Adiós Chihuahua Ojo

My mom’s dog died last week. I know, I know, but don’t worry – she still has my dad and her health. And she’s pretty young, so there’s that too.

It’s interesting how much we rely on our pets: for friendship, protection, emotional support, and as great excuses for not having to do stuff. And let me say this: people are far more forgiving when you say your dog is sick versus when you say your kid is sick. I don’t know why the heartstrings pull so hard when friends or co-workers find out your adorable fur baby needs care, but when your toddler is suffering… again… they annoyedly brush you off with a dismissive, “they’ll get over it.” It’s the power of the fur.

Before you make me out to be a callous human, in case you don’t know, I rescued three strays in 2 years, cared and paid for one’s cancer treatments for another two years before she passed, and am absolutely ga-ga, head over heels for my current two fur babies, who mean the world to me. So, I get it. I also have a toddler.

All of that being said, my mom’s dog died a week ago. He was a 126-year-old, one-eyed, shaman looking, 27lb Chihuahua (Chihuahua mix…oops, they paid for a pure bred). The truth is either the damn dog was sick for all his 18 human years, or my mom developed Munchausen by proxy. I’m not a doctor. I’m a writer, I am in no way qualified to make this diagnosis, but, the dog was never sick until this last year of his life when he suffered from old age ailments. So I’m sticking to Munchausen. Let me explain:

Most individuals who suffer from a condition that requires a support dog, get a dog so they can have a pseudo-normal life – leave the house and live amongst the world. My mom used her “support dog” as an excuse to never leave the house again. Ever.

A little history on the pup: Originally he was a gift from my father. The then two-eyed Chihuahua was meant to rekindle a marriage that my mother had already extinguished and abandoned. She was living in a new home, with new people, and the dog, then just a puppy, was left in my father’s care. Under my father’s watch the puppy lost an eye. I know, I know, “WHAT!?!” but yeah, this is quite common in certain breeds. The veterinarian assured us that the dog, having been so young at the time of the incident, would never know the difference, and he didn’t even feel it since the nerve was cleanly severed. I sound very clinical relaying the information now, but it was a long and traumatic day when I had to drive my terrified, sobbing father, and my mother’s scared puppy to the animal hospital all those years ago. Someone had to stay strong and make choices, like calling my mother at her new home with her new (roommate? Boyfriend? Main squeeze?) partner, and telling her that her puppy had lost an eye.

After the “incident” my father could no longer be trusted with the pup and my mother could not keep the pup at her new family’s home, so ultimately she came back to my father, to care for the puppy, and eventually terminated the divorce proceedings. So I guess the dog did his job? This all sounds a bit sketchy, but for the purposes of time and length, it is a story for another day.

Since losing his eye, my parents determined that the dog needed two parents to care for him full time. Apparently, something not even their high school teenager, new grandbabies, young adult children, their home, or other two adult dogs needed. This one small dog that was missing an eye, but otherwise was in perfect health, was the only living creature my parents needed to give their full attention and time to. My mom spent time making inquiries to plastic surgeons about the possibility of a glass eye. My dad set up wee-wee pads around the house so the dog wouldn’t have to be burdened with using the yard. The pup was also segregated from the other dogs in the house until he was a year old; or perhaps I should say, the older dogs were forgotten, much like their teenage human sibling (not me). For all intents and purposes, the puppy was also segregated from all my parents’ adult children because we didn’t know how to “play” with him delicately, this now 27lb bowling ball of a dog.

It was hard not to resent the dog. He received the care and attention that none of us had or ever would get from my parents. Every phone call or text message received or made revolved around the dogs day, his feelings, emotional health, physical well being. A trip to the vet for gas, bloating, hiccups, wet nose, dry nose, bad breath, soft stool, hard stool, you name it. It was hard to feel anything but severely annoyed. Was the son-of-a-bitch spending my one-day inheritance on his hypochondria? Hahahaha! I have no inheritance don’t worry. But seriously, what the hell was going on all these years? And before you activists weigh-in on the idea of diet, the dog had all his meal specially prepared: boiled chicken breast and steamed green beans with a little olive oil. He wasn’t sick, he was spoiled, literally, spoiled like expired milk, he was no longer a dog but a vessel for emotional pain. Poor guy.

