Unplugging

I’ve been conflicted about blogging for the last several months.  Part of me is keen to continue to write, and share more of our “adventures” as a family of 3 (+2 furry members).  I often get inspired by a topic, and begin composing it in my head.  Sadly, I never seem to find the time to sit down with the computer and put my thoughts to the screen.

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The truth is I’m enjoying the rest of my life too much to make the time to blog.  Baby O has reached a great age – he is very interactive and fun to play with.  Naps don’t last long, and when they happen it is always a rush to take care of several house-related items or sneak in a short rest of my own.

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I just don’t have the time, and don’t want to make the time, that I would need to meet the blogging standard I aspire too.  So for that reason, I’ve decided it’s time to unplug and allow myself to focus on other things.  Like reading a book that isn’t baby-related, experimenting in the kitchen more, embarking on some DIY crafty projects (one of a million I’ve got pinned), enjoying the outdoors with O and Kona, and getting that new year’s running resolution started.

Thanks to you all for reading, and supporting this little endeavour of mine.  Who knows, I may be back but for now I’m “retiring” my keyboard 😉

S.

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Who’s The Boss – Revisited

Last year I wrote about the ongoing stand-off between Keegan and Kona.  And by “stand-off”, I really mean Kona’s efforts to entice Keegan to play, and Keegan’s disdain and disinterest in her.

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This hasn’t changed much.  Although Keegan has figured out that Kona isn’t going to hurt him, so he’s become bolder with his actions.  He stands his ground if Kona approaches him and he’s bitten her face a few times.  It’s not very effective though – Kona only yelped once in pain.

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Kona has taken to a new tactic, one she likes to employ at the dog park with dogs who aren’t interested in playing…. She sniffs his bum.  Yes, our dog is classy.

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We still have gates up on our main floor to separate the dog and cat zones of the house.  Now that I’m home all day, every day, I am constantly walking through the gates, often with a baby in my arms, and they are becoming rather annoying.

We let Kona out into the cat area of the house fairly often now, and we’re ready to let her in that area permanently.  What we don’t want is for her to be able to get upstairs (gotta leave Keegan some dog-free space!).  Since we’ll  need a gate for the stairs eventually (O can’t roll over yet, but the months are flying by and he’ll be crawling relatively soon), we picked one up on sale a few weeks ago.  The plan is to keep the Family Room as the dog zone, where we can corral Kona when she is getting in the way (she likes to “help” when we are moving things in/out of the house and basement, or trying to mop the floor).

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I cannot wait – this is long overdue!

Snow Days

The weatherman is calling for lots of snow today, and for Kona’s sake I hope the forecast is right for once!  Nobody loves snow as.much as our pup….

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She loves making snow dogs (is that what you call the dog version of snow angels?), and burying her face in the snow.  The first snowfall this winter she was in heaven!

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Since O was born P has taken over the majority of the dog walking duties.  I try to walk her on weekend afternoons when P is around and can take over baby-duty.  I never thought I would say this, but I miss our early morning walks, especially after a night of snow fall.  The peace and calm of our neighbourhood before the hustle and bustle of people leaving for work and school.  That crisp clean air.  Making the first set of tracks in the snow.  I miss it… and maybe, just maybe, if the planets align and timing works out, I might be able to squeeze in a late evening stroll with our pup if it snows today. Maybe.

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So as someone who is home on mat leave (and whose husband no longer drives into the City), I’m secretly wishing for a massive snowfall.  Apologies to all those who will have a miserable commute if my wish comes true!

(Photo Disclaimer:  Ok, these photos don’t capture her joy in the snow… she’s very “blue steel” when asked to pose for photographs.  Next time candids will be in order!)

The Ugly Bald Puppy, Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, P and I had no fears about Kona’s acceptance of our baby.  Lucky for us, she proved us right!

Out for a walk - Kona's leash manners are excellent when she is with the stroller.

Out for a walk – Kona’s leash manners are excellent when she is with the stroller.

O and I went home the day after his birth.  As Kona hadn’t seen me in over 30 hours, P took O into the living room so that I could greet Kona alone in the Kitchen.  Well, I needn’t have bothered.  She had NO INTEREST in seeing me, and instead was staring intently at P in the living room.

The baby hadn’t made a sound, but she knew someone new was there.  P brought O into the kitchen and Kona went into excitement overload – her tail was wagging a mile a minute, and she was sniffing and nudging P intently.  Unlike when a new adult arrives though, she was exceptionally obedient, listening and obeying every command she was given.

That first week at home Kona was very attentive to the baby.  Every time he cried she would rush over, tail wagging, wanting to “help” (aka lick baby from head to toe).  Eventually she stopped rushing over, and instead stared at me as if to say “aren’t  you going to do something about this?”.  But if a stranger is holding him when he cries, she will run right over to check things out.

Also in those first two weeks Kona finally had the incentive to try a “jail break” from the dog zone of our house.  She would stick her nose out to stop the gate from latching when one of us left the kitchen and then wait.  10 or 20 minutes later we would look up and discover Kona had come to find us upstairs.  In our state of sleep deprivation it took us several days to realize what she was doing!

Please can I play with the ugly puppy?

Please can I play with the ugly bald puppy?

