Marcos’s Birth Story

Marcos Andres Dominguez arrived on April 1, 2017 at 10:22 p.m. weighing 7 pounds and 14 ounces. These past eight months have been the most exciting, blissful, exhausting and stressful months of my life but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

Each time I look or think of my my son I feel so much joy and love and a desire to be the best Mother and person that I can be.As I type this, he is sleeping peacefully in his crib. As I watch him on his monitor, I feel so blessed to have such a sweet, handsome and healthy baby boy who smiles, giggles, waves, babbles, and completely melts my heart every day.

Marcos’s Birth Story

On Friday evening, Oscar and I went to go see the movie “Logan”. We knew it would be a long time before we could go to the movie theater together so we went out for a date night. I had just finished my last day at work because I was 39 weeks and knew that Marcos could come any day now.  We got home late and I had trouble falling asleep. I think I finally fell asleep around 1:30 a.m. only to be woken up a few hours later feeling some light cramping and pressure in my lower abdomen. I remember thinking to myself “Could this be it?” Could this be the day? Or is this just Braxton Hicks?” I went to the bathroom a few times but nothing was happening so I figured that I should probably get back into bed and get some rest.

I managed to get another hour or two of sleep then a little after 7:30 a.m., I started to feel uncomfortable. I got out of bed and googled “the first signs of labor” into my phone.  Then I sat and rocked on my exercise ball for some relief, played some Hall and Oates and started timing and logging my contractions. I woke Oscar up around 9:30 a.m. and told him that I was having contractions since they were really starting to hurt and I didn’t want to be alone anymore.

Oscar and I hung out in the living room together to try and relax while I timed my contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart. I remember thinking to myself that this better be the real deal because I was very uncomfortable. My contractions were getting pretty intense and I was also getting some sharp pains in my back which were alarming and there was nothing I could do to cope with the back pain. Luckily they only lasted for about 45 seconds but they were coming every four to eight minutes and they HURT!

Oscar called my OB/GYN because we were unsure as to why the back pain was happening. I remember being instructed to call only when I experienced contractions that came every five minutes and lasted for a minute for more than one hour but the back pain had intensified so we called the doctor just to be safe.

The doctor told us to head to the hospital with our bags so she could check me out. I showered before we left while Oscar packed up the car with our hospital bags. A warm shower felt good, but by the time I got out and started to get dressed, my contractions significantly intensified. I found myself folding over and holding onto the dresser and the wall as I tried to deal with the pain. I remember throwing up a few times before we left and thinking to myself…”this is gonna be a looong day!” We headed out the door to the hospital around 2 p.m. By then my contractions were eight minutes apart.

When we got to the hospital, we were sent to the triage room while I was hooked up to a monitor and asked a bunch of questions by the nurses. I can’t remember everything, just that I was in a lot of pain and I did not want to be sent back home. They left Oscar and I to wait in the triage room for an hour to see if I dilated. I remember the pain getting really intense and crying out “I can’t do this!” My wonderful husband took my hand, reminded me that I can do this and continued to comfort and encourage me while we waited for the nurse to come back.

After an hour, the nurse came back with my OB/GYN to check on me and told me that I had dilated three centimeters and we would be welcoming our baby today!! Hoorayy!! That was music to my ears!! 🙂

Oscar and I spent the next 60 minutes getting registered and prepping for the epidural. Oscar had to do all the talking because I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak. I had to motion my social security number with my fingers as the pain of my contractions and back labor was just excruciating.

