Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ila - Seven Months

I can't believe that Ila is seven months old today!  That seems impossible!  Not only because it's going by so fast, but because she is so little!  She does NOT look like a seven month old!  I would say she's more the size of a four month old.  She's a good eater though.  I still nurse her every three hours during the day, and food wise, she's now up to bananas, avocados, pears, butternut squash, blueberries, apples and oatmeal.  Pears seem to be her favorite.  She scarfs those down!  I find making baby food to be, like, the most fun thing in the world.  I have no idea why.  But I get so excited to do it.  I'm actually dreading her growing out of the baby food stage - not because she'll be older, but because I won't get to make baby food anymore.

She's still in the bassinet in our room, and I have no desire to move her until she outgrows it.  Which doesn't seem like it'll be anytime soon!  Ila still goes with me to put Eden to bed.  We usually start Eden's bedtime routine between 7 and 7:30, and Ila either rolls around on Eden's floor or sits in my lap (depending on her mood) while we do The Goodnight Moon game, books, prayers, and all that stuff.  I used to take Ila back downstairs with me after that, and she didn't go to bed until Dustin and I did, but this month, I've started nursing her one last time and putting her down in the bassinet right after Eden's bedtime.  So she is usually down for the night by 8 and sleeps until between 5 and 6.  Sometimes she'll fall back asleep after she eats in the mornings; sometimes she's up for the day.  She is still taking three naps every day - two catnaps around 10 and 5 and a really good, long nap around 1.

She is still toothless!

She is still rolling to get places even though poor Eden is constantly trying to show her how to crawl. ("Like this Ila" as she crawls in circles around Ila.)

She is in the grabbing stage and practically throws herself out of my arms to try and grab (and then shove into her mouth) something that she sees.

She loves to be held upside down by her ankles.  It's hilarious.

Sometimes I'm just amazed when I walk by the living room and see her sitting up on a quilt playing with her toys.  I can't believe we're already here!  (A few minutes later though and she's fallen and whining for me to come sit her back up.)

We're having some family pictures taken later this week, and I'm really excited.  Photos of Eden still dominate this house, and I can't wait to have some professional photos of Ila too!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Crazy Dog People

This post contains the cutest pictures ever.

What's going on over here you ask?  Oh nothin' much... we just have EIGHT ADORABLE YELLOW LAB PUPPIES at our house right now!

Drake and Daisy had BABIES!!!

Okay, so sit back... I'm gonna tell the story of how we got all of our dogs.  Because I know there are MILLIONS of people out there just sitting around wondering this.

Once upon a time, a little yellow lab was born.  He was bought by a couple that lived in a teeny-tiny apartment.  This couple was apparently not the brightest, and when they bought this little lab puppy, they didn't know he was going to be big one day.  When the puppy was nine months old, they got rid of him because (gasp) he was now big.  Too big for their tiny little apartment.  This puppy became homeless, and after a while, he ended up with a friend of Dustin's dad.  This guy didn't want to keep the puppy, but he agreed to take him in temporarily.  Dustin fell in love with this dog and asked me if we could take it.  This was about three months after we were married.  At the time, I said no.  I have no idea now why I said that.  But I did.  I said no, and then I left to go to my cousin's bachelorette party in Alabama for three days.  When I got home from my trip and pulled into my driveway, I was greeted by... a yellow lab.  I. Was. Furious.  I could NOT BELIEVE that Dustin brought home a DOG when I had said NO!  We had a huge fight.  He said I could name it.  I said I didn't care.  So Dustin named (changed his name actually - his first name was Pudding) him Max.  I remained furious for about... an hour.  All I had going on that summer were some online classes to finish up my degree, and soon Max and I were best friends and spent afternoons laying on the couch together watching TV and sharing bags of chips.  Seriously.  Max was an extremely expensive dog (that we got free!) with an impressive family history.  He came to us with all of his papers.  I immediately took him to the vet and got him fixed because I DON'T CARE ABOUT STUFF LIKE THAT!  People still give me hell for having him fixed.  SO... though I didn't even want him at first, I fell madly in love with Max and claimed him as MINE!  Also, he's gorgeous.  We had a few mishaps at first (he literally ATE our porch swing), but now he's super super calm.  He's so loving and cuddly.  He doesn't know he's big, and he's constantly trying to sit in my lap.  He's seven, and sometimes I hyperventilate when I think about him no longer being around.

