Friday, August 1, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Mateya

Hello there! My name is Mateya and you can find me blogging at The Best is Yet to Come or more likely, on Instagram (@mateyab32).  I'm a mama to Hayden and Baby #2 (who, at the time I'm writing this, has decided to put our patience to the test and come late.  If not here by Wednesday the 23rd he/she will be evicted.)  Thanks Sara for this fun topic! Can't wait to meet precious little Mim! 
Growing up, I was never a dog person.  My dad had hunting dogs (black labs) because he runs a pheasant hunting lodge. So these dogs were used for guiding hunters and weren't really "pets" to us.  My husband on the other hand, grew up on a farm, so he always had a dog.  When we got married he immediately wanted to get a dog and as much as I was indifferent about the decision I figured, if he really wanted one then why not.  So we got a Golden Retriever and he even let me name her.  I decided on Redick, after my favorite basketball player JJ Redick (I'm a huge Duke fan). 
After having her around, I totally understood how people loved their pets and definitely became a "dog person."  After we had Hayden I loved Redick even more because it was SO sweet watching those two interact.  She was such a protector of him and he LOVED her so much.  Definitely best friends.  
Last summer while Robbie was deployed, Redick went missing.  I truly think that she must have been sick and decided to go away to die peacefully.  We searched and searched, neighbors helped us look, and nothing.  The hardest part of it all was telling Robbie while he was gone.  He took it really hard. 
Over the last year we toyed around with the idea of getting another dog but the timing never seemed right.  Well, a few weeks ago our daycare lady told us about a friend of hers who was looking to get rid of some puppies for free.  Seeing how much Hayden loved her dog and knowing we wanted one eventually, we figured, why not?!  The timing definitely wasn't perfect (hello...toddler plus new baby, plus new puppy?!) but we went for it anyway.  
Lucy is a Lab/Springer Spaniel mix and Hayden loves her already.  It's so fun watching them play together and it's especially fun listening to Hayden boss her around or tell her "Woocy, stop!" when she jumps on him. We're excited to have a dog around again and can't wait to watch Hayden and the new baby grow up with Lucy.  I guess it's safe to say that I am definitely now a "dog person." :) 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Lindsay

Hi there! Itz Zoey here from my momma's blog Itz Linz.  Sara asked me to write a post since she's busy with two rugrats - Mac and Mim. Actually, she asked Momma to write a post, but since my momma is busy with baby William, I'm taking over today. Itz my first time blogging and she's had the thing for two and a half years now.  Rude!

Anyway, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about how my life has changed ever since my momma and daddy brought home a tiny, crying, pooping little being whom they call Baby William.  Let's back up.  Momma got me in college when I was just a two pound furball.  I was her world as she took me everywhere. I especially loved going to college classes (why I'm so smart) and curling up in my momma's lap.  I even had my own wardrobe as my momma LOVED dressing me up.
A few years later, Momma met Daddy and we moved in.  Daddy loved me just as much as Momma did.  He talked to me nonstop.  He uses a little voice which he calls "Zoey voice" and says things like, "You're so beautiful. I love you so much."  Sometimes Momma thinks he's talking to her, and itz so funny because he's really talking to me.  I can get my daddy to do anything.  All I have to do is whine at him, wag my tale, give him my puppy eyes, a lick on the hand, and he gets up from whatever he's doing. 

My momma and daddy called me their furbaby.  My wardrobe continued to grow and I had several pieces that matched my momma and daddy!  We took lots of family pictures, especially in our college gear.  Mizzou for Momma:
And Miami for Daddy:
Anyway, a few years after my momma and daddy got married, my momma's belly started getting bigger.  I thought she was just getting fat, but lots of people called her "pregnant." They started changing our house, too. We got lots of new furniture and the walls painted.  I thought they were just redecorating.  They kept bringing home new little outfits, only they weren't for me.  They actually got rid of TONS of my clothes, and they did get me one new shirt that read, "I am going to be a big sister!"  Whatever that means.  Well, after about nine months, one day they left for a couple days and my daddy's parents picked me up to take me to their house.  When they dropped me back off at home, my whole world had changed.

They brought home this little... thing.  It made a lot of noise.  Sometimes it smelled good and sometimes it smelled bad.  Momma shooed me away before I could get any really good smells.  Momma got up in the middle of the night with him very frequently.  I stayed in bed with Daddy.  The baby thing stayed really close to my momma ALL.THE.TIME.  I don't know how she didn't get sick of him.  Sometimes I'd sit next to them.  I like that.  My daddy still gave me lots of attention, but now he was using his little Zoey voice on the little critter!

