The Way We do a Hot Valentine’s Date

Very very romantic – that is how we do Valentine’s Day around our house.  From the early morning when we get up, to the minute we shut the lights off, it is all romance, all the time.  True love is like that.

We went about our regular days until about 4 PM when we noticed something strange going on with Lucy the superdog.  Apparently, she had decided to try ice fishing, because we found fishing line dangling from her mouth, and by “we” I mean Curly found it while I was lounging on my bed in fleece, hoping to grab a cat nap before my hot Valentine’s Date.  Ya know, I need more and more of that beauty sleep the older I get.  I have always been a fan of napping.  So anyways, I guess a good pet owner can’t ignore dangling fishing line, so I tried to get her to chill enough for me to tug on it.  She is a spaz.  And I have an injured wrist (more on that later) so it was a no go.  I locked her in her kennel, and did what every good wife does – called Bill.

Me, “Ah, Bill, I think maybe you have to come home.  NOW.  And take a look at your super dog.  Seems she wanted to end her week on a high note again.”

Bill, “Are you flipping kidding me?  Where did she get fishing line?”   No, wait, that is not what he said.  He did not ask that.  Because really, fishing line comes from one place in this house:  Crazy’s room.  He is the fishing line, duct tape, PVC pipe guy.  A man’s man.  I ran down there to see if I could find evidence and low and behold, I found NOTHING.  Not one piece of fishing stuff anywhere.

“Fine, after Xrays, we will be able to pin this one on Crazy,” We thought.

Curly and I busied ourselves folding 17 loads of laundry while we waited for Bill to get home.  We couldn’t think of what a swallowed fish hook might mean.  At 8 1/2 going on about 15, Lucy has run out of heroic efforts.  After the TPLO, we agreed we wouldn’t do anything like that again to her.  Lucy, on the other hand, was sawing logs, happy as can be to grab her cat nap.

Bill got home, and between the two of us, we were able to pin her down, open her mouth, and locate the issue.  Again, not true at all.  Labs are strong!!!!!!!!  So I made a call to the vet, Bill loaded her kennel in the Denali, and Lucy got herself a last minute drink, which must have helped her finish swallowing the whole fishing line, because it had disappeared.  We think she had planned this in advance, because 4:30 on a Friday????  Who does that?  She was so excited to go for a ride, stealing Bill away from our big hot date night plans.

So I went solo to our hot date – a swim meet.  And waited, literally shaking, for news.  They sedated her, they morphine her, they X-rayed her, the excreted her anal glands (can I get a “whoop!” from the stinky dog owners!) and they found…drum roll please…of course, nothing.  Well, nothing that showed up on X-ray.  So we wait to see if fishing line ruins her guts – watching for red eyes, unable to bathroom correctly (although really, dogs don’t “bathroom” so maybe backyard correctly is the better term.)  I guess the Pieper kids get to go follow her poop trail, watching for signs of badness or for fishing line.

They did find, in this X-raying that they did, that she has severe arthritis in her neck, so they asked if she had been chained up a lot or if she pulls when leashed, and we had to tell the truth – the truth is, she has hardly been leashed since the TPLO surgery because she spends most of her day propped on her bed with pillows and blankets and more of her nights on the queen bed with her main man, JP.  She also eats a lot of toast crusts, that is her job around here.   I guess that is why she had also gained a bunch of weight.  Don’t we all gain a little in the winter???

So she is eating 4 meals a day now, smaller amounts – trying to get back into bikini form.  Or, maybe it is because we have to take it easy on her digestive system, watching for the worst thing.

We are not ready to lose our dog, so this fishing line eating better just be another funny story – like the bread dough eating last month was.  Boy, for a dog who has severe arthritis and a fake knee, she still is pretty naughty.

So I sat alone at the swim meet, and Bill stayed home with a drugged dog, who pooped on the floor at the vet’s for the first time and was pretty proud of it.  Clarifying – Lucy pooped on the floor, not Bill – I know some of you will wonder.  And that is our romantic date story.  Brought to you by this dog, who seems to just be suffering from Afluenza today.

