Monday, July 23, 2012

oh yeah

And in the middle of all this newness, we got a dog, Thrall. Rob and his sister, Rachel, adopted Thrall as a puppy before he and I met. When we married, Rachel's family took the dog with them, and Rob's pined for a dog ever since.

One cute time, he even brought a puppy home to the condo. I laughed and told him he'd better take it back to his owner. He was wide-eyed and disingenuous, wondering why that owner couldn't be us, and I laughed harder and sternly reminded him of the no-yard, 1000-square-feet we lived in, his 55-hour/week job, and my lack of desire to raise a puppy by myself in the current situation. He sadly returned the puppy to the owner and I agreed to revisit the dog idea after we had a house with a yard, kennel, and fence (not just the house - I knew I'd have to be very specific). Unfortunately, the fence is outside the budget this year, but he was just confident that we'd have the dog on so many walks, it wouldn't be necessary.

I suggested that, rather than getting a puppy, we float the idea of taking Thrall to be our dog past his sister. She willingly agreed (with two daughters, a job, and being in school, she has no additional time for a pet), and Thrall came to live with us last week. It's been stressful on all of us (except Blake, who thanks God for Thrall in every prayer), but I think we're rounding a bend. He got a haircut and shots today, so he's not only getting used to the new digs, but he's no longer in danger of heatstroke any time we take him on a walk, nor of contracting rabies from a random animal bite. Here's hoping he adjusts to being an excellent pup for our family and that all the other people that filter through can love him too (I'm looking at you, Joel!).

We believe he's a German Shepherd/Leonberger cross, so summer haircuts will be a regular thing for him, both to alleviate the heat and to reduce the risk we'll all die from the massive hairballs taking over in our sleep (though he's an outside dog, the hairballs are thisclose to becoming sentient and opening doors).

Friday, July 20, 2012

because aunt gail says i suck at this

But she did acknowledge that I have my hands full. Vesper is five weeks as of today - amazing. She's an easy baby, though has the same issues all babies have at this age: up once or twice to eat in the night, poopy blowouts that are wildly inconvenient (right in the middle of a restaurant? sure!), evening fussy time that Rob once optimistically set from "about 6:00 to about 10:00." My response: "Since when are you deaf from 10:00 to midnight?!"

These pics are from her very earliest days - still getting caught up over here.

He adores her. I think this is a day or two after we got home from the hospital.

Proud and protective.

Taking a nap with my kids on the couch = God's promises to me in action. (Side note: my chloasma - the mask of pregnancy that's due to increased melanin in the face - got really pronounced, and I'm sporting orangey/brownish/yellow splotches, so I'm a bit camera-shy yet. You can really see it here.)

Disregarding all those pesky rules about "no soft materials in the crib." Also disregarding all rules of style, given the number of colors and patterns going on here. She's a rebel.

I've warned him that if he doesn't give her face a little more space, she's going to end up spitting up right in his mouth (this happened to another friend with kids about the same age - the big brother now gives the little sister a much more respectful berth).

Newborn clothes from Lane: more like dressing a doll than I would have believed. I didn't quite make it all the way through the newborn stuff, mostly because I'm lazy, but also because the majority were for a baby born in cooler months, and V would have cooked.

Mom and Lane, Vesper and Audrey. Lane's comment was "MY MASSIVE BABY IS GOING TO EAT YOUR TINY ONE!" However, Audie's little feet are the same length as V's (though chubbier). I'm not sure how she'll be able to walk on those pegs!

My family, loving each other. Isn't it grand?

Hot hot days call for pool parties with cousins and friends.

Blake taking a whack at Optimus Prime. That orange blur is the bat.

Proud papa with a baby that somehow looks just like him, but is also pronouncedly feminine, especially for an infant (they all tend to look genderless for a while).

The changing station in the living room is right next to a mirror. It's one of her favorite spots in the house, which is a little worrisome this early!

Ok. Off to finish the laundry (four loads in two days), empty the dishwasher, reload the diaper bag, heat up dinner, and sit down to it just in time for Vesper to wake up and ensure my meal is cold by the time I get to it. She's got a baby's uncanny sense of when Mama is about to eat, tuning up to be sure SHE eats first. She's remarkably persuasive about this argument, too, much to my dismay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

another round of pics

I have yet to get all MY photos from my camera, but until then, here are the last from my mom. I also need Lane's pics from when she was here, because there are some heart-meltingly cute ones of Vesper and Bing (he has a particularly soft spot for babies).

Gunner George! Reese hosted us for dinner the day I left the hospital (I think), just so we could all be together without overwhelming me too much. Plus our sod was so new that the kids wouldn't have been able to play on it, which is lame.

Audrey Claire! Lane had taken her to Target and some random lady had commented on the cute little boy, so Audgie was consigned to frills and flowers the rest of her time here. Gotta make it obvious, people!

Dressed up like a doll in some of the many clothes Auntie Lane brought with her. I've had quite the time getting her in everything at least once before she outgrows it!

With limited space for sleeping people, Maddox sacked out for a nap on the couch.

Pretty in pink, practice for a family photo Mom made happen the week after she was born, with EVERYONE (so far) in it.

Oops, the flower slipped. "It's as big as my face, Mom!"

The card making station: we all made cards to send to Great-Grammie (Mom's mom), because days after Vesper was born, GG was having emergency open-heart surgery for two major blockages. She's doing well now, praise God!

The three most recent grandies (#12, #13, and #14 of GG's fourteen great-grandkids... nine of which come from us Myers girls). Audrey (center) is the oldest, born in late January. Gunner (right) entered in mid-February. Vesper is one week old here and is downright swarthy compared to her golden-cheeked cousins!

Monday, July 2, 2012

"unusual without being weird"

Vesper: Latin, meaning evening prayers
Eileen: Gaelic, meaning pleasant

We had a very, very short list of girl names, and one solid boy name that we'll reserve for the potential of actually getting to use it in the future (it's both Biblical and familial, and that's all you get unless you ask in person). One thing Rob felt strongly about was having Taylor as a middle name, to honor his mother's side of the family, as it's her maiden name.

Truthfully, the only girl name I even remember from our super-short list is Charlotte, but we didn't love it enough and weren't committed to it. Then I recalled a character from a book series I'd read back in middle school. Her name was Vesper Holly. I won't say that our daughter is named after her, but recently getting that series in hardcover from PaperbackSwap sparked my memory. Vesper Lynd is also a Bond girl and the Vesper is a Bond martini, but the film version of Casino Royale came out AFTER I had decided I'd really liked the name (I have it written down somewhere as a potential girl's name, on something that predates Rob and possibly even big Blake).

Then we tried the three names together: Vesper Taylor Bedford. And it had too many ER sounds. Rob liked Vesper too, enough to suggest that he bend on his grandparents' last name and go with his grandmother's first name instead: Eileen. I looked up the origin and meaning of two names, decided it made us sound more holy than we were, and we had a name we loved! As one friend put it, it's unusual without being weird, which is what we were going for. After all, until a certain British pop star came around, Adele had the benefit of being unusual without being weird, and I've almost always appreciated that fact.

Now I'm getting used to actually USING the name... which is hard. I have called this baby Marilla or biscuit for so long that using and hearing the name Vesper is a bit startling! I also find myself adding many names that are not actually her middle name to the mix: Vesper Lynn (my mom's middle name, but it's too much like the Bond girl and "West Berlin") and Vesper Grace (a different spelling of Bethany's middle name) are a few.

I absolutely refuse to get lazy, however, and lapse into Vespa. My beautiful little girl is not a motor scooter that doesn't top 35 MPH. I'd rather call her Harley.