30 March 2012

Laura and Andrew are pleased to announce the adoption of their first son! Born on October 13, 2011 and weighing in at 65 pounds, our little bundle of joy is working his way into the family nicely. 

A purebred Merle Great Dane, we named him "Dolan" about two hours after we met him. We wanted something strong, I liked Deacon, Andrew liked Bishop, we then moved up to Cardinal and settled on Dolan immediately. 

As fate would have it, that's no longer his name. Two hours after we christened him Dolan, Lucy was calling him to play and kept yelling, "Stone! Stone!" I pulled her aside and said, "Would you knock it off? That's not his name and you're going to confuse him." She replied, "Oh, that's definitely his name. He even looks like a stone, and I think he likes it more than Dolan." 

We started to consider calling him by the name our 5-year-old insisted on, and came up with the following points: 
  • He does look like Stone.
  • His head is full of rocks. 
  • He spends most of the day lying on the floor like a boulder.  
So, "Stone" it is. Well, Dolan Stone. Because if we're going with a rock name, "Dolan Stone" and "Rollin' Stone" sound eerily similar.

Stone's first few days left me wondering what the heck we were thinking, adopting a 70 pound 5-month-old. He was just insane, and our house did suffer a bit as we struggled to find some way to keep everyone happy around here. Claire likes to be carried, but Stone required a lot of leash time, he tends to be a toddler-chewer, he was busting down gates and turning the place into a circus, he didn't know that this was actually his home, you get the picture. Complete chaos. 

And now, less than a week in, I am very pleased to report that Stone has calmed down and is figuring out all of this "family man" business. Stone's first 5 months were spent in a crate for about 12 hours during the day and another 10 at night. We're talking 2-3 hours a day out of his box. Coming into a big house full of people and kids was a little bit of a shock, but the way Stone has settled in in this first week is really encouraging. When I called the trainer on Monday I was frantic. I thought we had a massive problem on our hands to be sure. He was biting, having accidents, running like a madman, chewing everything, you name it. 

And then suddenly early Wednesday morning, something just seemed to click and Stone seems to have figured out the family living thing. It looks like he understand that this is his house now, and he really seems to be getting it. He is still confined to the dining, living room and kitchen, as we're trying to get his puppy habits under control, but we couldn't be happier with the potential we see in our sweet guy!

New member of the Family.

Mmmmmm...dog water.

Peanut butter cookies!

The new puppy!

Cookie face!

Walking the dog.

As tall as the pack and play

28 March 2012

Dreaming of an escape!

The girls all fall asleep in strange positions. Tonight C-Fizzle wins the funniest blog-worthy award. How cute is that hand!?! :-)

Love, dad

24 March 2012

Sleepwalking and dreamin' of cats

Imagine my surprise when I went in to give Claire a bottle and Molly's bed was full of toys yet no Molly. :-) She made it to the guest room daybed all by herself! Well, technically she brought along with her one blanket and one stuffed animal! Carrying her back to bed she was mid-dream and kept saying: "The cat" then chuckling a little bit, then "the cat, hehe". When her body hit her bed, she pulled her pillow under her head and with eyes still completely shut said, "hehe, yes it was!".

It was ridiculously cute.

St. Patrick's Day - Gifts

Lucy and her friends Gage and McKenzie were selected on Saturday (St. Patrick's Day 2012) to bring up the gifts at Mass! She was SO cute and held that basket perfectly! You would have thought that she was a superstar celebrity with her mom snapping mobile phone pictures from the back of the church and her dad's eyes watering while watching his little girl grow up sooooo stinkin' fast!

Good job Lucy! We love you!

23 March 2012

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally

Laura began organizing this rally (www.standupforreligiousfreedom.com) about a month ago. With the help of friends, the Fort Worth diocese and social media, she managed to round up about 24 people a day! And we were blessed to be surrounded by 717 faithful and concerned American citizens. There were patriotic songs, prayers, wonderful speeches and homemade signs throughout the crowd. It would not have worked without the never-ending support of our close friends who are truly saints. It was truly a magical moment in our family history as well as the history of our nation and Church. We are very excited to see the Stand Up movement grow nationwide! We were only one of 140 cities that rallied today! We are confident and pray (hard) that the USCCB, all Catholic dioceses and all religious Americans of any faith will continue to Stand Up for Religion Freedom in America.

Below are some photos of event day!

Lucy's fashion show in the driveway before we head to Albertson's for the balloons!

Uncle Michael was in town on business and so we put him to work! He  was on Claire, photography, audio and um misc./everything duty. As always, a saint and tremendously successful at all those duties!

Molly needed a fiesty quote. This one fit her well and throughout the day received lots of chuckles, followed shortly by thoughtful nods like "Yeah. She's got a point!"

Early Rally Preparations. Hugs throughout!

Joined by AWESOME ladies that were FULL of the Holy Spirit!

Joined by AWESOME families who recognize this important cause!

And the crowd kept growing... and growing...

And the signs kept coming... and coming...

And, it took a while but LOOK! MAINSTREAM MEDIA SHOWED UP! The rally was (or will be) featured on GRN 910 (radio) live broadcast! TV NBC, CBS, FOX and newspaper Star Telegram!

Laura and I are personally very grateful to the handful of clergy that supported the event by their attendance. Your presence was not overlooked and it filled the courtyard with even more of the Holy Spirit. 

The OConnors were running around!

Young and Old were in attendance! Stella in her FRONT ROW seat! Rita is hiding behind the balloon capturing some video on her Ipad!

Speaker #1 Michele Wetteland! An AMAZING MOTIVATING speech!

Diane Schwind! Speaker #2. Another great speaker with fantastic points!

Our ralliers, proudly marching on the steps of a Federal Building!

And they cam from the right...

And they came from the left...

The Townsends were present and a HUGE help as always!

The cute little blondies Ms. Stella and Ms. Reese stay cool with a bottle of water!

Ava semi-babysittin' and semi-troublemakin' with the Cooke girls! ;-)

Laura and an amazing group of women without whom, this Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally simply would not have happened! (Absent from photo but major shout outs also go to: Olivia, Tabitha and Angie)