Monday, September 18, 2017

more updates on Jasper

In very exciting news, our friends the Qualls (children in 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades at FPE - Liesl and Campbell are really close and take ballet and play soccer together) were so inspired by our puppy that they went and got Jasper's brother from the breeder. We re-introduced the two puppies to one another after school on Wednesday and then again on Friday, and they were so fun to watch. They wrestled and jumped and chased each other around and around - it was great.
He's a bit like our baby at the moment... and so we are finding everything about him endlessly interesting. I assume our infatuation won't last, but in the meantime he's a really cute and sweet puppy. We took photos of Jasper's first bath. He seemed to find it perfectly tolerable and didn't whine or attempt to escape the tub.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

McNeil Point mama hike

It was a little smoky because of the Eagle Creek fire - not nearly as bad as Portland, which was hazardous-level - but we ventured out for a 13 mile mama hike up McNeil Point at Mt. Hood. It is a spectacularly beautiful trail through lovely forests, across mossy streams, and then across a volcanic rock slide up to a stone shelter and then finally up up up (700 ft in 0.4 miles) to the point. It was amazing - felt like we could reach out and touch a glacier. I love being so high on the mountain that it feels like you could touch the top.
 Casady, Michelle, Anne, and me. Hood is behind us and would be visible on a clear day.
 You can see the scorched and burned forest on the hillside in the distance.

The sun came out on our way down - a bit of a breeze took the smoke towards Portland and away from us. We were really tired by the end, but happy - it was good to get out and be away and moving for so long in good company.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

soccer, ballet, school

We are back in the full swing of fall schedules. Both kids have soccer practices and games and swimming lessons; Liesl also has ballet and an after-school drama class. Our weeks have filled up quickly!

Liesl played soccer games last Saturday and today - she was super excited that they won today and that she scored two goals. She also really loved her first ballet class - three of her best school friends are in the class with her (Nora, Campbell, and Nina) and she is thrilled. The cuteness factor is over the top with these little ones.
Sebastian had a tough loss in his first soccer game of the year, but he played really well and scored a spectacular goal in the first half (dribbled around lots of opponents, put on some nice moves and fakes, kept his cool when confronted, and drilled it in). The school had back-to-school night on Thursday and we had the opportunity to go into their classrooms and see their desks and hear about the curriculum. Sebastian's class had these cool biographical poems posted on the wall.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Our past week has been a blur of puppy feedings, puppy peeings, puppy walks, puppy play, and puppy whining at inconvenient hours of the night. I'm so tired. I have moments of wondering what the hell we were thinking, but it's mostly been fun and sweet. He's a lovely, mellow dog and he's really good with people - even children! We walk Seb and Liesl to school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoons - he went to both of their soccer games last weekend - and has been cooed over and manhandled by half the school.  He's been coming to work with me (my co-workers all gave their pre-approval) and hanging out (in a kennel) in my office while I meet with students. For the most part, he's a good ice-breaker; how scary can I be if I have a cute puppy to snuggle with? And in my free time, I am embarking on a crash course in raising and training a puppy...

Friday, September 8, 2017


On Wednesday, we got ourselves a black labradoodle puppy who we have tentatively named Jasper. He's 8 weeks old. We got him from a breeder who lives south of us, in Lebanon - she had 5 puppies left from a litter of 8, so we got to drive down and (with her help) pick out our puppy. This one was the sweetest and most mellow of the bunch. His mom is a silver lab; his dad is a labradoodle.
We amused ourselves on the way down by brainstorming dog name. Oscar and Finn were the other main contenders.
We picked up a lightweight, foldable dog crate to transport him home - Liesl was in absolute heaven talking to him all the way. I would say that she was the most enthusiastic about getting a dog - she's been talking about getting a dog for a couple of years, has repeatedly asked for one for birthday/Christmas presents, and often pretends to have a dog (or be a dog) in her pretend games.
We stopped to get gas and let the puppy romp and go to the bathroom. He's already well on his way to being house-trained, which is fantastic. Watching Seb and Liesl romp in the grass with the puppy was amazing and so cute.
We got home and introduced the puppy to Steve and our new home, and took him out for a walk in the neighborhood.
We've got him set up with a crate and food bowls in a corner of the living room. He doesn't particularly like the crate - he doesn't choose to go in there on his own and whines when I put him in - but he's adapting and learning. He's slept in there the last two nights. The first night was awful; he woke up every hour, crying and whining, and I had to comfort him and talk to him. Last night was much better; he woke up three times and settled down much more easily. He was awake and ready to go play at 5 am (like a baby!) but didn't bark at me or whine - he was just awake and sitting patiently in the crate until I took him outside.

So much sleeping! He's a puppy -  a baby - and he sleeps so much.
Chasing a ball! Playing fetch!! He's going to be great when he gets big enough to play games with us. He's already clearly got the chasing and fetching instincts.
We walked Seb and Liesl to school together on Thursday morning, garnering more attention and excitement and coos than I thought possible. Everyone loves a puppy.

These pictures are fuzzy, but Liesl's face says it all. She's over the moon.