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My husband and I are both dog people, which means we both have childhood and teenage memories of dogs that were essentially part of the family. I grew up with Springer Spaniels—first, Dublin and then Bridy. My husband grew up with a St. Bernard, Coors, who in its short life gave the family more than a few happy stories.
With all of our apartment living and travel over the past 7 years of marriage, we’ve been pet less, except for the close call we had with a pug purchase about 5 years ago. Living in an apartment in Minneapolis at the time, so many of our neighbors had small dogs and I started seeing a parade of miniature bulldogs and pugs in and out of the elevators. I caught the bug, so to speak, and made an appointment at a breeder soon after. I got to cuddle and play and satisfy my pug fetish for a good 20 minutes. Fortunately, a chat with our parents (the ones who had already raised dogs) put things in perspective, as they reminded us that our jetting to and fro over the weekends, not to mention our long hours during the week, was not fitting lifestyles for a pug. So the phase passed and life went on.
Here we are 5 years later, and boy have things changed. Settled in suburban Ohio, I’m no longer walking up stairwells but rather a driveway to our garage and house (yes, life called for it!) and 3 beautiful daughters. With a fenced in yard, a basement and three eager helpers, we’ve asked ourselves if we’re ready for a dog. My almost 5 year old has requested a dog for her birthday and I have to say, I’m very tempted. That is until my husband tells her, “Maybe when you’re a teenager…” and then steels me that “Are you out of your mind” look. You know the one I’m talking aboutJ. Something tells me that he’s not ready to expand our brood. Perhaps it was the 3 kids in 4 years that makes me not push back….not yet anyway.
Enter our lovely neighbors: Peter & Linda are a 50 something couple with 2 children recently out of college. They have 3 very friendly dogs that make their way up to the fence that divides our yards to be caressed and scratched by little hands that fit through the openings. This past weekend, Mary (4) and Clara (3) went out for a little adventure with their dad, which left me and Annie (15 months) a few hours to frolic the morning away outside. On our walk home from the playground, we stopped outside to chat with Linda who was gardening with their golden retriever. Annie was entertained for awhile, but then started making her way to Linda’s front door, through the mulch piles, to catch a glimpse of her smaller dog. I chased after her and brought her back to me. Once back, she took off again, with that same determination past the wheel barrow, over the mulch piles and up to the front door where she pushed herself up against the screen to see the dog. This sequence repeated itself 4 times. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th time I find myself crouched next to her at the foot of the door, about to explain why we can’t go into the neighbors’ house and she just looks at the dog and says “TUCKER”…. “TUCKER”…. Oh my! Was this a sign? Annie has said Mama & Dada up until that point, and that was it. Wow—I guess the neighbor’s dog had made quite an impression!
For now, it looks like we’re going to hold off on the dog purchase, despite my daughter’s birthday request, or my other daughter’s 3rd word tribute to Tucker. Unless that dog can cook, clean and walk itself, we are probably in for a little wait. Still, I want my kids to grow up with a dog and I hope I can make that happen in the next few years. For now I’ll have to be pleased with the dog days of summer and enjoying Linda and Peter’s brood next door.
Mary and Clara over Memorial Day
Annie shmoozing with the neighborhood pooches
Annie and Tucker
Meghan is the Communication and Licensing Director at Step2. Meghan is a mom to three little girls, all under the age of 5, who are best friends and worst enemies at the same time. Meghan, married to her husband of 8 years, loves to travel, try new foods, and has recently become a big fan of Downtown Abby. It’s a real treat when she and husband get a babysitter and over-order at their favorite sushi restaurant.
By Step2 on May 6th, 2013 | Posted in We're Moms Too
Written by Sara S.
My husband has been working nights for the past few weeks. It took a bit of time for the kids and I to get used to it. Meanwhile, they began sneaking into my bed during the night… knowing that I have been too tired to kick them out.
Ryan started coming into my bed in the middle of the night and I wouldn’t notice it or I would be too tired to send him back to his own room. For goodness sake, there is plenty of room in the king bed for me and a five year old. But that’s where I was wrong.
