Meet Mia!

I mentioned in a previous post that we added another girl to our family several months ago…a dog!

Since being married, Cesar and I have wanted a dog but have lived in two different rentals and neither of them allowed dogs. We decided we would get one when we moved to our own house, so we started looking in early December when our closing date was getting close (or so we thought). Our plan was to adopt a puppy, preferably one that was only a couple months old.

We scoured Craigslist and local animal shelters’ websites every evening in search of the perfect puppy, but were having trouble finding one online. One afternoon, Cesar and I ventured into a shelter just to look around because we hadn’t closed on our house yet and our landlord still didn’t permit dogs.

When we walked in, there were a few puppies around 6 months old that looked exactly like what we were looking for…until we got them out. Yikes! Talk about wild. With two energetic little girls at home, a puppy with just as much or more energy might be a little much too handle, we realized.

We wandered to one dog that was very calm and just minding her own business. She laid in her cage and quietly watched as everyone walked by her cage and straight toward the adorable little puppies on either side of her. For some reason, Cesar and I both decided to get her out and take her for a walk outside. We quickly found out that she was a favorite of the shelter’s staff.

We learned that her name Sofia and she had just turned two years old. She was surrendered by her previous owner who could no longer take care of her, and she had just been fixed after delivering a litter of puppies. Cesar and I walked around with her and played with her for a while then decided to go, because again, we couldn’t keep her at our townhouse.

Later that night, Cesar and I were talking about how much we both liked that dog. At that point in time, we thought we were a week or two away from closing on our house and 3-4 weeks from living there, so we came up with an idea. Since Cesar’s parents have a fenced-in backyard and no pets, we asked them if they would consider keeping a dog there for a few weeks until we could take her. They agreed. We talked and talked and talked about it until there was nothing left to talk about, and we decided to go for it.

The next day, we went back to find out how to proceed with the adoption. Sofia had several people interested in her, but we were the first ones to actually start the adoption process, so we were first in line to adopt her. We did all the paperwork, paid the fees while they got her ready to go, and we were on our way with our new furry friend. It happened that quick. There were several tears shed by the employees at the shelter because their favorite girl was leaving them, but we assured them that she was going to a good home.

Our girls loved Sofia the first time they met her, but we had to change her name…fast! There’s only enough room for one Sophia in our house! Sophia came up with the name Mia, and the dog started responding almost immediately. So that was her new name. We walked her around and got her used to her new temporary home, then we went home. We came back every day to feed her, walk her, and play with her.

When we a had a few hiccups with the house, Mia stayed at my in-laws’ for a little longer than expected, but they were very understanding. A couple months later, we finally moved to our new house and Sophia especially was excited to finally get to live with Mia. She loves playing with her and running around with her in our own yard.

Mia has been wonderful with our kids. She listens so well and is very calm. Emma can be a little rough with her sometimes (Emma’s a little rough with everyone and everything), but Mia just licks back. She is a terrible fetcher, but we’re working on that. She doesn’t go through the door until she makes sure we are all already through. You can place a steak in front of her and she will not touch it until you tell her to “go eat”. She gets along with everybody and is perfect with other dogs on the street and at the dog park. We really could not ask for a better dog.

Are y’all ready to see a picture of our sweet four legged friend!?
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I’m serious. That’s our girl.

She is a pitbull mixed with something else, possibly a lab, but she looks like a full blown pitbull. And she looks mean. She is proof, though, that looks can be deceiving. She is the sweetest, most gentle dog, especially with Sophia and Emma.

I’ve never been one to be afraid of any specific type of dog. I grew up with the nicest, goofiest dog I’d ever met, and she was a German Shepard/coyote mix. I just never considered myself a pitbull person. I am not scared of pitbulls myself, but I do know that there is a certain stigma attached to them (which I believe stems from the way certain ones are raised). That’s always made me a little weary of owning one. I don’t want people to come to my house and be afraid of my dog because of the way she looks.

Surprisingly, no one that has met her has been afraid of her, despite how…uhh, scary…she looks. Even going for walks at the park, people will stop us and ask us to pet her, and that is not normally something people do with “bully breeds”. She is so friendly toward people, they just can’t help it though. People comment to us how well behaved Mia is.

It’s funny. I never, ever thought I would own a pitbull. Mia is the opposite of what we thought we were looking for in a dog, but oddly enough, she fits perfectly in our family. So I guess she is exactly what we were looking for.

Top 10 Favorite iPhone Apps

For the longest time, I was Team Anti-iPhone and was adamant I’d never have one. Finally, a few years ago when we switched carriers, I was convinced to jump on the bandwagon and bought an iPhone 4. I thought I’d hate it but I’ve grown to love it and don’t think I’d switch back.

I have since gotten an iPhone 5S, which I love even more because the camera is much higher quality. I use my phone for everything: my watch, camera, alarm clock, to-do list, and calendar, just to name a few.

When it comes to apps, I’m the first to admit I’m a cheapskate. I hoard my App Store credits in case I need to use them on something, you know, really important someday. Therefore, most of my suggestions are free or close to it. If I do actually pay for an app, I definitely make sure it’s worth it!

I figured I’d put together a list of my favorite (and most used) apps on my iPhone, so here goes, in no certain order.

1. Instagram– This is pretty much a given. It has become super popular in the past couple years, and I think for good reason. I use it quite a bit for putting up pictures of my kids, so I like to keep mine on private. I love Instagram, but I’m not really on board with those who like to use #threepagesofhashtags on #everysinglepost, but you know, #whateverfloatsyourboat.

