Falling Behind

Feeling a little sheepish about my absence from the blog lately (perhaps my feelings are best illustrated by this picture of Cal below).

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As summer turned to fall, the days got shorter and while that didn’t mean less hours in the day, it certainly has felt like that. Work, kids, extra curriculars. Football. We made our constitutionally required trip to a pumpkin patch today. So that’s something.

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This is all to say, we’re here. We’re busy. Some of us are still not sleeping through the night. We’re surviving, but sometimes all I can manage before bed is five rounds of Candy Crush, a cup of decaf and maybe Nashville on the DVR. So thanks for sticking with us and stopping by and checking it out. I promise next time you come by there will be something a bit more interesting to read. (I hope. I’ll keep my expectations realistic.)

Pregnant Sleep Habits

Talking about the sleeping habits of pregnant women is really to talk about the lack of sleep.  The lack of sleep is very frustrating – made only more frustrating by the fact that many people tell you “sleep while you can” before the baby arrives.  (Not surprisingly people don’t tell you this when you already have a kid.  I guess they 1) assume you know what you are getting into and 2) know you probably aren’t sleeping already.)   Sure pregnancy is making it difficult for me to sleep, but I think there may be other factors contributing to my lack of sleep.  I think this pictorial representation may help to clear up why sleeping is sometimes difficult.

So as you can see, things tend to be a little uneven in bed.  A has a decent amount of personal space.  (A would like it noted that his beard connects to his hair and that he does not have a goatee as this picture may suggest.)  Cal likes to sleep curled up in a puppy ball behind my legs.  This is great until I want to roll over.  Or if I get warm.  Or if Cal decides he no longer wants to be in a ball and stre-e-tches his legs out.   B-Cat likes to be nested in my hair.  This is not so comfortable for me, she tends to drool.  She also likes to pad my hair until she gets really comfy.  This isn’t bad when she does it around 10pm when I am settling into bed.  But when she goes exploring at night and returns around 2am, it can be a bit more disruptive.  Oh, and A’s a snorer.

So you see, I can’t put all the blame on BE2 (though she should shoulder some part of it), it’s quite the community bed in our house.  A has suggested that we move the pets out of the bed, but at this point, I’m not sure I’d be able to sleep any more with them out of the bed than I do with them in it.  Only 6 more weeks of pregnancy to go (followed by at least a few weeks of newborn sleep.  I mean I seem to recall it just being a few weeks with LC, right?) and then my sleep should return to normal – or as normal as our family bed will allow.

Why LC Loves Halloween

We made the command decision to not take LC trick or treating this year.  We don’t get home from work until after 6 and we start bedtime routine slightly after 7, so there is little wiggle room in there.  Add to that these hours are really the fabled “witching” hour for LC and it just seemed liked a bad idea to drag her house to house, forcing her to interact with strangers, to bring home candy that we weren’t going to let her eat anyway.

A’s office does a trick or treat event each year, so we decided we’d just hit that up in the afternoon.  She could get dressed up and we could show her off and take photos, without interrupting the evening routine too much.  LC had a fantastic time, though she soon realized that the real appeal of Dada’s office is not the candy or the nice people who think your kitty cat costume is too cute.  It is the fact that Dada’s office allows dogs.  LC literally raced through the halls looking for “more dog-goo”.  She rejected candy and the advances of strangers, but was willing to pet any dog she came across.  Another thrill was that almost every dog was in costume, though I think the Boston Terrier dressed as a velociraptor may have confused LC a bit.

So perhaps we’re setting LC up for failure in that she thinks Halloween is a day to get dressed up and pet dogs, but if she enjoyed it, who are we to mess with it?  After all, a future as an AKC Junior Handler is much more desirable than one as cavity ridden obese child obsessed with candy, right?**

Here’s LC as a kitty cat, hanging with her BFF Cal.

LC’s Halloween with Cal 

** I’m not saying taking your kid trick or treating will turn them into a cavity ridden obese child.  I’m just saying if LC is going to come out of Halloween being really into something, it is desirable that it be petting dogs and not eating lots o’candy.

All Good Things

My dog is named after one Jim Calhoun.  Coach Calhoun has been coach of my beloved UConn Husky basketball team for 26 years.  I’ve been alive for almost 33 years, which means that Coach Calhoun has coached my Huskies for the entirety of the time I’ve been aware of college basketball.  Today, it was announced that Calhoun would retire.

I cried a few Husky tears when I heard the news.  Sad that my beloved coach would not be returning.  Sad for where is leaves my team.  Sad that BE2 will never live in a world where Jim Calhoun is coach of her soon to be favorite basketball team.  Not to mention slight concern that my dog’s name is no longer relevant.

