- 15th November
- 22nd July
Wait a minute, wasn’t it just yesterday that you turned 6 months old?! Time is really flying. Lately, I have come to the realization that my little baby really isn’t so “little” anymore…and I’m torn between being excited that you are growing and learning to do new things and being so sad that the “little baby” stage is over! You are getting SO big, and your Daddy and I are loving watching you become your own little person. You are still making things very easy for us—eating great, sleeping and napping great, and freely giving us as many smiles, laughs and squeals as you possibly can.
Your personality is most definitely continuing to blossom. You know how there are some babies who “just chill”, aka just lay around and are content just watching what’s going on around them? Yeah, that’s not you. Not at all. ;) You
demand prefer to be stimulated at all times—you love playing with your toys, but you get bored with them after a few minutes and we have to give you something new. I have quickly learned the art of putting toys away for a little while so that you forget about them, and when you start to get bored with one—voila, it’s new to you again! You still love to jump (in your jumperoo or doorway jumper) and will just laugh and laugh while you jump. You also get in moods where you aren’t happy unless we are watching you jump and play—perhaps this means you are going to be a performer of some sort?!
You are sitting up like a champ these days and that is definitely your preferred way to play now. Playtime definitely keeps you very busy these days—you love to sit surrounded by a bunch of your toys and will reach for and play with every one of them before getting bored. You love to pick up and drop things (especially when you’re in your highchair) and will do it as many times as I will bend down and pick them up for you. You aren’t quite crawling yet (but I can tell it’s coming soon!), but you are definitely on the move! Gone are the days when I could set you down and walk out of the room for a sec…because that’s all it takes you to scoot yourself across the room.
This month was a big month for you: at 6 months and 2 days old, you got not just one but TWO teeth! They finally broke through the second day of our beach trip, and while I was nervous that you would be fussy and/or lose sleep over them, etc…you really never missed a beat. And your little teeth are TOO cute (except for when you bite me while eating…and then laugh. Not funny!!). I think that your top teeth are not too far from coming in, too… if the drooling/chewing on everything are any indication. You’re just so big!
One fun development this month is that you L-O-V-E your big brother, Ralph. I am serious, you are infatuated by him! Any time he comes around you immediately start the squeals and smiles (he is pretty funny looking, ha!)…and when he comes up to you and starts sniffing you or licks your face—forget it. Full on, huge belly laughs. I am SO glad you love him so much, and so glad that he loves you, too. He will sit and let you pet him and pull on his ears and tail until your heart’s content, and on the rare occasion when he decides he’s over it, he’ll just get up and move out of your reach…but watch out Ralphie, you won’t be able to do that for long as baby girl is on the MOVE! ;)
One sad bit of news from this month is that I had to go back to work a couple weeks ago. There were lots of tears the first couple of days (and a few random days since then), because I really can’t stand to be away from you all day long, especially at a time when I feel like you are changing and learning new things almost constantly! The good news is, it is only temporary (only 5 more weeks!) and you are also getting to spend a lot of QT with your grandparents, aunts, Daddy and Aunt Jenn! They are all absolutely loving spending so much time with you, and of course I know you are in great hands, which keeps me from having to worry about you while I’m at work…but I sure do MISS you while I’m there! Each day, I cannot drive fast enough to get back home to you. And to be honest, it doesn’t seem like you’ve even noticed I’m gone! Like I said, only 5 more weeks and it’ll be back to being just me and you, sweet girl, and that time cannot come fast enough.
I think I say it every month, but this is my favorite age thus far (maybe every age will be my favorite?!). You’re incredibly sweet, smart, and so interactive and FUN…I just can’t get enough of you. You are keeping us very busy—we say all the time, “what in the world did we do with our time before Hadley came along?!”. I really don’t remember, but I will say that I know our lives are so much happier with you in them. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when we see that little grin (and two little teeth!) and you reach out for us to hold you.
So, happy 7 months, baby doll. I love you more than you will ever know!
- 20th September
I have had several people ask me over the last few weeks why I haven’t blogged about our other “baby”, Ralph, yet! The truth is, I hadn’t even thought about it! I’m not sure how that happened, especially since his name is even in the title of our blog. For those who may not
see the 582305823095820 pictures I post on facebook of him know, Ralph is our almost 4 year-old English bulldog, and he is one of the most important parts of our life!
