Tag Archives: family

When Pets Leave Us

Recently my family had to put down our dog. Our dear sweet girl was 16 years old, and my husband and I had raised her since she was 6 weeks old. At the time we were just two young teenagers fresh out of high school. We were dating, not anticipating that we would one day marry, create a life and family together, and have to say goodbye to the sweet dog that started our little journey in to adulthood and parenthood.

If you are a pet owner, or as my family calls it, a pet parent, you know how close you can become to your animals. Our dog was a purebred Black Labrador. During our time with her we moved out of our parent’s houses, graduated college, bought a house, got married, and had children together. But she was our first baby together. She went on vacations with us, she slept in our room, we took care to train her, play with her, and help her throughout her life. We even bred her and helped her birth 10 puppies (one of which we have raised next to her for the last decade). During this time she was also there for me while I carried my babies. She was even the one with me as I miscarried my nearly 12 week baby. When I woke up in the morning terrified and realizing what was happening as the rest of my family slept, she stayed with me and comforted me.

Our sweet girl was incredible with our children. She let them climb on her, sleep on her, dress her up, use her as their patient when they played doctor. She laid under them as they played on their swing set, always ready in case they needed her. It was incredibly hard to make the decision that she was unable to fight her disease any longer. It was hard to realize we would continue on without her. We decided early on in our marriage that when the time came to discuss death we wouldn’t shy away from the subject with our kids. So when we knew it was time to make the trip to the Vet we took the kids aside and explained that the doggy was sick, that she wasn’t getting better, and she needed our help. Our oldest was in school, but our youngest son when with us to the vet. At only two years old we knew it probably wouldn’t make the biggest impact on him, but since he spent the most time with the dog during the day we thought it was important he understand why the dog wasn’t there anymore. During the visit, we petted our girl, loved on her, and cried a lot. Our son did too. When she was finally asleep and resting our son petted her head and raised his arms and told us “Doggy gone.” We weren’t sure that he understood, but in the week since we have noticed our other dog searching for her friend, and our son pets her and tells her “doggy gone.”

When pets leave us

Sharing this with you was one of the ways I have come to terms with the fact that someone who was such a large part of my life is gone. She won’t come back. I am a grown woman, who has lost many loved ones over the years but still find myself weepy and depressed, unable to fully reconcile my emotions. My children are young, have never experienced death, and I am watching them try to deal with the loss of their best friend.

Sometimes life is hard. We read our blogs, enjoy the comedy within them, pin things on Pinterest to make our lives more fun and exciting, and live our lives not worrying about the other things. Occasionally those other things catch up with us, and this month my family has dealt with a lot of the hard and very little of the fun.

I don’t share this to depress you, but instead to remind you how short and wonderful our lives are. Hug your kids, kiss your partner, eat the pizza, and dance no matter who is watching. At the end of it all who cares what everyone else is doing, after all, they are probably looking at their phones and not at you. Enjoy your life with the people and animals you love. After all, tomorrow comes very quickly.

Sibling Rivalry: Normal or Bad?

I have three brothers. One older, and two younger. My entire childhood was spent with at least 2 boys if not three in my house at all times. I was never an only child. I always had a friend to play with, and I ALWAYS had someone to argue with. My Mom always joked that she could never have all four kids happy at the same time. There was ALWAYS an odd man out.

It is normal to have some rivalry and arguing going on between siblings. After all, we are human. No matter what we find ways to be different, ornery, and selfish in one way or another. The more time we spend together the more we will find a way to cause an issue with someone. It happens in every facet of life. Work-life, home-life, and in our relationships. So why would it be any different with our siblings?

Sibling rivalry does not need to be a bad thing. Here are a few ways it will help to have a “little” sibling rivalry.

1. Arguments are arguments. They can be settled, it is a way for kids to learn and practice being adults and having to deal with not seeing eye-to-eye with someone else. We should let these smaller disagreements be teaching tools to show kids how to find a middle ground. But we do not want to see them escalate into full-blown physical fights. Conflict resolution is a very important life-skill. So as long as no one is trying to kill or maim someone else, let those little squabbles be the teaching tool they are.

2. Nurture the positive! When you see your kids getting along well and doing nice things for one another, praise them for it! Give them opportunities to do good things for each other. When one has a birthday or reason to celebrate like a graduation take the others to find them a special present, or make them a special card. Promote their ability to praise one another and see each other’s strengths. This can also help them to see their own strengths and see the importance in showing the people we love how much they mean to us.

3. Spend some alone time with each child. This can be difficult, but it really only takes a little while. You don’t have to disappear with each kid for hours or days. Sometimes 15 minutes or half an hour is all that is necessary to make each child realize how important they are. Go for a walk, let one child help you make dinner. Sit with them and chat about their day. By showing them how important they are as individuals they will spend less time fighting over your affection and will spend more time building their own relationship with each other and with you without fearing that they are not as loved as their sibling.

Sibling rivalry is normal in many ways. It is when it gets to be too volatile that we need to pay attention and intervene. So watch and listen, but try not to worry too much.

STEM Activities: Flotation Devices for Action Figures

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mechanics is a huge part of learning in today’s modern world. It is very important that we reinforce that learning at home. STEM doesn’t have to be a boring subject, in fact, it can be a quite remarkable subject that includes lots of outrageous experiments. This experiment is fun, simple, and teaches all in one amazing activity.

Teachers Pay Teachers:

Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent resource for parents that home-school. Or for parents that want to help show their kids school can be fun and reinforce lessons at home to keep kids on track. Teachers Pay Teachers allows for parents to purchase or download free lessons. Lessons cover all kinds of different learning activities. This week we want to highlight the fun and educational aspect of a STEM activity  and how you and your kids can do it at home.

stem activities

This activity teaches your kids all about engineering their own flotation device for their toys. The kit includes a rubric for gauging your kids learning. This activity is perfect for grades 3-5. Interacting with your kids and being part of the learning process ensures that kids will see how important their education is. It also show them that you are their for help. No matter what, and will always be their to guide and encourage them.

Check out this fun STEM activity and be sure to look at some of the other learning activities available at Teachers Pay Teachers.