Monthly Archives: August 2011

Pearl

We have three dogs.

I never planned on having this many canine buddies.

When we bought our house Travis really wanted his own dog. We had my 12 year old cattle dog, Daisy, who Travis had adopted as a sort of step child, but she was my dog through and through. Soon after moving into our home, Travis found a puppy at the Pet Network that he desperately wanted. One snowy, winter day we went up to look at the litter of puppies that he had his eye on.

They were tiny, cute little cattle dog mixes with a beautiful, kind mother. Travis quickly chose a grey speckled puppy. She was tiny in his big hands. At only 4 weeks, she was too small to bring home and while he worked on some paperwork I strolled through the rest of the facility.

Travis holding Dutch on the day we adopted her.

And then I met Pearl.

She was a tiny little puppy that they were calling a pit bull lab mix and I knelt down to pet her through the cage. She was friendly immediately and had the best dog smile I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with her.

Pearl

Unfortunately, it turned out that someone had already claimed Pearl. I was a little heartbroken, but knew it was for the best. We continued on our dog adoption plan and visited our puppy whenever we went skiing. Every time we went back I would check on Pearl. We filled out an application for her just in case.

One day we received a call from the Pet Network. Pearl’s adopter had fallen through. Did we still want her?

It took some convincing, but after we both had done some research about pit bulls I somehow convinced Travis that we needed to get Pearl too. The thought of three dogs was daunting (had I known that a baby would be on the way a short time later, I would have made an entirely different decision), but we’re optimists and it would turn out that raising two puppies was excellent practice for a baby.

We said yes.

Pearl is one of the best dogs I’ve ever known. She’s sweet and kind and playful. She’s the sensitive dog in the house. And my protector. When Travis is out of town she sleeps on the bed with me and stands guard all night. Funnily enough, she’s bonded the most with Travis while the puppy he chose has bonded to me. Both of the dogs were the perfect additions to our family.

When Henry was born we were concerned that the dogs wouldn’t handle it well. We’ve been pleasantly surprised, and no dog has surprised us more than Pearl. We call her the nanny dog. When I get Henry out of his crib in the morning, Pearl stands on two legs and perches herself on the edge of the crib so she can look too. She keeps her eyes on him at all times and makes sure to ply him with dog kisses on a regular basis.

But the sweetest moment of all?

A few weeks ago, as we were getting ready for bed,  Travis saw Pearl grab one of his undershirts and head for under the bed. She’s not a small dog, but every night she army crawls under the bed to her dog cave. He yelled at her and was trying to get under the bed to get the undershirt back. What he found surprised him. You see, under the bed he found:

  • Another one of his undershirts
  • A pair of my underwear
  • One of Henry’s onesies

This crazy dog had collected a piece of clothing from each of us and was using it in her little nest. I might be overly hormonal and sentimental right now, but I was so touched by this. Because even though these crazy dogs are sometimes too much to handle, we are their family and they are ours.

Pearl - Hanging out in our bed. She's the queen of the house.

Pearl was four months old when we adopted her. She had been abandoned as a tiny four week old puppy. When she came to the shelter her eyes weren’t even open yet. Until we adopted her, she had only been outside a couple of times. She didn’t have a mother and at first she was afraid of everything. She wanted to sleep in bed with us every night. She wouldn’t walk on grass and preferred concrete.

She might be pit bull. She might not. Even our vet can’t say for sure. Taking a chance on adopting Pearl is something that I will never regret.

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The demise of guys

If you’re a parent (or even if you’re not) watch this really interesting 6 minute TED talk. Psychologist Phillip Zimbardo asks the question “Why are boys struggling?”

Interesting stats and info!

http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge.html

When you’ve finished watching help find the answer by filling out this survey – http://on.ted.com/PZSurvey

2011 Goals

I’m like most people in that I typically have New Year’s Resolutions and, for the most part, they don’t change that much from year to year. Lose weight. Be kinder to myself. Take time to enjoy life. Do good things.

