Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sticky lips

Look, guys! I made a crappy vlog for my crappy blog!!

I wrote this story out three or four times, but because of how many visualizations there were, I decided to just vlog it.

So, without further ado, enjoy “Sticky lips” and this extremely poorly made vlog.

Thank you.

So at this point, my battery died. Then I filmed the rest when I was at home (still wearing sun glasses cause #nomakeup), and then I tried to edit it . . . but I accidentally cut off a crucial plot point . . . THIS IS WHY I WRITE AND NOT VLOG. 


The grooms men and bridesmaids are paired up and walking down the isle one couple at a time. 

And who's a groomsman who's part of the ceremony? 

My. Ex. 

Okay here's the rest of the story, including the "sticky lips" part. 

Thank you everyone for coming to my blog.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

European American

This is a post about a political topic, and I don't think the changes I'm suggesting will happen. Also, my opinion likely wont be changed by your angry comment.

I’m just publishing this cause I think it’s an interesting idea.

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Thank you.

Here we go!

Here's something that bugs me about the United States. Every American has 'titles' that go along with their identity.

African American.

Asian American.

Latin American.

Native American.

And so on. 

I want to start by saying that I don’t think these labels are bad. I think an amazing part of America is the different cultures that make up the States. I think labels allows us to embrace our heritage and helps us remember where we came from.
Here’s where I do have a problem, though, and would like to see a change that will never happen:
White people.

I’ve never been called ‘white American’ or ‘Caucasian American.’
I have, however, been called ‘American.’
And it’s true. I’m absolutely an American, and my identity certainly lays heavily on being American. I was born here, as were my parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
And before that? They came from Europe. 
But I’m not a Caucasian, white or European American. I’m just American.
And that bugs me.
One reason is because it makes us forget where we came from!
I think it's dope that I’m descendants of (mostly) Belgian and British immigrants (I’m still very much a European mutt)! I’ve had the opportunity to go to those countries, and I loved it! I love being able to say that my ancestors came from those countries! They survived the plague!
And they were all super poor peasant folk, so I’m pretty sure they didn’t participate in the colonization of Africa! . . . right? Right?

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 Not only that, but it makes me wonder how much my ancestors went through to get me to this awesome spot that I am in life. They truly are responsible for helping me be where I am today!
It also gives us more of a sense of identity. I cannot tell you how at-home I felt when I went to Utah's Scottish Festival (despite my little-to-no Scottish blood). I was around others who came from the same place, struggled with the same pale-skin issues, and shared so much of the same culture!

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 The other reason why this makes me sad is because I believe it subtly feeds into white privilege without us knowing it, realizing it, or meaning to.

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That’s just how our culture is. We’re American’s. They’re African American, Asian American, [ethnicity] American. But we’re Americans.

Why is that?

I don’t know. I don’t know how this started, or why it is the way that it is. I just think it’d be cool if it was different.

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What I’d love to see happen is for white Americans to start referring themselves as/being referred to as European American. (Or Caucasian American. Did you know Caucasian literally means ‘of European descent’? I had no idea until today!)

I believe doing this would help us be more accepting of others, welcoming of different cultures, and – in an ideal world – maybe even cut back racism.

Now because I have overly-sensitive white friends who probably have their panties up in a wad over this post, I want to make this clear:

There is nothing wrong with being white.

There is nothing wrong with embracing your Irish/British/Scottish/German/French/Belgian/Russian Heritage.

There is something wrong when you forget you’re a descendant of immigrants.

There is something wrong when you judge someone else for being an immigrant/descendant of an immigrant, when you yourself are one.

We can't get rid of these labels. And to be honest, I think it would be sad if we got rid of these labels. I think these labels are a good way to embrace, honor and remember our ancestors. They help us uphold traditions and remember where we came from.

I guess, the point I’m trying to get across here . . . or my thesis statement . . . is this: White Americans are European Mutts and should be referred to as European Americans. (Or Caucasian Americans. I don’t know, for some reason, I just like the word European more than the word Caucasian.) 


I do think there's one ethnic label we should get rid of, and that's Native American.

They are the only ones deserving of the title of just "American." Because they're Americans! Like, they’re the Americans. And they’re wayyy more American than us European mutts are ever gonna be!

And as for those saying, “Hey but what about the fact that I’m 3% African/Cherokee! That makes me ethnic!”

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Oh, shut up. I'm 7 percent Irish and don't even claim to be Irish.

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You’re white, and you probably only have that percentage cause one of your ancestors slept with a slave who didn't even want to be slept with.

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And that's what I'd love to see happen in the world, and am sure it wont.

Thank you.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Awkward Column

I go through a number of small, awkward moments daily. Most of these moments aren't exactly long enough for an entire blog post. So, here is a random hodgepodge (a word that we, as English speakers, don't use nearly enough) of awkward moments that have happened to me recently. 

The self high-five

Disneyland is a hub for members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Probs cause most members have a lot of kids, live on the west coast, and Disneyland is on the west coast and geared towards families.
Brigham Young University is also a hub for members of the Church of Jesus Christ. The reason for this is obvious; it's cause it's owned by the church.

So it's not uncommon to see people wearing BYU attire at Disneyland.

Which is exactly what happened this last time I went to Disneyland.

My friend and I were exiting Space Mountain and making our way over to Indiana Jones, when I saw a guy wearing a BYU shirt.

We passed him, I raised my hand for a high five, made eye contact with him and said, "Go cougars!" (BYU's mascot is a cougar. Like, the animal. Not the old-ladies-on-the-prowl-for-a-young-man type.)