My parents declined to attend birthday celebrations, canceled holiday plans, and rejected every dinner invitation extended by my siblings who lived locally. “We can’t leave the dog; he needs us. He’ll die if we’re not home with him,” they’d plead on every phone call.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHAT? Yes.

It had never presented a problem in the past with the number of family dogs we’d had before, but this dog carried the burden of all my parents emotional baggage: betrayal, unhappiness, entrapment, marital obligation, years and years and years of emotional grief and depression; all of which were heftily laid upon the back of one small dog, just like that.

Once joyful and spry like a young dog should be, he quickly became aggressive and mean to anyone who wasn’t my mother. Hugging my mom became impractical, as we never knew if the mixed breed Chihuahua would leap from her lap or arms and take a bite out of us. As my parents were unwilling to leave him at home, the executive decision fell on the parents of my nieces and nephews to not invite Grandma and Grandpa over, or out anymore, since the dog could not be trusted with children, or the children with the dog.

My parents feigned outrage, but truly they could not have been more relieved to be let off the hook. “Think of us as grandparents who live out of state. On the rare occasion we can see you, it will mean so much more,” they claimed. All these excuses and lies in the name of the poor dog.

That dog, living with one eye, became my mother’s reason for not living these past, nearly two decades. “We don’t get to take vacations; we are bound by our sick dog.” Or, “we can’t have anything nice because of our sick dog.” And of course my favorite: “we need you to elope, because of our dog, we just won’t be able to come to your wedding, meet your first born child, our grandson, or see the life you’ve built for yourself in California over the past 15-years, your entire adult life, because of our sick dog.”

Alas, this poor sick dog (he was never sick) has passed away. My parents carried him to the crematorium, watched as he was lowered into the flames, and came home with an urn, engraved with the dog’s name. I imagine my mom has sat holding the urn in her lap for the past week. She has not stopped crying or left the house. And just this morning they both decided not to attend my nephew’s (their 2-year-old grandson’s) birthday party, because their dog has died. They also don’t think that Christmas will happen this year for them; possibly even next year.

The dog, even in death, must shoulder my parent’s burdens. Poor fucking Pepper (oh, that was his name, Pepper).

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The Quickie

 

This is going to be a quickie blog post before I head out overnight to a grad school meet and greet, interview, all of the above day.

I’ve learned a couple of things about myself this past week. One, I know nothing about musicians. I listen to music and really just never pay attention to anything else. I have the same amount of knowledge regarding celebrities – including actors – no knowledge of their personal life or resume. I also realized it’s because I literally don’t care. The more I find out, the less I wish I knew.

I’ve also learned that some people just cannot stay out of the news and I’m pretty sure that it’s a nightmare for them. Maybe they thought they wanted it – fame, celebrity, to be a household name, but I bet they’re pretty regretful at this point. I mean, nightmare. Mine, my nightmare, because I have to write a million stories about you and make them sound interesting, and for you because many of them aren’t flattering.

I learned I am a super-capable and competent adult human. Sometimes I forget that. I’ll look over and see I have a dog and think, ‘my God! How have I not lost you, forgot to feed you, how have I managed to shelter you for so long?’ It’s a legit question. And along those same lines, how on earth did I manage to buy a house? Who am I? It’s absurd. Which is why I probably still wake up from naps feeling disoriented and looking around expecting to see my parent’s couch and family room… do you ever do that? It’s spooky, right?

