All posts by Robyn

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We had a great day, I hope everyone else did too. This was the first year we actually did something to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In the past we always stayed home and avoided the over-crowded restaurants, but this year we decided to celebrate since it was our first married Valentine’s Day. Several weeks ago I made a reservation at the Melting Pot, and we were so lucky to have called just when someone else canceled… otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten a table. It turned out to be a great plan though! The meal was great, the service was awesome, and we didn’t have to deal with crowds or a waiting list. On the way home we passed Crabtree and it was shocking to see how many cars were waiting to turn in. We definitely made the right choice in restaurants!

Oh, and guess what I got as a gift… a guitar! I know, that seems random right? Well, the guitar thing mostly started with iLife ’09 really. You see, Garage Band has a “learn to play” section that had intrigued me since seeing the program announced. I have always wished I could play a musical instrument, but never tried. Garage Band coupled with fiddling with Sean’s guitars a few weeks ago kindled the interest in learning guitar.

A few days ago we dropped Sean’s electric guitar off to have a switch repaired, which meant the only guitar in the house to play with was his acoustic, which was too big for me to play easily. Somehow I then got it in my head that I wanted to learn to play on an acoustic, but needed one that fit. I thought about ordering a cheap one online, but Sean said I should get a nicer one since he wanted a second acoustic anyway. So, today we went to Guitar Center just to see what size of guitar would be best for me. We ended up finding a little Yamaha APX500 acoustic-electric cutaway that fit me pretty well and went ahead and picked it up. It is actually sized like a classic style guitar, and the body is pretty slim so it is easy for me to hold.

So far I have made it through two lessons (well, almost) and my fingers are quite tender! We decided I would do the 9 Garage Band lessons and see how that goes, then look into actual guitar classes.


Snow Day!

So last night we thought we should probably go to the store and pick up a few things, but decided we didn’t feel like dealing with the crowds. Now we are kind of wishing we did though because it is still snowing! We are unsure about trying to back down our crazy driveway, so it looks like we are stuck in the house.

We have plenty of food, but it is pretty much breakfast foods and some random stuff in the pantry. Right now I am really wishing we had some veggies for curry! That would be an awesome meal on a day like this. It is tempting to shovel the driveway and run out for provisions, but we only have small shovels and it would probably be more trouble than it is worth. Oh well, at least we get to watch the inauguration!

I feel sorry for Eddie though. The poor guy was nearly up to his belly in snow this morning, and now there is even more out there. After the initial foray we decided to shovel him a little path, and try to uncover some grass for the little guy. Unfortunately, that is all covered up again now, so we will have to do that again soon. After the first tentative steps Jack didn’t seem to mind the snow at all though. He wanted to run and play, while Eddie was just looking miserable.

Sea Kittens Sure Are Tasty

Today I put aside the iPod and decided to see what was on the radio. I ended up listening to 101.1, which is evidently a talk radio station. The host seemed to mainly complain about things, and still hadn’t gotten over Obama’s victory. I had mostly decided I should go back to my iPod when he started complaining about PETA.

I couldn’t believe what they had come up with this time! It was so ludicrous that I really hoped it was a joke. PETA, who is of course the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is now trying to defend fish. Their plan? Changing their name… to Sea Kittens!

I kind of forgot about it until just now, when reading an article on CNN about some restaurant releasing a 140 year old lobster thanks to PETA’s request. I never thought I would find myself on PETA’s website… but I just had to see if this Sea Kitten thing was real. I was half convinced it wouldn’t be true.

Well, not only is it true, but they have a whole campaign set up for it. You can get web graphics, wallpaper, make your own Sea Kitten, and buy Sea Kitten merchandise. You can also sign a petition. Over 2650 people have already signed! And the best part? The Sea Kitten stories. You can read sad tales of happy Sea Kittens that are driven insane and murdered by evil Land Kittens. I am not making this up.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Yeah, I know I am a little late on that… but we have been pretty busy lately. I am a little sad to say goodbye to 2008. While the year kind of sucked in many ways, there were also many good things that happened. 2008 was the year we were married, the year we bought our first house, and the year we spent a month in Japan. I will fondly remember 2008 for many years to come, but I look forward to seeing what this new year will bring.

