Christmas

A “vintage” Christmas Trees tradition.

Last year I posted about the vintage Christmas trees, and how I have a few in my family. I imagine my grandmother and Mr. KK’s grandmother didn’t realize that their silly hobby would result in holiday tchotchkes that were worth hundreds of dollars.

Tonight, I went to a vintage Christmas tree painting class so that I could create my very own addition to the ceramic family holiday trees. I’m not artist, but it was fun hanging out with friends and – let’s be honest – drinking wine and eating cheese while we painted.

There were 2 sizes of trees, and I chose the smaller size not wanting to commit to a larger tree with my painting skills such a wildcard.

You can’t have a successful paint night without a delectable BYO snack:

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Here’s a little insider secret: there’s this brown glaze-type paint that makes your tree look like this:

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But when you fire it, it turns into this:

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(note: this is a sample tree, not MY masterpiece)

I decorated the base to feel Christmas-y and think it came out pretty good!

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(that’s some free-hand holly, folks!)

When I walked in the door tonight Mr KK asked me where my tree was. I let him know that it needs to be fired and in a week he could seem my masperpiece!

Me, hard at work painting:

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Excited to see this all fired up and finished, and holding a prime spot in our decorating in our house with its vintage sister trees!

Amazon, Christmas

This is when me and Amazon Prime become BFFs

First off, can I just call out that today is Day 19 of NaBloPoMo and I have posted every day for the last 19 days and Mr. KK hasn’t divorced me yet. NaBloPoMo can be a pretty stressful time in the KK household (especially when it’s 10pm and I haven’t written a post yet, like tonight…) This year, however, has gone rather smoothly with only 11 days left.

A few days ago, I wrote about ordering groceries online for the very first time, against every fiber of my being. Not because I’m not a fan of online shopping, but because I’m a control freak when it comes to picking out my own food.

In case you were wondering, everything turned out fine. The delivery guy insisted on bringing the groceries IN since it was my first delivery, which made Rocco go nuts, but everything was accounted for and the fruit and veggies I did order were fine. And even though I only ordered 4 bananas they sent a bunch of like 9, so Mr. KK is getting his fill of potassium.

I’m actually a frequent online shopper, for everything from clothing to furniture, to books to household items. You name it, I’ve likely ordered it online because it was easier, faster and cheaper. And there’s no better online shopping companion than my friend Amazon Prime.

Because while me and Amazon Prime (AP for short) are good friends throughout the whole year, it’s during the holidays that our true BFF status shines through.

It starts off slow, but then our relationship blossoms quickly. My BFF Amazon starts doing little things like:

  • sending me 2-4 emails a day to see how I’m doing
  • always thinking about me, showing me stuff they think I would like
  • checking in to see how our time together was, asking what they could have done better
  • shows up at my door step bearing gifts

And it’s not uncommon, for Amazon’s daily ‘gifts’ to look something like this:

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That’s 6 packages right there, folks. In one day. Broken up over 3 different deliveries. All Christmas gifts for Little Mister (and one hilarious item for Mr. KK)

And this isn’t a fluke. I’m so enamored by my BFF during the holidays, that I’ll check in with them multiple times a day. Getting their opinions on a certain items. And I hate to admit how many times I’m swayed by the temptress knows at Amazon Prime. Not only do they have everything I need, they also have everything I never knew I always wanted (but didn’t need).

My mother-in-law likes to say that you can find everything on Amazon, even a dead body. And while I hope that’s not true, my BFF AP does seem to be taking over the world.

They recently opening a distribution center in my town, and the delivery time is now like 23 minutes or something. (obviously, I jest)

If it wasn’t for online shopping – and Amazon in particular – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive the holidays. They are my lifeline, and they make life so much better.

Do I care that Amazon Prime is fickle, and being super nice to about 8 billion other people this holiday season? NOPE.

Does it bother me that they are showing me an item that I would like and then they are turning around and showing the same item to Karen in the PTA? NOPE.

I know what me and Amazon Prime have going on is special, and that’s all that matters.

Christmas, Decorating

Hurry it up, Thanksgiving. I’m ready for Christmas.

If you’re like me, in the last few weeks you’ve been wondering where the hell this year went. I could swear it was just 100 degrees out and we were sweating.

Now the trees are bare, we build a fire every night, and the holidays are knocking on my door.