I learned I love being a Writer, but I don’t love all the things I write. Including personal projects, but more often, the work stuff that pays bills. It’s fine it’s just finding freedom in the restrictive guidelines of a job is really hard. But I’ve been a writer for a long time, and only recently have I really dove right into author groups and graduate level course work and considered professors and published authors as my peers… and I’ve never been happier or more aligned with anything or any people in my life. I have found an interesting, supportive, and amazing world of human beings that really go the distance for one another and for their readers. And it doesn’t matter who those readers are be-it you, or a client, or any audience. Writers just want their work to be good for the reader.

So, that all being said I invite you to partake in this awesome author Holiday Book give-away by a few great writers. It’s simple to enter and you could win up to 5-free books. I’ve entered 6-times and I’ve already read 3 of the books, hahaha! I’m always happy to help promote good work and I think it’s important that we all support each other and our indie, entrepreneurial, start-up endeavors. Enjoy the give-away and good luck! I’ll be back shortly!

Link to website hosting the Holiday Book Blog and Give-away:

https://www.chibeingchi.com/books-and-writing/2017/11/28/online-book-blog-party

Link to register for prizes:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ae36de0d1/?

This is my story. Me too.

It’s awkward, it’s difficult, and it is hard to talk about sexual assault even when you live a life of openness. Victim isn’t an adjective I like to use in any context when describing myself. I prefer quirky, funny, kind, sincere – you get the idea. And I imagine that of the women who have found the courage to speak out about misconduct and assault, feel the same way.

I remember early on in our relationship my husband and I were drinking a couple of beers and holding hands while we sat outside doing nothing. Remember that part of a relationship? When doing nothing was easy? If you’re still in that phase – cherish it. We sat there and after a beer I was feeling saucy and brave and I asked him that awkward question, how many partners have you had? He answered, unembarrassed even though I stared at him with wide-eyed shock. And I have pretty large, innocent looking eyes, so he was pretty brave. When he turned the table on me and asked for my number I started shaking, similar to the way my hands are trembling now as I type this.

It wasn’t because I didn’t know. It was because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to count the person who had raped me.

Then I wasn’t sure if I should tell my new boyfriend I had been raped.

What would his reaction be?

Would he blame me?

Would he see me differently?

Would I be able to see this relationship until “I Do,” holding onto this secret?

Anxiety was building up inside me, as I awkwardly started ugly sweating. You know, my upper lip started dripping down my mouth, my armpits had a ring that would never wash out properly and I knew I was going to blurt it out. He would be the third person I’d told in the 3-years after it had happened. I told my therapist after 18-months of seeing her. I told a friend that grew up with me and knew my assaulter. And now I was about to tell the man I had just started dating.

“Do I count being raped as part of my number?”

“I think so?” he smiles awkwardly. “No… Wait…were you raped?”

“Yes, but I don’t think it counts. Right? You don’t actually think it counts, do you?”

“I think it counts, but not the way you’re asking.”

“I don’t want to talk about it, so don’t ask me any questions, I just wanted to know if you thought it counted.”

He laughed, nervously. Not because he thought it was funny, but because he was uncomfortable and didn’t know how to handle the information. He’s a good guy, I married him. No one had ever admitted to him before that they had been sexually assaulted. He was naïve.

I was assaulted as an adult woman, by someone I’d known since I was 14-years-old, he was a friend. I had been alone with him so many times before, we had been schoolmates. We had gone out to the movies and dinner never quite framing ourselves as dating – we were always just buds/pals/friends, over the decade plus of growing-up together.

When it happened he was engaged/about to be engaged/had a ring for his girlfriend, so there was no misunderstanding about his actions. And while there had been one regretful kiss, when he pinned my arms down and straddled me so I couldn’t kick or move, then yanked off my pants while I screamed “NO,” there was no way the situation could be misunderstood.

When he was done he cried. He told me he didn’t know what had come over him. He felt he had to prove himself to me.

I did not cry.

I flew home to L.A. and made a list of the things I had to do to prevent disease, infection, and pregnancy. I had to show up to work the next day after landing and pretend I was okay.

