In which we move ahead

Me: I’m really enjoying my book. It’s funny writing and it’s interesting to me the way they went about their boycott. <shifts A Year Without Made in China across the table>
The husband: Hmm.
Me: Actually, the husband in the book reminds me of you. But it’s annoying me that instead of going without stuff and clearing out their house, they find other ways to buy stuff they don’t need.
The husband: Hmmm.
Me: But anyway, it’s really interesting. A very entertaining read.
The husband: Hmm.
Me: Oh my gosh you’re afraid I’m going to make you do it, aren’t you?
The husband: <avoids eye contact>

* * *

There’s a Google commercial going around right now that ends with a little girl asking into the phone, while lying on the floor next to her sleeping dog, “OK, Google, do dogs dream?”

Google’s response is, “Dogs dream like humans and about similar things.” The little girl smiles and pats her sleeping dog on the head.

Dietrich is sleeping right now and isn’t available to do a final dogblog before we move ahead. I don’t know what he’s dreaming about but maybe it’s all the new puppies in the neighborhood that we meet on our walks these days; he loves them, so the husband and I try not to talk too loud about getting a second dog when Dietrich is within earshot. We wouldn’t get a second dog here in the green-ceiling condo anyway, but the time will come, before Dietrich is too much older, that we’ll add to the pack in four-legged format. Dietrich is too great a dog to not pass on his wisdom to a younger pup.

And the oyster would love a second dog, too. After she took a nose-dive off a friend’s porch last week, skinning her cheek and her nose and developing a purple knot the size of her fist, she cried for a minute and then asked for crackers and puppies. The girl bounces back pretty quick.

And speaking of kids, today was my last monthly blood draw at the ob, provided the numbers come back normal. They have been normal since March so I trust that September will be no different! That means we have the blessing of Western medicine to add to the pack in two-legged format. When I asked the husband the other week if we should go ahead when we get the go ahead or if we should wait for, hmm, I don’t know, something or…another time…or…I don’t know. His response? “I’m always up for another kid.” Good man.

When we talked about having kids before the oyster, one thing I wanted was to be debt-free. That didn’t happen before the oyster came into our lives but it happened in June and delayed though our milestone was, it was an excellent 29th birthday gift to me. Then again we weren’t actually debt-free until August when I remembered a library fine of $4.50, packed up the oyster, drove to our old neighborhood, and forked over the quarters I was saving for the library book sale at the end of the week. All in the name of financial freedom.

Dietrich is awake now and he is looking at me with his cartoon eyes, which suggests that he thinks I’m leaving something out. Oh, I think he wants me to mention his gray chin hairs. All gray. Very distinguished and handsome. He also wants me to mention that we signed up for dog food delivery from Amazon so he gets a package every month and he feels very sophisticated and urbane.

But back to the conversation with the husband at the beginning of this post. This week I finished the book A Year Without Made in China: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni. It’s my kind of book–a personal social experiment conducted purely to see if it’s possible? Yeah, that’s me. And no, I’m not going to make the husband do it. But it fits well with the moves we’ve been making toward a more minimalist lifestyle in the last few months and the fact that I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it from Amazon is proof positive of that. Dedicating ourselves to the frugal oyster budget was a great foundation for this minimalist thing and I like making less-is-just-less-and-that’s-the-goal a permanent thing for us. 

Anyway. Dietrich thinks we should keep the Red white and new Facebook page when we close up blog-shop tomorrow and I agree. That will be helpful in staying connected while we also spend less time in front of the computer, talking on behalf of the dog. Who has his own dreams of published books and perfectly broiled salmon, if Google is to be believed. 


Branches, branches, everywhere, nor any tree to climb

On Wednesday night a storm blew through our neighborhood. And by blew I mean it was fast, not that it provided us with a stiff breeze. My weather app said “chance of showers” overnight. A 30% chance, in fact. And even having spent my entire life up until 2011 in the Midwest–albeit not the super tornado-y portion of the Midwest–I’ve never seen a storm do this kind of damage in real life.


