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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurinaPetPack #CollectiveBias

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby

When we found out I was pregnant, my first and biggest fear was our dog, Jack. Jack is now almost five years old and he’s the most anxiety-ridden dog I have ever met. With the two of us, he’s the best dog you could ask for. He’s well-trained and super sweet and energetic and fun to be around. But the moment you add in another person, all hell breaks loose. He has fear-based aggression and it makes it unsafe to have anyone around him which is terrifying to someone who just found out she’d be bringing a new baby into the home.

Instantly, I jumped online to look into trainers in our area and seeking advice on how to introduce him to our new baby and while there were many stories on there of people with similar pet issues, I still worried constantly throughout my entire pregnancy thinking about when that day comes. Getting rid of our first baby just wasn’t an option. So we absolutely had to find a way to make the situation as safe as possible for both the baby and for Jack. After a ton of research along with suggestions from friends and family, we chose a few different methods to try out and they worked! So here’s what we did to introduce Jack to Allie:

Related: Week 1 of Jack’s Training

We invested in training. 

First and foremost, we invested in a great trainer. I shared more about our training experience a few months ago when we started the program and we saw amazing results from it. It was 8 lessons (1 lesson a week) and we started seeing changes in him after just the first class. Seriously. They were that amazing. Now, we’re easily able to have people over the house with zero issues. I can take him for a walk without him pulling on the leash or barking at other people or dogs. I can even stop and talk to our neighbors and he’ll just sit next to me, patiently waiting for me to continue the walk. His training was worth every penny!

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby | KeatingBartlett.com

We kept his favorite food and treats on hand.

Having your pet’s favorite foods, treats and toys on hand at all times is super important and helpful. It’s a great way to keep them happy throughout the transition. Our dog loves Purina® Pro Plan® so before Allie was born, I made sure to order extra so we’d have it in our home. There’s nothing less appealing than having to make a trip to the store with a newborn which is why I ordered his food off Amazon from the comfort of my own home.

I don’t know about you, but we’re huge fans of Amazon in our household. When you order online through Amazon, you can save $5 off your purchase using Purina’s Subscribe and Save promotion. You’ll save 5% when you subscribe to one Purina product and up to 15% when you subscribe to five products. And ordering online or through your mobile device is super quick and easy to do!

Step #1:

First, you choose your product. We ordered the Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice which happens to be one of Jack’s favorite flavors. Cat owners are also able to get in on this awesome deal so if you don’t worry if you prefer cats over dogs!

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby | KeatingBartlett.com

Step #2:

Next, you scroll down and choose the Subscribe and Save option. Here, you have the option to choose your quantity along with the frequency of your delivery. This is perfect for new moms. You can set it up to send you a whole new bag of dog food once or twice a month so that you never have to leave the house to buy more. Instead, it’ll arrive at your doorstep! How convenient is that?! AND you get instant savings as I mentioned above.

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby | KeatingBartlett.com

Step #3:

Once you choose your plan, you can add it to your cart and proceed to checkout (this is where you’ll enter your credit card information and mailing address which is why I did not include screenshots of this step). Once completed, you submit your order and voila! Your pet’s food is on its way to you!

How To Introduce An Anxious Pet To A New Baby | KeatingBartlett.com

Ordering online allows you to spend less time paying and more time playing. Rather than having to take a trip to the store, I was able to quickly order his food from my mobile device and spend some much needed time with him. Not only did it allow us more time to dedicate to his training, it allowed us more time to take him for walks and even to the dog park. Having that one on one time with him before adding a baby to the household was super important.

We brought home clothing items from the hospital.

This was another big one. We wanted him to become familiar with her scent long before we brought her home from the hospital. So since Zack slept at home the two nights I was in the hospital, he made sure to bring a couple items home with him from the hospital for Jack to smell. One night he brought home a hat and the second night he brought home one of her blankets. Anything that had her scent on it for a good majority of the day. That way he’d recognize her scent when we brought her home.

We kept her baby blanket around the house.

About a month or two before Allie was born, I picked one of her blankets to keep around the house. I tossed it over the back of the couch so that he could become familiar with it and also so his scent would be on it as well. I then brought the blanket with us to the hospital and made sure to have it around Allie a lot. This was the blanket we brought her home in as well. So when we arrived at home, she was wrapped in a blanket that 1. Jack had seen a million times and 2. had both her scent and his scent on it.

We left her nursery door open.

Once we had her nursery set up and looking good, I ended up keeping the door to the nursery open for the last month or two of my pregnancy. My logic here was that it would allow him to see her items and get used to it all being there. Within a day or two, he started bringing his toys in there and even took naps there as well. So by the time she came home, he was already very comfortable in there amongst all her belongings.

We kept him active.

We make it a priority to keep up with his training every single day and that includes a long walk or a trip to the dog park. This not only keeps him on point with his training and listening skills, it keeps him a little bit on the tired side as well. When you own a big dog like a German Shepard, it’s important to find ways for them to get their energy out. Otherwise, their anxiety and behavior issues will be a million times worse. So we keep him exercised and comfortable at all times which makes him so much calmer around the house.

We kept a safe distance.

When we did finally bring her home, we made sure to keep a safe distance from Jack at first. We actually used her crib as a way for him to safely observe her without him being able to get to her. He spent some time checking her out and sniffing around but didn’t seem to mind her being there. He whined a little at first when she made a noise or two, but overall this worked super well. I highly suggest doing this when you first bring a new baby home. It made those first interactions so much less stressful.

We took extra precautions.

After letting Jack do some observing for a bit, we made sure he had his shock collar on along with his muzzle for a bit as we transitioned her to her rocker in the living room. That way we could feel more comfortable letting him wander the house with her present. We stayed with her at all times for those first few days so we could observe him and how he was reacting to her and thankfully, he took to her very quickly.

Using the above methods, we’ve had a very positive experience with bringing Allie into our home. Thanks to Amazon, were able to spend more time focusing on Jack and less time out running errands and picking up everything we’d need before Allie’s arrival. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition and I’m so proud of Jack and how well-behaved he’s been. We still closely monitor them, of course, but so far he loves her!

Do you have an anxious pet? How did they react when you brought home a new baby?

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XOXO
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