I had to pretend when he called several months later from an unknown number and greeted me with a giggle and an “are you feeling better?” that he had the wrong number and that no Jaime existed here. Then I changed my cellphone.

I had to pretend for 18-months I was okay, until a therapist told me it was okay to not be okay anymore.

We come from a smallish town where everybody knows everybody. I couldn’t let anyone know this happened. I would be deemed a slut, a whore, or worse a liar. That is what I had seen happen to other girls and women and I was just too afraid. I didn’t have support of family, and I didn’t know how to trust anyone.

I feel sorry for the man I dated after it happened. I was holding myself together by dental floss. He was a gentleman, and kind, and trustworthy, but I needed to be alone and I needed to straighten out the mess the assault left behind in me. I should have told him that. I was an imposter living a strange version of myself.

I had to deal with my fear, guilt, anxiety, and a biopsy on my cervix, because I was assaulted.

I hate going home and wondering if I’ll run into him, so I don’t go out when I visit. I don’t go to reunions. And I make sure he’s blocked from my peripheral.

This is my story. Me too.

 

I’ve Been Too Busy To Write, Because I’ve Been Busy Writing

Yeah, I know how it sounds, but it’s true. I can’t think of a better way to have been too busy for my blog… except for my two-year-old. He keeps me happily busy as well. Our daily conversations start a little like this:

Me: Jack, I love you so much I could eat you.

Jack: I love you too, mommy.

Who taught him grammar at two? Hopefully Jason and I, but maybe he’s just a gifted toddler, that’s what I’m supposed to say – I’m his mother.

I digress. I’ve had so many things to talk about and as I sit here to recount them, I am left mindlessly wondering, what was I going to say? I feel like that happens a lot. Probably to everyone, but I’m just not used to it.

I have a few writing gigs at the moment and one of them is a total stressor, but it shouldn’t be. I won’t tell you which one, because that’s not the point. What I will tell you is that it reminds me of my first day at McDonalds. I was 15-years-old and had been working since I was maybe ten or eleven. That’s right. I grew up in a large family and there wasn’t a lot of money to go around. If you wanted something you had to figure out how to get it. You also were expected to work. So my career life started early. Sure I babysat, became a junior camp counselor, I had an enormous paper route, I was a grocery store bagger, then cashier, and one summer I got a job at McDonalds, because my friend worked there. What was I thinking? I was thrown on the drive-thru my first day and I couldn’t understand a thing anyone was ordering. It felt like I was watching an old Charlie Brown movie, everyone sounded like quacking ducks. Not to mention I had no clue how to punch in the orders. All the keys were unnecessarily abbreviated on the register. How does 2X equal Big Mac? My brain just wasn’t equipped for it. After getting every order wrong for an hour, they put me on Bun Toasting duty where I immediately set-off the smoke alarms and burned my finger. After which, I was sent home for the day. They didn’t fire me. I wanted them to fire me so I wouldn’t have to keep going back every day and embarrassing myself at a job I couldn’t do. And let me be clear, I never got any better working there. They put me on the fryer, they put me at the front registers, they put me on the griddle, they put me on janitorial duty and I failed at everything. Lets not get into why I sucked at the job any further, but rather why didn’t I quit? It wasn’t an option. I would have had to beg my parents for permission to quit, and that gave me even more anxiety. Which is a bad lesson to learn.

Now I find myself in a similar situation in that I have a job I can’t quit, and I don’t think I’m any good at it, and it’s definitely stressing me out. I have anxiety just thinking about it. What’s the worse that will happen? I’ll be let go, I’ll quit, it’s not a big deal, but somehow I’ve turned it into a mountain of an issue. I found it hard to even relax while on a five-day vacation in Maui! That’s right. I was a mess the whole time. And I know I’m not alone in this. Why do we do this to ourselves?

And when do we get to an age where we can just relax a little. Let the 20-somethings stress, we’ve paid our dues, let us be calm before we get old.