Somehow Grizz started coming in too. I thought it was Ryan because Brady never would get out of his bed at night without calling out – “Mommy where are you?” Mommy where are you?” I am pretty sure that meant – “Mommy come get me or Mommy come here.” Grizz has a phobia that adds disruption to sleep. He won’t put his feet under the covers because he is convinced there might be spiders lurking under there waiting to bite his feet; so the safest place for his feet is on top of the covers.
The bedtime visits have escalated and now I have two bed bugs. One comes in around 1am and the other one stumbles in sometime later. I woke up the other morning to Brady sleeping with his feet in Ryan’s face. Both fast asleep.
I think it’s time for them to share a room. At least then they can crawl into bed with each other.
I remember crawling into bed with my parents. It was the safest and happiest feeling. If they said “no,” and sent me back to my room I remember feeling so sad and scared. Those memories make it harder for me to be stern with my own kids and send them marching back into their own cold and dark rooms.
I will be strong when Chris is done working nights and we can enforce the kids sleeping in their own beds!
Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys. She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.
By Step2 on April 1st, 2013 | Posted in We're Moms Too
Written by Tena
While taking a quick glance through my personal Facebook page earlier in the week, I passed over a post that caught my attention.
The post was a picture of an adorable little boy who is the son of a good friend of mine from high school. He looked about my son’s age and the post was:
“Potty chair, check. Big boy under pants, check. Potty watch, check.”
I did a double take of the post. Until that moment, I had never heard of a potty watch, and I needed to learn more about it.
I commented to the post, “What is a potty watch?” and realized (moments after posting) that I didn’t have time to wait for her answer. I needed to find out for myself. I went to Amazon and searched for “potty watch”. I read several reviews and the product description. A few minutes and $10 later, I had a potty watch on its way to our home.
Since then, I’ve been telling others about the potty watch and I don’t even own it yet. I’m just so excited by the concept that I cannot keep my mouth shut.
Because of my role here at Step2 I am always reading up on the power of social word of mouth and have seen it from the business side happen quite often. This was my first conscious experience of being influenced, socially, to purchase a product sight unseen. Now, I cannot stop my mind from wandering and pondering and I want to know more!
What products have you purchased for you, your children, or your family that you’ve made as a result of word of mouth? Have they lived up to your expectations? What would you recommend that others buy?
Here are my list of products that I would recommend to any and everyone:
The jury is still out on the power of the potty watch for me. It shipped out yesterday and is due to arrive today. I clearly was so excited that I inadvertently ordered a pink version for my son, but I’m certain he won’t mind.
Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011. Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work. She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.
By Step2 on March 4th, 2013 | Posted in We're Moms Too
Written by Ashley
I firmly believe my yellow lab Peak knew I was pregnant before anyone else. Before I even saw that plus sign, Peak had already edited his behavior. His typical jumping upon my arrival home from work came to a halt and he’d lay his head on my belly when we I slept. This lasted the entirety of my pregnancy (and to this day his puppy tendencies are finally gone!).
You might think we’re crazy, but my husband and I often refer to Peak as our first born. Knowing that not all dogs mesh well with babies, we feared how he would react when our new roommate arrived home. I asked my OBGYN multiple times how I could prepare the dog for the new baby. I also asked friends with pets and kids. The best advice I received was to have someone bring something of Chloe’s home to Peak before bringing Chloe home.
My best friend of 20 years took Chloe’s little newborn hat to our house the day she was born. When she walked in, she let Peak sniff it. You see, Peak has an addition to anything fabric – he is constantly stealing socks – so this was a brave move. Anyone who knows me has heard countless stories of where we’ve found socks in the house – post digested. So when Jackie showed him the small fabric hat, she assumed he would steal it and run off with it, only to be seen again a few hours later on the floor in the corner of our bedroom. Rather, she was stunned by his reaction. She told me that after she placed the hat on the kitchen floor, he gently walked over to it, sniffed it, and left it there.
