Gregory’s Newest Game

I can’t wait for the day when Claire will actually pay Gregory more than 10 seconds of attention. He is absolutely fascinated by her! I think half his day is spent figuring out just how he can get her to play with him.

Lately, his strategy has been to find whatever she seems most interested in, capture it, then taunt her with it, just to keep her playing with him. Sometimes, it’s this stuffed animal carcass that Claire destroyed a few weeks ago. Even though all the stuffing’s been ripped out, Claire still gets possessive if anyone touches it. G’s figured out that if he can get a hold of the animal, chase Claire, then beat her with it, she’ll sometimes play with him.

Today, the item of interest was a dryer ball. Gregory made it his mission for at least 30 minutes to wrestle the ball from Claire, throw it, watch her chase it, then repeat.


What do you think? Do we have the making of best friends forever? Just a few minutes before I shot this, Claire used Gregory’s FACE to push off from with her hind legs and do a somersault. It startled him, but he giggled immediately after 🙂 I especially like his “peace offering” near the end!

Grilled Pineapple

Jesse, Michael and Christine were outside trying to grill a whole pineapple.

Guess who was underneath the grill, licking up the tequila/brown sugar/vanilla glaze?

My Lie

I have a silly story/confession to tell. It’s about as silly and juvenile as they come. I know a few of the people who read this blog, but when I see how many “hits” this site has vs. how many people have told me they read this, the numbers indicate that I don’t know many of you. But you are now going to know a little bit more about me– me and silly sinfulness.

On Sunday, a few members from our choir were invited to sing in a wedding that took place in Euless at the Greek church. Kind of a funny situation. The couple was from up north (Illinois, I think?) but the bride grew up in this area. She’s OCA, just like our church, but was told that St. Seraphim’s was booked for her date. So she booked the small Greek church down the road from our house in Euless (really quite beautiful, actually, nestled in the woods, a little bridge over a creek…), brought her OCA pastor from up north, and asked for St. Seraphim’s choir.

Kind of a conglomeration, but it worked. I think Orthodox weddings are so beautiful…if you haven’t been to one, you really should. If you could investigate all the words, they are basically taking the attention off of the couple, and placing them in the context of the rest of history. You’d think that this would “detract” and make the couple feel less significant, but it’s so much more powerful, so deep. I think the best part is that they don’t say vows to one another, just humbly petition God to keep them together and keep their commitment strong, because it’s not a human effort but a divine one. The Church is recognizing that no human being is strong enough to keep love alive, just God working through them. They also receive crowns, symbolizing that they are now the king and queen of their own home that God has established for them on this day.

Anyways, lest I get caught up in how tear-jerkingly beautiful the wedding was (even though I didn’t even know the couple!), let me get back to my story. Since the Greek church was less than a mile from our house, I invited all 6 of the people who sang to come over and eat dinner. Everyone offered to bring stuff. Jenny picked up the pizza that we ordered, Matthew and Vita bought salad and icecream, and Nick and Lydia brought drinks and ice.

Before picking up the pizza, Jenny dropped me off at home so that someone could be there to open the door in case the others arrived before she did. Now, let me back up a moment– Jenny and I had picked up her Boston Terrier, Fiona, and brought her to my house in between our service at St. Seraphim and the wedding. This was so that she wasn’t left alone all day in her crate. When we brought Fiona to my house for a few moments before the wedding, all chaos ensued. At first, it was Claire and Fiona who wouldn’t get along. Fiona was fine, but Claire was so scared of her that she was lashing out, barking in a way I’ve never heard before. Once they sniffed each other’s butts, however, Claire made peace with the situation.

But then Fiona found Mirabelle. So scary. You would not believe how brave this dog is. She LIKED the growling and the spitting coming from our demonic cat. She chased her around the house, over and over and over. She found it a huge adrenaline rush, and couldn’t wait to get more of it. I kept saying that it was like “skydiving for dogs”. Afraid that she would lose an eye, or more likely, her entire FACE, we locked all of the animals up and headed to the wedding.

So, as I was waiting for everyone to arrive, I decided to let Clarabelle out of her cage, but not Fiona. I didn’t have the energy to deal with all the animals going at it again.

Then, right as our doorbell rang, I heard a crash in the stairwell.

As I was redecorating this week, I had rearranged some of my pictures. This involved putting heavier picture frames on a shelf that has stood fine for over a year now. All it took was a few days of strain…and crash. Glass everywhere.

