Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Decorating Part 1

I tend to go a little Christmas crazy when it comes to decorating the house. I have five large rubbermaid tubs of decorations, boxes of Willow Tree Nativity pieces, wreaths, lighted garlands, a Christmas train... and that's just for inside the house. And being this is the FIRST year in our FIRST house, and the FIRST year NavyGuy and I won't be going home to our parents for the holidays, we may reach a whole new level of insanity.

Step 1 in the decorating process should have been to inventory and take stock of what items I already have.... whoops. Instead, I carried four bags of Target holiday items home yesterday (which I blame on the fact that I spent half of Black-Friday working the seasonal department of the store... and thereby eyeing up all the new holiday decorations). But everything I got is sooooo fabulous! Check it out:
A decorative pillow and matching kitchen towels, from the "Birchwood Chalet" theme of decorations.Stocking holders for our mantle (NavyGuy vehemently stated that his stocking would hang from the reindeer... why he felt so strongly about it I haven't gained the courage to ask...)
An advent calendar with room for a little piece of candy as we count down the days to Christmas.

I also got some red and gold ball ornaments, and another strand of white lighted garland (it's my Christmas crack). Annoyingly, Target doesn't have most of these items available online, so sorry for the shoddy photographs. Everything was on sale (so no guilt trip Mom!), and I can't wait to bust out all of my other decorations and trim the house! Lots more photos and possibly some how-to's to come...


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Highlights

Here's the most memorable parts of our 2009 Thanksgiving holiday celebration...

*watching Sister's dog Lucy bound up onto NavyGuy's Dad's lap and surprise the crap out of him

*managing to get all of the Thanksgiving food ready at the same time and on the table (mostly) warm at our projected dinner time (and people made fun of my meticulous schedule, time table, planning checklists... fools)

*reading a hilarious essay on "Decorative Gourds" and then snickering at every traditional Thanksgiving themed decoration spread throughout our house... (warning: linked essay is not suitable for children or people without a sense of humor)

*watching Tally and Sister's dog meet each other and proceed to romp and chase each other for two days straight. Tally thought Lucy's ears tasted very yummy and couldn't figure out why Lucy never wanted to sit still and let her gnaw on them. Lucy found Tally fun, but slightly annoying when she would get near anything Lucy wanted :)

*peeling carrots and spending time with Sister

*having our traditional National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie viewing after Thanksgiving dinner, complete with inappropriate laughter and everyone reciting the lines along with the characters

What else family and friends? What were your favorite Thanksgiving moments at our house?


Monday, November 23, 2009

Slow News (Reporting) Week

The Thanksgiving holiday official begins tomorrow at our house, as NavyGuy's family arrives, followed closely by mine, plus our good friends A&B. Today was a blur of cleaning, organizing, and last minute grocery shopping. With a houseful of guests, I can't predict how much blogging will be happening this week. However, there'll be lots to report once the crowds thin and life calms down - Turkey day, Tally meeting her puppy cousin Lucy, my first Black Friday working retail, and who knows what else!

Hope everyone else is ready for the big day!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

11 Weeks

Tally made it to 11 weeks on Friday. She's grown to 14 pounds (she was 10.5 when we brought her home), and she's looking less and less like a puppy and more and more like an actual dog (but still a pretty tiny sized cutie-patootie dog)

11 Weeks

Tally still hasn't figured out how to get down once she's up on a couch, so she sits anxiously, looking pathetic until one of us helps her down.

11 Weeks
This is her, Hey, where 'ya goin' without me?!? look.

11 Weeks
A shopping trip to PetSmart yielded this fabulous find - a stuffed, four squeaker, teddy bear. Tally LOVES it, and it was a charity purchase so some of the cost will go to help other puppies! It's as big as her, but she looks so cute with her new friend.

11 Weeks
Totally all her doing - she stepped in from the couch and plopped down all, hmmm, soft, smells good, I can make this work...

