Monday, November 25, 2013

Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby

 Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby

This was Bogey about a week before
we knew we were pregnant!
There are so many things to worry about when you're expecting a child.  If you have a dog, that's just one more thing to add to the list.  "How will my dog react to a baby being in the home?"  I remember when I was expecting Hogan and I would get asked, "Are you getting rid of your dog?" or "You're going to have to get rid of your dog!"  Ummm, NO!!!  I had no intentions of getting 'rid' of Bogey.  Wes and I got him about a month after we got married and had only had him for about three months when we found out we were expecting.  Bogey was still very much a baby and he needed a lot of our attention.  I was planning on giving him all of the attention we could spare until we had Hogan.  Here is how we chose to prepare and introduce our dog, Bogey, to Hogan, our first baby.

During the Pregnancy:

I have tons and tons of pictures of Bogey laying on my stomach while I was pregnant with Hogan.  He had never shown any interest in laying on my belly until after we knew I was pregnant.  He did it the whole nine months.  This confirmed to me that he knew there was something coming.  I really do believe in 'dog senses' after seeing how Bogey handles pregnancy.

Three Months Pregnant
Four Months Pregnant
Five Months Pregnant
Six Months Pregnant
Seven Months Pregnant
Eight Months Pregnant
Two Weeks Before Hogan was Born
Two Days before Hogan was Born

As you can see, Bogey loved Hogan before he was even born.  I love how he would lay on my belly any chance he would get and I never got mad at him for doing it.  It was his way of bonding with the new baby and I didn't want to interfere with that.  I definitely think this helped Bogey prepare for what was to come and to know that we still loved him even though we were bringing home 'another' baby.

The Nursery & Bogey

Some people say that the nursery should be off-limits for the dog.  We never made our nursery 'off-limits' because we never wanted Bogey to feel like he was being left out of anything.  He loves going in the nursery and being the first one to see Hogan when he wakes up in the mornings and Hogan is always watching the door for Bogey after I walk in the room.  If Bogey isn't following me, he starts saying his name wondering why Bogey didn't come greet him.  It really is the sweetest thing.  Bogey would go in the nursery and just walk around in it even before Hogan was born.  Here are some pictures of us putting Hogan's furniture up in his room.  Bogey had to be right in the middle of all of the action.  We moved in the middle of my pregnancy, so that's why the nursery looks different in the last picture.

Unpacking the furniture!
Watching Wes intently.
Who's this handsome fella?
Won't leave Wes' side.
Almost done!
Just waiting on the baby now.......

Bringing Home Baby:

This was a little different for us because we were living in Birmingham when Hogan was born, but we decided to have him in Florence so that our family could all be there and help us out.  So when we brought Hogan 'home,' it was to Wes' mom's house for the first three weeks.  Wes' grandparents were keeping Bogey for us at the time.  So when Hogan came home, Bogey was still staying at a different house.  On his second day home, Wes' grandad brought Bogey over to meet Hogan for the first time.

The first time they met was funny.  We just held Bogey in front of him and let him sniff out what this whole baby thing was all about.  Bogey was very interested in Hogan, but Hogan just wanted to be left alone!  Too funny!  I guess Hogan's first impression of Bogey wasn't too great!

Their first time seeing each other!

When we finally went home three weeks after Hogan's birth, we had already decided to let Bogey get as close to Hogan as he wanted, as long as he was just sniffing of him.  We just wanted him to get used to the smell of Hogan and know that it was ok to go near him.  We never wanted him to feel like he was going to be in trouble for exploring Hogan.  He was just a curious dog wanting to know who this new person was that was now taking up all of his cuddle time!

This was how Bogey rode the whole way from Florence to Birmingham.  He could not wait to get home so he could check Hogan out some more.

I want to see him!!
As soon as we got home, I took Hogan and Bogey both in the nursery and we all sat in the glider.  I was just reaffirming to Bogey that is was still ok to go in the nursery.

My two, baby boys.
Bogey and Hogan love each other and have had a special bond since I was pregnant with him.  Here are several pictures of them throughout Hogan's first few months.

