Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lumpy Leo

Leo is our AKC registered chocolate lab. His registered name is Leonitis III. Leonitis from the movie 300. My dad calls him Lumpy Leo, my brother in law calls him Lucifer and I call him my pain in the ass.

We bought Leo when I was between four and five months pregnant with Bradley. The pregnancy hormones clearly affected my thought process. Chris had previously wanted a dog before we had a baby and this was my idea of a solution. The ad in the local paper specified the blocky head a lab should have. Yes, Leo is our blockhead through and through.

The spring semester of my junior year in college I had a little extra time on my hands. That Christmas my mom bought me a book, "Marley and Me." I read it in my spare time. I laughed, I cried and I just fell in love with all of it. As Chris and I drove two hours, I laughed as I thought about Marley, the yellow lab, and remembered to check the demeanor of both parents. By the time we arrived at the farm, I had forgotten.

Within the first few days of owning him, I sent the following email to my family:

Day One (Saturday, April 19):

Got him from Amish people. Chris thought he was lazy and not playful enough. He cried a lot. Separation anxiety. He followed me around everywhere. We got bath stuff, toys, crate, food (Puppy Chow), treats a couple retriever magazines and feeding dishes. His name started out as Stewy but got changed to Leo (short for Leonitis). Leo was asked to go to his first birthday party at PetSmart on Tuesday. He stays close to your heels at all times. We went to a cookout and he was the hit of the party. A train went by and whistled, Leo ran mock ten to me and hid. We went home that night, it was late. Chris wanted Leo to sleep with us. He had no accidents in the house.

Day Two (Sunday, April 20):

Chris got up in the middle of the night once to let Leo out. Slept with us all night. Chris didn't get much sleep because he was afraid the dog would poo and it would somehow end up on his face. He sleeps a lot during the day. I tell Chris it's because he's growing. We went outside in the early morning and played. Then Leo and I took a nap. He's a cuddler right now. Ch ris is jealous when we go outside in the afternoon and Leo listens to me more then Chris. There are no accidents in our house. Chris can't get Leo to pee or poo outside, but I can. We played outside again with Leo at night. Chris sat and watched. Then made fun of a preggo lady for running. He said it looks funny.. Chris takes Leo out before going to bed. The dog didn't pee or poo. Leo sleeps with us again. Chris keeps pushing him to the bottom of the bed because Leo breathes in his ear. I keep pulling Leo back up. He wants to lay his head on the pillow.

Day Three (Monday, April 21):

I get up early with Leo. We go outside and go to the bathroom. Then we head back to bed and sleep for another half hour/forty-five minutes. We eat a quick breakfast and put Leo in his crate. We leave at 830 and Leo is crying. He doesn't like being alone. Chris comes home at ten and lets Leo out. He peed in his crate. No big deal, we expect it. He runs with Leo for a little bit. Chris goes to school about ten fifteen, ten thirty. I come home about one. Leo is screaming at the top of his lungs. Leo pooped in his crate. It got all over the three toys Chris put in there. Leo only has a few tennis balls to play with now. I take Leo out. I clean the crate and clean the toys. Leo decides to grab the paper towel roll and try to run with it. I take it from him. Then he grabs the plastic bag I use to put the dirty paper towels in. He doesn't let go. I finally open his jaws and take it. I give him a clean tennis ball to play with. I ask the neighbor if she would watch him for a little so he doesn't cry. We'd be home around 430. She does. We come home at 430, there are no more accidents. I take Leo out to go poop and pee and we run around a little. Chris goes for a run then comes home and takes Leo for a run to the mailbox and a run back. I think Leo is mad at us. I make dinner. Chris is taunting Leo with his hand. Leo tries to bite it. I yell at Chris. I tell him he's teaching Leo to bite hands he says no he's teasing him. I tell him Leo doesn't know the difference. Chris says I'm being mean to him. I tell Chris I'm not and I know a little more about raising dogs then he does. I work on military things. Chris plays with Leo. He isn't good at being stern at telling him no. I have a talk with Chris. He tries. I go to bed. Chris takes Leo to bed with us, I make Chris take him outside first. Chris asked why. I said so he doesn't pee or poop on the bed. Chris takes Leo out he pees. They come back in. Leo knows it's bedtime. We all go to sleep.

