May 29, 2013

Ol' Master Gibson & A Memorial Day BBQ

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend had us wake up in Incline Village, travel through Reno out to Fallon, NV and ended with us back home that evening. To say we spend some time in the car is an understatement. When we Mapquest it, we spent around 5 1/4 hours in the car. And London didn't have one accident. She didn't even use the pull-up we had her in! All weekend! We are so proud of her. And I am so relieved that the pull up didn't confuse her. She did such a good job at telling us when she needed to go and then holding it until we could find a spot to stop - sometimes we were in the middle of no where. 

The reason for our trip to Fallon was to go pick out our new puppy, Ol' Master Gibson, as we have already named him. While Cameron is partial to yellow labs, the lone yellow male from this litter did not survive the first 48 hours, unfortunately. The lone, little yellow female was quite tempting as she was adorable. But Cameron stuck to his guns on wanting a male dog for once, and looked over the 4 black males until he selected this guy: 

  So I introduce to you Gibbs. He's pretty cute, but what lab puppy isn't? He passed all of Cameron's tests for being a good choice and after having lunch with the owners of mama Crash, he took a little nap in my arms before we headed home. Gibbs was only going to be 6 weeks on Memorial Day, so we have to wait a few weeks before we can bring him home with us. He'll officially come home sometime Father's Day weekend - only two and a half weeks from now. Can't wait!

Memorial Day was a pretty lazy day for us at home, given how busy the rest of the weekend had been. The girls were definitely done spending time in the car, especially Sydney. All we had scheduled was a BBQ down the street with London's friend Fiona's family. They were hosting a BBQ for neighborhood friends. Turns out they invited 9 families and only us and one other family were able to make it. That family had a little girl who had just turned 3 the week before, named Camilla. All 3 girls got along great - so much so we parents didn't have to keep a very close eye on them and could just socialize ourselves. 

It was the perfect way to end the long weekend. Not to mention how amazing the pulled pork Fiona's father had BBQ'd - for 7 hours that day - was! That's dedication. We all decided that we would do it again for 4th of July and this time we will host at our house. We are hoping our neighbors will be in the same spirit as last year with all the fireworks we combined and displayed.

May 28, 2013

The Puppy Reunion

Photo by Kathy Frazer
Photo by Kathy Frazer - All six dogs going for bumpers in the pond
Memorial Day weekend was action packed for us - so much so I forgot it was Cameron's birthday on Sunday until his Grandmother said something. I do plead that I was sleep-deprived for two nights by this point. 

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Kieran, Tucker and Titan getting a pep talk
Saturday was the much-anticipated Puppy Reunion, hosted by Tulley's boyfriend's family up in Reno. We headed up to Incline Village at about 8 PM Friday, after all the major holiday traffic had passed, to stay the night at Cameron's grandparents. While it was nice to not be rushed Saturday morning, we didn't get the rest we had anticipated, given both girls woke up, ready to go, when we arrived around 10:30 PM. Sydney probably fell back to sleep within an hour, but Cameron ended up staying up with London until after 1 AM - when she joined me in the king size bed and Cameron stuck on the couch. Both girls took turns waking me up the rest of the night. This resulted in a slow-moving Saturday morning and we arrived to the puppy reunion about a 1/2 hour late.

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Swimming in the pond
The dogs and owners had a blast, and before we knew it, several hours had passed quickly. The reunion started off in the front yard of Tucker's, where the Frazers' have a small pond, complete with Tule reeds. All owners in attendance were throwing bumpers and the dogs were quickly retrieving them. 

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Dakota navigating the pool
Then we all headed into the backyard where a pool and basket of tennis balls were waiting for the dogs, and a BBQ was waiting for all the owners. We spent the afternoon throwing tennis balls and chatting about dogs and life until paws began to bleed. That's when we had to force the dogs to calm down and lay down or pack them back up in the cars. The dogs paw pads' weren't used to so much running around on pavers and the fun took its toll on all the dogs except Tucker and Titan, Tucker's brother, since they both play like this often, given they live there. 

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Maddy, Tucker, Dakota & Titan
Poor Tulley was still limping Monday, but on the bright side she won't have to get her nails trimmed for a while. And I know she had a ton of fun with Tucker, Titan and the puppies of hers in attendance. There were 3 that were able to make it - Kieran, Dakota and Maddy. 

