the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I'm not nearly as stressed as I was earlier this week. Thought I would post a few pictures since I still don't have much time for too many words. The good news is that my dad was discharged from the hospital today. Yay! Enjoy the pictures!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I few quick highlights of my past week just because I need to vent.

- The pup's head swelled up so large I thought it might explode.

- The pup's belly swelled up so large I thought she might pop and we spent several hours trying to decide whether to take her to the emergency vet in Pittsburgh or not. No vet trip and she is better now.

- My normally well behaved boys have been acting more like those typical crazy/grumpy/cranky toddlers that I try to pride myself for not having.

- My credit card number was stolen. I currently don't have time to find a new person to cut my hair but apparently I do have enough time to spend an hour on the phone with several merchants and my credit card company every 3-4 days.

- My dad is in the hospital. Long story but after a stomach bug his heart went all outta whack. He was admitted Monday and is still there. The highlight of my last two days has actually been hanging out for an hour or two in his room because Greg was home dealing with the kids and the puppy and all I had to do was chat and relax like an adult.

- My latest status on Facebook reads that I have "fallen off the face of the Earth". The above reasons account for only a few of the reasons I feel as if I am on a separate planet than the rest of mankind.


Monday, February 23, 2009

What's gonna work? Teamwork!

With two toddlers that like to help, I try to do my best to encourage it. We talk a lot about the importance of teamwork. Giving Will a bath last night was a good example of the teamwork that takes place in our house.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

I know, I just posted about how I probably wouldn't get a chance to post much and here it is only a couple hours later. I am just having one of those rare moments where the kids are "napping" and Maya is passed out in a drug induced nap on my lap. Why is my pup on drugs? Because there is never a dull moment around here.

Maya had a vet appointment this morning around 10:00 and my mom came over to play with the kids so I didn't have to figure out how to get a puppy and two toddlers through a visit to the vet's. By about 10:20 Maya had been weighed (gained over 5 lbs in the past 2 weeks), had a shot, and we were paying for the services at the front desk. It took us about 10-15 minutes to get home. My mom and I were chatting a little bit and the kids were playing with Maya. My mom was about to go and I took Maya outside to do her business real quick. While she was heading in, I noticed her eyes looked kinda funny - really pink around the eyelids and puffed up. My mom got a phone call and before she was off, I was getting my coat and shoes back on to run out the door. In the matter of minutes, Maya's entire face swelled up. The area around her eyes was so swollen she couldn't open her eyes and her lips (if dogs have lips) were puffing out the side of her head. Thank goodness my mom was still here!

I made it to the vet's in about 5 minutes, ran in the door, and practically pushed the woman aside who was trying to pay her bill at the desk. It had only been about 30 minutes since we were there the first time. The technician saw Maya and yelled for a doctor and then said something along the lines of, "The poor thing looks ridiculous!" Had I not been close to panicking, I would have thought so too. After a really quick check of vitals, they shot her up with some sort of allergy meds straight into her veins. She didn't appear to have any other reactions but they asked me to stay for a bit to make sure. We went to another room where Maya hung out on my lap and I snapped this picture with my phone.

All is well again. We are back home. The swelling as gone down enough that she can open her eyes again. I am calm enough to recognize how completely ridiculous she really does look. Now she is just sleepy. Me too.


The Suffering Blog

I'm doing my best to keep blogging. My time to do so is disappearing though. I am used to at least having some "me time" for a couple hours each afternoon while the kids are supposed to be napping and another hour or two in the evenings after they are in bed. Now during that time I am mostly playing with Maya. Don't get me wrong, I am totally loving this little pup but life is exhausting! As long as I have some time each day to enjoy my favorite beer, all is well.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I got around to uploading my photos so here are the ones that I should have posted yesterday.

Here is Will's before and after, which aren't all that different. His hair is so hard to cut because he hates to sit still and his hair is still so baby fine. I just chop as fast as I can.


I decided to give Marcus a buzz cut. As cute as his longer hair looks, his hair is so thick and coarse that I just get tired of attempting to get it to lay down. He also has a huge cowlick on the back of his head. I was going to wait until warm weather but I got out the clippers in February instead.


And a couple pictures of our little pup Maya playing with the great big dog named Marley.

