Vernon Volumes text

Monday, April 12, 2021

Trasca and Beach day with Grandpa Rick


Saturday morning I jogged with Millie Mae and then while Andrea was at the beach with friends I met Grandpa Rick at Trasca with the kids and then we went to the beach for a walk. 

Paige met her friend Cailyn, so it was Connor, Grandpa and myself on the walk. Millie Mae had fun running with Connor until a big dog that was off-leash ran over to them. They both got a little nervous about running off after that, so they stayed closer to us. 

During our walk we came across a fairly large crab that had gotten tangled up in fishing line. Thankfully Grandpa had his trusty credit card sized toolkit on hand and we used the scissors and the knife to cut the poor crab free. I took a video of the ordeal, but stopped it after a couple minutes so I could help. 

It was a beautiful day at the beach! After our walk we went and got ice cream and then we relaxed the rest of the day.

Birthday lunch with Anna and Rachael


On Saturday, Andrea celebrated April birthdays with her friends Anna and Rachael. They met at the club for the tennis drill clinic at 10, then they relaxed by the pool and ate lunch at the beach. 

Happy birthday ladies!

Jogging with Millie Mae


Millie Mae's been doing well on her walks and she has a lot of energy so I decided to take her on my jogs. We worked up to it over a few weeks where I'd jog with her for a couple miles and then see how she was doing for a couple days. I wanted to make sure I wasn't overdoing it with her and checked her paws to make sure she was holding up ok. On Thursday (April 8th, 2021) I finally decided to give my regular jogging route a try with her. The route takes me from our house to the southern end of the neighborhood and it's a little over 6 miles to my cooldown spot and then I walk the last half mile to the house. 

I was so impressed that Millie Mae made it! We took a couple walking breaks where I would check on her, and I picked her up at one point when she was lagging a little behind, but I could tell she wanted me to put her down. On the cooldown walk she was pulling ahead of me and we did a full speed sprint for the last couple hundred yards, she loved it!

The rest of my workday, Millie was pooped. I gave her a bath after our walk and she was happy to relax the rest of the day. She's not usually a very cuddly dog, but after her bath she let me put her in my lap while I was working.

Millie ran with me on Saturday as well and she is such a strong puppy dog! Great work Millie!

Tricks and Training with Millie Mae


Millie Mae has been learning a lot lately. We're still working to get her to use the puppy pads consistently, but she is much improved and rarely makes mistakes. We've worked on the basic commands like sit, stay, come. We've recently been working on more complex things like lie down, roll over, shake, and sit pretty (we used "beg" but I think she thought we were saying "bad" and would always look sad). 

Andrea took a video of me working with Millie Mae over the weekend.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Easter 2021

For Easter morning, the kids did an Easter egg hunt and we gave them their baskets that were filled with goodies that Andrea's been saving for the day. They both got some yummy sweets, some pajamas, new swimming goggles, strawberry lemonade, and gum. We got a few pics of them, along with Millie Mae, before we went to brunch.


We met Grandpa Rick and Grandma Alice at the Nineteen restaurant at TPC and we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves since most of the other reservations didn't show up, so it was a very nice private meal together. The Easter Bunny came by with a basket of goodies and we snapped a pic with him/her/they/it.

Connor was a hungry boy and wanted the steak and eggs. It was a big brunch meal and we snapped a pic of him and his plate before he dug in. We expected there would be leftovers, but he pretty much finished it all. He didn't finish all the eggs because he didn't like the sauce they put on it, but otherwise he loved his lunch. We also got some donuts to share, Grandma Alice got quiche, Grandpa Rick got Croque Madame, Paige got pancakes, and I got the beef brisket. Andrea just shared a bit from each of us.

When we got home, we snapped a few family pics with our puppy and the kids were cute about putting on their Easter rabbit ears.