We got Ralph about 7 months after we got married, after a lot of discussion about getting a dog and a lot of thought on what the “perfect dog” was for us. For those who don’t know, I had English bulldogs my whole life…my Dad bred them for a while and we almost always had at least one, usually more, as a pet. Of course I am biased, but I really think they are the best family dogs ever—they have hilarious personalities, while sometimes stubborn, they are so loyal and sweet and are excellent with kids. Jon had never really been around bulldogs before, but he liked the fact that they seem like a “man’s dog” (he would have never gone for a small, yippy dog, not that I would ever want
a rat one of those) while still not being too big. We knew that bulldog puppies were very expensive (Ralph was artificially inseminated and delivered by c-section!), but we decided that we would use that year’s tax return money (that was back when we actually got a refund! haha) to buy one, if we could find a breeder in Raleigh. The day we decided that we wanted to start looking, I googled “English bulldog puppies Raleigh NC” and boom—the first hit was a posting by a breeder in Raleigh that had just had puppies, and they were going to be available in only a few weeks! We thought it was definitely a sign! So, Jon called the breeder, who told him that there were 6 puppies, 5 of which were male, and that he was keeping the one female. We knew that we wanted a male, and the breeder told us that he hadn’t had any other calls yet, so we would have our pick of the males. We went the very next day to see the puppies, and agreed BEFORE we went that we were definitely going to get one, because we knew as soon as we saw the puppies, we would be in love. Boy, we had no idea how in love we would be! Here is the whole litter:
We played with all of them for a little while, but there was one with a spot on his head that seemed to have the most energy and played with us the most (this would end up being very telling about his personality even as he got older), and HOW could we not fall in love with this face?!
We paid a deposit for him and were told we’d be able to pick him up in just a few weeks… we could not WAIT to pick him up! The breeder actually called us a week earlier than expected and said he was ready to go. We were sooo excited to pick up our new baby! We decided even before we got him that his name would be Ralph after both of my grandfathers… I am big on family baby names and all, but I could just not imagine calling a little baby “Ralph”, but we thought it would be perfect for a bulldog! Here is my Paw Paw…don’t you think they favor each other a little? ;)
We had my family in town that weekend, so they all got to see him right when we brought him home, and Jon’s parents and grandparents both came to see him the next day… this should have been a sign of things to come with REAL babies, the way they were all so excited about our dog child. :) We were smitten…how could we not be with this face?!
Ralph was a great puppy…he was very easy to potty train and only had a few accidents before he was completely trained. He also learned tricks VERY quickly… our favorite of which is that we ask him, “Would you rather be dead or be a Tarheel?” and he rolls over and plays dead (obviously).
He is one smart cookie, which is somewhat uncharacteristic for bulldogs…but he is also extremely stubborn. There are many times that we know he knows we he is supposed to do, but if he doesn’t want to do it, there is NO getting him to do it. Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s really annoying (for example, when we’re trying to get him to come inside because we’re trying to leave to go somewhere, but he decides he’d rather sniff around in the yard forever)…but we wouldn’t change his personality for anything. He keeps us on our toes and provides lots of laughs for us every day.
Ralph also answers to many names… Ralphie, Bubs, Bubbers, Ralph-o-potamus (who knows, Jon came up with that one), and many iterations of that—Pots, Potamus, Tomas (don’t ask, we’re weird). To say he is spoiled is the understatement of the century. He sleeps right in between us in the bed every night, like so:
He also has free roam of the house all day, every day…not that he needs it, because his days are really spent doing only one thing:
People keep asking me, “how is Ralph going to be with the new baby?”. My answer is, we’ll see! He has been around my nieces and nephews quite a bit as babies, and he has been great with them, but we’ll just have to see how he is when the baby is around 24/7. My gut is that he’ll be very protective over her, and not leave her side. I cannot wait to see the two of them together; my obsessive picture taking is probably going to be taken to a whole new level! ;) I know that we will have to make a special effort to give him as much attention as possible—after all, he is used to pretty much getting all of our attention now. I know that things will definitely change when Hadley arrives and our #1 priority will be her, but I can’t help but think I will always think of Ralph as our first “baby”…and I am vowing now to not let him just get pushed aside. I know that he will adapt and learn to be a part of our new family of four. I can’t wait to watch Hadley grow up with him, I hope they will be best friends!
It is hard to believe that Ralph is already almost 4 years old; the average life expectancy of a bulldog is just a short 8 years…but we are hoping he breaks a record and graces us with his presence for much longer! We are enjoying every minute that we have with him and cannot imagine our lives without him!
I’ll close with juuuuust a few more pictures because y’all know I have a million:
Going to snuggle with my boys for the rest of the night…crazy that soon, when Hadley arrives, I won’t be able to just collectively say “my boys”! I can’t wait. :)