ImageIn all the craziness, I forgot to bring my camera.  I still don’t have pictures of JP’s first swim season.  Any kid who will parade around wearing pretty much nothing, trying a sport that he knows nothing about, just because of a deal he made with a buddy deserves to have pictures and maybe trophies.   I will write all about this some day soon, because I am so proud of him.  Doing what I could, I whipped out my cell phone to get a picture of him on the blocks (is that what they are called in swimming?) and instead, took this awesome Valentine’s date selfie:

ImageWhat was that???  Keeping it real, Pieper Style.  We have one more swim meet to get the perfect picture of him…I will do better next time.   Do you feel the romance around here?


Parenting II

My last post was all about our parenting style.  Well, not really, it was just one funny story but whatever…

(Side Conversation:  We are watching Strange Addictions and who eats toilet paper???  We looked it up on My Fitness Pal and the calorie count isn’t listed.  When you eat toilet paper, do you still have to wipe when you “go” or is it a perk?)

So how the “love” part of Pieper Style Love and Logic goes a little like this:

JP runs XC and we have been known to be the loud yelling parents.  Generally, very supportive cheering kind of yelling, but once in a while I let out a “Holy crap, the finish line is right there, why aren’t you sprinting.  What are you – an elderly driver out on a Sunday afternoon?”  No, again, that is not true.  I have never yelled that.  Any kid who puts themselves through cross country is pretty much a winner no matter the outcome.

I read the article floating around Facebook about what parents should say as their kids perform and I have been working really hard on putting the advice into practice.  Everyday when he leaves for practice and again when he comes home I say the things the article tells me to say.  And we laugh. Or at least I laugh and he rolls his eyes and ends with, “Yeah, and you love me.”  (Read the article.)

“Yes, the internet tells me how to parent now,” I had to affirm to JP.  “Always room for improvement.”  Another roll eye.

Today, when he ran past me, and it was 95 degrees and he looked like he might pass out or die and I thought maybe I might too because I was sweating in all the wrong places, and he was sporting the look of death, and I was mirroring it, and why are we running in a heat advisory, and by “we” I mean he was running and I was doing the typical XC parent thing of walking from point to point to access the best cheering potential, and forgot to pack proper shoes and was doing it in flip flops…it was at that point when I nicely encouraged him while clapping like a seal, “Great run, almost there, Sweetie.” 

Yes, I did call him that in public and he is 15.  He didn’t hear me, something about being in “the zone” so it is all good.  But that is how I love on my kids.

Run, Forrest, Run!!

Today was the extremely awesome Fargo Marathon!!  For our family, that means two guys running the half marathon while the rest of us pack the camera (and this year, the umbrellas) and attempt to find them in the massive crowd.


When in a crowd that supports running as a sport or a life skill, it is easy to get caught up in the “Yes, everyone needs to be doing this” hoopla.  I find myself all inspired to join in, but then I get home, eat a couple pieces of pizza, watch everyone post pictures on Facebook, and think to myself, “If it weren’t for us non-runners, who would take all the pictures to post?” and I settle in for a nap.


I did get up early this morning to be the best supporting mom/wife in the world.  I am a pretty good mom/wife of a runner.  Three days ago, the request was put in to pasta it up like crazy for them, and I went to my favorite ole stand-by, tried and true Basil and Tomato Pasta.  It is what JP loves to eat for lunch before track meets and it is perfect because it doesn’t require refrigeration.  This time, I was told I needed to use whole grain noodles because Bill is now taking a nutrition class and he learned about noodles.  Apparently, whole wheat is not good enough.  Ok.  So I also bought whole grain linguine and made this awesome salad: Asian Noodle Salad.  I thought it was awesome in every way, Bill ate it because it was “healthy” enough, and JP wouldn’t eat it.  Whatever.  He told me I should have stuck with spaghetti.  Whatever.

Today brought an early rise and shine for us.  The runners left the house at 6:00 and we left at 6:30.  That is what the running paparazzi does.  A photographer such as myself must find the perfect place to spot the two out of a bazillion.  Last year, Bill wore purple and he was pretty easy to see.  This year, I had to go by time.  I am getting pretty good at that too – I found the pacer around where they were expecting to be, and located the two of them.


Of course, JP and his legs of youth were ahead of dad who trained for months.  The most JP has run at one time since his last half marathon in October was around 5 miles.  Sure as rain on a marathon morning, he was off for a nice 13.1 mile jog, soaking up the love from the spectators.  There he was, just to the right of the guy wiping his nose with his shirt and left of the guy running in super short awesome dude running shorts.  He rounded the corner, ran out of sight and we turned our attention to Bill.


