Penguin Puppy

Toddler Versus Dog: The Who Dunnit Quiz

I have parented three toddlers and one dog, which meant I’ve found myself ankle deep in messes, chaos, and confusion for many, many, many years. I’ve also learned that I’m not always right about who’s to blame. Can you do better than me? Can you tell who did what in TODDLER VERSUS DOG?


  1. Knocked over the recycling — terrifying himself
  2. Peed on the bed
  3. Licked the bed
  4. Licked the book
  5. Wakes up in the middle of the night
  6. Will only poop at home
  7. Loves playing with cats
  8. Hates squirrels
  9. Takes long naps
  10. Makes people smile
  11. Makes people afraid
  12. Loves to jump
  13. Looks adorable in a onesie



  1. The dog
  2. The toddler
  3. The dog
  4. The toddler
  5. Both
  6. THE DOG
  7. Both
  8. The dog
  9. Sadly, only the dog
  10. Both
  11. Usually just the giant, exuberant dog but not all my friends are baby people
  12. Both but only one gets applause for jumping
  13. The toddler but the dog was a close second

Penguin Puppy

I guess all those people who compare having dog to having children are almost right!

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People Are People

I wrote this post a few weeks ago for another site who passed on publishing it.


The most surprising part of being a foster family is how much it shows people are just people. Liberal, conservative, pro-life, pro-choice, apathetic: half have been helpful and kind and half have been horrible and embarrassing with no rhyme or reason as to who will be who.

I know in the news the liberals are rejoicing about what a terrible human being Josh Duggar is as the conservatives rejoice at the cynicism of Planned Parenthood, and the one upmanship of catching someone on the other side being a hypocrite is continues forever and forever. Amen. However, real life it’s just not like that.

As a liberal, I understand the joy in catching a conservative doing something immoral. Even as a Christian, because I take liberal stands, which I even believe are the more moral stands, the conservative version just seems to more easily wear the cloak of morality. And to see it pulled off makes me want to rejoice, too. Perhaps conservatives feel the same way about liberals always helping the poor and caring about the oppressed. But if I’m honest with myself, I know wonderful conservatives and terrible conservatives just as I know wonderful liberals and terrible liberals.

In my daily existence, when a person has offered some reprieve to the endless court dates and meetings and therapies and whatever else an individual child may need, I could not describe that person. I could not predict based on a person’s moral or political proclivities who would stand up and offer hands and hugs and help and who would engage in mortifying behaviors forcing me to stand up for my family and my children in ways I should never have to do.

And based on my conversations with other foster families, our experience is not unique. Some foster families attend church and their churches stood up and helped and some attend church and their churches stood up and walked out on them. Some had no interest in church and God and had many family and friends supporting them who felt the same about religion while others were shunned by their liberal neighbors for helping a child. Or if they weren’t looked down upon, their children were. Their children were treated as problems instead of as victims of circumstance. Instead of truly hearing stories of children and birth families and letting their hearts break to the horrors that the majority of conservative and liberal people will never encounter beyond a news story, these people chose to see money and opportunity and vulnerability believing their words and actions are okay because “it’s just a foster kid.”

The gifts of fostering has been manifold; however, living through the truth that people are just people whether they hate Planned Parenthood or hate FOX News, has been unexpected. Yes, these choices matter in elections and those elected make laws and those laws affect all of us, but in the day-to-day lives of families — whether united by blood or by their hearts — a kindness offered can transcend all of it.

These people, who have stepped up and in and allowed us to continue to be the best foster family we can be, give me hope. Hope that the lines which divide us are less important than what makes us good neighbors, good friends, and finally, what makes us a family.

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RV to The Finger Lakes and The Birthplace of Women’s Rights: Where The Most Important Thing Is The Erie Canal

“Why are you so obsessed with the Erie Canal?” -Me

“Because it comes all the way from LAKE ERIE TO HERE.” -Scott pointing to water

We went off to the Finger Lakes next because I wanted to take the kids to Seneca Falls as well as Harriet Tubman’s home in between the baby’s naps.

We first stopped at Harriet Tubman’s home in Auburn, New York. The timeline and tour was wonderful although it wasn’t Tubman’s first or second home in Auburn. We actually toured the Harriet Tubman Home For Aged and Indigent Negroes that she built at 93 years old. What an amazing woman who never stopped giving back to others. No pictures of the house are allowed but the kids loved the experience.

Afterwards, we headed to our campsite on the Lake Erie canal and Finger Lakes (there was a debate as to which one so I’ll go with both if only to placate Scott). The site was one of the most beautiful places we’ve stayed, but the water tasted so bad that I would never go back.

The view from our campsite.
The front of our campsite.
And that island behind them was just a bridge away.
And that island behind them was just a bridge away.
Over the bridge!
Over the bridge!
Scott caught this amazing shot of N running to us to fish.
Scott caught this amazing shot of N running to us to fish.
Or wait, is this one better?
Or wait, is this one better?
Fishing in Finger Lakes
That’s the face of a kid who caste his first fishing pole.
Fishing on the Finger Lakes
Proud mama
Erie canal
We didn’t catch anything but we enjoyed soaking in the beauty of the Erie Canal
Seneca Falls
Some is happy to be able to vote.
I think she would be perfect for the ten dollar bill.
I think she would be perfect for the ten dollar bill.
He's still cute even if he's not a candidate.
We loved wandering around the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

We spent the rest of the day at the Seneca Fall’s farmer’s market in the Women’s Rights National Historic Park before heading north to Lake Ontario. The Finger Lakes area is so gorgeous and brought home such inspiring history that my kids have (and will) learn. This could’ve also been a day trip from Niagara Falls if we weren’t negotiating 10-month-old’s sleep patterns and 37-year-old’s obsessions with the Erie Canal.

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