Category Archives: Max

Pool Time

Mike is still in Chicago, he won’t be back until the weekend, and then he stays with us for a whole week. But he was here the weekend we arrived, and my dad took these photos of us having some fun in the pool. My “new” family of 4.

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Summer 2016

At the start of July, when I last posted, I said I would be back here to update you and share some of the things that have been going on this summer. Well, we are almost mid-August and I’m just now getting back to the blog. But, let’s get on it because a lot of big events have happened this summer:

Max turned 8 years-old on June 27th. It’s been 5 years since I adopted him, and we have come a long way. Love you Maxy!

Max 2016

Mike and I had our 1st wedding anniversary on July 25th and we had a nice outing. We went to see The Book of Mormon and then had a spectacular dinner at Boka.

1st Anniversary Collage

I was not able to make it to the UK on July 25th for the International Children’s Spirituality Conference, because of visa issues. But fortunately my paper and presentation were ready and Dr. Karen-Marie Yust was kind enough to read it, so even though I was not physically there, my work was shared.

Karen-Marie Yust

Mike turned 50th years-old on July 31st, and we celebrated with family. We had a plentiful meal at The Chicago Chop House and then stopped over at The Redhead Piano Bar for live music and drinks. (photos to come)

The boys (all of them) and I flew to Miami on August 5th and will be spending three weeks with los Pelos. This is where we are now. Mike had to go back to work, but will be back during our last week here as a vacation for him.

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I just realized I have most of my photos and videos in my hard drive at home, in Chicago. Bummer. I’ll update this post once I get back. For now I’ll share what I do have with me on my phone.

How’s you summer coming along? Did you get a break? Did you celebrate something special? Or is work looking mighty up to date for you? Speaking of which, I need to get at it my self, these papers don’t write themselves and classes are not prepped by the prepping Gods, unfortunately! Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

Happy BDay Max!

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Maxy turns 7 today.

Happy Birthday, my loud, grumpy and cutest-thing-ever boy!


As most of you know Maxy, my almost 7 year old Silky Terrier,  is the cutest thing ever. What you might not know is how much of a BOY he is. I had a little fun the other day video recording Max in action. Take a look:



Summer time is always anniversary time in these parts. I wrote about it a few years ago here. It’s a time when I also have some down time to think about what I have accomplished, where I am, and where I want to be. I think because I’ve always been living under the “academic schedule”, summer is the time during my year when I get the breathing time to do some reflecting, and unavoidably, every year, it happens.

This summer, it’s been 4 years since I moved to Chicago from NY. Four years working at DePaul and working toward tenure. It’s been 3.5 years since Mike and I met and started our relationship, and now it’s been a month since we began living together. Parenthesis – I live with boys now, people!!!! – I just needed to get that off my chest, but I’ll come back to that later.

It’s been 3 years since I adopted Max, and it’s been about a month since he turned 6. Max is 6 years old! Charlie’s birthday is in February, so we don’t celebrate that in the summer. Old Charlie is a whopping 10 years old, can you believe?

But speaking of birthdays, Mike is having a birthday tomorrow!! I’m excited. I’m always excited about birthdays. And I’m prepared too, with gifts and cards in tow.

Tomorrow is also the beginning of our summer road trip vacation. We are heading out south tomorrow morning, and probably not getting back into Chicago until the last week of August.

So, enjoy while we are gone. We will be doing a whole lot of this while we are away, because the boys are coming with, and we all know how much they love their morning walks! I’ll keep in touch from the road. Cheers to summer!



First Week

We survived our first week of co-habiting, or as Mike jokingly calls it “living in sin”. Well, we barely survived it. Things have happened this week. Lots. Of. Things.

Mike moved in on Saturday, dropping off his unwanted furniture anywhere they would take it: at his sister’s, at a church, and finally up in Wisconsin at his mom’s. He ended up getting back home, after retuning the truck, his keys, and picking up his car, around 10:30 pm, having started the day off at 8 am.