Always protecting him while he sleeps.
They always wanted to be in my lap at the same time.
"I'm watching you."
"I'm still watching you."
Nap time in Mom's lap.
Sleeping buddies.
Nap time on the couch with Dad.
He would always smile at Bogey no matter what.
Little Brother & Big Brother
Dad's boys.
As you can see, they have always loved each other and that love grows stronger each day.  I love watching them play all day.  It is a pleasure to witness such sweetness.


Now, don't get me wrong, Bogey loves Hogan, but there is a little jealousy.  He never got jealous about us holding Hogan or paying him more attention than Bogey.  He would get jealous of Hogan's toys and baby gear.  So he did what any jealous sibling would do, he took it and used it.  

The first thing he became jealous over was the paci.  He quickly found out that he was not allowed to chew up every paci that Hogan had!

He rolls over and plays dead when he gets caught doing something bad.
The next thing was the stuffed animals!

Bad Bogey
Then it was the blanky.

so comfy.
Then is was the Boppy.  This was the big one.  Anytime the Boppy was out and Hogan wasn't using it, Bogey was occupying it.  He loved it.  We let him enjoy the Boppy because it was harmless, but I think he enjoyed it a little too much!

Baby Number 2:

We are currently expecting our second baby, another boy, Watson.  Bogey has taken up the role of laying on my stomach nonstop again and is just as attached to Watson as he was to Hogan.  Here are some pictures.

They both still love being in my lap at the same time.  I don't know if there is room for three!


After I noticed the bond that Hogan and Bogey shared, I came across a website for dog lovers and I shared some pictures with them.  They loved the two of them so much that they asked me to send pictures of the two of them together whenever I could.  So I would occasionally send them pictures of Hogan and Bogey.  They featured this article on them back in September.  

Go check it out and take a look at their website if you're a dog lover!


I video Hogan and Bogey all of the time.  Here are some of my favorite videos!

This one was when Hogan was about six months old.  He had just started cackling and we could hardly ever get him to do it for us.  Leave it to Bogey to make him laugh better than anyone!

Bogey does not eat 'human' food.  He is strictly on a dog food and treats diet.  Well, Hogan doesn't seem to care.  He thinks Bogey deserves some snacks!

He loves giving Bogey sugars!!


I don't really have a 'list' of things that you should do to help get your dog ready for a baby, but hopefully our experience with Bogey and Hogan will help you out.  Every article or blog that I read while I was pregnant and trying to decide what to do, would always say, "Never let your dog go in the nursery" or "Never let your dog lick the baby" or "Never this, Never that."  It was always just never, never, never.  It made me nervous, but we decided to do things the way we wanted and it has turned out great.  I just hope Watson loves Bogey as much as Hogan loves him.  I'm sure there will be plenty of fights between them on whose room Bogey gets to sleep in when they get older!

My favorite picture of the two of them.

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo - Andee

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Photo-a-Day Slideshow {Hogan}

A Picture Every Day of My First Year | Hogan

Before Hogan was born, I decided to do a 'Photo a Day' album for him.  Take a picture every day during his first year and put them in an album.  Sounds simple.  Well, in the beginning, It wasn't hard at all.  Just like his monthly pictures I did, they steadily got harder with each day that passed.  I survived though and was able to snap at least one picture of him every day.  Some days, as you will see, may just be a picture of him sleeping because that was the only time he'd be still long enough for me to get a picture.  Some days the picture was taken at 11:45 that night because I'd not been able to take one all day!  Nonetheless, I love the outcome and have finally gotten them put into a slideshow.

My Slideshow | Hogan Keith Smith

{On your mobile device, tap the video and it should play.  You may have to tap twice.}

Creating the Slideshow:

I reviewed several options for creating this slideshow.  I found that Windows Live Movie Maker was the best option for me.  I was able to add 366 pictures, add my own music, and edit the music the way I wanted.  No other FREE slideshow maker gave me those options.  It was super easy to do.  If you're creating a shorter slideshow, I definitely recommend Smilebox.  They have several different layouts and themes to choose from.  I couldn't use Smilebox for mine because I had so many pictures that my slideshow would have ended up being 45 minutes long.