Dietrich had been crying for hours before the husband and I went to bed and we attributed it to a sore back. When we woke up to the storm at midnight, a crack of thunder woke the husband so suddenly and so completely he got a charley horse. The power went out, which it will do when all the wires are wrapped around trees and lying in the middle of the street.

Some trees came up by the roots, obviously laid flat by wind. Others–lots–were hit by lightning and some once-magnificent trees are now really sad stumps. This one is next door to us:



Yesterday morning on our run, the little oyster and I felt like we were in a video game. Jump, go around, slow down, jump again, duck. I couldn’t run on Thursday morning because there was nowhere TO run. Even yesterday morning was dicey. This morning I ran by myself (it’s my birthday, happy birthday to me!) and continued to gawk at the trees, limbs, and branches, branches, everywhere. I ran past one enormous tree that had seemed to provide eternal shade one street over from us. It was split in half by lightning and while it looks like a normal tree on one side, on the other it is flat and black. You might think the lightning trees smell like camping or something tasty. They don’t. They smell like burn. 1 billion volts of burn.

Most of the pine trees that came down came up by the roots. Yesterday when the crews started cutting them a piece at a time for removal the whole neighborhood smelled like Christmas. There were six cars under the tree below, and another half-dozen trees of the same size felled in a perfectly straight line right behind this one, like pine dominoes. Those roots are easily 35 feet in the air.



Here’s the thing: I love a good storm. This was not a good storm. When the sisters and I were little girls and a storm came through our neighborhood, we would stand at the front door and watch the sheets of rain drive down the street, watch the clouds turn colors and snap lightning back and forth. It was always beautiful. I love the refreshing aftermath of a good thunderstorm. I have always felt like the trees and flowers bounce back a little greener, the rain scrubs everything clean, and the thunder and lightning are magnificent. A solid thunderstorm has always, to me, looked like everything was working in tandem, the weather, the trees, the rising water, all in it together. Nature! But Wednesday’s storm felt like nature turned in on itself and started devouring. It felt like all that was rooted in the earth was prey for what blasted down from the sky and stood no chance. It felt wrong and dangerous. This is what people mean when they talk about a storm raging.

The storm included a microburst that struck only our neighborhood. Essentially the opposite of a tornado, a microburst is an incredibly powerful and concentrated downdraft that smashes things flat instead of lifting them up and tossing them around like a funnel cloud does. This explains the havoc that a regular thunderstorm simply wouldn’t have wreaked. A house three streets over is split in half by a huge tree. Shutters from our buildings were scattered like cheap confetti.

Cars were crushed as if our streets are a movie set. We are grateful that ours, which is the little red Toyota below, wasn’t one of them:


We are all safe, though Dietrich lost enough fur to carpet a small condo. Clean up and power restoration started first thing on Thursday morning and the chainsaws and wood chippers are still going today. The mess was incredible but the clean up efforts have been impressive.

But now our gorgeously verdant neighborhood has bald patches; trees left standing have been shorn like sad little sheep, while others are twisted into macabre Seuss-like creations, jutting and jagged. It’s sad. I miss our trees. I miss our shade. I miss our green. I miss our beauty. And because we are all safe, even those in damaged homes, it is easy to say that things could have been worse. Truly, things could have been much worse. But the loss of beauty is still a loss and while capable crews work hard to set things right again, I’ll feel free to shuffle down our streets and mourn it.

