Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thirteen years, here there and everywhere

Tesoro Beach, Spain, April 2013

Happy 13th anniversary to my sweetie Jared!

I never thought we'd be living overseas in Germany right now. I wouldn't want to be on this crazy ride with anyone else.

Devon :o)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy birthday to Phylo, my favorite pictures of 8 years.

Cozy boy #germanshorthairpointer #dog #owl #plush

It's that time of year again...Bird's birthday on the 8th, Phylo's on the 10th, and then Jared's and my anniversary on the 11th.

Today Phylo is 8! Technically this may not be his real birthday. I may have mentioned this before but Phylo came to us through a rescue agency that received him along with a brother and sister all the way from Cyprus. They were just tiny puppies when they were found by an American couple who lovingly cared for them till about 4 or 5 months of age then sent on a plane to California. Phylo was placed with a foster mommy till we adopted him at 8 months old. It's funny that we've brought him all the way back to Europe.

I also realized today it is important to mark this birthday of Phylo's on my blog not only because he's been my faithful buddy of over 7 years but also because it may be his last birthday with us. Phylo started sneezing and showing cold symptoms back in the Fall and we went through antibiotics and different meds until finally our wonderful German vet put him under sedation and looked in his nose. He saw a tumor growing in his sinus cavity - nasal cancer. It made perfect sense based on the symptoms. Dr. Bey said it was inoperable and after doing plenty of research about the aggressive nature of nasal cancer and how little time radiation/chemo would likely add to Phylo's life (not to mention the negative impact of these things) we've decided to treat Phylo with a steroid, antibiotics, and pain medicine when necessary. It is terribly sad and so cruel that our Phylo has this illness and that he is so young. The only consolation to me is that this time in his life has been so rich. Germany is a dog's paradise...endless fields and forest to explore off leash. Phylo's first year here has been the best gift we could give him. I can literally walk out the door with him and be on a trail in less than a minute, with Phylo running freely to each tree, weed patch, mole hill, and puddle.

So here are some of my favorite moments with Phylo over the years. There are some holes in the years with missing photos but these capture him and all of us together pretty well.

Not long after purchasing our house in San Jose. Right before he did that crazy dog thing rolling all over the rug. May 2006

In the kitchen in our California house. Pre-kids, post kitchen remodel. With my parents visiting from Okinawa. July 2007

With Bird who has just learning to crawl and was getting herself stuck under the laundry box. November 2008

Playing with Phylo #germanshorthairpointer
2+ years later with a new little one to harass him ;o) Phylo and Griffin have a nice little relationship these days. December 2011

Who me?
No shame about curling up on the sofa. None at all. February 2012

#apartmenttour #germany #germanshorthairpointer dog enjoying backyard view. It's a shared space but we seem to be the only ones using it.
Looking out at his brand new view - Germany! March 2012

Thoroughly enjoying himself #germanshorthairpointer #dog #aachen #germany
Sniffing out the wood pile creatures. March 2012

He's just a big baby #germanshorthairpointer #dog
Sofa lover, Fall 2012

Fell asleep waiting for me :) #germanshorthairpointer #dog #myshadow
Patiently waiting for the evening walk, Fall 2012

Though could be a mouse. He's caught them before. #germanshorthairpointer #dog #garden
Hunter of small furry creatures, Summer 2012

Requesting a walk
Not so patiently waiting for the evening walk, Fall 2012

Headed home. Spot the Phylo dog :) #roadtrip #germanshorthairpointer #dog
Travel companion, Summer 2012

Planning #grannysquares #crochet #yarn #germanshorthairpointer #dog
Studio buddy, Fall 2012

Walking on a gorgeous Fall day. #aachen #germany #fall #germanshorthairpointer #dog #trees #autumn #sky
Loving life as a German dog :o) Fall 2012

Someone's getting chilly #gsp #germanshorthairpointer #dog #snow #winter #germany
Sitting on my lap to keep his feet off the snow. Winter 2013

Happy early Valentine's Day :) love, Phylo
More sofa love, February 2013

My happy companion after a late walk :) #aachen #germany #germanshorthairpointer #dog
Happy dog, post walk :o) Summer 2012

Little ball of Phylo dog waiting for me to get kiddos to bed. #germanshorthairpointer #dog
A pro at finding the coziest spots, Fall 2012

Magical place #forest #aachen #germany #trees
One of many forest walks, Fall 2012

Bird strung the necklace. Phylo dog models agreeably ;) #germanshorthairpointer #gsp #dog #crafty #kidart
Happy to help model the accessories ;o) Winter 2013

Pouting for a walk & maybe about having to wear his sweater. Phylo dog has the sniffles :( #germanshorthairpointer #gsp #dog
Pouting for a walk, and maybe about wearing the sweater. Winter 2013

Such a good boy. Fall 2012

Sun seeker #gsp #germanshorthairpointer #dog #sun #sunlover
Sun seeker. Spring 2013

We've reached a rough stage in Phylo's illness. Last night with a hard sneeze he ruptured a blood vessel and has been sneezing/dripping blood since. This morning we went to the Tierartzpraxis and Phylo was prescribed pain meds. We'll go back this week if
After seeing the vet and a weekend of terrible health. A happy, beautiful respite in a blossom filled field. Spring 2013

Always on the hunt
Fresh weed patches to explore in depth. Spring 2013

Phylo in the wheat grass
In the new wheat grass plantings by my parent's house. Spring 2013

