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Amy is TWENTY TWO!

According to my calculations, taking into account all the geeky things I take into account, at 13:22 UTC today (6:22 AM Pacific, 9:22 AM Eastern), Amy will be exactly 22 years old.

Happy Birthday Amy!!!

Amy is TWENTY ONE!!!

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Amy and Brandy are in Las Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday. In the picture above, Amy reacts to dirt in one of Alex’s “Let’s Plant” videos that isn’t published yet. 

As of 07:33 UTC today (12:33 AM Pacific, 3:33 AM Eastern) Amy is officially 21 years old once you take into account leap years, the fact that years aren’t an even number of days, etc. I’m just that kind of geek.

In any case, Happy Birthday Amy! Enjoy your birthday vacation. Sorry Alex and I couldn’t share more of it! But you’ll have more fun without us. :-)

Can’t believe Amy is an ADULT. Crazy. Just crazy.

My kids with their kites

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Amy is TWENTY!!!

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We no longer have a teenager! How amazing is that?

According to my calculations, which take into account time zones, the fact that a year isn’t an even number of days, leap years, and all that fun stuff, at the moment this posts…  2015-10-21 01:44 UTC (6:44 PM on the 20th Pacific, 9:44 PM on the 20th Eastern) Amy will be exactly 20 years old. TWENTY!

<Insert bad joke about paying rent here.>

Happy birthday Amy! It is an honor to have you as my daughter. Love you!

Meet our new dog Miley

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We lost our dog Roscoe in April. We have all felt the emptiness of the house since then. It affected all of us, but I think Alex most of all. He had never known life without a dog in the house. He mostly dealt with it by ignoring it, but he would sometimes talk about it, and it was clear he missed his dog. And wanted a new dog. And to be honest, I think we all did, although it took us a few months to be ready for it. Alex had stopped saying that he wanted to name the new dog Roscoe and paint it to match Roscoe’s coloring so that we could forget Roscoe died. He now just mentioned having a new dog.

So we recently agreed that maybe it was time to look. Amy found Miley listed at a local private shelter (homewardpet.org) several weeks ago. The picture above is the one she was listed with. The text said:

This gorgeous girl with the big grin is Miley! This sweetheart has been at the shelter too long! To help Miley find a forever home, we will include a free dog started kit – including a blanker, bowl, toys, and other supplies – with her adoption. We have also reduced her adoption fee. Miley is a happy and outgoing five year old Pit Bull Terrier. She is friendly and social with all the people she meets. She would likely do well with younger kids, as long as they don’t mind a big, wiggly companion! Miley loves to play and explore. She would love a home with a family that would enjoy taking her on lots of walks, and maybe even some other fun stuff like hiking! Miley has a big personality and can be a bit selective about her dog companions. She seems to be best matched with easygoing male canine friends. Miley is looking for a cat-free home. If you have been searching for a sweet, affectionate, and engaging companion, then stop in and meet Miley. She loves making new friends!

Amy fell in love immediately from the listing, and kept bugging us about going to visit Miley. Over the last month, we coincidentally found two separate stray dogs who we took care of as we worked to find and return them to their owners. Both were successfully reunited with their people in less than 12 hours, but I think having them in the house for even a short time convinced us that maybe it was indeed time.

So Amy asked again about seeing Miley, who was still there, weeks after Amy initially saw her picture and description. We all agreed it was OK to go visit. Brandy and Amy met her last Friday, and Amy came away even more enthusiastic, with Brandy giving a thumbs up as well.

So Alex and I joined Brandy for a second visit on Saturday. Alex was bouncing off the wall with excitement. And Miley PLAYED WITH HIM! They played fetch a bit (sort of) and Miley reacted well to having a crazy bouncing sometimes slightly rough almost six year old running around. She remained calm the whole time, and was even a bit affectionate with us. Alex took a long time to work his way up to actually saying it, but he wanted a dog, and he wanted this dog, now!

She is an older dog, and actually has a few minor health issues, requires medication, etc. She had been at the shelter almost six months since having been found as a stray, and nobody had adopted her yet. I honestly probably wouldn’t have even looked at her without Amy’s prodding either. But it seemed she needs us. And we often end up with the pets that need us, rather than the pets we would pick if we wrote up a description of what we thought we wanted. And so far it has always worked out well.

So we brought her home Saturday afternoon. Technically we are on a two week trial period. We haven’t officially adopted her yet. So I hadn’t posted. But the trial is going very well. She puts up very well with everything Alex dishes out. She is getting more affectionate with us by the day. She follows us around and is eager to get attention, from just sitting with us to actually playing.  (Although she hasn’t yet played as long or as hard as she did when we visited at the shelter… I think she was trying to impress us to get the call to go home.)

Most importantly Alex got down on the floor and talked to her in “dog” and Alex says that Miley told him that she loves it here and wants to stay.

Which I think really means that Alex really desperately wants her to stay. He is so thrilled and happy to have a dog in the house again. He has been barely containing his joy for days now.

So I think absent some shocking event in the next week and a half, Miley is here to stay.

