A return to blogging with “Not your average mommy-must-have list”

I’M BACK! Hello again blogosphere! (do people still call it that?)  I’m back on the blogging train and decided I won’t bore my 2 readers with what happened since I stopped writing here.  BUT I will say, since I’ve stopped blogging in October, a lot has happened.

Those of you who know about the health scare we had, it’s over. It was nothing more than just that, a scare. For those of you who don’t know, you probably won’t. But I can tell you it is what led to my long/yet temporary halt in blogging. I may one day share all of the details, but I won’t allow myself to go back to the dark place I was in at the time so we’re going to keep it moving right along.

Things are crazy here in Mrs. Waldo’s World. But really, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It seems like I’ll be at a wedding or some sort of shower every single weekend this summer. I have multiple family members getting married, and multiple friends having babies. With that said, I’ve had a lot of questions about planning nuptials and planning for baby. So it got me thinking about a series of posts I’d like to do. Starting with baby stuff.

A co-worker asked me recently about what baby items she should put on her registry. I thought briefly about it, and offered her the list you’re about to see.

**Understand this, most people are going to say things like, “Boppy pillow.” (which IS a necessity if you ask me). And then they’ll tell you why a Diaper Genie is a waste or a changing table is stupid. (I use both such things and happen to love them). My point? Get what you want. If you want a fancy schmancy crib that costs $1K, do it. More power to ya. BUT there are things people never told me to buy. I didn’t even know what some of these next things were – until the munchkin needed them. And by needing them I mean, NEEDED them within the first few days of life. ***

[Warning: if you’re not into poop talk, just stop reading this now.]

A butt thermometer

Butt thermometer

You’re a budding, beautiful first time mom. You’re only the 2nd trimester so the swelling, and kankles and carpal tunnel haven’t kicked in yet. And you’re still able to sleep through the night without waking to pee 7 to 9 times. You want the BEST for your baby so you register and receive a digital thermometer that not only scans your newborns body temp, but doubles as a water temp thermometer so you don’t burn your precious one’s bottom when bathing them. I, too, have one of those thermometers sitting in one of the changing table’s cubby holes. It’s been used 2 times. Once to test it, and once as a toy/distraction to get my child to stop wiggling while changing a poopy diaper.  Have I EVER checked the baby’s bath water with it? HELL NO. I stick my foot in the bath tub and if it’s too hot for me, it’s too hot for baby.

If you are the beautiful, budding first time mom I mentioned – you’re gonna worry like NO OTHER once the little one makes his/her grand entrance. You’re also going to believe your child is sick with a different illness each day. So you’re going to check his/her temp. And check it a lot. Guess what. The only way to get an accurate reading is through the bum bum. Here’s the one I have. Get this one or one like it. You’ll thank me later when you’re convinced he/she has a fever but the temp reads 96.1.  You can then relax for about 45 minutes. If you’re lucky.



Gripe Water

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This stuff is awesome. I hated that my baby got the hiccups all the time and wanted to something about it. So I did a few searches with my good friend Google and came across a recommendation for it. So naturally, if the Interweb approved, I had to try it. There are a ton of brands that make it, but I personally used Wellements Organic Gripe Water for colic. I am in no way, shape, or form one of those people who must have organic everything. But I did like the fact that this brand in particular offered an organic option so I went with it. I’m sure the other brands aren’t much different, but it worked on soothing the babe’s hiccups and calming her down when she would be particularly uncomfortable. Have in house, ready to go before you give birth. Ps. Gripe water is NOT for gas. It’s for reflux related problems (ie. Hiccups, spit up, etc.).


Gas drops

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Yea, who knew babies needed gas drops. I didn’t. Luckily, we didn’t have too many issues with gas. BUT the few times we knew she was uncomfortable and especially farty, we used the drops and they seemed to help almost instantly. Some mothers put the drops in every bottle or use with every feeding. Consult with your pediatrician, but if I remember correctly the dosage on the bottle allows for 2 drops every hour or something. So unless your child is eating more than that, you should be good to go. Again, there are several brands. I went with Little Tummys. No reason other than I liked the packaging… I also found a Target brand that came in packs of 2 that was significantly cheaper and used those as well.


