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My Unique Baby + A Tale Of A Dog


This post is written by me and sponsored by Store Brand Formula. They invited me to share a special memory about my unique baby (and boy, she is unique!). They are hosting a sweepstakes where you can also share your own unique baby stories or memories ... details at the end of the post!

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Our baby Camille is now sixteen months old, and this baby is one spitfire of a little lady. She has a BIG personality, and she's not afraid to show it. I think this is what makes people genuinely like her -- she is unique and truly FUN.

When thinking back about some of my favorite memories of Camille, I think about photographs that I cherish. Photographs that I can't wait to share with her when she is older. A lot of these special memories center around Drake, our beloved husky that we sadly said goodbye to this past February.
  
  
Camille and Drake had nine months together to try to figure each other out, and witnessing that was an awesome experience. Before we brought her home from the hospital, my husband ran over to the house from the hospital with a baby blanket that Camille had been wrapped in, and he placed it on Drake's bed. This way, it gave Drake a day to sniff around the blanket and get used to her smell before she was actually home. Bringing her home was a wonderful memory and I will always remember him gently sniffing around her baby carrier and getting used to this new family addition.

Over the next several months, Drake's health was worsening and Camille was getting more mobile -- rolling over, sitting up, clapping her hands, scooting, and then full-fledged crawling. We (along with our vet) were nervous that, due to his declining health and age (15), Drake would accidentally snap at her or growl at her. This fortunately never happened -- instead he maintained a careful distance but was definitely interested in this smiling, happy, cooing baby. He was truly a gentle giant around her, even as her presence in the house got bigger, louder, and a little wilder!


Saying goodbye to Drake was one of the hardest times of my life, but I know that we ensured in their nine months together that Camille and Drake had some very special times together. I will always remember the big smile that would come to her round face as I stroked her little hand through his thick, silvery-white fur.


And thank goodness for photographs! I have some pretty magnificent memories that may have otherwise been lost in the haze of sleep-deprived newborn days thanks to us remembering to pick up the camera or phone and snap a quick moment.


We have photos of Drake all around the house, and Camille loves pointing to the pictures and yelling out "DOG DOG!" loudly. I always find myself wondering what it would be like if we could have had another year with him ... he would have seen her walking, babbling all day, and becoming more and more interested in her furry friends. Maybe when she is a little older we will think about adding another pup to our family, but for now I just love reminiscing on his sweet presence in our family and how much joy he brought to Camille! I feel like her love of animals is definitely due in part to the times she spent with Drake.



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Thank you again to Store Brand Formula for sponsoring this post. You know I have always been an advocate for feeding a baby in whatever way works best for each family ... AND scouting out great deals! Store Brand Formula is available through 68 retailers nationwide at one of 40,000 store locations for up to 50% less than name brand formula. Store Brand Formula is launching a “Unique Baby” Photo Sweepstakes in which the winner will receive $5,000 AND a year supply of Store Brand Formula. Every baby is unique, and they want you to show how your baby is unique. They’re looking for funny, silly, odd, crazy, unique baby photos. To enter the Store Brand Formula Unique Baby Sweepstakes, simply visit StoreBrandFormula.com and follow the photo submission guidelines and the on-screen instructions to complete the online entry form. All entries must be submitted during September 28, 2015 – November 5, 2015.
  
You can find them on: Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // YouTube // Google+
  
Now for a BlogHer sweepstakes! Here is a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Tell me in the comments below about a special memory you have of a unique baby in your life. Whether it is your baby, a niece/nephew, grandkid ... what sweet story do you like to tell about them?
  
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/29/2015 – 10/31/2015
Be sure to visit Perrigo’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


95 comments:

  1. Awww Drake. I'm glad she had those 9 months with him!

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  2. This post made me cry a mixture of happy and sad tears! Drake seemed like such a sweet and special boy. Obviously I am a little sensitive right now, having just said goodbye to our sweet Brady. Now that we're getting our next furbaby, I can't wait to add a human baby to the mix (eventually) so that they can grow up together and have a special bond!