And, to make things even MORE fun, this year there are only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That’s only 3 weekends to prepare for Christmas: tree getting, house decorating, present buying, holiday meal planning. How is a girl supposed to get everything done and have time for a holiday manicure?

And while I like Thanksgiving – we host every year which is fun, though I could do without the turkey – I’d jump right into full-blown Christmas mode and trade my turkeys for trees if I didn’t think my Thanksgiving guests would be confused by the holiday mash-up.

My holiday worlds are colliding; on Sunday I started my Christmas shopping and made a Thanksgiving menu in the same afternoon. The season says pumpkin but my heart says gingerbread.

Because of how late Thanksgiving is this year, that long weekend is going to be jam-packed with all things Christmas (sorry, Thanksgiving; you’ll still get your one day).

So here’s the game plan on the big holiday switcheroo:

Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving! Turkey! Pumpkins! Gourds!

Friday, November 29th (aka: Black Friday): SEE YA, Thanksgiving! All Thanksgiving decor gets packed up, Christmas decor gets brought upstairs and the Christmas trees (yes, trees plural) are purchased!

Last year’s decor prep:

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There are about 20 holiday bins in our basement. When putting it all away last year, I tried to label everything to make it easier on myself this year:

Saturday, November 30th: decorate, decorate, decorate!

Last year I was pretty proud of my red tractor sideboard:

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And the mantel:

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Sunday, December 1st-24th: FULL BLOWN CHRISTMAS MODE. Shopping. More shopping. Planning. Santa visit. Wrapping. Hosting. Last-minute shopping. More hosting.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the garage shame-listening to Christmas songs on Sirius in the car.

 

 

Breakfast, cooking

I’m OBSESSED with Starbuck Sous Vide Egg Bites.

It’s hard to find a quick on-the-go breakfast that’s not a 500 calorie piece of coffee cake or a heavy carb-loaded bagel. And while I love me a piece of cinnamon coffee cake, I just can’t eat it for breakfast and deal with that calorie guilt all day long.

About a month ago I was at a conference in Boston, and there was a Starbucks in the hotel lobby. On a whim I ordered the Ham & Cheddar Sous Vide Egg Bites. At only 250 calories – and filled with protein – they seemed like a good breakfast option (besides the $4.50 price tag).

As with all fast food breakfasts, my expectations were pretty low. Once a year I treat myself to a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and Hash browns (or like, 3 hash browns; those things are addictive), so that’s where the bar was set.

The were round and spongy, warm from the quick zap in whatever oven Starbucks hides behind the counter.

And they were…

DELICIOUS.

They were creamy and firm at the same time, with bits of ham and cheese inside. I was torn between taking small bites and trying to savor them, and scarfing them down because they were so tasty.

After that one breakfast, I was hooked.

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I came home and told Mr. KK about them. “They are AMAZING!” I gushed. “SO SO SO good!” He gave me a look that told me he thought I was crazy, and that nothing from Starbucks aside from coffee could taste that good.

A few mornings later, Mr. KK came home from his morning gym class – which was right next to Starbucks – with iced coffees and a set of the sous vide egg bites. “I had to see what all the hype was about,” he said, picking one up and devouring half of it in one bite.

How could he eat it so fast? Didn’t he know he needed to make it last because they were so delicious. He pushed the other egg bite towards me. I ate it with a fork and in about 17 bites. And if I’m being honest, I was a little disappointed that I had to share ONE order of egg bites with him, only giving me a single egg bite.

“Well?” I asked him.

“They’re pretty good,” he said. “But this is like a one-time thing; they’re expensive.” And then he left the kitchen to go shower, acting like his world was not just changed by a breakfast item.

And I hate to admit it, but Mr. KK is right: they are a sometimes breakfast treat at almost $5 a pop.

Of course I wasn’t the only one obsessed with these things. A quick Google search produced results of other egg bite lovers, as well a slew of copycat recipes to recreate them at home.

Why not? I thought. What’s the worst that could happen, I don’t like them?

I choose this recipe because I was copy catting the sous vide egg bites without using my sous vide (which felt like a lot of work). This recipe used the Instant Pot. And I bought this egg mold to make them.