Blooming Bath

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OK, so it’s not a “must have,” but it’s my favorite baby product I bought for myself. It’s a large flower shaped sponge that fits perfectly into any sink. It cushions the sink and provides a sense of comfort for the little one’s first bath times. I used my blooming bath nearly every day – even when we transitioned into the bath tub. We stopped using it when she could really start moving around. But I love this product and will endorse it as much as I can. I would even wet it down with really hot water several minutes before running the bath water so it would stay warm throughout the bath. They come in several different colors and are sold mostly online, but may be available in some stores near you. Check their website.


Newborn onesies, clothing

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Everyone is going to say, “they grow out of newborn sizes so fast!” Well, duh. But you still need them! When I went to the hospital I packed 3 days worth of newborn size sleepers (sleep and plays). When I got home I thought I had drawers full of clothing… and I did… except NONE of it fit. I had to send my mom out to get me newborn size white T-shirts and more sleep and plays. Also, skip the cutesy outfits for the first few weeks. The babe is so small that anything that doesn’t snap or button at the crotch rides up and looks (likely feels) terribly uncomfortable. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to what my child wears, but let me tell ya – you’re not going to be sorry having 15 to 20 newborn size sleep and plays,  and a boatload of those white t-shirts. Carter’s makes most of their newborn stuff with mittens attached (oh, you’re having a July baby? You still need them). By mittens, I mean that extra piece of fabric that folds over the tiny one’s hands. If your child is anything like mine, they’ll come out with razor blade nails.


Infant nail trimmers

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This may seem obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me. I didn’t have these when we brought our baby home. So for a few days I tried biting, filing, and peeling her little tiny nails so she wouldn’t cut up her face when she didn’t have the mittens I mentioned above on. I have this pair and use them weekly on my now extremely wiggly 14-month-old. What’s nice about this pair is that there’s a light on it so when you are trimming up those nails, it aims the light on the nail so you can really see what you’re doing. Oh, and don’t worry. You will screw up and make your child bleed. It happens.



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OK, so you can’t really put this on your registry. But buy it now and save yourself the trip after you have your child. The first poop after giving birth is just as scary as that first contraction, and you literally feel like you’re intestines are going to fall through your butt hole. Miralax helps. Trust me.


What are you favorite, not-so-obvious, baby items? Comment below. (I was not paid or asked to endorse any of the products in this blog post. I really really do use and like them.)



Party planner: Gender Reveal

Since planning my wedding, I have been obsessed with event/party planning. Pinterest didn’t blow up until after my wedding in 2011, so I didn’t have that to reference but I still had a ton of small, intricate, original details. The whole year of planning made me want to get in to the wedding planning business and I still hope someday I’ll be able to do it.

I’ve thrown quite a few parties since my wedding and am currently planning a New Year’s Eve party and my daughter’s first birthday party. (I started planning her party before I was off maternity leave … that’s how obsessed I am with that one.)

To-date, my favorite party I’ve planned was our gender reveal party. If you’re not familiar, it’s a semi-new concept in the world of baby-making. When you go to your sonogram to find out what you’re having, you ask the tech to scribble the gender down and put it in a sealed envelope. Then a few days later you find out the gender of your new baby together with all of your friends and family.

This party was totally Pinterest-inspired, with a few details thought up on my own.

I chose to go with a “Whoo will it be” theme, complete with pink and blue owls. I decided on the theme based on these invites I found on Etsy.


(TIP: A lot of graphic artists sell their designs on Etsy. You pay for the design, they send it to your email and then you print as you please. For less than $20 you can get an awesome design. I always send them to be printed at a professional printer and then glue the invite to coordinating card stock to add a more handmade/fancy feel)

I handmade all of the decorations: this included several pink/blue owls out of construction paper and a bunting banner that I hung above the dessert table.

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The dessert table included pink/blue owl cupcakes, pink/blue Kool Aid (with mason jars and pink/blue stripped straws with straw flags), Hershey bars (with HE and SHE colored), Sour patch kids, homemade pink/blue thumbprints (by my mom) and pink/blue chocolate covered pretzels everyone got as a favor for coming.

(TIP: I made the pretzels using molds from Joann Fabrics. If I can do it, so you can you. They make molds for everything!)

