The life of puppy

So puppy. Leilands favorite thing. Here is how we came about being so in love with this little pup. 

October 2013
While wandering the IKEA near mall of America in Minnesota we approached the xhildrens section. Leiland saw in a display a single brown and white beagle like dog he liked. He pointed and pleaded. I told him we couldn't take that one but we would look for more. 

We found the stuffed animals and had to look hard but finally found the pile and he chose his pick of the litter. 

The entire trip in Minnesota and he would take "puppy" everywhere. Leilands very literal when it comes to naming things. 

Months go by and he still is so glued to puppy. He's never had a lovey and I'm shocked this started so late. 

Puppy goes almost everywhere including yosemite in June 2014. 

July 2014 we drive to Michigan. 
Night one in the hotel and I carry sleeping kids in and Tim goes back for the bags. Grabs puppy since Leiland is awake. The next day we leave without puppy. I didn't see him but I also hadn't been looking. We realize it once in Michigan so I call the hotel. Puppy has been found. Hooray the hotel is mailing it to us. 

Leiland is overjoyed to have puppy back and think he got it from James and kayla since it arrived at their house. Whatever he's back. 

Over the next several months puppy still is the main guy but not so attached we have to take it. 

In the fall I decide to order a back up terrified we will lose him and of course he's no longer sold. 

Sometime in February 2015
Leiland gets in trouble for the umpteenth time and so I go in and toss all his stuffed animals off the bed. Including puppy at least I think. A couple days pass and he looks for puppy and can't find him. Looks everywhere and I tell him I'll find it. I do some cleaning and no puppy. I tell Leiland when we pack he will have to show up. No puppy. So then we move and I'm surprised how well he's taking it. But I have the backup I'd bought. 

June 2015
I get an email from eBay of another puppy for sale and it's a good deal. On a whim I order it. It arrives and I let Leiland open it. He is overjoyed. He's so happy the mail lady found it and brought him back. 

Leiland is more attached then I'd ever seen and he's taking puppy everywhere. One day at nap he decides not to sleep and changes puppy's name to zyla. Like xylophone. 

Here we are almost August and puppy is glued to Leiland every day most of the day. To stores. Library. At the counter when he eats. And must be in bed at nap and night. Attached. With how well he did losing it I'm shocked how attached he now is. 

I do have the back-up up stored in my craft room just in case. I'm still sad we lost the original though and can't fathom where it went. But puppy aka zyla rejoined the family and I love seeing Leiland happy to have him. I cherish the bond they have even if it is a stuffed animal. 

What's really cute is if Leiland leaves it in another room Owen will get it if he sees and take it to Leiland. So precious.  

The worst part of moving

Yup! We've moved again. Twice actually. This will explain my crazy delayed posts. I will update soon. 

Unpacking is no fun. Everyone knows that. In the past I was a very organized packer. I wrote the room on the box in two places and listed the crucial contents under the room on the top flaps. Easy enough. Only on the last few days were things just thrown in. Every move we have a handful of boxes that just linger. Non essentials that I just couldn't part wit or things I couldn't find a logical spit for. Military paperwork, office supplies, picture frames I'm not ready to hang yet, or baby items for the next kid. You get the idea. Then we went to Maryland in 2012 and stayed 6 months. We had less than a month to pack and move. Top that off with Tim would be gone so it was me and our almost 2 year old. Right. Not happening. So we hired movers and paid them to pack is. It was amazing. I was nervous I wouldn't have a clue where anything was but hoped it would help me unack faster. 

Fast forward. I learned that throwing things willy billy in boxes wasn't as crazy as I imagined. It got unpacked mostly because I needed to find things. So the next move I took the same approach. Get everything in a box. Label if you can. 

Fast forward to this move. Not only did I pack this stuff over a year ago it's labeled so poorly I can't find even some essential crucial items. I have come across things I desperately missed and things I needed. But then there are things still missing. That's the hardest part. I'd say 85% is u packed. It's still chaos in here but it's progress. So how do you unpack? There is a process at least for me. 

1. Essentials to live - sheets, towels, clothes for a week, soaps, dishes, silverwear, and stock the pantry. Once that's finished there is a slight slow down to adjust. 

