Friday, December 21, 2012


So obviously my efforts to do better with this blogging business have epically failed and for that I apologize. Again and again. While I have many excuses I won't bore you with, one may be obvious due to the updated look of this blog and therefore is important to shed some light on.

After two and a half years, Team DeBoer came to the very difficult decision of relinquishing Sir Leo back to Basset Buddies Rescue. I want to emphasize that in both Shawn and I's 30 years of existence, neither one of us has ever given up a pet before, dog or otherwise, so this action did not come lightly or without immense contemplation, guilt and trepidation. In fact, to be completely honest, Shawn and I never actually agreed on relinquishing Leo, but my trustworthy husband put his faith in me to make the decision because I was the one having the hardest time.

To make a long story short, Leo wasn't as good of a fit for us as we had originally hoped. He was the first dog we've ever adopted and therefore we knew he might come with some excess baggage. However, we naively thought that with time, patience and love, we could turn his issues around and he'd become a happy and calm member of the family. While we made strides in many areas, we were never able to fully eliminate his anxiety, which quickly became the crux of the problem. You see, I deal with anxiety problems of my own; I have for years. While I'm no longer taking medication for it and I've made immense progress, it's still something I deal with on an hourly basis and basically, Leo and I were the human/hound equivalent of two wrongs not making a right. Neither one of us were as happy as we could be and that's when I started to question our situation.

Leonard is the type of basset that needs 200% attention. He is not independent. At all. While we thought the companionship of Norman would help with that fact, we were wrong. Leo's anxiety took over our interactions with him, so much so that we felt like we were always telling him no, pushing him away, listening to him whine (and by whine, I mean voluminously howl, moan and cry), or instructing him to give Maci space. Although we trusted him not to harm her, despite his previous record of biting a child, we did battle his interactions with her and I personally could never guarantee that nothing serious would ever happen (like I can whole-heartedly guarantee with Norman). Suffice it to say things were not ideal and by ideal I mean in comparison to Norman's demeanor. I know it's not fair to compare the two but it's what we had for reference.

I know how selfish this may sound, but it all came down to me questioning what Leo was adding to our lives versus what he was taking away. If he could be happier and receive more attention, love and affection elsewhere, would it really be fair of us to deny him that just because we were too stubborn to admit our mistake and therefore rescind on our commitment? If giving him back meant he would be happier and we would be happier, what else was reason enough not to do it? In all my questioning, I couldn't justify denying him (and us) the potential of better circumstances so although I wouldn't have control of where he ended up, I had complete faith in the people that would. Basset Buddies Rescue straight off said they know not every dog is a correct fit for every home and that sometimes it takes a few times to get it right so when I contacted them, they were more then willing to help us with our situation. They knew and understood and that was the ultimate relief to my ears.

Prior to officially saying good-bye to Leo, it was suggested by BBR that we start separating him and Norman for periods at a time to see how they each handled breaking the bond. They wanted to help us prevent any possible separation side effects. Our first attempt was unsuccessful merely because we made the mistake of letting Norman see us leave with Leo on a leash and to deny Norman a walk is like smearing peanut better on his nose and telling him not to lick it. After learning our lesson, the next several attempts went much more smoothly and the following Sunday, we officially said good-bye to Mister Leo. Tears were shed, last pets were given and hugs and kisses were included as we wished him well with his new adventure. I am 100% confident in BBR and their resources to help give Leo the best life possible. I cannot say enough about them as an organization. They made sure this whole process was successful because they care about the dogs they take on and want to see all parties involved happy.

Even though this was one of the hardest and most personal decisions I've ever made, I know some will still judge my decision as lazy and self-serving, but I'm okay with that because I feel I made the right one for my family and for Leo. With Cletus the Fetus coming in June, Team DeBoer isn't going to magically inherit more time, energy or patience so I feel we've headed off a potential storm at the start. Plus, deep down, I know simplification for me is best when it comes to my ability to flourish with my family. In regards to the basset that remains, Norman has been doing just fine. In fact, he's probably gotten more attention lately then he has in the past couple of years. Somehow he inherited an old soul that simply needs some food and a fireplace to be happy. I guess he, too, benefits from a little simplicity.

Update : I just heard from BBR. Leo is doing great at his new foster home and has already claimed the lap of his foster Dad. He's already one step better then our house … getting to sit on laps! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


That's right, Team DeBoer is expanding.

Cletus the Fetus the Sequel is due June 2nd, 2013 and is the real reason for all things procrastinated. I've been too tired to bathe let alone keep up with other meager details, such as this blog, so I apologize but at last you know why. There are no words to describe the exhaustion although hopefully, now that we're entering week 13, it will subside and energy will once again enter my bones. As with Maci Mae, our doctor was unable to find a heart beat with the fetal doppler so we got to have an early ultrasound again and got to see and meet our baby early again (note the Forrest Gump tone), this time however, with a little toddler in tow.