Day Four (Tuesday, April 22):

Leo wakes me up at 645. We go outside and go to the bathroom. He doesn't want to go back to bed today. I feed him. He has to go poop so I take him outside again. He goes poop and then comes back in. He still doesn't want to go to sleep. He started to drag the carpet around. I yell at him. I wake up Chris, Chris doesn't want to get up. I tell him he has to. I put the dog on the bed. He cries.. Chris wants to know why he's crying. I say it's because the dog wants to get off the bed and play. He doesn't stop crying. I get up and start playing with the dog. I do laundry. The dog grabs the towl and starts pulling. He doesn't let go. I try to replace it with another toy. It works briefly. The dog is bouncing off the walls the walls today. I make Chris watch him while I take a shower. Chris and the dog are sleeping. It's now 830. Leo is full of shit and vinegar. It must be the puppy chow.

Leo continued to be a Marley. When we got our new house he was very excited. He only went to the bathroom once. Since that day he was officially house broken. While pregnant there were many frustrating points such as Leo jumping in the shower with me. Since he was already in the shower we decided we should just watch him. This would continue for the next few months.

Although Leo has eaten mold, thrown it up and ate it again while we ran for paper towels, eaten part of our deck, many baby toys, diapers, already dead fish he finds on walks, a plastic kiddie pool and countless items from the garbage he has survived it all. Leo is an angel when it comes to Bradley. The baby pulls on his tail, has investigated Leo's paws, bitten Leo's leg, pulled the skin beneath Leo's eyes and tugged on his ears. Leo takes it all. He has never once snipped, snapped, growled or barked at the baby. The best part is they have a conspiracy together. Bradley feeds Leo any chance he gets, giving Leo a lick of this or that before Bradley pops it into his mouth or just plain hands him food, or leaves him leftovers on the floor. All Bradley asks for in return is to use Leo as a jungle gym. Don't get me wrong, Leo did give Bradley a doggy treat one day. Oh the things you find in the mouth of a toddler with a quick finger swipe.

While Leo has his moments, I will never forget the way he reacted the night before I miscarried. Chris and I already knew our baby had no heartbeat. In a rare occurrence I wanted Leo to cuddle with us in bed. Typically Leo doesn't come over to my side of the bed and if he does it's his attempt to push me off with his legs or his incessant barking at me. The scenario normally ends with me complaining to Chris until it's taken care of. This night in particular Leo laid his head on my belly and closed his eyes, not moving and I didn't want him to move.

While Leo has his funny moments, moments of disaster and frustration he also has a kind, caring, patient and warmer side. Even though his rudder of a tail can knock anyone or anything off it's course he means well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pure Satisfaction

At my first ultrasound with Bradley I knew I was in for it when the technician exclaimed how active my child already was. She also said she had "never seen a baby so active early on in pregnancy like this. " My best friend, Renae, and I looked at the monitor and at seven and a half weeks pregnant, it most certainly looked like he was doing cartwheels, somersaults and any other acrobatic act found in the circus of my uterus.

Bradley's first trip to the pediatrician, as a newborn, only confirmed what the ultrasound technician previous found months earlier. "You are going to have your hands full with this one. He's going to be very active." I looked at my child, he was only days old, maybe a week. How on earth could they tell this? Eleven months later I now chase Bradley at a high rate of speed. Not only does my son crawl faster then a speeding bullet but stands on his own and is learning to take his first steps by himself, a little more courageous every day. I can only imagine he will be running faster then the speed of sound shortly.

One can only guess how difficult it can be to keep up with our little bundle of joy. Two nights ago my husband and I adopted an idea my best friend and her husband strive for. Every night before going to bed, they pick up the house. By the end of the night, it's clear cleaning is the last thing on our mind, but we tried it the first night and it made the next day much easier.

