind Milton of this little picture that we took a week prior to Christmas.

Santa and the Milt

Our goldendoodle might not realize this, but Santa Claus has already begun watching for Christmas 2013.  Milt needs to stay on his best behavior all year long and not just ramp it up after Thanksgiving.  Likewise, if you can tell from this photograph,  Santa and Milton are not the bestest of buddies.  After I hauled Milton up into Santa's lap, Milt tried to crawl off over Santa's shoulder, subsequently yanking down Santa's beard and glasses, which was traumatizing for all the other young puppies waiting to sit on the big man's lap.  That's why his Momma, in her sweatpants, is in the picture holding him and half of Santa's head is cut off. 

As we all know, a lot of a dog's "problems" stem from his owners.  Since we are approaching 2013 and leaving 2012 behind us, one big New Year's resolution looming over us is:  Train Milton!  Hopefully that resolution will be accomplished in 2013 and will not be shifted over into 2014 like a few others of mine will be...!  Our boy needs us, so we must rise to the occasion.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Hi All!  I know this post is a day late, but I doubt many people were trolling my blog on Christmas day...!  Momeaux and Jeremy (Jeff's mom and brother) have been inundating us with shots of the Milt from Louisiana.  They know how important it is for us to stay current with his happenings.  Here's the happy Milt busy on Christmas morning.

Chewing away

What a big bone from Santa (Momma and Daddy!).  Milt couldn't even be bothered to look in the camera.  By day's end, half of that bone was eaten, and I doubt it will be traveling home with him to Texas.  Despite our little family's separation, I think we all, respectively, had quite the day.  I hope all of you had a beautiful holiday as well!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

Milton's Louisiana vacation is off with a bang in a big way! 

Oh Milt dog...

Our doodle certainly has a penchant for eyeglasses.   Milt also ate a plate of sausage off his grandparents' kitchen table.  No one saw him do it, but suspicions are high.  Thank goodness we have family taking care of our boy.  Forgive and forget.  Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

To Grandmother's House We Go!

Unfortunately, the Milt will not be spending Christmas with his Momma and Daddy.  Little does he know, but on Friday morning we are shipping him off to his Grandmother's house in Louisiana!  Although I am feeling the separation anxiety, I think little Milton will be absolutely thrilled!  Of course, I am sending along his Christmas presents.

Special presents for a special boy

He certainly needs his stocking for those presents.

A lovely gift from my sister-in-law, Corey

Since Milton will be joining Jeff's parents, Momeaux and Pop, for about a solid week, a big thanks is needed!

A dog themed present for Jeff's parents

Jeff's three-year-old niece will be helping in the dog sitting process, so a "Care Chart" was made by Uncle Jeff for her.

Stickers to keep track

Obviously, the little girl needed a thank you gift too!

Cute thank you cards (Shutterfly) gifted to me for Christmas by my friend, Emily

Although Christmas without our Milt is unimaginable, we will see him in the New Year, and he certainly made our 2012 the best year yet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cards Galore!

December has been full of anticipation as Milton and I eagerly await all of our doodle holiday cards arriving in the mail!  So far in our doodle card exchange, we have received 36 cards out of the 49 total we are due to expect.  Cards have arrived from across the United States - Alabama, California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and many more; we are creating a doodle network!  The cards are cute and interesting because oftentimes the proud owners will state their doodle's or doodles' type and age, just like any other member of the family.  Here is a quick glimpse of our collection:

A worthy use of our new wine rack

Granted not all of the above cards are solely doodle cards, but it does make for a rather nice display.  I feel like my circle of friends has greatly expanded...!  Initially I was quite happy with Milton's card that we developed at Costco, but the below cards are some of my favorite too!

A big fellow!

This dog reminds me SO much of Milton - size, curls, goofiness!

Two doods from New Orleans

Lindsay and Leo - our local friends!

That is certainly a beautiful collar/wreath that dood is wearing!

So far this year "Mr. Milton" has received more cards than Jeff and I combined!  All of these doodle cards make me feel less crazed for sending out a picture of our dog for Christmas.  Although, I still argue that he is the best sole representation of our family!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

Our little doodle family is officially moved in!  It is hard to believe but after weeks of packing, painting, and about eight solid hours of moving on Saturday, we are here.  The house is beginning to come together, especially now that our furniture has arrived, but we still have a laundry list of items to tackle - paint three more rooms, fix the fence and gate, paint the trim outside (not in the too near future!), and so on and so forth.  Regardless, it feels very good to be "home" for the Christmas season.

All of the men who helped in the move - Leroy, Jeff, and of course the Milt

I know what you are all thinking...  Did Milton get to ride in the 17-ft. U-Haul?  Sadly, no.  We opted not to buy the insurance, and Milt can be a bit distracting on the road at times, so he only got to watch the hours of packing and unpacking.  That was not quite as much fun but still provided some amount of viewing pleasure!  Welcome home, Milt.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Finery!

The day after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas season officially kicks off, Milton likes to begin sporting his festive holiday attire, and since the Milt is a dog (I hate to admit it!) that means his Christmas collar! 

Fancy, huh?

Milton has been strutting around pretty proud of himself and getting lots of compliments on his flashy candy cane collar!  He likes to look good, especially since Momma and Daddy don't take him to a groomer...  This particular collar was handcrafted by the talented Julie at MiboCollars.  Julie is one of my "Internet friends," as Jeff likes to call them, who I met through Doodle Kisses, and she is the proud mama of two doods - Boomer and Milo.  MiboCollars offers a wide selection of fun holiday and everyday prints too!  This collar was actually a steal at only $14; Milton has decimated his other collar playing rough and tumble at daycare...  Since I am a big fan of holiday decorations, especially window clings, I plan to decorate the Milt all year long from now on!  Here is a close up:

Visions of sugar plums dance in his head.

