Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big dogs & Baby

The thought of this picture several months ago would have shot fear straight through my veins. 

       -Oh my gosh the dog is going to step on the baby!-

 And to think a year ago the dogs WERE my baby.  We have a Great Dane (Tucker - pictured above) and a Lab/Huskie mix (Max) and have always made accommodations for our 'children'.  When looking at houses, making sure we had enough land for them to run around & installing underground fences so they don't have to live on a chain.  Big, comfy beds, lots of treats and lots of love.

A funny thing happens when you have a baby.  Sorry dogs, you are now secondary...if I remember you at all.  While I love big dogs, I had a slight fear when we brought Landon home from the hospital.  Big dogs require so much care and they're just so...BIG!  They had never been around babies before so what would they do with this defenseless living thing invading their space?  And then when he starts moving??  We made it clear from the beginning that the dogs could only come near Landon if invited and that he belonged to US, not them.  Once that was established, the dogs really didn't want much of anything to do with him.  Success!!  I never imagined that in a few months I would need to protect my big dogs from my little baby.  Apparently it is a lot of fun to crawl over a dog over instead of going around him, to use his back/stomach/face as a drum set, his tale as a maraca, or to just tackle him to the ground! This has been mastered on the lab, but not the Great Dane...yet.)

There are times when the combination of the baby and the dogs still makes me nervous or I have to intervene.  Though, listening to Landon's laughter when they lick his face or seeing the dogs lay down beside him when they clearly know the repercussions make me smile at the end of the day. 

Besides, what's cuter than dogs & babies?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Easiest. Dessert. Ever.

I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but I'm more of a baked goods than candy bar kinda gal.  Unfortunately, when I want chocolate...I want it now.  Sometimes I fall back on a childhood treat of melting chocolate chips and then eating it with a spoon.  When I'm feeling more sophisticated I skip the melting and snack on chocolate chips while I sip wine.  A few weeks ago I was craving chocolate & there were NO chocolate chips in the house!  I did have a dark chocolate candy bar in the pantry but I kept searching and came across puff pastry in the freezer(& a lightbulb over my head!)  Here is the easiest dessert ever:

Puff Pastry & a chocolate bar of your preference.

Unfold the puff pastry, line the chocolate in the middle once the puff pastry has thawed, and then fold the puff pastry back up.  I sealed the edges by pressing on them, and baked at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  You probably should bake it a litte longer, but I am impatient & quite frankly my pastry a little gooey in the middle sounds fantastic.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A year of cloth

The holiday season is a time when we begin to reflect on the past year.  The ups & downs, new adventures, loves, losses, and how we have grown.  This has been quiet a year for me & my family, especially with the birth of our first child, Landon.  Today I am reflecting on a year of cloth diapering.

I knew very early on that I wanted to cloth diaper my (future) children.  I mean like 'before I was pregnant' early.  Once I was pregnant, I researched daily.  If you have ever looked into cloth diapering you know the more you try to narrow down your choices the more information you find and the harder your choices become.  It can be overwhelming!  I remember often taking negative comments from people with a smile and a nod.  Cloth isn't for everyone and that is okay, but if I want to take on the challenge, a little encouragement or at the very least sealed lips isn't too much to ask, right?  With that said, diving into cloth diapering IS very scary; Even when you have 100% committed to it and secretly want to succeed just to prove the naysayers wrong.  The husband and I took the plunge when our little guy was about 1 week old.  I had originally wanted to begin earlier, but I underestimated post-pregnancy recovery and well, general lack of sleep as a new mom.  Chris was the one who said, 'Let's start today!'  And so we did.

We began using prefolds and covers and after day one we felt pretty confident about cloth.  No blowouts or major leaking so all was well.  After the first night - I panicked!  The prefold was completely soaked.  Is this normal?  How long did he have this totally soaked diaper against his skin.  Will it cause a rash or some other issue?  It turns out this is how cloth works - It absorbs the moisture!  At this point I was feeling like a real genius.(insert sarcasm here)  Just as every other aspect of parenting, you learn as you go.  Seemingly logical ideas and concepts are suddenly met with panic for the survival of your child, followed by a silly/delirious laugh and a slow descent back down to reality and logic. 

Very quickly we got the hang of cloth and fell in love with the cuteness factor!  In a few short weeks we will have been using cloth diapers for one year and I honestly can't imagine it any other way.  Before I misrepresent myself - I do use disposables on occasion.  Some daycare's don't allow cloth (yet), emergency trips home, flying, etc.  Disposable diapers serve their purpose in my life, absolutely.  The use of them, however, typically results in a friendly debate with my husband who insists we keep Landon in cloth.  He might just love cloth more than me!  Among the many lessons I have learned and the many reasons I love cloth, my favorite is that I am passing on a tradition of cloth from my Mother to me, and now on to my son. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We are family

Spending quality time with family is what makes the Holiday season special to me.  One of the reasons I like being stationed at Fort Drum (yes, not everyones hates it) is that my Mom's extended family is a short 3 hour drive away!  We drove over for the annual family Christmas Party and had a wonderful time!  My Mom & Dad were in from Virginia and all of my Mom's siblings (9 total) were present.  Here are a few pictures from the celebration...It's impossible not to be in the Christmas spirit after a get-together like this:

Family Christmas Party 2011

Landon pushing around Mamaw's walker

The Magician performing for the kids...

...and a few tricks for the adults!

Happy Holiday's everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I just joined the SheSpeaks Blogger Society!  That means I will be reviewing products and sharing other information related to women in the near future! 

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My family

I came downstairs to give Chris, who was asleep on the couch, the 15 minute warning to get dressed so we could head out the door for our photography session.  His response...'You've been up there for over an hour!'  First, he was asleep so, um hubby, are you sure about that?  Second, okay, okay, I'm a Mom now and I rarely get the time to primp in the morning! ;)

So we went to Ellen's studio of Ellen Nicol Photography for our photo session.  She also has done our Maternity session and Landon's newborn pictures and we just LOVE her!  Before I even made it home from chores today she had posted our sneak peak of pics and of course, I am in love with every single one!  If you are ever stationed at Fort Drum, or live in the Watertown/Lowville, NY area you should look her up.!/pages/Ellen-Nicol-Photography/60457206857