Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back When the Bun Was Still Baking

With Zoey's first birthday just around the corner (2 months!!), I've started to feel a little nostalgic and reminiscent about events that took place last year. Or - in the case of comparison between the 2 years - the serious lack of events that took place last year. From the moment we brought Zoey home from the hospital, our lives were changed in an instant; no longer would we be able to even think about planning for the coming seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks. Our lives were completely in her tiny, shriveled hands. But first we had to get there.

As anyone who was around me during my pregnancy will attest, I didn't resemble a pregnant woman until close to month number seven. I was horribly sick starting on the day I "turned" 8-weeks pregnant, which also happened to immediately follow the H1N1 vaccine. I doubt that had much to do with it, though, since I was steadily praying to the porcelain gods until the fifth month.

Long past is the anniversary of first learning I was pregnant, but here is [a slightly edited version of] how it all went down:

So there I was…..
Wandering aimlessly through Wal-Mart, greedily snatching items of crap I didn’t really need and avoiding the aisle I was sure I didn’t need but considered going down anyway; just to ease my own mind. After I successfully remembered everything I needed to get – which I considered, even then, to be a great feat – I decided I’d better just bite the bullet, find out for sure and then continue planning my wedding like usual.
I didn’t bother to wait for Jacob this time. After all, it was just to confirm what I already suspected….
About two months earlier I found myself in the same boat. Only this time, hoping, planning, doodle-coding my day-planner (heart for when I believe we conceived, exclamation point for the day I took the test, etc.). So Jacob and I took the test together (well, as much togetherness as peeing on a single stick will allow) and the pink line made an appearance rather quickly. We basked in our love-glow for about a week until the awful happened. I could read and talk and listen but you never quite let go of thinking you could have done something better. Or more.
I read all there was on the subject so I knew to expect ‘ole Auntie in 4-6 weeks but, in some cases, your flow can take up to 3 months to reappear. So after hitting the 6 week mark, with only my slightly aching top-half to some-what guide me, but otherwise feeling completely dead between my neck and knees, I found myself in the aisle of uncertain futures.
I placed my less-than 20 items on the mini-counter and realized, “Huh. This is the first time I’m buying a pregnancy test while wearing an engagement ring.”
I was completely calm as I drove home, even forgetting I had it. I was completely calm as I peed in the cup (I had little energy to deal with cutting out the middle man and just using the toilet. Plus I had never tried this method before), as was I when I stuck the stick in there for 5 seconds. The hour-glass blinked for about a minute. I walked over, took a look and – huh – would you look at that. I’m not sure why, but I picked up and started reading the instructions. Like somewhere there would be big, bold words that said, “JUST KIDDING!” Or give me some advice on what to do now. We had just gotten engaged (and the celebration is probably what made this happen) and were thisclose to picking a date. So now we had (and still have) to decide: wait or no wait.
In hindsight it was a good thing I read the pamphlet. I learned I was supposed to stick the stick in the cup for 20 seconds, not 5. Oh, maybe this will make me un-pregnant. Clearly, this Clear Blue Something or Other was a great deal smarter than me. And, in case you’re wondering, yes it read the p-word again (I decided to leave operator error to a minimum and get the digital read-out test).
When I told Jacob, we both sat in a stunned silence while I relived every moment of feeling lousy and thought, “Ohhhhhh.” All I can say, is I KNEW I didn’t drink that much at the office Christmas party (but the result was that I was sick for most of the following day).
I covertly asked my soon-to-be sister-in-law for her doctor’s number, claiming I was in need of a good, general hoo-ha doctor. I sat there in the waiting room, holding a cup of my own pee, feeling like time had stood still, especially when the very pregnant appointment ahead of mine made me wish I was that far along so I would know everything was ok.
The nurse led me back to an exam room and told me it would be approximately 3 minutes. I flipped through Pregnancy magazine, completely unrelating to everything my eyes glanced over, and knowing the nurse was in the “back” with the same Clear Blue Easy I shakily gripped just a week ago. She came in and said, “Well, it’s positive,” with a big, braces-laden grin. I must have been stone-faced because she asked, “Is this the news you were hoping for?” I said, “Oh sure, of course. But I would have been happy either way.” I felt bad destroying her jubilation but this wasn’t exactly breaking news. It was, however, encouraging to hear it from a professional instead of trying to figure things out for myself. *Pause for a pee-break*
