Sunday, July 29, 2012

Settling in with Leo at Home

We spent most of the week around the house. On Monday, Hallie took the kids and the missionaries to the Henry Ford Museum. 

Mike went up to work to start packing up his office. The university is repairing major leaks and water damage in his building, so he and several colleagues will be displaced for the next few weeks. When he came home, Priscilia was there with her son and his family who are visiting from Montreal.  Leo and Landon hardly knew what to do with themselves, so excited they were to have playmates for water fights.

To help with Eliza's oral muscular development, we bought her an electric toothbrush. The people at the Kaufman Center suggested it.

Hallie took the kids to story time and a puppet show on Tuesday. Afterwards, Landon accompanied Mike up to school to finish packing his office. Landon was very helpful, and Mike was grateful for his assistance.

In the mean time, the girls looked after Leo:

All these early mornings walking Leo and late nights because he won't go down finally took their toll on the boy by Wednesday.

Hallie had some errands to run on Thursday, so Mike looked after Eliza. She likes to watch and move with the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance.

We were pleased to see the sight of a moving van at a home across the road that we and our other neighbors suspected of some unsavory activity.

Our little celebrity-in-training graced us with the momentary view of her in sunglasses. Then is was back to finding some new way of making mischief.

We finally put up the wall hangings in Eliza's bedroom, so her nursery is now complete just in time for her to go into Nursery at church. Oh, well.

We attended a surprise party for Janel on Thursday. This was the longest amount of time (so far) that we had left Leo alone, and while he was definitely happy to see us home, he seems to have done fine.

We watched a lot of Olympics over the weekend. Landon had his last baseball game, so we all went, including Leo. We also attended the stake Pioneer Day picnic at Belle Isle Park with Leo. He seems to travel well get along with unfamiliar situations. Later on, Hallie and Landon joined Sara and Chase for a run down to Eastern Market for some produce and flowers. They also ran into a few thousand parrotheads out for the Jimmy Buffett concert at Comerica Park. 
Enjoying pasta with chop sticks at Fishbones in Greektown

This morning as Mike and Landon took Leo for a walk, Mike took some pictures of a unique phenomenon we get here with our long straight roads: a Stonehenge-like view of the sunrise coming up right through the canyon created by the buildings and trees along the road. Mike just happened to read about how this happens in Manhattan a few days ago, and he was curious to see whether it happens here. It just so happened that today was the day, so he brought the camera.
Not too shabby
Landon likes how the morning shadows make us look like giants, so Mike caught a pic of that too. 

On our walk, I taught Landon how to use the poop bag to clean up after the dog. Afterwards, he asked, "Dad?! Can I clean up after Leo's poop every time?" Yes, son. Every time. Every single stinking time. All the way home, he's carrying the full bag and singing "I picked up the poop! I picked up the poop!" Ah, the joys of parenthood and pet ownership combined! A true Tom Sawyer moment.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pageant Nights and Dog Days of Summer

We split the crew up this week with Hallie, the kids, and Priscilia going off to meet up with the Doreys in Palmyra, New York, and Mike and Leo staying put at home. Hallie’s gang went to see LDS Church history sites in the Finger Lakes region, including the Sacred Grove and the Smith Family Farm, the Hill Cumorah and the Hill Cumorah Pageant, the Grandin Building in Palmyra, and the Peter Whitmer Farm. Along their way, they stopped in the African Safari Wildlife Park in Clinton, Ohio:

Hallie LOVED his teeth.

Here is the lovely slobber the bison left us.

Everyone says she is a genius. Here she is proving it for you.

From Ohio, it was on to New York. Hallie and her crew stayed in a hotel with a pool and that was almost as good as Disneyland for Landon. Priscilia, Neil, Kathy, Bryce, and Hallie had the opportunity to do an endowment session at the Palmyra Temple. She reports that it was beautiful inside: a mix of wood and stained glass that represents the surrounding farmlands was breathtaking. The little ones played with the not so little ones, and Hallie was grateful to have an extra four sets of hands who were more than willing to play with the kids. The gang met up with two cast members, a nurse, and a head security guard for the pageant (all of whom Hallie knew from her mission), and it was fun for everyone to relive memories.  
Neil, Kathy, and Bryce (Grandpa and Grandma Dorey)

Priscilia and Alma. She was quite impressed.

