Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best Blankets

Are t-shirt blankets!  They're so soft and are a great way to find a use for t-shirts you don't wear anymore, but hate to throw away or donate.  My mom made me an awesome red and black themed one last year with some of my Tech shirts, and Meezy usually ends up stealing it when we're snoozing on the couch. 


He complained that it wasn't quite long enough for his liking, though, so I asked my mom to make another one with more t-shirts.  She came through with a Meezy-sized blanket and it's perfect!


As you can see, this one has a gray, blue, and white theme to it.  It's the perfect complement to our other one.  My mom is the best!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Week Recap

Another week has quickly come and gone, and of course we were busy!  Meezy and I set up our baby monitor, but it's not your typical run of the mill store-bought item!  Thanks to my husband's wicked smarts, we bought the necessary items individually, and I'm pretty sure it's much better than what any of the baby stores are currently selling (and comparably priced).  First, we bought the Foscam wireless pan/tilt IP camera.  It uses infrared to get good views in the dark, and also has two-way sound. 


Next, we bought the Vizio 8" Android Tablet to use as the monitor.  We downloaded one of the many apps that's compatible with the Foscam camera, and it gives us a great view of the crib, on a large screen, with sound.


We also downloaded apps to our smartphones, and we can view the live feed from there too.  We can adjust the camera's position from any of the devices, and also hear sound or set it up to notify us if there's movement in the crib.  I'm excited to put it to use!

Another advancement in the nursery was the hanging of our little man's initials.  They came plain white from the store, so I added some colored circles to fit with the theme of the room.

 
On Friday night, we went to a lovely dinner at St. Martin's with our friends Brian, Sharon, Justin, and Stari.  It was French cuisine, which was the perfect preface to our next stop - watching Les Miserables at Winspear Opera House.  I had never seen the play/musical before, but I've heard Meezy talk about it in the past as one he liked, so I was excited to get the chance to see it too.  I enjoyed the show, and didn't realize that I had heard a couple of the songs previously but didn't know they were from Les Mis at the time.

 
On Sunday, we traveled down to the Midlothian area to spend time with my side of the family.  It also happens to be my Mom's birthday on Christmas, so we had lots to celebrate!  I love seeing my nieces and nephews, because they bring such joy to my life.  It's hard to believe there will be another little one joining the celebration next year, but I look forward to it.  This is our last Christmas without a child, and from here on out - everything changes!  Here's a pic of me from Sunday, at 31.5 weeks.

 
We're less than two months away!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Baby Owner's Manual

Meezy and I have sporadically read What to Expect When You're Expecting, but we haven't read it from cover to cover, partly because it's pretty thick, and partly because it's just not very intriguing!  Don't get me wrong, it has good information in it, but I just see myself using it as a reference book if something comes up that I have a question about.  We ordered Let's Panic About Babies thinking it would be more entertaining and keep us reading, but the first few pages were really cheesy and not funny like I expected them to be, so I stopped reading (I know - we're hard to please!).  We had given up on finding a good baby book until our friends, Brandon and Ericka, bought us one called The Baby Owner's Manual.  We were pleasantly surprised!

 
It's just over 200 pages, so it doesn't seem like wayyyyyy too much information than you'd ever care about.  It approaches parenting very practically, and doesn't include the constant eye-rolling mushiness that I don't need to read about (I'm going to experience it myself soon enough, so I'd like my baby book to give me knowledge, not an emotional response!).  It's also funny, but doesn't try to be too funny.  It doesn't go into too much detail on any one topic, so you feel like you're getting a good overview in a lot of areas without feeling bogged down.  I read the book from cover to cover pretty quickly, because I was actually interested, and I kept coming across little tidbits that made me go, "Oh, that's a good idea." or "I didn't realize that."  So, in other words, I would recommend this book to soon-to-be or new parents if you want a break from the run-of-the-mill encyclopedia-like books! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When I'm a Parent

