Celebrating our Failures

Yep, you read that title correctly…we celebrate our successes, but really let’s celebrate our failures as moms and dads too!

But before I get into that, an update from the last post – first of all, I was BLOWN AWAY by all your support and love. The transition was actually easier than I expected – Maggie loves daycare and work has been pretty good thanks to some very awesome co-workers. I’m very grateful for all their support and for making me laugh!

Now, on to today’s fun Saturday topic: FAILURES! In this social media age, we post lots of the good stuff – but not always the bad. It’s the ultimate filter…I’m a million times guilty of it too but occasionally I see those bad times…and it’s kind of refreshing – especially when you are struggling yourself…#miserylovescompany. Here are a few of mine!

  • Tucker broke his paw running around with my shoe (because I’m an undisciplined mom and let him run around with my shoes) and whiffed jumping on the bed. He’s been on restricted activity and a cast for almost 4 weeks now and we probably have another 2-3 weeks before the toe and the sores he got from his splint heals.  I feel super guilty and have spent a lot of time scrolling through Instagram looking for other dogs with broken paws (#brokenpaw).
  • Almost every morning once I get Maggie ready for daycare and strapped into the car I think of the scene in Bad Mons where they are running late to school. Now, daycare doesn’t have a set start time for infants, but of course, I have work and there are definitely times I am running late. I have left her milk in the car and have had to go back for it and I know its only a matter of time before I actually forget it at home.  Oh, and on our first week of daycare, I put my purse down on some kids wet artwork in the hall and when I realized that, said “OH SHIT” right in front of a 4 year old and the teacher. #WinningMomMoment
  • Maggie doesn’t have a set bed time. Sometimes she falls asleep at 8, sometimes 10.  I know she’s only four months old but I’d like to start something consistent and that’s just not happening these days. And sometimes, even though I try not to, I nurse to sleep. Because sometimes SHE NEEDS TO NAP AND JUST WON’T WITHOUT SOME MILK.
  • She currently has a cold AND pink eye. Now, I know this isn’t really my fault but it just makes me sad.
  • Sometimes I feel  pulled into eight different directions and I don’t have adequate time for all the relationships in my life. I am especially sorry to my husband for this one. Our conversations most days involve the words ‘diaper change,’ ‘pump parts’ ‘dinner’ ‘Tucker to the vet’ ‘daycare’ and there hasn’t been enough sentences that start with  ‘let’s go do something fun.’

These may not be what you consider failures or bad things, but to me, they can be. And I am sure there are more coming down the pike — just wait until the first daycare thing I can’t attend — but you know what?

I’m having a dance party for all these failures.


Because at the end of all these failing moments, I still have a great life. I still have a baby that smiles, a dog who is so sweet, and a husband who is already cracking Dad jokes. I have empathy – I have no problem sharing my failure stories for someone who needs to commiserate.  I have no problem making fun of myself, and frankly, I like to look back on the times I totally f-ed up and say ‘see I survived that and learned from it!’

So share those bad moments or failures freely – we are all in this together!




The Truth about Maternity Leave

F5121757-258F-49CA-A4A3-68DB0A0BC9B0My maternity leave is coming to an end —  and I am about to venture into the world of working mom. The tears are coming fast these days and while I know Magnolia will be at a terrific daycare, the thought of not being with her every hour is heart wrenching. I can truly say I packed a lot into this maternity leave once I became comfortable with everything,  but that’s not to say maternity leave has always been easy.

First, I’m a multi-tasker – I’ve been known to juggle multiple projects at once, but you know, when you have a baby that all goes out the window and that was a hard adjustment for me. I’d sit and breastfeed and try to read twitter or watch TV, but anything more than what was on Bravo or the Today Show totally toasted my mind. Also, now that the baby is almost 12 weeks old, she’s not sleeping as much during the day (or at all, hello team #nonap) so trying to do something that takes longer than a few minutes can be challenging. There are some days I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done and then I realize, nope, that to-do list is still a mile long.

The other thing I had to get used to during maternity leave was doing a lot of things by myself with the baby.  After my husband went back to work,  I was terrified. I was only about two weeks postpartum and everything still scared me and/or was hard for me – changing diapers, putting onesies on, and the car seat – oh how I cried about the car seat and making sure she was in it properly. I was still sore from giving birth and the carpal tunnel I had in my hands during pregnancy made things difficult. I was nervous how Tucker would handle everything. And I was tired.

There were some days that my husband would come home and I would give him the baby and tell him I need a break. A break from changing diapers, or from being the bartender at the milk bar or the soother in chief. A break from carrying the car seat on errands or setting up the stroller and going grocery shopping. When he first went back to work, I thought to myself – here I am, a college educated person who can’t figure out how to work a car seat — (and don’t even get me started on baby carriers) and I would cry.

