Monthly Archives: January 2011

Art, you will always be loved

Patrick and I had lost a cat in our move from our old house to the new house. So we decided that we would go to the Arizona Animal Welfare League and look for a new cat. Well, ha, we did not find a new cat, but a dog! At the time we already had three other dogs, and so why not a FOURTH?! Yes, we were crazy about our animals. We find Atreyu(later named Art) and he got along so well with Elle, they played great together. We felt this was our dog, so Patrick had to work that evening. We go back home, I pack up the three dogs and Elle and we head back to the Welfare League. We introduced all the dogs to Atreyu(Art) and it was great, they played well. The employees at the League agreed to let us adopt him, we were HAPPY!


Art, very energetic, loving, happy, but not good with commands. I was okay with this, I can train him! Yeah right, the only time I could get him to sit, was when I was in the bathroom with the door shut and it was just him and I. Ha, literally the only time.

Well, two years and 6 days later(today), Art had his last fight. This morning, he attacked Wendell pretty good. Wendell is okay, I have him under close eye. However, this was not the first time Art has attacked animal or human. This was the last straw for me. I have too many kids in the house, mine plus others. I took him back to where I got him, just a different location. I was very strong about doing it. Although, this gets me every time, when I start walking into the shelter, dog on the leash, I bawl like a baby with loud sobs. I feel ridiculous, but really don’t care. I never wanted this to happen, never in a million years.

I am now at the counter and the lady tells me to fill this paper out. The first question: Has this animal bitten anyone… and that is the farthest I had gotten. Now I can’t even talk correctly because I am crying so hard and I can’t even see. I had to ask the lady if ‘someone’ meant animal too. She proceeded to ask me if he had bitten another animal, I said “yes” she took back the paper and told me where I needed to take Art. Now, I am even more a mess. I’m disoriented trying to figure out where to take my poor dog. Its awful, I never wish this upon anyone, EVER! This was my second time.

Now, Art and I are headed to the ‘Receiving’ area of the shelter. There I had to answer questions about Art. I tried so hard to keep it together and I believe I did. Still crying though. I kept giving Art kisses and telling him I loved him, but he knew what was happening. He would not even look me in the eyes. That was devastating, my heart broke. I’m not gonna say what I saw on the counter next to the guy asking me questions, but it was something I wish I had not seen.

I am okay, still heart broken that I had to take Art there. However, I know my house is safer and the kids won’t be harmed. Art is in a much better place, he is now with his brothers Tito and Jerome and I am sure they are frolicking through nice green pastures!

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Art, we will always have you in our hearts!

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in everyday, Family


Have you LAUGHED today?

Why do we laugh?

I found this article on
A big mystery: Why do we laugh?
Contrary to folk wisdom, most laughter is not about humor

By Robert Provine, Ph.D.
Special to

May 27, 1999 — Laughter is part of the universal human vocabulary. All members of the human species understand it. Unlike English or French or Swahili, we don’t have to learn to speak it. We’re born with the capacity to laugh.

One of the remarkable things about laughter is that it occurs unconsciously. You don’t decide to do it. While we can consciously inhibit it, we don’t consciously produce laughter. That’s why it’s very hard to laugh on command or to fake laughter. (Don’t take my word for it: Ask a friend to laugh on the spot.)

Laughter provides powerful, uncensored insights into our unconscious. It simply bubbles up from within us in certain situations.

Very little is known about the specific brain mechanisms responsible for laughter. But we do know that laughter is triggered by many sensations and thoughts, and that it activates many parts of the body.

When we laugh, we alter our facial expressions and make sounds. During exuberant laughter, the muscles of the arms, legs and trunk are involved. Laughter also requires modification in our pattern of breathing.

We also know that laughter is a message that we send to other people. We know this because we rarely laugh when we are alone (we laugh to ourselves even less than we talk to ourselves).

Laughter is social and contagious. We laugh at the sound of laughter itself. That’s why the Tickle Me Elmo doll is such a success — it makes us laugh and smile.

The first laughter appears at about 3.5 to 4 months of age, long before we’re able to speak. Laughter, like crying, is a way for a preverbal infant to interact with the mother and other caregivers.

