Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pet Peeves of a Dog Walker

This is a sort-of tag to my walking post last week. Our neighborhood has lots and lots and lots of dogs. I think it is a requirement to live here, actually. :) I love that the park on the corner turns into the (unofficial) dog park at 5 when everyone gets off work. But all these dogs does bring up some of my pet peeves.

1. Flexi leashes are an abomination and should be outlawed. For starters, they train your dog that they should always have tension on the leash. The dog is always as far away from the owner as they can be, and the owners rarely have them under any sort of control. (Yes, I'm talking to you, the girl on her phone while her yappy little creature that resembled a dog ran all the way up to us and wrapped around my stroller and three dogs--who were sitting as they had been told to do--twice before the girl even noticed.) If you know us in real life, you know my dogs aren't perfect. One likes to jump on visitors despite all we've tried to do to break him of that habit, one barks at everything that moves. But they do know how to walk on a loose-leash by my left side. And they are good at it. I can control all three of them (80 lbs, 55 lbs, and 22 lbs) with one hand and push the stroller with the other. Banish the flexi and pay attention to your dog!

2. Scoop. If you are grown up enough to have a dog, and in the city no less, pick up after your pet!!! If you don't, I've been known to say "Oh, you forgot your bag! Here, I have an extra." And I'll give you a fake smile and have that bag in your hand before you can blink. And yes, I will watch to make sure you finish the clean-up job.

3. If you do not have voice control over your dog, do not let them off-leash. Our city has a leash law, but it isn't really enforced. And I'm totally fine with that, IF your dog will mind you off-leash. But if you do not know 100% that your dog will obey, do not let them off their leash! My dogs are not allowed off-lead in our neighborhood parks for this very reason--if they see a squirrel every training command they know goes out the window. So we just don't do it.

Okay, through venting.

Next time I'll post some Annie pictures for you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Annie: Fifteen Months






At fifteen months, Annie is walking everywhere; she has almost given up crawling. Makes me sad to see her growing up so fast--she looks more and more like a toddler every day and I miss my little baby that I could cradle in one arm. She is still taking two good naps a day, about an hour and a half each. And she is tired by 10am. I don't think she's going to be going down to one nap for a while longer, and that's just fine with me. Annie loves the swings and slides at the park and going out to eat. She still adores her books and likes to point to the pictures and have us give her the word. Language hasn't really taken off yet--she has sounds for Mama (though I haven't heard it for a while), Daddy, dog, hi, thank you, up, and cup (although it sounds more like "dat"). She is going through phases with eating; the last two weeks she barely ate but since we got back from the beach I haven't been able to get food on her tray fast enough. She is still rejecting most veggies, even her formerly beloved sweet potatoes. We keep offering her a variety anyway. She is glad peaches and cherries are back in season, and discovered grits and French toast this month--yum. Annie is still nursing four times a day and is not the least bit interested in weaning. I don't have any problem with extended breastfeeding so we're just going to keep going as we are for now. She is wearing 12-18 month clothes and still in size 3 diapers. I think she'll be in them till she's potty-trained, they are still a little bit big on her. We go to the doctor in a couple of weeks so I'll update her stats then.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Annie and the dogs and I walk our neighborhood each morning. Sometimes we power through our walk and sometimes we stroll. We take in the changing seasons and smile at neighbors and strangers alike. In the winter we are bundled against the chill and in the summer we try to get an early start before the temperature climbs into the nineties. Some mornings our walk is a chore and some mornings it is something we look forward to. We try to be disciplined and walk anyway--and most of the time we are successful.

It is an interesting neighborhood to walk. I love to walk past a mama and her toddler doing yoga in the park, the elderly lady out with her dog, even if she needs the help of a walker. I try to smile as someone tells me for the umpteenth time "you've got your hands full!" (I get this comment with one small child and three large dogs, what will these people say to me as our family grows in the next few years?). I pray for healing and changed hearts as I walk past the abortion clinic. Yes, an interesting neighborhood for sure. I'm glad to live here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back to the Beach

Y'all, I love this place.

When the Gent asked if I wanted to go on an almost all-expense paid (he had some CLE classes to take in the mornings and so work paid for our travel costs, two-bedroom condo on the beach, and the Gent's meals) anniversary weekend trip to the beach, I said yes. Of course. As if I even had to think about it. The Gent knows I don't like to to make quick decisions, but if it is about the beach, the answer is yes. We took Annie with us because while I love nursing, I HATE pumping and if I had to do that all weekend it would not have been relaxing for me. But I told her she probably would not be invited on any more anniversary trips. ;) In case the pictures below don't do it justice, we had a fabulous time. And tonight we are going out for a special dinner sans Annie.

She's ready for the sand, let's go!