He knows I'm taking his picture. #camerashy #gsp #germanshorthairpointer #dog
"I hear you talking about me..." Spring 2013

Professional sniffer
Constant sniffer. Spring 2013

Jared's home. We're taking a breather. With prosecco.
Sidekick, always. Spring 2013

2+ weeks of no baths...happy stinky dog  Can't wait to wash him up soon.
Little love. You can see the pressure on his lower left eyelid from the tumor. Spring 2013
I can't close my front door. #sunlover #gsp #germanshorthairpointer #dog #foyer #june #aachen #germany 
Warm days popping up here and there. Phylo is happy to soak up all the sun he can. 3 weeks ago he tore the ligaments in his rear right leg and had TTA surgery to repair them. He's gone from walking on 3 legs to starting to walk normally again, bit by bit. We are walking with the leash for another 3 weeks and then will watch him carefully that he doesn't get too crazy and hurt his other hind leg! Unfortunately the 2 or so months of a pretty dried up nose (following the rupture of a blood vessel and sneezing out a lot of the tumor tissue) has come to an end and Phylo is back to sneezing, much of it bloody. Please keep him in your thoughts & prayers.

Much love & hugs,

Happy 5 little Bird

The sun didn't shine as I'd hoped but it didn't rain! Bird is 5 years old now! There is a picture in the left sidebar of my blog...Bird is less than one year old in the picture. Just amazing. What a girl.

Gigi and Grandpa drove up for the weekend and we had fun opening presents together. Flamenco dress from Spain, shiny red shoes, crocheted barrettes, toy cash register (instantly causing fights between the kiddos...oh well), & Hello Kitty dvd's in German.

We've all been a little sick with colds and Griffin has been getting up at night and also early in the morning. The party started at 10:30 (with some folks arriving even earlier...a German thing??) and he was asleep on my shoulder by 11:00. I tucked him in the wagon turned bench and he was so cozy and snug despite the sunless 50 degree weather (14 celsius) that he slept nearly 2 hours while the party went on around him!

Bird was allowed to invite 5 friends so of course she insisted on 6. They all have names that end in "a" or "e" (which is also the "ah" sound in German) and they were all adorable, well behaved little ladies. I was super impressed and we had a really great time. The trampoline was the hit of course. We got it for Bird as an early present back in April (the snow had JUST stopped) and have used it as much as possible in between all the rain. It is fabulous!! I think it was a great outlet for all the sugar consumed...& thankfully no one was (seriously) injured.

We had our new typical mix of languages. It is starting to feel quite familiar at this point. There was even Spanish spoken between my parents and one of the dads who apparently knows 5 languages. How neat that he and my parents found a connection through Spanish.

I've discovered that the children's birthday parties here consist purely of sweets...cake, cupcakes, candies, chocolates, juice, soda even. I can't do it that way! So we made sure to put out our usual fare - veg, fruits, pizza, sausages & bread, crackers, cheese, etc., and then brought out pudding, cupcakes and finally the birthday cake after a little while. Bird is quite a different kid when she's all sugared up. Can't say I'm a fan :/ !

It was fun to recycle bits of decor from year's past and add new stuff like crepe paper flowers (I became a little obsessed making them...). I also had a kiddie pool full of really used water beads and I scooped them into vases with pretty flowers (Bird's current favorite color is yellow, with a stated preference toward "light" colors - missing the sun much dearie?). I tossed the rest into the garbage bin. I can picture this Thursday when the garbage guys toss the contents of the bin into the truck, if they miss even just a little those bright blue beads will be bouncing all over the neighborhood. They may certainly take note of the number on the can belonging to the problem house.

Bird has some lovely friends at her kindergarten. She also has a bestie, little L, who is only 3 years old. But age doesn't matter and they totally have a connection. It is super sweet and I hope Bird remembers this time years from now and will enjoy these pictures.

All 7 little ladies in one shot! Success! Thank the cupcakes.

Hello Kitty is a favorite these days. I happily complied and put together the HK birthday cake with marzipan icing (my first time using it). I admit to getting more excited about birthday parties than probably my whole household combined. I totally use it as a creative outlet and feel I have every excuse to steal time to work on things for the current party in the making. Maybe I should use this attitude toward my own work in general...gets me thinking...

We sang Happy Birthday in English because that's the way the Germans do it too :o)

And shortly thereafter our lovely little Griffy awoke. Ready for a cupcake and trampoline time.

The sun never came but we still went for it and I'm glad. Complete with moving our sofa into the garden, along with half a dozen other indoor household items. This place is not California! But it is LUSH with greenery and so gorgeous.

Little 5 year old Bird, you are getting so much more beautiful inside and out every day. You show simple acts of kindness that make us so proud. You are so observant of your world and you take notice of every detail. The little things really matter to you. You are a lover of babies, swinging & jumping, reading books, and being in charge. You will try almost anything, especially if I (or Daddy) will do it with you. Little adventurer, always ready to go. Something new, something different, something else...you will find it, or you will come up with it. Determined, with a plan. And instructions (sometimes barked as orders) for everyone involved. Little General. I don't worry about you a bit. You are my beautiful babe. I still remember your fuzzy head on my neck as you'd hang out on my shoulder when you were so small and not wanting to leave my side. I always look forward to the mornings I get to snuggle with you. Cozy & warm...love love love you little Bird.

And today is Phylo's birthday!! Happy 8th birthday to our sweet boy.

Much love & hugs,