A BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE

OMG I’ve been so busy the past month. In addition to all of my other duties, I had to nurse my mom who got a virus while she was on vacation. She came home and was feeling icky. I could tell when she picked me up from camp that she wanted to get home and crawl back into bed. Of course, I didn’t want to leave my new friends so I ran in circles in the direction of my suite every time mom tried to put my collar and leash on me. It took her four tries and finally on the fifth one I let her win. I love my mom to pieces and yet I REALLY didn’t want to go home….all that unpacking and laundry I would have to do. Who needed it?

The first thing I did after we arrived home was get the thermometer to see if she had a fever. When I went to take her temperature the way my doctor takes mine, I was immediately relieved of my temperature taking duties. I’m not sure why; I have a gentle touch. It was okay though – one less thing for me to do. I couldn’t take mom’s blood pressure because I DON’T HAVE A STETHOSCOPE OR A WATCH WITH A SECOND HAND! I don’t know how I’m supposed to do my job without the proper equipment.

Mom’s stomach was so twisted – literally. She had intestinal spasms. OUCH! There was one night where she kept running from the bed to the bathroom. I swear I thought she brought up her spleen. I was so nervous that I got the hiccups and pooped on the floor. I put a cold compress on my head and tunneled under the covers. All I could do to help was keep her warm. I sat on her head and then her feet and I wrapped myself around her neck. That’s when she said I was suffocating her. I don’t remember taking the Hippocratic Oath mom!

This virus lasted about three weeks, which is why you haven’t heard from me. I’M BACK NOW!!!! Yippeeeee!!!!

For my first interview of the new year, my special guest today is my mom, who thankfully is feeling much better.

HI MOM!

Hi Pugs!

I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE FEELING BETTER. THAT’S WHY I DON’T RIDE IN AIRPLANES. YOU PICK UP ALL KINDS OF GERMS COOPED UP IN THAT RECIRCULATED AIR. YUCK!

Oh, that’s the only reason you don’t fly?

WHAT OTHER REASON COULD THERE BE? I LIKE TO TRAVEL AND I’M A VERY GOOD TRAVELER, AREN’T I?

You’re an excellent traveler, especially when you jump up from the backseat and smack me in the head while I’m driving. That’s why you have a new shorter seatbelt.

I DON’T WANT YOU TO FORGET I’M THERE. AND I WANT SNACKS. EVERY ROAD TRIP NEEDS SNACKS. IT’S IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE CODE.

Where do you get this stuff?

I READ A LOT.

FIRST LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR BIG BIRTHDAY, WHICH SEEMED TO LAST ABOUT A MONTH. YOU HAVE SUCH GREAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!

MOM’S FRIENDS STARTED TAKING HER OUT TO CELEBRATE WAY BEFORE HER BIRTHDAY. ALL MY GIRLFRIENDS – I MEAN MOM’S GIRLFRIENDS – DENISE, JOANNE, FRAN AND CHERYLE HAD LUNCH WITH HER ONE SATURDAY AND THEN COUSINS SHERRY AND FRED TOOK HER TO DINNER THAT SAME NIGHT. MOM ROLLED IN THE HOUSE THAT NIGHT giggle. HER VETS JOURNEY HOME TEAM (UNCLES JONATHAN COHEN, ED THORNTON, ROBB DANN, MIKE HANSON AND DAN CURRAN) HAD A CAKE FOR HER AT THEIR RETREAT AFTER CHRISTMAS. AUNT KATHY RICE COULDN’T BE THERE :(. AUNT RACHEL TOOK MOM TO DINNER ONE NIGHT AND GAVE HER HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, WHICH SHE DID NOT SHARE WITH ME. SHE ALSO GAVE HER COLOGNE, WHICH IS TOO GIRLY FOR ME TO USE. THEN COUSINS MIRIAM AND CRAIG AND OUR FRIEND ROZ TOOK MOM TO DINNER AT LA CASA DI LUCIAS TO HEAR MY UNCLE TONY SING. UNCLE TONY AND AUNT KATHY RADWANSKI GAVE MOM A BIRTHDAY PIN AND A NECKLACE AND UNCLE TONY HAD THE WHOLE RESTAURANT SING TO HER. UNCLE TONY WAS SAD THAT I COULDN’T COME TO THE PARTY. I HAVE LOTS OF SHIRTS, YET APPARENTLY YOU CAN’T BE SEATED WITHOUT PANTS AND SHOES. I’LL HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT FOR NEXT TIME. THE NEXT MORNING, ON MOM’S BIRTHDAY, UNCLE ED THORNTON AND AUNT SUSAN LEONARD TOOK MOM TO BRUNCH AT THE RADNOR HOTEL. OOOHHHH HOW VERY FANCY. MOM SAID THAT WHOLE WEEK WAS A FEEDING FRENZY AND SO YUMMY. SHE FELT SO SPECIAL.

