Friday, April 27, 2012

Mama said there would be days like this (or the days are like this because I am a mama)...

People keep asking why they never see me anymore. I assure them that it isn’t personal. I feel bad because there are a lot of people I see all the time, while others that I’ve only seen once or twice since the baby arrived.

It isn’t because I am a hermit now that I have a baby. I swear. I’ve been in two weddings since giving birth, and have attended three. Additionally, I’ve been to luncheons, wedding/baby showers, bachelorettes and even participated in the White Rock Home Tour last week. I’m getting out. Honest.

That said, I haven’t been to a movie since having Banner, and most days only have a maximum of 45 minutes to an hour to myself now that I’m back at work full time. Because of the baby and his schedule, going out to dinner is difficult and exhausting. It is much easier if people come to us because, that way, we don’t have to repack the diaper bag immediately after getting home from daycare for another out-of-the-house activity. Plus, there is laundry to be done (oh-so much laundry), bottles to be sterilized and breasts to be pumped. Going out for dinner on a random Tuesday just isn’t relaxing when you are working full time and have a baby at home. Life is full enough all ready. The last thing I need is spontaneity.

Case in point: Here is my typical schedule since returning to work full time:

3 AM (ish) – Wake up and pump.

3:30 AM – Crawl back in bed and try to fall back asleep.

3:45 AM – Kick Trevor because he is snoring.

4 AM – Have irrational and completely nonsensical conversation with still sleeping husband:

Me: “Roll over. You are snoring.”

Trevor: “Okay.” [Trevor doesn’t move and continues snoring]

Me: “Seriously. Roll over.”

Trevor: “I did.”

Me: “No, you didn’t. You didn’t move at all.”

Trevor: “Oh.” [No movement but snoring starts up again]

Me: “Please roll over.”

Trevor: “Again?”

Me: “Sure.”

Trevor: “Okay.” [Nothing]

Me: [To myself] “FML.”

Trevor: “Did you say something?”

Me: …!

4:15 AM – Finally fall back asleep (if lucky).

Somewhere between 5:15 to 6 AM – Trevor gets up to feed Banner. As much as I try to sleep through this, I rarely ever do. My hubby isn’t as quiet as he thinks he is. Luckily, I can usually fall asleep during the actual feeding. Unless, of course, Banner decides to protest being burped. Or changed. Or because Trevor decided to grow a beard.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday Mornings:

6:15-6:45 AM – Trevor brings Banner to me in bed to hold while he showers and gets ready for work. Most days, Banner falls asleep snuggled up next to me. Bliss.

6:45 AM – Trevor takes Banner to day care.

6:45 – 6:59 AM – Try to go back to sleep. Usually manage to fall into deep sleep, so I am extra special groggy when my alarm goes off.

7 AM – Said alarm goes off.

7:01 – 7:30/7:45 AM – Brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, etc.

7:45 – 8:15 AM – Pump.

8:15 – 8:30 AM – Sterilize bottles and pumping equipment.

8:30 – 8:35 AM – Pack breast pump.

8:35 – 8:40 AM – Get dogs situated for day (water, cookies, Kongs stuffed, etc.)

8:40 – 8:45 AM – Grab something to eat (if lucky and running ahead of or on schedule, which almost NEVER happens).

8:45 AM – Leave for work.

9 AM – Arrive at work.

Somewhere between 11 and Noon – Pump.

Somewhere between 3 and 4:45 PM (depending on schedule) – Pump.

5 PM – Leave work.

5:01 – 5:15 PM - Drive to gym.

5:15 – 5:30 PM – Change into workout clothes.

5:30 – 6:30/7 PM – Workout.

7 – 7:30 PM – Run to store or grab something for dinner (if nothing planned).

7:30 – 7:50 PM – Arrive home, say quick “Hello” to husband and baby, put away groceries/dinner, feed dogs, pick up after dogs in yard, water plants, etc.

