Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My dog, Isabel, is a genius. Or at least as smart as your average 2-year-old. The other day I was talking to Jonathan about the dog and who was going to take her outside to play. I spelled the word "out" because I knew if I said it she would be immediately ready to go and would get over-excited. When Isabel gets excited about going somewhere she follows you around the house and yawns. I'm not kidding. Her immediate response to going somewhere is to yawn and yawn and yawn until you put her in the car. And her yawns get bigger and bigger and bigger until you're pretty sure her jaw is going to unhinge if you don't get her outside. So we try not to say any words that may trigger this until we are absolutely ready to go.

Unfortunately certain actions also start the yawning process (putting on shoes or jackets) AND she can now understand some of the words we spell them out. And so the other night when I spelled "out" I was shocked when she jumped up and headed for the stairs. Our strategy now is to spell things backwards or mix the letters up a bit. If we spell the same thing too many times in a row she will pick up on it and learn that whatever we are spelling means she gets to play.

I don't know why I thought getting a border collie would be a good idea. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I don't really like being outsmarted by my dog on a regular basis. Plus, any dog we get from here on out will seem so stupid. I can usually teach Isabel a new command in an afternoon. All I have to do is repeat it three or four times, give her a treat each time and she's good to go.

Despite all her smarts though, she is impossible to walk on a leash. She will not heel and we cannot get her to heel. Isabel hates being on a leash, she would much rather run free at the dog park, or go swimming, or hiking and I think she is an absolute tyrant when we leash her because she doesn't want to be leashed.

I love Isabel to pieces but my vocabulary is limited around her. Following are the words and phrases she responds to: go, going, out, swim, swimming, river, play, playing, park, Frisbee, ball, leash, come over here, come with me, do you want to, walk, run, find Jon, what's that?, kitty, cat, and car. I'm sure she knows more but that's all I can remember right now.

What's really interesting is how much she's changed since we first got her from the Humane Society. Isabel was terrified of inclines and hills when we first took her on walks and hikes. Now she's a log climbing, river swimming, mountain goat of a dog who loves to be outside. I love spending time with her but some days I wish she would pay less attention to me and what I'm saying.

Right now I'm trying to teach her "What's that noise?! Check perimeter, check perimeter." For some reason she is not picking up on this command, but I am hoping she will get it soon. Part of the problem may be that I don't exactly know how to teach her this one ...

The 11:00 news is on soon. I have to check in on my dangers of getting swine flu! And then I have to tell my dog how much I love her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Playing catch-up

I didn't realize it's been so long since I posted. The weekends have been so nice I've spent most of my time outside recently.

This past weekend Jonathan and I went to the beach. It was our first trip of 2009 and it was very Oregon-beach-like. It was really sunny on our way to Lincoln City but as soon as we hit the town it fogged over and things got cold and windy. I had visions of lying on the beach in a t-shirt while the dog and Jonathan played around. Instead I curled up behind a log and tried to read while the wind whipped around me. I don't know why I was hoping for a warm day on the beach in Oregon in April. Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

Jonathan spent his time playing in a stream and throwing the Frisbee for the dog. Yes, he is 27 (since Monday!) but he still enjoys the simple things in life. He used rocks, sticks and sand to divert the stream and create new pathways. The dog enjoyed laying on top of, and therefore ruining, all of his new little streams.

Monday night Jonathan's friends came over for an X-Box party. I'll never get over 7 grown men, all of them married, most with children, playing video games for hours on end. I don't mind having his friends over, I just find the situation interesting. All of his friends are polite, nice to me and they usually clean up after themselves. My upstairs smells horrid for a couple days after, but they all have fun and I get to be the laid back wife who doesn't mind having all of the guys over. Maybe the other wives are on to something ...

In other news, I got the green light from all of my doctors regarding conception. I have to switch my thyroid medication in May and I want to wait a couple months after that. My endocrinologist says we can start trying to conceive any time we want, but I'm sticking to the conservative route. I want to know how my body reacts to the new medication before I toss in pregnancy hormones.

Jonathan wants to stick to our original plan of going off birth control in September. I'm pushing for August because I'm already feeling impatient and I think it's going to take us a long time to conceive. He said I can go off birth control and he doesn't even have to know about it unless I get pregnant right away. I vetoed that idea because I think it seems like a dangerous way to proceed. I never want to lie to Jonathan about birth control because it seems like entrapment (even though we are already married!).

I was contemplating a gentle birthing center but the nurse practitioner I am seeing right now said she doesn't feel there is one close enough to a hospital around here. Plus within 2 minutes of being born (or something ridiculous like that) the baby has to be checked for signs of hyperthyroidism and most birthing centers aren't able to do those tests. Now I'm trying to decide if I will use the nurse practitioner I am currently seeing in McMinnville or if I will try to find a new n.p or OBGYN in Salem. I love the nurse I am seeing in Mac and she can be the one who delivers the baby but I'm afraid there may be a price difference if we use Mac hospital. With Jonathan working at Salem hospital one of our benefits is cheaper care. We don't have to pay for ultrasounds and I think part of the hospital fee would be covered as well.

Why am I worrying about all of this now? Because I like to have all of my ducks in a row before I start on something new. And the only way I am going to be able to handle being pregnant and all of the changes that come with a baby is planning and having everything that can be planned ahead settled before I get pregnant. So, my "before I get pregnant this is what I need to know plan" is coming up on the one year mark and soon I will transition into the "oh my stars, we're going off birth control plan."

I love having the option to plan and think things through. I'm viewing this summer as a chance to get myself into shape before I try to get pregnant. I'm doing lots of Wii yoga and taking lots of walks and trying to prepare myself mentally and physically. I'm also viewing this summer as my last hurrah. I know, that's a tad dramatic, life doesn't stop once you have children but it certainly doesn't stay the same either.

I need to start dinner and take the dog out for a walk. It looks like it may rain tonight and for the next few days but I'm hoping the sunshine returns soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I found that elusive copy of Little Bee!! While straightening the ARC shelves in the staff room yesterday I found the slim little book. Good thing I decided to clean out my office and then got distracted and decided to clean up the staff room.


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