Remembering to Laugh and Play

With the warmer weather, I am starting to see a drop in attendance in some of my classes. For some, I suspect that “senioritis” is kicking in. I also encountered an instance of copied assignments which was really disappointing. I spent thursday night addressing that during class which wasn’t fun. Nor was I thrilled with the unexpected and a bit tense visit by a frustrated parent who wanted to get more information on the story from me which I had to respectfully decline to disclose any information (those types of situations are never fun). I wonder if the copying issue bothers other instructors as much as it bothers me… Needless to say, I am thankful that I have vacation next week, before we enter the homestretch of the spring semester.

This weekend we will be celebrating my niece’s birthday, so yesterday my husband and I spent some time in the toy aisles at Walmart. After carefully reviewing all of the toys that we thought Samantha would like, we decided on FurReal Friends Jumpin’ J.J., a super cute, feisty, little, semi-realistic toy pug. Samantha is turning 5 and she loves to hold and sit with my in-laws’ pappillon much of the time when she visits. Autumn is very good and lays on the futon as Samantha piles her high with blankets and pillows. Samantha then proceeds to draw the dog, all the while insisting that Autumn doesn’t move. I think J.J. will give Samantha another option and give Autumn a break.

I love being an Aunt and spending time with my nieces and nephews. And I really love buying them a new toy and seeing their reactions. Seeing such joy on a child’s face fills my happiness bucket. We got FurReal Friends Bouncy, my happy to see me puppy, for Renee one year. It was a big hit and has held up well over time. We usually get one of the favorite toys for my niece Renee, and that always feels good to know that she really loves what we thoughtfully chose for her. I hope that J.J. is just as loved.


The other thing that I love about getting such cutesy toys is that my husband will usually carry them to the cash register. Steve is such a gentleman and takes pride in taking care of his wife and doing certain things like carrying the bags after checking out at the store (or cleaning my car off in the winter, doing all of the shoveling, carrying the groceries in when I get home from the store, etc.) The funny thing is Steve is a big guy, a Marine Corps Veteran with about 13 tattoos so his image doesn’t exactly project “cutesy toy-lover”. And here he is carrying this little pug (set off by motion) yipping, jumping, burping and farting the whole way across Walmart to the checkout. It makes me giggle lots!

After we got home, I decided to see what our pups would think about J.J. They were both very curious.

Gizmo sniffed very hard LoL She gently gripped his front paw with her little front teeth almost as if to question “what is this exactly?” Gizmo is such a peculiar dog sometimes.

I think it’s safe to say that Steve is really enjoying spending time with the kiddos too and picking up some toys to play with them too. After we spent some time looking at all of the different Nerf and similar options, we picked up several Nerf Guns and extra foam ammo to play with. Of course, after we got home, unpackaging commenced and we had to put them through a test run. Steve and I had a blast popping each other with Nerf darts. My Nerf gun was very accurate and put a little oomph behind the foam. It’s been awhile since I laughed that much! It was great!

Yesterday, Owen came over for his visit and the 3 of us played outside running around with some Nerf Guns for awhile. At 8, Owen has experienced more sadness and trauma than any young kid should have to, so it was nice to see him be able to just focus on being an 8 year old kid for those moments. There were only signs of joy on his face.

In those moments, Steve really enjoyed playing with the Nerf Guns too and he was already talking about which kind we should get more of or if we should get another kind that we didn’t have yet. (I suppose, Nerf Guns are far cheaper than real ones, right?!) All of the fun and laughs that were had were definitely worth it!!!


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