7:50 – 8 PM – Help Trevor put Banner down (this is his “witching hour”), put away pumped milk from work and set up pump in guest bedroom, go through diaper bag and take out dirty outfits, bottles, start laundry if necessary, etc.

8 – 9 PM – Eat dinner, relax, watch TV or blog.

9 – 9:30 PM – Sterilize bottles and pumping equipment from day, switch out and/or put away laundry (if necessary), etc.

9:30 – 10 PM – Pump.

10 PM – Give expressed milk to Trevor so he can feed Banner.

10 – 11 PM – Sterilize bottles from 9:30 pumping session and Banner’s 10 PM bottle, finish laundry (if necessary) and put clothes away, pack Banner’s bag for daycare (clean outfits, bibs, etc.), check for any special items needed at daycare the next day (books, special toys, more diapers, etc.) and pack those things as well. Get three bottles (8 ounces each) ready for Banner’s meals the following day at school. Load prepared bottles into thermal bag and loaded into fridge for “easy grab” in morning. Say “Goodnight” to Banner.

11 – 11:30 PM – Shower, brush teeth, get ready for bed.

Between 11:30 and Midnight – Get in bed. Go to sleep.

Tuesdays and Thursdays and Friday Afternoons:

6:30 AM – My alarm goes off.

6:31 – 7/7:15 AM – Brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, etc.

7:15 – 7:45 AM – Pump.

7:45 – 8 AM – Sterilize bottles and pumping equipment.

8 - 8:05 AM – Pack Banner’s bottles, diaper bag, etc. in car.

8:05 – 8:15 AM – Wake up Banner, change his diaper and/or outfit, get him loaded into car seat and into the car.

8:15 – 8:20 AM – Get dogs situated for day (water, cookies, Kongs stuffed, etc.).

8:20 – 8:35 AM – Drive to daycare.

8:35 – 8:45 AM – Get Banner signed/checked in, unloaded from car seat, put milk away in fridge, say goodbye to my baby who is extra special cute in the morning (I still get teary), etc.

8:45 – 9 AM – Drive to work.

9 AM – Arrive at work.

Somewhere between 11 and Noon – Pump.

Somewhere between 3 and 4:45 PM (depending on schedule) – Pump.

5 PM – Leave work.

5:01 – 6 PM – Pick up Banner from daycare, run (if needed) to grocery store or Babies R Us for more diapers, wipes, etc.

Between 6 – 8 PM (depending on Banner’s nap/feeding schedule that day) – Arrive home, nurse him, take him on walk and/or give him a bath, put away pumped milk from work and set up pump in guest bedroom, go through diaper bag and take out dirty outfits, bottles, start laundry if necessary, feed and pick up after dogs, water plants, etc.

8 PM – Put Banner down (this is his “witching hour” so it can take awhile).

Whenever Banner went to sleep to 9 PM – Eat dinner, relax, watch TV or blog.

9 – 9:30 PM – Sterilize bottles and pumping equipment from day, switch out and/or put away laundry (if necessary), etc.

9:30 – 10 PM – Pump.

10 PM – Give expressed milk to Trevor so he can feed Banner.

10 – 11 PM – Sterilize bottles from 9:30 pumping session and Banner’s 10 PM bottle, finish laundry (if necessary) and put clothes away, pack Banner’s bag for daycare (new outfits, bibs, etc.), check for any special items needed at daycare the next day (books, special toys, more diapers, etc.) and pack those things as well. Get three bottles (7 – 7.5 ounces each) ready for Banner’s meals the following day at school. Load prepared bottles into thermal bag and loaded into fridge for “easy grab” in morning. Say “Goodnight” to Banner.

11 – 11:30 PM – Shower, brush teeth, get ready for bed.

Between 11:30 and Midnight – Get in bed. Go to sleep.

