Colleen and Meghan asked if I would help them to recreate a number of family favorite photos for Lauren as a gift for Mother’s Day. This took a surprising bit of time due to the three of us all being obsessively detail oriented and trying to get the same photos in the same poses in the same locations, but I think the end results are pretty damn great.
We decided that it was far past time to take our water-loving dogs to see the ocean. We had talked about it forever, but somehow life had gotten in the way and it had never happened. While taking two huge dogs to the beach was difficult enough, we were now faced with the prospect of bringing two huge dogs and two small children to the beach. We figured it was never going to get any easier, so we loaded everyone into the Outback and trucked on down the shore. (more…)
Looking back at my archive of photos and videos, before Meghan and Colleen most of the pictures were of the dogs. Starting in 2001, when we had two children to care for, very few of the memories recorded focused on the dogs. To anthropomorphize a bit, I’m tempted to think that this made the dogs sad, though I think they embraced their new roles in our growing family with typical Newfy aplomb. (more…)
3:00 a.m. Lauren woke up to go to the bathroom. Being very pregnant, this was not unusual, but this time she told me that she thought her water had broken, but she wasn’t really sure. When Meghan was born there was no question when the water broke as it was an event unto itself. Being tired and unsure Lauren went back to bed while thinking that she was having mild contractions. I went back to sleep thankful that nothing was expected of me except more sleep.
5:00 a.m. I got a nudge from Lauren asking, “Where is the stopwatch?” (more…)
Since Cozy was always around me, she often ended up in the same room as Meghan. On hot days, when Cozy’s tongue would be hanging out of the side of her mouth, Meghan would grab for it, but Cozy would usually slurp it back into her mouth to get it away from those grippy little fingers. Meghan was persistent though, and she really wanted to stand. If the tongue was out of reach, Meghan would try and grab a lip, or perhaps some loose skin around Cozy’s face. Whiskers were also in danger, but grabbing was one thing; it was the pulling that was a problem. (more…)
I also remember sitting on the couch with Lauren some time later reading an alphabet book to Meghan. We were the picture of family togetherness. Meghan would stare lovingly as I’d turn the page and read the words with happy Daddy abandon. (more…)
Young children are naturally very good at some things. Banging pots with a wooden spoon is one of them. Making poopy diapers is another, and let me tell you, when it came to this particular skill, the kid was a pro. Noticing that the pro had scored again, Lauren scooped Meghan up and headed inside to clean her up. The dogs evidently decided that they’d sniffed enough diapers for one day and remained contentedly in the sun. If a loaded diaper wasn’t reason enough to disrupt a snooze of this caliber, nothing was. Or so we thought. (more…)
In Lauren’s ninth month of pregnancy we went in for one of the many ultrasounds to check the baby’s health. Lauren’s OBGyn was very smart, very type-A, and very young. We had long ago nick-named him Doogie after Doogie Howser from the TV show of the same name. Doogie took one look at Lauren and told her that he wanted to induce her. Lauren flat-out refused, insisting that nature should take its course and that nothing should impede the beauty of the process or some damn thing. (more…)
We had gone through this once already. As soon as Lauren’s body started changing in order to grow a new baby, Daisy would know, and even before we knew Daisy would start acting strangely. As Lauren would try to walk down the hallway, Daisy would walk in front of her, then stop and turn around in circles, almost as if she was trying to make a bed for Lauren. Daisy would become very attentive and be with Lauren constantly to the point of annoyance. When Lauren miscarried the first baby, Daisy lay on the couch with Lauren while Cozy and I looked on helplessly. Daisy had been there, and she knew just what Lauren was going through. (more…)
Since we had two slobbering beasts stuffed into the car with us, we stopped often to let them out so they could walk around, relieve themselves and enjoy some time doing anything other than being stuffed into a car. Come to think of it, those were the same reasons that we usually wanted to stop. After what seemed like 384 hours on the road (it was seven) we arrived safely, setting a personal record for the most stops caused by the need to clean drool off of the back window (four). (more…)