Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Smarty Tail

If people who are smart are called "smarty pants," what would you call a smart dog since they don't wear pants?  Smarty tail?  In that case, Jazzy is a smarty tail.  Here's proof:

She stops before she crosses the street.

We've taught Jazzy to stop when she gets to the end of the street.  We simply say, "Stop," and she does. She turns her little head around and looks at us.  When we've made sure the coast is clear, then we tell her "Free," which means she can cross the street.  She's so smart that we don't even have to tell her to stop all the time.  Sometimes she just stops on her own.  That's my smart girl! 

She knows how to make us take her for a walk.  

Whenever Jazzy thinks she is due for a walk, she lays down on the rug in front of the door.  She waits ever so patiently without barking or whining.  When we happen to walk by the front door and see her waiting, she just looks up at us with those eyes.  Those sweet eyes!  And then we usually take her for a walk.  She's so sly.  

She knows how to relax.

Jazzy uses her smarts every day.  One more example is her knack for relaxing.  When either of us lay in the hammock in the backyard, Jazzy hops right up there with us.  She loves to sway gently while the breeze runs through her little beard.  

Jazzy sure is one smarty tail.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Little Organization

Organizing always gives me a thrill.  I love when things are tidy.  It always makes me feel better when things are put away in their place.  

That being said, my bathroom drawers were getting a bit cluttered.  So I took some time to tidy them up. First, I emptied everything out and took inventory of what I had.  I pitched old and expired things.  I put aside things I no longer use to pawn off on my mom or to put in our upcoming garage sale.

I vacuumed out the drawers and let me tell ya, I could have made a wig with all the hair that was in the bottom of my hair stuff drawer.  I'll spare you a picture.  Then I went about organizing what was left.

I put my everyday essentials in the top drawer.    

My makeup lives in my second drawer.  I divided up my makeup into categories and gave each category its own basket.  

My hair supplies are housed in the bottom drawer.  

One of my favorite storage solutions is using glass jars for bobby pins and elastics.  The jars are from candles that I have already burned.  They expertly house tiny things like bobby pins and hair elastics. Now I just have to remember to put them back in the jars instead of throwing them in the bottom of the drawer.  

My drawers look so much better now!  There's nothing like putting a little order in your life.   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's Inevitable

After I lost my baby, I thought it would be nice of the world if everyone could just hold off on getting pregnant until I had a healthy baby in my arms.  That did not happen.  Inevitably, the world kept on turning and people kept on having babies.  I've had family members, friends, co-workers and gobs of Facebook friends get pregnant and have babies.  I'm not going to lie, it sucks when I hear about it.  

I usually have to pretend to be happy for whoever gets to make their big announcement.  A lot of times it makes me cry.  Not happy tears, but big, fat depressed tears.  I almost always think, "Why do they get to have a baby and not me?"  This does me no good to think these thoughts, but I can't help it.  

It makes me mad that I can't share in their joy.  I unfollow my friends on Facebook after I see a pregnancy announcement, because it's just too hard to have to look at their baby bumps.  I don't go to baby showers.  I try to exit conversations about pregnancy and babies.  While all this avoidance might not be the healthiest, it works for me.

I know one day I'll be able to attend a baby shower and join in on a conversation about pregnancy.  That day's not today and that's okay.  

I also know everyone has a sore spot, something they avoid because it hurts. This new-found realization has affected how I talk to people.  I'm more thoughtful about how my conversations might affect people.  I really think before I say things aloud to people or ask them questions.  The last thing I would ever want to do is blindly cause anyone any pain.  While I'm not happy that I had to learn this lesson by losing my baby, it's a lesson I'm glad I learned.    

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Monogram Wreath

Last time I visited my grandma, aka Mama, I noticed she still had the winter-themed wreath I made for her.  I told her I would make her a new spring wreath.  So that's exactly what I did today.  It turned out to be very simple to make and it turned out very cute.  I might need to make one for myself now.  

I gathered the following materials:

-Wooden letter
-Acrylic Craft Paint (I went with Pearl White.)
-Three pieces of felt (I got pink, purple and green.)
-Paint Pen (I used silver.)
-Ribbon (Also, silver.)
-Hot Glue Gun
-Staple Gun

I started out by painting the wooden letter.  I have found that using foil to paint on works really well.  Whatever I'm painting doesn't stick to the foil and you can just ball it up and throw it away when you're finished.  I ened up putting 3 coats of paint on since the Pearl White was a little on the sheer side.

