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The last week or so has been a rough one. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Last Sunday:

How it starts: We load up and hit the road early for a 3.5 hour drive to my sister’s graduation. Knowing I’ve timed it just right, I figure Ryan will nap most of the way and Owen might even fall asleep as well. We will get to New York just around lunch time and both will be rested enough to enjoy the graduation before heading to my aunt and uncle’s house for lunch.

What actually happens: Owen immediately falls asleep and stays that way for most of the ride. Ryan naps for 40 minutes then proceeds to cry on and off the remainder of the trip. Since he’s hardly rested, he is exhausted by the end of the ceremony, yet refuses to nap the rest of the day. At all. He is in full-blown meltdown mode by the time we head back home that evening. Both boys sleep the whole way home and we arrive around 10 p.m.

What happens next: I bring the boys in and Michael lets Kodiak out the front door for a quick bathroom break before bed. It’s pitch black and pouring rain. He’s mad at us for leaving him during the day (even though Michael’s grandmother let him out twice). While Michael is in the garage, Kodiak saunters away into the dark and refuses to come when called. Fast forward through countless searching, both on foot and in the car and calling and calling him, and we give up, angy, and hope he comes home safely. At 1:30 in the morning I hear him bark to come in. I open the slider and as he walks into the house — BAM. I’m hit with it.

He’s been skunked. UGHHHH. We quickly put him in the garage but the damage is done. The house STINKS. It is so overpowering that I have to sleep with the blanket over my head just to breathe. He is so very much in the dog house.

How it ends: In the morning, I wash him twice to no avail. He spends the next three (thankfully sunny) days outside and sleeps in the garage until we can take him to the groomers on Thursday. He is still slightly skunky and will probably smell every time he gets wet for a long time. Did I mention that Sunday was Michael’s birthday? Happy birthday to him, huh?

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Post-skunk bath #1. Pathetic.

Wednesday:

How it starts: I go to get Ryan out of the crib in the morning and immediately feel how hot he is. I take his temperature and it confirms he has a fever. His spirits aren’t to bad, though, so we go about our day just keeping an eye on it. That night we hear a strange sound coming from the crib. When I go to check on him I find that he’s wheezing. Great.

What happens next: I take him to the pediatrician the next morning and he is diagnosed with a virus. Which basically means, sucks for you. Got to ride it out. He’s given a little something to help with the wheezing, but the fever continues for a full 24-hours. He is also now leaking snot and oh! Look at that. Cutting a giant tooth. Poor guy is a mess. I worry, because we are leaving the boys, Ryan for the first time, the next day to attend a wedding. I still want my mom when I’m sick, so I feel for my little baby.

How it ends: Well, this ending was just the beginning. Friday morning his fever is gone, but he is cranky and coughing and generally unhappy. I waffle about leaving him, but am convinced to go. We leave the boys with my mother-in-law at noon and leave for my good friend’s wedding. We have a great night away (there was a cheesecake bar at the wedding. I mean, nom.) but return the following afternoon to absolute chaos. My in-laws are loud people, so the house is a frenzy of noise and activity. As soon as I walk in the door, both kids burst into tears. Ryan is hacking a lung and snotty, and I know the minute I hold Owen that he is now running a fever as well.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

How it starts: I…I don’t even know. The next few days are a blur of no sleep, bodily fluids and miserable, MISERABLE children. Michael had to work all weekend too, so it was just me and the sick. For days. I keep a detailed white board listing who took which medicine when. I try to find anything they will eat (Owen – some toast, applesauce and a popsicle. Ryan – boob. And then some more boob. And hold on, let me scream my head off for a bit and ok…more boob now), I run humidifiers, put mattresses on angles, offer cool wash clothes and warm baths and anything I can think of to make them feel better. It goes on, and on, and on.

What happens next: Yesterday, Ryan appears to be back on a normal nap schedule. This looks promising. My mother-in-law offers to take Owen for a few hours to get him out of the house and give me a small break. He has fun, but returns feverish and exhausted. He naps on and off for four hours and when he finally wake up, he seems a bit more like himself.

How it ends: I’m hesitant to say it HAS ended, but it looks like we might be almost there. Both boys slept through the night and awoke happy, fever-free and just a little congested. I managed a shower and even met a friend for coffee. Could this endless stretch of suck finally be over? Are we finally emerging?

OMG, I HOPE SO.

(Hope you all had a good Memorial Day. I’m hoping next year includes a bbq and beer instead of fevers and Advil.)

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Owning a dog means voluntarily setting yourself up for heartbreak. I mean that in the best possible way.

Kodiak is getting older. He’s nearly eight and a half. While he still has the energy of a puppy most of the time, he’s slowed down over the years; added a little more gray hairs to his chin. (The kids might have contributed to that a bit.) By all accounts, he is a healthy guy, but lately thoughts of the inevitable have been creeping into my head, and as much as a try to push them away, I can’t help but think about it.

People with children tend to roll their eyes at people who have no kids, but have a dog. You know the kind — the dog is their baby. Spoiled rotten, taken everywhere, talked about — and to — as if they could talk back. Jeez, those people, right?