I know I'll probably catch some heat for this post, but let me explain.  More than two years ago, I started a list of things I hoped to do or not do when I became a parent.  I had no intention of becoming a parent in the near future, but I figured that was the best time to start such a list.  I wanted to observe parents around me, and the way they did certain things, and write them down so I wouldn't forget how I felt about them.  Rest assured, there is no way in heck I am making that list public because inevitably there will be something on there that you do, and you will probably get pissed at me for pointing out that it annoys me or that I would hope to handle it differently.  I can already hear the "Ha, just wait until she's a parent!"  I get it.  This isn't me saying, "Their parenting skills suck and I would be much better."  That's not it at all.  This is me saying, "Before I'm a parent, I have a unique perspective on watching someone else be a parent.  Once I'm a parent, that perspective will change, and I just want to remind myself what it was like before."  That's it.  Here's an example:

One day last summer, I was at a Texas Rangers game when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees.  I saw a family with their infant in a stroller, and the child had bright red cheeks and looked miserable from the sun exposure.  That scenario made it to the list in this form:

"I will never bring my infant to a Texas Rangers game in the sweltering heat (or any other outdoor event for that matter, when its 100 degrees outside)"

Maybe the parents couldn't find a babysitter.  Maybe the parents thought it would be cute to bring their little one to his first baseball game.  Whatever the reason, I don't think it was a good enough one to subject their kid to that atmosphere, at that age.  I wrote it down so that I would hopefully remember it later in life if I ever got tempted to bring my child to a game in that heat.

Not everything on the list is "I won't do so and so" type of things.  Some of the things on there are appealing behaviors or responses I've observed, that I really hope to try and replicate when the time comes.  For example, my sister Joanna has done an amazing job with her 3 year old, in that you will very rarely catch her throwing an obnoxious tantrum to get what she wants.  My sister set the precedent very early that that won't work, and Olivia knows this.  Case in point: the other day at Chick fil a, Olivia saw another child with an ice cream cone and wanted one too.  We were on the way out, and it was getting late, so Joanna said no.  Olivia repeated her desire to have ice cream and Joanna declined again.  The third time, Olivia started to use a whiny voice and get a little huffy and Joanna looked at her very calmly and said, "Olivia, have you ever gotten what you wanted when you acted that way?"  She knew she hadn't, so she said no, changed her demeanor to a very happy one and said, "Mom, may I please have some ice cream?"  Joanna declined her request again, we walked outside to the car, I asked Olivia about something else, which made her forget about the ice cream completely, and we went along our merry way with no screaming tantrum, no waterworks, and no caving in by the parent.  It was truly fabulous, and I hope to achieve that in the future as well with my kid!  

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely know that the chances of me not performing any of the "I hope to never" items is slim.  I know that when I become a parent, I will change my views on some things and fall victim to some habits non-parents will find annoying.  I know that parenting is ridiculously difficult and even people with the best intentions sometimes have to take shortcuts.  Those are the main reasons why I'm making this list.  I know that things change, and it will be humorous to see how I felt before a child entered the picture versus after.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catching Up

I feel like I've been running around like crazy lately, but busy is good!  Let me try to catch up on our happenings over the past week or so. 

The glider we had on our registry went on sale for $75 off, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it for a steal!  I ordered it from Target on a Saturday and got it the next Tuesday.  Nice!  We put it together and we're pretty happy with it.  It looks good in the room, and is comfortable.


We were also incredibly grateful to receive an amazing gift from our good friends, Jonathan and Rose.  They bought us the swing and pack and play from our registry.  Can you say generous??  We set up the swing and I just wished I had my little angel already around so I could put him in it!  It's so cute.


And here's what the pack and play looks like:


We also received an awesome package in the mail from our friends in San Francisco, Jimmy and Rosa.  We couldn't help but smile when opening it!

I can't wait for our little guy to be old enough to wear it!

Last Friday I was super busy trying to negotiate a real estate contract, but I was able to get things settled in time to make it to my 3 year old niece's holiday program.  It was quite entertaining!  As much as she loves to sing at home and wants everyone to be quiet so she can be the center of attention, it was unusual for her to sit there during the program and not sing a single word!  Lol.  I guess it just wasn't her cup of tea that day.  She still managed to be a little ham during it, though, and made silly faces towards us in the audience.
After the program, I told Livi that the baby was moving and she could come feel him kick if she wanted to.  She put her hand on my belly and her face lit up when she felt him move.  It was so sweet.  A little time passed and we were eating dinner, and she abruptly got up and said, "I'm going to check on the baby" and walked over and put her hand on my belly.  Talk about my heart melting!  Later that night, we went looking at Christmas lights with her, and she kept us entertained with her wit, as usual.  We drove through a community display of lights, which included a man in a Santa suit at the end, passing out candy canes.  She waved to him, got her candy cane, then made a disapproving look and said, "I don't think he's the real Santa."  What a stinker!  After eating her candy cane, she turned to me and said, "smell my mouth."  Sometimes you just can't explain what goes on inside a kid's head, but it sure does keep me smiling!