So welcome Miley. :-)

[Update 2015-09-10 00:40 UTC to add a word that was missing.]

Goodbye Roscoe. Good Dog!

Almost exactly three days ago as I post this, we lost our dog Roscoe. He was an old dog for his size, so we knew we didn’t have too long, but he didn’t have any obvious health problems, so we thought we had a little while longer. He had gotten slower with age, and in the last few weeks he had gotten a little bit grumpier, but otherwise he was acting normally up through Sunday afternoon. After dinner we realized we hadn’t seen him in a little bit, and he hadn’t come in from the backyard to beg for the last bites of our food like he usually does. We found him curled up in a hole he dug under his favorite bush, unwilling to move. With some effort we got our old 100 pound dog into the car to an emergency vet.

The news was not good. He was bleeding internally from a previously unknown tumor. There were no good treatment options and an impossible prognosis, with very little chance of meaningful recovery. They made a strong recommendation that we end it right away rather than let him suffer.

Brandy and I had a little time to say goodbye before we let Roscoe go. We pet him and told him we loved him and that he was a good dog, and then he was gone.

It has been a rough three days. Roscoe has been an important part of our family for nearly a decade. He was a funny dog, very smart in many ways, seeming to sometimes understand full sentences and do various clever things, but still running to the door to bark whenever a doorbell rang on TV. The early days we had him were very rough. He was a bit wild, and very anxious. He was a rescue dog, and his experiences before us apparently were not the best. And he caused our family some pain at the beginning. By the time Alex came, he had calmed down a lot, but we were still a little worried.

Our fears dissipated quickly though, as he seemed to know what he had to do, and he became an incredibly patient dog, tolerating an unruly small child better than we could ever have hoped. Alex has never known life without Roscoe, and they were often inseparable. Alex’s first word was “dog”.  Roscoe was his brother and best friend. Roscoe’s job was to take care of this little guy, and Roscoe knew it from the start.

Since a few hours after Roscoe died, I have wanted to do this post, including sharing some of the best pictures and videos of Roscoe. But narrowing down the many hundreds of pictures we had was extremely emotional, and I could only do it for a few minutes at a time. I wanted to get it down to just 40 or so, about the size of the monthly family pictures posts I sometimes do. But after getting it down to 100, I decided I was done. This post is mainly for family and friends who knew Roscoe, and a few extra pictures are OK. So here are 89 pictures, 10 videos, and 1 picture with audio, in chronological order.

This is Roscoe’s life with us. We miss you so much buddy.

2006

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2006-09-15 04:33 UTC: This was the picture Brandy found online when looking for a rescue dog to adopt.  Brandy knew this was the right dog almost immediately, and we went to the shelter looking specifically for Roscoe, which was the name that had already been given to him by the people where he was.  He had been found wandering alone and no family came to look for him. He had already moved a couple of times between shelters.  They said they guessed he was probably about 2 years old at the time, although based on behavior, he might have been a little younger.  We visited him, and he ran around in circles and barked, without interacting with us all that much. We picked him anyway.  He hopped right in the car to head home.  The rest of 2006 was a bit rough honestly. There were some very hard times with him. One time in particular.  But we stuck with it, and with him.

2007

DSCN0016.JPG2007-03-21 05:34 UTC – After a few months though, he was settling in and calming down a bit. He was still a bit hyper, but he was part of the family now. And he always wanted to cuddle.

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2007-10-14 14:43 UTC – In fact, he was pretty sure he was a lap dog. He never had any idea how big he was.

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2007-10-26 17:15 UTC – He would just sit near you and stare up at you with those big brown eyes, looking for attention and love.

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2007-12-14 18:35 UTC – And if he could sit between two of us, so much the better.

2008

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2008-08-14 23:43 UTC – Almost two years in, and he still thinks this is an awesome way to sit with us.

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2008-11-21 06:48 UTC – There is audio that goes with this picture!  Be sure to hit play on the audio player right below the picture! One of the things that Roscoe would do is “sing” with us.  Sort of a moan, howl, yodel, mooing sort of thing. It wasn’t every day, every week, or even every month, but every once in awhile he would respond to one of us talking or saying something, then before you know it, we all doing it together. Sometimes we would start it, sometimes he would start it. This isn’t the best example, but is the first one of these we managed to get a recording of. There is a lot of Amy and I making noises too.

2009

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2009-02-02 01:01 UTC – Roscoe didn’t do many tricks, but he occasionally would engage in fun poses. (Later on, Amy did have him sitting and rolling over for food, but I’m not sure I ever got any good pictures or videos of that.)

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2009-02-25 03:14 UTC – Nothing is better than snuggling with your people.

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2009-03-27 07:09 UTC – Roscoe wasn’t the kind of dog who “played” all the time. But every one in awhile he got into a really playful mood and would want to run and chase and be chased. This was one of those times, as he was getting poised for dashing up and down the hallway…  and out of the hallway, round and round the living room, always followed by a final mad dash into the back yard.