11 Weeks
On a walk to Cranberry Lake (about three blocks from our house). She's losing most of her puppy fat and really thinning out - look how long those legs are getting!

11 Weeks
Checking out Cranberry Lake.

11 Weeks
Enjoying her time with NavyGuy...

We also cleaned her ears this weekend, but it took all four hands (and would have been helpful to have several more), so no pictures of that fun :)


Friday, November 20, 2009

If you can swing it... your Thanksgiving grocery shopping at 9:30pm on a Thursday night. It was positively glorious. The Safeway was nearly empty. A few burly men stocking cranberry juice and malt-o-meal. Some twenty-three year olds buying ice cream and beer.

(Clearly not my actual cart... bananas, oranges, and no Oreos? Or Cheerios? Or anything ending in "o's"?... why bother going to the store!?!)

I didn't have to wait in line. I didn't have to battle anyone for the last can of Libby's pumpkin pie mix. I didn't have to stop myself from strangling the senior citizen who parked her cart in the middle of the aisle while she emptied her purse looking for some 10 cents off coupon (or a butterscotch candy). No screaming children, no loud cell-phone talkers, no congestion in the parking lot, no congestion around the sweet potato stand.

Downright blissful.

Now if only Target were open 24 hours and I could get all my Christmas shopping done this way, we'd be golden.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How a Puppy is Like a Toddler

Having spent two and a half weeks with Tally - and many many weeks' worth of time with toddlers - I've developed a strong theory that puppies and toddlers are eerily similar. The evidence:

1. They both have no concept of the word "no." We tell Tally this a zillion times a day (I even cop a deeply menacing man voice to add gravitas to my no's), and yet it has absolutely no impact. Ever seen a mom with a toddler at the supermarket? It's a broken record of no's and yet said toddler continues to try and throw herself out of the cart/grab random breakable items off shelves/run in the opposite direction.

2. However, a toddler and puppy's favorite word is "no." In a conversation with HistoryGirlie last week, her daughter Kitty said no to Elmo, bananas, chicken nuggets, fruit, cookies, play, sleep, diaper, and flugglehorn. Tally's "no" isn't as clearly spoken, but the sentiment is understood by all.

3. Both enjoy putting things they shouldn't in their mouths. I suppose most toddlers are getting past this stage, but I think the concept holds. Hand Tally a tennis ball, rope toy, or even a treat - no interest. Leave a sheet of paper, bathroom rug, phone cord, or coffee table on the ground, and she's suddenly very interested.

4. Puppies and toddlers thwart all productivity. It now takes me 20 minutes to unload the dishwasher because I have to stop every six seconds and see what Tally's chewing on, or why she's wandered out of the kitchen and is she peeing somewhere... Crafting is a joke - she only wants to sit on my lap and eat the paper. Leave a toddler or a puppy alone for one second and they'll manage to stick their fingers/paw in an outlet or worse; it's nearly impossible to complete even the simplest of tasks... unless you can manage to get them to take a nap :)

5. Both are super cute and snuggly. And this is how toddlers survive their terrible twos and dogs survive puppyhood - even when they're chewing on your favorite shoes or taking off all of their clothes and dancing on the glass coffee table (yup, definitely a true story), they're so adorable and lovable, you can't help but smile at them. Once Tally finally crashes for the night and curls up on my lap, all of the day's headaches and frustrations are forgiven.

Moms or dog-owners - did I forget anything?


A Birhtday Message From Tally


Can't wait to see you next week!!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Starbucks Holiday Launch

I'll spare you all the advertising schpeal... but I do have to show off some of the cool Starbucks holiday merchandise that I got to set up last night! Yes, as part of my final step in completing my Advanced Store Training, I needed to complete a "set." A set is when Starbucks starts new drinks, signs, merchandise, etc. The biggest one is their holiday one, which includes tons of signs, new pastries, all new cups and coffees, loads of decorations, and a zillion other things that you have to get set up and put out before the store opens the day of the launch.

