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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DipTacular

Dip. As in the kind you eat, not the kind you chew.

I’m linking up with Boomama today for DipTacular 2011. It’s football season, baby, and even though I loathe the sport itself, I’m still a SEC girl at heart. Go Gamecocks! Football season means tailgating, and no tailgating party is complete without some sort of dip.

Word? Word.

So here are a few of my favorite dips….

Kim's Caramel Apple Dip

This recipe came from my college BFF, Kim. I shared it with my co-worker, and she now makes it for every family gathering. It’s that easy, and it is that good.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened but not melted
1 tub of caramel dip (Kim recommends Marzetti's)
1 bag of Heath toffee bits
Apples

Spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of a pie dish. Stir the caramel sauce and pour on top of the cream cheese. Top with a layer of Heath toffee bits. Serve with sliced apples.

Cheesy Meaty Dip

Everyone has eaten this dip at one time or another, I’m sure. It’s a classic but man it is good!

  • One large block of Velveeta
  • 1-2 cans of Rotel tomatoes – use hot if you like spice!
  • 1 can of diced chilies
  • One pound of cooked sausage – I use spicy for a little extra heat. You can also use ground turkey or hamburger meat.
  • One onion, diced

Cook sausage and onion and drain. Use a knife to cut Velveeta into small blocks. Add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low heat until combined. Stir often as this will burn if left alone too long.

Pepperoni Dip

I know this sounds a little questionable, but I promise it is delicious. I made it for Cooper’s birthday, and my guests ate it up.

  • 1/2 lb sliced pepperoni (I buy the chunks of pepperoni)
  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cans condensed Cream of Celery Soup
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded

Stir first three ingredients together. Add a heaping handful of cheddar cheese to the mixture and spread in a pie pan. Top with more cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Served with hunks of bread or nacho chips.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This. is. life. changing. I’m so serious. I gobble this up like it has no calories… which it totally doesn’t. In my dreams, at least.

  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce (Frank’s Red Hot is what I use)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken to make my life easier)

Stir together the ingredients above. Top with some extra cheddar cheese if you so choose. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with nacho chips – I love this with Tostitos Lime chips! Yum!

What are your favorite dips? Please share your recipes!

Happy Wednesday! xoxo, Andrea

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Erin Condren vs. MomAgenda: What’s Right For You?

First of all, thanks to everyone who visited me yesterday! Y’all have left me such sweet comments and I am slowly but surely making my way around to your blog. I hope if you were here yesterday, you will keep visiting often!

Erin Condren has been quite the buzz word on Twitter recently. A few weeks ago, Erin from Blue Eyed Bride raved about the life planner, and it made many people’s ears perk up. Shortly thereafter, Erin Condren was a featured deal on Plum District ($25 for a $50 credit). Tons of folk on Twitter and blogs took advantage of that deal to order a life planner.

I had already ordered a 2011-2012 MomAgenda and was very happy with my purchase. But because I am a bit of a sheep and can’t resist having the new, hot thing I also purchased a life planner. I got my life planner for free (because I referred people to Plum District and had a credit) so I figured it couldn’t hurt. I plan to use the Erin Condren life planner at home and the MomAgenda at the office.

(Yes, I got the job! Thanks for your prayers!)

Since I have both calendars and have had plenty of time to study both, I figured I would do a vlog comparing and contrasting the two calendars. If you haven’t already ordered a calendar, I hope this will help you make a decision!

Before you watch the vlog, there are a few things I’d like you to keep in mind:

  • It was a million degrees in Georgia that day. I’m not looking my finest.
  • I have not been paid by either company to endorse their products. I wasn’t provided the products for free. I paid for both calendars with my own money.
  • I forgot the definition of “column” and “row”. You can clearly see me struggle to remember which is which.

Here are the detailed pictures I promised you.

IMG_4512MomAgenda – desktop of left and home office edition on right

IMG_4514Monthly calendar for the home office edition

IMG_4516Weekly calendar for the home office edition

IMG_4517Erin Condren life planner

IMG_4519Special Dates pages – month at top, follow by a row for each day in the month

IMG_4520Monthly calendar

IMG_4521Weekly calendar

IMG_4522Notes

IMG_4523Important numbers on left/Stickers on right

IMG_4524Pocket – one on both sides of the page

IMG_4525Pouch on right

IMG_45262013 & 2014 quick view calendars on the inside of the back cover

There you have it! I hope this answered some of your questions. If it didn’t, feel free to email me and I will see what I can do to help!