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2. Pinterest– I don’t use Pinterest all that often, but when I do, it’s usually for 4 hours straight when I should be doing something more productive, pinning things that I’ll never actually be able to make. But I do like the app and the newer updates make it super easy to use, which I love.

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3. Diptic– There are tons of collage making apps for Instagram, but Diptic is my favorite and the easiest I’ve found to use.

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4. Timehop– This is one of the newer apps I’ve downloaded, but one of my favorites! Timehop lets you connect your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among others, and shows you your social media activity on this date in years past. It is really cool to see what my life was like on this date years ago, before I had a husband, kids, and responsibilities.

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5. Pocket– This is another wonderful app invention. I always have several articles open in my Safari at any given time waiting to be read. Nowadays, I save them to my Pocket instead of leaving them in Safari, so I can read them when I don’t have any internet service. It’s really easy to transfer them from Safari to Pocket, and when I can’t use my internet, I can still use my phone to read these articles. I so wish I had this throughout my two pregnancies when I spent hours upon hours in my OBGYN’s office (which had zero service as soon as you stepped through the door) looking for something to entertain me.

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6. Our To Do List– This might be my most utilized app on my phone. I searched high and low looking for a good app to make lists in. This is it. I even sprung for the paid version, so that should tell you something. Our To Do List is very simple, which is what I was looking for. The best function is the ability to create lists within lists, something I use a lot. I use this app for everything from a grocery to list to Christmas gift ideas to restaurants I want to try.

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7. Feedly– I follow a lot of blogs, but don’t like to clog up my email with newsletters. I used to use Google Reader, but when they (sadly) closed that down, I switched to Feedly. I actually love it more than Google Reader, even though it is set up very similar. I find Feedly much prettier to look at. I use it on both my iPad and phone and prefer it on my iPad, but use it on my phone on a pretty regular basis too.

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8. Target Cartwheel– I’m all about saving money and I spend lots of time and money at Target. This is my shopping dream come true! There are discounts on hundreds of things in Target. It is organized by category, so items are easy to find if you already know what you’re looking for. But if you’re like me and just browse and fill your cart with random things, you can scan an item’s barcode and check if any Cartwheels are available for it. It’s easy to use and I’ve saved $87 since I started using it six months ago. Yikes, I don’t even want to think about how much that means I’ve actually spent!

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9. Ibotta– This is another money-saving app. Ibotta takes a little more time and effort than Target Cartwheel. The basics: the app has lists of items in grocery stores, drugstores, restaurants, etc. that you can purchase. After buying an item on the list, you scan the barcode and take a picture of the receipt. You submit the claim and they deposit money (usually $.50-1.00) into your Ibotta account. After you earn a certain amount, you can redeem it for gift cards or cash through Paypal. Like I said, a little more work, but for things I was buying anyway, I’ve racked up $23.00 over the past couple months.

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10. Covet Fashion– This is a silly game, but an addicting one! You have a “bank account” to buy clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. They have several “events” going on at a time such as a wedding, night out on the town, and work function. You buy outfits for these events with money you earn for judging other peoples’ outfits. It’s pretty fun for a time killer (not that I really need many of those these days!).

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I would say those ten apps are my favorite and most used apps on my iPhone. A few honorable mentions are Facebook, Words with Friends, Urbanspoon, and Goodreads. I hope you’ve seen something on here that you haven’t heard of and now you love it too

Here we go again…

I’m just terrible at this whole blogging deal. I keep meaning to update, then get busy with other things (including but not limited to 2 busy little girls, a husband, a dog, a house that needed renovating, and a part time job).

Anyway, here I am again. I guess I should catch y’all up on the last five (!!!) months! Let’s just jump right into some Instagram pictures, shall we?

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1. Cesar and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in February. Five years! I really don’t feel old enough to have been married for five years.

2. Valentine’s Day 2014- I have to say, I’m pretty sure I had the two cutest little Valentines around.

3. My girls are about 1/16th Irish, so they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green and chowing down on corned beef and cabbage.

4. Cesar celebrated his birthday in March also. We had a yummy lunch at a newer restaurant in town with my family and his family, then had a picnic dinner and went for a walk.

5. We’ve made many trips to Disney since the last time we’ve “talked”, but this trip was particularly fun. We took Sophia and left Emma with my parents (sorry, girl!). We arrived in the early evening and closed the park down at 1am. There were hardly any people there, so we got to do so much in one night!

6. Since I found out we were expecting a second daughter, I’ve dreamt of dressing my girls in matching Easter outfits. I found these adorable dresses at Target and could not have been more excited!

7. Moving day- finally! After owning our house for almost six months, we finally moved in the middle of May. We had lots of help, so it wasn’t horrible, but it was an exhausting day. Well worth it, though.

8. Sophia turned three at the end of May. I could hardly believe it. This girl is growing up so fast before our eyes, but I am so proud of the sweet, smart, hilarious little girl she is becoming. She had a such a fun birthday!

9. A couple weeks later, our baby girl turned one. It just doesn’t seem possible either. Emma is our “wild child”. She’s a good girl, but will definitely give you a run for your money. Not an hour goes by that I don’t laugh at something Emma does.

There it is…the past five months rolled into one post. Maybe I’ll finally get around to introducing you to our four-legged girl and possibly even show some before and after pictures of our house. Until next time…!