Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies

Double trouble. Literally.

Note: I originally wrote this for Babble but it didn’t make the cut; they had too many similar pieces … so if you know of another publication looking for similar freelance pieces … let me know! In the meantime, I thought I’d share with my own readers! 🙂

I’d wanted a puppy for a long time. With my husband chiseling away at his evening MBA (which entailed driving to the other side of the state after work several times a week as well as some weekends), I was lonely.

Though we both wanted to start a family, we were in a holding pattern until he had finished his MBA. A puppy seemed like the answer to my loneliness and desire to be a mom: he/she could keep me company and give me something to satiate my maternal calling.

Rocco came into our lives in the form of an email from a coworker whose Lab had just had puppies – puppies they couldn’t possibly keep. It was love at first sight. All paws, he came bounding over to us, wagging his teensy nub of a tail and licking our hands. I scooped him in my arms and just knew he’d be our forever friend. Only eight pounds at the time, he was a little peanut who crashed in my lap on the long drive home – but you could just tell he was going to be all Lab: full of boundless energy. Continue reading “Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies”

Sometimes You Gotta Have the Fries …

So since the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve craved a Jr. Arby’s roast beef-n-cheddar sandwich which is quite funny because the last time I had it I was 13 years old and preparing for my Bat Mitzvah (the only Arby’s nearby was in the same town as my synagogue). So honestly it has been a good 18 years or so!

I got my McDonald’s fix in July and was waiting for the right opportunity to indulge my other preggo craving.

Tonight was the night! Continue reading “Sometimes You Gotta Have the Fries …”

The Brain Drain

Let it be known up front that I love, love, love my job.

I work with amazing, creative people I adore and by whom I am often inspired. And I work autonomously, which means I more or less create my own work-flow– a definite plus at a very busy digital advertising agency.

I’ve been at my job for more than four years and in that time, I can honestly say there have been very few days where I’ve not wanted to get out of bed and go to work in the morning. I know I have it very good, and I’m the first to admit that.

That said, I’m struggling to find motivation these days.

Like, really struggling. Continue reading “The Brain Drain”

Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Always Mean You SHOULD …

Yesterday at my non-stress test (a complete oxymoron, BTW … ) they saw more contractions — erratic contractions I don’t feel but we see on the monitors.

What I do feel is a tightening (called Braxton-Hicks contractions) in my uterus when I exercise, walk, get up the wrong way, etc … and while those are very normal for the third trimester, the nurse warned me to essentially stop doing the things that make me tighten up.

While a baby could survive outside the womb at 33.5 weeks … I don’t want to incite that by any means, and so if it means cutting back even more on my activity levels, so be it. I do NOT want to end up on bed rest … and it’s a very real concern. Continue reading “Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Always Mean You SHOULD …”

Reality Doses That Don’t Bite

These days, my bladder is a trampoline, my abs are a punching bag, and my back often feels like someone is twisting a screwdriver into it. But you know what? I wouldn’t change any of it for anything.

You see, for the first four months of my pregnancy (I’m 25 weeks along now, so five months down/in the sixth month) I didn’t have morning sickness, wasn’t gaining a ton of weight, and aside from being a little tired and craving carbs … didn’t honestly “feel” pregnant.

But now I have multiple daily physical reminders that Baby Girl is in there, growing, moving, existing … And the fact that my husband can even feel her now just makes it feel that much more real. I have to say, seeing the awed look on his face each time he feels her move now is just the coolest thing ever. Continue reading “Reality Doses That Don’t Bite”

A Meaningful Moment Worth Mentioning

For years, when my husband and I have gone for ice cream, I’ve gotten FF frozen yogurt and drooled over his strawberry ice cream in a waffle cone.

I’d always have a taste of his– but never dared order a waffle cone myself. Call me ridiculous, but I had this stigma about it being “fattening,” “bad,” etc. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago when I used to label food and judge it.

Over the past year, and now into my pregnancy, I’ve definitely strayed from those black-or-white thoughts, replaced by a blurrier — but happier — world of gray.

