Thursday, December 29, 2005

Last post for 2005

Unless I get inspired... which is unlikely. Christmas has come and gone. Steve's sister and her family came down from Montana to spend Christmas with us, while my mom went to Texas. Everyone did something different this year, and I believe that was a very good thing. Dad was very much a part of all we did at Christmas, from gifts of years' past still on shelves or in use, to traditions that will need to be tweaked a bit now... fro example, we had a crab dinner last year on Christmas Eve, and the year before that, and the year before that... but there was no one here to clean crabs this year - that sort of thing...

I have absolutely loved being home for the last two weeks. I sent the boys to childcare before Christmas so that I could finish my shopping and final preperations for the Mandeville's visit, but once they arrived on the 22nd, the kids and I have been home and its been really wonderful. We had the warmest Christmas in nearly 80 + years and the boys have been taking advantage of it by playing outside a ton!

In that vein, I am really not looking forward to going back to work on Monday. Christopher is at such a wonderful age - he's loving and snuggly and is interacting with his world every which way he turns around! He giggles and laughs and coos... its really amazing!

Santa treated the boys well, but didn't spoil them rotten... they got a few things they'd asked for and I know there were a few disappointments. Parker got a new bike as his "big" present and he's thrilled. This one has both pedal-brakes and a hand brake to get him used to it. His last bike he outgrew in about a year or so, even though we've been riding it for two years, he really looked rediculous because it was way too small. Now we want to see if Matthew wants to ride it. If he does, then he, too, will get a new bike for his birthday because P's old one is way too small for Matthew as well (FYI, for those who measure these things, both boys will be riding 20" bikes!)

The fat fighting front has been going pretty well lately. Having the stomach flu actually started a good eating pattern for me and while I am quite thankful to NOT have to go through that again any time soon *or at all, ever!* it did have an upside. Now, I don't eat till I'm full, but more until I am not hungry anymore. And, if I'm not hungry, I don't eat. Sounds pretty simple and it is. Nothing is off limits, and I think that makes it easier! I read an article about "intuitive eating" and what I am doing is kind of like that; I'm listening to my body more. So far, since the weekend after Thanksgiving, I am down 10.5 lbs. I can live with that!

Now is the time everyone begins to think about what they would like to accomplish next year. I'm no different!

1) Get back to my "happy weight"
2) Drive my Arbonne company car (A white Mercedes) by June (You've gotta click on that like to see it - and imagine it in white...)
3) Grow both my Arbonne business and my photography business.
4) Go to Italy with my husband
5) Play. A lot. I don't think I've been good at this lately. Want to get better!

I am not sad to see 2005 go. Its been a rocky year, punctuated with the best day and the saddest day within two weeks of oneanother. 2006 will be better... will be wonderful! I am excited at what the future holds.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Half a bag of salt

Anyone who has a water softener will know what I am talking about with those huge bags of salt that we need every so often to keep our water from feeling like showering with pebbles. I will buy them, but leave the hoisting to Steve. 40lbs of rock salt sure feels heavier than 60lbs of Parker!! Must be the dead weight of it...

Yesterday I had to take Matthew to the doctor. He's been running a fever off and on, and had a nasty case of "the gunks" for about a week. Here's a new one for you, he's got the adenovirus. Never heard of it before. Evidently, its a rather creative and entertaining virus, never striking the same way twice. Matthew has the upper respiratory and eye infections. Can't go back to school until both the fever and the red eyes have cleared up. Hopefully that will be tomorrow!

So, while we were at the doc's, I decided I needed to know how much this little tank weighed. I've been asked a multitude of times, and don't know the answer! So, just for comparison sake... at aproximately 4 months (17 weeks) Parker weighed 17lbs, 7oz. Matthew at 16 weeks weighed 18lbs, 9oz. Christopher topped the scale at 20lbs 8oz!!

So, this explains why I have such a hard time carrying him and why it feels as thought my arms will fall off. The kid weighs half as much as a bag of rock salt!!! Sure hope he's an early walker - can't imagine him at 12 months!!! (His brothers were well over 30lbs at a year... any bets how high this one will tip the scale??)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

How to behave so your parent will, too...

Love those books, by the way - the HOW TO BEHAVE books... but as I was leaving school yesterday at the bell and saw all these parents parked and waiting in the teacher parking lot, I began to think...

~~You are warned - Stepping up on a soapbox right now!~~~

Its no wonder why we can't get our middle school kids to follow the rules; their parents all seem to think the rules don't apply to them, so why would the rules apply to their children?? This parking-where-you-are-not-supposed-to thing is just the tip... they park out front in the handicapped spots and then argue with the campus cop for writing them a ticket! We ask that girls not wear spaghetti straps, show any belly or wear shorts short enough to be a bikini, and yet this is exactly how the mom's dress... complete with fake boob cleavage dripping out of their work-out tops. This is not just physical, but includes things like integrity. One girl last year was caught cheating on a test. The mom's response?? Well, good - those crafty skills will come in handy later! What?? Sure - if she grows up to be Bonnie looking for Clyde!!

Then I wonder if it is just here... there's so much money in Scottsdale that is practically grows on trees. People believe that with money comes entitlement. They are entitled to a fancy house and a set of matching Hummers, they are entitled to our admiration and they expect us to swoon over them. Anyone remember the "BOB" commerical a while back - parking only for Bob, green lights only for Bob... well, that is very much the attitude I see here! And since living in one area for a while renders one miopic, I have to wonder if it is just here, or if this nauseating trend is nation wide.

It has been the case for several generations - you want more for your children then you had. You want to give them everything, but you also want them to appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that went into earning such privelges. But I ask you, when you live in a 6-million dollar home with a set of matching Hummers as well as matching Mercedes electric golf carts, where is the motivation for your kids to do better? When a 7th grader is carrying around a $600 pit-purse, how is she going to want to work hard and achieve more? I mean seriously - don't you get to a point where there is no more to have/get/want/be??

Parker started asking for a Game Boy a while ago. Many of his friends from Kindergarten have them and he thinks they are cool - so of course he wanted one too! (He's a Marketer's dream!) In all candor, what on earth does a 6 yr old need with a 90$ toy?? One that doesn't even teach them anything, at that??

I told him when he's 9 and has the money to buy one himself, he can have one. By God, if its the last thing I do, I will raise kids who see there is more to life than having more, and that the rules most certainly are meant for THEM!

And, while I am on a roll about things that just don't make sense to me...

I was watching the SC Trojans very closely this year.. and my condolences to all my friends and family who went to other schools that we crushed into the gridiron this year... but I digress...

Pass interference... Isn't that the point???

Bring on the Longhorns!! It's going to be a great game!!

Fight On!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ahhh - a little slice of heaven...

My middle school kids were on a field trip today. I was at school, in my running pants and sneakers, alone, until noon!! I caught up on paperwork, I made copies till I ran the machine out of toner, I played my music a bit too loud.... it was wonderful! Makes me seriously think that I need to take a day every two or three weeks and not go into the classroom with my kids and just work!!

I get to do this again Monday - the little critters are out again for the day!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I think I used to be a cat...

Perhaps its all the leftover L-Triptophan running through my veins or the lingering of this bug that seems to be plaguing everyone around here, but I found myself wanting to nap quite a bit this holiday weekend. My visions of a possible former life as a feline came as memories...

We've had a cold snap here over the last few days. Truly - we go from needing the AC on one day to needing the heat on the next - certainly not COLD as per Eastern standards, but chilly just the same. I decided I needed a nap, so I went upstairs and cuddled down in bed - and could not get warm. As I lay there rubbing my chilly toes together in hopes of creating some heat, I remembered being a kid and laying down in the middle of the living room in a sunbeam during those all-too-precious sunny winter days. I vividly remember how wonderful the sun felt through the glass window - and how it gave just enough heat to lull me off to sleep. I can only imagine what my mother must have thought to see me laying there, stolen sofa pillow under my head, laying on the floor sound asleep.

Between my cold toes and my sore throat, a nap was never meant to be. But the quiet time was refreshing and much needed. I thought about Dad a lot this weekend. Thanksgiving seemed just fine until the evening was nearly over and one of the guests started petting Cali (Dad's Black Lab) It struck me at that moment that something huge was missing. I don't think time heals so much as life simply continues... I miss him just as deeply now as I did in August, its just that perhaps the goings-on of every day don't allow me the time to think about it as much now as I did then. Maybe that's a good thing - maybe not - who is to tell? Mom is planning to be away for Christmas. I can understand her desire to do something totally different this year. I am quite thankful that Steve's sister and her family will be with us, or else I might have wanted to be away this year, too.

Father Jon, the rector of our church, talked this Thanksgiving about the fact that holidays allow us to go back to our roots, to think about where we come from and to be thankful for our heritage, our history and our creation, both familial and physical. Maybe that's why we miss our loved ones so deeply at this time of year. We spend a great deal of time remembering - who we are and where we came from. As I look back, and as I look ahead, I see much to be greatful for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Not the way I want to loose 5 lbs!

We got hit... big time! Evidently there is some very nasty stomach thing going around and we got it, in spades! It was my worst nightmare come true, and literally every man, woman and child had to fend for him/her self. I'll leave the gorey details to your imagination, but if there is an upside, I lost 5.5 pounds in the process... now if only it was "real" weight loss and it would stay away!! Not that I want to go through that any time again soon!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gosh - its been forever!

