Sunday, June 18, 2017

Swim Meets, Father's Day, and a NEW BABY

Let's not bury the lede here, we became a family of 6 today.

Sir Winston Churchill has joined our family from the Lone Star Bulldog Club Rescue organization. He is approximately 4 years old, weighs a stocky 65 lbs, and has a tongue that won't quit.

James surprised me by submitting an application to adopt from the bulldog rescue group about 4 weeks ago, on what turned out to be the 1-year anniversary of Tex's passing. We had just put the kids to sleep that night when he said, "hey, I have a surprise for you, we have a call in 10 minutes to be interviewed to maybe adopt a bulldog."


He knew I was ready to add another animal to our family whenever he was, but I thought he might not be ready until our kids left our house. But on what he says was an impulse he researched lazy dog breeds- in his paraphrased words, "we're active people who are super lazy at home... I want a dog that doesn't make me feel guilty when I work out in a gym and not by taking it on long walks every day." So true.

1 block walking

So we had our call, learned a lot about bulldogs, explained our wants and limitations, waited for our home visit, added rocks to block a gap we'd never noticed under our fence, waited for another home visit, and then we were approved! Winston Churchill popped up on the website somewhere in the middle of this process and James emailed our liaison at nearly midnight when we saw him. He was an owner surrender by a college student who was going up north for medical school and didn't think she could keep taking care of him. He does not have a sad story and has been loved every day of his clearly happy life.

We had a "meet and greet" last night after the swim meet. It went well, though he was a little aggressively affectionate with Cora. Not actually aggressive, he just REALLY wanted to love on her and since he weighs double what she does, she did "not like that Mom." But we all think he'll chill out once the kids are an everyday thing instead of an exciting novelty.

Speaking of the swim meet- because we have to - it was also on Saturday and it was awesome.

We all wore our new team t-shirts, matching as only the coolest of families do.

Cora donned a swim cap for warm-up and I got a million pictures because Cora in a swim cap is my new favorite Cora.

"No mama, I like it like this, 'kay?"

her poor adorable ears

She LOVES her "sweeming."

James remains the only person she acknowledges as coach and I love the two of them together SO much.

Tiny swimmer, big pool.

Cora's 25 free was amazing. She wasn't intimidated the by the big pool or giant blocks and spent the minutes leading up to her heat dancing for the crowd.

She managed to add time from last week, mostly because she started her race with a front flip over the wall and took a little while to figure out what she was supposed to be doing once she came back to the surface. Then she discovered lane ropes and thought those were fun to hang on, but once James coaxed her away from the rope, she found her focus, and her 1:45 second swim ended in the biggest round of applause of the night.

Love her. Even if her method of entry almost made me drop my phone.

My new suit came in the mail the day after my last swim meet, so I finally looked like a coordinated member of the team.

Lag Liv Family Swimmers!

My plan of just showing up for meets and not swimming in between is working out well so far. I dropped time in all my events, and though I had to swim next to James in the 100 free (ugh) and he beat me by 16 seconds (UGH), I still got second- beating all the men and feeling quite speedy indeed (even though I STILL didn't break a minute- 1:01.00. Next time, I can feel it.).

In my long break between 100 free and 100 IM I snuck some old school swim meet nachos in the stands with Cora. Mr. I-packed-us-all-almonds-for-snacks didn't need to know.

It was an afternoon meet, which is weird, and in Southlake 45 minutes away, so it made for a long day. Particularly since we went to visit Winston on the far side of Dallas afterward.

We got home at 9:30 and everyone was exhausted. The kids let us sleep in until 9, which was amazing, and then even more amazing- we realized the TV wasn't on when we woke up! The kids had slept in past 8 and then used their time to surprise make James Father's Day cards since we didn't have time to properly prepare on Saturday.

They were adorable.

And 3-dimensional!

We went on a short walk/bike ride/shoulder ride, tested out some new exercise equipment at our park, and then explored a river bed at the insistence of Landon.

Father's Day Adventuring

Then we just lazed about the house debating whether or not we should really get a dog.

It felt like when we used to debate having a third baby. We could think of so many reasons not to and yet we wanted one anyway. Finally we just pulled the trigger and texted the foster mom, made our kids very happy, and piled everyone in the car for another hour+ drive past Dallas.

And came home with this fine fellow.