The fabulous thing about Saturday and Sunday is that I can usually sleep until 9 or 10 AM (depending on Banner), and actually take the time to nurse him throughout the day instead of pumping and feeding him with a bottle. I don’t know if my milk is coming out slower or if he is finally getting old enough where he can handle a faster flow, but I no longer need to wear the nipple shield or pump for 2-5 minutes beforehand to keep Banner from choking or spitting up during/after he breastfeeds.

We haven’t taken the little guy to church yet (with the exception of Amy’s wedding), because the act of getting there is similar to trying to arrive at work on time. Sleeping in and lounging around on the weekend is divine, and the thought of losing a lazy Sunday morning any time in the near future (with the exception of Banner’s baptism) makes me want to cry. We will eventually get back into a church routine, but in the meantime I am hoping God will forgive us!

Speaking of forgiveness, if you know any new parents, especially ones that are working full time in addition to trying to figure out the ropes of parenthood, go easy on them. They aren’t ignoring you. They want to hang out with you. They miss movies and going out with friends and being social. This is just a weird time in life when almost every minute in every day is spoken for, and those that aren’t are usually saved for things like eating, sleeping, taking a shower or going to the bathroom. Your friends will resurface eventually, and will want to hang out and catch up. Because, believe me, they miss you just as much as you miss them. Maybe more. Because, even though parenthood is wonderful and rewarding, it is hard to forget how much simpler things were before the baby. I wouldn’t change a thing, mind you, but every now and again I remember how easy it was to doing things (like take a bubble bath or go out to dinner and a movie before January 4th, 2012), and sigh. It isn’t that I have regrets (I don’t!), but ANYTHING involving a baby is a production. You get used to it and it gets easier, but you never forget the way it was before your world was filled with diapers, extra outfits, pumping schedules and “emergency” bottles. I guess a full heart comes with a full schedule.

Oh, and it also comes with looking absolutely exhausted. As everyone tells me each and every morning. Fabulous. I haven’t slept more than four hours in a row since the baby arrived, so perky obviously does not apply to me anymore (did it ever?). Quite frankly, I’m amazed I haven’t passed out at my desk in a puddle of my own drool. Sigh…maybe tomorrow.  It seriously wouldn't surprise me.

Guess who has discovered his feet?

Happy Baby Yoga Pose.

He actually found them days ago, but now he just can't get enough.  He is always grabbing them and "showing" them to me.  Very exciting (at least when you are sixteen weeks old)!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Banner's first painting...

(...or the real reason why my baby wasn't in the same outfit when I picked him up as when I dropped him off)

Obviously, he is the next Pablo Picasso.  Such talent!  And he is only 111 days old!

We aren't quite sure what the painting is depicting exactly.  I call it the "Yellow Blob".  Trevor thinks it looks more like the contents of one of Banner's poopy diapers.  Whatever it is, though, the B-Man is quite the modern artist whose preferred medium is yellow finger paint.

Trevor and I couldn't be prouder and have Banner's first masterpiece prominently displayed on our fridge.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

I love my boys...

Who does Banner look like?

We haven't played this game before because it was completely unnecessary. Even when Banner was in utero, I could tell he was going to look just like his daddy. Trevor cannot deny this baby.

Trevor in the hospital.

Banner in the hospital.

Trevor with a goofy look on his face.

Banner with an equally goofy look on his face.

Basically, I carried Trevor's clone for nine ten months. Those G-Wink genes are STRONG.  I keep looking for some piece of me that was passed down.  I am sure there is something, but so far I just can't see it.

Good thing I think my boys are exceptionally adorable!

(Not that I am biased or anything!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Uh, Mommy? Daddy has dragon breath...

What a difference a year can make...

I can't believe it has been a year since I discovered I was pregnant:

And now I have the privilege of waking up to this adorable, little face every morning:

I love you, my angel!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Working full time and motherhood is not conducive to blogging...

...which is my way of apologizing for being behind yet again. In my defense, my sister got married on the 14th, and my mother was hospitalized after emergency surgery on Holy Saturday after her intestines twisted and nearly perforated. Needless to say, it was an exciting week.  And it was promptly followed by starting back to work full time, which might have been the biggest tactical error on my part in recent memory.  I can't remember ever being this tired.