On Saturday night, we went to a tacky Christmas sweater party thrown by our friends, Casey and Rachel.  We had nothing sufficiently tacky enough in our own closet, so we had to do some shopping to try and find just the right outfits.  I think we succeeded!

The hubs in a sweater vest and me in a fringy sweater with shoulder pads.  yeah buddy!

Our outfits hurt my eyes when I looked at them, but they were actually quite tame in comparison to what some of the other party guests were wearing!  Haha.  It was a good time and I look forward to starting the planning process a little earlier next year so we can try to be in the running for the prize for the tackiest outfit!

In other news, I passed my glucose test, and this week marks my 30th week of pregnancy!  I'll be going to the doctor for my normal checkup and then I'll be back again to see her every 2 weeks until the 1 week appointments start.  Whoa!  This pregnancy sure is flying by.  I hope I stay just as busy as I have been lately.

Finally, let me use this opportunity to wish my parents a happy anniversary!  Today marks 40 years of marriage for them, and I couldn't be more proud.  They are a wonderful couple, and they have always been amazing parents to me and my sisters.  I am so happy they reached this impressive milestone, and I look forward to the day when Meezy and I can celebrate 40 years too!    

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Your Average Baby Shower

If you know my husband and I, you know that we don't like doing things the same way as everyone else.  We like to buck tradition and just do what makes us happy!  On Friday night, we had a party to celebrate our pregnancy.  Most people would call that a baby shower, but how many baby showers do you know that are for couples, have catered Mexican food, serve beer and beergaritas, include a betting board, and end close to 1am when the last guests finally retire from the drinking games?  That's how we roll!  Doesn't matter how old we get, we'll always be young at heart.  Here's a peek at the awesome invitations, provided by Lauren at Palm Papers:

 
My hostesses - Kari, Katie, Jenn, and Jo - did an amazing job of making the party exactly like we wanted it.  They brought in fajitas, enchiladas, beans, rice, guacamole, and queso from Rosa's Cafe (my favorite!) and cupcakes from Stein's Bakery.  They set up an adorable clothesline filled with socks and onesies, placed beautiful orange lilies around the house, made a board where guests could bet $1 to guess when the baby would be born, and set up a scrapbook station where guests got their picture taken and wrote down advice for us.  It was perfect!  Here are some pics:

  Our adorable kiddo clothesline

The generosity of our friends!

Car seat cover made by my friend, Colleen

Nursing covers made by my friend, Tiffany

Rocking chair made by my friend, Jenn

Cutest rocking chair ever!

Diaper cake made by my friend, Michele

More of the diaper cake

Love these burp cloths!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Price is Right Experience

A few weeks ago I received an email from thebump.com saying they had partnered with The Price is Right to do a maternity-themed episode.  We could click a link to see if there were any free tickets available, so out of curiosity, I did.  It turns out they did have tickets left!  Hmmm.  Now I was in a predicament.  I've been a fan of The Price is Right since I was a little kid, and I always thought it would be really neat to attend a taping in person.  But, the show tapes in Hollywood, so it would require us to fly out there and get a hotel for a night.  I mentioned it to Meezy, and to my surprise, he immediately agreed that we should go!  (What an awesome hubby!)  I found some affordable flights on Virgin America and then used some Discover cashback money to pay for our hotel.  We flew out this past Monday night, to attend the Tuesday morning taping.  I'd done a lot of research ahead of time to learn about any tips or tricks that we should know.  The show gives out more tickets than there are seats in the studio, so it's possible that you won't make it in even if you have a ticket.  As such, lots of people recommended getting there earlier than the 8:30am call time to stand in line.  I'd also read that people suggested bringing snacks and magazines to help pass the time since there would be lots of waiting before the taping started. 

