Friday Hi (+ Looking Forward)

Friday Hi (+ Looking Forward)

It’s been a while since I’ve just stopped in here to say hi. So hi! You may have seen the above photo on my Instagram of my poor little sickie sleeping off the flu earlier this week. It only lasted about three days, but man was she sick. It was bad. I’ll admit that compared to past years, this winter hasn’t hit us that hard in terms of illness (for example, for the first winter in their lives, neither kids has ended up in the ER or urgent care by now, which feels like a major win), but the kids have had several bouts of illness since November and it’s starting to get a little old. Just like everyone else, we are really ready for a break in the cold weather and sicknesses, and looking so forward to spring.

We’ve also got a few other things we’re really looking forward to, like Robbie having next week off from tour (he has barely been home since the beginning of the year which is rough, but makes us really appreciate the time he does have here), Daylight Savings this weekend (I know a lot of people dread this, but that one lost hour is so worth the sun setting later for me), the official first day of spring in less than two weeks, Robbie’s birthday (he’ll be on the road but we’ll still be celebrating!), and a trip to Arizona in a few weeks. Even in the times we’re struggling (which I do, and badly, in the winter), it helps to focus on the good, at least for me. (Check out this quote for a reminder of how good we might have it!)

I’d love to hear how all of you are doing, what you’re up to, and what you’re looking forward to as well! I get lots of comments on my Instagram photos, but not as many here. I’d love to talk more to you guys on this platform as well. Happy Friday!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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The Twisted Evolution of America’s Cat

bobcat

When Europeans arrived in the Americas, the cougar was the most widespread wild cat species, but in the modern era, after we have extirpated the cougar from most of the East, the most widespread cat is the bobcat.

It is found throughout the Lower 48, but it is conspicuously absent from most of the Midwest. In Ohio, they are found almost entirely within a short distance of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Kentucky. In the Northern Great Lakes states, they live towards Canada and the lakes themselves. But they are fairly numerous elsewhere.

The bobcat is a species of lynx, which is conveniently classified in the genus Lynx.  Four extant species roam across Eurasia and North America. The bobcat includes the smallest individuals of the genus, but they are the most variable in size. 13-pound queens can be found, as can toms that exceed 40 pounds in weight.

The lynx species likely evolved in North America.  The dentition of a cat from the Pliocene that has been called Felis rexroadensis suggests that it was the earliest form of lynx.  Some authorities now call this cat Lynx rexroadensis. Bjorn Kurten believed that this species is the ancestor of the Issoire lynx (Lynx issiodorensis), which is the likely ancestor of the Eurasian, Iberian, and Canada lynx.

The bobcat is either a direct descendant of rexroadensis or is derived from the Issoire lynx that came back into North America.

The latter seems more likely,  because our current understanding of the molecular evolution of the cat family finds that the lynx species last shared a common ancestor 3.2 million years ago. 

Ancestral bobcats appear in the fossil record of North America 2.6 million years ago, and the modern bobcat evolved from a population that became marooned south of the ice sheets 20,000 years ago.

So the most likely scenario is that bobcats have a deep evolutionary history in North America, but their exact line went into Eurasia and then came back.

It should also be noted that Felis rexroadensis has sometimes been placed into another species called Puma lacustris, which fits somewhere in the cougar lineage. The cougar and lynx lineages are closely related, and as you go back towards the common ancestor of both lineages,  the basal forms tend to resemble each other. However, it is well-supported now that the lynx lineage first evolved in North America and then radiated into Eurasia.

Natural History

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What’s New in the World of Celebrity Dog Rescue?

As we turn the calendar page to March, take a look back at a few of the famous faces who showed their love for dogs and cats in need during the month of love: Fur Babies Adopted by Famous Pet Parents…



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DogTipper

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Friday Funny: Killers At The Door

What a good watch dog! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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First points on Quest

Quest got his first AKC conformation points, and it was a major!

I think he might finish. He’s only 10.5 months old.

quest first points

Congratulations to his breeder, handler, and co-owner Anya Dobratz for that great win! And this major makes his mother an ROM.

 

Natural History

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5 Ways We Showed Our Teeth Love for Valentine’s Day

This post is sponsored by Crest. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Yes, it’s time for another one of Melissa’s dental themed posts! In an effort to be transparent, I’ll come right out and say that I never envisioned myself doing a series on dental health. But as health and wellness became increasingly important to me over the last year, I learned more and more about how much our teeth and gums are connected to our overall health. And I decided that if I was going to follow through with my goals to share more wellness related content here, I needed to include dental health as well. I’ve actually gotten some really great feedback on these posts, and have enjoyed talking about the things I’ve learned through my research and conversations with my dentist.