This year was a bit different because I was hugely pregnant at New Years and the one and only goal I had for 2011 was to have a natural, un-medicated child birth and survive the first six weeks of being a mother (for me, those first six weeks were the hardest, anybody else feel that way?).

Now that I’m past the whole labor and delivery thing, my goals are returning to my traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Although, this time I’m adding one or two more. I’m inspired by ShoeShoe Girl’s Blog – she’s motivated me to post my goals here so I have a place to journal my progress and that keeps me accountable.

So here goes:

Goal #1 – Weight Loss

Lose 20 l-b-s’sss by the end of the year. This will get me close to my pre-pregnancy/wedding weight. At this weight I feel more comfortable/confident and my clothes fit.

How I’m going to do this:

I’ve headed back to MRI to workout with Camie Cragg, the genius trainer who helped me before our wedding. I’m also committing to training for the Race for a Cure 5k race. That race is October 2, which is the perfect amount of time to use the Couch to 5k app. It’s tough to fit even an extra half hour three times a week, but I’m committing to it this time. None of that I’m planning to…I want to…I’ll try to. Nope…this time I’m doing it.

This goal also ties into my next goal…

Goal #2 – Force myself to make ME time

After Henry was born I struggled with feeling like I had lost my identity and that it was replaced with Henry’s Mom and Travis’s Wife. Sometimes I have to force myself to do things for myself.  I know this is about balance. The problem is that I really love spending time with my baby and husband, but I suppose it’s a fine line between quality time and a feeling of obligation.

How I’m going to do this:

Working out on a regular basis. Getting a pedicure or massage. Reading. Getting up early to enjoy that beautiful cup of morning coffee and a quiet house. Enjoying a little guilt free shopping. Forcing myself to be a little selfish.

Goal #3 – Find financial peace

In December of last year, Travis and I made a commitment to follow Dave Ramsey’s financial peace program. Having a baby got us a little off course – we stockpiled money for my maternity leave rather than paying debt off until I went back to work full time. Since May, we have paid off almost $7,000 in debt. If we stay the course we will be set to have all of our credit cards paid off by December and we will pay for Christmas and the holiday season with cash! I’m not going to lie, making huge payments on credit cards sucks. I can’t help thinking every time I make a payment of all the fun we could have with that money, but watching the balances drop and slowly die off is satisfying too. There’s a lot of freedom that comes from saying, “In your face!” to the credit card companies. Last month, we paid off our truck – getting that title in the mail was an awesome feeling. This month we paid off my Wells Fargo credit card. It’s had a balance since I was in college. Boom Boom POW!

How I’m going to do this:

Stay the course. Keep paying and follow our plan. Budget, budget, budget. Use cash more.

Goal #4 – Declutter

I’m an adult now. I’m married. I have a baby. I own a home. I have a career. So why is my house always such a disaster? We have a clutter/organization/dirty laundry problem in our home and I’m desperate to fix it. We’ve worked hard to keep up on things and throw trash/junk mail/various crap away. Now it’s just a matter of making it a habit.

How I’m going to do this:

Get rid of stuff. Remind myself that a clutter free house makes me feel better and more centered emotionally. Oh and I’m an adult and until I am debt free there will be no magic cleaning lady for me.

Goal #5 – Spend a little time on my faith and spirituality

True Confession: Travis and I have been married for a year and until last weekend I had only gone to church once since we got married. And, fine, yes, you were right. It was Christmas. I’m one of those people. I like going to church, but it seems like it’s one of the first things to go when I feel too busy. I’m recommitting to attending mass a few times a week month, preparing to have Henry baptized and making time for my spiritual side.

How I’m going to do this:

Plan to attend church a couple of times a month. Take a few quiet moments everyday for prayer.

Those are my goals for the next 5 months. I’m going to pull a little Tim Gunn on myself and Make it Work!