34-36 Weeks

There has been a lot going on the last few weeks, it’s no wonder I just feel tired. But they’ve been good, celebratory, fun things. Now, I’m just ready for time to rest and this baby to arrive!

September 20, at 34 weeks, my mom and a good friend (my little sister from college) threw me a baby shower in Charlotte at my mom’s house. It was great to see friends who live there and also family. Thanks to both Mom and MCK for throwing such a cute shower for us! 10712197_861128434834_1285581383_o 10711844_861128479744_2106610325_o

That weekend was a nice, relaxing one where I got to really spend some quality time with my parents and younger sister. We even took a long walk around the neighborhood on Sunday, after which I had a minor scare and this had to happen:10709717_861295090854_692574300_o

I walked, took a hot shower, and should have waiting to put my rings on but out of habit slid them right on my finger and my finger turned purple and started to swell. Thankfully I was able to remain calm, although a part of me wanted to panic, and my dad made me hold a bag of frozen peas above my head until he could pull my band off. The weather has cooled off and I think I could maybe put them back on my finger but I’m playing it safe and wearing them around my neck. I’ve been told this is pretty much unavoidable at a certain point so I’m going with it.

At 35 weeks, P’s friends decided he needed a “baby bachelor” weekend. Basically, just a boys weekend to celebrate (read: commiserate) the loss of his non-parent status. A couple of friends came in from out of town and several local guys participated. Friday night we had a cookout for couples. The boys played golf on Sunday, rented a bus from a random neighbor and went to the Clemson game. And the left-out ladies (boo-hoo, not really) went to Sky Top Orchard on Saturday and had a girls night watching chick-flicks, Hocus Pocus, and eating cheese and fruit. I even stayed at a friends house in the neighborhood so that P could have his true bachelor weekend. I had planned to stay out Sunday too but everyone had to hit the road so we just laid around the house and cleaned up after the party. He had a really great weekend and so did I. It’s funny because now that its football season he’s a lot more social and drinking more and I can’t remember if this is the way football season has always been or if he really is scared that once baby girl is here his life is going to change that much, at least in terms of him being able to watch football with a beer in hand.10395829_862712225904_2789918699571232127_n 10354950_862672011494_4960066155258911656_n

This past weekend – 36 weeks! – two of my very best friends traveled into Greenville for our final baby shower. MD hosted and cooked/baked everything from scratch – avocado salad, apple cake, mac ‘n cheese muffins, butternut squash wrapped in bacon, yum. And ASC surprised me by flying in from New Orleans for basically 24 hours just to attend. She mopped too which was awesome because I don’t think my back would have enjoyed mopping right now. About 15 local friends came to the house and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Afterwards, I should have rested but I couldn’t help but start organizing everything we got and then doing all of the baby laundry up to 3 months that we have. Such cuteness.10686907_864670311884_1604099174425897342_n 10670170_864774587914_3362553692905413350_n 10712775_864774368354_2279781935453507679_n

Yesterday I hit that “I want everything done” mode. Well, not everything, like the touch up painting in the nursery but I wanted all of our duplicate gifts exchanged and our hospital bags packed! After work, I went to Target and Babies ‘R Us to exchange and buy what we needed and them got my bag all packed up to go, except for a going home outfit for me (what do you wear home from the hospital?) and pulled P’s stuff together (just need a bag). It’s only Oct 7, we still have 3+ weeks to go and I’m afraid this month is going to be so hard. Waiting and waiting some more. I’m not the most patient person. I don’t want her to come before she is ready, in terms of health, but I want her to come! I really hope she’s born in October and not November. I think more waiting would just be unbearable!

20 Weeks

Dear Little One,

20 weeks is a big one! You have grown so much and I cannot believe that you are halfway done in there! Last week we had your anatomy ultrasound and everything looked great! The ultrasound tech was really nice and loved your little feet. We had no idea that she did, in fact, check out your gender but since she didn’t say anything we had no idea she was even looking. She wrapped up that “boy or girl” and sealed it in an envelope so I could drop it off at the baker for our big reveal party this weekend. Your dad and I are really excited about finally learning whether you are a girl or a boy – most people think you are a boy but we will see.