Since Valentine’s Day was a couple of weeks ago, and I’m guessing that (like us), you may have some extra sugar lingering around your house, I thought I’d share some of the ways we’ve been showing our teeth and gums extra love for February. You may remember me sharing some tips for keeping teeth healthy around Halloween time, and this builds on that with some specific things that have been especially working for us this month!

1. We’ve focused on non-food gifts.
Instead of handing out sweets to friends for Valentine’s Day, both kids gave out little gifts instead. (My son gave out mini dinosaurs with his Valentines, and my daughter gave out cute heart-patterned pencils with her Valentines.) We thought this was a great way to teach them that the holiday doesn’t need to center so much around sugar. We also focused mainly on non-edible gifts for our kids this year, like heart shaped puzzles and craft projects. And my husband and I gifted each other with cards and flowers rather than candy.

2. We’ve been brushing our teeth right after eating sweets.
Both of our kids have gotten really good about brushing their teeth at least twice a day, but around and after Valentine’s Day when we’re indulging in extra sugar, we’ve all been making the effort to brush more frequently (and immediately after eating sweets when possible). This helps remove bacteria and acids before real damage is done. We even gave each of the kids a toothbrush for Valentine’s Day, which has helped make them even more eager to brush.

3. We’ve encouraged healthier treats.
My son will always reach for strawberries before he’ll eat a gummy bear or candy bar, so he’s a little easier when it comes to pushing better-for-you Valentine’s treats. My daughter, on the other hand, is exactly like her mother and would live off sugar (with some lattes thrown in there for me) if it were an option. So for her (and let’s face it, for myself), we’ve been encouraging fruit and dark chocolate over sticky candies (which tend to adhere to the teeth and are more likely to cause decay).

4. We’ve been drinking (and rinsing with) more water.
When a toothbrush isn’t readily available after eating Valentine’s treats, we’ve been making sure to rinse our mouths with water to help eliminate bacteria sooner. (The kids think it is pretty much the coolest trick ever to swish, gargle, and spit.) We’ve also upped our water drinking game in general, since staying well hydrated helps produce adequate salvia, which assists in washing away food particles and bacteria.

5. We’ve used toothpastes with extra protection.
Crest Pro-Health, Crest Complete, and Crest 3D White are staples in our house year round, but we’ve made sure to visit our local Walmart and stock up on them during the Valentine’s season of sweet treats when we’re really in need of extra protection. Crest Pro-Health is the only toothpaste accepted by the American Dental Association to treat all seven attributes: plaque, gingivitis, cavities, sensitivity, tartar, whitening, and breath freshening. It also strengthens enamel. Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Extra White + Scope Outlast Toothpaste provides a super fresh feeling (that lasts up to 5 times longer than ordinary toothpaste!), contains silica which gently brushes away surface stains for whiter teeth, protects against cavities, and fights tartar. Crest 3D White Radiant Mint Whitening Toothpaste fights cavities and uses an enamel-safe teeth whitening ingredient that removes up to 80% of surface stains. It also protects against future stains. When we’re indulging in extra sweets, it’s nice to know we’re giving our teeth extra protection to stay strong and healthy.

Make sure to check your newspaper from this past Sunday (February 24th) for a special coupon for $ 2 off Crest toothpaste at your local Walmart store, and join us in some post Valentine’s Day extra dental protection!

I hope you all had a happy, loved-filled Valentine’s Day. And always, if you have any additional tips for keeping your teeth and mouth healthy, I’d love to hear them!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

This post is in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. 

You guys have heard me mention many times how important books are in my kids’ lives. From the time I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I started gathering books for her. I also kept most of my childhood books. So between the books I’ve gotten for my little ones, the books they’ve been given by friends and family, and my own childhood books, they have quite the library, and we spend a lot of time reading together. Both my kids also love going to the library for story time, and have books read to them everyday at preschool. I even got to go read a book to my daughter’s preschool class earlier this week in honor of the upcoming 115th birthday of author Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss!), which I absolutely cherished. We love our books!

While it’s common knowledge that books are good for kids’ brains, I had no idea until recently just how beneficial it can be to read to our children, even before they can read themselves. From different studies I’ve come across to discussions with my kids’ teachers, I’ve discovered so much about how reading to little ones helps them learn and grow. I’ve also learned that while electronic books and apps that encourage kids to read independently can be fun, there is no replacement for adults actually reading to children.

