Thursday, October 29, 2009

A tribute to the best dog in the world

I used to be a cat-person. I grew up with cats for 12 years before we got Nikita, our 1st family dog. She was a wolf-husky, and she was beautiful. She had 2 babies, Dunga & Chloe, who were awesome. Those 3 dogs converted me, fully, into a dog-person. I still love cats. I am sweet to cats. But I have this connection to dogs like most people have to each other. I love dogs unconditionally, because that's how they love.

Today is a very special day for me, because, well, October 29 was Nikita's birthday. I will never forget that. As I said before, she was our 1st family dog (belonging to my mom, dad, brother and me). But October 29 is also special because that is the day (4 years ago), that Solon and I decided to bring Forrest into our lives.

We had only been married 7 months, but we had been looking for and contemplating having a dog for a while. We had tortured ourselves for months, going to those pet stores in the mall, and looking at all the overpriced dogs behind the windows... and it was so hard to leave that place without rescuing each of them. But then one day, Lisa, my mother-in-law, called us from the pumpkin patch. The lady operating the donkey rides was selling her dog's litter of lab-husky puppies for $25 each. What a bargain! Lisa called us because she knew that labs and huskies were my favorite types of dogs, and here they were as a combo! Solon and I immediately got in the car, still unsure if we were going to get one or not, but there was something pulling us there with such force, that it seemed like we couldn't get there fast enough. We deliberated the whole way there, the pros and cons of being dog owners. But we knew as soon as we got out of the car at Tolmachoff Farms, that we were leaving that day with a new member to our new family.

When we got there, all the female pups were gone, which made me sad. I always thought I wanted a girl dog. There were only 2 boys in the whole litter - one was white with blue eyes, and the other was pretty dirty looking with green eyes. Solon was drawn to the white one, and picked him up first - but then quickly noticed how crazy and rambunctious he was. I said, "What about this little guy? He's just chillin' in the corner." I picked the dirty one up and he looked right into my eyes. Solon asked, "How are we going to decide?" And I replied, "Whichever one shows us love first." Right then, almost as if on cue, Forrest licked my chin. It melted my heart. Solon's too. He said, "All right, looks like he's the one." Then the donkey ride lady tried to offer us 2 for $40, but we said no.

That was an awesome day for us. Much to our surprise, when we got home to give him a bath, it turned out he wasn't just dirty after all. He had the most beautiful markings on his coat! Forrest has been the most wonderful, sweet, loving, chill, handsome, half-human dog, and he has always been treated like more than a dog. He makes us laugh out loud at his peculiarities, brings us so much joy daily, and just loves everyone. We love our fur-son so much. We honestly cannot imagine our lives without him. And he is such a great big brother to Quincy!

So here's a little tribute to Forrest a.k.a Forresito a.k.a Daddy-Boy a.k.a Thripty-Thrip a.k.a. Big Brother (Yes, we have a million nicknames for him, and he responds to every one!) It was 4 years ago today that we brought you home, and we are so thankful that we did!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reasons I love October...

Well, for starters, October is the reason people live in Arizona. The high was 84 degrees today. Clear skies, light breeze, and crisp air. I wish it was October for at least half the year - driving with the windows rolled down is the greatest. In addition to the weather, I love all the spices that are in the air once this month rolls around (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), and anything with pumpkin in it is fine by me. Already this month I have baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Banana Walnut Bread, and plan on baking some Pumpkin-Pecan Cookies with Brown Frosting, and some Cappuccino Snickerdoodles, recipes I have courtesy of my Cooking Club of America Magazine. And although I haven't visited Starbucks in a while, I am sure I will use the gift card I have to treat myself to one of their fabulous Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and if you are a fan of Cheesecake Factory, do yourself a favor and try a slice of their Pumpkin or Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecakes. They are one step away from heaven.

