And they called her Shamrock

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I never use to be a dog person. We had a ton of different dogs when I was growing up and they always bugged me. So needy, always at your feet. You had to walk them and feed them all the time. They were never not hungry. They’d sleep on your pillows and chew up your stuff.  I never use to be a dog person, until I saw a picture of Isabella online.

There she was. A Red Healer So small with cute red freckles all over her white fur and that curly tail. I was in love. She was rescued off the side of the road in Arizona as a puppy and brought to a no kill shelter there. I stumble over her picture random on the interwebs and emailed the shelter about her without telling my husband.

I didn’t tell him because we already took a little rat (Chihuahua shih tzu mix) dog from my sister who barked all the time. He really did not make me become a dog person but there was just something about this little puppy staring back at me from the screen. I just felt like she was supposed to be in my family.

I received an email back from the shelter stating that she was available and that they had someone who was willing to drive from Arizona to Salt Lake City to bring her to us.

I don’t know how I convinced my husband that we needed her but I did. We drove to Salt Lake the following week to meet the people who brought her to us. And they called her Shamrock. I guess because in part she was lucky to be found on the side of road as a tiny puppy and was nursed back to health.

We drove her home that night and laughed as she chased the cats and ran through our whole house excited to be in her forever home. Then we named her Isabella. Or Belly button as I like to call her.

Years later, she’s still excited to be with us. She is still needy, always at my feet. I take her on walks all the time and feed her all the time. She’s never not hungry, always sneaks food off the table. Sleep on my pillows and chews up our stuff. But she made me a dog person. Because she is my dog.
So If I was reborn as a dog it would be her. She is strong, funny, caring and protects my kids like they are her own. So cuddly and has never ending love for me and my family.

And even though I had that dog bite me on Easter, I still love dogs because of my Bella.

Yesterday I forgot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yesterday I forgot to do the dishes, run and tidy up the house according to the productive app on my phone. But what I didn’t forget to do was be fully there with my oldest.  

After Gunner’s behavioral therapist appointment, Gunner gathered all his trucks and buses, made a parking lot on the couch and played quietly, Annie nursed and Wyatt and I talked.

Wyatt, he tends to get lost in the shuffle of the younger kids who demand more attention from Cody and I. We haven’t really been able to have a real solid conversation with each other for a really long time and few weeks ago I thought about how honestly I could not remember when we ever did. That really bothered me. So I have been more diligent about making sure to have a real one on one time set aside just for him.

I invited him to join me and my sister in our 52 week hiking challenge. Where each week we take to the mountains and hike our butts off.  Which at first he didn’t want to do but after the first hike he was hooked.

The funny about hiking is that no matter what, you have to have conversations. There is no way around it. I have learned more about him and my sister in the last three weeks than ever before.
I also see how strong he is. Sometimes while my sister and I are talking, he’ll run up ahead of us and have us time him to see how long it’ll take him to run up to a tree. I can say that I can’t do that quite yet. But I do plan on it. (He’s challenged me.)

What I have learned through hiking with him, is that he is goal orientated and way driven. He likes to be challenged. To have a goal that may not be very accessible to others but to him it is.
The other day when I was marking off tasks on my productive app he leaned over and stated that he wanted that app on his iPad because he liked that it showed how many days in a row you accomplish something and that is what he needs in his life.

So yesterday as Gunner played parking lot we loaded a task app called Swipe (since the “productive” one I used isn’t available on the iPad) entered in all the tasks that he wanted to accomplish in a day and he beamed. This is what he needed.

He put things on his list like feed the dog, read 20 mins each night, then he put things on there that I didn’t think he really cared about. Like cook dinner with mom. That surprised me.
He run around the house seeing how many tasks he could complete. Practice karate. Check. Make your bed. Check.

Then we spent the mid evening in the kitchen cooking, laughing, talking with each other that spread out into the evening that when the dishes were left in the sink and the run I needed to do so badly beeped up on my phone for me to accomplish I didn’t hesitate to skip the task.

Because I was doing that one thing that shouldn’t have been on my list of things to accomplish, spending time with my oldest.

