Showing Our Age

Trying to update the blog a bit – bear with me as we work through some changes! I may even update the photo albums with something less than a year old (oh, such great promises!)

What a Difference a Year Makes

As we continue to mark all sorts of one year “anniversaries” of our arrival in the Emerald City, I am really amazed at how different our lives have become.  Neither better or worse, just different and wonderful in a new way.  I wanted to be able to mark the next year, as our lives continue to change so I am going to participate in Project 365.  Trying to take a photo a day will hopefully help me remember to take a moment to stop and enjoy a moment each day – and provide a great way to look back over the past year come next July.

I know I won’t be able to pot my photo everyday, so I’ll post a few pics each time I write a post.  Today, enjoy two pics from the past two days.  We’ve had an excellent start to our July and looking forward to the rest of the weekend.  It’s finally summer in Seattle!

01: A and Cal at the Seattle Beer Fest yesterday.  In 2006 A was working in Seattle and I came to visit. We went to the Seattle Beer Fest and said one day we will come back here to live in Seattle and have a dog and enjoy these summer Seattle festivals.  A lot has happened since then, but here we are, back at the festival with our dog. 
02: LC’s first trip to the beach, putting her feet in the Puget Sound. Already a beach baby!

New Post

I intended to write a post tonight.  But there are two hours of Idol, and one of the THREE songs each contestant is going to sing will be chosen by Jimmy.  I HEART JIMMY. Sooooo, I need to give some attention to Jimmy and I’ll get back to this blog really soon.

Let’s Talk About Me

Because a blog is nothing if not an excuse to talk about yourself and because I thought this was fun when I read it on Katie’s blog, I thought I would give it a whirl. I’m sure you were all wondering what my favorite zoo animal was anyway.

A – Age – 31. Which is boring. Turning 30 is the last great birthday I think. Something about it makes you want to relive being 21. Shots all around! Then you turn 31 and you think practically about these things and say things like, no no, we should go to Lamaze class instead of celebrating my 31st and save the money for the baby. (OK, we did go to Lamaze class but we also went out to dinner. With a gift certificate so money was still saved for the CCBOJ.) Still, I’m pretty sure anything after 30 barely rates a glass of champagne, let alone shots.

B – Bed size – A queen. A cozy queen with a beagle, orange kitty and husband. Sometimes a baby. Who for being premature takes up a surprising amount of space.

C – Chore I dislike. I am an awful housewife. I am not good at chores, but the house being messy or untidy makes me FREAK OUT. A is really good at cracking down and just getting the house cleaned. I am good at sitting on the couch watching Shark Men and exclaiming “THIS HOUSE IS A DISASTER!” I will choose putting away the laundry as my least favorite chore.

D – Dogs. You know him, you love him, it’s Cal.

E – Essential start to my day. Coffee. Especially post baby. Pre baby I drank one cup a day. That was it. Now, I mainline lattes all day long – explaining I need extra calcium because I am nursing.

F – Favorite color. I love blues and greens. I think I look good in blues.

G – Gold or silver. Silver for me. Or white gold like my wedding bands.

H – Height. 5’6″ I used to try to claim 5’7″ but I think when I turned 31 I realized I just had to give up that dream.

I – Instruments I played. I played the viola through high school. I wish I had practiced more (or at all). I might actually have been decent.

J – Job title. Director of Regulatory Guidance. (Yeah, it’s a real thing.)

K – Kids. B-Cat, Cal and LC.

L – Live for _____ – American Idol? No? Family and friends, making them happy.

M – Most embarrassing moment – Not sure what one I would choose. I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth so I am sure there are more than a few of those moments that would qualify.

N – Nicknames. A calls me “babe”, as I do to him. My nickname growing up was/still is with my family “Lala” because my younger brother couldn’t say my name when he was little.

O – Overnight hospital stays. Well, there was the whole three weeks in the hospital on bedrest/postpartum. Before that I had my tonsils and my appendix out, two separate stays.

P – Pet peeves. I have a lot of pet peeves because I am set in my ways (to put it nicely). My pre-baby pet peeve is people who don’t respond to emails. I’ve become bad at this since becoming a parent, but I feel bad about it if it is any consolation. My post-baby pet peeve is my child being referred to as “our baby” or “my baby” by anyone who is not actually her parent. If you didn’t qualify to wear one of those hospital wrist bands that identified you as someone who was not trying to steal LC from the hospital, I don’t think you get to say “my baby”.