I just love this action shot.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Quick Review

I keep thinking I need to blog about a number of subjects. But then time passes and I realize how long it would take me to properly blog about something and decide I just don't have the energy to do it. Here are a few things in the shortened version:

- After having that fabulous warm day last week, a cold front blew in. There were wind gusts Wednesday night over 90 mph in the area. Our power was out for 12 hours and there were several trees blown over in our neighborhood. In the midst of the storm, there were these horrible noises that to me sounded like a whole litter of puppies wrestling in the attic just above our bedroom. Turns out that the metal flashing that used to sit where the roof of our porch meets the roof of the house had come loose. Our porch runs the whole length of our house so this was A LOT of metal that was flapping in the wind. Pieces of it would bang on the roof and the wind would drag it across the roof, which is why it sounded like puppies were running around up there. One particularly large section was flipping over the side of our house like a really bad combover in the wind. Greg risked his life and went out there in the middle of the hurricane level winds and managed to catch this piece mid-flight and rip it from our roof. The removal of this piece really didn't help much. I can't even begin to explain just how loud this was. By morning the flashing was damaged over the entire length of our house but thankfully the worst of it was over the half where our bedroom is, not over the part where the kids' were sleeping. It would have been a much worse night if the kids had woken up and we had to deal with that too. Greg and I (and Maya, who was completely unphased by the noise) ended up sleeping in our (cold dark and void of electricity at that point in time) basement because it was just way too loud to sleep upstairs. Thursday we had some roofers check it out. They did a quick temporary fix (they were kinda busy checking out lots of damaged roofs that day) but we will have to get an estimate to see just how much it will cost to fix the flashing and all the damage the broken metal pieces banging off our roof caused. In the morning I was out in the yard trying to check things out the best I could from ground level. There were a bunch of pieces of siding in the yard and I thought that that was just one more thing that we would have to get fixed. It wasn't even our siding that was in our yard. No idea where that came from but considering how many houses I have seen in our neighborhood with missing siding after the wind storm, not surprising that some would end up in our yard.

- We finally got to meet Karla! I met Karla's mom Jennifer prior to them getting their referral and prior to us even telling people that we were planning on adopting a second child. We had a play date with Karla and Lola on Friday. I took my camera and really wanted to take some pictures of the kids but we were having too much fun playing and I forgot to get out the camera.

- The kids got haircuts on Saturday. Marcus has a new style, which is actually his old style that I decided to go back to. I took pictures but I'll have to post those some time when I feel like dealing with photos.

- We had an impromptu visit from my cousin, his wife, and their dog yesterday. My cousin was in town visiting my aunt (his mom) for the weekend. Maya was so excited to have another dog to play with. Their dog, Marley, wasn't too sure about the excited little puppy at first. Then she got into the mood to play. I took pictures but once again, don't have any of those uploaded yet. It was quite a sight watching our 10 lb puppy playing and jumping around with a 95 lb dog.

- Will is really into singing now, which is absolutely adorable. Marcus will sing a little (and through Will's peer pressure has been singing more) but it was never one of his things. Toddler singing is just the cutest, particularly funny when they don't know/can't pronounce most of the words. Favorite tunes of Will's are "Twinkle twinkle little star," and "Happy Birthday."

- I was asking Marcus some questions tonight about his dreams for the future. Marcus said that he plans on working at a job, is going to get married to a "big girl" with "purple hair", will have two babies (one boy and one girl), and live in a yellow house in the country. I asked him about pets but I didn't quite understand his answer so he may or may not have dogs, cats, pigs, and monkeys.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Spring!

We had a wonderful weather day today. I felt revitalized because it was so warm. It felt more like late March instead of early February. I am sure part of the feeling of being revitalized was because I got 10 hours of sleep last night and I had been lagging behind in the sleep department lately.

This morning we headed out to a friend's house for a birthday party play date. There were 8 kids all together with their mommas ranging in age from 14 months to almost 3 years. (That was the age of the kids, not the mommas.) Everyone was well behaved. (Once again, referring to the kids, not the mommas.) We all enjoyed lunch together and the kids were just so cute sitting at the tables eating together.

I was happy to be able to keep my kids awake for the ride home in the car so they could get a good nap in their beds and I could get some "me" time. Maya woke up and I went outside for her to do her business (there have been ZERO accidents in the house today by my genius pup) and I realized how incredibly wonderful the weather was. Wow. Greg was working from home today so Maya and I took a short little hike through the woods. That was only her second time in the woods and she was a natural. I know for sure after today that this cute little pup is the perfect fit for our family. I felt like I was back - hiking through the woods, just me and my dog walking along beside me. I said a little silent thank you to Peyote for sending me such a wonderful friend. I had things that I needed to do when we got back but instead me and the pup hung out on the deck and I serenaded her.

