Monday, October 26, 2009

My Pumpkin.

Lily's first trip to the pumpkin patch!

We didn't pick the best day to go, being that her and I were both sick, but I thought the fresh air would do us some good. It definitely did. It was a gorgeous day and she seemed happy to be outside..although you can tell she wasn't feeling great in a couple of those pictures. Her eyes tell it all. It was fun though!

Lily has been so busy in her 5th month of life! We had a blast in New Hampshire last week with Jaime, Matt and Ryan. Ryan ADORED Lily. He is such a sweet boy and being raised so well. If I am half as good as a mother as Jaime, I'm doing pretty well!

Some highlights...

Apple Picking!

Cuddling with Ryan.

Scenic train ride.

Flirting with new boys.

Breakfast with FIFs! (internet friends :)

We carved pumpkins with some friends last week so I'll have to post some pictures of that too but I'm pretty sure I'm on picture overload with this post!
Up next...Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Bear Dog.

I thought it was about time to write about my best friend.
I've spent so much time and energy focused on my pregnancy and then Lily, of course, but I don't talk too much about Bear.

Bear came into my life in February of 1999. He was born in December of 1998 and came from a back yard breeder about 30 minutes from my house. He was advertised as "One male left!". I'm not sure why but this bothered me. I just didn't think that was a selling point and I felt like maybe that "one male left" was lonely.

I should back up a bit...At the time, I didn't know much about dogs, breeders, puppy mills, etc. I was 22 and a bit naive about how over populated the world is with unwanted dogs. The only experiences I had with owning my own dog was, once when I was 8, we got it from a puppy store, it got sick and died when it was 2, and then again when I was 19, in college, bought a Beagle from a back yard breeder, that I ended up giving up to a better home. A 700sq foot apartment was no place for a BEAGLE who needed to run. So, basically, all I knew is that I lived alone, I loved dogs and I also wanted some protection of sorts. My dad said, "you need to get a gun or a dog". A dog it was.

So, I got to visit this "one male left" house. The people owned the mom of the litter and bred her with a police dog down the street. There were 4 females in the litter, already spoken for, in a play pin out on these people's porch. Cute...but where is the male? "Oh, we leave him in the bathroom alone because he's big and clumsy. We didn't want him around the females." WHHATTTT?? Mean. I needed to rescue this pup.
The bathroom door opens and this comes bounding toward me:

Cutest dog I have ever seen. Clumsy, yes, but so cute, with HUGE paws. I was in love.
I named him Bear because the "breeders" thought he resembled a teddy bear, so that's what they called him. I thought it suited him.

Bear was so easy to train, well, with my dad's help :), and he was SO smart. His loyalty emerged immediately. Not an aggressive bone in his body, but he sure sounded mean right from the start. The vet said he would be a big dog, weighing 17lbs at 8 weeks old. He was certainly right. He stands realllly tall, about to my thigh, and he was about 105lbs in his healthiest years.

He loved to chew on rawhide, play ball, play frisbee, go on car rides, go to the beach (yet, hated the water and would literally bark at it), go on visits but most of all LOVES FOOD!

Here's a few pictures throughout the years...

About 3 months old.

A little over a year old.

3 years old.

9 years old.

Dog lovers know that there is nothing like the bond you share with "man's best friend". Absolutely nothing. I know people are thinking, "what about Lily and that bond?". Yes, true, but it's totally different. The bond with a dog is a friendship, an honest to God's true friendship, like no other.

Bear has seen me through my darkest days and the most beautiful days. There couldn't be a more true meaning of "for better or worse".
Bear has endured:
  • 6 different houses.
  • 2 ex's.
  • My various mental states, due to being hormonal and emotional from the above mentioned ex's.
  • 1 step dog with my ex.
  • Various foster dogs.
  • Surviving bloat, which only about 2-5% of dogs survive.
  • Car trips to avoid hurricanes.
  • A new baby in the house.
The list goes on and on....

Now, at almost 11 years old, he is a trooper. He is not in the best of health, battling arthritis, hip dysplasia and spinal mylopathy...but, his spirit remains the same somehow. He still thinks he can play, still loves the outside, loves his "gramps", loves Lily, and most of all... still stands by my side.

I know he won't be around for much longer. It just isn't in the cards, but I thank God for the years we've had. He is the best dog anyone could ever have. Honest to God, no other dog is better than Bear. Those of you that have met him know what I mean.

Thanks for being my best friend Bear dog. I'm not sure what I did to deserve you but thank you.

My friend Jessie took this picture in March and it's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This and That

Random. No direction to this at all.
  • Lily has actually been NAPPING these last few days. To what I owe this honor, I have no idea but I will take what I can get. It's never more than 30-40 minutes, but whatever!
  • She is "tri-pod sitting", eating her feet and anything else that is in her reach, loving her exersaucer, and has the reddest hair I have ever seen.
  • Dustin bought me this for my birthday:

and we kayaked here, for its maiden voyage (Stump Pass)...

We had a blast. My sister-in-law bought me an awesome book that tells all of the kayaking spots in Florida. We're excited to explore Florida a little more with this new adventure.

  • We're going to New Hampshire this coming weekend to see one of my very best friends, Jaime, and her little family:

This is her and her boy Ryan, who is now 15 months old! She is pregnant with her second, crazy girl. We're so freakin excited to see fall! We'll be meeting up with a bunch of my FIFs and their husbands and babies up there too. So.excited.

  • I cannot wait for Halloween. Lily is going to be so cute.
  • I am nervous about flying with Lily because I don't want to be "that" person with the screaming baby.
  • I have to get over the above mentioned because this winter Lily and I will be flying to Wisconsin for a friend's baby shower! Brrrrrrrrrrrr!
  • I have decided I would go insane without the help of my parents, in regards to Lily.
  • I FINALLY got back to the gym this week and it felt fantastic.
  • I wish more of my extended family was closer.
  • I have never felt so blessed as I do these days.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Night Happiness


(yep, it says pumpkiM. Thanks, Nicole=)

Those things were my Saturday night happiness.

FSU was sucking ass, so I went shopping at Target, discovered the deliciousness of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (yes, I'm late on this, I realize), all in the company of my beautiful daughter who happened to be in a great mood. Funny that she always seems happy while we're shopping.