How to Introduce a Rescue Dog into the Family

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There are so many dogs that need new homes and families who have the homes and hearts to take them in. However when the family already owns a dog/s it’s not as easy as just bringing home a new dog and thinking it will run smoothly. Below are some helpful tips to introduce a rescue dog into the family

Make sure you are ready for another dog.

  1. Being ready finically is a necessity before bring in another dog. Since you have to pay for the dog and everything that comes with the dog.
  2. Make sure resident dog/s are already established. It can take up to a year for a dog to fully feel at home and understand the rules in the house.
  3. Fix all bad habits of resident dog/s before bringing in a new dog. Whether if it is leash pulling, excessive barking, nipping or jumping on people the bad habit can become worse and harder to break when a new dog is added to the mix.

The finding the right dog

  1. Find a dog that’s personality matches your family. A lazy basset hound wouldn’t work well in a high active family. While a hyper dog wouldn’t work well with a resident dog/s that is a couch potato.
  2. Two dominant dogs will not work together because they will be fighting for control, so one dominant and a submissive dog work well together. However you don’t want to have a dog that will be a bully to the other dog/s. If they are keeping a dog from you, not letting them into a room, not letting them eat or drink then they are being a bully dog.
  3. Some male dogs don’t do well with other male dogs. While females usually do well together. Old dogs can become aggressive with puppies who have high energy.

The first introduction

  1. Try to meet at a neutral setting
  2. Keep all dogs on a loose leash. Being on a loose leash will make it easier to help control the situation, while letting the dogs can come and go from the interaction.
  3. Try to let them meet nose to nose first then let them sniff each other. Some dogs do not like to have their butts sniffed. Meeting nose to nose helps the dogs see each other and feel more comfortable.
  4. Look for any signs of uncomfortable and hostility
  5. Have a half hour to an hour blocked out
  6. Take the dogs for a together to see how they will interact with noises and distractions.

Off the leash.

  1. Let dogs play in a fenced in yard with room to run
  2. Let dogs figure out how to play together and who is dominant/ submissive, some growling and biting may take place.
  3. Be ready to jump in if things get out of hand.
  4. Give dogs time to themselves so they can have a break, and each gets alone time with you.
Be prepared to punish both dogs. Do not let bad behavior slip through just because of the new dog / new environment. Letting the dogs know who really is in charge will help keep bad habits under control.
Finally know that it can take up to two weeks for dogs to fully get along and work together. There will be times like most siblings when the dogs will dislike each other just let them figure it out and be ready to step in.

I Was ______ and Turned Out Fine

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Whenever a person feels offended by a parent’s choice to do something or not do something, they always say “well I was _____ and turned out fine” or “I did _____ with my children and they turned out fine”. They believe that whatever they did was/is the best way for a child to be raised.

I absolutely hate when people say this to me. They are questioning my parenting choices, thinking I am doing something wrong. Saying “well I was _____ and turned out fine” or “I did _____ with my children and they turned out fine” makes me judged and that I am failing as a mother. However I know I am a good mother and I make the best decision for my son.

There is not an exact way to raise a child, every parent is going to raise their child in their own way. If we all raised them the same than everyone will think and act the same way. It is alright for parent’s to do something different than what their parents did before them, than their friends and family.

Times are changing just because something worked for one child or family doesn’t mean it work for someone else.  New technology and safety guidelines are changing the way parents are making decisions for children. The new safety guidelines, recalls, and new technology are made to help parents make smart and safe choices for our children, they wouldn’t be made if there wasn’t a reason for them to be made. Such guidelines as no cow’s milk until closer to one or the no solid food for newborn, are given that most people follow. However, some people give food early to a baby before the 4 to 6 months guideline and their baby turned out fine. While other babies got busted gut from having food to early.

I am a firm believer in doing research before I make any major parenting decision. I made the decision to not want to use a bumbo seat for my son after doing research on them. The bumbo seat does not allow a child to sit naturally in the chair, and has the childs is wedged deep in the seat with his legs higher than the pelvis. Instead of the bumbo chair I used a boppy pillow to help my son learn to sit. Whenever I mention this to people I always got the “My family used the bumbo chair and they are all fine”.  This is your child and your decision to use, however it is my decision to not do so.

The “well I was _____ and turned out fine” or “I did _____ with my children and they turned out fine” line is always going to be used because people thing they know better than you do, for what is best for a child. However, new technology and safety guidelines are changing things. No child is the same so, no child will be raise the same.