Update: I found an even better app for him. It is called Monster Chore. It gives him rewards points for each chore that he completes and then he can use those rewards to purchase things from his dad and I. Like a trip to a museum. Plus it will beep on my phone when he actually said he did the chores so I can approve that it was done or not. I really like it

Definitely not a vacation

Saturday, April 9, 2016

It was funny, the other day Cody and I were having one of those parenting days that just are so hard. Every whine, every look, every poopy diaper had us on edge. And when both of us are in the overwhelmed state we simply cannot function.

So I said in a huff “Ugh, we seriously need a vacation.” To which he replied “You will be getting one in a month” hinting to the fact that school will be out soon and my job ends until the next school year starts.

I corrected him because I actually have 2 months left and I also stated that it won’t be a vacation. It will be more work for me. I will be the only one 100% of the time responsible for all of our kids all day, all night, no breaks, it will be me. That’s it.

He just laughs and blows it off and said something to the point of how work is stressful and I said “well work for me is my break. It is not stressful it’s the chance for me to get a mom break.”

I knew he did get it though.

He doesn’t understand the demand that mothers have. He doesn’t understand that you literally have no space. That no matter what room you are in the kids will follow you there. Talking, crying, screaming, wanting always wanting.

That you’ve picked up the house way to many times that by the time the end of the day comes, you could give a flying fuck how your house looks.

He didn’t get that until I came home from work yesterday.
Now I only work 5 hours a day but when I got home I could see it in his eyes. That same look of defeat I get some days.

He was rocking Annie who seemed to not want to settle. I could hear Gunner crying through the monitor because he wanted nothing to do with a nap and Wyatt was in the other room playing video games.

And that’s when he told me. Wyatt and Gunner kept coming into every room I was in. I was trying to get Annie to sleep and right when I would, they would come running in here and start wrestling. And no matter how many times I tell them to stop and go play somewhere else they wouldn’t listen.
So she hasn’t slept all day.

Then I said “see, it’s no vacation huh?” as I snatch up Annie, who settled quickly. Walked out of the room so he could take it all in. Marinate in it.

The fact that parenthood is hard most days and most definitely not a vacation.

Alone with the baby

Friday, April 8, 2016

I was not allowed by any means to wallow in my misery after the dog bite incident. I get home after my 5 hour stay in the ER. I just received 10 stitches altogether in my arm and I chose to have no pain meds while I was in the hospital. Because one, I hate how they make me feel. Two, I could not really feel my arm/fingers anyway.

I get home, and there was my husband frazzled. Rocking the baby trying to settle her down. His mom there watching, who just got the older kids down to sleep finally. After a while she leaves and it is now him and I alone with the baby.

She’s hungry and waiting nothing more than to nurse after hours of being away from me. And he is so far beyond his stress level that he was nonfunctioning. I in a huff told him to just go to bed and hand me the crying baby.

That’s when I realized I was on my own.

There would not be anyone else that could be the mom in this family. No one else that could nurse Annie. No one else to calm down my husband. No one else to comfort the boys back to sleep the way I do. No one else that knows their special lullabies to help them feel better.

I was it.

So painfully and alone I figured out a way to hold Andalyn on my breast and pinch my nipple the certain way she likes with my nonworking fingers so she’d actually eat.
I rocked and cried, rocked and cried some more because I didn’t ask for this. I never wanted this.

An hour later, Gunner wandered down stairs crying and I call threw my tears still rocking and nursing Annie for my husband who rushes out into the living room in his half slept mind to snatch him up.

He wakes a little more to see me crying and asks what’s wrong. All I can think is I just got bit by a dog asshole and I am still up with the baby what do you think is wrong?
Instead I mumble through my tears, I just hurt.

He goes to the medicine cabinet and gets an ibuprofen and pops it into my mouth and gives me a drink of water.  

Picks up Gunner again who's still crying and starts to rock him.

I look over at him in his rocking chair and I in mine as we cuddle the kids and I knew at that moment that I am not really alone in this because he is a dad too.

The only dad this family has.