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2009-04-02 01:35 UTC – We didn’t do it often, but when we did, Roscoe liked his car rides, and wanted to always watch everything going on outside. As long as we didn’t go on bridges over bodies of water. Water kind of scared him.

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2009-04-11 02:00 – Something else we didn’t do nearly enough. Go off to a nice park with Roscoe. He liked it. We liked it. But we rarely seemed to find the time.

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2009-08-14 01:50 UTC – Both at our old house (shown here) and our new house, Roscoe would sometimes just spend hours hanging out on the back porch, checking out whatever was going on. Or looking at the door asking to be let back in.

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2009-08-22 00:51 UTC – Look at those eyes! He often looked so concerned or worried. Brandy always would say “He’s a hound! That is how he is supposed to look!”

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2009-09-09 07:29 UTC – Here he is sitting like a person again. Sometimes he’d just do that.

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2009-09-09 15:27 UTC – He loved the big back yard in our old place. He probably spent almost as much time outside as inside. But sometimes he would just sit and stare at the fence. Could never tell what exactly was going on in his head.

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2009-09-15 04:17 UTC – And then there was Alex! We had told Roscoe that Brandy was going to have a puppy, and he had become very protective of her while she was pregnant, so we think he understood and knew what to expect. This is the first picture i have of Roscoe and Alex together.

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2009-09-26 22:15 UTC – “I’m just going to sit in my favorite chair. Hey, why is it so lumpy? Oh well, who cares, still comfy!”

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2009-10-23 05:25 UTC – The whole family together. Alex is clearly not quite sure what to think of Roscoe.

2010

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2010-01-03 21:12 UTC – Alex still pretty suspicious here. Roscoe tolerating.

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2010-04-25 19:48 UTC – Caught while tramping through the back yard. He must have been up to something!

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2010-05-13 01:25 UTC – Roscoe wants to be let in. Alex wants to help. But Alex isn’t quite able to operate the door quite yet.

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2010-05-23 23:00 UTC – Alex’s curiosity and desire to play with Roscoe is overwhelming. Roscoe allows it.

2010-11-19 ??:?? UTC – The first video I’ve included here. Be sure to press play.  Alex thinks Roscoe needs some tissue.

2011

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2011-04-24 00:13 UTC – Just chilling together on the back steps.

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2011-04-29 16:28 UTC – Alex is about to head down the slide. Roscoe watching out for him as usual.

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2011-05-08 22:21 UTC – They would often explore the backyard together.

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2011-05-22 00:51 UTC – Partners in crime. This was the bin where all the dry dog food was kept. Alex’s job that he did almost every night was give Roscoe two scoops from the bin. Into roscoe’s bowl. But this night, they conspired together and opened and knocked over the bin so Roscoe could have as much as he wanted.

2011-07-25 01:30 UTC – The first of several videos in a row now. Roscoe and Alex play together in the grass. Well… Alex tries to play with Roscoe. Roscoe remains aloof and eventually walks away.

2011-08-05 19:40 UTC – Alex discovers the hose. Which Roscoe loves to attack. Which is just so funny!

2011-09-24 15:18 UTC – Now at our new (current) house, Roscoe gets to walk the dog for the first time. At first, and for a long time, we used two leashes. One for Alex to hold, and one that I or another adult would hold. This worked very well and Alex loved it. Roscoe was fine with it too. He didn’t care, he got his walk! From this point for quite a long time, one of Alex’s favorite activities was walking Roscoe. Since Roscoe had a fenced back yard, he often just did his business there, so walks were not as regular or as often as they should have been. But when we did walk, everybody enjoyed it.

2012

2012-01-17 17:12 UTC – Playing in the snow would soon become one of the favorite things Alex and Roscoe would do together. In the first of these in our new house, Roscoe and Alex started out in the back yard checking everything out. But Roscoe was done before Alex was.

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2012-01-19 20:25 UTC – On a quiet snowy day, with everything shut down, Alex takes charge of BOTH leashes!

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2012-05-13 17:35 UTC – A few months later in the Spring, he would sometimes even go solo with just one leash! Under close supervision of course. But Roscoe was almost always very good and followed Alex’s lead and didn’t pull or run. Uh, unless he saw another dog. Then Daddy would insist on taking over.

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2012-07-18 04:24 UTC – Oooh! Grandma Ruth visiting! Roscoe’s favorite person who didn’t live with us!

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2012-07-24 21:24 UTC – Roscoe would stick close to Alex, even when Alex was busy playing with his trains.

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2012-07-31 15:12 UTC – Another ride in the car! He was going into the vet for a little bit of surgery, but he came out just fine!

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2012-08-26 22:28 UTC – Roscoe very rarely played with toys, but this was one of those times. Alex would throw the squeaky bone and Roscoe would go get it. He never learned the bring it back part of fetch, but would give up the bone when someone kept to take it. Sometimes after a little playful keep away. Alex and Roscoe tossed around the bone for several minutes. Then Roscoe was done.

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2012-08-28 06:57 UTC – Excited that Grandma Leslie is visiting and paying attention to him.

