Total Basset Case

Sep 14, 2018

Grant's Gifts

I have a passion project that I've been working on for a few months and I am (nervous) but ready and SO EXCITED to launch it into the world.
I mentioned a while ago I was working on something and that was taking away from my time in this space (well, and chasing a nearly 2 year old toddler!) and now I am ready to share! 

The 'big' launch of this project isn't until tomorrow, but because of the love and support our family has always had through the blog, I wanted to share this with you prior to the 'official' launch event.

Without further adieu...drum roll...
I present to you...

The mission of Grant's Gifts is to provide love and support to NICU graduate families, primarily in the form of donations of preemie clothes.  

Many of you remember our NICU journey and because of that unexpected (but beautiful) journey, the idea of this project formed.  

I vividly recall the day I walked into the NICU and Grant was wearing a onesie.  We had been so wrapped up in the craziness of what was going on, the option of him being able to wear clothes had not even dawned on us.  I immediately started crying seeing him wearing a onesie.  That one small, soft piece of cotton meant the world to me.  It gave me the sense of some sort of normalcy within a world that was anything but normal (or expected).  (You can refer to my post here where I talk about a lot of very similar things)
 As soon as I gathered myself, I called Mister and asked him to run out and find/buy him preemie clothes for our little man. 
Mister set off for Buy Buy Baby and sadly only found one very, very small section of preemie clothes.  He was able to find a package of plain white shirts that snapped on the side.  I was in disbelief that there were so few preemie options. 
The next chance I had, I ventured to Target to see what their selection was.  It was the same story, but they had even less options.  Now I was beginning to get upset.  I fully understood that retailers sell many more 0-3 and newborn clothes than preemie, but I still felt like it was... unfair for there to be so few options, if any.  

Now that Grant could wear actual clothes, rather than just a tiny preemie diaper, I wanted to find him some clothes ASAP.   I had ours moms and others on missions about town looking for preemie clothes.  We were slowly able to gather some, wash them quickly, and take them down to the NICU.  I would be lying if I said arriving at the NICU and being able to change Grant's clothes each day wasn't one of the highlights of my day. 
The amount of support we had during and after our NICU stay was amazing.  One day in particular will stay with me, probably forever.  Friends of ours offered to bring over dinner (I'm talking a full spread; lasagna, bread, salad, the works!)  But what was even better than the lasagna (which was amazing) was the fact that she found AND washed a preemie outfit for us.  I was blown away by their thoughtfulness, it meant the world to us that Grant had a brand new outfit to take the next day that was already washed and smelled amazing. 

The fact is, while there is a lot of sitting around and cuddling your new one, NICU families are very busy, and when they're not busy they better be sleeping.  This made the search for preemie clothes even more difficult.
Generally, when you have a preemie, you are not expecting to have a preemie.  Therefore, preemie clothes are generally not on those new mom checklists.
And for me (and I am sure many other moms) gone was the idea of the "going home outfit" I had lovingly picked out for Grant.  He wasn't able to wear that outfit until he was almost 3 months old. 

You may think there is not a huge difference between a newborn onesie and a preemie onesie, but there is a world of difference.  Even outfits that are 0-7lbs were too big on Grant.  The frustration of not being able to clothe your child was real in our world.
We always said the NICU is not really a world you think or know much about until you are thrown into it.  

About a year ago this all hit home once again.  Jen reached out to me that her little man had arrived a few weeks early just like Grant, and she was looking for suggestions on where to buy preemie clothes.  Knowing the difficultly of finding them and and wanting to help, I immediately boxed up Grant's clothes to send to her to borrow.  Along with that, I wanted to send a new outfit as well.  Off to Target I went, and they had TWO options (boy and girl).  This caused me to get aggravated all over again and have flashbacks of our journey not so long ago.  This sparked a fire in me.  I came home and told Mister this shouldn't be this big of a problem.

In short I want to put preemie clothes into the hands of NICU/preemie families so they can experience the same joy and normalcy we did seeing Grant in clothes.  
I want to relieve a tiny bit of stress that those families are going through.
I want them to have a special outfit for photo day.  
I want them to have an outfit they remember their baby wearing on the day the graduated from the NICU and were able to go home.

That is the (long) story short of how Grant's Gifts came to be.
After this idea was born, I was introduced to an amazing Cincinnati based non profit called Vivian's Victory whose passion is also to help NICU families.  I am elated and honored to be working under them as a program collecting and donating preemie clothes to families in the NICU.  

Head on over to Grant's Gifts to learn more!  
If you would like to donate you can text 'grantsgifts' to 71777 or clothes can be mailed to the address on the site. 
(fyi-there are still a few tweaks happening to the site if anything looks off, we are working on it!  The official donation page is still having some kinks worked out so at this time, texting may be the easiest option.  I'll update the post once the kinks are worked out.)
I always make it a habit to check the sale/clearance rack at any store I am visiting to see if they have preemie items.  Some favorites are Target, Wal-Mart, Carters, Old Navy, Gap and Meijer.
I would love if that was something you incorporated into your shopping trips as well.