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  3. What a sweet post. Pets are TRULY members of our family. My daughter also has quite a personality and one of my favorite things she does that makes her unique also incorporates her love of animals. She LOVES stuffed animal pets and actual pets (we have two cats and many friends with sweet dogs) and after hugging her stuff animal or actual animal, she will then run to you for a hug as well. If she's holding her stuffed animal, she'll bring that along too for the hug. So fun!

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  4. I had a dog from the time I was 2 until I was 16 and I was so incredibly sad when he died :(. Someday I hope to get my girls a dog, but first we have to have a yard for it to run around in.

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  5. What sweet memories. I know that you will always treasure the time that Camille and Drake had together. These photographs are so touching.

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  6. Our first fur-baby watched over our human baby for nearly 11 years, and it was so hard to say goodbye, but I cherish the same photo of the furry face looking in the baby seat! What a great protector and first friend. We just adopted a new puppy this week and are excited to start making new memories...you will get there when the time is right!

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  7. My baby girl is 2 weeks old and my sweet memory is of having her born and hearing her cry for the first time.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  8. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/649262910095626241

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  9. Drake is adorable, and I get sad when dogs die! My son is unique because he loves to dance! He bounces, and then shakes his head back and forth and kicks one leg! ahh I love babies! :)

    my email jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/649264048886812672

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  11. My favorite memory is holding my son for the first time

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  12. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/649301217101778944

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  13. This is why I genuinely adore you April! Our dog is such an integral part of our home that it's hard to imagine one day he will only live on via memory. I am so happy that Camille had the opportunity to meet Drake and get loved on by him. You never forget your first pet and I bet that will be true for Camille even if she only has photographs to remember him by. I firmly believe that a dog rounds out a home and one day (when you're ready) I hope you will experience the joys of a dog all over again <3

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  14. So sweet! Dogs are the best. There aren't a lot of babies in my family, but I've loved watching my cousin's son's personality develop. He was 5 weeks early and only 5 pounds at birth, so he's really changed a lot over this past year!

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  15. I remember my nephew singing OH DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE at the top of his lungs during bath time

    groogruxking40 @ gmail dot com

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  16. tweet https://twitter.com/groogruxking40/status/649377868036771844

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  17. I still remember feeding my sister from a bottle... I was 12yrs old. willgriesmer@yahoo.com

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  18. https://twitter.com/willgriesmer/status/649396823505825792

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  19. This post is so sweet! I love my pup so much, and I can't wait to see her interact with my someday children!

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  20. It was heartwarming when my little great-niece called me by name for the first time.

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  21. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/649609501063127040

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  22. The sweetest memory I remember was the warm feeling when I held my baby for the very first time.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  23. tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/649780685142495232

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  24. These pictures of Camille with Drake are JUST SO SWEET. And I cannot get over how much hair Camille had as a newborn!!! I LOVE it!

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  25. When my son was a toddler, he walked early, at 10 months. I thought that was amazing and unique. He wanted to keep up with me around the house and crawling wasn’t fast enough.

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  26. tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/649902139569930240

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  27. My favorite memory was when I took my daughter to the zoo and she approached a lamb and hugged it and kissed it. It was so sweet! yarbr012@gmail.com

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  28. https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/649911650980466689 yarbr012@gmail.com

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  29. When I was rocking my nephew to sleep he put his little hand on my face and said "lub (love) you." It melted my heart.

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  30. https://twitter.com/RachelGriesmer/status/649949792420892672

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  31. My oldest son, when he was a baby, would laugh at everything. He was a very happy baby and just thought everything was worth smiling or laughing at. Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  32. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/650828534076698624
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  33. My son loved to bounce in his jumparoo. He would spend a lot time happily jumping up and down in it.

    Kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  34. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/651218303910678528

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  35. My pups Molly. And Mavis slept beside our daughters crib everyday. She had two guard dogs right from the start.