While the paint was drying, I worked on making the felt flowers.  I cut each of the pink and purple pieces of felt into 6 equal pieces.  Then I rounded the corners of each piece.  Next, I cut a spiral out of each piece.

Once I had the spirals, I rolled each piece starting with the outside.  

The small circle left in the center of the spiral is the perfect size to finish off the back of the flower.  I just put a dab of hot glue on the felt and covered it with the small circle.

After that, I cut some leaves out of the green felt.  

Once the paint was dry, I used the silver paint pen to put some polka dots on the letter.  I am in love with polka dots right now.  They're just so darn cute and fun.  

I used a staple gun to attach the ribbon on the back of the letter.  I put some cardboard between the letter and the ribbon so the staple wouldn't go through the front of the letter.  

Finally, I hot glued the felt flowers and leaves onto the letter.  I think Mama will love it!  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Home Tour- Master Bedroom & Master Bathroom

Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom was a blinding yellow when we moved in.  I'm not quite sure how the previous owners ever relaxed in this room.

It looks totally different with a few updates:
-Painted the crazy yellow a nice, calming blue
-Added curtain rods and curtains
-Replace the ceiling fan
-Added furniture

Master Bathroom

There is no door between our master bedroom and master bathroom.  And our closets are located in our bathroom.  I thought this layout would drive me crazy and the no door thing would be weird.  Surprisingly, the layout works for us.  There is a door to close off the toilet, which is nice.  And I like having our closets in the bathroom.  I can step out of the shower and over to my closet to pick out my outfit.  

It too was that shocking yellow color when we moved in.

We made a few changes:
-Took down the big mirror and put up two separate mirrors
-Changed out the facets
-Added a tile back splash and feature (half) wall
-Replaced the carpet (yes, carpet!) on the side of the tub with tile
-Took down the gross shower doors and added a shower curtain

We'd love to update our bathroom big time in the future.  All we need is some more money...somehow our house fund keeps getting depleted.  It's not my fault at all.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scaredy Dog

I learn more and more about all of Jazzy's cute quirks every day.  Some of these quirks make sense, while others baffle me.  I have come to realize that Jazzy is a bit of a scaredy dog.  She's frightened of the following very intimidating things: 


My mom sent Adam and me a birthday box in the mail since we have birthdays close together.  In it she included a bunch of balloons with instructions to blow them up on Adam's birthday.  I always listen to my mom, so I sat down on the couch on Adam's birthday with the pile of balloons.  

Jazzy sat down next to me like she usually does.  I took the first balloon and started to blow it up.  Jazzy shot off the couch as if the balloon had attacked her as soon as I started blowing it up.  I'm not really sure what she thought that balloon was going to do to her.  She certainly wasn't going to give the balloon a chance to attack her so she went into her crate.  

I finished blowing up the balloons and let Adam see them strewn about the living room.  Then we had to get rid of them so Jazzy wouldn't have a heart attack.  Silly dog.


When I'm home, I've been leaving the back door open a crack so Jazzy can go in and out as she pleases.  Since the door stays open for small stretches of time, a fly snuck in the other day.  It made it's way into the blinds in the living room right in front of Jazzy's perch.  

While I was in the kitchen, I noticed Jazzy slinking about and staring at the window.  I thought she was acting strange so I went into the living room to ask her what was wrong.  When I asked her, she just looked longingly at her perch from the other end of the couch.

Then I heard the buzzing.  I realized there was a fly stuck in the blinds and she was terrified of it.  So I got the flyswatter and bravely killed it for Jazzy. She was quite pleased to be able to go back to her perch.  I guess that makes me her hero.    

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Things They Don't Tell You About Being Married

Your husband will annoy you.

It is inevitable that your husband will do things that annoy the crap out of you.  I believe in the theory that everything has a place and things should be returned to that place.  Adam believes in the theory that as long as things make it near their place, that's good enough.  For example, Adam thinks if he gets his shoes close to the bin, it's close enough.  I believe the shoes should actually make it in the bin.  Here is some photographic evidence:

You will annoy your husband.  

