Puppy! This is Brooks. He’s the newest member of our family, and we already love him to pieces. He is six and a half weeks old with all of the characteristics of a puppy that you would expect. He plays hard, crashes hard, and he is quite a little snuggle bug.
Ryan has been talking about getting a puppy for awhile now. I continually said that we should wait until after his transplant, but I have grown tired of using that excuse. This summer, we have avoided family vacations, visits to Pennsylvania, and we are unable to commit to anything too far in the future out of concern that “the call” might come and it won’t be convenient for us to get to the hospital in Cincinnati within the time frame we are given. Living this way has become about as normal as it possibly can, but the puppy topic continued to come up in conversation. So, I finally agreed on one condition, which was that if we got a puppy, I wanted one that I could train to run with me.
After a lot of research, we decided on a Vizsla. This is a breed that was rescued from Hungary during WWII. They are excellent runners, great with kids, and nicknamed the “velcro dog” because they are so in love with their owners. After having Brooks for just three days, he has already lived up to that nickname. He loves to be wherever we are, and when he sleeps at least one part of his body has to be against you or on you.
We kept Brooks a secret from the kids up until Friday when we drove to Ohio to pick him up. Lily came along for the ride while Rydan was at school. Lily has had suspicions of a new puppy because she has been along for every trip to PetSmart to purchase various items in preparation for Brooks. Every time we bought something, I told her that it was a Christmas gift for Lola’s dogs, (my mom), which surprisingly satisfied her curiosity. Even when we put up a special gate with a small cat door to keep the puppy out of the laundry room where we keep Louie’s litter and food, the kids bought our little fib about the need for installing the gate. Rydan had remained completely in the dark up until he got home from school on Friday. They both adore their new little friend, and are really enjoying his playfulness.
As for Louie, he is not exactly impressed by Brooks, but he isn’t threatened either. He tends to watch from a close distance, and if Brooks gets too close, Louie’s hiss lets him know to back off. We’ve actually been a little surprised at how uninterested Brooks is in Louie, which I suppose is a good thing. Brooks seems to say “I’ll play with you if you’ll let me, but if not, I’ll find something else to terrorize.”
This was the initial introduction. Louie decided to take a closer look while Brooks was napping. He simply sniffed around a bit and then went on his way. Clearly, Louie knows he is king of the house, and he isn’t about to let a puppy threaten his reign. They’ve had a few stare downs, where Louie always wins because Brooks cowers away after a few seconds. The two of them did actually touch noses yesterday, and then calmly walked away in opposite directions.
So, that’s our big surprise. I’m sure we’ll have lots more to share about our new puppy, so stay tuned! He is definitely quite a handful, but he does provide us with a lot of comic relief, and he is such a little lover.
Happy Monday! My apologies again, friends. I am late on publishing this post. Lily and I are currently outside enjoying the sunshine. Other than our trip to “The Greatest Show On Earth” Friday evening, our weekend was spent at home again. The humidity is finally gone, so we simply enjoyed the beautiful Kentucky weather. It was a weekend of mowing, Redbox, riding bike, going for walks, laundry, and cleaning.
This is the one and only picture I have from the circus. This is Lily and one of her very best friends from The Little Gym, Reese.
Reese and her parents sat with us at the circus. It was so cute watching the girls eat popcorn and enjoy the show. The elephants were a big highlight, and Lily is still talking about them. Unfortunately, they don’t allow cameras with zoom lenses, so we really didn’t take many pictures. Plus, Rydan ended up not feeling too well halfway through the show. Not to worry, though, he is feeling much better now.
This week, it’s Taekwondo and dance class as usual, but Rydan is working extra hard at Taekwondo in preparation for the National Tournament on September 20th.
Next Monday, we will have a big surprise to share, so stay tuned!
Happy Labor Day to all of our readers!
If you were hoping for a post today that was filled with lots of fun pictures and a recap of all the great things we did on our holiday weekend, I apologize. It’s been stormy here, and we have been bums. Highlights from the past two days include a 10-mile run for me, fantasy football draft for Ryan, our usual evening church service, various paint projects around the house, and lots of time stuck indoors for the kids.
No complaints, but unfortunately I just don’t have anything too exciting to share at the moment. Next Monday will be different, since we are taking Rydan and Lily to see the circus on Friday evening. This is a first for both of them, so check back next week to read about it!
Until then, enjoy the rest of your holiday, friends!
Filed under: Events | Tags: Celebrate Life, Fundraiser, Kentucky, Legacy Of Life 5K, Louisville, Organ Donors
Today’s post is to bring some attention to the Legacy Of Life 5K, which will take place in Louisville on Saturday, September 13th. This event will recognize and celebrate the lives of donor patients and those they have helped save through donation. Funds raised will assist in establishing a donor memorial to honor those life-saving heroes, provide community outreach, and continuing education for our caregivers.
I do hope to participate in this 5K, pending Ryan’s transplant of course. In case I can’t, I’ve set up a fundraising page to offer our support towards this celebration of life and hope.