Nicole, my boss, put me in charge of this launch, and it was a doozy. I spent 5 hours yesterday sorting through boxes of tumblers, coffee gift sets, and holiday bears. There were two chalkboard signs to re-do (which usually take me forever to design because of my perfectionist streak attention to detail), snowflake clings to hang, and holiday mugs, tumblers, gift cards, and coffee sets to display. Thankfully, Nicole helped a bit so we could get done on time. And I do have to say - whoa. The store looks freakin' awesome now. All festive and holiday-fied. Because of Starbucks' proprietary rules, I couldn't take any photos, so you'll all have to come visit me to see how beautiful it turned out!

In the meantime, here's a few of the new holiday items that caught my eye...The Tazo Tea sampler is a perfect example of where the packaging is really what sold me - the wooden bamboo box that holds a selection of teas would be awesome on your kitchen counter, or could even pull double duty as storage for office supplies or bathroom goodies.

Good luck actually finding one of these cold to-go cups in a store... we sold all 15 of ours before noon today... (hint: you can order them from Starbucks online, or if you get really desperate, they're bound to start showing up on Ebay pretty soon.)I love the red cup design this year - the ornaments, the two-tone pine tree branches, and the overall theme of "wishing" is just smile-inducing.


I'm... So... Close...

So close!

Let's play the caption game again! Leave your best in the comments.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Turkey Day Prep

Sunday night, I did a Thanksgiving test-run of the new recipes for this year (excluding the turkey). It was a slightly unusual menu...

Cocktail Weiners*

First Crock Pot Adventure

Butter-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

and Green Beans with Vinaigrette

Two of the three were hits. The cocktail weiners were fabulous (and the crockpot that Sister got us for the wedding works great!). NavyGuy loves sweet potatoes, and I didn't have them at T-Day last year, so I had to figure out an easy recipe so they could be on the table this year. Martha didn't disappoint - the butter, brown sugar, and pecan pieces were delicious with the already yummy sweet potatoes.

I'm on the fence about the beans though. The vinaigrette just doesn't have much flavor to it, so I think I'm going to keep looking. Any suggestions? Most of the other dishes I have planned are rich and heavy, so I'm hoping to keep the green beans fairly light.

*The cocktail weiner recipe I used came from a Fond du Lac cookbook. The sauce calls for 2 cups ketchup, 1 T of worcestershire sauce, and 1 cup light brown sugar. I used turkey weiners to make them a teensy bit less fatty.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Graduating from a training squadron and joining an operational squadron is a big deal. So you'd think the ceremony celebrating this achievement would be full of dignity, and solemn speeches about sacrifice and duty.

Oh... have we learned nothing about the world of Naval aviation?

NavyGuy's transition to his new squadron went a little like this:

Everyone show up at the Officer's Club on base. Start drinking free beer and eating chicken wings. Wait around an hour for the skipper to show up and get the show on the road. Whistle, hoot, holler, and generally show no decorum as each graduate is called up to receive their obligatory certificate. Duck, when the men from the new squadron rip off the graduates' old patches and whip them around the room.

Squadron Graduation

At this point, each squadron begins its own fraternity hazing initiation welcome game for the new guys (who have each gotten new name patches that politely name them FNG... "freaking new guy."). Some grads are dragged outside to be doused in champagne. Others do a simple shot with their new squadron.

NavyGuy's new family upped the ante.

Squadron Graduation

That's a tasty little number called an "Irish Car Bomb" ...on steroids! NavyGuy and his buddy T each had to down a half-pitcher of Guinness and a tumbler's worth of Baileys.

Squadron Graduation

Yeah. You can probably guess how our night progressed. NavyGuy was drunk by 4:30 (graduation started at 4), and I had to go home to let the puppy out. T and his wife were nice enough to bring NavyGuy home around 6... where he attempted to drink some water and sober up, but mostly just muttered about how cute Tally is and then fell into bed.

And there ended another proud day for NavyGuy :)


Saturday, November 14, 2009


Okay guys, this big brown thing is kinda freakin' me out, and I can't get to any of my toys. If you're done taking funny pictures of me, can you please get me down now?


