Day 3: Getting Better, I Think

I was all pumped to write a light-hearted post tonight. Today was better! Much better! Breaths of relief, sunshine, downtime, progress… the whole nine yards!

But Andy and I had words while I was putting Graham to bed, and now he’s out running errands so… no resolution. We all know how great *that* feels.

No need to air the laundry, of course. The tiff was just that… a tiny thing. Built of stresses pent up from appliances that aren’t great, an apartment that’s just a liiiittle too small and things that are just generally out of order with no ease of established process. We don’t have the steps to the dance of keeping a household down here yet. Every so often we bicker like newlyweds. ūüėČ

I’m going to unhealthily compartmentalize that for a second so I can update you on Day 3. :)

Today, we took heaping gulps of hope for a more comfortable future here, in the form of starting to look at child care options, putting together a list of houses to start viewing [tomorrow!!!] and getting pre-approval for a mortgage.

And also, it stopped raining and the sun shone brightly this afternoon. It was like living in a book, it was that perfect.

More on the two items: daycare and houses.

Daycare is going to be a bit different from what we’re used to in Dallas. Apparently most folks do in-home daycares here. It’s going to be far different from the highly-structured, big-classroom settings that Graham has dealt with. Part of me loves the idea of the kids being in a more intimate, homey setting. The other part of me worries about Graham’s school-readiness. (Mostly because I knew we had that box checked and double-checked with the program he was in back in Texas.) Either way, for Andy to get to a place where he can interview for jobs, we need some sort of childcare set up for part time. We’ve got a call in to two different in-home daycares and a visit scheduled with a center-based daycare tomorrow morning at 9:30.

Houses. Oh, houses! We’ve learned a bit more since we last toured homes in September, so we sent our realtor a few revisions – mostly to area & school requirements – to our search criteria, and he sent us a large list to scan through. The revised list of homes on the market that he sent back had a bunch that were doable and a handful that we’re actually excited about. Tomorrow, one of us (cue a heated game of rock/paper/scissors), is going to preview 12 homes to see if they’re worthy of calling Home.

Also had a talk with a mortgage broker, one that our local realtor highly recommended. He gave us two thumbs-up on the loan pre-approval, so we should be ready to make some offers if/when we see something! He also offered to get Andy in touch with local businesses and circulate his resume a bit. Normally I’d be a little “yeah, yeah…” at this, but the guy’s office is located on the Capitol square downtown, so I feel like he must have some sort of street cred to back that up.

Not much else is new. Hugo’s still refining the art of sullying the common greenspaces on command, so send him – uh – urgent(?) thoughts if you have a moment. We also made it out of the house in a semi-big way this afternoon. We walked the mall this afternoon and ate dinner out at a brewhouse. Not too shabby. Felt GREAT to be out!

Will keep you posted on progress tomorrow! Wish us luck!

Day 2: Working the Kinks Out

Day 2 has proved to be less stressful than Day 1 was… but we’re still not out of the woods.

Two key things dominated the day:

  1. Our little apartment washer has no spin cycle. This is a toughie. Our washer was disconnected back in Texas last Wednesday, which means this family of four has been stockpiling laundry for a week now.

    I laughed last night when I loaded the washer here in the apartment for the first time – this tiny little front loader. I started a normal cycle and saw that the run time was 51 minutes about 1.5 times as long as our big washer at home. When I went to switch the laundry before bed? All *sopping* wet. :( I was no longer laughing.

    We had maintenance out today. They worked all afternoon and couldn’t fix it. New washer for us tomorrow!

  2. Hugo has a shy bladder. It’s tough taking a yard-trained dog – one that you have expressly trained *not* to potty while on the leash – and convince him that you were totally joking all these years and LOL of course I don’t mind if you go to the bathroom on our walks. It seems like a small deal, but I spent literally hours in the cold today waiting for my dog to pee. All the while Andy was in charge of keeping the young ones alive and putting the apartment together [while trying not to be consumed alive by the mounting pile of laundry.]

    Happy news is that eventually Hugo gave in, thanks to some string cheese encouragement, and all is much more relaxed around home now.

Other than that, Reid was pretty fussy all day today. I think he may be cutting teeth, but I also know that he’s still a little sleep deprived and still adjusting to life as we now know it.

Graham is adjusting too. He dithers between being our helper and doing ridiculous things like emptying an entire kitchen garbage can on the floor, turning it over and standing on it during the middle of dinner.

To be fair, we also dither between letting these things roll off our back and letting them bother us. :)

It’s been raining today. We’re supposed to get more tomorrow, then it should clear off the rest of the week. It’s actually been reasonably warmish for what we expected it to be here. Getting down to mid-40s at night and then getting into the 50s by day. Hoping to get out and about (oot and aboot?) to see the area soon, but I’ve loved what I’ve seen so far!

Hugo’s Owie

I had a pretty busy day yesterday. Went to the doctor, ran by work, and didn’t get home until about mid-afternoon. I called for Hugo, but he didn’t come see me. I figured he was in the middle of one of his infamous afternoon snoozes.

My friend Jaime texted that she was going to swing by close to 5:00 to pick up some cowboy boots for a photo shoot with her kiddos.

