A sad day

Photo taken at 16 weeks pregnant

Today the family rallied to say goodbye to a good friend. Our (almost) 14 year old golden retriever, Rosie.

You know how they say that dogs can smell things that humans can’t smell? Can, therefore, sense things by their very nature that humans cannot?  I think Rose could smell my baby.  I think she knew I was growing something inside me.  When the above photo was taken, we were sitting on the floor in my mom’s studio, and Rosie was inextricably drawn to my belly.  Wanted to be as close to it as possible.

This morning when I went over there to tell her goodbye, it was not much different, but the joy had left her.  Our Rosie’s life has come to an end and, again like her sense of life a few months ago, she now has a sense of death.  Couldn’t quit relax.  She knew something was wrong.  Knew something was different.  Knew we were all gathered around her for something that would be changing very soon.  Maybe she knew these were her last moments with us, and so she didn’t want to miss a second by laying her head down to rest.

She really loves us.

Even when we turned our back on her and would push her away countless times because her hot breath in our face was annoying or gross.  Even when she was quarantined to her mud room in recent months after having a mess of bodily functions in the house.  She always loved us and would have her head back in our lap as soon as we would welcome it.

In about 75 minutes, our dear friend and veterinarian will be arriving at our home to peacefully assist in Rosie’s transition from life to death.  To help put an end to her pain; to her weakness; to her sickness that has very slowly deteriorated what’s left of her aging body.  It is my prayer that as soon as she shuts her eyes and leaves this world, that she will reenter another world where Rex, our other former golden retriever and Rosie’s best pal, will be waiting for her with a doggy grin and a rawhide.  Restored bodies.  Restored playmates.

It is my belief that Jesus loved the animals of the earth as much as he loves humans.  I believe that God gives us dogs to show us how to love like it’s our duty; because it is.  And so, I believe Rosie will be resting her head on the lap of Jesus in no time at all.


25 Weeks Pregnant and How to Dress a Soccer Ball Sized Uterus

Last night, Stockton asked me something to the effect of, how does it feel getting closer and closer to your due date every day? It feels awesome and terrifying at the same time. Awesome in the fact that, every minute that ticks by is getting me closer to holding that baby in my arms and not in my belly. Terrifying in the sense that aside from a few onesies and a Christmas outfit (note to baby: you had better arrive before Christmas, because I have your outfit picked out and that obviously will determine your gestational deadline) I am totally unprepared!! I know, I have 15 weeks until my due date. But I haven’t ordered furniture (which takes 12ish weeks to arrive), I haven’t registered, I haven’t painted, I haven’t PICKED a paint color… I feel so behind!! All the other pregnant women are well on their way by this point, and I’m SUH-LACKING!!! Maybe that is a result of not knowing the sex of the baby… less anxious to throw up gender-specific decor? Maybe I’m just lazy and trying to blame it on something. Yeah… probably that.

I always read up on what’s happening to my baby and my womb (y’know, like what type of produce or sports equipment it compares to this week) and this week, I was informed that my uterus is the size of a SOCCER BALL!!

?!?!?!?!?

How does your body continue to grow when, with 15 weeks left in the game, your belly is already the size of a soccer ball?! I’m truly befuddled by this, and frankly, TERRIFIED! I’m well on my way to gaining a million pounds, so this news is sobering. Oh wait. I’m pregnant, and thus have been sober since March. So…. this news is just friggin’ BANANAS I guess. So, how does one dress a soccer ball sized belly? I’m not really sure, but here’s my interpretation!

And in real life:

Thank you GOD for cooler temps lately, so that I can wear something other than fat-arm-bearing maxi dresses and summerwear. I don’t mean to be a Summer hater, and I’m totally not, but I’m a slave for Fall. Knowing northern Indiana, we will have an Indian Summer and I’ll have to dig out those clothes again at some point, but for now, I’m totally wanting to make out with Fall and every chai latte that accompanies it. Too far? I’m sorry I’m not sorry.


I don’t think this is how the quote’s author meant for this to be interpreted…

Can I get an Amen for this amazing weather we are experiencing in the always-cozy Northern Indiana??  This is why I love living here.  58 degree mornings, which make Pumpkin Spice Lattes exponentially more awesome.  Ahhhhh…..