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Your dad came up with the idea for the party – Cookie Monster all the way at a little “Cooke-out” at our house. Both sets of your grandparents are coming, all of your uncles and aunts, your cousin, one set of great-grandparents and a great-aunt plus lots of friends who already love you. I might be a little stressed about such an undertaking but will be happy to have so many helpful hands at the house. Be prepared, once everyone knows if you’ll be in pink or blue, I have a feeling the presents will start coming. :)

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Father’s day was this past weekend and I got P a card. He’s been really sweet letting me rest when I need to, lots of hugs and kisses for the belly. Plus, he painted your room last weekend. It’s a pretty blue-green color and I cannot wait to see the sheets your great-grandmother is making. It’s all coming together!

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We have had lots of visitors the last few weeks at the house and all of them always ask about you. Your paternal grandmother and great-grandparents visited a week ago along with your maternal grandparents. It was great to have help cooking, cleaning, and in the yard. Your grandmothers are going to be a big help once you are here helping your mom keep her sanity. And tonight one of my college friends who is living in Switzerland is also coming to visit! We will be definitely using all of our guest sheets this week.photo 2As far as how Mom feels (me), I’m ok. The past week or so I have struggled with bad  moods and just generally feeling in the dumps plus feeling a lot of stress. I don’t know how I am going to leave work when you come but you will definitely come first so I will! My cold/sinus/allergy issues have been bad again and the doctor recommended a nasal spray which I think is helping but I cannot be sure. Nothing seems to make the sniffles, coughing and congestion go away. I’m still working out, walking or going to the gym but my goal is to start making it to yoga on Sunday afternoons, once we have a Sunday afternoon at home with no plans. I think I’ve gained maybe 10 lbs? I’ll find out later this month at my next pre-natal group appointment. Everyone tells me I don’t look pregnant and some days I don’t physically feel it in terms of my belly but when I have on fitted clothes it seems obvious to me. I think you might be hitting a growth spurt today though because my belly has been uncomfortable.

16 weeks

16 weeks

18 weeks

18 weeks

Other random symptoms and comments: no cravings really although I did buy (and ate exactly 1 then forgot about them) Smore’s PopTarts, no stomach sickness (knock on wood), I get sweaty at night especially with my hair down, and I’m loving Snoogle! My main “symptoms” have been the allergy/sinus issues, tiredness in the afternoons/early evenings, and the moodiness. I’m sleeping better again and hope I continue to do so!

So excited to learn more about you this weekend and to celebrate with our families!

 

2014

New Year’s Eve. It’s snuck up on me this year. It kind of feels anticlimactic after all the traveling we did for Christmas (which was great!). I have no desire to go out, fight the crowds, pay for parking (yes, Greenville has spoiled us until recently with a lot of free parking), and also pay inflated prices because of the holiday.  So despite P asking if I wanted to go out to dinner last night I said no.

We have a good friend bringing over his date for dinner which P is handling and some other friends who were just as uninterested in the holiday hoopla coming over after dinner for dessert and drinks. Basically a low key evening. I wish I could enjoy it in my pj’s but it’s not quite that low key. I’m hoping to get home early enough to enjoy a short nap before entertaining so I can stay awake until midnight. Probably wouldn’t be a very good host if we kicked people out of the house early…

Of course, with the close of one year we are all thinking and planning for the one starting. Some people have resolutions, some people have goals, I just have a list.

Here are items I want to get accomplished on the house:

1. Refinish our hardwood floors. Due to previous owner damage and fairly new dog-digging-to-China damage, our floors desperately need some TLC. I am debating whether to just do the affected areas or all of it (probably about 1,000 square feet-ish). Do it ourselves or hire someone professional – pros & cons to both.  But after some new deep scratches this has moved up the list.

