Almost One!

At this point, I’m less than two weeks away from my baby turning 1 year old… 

This year has just flown past. I thought we’d (as in Ryland and I) would just take our time through our first year together. I thought, since I almost rushed through all the other babies first year, this time I could slow down and just savor each moment, each milestone. Ha! That was a joke on me, let me tell you!

First, there is no slowing down when you have a busy teenager. Second, there isn’t much “enjoying” when you have a moody pre-teen that grumbles at most everything. That said, I love her dearly and the times when she is in a good mood, she’s wonderful! And third… slow down with a three year old!? That, in and of itself is a joke, huh?

I have enjoyed watching the dynamics grow and shift between my children. Having 2 older girls (mothering comes out in them) and the two younger ones, it’s been really interesting to see how one girl “takes” to which younger one.. and how which younger one takes to which girl. It’s the blending of personalities. Luckily it’s been an even situation, where Tege tends to listen better to Cas and Ry leans to Emily most often. Although, each boy adores the other too.

Ry hasn’t been slow with things himself… Just flying through the stages of growth. Not quite a year old and he’s already running, albeit a bit wobbly-legged. He easily navigates (without looking) over objects in his path as well as uneven ground. But he’s been walking for 2.5 months now, so by summer he’ll be an “old pro”.

Waving hi and bye, saying both, as well as a few other words. He also has a fun sense of humor, but more mellow than Tege’s. Favorite game is Peek-a-Boo, which he discovered himself one day around 9 or 10 mos old and continues to play with anyone who will give him a chance. Eating – he loves to eat and will try anything. On feeding him ice cream, he says MM-mm-MM and has everyone laughing.

More Bonding

I left the tattoo shop the other day so bummed I didn’t get something pierced. Cas picked up on it right away and badgered me for 2 days. So back in today we went… for our own “bonding via piercing” experience.

She went first.

Oh yeowch! That clamp doesn’t look like any fun!
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That needle looks pretty mean too.
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Almost done…. Just getting the ball tightened.
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That sucked! But she was sure a trooper!
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Ugh.. after watching that, I was ready to head out. But, no chickening out. Here I go:
Waiting patiently on the table. I haven’t seen too many pictures of getting piercings done lying on a table. Seems most are sitting up, but that’s how this place has done it each time we’ve gone.
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That clamp is probably the worst part. Of course,I’m only hours into the piercing itself, so I may think differently tomorrow when I’m swollen and sore.
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Look at that needle!
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Barbell is in and he’s ready to tighten on the other ball. It went super quick!
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Hard to talk, at least saying certain words or sounds. It’s even harder to eat, so I guess I won’t do that much either.
Here we are, home and done..
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New Minivan for Me!

I can’t help but to be super excited; I’m getting my first ever, brand new vehicle. I’ve never owned a really nice car before, so I’m just about bursting.

We went to test drive it the other night… The guy selling it was showing us all the features… ::drool:drool:drool:: Practically has automatic everything… windows, doors, the new VSA; I love that the second row windows roll down too. And, it even has an 8th seat… ::: sigh :::

We get to pick it up next week. Ha! I thought 9 months of pregnancy seemed like a long time!

Honda Odyssey

Aunt Mandi & Cassie Bond through Piercing

The day starts simple enough for all of us. Cas and I had plans to hit the tattoo shop later in the day, but at the moment, the boys had just gotten out of the shower and were running around in all their nakedness having fun (remember they are only 3&1).

Aunt Mandi had done her regular exercising and since she was close, decided to stop by to surprise us. Little did she know what the day held in store for her! (She’ll probably never bring me a coffee unannounced again, ha!)

She decided she’d meet us at the shop to watch. Mandi is so spontaneous, she thought maybe she’d even get her own tongue pierced.

Cas went first:
Here, she is getting marked on each side, to ensure it’s not crooked. This took a few tries.
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Laying down and ready to go. Nervousness sets in, I’m sure, though you couldn’t tell to look at her.
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Here she is clamped and the needle is almost all the way through.
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Pierced, Gabriel, the piercer is getting the other ball to close the barbell.
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Upright and all done. No flinching, squinting, squirming, nothing. The barbell is larger than it will be when it heals. But he wanted to use a larger one to allow room for swelling. It’s typical, though, so far, Cas hasn’t swelled with any of her piercings.
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To see all the pictures: Cassie Bridge