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Just can't stop
It was so fun  to see these dogs all grown up. Tucker is a larger-sized lab, while Tulley ranks on the smaller end. Most of the puppies took after Tulley in body size and many actually looked a lot like their Uncle Titan, who is also on the smaller size. But all took after Tucker in being non-stop until being forced to stop. Tucker was the last to settle down and take a nap.

Photo by Kathy Frazer - As you can see it was hard keeping London away from the water. Definitely couldn't keep Tulley away!
London and Sydney had a great time as well. There were quite a few kids in attendance to keep London entertained (besides the dogs) and she so wanted to be swimming with all of them. Makes me wish we could get her into swim lessons this summer, but at the same time I know she won't be ready to swim with all those dogs for quite  a few years. 

Photo by Kathy Frazer - Hilarious photo of London. I think I was telling her to put her shoes on, but we have joked it was because she didn't want her picture taken. No pictures please!
Sydney made a new friend in one of Dakota's owners, Gar. He held her most of the day, which was great for Cameron and I - we could focus on London and the dogs more easily that way. The two were so cute together and she took a long nap in his arms as well.

Photo by Kathy Frazer
Photo by Kathy Frazer - Sydney and her best friend Gar
Photo by Kathy Frazer - All tuckered out

May 24, 2013

Sydney: 7 Months Old

Sydney turned 7 months old today. This last month has been an eventful one for her. As you can see from the cute picture above, Sydney is able to sit up without any assistance once she is placed in this position. She does occasionally wobble and fall over, but she has the tuck and roll mastered for when she does go backward. Sydney prefers this position most of the times. Otherwise she wants to be in her exersaucer, near the action. I've found myself carrying the exersaucer, with her in it, around the house with me so she can remain entertained while I try to get some things done. Sydney is quick to cry when she finds herself alone in a room - even if she is in the family room and can see and hear me in the kitchen.

Sydney currently weighs 18.5 lbs and is still hovering around 27 inches long. How do we know this? Because Sydney went to the doctor this week. But not her primary care doc - an allergist! The poor girl has had a cough since February. Her primary care doc kept saying it was her reacting to the elements, a.k.a. she has allergies. After switching her to soy-based formula from cow's milk with no change in the cough, we decided it was time to see an allergist. This darn cough is nagging. It's not there all the time, but it does wake her up and she, of course, then wakes us up. We jump between getting up with her between 1 to 3 times a night. With all that we have going on, including some home improvement projects, long work days and action packed weekends, Cameron and I have turned into walking zombies on occasion. We've also gone through more diet Pepsi than I would like to admit. What can I say, we need the caffeine to function.

Any how, at the allergist, they did perform a scratch test on Sydney's back for some of the most common and basic allergies. That was not fun. For one, we had to hold her up without touching her back. Easier said than done when she started arch her back from the histimine control that I'm sure was itching like crazy. Plus, getting pricked is no fun. At least she won't remember it like I remember mine. 

The good news is, Sydney wasn't allergic to a thing! We were quite fearful she was allergic to the dog or cats. Nope. Not even cow's milk, which means we can take her off the soy and back on to the regular stuff - which we had just bought in bulk when it was suggested we try the switch. 

But that also has us wondering what is causing the cough. For now, we are finally trying a round of antibiotics - 20 days worth! We're crossing our fingers it works, otherwise we may be talking chest X-rays and visits to the hospital for sedation and exploration. It's only been two days into the 20, but things seem to be looking up so far - including a full night's sleep for all of us last night! Sydney wasn't even ready for me to wake her up at 6:30 AM after going to bed at 7 PM last night. Now Cameron and I are wondering if the coughing has effected her so much that it stopped her from growing for a while. Time will tell. 

Not that she isn't growing - just her height seems to stop. Weight wise, she is doing just fine. So well in fact that the onsies she was wearing were getting a little tight. This week I went in search of the next bin of London's old clothes. It was the 9 to 12 month sized clothes. As I was going through it I realized much of the clothing in this bin, London wore when she was near 1-years-old and was walking in them. Here Sydney is at 7 months and not even crawling yet. It actually works out well, because the time of year is right, in that it is short sleeves and shorts. Plus, London hardly wore onsies in this group since she was walking and there are a ton of them, so they will get used more with Sydney. 