Recipe for copycat Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites

Ingredients

  • 4 each eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your choice grated
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt

**I also diced up some ham steak for mine.

Instructions

  • Prepare the molds with non-stick spray. (I use canola or olive oil spray).
  • Add one cup of water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside.
  • In a blender, add the eggs, cheese, cottage cheese and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). NOTE: Once you have blended the egg mixture, you can add some green vegetable leaves such as spinach or basil at this time, and give it a quick pulse–but be prepared for green color!
  • If using fresh spinach, heat about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add a heaping bag of spinach. Allow to wilt and cook down. Remove from heat, allow to cool and squeeze out excess water; rough chop.
  • OPTIONAL: In each mold, place whatever ingredients you want to add such as chopped spinach, green onion chopped up ham, green chiles etc.
  • Fill each mold with the egg mixture leave just a bit of room for expansion. Cover the mold with foil or with an 8″ parchment paper (for cakes).
  • Place the mold on top of the trivet.  If using two molds (double the recipe, of course) place the second one on top, but adjust so that the wells are aligned exactly with the mold below (to allow for expansion).
  • Check the Instant Pot lid that your gasket is in place, propertly. Close and lock the lid. Press STEAM for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 10 minutes). Release any remaining pressure, and remove the lid. The egg bites will be tall and fluffy. Allow them to deflate (about 30 seconds).
  • Carefully remove the molds, wearing heat-protective gloves. Allow the egg bites to cool for a few minutes.  The easiest way to remove these is to place a wire rack on top, and flip over. If the molds were prepared properly, they should pop right out.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one week.

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(Let’s be real, these look nothing like the Starbucks ones).

The author of this recipe got really fully egg bites that rose over the top of the mold. Mine did not look like that. Mine were more like deflated, sad egg flats.

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Mr. KK – who was hopeful that I would fall in love with these egg bites and never again purchase them at their high price tag – popped one in his mouth and exclaimed, “These are delicious! They taste just like Starbucks!”

While I appreciate his enthusiasm for my cooking, I have to disagree.

Were they good? I guess? (I would call them “edible” vs “good”.)

Did they taste like the Starbucks ones? Not at all.

Were they cheaper? That’s a big yes.

Will I still eat the knock-off eggs? Yes.

Will I still sneak the real deal egg bites when I can? Hell to the yes.

Grocery store, shopping

I did something I swore I’d never do.

UGH.

The busy season got the best of me. I swore I would never do it. It’s just not my style. I know others enjoy doing it, but I’m a little bit of a nerd. A grocery store nerd.

I ordered groceries online.

I know.

As I took stock of the weekend today, I realized that going to grocery store was going to cut into the little bit of time I wanted to set aside to start holiday shopping. I could go and bring the Little Mister with me, but I’m much more efficient in the store when I’m alone. I zoom around the aisles, hand select my groceries, and lay them out in order of how I’d like them packed on the belt for the cashier.

But the allure of not leaving the house at 7am in the freezing cold tomorrow morning was too tempting. And so was the $20 off your groceries and free delivery offers. If you’re new to PeaPod, you can use the code 60DAYSFREE for the same offer!

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE online shopper. The Amazon delivery people drop something at our house almost daily. But there was just something about ordered my groceries – not household products, but meats and produce – that I couldn’t wrap my head around. What if they sent me bruised apples? What if the bananas are banged up? What if the lettuce is wilted?

I know I’m likely to last person on the plant to place her first online grocery order, but it’s the one thing I was holding onto, that I enjoyed doing in person.

I hesitate to say this is going to be my new normal….but we’ll see.

food, Kids will be kids

Why is our 5 year old such a picky eater?

It seems like every day we are lamenting another food that our Little Mister declares he no longer will eat that we must bid adieu to.

About a month ago, he let us know that he no longer liked chicken nuggets. CHICKEN NUGGETS, people! The main food group of the under 10 set (and some adults, let’s be honest). We are no longer keeping these dino-shaped jewels in our home.

Don’t get me wrong, our Little Mister still eats a bunch of foods – and enough of them, no issues there – it’s just that our dinner options are rapidly shrinking.

I will admit that I am part of the problem. I have a traditional sense of what “dinner” should be. I grew up in a house where dinner was a warm meal that consisted of a protein, a starch and a vegetable. And while we may have had the same dinners week after week, we ate a different dinner each night within a week. I never had pork chops two days in a row.

But, perhaps I need to think of  “dinner” as food in my 5 year old’s stomach. If he wants to eat the same thing 3 nights in a row, who am I to say no? He’s still eating, right? And if I have to accept that a PBJ sandwich is “dinner” – even if it was also lunch – then so be it.

