Saturday, May 29, 2010

And the Pet Saga Continues....

Argh! Okay, we were down two pets already, right? We just got rid of our two dogs. We were down to two pets, a parakeet and a rat.

Well, you see, Viva's parakeet, Reggie (he was oh, so vain...loved to perch and stare at himself in the down right twitterpated to see himself) loved when our daughter opened her bedroom window so he could listen to and try mimic other birds. She decided she would bring him outside, in his cage, so he could get fresh air and listen to other birds. Well, this very tame, very friendly bird that was a friend to all in our household, decided to go touring and flew right out of his cage when Viva opened the door to pet him. He must have gotten confused or disoriented outside and didn't know how to stop flying or where to perch, so he kept going. And going and going and going. He is gone. Lost.

So, I decided to post an ad on Craigslist because I just saw that someone had posted a found parakeet right in our area and first thought it was ours. Then noticed the date was in April. That gave me the idea though to post our lost parakeet, in hopes someone would find him and, if not return him, at least let us know he's okay.

Hmph! This was one pet I always told the kids I could handle having forever cause, even though he was very vain, he was nice. And tame. And soothing and comforting to have around, warbling in his quiet (usually) way!

I hope someone finds him. Even if they don't return him to us, I hope someone finds him and feeds him. He's got to be hungry.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Perfect, Perfect Sunday...

This is the post I was writing in my head last night, as I was sitting out in the balmy breeze, watching our bonfire die down...holding my 2 y.o. on my lap, singing, "I see the moon," song over and over to her as we gazed at the 3/4 moon...the breeze feeling like a tepid ocean waves lapping over my skin...and NO BUGS!!!!

We started this perfect day sleeping in a bit, well, until 8:30 or so. Usually I work nights on the weekend and am dragging my sorry self home about 7:45 and then proceeding to try to function, getting kids ready for Sunday School and church, trying to keep my eyes open. Instead, I had stayed up just a little too late, enjoying the company of my kids, then was sick with vomiting and diarrhea (sorry if TMI) until about 3 or a little later, but still felt fabulous when the first rooster-child crowed to get up.

Sunday School is done for the year so we just slowly got ready for our annual Sunday School picnic. On our way, we swung by the store for paper products and moseyed our way to the park.

At the park, the weather was perfect. A bit muggy but the temperature was nice and there was a lake breeze blowing right up to the picnic area. The playground was more sheltered from the lake breeze and directly in the sun, so the kids got quite hot. They took care of that though...they all (except for the youngest two) went swimming in their clothes, over and over as needed while I just sat up visiting with ladies, keeping half an eye on the girls...keeping track of who was where and so on. We just stayed there 'til we felt like going home, which wasn't until close to 6pm. We went home and cooled off in the house a little, then everyone went out for sidewalk and driveway chalking and I stoked up a bonfire for hotdogs and marshmallows.

We ended the evening with showers and just hanging out, a couple of the girls playing Battleship and the rest of us just vegging...the little ones one by one falling asleep in various places.

How could a Sunday get any better than that? :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Viva!

My dear second born child, Viva, was born 12 years ago today. Since my husband left out of town very early this morning, we brought her out for her birthday meal yesterday. Just my hubby, Viva, and I went.

We had a jolly good time..beginning our adventure at the laundromat, putting four loads of laundry drying (our dryer isn't working and I refuse to have it serviced until our basement is clean). We left them drying and went to eat nearby.

I recalled her birth story and recounted it to her:

I was at work that day, two weeks before my due date. I was supposed to be gradually passing out my work load to my coworkers over a course of a couple of weeks, but thusfar, it hadn't happened. I just kept getting more and more on my plate, adding on a very complex client that required extensive wound care, colostomy changes every day, and very vigorous and diligent assessments since she had many serious diseases.

I went into the office that day and tried to tell my supervisor, who was coincidentally on her last day working there before moving out of state. She just laughed me off, saying, "Oh, I've heard from so many people that the second baby feels like it's going to fall out for weeks before it actually is born. You won't be having it yet!" I told her, "I think I may not be back Tuesday (it was Memorial Day weekend, so we were off Monday)." She just blew me off. The new supervisor who was taking her place came to talk to me later and asked me, "Is there anything I can do to make your transition easier?" I told her, "Yeah. Pretty much get report from me right now on all my clients because thusfar I have not been able to report any of them off to anyone. If I go into labor and have my baby this weekend, I will not be in any shape to start handing out clients on Tuesday morning, and they will need case managers!" She just took a notebook, pen and without any questions, started taking notes on all my clients. I was so laughing or blowing me off. She just took me very seriously and took over!