We walked past each other, my hand still raised, and I was ignored.

So I did the most logical thing:

I gave myself a high-five.

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The time I made a waterfall

It was around 5 a.m.

I was on my study abroad in New Zealand. We were moving from the North Island to the South Island.

I was boarding an airplane and was extremely grumpy because, well, it’s 5 a.m. and I’m not a morning person.

I had hastily packed the night before, but had left too much stuff out and shoved it all in my backpack the next morning.

As a result, my backpack was the size of a parachute.

We were on a pretty small plane, so the overhead compartments were pretty small as well. I got to my seat, turned to the overhead compartment, and started shoving my backpack into the small space.

“Come on,” I grumbled, punching the backpack into the compartment. “Can. You. Just. FIT?!”

One last final shove, and it was in.

And that’s when I saw the water trickling down and dripping out of the compartment . . . and right on top of a man’s bald head.

My eyes followed the trail of water and it lead right to . . . my unopened water bottle.

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I frantically tried to close the water bottle, turned the cap the wrong way, opened it more, panicked some more, and ended up just pulling the water bottle out altogether and sticking it my jacket pocket.

Water continued to drip steadily onto the man’s bald head. And he had a reaction that I appreciate to this day:

He sat there, staring straight forward, and just blinked. His mouth was stretched out in this line, and his face just read, “Of course this would happen to me. Oh well.”

I’m still so grateful for that reaction. He could’ve yelled at me. He could’ve caused a scene. He had good reason to, after all. Water was being dumped on his head at five in the freaken morning.

But instead, he just sat there like, “Well this is happening. This is a thing.”

And this was my reaction:

“Oh my gosh. I am so, so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m SO sorry.”

I pulled the sleeve of my jacket over my hand and started dabbing the water off of his head.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!”

It was pretty useless, and my friend standing behind me gave me a nudge and said, “Come on, Carmen.”

I began to half walk/half be pushed away from the guy, my arm still outstretched while I continued to spew never-ending apologies. 

The baby rhino

We were at a rhino reserve in Uganda. After watching an impactful (and frankly, depressing) documentary on rhino poaching (which you shouldn't do, by the way. It's stupid and useless and harmful to the animals and the enviornment), I stepped out of the room we were watching the documentary in, and went outside to go back to the bathroom.

That's when I was greeted by a warthog.

This warthog, to be exact:

(He's sleeping. Not dead.)


I stood there, frozen. The warthog was just standing there too, minding his own business. I couldn't tell if the warthog was looking at me or not.

I also realized in that moment that, everything I knew about warthogs, I learned from The Lion King.

And I'm not totally sure that information is completely accurate.

Regardless, it wasn't helpful information anyway.

I didn't exactly know how to handle this situation. So I did what I do best:

I ran away from my problem.

Well, kind of. I very slowly began to do a sideways shuffle away from the warthog.

"Hello," came a voice from behind.

I jumped.

It was one of the workers of the rhino sanctuary.

I had forgotten that we generally needed to be accompanied by a worker while moving from building to building on a reserve/safari, in case we run into wildlife. That way, the workers can handle the situation and prevent the idiot tourists from potentially dying via hippo.

So, you know, we needed them to prevent the exact situation I was in right now.

(Also, in one of our camps, we fell asleep to the sounds of hippos and I found it oddly calming.)

"Are you going to the toilet?" the worker asked in his thick, East African accent.

"Oh - uh - yeah," I said.

He nodded and said, "I show you where it is."

"Thanks," I said, not taking my eye off the warthog. "Is that uh . . . uh . . ."

I had completely spaced the word "warthog," and said the one animal that came to mind:

"Baby . . . rhino?"

I face palmed myself internally.

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“No, that is a warthog,” he said kindly. “Rhino’s are much, much bigger.”

"Oh, right. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense," I said. "Is he . . . it . . . dangerous?"

"No, he will not harm you unless you try to harm him."

"Got it."

As we walked to the bathroom, I reassured myself that he’s probably used to arrogant white people asking stupid questions.

That’s what I told (and still tell) myself, anyway.

Who knows if that's actually true. 

An awkward date I went on

This took place after a rough breakup. I decided to give dating another try, so I downloaded a dating app.

I still regret this decision.

But, I stand by my life motto (the same motto that got me through the following story): Everything in life is a good experience or makes a good story later.

I agreed to meet up with a guy at a nearby sandwich/panini place (he let me pick where to eat). The way our conversation had shifted before the date, I was getting a vibe that this wasn’t gonna be as great as I initially hoped, so I picked somewhere that I enjoyed and didn’t want to pay for.

Might be mean, but I had to get something good from this date.

We met outside the restaurant, ordered our food and sat down. The casual, get-to-know-you questions began. You know, the “where are you from”, “what are you studying”, “what year in school are you”, etc.

“So, how many siblings do you have?” he asked.

I responded, then said, “What about you?”

“Guess,” he said.

“Uh – okay – I don’t know. Like, two?”

“I was born in China,” he said.

“Oh, then I’m assuming it’s just you?”

“Yeah,” he said. “But I had an older sister. I didn’t know her, though, because the government came when she was a baby and like, kidnapped her and put her in a dumpster or something.”

“Oh, wow. That was probably hard for your parents. I actually have a couple friends who’s family adopted girls from China who were abandoned as babies.”

“Wait, are you serious?” he asked.

“Yeah, like one was abandoned in a hotel, and I think the other actually was in a dumpster or something like that,” I said, taking a bite of my sandwich.

“. . . because I was just kidding,” he said.

Awkward silence.

“. . . Wait, really?” I said.

