Friday, March 29, 2013

MY Gus.

Gus is our hairiest child. I say he’s *my* Gus. So does Blair. He’s her best friend, so I guess she can claim him… every once in a while.

He slept in my bedroom from the time I got him until Blair fell in love with him. Every single night when I went to bed he would come up to the side of the bed and prop his head up on the mattress to tell me good night. I’d give him a good rub then he would make his way back to his bed and lie down. He still does it sometimes.

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He’s always with us. Inside, outside, Gigi’s, the ranger, the car, the pond…. And I can’t even count the pictures in which I can spot a brown foot or tail. Then there are the tons of pictures of him with the kids. Gus with jewelry, Gus with washcloth “saddles,” Gus being ridden, kissed, nearly tortured! They waller over him all day long! And he loves them to pieces.

gus's saddles 030413“Saddles”

leighton's advair 030513 (3)Brown foot!

Gus had to have semi-emergency surgery today. I have been worried sick. He was not feeling well when we got home from Pop’s Wednesday night. And he wouldn’t eat. This is really, really odd. Gus eats everything. Gus comes running when I crinkle a bag in the kitchen. Gus eats paper towels with bacon grease on them. Gus not eating = something very wrong. And he vomited all over my house. Bless his heart; he thought he was in trouble.

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I talked to the vet that evening, and we decided I could take him in first thing Thursday. He was super dehydrated, so they started an IV, did labs, and took x-rays. There was nothing remarkable. The vet said we would consider a barium study if he wasn’t better today. I called an checked on him twice this morning, and no one called me back until later this afternoon when it was almost too late to do a contrast study. Saying that she should have called earlier, the vet agreed to do it since he was no better. And she saw something abnormal in the intestine. So exploratory surgery it was.

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We all packed in and raced over to the vet to see Gus. I didn’t want him to go to surgery thinking we had abandoned him. When I dropped him off yesterday, he leaned against me as the tech tried to take him and looked at me as if he were saying, “Mom, please. Please don’t do this.”

what's for breakfast BLW 030813 (24)Showing him where to eat Leighton’s leftovers.

At 9pm, the vet called. They found a plastic grocery bag with some food in it. Part of it was stuck in the stomach and part had traveled down 2 - 3 ft and had accordioned the intestine around it. There was a intestinal perforation and a part in the intestine that was really aggravated, but they weren't able to remove it because of the location. So there are several things they will be watching over the next week before he is out of the woods.

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I know I will have to say goodbye one day. But Blair doesn’t quite understand that he won’t be with us forever. She just knows he belongs next to her every night!

gus advair 031913Gus’ Advair.

So we are praying that he does well and that we get to bring him home in a few “night nights.” I’m already missing the “tink tink” of his nails on the floor as he comes to see what I’m doing. I sure love my dog.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Little Mama

Blair is all about being Leighton’s mama.

Leighton, no sir!! I SAID, no sir, Leighton!!

Leighton, you can’t have plastic. Mama, can he have plastic?

Mama, Leighton is kicking me. Why’s he trying to hurt me? Tell him no sir.

Here, Leighton, here’s your…. (so he’ll drop what she wants that he’s got).

So when I started giving him yogurt, she of course wanted to feed him. So she did.

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She did a great job!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

8 Months

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The Leightonater is 8 months old. Sigh.

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Leighton, you have not changed your happy little self at all. You’re still happy, smiling, and laid back. And you love your mama. You really love everybody though. Especially Blair. You laugh at her when she just looks at you.

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You weigh close to 18 pounds. You’re in size 9 months clothes, inching to 12. You wear size 3 diapers. I bought you size 2 shoes for the summer. And you got your first tooth last week – on the bottom left. You’re in your new carseat and liking it as far as I can tell.

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We are considering two long naps, but we’re not there yet. Some days you go down an hour after waking, take a long nap, are up for a few hours, and take another long nap. Sometimes, you take two short naps in the morning and one longer nap in the afternoon. You go to bed around 8. You still get up around 3am to eat. I don’t have the heart to let you cry.

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You love food. I even had to back off on feeding you in the high chair, because you backed off on your milk drinking! I had added lunch to the variable breakfast and supper schedule, and it was too much. So now we skip lunch. I also decreased what I give you at breakfast. Now you get a little fruit (not unlimited strawberries!) and 1/2 a YoBaby yogurt. You LOVE yogurt. You whine for food in general but especially yogurt! At supper, I give you some of what we have and some fruit. I let you eat whatever you want in the evening. Last night you had some hamburger steak, spinach, blackberries, blueberries, and a corn on the cob. You were so happy!

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I always nurse you before giving you food. And you still don’t get food every single day. You’ve gotten so good at eating though! You prefer your left hand at this point, and you’re pretty good at getting things with your thumb and index finger. You’re so cute chewing with your gums!

You’re crawling fast, pulling up, and thinking about cruising, letting go, and standing on your own.

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Bathtime is a favorite, and you usually take one with Blair in the big tub. She doesn’t like you to have anything. She wants whatever you pick up to play with. We’re working on it though. You like to suck on the washcloth. And you laugh when I bathe your feet :). You’re the most ticklish baby I’ve ever seen!

gus lovin 031113 (4)You scrunch your nose like Blair did!

You dance and know who Gus is when asked, “Where’s Gus?” One of your favorite games is “get ‘im!” -- I take your arms and pretend to grab Gus (or anyone). You laugh so hard!