Just as inevitable is the fact that you will do things that annoy the crap out of your husband.  For example, I like to turn on lights and leave them on.  If I am watching tv in the living room and go into the kitchen to get a snack, I leave the light on in the kitchen.  I might have to go back and get a drink.  By leaving the light on I have one less thing to do when I go back to the kitchen for a drink.  This means that when I hear the garage door open, I run around the house turning off lights.  Adam says I'm wasting money; I say I am being economical with my time.  

You'll take turns being the strong one.

I didn't really think about the need to take turns being strong for each other when I first got married.  I knew that we both agreed to be there for each other, but I didn't really understand what that meant until we lost our baby. I can't begin to tell you how much comfort Adam provided me with during that utterly sad time.  I think he even put aside his own grieving to be strong for me.  I am forever thankful for that.  I know one day I will get the chance to be the strong one for Adam.   

Your love for your husband will grow exponentially.  

When I think back to how I felt about Adam while we were dating or even after we first got married, it's nothing compared to how I feel about him now.  It's hard to put into words how very much I love Adam.  All of our experiences together have built upon one another and created this gigantic love.  I can only imagine how much I'll love him when we're old and wrinkly.    

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Up Front Updates

I have found my new favorite store.  Aside from Target, I mean.  It's At Home and it is "The Home Decor Superstore."  It has a bit of everything and it's all reasonably priced.  (I should mention that At Home is not paying me money to say this, I just really like it.)  Adam took me there on my birthday since it had just opened up.  We spent a long time wandering the aisles.  We didn't end up buying anything, but I knew we'd be back.  

We are on the hunt for a new front door that I want to paint a pretty, powdery light blue.  We have a blue door now, but it's a darker blue and has seen better days.  We had gone with a red accessories theme in years past, but I wanted to change things up, so we're going with a light blue theme this year.  So we went back to At Home to get a few items.

We got some new chair cushions.  Aren't they pretty?  They are also very comfy.

I've also been on a flower planting kick.  Adam suggested getting a bigger pot to put on our driveway in between our garage doors.  So we found a huge porcelain pot in the perfect color scheme.  I love it! 

I love the flowers and plants we planted in it as well.  We planted some gerbera daisies, petunias, geraniums and fiber optic grass.

Now all we need is the front door.  We are very close to narrowing one down. I'll keep you posted.    


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Advice to Infertile Couples

While I'm obviously not a doctor, I do have experience with infertility.  I think this pretty much makes me an expert.  So I will share my expert advice about what's helped Adam and I muddle through this challenging time of our lives.

1.  Drink alcohol.

I am not suggesting you become an alcoholic.  I am merely suggesting that you don't have to stop partaking in the things that make you happy even though they are not necessarily healthy.  Whether that's drinking or eating McDonald's or riding roller coasters.  I spent a long time avoiding things that would be frowned upon if I happened to be pregnant, just in case.  Each month that I found out I wasn't pregnant made it even more difficult to take because I felt like I had given up a bunch of fun stuff throughout the month, all for nothing.  While I still constantly think about and hope that I'm pregnant, I've gotten a lot better about doing what makes me happy.

2.  Plan vacations.

It really does help to have something to look forward to and vacations are one thing Adam and I love.  Before we got married and started thinking about having kids, Adam and I did lots of traveling.  We always had a blast and part of the fun was planning the trips.  It's nice to have something to think about besides trying to get pregnant.  So plan a trip, even if it's a small weekend getaway or a stay-cation.    

3.  Talk about it. 

It's hard to talk about infertility.  Both Adam and I have felt guilty. Sometimes we're frustrated that the other person doesn't feel the same way. We don't want to upset the other person by bringing it up.  But, who better to talk to than the person who's in it with you?  No one will understand better than your spouse.  Our marriage is so much stronger now, having been through all we've been through together.  Don't be afraid to talk to each other.    

4.  Get a dog.

Adam and I talked about getting a dog when we eventually had kids.  We thought it would work out because I would be a stay at home mom and the dog wouldn't have to be in the house all day.  Our kids could be a part of the process of picking out a dog and naming it.  Then we asked ourselves: Why are we waiting?  We both want a dog.  We both knew we would love having a dog.  We knew a dog would love us.  So we went for it and ended up with Jazzy.  It was the best decision we ever made.  She has helped fill the hole in our hearts.  