2. Kids room. It's the easiest place to u pack and organize. 

3. Furniture to designated spots

4. Move boxes to the room they supposedly belong and keep in mind we've moved multiple times with the same boxes. 

5. The real essentials. This means anything that needs the perfect place. For me it's the master and the kitchen. It's the items you need unpacked before you get to the items but these items get first dibs on space. Dishes, cups, silverwear, cookie sheets, that sort of thing. The other things get the leftover space. Things like those chocolate molds, the pitcher we use twice a year, and the collection of thermal lunch boxes. 

6. The missing items. This is the tricky one. It's usually something that when you're settling in you find it necessary to find but nowhere in sight. It's something g that you expect is labelled on the box but you can't locate it. We once had a box mysteriously vanish. It had my silverwear. At times I'd remember other items in the box but the most Important was the silverwear in the silverwear tray bit was at the top of the box too. It never showed up. I had to buy new silverwear (got the same stuff so it would match when this box was finally found but that never happened) and a new tray that has never been as perfect as that one that was lost. 

This move I struggled to find the silverwear and now I can't find my george Forman. The kitchen item I used 3-4 times a week. So once it's not found labelled on the right box you start opening all boxes from that room. You quickly look through all hoping to spit it. Then when it still doesn't show you start emptying them sure you missd it. Before long you've opened and emptied (into piles of course) all the boxes to find you still can't find this crucial item. Ugh. What next? You begin looking in all the boxes you didn't plan to open just yet. Like the picture frames. Those are all unpacked now and still no george Forman. How about in the office box? Nope. 

6. Slowly you condense boxes, throw away thing you can't comprehend why you even packed it, and start the dreaded process of donate piles. Yay. 

And yet I am 85-90% unpacked I still have missing items. It's so frustrating because I can look at every box, and even inside most and say nope no way it's in there but then I run out of boxes. This is how I unpack. This is why I hate unpacking and feel it's the worst part of moving. It's a disaster as I look for space for all my crap and try to find important things. My george foreman is still MIA as as some bowls and kitchen utensils for my kitchen. No clue where my bible ended up, and the remote and power cord for the living room tv weren't in the box. Yay. Oh yeah and the wall mounting kit for the living room is missing too. Although maybe that's a good hing because I still can't decide which walk I want to mount it and I don't want to have to do it twice. You j ow since we already pained. 

Reposting from another blogger

I Wish Someone Would've Warned Me About These BIG FEELINGS

Jen Hatmaker

I quit my job to stay home when I had my second baby just after her big brother turned two. Those first few months as a SAHM to two were, let’s say, mildly traumatizing (I am underselling this). I used to call my husband Brandon at 1:30pm and ask, Are you almost done with work? and he was all It’s 1:30 and I was like YOU DIDN’T ANSWER THE FREAKING QUESTION. ARE YOU ON YOUR WAY HOME OR SHOULD I CALL 911 TO COME HELP ME MANAGE THESE TWO BABIES????? Because no one told us not to, we added a third two years later and were ruled by a tiny army we created.
Three babies in four years. 
It was a whole thing. 



​These pics are terrible because it was the late 90's and THIS WAS THE BEST WE COULD DO. Also, we cut our original pictures and scrapbooked them all. I need therapy. 

