Tag Archives: dogs

New Kid on the Block

According to the results of the poll, New Baby is a girl by a margin of 2-1.

However…

Boy number four is due to arrive early this fall.

It’s a boy!  Boy number four should arrive early this fall.

Surprised?  Me, too.  None of my symptoms matched the ones from my first two male pregnancies.  Which, come to think of it, were completely different from each other anyway, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  My dog and I continue to be the only girls in the house, which is totally cool…she digs musicals and would probably let me paint her toenails if I asked her really nicely.  And bribed her with bacon.

boy     noun/boi/

1. a male child.

2. noise with dirt on it.

In all seriousness, I couldn’t be happier about having another little boy.  Can’t wait to meet you, Little Guy!

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Wrapping It Up…

…Like a Christmas package.  This past week, that is.

  1. I slept much better last night and didn’t try shooting anybody with blueberries at all.
  2. We actually made it to the grocery store, which is good for everybody.
  3. My dog had an upset tummy today.  Thankfully, no carpet, socks or underwear were harmed during this episode of doggie indigestion.  However, the living room and our bedroom carpets got steam-cleaned since she left us little gifts in several spots.  Poor Chickie…
  4. I’m going to try making low-fat low-sugar chocolate ice cream tomorrow.  Wish me luck!
  5. My Redskins lost.  That’s okay.  Did I mention that we beat the Cowboys last week?
  6. I gave my baby his first “big boy” haircut on Friday.  It’s adorable and I hate it.  His hair isn’t as soft or wispy anymore.  It’s so sad.  On the other hand, my husband loves it.
  7. I’m pretty sure that New Baby is trying to change my oil at this very moment.  I’m not entirely certain how to tell him that I’m not a car and therefore have no oil to change.
  8. I’m also restarting pregnancy yoga and starting Project Kitchen tomorrow.  That’s the plan, anyway.  I’ll let you know how it goes.
  9. I really want to modify a non-maternity pattern for maternity use.  I have tissue paper and I’m not afraid to use it.  Plus, I can’t find a cute long-sleeved dress anywhere.  I’m not sure why…
  10. If I’m going to do all this stuff tomorrow, I should probably go to bed.

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The Jack of the Baskervilles

My family has a beagle named Jack.  He is a sweet boy with some minor oddities…you know, like eating the eyes off of every stuffed animal who is unfortunate enough to cross his path and being completely unable to walk down a staircase without taking out anyone who happens to be on said staircase at the same time.  A while back I watched a documentary on Animal Planet about the smartest dog breeds on the, well, planet.  I was utterly floored when beagles came out in the top spot.  I never would have known that from the example I have living in my house.  In fact, you could say that he’s a few tacos short of a fiesta platter.  All that being said, there is no animal alive who is more patient or loving with his family.  Baby loves him and shows it as gently as any tiny boy was ever able to do, but “Dog-Dog” couldn’t be happier than when he’s being loved by his miniature Human.

Jack, the beagle

Meet Jack, our family’s beagle. Isn’t he cute?

This leads me to relate a rather unfortunate incident that occurred just last night.  Oldest and Baby were in bed, asleep.  Around 2200 (10 PM for you non-military readers) in my sleep-induced haze, I heard Baby crying through the monitor.  (Side note…Baby’s been doing a lot of that the last couple of days because he’s been afflicted with a random fever.  Poor sweetie.)  I changed his diaper, which he was not happy about anyway, and then tried to calm him back down.  That’s when I heard The Sound.

I neglected to mention earlier that Jack has another personality quirk.  He doesn’t do anything quietly.  About three years ago, he finally found his beagle voice and our lives have never been the same.  No beagle ever howled with the enthusiasm that this dog does.  It’s blood-curdling when one is not expecting it…which one never is.  One being me.  He also snores like the offspring of a freight train and a dragon.  Our house is a senior citizen, which means that sounds travel quite well through its floors and ceilings.

