at least the color brings out her eyes

Poor little girl. I noticed it around 5:30 on Thursday. She wouldn’t put weight on her rear foot, and it was noticeably swollen. She didn’t cry about it, though, and when I gingerly palpated it, she whimpered only once. So, I wasn’t sure, and got a second opinion from Daddy J. Yup, broken, was his verdict.

Our outstanding local vet answered Daddy J’s page and said that since Scarlett had eaten a few hours ago, he’d have to wait in order to use anesthesia. I assumed at first that that meant he’d see her in the morning, but no: he told us to bring her at 9:30 at night. Daddy J took her to the clinic, and sure enough, her little leg was broken. Dr. West said it wasn’t a bite from another dog, like, say, a huge male German shepherd. Most likely, he thinks, she was exploring and got her foot caught in a root or rocks or something in our backyard and then broke her leg when she wrenched her foot free.

She thumps along pretty well on it, although it sure looks uncomfortable. She’ll get it off in a couple of weeks.

****

Total non-sequitur: That bizarro shingles/spider bite spot apparently just comes and goes on a whim now. It was back a few weeks ago, then faded, and is back again now. Weird.

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brief recapping sans photos

It was a much easier Christmas than it’s been in years past. Less of the Big Shopping and Decorating, more of the Chill Out-edness. Very nice.

Photos to come shortly, but (spoiler!) the kids were adorable, Daddy J was hot, and I wore a sparkly sweater for much of the time. Daddy J and I toned down the grown-up gifting by prearranged agreement, which was a relief. Rockinrolla was given a whump-whump drum pedal that he was excited about, in addition to his Middle School trip this spring. And Brad loves his new amp for his electric guitar.

Rainbow was amply gifted, without being buried under an avalanche of consumer items. More than he needed or wanted, sure, but not an obscene amount of stuff.

Christmas #1 at Grandma L’s was delightful. Daddy J’s brother and his girlfriend joined us at Grandma L’s and Grandpa R’s house. Intimate and cozy and festive.

My brother and his family came in, which was a rare treat. We’ve seen Jay a few times in the past couple of years, but I don’t think I’ve seen my little nephew M in at least two years. Rainbow loved playing with M (who’s five) as well as with the other eleventy-three cousins he has.

It’s been a playful Christmastime.

Cousin B.W. had a fabulous Christmas Eve brunch at her home. It was slightly bittersweet because Daddy J’s grandma has had the Christmas Eve soup and sandwich event for years and years, certainly as long as we’ve been married. Daddy J’s extended local family and good friends were there.

We had our own Christmas afternoon party, also a great success. Treats, hot apple cider, wine, crackling fire. Niceness.

And again, a get-together at our house on the 26th for my brother and his family with Mom’s family.

And again, last night, a gathering at my mother’s house with her husband’s kids and families.

We have missed a couple of events that I’d have liked to have made it to, but baby naptimes and work schedules don’t let us go to everything. My good friend C cooked a flaming baked Alaska for a large group on the 26th. I hate that we missed that. We’ve missed some gatherings and Yahtzee games and didn’t get to spend as much time with some people as we’d have liked. Overall, though, it’s been a golden one.

I will, in the spirit of Festivus, air two grievances:

1. I do not feel that elaborate synthesizer music has any place in church services. I would much rather hear a third grader plunk out a version of “Silent Night” on an out-of-tune piano with two sour notes for every right one than listen to a dreamy Mannheim Steamroller version and try to look festive as I sing along with it. I am probably in the minority here, but whatever. Thumbs down on synthesizer music in church. Ptooey.

2. The pets are making me insane. In the summer, they bask and hunt and frolic outside all the time, but now they just want to lounge and mooch human food. Three inside dogs (two of whom are large, one of whom isn’t fully housebroken, and one of whom smells like a rancid dumpster) and three noisy, underfoot cats who want to be inside are wayyyyy too many.

snaps

Some overdue photos from recent days gone by…

DANG, but he’s a handsome man.

Halloween, with my little firefighter.

Brad’s theatrical debut this fall. We were immeasurably proud of him. He wants to be in the spring production, too.

Brad’s fifteenth birthday cake.

Rainbow likes to throw fallen walnuts against the fence in the backyard, and Wolfric gets them as they ricochet.

A Christmas Story, anyone?

Getting ready to go in to Bethlehem Marketplace with the big boys.

Rockinrolla loves petting the camels. And, well, who doesn’t?

Brad cuddling with Scarlett. Mini dachshund’s necks are irresistible to me. All soft and wrinkly. I adore my little weenie dog.