As a lifelong UConn Husky fan, no matter where the team may be today, I’m thankful for Jim’s time with the team. I’m exuberant at the three national championships we’ve accumulated and looking forward to the Kevin Ollie era.  This next season will give us time to pause, rebuild as some would say, and prepare for new things to come, while still celebrating all that makes my dog’s name great.

Driving On With or Without Murphy

Because I tend not to be one to suffer in silence, I’m usually pretty vocal when A goes away and I’m left with the solo parenting duties. I thought this time would be different – it was three nights and three mornings. So much less than the Taiwan trip at the start of the summer and I was no longer in the misery of the first trimester of pregnancy. I was sure I’d be just fine to just drive on through the week. While thinking this, I read Brandy’s post over at Mannly Mama about Murphy’s Laws of parenting. I should have been forewarned there. (For the record, Brandy has a 3 year old and a newborn and still blogs every day in awesome style. I know, amaze-balls.)

Tuesday evening went well enough until LC refused to go to bed. I tried to ride it out – sometimes she just fusses a bit before putting herself to sleep. I decided to jump in the shower and take 5 minutes to see if she would calm down without intervention. No such luck. I also tried to talk to her through the baby monitor, which is advertised as being able to soothe babies without having to enter the room. For the record, this most definitely made things worse. Perhaps the only thing worse than being in a dark room by yourself wanting your momma, is being in a dark room by yourself wanting momma and a disembodied voice telling you to just go to sleep. A little cuddling and soothing and explaining once again why Dada was not there, she went down. An hour after we started.

I headed to bed, where I made the mistake of not listening to my body which was exhausted at 8:45 and stayed up until 10-ish. I had just rolled over, with the pregnancy pillow finally in a comfortable position, when A called to let me know he was safely in NY. In the middle of our chat, B-Cat let out a horrific yell from the bathroom – I ran in to find that she was fighting with a cat (I hope it was a cat) through the open bathroom window. (There was a screen between them.) All this cat ruckus woke the dog who decided to run upstairs and request to be let outside to explore. (Cal never wakes up after going to bed in the evening. He has the most dependable bedtime routine there is, so this getting up was unusual.) Gathering everyone back in bed, I went to sleep, the sweet sounds of House Hunters on the tv to help lull me to sleep.

And that is exactly where I was at 2am when the baby monitor lit up and LC started to wail. I waited 10 seconds to see if it would pass, but alas, no such luck. Rolling over, I picked up the video monitor to see if (fingers crossed) she was lying down and crying, in which case she was much more likely to cry it out and go back to sleep in a few, or if she was standing up. Of course, she was up. Up to her room I went, where a complicated system of backrubs and cuddles commenced. After she had been asleep on my chest for 15 minutes, I attempted to place her back in the crib. As soon as she sensed that her cheek was now on the cool sheets of her crib and not on Momma’s chest, she catapulted into a seated position and started to wail again. Complicated system restarted. As I attempted to transfer her to the crib again, I heard a familiar sound on the stairs. Yes, Cal was up again – and wanted to go out. And he wanted me to know this. Cold sheets combined with doggie whines meant LC was not sleeping again.

I gathered everyone up and we all trudged into my room. “Dog-goo? Dada?” LC narrated as I tried to arrange everyone in bed, as well as building a pillow wall on A’s side of the bed so that LC could sleep without falling out of the bed. After all, she was happy sleeping on my chest, she would surely be happy sleeping next to me in bed. And she was. FORTY FIVE MINUTES LATER. She decided a bed filled with Meow (what she calls B-Cat), Dog-goo, Momma and at least a thought of Dada was the perfect place for a slumber party. She didn’t want to chat about boys, instead we chatted a great deal about Meow, milk and apples. Around 4am, she quieted down and fell asleep.

This was not last night.  Note the perfectly asleep baby when Dada is around
Until 6am when the sun came up. We have blackout shades in LC’s room, but not ours. (Buying and installing them is perpetually on our to do list.) I was lying on my side, with my back to LC – so as the sun came up she felt she had no choice but to climb on me, pat my head and say “Momma? Dada? Meow? Dog-goo? Milk? Apple?” I tried to insist it was still sleepy time, but she had me. The sun was up and so must we be. I placed her on the ground and told her to give Momma one minute and then we’d go get milk. I walked into the bathroom, only to find the floor wet. Really wet. While pondering why the bathroom floor was wet, I slipped, fell, bruising my foot and my knee. Awesome. Sitting on the ground, wet, confused as to what had happened and wondering how one makes it through the day with about 5 hours sleep, I steeled myself and said, I can do this. I got up, made a mental plan and committed to getting to work in plenty of time for my 9am meeting, instead of cancelling and working from home for the day like I really wanted to do. (And by work from home, I mean take LC to day care in my yoga pants, then come home and go back to bed for 2 hours.)
LC and I rallied, discovered I’d left the diaper sprayer in the upstairs bathroom on (hence the leak to the master bath), mopped up the water as best I could, got everyone dressed and fed and we were out the door. As I stood in the Starbucks line waiting for my ½ caff venti skinny caramel macchiato (and wondering just how much I would stunt the growth of my unborn child if I went all caff. . . ) I checked my email to discover my 9am meeting cancelled. Murphy’s Law indeed.

