ROAR…not just a Katy Perry song

B is 11 months old tomorrow (sob, where did my baby go??), and even though he doesn’t have the faintest clue what Halloween is, he will wear a costume tonight!  Don’t worry, we’re not going to take him trick or treating.  Our neighborhood is having a little trunk or treat get together for all the neighborhood kids, which should be nice to attend so we can get to know some other kids and parents nearby.

I wasn’t planning on getting B a costume, but then the trunk or treat event came up, and I wandered into a thrift store near our house one day and found him a costume, for under $5.  When I put it on him, I almost died from the cute (and I think he almost died from embarrassment/hatred):

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Doesn’t he make the cutest lion EVER?  he he he.  We tried it on over the weekend (there are pants too) and, as you can see by the look on his face, he was less than thrilled about it.  This little boy hates wearing anything on his head right now, so wearing the fuzzy hood was practically torture in his opinion.  But holy cow is it cute on him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEspecially from the back- even with the blue pants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACowardly lion?

 

It’s big enough that I’m hoping it will fit him again next year, when he will potentially be more tolerant of things on his head.  We will see if he is able to handle wearing it to trunk or treat tonight- if not, I have a back-up plan:

bseahawks

If he won’t tolerate being a lion, then he can go as Marshawn Lynch…in beast mode!  Go Hawks!

Either way- ROAR!!  Win win.

Happy Halloween y’all- have a fun, safe night of trick or treating!

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Life lately

I’d like to start using the blog as a way to remember little things that B does- life happens so quickly and I know the things he does now will be easily forgotten as he gets older…

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I finally put up some fall decorations- nothing too exciting, just some stuff on the mantle.  I did it while B was napping and when I brought him downstairs from his nap he sat there and stared and stared at the mantle.  I love that he’s beginning to notice when things change in his every day surroundings.

This little boy has the BEST sense of humor- he’s enjoying practicing walking right now, and we were walking around the house together.  I would stomp my feet and say “STOMP” and he would just break down in a fit of giggles.  I love his little laugh!!  I can already see the little boy in him coming out too- the other night he was in the bath tub and tooted (or “poofied” as his grandma calls it).  It was quite loud- and made me laugh.  So then he laughed.  Which made him toot again.  And laugh some more.  Oh my goodness.

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Over the weekend we went to a nearby animal sanctuary, and B had a pretty good time.  He didn’t want to be strapped in the stroller (after having just been strapped in the carseat) so I carried him most of the time.  He’s pushing 25lbs which gets heavy after a couple of minutes.  I can’t wait until he can walk!!  I think he really liked the deer that we saw there- he pointed at them a lot, which is his new favorite thing to do.  He also stared and stared at the turkeys and bald eagles.

Then we went to the park and did some swinging!!  His first time on the swings- I think he loved it:

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And that’s life lately- how was your weekend?

A thank you

To the first person who commented on my blog- Kim at Newlywoodwards.  She commented on my post about our new mailbox area:

This looks SO nice. I’ve been begging Ryan to put in a new mailbox for me and it’s been on the back burner. You are killing me. Thinking of just buying one and bringing it home. I love the landscaping around it, too. Just lovely.

Her kind words inspired me to keep writing- someone out there was reading my blog!

Comments mean so much to bloggers- I get so excited when I get an email saying someone has commented on  a post!

This little blog isn’t much yet, but I hope it will be one day.  And I thank all of you who follow along- especially those who have commented.  You are what motivates me to continue writing posts, even when I feel like I have 5 million other things on my plate!

If you’re a blogger, revisit your first blog post and write a letter to your first commenter.   Let them know what that first comment meant to you!  

If you’re not a blogger, leave a comment on someone’s blog. Those comments mean a lot!

Refreshing your towels with vinegar and baking soda- the science behind the idea

Baking soda and vinegar are two staples in my household.  Not only do I use them for their intended purposes (baking and cooking), but also for some unconventional applications as well.

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Distilled White Vinegar
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Y’all already read how I tried (and failed) at using them on my hair.  Sigh.  Still a little hung up on that fail.

I often use them for cleaning around the house- vinegar is a great disinfectant and baking soda is awesome as a deodorizer.  I usually pour a cup of vinegar in with my laundry to boost my detergent’s cleaning power (especially when I’m dealing with diaper laundry) and it works as a natural fabric softener as well.  When my washing machine starts smelling a little…funky…I sprinkle some baking soda in there before I start a load (or I’ll run the washer by itself with baking soda) to get rid of the odor.

One thing I’ve seen (and pinned!) on Pinterest a million and a half times is how to clean your towels using baking soda and vinegar (that link is from 2009- did Pinterest even exist yet??)  I’m not going to walk you through the steps because it’s been written up by a lot of different people and it’s pretty simple to do (and it works!!)  BUT.  Let me give you a tip.   