I keep this blog as more or less a journal of our lives, and I also try to write nightly in my 5-yr journal. Well, somehow a whole bunch of time has gotten by me and I've not written at all.

There's really not been a whole lot to write about, I suppose. We have been working on the room that had been my office and turning it into a storage room. Houses in Arizona have no basements and no attics, and ours has only a 2-car garage. The "office" was originally the 3rd car stall, but we guess that the original owners wanted it turned into a room. The insulation, however, is most definately that of a garage!

I was without a computer for 5 days. I felt SO isolated and out of touch. Made me almost a bit panicky at times... and showed me the depth of my addition to my online friends! We also have moved the computer upstairs, meaning that it is less accessible to me than it was in its original location. Indeed - not a bad thing. Less time on the computer means more time doing something else. But it also means that some of my habits, such as blogging, have also suffered.

Updates on everyone - Parker has started the more challenging words for his spelling lists this week after a not-so-encouraging parent/teacher meeting. His teacher seems OK with the fact that he has not really learned any new skill so far this year. I am decidedly NOT ok with this. We compromised that she would give him a harder spelling list. Yeah - See Mrs. Jensen, be careful what you ask for... Could, Because, People - all words that do not conform to any spelling rule at all... thanks! I think he will rise to the challenge.

Matthew has started reading! He is sounding out words and reading many of the pre-primer books I have at the house. His whole class is starting to read books, as well! He is so proud of himself - as are we!! I've also noticed that despite his leaps and bounds into the world of learning, he is more sensitive lately. Needing more hugs, some time for just him to cuddle, wanting to hold my hand more now... and that just tickles a mom's heart to no end!

Christopher is inching closer and closer to that 3-month mark. Still has blue eyes and very little hair! He's overall a very happy baby who absolutely loves to be held. I think he enjoys sitting with Steve, watching football as much as Steve does! He grins from ear to ear when he sees his big brothers and laughs uncontrollably when you change his clothes - he is mighly ticklish!!

School continues to go well... nothing much to report there. Steve spent a bit of time travelling last week, and is very excited that his year-end will end quite well.

In a nutshell - that's us!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

She's back!!!

I picked up my bike from the shop last night, and was able to take her out for the first time today! Strange how I'd let her sit and gather dust for 4 years and then missed her so much when she was being fixed!! The brakes don't squeek anymore, the gears actually shift when I want them to (rather than having a mind of their own!) and overall I just feel safer knowing that all parts are in working order.

INCLUDING MY ON-BOARD COMPUTER!!! I didn't really understand the depth of my control-freakishness until I tried riding without knowing all the data - how far, how fast and how long!! For example, I now know that I rode for 1hr and 3 minutes and covered 13.2 miles with an average speed of 12.7 and max speed of 19.4. Useless knowledge, really, but to coin Nancy's phrase, it makes me feel "fierce". Dug my riding gloves out from underneath years of stored crap-ola and off I went!

I really love this time out riding. The weather was lovely, the traffic was light so I didn't really fear being hit by a car, and my legs felt great - until I got off my bike! In a strange way, too, it gives me time to spend with Dad. He bought Steve & I these bikes about 5 years ago so we could ride the trails in the Oakland hills. We used them quite frequently until we moved here, and then let we them waste away in the garage. But being alone out on the roads gives me time to think about Dad and all the wonderful things he did for me during my lifetime. It certainly gives me the "attitude of gratitude", and I can't help but feel that that, along with the endorphins, does wonders for my overall mood and demeanor!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ahhh, fall...


We took the boys to the pumpkin patch today. As witnessed by the above photo, all had fun, even my own littlest pumpkin!

Matthew is a child after my own heart. He had to find the perfect pumpkin, and knew exactly what it was he was looking for. I think my mother can attest to many hours spent looking around the Cider Mill in Avon, looking for one that was perfectly round, with little or no blemishes, just enough stem... and this was Matthew's decree as well - we were not leaving until he found the perfect pumpkin!

We found it. Whether or not he will allow us to carve it has yet to be seen! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Work week #1 over and out..

This was the week I'd been dreading for months - my first day back at work. There are many reasons why I was dreading Monday: leaving my 2 month old baby, leaving my 5 mo old puppy to her own devices (would the house still be standing when I got home??), retuning to the Middle School when I'd vowed before God and my colleagues that I would not be going back there, and the overall fear that I did indeed deliver both a baby and my brain on August 15th.

The good news - it was not nearly as bad as I'd feared. I will try to post more this weekend, but suffice it to say that other than cleaning up a few piles of poop (from the 5 mo old, not the 2 mo old!) and nearly missing the bus, all is going smoothly!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Just Briefly...

We went to the haven for fun tonight for dinner... Charles E Cheese was our host. The boys have so much fun there and had been asking for days to go, so I finally gave in and said yes.

As we were sitting there, I started thinking... Matthew's favorite thing about CEC is riding the train thing-y. Parker loves playing Skee-ball. Steve loves shooting hoops.

What does it say about me that my favorite thing to do there is play Smash the Weasel??

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Haggis Baggis

Anyone care to guess what Haggis is? I am sure some of you know - I threaten to make it for my lovely offspring whenever they say that dinner is yucky.

They know, don't they... they are programmed to know from birth when Mom is about to loose it and they go hog wild. They also know when Daddy is not around to help out.

It began last night. Yesterday was Christopher's first day at Nada's house. Nada will be our substitute for a sitter at least until Christmas. If it goes swimmingly, we will stay. If I am going even slightly mad, we will look into a nanny again.

Christopher came home a rather unusual crankpot. He's my easy going guy, and yet I could not put him down for more than a minute from about 3:30 till somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00. He'd eat, spit up, cry, eat, burp, barf, cry, eat... this went on and on. My demeanor was probably close to she-devil by the time the boys went to bed.

It did not get any better with the rise of the sun. (Or, of the SON, either!!) Chris was up for about an hour in the middle of the night, and Matthew came in for reasons unknown to man or beast. 6:15 Parker comes in - wide awake and wiggly. He has learned NOT to purposly wake me up, so he stands at the end of my bed and breathes loudly. Think Darth Vador. Then he starts clicking his mouth.

"Parker, Stop That and go downstairs. We are not getting up yet!"

2 minutes later...

"Mom, the baby is awake, and he peed - I felt it".

Bad enough to wake me up, but when you wake up a sleeping baby that I had to hold for 6 straight hours last night - well, that brings you to within inches of death.

Baby is up. I hear Matthew get up while I am changing a soaking wet baby. I hear him go downstairs (I think possilby the town of Scottsdale hears him go downstairs - he does very little quietly.

Furious at being up well before my time, I go downstairs and demand they turn off the TV and go clean their rooms. This was to be done before bed last night but Parker was "too exhausted" to clean before bed.

I go downstairs to find Schooner has been outside swimming in the mud and has found a new home on my sofa. She also attacked and distroyed a USC pony-tail holder that, the last time I saw it, was nestled safely amongst my hairbrushes. It was cute and made from about 5000 beads. Those beads were now strewn all over my office. One can only imagine how many have been ingested.

I hear giggling upstairs. Tell-tale sign that there is not any work being accomplished in the "operation clean room" mission. (Little do they know the baby's monitor picks up their voices, too!!) So I go up and sure enough, the room is a sty still. There are toys and other various boy-things strewn across the hall. Matthew was hiding in the guest room and I spotted toys in my room, too.

All hell breaks loose. Ever hear Bill Cosby give his definition of a Kiniption fit?? It was like that. Even the dog cowered next time she saw me, and she was downstairs at the time...

All this before I even had time for a cup of coffee... And I go back to work Monday. God help me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today is my anniversary.

After the post from a few days back, I felt it necessary to "vent" why I love the man I married... I often post the things that drive me crazy, so to be fair, I need to tell you why I love him so much... 8 reasons for our 8th anniversary.

1) He makes me feel safe. They say that your spouse should be your best friend, and he is most certainly that... he is my safe place to land, he will gently pick me up when I fall, and will be with me every step of the way as I get my feet back firmly underneath me. My life is in his hands and I trust him completely.

2) He makes me laugh. We can be having a heated discussion about something, and just when I'm about to go from friendly banter to angry, he will say something that makes me laugh out loud!! Our senses of humor work together like music.

3) He is a wonderful father to my children. Yes, they are his too, but I gave birth to them and feel like a preditory animal about them, and I loved them even before I knew him... He is all I ever wanted for my kids and I take such delight in watching him interact with them. It makes my heart spill over to see how much he loves them

4) He cheers louder than I do at USC games! This may sound trivial, but he loves rooting for SC because I went there and I root for them. He has been so wonderful at reaching out into my world and meeting me there - he enjoys my friends from college and my youth, he loves Jimmy Buffet because I do... while we have many things that are "ours", he has just fit seemlesly into the life I had before him, too.

5) He's cute! I remember my friend from High School, Margaret Blaydes, said once that she didn't really care how cute a guy was, so long as he was kissably-cute, meaning she didn't recoil from the sight of him after a kiss... well, Steve is mighty hunky, IMHO, and I love looking at him. Still!