SO MOM, RIGHT AFTER YOU RECOVERED FROM YOUR BIRTHDAY WEEKS, YOU WENT TO LAS VEGAS TO MEET OUR COUSINS AND YOUR FRIENDS. AND I WENT TO CAMP. YAY!

I KNOW WHY YOU PLANNED THIS BIG BIRTHDAY TRIP. MAY I TELL MY FRIENDS EVEN THOUGH IT’S SO PERSONAL AND MAY MAKE THEM SAD?

Of course.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO WHEN MY POP-POP’S HEALTH STARTED DECLINING, HE APOLOGIZED TO MOM BECAUSE HE KNEW HE WOULDN’T BE HERE TO CELEBRATE HER BIG BIRTHDAY. HE MADE HER PROMISE HIM THAT SHE WOULDN’T BE ALONE. SHE CHOSE LAS VEGAS BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN THERE TOGETHER TWICE; IT WAS MY POP-POP’S FAVORITE PLACE AND MOM KNEW HIS SPIRIT WOULD BE THERE WITH HER. (PLUS COUSIN SAMMY LOVED THAT IDEA.) MOM WAS AFRAID THAT BEING THERE WOULD MAKE HER SAD AND SHE SAID SHE HAD SOME SAD MOMENTS. THEN THEY WERE REPLACED BY HAPPY MEMORIES AND THE FUN TIME SHE WAS HAVING WITH EVERYONE.

DID I TELL IT RIGHT?

That’s the story.

OKAY SO FILL US IN ON YOUR TRIP.

I met cousins Cindi and Scott and Sammy and Jarred and my friends Fran and Warren Knight for more celebrating. I rang in the new year with Fran and Warren. New Year’s Eve on The Strip was awesome and something that I had always wanted to do. We were out all night and remember, I was on Eastern Time so I was awake for about 24 hours.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

                                       HAPPY NEW YEAR!

YOU WERE UP PARTYING FOR 24 HOURS? THAT’S NOT THE KIND OF THING A KID NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT HIS MOM.

Oh please. I had only been in Las Vegas for 10 hours. Most of the time was spent walking and we had to wait until the streets opened again to get our car. They sure know how to clean up quickly. You could have eaten off the streets by 3 AM.

HEY MOM, MY BLOG WON’T LET ME UPLOAD YOUR VIDEOS. THAT’S JUST WRONG.

I’m sorry Pugs. You’re the technology expert so you’ll have to figure out how to do it.

MY WORK IS NEVER DONE AROUND HERE! SO THEN WHAT DID YOU DO?

Our cousins arrived New Year’s Day and there was so much eating, walking and laughing going on. We ate at the Rx Boiler room and then saw Michael Jackson One (Thank you Cousins Miriam and Craig!). After the show all the cousins went to Minus 5 Ice Bar.

Minus 5 Photo

YOU LOOK SO SILLY IN YOUR PARKAS giggle snort.

Everything is made of ice, even the glasses. -5 wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.

YOU KNOW MOM, IF YOU WANTED TO BE IN THE ICE, YOU COULD HAVE STAYED HOME IN THE SNOW AND ICE WE HAD WHILE YOU WERE AWAY. ALL OF MY OUTDOOR CAMP ACTIVITIES WERE MOVED INDOORS, WHICH WAS A REAL BUMMER.

BTW, WHO’S THAT GUY IN BACK OF COUSINS SAMMY AND JARRED AND WHY IS HE IN YOUR PHOTO? IS THAT SOMEONE YOU MET WHEN YOU WERE OUT ALL NIGHT DOING GOD KNOWS WHAT? YOU KNOW WHAT, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL…DO A LITTLE EVIL ha ha ha snort.

You’re such a sweet and special soul even when you do some questionable things.

LIKE WHAT?

Well, I’ll share with all of your friends how you somehow took a flying leap onto the dining room table this morning, took out the two boxes of microwave popcorn from the grocery bag, tore open both boxes and the plastic wrappers and then gorged a bag of each kind plus a bag of ramen noodles. I found a third bag of popcorn in your bed.

OH YEAH, THAT. DID I MENTION THAT I LIKE THE MOVIE THEATER BUTTER FLAVOR MUCH BETTER THAN THE KETTLE CORN? I JUST CAN’T GET INTO THAT MIX OF SWEET AND SALTY. SOMEONE HAS TO TASTE TEST THESE THINGS, YOU KNOW. AND I WAS SAVING THAT OTHER BAG FOR MY MIDNIGHT SNACK! I LOVE THAT ORVILLE REDENBACHER HAS THOSE COOL POP-UP BOWLS NOW.