2. Build out our guest room closets, both of them. Or guest room closets are good sized but have no organization other that top shelf and long hanging bar. I’m hoping will build/install some shelving in half of each closet so that we can better organize and store items, especially downstairs which is literally just a heap of extra towels and sheets.

3. Back deck. I think P and my dad (who is finishing up his own new deck) can do most of this work themselves although we will hire professionals to redo the frame and base since their are some structural issues and it’s pretty high off the ground. This will be the 3rd and final deck we need to do until we decide what to do about the one below it off the basement. Currently, there are no issues there so it’s not on the list.

4. I want a new stove and a new dishwasher.

5. Finally remove the wallpaper in the little bedroom and paint.

These projects mean saving money. So that is going to be the big goal for 2014 – save. P is actually much more of a spender than myself so it will be us dually establishing and keeping to a budget. Last year I started moving a specific amount into savings every month. This year I’ll probably increase it.

Projects also mean that we need to get it together, and just start them. Whereas the list has decreased A LOT since we bought our little fixer-upper, a few of these are pretty time consuming and require time and energy. Both items, I feel like we are lacking in these days. Fortunately, we do not have the travel plans we did the last several months this spring so fingers crossed we can just do them.

Other general things I want to focus on this year is just being less stressed and more positive. This is a constant battle for me – just be happy. Why am I stressing when everything is going well?  Constant character battle – 2014, hopefully will become that much easier to smile, relax, and appreciate all that life has to offer.

Happy New Year!  Don’t forget to develop a plan for your goals for 2014. With a plan, success is much more likely!

Happy Thanksgiving

I do like the trend of posting every day for 25 days to Facebook during the month of November 25 things we are grateful for in life.  However, it seems like no one actually makes it 25 days without skipping a post and then they have to catch up for like a week of missed posts – this would totally be me.  Then there’s the whole thing of OMG I can’t think of 25 things to be thankful for that aren’t  kind of dumb and at the same time how can I limit my thankfulness to only 25 things (depends on the day guys).  So, I’m going to start my list here and post it once.  Please believe this does not encompass all that I have to be thankful for or that there is any order to this.

I am thankful for…

1. for a husband who asks my opinion and whether or not it is okay to buy expensive items (even if we both know he is just going to buy or do it anyway).

2. that we can afford to occasionally splurge on big ticket items (i.e. the new Xbox – not mine) and not break the bank because we are both well-employed and actually are both doing something we absolutely love.  (This is a big one!)

3. for 4 working wheels and a fast car even though we are hoping to sell my 2008 Altima Coupe and get me a new, larger vehicle. It is nice to not have to worry about how I’m going to get around town or worry about my car breaking down.

4. our house. I LOVE our house.  I thank God every day when I walk through the door and look out the windows that he blessed us with the luck to find this gem and also the ability to purchase and renovate it to our dream home.  I will be buried in the back yard.

5. getting together with old friends.  After a wedding last weekend, some of P’s friends that we had not spent time with in a while came over with their significant others.  We had a great time and it made me think, why do we not hang out more? Here’s the hoping for many double/triple/quadruple dates in the future.

6. new friends with open minds. That same night we hung out at our house we had some of the deepest conversations into well into the evening.  Oh, hello 2AM. We talked religion, we talked marriage, we talked hot & controversial topics.  I haven’t had discussions like these since college and man do I miss them, especially with people who are open-minded and just want to understand you even if they don’t agree.

7. this season. I wish these feel-good, let’s be thankful and all gather-round holidays were spread out throughout the year. I wish I had an excuse to see our large and spread-out families more often and that I was reminded to publicly (and privately) acknowledge how wonderful life is!

8. our families! Can’t say enough here. I love that my mom and I email back and forth all the time and that I can have an hour long conversation with my mother-in-law that only stops because one of us loses service. I love that my uncle calls me to talk about his coffee shop in Mandeville, LA and my father-in-law will call just to check in and make sure I made it home okay. I can text my dad for any kind of advice but definitely about house and car stuff.  I can go on. P and I both have really wonderful families – the ones we chose and the ones we didn’t.