The weather was beautiful and cool, so Paige, Millie Mae, Grandma Alice, Grandpa Rick and I went on a long golf cart ride around the neighborhood. I operated the pedals and Paige did most of the driving. We looked at some of the houses under construction and went down some of the roads that Grandma and Grandpa had never seen.

We played some "Sleeping Queens" and dominos for a while after we got back and then we bid Grandma and Grandpa farewell so they could get home to feed their dogs and let them out. 

It was a fun Easter celebration and we're thankful we got to spend a beautiful day together with family.

Millie Mae's walking weekend


Millie Mae's been walking more lately and doing well on the leash. During the tennis tournament on Saturday I took her for a long walk between matches and we ended up walking over five miles. I carried her briefly a couple times when I was worried she was getting tired, but she actually seemed to enjoy it and wanted to be put down. 

Afterwards, she was tired, and I got to have some rare snuggle time with her.

On Sunday morning I took Millie for a jog. I stayed close to home in case she got too tired, but she kept up well. We walked about half the time and on the last stretch towards home I could tell she wanted to go faster and we sprinted full speed for a couple hundred yards. She ended up going six miles on Sunday! 

Level 7 Tournament in ML

On Saturday, April 3rd 2021, the kids participated in a Level 7 tournament. It was super convenient since it was in our neighborhood. Connor played first and his first match started at 8am. I brought him to the tournament and brought Paige up so she could start at 11am. 

Connor was successful for his first three matches and although he didn't feel like he was playing his best, he won them. His fourth match was against his buddy Charlie and they split sets 1-4, 4-1 and then did a 7 point tiebreak to decide the match. Unfortunately Connor fell behind early in the tiebreak and a few close shots hit the net. He lost the match, but had a great day of tennis otherwise. Andrea took over tournament parent duty once Connor finished, and I took Connor to lunch. 

Paige's group started at 11, but unfortunately Paige had a bye the first round. Personally, I think that's the worst time for a bye since everyone else has a match and get warmed up and then Paige has to come in cold and play someone that just finished playing an entire match. The format also didn't favor Paige since it was a single set to 4 games, which doesn't give any opportunity for a reset and regrouping if you fall behind. 

Paige lost the first match, but then won the rest of her matches and finished in second place overall. She got very frustrated in the first match of the day, but we're proud of her for getting it together and focusing to play well afterwards.

Paige's friend Yasmine came to the tournament and afterwards Andrea took the girls to Barbara Jeans for lunch.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Miami Open 2021

Last year, just before the entire world shut down for the Coronavirus pandemic, we won box seats to the 2020 Miami Open through our tennis club. Andrea and our friend Gina had submitted a photo to a tennis photo contest and our photo got the most "likes" so we had first choice on tickets. Unfortunately, the 2020 Miami open ended up being canceled as everything started to shut down. 

This past week, the 2021 Miami Open started. The tournament was being run at 20% capacity and we really didn't expect to ever hear about the tickets again. We were pretty surprised on Wednesday from our club's tennis director that they had tickets for the tournament this year. I called Grandpa Rick to see if he'd be available to watch the kids and thankfully he was available and willing to watch Connor and Paige. 

Andrea and I drove down on Friday for the tournament and we stayed at a hotel a few minutes to the north of the Hard Rock Stadium. We charged our car and ate some brunch on Saturday morning and then drove to the tournament. Andrea and I like to watch tennis on TV and we tend to watch mostly the womens' matches. We took our seats in the Grandstands and at 11am we watched #1 Ash Barty play against Jalena Ostapenko. It was a super sunny day and we got pretty hot while we watched. We took a break and found some shade after the first match and then relaxed until the 3pm match Azarenka vs Kerber. The kids watched the 3pm match for a while with Grandpa and actually found a moment when Andrea and I were on the TV broadcast. Once that match finished, we realized that it was likely going to be a long wait until the next matches. We had planned to stay the night, but realized that we would probably sleep better in our own beds and decided to drive home. We washed up at the hotel, changed in to some comfy clothes, and made it home a little before midnight. 