And while Sydney is not crawling, she definitely can get around with her rolling and pivoting. She has even gotten herself over to the toy bins and under London's coloring table. I actually had to move the coloring table and all the coloring supplies upstairs along with all of London's small toys to ensure Sydney didn't find any to put in her mouth. Sydney loves toys and likes to sit with a pile around her to play with (as seen above). 

Board books too. Cameron had to drop some diapers off at the day care yesterday. He peaked in and reported that she was enthralled with a book and flipping the pages rapidly. She was even doing this when I picked her up later.

I can only wonder what this month will bring. Hopefully the cough disappears and we can start introducing some solid foods to Sydney. Last time we tried I got sour lemon face for sweet potatoes. We're thinking we will just have to try a little each night to get Sydney used to the taste and texture.

May 17, 2013

The Froggies are Free!

Last night we took an evening stroll down to the "pond" in our neighborhood with all our froggies and tadpoles in tow. We decided that it was time to set them all free, as upon close inspection all but one tadpole had all their legs, which meant tales were going to disappear in the matter of days. Plus, we wanted London to have an opportunity to be apart of the release. 

Cameron first has to catch all of them from the tank - I think we had a total of 10 when all was said and done. Plus, we had several snails from one that had come home with us from the Pet store on the fresh water plant. 

When we got to the pond, Cameron and London went down to the edge and Cameron instructed London to pour the tadpoles into the water - our one little frog was already in there, as when Cameron opened up the container and set it down the frog immediately hopped out and into the water! He was ready for freedom!

Now to deal with the swampy water left behind in the tank! We couldn't really smell it until we took the cookie sheet off the top of it. But boy does it smell. 

May 16, 2013

Adventures in Potty Training - Take 2

As you may know, our first attempt at potty training with London was an absolute failure. She just wasn't ready and it didn't help that our dryer died on us in the middle of the LOOONG weekend. The only thing that got me through sanely was A LOT OF WINE at night. 

I figured we wouldn't revisit potty training until the next long weekend -- Memorial Day. Except that our plans make that difficult - between picking out our new puppy and getting together to see many of Tulley's puppies as well as the puppies' daddy, Tucker, for a puppy reunion, we won't be able to hole up at at home. 

So when my parents came to town a few weekends ago so we could go on our annual wine trip a few weekends ago my mom offers to try again with London. No pressure, just a little coaxing and attempt at having London wear underwear. We took the girls out of daycare that Friday for some extra grandparent time. With the idea of my mom attempting it that weekend, I tried to get London ready, by mentioning that her little friend Fiona down the street used the potty like a big girl the week leading up. 

When I called to check in that Friday, London was accident-free and would be the rest of the day! I was flabbergasted. Saturday and Sunday weren't as good, but better than before. The biggest change - London was telling us, not us pestering asking if she needed to go.

We sent her to school in diapers the week after my parents left but explained to her teacher that we thought it was time to try potty training at school. She agreed. All that is holding London back from moving into the next class is the fact that she isn't potty trained. 

Education-wise, she needs to be in the next class. In our last parent-teacher conference Miss Betty explained that the current class is a bit younger than London so she basically has to present two different lessons each day - one to London and a few older kids and one to the younger kids. The one London gets needs to be more advanced in order to keep her interested. 

So this last weekend we worked with London, putting her in underwear and waiting for her to tell us she needed to go, with us asking occasionally. We had a few accidents, but its remarkable how much better she is at understanding when she needs to go and being able to communicate that to us. We are doing our best to drop what we are doing to meet her needs too. And I didn't go through any wine!

Then on Monday, we took London to school with spare clothes and underwear in case she had an accident. So far, she hasn't had one! Which has saved me from needing to do extra laundry at home this week - something I was dreading. Monday she had one accident at home, but it was as London was on her way to the bathroom and by the look on her face, she wasn't happy with herself. I was just relieved she'd made it to the tile floor! Tuesday was an accident-free day both at school and home and since it was her second day accident-free at school, we all went out for yogurt to celebrate. 

