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January 24, 2010

An Introduction to Dance

Adelaide has decided that after becoming a Dentist, a Baker, a Doctor, and a Mama that she would like to be a Ballerina. So, we enrolled her in a little Trial-for-3-Year-Olds dance class at our local community center and had our first class this evening.

After donning our leotard, tights, and slippers, there was but a brief moment of hesitancy ...


followed by complete, whirling-dervish joy.


A moment not to forget: During the class's spinning, leaping and cavorting, the instructor's iPod seemed to accidently skip from Tchaikovsky to Beyonce, blasting her pop hit Single Ladies. Adelaide is familiar with this family favorite from our favorite episode of Glee, and breaking from the dancing, ran screaming over to me, "WE KNOW THIS ONE!"


January 22, 2010



Earlier this week, Adelaide decided that she'd like to try sitting in the adult chairs at suppertime and graciously offered Henry a chance to sit in her beloved high chair. Henry loves his newfound seat, and fusses now if we put him back in the old green baby high chair. He seems to enjoy his dinnertime proximity to us, our fancy-looking food, and all of our other mealtime trappings. He screamed and bellowed during last night's meal because Adelaide had a spoon and he didn't have a cool utensil of his own. That problem was easily remedied, but sibling rivalry may be just beginning. Funny, Adelaide doesn't seem to feel competitive with Henry at this point. But at every possible turn she is very mothery, offering him tips on the best way to get what he wants and scolding him here and there for minor foibles and faux pas.

January 19, 2010

Good News! It's Worms!

After a trip to the vet and a few hundred dollars, we learned that Ophelia has lost another 10 lbs. and her good humor because of intestinal worms. What a relief! Here we thought it was something we said.

She's been dosed, and has received some probiotic treatment to reestablish her normal flora. She's still extremely sad, but we'll give it a few days.

January 18, 2010

Sad Dog


We are just over a week into our newly-found role as dog parents and things are going okay.

We don't have too much to complain about ...

Ophelia has destroyed just a handful of our belongings (especially jingly baby toys, which look all too like her own stash of doggie toys). She's a puppy, and she chews. And so, our house has never been more picked up, even Adelaide's getting in on the tidying!

As Joel mentioned, Ophelia comes from a long line of protectors and guardians, especially at night. After the sun goes down, Ophelia takes a short power nap and then is up from about 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. guarding her flock. Guarding includes lots of alert barking and posturing (if she's outside). I've learned to sleep through her loud barks, but she sometimes keeps Joel awake, so he's hoping that she grow out of the barking.

I think that she knows that we're her people now, and that has possibly led to a strange new turn-of-events.


Since last night, Ophelia is sad.

She wags her tail, but keeps her head low and down. She doesn't bark with the same vigor that she did earlier this week. She doesn't smile. She seems tired on her walks, including the one that we took in City Park this morning.


We have a couple of theories ...

A) Maybe she's realizing that she's here to stay. Maybe she misses her friends at the shelter? Is that anthropomorphizing things too much?

B) Joel took her for a mile-and-a-half run yesterday and while she jogged along, she was exhausted and pooped out when they came home after 20 minutes. Other than that workout, she's been getting at least two daily walks. Maybe she's not conditioned ...

C) At the recommendation of the people at the shelter, we've been feeding Ophelia easily digestible dog food because of her recent g.i. upset. Still, she's been certainly getting bits of fluff and plastic with all of the toys and shoes she's devoured. And yesterday, we gave her a rawhide chew to encourage her teething. Maybe she's sick again ...

Whether the realization, the activity, or the food, I'm a little worried.

January 14, 2010

Anatomy Lesson


Adelaide says, "In Cinderella, when Lucifer opens his mouth really wide, you can see his uvula."

January 13, 2010

At Nine Months (and a few days)


January's frosty windchills bring Henry's ninth month birthday!

Our little Hal Pal is the proud owner of two tiny bottom teeth, a late gift from Jolly Ol' St. Nicholas on the Third Day of Christmas ... Thank goodness, because I don't know what we would have done with three French Hens!

He's using those new chompers on lots of new foods, of course. But, Henry's love of carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes is still obviously apparent in his skin's orange tint.

He's also sharing his thoughts and ideas with us with quite a bit of baby babble. Perhaps to compete with his sister's interruptions and rambling tales of her day, he has taken to emitting a loud, high-pitched shriek whenever he feels that his voice isn't being heard. Just last night, though, he crawled to me saying, "Mammamamamamamaaa." Sweet.


He's working on pulling himself to stand alot, and has successfully mastered climbing two stairs (after two steps I think he looks down and gets a little nervous about being up so high). And he still doesn't really like to crawl on the tile, and consistently does a sort of push-up move with only his hands and feet touching the floor when he gets stuck in the bathroom or in the kitchen.

He's still our best sleeper, sleeping for about twelve hours at nighttime!

January 12, 2010

Tuesday at Dusk


The last few days since our family adopted Ophelia have come with a steep learning curve. Having a 100-pound puppy in our house means a different sort of lifestyle ... The kind of lifestyle, where even though the temperature is in the teens, we all bundle up and head outside at dusk. To grill supper, to roughhouse in the snow, and to investigate things with our new umbrella!


January 10, 2010

Meet Ophelia!

Okay. So, we got a dog.


A very big dog.


Ophelia is a fine example of a Great Pyrenees, a breed that began guarding sheep in Siberia and became all the rave in the French court of the 17th century. She is also, despite her refined character, manners, and beauty, a stray. She was deposited at our local shelter just before Christmas. Shortly after her arrival, she contracted parvovirus from another stray that was soon euthanized. Her illness was severe, primarily because she is, at an estimated 11 months of age, still a puppy. Her great size (she weighed 110 lbs. when she was dropped off, her illness winnowed her to 100 lbs.) saved her life, a smaller dog likely would have died or been weakened to the point of euthanasia.

Her size also brought her to us. She is a fine example of a found friend, coming unannounced to our lives, almost without expectation. "Almost" because we have often discussed getting a large dog (Aimee has long favored a Bernese Mountain Dog, which Ophelia is a ghost-like negative of) and, as luck would have it, two days prior to Aimee's seeing Ophelia's picture on the shelter's website,


we bought a minivan from her parents. The minivan gave us the space, both physical and mental, to consider cramming a dog into our lives. And, because we had the minivan, we were able to sell the poor old Grand Dame. We assumed ownership of the car just before we were married, and the car served us well on our round town errands and trips to Pikes Peak and Yellowstone, but a driveway full of three vehicles seems far too excessive. So, on the same day that Ophelia majestically walked into our lives, the trusty Pontiac drove off to a new life.


Our first night as Ophelia's new family went swimmingly. She's exceedingly polite, gently herding Adelaide around, fetching soiled laundry (and giving to the appropriate family member), and allowing Henry to crawl willy-nilly over her paws. This morning, Ophelia greeted Nine with a cheerful wag, to which Nine replied, "Hisssss ... Growwwwl." We're showing her the 'hood with frequent walks, and keeping tight grip on her collar and leash with new dogs and people. Ophelia rarely barks except twice, to alert us of rare, likely nefarious trouble in the homes behind our house. In fact, she can be soft and quiet that we're sure that she'll be a champ at our new favorite game Blind Man's Bluff.

So, if we Mirons seem a little bigger or a little hairier the next time we meet, you'll understand why.