9. my friends. I have really amazing girlfriends, most from college and a couple from even further back. I love that I can get together with them and it’s like no time has passed. That they have seen me at my worst and my best and still love me. Several of us were able to get together this year for Furman Homecoming and it was one of the best weekends I have had. Good for my soul.

10. new friends. I’ve met some really, really great new friends over the last year. Some are new to Greenville and others have recently moved but it is a blessing to have more inspiring women in my life. I am thankful for the ability to form true and lasting relationships as adults.

11. my husband. There is not enough I can say about him really. He does yard work. He is becoming extremely handy and I love watching as he puts personal touches on our house, often with blood, sweat, and tears, well, maybe not tears. He keeps me warm at night and tells me he loves me once a day, at least. He builds fires and chops his own firewood. He is one of the most generous person I know, sometimes giving me heart attacks, but I wish I could be more like him in that respect.

12. Rain so I don’t have to water our plants! Although next year I’m hoping that some of our plants don’t drown.

13. a fun work environment. Most of the day I sit in my office alone which allows me to be productive. But, I spend one day a week and visit several times a day the “other side” where my creative team sits. I always know I will laugh and laugh and laugh.

(whew, this is a lot)

14. apple picking. I went apple picking with one of my best friends in October and P’s mom and grandparents went and sent apples home with us. We have been eating our apple a day in oatmeal, muffins, grilled cheese sandwiches, and simply bitten into.

15. Harry & David pears, otherwise known as the best and juiciest pears on Earth, if a trifle expensive at $30/box.

16. our health. Even though P and I are both trying to not gain the first years of marriage poundage we are still extremely healthy. We continue to strive to eat better and be more active every day.

17. good wine and a husband who has learned to enjoy it with me. We have two wine racks in our house that remain decently stocked but we really enjoy to open a bottle and split it at home. Sometimes it is a sign of a special occasion, sometimes a rough day at work, and other times it just goes down well with dinner.

18. Thanksgiving at my mom’s house! Mom is a great cook and she always makes sure that we all, from my grandfather to my younger sister, have our favorite items on the table. I think the menu this year had 15 or so items! I cannot wait for mac ‘n cheese and Brussels sprouts.

19. for steady clients and a growing business.

20. for the Overdrive library app on my phone which is by far the most used app I have. I can download free library books, read them, and return them wherever I am.

21. the ability to do yoga even if I have been seriously negligent of my practice the last couple of months. I’m definitely going this week to make up for all the eating I plan to do!

22. fun gym classes with people who make me laugh while we get tortured. Thankfully it is only 30 minutes of torture!

23. the internet. Cannot imagine life or work without it.

24. Black Friday shopping with my mom – a tradition that we missed last year because P and I Thanksgiving’d with his family.

25. girl’s nights! And the hope that we can make them happen at least once or twice a month especially when we can do them on a comfy couch in our pjs.

and 26, just because! I am grateful for a bright and shiny and exciting soon-to-be 2014 and everything that it will bring, know and unknown!

The Dishwasher Saga

When we moved into our house the only new appliance we purchased was our fridge.  And it’s awesome, we love it.  In the meantime we have been living and working with the old appliances which includes a hand-me-down (from college from a younger sibling) microwave that is ugly, a nice yet older oven & stove with a cracked glass cooktop, and an old, ugly, rusting, cream dishwasher.  Everything functions fine even though they don’t look great so new appliances were (and still are) rather low on the list.  Although, they are climbing up there as the list gets shorter.