What kind of calendar do you use? Do you have an Erin Condren life planner or a MomAgenda?

Monday, August 29, 2011

SITS Day!

Happy Monday!

I was so very excited when I got an email from Mama Kat a few weeks ago telling me that today I would be the featured blogger at SITS. I stumbled upon The Secret Is In The Sauce in October of 2008, and I’m so thankful I did! SITS is a wonderful community created for the sole purpose of supporting other women bloggers. SITS is dedicated to supporting other bloggers by leaving comments on blog posts. I truly believe that SITS is a huge reason that my blog has grown as big as it has. I have met so many wonderful and inspiring bloggers through the SITS roll call.

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Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I seriously get tickled pink when others drop by and leave comments. I’m Andrea, a 30-something wife, mother, and social worker. In case you are new to my blog, here’s a little about me:

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I’m a married mother of one human child and two furchildren. George and JC are my chihuahuas and they were the inspiration behind the title to my blog. No, they don’t bite. My Chihuahua Bites is a play off of the name of an OPI nail polish.

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My husband, Jason, was in the military for 10 years. We’ve recently had a huge life change! Jason got out of the Navy and started his civilian career at a nuclear power plant. We moved from South Carolina to Georgia, and are settling in to our new home.

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I’m a Southern girl, and no matter where I live, I will always be Southern at heart. I love palm trees, sandy beaches, ocean breezes, accents, cooking with butter, and anything and everything monogrammed.

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I’m ever-so-slightly gaudy, but in a fabulous way. Winking smile I love sequins. Glitter makes me want to do a happy dance. I like chunky necklaces, layered bracelets, & big rings (sometimes all of it worn together!). I love headbands, and I love to wear flowers in my hair. I like big sunglasses – the more they obscure my face, the better!  I’m a makeup and hair product junkie. Eyeliner is my best friend!

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On a serious note, I like to think I’m a good friend, a great wife, and an amazing mother. I am fiercely loyal and protective of those I love. I love Jesus and my faith is a huge part of who I am. I work with the special needs population (I’m a social worker) and I have been so uplifted and encouraged by those I’ve encountered in my work. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I never in a million years could have imagined how much I would love my son, but he is my heart.

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I love to cook, decorate my home, craft my little heart out, shop, and read. My blog is a mish mash of most of those things. You’ll find posts about my family, recipes I love, beauty products I love and think you should try, tutorial for crafts I’ve completed, and pictures of my never ending journey to decorate my home.

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My blog philosophy is “keepin’ it real.” You can expect to find honesty here on my blog. I believe in being authentic and transparent for my readers. I don’t ever want to present my life as perfect, because it is not. We all have struggles, and I share my life in the hopes that others will find support and encouragement through my journey.

These are just a few of my favorite posts:

How to Succeed at Marriage Without Even Trying

It’s Tough to be a Girl, Part 1 and Part 2

Why Romance Novels and The Notebook Have Ruined My Life

I Never Imagined

I greatly appreciate you stopping by, and I hope you will come again! Please take a look around, and come back often for new posts and updates. Follow along if you like what you read! I’m also very active on Twitter, so feel free to follow me if you’re on there as well.

If you’ve made it this far and are still reading, I’d like to express my appreciation for your visit today. Every one who comments today (please leave only one comment per person) will be entered to win a $25 Amazon.com e-gift card! I will announce the winner next Monday.

Thank you again for stopping by!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Q & A

MeMe time! Please play along!

MAKEUP

Blush or bronzer? Blush. I love me some pink cheeks.

Lipgloss or lipstick? I prefer lipgloss, and not the sticky kind.

Eyeliner or mascara? Both. But if I had to choose, I’d pick eyeliner. I can’t live without it.

Foundation or concealer? Foundation. There’s no way concealer could give me the coverage I need.

Neutral or colored eye shadow? Neutral. I do love colored shadows, but I feel like I can’t pull off a really bright or dramatic eye.

Pressed or loose eye shadow? Loose shadows are too messy, although they usually do give better color payoff. I mainly used pressed shadows.

Brushes or sponges? Brushes. MAC all the way!


NAILS

OPI or China Glaze? I like them both, but of the two I prefer OPI. I can’t stand Essie. I think it’s streaky.