6) I love his family. Many folks complain about their inlaws. Many folks really dislike their inlaws. Not me - Steve comes from a great family, with wonderful parents and sisters! Warren & Greta would come out and stay here in AZ for 3 months, and it was wonderful. To some, this sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but truly, it was teriffic having them here.

7) He loves my family. I come from a small family, but we have our share of Fruitcakes! (me being one!) My family is the antithesis of his family and he loves them all just the same. He made my father very happy in the last years of his life, giving him the father-son relationship he'd always wanted with his own child but never had. When my father died, it was the first time in nearly 10 years I'd seen Steve cry.

8) I cannot imagine my life without him. He is a part of me, as much as my own skin. We are a team - and a good one. Where one is weak, the other is strong. He is my one true love, my soulmate and partner in everything. I would rather spend time with him than just about anyone else on earth.

Happy Anniversary my love - I feel so blessed to be your wife!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Things I've learned about myself from biking...

1. I am more of a control freak than I realized.. I just HAVE to know how far I've gone...
2. Hills, even the slightest incline, makes a huge difference in how I ride.
3. Going down hill is far better for my ego that going up hill, though far less so for my heart and waist.
4. Climbing the stairs after I get home from a 45 minute ride is difficult.
5. Going down those same stairs is nearly impossible.
6. I love that I can just go... me, my music, my trusty Trek and some water. Who knows where we will go, who knows when we will be back... It is really freeing.
7. I've got a long way to go before I look like those packs of Tour-de-France wanna be's that whizz by me like I am standing still.
8. The scale is not my friend. (It has not budged in 4 weeks)
9. The scale is NOT the best indicator at how my progress toward better health is going.
10. I love that I am doing this for ME. This may be the only thing I do just for ME for quite a while... 3 kids, a FT job and DH, Ya' Know...

Friday, October 14, 2005

The good news..

I did get my ride in this morning. Didn't go yesterday. Went to the zoo instead. Good news?? I pushed a Thanksgiving Turkey around in a stroller across about 1/2 the zoo. Bad news?? The kettle corn machine was up and running. (Thanks for that one, too, Nancy!!)

I rode for 40 minutes. I've got to get that darn odometer fixed on my bike. It sort of defeats the purpose of being gas-friendly when I have to retrace my bike route in the car to see how far I've gone!!

Wife kills husband over ink stain, News at 11...

Let me preface this rant by first saying publically... I love my husband. For those of you who may be reading this and are from his family of origin, please do not fret. These homocidal ideations on my part will not be played out - his life is not really in jeapordy... well, at least not much...

I've been under a bit of strain lately. You could go back to this spring with Dad's diagnosis, his death, the birth of Christopher, etc.. or you could look at the last week. I know I will sound like a whiney-spoiled who-knows-what, but so be it. First, my housekeeper quit. True, she's been superfluous this summer, but still... She's been with my family since before Steve and I were married and one would think LOYALTY might come into play, and its not like the house is in shambles and its too much work for her. I think she got into a pissing contest with our sitter and gave me an ultimatum. She lost.

Then this sitter disappeared. Well, not really - you can hold off calling "America's Most wanted", but she has pretty much fallen off the earth. Her son is sick (She has 5 kids) and she called Monday saying she would not be able to come that day. Today is Friday and there's been no word. NONE. NADA. ZIPPO. I go back to work in 10 days. I'm not a happy camper.

Now we come to the part where I am ready to kill Steve. Its a long story but suffice it to say he's taken to sleeping in the guest room (to hear the baby better, and it works) and is typically flanked by both boys. I have said to him that its time the boys go back to their OWN beds. I said this rather emphatically last night, but it fell on deaf ears.

Fine. Don't listen to me... I really do just like the sound of my own voice.

Matthew comes downstairs this morning after having a bath before bed. He's adorable in his just-waking-up innocence. He snuggles with me on the stairs, and that's then I see it. Ink. Marker ink. Its on his hands.. and legs... face, neck, chest, stomach, back...

Me: Matthew - how did you get so covered in ink??
Matthew: Shrugs shoulders.
Me: Matthew, did you draw on yourself?? (He's been known to do this)
Matthew: Shakes his head 'no'
Me: Matthew - did you sleep on some markers?
Matthew: Smiles very coy-ly (think Mona Lisa) and nods his head.
Me: In your bed?
Matthew: Nothing. Blank Stare.

I go upstairs to find marker seeped into my sheets, pillowcase, blankets, mattress. Steve was next to this child all night. Steve is 6'3" and was sharing a bed with two boys weighing close to 60 pounds each. He was so close to Matthew he was practicly wearing him. He did not notice that the child came to bed with two (2!!!) markers in his hands? I know he is the most non-observant person on the planet (Self-proclaimed) but still...

And can anyone give me advice for how to get the MEN in my house (all of them) to Aim For The Middle???

I'd have them clean the bathroom, but I'd just have to go in and do it again anyway...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Keep moving forward

The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

I think I'm taking some artistic licence with that - the journey of about 50 lbs begins with one pedal... I am really enjoying the idea (and the action) of biking. Last night, after another day of no child care (not that I was unable to go to the gym, but it was such a lovely day it seemed a shame to waste it) after Steve got home, I was able to go out for a short ride. All told, about 30 minutes. I could most certainly feel Sunday's ride in my legs so I know I did not cover the mileage, or at least not the speed, from the other day. Still, 30 minutes is my daily goal - if I can do something that looks like working out for at least 30 minutes a day, I should be able to get back down to the physique I had two years ago. (see, aren't you all proud of me - I'm not using Christopher as an excuse for the extra fluff - I did this all to myself!!)

I do, however, need to invest in 1) a good cleaning and repair job for the old Trek 2) good biking shorts (How do guys do it??) and 3) some repair on my sped/odometer.

Yes, Nancy - no new endeavor goes un-shopped for!!! :-)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Road Warrior, extraordinaire...

It is finally a lovely day here in the desert. Our high will be somewhere in the mid to upper 80's, and that's a little slice of heaven after the summer we've endured!

I took advantage of the weather, decided to forego the gym and hit the road - along with my trusty, and slightly rusty, mountain bike. The wind whirled in my ears, the breezes kept me cool, and the road ahead was straight (and, luckily, very flat!!)

I think I covered about 8 miles. I completed my usual 3-mile walk/run course in about 15 minutes, so I guess that my 40 minute ride took me around 8 miles of my neighborhood. I think I have found a good route, and if my legs actually allow me to stand tomorrow, I may do it again.

Of course, now I am already spending mental money - I need a good water bottle, I'd love to have my odometer/spedometer fixed, the bike needs a good tune up and probably new tires, and how much fun would it be to have a carrier/trailer on the back and we could go biking as a family.... the list goes on and on and on...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

They grow up so fast...

My girl is growing up!! The only daughters I will have are my fur-babies. The cute fuzzy one who has been causing all kinds of heck is now 5 months old. I can see that there will be a regal, refined lady in there, someday!! She and Maddy are developing a good relationship... unless, of course, Schooner wants what Maddy has... Typical siblings! Posted by Picasa

I'm Goin' Back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali...

Anyone old enough to remember that song from the vintage files of about 1988??

I went back to Berkeley this week to say a final goodbye to Dad. We had a memorial for him at St. Clements on Thursday, so Chris and I flew up Wednesday and home on Friday. It was a quick trip to say the least, but a good one. We stayed here, at the Claremont. Known as the White Lady on the Hill, the Claremont is home to many memories for me, my family, and scores of Cal grads! (We won't go there - this is a family-friendly site!!)

Steve and I met at this hotel. Steve was the Front Office Manager at the time, and I was working for Mom's store located in the lobby. We've gotten many a kick out of saying that we met in a hotel - sounds far more sordid than it really was...

The hotel has been renovated and the lobby looks nothing like it did when we worked there (and that is a good thing!) and resembles far more accurately the lobby of yester-year when the hotel was in its glory. Much can be said for the former owners, but they "done good" when it comes to the asthetics of the hotel.

It was strange to be back. First off, I had truly forgotten how hilly the area was! I know that sounds odd, but I've seen flat land surrounded by mountains for so long I had plum forgotten that I'd lived in the mountain just a mere 4 years ago. Houses are stacked on top of each other, defying gravity for ages until a big quake or mudslide gets the better of the 50 year old foundation. Imagine this guy after a 6.0 quake...

The other thing that struck me was this sobering thought - Other than my best friend from college, Vicki, I have no friends left in that part of the world. The people I knew well when I lived there were few and far between and are now living elswhere. In many ways I was returning home, and yet I was nothing more than a visitor. A very strange feeling, indeed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fly-by posting

More quick patting myself on the back - actually rode my bike to do two errands that would otherwise have required my car... feeling a bit healthier and happy to NOT use gas!! (Thank Nancy - see, you are an inspiration!) Missed the gym yesterday, but the errands were about 3 miles all told... Knee still hurts and that is pissing me off!!

I am off for the next few days. Christopher and I are going up to Berkeley for Dad's memorial up there. Will meet up with old and new friends, and that will be fun. Don't know about re-hashing all the feelings of grief - maybe this one will be easier to NOT cry through than the one last month.