Dogblog: How we introduced the naked puppy to the pack


Our really nice neighbors who live behind the next door just had a naked puppy. I didn’t get to go over and see her last night because she has her own big brother dog and he doesn’t really like dog-company but my mom and dad told me how cute and tiny their new nakie is! Since my own naked pup came home eight months ago, lots of people say how good our pack gets along and some people are even surprised that I am nice to my naked puppy! Of course I am nice to her, I am a nice dog and she is a nice puppy and our mom and our dad are nice to both of us. But I guess sometimes it’s hard to bring a new pup home to a pack so I wanted to tell everyone how we did it, just remember that this is how expanding our pack worked for us and I don’t know your pack so this is a story, not really advice:

1. My mom and dad still make me feel special

special pup

Sometimes the naked puppy needs all my mom and dad’s attention and that’s ok. But she doesn’t always need all their attention and then it’s time for them to share some with me. When the puppy is sleeping or playing quietly by herself now that she’s big enough to do that, my mom will sit on the floor with me and I can lay my head on her knees and she pets me and tells me how nice I am and I don’t have to share her for a few minutes. And when my dad takes me for a walk after work, we usually go just the two of us. But on the weekends when it’s really nice out, all four of us walk together as a pack and I really like that! It’s fun to spend time with my whole pack and my mom and dad make sure I’m not left out.

2. Nothing is off-limits to me

Well, kind of. Like, I don’t get up on the furniture or anything because I learned a long time ago that I get in trouble for that and I don’t go in the bathroom because I don’t fit. But when the naked puppy was still under my mom’s shirt, I was always allowed in the baby’s room when it was getting ready. They didn’t want me to be mad at the puppy for making parts of our house off-limits, so they just told me to use my best manners around the nakie and her things and so I always do. My mom says this made one less thing for her to keep track of and I think that means she has more time to scratch my soft ears. Also, I never ever ever chew on her toys or her books. Ever. I’m so good.

3. My bed is off-limits to the puppy

My mom says I am very wise (and that’s why I have 12 gray hairs on my back) and when I need a break I go in my bed that is in our living room. When I am in my bed everyone leaves me alone and my mom doesn’t let the puppy get near me when I’m in my bed. Then again, I don’t spend a lot of time in my bed during the day because when the naked puppy is on the floor I like to smell her feet so I lay by her.

4. We are a pack

Every pack member has a different role and each member is the best one to do that role. I am so philosophical! My mom gets sad when people have a naked puppy and then get rid of their furbabies because of, well, I don’t know why someone would do that. I think if you act like a pack then you wouldn’t do that. Dogs like me think like dogs (but I’m good at typing, which is a people thing) and if we are smart dogs, we love our naked pack members and just want to keep being a pack no matter how many naked puppies we add. My mom and dad don’t expect me to act or listen like a human, they meet me on a dog level–again with the philosophy, I can’t stop myself!–and that helps us all get along great.

5. I have dog friends


photo(40) photo(41)

6. No one eased me into it because I’m not the alpha

Like I said, my mom and dad are nice and they love me very much. They know what I can handle and they expect me to roll with the punches when that’s reasonable. They explain to me what is going on and I always act like I understand their words even if I am just listening to their tone and seeing if they are being leaders or if they are nervous. When my mom and especially my dad are confident, then I am too. They are my alphas and if they think I can handle something, then I know I can!

I guess that’s it. My mom and dad have a pack mentality. My mom and dad really make sure I still feel special every day but the little naked puppy gets attention before I do if she needs it. I like to lick her itty bitty paws because they always taste a little bit sweet. Last week my nakie and I were both laying on the floor and I was making sure she didn’t escape her floor blanket. But I was behind her and she kept kicking me in the face and I didn’t even mind! I can smell her intentions and she wasn’t trying to be mean and my mom told me I could move if it bothered me but it didn’t bother me because the naked pup wasn’t kicking me that hard plus I’m a little bit lazy sometimes and I didn’t feel like getting up. And sometimes her toes were tickling my ears and I liked that.

I love my naked puppy and my mom and my dad and I know they love me too, even though I have to share them now. We are a good pack and if you know of anyone who is getting a new naked puppy, I hope you tell them good luck and have fun, because dogs and babies can mix great if you keep the belly rubs coming.

sleepy pup

Dogblog: A pup’s gotta do what a pup’s gotta do

Image(This is me the other week when my mom first set up this little dog bed for the naked puppy to play on. She told me I am not to put one paw on there and I’m a good listener so I don’t. But except I sniff it a lot with my nose.)