You love the jumper. I take it outside sometimes, and you jump away while watching the dogs run around. You like pat a cake and peekaboo. I would say your favorite things to play with are Scout, a rainstick, and rings. You love chewing on anything though.

toys we love 030713 (9)You love the rainstick. You like to chew on it and push it on the floor.

play and crawl 030713 (20)You also love balls.

Mommy likes to rock you sometimes, and you but your head on my shoulder when you’re tired. You go to sleep on your own though for most any nap and at bedtime. I couldn’t rock Blair, so I’m glad I get to rock you sometimes.

swingin sweeties 031213 (3)You love outside.

Tapping is your way of exploring things. You tap, tap on all sorts of stuff. And sometimes you use your mouth like Blair did. Of course, you give things kisses too!

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You are really exploring different sounds. Gawa, baba, guh, duh, mmmmma, aba, etc. I haven’t heard any words though!

You are mommy’s joy. You are so easy going and fun. I love walking into your room and seeing you standing up in your crib, instantly smiling your big, open smile when you see me. Melts my heart. I love you, my Leighton-bo!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We do Entertainment

We just have all kinds of entertainment going on in our house in the evenings.

Leighton eating anything is entertainment for us all, but I found out right quick tonight at supper what I can give him to keep him busy for a WHILE!

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This boy was some kind of possessive of his corn on the cob!

just give him corn 031913 (15)just give him corn 031913 (20)He tapped it with the right.

just give him corn 031913 (21)He tapped it with the left.

just give him corn 031913 (22)And he sucked on that thing like it was a bottle!

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He worked on this thing – breaking occasionally to spy and grab blueberries, ground beef, spinach, and blackberries – for a good 30 minutes. We’ll take it!

Meanwhile. The goofs (Brad and Blair) were entertaining themselves down the hall.

We had walked earlier, and Blair wanted to bring Buddy inside. She shut him up in her room. When you looked at her door, you could see shadows from his feet, right behind the door and ready to go.

So Brad decides to put some peanut butter on a wooden spoon to see if they could get his tongue to come out under the door. This is so the type of entertainment we see daily with these two!

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They were both laughing, Buddy got peanut butter, and they made a mess. Success in their book (and mama’s too except for cleaning up the messes)!

Apps and Shows of the Moment

I thought I’d share a few of the screen views we see on a regular basis around here. I love getting ideas from others about good apps for kids, so please comment with your favorites!


My sister Linsey told me about Duck Duck Moose apps for iPad and iPhone. She had some of the toddler apps for her daughter, and I found some preschool ones for Blair.

Blair LOVES Duck Duck Moose Reading (also called Kindergarten Reading).

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It focuses on letters, sounds, and small words. As she plays, the levels increase in difficulty by adding new sounds etc. At the completion of each level, she gets a new animal for her zoo. I don’t know how many levels there are, but she has has just passed 20. $.99 for iPhone and $1.99 for iPad.

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Also very neat for a wide age range is Duck Duck Moose Draw and Tell. Super cute drawing program with stencils, patterned paper, stickers, and recordings.

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We also have their Park Math, which is a good little app for counting and pre-math: addition, subtraction, patterns, sorting, and greater than / less than.

Fullscreen capture 3172013 22413 PM.bmp*One small con for the Duck Duck Moose apps: they do not transfer from one device to another. If you want it on both iPhone and iPad, you must purchase the app for each. They’re inexpensive, so the cost is still low if you purchase both. pics from

The Toca Boca apps are so cute. One of their free apps that Blair plays with a good bit is the Toca Kitchen Monsters. There are two monsters for whom she can select food and prepare it in the kitchen.

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She can slice, blend, fry, microwave, or boil any of the foods. If she doesn’t cook it, the monster may not eat it, and if she puts too much salt, he will spit it out! This is a mini version of their Toca Kitchen.

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An app we’ve used for quite some time now is Articulation Station. It began as an iPad and is now available for iPhone as well. It is primarily a speech therapy related app. The free version comes with activities for the letter “P.” One can purchase additional individual letters or buy them all for $49.99.

photo 1 (2)You can choose levels.

photo 4Then you can choose an activity.

We bought the letters that Blair needed to practice – B and S. We also needed P, and that one was free!

The difficulty of the activities ranges from toddler to school age children. You can track progress and record as well.

We can choose to have words with the “b” at the beginning, middle and/or the end.

These are little comprehension questions after a paragraph.

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At the end, you get a little praise screen!

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This word in the final B category, of course, is Blair’s favorite.

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Another very simple app that Blair likes is ABC Alphabet Phonics Lite by Grasshopper Apps. There’s not much to it, but she likes it. There are three letters on the screen, and the audio says “touch the __.”

Other free favorites: Mickey Mouse Road Rally, Watch Disney Junior, and PBS Kids.


Blair is not a TV person. She’s too busy for it. But, if I can get her to sit for a minute, there are only a few things she will watch. One is a new show on PBS: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, a spinoff from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.


This is a precious show with cute stories and even cuter little jingles that go with each episode’s theme. Blair’s favorite is episode 18, which is about getting ready for school and bedtime. There is a cute little song to remember the school or bedtime routine. And they sing a song in the bath that gets stuck in my head, “…sail the soapy seas….” Very cute show.

I beg Blair to watch Sofia the First on Disney Junior, and she just won’t. I watch it more than she does! It’s also a precious new show with good little story lines about kindness, not giving up, accepting others….

Those are the latest for us! We really don’t have much screen time around here at all. Blair is just more into asking me questions!