This time of year is so special for our family. Last week we celebrated Kai's birthday and that will forever be one of my favorite days every year. Today though has been my favorite day for some time now. Seven years ago today we adopted Wrigley from the Nevada Animal Shelter in Iowa. It was the day we became a family, me, Caleb, and Wrigley. I will never forget that day. We were having a warm spell in Ames and Caleb and I decided to go out for a run on Jan 31st. We were just getting started when we saw someone who lived in our apartment complex with the cutest puppy! We had never seen a dog like her before and stopped to ask what kind of dog she was. The girl told us (Pomeranian mix) and mentioned how she has just adopted her a hour before. I casually asked her where from and how much the adoption fees were because C and I had been thinking about getting a dog for some time but didn't have the funds to pay a $300+ adoption fee like most shelters needed. She told us she paid $35. We were in shock. She told us they had the whole litter of puppies at the shelter as well as the mother. After our run we decided to contact the shelter and ask to see the puppies. They told us there was only 1 left plus the mother but that many people were already interested in the mother. We told them we would like to see the puppy they had left the following day. We impatiently waited all morning to go to that shelter and see this puppy. The second they brought him out and handed him to me he clung to me and I knew I was going to be his mama. C told them right away to get the papers ready, we were going to take him. I write this with tears in my eyes because he is the best thing that has ever happened to us. He has been here for all of it. The very best moments and the very worst. Graduating college, my grandparents passing away, moving to Chicago, getting engaged, getting married, buying our house, road tripping around the country, my pregnancy, welcoming Kai in to our family, my dad passing away, and so much more. All of it. He's been here to celebrate with us and be sad with us. He has seen me laugh harder than ever and has sat with me when I've cried harder than ever. He protects me and loves me more than I thought possible. And we love him beyond belief.
He is so loving to others, too. The way he has welcomed Kai in to our family is incredible. Everyone kept telling us how he's going to be so jealous and how he better get use to not getting as much attention and it always baffled me. How could the best dog in the world get jealous of his brother? Why would we give him less attention? If anything he gets more attention now. He has another human in his life that loves him more than anything. The bond that has grown between Kai and Wrigley is extraordinary and I love watching them play and snuggle all day every day. Wrigley would go to the end of the Earth the protect Kai and for that I've never loved him more.
This blog was named for him. I call him Tiny. He is the most dapper pup ever. He is my little fox. He inspires me every day to be my best self and I thrive on his love. I hope this space continues to honor him by showing the best side of our little family and inspires others just as he inspires me. We love you so much, Tiny. Thank you for an incredible 7 years.
Guys, our tiny dapper fox is 7 years old today! This little pup has brought so much joy in to our lives. He really is our first baby. He's taught us how to be more patient, loving, and care for another. He's been here for it all. The happy, the sad, the losses, and the gains. Wrigley truly is my best friend. I was chatting with my family a few weeks ago about Wrigley and how he is my biggest support. Of course I am so grateful for Caleb, my mom, my family, and my friends and they are always here for me too but any time I'm upset about something, not feeling well, or even so happy for any random old reason, it's always Wrigley that's there for me. In fact, he's snuggling with me as I write this. He is my constant and the most incredible, loyal, dog I could ever imagine having in my life. I love you more than I can ever explain, Tiny. You're the real MVP.
Hey there beautiful friends! I'm SO happy you're here today because today is a very special day for us...this little blog is ONE! I started this blog last November and it has truly brought so much joy and creativity in to my life and I have all of you to thank for that!
I've grown so much in the last year, it kind of blows my mind. To think when I started this blog I was still a mama to be is actually kind of unbelievable to me because I can't imagine my life without Kai and being a mom. I don't mind being defined as a mom at all. It is truly my calling and I honestly love who I've become in the last year. That's the first time in my life that I've been able to say that, I think. To be proud of who you are is so freeing. I start each day so full of happiness and am constantly motived to be the best version of myself possible.
Writing this blog, taking photos, connecting with all of you through social media, my Tiny Talks, and the Tiny Tribe brings me so much positive energy. I look forward to each and every blog post that I publish and literally get giddy when I hit the POST button. I've had the amazing opportunity to work with some incredible brands, too and thank all of them so much for recognizing the love and hard work that goes in to this blog. I joke that I have 3 jobs. My day job, being a mom, and being a blogger and I love all 3 of them so much. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world! I've put my hand at this blogging/website thing in the past (Yellow Mondays + This Boundless Journey, anyone? ha!) and I always get tired of what I'm doing long before this point. Tiny Dapper Fox though has not reached that point for me, and I am so grateful to have finally found my creative space that brings so much light in to my life.