“Yeah, that didn’t actually happen.”

And so I did what I do when I can’t run away from my problems:

I laughed it off.

But, like, I really didn’t know exactly how to handle the situation so . . . I think I definitely overdid the laugh.

But what I really wanted to do was laugh my way out of the date. 

I didn't, though. I'm not that socially inept. 

I honestly can’t tell you what happened the rest of the date. I think I just went on autopilot and internally begged for it to be over. Conversation continued, but none of it was riveting.

At the end of the date, we exchanged phone numbers, and I went to the car thinking, “Oh man I wonder how late it is. That was pretty long –.”

It had been 45 minutes.

My date was 45 minute long.

And I thought it was like, two hours.

Also, I haven’t heard from him since. 

My period

I started my period three days early, in the middle of the day, while I was at work. 

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No big deal, I've been dealing with this for quite a few years now. I had some back-up pads in my desk drawer for occasions just like this. 

So I went to my desk, pulled open my drawer and opened the package of pads I had stored in my desk. I had bought these pads while in Africa after I discovered I forgot to pack feminine hygiene products. 

Well, my body decided not to have a period that month (don't worry - I'm not pregnant) so I ended up never using them, thus becoming my back-up products at work. 

I went to the bathroom to put my pad in, and realized the pad was massive. First of all, it had been quite a few months since I had worn a pad, and it had been even longer since I had used one that thick. Like, I didn't need that much protection, but I was sure getting it. 

While I was on the toilet bleeding my uterus out and experiencing period poop (every woman who has experienced a period knows exactly what I'm talking about right now), I realized that the bow of my dress . . . was sitting in the toilet water. 

I about threw up. First of all? Disgusting. Second of all? My bow had been tied SO CUTE before, and now I was gonna have to untie it and take it off! Third of all? . . . how on earth was I gonna take it off without splashing nasty toilet water everywhere?

It proved not to be as difficult as I originally thought it would be, but it was a definitely process. I untied it with two fingers, trying to prevent myself from touching the now-contaminated bow. Then, carefully, I set it on the ground, where a puddle began to form around it. 

I gagged, finished my business, picked the bow up with my pointer finger and thumb, and made my way to the sink where I washed my hands and pathetically tried to rinse/clean off the bow. 

Here's what I'm most grateful for about this experience: Nobody came into the bathroom while I was in there. Nobody. So nobody had to see me washing an article of clothing. And nobody watched me as I wrapped it in a paper towel. 

You know what I was also extremely grateful for? This dress had pockets. And not only that, but I had put my car keys in my pocket, and not my purse, so I had my car keys on me. 

And my car is exactly where I'd store my now sopping-wet-and-filthy bow. 

And guess what else I'm grateful for. The hallway outside the bathroom was completely empty. It was legitimately a miracle. I was able to jog down the hall, outside and to my car while holding a wet piece of fabric bundled up in a soaking paper towel without running into a soul

This is evidence that there is a God and he was sure watching out for ya girl. 

And that concludes my random hodgepodge of awkward moments. 

Embrace your inner awkward, everybody. And enjoy your day. And life in general. 

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Poncho, Part 2: Poopy Poncho

This is the last chapter

Welcome! This is the second part to my stories about being a dog mom. If you're just joining me, please scroll down, or click here, to read the first part.

So, without further ado:

This is the story of Poopy Poncho.

This story takes place the first night in my new apartment. I was nervous and excited to have my own place for the first time, and I was very grateful to have Poncho there to protect me (but, really guys. He's very protective of me. I love it).

9:00 p.m. 

I took Poncho out for his nightly walk so he could do his nightly bathroom run before bedtime. I came in, and we both settled in for the night.

11:00 p.m. 

I woke up to Poncho staring at my face. At this point in our relationship, Poncho had yet to bug me. So I sat up and said, "What is it, buddy?"

He placed a single, precious, little paw on the mattress and stared at me intently.

I rubbed his little head, wondering if he just wanted attention, but he kept persisting.

"Do you need to go potty?"

Poncho doesn't really respond to that word . . . or pee, poop, outside, bathroom, or anything of the sort. He's potty trained, but I don't think he has a word associated with it for when we ask him.

So that long rant is leading up to me saying: he didn't respond.

But he remained persistently antsy, so I stood up, hooked him up to the leash, and took him outside.

As soon as we got to the grass, Poncho revealed himself with a massive pile of poo. I picked it up, threw it in the dumpster, and went back inside.

1:30 a.m. 

Poncho was running around my bedroom. I groaned, sat up and snapped, "WHAT?"

He kept pacing and running around. I stood up and opened my bedroom door, wondering if he was just getting claustrophobic.

He kept running around. Dead tired, I said to him, "No! You literally just went to the bathroom! You're fine!"

And I flopped back down in a restless sleep.

2:15 a.m. 

I know it was the jingling of Poncho's collar that woke me up, but I don't really know what exactly pushed me to get out of bed and walk zombie-like into my kitchen/living room . . .

Where I was greeted by three, massive heaps of watery diarrhea.

And I just stood there . . . in complete shock. My arms were kind of spread to the side, I stared at the heaps with my mouth gaping open. What . . . the what??

And at that moment, Poncho took a squat by my bed and let out a disgusting, watery SPLAT.

It was disgusting.

"Oh, no. Oh no, oh no, oh no," I said.

Poncho squatted by my bed, his head hanging in pure shame.


Poncho quickly jogged over to me as I threw open the front door and we sprinted outside.




It. Was disgusting.

"Oh, Ponchoooo," I said. "I'm so sorry."