She didn’t have a handy-dandy wheel so we couldn’t determine my due-date, so I went to and found out for myself. I like when professionals tell me things – it makes me feel less like I’m figuring things out for myself. I went back to reception to make a first appointment with the doc for when I’m 8 weeks – this coming Monday.
Jacob and I are thrilled, probably him more so, mainly because I have a hard time not worrying and just letting things happen. If possible, I am too in-tune with my body, freaking out over every tweak instead of remembering that my body isn’t my own anymore. And, of course, I feel the need to freak out even when nothing is wrong. As I sat in bed last night, near tears because I felt good and slightly normal, slowly eating Chinese food, the words of What to Expect When You’re Expecting kept making laps in my brain: “[you should be concerned] if your pregnancy symptoms all of a sudden disappear.” Total awesomeness. So not only am I worried when I feel something, but I freak out when I feel nothing. I hear psychotherapy calling my name….
But for now I live in fear of going to the bathroom……
(In the end, I ditched What to Expect When You're Expecting because, while informative, just created pregnancy paranoia. So I read Pregnancy Sucks: When Your Miracle Makes You Miserable instead.)
In the end, of course, nothing extreme happened and a beautiful new baby was brought into the world 8 months later. And this is what was going down this time last year:
How far along: 34 weeks, 5 days.
Maternity Clothes: Yup, all I wear now. Although some are starting to get a little snug….And why they don’t make designer jeans with elastic waistbands anyways is beyond me.
Stretch Marks: Got more on my boobs. I think I have a little one on the underside of my belly. Jacob fears a possibility in post-baby bitching about stretch marks so he likes to rub olive oil on my tummy. As if I don’t already look like an uncooked turkey.
Sleep: I hear it’s going to start getting bad soon. But I had horrible sleeping problems pre-pregnancy so, I figured, since I’m using up more energy by simply standing than a non-pregnant person uses to hike a mountain (per Pregnancy Sucks), sleep should be pretty good. And it has been. Knock on wood.
Best Moment This Week: Baby started moving a lot more. Usually I could count on shortly after dinner and then between 3 and 4am. Now it’s pretty much after anything I shove in my face. And milk works on her like an espresso works on adults.
Worst Moment: I still throw up in the morning, albeit not every morning and it’s always just mucus yucky that I inadvertently swallow when I’m sleeping.
Cravings: Throughout this pregnancy, my cravings have backfired on me, either igniting a fireball in my chest, making me vomit, or both. I’ve found, though, that all I’ve really wanted/craved were things that already existed in nature: fruits, vegetables, juice, milk, eggs, cow, chicken, turkey and the like.
Gender: Still a girl.
Labor Signs: None. But I definitely feel a change. As do my dogs, apparently, since one of them is watching me at all times and Durbin has taken to sleeping on my side of the bed.
Belly Button: I mistakenly thought I would just be eating lunch one day and BLOOP! Out would pop my belly button. But, no, my turkey timer is slowly starting to protrude.
What I Miss: Everything normal – sex, a normal relationship with food, being sad about something in particular instead of everything particular, enjoying the taste of water, chocolate, candy, the occasional fast-food meal, being able to stay up past 10pm, and not freaking out during all waking hours about childbirth and the subsequent child rearing.
Weekly Wisdom: None. Pregnancy brain has taken care of any sort of wisdom I might have had. And for what it hasn’t, well, I forgot.
Baby’s Size: About 5 pounds, the equivalent of a cantaloupe. I love cantaloupe.

This was originally written August 10th and re-reading it makes me laugh; I had such an attitude when I was pregnant.  And looking back at the pictures almost makes me wish I was pregnant again. Almost.

I didn't just bitch about my pregnancy and everything (and everyone) that came with it, I allowed myself to have some fun too.

 At the end of June, it was entirely too difficult to get in and out of my Cobalt, so we traded her in for our Baby Buggy Jeep. She was a good car, taking me across the country and back and a handful of other places. I hope she found a loving home with the 76,000 miles I alone put on her (well, minus the 5 already on it when I left the dealer). Meanwhile, we're enjoying our Jeep, our suburban, family vehicle. This was our first road-trip in the Jeep, to Wyoming to visit the soon-to-be Grandparents.

 Stopping for the fur babies.