OH WAIT. I’M NOT HELPING MYSELF. ENOUGH ABOUT ME…….WHAT ELSE DID YOU DO?

The next day we walked along The Strip and ended up at The Wynn. I loved being in Las Vegas at Christmastime, especially since it was in the mid-60s and sunny every day.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUB IT IN!!!

The Wynn was so pretty. These are all fresh flowers.

I WISH I COULD UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO OF THE CAROUSEL. IT’S SO PRETTY.

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IMG_2411We stopped at the outdoor terrace for drinks.

WHY DOES COUSIN CINDI HAVE LEAVES AND TWIGS IN HER DRINK?

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We stopped along the way to pick twigs and berries in case we got hungry. Silly, they’re not twigs. I think they’re mint leaves.

On the walk back, I recruited some Minions.

I HOPE THEY’RE NOT GOING TO BE MY ASSISTANTS! I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TRAIN NEW EMPLOYEES.

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After dinner at Rao’s, we stopped at the Bellagio fountain to see Jarred’s grandfather.

HUH? I’M NOT SURE EXACTLY WHAT THAT MEANS.

His spirit lives there now.

WITH POP-POP?

No, your pop-pop isn’t there.

UMMM…WELL, I’M STILL NOT SURE EXACTLY WHAT THAT MEANS.

We do and it’s all good.  The fountain was the perfect place to recite the Lakota Morning Circle prayer even though it was evening. The words represent the spiritual circle of life and are so beautiful.

I WISH I HAD THAT FOR MY SACRED CIRCLES AT CAMP. YOU COULD HAVE SHARED IT, YOU KNOW.

WOW MOM, LOOK HOW PRETTY THE BELLAGIO WAS DECORATED!

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Cousin Scott and I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Isn’t this the prettiest view? I don’t remember the last time I saw a sky that blue. It must have been in the Fall sometime because it’s been cold and gray here for what seems like an eternity.

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Nights were filled with more shows and play time and capped off with soufflés at the Eiffel Tower restaurant. Here’s a photo from one of our Eiffel Tower soufflé tastings.

YOU’RE LOOKING QUITE REGAL IN YOUR BIRTHDAY TIARA MOM!

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I had such a great time with our cousins and Warren and Fran. And your Uncle Jonathan sent the loveliest heartfelt message to Cousin Sammy who gave it to Cousin Cindi to read to us. I’m blessed to have such love and light in my life, starting with you Pugsley.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR CELEBRATING MY MOM’S BIG DAY WITH HER AND TO OUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES FOR JOINING HER AND TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF HER IN LAS VEGAS. BECAUSE OF ALL OF YOU, MY MOM WAS ABLE TO FULFILL HER LAST PROMISE TO HER DAD. WE KNOW HE AND HER MOM WERE SMILING DOWN ON HER WITH SO MUCH JOY. WE LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

I’M ALL VERKLEMPT NOW. TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE REST OF YOUR TRIP. I NEED A MOMENT SO TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES.

Are you okay Pugsley?

YES sniff, gurgle, snort

Are you crying?

NO. I’M A BIG BOY. MY GOOGLY EYES ARE LEAKING BY THEMSELVES. CONTINUE PLEASE.

The day after everyone went home, I went on a tour of Death Valley.

THAT SOUNDS SCARY MOM. I’M GLAD I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT TRIP. I WOULD HAVE WORRIED ABOUT YOU.

It was sunny and 74 degrees and beautiful.

YEAH, IF YOU LIKE DESERTED CANYONS, DRIED UP LAKES AND CREEPY CRAWLY THINGS WHO LIVE IN THE DESERT.

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Atop Dante's View

                                             Atop Dante’s View

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The view from Zabriskie Point

                              The view from Zabriskie Point

This is called Devil's Golf Course.  It's what's left of the salt lakes from thousands of years ago.

This is called Devil’s Golf Course. It’s what’s left of the salt lakes from thousands of years ago.

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HERE YOU ARE MOM AT THE ARTIST’S PALETTE. THE COLORS ARE BEAUTIFUL.

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THEN WHAT DID YOU DO?

The tour guide took us back to Las Vegas and I went to see Le Reve at The Wynn, an acrobatic water show, which was magnificent.

YOU DON’T USE THE WORD MAGNIFICENT MUCH SO IT MUST HAVE BEEN EXTRA SPECIAL SUPER DUPER GOOD. YOU KNOW MOM, YOU COULD HAVE WATCHED ME SWIM IN MY POOL FOR FREE. AND IF YOU WOULD HAVE SENT ME TO TRAPEZE CAMP LIKE I ASKED……

Whoa...How cool!

                                     Whoa…How cool!