Sunday was an early rise to organize everything. The storage area was a mess; Mike had left everything out in the hall, in the hopes to save some time on Saturday. So we desperately needed to get all things settled in the storage room, and out of people’s way. We were at it for hours, but made it back home in time to watch the US game, while organizing kitchen stuff.

We now have SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I mean, literally, every surface has something on it, big or small. Every closet is filled, every drawer is packed, every cabinet has been used. If we ever get or buy anything else, we will have to get rid of something to be able to fit it in… or move to a bigger place… but let’s leave that up to the unforeseen future, shall we? For now, I really don’t want to think about moving again anytime soon.

Monday was the start of Mike’s first of two long commute weeks. He’s still working out in Channahon, until July 3rd. So the poor guy takes almost 2 hours to get there, and then similar time to drive back, every day. Not fun. But at least it’s not for long. But that first Monday, he came back home sneezing and in a haze. I gave him some Claritin and off to bed he went, only to wake up the next day with the flu. He had a full blown cold: runny nose, sneezes, headache, and a fever. He called in sick and spent all day in bed.

By Wednesday morning he was feeling better and went off to work. But by Wednesday night I was now starting to feel my throat itch in that not desirable way, and by the time Thursday rolled by I was sneezing like a pro and in a total haze. I had a packed agenda day on Thursday, with errands (how many times can a girl donate things to the Salvation Army? Apparently over a thousand!) and work meetings, so I headed out, but once I got back home around 8pm I was full blown sick. Thank you, Mike. We’re not sure where he got it from, but I sure do know where I did! (and, thank you for the flowers too, they are beautiful).

I had to cancel everything I had set for Friday and stayed in bed all day. Of course this was the only day of the week with no fútbol. Murphy, why do you always have to be right? But I slept and drank water, and took Advil and antihistamines, and went through boxes of tissues. Saturday looked pretty much like more of the same for me. I stayed in all day, changing from one set of PJs to the next, but not really getting too far from my bed. This time there was fútbol on TV, so that helped.

Mike was very industrious and spent some hours down in the storage unit labeling everything and reorganizing, to see if we could fit in some more lingering things that just couldn’t fit upstairs. While I rested and lounged around with the boys, who of course kept me company all through the duration of my cold. They are suckers for accompanied bed time.

On Sunday, I started feeling better. We had been invited for arepas brunch at some friends’, but had to canceled. I did not want to bring my germs and this nasty cold as a hostess gift to these guys. I was barely out of it, and knew how nasty it felt, and really didn’t want to give it to them. But I did feel better, and took advantage of that, so I went with the boys for a walk. It felt good to be out of the condo and to breathe clean air. It was nice to walk along the lake again. When we got back, I made breakfast at home. Mike was bummed we had missed out on arepas, so I made some for us to compensate.

We lounged around and then went out for lunch, some errand and to see Godzilla. Mike had been wanting to see it in the theater for ever, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss seeing it on the big screen. We came back and walked the boys again, and I was feeling much better. So much so, I decided to retire the Kleenex box to it’s original spot in the bathroom, and return leftover cough drops and Advil to the medicine cabinet.

I still have a cough, but I feel so much better. No fever in the last 24 hours or more, no runny nose, and no head cold. Just a cough, which I’m hoping will go away soon enough.

But… last night, it rained. No, it didn’t just rain, it thunderstormed. And we all know Charlie does not do well with those. At 3 am, we were all up. Trying to calm Charlie, and quiet Max. When it rains, Charlie turns into a wuss and Max into a bully. For some reason, Max can’t stand Charlie’s fear, and he lashed out at him, only making it worse. So you can just imagine how fun it is for us. Especially, at freaking-three in the morning!