 Our trip was short but sweet. One of the best places to go while visiting Pinehole (also known by it's actual name, Pinedale) is Fremont Lake, one of the deepest (and coldest) natural bodies of water. But with the sun reflecting off the water and my own personal space heater growing in my belly, I was pretty toasty warm. There is a place on the lake that serves good lunch, a place my parents routinely take Pinehole visitors (when not at the Cowboy Bar. Just kidding).

 The soon-to-be Grandma. I think she was more excited for Zoey to be born than I was (understatement of the century).

 My Dad's caption for this photograph: "Who is pregnant?" The only difference being that my belly is a human being, and I was able to rid myself of it within a matter of hours.

If nothing else, the dogs loved the Jeep. Louis spent the entire 7-hour drive there and back looking out each window of the car, making Durbin get up and move each time. This was taken as we were about to head home. Durbin was so worn out that he had very little patience for Louis's antics; after one failed attempt at getting in the car before Louis on a potty stop, Durbin barked at Louis to get off of his bed and then stayed there for the duration of the trip. Now - at home - Durbin spends his nights on Louis's bed.

 You don't have to drive through Yellowstone National Park to get from Wyoming to Montana, although I can't understand why someone would opt not to. Mama and baby wild buffalo.

Grizzly Bears fishing.

This was only in July - and I wasn't due until September - but people were skeptical I'd reach my due-date. I think she did it as her first official act of defiance, that just because everyone thought she was going to be born early she would show them! She would come a week late to really prove her point.

I wasn't the only one expecting!! She sat on her nest in the rocks outside my office building. The maintenance man even made sure to keep it clean and relatively untouched for her (and kept that dish next to her). I did get to see the babies when they hatched; she, apparently, was not over due like I ended up being. But she quickly took her babies somewhere else.

Time has seemed to speed up since Zoey was born, but in a good way. It's all

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Our Lives Have Boiled Up To

We don't do anything but videotape Zoey anymore. Enjoy!

This was Saturday morning, playing in Daddy's chair. No, she's not doing anything of real significance, just being her usual extremely cute and happy self.

This was from last night. Daddy keeps Zoey occupied and calm while I get all of her bedtime stuff together. This includes pajamas, making her nighttime bottle, winding her mobile, and making sure her stuffed dog in her crib (I'm sure I care way more about this than she actually does). On certain nights, a bath is required and last night was one such night. So Daddy and Zoey hung out while I got her bath ready.

What our lives have built up to... :-)

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. - David Frost

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Is How We Roll

So, here it is, Monday again; a day where everyone wishes they had another day off to recover from the weekend. Of course, we are no different. Our weekend was what we would constitute as "normal," but it was still busy. In fact, my coworker and I were just discussing how busy it was but that neither of us could really remember what we did. I do know cleaning was involved; a few times.

Thankfully, Saturday wasn't supposed to be as warm as Sunday so I was able to get certain things done before it started to warm up. The house is always very cool in the morning so I could finish all of the laundry, run the dishwasher, and make bacon using the broiler in the oven. It's my favorite way to make bacon but it really heats up the house. That was how we spent Saturday: cooking, cleaning, and only having to run to the store once.

After the dogs got their shots and registered with the city, we decided to let them spend the weekend with us. We hadn't decided what we were going to do with them, and still hadn't by the time we were getting in the car to drive up to Jacob's parents' house on Sunday. Truth be told, we still don't really know what to do; time and court will tell. They have significantly less freedom, needing to be supervised whenever they go outside. Louis was a city-dog and used to pooping in front of an audience, Durbin is not. But the only time they got riled up was when they knew they were going bye bye in the car. Otherwise, I'd say they enjoyed being home, wouldn't you?

 Durbin, reclaiming his futon. Don't get too comfy, Boy, Grandma is coming for a visit soon!

 If only the dog-catcher could see the vicious killer now.

All of our babies. More accurately, all of my babies. :-) <3

Like every weekend, we thoroughly enjoyed all of our time spent with Zoey and each other, in between getting things done.

 Halted by Dora the Explorer. Jacob took off the floor buffers from Zoey's Elmo cart so that, combined with legs getting stronger every day, she's able to more freely tool around the house. She'll always pause for Nick Jr., though, just to make sure she's not missing out on learning something super important.

 Hmmm. Perhaps this moving-around-more-freely idea was a good idea in theory but not in practice......

