Saturday, March 29, 2008

growing every day

EVERY DAY these girls are doing something new. Katy reached another milestone first a couple of days ago, she sat up on her own! She's been so close for a couple of weeks but 2 days ago we were in the kitchen and the girls followed us in, as they always do now. Lisa turned around and Katy was sitting up?! We knew neither one of us had set her down like that so she had to have done it on her own, we just didn't see how she did it. So we praised her and made a big deal about it but still kinda curious as to how she did it and if she'd repeat her small feat.

The next day answered that question. She sat up 4 more times yesterday...we didn't miss it this time. She's a pro at it now.

So yesterday was our monthly checkup with the doctor. It went really good. The girl's weights are...
Alyssa 17 lbs 2 ounces
Katy 16 lbs 3 ounces

It wasn't our normal doctor but she was very impressed and gave us the go-ahead to start adding protein to their diet. I'm not sure what else...the girls were their normal shy selves. They took her in for a while. Very serious faces and then by the end of the visit, they were all smiles...well until the needles came out. They get monthly Synagis Shot to protect against RSV. This is their second to last for this season. Apparently the season lasts a little bit longer up here in Alaska. They each screamed out but recovered very quickly. We were (including the nurses) very impressed with how fast they calmed down.

Like I mentioned before, the girls have discovered the kitchen floor. They love to follow us in the kitchen and scoot around our feet. We have some magnets that have pictures in them of family that they LOVE to get off the fridge and throw across the floor...and usually under the fridge. Here are some pictures of the kitchen antics.

And finally for the evening...a short video of the girls eating. Lisa took this last week during a particularly messy lunch.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


IT HURTS SO BAD!!! I can't take this. A&M was SO close to upsetting UCLA...SO CLOSE!!! We watched or listened to every game this year. I hate how I allow myself to get so emotionally involved in A&M sports. SPORTS!!! It doesn't matter if they win or lose. Why do I care!? Oh, make the pain go away!!!

Thank goodness I had the girls to keep me sane. I made sure I was holding a baby during the last few minutes of the game to insure that I didn't overreact...either way. So we'll regroup and see how far the girls b-ball team can get in their tourney.

So what other milestones have our girls reached? Besides all the new nutritious foods we're eating, our new teeth, and better sleeping skills, sitting up...we are now commando crawling like champs. Katy was the first to figure out how to use her arms to scoot forward but Alyssa was only a week behind or so. A few days later, they both just took off.

One night, I was in the kitchen cleaning up (or something) and I heard Lisa ask "are you going to go get your dad?" I turned around to see Alyssa had crawled all the way around the corner from the living room so she could see me...but that wasn't enough. She kept crawling into the kitchen until she was able to touch my feet. She was smiling and laughing the whole way. It was amazing. It was like a light switch just went on and she suddenly knew how to crawl.

They are still on their bellies using their arms to drag themselves forward but they've become very proficient at it. Alyssa will alternates arms. Katy just uses one arm over and over, but she's still pretty fast.

There's a story behind this last picture. She only did it this one day but Katy started sucking her top lip. We're assuming because she was teething. There about 30 minutes where she was crawling around making this face while she was sucking on her top lip. Pretty funny.

The video is mainly of Katy making her face. There's a quick shot of Alyssa getting her massage, then the last few seconds you get to see Katy making one of her first cammando crawls. It's small, I know. At the time, it was a big first.

Friday, March 21, 2008


We've been dealing with our second round of teething the last 2 or 3 weeks and it's been tough. The girls, after sleeping through the night for a while, went back to waking every couple of hours and then not being able to get back to sleep. Katy has especially been struggling at night and a couple of times woke Alyssa up.

It's their top 2 teeth that are coming in and just the last couple of days we've seen them finally start to break through. They are HUGE! No wonder they've been in so much pain. So with the teeth finally breaking through, last night was the first night in about 3 weeks that we all slept through the night. It was SWEEEET!

The other good news is they have been great at naps. They finally figured out their naps and will go to sleep on their own and stay asleep for more than an hour. There was a time when we couldn't get them to stay down for more than 35 or 40 minutes and now an hour and 15 is the norm.

They are doing great on solid foods. Lisa has slowly introduced carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, prunes, zuccini, and apple sauce. We haven't done any proteins yet but that's coming soon.

All these pictures and the video is probably about 3 weeks old or so. I'm trying to catch up and show some of the older stuff. We must have 50 pictures and 20 videos to sort through. I'll try to post some more each day.