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Additionally, I asked everyone who was coming to wear pink or blue to indicate what they thought we were having. I also had everyone pose with a “team pink” or “team blue” sign when they got there. We had close to 50 people at the party and it was split down the middle! Here’s a pic of my adorable nieces casting their vote!


I opted for balloons in a box for the reveal. This took some planning with the balloon people (and a lot of explaining to the old ladies who didn’t quite understand at first.)   A friend of mine had another friend use the same approach at her party a few weeks prior, so she gave me her reveal box. I had planned on making mine, but this one was adorable so I saved myself the time!


The day of the party we took the box to our local grocery store’s floral department. (We had spoken to them a few days prior so they knew what to expect). We gave them the box and our sealed envelope. The lovely workers then put 6 weighted and as many other un-weighted balloons that could fit inside. We roamed around the store until they paged us back to tell us it was ready.

 (TIP: Tell your sonogram tech to wrap the paper with the gender in another piece of paper before putting it in the envelope. My husband actually saw through the envelope and knew what we were having THE DAY OF THE SONAGRAM but he kept it a secret from me for an entire week!)

After everyone arrived we congregated outside and ripped open the box. Here’s our (my) reaction:


Additional details included “Blue” Moon beer and “Pink” champagne punch (for those of us who weren’t pregnant). Handmade tissue poms hung throughout our garage/house and $1 store pink/blue table clothes to cover up the nasty garage ceiling (it made it look like a circus tent!) Plus, Christmas lights and streamers hung in the garage to give it a more cozy feeling. (We have a fabulous finished basement but used the garage for the food so there would be enough room for everyone).

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Case of the Mondays?

Well – it’s here again. Monday. If you’re feeling particularly down… here’s a few things that may pick you up:

Monday morning finds:

Groupon has a couple great deals for you moms out there.

Available now is a $15 voucher for Toy/Babies R’ Us for $7.50. I wasn’t impressed with the offer at first, but you’re still saving $7.50 on mostly anything. I think the only restriction (besides the obvious ones) is Apple products. Buy it HERE. (This offer is only available in some markets. Currently it’s not in Pittsburgh, so just use San Diego. The Groupon can be used at any store.)


Also – there’s a new 20% Toys/Babies R Us coupon available. These always have a ton of restrictions, but PRINT it anyway and see if you get lucky enough to use it on something your child may want.

(FYI: I don’t know if you can use the Groupon and coupon together. I’m guessing not since the Groupon deal states you can’t use with any other offers. Just do a separate transaction if you want to use both in one trip.)

If you’re planning on getting your children’s photographs taken for the holidays. Don’t miss out on this Picture People deal.  For $16 you get one pose and 8 photo sheets (multiple sizes).

Not into Picture People? Here’s another decent deal for JCP Portraits. For a few more bucks you get a couple more poses and a CD containing your images.

89 years of Pearl:

On Sunday we celebrated my grandmother’s 89th birthday. What a gem she is.  This woman is hilarious and fabulous.


Here’s a few facts about our beloved “Pearlsy”

  • She considers the Cheesecake Factory  “fine dining” (and quite frankly thinks Eat N’ Park is superior in every way.)
  • She is a celebrity gossip queen. She can tell you all of Brad & Angelina’s baby’s names, lets us know who broke up this week and subscribes to Us Weekly.
  • Leopard print is her favorite print.
  • She is also full of random facts. Most recently she told me: “According to the Farmers’ Almanac (she read front to back) we will be getting as many bad snows this winter as we had foggy mornings this fall.” **I really hope this isn’t true**
  • And here she is blowing out all the candles on her cake. It took her a solid 5 minutes to get them all out. Why? “It took me so long because I was afraid I would blow my teeth out.”

pearl bday

If the above mentioned things didn’t brighten your Monday….. maybe this will?

Have a great week!

Knowledge is Power

I came upon a blog entry posted by the Huffington Post  this week that really got me thinking about charitable donations, what I’ve personally done (or not done) and how vital is it to do homework.

This lovely, breast cancer survivor explains (to those of us who are LUCKY enough not to be personally affected by the disease) how most of the pink products you’ve purchased this month have actually done NOTHING to help the actual cause.