Will check in on Friday or Saturday and tell y'all how it went...

Oh -and any silent prayers for no diaper-disasters mid-flight will be appreciated!! :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Workout update

Went to the gym, sore knee and all... 45 min on the elliptical!! Covered 3.3 miles, burned somewhere in the vicinity of 450 calories. Knee feels fine!

Rabbit, Rabbit

The fact that I started this post two days ago, ON October 1st, shows that things are moving rather quickly here... or, more accuratly, when Christopher is awake, he is wanting attention... a lot!

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately - luck, attention, the status-quo. Let's start with attention...

About 3 or 4 days ago, Matthew became destructo-boy again.. This was a role he played, and played very well, when he was about 2. It started with his artistic rendition of toothpaste. His canvas?? The bathroom counter and mirror. Then, he takes scissors to something I thought he'd considered sacred - a Thomas book. Then, I found that he had drawn on the refridgerator with a marker... At least it wasnt permanent... I've learned my lesson about Sharpie Markers in my house!

When I asked him if he felt he needed attention, or if Mom and Dad were not spending enough time with him (after I calmed down and the urge to put him in a straight jacket waned) and he said that he felt lonely, I knew we had to do something. So, Matthew got some 1:1 time with Gilly... He went over to her house Saturday night (and was SO excited to go!) for a special dinner, to spend the night and then have breakfast out... It went perfectly!! Not only did Matthew have someone attending to only him, but my mom got to see the side of Matt that we know is there, but that is sometimes hard to reach... Its the same side that Dad saw in DC... and both my parents loved him more deeply after this revelation.

Luck... Find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you'll have good luck...

We went to the USC pep rally on Friday night here in Scottsdale. My beloved Trojans were here to play ASU, and so I just HAD to take the boys to hear the band play. Really, nothing more inspiring that listening to that band... and the boys loved it! We were not going to actually go to the game, as it would be over 100* in the stadium, and had planned to watch at a local watering hole with a big screen TV. Well, it wasn't looking to good at half-time.

We decide to go home and watch the rest from the comfort of our own home. Parker finds a penny in the parking lot, and well, as you can see from the score, we came back from an 18 point deficit to win by 10. Coincidence??

On the workout front - I've managed to follow in Nancy's sneakers... I hurt my knee running, which sounds utterly pathetic because I was only able to do 2 .25 mile sprints at my "best" lately... and now I must go back to the beginning and try to nurse my injured knee. DRAT!

So, does anyone know what the Rabbit Rabbit title means?? If not, you can check here... But its something I was introduced to back in High School and my friend Angie reminded me of earlier this year. Chaulk this one up to another superstition, or is it like the penny in the parking lot??

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday Musings

Made it to the gym again today. Met up with my friend Chris again for some good chatting while we sweated away. 40 min on the treadmill and 10 on the bike. Covered 2.75 miles on the treadmill - certainly won't win any races with a time like that, but I think my body is telling me to ease back into this thing - the last two times I've gone to the gym and done my weekend-warrior routine, I've paid for it with a massive headache for several hours afterwards. I deduce from the evidence that I may be over-exerting.

Today, never let my heart rate go into the "red" zone and I feel a whole lot better.

We've been having "issues" with childcare lately. For those (very few) of you who don't know about things that transpired this summer, I will give you the Readers Digest version...

When Dad started going downhill, we hired a home health aide name Leslie. She is from Tonga - Dad would call her "Leslie from Tonga" as if all three words constituted her name. She was wonderful - helped Mom around the house, could actually lift Dad in and out of bed or his wheel chair... and when the boys would go over to visit, they were ever so cautious of Leslie. They clearly like her (would giggle and chat with her) but if she said "Stop" or "quiet", miraculously, they listened! When Dad passed away, the decision was made that she would help take care of Christopher.

Three or four weeks into her new role with our family, and I am learning that consistency is not necessarily her strong suit. She clearly loves my boys - she was as upset and tearful when we had to take Christopher to the hospital as I was, but there have been a few mornings when she did not arrive on time, or days when I'd said that she could come by in the afternoon, rather than the morning, and she did not show up.

I so dearly hope that things work out. I am OK with the idea of going back to work - and going back full time will certainly help the bottom line for our family, but I am having mild panic attacks over the idea that this situation might not work out.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, will you??

Friday, September 23, 2005

Patting myself on the back!

I've been at this going-back-to-the-gym thing for just over a week. I've made it to the gym 4 times, each time doing at least 45 minutes of cardio. I've started meeting my friend Chris at the gym... we have kids about the same age (except for the baby - her baby is 3.5 yrs old) and have about the same goals... And its much easier to NOT blow off going to the gym when there is someone waiting for you.

So, how long until my legs no longer feel like noodles??

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Maybe that wasn't the smartest thing to do...

I skipped the gym yesterday. Felt a bit achey and very tired. Possibly a cold coming on.. thought it best that I rest.

My dear, wonderful, knight in shining armour husband took the whole night with Christopher... I slept uninterrupted from 10pm until 5am! 7 straight hours... heaven on earth!

So, today, I felt ready to go back to the gym. What follows is my error in judgement. If the payment is this bad, 3 hours later, oh the cost tomorrow will be staggering!

I did 40 minutes on the eliptical trainer. THEN, I did another 20 in the treadmill. I included 3 one-minute runs in that time.

My second day back and I did 60 minute of cardio. It felt good at the time, which is why, I hope, I continued on despite the little voice in my head saying "Take it easy, girl - you've been away a while!"

I decided to drown out that little voice with my MP3 player. Big mistake - huge! I've become a weekend-warrior. Note to self - cut that out!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Phew!! I did it!!

35 minutes, a total of 2.3 miles. Calories burned - somewhere around 300. First time back in 33 weeks! It took a while to get in the grove, but I did it!

Next step - to start walking again with the hopes of joining all my FF friends who run!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Journey Begins

Well, it was supposed to begin today. Guess now my efforts have been thwarted. Will try again tomorrow...

What am I talking about? Getting myself back into shape after baby #3. Ok, who am I kidding... getting myself back into shape after 2 years of NOT getting myself into any shape except lumpy.

I had my follow up appt with the OB yesterday. Things look good - she removed all forbidden activities and contingencies and gave me the all clear to resume my life as I knew it before getting pregnant and birthing a bowling ball.

I wanted to celebrate my newfound freedom with a trip to the gym. Its been ages and ages since I darkened the door of our local, very posh, hoity-toity gym. This place is really lovely - truly - very elegant. Waterfalls in the middle of the building, a full-scale theater in the waiting room, steam rooms and saunas... Asthetically pleasing, and almost a place I'd WANT to go, even if I was not working out.

This morning, our sitter called because she'd been at the ER with her son most of last night. They think its some food poisoning. Rather than take any chances with the dreaded puke fairy visiting our house, I told her to stay home. (Anyone ever seen "The Lost Boys"?? Never invite a vampire (or puke fairy) into your house 0 it renders you powerless)

The gym does not take babies under 6 weeks. Christopher is just 4. Guess the best laid plans will need to be re-worked...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Well, that was fun... (NOT!)

Its rather amazing to me how either 1) things change over time or 2) the old addage of "location, location, location" is relevant for more than business and real-estate.

Last Thursday, Christopher had a really bad case of the sniffles, complete with goopy eyes and snorting while he breathed. I figured it was a cold, called the dr to see what else I could do besides steam and elevating his head. The nurse I spoke with thought that, rather than a cold, this was most likely "newborn congestion" and suggested saline drops for his nose and one of those sucky-things to help get rid of the mucus. (lovely) He started to seem better by Friday afternoon. Monday, he was a bit cranky, but not too bad. Well, by Monday night, we were in full blown crank-fest. He would not eat, and I could not really wake him to feed him. He would, however, cry and scream in his sleep.

After a very sleepless night on Monday, Leslie arrived Tuesday morning. Chris was in full cranky-ville. I took the boys to school, and by the time I returned, he'd spiked a fever of 102. A call to the doctor put just a slight bit of panic into me (How fast can you get here?) and once we arrived, the overall concencus was that we needed to go to the hospital! Pardon me... he's got a fever! Well, they wanted to cover all bases, and worst case scenario, rule out spinal bacterial menengitis.

That freaked me out more than just a bit...

So we go to the hospital. Very nice folks there, by the way, and more than redeemed the hospital in my mind after my not so great experience in L&D just 3 weeks earlier. The oncall doc started to go over all the tests they wanted to do to my little baby... including a spinal tap!! Yikes!!

The treatment - at least 48 hours in IV antibiotics. Translation - we would be admitted to the hospital until at least Thursday. As is turns out, we were there until Friday. The nurses warned me, thank goodness, that they may have to use the veins in his scalp for the IV, and they did... Not an image I care to see again!

At the end, though, he turned out to have an ear infection, most likely from the cold I thought he had last week and while it took about 3 days to get his fever under control, we are now home and hope to never repeat that experience.

I had only a small glimpse of what parents with children who have chronic or even serious illness go through. My heartfelt prayers go out to them - I don't know how they do it.