We walked back inside where the pile of poops sat.

"Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Okay. We're gonna clean this up," I said to Poncho . . . though mostly myself.

I grabbed some paper towels, turned to the first pile, bent down, grabbed a pile of squishy poo, and then --



Poncho hung his head in pure shame as he squatted and splatted.

"Poncho!" I yelled. "Poncho, over here! Poop over here! Over here!"

Poncho stumbled over to the tile floor and splatter pooped, and I said the only thing I could think to say:

"Good boy!" I praised. "You pooped on the tile! Good boooooy!"

3:15 a.m. 

Because of the consistent pooping, I decided to go to my parents house where I could put him in the back yard and attempt to sleep.

Throughout the early morning, I had texted my mom various things, and they gradually got more and more frantic.

Poncho has diarrhea! I'm going to try to clean it up. Any advice on how to clean it? Text me when you wake up. 

Okay, the diarrhea isn't stopping. I might come home in the morning before work to drop him off in the back yard. 

Never mind - I'm coming home now. Don't freak out and shoot me or something.

My parents don't even own a gun. But my overly tired brain was paranoid that they got one without telling me and they were going to shoot me if I scared them.

And so, I loaded Poncho into the car.

I gripped the steering wheel, and was surprised by how awake I was. Apparently the sight of poopy piles in your apartment gives you an adrenaline rush.

I went to pull out of my apartment complex, where there was construction being done. There were machines doing their thing . . . and three construction workers just standing there, chattin' it up. When I pulled up, the spread out, used their little glow stick things to direct me through the maze of construction cones, then went right back to talking.

So this is what the world's like at 3 a.m.

3:45 a.m. 

I pull up to my parents house and lead Poncho to the backyard through the front gate. I then went to my car . . . and grabbed a pot that had been sitting in my car for month and I'd been too lazy to bring it in the apartment.

I know. I know.

I knew Poncho was probably dehydrated from all the pooping.

At least, that's what google said.

I didn't want to risk waking my parents up by loudly getting a bowl and filling it with water.

After all, what if they bought a gun without my knowledge and shot me?

(Insert awkward laugh here)

I went to the sink in my garage, filled it up with water, and crept inside.

As quietly as I could, I walked through the house and to the backdoor. I slid outside, gave Poncho a few pets, left the pot full of water outside and went to the basement to try to sleep.

Meanwhile . . .

4:00 a.m.

My dad woke up to the sounds of Poncho scratching on the door. It crept into his dream. The more he heard that, the more he woke up.

"What's that noise?" asked my dad, sitting up.

"I don't know," groaned my mom, who had also just woken up.

My dad stood up and looked through a window showing the backyard.

"Is that . . . Poncho?" he said.

Sure enough, there was Poncho, sitting there and smiling away.

He's so cute.

Anyway, my parents stood there very confused as to why their grandog was sitting there, just chillin' in their backyard.

My mom checked the phone, read my texts, and informed my dad of what was going on.

9:30 a.m. 

I was late to work, and dead tired when I was there, too. My amazing saint of a mother watched Poncho (whom we had dubbed Poopy Poncho) as he hung out in the backyard, continuing to have the splattery poop problems.

And so, the next week, I'd be staying at my parents house so I could keep Poopy Poncho's poop outside.

Five days later

5:30 p.m. 

Poncho's splatter poop had persisted, so I took him to the vet.

Although I had contacted the vet ahead of time, they hadn't gotten back to me to set up an appointment. They did, however, accept walk ins. And so, with Poopy Poncho in tow, I brought him to the vet.

He took a looong pee on a bush outside the building, and headed inside . . .

To be greeted by two dogs Poncho had decided he didn't like.

Meet my judgmental dog, everyone.

While I waited to check in, I spent the whole time scolding Poncho has he growled and barred his teeth at the two dogs who tried to play with him. At one point, one of the dogs made a move at me to be pet, to which Poncho reacted by jumping on me, wrapping his legs around my thigh, turning his head towards the ouo, and began to bark.

My dog is a protective boyfriend.

I should note that Poncho has gotten 10x better with dogs. He has a little play group he trots around with about once a week.


The two dogs left, and Poncho remained agitated.

The vet tech had given me some papers to fill out, and told me that - because I was a walk in - it could be around 45 minutes before I would get a room.

I drag Poncho to the side and begin filling out his paperwork while attempting to shush him.

Then, a husky came through the door.

"Oh no," I said. Because if there's one thing I'd learned about Poncho in the short two weeks I had had him, it was that he hated husky's.

And Poncho and the husky lunged at each other.

And not only that, but Poncho peed all over the ground.

And at that point, I just gave up. I stared at my dog with a look I'm sure said something like, "why me?"

One vet tech began mopping up the pee while saying, "Jeez, how much did you pee?!"

I gave an awkward laugh and said, "Yeah . . . he drinks a lot . . . of water. Not alcohol . . . ha . . . ha."

"I know," said the vet tech as she continued to mop up Lake Poncho.

Then another vet tech came up and said, "We have a room ready."

And I dragged Poncho into the room, as he and the husky continued to bark (what I can only assume to be insults) at each other.

And as soon as the door closed behind us, Poncho calmed down, and sat right down next to me.

"Why did you have to embarrass me in front of the vets and all the other dog parents?! They probably think I'm a horrible dog mom now!"

He responded by panting.

"Ugh. Well at least your behavior got us in a room faster. That's a bonus," I said.

This picture was taken in the vet's room after he peed everywhere and attempted to attack a husky.

I sat there, my mind ruminating on the potential judgmental thoughts all the other dog parents and workers were thinking about me.