Long or short? Fingertip length.

Acrylic or natural? I had acrylics in high school and they messed up my nails. I have ton of ridges on my nails now. I would like to try Gelish or Shellac though!

Brights or darks? There is a time for both! I lean towards brights in summer and darks in winter.

Flower or no flower? No flower. Although I do like nail art on other people! I just can’t pull it off myself.

 

BODY

Perfume or body splash? Neither. I have allergies.

Lotion or body butter? I use Eucerin cream. I do love Bath & Body Works vanilla apricot lotion though!

Body wash or soap? I use body wash most days, but for some reason I feel like I get cleaner with soap. Weird, I know.

LUSH or other bath company? I like the idea behind LUSH, but their products are expensive and heavily scented. I do love BBW for lotions and body washes.

 

FASHION

Jeans or sweat pants? Sweats for home, jeans for casual work days and weekends, and pants or dresses for work.

Flip flops or sandals? I live in flip flops.

Scarves or hats? I can’t pull off hats. I wish I could!

Studs or dangly earrings? The holes in my ears have actually grown shut. I’m thinking about re-piercing them, but I don’t know if it is worth the bother.

Necklaces or bracelets? Both! I’m very garish in that way.

Heels or flats? I can’t wear heels anymore. I just can’t do it.

Cowboy boots or riding boots? Riding boots. Although I do wish I could find a pair of cowboy boots for wide calves.

Jacket or hoodie? Jacket.

Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe? I can’t wear the clothes in either, but I do love the jewelry from Forever 21.

abercrombie or Hollister? Neither.

Saks 5th Avenue or Nordstrom? Nordstrom! I love Macy’s as well.

HAIR

Curly or straight? I love the ease of wearing my hair curly, but it doesn’t look good. My hair looks best straight.

Bun or ponytail? My hair isn’t long enough for either one.

Bobby pins or butterfly clips? Bobby pins!

Hairspray or hair gel? Do people still use gel? Hairspray. This question brings back memories of using Aussie scrunch gel in middle school.

Long or short? I want to grow my hair out, but it just isn’t happening. Short.

Light or dark? Dark.

Side sweep bangs or full bangs? I’ve tried both!

Up or down? My hair is too short to wear any way but down.

RANDOM

Rain or shine? Rain if I’m inside. Shine if I have to be outside.

Summer or winter? Winter. Bring on the cooler temps!

Fall or spring? Fall.

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

East or west coast? THE SOUTH!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Must Be Famous

So.

I must be famous. You know you’ve made it big in the blogging world when the haters come out to play. Yesterday I got my first truly nasty and negative comment from a reader.

Dude said “You make me want to vomit blood” in response to my Inadvertent SAHM post.

Wow, Dude. Just wow. Those are some strong words. Seriously?

I have to admit, when I read that comment I was shocked and hurt. I’ve been seriously blogging since 2008, and this is the first truly rude comment that I have received. My readers (y’all) are gracious, kind, and encouraging. I can’t imagine anyone who reads/comments regularly would feel this way about me.

But obviously I struck a chord in Dude, because he (she?) does not care for My Chihuahua Bites.

And honestly? The post it was left on? I’ve definitely had more snarky, controversial posts. I would have thought if I was going to get nasty comments, it would have been to My Chihuahua Bites… literally.

Here’s where I should say that I shrugged it off. That mean words from a stranger mean nothing. That it is an opinion and I should expect differing opinions when I put my own out for others to read.

But I’m not going to say that. Instead I will say: Dude, you suck. You’re a coward. You know what? I’m perfectly open to constructive criticism. It’s ok if you don’t like me. You can even tell me so and I won’t attack you. But the fact that you left that comment anonymously, that you made up a fake profile just so you could attack, makes you worse than scum in my eyes. I’m not upset you don’t like me. I could care less how you feel about me. I’m upset that there are people like you in this world. Bullies who hide behind the veil of anonymity that the computer provides, attacking others to make them feel better about themselves.

Anyway. That’s all the time I will devote to you. And I’m not deleting your comment. You took the time to write it, and I’m going to let you own it. Jerkwad.

So, readers, I’m going to put this out there right now: you can disagree with me. You can not like me. You can think I’m snobby, judgmental, rude, whatever and you can even tell me so. I won’t hate you as long as you say what you feel respectfully.

