For the past, oh, gazillion mazillion months, my wackamo family has been on me to let them get a dog.

I'm a dog person, but C'MON! the work and time involved with raising a puppy is ridiculous. I've done it before and I KNOW! And since I'm a stay-at-home mom, you know who's going to be doing all the work. Am I right, ladies? AM I RIGHT?!? You know I am.

I always said we could get a dog when the kids were a bit older, like 18. Or at least 2 or 3 more years. With that in my back pocket it was easy to say no to the persistent Ella voice: "Mommy, I want a puppy AND a baby!" and the Peyton voice: "I wish WE had a dog!" and the husband voice: "Wouldn't it be SO GREAT if we had a dog?" I can honestly say their pleas meant nothing. Nothing. I was strong and smart and smart and smart.

And then... sweet husband sat me down one night because he wanted to have an important, serious talk. Serious enough that he waited until the kids were asleep so we could actually talk. We'll call it The Dog Talk. It's when the "Hey, we should get a dog!" nonsense turned serious. And he really wanted a dog and I really love him, so there you go. Also, I appreciated the leverage I now had in my hot little hands. It didn't hurt that he promised to do everything ever in the world to take care of the dog when he wasn't at work. And he promised me a lifetime supply of foot rubs on demand.

But really, I tried to wiggle out of it at first. I unsuccessfully attempted a final procrastination effort in the form of, "How about after winter?"

But it turns out that James had fallen in love online. With a picture of a very specific puppy. Who would be ready in a very specific amount of time. Two weeks.

Also, I believe in shelter dogs. This wasn't a shelter dog. Our last dog I had chosen and he was a shelter pup, so I suppose it was James' turn. So for his turn he had fallen in love an English Springer Spaniel. We named him Indie and I dove in head first.

Even though the pup pup was mostly for James, we decided to make it an early Christmas present for the kids. The next weekend Santa called James (supposedly) to let our family know that he would be leaving a present for the kids that night. So Peyton and Ella put out some bribery treats for Santa and his reindeer and the next morning we found this:

Present 1: A dog collar. They figured out what is was, but I don't think they understood the meaning.

Present 2: A picture of Indie with a note from Santa, "This is Indie. He is a REAL PUPPY! I hope you love him. Love, Santa"

Now they understood! Ella was so excited about our new pup that she hugged her big brother!

We sat down at the table and made a list of everything we would need. And then we went puppy supply shopping! And for the next week Peyton and Ella arranged and rearranged Indie's bed and his toys.

Puppy Day! It turns out that we needed to drive to a place very near the North Pole. Because that's where Santa's helpers have the puppies. This place is also sometimes called Minnesota. It's a 3 1/2 hour drive.

The sweet couple who bred the pups had stuffed animal puppies for Peyton and Ella under their Christmas tree! So sweet! It was nice because I could tell my kids were a little overwhelmed by everything.

Here's where Indie slept for most of the 3 1/2 hour ride home (my lap):

It was a beautiful drive:

Remember the empty and waiting dog bed? Now it's filled with a puppy worn out from all the kid love. As Ella says, "Mommy, we need to be alone now. We need some quiet time with the dog."

And you know what else she says?
"Mommy, I love the dog! You know the only thing we need now?"
"A baby."
"Sorry, honey, we're not getting a baby."
"Oh yes we are!"
(We most definitely are not.)

The next day he got a bath. Look at that face!

And here he is trying to be the boss. It didn't work. He still had to finish his bath.

A kiss from Peyton:

My happy husband:

And, yes, for those of you who really care about me, James has kept up his side of the puppy deal!