Q – Quote from a movie. Hard to say, there are many. Top Gun (A and I enjoy reliving the Dock of the Bay dialog – “This song, it’s like an old friend.”) As a JAG, a Few Good Men has some winners. This weekend I made A watch a favorite movie from my single days and recalled that I enjoyed a great many of those lines as well.

R – Road trip necessity. A and I have done a few road trips in our day and I think topics of conversation are the most important. I don’t think we had a single fight driving from VA to WA but lots and lots of awesome conversation.

S – Siblings. Two little brothers.

T – Time I wake up. 6-ish, depending on who goes off first, LC or my alarm.

U – University attended. I think this post explained that all pretty clearly.

V – Vegetables. Anything roasted (because who doesn’t love an excuse to smother something with olive oil and then put salt on it.) Zucchini has always been a favorite.

W – What makes me run late. Having a baby. My iPhone, in the mornings I’ll start reading the news or a blog or whatever and realize I’ve taken 15 minutes to eat breakfast and still haven’t packed a lunch.

X – Xrays I’ve had. A bunch, especially in the Army. Mostly to my elbow, back and hip. I had so many ultrasounds (which aren’t technically X-rays) when I was pregnant that we joked LC would glow when she was born.

Y – Yummy food I make. Hmm, when I take the time to do it, I’m pretty good at cooking. I make a mean Carolina BBQ for Duke/UNC every year. I make a good dessert trifle. Oh and I am really good at break and bake chocolate chip cookies.

Z – Zoo animals. Big cats. Pandas. Otters.

Pets as Children

Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing
pet insurance company, Trupanion offers a simple, customizable pet insurance policy with no payout limits and 90% coverage of veterinary bills. Enrolled pets receive lifetime coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if they get sick or are injured, with no incident, annual or lifetime limit.

Heather contacted me after reading the tale of our cross country travel with two pets.  We’ve shared stories of our pets and now that Heather is expecting her first child, we’ve shared stories of pregnancy.  Today, Heather shares with all of you how she thinks her “furbabies” have prepared her for motherhood.  Having recently made the transition from furbabies to baby-babies, I agree with her completely.

While I’m currently pregnant with my first child, I feel like I’ve already been a mother for years. I have cared for and worried about and provided nurturing and love to two beings for the last five years. Those beings are my two dogs, Ava and Jackson.

Many of you, especially you moms out there, are probably rolling your eyes – “you have no idea what you are getting yourself into, my dear,” you may be saying. And that’s true. I don’t. But before you totally dismiss my dog-mom comparison, consider these similarities.

Being Prepared to Do Anything
I would honestly do anything for my dogs. Their comfort, health, and happiness is of utmost importance to me, even if it may mean I go without something or I am slightly inconvenienced. For example, when we moved from the East Coast to the West Coast it would have been a lot easier to ship our stuff and fly to our new home. But I wasn’t about to ship our dogs, knowing how scared and confused they would be. So, we drove. Five days in a car with no cruise control and two dogs. It worked.

Up All Night
Ava has some health issues and when we were figuring them out, she was really, really sick. She was in pain all the time and she was restless, scared, and unhappy. For months I literally stayed up with her at night, making her comfortable, giving her medicine, and generally looking after her. I would then try to sleep when she slept so I could actually function during the day.

Baby Wearing
Again, during the months Ava was at her sickest, she was in too much pain to go outside for walks. I knew she needed fresh air to get better, though, so I would gingerly place her in a sling packed with lots of cushion and take her out for walks. I got used to carrying her that way and knew I was doing her a good service when she started getting excited every time I would pull it out.

One of the most common things I’m told is how expensive babies are, but trust me, so are dogs – especially dogs with special needs. Between trips to the vet for Ava, grooming dates for Jackson, and a special limited-ingredient food for them both, dog expenses eat up a lot of our budget.

Dog moms coordinate playdates just like other moms. There are times when I’ve joked that the dogs have better social calendars than my husband and I. We find ourselves running them to different parts of the city during the weekend for play time with different groups. I’m a future soccer mom in the making, I’d say.

Honestly, these are just a few examples. I started out as a naïve girl right out of school learning how to care for another being and ended up where I am today – a totally confident, knowledgeable, and prepared dog-mom of two. And while admittedly, I’m a bit overprotective, I know I am the best mom possible for my fur-kids and know that by taking what I have learned from them, I can be the best mom possible to my new baby boy.

What do you think? Do pets prepare us for motherhood?

For those wondering

Apparently finding B-cat in the last post was not that easy.  Here’s the original (with the color boosted a bit because I just discovered picnik and I’m kinda in love with it).