After we got Jazzy, Adam told me something funny his infertility specialist told him.  He told Adam that kids are great and all, but eventually they'll grow up and won't want to spend time with you.  His advice?  Get a dog. They'll love you forever.  Wise man.        


Monday, April 13, 2015

I Was Not Prepared for the Grossness!

As a kid, I had a miniature pinscher named Katy.  She was very sweet and protective of her family.  Basically, that means she barked at and attacked the shoelaces of anyone besides her family members.  I have very fond memories of Katy, but those memories don't include any grossness.  

Jazzy has introduced me to some gross dog things I never even knew about before owning a dog.  Take whipworms, for example.  I had heard of heartworms and ringworms, but not whipworms.  A few weeks ago, I came home from work and thought to myself, "My house smells like a toilet."  I wandered around and found a liquidy pile of poop in the hallway.  And boy, was it smelly!  Jazzy has never had an accident in the house.  We were very lucky to find that she was potty trained when we brought her home.  So I knew something had to be wrong, even though she acted like she felt fine.  I figured that she had just eaten something that upset her stomach.  

The next day we put her in the laundry room just in case there was another accident.  It would be far easier to clean poop off of our tiled laundry room floor than the carpet in our hallway.  I came home and found another gross pile of poo waiting for me.  So I called the vet and asked what they thought I should do.  They told me to bring in a poop sample and they would test it. Luckily, I had thought to save the poop from the laundry room and brought it to the vet's office for testing.  

The vet called us the next day and told us Jazzy had whipworms.  I guess whipworms are found in the soil.  So if a dog walks around in some whipworm-contaminated soil and then licks their paw, they can get whipworms.  They gave us some medicine to get rid of them and told us she needed to be taking Interceptor instead of Heartgard.  Apparently Heartgard doesn't protect dogs against whipworms.  I was a bit angry that they didn't tell us to use Interceptor from the start!  They were the ones who told us to use Heartgard.  But it doesn't do any good to throw a fit and the vet's office was kind enough to switch out the Heartgard medication we had with Interceptor.  

Jazzy hasn't had any more accidents since then and we bring in another sample in a week to make sure she is clear of whipworms.  Who knew whipworms even existed? 

Another gross moment Jazzy was kind enough to share with me was the time she found a dead mouse on one of our walks.  When we go on our walks, I like to look around at how people have landscaped and the colors they have painted their house so I don't always pay attention to what Jazzy is doing. On this particular walk, I looked down at Jazzy and thought I saw a leaf stuck in her little beard.  I asked Jazzy if she would like for me to get that leaf out of her beard and bent down to get it.  Upon doing so, I noticed it was not a leaf, but a dried up mouse tail instead.  And there was a dried up mouse body attached to the tail in her mouth!  GROSS!  

I told Jazzy it was dirty and yucky and that she needed to spit it out.  She did not listen.  So I shook her head a little hoping that would make her drop it, but that didn't work either.  I tried to pry her little jaw open next, but she wasn't planning on letting go any time soon.  Eventually I had to touch the dead mouse with my fingers and yank it out of her mouth.  Jazzy gave me a face like this after I took her prized possession away from her:

After we got home, I announced to Adam that Jazzy would need to have her teeth brushed while I scrubbed a layer of skin off my hand.  (Yes, Adam brushes Jazzy's teeth with peanut butter flavored toothpaste.)  Adam asked me why I didn't just use one of Jazzy's poop bags as a glove before touching the dead mouse.  He's full of good ideas.

I'm sure Jazzy will share many more gross moments with me.  They are a small price to pay for having such sweet dog in my life.  


Friday, April 10, 2015

Home Tour- Guest Bedrooms & Guest Bathroom

Guest Bedroom #1- The Flamingo Room

To distinguish the different guest bedrooms, Adam and I came up with nicknames for each room.  The first guest bedroom is called The Flamingo Room because there is a photograph of flamingos in there.  Very creative, I know.  I found the photograph at Goodwill for a buck.  It had a very ugly frame, but a little white spray paint fixed that.  