The truth about maternity leave is it isn’t a vacation – not by a long stretch. It can be lonely and tiring and hard and if you are feeling that way, that’s A-OK. If there are some days you can’t wait for your partner to get home so you can get a break, that’s A-OK too.

Because here’s the other truth about maternity leave: I’ve had an amazing time watching this teeny newborn that I pushed out start to grow into a tiny infant. I’ve had 12 weeks to take her to new moms groups and story hour and music time. I’ve shopped with her myself and taken her into work a few times. I’ve snuggled with her and cried with her and played on the play mat with her. I’ve watched her smile when it hasn’t just been gas and I’ve made up silly songs. I’ve taken her on walks with Big Brother Tucker and yes – we’ve watched a lot of Bravo. Every day might not be a great day, but there’s great things about every day.

I so wish that the US would pass paid leave laws because I’m also aware that so many moms and dads don’t get to have the full experience of maternity leave I did – and frankly, my leave came with some sacrifices as well.

So now that work is getting closer and closer, I’ll have a new chapter to start. One that is also terrifying to me and will require some adjustment…but I think this will make me appreciate my time with her even more than I do now. However, with some more time to go before that next chapter starts, I’m off for some more baby (and Tucker) cuddles.


Baby Mama!

Welllll it’s been awhile!

It’s been an interesting year for Tucker -he’s now a big brother to a little precocious baby girl who was born in July. While they say dog’s sense pregnancy, I’m not exactly sure that was true with Tucker until about 6 weeks before Magnolia was born. Anyway, I do believe that being  a dog mom has helped me with Magnolia, though yes, I admit it didn’t prep me that great (the car seats, the snaps on the onesies, the carriers…things I didn’t have to deal with for a puppy). Tucker has been great and Magnolia is a terrific baby…an the other night I thought, hey! I have a fair amount to say – maybe I’ll write a few blog posts! Here’s the thing though…

my baby has major FOMO during the day. I am blessed blessed blessed that she sleeps well at night…but during the day, naps are hit or miss…so when they happen, I frantically run around the house getting things done before she wakes up…or I’m napping too. And then some of the ideas I’ve had for posts go magically out of my brain. Yes, pregnancy brain is real and so is mom brain.

That being said, I am going to write a few things…and yes, Tucker will be featured prominently as well from time to time, but he’s been busy being a big brother, so you’ll excuse him if he doesn’t get in his posts…


The Prozac Dog Diaries

Ah spring time..the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and…..thunderstorms and other loud noises pop up. Last summer we started to notice that Tucker was a little nervous over thunder and some other unexplained noises. However, it was very minor and living in the DC area where we heard any number of noises on any given day, he was mostly accustomed to strange noises. Fast forward to late March of this year. We’ve moved to the quiet suburbs of Pennsylvania—and when I say quiet, it’s REALLLY quiet. So any noise is even more magnified in Tucker’s ears. We noticed that Tucker was getting more and more anxious over thunderstorms, loud noises, helicopters, lawn mowers. With thunderstorms, he’d pace and couldn’t settle. He’d want to go down to the basement and scratch at the floor. He couldn’t settle or sleep. It came to a head one evening when my husband was away and I had fallen asleep. A little after midnight, I was woken by Tucker being extremely anxious–while I couldn’t hear anything, he must have heard a noise (you’d be surprised at what a dog can hear!) and it unsettled him. For the next hour, he didn’t sleep. I became concerned that this was getting worse, not better. I’ve had other dogs that were scared of thunderstorms but I was concerned as this was even happening at noises like a helicopter overhead. After speaking with our breeder and my mom’s breeder, we took him to our vet for a checkup to see if he was having any physical issues and to discuss what we could do. I will also note that we did try the thundershirt, rescue remedy and other things before we spoke to the vet.

After a thorough checkup, our vet thought he might benefit from 30 days of Prozac along with some desensitization training. Her reasoning was that you couldn’t fix a scared brain. I was a bit hesitant to give Tucker Prozac, but after talks with my breeder and my mom’s breeder who both agreed with the vet and gave me tips on how to train Tucker, we started giving him one pill a night at dinner beginning on April 3.

So, we’re three weeks in and what have we seen? Well, the first two weeks after giving him the pill, he was rather mellow and sleepy. We’d give it to him at dinner and then he wouldn’t really be playful the rest of the evening…even in the morning he wasn’t as playful. I had heard that this could be a side effect but it was a little hard to see as Tucker’s usually very playful. He still loved his walks and no one else might have even noticed a difference in him, but when he wasn’t really interested in playing rope, it made me sad. I knew from all the reading that this was common as the dog is adjusting to the pill—for some dogs that can take a week or two, for others longer. I consistently checked in with the vet who assured me everything we were experiencing was normal.