Now, the animals could have had SOMETHING to do with it. I mean, the new pictures had been up on that shelf for over a week and nothing had happened. And the animals HAD been tearing around the house in a crazy manner right before the wedding.

But I was irrationally mad. Mad and embarrassed that instead of having a welcome front doorway, there I was, standing in the middle of a bunch of glass. In my bare feet.

Luckily, it was Vita and Matthew. Vita ran upstairs for a broom, Matthew went to put the icecream away.

All would have been fine, if I could have just kept my damn mouth shut.

But I didn’t. I concocted a story about how this happened. Why, you might wonder. Did anyone care?? Did anyone ask me?? Or was I just too embarrassed and prideful to let the incident go without a good explanation?

Whatever the reason, I started saying how it was Fiona’s fault. FIONA. The poor dog who had been in her cage the entire time.

Like I said, no one listened or cared. Until Jenny got home with the pizza, where, for some reason, I felt obligated to give her the story AGAIN. Unsolicited.

It was the look on Jenny’s face that finally made me feel the impact of my stupid lie. She felt terrible for me, and was also a little scolding. “Why did you let her out without me here?” I lied again, saying I couldn’t be that cruel to make her stay in her crate while Claire got to roam free.

Oh, no. I really WAS that cruel, and on top of it, I’d just blamed the entire incident on her.

I felt awful about it the rest of the night, but didn’t say anything until the next day, when Jenny emailed offering to pay for the frames that broke. It was then that I called her and confessed my terrible lie. She laughed, but I’m sure she thinks I’m like 10 years old.

Jesse thinks that I should tell my professor that Fiona broke my laptop and ate my Conrad book, just for good measure.

Smile :)

I found this picture online tonight. It makes me incredibly happy.

Endearing Moment with Mirabelle

It’s happened. Mirabelle gave us an endearing moment.

One of our “traditions” is taking Claire on a leisurely half-mile walk around the apartment complex. There are all sorts of trails, so it’s like hiking through the woods. We go at night, because all is peaceful and beautiful. Oh, and not as BLAZING hot.

One of our favorite paths

As we left our door today, Claire on her leash, Mirabelle came up out of the bushes. She spends most of her days outdoors now, because she prefers it and so do we. Usually, she’ll run in for a few hours a day to nap, eat and drink. We think she’s made a friend with a white/tan cat that runs around outside, because we hear loud meowing at our door once she’s been inside for a while.

And don’t worry. Unlike our dog, Mirabelle has had all of her “lady parts” removed. We couldn’t run the risk of her bearing offspring. It’d be like Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, only with crazy felines. I made that mistake once, back when I was a kid, by letting my retarded rat, Ethel, have babies. 2 of them actually committed suicide by jumping off high things and drowning in buckets of water. The other 4 liked to bite small children. No offspring, thank you. We’ll let The Crazy die with her.

Anyways, Mirabelle ran up to us and gave Claire a “nose kiss”. They have become better friends as of late, mainly because Claire isn’t always up in her face demanding attention. Hey, I’d be cranky if I had a dog barking in my face as I was napping!

As we kept walking, Mirabelle followed us. I thought for sure she’d run off and do her own thing, but she trotted right alongside us the entire way! Occasionally, she’d come up and give a friendly nudge to Claire, but for the most part she stayed a few feet behind or ahead of us. She even ignored a few bunny rabbits that bounded across the path.

When we got back to our front door 15 minutes later, she didn’t want to come inside– just leisurely sat down, as if to say, “Just wanted to spend a few minutes with you guys. Now I’ll go back to My Thing.” It was really cute.


Claire and Jesse. She's totally chillin. And, yes, she has a diaper.

Poor Clara

It’s happened again, for the second time. Our poor little Claire-bear is going through her “womanlies”. We still had not made the decision to get her fixed, simply because we were lazy about getting around to it. And there’s that desire to have at least one set of puppies…just take a look at older posts to remember how incredibly adorable maltipoo puppies are. They also sell for $400-900/each, so there is real value in breeding them.

Clara, when she was just a few months old

However, the minute we realized this was starting again, I asked Jesse if I could start calling around to animal hospitals in the area to see if one had an opening for a spaying surgery. As fun as puppies are, we don’t yet have a house. And this whole 3 week cycle thing is NOT fun– we have to keep little doggie diapers on her for the first week since she’s bleeding (which makes it sooooo funny when she tries to poop!) and she smells bad for all 3 weeks.

