Thursday, February 26, 2009

a grinch-y update

Less than an hour after I placed the phone call to Animal Control, they were at my door step to pick the dog up. I was very impressed with their speediness; the man I spoke to on the phone said it could take up to four hours with a possibility to reschedule for the next day. 

As soon as the guy (dog catcher?) caught sight of the dog, he told me the reason the dog looks so crazy was that it had mange. I always thought mange was a made up term. Mangy. Nope-it's a highly contagious disease that can spread to other animals and humans. Yippee! I had to keep Rosco locked out of the back yard until Keith had a chance to disinfect our front porch and backyard. That's right. Keith had to disinfect our backyard. That's not one you hear everyday.

And now for the craziest part of the whole ordeal: As Keith was checking the mail on his way home, someone from our neighborhood was putting up signs looking for the dog. You mean to tell me that someone actually let their dog look that rough? Even the dog catcher guy said it looked like the dog had been abandoned. There is no way that stick attached itself to that dog in a short amount of time. And who lets their dog's paws become so overgrown that the poor dog could hardly walk?

I have half a mind to call Animal Control and beg that the dog be placed in a better home. Just not mine.

i've found the grinch's long lost nephew

As I was walking Holly out of the house this afternoon, this lovely dog greeted us. For some reason, it seems that s/he has mistaken my home for his (or hers-I didn't really want to check, if you know what I mean). After checking the neck, which it easily let me do, we figured out that it didn't have a collar on, let alone tags. 

This poor dog looks like it has been so neglected. What's left of the hair on the tail is in dreads. It has a stick stuck to its back two legs. I tried to pull it off, but it's so matted in there, that it looked like I was pulling the skin off. It's missing a good majority of the hair on it's body, although it's still in full supply around it's face. The paws are what really kill me. The hair is so long it truly resembles the feet of the Grinch. The dog was panting so hard that I offered it a bowl of water which it proceeded to drink for a solid five minutes. We thought about giving him food too, but he vomited whatever he had eaten previously on my front porch (Keith, it's waiting for you...Yay!). 

S/he is now contained in my backyard so that Animal Control can come get it. The deal is that they will come get him faster if we have him cooped up somewhere and faster to them is 2 hours quicker. Okay! In my backyard s/he goes!

My heart goes out to this poor guy. It is such a sweet dog; I hope some family gets to adopt it and give it a good home. And I hope Animal Control gets here relatively soon.

another family visit

This past weekend, my entire family was able to be here to celebrate Beth's birthday, among other things. The boys were able to get a lot of play time together and had so much fun.

standard snuggle time with Pop

Luke decided he wanted only one shoe on.

They practiced sharing again. First Killian had the water bottle...

...then Luke had it.

We love when the family comes to visit and can't wait until next time!

the good, the bad, and the disgustingly sweaty

Although this post doesn't have much to do with Luke as my usual posts go, I wanted to record this memory for him and use it as a reminder to myself of the experience we went through for years to come. The entire post is a commemoration of our Ash Wednesday Mass we attended last night. If any of this comes off as mean or in a complaining-type voice, I apologize as I mean to be purely a factual statement. And I mean that. Factual.

First, the good-I have never seen so many people attend a Mass at St. Mary Magdalene. The junior high gym setting can tend to detract some people from attending there, but not last night. The small gym was packed (probably way beyond what is deemed safe by the fire code). There were people standing in the hallways, overflowing outside, and even lined up in places along the front walls where they weren't able to see a thing. For the most part, the entire Mass was reverent and it was neat to see so many people celebrate the beginning of Lent together.

Now to the bad-As a religious education teacher (r.e. from now on) I was required to have my students sit with me in the bleachers, because they were all required to be there as well. I took attendance and then proceeded to cram children as young as Kindergarten all the way to junior high in one small section of bleachers. There were a few teachers and aides dispersed through out the sea of students, but not nearly enough to adequately control them. I literally had third grades right up next to me on both sides with another one's knees in my back while trying to convince the junior high kids in front of me that there wasn't any reason to talk during Mass. We were packed like sardines (Keith's observation, not mine) and had no room to move. At one point, one of my kiddos even had to go the bathroom. Oy.