Even though I've felt more joy in this last year then I ever have in my life, it hasn't come without challenges. I've certainly had my struggles, the two biggest ones being my postpartum anxiety and the loss of my dad. Life is not simply just happy or sad, it's so complex and learning how to deal with the ups and downs is just a part of it. When my dad got sick I was just getting over my crippling postpartum anxiety. For the last 5 months or so I've felt like I've been in a spinning vortex. I've been trying to climb my way out of it but life was spinning very very fast at some points that I just couldn't. This little blog and my family kept me from being lost though. Without you all, I feel like I would be numb and in the unknown. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being here. Whether you've been here the last year or even if you've just joined me, thank you so much for being a part of Tiny Dapper Fox.
Happy Friday, friends! Once again, apologies for the late Halloween post but I still wanted to share our costumes with you guys! Better late than never, right? We can just file it away for future Halloweens, too! Caleb and I really like to DIY our Halloween costumes; we have so much fun putting them together ever year. He grew up with an amazing mom who literally made all of his costumes, which I think is so special. While I'm not that good, I do pride myself on searching for cheap items to bring a costume together well and crafting parts of them! This year we did Peter Pan as a family for Kai's first Halloween! I was Tinker Bell, Kai was Peter Pan, Caleb was Captain Hook, and Wrigley was Mr. Smee. I absolutely loved how they turned out and want to share with you how we made them!
White T-Shirt - Gap | Green Leggings - Amazon | Green Pom Flats - Amazon | Tutu - DIY
Green Jacket (old, similar) - Dicks Sporting Goods | Fairy Wings - Amazon | Red lipstick - Chanel
Tutu DIY Instructions:
Green Onesie - Amazon | Green Pants - Amazon | Hat - DIY | Beige Moccasins - Freshly Picked | Leather Belt - DIY
Hat DIY Instructions:
Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! I hope you all had a beautiful weekend! This weekend was so incredible for me, and I'm still left speechless from it. Saturday we spent the afternoon in the city celebrating a good friend of ours graduating law school! We're so proud of you Jackie! Sunday was such a special day. It was my first Mother's Day and I couldn't imagine having a better day. Caleb, Kai, and Wrigley really spoiled me this year! Kai and I slept in and Caleb made me brunch at home which consisted of orange ricotta pancakes, avocado toast, bacon wrapped dates, extra bacon, and a mimosa. He put it all together on this cute little serving tray with this precious I love you sign. He and Kai also surprised me with the most thoughtful gift, a new robe and the Magnolia Table cookbook! In the afternoon, we headed to the Chicago Botanic Garden and walked around and took some Mother's Day photos. Then that evening, my parents came over and we celebrated the end of Mother's Day having dinner with them at home. It was the best day and I will never ever forget it!
Wrigley update: He's doing so much better. By Saturday he was acting like nothing was even wrong, so we're really confused as to what was going on with him. Every once in awhile he seems to be a little bit bothered by the sprain, but for the most part he's back to his peppy self!
Since having Kai, we always get asked how Wrigley has been doing with him and what all we did to prep him for Kai's arrival. Well I'm happy to report that Wrigley loves Kai just as much as he loves me and Caleb and did right from the beginning! It took a couple days for him not to get worked up when Kai cried or squirmed, but he caught on so quickly. Wrigley is a very gentle and loving dog to begin with but I do think the things we did before Kai was born helped tremendously with the transition for Wrigley. So here is what all we did in order to prepare Wrigley for us adding to the Cabrera Crew:
Showed Wrigley all the Baby Stuff
We showed Wrigley every single little item we got for Kai before he was born. We allowed him to sniff everything and would tell him over and over again this is for the baby. There was only a couple of things that he tried to take for himself like Kai's Mickey and a blanket (Wrigley's 2 favorite things in the world, so no surprise there), but we gently told him no and kept explaining to him that these things weren't his. After telling him just a couple of times he caught on and stopped trying to take anything from the nursery.