Attachment Parenting: How I Do It

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What is it?

Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that proposes methods which aim to promote the attachment of parent and infant by being responsive to the emotions of your child and encourages closeness.

The 4 principals of Attachment parenting

  1. Co-sleeping – either in the same room as parents or (with appropriate safety precautions) in the same bed. This may involve having bedtime occur on the child’s, not the parent’s, schedule.
  2. Feeding on demand – allowing the child to set the timing of feeding (whether breast- or bottle-fed), along with self-weaning/ partial self-weaning.
  3. Holding and touching – keeping the child physically near, whether through cuddling and cradling, following near once child becomes mobile or by wearing on a front- or backpack arrangement.
  4. Responsiveness to crying – not letting the child “cry it out,” but instead intervening early in the crying bout, reacting to the child’s distress before it gets out of control.

Finding a balance

Attachment parenting is looked down upon because people believe it is draining on the mother/ father/ care giver, however attachment parenting encourages a sense of balance. Staying responsive with your child helps create a knowledge of what your child needs, taking the guessing game away on why they are upset. This gives you a better peace of mind and time for other things. Creating a balance of self- care and infant care helps create a better sense mind and make both parent and infant calmer and happier.

Many people also believe attachment parenting leads to spoiled children, since the children don’t learn to “cry it out” and are held a lot. However as the child becomes more mobile they will become more independent. Several decades of longitudinal and brain research have proven that humans’ optimal physical, mental and emotional development depends on meeting the infant’s instinctive relationship needs. For instance, brain research indicates that the ability to self-soothe and manage anxiety later in life originates in having been reliably soothed as an infant.

As children get older their needs change and so should parenting. They want to be more independent and parents should adjust to let them a have independence, while still making sure they behave and don’t get injured. Letting your child still feel connected to you, while still allowing them to adventure will keep them from being rebellious and out of control toddlers. Some parents struggle not to “over parent”, a good parent is knowing when to keep our hands off and let him stumble, also when to set a firm limit and let him understand it is okay to be upset or unhappy.

What I do

I do attachment parenting by breast feeding on demand. I baby wear, however we do try to use the stroller. he doesn’t like to use the stroller when a lot of people are around him because he gets over whelmed and can’t see mommy, so he wants held. The cry it out method has never worked with my son, we have tried it several times. When he is upset he wants to be cuddled and will keep screaming until he is held or nursing. My son is starting to crawl and learning to walk, so I giving him more time not being held. He doesn’t like when I leave the room, he follows me and if he can’t get to me he will scream cry until I come back. He does prefer to sleep in my arms for naps, but I can lay him in his boppy pillow as well.

Tips For Being a Minimalist Mom With a Baby

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When a mom first gets pregnant it can be over whelming seeing all things a baby needs. Then once you acquire everything that a baby needs, it takes over your home. Babies come with a lot of stuff, but it doesn’t have to over whelm you. Below are a set of tips to help a minimalist mom with a baby not to get over whelmed.

Stick to the list

When you are out shopping for the baby have a list of stuff you need for the baby. Stick to the list if you need diapers and baby food, just get diapers and baby food. You don’t need to look at baby clothes and toys if the baby doesn’t need them. When you do find something that the baby needs that wasn’t on the list. Make sure it’s actually something the baby needs, not something you think the baby needs.

Plan a head and switch items out.

Babies go through many stages. Knowing what a baby needs for each stage, can help you plan ahead. Planning a head on what will go where can help maximize the space. With each stage a baby needs different items. They need swings and bouncers during the first few months, entertainment centers, walkers and highchairs once they get more mobile. Switching out what a baby needs for each stage of development, can help keep clutter from happening with the unused baby items.  

Not to many clothes

Baby clothes may be tiny, however when you get an abundance of clothes they can take up a lot of space. Having enough clothes for two or three weeks, that you can mismatch outfits will save space and still give you plenty of choices for your little one to wear. Babies outgrow clothes very quickly, having several different sizes in a small amount is more practical than have a bunch of clothes in one size and having to find more space for a bunch of clothing in the next size.

Baby items

When babies need a lot of items that take up space, you can get smaller items or multipurpose items. Here is items that can be minimized/have multipurpose use.