The vet came in soon after, smiled at Poncho and said, "Well at least we know you don't need to pee, huh?"

I gave an embarrassed, sympathetic smile.

Aside from Poopy Poncho and Poncho the Punk, Poncho has also earned the nickname/title, "Flirty Boi." He loves to flirt with the ladies and the lady dogs, and so he sucked right up to our vet (who was female).

He rubbed his little head against her leg, sat perfectly for her whenever she asked him to (something I hadn't learned about him yet), and behaved almost perfectly.

She left to go get some medication for him. I turned to him and said, "Okay, seriously. Why couldn't you have acted that good out there?!"


The vet prescribed him pills that helped, but the diarrhea continued after the pills were finished. So, after changing his diet to a "sensitive stomach" brand? It went away.

He has a sensitive stomach, which - I'm not gonna lie - is pretty annoying. Rawhide bones give him gas, pork flavoring (or perhaps pork in general) make him constipated. And he got into something yesterday that made him constipated again. And then yesterday he ate a bunch of crab apples around my apartment and threw them up.

He's also gotten better at sitting. He sits for his food, sits when I put on his leash, and sits when I leave.

He's a good boi. I love him.

So, what have I learned?

When it comes to cleaning up puke/urine/poop, being embarrassed in front of other parents, getting up once an hour to care for a sick child, sharing my bed with a wiggly creature who's not supposed to be in my bed, and having a difficult time knowing what to do when the one you're caring for can't speak?

I'm 100% ready for those aspects of motherhood.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Poncho, Part 1: Being a dog mom

This is an intro

This summer, I watched my sisters four kids for a week while she and her husband went on vacation. And that week turned into a parenting crash-course.

Here's the thing; I still didn't experience full single-parenthood. The oldest two went to a day camp and my parents helped out with them most days. But parenthood was hard. 

I found myself staying up later than I wanted to just so I could have some time to myself. I took naps whenever I had the chance to. Even then, I didn't nap peacefully in fear that the two youngest kids would get into something they weren't supposed to. I was so focused on making sure the kids were fed and showered, that I didn't even think to feed or shower myself.

I gained so much respect for parents - especially single ones - after this experience.

I also learned that I'm so not ready to be a mom . . . or at least be a mom of four all at once.

Now, why am I bringing this up on a post about my experience as a dog mom? Because, I know that the similarities between raising a dog vs. raising a child are minimal. A dog can't talk back to you, a dog always shows its excitement to see you, and doggy puberty is much more doable than human puberty.

That being said, I feel like I'm getting a second parenting crash course since I've gotten a dog.

So, without further ado, here comes my experience as a dog mom:

This is the first chapter 

Everyone, meet Poncho.

I love Poncho.

And Poncho loves me.

(wow I look 14 in this picture)

He's a rescue dog I adopted on Labor Day from a company called Rescue Rovers. We don't know much about his history, but we know he was a stray in Arizona at one point, wound up in a pound in New Mexico somehow, was going to be put to sleep because he was in the pound for so long, adopted out by Rescue Rovers and brought to Utah, was in a foster home in Utah for a month and then was adopted by me. 

Also, based on his interactions with men, he was most likely abused by one. 

They're not sure his age or his breed, but their best guess is he's 6 and an Australian Kelpie/Cardigan Corgi mix. 

He has brought me much joy, entertainment, happiness and love. I am very grateful for him. 

Raising Poncho has been a learning curve. 

These are stories featuring my greatest . . . uh, I guess you could say, 'learning curve' moments with Poncho. 

So, please enjoy. 

A Sunday night

7:00 p.m.

This happened.

A different Sunday night

11:00 p.m.

I took Poncho out for his nightly walk before bedtime so that he could pee. Poncho is generally a good walker. However, he also has very specific places in mind where he want's to pee/poop, and he will YANK relentlessly on the leash until you get there. He also rarely pees/poops in the same spot, so you don't really know how long you'll be dragged until he's satisfied.

He had done this during his afternoon walk, so I had let him off his leash and he had done pretty good. He got close to running into the road, but didn't! He had listened to me as I guided him to where he needed to go. So, this time, as he TUGGED on the leash and started trying to run, I finally let him off leash again. I was too tired to run with him, and he runs too fast for me anyway.

Poncho TOOK OFF towards the road.

"Poncho!" I whisper-yelled, trying to be considerate of those asleep in my complex (you can hear basically everything outside).

Poncho stopped and looked over his shoulder at me.

"Come!" I said, smiling and patting my knees.

I swear he smirked at me.

And then he turned and kept running towards the road.

"Poncho!" I continued to whisper-yell, trying not to run too fast after him in fear that he'd think it was a game and keep running. "Poncho, come!"

He got to the road.

And I lost my cool.

"PONCHO! NOOOO!" I screamed.

He ran across the road. And I started running after him.

He took this bizarre route around the main building, and my crappy flats that I wore cause I thought we'd only be outside for a minute got all soggy with mud. Then, he went into a building that's entrance was open.

I sped up, yelling "PONCHO! NO! PONCHO! COME! PONCHO!"

There was a woman standing in her nightgown at the building exit. I heard her gasp as Poncho raced past her.

"Sorry," I said as I sprinted past her.

She gave one of those "it's okay"s where you could tell she so wasn't okay with what was happening, but didn't know what else to say.

"PONCHO!" I yelled.

Once again, he looked over his shoulder at me, and kept running.

Another woman stood at the end of the building, a small puppy in tow. She was pointing at the grass while saying to her puppy, "Pee! Go pee! Pee!"