Yippee, I’m back! Ok, I can’t get too excited because my mom said that if I drool on the keyboard I have to clean it up and then I have to help her fold the laundry so I will just use my words and not my drools to show how excited I am to be my mom’s guest blogger again! Yay me!

My mom is really busy these days. Actually, she’s been really busy since the naked puppy my little sister arrived and she kinda has an evening to herself right now. Instead of catching up on her blog (and trust me, there is puh-lenty to catch up on, but don’t tell her I said that because she’ll probably feel bad like she does when she is cleaning out my ears and I give her The Saddest Eyes I Have) she is drinking chocolate milk with a straw and getting ready to read the book she always carries around the house and never opens. But she was very embarrassed to see that her last post was in January so I made it very clear that I would be happy to help out with the bloggings in exchange for two Milk-Bones and, well, that’s all I asked for. A pup’s gotta do what a pup’s gotta do! So here I am, helping out my mom while she slurps down the rest of her chocolate milk.

My dad and my favorite Aunt Who Lives Here went out to dinner with some of my mom and dad’s friends who are in town for a conference. Everyone was going to go at first, even the naked puppy, but then it was getting later and later and the nakie was fussy and so very tired and my mom was not feeling good about taking her out and plus then she had dots on her cheeks so mama said you guys go out, I will put on my pink around the house pants and stay home. She put the naked puppy right in her bed and that little cutie was fast asleep before mom could even turn on her humidifier that looks like an elephant!

I really like the naked puppy. She is almost six months old. Mom said please don’t bring that up again because she hasn’t been good about posting the naked oyster puppy budget in months and months but she has been keeping track of her spendings and I think I should talk about something else now because mama is looking at me and telling me with her eyes to change the subject.

Did you see my picture at the top of my post? Now that the naked puppy is old enough to play around on the floor, she’s my buddy on the carpet sometimes. She has her own little puppy dog bed to play on, and it has bright colors and little rattles that she can grab. I am not allowed on this, not even with one paw. See in the picture how good I can listen? And this picture right here is me and the nakie when she turned five months, at the end of February:


My mom likes to take a picture of us every month, to show how big the little pup is getting compared to me. It’s kind of funny, my dad and my mom both say how big my little sister is, but then they tell me I’m their big buddy and that naked puppy sure is a lot smaller than me so I don’t know how we can both be big. I think only I’m the big one. She’s little. Still, I like her. We ride in the backseat of the car together when we go on family adventures and I listen so good and never climb out of the naked puppy’s side of the car, I always use my own side.

A few weeks ago my parents got me a new collar and a new name tag. My new collar is green like my old one, but it’s spiffy and not all worn out! My new name tag has my name and some important information on it because I lost my old new name tag a few weeks ago. Oops.

Well, my Milk-Bones are calling me on the phone so I’m going to nom nom nom them and go to bed. We had a family adventure at my sitters’ house today! I played in the yard while everyone ate chicken sandwiches and I only got yelled at for a minute when I licked the pan the Portobellos had marinated in. Balsamic vinegar was the main ingredient in the marinade, so dad said I got what I deserved.

P.S. Mom says the Milk-Bones weren’t calling me on the phone, she says they were “calling my name.” I think it means the same thing and my mama is just very tired.

It’s a nice new normal

The little oyster’s sleep schedule has gone haywire in the last week and her parents’ sleep has been duly compromised. After another night of one-hour sleep increments, I was extremely thankful when my boss shrugged off my email request to work from home with a casual “No prob. Enjoy!”

And I am. It’s a privilege and, especially as a new parent, a relief to be able to work from home. I recognize that not everyone has this flexibility at work and I’m thankful I do, at least when the House isn’t in session.