 The end of her Friday, relaxing on one of her many stuffed dogs and watching UmiZumi (sp??).

 Daddy and Zoey learning all about hugs and how to give them from Yo Gabba Gabba. Thanks to Netflix and huluplus we have access to 24/7/365 Yo Gabba Gabba! You totally know you're jealous. Seriously, though, Jacob and I have learned some invaluable life-lessons, like how you have to wait in line, and how it's not nice to bite your friends. Zoey's top two teeth poked through this weekend so the lesson really hit home.

 Sometimes Zoey is occupied or otherwise not too demanding of her parents attention. I really feel that after a certain amount of playing with us, she prefers to play by herself. Well, at least, we have satisfied her need for Mommy and Daddy interaction, and we usually just end up watching her play anyways. But, there are times when we're forced to entertain ourselves. I don't know why we buy phones, game consoles, televisions, etc. when we could just play with baby toys too.

 What? I wasn't doing anything, I don't know what you're talking about....

 Another crazy weekend calls for some more crazy napping.

 Sunday morning we woke up a little earlier than we would have liked (stupid new mandatory tags on the dogs), so Zoey spent a good chunk of the morning snuggled with Daddy and Nick-toons.

 Then we went and played in Daddy's chair during a few rounds of Yo Gabba Gabba (and Mommy watching the dogs in the backyard so they didn't run off and kill every creature in the neighborhood).

 At Grandma and Grandpa's house on Sunday afternoon.

It appears Zoey spent most of the weekend parked in front of the television but, of course, we know that's not true. Everything she does is wonderful because I am her mother and, well it is, even if it is just enjoying some good, new-fashioned children's educational cartoons.

On the big baby front, Jacob and I are doing well. We finally got over the sniffles, going in and out of air conditioning really not helping. Work has gotten busier for Jacob but slowed down for me, a pretty typical thing to happen in the summer. Otherwise, we're just completely shocked and amazed that July is almost over. Zoey turned 10 months old yesterday, leaving me to wonder what on earth we did with all of that extra time we had last year. Well, it's done and gone so we just continue to forge ahead.

Grandma will be coming to visit and play live-in Nanny soon, with Grandpa making sure to stop by and spend a couple of days before heading off to Newfoundland. Their busy schedules aside, I'm happy we unloaded a bit of ours and don't have to worry about any travels until Labor Day weekend. *knock on wood* So, our summer continues on...

“If you don’t love yourself, someone will come along and teach you how to hate yourself and then you’ll confuse the two!”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Suprisingly Decompressing: No Matter What, Life is Pretty Good

Like I said in the post with the videos, despite Friday's drama, we were able to have a good weekend. We were busy with home stuff but most time was spent playing with Zoey; she is always in such a good mood on the weekends.

These week has been fairly normal, things even working out better than expected (just normal daily, routine type of things). We spoke to the neighbors and their children and relatively untraumatized. They have a new kitten to play with. Everyone was nice and cordial and we all agreed we want to stay friendly, and they don't want us to have to lose an animal, either. It was also encouraging to hear that they have acknowledged we don't have viscous animals, and that there was something about that particular cat that set Louis off. That neighbor used to have a dog and other cats that never resulted in Louis being so destructive and animalistic (stupid, yes, since he is an animal). So, aside from our normal busy schedule, we were able to breath in-and-out a little this week.

I was going to add these pictures to my video post but my brother gave me guff about the length of my posts. :-P Plus, my brain is mush right now so a slide show will just have to do.

 E-Trade baby.

 Stops for a quick photo op! Knows how to work the paparazzi already!

 Everyone knows you must accessorize!

 Giving the Billings Mustangs a [frozen] hand. Mom joke! Mom joke!

 Adventures in wheat Teething Biscuits. The residue sticks to EVERYTHING. Be prepared for a family bath and a load of laundry!

 Our attempt at keeping cool and being healthy while trying to utilize our vast array of Costco produce. It started out healthy, and sure looks healthy, but - alas - it is not. Ingredients are as follows: seedless watermelon chunks, English cucumbers skinned and sliced, frozen strawberries, two red otter pops, a teaspoon of blueberry pancake syrup, and 17 tablespoons of sugar. We're running it through a coffee filter because we realized blending watermelon probably wasn't the best idea. Neither of us has tried it yet. (Well, I tried it with some rum but I don't count that since I spit it out because it burned the inside of my mouth)

Even with it being so hot, we - well Jacob - did some amazing cooking. Awesome breakfast sandwiches in the morning, beer battered fish and pork chops in the evening. I didn't have to safety-pin my skirt yesterday morning!

