Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bullets, because that's easiest

* Quincy's gone to her new home. We took her to my inlaws last Thursday. (Have I mentioned that they live an hour away?). When we left she didn't follow us to the door like she normally would. It was like she knew she was staying.

* My MIL has been sending me regular email updates on Quincy. Everyone is doing great! She commented on how well behaved Quincy is, which is a compliment to me. They are getting out and taking her all kinds of places. She's met the neighbors and neighbor's dogs and she played nice with them. She's fallen into a little routine already too. It makes me feel so good to know that it's going this well already.

* Ruby fell off my bed on Saturday. My bed is the only place that Ruby has really good long naps. I laid her down on Saturday when she was super fussy and blockaded her in with pillows. I watched her until she nodded off and then I left the room. About 2 minutes later I heard a THUMP. And then screaming. I rushed in with my heart in my throat to find her on the floor with a huge goose egg on her forehead. She's fine but it did a number on both of us. She wasn't herself all day, and neither was I.

* After Steve got off work on Saturday we drove 3 hours to meet up with my BIL and his girlfriend, to camp... Fuck, why do I do this to myself? Camping with a bunch of people who have never had kids, who drink too much, and me with my 7.5 month old baby - is just NOT FUN for me! It's not relaxing, it's not enjoyable. I can't (nor do I want to) drink like they do - especially while caring for Ruby (who happened to be cranky). I am always on guard and tense about everything going on around me. I worry about Ruby and keeping her safe and comfortable and not cranky. And then of course I seem like a wet blanket. It really and truly sucks ass. After this last trip I vow to never pretend to want to do it again in the name of trying to be a "fun" person - I'm fun enough in other areas of life, catch me in one of my other departments.

* And wouldn't you know it, Ruby cut her first tooth while we were camping. I'm happy that one finally came through (she's been cranky and suffering the past month or more), but what bad timing for it to happen on the camping trip. Gaaaahhhhd!

* We are currently in a major heat wave with no end in sight. I don't do well with the heat. It's so gross and I just feel disgusting and miserable. Ruby seems to take after me in this department as she's SUPER cranky and whiny. Or is that from the teething? Or is it a combo? She's been wearing nothing but a diaper since we got home from camping but still she's always soaking wet from sweat and she's developing a heat rash. The only room in our house that has A/C is our bedroom so I try to spend a bunch of time with her in there every day to try to keep cool. But there's only so much to do in a 12x14 room. Lord help us.

* Here's a picture of Ruby fishing with her Dad on our camping trip... I got a few good pictures so I guess it couldn't have been all bad:

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Perhaps if I was a better person/mother/dog trainer I would not be in the situation that I am currently in. I cannot spread myself in all directions. I cannot supervise every situation. I cannot oversee everything. Bravo to those of you who can do those sort of things.

I know that I would never feel entirely comfortable with Quincy around Ruby or other children. Say what you will about supervision and prevention and teaching young children about dogs but the fact of the matter is that it would take all of TWO SECONDS for Ruby to reach out and grab Quincy's ear as Quincy walked by, and then I would have a very bad situation on my hands. And I cannot keep the two separated until Ruby is old enough to understand.

And euthanization is a bullshit answer to this.

We all have our limits. Dogs. Babies. Mommies. I know mine. And I am doing the best that I can given this fucking terrible situation.

I know (and love) my dog. She is a member of my family. I have had her since she was 7 weeks old. Today is her 8th birthday.

Today she is leaving to go live with someone else.

Today my heart is broken.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best Case Scenario?

Firstly can I just say thank you to everyone (except one mean person) who left a comment with so much understanding and support on my last post?
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I think that might break a record for number of comments on this little blog of mine, and it made me feel so supported during a really rough time. Thanks to the LFCA for mentioning me and my situation and sending support my way. It truly, truly means so much.

The last few days have been really hard. Steve and I started to not see eye to eye on this. Suddenly he became desperate to keep Quincy and wanted to find a way to make it work. He came up with all sorts of "solutions" such as "keep Quincy and Ruby separated at all times" and "let Quincy stay at someone's house until Ruby is safe with her". Neither of those are feasible answers to our problem and I could see that, but he was desperate. He loves the dog - as do I, very much - and he doesn't like doing anything difficult. He also started to blame Cadence for what happened - that she was teasing Quincy (she wasn't). He knows that's not right but again, he was desperate.