Thank you as always for your love and support!!
Follow Grant's Gifts on Instagram here and Facebook here!

Aug 24, 2018

Snoozin in the Clouds

I really hate breaking my blog silence with this post but it has been on my heart to share with Floyd's fans, friends and family that he crossed over the rainbow bridge 4 weeks ago.
I announced this on Instagram shortly after it happened but sharing it here has taken some time to come around to.  We have met, connected and began so many friendships (who've turned into family) from this blog and solely because of Floyd.  Our family is honored to know that Floyd brought smiles, happiness and laughter all across the world because of the blog.  And the joy he brought Floyd brought to our family is immeasurable.

Mister and I brought Floyd home with us when he was 6 weeks old.  From that day he was a constant in our life.  Always there, always sassing around, always snoozin.  As you can imagine (and anyone with dogs knows) once they are in your life, you just expect them to be there, always.  I won't lie, I still look for Floyd, expect him to be sitting at the front door window and to come slinking around the corner.  We miss him constantly.

About a month before Floyd passed away we had been at the vet for his yearly check up.  Everything checked out okay except our vet told us she could detect a heart murmur in him.  We had noticed that Floyd had been slower and seemed to be getting hotter on walks, even when it wasn't too hot out.  However, we knew his dramatic personality and simply getting older,  we didn't think too much of it.  Once we knew he had the murmur we scaled back the walks, waited until it was cooler and kept an eye on him.

The day before he passed away he began to act off and a little weird.  That morning he wouldn't come in from outside, even for a piece of grilled chicken.  We knew something was off then.  That evening he seemed slower and a little out of sorts.  He would just stand in one spot for a few moments and then move on.  I sat on the floor with him and we snuggled in a blanket.  I quickly noticed his chunky paws were cold.  His paws were ALWAYS very warm so this was concerning.  I also checked his gums and they were pretty pale (while feverishly texting my favorite dog experts and Floyd's favorite aunts, Kait and Casey).  I called the doggie urgent care and they said we could bring him in or wait until morning and take him to our vet.  Thankfully (seriously!) our vet had an opening come available that morning and she was able to get him in right away.  (Side note we love our vet and even more so now with how she helped us handle this situation.)
I went over his symptoms and recent behavior and she decided to do an ultrasound to see if he had a blockage.  She quickly came back and told me that she found a tumor in his spleen as well as lots of blood on his abdomen.  She showed me a very full vile of blood she had taken from him in the short time he was getting an ultrasound.  She said the tumor had began to burst and was trying to get blood from other areas of his body (hence the slowly down).  
I quickly (while sobbing) called Mister and he came to the vet right away.  After that we talked through the situation with our vet.  She explained that there was a VERY good chance the tumor was cancerous and even if they were able to remove it, the cancer would most likely come back within 6 months.  She also advised that there was a good chance he would need a blood transfusion and he may not survive that.  And even it wasn't cancer, again he would likely need a transfusion and there could also be other tumors in his body that were cancerous. 

This news + the heart murmur + his age + his anxiety issues (which had gotten a lot worse in the past couple of years) we made the hardest decision of our lives.
I imagine no one that has ever been in that position feels like it's easy but we knew it was the best decision for him.  We did not want to suffer, to be in pain and to be released of his anxiety.  
 Floyd was the best bubba to us and so so so loved by so many but no one harder than Mister and I.  We still miss him and talk about him (and in his 'voice') every day.  We try to comfort ourselves knowing he is snoozin in the sun all he wants, eating all the peanut butter he wants and getting alllll the belly rubs; living his best life.
The grief comes in waves but we are doing our best to get through it.  It is extremely hard to get used to how quiet our house is without him (sans that almost 2 year old we have ;) ).  

Thank you to all of you for your wonderful messages, prayers and stories of remembering Floyd.  We are so grateful for all of his 'fans' and the love the blog world has always shown us.

Jun 6, 2018

Currently : June

I am so pleased to be co-hosting with Anne this month for 'Currently'! 

I love having these posts to look back on to see what we did during the months.  I have been slacking on blogging but I love to at least have these posts to reflect back on.

First up, traveling: I recently returned from a girls trip to Clearwater, FL.  We had an absolute blast! We all met in college and have been friends for 15+ years.  The trip was a perfect mix of beach, wine, LOTS of girl talk and just good ol relaxing.

Also can we just get an applause for getting multiple, good group shots?! Not easy with 9 people! 

Grilling: We grill out the majority of the time in the summer.  One, we love it and two, it gets me out of cooking every meal, Mister is the grill master in our house ;)  I am pretty sure we could eat burgers from the grill every single night.  If we have the time we will use the charcoal and it is SO yummy.  We love to experiment with various seasonings and versions of burgers.  I would love to try grilled pizza but it is slightly intimidating.