Foods our 5 year old will no longer eat

Things we used to eat as a 3 year old that we no longer eat as a 5 year old:

  • Butternut squash (“Blecch!”)
  • Sweet potatoes ((spits them out))
  • String beans (“too stringy”)
  • Zucchini (“Yuck”)
  • Salmon (“I don’t like it.”)
  • Any meat of any kind ((weird chewing face until he lets it fall off his tongue into the plate))
  • Meatballs and meatloaf (“Too yucky”)
  • Macaroni and cheese ((no reason given))
  • Scrambled eggs (“Too eggy”)

Things our 5 year old WILL eat for dinner:

  • Noodles (aka: spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese; though he thinks he doesn’t like butter and doesn’t know I put in the noddles)
  • Chicken soup (but not from a can; only SOME homemade versions and the one the produce store near us makes)
  • Pizza
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pancakes
  • BLTs (well, B and T, hold the L)
  • Hot dogs (super healthy, awesome)
  • Tacos (don’t get excited here, I introduced tacos as crispy taco shells filled with 3 ingredients I know he likes: shredded cheese, tomatoes and black olives. Baby steps)
  • Cheese and crackers

We have a carb-loving kid (maybe we all do!) and while I don’t want him to eat noodles 5 days a week (I know what eating pasta 5 days in a row would do to my body!), it just may have to be. And I’ll continue to cook 2 different dinners (except apparently tacos, which we can all enjoy) until he’s 18, give or take.

Planner, Type A

Even Type-A planners like surprises…sort of.

If you know me, or have read a few of my blog posts, you likely know that I’m a planner. It’s in my DNA to take charge – either when no one else does, or even sometimes when someone else has taken the reins but is moving a little slowly for my taste – and plan everything down the last detail.

And I plan everything, from big events like family vacations and holidays, to smaller things like playdates and date nights. My brain never shuts off; I’m constantly thinking and making mental lists, even at 5am.

And when I’m NOT planning something, I tend to get a little…antsy. This also applies to surprises. While I love being surprised, I’m not very good at it.

For example, I had no idea that Mr. KK was going to propose on that cold, damp early March night. We were living in Boston, I was at work, and he called to tell me that he was coming into the city for a haircut. This plan seemed a little inconvenient to me (for him), so I started to think of other plans that would be more efficient time-wise for him. He still came into the city, and suggested we meet up outside my work when he was finished. It had started drizzling, but Mr. KK let me know that they were tearing down the roof deck of the building we used to live in. “I ran into the Super,” he told me. “He said we could go up and see it one last time.”

Immediately my body tensed and I went into Annoying Planner Mode. “But it’s raining,” I said to him. “Can we come back when it’s light out so we can actually see from up there?” None of these questions changed Mr. KK’s mind. The Super let us up in the elevator, all the while me complaining about the rain, my frizzy hair, and how I hated my outfit today. Did I mention I was wearing orange knee-high wellies? Super sexy and romantic for a proposal! We got up to the roof and Mr. KK got down on one knee, and you know the rest.

Aside from the engagement, there was ONE other time when Mr. KK pulled off the greatest surprise of all time. To celebrate my milestone birthday, he planned a trip for us to Mexico. BUT, we had a whole night of regular celebrations that included drinks and dinner and at a fancy schmancy restaurant. On the way home, he handed me an envelop. ‘What’s this?” I asked, holding the legal white envelop in my hand. Inside was my passport and and note that said we were going to Mexico for a week. MEXICO! Through my surprise and elation, I started to freak out. “Are we going now????” I asked him. When would I pack – I hadn’t even brought my summer clothes up from the basement yet – I needed a manicure and pedicure, we had ZERO sunscreen in the house. Who was going to watch the dog? “Relax,” he told me. “Leaving tonight would have been a bad surprise. We’re leaving in a few weeks.” PHEW. Mr. KK had even arranged my time off with my boss, all behind my back, that little sneak.

I think people tend to shy away from trying to surprise Planners. Or to even take the planning away from them. While I relish the control that comes with planning (sorry, but it’s true), I do like to have someone else take over every once in a while. Tell ME where we’re going, what we’re eating or where we’re doing for the weekend. I promise I will smile and keep all commentary to myself. But the big stuff, well, you can leave that planning to me. 🙂

For most other things, you can leave the planning to me.

Now, if everyone could turn to page 13 of their travel agenda…

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf

I can’t wait for the Elf on a Shelf to return.