 awwww, little baby Edens

About three years after we got Max, the same friend of Dustin's dad had a pregnant lab show up at his house and have her puppies.  Again, Dustin wanted one.  Again, I wasn't totally on board.  At this point, we had three dogs (more on that later), and I thought that was enough.  But Dustin knew how to get me.  I had never ever had a puppy before; all the dogs I had ever had in my life were rescue dogs.  He would go to this guy's house and text me pictures of the little yellow lab he had chosen.  I caved.  Enter Drake.  Drake is still crazy hyper at four years old.  He is Dustin's dove hunting dog and can be so tough and intimidating, but at the same time he is so sweet and gentle and is really nothing more than a giant baby.  I wanted to get Drake fixed too.  But this time Dustin wouldn't let me.  Dustin ADORES Drake.  Sometimes I accuse Dustin of loving Drake more than he loves me.  I joke and ask him questions like, "If the house were on fire and you had to choose between me and Drake to save, who would you pick?"  And Drake ADORES Dustin.  When Dustin is home, Drake is right by his side.  He follows him from room to room.  He freaks out if Dustin is outside and he's still inside or vice versa.  Dustin begged me not to get him fixed because he always said that one day he wanted to breed Drake - so that when he could no longer have Drake, he could have Drake's offspring.

hahahahaha, I still remember the night we did this, and we just thought it was the funniest thing ever! 

So now we had two labs.

awwwww, when Max and Drake met!

They slept with us, rode around in the truck with us, went to Thanksgivings and Christmases with us, went running with me, etc.

Then Eden came along.  And Dustin decided that since we each had a lab, she needed one too.  I've told that story before.  Here.  Enter Daisy.  Eden loves having her OWN dog.  Daisy has a bed in Eden's room and sleeps with her every night.  Eden is in charge of feeding her every morning and evening.  I, of course, wanted to have her fixed.  And Dustin, of course, asked me not to.  Because he said that's who he could one day breed Drake to.  I was not really on board with this.  But Dustin wasn't planning on doing it for a few more years, so I just figured it wasn't worth the fight; I would just worry about it when it came time to do it and would do my best to talk Dustin out of it then.

So Ila was born.  And Dustin said that when the time came for her to get a dog, Drake and Daisy could have puppies, and one of those would go to Ila.  Since I figured Ila didn't need a puppy for a couple more years, I was just like whatever.  Again, no need to worry about it now.

So Daisy came into heat the first time.  And we managed to keep her and Drake apart.  Daisy came into heat again a few months ago.  We started out strong.  A few days in, I was busy with Eden and Ila, the dogs were inside and driving me crazy, and without thinking, I put them all outside.  LESS than five minutes later, I was like OH CRAP!  I ran outside, and sure enough... I was too late.  I PANICKED.  I completely freaked out.  I was SO UPSET.  I was hysterical and crying and yelling at Dustin.  I did NOT want Drake and Daisy to have puppies... especially not NOW!  I told Dustin that I did not have time for this, I did not want to be responsible for puppies entering the world, I went on and on about all the dogs out there in shelters that needed homes and asked him how he could be so selfish to want this!  I cried and cried and was in a bad mood for days.  I watched Daisy like a hawk.  I kept feeling her belly to see if I could feel movement.  I asked Dustin if a pregnancy test would work on her.  (He thought I was insane.)  A month went by.  She seemed totally normal.  A few more weeks went by.  She still seemed totally normal.  She was the same size as always.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thanked my lucky stars that we had dodged a bullet.  On April 24th, I noticed Daisy looked a little fat.  On April 26th, Daisy went underneath our house and had puppies.  We could hear them crying from the vents.  I WAS NOT HAPPY.  Dustin pulled the siding off of our house and crawled under and got the puppies.

And it was love at first sight.  I'm sorry, but you just cannot be anything but over the moon elated when handed newborn puppies.

I still feel guilty for our contribution to the dog world.  But what's done is done.  So I may as well enjoy this.  Because to tell you the truth - this is like a childhood dream of mine come true!  WE HAVE PUPPIES!  And I'm so happy that Eden gets to experience this.  The girl is in heaven.  She holds them and cuddles them, and at night she has to tell each and every one of them good night and gives them hugs and kisses.

She was sick a couple of days last week.  But it was nothing that puppies couldn't make better!

Dustin suggested we keep one for Ila.  And I said that wasn't fair.  I said she was too young.  Because Eden got to open her puppy on Christmas morning!  Daisy was all wrapped up for her in a box!  And Ila needed that too!  But then we gave her a puppy to see...

And Ila got so dang excited!  And I thought, okay... this is pretty great too!  They will grow up together.

So meet Ila's dog.  (She doesn't have a name yet.)

So Ila has her lab.  And through her, Dustin has Drake's line.

We each have a yellow lab.

And as SOON as Daisy is healed, she is getting FIXED!  And Drake's time is coming soon as well.

And we are just the happiest people ever over here.  We play with puppies all day long.  They are currently in a plastic swimming pool in our sunroom.  Eden likes to "cook" for them and give them her toys to play with.

I was worried about finding homes for the remaining seven.  But in less than a week and without even really trying, they all have homes!  I knew I would be very particular about where these puppies were going to go.  They are my babies' babies after all.  But they all have homes with friends and family - which is great, because we will still get to see them all the time!

Just look...

and my FAVORITE picture...


Okay.  So we have four labs.  I admit that the labs get the most attention of all our pets.

But we also have LJ.  He showed up one day a few years ago.  He was scared and skittish, but with a lot of coaxing and patience and treats, he finally came to me after a couple of days.  He is awkward and has an overbite, but both those things just make him adorable.  My dad says all the time that LJ is his favorite.  It took a LONG time before LJ stayed here.  After the first time, he left but would return every few days.  I always kept food out for him, and after a while, he finally decided to make this his home.  I've tried to keep him inside at night, but he HATES it.  He hates to be contained.  He has a wanderin' soul and even now, he leaves sometimes.  Our fence is dog proof, but he's a little Houdini and gets out.  He always comes back though.  If he would let me, I would spoil him rotten.  I worry about him at night, especially when it's cold.  I've put sweaters on him in the winter (he pulls them off) and bought him dog beds (he tears them to shreds).  Maybe when he gets old he will let me baby him more.

Then there's Jake.  Jake is another dog that just seemed to bounce around homes.  One winter night, the temperature was supposed to drop below freezing, and Jake was outside in a goat pen at my grandparents' house.  Dustin brought him to our house so he could stay the night in our shop with a heat lamp.  It was supposed to be a one night thing.  That was almost five years ago.  He's blind in one eye.  I still don't feel like he's really our dog... it was supposed to be a temporary thing... but I somehow can't let him go.  We've had a few people want to take him, but I've turned them all down because I worry that he won't get the care and attention that he needs because of his eye.  He's safe here in our dog proof fence.

So yeah... there's the story of our six dogs.  Riveting, I know.

We go through a bag of dog food every six days.  We could probably go to Europe if I didn't spend so much money on vet visits and heart worm and flea meds.

We also have three cats.  And a fish (Kitty-Cat is going strong!).  And I'm trying to talk Dustin into a pony for the girls.  :)

***though Dustin and I don't seem to agree on the whole having puppies thing, he has a humongous heart when it comes to animals and treats our dogs like kings and queens

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ila - Six Months!

Hey y'all!  It's me - Ila!

I turned six months old last Friday, April 10th!  My mommy can hardly believe it!  She can be a little dramatic and has been moaning and groaning about how I'm already half way to my birthday!  She's so silly.

My daddy had to go out of town for a bachelor party on Friday, but my Gamma came to town, and Mommy, Gamma and Sissy took me to The Children's Museum.  I like it there because they have lots of mirrors so that I can see myself everywhere that I look.  I love to look at myself because I am so cute.

There was also lots and lots of space for me to roll and roll around and lots of fun toys to play with.

I love to roll.  I don't crawl yet, but I can get from one side of the room to the other in the blink of an eye by rolling.  Sometimes I get stuck in a corner or something so I scream and scream until Mommy comes to save me.

Speaking of Mommy, I sure do love her.  She's my favorite person in the whole world, and other people are only allowed to hold me if they stand next to Mommy so that I can see her the whole time.  I don't like it when Mommy leaves me EVER!  You know what I did to make sure that she couldn't leave me?  I started refusing to take a bottle!  A few weekends ago, Mommy and Daddy tried to leave me with Poppa James and Sue-Sue to go to a couples shower.  I showed them though!  When they brought out a bottle, I screamed for an hour straight until Poppa finally called Mommy and she came home and fed me.  I did it to Gamma once too when Mommy and Daddy tried to go out with some friends.  Now Mommy knows that she can't leave me or I'll starve myself.  HAHAHAHA!

I have what Mommy calls a "witching hour".  Starting every evening around 5:30, I must be held by Mommy and MOMMY ONLY for a couple of hours.  This can be a little frustrating to Mommy because she's usually very busy around this time, but I don't care.  I ONLY want Mommy to hold me.  She used to try to hand me to Daddy so she could do something silly like cook dinner or brush Sissy's teeth before bed, but I just scream and scream until Daddy gives me back to Mommy.  So Mommy has started putting me in an ergo during my witching hour.  I like this a lot.  It's so comfortable against Mommy's chest, and now I just sleep in my ergo while Mommy cooks and cleans the kitchen and gets Sissy ready for bed and stuff like that.  It makes it more difficult for Mommy to do things while wearing an ergo, but I don't really care.

Some other things about me are: I am very, very ticklish.  Mornings are my favorite time.  I wake up smiling.  I love to smile.  Smiling's my favorite.  I am very good at sleeping.  I still sleep in my bassinet next to Mommy and Daddy's bed.  I like it there.  I love to pull on the cat's fur when she walks by me.  It's so funny!  It makes me laugh!  I love to give kisses and slobber all over everybody's cheeks.  I still don't have any teeth.  Prior to 5:30 every day, I'm a perfect angel.  I am completely addicted to my paci.  I looovvveeee to talk.  If I'm trying to talk to you and you don't seem to be paying attention to me, I will start coughing and pretending that something is wrong so that you will run over to me.  Then I grin and laugh because I fooled you.  I'm also really, really small.

I had my six month check-up yesterday, and at 12 lbs. 15 oz., I don't even register on the charts.  My Mommy asked the doctor what percentile I was in, and the doctor said, "zero".  But since I'm proportionate and happy and meeting all my milestones, the doctor said I am A-OK!

Mommy took that picture before I had my shots.  I wasn't so happy after I got my shots, and if Mommy would've told me they were coming, I wouldn't have been smiling in this picture!

For my half birthday, Mommy and Sissy made me half a birthday cake!  Mommy let Sissy decorate it, and I laid in my nap nanny and watched her.  I love watching Sissy.

Since Daddy was out of town on my actual half birthday, we didn't celebrate me until last night.  I loved my cake.  Sissy did a good job!

But then they didn't let me eat any of it!  And they all ate it RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!  How rude!

So I don't get to eat cake yet, but now that I'm a big girl and six months old, Mommy says I can have some other food.  On Sunday, she mashed up a banana for me.  It was my very first time to eat food!  I really liked it, and ate everything that was in the bowl!  Sissy helped feed me too.  I sure do love my big sissy.  She's very nice to me.  Sometimes she gives me hugs and I grab her hair and pull it and she screams and I just laugh and laugh!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!  I can sit up now!  I did it for the first time on exactly my six month birthday!  It's amazing at how good I've gotten at it in just a few days!  It sure is fun to be able to sit up by myself now!  It's much better than laying down all the time!

I'm such a happy girl.  I think I have a pretty good life.  It's so awesome to be me!