Scaredy dog

Whenever Max thinks he’s about to get a bath or have his ears cleaned, he runs and hides in his crate. The other day we were all playing with the hose in the back yard. Matt tried to get Max to come over and enjoy a refreshing mist of water that felt so good in the heat. Of course Max thought this smacked of bathtime and found a place to escape. Can you find him?

How about now?

Look closer.

Oh Max, you silly boy. Come on out from under the wood pile.

What’s so terrible about a bath anyway?

Tags: dogs

Summer fun


Balloons left over from my birthday party! In late May it was cold outside, but boy has it been hot in Seattle lately. We’ve been playing with water to keep cool.


Someday Emmett is going to have so much fun throwing balls for the dogs. Right now it’s mostly Max hoping for the ball to be thrown.


More splashing around to cool off. We were in the market for a baby pool, but it turns out a plastic storage bin works.


And then you can take a dip in Lake Washington.




And enjoy a beautiful day at the park.



We have mounds of fresh raspberries from our front yard and even some cherries from the little tree in our back yard!


Behold, a tomato!


Summer is fun but exhausting.



Symbiotic relationship: baby and dog



Baby is entertained by dogs. He giggles as they run and play. He gets to pet them and ride them (sort of).

Dog scavenges around baby’s high chair. At Max’s recent vet checkup, I found out he had gained a few pounds, so we may need to limit the scavenging.





Tags: Emmett dogs

Happy Holidays! (MLK Day and Presidents’ Day?)

My attempt at a Christmas-themed photo shoot with Emmett, Sonny and Max.  Ultimately we decided none of the shots were worthy of printing (not the best lighting), but I they still make me smile.  My three sweeties.  Posting very late, but come on, how cute are my baby and pups?

I love how Emmett was moving all around and the dogs stayed in exactly the same positions the whole time like statues.


Tags: Emmett dogs Kelly

Dog Mischief

This photo is actually from a few weeks back when I left a pillow we were getting rid of sitting on the back porch.  It pretty much sums up the past week of good dogs doing bad (or maybe just doggy) things. 

Maybe it’s the rain that seems to never go away as we here in Seattle endure one of the wettest Junes on record.  Maybe it’s the arrival of Emmett and the consequence that the two human parents’ top priority is no longer the dog babies but the actual baby? Maybe it all started with that damn pillow?  Who knows?  It’s been mostly comical so here’s the recount:

Just the other day I was sitting at my desk working away while Kelly and a friend were taking Emmett for a walk and the dogs were exiled to the back yard.  Fortunately I had the window open and heard a whine in the yard.  I darted back there thinking one of Sonny or Max were hurt or in danger. 

As I run outside I see Max, perched at the back gate, and Sonny, nowhere in sight.  Forgetting that just 30 minutes prior I had yelled out to Sonny to quit digging at the fence, I start towards the open back door to the garage thinking Sonny’s probably stuck under a pile of tools, ladders, and baby apparel in the disaster I call my garage.  Before I get there, I realize there’s a reason Max is at the back gate.  Sure enough, there’s a dog sized excavation underneath the fence not far from Max and exactly where Sonny was having such a great time digging shortly beforehand.  Long story short, I and Max run out the back gate and Sonny is nowhere in sight.  Thankfully, after shouting a query to my neighbor about whether he’d seen a Brittany, to which he promptly replied with something like “just the one right in front of you,” and I thought “geez, thanks buddy,” I fortunately turned around to see Sonny high-tailing it down the sidewalk about 200 yards down the street heading for “Who Knows Where.”  Somewhat amazingly, Sonny heard me and thankfully came sprinting back. 

After praising him for coming back, we made it back into our backyard and I promptly gave him a little bit of a “what for” while reacquainting him with his escape route.  Then I dropped a concrete block in the hole, covered it up, and figured this was an aberration and I wouldn’t be needing to dig a 300 ft trench around my fence line to fill with razor wire or concrete.  Well, sure enough, today I caught him digging around my concrete block (which was actually fortunate in that I could correct him while he was actually doing the misdeed).  Maybe this time the connection that digging at the fence brings dad’s ire?  If he isn’t getting the message then I’m going to have a heck of a time figuring out how to electrify a cedar fence given that razor wire and a concrete fence are out of the question :-)

And like a deal on a late night infommercial that includes much more than just the main “can’t live without” product, there is more to this story as well.

This afternoon, after taking the dogs to the dog park for some frolicking, ball fetching, swimming, and walking, we return home for dinner, baths, and for some R&R.  Not too much later I look out and see Max’s nose covered in dirt and see that he’s decided it might be fun to make a new crawl space access for our house!  Do ya think our dogs might need a little more work than they’ve been getting?