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2012-09-02 19:32 UTC – Um… Alex decided that when Roscoe licked him, the right thing to do was lick back. After all, that is how dogs kiss. And he was going to pretend he was a dog too. He also extended this to be how he tried to greet people. This was not always appreciated. “Daddy, lick our tongues together like I do with Roscoe!” Uh, no. No thanks. Really.

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2012-09-20 06:12 UTC – I don’t know exactly what was going on here when I caught them, but they were clearly up to no good!

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2012-12-05 02:48 UTC – When Amy sits down to work on her computer, Roscoe decides that would be a good time to cuddle on her hand.

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2012-12-19 05:46 UTC – Sometimes Roscoe wanted to get just a bit TOO involved in playing with trains. Alex complained Roscoe wouldn’t play right and would try to shoo him away, or put obstacles in the way so Roscoe couldn’t walk over and lie down on top of the trains. But Roscoe often did anyway.

2013

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2013-03-26 03:43 UTC – Squishy dog face. Alex and Roscoe both comfy on Mommy’s lap.

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2013-03-26 17:09 UTC – “What? Why are you looking at me?”

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2013-03-26 17:11 UTC – “I’m just lying here relaxing.”

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2013-04-06 21:47 UTC – “I’ll just lie here with you. you don’t mind if I poke your eye do you?”

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2013-04-06 22:41 UTC – “Is this picture going online?”

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2013-06-04 02:57 UTC – A boy and his dog. You can’t even see their faces, but I think this is my favorite picture of the whole bunch. It just captures the closeness of Roscoe and Alex’s relationship perfectly. In one of their good moments. They really were best friends.

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2013-08-05 05:23 UTC – Of course, seeming them being friends from the front is nice too.

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2013-09-12 06:36 UTC – I have a lot fewer pictures of Roscoe and me together. But when he got a chance, he really liked to cuddle with me too.

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2013-10-26 21:15 UTC – Sometimes walking the dog is less exciting than others.

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2013-12-20 17:17 UTC – More snow! One of Roscoe’s absolute favorite things was rolling in the snow. The deeper the better! He would just jump in and roll, roll, roll! Alex would talk all summer about how important it was that we get snow and walk Roscoe in the snow. To the point where in years where it looked like we might not get real snow, we started to make plans to take Roscoe up to the mountains for that walk. We never had to do that, but a couple years it came close!

2013-12-20 17:19 UTC – A video this time, of a nice walk in the snow!

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2013-12-29 06:49 UTC – “What, this Thomas couch thing wasn’t supposed to be my bed?”

2014

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2014-02-09 17:49 UTC – Sometimes when you are walking the dog, you drop the leash and have to run to catch it! Roscoe hadn’t made a run for it in a dropped leash situation since 2006 though, and even when he’d occasionally let himself out for a walk, we’d find him idly walking nearby, almost always on one of our usual walking routes, and he’d come running when called.

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2014-02-22 01:12 UTC – “This footrest is for my head, right?”

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2014-02-22 18:25 UTC – “I gotcha covered buddy.”

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2014-03-12 00:15 UTC – Just a nice pic.

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2014-03-16 20:47 UTC – Sharing Ducky.

2014-04-09 01:14 UTC – Forget about WALKING the dog, it is time to RUN!

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2014-04-12 07:39 UTC – This one time, I was heading to bed, only to discover that Alex had spilled something on the bed. It was late, I didn’t want to deal with it beyond throwing a towel over it, and I went to lie down on the floor of my office. Roscoe almost immediately lay down beside me, put his arm around me, and fell asleep. Awww…

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2014-04-27 23:47 UTC – More running with the dog!

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2014-05-13 20:06 UTC – Big hug!

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2014-05-27 03:07 UTC – Looking cool wearing those sunglasses!

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2015-06-07 18:09 UTC – “Hey kid, that iPad thing is boring, but I’ll still sit with you, cause you’re my boy.”

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2015-06-23 01:11 UTC – Limbo!!

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2014-06-29 23:31 UTC – Alex was pretty sure washing the dog would be great fun. Roscoe was pretty sure it would not be.

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2014-07-20 00:20 UTC – A nice lick on the mouth for his boy.

2014-07-25 19:57 UTC – Alex sings with Roscoe for awhile, then leaves and fetches the leash to invite Roscoe for a walk… upstairs… to get me. We went for a walk immediately after I stopped recording.

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2014-08-02 03:06 UTC – Friends trotting down the street together barefoot.

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2014-09-20 23:22 UTC – When we got him, Roscoe was afraid of water. Especially lakes and streams. Later he would tolerate going near them if he had to. But he would never PLAY in the water. Until we went on a hike to a nearby lake and Alex asked him to play. “Come on Roscoe, come in!” Alex and Roscoe frolicked in the water together at the edge of the lake for a couple minutes. I was so shocked that I didn’t manage to get a picture until Roscoe was done and jumping out.

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2014-10-05 00:23 UTC – Time for another bath for Roscoe! Uh, sorry. Shower. Alex was very particular that this was a shower and not a bath.

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2014-10-14 06:39 UTC – We would find them like this SO often.

