We Must Protect This House!

This was the mentality my dog took when he jumped out of our second story bedroom window last Friday.  I came home from work on Friday and was getting Isabella out of the car when I heard a familiar panting.  I walked around the car and saw our beloved black lab Tucker.  I stood there in complete confusion trying to figure out how he could have possibly gotten out of the house.

Scenario 1:  Did he sneak back out when I came in from my run and I missed it?

No that couldnt have been it because I fed him after I came in and I remember him standing at my feet while I filled his water bowl.

Scenario 2:  Did he sneak out when I was loading the kids in the car before I left?

Maybe, but how did I not notice him while putting the kids in the car, or while pulling out of the garage or even when I pulled back in at the end of the day.  He is an 75lb dog so he would have been hard to miss.  .

Scenario 3:  Did he get out because someone had broken into the house?

No, when I went inside all the doors were closed and locked.  Nothing in the house looked like it was out of place or missing.  Well no more out of place than when we left (we have a 2 year old – everything is out of place).

At this point I”m completely stumped.  Friday was the third day of the last four that I had gotten up at 4am to go for a run so I could quite possibly have missed him run out of the house.  Then I went upstairs to put in some laundry.  With two kids under three and two parents who workout daily we have a lot of laundry.  It was then I noticed the drapes in our room blowing.  I walked over to the window and sure enough Tuck had pulled the screen off the track and jumped out of the window.  At this point sheer panic sets in.  Why in the world would he do such a dare devil, crazy thing.  Tucker is a rescue so he is not one for trying new things without mommy there.  Of course at this point I’m so worried and completely stressed out that he has injured something.  I’m feeling so guilty that my dog is jumping out of windows – I must be a terrible mother.  I run downstair and inspect the escape route.  Donavan and I notice there are droplets of blood on the ground.  I begin to get nauseous and tell Donavan to inspect him because there is no way I’m going to be able to handle my baby seriously injured (I’m in trouble I know!).   Don finds a cut just under his skin that must have been the source of the bleeding and caused from prying the screen.

I race over to the local vet emergency room.  They take a look at him and determine that there is nothing broken.  He doesn’t seem to have any internal bleeding.  They give him a few staples on his chin and send me home with an antibiotic and some pain meds.  Guilty mom syndrome sets in and I start wondering why would he have done such a crazy stunt.  The only explanation I have is that there has been some construction going on at the lot in front of our house so he must have been trying to keep them away.  I don’t know what he did that day (which is even more frightening).  We are just so lucky that he did not seriously get injured, did not attack anyone or get picked up by animal control.

Tucker is doing well.  He seems to be over all the soreness he had from jumping from the window to our concrete patio.  He is still taking his medications for the next two days.  I have been battling the idea of boarding all of our windows to prevent this from ever a happening again but decided we will just keep all windows closed when we are not in the house.   Thanks to everyone for your support and kind words  I cant tell you how much they helped that night!

ps – stay tuned from his super cool Halloween costume. (not shown in the picture below)


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Hulk Smash

I have yet another brother celebrating a birthday.  Happy Birthday to my brother Brett (a.k.a. Hulk Smash).  In an effort to create equality in the family I am doing a few things you didn’t know for Brett as well.

Things you may know:

1.  Brett is the oldest of the 3 boys but still comes in 2nd to me (of course)

2.  He is often referred to as “No Neck”

3.  He graduated from JMU with a degree in Bio-technology (Alum-NUS)

4.  He is a foodie and a wino

5.  He once wrote a paper for class describing me as the person he looks up to the most.

Things you may not know:

1. He played Santa in his fifth grade play (picture to follow)

2. He likes to sing show tunes while in the shower

3. Was once used to describe ADD by his best friend during a game of Catch Phrase

4. “Thank You Mister Easter Bunny” – ’nuff said

5. His favorite TV show is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Turtle Power

Happy Birthday!

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I finally committed to running my very first FULL marathon.  Thats right 26.2 miles all at one time.  I will be doing the Country Music Marathon on April 30th, 2011 – which just so happens to be the day after Miss Isabella’s first birthday.  As some of my readers know this was my very first half marathon and I got engaged as I crossed the finished line to my wonderful husband.  I am going to be running it with my very best friend Katie Riesenfeld.  She is the one who got me running in the first place and came to support me on my first half in Nashville.  I will be sure to keep you updated on all my successes and struggles through out my journey to becoming a marathoner.  My next race is the US Half Marathon in San Francisco on November 7th.

In light of my recent running news I am also excited to share that I got to break in my new kicks from Saucony. I absolutely love their shoes.  I have been using various forms of the Progrid Triumph for 4 years now and I am not sure I will ever which it up.  This is their latest version and I had them broken in by the 2nd run.  Runners do yourself a favor and get a pair…. TODAY!

Baby Talk

I’ve been getting quite a few messages asking what the munchkins are up to these days so here it goes….

Caleb is still doing soccer.  I have posted a video and a few pictures from this weeks session.  At 2 soccer is more of a camp thing than organized games so he is practicing drills and working on foot-eye coordination.  The video was taken during warm-ups and you can seem him running around and dribbling the ball.  He really enjoys soccer.  The pictures are at the end of the session with a few of his “teammates”, Tiago (in red) and Adale (in white).  Caleb and Tiago have been going to daycare together since they were 3 months old.  It has been really fun watching them grow up together and they both have little sisters about the same age!

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Isabella is growing up before our very eyes.  She has begun shooting backwards when on her tummy which only leads to crawling.  She also had her very first “meal” of cereal last night.  There were moments when I thought she might take the spoon out of my hand and start feeding herself.

