Keep it fresh.
Update frequently.
Be disarmingly honest.

Oy. I believe my last post was on the 11th.

It is the 20th.

Not fresh, not frequent, and not at all disarming.

So, let us see if I might redeem myself.

We had the West Coast Briar fan club in for a week.
My belly is growing at an impressive pace.
We put one of our dogs to sleep.
Our real estate odyssey continues.
The dishwasher is still broken.
Briar can almost open doors.
Work has been crazy.
And it’s the holidays.

The West Coast folks- Grandma and Papa and exciting Aunt Abbie was incredible.
Briar worships her aunt, and after a bit of playing coy, she took many naps on Papa’s chest, read books with Grandma and gave hugs and kisses. It was a sweet,
sweet visit. One of those that you really find that at the moment you say goodbye you’ve finally hit your stride. So parting was bittersweet. Everyone was grateful for the time, but there was a degree of cursing the distance.

Ze Belly of Ze Mommy.
Oui, oui. It is gi-gantic.

Naw, it’s not that bad, but I am visibly pregnant and the baby is practicing
cirque du soleil acts in my tummy about 18 hours a day. Briar loves to watch me dress in the morning and smile at my belly. She has actually taken an interest in her own belly now. She walks around playing with her belly button saying some variation of, “Belly baby.” Only time will tell if she will spend a week or two thinking that everyone with a bump has a baby in their belly. The timing of her discovery could lead to embarrassing moments for holiday treat over-indulgers. Cross your fingers for us.

Dean. May he rest in peace and find all the carrots to crunch, squirrels to chase and mailmen to bark at that he could have ever hoped for. This experience has been torturous. Putting a pet down, ending the life of a family member, cuts deep. We struggled for many months with what to do. Dean did not transition smoothly to having a baby in the house. Over time he did come to tolerate Briar, and even gave her an occasional interested sniff, but with another baby on the way, Briar’s increased mobility and his decreasing mobility we started to see the writing on the wall. Sean visited at length with our vet. They talked about quality of life, time line, and approaches to handle the coming year, which the vet said would be Dean’s last.

It was a week ago yesterday that Sean left the house with Dean. Ella, Briar and I stayed and went through our routine- dinner, bath, stories, bed. More than 2 hours later Sean came home. I had just put Briar down and I walked downstairs. I didn’t know what to expect, I had not had to leave the house with someone I knew would not return. I did not have to endure the wait, didn’t have to watch him go. Sean spared me those things. I wish that I could have spared him, I wish I could have protected him from the pain he brought back in his eyes. I wish I could take back having seen him in that kind of misery.

We spent that night remembering Dean. We did everything you would expect from people remembering a loved one- we laughed, we cried, we sat together in silence as we each revisited times we had with Dean. We reminisced about the role he played in bringing us together. We chuckled at the hell he gave us and the inimitable way he had of being part dog, part celebrity. We also talked about the life he had and the pain we hope that we spared him. The one thing the vet said that we cling to, “You cannot second guess this decision. It would have been a very hard winter for Dean.”
Now when the mailman passes there is an eerie silence.

There’s more to tell about our life, but my thoughts are on Dean.

Dean didn’t waste a second of his life. He always did exactly what he wanted, sometimes to our great frustration. But he was certainly a model for making sure you took what you needed, said what you wanted and lived like it was your last day.

So let’s end today with savoring every last drop of time with family. Let’s approach the coming days with an appreciation for how fleeting time can be and that it is our own responsibility to give and get as much out of our lives as we can.