Yesterday, I was even brave enough to not put a pull-up on London for the drive to school. Each morning I wake London up and have her use the potty immediately, but I was sill nervous about the car ride. But I bit the bullet and she was fine. It took a little longer to get to school then normal, so while I was dropping some things off in her classroom I asked if she needed to go. London said she did and was successful on staying dry and using the potty. Same case this morning.

I know there will be more accidents before we are in the free and clear and diapers are still a necessity at nap and night time, plus I need to get used to carrying around an extra pair of clothes for London, but I think we have cleared a major hurdle milestone.

And with this achievement, by London's 3rd birthday, she should be in her new class!

May 15, 2013

We have a Frog!

Or Baby Frog as London called it this morning when Cameron showed it to her. Yes, one of our little tadpoles has grown all four legs and lost it's tail to become a genuine frog. It's crazy how tiny this little guy is - maybe the size of a thumbnail. And of course, our interest in the tank has sparked interest in the tank by Jake. That troublemaker. Hopefully he doesn't figure out how to get in and the little frog doesn't figure out how to get out before we release him - which will be tonight if Cameron hasn't already done it. Many of the other tadpoles look like they just need one more leg to generate before they can loose their tails as well. You can almost see the leg trying to pop through their skin. We may have to get some fish once we don't have tadpoles to watch. London loves climbing up a stool and peering in almost daily. 

We even took some tadpoles to her school to share with her class. Her teacher, Miss Betty, said it was quite soothing for all the kids to go look at them and a great way for her to calm the class down when needed. Of course, London took great pride in showing them off when they first arrived. 

Sadly, that tadpoles that remained in London's water table didn't survive - they just weren't thriving and I think the warmer temps warmed the water up too much for them. At least we saved a few. It was amazing to see the difference between our tadpoles in the tank in the house, that had been there a week or two when we caught some from the table to take to the class - ours were twice as big as what we sent to school.

May 13, 2013

Our Family Is Expanding...Again!

And no, I am NOT pregnant. Cameron and I are pretty much sure we are done having children. But in a couple of weeks, we will picking out one of these: 

Most likely, this guy: 

These photos were taken within a day or so of the puppies being born. They are now about 4 weeks old. And they are related to our Tulley. One of Tulley's puppies, Kieran, fathered this litter of 9 pups. Cameron, after many years of saying he would only own female dogs, has decided our house needs a little more testosterone in it, given that the only other male besides him is our cat Jake. And Cameron says Jake doesn't count since he's fixed. So as long as the males show some hunting initiative, we'll be bringing home a boy sometime around mid-June. Cameron is particularly interested in the lone yellow male. 

We'll know for sure who will be coming home with us after a visit to make our selection over Memorial Day weekend. Going to be crazy with a new puppy and a 7-month old, who could be crawling by then, but we're excited all the same. 

We miss our Mel Mels all the time, but it has also felt weird only having 1 dog in our house. While we have debated getting a German Shepherd, as we do love the breed, the opportunity to have one of Tulley's grand puppies was just too enticing. Plus, the lab breed is better for small children. Just the other day Sydney managed to grab at Tulley's eye before I could stop her -Tulley just took it like a pro while moving her head out of the way and then rewarded Sydney with a big kiss on the forehead!

I can't wait for all the cute puppy pictures I get to take!

May 10, 2013

A Visit to the Dentist

This week London had a visit to the dentist scheduled. This was only her second time visiting so I wasn't sure how it would go. Luckily, unlike last time, Cameron was able to go and I think that went a long way in what London was comfortable doing. 

The visit started off rocky as the first order of business was to try and get some X-rays. London had no qualms about getting into the chair, but as soon as the heavy lead vest was placed on her, London started to get worried. 

It then took a lot of coaxing to get her to bite down on the film long enough to take the two X-rays. The poor attendant actually had to stand in there with her - without a vest - to get each picture. 

Last visit, London wouldn't even get in the chair for the dentist. This time, she jumped into the cleaning chair and even started out with the sunglasses and headphones on to listen to the movie playing above. The sunglasses and earphones lasted all of 30 seconds. 