God bless gender neutral clothing, summer babies with teaching Daddies, a Mae Mo that is more fun then ever and currently obsessed with babies and a Mama who has an excuse to eat around the clock. Life is full and good and for that we are very thankful.

Monday, November 12, 2012


So I just remembered I have this here blog and after more then a month of existing under the radar, I was kindly reminded to get some shit posted. The best I could do for now? That's right, a photo montage. It's this photo montage, however, that's gonna explain why I haven't had time to blog. We've been busy dammit.

First off, there was the annual (obligatory) trip to Wisconsin for apples and cheese. We've been making this trek for as long as I can remember and recently I found the photo to prove it:

I'm on the left, showing a little midriff and Mandi's on the right, sporting the pink, HA!

Fast forward a couple decades:

The husband, the Mae Mo and me.

Next, Team DeBoer visited Axdahl's pumpkin farm for a tradition we started last year. Unlike last year, however, Maci Mae was much more mobile and interactive and was absolutely fascinated by the pumpkins, the animals, the people…

Toddler + bucket + pumpkins = cuteness.

A little Michael Jordan action.

Someone's adorable hiney climbing the barn steps.

Said hiney, full of hay.

Improving on my goal to be in more photos…

Someone took our baby (2011)…

…and gave us this toddler (2012)!

Pick a punkin, any punkin…

"We're getting the special one, Dad."

Toothless, evil laughter.


This ones already up in the house.

That's right, that's my husband. Hands off ladies.

Maci was SO over pumpkins (and pictures) by the time we wheeled away our bounty.

Finally, there was Halloween. Unlike Maci's pink eye costume of last year, we actually put her in something fuzzy and fun. That's right, she went as the world's cutest giraffe.

This was post daycare party, post Trick-or-Treating, post playing with the neighbors… post happy about being in a costume.

This photo comes courtesy of Bree at daycare, where apparently, giraffe's came in pairs.

Hopefully that's enough to wet everyone's appetite… you can't really go wrong with a solid photo montage. That being said, I vow to do a little better with the blogging business… hopefully.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chick Flicks

Is it me or has the caliber of the good ol' stereotypical chick flick seriously fallen by the wayside? It's like they have been added to the endangered species list or worse, have gone extinct altogether. Now, I watch a lot of movies, always have. Previously, more of these movies were watched at the actual theatre but I can no longer afford neither the cinema nor the babysitter needed to watch the Mae Mo so I've developed a new relationship with Mr. Redbox. For $1.29 the hubby and I can enjoy a flick on our semi-new iMac. We literally cannot hear the movie if we watch it on our old DVD+TV tube combo setup in the living room so to the computer in the guest room we go. Anyway, there we've sat on many a recent weekend watching movie after movie after movie and what I can report is that my movie-picking privileges have officially been revoked. I am not a fan of gore and guts so Shawn obliges my semi-girly requests in between picks of general consensus. Well, up until recently that is. My second to last choice broke the camel's back: The Lucky One.

The Lucky One is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel and stars Zac Efron and Taylor Schiling. I naively assumed, based on the enticing previews, that this would fall inline with other previous Sparks-novels-turned-movies, a la The Notebook. It didn't. Ryan Gosling Mr. Efron is not. It was terrible. TERRIBLE. Horrible acting, horrible plot, horrible production. I think Efron had like 25 lines total. Apparently his only job was to stare off into space or look at the camera lens a time or two. Seriously, it was bad. And what's more astonishing, 67% of those that viewed it actually claimed to liking it according to Clearly they were drunk. This movie fell right inline with another doozy I suggested a while back, Just Wright with Queen Latifah and Common. Both of these movies have now formed a category I like to call, pornos sans the sex scenes. You know the type: bad plot, bad acting, bad soundtrack.

What to Expect When You're Expecting wasn't terrible, but it certainly was predictable. There were moments of laughter, which unlike a few others, made this movie tolerable. Wanderlust was pretty funny too actually, but also a bit raunchy (moving the needle more towards the manly movie side) and at some parts, over-the-top. Friends with Kids = horrible. It's basically the cast from Bridesmaids but not funny at all and at most times, very, very awkward. I will say though, one diamond in the sand we came upon was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It sparkled for two reasons: 1. Emily Blunt and 2. the dialect. Not only did the main characters have whimsical and contrasting accents, but their conversations were brilliant and beautiful to listen to. Call me old fashion but this mere fact alone made the movie for me. So I guess all my recent attempts haven't been total losses, but the odds are not in my favor.