And now here we are, a family of six once again. Winston is snoring up a storm in his crate in the living room. He was in the TV room but he breathes so loud we couldn't hear our movie over his noises and I think the violent stylings of John Wick II weren't exactly soothing to him in his new environment. We're looking forward to getting to know the little/big man and to start using all the bulldog care accessories I ordered on Amazon on my way home from Dallas. I look forward to sharing his antics and the stories of cleaning his nose folds with you all for years to come!


  1. Congratulations, LagLiv family! What a wonderful addition, and I expect it'll be like you've had him your entire lives before long! May I offer two small pieces of advice that I'm sure you got from the rescue group, too? Be careful about how much time he spends outside during the summer/heat...bulldogs can get heat stroke easier than some other breeds because of their "smushy faces". Also, they usually don't swim well (although some do, most tend to sink) so you might want to look into a doggie life jacket for him. Sir Winston Churchill is a perfect name for him! Way to go finding the perfect dog to fit into your lives!

    1. Yes! I welcome all advice, though as you guessed, the rescue group was extremely helpful in giving us Bulldog 101 training in the weeks leading up to our adoption. And then sent us a thick reference packet just in case we weren't auditory learners ;). His foster mom told us that he loves his tennis ball so much (he plays soccer with it; it's amazing, expect videos soon) he will overexert himself so she sets a 5 minute timer any time he's outside to make him come in and take a break. We haven't tested his swimming yet (though all signs point to a big NO on that front), so we'll keep an eye on him on his limited sojourns outside in the summer and then we cover our pool for the off season so he should be okay, though I enjoy the idea of a life jacket so much that may happen too. It'll go great with the collection of bow ties I've already ordered him...

    2. You guys are such great parents with the kiddos that you'll be fantastic with a bulldog, too! I know Tex (and Rosie) were fairly low maintenance, and I bet that Winston will be an easy fit, too, once you get the hang of bulldog quirks (you're already learning about the snoring). Do you have a hard cover for the pool during the off season? If it's soft you'll want to be just as vigilant since dogs (not just bulldogs) can still drown because they can get wrapped up in the cover if they fall (or walk) in/on the cover. No negativity intended, just caution.

      And bow ties are the best!!! Pics, for sure, when he starts wearing them.

    3. The snoring is a serious adjustment! We had to move him to another room because we couldn't hear our movie!

      The pool cover is a custom safety cover we originally got for the kids. Made of thick boating netting it stretches across the pool and holds 400 lbs without moving. Funny that now that all our kids are water safe we need it for our non water safe dog instead! (And the leaves... it saves us from cleaning out a LOT of leaves.)

  2. my friends have a bulldog and it is so GOOD with their kids. But yes, lazy like you said LOL:)

  3. Oh my gosh. What a surprise! He's super cute.

  4. I *love* Cora's ears poking out of her cap! My 8 year-old swimmer still wears her ears the same way. :)

  5. Longtime reader, first time commenter (and also, veterinarian). Congrats on the new family member! Bulldogs have such great goofy personalities, I'm sure Winston will fit in immediately.
    If you haven't considered it, I'd put in a rec for considering pet insurance/researching the options out there -- one ER vet visit, or a series of regular vet visits for frustrating skin or ear infections can make it super worthwhile, just be careful about pre-existing or breed-related condition coverage. Hooray for nose-fold cleaning!

  6. Awwww! Congratulations on your new family member. He's gorgeous.

  7. PS, y'all are adorable yanno.

  8. YAYYYYYYY! Congratulations on your new family member! He's the cutest! I'm so glad you were able to add an adorable four-legged kiddo to your precious 2-legged ones! <3 Oh, and I love the name! My friend had a pup also named Winston Churchill, which eventually got bastardized to "Chuch". hahaha. Can't wait to hear the nicknames you all (especially Cora) come up with!

  9. James swims a 45 second 100?? Holy moly! (Or is my early morning math totally failing me?). The family swim meet is seriously the cutest thing ever.

    1. Yep! 45-high. Most of his times are right on what he was doing in college.

      I on the other hand used to be a 54 back in the day, but am hovering just over a minute right now. I'm determined to break it by season end (and by "determined" I mean I'm going to keep showing up at meets and just hoping it happens).

  10. Would it be inappropriate to request that you post more pictures of your hubby in a speedo? Just asking for a friend... ;)