I’ll survive the job, or I’ll leave on good terms, or they’ll let me go – no hard feelings. That’s the absolute worse that can happen. Until then I’m going to just breathe through it and keep plugging away at the rest of life. Living it, not letting any one thing consume me. I will keep working toward finding balance and I will promise to write more blog posts. Let’s see if I can manage to get one up this weekend, too!

The Neighborhood RV

It all started on Friday. Well, that’s when I noticed. I thought little of it at first, but vowed to keep my eye on it: a blue-striped Tioga, circa 1990, sans rust (thank G-d) RV. I found it parked across the street in front of my house, this utter eyesore in my otherwise epic, urban, nirvana of a neighborhood. A neighborhood caught between two worlds, mine and it’s Latin American heritage.

I start texting neighbors:

“Do you have friends visiting in an RV?”

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

I panicked because the part of life I was witnessing from a small distance away had now arrived on my quiet, clean, insolated, cul-de-sac: the community’s displaced residence who live in RVs.

NOOOOOOOOOO!

Inside I screamed. Then I went to my cupboard and pulled out my new, unchipped, clean Ikea bowl, a bag of organic chia seeds from Trader Joes, a tub of greek yogurt, a 5lb bag of oatmeal from Costco, Grade A real maple syrup, and pecans and I made some delicious overnight oats for the next morning.

Then I sat down at my MacBook Air laptop, took a swig of my electrolyte water, and watched the RV from my beautiful Craftsman windows, parked just past my legit landscaped front yard that’s filled with fruit trees, succulents, and dog poop, in the house I own.

New construction has upped the value of real estate in my once sleepy town. Not to mention a million national articles in publications like Vogue and the New York Times calling us the trendiest and best place to live. It is as condescending as calling a beautiful older woman on-trend, “cute.” They consider my town some sort of wonderful oddity as we maintain a small town feel in an otherwise big city.

The landlords love the attention, as they renege on leasing contracts and up the rental prices beyond a mortgage payment. And as family and individuals become displaced from the only town they’ve ever known, a drug called methamphetamines has become an epidemic.

Even the feral cats have started to leave.

I’m wondering if I should take a chocolate Babka over and introduce myself.

As I’m watching I see my 90-year-old neighbor walk over to the unsightly home on wheels and pound. A gentleman emerges, there’s a brief discussion and the RV hums to life. I sigh, it’s leaving.

NO! He just moved, to the other side of the street, right in front of my other windows. Dammit, why did we buy a house on the corner?

I want to go out there and find out the haps, but as a woman I’m always hesitant of large vehicles I could disappear inside of with no one being the wiser, so I wait.

Patiently, but with laser focus.

I have watched and waited for three days now, and while I’ve seen the fluorescent glow of light peek through the filmy windshield, I’ve not noticed anyone coming or going, but the one time.

Also, and I don’t know quite how it happened nor do I remember when, but we were elected and still retain the position of Neighborhood watch block captains. Dammit. So, naturally, going on Day 3, everyone is starting to pull us aside and complain:

“¿Qué hacemos con esto?”

“No está bien…”

“Can you do something?”

Sure! I’ll just wave my politically correct magic wand and poof, the poverty will disappear from our street.

And then something happened, the RV purred to life again (and I’m being generous with my use of purr). And it drove away. Out of sight from my window. I looked left from my window and right and I couldn’t see it. I felt relieved. I also felt bad for feeling relieved. But I definitely felt relief.

I saddled up the dogs for a walk and left the confines of my gated yard to the street. And as I steered us to the right, I saw it. The blight on our community, the scourge of our street, the beast on wheels, the RV now parked two houses up.

Dammit!

I walked the dogs over with me and I “admired” the vehicle looking to be “caught.” And I was.

“Hi!” came a booming, male voice.

I jumped, a little too startled since I was officially trying to be seen.

“Hi,” I replied, but was drowned out by the warning barks of my loyal 12-pound companions.