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After the epidural, the pain was more manageable but the back pain started to creep back. Also, the epidural seemed to work better on one side than the other so Oscar and my Mom took turns giving me back rubs to help me with the pain. Its hard for me to remember all the events that took place between the time I received the epidural and the delivery but here are some key details:

  • The epidural definitely helped with the contraction pain as monitors showed when they were happening but they barely registered with me.
  • Eventually, the external baby heart monitor was not working and they had to insert an internal heart monitor to better monitor the baby’s heart rate.
  • The external heart monitor could be heard in the room and we started noticing the heart rate slowing with some of the contractions. At first we didn’t know that the sound was the baby’s heart rate.
  • During one contraction that was paired with a shot of back pain, our doctor came in, looked at the monitor strip, and spoke with the head nurse off to the side of the room.
  • After the doctor left, Oscar asked if there was something wrong and that was when we were told that the sound we heard slowing down was the baby’s heart rate.
  • The next contraction saw another drop in heart rate, which is when the doctor came in and called a need for the emergency c-section.

The C-section operation did not take long and Oscar remained by my side holding my hand the whole time. I laid very still, went into my “zone” and prayed for my baby. I couldn’t feel a thing but I was awake and I heard the doctors talking while they were operating. And I heard them say that my baby’s neck was wrapped around my umbilical cord! Poor thing. I was scared but I had a feeling it was going to be OK. And then…I heard him. I heard my son crying.  Oscar and I watched the nurses clean him, test his vitals and wrap him up in a blanket. I remember Oscar and I saying to each other….”there he is, that’s our son” and we were both crying while we watched him taking his first breaths. I am crying now as I type this.

The nurse brought my bundled up baby to me while I was lying on the delivery table. I wasn’t able to hold him yet since I was still strapped on to the table so I rubbed my cheek against his little face so he could feel me and smell me. That was not what I wanted for us but I was so relieved that he was delivered safely and I knew that we would have plenty of time to bond. I was taken to another room to recover while Oscar and my parents got acquainted with our boy. I will never forget Oscar’s face and reaction to the birth of our son. It was a wondrous moment and he was practically skipping and prancing into the nursery.

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I will never forget our very first night as parents. We were so exhausted from the entire day and couldn’t wait to go to sleep and get some rest but wait….we are parents now. We have to take care of our newborn baby! The nurses brought Marcos into my room and bathed him and then gave him to for skin-to-skin contact and to start breastfeeding. After that, he woke up about every two hours to feed. Oscar changed his diapers and brought him to me each time he woke up because of the surgery.

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The next morning with my son was absolutely surreal! I just couldn’t believe that he was sleeping next to me and no longer in my belly. When I held him in my arms the next morning I sang to him “You are my sunshine” and I cried happy joyful tears.

We had to stay in the hospital for a few days so I could recover from the surgery. Marcos stayed in the room with us the entire time. The recovery was hard but the more I walked around and moved my legs the better. During my second night in the hospital I was suffering from post-surgery gas and bloating from the air that got sucked into my abdomen during the surgery. It was very painful but I still had to get up out of bed to breastfeed my son. Despite the pain, I got myself up and breastfed my son without my husband’s help.  Afterwards, Marcos looked at me with this happy and appreciative look in his eyes like he recognized me and knew I was his Mom. It was the best feeling in the world. That was when I officially felt our bond and I knew I was gonna rock at being a Mom!!

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With each day I got better and Marcos was healthy. We took him home on a Tuesday and celebrated with a homemade quiche, salad from my Mom and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then we celebrated our Anniversary a couple days later as a family of five 🙂

This is the end of the birth story but the Mommy and Daddy adventures continue. I plan to document my journey into Motherhood so stay tuned for more Marcos blog posts in the future!

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Things I’m Loving This Week

Hello everyone! And hello spring!

I am so enjoying this gorgeous weather and feeling so grateful that I don’t have to spend the last weeks of my pregnancy in the hot summer heat.

I am also grateful that my baby boy is healthy and in his optimal fetal position (head-down) for birth! I am currently at 37.5 weeks and am feeling anxious, excited and nervous each passing day. In the meantime, I am practicing my calming and assuring labor mantras and enjoying the last days of work!

Speaking of gratitude, I wanted to take some time to list some of the wonderful things that I’ve encountered this week that have made me smile.