Just don’t hide yourself. Own your words, good or bad. That’s what adults do, right? Be an adult.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mid-Week Randoms

Happy Wednesday!

003Zebra Home Office Edition

005Turquoise Mini Daily

I somehow ended up with three MomAgendas planners this year. I ordered the zebra Home Office Edition (left) for myself and the turquoise daily for a friend. They sent me the turquoise daily embossed with my name instead of Lis’s name. I complained and they told me to keep the mini daily and they would send me a replacement. The zebra Home Office Edition was backordered, and it didn’t ship until after I moved from SC. I contacted MomAgenda customer service before my move and asked them to update my address, and I was instructed they had done so and it would ship to GA. Well, the date for shipping came and went with no MomAgenda. When I looked into the problem, I found out they had shipped it to my address in SC. I complained again, and they overnighted me a new agenda. Guess what came a few days later? The MomAgenda, forwarded from my address in SC. No worries – the extra planners are residing with friends! I hope they don’t mind that the planner is embossed with my name. Ha!

Here’s where I admit I fell victim to the Twitter hype and ordered an Erin Condren life planner today. I know – so wasteful. Although technically it didn’t cost me anything because I got the Plum District Erin Condren credit free because three friends ordered through me.

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Ever since the Bloggess wrote about Big Metal Chickens, I have been seeing them everywhere I go. And every time I do, I take a picture and send it to Jason with the text titled “Knock, knock ******!” I think it’s hilarious. He does not.

(Please go read that post. Then come back and thank me. Hilarious.)

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Since Jason totally didn’t acknowledged our anniversary, I took it upon myself to buy myself a present. I didn’t buy the $300 Michael Kors rose gold watch I wanted, however. I thought this Fossil watch was cheaper and was a decent knockoff.

I picked up a few other things that day as well…

178Cute cute book tote from Barnes and Noble

179Monogrammed notepads from Kirklands

181Style & Co (house brand of Macy’s) watch. Cheap & cute!

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I got my hair highlighted and cut after the big move. I figured it was definitely time for some pampering, and I hadn’t had my hair cut or colored in months. I had been trying to grow my hair out, and it was almost down to my shoulders. I couldn’t take how hot it was, so I chopped it off in the back into a stacked bob. The front is a tiny bit shorter, but not much. I like having the illusion of length in the front but it is so much cooler and easier to style since I took off so much length and thickness in the back. I also added caramel highlights. I do like it, but I’ll probably go back to an all over color in the fall.

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Several of you guys have tweeted/blog recently about wanting one of these two compartment drink dispensers. I found this one (glass!) at Ross for less than $15.00. Definite steal! Laura, I thought of you when I saw this.

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Cooper is obsessed with splash pads. I took him to the one in Centennial Park when we were in Atlanta, and he cracked me up trying to drink the water.

No picture of this handy, but when we moved I bought Cooper a cheapo lime green waffle weave shower curtain from Target for his new bathroom. I had planned to add a ruffle and have it monogrammed, so I skimped on the curtain itself ($10.00). I took it to a local place here in Augusta to have it monogrammed, and the woman who owned the shop wanted to charge me $65.00 for a single letter monogram! You have got to be kidding me. Do people actually pay that? I asked that question on Twitter and most agreed they would not pay that price, although one girl thought the price was fair. I even asked people who do monogramming and they said they wouldn’t charge that much! I found someone else local who did a triple letter monogram for $25.00.

What’s new with you guys?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hotlanta

(I have no idea why people call it Hotlanta. Anyone know?)

Jason had a work conference in Atlanta last week, and Cooper and I decided to tag along. I guess one bright side of not having found a job yet is that Cooper and I can be spontaneous and go on lots of little trips if we so choose. Yay?!

Anyway, on Monday around mid-day we headed off to Atlanta. Our hotel had a (free!) happy hour, so we boozed it up (Jason boozed it up because I was the DD) before heading off to dinner at Maggiano’s. I knew as soon as I walked in and saw the pristine tablecloths and wine glasses that this was not going to be a pleasant meal. I’m sorry, Maggiano's diners. I sincerely apologize for my wild child. I’m sure you’ll be able to get the sound of his screeches out of your head sometime next week.