And the sweaty-I can't honestly recall ever sweating the amount that I did last night; not even when I gave birth to Luke or when I work out. The room felt like a sauna and there was no escaping it. I know a lot of places don't have air conditioning turned on full blast yet (it is only February) and I'm guessing they didn't prepare for that many people to attend, but geez. Last night was the first night you could actually see sweat stains on my shirt. So gross.

It was eventful and I will be recommending a different situation for dealing with the kiddos next year (make them sit with their parents), but all in all, it was amazing and so heart-warming to see such an out pouring of people attend a Mass that isn't a required Holy Day of Obligation. Lent is off to a great (and hot) start.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

out longer

A thought occurred to me today that I hadn't realized when I was typing up the ten month post. Luke has been out of me now longer than he was in me. The typical length of a pregnancy is 40 weeks which equals out to about 9.5 months. Seeing as how Luke decided (or we finally decided for him) to make his entrance two weeks late, that puts him at a gestation of ten months almost exactly. 

I look back now on my time being pregnant remembering that it seemed to go by fairly quickly. It helped that I was teaching during the entire time, so I never really had a chance to just dwell on the fact that I was carrying a child. Just kidding-the first three months when I felt nauseous every. single. afternoon (although I never threw up) and slept almost constantly during that time and the last two weeks when he refused to come out seemed to drag, but overall, an amazing experience that I look forward to having again someday.

But as fast as that time went, this time has gone by at even more accelerated speed. I know my life isn't crazy exciting, or most days even a little exciting, but I feel like Luke was just born yesterday. I blink and he's grown another inch. I wake up in the morning and he went from just lying there one day to being so close to walking. I 've been here for every minute, yet I feel like it's happening so fast that I can't keep up. 

The beginning of this journey...
(4 weeks pregnant)

...the middle...

...and where we are now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

breathe in, breathe out

My sweet little man doing what he loves best.


Luke is officially ten months old now, although from every stranger we've met in stores lately, he could apparently pass for a child who is easily a year old already. He crawls at a ridiculous speed and its hard to keep up with him, although he's much happier walking behind his toy or holding on to some one's fingers. He stands like a champ on his own, but refuses to take any steps on his own yet. I'm completely okay with that.

I had to take this picture from behind because he's obsessed with the camera (that's my boy!). He'll sit for the longest time looking at and reviewing pictures on the camera screen. If he sees the camera, all possibilities for getting the picture of him standing are lost. I have to take what I can get!
He has such a crazy little personality. He's started to sing along with songs on the radio and he even sang along to the song over the loudspeaker in Macy's this weekend. I put mariachi music on in his room today as I was programming the clock in his room and he loved that. He spent the next few minutes screeching along and bouncing around his crib. He's also started his own version of show and tell these past few days, only his version is tell and show. He babbles away with something in his hands and then makes sure that you see what he's talking about. Example:

water bottles

Luke's also starting to figure out the differences between open and close and in and out. Maybe its because I'm a teacher, but all of these new things he's learning like this never cease to amaze me. One day he chucks toys all over the place, the next he can put toys in a pail and take them out nicely. (secretly I'm super excited because maybe this means he'll be close to helping me put away his toys someday soon!) He's figured out how to close doors now, which means we are extra careful about letting him crawl around on his own. We don't want any squished fingers here, nor do we want the opportunity for him to learn to open them yet. That's a bridge I'll wait to cross.

This past month has not produced any more teeth for Luke. We think he has some on the horizon with his behavior and unwillingness for us to go near his mouth, but for now, still the two bottom ones and that's it. We've started trying to give him more solid, real people food, but it's difficult without those extra teeth. He's staring at our food now and you can tell he really wants some, but I know there is no way he's going to chew chicken with just the two bottom ones. Sorry Charlie-not gonna happen!

