No Poo? No Problem.

6 Aug

And no people, I’m not talking THE number 2.  I’m talking about shamPOO.  According to various websites (and several friends that could legit be hair models), shampoo is not really all its cracked up to be.  Most hair-worthy people only shampoo once a week or some even once every 2 weeks.

Shampoos contain sulfates that are very drying to the hair, and/or dimethicone which is meant to coat the hair—in the end keeping it protected from heat, but dries the hair from the inside out (since no moisture can get in either because of the ‘coating’).  Also, I see that most of my shampoos contain fragrance and at least 1 or 2 known carcinigans bases.  Thats quite creepy since I use it so often and I know my scalp absorbs a lot of that yuck.

Previous to 5 days ago, I was a 1 (sometimes 2) a day shampoo gal.  This Texas heat is no joke, and I love a good smelling dome.  In any case, all that glorious frangance aside, I’m going poo-free. I am not going to shampoo my hair for 4 weeks.  GASP.  Why 4 weeks?  Well, its sort of the happy medium of all the articles, it will give my oil production enough time to regulate itself, and 4 is just a damn good number.  Not to worry, I will still be showering and attempting to style my oil coif. (And even if I do smell, I can hang out with my good friend Lisa that has decided to join the ‘Keep Austin Poo-free’ bandwagon with me.)

With that being said, I plan to document my ‘adventure,’ and then you guys can decide for yourselves if going POO-free is for you too!  See if its worth all the stink 😉

Before NO POO

Before NO POO — you can see the dry and brittle hair I had when beginning this process.  Something had to be done!

Day 5 No Poo

Day 5 No Poo – Getting a touch nasty (nevermind my roots)

August 9th. Oils are starting to turn my hair curly.

August 9th. Oils are starting to turn my hair curly.

Aug 15. I blew dry my hair. Not too shabby, but still a bit dry.

Aug 15. I blew dry my hair. Not too shabby, but still a bit dry.

Aug 24. Blew dry once again, and even though its less dry, the oil is leaving it heavy.

Aug 24. Blew dry once again, and even though its less dry, the oil is leaving it heavy.

Aug 27. Didnt blowdry this day. Curls are coming out again. Day 27 without shampoo.

Aug 27. Didnt blowdry this day. Curls are coming out again. Day 27 without shampoo.

Sept 2. Officially 31 days since my last shampoo. My hair is DEFINITELY less dry and its very easy to manage.

Sept 2. Officially 31 days since my last shampoo. My hair is DEFINITELY less dry and its very easy to manage.

Sept 2 (dont mind the stupid pic). Officially 31 days since my last shampoo. My hair is DEFINITELY less dry and its very easy to manage.

Sept 2 (dont mind the stupid pic). Officially 31 days since my last shampoo. My hair is DEFINITELY less dry and its very easy to manage.

So after 31 days, my hair is texturally much different than when I began.  It is significantly less dry to the touch and to the naked eye, and I haven’t had to deal with static (not that I would much in August in Texas anyway). If anything else, it’s easier to curl, give shape to and make look voluminous.  That, and I will be saving hundreds on shampoo and conditioner in the long run–especially since I no longer get my amazing salon discount.  I still use hairspray from time to time, and I’m sure I’ll look into baking soda shampoos, dry shampoos, etc., but for now Im enjoying washing my hair with water.  And for those who are curious, my husband doesn’t notice any difference in the way my hair smells–it still smells nice, so thats a plus (and something I was worried about as well).

Side note: I plan to continue for the full 6 weeks (11 more days at least) before I use a baking soda shampoo to give my natural oils the maximum time they need to completely even out.  I can only imagine that my hair will continue to improve until then.  I will post another pic after the 6 weeks are up, and I’ve styled my hair.

