Wesley's Timeline

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tater Has Had It.

Some of you have asked how Tater is doing with all of the commotion in the house. Well... if looks could speak...
("What are those THINGS? And when are they leaving?")

And they all say actions speak louder than words. In the last three days he has torn the edge off a bathroom mat, gotten into my purse and eaten most of two sticks of gum, chewed through the strap of said purse (yes the adorable green Vera Bradley purse that Karen got me for Christmas... maybe another one might be in my future??), and this morning furiously disemboweled his Mr. Rhino toy. Yeah... I think he's ready to go back to his "old" life. Unfortunately for him, he's going to get rid of the puppies just about the time I load him into a car for several days and then he has to share mommy's attention with a four month old. Hopefully this behavior isn't a preview of what's to come!

Ah... this is why we live in Colorado!

The winds have been bad this spring. Now, I'm told that they're bad every spring but I have to believe they were especially bad this year because I can't face the idea of every spring having them be this bad... hopefully by next year I will have forgotten them. But today is beautiful, sunny and perfectly still.

Of course, that means that the mosquitoes are out, which is why I bought $10 worth of bug spray at the grocery store today. One for every day wear (because unfortunately I think I'm going to have to wear it every day as I am already covered with bites) and one for our future camping expeditions (the heavy stuff).

And here are a few pictures to reinforce the beauty of where we live (and one gratuitous puppy picture because, let's face it, they are my life right now!). The first three were all taken from the deck off the kitchen.
(To the South-West)

(To the West- virtually all of the sunrises and sunsets here are magnificent)

(To the North- the mountains and some of the northern fields got rain that night)

(I'm thinking of starting a rowing team with these puppies... their form and unison with their upper arms on mom's belly is fantastic for four days old!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Final Three

I hate to say that I saved my favorites for last, because they truly are all adorable and sweet in their own ways... but these three little girls definitely have a soft spot in my heart.

First is Two Spot. I think the reason for her name is pretty obvious. She was seventh in the order, born at 11:46pm. Though healthy, she was the "runt" weighing the least at 7oz. But not anymore... last night she weighed in at 11.5oz! That's right... she has gained four and a half ounces in two and a half days. Somebody is obviously a fan of nursing! Even given her weight gain, however, she remains petite looking and I think she'll stay a "dainty" little girl.

Next is Squeaker (also known as Lots of White). She was number 6, born at 10:33pm and weighing eight ounces. She didn't gain yesterday but I cheated and put her on the scale a little bit ago and is now happily hovering around eleven. Her name, you might ask? Within an hour of being born we placed her in the warming basket to allow Mama to deliver Two Spot. She almost immediately fell asleep and started squeaking. Though all the puppies are vocal, she is the loudest, especially while asleep. She is already barking, baying and singing and is a regular in the late night performances.

And Finally, we have Panda. I know that in truth she doesn't look much like a panda (no white circles around her eyes) and yet something about the shape of her head and the black/white markings of her head make me think of a baby panda bear when I look at her. And since I'm the one being woken up in the middle of the night by them (Reid contentedly sleeps right through, an omen of what is to come??), I get to call them what I want! Panda was our first girl, fourth puppy, born at 9:10pm. She has gained 3 1/2 ounces since birth, when she weighed a respectable 9oz. She is sweet and cuddly... and is also a big fan of nursing and chirping.

And that's the lot of them... Tank, Twin Boy, Diamond, Panda, Kink, Squeaker, Two Spot, Twin Girl and Caboose... yeah, I said I wouldn't name them. You can see how long that lasted!

Puppy Intros Numero Dos

Here are three more of our nine beautiful puppies, who apparently believe that 1:40am and 3:20am are perfect times for nursing and honing their opera skillz.