A few weeks ago, I used a sample dishwasher soap and must not have read the instructions correctly because the dishwasher overflowed and also leaked down into the basement where we could see the water stain the wood ceiling in the bar.  We cleaned everything up but that did not help the fact that the insulation downstairs got wet.  After returning from vacation a couple of weeks ago we were hit with the smell of wet insulation and knew something must be done.photo 4 photo 1

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nasty, wet insulation

Last Friday, P and I cleaned our the bar and tore down the ceiling which was only a few months old and took out a whole wall of wood panels.  We removed all of the insulation from that area – disgusting, never want to do it again.  My parents came down Saturday and Dad & P reinstalled the ceiling and wall with new, non-smelly, and supposedly non-itchy insulation.photo 5photo 3

Where does the dishwasher come back in?  Well, my parents are finally remodeling their kitchen which has been their dream since buying their house 15 years ago.  When I heard they were going to be donating their old appliances I said, NO!  Please give your dishwasher to me.  It is not new, more like circa 2001, but it is black like our oven and a Bosch of much better quality than we had.  Plus, no rust.  We will eventually completely upgrade to stainless but not anytime soon.

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Picture this all the way out and surrounded by towels!

I get home last night from the grocery store in anticipation of cooking a meal for 6-8 people for Monday Night Football.  P’s team, the Redskins, unfortunately did not play very well but anyway… I get home and P had actually beaten me there and had decided to start removing the old dishwasher himself.  Never a good idea especially when it’s your first time.  I walk into panic and lots of water, “Get me a towel!” Water was also leaking into the bar, again.  The bar we just spent a whole weekend fixing because of leaking… Hopefully there is no long-term damage; here wasn’t much water down there. photo 3 copy

Long story short, guests start arriving as we try to stop water, and he tries to install the new appliance which turns out needed a new hose.  After much ado, much cleaning, a trip to Home Depot, and some cursing (both because of the game and also the project) we have a new (to us) dishwasher.  Has it been tried yet or tested?  No.  Am I a little worried about that?  Yes.  Fingers crossed.  But at least dinner turned out pretty good.  I can help in a crisis & man the grill: multi-tasker.photo 1 copy

Baby Blue Shower

On Sunday, I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for a good friend.  We were not only celebrating her pregnancy and impending motherhood but also having a last hurrah as she and her husband are moving to Louisiana.  It was a bittersweet event but mostly sweet, I think!photo 4

Our foundational (sounds important, right?) Book Club, helped me host.  AM brought some stellar and super cute decorations – she rocks at this stuff, obviously, which is why I asked for her help.  Crafty, I am not so much.  And EM was super awesome and not only brought food but came early and helped me put mine together – we were the official taste tasters, especially of the beverages.  She had perfect timing, arriving almost 2 hours early.  I was buzzing with lists in my head at that point, forgetting to read instructions for recipes, and having dogs picked up.  She basically saved the day, stirring things, watching things I left on the stove when people arrived, etc.  #LifeSaver #ShowerSaver  And she brought yummy chicken salad (sans mayo!) and the cheese.  Had to have cheese and crackers.photo 5 photo 3 photo 2

I tried out some new recipes for the day.  One was one inspired by a Pioneer Woman recipe for cheesecake cups.  She put graham cracker crumbs in mini wine glasses, topped with a cheesecake type filling and then with pie filling (homemade and store bought).  I didn’t follow her recipe exactly and actually ended up using pudding filling – one cheesecake flavored and the other lemon.  I saw them while looking for graham cracker crumbs and they just seemed so simple.  I then added some cream cheese to the pudding after following their super simple directions but I forgot to let it soften and I also do not have a mixer so we never quite got the cream cheese to mix fully in.  It kept some clumps but once topped with the topping you could not tell.  And it tasted pretty good, not quote like I imagined but fine.  I will definitely continue to play with that recipe.  For the topping I used frozen blueberries and orange juice with some vanilla.  Easy, delicious.  The problem came when all the recipes for “pie fillings” I researched said to use cornstarch to thicken the sauce, none of them said: “Read the cornstarch box directions before using.”  Therefore, I did not.  And I did not dissolve it in cold water before putting into the mix which created more clumps.  We were able to pick some of it out but…. yea.  So I had a tasty (but not awesome) and kind of clumpy dessert.  But it looked cute.  We topped half of them with nuts.  I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with these – they had potential but fell flat.  photo 1 copy 2I also made a little cocktail/sangria which involved splashing a bunch of stuff into a pitcher hoping it tasted good.  It’s kind of hard to go wrong with these ingredients: 750mL Citrus Vodka, magnum bottle of Chenin Blanc, champagne, lemonade.  Brands don’t really matter and you could probably use any semi-sweet/citrusy white wine, Moscato if you want really sweet, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio if lighter.  I also cut up 2 limes and a Granny Smith apple and put them in it.  I made 2 batches at the same time: half the wine in each, a quarter of the vodka and champagne in each and splashes of lemonade. I also served just lemonade and sparkling grape juice for non-alcoholic options (plus water).  I made a 3rd batch after the first two were gone with the rest of the vodka, champagne and lemonade – post party relaxation.  This concoction was awesome, no disappointments here.  (Next time I would add a little sign card that tells what it is because some people thought it was water with lime… oops.)photo 5 copy photo 2 copy 2We served grapes, EM’s chicken salad with mini croissants, mini taquitos, cheese, crackers, hummus, and little petite fours with blue booties from BI-LO’s bakery.  I got several compliments on the petite fours from BI-LO.  I also know that Publix has them but in a smaller size and more $$.

