Why Buy (Baby) Toys

I am wondering now, why I bought any toys for Jameson at all? Right now, he loves the floor vents, bathroom scale, and door stoppers. Oh, and dogs and dog toys.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlcs7dm50Xk]

My parents’ dogs Mayzie and Shiloh loved Jameson. Mayzie even gave him her weird toothy smile one morning when she saw him. But she wasn’t too sure what to do when Jameson kept going after her toys…

Flying/leaping/pouncing baby.

Got it! Notice Mayzie is no longer in the picture.

[Intermission]

And later…

Eying the prize…

Daddddd! Do I have to give Jameson my toy!?

Yes, yes you do.

P.S. I did take these toys away from Jameson as soon as he tried to eat them. Except one time, when I caught him chewing on a “lollipop” dog toy which must have had the most perfect, wonderful end to chew on. Oops…

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A Moment

Usually I take photos of events, when people come to visit or Jameson is learning something new. However, Tuesday night the week before last, I took these photos for no reason at all. Sasha came outside and when we called her over, she actually sat next to Jameson. The editing was difficult and we were in the shade, so the tones in these photos are slightly vintage. It was a great moment!

It is chilly this morning, the sky is clear and the air is crisp, my “fire plants” (burning bushes) are starting to turn. I know fall is on the way, so it was nice to capture this before summer ends.

P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was so impromptu, Jameson had his dinner all over his outfit. I actually edited the food off his outfit. Maybe that’s cheating, but there you go.

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7 Things: Babies with Fur

The analogy has been many times before me, that having pets is often eerily similar to having children. Particularly if those pets are puppies. I may not have a puppy, but even our 8 year old dog is similar to our 7 month old son in many ways.

  1. Dogs may not mess on themselves, but they still need cleaned up after. Dog doo-doo is gathered, bagged, and sent to the trash, just like Mr. Jameson’s.
  2. Dogs need someone to care for them when you’re away. You can’t just up and leave your dog. Unfortunately, you can’t just up and leave a baby either.
  3. Have you noticed how similar the best baby toys are to dog toys? They’re rubber, they squeak, they’re fun to chew on!
  4. Believe it or not, I pick up after my dog’s toys more than I do my baby.
  5. Both Jameson and Sasha would eat grass if we let them.
  6. Jameson and Sasha will both stay put when told to, until there is something super fun to reach for, bark at, or eat.
  7. Dogs and babies both have razor-style claws.

Luckily, there are a few things that help us tell Jameson and Sasha apart.

  1. Sasha poops outside. Jameson poops in a diaper.
  2. Sasha poops are about 10 times the size of Jameson poops.
  3. Sasha pee kills the grass.
    Is anyone else concerned that the first 3 items on this list are related to bowel movements?
  4. Sasha knows what the word “No” is, and will go to sit in a corner until you tell her to get up.
  5. I can’t pick up Sasha and carry her on my hips. She is 140 pounds, Jameson is about 15.
  6. Sasha’s mouth is distinctly different that Jameson’s: It has fangs, it likes to lick things, and it smells gross.
  7. Jameson loves water! Sasha hates it. We have to sneak Sasha’s bath time items outside so she doesn’t know what she’s in for.

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Family Fun & Happy Easter

I have pictures in my queue for editing! We had a great weekend, visiting lots of extended family and enjoying Easter dinner. Friday night we visited my aunt and uncle, cousin Carrie and Brian and their daughters. So I was curious as to what exactly Jameson is in relation to their daughters, and my guess was second cousins once removed. Was I right?

According to Cousin Calculator, Jameson and my cousin’s daughters are actually only second cousins. Removed references a generation difference:

“When the word “removed” is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations.

The words “once removed” mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your father’s first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. This is because your father’s first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference equals “once removed.”¬† The one-generation difference has nothing to do with age, but rather with descendance from the same person.

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother’s first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.”

Therefore, my relationship to my cousin’s daughters is that we are first cousins, once removed.

Jameson sat in a borrowed high chair for the first time; not to eat, but just to sit with us as we ate salmon marinated in a honey and balsamic vinegar (plus a few other ingredients but we didn’t see the recipe). The fish was baked and was a little sweet. Very good. I forgot my camera though! I was very disappointed. They took a few photos though, I will have to see if I can get a hold of them.

On Saturday, we drove about 2 hrs and 45 min, Jameson’s longest car ride. He slept the entire time! We were so excited to see Brian’s grandmother in good spirits, talking and reaching out to hold Jameson. It is the best we have seen her in several years. We have some wonderful photos of Jameson and his great grandmother. I couldn’t help but be a bit of paparazzi, simply thinking that if my grandmother were still around, I would want a thousand photos of him and her together. We never know how much time we’ll have.

