Category Archives: Puppies

Fall Fun

Earlier this fall we visited a pumpkin patch with our friends Ally and Rylee. The kids were too little this year to enjoy most of it, but they loved looking at the animals and we loved taking their pictures! We got to go on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkin that we later carved (Joey slept through that whole part, so I picked the pumpkin for him ;)).

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We also spent a day out at the apple orchard as a family! We went on a hayride and picked our own apples, had some cider and roasted some s’mores… and Joey’s favorite part was the leaves. Lol.

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Time to dig in to the pumpkin! Joey enjoyed feeling the outside and squishing some of the insides when we got him a bit, but didn’t really want to stick his arm in on his own. He did enjoy showing the puppies what he was doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We enjoyed some time with Joey’s great-grandparents when they stopped by on their way to Arizona!

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And of course we’re gearing up for our little monkey’s first Halloween! Happy Fall!

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HOME!

We are HOME. As a family of 5. (Yes, the puppies still count :))

Our first 6 days home have been amazing, challenging, busy, relaxing, tiring, wonderful, hard and fun.

Our first night home was hugely stressful. I hadn’t slept much the night before and all of a sudden was responsible for every little thing for this tiny human. We all had to adjust and figure out our new normal here at home and for Joey that meant not eating much which worried me. I think I even said “if he doesn’t eat we’re going to have to bring him back”, and to be honest I kind of wanted to. As HARD as NICU life was, it was also EASY. There was a trained medical professional literally right there if something wasn’t right. If he didn’t eat in the NICU he wouldn’t starve to death, someone would get him a new NG tube. I know now he really wouldn’t have starved to death from missing one feeding (and they would have let him skip one in the NICU too before getting him a new tube), but in my sleep-deprived-trying-to-do-everything-perfect mind at that moment I thought for sure he would. But he decided to eat late that night, and we’re all good on that front now. He spent a lot of that first night crying too… Only wanting to sleep while Andy rocked him in the rocking chair for hours. But he’s gotten over that and were all good on the front now too.

When we first started in the NICU, I hated having to spend every day with people. The nurses were nice and all, but I was so used to being home alone all day, just me and the puppies, that I couldn’t stand being with people that much of every day! Now after 5.5 weeks of being there, I am missing those wonderful nurses like crazy!! I am missing their wisdom and experience, but more importantly their friendship and conversation. We had some nurses who really went the extra mile to get to know us, love on us, and take amazing care of our boy. I am so incredibly grateful for all of them! And I miss them dearly.

Joey had his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday. He is now 6lb 2oz! That’s 3oz gained in 3 days which is great. He’s a growing boy! I wasn’t too fond of the doctor, though. After having nurses and doctors available 24/7 in the NICU for any question or concern I might have had, I had compiled a list of questions for the doctor in the 3 days we’d been on our own. Apparently he didn’t have time for that, though, as I only got to ask one before he said “he looks great! See you in a month!” and bolted out the door. He never introduced himself when he came in the room (I actually had to look on their website where they have a picture and their names to find out who he was!) and I actually sat in there for about 5 minutes after he left dumbfounded and wondering if maybe that wasn’t even the doctor. I didn’t know if I should get Joey dressed or keep waiting or what, but finally decided we needed to just leave. So now I’m on the hunt for a new pediatrician again. Boo. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Thursday he had his eye appointment. It wasn’t with a regular eye doctor like to check if he could see, it was with a retina specialist to check for something called Retinopathy of Prematurity. They needed to check the blood vessels in his eyes to make sure they looked as they should and weren’t indicating ROP. The doctor said everything is where it should be and looks great! We don’t have go back to see the retina specialist, but will see a pediatric optometrist when he is about 6 months old to check if he needs glasses.

We had to tell our first people “no you can’t hold him” the other day. It was hard and I did feel bad, but his immune system is working in overdrive right now and we can’t put it under any more stress than it needs. I was just reading something the other day that during the third trimester the mothers body starts transferring immunoglobulin to the baby’s body to boost their immune system for the first part of their life. He didn’t get to spend the third trimester on the inside so (this is my uneducated non-medical guess) his immune system is not even what it would have been had he been full term. He will eventually get there, but for now we need to be very careful to not expose him to much.

The puppies are doing great with Joey home. The first couple days they were very sad. Torq was downright depressed. He even came in the shower with me one day (this is a dog who HATES baths!) just to be by me. Poor thing. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But that has changed a lot over the last couple days! They love him. When they hear him making noise they will look for him and try to peek at him to see what’s up. They are being so good about not licking him, which any of you who know them know this takes a crazy amount of self control for them! They can’t wait til Joey is bigger and can play with them. I can’t wait to watch the 3 of them grow up together ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m going to keep blogging as Joey grows up, is that ok with you all? Will you stick with me? ๐Ÿ™‚ Because he was born 2 months early, for a while (I think the first 2 years) his age will be stated as actual and adjusted. He is not expected to meet milestones until his adjusted age (the age he’d be if he was born on his due date) is there. Today he is 37 weeks 6 days gestation, so… still supposed to be on the inside. However, I think this boy is going to do things on his own schedule anyways. But that’s why its so amazing all the things he’s doing now, since he shouldn’t be doing ANY breathing, eating, pooping, nothing – just chillin’ in his warm bath. This boy is a rockstar. I still would have only been 38 weeks pregnant tomorrow. That thought is so weird! I can’t even imagine being huge and pregnant right now. This picture was taken at about 28 weeks, and its one of the last pictures I have of me pregnant (I have a couple from my baby shower the weekend before he was born too). I can’t imagine how big I would be right now! Haha!

