Monday, March 31, 2008

A big sigh of relief.

Finally we're all moved in. The move went great, we have sore backs and are still tripping over boxes but we could have worse problems. The house is still just as perfect for us as we first thought, and already it's starting to feel like home. J is a rock star when it comes to moving. He hasn't skipped a beat as far as his schedule, sleeping all night, etc. The first day at the house he was running around saying "new house, new house" and "helping" me unpack boxes, and that night he went to bed without a fight and slept for 12 hours. He LOVES having a backyard, which makes the whole thing worth it for me. It needs some landscaping but J doesn't seem to mind the dirt and rocks; we pretty much have to drag him back inside at the end of the day.

Just a side note on how much subliminal mind control my husband has over me sometimes: So like most new homeowners we have a laundry list of stuff we need for the new house, some minor (new garbage can, a rake, light bulbs, etc) and some major (washer/dryer, new mattress, window coverings, etc.) We set out yesterday morning with every intention of buying the stuff that we NEED for the house. Soooo, what do you think we came home with? Washer and dryer? Nope. New flat-screen TV? Yep. In TH's defense the TV was in the budget and was promised many months ago. It's just funny how that became a "necessity" all of a sudden.

p.s. Internet back up and running on Friday, lots of pics to come (of the house and of J over the past few weeks)....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moms say the funniest things...

Overheard at our local park during what we call "Toddler Happy Hour" (i.e. when all moms with strollers and kids under 3 converge on the local playground):

Kid: "Mommy! Mommy! Slide with me!"
Mom: "The big one?" (pointing to the big corkscrew slide)
Kid: "Yeah!"
Mom: "Umm...Mommy's butt is too big for that."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why I Love Being a Vet

"Sandi" was one of my favorite patients of all time, who I only met a few months ago when her "mom" picked our clinic out of the phone book after moving here from back east. She became one of my favorite patients because I saw her ALOT, which of course is because she was very sick. After months of bloodwork, x-rays, medication, ultrasounds, and biweekly drainage of fluid from her chest and belly, last month Sandi finally lost her battle with a bad heart. After a spending a last weekend together where they "watched movies and ate popcorn," her mom brought her in for the final visit. She was in terrible shape, could hardly breath, and we both knew it was time. Her mom couldn't face being there for the last moment, so I euthanized her at the end of the day while she lay in my tech's arms looking at me with those big Cocker Spaniel eyes. Right at the end she licked my hand as if to say thank you, sighed, and just fell off to sleep. (I have not shared these details with her owner.) It was bittersweet and sad, yet I really felt that it was the right thing to do. The following is a letter that was waiting for me when I got to work this morning:

"Dear Dr. E,
I have only just now been able to write this letter. I never told you how much I appreciated the care you all took at the end of my Sandi's life. I know she was just a dog but she was my best friend for over ten years. I never told you how I got Sandi. I found her at the pound right after my husband passed away. She was just a little baby and took to me right away. She has been my only companion ever since then and with me through thick and thin. I will never forget how nice you all were to her, and I know she was in good hands at the end. I will miss Sandi forever and I could tell that she was special to you too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. --Sandi's Mom

The past few weeks have been some of the most stress-filled of my entire life. There are only a few times that have cause me more ulcer-inducing anxiety than the fiasco that is Buying the House. In past posts I have written about how being a mom to the supremely wonderful J has been a God-send in every sense of the word when it comes to relieving stress. Today, it was my job that was the stress relief. Sometimes, when clients are acting like this, I want to jump into another profession for a few days. And other times, like today, I KNOW I'm doing what God means for me to do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


After 8.2 weeks, dozens of annoyed-quickly-turning-to-irate phone calls, five rounds of weekly calls to reschedule utility shutoff/hookup appointments, a solid month of watching grocery store "Red Box" DVD's in lieu of TV, about 1/4 of the Brazilian rainforest in paperwork, and oh yeah a nice chunk of money from our savings account...WE CLOSED ON THE HOUSE YESTERDAY!!