Therefore I'm declaring that the classic chick flick era ended with Julia Roberts. I think I own nearly every movie she's ever been in and I still, to this day, watch them from time to time, on my VCR. BOOM! The world needs a new Julia. Something present-day to rival the timeless Pretty Woman, which Miss Roberts was nominated for an Oscar for by the way. I point this out because it just goes to show a good chick flick can also be highly acclaimed. The two are not mutually exclusive. I had high hopes with Katherine Heigl but it's been a while since 27 Dresses and Life as We Know It. Also, her most recent release, One for the Money, got a whopping 2% freshness on 2%. That's the lowest I've ever seen which says allot because we religiously refer to Rotten Tomatoes for most movie recommendations. Which begs the question, why are we watching such bad movies in the first place then? Well… sometimes you want a movie to be good in spite of it's reviews. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it. Sometimes a good chick flick is hated by the critics but loved by the masses. Sometimes… you just hope you found a hidden gem. Well I haven't and I'm killing my husband in the search.

Someone help. Have you seen something recently I should check out? Do tell. Me and my glass of wine will be waiting. Same goes for a good book although I'm having far more luck in that arena so let's talk talkies…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The coffers being what they were this Labor Day (refer to last post), we vowed to find a few local things to do, on the cheap, to round out our summer. What's cheaper, then cheaper then cheap? FREE. Enter the Como Zoo.

Here are the highlights of our first-ever trip with the Mae Moe.

Maci (points finger): "What's thaaat?"
Mama: "That's a giraffe."
Maci: "Puppy!"

Maci (points finger): "What's thaaat?"
Dada: "That's a tiger."
Maci: "Puppy!"

Maci (points finger): "What's thaaat?"
Mama: "That's a wolf."
Maci: "Puppy!"
Dada: "That's right! It IS a puppy!"

After a minor disagreement with some sunscreen, Maci was on the mend and we made our way through the zoo (which is practically in our backyard), followed up with a stroll through Como Town, a picnic lunch and then, we ended the perfect day with what quickly became my favorite memory with my daughter to date.

A few weeks prior, we had visited the Great Minnesota Get Together, and thanks to some rain and a tired toddler, we had to skip any sort of ride or giant-slide fun. So imagine my surprise and delight when we came across one the greatest, most nostalgic rides of all time, just a few paces from our picnic spot. For six quarters (Mae Mo was free), or in our case, a quick credit card swipe (yes, we charged $1.50 – who carries cash anymore?) I got to take my daughter on her very first carousal ride! She was a bit shy at first and did NOT want to sit on the horse by herself. She clung to that gold pole like her balance depended on it but by the end, she was petting the horses head, grinning from ear-to-ear and bouncing up and down on my lap. I couldn't stop smiling. Best Mama/Maci memory to date.

The only snafu, if you can call it one, is that I forced Shawn to snap some photos while we went around and around and around but I didn't set the camera up correctly before I gave it to him so everything came out pretty dark. The good news is, with some free Photoshop actions from The Pioneer Woman, I was able to salvage the above sentimental keeper and thanks to the carousal's close proximity, I know we'll be back again and again and again.

The following weekend, we visited the Minnehaha Falls for the first time. Actually, as Shawn put it, the Minnehaha Trickle. There was barely any water to speak of, but thankfully, the nearby parks and sites were enough to keep us entertained. I took the opportunity to test out the ol' camera. With the Stevens House and surrounding areas as my backdrop, I'd say we got a few good ones. Shawn even managed to get a couple of this Mama with her Maci, in focus mind you!

It's crazy how easily we forgot the shear volume of stuff there is to do around here, and stuff that doesn't break the bank. The Twin Cities, and Minnesota in general, are so beautiful. M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A… Minnesota, Minnesota, ehhhhh Gophers! Speaking of which, the Gopher football team is 3-0! Amazing what allowing a little alcohol into a stadium does for a team.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I'll let the photos tell the tale of our summer 2012. Pretty sure we did it up right…

1. I took a trip to New York with the girls.

2. Shawn took his annual trip to Canada with the guys.

3. Maci turned one and had two birthday parties.

4. We visited the crazy cute Cornstuble cousins in Virginia.


5. Team DeBoer morphed into Team Camo and ran a 5K.

6. Shawn completed his Masters (degree, not golf). The man has, like, 18 degrees now. Congratulations Mr. DeBoer – SO stinking proud of you – now STOP going to school!

7. And finally, we played.

I couldn't have scripted a more perfect summer filled with firsts, family, friends, festivities and fun. Now bring on fall, football, er… fires… and… oh f*ck it. I'm out.


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