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  36. My special memory is cheesy maybe, but really it's everyday that I get to spend as a stay at home mom with my 15 month old. To watch her learn and grow everyday melts my heart. Some days (like teething molars right now) are exhausting, but I love I'm the one who always comforts her and knows exactly how she felt each second everyday. I may or may not already be dreading the preschool days when I have to send my little buddy off! Haha

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  37. Probably one of my favorite memories of my little guy is the first time he crawled. We were visiting family in Chicago and the living room had about 20 people in it, and the rest of the crowd was watching th Blakhawks game. All of a sudden Ben was crawling across the living room floor to everyone's cheers and screams! The living room was louder than the game room and everyone came running in to see what was going on!

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  38. My son received a Hot Wheel car his first day in this earth nearly 17 years ago. He has such a passion for cars, has incredible knowledge on every make and model of all cars, has accumulated nearly 750 Hot Wheels and hopes to be an Automotive Design/Mechanical Engineer someday in the automotive industry. Who knew that one little $.89 car would make such an impact on a little life. He makes my heart go vroom vroom with pride! Haha

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  39. Seeing my niece and nephew for the first time

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  40. Hearing my sons belly laugh for he first time!

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  41. I've been loving watching my best friends turn into mommas. Spoiling their babies has been so fun!

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  42. My favorite "baby" memory so far was finding out that my very best friend, who struggled for 4 years!!, was finally pregnant!!!

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  43. My sister and BIL live right beside my husband and I. They have a 3 year old and 4 month old and we are lucky enough to see them every single day, I will never take that for granted! I was present for the birth of both my niece and nephew and I remember when my niece was born I bursted into tears! What a miracle to watch a baby being born! 3 days later I had to drive back to chapel hill (I was still in undergrad) and I bawled the whole drive back. Needless to say I am super attached to them and I cannot wait to have kids of my own and see my niece and nephew become cousins!

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  44. One of my favorite memories of my nephew is hearing him giggle and laugh at me for the first time! He is now 7 months old and I cant even believe it!!! I tell everyone that he is my best friend. I cant wait to have a child of my own so they can grow up and play together!!!

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    1. oh yes...the email address that I actually check daily is Melissa.liston.kl8i@statefarm.com. Thanks!

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  45. Such sweet pictures of your babies! I'm glad they were able to have 9 months together. My favorite unique memory is one of my daughter. It was her 2nd Christmas and she LOVED all Christmas decorations. She wanted to touch every ornament on every tree and decided they were called Happy. So she go around the tree, touch every ornament and shout HAPPY each time. It was precious to see her start to love Christmas so much. :) Whitney @ polkadottyplace@hotmail.com

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  46. My favorite memory would have to be finding out my niece was not my nephew! After the early ultrasound we were told it was a boy. When my sister went back for a follow up a couple of months later, what a surprise when we were told that she was having a little girl!

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  47. My favorite memory would have to be hearing my nephew laugh for the first time. Sweetest sound ever!

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  48. My two pit bulls are so sweet with my baby niece! One of my favorite memories are going on walks with her and the dogs. She smiles so big in her stroller while they walk beside her! It's the cutest sight you ever did see.

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  49. When still small enough, my neice Katie would crawl into the same bed as her puppy, Bo, and snuggle in their for hours at a time. They were about the same size for a while since Bo was a smaller lab and Katie got her when she was just about two, so they were always very close. The image of them in the same bed just gets me though!

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  50. My favorite memories is when both of my children were born..we waited to find the sex with both of them...so when the dr said..."It is a GIRL"..."IT is a BOY"...was like Christmas morning x's 20!

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  51. We're expecting our first next month and I'll never forget the first time I heard her little heartbeat!