  • Changing pad – Instead of getting a changing table that you can only use in one space, get a changing pad that you can move room to room making diaper changes easier. Once they start rolling around you can move the mat to the floor and keeping changes constant.
  • Pack in plays all in one – a pack and play is a very useful baby item for on the go, and offers a place for the baby to sleep outside of the crib.  Some pack in plays also come with accessories such as changing pad, diaper storage and bounces. By having the added on accessories it helps safe space by having it all in one place, and it can grow with the baby by take accessories off.
  • Push walkers– Walkers help babies learn to walk. A regular walker has a tray and a seat that you put the baby on, they then push off the ground to move. Compared to a push walker that has activities for the baby on one side and a bar for the baby to hold on to and push on to learn to walk. A push walker is more space friendly than a regular walker and also provides entertainment
  • Play yard– a play yard is very convent to help keep babies in a safe area. They can be broken up to also be gates to keep babies on the move safe and confined. Compared to traditional gates that fall down easily or have to be screwed into the walls, a play yard is easier and multipurpose.

Being a minimalist mom has helped me from being over whelmed with my sons stuff while still making sure he has what he needs.   

It’s Okay For Boys To Cry

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Many boys are told that it is a sign of weakness to show emotions. They are told to “Man up” and “boys don’t cry”. Emotions are associated with women and a boy can’t be masculine when they act like women by crying.

Boys will be boys has come to include that men will be violent, instead of adventurous and getting dirty. Teaching boys and men it’s not okay to share emotions, can hinder them for the long run. Built up emotions can come out in forms of aggression and violence that can cause them to lash out at. They don’t know how to communicate well without emotions. Not having an outlet to express emotions can lead to substance abuse, stress, depression and unhealthy relationship patterns. Boys are taught to be dominant, be in control, avoid appearing weak, and to hide emotions.

Men are supposed to be the foundation for a family. They can’t be weak because when they are weak they can’t hold it together and be there for the emotional women in their lives. Many men can’t even handle a woman crying because they do not understand emotions. A man could distances himself in a relationship when he becomes overwhelmed with emotions.  

Men and boys make up the highest fatal suicide rate, highest drug overdoses, and more likely to be a mass shooter. Without an outlet to express emotions they can become over whelming, so they turn to drugs or killing themselves and others. When boys do become emotional they get harassed and bullied by their peers.

I never want my son to think he can’t cry or share his emotions. I will teach him that he can always come to me if he has any problems. He will know he can still be masculine and have emotions. I am raising my son knowing one day he will be a husband and a father. He will need to know how to share his emotions in a healthy way.

Being a Type A Mom

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A person who is a Type A personality is considered to have excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, unrealistic sense of urgency, cares about what others think of them, perfectionist and overachievers. I have always been a Type A person, to the point when things are not planned out I get anxiety and stressed out. I have been called controlling throughout my life, causing the end of several relationships and friendships. Being a Type A person I am very detail oriented with list and calendars for everything.

When I first found out I was pregnant one of the first things I did was set up list on everything we need to prepare and weekly calendar alerts for updates. I am a person who needs to know when, where, and how for events. Towards the end of my pregnancy I had so much anxiety and stress because I did not know when my son was coming. People kept telling me to calm down you are on the baby’s time, it was hard for me to not get stressed out because of the unknown and how I couldn’t plan things around his birth because it could have happened at any time.

I had people tell me once you have kids you will never be on time for anything again. Being late to things has always given me anxiety, I am the type of person that will be thirty minutes early for everything. If I know I need to go somewhere I start preparing once I get up, this includes getting my son ready early with even time for possible problems such as tantrums and blow outs.

I often find myself comparing my son’s development to other babies his age or close to his age to see how he is comparing and adjusting to milestones. Type A people are very competitive and perfectionist. I feel like I fail at times when my son is a little behind on some milestones, then I get proud when he is ahead. I know every child develops at different rates, but that doesn’t keep the competitiveness away its human nature after all.    

Every decision with my son I make, from what he wears to what he eats. I know once he gets more independent as he gets older. I also know it will be a slow process of giving up control, since I pick out his clothes in stores for him to wear and get the food for him to eat.

Patience is a virtue, a virtue that I do not know. As a Type A mom patience is something I need to learn. I am person who likes to get task done and not waste time by putting it off. However having a baby with me all the time makes it hard to get some task done as quickly as I wish, even writing this article took several hours.

Being a Type A person is not something I can’t stop being it is a part of who I am. A mom is a major part of who I am. I have become a Type A mom, it has its struggles and causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. However being a Type A mom makes me always early or on time and teaches me patience.