Friday, November 13, 2009

The End and the Beginning

Today is the end of NavyGuy's training phase in the RAG. He officially graduates and becomes a real-life Electronic Counter Measures Officer (ECMO) - not a student, not a peon - a grown-up NavyMan. This has been a long time coming, and it should be a day of only happiness.

Unfortunately, his hard work, determination, skills, and sacrifices are not being rewarded as they should. NavyGuy has been assigned to a squadron that does not deploy to an aircraft carrier; instead, they are what is known as an expeditionary squadron, or concrete squadron. He won't fly jets off a carrier. He'll deploy to a base on land (probably in some godforsaken place on earth) and will fly his missions from there. This is a big disappointment for him, since flying off of the carrier has been such a dream and focus for him. I feel terrible because today should only be a celebration, but instead it's a feeling of resignation for both of us. But, this is Navy life. The needs of the Navy come first, regardless of who it affects.

The only small plus side to all of this so far is that a friend of NavyGuy's also got assigned to the same squadron, and his wife rocks, so hopefully we can commiserate together and find a way to make the best of all of this.

So, the training ends and the real work begins. I'm headed to the graduation ceremony this afternoon, and then for the obligatory party at the O'Club afterwards. I also went to my first spouses's club meeting for the squadron last night (more on that later).

Congratulations NavyGuy!!! I'm proud of you no matter what the Navy decides to do with you, and I love you :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Food, Free Food, and a Place to Set Food

*Next week Tuesday, Starbucks launches its new holiday drink... the Caramel Brulee Latte. Before we sell any new drinks, we baristas have to practice making them and tasting them, so that we can speak truthfully when guests ask us what they taste like or if we enjoy them. And enjoy them we do! I tasted one for the first time today, and I can tell they are going to be pretty popular. The caramel brulee latte is espresso shots, steamed milk, and a new caramel brulee syrup, all topped with whipped cream and crunchy caramel pieces. The drink is pretty sweet, which is great for those of us who don't jive on regular coffee; for those of you who don't like as much sweetness, just ask for it with fewer pumps of syrup. It's sort of like a caramel macchiato, but the flavors are all mixed together, unlike the more layered macchiato. Even if I didn't work for the company, I'd recommend you try this new holiday treat next Tuesday when it debuts!

*NavyGuy and I had dinner at Applebee's tonight, because the restaurant gave a FREE MEAL to every military veteran today (in case you missed it - it's Veteran's Day people). Not surprisingly, the restaurant was packed, and the bartender we talked to said it had literally been non-stop chaos since they opened the doors at lunch time. I'm not surprised that the Applebee's in our area was so busy, considering there's a Navy base right down the road, but I hope that lots of veterans got to take advantage today. Way to go Applebee's... for saying to all those who've served our country, thank you... and now have some free hot wings and cheeseburgers!

*I've been searching online - for weeks - for a new coffee table for the family room. We have been using my small, rickety, found-it-in-the-hallway-of-a-dorm, 1970s coffee table. And while it's held up okay, before the masses descend in two weeks (Thanksgiving), we wanted to upgrade to something a bit more substantial. So I did what any sensible, 20th century shopper would do - a thorough internet search, comparing prices, sizes, shipping fees, storage capacity, design elements, and NavyGuy's all-important "can it hold my soda can?" test. What did I find? Nothing that fit all of my requirements.

So, losing patience, NavyGuy and I hit Ashley Home Furnishings tonight before dinner, just to see if, on a whim, they might have a solution. I kid you not, 87 seconds after we walked into the store, we found this:The perfect coffee table. (Not, not the sketchy woman lounging on the couch.) It is everything I wanted. Square. Dark-brown. Leather. Ottoman. With storage. In the form of four pull-out drawers, thus creating the perfect combination of being able to set stuff on top of the table, and not having to move all that stuff when you want to access the storage spaces to get at your blanket or stash of Halloween candy you've been hiding from your husband... oops.