Sunday, I dressed Jameson in his Easter finest, and Brian was super pumped dressed to match him. We took some family photos, of which I only have one right now, but I have some great outtakes which I’ll be posting to flickr soon. We managed to get Sasha in the photo nicely, I think the only photo we have of all of us together, in focus (since she likes to move so much, of course!).

I don’t know if I have mentioned, but poor Sasha has been to the vet a lot recently! After the infection in her leg, she then got a hematoma on her ear, which I think is fairly common for dogs (could have been caused by her scratching her ear). We have opted not to do surgery on it though because of her older age and because antibiotics would be harmful to her already compromised liver. So it’s a big pocket of blood on her ear, but apparently smaller as far as hematomas go, and we’re just waiting for it to heal on its on. On top of that, she started limping again on Sunday so we have confined her again to the first floor. Brian had to sleep downstairs that first night but she’ll learn quickly again. We’re waiting a few days before going to the vet again; thus far, the limp doesn’t seem to be getting worse and actually seemed slightly better, we shall see.

Of course, the biggest, best news I have saved for last! On Sunday, Jameson rolled over, belly to back! I have yet to see it, and we don’t have it on video yet, but when we do I will be posting it (we have probably 20 minutes now from various 5 minute attempts of tummy time to get this rolling over on video, haha). His first roll was on Sunday morning while I slept in: Brian turned around while Jameson was on his belly and when he turned back, Jameson was happily on his back. He did it again later while Brian’s parents and sister were over for Easter dinner. None of us but Brian saw it though. For second I thought he’d do it once more after we put him back on his belly because he tipped himself but then he stopped.

Speaking of video, we have a lot of video captured on our video camera (as opposed to my camera phone which I used in his early days). However, we haven’t edited any of it. Brian’s been talking about exploring iMovie on our first ever Mac computer, but hasn’t had a chance yet. It won’t be long before I steal his thunder though and do it myself, haha.

This weekend is my birthday (and I will finally be on the later half of my 20’s), and Brian and I are having Brian’s sister Melissa babysit for us while we go out to dinner at a fondue place. I love going there because it’s always what I like to call a “slow” meal. Since Brian and I are very quick eaters, its always nice to go somewhere that forces us to slow down and chat a little. Melissa is excited because since Brian’s parents are out of town there’s no “competition” for Jameson’s attention. And a great time will be had by all!

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Squirmy

Jameson has been really squirmy the past few days! He’s really starting to move around a lot and always wants to be moving. He’s also been sleeping a lot better — 4-5, even a 6 hour stretch one night. He is usually only getting up once a night right now. I say “usually” tentatively since he could lapse back to old habits any time! But I’ve really been enjoying the extra sleep. His bedtime is officially 9pm, and though he’s sleepier earlier than that, I think that he’ll adjust even better after Daylight Savings Time begins. Next week, we’ll be waking him at 6:15am to eat, and my hope is that he will eventually sleep solidly from 9-6. That would be a-mazing!

He’s grasping, involuntarily, at all kinds of things now. His giraffe toy on his activity gym is easy to grab, as is necklaces, shirts, and of course, hair!

On Sunday, Hollie, Jeff and their girls came over to visit. They were cute, as always. I edited the photos but for some reason on this laptop they seem a little cool colored. I may go back and tweak them some. Anyway, the girls are getting so big, particularly Allison (the youngest). I first met her when she was about 1 — she is turning 5 now.

Crazy to imagine the time going by and Jameson turning 5 too. I had a dream last night that he just went and sat up all by himself. Using only one arm! hahaha But really, I think he’s going to be a quick learner, he is getting really good at holding his head up.

Yesterday we visited the daycare and got the scoop on what all we need to bring. I’ll be dropping that off tomorrow after my massage that Brian bought me when he was in Mexico. Should be lovely! And Aunt Carol will be watching Jameson while I’m away. He should be good for her though, he’s very happy most of the time now, and he’s actually really started liking his swing this week. I think the swing is new enough that it’s still very exciting for him and the swing plus a pacifier calms him right down when he’s upset.

Sasha went to the vet on Friday and her bloodwork showed some liver issues, so she’s on a liver health pill and will get bloodwork done again in 3 months. But she’s officially a senior citizen now which is kind of sad. But she’s still as perky and smart as ever. Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks never met Sasha ūüôā She’s even learned to hover over her water dish and wait a bit for us to wipe off her face! We’ll see if that lasts though after I go back to work and no one’s here to do it during the day though.