We got to the studio about 6:30am, and there were already about 40-45 people in line in front of us (the studio holds 300 people).  By the time 7:30am rolled around, the line stretched out pretty far behind us.  I never got to see how long it actually got, or if everyone made it in, but I think getting there early was a good plan!  We read magazines and talked to the people around us to pass the time.  As it got closer to 8am, studio employees started going through the line and checking tickets.  If your ticket showed that you had clicked the link from thebump.com, you got moved over to a priority line.  We then became numbers 17 and 18 in line.  After they let us into the main gate, we were moved into an area where we had to fill out an information card and we got our picture taken.  This is where they weeded out the non-expectant mothers from the contestant pool by putting a large X over their number.  (Only women that were expecting were going to be called as contestants).  This made us get a little hope that my chances of being called were actually pretty good!  We waited in this area for a while, and there was a gift shop and snack bar open nearby.   

From here, we were moved into another staging area where we had to wait for a while.  We were always told to stay in numerical order, so Meezy and I were close to the front of each line.  When the show's producer finally came out, they called us up in front of him in groups of about 9 people.  He did a really quick interview of each of us (Where are you from?  What do you do?  When's your due date? etc), while an assistant took notes.  Apparently this is where the decision is made as to whether you're going to be a contestant.  You only have a few seconds of time to make an impression!  (A girl in our group of 9 ended up being picked as a contestant, and she actually made it to the showcase showdown.  She was with her husband, sister, and parents, and they were all wearing clever shirts related to her pregnancy.  They were also pretty high-energy!)  I think it probably helps if you come in a group and everyone is outgoing and friendly.  After the quick interview, we were moved into another staging area where an assistant gave us a briefing about the taping, and then showed us all an episode of the show that included some of the games that were going to be played that day.  (Side note: after the interview stage, before the part where you watch the episode, you have to go through a metal detector, so this is where you'd have to give up your cellphone and any other electronic devices.  You check them with security and then could pick them up afterwards.  They could help you pass the time in the morning, but we opted to leave them at the hotel so we didn't have to get them checked.  We didn't want to stand in the long line to pick them up after the taping, when we knew we'd be ready to go and tired of waiting by that point!)  Finally, sometime around 12:30pm, we were let into the studio.      

They direct you where to sit in the studio, so it's not a free for all, but since we had been assigned such low numbers, we were seated in the front.  They had roped off the first couple of rows to put a few groups of women with clever shirts up there, and then seated us right behind them.  We were no more than 5 rows back from the stage, and just off to the right side of the contestant podiums.  In other words, we were going to be on camera a lot!  We were pretty surprised at how small the studio was.  I guess what you see on TV is a little deceiving because they use some camera tricks to make it seem bigger.  The stage was also much smaller than we expected it to be.  They use the same area over and over again, and just move the props for the games and prizes in between each break.  The show isn't live, but they try to tape it like it is.  In other words, there's not many do-overs, and it doesn't take much more than an hour to tape.  They take "commercial breaks" and during those times, Drew Carey and the announcer spend time talking with the audience, making jokes, or telling stories.  It was pretty entertaining, and a little weird that he was literally right in front of us!

Meezy and I caught ourselves looking at the monitors a few times, trying to see what the shot would look like on TV, and if we were in the camera shot.  One time, I saw myself on the monitor, looking up at the monitor.  Oops!  We tried to stop doing that as the show went on, so I'm not sure exactly how many times we're on camera, but I'm guessing it was a lot!  One of the crew was responsible for prompting the audience on when to clap, cheer, or yell out potential prices, and he was usually pretty close to us, so we started yelling out whatever popped into our head.  I'm pretty sure we were no help to the contestants, but we wanted to contribute like he was asking everyone to do!  I'm curious to see if I'm ever on camera holding up a ridiculous price.  Lol.

When it was all said and done, I didn't get called as a contestant, but the taping was a blast.  It was so neat to see people getting called down that you had talked to in line previously, or just simply seen during the waiting process.  It made it more personal and we actually wanted people to win and felt genuinely happy for them when they did.  After the show was over, they did have to re-tape one person's "come on down" because the cameras missed it the first time.  It was kind of hilarious because she had to recreate her excitement and the rest of the audience had to as well.  The announcer also had to do a couple of prize descriptions again because his original ones weren't going to fit into the allotted time.  After those were done, every audience member was given a gift bag from thebump.com with a few baby-related items and some gift cards in it.  That was a nice gesture!  We finally got out of there at almost 2pm, which means the whole process took us almost 7.5 hours!  There were times where we got bored and a little annoyed, but it really wasn't that bad.  I'm glad we went, and I'd say it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  We probably won't be doing it again, but I wouldn't discourage other people from going.  The taping we attended will run on January 11, 2012.  I'll be setting my DVR for sure! 

