Anna's New Socks

I mentioned that we helped my sister move her stuff from Amarillo back to North Texas and knowing that it wouldn't be a good thing to drag Anna along to do, she got to spend the day with my parents.

I called to check-in on her and my Mom mentioned that I had forgotten to pack socks and that her feet were cold. She reassured me that she was fine as she just borrowed a pair of my Dad's socks for her.


My Dad is a full-grown man and wears (I think) size nine shoes. Anna is four months old and has mini-feet, since she still wears newborn (0-6 week) shoes.

So, naturally, I started laughing since this whole idea was pretty hilarious to me. My Mom, who hears me laughing, says (in a completely serious tone), "Oh no, Jackie. They're not tube socks. They're your Dad's ankle socks."


Ohhhhhhh. Okay Mom. That doesn't make it any less funny!


Woops, He Did It Again

It's not a secret that we've spent a lot of money on Spangler these past 18 months. He's notorious for getting into things . . . Things that usually end in money being spent at the vet.

We had to spend Saturday in Amarillo helping my sister move. It was a long, all-day affair (about 12 hours of driving) so my other sister, Dianne, volunteered to watch Spangler. She has a husky/German Shepard mix and we thought they'd be perfect together since they are both teenage boys who get a little crazy sometimes.


All seemed to go well, and I received updates throughout the day. They were playing hard, but enjoying the time together.


Did I mention that they were playing pretty hard?

He acted pretty tired but Monday morning it took him two tries to make it in the car (Spangler rides with me to take Anna to the babysitter). I thought it was strange when it took him two tries again that afternoon, but thought he had likely pulled a muscle from all the crazy playing.

Tuesday morning he showed no interest in dropping off Anna with me, and that is when I started to get concerned. By the afternoon, he was just lying on the floor moaning. I knew at that time we needed to go to the vet.

But of course . . . it's now after 5pm so we have to go where?

The emergency vet, which means everything costs twice as much! His blood work came back normal except his platelet counts (which didn't make me too concerned since they were still triple than mine).

He did have a high fever, so we were going down the path of him having an infection (likely from rough-housing) so antibiotics it was. We headed home with fluids injected into his skin (to make sure he stayed hydrated) and two different kinds of antibiotics. 

But Tuesday night was horrible.

All night long he cried and whined and he couldn't get comfortable. We felt so bad. So, when I came back from taking Anna to the babysitter Wednesday morning and found that he hadn't moved, crying even more than he was before, I knew we needed to go back to the vet.

I seriously thought he was going to die. He was acting that bad.

We were really fortunate that we have such a great vet who took the time to thoroughly exam him. After pressing over his body we finally got a reaction when a certain spot in his spine touched, so we knew where to x-ray. Our vet (fortunately, or unfortunately) knows Spangler by name . . . as we heard a few jokes about him eating the clip board while we were there. 

It turns out that Spangler has managed to compress three vertebrae in his back. He's on this concoction of pain killers, muscle relaxers and steroids, so he's feeling much much better, but there is still a bit of a road ahead of him. We have to keep him flat (no jumping, going up stairs, running, etc.) for the next 2 weeks and then only light exercise 2 weeks after that. If he re-injures his back, it could cause permanent damage.

(Yeah, wish us luck with that.)

He's home and doing really great, it's just hard not to guess what's in it for us next time. Although, I'm sure whatever it is, it will include more expensive visits to the vet.


Got Some Pictures In The Mail

I am notorious for adding things to my shopping cart and having them sit there. I'll go "shopping" online, spend 30 minutes looking at things, and then just let it sit there in the cart. It can be fun to just look, with no intent to buy, but I also do this on things I need to get.

Like, the dog crate I owe friends Jace and Randy. Ummmmm . . . This is a bit awkward to admit, but they let us "borrow" a dog crate for Spangler when we first got him (note that he is 18 months old now). Since he's pretty much used it into the ground, we told them (disclosure: six months ago) that we'd just buy them a brand new one. So, multiple times I've gone out to Amazon.com and found one, added it to my cart, with the intention of checking with Cody that it's the right one, but actually buying it never happens.

I really need to get that done.

I think the worst is pictures. I order my pictures from ScrapbookPictures.com (love their quality) and back last December I added pictures from my friend Jacque's baby shower, since part of her shower gift was creating a mini photo album that everyone would sign. The only problem is that I never made the picture order. (Another disclosure: note that Hudson is now six months old.)