Me, fresh from my birthday facial with my mom and about to eat her decadent, from-scratch Italian cream cake.

My birthday present from Daddy J: a sparkly Christmas house. Awesome.

Scarlett and Wolf are best friends now. They wrestle on the porch and he chews on her very gently. She cleans his teeth like one of those nibbly fish that loiter around whales.

hand-me-downs

I’ve found myself reaching for some of Ward’s old clothes to put on Rainbow and then pulling my hand away and choosing something new. It’s not the pants or jackets so much as the shirts; specifically, I can’t bring myself to put Ward’s favorite shirts on Rainbow. And the ones that Ward wore for cherished pictures we have – well, forget it. I just can’t do it.

I told myself at one time that it would be cute when I could dress Rainbow up in the little white sailor suit Ward wore for his christening, or in the dressy little oxfords and sweater vests he had. And… no.

I was feeling sort of crummy about it and giving myself a hard time: They’re just CLOTHES for Pete’s sake! Wardie certainly doesn’t care if you dress Rainbow up in them.

And I wondered if I was being weirdly clingy to these material things and wanting to keep them special and untouched in Ward’s memory. And I know, I know, that would be fine and all to do, but really, they’re just clothes and I don’t want to be that way.

Then I realized that it wasn’t even about Wardie when it came to those special memory/photo clothes. I want Rainbow to be his own guy at all times. I don’t want him hearing “Oh, you look like your brother Wardie! I remember when he wore that little shirt,” and then seeing somebody wipe a tear away. That’s not what I want for this little man. So, it’s good, I think, to reserve the most Ward-specific items and let them stay in storage. Not because Wardie is any more special than Rainbow, but because they both deserve to be individuals.

*****

(Yes, we got a new puppy a few months ago. Her name is Scarlett. Daddy J saw an advertisement for dappled miniature dachshunds, which I have coveted for years, and told me to go pick one out for my anniversary gift. I love her. She is totally ridiculous and somewhat naughty at this point, but she is everything I want in a little lap dog: tiny-ness, negligible shedding, and physical beauty. Honestly, if she were shrunken down to, like, 1/100th size, she would make a stunning brooch. She has BLUE EYES, PEOPLE.)

(And yes, you may have noticed that I like them long and lean. Daddy J loves his GSD (as do I) but my favorite doggy body style is stumpy and stretched out, as demonstrated by Oscar (wiener dog #1), by Dana (the Corgi), and by Ruby (the basset hound.)

(Yes, it’s silly of us to get a goofy little puppy when we have a toddler at home. Yeah. Whatever. I still love her. Plus, her crate is really small. And she won’t be a puppy forever.)

(Interesting side note: I named her Scarlett because I wanted to name her after the most beautiful and feisty Southern woman I could think of and I thought the little girl cousins might be impressed. Also, it amuses me that we have two hound dogs named Ruby and Scarlett. BUT! Daddy J pointed out that the breeder from whom I bought her (who is totally NOT a puppy mill breeder) is named TARA. So I got Scarlett from Tara and how great is that.)

strengthening

I joined a health club and have gone a few times, and it’s great. I LOVE to work up a good sweat and dance around. The elliptical’s fine and all, and I’ve done that along with weights a couple of times, but I had kind of forgotten how fun aerobics classes are. I get that adrenalin rush (it happens when Daddy J takes me dancing, too – take me dancing, Daddy J!) when it’s just SO FUN to jump around for hours. I don’t get it with the elliptical so much, although I soldier through and do a good half-hour, but the aerobics totally does it for me. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

The bonus with this health club is that a lot of my friends go there, and it’s extra fun to take a funky dance-y aerobics class with friends. Also, cousin N often brings her youngest child to the nursery, so Rainbow can play with him there.

Rainbow does pretty well in the nursery. I kind of wish the babysitter in there had a little more pep. I’m all: So, my child might need a little distraction as I walk out the door. ahem. MIGHT help if you would get in here and play with him some. MIGHT need you to do that. ahem. Oh look, Rainbow! Your friend is coming over to play with you! And she sort of makes her way over. Reluctantly.