What usually happens in our house after the kiddies are asleep is that Husband and I retire upstairs to our office/bedroom.  We bring the dogs up with us to get some non-miniature Human affection before we all fall asleep.  As I rocked Baby downstairs in his room last night, I heard a sound that filled my baby’s heart with fright at each occurrence.  I couldn’t figure out at first if it was a truck revving its engine outside or if something horribly wrong was happening to our furnace.  Then, The Sound scratched itself.  I could hear its foot thumping on the floor.  The Sound was Jack…sleeping.  And my baby screamed with terror.

Happily, this story ended well for everybody but the dogs.  Baby and I watched some Baby Galileo, which restored the smiles and giggles.  He fell back asleep.  I fell back asleep.  However, both dogs were sent to bed in the kitchen early, where Jack’s snores couldn’t terrify anyone but the cats.

Jack of the Baskervilles.  I'm sure this is the image Baby had in his head during The Sound.

Meet the Jack of the Baskervilles. I’m sure this is the image Baby had in his head during The Sound.

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I Hereby Resolve…

…To not make any resolutions.  Per se.  However, there are several things on my “to do” list this year (ain’t there always?) that I am enlisting you, Dear Reader, to give me accountability on getting finished by New Year’s Eve 2013.

  1. Have my baby.  Happily, this isn’t anything that I can avoid, so I’m putting it first on this list.  He’s coming out, whether I’m ready or not.  However, my goal is to have him naturally…sans pain medication…just like I did with his brother.  Now that I’ve written that, I get accountability.  See how this works?
  2. Get back to pre-baby weight.  New Baby and I have thus far kept everything under control.  Here’s to keeping it that way for the home stretch.
  3. In keeping with the theme of number 2, start doing pregnancy yoga again.  I’m feeling creaky.
  4. Date my husband more often.  Sometimes I seem to lose sight of him amidst the laundry, grading schoolwork and dirty diapers.  As he is the most awesome husband in the world, this is completely unsat.  Yes, I used a Navy term.  Deal with it.  By the way, he just painted my toenails for me since I am having a really hard time reaching my toes these days.  They’re so pretty and festive!  He rocks!
  5. Drink more water.  I try…I really do.  But water is so…meh.  This is where I should probably make a note to self to buy lemons the next time I go to the grocery store.
  6. Plant a garden!  It’s a win-win…sunshine for me, the babies and Oldest…plus, we get fresh veggies.  In theory.  Of course, I’m not trying to feed the legions of squirrels and rabbits in my yard/neighborhood, so I need to figure out a way to critter-proof this hypothetical garden before making it a reality.  The local wildlife do not seem to fear my dogs.  My beagle, however, is utterly terrified of said wildlife.  To be honest, I’m not entirely certain he knows what’s out there.  There seems to be a huge gap between his brain and his smeller.
  7. Reorganize my kitchen.  I’m spending a lot more time there than I have previously…well, ever in my life, unless we’re counting the years of washing dishes by hand as a kid.  Therefore, what was heretofore acceptable for occasional bits of culinary awesomeness is no longer okay.  Neither is that pan that scorches anything within a two-mile radius.
  8. Get an A in my BMIS 330 class.  Oh, yeah.  I should probably finish the class before New Baby arrives.  It’s supposed to end three weeks before my due date.  What was I thinking?!!  Maybe I’ll even get to take another class during the fall semester.  So, get an A in whatever class that ends up being.
  9. Maintain academic excellence in our little home school and have fun doing it.
  10. More of the good stuff.  Music, painting/drawing, reading, family game nights, kitchen science, writing, homemade Christmas presents…you get the idea.

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance!  Hopefully when we do the outbrief at the end of this year, I’ll have ten line items marked as complete.  I’ll keep you posted throughout the year!

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Goodbye, 2012

What an interesting year it has been.