I could hardly wait to get the boys up from nap so we could head out to play. I put some old pants on them, shoved their feet in their boots, and out the door we went to enjoy a February afternoon with no coats on. Marcus, Will, Maya, and I headed out to our garden area. The previous owners fenced in a small area for a garden. They didn't use it last summer and the weeds were so overgrown that you almost couldn't walk into the space. I would like to make a garden this summer but we will see if that happens. The kids played with the dog while I tugged at waist high weeds. We now have a garden almost ready for spring. Then we were off to the swing set and the playhouse. Maya was getting pretty tired by the time we headed over towards the wood shed so I sat on a log with her at my feet. I was watching Marcus and Will play with rocks and sticks in the dirt and I thought how glad I was to have such boyish boys playing in the dirt because that is so my style. Just then Marcus showed up with some pieces of bark, headed over to a rock embedded in the ground, and announced that the rock was his stove and the bark was the soup that he was cooking up. So much for me trying to stereotype my boys into all boy behavior.

We have some french drains in our yard that outlet near a tree, form a little little pond/puddle to help water the tree, and then the water flows back into another pipe. From all the snow melting and the rain, there was a pretty steady flow of water coming from the pipe. I let the kids mess around a little bit in the water and get all muddy. Maya wanted to be part of the action too. She was in the puddle, splashing around, and sticking her entire head up the pipe to get a face full of water. The way she was acting outside today - following us around, coming when we called, chasing sticks, playing in the water - it felt like we were with a reincarnated Peyote. I had to stop and think how old she was. Just 9 weeks! She didn't seem to be that young and it doesn't seem like she has just been with our family for a little over a week. She is the perfect fit for us.

Eventually we had to head inside though to get some dinner. Maya crashed.

Our neighbor dropped by and asked where she was. She is usually so happy to greet anyone but she didn't even know he was here. We tried to feed her dinner but she was too tired for that. This evening I was trying to get the kids ready for bath. I had on a long sleeved shirt and under it I was wearing a t-shirt. I took off the long sleeved shirt and threw it out of the kids' room into the hallway so I wouldn't get my sleeves wet during their bath. When I walked out of their room I discovered just where it landed.

With a little help from Greg, Maya got out of the shirt and promptly went right back to sleep.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bringing you more...

Maya! Greg put together this video from some of the footage he took last week. It is a little long. The funniest part is around 4:52 where she attempts to conquer the swing set. But, if you go directly to that part you will miss her playing with the kids early on and might quit watching before you get a chance to see her awesome retriever skills.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Dog Days of Winter

It has been a wild crazy week around here. We have all been having a lot of fun and crashing really hard at the end of the day.

We had to make an unexpected trip to the vet on Friday. Maya was having some tummy troubles and stopped eating and drinking. I wasn't about to put off a trip to the doctor since (a) she is so little and (b) the pooch getting sick unexpectedly is still so fresh in my mind. By the time we got to our appointment, she had already started to perk up and she is just fine now. I had been wondering how much she weighs. She is just under 11 pounds.

Maya is doing great with housebreaking. She is a genius. She only had two accidents all day today and that was when there was just a lot going on (Greg just got home from work, I was cooking dinner, we were trying to get the kids cleaned up for dinner). She and I have been taking walks around the yard almost everyday off the leash and she follows me, stops to sniff, and most of the time runs to catch up when I call her. She can now sit, shake, and lay down as long as she knows that she is going to get a treat for her efforts. There are a lot of things I want to teach her but she needs to mature a bit yet. She started playing fetch yesterday and today which is awesome. Maya has been letting us sleep too. She loves the cosleeper and rarely has a potty issues at night. I end up waking her up once every night to take her out and usually have to wake her up in the morning too. I am still exhausted. My days are just so physical.

I thought life with two toddlers was physical. I forgot how much they have grown. I don't have to keep an eye on them every second of every day. If they disappear around the corner of the couch, I don't have to make sure they aren't chewing on the furniture or peeing on the carpet. I am in and out the door at least fifteen times a day with the pup. I take Maya on 1-2 walks around our property every day. Even when the kids are napping and I used to get a break, now I am playing tug-of-war or feeding Maya or taking her out yet again.

Today I looked at the clock at 10:45 am and realized I had been awake for 5 hours and the only time I sat down was for 2 minutes to write a smartass, one line email to a friend and 5 minutes to eat my breakfast. I did feel awesome for everything that had accomplished though!