So it started to put a wedge between us. We started to fight. Things were getting ugly. And I felt absolutely rotten about the position I was suddenly in. I was the bad guy, all around.

I contacted a few rescue organizations and started the paperwork to surrender Quincy to our local Boston Terrier Rescue organization. I looked into training and rehabilitation (although I found this an unlikely solution, I still tried).

And then we got a call from Steve's parents today. They said they would take her.

Steve was so overjoyed that he broke down. He is so happy that they can take her and we will still be able to see her. His parents are retired and there are no other dogs or children in their lives. They have a big house and a big yard. When they come here to visit they will leave her at home, and when we go there she can have the run of the basement or back yard. It's as good of a situation as I could hope for.

Of course there are a few issues that I have with the situation... Like, they will let her do WHATEVER SHE WANTS. They will feed her table scraps. They will let her bark incessantly if she so desires. They will let her RUN THEIR HOUSE. I have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into training Quincy over the years and I feel like all that work is going to be undone and she is going to get completely out of control under their care.

Then what?

I know that this could also happen if she went to a stranger's house and I just wouldn't know about it. I also know that there is nothing I can do about it and I need to just hand over the leash and let whatever may happen, happen. And I plan on doing just that. I just really love Quincy and hate to see it come to this.

I knew they were considering it yesterday and so I sent them an email to say that they shouldn't do it only if they felt they HAD to. I advised that she does have some bad habits, that she does have a few health problems (bad ears) and that she eats expensive dog food that can only be purchased at the vet. I also mentioned that I do not want to be made to feel guilty every time she has to go to the vet or if she chews or scratches something they own.

There was no reply to the email. And then the call today saying they'd take her.

Alas, in this shitty situation it's the best I can do.
The dog has a home - a loving home, yes.
We can still visit her.
I don't have to get a divorce.

Everything else I will have to deal with internally.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Man's best friend?

Boston Terriers are supposed to be great with kids. We've had our Quincy for 8 years (her birthday is on Thursday) and every time we are out with her, someone stops us and says "OH! We had one of those when we were kids! They're such great family dogs. Love kids!" or some variety of that. So we were so excited that if ever we had kids, Quincy would be the perfect dog.

While I was pregnant, Quincy suddenly didn't want much to do with me anymore. Where she usually cuddled with me on the couch, she'd now go to Steve and stay away from me.

And when Ruby was born, Quincy wanted NOTHING to do with her. Making a wide birth around anyone who was holding her.

I figured it would change. I thought her nose was just out of joint and she'd get used to Ruby and they'd become buddies. Ruby is absolutely in LOVE with Quincy. She thinks Quincy is hilarious and laughs every time Quincy walks by. Quincy can barely stand to be in the same room as the baby.

And then yesterday we were all at my parents house for my brother's birthday dinner. He had his 2 step-kids there. We were finished dinner and his little girl Cadence (who is 3) was outside playing, when we suddenly heard the most vicious snarl/snap and then high pitched screaming.

Quincy had bit Cadence. In the face. Cadence's face was bleeding. Quincy left teeth marks and a nasty bruise and swelling. Right beside her mouth. Poor little Cadence. I felt sooo bad about it. It made me sick. Literally sick to my stomach.

I am in love with my pooch but I cannot have a dog who cannot be trusted around kids. Kids are going to be running and playing and petting the dog and she cannot be biting them in the face - or anywhere else for that matter.

This is the second time Quincy has bitten a child. A few years ago at a BBQ, a little girl was mauling Quincy and she bit her in the arm. Left a mark. I felt sorry for Quincy at the time because she didn't want to be carried around like a dolly. But this time was worse, more vicious and in the face. And regardless of the situation - the fact of the matter is that this was the SECOND time my dog has bit a kid.

What happens when Ruby starts crawling and she perhaps grabs Quincy's ear? She thinks Quincy is pretty cool and wants to touch her any chance she gets. What happens if Quincy doesn't like that and bites my baby in the face? Or what if she does it to a stranger's child? Or another friend's child? It could be very bad.

I cannot take that chance.