That day, as I was leaving the office at about 3:45, for my 4:00 appointment, pretty much right after I finished giving report on my last client, the receptionist said, "See you Tuesday!" I said, "Never know! Probably not!" She too just blew me off, "Oh, Darla, trust me. We will see you Tuesday! You aren't waddling enough. You're not going to have that baby yet. The second one always seems like you're going to have it a lot longer than the first." I just said, "Don't be too surprised!" and left for my doctor's appointment.

I got to my doctor's office, he checked my cervix, and said, "YOU are in ACTIVE labor! You are dilated to 5 and about 80% effaced. I can't believe you aren't really feeling this!" I told him that I had had inconsistent contractions off and on all day but nowhere near the every 5 minute, consistent mark. Also, I hadn't had any contractions in a while. He told me that if I begin to have any organized contractions, even if they aren't consistently every 5 minutes apart, get to the hospital. If I don't start contractions again, be at the hospital by 5 a.m. because it wasn't safe to be dilated that far, effaced that far and not be somewhere near the hospital. He said that I would surely have an ambulance baby otherwise.

We went to pick up our daughter from my sister's and decided to eat out that night nearby..during which I started getting some contractions again. We ate and brought our daughter back to my sister's and started meandering toward the hospital. I still thought we were way premature on going there so we decided to go to Sam's Club to stock up on diapers for our new baby. My hubby insisted on pushing me in a wheelchair since it's a big warehouse and he didn't exactly cherish the thought of catching a baby in the middle of the store.

We then drove to the hospital. Sat in the parking lot. Decided to go to a nearby bookstore to get a baby name book. For this I sat in the van. And started to get a little more intense contractions. But still....not THAT bad.

Off we then went, back to the hospital. Sat in the parking lot. Finally decided we might as well go in and at least sleep overnight there than go home and have to get up by 4 am to be there by 5. We called up and told them we were coming up...that my doctor said I was already to a 5...and so on...anticipating that they would probably try send me home but at the same time, knowing they couldn't because after being at a 5, they really can't.

I went up to the L&D floor, got settled in my room, got checked, and the nurse or doctor that checked me said, "My dear, you're at a 7! Your baby is on it's way!" 20 minutes later, dear Viva was born! Of course, I left out the cervix details for the most part; that would have made her a tad uncomfortable!

AND, now tonight, she and I went shopping for a little bit and bought her.......shhhhh....a bra! AND, we had that talk! You know, about periods, arm pit hair, shaving, deodorant, and so on. She wasn't exactly really chatty about it but I was! :) I told her, "I'm sorry if this is a little awkward. I know it was for me when I was your age but, I got my period 27 years ago and now it's as normal as big deal!" She was quiet for a moment, then asked, "What's like peeing?" I said, "The topic of having a period is to me like talking about peeing...everyone does it. All girls eventually get their period....have to shave....gotta use deodorant...etc. Just as normal as peeing!" I'm not sure if she agreed but she seemed to be fine with it all. I got a jump start and got the next one down some little bras...such cute ones too. I mean, with my dear second child I have meant to get her some and do the talk for over a year now. I better not miss the boat on the next one or she will be graduating before I remember! Sheesh!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Sob! After much heart-wrenching and agonizing, for probably the last two years.... we finally decided that 1. we don't have the time and energy a dog requires and really deserves, and 2. the dogs really needed more dog needs met, like getting out on walks, socializing and being socialized to other dogs and people. We have sent our dogs away!

Our Great Dane went first, although we had intended for our Yorkie to be gone first, out of respect for our first-born dog. (We just kind of kept forgetting to bring the Yorkie to the humane society..or started out to bring her and realized that we forgot her food at home and since rehoming is such of a big huge thing for a pet, she just had to have her familiar food to start out with. Plus, as I found out when I actually did bring her, she is a geriatric dog. With such of a late-in-life dog, you just can't throw those kind of, she has hardly any teeth left in her old age, which is typical for older Yorkies..they just don't hang on to their teeth too well, so we felt it necessary that she has her canned food there)

Our Great Dane was adopted by a Great Dane Rescue. We felt that, being he is a giant breed, which requires giant commitment, knowledge, sometimes patience, he should be sent somewhere that we can feel confident that he won't go to just any home. With this agency, he first goes to a foster home, to a home that is very familiar with Great Danes, where they iron out any wrinkles the dog may have, even to the point of working with a canine college or specialist if needed, then screen any adoptive family that is interested in him. The screening involves even a home visit before adoption, a very thorough interview process, and a post-adoption home visit to ensure proper placement.

The transportation people that came to pick him up were so kind as to come into our home for about a half hour to listen to us ramble on and on about what he likes, dislikes, his habits, and just how well he does with little ones...and on and on...then he left with them in style, in a black Mercedes with a leather interior. He looked happy to be going for a ride and seemed very comfortable with the transport people.

We've seen his pictures on the website now of him in his foster home, got a report on how he's doing, and just beamed to hear that he is minding his manners and overall doing just great.

We finally got around to bringing the Yorkie to the humane society on Monday. We felt pretty comfortable to have her there, since small dogs tend to be adopted very quickly and especially knowing that Yorkies are quite an expensive breed, and being so small and easy-going, she would be gone quickly.

Well, after many long and agonizing days, waiting for her to be posted on their site (they first go to the intake center, where they are screened and monitored and such for several days, before going to the adoption center) we finally saw her posted there today, only to see her unposted by tonight. She's already been adopted! So good for her, although I have to admit that she looked so cute and so her on there, I was a little bit sad to see her and then to know she is gone now and no longer ours!

I do believe though that our decision was made for the best interest of us and our dogs and I'm sticking to it! I still, though, find myself ready to throw a scrap of food to the nearest dog, only to remember they are gone and my baby would be the one to happily scarf up on it.

Just yesterday Izzy had the crust of her bread in her hand and yelled, "Ma-ac! Maaa-ac! Where is Mac?" I had to remind her, "Mac went away. Remember?" She asked, "When is he coming back home? Tomorrow?" I had to tell her, "He isn't coming home, honey!" That was hard. She also had picked up on the fact that he was going before he actually left and several times would turn to me and ask, quite out of the blue, "Is it sad, Mom? Is it just sad?" I would ask her, "Is what sad?" She would say, "Is it sad that Mac is going away?" Argh....too hard!

Also, just yesterday, I mentioned the name, "Mac," and my baby right away turned his head to look at the stairs, waiting for Mac to come up.

We haven't missed Honey, the Yorkie, so much. She was with us a shorter time and was such of a small presence in a much hugely present household, she just kind of kept to herself...and is only about 7 lbs vs. Mac's 130 lb presence.... that we still just kind of feel like she's there, somewhere, like she always was.

We all continue to "hear" them, here and there...Mac stretching and shaking his head in his loud way down in the basement before he came rambling up to see what was going on. Honey scratching herself, which would result in her paw hitting her carrier...only to catch ourselves and remember they aren't there. We've turned it into something more fun than sad though. Suddenly someone will say, "I just heard Mac coming out of his crate," or "Oh, Honey just sneezed!" Or someone will say, "Sh! I hear something. Oh, that was Mac's toenails on the floor downstairs." and we all just kind of smile. I'm pretty surprised that no one has corrected anyone yet. Our girls can tend to be over-diligent about setting others straight on their facts, so I'm happy no one has said, "Nope! Can't be, 'cause Mac/Honey is gone!" Everyone just goes right along with it! The funny thing is, we all actually do hear these noises and instinctively hear them as one of the dogs! Kind of a fun way to gradually let them go!

Mac, in his foster home

Honey, in her listing picture at the humane society

Sunday, May 9, 2010

An Announcement!

I just realized I haven't yet mentioned that we are expecting another baby! Oh, where have I been? I can tend to go into hibernation mode during my first trimester of pregnancy, and I believe that is exactly where I have been this pregnancy as well, no exception from the others. I am not exactly sure of my due date but I do know I am due in the fall sometime.

That makes number eight for the number of children, number ten for the number of family members! So fun to be hitting double digits finally. Not like we felt we had to have many, many children. We just hoped we would be so lucky as to have a large family, like we both grew up in. It looks like we just may be getting that wish! Now, with any luck, we will have twins. Each pregnancy we cross our fingers but so far haven't been granted two-for-the-price-of-one yet! :)

Hmmm, looks like we may have to do some finishing of our basement soon!