So, what does location have to do with it? Well, we did the same thing with Matthew - 3 weeks old, spikes a fever to 103, and we run to the ER at 3am. Except they give us Tylenol and send us home. No fear of bacterial infections. No spinal taps. No hospital stays... Makes me wonder if standards of care have changed, or if it is just Arizona? (or, maybe, just Scottsdale with its plethora of attorneys!)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Why did the boy throw the clock out the window??

Because he wanted to watch time fly...

I'm not one to remember jokes often, but that one from my childhood has stuck with me. Doesn't the saying go that time is supposed to fly when you are having fun? I can't say this last month has been fun, but with the exception of one day, the last 4 or 6 weeks have flown by in a blur.

It dawned on me yesterday that it had been 4 weeks already since we said goodbye to Dad for the last time. While I am far less apt to break down at the mere thought of it, I still miss him terribly. In talking with Mom, it is only now starting to sink in for her. Its been just long enough for him to have been on a trip, and its time for him to come home. Only, he's gone to a different Home now.

Christopher is nearly 3 weeks old. Wasn't I just in labor yesterday?? All the feedings, diaper changes, and sleepless nights are just melding into one. Somewhere in there, Parker and Matthew started school. I think Steve's been away on at least one or two business trips, though I would not bet my last dollar on that fact!

And, in the air of remembering, yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of the SwissAir crash that took the lives of 215 people, included among them my second set of parents, Nancy & Don Lattimer. I was not even pregnant with Parker when that happened. It seems a lifetime ago, but the memory of getting the call is just as clear and heartbreaking as it was all those years ago. Since then, Liz (their daughter and my longest lasting friendship) and I have had 5 kids between us, have moved, more than once, and talk at least every other week, of not more!

Time keeps moving forward, through the good and the bad. Sometimes it scares me how fast it goes... My online friend Terri said that before we turn around, we will be celebrating our '99er's weddings. I fear she's right. Time just flies, and its all we can do to catch a glimpse of it and hold its images in our hearts and minds. Thank goodness for cameras~

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Eyes Have It

The last member of the Jensen family came into the world with the most amazingly blue eyes.. I just had to share! Steve's eyes are green, but the rest of us have chocolate brown eyes. Will this one be the boy to break the trend? Stay tuned to find out!

And he didn't even look back!

This is the second week of First Grade for Parker. We had decided long before the start of the school year that I would drive him and pick him up the first week, and that starting the second week, he would take the bus.

Well, Monday morning, he was still just a bit hesitant to take the bus to school, but was fine with the idea of taking it home. He did great - and when I asked how it was to ride the bus, he replied "It was Stupendous!". No joke - his words...

Tuesday morning came, and yes, he was ready to try to ride the bus in the morning, too. So, Parker, Matthew, Christopher and I walked down to the bus stop. He will get the bus at the end of our little neighborhood. Probably just under 1/2 a mile. We wait, and wait, and then THERE IT IS!! For all his nerves and uncertainty, Parker trotted himself up onto that big yellow bus... and didn't even look back!

Clearly, he is adjusting far better than I am!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Life with Christopher, Day 10

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Anyone who has been a parent can attest to the almost unfathomable depths of love you can feel for your child. You almost cannot describe it for fear of sounding like you work for Hallmark, but I have been overcome by this feeling, three times now.

Before we came home from the hospital, Steve would comment on how crazy he was already about our newest family member. I wasn't there yet. I thought he was amazing and was truly awed by what my body had been able to grow and create, but I was too sore, too tired to be able to fall in love with the little guy.

That was 10 days ago. I'm still sore and tired, but that light has now clicked on for me, and I just cannot get enough of this little creature that has come to share our home and enrich our lives. Right now, he mostly eats and sleeps. Not much to hold your attention, really. He's not like Parker who asks you to quiz him, or Matthew who takes delight in charming you. Chris just lays there. Occasionally he stretches. Sometimes he smiles in his sleep. Not much else.

But we all, I think I can speak for all of us, are enjoying him tremendously. I remember being very aggrivated at the every-three-hour-feedings with Matthew, most likely caused by the getting-up-at-least-once-a-night-and-it-NOT-corresponding-with-my-baby-brother thing Parker went through at the same time. But with this little munchkin, I actually enjoy being with him in the quiet of the night, rocking him, feeding him, watching him dream.

I wonder what the world holds for him. I know he will have a talent, as his brothers do, and I am so curious to find out what his will be.

Possibly, having the ability to sleep through the full-force chaos that exists in a home with three boys. I think he gets this from his Dad!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Day of School!!

Parker started 1st grade this week. These were taken on Monday - I cannot belive he is ready to walk down the halls by himself, take the bus, be in the "big" classroom... It has all gone by in a flash! Just last week, he was Christopher's size, and now... I'm so proud of him I am speechless. For those of you who know me well, you will know, that's a rare thing!!  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gimme a Break!!!

I feel like John Stossel... I have recently been blindsided by the absolute ineptitude of just about all those around me in the service and banking industry.

It was just over four years ago that Steve and I moved to Arizona from Northern California. When we arrived, we were bowled over by how competent and friendly everyone was. Perhaps our view of the world had been warped by the general population of Oakland, and the near hostility that spewed forth from the folks at the bank, grocery store, dry cleaners - name it.

We reveled in the outgoing, customer friendly world of Scottsdale. We needed something taken care of, and Voila - it was taken care of - AMAZING....

Something has changed. Maybe I've grown complacent or jaded, or perhaps immune to the overall good nature and intelligence of those around me here. Or, possibly, we were wearing rose colored glasses for the first few years. Whatever the cause, I've gotta say, things have gone downhill swiftly and without question.

For an example - on July 30th, we closed on an equity line. We wanted to do some consolidation of debt (student loans, an old credit card..) and took out an equity line. Fine - good. We have it written IN OUR CLOSING DOCS that they BANK would dispurse the funds to the creditors. Ok. Works for me.

We then find out that we were mistaken. We needed to pick up the disbursement checks from the bank. We only know this because someone at the bank called because our checks had been sitting there for over a week. WHAT? Ok, convince the bank that THEY can incur the cost of mailing said checks. This was August 12th. It is now the 23rd, and the checks have still not arrived at the creditors. The bank cannot find them. They think they were mailed, but cannot really prove it. Gimme a break!

We ordered a chair and ottoman set from Breuners furniture for our bedroom. They delivered a mis-matched set. Right ottoman, wrong chair. The customer service folks cannot figure out what we have because the computer shows everything to be in order. Except, it is not. They think they can have this solved this week. Gimme a break.

As a teacher, our incentive based pay comes over the summer. We were suppposed to get a check on Aug. 19th. I called the school, as the checks were delivered to the school, at 10:30. Since I had not shown up for a staff meeting, they sent my check back to the district office, who now, cannot find it. They think it will be arriving in the next day or two. HUH??

We wanted to add two boxes to our DirecTV service. Over the internet, we ordered, paid for and scheduled our installation. The guy shows up the day I am coming home from the hospital. We arrange for someone to be here, but NO, it has to be a homeowner. We were literally 6 minutes away, but the guy cannot wait. He leaves. I call DTV and yell. They reschedule for that Friday. Then call that morning to say the install guy cannot make it. (I'm thinking this is fine because Parker's Open House for 1st grade fell into their window of arrival time) The gal asks if it would be OK for someone to come by later on, say, after 5. COOL - works for me.

Someone whose name I cannot pronouce shows up at 2, works until 3:40 (the open house ends at 4:00) hooks the boxes he brought to a satelite that clearly says DISH NETWORK, recognizes his mistake, cuts the cables and leaves. WTF??

We then get Scott to come out, another DTV guy who happens to live near us, on a Saturday to fix the first guys' errors. Only he can't because he needs a taller ladder than the one he has, so he leaves, vowing to return the next day...Yes - he was fine with working on a Sunday. Its Tuesday night and we have not heard from him.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


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Christopher made his Grand Apperance after about 4 hours of labor on August 15th, 2005. He was born at 8:46 AM (The first NOT on a Tuesday, and while the sun was up!!!) He weighed 9lbs, 1oz and is 22 1/2" long - our biggest baby yet! (Parker and Matthew were 8.8 and 8.9 respectfully) He had some breathing issues for the first 45 minutes or so, and some issues with stablizing his blood sugars - all contributed to being #3 and coming into the world SO FAST!! But all is right with the world now - we are home, somewhat battered, somewhat sore, but healthy and happy!!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cancel that - can I scream now???

I just called to see what time I was supposed to go in tomorrow for my induction. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but we dont have you on our books". Evidently there are 9 inductions scheduled for tomorrow and another 9 for Tuesday, and realistically the earliest I can get in for my "elective" induction (though its not elective if you ask my blood pressure!!!) would be FRIDAY.

Just when you think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you find its an on-coming train!!!

Just insert your favorite explictive here - many of them, in rapid succession!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Eviction Notice Served!!

According to the doc, my body is just about at the end of being able to handle this pregnancy... Yeah - I could have told her that!! Anyway, if things do not move on their own, then we will INDUCE on Monday!!! That will make 3 inductions, but heck - just so long as he gets outta here, I'm OK with that!!

I'm still here...

I thought for sure I would have had this baby by now... no such luck. He's being stubborn. I guess what goes around comes around, right?? I go back to see the doc today... I am hoping that if I look and sound miserable enough, she will begin talking Induction!