Twin Boy is named such because Reid and I could not find any identifiers that distinguished him from another puppy, except that one is a boy and one is a girl (hence twin boy and twin girl, even though they are not, by definition, twins). Twin boy was the second pup born, at 8:40pm, and has made huge strides in weight (he started out at 8oz and last night was up to 12!). I have to admit that the twins tend to get lost in the mass of puppies, but when you look at them individually, they're awful cute!
(Twin boy's closeup... not bad for a portrait taken by the person holding the puppy!)
(Twin Boy from up above)
Twin girl was the second to last to be born (that would be eighth for all of you out there who are having difficulty with your math) at 12:04am. She is also gaining well, starting at 9oz and now up to 12.
(Twin Girl's Closeup)

(Twin Girl from above... I know what you're thinking... they don't look THAT much alike... but believe me. By the time we got to black puppy eight and black puppy nine, gender was the easiest identifier)

And finally for this group, there is Kink. Kink was born fifth at 10:28pm, with the end of her tail broken. It actually folds back completely on itself. I wasn't able to get a picture of it (squirming puppies) so you'll have to believe me on this one. However, the vet said that it's not that big of a deal and not to worry about it. It certainly doesn't appear to be slowing her down, as she has gained an ounce a day since birth (from 8 to 10).

(Just one picture of Kink... her above picture is blurry and non-descript... but her face is pretty darn cute!)

Stay tuned (probably later today while I'm avoiding more housework) for the third and final round of puppy introductions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Puppy Introductions Part 1

I thought I'd spend a few posts introducing you to the puppies individually. First off, I'm going to apologize for the blurriness of some of the pictures. Our bathroom doesn't have great light. Puppies squirm and I don't want to get the flash too close to their little unopened eyes.
So, without further ado...

Meet Tank. Tank was the first delivered, at 7:35pm Monday evening. He was the biggest at birth and is now tied as the biggest with Caboose, below. I don't think Tank looks all that much like a beagle, though he does have the floppy ears. He is all black except for a long white strip that runs from under his chin down his chest. Tank is a mild mannered guy, just so long as you are not between him and a teet!

(Tank sometimes thinks the world is just too much too handle)
And then there is Caboose. As his name suggests, he was born last at 12:40am. He started out much smaller than Tank, but in the last two days has gained weight and they are now 13oz each. Caboose has the same coloring as Tank, though the white on his throat and the white on his chest is separated by a little black strip. Otherwise, these two are identical (and I think it's fitting that they were first and last). Caboose is about as laid back as they come. An avid milk fan, he almost fell asleep in the scale when we were weighing him today (all of the others wiggle quite a bit).

And finally in this patch, Diamond. Diamond was third born at 9:05pm, and is named for the little white patch that is in between his shoulder blades. He is consistent, as each time we've weighed him he has gained an ounce. Though he often gets lost in the mix of other predominantly black pups, he is beginning to develop the tri-colors of a beagle.

Check in next time for three more beagle pups...

Our Other Weekend Project

Though Glory's pups will forever be the "finest" thing that we helped to accomplish over Memorial Day weekend, there was other work going on around here as well. I would like to introduce you to our newly painted kitchen! Later today I plan to start the puppy introductions... with individual pictures and stats!

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house.
It's hard to get a good feeling for the cabinet color... it was a really light green/grey... I just thought they looked dirty, especially next to all of the white appliances (sorry to the former owner who painted them!).

Here we are mid-project. I took all of the cabinet doors off Saturday. We then sanded and prepped. Sunday we painted. Monday we did touch-up work and were supposed to hang the doors. We ended up doing that yesterday.

And here is the finished project! It's a little difficult to tell color from these pictures. The cabinet structures are the same yellow we've painted elsewhere in the house. The doors are the same color as the wainscoting around the rest of the room. It's a dark mustard/brown type color. I was worried after we picked it out, but I really like it up.

And one final picture of the fridge area/lovely large sunny window that faces the east! Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We have a winner!

My mother-in-law was closest, with her guess of eight puppies. No one was close on time. Glory surprised all of us by apparently popping out the first one with little effort at 7:35pm mountain time. It was a little boy who we have nicknamed "Tank" because he weighed in at an impressive 12oz! That's 3/4 of a pound. When we saw that one, I thought there couldn't be more than five. Reid guessed 7. We were all wrong...