A little harder to find this year because he wasn’t wearing his Barney (purple) running shirt, we looked high and low.  But not for long – Bill didn’t look nearly as close to death as he has the other two half marathons he has run.  Usually by mile 10, he pretty much looks, well, pained.  NOT TODAY!  He trained differently for this one…and it worked.  We even got a nice wave as I told him that his son who had not trained was about 5 minutes ahead of him.  At least he left his shirt on, unlike the guy to his right.


And he rounded the corner and disappeared, back into the abyss of runners, swallowed by mile 11.


And, because we had picked such a great vantage point, we got to see them run by again!!

20130518_091138_9561  20130518_091359_9563

It was a very successful day for all!!  Running and photos to prove it!  And ice.  Seems the other knee wants to play mean…dang tendonitis.


I am very proud of my guys – one who worked super hard to set a PR by 14 minutes, and one who decided to run this race about a week ago and ran through some pretty crappy knee pain to beat his dad.


It may take a couple days for the elder to recuperate, he is downstairs studying more nutrition.  Not JP – he is out mowing lawn and will take his Scout swim test at 3 o’clock.   I might still be napping because all this taking pictures stuff wore me out.  And I am famished – the calorie burn from my 2 miles walked and 3 hours standing has depleted me – I might need a DQ later.   Tomorrow I might start training for my next event.


Eye of the Storms

Blizzards at DQ are buy one get one for 99 cents right now – Just like our weather pattern.  Yesterday, winter weather – Sunday another storm coming, thrown in for free.

Last night, JP ran in his first ever varsity track meet.   The result wasn’t what we were hoping for; after finishing his mile run, he found us to tell us he didn’t feel so well and then puked.  Not on us, not near us – he made it to a bathroom.  Then he didn’t run his other race, so we stayed and cheered all the other “kids” that we know.  Some of these “kids” are starting to look like men and women more than kids.  YIKES!  It was a great time.  Getting there and home was another story.

I left here at 4:18 after the bus bringing the triplets home from school finally got home – late.  I was slightly concerned since the roads were kinda bad; my concern was just.  I pulled up to the stop sign where our street empties onto the county road, me and my awesome minivan.  I had to stop for traffic and thus, when I finally could go, I sat there with wheels spinning.  No big deal, I could back up and take a run for it except for the fact that two cars had decided pulling right up onto my butt was a good idea.  While I was sitting there, a girl pulled onto our street and also got stuck.  She was spinning going DOWN the incline.  I got out of my van after watching her to see if she needed help – about then, she rocked her car enough to get out of the snow she was hung up in but she rolled down her window and sweetly asked me if I was ok.

My answer,  “I would be if these two (*@#($*)@#*$& cars would back up so I could too.”  No, I didn’t – I didn’t say exactly what I was thinking, I left off the (*@#($*)@#*$& – sometimes, I can do that.

And I went to the cars to tell them I wasn’t moving until they did.  And surprise, each car held a young college-age type guy who had so wonderfully sat in his car, probably texting someone about the stupid minivan stuck in front of him, and watched two women get stuck and come to the aid of each other while they did nothing.  I kinda gave them each a piece of my mind in a very kind and maternal ND way.  And they backed up.  And I got out.  And when I told JP about my trek to his meet, I taught him to never be so blasted stupid and selfish that two women out serve him in that capacity.  He assured me he would have been out helping if he was there.

Then I sped crazily down the road, topping out about 25 MPH,  white knuckling it all the way to the parking lot at Microsoft where I climbed in Bill’s four wheel drive at 4:53 (typically an 8 minute drive) and thanked God that I had made it down the iced roads, unlike the few I had seen whip 180’s and land in ditches along the way.  All because I wanted to see JP run like the wind, or as was the case last night, run like a sea lion on grease and then lay on the floor of the Fieldhouse like road kill.  Way to set the bar low – there is only one way to go this season.

I decided I am done being a van driver – I am through that stage in life.  I generally don’t haul kids anymore and when I do, I haul few enough for a smaller vehicle.  I am thinking it is time for my corvette.  Just sayin’.  If I would have been stuck in a corvette, those guys would have helped me.

Today, my spring-crazy self drove my van back up those icy roads to DSW – sometimes a girl needs new shoes.