Not Every Day Is Easy

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When people look on social media they only see a snippet of your life. They only see the parts that you share with them. The smiling cuddly baby, the ever adoring husband, and the obedient puppy is all people see of my life. However, like everyone else I have rough days with my family.

My son isn’t even a year old yet, but that doesn’t mean every day is a picnic. My son is a very clingy momma’s boy, so he always wants my attention 24/7 with no break.  This is very draining on me both mentally and physically, at times I don’t want to have a baby climbing all over me. Late nights of teething and constant nursing, can make for hard days of praying for long naps. But as any parent knows it doesn’t work that way. He is a great mostly happy baby with his moments of fits. I know it will only get worse as he gets older and when I have more kids. However ever hard moment will come with many more happy moments

Anyone in a relationship knows it is not always “a walk in the park”.  Ever healthy relationship has disagreements and rough patches. With pressure of kids, work, finances, family, and the every day to day can add stress to a marriage.  Our spouses become our outlet for our frustrations in our life. In my marriage my husband is my sounding board.  I am a very vocal person on my emotions, and I hate letting things sit and I need it to be fix as soon as possible.  While my husband is someone who likes to think things over and then just let it go. The way we argue is different, but it works, it is very hot and cold.

Being a dog parent can be just as challenging as being a parent to a child. Dogs become part of the family. Any good pet owner gets very invested in our pets. They have good and bad days just like us. They get sick, depressed or hyper, sometimes they don’t listen, they destroy stuff and sometimes they are well behaved. My Austrian Shepard will be two at the end of the year, she is still a puppy and has her moments when she is so wind up that it takes a while to calm her down. I wish most das she will lose her voice box, because the barking is never ending.  She is also very obsess with my son loves to share her toys and food with him. Watching to make sure she isn’t giving him dog food, or having to yell at her for constantly wanting to like his face can become very repetitive.

 Some days are just hard to be a parent and be in a relationship. When we share our lives people don’t see the hardships. They believe your life is struggle free not realizing it is hard for you at time as well. No One has a perfect day every day. No family is perfect, we all have our hard times.

How Having a Food Allergy And How it Affects My Family’s Life.

When I was eighteen years old I ate a small can of cashews. The next day I woke up with my lips triple their size, eyes swollen, sharp pain in my throat, and hard to breath. I developed an anaphylaxis allergy to cashews and related tree nuts and related fruit. My food allergy includes: cashews, pistachio, pecan, mangos, and papaya. I avoid all other tree nuts and tropical fruit because of how closely they are related to my allergy foods, they can even send me into minor allergy attacks. I CAN EAT PEANUTS BECAUSE IT IS NOT A TREE NUT IT IS MORE CLOSELY RELATED TO BEANS THAN TREE NUTS.

Ever since my allergy attack when I was eighteen, I have to watch what I eat. The fear of cross-contamination in foods have become my every day. I am always checking the back of products for “may contain tree nuts”. It is not just food I have to watch for, Procter & Gamble uses tree nut oils in their products, some medications use tree nut oils or mango flavoring. I have carried epiPens until they got too expensive with a monopoly on them $300 to $650 for a pack of two, which has to be replaced every few months. It became easier to just avoid my allergen than have to pay for new epiPens. I can take benadryl with minor reactions.

When I first started dating my now husband a few months after my allergy attack, one of the first things I mentioned was my food allergy. If he wanted to be intimate with me, he had to be careful on what he ate around me. He chose to give up tree nuts so not to risk me having an allergic reaction.

When my son was starting to get to the point of eating purees, I had to look at his baby food to make sure that it doesn’t have mango in it. I have to be selective on what he eats because he is exclusively breastfed and can cross-contaminate to me, making me break out in hives. When he gets older and no longer breastfeed he will be introduced to mango.  Tree nuts would have to be introduced to him away from me because even the dust makes me react.

When I go out to gatherings with friends and family I am always asked if I can eat something or not. It gets old quickly always having to repeat what I can and can’t eat. I still have family who cooks with tree nuts so I am always checking with them on what they put in some stuff like cookies, they get annoyed by it every time. Living with a food allergy isn’t easy and can affect so many people in my life.

Fear of Mom Shame

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NO mom is perfect. NO child is raised perfectly.  Many moms are afraid to share stories or ask advice because the fear of being attacked by mom shammers.