Well, I am off now to go visit Lisa and Jonathan again!

Oh, and for those wondering, I did successfully make dinner on Monday, though I had to feed Jameson in the middle and so Brian did the last couple tasks. But it came out great as usually and we doubled the batch for tasty leftovers! Here’s the recipe:

A Healthier-for-you Restaurant-Style Zuppa Toscana

Brian adapted the recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Restaurant-Style-Zuppa-Toscana/Detail.aspx

1 (16 oz) package turkey smoked sausage (like turkey kielbasa)
3 potatoes, cut into 1/2- to 1/4-inch slices
2 large onions, chopped
6 slices bacon, chopped or crumbled
1 Tb minced garlic
2 cups kale or escarole, washed, dried and shredded or cut (approximate, Brian just buys one bunch and uses it all)
2 Tb chicken soup base (or 5 bullion cubes)
2 quarts water
8 oz heavy whipping cream
2 Tb olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
2. Place sausage links onto a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes or until done, turning once. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Set aside.
3. You can either cook onions and bacon together with olive oil, or I baked the bacon at 400 degrees F separately to eliminate some of the bacon fat and grease splatters ūüôā Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat until onions are almost clear in a large saucepan (I used a big pot and added everything else to this to make cleaning easier). When bacon is cooked, remove from onions if they were cooked together, crumble or cut and set aside.
4. Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken soup base, water, and potatoes, bring back to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are softish.
5. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

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Baby and Sasha Updates

Sasha is doing well! She got her cone off and the toe is finally looking healed or nearly so. We had a small scare because we had to get the bandage off early, her toe was staying too moist which was concerning obviously if it had continued so. So the first time we saw the toe it was not has healed as I would’ve liked it to be and looked very raw. Sasha did not like her cone either. It took her a day or so to get used to lying down in it and not running into things as much. Brian bought car door protector things which we put on the raw plastic on the outside of the cone as a bumper because she was scratching things up!

It was very nice visiting with Tyler, he stayed an extra day so I took that day off and we watched movies. I had a lot of fun, it was nice to take a day off for once. I don’t have a lot of spare days now at this point, I am trying to save them for maternity leave. I can use 5 PTO days on maternity leave, which I intend on trying to do so that is one less week I have to take unpaid.

Tuesday we had our ultrasound, which would’ve been the gender one had we decided to find out. But we didn’t! The technician even made us look away when she examined the legs, so we never got a hint. It’ll be a big suprise! It may have been our last ultrasound, I don’t know if they’ll do another one. Everything is good with Peapod, it has a four chamber heart that is functioning properly, and kidneys and bladder that look good. 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 hands and 2 feet! I have a really cute picture of a foot. We got to see the spine and other bones, and the head of course. I have a creeper photo of the face looking at us, but it looks like an alien. I told Brian it looked like him hahahaha. We had the ultrasound at 18 weeks and 5 days, and I measured exactly 18 weeks and 5 days, so the due date will remain at Dec. 23, which is mildly disappointing for my anti-Christmas complaints.

Brian likes the fact that I have a little belly now and he rubs it, but no kicking yet! There have been a couple times where I thought maybe I felt something, but it did not repeat often enough for me to be confident that that was it. The doctors said by next appointment I should be feeling it, but even then it won’t be all the time because it’s still really small. I am almost to the halfway point though, which is bizarre! Really just bizarre all the way around that by December we will have a little family.

We toured the two options we had for hospitals last week. The practice said I can go with either Akron General or Akron City; both take the same amount of time to get to (about 40-45 minutes). We chose Akron City because they had bathrooms in every post partum room. Akron General had different post partum rooms (we only saw one of them, but the ladies description said that some had bathrooms in the hall!). Otherwise the hospitals were about the same. Akron General is supposed to be getting new rooms soon, but can’t guarantee when or even if I would get a new room when I deliver, so Akron City it is! I think the buildings are around the same age, but City looks newer also.

The way it works is that I will go into a labor/delivery/recovery room and then to a post partum room after I’ve recovered initially from the birth. As far as care goes, they seem to offer the same level of care. Akron General is directly connected to Akron Children’s for any serious issues, but Akron City takes care of everything except a couple long term care type of things, and then they send them to Akron Children’s too. So that’s not an issue either.

