Author Archives: Jane

Sapling Status: 4 Months

Maple’s third month was even more exciting than her second, with her making more talking sounds and even starting to babble in addition to cooing.  She also learned to pull things to her mouth and suck/chew on her fist. And just days before her 4 month birthday I gave her a stuffed doll, and she loves holding it. When she’s sleepy, she pulls it to her face and mouths it, and falls asleep with it in her arms.

Maple First Doll

It’s funny – Maple talks the most when she’s alone in her crib. A stuffed owl hangs on the side of it, and Maple turns on her side to face it, grabs at it, and talks up a storm.

The third month also brought some obstacles and difficult days, primarily when she was gassy. It turns out that if I eat chick peas, she will be screaming from gas pain later, and we have to just hold her as she rides it out. Seeing your baby cry from pain is heartbreaking!

So. No more chick peas for now.

Maple Smiling 3 Months

We did solve the bottle refusal problem, and Maple is once again drinking happily from bottles! It turns out that excess Lipase (which helps baby digest fats in the milk) can cause the milk to taste sour and soapy if it is cooled and then reheated for a bottle. The solution is to scald the milk on the stove before freezing it.

Unfortunately, I have 200 ounces of frozen milk that may taste bad, so I have to start from scratch building my freezer stash. The good news is that I can donate it to a non-profit milk bank to be fed to NICU babies through a feeding tube.

Maple Jane Cow Farm

Now that the weather is great, Maple and I are going for 3 mile walks daily. I’ve been trying to strategically plan our errands, such as groceries, so that we can walk to do them. It takes longer than driving, but it’s a good way to squeeze exercise into my day.

We’ve also done some hiking, and found that if I wear Maple in my Solly Wrap, she can nurse while we hike! This was a great time-saver during a growth spurt, because we were out hiking and she wanted to eat every 30 minutes.

Maple Hiking Calvert Cliffs

Our general schedule hasn’t changed much, except that now I wake up between 5 -7 am. Maple is very active now, so she doesn’t spend a lot of time napping like she used to. She does take a long nap early in the morning, so if I’m awake and prepared I can get some work done then. I put her down for a scheduled nap in the afternoon, but that often lasts only 30 min – 1 hour. She goes to sleep between 7-8 pm and usually wakes up to eat before midnight. We had some nights where she slept more than 6 hours straight after 12 am, but that doesn’t always happen.

One thing I’ve learned about Maple is that if she has a busy day with lots of visitors or if we go out of town, she recovers when she gets home by napping a ton the next day and then going to bed very early (5 pm) at night.

Credit: Erin Lassahn Photography

Credit: Erin Lassahn Photography

As I write this post, Ryan and I are in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and Maple is on her first vacation with her grandparents in New Jersey. She hit 4 months the day before we left her, so I’ll save that experience for next month’s post.

This entry was posted in Baby on by .

Amber the Poodle Has Surgery for Chronic UTIs

Amber the Poodle has spent the last week sulking under our bed. The reason? She’s stuck in a big plastic Cone of Shame and isn’t allowed to lick or groom her back end, after surgery to fix her chronic UTI issue.

We have yet to figure out how she manages to get under the bed with the Cone of Shame on, but she does. Standard Poodles are smart and wily creatures.

Amber Poodle E-Collar Surgery

If you’re new here, Amber is our Standard Poodle who has had a UTI every month since we adopted her last fall. We’d treat her for the UTI, and then about 10 days after the antibiotic had ended, she’d start having accidents in the house again. The vet would run new tests, and each time the UTI had returned.

We initially had a lot of frustration when Amber had accidents in the house, but we slowly learned that they coincided with the onset of each UTI. Fortunately, Amber has now learned to run up and nudge us when she needs to go out, and we’ve been accident free for at least 2 months.

Amber is less than 2 years old, so we wanted to identify and fix the root of the problem rather than constantly treating the symptoms with antibiotics. Chronic antibiotic use leads to resistance, which is both more expensive and harder on Amber in the long run.

A veterinary surgeon and an internal medicine specialist determined that Amber’s vulva was not shaped quite right, and bacteria could be getting trapped inside because of it.   They also did an abdominal ultrasound and a scope in the urethra but found no internal issues.

Following this, Amber had episioplasty surgery, which is basically plastic surgery to fix the external shape of things. She’s got an ugly incision curving up one leg and down the other, but things seem to be in a better place now.

When pets recover from surgery it’s hard on the whole household. Amber is confused upset about the Cone of Shame, and she doesn’t understand why she isn’t allowed to run and play.  We had to put her on an anti-anxiety / sedative drug to keep her calm.

When I worked for the veterinary surgeon, I saw so many pets come back for expensive fixes because they had torn their initial stitches out from licking and biting at them. That experience helps me stay strong when Amber is desperate to get the cone off her head and run around. Fortunately we only have 6 more days to go.

Amber may still have leaking from incontinence, but apparently injections of collagen can help with that. At least we’ve gotten the major surgery out of the way.

After the thousands we have spent on Amber in just 6 months, I’m really wishing we’d gotten pet insurance for her as soon as we adopted her. Lesson learned for next time!

This entry was posted in Pets on by .

Ethical Pet Accessories for Dogs and Cats

Hey guys! I’m excited to kick off this week with a guest post on ethical pet accessories from Jamillah at Made-to-Travel! She’s been a blog friend for several years, and I love that she blogs about ethical shopping. The fact that most of the products we buy are made overseas and in sweatshops of both underpaid adults and children is something that’s bothered me for a long time, and now that I’m making an effort to support more ethical manufacturers, I’m so glad there are blogs like Jamillah’s to help point the way!

Ethical Pet Accessories

houndstooth sweater, made in the USA- $29.99 // fair trade catnip mouse (set of 2) – $11

Hi there Borrowed Abode readers! Jamillah from Made-to-Travel here, and I’m so happy Jane is having me back to share some ethical accessories for pets. When Jane and I were emailing about another guest post she challenged me to find ethical treats for those furry friends and I was totally excited to take on the task!

This is the very first ethical roundup I’ve done for pets and I have to say I’m really really pleased on what’s out there!

ethical accessories for dogs

doggie raincoats, made in Canada- $47.99-$49.99 // rope bones, made of recycled yarn- $10 // fair trade leash- $30 // fair trade collar- $18 // non- toxic doggie frisbies, made in the USA- $9 // pooch pouch with 20 biodegradable bags – $17.49 // fair trade doggie bandanas – $3.50-$7.20 // big sky puppy toys, made in the USA of recycled fabric- $7.50 ethical accessories cats-1cat scratch sofa, made in the USA from recycled paper-$26.99 // handmade cat toys, from sustainable materials- all available here $5.91-$13.86 // happy kitten kit – $37.49 // fair trade cat collar- $8.50 // slurp and meow bowls – $40 // cat track made in the USA – $24.95 // kitty lure made in the USA- $12.95 // catty stacks, made in the USA $14.99 per box

I hope if you have a furry friend at home you’ve found a little ethical treat for him or her in this ethical pet accessories roundup!

And don’t forget Jane does some adorable pet accessories of her own at her shop, Janery.

Shop Janery

Jamillah lives in NYC and writes about ethical shopping and happy things at Made-to-Travel. If you want to start being a conscious consumer check out Ethical Shopping 101. If you’re looking to buy something ethical give her a shout! Jamillah is happy to help you becamoe a more conscious shopper.

Find Jamillah on Bloglovin / Pinterest / Twitter / Email: made-to-travel(at)