However, she’s plenty nice, and there have so far only been one or two other kids in there. Today I forgot Soft Puppy and his pacifier, which was probably why he was sort of unhappy when I got there. Not actually crying, but vocally protesting and griping a bit. I’ll remember Soft Puppy next time, though, and I bet we’ll be golden.

~~~~~~~

Ruby smells like a cross between Old Lady soap and Preteen Girl body spray. I kid you not. You can bury your face in her ample shoulders and breathe deeply and NOT be nauseated, just sort of amazed with the floral-soapiness of it all.

(Which totally reminds me of Pimp My Ride. Like, taking something vile and making it all fresh and lovely and pleasant to be around.

Oooo, reality show idea? Pimp My Dog.

Erm.

Yeah.

Never mind.)

The vet shampoo, used a whole week ago, totally degreased and destinkified her, and I’ve applied a couple of deodorant products for good measure since then. The ionic brush seems like a totally ineffective gimmick, but we’ll continue to use it and think that maybe it’s helping in some way. It makes no sound or anything, it’s just a plastic brush with stiff, widely spaced bristles and a blinking light to show it’s on, but, eh. I’ll give it a good shot.

~~~~~~~

The Commodore is about to go to the state semifinals for the National Geography Bee. Yes indeedy we are proud.

Also, he got accepted to the private school in town that is Daddy J’s and my alma mater (and Rockinrolla’s current school) so he will in fact be going there in the fall. The Commodore is doing sort of startlingly well with the trap shooting, along with the cross country in the fall, and he can continue both of these activities at his new school. Or choose to take up one of a bazillion others.

It is so very sweet to see Rockinrolla and the Commodore talking about this school, Rockinrolla describing it and telling his big brother what to expect. I think it’s going to work out magnificently.

~~~~~~~

We had a golden day a the zoo yesterday. It’s the Commodore’s spring break and Rockinrolla took his A honor roll holiday from school, so I had my big boys and my baby boy with me on this gorgeous 72 degree day. Awesome.







Rainbow was sort of dragging when we got to the bouncy foam room of toddler delights, but then he perked right up. He’s a social guy, squealing and running up to other little kids to touch them on a shoulder. We had a brief moment of panic when he started to take a chomp out of another little boy, but I jumped in and pulled him back before he made contact.





(Yes, he’s totally a biter right now. I’ve never had a biting child. It’s not that he’s mad or anything; I think he thinks it’s a kiss. He reaches in with his little wide open mouth and then chomps you like a peach. He seems to enjoy it and think that the bitee should, too. Except it hurts the victim and tends to leave a mark. It really crushes his feelings to have his little bared teeth pulled away and to hear the word “NO” about the whole thing. Poor little chomper.)

~~~~~~~

Also, whatever baby crack they put in Gerber #2 mac-n-cheese is apparently in the toddler version as well. Rainbow is all over it. Gerber pasta rings in tomato sauce? Ptooooooie. Gerber lasagna bites? Oh H to the NO, woman. I’ll eat some bread and jam, maybe some banana chunks, refried beans, and that havarti’s pretty good, but really it’s all about the mac.

stankdawg

Ode to the Malodorous Hound

O, Basset Hound, with eyes of gold,
Who knew your odor would grow so old?
As a puppy you were so soft and mellow,
Cuddling on the couch like soft-set jello.

Your puppy smell was kind of pleasant,
But it’s nothing like what’s going on at present.
Rotting fish, rancid corn chips, fecal matter ~
Your entrance causes our guests to scatter.

You’ve never been anything but gentle,
Never snappy or temperamental.
Stubborn and lazy, yes indeed,
But that’s just the nature of the breed.

Yet this awful reek we cannot savor
Makes our steadfast love for you… waver.
An internet search proves we’re not alone
And that we need much more than doggy cologne.

~+~+~+~+~+~+~+

So, yes. Daddy J has had quite enough of it. And her smell is indeed foul. We’re upping our efforts at corralling the stink.

Switching from boy administered baths every week or two to a bath from a grown-up every single week. And back to daily brushings, as opposed to the twice-or-so a week she’s been getting. I’ve ordered three snoods that I’m hoping will help with the whole drag-the-ears-through-water-and-mud thing she does. And going to go back to Zyrtec instead of Benadryl to help with her, um, mucus secretions. I might switch her to the sensitive food diet, too, because apparently that can make a difference. I’ve even read about giving them a Listerene rinse after bathing, which is intriguing.

She SO sweet, but, dang, she’s a stinkpot.



view from the front yard.

Daddy J took these a few days ago. It was, I’m pretty sure, the most amazing rainbow I’ve ever seen. The stripes of color were really vivid and well-defined. There were actually two of them, and this one, the brighter, had a second one starting to grow under it. So pretty.


This is the church we see from our front door. I not-so-secretly love that the boys will be able to say, when they are adults, that they grew up with the ten commandments staring them in the face every time they left the house.

And here’s another good looking Rainbow for your viewing pleasure.




And the totally ferocious GSD protecting the deck. A tough job on a sunny day.

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