We don't have any real plans for this coming weekend aside from visiting the dogs and deciding what to do with them. For now, it's possible they will stay in Columbus until at least court is over. They do add something to our home and we do miss them, but we always have our hands full no matter what.

 No matter what day of the week, we always enjoy some evening down-time with The Bubble Guppies.

 Man, that flash is bright!

 Random, I know. I paused the TV at this precise moment and just had to take a picture. He was discussing how Iowa's recognition of same-sex marriage has influenced the agriculture industry.

On that note!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

To distract us from all of the drama, and to remind us that we shouldn't take life too seriously, we had Zoey. She is such a ball of fun but, boy, does she have an attitude! I have no idea where she gets it from....She has started to pout, get mad, or cry when we tell her no, she can't play with this, that, or the other million things in her world she can't touch, play with, pull, or put in her mouth. She knows when we're serious and listens relatively well. There are times, however, when we tell her no and she'll smirk at us as she reaches for the thing we just told her no to. We try and sneak in an extra nap on those days. :-)

She is growing and changing so much, I feel like every day when I get home from work she looks a little bit more like a child and not a baby. She's rapidly heading towards walking on her own, standing by herself for at least 30 seconds. I think she could last a little longer but then she realizes what is happening, gets a little scared and plops herself down. But her famed Elmo cart converts to a walker. The seat comes out and the handle flips over so she can tool around with her chubby turkey legs. She's very strong and very determined so, as we've heard from everyone we know, let the real fun begin!

 She didn't start out on the carpet, and I'm not sure how we wound up there, but it was the first place she was where it dawned on me that perhaps I should be filming some of this awesomeness.

 Jacob was right [in the first video] when he guessed moving from the carpet to the kitchen floor might be somewhat of a hazard. Naturally, we were more concerned that Zoey was.

Capturing our genius baby. Yes, we're biased, but she has an incredible knack for figuring out how things work and how to properly use them.

By far my absolute favorite! She is so full of love, cuddles, and fun, it's impossible to be even remotely sad around her.

Like my brother said after I relayed the dog fiasco to him (well, after congratulating Louis on ridding the world of another cat. Sorry, cat lovers), "Hey, when you're upset, think of this [Zoey]."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The (Mis)Adventures of a Dog Named Louis

As you know, last weekend wasn't as we expected, nor very fun. We didn't get to go on the road trip we had been looking forward to, and we both suffered sinus infections (Jacob's lasting a tad longer since he's a smoker). The week was pretty average, even optimal in some places, and Friday started out much the same; operative word being started.

It was pretty quiet at work so I didn't have a whole lot to worry about aside from the giant hole-punching project I was helping my friend, Sunny, with. Jacob had a relatively calm, normal day until he jumped down 3 stairs and sprained his ankle (he insists he just rolled it but I've never limped around for 2 days on a rolled ankle. However, it didn't swell up so maybe he was right). Every Friday all I look forward to is a normal night with my family, and that is all I am really up for by the end of the week, so that is what we were having: a nice, normal, Friday night at home.

We walked into our house to find an unsightly scene, but not an uncommon one; the trash strewn about the living room. I had seen it coming, but the dogs had been such perfect angels since coming back from Grandma and Grandpa's that I took it for granted. I knew that morning when I used up the deli turkey and put the wrapper in the trash that I was playing with fire. I was so pissed at Louis that he was shaking by the back door; he knew the backyard was his sanctuary, but that he'd be out there for awhile. Maybe that's why he did what he did.

Every time Jacob cuts his hair, he decides he's going to grow it long again. Three months before we [re]met he chopped off 10 inches of his hair and donated it to Locks for Love. He's very afraid of going bald so tries to grow it long, "just one more time." Personally, I think he's crazy; he'll never go bald. But I do (gently) tease him when he grows out his hair although I never straight-out ask him to cut it. When we dropped Zoey off at Aunt Rachael's on Friday, with no provocation from me, asked to borrow her hair clippers. So come Friday evening, all three of us packed into the bathroom to watch Daddy shave his head (he's afraid she won't recognize him post haircut so he brings her into the bathroom to watch). As he was showering off, I heard the doorbell ring and as I walked to the living room, I saw two police officers walking away from my house and what appeared to be toward my neighbor's front door. I told Jacob what I saw and the first thing he said was, "Are both of the dogs in the yard?"