EXCERPT: “And while I do think we need more awareness and education (about metastatic disease, about how young women can develop breast cancer, about how women (young and old) DO die from this disease, about the importance of research, etc.), I don’t think we need the kind of awareness that buying a jar of salsa with a pink ribbon on it brings. While I hardly ever see “awareness” products addressing the topics above, I can’t go anywhere without seeing pink products. Heck, I just have to look out of my front window to see giant pink garbage totes. The stores are filled with pink as companies try to make a buck off breast cancer. If you look carefully at these products, you’ll find that some of them don’t even donate a cent to breast cancer awareness, support, research, etc. And oftentimes those that do make a very minimal donation-and not always to organizations/programs where the money is well spent.”

 This article is powerful in so many ways —  and even though Breast Cancer Awareness month is wrapping up soon, and we’ll stop seeing all of those NFL players decked out in hot pink on the field on Sundays — this issue applies to ALL charitable donations.

 (FYI: According to a Sports Illustrated report, less than 10%… TEN EFFING PERCENT of the NFL’s pink merchandise is donated toward cancer research. PATHETIC. Read more here : http://bit.ly/17fcw3C)

The point of my writing this: If you have the ability to donate, don’t waste your hard-earned and well-intentioned cash on a lackluster organization that is essentially a fraud. (eh hem… NFL PINK MERCHANDISE).

In the Huff Post link above, Leisha Davison-Yasol lists all of the organizations that actually DO make a difference.  (Leisha is the author of the blog http://cancerinmythirties.wordpress.com/)

Here are a few of the national organizations that I like to support when I can, mostly because I know people who have been personally benefited from the efforts of these organizations:

Make A Wish > http://wish.org/

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition > http://www.ovarian.org/

More so, I like to donate to local charities.

Here’s a link to the Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation for Postpartum Depression > http://awildhope-nicole.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-alexis-joy-dachille-foundation-for.html

And here’s info on the Woiner Foundation > http://woinerfoundation.org/.

My friend Jessica started this charity after her father passed after a hard-fought battle with Melanoma. Her mother, shortly after her father’s death was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have witnessed Jess’s strength through these times and she is really someone to admire. Her work is incredible.

A weekend in review: ‘You’re boring’

Sometimes I feel as if my weekends are more exhausting than my weekdays… and this past weekend was no exception.

I always try to cram as much as possible into the 48 or so hours a week that I get to exclusively dedicate to my family and my house… while also getting a chance to socialize a bit. I think most working moms would agree that something usually falls to the wayside. That something for me happens to be my social life. But more on that later.

Since the husband went out on Thursday night after work with a few of his work buddies, we made a deal that he would stay home with the babe and let me do a few hours of shopping…BY MYSELF. It was as glorious as it sounds. I got to Target and picked up a few things, including a Christmas gift for the baby and a ½ Birthday gift too (we celebrated 6 months of cuteness on Sunday). Then I hit up the mall and perused through the department stores, got my eyebrows done and took my time in Baby Gap. Ahhhhhh.

As usual, we had nearly every hour booked so Saturday morning rolled around and we were out the door before 9 a.m. to get our flu shots – which inevitably means we’ll get the ONE strain of flu that the shot doesn’t protect you against.

Nonetheless, the waiting room was filled with people who were complaining of flu-like symptoms, so get your flu shots people. There’s a reason why doctors recommend it and since I don’t have a Ph.D in medicine, I’ll shut up and listen (even though my arm STILL hurts).

After that I squeezed in some laundry and house cleaning before we were out the door to the pumpkin patch.  Here’s a couple photos from our adventure.


The weather was less than perfect, but we tried to make the best of it. I think the little one was a bit overwhelmed by all of the sights and sounds…that or she was just unimpressed.


My little cutie is wearing a custom-made onesie and leg warmers from this Etsy shop. Her name is embroidered on the onesie, but I whited it out for privacy purposes.


(ps. I LOVE Etsy. If you’re not familiar, just go to Etsy.com and search for something you want. It’s there and it’s most likely handmade. I plan on doing an Etsy post later, stay tuned.)

The little one’s adorable cousins had a lot of fun and we had some awesome apple cider, so all and all it was a good day.