And so after we took Rocco for a drive around town Friday night (he LOVES to go bye-bye in the car!), I decided to spring for my much-coveted waffle cone at our favorite local ice cream place (think a local version of Cold Stone Creamery, only better — and cheaper :)). Continue reading “A Meaningful Moment Worth Mentioning”

One Moment in Time …

Life isn’t about the number of breaths you take but rather about the moments that take your breath away.

Last night took my breath away. I felt like all the world was right.

After a day of cleaning and arranging the house after our new couches arrived, my husband and I were laying on the couch with Rocco, with the baby moving around inside of me. Such a simple moment — one we’ve probably done a thousand times just the two of us, but suddenly last night it felt different. Special.

I swear, I’ve never felt this heightened sense of awareness about my physical and emotional self in all my life. It was a moment I wish I could have frozen in time. I felt completely, wholly present.

I wasn’t concerned with what anyone else was doing except us in that moment, and with the three of us (four of us!) lying there … it felt like we were much more than just a couple, but rather, truly … a family.

I’m smiling just typing that out and remembering how nice it sounds. Family.

Learning from the Dogs

First of all, happy birthday to my amazing husband, who is turning 32 today! Happy birthday, L! 🙂 XOXO — may 32 be your best year yet!

So this weekend we had his birthday/citizenship party, which was a blast.

Sure, party-prepping and hostessing are exhausting, but I love to do it and it just makes us so happy to have our friends over — especially since neither of us have family less than a plane ride away.

Truly, our friends here in Michigan have become our family … and we are very blessed.

Then yesterday we went to brunch with friends and took our dogs to the new dog park that recently opened. It never ceases to amaze me what you can learn in the most unexpected of places.

Dogs are like humans in so many ways. Dogs are so easily satisfied with the simple things in life: sun, shade, water, food, treats, and above all … attention/affection. Like us, they ultimately just want to be loved. Continue reading “Learning from the Dogs”

Nurse Melissa, At Your Service

This weekend we had a bit of a … situation with our adorable lil black lab puppy, Rocco.

Saturday, we’d gone to an Amish village in Indiana called Shipshewana for the day with friends. We basically ate our way through the village and literally every penny we spent was on food. It was heavenly.

One of my favorite foods to buy at Amish markets is those sugar-coated pectin fruit slices candies (as seen on the left). I suck all the sugar off them — I just love these little guys even though they are a pure caloric waste.

The other thing I love are these hard sanded black licorice candies. So I was happy to get both (plus some white chocolate baking medallions and these to-die-for mini dark chocolate raspberry cups).

When we got home with our bounty of buffalo burger meat, brats (for the hubs — I’m not a fan), cheeses, breads, sweets and candies … we unloaded everything to the fridge or bread box. I left the fruit slices and licorice candies on the island — tucked far away from the eager pup’s reach.

Now usually when we’re running around the house cleaning or what not, we’ll crate Rocco (or put him “in his house” as we tell him) since, at just over 16 weeks of age, he’s ridiculously curious and gets into anything and everything. Continue reading “Nurse Melissa, At Your Service”

Jump In …

This weekend we took little Rocco (who is 15 weeks old today and getting soooo big!) to South Haven, a beach town along Lake Michigan, for his first sand and surf outing.

He was a little bit hesitant at first to dip a paw in the water … but then he got confident and put a few paws in … and before you know it, he was frolicking and splashing us and trying to eat the waves! It was a hoot and we definitely laughed a lot.

Watching our little puppy play along the shores of Lake Michigan for the first time this weekend, I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics I love so much by Frou Frou, “Let go, let go … jump in … well, whatcha waiting for? It’s alright … cauz there’s beauty in the breakdown …”

Truly, he had to “let go” and “jump in.”

I blogged about my passion for the lyrics here a while ago, but they ring ever true today … Like Rocco on the shoreline, I’m in a period of my life where, literally, I have to jump in and swim.

There’s no standing on the shorelines or being tentative. There’s that vast lake ahead, and swimming is the only way to go.

Oh course, this analogy will all make sense once I can share what’s been going on, but basically, I’m seeing beauty in the breakdown.

And it feels pretty dang good.

How about you? Is there a challenge you’ve been putting off? Do you need an external nudge to get off the shoreline?