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Some other items to note, I placed children’s books on the table for more decor and also my gift to the mother-to-be and we used one of the larger books as the sign-in book.  I saw this idea at a shower I attended and loved it.  We also made sure to pass around a notebook to get peoples’ addresses for “Mom” so that she would have them for thank you notes.  I think we had about 10 women all-in-all and my friend received some great gifts.  It’s always good when several of the guests are mothers (or pharmacists, in this case) because the gifts are practical and come with advice.  I have been attending several baby showers and keeping little mental notes for the future.  I always learn very interesting things.  I think P would freak out if he heard some of this stuff but I find it fascinating.

Definitely a successful day: 1 recipe win and 1 recipe with potential, and a happy mother-to-be even with a whole lot of sad friends wishing her good-bye and good luck. And a huge shout-out to my fellow hosts and rescuers.  Have you ever had any recipe fails when you try it the day you have to serve it?

Any good baby shower stories to share??

 

Weekend Round-Up

This weekend was great.  Full of friends and fun with very little relaxation but great.  Friday night P and I went to dinner with some of our good friends to…. I’m not sure what verb to use because celebrate isn’t really appropriate and mourn is too much… spend some time before they move to Louisiana.  You may remember E & M from our church supper club.  We’ve been fortunate enough to become close friends over the past year even as our supper club participation dwindled – we just kept hanging out and inviting other friends.  It’s sad to think those days are over but we are definitely excited for this new chapter of their lives as M moves into a new stage of his career and E moves in mommy-hood.  In a later post, I’ll have a rundown of the shower we threw for E on Sunday at our house.  It was fun.

So we ate at the Carolina Ale House where we sat on the lower level but right off the sidewalk.  The doors/windows were open and there was a great breeze.  It was just a nice evening.  I was surprised at how good the seasonal salmon salad was that I ordered – CAH isn’t exactly known for its food.  I was pleasantly surprised.  P had a turkey wrap that also looked good.  We got to see some of the Pulley’s friends that we’ve had dinner with before and I hope that we somehow manage to run into them again even without to aid of our mutual friends.  It was a bittersweet night.  M described it as the last game of high school sports – you are sad to leave but also know that you’re onto bigger things.  We just hope they come to Greenville and visit regularly.  E has become a regular in my life between book club, church, just being friends so I’m already on the lookout for a replacement.  (She’ll know what I mean.)  They’re also not moving too far from our family in New Orleans so I’m anticipating some road trips in the future.