Plus, it’s pathetic. Our normally fun and vivacious doggie is lethargic and just lays on our laps for hours at a time without moving. Sometimes she yelps out because she’s in pain. It’s pretty heartbreaking, simply because we love her to death, regardless of how many inconveniences she’s put us through. Both Jesse and I have had nightmares about her getting hurt or run over by a car. In many ways, she will always be our first “baby” (funny how we don’t feel this way about Mirabelle….cats are also not as “human” in many ways as dogs). I never understood how people could say this about their pets until we got Claire.

But I’m wavering once again. I just read about the surgery, and it’s pretty invasive. I know that almost EVERYONE gets their pets spayed, but upon reading reviews for the different animal hospitals, so many reported huge infections and pain afterwards for their animals. Ah! I don’t know if I can take it! When Mirabelle was spayed, 3 years ago before we left LA, I was a nervous wreck all day. I was crying and couldn’t focus on anything. We’ve had Claire twice as long as we’d owned Mirabelle, AND we love her a ton more. I don’t think I can handle it knowing that my precious doggie is getting sliced open.

What should I do?

A few weeks ago

Soup Catastrophe

Jesse would actually prefer that I call this an “incident”. He believes that one must go through “disaster” before arriving at catastrophe. Incident-Disaster-Catastrophe. 3 Step Process. Mind you, however, that he said this before Event #3 unfolded.

I really like soup. Lots. But have you seen the high sodium in those things? The recommended daily allowance of sodium for an adult is 1200-1500 mg. For comparison, a Quarter Pounder at McDonalds has 1300 mg. And GET THIS: A cheeseburger at Chili’s has 4300 mg!!! Forget the calories and fat involved, this is why America is having so many heart attacks! Good grief!

When you compare soup with those things, it isn’t too bad– 850 mg. per serving. Since I eat the whole can, that’s around 1700 mg. In one meal. Not too fantastic.

Event #1 “The Incident”

So, I tried the “low sodium” version of the Chicken Noodle soup, just because I’d like to stay away from high blood pressure during this pregnancy (I didn’t say EVERY pregnancy…).



Even the garbage disposal regurgitated it. Ever try washing $1 down the drain? It’s sad. A whole dollar! That’s 2 Diet Cherry Limeades at Sonic!!! All gone, because someone decided that eating yarn floating in dishwater was supposed to taste like Chicken Noodle soup.

Event #2 “The Disaster”

After force-feeding the sink, I tried again. This time, I went for “Split Pea with Ham”– the normal sodium variety. If you’ve ever seen condensed soup, it’s not pretty. And it doesn’t come out of the can easily, even with a fork. Which is what I discovered when I accidently flung it in my face.

The snotty brain blob didn’t even make it to the floor before Claire had gobbled it up. She likes to follow me whenever I go into the kitchen. She is well aware of her odds. “Mommy’s a klutz. Mommy can’t cook. I am hungry. Feed me.”

Pretty sure I would see that missing soup once again, about 5 hours later, packaged (hopefully, packaged, not runny, please, dear God) into little green poop, I finally poured what was left into the pot, added the water and cooked it. Tasty, and well worth the wait. I packaged up the 2nd “850 mg. of sodium” and put it in the fridge.

Event #3 “The Catastrophe”

Later that night, as we were watching the 5th Star Trek movie (the old ones with William Shatner), I started craving that leftover Split Pea Soup. Jesse happened to be up and about, so I asked if he’d pop it in the microwave.

I didn’t ask him to spill it all over the carpet on his way out of the kitchen. Nope, he did that all on his own.

And there was Claire, who follows Jesse around because she worships the ground he walks on. If the first round of green didn’t give her bowel issues, this was sure to do it.

We scrubbed as much as we could, but I’m pretty sure there’s still a green hue. Good thing we own plenty of stain remover for our peeing wonder dog who will surely have the runs by tomorrow morning.

And that’s when I noticed Mirabelle lapping up what was left in the bowl that Jesse had set down.

Great. Just great.

Mirabelle Strikes Again

Apparently, I was in her way.

She was trying to catch a fly that has been buzzing about. 5 seconds, ago, she succeeded, and ate it.

I hate this cat.