You’re not going to trapeze camp!

Here’s the outdoor fountain where everyone had drinks. At night there’s a laser light show. 

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LIKE STAR WARS?

Not exactly.

DID YOU HAVE YOUR SPA DAY LIKE YOU WANTED?

Oh yeah. I spent an afternoon at Qua at Caesar’s Palace. After sitting in the hot tubs and the herbal steam room, I sat in the Arctic Room while snow fell on me.

HELLO……….AGAIN, WE HAD SNOW FALLING HERE AT HOME MOM! YOU WENT TO THE DESERT TO SIT IN THE SNOW? I HAVE TO QUESTION SOME OF YOUR DECISIONS. ARE YOU SURE WE’RE RELATED? smh

You’re funny Pugs. You would have loved the buffet at Caesar’s where I ate dinner. I think I ate my weight in dessert. Las Vegas is full of places that make my favorite – crepes.

Reese's Peanut Butter Crepe

                             YUM – A Reese’s Peanut Butter Crepe

During dinner I realized that all day I was waiting for 8:30 to watch the Eagles game. Then it hit me…….that meant 5:30 in Vegas. So I checked the score on my phone and then went to the nearest bar in the casino and saw the 4th quarter.

YOU’RE A REAL DO-DO HEAD SOMETIMES. THE SNOW FROM THE ARCTIC ROOM MUST HAVE FROZEN YOUR BRAIN giggle.

You say the nicest things Pugsley.

There were other Eagles fans at the bar so there were a lot of “boos” yelled proudly as only Philadelphians can. I felt at home.

On my last day there I went to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. There were all kinds of fish:

JELLY FISH

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STAR FISH

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SWORD FISH

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PIRANHAS

Piranhas

WHERE ARE THEIR SHARP TEETH?

I didn’t stick my hand in to find out.

LION FISH

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SOME LIZARD THING

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SQUIDDLY DIDDLY

Squiddly Diddly

SHARK!!!!!!! EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER!!!!!!!!!!

IS HE FLYING MOM?

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Pugsley, he (or she) is in an overhead aquarium. There were so many more fish in the tanks and stingrays that you could pet. They looked slimy so I passed on the stingray bonding experience.

HOW COME YOU NEVER TAKE ME TO THE AQUARIUM? OR THE PETTING ZOO? OR SIX FLAGS? OR THE CASINO? I PLAY POKER ON YOUR COMPUTER WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME. COME ON ROYAL FLUSH….PUGSLEY NEEDS A NEW NYLABONE….

So that explains the mysterious charges on my credit card!

WHAT? DID I SAY CASINO? I MEANT SCHEDULING. YEAH, I’M IN GOOGLE CALENDAR ALL DAY LONG.

We’ll discuss this later. Tell me about your vacation.

DIDN’T YOU GET THE MESSAGE I POSTED ON MY BLOG FOR YOU?

I did and it was a wonderful surprise. I knew you would sneak your way onto a computer at camp. I’m going to share what you wrote to me:

Hi Mom!

Its me Pugsley on my vacation at the Family Pet Resort.  I am currently hanging out with my “girlfriends” at the front desk.  These human ladies just can’t get enough of me!  Is it okay if I have more than one human girlfriend? You won’t tell anyone, right Mom?  Anyways,  I just got done a cuddle session with Linda (my hotel girlfriend).  We had a lot of fun!  I really like to cuddle all the time, even during play sessions.  I hope that’s okay, even though they’re called “play sessions”.  Anyways, I need to go back to my suite until group play starts.  I need a quick nap before I go hang with the guys in the play yard. 

I miss you mom! But don’t worry, I am keeping busy at the resort.  This place is always “popping” with things to do….  I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

Love you!

-Me-

P.S. Don’t forget to bring me back a present… preferably food…

Pugsley, you’re the cutest guy. I heard that you were sitting on Steffi’s lap at the front desk. You had everyone wrapped around your paw, didn’t you?

YOU KNOW ME. I HAVE MY CHARMING WAYS WITH THE LADIES.

HEY MOM, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INTERVIEW.

NO!!!!!!!! WAIT!!!!!!!!! DON’T TURN ON THE MICROWAVE WHILE I’M SO CLOSE TO IT. WHAT IF ALL THE MOVIE THEATER BUTTER  KERNELS POP IN MY TUMMY AND I BLOW UP?

WHADDYA MEAN “SIT OVER THIS BOWL?” MY BUTT’S NOT A HOT AIR POPPER!!!!

Friends, I apologize; we’re going to have to cut this interview short. It’s good to have life back to normal – my version of normal, anyway.

Until next time……

Love, Pugsley

MOM WAIT. DON’T TURN IT ON YET!!!!

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