And here is B-Cat (seriously, how cool is Picnik??)

Holiday Home Tours

Isn’t looking at how others decorate their homes for the holidays fun?  Of course it is.  That is why you enjoyed the look at my house (see below post) so much.  So why not check out others? 

Two Washingtons’ “holiday home tour” is one of many featured on The Nester Holiday Home Tour today – so check it out.  Recognize that some people decorate a lot more festively then others.  But do they all have a beagle?  No, probably not.  So I have that going for me. 

A break in regular programming

I know I owe you a number of posts regarding Maui and my trip back to the Other Washington and lavish parties thrown in the CCBOJ’s honor – but while I try to determine what time zone I am in and when exactly I will have time to shop for the holiday meal I am supposed to be cooking next week, read this.

I find this blog amusing most days, but her recent post about moving with dogs made me laugh out loud and very thankful that Cal is perhaps the best puppy dog in the whole wide world.  (It is perhaps a lot closer to our experience moving a cat across country.)

Anyway, explore the blog and see for yourself how amusing it can be.  If nothing else, try not to spit water at your computer screen while laughing uncontrollably when you reach the dog booties. 

Knock, knock. . . housekeeping

I wanted to take a moment to take care of a few housekeeping matters here at Two Washingtons.

1 – Thank you thank you thank you for being amazing readers!  Your comments, whether on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email, mean so much to me, A, Cal and B-Cat.  As we reach the end of the summer, it is hard to believe all that we have accomplished.  Our last day of work in DC was the Friday before Memorial Day and this whole summer has been consumed by packing, moving, driving, finding jobs, starting jobs, buying a home and unpacking.  (The unpacking not quite done yet.)  It is easy to be discouraged by the fact that our summer disappeared into these chores.  But looking at all that has changed and best of all how easy those changes have come amazes us – and we know we could not have done it without the help of family and old and new friends.  So thank you for your words of encouragement and congratulations and most of all, for being there for all of this crazy summer.

2 – In response to the previous post, Wear Your College Colors Day was a success in our household.  A chose to wear an evil empire undergrad shirt and a Cal hat.  I wore red sandals to celebrate my true alma mater and a Cal shirt to show my football allegiance.  There were a lot of reasons why I ended up with this, but I think most of all I thought it important working for a rival PAC 10 school, I needed to make my alliances known early on.

3 – Cal and B-Cat have been loving Seattle – the cooler weather, the amazing dog parks, the wonderful windows our house has for bird and neighbor viewing.  They are still showing their support for Seattle homeless pets in the Seattle Humane Society Walk for Animals on Sept. 26.  As always your support has been wonderful and we are already almost 40% to our goal of raising $200 for the Seattle Humane Society.  Please help out and donate to Team Two Washingtons and help Cal and B-Cat reach their fundraising goal.  We promise to reward you with adorable photos of beagles in bandanas looking proud as they walk for charity. 

4 – I’ve updated the Picasa albums with more photos of our home (complete with captions) and photos of more summer adventures here in Seattle, so please check it out.  The links are on the right.

Thanks for making this summer so amazing – it really had a lot of places things could have gone wrong, but it has been a wonderful, crazy ride and we are so glad you could be a part of it.  Stay tuned for our first fall and winter in Seattle – we may talk a big game but how will we really handle all that rain??

Happy happy birthday to you!

When my brothers and I were little we loved the Mickey Mouse album  Splashdance.  I am very happy to see you can still purchase it.  One of the many fantastic songs that we played over and over on our little Basic Fun Fisher Price Record Player was “Happy happy birthday to you”.  I tried to sing it to Cal, who turns 2 today, but I’ve realized I do not remember all the words.  I think I’ll have to head over to my favorite mail order company and purchase the CD to brunch up on the words.

So what are we doing to celebrate Cal’s birthday?  We went to Magnuson Dog Park this morning, which was fantastic.  It is huge and has a dog beach.  Cal swam and had a generally fantastic time.  Check out the video of him swimming below.

To see more photos of Cal’s birthday trip to the dog beach or our other summer in Seattle adventures, check out the new updated photo albums link in the right hand column of the blog.  I’ve posted more photos in Picasa then appear on the blog and included captions.  Feel free to enjoy, comment or think to yourself, Cal is a good looking puppy.  I’ll be updating Picasa to include videos and the link on the page to reflect new albums.

Thanks again for keeping up with us here in the Emerald City – and happy, happy birthday to Cal!