Mar 28, 2008

They came with the house

Imagine Brady's reaction every time she sees them. (In her defense, I love duck. Hey Ella, didn't you have duck at dinner the other night?) We hope the (imaginary) new owners take better care of the pond, are vegetarians and don't have a homicidal dog.

Mar 27, 2008

More waiting!

So it turns out my girlfriend Ella, here with daughter Nathalie (and preggers with Katherine, now 14 months), is moving back to Portland with her family. (I felt my excitement over this development might be best expressed through interpretive dance, which I attempted the other night in the parking lot of Meriwether's, but I don't think Ella, or hubby Nathan, were too impressed.) Anyway, of course it's MONTHS from now, which means one more thing to friggin' wait for look forward to. And then there's the question of what to do with Grace now that I have Ella back, since one has room for only so many bossy blondes in one's life. Plus, Ella knows all the rules of fashion and will shop patiently for shoes and handbags with me, whereas Grace is lacking in this department. But in all seriousness, yippee!

Mar 26, 2008

Does this haircut make my butt look big?

Brady went to Hair of the Dog yesterday to have a little spring cleaning. She was pretty matted around her posterior, so they had to cut off quite a bit of her fancy tail feathers. I burst out laughing when I saw her, which probably hurt her feelings, but she just looked so puffy.

Mar 24, 2008

Livin' in limbo

The family will be going through quite a few transitions soon. This summer we'll be moving into a new house and neighborhood and selling our current home (fingers crossed); I'm dedicating the month of April to potty training (Grace); Grace will start pre-school May 1st at a great new place; I have two full manuscripts and two partials (of my novel) being considered by four agents, along with countless queries; and, of course, we're counting the days (122) until Grace turns three. Aside from sprucing up the house, right now there's really nothing to do but wait. But I'm not good at that. I'm not a very patient person, and these changes looming — even though they're all positive — feel a little like torture to me because I can't DO anything. So I'm working hard on enjoying the present. Having Grace and Brady helps; kids and dogs live effortlessly in the moment. I'm learning that sometimes it's fun just to marvel at Grace's pretty ears.

Mar 23, 2008

Not even REMOTELY under control

We love visiting my parents for lots of reasons, not the least of which is their huge, park-like property that is COMPLETELY FENCED IN. This means we can shoo Grace and Brady outside and go take a nap. Sometimes we'd rather watch TV, but this is impossible because, even though Mom and Dad have a gigantic, fancy TV and some satellite situation that lets you watch anything, anytime, John and I can't figure out how to turn it on, change channels or adjust the volume. Somehow they've ended up with this crazy collection of remotes, and I swear each one performs a single function. The frustration is just too much. It's like having a book you've been dying to read, but you can't find your glasses, or a pint of Ben & Jerry's Go Phish and no spoon.

Over the holidays I tried to make their newest "universal" remote do its job, but there was always one component or another that wouldn't surrender. So my dad bought ANOTHER universal (the "Harmony" — I love that!) and was programming it with the TV muted. My mom, the cat, the main dog and the emergency backup dog all happened to be in the living room when Dad hit a button and the giant TV — with three big speakers and a sub-woofer — came roaring to life AT FULL VOLUME. My mother said every one of them became literally airborne. Oh, to have that moment on video! It would be better than all of my slip and falls put together.

Mar 20, 2008

Comic relief

This is my all-time favorite Easter cartoon. Every year someone sends it to me and I giggle about it for weeks.

Mar 16, 2008

Sharing is caring.

Okay, I was wrong about the full body pain being a result of my fall. Turns out Grace and I are sharing a virus, the details of which I will NOT go into. The absolute worst part of suffering the same illness as Grace is knowing just how crappy she feels. Of course, while I'm lying in bed whimpering, she's being quite stoic. (She didn't get that from me or John.) So why am I up blogging? Because I hurt too much to sleep, and I promised my client I would work on her database this weekend. (I began this project when I was seven months pregnant with Grace and intended to wrap it up before she was born. Patient doesn't even begin to describe my client!) Also, I'd like way more sympathy than John can provide. Bring it.