I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect songs for his slideshow.  I really didn't come across anything I loved, except for "Let Them Be Little" by Billy Dean.  That one is just a classic when it comes to babies, so that was a no-brainer.  I decided to just find my own music.  I'm not super thrilled with the way I had to set my music up, but to make it for free, this is as good as it gets.

"Welcome to This World" by Renee & Jeremy

I love this song.  When I came across it, I knew I wanted it to be the opening song of his slideshow.  The words are so simple, but mean so much.  Welcome to this world, perfect for a newborn baby.

"Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift

I love Taylor Swift even though I am 26.  This song makes me cry every time.  It definitely tugs at the heart strings.

"I Wish I Could" by Collin Raye

When I think of Collin Raye, I immediately think of the song "That's My Story" for whatever reason.  Little did I know, he also sings this song that is perfect for a first year slideshow.  Every mom and dad wishes they could bottle up the memories from that first year.

"This Little Light of Mine" by Addison Rose

This song was one of my favorites during Sunday school as a kid.  I love her version of this song.

"Let Them Be Little" by Billy Dean

If this song does not make you cry, nothing will.

"Ain't That Love" by Ray Charles

My husband is a big fan of Ray Charles, so I knew I wanted to close the slideshow with one of his songs.  This one was so fitting and it has been stuck in my head ever since I downloaded it.  Every time I hear it, I think of Wes & Hogan.

Word to the Wise:

If you're planning on doing a 'Photo a Day' challenge, I recommend working on it periodically.  I know that's hard, especially if you're trying to do this with a newborn, but it will make your life a lot easier when you decide to finish it up!  I did not work on it at all until after Hogan's first birthday.  It has taken me a solid two weeks to get it done.  There were a lot of long hours put into making this slideshow and his photo album.  I think I could have done it in a third of the time if I had worked on it throughout the year.


I am not usually sentimental when it comes to Hogan growing up.  I didn't cry each time he reached a milestone, I didn't cry when he turned a year old, and I don't cry thinking about the things he'll do in the future.  But for whatever reason, I cried the whole time I made this slideshow.  It's like it just hit me that he'll never be that small again.  He will never fit in my arms like a football, he'll never need me to hold a bottle for him, and before long he won't need me for much of anything.  He's slowly becoming more and more independent with each day that passes.  While this warms my heart that he is getting smarter and less dependent, it also makes me sad.  It saddens me because one day I will have to let him out into this world alone and let him figure everything out on his own.  I know Wes and I will prepare him as best as we can and there's no doubt that Hogan will be ready to explore the world on his own, but will WE be ready?  I'm not ready to think about our home when ours kids are grown and on their own.  I'm just going to enjoy them being little for the short time that I have them all to myself.  By the way, I'm chalking up my emotional breakdown I had while creating this slideshow to my current pregnancy!  

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo- Andee

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Must Haves {Hospital Bags}

Must Haves {Hospital Bags}

There are so many things to 'get ready' when you're preparing for a baby.  The list is never-ending and it can get overwhelming.  I remember when Hogan's due date was slowly approaching and I still felt extremely unprepared.  I was thankful to have my two best friends, my twin sister and Jordan, to help me prepare.  They have both been through childbirth and knew what to expect.  My sister helped me prepare for what I was not expecting (everything that happened in the labor and delivery room, but I'll leave that story for another blog post).  Jordan helped me prepare for after I had the baby.  She made me a detailed list of everything I would need after birth.  If it weren't for both of their advice, I don't think I'd have survived.  

I was completely clueless about what to pack for the hospital stay.  I was a first-time mom and needed all of the help I could get.  I am going to give you my list of must haves to pack for you, your spouse, and your new baby so that your hospital stay will be as smooth as possible.  I'm sure there are things on my list that you will omit and there are things you will add, but hopefully this will help get you pointed in the right direction.

Mom's List


Shampoo, Conditioner, & Soap - I recommend the travel size just because they are a lot more convenient when you are packing.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste - I remember one of the first things I wanted to do after giving birth was brush my teeth.  I had been in labor all night and I just wanted to get that awful taste out of my mouth!