Annie was really excited about the big windows in her room



Watching the waves, girl after my own heart


Happy, happy baby

Imagine the baby laughter soundtrack that goes with this photo


Happy, happy Daddy






Happy, happy Mama


Monday, May 21, 2012


The Gent and I celebrated our fifth anniversary this weekend. I look back at how we've grown and changed over the past five years and in some ways I hardly recognize the people we used to be. I'm so glad to know we're always going to be walking together through the twists and turns and joys and sadnesses that I know lie in the years ahead.





Friday, May 18, 2012

Phriday Phone Photos

how cute is this?
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she likes to hold my list while we grocery shop
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the closet door is usually closed, so whenever she finds it open she thinks it is the coolest thing!
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our sick weekend
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carrying a pillow while she practices walking--I guess she's planning to cushion the inevitable fall ;)
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Annie had so much fun at the park last week--she is finally big enough to actually play and loved climbing the slides and swinging
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checking out the view from Daddy's office
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time to pack . . .
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Belated Mother's Day/The Bikini Crash Diet (or, how I learned to love the stomach bug)

We had all kinds of fun plans for last weekend. We were going to see old friends, have dinner with new friends, and go see my brother and work on one of his house projects. Ahh, the best laid plans. I was so looking forward to them. Till the Gent came home from work with a delightful stomach ailment. Bye, bye, visits with old friends. The next day I woke up with it. Bye, bye, dinner with new friends. Saturday I was still running a fever. Bye, bye, trip to see brother. Sunday I was still feeling a bit puny and Annie has had a nasty cough, so we stayed home from church and spent Mother's Day watching lots of baseball and reading and being lazy. It was a nice weekend, once our unwelcome bug left. And thankfully Annie didn't get it. We do have a beach trip coming up (!), so I'm just going to count last weekend as my getting into bikini-shape routine.

they brought me flowers for Mother's Day

so pretty and happy!

love being her Mama, what a gift

my sweet baby girl

warms my heart . . . baby kisses

she loves her Daddy, too (she's also fascinated with sticking out her tongue right now, can you tell?)

and other things that warm my heart . . . my necklace is back. the sweet folks at Lisa Leonard Designs added Zion's name to my necklace. and now it is back, close to my heart, where it belongs. so blessed by all my babies this Mother's Day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Steps

On Mother's Day, Annie decided to take her first real steps! (keep watching till the end)

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Little Things

Some little things that made me happy this week . . .

A new waltz I learned on the piano
Beautiful hydrangeas blooming in our front yard
A great dogsitter

Fresh baked bread
My mom who is so generous with babysitting

A long phone call with a dear friend and pictures of her sweet baby boy
Pretty new lingerie
A quiet afternoon with a book and chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds

A cool(er) morning for our walk
A sick baby (not that she’s sick, but that I can give her what she wants to feel better—extra cuddles and nursing)

I did yoga and my Bible study every morning this week!
Looking forward to . . .
Homemade chocolate chip cookies
Dinner with new friends

What put a smile on your face this week?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yep, I Still Cook

I haven't posted any recipes in forever. I do still cook, I promise. :)

Here are some yummy, quick, and mostly-healthy dinners we've had lately.

Potato, Ham, and Spinach Frittata - Real Simple

3 T olive oil
2 small potatoes, sliced thin (I use my food processor)
1 small onion, diced
9 eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 oz grated Cheddar
4 oz diced ham

Heat oven to 400. Heal oil over stove in oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron and it turned out great). Add potatoes and onion; cook till soft. In bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add to skillet, stirring once. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until set, about 15 minutes.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken - I think this was either Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens

Mix together and rub into 3 lbs chicken tenderloins:
1 1/2 t paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper

Put chicken in crock pot.

Mix together and pour over chicken:
1/2 c coca-cola
1/3 c catsup
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar

Slice lemon and place on top of chicken and sauce. Cook on low 6-7 hours.

Roasted Veggie Pasta Bake - found this online, can't remember where . . . I use my food processor to slice the veggies thin

1 onion, chopped
1 squash, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 T olive oil
1 box whole wheat penne pasta, cooked and drained
16 oz Alfredo sauce
14 oz chicken broth
1/2 c Parmesan, divided
1/2 c Mozzarella, divided
1/4 c bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425. Spread veggies on two baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Roast veggies till soft, about 20 minutes. Decrease oven temp to 375. Grease rectangular casserole dish. Mix sauce and broth in saucepan, bring to boil. Mix all ingredients except 1/2 of cheeses and breadcrumbs. Pour into casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheeses. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Honey and Poppa Weekend

Friday night the Gent and I went to the symphony, yay! A real grown-up date that was completely free--can't beat that. Our neighbors gave us tickets and Poppa and Honey donated babysitting. :)


Saturday we all spent the day at Honey and Poppa's house. Honey fixed a taco salad feast and I contributed homemade chocolate chip cookies. Annie loved her first taste of cookie and having the attention of four adults.