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2014-11-08 20:23 UTC – “What? What are you looking at? I’m just sitting here!”

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2014-11-24 04:44 UTC – Just hanging on the cough with Brandy and Alex.

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2014-11-29 18:14 UTC – Lick, lick, lick.

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2014-12-07 20:32 UTC – Sitting with Daddy.

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2014-12-07 20:38 UTC – Alex wanted in on the picture too, but Roscoe was getting tired.

2014-12-08 16:49 UTC – Alex, Roscoe and I “sing” together for a little bit. i started taking snapshots for the last bit of the video, not realizing it would interrupt the video itself. Sorry about that…

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2014-12-31 06:33 UTC – More just hanging out on the couch. This happened a lot. It was always cute.

2015

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2015-01-06 04:19 UTC – Just more Alex/Roscoe cuddling

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2015-01-12 05:29 UTC – “Maybe these iPad things are OK after all.”

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2015-01-12 05:54 UTC – Amy gets couch time with Alex and Roscoe too.

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2015-01-12 21:09 UTC – Years later, this was STILL Roscoe’s favorite chair. But as he got older, it was harder for him to jump up into it, so I gave it to him as a bed.

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2015-01-22 09:33 UTC – Amy caught this middle of the night picture of Roscoe, Alex and me all fast asleep in a big puppy pile. Just the way Roscoe liked it.

2015-01-29 00:29 UTC – In this video Alex talks to Roscoe about how much Roscoe loves him. That Roscoe loves Alex more than Amy, more than anyone else does. This is all about how important they were to each other. Not too long after this video, a couple weeks maybe, I was having a conversation with Alex and mentioned that Roscoe was an old dog, and we wouldn’t have him forever. Alex told me: “Roscoe can’t die. Roscoe loves me SO MUCH, he would never leave me! So he can’t die.” Oh, Alex, I can’t express how much I wish things worked that way. But they don’t. Breaks my heart.

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2015-01-30 05:06 UTC – Roscoe was also very attentive when Alex was playing Minecraft. He presumably wanted to learn how to play himself. Uh, or maybe it was the slice of pizza on the desk next to Alex. Nah…

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2015-02-02 23:15 UTC – Just more Alex and Roscoe being loving.

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2015-02-02 23:16 UTC – You can tell Roscoe is getting to be an old man, and that he really just wanted to rest most of the time. But even when Alex was being noisy and rough, Roscoe would always come back to be with him.

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2015-02-03 07:16 UTC – Just more family cuddling on the couch.

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2015-02-16 19:57 UTC – Um, you know that cushion from the chair that I gave Roscoe as a bed? Well, he made it his own. Ripped the cover to shreds, pulled out the stuffing, made a nest. We let him keep using it as a bed of course. It was his to do with as he pleased, and if that made it more comfortable for him, so be it.

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2015-02-16 20:56 UTC – Always, always, on the alert for potential dropped food, or an opportunity to beg. He KNEW that both Alex and I were suckers and would feed him almost any time. Unless we were eating chocolate. He knew the word “chocolate”. It meant the same thing as “no”. (Since chocolate is bad for dogs.)

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2015-03-01 04:24 UTC – Just another shot cuddling with me.

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2015-03-18 04:46 UTC – Just Roscoe giving one of his looks.

2015-03-18 04:46 UTC – Oh, it is THAT look. Begging for food again…

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2015-03-22 19:02 UTC – Mommy is good to cuddle with.

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2015-04-17 04:51 UTC – We’re near the end now. About 10 days. Of course nobody knows this. Except maybe Roscoe. Meanwhile, Alex just looks into Roscoe’s eyes with obvious affection and adoration. Best friends for life.

2015-04-20 00:00 UTC – At the end of the weekend before Roscoe died, we were doing some work in the front of the house. I had my timelapse camera set up to catch some of it. We got a few moments of Roscoe hanging around with us while we went about our business.

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2015-04-26 19:01 UTC – This is not a great picture of Roscoe. You can see part of him there. But my timelapse camera in my office caught just a short bit as I came up to my office for something, did it, and left again. This was the last photographic glimpse of Roscoe before he was clearly not doing well. In those few short minutes in real life, just a second or two on the timelapse, Roscoe followed me in and lay down at my feet. When I left, he left with me. Very often when I was home, especially when Alex was otherwise occupied, Roscoe would follow me, and sit with me wherever I happened to go.

He didn’t start out that way, but he became extremely loyal and loving, and always wanted to be with us. He would do anything for his people, especially Alex.

He was a good dog. A great dog. We miss him so much.

Goodbye Roscoe. Good dog! We love you.

Pics from Jan 2015

1027 pictures for the month. First pass got it down to 80. Next to 48. Then finally to the 31 here.

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2015-01-01 07:58 UTC – Sometimes waiting for the new year is not fun.

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2015-02-01 08:04 UTC – Then the fireworks start.

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2015-01-01 08:07 UTC – Then everybody was happy again. And it was 2015!

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2015-01-02 02:07 UTC – For our anniversary, Brandy painted the planets as fruit. It is on the wall in my office now.