This is my third time going down this road. You would think that I would find it all "old hat" by now, but it still kind of blows my mind that there is an actual human being nestled in that huge expanse of belly. Despite the fact that we've shared such close quarters these past 39+ weeks, I have no idea what he will be like.. will he really be as stubborn as I am, or heaven forbid, his brother Matthew? Who will he look like? I suppose we will learn all this soon enough. OK - not actually soon enough for me, but you get the picture!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The morning after...

First off, I want to extend a generous and warm thank you to all of my friends, in real life and cyber-only, who have sent prayers, positive thoughts and hugs. They are so appreciated, so welcomed and very much needed.

We are all ok... Me, Steve, the boys, and my mom. We spent quite a bit of time over at mom's yesterday afternoon, and there was much laughter, several tears, and a great deal of healing had begun.

You can say that it is nice to be able to prepare for something like this. I've experienced both - long illness as well as shockingly quick death, either by nature or by tragedy, and I will take the longer one because it does give you time to say what you want to, to make ammends if needed, and to get your head around what is happening.

You still can't be fully prepared, though, for how quiet things will be afterwords, or how deeply you will miss the person who is gone. The other downside to illness is watching someone deteriorate before your eyes, and the fear that the only vision you will have of that person for years to come was the whithered body that was left. I still have visions of my poor grandfather, lying motionless in a hospital bed. I wish I could get that image out of my mind, but 15 years later, its still there.

I don't think I will have that, however, with Dad. He was such a vibrant and strong man his whole life and this demise was really rather quick. It was June 9th that he went into the wheelchair. On June 8th, he was walking up the stairs in my house looking at the nursery. 2 months is a very short period of time when you've lived for 83+ years. In my mind's eye, his voice is still strong, his legs still work, and he's just as active as ever.

It was a good life he lived... and, all things considered, it was a good death. I think once he decides to take the boat in from the sea, he will be racing his old Corvette along Don Lattimer, his dear, close friend for many years, who will be trying to best Dad in his Porsche. Hope you're having fun, guys!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

My dad is gone...

We had a good visit last night. He was adamant about getting up into his wheelchair and getting into the kitchen. He wanted to see the bills and make sure the pool was filled (if you knew my dad, this makes perfect sense!! In some circles, he might have been called a control freak!!) The boys got to see him up, tell him they loved him and he got to make sure everything was in order.

The only thing he did NOT get to do was see his son. However, knowing their rocky relationship, I think that was by design! Scott's plane gets into Phoenix in about 6 hours. Steve and I joked this morning that Dad would do ANYTHING to not have to see Scott! (as long as I've known my Dad, he and Scott have had a less than good relationship. Scott has made an effort of late, but it is a bit too little, way too late...)

Thank you all for your words of encouragement, kind thoughts and prayers. I'm ok - the tears just come, but I'm at peace with the fact that he's at peace. As I told the boys last night - Their Baba was in there somewhere, but what we see when we look at him is not him - its the cancer. All the wonderful things he is and was were still there, just beyond our (and his) grasp.

My dad was a sailor. I know he's enjoying the waves again, wherever he is....

Charles Allen Haine
October 12, 1921 - August 6th, 2005
A life well lived.

Edited to add the following poem, sent to me by a wonderful cyber-friend, Rox. Thank you Rox!!!

The Last Voyage
Lizzie Clark Hardy
[USMAA Memorial Service May 30, 2000, Coyote Point, San Mateo, CA]

Some time at eve when tide is low,
I shall slip my moorings and sail away.

With no response to the friendly hail
Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale.
When the night troops down to embrace the day.
And the voices call, and in the waters flow.
Some time at even when the tide is low.
I slip my moorings and sail away.

Through the purple shadows that darkly trail
O'er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea.
I shall fare me away, with a dip of a sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy Bay:
Some friendly barks that were anchored near.
Some loving soul that my heart held dear.
In silent sorrow will drop a tear.
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm and gale
And greeted the friends who sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

38 2/7 week update

Saw doc again today - was really hoping to have had this baby by now, but he's being stubborn and staying put. Steve says he comes by it naturally - whatever could he mean by that??????

All the late night contractions are moving me in the right direction - I'm between a 2 and a 3 right now (admitedly closer to a 2) and she thinks about 60% effaced. My BP was slightly elevated - 128/80 rather than 120/80, but still not a cause for concern.

I've been achey and very uncomfortable since my visit to the doc, 3 hours ago... Could I possibly hope this is a good sign??

And, as Murphy would have it, all my care givers and their backups will be away this weekend. Whaddya wanna bet this kid comes at 3am on Saturday??

And, I have the most impossibly insatiable craving for the smell of Vicks Vapo-rub. I swear - this whole pregnancy thing sure makes one feel and act loopey!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stop the ride - I wanna get off!!!

There is a list of stressors out there that psychologists and other such folks use to determine just how close to the edge a person may be, given the number of stressors in her/his life. Among the top 5 are... Death of a loved one, birth of a child, moving, being unemployed, and others I'm too stressed to remember.

At this moment, I am experiencing three of the top five. Personally, I think that's overload. I intend to talk to someone regarding handing me this much, at once...

I've heard it said that God does not give you more than you can handle. I think God's opinion of my ability to handle things may be just a bit overblown. Not that I want to be the one to question His authority or decision making skills, however, He did create the mosquito, so I think many would agree with me that, perhaps, at times, his judgement is clouded.

I think my time with Dad is over. He's still here in body, but what makes him DAD is really mostly gone now. Its not exactly a coma, but he is no longer aware of things. It was time this weekend - he did not know if it was day or night, or how long he'd been sleeping, or who was there to visit when. I did not get to see him yesterday, but went over today - I don't really think he knew I was there. He just lays there, eyes closed, trying to talk but not really having the thought process or the strength. His breathing is sounding labored. I suspect pneumonia is not far off. Of course, if you can believe this, that is the way he wanted to go, so hopefully he gets his wish. There are days like today where I am OK with this, and days like yesterday where I cried my soul out for hours, not being ready to deal with it all.

And while Steve, Mom and I are mouring what is happening to Dad, we are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of Christopher. I've been watching more TLC TV lately, finding "A Baby Story" a good way to spend 30 minutes, getting excited and prepared to bring this little munchkin into our family. The boys just can't wait to meet their little brother, and neither can we. I'm really OVER being pregnant... I'd like to say I am savoring each and every moment, every kick, etc, because I know its my last, but I can't!! I am MORE than ready to send this kid his eviction notice and get the full use of my body back. Not to mention see my feet. I know they are down there somewhere - they keep knocking into things and I think I've re-broken the same toe 3 times now.

I was talking to Mom about all this tonight... it seems unfair to Dad to be joyful and happy about the birth of Christopher, and it seems equally unfair to Chris to be sad all the time and mourning Dad. I suspect, and actually hope and pray, that there will not be another time in my life when I am both so excited and so sad at the same time.

Oh - and throw into that not having a job since May, and knowing I won't be back at work until October - there are my three...

Sunday, July 31, 2005

I'm tired...

Consider yourself warned.

I feel as though all I am doing lately is complaining - perhaps not out loud, so it just festers and swirls around my head. Perhaps getting it down will make me feel better.

I'm tired of aching everywhere. My hips, legs, back, belly and general pelvic region ache constantly. No position is comfortable - to sit, sleep or stand.

My feet are unrecognizable. Seriously - we're long past puffy.. we've moved into gross! Thank God I kept this one pair of sandals that I got years ago from Aerosoles, because they are velcro thongs that I can make big enough to fit over my elephant feet. Of course, they leave 2" indentations when I try to take them off, but at least I can put something on my feet so that they don't melt and adhere to the pavement outside.

I can't sleep. No surprise there, but it's really getting to me. Between having to wake up JUST TO MOVE POSITIONS in bed, then I debate with myself - do I really need to pee right now, which is usually followed by "yeah - you do" so I haul my sorry butt out of bed and waddle to the bathroom, aching every inch of the way. But, just GETTING out of bed requires the strength of Hercules at this point... You try it - getting up without using your stomach muscles and having severe pain in your thighs when you try to lift a leg... Someone get me a crane!

I'm tired of feeling constantly queasy. Either I'm hungry, or I've eaten too much... There's no medium. Of course, my stomach is nestled somewhere just under my chin and mushed to be about the size of my thumb. Thank God for Zantac! And rolaids...

I'm tired of the heat, tired of my clothes, missing my shoes, and just want my body back. Any ideas on how to send this kid an eviction notice?? I mean, I'm glad he's comfy and cooking well and all that, but time's up kid - let's fly the coop already!

I seriously think those around me deserve a medal for not killing me or at least banishing me from the island... I don't even like me anymore...


Thursday, July 28, 2005

The good and the bad...

Another roller coaster day here. Steve was just not feeling well and since he has a big drive and a big close tomorrow in Tucson, we thought it prudent that he stay home and try to feel better. Good thing...

Mom called while we were at swimming lessons, wondering if I could get in touch with Fr. Jon - Dad was wanting to see him. Fr. Jon is on vacation until the 8th of August, so mom decided to call the hospice chaplain. Why all the rush for clergy? Well, evidently Dad is feeling that the end is close. Great - and I have two kids in the pool and am stuck.