With this Saturday (March 2nd) being the birthday of Dr. Seuss, one of my little ones’ and my all time favorite authors, I thought I’d share some of the benefits to reading to our kids, while also sharing some of our most loved Dr. Seuss books.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

1. Reading to young children teaches them about the world around them.
My son started speaking later than my daughter, but when we pulled out books, he would immediately point out objects he recognized from life like cars, balls, airplanes, animals, etc., and attempt to name them. In turn, he would see images in books and then recognize them in the world. There is little better than seeing the overjoyed reactions of a toddler recognizing things in daily life that he or she learned about in a book!

2. Reading to children increases their vocabulary and helps with speech and language.
As I mentioned in #1 above, reading to my son really helped his speech take off. Listening to a book being read helps children not only learn new words, but also learn about sentence structure and other aspects of language. Books like “The Cat In the Hat” and “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss that use rhyming, repetition, and rhythm are especially great for helping to learn phonics and develop language skills.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

3. Reading to children helps develop their imaginations.
You’ll notice that when you read a book, your brain creates images of people, places, events, etc. This same creative imagination exists in a child’s brain when you read to him or her. I notice after I read a book to my daughter, she’ll act out scenes from the book with her toys. It is incredible to watch how she interprets what was read to her. This is another reason I love Dr. Seuss books – the stories are so wonderfully full of fantasy and imagination, which encourages kids to think creatively. “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” is one of our favorites for showing children that their imaginations have endless possibilities.

4. Reading to children teaches them important life lessons.
Young children haven’t had a great deal of life experience, but reading books to them can help them learn about some of life’s greatest lessons. My daughter took a huge interest in the earth and environmentalism after reading Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” “Horton Hears A Who!” has been wonderful for teaching my kids that “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” And “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” is a life-long favorite of mine for talking about the journey of life and the challenges and triumphs that come with it.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

5. Reading to children helps them learn about feelings and develop empathy.
I have noticed firsthand that my kids have learned more about different feelings and understanding the feelings of others from books than anywhere else. When we read to them, we take time to discuss the characters’ feelings as well, which has helped them to understand the importance of empathy and compassion.

6. Reading to children helps motivate them to read independently.
According to Reading Is Fundamental, reading aloud to kids lets parents and teachers be role models for reading, which in turn makes kids want to read too. When a child sees an adult excited about reading, he or she feels excited as well, and thus more motivated to learn to read. My preschool aged daughter is already beginning to read on her own, and has such great enthusiasm as she practices. She says she wants to be able to read books to her little brother and to her friends, just like mommy and daddy read to her.

6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children
6 Benefits of Reading to Our Children

I also think it’s important to note that in addition to the developmental benefits children reap as a result of us reading to them, it’s beneficial for us as adults too! Reading to my kids is one of my most beloved bonding experiences. I cherish having that time together where we’re all engaged, and it also brings back fond memories of my own childhood. I can’t wait to snuggle up for Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd and read “The Lorax” and “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” with my babes. The best! There will also be free reading events to commemorate Dr. Seuss’s birthday this Saturday at Target stores throughout the United States. Visit here for more info.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! You may no longer be with us, but I’m so grateful that your legacy lives on through the hundreds of books you wrote.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Nineteen Pups!

From the Facebook page of Kingman Animal Hospital in Arizona: The staff of KAH (11 of us) successfully delivered 19 Great Dane puppies this morning by C Section! All live and healthy! Mom doing great! These puppies do not belong to KAH or any of the staff. Thank you all for the kind words and […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB JOINS WITH EEM WORLD TO HOST THE AKC AGILITY PREMIER CUP PRESENTED BY EEM

From The Dog Lady’s mailbag: The American Kennel Club and EEM will host the first-ever 2019 AKC Agility Premier Cup presented by EEM to be held in conjunction with the Longines Masters of New York. The event will take place on Thursday April 25th from 4 P.M.- 9 P.M. at NYCB Live at the newly […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from Bubby and Bean!

From all of us here at Bubby and Bean, Happy Love Day!

I know this day isn’t for everyone, and I get that – it’s admittedly very commercial, it often excludes those not in relationships, and love should be celebrated everyday, not just reserved for one day. But I personally am, and always have been, a fan. It’s never been about romance for me. In my mind, the ideals that surround Valentine’s Day – kindness, friendship, compassion, generosity, and good old fashioned love – deserve to be celebrated. I also adore seeing my little ones get so excited to make cards for their friends and family and to learn more about the importance of loving and being loved.

I said this last year too, but it may be even more relevant today: I hope that the love that is shared and felt on this Valentine’s Day spreads abundantly throughout our country and the world, where I think we can all agree, it is very much needed. Happy Love Day, friends. I love all of you!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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