I opened the back door to find Durbin. And only Durbin. And there was no where to hide in the backyard. But there was also no way out that I could see unless he jumped over the fence. It was probable, but highly probable at best. I supposed if he was motivated enough, he could have. And earlier that evening, he had been perched on the fence barking at something. I immediately walked out to the front of the house and literally didn't hear a thing. And I knew instantly something had gone down; something told me that screaming out his name would be completely useless.

I walked back in the house and told Jacob that Louis wasn't in the yard. I walked around in a complete daze trying to figure out what to do. My first reaction was to get in the car as if by some miracle he had just wandered somewhere. Then I thought I should ask my neighbor since it looked like the police had headed in that direction. So I went over there but the police hadn't rang their bell, but, she said, "they walked around the corner." My first thought was, "Oh shit." I knew Louis was involved. I knew it with every drop of blood in my body.

So my neighbor and I walked around the corner to find the police and animal control. I was able to see just as a uniformed man was carrying out a small cage from my behind-me neighbor's front door, and people were everywhere. As I walked up, it was like they were all expecting me. The wife said, "It was your dog!" I said, "My dog? What happened?" Apparently this is what happened......

While doing whatever he does in the backyard after being punished, he found a week spot in the fence separating our yard from the neighbor behind us. His cat must have been spotted by Louis and then it's like every switch in his body turned to KILL KILL KILL! Louis busted through the fence and chased the cat through a presumed open door into my neighbor's house. He then proceeded to kill the cat in his bedroom. Oh, and children were present.

Animal control was called and the police showed up because of the commotion. At various intervals, Louis was almost shot by the neighbor, tased by the police, or clubbed by the animal control-man. Either way, he should consider himself lucky he was put into the animal control van conscious. Unlucky, however, for the animal control-man who prompted Louis to attack the front of his cage whenever he approached. He would have brought Louis back to my house right away but he had to get the cat to the vet; apparently he was hanging on by a thread. At the vet, it was the opinion the humane thing to do was put him down; he had a lot of internal injuries.

The good news: no person was actually harmed, and while people were afraid he would, he never made moves to attack a person or child (well, ok, minus the animal control guy but I think that's kind of understandable). He held Louis in mobile doggy jail for a few hours while he wrote up the various citations we would receive. I believe they total five, and that is including the mandatory court date. So, on August 2nd, I'll find out what my punishment is. It's time likes these that really make you wish you lived as a cartoon.

As you might imagine, I was pretty upset the entire evening. Jacob called his dad just to tell him what happened, but he was still in the city so came over, and agreed to take the dogs back to Columbus with him for an undetermined amount of time. By the time we went to bed, my eyes were burning and, as you could guess, I didn't sleep very well. Zoey was nice enough to not want to be taken out of her crib until 8:30am Saturday morning so that helped make up a little for being up from 4-5am. By Saturday morning, I just wanted to forget it ever happened. But the landlord came over to fix the fence, and the now cat-less neighbor had someone over to trim the giant, dead tree that occupied more of our yard than theirs.

People have warned us that there is a chance I might have to put Louis down; the fact that this all took place not only on someone else's yard, but in someone else's house, makes it a little more than dog-chasing-cat. And there was no reason for animal control not to believe Louis wouldn't attack him. He invited me to walk over to the van so I could witness for myself what Louis did when the animal control-guy approached. Saving me of having to decline, Jacob's father volunteered to go in my stead. I'm sure people across the river could hear the commotion from the van as animal control opened up the door. But as soon as Louis laid eyes on Jacob's dad, he was silent. And it was even he and Jacob who got him out of the van.

I guess you could say I was in shock, disbelief. I wasn't naive, I knew this was exactly his character. Just during his latest visit to Wyoming, my dad said they were lucky they had Louis in the house when a fawn walked through their yard; there was no doubt he would have caught it and killed it. What he would have done afterward, though, no one is quite sure. I know my Louis is not sweet; he has a definite line that new people cannot cross, especially if I am anywhere in the picture. He is loyal to me, and me only, and I am the only one who can make him shake by the door. But all of that aside, what he did was animal instinct, and now he is shipped off to no-man's land.

