Thursday, October 23, 2014

One tough kid

 Will had to get his tonsils and adenoids removed today. Something we knew would be a possibility since he was born.  Children born with Down Syndrome tend to develop sleep apnea from smaller facial structers, enlarged adenoids and tonsils. For the past month or so Will hasn't been sleeping well, was snoring and would sometimes stop breathing. So, we weren't surprised when the ENT said the tonsils and adenoids had to go. 

Below are some pictures from today and yes, Cutch was lucky enough to join us. 

Will before the procedure giving a thumbs up.  He really is too cute!

Cutch waiting for Will's procedure to begin. As we were waiting, Cutch's nose was sticking out from underneath the curtain and then all of the sudden we heard someone taking a picture with their phone (it was actually the anesthesiologist). Their comment to us was, "you just don't see that in a surgery center everyday."

Will after surgery. He did fantastic and was happy to eat 2 small cups of applesauce right away. We think he enjoyed finally getting some peace and quiet from the craziness at home. 

Cutch waiting on Will to wake up, apparently he needed another nap, too. 

And just because...

Make sure to check back soon, we have some pictures of Cutch learning the beginnings of his scent training �� 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Life is Good

Cutch patiently waiting for Will to wake up in the morning. A growing puppy just has to eat!

Too cute not to share. Hard to believe Will is going to turn 6 in a few weeks.

At the grocery store in the check out lane. It is exhausting walking around the store.

Cutch keeping a close eye on Savannah putting away the silver wear.

We have been working the "leave it" command in regards to food. If you notice Marley's bowl is filled with dog food, but Cutch is looking the other way. "Leave it" when food is involved is extremely difficult for Cutch...I mean you don't gain 60 pounds overnight :). 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

And We're Back...

I apologize for the lack of updates, but we are back!

Will the Thrill

Cutch and Will's relationship is growing stronger and stronger everyday. Will thinks Cutch is hilarious and imitates him often.  They really are funny to watch together.

Cutch has started the beginnings of his scent training and has really learned to use his nose to find objects.

Look for more updates in the near future!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Out and About

As part of Cutch's training, he comes with us most places. Below are some pictures of Cutch out and about in Hagerstown. 
On the playground equipment at Will's elementary school

Will and Cutch in the back of our car after a long walk.  Will needed a pump change, his blood sugar was abnormally high that morning.  We try to have Cutch sit with Will with every blood sugar check and pump changes.  Cutch is gettig better and better at "stay."

Best friends :)

Our first trip with Cutch to restaurant.  He did FANTASTIC and even slept as you can see below.  Ignoring food is not easy, but he is getting better everyday at the "leave it" command...Cutch rocks!

It is tough being a puppy in training!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not so Little Anymore!


Picture taken in June.  He is just growing so quick!

On our way back from a trip Wheeling, WV, Cutch is laying in his favorite position, on his back.  Cutch is tipping the scales at 40 lbs these days, so the foot well below the kids car seats is getting a little tight.  From not on, he'll ride just behind the kids.

Cutch in his new vest, getting ready to go to the mall. When his vest goes on, he gets the command "work."  He does a nice job in public and is starting to understand that we are not out to socialize (trust me, he gets plenty of love and attention at home).

Just chillin' in the yard after our trip to the mall, it's difficult to be a puppy :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Almost Forgot

I was crazy to think I would have more time to write blog posts during the summer, after all we do have an 8 week summer break, but having 3 children and two dogs does take away some free time. An update on what we (and Super Cutch) have been doing this summer.

We took our first vacation as a family of 5 (technically 6 with Cutch) to Myrtle Beach. Honestly, Jeff and I were a little nervous...3 small children, 1 puppy, a large ocean, tons of people and lots of sand...what could go wrong?

Turns out, it was probably the best vacation we've ever had. We were fortunate enough to have an awesome place to stay (fit our family perfectly) and wonderful weather. 

Every evening after dinner we made it a priority to take Cutch to the beach.  However, it was one of those evenings in particular that made me say, "Thank you God!"