The End.

p.s. Once our internet is back up and running we'll have pictures of course.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

My dad has been visiting with us for a couple of days. J only met him once before when he was 5 months old, so right now Grandpa is pretty much a novelty. He knows the alphabet song! He has a yo-yo! And a mustache! The funniest thing so far is J's pronunciation of "Grandpa," which is a new word (TH's dad, being the Southern guy that he is, is called "Grandaddy"). First it was "Gappa." Then that graduated to "Paw-paw." This morning, he finally settled on "A-bampa." Only, it comes out sounding kind of like "Obama."

"J, who are you voting for in November?" (point to Grandpa).
"My man."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kurkle to the Rescue

Whenever I'm complaining to my mom about not being able to get J to do something, she says, "Desi, you have to be smarter than the baby." (Listen to us, still calling him "the baby" and he'll be 2 years old in -gasp- 6 WEEKS.) Like most kids this age J is not exactly the picture of cooperation. He's becoming more and more independent, which is cool when I want him to occupy himself while I do my hair or clean the kitchen, but not so cool when he's running around naked refusing to let me put on a diaper ("NO BIPER! NO BIPER, MOMMY!").

The bedtime routine used to be so simple: Bath, pj's, brush teeth, book, bed. Lately, though, it's been: Run around refusing to get undressed, get clothes off except for socks and diaper and then get up and try to run downstairs, finally get naked, run around naked either laughing hysterically or shrieking "NO BAFF! NO BAFF! I NO WANNIT!", finally get in the tub, refuse to get out even after the water turns cold, kickbox Daddy in his stomach to avoid getting a diaper put on, put on pj's, brush teeth (amazingly this is no longer a struggle), book, then ask for another book, then ask for another book, then ask for another book, and finally bed.

So two nights ago I had a burst of inspiration. I grabbed the beloved Kurkle from the bed, and let him do the talking for me. "J," I said in Kurkle's voice, "Let's go upstairs and get in the bathtub!" and crawled on the floor making Kurkle "walk" to his bedroom. J was immediately intrigued and followed me and Kurkle upstairs. "Now let's get ready for a bath. What do we need to take off?" J answered Kurkle, "Shirt! Pants! Tocks!" And lo and behold, he started taking his clothes off without a fight. Listening to Kurkle got him to cooperate with taking the diaper off, getting in the tub, getting dressed in pj's, brushing teeth, reading ONE book, and hopping into bed.

This has worked for two nights now, with Teddy Bear joining in the charade last night. And this is REALLY big: J was so entranced with "talking" to Kurkle and Teddy Bear last night and tucking them into bed with him, that HE DIDN'T ASK FOR HIS BINKY. When we left his room last night, he was hugging Kurkle, Teddy was tucked in next to him, he was smiling, and the binky was near his hand...not in his mouth. I don't know if he used it overnight but it wasn't in his mouth this morning, either. Wouldn't that be great if using Kurkle as the new preferred lovey led to J self-weaning from the binky? A mom can only hope...

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm really loving this stage of J's development. Even though we're now dealing with monster tantrums every now and then, watching his little mind unfold is so worth it. It's so interesting to me the things that he understands, things that he probably has understood for a long time but only now could put them into words.

Sunday morning was beautiful here in Vegas, one of those bright sunny mornings where it's warm enough to hang out on the patio in your pajamas and blow bubbles. We decided to get take-out breakfast from a great little place up the street (BTW one of the best things about Vegas is that there are SO MANY good breakfast places that are not chains. This particular one is called Blueberry Hill.) Anyway TH called from the restaurant to see what I wanted, and J was intently eavesdropping on the whole conversation. So I turned to him and said, "What do YOU want for breakfast?" And without hesitating he said, "Pancakes, sausage...BACON!!!" Which is funny because we don't ever eat bacon, except when we go out for breakfast. Then right before I hung up, he yelled out, "Daddy! SYRUP!!"