IMG_4356Happy Hour at the hotel – milk for Coopie and beer for Daddy

IMG_4358Pre meltdown

IMG_4361Cooper totally looks like he’s smoothing his eyebrows with his fingers. Here’s hoping you don’t inherit Mommy’s unibrow, buddy. That will become your reality.

Jason’s work conference was from 7:30-4:00 each day, so Cooper and I got up on Tuesday morning and headed to the zoo. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how this would go, but I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t as oppressively hot as it could have been, and there were lots of other mothers and babies there for Cooper and I to interact with. Cooper enjoyed the animals and behaved very well for me. I was worried he would be hard to manage by myself, but he was an absolute doll! This was definitely one of those days where I just basked in being a mommy to such a sweet boy.

(When I say he behaved very well, I’m referring to the fact that he can be a bit hard to manage in public places. Cooper is very much a little ham, and he likes to put on little shows for people. Sometimes that involves blowing kisses and saying “Hi!” and “Bye!” to strangers and sometimes it involves throwing an epic meltdowns that make me want to cry. It’s always a mixed bag, and I never know what to expect with him.)

The zoo in Atlanta is fabulous, by the way. They have tons of exhibits, and lots of play areas for children. I would highly recommend visiting if you are in the area!

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IMG_4375Mommy and baby gorilla

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Cooper loved the petting zoo. He was not afraid at all! He also loved the tram and the carousel.

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We were back at the hotel by 1:30 and had plenty of time for naps while we waited for Jason to get home. Jason got home early, so we got to hit up IKEA before dinner. I heart IKEA. We didn’t buy anything since we didn’t have space to bring it home in the car, but we did brainstorm for when we can make the trip back. Cooper was not a fan of IKEA as he screamed “MAMA!” no less than 5,000 times while we were in the store.

On Wednesday, we slept in and met up with a couple of Twitter friends for lunch. I wish I had remembered to take my camera so I could get pictures! Wednesday night we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. OH M GEE I die for The Cheesecake Factory. I so wish we had one local!

IMG_4419Cooper and Daddy at dinner

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IMG_4428Clearly Jason took this picture, because a girlfriend would have warned me I was looking very boobylicious.

Thursday we headed to the aquarium. Honestly, the aquarium was not as great of an experience as the zoo. I found the people at the aquarium to be extremely rude, and because of that it was very hard to manage a toddler. I had taken the stroller because thought it would be easier to navigate with all of our belongings, but I had to manage the stroller while holding Cooper since the rude people wouldn’t move out from in front of the exhibits. Seriously, people, look and move! Don’t stand in front of the glass for 10 minutes while other people wait for you to move so they can see!

However frustrating the people were, the aquarium was beautiful. They had a huge walk through tank with fish, sharks, sea turtles, and even a whale shark. The had several dolphins and a dolphin show. They even had penguins and beluga whales! Cooper loved the hands-on exhibits, and there were tons of employees stationed every few feet to answer any questions you might have.

IMG_4435This was his reaction to the large tank – he just plopped down and stared! So cute!

IMG_4444Every fish was Nemo that day. Smile

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That night we went to Ted’s, a steakhouse over by the Cumberland Mall. If any of you girls are local, check this place out! Jason and I split a bison steak and it was seriously the best steak I have ever eaten in my life. We did takeout from The Cheesecake Factory for dessert. Yum!

This week we are headed to the beach one last time with my parents. It will be a solo beach trip for me & Cooper since Jason has to stay behind to work. Still, you can’t pass up a free trip to the beach! Right?!

What have you guys been up to?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Letters I’ll Never Write

Dear fast food worker, 

It drives me absolutely bonkers when you hand me a soda that is dripping all over the sides. Seriously, get a napkin and wipe that off. 

Also, multiple bags for one purchase? You can put my parfait and oatmeal in the same bag. Save some trees. 

If it were me, I’d have the jackhole that just ordered 20 hamburgers pull off the side while his meal was prepared. You know, so the other 25 people in line didn’t have to wait 15 minutes for his piping hot McCholesterol to be prepared. 

Also, Sonic? There is a difference between Dr. Pepper and diet Dr. Pepper. Don’t give me attitude when I swing back through the drive through because you got it wrong. I know I’m fat but I still want a ROUTE 44 DR. PEPPER. Not diet. REGULAR DR. PEPPER. Let me worry about the calories, mmmkay?

You have a brain. Use it. 

XOXO, the girl with no patience. 