We had some warm weather recently and today it was almost 60 degrees. Instead of relaxing at 10:45, I announced that we were going outside. The kids, Maya, and I took a little walk in the woods. It was Maya's first "hike". Then we played in the playhouse and on the swing set. Maya went down the sliding board. I guess she got a little too close to the edge and gravity took over. She was very graceful though and even when she flew off the end of the slide, she landed on all fours. Marcus and Will and I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

Totally random, but the moon last night was incredible! I was outside with Maya around 2 am and it was so bright that I had a shadow. I couldn't believe it. I actually turned around to see where the strange light was coming from because it never occurred to me that the moon could be bright enough to cast a shadow.

So, all is well. Just busy. I love busy though so I guess that still makes things well. Perhaps this blog will even return to its more normal subject here soon and I will stop talking almost exclusively about my kid with fur. Until then, enjoy some pictures!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Like everything I have been doing lately, I feel like I have better make this quick. No telling how long that little fuzzy bellied furball will be sleeping and I have to be ready to run out the door with her as soon as she wakes up so she can pee.

Marcus is registered for preschool! I am totally going to cry when he goes in that "my little boy is growing up and I am an over emotional mom" kind of way. I was worried we wouldn't get a spot since it is a great preschool and I didn't have a backup plan.

I mentioned about a week ago that Marcus had no interest in counting. Today he showed off and counted to five several times for Greg and me.

Nap time has been going incredibly better with Will.

That little timid puppy that we brought home that slept all the time has been replaced with a wild, energetic, crazy dog that now only sleeps half the time. We didn't get a lot of sleep the first night she was home and only got slightly more the second night. Yesterday we got out our cosleeper that we used sporadically with the kids and set it up with a couple of her toys and her blanket. I woke her up once last night to take her to pee and then had to wake her up again this morning. What is that you are thinking? my puppy is spoiled? Hardly. I found myself repeating a lot today the phrase, "You're lucky you're so cute." The kids were loving playing with her tonight, running around and having her chase whatever dog toy they happened to have. We took some video but who knows when/if that will show up online. Hopefully it wore all the little ones out.

Go Steelers!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Because I like to welcome insanity into my life...

Because I like to welcome insanity into my life, I figured the only thing crazier than having two two year olds is to have two two year olds and an 8 week old puppy. Yep, we are now dog owners again. But this just isn't your regular old 8 week old puppy. This just happens to be the cutest 8 week old puppy that ever existed.

We put a deposit down a couple of weeks ago on a chocolate lab and I did the best I could not to tell too many people (which wasn't that good). Yesterday evening we went to the breeder's to decide which pup would be ours. We had third pick out of the females so there were three females to pick from. I didn't know how we would be able to pick. Our pup made it easy by picking me. She came right up to me and snuggled into my neck. Then we were ready to head home.

The breeder said the pup was really tired because she was out playing a lot yesterday. She was too curious about the car ride to rest. The kids were so excited about having her home. We have been talking about it for the past couple of weeks and Marcus kind of had some idea about what was going on. As soon as we came in he was trying to shove her bone at her. I felt bad for her last night because she was just so tired and scared. So I babied her and Greg heated up dinner.

She was just so tired and cute that I couldn't bear to put her down, so I ate my dinner with her in my lap.

Greg wasn't too excited about us breaking the rules within the first hour of her being home but the poor thing... yeah, I'm a sucker. She slept most of the evening and finally was ready to do some playing late in the evening.

We were thinking that maybe she would sleep in her crate overnight. We put her in there and she started crying. Greg went in the bathroom to brush his teeth and somehow, she ended up in bed with me by the time he came out. I got up with her twice last night but other than that she was fine snuggling and sleeping with us. She did need rescuing twice because she managed to fall out of bed.

It was warmer today than it has been so we spent a lot of time outside. She gets tired really fast though and isn't used to the cold. I came up with a solution.

I invited my parents to come over and didn't specify why. I figured that they had figured it out though. They were thinking they would see a puppy when they pulled in since we were playing outside. It took them a few minutes to realize I had a snoring lump in my coat.

She is still pretty timid but is warming up to us. She doesn't quite know what to think of the kids because they just want to love her so much and she feels crowded. She does better with them outside. She likes playing with her stuffed squirrels and hiding under the piano bench. She likes sleeping in her crate and all cuddled up with me. I typed this whole blog entry with her snuggled up on my chest. Of course I have taken about a hundred pictures so far. So enjoy the photos of our newest addition who we are naming Maya.

And just to make it perfectly clear, she might be cute and cuddly and totally adorable, but I refuse to spoil her under any circumstances. She will need to work for her luxuries.