Cherry Blossom Trees

I had no idea that Palm Beach had Cherry Blossom trees!! I went to grab a bite to eat from the Island Bee and since it was a gorgeous day, I thought I would eat my lunch in the nearby park. Low and behold as I walked up to the park entrance, I noticed a gorgeous row of Cherry Blossom trees! I had never seen them before and have always wanted to. I thought I would have to go to Washington D.C or Japan to see them but nope they are here in the same Town where I work! Ahhh!! I snapped a bunch of photos and then sat down on a bench to eat my lunch while marveling at the spectacular trees. The weather was cool and breezy so there were some pollen and petals floating in the air around them. It was truly magical! 🙂

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Chai Moments Chai Tea Lattes

I haven’t had any desire for coffee but I do drink it from time to time out of necessity. My nights are pretty restless and uncomfortable with this big ole belly in addition to multiple trips to the bathroom. Plus allowing an overly affectionate doggy sleep next to you doesn’t help either. But I digress….

Lately I’ve been enjoying a warm cup of Masala Tea from Tea India Chai Moments. It’s got the perfect blend of cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and other spices. I picked up a few boxes at an Asian Festival that took place over the weekend. One in each flavor: Ginger, Masala and Milk Tea. Each box contains 10 packets so I bring an extra one to work with me when I need my tea fix.

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Baby/Doggy Wraps

MMmmpph…hahahaha! I couldn’t help myself and had to share this. My hubby and I were curious about how to use the baby wrap so we watched the video demo and decided to give it a try. As we were trying it on, a curious Guinness who was close by and whining for attention from his parents got placed in the wrap! Haha!! I just love my doggy’s expression. He looks so cute and funny being worn by his Dad.

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Power Pressure Cooker XL

My husband and I finally caved into that dang infomercial and bought a pressure cooker. We got the 8 qt power pressure cooker XL which came with the copper chef pan and a veggie slicer.  We thought it would come in very handy for us with the baby coming and working full time. So far we have only cooked 2 meals but we were not disappointed. We cooked a whole chicken with sliced veggies using the chicken/meat setting then walked away and 40 minutes later it was done. The smell was amazing and the chicken was moist and fell right off the bone! So our first dinner was a success! We also used it to cook moros y cristianos (rice cooked in black beans). Honestly, the dish came out a little mushy and a little bland. The blandness can be fixed but next time we may just have to cook the beans separately or use less water. Sometimes you just gotta learn by trial and error. We still love our power pressure cooker and will keep it on our counter top.

What I love is that we can use it to prepare Make-Ahead meals and that it’s a quick one-pot system where you can drop all of your ingredients in, walk away and then come back to a perfectly cooked meal with very little dishes to clean up. I also like that we don’t have to worry about thawing out our meats ahead of time. And you can make everything from soups, bread, casserole, meats, beans and lentils, steamed veggies and even breakfast bowls. It’s a huge help when you are busy and working full time. I can’t wait to use it more and will definitely share some recipes in the future!

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Baby Dominguez: Weeks 30, 31 and 32

Hello my friends! As I type this, I am in Week 35 of my pregnancy. Crazy, right? Well at least to me it is. It feels like it was just the other day that I was announcing my pregnancy to everyone. Now I’ve got about four weeks to go!

I feel great and am happy to be coming down the home stretch. I haven’t gotten HUGE but I am definitely uncomfortable. I am also very anxious to meet this little being that keeps moving around in my belly all the time!  🙂

Baby’s Growth:

Week 30: Baby is the length of a rutabaga!

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Week 31: Baby is the size of an eggplant!

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Week 32:  Baby is the length of an acorn squash!

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How am I feeling?

Hmmm…let’s see….during these weeks I’ve had to deal with iron-deficient anemia, constant heartburn, and restlessness. I can deal with the heartburn and sleep issues but the anemia is something I have never had to deal with and has caught me by surprise.

Anemia during pregnancy is common and it occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin (the protein found in red blood cells). Hemoglobin is what carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. In iron-deficiency anemia, the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to the tissues throughout your body and it makes you feel weak and tired and low on oxygen.