As I mentioned earlier in the week, we made dinner reservations for our anniversary. After getting home from the pumpkin patch, I got myself cleaned up, fed the baby dinner and did a little more cleaning around the house before rushing out the door.

We ate at a restaurant that claims to be the best seafood restaurant in Pittsburgh. It was delicious; don’t get me wrong… but the best? Probably not. It’s called Penn Avenue Fish Company and they have two locations – one in downtown Pittsburgh, the other in the Strip District. I’m in no way a “foodie,” but I love food. Mine was delicious (lobster risotto) and my husband’s was good too (Chilean sea bass). But for the price we would have rather visited a restaurant with better atmosphere. The downtown location is small, loud and dark. But, at any rate, the food was good. We usually go to a restaurant called Joseph Tambellini’s in Hyland Park. If you want a fantastic meal and awesome atmosphere, go here. We’re sorry we didn’t go to our ol’ faithful and promise to be back for Valentine’s Day Mr. Tambellini!

We didn’t get any photos of us together on our night out, but here’s one he snapped of me while waiting for our check.


(In full disclosure, we “unplugged” for the entire meal…but of course checked our phones when we were done. Sometimes I despise my addiction to social media.)

Following dinner we planned on getting a drink at a nearby bar. But here’s where my body decided otherwise. I was exhausted. We walked to a Starbucks a couple of blocks away to get me jolt of caffeine, which helped for a little while. But one drink into our after-dinner cocktails, I had it.  This resulted in a disgruntled husband who called me “boring.” But if fitting all of the aforementioned activities into one day makes me “boring” – then consider me guilty.

Sunday was just as crazy – in a nutshell, I did my usual Sunday morning routine: Peruse Pinterest for recipes, meal plan, coupon clip, make grocery list, grocery shop. After that we had family photos/baby’s 6 month birthday pics scheduled with a photographer at a beautiful park near our home. We brought the gentle giant to be included in some of the photos…and both the babe and the fur-babe were amazing. Rooney – who is usually freaked by the little one – let her sit in between his legs for a few photos. I cannot wait to see them!

Afterward I did MORE cleaning/laundry and then prepped dinner for Monday. I know it’s going to be a busy day, which includes shots for my little pumpkin. (It never gets easier, does it?).

We tired.


Friday Recipe Roundup

There is nothing more annoying than receiving a text from my husband during the work day with the words: “What’s for dinner?”


So in order to rid this annoyance from my life, I recently started meal planning. I post the menu in our kitchen so he has no questions about that night’s dinner.

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(I just got this awesome chalkboard for $20 at a craft show. I had intentions of making my own, but couldn’t resist just buying it. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own chalkboard)

My goal is always to cook 4 meals during the week (Monday-Thursday) and one meal on the weekend, usually on Sundays.

I hope to do a weekly roundup of what I’ve made each week: the good, the bad and the ugly. I am in NO WAY a cook. In fact, I’m pretty bad at it. But thanks to Pinterest (follow me here) I’ve been able to make a few decent meals… when I don’t screw up and forget an ingredient or fail to read the instructions all the way through.

My hope is to make this a regular Friday post and since this is the first one (and I skewed off the menu a bit this week) This is a general recap of some of the meals I’ve made over the past few weeks. Happy cooking.

Chicken parm casserole: This one was simple and quick. I didn’t screw it up, but would add more croutons next time.


chick parm casserole

Crock pot corn chowder: I’ll be using this recipe for years and year to come. I prepped it the night before and let it cook all day while at work. I (of course) didn’t follow the directions properly and added the half/half in at the beginning. While the cream didn’t break, it did thin out. So I added a handful of flour and a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese. The portion size is large, so if you’re not interested in making a lot I would cut the ingredients in half. I just froze the leftovers and used it for another meal a week later. I paired the soup up with turkey meatloaf the first time and baked chicken the second time.


corn chowder


Crock pot cheese tortellini: We both were not fans of this one. Since the recipe calls for tomatoes and we both hate tomatoes, I omitted them. Big mistake. The tomatoes (that are required for this specific recipe) add seasoning. So without them I was left with a tasteless tortellini in a thin sauce. Not to mention the cook time is only 4 hours on low. I thought it would be OK on low for 8+ hours while at work. I was wrong.