These pictures are the girls playing with a toy my mom got them. They LOVE it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back.

The babies are back! After a long break from the babies, I'm finally posting about our darling little girls. I'll fill you in on all of their milestones later...for now, I'll just post pics.

The last two are of Katy watching some A&M baseball. We've found a live feed of the games so we'll watch and listen to all the games on the computer. The girls are mesmerized by it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Madison remembered

I wanted to post one more time about Madison. It is slowly getting better. We still have our sad moments as to be expected but overall each day is getting better. The pictures are definitely helping us remember some truly great moments with our little pup. So tonight I thought I'd share just a few of the dozens of photos we came across of Madison.

First, some more pics from her summer home in Ohio where she vacationed to get away from the Texas heat.

Since the beginning, Madison has always found a spot near a window or balcony that she can keep an eye on the world walking by. At each apartment or house she lived in, she found a place where she can look for kitties or her favorite, squirrels. At her second apartment in College Station, there was a window in the living room that went all the down to the floor. She would lay there for hours and hours watching people come and go. A couple of neighbor girls saw Madison and they would always yell out for her when they came out. If she wasn't at the window already, she would run over and get really excited and wag her tail. I can still clearly hear the girls yelling out, "MAAAADISSOOON!!" This was her spot by the window.

Like I've said before, Lisa and I treated her like our child so when it came to taking some of our first Christmas photos as a new family, why wouldn't we include Madison? This was Christmas 2000 from Rosenberg, TX.

Then there was Cypress, TX at our 3rd apartment in 3 years. Oh, the life of a young family trying to find the right jobs. Madison took it all in stride and even though she was a husky and was born to run, she lived inside with us in our overly air conditioned 1000 sq ft apartment.

A few funny stories...
Funny now looking back at it but she always got along with other long as they were smaller than her. She became best friends with a Daschund when she was a puppy. It was comical to see a little wiener dog and Madison chasing each other around. Her favorite trick was to try and lay on top of the smaller dog and pin them down. If the other dog let her, they were immediately life long friends. If the other dog was equal size or a little bigger, her hair would stand up on the back of her neck as they sniffed each other out. Here are a few pics of some friends she made along the way.

The one of me holding her down was after she was getting a little too friendly with Stormy, the puppy. Amy and Dave were brave enough to invite all three of us to their home in San Antonio for the weekend. Madison met Stormy and couldn't get enough of him. It was an entertaining weekend.

This one was pretty funny. We were watching a friend of our's beagle for the weekend. We didn't think it would be a problem but then again, no dog had ever been in Madison's den. She followed Chase around while he investigated with the white of her eyes showing...sniffing everything over again that he just sniffed. We watched as they got along pretty good and put aside any fears that we had. Then, disaster. Chase found Madison's toy stash and tried to take something out to play with. A small riot ensued. We separated the dogs and while we were trying to calm down a LOUD beagle as he was howling in protest, we see Madison go back over to her toys and squat over them. SHE PEED ON HER TOYS!!! What could we do but laugh? We couldn't believe she was so mad that she would do that. This picture is after everyone calmed down and found a spot on the couch next to Lisa. You can see both dogs safely separated by a pillow.

Madison was never a barker...thank goodness. The first day we brought her home, she cried and cried as we drove her back to Lisa's little apartment. That night as we were playing with her and she was getting used to her new environment, an ambulance drove by. Madison stopped and her ears perked up. She leaned back and gave a big deep hooooooooowwwwwwwlllll. She put her head up in the air so high that she lost her balance and fell over backward. We laughed and laughed and tried to get her to do it again but she never did...not once.

She wouldn't even bark at the moose. She was so quiet that a couple moose that we encountered walked right up to me and Madison. One was literally 2 or 3 feet away from us and just the week before she died, we had another very close encounter where a moose on our street walked right up to us before we got out of it's way.

The rare occasions that she would bark would be at young 6-12 years old. The neighborhood kids would always run up to pet Madison and for some strange reason, she would put her ears back and bark at a few of the younger boys. Even strangers in the house never phased her. She would eagerly make new friends with whoever was visiting. We joked that if we were ever robbed, she would be licking their face instead of protecting us.