In other words, brace yourself for another list of happenings paired with some what random pictures of the B-Man.  It isn't perfect, but it will have to do:
  •   Banner can now roll over.  In both directions.

  • He is also growing like a weed. He is in six month clothes now. Anything smaller just doesn't fit, much to my dismay. I cried when I folded some of his outfits to put away in storage. I even tried to shove him back in some of them one last time, but Trevor pointed out that the sleeves weren't intended to be 3/4 length. And, well, his toes were curled in the footed onesies and the material wasn't supposed to pull that way in the neck and crotch. So, yeah, after a period of denial, we are officially in cloths meant for a baby twice his age. Sigh.

  • Banner LOVES his bumbo chair and his jumper. He no longer needs the pot to reach the floor. Just a little pillow.

  • He is quite the little grasper now. He enjoys grabbing whatever he can, and actively tries to play with his toys - especially the ones on the bouncer.  And if I hold him, I better have my hair up or OUCH!

  • The makeup lady for Amy's wedding told me she was putting my eyebrows on the way a drag queen taught her to do it.  Fabulous.

  • After Adam and Amy exchanged rings, Amy spent the entire time the congregation was praying for the newly married couple admiring her wedding ring on her finger.

  • Whoever said that breastfed babies have less stinky gas and diapers never met Banner. The best is when his teachers at daycare mention it in his daily report card. Maybe I should start sending him with a can of air freshener?

  • While my mom was in the hospital last week, Banner took the book he gave her, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? with him to school in honor of her.  His teacher read it to the entire class.

  • (Please excuse my baby talk on the video. It is disgusting, but can't be helped.
     It is an occupational hazard of motherhood.)

  • Banner made a video for Grammy Pammy on my iPhone to help her feel better. In it all he would do was smile and toot. My mom interpreted it as Banner trying to tell her how to get out of the hospital. All she had to do was pass gas!

  • I find the new Blogger format annoying. Why do people always insist on fixing things that aren't broken? Boo!

  • This week, with all the stress and whatnot, has really taken a toll on my milk supply. Not dry or anything, but it isn't like me to only produce what the little guy needs. It has been days since I had to freeze any!

  • Alley's cancer is in stage one, and Haskell's latest round of urine tests showed stabilization. Best news we could have hoped for.

  • I now have to start heading to bed at 9 PM to BE in bed by 11:30. Since Banner generally goes down around 8 PM, that leaves me about an hour to eat and "relax" before getting up to finish laundry, sterile bottles, pump for his 10 PM bottle, shower, etc. Did I mention I am tired?  Luckily, all my blood tests at my annual checkup came back great.  Well, except for my vitamin D.  Apparently, I am deficient.  Nurse told me to sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day.  Like I have time for that!  Sigh.  Maybe this weekend...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The sticker of shame is no more...

What NOT to do on your honeymoon...

From:  Amy
Date: Apr 18, 2012, at 8:10 PM
To:  Deals

Subject: House

Hey Deal[s],

How is the house? I know we are expecting a lot of packages as more things have been coming off of our registry. If you go to the gym, you should stop by and see Teddy and Lola. I miss them. Keep me up to date. Thanks!


From: Deals
Date: April 18, 2012, at 9:46 PM
To: Amy
Subject: Re: House

Are you seriously emailing me from your honeymoon? And checking the status of your registry? Weirdo.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

On what was really happening a year ago on Easter...

Last year, on Easter Sunday (April 24th, 2011), I told Trevor that I was pregnant.

I had known for nearly a week, but hadn't mentioned it to him.  This really shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone considering he was also one of the last people to find out when I went into labor.

I'd try to explain myself, but I really don't know why I do it either.  It made sense at the time, though.  Honest.  I am sure Trevor disagrees, but he always finds out these important little details eventually.