Razors - You might think this is ridiculous because you're not going to care about shaving your legs after having a baby, but I am strange about this.  I can't stand the feeling of prickly legs so I shave my legs everyday, even after giving birth.  I shaved during my very first shower when I could barely stand up and still had a catheter attached to me.  So this is one that is definitely on my list, but may very well be left off of your list.

Lotion - I use lotion everyday, but if you don't typically use lotion this may not be on your list.

Deodorant - Don't forget your deo!

Hairbrush - I bought a small, cheap hairbrush to stick in my bag so it didn't matter if it got left behind or not.

Hairdryer - I didn't take a hairdryer because I usually let my hair air dry, but I know several girls that took their dryers so they didn't have to wait hours for their hair to dry.  

Ponytail Holders - Whatever you usually pull your hair back with, take it.

Chapstick - Even if you don't use Chapstick or never need it, pack some just in case you do need it.  For some reason, lips seem to automatically become chapped during labor.  I guess it's because you can't really have anything to eat or drink for hours.  I always put this in gift baskets when I'm visiting friends that have just had their baby and they always thank me later.  Do yourself a favor and pack it.

Makeup - My sister is the one that told me to take makeup.  We all know that Dee loves her makeup!  She said, "You're going to be in so many pictures while you're there and you don't want to look awful."  She was right.  I don't think I put any makeup on the first day because I'd been up all night giving birth, but the next two days I had it on and it does make you feel a lot better, even if you just put on a little like I did.


Pajamas - I sleep in a t-shirt every night.  I don't wear cute pjs.  So when I was packing my clothes for the hospital, I packed over-sized t-shirts and pajama pants.  I discovered later that I needed button-up pjs.  This is really only if you're nursing.  It just makes it so much easier to nurse if you can just undo a couple of buttons rather than taking off your shirt.  I sent Wes to the store to get me button-up pjs while we were in the hospital.  Just make sure you pack enough for 3 or 4 days in case you stay longer than usual.

Socks - Take several pair of socks.  The hospital is always cold and you'll need them.

House shoes - You'll definitely want to take a pair of house shoes because you won't want to walk around barefoot while you're there and you also won't want to have to put on regular shoes.  Take a comfy pair of house shoes.

Bras & Nursing Bras - Whether you are going to nurse or not, take a few bras.  They recommend keeping one on while you're there because it helps when your milk starts to come in.  The nursing bras are super convenient for when you're nursing, so don't forget to pack them for the hospital.

Panties - You'll need several pair of panties.  Don't take good panties, take ones that you won't mind ruining because they will get ruined more than likely.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought a pack of those cheap, cotton panties that had about 8 pair in the pack.  I got a size up from what I usually wear just so they wouldn't be too tight on me after giving birth.  I packed all of them for the hospital.  They will have panties for you to wear, but they aren't comfortable and as soon as they tell you it's ok to put your regular panties on, you will want to do so.  

Cheap Flip-Flops - This is in case you don't want to shower barefoot.  Buy a cheap pair of flip-flops to take with you for showering.

Going Home Outfit - You'll still be bloated when you leave the hospital and you won't want to wear anything tight around your stomach, but pack whatever you think you want to wear when you leave the hospital.  I went home in pjs because I didn't feel like changing into regular clothes, but you may not want all of your 'going home' pictures to be of you wearing pjs.

Nursing & Baby

Boppy or Mombo - If you have either one of these, take it to the hospital.  It is a lifesaver while you're nursing and you'll want to have it with you.  Even if you're bottle feeding, this is still great to have.

Nursing Cover - After you've been through labor and delivery and you feel like everyone in the world has seen everything you never wanted anyone to see, you really won't care who sees you nurse.  You will have to deal with people coming in your room to visit while you're nursing.  There's just no way around it.  Take your nursing cover and it will make things a lot more comfortable for you and your baby.

Burp Cloths & Receiving Blankets - You can always use the blankets at the hospital for burping your baby, but if you want to bring your cute ones, go for it.  I never used burp cloths, I found it a lot easier for me to use receiving blankets when I was feeding Hogan.