I call Steve - get over there, see what's going on, try to offer some comfort. He does, God love him, and sits with Dad for the better part of 2 hours. They just talk, but during this talk Dad is saying that he's ready to go. He is at peace with his life, and whatever comes, comes... Can I just say that I am SO not ready to NOT have a father anymore? Even more, my kids are too young to not have a grandfather... On one hand, I am ready to let him go - and yet, on the other, this is my Daddy we're talking about - how can I not have my father around anymore?? He's always been my answer guy - the one who KNOWS things, nearly everthing.... If I had a dime for every time I've said "Ask Dad, he'll know..."

The Chaplain arrived around 1:30.

The original plan was for Dad to be Christened with Christopher when he's born. For all the times Dad's family spent in church, his parents never got around to having him Baptized.. He thought it would be cool to do this with his grandson - and we all agreed.

But then the reality came hard - what if our paths don't cross in this life? Realistically, Christopher can be Baptized the day he's born, but at this point, we don't know if Dad will be here - so Mom, Steve and I commandeered the Chaplain - Let's do it today! So today, at about 2pm, my 83 year old father was Christened. I'm sort of ambiguous as to the actual necessity of Baptism as far as getting into heaven, but honestly, I would rather have all bases covered and find out that its not a requirement, than the other way around!

Even though it was not as we had hoped and planned, Christopher was there - even though he did not have a speaking part. He kicked me in the ribs the whole time...

Speaking of Chris - went to see yet another new (to me) OB today - blood pressure is still normal (and that in itself is amazing), I'm starting to have more regular contractions (even if they are only prelabor) and we're moving closer to 2cm dialated. Even with that, the doc feels we're a good week or two away from meeting this kiddo... AND, even better, she does not feel he will be gargantuan baby like I'd feared! Wheeww! That's a relief! Honestly, I know women can make it through delivering babies close to 10 lbs, but if its all the same with you all, I'd rather NOT be one of them!

I feel like I am in a race against time. It is the strangest place to be - I am preparing to bring a life INTO the world, and preparing to watch one leave at the same time. I feel very strongly that these two souls are connected somehow. And I can't help but think that one life will be going out just as another is coming in. Its a very strange place, indeed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I guess we're ready...

We went for our L&D tour last night at the hospital where I will deliver Christopher. Its a rather fancy-schmancy place, in comparison to the rooms at Alta Bates in Berkeley - take a look HERE and check out the LDRP room at SHEA. More like a hotel room than hospital room, huh??

My neighbors threw me a lovely shower on Saturday. It was the first time in ages that I'd been away from the boys for more than an hour... and as much as I adore them, that time away was HEAVENLY!!! You can see PICTURES here... A great time was had by all... thank you ladies for such a great afternoon!

Still having intermittant and haphazzard contractions. See the doc again tomorrow (a new one, again... Did I mentiont that my old doc just vanished? Well, he has, and so now his patients are ping-ponging around the rest of the docs.) and with any luck we will have made a bit more progress toward meeting our newest child!

But, I think we're ready - got the nursery all set up, had the tour of Labor & Delivery, have a car seat, a stroller, and now a swing... bottles, diapers, onesies, pacifiers - everything but a baby...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The countdown begins...

Well, as of today, I am 36 weeks, 5 days pregnant. For a more accurate account, keep an eye on the ticker below.. it will change daily. At any rate, I'm well into my 9th month...

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Its amazing how the body adapts. Although I feel very old at times, and swollen like you wouldn't believe (my feet look like alien feet - I am relagated to wearing flip flops because nothing else, not even my Birks, fit!)

I've been having intermittant contractions nightly for the last three nights. Hopefully they are actually DOING something other than just annoying me. I got excited the other night, having some very 5 minutes for nearly an hour. Then they stopped. Bummer!

I am hoping he's dropped a bit, and thinking that this may be the case because the hearburn has not been as bad of late. Still needing my Zantac regularly, but had been also needing Rolaids chasers to keep my tummy comfy, and have not had to take any of those in a while.

The boys, and my dad, are extremely excited about the arrival of Christopher. Parker is asking almost daily, "When is he going to be here"??

Peanut - I'd like the answer to that myself!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

99 things about Parker, my July 99'er

99 things about Parker… in celebration of his 6th birthday.
1. His whole name is Charles Parker Jensen
2. He is named after MY father.. Charles is a family tradition
3. His due date was July 4th,
4. He was to be born one year to the DAY that my grandmother died.
5. He missed that mark – came 2 days later.
6. I swear sometimes he is my grandmother reincarnated.
7. He is my first born son.
8. He is exactly like Steve in many ways.
9. He’s a perfectionist.
10. He is very soft hearted.
11. He is extremely kind and gentle with me!
12. He can ride a two-wheeler.
13. He can swim almost 50 yrds freestyle!!
14. Today, he swam 25 yrds of Butterfly!! (I can’t even do that!)
15. He adores his brother.
16. He can go from loving Matthew to wanting him dead and gone in about ¼ second!
17. He gets himself dressed and clothes put in the hamper.
18. He cannot tie his shoes, but keeps on trying!
19. He can add anything – including regrouping.
20. He can subtract with borrowing.
21. He wants to learn multiplication.
22. He did not inherit this love of math from either of his parents!
23. He weighs 56.5 pounds.
24. He is officially too tall to play on the play structure at Burger King (48” is the max)
25. He wears a size 6-8 in clothes and a size 4 shoe.
26. That’s BOYS 4!!!
27. God help me if he grows into those feet! At least I can always hear him coming!
28. His favorite color is green.
29. His favorite sport is basketball (after his dad!)
30. He is extremely good at swimming.
31. He’s had lessons daily at our city pool this summer.
32. He’s also been taking tennis lessons this summer.
33. He took Karate during the school year and earned a white-belt-purple-stripe.
34. He can throw and catch like no one’s business!
35. He clearly did not inherit my lack of any athletic talent whatsoever!
36. He is very excited that there’s a baby growing in mommy’s tummy.
37. He is unusually interested in my breasts and why he does not have them too… (ugh!)
38. He makes his bed and cleans his room. (Not daily, but when asked or when my mother is coming over!)
39. He finished his thank you notes from his birthday without me hounding him for weeks and weeks! (Another trait he could have inherited from me!)
40. He is tremendously excited to go to first grade.
41. He is angry that Matthew cannot go with him!
42. He still cries when he is frustrated.
43. He is getting demanding and whiney.
44. He has the most amazingly acute vision, and from the car window can see planes that are 7 miles high!
45. He knows every make of truck out there, and just about every car.
46. He will tell you his dream car is either a Ford F350 Douley, or a Hummer.
47. I have no idea where he gets his taste in cars!
48. He’s had this obsession with moving vehicles for about 1 ½ years now.
49. He is surprisingly competitive.
50. He is mot competitive with himself.
51. He loves to win.
52. He can be a spoiled sport if we let him.
53. He asks very astute questions about life.
54. He is interested in Bible stories.
55. He gets mad at us if we don’t go to church!
56. He is loyal to his friends!
57. He will tell you that his best friend is Andrew, and they share the same birthday.
58. He has not been around Andrew for nearly a year now.
59. He will remember the smallest details of things I would have sworn he’d forgotten!
60. He swears that he remembers being in the womb, and did not want to come out on the 4th of July because all the fireworks would scare him!
61. He is very independent.
62. He can get himself a bowl of cereal in the morning and a glass of juice.
63. He will NOT spill a drop, even with a full gallon of milk!
64. He has lost three teeth, two on bottom, one on top.
65. The bottom teeth are coming in.
66. He looks very strange to me, still, with his upper tooth missing!
67. He needs a haircut!
68. He may just end up with David Letterman hair – can’t do a thing with it!
69. His new idol/mentor is a lifeguard at our city pool with the same name of Parker.
70. He is very trusting and will (rather rudely) come and drink from whatever container is in front of Steve or me.
71. He loves to snuggle.
72. He loves to play teacher for his brother.
73. He has Matthew up to 8th grade in the “Parker Academy”
74. He loves Looney Toons and Bugs Bunny.
75. He will still watch Barney if its on…
76. He thinks the “S” word is STUPID and will tattle on anyone who uses that word, even me!
77. He loves to sing and make music on our Clavinova.
78. He can carry neither a tune nor a beat!!!
79. He tells me that I am beautiful and wonderful and the best mom he’s ever had!
80. He talks to his little brother in utero.
81. He is mad that we are not naming the new baby Mark.
82. He likes to take pictures.
83. He took an entire roll of pictures of his feet.
84. He remembers our trips to places like Florida and DC and will describe details from both trips.
85. His favorite part of our trip to DC was seeing Ford’s Theatre.
86. He knows that John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln.
87. He says JWB was a bad man.
88. He won’t let me kill bugs in his presence because I might be taking away a family member.
89. He believes very strongly that all creatures have the bond of family that we do.
90. He loves the show Zoom.
91. He makes up Fannee Doolee’s daily.
92. He wants to help me cook.
93. He wants to “babysit’ for the puppy.
94. He knows his grandfather is dying.
95. He loves to make up stories.
96. He writes them all down on paper.
97. He draws the illustrations, too.
98. He is the one that showed me that there is no love greater than that for your child
99. He makes me thankful every day he’s here that I get to be his Mom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Visions of things to come....