Our Christmas was great, although very busy. Sean racked up with a new iPod Nano, a 22” widescreen monitor, and a few other things. For me, my main gifts were a stand mixer and a video card. We also spent lots of time with the family, and even found some time to relax at home.

Today it is back to the real world though. The holidays are over and everything is getting back to normal. I feel sorry for little Eddie, this is the beginning of him spending all day in his crate without humans around to let him out to play. At least Sean will be able to run home and let him out during the day, since his little bladder isn’t quite up to a full day alone yet. Poor Sean though… he is going to be spending his lunch break to let the dogs out over the next couple months.

Things are going better with Eddie all the time. He is turning into a good little dog, but it is going to take lots of time and patience to get him there. Last night we even succeeded in getting him to fall asleep in Sean’s lap for nearly an hour… and then after a potty break he came back in and slept on mine! I cannot explain how miraculous that is. This dog did not have an “off switch” two weeks ago! He still isn’t capable of be calm on his own, but we are working on that. We are still working on the potty training as well, but he has made great improvements there too.

Welcome, Eddie

I am so tired! I had to work for a few hours early this morning, so I didn’t get much sleep… but that didn’t interrupt today’s plans. Pancakes were had, and then we headed to Sanford for Eddie.

Turns out Eddie was born Aug, 3rd, so I guess that means he is four and a half months old? I haven’t had much luck with good pictures yet, but I will try to get some cute ones in the near future. Check the Photo Archive link up top for a few more pictures.

He did pretty good in the car, hardly whined at all. We could have forgotten he was back there! On the way home we stopped by two pet stores. I don’t think he was use to a collar or leash at all, since Sean’s grandmother reported she took him to the vet in a carrier and said he refused to walk when she put his collar on. Although, the collar she had for him was very large. He seemed to do okay on the lead though, he only refused to move a few times and I think it was because he was uncertain. With a little coaxing he would start moving again, and it all worked out well; he just needs practice.

Because he is so small it was a bit of a challenge to keep an eye on him though… we constantly had to make sure he wasn’t in anyone’s path because he was so easy to miss. And Petsmart was incredibly crowded. There were quite a few times he nearly got stepped on! Of course everyone wanted to pet him and ask how old he was and gush over the cuteness. While we were at the check out at Petsmart, even the girl behind the Banfield (vet) counter was talking to us across the store about him.

I was kind of hoping that since we have a purebred dog this time people wouldn’t be asking silly questions about what it was. With Jack everyone wants to know if it is a boxer puppy for some reason, although now that he has white around his muzzle that doesn’t happen as much as it use to. And we always have to explain that he is a boston terrier miniature pinscher mix, which can be annoying by the tenth person that asks. I was looking forward to the simplicity of a dog with only one breed. However, not much luck on that one! Everyone thought Eddie was a Jack Russell.

It was difficult to find a collar to fit his tiny neck, but we did manage to find one that looks okay on him over in the petite dog area. For some reason most of the petite collars have silly rhinestones or flowers attached to them, or are pink. He hasn’t been messing with it or rolling around like he did with the other collar, so I think the size of the collar might have been the issue before.

When we got him home, and unpacked all of the various treats, we decided to give teaching “sit” a shot… even though we really didn’t expect anything to come of it. Surprisingly he learned it in just a few minutes! It looks like he might be a smart dog. The picture up top is of both dogs sitting for treats. We’ll give sit a few days to really sink in, and then see if we can’t try “lay down.” I guess we should enroll in puppy classes before too much longer.

Eddie is sure going to be a handful, but I think he will get better as he learns his manners. Because he is so short, Eddie constantly stands on his hind legs and puts his front paws on your leg for attention. Before teaching “sit” that is what he would do every time you had a treat in your hand, and would grab at your hand for the treat… it was amazing how big of an improvement just that little trick made. He is already starting to catch on that he won’t get anything unless all four feet are firmly on the floor. Now we are just working to teach him the same thing goes for attention.

At least he seems to like his crate, so that is a good thing. It will definitely help in the house breaking. One good thing about him is that he is not as licky as Jack. But Jack isn’t that thrilled about it I think. He keeps putting his head down for Eddie to lick his ears, like he does with the cat. But Eddie just doesn’t get it… then Jack gets annoyed with him. Kitty seems to get along with Eddie though… except when he tries to catch her tail.

