Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday night at my house

MB:  We've got it pretty good here, I guess.

VBG:  Yeah. We've got each other. We've got a kickass dog. And the cat hasn't eaten anyone in months!

MB:  Yeah. I imagine when some people first get on Facebook, they see where some of their old friends have ended up and they have regrets. I don't have regrets.

VBG:  I'm glad you don't have regrets.

MB:  Nope, I've got it pretty good.

VBG:  Cuz you've got me, baby!

MB:  Well, I was thinking of Indy Bones. But sure!

Reading:  Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger

Playing:  the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack, streaming here. If you haven't seen the movie, you should. It's easily the best movie I've seen this year, and possibly in the last several years.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blue. No! Yellow! *

I grew up with my three cousins, a girl and two boys. Back then, when you bought stuff in a four-pack for kids, you almost always got one each of red, blue, yellow, and green. My oldest cousin, Amethyst, she got red. Anthony got blue, MacGyver got green, and I got yellow. When one of our aunts made each of us a quilt, she made them in our signature colors. When AA&M's mom got plaster handprint kits for the four of us to make, she painted them in our colors (and my mom still has a small yellow circle of plaster with my three-year-old handprint on it). To this day, I still claim yellow as my favorite color.

Now, I suppose it could be true that I like yellow so much because I sort of imprinted on it when I was little, like those birds that have to be fed via hand-puppet parents. But I've heard lots of stories about people who don't like the color that was picked for them as a kid, including my mom, who always wished she could have the blue things they picked out for her sister instead of the red they picked for her. Anyhow, it's not a good color for me to wear, and I try not to overdo its use since MB is not a fan, but I still love yellow. It's just...happy.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite color? If you do, is there some reason for it, or just a chance thing?

* If you got it, props to you. If not, here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It can't rain all the time

So, to lighten things up around here, a few things that have made me laugh in spite of it all:

1. The ever-awesome Dogblog. I spent two days reading through all the archives once, and it was time well spent.

2. I will fully admit I'm a vast nerd, but this amused me:

3. Tonight I brought Indy a treat and had him sit. As I took a moment to decide what to ask him to do to earn the treat, he tried -- as he tends to do -- to predict what I was going to request. He lifted one front paw in case I wanted a high five, and then the other, so that he was sitting popped upright like a very large meerkat. And then he toppled over backward.

Reading:  Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger

Playing:  the Iron Man soundtrack

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm not really the praying kind

But sometimes, you just have to. A friend who was due the week after me has lost her baby. If you could send up a prayer, a healing thought, anything out into the Universe, it would be much appreciated. My heart is breaking for her.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's a BBPP! *

My parents' puppy had to have one of his front legs amputated this week. He developed a limp in his right front leg which was not caused by a sprain, as was first suspected. While Mom was trying to encourage him to rest so that his ankle could heal, she noticed that his right front paw was quite a bit smaller than his left front paw -- to the point where if he was a person, he'd be wearing two different shoe sizes. The anti-inflammatory meds didn't reduce the limp, and so Mom took him back to the vet for X-rays. All six doctors in the office looked at the X-ray and couldn't make sense of it, so they emailed it to a specialist, who diagnosed him with a damaged growth plate in the limpy leg.

Because his lower leg bone hadn't grown right, it was short and curved and was rubbing against the long upper leg bone. The vet told Mom that her two options were to break and reset the short bone with a gap, hoping it would fill in as it healed and become long enough, or to take a piece out of the longer bone so that the two didn't rub together. With the second option, he'd always have a limp and would probably develop arthritis in his elbow. With either option, he'd have to be on restricted activity for up to eight weeks. I know several people with dogs who have had knee surgery and been on restricted activity for eight weeks, but all of those dogs were full-grown (instead of hyperactive 6-month-olds) and only pets (instead of sharing a home with a cat and another hyperactive dog).

Mom was worried that the only way she'd be able to keep Taran quiet would be to keep him crated most of the time and possibly sedated. She was afraid that he'd end up psychologically damaged from being locked away from his packmates for so long, and the surgeries weren't even guaranteed to work. So she decided to ask the vet if amputation would be a better option. Since Taran was more or less already operating on three legs because his limp was so bad, the vet agreed that he'd likely make a quick adjustment and a complete recovery. In fact, his stitches would come out after 10 days (which sounds crazy to me).

Taran went in for his surgery on Tuesday morning and walked out of the vet on his leash the next evening. Once he got home, he was right back to climbing up and down from the couch and bed, chewing on Maggie (the other dog, a Border Collie mix and Indy's BFF), and even taking the damn stairs. Have you ever heard of such a champ? But he does need to get some rest, and so Maggie was getting bored. Mom called to see if Mags could come over today and run around our backyard for a few hours with Indy, and of course we said yes.

And the aftermath of four hours of Maggie time, a trip to the pet store, and a hot dog at Sonic:

* Big Black Pooch Party

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow

As hard as it is for me to believe, yesterday marked the halfway point in my pregnancy. I am now 20 weeks along, and finally starting to look knocked up instead of just chubby:

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and found out that our baby is a boy. Everything looked healthy as far as I could tell, and though we didn't get any great photos this time, it was wonderful to see the kid again. The tech was able to get shots of everything she was supposed to see, except for a profile of his face. She didn't seem too concerned, and said it would be up to my doctor whether or not we'd need to come back for another try.