Poncho stopped and stared at the puppy, doing that cute little head-tilt thing dogs like to do.

That's when I dove.

Like, I literally dove towards him. My knees scraped the ground and everything as I grabbed his collar and yelled, "GOTCHA. YOU LOST YOUR PRIVILEGES, MISTER."

I hooked him to the leash and lugged him back to my apartment while lecturing him the entire time and saying things like, "you come when I call you" and "you do what I tell you to do" and "I'm just trying to keep you safe" and "I'm doing this to protect you" and, the phrase I say to him all the time, "you're embarrassing me."

Because I'm sure he can understand me.

A Monday night

3:30 a.m. 

I heard the sound of Poncho's collar jingling and his panting. I pried my incredibly heavy eyelids open and was greeted by his face RIGHT up to mine.

I got a sudden flashback to me as a child, walking into my mom's room and just staring at her until she woke up.

"Whaaaaat," I groaned, and Poncho proceeded to rub his head against my mattress.

I draped my hand over the side, and scratched his head.

I stopped. He whined, and forced his head under my hand again. I then just kinda kept scratching him as he moved his body to where he wanted to be scratched; his back, his chest, his head, his ears, etc.

After what felt like ages, but in reality was probably only three minutes, he returned to his dog bed, and fell back asleep.

Literally all he wanted was attention.

A Tuesday morning

4:35 a.m. 

Once again, I woke up to the familiar sound of Poncho's collar jingling and his panting. I opened my eyes to see him sitting nicely right in front of my face.

"Hiiiiiii," I said groggily, and reached out my hand towards him.

He nuzzled right into it and moved around while I scratched him.

But he kept being antsy.

"Do you have to go to the bathroom?" I mumbled, mostly to myself.

And right after I said that, Poncho did his most common and most bizarre "I need to poop" reaction:

He jumped on the windowsill.

"UUUUGGGGHHHHH," I said, getting out of bed.

I put my pants back on, put on the first coat I grabbed from my closet (my heavy, puffy, winter one), the flats that had survived chasing Poncho through the mud, hooked him up to his leash, and waddled outside.

He pee'd a gallons worth of urine as soon as we got to grass, and then began tugging on the leash.

I was in this daze and am pretty sure I had my eyes closed through most of the short walk around my building.

Poncho pooped close to the entrance to my apartment, and I realized I had no bags to pick up his poop with. And I gave the most reasonable response:

I threw my head back and said to the sky, "UUUUGGGHHHHH."

Dragging a now-wide-awake-and-happy pooch, I stomped into my apartment, grabbed a poop bag, and stomped back out. I was still towing Poncho, in case he wasn't done doing his business.

As soon as we reached grass, Poncho stopped and began sniffing and sniffing and sniffing the same area in the grass.

And I legitimately fell asleep standing up.

I couldn't have been out for long. I woke up to Poncho tugging on the least because he was following a scent. But it felt like I was outside/asleep for AGES.

Grumpily, I dragged Poncho to the poop, picked it up, and dragged him back while feeling slightly guilty that I was pulling him away from the scent he so desperately wanted to follow.

We got inside, I took off my pants, coat, and shoes, collapsed on the bed dead asleep. I woke up a couple hours later to Poncho's snoring. I leaned over and saw him curled on his dog bed, sound asleep. And I stared for him for a bit longer cause I just thought he was so darn cute.

Even if he does wake me up in the middle of the night to go poop.

A Monday afternoon

4:00 p.m.

I had gotten off work early and decided to indulge in my favorite hobby: a depression nap!

I grabbed my favorite giant, fluffy, gray blanket and curled up under it on my bed.

Right as I was about to doze off, I felt Poncho's weight land on top of my head.

"GAAAHHH," I groaned into the pillow.

First of all, he's not allowed on my bed.

Second of all, he had just jumped on my head.

But I couldn't stay mad at him for long, because he walked over my head and curled in a tiny ball right next to me.

I put my arm around him, a few minute later we were both sound asleep.

A Wednesday night

9:30 p.m. 

It was bedtime. I got dressed in my pajamas and tucked myself into bed. 

And Poncho jumped up onto it. 

"Hey!" I scolded. "Off!"

Poncho jumped off the bed, then jumped right back on it. 

"Off! OFF!" 

He crawled over to me as I yelled at him and snapped my fingers, telling him to get off the bed. 

And then he rested his little head on my chest and stared up at me with those adorable, big, brown, puppy eyes. 

"Off! Off! O--aaawwww, you know just how to sucker me in, don't you?" I said. 

Yeah, he spent the night on the bed. 

The next night
11:30 p.m. 

Bedtime, again. And I was exhausted. I had been running around all day, and hadn't gotten home until late. I quickly fed Poncho and let him out, and then collapsed in bed. 

Poncho, meanwhile, continued to pace/jog back-and-forth at the foot of the bed. After a few minutes of him doing this, I sat up and yelled, "What do you want?!" 

And legitimently right after I said that, he jumped on the bed, circled three times, curled up in a ball, and fell sound asleep. 

I was too tired to argue. I flopped back down and fell sound asleep myself. 

A Monday night

11:30ish p.m. 

Okay, I know I'm not the only person on this planet that experiences bizarre, irrational thoughts late at night when they're super tired, right? Cause that's what this story is based on.

So, I was laying in bed, thinking about Poncho. Earlier that evening, Poncho and I met up with some of our neighbors and talked as our dogs played/wrestled with each other. They asked what kind of breed Poncho was and, when I told them, they decided that he was actually a corgi/rottweiler mix.