I knew that having a puppy in the house would bring its own set of challenges. I said many times that if I have to clean up baby poop, I may as well clean up puppy poop too. Ahh - the joys of housetraining...

Morning before last, I woke to a lovely sight... to spare you all the gory details, lets sufice it to say that Schooner had left a mess in the downstairs bathroom. See, we have tried crate training her. It failed miserably with Madison, so I suppose I was not expecting success this time around. After three nights of howling, I caved. I knew she was miserable, poor thing, and who can blame her?? I sure as heck would not want to be cooped up in a small portable prison all night either.

Schooner had taken to sleeping in the downstairs bathroom, and I figured that worked just fine. 3 nights she spent in there, peacefully and ALL NIGHT (!!!), until night before last. Clearly, something did not agree with her and I was left to clean up the mess.

So, last night I decided to try her in her crate again. I moved the crate into my office where we have a direct access to OUTSIDE through the doggie doors, and this would save me carrying her up and down the stairs. Plus, I figured there was NO WAY she'd poop where she sleeps - especially in such a small area.

I was wrong.

Way wrong.

Luckily the line from the office to outside was short, and I got her out as quickly as I could. Mind you, this was 2:40 am. It was dark, but by the looks of the crate I presumed she was a mess, too. I could not just LEAVE her like that... I had to do something to clean her up...

Now, I know this is gross, but honestly, you'd probably do the same. When faced with a choice of picking up said pooch full of said poop, and bringing her into the house for a bath, or just ploping her into the pool, I think you'd choose my way of thinking, too... Into the pool she went for a spontaneous bath. At 3:00am. (Heck, the water in the pool is a balming 96 and the air temp wasn't any lower...)

I figured it was just a precursor to those mid-night diaper blowouts that require not only a change in sleeping atire, but new sheets and a full-on bath. But I promise, I won't bathe Christopher in the pool - at least, not much!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Up again?

Following through with my roller coaster analogy, we are on a bit of an upswing. After the antibiotics kicked in for Dad, we realized that we/he had let the pain get the better of him, so last night was horrific (by mom's account) and he was NOT doing well this morning.

So where's the up? Well, Mom decided to play druggist, at the urging and approval of the Hospice nurses, and got enough pain meds into him that by afternoon, he was not only back to where he'd been Friday, I would say he was even more alert and himself. I spent about 2 hours with him this afternoon - just chatting. Nothing really important, nothing earth-shattering, just banter. And it was wonderful!

He has relinquished control of some things to Mom - the banking for one - and if you know my dad, you would know just how HUGE that is! And he seems very OK with letting others take over. His need to control everything seems to be waning, and that is increasing the peace in the house! He and Steve also had a good visit.

They always say that the valleys make the mountains look even higher. Such is true with us, now.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

And the roller coaster ride continues...

I've been thinking about the Steve Martin movie, Parenthood, a lot lately. Just quoted the line about needing a license to fish, but any (insert explicative) can be a parent earlier today... and now I think back to the scene with Grandma talking about going to the fair and not understanding those who loved the carousel. She loved the roller coaster - you go up, you go down, you get thrown from side to side, and you never see it coming. How exciting the roller coaster is!!!

Well, I am guessing that in reality, I am more of a carousel person myself. If I have to ride the roller coaster, make mine a Disney version - none of the Magic Mountain maddnes!! I just get motion sick too darn easily!

We've been riding the roller coaster lately around here... and its not been my Disney version! We've had some great highs lately - getting Schooner, Parker's birthday, loosing teeth, doing so great in swimming... and we've been thrown some major curves and lows as well...

On Thursday, I was over and Mom and Dad's visiting. Dad was in his wheel chair, and we were chatting away in his office about this and that - nothing earth-shattering, nothing monumental, but probably 40 minutes worth of chatter.

Yesterday, he no longer has the strength to keep himself sitting up in his wheelchair and is very incoherent. His voice is nearly inaudible, and what is coming out is not making a lot of sense. Mom called and asked that Steve go spend the night, because Dad can no longer help when being transfered from his chair to the bed. He's paralyzed.

The Hospice nurse came out at about 11pm and finally left sometime around 1am. He determined that Dad was suffering from a rather major UTI and wondered if we wanted antiboitics given. What?? Its a choice?? Well, evidently when some folks are this near to the end of life, family members will let the infection take over and allow them to go peacefully. But no one in this family, including Dad, think we are quite there yet. He's on some major drugs to combat the infection, and that's good.

What's not good is that he will probably never regain enough strength to sit up in his wheel chair. He's now bedridden. His alertness came back somewhat after the antibiotics had a chance to kick in, but he's still rather out of it. We had to tell the boys tonight how sick Baba is. Parker asked if he was going to die. I had to say yes... we dont know when, but yes - he will die.

I never really understood my own mother's desire to shelter me from the ugliness of life. I get it now. I would do anything to spare them the pain of loosing their belived grandfather. And while it breaks my heart to be loosing my daddy, it pains me more to think of them hurting. I want to allow them a Disney-ride life for as long as possible. Life just does get very messy sometimes.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm just a blogging fiend today... I think this will be the last one for today - but we had to share Parker's loss #3... I will most definately have to cut the corn OFF the cob for him for a while... Congrats to my BIG GUY for a well-lost-tooth! Posted by Picasa
Just had to share this one - today was supposedly the last day of swimming for the boys (I've since found space to sign them up for the next 2 week session...) and my Parker wanted to get a picture with Big Parker... This was just too cute to NOT share with y'all... Posted by Picasa

This fits my attitude about summer in Scottsdale to a "T"

Dear Mom;

May 30th
Just moved to Phoenix. Now this is a city that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings, what a place! I watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here...

June 14th
Really heating up, Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home. .Drive an air-conditioned car... What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshiper.

June 30th
Had the backyard landscaped with western plants. Lots of cactus and rocks, what a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawn for me. Another scorcher today, But I love it here.

July 10th
The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it's kind of windy today. But getting used to the heat and humidity is taking longer than expected.

July 15th
Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed 3 days of work, what a dumb to do, I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol'sun in a climate like this.

July 20th
I missed Morgan (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning.By the time I got to the hot car for lunch, Morgan had died and swollen up to size of a shopping bag and stank up the $2,000 leather upholstery. I told the kids that she ran away. The car now smells like Kibbles and shits. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

July 25th
The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

Been sleeping outside by the pool for 3 nights now, $1,500 in damn house payments and we can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

Aug 4th
Its 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85, but this freaking humidity makes the house feel like it's about 95. Stupid repairman, I hate this stupid city.

Aug 8th
If another wiseass cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to strangle him. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat.

Aug 9th
Tried to run some errands after work, wore shorts and sat on the black seats in the ol'car. I thought my ass was on fire. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and ass. Now my car smell like burnt hair, fried ass and baked cat.

Aug 10th
The weather report might as well be a damn recording. "Hot and sunny" "Hot and sunny" "Hot and sunny" It's been too hot for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn desert? Water rationing will be next, so my $1,700 worth of cactus just might dry up and blow into the damn pool. Even the cactus can't live in this heat!

Welcome to HELL!!! Temperature got to 115 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and said, '' Hot enough for you today?'' My wife had to spend the $1,500 house payment to bail me out of jail. Freaking Arizona! What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live

Do they make Ritalin for dogs??

While she can melt you with those eyes, our newest family member and I are having a contest of wills. Yes, she is cute and adorable and fluffy, but she is also stubborn as hell! Our problem? She hates the heat. Well, I'm with ya' sister on that one!!! But because she hates the heat, she is really hating going out to go potty. We head out the door and she freezes - so I have to pick her up and bring her outside. You can just tell from her little body that she HATES this. We get out to her designated spot (ok - anywhere OUT SIDE OF THE HOUSE works for me, we will focus on targetting specific places when its cooler!) and she bolts like lightening back to the house and whines and howels at the door. I knew good and well that I'd clean up a pile or two (or ten) in the house, but this is getting rediculous!

The reason, however, that I think she may need ritalin is this - she is the most highly distractable puppy I've ever met! She actually reminds me of Matthew, who can loose concentration and focus in a nanosecond. This morning, she woke up at 5. While not cool by any means, it was not as hot at that hour and the sprinklers had just gone off so the grass was nice and wet.

The rest of this story may be too graphic for some, and I apologize for going into detail regarding the toiletting habits of my 9 week old pup, but soon I suspect I will be blogging about the toiletting habits of my 9 week old son, so just get used to it! Anyway - I figured that this hour of the day would be a good trial of our wills. We WERE going to stay OUTSIDE until she pooped, so help me God!

At one point, I thought I'd won, too... she went over the the official dog yard, and hda that look - anyone who has raised a pup knows that look... where they run a bit in circles and sniff wildly at the ground... She even took the stance - butt down, tail out... until I blew it!!! "Way to go Schooner!!" I quietly spoke under my breath. Kiss of death, that was! She literally forgot all about what she was doing and came running over to me. How on earth, when nature calls, can you FORGET what you are doing???

You know, I almost expect to be outsmarted by certain things in my life - my camera, my computer and even my kids... but I really want to draw the line at being outsmarted by a puppy!!