This morning, I wanted to share a new favorite quote (thank you, Pinterest) that has recently been occupying my brain in serious and humorous ways:

Obviously the first thing that comes to mind for me is, WORK OUT.  Right? Your future self will totally thank you for THAT whilst checking out a svelte ass in the mirror.  But since achieving said svelte ass is slightly outside of the realm of possibility for me at this given moment (see: huge and pointy pregnant woman) I’ve been trying to think of other ways I can do things my future self will thank me for.  Like seize every opportunity to eat Cake Batter frozen yogurt with Butterfinger and Reese’s Pieces bits.  You only live once, after all.  And I feel like when I’m 96 and on a liquid diet being fed to me through tubes, future Courtney will say, “Girl, THANK YOU for indulging in the cake battery goodness of frozen yogurt when you still had teeth and a properly functioning digestive tract.”  But I can be serious too.  Like getting all of the darks washed before the week even begins so that Stockton has enough socks and underwear to get him through the week, thus preventing a Thursday morning panic.  Thursday morning self is totally going to say, “Thank you, past Courtney, for getting the laundry done on Monday so that I can sleep this morning while Stockton peacefully gets ready for work and has matching socks on to boot.”  So you see, even if you can’t/don’t work out every day, you can still do something future-self-thank-worthy, or at least have a good time justifying bad habits to the tune of an otherwise motivational quote.

Happy (feels like Monday) Tuesday! YAHOO for short weeks!


Hump Day

Is this turning out to be the longest week ever for anyone else, too?! Anyway, getting over the hump for me involves drying my eyes and putting on my big girl panties (even though a diaper would be more appropriate sometimes, given my recent pregnancy leaking… what, this is full disclosure town) so today I am going to confidently begin sharing photos of me, my big ol’ belly, and the clothes that makes us feel a little less frumpalicious. Since it’s a tad gloomy out, I was feeling like it’s a comfy day, so jeans, t-shirt and scarf it is!! By the way, that combination of clothing items was literally invented by God to make women happy and cute, regardless of your circumstances, size or clothing budget. Here is my OOTD Polyvore set:

And here we are in real life:

Happy Wednesday!


Yeah yeah yeah, sticks and stones and all that…

Today I had a big fat (no pun intended) pity party for myself.  After allowing myself to get worked up into a real pitiful frenzy of Woe Is Me’s, I found myself blubbering and crying all by myself at work, hoping that no one would walk in on my sobfest.  Why? Because people don’t grow up out of the playground, apparently, and no matter how old people get, they still say hurtful things.  I know they don’t mean to hurt my feelings. I’m sensitive after all.  I cry over many-a-trivial-issue these days.  But if they don’t think they are hurting my feelings, what exactly DO they think they are doing when they constantly point out how HUGE  I’ve gotten and how I’m going to have a HUGE baby, and how aghast they are when they hear that I’m not due until DECEMBER!!!! Oh and then the diagnosis of carrying a boy, because I’m so POINTY.

?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!

Those are all such compliments!! Right up there with “You look tired”, can I get an Amen? I mean for real, who likes to be told they look tired?  Oh that’s right, the same person who likes to be told they look HUGE. AND POINTY!!!!!!!!! So, NOBODY!

I’m not posting this to get a slew of comments that say “But Courtney you looks so cayuutteeeee” and “OMGZ you look GREAT pregnant” or any of those false ego boosters.  Not to say no one has a genuinely nice thing to say to me, but I’m not digging for those kind of compliments, you see.  I would, however, love to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t pertain to my stomach, nor the size or contents thereof.  I’m still Courtney underneath this full panel pair of maternity pants.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish everyone would just think before they speak.  I have some relatives who are very closely related to me who could afford to learn this lesson too, so no one is exempt! Everybody, if you’re reading this: LEARN SOME MANNERS. A pregnant woman is still a woman. She still has dignity (even if she did projectile vomit all over her outfit this morning and may or may not have gesundh-tinkled in her pants a little, too) and her conversation skills run deeper than her waistline runs round. And as a general rule, use that little filter that God gave you that fits in somewhere between your brain and your lips – THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.  Would you want someone to say these things to YOU? DID WE NOT LEARN THIS IN KINDERGARTEN?!

And I know… you’ve had a baby (or your best friend’s brother’s wife’s sister did), so you’re obviously an expert on all things pregnancy/baby/womb-related, but guess what? I don’t care that you kept saltines in your nightstand and were immediately cured of your morning sickness.  I also don’t care that you have a magic trick for determining the sex of the baby. ‘Cause so do I, and it’s called an ultrasound and if I didn’t want to find out that way, I probably don’t want you to read my palm to tell me what I have chosen to medically not find out. And really? Did it seem like the best idea to tell me that your best friend had a horrific tragedy happen to her when she was EXACTLY AS FAR ALONG AS I AM?! I’m not in denial here, but come on ladies. And if you want to touch my belly, more power to you – but I am a gestating mother, not the pillsbury dough boy. So have some courtesy. And you better brace yourself for me to touch your belly right back.

 

Not to self to file this one under Birth Control.

 

Pity party over. Until the next ass hat comes along and makes me cry.

 


Where does the time go!?