Contrary to folk wisdom, most laughter is not about humor; it is about relationships between people. To find out when and why people laugh, I and several undergraduate research assistants went to local malls and city sidewalks and recorded what happened just before people laughed. Over a 10-year period, we studied over 2,000 cases of naturally occurring laughter.

We found that most laughter does not follow jokes. People laugh after a variety of statements such as “Hey John, where ya been?” “Here comes Mary,” “How did you do on the test?” and “Do you have a rubber band?”. These certainly aren’t jokes.

We don’t decide to laugh at these moments. Our brain makes the decision for us. These curious “ha ha ha’s” are bits of social glue that bond relationships.

Curiously, laughter seldom interrupts the sentence structure of speech. It punctuates speech. We only laugh during pauses when we would cough or breathe.

An evolutionary perspective
We believe laughter evolved from the panting behavior of our ancient primate ancestors. Today, if we tickle chimps or gorillas, they don’t laugh “ha ha ha” but exhibit a panting sound. That’s the sound of ape laughter. And it’s the root of human laughter.

Apes laugh in conditions in which human laughter is produced, like tickle, rough and tumble play, and chasing games. Other animals produce vocalizations during play, but they are so different that it’s difficult to equate them with laughter. Rats, for example, produce high-pitch vocalizations during play and when tickled. But it’s very different in sound from human laughter.

When we laugh, we’re often communicating playful intent. So laughter has a bonding function within individuals in a group. It’s often positive, but it can be negative too. There’s a difference between “laughing with” and “laughing at.” People who laugh at others may be trying to force them to conform or casting them out of the group.

No one has actually counted how much people of different ages laugh, but young children probably laugh the most. At ages 5 and 6, we tend to see the most exuberant laughs. Adults laugh less than children, probably because they play less. And laughter is associated with play.

We have learned a lot about when and why we laugh, much of it counter-intuitive. Work now underway will tell us more about the brain mechanisms of laughter, how laughter has evolved and why we’re so susceptible to tickling — one of the most enigmatic of human behaviors.

Why is it so important?

The Importance of Laughing
Laughter is a strong and powerful force that has the most positive effects on the body. It improves breathing, lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, relaxes muscles, releases stress and reduces pain. This supreme medicine needs no prescription and is free. We have had this effective force within us all time.

With an increasingly hasty society, our technology keeps getting better and makes life faster, thus making our lives seem rushed. There are always so many things to do and so little time and we feel more and more pressure to get things done. Whether we experience corporate stress or personal stress, stress is unhealthy and should be released. Meditation and yoga are reliable ways to release stress but there is another way to that is simpler, FREE!! And what’s more you have it in your possession. Yes this may sound like a online shopping network advert but it true, this feel good technique is called laughter!

Laughter is a worldwide language that unites people, creates a blissful atmosphere and is therapeutic. There are so many benefits of laughter for the mind, body and soul, but how does laughter affect us physically?

Laughter decreases stress hormones (adrenaline, dopac, cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone) that actually constrict blood vessels causing high blood pressure and heart problems. During stress the adrenal gland releases increased amounts of corticosteroids (converted to cortisol in blood stream) and it has a negative effects on the immune system such as immunosuppressive. Laughter lowers cortisol levels therefore protecting your immune system.

Laughter releases Natural Killer cells that assist in fighting colds, sinus problems and viruses by increasing the absorption of immunoglobulin A in saliva. It also boosts the immune function, increases activity and strengthens the immune system.

Laughing has been compared to an ‘internal jogging’ because your body gets a complete workout from a good belly laugh. Laughing is aerobic exercise for your intercostals, diaphragm, abdominal, facial and respiratory muscles because increases muscle flexion and relieves muscular tension. Muscles do not partake in the action of laughter and therefore they relax. The muscles used to laugh relax after you finish laughing, so they each work in turns. You cannot maintain muscle tension while laughing.

The best cardiac exercise you can do for your heart is to have a good laugh as this regulates heartbeat and increases the circulation and improves the transportation of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Laughing is one way to beat high blood pressure because it releases stress hormones that causes high blood pressure therefore lowering it and preventing hypertension.

Lungs are what helps us breath and having a laughing fit speeds up more oxygen into your system and improves breathing. It helps empty the lungs of more air as it increases the utility of oxygen and therefore causing a cleansing effect as well as clearing mucus from the lungs.