  A little shirt for Dutch since he's the reason we went!

Gift bag contents from thebump.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Riley Weight Loss - Update 5

I took Riley in to the vet today to get weighed, and I was worried about what the results might be!  We had a little eating snafu over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I wasn't expecting any success on the scale for him.  We brought him to my mother-in-law's house for a few days, and we forgot that there was a bag of dog food in the shed within his reach.  Before we realized what was going on, he had eaten half the bag!  Ugh.  I thought for sure that would have counteracted any progress we made over the past couple of months, but apparently it didn't!  His weight today was 40.5lbs, which is 2.5lbs lighter than he was in August.  Great job, Bubba!  We're almost at the 20lb weight loss mark, and we probably only have about 5 more pounds to go!  There has definitely been improvement in his energy since we started him on this weight loss journey.  He will play fetch with us for much longer than he used to.  Another nice benefit from him being skinnier is (pardon the TMI) his ability to now reach certain body parts that he wasn't able to previously.  This makes for a cleaner Riley!  I recently put an old Halloween shirt on him that at first fit just fine, then went to being super tight, then went to being too small for me to even put it on him, but is now back to fitting again!  I love my sweet little Riley Roo.

  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Phase Two Done!

After I finished the dots and circles on the accent wall in the nursery, I started work on the orange stripe that goes along the middle of all of the rest of the walls.  I had to get the help of a laser level, but I think it turned out well.  See for yourself:

  Accent wall and stripe on wall that leads to windows

Ignore the mess!  Stripe on wall opposite the accent wall

Entryway of the nursery

I love the way it all turned out, and I think it's a fun and vibrant design.  I like that it's not too much of a newborn design, and also that it's not too masculine, so that hopefully it can grow with our child, or be used for our next one.  I also recently bought this bath rug from Target.  Works perfectly in the room!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can't Be Thankful Enough

It's nice to have a day come along that reminds me how much I have to be thankful for. What started out as a rough year has blossomed into one I wouldn't trade. I'll forever be grateful for the love and support I received at my lowest point, and the strength and courage I gained through it. Today, I place my hand on my stomach and feel the kicks and movements of the life I've created with my husband. I couldn't be happier.

Today, I think about the sacrifices and choices my parents made so I could grow up the way I did. I think about the example they set for me and the unconditional love they've shown. I think about my mom's willingness to drop whatever she's doing to help me if I ask, and my dad's warm hugs and friendly phone calls when he thinks of something he knows I'd like to hear.

Today, I think about the family I've gained through marriage, and the open arms they've welcomed me with. I think about all the nice things they do, and the warmth and love I feel when I see them. They treat me like I've been around since birth, and I'm grateful they love me like their own blood.

Today, I think about my good fortune to have two older sisters who look out for me and celebrate my successes with me. They're there for me when I need them, and they make this journey through life much more enjoyable. I'm grateful I can go to them with my frustrations and my joys, and they welcome both because they love me.

Today, I think about my friends who I'm so proud to surround myself with. While some I talk to more often than others, I'm grateful there are so many that wouldn't hesitate to step up in a time of need. My friends are a diverse group of people, and each one brings something special to my life.

Today, I think about the man who stands beside me, and holds me up when I need him to. I think about the years we've spent together and wish for a million more like them. He supports my dreams and makes them his own. I'm so thankful that his generosity, open mind, humor, and level-headedness have rubbed off on me, and I'm a better person today than before I met him. I'm grateful for the example he's going to set for our son, and I hope our son grows up to be just like his daddy.