Tonight my baby sister who just moved into college at Saint Mary’s is going to DomerFest at Notre Dame.  I SWEAR I just saw her sitting in front of the TV in nothing but a pasta necklace watching Barney, like 5 minutes ago.  Only really, that was 15 years ago.  At least as far as I know she has dropped that habit…

This is a picture of me and my college BF Bridget in 2006 when we headed to our own DomerFest.  Next to that picture is a picture of me tonight, getting ready for a date with my hubby and unborn baby.  That date involves buying dog food (I only mention that as an illustrative means to tell you MY IDEA OF A DATE HAS TOTALLY CHANGED SINCE 2006!!).  Also, my waistline has changed since 2006, but let’s not dwell on the obvious.

I can’t believe my little sister is in college.  COLLEGE.  As in, she moved out of my parents’ house and she LIVES ELSEWHERE and she PROBABLY PARTIES (gasp!) and she MAKES BIG KID DECISIONS and she’s totally TRYING TO LOOK CUTE FOR ND BOYS TONIGHT!!!!!!! I was SO that girl once!!!!!!!!!!  Where did the last 5 years go!?

Have fun little Maddie-kins.  I’m glad you grew up out of the naked Barney phase.


I am the Walrus

May we begin this blog post with a moment of silence honoring the servitude of the former ruler of this house, Lady Lola, who was dethroned last night.

……..

Thank you.

Meet Walrus (aka Wally, aka Sir Walrus the Third, aka Uncle Wally):

Yes, it’s true, we brought home a second pooch last night.  Our search began about a month ago for a very specific animal, who despite our very best efforts, we were unable to find after personally meandering through every single local animal shelter.  My hope for him is that some other lucky family got to that hound before we ever could.  While we were on that manhunt doghunt, I became so personally affected by all of the battle stories of some of these shelter dogs, that it became an obsession, searching the shelters and trying to find the animal that would fit into our lives and whose story was, to me, worth changing the ending (please note that if I did not have the tiny bit of self control that I have, this house would have been TURNED INTO a shelter by now, because all of those neglected dogs deserve a happy ending).  I’m going to continue to believe that thanks to dozens of selfless volunteers (who place more importance on the life of an animal than the clarity of their carpet) all of these pets will find their happy ending.  Here are some story beginnings that I know of for now:

Several dogs are left behind because their owners have had children, yet the shelter volunteers, after spending more time with the dogs than their former owners probably did, swear that the dog would have made an excellent companion to a growing family. (My question is, why would you get an animal if your future plans involve children and you feel that dog + child is a bad combination? At what point did society start believing that getting a LIVING animal was a temporary or disposable pleasure and once they are no longer puppies, they are to be dumped at the nearest shelter? Or worse…)

Several other dogs (BEAUTIFUL, breeder-bought dogs) were left behind after an owner passed away. (This story breaks my heart… where were the kids/grandkids/neighbors/cleaning ladies/nurses/grocery baggers in this person’s life?? Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of family or friends to care for the surviving animals once a person has passed?? This is my promise that as soon as a pet owner in my family kicks the bucket, your dog has a home with me. I’ll even take your cat.)

One beautiful, and far too young, mama beagle was caged beside her son.  Mama was found, pregnant as the day is long, and rushed to the clinic. She delivered her puppies in the car.  After a whole year, mama and son remain in the shelter to this day, never separated. (Who knows her whole story. She could’ve been a stray, but judging by her very young age, she was probably an unwanted puppy that was running around with the wrong crowd and ended up in the backseat of some mutt’s clunker and before you know it, she was dropping babies in another backseat.)

And then we found our Wally (ahem, Sir Walrus the Third/Uncle Wally).  Wally is a 9 week Bassett/Beagle mix (can’t wait to see how he looks when he grows up, because he is a total wild card!) who, along with his sister Marti, were dropped of, IN A BOX, IN FEBRUARY, IN THE MIDWEST(!!!!!!) at Wal Mart when they were just 4 weeks old (by the vet’s best estimation).  In case you failed to grasp my point, it’s frickin cold in the midwest in February, and it was likely snowing. Who knows how long those frozen hounds were stuck out there, barely enough body fat on their newborn bodies to keep them alive, let alone warm.  Some good soul found the box and called Pet Refuge who immediately came and brought the dogs home.  This is like that Natalie Portman movie about the Wal Mart baby only WAY SADDER!!! Hence their Pet Refuge-given names of Wally and Marti.

I am happy to say that we found out last night, several families expressed interest in Marti at the last adoption night, so she will be on her way home in no time.

Since Wally had already been living with a foster parent (who shall forever be referred to as Saint Sarah around these parts), and responding to the name “Wally”, we decided it was in his best interest to keep the name. It seemed to work. And we liked it.  We did, however, think it needed just a slight upgrade, since we didn’t want it to be short for WalMart anymore. We love him so much already, and he and Lola have become fast friends (and rough housing partners, which was exactly our hope for the two) and he fits into our family and our hearts in a place we didn’t know was empty.

He is the Walrus. Goo goo, goo’joob.

 


 


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