“I’m not staying, don’t worry,” the owner of the RV said smiling, politely. “I’m just visiting family. You don’t mind that I’m parked here, do you?”

I fumbled with trying to say something, but couldn’t figure what to say. He wasn’t asking, but rather telling me I didn’t mind. He wasn’t homeless. He was recreationally traveling in an old RV and parking on streets to avoid fees at the parks. I wanted to scold him. Stand on my soapbox and preach about his lack of consideration for the many homeless locals living in RVs who mind the rules and don’t park on residential streets because it’s illegal and enforced by the community police. And why did he think he had the right to avoid such persecution just because his purpose was vacation?

“Okay,” I cowardly replied, “when are you leaving?”

“Tomorrow,” he smiled again.

I nodded and walked away. I’m glad I didn’t take a chocolate Babka over. This story doesn’t have an ending, but that’s life. I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow. Also, we’re going to make burritos with my neighbor and pass them out in the community later. I know I do it to feel better about the rising number of displaced people – it’s selfish.

 

Oy! The Equifax Breach, Y’all

Hi Gang!

Unfortunately this is not a funny post or a story, but rather a quick blog piece I wrote for one of the company’s I’m a freelance writer for – and it’s in regards to the recent Equifax Breach. If you don’t have all the info yet, and need some information on how to be proactive see below for useful tips, links, and information!

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The Equifax Breach and Your Online Security.

Dear Client,

In regards to this week’s alarming cybersecurity news, I want to talk to you about the Equifax breach, and how you can protect yourself against hackers. I know many of us are feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and vulnerable, but there are easy proactive steps you can take right away to make it more difficult for anyone to use your compromised information unlawfully, and then some Pro-tips on how to protect your information in the future.

First, if you have not already done so, please check with Equifax to confirm whether you were impacted by the breach. 44% of Americans were impacted, and that means the chances are great that either you or a loved one were affected. It’s better to know than not to know. Please click on the link below to check whether your information was likely to have been compromised:

https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html

Next, if it turns out you were likely impacted, the most proactive step you can take is to bite the bullet and freeze your credit with all 3 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. For residents of California there is a $10 charge for each freeze, (though Equifax is not charging, last I checked). You can call, or freeze them online very easily. You may UNfreeze them at any time using a unique PIN number, which each company will provide to you when you freeze.

What does it mean to “freeze your credit?” It does not mean that you won’t have access to your credit cards or your current lines of credit. Instead, it prevents any new credit provider (Banks, Loan companies, Credit Card companies) from running a credit check, and therefore impeding a cyber-criminal from opening a new line of credit using your information.

You can access the relevant websites to freeze your credit by clicking on the company links here:

Experian

Equifax

TransUnion

Or you can call Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742) or TransUnion (1-888-909-8872) directly.

Third, thanks to a 2003 law known as FACTA, you are entitled to one free credit report a year! Take advantage of this at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action, whether you think you were breached or not – it’s important to look at your current report for discrepancies. This is a key step to proactively protect yourself.

Lastly, the other aspect, which is probably just as overwhelming if you haven’t already addressed it, is your Internet Security. You’ve heard it a million times, but chances are your passwords are not secure enough, and chances are you are using duplicate passwords or variations of the same password on multiple websites. If someone can break into Equifax, they can get into almost anything. Remember, they already hacked Yahoo, and once they get your password – even for an unimportant site (who cares if they access my Netflix account, right?) they can then utilize the information on that site to get into another and another. Then they can use that access to spend your money, steal your money, commit you to services, send communications on your behalf, and steal your identity and use it for illegal purposes.

I strongly recommend using a password management tool such as LastPass or 1password. These tools can not only save and fill your passwords for you on the websites you visit, and on your phone as well, but can generate complicated, near-impossible-to-break passwords on your behalf. Here is a link to LastPass to get you started:

https://lastpass.com/f?21657922

Even if you think you’re not someone a thief would target, you’ve got nothing they’d be interested in, and so on, that’s just not true. Identity theft happens to the most innocuous and unsuspecting.

