boy and his bengal

How do you get your kids to practice?

This is our little pianist:

Pogi enjoyed Dom’s talented playing and singing.


This was how we spent our Sunday evening. Then Nathan made some pasta that included chard grown in our garden. Dom picked out and ate all of his kalamata olives and was bummed we didn’t have anymore to give him when those were gone. Add those to the next shopping list.

Our goal is that by this time next year, Dom will have learned to sing and play happy birthday for aunt Mern, Grumma, Teddy, Marissa, and other August birthdays.

This boy and his Bengal


When we’re outside, Pogi often suits in the windows of the basement, mewwing at us through the single panes. Dom loves it of course and has to say hello which drives Pogi a wee bit crazy. I suppose it was only a matter of time before this boy began harassing the cat in more ways than just pulling his tail.

A little more boy and his bengal

boyandbengal2It constantly surprises me that Dominic and Pogi are buds. I assumed that bringing a baby home would make Pogi a very unhappy cat and at first, it did. He crept around whatever baby thing Dom was in: car seat, swing, seat, bassinet, and such. He would hiss when Dominic would move or crawl. We seemed to be off to a great start.

One day, I held Dominic’s hand out and Pogi didn’t hiss.

Then, there was that time when Pogi let Dom touch him.

When Dominic started sitting up, we would hand him one of Pogi’s toys to shake around and Pogi joined right in. How fun. I wrote about it because that is what I do: Boy and his bengal (the first).

To this day, their friendship continues. See all of these neat-o pictures? I am still surprised by it. I am surprised that Dominic chases Pogi and the cat might let him win. I am surprised that Pogi follows Dominic around. I am surprised that when Dom is on one side of a closed door, Pogi reaches under with his paws to find him.

I am NOT surprised that Pogi crawls under Dom’s crib at night if we don’t catch him first to shut him up in the other room before putting Dom to bed…

Wow, I explained that well.

We don’t want Pogi in Dom’s room at night. Just let the kid sleep. We do.

It’s still pretty cute, though, our little man and the cat.



Pogi, Dom’s Shadow

bedtime_pogiI suppose that Dominic doesn’t have a choice in this.

He owns a cat.

I did not think that Pogi would prefer Dom very much. Prior to Dom’s birth, when children would come over, where do you think Pogi would usually go? Under the bed of course. Every now and then, a careful and patient child would coax him out. And how often, would you say, does a child prefer to be careful and patient?

Pogi would play with Kate, but it would take her 10-15 minutes to convince him she wouldn’t grab his tail or yank out his fur and so it was safe to creep out from under the bed. I must admit, it was impressive to see this little 4-year old (at the time) be patient just so she could play fetch with Pogi.

Babies aren’t patient. They make a lot of noise. They flail. They clench their fists around things. Pogi was sure to dislike this new family member when Dom came home.

And he did for the first couple of weeks, hissing at baby Dom.

When Pogi was curled up in his cat bed, I would hold out Dom’s hand and have him pet the cat. Guess how much Pogi loved that? At first he hissed, then tolerated, then attempted to ignore us. Then one day, Pogi reached up to Dom’s hand, sniffed it, and rubbed his cheek against it. I must admit, I was surprised.

“Wow, Dom! Pogi likes you!” Dom didn’t even look up at me. He wasn’t looking at Pogi either. I think he was still learning to focus. I had to be surprised on my own.

Eventually, Pogi came in one morning and dropped his toy next to Dominic instead of by me. I started teaching Dom to hold Pogi’s toy for him. I’m sure he learned so much.

Now, Pogi wants to be everywhere Dom is. At times, it’s annoying because I have to go and find him somewhere in Dom’s room (in the closet, under the crib, under the chair) before I can shut his door for his nap. If Pogi’s left in there, eventually he starts meowing. Bad cat.

Tonight, as Nathan was reading Dominic his bedtime stories, Pogi was nearby. He was already preparing a new hiding place so I couldn’t drag him out of the room when Dom went to bed, but as you can see from the picture, it was rather obvious. I’m sure that Pogi thought it was perfect, though. He even shook his little bum while hiding under the playmat as though he was going to suddenly pounce on me and the camera in the hall.

Well, Dominic, you have a cat named Pogi and Pogi can’t wait until you learn to throw.


Sitting, Smiling, Bathing, Tubbing. Birds, Pogi, and Plenty of Fun!

With the Independence Day holiday this last Thursday, I took advantage and made it into an extra-specially long weekend by taking Friday off from work. It was the best!

On the 4th, Nathan was blessed with lots of homework so Dom and I left him at home with Pogi’s help while we went to the zoo. I took my camera and left it in the diaper bag until the very end. This is how this picture (below) went down:

Oh how patriotic, the bald eagles! Let’s get a picture with them behind us.