There are random times when I can feel my heart racing like I’ve had way too much caffeine. I also feel out of breathe, light-headed and fatigued.  I tried different Iron supplements that were prescribed by my OB/GYN and even a gentle over the counter one but they all made me nauseous so I would recommend that you be careful with iron supplements if you are  expecting. They can be very hard to digest.

I informed my Dr. about the issues I was having with the supplements and they found a good one called VitaFOL Fe+ which is an all-in-one iron and pre-natal supplement that did not make me throw-up and I started feeling better within the week after taking them.

 Weight Gained:

I have kept my weight gain pretty steady at 20 lbs. Every one tells me that I am tiny and that I am all belly which is good but I feel huge! I eat little meals and snack all the time so I know my lil baby should be gaining a half pound to a pound a week right now and is well fed 🙂

Workouts:

I am no longer able to do yoga so I just continue with my walks and do some light stretching during the day. I also got a pre-natal massage. Man was that a treat!

I miss working out but I feel so big and my balance is off. I also have no desire to hit the gym when I know that I can just go for a walk outside. The weather is gorgeous right now so I am taking full advantage.

After the baby is born and my Dr. gives me the green light, my plan is to workout a couple times a week in the gym and work out at home. I also can’t wait to go for walks with my son in the stroller or in my baby wraps and the hubs and the dogs 🙂

I don’t want to put any pressure on myself to get back into shape immediately. I want to bond with my son and enjoy my maternity leave. I am a healthy eater and I enjoy exercise but now I’ll just have a different reason and motivation for staying in shape. So I can raise a healthy and active boy 👦⚽⚾🏀🏈🏄🎣
Belly and Baby Movement:

Baby D is always on the move! Especially at night. He must be having a dance party in there or something.

Belly Button In or Out?

In!

Top concerns:

Finding a good day care and a pediatrician.

Sleep:

Hahahaha!! What is that??

Thoughts about my son:

I keep fantasizing about my son being this perfect little being who sleeps through the night and doesn’t get too fussy and is happy all the time. I hope that is his temperament most of the time but you never know so we will just have to wait and see.

Looking forward to:

Taking my maternity leave for 12 weeks!! 🙌👶🍼☕👍😄

Baby Dominguez: Weeks 27, 28 and 29

Baby’s Growth:

Week 27: Baby is the length of a rutabaga

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Week 28: Baby is the size of an eggplant!

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Week 29:  Baby is the length of an acorn squash!

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How am I feeling emotionally?

Week 27: Relaxed and Happy 🙂

Week 28: Relaxed and Happy 🙂

Week 29: Relaxed and Happy 🙂

These past few weeks have been very pleasant. The weather has been gorgeous so I’ve been doing a lot of walking outside during work and with my pooches at home. I feel so fortunate that I haven’t had any major complications with my pregnancy and that my baby is healthy. I am also grateful that I have a supportive husband and family. My friends are amazing and so is my job! I think all of these things are so important for a healthy pregnancy.

Thoughts about Labor and Delivery:

I am trying to ready myself mentally for labor and delivery. I’ve been watching YouTube videos about the stages of labor so I know what’s going on inside my body.

I took a Breastfeeding and Newborn Care Combo class at the hospital where I will be delivering. I also took a tour of our hospital’s birthing suite.

I also found some great content on Lucie’s List about natural birth and infant care.

Over the past seven months I’ve been focusing on keeping my baby healthy in the womb. I still am of course, but now I’ve got to educate myself on how to take the best possible care of my little man once he arrives into this world. Fortunately, I have experience as a nanny to a 3 month-old. Her name was Juliet and I took care of her from 3 months to a year. I learned about swaddling, feeding, tummy time, the importance of a routine and a sleep schedule. She was a great baby and I took care of her like she was my own.