Here's the bedroom when we moved in:

It used to be a dumpster room of sorts, collecting everything we decided we didn't need or didn't know where to put.  We determined it would function better as a guest room so we did the following:
-Painted the walls
-Added a curtain rod and curtains
-Spray painted the brass parts of the ceiling fan with oil rubbed bronze spray paint
-Added a bed
-Added a table/desk that we refinished and painted

Here's The Flamingo Room now:

Guest Bedroom #2- The All-Inclusive Room

This guest bedroom gets it's name from the painting it features.  Upon closer inspection, it looks as if there are two women in the painting.  So we named it the all-inclusive room because the room clearly accepts all kinds of people.  

Here it was before we painted over that patriotic border:

It's gotten quite the overhaul.  We did the following:
-Painted the room
-Added furniture
-Adam made me a gift-wrap organizer (Swoon!)
-Added a curtain rod and curtains

Here it is now:

Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom came complete with a beautiful bouquet of fake flowers when we bought the place:

It got a mini makeover, including the following:
-New paint
-New toilet seat
-New decor

Here it is now:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Just When You Think...

One of the difficult things about losing a baby is having to say out loud that you have lost your baby.  Not only do you have to lose your baby, but you have to repeatedly tell people about it.  

When Adam and I lost our baby, we tried to email, text and Facebook message all the people who knew we had been pregnant.  It's so incredibly difficult to have to speak the words, "We lost our baby."  Using technology to our advantage helped reduce the number of times we had to utter those difficult words.  Our parents were also kind enough to pass along the sad news to family and friends so we wouldn't have to do so ourselves.

However, it was impossible to make sure everyone knew.  It was inevitable that we would run into people who would ask us how our baby was doing.  

I remember being asked how old our baby was at Adam's holiday work party. I just took a gulp of my wine and let Adam take that one.  His response was to tell his coworker that he must have been thinking of someone else.  We didn't have a baby.  

It's always hard to know exactly what to say.  Sometimes you just want to avoid the situation and don't want the pity people are bound to give you.  But sometimes you feel the need to tell the truth about the situation.  Some of the best advice I got from a grief counselor was to have a line ready in case someone asked about our baby.  And to practice saying it out loud.  I've had to say my line out loud to people more than I would have cared to, but having practiced it before being face to face with someone certainly made it easier.

This reminds me of the book An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. (By the way, her book is truly beautiful and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has lost a baby.)  She lost a baby and I remember a part in her book where she said she wished she could hand out business cards with the news of her baby's death on it.  That way she wouldn't have to say it out loud.

I haven't had to speak my sad story out loud very often lately.  However, just when you think you have told everyone who needs to know, someone surprises you.  As a secretary at my school, I am in charge of enrolling new students.  I re-enrolled one of my former students the other day.  The mom asked me how old my baby was now and I had to bring back my line.  Time doesn't really make it any easier to say out loud.  It still makes my heart stop to have to say that my baby died out loud.  But it's good to have that line in the back of my head, just in case I need it.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Doesn't Spring Just Make You Happy?

There is something about spring that turns me into a giddy little girl.  The warm weather.  The green leaves and grass.  All the flowers!  It just makes me happy!  

This weekend Adam and I got some flowers from Home Depot to put around our yard.  There are a ton of rabbits in our neighborhood and they love to eat flowers and plants, much to my dismay.  However, I have found that the rabbits can't reach hanging baskets and potted plants.  So, Adam and I worked on our hanging baskets and pots this past weekend.  

We went with ranunculus, impatients and geraniums for the hanging baskets.  

We planted several potted plants, too.  One of my good friends from school gave me some elephant ear plants a few years back.  I have replanted them every year and they always turn out really cool.  We included a few impatients around the elephant ears for some color until the elephant ears start to grow.  

We put this pot with elephant ears and begonias on our back deck.  I can't wait until summer's here and I can lay in our hammock and read.

This pretty flower popped up in our front planter.  I better enjoy it now before the rabbits get to it.  

This is the only rabbit I want in my yard: the Google Fiber rabbit.  Adam and I signed up for Google Fiber and hope our "fiberhood" gets enough sign-ups.  If you live in Lee's Summit, MO, sign up for Google Fiber here.  Please and thank you.  

While planting our flowers in the front yard, we realized that as long as we keep Jazzy's leash on her, she thinks she can't run away.  Instead of running down the street, she just plopped herself down on the driveway and stared longingly down the street.  Silly girl.  

Happy Spring!