I know some of you will cringe when you read this title; not because it’s about the Elf on a shelf (the creator of whom I’m sure receives hate mail) but because I’m talking about CHRISTMAS before Thanksgiving has even happened.

But I love Christmas. And if I didn’t think my family would boycott, the tree would be up and the house would be decorated before Thanksgiving this year. (Thanksgiving is LATE this year, y’all!)

Last year, I spent time debating whether to Elf or not to Elf, and in the end, decided that I wanted to start the Elf on a Shelf tradition because the Little Mister would get a kick of out if. And, if we’re being honest, I had fun with it, too.

I didn’t do anything too crazy with him – like have him poop Hershey Kisses, or make a snow angel in sugar on the counter (who wants to clean that up?), but our Elf, Jack, had enough antics that made the Little Mister smile every morning.

 

I commend him on his appreciation for fine bourbon, and for leaving the house just as he found it.

Jack will arrive on the Friday after Thanksgiving, in a big box from the North Pole addressed to the Little Mister, with a Christmas book and Christmas pajamas inside.

Suggestions on what antics Jack the Elf should find himself up to this year?

food, NaBloPoMo

10 foods I could eat forever.

I love to eat.

In fact, most of my decisions and plans revolve around food. I have been known to plan an entire vacation around how many restaurants we could eat at during our stay.

I always have food on the brain. When I worked in Boston many moons ago, we would all start talking about lunch around 10am. What should we have? Where would we go? Sebastian’s for salads? Big Al’s for chicken salad sandwiches? Chacarero for those flat sandwiches that were so good? And then halfway through the afternoon, I’d start thinking about what I was going to cook for dinner.

Fast forward a bunch of years, and not much has changed. I still think about what my next meal is going to be, or try and schedule my days around meal times. There is nothing worse than being trapped somewhere during lunchtime without having any access to food. I do my best to avoid hairy situations like this.

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Thanks, someecards for capturing it so well.

It goes without saying that the main reason I work out is so that I can still eat and drink whatever I want. (Though that is starting to feel like a losing battle, but I’m trying!) I don’t like to diet, because I hate the thought of giving up things I enjoy eating. (And I’m sorry, spaghetti squash, but you’re just NOT a substitute for real spaghetti. No matter how much parmesan I use.)

Because there are simply some things that I will never stop eating. Even if the doctor suggests I stay away from my favorites, I may try and bargain with him.

10 foods I could eat for the rest of my life.

I tried to list out singular foods – not meals – that I could not live without.

  1. Pimento cheese. If you’ve never had pimento cheese, I suggest you wiggle your way out from under the rock you’ve been living and join the party. Because pimento cheese is the most amazing creation since almost everything. And it’s versatile! While I enjoy eating it cold and straight up on crackers (pita chips, specifically), it’s also delicious warm on baguette slices, spread on a chicken cutlet sandwich, and as a topping on a burger.
  2. Cheese. (I’m noticing a theme here). If I had to pick one specific kind, I’d have to say super sharp aged cheddar. Or the creamy cow’s milk deliciousness of Fromager d’Affinois. Third runner up: Manchego.
  3. Avocados (and, in turn, guacamole). If you put guacamole in front of me, I will eat entire bowl, unapologetically. Bonus points for blue tortilla chips.
  4. Chicken salad. There are many chicken salads out there that should be ashamed of themselves (cranberries do not belong in chicken salad. Neither do grapes). Chicken, mayonnaise, spices and maybe a little celery if you’re feeling frisky, and you have the perfect chicken salad. Pair it with Carr’s water crackers and it’s a meal.
  5. Onion dip (and Ruffles potato chips). Can’t. Stop. Won’t. Stop.
  6. Half sour pickles. Pickles make everything better.
  7. Red wine. Wine is a food group, right? As much as I love beer, there’s something about having a glass of plum-colored greatness after a long day, or on a cold evening, or with an Italian meal.
  8. Ice cream. It just makes everything better. I could never eat a cookie, cake or pastry again and I’d be ok with it. As long as I could have a bowl of ice cream. Peanut butter or Oreo, please.
  9. Steak. A thick-cut rib eye, crispy on the outside, medium rare on the inside. Blue cheese butter on top? Well, if you insist.
  10. Roasted potatoes. They need to be made exactly like my grandmother’s – crispy outside and warm and soft inside. Tossed with olive oil, garlic salt, regular salt and pepper. They’re so good they don’t need ketchup.