We've had so many people visit our house!  But they always go straight to the thing, and then sometimes say, "Oh hi, Zoey, we didn't forget about you!"  Gee, thanks.  We've tried to find some type of balance these last three and a half months.  I started getting my walks again.  Momma takes me and the baby on walks in the morning if the weather is nice.  I like that.
Sometimes Daddy lets me get real close to the baby and even share a pillow.  I like that, too.
But most of all, I still like when itz just me and my momma and my daddy.  My friends Mally and Sage tell me it gets better when the baby thing gets older because then he'll give me food.  Right now the baby wants nothing to do to me, and I kind of like it that way.  Sometimes he tries to communicate with me by making these crying noises.  I run over to him, but have not a clue what he wants.  Maybe eventually we'll become friends.  But for now, I'll continue to be the princess I know I am.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Vanessa

Hi there, I'm Vanessa from Sunflower State of Mind!  I'm so very happy to be here today while Sara loves on that sweet new babe of hers and adjusts to life as a momma of two

Let me introduce to you my two favorite girls...

Hazel & Arden.
Best friends?  Maybe if you ask Arden...but our 4-year-old French Bulldog's love for her little sister is a bit more...well, complicated.
The day we brought Arden home from the hospital, Hazel immediately took on the self-assigned roles of bodyguard, babysitter, caretaker, responsible party, etc, etc.  We sometimes call her "Carl"...except I think Hazel's stress level is a little higher than Carl's was in the books!  {I mean, she would never let her baby swim in an aquarium or go down the laundry shoot. Ha!} In the first few weeks of Arden's life, every time she cried Hazel would jump up and give us that very-human look of "are you going to help her or what?!"  Yes Hazel, we'll take care of it :)  
I'll never forget the first time we left Arden with my parents when she was about 4 months old.  I had texted my mom to see how she was doing and my mom's response was "She did great, but I don't think Hazel trusts us".  She said Hazel was by their side, overseeing their every move...and when they put Arden to bed, our little high-strung Frenchie slept outside the door until we got home.  Apparently it's hard work being the big sister! 
Then there was the time that Hazel wouldn't come out from under the bed while Arden and I were out of town.  I was worried sick, but with a little love from her baby sister (and a lot of peanut butter), she was back to her old self again. Thank goodness!
Now that Arden is almost 2, Hazel seems to be letting her guard down a little.  However, I'm not sure if she understands that she'll be starting ALL over again in just a few months...when her new little brother arrives!  I foresee a lot of long nights for our sweet guard dog...but at least I won't be the only one losing sleep ;)
Thank you so much for having me today, Sara!  I'm SO happy for you and your precious family of four!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Alyssa

Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer! My name is Alyssa and I blog at My Husband's Watching TV. My family consists of me, my husband, our two-year-old daughter, and our two dogs. Let me introduce you to my furbabies.

First up is Emma who is part lab-part whatever you want her to be (everyone always has their own opinion). My mom got her from an ad she saw in the paper for free puppies. The conditions were horrible so she took Emma home to clean her up and find her another home...which ended up being with us!  Post-college, it was just the Em-Dog and me. She's been with me longer than my husband!  She rode halfway across the country with me while I completed my internship and got my first job in South Carolina. Then she trekked back across the U.S. when I got my job with the organization I'm still with. Emma was by my side while I bought my first house, found my husband, and when we welcomed our daughter into our family. Emma is our "shy" pup but she's still one cool chick!

Then we have Shadow (aka Shad, Shadie, Shadowiffic). He's our 100 pound black buffalo lab. Right after my husband and I got engaged, his friend called us about eight p.m. on a Friday night and said he was looking for a home for his dog...and needed to find him one by the next morning. Again, we took him home intending to find him a different home but six years later and he's still a part of ours. Shad is a chow-hound meaning he'll eat anything and everything in a matter of two seconds. He loves attention and will crawl up in your lap if you let him. Unfortunately, he just doesn't understand how big and powerful he is so a few tears have been shed at our house when his giant paw lands on your bare feet...and I'm not just talking tears from my two-year-old but from Momma too!  He's totally the social one of the two.

In 2009, my husband and I decided to try to expand our family. Long story short, it took us two IVFs to have our beautiful daughter. During that time, our furbabies endured my tears and frustrations as I thought they may be the only "kids" in my life.

When our daughter was born in 2012, their worlds were turned upside down just as much as ours were. They went from being the center of our world to having to stare at this little tiny human who would later love them more than anything in the world...whether they liked it or not.

From tears of sorrow and frustration, they now endure a two-year-old crawling in their cage with them, hugging them as tight as she can, and of course, lots of snacks she always wants to feed to "Emma and Shadie." She asks about them daily and I'll be honest that I've "bribed" to get her to stop crying about having to leave the park and go home.