Mar 15, 2008

Feeling the pain

A few days ago my mom was freaking out expressing her concern about our decision not to reinstall the safety gate at the top of the stairs after Grace's repeated yanking on it pulled the giant plastic anchors out of the drywall. I told her Grace was navigating the stairs like a pro, and I was more likely to fall. Then I said a handful of words I immediately wanted to take back: "Huh, I haven't fallen in a while." I knocked on wood, but last night, sure enough, I fell down the stairs into our living room. Nothing was bleeding, no one saw me (except Brady, who was all, "You are such a clutz.") and this morning I couldn't find a single bruise on my body. But now? EVERY PART OF MY BODY HURTS, including my toes. I'm old.

I've tried to be a good sport about falling over the years, mostly because it usually happens in public, and no one likes a crybaby. I once fell down the stairs into the shoe department at Nordstrom (downtown, of course), a sort of sacred place for me. Within minutes I was surrounded by men in dark suits talking into their wrists. I muttered something about the steps being wet to save face, so you know somebody watched THAT video over and over to make sure there would be no litigation. Then I slunk off and bought a pair of fabulous, expensive and totally impractical shoes to soothe my nerves. When I got home, and I swear I am not making this up, there were TWO RIGHT SHOES in the box. I went back the same day.

I had a spectacular fall down a looooooong flight of stairs at a train station in Italy. When I finally hit bottom I was like a beetle stuck upside down, legs waving in the air, because I was wearing a big backpack. My friends helped me up and I limped to the hotel with blood soaking through the knee of my jeans. Sigh. Good times.

I could go on, but I think I'll just start a category called "injuries" and share a good one from time to time. Feel free to join in. Now I'm gonna go have a nip of tequila and try to get into bed without incident.

Mar 13, 2008

Bye, little Tessie

My mom rescued this toy poodle. She'd been in a puppy mill and her vocal chords were cut. When my mom brought her home, her back legs were so underdeveloped she couldn't jump, her bark sounded like a whisper and she was a nervous wreck. Before long, she could jump on the couch, she adored Tootsie (the white toy poodle), she always had a lap to sit on and she was the happiest little pooch ever. I imagine she couldn't believe her luck. She was old, though, and yesterday she joined all the other family pets we've said good bye to over the years. I hope she's barking and running like crazy now.

Mar 12, 2008

Got a little spring fever.

Did music class, did the park. Might as well take some pictures.

I attempted an at-home bang trim. Twice. Clearly, we'll be having a professional finish up.

What's so funny about this picture is that they both look so sweet. Not at all as though Grace might hit me hard enough to knock a contact lens out, or Brady might dislocate my shoulder if she sees a cat when we're on a walk. But what is fantastic is how they now peacefully coexist (most of the time), when we used to wonder who would kill the other first, given motive and opportunity.

Daddy's home! It would be really hard to say, of the three of us, who's most excited. It's also a toss up who has the most fabulous hair, Brady or Grace.

Mar 11, 2008

Move BACK!

More beach pics, courtesy of my mom.

Grace has picked up a few phrases at daycare that she uses inappropriately, and sometimes hilariously. When the waves came too close at the beach, she held out a hand and imperiously ordered, "Move back!" It didn't work much better than when she says it to me when I'm trying to brush her teeth or wipe her nose, but we laughed harder.

She's in her own little world sometimes, and other times she won't let us out of her sight. Here, she appears to be wondering who these people are who keep trying to interact with her.

Whenever we leave someplace fun (the playground, the beach, even daycare, we must go through the bye-bye ritual to avoid a meltdown.

She was ambivalent about leaving my parents. She cried when we loaded up the car and she thought we were abandoning her, and then she cried when she realized she was coming with us and had to say another heart-wrenching good bye to Gabba and Gampa. Oh, the DRAMA OF IT ALL.

Mar 7, 2008

Mar 6, 2008

Life's a beach.

Here are some photos from our long weekend at my parents' beach house. The next batch will be from my mom, so they will be in focus.

Grace had a little energy for a change.

Gabba can always calm her down. Almost always.

A man and his dog at the beach.

"Never turn your back on the ocean, Gracie, okay?"

I think my mom's having fun here.

Max and his humans enjoy a beachy moment.

They love each other, but Max was tired and Brady had a headache.

Tuckered out on the drive home.