Don't mind the blue paint - Milt was just helping out around the house yesterday...

If you feel the strong urge, like I do, to adorn your pup as well (it's fun!), check out Julie's shop at:

If you haven't bought that special four-legged pal a Christmas present yet, here is your chance!  Julie might even include tasty pumpkin milk bones with your order, as she did for me.  Since we are all set on Christmas, the next holiday on my list is Valentine's Day.  I think the Milt can easily pull off some pink hearts, although Jeff might protest a bit.  Oh well... Milt is a Momma's boy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As Dull as Watching Paint Dry, Literally...

All my life has been lately is paint/grade, paint/grade, paint a LOT, and grade some MORE!  This old house is an awful lot of work.  It seems to have come at a bad time when I have endless stacks of multiples of 94 papers in the crush of work prior to Christmas vacation.  It hasn't even felt like Christmas around here because Jeff and I have been working so hard.  We have not dabbled in the traditional Elf viewing or seasonal shopping outings.  We have been moonlighting as painters in the evenings and the weekends, often staying at the house until 2 A.M. on Friday and Saturday nights!

Milt likes to lie on our drop clothes and chew what he can find.

What's the rush?  Our apartment lease is up January 7th, and we have very few weekends to accomplish everything especially with travels to both Louisiana (to drop the Milt with his grandparents and later pick up), as well as New York to visit my family.  We feel the pressure.

Milton likes to take his rightful spot in front of the fireplace

For our color scheme, (as I like to explain it), we are going with sun (yellow) all throughout the house, sky (bright blue) in our bed and bath, and grass (mint green) in the guest bed and bath.  Picking the exact shade of paint that I had envisioned was more difficult than I would have ever thought.  The yellow is too pale and the blue is too bright, and hopefully when I pick the mint it will be just right.  After a few weeks though, I am certain the walls will just fade into the background.

A temporary declaration of love in the kitchen

Painting is not cut and dry in our household.  Jeff is absolutely fastidious with the details.  Here are the steps of painting for us per room, and we are painting 10 rooms total!:  spackle all the cracks, texturize the cracks, sand the cracks, tape the important parts, edge around the important parts, roller the walls, return for edge touch ups, return for roller touch ups, sweep, scour floor for drips and clean.  When I think I'm almost done, I'm not because Jeff the Taskmaster creeps in and spots something that needs a little more work...  Oh, joy.

The outside looking in

While we paint, the Milt can be in the room if we are prepping or working up high, but when the rollers come out, the Milt is banished to the outside which he is not too fond of.  To think that this doodle now has his very own yard, and all he wants to do is scurry back inside with his Momma and Daddy.  At least he gets to bark  at the neighbors a bit while he's out there, so it could be worse...!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

Some of you may recall last week's post of Milton's new found freedom of sleeping outside of his "cage" throughout the night.

Daddy really, really liked this pair.

After this late night/early morning incident in the dark, Milton's privilege has been rebuked.  What a doodle...

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Dollop of Humor!

Recently we have been allowing Milt to sleep in the free wild outside of his cage.  Thus far, it has worked out pretty well.  Each evening, on my side of the bed, I place all the bed throw pillows which encourages Milton to sleep right by my side, of course, where he belongs.  He remains there for the majority of the night, unless he is a bit hot or restless and will wander somewhere else in the room.  There is also the occasion when Jeff gets annoyed by Milton's travels, and he pens him back up.

Milt's bed

The other evening I woke up in the middle of the night, and when I looked down, Milt was not by my side.  I checked under the bed, by Jeff, and in front of the door but no luck.  I'm easily alarmed, so I ran down the stairs and started calling out, "Milt! Milton!".  All of a sudden, I heard the pitter patter of my doodle's feet, and I looked up to see him staring down at me like, "Whaaaat, Momma?"

As I stumbled back upstairs, I was dumbfounded over where Milt had been hiding.  As I gave my doodle, a couple of good pats before crawling back into bed, I noticed that his belly was a little bit wet.  Our Milton had been sleeping in the bathtub.  Oh my doodle...!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Gingerbread House for Christmas!

Jeff and I finally bit the bullet, and we bought a YARD for the Milt!  Ok, we bought a house...!  As the post title alludes, why is it a gingerbread house?  Well, take a look for yourself.

Do you see the resemblance?

This is why one of the first things I have done in my early attempts to decorate is place my telltale holiday window clings smack in the middle of our kitchen window overlooking the sink.

It is a perfect match!

We finally decided on this house after many, many months of searching.  Jeff and I chose this charming home for a number of reasons.  First, the house is located in a very central area in the heart of Dallas.  It is still close to both of our jobs, Milt's daycare, and my yoga studio.  Second, I really wanted a period home with engrained character rather than something crisp and modern, although new can be nice too.  I just tend to always be a bit old-fashioned, and I like to drag Jeff along on my whims!  The Milt needed a yard, and this home just so happened to have one!  The last, and probably most important point, is the price was right!  The house should retain value, and despite having an endless laundry list of to-dos, we think we can make it beautiful and ours.

A close-up of Momma and Milton

Milton is proud of his new home.

I do hope Milton realizes that this house is his Christmas present!  It is certainly ours too.