We didn’t stay out late Friday because we got up fairly early Saturday to help my bff move in Asheville.  We woke up to pouring rain which did not have me excited to either be driving mountain roads or moving but fortunately the rain stopped by the time we reached MD’s old apartment.  MD has been moving small carloads over steadily the last 2 weeks so really it was just P and her bf’s muscles that were needed to move the big things.  I really felt kind of useless…told MD I was counting on getting some exercise.  Oh well.  I’m really happy for MD – she’s got a great career, has met a good guy, and now has moved into her first grown-up house, which is really cute.  We were there only a few hours and we got homemade lasagna as payment.  And when I say “homemade,” I mean even the noodles.  I had 2 helpings, it was that good.  I wish we had been able to stay and hang out some more but we had to get home so P could finish the front deck of the house which he had spent the last week tearing down and rebuilding.  I needed to get home to clean for the baby shower.  So, we just had stuff to do.

Saturday night we went to the brand new dueling piano bar downtown, Jack N’ Diane’s, which deserves its own post.  And Sunday’s baby shower does as well.  As you can see, it was a pretty jam-packed weekend.  I think P and I will take it easy this week because I’m pretty sure all of our weekends in August look like this too… should be fun.

 

Today’s Letter

I subscribe via email to one blog and one blog only: Today’s Letters.  (All other blogs get Feedly-ed, Google Reader’s most recommended substitute.)  I love receiving short and sweet daily updates from this couple who lead a very interesting and inspiring life.  My two favorite posts of the week are “Gratitude Lately” and “Today’s Letters.”  Gratitude lately is a photo based post about the little things in life Em is grateful for that week – it could be the hot tea she had with breakfast, the chickens laying eggs in her yard, or something to do with her cute labrador puppies.  The Letter is a very short note calling out the people, food, and/or animals in her life and thanking them for something – maybe it’s a thank you for being you or thank you for a specific action or gift.  These notes are always positive, always smiling, and always personal.  I love that she always gives her husband two thank you’s.  I know nothing about this couple personally but I admire this about her take on marriage.  Always say thank you.  Always show and tell your appreciation.  Don’t be afraid to shout your adoration from the top of the internet rooftops.  It is inspiring for me to remember to do the same in my marriage.  It is unlikely that I would remember to weekly post on here but I want to do at least one.

Dear P, even though this morning I had to take you your forgotten phone and wallet to your office for the 2nd time this month, I love the way you kissed and hugged me in your corporate lobby even in front of the ladies at the desk. Dear very nice Ladies at the Front Desk, I should really know your names by now but I love that you get this little insight into our marriage every time I come by to deliver forgotten goods or with lunch.  We are going to work on putting P’s phones, keys, and wallet all in the same place every day so that this does not happen again. Babe, it also helps to not bury them under the clothes stacked upon your dresser.  Dear Laundry, you just don’t stop. Yesterday the glove compartment door in my car broke and P went out into the never-ending rain to attempt to fix it.  He removed the door, brought it inside, and spent a good 30 minutes taking it apart and studying what is wrong all while telling me I had too much stuff in it but also that it’s just a piece of plastic.  He wasn’t able to fix it but he will once we get a good replacement part.  Dear Car, I cannot wait for a new one but you have been good to me the last few years, getting me to and from with a speedy 6 cylinders.  We just need more room and maybe a few more gadgets.  Dear Rain, you are never ending and I swear it isn’t normal but I am trying to not succumb to your gloomy ways and appreciate all the love you bring to the earth even if you’re overdoing it and drowning our plants.  Husband, you looked handsome in your blue work shirt this morning and I realized that I typically miss that part of your day when you’re dressed in something other than yard clothes.  We should dress up for each other at least once a week even if it’s just for an evening in (you got me in my dress and make-up last night!).

And with that, my slight annoyance is gone (although a stop at Starbucks certainly helped).  I feel good and ready to continue to face the day which has already included several calls to car dealership and junkyards!  This is an exercise (not calling car repair places but the letter!) I shall endeavor to perform more often.

Good Puppy

Well, the good news is Sam has settled in.  YAY!  Seriously, it is like we have a different dog at the house.  On Wednesday a switch was flipped.  I guess it is because he is finally comfortable in his current, new surroundings and we have all found our rhythm.  Wednesday evening he slept from 10pm to 6:15am, or if he wasn’t sleeping at least he wasn’t barking.  I did let him sleep in the room with me and not in his crate.  Well, I intended to put him in his crate but feel asleep before I could.  Had he woken me up at midnight again, he definitely would have been in it.  He did so well I let him sleep in the bedroom again last night – shhh, don’t tell his dad.