This made me feel better about their upcoming meeting. To me, this said, “I smell Mom. That thing must finally be here. I guess I’ll give this big brother thing a shot.”
Chloe met Peak at 4 days old. I was first to enter the house. My husband is the alpha in the dog’s eyes, so he waited to come into the house after me as to show Peak that we are equals. I walked in and Peak immediately put his nose to my belly. He looked up at me with his tail wagging as to say, “Ok lady. Where is it?” I then brought Chloe in in her car seat carrier. I placed the carrier on the ground and let them “meet.” Of course I was scared that he would hurt her, but by letting him sniff and “get to know” her, it showed him that she is an extension of us.
We actually captured this meeting on video.
The first few nights she was home from the hospital, he would wake up with us when she cried for her nighttime feed. He would sit on the nursery floor as we tended to her. But just like any sibling, the crying got old to him and by the forth night home, when she cried he would lift his head up in the bed turn to my husband and me as to say “Again?!” and then lay his head back down.
Fast forward six months. He’s always giving her kisses and now that she is starting to grasp things, she “pets” him. Of course there have been some parent fails, like the time he dropped his toy on her forehead and left a little red mark above her eyebrows. I get it. He just wanted to share his toy with her.
We are so lucky to have a pet that is good with kids. I know not everyone is this lucky, but we had to make a conscious effort with the introduction so everyone could learn how to play nice. Their meeting was truly one introduction that made a lasting first impression on all of us.
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.
By Step2 on March 1st, 2013 | Posted in We're Moms Too
Last March, we began a weekly feature on the Step2 blog called We’re Moms Too. Each Monday, 1 of 6 moms who work at Step2 gave you a look into their personal life as a mom and/or grandma. During the holidays, we took a short hiatus from We’re Moms Too, but we are now back with more fun (and funny) stories of parenthood.
Joining We’re Moms Too for the second year is Ashley, Sara, and Tena. Ashley, Social Media Manager, went from mom-to-be in 2012 to a new mom of a 6 month old baby girl Chloe. Sara, a Sr. Product Manager who is the mother of two young boys, has many more stories to share of their get dirty, wild and crazy play times this year. Tena, Online Marketing Director, is enjoying the changes from having an infant to a now rambunctious toddler running around!
We are excited to welcome Meghan, Communication and Licensing Director, to We’re Moms Too in 2013. Meghan is a mom to three little girls, all under the age of 5, who are best friends and worst enemies at the same time. Meghan, married to her husband of 8 years, loves to travel, try new foods, and has recently become a big fan of Downtown Abby. It’s a real treat when she and husband get a babysitter and over-order at their favorite sushi restaurant.
Beginning next Monday, We’re Moms Too will be moving from a weekly feature to a monthly feature on the Step2 Blog. Follow these four moms the first Monday of each month as they navigate dirty diapers, battle the terrible twos, kiss boo boos, and boast about their love for being moms.
My 21 month old granddaughter is coming for a visit over the Thanksgiving holiday and needless to say I am very excited and in a bit of a panic at the same time.
It has been many years since I’ve had a toddler in my home therefore my home is far from being “kid proof”. Friends are telling me that I will need to remove the glass candle holders from my coffee table. But gee they look so nice. Now I’m wondering, ok, what else do I need to do? When raising my sons I never put anything up, but of course I didn’t have a whole lot to speak of back then.
I would like to throw this out to the young moms and grandma’s reading this in a quest for some advice on the prep work that I need to do prior to the arrival of my little angel and her parents for five days. I need all the help I can get.
Thanking you in advance.
Sharon became a first time grandma in February of 2011 and had the pleasure of celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday in San Francisco where she lives with her oldest son and his wife. Sharon welcomes the opportunity to spoil her granddaughter after having raised two boys. Sharon is an avid lover of the arts and has dabbled with oil painting and enjoys interior decorating as a hobby. She is the Customer Service Manager for Step2.