Last summer, she proved that theory wrong. This is one story I will always remember because she really showed us where she fit in the family. After the girls were born, Madison didn't care much about them. Occasionally, she would come inspect to see why someone was crying but would always retreat under the coffee table or bed. She licked a few baby faces and hands but never seemed to interested in them. One day, a friend of mine came by to pick me up to go golfing. He hadn't been to the house before but since I was still getting ready and Lisa and my mom were busy with the girls, I told him to just come upstairs instead of ringing the doorbell. He did and to every one's surprise, Madison did NOT like the intruder in the house. I was getting out of the shower when I heard her barking a deep, mean bark that I'd never heard before. I put some clothes on and came out half dressed to find Madison had backed poor Jeff into a corner and was still barking at him.

He looked at me and at Lisa in terror...trying to figure out why we were just standing there watching Madison bark. It was because we were amazed at what was happening. She had never barked at anyone inside the house and to see her protecting us, and the girls, gave us so much joy. So the standoff lasted a bit longer than Jeff would have liked but we eventually pulled her away and separated the two. Jeff, thinking all along that we had a mean dog on our hands...I had to fill him in later as to why we stood there so long watching the standoff. We kinda wanted to see what she was going to do.

I realized yesterday that she's been with us 1/3 of our lives....1/3!! That's amazing. Madison was a very special part of this family. Although it didn't end the way we had it planned, I know it ended the way God planned it. Madison was always meant to die in our arms, in Alaska. She had an amazing life. She brought us so much joy these last 11 years.

So hug your pets tonight for us. Take a few extra pictures of them to help you remember them by. Go take a walk or drive them to the park. Make some memories. We were certainly blessed to have spent the last 11 years with Madison.

Monday, March 03, 2008

still trying

I just wrote my mom a long email...and it brought out some more things that might be therapeutic to share. We're both still having a very hard time with this. I'm pretty sure we've gone through all the stages of grieving...there was denial, anger, guilt, a lot of crying. It's affecting me much more than I ever thought it would. And the one feeling that I'm stuck on is guilt.

Let me tell you something about Madison. She was a stubborn, hairy little dog. She had always been very protective of her toys or whatever she had stolen of ours and taken under the coffee table or bed. No matter what we did over the years, that was just her. This was always a concern of mine though because I knew at some point, we might have kids in the house. Over the last year, I have been increasingly concerned about the girls accidentally getting in Madison's territory and her doing something unthinkable. It was this fear that drove me to push to get rid of Madison.

Lisa and I have spent many nights trying to figure out the dilemma. How do you get rid of a dog that is in her twilight years and may not be too family friendly? She's been an inside dog her whole life so we just can't give her away and hope for the best. The only solution seemed to ask Lisa's Mom to take her back to Ohio.

So as the girls have been getting more and more mobile lately, the talk was getting serious. I tried to be the voice of reason and ignore the fact that she's been such a integral part of our lives for 11 years...I thought I was doing us all a favor by sending her to Ohio.

God had other plans. This whole time, a mass was growing on her spleen. Madison hasn't been hiding under the bed so much lately because she was neglected or unhappy, it was because she wasn't feeling right. She had moments where she was leap out of the bedroom and run out here and play with all of us. The girls would laugh as she would run back and forth but it never lasted long....she would hide back under the coffee table or go back under the bed. I read that as her being unhappy and neglected....I was so wrong.

I'm feeling a lot of guilt because I was trying to distance myself from her and make a cold, harsh decision that I thought was best for the family. Sure we would be sad when she left but it was the right thing to do, I thought. I pushed her away and complained about her those last several months when I should have been spoiling her.

If anything, this has taught be a lesson about the Grand Plan for my life. I need to give in a little and not be the one in control, if you know what I mean.

Here are some pictures that I didn't even know existed. I remember this moment when Madison came out and laid down next to me and Katy. Katy immediately starting learning over and petting her and Madison soaked it up. After she died, I was looking through all of our pictures and videos and couldn't find mom reminded me that she took the pictures on her camera so thank goodness, we have these to remember Katy and Madison together.

So I'm sorry if I'm being over-dramatic here. I kinda worry about that then I think, it's MY journal. I can't apologize for how I'm feeling. We are trying to move on. We donated the rest of her food, treats, and some of her toys to charity today and I finally took down her crate and put it in the garage...all VERY difficult tasks. I have a few more pictures that I wanted to share so bear with me a few more days, then we'll get back to the babies.

Again, thanks for every one's support. It is comforting to know people are thinking about us.