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2015-01-03 00:02 UTC – We had to go to the courthouse in Seattle to pick up some documents. It has some pretty floors.

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2015-01-03 00:08 UTC – We got there and back via the Bus/Train tunnel under Seattle. That was fun.

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2015-01-03 04:35 UTC – Alex still prefers to wear his pants on his head instead of on his legs. We can usually get him to confine this fashion choice to home… usually.

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2015-01-06 04:19 UTC – As usual, Roscoe is very patient. He is a good dog.

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2015-01-09 13:34 UTC (picture by Brandy?) – Mike is a good skink too. But he doesn’t get to play with Alex much.

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2015-01-09 21:50 UTC (Picture by Brandy) – We finally got Amy a new used car to replace the one totaled in November. She looks thrilled.

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2015-01-09 21:51 UTC (Picture by Brandy): OK, that’s better.

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2015-01-09 22:28 UTC – It is a Pontiac Aztek.

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2015-01-10 23:54 UTC – Grandma Ruth helps Alex with a new Lego set.

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2015-01-10 23:55 UTC – Sara really wants to help!

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2015-01-11 19:59 UTC – Not sure exactly what we were watching here, but Alex was obviously impressed by it.

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2015-01-12 05:04 UTC – Alex’s obsession with Minecraft increased in January. Mostly with Pocket Edition in Creative mode, although not always. More often than not though, this is not a solo endeavor, but includes several family members playing together. Here Alex and Amy work together while I watch.

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2015-01-12 05:29 UTC – Roscoe sometimes plays with the iPad too. For sufficiently broad definitions of “plays”.

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2015-01-12 05:53 UTC – Here are Alex and Amy playing Minecraft together from the other side of the screen.

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2015-01-12 05:54 UTC – Roscoe wants to participate, but it is just so sleepy in here.

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2015-01-13 08:33 UTC (Time when I got the picture, not when it was taken, Picture taken by Domography Photography) – Amy got a pro picture of herself for some reason. Came out great!

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2015-01-15 14:27 UTC – Amy wanted to go to the annual company party with me and Brandy, but each person is only allowed one guest, so I had to ask if someone else at work would have Amy as a guest.  So she made a sad face. We found a volunteer. So Amy would be able to go.

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2015-01-17 02:52 UTC – But before party time, Alex was Minecrafting as usual. Here he built “a statue of Daddy”. He had my Minecraft avatar stand in front of him as a reference while he built the statue.

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2015-01-18 04:34 UTC – At the party, Amy engages in one of the art activities.

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2015-01-18 05:37 UTC – Brandy and Amy wanted to go to the party for the music. The opening band was “Walk the Moon“. Amy ended up with their set list hand written on a plate they threw into the crowd.

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2015-01-18 06:15 UTC –  The main band was “Weezer“.  This is Rivers Cuomo. He looks like a normal dude.

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2015-01-18 06:15 UTC – This is Brian Bell. He looks scary. But Amy ended up with one of his guitar picks that was thrown to the crowd anyway. Yup, two souvenirs from the show.

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2015-01-20 05:12 UTC – Meanwhile Alex continues to build more and more elaborate things in Minecraft. This was a roller coaster he built, including a station where you get in and out, a ticket stand, etc.

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2015-01-22 09:33 UTC (Picture by Amy on my phone) – One night Amy found me, Alex and Roscoe like this on the couch.

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2015-01-26 06:58 UTC – Sometimes though, you don’t even make it to the couch.

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2015-01-27 21:00 UTC – Oh yeah, Brandy also got completely obsessed with Minecraft and spent many hours building things. This was one of her houses.

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2015-01-30 05:06 UTC – Roscoe looks on as Alex continues Minecrafting at the end of the month. This time on the full computer version. Still creative mode, not survival mode very often yet. But February awaits.

Pics from Dec 2014

979 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 61. Second cut down to the required 31 for December. Here we go…

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2014-12-01 02:47 UTC – Alex shows that he knows how to use chopsticks.

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2014-12-05 23:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy installed a brand new sink!

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2014-12-07 20:32 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Roscoe is pretty sure he is much smaller than he really is. He is the right size for a lap dog, right?

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2014-12-07 20:38 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Of course, there was one person who noticed they were not in the picture, and they felt they needed to be. So we made room.

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2014-12-08 00:30 UTC (posted earlier) – Alex celebrates the picking of the Christmas tree.

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2014-12-08 16:51 – Alex watching Roscoe as Roscoe contemplates if he should get out while the getting is good.

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2014-12-09 06:39 UTC – This IS what stockings are for, aren’t they?

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2014-12-09 20:39 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara posed by some of my mom’s Christmas decorations

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2014-12-10 01:17 UTC – Alex kicking back in my home office.

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2014-12-11 04:02 UTC – And in the lobby during one of Amy’s performances for school.

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2014-12-12 06:09 UTC – A Lego creation by Alex.

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2014-12-17 04:19 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy took Alex to the bookstore. He got mad at her about something. He decided to sit at his own table. Then he fell asleep with his head down on the table.