At 6:15 I get up and let the dogs out (this has been consistent the last two days) – he’s even going out without his leash like the older pups, which is awesome – and then put them in the sunroom to eat and hang out while I go back to bed for another hour.  I let them out again around 8 when I leave for work and then they hang out in the sunroom during the day.  I have been going home at lunch to take them for a quick walk and then I’ve taken them on longer walks each night when I get home.

Sam is even doing all of his business outside now!  I felt like a proud momma the first time he did and he’s continued to do so – no more accidents in the house!  (Knock on wood.)  Luckily all of the accidents were on the hardwoods and easily cleaned.  The only lasting sign of his presence will be the bite he took out of my foam pillow and evidence of his chewing on our outdoor table legs (yea, that kind of makes me mad but what can I do now?).

Of course, now that we have settled into a rhythm, Sam is leaving tomorrow.  Lucy also leaves tomorrow and Mace went home last night.  We will be dog free.  A part of me is ready for the house to be ours again (P got home last night!) but there’s a part of me that has also settled into this new rhythm and kind of likes it.  Maybe I’ll miss them just a little bit.

Puppy Update – Day 4

Sam has been at the house going on 4 days now, two with only me at home (plus two other dogs).  We are dog sitting for those of you who missed this post.  I thought things were getting better and maybe they are but I’m just running low on patience and steam.  Last night I left the office early because I was unable to get home at lunch to take the dogs out like I try to do.  I took Sam and Lucy on a walk/run around our neighborhood for an hour.  I was actually shooting for about 30 min because I went to the gym too but I got lost in our neighborhood… it took an hour.  It was really great a refreshing to be outside and to be running alongside of them.  They were actually kind of cute because they would run side by side and get tangled up in each other’s leashes.  We’d have to stop to untangle or stop to smell all the bushes.  I let them sniff everything they wanted after a while in hopes that it meant they would use the restroom.  Sam had not gone #2 at all since he’d been at our house and I really, really wanted him to go.

After an hour of walking and some more grazing around our yard we finally went inside and I was like, okay they are tired, they’ve been exercised and given plenty of chances to go to the bathroom… so I let them roam the house (downstairs was blocked off because our dogs love marking our old carpet) for about 5 minutes while I took a really, really fast shower to rinse off.  Seriously, that is all it took.  I get out and for some reason walk into the dining room where there was a puddle on the floor.  A puddle of pee, not residual water dripping from the water bowl (which tends to get all over the place – messy drinkers).  I know it was Sam because Lucy and Mace went outside more than once and they never have accidents.  Sam tends to leak – like he just squirts without even stopping.  I happened to look further away and see that he also left me a nice present, several, in the living room (#2).  Luckily it was on the hardwoods so it was easy to clean but I’m so frustrated.

How do I get the dog to go outside?  He does pee outside, multiple times, so how does he still have it in him when he’s back in?  How do I get him to really do his business?  I don’t know if it’s because all three of them are out at once and he gets distracted or if he just needs more time to sniff around (more than an hour)??  I just don’t know what to do.  Oh, and I put him on Lucy’s leash for a bit because his leash is super short and her’s is extendable and allows him more freedom to roam the yard without me right on top of him and he managed to get it wrapped around a tree and broke the thing…

I am at my wit’s end.  I was up at 5 this morning, back in bed at 5:30, up at 6… and the pattern continued all morning.  I took them out 3 times over the course of 3 hours.  I tried to let Sam hang out outside of his crate in the sunroom with the dog gate up but he broke it down.  He jumps on doors and scratches them.  So the only way I can keep him pinned is in his crate which I hate to do.  I plan to go by at lunch because I have an event after work tonight.  I’m going to see if taking him out alone will help but that’s the only idea I’ve got.  HELP.