2012 seemed like it would be fairly “normal.”  You know…work, school, work, diapers, work, laundry, work…I saw all of those on the horizon for this past year.  What I didn’t see coming was the switch from being a working mom to a homeschool mom…or the possibility of loving said switch.  I didn’t see the collapse of a soggy dining room ceiling, a tornado stealing our shed and then dropping it on the neighbor’s car, or the dog eating the living room carpet to soothe an upset tummy coming, either.  Apparently, Professor Trelawney I am not.  (Wait…)

Continuing to highlight some of the more memorable moments of this past year:

  1. I started this blog…and then put it on hold around Oldest and I started summer break so I could attempt to write The Great American Novel of 2012.  Instead, I conducted The Great Purge of His Bedroom while he was off visiting relatives in various places. Maybe in 2013…
  2. We got our annual mandatory academic progress test results back…Dude passed with flying colors.  All paperwork was filed and curriculum purchased so we could continue to homeschool during the 2012-2013 school year as well.  In case you were wondering, fourth grade rocks!  I’ve gotten to teach basic electronic theory during science this term.  *flexes techie muscles*    We have had a few awesome field trips and done some pretty fantastic projects that will (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  3. Baby has twelve teeth, a fifteen-ish word vocabulary, and can walk like a champ.  We discovered on Halloween that he was apparently born knowing how to use a light saber.  (He made the cutest Yoda I’ve ever seen…I’m telling you.)  He absolutely loves books, cars (said with a Bostonian accent), trucks, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,  and our dog-dogs.
  4. He is also going to be a big brother in about three-ish months!  We found out that New Baby was on the way on my birthday, which was about the best present ever.  (I’d been wondering what all the nosebleeds were about…apparently, that’s how my body reacts to being pregnant.  Fabulous.)  Yet to be discovered is whether or not gestational diabetes and bed rest are on my horizon this time around.
  5. Thankfully, the whole second trimester energy spike thing happened right around the holiday season, so I was able to make and bake a whole lot of stuff that will also (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  6. Item 5 was brought to you and all actual beneficiaries in part by the discovery of Pinterest.
  7. The disasters mentioned in Paragraph 2, plus a few others.  It’s okay.  We survived.
  8. Hubby presented me with a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, and it has changed my culinary life this past week.  I still can’t decide whether to call it The Beast or Bonnie.  It’s a toss-up.  I’ll keep you posted.  So far, we’ve made four batches of cookies (gingerbread men, spritz, vanilla-mint candy canes, and cinnamon roll sugar cookies), icing, my grandma’s legendary Anadama bread, and mashed potatoes.  As a side note, this year was my second making Christmas dinner all by myself, and I didn’t set anything on fire!  All of that Food Network viewing is so paying off!  My in-laws further expanded my culinary horizon with their gift of the ice cream maker attachment.  Holy frostbite.  That thing is awesome!  I made honey-vanilla ice cream the day after Christmas and grape sherbet (chalk it up to weird pregnancy cravings) this weekend.  There is but one thing to say about how they turned out.  Dude.  Okay, moving on.
  9. I can now say that I’ve given hermit crabs a bath.  Considering how much they resemble spiders and my arachnophobia, this is quite a feat.
  10. Much amazing time with family and friends, including a two-week visit with my baby brother this summer, surprise visit from my Bestie while we were Up North for Thanksgiving with my grandmothers, parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins (oh, my!) and another surprise visit from my sister and her husband the weekend before Christmas.  Hopefully, this new year will contain much more of this line item.  Also, please note that the board game called Frazzle! is pretty awesome and adds a lot to family gatherings.  It comes with a gavel.  ‘Nuff said.

I could go on and on, but I shall restrain myself.  Suffice it to say that I have learned so much this past year, and while moments of it were more painful than others, God has been incredibly good to me and my family and I am so grateful to Him for everyone and everything He brought our way.  Looking back on this year, this verse keeps coming to mind.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Ecclesiastes 7:14, New International version

No amount of crystal ball gazing or reading the tea leaves would have prepared me for the roller coaster of this past year.  (What say you, Professor?  Besides that I’m in grave danger.  I live with gravity every day.  You don’t have to tell me that.)  This year, more profoundly than other years, has shown me exactly how much I have learned (and have yet to learn) about trusting that God can handle things much better than I ever could.  One just has to sit back and enjoy the ride…even if it comes standard with wet drywall and doggie indigestion.

Happy New Year!

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Playing Ketchup and Mustard

This past week was a rather strange one.  I know that I accomplished a huge amount of things…I just can’t remember what they all were.

I am happy to report that most of the damage from The Big Water Heater Incident has been rectified. The new floor looks fantastic!  The last items on the agenda are minute paint touch-ups, insurance agent wrangling (dinette damage), and getting the table refinished.

