Friday, March 27, 2009

Daisy Girl

Our Daisy dog was diagnosed with cancer almost
immediately after we landed in Belgium, just 6 weeks ago.

Since her initial diagnosis, her decline has been fairly rapid, right before our eyes.
Yet she's tried so hard to be strong for us.
She wakes up with the kids, still stands watch over the baby at night, and maintains enough energy to take a walk.
The vet told us yesterday however, that she doesn't have long to live now.
That if we don't want her to suffer,
we should really talk about bringing her into for a final visit to the office.
It's heart breaking. She is only 10 years old and the best dog anyone could have asked for.
Her mom's name was "Lokey"..that's where she got her great, laid back personality- very "low key".

We discussed Daisy's situation with the kids last night.
Stella said, "Mom, maybe we can send her letters in heaven?"
Yes Stella, Daisy dog has surely earned her place in heaven.
I cannot write how heart wrenching this is for our family....

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Missing Her

Oh, that speckled pink nose and soft brown ears....
She was a great companion through 5 deployments. She shared all the ups and downs.
She was a bit of a nanny with the kids.
Looking back, I remember worrying about how the dogs would accept a baby coming home.
When we carried Addie home, Daisy welcomed her gently into our family. There was nothing to worry about.
In fact Daisy spent endless nights standing watch over their cribs. She was trained to retrieve diapers for me.
She welcomed home 4 babies. She spent endless hours with them, providing rides, hugs, kisses, a dress up partner, and clean up duty.
The photo above is Emory's toes (not Arleigh)- during the last move. She was there with us through thick and thin.
We're going to miss her goes without saying, but it is her company, the things she did with us, that cannot be replaced.
She loved to play hide and go seek with us.
She smiled in a goofy way.
The incessant wag of her tail whap, whap, whapping on everything she passed...
The walks, the talks, ...she was a great listener.
If you visited our home, she greeted you with one of our socks or shoes in her mouth. If you were lucky, she carried off your shoe or sock too while you visited.
We were lucky to have her as long as we did really. Her life was saved from cancer 6 years ago. Aunt Betsy, then a student in vet school, examined Daisy on a visit to Norfolk.
She noted that Daisy likely had a tumor and that she should be taken to the vet to have it removed quickly. As it turned out, Aunt Betsy was a student who knew what she was talking about. We're grateful for the additional 6 years of time we got with Daisy dog.

She was a buddy to Dudley, she was a family member to all of us.
Daisy, what a great dog....
Thanks for taking such good care of us girl.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Not quite,...but nice foot fella.

Ah- beautiful gums, silly nose, yummy dimples,
but nah- that's not it.

Nuh uh.Nope.

Drum roll please,........

The representation of many sleepless nights,
which included but were not limited to
hours of crying, kicking, screaming,
rocking, drooling, patting and soothing.
Of course I'm referring to
mommy and daddy comforting each other during the teething process!
His first tooth- front and center! Yeah! how many more do we have to go?

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Now You See Him, Now You Don't!

The stairs in the hotel room have actually provided a lot of fun for Emory.
It's amazing how resourceful you can be when you have to be.
We've made up at least 10 new games to play on the stairs.
His all time favorite though- Peek a boo.
Now you see him!

Now you don't.
(Really it's more like "now he sees you, now he doesn't",
but Shhh! Don't tell him that!
He's still having fun doing it his way!)
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The Door

Ok, so I remember. I do. When I was little, I thought
escalators and revolving doors were the coolest inventions ever.
Heck I still think they are cool.
Which is probably why my kids think that too.
They don't remember ever seeing a revolving door and
lately when they pass these things they're mesmerized. So,
today I let them try it out.

Shear terror - for the parents, infinite fun for the kids.
"No Emory! Faster! WALK FASTER! Hurry! Oh My! Run! It's going to hit you!
No NO! Addie get in there! GET IN!
STELLLLLAAAAAA! What are you doing? Walk faster! Don't touch that! Hurry!"

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I tell ya what...

I can't understand a word of it.
From the cheese selection,

to the recycling bins.

We've got a long way to go.

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I'll take Olives, Apricots and,...a Ped Egg?

We were trying to find the Natural History Museum and
initially what we found was an open market instead.
So we stumbled through, sampled our share and moved on.

There was an amazing array of fresh olives,
gorgeous displays of dried fruits,

and, uh, a lady selling "ped eggs"
...yeah, that's right, the at home pedicure

She seemed quite out of place among all that great food.
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With or Without Gas?

So here in Belgium, when you sit down at a table,
you have to order and (pay for) water.
That's right fellow Americans- don't take the water at the table
at your next restaurant outing for granted.
Furthermore- the waiter will always ask, because he needs to know...
"Water, with or without gas?"

(he's referring to the carbonation for those of you who
might not be so savvy about ordering water)

Ugh- no gas Merci !

Stella samples some local pizza...

and Dolmas from the market.
She's really quite a foodie.
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The Natural History Museum

We spent the day at the Natural History Museum.
Well, actually, we spent half the day trying to find our way there,
and about 4 hours at the museum.

There was enough to look at that we could
have easily spent another 4 hours there.
Great museum with lots to do, and see, and touch :)

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It goes a little more quickly,

when you can't read about each museum exhibit.
Most information was written in French, Flemish, but not always English.

This guy helped out occasionally- his English was very good.
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Overall is was a great day. Granted, we had our set backs,
like the hour and a half we walked in circles trying to find the museum,
or at this moment when Emory yelled out
"Look mom! Ba-wee bushes!"
(No Emory, that's not a berry bush, it's a 3-D structure of an organic compound)

It was really nice to see Addie old enough to appreciate the museum.

'Make no bones about it', we'll be back!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shopping Saturday

With the start of French school comes the need for meeting 'requirements'.
The kids are required to have shoes for 'gymnastique' class.
They are really just funny little canvas shoes, but trying to find them this time of year is a bit difficult.
We set out Saturday to find the shoes and we found a few other things at the Stokkel market too.

I swear- these cars are just plain small. It's pretty funny,
until you try to cram your family of 6 into one!

Addie was checking out this shop.
Can you say "cheese please?"

My girls always love to stop and smell the flowers at the flower markets.
I have to admit, it's a wonderful smell and
so very pretty with all the plants and flowers around.

I had to take this picture because,
as we gazed into the window of this butcher's shop,
I kept wondering what Stella must have been thinking.
She seemed fascinated by the cuts of meat and was clearly intrigued at
the very idea of buying meat in a place other than the typical grocery store.
Who knows what the next shop will bring!

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