Ok, Leo… I’ll “Make Each Moment Count”

1 Jun

Do you ever have moments throughout your day when you think to yourself, ‘How did I get here?’  And its not necessarily a bad thought, or really even a positive one, but rather just an unknown.  Well lately Ive been finding myself thinking about my current life, and the chaotic path I took to get here.  Perhaps its because I now have two kids or because Im about to turn 34… one more year until Im closer to 40 than 30.  Or maybe its just that life is passing us by so quickly and I find myself wishing it away, and then attempting to rope it back in before it gets out of hand.  On hard days I wish for bedtime to come more quickly, but then once everyone is asleep, I cant help but wish we were all awake, together, and playing and laughing.  A very contradictory life I lead, isn’t it? Poor Mike.

But really… even as I sit here and type this email, its hard for me to process that I am married, have two children (and a pup), and that I live in Texas of all places.  I am, for the most part, happy and content.  I cant seem to remember the point at which all the decisions were made (consciously or not) to get me to this point.  Just yesterday I was graduating from High School, never wanting to be married and most certainly not thinking about raising children.  And its completely overwhelming to think that I obtained my undergraduate degree more than 10 years ago (almost 12!!).  And yet, I could still tell you the texture of the walls in my dorm, the smell of my Sophomore year English classroom, and the colors of my first ‘real’ apartment.  But, I cant for the life of me remember a single thing about Econ or Psychology.  And I know its because I was wishing it away—wanting time to go faster.

I long for the nights of uninterrupted sleep, but having that ‘moment’ at 3am is hard to give up.  After these current night sessions come to an end, I will more than likely not experience them ever again (unless its with my grandchildren). No super cuddly and chunky baby to demand food when everyone else is enjoying REM.  Im eager to make pureed baby food and see the excitement or discontent on my daughters face when she tries new food.  Im patiently awaiting the days when she can walk and then talk (not so much the backtalk).  I cant wait to buy Gage his first backpack and take endless pictures of him attempting to walk to the bus with it on his back while it clunks against the backs of his knees because its WAY too big.  I could already cry and he’s not even 3.

We wake up each morning, not knowing what the day will hold… often still tired and not ready to take it on, and then other times eager for whatever is planned.  But then the day flies or lingers on and before we know it, its night again.  The kids are getting older, Im finding more (unwanted) gray hairs (and wrinkles), and Ive heard, on more than one occasion, about the age of our dog being a concern.  Didn’t we just pick up Killian on the ‘Marley and Me’ set?  I can still smell her puppy breath and feel those pointy puppy teeth when I concentrate hard enough.  She is such an amazing dog.  And my folks… as terrifying as the subject is, and as much as most people don’t want to open up and discuss it, they’re getting older too.  Every moment I have with them–  I want to cherish it all.  Stop time.

But thats precisely what I mean.  I want to experience all of these things with my children, my parents, my family, my friends… but Im scared to wake up one day and realize that I forgot to live in the ‘NOW.’  At what point do we stop longing for a new adventure? a new moment?  a new ‘first’?  At what point will I learn to live for today? for this second? I don’t have an answer for that.  But what I do know is that I’d really like for my kids to get up from their naps so we can play.

We Have an Austinite

4 Apr

What a whirlwind these last couple of weeks have been.  We are parents of two and as ‘they’ say: ‘I cant imagine life without my children.’  I can, however, imagine how much more glorious it would be with an extra 3-4 hours of sleep.

Lets begin around Mid-February, when we assumed that little Miss Gemma would be arriving.  My Mother-in-law had already purchased her ticket to come visit and care for Gage while Mike and I were in the hospital, but once I got word from Doc that I was already 4cm, we changed her ticket so that she would arrive into Austin sooner (from Feb 27th to Feb 23rd).  Little did we know that my MIL (Sally) would be here for over 2 weeks before baby girl finally decided to emerge and that my glorious 4cm would actually GO BACK DOWN to 1cm.  Yes, it happens… I am proof.  Apparently its related to stress?  All in all, though, it was nice for Grammy to have come early—better safe than sorry, right?  In our 2 weeks of preparation, we read books, spoiled Gage with attention, and spent too much time shopping.