Mom shaming is the judging and bullying of other moms for their parenting choices that they make for their child. Mom’s judge other moms over pretty much anything. Most moms who mom shame believe that they are doing what is best the child by telling the mom that what she is doing is wrong. Whether it is on what the child is eating/ drinking, wearing, or doing moms who mom shame will judge moms on. If a child isn’t raised to the way a mom is doing it with her child she will shame you.

I am a young mom. I became pregnant with my son at 23, had my son at 24. I have been mom shamed on social media because how young I am. The mom shammer believed I would be a bad mom because I didn’t have any “life experience” so I wouldn’t know how to raise my child. She tried to give me advice on how to raise me child since as she seen it “I didn’t know what I was doing”. Because I was mom shamed even before having my son I became afraid to share my journey with him and asked for advice from people knowing I would hear the “I told you so” comments.

I have also been a mom shammer when I thought a child was turned around so soon in against the APA guidelines. I felt bad messaging the mom the guidelines and laws, but I believed I was helping her do what was best for her child. She said thank you, but did not turn her child back around.

Whether you feed your child out of a box or organically, stay at home mom or working mom, feed your kids cow milk or not, spank your child or not, co sleep or not, use the cry it out method or hold your child all the time. You are a good mother and DO NOT be afraid to share your parenting journey. Just tell those mom shammers thank you for your opinion, then keep doing what is best for your child. Every child is different, everyone’s parenting style is different.

Preparing Your Pet For A Baby

Pets are a big part of people’s lives. The love an owner develops for a pet is strong, they become part of the family. Many people even prefer their dog’s or cat’s company over other people. So when it comes to making sure that our pets are comfortable is very important to us.

One thing that most people never think about when they get pregnant is preparing their dog for the new arrival. Our pets take time to adjust to things like we humans do. Babies come with a lot of stuff and noises. Giving your dog time to react to all the new changes before your new arrival comes into their space, will have a better outcome than just “ripping the band aid off” by bring the baby in. By letting your dog adjust to everything, you can keep your dog from lashing out at your baby, keeping the dog from becoming depressed, or the dog getting overly jealous.

When my husband and I first found out we were expecting our son we just got an Australian Sheppard a few months prior to finding out. She quickly became very spoiled, with a lot of toys and attention. We lucked out with her because she is very smart, she was pottied trained in only a few day of having her. However like most Aussies she is also very stubborn with picking up tricks she only wanted to learn sit, shake and lay down. Once we found out about our bundle of joy coming I started to look into what will help my spoiled Aussie expect my son. Here is what we did

Talk to your vet

Luckily for us we already had a vet appointment scheduled for our dog not long after we found out. We made sure she was updated on all shots and had no fleas or worms. We asked our vet what she recommended to get ready our dog ready. Some of the below listed is what she recommended.

Get baby’s stuff and set it up slowly over the 9 months.

 The number one thing our vet recommended is getting the baby stuff set up over 9 months instead of all at once. We set up the crib in the baby’s room first, then slowly set everything else up such as a swing and pack and plays. By slowly introducing things to her it helped her learn not to be afraid of them and to get use to them.

Baby Noises and Grabbing

We all know babies make a ton of noises from crying to babbling to just full on screaming.  Plus they also love to pull on things like hair and anything they can grab easily. We started to play baby sounds and very gently pulling on our dog to start getting her use to it. She was confused with the noises at first but adopted over time to the point that it didn’t make her confused or anxious her. The pulling did not phase her but helped her understand what to expect.  Of course we don’t let our baby pull on our dog but he does try to grab at her a lot. I can trust to know she wont bite him if he gets a pull on her fur.

Pets Safe Space and Dog Free Zones

Like humans dogs need to have their alone time and a space to have it.  Our dog uses her air kennel as her place she goes to when she is overwhelmed and needs some alone time. Having dog free zones are just as important as have a space for your dog. We have a play yard we set up when we want a dog free space and use pack and plays for safe places for baby to play away from the dog.

Play Time and Training

Your pet goes from having all the attention on them, to having to split the time, or even getting hardly anytime on them once the baby comes. Our dog is still a hyperactive puppy who needs to have time and attention to run around. My husband and I trade time out with the baby and the puppy, making sure they get time with both of us. When we are with our dog we try challenging her to help get energy out by working on training such as leave it command, stay and come command. Having playtime as a whole family is important, by showing both the dog and baby to be gentle with each other.

Making sure your dog feels at home and comfortable will make running your home easier. Our pets are family to us, preparing them for the new arrival is just as important as preparing ourselves

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