Laughter reduces pain by increasing the body’s natural painkiller, endorphins and acts as a temporary distraction. In hospitals, doctors use humor therapy programs after surgeries to support in the healing process and improve health. Laughter enhances treatments and reduces the symptoms of arthritis.

Having a sense of humor helps us to interpretate events that happen in our lives. The way we perceive them determines if it will be a challenge, threat, delightful or moments of joy. Humor provides us with different perspectives on issues and if we can lighten the situation, it no longer becomes negative. If ever you are in a tense situation, that is where you need to laugh the most.

Yes for today and everyday here after you too can have a good laugh it’s the only thing that will cost you nothing!!

“If you can laugh at it, you can survive it!” – Bill Cosby

Benefits of Laughter:

1)   Stimulates the brain, nervous, respiratory, hormonal and muscular system

2)  Lightens depression and is a natural stress reliever

3)  Reduces allergy symptoms and pain

4)  Raises levels of infection-fighting T-cells and proteins called gamma-interferon and B-cells.

5)  Lowers cortisol levels thus protecting the immune system

6)  Improves health and well-being

7)  Improves relationships

8)  Helps to cope with problems more efficiently

Laughter is rejuvenating and refreshing and really is the best medicine.

This article found here

Here are some videos, REALLY TRY NOT TO LAUGH, its hard!

Here was something totally off topic I found, thought I would share!


Happy LAUGHING Sunday!

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in everyday, Inspiration


My weekly clan

So I take care of two kids who are siblings every week. Brody I have full-time and we pick up Rhiannon from school at 3pm. They are great kids and mine love having them around. We always have a lot of fun. This day we drew with chalk and had races in the grass. Here are some photos and videos, enjoy!

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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in everyday


Super Espy

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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in everyday, Family


Fresh Start 2011

On the 1st of January, my best friend Tricia and I started a new year in San Diego. This was celebrating many things at once, my birthday, Christmas and a new year. We both needed to get away and relax and that’s just what we did. We had a blast, laughing, talking and just being our goofy selves. I miss seeing Tricia when I go back to Ohio, ever since she moved to Denver its been tough not seeing her as much. We have known each other for more than half our lives and have been through a lot together. She is the definition of best friend! Thanks Tricia for listening and being there through everything!

Here is to a FABULOUS 2011 filled with happiness for us both!

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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Friends, Inspiration



So I was reading some friends blogs and came across this video. I guess our CrossFit trainer had it on his Facebook then she posted it to her blog. I just watched it and this was what I needed. I have been going through some tough times lately and needed some inspiration/encouragement. Glad I found this sooner than later!

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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Inspiration


Snowy Ohio Christmas Vacation

Oh, we got so lucky to have a great flight to Ohio. The snow covered every inch of land and flying over the snow was breathtaking. I love going to Ohio when there is snow, I think the thoughts of how cold it is leaves my mind then! The kids were so excited to get to play in it and go sledding and make snow angels. This was going to be Ivan’s first time in the snow!

We got in on Sunday the 19th just before dinner. My cousin Kendra and her daughter Natalia came for dinner and to hang out. It was great seeing Natalia whom we would not see on Christmas. Natalia got to open her presents from my mom. Ivan was enthralled with all of my brothers old car ornaments on the tree downstairs. He got most of them down and was playing with them all night. He was one happy camper!

Monday my mother and sister had to work, so the kids and I were hanging out in the house and playing outside for as long as we could before freezing. Here are the photos from the day.

Tuesday we did not do much during the day but let the kids catch up on much needed sleep. That night we went to Worthington Square Mall and got the kids photos with Santa. Elle was really excited, so cute! Ivan could have cared less, he was very interested in the holiday decor and the lighted up animals next to Santa. We then went to dinner at non other than Bob Evans! YUMMY!

Wednesday was the day Lee’s granddaughter came to open presents, have dinner and go to the Columbus Zoo for Lights. We had so much fun, we even got to open a couple presents as well, lucky us. The temperature was freezing and so the kids were completely bundled up. Ivan really could not move any part of him, HAHA. Total ‘Christmas Story’ moment!

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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Family, Ohio Trip

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