I am broken hearted but I have to find a new home for my fur baby. I've had Quincy for 8 years and I love her so much. This is very, very difficult for me. I know I will be looked down upon by certain people who who have pets. I had a friend tell me once, "I can't stand people who have pets and then when a baby comes along they get rid of their pet.". I guess that's me, but I don't feel like I have a choice.

I have sent out a few emails to close friends who are dog lovers and who might know of a good home for Quincy. I am also going to contact the Boston Terrier Club of Canada as they have a Boston Rescue organization and perhaps someone there will take her.

I am so sad about all of this. My heart is truly broken that I have to make such a decision. This is not how I wanted it to be. I wanted Ruby and Quincy to be together as buddies. I really thought it could happen! (Steve didn't. He's always been wary of Quincy around Ruby because of Quincy's strong alpha personality). I grew up around animals. Dogs and everything else (pigs, bunnies, sheep, horses, cows, etc.) and I think it made me a better person. I want that for Ruby, and while I know we live in the city (I grew up in the country) and can't have all kinds of animals, I do want her to grow up with a dog at least. I think it is good for kids. It is something that is important to me. So it tears my heart out that I have to find a new home for the dog that I already have and have loved for the past 8 years.

I have so many emotions right now. I'm fairly sure this post didn't come out as I had hoped it would. I truly hate this situation. I had a super bad anxiety attack last night and can feel it creeping in on me again this morning. I've been crying off and on for 14 hours now. I feel like a complete jerk too. I feel bad that my dog bit a 3 year old girl in the face, hard enough so that it bled, swelled and bruised instantaneiously. I feel bad that I couldn't have trained Quincy to be better around children.

I feel bad that I have to get rid of the dog who snuggled and loved me when my heart hurt so badly after my failed IVF and when I thought I couldn't have children.

Now I have a child and the dog has to leave.

Somehow this my fault. I have somehow gone about things the wrong way.

Friday, July 10, 2009


After a small disagreement last night...

Steve: Are you gonna go and blog about our argument now?

Tara: Do you have $110??

Steve: What!? No! What for?

Tara: For a therapy session with my counselor.

Steve: No, I don't.

Tara: Then yes, I will be blogging about our argument.

...of course now I don't remember what the disagreement was even about (which means it was unimportant) and I think I've aired out the dirty laundry enough lately anyways.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Three beautiful words

Last night turned out to be the "Battle Royale" here at my house. I couldn't take it any longer. I needed to get this shit settled and figure out what needs to be done for some improvements to happen. I refuse to be continually disregarded and disrespected.

Things got fairly ugly before they started to get better but they did eventually get better. I think the clincher (which I must say I am mighty proud of) was when we were laying in bed and Ruby was laying between us and he was telling me how beautiful she is and I said, "Remember how hard we worked to get her? How badly we wanted to have a family? Well don't you think that we should work a little harder at being a family and loving each other and respecting each other now that she's here? Shouldn't we act like the family that we always wanted to be and almost weren't?"

He said, yes.

Then after a little more talking he said the three words that I have been longing to hear. The three words that every woman wants her husband to say to her. I wish I had recorded him saying the three beautiful words so I could listen to their magic over and over again...

He said, "I was wrong."


It brings a tear to my eye. I will be hearing those words in my dreams.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


~ Notice the new blog look? That's kind of how I feel lately. Dark. Red. Kind of swirly. Kind of mad. Does the blog look mad? Dark red always indicates angry. I'm trying not to feel so resentful and angry lately. I'm working on it, I really am.

~ I started to write a post about how much I love my Ruby Tuesdays. Not the restaurant - the day of the week that Steve's weekend is over and he goes out the door and I get to hang out with Ruby in a nice quiet house and do my own thing without having to listen to any obnoxious sports channels and I can get caught up on housework without having someone in my way messing things up as I clean. But then I thought that I have aired enough dirty laundry lately and if I keep bitching about Steve you will soon all think he's a horrible man. He's not really. Right now we're just struggling to find our way with our new lifestyle - the parent lifestyle. One of us has adapted better than the other. He still thinks he can live life the way he was before, without making many concessions or doing any extra work.

Seriously stop, Tara.