I wish I would have known how new babies make all feelings MORE (and this from a girl who was already fairly high on melodrama): more thrill, more love, more anguish, more adoration, more fear, more gratitude, more doubt, more crazy. You may have been an emotionally sturdy professional just a minute ago, but a newborn takes your heart and mind, squishes them into pulp in her fat little baby hands, and turns you into a woman face down in despair over a Subaru commercial. Who is this sloppy woman in the mirror? Good lord, put on some clean pants and get your crap together! 
I remember a watershed moment the second year of staying home with the littles. Brandon came home from his glamorous job (“glamour” here meaning “out of the house”) and found me at the kitchen table, staring blankly like a poet. Or perhaps a serial killer. The kids? Not sure. I want to say they were…upstairs? Or in the backyard? They were somewhere on the property. My gosh, I wasn’t in the FBI. 
Brandon, speaking slowly, like to a lunatic: 
“Um, hi. You, uh, you okay there?” 
“Fine. Everything is fine. Except that I’ve turned dumb. It’s fine.”
“Dumb. Now you have a dumb wife. I used to be smart. I watched CNN. Did you know that I went to college and graduated with honors?”
“I did know that because I met and married you there. Remember?” 
“Well, sorry for your loss, because now I’m dumb. I sing the theme song to Blue’s Clues when the kids aren’t even around. That’s what I do now. I eat their leftover bread crusts off the floor. I can’t remember our Vice President. I told our neighbor I was 29.”
“You’re 27.”
Some days were very much like that. Raising the littles was sometimes the most frustrating, boring, numbing, exhausting, lonely job I’d ever had. But also, opposite. 
The Feels were all big, including the good ones. As I type this, I can literally recall how their chubby little cheeks felt against my lips; I kissed them hundreds of times a day. I remember exactly how my heart surged seeing a smiling, white-haired baby standing at the crib rails, squealing at the sight of me. I precisely remember all their first steps; I was there, cheering and laughing and holding out my arms to the first son at 12-months, the girl tot at 13-months, and of course the “spirited” baby at 9-months. 
When I could push through the Big Exhaustion and Big Guilt, I tapped into something more healthy: Big Pride. Every night with three precocious littles fed, bathed, read to, rocked, snuggled, and tucked into bed, I felt like some sort of damn warrior princess. Who can handle this many babies and toddlers all day?? APPARENTLY I CAN. (And if I managed to also have sex that night? I felt like a viable candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for my contributions to humanity.)
You can too, Young Mama. The new mom brain can be a real enemy, saying you are not enough and falling apart and a hot mess. But look at your children. Their shoes are on the correct feet, at least one has combed hair, those round bellies are clearly well-fed, and peek in their little eyes: lot of light in there, Mom. Those are the eyes of loved, cherished, cared-for babies. You’re doing it. You are raising whole humans, healthy and happy and safe. 
Can I tell you what happens next? 
First, you will get your groove back. Your dumbness will abate. Your brain returns and it comes back wiser and way less judgmental. (Except for that older lady in the store as my toddler pitched an epic fit for Count Chocula cereal: “My children never behaved that way.” HOW NICE FOR YOU AND MAY I OFFER MY CONDOLENCES TO YOUR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.) Not us, gals. We get it now. We love all the young moms behind us. We buy their wine on airplanes and encourage them in Target as their tot takes off his pants and streaks down the aisle. We tell them how our 2-year-old once bit her Sunday School teacher and drew blood and assure them easier days are ahead. 
And they are! 
Well, easier in most ways. Guess what? Kids grow up and pee-pee on the potty! They make their own sandwiches! They wash their own hair! They go to school for seven hours a day. I’m serious. The nonstop physical parenting slows down. The daily marathon relents. They stop biting their teachers. 
But I have some bad news too. These little ones? You fall even more madly in love as every year passes. That part doesn’t get any better. Subaru commercials are still out to kill us. The Big Feelings stay big, especially the tender ones. Your brain becomes useful again, but the kids grow up and you cannot stop it. That beautiful 3-year-old you’re tucking into bed? Blink and you’ll be sending him to Driver’s Ed. I swear to the heavens.
Let me tell you about Big Feelings: my oldest son, the one who took his first step into my arms at 12-months, is wrapping up his junior year. One more year and he launches. I can hardly speak of it. It went so fast. People told me it would and I didn’t believe them, but here we are in the home stretch; the finish line is near. The Family Years are waning and it literally takes my breath. (Brandon says they are just growing up, not dying, but I’ll cry about it IF I WANT TO.) 


I’ll tell you something most moms don’t: teenagers are mostly awesome. Sure, you also want to strangle them of course, but they are funny and smart and interesting, and this teen stage is totally my jam. It’s not all great (this exact minute my husband and son are inspecting a fence he plowed over hot-rodding through puddles with his best friend last night), but no stage of parenting is all great. Young Mama, set that future fear aside. You will adore that baby when he is one and eight and thirteen and donning his cap and gown. 
​So what I wish I would have known before bringing that first son home? The baby years are short, kind of like five minutes…underwater. It doesn’t seem like it, but he will go on to kindergarten then read the Harry Potter series then join the “ninja club” in middle school then play high school soccer and rent his first tux for prom and run over a fence in his truck, and near the end, you will hit your knees and thank God that you got to parent this kid, that he was yours, that he walked into your arms at one and will walk out of them at eighteen, but my gosh…what a gift. I wouldn’t trade one day of Big Feelings, because the good ones far outweigh the hard ones, and the one that endures above all else is Big, Big, Big Love. ​
“There goes my baby,
Like the sun falling out of the clear blue sky.
There goes my baby, 
Bye-bye, Baby, good-bye…”
~Trisha Yearwood

Best day ever

I can honestly say - today was one of my best days ever. I hope it leaves some lasting memory on Leiland but if not its ok.