Anyway, when I finally got around to telling him, I wanted to do it in some sort of special way.  So I bought him an Easter card and wrote a note inside telling him that he was going to be a father.  Then, I got a golden egg and filled it with chocolates individually wrapped in pink and blue.  Proud of myself, I presented the egg and card to him on Easter Sunday 2011 on the green couch in our living room.


And, well, he thanked me, pushed the card aside without opening it, cracked the golden egg and started eating the chocolates while mindlessly watching TV.

And I just stared at him in disbelief. Because there I was trying to tell him something life changing in a memorable way, and HE DOESN'T OPEN THE BLEEPING CARD.

Minutes went by while Trevor continued to watch whatever on the TV. Finally, he must have felt my eyes boring into his brain, because he slowly turned back in my direction and nervously said, "What?"

Yeah.  Special, Trevor.  Reeeeeeal special.

After lecturing him about the importance of always opening the card FIRST, Trevor finally got around to reading what I wrote in the Easter card and cried.  He was positively giddy about the prospect of becoming a father.

Meanwhile, I was still fuming over the whole card issue.  Blame it on the early pregnancy hormones, but it took me awhile to get over the card thing.

(I may still not be over it a year later.)

So, maybe it DOES make sense why I periodically withhold information from my husband.  I swear, with that boy, things rarely go as planned.

Except, of course, when it comes to this little guy.

Tactical Error...

Note to self: NEVER hold a baby over your head after feeding him. Especially, after showering and blow drying your hair for Easter lunch. Because, if you do, you will be late. And your husband will make fun of you.

Friday, April 06, 2012

On the Easter Bunny and stupid things that irritate me for absolutely no reason...

The Easter Bunny made an appearance at Banner’s daycare yesterday, except he didn’t venture into the infant rooms “because of what happened last year”. Instead he waved at the babies from the far side of the interior window.

Apparently, in 2011, the Easter Bunny came into the room, and the babies freaked out. It took over three hours to calm them back down again, and – as a result – the Easter Bunny no longer visits children under two.

I'm kind of okay with this, because adults in costume still freak me out and I am 31. I can only imagine how scary it must be for infants who can't even roll over to escape.

In other news, I’ve decided that birds that cross the street on foot really irritate me. There was one this morning that ran across the southbound lanes of Audelia, paused briefly on the grass median to wait for a lull in traffic before continuing across the northbound lanes to the other side. All this took at least ten times longer than if said bird had just flapped his wings and flew from one side of the road to the other.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness...

My coworker was poking fun at her 40 year old niece who uses the wrong word in a sentence from time to time. Nora finds it so amusing that she often doesn't correct her anymore. The entertainment value is just too high.

For example, her niece has been known to say the following:

RM: "Puerto Rico is just so nice and warm and topical."

(As opposed to tropical)


[On fighting with her mother] RM: “I guess we are just alike in that asset.”

(As opposed to aspect)

But the best part of this story was at the end: Nora commented that her niece “is oblivious”. Except she pronounced it o-bliv-ill-us instead of obliv-vee-us. She had no idea that she had been pronouncing it wrong. For five decades. No one had ever corrected her before.

The whole thing just had fabulous written all over it.

Aside: It is really hard to pronounce a word correctly after you intentionally mispronounce it for several days.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Three Month Pictures!

Banner is not super amused by these monthly photo shoots, as is evident by his expression in many of the following images:

Banner: My parents are jumping around like idiots trying to get me to smile.
I will just stare blankly at them. Muahahaha.

I think the B-Man looks a lot like my dad in this one.

And here he is looking like his goofball father.

Flying with Daddy.
(Still no smile)

Showing off his mad standing skillz.

Blowing bubbles and raspberries (his new favorite thing).


The closest we got to a smile.

In other news, Banner was evacuated to the breastfeeding room. Sounds like a good thing until you realize that my boobs were 20 miles away...