If you still feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, please give them a call! I’ve put a link below for contact information.

http://jjbcomputing.com/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/jjb-computer-consulting-los-angeles-2

Is Vacation, Vacation?

We’re going out of town next week. I wouldn’t call it a vacation, but traveling is always a treat, right? We’re headed back to our hometowns to visit family, sing Happy 70th Birthday to my Dad in Michigan, and celebrate the High Holiday – Rosh Hashanah in NYC. It will be a treat.

However, traveling is not as easy as it was before we decided to shack up together, get some dogs to pretend we were parenting, and then go ahead and open a 24/7 home business known as AirBnBeeber. Not to mention the whole traveling with a 2-year-old… talk about pretending to be parents.

Let me just start with the basics, to travel with or without your own car seat? That IS a question. If you rent a car in Michigan adding a car seat is like an extra $15 USDOLLARS a DAY! Are you kidding me? I could purchase a new one and then auction it off, donate it, return it?, and be better off financially. Why are you penalizing human beings for procreating? Do you actually want the human race to fail? Should we just not travelwith children?

If we left our baby at home with a sitter while we, Jason and I, travel that would be a couple thousand dollars and a lot of heartache, because what’s the point of visiting Grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins if the wee ones aren’t with you? Rhetorical. I can tell you with certainty that once we had a child no one, no one, but our friends care if we, Jason and I, visit – just as long as the baby makes the trip. And shocker, 2-year-olds are not allowed to travel solo… yet, but in all honesty, if they were, that’s like a whole lot cheaper and then parents everywhere could ship them off to family while staying back and enjoying a peaceful, clean, tantrum free home again – that’s what I would call a Stay-cation, but I digress.

Let’s jump back to those dogs, WTF dogs? Sure, there may be fancy dog hotels and kennels, but only a barbarian (or someone with money, not the Middle Class) would dump their pre-baby, babies off to the unknown while going away for a week or two. No, our furbabies must be treated as the children they are, we will have someone stay at the house full time. Nurture them, walk them, feed them, hug them – basically our dogs get the vacation I want. Meanwhile, I’m schlepping around two cities, taking multiple flights which keep me locked in stale-recirculated-air filled airports for too many hours, while carrying my 30lb toddler because he’s tired of walking and the new “light-weight” (HA!) umbrella stroller we bought for the purpose of travel (add another $60 bucks to the trip) is just not the same as mama carrying him. Not to mention the several carry-on bags that are filled with necessary distractions for said toddler and all our work files while we travel, because hey, we do have jobs and they do require our attention and no, we don’t get vacation days, but that one is probably on us, since we own our own business and all. And being a small business owner (and I’m not talking about AirBnBeeber) is a lot of work, it has its perks, but it’s also 7 days a week and a lot of hours, but again, I digress.

Then yeah, there’s the AirBnBeeber and the guests all the guests that book their trips months in advance. We aren’t going to cancel on them for our vacation. Nope, instead we’ve hired a friend to manage and care for our guests while we’re gone. It’s a nice gig if you can get it! I think we pay pretty well.

Okay, so just to get to my sister’s house in Michigan we’ve spent money on, flights, rental car, child car seat, travel stroller (this may be a splurge, but if you have kids you get it, if you don’t have kids trust those of us that do – this is necessary), dog sitter, AirBnBeeber manager, and car parking at the airport which is about the same as an Uber ride there and back, but comes with a Car Seat for the kid – that’s like SO MUCH MONEY and we’re not even on vacation yet.

I could go on, but I won’t because at the end of the day we’re getting away and while I will worry and fret about the costs, and the business, and my pups I think it will be worth it, right?

I’m laughing like I’ve lost my mind, because I think maybe I have. Please, laugh with me so I feel like I’m not alone. 

~Xo