cheese tortellini

Oven tacos: LOVE. Simply LOVE. This recipe is the perfect change-up for your taco night.


oven tacos

Monte Crisco sammys: These are little more time consuming than I prefer for a weeknight meal, so I made them on Sunday, paired with French onion soup (below). While delicious, they were very filling. Do not make too many. I was able to feed the husband, my brother, husband’s best friend, sis-in-law and myself with 4 sandwiches sliced in half – throwing away 1 of the halves.


monte crisco sammys

French Onion soup: This soup is another one I’ll be making a lot in the future. It takes a little more prep than the corn chowder, but it’s well worth it.


french onion soup

Cheesy chicken rollups: These are my go to meal when I can’t think of anything else to make. I sometimes even crave them. My 15-year-old niece made this meal when she came to visit me this past summer. It’s very easy and tasty.


cheesy chicken rollups

Crock pot pork chops: No link for this one, but it’s easy. Throw a couple pork chops in the crock pot on low for 8 or so hours with this Campbell’s sauce (this is a new item, so look for coupons). They turned out delicious and I paired the chops up with baked potato and a pasta side.

pork chops

Chipotle chicken and rice: Another simple recipe using this Campbell’s skillet sauce. It’s filling, it’s delicious, it’s different. The recipe is right on the package.

cambells skillet

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The Gentle Giant

Meet Rooney, the Goldendoodle.


He’s quite the conversation piece wherever he goes. He does, after all, look (and act) like a living, breathing cartoon character.

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My husband and I have recently come to the conclusion that we’ve created a monster in this fuzz ball…because we treat him as if he’s one of our children. I mean, he was our first born!

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But Roo Roo annoys the living shit out of me. He eats everything and anything (last night he ate a spider and a dryer sheet for dinner/dessert). He constantly barks as soon as the baby goes down for a nap. He licks every effing dish I put in the dishwasher. He steals dirty underwear from the hamper and tosses them around the house like toys.

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Roon is also one-of-a-kind. I’m not saying this because he’s my dog and we love him and all that good stuff. He is LITERALLY a 1 in a million dog.

Why, you ask? Well… as any good dog owner does we took him to get neutered as soon as he was old enough. The vet who performed the procedure called us afterward and told us that Rooney had some sort of blood disorder and he was bleeding a lot during the operation. She said she acted quickly and removed WHAT SHE THOUGHT were his balls, but she wanted us to have the… uh em… “Specimens” tested. So we did. Turns out she removed lymph nodes and not his testies.

So here’s where it gets real good. We had to pay for the unsuccessful operation and the testing of the non-balls. THEN a few months later we had to take him to see a specialist. Just walking through the doors of this “specialists” office costs $60 a pop. But knowing Roo may have had some sort of blood disorder we wanted him to have the best care. After a series of testing and multiple appointments, we scheduled the poor dog’s second neutering.

I was a nervous wreck. I was so scared something was going to happen to our furbaby while he was under the knife. Afterall, the first vet told us he had a blood disorder! (even though follow up testing showed nothing.) Two hours after dropping him off – my husband’s phone rings. I’m paraphrasing… but here’s how the conversation went:

Doctor: Rooney’s dad? We’re calling to tell you that he’s in recovery now. He’s doing fine…

Husband: Oh good.

Doctor: But we were unable to locate his testicles.

Husband: Excuse me?

Doctor: Your dog was born without balls. It’s very rare. In 20 years of performing neuterings on dogs this has never happened to me. I’ve read about it happening, but the chances are slim.

So there you have it folks. Roon Dog was born WITHOUT BALLS. The best question EVER (from my mom) was…”So WHAT is he?” Well, he does have a penis mom… so he’s still a boy.

We still love our ball-less baby just the way he is.

I love how he jumps up and actually hugs me when I get home from work. He’s massive, but thinks he’s a lap dog. And best of all… he loves his little sis and is incredibly gentle with her.

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So on the days when he grabs a dirty diaper and runs away or drinks out of a piss-filled toilet bowl (yes, that happened this week)… I watch this video.

We love you Roo Roo.