Dear former co-worker, 

You may look like my grandmother, but sweet old lady you are not. The only reason I didn’t give you my eyes of death when you said “you’re eating THAT?” at the Mexican restaurant is because I was taught to respect my elders. It isn’t helpful when you say “I was so fat after I had my baby… it took me months to lose the five pounds I gained!” as I complain about my baby weight. Also, FYI, I am not excited to get my pay stub. It’s a pay stub, not a paycheck. Stop saying “Here’s your paycheck!” because you cannot, in fact, cash a pay stub.

Sincerely, 

Me

Dear former college crush, 

I cringe when I think about how I acted towards you during college. Honestly, I knew you’d never date me, but you were so dreamy. I mean, you were an actor. You wrote poetry. You had to know those were crush worthy activities. Also, I know you saw through me all those time I called to ask when so-and-so meeting was, or when assignment X was due. Thanks for humoring me. 

Still crushing,

Andrea

Dear husband, 

Seriously. Please do not wear dress socks to bed. I understand you wore them all day and your feet are cold. However, that is not sexy. I don’t care that you read that socks increase your chance of orgasm. We are not doing that tonight. In your dreams. 

Maybe tomorrow, 

Your wife who has a headache

What letter do you really want to write today?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Makeup Tutorial: Foundation Application

This video cracks me up. Seriously…. what was I thinking? You’ll see what I mean when you watch. Ready? Now watch.

Thoughts:

I’m being all ninja in the guest bath because I didn’t want Jason to know I was filming a tutorial. He would have totally tried to bust up in there and make me laugh.

I filmed this ages ago and have been too embarrassed to share. It was filmed in March! Obviously my standards have plummeted because I’m willing to let you laugh at me.

What was I wearing? Hideous.

Dear lord, my hair. I apologize.

You can see right up my nose. Someone needs to trim their nose hairs. Ha!

Would you be interested in seeing future tutorials? On what? Leave me a suggestion in the comments. Also, if you have any beauty questions/problems, ask! If I don’t know, I will find someone who does.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Chihuahua Bites… literally

I’ve put off on writing this post for a long time. Mainly because I don’t like to admit what’s happening in my home, or how my feelings have changed for my dogs. It’s a hard truth that I’d prefer not to share with people because I worry how they will perceive me.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions in the past year and a half about the boys: how are they doing, please share pictures, how have they adjusted to having Cooper in the house. The answer to the last question is not well.

Picture 278Halloween 2007, torturing the boys with costumes and photo props. That’s JC in the pot and George on the right.

Those of you who know me know that I love my dogs. For quite awhile, they were the stars of my blog! I have had both George and JC since I got married. They have been my constant companions and were really all I had at times when Jason was deployed. They comforted me, entertained me, made my laugh, and gave me a much needed distraction. I’ve always viewed them as my “furchildren” and thought of them as valued members of my family.

George and JC have always gotten a lot of attention. When we were home, they received all our time. They went on walks with us. They sat with us while we watched television. They hung out in the kitchen while we cooked dinner. They even slept in the same bed as us. They are very attached to us and us to them.

That didn’t change when I got pregnant. In fact, they got more love and attention.  I didn’t feel well or was tired for a lot of my pregnancy, so a lot of time that I wasn’t at work was spent in the bed. George and JC love to cuddle, so they kept me company. I didn’t really prepare them for the baby at all. Hindsight: that was mistake number 1.

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George and JC have never really been people doggies. They love us and that’s about it. They’re very skittish around other people. By skittish, I mean they will bite you if you come at them in the wrong way. When the doorbell rings, they go absolutely crazy. Barking, snarling at the door, trying desperately to get to whoever is outside in order to protect us. They prefer women over men, and they have never liked children. They do ok as long as I crate them and wait to let them out until our guests are already in the house and seated. Then George will run in and thoroughly check you out, but he relaxes and loves on you once he decides you aren’t there to kill us all. JC, for the most part, stands at a distance and barks until I fuss at him enough that he shuts up.

They had never bitten anyone prior to us bringing Cooper home. Snarl, yes. Bare their teeth and growl, yes. Snap, yes. But they had never bitten anyone. George did try to bite at a mover who stupidly stuck his hand inside their gated space (really, he deserved it!) but luckily the guy only got a small scrape on his finger.