Don’t try to save time by combining the baking soda and vinegar. 

It won’t work.

Why not, you ask?  Let me put on my chemistry hat for a minute and explain.

Do you remember the volcano experiment from grade school?   The one that combined baking soda and vinegar??  Well, you’re not going to create a volcano in your washing machine (although that could be cool!)
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Errr, maybe not…
When you combine baking soda and vinegar, they react together to neutralize each other (the bubbling, which is carbon dioxide gas being formed).  This is because vinegar is an acid (pH less than 7) and baking soda is a base (pH above 7).  If you were combine equal parts vinegar and baking soda you end up with a solution that’s a neutral pH (around 7). 
So what does that mean?  Your solution of baking soda and vinegar has undergone a chemical reaction and is no longer baking soda and vinegar.  The reaction forms water, carbon dioxide gas (all those bubbles) and sodium acetate.  Sodium acetate is a salt.  Which does you no good as far as cleaning goes.
Bummer right??   I totally wish this didn’t happen so I could save myself a step (because my washing machine takes FOREVER to run a load of laundry, especially on the heavy duty setting).  
There’s my science tip of the day for y’all.  Happy washing, and cheers to fresh smelling towels!!

Monthly photos

I knew before I had B that I probably wouldn’t have time remember to take weekly photos of him- but I figured I could probably handle monthly photos.  It helps that he was born on the 1st, which is a nice reminder!  I’ve been using the chevron blanket I made as a backdrop.  They’re not fabulous (except the first one which is a professional photo), but they’re a fun way to look at how he’s changed with time, and I’d like to think I get better at taking them each time (until he’s rolling over that is).

Barely 1 day old, photo by Bella Baby Photography

1 month old- happy New Year!

2 months old- this photo needs a better angle, but man did he fill out between month 1 and 2!

3 months old- dying of the cuteness. 

These will be so fun to look back at in a year- wow.  What a difference a month makes when you’re tiny!!

Goodbye old friend

On January 3rd, 2013 we said goodbye to Jackson, the big black dog.  He would have been 14 this year- he lived several years longer than we ever thought he would.  His last few years weren’t easy on him (or us)- he had thunder phobia and separation anxiety and was missing 7 teeth due to his antics caused by the anxiety- but he was always loved and we did everything we could possibly do to help manage his fears and keep him healthy. 

Just after Christmas he developed a bad cough, and then soon after stopped eating and started coughing blood.  X-rays at the vet showed he had lung cancer and his lung function was only 10% (!!)  That right there sums him up fairly well- even though he was probably in pain and struggling to breathe for quite awhile, he never showed it.  He was always excited about eating and going on walks, and even chased the ball and wrestled with his younger siblings.  In fact, the morning he went to the vet he still participated in the morning walk.  The vet said there was nothing much we could do to help him- steroids would ease his suffering for a week or so, but then we would be right back to where we started.  So we made the difficult (but correct) decision to have him put down.  He’s now buried with his “brother” Ty (who we lost on our move to Georgia four years ago, also due to cancer) in our front yard.  T marked their graves with large rocks from our backyard and planted some flowers- it’s one of the first things we see every day which is a nice reminder. 

I’m so glad I decided to break out the camera on New Year’s Day, because I got this great shot to show B when he’s older:

Miss you every day buddy!  RIP.

The new normal

Well hey there!  LONG time no blog- I didn’t mean to take a 3 month blogging hiatus, but our latest DIY project has taken up A LOT of my time.  Would you like to see what we’ve been up to?

Meet Mr. B!  This was taken on his 2(!!) month birthday

Baby D (aka Brandon or Mr. B as we like to call him) made his appearance on 12/1/12…at 21:12 (9:12pm)!  I’m a bit of a numbers nerd so that was pretty cool.  He weighed 7lbs13oz and was 20.5in

Showing off his guns

Parenthood has been great, but has thrown us our fair share of challenges.  I seriously admire those parents who can do anything beyond taking care of the baby and themselves.  Babies are a full time job!!  It’s also very hard when all your family lives across the country- there’s no one to help out if something goes wrong.  Luckily we had my parents in town for the first 3 weeks of his life (and Christmas!), and T’s parents are coming to town this week for 2 weeks.  I’m hoping my parents will be coming out often to visit and help out- it sure makes things easier.  I’m secretly hoping they’ll move out here- my sister just moved to NY city, so what’s tying them to the west coast??