I, like usual, am impatient to be planning and doing things. I am trying not to buy much. I bought my bedding set, because it was not something I could register for, but I keep second guessing myself cause bedding is so expensive. Brian’s mom is looking at planning a baby shower in October, I am shooting for later October so my mom and Holly can spend¬† more time here. Holly runs until later in October. That’s all for now… cheerio.

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Baby Updates etc

Today, the baby must be growing exponentially. I have been crampy for most of the day. Yesterday, I went to my 16 week doctor’s appointment. They’ve been once a month – I had one at 8 weeks (Ultrasound), 12 weeks (heartbeat) and yesterday I only got to hear the heartbeat again. It’s been the most uneventful appointment so far. But Brian got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, and he was grinning, so it wasn’t a complete waste!

Next one is at 19 weeks on July 27, and is an ultrasound. This is also the appointment where, if we want to, we can find out the gender. We are officially leaning toward not finding out. Mainly Brian has been talking to people who are recommending we leave it a surprise. It’s really okay though, I think it would be helpful in keeping me from buying too many clothing items ahead of time. Newborns live in onesies and pajamas and stuff like that anyway.

Tyler is coming to visit this weekend which will be really nice. He hasn’t see the house yet and I’m sure Sasha will be excited to see him (well she gets excited for everyone). Brian and I spent last weekend nice and leisurely, since we had to keep Sasha calmer. We had to get her toe amputated on Friday. She had ripped a toenail out a few weeks ago when my parents came to visit and it never grew back or healed over properly. So when we went in for a check up on Tuesday, they told us the toe needed to come off so it could heal. The toe is on her back leg, like a pinky toe. At least it is not a weight-bearing toe, and she has already recovered quite a bit since Friday! She scratched at her ear last night with her bandaged foot like she didn’t even notice, it was funny. The foot will stay bandaged for another 5 days or so, unless it’s looking really good and then they’ll take it off early. We get it changed every 3 days or so.

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A Memorial

I thought my first post back from the honeymoon would be about happy times, and fun times, but sadly it is not to be… I’ll save it for another post. We came home around 1 am on Tuesday to find Sir Chewy barely moving at all, at first we thought he had passed. We rushed him to the emergency vet that takes in small exotics and left him overnight. The prognosis, at first, was good and we just thought he had a broken leg or maybe had pined for us being gone so long and stopped eating. However, by 4 pm the vet was telling us it was probably a neuro problem, which can be caused by anything from bacteria and virus to I guess a chin stroke to… anything. We got there around 5 to see him and he was almost entirely still. We were going to put him on anti inflammatories for about 3 days and if no response, a decision would have to be made. However, we left and 5 minutes later the vet phoned us because Sir Chewy had made his own decision. We put him to rest yesterday in the backyard in the middle of a flower garden. We buried him with his fleece hammock, a fresh ball of wood, cinamon pet pasta, a big apple stick, a piece of lava rock, and his fleece frog buddy in a cardboard box on which Brian and I¬†wrote thoughts about him on.

Sir Chewy loved apple sticks, they were a treat for him. His favorite treat though was cinamon pet pasta and he would do anything for it. Brian like to make him reach for it, and when he did I¬†swear Sir Chewy stretched to almost a foot tall. He had salt and pepper fur, which was gray after his ash baths; he had a curly tale. He like to shave his fur into a mohawk. He had such a great personality, he had opinions and he let you know them. He liked carrying around his fleece buddy, but he didn’t like being carried around himself much.

If Sir Chewy could have had two wheels in his cage, he would have found a way to run on them both at the same time. That’s why I¬†didn’t get a second friend for him, I¬†thought he’d hog the wheel too much. He was way spoiled, getting only the best food and hay. He was picky about his hay anyway and didn’t like to eat anything but Oxbow Timothy. He never bit, only nibbled, and he was so curious about everything. He was named because he chewed on everything under the sun; I¬†had to get him a cage made out of wood and a glass waterbottle. He chewed through the plastic bottom of his first cage and water bottles. His favorite move was the kangaroo hop, which he did when he was exceptionally happy. He enjoyed frightening Sasha and was never afraid of her. He loved Brian to scratch under his chin and would through his front paws wide in pleasure. For some reason, I¬†myself could never hit the right spot.

He was a member of our family, and I¬†will miss him so much. I¬†thought he had years left before we saw him pass away. The hardest part right now is sitting in his room, Sir Chewy’s room, as we called it, and seeing his empty cage and hearing silence instead of his running wheel and having no furry guy to rub or hold or talk to. I¬†love him so much. Goodbye Sir Chewy.

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