Later the same day after church, I saw him struggling to put on his Thomas the Train backpack that we take to daycare every day. He got it slung over one shoulder, then went into the playroom and started trying to put on his Crocs. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "Bye-bye, Mommy."
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"What are you going to do at church?"
He shrugged off the backpack, started clapping and dancing, and said "A-men!" -- which is a pretty accurate description of what goes on at our church. Love it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Toddler Randomness - The 22 Months Entry

Things You Probably Shouldn't Teach Your Toddler to Do/Say But You Can't Help it Because it's So Funny:
  • Impersonations of Ben Stiller in Starsky & Hutch going "Do it. Do it." As with most things it's really funny until they won't stop saying it (LOUDLY) in church.
  • "He is the Kwisatz Haderach!!" (If you've never seen the movie Dune you (a) won't know the correct pronunciation of this and (b) won't know why this is fricking HILARIOUS. Rent the movie or look on IMDB if you really want to know.)
  • It's a safe bet that it's probably not appropriate to teach them to slam down their cup after finishing some juice, wipe their mouth with the back of their hand, and say "Gimme another round" (which comes out "nuh-nuh rown".)
  • If you're of my -ahem- generation, you know at some point you've gotta put on "Doin' Da Butt" and teach your kid Da Butt dance. It's even better if they learn to say "That big ol', big ol', BUTT."
Songs J Likes to Jam to:
  • "Da Butt." See above.
  • Flo Rida, "Low" Man, I HATE this song...but I can't not dance to it.
  • Alicia Keys, "No One" - he actually sings the chorus, it's so cute.
  • Bluegrass music on the Fridge Farm.
  • Stevie Wonder, "As" - the kid has taste.
  • Anything from the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! If you don't know, you don't want to know.
New Words/Phrases We Can Actually Understand:
  • "Please" and "Thank You" in the right context. As in, "More milk, please."
  • "Brush teeth toothpaste." In my book that counts as a sentence.
  • Using the word "too" correctly. "Too heavy! Too hot! Too big!" These last two are usually said as he's spitting something out dramatically.
  • "Animals." He says this word PERFECTLY. A boy after my own heart. As a matter of fact he actually said "I love animals" while we were riding in the car the other day. Love it!
  • "It's broken. I broke it." Good to know.
  • This one drives TH crazy...J has been yelling out TH's first name instead of saying Daddy. I think he's just copying me (according to TH I "call his name all day." Whatever.) I think it's funny, TH, not so much.
Actually...the list of understandable words is getting too long to keep track of now. Whoever said they learn 5 new words a day wasn't kidding.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A case of the Mondays.

I'm ba-aack....we don't have any internet right now due to the Interminably Long Closing Process on the New House, so I've been away from the computer for a few days. A few fun but loooong days. I think we're all getting a little stir-crazy from living in a packed-up house with no TV, internet, or DVD's except what we get from Blockbuster (yep we packed up the DVD players and DVD's too. Trying to be &*$#@ "proactive" and get packed up in a timely fashion, look where that got us...). It seems like by 4pm every day we're out of activities, and believe me, we do alot. We've been going to the park every day, sometimes twice a day, we have craft time with watercolors and stickers, we've used the PlayDoh so much that it's grimy and crumbly, all of the books have been read ad nauseum, and in 3 days we managed to go to Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Trader Joe's, a Chinese restaurant, and Barnes and Noble, and STILL by the afternoon we end up lazing around watching the oblivious cats play in moving boxes. It's not so much J but the grownups. I'm starting to realize (disturbingly) how much time the adults in our house spend watching TV and jacking around on the internet. And as if the boredom isn't enough, there's the underlying current of tension for me and TH as we drag this thing out longer and longer, wondering when we will ever be able to move into this fricking house already. (Not today, by the way.)

I never thought I'd feel this way on a Monday, but I was SO HAPPY today wasn't a day off. We all had a legit reason to be out of the house for 8 hours. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my schedule now that I get a 3-day weekend every week, but by Monday I'm worn out and going to work seems like a mini-vacation. Even J seemed to need some away time. This morning he was completely cooperative about getting dressed and out the door, and when we got to daycare he lit up like a Christmas tree, flipping me a little disinterested wave over his shoulder as he ran off with his friends, to do whatever it is that a bunch of toddlers do all day.

TGIM -- no, seriously.