Glory had her last of nine puppies at 12:40am. We waited until about 2 to make sure that was indeed the last and then moved her and all of the pups into a new, slightly bigger and clean box in our guest bathroom. All of the puppies are black with bits of white and they all appear to be doing well (breathing and nursing, though it's difficult to be sure they are all getting equal nursing time with so many of them). We have a vet's appointment in an hour to have them all checked over and I'm sure we'll inundate them with questions, as new foster parents! And now... puppy pictures!

Here is Glory on Sunday afternoon, still quite pregnant... but obviously relaxed in our home, and using the dog bed I just finished the other day!

Here is Glory with "The Tank." She was up walking around minutes before he was born. Then she climbed in her box and Tater went over and sniffed her. I thought, "how sweet... Tater is checking on her." I took a step closer, and heard a squeak... and there was baby number 1!

Here she is in a "resting" phase. She had two sets of "twins" who were born within minutes of one another and the rest were spaced almost exactly an hour in between.

A box full of puppies... you can almost see her counting them, can't you?

Some of them caught on to suckling almost instantly!

The one on the foreground was the first female born (we ended up with four males and five females)... and she took to suckling like she had been doing it forever!

I just thought this picture was cute.

Well, we know mama is a beagle... we're thinking daddy might have been Vulcan!

This is after we got the puppies and mama moved... Glory was very sweet with Tater during her delivery (he spent most of it in the other room on the bed)... but she now growls quietly when he walks by. Needless to say, Tater is confused about what's going on in his house!

And finally, everyone peaceful and cozy this morning... what a good mama, hunh? And now, I have to go get ready to take ten dogs to the vet!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Poll!

My mother-in-law had a great idea... let's have a contest! In the comments leave how many puppies you think Glory is going to have (Annie claims 8) and as a tie-breaker, when do you think the first one will be born? If you are right, I'll find a prize to send you (and I promise, it won't be one of Glory's placentas... or even a puppy, unless you really want one... they're going to be super cute!).

When the box is a rocking...

Come and scritch her ears! Glory has been "nesting" all day, going between the nesting box that we made for her out of a cardboard box on its side and Tater's crate that we've put lots of scraps in. She goes into one of them, scratches awhile and then lays down. And then she gets up, whines for a little bit looking for someone to pet her and then goes back and lays down. She is also panting a lot and we think this may be the real thing... only time will tell. We'll keep you posted!

Also, while we've been waiting for puppies this weekend we've been painting the kitchen! I have the before, and the during pictures. Reid is in the garage right now putting hinges on the cabinet doors. Then we'll hang them and then I'll post all of the pictures. And one more home improvement project will be completed! Hooray!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Big Week!

First off... the Taos conference was great. I took my daycap, for the inquiring minds that wanted to know. The conference was also very successful. I met a lot of other people from Adams which was great and was challenged to really examine some of my teaching methods, which is always a good thing.

On my way back from Taos, I stopped at a dog shelter that Reid and I had been at the weekend before. They had a beagle listed on their website. There aren't very many beagles in the valley so she really caught my eye. Her name is Glory. We took Tater down to meet her and they got along very well. There was only one hitch... she was very pregnant! However, we looked at the timeline and figured that might work out best for us, because she could have her babies at the shelter, nurse them and when they were ready to be weaned, I would be coming back from DC, where I'm going to be nannying for my sister.

So, I stopped there yesterday to sign the paperwork for her. She had still not had her puppies and was as loving as ever. The shelter employee and I started talking and to make a long story short, Glory is now home with us. I have always wanted to have a dog who had puppies so that I can experience that, but have always (and will always) be too responsible to let a female dog in my care get pregnant... so this seemed the best of both worlds. She is my dog, but the puppies are the responsibility of a no-kill animal shelter. Most importantly, the puppies will be delivered in a warm and quiet environment, which should hopefully be a lot less stressful for Glory. When I leave towards the end of June, we'll take Glory and her puppies back to the shelter, where she can continue to nurse them and the puppies will be put up for adoption there. Then when the puppies are all gone, or she's done weaning them, she'll come back to our house with Reid.
So, without further ado, here is the newest member of our family!