The sunset was beautiful and for the first time in seemingly months, we could finally take some time to relax. It was that evening, for about an hour, I totally forgot about Will's diabetes. As exhilarating as that sounds, it is also extremely scary. Diabetes does not take breaks or vacations (Oh how we wish).  The last time I had that carefree feeling was 2 years ago. I loved watching our children explore and not have any worries or concerns. I especially loved watching Will, because at that time he was happy and carefree...just a regular 5 year old.

It took me back about two years ago when we didn't have to always carry a backpack with us containing extra snacks, smarties, extra insulin, extra pumps, syringes and emergency glucogon. Looking back, we have certainly come a long way. I can remember when Will was first diagnosed. Wondering if we were ever going to be able to go anywhere again. Nonetheless, once we accepted that this was now our life, we adapted and moved on. We refused to let Type 1 Diabetes hold us back from all this wonderful world has to offer.

Our Myrtle Beach vacation was a validation of those thoughts.

Will, Savannah, and Ellie enjoying the beach

Will lost his 1st tooth at the beach, literally, we never found it.

Savannah enjoying Broadway at the Beach

Ellie hamming it up

Super Cutch himself in the condo (he now weighs 40 lbs.)

Monday, June 2, 2014

What in the world is the name 'Cutch'??

by "Pretend Writer": Jeff Hartman

Since we've had the pleasure of welcoming such a stunning young puppy into our home, while we reside in Maryland people are constantly asking us, "What is his name? Clutch? Oh, Cutch. What does THAT mean?"

I preface that we live in Maryland on purpose. I am not from these parts, but from the small little village of Wheeling, WV. For those geographically challenged, Wheeling is located in the Northern panhandle (the part of WV that is pinched between Pennsylvania and Ohio) and is around 45 min to an hour south west of Pittsburgh, PA.

Since West Virginia has no professional sports teams, you can imagine that I was born to be a Pittsburgh fan. Following in my father's footsteps, I have worn the black and gold proudly for as long as I can remember, and even more so now that I live in Ravens and Capitals country. Don't worry, this will all make sense in terms of where the name comes from.

With my love for Pittsburgh sports so prominent within me, about 3 years ago I started my own blog, which turned into writing for a Pittsburgh message board, which turned into getting my first paid (if you call what I got actually getting paid) writing position with, to now covering the Steelers for the largest fan-lead Steelers site on the world wide web ( - check it out if you are a Steelers fan).

Throughout my "pretend writing" journey, I started a twitter account and have amassed a very loyal group of followers. When Nicole and I found out that we were going to be getting a diabetic alert dog, we immediately started tossing around possible names, all geared around Pittsburgh sports icons. Names that were thought of: Franco, Troy, Sid, Geno, Ben (well that was just me, Nicole wouldn't let that even be put into the hat) and many other names.

As the night progressed she jokingly said, "Why don't you ask your stupid followers on Twitter? See what they think?" So I did, and to her surprise within minutes my phone was buzzing like crazy with people offering their names. Names like: Lou (for Polamalu), Tunch, Myron and even Joey amongst others.

We looked at the list and decided to narrow it down to three names and let Will choose. Quick sidebar: we had asked will all along what he wanted to name the dog and he would say "Silly". Since we weren't going to have this dog name be "Silly", we began this search. The final names were: Cutch, Beau, and Sid.

It didn't take long for Will to make his decision. Cutch. After all, he has heard me say that name enough times for it to ring a bell. "Cutch (k-u-ch)" is the nickname for the Pittsburgh Pirates' All-Star centerfielder, Andrew McCutchen (pictured above). McCutchen was the NL MVP last year, has made numerous all-star teams, won a gold glove and two silver slugger awards. Nonetheless, in Maryland only a handful of people know who the man is.

So there you have it, the story on how our dog got his name. Through natural selection, Will eventually picked "Cutch". It took some time for it to grow on us, but like the dog himself...if you meet him it just fits.