Friday, September 24, 2010

One Last Swim

Would you believe this was mid September? It's been so unseasonably hot, even for the desert, we could have used a dip throughout most of October...I'd love to use time as an excuse, but we've become such desert rats, aka, wimps, that the water is just just a bit too chilly. Below, 90 degrees, no thank you.

Here's Boppo with his best little buddy. Vinny loves hanging out on his step, playing with his Sesame friends.
All tuckered out. These are the moments we want to freeze in time. Warm, cuddly, comfy, heavy on your chest. This should be the picture placed right next to the definition of security.

Saying Good Bye to Another Special Furry Friend

It was almost a year ago when Murphy let us know it was her time. We were sad. Lucy never recovered. She missed her friend, more than any of us could understand. She suffered from tremendous anxiety, which ended up causing tremendous damage to our home. In the past year, Lucy's loneliness and panic attacks when left all by herself got the best of us...and two dog crates...and a locking baby gate...and our carpet...and our doors...and our door knobs...and anything left on a counter...

We knew the best thing for Lucy was a new home, with constant company. Through a rescue organization,we were able to find a wonderful family in Camp Verde with two other dogs, a cat, and a horse! It was hard to say good-bye, but knew immediately that it was the right decision.

What made our decision heart breaking was remembering how much Lucy took over as Vinny's best bud when Murphy died. She let Vinny climb all over her. Lucy was never out of a paw's reach, sharing hugs, kisses, and of course snacks! Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of the two amigos.
This was Vinny's latest show of affection for Lucy. We'd say, "give Lucy a hug," and he'd put his head on her or next to her. It was just about the sweetest thing.
We miss having a dog. The house is so quiet. And clean. I guess that's one advantage, but one I'd rather not have. Not to mention, I have to sweep up crumbs much too often for my liking. I never had to worry about stepping on dried up peas and Cheerios when there was a four legged friend to scarf them up.

But our hearts have been lightened by a couple of emails from Lucy's foster family. I had to post them here so I would always remember that Lucy is finally content.


Hi Anthony- Lucy did great on the trip up- she loved to sniff out the window and then she laid down on her bed. She has adapted to Stacy's house already- she has learned the dog door and refuses to eat her food- she only wants the food that Stacy feeds her dogs- it is so cute- she has quite an appitite! Lucy is running and playing with Bean (her choc lab) they have become good buds already- he plays keep away and she gives chase. She is not on her anti-depressant meds at this time until we see how well she will adjust. She is still on the other stuff that you included in her bag- they all have enjoyed the treats as well :)
So it is great news so far! Please feel free to keep in touch w/ us- Thanks- Amy

and a few days later we received this one...

Hi Anthony- Lucy is doing SOO good in her foster home- she fit in right away- it appears that it is her "home away from home". I'm not exagerating- she and Stacy's other 2 dogs were found all 3 sleeping on one of Lucy's dog beds in their bdroom -Stacy called to tell me how cute they all were- she has a VERY healthy appitite- tries to boss Bean (their big choc male lab) around - Maple, their blue-tick hound is still alpha and Lucy respects that. Stacy's 10yr old twin boys just love her- they play w/them in the yard. Lucy barks at me every morning when I go to work- her tail is up and wagging! They are in love w/ her!
She has not tried escaping and loves her treats :) No anti-depression meds have been given at all and she is putting on weight.
I want you to feel comfortable that she is in a great home-I'll get pics this next wk- and forward them to you as well. I know you and the family are concerned for her but rest assured she is happy and very well taken care of. She seems to be healing emotionally with all of the attention and love she is receiving from them and their 2 dogs. Stacy's only complaint is that she barks alot- but they are working on that :)
You did a wonderful thing for her by putting her needs first and finding a resuce to take her- she is thrieving up here :)
Please feel free to keep updated on her- email or call me anytime you want :)
Happy wkend :) Amy
Amy Darwin, Grant Administrator
Golden Bone Rescue & Rehab, VP (928)-567-8994
“My furs are not in storage, nor lying on the bed, they're dancing 'round my feet, waiting to be fed”. F. Paiva

Family Field Trip

With the weather FINALLY cooling off, dipping into the 80's, we've gone back to the zoo. There have been some changes since we've last been earlier in the summer. The younger tigers we loved have been sent to another zoo in Oklahoma, and we are sad we can't play chase with them anymore. On the bright side, the baby Lion, Delilia, graduated from the nursery to the same pen the tigers once occupied. She is just so cute and equally fun to "play with."
Check this out-there is a jaguar exhibit right next to the baby lion pen. Not only do they get to hang out inside the pen, mostly relaxing on some tree limbs, the jaguars can prowl OVER passers by through a chain link bridge. On this particular evening, the big cats were feeling frisky and took part in a game of chase overhead, too. This one decided to take a rest right above us after a fun romp.
Here is Vinny on our way out of the Kangaroo walkabout. Random peacocks wander the grounds, and it's nice to see that Vinny doesn't have any fear. It still hasn't been determined whether this is a good or bad thing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Mommy!

We were still a bit under the weather, so we kept my birthday celebration pretty quiet, and that was really nice actually. We thought it would be good to get out of the heat for a day and drive up to Prescott. The craft fair was awful, such cheesy southwestern artwork, mesquite carvings, and other things that didn't interest us much. Nothing like the old country sampler at the Farmington Polo Grounds back home. Man I miss that craft fair-classic colonial homespun wares. You can take the girl out of New England, but you can't take the New England out of the girl!