Dad, baby and mom getting our Christmas tree.  B is about 2 weeks old here

Holding his Nana’s hand

 For the first 7 weeks of his life, Mr. B did great with breastmilk only…and then one day we found blood in the diaper.  Yikes- talk about scary.  This indicated a potential food allergy- most likely milk/soy.  On top of this, we were battling some reflux issues that started getting worse- lots of spit up and very little sleep for Mr B (and his mommy and daddy).  We had to take him off of breastmilk for 2 weeks to let his tummy heal, while I cut out all dairy and soy from my diet.  So just around the time we were finally settling into some sort of a routine, suddenly we were back to square one- formula feeding (how much do you give him? how often? gas bubbles! stinky diapers!), pumping to keep my supply in tact, medicating him to manage his reflux.  Ooof.  I felt like a brand new parent all over again.  I am very grateful that I was not back at work yet during all of that!!

Baby mullets make everything better, especially when they stick out like a little bird tail

We survived those two weeks- and Mr B is doing great.  Smiling and “talking” away.  He is even back to breastmilk which makes both of us happy (actually it makes all 3 of us happy because formula diapers are serious stinky business folks).  He’s not showing signs of an reaction to my breastmilk, so fingers crossed we’ve cleared that hurdle, as long as I stay off dairy/soy.  Which, by the way, is a great way to lose those pounds gained during pregnancy!!

I go back to work next week (tear) and am having mixed emotions- I’m sad about leaving Mr. B all day with someone else (even though his daycare is amazing and I know he’ll do awesome there), I’m excited to be around adults again and I’m nervous about figuring out another new routine after JUST (sort of) getting the hang of this one.  I am pretty sure the first day I take him to daycare I will forget at least one thing at home and be really late for work.  But we’ll figure it out eventually, just like we do with everything else.  Right?  Right.

Mr B and his daddy, rooting for their favorite team

Anyway, that’s the new normal for us!  I’d like to get back to the blogging world, but seeing as it took me 3 days to write this post, don’t expect great things from me too soon!! 

Baby shower

This past weekend a very good friend of mine threw us a fabulous baby shower, and I just thought I’d share a few of the details.  We had a co-ed/virtual shower- it turned out great, despite some small Skype technical difficulties- but we were able to video conference with a bunch of family and friends from the west coast which was pretty special. 

The decor:

 
The cake (look familiar?)
 
The presents (this child is SPOILED ROTTEN.  And yes, that is a bear riding a motorcycle made out of diapers.  Awesome.):
Another look at the bear because he’s hilarious:
 
 We are lucky to have some very crafty friends and family, and baby D got some beautiful handmade items…
T’s sister made this gorgeous quilt:
A friend of mine from work made these onesies (his name is appliqued along the bottom but I’m not sharing what it is…yet):
And my aunt made these canvases- a fun back story to them.  She designs for Pottery Barn Kids, and made a few mock ups of these canvases for PBK’s spring “neutral nursery” line.  Unfortunately I can’t find the link for them online, but she did send me the catalog page so I’ll try to scan that in and share.  She keeps all her mock ups, and thought we’d appreciate these particular ones in baby D’s room.  They fit in really well- I love them, and love that we have some of her original art in his room!!
See- spoiled ROTTEN.  I spent most of Sunday organizing everything and washing all the clothes/blankets he got.  I can’t believe we have less than 6 weeks until he makes his appearance (give or take a couple of weeks- although I’m hoping he bakes in there as long as possible).  T said the other day- “I can’t wait until he gets here so I have someone to play with.”  Haha- he might have to wait a little while to play with him, but I’m glad to hear he’s enthusiastic!
Just for fun/to end the post- a 34wk belly shot.  I haven’t been good about taking belly pics (all that morning sickness killed that idea really quickly) but I try to do a quick one on my phone every couple of weeks.  I think it’s hilarious that, in certain shirts, I don’t look pregnant from the front but then I turn to the side and BAM- all baby belly.  I also feel like the belly has grown A LOT in the last couple of weeks, although I’ve always measured right on track.  It just seems like it’s more pronounced lately…
 
How was your weekend??

Done.

We did it- this little girl is officially done with Novice agility (forever), and this mama is officially done running around after dogs (in agility) for the foreseeable future:

This is her “I hate wearing ribbons because they are SCARY” face

She was such a good girl this weekend- we haven’t done any agility since May with her, except for a couple of quick practice runs the last two weeks (and I think she would have rather been playing ball).  We had one leg left of her novice jumpers with weaves title to get- and 2 chances to do it.  Saturday we just had a jumpers run, and I left the ring thinking we’d done it on the first try- she was focused and only had 2 faults (which you are allowed in novice), both being handler errors rather than errors on her part.  Then I go look at the score sheet and it shows her eliminated!  What the wha??  The score sheet showed 3 faults PLUS a wrong course (which you are not allowed).  I knew for a fact that was wrong- but had no video of our run to prove it.  Cue the pregnancy hormone surge and before I know it, I’m completely distraught- tears and all (silly, right?)  I managed to talk to the judge (although not until well after our run) and look at the original score sheet (not the computerized one) and there was a mistake in the scoring- definitely no wrong course.  But, still 3 faults.  Without a video to prove it, it was too bad, so sad- try again tomorrow.  But at least I felt a little, tiny bit better- and home we went for the day (where I took a 2 hour nap and woke up feeling a little foolish for my hormonal breakdown).