And now the cherry on top.  Tonight we were preparing for our first night out to go see one of Kelly’s favorite bands, Mates of State.  Her cousin had just arrived to babysit and the ladies (and me) are going through the Emmett Care Cookbook.  Probably five minutes in, we’re enjoying conversing in the living room and I hear the dog door (in the back door to the house/kitchen) open.  Max is already with us so I know our lead hunter, Sonny, is soon to round the corner from the kitchen into the living room since the baby gate that separates the two rooms isn’t closed.  That part, Sonny coming excitedly in, dancing about in the exhilaration of another unsuccessful hunt, has been replayed about 365 times in the last year and a half since we’ve had him.  Of course this has not been a typical week dog-wise. 

Tonight, he rounds the corner, like so many times, and I exclaim “STAY” to theoretically stop him from tracking mud into the living room.  But unlike the other 365 times, tonight he keeps coming.  And in 1/10 of a second my “stay” command turns to “oh hear it comes, $?^#!, #&((!” as I see the unmistakable 5 inch pencil sized floppy tail hanging from the side of his mouth (wherein the mouse is actually hidden) that he’s bringing me with the utmost urgency and pride.  Once I had the expletives out of my system and the mouse outside I congratulated him in all earnest for a job well done (sincere thanks to Kelly’s cousin for reminding me that he was simply bringing me his treasure he had worked so hard to claim).  

The week is not over so I think the boys will either be in their crates for the next two days or we’ll be going to the sporting goods store to purchase a treadmill for the dogs!  The former definitely won’t fly; and we’d have to DIY ourselves a new annex to the house to fit a treadmill; so in all likelihood, come tomorrow afternoon, I’ll actually be scratching my head trying to figure out how to redirect our mischief makers as I discover the next new behavior they’ve decided is perfect to unfurl during this “special” week.


Happiest of birthdays all around

Our little Emmett was born right on his due date, which means that every year our entire nuclear family will be celebrating our birthdays within less than 3 weeks.  Emmett was the best birthday gift Matt and I could have asked for (although Matt did buy himself a toy helicopter and me 2 packs of M&Ms… hey wait a minute).  

Emmett’s birth story is fairly interesting; there were a few twists and turns but we did it the way we wanted to.  I’ll post it as soon as I finish writing it up.  For now, here are some pictures of our sweet baby.

First bath:

The dogs did not miss a beat when when we brought Emmett home.  We are all a happy family!

The “sleeping intellectual” look:

Snuggling with Daddy:

Emmett is healthy and pretty calm so far.  We’ve just passed his 2 week birthday, which is when the fussy times start according to The Happiest Baby on the Block, and we’ve started to see it a little bit in the evenings.  He eats like a champ; at his pediatrician appointment on day 12 he was 5 oz. over his birth weight.  We just love our little guy and can’t wait to see him grow, at the same time knowing we will cherish these first precious days with him.


39 weeks

One week until my official due date!  The belly is huge but it’s surprisingly not causing me many problems.  I still feel great (so lucky!) and am staying active.  My only issues are swollen ankles (not cute), a bit of heartburn, and occasionally bumping into things because I don’t realize just how far my belly extends.  Baby is moving around but I can tell he’s running out of room in there so he can’t do the big dramatic alien-looking movements anymore.  Now we just have to wait and see when the big day comes.

We had a fun and productive weekend.  On Saturday Matt put in his last big day as volunteer coordinator / jack-of-all-trades at the P-patch paths project.  At home, I enjoyed some phone time with my mom and sister, did laundry, cleaned, organized the pantry and closets… I guess it was the late pregnancy nesting impulse.  I also trained the dogs.  We’re working on loose leash walking (still - but improving nicely!) and creating positive associations with nail clippers (currently I can’t cut Sonny’s nails, so we’re working up to it by first getting treats for being calm and not moving when the clippers come near his feet).  In the evening we stopped by our friends’ house for a visit and to pick up more baby supplies.  The house is getting crowded with all this baby gear, despite our organizational efforts.  It’s just a lot of stuff.  We need to move some things to the garage.


On Sunday we had brunch with friends and then Matt spent some time organizing the garage and working on our diaper changing station.  I hope he can finish it before the baby arrives.  We also managed to clear up some space in our bedroom by getting rid of a large filing cabinet and small TV.  We freecycled both and they were picked up on Monday.  Then we took the dogs to the park, where for the first time this spring we let them swim in Lake Washington.  They had a great time.