Breast Pump - The hospital will give you a hand-held breast pump, but if you have one that you want to use, take it with you.  I used the hand-held one and it was fine, but you may want to use the one you bought or received as a gift.

Nursing Pads, Nipple Shields, Cream - I am pretty sure that all hospitals provide you with these things while you're there, but my mind has chosen not to remember this part.  I know they provide the Lansinoh cream and the shields, but I can't remember about the pads.  You might want to check about this if you're planning on nursing.


Camera & Video Camera - Don't forget these, you'll take so many pictures and videos on those first few days so make sure you have plenty of available memory on those memory cards.

Phone - This is a no-brainer, but I'll put it on the list.  You'll want to be able to call and text everyone you know after you've had your baby.  You'll also want to take pictures with your phone and post them on your social media sites.  Just don't forget your phone.

Chargers - Don't forget to pack your chargers for whatever digital devices you take with you!

Snacks - Candy, chips, gum, cookies, etc., whatever you like to snack on, pack it!  You'll be there for a few days and you'll want to snack.  Your appetite doesn't just magically disappear, at least mine didn't!

Pillow - If you have a certain pillow you have to sleep with, pack it.  I still sleep with my baby blanky and you better believe it was with me the whole time!

ID - Don't forget to take your wallet with your information.  You'll need your ID, insurance card, etc., so be sure you have it packed!

Towel or Old Blanket - I recommend packing this in your car because you will be bleeding heavily after delivery and you may want to sit on a towel on the ride home so nothing gets on your seats.

The Spouse

I really should let Wes be writing this or at least giving me his input, but he's napping so I will try to remember everything he took with him.

Pajamas - Wes wore athletic clothes the whole time we were in the hospital, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, sweatpants.  Nothing special, just comfortable clothes.

House Shoes - I recommend taking house shoes for the spouse too because they are usually the ones going to get whatever it is you need.

Socks & Underwear - Take enough for a few days.

Bathroom Necessities - Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving stuff, etc.  Whatever it is that guys need, be sure to take it.

iPad - Wes wouldn't have survived without his iPad.  There are lots of times when the baby will be asleep or in the nursery and the mom is just trying to get some rest, so the iPad is a diversion from everything and will give him something to do so he's not bored out of his mind.

Going Home Outfit - Yes, the spouse will need an outfit to go home in.  Just don't forget to pack it!

The Baby


Baby Wipes - I'm only adding this to my list because I know the hospital I delivered at gives you dry wipes to use.  It's a lot more convenient to use regular wipes, so I would take some just in case.

Vaseline - I read this on a blog when I was preparing for birth.  The poopy diapers for the first, few days will be awful.  They are basically like tar and it's almost impossible to get off of the skin.  I read that Vaseline will help you to get it off if it's a really bad diaper and it worked for us.  Although, Wes changed all of the diapers in the hospital so you'll have to ask him!  They make a Vaseline in a baby scent, it smells great!

Lotion - I took lotion, but I can't remember if we used it or not.  You might want to pack a small tube of it just in case you need it.  They may provide you with some, but I can't remember.

Diapers - The hospital will provide you with diapers while you're there, but if you're using cloth diapers, be sure to take those if you're going to start using them right away.

Hairbrush - If you're planning on having a baby with a lot of hair, pack a hairbrush just in case!

Bottles - If you're bottle feeding, they will provide you with bottles and formula while you are there.  I don't think there's any need to take any with you, but you might want to check just to be safe.

Clothes & Stuff

You will want to take plenty of clothes for your baby because you never know what kind of accidents may happen.  You will be there anywhere from two to four days depending on what type of delivery you have.  Pack enough stuff for that many days and maybe even a few extra just in case.

Hats - They will usually make you keep a hat on the baby until he or she can regulate his own body temperature.  If you don't want your baby to wear the hospital hat in all of the pictures he or she is in, take some hats.

Socks - You'll need to keep socks on their feet to keep them warm!

Sleepers - I recommend taking sleepers with the footed pjs.  They're just an easy. all-in-one outfit.  