He's still an incredibly happy baby. We have been so insanely blessed to have this munchkin with us. He's definitely a keeper!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

luke and the box

This past week I had to get some shopping done at Sam's Club. For those of you who know much about Keith, you already know that he goes through milk at a ridiculous speed. Milk is getting more expensive as the economy gets worse, so we buy it in bulk at Sam's now. They have arranged it so there is two 1 gallon containers in a box. After putting all the groceries away, I went to take out all the garbage and the milk box happened to be part of the load. Luke found the box and refused to let go. He started shaking because he was so excited with his new toy prospect. I couldn't take it away from him; after all, it's a box. Nothing harmful about it andfree. He managed to play with that box for the next 45 minutes until he had to go down for a nap and then has still played with each day since then.

I officially know now what Luke will be receiving for his birthday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

these boots were made for walking

But these boots aren't awalking anywhere yet. Or at least for the time being.

Luke received these boots from some of Keith's family at one of my showers and Keith surprised me by putting them on Luke with, once again, no clothes but his diaper. It's a good thing my child is adorable and that I love my husband so dearly because, for some reason, this no diaper thing really bugs the crap out of me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

should i? not sure... going to? yep.

It's official-or as official as it can get at this point. I'm going to back to teaching for a year. 

I sent my letter to the district today and spoke with the principal confirming everything. It's nice to have made a decision, and I fully intend to stick with it, but I can't help but feel a smidge nervous about the whole thing. I know that I am, by nature, a nervous person, but this is more than that. I'm not guaranteed a specific grade level so I could be teaching kindergartners or *gasp* sixth graders. I just keep saying to myself, I can do anything for a year, right? And really, it's only 10 months. Luke will be well taken care of. He won't even remember years down the road that I even left him for  those few months. He'll survive. I'll survive.

This should be interesting...

Friday, February 6, 2009

nakedness and early valentine's

No, I promise it's not what you think.

On Monday afternoons, I tutor two kiddos which means I leave as soon as Keith gets home on his early days. The arrangement works out fairly nicely for Keith as it leaves him some alone time with Luke that he doesn't get very much of. It's their allotted male bonding time for the week.

This past Monday when I returned home from tutoring, I walked in and saw this:
Keith had gotten me roses to celebrate Valentine's a little early. Flowers get so freakin' expensive when it gets close to the actual holiday, so he decided to surprise me early. So thoughtful!
When I looked around a little more, this is what else I found:

A child clothed only in his diaper. Definitely a Daddy moment. Those of you who know me know that this doesn't happen on Mommy's watch. But he's cute, so I let it slide. We practiced standing up...

making faces for the camera....

and snuggling with mom.

What a great way to end a day. An amazingly thoughtful and caring husband. A precious and funny son. A great life; my life.


I have to admit I'm purely a fair weather Cardinal's fan. I honestly don't follow them typically and I'm not going to even attempt to pretend I kept track of how they were doing throughout the season. I was very impressed at how they did during the Superbowl. For being the Cardinal's, they definitely held their own and shocked a whole heck-of-alot of people in the process, me being included in that group.

Keith was way more prepared for the Superbowl than I was and even managed to get the 3-D glasses to watch the special commercials at the end of the first half. I thought it would be cute to get a picture of Luke and Keith with their glasses on. Luke proceeded to try to rip his (mine really) to shreds instantly. I never realized how protective or excited Keith was about these glasses until he dropped some very choice words that I will not be repeating here. Did I fail to mention they were free, disposable 3-D glasses? What a way to pick your battles and get worked up over nothing sweetheart!

How can you get upset with this face?

Holly wanted to see the 3-D stuff too (and she'll probably kill me for putting this up). Luke was more than happy to join her.
We had a great time with Keith's family watching the Superbowl. Although the outcome wasn't what we hoped for, it was still a great game. Good luck next year Cardinals!

almost there...

I think it's down to a matter of time before Luke walks. Well, it's really always been a matter of time, but I think its coming way sooner than later now.

I've been trying for the past few weeks to get Luke to just stand up behind this toy. Usually, he isn't even able to stand behind it for more than a second or so before he pushes it away and he falls flat on his face. It's pretty funny to watch. I attempted the same thing yesterday morning and this happened instead:

By the time Keith made it home in the evening, it had turned into this:

Did I miss something here? How did he go from being completely unable to balance while attempting to stand with it to cruising along without a care in the world? What happened to baby steps? Maybe the term "baby steps" is more for the parents who wish it would happen that way, rather than for the kiddos who seem to be in such a hurry to grow up already. I think I'm on to something here...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

work or not to work...