Started out with snuggly boys in bed - love that time together.

Anna came over and watched Leiland while I took Owen out to lunch with my good friend Kim. It was great because without him there we could actually talk and catch up. Then add that I had an incredible french dip (been craving them lately) just topped it off. Owen fell asleep in my arms which gave us even more hang out time uninterrupted.

Owen fell asleep on the way home and transferred to his crib nicely then proceeded to sleep another 2 hours. I was able to run to get gas in the truck by myself (thanks to Anna being here). When Leiland woke we played a bit then Owen woke and nursed. After that we decided its the perfect day to go play outside. Its a gorgeous sunny 40 degree day - so off we went. We build a snowman finally (don't judge) and then did some sledding. Absolutely perfect. When Owen was done he and Anna headed in while I continued to sled with Leiland. Thats been so hard when its just me and the kids. But we made it work today.

Now please don't judge me on my snowman building skills. Keep in mind that I haven't built a snowman in enough years that the last one my parents probably helped me with. I honestly don't remember building one. I remember building igloos - and we kicked butt at those - but not sure about snowmen. So yes probably a good 15-20 years since my last snowman. We will just add that to the skills I need to improve on as a parent - along with my amazing pumping carving skills. Thankfully Tim has those down pat. 

It was getting late so I came in to make dinner while Anna went out with him to play more. Perfect. We ate an incredible chicken dinner )the most organic meal I have even made) and took Anna home. Where we drove into another beautiful sunset. They have been stunning lately. 

When we got back home it was late so I quickly nursed Owen and he went down to bed then I was able to snuggle Leiland. He was so happy and I kept reminding him how proud I was for how good he did getting ready for bed. No fight and no repeatedly telling him to do x, y, z. 

Perfect day. Couldn't have been any better (except if daddy was here with us).

11 month update

Wow one more month and he's not a baby anynore. The last month I've seen him change SO much.


Size 12m clothes with a few 18m in there. Some 12m too small but many of the pants are huge. Then a lot of 18m fit. 
Size 3 diapers
Size 4.5 shoes
18.2 pounds

New skills:
High fives
Early walking
Turning around to get out of bed

No words. He's trying to say hi and mom. Sometimes tries saying more. On occasion he will sign milk but not often. 

Got two new teeth when we visited california. Now has a total of 5 teeth. Two bottom three too. His left side seem to be ahead of his right. 

He is starting to walk. He will take 5 or so steps before diving. He does it all on his own too meaning he doesn't need to be walking to one of us. He just tries to walk. It's so adorable. 

He's definitely getting big and growing. He takes a sippy cup great no matter the contents. He likes almond milk as a practice drink because pumping is pointless these days. 

His favorite toys are anything automotive (cars, trucks, trains, planes), balls, music, and his big brother Leiland. He is crazy about him. However if Leiland tells him no it takes something owen cries and screams as though Leiland hurt him. Little stinker this boy is. 

He starting to like more table food but is very picky. I still offer the purée foods because they are on my freezer lol. Once gone I won't make anymore before we move. Then I'll make pouches when he gets a little better at them. 

Sleeping better is off and on. Some days he does great but teething definitely impacts that. I've been trying to nurse to sleep less and lay him down awake more often. It's harder with Leiland always around and ruling him up. He fights it when there are things to see and do. 

Owen has two bad habits. Hiring and biting. Because he likes sucking his fingers so much he goes back and forth from breast to fingers and back to breast. So when nursing he may relatch 3-6 times. Well now when he's done he just bites me. Not cool. We're working on it and it's getting better. He also likes to bite Leiland. As for the hitting it's usually out of excitement. Not worried about it yet bi just tell him to be nice and be soft. Give loves. 

That's all for now. I can't believe he is so close to one already. 

Someone is starting to pay attention to tv
February 27th, remembering baby Alexander

The climbing is going to give me a heart attack - 5 Feb 2015