A Girl and Her Dog

I always see those sweet photos of little kids with their dogs.

Honestly, I thought that was how our dog, Sophie, would be with Madeline.  She was always such a cuddly dog.  She seemed to love kids when my little cousins came to visit.  And then we had Madeline.

We did things the way the books suggested.

We introduced a blanket that Madeline had slept with to Sophie first.  Thinking that this would allow her to grow familiar with her scent before we brought this new little creature home.  We tried to continue to give her attention.  Allowing her to come close enough to get a look at the new baby and get a get sniff or two.  But almost immediately she had no interest in Madeline.

If we were holding Madeline, Sophie stayed away.

At first that was fine.  I mean honestly a dog and a newborn, I didn’t mind if she didn’t take that much interest.  However, as Madeline grew and started noticing the dog more herself, Sophie still wanted nothing to do with her.

If Madeline would try to pet her Sophie would run away.

Much to Madeline’s confusion, every time she tries to pet the dog, she runs away and hides.  She has never bonded with her, and that makes me sad.  While she has never been outright mean or aggressive towards her, she has snipped a few times, and it has made us consider whether she is still a good fit for our family.

Most of the time Madeline loves Sophie.

We’ve asked her if she would be sad if Sophie didn’t live with us anymore.  She says she would.  Then of course we have moments like the other night when she got super upset and sad because,

“Sophie looked at me and hurt my feelings.”

The drama of a three-year-old is real in our house.  I mean look at these hurt feelings here, folks.

Of course, then again, the first thing Madeline says everyday when we get home from school is,

“Hi, Sophie, I’m back.”

So really, they have a very complicated relationship.  I just wish I knew how to get Sophie to bond with her a little more.  Is it too late?  How to you get your preschooler and your dog to like each other?  Any suggestions?


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Dancing with Cinderella 


Tonight, Madeline dressed in an Ariel tshirt and a crazy dress up skirt, asked her dad to play Beauty and the Beast and dance with her. He had a long day at work, and was tired, but he held her hands and he danced. She spun around in circle after circle and was thrilled that daddy was dancing with her. 

These are the moments that I want to always remember. The quiet Friday nights at home. Our family. 

As I watch them dance I couldn’t help but think of the Steven Curtis Chapman song, Cinderella, and think about how it won’t be but a blink of an eye before I’m watching them dance at her wedding someday. Time is moving too fast with this little girl. Three years has flown by, I’m afraid think how quickly the next 20 will go. 

She spins and she sways

To whatever song plays

Without a care in the world

And I’m sitting here wearing

The weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day

And there’s still work to do

She’s pulling at me saying
“Dad, I need you

There’s a ball at the castle

And I’ve been invited

And I need to practice my dancing

Oh, please, Daddy, please”
So I will dance with Cinderella

While she is here in my arms

‘Cause I know something the prince never knew

Oh, I will dance with Cinderella

I don’t wanna miss even one song

‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight

And she’ll be gone
She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed

She wants to know if I approve of her dress

She says, 

“Dad, the prom is just one week away

And I need to practice my dancing

Oh, please, Daddy, please?”
So I will dance with Cinderella

While she is here in my arms

‘Cause I know something the prince never knew

Oh, I will dance with Cinderella

I don’t wanna miss even one song

Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight

And she’ll be gone
She will be gone
Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand

Just glowing and telling us all they had planned

She says, 

“Dad, the wedding’s still six months away

But I need to practice my dancing

Oh, please, Daddy, please?”
So I will dance with Cinderella

While she is here in my arms

‘Cause I know something the prince never knew

Oh, I will dance with Cinderella

I don’t wanna miss even one song

‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight

And she’ll be gone

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Portrait of a Dad

To most this is just a photo of a dad holding his newborn daughter, but let me tell you, it is so much more. This is a photo of a dad who less than 14 months earlier had held his first born, his son, for the first and last time all at once. It’s a photo of a dad who has been through a tremendous tragedy and yet been an unwavering rock of support for his wife through the loss, another pregnancy, and now the birth of their new daughter. It’s a photo of a dad who is already so in love with and filled with wonder and amazement at this tiny little girl in his arms. It’s a photo of a dad who has just felt his broken heart heal a little bit while looking into his daughter’s big beautiful eyes. Today, that little girl is 3 years old and says daddy is her best friend. I’m pretty sure that feeling is mutual.  There is a reason this is forever my favorite photo of you two.


Patrick,

I’m not sure I can put into words how grateful I am to have you not just as my husband, but as the father of my children (but you know me, I will try). I remember the day we got married. I thought I loved you such an incredible amount then, but then that day I saw you holding Madeline, our sweet, beautiful, daughter in your arms for the first time it was like falling in love with you all over again. Watching you become a dad has been the most incredible thing to witness. From your willingness to change cloth diapers (thank goodness we are past that!), to watching you patiently let our little Princess try to “make you pretty” with her tiaras and beads. You have become such an amazing dad, and Madeline and I simply adore you. The days where Madeline has gone into full threenager status and is driving me crazy, you know how to talk us both down off of the ledge. We love our family adventures with you, our movie nights, our game nights, and our just be silly nights. You make everyday and everything a little more fun. I am convinced you are the world’s greatest husband, and Madeline knows you are the world’s greatest dad! We just know we are lucky to have the best! We love you bunches!!!