As we wait for our phone to ring, it is important that we continue to show support towards others like us, as well as events like this one that call attention to the importance of being an organ donor. If just ten of you donate $5 each, I will reach my fundraising goal.
Thank you for your consideration and your support! Simply click on the link below to visit my fundraising page and make a donation.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: 4th Birthday, Birthday Party, Doc McStuffins
Lily celebrated her 4th birthday on Saturday (her actual birthday). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen her so excited, and it lasted all day long. Her excitement made us smile, laugh, and it touched our hearts all at once while reminding us what a truly sweet, amazing little girl we have been blessed with.
Doc McStuffins style, her birthday was a mix of bouncing with friends, eating some of her favorite foods, opening gifts, enjoying cake and ice cream, and lots and lots of laughter and smiles.
Lily received so many new Doc McStuffins toys, ones that she’s never seen in stores, which was very exciting for her. Just look at that face!
Since she had insisted on practicing how to blow her candles out before going to sleep on Friday, Lily was very prepared for her Doc McStuffins birthday cake.
After a nice afternoon nap, Lily’s friends at church made her feel even more special by letting her talk about her day. Together, they all said a big “Happy Birthday, Lily” on the count of three. When we arrived back home, Lily opened up more gifts from Mommy, Daddy, and Rydan, as well as gifts from family members in Pennsylvania.
All day, Lily enjoyed phone calls and skype sessions with lots of special people, including Papoose, Lola, Nana, Aunt Neese and Cousin Kip. Thank you everyone for showing Lily how very loved she is. She truly had a wonderful day and soaked up every single moment. I loved seeing her so happy and watching her excitement throughout her special day. To everyone who wished her Happy Birthday on the phone or left a birthday wish for her on Facebook, Lily says “Thank you SO much. That was SO nice of you!”
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Belt Test, Black Belt, Breaking Wood, Sid Nelson's Taekwondo America, Taekwondo
On Saturday, Rydan tested for his Recommended Black Belt. As usual, the test consisted of form and sparring. Rydan’s form includes 42 moves, and requires a great amount of focus and precise movements. As a Probationary Black Belt, he was also required to perform two breaks, one on each leg using two different types of kicks. This is the first time that he has been required to break wood with his left leg, which has not been an easy skill for him to master. He has spent the past week practicing, and at times, really struggling. It’s the first time that I’ve seen him really get frustrated over wood breaking. In his mind, he is well aware that he has never failed a belt test, and he very much wants to continue that streak. As proud as we are of him for being so successful, we have also been reassuring him that a failed belt test is simply part of the journey.
Going into this test, Rydan knew that if he passed, he could potentially be just eight weeks away from receiving his First Degree Black Belt. Even though he shed some tears of frustration last week, it didn’t stop him from continuing to work hard to prepare for this test. Every time his leg bounced off of that board instead of going through it, it definitely shook him, but it never broke his spirit. He simply kept trying, and on belt test day, he showed up ready to give it his all, and boy did he ever!
Here he is doing his form. As a black belt, you have two chances to correctly do your form. Rydan needed just one.
Here he is sparring. He continues to gain confidence at sparring and becomes a little more intense with every belt test.
And here he is getting ready to perform those two breaks.
When I heard the snap of the wood on his very first try of the first kick (right leg front kick), my heart raced. I quickly got up out of my seat and stepped across other parents so that I could get a closer view of him. Rydan was just one more kick away from knowing that he’d done everything asked of him to pass this test. Without hesitation, he set himself up for the left leg side kick and plowed through that piece of wood like it was no big deal. There is nothing like watching your child experience personal success, especially when I had seen so many tears of frustration just days before. Some of you may have already seen this video on my Facebook page, but in case you haven’t, here is Rydan breaking his second piece of wood and completing his test. Simply click here to watch.
Official results will be announced at Wednesday’s awards ceremony.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Dance Class, Dancer, Gymnastics, Hip Hop, The Little Gym
This afternoon Lily had her summer dance show at The Little Gym, where she and her classmates showed off their hip hop moves that they’ve learned over the past few weeks. This is Lily’s second hip hop show, so she was even more excited and more comfortable dancing in front of all the parents than the first time.
Since beginning this class almost a year ago, Lily has grown so much. She has gone from being the shy, very unsure little girl who often teared up during class, to the outgoing, confident, smiling little girl who can’t wait to go to dance class every week. She truly loves being in dance, and I absolutely love watching her learn different steps. She has such strong determination and focus for a 3-year-old. Never once have I seen her get frustrated, and it warms my heart every time she looks at me through the glass to make sure I’m watching. Her favorite hip hop moves are the “criss cross” and making her knees “wobble.”
Check her out in the photos below.
After an entire year of hip hop and gymnastics, Lily said she would now like to do ballet and tap, so starting next week, we’ll have a little ballerina. I can’t wait to go shopping for tap shoes and ballet slippers! If only I still had mine.