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  52. The birthmom who gave us our daughter and then going to court and making her ours

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  53. i love how little ones pick up on small details about a person.. a sweet memory about my nephew is when he was around 18 months and i was visiting him from out of town. he was a bit shy with me as i didn't get to see him very often. one day as as i was talking to him, he smiled sweetly at me and started moving his mouth up and down. haha... i realized he was mimicking me as i had been chewing gum (and do often - i'm addicted to trident :). such a little sweetheart. after that, he would always look at me, and we would do the cute little mouth movement together. it's silly, but it was our little thing. :)

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  54. i tweeted! :)

    https://twitter.com/bits_of_lovely/status/651437183593615360

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  55. When my son was about 3.5 months old, he laughed for the first time. It wasn't a small giggle, it was a full blown belly laugh. Easily the sweetest noise I had ever heard. Now his dad and I do pretty much anything we can to get him to laugh. Oh, and by the way, he was laughing at our bulldog sneezing. :) gotta love babies and their dogs!

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  56. My husband spilled a glass of pop and my 6 month old daughter let out a loud "HAA HAA!" The timing was perfect :)

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  57. My sweet girl discovering herself in the mirror for the first time. She made the funniest faces at herself and kept laughing at herself. I have it all on video, and it's my favorite!

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  58. I'm currently pregnant with my first baby. I already feel like I have so many wonderful memories and I can't wait to make more once he gets here in December! So far, my favorite memory is the first time we saw him on an ultrasound. All we could see at first were his little legs and it looked like he was river dancing! It was the most amazing thing ever to see those little legs and feet kicking like crazy!

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  59. My favorite memory of my baby boy is when he kicked for the first time. It was a day to remember. My husband got to see him move around in my stomach and feel him. It was aswome. Also holding my son for the first time i was in love with him. My son is now 1 years old. Hope u have a wonderful day.

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    1. Oh and my email to be reached is staceyschneller0829@gmail.com

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    2. Oh and my email to be reached is staceyschneller0829@gmail.com

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  60. My sweet baby story: my 7 month old son thinks that his older brother is the best person ever. He saves his biggest smiles and laughs for his big bro!

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  61. My fondest memory of my oldest son is our visit to Sea World. We were in the gift shop checking out the coffee cups that had names on it. Of course, I wanted to find the names of my family. While I was searching for our names my son who had just graduated from kindergarten looked at me and said, "how did they know we were coming.?" Oh the sweet innocence of a child.

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  62. Just last night! My sweet five year old was sleeping in my room due to a bad case of strep throat. In the middle of the night he cries out "BOOO! Gotcha!" and begins giggling. After peeling myself off the ceiling, I realized he was still asleep and had been having a dream. So sweet. Even worth being woken up for. :)

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  63. I have a granddaughter that is 17 months old.. I had sons and a grandson. I really was so surpprised when Mila was going to be a girl.. She is so fun and I love my boys but having a granddaughter is so fun.. She loves the remote on the tv.. and as alwyas my husband in is awe of the girl. so she got it one day and really messed up things. WOuld not give back the remote and held on too it.. and looked at us in this precious way and said "I mess it up!!! Yeah you did Mila.. Ha.. Nothing that couldn't be fixed..

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  64. My sister-in-law was walking around their house holding my niece. She fell, and my niece landed underneath her. They checked her out and took her to Urgent Care, but the x-Ray did not show anything out of the ordinary. However, my in-laws knew something was not right with her foot because she would walk around and happily look at her foot and say, "What's wrong, foot?" She even said it in a little singing voice. They took her to an orthopedic doctor and discovered that she actually had a fracture and needed a cast. No tears or anything, just kept asking her foot what was wrong. Sad, but cute!

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  65. One of my favorite memories was the first time I was able to meet my brother. He is almost five years younger than I am, and he was in the NICU so our first meeting, I only really was able to "pet" him through one of the holes in the thing he was in. Each day I loved getting to "pet" him until one magical night when we were finally able to hold him.

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  66. I love this contest! One of My favorite memories of my sons is the story of him coming 5 weeks early. We had just moved houses and not ready for him at all. God had a different plan and I'm so thankful he did. Price weighed only 4lbs but is now 2 years old and doing great!