Exploring:  Unless LM is sleeping, there is not a moment we aren't exploring.  He is incredibly, busy and curious.  He LOVES to be 'outchide' looking and picking up all the rocks, sticks and dandelions.  If you visit our yard you will find piles of rocks all of the place.  We really love to watch him wander around the yard exploring every inch.  
We are also trying to explore more of Cincinnati and things to do as a family while enjoying our summer.  So far we've hit up the zoo and multiple parks.  

Planting: We have a local nursery that we absolutely love.  They are incredibly friendly and the prices are great, it's really hard to beat.
Last weekend we made a big trip and picked up veggies, herbs and flowers to plant.
Mister and I really enjoy being in the yard and experimenting with various plants.
A few years ago I picked up this raised bed for the patio and it always does well. 
 This year I planted: rosemary, cilantro, basil, cherry tomatoes, peppers, lavender (keeps mosquitoes away!) and melons!  I also picked out a few flowers for a big planter I love to deck out.  

Playing: We are obviously always playing with LM, he really loves rocks, his food truck and reading books.  
We also played some fun games on my girls trip.  We tried out Monikers and Last Word and they were both really fun!  They would be great for a group weekend away! 

And that's what we've been up to! What is currently going on in your world?
Join the link up here:

May 21, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up: No Plans

I haven't done one of these in a while and the irony is, we didn't have anything planned this weekend worth even reporting on BUT we had a lot of quality family fun time and there are always good pictures to go along with that!

Friday: We had a little play time after LM's dinner and off to bed for him.  Fridays are rough on the poor guy, he plays so hard all week and usually crashes on Fridays.
Mister and I made this Mexi Meatloaf in the insta pot.  SO good and it makes a ton, I definitely recommend it.
Saturday: LM had gymnastics first thing and we ran around, rolled around and explored the gym.
Afterwards he and I ran some errands (Target, duh) and back home for play time. 
In an effort to get him outside but not in the soaking wet grass, we went on a run before lunch time.
While he was snoozin, my mom and I went on yet another jean short hunt.  I had ordered these from Nordstrom Rack and they were SO short it wasn't even funny.  I didn't find any other ones either.  I think I'm giving up.  The shorts I want are a unicorn that will not be found.  We then hit up Trader Joe's for some goodies (everything but the bagel seasoning for LIFE).  
That evening we headed out to dinner with NaNEE and LM, once again, almost ate more than we did.
Sunday: We headed to church but got there a little too late so LM's class was full.  Instead he and I hung out in the atrium running around and eating snacks.
Once home from church and errands we played outside and watching LM collect rocks and play with his broom-two of his favorite things.
We rounded out the day with a neighbor birthday party and grilling out with NaNEE.
(LM NEVER snuggles us in bed so I treasured these quick few minutes he sat with me on Sunday morning.)
See, no real plans all weekend long but we chocked it full.
l of goodies and snuggles and the kisses that LM has been giving us lately, which are THE best.
How was your weekend?

May 2, 2018

Currently : May

Hi friends!
I am happy to be linking up with Anne and Carrie today for the May edition of Currently.  
Like most folks, I am not sure how it is May already but the fact that I'm pretty sure Spring is finally here to stay I am okay with it.  
This month we are talking all things:
Celebrating:  This may seem insignificant to some but I am jumping for joy that we recently ordered new horizontal blinds for our family room.  Last year we had the entire house painted and once we did I HATED our window treatments.  The window treatments came with our house so we've lived with them for quite a while and I was more than ready for an update.  We finally settled on these from Select Blinds.   Even working in the design field, I have trouble nailing down exactly what I want or what I'm picturing in my head.

Creating:  Another simple house update under creating lately.  Awhile back my mom gave me a large wooden monogram 'T' for our front door and I finally managed to get it stained.  I used the same stain we have on our dining table but not as many coats.  It is a subtle gray with a tint of blue and I love how it looks on our navy front door.  There's something about warmer weather that makes me want to update the entire house.

Wearing: More Spring joy here! Dresses and skirts finally!  I picked up this adorable polka dot dress from Loft during one of their sales lately and I'm loving it!  I have also been on the LARGEST jean short hunt of all time.  I feel like Goldilocks.  Too big, too small, too short, just not right.  I really love these but they ran out of my size and I wanted to love these but on my longer legs they were a no go.  I have a pair a Levis in route to the house so I will see how those go. 

Sharing: These muffins with my coworkers.  I did not have super high expectations for them but they are SO good.  They're gooey and so yummy when warmed up and had with your morning coffee.

Going:  OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE with LM.  He LOVES to be outside and so we are go go going out the door as much as possible.  I cannot resist that little voice asking me to go 'ouchtside' so out we go and we play and collect rocks and walk around until bedtime.
And to the zoo as often as we can, because what's not fun about popping down to the zoo?

Next month I am honored to be co hosting with Anne for Currently : June.  Please join us to talk about what you're: traveling, grilling, exploring, planting, playing