Anyway, it's due to arrive on Saturday, and I'm positively giddy. Plus, in order to appease NavyGuy (and meet his one coffee table requirement), I get to shop for a decorative tray tomorrow so he can set his drink on the table without fear of it spilling! This coffee table just gets better and better!

P.S. Tally's still great. Oh, and she agrees with me that the coffee table is awesome.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Newlyweds Series: Hobbies

What are your favorite things to do together/hobbies you both enjoy together?

Thought we certainly have our separate interests (crafts and computers to name a few), we definitely have many things we like to do together. The biggest one that anyone who knows us would say is - go to movies. We go to TONS of movies. Since we got Tally we've been slacking a bit, but now that we're approaching serious-award-winning-movie-release-season, we'll kick it into high gear and get back up to at least one a week. We have some unusual movie-theater quirks...

a) NavyGuy buys a large Sprite that we share, cuz I won't drink brown sodas (don't ask), while I score middle of the row, towards the back, but not the back row seats, away from teenagers who will talk through the movie, or old people who will also talk through the movie and will get up to pee eight times, thus blocking our view
b) we count the number of trailers and complain if there's less than five before the movie.
c) NavyGuy jokes that he can't remember what movie we came to see
d) we watch the movie intently,

Aside from our movie obsession, we also like trying new restaurants, finding new tv shows to become obsessed with and then watching entire seasons at a crack, window shopping, hanging out at Barnes and Noble reading, and playing board games. Well, correction. I love playing board games, and NavyGuy really likes them as well, he just doesn't always like playing them with me. Allegedly (never been proven or even supported with any substantial evidence), I'm a poor loser and I cheat. Bah. But NavyGuy is a good husband and he agrees to play board games with me anyway (and I suspect he lets me win to avoid divorce).

What fun hobbies do you all share with your husband or wife?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas done come early kids!

When I got home from work tonight, NavyGuy had a surprise for me. The disc of our wedding photos arrived from the photographer... and my husband had already loaded all of the photos onto my computer!

(Yeah, he rocks like that a lot. But then there are the nights I come home and the only thing he's done is nap with the puppy and leave every single light on, making the house visible from three miles away.)

So anyway, back to the point - the pictures are HERE!!! And that means, wedding recaps :) Once I do some sorting and planning, the fun can begin!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Weekend of Firsts...

It's been quite the adventurous couple of days for Tally pup, with many firsts...

*First Ice Cube - is there anything more amusing than watching a puppy pounce and chase a small piece of ice around the kitchen floor? Everytime she'd get it in her mouth, she's spit it back out, like, "what IS this cold slippery thing!?!? I kind of love it!"

ice cube

*First Poker Game - I had to work Saturday night and NavyGuy was invited to a poker game at a friend's house... so Tally went along. She didn't win any money, but boy did she win over the crowd; apparently, she was passed from lap to lap the whole night and reveled in the attention.

*First Cat - also at Poker Night. The hosts have two cats, and when Tally tried to kindly introduce herself to one of them, it backed itself into a corner and then morphed into a giant hissing furball of fury and ran away. NavyGuy claims Tally was a bit confused as to why the nice kitty didn't want to be her friend, but other than that she was unfazed.

*First Encounter with the Vacuum - she doesn't despise it, but I don't think she'll be begging for me to drag it out of the closet again anytime soon.


I've heard it can only see movement, like a T-rex, so I'll just sit perfectly still...


Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact, just walk quickly past and be cool...




Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Stamps

I played around with a few new birthday themed stamps and came up with three birthday cards to add to my stash:

Happy Birthday

I really like this graphic patterned paper, and how symmetrical and balanced the card seems, with all the lines and edges.

Make a Wish
Each of the candles was stamped separately and then cut out and attached to the card. The sentiment "Make a Wish" is one of my new favorite birthday stamps.