Huge thanks to Grandpa for being available on short notice, taking the kids to tennis matches, a golf lesson, and to ice cream. It wouldn't have been possible for us to have this experience without him!

Second Middle School Match


On Thursday, both kids played line 1 singles for their tennis teams. The match was in our neighborhood on a fairly warm day and I went with Millie Mae to watch them. Andrea was pretty busy as she is the tennis mom for Paige's team and was pretty busy getting the kids organized. The match was the second one that the kids played for their middle school teams and both won 4-0, 4-0. Great work kids!

Millie Mae update

Millie Mae is getting bigger, cuter, and more mischievous every day. She has learned a lot of tricks like come, sit, stay, lie down, roll over, shake, settle, and "sit pretty" which is "beg". We changed from saying "beg" since I think she thought we were saying "bad" and would look very sad while we were trying to make her do the trick. We can tell that Millie's a smart cookie, although she definitely isn't as eager to please as some other dogs we've worked with. I hate to always compare her to Chloe, but once Chloe figured out what you wanted, she was eager to please. Millie Mae likes her treats and will perform if you have treats. If you're trying to get her to listen to you while she's busy, or while she wants to do something else, tough luck.

I've been giving her a bath each week and she doesn't enjoy it, but tolerates it nicely. She has also gotten better about tolerating her nail trimming. Millie is getting to a point that I believe she may actually enjoy going on walks. She doesn't cry or whine during the walks and will "heel" and come next to you if you give her a tug on the leash. I've also been working with her to sit when we stop, and as long as there aren't too many distractions, she does really well.

The last couple weeks, Millie has become a sneaky pooper. She will go on the puppy pad most of the time, but she will also sneak off and poop random places. Connor found some behind the couch the hard way while the Gobles were in town. Ryan was chasing Connor around the house and Connor stepped, barefoot, right in a big turd which was on the carpet behind the couch in the family room. Amanda thought it was one of the funniest things she'd ever seen, and if you've ever seen the way Connor reacts when he has to pick up one of Millie's poops, you would understand how traumatizing it was for him.

We are still working with the kids to get them to help out more with Millie. They can do a lot, but only with a lot of direction and on demand, which can get exhausting.

Gobles Visit

On Thursday March 18th, 2021, the Gobles flew to Florida and spent a few days with us. The kids were off of school for Spring Break and although the weather turned cold and wet while they were in town, we enjoyed their company and had fun with everyone. On Friday we went to lunch at TPC and then we went to the beach club to enjoy the only sunny day in the forecast during their visit.

The kids enjoyed hanging out at the house together and they all slept in the bonus room. Paige was cute about setting up the couches, which can be setup as twin beds, and we figured Connor would sleep in his room. Instead, Connor decided he wanted to be a part of the slumber party, and he slept on the floor next to the little ones. The kids all decided to play some Minecraft together and started a new survival world on the Xbox and eventually they all played together using phones, computers, and the Xbox. 

Saturday was quite a bit colder and we had Graydon all to ourselves since Amanda and Ryan had an appointment with a realtor to look at houses and neighborhoods. We went to lunch at Barbara Jean's which was Graydon's choice, and we played outside and went on a bike ride to the rope swing.

On Sunday, Andrea took Ryan and Amanda in her car to a few of the neighborhoods they'd been interested in after lunch at Cheesecake Factory. I hung out with the kids and did some work to get caught up from my time off the week before.

Monday was the last day for the Gobles in town and after lunch together they went with the kids to look at some neighborhoods for one last time. Andrea took a picture of the kids playing together at the park in Rivertown.

We had so much fun with the Gobles, although it was a little cold and a little crazy with all the driving around town. It warmed up just as they had to leave and it was a little disappointing they couldn't have better weather while they were here. They flew out early on Tuesday morning, March 23rd.