Dustin takes the camera while Maren and I line up with the boys in the stroller.


Oh, the bald eagle flew away.

Can you see the other eagle hiding in the shadow?

Dustin: sure.

Picture taken.

Looking at the picture later: look how HAPPY our two boys are! Happy 4th to you.


Dom’s favorite was probably the polar bear that was pacing around his den and then outside, making circles in the dirt.

On the way home, he had to check on me in the car: “How’s the view from up there, mom? I got my sock. Yep. Light turned green. Green means go.”


Back at home, Pogi sat with Dom for a little bonding. They had truly missed each other. Truly. Madly. Deeply.


We barbecued at my parents that evening and enjoyed some relaxing time in the hot tub. Technically, it was more of a warm tub since it was nearing 100 degrees. Dom appreciated splashing around and standing up on his own.


On Friday, after Dom’s swimming class, our family (minus Pogi) went to Tracy Aviary with Laina, Hobbes and Alice. THIS TIME WE GOT A PICTURE WITH TWO BALD EAGLES. SO PATRIOTIC.


A peacock showed off for us. Not bad, bird; not bad.


And a few other gems from the outing:


To finish the weekend strong, Dom and Dad had a staring contest. Nathan won because SOMEBODY doesn’t have a very long attention span.


And here are a few bonus pictures for you: Pogi apparently loves Dom’s jumper and Dom apparently loves his baths and his dinners!



Half a Year of Little-Man Glory

carseatnapHappy six months, Little D Man.

First off, let me say that I hope you will forgive me. I didn’t really think that raising a child would be a walk in Liberty Park, but I didn’t realize that it would be this hard. I hope that you will forgive me for being tired and losing patience, for not knowing whether I should let you cry at night, for how hard it was to nurse at first, for that time I didn’t catch your hand before you put it down in your own poop while I changed your diaper, for feeding you rice cereal when you probably wanted cake instead, for having to take you to get shots, for sucking all of the boogers out of your nose with the snotsucker, for owning something called a snotsucker, and for that Sunday morning when I needed to put you down to finish getting ready for church so I turned on the TV and had a 7-week old watch Music and the Spoken Word. I’m sure the list could go on, but that is what I thought of in two minutes.

You are a pretty incredible little man already. Every day, I am amazed at something you do. Today, it was how calmly you stared out the window as we drove to my friend, Alison’s. It had been a long day, I was later to pick you up from daycare than usual, and you were probably getting tired. But you looked content just staring out the window as we drove farther than usual.

Recently, you found how much fun it is to stick your tongue out. When I come in to get you out of your crib in the mornings, you are sticking out your tongue, you stick it out during diaper changes, when I am feeding you, at Pogi, and the best: when I am using that awesome snotsucker.

All of the teachers at daycare tell me in their cute accents how happy you are and always smiling and giggling. You are already very sociable. You smile at all of the ladies at church. You laugh at kids. You love your family and recognize them already. My favorite is how much you laugh for your cousins.

You also laugh all of the time at Pogi. And Pogi seems to enjoy it. When we get home in the evenings, we will sit on the carpet and play fetch with Pogi. You laugh. In the mornings, we call Pogi up onto the ottoman after you nurse to pet him. You laugh. When we hang out together on the weekends, Pogi is always nearby. He often comes up to greet BOTH of us, not just me, the adult. I hold your hand out for you and Pogi rubs up against it purring. This makes you smile, one of your wide, gummy smiles, drool cascading down your onesie. Pogi can’t wait until you can yank on his tail all of the time, I’m sure of it.

This week, you have been sick and it makes me feel sad, but you do not act particularly sad. You had a fever last week and now you have a barky cough. I hear you coughing during the night. Your nose is so stuffy or runny that it makes it hard to nurse at times. I know it bothers you and you get fussy, but if I hold you up and make a goofy nose with my mouth, you almost instantly smile back at me. This is when you smile cry. You want to be happy, I can tell, but you don’t feel well. Your dad blessed you to be of good cheer in your baby blessing and every day I see that is true. I am so happy for that just as I told your Aunts Natalie, Annabel and Bethany one day when you were only weeks old. My biggest want for you is for you to be happy.

We shared a lot of smiles and laughs today on your 6th-month birthday. It was a fun morning of getting ready, petting Pogi, chatting on the way to daycare, visiting friends after daycare, getting your 6-month gift (a jumperoo! thanks Alison), eating oatmeal for dinner, standing in the bathroom for a steam shower, taking a bath in the kitchen sink, getting fussy while I gave you some Tylenol, immediately stopping that fussing when I opened your bedtime book, banging the pages while reading about sheep and “the whole wide world is going to sleep”, then nursing and rocking you to sleep.

Sleep well, little man and here’s to another 6 months of me figuring out what I am doing and you happily, cheerily going along with me. Love you!