well, hello, from Texas.

Well, Hello.  From Texas.

Boy. I never thought I would write that phrase.  But hello.  From Houston, Texas.

We have arrived in our new home. All six of us have survived the journey from Washington, DC to Houston, Texas. Intact. Exhausted. Excited. Sad. and Ready.

But this blog isn’t about Texas. This blog is about getting to Texas. Literally. Getting here with two adults, three kids and a dog.   Has no one on earth ever travelled with three kids and a dog before?  That thought crossed my mind a few times when I tried to book an above average (say better than Motel 6 Hotel) for our cross-country road trip for four days.  I sat down at my computer, pulled up my ever trusty tripadvisor.com and typed in each city we would be staying in (Knoxville, Birmingham, Baton rouge and Houston).  Granted, these aren’t huge metropolises, but I thought we would be able to find a decent array of accommodations to choose from.  Then I had to check the number of persons boxes (number is five) and amenities (pets allowed).  Well, our vast array of choices went down to a small handful (if that).

Now, I’ll caveat this by saying I am a bit of a hotel snob.  I have a few criteria by which I judge hotels.

#1) The last time it was renovated.  If it has that carpet. You know that kind. The one that smells like the 70s. It’s not the hotel for me.

#2)  It doesn’t offer free conditioner.  Maybe this is a small thing to all the men out there; but I don’t know a woman who doesn’t use conditioner.  And all-in-one shampoo conditioner doesn’t count.  I need to brush my hair the next day.

#3) It has one bed in one room.  I’m sorry but my 5-person-family can’t fit in one bed in one room.  Even if we put the baby in the closet (and I’m not above that) we still can’t do it.  We need space.  And not the living-room or kitchen type space.  We need the bed-type space.

So, even with my above average hotel snobbery, it was tough to find hotels between Washington, DC and Houston, Texas.  It was mostly due to the dog/large family combo.  I’m sure if we had one or the other, it would have been easier.  But the dual whammy made it trickier.  Luckily the Homewood Suites in each city came to our rescue.  And my personal hotel diva got a touch of her inner love in Houston at Hotel Zaza (which, if you are ever in Houston, is absolutely, positively worth a visit).


Hotel Zaza view of Houston (kid and pet friendly)

I guess what I’m saying is I get why Airbnb is so popular.  Hotel people, get with the program.




a $4,500 sock and a new years resolution

Get ready to be jealous.  I’m going to tell you about our family’s awesome New Year’s Eve 2015.

So, remember our beloved dog? The one the kids love and I’m allergic to?   He was the starring attraction.

I bet you weren’t expecting that one.

Well,  our adorable mini Golden-doodle has a proclivity towards eating socks.   Mostly kids socks.  But really, anything textile and slightly smelly will do.  So far, it hasn’t been so much of an issue.  Our kids have small feet.  So their socks seem to fit easily through our dogs small intestine (I know, eww, gross) and come out one side or the other.   Whatever.  They come back out. That’s all that really matters.

Well, on New Years Eve, he ate one that didn’t.  It got stuck. Really stuck.

He moped around the house like a sock was stuck in his stomach.  I’m not sure how that feels, but I imagine it doesn’t feel too good.

He didn’t eat anything or drink anything.  So at about 10 PM on December 31 2014, after the kids were tucked into bed, I convinced J. to call the vet.  I just wanted to make sure the vet would tell us the same thing I heard when – as a Kindergardener – I swallowed a penny in the back of my mother’s 1980s VW.  Eat some saltines.  You will poop it out eventually.  No problem.  He will be fine.

Apparently socks and pennies aren’t the same.

The vet’s recommendation: anytime a pet has a gastrointestinal foreign body (i.e. a sock) you gotta come in and pay mucho dinero to figure out how to get it out.  And I mean MUCHO DINERO since of course, we decided against getting dog insurance for a 9 month old pup, or maybe we were just lazy, either way, we were footing the bill.

So, at 10:30 PM on NYE, with Carson Daley muted on the big screen in our living room, J. donned his heavy winter coat, picked up our 9 month old pup, and drove 30 minutes to the nearest vet emergency room to figure out how to extract a sock from our dog.  Yes, those places exist.

At midnight, J. watched the ball drop while waiting on an x-ray to determine if our dog, did, in fact, eat a sock.   Romantic, right? At 1 AM on January 1, 2015, we decided to call in the dog surgeon to have the sock removed (with no real alternatives, according to the vets, if we wanted our dog to live).   And by 5 AM that same day, our beloved dog was not quite back to normal, but pretty close.

And we had a $4,500 sock.  

So my 2015 New Years Resolution would be keep our dog away from smelly things, but if you have small kids and if you have pets – you probably know how impossible that is.

What was it?  Buy dog insurance.

Hey, at least it’s original.  What was yours?