Gowns - I loved putting gowns on Hogan.  They were so cute and so easy!

Going Home Outfit - Whatever you decide to take your baby home in, don't forget to pack it!  Don't forget the bows, baby bracelet, shoes, etc.

Blankets - Take a couple of your own blankets.  You may or may not use them in the hospital, but you'll use them on the way home for sure.

Sleep Sack or Swaddler - You will learn how to swaddle while you're there, but you may have a sleep sack or swaddler that you want to take.  We took Hogan's swaddler and he loved it from day one.

Mittens - I forgot to pack my mittens and Hogan had to wear ugly socks on his hands to keep himself from scratching his face!  Their fingernails are really thin and brittle and you can't really cut them at first, so take mittens in case they start scratching themselves.


Baby Book - Take your baby book.  They will do a footprint in the book for you while you're there.  You will also want to make a list of everyone that visits you and brings gifts while you're in the hospital.

Favors - We had golf tees with Hogan's name printed on them and gave those to our visitors.  Don't forget to pack whatever it is you want to give to visitors if you're planning on doing that!

Door Hanger / Decoration - Don't forget to pack whatever you plan on hanging on the door of your hospital room!

Carseat - Don't forget the carseat!  You'll want to have this installed already.


I think this is everything on my list, but I am pregnant and definitely have the pregnancy fog so my memory is not very sharp right now.  I will add things as I think of them.   I think the best thing to remember is don't over pack.  I know this list seems long, but most of it is small stuff.  Just take what you think you will need and if you need something while you're there, you will have plenty of people willing to go get what you need!  I hope this helps you prepare and good luck with your new baby!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween {Army Boy}

Army Boy

We aren't big into Halloween and Hogan is still so young that he can't really enjoy the excitement of Halloween.  We knew we were going to do some sort of simple costume.  I am not crafty at all and can't make anything, so our kids' Halloween costumes will be store bought forever unless someone makes one for us!  We went to K-Mart about 4 days before Halloween to pick up his costume.  We just went in with the mindset that we weren't leaving empty-handed, so we couldn't be picky.  There were still lots of costumes to choose from, I thought the pickings would be slim.  We came across an Army outfit for a little boy and decided to get it.  Wes is very good about making decisions.  He can go in any store and be out in minutes.  I can go in any store and stay hours and leave with nothing.  I'm glad he was there with me.

The Costume

We decided on the Army Boy costume.  It was $19.99 and since we waited until the last minute to get his costume, they were all 50% off, so we paid $10 for it!  It doesn't get better than that.  We're thrifty people.


The outfit came with a flimsy hat that matched, but it was way too big for Hogan.  The costume was a 2T/4T, but it fit perfectly.  The hat did not.  I happened to be in the Dollar Tree a couple of days ago and they had so many neat, little Army gadgets.  I picked him up an Army bowl hat and binoculars.  The hat worked great because it had the elastic band that held it on his head, otherwise he would have never kept it on.  The binoculars were a great asset because it kept him occupied with his costume.  He played with them all night.

Dog Tags

When I was about to get him dressed in his costume yesterday, I happened to remember that I had some dog tags that I had made in elementary school.  I found them in my jewelry box and they worked GREAT!  They were the perfect touch to his costume.  I blurred out the personal info on them, but I think it's so sweet that he was able to wear those dog tags from my childhood.

The Results

We could not have been more pleased with the way his simple costume turned out.  He looked just like a little Army Boy and he had a lot of fun.  You can't beat a $12 costume!

Army Boy

Happy Boy!

He loved his binoculars.


We celebrated Halloween a day early because the weather was great and it is supposed to be rainy and stormy today.  We went to both of the great grandparents' houses and both grandparents' houses.  That's it!  We can't handle taking him anywhere else.  Four places is more than plenty! 

Hogan & Dad at Nana's house.

Watson decided to go as a skeleton for Halloween!

Grace, Hogan, & Anna -  sweet cousins!

He got a little bit of candy, but since he doesn't eat much candy,
he got lots of cookies and crackers!

He does NOT like Frankenstein!

Happy Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo - Andee