Then, not only was my MIL here (sleeping in the makeshift bedroom in the loft might I add), but my own Mother was due to arrive March 8th (and she would take over the nursery on a blowup bed).  She would be driving, along with Chime, from California to get here.  Plan was for Grammy to be here for the birth of Gemma, watch Gage while Mike and I got situated and then my Mom would come a week or so after delivery to take over for Grammy.  Well, needless to say, things didnt pan out that way.   We now had a house full of our mothers, a super spoiled toddler, a panicy father and a very anxious mother… and still no Gemma.  Good times.

March 10th: Grammy, GG (the two grandmothers) and I went ‘house shopping.’  (Let me preface by saying that we were looking, but the actual home-buying process wont be taking place for quite some time.)  The three of us stumbled upon a subdivision that happened to have several model homes that were open for us to browse through.  In any case, the house of my dreams just happened to be one of them.  (Oh, 408 Dry Gulch… how I love thee.)  After walking through the home and oohhhing and aahhhing, we took a little trip down the road to see where the community pool was, the walking trails, parks, etc. were in location to the home.  Well, as we came upon the walking trail, I took it upon myself to jog a small portion of it to see where it came out… after I got back into the car, I mentioned to both Moms that ‘I think my water just broke.’  So after moving from the driver seat to the backseat, where I proceeded to stack up some of Gage’s pull-ups to sit on, we were off to the hospital which was just a short 15 minute drive away (this was around 4:45pm).  After arriving at the hospital, and making several phone calls on the way (silently hoping that after telling 5+ people, that I was really in labor and not having a false alarm—how embarrassing wolud that be?), I was admitted to triage where they asked a boatload of questions, made sure I was in labor and then decided to admit me to the labor and delivery portion of the hospital since I had dilated another 3cm since just 4 hours early when I had seen doc at her office.  We arrived in our Labor & Delivery room around 6:15pm–Grammy, GG, Mike & Gage were all in attendance.

Being the stubborn one that I am (its true), I attempted to do this labor without any drugs.  If you’ve heard my previous story, I never felt a contraction with Gage… nothing… so I was actually eager to see what contactions felt like, and thought maybe that I could do the au natural childbirth.  Well, I was WRONG.  After several laps around the L&D floor due to boredom, my contractions were intensifying and they were happening every 1.5-2 minutes.  Natural is nice, but why would anyone in their right mind WANT to feel that pain if they didnt have to?  Epidural please, doc… oh, and stat!  Epidural came, labor went on and baby girl Gemma arrived just before Midnight (11:58pm) on March 10th after pushing for only 20ish minutes.  This was a HUGE improvement from Gage since I pushed for over 2.5 hours with him.  (remember ladies: its like doing a push press)

7lbs, 14 oz, 19.75″ in length and a beautiful head of dark brown hair and precious blue eyes.

image

March 11th, in the wee hours of the morning (4am), I sent Mike home to be with the rest of the family and to make sure Gage understood that Mommy hadnt permenantly left him… plus, you should have seen the size of the ‘couch’ that they expected him to sleep on.  At least one of us should be somewhat comfortable and rested before baby comes home, right?  Wishful thinking… The next night Mike stayed at our house yet again, and in the morning when the doctors were asking about what to name our daughter, Mike still hadnt arrived back at the hospital.  Panic started to settle in, and then he showed up…phew…  Well, as you now know, we decided on Gemma Ellori McEllin–our little GEM.  Nothing like leaving the naming of your baby up to the last second–exactly as we had done with Daniel Gage as well 😉  Such prepared parents.