So, it looks like there is quite a lot of fun in store for us. That statement is only partially sarcastic… I am sure it will be fun at times, but it is going to be a lot of hard work too. It should be interesting around here with three critters. I kind of think two critters was probably a much better number, but Eddie needed a good home.

Introducing Eddie

So a couple months ago Sean’s grandmother got a puppy. The above photo was taken when we went to visit the puppy shortly after she got him. Eddie is a toy rat terrier, and is about 4 or 5 months old now. Eddie hasn’t been a good fit for her at all, so yesterday we agreed to take him.

Tomorrow we will have our pancakes and then head to Sanford to pick him up. After that it will be off to the pet store for our obligatory “new puppy” shopping trip. I am not even sure the dog has a collar! We will definitely need a crate and some small chew toys. I already set a vet appointment for him on Monday afternoon… ah, the fun of another pet is already beginning.

Did I mention Eddie isn’t house broken yet? So that is going to be fun. Jack was easy to train, but we got him at 7 weeks. I really hope Eddie does well with crate training. We had already planned on taking all of next week off of work anyway, so at least we will be home with him for that time to work on it.

I will try to take some good pictures of him soon. We have only met him once before, and at the time I only had my phone with me. Since puppies don’t sit still long it was hard to get a good picture of his face with the camera on the phone. He is pretty cute though, but then I suppose most puppies are.

Happy Pancake Day

We have been trying to get into the “spirit of the season” lately. Somehow it is hard this year. But, last weekend, we finally started our Christmas shopping. While we were at Crate & Barrel we picked up a couple fun-looking pancake molds, as well as some batter mix and syrup. We had been itching to try them out ever since, so we decided that today was Happy Pancake Day!

We truly expected it to really be Pancake Fail Day though, as we had our doubts about the molds, as well as about mix bought from a home goods store. There was a little trial and error at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly. We had one failed snowflake, and one slightly malformed snowman… but the rest turned out alright. The mix and syrup were surprisingly good; I think that is our new favorite syrup. And, somehow, the fun shapes seemed to make the pancakes taste even better! I want to scout out more fun pancake molds now. Maybe every Saturday can be Happy Pancake Day from now on.

After a yummy pancake breakfast it was time to go get a Christmas tree, which we had been putting for weeks. We first tried Lowes since they were nearby, but the selection was terrible and the trees were dry and squished from lying in a pile. Our second try was more successful, and we found several good candidates at the lot by Kohl’s in Brier Creek. After a short debate we finally selected what looked to be a good tree, and the tree people quickly lashed it to the car.

When we got the tree home and in the stand we quickly learned that trees look a lot larger once they are in your house. I think I recall a similar lesson with a TV. So, the place we had selected near the fireplace didn’t really work out… it ended up in the dining room. It isn’t the ideal location for a tree, but it fits and it is only for a few weeks. After quickly cleaning up the trail of pine needles that lead from one corner of the house to the other, it was once again time to head out.

We met several friends (that also happen to be guild mates) at Brixx for dinner, and then headed to Frankie’s. It was a lot of fun to watch the braver people ride go carts in 38 degree weather, although Sean and I weren’t about to do it! There were three kids in the group, the youngest of which was a three year old girl. It was so funny to watch her go round (two seater carts) because her head wasn’t even above the wheel. When they went past you could only see a tiny set of hands holding onto the steering wheel.

It wasn’t long before we headed back inside where it was warm. We had a lot of fun playing games and somehow ended up winning a lot of tickets at skee ball. Since we don’t really care much about tickets we gave them to the kids… it was fun to see them so happy about getting tickets. It made me recall the days when I would hang out in the arcade, collecting my tickets and gazing longingly at a shiny glass case full of prizes… but never having enough tickets for anything more exciting than chinese fingercuffs or a bouncy ball.

After Frankie’s Sean and I headed back home for a nice mug of hot cocoa while we decorated the tree. We haven’t quite finished the tree though, so no pictures yet. It just looks like it is missing something, but we are too tired to care about it right now. We decided to find some garland we don’t hate tomorrow… for now we are going to head to bed. We feel so old to be this tired at 10pm!