Decision, Decisions...

So now that our Jake will be turning 2 in a few weeks we've getting this question a lot - "so when are you having another baby?" After our eyes would roll into the backs of our heads (sorry everyone...) we would of course say, "I don't know." And that has been the honest truth. Alan and I have known that we had an extremely important decision to make. Do we take the plunge and have a third child? Our blended family complicates things - and makes an already tough decision even, well, tougher. Would Marissa feel left out if Alan and I had another child together? She's not with us half the time and might feel as though she's a fifth wheel... this concern by the way, was brought up by my absolutely wonderful husband who I truly feel is more thoughtful than I am sometimes.... I have given A LOT of thought to having another child - I even talked to my ob/gyn about the idea and charted when the best time to conceive would be. I have thought about how it would effect my graduate work toward my master's degree and how our time / stress / family dynamics and finances would change. Do we even have the money to have a third child? Could we afford to have three children experience and do what we hope to expose them to during their childhood and beyond? The thing I think I have been most concerned with is the blatant fact that Jake lives in a dynamic where he is treated as an only child 1/2 the time. Would this get better or worse over time? How would this effect him long-term?

So as you can see, we struggled with many questions and concerns that surrounded this decision - and after countless discussions, sleepless nights, and even hilarious attempts at bartering, Alan and I came up with two choices for ourselves. We could have another child or we could get a dog. So what did we decide? ........................

Meet Kaity. She's our new addition to the family and she is not a human baby but a canine puppy. Let me tell you, at almost 12 weeks old she's about as much work as any baby would have been but she's adjusting to our family and home well. We love her to death - she's the sweetest puppy we could have asked for. Alan expressed his love for black labradors very early on in our puppy search and we hoped to get lucky enough to find one at either an animal shelter or adoption agency. Boy, were we lucky! Just before closing time a couple weekends ago we strolled into our local PetsMart hoping to just look around to see what was available, price pet supplies, etc. You know me - always trying to be prepared and such. In the back of the store a pet adoption agency (Rescue Me, Inc) was corralling their animals to leave. There, along the side was an entire litter of black lab / blue tick coonhound mix puppies in a shopping cart. Their foster mom was getting ready to wheel them out of the store. Alan headed over to the cart immediately and started asking questions about the puppies. After holding the lone all black male of the group, the foster mom pointed out one of the puppies that was feverishly trying to get out of the cart and into her arms. "This one," she said, "is the sweetheart of the group. I even call her 'sweetie." Alan picked up the black, tan, and white puppy and she curled up in his arms and just shook like a leaf. We all instantly fell in love with her. After asking if we were going to adopt her, the foster mom began to cry saying "if I could have kept any of them, I would have kept her. She's going to make a fantastic family pet." She then dug into her bag and grabbed a tied up piece of wired ribbon and mentioned to us that Kaity loved to play tug of war with the toy and that she wanted us to have it. She then gave her a big hug and kiss and, still wiping her tears with her shirt, wheeled Kaity's brothers and sister out of the store. And so we left with a puppy, and all of the supplies we didn't have at home which ended up being pretty much everything!

Here are a couple other photos of Kaity. She's going to be one large puppy here soon, so we'll try to keep up with the pics of her growth in the weeks/months to come. I hope to post an update with her interactions with the kiddos, obedience and house training progress soon.

Look for one more addition to our Christmas card photo this year! :)

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