Last week the little sister moved in with us to be the little oyster’s nanny while the husband and I are at work. Having her here has been really nice. We enjoy her company when we’re home and love knowing that the oyster is in great hands when we’re not. Dietrich is pretty sure he just got a live-in girlfriend out of this deal, so really, everyone is happy, if a little possessive.


If media requests and the little oyster’s nap schedule allow, the little sister and I will dash into Old Town later this afternoon for a bit of shopping. Now that I’m less than 10 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight but inhabiting a slightly altered shape, it’s time to buy clothes that will be comfortable and professional for the semi-permanent-meantime. I’m ok with buying a size (ok, two) up if it means wearing normal-people clothes again.

Dietrich and the little sister are on a date as we speak, walking around the neighborhood while maintenance paints the front door of our unit, sprucing things right up. The little oyster is napping (glory, glory halleluuuuujah…) and I’m working with full access to my office. The husband will leave work at 5, we’ll have BLTs for dinner, one of us will vacuum the living room, then we’ll all settle in for a night of West Wing reruns, Modern Family, or the Downton Abbey season premiere. It’s anyone’s guess.

So this is our new groove. It’s a nice new normal. I realize how blessed our home is and I’m thankful for it. Work, family, dinner at home, repeat. If I made a resolution this year, it would be to maintain a humble thankfulness for this nice new normal. And also to do laundry more often.

The cord

Ok. I’m ready to talk about it.

Umbilical cords are gross. Really gross. Right when the baby comes out and it’s still attached (I saw pictures–SO glad I missed that part in person) it’s super gross and it only gets worse as the cord stump–nasty word in itself doesn’t help things–dries up and gets ready to fall off. An umbilical cord is tissue so the cord stump is just rotting tissue that greets you at every diaper change and stays affixed to your new child’s body until its good and ready to go away. Gag.

The hospital staff told us the little oyster’s cord would fall off within a week. When we went for her first pediatrician appointment and it was still attached, her doctor said it would probably fall off within ten days after birth.

When we went for her two-week check up it was still there. “It should fall off in the next few days. It can take two weeks,” they said.

At her three-week weight check it was still there. The nurse doing the check wiped around the cord with an alcohol wipe to assist with the drying-up-and-falling-off process, even though assisting the process is no longer en vogue and the cool parents let their babies’ cords fall off naturally. Their babies’ cords probably fall off within the first ten days, I presume. The nurse told me we could wiggle the cord a little big to speed things along. As much as I wanted the disgusting thing gone, I couldn’t bring myself to touch it, much less wiggle it back and forth. The oyster, who was unbothered by all this, was on her own.

Join us now, a few days after that three-week weight check in October:

Me: The baby needs a new diaper, can you start dinner?
The husband: Yep.
Me: AHH! Her cord is gone! Come quick!
The husband: That’s great! Hey baby girl, look at your belly button!
Me: AHH! But the cord is gone! I’m going to gag.
The husband: That’s a good thing.
Me: <gagging> But it was gone when I opened her onesie so that means it is IN the onesie somewhere. <gags>
The husband: Ohhh. That’s gross.
Me: You have to do it! I can’t be in here! I can’t touch it! You have to find it and get rid of it! <gagging>
The husband: Ok.
Me: <standing in hallway> Is it gone?
The husband: I can’t find–<something small and dry falls to floor>–oh there it is.
Me: GAHH!! I’m going to puke! I heard it!
The husband: Crap. It blends in with the wood, I can’t find it.
Me: AHHHH!!!
The husband: Oh, Diiieeetrich. Dinner!
Me: I’m going to puke! <gags> Dietrich, no, come here. Stay here with Mom who is going to die of being grossed out.
The husband: Got it. It’s in the trash.
Me: Please take the trash out. <gags>
The husband: I will.
Me: I’ll make dinner.
The husband: Great, thanks.
Me: But I can’t eat it now. <gags>


Happy DC-iversary

Dear husband and Dietrich,

Today is our first anniversary of starting out here in DC. One year ago we were inching our way across the old home state, me in the little red Corolla with a very concerned dog in the back seat and the husband in the Budget moving truck. The roads were packed snow and ice from the unexpected winter storm the night before, the storm that delayed us by a day and made us last-minute refugees at the other middle’s house for a night. On December 1 we drove. The sun was blinding, reflecting beautifully and dangerously off the white of the road and the trees, and I was terrified that one or both of us would never make it to our first stop at my parents’ house.