Life back at home is actually less stressful than I had anticipated.  Gage is sort of at a perfect age, where he can help Mom with favors and hes able to grab himself a snack if need be.  He loves his independent playtime too, so thas HUGE for me.  I forget how much babies like to sleep AND EAT!  Gemma actually eats MORE than Gage ever did, but she and I are also nursing together a lot better than Gage and I so thats been super helpful.  Breastfeeding at night is SO much easier than preparing bottles and heating them and ugh… thank goodness for the warm boob milk 😉  I only wish Mike coud lactact too and we could take turns—one can dream, right?  Gemma sleeps as expected.  She did, however, fool us into believing she was a true rockstar baby by sleeping 6 hours one night and then 7 the next!  Unfortunately during the 7 hour stretch, Gage had been up dealing with his incoming molars, so we didnt ge to sleep quite as well as we have hoped.  Since those 2 miraculous nights, 3 hours has become our magic number.  Its better than 2 and certainly better than 1 (which is what was going on last night), so I’ll take it.  3 sounds good to me—for a bit longer…  Come on, Gemma, lets get it together.  I know you want to sleep 8+ hour stretches 😉

Gage is coping surprisingly well to having a baby sister (aka the attention whore) around.  He enjoys trying to pick her up when noone is watching, gagging her with pacifiers and giving her the most intensely strong hugs.  Other than that, he’s proud to introduce her to everyone ‘This is MY Gemma.’  He shows her off—by riping off her blanket just as the wind comes by.  And he has even figured out to unhook the underside of the baby bjorn so that he can ‘set her free.’  Thanks, helper.

But really, life is good.  This Momma is enjoying a glass of wine again (thank you!!!!–and please feel free to come have one with me), taking walks with my sweet double BOB stroller (my Christmas present from the hubs), and being forced to sit down, relax and breathe in the baby breath.  Friends have been coming by, presents have been coming in the mail, and foodtidings.com has been delivering meals (on top of the amazing meals that my Mom brought as well).  Im producing milk like a champ (I think I seriously have over 100 oz pumped and frozen already to prepare for my departure in July–my sister is getting married and Ill be without Gemma), getting some alone time with Gage, and Mike has been a saint.  He comes home from work when he can, feeds the baby from the bottle, understands my moments of ‘why did we do this?’ and even makes sure Im resting and SLEEPING IN on the weekends!!  This whole experience, this time around, has been MUCH more laid-back and Im able to enjoy these first few weeks of being a mother of two (and a half).  AHHH…. I cant believe it.  Pinch Me.

2 + 2 = 4

18 Feb

Gage is about to experience something that neither his father nor I know anything about.  He is about to be stripped of his ‘only child’ title.  Mike and I never had that opportunity as we both have older sisters that ruled the roost well before we came along.  I think before this morning I never really thought about it like that.  A girlfriend of mine mentioned that I should do something special, just Gage and I, before his sister arrives, and I think she’s right.  Im all his and he’s my only child—but only for a few more moments.  Its quite bittersweet really.  I am so eager and excited to meet the newest McEllin addition, but in a way I feel a tinge of selfishness for feeling that way.  Sure, Gage is gaining a sibling and a forever playmate, but he is losing his parents 100% constant undivided attention (sorry Killian).

My biggest fear for this situation, if I may be selfish once again, is that Gage will change, and that it won’t be for the better.  He really is a sweet and extremely sincere kid–often saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ blessing people when they sneeze, excusing himself if he makes a mistake, apologizing when he’s done wrong, etc.  Sure, I’m bias, but I hear about his charm, intelligence and charisma from other parents as well as from his teachers.  I’m terrified that because I’m unable to devote as much time to his learning and his development, that little things that are to be ‘corrected’ will slip right by me.  I don’t want to become ‘that Mom’ that is so exhausted she can’t even be bothered to reprimand her own child.

Gage, because your sister is not yet born, I feel I can say these things to you now–before she’s here and my heart is essentially ‘torn’ between our two greatest creations.  You are love.  You are perfection.  You are my drug of choice.  I love you, infinitely, and I thank you for unconditionally and steadily improving the meaning of my life.  And because of these things, I know you will make the best Big Brother that any little girl could dream up.  I can’t wait to see you shine in one of the most important roles of your life.  We love you.

