Archive | July, 2013

Ode to Buster: Thoughts on the coming baby, his 5th birthday and my latest attempt at making homemade treats*

26 Jul

*Maybe it should have been titled Eau de Buster, he is also a smelly little guy.

With D-day quickly approaching (just about 15 weeks to go!) I’m reassessing just about every inch of my life. From what I eat (ugh, eating for two is actually a lot of pressure) to what I watch to, you know, how NOT to screw up a tiny human.

Me at 24 weeks! No more imaginary bump.

Me at 24 weeks! No more imaginary bump.

Buster, our now 5-year-old Cairn terrier, is also on that list. In our half-decade relationship, Buster has been busy hunting flies and teaching Ike and I a healthy dose of patience. Not only has his over-active prey drive caused him to be run over by a moped and a car (and come out miraculously unscathed, btw), but also to basically hate every other dog. Talk about some awkward walks.

In a up-to-this-point unblogged incident, Buster nearly ruined Christmas 2009. Gather ‘round children:

He was staying at my parents house in Houston as we were enjoying Christmas with the Peters in LR. When we were literally less than an hour away from home, my sister called. Buster and my rents’ Boston Terrier had gotten in a fight and my dad reached in…long story short, my Dad lost the tip of his left ring finger. The horror!

After a lot of crying, we decided that we owed it to Buster (who is 99% of the time a great little pal) to give him another chance. He has never intentionally bitten a human, so this was just a case of wrong place, wrong time for my dad’s finger (now lovingly dubbed “nubby”).

But this incident and several snapping (but not biting) incidents with the nieces and nephew, has weighed heavily on my mind as the aforementioned D-day approaches.

Honestly, the cons (smelly, expensive, time-consuming, crate-pooping) of Buster do stack up. And that’s not to mention the big aggression issue.

I keep thinking, I’ll never forgive myself if he bites/maimes another person.

Yet, through it all, I also still can’t bring myself to give him up. I love him and he’s been a pet project (literally, wink wink) for years. He’s a great friend, most of the time, and he’s cute and sweet.

And how do you find a home for such a creature? Free to a good home with NO pets, NO kids and NO sudden movements?

Don’t worry, we’ve decided to give him a trial run, based on a very strict no growling at Baby Elliott policy.

The b-day boy.

The b-day boy.

So this post is an Ode to Buster and what he’s been in my life for the 5 kidless years of my marriage. Thank you for being my constant companion at home, a (usually) great walking partner and eager taste tester for my homemade treats. No offense to Ike, but you are a better couch cuddler.

Wow. I just made myself cry. Pregnancy hormones anyone? I think I’ve got more than enough.

On to the good stuff:

The source! The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs by Donna Twichell Roberts

The source! The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs by Donna Twichell Roberts

To memorialize his 5th year, I tried out a new dog-treat recipe. He seemed to love it. Just combine all ingredients in a big bowl, roll out the dough and cut into your fave shape. The only word of caution: You will need to add more moisture to the dough to roll it out.

The ingredients:

4 C whole wheat flour

2 C old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/4 C water (more to hold everything together)

1/4 C minced apple (I used my handy-dandy food processor, it worked like a charm)

3 T ground cinnamon

2 T vegetable oil

2 T honey

1 T cloves (I didn’t feel like buying a $5 ingredient for dog treats, so I subbed nutmeg for cloves, Buster didn’t seem to mind)

Hunting a fly. Poor guy, I don't think he's ever caught one.

Hunting a fly. Poor guy, I don’t think he’s ever caught one.

Anxiously awaiting the snacks while I roll and roll and roll out the dough.

Anxiously awaiting the snacks while I roll and roll and roll out the dough.

I decided to share the wealth with some friends at work! Enjoy these cute faces, and have a great weekend!

Lola!

Lola!

Ty!

Ty!

Must-Watch Shows of Late: Undefeated & New Girl

19 Jul

After examining and reexamining our post-baby budget, I’ve decided that the monthly $8.71 that Netflix magics out of our account each month is totally worth it.  Case in point: Undefeated and New Girl.

Undefeated

Undefeated_16937_posterlarge

Ike KNEW he had to watch this documentary when his pal Eric told him something to the effect: “You have to have no soul NOT to be moved by this movie.” He was right. This 2 hour documentary chronicles the final season of volunteer coach Bill Courtney at an inner city high school in North Memphis.

If this were a feature film, it’d basically be the Blind Side (e.g., cheesy, but heartwarming all the same). But, the gritty reality of these kids’ lives and the incessant support of Courtney and his staff is not ONLY heartwarming, but inspiring!

Ike and I take a small part in the mentoring program at Silvercity Church at North Little Rock, and this movie got me pumped for the school year to start again. Even though mentoring is not always easy, I think this movie proves that dedicated time in a kid’s life can make a huge impact and I’m honored to take a part.

New Girl

NewGirl

Ok. This one is not as life-changing as my previous recommendation. BUT I will say, I haven’t laughed as hard or as consistently at a TV show in a long time. With The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec all past their prime or over, I’ve had to struggle through shows that I used to LOL at a lot.

The premise seems familiar or even silly: 3 late-20s/30-something guys let a pretty girl move into their LA loft when she breaks up with her boyfriend. But after the first few episodes (and I did have to work through several to really start enjoying the show), I started falling in love with each of the character’s quirks and their dynamic as a whole.

And if I’m honest, other than the whole single thing, this show is about people my age dealing with “WHAT NOW?”. Which seems to be the theme for life after college (in my experience).

So if you like to laugh and you’re on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, this is probably the show for you.

This is the part where I tell you to have a great weekend, so I won’t disappoint! Have a good one, I’ll be back soon.

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Here’s a pic of The Coasts playing Midnight Oil in Searcy! Mixing it all up with a White Stripes cover.

Real Talk: Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Pregnant Lady

12 Jul

Disclaimer. If you are reading this, and feel like you may have said one of these things to me, PLEASE don’t worry. I love you and am not currently harboring any grudges (anymore). But no really, I’ve never had any pregnancy grudges…yet. This is more a word to the wise. Why not help make pregnant ladies’ lives a little easier?

For those of you who don’t know, pregnant women are sensitive. It’s not some sort of myth or old wives’ tale. And it’s not just all hormones (although, that’s probably a ton of it). No, especially from a first time mom perspective, we are facing some big life changes.

  • How will the baby change my relationship with my husband?
  • How will the baby change my budget?
  • What should I do about work? About childcare?
  • How do I mold a young mind into a responsible adult? I could go on all day.

And this doesn’t even include the more selfish ones like,

  • Will I lose this weight?
  • Will I get varicose veins or stretch marks or some other unalterable scar from this experience?
  • When will I wadddddle?? (AHHH!)

That was a long-winded way of saying: we’ve got a lot on our minds PLUS hormones making us a little cray cray. So, world, can you pitch in and not ask us stomach-churning questions? I sure hope so.

I’ll start with the positive.

Acceptable Pregnancy Questions/Phrases

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Meet Bob, my rents’ new BT puppy! He’s a lot of fun, and, as you can see, too cute for his own good.

How are you feeling? This is a perfect question, shows concern but is not too personal.

How far along are you? Warning: do not follow this by extreme surprise at the belly size after. How do you know what a pregnant belly should look like? Are you an OBGYN or midwife? Didn’t think so.

What are your nursery plans? This is usually a fun question to answer. But don’t press her if she still doesn’t have plans.

What are you craving? Just don’t be disappointed when it is as innocuous as “Green Salsa.” We all don’t have extreme cravings like Aunt Becky in Full House.

What are your names? Some people don’t want to share their name choices, so this also could be weird. However if she does, the appropriate answer is always a variation of “That’s so cute!”

Here’s what NOT to say in response:

  • I knew a HORRIBLE person named that!

  • Like the Twilight character? (let them tell you their inspiration, don’t just say the first reference that pops into your head. Maybe they like a name and are hoping an unfortunate reference will be irrelevant when their kid grows up)

  • That rhymes with…

  • What about this name?

What are you having? A generic “[Insert gender here] are so fun!” response is most welcome.

And, anytime people say stuff like, “You look great!” you give her at least a short reprieve from insecurities.

And here’s a crazy idea: just talk to her about normal stuff. Sometimes pregnancy can be all consuming, so a chat about the best TV shows and summer movies could be just the thing.

Now on to the DON’Ts.

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Here’s The Coasts playing White Water Tavern. They were great! (As always) Don’t miss their next show, K?

Here’s a pre-pregnancy one for you: When are you guys having kids? I’ve learned to insert foot in mouth with that one. You just don’t know when someone’s dealing with infertility or other health-related issues. Best not bring it up in a small-talk convo.

Are you pregnant? This seems like a how-to-interact-with-people no-brainer, but I thought I’d include this one just in case. You don’t want to give some lady a complex by asking if she’s pregnant.

You’re not really showing yet, it just looks like you are bloated. Ok, would you tell a non-pregnant person they look bloated? Is being bloated an attractive state? NO and NO.

This is a variation of the above: You look like you just ate a [insert fatty food here e.g. pizza, burrito, cheese burger] Nope, gluttony is also not something you usually accuse non-preggos of, so just don’t, K?

Any phrase that includes the word “waddle.”

Any observation of weight gain, fat or bigger [fill in body part].

Unless she volunteers the info, don’t go delving into the “Were you trying?” question. Personal! Not a normally acceptable topic of conversation, why is it suddenly so?

I’m not really big enough to invite belly touchers yet, but don’t do it. I don’t know why pregnancy seems like a magical time when you can touch strangers, but news flash: it isn’t.

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here. And I hope you don’t feel like you have to walk on broken egg shells around pregnant ladies. BUT keeping the focus off the negatives (bloating, weight gain, waddling) and onto the positives (glowing, great name, fun nursery) would help when pregnant ladies are ALREADY ON THE EDGE. Oops, I did just yell at you, didn’t I?

Any experienced moms have something to add to my list?? Comment away.

Everyone else, have a good one! I’ll see ya soon.