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The dogs have lost their minds since Cooper was born. I mean, full on crazy. George is a completely different dog. My dogs have always been good dogs. They obey, they are potty trained, and they don’t mess things up in the house.

Well, no more. George has tons of accidents in the house. He’s even peed on our bed several times, which pisses me off to no end. I mean seriously, the bed? That’s where I sleep. Disgusting. He isn’t having accidents because I won’t let him out – he’s having accidents because he’s upset with me. He’s also chewing things up (shoes, mainly) and running away when I let him outside. Maddening! He will no longer do anything I tell him to do. Putting him in his crate is such a chore now, involving me chasing him around the house, yelling, and eventually getting a flyswatter and threatening him with it (I don’t actually hit him, just show him the swatter, which he hates) until he goes into his crate. JC, on the other hand, is still fairly well behaved. He has never run away, his number of accidents is very few and can usually be traced back to me not letting him out on time, and he’s very obedient.

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Neither one of them like Cooper. Not at all. They’ve learned to somewhat tolerate him, but they don’t seek him out. JC deals with Cooper by avoiding him. George is oblivious and gives Cooper full access to him, and then he flips out when Cooper touches him.

George has bit Cooper. Well, he’s snapped at Cooper. He did catch the end of his finger, and it resulted in a small cut. To his credit, Cooper did somewhat deserve it. Cooper was yanking on his tail and George had been pulling away and growling as a warning. He snapped before I could reach Cooper and pull him away.

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I have been trying to teach Cooper how to properly interact with the boys, but it is hard to teach a toddler how to interact with pets when they don’t yet get the concept of rules and gentle touch. I repeat often that you don’t pull on them or grab and that you don’t touch their face. I’ve held them in my laps and used Cooper’s hands to gently pet them. I’ve tried to teach him the concept of gentle touch. Cooper generally ignores what I’ve been trying to teach him and chases them down in the house. The bite didn’t even phase him after the initial shock wore off.

The result of is that I’m stressed and resentful of the boys. I underestimated my love and protectiveness for Cooper prior to having him. I thought things would never change with the boys, even with the addition of a baby, but change they did. Cooper is first and he always will be. I do still love the boys, but they are dogs. There is an order, and Cooper gets my time and attention first and foremost.

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This is all my fault… I know that. The boys don’t understand why they don’t get as much of my attention anymore. They still want that time with me, and they seek it out when I’m playing or interacting with Cooper. They are just trying to show me their upset when they act out. I know that I did some key things wrong in preparing them for Cooper’s presence, but hindsight is always 20/20.

First and foremost, I should have established some distance between myself and the boys prior to Cooper’s arrival. Instead of gradually decreasing the time I spent with them, I increased it. I should have encouraged them to be more independent by getting them dog beds to sleep and lay on in the living room and kitchen. That way they could have still been with us but have had their space as well. I also should have transitioned them to sleep in a dog bed instead of in the bed with us.

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I should have tried to take them around babies. I should have at least tried to take them to a park or space where there were other people present. I’ve heard of people getting a baby doll and introducing it around the house – I don’t think it would have hurt to try that.

I should have invested in obedience classes.

When we came home from the hospital, I should have made more time for them. I was so tired and frazzled that they didn’t get much of my attention at that time, and it’s only gotten worse as time has gone on.

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The topic of rehoming George has come up, if I’m honest. I hate to talk about it, and I honestly don’t think I could ever go through it. But it has been spoken. I will say this, though – if one of them ever bites Cooper and seriously hurts him, they are gone. Period. 

Jason and I know there are some things we need to change around the house to make ourselves happier, Cooper safer, and the boys happier as well. They need more of our time and attention. When Cooper’s sleeping, I need to give them their time. I need to be patient with them and show them more love. We also know that we need to somehow transition them out of sleeping in our bed. We’ve been hesitant to do so because that is time they get to spend and cuddle with us, but it isn’t working for us anymore. I just don’t know how to do it. We’ve tried crating them at night but George whines and scratches for hours on end. We’ve also talked about obedience classes but Jason thinks they are too old and set in their ways for it to do any good.

I know some of you will be horrified by what I’ve written, but I did want to be honest. Things do change with your pets when you have a child. You can learn from my mistakes, though. Do what you can to prep your dogs for your child’s arrival. Spend whatever time you can with them once the baby is born. Make sure they still feel they have your love and attention as much as the baby does.

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Thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions? Leave them in the comments.



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