The following morning, they went to the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center.

Hallie had a great experience explaining to Landon why Jesus had wound marks in his feet and hands.

From there, they went to the Sacred Grove.

Even though it had been warm, the wind made the trees sound as if it were raining. It was a beautiful moment in the Sacred Grove.

The clan eating at Pizzeria Uno. 

Eliza again reading. This time the menu.

Eliza felt entitled to help herself to Kira's supper.

On Thursday, they drove over to the Peter Whitmer Farm.

Landon thinks he can do everything. Why not make Priscilia join in on his crazy antics?

As you can see she is a good sport.

By Thursday it had cooled off, and the kids had a wonderful time playing on the grassy field surrounding the farm. What a blessed moment Hallie had with them.

Of course, there was shopping in the mix, and it didn’t hurt that some stores had amazing sales. Landon and Eliza made out like bandits! The Doreys departed on Thursday, and Hallie has figured out that departing in public after a shorter trip equals less chance of a teary good-bye. We’ll miss you, Dorey family!
Priscilia made a great traveling companion for Hallie and the kids. This trip could not have happened without her.

Back at home, Mike puppy-sat Leo and wrote. Otherwise his week was really uneventful. Other than taking the dog out of the house for potty training, walks around the neighborhood, and outdoor time in the back yard, the two didn’t do much of anything besides confine themselves to the family room. Leo learned to get used to his crate and call it home. Mike watched Leo like a hawk as he read or typed on his laptop. There are probably less intensive ways of potty training, but Leo now knows where to go, Mike knows when Leo needs to go, and we did it all with no accidents!
Relaxing on the cool floor

In fact, the only problems we ran into were after Hallie and the kids got home. We have come to the conclusion that a 17-month-old and a puppy together may be more than we are ready to handle. We’ll adapt like we did when Landon and then Eliza came into the mix. Our realization comes with a dramatic story (of course). While Hallie took Landon to his ball game, Mike looked after the baby and the puppy. Leo had eaten OK during the week as he was getting used to his new food, but he did not eat very well on Friday. He ate really well (finally!) Saturday morning and noon. We took him out to play in between breakfast and lunch, and he learned how to fetch really quickly. He also really seemed to enjoy racing around the yard.

A little while after his lunch, however, he regurgitated what he had eaten at breakfast (ew, gross.) and then ate it (ew, even grosser!). When he regurgitated his lunch, we figured he’d go back to it. Nope. He lost his lunch and his breakfast. Anyway, you get the idea. We let him rest on the porch, and every so often he would go out to the yard to relieve himself. Finally, we brought him in when it seemed clear that he was just going to lie down on the porch.

As Mike went to take Leo out a little while later, Leo decided to take a side trip on the way out and go potty in the dining room. He seemed to be ready to get out, and as we were planning to go to the nighttime farmers market event with him, we put the leash on him and headed out with the neighbors and Sara’s family. We all enjoyed getting out, and Leo seemed to enjoy all the attention. Such a good puppy! After we got home, he went potty outside and then went straight to his crate. For all his bravado, he was one sick puppy.
People kept coming up to Mike asking about his cool pooch. 

Landon and one of the new Grosse Pointe Perches you can find around town.

To this point we did not know what had caused him to have an upset tummy (frankly, we still don’t). In the wee hours this morning, however, Mike woke up realizing that it could be the lid from a container of puffed rice treats for Eliza. Yesterday afternoon, the TV remote went missing. Coincidentally, we couldn’t find the lid to Eliza’s puffs. We did a thorough search and found the missing remote but not the lid. If Leo did get the lid, it’s possible that he snuck it while Mike changed Eliza’s diaper and then that he secretly chewed it in his crate while Mike put Eliza down for her nap. All that careful work during the week undone in no time!

Mike took Leo to the emergency animal hospital. The vet there told she didn’t detect any large mass in Leo’s gut, but they could do an X-ray if Leo’s condition did not improve. She advised Mike to give Leo a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice and to monitor whether he vomited or had a BM. Leo spent the day in his crate eating small meals of boiled chicken and rice and drinking small amounts of water. As of this writing, we have not yet gone back to the vet, but the day is not yet done. He definitely has an appetite, so hopefully things will work themselves out before we take another trip to the vet tomorrow morning.