~ Ok, just one more thing! We had an argument this morning. I have been jogging every morning before he goes to work. I am out of the house between 7am - 7:30am. He starts work at 8am. He works 10 minutes away. He complained this morning that my jogging *nearly* caused him to be late yesterday and maybe I should get up and go jogging earlier. He was just being pissy because he had to change a diaper AND feed the baby. He was "advised" that it is HIS JOB to care for Ruby in the mornings - that includes all duties. And that perhaps HE should get up earlier (while Ruby and I are still sleeping) and have his shower and get himself ready for the day before she gets up. That way he is ready to leave when I return from jogging. This is my ONLY thing that I get to do for myself and I'm not making any adjustments just so he can get to work early and sit in the coffee room and suck on a double-double, and gossip with his buddies for 20 minutes before he starts work. He agreed that him getting up earlier might be a good idea. Good for him.

Ok now I will stop with the bashing. For reals.

~ Ruby has completely and totally relapsed in the solids department. I had her eagerly eating solids twice a day and then I don't know what happened. But over the past week or two - it suddenly stopped. It's like she totally forgot how to eat. She has ZERO interest in it again. She'll be 7 months old on Monday and I can't get her to eat two tablespoons worth of rice cereal in a day. I try not to let it bother me, but it's really frustrating. I NEVER show my frustration in front of her though - it's always La La La - food is fun! We're all happy when we eat! La La La! The book I'm reading says just to keep trying little bits every day and to not force the issue. I will continue to do that.

~ Despite months of rigorous training, Ruby has NOT yet said "Mama" but instead she has started saying "DADA". Not sure where she heard this word, except maybe me cursing it under my breath.

~ I found a daycare for Ruby for when I return to work in December. As soon as I walked into the place I fell in love with the girl who runs it and I fell in love with the clean, organized and tidy manner the place was in. It felt good to be there and Ruby was happy. I did not get the same feeling from "Deliverance" Daycare that I visited, which had run over toys laying crushed in the driveway, filthy carpets and furniture, windows so thick with film you couldn't see through them, a vicious barking dog, and the lady who ran it just stood there staring at me with her wandering eye and buck teeth. She just said, "Yup. This is it."

Oh no, Carole. It's not.

~We are going to start "Babytime" tomorrow. Every Thursday for the month of July I will subject myself to songs, puppet plays, "action rhymes", and stories - all in the name of entertaining Ruby. (And also in the name of getting out of the house.) I am thinking of bringing along a flask of vodka to hide in my bra.

~ UFC fight this Saturday. I don't really care all that much for it except that it's entertainment and excuse for people to get together. We're invited to a friend's house to watch it. I usually bring Ruby to everything I go to in an effort to socialize her and get her used to different life events and situations . But I know it will be loud and there will be men yelling at a loud TV (not to mention blood spilling fights) and I just don't feel good about bringing her to that. So I will either stay home and have a quiet Ruby-Saturday, or my mom has offered to babysit so I can go. On the fence. I know I should get out at any opportunity that arises (because there aren't that many opportunities arising), but.... meh.... right now I just don't feel all that into it. Maybe by Saturday I will have changed my mind. Maybe not. There's definitely something to be said for a quiet Saturday night at home - although Steve wouldn't know much about that...

I know, I said I wouldn't. Sorry. I'll stop now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Can you feel that cold breeze?

I don't even know where to start.

We had a visit from my IL's last night. I dreaded it all day. I was quiet and withdrawn. Visits from them are not usually all that enjoyable for me - I always have my guard up, waiting for snide or snarky comments. And last night was no exception.

First there was a *comment made that my MIL has noticed quite a few pictures on Ruby's blog (I have a blog just for Ruby) that have beer bottles in them. Immediately the hair went up on my back but I didn't say anything because I wanted to look back on Ruby's blog to see if I was posting pictures of her with beer bottles in the background that I hadn't even noticed. I looked this morning and there was a camping trip back in MAY where you can see that people are indeed drinking beer. Namely, Steve's brother (not that it matters, we drink beer once in a while, it doesn't make us bad people). And there is one picture of when Steve, Ruby and I went on a little mini-vacation and she is on my lap and there is a glass of beer on the table. That's it. So why the comment? Why did she feel the need to say that?

