~ Best Shot Monday – Woof ~

So a couple of years ago I waxed nostalgic about how much I would look back with fondness at the ways in which having a dog would enrich my kid’s memories of their childhood.  I grew up with pets, but they never really felt totally a part of the family.  Maybe it was because they didn’t mind, weren’t the least bit trained or generally embarrassed the living tar out of me whenever we took them to the vet – or worse – when they bolted out of the house and I had to run after them screaming like a banshee!  I did say enrich, right?

Five years ago we became proud puppy parents for the first time.  He’s very much my husband’s dog, and over the years he’s become even that even more so as my patience with his antics grows thin.  I suppose spending much of 2007 and 2008 home with him on maternity leave didn’t help in the way of bonding.  Instead, I was busy keeping him away from the babies, bottles, and burp chunks he licked off the floor – gross, right?

There’s far too many stories I could share about the ever-widening gap between my early affection and more recent annoyance with our four-legged friend.   I suppose we’ll continue to make our peace and perhaps someday we’ll come back around to enjoying one another’s company.  Until then, my Best Shot this week shows how I’ll adjust to life with what looks like two canine companions!

Crunching

Best Shot Monday ~ Priceless

I’ve joked before about how difficult it is to fit a full-time job into an already full-time schedule.  So one would think that by going to a part-time work schedule I would have oodles of “free” time to write, read, reflect, oh and if you bother to stop by here anymore…blog!  In fact, I’m finding that the balance is much easier to strike, but I’m also spending more time choosing to be an active participant in the goings-on. 

While I’ve been taken lots of pictures there haven’t been as many of my two favorite subjects as of late.  However, these two…they just make me laugh and cry at the very same time!  Sometimes I feel as if my heart will actually break because it is constantly being stretched to accommodate the capacity of love I have for my kids. 

Even though her expression is a little silly, I just adore this picture of my lovely little lady – taken a few weeks ago at my cousin’s homecoming football game. 

Flower Hat

And Calder…he’s becoming quite the little man.  Here, he was playing with his coffee stirrer straw and spinning around to get “busy” – I think he was trying to see himself.  I’m quite certain that he’s laying a great foundation for his dad to trick him into trying to see his ear in a few years!

Busy

Be sure to spin over to Tracey’s for more Best Shots today!

Terrific Two’s

Considering there has been little in the way of updating going on here as of late, today’s birthday post will commemorate the recent goings-on of a certain Birthday Boy!

Birthday 1

“Wan’ wear din-saur!  No pants, No pants!” – Refusal to get dressed in the mornings – usually overcome after being completely distracted by his insatiable appetite for oatmeal {giggle, giggle} – seriously, he laughs in anticipation as I mix it up!

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Birthday 2

About three weeks ago we had our first ever hospital stay!  After our daycare provider mentioned his rapid breathing, we took him to urgent care and ended up spending 2 nights at Sparrow to help him through a bout of bronchiolitis.  It was quite a long night – the worst of which was the IV that he received around 2am – after being completely exhausted, scared, and not to mention feeling horrible. 

On the up side of the whole ordeal, I certainly learned that he is a brave young man.  He charmed many a-doctor with some signs and cracked me up by saying “Gesundheit” after an impressive sneeze attack!  I was ever thankful to Kindermusik as listening to the soundtracks on my iPod is how we survived the hours of waiting throughout the evening leading up to our hospital stay.  All in all, he came through like a trooper (even after he caught the flu when he came home!).

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Birthday 3

“Oh. My. Goodness.”   That’s just one of the many mimicked phrases flying around our house these days.  I don’t think there’s much he doesn’t say.  His growing vocabulary has been so amazing to witness.  Watching him process, wonder, question and synthesize so much every day has expanded my heart even more – if that were even possible.

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Birthday 4

I know this one’s gonna sound weird, and I guess everyone will just have to deal with it.  This one is more for me to remember because it’s truly something I’ve noticed that surprised me.  In the past couple of months, the deliciously adorable baby smell has disappeared.  The snuggles I adored when he was peanut and curled into me because he didn’t have the strength to do otherwise are nothing compared to the true embrace that warms my heart each time I have the privilege of stories and snuggles.  And yet, when I tuck my face into the crook of his neck and breathe him in – I now take in a sour sweetness of boyhood.

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“Hey Mama!”  He does this often, just to get my attention, but lately it’s been to show me something he finds particularly amusing.  Such as stuffing his finger up his nose on the way somewhere.  When I glance back, the smirk that crosses his face is enough to crack me up.  But I remain strong.  Looking straight ahead, through a stifled laugh I calmly say “No pick, Calder.” 

Recently, he waddled into the kitchen, turned his back toward me and lifted his shirt to show me his saggy pants and exposed crack.  “Wook,” he said, grinning.  Trade the diaper for boxers and the sweatpants for jeans with a studded belt and that could be my middle schooler someday….Oy!

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“Tank you, Mama.”  This any all of his little manners melt my heart every time.  ” ‘Scooz me, Mama.”  “Bwess you, Mama.”  My favorite was his two-week phase where his “Bwess you” was said as though he was sneezing.  He also blesses himself after he coughs.  And most of these are offered without prompting.  Often times the appropriate comment is given, then followed by the same comment for “Dad-dy,” Sen-ca” (he says it as a 2-syllable name right now), “Xanther” and anyone else he can think of before repeating a few for good measure!

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Birthday 5

“Hooray!  So fun!  Yea!  and Noooo-uh!”  I think the first of these is owed in part to his puppy toy, but it was cute nevertheless, when everything one evening was followed by “Hooray!”  Whether it was our dinner menu, going upstairs, answering the phone, etc.  Similarly, we often play up the fun factor of mundane things to make them seem more appealing.  You know, “Get your coat on so we can go see our friends!  It will be so fun!”  or “How about we sit in our seat and talk while we clean up dinner dishes, so fun!”  Now he’s using it too.  But I really think he does find some of the things he talks about fun…. 

About 2 months ago, every question we asked was answered with “Huh?”  That too made me flash forward to middle school – eek!  Now, our exchanges are something like this:

C: Hey Mama, saw bird.

A: Did you see a bird?

C: Yea.

A: Was the birdie eating?

C:  Ummmm, Noooo-uh

A: Was the birdie walking?

C: Noooo-uh

A: What was he doing?

C:  Ummmm, fwy-ing ‘way.

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Birthday 6

In two years, I’ve learned so much more than I could have imagined.  And each time, I get to my *favorite* stage, I’m surprised by my next *favorite* stage.  Calder, I love you more than you know.  I love your courage, your curiosity, your tenderness, your compassion.  I love your humor, your giggle, the way you run away from me when you have something you know you shouldn’t have (no seriously, you need to give that to Mama, but it is pretty cute the way you check back to see if I’m coming).  I love your “Show me, Mama!” and the way you wrap your hands so tightly around my finger.  I love that we have been blessed to be your parents.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!