Her belly is very big... but she's not above begging in the kitchen! Doesn't she look like Tater?

She is so much more of a food hound than Tater is... and look there's a huge box full of stuff she loves right in the kitchen!

I think this picture best shows just how pregnant she is... poor girl! We are just crossing our fingers that there are lots of little puppies rather than a few big puppies, as little puppies are a lot easier for her to deliver!

And here she is finally comfortable on her bed that we brought home from the shelter. She tore a hole in it while at the shelter, one of the multiple times she has tricked them into thinking the coming of the puppies is imminent! But we all know that they'll come on their own schedule, and no one else's!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last Post for a Week!

I know, blog readers, that in the last few days you have come to expect multiple entries and pictures from me... unfortunately there will be a slight haitus here at Jenna's world, while I journey for the next week to Taos to take part in a conference for school. I am still a member of the ice age (aka the twentieth century) and as such I don't have a laptop to take with me. There may or may not be a computer that I can access the internet on at the hotel but even if there is I don't know how much time I'll actually have there. Looking at the schedule I think they plan to keep us pretty busy.

I need to leave in an hour and I have nothing packed... so it's time for me to sign off. Have a good week and I'll be back next weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bone Marrow Registry

I know that most of you who read this blog have a lot going on in your lives right now. But I wanted to draw your attention to something that isn't going to be going on much longer, and which has the potential of saving someone's life!

For the next three days you can join the national Bone Marrow registry for free during their Thanks Mom campaign (which is May 5-19). It generally cost around $52 to join because of the cost of the tissue typing. It's simple to do - they send you a kit to swab the inside of your cheek and you send it back to them. It's free for the first 10,000 people who sign up online and 36,000 who sign up in person. I signed up this morning. It took less than fifteen minutes and the swaps will be coming to me in the next week. I am happy that my registration was free but a little saddened to learn that in almost two weeks 10,000 people haven't signed up yet.

I know that this would take a little bit of a time commitment (filling out the form and then of course if you are identified as a potential match). I have unfortunately had bone cancer affect my life (my husband's step-grandmother Lucy died from it at much too young of an age). Can you imagine the immense joy of having the chance to give someone a new life? Can you imagine the relief of the family members of that person if you are found? They say that only about one in 200 registrants end up donating... but if the chance is there for me to match someone I'm willing to invest the time. Will you do the same? It's free and like I said above takes very little time. Think about, would you?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Good and Productive Day

We woke up this morning to rain! Now I know to some of you this is not something out of the ordinary. But please remember that I live in a high altitude desert. The vast majority of our precipitation happens in either the form of snow or late July/early August. So a rain fall that went on and off for about an hour in the middle of May is very welcome here!

Tater and I got all of the cards done today (okay, so I did all of them and Tater followed me from room to room while I did them). We also reorganized (pushed around boxes) in the guest bedroom. My craft room still needs a lot of work, but that will have to be another day. I also went through all of my theatre files in our file cabinet and put them in a bag to take to my office, getting rid of a lot of old paperwork that I no longer need (like attendance sheets from speech at VCU).

And then this evening I made a bed for Tater! He has been sleeping in his basket next to the computer (which frankly he prefers to the bed) but I am tired of caring his basket back and forth between here and the bedroom, and the basket might be scratching the wood floors when he jumpes out of it. So, his basket after this evening will be replaced by a nice big pillow!
Tater couldn't wait for me to get done sewing the pillow insert... he had to try it out!

Note that now that it is done, Tater is nowhere to be found... oh, wait he's behind me in his basket!

A close-up on the two fabrics, which I think will coordinate lovely with the blue, green, yellow motif of our downstairs!

And this evening for dinner we're having black beans with lime and cilantro over rice that I made in the slow cooker... and margaritas! Yummy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Vote!

Since it's been so long since I've posted... As most of you know, I'm going to a conference this coming week. It is a diversity/leadership type training and a requirement is that we bring an item of cultural and/or familial significance with us. I have thought long and hard about what I want to take... and the truth is I can't decide.