I have also pretty much perfected my bread machine bagel dough recipe.  Apparently, the secret to amazing bagel dough is to add an egg  per cup of flour and to cut back on the water (about an ounce and a half per egg added).  The next thing on my bagel list is to work on my bagel-forming technique.  The first half of the batch always turn out pretty well shape-wise, but the last half looks more…well, rugged.

I gave my dogs baths, which is no small feat.  My mutt hides under whichever piece of furniture is closest to her whenever she hears the word “bath.”  Good thing she hasn’t learned to speak Pig Latin…yet.  My beagle does not understand the word “bath” in English or otherwise, so getting him into the bathroom is usually pretty easy as long as there’s food involved.  However, getting him into the tub is another story.  He is an unusual beagle in that he weighs about 65 pounds and is shaped rather like a barrel with stubby legs, a metronome for a tail and floppy ears.  (He’s really not overweight…he is just built more like a hippopotamus than a beagle.)

Laundry.  ‘Nuff said.

We finished out the week with lots and lots of family time outdoors at the nearby amusement park.  We got rained out on Saturday, which was a bit of a bummer.  We thought we might get rained out when we went back Sunday afternoon, but the dismal clouds fled the scene, leaving the evening perfectly gorgeous…sunny and warm.  Bonus: hardly anybody showed up to the park, so we had short lines for rides and shows all day.  The baby got to ride on the merry-go-round with me…no horsies for him yet, but he loved smacking at the large gorilla head adorning our bench.

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Being a Grown-Up

One of my favorite books of all time is Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”  I read it for the first time when I was probably six years old at the most.  Much of the subtle humor was lost on me at that tender age, but in the nine-hundred or so times that I’ve read it since then, I’ve come to appreciate it more and more.  For example, there’s a point at which Jo expresses the chaotic longings of my childhood heart in a way that still hits close to home.

“I’d have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I’d write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie’s music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.”

Of course, I wanted to be a pirate author (don’t ask), and now that I’m an adult, I really don’t want the castle unless it comes with a house elf…too many rooms to keep clean.  But, other than that, it’s exactly the same.

Now that I’m an adult, I don’t understand why in the world I tried so hard to be grown up when I was a kid.  They don’t tell you about taxes or (gulp) going to the dentist by yourself or that having a baby is not as easy as pulling a doll out from under your shirt.  And all of those of those games we played…like “House.”  What were we thinking?  Now I have one of my own.  Nobody bothered telling me how many things can break in a house.  Like water heaters.

Our attic  water heater just decided it didn’t want to hold water anymore, so it decided to share it with the floor underneath it, who in turn shared it with our dining room ceiling….who shared it with our brand-new dining room set and hardwood floor.  Whose bright idea was it to put the water heater in the ding-dang attic in the first place?  The sucker barely fit through the “Alice in Wonderland”-sized door (we had no “Eat Me!” cakes on hand) and down the stairs…and I won’t even go into the awesomeness of lugging its replacement in the opposite direction.  The ceiling is nearly fixed, but the floor is getting ripped out in a week or so and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that they’ll be able to fix my poor table.

Thankfully, my husband and I are pretty handy people because we’ve been able to fix most of the issues that have popped up over the last few years…even the electrical and plumbing issues.  However, repairing the ceiling and insulation was not something we wanted to do on the weekends, so we outsourced.  The ceiling doesn’t look like it got caught in a hurricane anymore, but it’s still going to be a couple of weeks before we’re able to use the dining room again.  Believe me…in a house as small as ours, the loss of a room is definitely felt.  At least my dog isn’t going to bark at the ceiling anymore.  She wasn’t a fan of its water-induced makeover.

It is during times like these that I echo Jo.

“I wish wearing flatirons on our heads would keep us from growing up.  But buds will be roses, and kittens cats–more’s the pity!”

It is too late to not grow up in my case, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have my amazing husband and sweet little boys or my goofball dogs.  When I was a kid, I didn’t get Jo’s lament about kittens turning into cats, but now that I’ve had them, I’d pick the kittens every time.  But that’s a topic for another post on another day.

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