I hate to admit it - shit, even feel it - but after hearing how Louis narrowing avoided getting beat, shot, or tased, I couldn't help but think, "He fucking deserved it!" When I first learned of what happened, I felt all of the blood drain from my body and pool in my feet. At various times throughout the evening, I felt as if I were going to faint, and my lack of dinner probably didn't help anything. If shit didn't keep happening, I'd be able to gain some fucking weight! But that is beside the point.......

Aside from whatever happens in court, and if they say I need to do anything with my dog, I really have no idea what I am going to do. Jacob's parents have kindly offered to let the dogs live with them which is, of course, one of the best options. I don't even really know how I feel. I'm just.....pissed. And...disappointed. And completely shocked at how quickly your dog can land you in legal trouble.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Seriously Magic Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit

Sleeping has never been an issue for Zoey (watch, I just jinxed myself and she'll be up all night screaming). When we brought her home from the hospital, her longest stretch of sleep during the night was 6 hours - from 9pm-3/4am, then 4am-6am. We don't really know if there was anything in particular we did to facilitate good sleeping habits, but we didn't try to impede her, either, by pushing her to do things when she wasn't ready.

Since she popped out of the oven, she has enjoyed being swaddled. I've heard that some babies don't like to be swaddled and I don't know if that is a personality thing, or if it depends on when you start doing it. We did it right from the moment they handed her to me mainly because we were just following the nurses lead and figured swaddling was the rule. When we got her home, we swaddled her with anything we could find.

 New Daddy with New Zoey swaddled in a receiving blanket that I would have used for breastfeeding had we stuck to it.

First semi-nap in her crib (she only slept for a little bit like this) swaddled in the afghan her Great Aunt Karen gave her before she was born. She loved that blanket, for awhile being wrapped in it was the only thing that really made her comfortable.

Swaddling is a bit of a challenge, though, especially as they start to get older, more aware, and are introduced to their appendages. Swaddling is hard with arms and legs flying about so, luckily, they made a pre-made burrito wrap that I just happened to find. And she was hooked.

She used that blanket until she couldn't fit in it anymore. But, ultimately, she was reaching the age where she didn't want to be swaddled anymore. Jacob and I feared the no-swaddling, it seemed like such a jump from one extreme to the other. I found suggestions of leaving one arm out for awhile, then the other arm, but I didn't see that working too well since babies are prone to smacking themselves in the face unintentionally. I heard other mothers rave about Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit and how it was the perfect next-step from the swaddle. They weren't kidding.

Sure, your baby looks like the Michelin Baby, and everyone and their uncle will say to you, "It reminds me of that little kid in that Christmas movie. Have you ever seen it? I think it's call A Christmas Story, or something like that." But it really is magic. It is designed to keep the baby at an even temperature despite it's misleading appearance (and it actually does), keep them from rolling over when they haven't mastered going from belly to back, and limit smacking themselves in the face.

Her first Magic Sleepsuit. She was just over three months and had been sleeping through the night (9pm-6am) from 10 weeks. As she got too big for her swaddle, she'd start waking up every few hours between 2am-6am. So we paid the seemingly astronomical price of $45 (seriously, though, worth every penny) and off we went to sleep-full nights. Her first night in the sleepsuit she slept from 8pm-7:45am.

Sadly, though, she started to grow out of it, and after we got the next size up, she grew out of that even faster. Theoretically, babies aren't supposed to be sleeping in the sleepsuit once they're able to roll over. Zoey did this pretty early, though, and adamantly refused so sleep without her sleepsuit for the longest time. The only reason I think she recently gave it up was because the weather got too warm. Either way, it was still easier on her than it was us.

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit recommends weaning from the Sleepsuit by piling on the pajamas to create a similar feeling. But with it being so warm lately, we just put on a onesie then foot-less pajamas, then put the sleep-suit in the crib with her to snuggle.

We decided it was time to give up the suit when the rip in the back kept getting progressively larger, her legs wouldn't bend the right way to get her into it, and we really didn't want to send her to college with a sleep-suit. It's interesting enough that she carries the suit around and snuggles it like a blankie. It has had a longer life than most baby-related items and has long surpassed being worth the money, if for nothing else than being a great conversation piece.