So this morning when Mike got up to take the boys for a walk, I decided to stumble out of bed and help him get them ready. I figured we both had had a terrible night’s sleep, and he had to go into work, while I could go back to bed and sleep a little longer, before starting my day. Little did I know, this was not my hottest idea. As I held Charlie so Mike could put his harness on him (Charlie was still afraid of the rain at 6 am), Mike dropped the retractable leash on my foot, and it landed square on my right pinky toe. %^&*$#@!

It’s supposed to rain today, all day. I have a meeting close to my office, which I was planning to walk to, and now I’m not only limping, but it hurts if I wear enclosed shoes. My pinky toe is throbbing. Mike, dear, next time you drop something in my proximity, a heads up to move out of the way will be highly appreciated!

So yeah, first week? We survived. Barely. (cough, cough, limp, limp)


Charlie and Max and true boys, and as such are always getting into dirty stuff. They love going to the beach; Max can’t be close to the water without getting in. But inevitably it seems like they bring back with them all the sand, dirt and grime from the streets. This past weekend we took them to a new place to get groomed. They were overdue for a haircut, and since summer is around the corner, we thought we would ask for a little more than the usual trim.

We like how they look all long hair and scruffy, but sometimes one just needs to go short and clean. Truthfully, we didn’t ask for a short cut, we said clean up their faces, paws and skirts, but I guess they understood buzz everything, because that’s exactly what they did.

This is a before shot:


And these are some after ones:

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Don’t they look so much younger? When I saw them, I said “It’s like we have puppies now!” They look adorable, and since the tangled, scruffy hair was cut off, they are as soft as silk; a dream to pet!

Summer, we are ready for you, now let it be hot!

Morning Walks

The weather has finally gotten better, although it snowed on Monday… again. But it has gotten so hot, it even reached 79 F last weekend. Right now it’s back to the 50s, and we are enjoying it.

Our morning walks are some of my favorite times together, when the four of us are out and about in the neighborhood. Some of us snif, pee, poop, and chase squirrels, while others of us talk and reminiscence while enjoying the cool, fresh air, and sometimes take photos to share with you.

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Aren’t mornings along Lake Michigan pretty? We tend to think so.

It Snowed

The weather has been crazy in Illinois. Crazy cold that is. Well, actually it has been crazy cold across the country, except for Florida. It always seems to be 80 F degrees in Florida. Lucky them!

Anyhow, this morning we woke up to snow, a boat load of snow. Just take a look at what it looked like during our morning Saturday walk with the boys.

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Max’s Progress

We are making progress with Max. I think. This past weekend was  going to be a test to his behavior, because we were going to be together again all four of us, since the previous weekend’s incident.

Mike and I compromised and the dogs had access to the bed during the day, if we were lounging around on it. But at night the bed was off limits. This is easy to do in my place, because my bed is tall enough to be a challenge for them to get on it. But in Mike’s place the bed is low, so they are encouraged to jump on whenever they feel like it.

Anyway, it seemed to work. Max growled at me once when I was coming into the room and he was on the bed with Mike. I grabbed him and placed him on the floor and told him “No more bed for you. If you growl, you are off”. At night they were off the bed and we were not crowded, which meant I slept through the night, so soundly I didn’t even get up to go to the bathroom. This meant the mid-night growling was completely avoided this weekend. Both Max and Charlie slept on the floor, Max usually under the bed, and Charlie in one of the dog beds.

We are also making progress with the crate. Max doesn’t completely go into it yet, but he takes his treats from inside the crate. I even caught him peeping in to sniff and see if there was anything in there (i.e. a treat) at some random times, hours after I had placed a treat in the crate and he had chopped it up.

So progress. I think. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he won’t  regress. Mike took him when he left on Monday. I felt bad for the poor fellow, he seems so sad and abandon when he’s here with me by himself, and the rest of his pack is somewhere else. You should had seen how excited he got when I told him on Friday Mike and Charlie were coming, he couldn’t wait! So, off he went with the rest of the boys when they left on Monday, and hopefully Mike is following through. We’ll see what happens next weekend.