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  67. She was 9 weeks old, colicky, sleeping very little and, in general, a fuss bucket who I could not make happy. It was the hardest day of the hardest week of the nine since she was born and I wanted to pull my hair out, cry, and scream along with her, then I propped her up on a pillow and .... she smiled at me. That first smile is something I will never forget and God knows I needed it right when she gave it to me.

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  68. when my son was 10 months old.We were watching sesame street. He started dancing and shaking his head , made me laugh so hard.

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  69. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/651567012255150080

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  70. This is so uplifting but do heartbreaking at the same time! Our pets are so special to us and I only wish they had unlimited time! Our lab (Emma Jo) is such a good big sissy to Miss Andi and I can't wait to see them grow together! Great post and great pictures!

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  71. My first fur baby spent his last two years with my daughter. Some of my favorite memories of him are sleeping right next to, almost on top of, my daughter!

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  72. I have my own baby but my own favorite baby memory is of my cousin Kyle. I was 10 when he was born and man, did I love that kid. He and I got along like kittens and had so much fun together. My name was one of his first words!

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  73. We just had a baby on September 27, 2015 and so far my fav. memory is meeting our daughter for the first time... Her bottom lip was quivering and the Doctors and Nurses commented on how big her feet and hands are! (Likely the only thing that she got from me because she looks so much like her Dad!)

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  74. Such a sweet post! So glad they had time together for those months. My memorable moment (with the baby on the way) was the moment of my first ultrasound. Being cautioned about the possibility of infertility, I really didn't believe there was a baby in there u too we saw it on the screen and heard the heart beating.

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  75. All children are unique, that's for sure! My oldest (daughter) said the word "lellow" for the word "yellow." Finally, this summer before kindergarten I had to let her in on a little secret. I didn't want her to be the only one saying "lellow" in class. There are some things that are just too cute to correct :)

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  76. My daughter's first words were, pretty flower so that was special to me.
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  77. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/658640240387616769
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  78. My baby has a really unique laugh that makes everyone else laugh.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  79. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/659870451162849280

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  80. One of my favorite memories is when my oldest granddaughter came home from a vacation, and our first time apart, she ran to me like a slow beach running movie and we hugged and kissed.

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  81. My favorite memory is recent but still so special. I'm pregnant and seeing my 2 dogs "protect" the (tiny) baby bump and snuggle up to it!

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  82. My favorite unique memory of my baby girl is the way she always curls her hand around one of my fingers to hold hands as she goes to sleep.

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  83. My uniqe memory is of my nephew, Jakob. My sister was pregnant with twins, when one died in utero of a congenital heart defect. She tried to keep both as long as possible until she went into labor at 27 weeks. While losing Cayden was so hard, watching Jakob struggle to survive was nearly as difficult. He was born in July, and finally came home on Halloween, after nearly 4 months in the NICU. We dressed him in a pumpkin onesie and hat for his homecoming, and it was the best Halloween ever! We are celebrating his 5th homecoming anniversary and thanking God for miracles this weekend.

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  84. my daughter was unique because she was always very smart

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  85. i posted a tweet here:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/660329529630552064

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  86. My favorite baby memories are the several months that my co-worker brought her baby boy to hang with us at our office for the first few months of his life! It was so special to be able to help her with him for so many months and I am looking forward to doing the same thing with my first child in 6 short months :)

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  87. I tweeted :) https://twitter.com/RachelEmilyBlog/status/660467234855350272

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  88. I do not have children, but my fondest memory of my puppy Penny is when I left for a business trip, my fiance said she slept on my side of the bed on my pillow every night. wlbellows at gmail dot com

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  89. I sent out a tweet: https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/660507983944638464

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

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  90. Tweeted-https://twitter.com/birdiebee52/status/660655073069031424

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  91. I just remember my middle daughter who always had an angelic smile that I will carry with me forever as she is now an angel in heaven.

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  92. So sweet!! Happy that you have all of those wonderful pictures.
    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

    Melissa

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