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2014-12-20 01:20 UTC – Alex in my office playing Minecraft… which in December was rapidly on the way to displacing Portal 2 and Trainz Driver for the “favorite computer game” crown.

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2014-12-21 01:59 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara and Alex playing at Grandma Ruth’s house.

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2014-12-21 03:27 UTC – Alex gets into giggle fits when Sara licks him.

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2014-12-24 05:49 UTC – Excitement builds! Christmas approaches!

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2014-12-24 13:05 UTC – Regardless of the excitement, I’m not sure I would choose to sleep with my head by this part of the dog. But it was just fine for Alex!

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2014-12-24 20:12 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara got a new bed as an early Christmas present. She liked it!

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2014-12-25 05:56 UTC – For the first time this year we put lights on the outside of the house!

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2014-12-25 05:56 UTC – The lights were color shifting, so there were different colors and patterns every few seconds.

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2014-12-25 08:11 UTC – As he prepares for bed on Christmas eve, Alex surveys the presents. In our family, everybody opens one present on Christmas eve. Here Alex has picked the one for me to open… one of his gifts for me of course. (It was candy.)

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2014-12-25 15:55 UTC (posted earlier) – In the morning, not a creature was stirring, not even a dog…

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2014-12-25 16:00 UTC – The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

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2014-12-25 18:49 UTC – In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there! (OK, some sort of photographic accident, but it could be St. Nick, right? :-) )

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2014-12-25 18:49 UTC – Soon the presents were flowing. Here is Grandma Ruth in the wonderful vest Alex bought for her! I’m sure she’ll be wearing it all over town!

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2014-12-25 19:18 UTC – Amy and Alex worked together opening some presents.

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2014-12-25 19:20 UTC (picture by my mom) – I relax and observe the activities while Alex attacks Amy in the background.

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2014-12-26 00:10 UTC – Christmas over, Alex was very insistent that we take a picture of this mutant potato chip.

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2014-12-28 01:37 UTC – Then Brandy broke her phone.

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2014-12-30 04:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – We go out for the evening and Amy and Alex enjoy some pizza. Yes, Alex is wearing pants on his head. As he does.

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2014-12-31 06:34 UTC – As New Year’s approached, time for one last snuggle on the couch to watch TV

Pics from Nov 2014

937 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 50. Second cut got it to the required 1 per day 30 for the month of November.

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2014-11-01 01:13 UTC – Remember I divide things based on Universal time, so in Seattle Trick or Treat is early on November 1st and that is how we start the month. For the second year running, Brandy made Alex a train as his costume. He also wore a conductor-like outfit.

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2014-11-01 02:08 UTC – The train leaves the station with Grandma Ruth right behind.

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2014-11-01 02:14 UTC (picture by Grandma Ruth) – At first, all the stops were like this. Alex insisting on hiding in the train while begging me to do the doorbell ringing to collect his candy.

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2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – Later, after a bit of coaxing, we got him to actually go up and ring the bell.

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2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – After which he would immediately turn and run. He would then hide in the train again.

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2014-11-01 02:56 UTC (Picture by Grandma Ruth) – Eventually toward the end, he finally (reluctantly) did the whole thing himself a couple of times.

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2014-11-01 03:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – This was Amy’s first outfit for Freaknight.

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2014-11-01 04:04 UTC – Trick or Treating over, Alex wants us to inspect some food he found.

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2014-11-02 01:1? UTC (picture by Brandy) – Amy was going to be Chell (from Portal and Portal 2) for her second costume for Freaknight, but it was canceled for this evening. Amy was sad.

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2014-11-02 01:14 UTC – Amy was not the only one in the family into Portal though, and Alex wanted a turn at the Portal Device.

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2014-11-04 20:35 UTC – Alex was working hard in his workshop on new train layouts, but it wouldn’t do quite what he wanted, so he was getting very frustrated. Not much later, this particular layout was no more.

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2014-11-07 00:54 UTC – I got a pic of a nice sunset in Lynnwood, WA.

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2014-11-08 20:23 UTC – Roscoe wants to know why I am taking his picture.

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2014-11-13 21:59 UTC – Alex had a trip to the dentist that required him to be asleep via anesthesia. This was right afterwards. He had roused enough that they were OK sending him home, but he was still basically asleep.

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2014-11-13 22:19 UTC – Once he woke up his first request was McDonald’s. We had to tell him he wasn’t supposed to eat for another hour or so. He was very unhappy about this. He really wanted McDonald’s.

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2014-11-15 21:52 UTC – A few days later though it was all forgotten. He wandered the aisles of a drug store choosing things he wanted, including the hat, glasses and brush, and asked to pose with his loot. (Which he did get to have.)

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2014-11-17 22:42 UTC (Picture by Amy) – Um, then Amy totaled her car. Nobody was hurt except the car.

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2014-11-17 22:?? UTC (Picture by Amy) – Amy was very sad though. Poor car.

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2014-11-20 22:39 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy got to go with Alex to a Thanksgiving thing at his school. Alex made faces while he ate.