Then, after Anna was born, I added more pictures to my shopping cart of her birth. Still never made the order.

So, last week I finally added the pictures I needed to get printed, and CHECKED OUT.

This, was a big deal.

I got my order in the mail and nothing is more exciting than getting printed pictures in your hands. I'll be finishing Jacque's shower album, getting more of Anna's baby album done, and updating picture frames throughout my house.

Pile-of-pictures copy

I'm excited.

Now to order that dog crate . . .


How Quickly I Forget

I came across this picture when looking through Cody's phone the other day and can't believe that this was a short five months ago.


And it just cracks me up.

How quickly I've forgotten what it was like to weigh 28 pounds more. Have Anna inside me, moving and grooving all the time. Not know what Anna looks like. Not know her personality. Get a full night's sleep every night. To not love her for the little person she is.


Seven Years and Counting

Standing in the hospital room with Cody's grandma, Mavis, in the hours leading up to losing Robert, I had a conversation with Mavis that I will never forget. I've always looked at their marriage in awe. They survived so much together, both good and bad, and came out at the end with a selfless love that you could just feel when you were around them.

The birth of their three sons and the adoption of their daughter. Countless moves. Jealousy. Poverty. The arrival of the grandchildren. The death of Cody's Uncle Len. Summer's spent as a family in Colorado. Jokes and laughing. Good food. Doctor's appointments. Impending death.

I had always given Mavis a hard time because their lives were so full that when she met Robert as a young teenager, there was no way that she could have predicted the amazing life they would live together. I'd always tell her that she should write a book just to capture their crazy lives. I brought it up again as we were there in the hospital room and she turned to me and said, "Doll, I love Robert now, but it started out as lust. It was lust-at-first-sight." Then she giggled.

I can understand just how she feels.

I still giggle about Cody and me. I had just turned 19 when we started dating and I thought he was the cutest guy in the whole world--and I still do think that. It's just that our lust has turned to love, which has turned into a deeper love than I could ever image.

Seven years ago today I married Cody. On a Tuesday. At 5pm.

I wasn't really nervous. In fact, I just wanted the whole thing to be over. We had dated for almost three years and I was so ready to be his wife that after the ceremony I would have been totally fine with skipping the reception. (We had to pull over right before we got to the reception location so the photographer could set up and get pictures of us arriving. Cody and I joked about skipping out. I think we were half serious!)

I knew we were meant to be and so the pop and circumstance of the wedding seemed to be for everyone else. For me, my commitment to Cody had happened a long time before walking down the isle.

I thought I loved him then (and I did) but nothing compares to the way I love him now.


We have in no means gone through the full life of Cody's grandparents, but there is something about living life TOGETHER and helping each other through the good and the bad. It brings you closer than you can ever imagine.

Especially the Great Stomach Flu of Christmas 2007. Ugh. A bit embarassing when your husband has to clean up after an event like that . . . Or listening to my singing voice. I don't wish that upon anyone. The death of those we love. New jobs. Listening to the completely random thoughts that come out of my head. Or, the anxiety leading up to Anna's birth, and the amazing support he game me. And best of all, the birth of our daughter. The little person we made together.

Happy Anniversary Babe! Seven years and counting!


New Job, Same Office

Friday afternoon I texted my friend Jacque saying that my last day at my company was leaving me feeling a bit nostalgic, despite the fact that I felt at peace with my decision to switch jobs. Six years is a long time with one company.

She replied saying that she understood, and that it made sense, considering all the experiences I've had since I started working there. What she said was so true. The very first time I was in Chicago was for my job interview, scheduled during our house-hunting trip. My first day of work was only the second time I'd ever been in the city and I had to somehow get my 23-year-old self from the suburbs to my building in The Loop.

To say that I was nervous was an understatement.

But, I've grown up with my company. I was essentially fresh out of college (a brief six month job at a small web development company followed by a ten month stint doing a corporate retail e-commercesite), with just my self-taught graphic design background. I even had to pay $5 to a bum to show me where Union Station was so I could somehow get myself back home.

I'm now able to successfully execute large contracts, deal with clients and the day-to-day management that comes with that, and successfully travel to places I've never been to. The people that gave me opportunity, and all the stressful, fun, events that came with it, are things in my life I'll never forget.