In addition to the pills, we have also been trying to desensitize him to noises which can be tricky. I reached out to a trainer who unfortunately hasn’t been able to help us yet, but I’ve been given some tips to help us do it ourselves. The first thing I got was these music CDs called Through a Dog’s Ear that mixes classical music with thunderstorm noises. They start with one track of classical and the tracks after get louder and louder with thunderstorm noises. There are also other CDs for fireworks and city noises. We started on those- playing those in the background while doing something fun with Tucker. I think he’s been pretty much desensitized to the CD as a lot of time it comes on now and he falls asleep! During these training sessions, we either play with Tucker, go over his tricks, or massage him or something that he enjoys while also keeping us calm.

I feel though, that these are just dress rehearsals. The real thing like thunderstorms are hard because you can’t predict when and how often the thunder might occur. Same with noises that pop up out of nowhere. When we first started the meds, Tucker was still nervous which was to be expected as like I said before, it can take a few weeks for the medicine to build up enough in the dog to create positive effects. On Easter night (April 16), we had two tests. The first one was that someone was setting off fireworks (yes, really) while we were on a walk. Tucker had a slight reaction on his leash, probably also reacting to me who jumped but he recovered quickly. Once we got home and were settling in, we had a quick moving storm with lots of wind! He was still unsettled but recovered quicker than before. I was still a bit discouraged but when I talked to the vet, she assured me that was still quite normal. We’ve continued on with our training and pills but haven’t had any storms since. However, with other noises he has gotten better. He’s also back to his playful self–giving me approximately 5 minutes to eat my breakfast before he is ready with his toy and lots of rope play at night.  Last night, I thought we were going to have some storms and I saw some lightning and held my breath—how would Tucker react if it thundered? One part of me wanted to see how, the other didn’t. I never heard any thunder but I know there was storms around us…how did Tucker react?


Yep. I’ll take that as a good sign. I think we will continue with the Prozac for the foreseeable future until we can see if it’s really helping when there are real storms but for now, I’m hopeful. However, I cannot stress enough that you cannot just give your dogs Prozac and expect results. You must also work with them and be diligent about it. I actually find myself getting anxious if I haven’t worked with Tucker at all during the day (I also need Prozac but that’s a different story for another blog). And I’m also not a vet so please speak with your vet if you suspect anything with your dog!


If you can’t read my shirt, it says Namast’ay at Home with My Dog.

Review: A Dog’s Purpose

Another good chunk of time has gone by without a blog post. My apologies….I have lots of good ideas but sometimes the last thing I want to be doing is sitting behind a computer screen.  BUT I love this blog and I love to write. First, I’ve noticed that despite not writing regularly, I’ve gotten a fair amount of new followers. I’m not sure how you found me, but thank you!

Now, on to my post…a few months ago, I saw the trailer for  A Dog’s Purpose and knew, that despite it taking me 4 times to watch without crying, I wanted to see it. Shortly before the movie came out, there was a bit of controversy with the film which I think drew a lot of people away from it even though a further investigation found no wrong doing.  Now, I am not a big movie watcher. I might go to the movies 2-3 times a year, if that and I don’t watch a ton of movies at home. A few weeks back though, I decided I wanted to go to this movie and it worked out as my husband wanted to go see another movie and they were both playing at similar times.

I’m not going to give any spoilers away here, but everyone should know if they saw the trailer that the movie follows a dog named Bailey and his boy Ethan. When Bailey passes, he is basically comes back to live as other dogs to figure out his “purpose.” Here were my running thoughts during this movie:

  1. The dog’s name is Bailey, same as my human brother’s dog and the movie Bailey looks like my Tucker. This isn’t going to be good for me.
  2. About 30 minutes in–as I’m already starting to tear up, what the f— am I doing at this movie? Why did I think this was a good idea? Why did my husband think that me going to this movie was a good idea?
  3. Ok, a funny moment. Ok, I can do funny and sad.
  4. Haha, this one dog looks like my brother Oliver’s girlfriend. We like to think Oliver is Emily, our golden who passed away. I can get behind this reincarnation story now.
  5. OMG, what if Tucker is really someone else? Does Tucker like being Tucker? I think he has a pretty damn good life but what if he is longing for someone else?
  6. OMG, what if Tucker doesn’t have a good life during his next life? Can’t think of that. Gorge on these Starburst minis.
  7. Ooh, I like this ending. Stop crying. Pull yourself together, you have to leave the movie theater now and go hug Tucker for the remainder of the day.

It wasn’t a bad movie, but it’s probably not one I’m necessarily going to buy or watch when it comes on TV. As I’ve said before, it is uncanny how we sometimes see things that were so Emily and Spenser in my parent’s dogs Oliver and Tracer that take our breath away. Things that other dogs don’t do, but that they did and now Oliver and Tracer are doing and it makes you really think.