It's kind of funny, that while I am writing about all these calorie-filled wonders, I am watching The Biggest Loser from last night. I love that show. It is truly inspiring. So many people making the decision to end their bad habits and change their lives. I already cook really healthy food for my family, but baked goods are my weakness. I love baking - especially this time of year - so I have decided to find a balance. Baked goods are good for my soul, but I also need to be good to my body. We are eating out less, cooking even more than I already do, I am taking at least one Yoga class and one Hip Hop class a week at LA Fitness (once Quincy is in bed), walking Forrest daily as a family, and anything else we can fit in, we try to do. I am realizing every day how important it is to be healthy for my son, and my family - so we are trying to do just that. Which leads me to another reason I love October - we can actually spend time outside without melting - which means, plenty of walks and afternoons at the park.

On October 10, Quincy turned 10 months old!

LOVES: his Elmo Music Table, his shopping cart, any type of ball, singing, taking everything out of cupboards, shaking his head "no", and being naked.
DOESN'T LIKE: getting his diaper changed, or anything green to eat, or currently any vegetable for that matter.
NICKNAMES: QB, Magic, Magi Man, Funky-stink, Buddy-man
LAUGHS: Loudly - when we laugh, when we get from his crib, whenever... he thinks he is so funny.
CRIES: Whenever I try to give him food he doesn't want, OR if I don't give him the food he wants, when he wants it.
SLEEPS: from 6:30pm to 6:00am, naps from 8:30am - 10:30am, and again from 1:30pm - 3:30pm
EATS: 3 sippy cups of 8 oz.of my milk (although bittersweetly I am having to supplement with formula now); for breakfast he likes his dry cereal, anything he can feed himself, and that has a crunch to it (Kix, Rice Chex, Cheerios) & if he is still hungry, he might eat some fruit; for lunch, he is currently obsessed with YoBaby yogurts, and will rarely eat anything else I put in front of him, so I have learned to mix have veggies into his yogurt until he starts to cooperate - it's working; for dinner he either has baby cereal with fruit, or sometimes he will soft cheese on toast, or bits of hard cheese. My kid who once used to eat everything I put in front of him, is currently very picky.
TEETH TO DATE: Four (two on top, two on bottom)
FIRSTS: Climbs the stairs, holds himself up on doors and stays there, got his first haircut, enjoyed his first time on the park swings, tried a lollipop.

Quincy takes all the ziploc bags out for fun!

Bathtime fun with Quincy

Yes, we matched on purpose

It got cold enough one morning for his beanie cap

Folding laundry is so much fun!

Hanging out at Marsielle's house

I must have something to eat that they both want

Look at all that wavy hair!

VIDEO: Quincy plays with the vaccuum, and doesn't mind when it falls on him.

There is this great park that is about a 20-minute walk from our house, and Quincy is finally at an age where he can start enjoying it.

VIDEO: Quincy's first time on the park swings

Quincy had so much fun playing with his cousin Kellan


VIDEO: Kellan shows Quincy the "takedown"

Quincy and I spent some time with Danielle & Eve at Heritage Square last weekend

(My future daughter-in-law)

Quincy's hair was getting so long, that the only way I could think to comb it was into a "faux-hawk"

So Daddy decided it was time for QB's 1st haircut

VIDEO: QB tries a lollipop for the first time

Quincy loves to stick his tongue out

Thinks the backscratcher is a lollipop

VIDEO: Quincy drools and says "Touchdown!"

Needless to say, my child loves getting into EVERYTHING - opens & closes doors, drawers, cabinets, etc. He exerts his independence daily, and is starting to get so vocal. I am pretty sure I got him to say "pasta" the other day, and he hears us referring to Forrest as his "Big Brother", so now he calls out to Forrest by saying "Buh-buh" and then hands him whatever food he is done eating. It is so cute! He is starting to communicate so much. He pushes his shopping cart across the whole house, but is not quite ready to walk on his own. He gets brave when he pulls himself up on my legs or anything, but then he freaks out and falls on his bum. When he is ready for something new, he just figures it out. It's pretty remarkable to see how much he has changed in under a year.

We are looking forward to Quincy's 1st Halloween next week and a visit back to Iowa at the beginning of next month to see family.