I can't remember, but I don't even think they wee able to clean London's teeth with the drills last time. This time London made it through with her vanilla-flavored toothpaste mix while she held on to her daddy's hand. She even handled the water cleaner and suctioner well. 

Everything looked pretty good. There was a small concern about one front tooth in that it might have been bumped and could cause an issue or infected area so we have to go back in 3 months for another x-ray just to make sure everything is alright. In the meantime, our homework is to continue the evening brushing routine with fluoride-based toothpaste and introduce flossing some, just to build the habit, as London's teeth have great spacing and don't technically need to be flossed yet. She has 20 beautiful teeth currently and on the X-rays would could see the adult teeth in front developing nicely, though the sight of them freaked me out some. They looked like they were right there, getting ready to loosen those baby teeth any day. The dentist assured me we have 2 to 3 years before I need to worry about Tooth Fairy visits.

May 9, 2013

Sydney Lee: 6-month Stats

It's hard to believe Sydney is already 6-months and yet hard to believe she is only 6-months. It's hard to remember a time when she wasn't part of this family - or at least that seems a lifetime ago. 

Here are her stats, from her appointment that took place on May 2nd, a week after she turned 6-months: 

Height: 27 inches (85th percentile)
Weight: 17.7 lbs (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16 1/4 (25th percentile)

Sydney is definitely being her own person in this house. She hasn't quite figured out how to crawl yet - she can either get up on her knees with her face in the floor or high up on her arms. She can roll over from both sides and while she doesn't barrel roll, she does get around a bit. Sydney loves toys and is quite curious about everything. Sometimes she gets going just talking up a storm that is hilarious to listen to. She sounds like a little T-rex.
We haven't really introduced solid foods yet. We tried rice cereal once and Sydney instantly started to gag when it reached the back of her tongue. I then tried sweet potatoes a month later and I got the "sour lemon" face. We'll revisit in another month or so, and if she still resists, we'll just try a little each night to acclimate her to the change in tastes. 
Sydney is still not sleeping  through the night - she only just started to only get up once after we go to bed. She still gets up twice from the time she goes down, which seems to continually be 6:30 PM. The poor girl has had a cough for a good two months now. We are experimenting this week, but putting her on Soy Formula to see if she has an allergy to milk and that is why she has the cough. Otherwise, she has some severe allergies to the elements around us (not that the rest of us aren't suffering these days too - but she shouldn't get them for another year!). If the soy doesn't work out, we'll be looking into a pediatric allergist. Luckily, my dad actually knows of one in the Sac area that he recommends - he used to refer his patients in Chico to him! Wish us luck!

May 7, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up (April 27/28) : A Trip to the ER

Our weekend, two weekends ago, got off to en expensive start with a trip to the ER for London. When we picked her up from daycare Friday afternoon, she was complaining of pain in her knee but she wasn't limping or anything. We had some errands to run and headed straight out. By the time we had finished she was slow in walking and limping a little. Mainly, London refused to walk and we were carrying her about. By the time she was done with dinner and went to stand on her leg, she couldn't put any weight on it and was in tears! She said she had fallen at school. Suddenly, Cameron and I were afraid she had a fracture. 

Off Cameron whisked London to the ER for X-rays. Nothing showed up on them, but after a tech came in to wrap London's knee in an Ace bandage, and she still couldn't bear to put any weight on it, the doctor said there could be concern for a micro-fracture or a tear in cartilage which wouldn't show up except on an MRI. If London couldn't walk on it Saturday morning, he suggested we call our doctor and consider an MRI. For now, London was to keep the Ace bandage on, and we were to give her Advil and ice the area. 

Saturday morning came and London seemed to being doing fine. Maybe we should have waited the night to see how she was Saturday morning, but as the doctor said we were in a lose/lose situation any way cause if she was still unable to walk on it in the morning, we would have felt worse for not getting her in Friday night. 

We made sure London laid low all day Saturday, evening canceling a playdate just to be on  the safe side. It must have just been a mild sprain that was at its worse Friday night. By Sunday, we couldn't keep London from expending her normal amounts of energy - we even took her for a tricycle ride to expend what she had pent up!

Other than that, we spent that weekend  working on projects around the house.