But we did, and the little sister was there with donuts for us before she left for work and we left for our new home, which we still hadn’t seen except for in three tiny pictures on craigslist. Refilling our water bottles, coffee mugs, and adding the parents to our caravan, we set off again across some beautiful and familiar states that would get us to our new and unfamiliar home.

Do you remember that we took a wrong turn as we came through Maryland and ended up on winding back roads into Arlington? It wasn’t so much a wrong turn as the less-direct route and we came into DC parallel to the Potomac. It was midnight and the river was as still as the winter air and as black as the sky above it. In between the two dark blankets lay the city; each of us had only ever visited twice, with friends. We had never been here together, not even for so much as a layover at the airport. The white monuments stood out in the dark, on display even from a distance. I thought it all looked very romantic.

We found our new address and together with the parents unloaded just enough to brush our teeth and have something to sleep on in our new basement home. The thrill of a new adventure is what helped us laugh when we saw the kitchen/laundry room/entry way and boiler room/closet. The wisdom of having sold our couch before moving was made real to us. That we would have to leave more things on the truck and make a drop at Goodwill the next day was also made real. The four of us blew up air mattresses, laid out a blanket for Dietrich, and fell asleep.

photo(32)The next day we unloaded the truck and the husband returned it while the parents and I did our best to shoehorn the bare essentials into the shoebox. It was hard work. In such limited quarters, we had to make sure that anything taking up room was something we needed and would use regularly. Just last week when the sisters were here for a visit did the oldest and I unpack our baking sheets. I hadn’t seen or used them since before last Thanksgiving.


With everything moved in and somewhat organized, we left our shoebox home to explore town with the parents. Dietrich stayed in his new, fenced yard. When we came back, chocolate covered fruit had been delivered for us, a housewarming gift from the other middle and her family. They sent only the good fruit. No melon. Even though it was the first week of December, the chocolate had melted every so slightly on some of the fruit. This was a new place indeed.


Then the parents left and it was just the three of us alone in our new home. Shopping at Target was the most normal, familiar thing I could think to do, so that’s where I went for food and toilet paper. One year later, Target is still my first shopping choice, a type of comfort zone. May Target never go the way of the Twinkie.

This year when I look at our home, our growing family, and the work we do during the week, last December has a quiet feeling. I knew each day would begin with a walk around the block and end with reruns of The Office watched on our computer, one of us sitting in the brown comfy chair and one of us in the rolling desk chair, Dietrich on the floor in between. I knew dinner would be homemade and small enough that there would be no leftovers to try to cram into the mini fridge. I knew I would pack the husband’s lunch the next morning, tossing a few pieces of cheese to Dietrich while he ‘helped’ make the sandwich and the husband ironed his work clothes in the bathroom, the only space large enough to set up the ironing board. I knew Christmas would come at the end of the month.

And that was our life when we got here, one year ago. And Christmas did come at the end of the month. And then the little oyster was on her way and we knew we had to find a new place to live. Then I was back at my old job, working from home. Then we had a few dollars in the bank to travel with, and we visited the old home state twice. Then I started on the Hill and going out for dinner was an option again. Then the little oyster arrived and the three of us became the four of us and home was even more our favorite place to be, all together. Then Martha went away and December came again and soon it will be Christmas once more.

For a lot of people, December is a time of endings. For us, beginnings. So as the weather gets cold again and scarves are a staple and street musicians play Silent Night, the notes carrying over the steam from the manhole covers and the halting start-and-stop of downtown traffic, I am caught up in the excitement of the season and now in the possibility of everything before us, as yet unseen, as yet unknown.