I went into the second day NERVOUS.  I’d put a ton of pressure on myself to just get this title done- and what if I screwed it up again??  Luckily Ellie was a good girl and I wasn’t a complete idiot handler- she started out as a stinker by running past the start jump (1 fault there), but came back and finished everything else cleanly- hooray!!  2nd place and a new title!  We had 2 more runs later in the day (one for Ellie and one for Kirby)- unfortunately no Q for Ellie as we again had too many faults (although I put those on her, not me- she again ran past the start jump and then jumped off the teeter because it was scary) but she pulled it together on the last half of the course and I didn’t care whether we had a Q or not for that run- she was a good girl the whole weekend and did so great for not having done agility in months.  She added to her wall o’ ribbons at home:

So pretty- the two in the middle are title ribbons.

Kirby on the other hand was wild and rotten all weekend- racing around the ring like a mad man in both of his classes.  Needless to say, he’s not mature enough to handle a trial (I think last weekend was just a fluke or something) and it’s good we’re taking a break for now.  Hopefully once we get back to it, he’ll be more mature and calm- so yeah, we’ll probably be trialing again when he’s 10!!  (FYI, he turned 2 on Saturday) 

This pretty much sums up Kirby’s attitude about this weekend’s trial- actually his demeanor in general.  He stayed like this for a good 5 minutes, getting a shoulder rub and LOVING it.  Weirdo.

All in all the weekend was a success in my book- but now I am one exhausted mama.  I could use a day or two of straight sleep I think! 

How was everyone’s weekend?

How you doin’?

Hi all!  I know it’s been awhile since my last post- I feel like I’ve developed writers block, plus we don’t have a lot of DIY stuff going on right now- and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed with baby stuff!!  But don’t worry- I haven’t had the baby yet (phew) and I am doing great…just boring.

So let’s talk about my furbabies instead of my human baby for a minute.  Kirby, our youngest furbaby, had a big weekend last weekend.  He went to his first ever agility trial to compete.  Pretty exciting.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from him- he’s got the attention span of, well, a 2 year old, and is very easily distracted.  He loves to run and is FAST.  But you can’t help but love (or laugh at) him because he’s just so stinking cute:

Photo by Maggie Fan Photography

We got to the trial and things started off poorly- I got Kirby out of the car and he slipped his collar right off and ran!  Stinker.  Luckily he just ran right towards all the other dogs at the trial and someone caught him right away.  I knew that if I wanted him to do anything I asked, my best bet was the run the crazies out of him, so once we got settled and checked in I marched him off to the nearby dog park. 

About 2 hours after we arrived, he had his first class- Jumpers with Weaves (JWW).  Just like it sounds, this is a course built out of just jumps, with weave poles and sometimes a tunnel or two thrown in.  It’s all about speed.  My expectations were pretty darn low for this class- crazy dog plus 7 month pregnant lady is easily a recipe for disaster.  And you know what?  He exceeded all my expectations.  He stuck with me for the most part, although he had a couple of small zooming episodes, and did everything that was asked of him.  He would have even qualified except we were over time and so we scored an 81/100 (qualifying is 85/100).  SO close.  But I was so proud of his focus!!  Here’s a little video of our run- I wish I could make it bigger because you can’t really see how EXCITED he was to be running in the small video.  That tail was wagging a mile a minute. 

It was a pretty great first run- I wish I could say his second run of the day was equally as awesome but he showed his true colors that time with a major case of the zoomies (although he did do all the obstacles, eventually).  Too much time in between runs and we were both tired.  Well…I was tired.  He was crazy!

See?  Crazy dog.  Tired pregnant lady.  Only one of us looks decent in this pic and it’s not me…but I’m putting it out there anyway! Photo by Dean Lake Photography

So that’s the excitement lately- we actually have another trial coming up this weekend and I’m running both Kirby and Ellie.  30wks pregnant.  Yes, I might be crazy.  If y’all don’t hear from me for another several weeks, you might want to check up on me and make sure I didn’t accidentally have a baby in the agility ring.  Ha.

What have you been up to lately??