A lot of people suspect he's part rottweiler, and TBH I'm starting to believe it myself.

So after we got in, I looked up basic breed information about rottweilers and to see if their personality description mirrored Poncho's personality.

The results were inconclusive.

Anyway, there I was, laying in bed. I was nearly asleep and thinking about my dog . . . when the though popped into my head, "A rottweilers general life span is eight to ten years . . . Poncho is six . . . do I only have two more years left with my dog?!"

That thought made my exhausted, irrational little mind spin and I started to cry.

"Poncho!" I called, waking him up from where he slept on his own bed.

He groggily looked up.

"Up! Poncho! Up!"

And he excitedly jumped on the bed.

If I only had two years left with my dog, I wasn't gonna waste an opportunity to snuggle with my dog.

He crawled to my side, and we legitimately spooned all night.

When I woke up, my immediate thought was, "Why did I do that?? Ugh, there's so much hair everywhere now."

That's my one thing about owning a dog: I hate fur everywhere and vacuum religiously now. That's the main reason he isn't allowed on the bed (but, obviously, sneaks his way into my heart so I allow him to).

So I found myself (and still find myself) both happy that I got to snuggle with my adorable dog that loves me so much, and cursing that there was now fur all over my sheets.

I washed them that night.

A Saturday Afternoon

1:00 p.m. 

I met up with some of my friends at a nearby park. We were going to have a picnic and I would introduce them to Poncho.

As soon as we sat down on the blanket, Poncho began tugging on the leash. After a solid 10 minutes of playing a passive-aggressive version of tug-of-war, I finally let Poncho off his leash to roam around the park. After all, the park was massive, and we were pretty far from the street so he shouldn't be in danger, right?


Poncho had trotted right to the road.

"PONCHO." I shouted.

Poncho looked back at me, and came trotting towards me. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to my friend . . . when Poncho ran towards the street once again.

I called him again. He promptly looked over my shoulder . . . and started trotting down the middle of the road. 


I leaped to my feet and sprinted towards him, realizing just how out of shape I was (and still am). I got close to him, decided it was okay if I started walking . . . and began sprinting again because the excited idiot took off running.

I grabbed him by his collar and dragged him back to the park. I kept holding on and, in a subconscious effort to stay alongside him, continued jogging.

Within a few minutes, I was completely out of breath. I tried to slow down, but Poncho's speed wasn't slowing down at all. So, being close enough to my friend and our lunch station, I let go . . .

and Poncho took advantage of his newfound freedom and sprinted through a hole in the fence and into some random persons back yard.

"Ponchooooooooo," I scowled breathlessly.

I then had to crouch by the hole in the fence and say repeatably, "Poncho! Poncho, come! Poncho, come back here! Poncho."

I don't know what made him come back, but thankfully, he did. And I didn't let go of him until I reached his leash, where I hooked him up and refused to unleash him the rest of the time we were at the park.

He's such a punk.

I love him.

Okay, so the last story is easily the best story and the worst experience, and it's pretty long, so I wrote it in a separate blog post. To read it, click HERE. Or scroll up. I don't care. Just do it.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The curse of the volleyball

I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty good at volleyball. In fifth grade, I was on a volleyball team called 'The Purple Panthers.' We won a game and everything.

. . . and lost every other game . . . BUT STILL.

Anyway, I'm decent at volleyball. And as someone who isn't athletic and doesn't enjoy competitive sports, I'm pretty proud of how decent I am at volleyball.

I was on the "Purple Panthers" team with two of my best friends that year. One of the games, the ball soared over the net, hit my best friend in the top of the head, which went right back over the net and scored us a goal.

My friend just kind of stood dumbfounded by the whole thing. Like, what had just happened??

I thought it was hilarious and at school the next week, I told everyone about how my friend had scored us a goal after the ball had bopped her on the head. My friend got very embarrassed and yelled at me to stop telling people that story. I can't remember my reaction, but I'm sure I got embarrassed and retaliated by being mean back.

(I know some people who miss their childhood.

I am not one of those people.

I was a brat.)

Little did I know that this volleyball team would set the stage for the rest of my volleyball career.

The only time I didn't completely dread gym class was when volleyball season came, and we'd only play volleyball for, like, a week straight. And, in 7th grade, as someone who had been on a volleyball team two years prior? I was a valuable player and was often picked for teams.

And again, I was decent. It was a nice confidence boost.

So, when my high school required its students to sign up for an elective gym class? You can bet I signed up for volleyball class.

The class actually turned out to be a lot of fun because, not only was it a sport I genuinely enjoy, but I had friends in that class, too. If I remember correctly, we got to pick our own teams, so I got to play alongside my friends.

I could be remembering it wrong, but I DO remember this detail - which is crucial to the story: For this specific game, I was on the same team as my friends, and we were playing against a guy we all hated: Wilson.

Image result for wilson volleyball gif

Wilson was a pretty boy.
My friends and I were not.
He was a jock.
We were in band and/or theater.
(This sounds like the start of a certain Avril Lavigne song.)
So, we didn't really like him, and he didn't really like us. Or he ignored our existence.


My friends and I were on a team together and were playing against Wilson's team. I remember Wilson had two of his friends on his team as well, whom we didn't like. I don't remember their names, but their relationship reminded me of Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle. Wilson being Malfoy, of course.

Wilson and his friends took volleyball wayyyy too seriously. I don't think we even kept score in these games. If we did, it didn't count towards anything. So I never understood why they - or anyone in the class, for that matter - took these games so seriously. He was known for spiking the ball any and every chance he got. You could tell he was very proud when he successfully spiked a ball.