It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Washington!

No, not the Other Washington – here in the Emerald City!  There are 31 Yoshino Cherry Blossom trees in the University of Washington quad and they bloom (creating our own little Cherry Blossom Festival) every March.  We missed the blooms last spring, focusing on things a little closer to home, but made sure to make the trip this year.

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LC enjoyed wandering around the Quad, but was really much more interested in all the dogs out enjoying the day.  You can see her pointing at the dog who was standing behind A while he took this photo.

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Please note the baby Uggs above.  You want to eat her up, right? 

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Cal wasn’t too sure about the cherry blossoms but generally excited to be out and about, exploring new places.  (It may not appear that he was excited in the photo above, but just take our word for it.  He rode an elevator.  Twice.  He loved that.)

I hesitate to say it and risk jinxing it, but the weather this spring has not been bad.  It may not be 70 degrees every day, but if we get a few more weekends like this, I certainly won’t say.

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Pets Have Idols Too

As I mentioned on Facebook earlier today (wait, you didn’t know we were on Facebook?  You should follow us over there.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.) Anyway, as I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter (what?  Oh yes, we’re on Twitter too.  Lots of adorable photos of LC there too.)  Ok, so we were talking about in a variety of places today that Idol’s theme tonight was The Year You Were Born, a household favorite around here.  Last year we discussed the amazing Idol duet A and I wanted to do from the Year We Were Born.  Even though they are all too young to take part in the American Idol competition, I thought it would be fun to explore what Cal, B-Cat and LC might choose to sing as a song from the year of their birth.

B-Cat – though a lady never reveals her age, I think B-Cat is proud of how good she looks for having been born in 2001.  B-Cat is a complicated individual so it is hard to find one song that best represents who she would be as an artist.  Looking at the choices of top singles of 2001, she might go with Fallin’ by Alicia Keys (B-Cat is fascinated by gravity), Ride Wit Me by Nelly (she is from St. Louis) or Lady Marmalade (she is very into girl power).  Ultimately though, I think she would choose Walk On By by U2.  B-Cat’s cool like that, just walk on by everyone, nothing to see here but enormous vocal talent.

Cal – born in 2008,  Cal is a fun loving dog who knows when it is time to take things seriously.  Pocket Full of Sunshine from Natasha Bedingfield may show off his personality, but I don’t know if it would be a good example of his musical point of view. I think Cal would need something to show off his full range.  Maybe Rihanna’s Take a Bow?  Ultimately I think Taylor Swift’s Teardrops on my Guitar would be a great way for Cal to show his vocal talents and really perform the song so that it represent HIM and no one else.

LC – LC is a happy, easy going baby.  She loves to play with her friends and I think her spirit may be encapsulated in the song Fireworks by Katy Perry.  She always loved a good dance song when she was an inside baby (we’d rock out on our commute home) so she could play to the judges with J.Lo’s On the Floor.  Ultimately, I think she’d choose Born This Way from Lady Gaga because she likes the message and the song.  A lover of humanity that LC. 

Last Minute Items

As it gets closer and closer to the holiday, I keep thinking of more and more things I need to get done by Christmas Eve.  Today I realized that there were some gifts that I thought about, but hadn’t actually purchased.  When a chewie shortage arose at our house, we had to use Cal’s stocking stuffer bag of flips, so I need to buy something to replace that.  B-Cat is hard to shop for since the dog steals her toys and her IBD means she can’t have treats.  It’s LC’s first Christmas so that clearly means she needs homemade gingerbread, sugar cookies, popcorn stringed garlands, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and I need to find matching pajamas for us to wear Christmas morning.  Oh, and that “reasonable” list of gifts to knit from a few months ago?  I’m 1.5 projects in with 3.5 projects to go.

It won’t all get done.  I’m pretty much ready to say that LC is too young for cookies and that gingerbread is a late Phase 3 item for this Christmas project.  Matching pajamas would be nice, but at this point I would settle for a slightly seasonal set of pajamas to go along with the snowmen ones we already bought LC.  The good thing about the passage of time is that it makes my to do list shorter – either through accomplishment or necessity.

A Dog and His Tree

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A Perfect Thanksgiving

There were no holiday themed place settings or tablecloths.

In fact, there was no tablecloth at all. 

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There was no silver or fancy dresses, just a mismatch of serving plates and some comfy yoga pants.

There was turkey.

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Babies who love turkey, and

 DSC03572beagles who would really, really, really like some turkey.

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And it was perfect.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Two Washingtons family!