Shoeless Lo, Relaxin’

18 Jan

Not sure if its the camaraderie of ‘Trotting with Tots,’ the feeling of accomplishment afterward or the time spent outside with my mini-me, but I am amazed with how much I love running lately.  It was never something I did as a child, teen or even really into my young adult years (according to myself, I am in my mid-adult years now).  If I ran, I was sprinting—none of this ‘distance’ stuff, and most certainly not 3+ times a week.  I find that now, however, its something I can share with Gage.  I am his legs, his personal tour guide, and his ticket to see the WORLD… oh alright, Austin.  I’d like to think its something he and I both enjoy–or at least he leads me to believe he does because he knows he gets to play on the playground when Mom is done with her 3-4 miles.

Sidenote & bragging moment: I know I am not alone in feeling this love of running as ‘Trotting with Tots’ was mentioned in several Christmas cards that I received.  Nothing makes me more content than reading about how joining our group is 1 of the top 5 highlights of someone’s year.

I am going into my 33rd week of pregnancy and running is becoming a much more difficult undertaking.  Not only is it a bit harder to catch my breath after a large hill, but I get more fatigued pushing the stroller and most noticeably, the added weight of the baby makes for some rickety quads.  I had never previously given much thought to what the extra 20lbs would do for my legs.  But boy do they burn–even after a shorter jaunt on plain, flat land.  In any case, I find that the loss of running is putting me into a bit of a funk. I want to run, but I know enough to be healthy and safe and listen to my body and my baby girl.

The real reason I write this isn’t because Im sad I can’t run, I still can… Im just slowing down.  I am writing this because just this weekend some girlfriends of mine participated in a 10K trail run, and it was one of the hardest things to watch.  I am so proud of what they’re accomplished and yet I can’t stand not being able to feel that same sense of pride regarding myself.  The possibility of tripping on whats known as a skull rock (and yes, they are called that because if you hit one with your skull, the outcome is no bueno) or a root is all too scary.  I am competition and I am stubborn, but I am not stupid–although sometimes I wish I could play dumb.  I want to trail run.  I want to do a half marathon trail run (which someone finished waaay too quickly today).  I want to go off the beaten trail and blaze my own way.  But for now I will play it safe, prepare my double jogger and take one for my new team—my son and my daughter.  Damn competitive spirit.  I think I need to go for a run. 😉

She Has Risen.

3 Dec

Cleary I am slacking on keeping up with this blog.  August?  Really, Loren… really?

So what’s new in the life of pregnant Loren McEllin?  Oh wait, I havent even written about my pregnancy yet?!  Good grief. I’m just over 26 weeks along…. found out about Baby McEllin on June 23rd (found out it was a girl at the beginning of Sept—-thank you, panorama test) and I was only 1 week along when I took the initial digital test.  Mothers intuition as they say, right?  Really wish I would have had that glass of wine BEFORE I took the test, but oh well.  Our due date is March 8th–right after Mr McE’s 35th birthday.  Who knows, perhaps they will share their big day.  I think Mike, however, is (not so) secretly hoping she comes after March 5th so that his thunder isn’t stolen.  I think it would be cute for Daddy’s girl and he to share their ponies and ribbons 😉

When I called Mike at work and told him I took 3 tests, his first comment was ‘Oh shit, are you sure?’  I said three tests… three!

When I called Mike at work again to tell him the sex of the baby, his first comment was ‘Oh shit, the wedding.’  I love the way this man’s mind works.  All the while I was silently praying that my 13-year-old daughter would never remind me of my 13-year-old self…  My poor mother (and father for that matter).

Baby girl is healthy and growing like a weed.  Apparently this week she is the size of a scallion.  Why ‘Baby Center’ couldn’t come up with a better comparison, I don’t know… that s just what they tell me.  So my little onion of a human is stretching and squirming in the womb.  She, like Gage, has an anterior placenta as well.  Only thing different with her is that I still feel her movements.  When the placenta is anterior, it just means that it acts as a barrier of some kind between my skin and the baby.  With Gage I would say it sufficed as a firm pillow seeing as how I felt very little with him.  As for his sister, this is not so much the case.  Either she has beaten the even living bejesus out of her placenta so that I can feel it all, or she is truly aspiring to be an MMA fighter early on in life.  Either way, she’s aggressive and she likes to practice her kicks and punches most efficiently at 5am and 10pm.