Happy Birthday
I stamped the little swirl designs on the corners with clear embossing powder and then embossed each design. It doesn't show up as well in the photo, but they look kind of shimmery and cool in real life.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Newlywed Series: Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Are you an optimist or pessimist? What about your husband? How does this affect your relationship?

Neither of us lands clearly on one end or the other of the optimism/pessimism spectrum. I would definitely say that NavyGuy is more cynical and skeptical, whereas I am usually more trusting and naive. However, we seem to balance each other out in when it comes to attitudes. If I'm pessimistic about a situation or outcome, NavyGuy boosts my confidence and points out the positive; when the tables are turned, I find the silver lining. The fact that we both span the spectrum is fabulous for our relationship because then neither of us has to constantly feel like we're pulling the other down out of the clouds or up from the depths.

What about you? Can you or your significant other be defined as an optimist or pessimist? What impact does that have on your relationship?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Funny Puppy



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happenings and Going-Ons

I have to go back to work Thursday and I'm dreading it as much as most new moms must. Tally will have to be left for several hours without us!!! I know, I know - it's not equivalent to having to take your human baby to daycare for the first time. But I'm feeling guilty already. What if she's scared? What if she resents us? What if she poops in her crate while we're gone? (I guess most parents don't have to worry about that specific concern.) The rational grown-up part of me knows she'll be fine... but the rest of me is freaking out!

In other news, Tally met mom tonight... over Skype! "Grandma" is already over the moon about her grandpuppy, and seems ready to hop on the next flight to Seattle for a little face-to-face time with the cutie-pie. NavyGuy's parents and his sister met Tally the night before (again via the magic that is the internet and a webcam); I swear this puppy isn't going to have a moment alone once everyone arrives for Thanksgiving :)

And in non-canine news, NavyGuy is getting closer and closer to finishing his training, and officially graduating. It seems like he's been a flight students forEVER, but if all goes as planned (which, let's face it, it's the Navy - that ain't gonna happen), he'll graduate next Friday and find out what squadron he'll be joining. Send lots of good weather and working airplane thoughts our way, so that he can finish quickly!


Newlyweds Series: SuperFreaks

Today's question focuses on flying your freak flag - What strange things do you and your husband have in common?

~ Our parents are all the same age.

~ NavyGuy and I both love holiday episodes of television shows - we re-watch Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes of Friends and West Wing every year around this time.

~ Neither of us likes pickles. Whenever we order something at restaurant that comes with a pickle, we both end up trying to throw ours on each other's plates.

~ Our birthdays are four days apart - NavyGuy is a whopping four days older than me, and I never let him forget he's an old man :)

~ We both have horrible eyesight (and wear contacts), wore braces as teenagers, have super pale almost translucent skin, and suffered from bad skin most of our adolescence. Basically, our kids are screwed.

~ NavyGuy and I both grew up getting toothbrushes in our Christmas stockings every year. (Yes, we each still get a new toothbrush in our stockings. And yes, we love the tradition.)

What strange things do you and your significant other share?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Puppy Tales

*Being a single parent to a puppy is exhausting. NavyGuy was gone most of yesterday, and had another flight this morning, so I was on my own with Tally. And that puppy can't be left alone for a minute! We're trying to be really diligent about her housebreaking, so we have to watch her like a hawk every second. Which basically means I haven't gotten anything done for two days. It took me twenty minutes to unload the dishwasher yesterday morning because every six seconds Tally needed to be told to stop eating the kitchen rug/fridge door/cabinet knob. I mean don't get me wrong - she was adorable doing it, attacking the mean 'ole cabinet knob like a tough girl - but seriously, I need to shower!

*Tally has mastered the stairs. She started out terrified to venture up or down any stairs in the house, but now she gets this excited look on her face and takes a running leap. It's pretty amusing - especially when she trips and slides down a step :)



They Can Send a Man to the Moon But...

This gets said often. By me. Or my mother.

"They can send a man to the moon, but they can't make a CD case that can be opened in less than eight minutes."

"They can send a man to the moon, but they can't make a trash bag that's big enough for the garbage can."

"They can send a man to the moon, but they still can't design a phone charger that will work for every cell phone!"

Well not anymore kids. According to the Freakonomics blog, a universal cell phone charger will go into production next year. Check out the full story here, or the press release.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Family Photos

Tally and Mike

NavyGuy and Tally on her first walk.

Meag and Tally

NavyGirl and Tally having a snuggle.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Story of Tally's First Day

NavyGuy and I woke up uber excited. It was PUPPY DAY!!! We were scheduled to be at the breeder's house at 9am. The last time I drove there, it took me a solid hour and a half, so we planned to leave by 7:15, allowing time to stop for gas and coffee. With the car loaded down with toys, treats, towels, leash, collar, puppy books, and Cheerios - we were off.

Well, I forgot that NavyGuy drives a wee bit quicker than I. Coupled with the fact that we left earlier than planned, and there was no traffic... we ended up 10 minutes from the breeder's house by about 8:20. So, in an effort to kill time, we wandered the small town grocery store near the breeder's, where we debated whether the checkout girl was wearing a Halloween costume or her actual cheerleading uniform. Finally we had dawdled enough, and we could drive the final miles to meet our puppy.

When we arrived at the breeder's, we still needed to decide between the two remaining black females. NavyGuy and I played with the little ones and quickly saw ourselves drawn toward the gentler of the two. The girl we chose had some brown mismarks (known as brindling) on her front legs, which we thought was unique, and she generally seemed more people-friendly; the other girl was a little too spunky and independent for us.

So we got all the paperwork filled out, packed up a couple things, and headed for the car. I managed to luck out and get to hold her for the first part of the ride while NavyGuy drove (and took the first pictures of her on his cell phone, which he proceeded to send to friends and family to invoke jealousy introduce our pup.

As we drove home, the naming negotiations continued. We just couldn't decide. Using our short list from the day before, we kept trying out various names on the puppy, to see if any seemed totally wrong, or totally right, or if she would lift her head at one but not another. Basically, we were a little nervous to make the wrong choice.

So we continued home, stopping for NavyGuy's second coffee and a pit stop for puppy. She did great in the car - sat on our lap, curled up, no accidents or problems at all. We arrived home and let her explore the upstairs of the house for a bit before it was time for her lunch. NavyGuy was starting to get pretty insistent that we pick a name... and after a little convincing, and a heart to heart with the pup, I realized that Tally was the right name for our little girl.

Tally wasn't very interested in her food; we had gotten the same kind the breeder used, but I think Tally was shell-shocked at all the change, because she barely ate anything all day long. That didn't stop her from playing hard; we ran around in the yard and the driveway, laughing at her attempts to follow us. She quickly learned the stairs leading up to the front door, after a few failed attempts where her big puppy belly weighed her down and she couldn't hoist herself up.

First Meal

You expect me to stop and eat when there's so much new stuff to smell?

The majority of the day was spent oohing and ahhing over her, taking pictures, snuggling with her on the couch when she got tired, and watching her scamper behind us. Our upstairs is mostly hardwood floors, so whenever she would try and sit down, her butt would slowly slide away and she'd end up doing a belly flop! We began to slowly introduce her to her crate, where we want her to sleep at night, and spend time in when we're gone. By dinnertime, she was comfortable enough to lay down in it (we put a couple towels and one of her soft toys in there), and even when we opened up the door to let her out after a couple minutes, she stayed put, very content.

Tally sit!

I'm trying to sit, but my back half doesn't seem to be cooperating!

Even our first night wasn't as bad as expected. She only whimpered a few times throughout the night; NavyGuy took her out around 3 to go potty, and I had puppy patrol at about 5:30. All of us got up around 7:30am to start the day, and we've been playing/lounging since. NavyGuy made pancakes for breakfast while I puppy-sat, and now, as I type, Tally is curled up on my lap, smelling and licking my laptop. Our little family of two is settling into being a trio quite nicely :)

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