She has also said her first word…. drum roll please…………….. it was “da da” **sigh**


Happy Birthday to my baby brother Jared (a.k.a. P-rod)  In celebration here a few things you probably already know about Jared and a few you may not.

Things you may know:

1. Jared is the youngest of the 4 of us

2. Soccer Star

3.  He has an uncomfortable obession with T.O.

4.  Sports Fan – Go Skins!

5. I’m his favorite sibling

Things you may not know:

1. He fell in a fountain after getting drunk off Shirley Temples (yes those are virgin drinks)

2. His favorite color is magenta

3. He secretly wishes he was a Duke Dog!! – JMUUUUU DUKES.

4. He makes a mean enchilada

5. He eats mint leaves because they make his breath smell good (no they dont!)

Happy Birthday Stink!

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Nobody Loves Isabella…

Nobody loves Isabella more than Isabella. She recognized herself in the mirror at 2 months and it has been love at first sight ever since. Below is a video we took of her while we were bathing her a couple nights ago. Don’t worry its PG. She also turned 5 months yesterday!!

Me and Him

I stole this from Michelle who took it from Adrienne, who found it on Rebekah’s blog ‘Life with the Edwards’. For a marriage post it sure does get around.

1. When is your “engagement” anniversary?

April 29, 2006 right after I finished my first half marathon

2. When is your “marriage” anniversary?

July, 7, 2007

3. How long have you known your spouse?
7 and half years

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
4 years – college sweethearts

5. Where did you meet your spouse for the first time?
I lived next door to his baseball teammates in college

6. What is your spouse’s full name?
Donavan Benjamin Almond

7. Do you have any children?
2 amazing kiddies – Caleb (2) & Isabella (5 months)

8. How many? Boys/Girls
one of each

9. Do you have any house pets?
our beloved black lab Tucker

10. Do you own a house or rent?

11. Do you live in the country/town/city?
They call it the City of Santa Rosa but lets be honest its a town

12. What is one of your favorite activites to do together?
The PG version (he he) – gym, playing with the munchkins, movies, watching sports, eating yummy food

13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
we spend most of our vacation visiting family and friends on the east coast but we have had some great times in Nags Head

14. When did you first kiss?
It was at one of his baseball parties at JMU but I dont remember the exact date

15. What church do you attend?
St. Rose Catholic Church

16. Is this the church you were married in?
No we were married in our home town at his parents church. Both our babies were also baptized there by the same priest that married us.

17. What town is current address at?
Santa Rosa

18. Do you work or stay home?
Full Time working mommy

19. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Aruba – it was the best vacation we have ever had. I cherished everyday we were there!!

20. What was the funniest gift you gave while dating?
hmm I can’t think of anything funny

21. How long have you been together?
Officially 8 years on May 5th, 2011 – WHAT?!

22. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
5 months-ish?

23. Who asked who out?
He did of course… so romantic

24. How old are each of you?
Donavan – 27 : Jacqi – 28

25. Where do each of you go to school?
We met and graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!!) then we went to Georgia State University (Go Panthers!)) for graduate school. I love school I want to go back and get my PhD in Marketing so I can teach at the collegiate level.

26. Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
We have the normal marriage arguments – helping with housework, Donavan’s demanding work schedule, my desire to move back east one day.

27. Did you go to the same school?
Undergrad and Graduate School

28. Are you from the same town?
No but we are both from Northern Virginia

29. Who is smarter?

Depends on the subject. However we did take a Physics class together in college in which he got an A and I got a B+ (my physicist dad would be so ashamed).

30. Who is more sensitive?
Me but I’m a crybaby

31. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Solbar of course!! In Santa Rosa I would say Parkside Cafe for breakfast.

32. Where is the farthest you two have traveled as a couple?
California – the things we do for love

33. Who has the craziest exes?
For the most part our exes have managed to stay out of our relationship. We were young when we started dating and have been together for so long that there isn’t a long list. We are also both long term daters so that doesn’t help either.

34. Who has the worse temper?
He holds grudges longer than I do but neither one of us really has a temper

35. Who does the cooking?
Donavan – Thank you honey!!

36. Who is more social?
He says I am but I think we can both be charismatic and outgoing. We like people!

37. Who is the neat-freak?
Me and my husband is the complete opposite plus two kids = I lose.

38. Who is more stubborn?
Him – I’m too non-confrontational.

39. Who hogs the bed?
Me but I love sharing the bed.

40. Who wakes up earlier?
We have two kids under 3 – we get woken up. On a workday he does but he is a personal trainer so he has to be at work by 6-6:30

41. Where was your first date?
Official first date – Emilio’s Brickoven Pizza

42. Who had more boyfriends/girlfriends?
we are pretty even but I might have him beat by one.

43. Do you get flowers often?
they come in waves but he always seems to get them at the right time

44. How do you spend the holidays?
We switch Christmas every year between families. This part sucks I want to spend at much time with both families as possible.

45. Who is more jealous?
Me but I come with baggage.

46. How long did it take to get serious?
2 months I think

47. Who eats more?
My husband by far – his alter ego is a fat boy but he burns calories at work all day so he has to eat a lot.

48. Who does the laundry?
Ha – I do the laundry. Occasionally Donavan will wash his clothes – that drives me crazy!

49. Who is better with the computer?

50. Leave a piece of advice for other couples:
During your next argument take a moment to decide if what you are fighting about is more important than the love you have for one another. If not find a compromise and get back to the lovin.

At our rehearsal