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Speaking of doing things on his own time schedule, (I’m fully aware this is going to make me sound like a terrible mom) yesterday I laid Joey in his crib so I could go to the bathroom quick. I laid him on his back on that burp cloth and when I came back just a couple minutes later he had ROLLED OVER! I couldn’t believe it! I promptly took all the extra junk out of his crib. I wish I had been watching on the monitor to see him do it!

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I’m still in awe that this boy is mine. Forever. His parents aren’t coming to pick him up at the end of the day. He is going to grow into a toddler, a boy, a teenager, and an adult, and he’ll still be my son. God is so good.

And now the part I know you’ve all been waiting for – some pictures from our first week home:

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I Heart Faces – Furry Faces Photo Challenge

I am a fan of I Heart Faces on facebook, and they post photo challenges each week. I have never done one, but once I saw this weeks theme I knew I needed to enter this photo of Milo. Taken when he was 8 weeks old right after we had gotten him, it’s still one of my favorite photos of him ๐Ÿ™‚

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If you head over to I Heart Faces, you can see all the sweet furry faces entries for yourself! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

These are a few of my favorite things!

1. Hot Chocolate Cookies

I was introduced to these cookies last Christmas, and oh. my. goodness. They are SO good!!

2 sticks room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
4 packages Hot Chocolate Mix (not sugar free)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows

Cream together butter and sugars. Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add eggs and vanilla to wet ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Add marshmallows to the top of each cookie for the last 2 minutes of baking time. YUM!! Recipe from Baked Bree.

2. Peppermint Barkย – my favorite part of Christmas! LOVE this stuff!! (also made this yesterday, but I don’t have a picture!)

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp peppermint extract, divided
candy canes

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in double boiler, add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Spread over parchment lined cookie sheet. You want it to be pretty thin, so it’s easier to break. Sprinkle about 1 crushed candy cane over the chocolate.ย Refrigerateย or freeze until firm. Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler, add the other 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Pour over hardened chocolate layer. Sprinkle 3-4 more crushed candy canes over the top. Refrigerate or freeze until hardened. Once hardened, break apart and keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

To crush the candy canes, I find it easiest to do them one at a time. Put in a ziploc bag, roll the bag so there’s lots of layers, then crush with a rolling pin. Repeat.

3. Sweet, sleeping, snuggly puppies.ย These twoย laidย in their bed on the kitchen floor while I baked. So, so sweet!

And then they wanted me to throw the toy for them to fetch…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not to be left out from the cookie baking, I also made the puppies some dog treats yesterday. I got the recipe from Whole Foods.

1 banana, peeled
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg, beaten

Mash banana in a bowl, add other ingredients and mix well. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Transfer to baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I cut them out with a Christmas Tree cookie cutter – it was one of the only ones I had that was small enough, and they will be sharing some with their puppy friends for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ and I thought the green parsley flakes looked cool!

The puppies got to try some last night and they loved them! They are so funny (and opposite!) about treats. Milo will chomp down any treat the second you give it to him. If he can’t eat it fast enough, he will swallow it whole. Torq thinks it’s a new toy. He will run around with it, throw it in the air, pounce on it… it is hysterical! He also almost never wags his tail (weird, I know) but when he is playing with a treat his tail is wagging and wagging! Eventually he will give up and sit down and eat it. Makes me laugh every time!

As I was rolling these cookies out I was thinking back to all the years of making Christmas cookies with my cousins on my dads side. We would spend and entire day and make TONS of cookies. One of our favorites to make were cut-outs. when we got to the end of the ball of dough and couldn’t possibly roll it out one more time, we made one last cookie. Called a “Grouch Cookie”. Do you and your family have any traditions like that? What do you call the cookie that is just smush of dough at the end of a batch of cut-outs?? The Grouch Cookies were always the ones we HAD to taste test ๐Ÿ™‚ Fun memories!

 

What kind of cookies are you making this holiday season? Who will you be baking with? Enjoy!!

Puppies, Ice Cream, and Target – random thoughts for you today!

Torq and Milo would like to say “Hello” from Kansas City!!

[This is the FIRST time I’ve taken out my camera since we moved! GASP! I miss it!!]

A couple experiences from yesterday:

– We went out for ice cream (actually, frozen yogurt) last night. This, friends, is love. I LOVE ice cream. Andy…. HATES ice cream. ๐Ÿ™‚ But he makes the sacrifice for me. And I was a very happy girl!

– We stopped at Target afterwards. I went in the bathroom (sorry if that’s TMI) and there was a lady with 3 kids and an entire cart in there. I walked in as she was trying to back the cart out of the stall. It was quite the sight! I had to quickly get into a stall to not laugh right there out loud. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think that’s all I have to say for today! I’m off to start making some Christmas cookies – YUM! I’ll post the recipes later ๐Ÿ™‚