During my maternity leave I received an email from a company I had interviewed with last summer, but ended up not taking the job because I had just found out I was pregnant with Anna and knew it was better to stay where my maternity leave benefits were better. (Being with my company for six years meant I had enough sick leave saved up so I could get my full 12 weeks of maternity leave paid--something I know was a huge blessing on our family.)

It killed me to turn the job down, since it was a great opportunity, but I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision. So, I was super excited when I got the email from them saying they were still looking for someone.

It's another Chicago-based company so a few weeks before I headed back to work I flew up to Chicago for the day, leaving Anna in the very-capable hands of my Mom. Just a quick fly-in, fly-out trip. I found out just the week before my maternity leave was up that I got the job, so on my first day back to work, I put in my two-weeks. (Um, yeah. Not really how I wanted it to happen, but it turned out to be good timing since my coworkers and clients were already used to me being gone.)

So, this morning I'm starting my new job. I'm nervously excited, as I'm getting back into a line of work that I really enjoy. It's just funny because my first day "at the office" is the same office, since I work from home. Same routine (get up, get ready, get Anna ready, take Anna to the babysitter), same office, but a new job to start out the week.

And I'm feeling surprisingly optimistic.



Anna And Her Bumbo Chair


Anna is 14 weeks old today. She made it about 20 seconds sitting in her Bumbo chair yesterday morning before we left for the babysitter. Last time she freaked out immediately.

Hey, it's progress!


Happy Happy Birthday, Family Style

I love my family.


We have our issues, like any family.


And during get-togethers we have the typical frustrations of so-and-so not doing so-and-so.


Saying something they shouldn't have.


Or, not saying something they should have.


But, I'm learning that the world can be pretty crappy.


People you thought you could trust, you cannot.


Bad things happen that don't seem fair.


And in the end, it's really your family you can count on.


My parents are awesome. My sisters are awesome.


It's a forced love that I don't mind.


Happy Birthday Steph and Dad.

I love you both.


No Visit From The Easter Bunny This Year

It was our first year to celebrate Easter with Anna and although she's a bit young to have the Easter Bunny come visit, we made our way Friday afternoon to the mall (ugh) to get our picture taken.

Luckily it was a shorter line than I feared and only took about 30 minutes.

I had been trying to figure out what I was going to do about an Easter dress, since anyone that's been a little girl knows how important an Easter dress is! I really didn't want to spend $20-$30 dollars on a one-time dress (how much they were running even at Wal-Mart and Target) so I was verypleasantly surprised when Caressa (my doula from Anna's birth) left the cutest dress on my front porch a few weeks ago.


(Anna would start crying REALLY quickly after I'd put her down so I kept walking over, calming her down, and the woman wasn't very good at hitting the shutter button in the few seconds she was calm.)

I found matching shoes at a local second-hand store for only $2.99, and they were never worn, with the original tags on and everything! Although, it's pretty funny that Anna fits shoe size "0-6 weeks" even though she is almost 14 weeks old. She has some mini-feet!


So, I got her all dressed up for the mall trip and ended up being really happy I could capture her first Easter.

Sunday morning we got up and headed to church. Anna got dropped off at the church nursery and Cody and I headed to one of the "overflow" rooms so the first-time guests could sit in the sanctuary. We did our usual volunteer thing the second service (our church has three services) and picked Anna Banana up afterwards.


A quick lunch with our friends Dace and Jacque (and Hudson) and we headed home for the rest of the day to take it easy.


No Easter Bunny this year, but a good first Easter none-less!


Spangler, Look at Me.

We've had a ton of rain in North Texas recently (and like much of the country, lots of tornados and really bad thunderstorms) so the dirt in the backyard dirt is really soft (our backyard has been turned into dirt with grass patches from Spangler--nice, huh?). 

Yesterday afternoon I walked outside to let Spangler back inside and wasn't surprised to see this:


Spangler was looking at me with his paws and muzzle covered in wet, sandy dirt. He knew exactly what he did and that he was in trouble.

"Spangler, sit."

<He sits.>

"Look at me. Spangler . . ."

<Very slowly looks at me.>


"Did you dig a hole in the backyard?"

<He looks away and lies down right where he was sitting.>


It's like he was so defeated that he got caught that I couldn't really discipline him. It's like he was punishing himself. (Well, I say that because I guess I'm justifying not punishing him? Man. He better feel lucky that his Mom is such a softie!)

So I wiped him off and took him back inside.