The next thing was when I was trying to feed Ruby. We still struggle with the solids occasionally. Right now it's because Ruby thinks the spoon is a toy and she grabs it and wants to play with it instead of eat and it's hard for me to get food in her. So last night she was doing that while I was trying to feed her and my MIL said, "Tara, I really don't think she's hungry." Meanwhile, they're making faces at Ruby behind my back to make her laugh while I try to feed her. I am already struggling with feeding my baby, I don't need them to make it harder and then comment that suggests that I wouldn't know enough if Ruby was hungry or not. But she would know???

Later, my FIL asked, "What are these Negro books you are reading to Ruby??" Whaaaa? It took me a few minutes to figure out what the fuck he was talking about, but then it clicked: about TWO MONTHS AGO I **tweeted that I had read a page out of "The Book of Negroes" to Ruby. So I explained to him that that is MY book and I was just reading out loud to entertain her one day. My MIL says, "Is that a children's book???" When I told her that it isn't... she gave me the old "raised eyebrows" look. Oh fuck off already! And this was after I had already told them that I read to Ruby a CHILDREN'S BOOK every day. Just that one day, I read from my book... Gah! I shouldn't have to explain!

There was no recognition when we told them that I had taught Ruby to sign "milk". Ruby even did it when they were here - but they just ignored that. I don't think they really believed that that's what she was doing - even though after she signed "milk" I showed her a bottle and she got so excited she squealed and signed, "milk" "milk" "milk" over and over again until I fed it to her. They just ignored that little achievement.

By the time they left I was emotionally fucking spent.

So today, I brought up my feelings with Steve. Didn't go over very well. He is so protective of his mother it makes me want to punch his teeth out. He said, "That's my MOTHER!" Yeah, but what about me??? I'm his wife and the mother of his daughter, yet he thinks NOTHING of his mom treating me like that. He said, "She was just passing comment." YES! EXACTLY! And who is she to comment on anything?! I tried to tell him that when you work so hard to be a good mom and you try to do everything right for your baby - to the point of being emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of each day, it is very hurtful for someone to come into your home and start making comments suggesting that you're not doing things good enough, or not doing things right, or could be doing things differently or better... But it doesn't sink in.

And what's more frustrating is how difficult it is to get Steve to talk to me about any problems. He just goes quiet and won't engage with me. As I was talking he just started emptying the dishwasher and ignoring me. He did say that he knew this would happen because I act like this every time his parents come to visit. Because you know, it's my fault for feeling upset after being disrespected??? His "solution" was that this will never happen again because he won't invite them over again, and we will never go there again. Right. That's a great way to solve the problem. He will say ANYTHING to make an uncomfortable conversation stop.

Lift up carpet, and sweep....

Maybe it wouldn't have been AS big of a deal for me if it didn't happen EVERY time we see the IL's - maybe I've become overly sensitive about it. 9 years of someone "just passing comment" can make a person a little bit sensitive.

And maybe it wouldn't have been AS big of a deal if I still felt like Steve cared about me or my feelings - instead I feel like nothing more than hired help. There is no appreciation, and not much love directed at me lately. I feel really alone. I've been doing everything with Ruby lately. I do all things related to her - bottles, solid feedings, diapers, baths, naps, entertaining, reading, teaching etc, etc, etc. He does as little as he can get away with. Sure he loves her like crazy but he doesn't help me with her if he can get away with it. I feel really alone right now. I feel like I live with a roommate that I cook and clean for. And it breaks my heart. And it makes me really feel hurt and defensive and on my own when insult is added to injury and my inlaws visit and make ignorant comments about everything.

What can I do? He won't talk. He REFUSES any form of counseling. He ignores me half the time if he doesn't like what I'm saying. He won't discuss his parents behavior with them. I'm not even sure how he feels about it because he won't discuss it with me. Hell, I'm not even sure how he feels about ME.

Usually when this happens, if I don't just start acting happy and pretending nothing is wrong (sweep, sweep), it could go on for days. I am the only one who can fix anything and it's by acting like nothing ever happened. So basicly it's up to me on how long I want to suffer in a quiet and cold house.

*Imagine the comments "passed" in a strong, Northern England, British accent.

**My twitter feed has been promptly removed from my other blog since they read it and fucking obsess over it and "pass comment" a little too often. I'm pretty sure they don't know any other way of viewing Twitter feeds.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Short hair, Canada Day

Today I got my hair cut - short.

Also, today was Canada Day and Ruby celebrated: