Abbey Update 1

It just occurred to me that I haven’t provided an update on Abbey!  It was a long couple of months.

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When I last mentioned her, she had just had an adventure,  and she was in the middle of taking her meds for her liver infection.  We ended up having to give her the meds for an additional two weeks, because when we went in to have her re-checked after the first round, they  realized that the pharmacy had given us the wrong dosage, and we’d been giving her far too little of the medication.  So another two weeks of meds, and another recheck, and… nothing.  Her levels hadn’t budged.  Apparently sometimes bad teeth can cause liver issues, so the vet decided to move forward with her teeth cleaning (which is what started this long journey).  They had to adjust the anesthesia to protect her liver, and ended up extracting a tooth that was abscessed, and two or three sections of her gums.  Poor baby.  She was on pain meds for a week, and wet dog food for three weeks!

She came home so drugged.  It was both hilarious and terrifying.  They had gotten a late start on her, due to another surgery before hers that had taken far longer than anticipated.  She was staggering around like a drunk doggo.  I had to carry her up and down even the two stairs from our back porch to the yard to potty, and even then, she kept falling over.  I was so relieved when she was perked up the following morning!

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So… next steps.  In about one more month, we have to have her blood checked again to see if her liver is doing better with that abscessed tooth gone.  If the levels are back to normal, GREAT!  If not… I have no idea what the next steps are.  She’s never acted sick.  She’s always eaten and played and behaved the same.  I’m hoping her tooth was just messing with her system and all is well.  I’ll give an update on her after her next checkup!

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!  It’s gonna be another scorcher here!

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Parrot Costume DIY

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My company throws an over-the-top event each summer, including carnival rides and games, pony rides, a petting zoo, generous give-aways (including an all-expense paid trip to Disney for a family of 4!), and tons more!  The event is always themed, with a large number of employees & employee family members in costume.  This year, the theme was Neverland (Pirates).  So I went out and purchased a pirate costume for myself, and a coordinating pirate costume for Harlow.  She took one look at it, as I was excitedly showing her, and said, “I want to be a parrot”.  Cue crestfallen mama.  Se la vi.

After I stopped crying pitiful, rejected tears, I took to Amazon to look for a parrot costume in size Betrayal/5T.  I’m starting to think that I’ve got unreasonable shopping expectations, because I can NEVER find what I want online.  They are either too small, too un-cute, or too, too expensive!  As I’m sure you know where this is going, given most of my posts of late, I decided to make my own.

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What I used:

  • Dollar store Fairy Wings (these make another appearance!  You may recall.)
  • Feathers (bought at JoAnn Fabric, and Michaels), blue, yellow, red, green
  • Felt – red, yellow
  • Hot Glue
  • Elastic cord

What I did:

For the wings:

I took some wire clippers, and cut off the bottom section of the wings, making sure the metal ends were not going to stick out far enough to scratch or poke, and flipped them upside down.

Then, I covered the part facing the child’s back with felt, hot gluing it into place, cutting off the excess.

After that, I just started hot gluing feathers!  It took far fewer feathers to cover the wings than I expected.  I bought two packages of red, and one package each of green, blue, and yellow.  I have enough feathers left over to do at least one more set of wings and a mask.

Note the elastic around her waist.  It is securing a tail feather, made from one of the smaller, cut-off wing segments.  I would not bother with this next time.  You couldn’t see it, because the wings were long enough to cover most of it, and the elastic cord took away from the overall look.  Plus, she couldn’t sit down with it on.  Live and learn…

For the mask:

The mask was only slightly trickier.  I got a stiffer felt for the red face part.  (You know how some felt is super floppy and some has a bit of heft to it?  Go for the heft for this part.)  Then I took one of her old masks for sizing (but you could also just print out a free one online – there are tons of printable options out there!), traced around it, and cut it out.  Then out of floppy felt, I cut out a yellow diamond shape.  I cut the top of the diamond in the middle, so it would curve a bit as a beak.

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I hot glued the cut part to the back of the mask, curving it a bit as I placed it.  Finally, I hot glued some feathers to the top for a bit of flair!  I had left a little excess felt on the top of the mask for this purpose.  Finish it off by adding a bit of elastic chord, and you’re done.

We used a red dress she’s owned forever, and ta-da! she’s a parrot!  (She met a fellow parrot at the event!)

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Hopefully this was helpful, and I’d love to hear if any of you try it out!  Have a fabulous weekend!

 

Posted in Costumes, Crafts, DIY, Family, Halloween, Harlow, Toddler, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potty Training Tips – 2 years later…

I just read a blog I like, Peanut Butter Fingers, which mentioned potty training.  It occurred to me that I was in my “off season” during our potty training time frame.  It was a surprisingly easy period for us, actually.  Everything that I’ve dreaded and held off on longer than necessary has been… weaning from nursing, weaning from bottles, potty training, taking away her final after-lunch nap.   I really just need to relax and go with things more.  (I say as I’m letting her continue sucking her fingers…)

Anyway…  Harlow started asking to go on the potty when she was quite young.  Around 18 months.  And then she was pretty much over it.  Which was FINE with me, because I wasn’t ready.  Diapers are just so darn easy!  Especially on our long trips to my family’s house or out running errands.

During her three year checkup, Harlow’s doctor asked about potty training.  I gave a noncommittal answer, and he looked at Harlow and said, “You are three now!  NO more diapers!  Got that?” and she nodded.  I was thinking, “okay, sure… easy as that”, but something clicked for her!  She had one day of pee accidents and a few days of poo, and that was that.  She’s only even wet the bed 2 or 3 times in the last two years.  While our story is far easier than most I’ve heard, I still have some tips to make it even easier!

 

  • Wait.  I know people who have pushed and shoved their kids to potty train as early as a year old…and have had a HORRIBLE time of it.  Harlow was old enough to fully understand the concept at three, and it just was a super smooth process.

 

  • Tiny Toilet.  If you have an extra bathroom in your house, turn it into a toddler bathroom.  This has been an AMAZING helper.  My husband found a used toddler toilet on Craigslist and installed it.  She never needed help getting on and off it, and never fell off (or in) the toilet like she did on some grown up toilets.

Don’t mind her messy bathroom!

  • Potty On The Go.  To this day I keep a potty chair in  my car.  More than once, we’ve been at playdates at parks with no available bathrooms.  Several friends’ children have used my car potty.  I use this potty, with these inserts.  I have used it… constantly.  On the side of the road during trips up north to my parents’ house, playdates, even at the beach (in our tent)!  Any time a potty is unavailable, I’m saved by this!

Fisher-Price Ladybug Pottyhttps://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/BedBathandBeyond/13132417064983p?$478$

 

 

  • Thick “Training” Underpants – especially for overnight.  We STILL use these at bedtime.  They are “cozy” (her words) and absorbent.  We have the Gerber brand.  My only complaint is they only come in sizes up to 3T.  Luckily, Harlow is really tiny, and the 3t’s still fit her, but on most kids, they’d size out pretty young.

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  • No Pull-ups!   We tried Pull Ups for a while.  And hated them.  First, the Pull Up brand is sooo scratchy inside.  Harlow would wake up with raw skin on her bottom.  Plus, even the MUCH better option, Pampers’ Easy Ups (which are MUCH softer inside and an all around better option) gave Harlow a choice.  Her teacher told me one day that Harlow’d had a poop accident, but told her teacher it was okay because she was wearing her “Pull Ups”.  That was the end of that.

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  • Double Layer Bedding.  We haven’t actually had to use this very often, but the few times we have, it has been awesome.  We layer a waterproof sheet, a fitted sheet, a waterproof sheet, and a fitted sheet.  I have even added another layer using puppy pads and another fitted sheet once when she was sick and vomiting.  It makes it SO easy to peel off a layer of dirty bedding and get her back into bed.  No scrounging around in the middle of the night finding sheets and remaking the bed. Just a quick costume change, a new blanket, and back to dreamland.

 

  • Monkey Surprise.  In the beginning, pooping on the potty was not super popular.  Before we “officially” started potty training, she would often pee on the potty, but would never, ever poop.  One day while shopping, we found a small “sock monkey” stuffed Christmas ornament that Harlow REALLY wanted.  I told her it would be her Poop Surprise.  (We call it Monkey Surprise now.)  When she was ready to poop on the potty, she could have him, but only when she pooped.  In the meantime, the monkey lived on the shelf above the toilet.  I’ve never seen someone so excited for their first potty poop.  Harlow would get SO excited each time she pooped so she could hold Monkey Surprise and play with him for a while until it was time for him to return to the shelf.  That worked for a solid year.  Now she won’t poop unless she’s playing a game on my phone, but… ya know.  Compromises.

 

  • Potty Bag.  When we were out and about, I always carried, (and still keep it in the car), a “go bag” for the potty.  In it was a complete change of clothes, including socks and shoes, a fold up toilet seat, hand sanitizer, a roll of plastic bags for wet clothes in case of an accident, and flushable wet wipes to help clean up accidents.  Always be prepared and you won’t be caught in an awkward situation.

Disney® Minnie Folding Travel Potty Seat with Storage Baghttps://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/13991458?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=pjpeg

 

I think that’s everything!  Well, as I always have said when making these lists – each child is wildly different.  What worked for us may not work at all for you!  But if I help one person with this list, I’m completely thrilled.  Good luck!

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Branching Out

I love me some coffee.  Not sure I’ve ever mentioned that before…

So I have started making coffee cups!  I was getting a little bored with bags.  (Okay, that’s not true – I just wanted to branch out!)

 

I gave this cup to my sister as an early birthday gift.  Her favorite animal is the giraffe.  Since then, I’ve made a few more.  I really like how they turn out, and I’ve been using dishwasher-safe ModPodge on them so you can just toss them in the dishwasher!  Stay tuned, because I’m breaking out of my shell!  I can’t wait to share more!

 

Have a great day!

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That Time My Sick Dog Scared the Daylights Out of Me…

Hello!  The weather is finally starting to perk up a little!  There is a bit of sunshine trying to peek through the clouds, and the temps are supposed to be nearing 70 today.  I guess that means it is a perfect time to get out an explore!  Unless you are my sick dog… in which case, you need to STAY HOME!

Let me back up.  I was out of town this weekend visiting family.  My husband was home with Abbey.

Sunday, mid-day, I got a text from a co-worker saying, “Is this Abbey?”.

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Ya’ll… I’m gonna tell you.  My heart never sank faster in my whole damn life.

A series of events happened that went unnoticed, my husband left to go golfing (for the first time in 4+ years), and Abbey took the hell off.  (We think maybe she was following him?)

She was picked up by a very amazing family, who said that they saw her running down a crazy busy 4 lane road a mile or so from our house, stopped the car, opened the door, and she jumped right in.  Which is interesting, since that is basically the story of how WE got her when she was 3-4 months old.

Anyhoosies.  My eagle-eyed coworker spotted her on the Lost/Found Pet FB page and contacted me.

My husband’s golf game was cut short, and we have her back.  It could have been so, so much worse.  I love that dog more than almost anything in the world.  I’m still a mess thinking of all the ways this could have ended differently.

She is microchipped, but we haven’t put a collar on her since having Harlow, because the collar’s jangles would always wake Harlow up.  Today I ordered one of these:

I had been looking at them for a long time, but never went through with the purchase, which in hindsight, is such a dumb move.

I’m just so incredibly grateful that the outcome was a good one.  Go hug your pups for me, and make sure they are secure!

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One Sick Puppy (and how to get her to take her meds!)

Hello!  I swear, this has been the longest January EVER.  It was snowing yesterday, and the temps today are finally “warming up” into the 40’s!  Woo.  I guess April Showers Bring May Flowers isn’t really the case this year.

I’ve talked about my sweet baby dog, Abbey, on here before.  A few weeks ago, I noticed I was filling up her water bowl many more times throughout the day.  My husband brushed it off on the dryness of the weather, or more playtime, but I had a feeling.  Luckily, her yearly appointment was already scheduled.

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She’s the only dog on the planet who LOVES the vet.

When we went in there, I requested that we set up an appointment to get her teeth cleaned as well.  Bloodwork was involved in that, so while they took blood, I told them about her unusually high water intake.  They checked some more stuff in her blood, and discovered a liver infection.  They “hope she doesn’t have hepatitis”.  (Is that a thing?  Dogs can get hepatitis???)

In the meantime, she is on a prescription for two weeks.  She does. not. like it.

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The cherry-flavored (gross) pill has to be chewed, so I can’t even just wiggle it down her throat like previous prescriptions.  After two days of smothering the little pills in peanut butter (which she just licked clean and spit out the pill time and time again), hiding it in her food (which she would just spit out when she got to it), and wrapping it in cheese (see previous spittage comments), I finally wised up!  I could be like Alicia Silverstone and PRE-CHEW her pills!  Okay, so I don’t actually chew them, but what I have started doing is crushing them with a fork into small pieces, and mixing them with delicious wet dog food.

(see below for unsuccessful attempts… too funny not to document)

 

 

Now she downs her pills, and I know she’s getting every single crumb, because she licks the plate clean!  One thing to learn from me, though, is DO NOT try to mix it on her level…  I had the plate down on the floor, crushing the pills, and lifted my hand off the plate to open the dog food… and at that moment, Abbey slapped the side of the plate with her paw (similar to this).  Medicinal dust flew everywhere.  It was all over the floor, plus a fine white powder coating on the cabinet next to us… a total loss.  Now I mix it on the counter like a normal person!  Go me!

 

We go back for more blood work when she’s done with the pills.  A Google search has me terrified it may be hepatitis.  Wish us luck!!!

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Harlow is FIVE!

I have moved away from posting much about Harlow, mostly due to privacy concerns.  However, I thought I’d give a quick update, because my little baby girl just turned FIVE years old.  Oh, my heart.

Harlow is wonderful.  And empathetic.  And determined.  She is everything and more in the most awesome way possible.

She will be starting kindergarten in the fall, which also makes my heart want to fall out of my chest.

Her favorite place is home, and her favorite people are my husband, our dog, and me.  She’s unbelievably kind and thoughtful.

If we could just get sleep figured out once and for all, she would be darn near perfect.

She’s a teeny-tiny little thing.  Height 22%, Weight 7%.

She’s active and artistic and imaginative.  I couldn’t love her more, and I’m so, so thankful to be her mom.

For her fifth birthday party, she wanted a PJ Masks theme.  Do you know how HARD it is to find girly PJ Masks stuff?  It is hard, people.  So… I made my own.

I bought a plain red dress from Primary.com, and used my Cricut to cut out an image of Owlette’s “symbol”.  I found some remanent red felt at JoAnn Fabric, and pieced it together with another Owlette symbol to make her cape.  She loved it!  (I also made the cupcake toppers and gift bag tags, but that’s another story…)

It was a beautiful, fun day surrounded by her closest friends.

Happiest of birthdays, my little bean!  I love you more than I could ever say!

Posted in Abbey, Costumes, Crafts, cricut, DIY, Family, Harlow, Harlow Updates, Mommy Group, Personal, Uncategorized, Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment