Thursday, December 16, 2010

Biting the bullet

I think I've finally bitten the bullet.

For the past week or two, I've been avoiding people - especially those most important to me. Why? Because I don't want to have to tell them the same story about how there is No News on the pregnancy front. It's silly, I know, but there's something about a pregnant woman who's over her due date that people just don't need to mess with.

Yesterday, for instance, after my dad called for the second time to see how I was doing (and right before my doctor's appointment - I was going to call him back afterward), I snapped, answering the phone, "What?!" I don't really know why it bothers me that people are asking... I know they're only asking because they care. And it's not like nothing is happening, because I am progressing. I guess I just don't want them to get their hopes up because then I will, and I do that enough to be disappointed already.

Anyway, after some light prodding by my husband, I called my dad back and apologized.

Sigh.

I guess it's time to bite the bullet. I guess the grandparents do have a right to know.

And for everyone else:  I am waiting it out. I don't want to induce labor. My body knows what it's doing. But, if Cole doesn't make his grand appearance by next week, I'll bite that bullet, too. And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yes, I'm still pregnant. No, I'm not in labor. Now can we talk about something else?

Today has been a range of emotions. I look forward to my doctor's appointments each week in hopes that he will tell me something new about the state of my current condition. For the past four weeks, he hasn't. Still, like a naive little puppy, I look forward to them.

Let me back up a little bit. Judging from the comments of many others, my mother included, I was beginning to doubt that I'm really within a week of my due date. I mean, if I didn't know the exact date of conception, I would be doubting. Case in point number 1: I'm still carrying the baby really high. Which is a little odd since most first babies "drop" lower in the month or so before they're due. So the fact that his butt is still up in my ribcage means to me that he's not getting too ready to greet the world anytime soon. Case in point number 2: I really have not begun the whole "nesting" phase, which apparently comes along in the week or so before a woman gives birth. I mean, Cole's room is done, clothes have been washed and put away, walls decorated; but I still haven't had that strong urge to clean and sanitize and have everything 110 percent ready before he gets here. While we have everything we need to bring him home and into the world, there are a couple of things that I would still like to get in hopes that it will make our lives as new parents a little easier. But I don't have to. I don't feel the unexplainable urge to run out and buy them. If we get them before he gets here, great; but it's not like our lives will stop completely once he arrives. I'm sure that if I think a swing is going to be the only thing that puts him to sleep, you bet your little hiney that I'll find a way to get one. But do I have to have it now? No.

And that brings me to Case in point number 3: I still haven't fully decided that I'm ready for him to get here. Which is not entirely what I expected to be feeling with less than a week to go. (Once again, that whole pregnancy-unpredictableness thing reminds me that it's here to stay.) For instance, I fully expected to be completely miserable, mad that I'm "still pregnant," hating the waiting game, wishing I could evict this kid right here right now, thankyouverymuch. Instead, I'm really kind of calm about it all. Yes, my feet hurt, my back hurts and I can't sleep at night, but really? I wouldn't say that I'm so ready to have him any day now. I'm pretty content with him staying in there.

Fast-forward to today, in which I experienced am experiencing a range of emotions. I really expected the doctor to schedule me for one day next week to induce labor. And while part of me wanted that, a bigger part spent much of the morning mourning the fact that I was, or so I thought, about to not be pregnant anymore. While another part of me spent much of the afternoon on pins and needles, filled with anxiety about having to be induced when what I really want is to go into labor as nature intended, when nature intends. And by the time I arrived at my doctor's office, the parts that were left of me begun to think that I was just going to have to cry about it. A fully rational way of dealing with things when you're pregnant. :-)

After talking over all the options with my doctor, I realized that even if he had planned to schedule an induced labor today, I would have opted to wait it out instead. (Luckily, my doctor and I thus far have been on the same page.) The basic gist of it is that I'm not really progressed far enough yet for that to be an option.

So, while I left the doctor's office disappointed (for reasons I have not had time to digest yet), I am thankful that, at least for the time being, I can wait on nature to take its course. I mean, there IS a baby in there, after all, and I don't think nature is going to let me be pregnant forever. So in the meantime, I will just wait and count down the days until I get to have an excuse not to shave my legs for a while!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dear Cole

I just love feeling you move. Right now, you have the hiccups. Poor baby, you get them quite often these days. Earlier today, it felt like you were dancing in my belly.

I'm getting more and more excited about you every day. It still seems so unreal... that in just a few weeks, we'll be bringing you home. I can't wait!

Tomorrow is your first baby shower. I say it's yours instead of mine because let's be honest, everything I'll get will be for you. I'm excited to see what you end up getting!

I'm also excited about the food. Speaking of which, here lately you've developed quite a taste for Peach Mango V8 Fusion. Every time I drink it, within minutes, you start moving around. It is hilarious, and sometimes I'll drink it just so I get to feel you move. :-)

I bought you something today. Since you'll be here right before Christmas, I thought that you should have your very first Christmas ornament to hang on the tree each year:

I also bought one for all of us, since this will be the first year we celebrate Christmas as a family of three:
You are the apple of our eyes and you don't even know it yet.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, October 22, 2010

33 weeks and our Nightly Entertainment

Dear Cole,

You are getting bigger now. The baby updates that I get each week say that you're about 17 inches long and that you weigh about 4 pounds. I'm getting more and more excited about meeting you. I wonder what you're going to look like. I imagine holding you and you being so little, like most newborns are.

At this point, I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant. Which means that we only have about 7-8 weeks left until we get to meet you! I'm still feeling relatively good, but I can tell it's getting harder and harder for me to move around. I get out of breath very easily now, and I can't do the marathon shopping or cleaning days like I used to be able to. But all in all, I'm still feeling pretty good.

I start seeing the doctor every 2 weeks now. That's exciting because it means that the time is getting closer to when we'll get to see you! I really only go to the doctor two more times before the time begins when I'll have to go every week. Boy, that is going to pass by so fast! I guess we should get started on your room.

I haven't had any baby showers yet. The first one is still two weeks away. I've really just been biding my time until after we have the baby showers, thinking that then, this will all seem so much more real to me. When there are diapers and clothes and a carseat and I-don't-even-know-what-else in your room. Don't get me wrong, I feel you move all the time, so I know you're in there. It's just... almost like a dream that I haven't woken up from yet.

Now, the fun thing for me and your daddy to do at night is to sit and watch my belly move. Take today, for instance. You've literally moved almost constantly for about the past four hours. That's really a stretch for you! (I'm thinking maybe it was the medicine that I took earlier that's keeping you up...)  But sometimes, I can just rub my belly and you'll start to move. It's funny to me that you know when me or your daddy are doing that. It's just so fun to feel you move and see the big ripples in my belly as you turn somersaults. What's even more funny is to watch my belly go from being one shape, like a perfect circle, to being contorted and uneven because you prefer to hang out on the right side. I've taken many a picture of this misshapen belly, but they just don't do it justice. It really is a sight to see. I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to distinguish your feet or some other body part moving across my belly.

We're just excited to meet you, little buddy. I pray every day that you'll grow to be healthy and strong and smart and good. So many hopes and dreams for you, sweet little one. I can't wait to start making memories with you.

Love, Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Foggy mind morning

Well, I failed my glucose test. So now I have to go in for the 3-hour screening. Fun fun. I know I shouldn't worry too much just yet, but ever since I got the call yesterday, I've been going over and over in my mind about what I could have done that would have caused me to fail it, and I can't come up with anything. Except that I took the test in the afternoon, after I had eaten all day, instead of in the morning - although when I asked my doctor if taking it in the afternoon would screw up the test, they weren't really concerned. Sigh. I guess there are just some things in life you can't predict, no matter how hard you try.

I think maybe that's a lesson that I'm supposed to be learning this week...

It seems that everything that I have tried to avoid during this pregnancy has ended up turning up regardless.
At first, it was morning sickness:

"My mom didn't have it that bad, so maybe I won't." That thought ended at about 7 weeks.
"Okay, so most people have morning sickness, but they say it's supposed to end by week 12, so only 5 more weeks to go."
Um, yeah. Tell that to the Me who finally got Zofran at 15 weeks.
"I'm going to be so excited when I find out I'm having a baby!" Excited, yes. But completely in shock was more like it.
"Your life doesn't immediately change once you get pregnant; only when the baby gets here does it change."  *Laughing at myself right now for even once thinking that!
"Well, if I put lotion on my tummy every day, maybe, just maybe, I won't get stretch marks." Well, no one tells you that you should probably just lotion your whole entire body, since it's not just your tummy that grows, but your legs, hips, thighs, etc.
"If I drink lots of water and exercise, maybe my feet won't swell." - I'm still working on this one. Still trying, even though I should probably just accept that it does happen to most people, so I won't be surprised if it happens to me.
"If I walk and do yoga, it will help during labor." - Still working on that one, too, although for as many things as I've read that say exercise helps, I've also read that it makes no difference. Still. Anything I can do to help when that time comes, I'm sure I will appreciate.

I guess I write all of this as if to say that pregnancy is completely unpredictable, and that is not something that I am used to. So I guess I need to just hang on, because this ride isn't over yet!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize now

I'm a bitch.  I feel bitchy.  I act bitchy.  And most of the time, I don't feel bad for being one.  Because, I reason, if you couldn't sleep past 5 a.m. - no matter what time you went to bed - you'd feel bitchy, too.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love that I'm having a baby and, for the most part, I'm trying to take it all in stride.  I know that my situation is only temporary and that I'm going to miss this, so I deal with the stretch marks and the can't-find-a-bra-that-doesn't-cut-off-circulation. I even laugh about it for the most part.

But damn, there are those days. Emotions uP, dOwN, lEFt, RiGHt - every which way but normal.  One minute things are just rosy and the next minute I'm pissed off because someone looked at me the wrong way.  Then it makes me sad like I'm in the 6th grade again and I cry. Or I worry constantly, which, takes away the joy and contentment that I typically feel about this life-changing event. And that pisses me off. I want my happiness, dammit! I don't want to worry! And then I'm sad again because I'm not in my happy place, which is where I want to be. And it's like EVERYTHING that EVERYONE does is directed toward me, no matter how small.

Like the dumb neighbor who lets his dog roam the neighborhood without a leash. Then, when I try to walk my dog (who outweighs this little dog by a good 70 pounds), the neighbor dog follows us all around the neighborhood, bothering my dog - who is on a leash! How inconsiderate!

Or the building that I work in, where the maintenance team doesn't notify the occupants of my floor - two of whom are expecting - that they're going to be painting all day or doing some other type of construction that smells so bad it can't be good for you.  I mean, shouldn't they have a policy in place to notify tenants of potentially harmful (yet probably just bothersome) activities going on on their floor?

And, heaven forbid if I'm standing in a long line at a department store and it's not moving fast enough. I've had to apologize to probably two checkers already who I got huffy with for no real reason at all.  And I'm just waiting for that next man to come up to me out of the blue and ask me if this was an "accident" or a planned pregnancy. Or the next friend who tells me they're ready for me "not to be pregnant anymore."

Now, I have to be honest though. Mostly, I have gotten more good comments than bad. Most people are telling me that I look great. Mike has been really great about this, too. He is all the time telling me that I'm pretty/beautiful/sexy, and he's good about reminding me that I'm pregnant, not fat, and that there is a difference. I didn't know what to expect from him, but I have to say I've been very pleased at how supportive he's been. It's like he already knows the right things to say. Friends, acquaintances and family have been good, too (except for my dad making some sort of reference to an elephant, which I still don't fully understand...).  Most have been telling me that I look great, like I haven't gained a pound. To which I smile and genuinely thank them. Because they don't know that I've already gained two-thirds of what I really wanted to gain the entire pregnancy and they can't see the ugly stretch marks that I have all down my thighs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joy

Before I get started, I'm going to post part of a post that I wrote the day I found out about Baby Cole:

4-9-10 (Oh. My. Gosh.)
I can't even begin to wrap my mind around this. God always provides.

Last month, I really thought I was pregnant. ... And I was so nervous taking that test, but when I saw only one line I was really disappointed.

I didn't realize that I was ready until that moment. And I think I needed that to let myself know for sure that I really was.

So fast forward to this month. I started counting days and realized that I was late... And the anxiety set in once again. I think it's just worse not knowing. So I went home and decided I would just take a test, that way at least I would know and could put to rest the anxiety. I was super surprised to look down at it and see two lines forming.


Did I read that right?

Yep, I did. And then became really nervous. I guess I'm still kind of in shock. I don't know what to think. I mean, I wanted this - I do want this. I just didn't expect it.

***

Now, as I'm one week shy of the third and final trimester, I'm thinking about JOY. How much my life has changed over the past 5 months. How fun it is to be in the moment and enjoying this beautiful time. How very, very grateful I am that I am able to experience this. How fortunate we are to be able to enjoy this time for what it is - us, two becoming one. Creating life. Loving that new life like we haven't ever loved anything else.

I'm also really enjoying getting to know my son. It sounds funny to say it, but just as I love him, I know that he loves me. I can feel it. Maybe it's because for the past couple of weeks, it's been easier for me to tell where he is laying in that little swimming bubble of his. For instance, right now, I'm thinking he's laying mostly sideways across the top of my belly. I can tell because it's really hard where he's at and soft where he's not. Plus, I can feel him moving/twisting/pressing against the top part of my belly every day, so that's a pretty good giveaway. I feel lucky that I get to be the first one he bonds with. Everyone else has to wait until he's on the outside for that. :)

As much joy as I'm feeling though, I'm experiencing some of my typical fall moods. Every year, usually around the month of September, I start feeling kind of depressed. I can't really explain why, since I love fall and always look forward to this time of year. It never seems to fail, though, that I get the blues. I'm hoping it passes soon, since I really enjoy enjoying this experience and all the joy that comes with it, and I really want to experience the full joy of this time as much as I possibly can. I want to cherish every moment and live IN every minute of joy this time will bring.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Questions only a pregnant woman would ask

How many calories am I burning when I shave my legs? Enough to count as a workout?


Is it possible to overdose on Tums?

When I'm laying on one side, is my baby's head upside down and if so, is all the blood rushing to his brain?

When I'm starving, does my baby feel the hunger pains, too?

When I'm yelling at Gus, am I giving my baby a complex that I am going to yell at him the same way? Does he think he's going to be born into a home that isn't loving?

When I experience a little ... ahem ... road rage, am I teaching my son cuss words?

Is it bad that I have a favorite flavor of Tums?

Is it bad that I get excited about new flavors of Tums?

Is it him who's craving the sweets or is it just me?  Because if cravings are any indication as to what my child will eat, he's going to come out wanting fried chicken and an orange Fanta. And a Twix for dessert.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thankful

Dear Cole,

The words aren't coming easy tonight. I am just so thankful for you. Each week I see my belly getting bigger and bigger and I feel you move more frequently now, so I'm feeling a lot closer to you. This week, you went with me to Las Vegas, a work trip that I was not really excited to have to attend. But nonetheless, we went, and I noticed something.

I had been in kind of a funk prior to going and at times while I was there. I know the doctor said it was safe to travel with you, but I still worry ... because I'm the only advocate you have right now. And so I sometimes worry about whether or not some things are safe for me to do while you're growing in there.

But this week, I kind of felt like you were reassuring me that everything was okay. I found that each time I felt worried about you, you would start to kick. And when I was upset about things, you would move around a lot, which always puts a smile on my face. It's like you were telling me that you were fine, and honestly, it moved me to put forth a better attitude. I thought of how thankful I am for you, and it made the things that I was upset over seem smaller and not as important.

I love you and I can't wait for you to join us here on the "outside." But I'm cherishing these moments with you now and enjoying having you all to myself in the meantime.

Love.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tiny little feet

Dear Baby, 

The other day, your mommy, daddy and grandpa all got to see you. It was so fun. Within minutes of the technician turning on the screen and looking at you, we got to see every little part of you. It was so exciting to see your little hands, your heart, your brain, your spine, your ribcage and everything in between! One of my most favorite parts though, was seeing your little feet! That was one of the most awesome things to see. I wish I had a still picture of them to print out just so I could look at them. I imagine seeing them in person and I get so excited! It was also such a relief to us to know that every part of you looked "beautiful" - and those are words from the doctor, not just your mommy and daddy. You weigh about 12 ounces, which is 3/4 of a pound, and your measurements are all spot on or slightly above where they should be. That is music to my ears, Baby! I am so glad you are healthy!

Arguably, your daddy would say that his favorite part of seeing you the other day is this: 



He kept saying all along that he knew you were a little boy, and that he just needed "confirmation" from the doc. Your grandpa said that, too. I just had a feeling you were a little boy... a very strong feeling, so it wasn't a total surprise for any of us that you are. We've been calling you "he" all along. And now that we know, we can start planning more appropriately for you. We've begun cleaning out what will be your room, and your Aunt Mander and Grammy Roberts have already started on your wardrobe.





We learned the other day that you're also a little wiggleworm. I guess all those flutters I've been feeling all over my tummy have been you moving around, because you literally wiggled around during the entire ultrasound. I got to see you move and feel you move all at the same time. It was so neat seeing you in there moving around. Since then, I've been more aware of how often you move, although you seem to know when your daddy has his hands on me because you stop moving or kick somewhere else where his hands aren't. It's quite funny, but I'm sure he'll get the chance to feel you soon, 'cause you move around a LOT!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Letter to Baby

Dear Baby,

Words cannot begin to express how overcome with joy I am that you are really here. I think it has finally hit me that I am going to be a mother. I already love you so much, I can't imagine being able to love you even more once you get here, but I know I will. What an overwhelming feeling!

I think it is starting to hit your Daddy, too, that you are really alive. He got to hear your heartbeat for the first time the other day, and you should have seen the smile on his face. Later that night, when he was tucking me in, he kissed you goodnight. It was the sweetest thing. He asked me if I thought he would be a good dad, and I said absolutely. I have no doubts about him whatsoever.

Oh, Baby, how you will change things for us. But I believe you will change them for the better. There won't be a day that goes by that we will regret bringing you here. You're already changing us, and I love you for that.

I'm pretty sure I felt you move for the first time yesterday. What a surreal feeling. I wish your daddy could have felt it too, but I'm sure there will be many more times that he will, and I look forward to them.

I love you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Am Not Myself

Oh wow. Pregnancy has done a weird thing to me. Make that several weird things. I don't even know who I am anymore.

  • Case in point: Nothing in the world matters to me except for eating and sleeping. Priorities like work, household chores and playing with the dog have taken a backseat to my eating and sleeping habits, which brings me to my second case in point:
  • Must. Get. At. Least. 10. Hours. Of. Sleep. At. Night. Bedtime now is 9 p.m. And I mean, bedtime - not falling-asleep-on-the-couch time. And sometimes that's not enough, forcing me to take mini-naps throughout the day.
  • Ffffoooooooooooooodddddddddd! I am like a walking food disposal. In the past two weeks, I've went through 4-5 boxes of cereal and the same amount of half gallons of milk. I finally got smart tonight at the grocery store (the first time I've been to the grocery store in at least 3 weeks) and bought 3 boxes of cereal and a whole gallon of milk this time. If there is not food within reach at all hours of the day and night, I go into a panic. I think this is the first time in my life where I've felt "food insecure." And Lord help me (and my husband, bless his heart) if there is not food in sight when I get those sudden hunger pains. I'm talking Grand-Slam-breakfast-at-Denny's hunger.
Now, I've always been a healthy eater (healthy as in, I LOVE to EAT), so the hunger part may not come as a surprise. However, the hardest part about the hunger thing is that I can't eat as much at one time as I used to, so it takes me pretty much all afternoon to eat my lunch. It's like I'm eating 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners; and a bowl or 3 of cereal in between (or in the middle of the night) to keep those hunger pains away. I guess you really do "eat for two."

The napping thing, however, is sooo not me. I am not a napper. I rarely take naps, and if I do, it's usually by accident. Before now, I had this weird thing about taking naps where I thought I would miss something if I fell asleep, so I just never took naps. Nowadays, if I get a nap in during the day I am one happy kid, let me tell ya. I've also never been the type to just let things like housework and priorities go. My house is a disaster area right now and it really bothers me, but I just don't have the energy to do anything about it. Mike has been really good at helping me out on that end, as well as running to the store for more cereal and milk 3 times a week. One night, he actually picked up dinner, went to the store when I didn't even ask him to to get me more food, then came home and did the dishes, again without me even asking. All while I sat on the couch barely able to nibble on my dinner. I am definitely realizing how lucky I am. I don't know how anybody could do this on their own.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Introducing...

Baby P!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The House that Daddy Built

Now that Gus is over 2 years old, we decided it was time for him to have his own dog house. He's lived inside his whole life, except when we're gone when he usually stays outside. Except when it rains and he stays inside or in the garage. You get the point. Plus, there are going to be some big changes in our house soon, so he needs a place he can go to to stay dry and warm.

After much debate about what type of dog house to buy, Mike decided he was going to just build him one. Let me tell you, I am so proud of this dog house! It only took him a weekend to build, and it looks so good! And the best part about it is (other than that I get to paint it) is that Gus seems to like it. (This is a big deal coming from a dog who cries when we put him outside to go potty.) But we threw some treats in there to get him interested, and he's been going in and out of it since yesterday when it was still being built, so there is hope for him yet!

Below are some pictures of the house being built: 




 Putting the shingles on...

Finito! Gus likes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

March of the ... whaaaaaat?

No, I'm not talking about March of the Penguins. But I am talking about a penguin.

I had a dream the other night that has stuck with me for some odd reason. I usually have pretty weird, vivid dreams. Par for the course, I guess. But I don't think much of them after I wake up (aside from "That was weird").

Imagine this:

Me, Mike and Gus are at a county fair. Only it's in someone's trailer house and I don't ever see any rides or anything. So we're coming up a long, narrow hallway and we see a penguin walking in front of us. We try to grab Gus before he runs after the penguin, but it's one of those things that you see happening in slow motion... like you try to stop it but it's just too late. Fast forward. Gus attacks the penguin and tears his head off. Blood gets on the wall of whoever's trailer we are at. I feel sorry for the penguin, yet at the same time I frantically and quietly (if that's possible) walk back down the hallway and try to clean up the blood before the people who own the trailer see it. I feel sorry for the penguin again, but it's now dead and outside. Thanks, Mike, for taking care of that.  We leave before anyone sees us and gets mad.

I've been laughing at this dream all week for so many reasons. A) When do I ever think of penguins? B) Gus eating a penguin?! It would have been normal if it were a squirrel or bird or even a cat that I dreamed of, but a penguin?! 

Come to think of it, it's actually kind of morbid now that I think of it. Definitely tops the chart of one of the craziest dreams I've ever had.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Volunteering and stuff

After hearing about Gus the Whiner, you might think what I'm about to say is ridiculous. But, I digress. He really is a good dog most of the time.

For months and even years now I've been thinking about ways that I can volunteer someplace. My biggest problem is that there are many places that I would like to volunteer:

- Arkansas Children's Hospital
- Our House homeless shelter
- Various animal shelters
- Church
- St. Jude's 

You get my point. True to my personality, with so many options, I haven't made a choice as to where. I get new ideas all the time. For instance, I read in the newspaper a while back about this high school girl who was involved in animal-assisted therapy, and it made me want to do it. So I researched it a little bit and put it off. (Again - too many options. See my dilemma?)


So the other day, out of the blue, I signed up to volunteer at Children's. I really think highly of Children's and so this was my top choice. I've often heard and thought about being one of those volunteers who just goes up there and holds babies. Who doesn't like holding babies? Or volunteering to read to kids or something of that sort. I believe in volunteering because I think it can be very rewarding.

As I was signing up, I came across the options that you can choose to volunteer for, and one of them was animal-assisted therapy. So I thought to myself, "Just do it. You already know that you want to, and it would be a fun activity for you to do with Gus."  So today I went online to the Delta Society (https://www.deltasociety.org/Page.aspx?pid=261) and ordered the book to do the home-study course in becoming a Registered Pet Partner.

I've heard somewhere that dogs love having a "job" to do - whether it's participating in dog shows, taking agility classes, being 'therapy' dogs, whatever. They enjoy having something to do. And I really think I will enjoy it, too. I can really see myself loving it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gus the Whiner

As it turns out, this just could be my little puppy's "Indian name."  I guess it never occurred to me while we were first training him that long, hard first year to get on board the "No Whine" train.  It has never really been a problem for me (though Mike has always hated it), but I guess being the Soft One of the two of us it always has pulled at my inner heartstrings. To be fair, I think that the 1st year's lessons were probably more important (potty training, basic commands, trying to teach Gus how not to spaz out when we have company...)  But boy oh boy, the training really doesn't ever end, does it?!


So lately, we've been trying to tackle the whining. This dog whines all the freakin time!  When he's bored, he whines. When he wants to play, he whines. Every time we put him in the car to go somewhere, he whines. When he's excited, he whines. When you have a frisbee to play fetch with instead of a ball, he whines. You get the point. We are pretty much at the end of our rope. I guess I mean I am finally at the end of my rope.

Back when we were in the hardcore training days, I bought a book, called Family Dog by Richard Wolters.
Family Dog
It was recommended to me by my stepdad, whose dogs are very well-mannered, so I figured he might be on to something. And I have found the book to have several helpful hints on training puppies - Labs, to be exact. Well, that book has been on a bookshelf in my spare bedroom since I finished reading it over a year ago - until yesterday, when I opened it up and rummaged through the pages to see if I could find anything specifically on whining. I did, but only as sections like "Whining at Night," etc. Not, "Dogs that Whine All The Freakin Time," which is what I was looking for.

So I googled "Incessant whining in dogs," yesterday, and came up with a few case studies that said that if your dog is whining all the freakin time, you might try getting a spray bottle and filling it up with water, then giving him a good squirt in the face when he whines and telling him "No Whine."

So, today I bought a water bottle, filled it up, and wrote GUS in big black Sharpie marker on the front. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Airplane update

All that poking fun at my husband for his airplane table manners yesterday, and I receive this second picture in my inbox (after he sent me the first one):


And on top of that, I come home to find him vacuuming the floor!  What a great husband I have! :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me! Monday







 In the spirit of honesty, I'll post some things today that I certainly did not do this week.

While playing fetch with my son dog in the 5 inches of snow we got the other day, I did not wear my husband's ugly motorcycle boots - with hot pink pants tucked in - out to the mailbox because I didn't want to get my feet wet in my tennis shoes.

Also while playing fetch with Gus, I did not praise him for pooping, uh, twice, in our front yard instead of someone else's. We have a strict backyard bathroom rule that we enforce at all times, and I guess an even stricter poop-in-your-own-yard-not-the-neighbors' rule. I don't have to tell you that my husband gave me funny looks after the snow melted...

Since my husband flies model RC airplanes, he is all the time buying  new planes and working on them. I guess since it's been brutally cold lately (or maybe his plane area in the garage is just too full), he's been taking to working on his planes inside...

So right now, I do not have a half-put-together model airplane and 1,000 different parts, glue, etc., sitting on my new kitchen table that we got for Christmas. Kind of reminds me of back when we were living in an apartment and I did not let him store his motorcycle in the kitchen... Guess I kind of started something there... ;-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Whole New World

Well, I'm 10 days in on my Lasik surgery, so I thought I'd give all 3 of y'all who read this an update ;-)

It is literally AMAZING. I went in and had the surgery - didn't feel any pain and it took 10 whole minutes (if that). The next morning I was sitting at my kitchen table and looked up at the clock on the stove about 15 feet away and saw that it was 8:34. I haven't been able to read things like that without assistance in a very long time. Then later that day - one day following the surgery - I went in for a follow up and am seeing 20/15. How amazing! I literally wanted to go outside and just LOOK at things!

I chose McFarland Eye Centers, and am glad I did. The doctor who did my surgery also noticed a mistake in my glasses prescription (I don't know whether it was really wrong or whether one of the nurses wrote it down wrong.) At any rate, when he showed me the mistake during my eye exam, the only line I could read was the Big E. And I know my eyes aren't weren't that bad. ;-)  So, that was reassuring. Plus, he did his residency at the Mayo Clinic, so that made me very confident in his ability.

Deciding to have the procedure was definitely a jump of faith, since it's non-reversible and there are no guarantees, but it's one that I'm so glad I made.

And now, I'm counting the days blessings since I had it, and looking forward to many more glasses/contacts-free days in the future!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Day!

Let me start off by saying that I've been off work since Thursday from having my Lasik, and lately I've been kind of stir crazy.  I'll have to admit, though, I was kind of dreading going to work today anyway since doing anything with my eyes for an extended period of time causes them to be just exhausted, on top of being extremely dry right now. Needless to say, staring at a computer screen for 8 or 9 hours was not looking like fun. But more on that later.

I woke up today to find a little bit of snow on the ground, and was kind of surprised when I heard that the schools here were closed because I honestly didn't think it was that bad. Then it started snowing like crazy and I retracted that statement in my head.

Of course, Gus woke up full of energy this morning and before I could even eat my bowl of cereal he was giving me the 3rd degree about playing with him. And you can't ignore it, although I have learned that if I just give him like 10 minutes in the morning, he'll come in and take a nap, thus being a little lot easier to handle.

He absolutely loves the snow. It's been so fun to watch him run around and play in it. He reminds me of this dog in this book that I am reading, The Art of Racing in the Rain, http://www.amazon.com/Art-Racing-Rain-Garth-Stein/dp/0061537934. It's written by a dog (you know what I mean), who recounts his life with his owner who is a race car driver. The dog is old and at the end of his life, and he's ready to die because he believes that he's going to be reincarnated as a man, and he can't wait to become a human because he wants to talk and have opposable thumbs. (Even monkeys have opposable thumbs, and dogs are way smarter than monkeys, he reasons.) So he's kind of cynical about being a dog. The first four chapters made me laugh out loud. But anyway, it kind of makes you wonder what your dog is really thinking, and so the whole time Gus is out playing in the snow I'm thinking of the dog in the book and what Gus might be thinking about playing in the snow. (Consequently, it's also made me rethink telling Gus all the time that he stinks. I know dogs don't really understand what you say all of the time, but it's still kind of funny to think about it.)

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of him playing in the snow, and a video. He does this thing where he'll drop his ball in his pool and "dig" through the water to try to get to his ball, and I've often wondered what his thought process is behind that. Nonetheless, it makes me laugh. And so that's what he's trying to do in the video: "dig" his ball out of the snow.




video

Friday, January 15, 2010

Taco Bell is the Devil!

Ouch.

Food poisoning sucks.

I went to bed Monday night with a stomach ache and never really went to sleep for more than a couple hours at a time. The other time was spent on the bathroom floor in the fetal position, between being sick to my stomach. Was sick all day Tuesday. Went back to work on Wednesday and thought everything was OK, but after eating lunch I noticed that my stomach began to hurt again. It's now Friday and I'm still having (mild) stomach pains. This has been awful. I'm wondering when it will end. I'm hungry right now but too afraid to eat anything because I don't want my stomach to start hurting again. The toast and crackers diet is getting kinda old...

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Years' Resolutions

I'm not big on New Years' Resolutions, because honestly, who sticks to them anyway? This year, there are two things on my mind that I want to accomplish. I will share one of them. The other one, you will have to wait for.

Since I was 13, so going on 14 years now, I have gotten up every day and put in contacts. And every night before I go to bed, I take them out again. So, I have decided to check into having Lasik surgery done. I've talked to several people who have had it, and they have all been very pleased. So that, my friends, is my #1 Resolution for this year. And you know what? I've already made my appointment. Look at me go! 1 for 1 = 100 percent!

In all seriousness though, I will probably literally shed some tears if I wake up and actually have good vision without having to do anything like put on glasses or put contacts in. Just to be able to wake up and see the time on the alarm clock... or to lie in bed and be able to tell which channel the TV is on without having to ask my husband... Yeah, pretty sure that I will shed some tears if this all works out the way I hope it does.

Not Me...

 

Mike is gone this week for work, and when he's gone, I do not cook.  I mean, I really don't. So the other night, I did not eat a breakfast bar and leftover pasta salad for dinner, only to find myself starving when I went to bed. Therefore, I did not eat the last breakfast bar as a midnight snack in my bed.  I never eat food in my bed. That's just gross!

When Gus was sick the other night, er, wee hours of the morning, I did not bend down to look at the mess he'd made when he hacked up his dinner, searching for clues as to what he could have eaten. I was not so engrossed in trying to find out why he was sick that I did not grab a flashlight and follow him outside - in the bitterly cold 10-degree weather, no less - to look at those piles of spit-up, too. I am never so attentive to what my dog eats or throws up.

Lastly, I did not take Gus for a 1/2-mile walk around the neighborhood on the very evening that our temperatures fell to single digits for the first time in umpteen years. I am sooo not that dedicated to my dog! And even if I had, I did not come back inside and think to myself that my legs were so cold that they must've been in the beginning stages of frostbite. Seriously, frostbite?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

8 Reasons To Get A Dog

1. There is no one more excited to see you at the end of a long day... Ever... in the history of the universe. 
2. They have such a zest for life! They're easygoing, carefree - and they teach you how to be that way too!
3. Unconditional love. No matter how many times you accidentally step on their toes or ignore them when you're mad at them, they still come back to you with that unconditional love/loyalty.
4. They're good cuddlers, even when they do weigh 80 pounds. :-)
5. They lick your feet. Not that I like this, but the point I'm trying to make is that, what other creature on Earth loves you enough to lick your feet?!
6. They can be your best friend. No friends? No problem! A dog will still love you.
7. They're funny to watch. Have you ever seen a dog run laps around the coffee table? Chase his tail? Play in the water? Bark at the hair dryer?

I'm sure I could think of more things, but these are just some of my favorites. Oh, and I forgot to mention the most obvious thing:  They're so cute!


Friday, January 8, 2010

A True Under(TheWeather)Dog Story

I lay there sleeping soundly in bed last night, only to be startled awake by what I thought was Gus having a bad dream. Sometimes when dogs sleep they dream and whine and kick their legs (I assume they're running in their dream). Instead, the more awake I became, the more I realized that it sounded like he was wheezing or choking. Like an old man with a bad smoker's cough. I rushed out of bed and flipped on the light and tried to quickly get him out of the house so he could get sick outside. [You see where this is going, right?]

Three separate piles and his dinner made a reappearance in each one of them. As is customary when your loved one is sick like this, I checked it over to see what he could have eaten that made him so sick, but I didn't see anything. This continued for probably the next 20 minutes or so, and I did manage to get him outside a couple times before it stopped. Now, I usually don't get too worked up when the little guy gets sick like this, because usually there's a reason - which at some point makes its appearance - and then he quits. This time was different, I could tell. I almost felt like he had something caught in the back of his throat, as did the receptionist at the emergency clinic that I called at 3:33 a.m. this morning, who otherwise didn't sound all that worried. Believe it or not, this was actually a relief to me; her calmness made me calm and able to think straight.

So, in we went to the vet this morning at 7, and after ruling out Kennel Cough, a chest x-ray was done and it was determined that my little guy had some slight fluid on his lungs and a little cough; so my Trusty Friend aka The Vet/Gus's Aunt sent us home with doggy cough medicine and antibiotics. And I'm hoping it works, because he sounds like a grown man when he coughs right now! Poor little fella.