Happy anniversary, my dear boys, and merry Christmas.

Dogblog: See, Dad? It’s not scary

Hello, good readers! Dietrich here. I’m very proud to be the Cutest Pet on Capitol Hill the very first guest blogger ever on redwhiteandnew. My mom has offered the chance to my dad before, but he says he’s not quite brave enough so I wanted to show him it’s not scary at all! Any dad with thumbs and any handsome Rottweiler Lab mix can do it!

As you can imagine, life is a little different since the naked puppy my little sister arrived. Right when she had to get born, I had a ton of fun. First, I got to go to BOTH of my awesome sitters’ houses while Mom and Dad went to the hospital. Next, my Nana and Papa came to visit me and we went on great walks and Nana gave me a ball and I got most excellent belly-and-ear rubs from them when they weren’t all ooo-ey and ahh-ey over the naked puppy my little sister. And then when the big storm–my mom and dad called it “sandy” but I called it just super rainy–came and we went to see our grandparents in case the power went out I got to play in a big field and then I found two deer and I ran after them like a bullet! They were faster than me but woohoo, I gave them a run for their deer money.

When my mom still wasn’t feeling that good some strangers brought us food for dinners. One of the strangers brought a short person who patted me on the head and rolled my inside ball around for me and I really liked that. Then my mom’s sisters all came to visit! Not at the same time or I would have had to bunk up with someone–ew, girls. Even my dad’s mama came to visit and hold the naked puppy my little sister which I really liked because that meant my dad could take me to the park and play, just me and him. I like those times.

Nowadays I’m just working on being a stoic big brother. Like my photo at the top of this post? I have to teach the naked puppy my little sister how to do important things like ignore dumb dogs that bark too much, sleep for hours and hours, find all the crumbs under the kitchen table, and mosey along when you want a walk to last longer. I want her to take me seriously as a teacher so I used my serious look when Mom took the picture. She told me to knock it off and smile next time.

Maybe I will, if that means I can dogblog again!

Girls’ day in

On Saturday the little oyster turned two weeks old. Today is our first day at home alone together. My parents, in town to help out for the last few weeks, left last night and even Dietrich is at his sitter’s house today. The husband is back at work with normal hours.

I’m trying not to be intimidated by the task at hand. But with company like this, who wouldn’t look forward to the day together?

This is the end of the world as we know it

(Who doesn’t love R.E.M?)

This morning was the ob appointment the husband and I were supposed to go to if the little oyster didn’t show up between Tuesday’s appointment and last night. She didn’t, so off we went at 9:10 this morning only to hear that she hasn’t moved closer to the light since Tuesday and there was a ton of protein in my 24 hour tinkle test so today is the day! My ob called the hospital, they are expecting us later this afternoon, and the little oyster will be induced. Or I’ll be induced. Whatever. Potato-potahto.

After a routine you’re-two-days-late exam, the husband and I settled in for a little fetal monitoring at the ob’s office. While the oyster slept and gave a curiously steady heart rate read-out, the husband and I feverishly texted parents, siblings, coworkers, and dogsitters extraordinaire to bring them up to date.

Since the hospital isn’t expecting us until later this afternoon, and since we considered the heads-up at 9:30 the gift of time, we made the most of our day. Talked to the pediatrician’s office again, went out to lunch, stopped at Barnes and Noble so I have magazines, got the husband a haircut, and came home to cuddle and coddle the cutest pet on the Hill. (Who, by the way, totally knows something is going on. His behavior last night should have been a heads-up to us but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.) In a little bit we’ll walk to the post office to mail our bills and encourage the little oyster to keep moving.

Next we’re putting Dietrich and our bags (repacked and streamlined) in the car, dropping the pup at one friend’s house to be picked up there by another later, and heading to the hospital. Updates to follow, depending on how fast the Pitocin works.

This truly is the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.