Talked about Kai & Showed Wrigley the Bump
Wrigley is the biggest snuggler in the world, so it was a little hard for him to adjust not being able to lay on my chest/belly. As he saw my belly grow though he started to understand. We would tell him all the time how his little brother is in there and even one time when I put Wrigley's paw on my belly, Kai kicked him! He was 50% full of wonder and 50% scared ha! Dogs can sense things though like when you're sick, so I truly believed Wrigley knew exactly what was going on with me being pregnant. In fact, he started getting extra protective of me right around the time I did get pregnant, so there's some scary stuff for ya!
Let Wrigley Sniff a Baby Blanket from the Hospital
I was a little nervous about this one because it didn't really go how I had pictured it would go. Wrigley ended up staying at my parents' house while I was in the hospital because Caleb stayed with him overnight in the hospital. We don't feel comfortable leaving Wrigley by himself overnight, so my parents graciously took him in. However, the downside to that was that Caleb wasn't able to bring a baby blanket home to Wrigley prior to us coming home from the hospital. We improvised though. My dad dropped Wrigley off at our house prior to us coming home from the hospital so that when we got home, he would be there. When we first got home, I went inside first, by myself, and brought in a blanket that Kai had been wrapped in the whole time at the hospital. I let Wrigley sniff it for a few minutes and spent some quality one on one time with him while Caleb waited in the car with Kai.
Caleb Brought Kai In for the First Meeting
Wrigley is VERY protective of me, even with Caleb. While I was pregnant it was 10 fold on the protection. Wrigley would get upset even when Caleb was trying to help get up off of the couch. So we decided it would be best to have Caleb bring Kai's car seat in to show Wrigley that it's ok for Caleb to be holding the baby. So if you have this problem, as well, we suggest having whoever the dog is less protective of bring the baby inside.
Brought Kai inside in his Car Seat & Put it on the Floor
Like I said above, Caleb brought Kai inside in his car seat and set it down on the floor. We let Wrigley slowly approach it and sniff it out. After a few seconds it clicked who it was and he was very excited. We didn't allow him to jump on the baby of course, but we did our best to allow him to be as excited as he wanted to be as to give Wrigley the happiest of experiences with his first meeting with Kai.
Allowed Wrigley to Form A Bond on His Own Time
We've allowed Wrigley to form his bond with Kai on his own time. We didn't want to force anything on him, but it really didn't take that long. Within a couple of days he was comfortable with sitting close to Kai and would even come over to give him some kisses. It has gradually turned in to now he always wants to be in the same room with Kai and won't stop giving him kisses if we let him keep going. We've tried to implement a one and done rule but Wrigley is a lover and tends to ignore the rule. Wrigley's favorite thing to do with Kai right now is tummy time!
Put a Dog Bed in the Nursery
So I've actually read things that are against this but we felt doing this would actually help. Like I said, Wrigley really loves to be around Kai, especially if we are with him. So if we are spending time in the nursery with Kai, it's nice for Wrigley to have his own place to snuggle up, too. When Kai was smaller, Wrigley could fit in the rocking chair next to me, but now that Kai is bigger, it's not as comfortable for Wrigley. So, Wrigley will go lay in his bed that we have in the nursery so that he can still be spending time with us. Just remember though, a big no no is allowing them to go in to the baby's crib. You don't want them to ever have the association that they are allowed to snuggle up in there as it is not safe for pets to sleep with infants. If you have cats or large dogs that can easily jump in the crib, it might be best to keep the door shut if you are not in there so you can easily monitor this behavior.
If you want to see the DIY post I did for how we made Wrigley's teepee bed for Kai's nursery you can see it in this post!
Spend Quality Time with Wrigley
We still try our best to spend as much quality time with him that we can. It's of course less than before Kai was born, but honestly not much less. Wrigley does a good job at just fitting in wherever we are and we always try to let him know that he is welcome. We include him in our little photoshoots that we do with Kai and invite him to follow us wherever we go with Kai. It's important to help them get their energy out so that it doesn't build up too much and they don't unleash it on you or the baby. We still try to take Wrigley out for daily walks (weather permitting) and Caleb takes him to the dog park about once a week. We'll still play fetch with him and give him all the snuggles he wants!
I think the most important thing for pet owners to remember when they are having a baby is that our pets are still a part of our family and they need us. I remember reading this one thing a while back how we have lots of people in our lives that bring us love and joy but when it comes to our pets we're it for them. They long to see us and spend time with us. We are their whole world, so we can't just forget about them when we add something like a baby to our lives. If you're anything like us, you view them as one of your babies, too!
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I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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