Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIP Ms. Miya May Mocha

We recently had to make the tough decision to put down our first 'baby', Ms. Miya May Mocha. It has been close to a month now, so I think I can spare you all of the emotional toll that it took on us. She would have been eleven years old in January, so she lived a long and happy life. She was such a sweet dog, with a wonderful temperament for our kids! She put up with a lot of my shenanigans - she (and Jinx) have been dressed up every Halloween until last year and have been in most of our Christmas pictures.
We brought her home within the first year of our marriage when she was only 8 weeks old. She was THE cutest puppy!!!

Her facial expression was always priceless - you could just tell she tolerated my silliness because she loved me!
All of our kids loved her, and she let them climb all over her! Easton definitely misses her the most. Miya would let him lay on her (usually cuddled up in the niche between her belly and front legs) while he drank his bottles. I wish I had a picture!
She went down hill fast. The vet did both an x-ray and blood work on the day we took her in. They found that Miya had a tumor wrapped around her heart and water around her lungs. Her blood work pointed towards cancer also. It was an easy - yet heart wrenching - decision. We knew she was hurting and putting her down was the best choice :(

We all miss her dearly, but it has been especially hard on our other dog Jinx. He wouldn't eat the first week. He always let her go outside first and eat first - so he has had difficulty 'relearning' how to do these things alone. When he does go out, he wanders the back yard as if he is looking for her. What a love/hate relationship they had! He is slowly getting back to his new normal, and we hope he sticks around for awhile (he turned eleven this past October)!

Thank you to everyone who sent us cards and emails expressing your sympathy - it is so nice to know that the world is full of dog people!!!

Christmas Cards - Decisions, Decisions

Last year I made adorable, customized photo calendars from Shutterfly for our immediate family. I loved how easy it was to upload and select my own photos to add to their huge variety of photo collage layouts. It was simple (which I love), and they turned out beautifully. Here is how ours looks (ignore the mess on the actual calendar part!) Shhh... I will be making them again this year! I love that the 'old' photos that I uploaded from last year are still in my account. As I work on the 2011 calendars, having quick access to the old photos will make it that much easier to mix the old with the more recent pics to make gorgeous new calendars.

Since I loved how the calendars turned out, I have been checking out (or maybe obsessing over) Shutterfly's beautiful Christmas Photo cards. I love how you can select card previews based upon the number of photos you want to add. I am especially partial to the cards that allow space for one larger photo and four small photos. I like to include a large family pictures, and then showcase individual pictures - on the front of the card. They have some beautiful choices!
The first one that I am loving is:
Another that I love is:
I don't know how I will make the choice :{

If I can't decide soon, I may just have to send out New Year cards instead :)

Shutterfly has wonderful prices, and you can buy them in as large or as little quantity as you like!

And... if you are a blogger, they have a great deal for you!!! Head over here and check out their opportunity to earn 50 free cards! What is better than free?!?!?
*This post is part of Shutterfly's 50 free card deal ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween! (Just a little late)

Elvis, I mean Lincoln, entered our building during the day! We love to have him come and visit us. He looked so cute in his costume, and even had blue 'suede' shoes for the actual night.
Quin loves it when her 'Baby Lincoln' comes to visit. She can't keep her hands off of him. It is also fun to see how the triplets interact more with him each time he comes to visit.

Abbey and I took on the task of trying for a Halloween picture - to no avail. This is the best :(
Later that night, Quin had a ball trick or treating! She met up with her best bud, Izzy, and they roamed the streets together. Okay, it was only a few houses, but Quin loved every minute of it.
Besides getting the candy, Quin loved eating the candy, seeing the costumes and handing out the candy.
While she was gone, they babes and I handed out candy. The triplets thought it was great fun to see all of the kids too. This is how everyone was greeted at our house.
I was just happy I didn't have any of my animals escape from our zoo!
I was shocked at the volume of kids this year! The most we have ever had was 500. I bought over 450 pieces this year, and we were completely out with more than an hour left of trick or treating hours. I raided the stash of candy that Jason hid before I started passing out candy, and even raided Quin's bag for a few treats when she wasn't looking.
I felt horrible! I had to post this sign on our door :(
Watch though - next year I will buy for more kids, and have less. Just the way it is!

We Live in a Zoo!

Jason's mom always tells people that we live in a 'Gated Community'. Sounds so posh, right?!?!
Unfortunately, when you take a look at the gates within our 'community' you realize that we live with hooligans, no, it is more like animals!
Given the constant chaos, playing, running, yelling... at our house, it was only perfect that our Halloween theme be zoo animals! Quin actually came up with the idea when she and I visited the zoo a few months ago. She originally wanted to be a penguin, but we struggled to find a cute and somewhat realistic penguin costume. Her second choice was a kangaroo!
Quin also had the triplets costumes picked out by the time we had left the zoo. She thought Ellery should be a giraffe.
She thought Gianna should be a bear, but again - we found it hard to find a cute and realistic bear costume. Quin's second choice for G was a lion.
And of course, she chose a monkey for Easton.
I have to give her credit for her choices! Each costume choice was very believable, and with good reason :) Ellery is by far the tallest, Gianna loves to cuddle and has quite the roar, and Easton never stops climbing.
Gianna wasn't a big fan of her costume and was in quite a tizzy about the head piece (I can't say I blame her). Easton took full advantage, and thought it would be a great time to tweak her nose! Nothing like a tormenting your older sisters ;)
Everywhere you turn in our house, there are gates - I am sure they feel like caged in animals. They love to hang on them (evident on the above gates), and they love to try to push through this one!
Just in case you didn't believe me - Easton LOVES to climb! There was no encouragement here!