As I write this post, I realize these two dogs are the rock that help hold our family together. Whether it's moving cross-country, finding my spouse, struggling through infertility, or welcome a new life to this world, they've been there through it all. Every day they greet me with an excited bark and a loving lick. It's so much fun to watch our daughter with the two of them and see the love she has for them. Dogs are amazing creatures, they roll with the punches and truly understand the meaning of unconditional love!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Introducing Mim

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to...
Born on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 9:39 a.m.  
7 pounds, 11 ounces.
21 inches long.
Absolute perfection.
We are all incredibly smitten with her...even Mac.
My cup runneth over.

*All photos by the amazing Kristie Cromie of L Photographie.
* For privacy reasons, I will refrain from using her real name on the blog and will continue to call her "Mim" here - I hope you'll do the same.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Ashley

Ashley from Words About Waverly

First, the biggest congratulations to Sara on the birth of her sweet baby girl!!  I know that she is going to rock it as a mom of two & that Mac is going to be the best big brother.  I have loved following along with her sweet family, now her pregnancy, & I really am looking forward to reading about their future as a family of four!

I feel honored to be a part of this series, I love the idea behind it & like Sara, am a strong believer that kids benefit from growing up with pets.  I come from a family with four kids & we always had pets growing up, my parents still have a house full of dogs now!  With that being said, I was totally nervous about how our dog (an 7-year old yellow lab named Bogger) would react to a new baby throughout my pregnancy.  I'm not sure if I can go ahead & blame it on the hormones, but it was one of the (many) fears I had about bringing home our new baby girl.

Fast forward a couple years, Waverly Maye is now two-years old & it's safe to say that Bogger is her BFF. :) "Gogger" was one of Waverly's first words & she repeats it non-stop pretty much everyday.  Each morning, one of the first names she asks for is "gogger", she loves to climb into bed with us & snuggle with him. She always gives him kisses, lets him wear her jewelry, & thinks that it is hilarious when he runs around the house.
And most of all, she loves to feed him, which is how she won his heart. :)  My husband & I couldn't help but laugh the other day when we saw pictures of Bogger from a few years ago, he really is about 15 pounds heavier now!  It's crazy how much she is willing to share with him, both what she wants to eat & what she doesn't.  They really make the cutest team, & we love them both so! 
Thanks again to Sara for having us, we are so very excited to be a part of this!  We can't wait to start reading the rest of the posts, there really is nothing cuter than babies & kids, right?!  AND of course, to see pictures of Sara's sweet little baby girl. :)


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer - Chrissy

Hi, I'm Chrissy from Simple Joys blog.  When Sara first asked to participate in this series, I knew immediately that I wanted to talk about the importance of making sure to not forget all about your first babies--your fur babies--during all the excitement of having your human baby. My Chihuahuas, Fifi and Angel are treated like people, not dogs. They are babied and spoiled and they deserve that much and more. When I was pregnant with Elin, a lot of people would tell me that after I had Elin, my dogs would just become dogs to me. That thought terrified me! I absolutely did not want that to happen and made a vow to make sure to not change my feelings or the way I treated and cared for my dogs. 
Honestly, it bothered me so much that it kept me up some nights just thinking about it. I remember there were times during my maternity leave when they would aggravate me so much. They are barkers and they would bark when the baby was asleep or they would get in my way as I was pumping and they just plain annoyed me sometimes. I remember losing my temper and yelling at them and threatening to lock them in their crate. But, I always remembered that they didn't ask for this new addition to the family. We are the ones who rocked their world and added something new; and to think that it wouldn't impact them or cause more stress to them is naïve.
For those of you reading who don't have dogs, I am sure this sounds like the craziest thing, but trust me when I tell you that there is just no way to understand the love of having a loyal canine companion until you have had one. My dogs love me more than anyone in this world and they love me unconditionally. The highlight of their day is to sit with me and be with me and they are always there. They are never to busy or hurried. Their only goal each day is to eat, sleep, and spend time with me. I say me because, although they get along with my husband, child, and various other family members, I am that one person they have chosen to be their caretaker.
As you can tell by now, I am a crazy about my dogs so you would not be shocked to learn that the thoughts of them aging and their finals days are very real and very scary to me. My dogs are getting older and I know my time with them now is less than the time I have already had with them. I make sure to spend time with them everyday and to continue to show them love. I admit that sometimes it hard to make time with them and it's hard to watch out for them. I find that I put off taking them to the vet longer than if I wasn't busy with a toddler. 
DSCN4291_5x7But, I make an effort. I don't want their last day to come and for me to be too busy to see it coming or not there for them enough. They are loyal and loving and they deserve the upmost respect. As do all dogs. So don't forget about your first babies. Your fur babies. Only they can occupy that special place in your heart.