I am thankful I can feel her though.  With Gage it was almost as if he and I were unable to connect previous to his being born.  I felt him occasionally and I heard his heartbeat on the doppler, but this one reminds me to sit up straight and make sure I get just the right amount of sleep–which is less than what I prefer.  Its interesting and a rather new experience to be able to feel the life being created before the actual birth.  Hard to explain really, but to say the least  I am thankful for her rather constant reminders.  I’m thinking no epideral for this one too… I may not be as thankful for ‘the feelings’ she gives me after that decision, but its worth striving for.

I crave nothing in particular with this one.  With Gage it was all fruit, with baby girl I crave not having to make anything at all.  Strange really.  I have absolutely no desire to cook and nothing really ever ‘hits the spot’ when I do.   And I find that to be quite humorous because that means that I’m eating more processed foods since I don’t feel like prepping anything.  With that being said, I am WAY more healthy in terms of exercise with this one.  I suppose it all balances itself out.

Speaking of exercise, the Trotting with Tots group is awesome.  We have over 75 members, and the group is growing weekly.  There are a handful of mothers and their kiddos that attend regularly and it’s really gotten to be a fun group.  I couldn’t have anticipated such an amazing group of people–and you know I don’t type that lightly.  These ladies are kick ass.  I think the comradery is spot-on just because we are all endorphin junkies.  Jogging and having that commonality with someone really goes a long way.  And the personalities of all of us seem to mesh very well together.  Nothing makes me more happy than knowing that some of these women get together outside of the weekly runs and are able to find true friendship.  We have women who have lost a shit ton of weight, moms that tell me they have had the best times ever in a 5k race, moms dropping pant sizes, moms that are all around just happier people–and their partners to agree.  The stories are inspiring and, in turn, I am inspired.

I made a goal to complete 9 races during the course of my pregnancy.  I have completed 8 of the 9 and will be doing #9 and #10 this weekend.  I am so very proud of myself to know that I did it–and trust me, there were moments when I didn’t think I would/could.  I’m not done yet, but even if #9 never gets complete, I did 8 and that’s pretty damn good.  In addition to my 8 races, I’ve managed to run the last couple races with a less than 9 min/mile average.  Pregnant or not, that was not something I had never done before.  Feels good.

Lindsay’s wedding planning in happening.  There will be a shower for her while we are all home in Springfield over Christmas.  She bought a dress here in Austin (and she looks amazing in it!), she picked up a sash off etsy for the gown, and we are well on our way to ordering the bridesmaid dresses.   Wedding invitations are in the works and decisions are being made.  I can only hope my mother and sister are still friends by the end of it all.  A Type A and a laid-back personality don’t always go well together. 😉

Gage may or may not have OCD.  He lines up his cars and his markers (all facing the same direction) and he does it all without batting an eye.  He doesn’t like his hands to be messy and he requires I pick up dog poop in the yard immediately because of the off-chance that he may actually step in it while mowing the lawn with his bubble mower.  Priorities, people!  On top of that, he wont eat food if its come in contact with even 1 dog hair (in this house it means he may starve as dog hair is a regular condiment), he points out bugs followed by a very loud ‘YUCK!’ and most recently has started washing his hands every 20-30 min.  Next time someone tells me that organization is a learned trait, I may beg to differ… he gets all these ‘tendencies’ from his great-grandfather (Papa), his grandfather (Pops), his grandmother (GG) and perhaps a small bit from his mother.  I do appreciate his lined up trucks and SOME of his captain obvious comments.  Now if only I could teach him how to properly clean his own behind 😉