And it was very annoying.

I was in the front row, on the far right of the court. I was right across from Wilson. Tall, arrogant, competitive Wilson. Our team was up to serve. I stepped to the side of the net as the person behind me - the server - hit the ball. It soared over the net, and the volley began.

It came to me, I bumped it over. It came back on our side, their side, our side, etc. I started to zone out, as the ball hadn't come to me much. I stood there, my arms in position and ready to hit in case it came towards me, but was just kind of in a trance watching the ball.

Then -


A sudden, intense pain hit the right side of my face.


Wilson had gotten the ball.
He had spiked it.
And it had hit me square in the face.
And it was not like when the ball bopped my friend in the head in fifth grade.

Oh, no.

It hurt.

The right side of my face felt completely numb. My right nostril started to drip a little bit of blood. And my eye? Well, my right eye was SOBBING. Tears were flowing endlessly. And my left eye? Completely dry. Not a thing.

I had bent over, turned around, and grasped my face with both hands when this had happened. After a few seconds, feeling started coming back to my face. It felt like a bunch of pins and needles on my skin. It was similar to the feeling you get when feeling comes back to you arm/leg after it fell asleep.

And I stood up straight, turned around, faced Wilson and yelled, with pure anger in my voice, "THAT. WASN'T. NECESSARY." 

Dead silence. He just stood there with zero emotion on his face. After a few more uncomfortably silent seconds, his shrugged and grumbled, "Sorry."


I turned away from him and looked at my team, and immediately felt awkward all over again. Everyone was standing there all stiff, staring at me, and not moving. Their facial expressions said that they all wondered if I was okay, but also didn't know what to do to help.

My eyes scanned over to Wilson's team. Aside from Wilson, Crabbe, and Goyle, they all had the same expression, too.

Truth is, I wasn't exactly okay. My face hurt, I was embarrassed, I was pissed off at Wilson, my right eye was crying uncontrollably, and I didn't even know what I needed. On the bright side, my nose wasn't bleeding.

I did what I do best when I'm embarrassed; I react a little . . . hostile.

"Well?!" I yelled at my team member who was serving. "Keep playing!"

She looked incredibly uncomfortable and said quietly, "It's their serve, sweetie."

I whipped around and stared at Wilson's team.

"It's okay," one of them said to us. "You guys can serve."

My friend nodded, everyone relaxed a little, and the game continued.

8 years later, I still tell this story. And I still harbor feelings of disgust towards Wilson.

One of the times I was telling this story took place while I was playing volleyball with my church congregation.

I was on the bench with two friends I grew up with. There was a spiker on the team we were playing against, and I laughed and shook my head, remembering this story.

I turned to my friends and said, "Okay, I fear people who spike balls, because in high school, I was in a volleyball class, right? And there was this kid I really didn't like, and we were playing against him, and he spiked the ball, and it hit me right in the face! And my right eye started to cry while my left eye was totally fine!"

They laughed, then it was my turn to play.

Our team was two points away from winning. But, as what has always happened with our team, we began to lose because we felt under pressure. I was determined to win, and I was excited.

We rotated a few times, and I was on the front row on the far right.

Right . . . across . . . from the spiker.

The opposing team was quickly catching up. If we didn't get our act together, we would lose again.

I was squatting slightly, my arms ready to hit the ball whenever it came near me.

And then,



The spiker had spiked the ball, and it hit me right in the eye.

It had happened again.

On the same side of my face.

While I was standing in the exact same place.

"HOLY MOTHER OF A SWEAR WORD!" I yelled. I thought about yelling "that wasn't neccessary," but I didn't hate the kid who spiked the ball into my face, and he was already apologizing profusely. 

I stood up straight.

"I'm so sorry, are you okay? I'm so sorry!" the kid repeated.

"No - I'm not okay. But . . . I . . ."

I looked around. The same stillness that had happened 8 years earlier had returned. Everyone stood there staring at me, making sure I was okay, wanting to help, but also not knowing what to do to help.

Once again, I wasn't okay, but didn't want to make a big deal out of it, and didn't know what I needed anyway.

I was also disappointed that my eye wasn't tearing up.

I made some lame joke that made people laugh and eased the tension slightly . . . and then the awkward silence returned.

"Just . . . someone take my place!" I yelled, and ran away from the awkwardness and into to the bathroom.

I got a paper towel wet with cold water and placed it on my eye to let it soak. It hurt. A few people came in to check on me, and I said I was okay. Cause . . . I was . . . I was also just in pain. But . . . what else was I supposed to do? I didn't want to make a big deal out of it.

My friend came into the bathroom, chuckling slightly.

"Just like high school all over again, right?" she said.

"THE SAME SIDE AND EVERYTHING!" I replied, laughing at the irony.

A few minutes later, I walked out and back to the court. I jumped the next opening (reluctantly. To be honest, my friend was like 'no you got this and I don't want to go - go do it. You got this.') and began to try to play.

I was virtually useless, though, because every time the ball came towards me, I flinched away.

I did manage to score us a goal, though!

. . . oh, and our team lost.

Two days later, my eye and my forehead right above my eyebrow ache, and all I have to show for my battle is a single, small bruise on my eyelid.

I'll take it, I guess.

But never fear; I shall return to the volleyball court. Will I wear protective goggles? Who knows! Will I wear a catchers mask? Who knows! But I will return, and I will do my right eye proud and keep scoring goals, no matter the cost.

Okay, maybe not no matter the cost . . . but . . . you get it.

Have an awkward day, everyone!

(Just because this is my favorite gif)