That seems to be my incessantly nagging question these past few days. I've known the decision was going to have to be made even back when I signed the papers to take a year's leave of absence to stay home with Luke. Now that I've received the letter in the mail from the district requesting my answer and been offered a position at my wonderful school, I am completely a mess. Bear with me as I weigh out the pros and cons...or just move on to another better blog and disregard my dilemma. You choose (although I would probably go with the second option)!

I absolutely love staying home with Luke. I totally understand that some people aren't cut out for the stay-at-home mom situation. I'm thriving in it. I love that I'm the one who takes care of him good times and bad. I love that I've been here to experience most of his 'firsts.' I love that I'm the one who is making decisions about how he's being raised and that I get to maintain the kind of schedule and order that I'd like in his life. Most of all, I love that I'm the one he gets to play with and snuggle all day.

I'm also able to keep the house tidy (most of the time-sorry honey!) and get the vast majority of the errands accomplished during the day, so by the time Keith gets home, it's family time and we don't have to go other places. 

The economy is not in a good place right now by a long shot. I can't honestly turn a blind eye to this. It's become such a prevalent part of the news and a popular topic of discussion no matter who you speak with. Teaching is a secure position for me, but with all the recent budget cuts and with more on the horizon, I'm concerned that if I leave the profession now, there might not be an opening for me if I need to go back in the near future. With so many people being laid off that have degrees and easy access to gaining a teaching certificate, the job market for teachers is about to be flooded with potential candidates. Although we don't need for me to be working at this moment, who's to say what could happen in the future. 

After considering all this, I'm thinking that another year of teaching couldn't possibly hurt. We could save like crazy to build a bigger financial cushion and even have the maternity coverage to have another baby (not right away) paid for courtesy of the district, not our savings account. I could make the commitment to get to school on-time and leave on-time and just bring a chunk of work home to be completed after Luke goes to bed each evening. I know there has to be someone in the Sonoma community who has to offer daycare, so Luke would be close. I could help get Keith and I in a situation I feel much more comfortable with for the long term.

But then I think of this-

and the argument starts all over again. I have no idea what to do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

fiesta de reilly

My freshman year (and only year) at NAU was amazing for primarily one reason: the girls I became friends with. Some of us had known each other before, some were new, and some had even come from out of state, and we all bonded together and spent A LOT of time together. I still look back on that year as one of my most favorite and treasured years.

Every weekend, quite few of us went home (let's be honest, probably me most of all). When we'd come back, we'd each bring back some part of a Mexican feast and make quesadillas on Jessi's quesadilla maker. We lovingly dubbed the night Mexico Sunday and it became a tradition.

It's been almost eight years (gasp!) since that wonderful year and I decided that it was time for a reunion of sorts. On Saturday, we celebrated Mexico Sunday (on Saturday). As we did before, each of us provided a portion of our feast and we were even able to share it with some of the boys this time.
We started off the night by eating. Jessi and I weren't aware of our amazing strength; Jessi more than myself. Jessi broke her fork in half while I only broke off one pokey part of mine.

It was Stef's birthday on Wednesday and a few of us weren't able to make it to her birthday dinner, so I thought I'd make her a cake so we could all sing to her and help her celebrate-again. Who doesn't love to celebrate a birthday multiple times?

Andrew helped to entertain the boys, while the girls took turns passing Caleb around. He is such a cutie! Andi even got a smile or two with those big dimples out of him.

Of course we had to take a group picture. I was only able to get four in picture at once with me holding the camera, so Keith helped with being the photographer. I love these ladies and I'm so blessed to still be able to call them friends so many years later. Although I didn't last past that first year, my decision to come home had absolutely nothing to do with them (and everything to do with the snow!). Love you guys!

And to finish off the evening, an awesome video of Brayden telling everyone to settle down. He cracks me up!