Oh potty training!  Gage has been doing an awesome job.  He gets bribed with a tic-tac every time he sits on the toilet and something actually comes out.  Yes, I have to watch because he has been known to lie just to get a piece of candy (and no, I don’t know where he gets that… sweet tooth Mike).  Anywoo, I don’t push the matter, but he’s getting pretty darn good at letting me know if/when he has to go.  We are still working on #2s, but that’s all in ‘doo’ time.  I mean, we will already have one child in diapers, so it’s not like I’m eager to get him trained to never have to deal with them again.  Although maybe a 2-3 month hiatus from them would be nice.  Toddler bed next on our agenda… we have purchased it, but havent bought a mattress yet.  He slept in a big bed at G&Ps over Turkey Day and did great so I’m sure he will be fine…. and man, I hope I didn’t just cause the great jinx.

What else, what else?

Christmas in Springfield this year for the first time since 5th grade.  Kinda stoked about it although I will miss my cousins and Aunts an Uncles.  I’m just hoping they make the bridal shower for Linz so that I get to see them all anyway.  Gage and I be in the Patch for 11 days.  My parents may want to evict us (ok, ok… me).

Get a library card.  They rock.  I download books for free onto my kindle and Gage never gets bored with the assortment.  Win/Win on the budget & storage front.

Our lease is up on our rental house March 31, baby is due to arrive March 8—-looks like we will be resigning out lease.

Austin summers really are hot.  Humidity or not, 110 is warm.

Austin really does get cold.  The fireplace is ablaze and my toes are still screaming for slippers.

Killian is going to be 7.  I can’t believe we have had her for that long.  Where has the time gone?  She sheds like no other and her allergy shots are still happening, but shes a cuddler and I adore her oh so.

Elf on the shelf?  I think not (this year).

What does everyone want for Christmas?  I can’t make up my mind…. not that I want a lot, but it seems that what I’m asking for is really to benefit other people more than myself.  Perhaps I’m getting the hang of this ‘mom’ thing?  Then again, I’m sure I can come up with something just for myself–who am I kidding?

Potential baby names: Logan (because of where we met), Gemma (my fav), Jensen (what Gage’s name would have been if he’d had a V), Sutton, Vaughn, and Benny (just because I like it).

Full House (and We Even Have a Jessie!)

13 Aug

The in-laws are a comin’.  They left Florida early yesterday morning (Tuesday) and should be arriving later this afternoon.  Quite the trip, and that just means quite the love.  As much as I would like to take full-on excitement that their intentions were to drive so they could stay as long as they’d like, truthfully, they are driving so that they can drive back home with their new puppy!  For Fathers Day this year Mike made the decision to get his Father a new dog.  Over a year ago they lost their Irish Setter, Morgan (aka Morg Mutt), and both Pops and Grammy have been unable to regain their chipper attitudes.  Plus, they have been caught (on several occassions) searching the breeder websites of English Setters. English setters are a touch different than an Irish Setter, but ultimately I think they just wanted a bit of a change—they’ve had countless Irish Setters and I think Morgan took the cake.  So instead of trying to ‘replace’ her, another breed was just what they needed.  Anywoo, Mike and I were able to locate a breeder just North of Dallas, touch base and discover a new litter was due around the time they would be coming for Gage’s 2nd birthday.  What better timing than that?   So after 10 weeks of anxiuosly waiting and enjoying regular picture updates from the breeder, we were ready to pick up Jessie!  So on Saturday, after a family 5K, Mike and I left Gage with our fabulous sitter, Mindy, and made the trek up to Winnsboro, TX to pick up beautiful baby girl Jessie.  Let me begin by saying that we should have waited until Pops got here, and that is a lucky thing that Jessie is sooo darn cute… who knew that a puppy was always soooo thirsty and that their bladder only releases when inside… on the very minimal amounts of available carpet?!  I definitely forgot what its like to have a puppy, and I will not soon forget as Jessie will be here until the 28th of August.  Luckily, Pops will be here to dote on her, and Mike and I will be able to (hopefully) sleep more than 3 hours at one time.    As I said before, and will continue to tell myself, its lucky shes so perfectly adorable (and that her pelt is not worth anything).  