As soon as she rang the doorbell, I heard a bark and the sound of four chocolate paws bounding down the stairs to greet our friend. I was busy shuffling the baby, so Hugo pulled ahead of me. I reached eyeshot of the front door just as Hugo let out a sharp whimper and collapsed on the ceramic tile – 2 feet shy of the front door.

I let Jaime in, and Hugo didn’t move. A half second later, he moved to try and stand up, whimpered again, and laid back down on the floor.

I swear my blood ran cold. It didn’t help AT ALL that this is what Marley looked like in the Marley and Me movie just before they drove him to the vet and put him down. That’s all I could think about. (So like me – always assuming the worst.)

The rest was a blur. Jaime offered to stay with Reid while I took Hugo to the vet and Andy made his way home with Graham. I called the vet, and they told me to bring him in, even though they were past their last appointment of the day. The vet was still there, he’d stay to see us.

God bless our vet. I swear up and down we have found ourselves a saint. Small town practicality in a big city is REALLY hard to find.

Jaime and I lifted Hugo into my car and we set off. Once the vet saw Hugo, he said, “You manage to tweak your back, buddy?” Hugo was laid out flat on the floor, but he rolled his eyes up at the doctor and gave him a couple tail thumps on the floor.

Our doctor gave Hugo a full physical workover. Hugo seemed to mind the most when the vet bent his neck straight backward, so that’s where he is focusing treatment.

Everything else checked out okay, so the vet gave Hugo a shot of anti-inflammatory medicine and a shot of narcotic (morphine-like, according to the vet) painkiller. He sent us home with more anti-inflammatory meds and also some muscle relaxants.

Suffice it to say: this dog is feeling no pain!

That evening, back at home, Hugo had no interest in dinner. He made one trip to relieve himself outside, then sacked out on the floor for the rest of the night.

This morning, he’s a bit more nimble. His kibble was also gone when we woke up. Seems that it was just a neck injury – nothing incredibly serious. We’ll stay on meds a few more days and then see how he does.

The vet says that “Rest and relaxation are the best medicine here.” So, uh, yeah. Hugo’s going to be juuuust fine. ūüėČ

For the Love of All Things… Control Yourselves!!

Many of you know. We got new carpet this weekend.

The news of this really set people’s logic alarms off because, uh, you have a cat. And a dog. Oh, and a toddler. And you’re soon to have another boy¬†running around the house.

I know. I know all of this. Trust me. We moved into our house in 2006. It was two years old and had the builder’s trademark short pile carpet in the color Of Course, Everyone Loves Beige! But honestly? Like the rest of the house, it didn’t need immediate attention.

We decided to get a dog shortly thereafter in early 2007, so of course, carpet didn’t make sense when you have a lab puppy running around the place.

Then we had the cat-that-would-not-stop-pooping-peeing-everywhere situation (*cough*Mookie*cough*) for the next couple of years, followed by the imminent arrival of our first baby in 2009/10, who would also contribute to spit-up stains and god-knows-what-the-hell-that-was stains.

Suffice it to say, new carpet never seemed like a good idea. Until we both realized that, wow, we really need some new carpet, dear. Because of ALL OF THAT, and the fact that we’d managed to stretch 8 years out of builders-grade carpet. A miracle, I say.

So we had it installed last weekend. And it is like having a new house (kindasorta). It’s taupey and nerdly (yes, that is so ¬†a word..) and so amazingly cushy that Andy had to convince me not to camp out on it the first night post-installation.

My new carpet euphoria was somewhat tarnished the next morning when we found a suspicious wet spot in the middle of the upstairs hallway outside the bathroom. Graham had been running around naked from the waist-down, having demanded that he would not have his morning pee in the toilet, thank you, until Andy had run allll the way downstairs to the car to get his stepstool for the toilet (long story there).

If you have potty trained children, you know: the morning pee waits for no man. And wait, it did not. But we had no solid evidence except the puddle we had found. We kept asking Graham if he’d done it, but he was too busy running crazy from room to room on the new carpet to confirm or deny our allegations. Eventually, he ran up to Andy and I, who were still huddled in horrified awe over the pee puddle on our not-even-24-hours-old carpet, and said, “Yes, I did it. I pee-peed carpet.”

Great. Well, that makes a good story anyway. I GUESS.

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging with family, intermittently answering questions like “Are you going to keep Hugo shut up now [that you have new carpet]?” and “Are you going to let the cat go upstairs?” Innocent enough – I know where they come from. Pet owners, though, you know where we’re coming from. When you choose to let an animal share your house, there’s not really much sectioning and sanctioning you can do of the different areas. ¬†We knew this.

And we had to remind ourselves of this REALLY HARD yesterday, because when I went to get Graham out of bed in the morning, I walked upstairs to find that Hugo had pooped right outside his bedroom (approximately where Graham had peed himself just a few days prior).

“You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!!!!!” I cried. Graham, from the other side of the door added, “Hi, Mommy. You OK Mommy?”

I let Graham out of his room and let him see what Hugo had done. I asked him to stand back and keep his hands to himself and wait while Mommy cleaned things up. Graham watched and verbally debriefed the situation while I cleaned.