I will leave you with the end quote in the movie…the dog’s purpose…because it’s one of those things that I think we can take into our daily lives to remember (well except maybe the licking part…):

“Have fun, obviously. Whenever possible, find someone to save and save them. Lick the ones you love. Don’t get all sad-faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could. Just be here now. Be. Here. Now. That’s a dog’s purpose.”

You’ve Got a Friend In Me

I know, it’s been awhile friends. With Christmas and the start of a new year, life has continued to be a little hectic. We are already into February and here it is Super Bowl Sunday and we’re also getting ready for Valentines Day (we all know Tucker is SUCH a ladies man).

This past week, we had a very special visitor in our house: Tracer! Tracer is Tucker’s 4 month old golden retriever uncle. Now, you may be chasing your tail here in confusion, so let me explain. My parents have two golden retrievers as you know, Oliver and Tracer. Now, because they are my parent’s pups, that means they are my brothers. Which also means they are Tucker’s Uncles! Anyway, my mom went in her for her highly anticipated knee replacement surgery last Monday and Tracer came to stay with us. And don’t worry about Oliver–he enjoyed a few quality days of spa time at the wonderful Kind Hearted Pet Resort. Tracer is not old enough to go to the Kind Hearted Pet Resort so we got to host him!

I admit–I was a bit nervous. Tracer is 4 months old and while very well-behaved for a puppy, it would still be a new environment for him and it would be Tucker’s very first houseguest. Yes, Tucker has always been the bride but never a bridesmaid-always a guest at other homes but never hosting. Tucker and Tracer get along but when we would go to my parents, Tracer was always a little nervous of Tucker. Tucker likes to run, play, wrestle and make all sorts of noises which would freak Tracer out. So, we set up a few playdates where Tracer came over a few hours to get used to this place before he slept over and all seemed great but it’s a whole different dog park when Tracer would be here for the week.

Last Monday, I came home from work to two playful pups. Any concern I had about there being some nerves from Tracer or Tucker feeling put out was immediately put in the crate as I watched these two wrestle and cuddle. Tracer had no fears and settled in quick and Tucker truly enjoyed having Tracer here. There were a few scuffles over toys, but otherwise it was a smooth visit. Sure, I haven’t slept past 5:45 AM almost a week, I’ve used 8,000 poop bags, and I’ve been knocked over a few times when I’ve gotten in the way of puppy wrestles but it was all worth it. It always is when I see puppy happiness. It will be weird to not have Tracer tonight since he went home to take care of his Mom.

This morning as I was doing the morning walks, I found myself singing the song, You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story. I’ve been so depressed about the state of our country lately but these two pups reminded me of all the good in the world.

“You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together and can see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me.”


Now please excuse me if I don’t make it to the Super Bowl halftime show!

The ‘Burbs

First off, I’ve noticed I have a few new followers of this blog and my facebook page. Thanks so much to you all! I hope you enjoy this page and please always feel free to let me know if you want to see something featured. I promise to get back into regular blogging. Can you believe that this was the first weekend since early September that we had absolutely no plans? Between starting a new job/commuting/moving/settling in I am physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Wine helps–and so does Tucker!

So, we now live in the suburbs as opposed to the big city. It’s a bit quieter, a bit darker, and we have a lot of deer. A. Lot. I have a bit of a deer fear but it’s slowly getting better as I encounter them more and more here. The other morning I was eating breakfast and Tucker was sitting out on this gorgeous deck we now have. All of a sudden, I saw him stand up and look out into the wooded area. Now, our deck doesn’t have any stairs going down to the grass so I knew he wouldn’t go anywhere, but I looked out and he was in a stare down with a deer kid. Then I saw the deer run off with his brother or sister and a few minutes later I saw a huge elk–or a moose with antlers. Fingers crossed we see no bears.

I’ve made mention how proud I am of Tucker for adjusting to everything. I can’t imagine what its like but dogs are incredible adapters. After going back and forth between his Gran’s house and our place in Arlington, I think he’s happy to have all his toys in one place and new places to sniff. I made sure that before we moved into our townhome, that Tucker got to see it and sniff before we had any stuff in it. Then as the movers were coming, I took him back to my parents house an once we got everything move in, he came back. No need for extra chaos!

There are a lot of dogs in our neighborhood but it’s definitely quieter and smaller than the busy-ness of Arlington, VA. It’s nice that he gets more puppy play time with my parents and brother’s dog, and I think he enjoys that. We were also fortunate to move to a neighborhood that has nice well lit walking paths which were a must for us. This week will be another new thing-if the crazy dog dad’s been travelling, I usually drop Tucker off at my parents to spend the day with his Uncle Oliver but this week we’re trying out a new dog walker so Tucker will be at our place the whole day. I’m hoping it works out well.

Now as we settle in, I’m looking to continue our regular routines, just in a new place. That’s what I feel helps Tucker the best. Has anyone else moved recently?