Happy Father’s Day from your two favorite girls!

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Madeline’s First Recital 

We survived! 

She made it through her first recital, and she danced, and she looked adorable, and she didn’t cry even though I think she wanted to a couple of times, and Patrick and I are just so proud of her. 

Madeline and mommy backstage before her performance.
Madeline and Daddy after her performance. He had flowers for her.


It was a long day for Madeline with needing to be at dress rehearsal at 8:30 am and the actual show not starting until 7:00 pm at night. By the time the finale came around Madeline was ready to to crash. She was tired, but she hung in there and didn’t meltdown, and I was so proud of her. 


It was a little chaotic and crazy at time, but overall it was a good experience, and Madeline seemed to have fun and that really all that matters. 


It was so fun to finally see the culmination of all her and her little friends’ hard work come together. The whole class did amazing. For a class with 16 two – five year olds the fact that none of them cried and ran off stage seemed like a major win. 


At the end of the night Madeline was asleep before we even left the parking garage. She was wiped out. We were too, but we still had to drive home in a crazy lightening storm that made our drive home a little scary with street lights out most of the way, a downed tree in the road, and several wrecks along the side of the road. Thankfully we made it home safely and also thankfully we had power once we it home since about half the town was out. Crazy day. 

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Dress for Success

Madeline is going through a phase where she will only wear dresses. 


Pretty typical three year old behavior, but holy terror if you try and put her anything other than a dress. There will be tears and sometimes they aren’t just hers. 


Her favorite are dresses that twirl when she spins in circle after circle until she makes herself dizzy. My little dancing girl is always spinning, and twirling herself around in circles. She never stops moving. 

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Sick Day Sidekick

Tuesday night a stomach bug or food poisoning or possibly the plague hit me hard and I was down and out. I can usually push through. I get migraines frequently, so I’ve learned how to parent even while feeling less than 100%, but this was something else. Surely I was dying because I had never felt such an awful combination of nausea and just severe stomach pain before in my life and this is coming from someone who threw up for almost the entire nine months of her pregnancy. 

Wednesday reinforcements were called in and Grandma (my mom) came over to babysit Madeline while I slept most of the day unable to move for fear of the pain. After my mom left, but before Patrick came home from work, Madeline curled up next to me on the sofa, stroked my leg, and said, “I’ll take care of you, momma.” 

I told her, “thanks, baby. You do such a good job taking care of mom. You are such a good doctor.” (Doc McStuffins is a bit of a hero to her.) She curled up next to me and quickly fell asleep, obviously tired after playing with Grandma all day. 

It is in moments like this, laying there on the sofa, even while feeling sicker than I’ve ever felt before, that I realize just how lucky I am to have this sweet empathetic little girl. 

Her heart is so big and she genuinely cares about not just me, but everyone she meets. I only pray that she holds on to that with every fiber of her being. This world can be cruel and cold and it is so easy to stop caring so much. But baby girl, never stop. Keep loving, keeping caring, keep being you. You will make a difference in this world. You will be a change. 

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Recital Ready…Almost


Madeline is almost ready for her first recital (only one more class). Now whether or not I am ready is another story. lol 

She does so well in class and when she performs the dance for us. She has all the moves down, but it will interesting to see if she freezes on stage with so many people in the audience or if she shines like the little star we think she is. I really hope she doesn’t freeze up. 

She has one dance and then she gets to dance in the finale too. It will be a long day for her (and is too), but I think she’s excited.  She goes around the house practicing. It’s just about the cutest thing ever. 

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Gone Fishing

I took Madeline fishing for the first time at our local park’s fishing derby. She had gotten a Moana fishing pole for her birthday this year and so I thought this might be a fun little outing. I asked my sister to come along too since she is the one who taught me how to fish when I was a kid. 


We didn’t catch anything, but we sure had fun trying. I’m not quite sure Madeline understands the concept yet, but anytime spent with my girl is always fun. 

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Downtown Days

We made our annual trip down to Downtown Days in Lee’s Summit. We’ve gone every year since Madeline was a baby, actually I think we’ve gone every year we’ve been married. 

Madeline enjoyed getting to meet a few Disney princesses, watching a couple performances from another dance studio that we’ve been looking at, and of course the funnel cake! 

She really wanted to ride the carnival rides, but my anxiety just couldn’t handle that this year. After that story from the other carnival, I just couldn’t do it. Besides, it wasn’t the rides for her age she wanted to ride. No, myblittle daredevil wanted to ride the BIG KID rides. Yeah no kid. You are tiny, you cannot ride the things that nearly go upside down. Not yet. Momma’ not ready for that yet. I a pretty excited that I might have a World’s of Fun ride buddy though in a couple years when she gets taller. 😉

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