I wasn't supposed to work yesterday, but my boss asked me to go with him to a luncheon at the Music Hall. I declined at first (I am only allowed to work 20 hours until I return full time on the 16th), but then I remembered a meeting I needed to attend on the same afternoon. So, I reworked my schedule to accommodate a half day and made my way to the luncheon at 11:30.

Now, my boss has been sick lately. He's been insisting that he wasn't contagious, but I'm not sure any of us believed him. And, sure enough, upon meeting him at the luncheon, he started talking about how he felt feverish and how everyone in his household was also ill with the same thing.


He then proceeded to hack all over the place and shake hands with everyone. It was like he had made a deal with the germs to help infect as many people as possible. And, of course, he insisted on sitting next to me. He knew better than to cough on strangers, so he'd turn in my direction during each and every coughing fit while I stared at him with my best "Seriously?" look.

I could have killed him.

(Or at least sprayed him with Lysol.)

By the time the luncheon was over, the tornado sirens had started going off. It really didn't look very threatening outside, and I assumed the warning applied to some other part of the county (since sirens going off doesn't always indicate an emergency in the immediate area. Just one somewhere in Dallas County). So, I was a little surprised when, in the middle of talking to an old coworker of mine, my boss came over, interrupted and said we had to leave. Now.

I figured he was being overly dramatic. After all, he'd never liked the old coworker I was talking to very much. But he was visibly concerned as we left the safety of the building and sprinted for the parking lot.

The museum is within walking distance of the Music Hall, but it had started to rain. So, I gave my boss a lift. During the short ride, he was on his cell phone freaking out about the weather. Which I thought was odd considering we live in Dallas and tornado sirens have a tendency to go off in the spring. Not that tornado warnings are to be taken lightly. It is just that they happen frequently enough that it seems silly to panic. DFW is the largest metropolitan area in tornado alley. We aren't strangers to severe weather.

But there was my boss...panicking away:

Boss: "Oh, this is bad. Everyone needs to go home immediately. I'm calling Nora and giving everyone the afternoon off."

Me: "Seriously? How bad is it?"

Boss: "Bad."

Boss on the phone to Nora: "Nora? Can you pull up the weather? It is bad. Real bad. Call everyone and tell them that I'm giving them the afternoon off and that they should pack up immediately and go home. I'm pulling up at the museum now, but don't have my keys. I accidentally left them on my desk. Can you open the side door for me? Okay, thanks. I am getting out of the car now."

Boss hanging up the phone and turning back towards me: "Listen to me: Go home and be with your baby."

And with that, my boss jumped out of my car and sprinted to the museum's employee entrance.

And I just sat there and stared at him. Because "go home and be with your baby" is something people say in movies about the apocalypse. Not during spring thunderstorms in Texas.

So, I called Nora back and asked how bad the storm really was, because the last place I wanted to be during severe weather was in my car on the road. Plus, the museum is - quite literally - a bomb shelter. I would be much safer inside its walls than at home in my shoe closet.

Apparently, all my coworkers agreed, because we all chose to stay instead of taking full advantage of a free afternoon off. This greatly confused our boss, who insisted on texting Nora with regular weather updates for the duration of the bad weather. It really seemed to bother him that we were all still at the museum, and he kept trying to get us to leave. He wanted us to go home. He offered to let us come to his house and ride the storm out there (with three sick people, no less!). He even tried to order us all to go next door and be with the City employees. I guess he decided the third option was the most realistic, because he stuck with it for a while. Finally, Nora had to text him that, if we were going to die, we wanted to do it with people we knew, not strangers in the giant lightening rod next door.

There were confirmed tornadoes all around us to the south and east, but the storm really didn't seem that bad from our vantage point inside the museum. We didn't even get any hail, which is amazing since Trevor's car fell victim to baseball sized hail up in Lewisville. Poor boy had avoided having so much as a scratch or dent on his new car up until yesterday afternoon. But he was lucky. The cars on either side of his in the parking lot had their windshields broken.