On the way home we stopped at the P-patch so I could see all the amazing progress, and a fellow gardener snapped the top photo of the whole family in the orchard.  We ended the day with doggie baths.  They are so clean and soft now.  Ready to meet their new brother!


Brunch with friends, dogs went swimming, and the garden project rolled along without me— excellent Mother’s day.  If you’re reading mom(s), we love you and can’t wait to see ya!

—Matt (and Kelly)

38 weeks

Wow!  9 months always seemed like such a long time, and May was months away… but now it’s here!  We are ready for our baby’s arrival whenever he decides to make his entrance into the world.  There are still things on my various lists (work, baby, house) that I would like to cross off before that, but none of them is critical.  I did have a little bit of anxiety the other night as I was trying to fall asleep - not paying attention to the Rainbow Relaxation (hypnobirthing) recording I usually play at bedtime - but I reminded myself that the important things are already taken care of and I’ll just keep working on the rest and will have to be satisfied with that however it goes.  A small sampling of list items are: narrow down list of names for the baby, get more diapers, (Matt) build diaper changing station in “the nook” (closet-like area in our hallway where the old oil furnace used to be before we switched to a natural gas fireplace as our heating source), install ceiling lights in the kitchen and hallways, install ventilation fan in the kitchen… OK some of these sound important, but we can get by without them just fine if need be.  If we have 2+ weeks, all the better - I believe we can get everything done.  I’m not going to stress about it.  

We have accomplished the important things:

  • childbirth/breastfeeding/newborn class & ongoing hypnobirthing practice at home
  • read some good books about birth, breastfeeding, newborns
  • BabySafe class (preventing common accidents, infant CPR)
  • car seat installation checked
  • accumulated plenty of baby clothes and gear, at least to get started
  • rearranged house to accommodate baby (switched our bedroom to the big one so there’s enough room for us and baby, moved Matt’s home work space into the other bedroom - which involved some electrical and home networking upgrades to that room, plus painting and other improvements)
  • made arrangements for the dogs to be cared for while we’re at the hospital
  • two meetings with our doula
  • birth plan on file with midwives
  • preregistered at hospital childbirth center
  • chose a pediatrician
  • wrapped up my biggest and most important projects at work, including training my replacement (I’m taking 3 months off)

Even the dogs are excited.  Actually, I am very curious what they think.  I believe they know that I am pregnant, as dogs gather a lot of information by scent and can easily determine the reproductive status of another dog.  Some dogs can even detect cancer in people by scent, and service dogs can tell when a diabetic’s blood glucose levels are dropping or when an epileptic person is about to have a seizure. Anyway, I have no doubt they know, but they haven’t changed their behavior around me.  Our vet is pregnant too, and she said her dog seems to be more protective of her.  What will they think when we bring home a new baby?  They have some experience with babies and they’re both well behaved, so I’m not worried about it.  I also bought them some new toys and treats which they will get when the baby arrives so they have positive associations right away, and we’ll continue that type of training - treats and good things appear when baby is around, especially when they are calm.


Weekend in photos

Organizing baby gear (before/during chaos shot).  [Also sneak preview of the re-do of our smaller bedroom… Matt just built that desk to go between the wardrobes.  We will share details later.]  We have so much!  Generous gifts and hand-me-downs from friends and family put us a long way toward being prepared.  For the rest, can I mention again how much I love freecycle?  I’ve gotten a bunch of baby clothes, a glider-style rocking chair, crib (which we then re-freecycled after deciding to use a hand-me-down from our friends), and some baby toys and accessories.  And whenever we don’t need something anymore, someone who will use it whisks it away within a few days!  We don’t even have to leave the house.  So great.

Baby laundry.  This kid has more laundry than I do and he’s not even born yet!  I saw a glimpse of my future and it looks like laundry is going to be a major activity.

Dog park.  Sorry it’s blurry, but it was almost dusk.  On the plus side, we practically had the whole place to ourselves.  With fewer distractions, the dogs got a chance to run really fast.

Sonny’s circus dog impression.

Ball fetching time!

Matt cuts a hole for a new light switch.  Safety first!  Glasses, earplugs, gloves, dust mask, and vacuuming up the dust with one hand while using the Fein tool to cut with the other.

Consulting my go-to book on wiring and starting to plan out the new lighting circuit.  With huge belly and Maxy-dog companion.

Matt turning an Ikea shelving unit that used to live in our bedroom into an entertainment unit for the living room.  Sneak preview - more details on this spontaneous project to come.

And that’s a peek into our weekend.  The weather was great most of the time, so we enjoyed some meals cooked on the grill and eaten in the back yard.  We also watched Superbad after I discovered that our local library branch actually has some movies I’d like to watch.  I will be checking out some more.