Last night I was very tired and reluctant to follow through with the new rule, but I pushed myself to do it anyhow. The baby was fast asleep by eight. Chris was at school and then he'd be at the gym following his night class. I struggled even more knowing I was on my own without the extra hand to help in the endeavor. About half an hour later a friend of mine stopped by to drop off a shirt. As we sat and talked at my kitchen table I looked around and was very pleased I didn't feel like I had to explain why the dishes weren't done, kitchen still a mess, crumbs from animal crackers trailed throughout the house, juicy cups strategically placed or a sea of toddler treasures scattered like gold on the ocean floor. Instead I sighed in relief as I enjoyed time well spent with a new friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Everything Blue

This past week at the local grocery store blueberries were on sale, "Buy one get one free with your Price Chopper card." After little contemplation I decided, why the heck not? Earlier in the week I had been craving blueberry muffins and never before had I made them from scratch. I love to cook and bake so I thought it would be a wonderful new baking adventure. Now mind you these little containers weren't the standard small size normally sold at the grocery but quite large, you know the larger strawberry size containers, which reminded me of my childhood.

As a little girl I remember my Aunt Claire and Uncle Neil taking my brother and I blueberry picking. They talked it up and it was going to be a fun adventure. Hours later I hardly had any blueberries in my bucket. I ate a lot of them and I'm pretty sure I had a tummy ache. While at the grocery store I reminisced about what it must have been like in fields picking blueberry after blueberry for hours on end.

As I was unloading the groceries, and the baby, I came to the realization I really did have a lot of blueberries. I needed to do something. The next morning, Friday, I made blueberry muffins as I planned. The only problem was the recipe called for only one cup of blueberries, which really wasn't as much as I thought it was. Regardless the recipe only made twelve muffins and they were delicious. Chris referred to them as blueberry cupcakes all day. Between Chris, Bradley and me we ate about five of them. The remaining seven, although an odd number, we gave to our neighbor Carol, who was more then pleased to have homemade muffins.

The next morning I was determined to use up more of those blueberries. We hardly eat pancakes and I thought it would be a great way to get rid of some of the fruit. I pulled one of our dining room chairs up to the counter and had Bradley stand on it. In my mind I thought it would be fun for my almost toddler to help me cook breakfast. Bradley's idea of stirring the pancake batter was dunking his entire hand in the bowl and squishing it with his fingers. Good thing his hands were clean and it was just us eating the meal. After cleaning up his little mess I thought he would enjoy putting the blueberries in the batter, instead he was taking handfuls of blueberries and shoving them in his mouth. I was dreading future diaper changes. Turns out things weren't nearly as bad as I thought they would be.

Sunday I decided to make more blueberry muffins, this time sending the remaining treats with Uncle Brad. I still have almost a full container of blueberries left. Although I think we are blueberried out, I may try one more recipe of something blue.

To Die For Blueberry Muffins (

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

This week has been a very good one for the Campos Family. Bradley has taken his first steps, at almost eleven months old. These are the only ones we have on video, that we could catch anyway. They are his actual first consecutive steps. We can now get him up to seven in a row at times! Enjoy!!

On top of everything else, Bradley got his first hair cut today. I've only put up a few of the 25 pictures I took! He was a doll and they said it was the first time a baby didn't cry and was cooperative!

Bradley was a little shocked to be getting his hair squirted in the beginning but he was ok with it.

And he was fine with the cape and just watching Lisa (my hairdresser) cut his hair in the mirror.

Some parts toward the end he was squirmy but other then that he was great!

Lisa would stop every once in awhile to give Bradley a squirt in the mouth of her water bottle which he loved!

Shortly after this picture she used the clippers and Bradley didn't mind one bit. He was such a good boy.

He was so good we got icecream afterward. Don't you love the big boy haircut and cute messy little face! He looks so grown up!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mom Friendly

Recently I have tried a new product, it's Sally Hensen hair remover for legs. I had a coupon and thought why the heck not. Spray it on, take it off in the shower. Well I have come to find out it is not really mom friendly. I love the product but as I was sitting in my bathroom, legs white and foamy, not only could I not move because I had to leave the product on for three minutes but I worried about the baby waking up from his nap and me running through our hall white foam flying off my legs in order to get my child. Needless to say in those eternity minutes I paced around the bathroom, carefully trying not to touch anything and thought to myself all the other things I could be doing in those three minutes of nothing. I could have been making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, getting a head start on chopping stuff for dinner, sanitizing toys or a whirlwind of other things. My three minutes didn't last long as I jumped in the shower, one and a half minutes early. I felt like I could do some sort of back bend in order to at least wash my hair while I was waiting. It didn't work and I ended up rinsing my legs too soon. I definitely was amazed to see some of the hair come off my legs but spent the rest of my shower time shaving as usual.