Jessie

Trotting with Tots group is amazingly awesome and exhausting and incredible all at the same time—and I wouldnt have it any other way.  I have my days when I REALLY dont want to jog because lets face it, driving all around Austin and being ‘forced’ to jog 3 times a week is A LOT.  Take this morning for example, Jessie had a messy #2-related accident in her kennel as I was closing the front door (and Mike just cleaned her kennel last night), Gage had a rough morning and needed more milk than ever before (probably because he was up 3 times the previous night crying and was dehydrated), and Killian requires the most ridiculous regiment of medicine because of her current hotspot/allergy condition (something along the lines of 3/4 a pill in the AM, 1/2 pill in the middle of the day, spray hotspot with this solution and then at dinner give her another 1/4 pill… seriously)…. Needless to say, we were over 20 min late (MY pet peeve), and to top it all off, I got a flat tire on my stroller when we were exactly halfway done with the jog.  It can only get better… it can only get better…  But these ladies and our kiddos certainly keep me motivated, and the smile never leaves my face when I am with them.  Its fun to hear everyone’s stories about how they met their husbands, where they are from, what they did when they first found out they were prego, birthing stories (yes, I LOVE hearing about them), kids quirks, etc.  Everyday is a new day, and everyone’s stories are all so different—however, we’ve all been led to meet in this running group I created, and I think thats pretty cool.  We have been in existence for 3 months and 1 week as of today, there are 60 active members as of this morning, we have had 39 meetups and have logged an impressive 125+ miles with our mini-mes.  Go us!  Only a few members have left our group from the beginning due to work or school schedules–Ive touched base with them all so I could get their feedback, and no one sounded like it was something they wanted to do.  Id say we are doing quite well and I am SUPER thankful to have met such a kickass group of women. 

Callison & Amelia at the park after our jog

Callison & Amelia at the park after our jog

Thank you, Carolyn, for the most amazing voicemail the other day–it couldnt have come at a better time.  You are a true friend, and I love that you do so much without expecting anything in return.    So sorry, but you’re being called out. 😉  There arent enough people like you in this world.  You inspire me too.  I love you.

My parents will be arriving in exactly 7 days.  I cannot wait for them to get here, and show them around this sweet, sweet city!!!!!  I miss them SO much and we have had so many visitors–seems like they’ll be one of the last, but should have been one of the first (eh hem)….   It’ll be hot, and Im sure they’ll be melting, but they can see the majority of the city from inside my nice A/Ced car.  Amazing how their two daughters chose to live in such drastically different climates.  And speaking of melting, when Lindsay & Double Ds get here in September, they may actually melt.  Even 80 seems warm to those Alaskans, so I think they’re in for a rude awakening (and then tack on another 20-25 degrees to that misery).  Perhaps Elsa can come and build them a snow cloud like she did for Olaf.  

 

Meet Olaf.

Meet Olaf.

What else?  We have snakes in our backyard.  Texas has HUGE red-headed centipedes that make Midwest centipedes look like sweet, fuzzy friends.  Its hot here and it does actually get humid as well.  My Mom won the super senior championship tournament at Panther Creek so shes the new woman’s club champ of 2014.  Texas has the largest crepe myrtle ‘trees’ Ive ever seen, and they release droplets of water regularly if you’re sitting under them.  Very odd, yet refreshing at the same time.  Grandparents send way too many clothes for their grandchildren even if you mention your child’s overflowing closet on several occasions.  Ryan Rice, my nephew by marriage, left for college today (Case Western).  I feel old hearing that, so I cant imagine how his parents must feel.  Is Gage really already 2?!   I am in love with Olaf.  Best. Character. Ever.

 

Red Headed Centipede. YUCK!!!!

Red Headed Centipede. YUCK!!!!