Mandi’s Turn

This happened really quickly. It took so long for Gabriel to get Cas’s “dots” just right, but this wasn’t necessary with Mandi’s tongue. He had her directly lay down on the piercing table/bed and here we go:
Clamped, with a quick check under her tongue.
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Needle goes in quickly.
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It’s all the way through now.
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Barbell is through and he’s putting the back on it now. As a side note, apparently Mandi moved a bit as he was getting the barbell through the needle.. the needle pulled out before it was all the way through, so there was a minute of him having to work a bit to get it through. She was a trooper though (not much choice at that point anyway, ha!)
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Once done, a good rinse with listerine and a few chuckles.
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And afterwards, two happy piercees (is that a word?).
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To view more pictures: Mandi’s TongueI think I’m next… I’m going to call Mandi today to see how she’s going.. I want two, actually.. a medusa (the little indent in your top lip, that leads up to your nose) and maybe my tongue (yep, I got it done – see my tongue piercing). I’m a wimp though.. the thought of having my tongue out and held with a clamp is creepy.

More Piercing Pictures

The Life of Bailey Whippet

The Life of Bailey Whippet
September 1998

We drove 2.5 hours to see a little brindle and white whippet puppy. At just under 6 weeks old, he was a little tiny thing that easily fit my two hands. Much too young to be leaving his momma, and me not knowing any better, his then owner and breeder sent him and us on our way.

The 2.5 hour drive home, he cried in my hands, in my lap. I coo’ed and whispered softly to him.

Once home, he was greeted by our two golden retrievers, Calvin and Abbey… Calvin was very large, weighing in over 150# and just a big ol’ bear of a dog. He was not impressed with this little bundle of energy, now named Bailey. But, over time they all became buddies.

Bailey slept with me, curled up by my chin, he’d hang his little head across my neck. While he was learning to house-train, I’d get up a couple times of night and take him out to potty.

Bailey went with me on errands, to take the girls to school or pick them up and often to work. He was my little baby. We took him to the Whippet Races held at a park in the next city over from us. We had ideas of letting him race, when he got a bit older. He loved it there and would scream, bark and cry at the “bunny”, which was really just a peice of fabric… The excitement was just so great and catching for all the owners and whippets.

Bailey, fast as a.. well, as a whippet, got away from me a few times in our yard. He seemed to have an almost uncanny sense when one particular dog would walk by our house. Bailey just loved this big doberman and would run circles of excitement around him. The doberman enjoyed it too.

Bailey has had 3 other canines as part of his family with us. In addition to the two golden’s, we brought home a female whippet, Bean. She was dubbed “devil dog” for quite some time, and rightfully so. She’s a story for another time.

He’s dubbed the ‘heat mooch’. He lounges on the couch, or any soft or warm surface. If he can find a soft AND warm place to snooze, all the better. He’s made his bed with us and has slept with us from day one – soft, cushy and warm. He’s an average sized whippet, weighing in around 28 pounds. Yet we have found that when he’s in bed, taking up our space, he tends to gain another 30# or so. He’s next to impossible to move. We call it “dead dog weight”…

He knows what the words “take a shower/bath” mean. Unlike many other dogs who would run the opposite direction at the mention of a bath, Bailey will typically beat you to the bathroom door. Not because he, himself, likes to bathe, but because more often than not, bath means heater and heater to any skinny whippet is a good thing in and of itself.

The Butt Tuck
I always wanted a video of Bailey’s Butt Tuck. When he gets over excited, or wet (of all things!), he tucks his butt up and runs around acting so silly. There is no way for me to describe the silliness. But I have always been certain that had I sent a video in to America’s Funniest Videos we’d have won.

Singing, Talking and Whispering
Bailey can do all three. Not the prettiest of voices… but we’ll sing together and I can even say “whisper” and he tries to be very quiet.

Rabies Vaccine & Close to Death
In the summer of 2003, I took the 3 dogs (Calvin passed away earlier that summer) to get updated vaccines. I really just wanted rabies and that’s all we did.

Within a month, Bailey was lethargic, dehydrated, lost weight – it came up suddenly. Rushed off to the vet. His body’s immune system was attacking itself. His white blood count was down and he was required to have IV’s, medicine and stay at the vet’s office for a few days.

It didn’t take long for him to bounce back. Had I waited at all, we’d have lost him.

Spring 2005
Bailey had a toothache and off we went to the vet. They did some blood work and said informed me that we’d have to hold off on doing the dental work. His liver wasn’t functioning properly and we needed to take some supplements in hope of helping it improve as well as antibiotics for his tooth. The vet wasn’t sure what was going on with his liver, if it was ‘left-over’ issues from two years ago, or what was wrong.

I was to bring him back in two weeks for a recheck of his blood and then hopefully, proceed with his dental work.

Late in the week before I was to bring him back in, I seemed to think maybe his rib cage was just a bit wider than normal.. but the more I looked, the more I thought no, it wasn’t. He played, running and being silly, ate and lazed around as normal.

We were gone on a family outing on Sunday, the day before his vet appointment. When I got home that evening, I noticed his belly was swollen. He looked like he was pregnant, not huge, but big.

Monday (4/18) morning in to the vet first thing. The xray showed fluid in his abdomen. Dr suspects a tumor. After much talking, they gave him some fluids and I brought him home.

Tuesday (4/19) – My heart is breaking. I feel so much guilt, so much sadness, and I’m mad. He’s on 8. I’m headed to the store to get hamburger and chicken broth to make him some yummy dinners.

Clever Duo Embraces Choices in Parenting

Describing themselves as “moms in the middle,” Heidi Combs and Judi Cox recently launched an interactive online community and ezine. “Many mothers today are somewhere in-between mainstream and what we call, “crunchy”- or very natural parenting,” declares Cox. “Heidi and I want to reach out and provide the catalyst for these mothers to come together,” she added.

Full Press Release April 15th, 2005

Sick from a Bra?

Is it possible to get sick from a bra? A couple months ago, I had a “lump” in one breast. Less in the breast, but to the side. It turned out to be nothing, other than a little inflammation of my rib bone. I chalked it up to the bra I had been wearing (underwire) thinking maybe it was just rubbing the wrong way.

Having forgot about that and the bra correlation, I wore the bra yesterday and today (other women do that right? Wear a bra more than one day in a row? ). Last night, I went to bed with the breast bone on the other breast super sore. Almost like pregnancy sore (but that’s not it).. it hurt. I made sure to have Ry nurse on that side plenty, though I wasn’t engorged, nothing seemed swollen. Just really sore and still sore today.

At our home school outing today, I started feeling feverish, achy, so tired. So we left, only a little early. I slept for a couple hours with Ry, laid on the couch and then finally mustered the strength to take a couple advil. I feel much better, not achy, but my breast bone still hurts.

I’ve decided to ditch the bra. This is the second fever/body aches I have in a month, which I thought was odd too.

brok – brok – here chickie-chickie

Did I mention we got baby chicks for Easter? I made sure it was OK with my dad, for us to take them to his house after the excitement wears off, before we got them. Due to Ohio Agriculture laws, we had to get 6 of them. Since we have a good, free-range home for them to go to, we did it.

With all the nice weather we’ve been having (sorry Denver!), we’ve been taking them out to play in the yard.

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The excitement has worn off and I’m tired of cleaning the cage, etc. So this week they go to their new home. It will be fun to know some of our eggs are from chickens we called “ours”.

Crick in the Eye

We’ve all had ‘crick in the neck’s before. We typically refer to them when we’ve slept funny and get that pain in our neck.

The past three days, I’ve had one in my eye. I don’t want to think about how I slept on my eye funny… or what I may have looked like while sleeping funny. As curious as I am to know why my eyeball is so sore, I’m glad there are no pictures.

At first, I thought I just had a headache. It didn’t take long to figure out it was only when I moved my eyes. And more specifically, only one in particular.

2 Aleve, 4 Advil and 3 days later, I’m finally starting to feel a bit normal again. At least I am able to look from side to side without wincing.

Little Baby Boy

With the weather warming up, I realized I need to dig out summer clothes for Ryland. Much to my surprise, I don’t have any. Apparently, Tege was just big enough to be wearing some 18 mos clothing for his first year summer. Not so with Ryland. Unless he does a major growth spurt in the next couple of weeks, entirely possible I know, he will need new clothes.

This week marked his 11 month birthday. I cannot believe that my little baby is going to be 1 next month. And please, where is this year going? It’s already April? Shock!

I am enjoying his personality, his moods are so similar to mine, I find it interesting. He can go from mellow, fun to mad in the blink of an eye (if you tick him off), but then go right back again… very glad to know he’s more mellow and fun than anything else. His earth sign is showing through as he loves the out doors and would happily miss his nap to stay out and play all day. Even today, with the wet drizzle and cooler air. It’s good napping weather, thankfully and he went down easily.

Being a distributor for the Greeting Cake Co., we are doing “smash cakes” for all the kids at birthdays this year. We’ll probably do cookouts and I’m sure all the kids will love to make and decorate their own cakes. I’m excited too!