“Hugo poop on da floor. No Hugo poop on da floor. Hugo in BIG trouble…” and so on and so forth.

I’m going to take the time now to put a completely unsolicited word in for Bissel’s Little Green Machine. I’m trying to campaign for every new mother to add this to her baby registry. Every pet owner should have one too. No excuses. I don’t need to tell you what variety of smelly messes comes out of children and animals. Nor do I need to list all the possible less gross¬†spills and stains they cause.

Enough said. Worth every penny.

This morning, I was watching Hugo like. a. hawk. He followed me upstairs to get Graham out of bed, and I made him march straight in the room with me and sit there while I changed a poopy diaper. I told Graham to run across the hall to the bathroom to use the potty before we put his briefs on.

Hugo had at some point slunk out of the room and when I turned around I saw Hugo slowly passing in front of Graham’s doorframe, doing the infamous dog butt-scoot across the freaking carpet.

I lost it.

“YOU!” (pointing and snapping at Hugo) “STOP! LAY DOWN.” Graham had run back to the hallway, pantsless, to see what the commotion was about. I raised my eyebrows and lowered my voice and said, “And you…” Graham went wide-eyed, “… back in the bathroom! Go pee pee on the potty and we’ll get your underwear on.” Attention back to the dog, “YOU. Don’t even think about it. Stay put!!! You’re going outside next.”

Both boys obeyed with a wide-eyed ‘yes ma’am’ stare. We had no accidents and everyone survived the morning happily enough.

Dear New Carpet,¬†I swear we’re not normally like this. Please don’t give up quite yet.

And What a Week it was…

Well, the week following a vacation week was bound to be interesting, right? ¬†I mean, outside of normal work catch-up stuff. ¬†Wall-to-wall meetings and trying like heck to keep our heads above water by day…

Blah, blah, blah.

No, we had some other post-vacation hullabaloo!

First, Hugo got his teeth cleaned. ¬†(The picture is him moping over the ‘no breakfast the morning of the appointment’ thing. ¬†He just sat by his placemat and gave me this pathetic look.) ¬†This is the inaugural teeth cleaning for Hugo, as dogs don’t typically require it until the latter half of their existence. ¬†Hugo is a quick study and needed his teeth cleaned a solid year or two before his breed normally does. ¬†That’s my boy – such an overachiever. Since we’d actually stretched him about six months past his vet’s recommendation, there was some concern he might need some major work. ¬†But, no fear. ¬†All is well – it was a completely routine procedure, after all.

That anesthesia though, whoo. ¬†I’ve never seen Hugo so dopey. ¬†That night, after I brought him home, I had to keep coaxing him to sit or lie down because, when he stood on all fours, he leaned to one side!

Good thing he was doped up too, because that night we had some wicked strong storms. ¬†Tornado sirens sounded, and since we’d just watched a documentary on tornado devastation on Discovery the night before, we gathered up a sleeping Graham, guided our dopehead dog downstairs and we all sat in the master closet. ¬†The storms passed us by, though, and we all went to bed.

Next night, after work, Andy let Hugo out into the backyard. ¬†When I went to let him in, I opened the door and saw none other than Maverick, the yellow lab who lives next door, laying in the middle of our yard, propped on his elbows. ¬†Paws crossed. ¬†Looking a little too relaxed. ¬†A little TOO at home. ¬†I said, “Mav… whatcha doin’ out here, bud?” thinking maybe Tim – our neighbor – dropped him off in our yard for some reason. ¬†I stepped out into the yard and saw exactly what had happened.

We lost the section of fence that separated our yard from Tim’s (and Maverick’s)! ¬†One of the support poles just snapped – right at ground level. ¬†Now, we’re fairly inconvenienced by this, but the boys couldn’t be happier. ¬†Maverick is an outdoor dog, so Hugo has a playmate just out his back door whenever he wants it! ¬†And I kind of get to pretend like I have two dogs for awhile, without any extra work. ¬†Pretty fun! ¬†:)

Andy tried calling fence companies, but got no calls back. ¬†What with the storms, I’m certain the fence people are focusing on the bigger jobs right now. ¬†Certain he’d have to fix the thing himself, and mourning the loss of his three-day weekend, I returned from Thursday’s church rehearsal with our saving grace. ¬†One of the guys I sing with at church has worked in construction for years and years. ¬†He just went into business for himself around Easter time as a general handyman. ¬†And guess what? ¬†He does fences. ¬†He came out to our place Friday, evaluated our entire fence (not just the downed section) and quoted us for the replacement of the support pole, repair and replacement of the downed section and some other replaced planks and general fence maintenance… for $150.

Hallelujah, amen.

Fence drama behind us, we had a wonderful weekend.  Saturday, Graham and I headed to the park while Andy mowed the lawn.

Sunday, I sang at church, then we all drove over to Brian and Michelle’s for a little pre-Memorial Day pool action. ¬†Very much fun. ¬†Graham had a good nap at their place (even though he still refuses to bed down there for the night), so we ALL had a lovely afternoon. ¬†:) ¬†More pics if you click the picture below! ¬†Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day!