If you thought there’d be fruit or something healthy on the list, forget it! The whole point of the favorite foods list is that the items are SO GOOD you can’t imagine living without ever enjoying one of them again.

Now, if we’re talking meals that I could eat for the rest of my life, that’s a whole different story. Then we’re talking about the kk special pizza, tacos, penne vodka…

dogs, NaBloPoMo, Rocco

Getting a dog after losing a dog.

Two years ago, we lost our beloved Vito the Wonder Dog. It was a soul-crushing experience, and one that I’m not yet truly over. That dog was woven so tightly into our family unit, that saying goodbye was tougher than saying farewell to some humans.

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The Little Mister and Vito, a few months before we said good-bye.

In the weeks and months that followed losing Vito, the hole in our hearts was so big, that I often found myself saying, “I don’t think I could ever have another dog. How could I ever love another dog like I loved Vito?”

A year after we lost Vito, we still never mentioned getting another dog. The Little Mister, who was now 4, would bring him up every once in a while, with heart-wrenching questions such as, “I miss Vito. When is he coming back?” and “Is Vito in heaven? When will he be done up there?”

Our lives had changed a little bit in the year since Vito was gone. I had started a new job that allowed me to work from home. My inlaws also lost their dog, almost a year to the day that we lost Vito. And my father-in-law couldn’t wait to bring another dog into their lives. If there was ever a get a dog, we were approaching it.

Yet, we still didn’t talk about it.

Because as much as we mourned Vito, we had a little bit of a new lease on life. We no longer had to worry about getting home at a certain time to let a dog out. We could go away for the weekend and not have to made doggie arrangements. When one of us was away or working late, the other didn’t have to juggle taking care of a 4 year old and walking and caring for a dog.

But even with all that freedom, I still was in the habit of checking the floor for poop when I came around the corner. Or rushing to pick up a fallen M&M or grape or piece of onion from the floor. We didn’t physically have a dog, but mentally, I still felt like we did.

One cold Friday night, while Mr. KK was playing in his monthly poker night, I started scrolling through petfinder.com. You know, just to see what was in our area. We hadn’t really yet talked about getting another dog, but it had almost been 2 years, and I know at some point we would get one. We knew we’d rescue again, and who knows how long it would take to find the right fit?

On that very first night, I came across Rocco – at that time, named Nikki by the shelter. He was a 3 1/2 month old mix, some combination of chihuahua, dachshund and miniature pinscher. He was in a foster home 2 miles from our house. He had the cutest little face. His ears were so big and alert, he looked like a bat. And the clincher: he was black and tan, and looked a lot like Vito.

I emailed the rescue, and 3 weeks later we brought Rocco – formally known as Nikki – into our house, and our lives.

At first, I was a wreck inside. Rationally, I wanted Rocco to be part of our family. Emotionally, I felt like I was betraying Vito. On the third night of Rocco being in our home – and me chasing him around to make sure he didn’t pee or poop in the house – I broke down. “What if I can’t love him like I loved Vito?” I asked Mr. KK.

We had never had a true puppy before. We rescued Vito when he was about 8 months old. I was living in Boston, and Vito was with Mr. KK and his parents (before he was Mr. KK as we weren’t married yet) in Connecticut. My father-in-law house trained Vito in about 3 days.

When we picked up Rocco from the foster home, they informed us that he used pee pee pads and tended to just “poop by the back door”. Um, that would not fly in my house. From the minute he came home, I was in full puppy potty training mode. I took him out constantly, monitored his intake – and output, and made sure he was never left unsupervised. It took a bit of time but eventually we were on a schedule and I didn’t feel the need to freak out if he was out of my sight for more than a few minutes.

As the months passed, I began to feel less like Rocco was replacing Vito and more like he was becoming an addition to the family. Little Mister absolutely adored him, and Rocco was so sweet and gentle with him. During Rocco’s teething phase (that felt like it lasted forever), Rocco would chew on our hands but he would only lick Little Mister’s.

It was no surprise that Rocco was attached to me, mostly because we spent so much time together.

He’s my daytime work buddy, who often sleeps on my desk chair, snuggled up behind me. He’s the ultimate cuddler, often making it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

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Little Mister enjoying a quiet moment with Rocco.

This little boy wiggled his way into my heart, when I thought I couldn’t love another dog again. I can’t imagine our lives without him.