Anyway, upon some pretty strong suggestion, Anthony "built" me a cake from scratch that was absolutely scrumptious. As you can see, Vincent was anxious to dig into the yummy frosting, too! He could barely wait to help me blow out the candles.
MMMMM, cake!
Ummm, not sure how appropriate this is, but I taught Vinny CHEERS! When I find he isn't drinking enough, a rousing "cheers" seems to get him to chug a lug. Hydration or early training for college drinking games? I'll let you decide. Either way, it's still adorable.
Oh! Check out my bracelet-if you look carefully, you can spot my two new charms from Anthony and Vinny-a "V" and an "I Love You." I love that every charm on that bracelet has special meaning, and I can recall each occasion on which I received them. Even if Anthony just happened to be so thoughtful to mark any given Tuesday with a sparkly bauble, I'd certainly remember it. hint hint.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

College Gameday

We've been awaiting this day with anticipation for a long time now. UCONN was going to the Big House. We had a high stakes bet with our good friends, the Kish and Prather Families, Debra and her sister being the biggest Michigan fans ever! We were supposed to watch the game at their house, hostile territory, but we all came down with nasty colds (although Ant is still insisting it's just allergies), so we were quarantined to our house for the game. Might have been a blessing considering the pitiful outcome of the game.

Pre-Game Snackin'
Big Guy, Little Guy
Hey, Uconn is Mommy's team, too!

Texting some smack talk

Big day...Konked out! Love our nighty-night routine. Looks like The Wonder Pets even got the best of Daddy! Snuggle.

No Pictures, Just Words

Vinny's words, that is. I've been trying to decipher his words of late, and it's not been easy. Since this blog has become my baby book, I wanted to take a bit of time to record some of the sounds Vinny's been using lately, lest I forget them. The best feeling in the world right now is picking him up from the sitter or walking in the door from work as Vinny runs to us calling "Mammaaaa" or "Daddaaaa." The head over the shoulder hug is pretty special, too.
Other utterances include:
  • pup-ah (he points up and says it as he ascends the stairs, so I'm pretty sure this is "up")
  • hot (and then he proceeds to blow on his food)
  • gog-ah (dog)
  • guck (duck)
  • ball
  • and an overgeneralized use of gagagaga, tickatickaticka, and other babbles.
Most of his words he whispers, almost breathing them out of his mouth. We wonder if he's just waiting to speak in full sentences, because we certainly know he understands. Vincent follows simple directions, fetches toys and books when we ask, and points to all kinds of characters and objects in the hundreds of books we read together. Speaking of books, recent favorites include:
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Guess Who?
  • Happy Birthday Big Bird
  • Peek a Moo (once again, it's back in the rotation)
  • Good Night Moon
  • Where is Mommy?
  • Where is Baby's Belly Button?
  • Dear Zoo (still a favorite)
I absolutely love when Vincent brings me a book. He hands it to me, turns around, and plops himself comfortably in my lap. It brings me so much joy to snuggle with my little guy. While he goes to sleep on his own these days, he still doesn't mind unwinding in the rocking chair every night with a sippy cup of milk and the Wonder Pets. (I guess I forgot to mention...we gave up the bottle this month. It just sort of happened by accident, and Vinny didn't protest, so we aren't looking back.) Anyway, we ask, "Are you night night?" and Vinny replies with an upward point.

Temper Temper...

This is a face we've been treated to of late. I can't wait for him to start using words to tell me what he wants. He points and he cries, and most of the time pretzels seem to be the answer.
Vincent has also learned the fine art of throwing temper tantrums. Now I will admit, they are weak compared to the throw down, kick and scream on the floor horror stories I've been told about, but they are tantrums none the less. Vinny's modus operandi is to stand in one place, wail, and wait for a rescue.

So far, he's pulled this in front of the dryer in the laundry room. I don't remember what prompted it, but I do remember passing by a couple time to put clothes away and he still in the same spot until I came to get him. He's also held fast at the base of the stairs when I put up the gate and wouldn't let him climb, but my all time favorite would have to be during a recent trip to Mommo's and Boppo's. Once again, I can't recall what it was that he wanted, but he took a strong hold in the entry to the kitchen while we called for him to come to the den. He could see us, and we could see him. It would be a contest of wills, and with Boppo teasing that I couldn't last, I was bound and determined to win. HA! Well, the wailing carried on a good solid 3 minutes (geez seeing it in writing doesn't seem so bad, but man, it seemed like a lifetime). The best part of the whole ordeal was when Vinny, unconvinced that we were paying any attention to his distress, peered around the dining room table to make himself more obvious. We thought, he must be settling down, he must be on his way to us for a hug. But no. As soon as he saw that we had made eye contact, he ran back to his spot, turned to face us, and wailed louder. This continued 2 more times before I finally gave in. Not before I had a good laugh though. So I scooped him up, he laid he head on my shoulder, and all was well. Of course, a pretzel didn't hurt either.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Haven't Been to the Zoo in a While

Last weekend brought some welcome relief from the sweltering heat. It dipped into the low 100's (ha ha) so we took a late afternoon trip to the zoo. We started in the aquarium while the sun set a bit behind the mountain before venturing out to see the animals. It's a whole new experience now that Vinny can walk on his own.

The giraffes were all too eager to visit with us...of course it didn't hurt that it was diner time and the zookeeper was a the fence with us, so we got up close and personal attention from the gentle creatures.
Time to head home...glad I brought the stroller.

He's Got the Cutest Little Baby Face: First 2 Months

Vincent's First Few Days at Home

Vincent Joseph is Born

Murphy and Lucy