I can never really be thankful enough, but I'm trying my best.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Audi R8 Private Drive Event

I used to own an Audi, so I'm on their email distribution list.  I received an invitation from them to attend a Private Drive Event for their R8 at the Joule Hotel in Downtown Dallas.  Their R8, if you don't know, is their supercar that starts at $115K and can get up to $200K depending on what options you got.  Obviously there's no way in heck we'd be able to buy one of these cars in our lifetime, but we figured it would still be fun to attend the event and get the chance to drive one!  The experience turned out to be even cooler than we expected it to be.  We arrived at the Joule and they offered us drinks and snacks and we sat through a 15 minute orientation about the car.  They told us what kinds of features it had, and then relayed how the drive event would go down.  There were 8 people driving in our session, and then each person was allowed a guest.  The driver and guest would be the only ones in the R8, and all 8 pairs of us went out on our drives at the same time.  A professional driver would be in a "lead" car at the front of the pack and another pro would be in a "chase" car in the back, just to make sure everyone was okay and that we all stayed in the same general vicinity.  They let us go on the highway for a while, and then on some winding roads.  In total, the driving time was about 40 minutes.  It was awesome!  We could've switched half-way through and I could've driven, but I was way too terrified to get behind the wheel of a car that expensive, so Meezy got double driving time. 

We were surprised at how they just set us all loose behind the wheel of these cars.  We weren't on some secluded track, away from other drivers and the elements.  We were right on I-35 in Dallas, amidst traffic at times, and even as it started raining.  They had put walkie-talkies in each car so the professional drivers could stay in contact with us and let us know where we'd be heading next.  Other than that, Meezy was pretty much free to drive how he wanted!  It was really cool.  I'm sure it looked a little odd to other drivers and people on the street to see 8 Audi R8s driving next to each other!  Here's some pics of the experience, and a couple videos for a little taste of what it was like to be a passenger.

Aren't we special?

It had our name on the dash

The one Meezy got to drive

A few of the other ones

Baby Dutch made an appearance

What? Pregnant chicks don't make good car models?

On the highway alongside another R8

It was an R-tronic drive

All the fancy gadgets

Yep, it's a V10

Not your normal view on I-35

This was the group of us leaving the Hotel.  The voice you hear is one of the professional drivers over the walkie-talkie:


And us getting on the highway.  Man, I love the sound of that engine!



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boots are Back!

I'm usually not a big fan of cold weather, but I do enjoy being able to wear sweaters and boots.  I went through my boots recently and realized that they all have pretty high heels and that's not so great for a nearly 7 months along pregnant lady.  Time to shop around for some new pairs with low or wedge heels!  I didn't want to spend much, though, since I know I'll be back to the ones with heels after this pregnancy is over.  I looked at Kohl's and didn't have much luck, so I stopped by Payless to see what I could.  Jackpot!  They were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale, so I was able to pick up two pairs for under $100.  This pair was Brash brand:

  Zippy Riding Boot - $59.99

And this one was American Eagle:
Nola Cozy Wedge - $49.99

I wore the brown riding boots today, and they were very comfortable.  They look good over jeans, and I'll probably also pair them with some of my brown/cream sweater dresses and leggings.  Bring on the cold!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Lesson

I came across this quote today:

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

Buddha speaks the truth.

Update on the Doggles

After posting on various sites that we needed to find a home for Juneau, we got a couple of responses.  We looked into them, but we decided they wouldn't be ideal situations for various reasons (no doggy door access, person gone all day, other dogs would be around, etc).  I started to feel hopeless, like we'd never find the perfect home for her, and we'd either have to suffer through always keeping our dogs separate, or turning her over to a shelter.  Neither one of those seemed like viable options, so we went back to the drawing board.  Previously we had sent Juneau to K-9 University and had been very happy with the results.  She came back much more receptive to discipline, less anxious, and less aggressive.  She had learned how to sit, stay, lay down, heel, and was much better at ignoring other dogs when we took her out on walks.  In the past if she had gotten on the bed or couch and I wanted her to move, she would ignore my verbal commands, and snap or growl at me if I tried to physically move her.  Now, she listens when we tell her to get down, and she wants to please us.