I know all babies are different and have different needs but I know that I will be able to apply the things I’ve learned from my nanny experience to my baby.

Weight Gained:

I’ve gained another 3 pounds over the past few weeks so that means I’ve gained a total of 20 lbs! I should be gaining a pound a week until the baby comes.

Milestones:

I hit the third trimester mark!! Woot woot!!!

Thoughts about my baby:

I think about him all the time! What’s he going to look like. What is he going to be like as  a baby? Will he like the sleepers and the pack n’ play that I picked out for him? Will I be able to breast feed him or will he need formula?  Will he be a good sleeper like his Daddy or a fussy and stubborn sleeper like his Mom?

Top concerns:

Balancing work, motherhood and marriage. Obviously Motherhood is my top priority. My work day ends at 5 so I am going to dedicate the time afterwards to bond with my son on the days I have to work until he goes to sleep and then catch up with the hubs afterwards. Some days or weeks are very stressful at work but I have to mentally leave work at work and when I am home be home with my husband and baby.

Joys:

Hearing his heartbeat during my doctor visits, feeling him move inside my tummy, and rubbing my belly as I sing him a lullaby. I also get excited when I visit his nursery. I’ve purchased a glider and a changing table so I love to visually imagine what it’s going to like in there once I get more stuff for the baby and my shower gifts.

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Last visit to OB/GYN:

I had a great visit at my last check-up and I got a negative test result for gestational diabetes. Woo hoo!

Looking forward to:

My baby shower!

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Harlow & Sage

Hello my fellow dog lovers! I have something really cool that I want to share with you on this dreary Monday morning called: Harlow and Sage (and Indiana): A True Story About Best Friends. 

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A couple of weeks ago a fellow co-worker and friend of mine recommended that I follow Harlow & Sage on Instagram. Since we are both dog lovers (she owns 2 dachshunds and I own 2 schnauzers) she thought I would get a big kick out of it and boy was she right!

Harlow is a cool Weimaraner who has the funniest facial expressions. Sage was an older Dachshund and was Harlow’s sister and best friend. According to their owners, they both shared a love of movies, Meryl Streep, Christmas presents, and playing and cuddling together. Unfortunately Sage passed away at age 13 and left poor Harlow sad and lonely without a doggy pal until one day Harlow’s owners brought home a mini dachshund named Indiana. After a few months, they became friends and sidekicks who go on lots of fun adventures together.

You can follow their adventures on Instagram or Facebook or you can purchase their book that was just published early last month. I might have to get it. It would make a great coffee table book 🙂

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I posted some cute photos for you below. As you can see, occasionally their owners dress them up in silly outfits and it’s hysterical. I hope this brings a BIG smile to your face 🙂

Have a great week everyone! XOXO

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Petsmart Training

Howdy folks! Happy Saturday! I am so happy it’s the weekend. It sure has been a long week. Although when I think back to it, there were definitely some highlights to it.

I spent the day with my Mom at Buckler’s Craft Fair out at the West Palm Beach Fairgrounds. They come each year around October and December and sell everything hand-made from holiday decor, gifts and clothing to spices, jellies, make-up and cosmetics. My Mom and I go every year. Sometimes it’s hit or miss but this year we took home some cute really Halloween decorations for my house. I also picked up some pretty cool gifts since I have a few special birthdays coming up for some very special peeps.

One of my favorite purchases was a sassy scarf from a vendor called Creative Accents FL. They were having a BOGO sale so I bought a few more as gifts including one for my Mom. I am going out to dinner with friends tomorrow and look forward to wearing mine.  I also bought the jewelry that comes with it.
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Another highlight of my week was taking Baxter to his last puppy training class at Petsmart and watching him graduate!!  I signed him up for a six week puppy education course where he and I were taught some basic commands such as: watch me, sit, stay, drop it, leave it, loose leash walking, greetings and coming when called. Our trainer Terry, was awesome and I definitely feel like it was worth the time and money. He showed me a lot and taught me so many important things. I feel like Baxter is a different pup now (in a good way) and I am better able to control his actions.