And then there was this photo that was taken by one of his coworkers from the office window:

Obviously, it could have been a lot worse than a little hail damage.

And, miraculously, everyone escaped the storms unscathed. There were something like 18 tornados reported yesterday, and so far no fatalities. Amazing.

Well, unless you count the fact I woke up this morning with a sore throat. But I don't think you can attribute that to anyone other than my boss.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Alley Cat Alley Cat Oh Alley Alley Cat…

The Awesome Pawsome had their annual exams on March 23rd. The good news is that they are all vaccinated and good to go for another year. The bad news is that there is something wrong with of them.

Having three dogs close in age was fabulous when they were young. But now that they are all considered “seniors” it is depressing. And expensive. I hate that Banner may never remember our black-and-white canine clan.

Gypsy, as always, is allergic to life, and is back on steroids and an anti-fungal to treat the yeast infection on her back, right paw.

Haskell may or may not be in the early stages of kidney failure.

And Alley Cat? Yeah, she has cancer.

She’s had this lump on her side for awhile now (read: years), but it hasn’t grown or changed. We’d asked about it at previous checkups, but the vet always said that it wasn’t anything to worry about. It was always described to me as an ingrown hair or something of that nature. Well, that is, until March 23rd, when the doctor told me she’d feel better about it if we did a little non-invasive test to identify the mass. She phrased it as, “It is mostly likely nothing, but just to be sure…” Turns out, it IS something: A Malignant Tumor. The only question still remaining is what stage it is in. To determine that, the lump had to be removed on Friday and shipped off to the lab. We should know more when the results come back in 7-14 business days. We have our fingers crossed that it hasn’t already spread to her organs. Apparently, this kind of cancer is a bit of a fast and silent killer. Possibly the same kind that took Dolly’s life several years ago. The best we can hope for is that the tumor is localized and they were able to remove it all on Friday. Even then, though, there are no guarantees. This kind of tumor almost always returns somewhere else. Chances are, one way or another, this is what Alley will eventually die from. Which, again, is just plain depressing.

Especially since she’s lost a lot of weight recently and you can see her ribs and spine. She’s always been around 55 pounds, but is currently only about 45. I don’t like that we may already be watching her waste away. She’s only seven or eight. It seems too soon to be already having to think about these things. I always figured she'd be around well into her teens.

The good news is that Alley is no worse for wear after her surgery. Well, unless you count the soft E-Collar. When we put it on her, she stops moving and becomes a statue. It is unnatural for that dog to not be in motion. She runs everywhere. Alley apparently agrees because, despite the fact that she doesn’t move while wearing it, she is able to get out of it magically. As in one second she is standing in front of you with it on and the next – POOF! – all that remains is the e-collar on the floor. Sometimes the first (and only) clue that she is gone is the SLAP! SLAP! of the doggie door as she makes her escape. She obviously doesn’t feel bad, which makes the whole situation that much more surreal.

When Alley had her surgery on Friday, Haskell went with her so the vet could do more tests on his kidneys. Unfortunately, all tests done up until now have been inconclusive. He could – literally – have nothing wrong with him, be suffering from a mild kidney infection or be in early stages of kidney failure. It is all very unclear. The next step is for them to test his first morning pee. Until we have those results in I am refusing to panic. He is the baby of the group, and it seems way too early for him to start going down hill.

Technically, Gypsy is the only one who didn’t have bloodwork done on the 23rd. Thanks to her series of ear surgeries last summer, she isn’t due to have her blood drawn until June or July. But we did go ahead and do other routine tests, like a fecal. She was (of course) empty at the vet during the annual, so I was sent home with a poo collection kit. And, just so Alley and Haskell wouldn’t out do her medically for once, it came back positive for Giardia. Because why the f*ck not? Nothing like a little highly contagious intestinal parasite to make life with three dogs and a twelve week old baby a little more interesting.


I just hope something magical will happen and all three will be around for many more years to come. Because, honestly, I can't imagine life without my four-legged kiddos.