Her relationship with our other female dog, Casey, has always been a little strained, but things were copacetic after she got back from training.  Nothing changed on Casey's end, but I think Juneau had gotten a little better at ignoring her.  Unfortunately she got to a breaking point last month, and that's why a fight occurred.  We felt like we had to remove Juneau from our home, but after further thought, we realized that Casey needed help too.  She was always the one instigating fights with Juneau and trying to get under her skin.  We could tell that she felt like she was in charge of Juneau, and would attempt to control and/or reprimand her actions.  We figured part of that was because she wasn't fixed, and Juneau was another female, and part was related to her lack of training/discipline.  So, we bit the bullet and sent Casey off to K-9 University last week.  We knew they had worked wonders with Juneau, and we are hoping for the same results with Casey.  It's not cheap to have your dog boarded/trained for 2 weeks, but it'll be worth it if it works.  The trainers at K-9 are awesome, and they even allowed us to send Juneau up there to get her training refreshed, and to keep her near Casey in a safer environment.  I checked in on the doggles yesterday, and they told me there has already been an improvement in their relationship.  Casey is starting to pick up the training commands, and they've worked them around each other with no fighting.  I really, really hope they finish the program with a different outlook, and can put the past behind them.  This is our last ditch effort to keep all of our dogs, and I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't work.  The big test starts next week when we pick them up and have three dogs under the same roof again.

On a lighter note, it's been funny to see how our male, Riley, acts differently when he's the only one in the house.  Normally during feeding time, he scarfs down his bowl as if it's a race.  Sometimes he'll go so fast that he can't catch his breath, and yet he continues to eat.  If we give rawhides to all the dogs, he'll run in the other room and try to eat his as soon as possible, and then usually ends up going over to Casey to steal hers too.  Now that he's solo, he calmly eats his dinner and takes his time.  When I give him a rawhide, he takes it into the backyard and buries it for later consumption.  It's hilarious.  So much of his previous behavior was influenced by the other dogs being around, and now he's pretty care-free!  Sorry, bubba, those other doggles are coming back soon, so you better start digging up those rawhides and eating them!                 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Didn't Forget About Fashion!

While my "comfortable" attire days seem to outnumber my "fashionable" attire days lately, I still try to be on the lookout for cute maternity clothes.  There aren't a ton of maternity stores to shop at, so I tend to branch out and find clothes that aren't maternity, but will still work for a girl with a growing tummy.  I stopped by Kohl's the other day with the purpose of just picking up some yoga/wind pants to wear around the house.  I found these for $18:


They're super comfy and long enough for me, so I snagged two pairs.  I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of use out of them, especially as I get further along, and then right after baby comes.  On the way to the checkout, I passed by the Junior's section and some cute items caught my eye.  Some of the styles of tops tend to be really long these days, which works perfectly for a pregnant girl!  If I just shop for sizes a couple steps up from my normal one, I can usually find something that works.  As it starts to get colder, I know I'll want to be wearing something warm but low-maintenance.  Insert this adorable striped hooded tunic:

 
I loved the fit, and it was still long enough after accounting for a protruding belly.  At only $22 each, I figured I could justify a second one!


These all fall more into the comfortable category, though, so I searched around for something I could feel cute wearing.  I found this belted sweater for $30:

 
Just imagine the belt resting a little higher than the picture shows!  I'm not sure if it'll still be long enough to wear over thin leggings after first stretching over my belly, but it will definitely look good with jeans.  Yay for finding a few things that I'll actually feel good about putting on, even as that number on the scale keeps growing! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phase One Done!

I finished the accent wall in the nursery, and I'm pretty proud of it!


I can be pretty determined once I set my mind to something, so it didn't take me too long to get it completed.  The next step in the painting scheme might actually be harder than the accent wall since I need to use a laser level to draw the top and bottom lines for the orange stripe, and the walls it's going to go on have lots of interruptions- closet doors, windows, etc.  It won't be one continuous stripe around the room.  Oh well!  Who doesn't love a challenge? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Painting Update

I mentioned previously that this design was the inspiration for the nursery:


I love the whimsical dots and circles, and it features my two favorite colors - green and orange.  The window valances, a couple pieces of the bedding, and a few other decorations around the room will be this design, so I decided to use it in my paint scheme too.  Talk about hard work!  It's been time-consuming, but I'm loving the results!  I chose one accent wall to incorporate the dots and circles, and the other three walls will just have a bold orange stripe around the middle.  Here's a couple close-ups of what a completed section of the accent wall looks like:



And then here's where you can see what I've done in total, and how much I still have left to do:


I've just been working on it at night, and the stenciling took a few different sessions.  I started the painting two nights ago, and probably spent 2.5 hours each night on it.  I know it doesn't seem like much progress for that amount of time, but there are quite a lot of things to paint, and they're very small!  Overall, I think all the effort will be worth it because I love the colors and the design, and how unique it is!