I have finally narrowed it down to two items and I thought I would put it to a vote for the few people who read my blog to help me. Now, I'm not saying I'll take what y'all vote for, but generally it helps me when someone else tells me what to do. If I agree with them, that's what I wanted to do all along. If I don't, then I go with the other thing and feel peace.

So the two items are:
1. A hand-woven rug that my maternal grandmother made. One of my first memories is of sewing strips of fabric together to make this type of rug. In fact, I believe that my first sewing ever was this sort of strip sewing. She had to put a box under the pedal for me to reach it. And we all know how important sewing has become in my life. Heck, it's a large part of why I'm at Adams now.

2. My daycap from Conner Prairie- The thing is practically see through it was worn and washed so many times! Conner was a place where I literally, and figuratively, grew up. I wore that day cap almost every day I was there. It's a great symbol for how far women have come and yet that in some ways we are worse off (not as women, just as a society). Conner is the one place in my life where I really felt like one of the "cool" kids. It gave me some great friends, great memories, a great training in theatre and improv... oh yeah, and my husband too!

So, what do you think? After writing these, I think I know which one I'm going to take. But I'd like your input... or is there something else huge in my life that I'm forgetting that I should take? I'm pretty sure they won't let me bring Tater...

Tater's Domain

A little while back I was talking to my father on the phone and mentioned walking Tater. He asked, half jokingly, why we were still walking Tater, seeing as how he now has such a big back yard.
This is why we're still walking Tater. This is, after all, what backyards are for, right?

Mice... Mice... Mice... And Projects!

I've found it helps if I call them all "Gus-Gus" (movie reference, anyone?). Reid brought home traps Monday evening and we set two upstairs, two in the lower kitchen cabinet and two in the garage. Before we went to bed Monday evening, we had already escorted two mice out of the kitchen. When we got up the next morning, there were two more in the kitchen traps, and two in the garage. None upstairs (thanks, no doubt, to Isabel!).

So, I let all four of them go in the field down the road from us... last night the two in the kitchen and one in the garage were closed. So I walked them all down the road in the cold only to find that the mice had somehow closed them but they were all empty!

And this morning we had two more in the kitchen and one more in the garage (still none upstairs! Isabel is working overtime). I'm walking them over half a mile away from the house but I fear that it is not enough and that it is possible that the same mice are just coming back... otherwise, we're invested (considering if you've kept count that is two caught in a sherbet container and nine caught in humane traps... we're close to ten, but haven't yet got to my 20, which was a number drawn completely out of the air). I almost hope that it's just the same mice over and over... Jamie, if you're waiting to visit until we have no mice I fear that you'll never be visiting.

So, this evening Reid and I are going to rip down one of the shelves in the garage (they're made out of press board, which he doesn't want for shelves) and cover the holes under the kitchen cabinets, which should drastically cut down on the mouse population in there (mainly because once we cover them I'm going to leave a cabinet open... they're all interconnected which means if Isabel can get into one she can get into all of them and I'd much rather have Isabel in the cabinets with my dishes than mice... there's nothing worse than having to wash your dishes before and after you use them!). And when perusing other people's suggestions online of how to rid your home of mice, the number one suggestion was to get a cat! If there was any doubt whether or not we would always have a cat, the mice have just sealed the deal!

And in other news, here are the two small tasks Reid and I have tackled in the last two evenings.

We hung the mirror that Reid's parents gave us in the dining room and it looks great! It makes the 11X22 room look even bigger than before!

And we hung the mirror in our bedroom (ignore the curtains reflected in the mirror... One of my projects for this summer while in DC is to find inexpensive curtain material and make new curtains for most of the windows of the house)!

And we hung shelves in the laundry room... now I just need to put stuff on them. They're light-weight bearing shelves, so it will mostly be toilet paper, paper towels and the like... but every bit of storage helps! Then I need to paint and then rehang the cabinet doors (the open spaces you can just barely see at the bottom) and then the laundry room will be done! Hooray!