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2014-11-22 01:56 UTC – I’ve got Alex pumping gas for me.

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2014-11-23 04:58 UTC – Alex decided that to be warm he needed to join me inside my sweater.

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2014-11-23 18:37 UTC – Alex is starting to REALLY get into Lego. Usually it is vehicles of one sort or another, but this time he made this, which he said was “a dog in his yard”.

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2014-11-27 03:16 UTC – And when he visits Grandma Ruth, he plays with MY old Lego from when I was a kid. You can also see the Mr. Potato Head that was modified to look like my High School Physics teacher Mr. Posa as part of a Rube Goldberg project my senior year of high school.

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2014-11-28 01:45 UTC – Amy is not amused as I attempt to take pictures of her as we get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

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2014-11-28 01:50 UTC – A few minutes later, Alex elaborates on a story he wanted to tell before dinner.

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2014-11-28 05:49 UTC – Later in the evening, food cleared away, Alex starts on some crafts.

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2014-11-28 21:00 UTC – Pair of pants on head as a hat? Check! Second pair of pants in case you lose the first hat? Check! Blanket? Check! One of mommy’s purses? Check! Lets go on an adventure!

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2014-11-29 16:26 UTC – Alex and Roscoe check out the first snowfall of the season.

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2014-11-29 18:24 UTC – Daddy is just cold.

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2014-11-29 18:36 UTC – There wasn’t that much snow, and it wasn’t very good for packing, but this was our pitiful attempt at a snowman. It was about 4 to 5 inches tall.

And thus ends November.

Pics from Oct 2014

941 pictures for the month. First cut got it to 45 pictures. Second cut got it to 27. So then I added some others to get 33. Then one last cut down to 31.  :-)

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2014-10-03 01:21 UTC – Alex still “arting” whenever he gets the chance. This is a nice swirly one.

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2014-10-05 00:23 UTC – Roscoe REALLY needed a bath.

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2014-10-05 23:59 UTC – More art. This time something more realistic. It is a plant growing out of a pot.

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2014-10-06 20:15 UTC – October was also a big comeback month for Portal and Portal 2. Alex had taken a break from them for a few months, but spent MANY hours on them this month!

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2014-10-10 02:46 UTC – We played through both Portal and Portal 2 from start to finish. In both cases Alex did most of the early levels, then handed it over to me. This is right as we finished up Portal 2 and the turrets were singing.

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2014-10-11 03:12 UTC – Alex took my phone and took a bunch of pictures of himself and of his trains. This was the best of the bunch.

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2014-10-11 15:38 UTC – It is important to Alex that his hair reaches his mouth.

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2014-10-12 04:17 UTC – Tortilla Face

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2014-10-13 19:56 UTC – Hat Head

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2014-10-14 05:11 UTC (picture by my mom, time is when I got a copy of this, not when it was taken) – Mom Selfie

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2014-10-14 06:39 UTC – The boys sleeping

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2014-10-15 01:08 UTC – Rainbow from our front porch

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2014-10-15 16:52 UTC – Pumpkin Patch Field Trip!

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2014-10-15 16:53 UTC – A friend from school leads Alex to the good pumpkins

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2014-10-15 17:01 UTC – Alex didn’t want to pick

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2014-10-15 17:10 UTC – So we helped pick one

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2014-10-15 17:59 UTC – Here’s the crew that came in our car as we were leaving. They look thrilled, don’t they?

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2014-10-18 21:35 UTC – We had been talking about how he needed a haircut, so Alex started doing it himself. We caught him after just one cut though. Amy had to take pictures.

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2014-10-18 21:35 UTC (picture by Amy) – One of Amy’s pictures of Alex and the hair he cut off

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2014-10-18 22:18 UTC – Of course, after that, Alex had to cut my hair too.

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2014-10-19 17:55 UTC (picture by Amy) – A squirrel came to visit our back patio

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2014-10-20 02:02 UTC – My mom and Alex work together on an activity book

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2014-10-21 01:24 UTC – If you look REALLY carefully, you might find Alex hiding from us at the store. Hint: Look closely at the four manikins, one of them might not be the same as the others.

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2014-10-25 03:24 UTC – Amy and Shane at Amy’s birthday dinner a few days after her actual birthday

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2014-10-25 05:17 UTC – Amy glares at me as I take a picture of her birthday outfit

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2014-10-25 05:24 UTC – Amy’s birthday cake, made by Brandy

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2014-10-25 05:37 UTC – Alex and Amy eagerly await the presents. Maybe one of them is more excited than the other.

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2014-10-26 05:14 UTC – Crazy Alex attacking me

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2014-10-27 01:58 UTC – Grandma Ruth watches Alex make a drawing for her

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2014-10-27 06:24 UTC – Someone fell asleep in my lap.

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2014-10-31 01:59 UTC (picture by my mom, time is when I got a copy of this, not when it was taken) – Alex getting ready to come home after carving a pumpkin at Grandma Ruth’s house. Ready for Halloween night! (Which happened on November 1st UTC in Seattle, so that will be in next month’s pictures…)