On the second attempt at getting him to turn over, she got a shot of him with his hand flung dramatically to his forehead. She had already burned our CD of photos at that point, so I'll have to scan the copy she printed for us. It's pretty hilarious. We also found out that I have an anterior placenta, which explains why I have yet to feel any kicks.

Here's the little dude, now looking more like a real baby than an alien:

Well, maybe still a little bit alien:

In the weeks leading up to the ultrasound, I'd almost become convinced we were having a girl, though I had two dreams in recent days that the baby would be a boy. MB also dreamed about a boy, so I suppose we should have known. I think the news is still sinking in, though I've started to contemplate the wonderful possibility of raising a small version of MB (we should be so lucky).

Here's the oh-so-dramatic pose:

Reading:  Homer's Odyssey: a Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life With a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

Playing:  K by Kula Shaker (oh, the cheesy earnestness of late-90s music videos!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The one about the worms

My first job was at deli / ice cream shop that was part of a small locally-owned chain. We did most of our business in ice cream, though the food there is actually pretty decent. One afternoon when I was working, a woman came in with her 2-year-old granddaughter to pick up a sandwich order she had called in. The granddaughter reminded me of me as a kid. She was cute, bossy, brassy, curly-haired, and basically a major pain in the ass. The whole the time her grandmother was asking for, paying for, and waiting for her order, the kid was running around the dining room SHRIEKING at the top of her lungs. It wasn't even proper yelling, just that brain-melting high pitched REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! noise that kids make when no one has told them not to ever do it again.

The grandmother was employing that all-too-common and completely ineffectual method seen all too often out in the world (especially when you work retail, gah) where the kid acts like a shit and the parent stands there and says in a quiet, passive voice, "Stop that. Stop that. Honey, please. Stop that. Stop that" and does nothing to actually encourage the child to stop.

In addition to scooped ice cream and food, the shop also sold ice cream cakes out of a glass-fronted case. They were ice cream on the bottom and cake on top, iced with white and then decorated by methods that ranged from cute to godawful. One of my favorite cake "designs" was the one where the decorator would place gummy worms around the top and bottom edge. On one of her passes back and forth with the shrieking -- the grandmother keeping up a steady mantra of "Sarah. Sarah. Stop that, please. Sarah. Sarah" -- the kid noticed the cakes in the case. She stopped dead in her tracks and said, almost reverently, "Worm cake."

Grandma said, "No, Sarah. We have cookies for dessert. We're not getting any ice cream today."

"Worm cake," Sarah said, less reverently.

"No, Sarah."

"Worm cake!" Sarah bellowed.

Her grandmother, finally in possession of her food order, took Sarah by the hand and started to pull her away from the cake case.

"Worm cake!" Sarah shrieked. "WORM CAKE!" And she took one of those deep, pre-Apocalyptic toddler breaths. You know the one. The one before they shout the walls down and burn the ruins with the force of their rage. The one before their heads spin around full circle. The one before they turn the volume up to eleven and scream "WORM CAKE!!!"

I don't know how it happened. I guess it was my one flash of genius -- I suddenly knew what to do. I ran to the bucket where we kept the gummy worms for putting on kids' cones and grabbed one. Approaching the counter with the worm held out in front of me like a shield, I said, "Hey, Sarah! Here you go!"

The screaming stopped. Her eyes grew wide. She reached out with chubby fingers to take the worm. And Grandma, bless her heart, hustled the kid out the door before she could figure out that she'd been fooled. Saved by a lowly gummy worm.

Reading:  The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

Playing:  my Collective Soul station on Pandora

Friday, August 07, 2009

Five years ago today

Happy anniversary, MB. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. <3

Photo Friday

View the entire Photo Friday collection on Flickr.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

August and everything after

I never meant to slip into such a sporadic posting routine, but such things happen. In part I blame the baby, since I used to do most of my blogging after 10 PM, and now I'm usually in bed by then. Also, even thought I don't think I'm too baby-obsessed, I always promised myself I wouldn't turn the blog into the All Baby All the Time channel as soon as I got knocked up. Therefore, on days when I'm solely thinking about all things infant, I feel like I should spare you guys the schmoop and not post anything. (If you're wishing for more schmoop in this space, please let me know. I'm sure I can oblige.)

In the meantime, I caved to MB's wishes and we got the house painted. And he was right, it looks hinty quadrillion times better now:

before, with charmingly bare shutters

after power-washing, looking thoroughly disreputable


I've been trying to enjoy the company of this guy, who -- for the first time in forever -- acted solidly goofy about me changing the sheets the other day:

Other things I have done in the past month or so include having some really good times with my really great friends, seeing the Harry Potter movie twice, going on a wildflower hike, and taking a class about Monarch butterflies.

And yesterday, I took Indy to Petsmart to get a few things, and the rescue group that saved him from the shelter was there. I went over to say hello and got to reintroduce Indy to the same woman who signed him over to us the day we adopted him. Indy was very obliging and showed off a few tricks and the rescue ladies exclaimed over his performance and his shiny coat. I thanked them for saving him, and they thanked me for giving him a good home. I should've thanked Indy for being such an awesome dog, but I suppose I did that by buying him a bag of chewbones and two new toys. Sometimes I look at him and my heart leaps in my chest, and I'm overcome with how much I love this goofy, handsome, flop-eared dog.