My husband Oscar and Baxter’s brother Guinness showed up  to cheer him on and give their support. Baxter was given a cap, and the trainer played the graduation song and made a special announcement for him in the store. Then the staff and customers all came and stood by to watch while Baxter was presented with his certificate and gave his trainer the paw shake. It was the cutest thing ever and I just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing.

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If you are looking for a place to get your new puppy trained, I would highly recommend PetSmart. It’s about $110-120 and you go once a week for an hour. It’s so worth it. I feel like I have more control over my dogs when they get out hand and I learned lots of good tips for helping them through situations that could also help save their lives!

If you want more information, you can call your local PetSmart or any Pet Store.

Have a good rest of the weekend! 🙂

Baxter & Guinness

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a fantastic week. I can’t believe its October!!!! Woo hooo!! Summer is slowly leaving sunny South Florida and I am starting to feel a hint of fall in the air 🙂

I hope you all had a great summer. Our summer was pretty low-key but wonderful. After our honeymoon in Ireland, Oscar and I took things easy and worked on projects around the house. We also took a small couples trip to Busch Gardens with our good friends Alicia and Dee, spent some weekends in Miami and enjoyed some BBQs and get togethers with family and friends. AND……………WE ADOPTED TWO PUPPIES!!
Meet Baxter and Guinness 🙂

Adoption #2

We adopted them from the Everglades Abandoned Dog Rescue in late July. Having two litter mates can be quite a handful at times but for the most part they are very well behaved and sweet tempered pups. Oscar and I are happy to open our hearts and our home to these adorable little guys.

Here’s the Story:
Oscar and I have been wanting to get a dog for a long time and now that we have a house with a fenced in yard (and a puppy park around the corner!!), we thought that now would be the best time to adopt one. We had done a lot of research over the past few years on different breeds and we decided that the best dog for us would be a schnauzer. Then one day to my surprise, Oscar told me that he found a schnauzer puppy ready for adoption and arranged for us to go to an adoption event down in Pompano Beach. I was very excited!! And of course, as soon as we met him (his name was Kingston at the time), we fell in love and knew he was our boy.

I mean come on…look at this face???

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Before we could take him home, we had to fill out an application and have our home inspected and approved. After that was over, a few days later we brought him home! I was so happy I cried.
Guinness First Day

Guinness took very well to us and his new surroundings and we were very impressed with him and his temperament. However, we noticed that he seemed a little sad. We figured that it was because he missed his litter mates. That’s when Oscar told me that when he went to pick up Guinness from his foster home, the VP of the adoption agency told him that they would waive the adoption fee if we took his brother (his name was Nassau). We remembered him from the adoption event but there was another family that was interested in him at the time so we didn’t get to spend much time with him. However, we told them we would see how things go with Guinness on the first week and let them know by the weekend.  And as the week went on, we fell in love with the idea of adopting Guinness’ brother so the two of them could be together and keep each other company. Sooooo we made room for one more!! And that is how we ended up with Guinness (shown as Kingston below) and Baxter (Nassau).

Kingston & Nassau

Oscar and I are both very happy with our decision.  Baxter & Guinness “our boys” are doing great. They are both happy and affectionate and I feel like WE are the lucky ones to have picked such great pooches to share our home with.

Sure they play fight and are a little rambunctious at times. And they fight over the same toy even though there are plenty others to choose from. Baxter is a little stubborn at times but he is also a lover. All he really wants is to cuddle and have his belly rubbed. It’s the cutest thing ever! Guinness is a cuddler too and a total Mama’s boy!!! They both fill our home and our days with so much happiness. Oscar and I are both training them at home and through the training school at PetSmart which the boys are taking to very well.

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Well that’s what I’ve been up to this summer. Can’t wait to see what the fall season has in store. Thanks for reading my super long post. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be sure to keep you updated on our new puppy adventures.

GB Colage