Category: Uncategorized

Jan-Feb, 2013 276I took Abigail to her first real dance this evening at the fairgrounds. Our church in Roseburg sponsors the father-daughter dance. I’d guess there were at least 600 other dads and girls there. Abigail was a little shy at first, but after a couple of cookies and sips of root beer, she was dancin’ up a storm!

First dance

It’s March here in Oregon, and that means it’s a perfect time to post a pensive picture of the boy wonder from Fall of 2011.

Quick update

Happy last day of 2011! Valerie and I brought Charlie and Abigail to Sunriver this winter for a 5-day family vacation as we shared a rental with a dozen other family members. It snowed last night, so we went out today with the sled. Abigail had a nice faceplant in the snow but was otherwise very happy with it. Charlie loved his sled rides until I got a little too much momentum and spilled him out on a snowy parking lot. Tomorrow, we return to Roseburg to get ready for the new year. Horray!

Abbie on the sled.


Charlie and Abbie on the sled

Snowbound ho!

Abigail Jane Reinhard was born this afternoon at 1:44 p.m., clocking in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Val and Abby are both doing great, and unlike last time, we moved into the mother baby room several hours after delivery, instead of four days afterward like Charlie. We’ll probably be in the hospital a few nights.

Baby sister!

Here we are, already 2011! Hope you’ve all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! One resolution for our family is to keep this blog updated more often! Charlie is almost two years old, and in two weeks time, we will be adding another small person to our family: Abigail! I’m sure these changes will give us plenty to blog about. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year!

Charlie eyes a Christmas ornament on the tree.

Charlie eyes a Christmas ornament on the tree.

Valerie and I celebrated our first Christmas with Charlie this year. He didn’t care about presents, or even the wrapping. He did like the tape on the wrapping paper, which kept sticking to his fingers. And he really, really liked the tree. Soon, our little family will be moving to Roseburg, but for now, we got to spend Christmas in our little rental in west Eugene. It’s the longest Val and I have lived in any one place together.




Charlie James is 4 months old, and man, are we happy with him! He’s been a fantastic kid so far … he’s sleeping through the nights now (as of three weeks ago), he laughs, he chatters to us when he’s happy and he tracks you with his eyes and moves his head when he sees motion. He also loves baths, which is a good thing because he likes producing massive diaper blowouts which make those baths a prerequisite every so often. The soiled clothes for the evening are now soaking in the laundry room, and Charlie smells like baby shampoo. He’s sleeping now in his basinette … he’s been out since about 9 p.m. He may wake up once for a feeding or he may just sleep straight through … but in any case it’s better than 1 or 2 months ago, when he’d wake up at 2 a.m. and want to play.

Everything else in life is going nicely. Val and I still love the church we’re going to, Val will be done with teaching for the year in another week, I take the bar at the end of July and am finding some decent leads for that first post-law school job. Our new dog Flip is finally starting to adjust to life with the Reinhards, and I decided last week I like him after all (it’s a struggle taking in a 5-year-old dog with bad habits when you’re used to a perfect dog you’ve had for 6 years.) I gave him a haircut this week and he lost about 10 pounds in the process, I think.

I’ll try to put up more Charlie pictures later. The one up top is from tonight’s bath-in-the-sink. (Not that there’s any other kind in CharlieWorld.)

Charlie, lord of the land of Bath Towel.

Right now, Charlie is enjoying the sunshine through the living room window. It seemed like a good day to post some of his bath pictures from the other week. 


Jack, never crabby, investigates the catch of the day.

Jack, never crabby, investigates the catch of the day.


Our wonderful dog Jack has died, after a 6-month fight with lymphoma. He was 8 years old.

No public services are planned, although Valerie and I will be scattering his ashes at the Oregon Coast sometime this week.

He died on Friday the 13th of March. I guess it shows you how hard it was to deal with it … it’s been almost 3 weeks and only now can I write about it. We got two sympathy cards in the mail from the vet yesterday. I hadn’t cried in a week or two, but those cards set me off. The entire staff at the vet’s office had signed it.

If you have to get terminal cancer, lymphoma is far from the worst of the bunch. Jack spent the last 6 months just acting like normal. He would be a bit lethargic for a half day after his chemotherapy regiments, but he’d spring back and be ready to play. The steroids he was on made him gain weight … so the last month he was shuffling around with 15 extra pounds on him, but he was happy, and that was what mattered.

The Tuesday before he died, Jack went disc golfing with us. He was a bit slow walking from hole to hole with us, but he seemed to enjoy himself. On Wednesday, he started rasping, and Thursday it worsened. Still, he insisted on riding in the car with us when we did errands late Thursday afternoon. 

That night was difficult. His breathing got worse, and worse, and he was pacing and unsteady on his feet. Finally at 3 a.m. or so I put a towel down and let him up on the bed. I had to lift him up; he couldn’t walk any more. He started howling. He would try to get up, and stumble, and fall back onto the bed. At 7 a.m., Val and I finally decided we should take him to the vet to put him to sleep, since he was in so much discomfort. He never made it there, though. Jack died as I was lifting him into my car.

I have so many fond memories of Jack. The way he would comfort you when you were feeling lousy. His incredible enthusiasm when you jingled the car keys. His weird habits — like when he went for a walk on a city sidewalk, he would never step on a metal grate or sewer cover. He always, always walked around those objects, no matter how inconvenient it was or no matter how I scolded him. His fear of lightning, and the tragic but comical way he’d run for cover during a thunderstorm, squirming under the futon and shaking like a leaf for hours.

I got Jack the day I graduated college. He lived in Klamath Falls with me, when I had my first newspaper job. I packed him into my Saab when we moved together to Arkansas for a year. He was there for my first date with Val, as we walked him along the Willamette River and I held Val’s hand for the first time. He was there when I walked with Val on the beach near Florence, where I kissed her for the first time, and where I proposed to her 14 months later. He graciously accepted Val’s status as half-owner when she and I got married at the end of 2007. And he managed to stay alive long enough to see Charlie.

Val and I will always be dog people, and there will be many dogs that brighten our lives. But Jack will always be that big dog I wanted as a kid, the one I was never allowed to have when growing up. 

Val and I are both going to miss him.

Goodbye, Jack