Luckily, while she is still keen on licking him, she seems to understand that we don’t like it. We recently moved his swing into the kitchen and I thought I’d have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she stayed clear of his head and hands (he loves to chew on them, she loves to lick them, not a good combo!).  I was happily surprised to find she leaves his head & hands alone, and instead will lie on the floor and nudge his feet as he swings.

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Ooo! Ooo! Here it comes!

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Let me help you with this swinging thing

P and I couldn’t be happier with how well Kona has adapted to life with a baby.  We can’t wait until our son is older and the two of them become the best of friends.

The Ugly Bald Puppy, Part 1

When I was pregnant, probably the most asked question after “when are you due” was “how will Kona react to the baby?”.  It isn’t surprising then that the most offered piece of unsolicited advice given to us was how to introduce a baby and dog.

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Our first “baby”

P and I weren’t concerned about Kona’s acceptance of a baby for a number of reasons.  She’s a labrador retriever, which is a breed well known for being excellent with children.  In fact my Dad told us stories about my parents’ black lab, Domino, who was a bit nutty, but very good with toddlers and children.  We’d witnessed her reactions to children, toddlers, and even an 8 week old infant.  In all cases, she was happy and excited – in fact, she gets as excited about kids as she does about other dogs.  Once she discovered strollers contain children, they became one of the things she would run to if she was off leash.

Me and Domino, 1979.  Who needs a Bumbo?

Me and Domino, 1979. Who needs a Bumbo?

But being a young lab (only 18 months old when our son was born), Kona doesn’t know her own strength.  When playing with small dogs or puppies she is noticeably more gentle.  Still, we are very vigilant when children are around, especially those learning to walk.  A loving nudge from Kona and they will tumble to the ground!

Countless people suggested that P bring a receiving blanket home from the hospital so that Kona could get used to the baby’s smell before we brought him or her home.  Great in theory, but not practical in reality as we spent very little time in the hospital after the birth (less than 16 hours which included an overnight stay).  Thankfully, it also proved to be unnecessary…

So how is Kona with our son?  Well, a few weeks after we brought him home, I saw this picture on Facebook:

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It perfectly captures Kona’s relationship with our “ugly bald puppy”.  More on their first meeting and their friendship to follow!

Resolutions

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great night celebrating the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.  I was up, but not to celebrate as I have in years past 😉

While I’m normally not one to make a New Years resolution, this year I am making an exception.  Since my last trimester began, and especially after our little one arrived, I have not made the time for myself to be active.  So this year my resolution is to try and incorporate being active into my new life as a mom.

I know the majority of fitness resolutions tend to fail, but I have a multi-step plan to help me succeed. The first step is that I’ve told my husband the plan and I’m sharing it on this blog.  P very supportive and encouraging in my efforts to be active.  Once I’ve verbally committed to him, I know he’ll be checking up on me to make sure I follow through as well as helping out at home (even more than he already does) to make sure that I have no excuses.  And then there’s the self-imposed guilt I will feel knowing I shared the plan here.

The second step is that I am trying out a mom and baby fitness class – Salsa Babies – to get me through the winter months.  I’m hoping the social aspect of the class, and the fact that I can bring O with me, will keep me motivated!

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Fingers crossed that Baby O and I are smiling as much as the mom and baby in the cartoon when we try our first class in January.

And the third step is that I will start running again once the weather is warm enough to allow me to take the babe outside.  To help me do that, I’ll be using this:

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Thanks to a fabulous kijiji find, P and I just invested in a great jogging stroller.  The snow has only just arrived and now I can’t wait until Spring to get a running program started (again).

Before our son arrived, I was actually opposed to getting a jogging stroller.  I had this crazy notion that running would be my “me time” and that I’d go out with Kona while P watched our baby.  Obviously I had no understanding of baby feeding and sleeping schedules back then!

So how about you? Any other New Years Resolutions out there?

I’m Baaack….

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of family, fun and festivities.  It’s been a LONG time since my last post.  I’d been debating getting back to blogging, and the shoutout from This Dusty House a few weeks ago spurred me into action.

The reason for my absence?  About 16 weeks ago I went from this…

40 weeks (8 days before the big day)

40 weeks (8 days before the big day)

To this…

A month or so later

A month or so later

Just after labour day weekend (literally… my contractions started late at night on the Monday), P and I welcomed our son into the world.

It’s been a busy, crazy, amazing 16 weeks.  16 WEEKS!?!?!?  I’d say where does the time go, but I know.  Because 16 weeks later, my little bug has grown so much…

There’s a lot to share about the past 16 weeks, so there will be no shortage of blogging material!  The question will be when I will manage to fit in the time to write.  I’m in awe of all the blogging moms out there who have managed to post in the first few months after the arrival of their little ones.  Kudos to you all!

Another reason for my long absence is that I was debating how much to share about our baby boy.  This is a public blog and it will be a long time before he will have the awareness to decide whether he wants to be a part of it.  A timely post on Little House Blog and the comments on it helped to solidify my opinion.  While I will share posts on my experiences with motherhood, personal details or direct photographs of our son will not appear on this blog.  Everyone has their own comfort level, and while I love seeing photos of babies on other blogs (and showing off my son), I’m just not comfortable sharing him in this type of forum.

The last 4 months have been a whirlwind of excitement and I can’t wait for the adventures ahead for us in 2013.  Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!