Only, we were those people. Kodiak literally was the first baby and we treated him as such. While we swore it wouldn’t happen — as dog owners with kids do — the life he knew changed drastically once the babies came. Suddenly he had to wait, was underfoot, was no longer the center of attention. To his credit, Kodiak took it all in stride. He adapted to his new job as Fur Brother and loves those babies like they were his own pups.

But I know it’s not the same.

I spend a lot of the day shooing him out of the way of a crawling baby, or getting annoyed that he’s begging for food, or wanting to scream because there’s dog hair on the floor AGAIN. None of these things are his fault, but it’s easy to snap at him when life gets stressful. He won’t snap back. He never has.

Lately, though, I’ve realized that in not too distant future, relatively speaking, he won’t be here to snap at. And I know then that the guilt that tugs at me now will be multiplied over and over again. If only I had paid more attention, took him on a few more walks, let him bask for a few moments in his title of First Baby. When the time to say goodbye comes, I want to feel like I did right by him.

I told Michael I want to have a Kodiak Day. A day where he gets to go to all the places he loves (the beach!), gets a special meal just for him (cheeseburgers!). I know it sounds silly, but I want to do that for him.

This all sounds morbid, I know. We could have another 4+ years with him, and by god, I hope we do. And I’m going to try and use that time better than I have been. For him. For our Kodiak.

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- I finally took the Christmas decor down last week and now it is glaringly obvious that there is nothing hanging on the unpainted walls. My living room is basically a sterile environment. If you don’t count the Cheerio crumbs and dog hair. I started to pin ideas for the room so if you follow me on Pinterest, I apologize for the recent onslaught of photos of mantels and gallery walls. I would also love to paint, but the room is big and neither Michael nor I likes to paint. Hiring someone isn’t in the budget right now so either we suck it up and do it ourselves, or continue to live in the vast whiteness.

- Anyone remember when we watched my mother-in-law’s crazy dog last year? I swore it would not be a repeat thing, and yet, here we are one year later and about to embark on 13 days with Lucy. Last year she was skittish and whiny and afraid of men. Which meant that any time Michael would come into the house…she would pee. And then, to add icing to the cake, she freaked out and expressed her anal glands in my kitchen, and I’ll just take a moment to let that sink in.

Expressed her anal glands. In my kitchen.

That smell is burned in my memory and so help me, if she does it again I am shipping her off to Florida so my MIL an deal with it. So, SO gross.

- Speaking of my MIL, she bought a cow. Not a whole cow, not even half of a cow. She bought something like a fourth of a cow so we could split it between us. Only, we don’t really eat that much red meat. Maybe once or twice a month. She was insistent, however, so now the entire bottom half of my freezer if filled with beef. Because even splitting up a fourth of a cow is still hundreds of pounds of cow. I’m not kidding when I tell you this meat will last us a year, maybe more. There’s just so.much.beef. I’m going to have to host a beef party or something just to put a dent in it.

Except a beef party sounds disgusting. No one would come if I cordially invited them to a beef party. Or they would, but they would think it was an entirely different type of party with a whole different kind of beef, if you catch my drift. And that would be awkward.

- When I stop to think about it, the last almost 2.5 years of my life have been defined by sleep, or the lack thereof. Owen didn’t sleep, then he did, then he would regress, then he would sleep again, and then, blissfully, he slept through the night. Then we had the crazy idea to make another little person who would interrupt our sleep and even though he actually sleeps pretty decently most of the time, he still wakes up.

But we were prepared for that. Infants wake up. What we weren’t prepared for was for Owen to suddenly start waking up again in the middle of the night, but here we are. He is — and of course, usually within 20 minutes of Ryan so YEAH, that’s fun — and he’s waking up scared. He wants to know “what’s that noise?” and holds us hostage in bed with him. We try to reassure him, to address his fears and help him to see there is nothing to be afraid of, but it’s keeps happening night after night. He has a solid routine and a night light and we always come in when he gets scared, but so far, no luck. A little Googling tells me this is common around the 2-2.5 year mark, but still. SLEEP, CHILD!!

- Ryan, however, is having a really good sleep last night into today, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

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- Something irritated Kodiak’s skin, and he’s pretty much gnawed a hole in his side. It’s gross and I feel bad for him and since at-home care doesn’t seem to be working, we’re taking him to the vet today. In the meantime, we had to keep him away from it, so we were forced to put him in the Cone of Shame. He can’t maneuver well with it, so he crashes into walls and gets stuck in doorways. Is this not the most pathetic face ever?

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- I ordered a bunch of new clothes and they came yesterday. It was about 50/50 with what I’m going to keep, and that was a little disheartening. I KNOW I had a baby eight weeks ago. I KNOW it takes time for everything to go back. I’ve done it once before. But this time I’m having a harder time with it mentally and the fact that I still cannot pull my regular jeans up past my thighs makes getting dressed one of the least enjoyable parts of the day. People have been very nice and tell me I look great, but I just don’t feel like me and I’m uncomfortable in my skin right now.

I bought a pair of jeans a size larger than I normally wear and they fit. So at least I can feel a little stylish and retire (some of) my yoga pants. Back in the day I used to watch a lot of What Not to Wear and I remember them always saying to “dress for the body you have now, not the body you’re hoping to have later.” I guess that makes sense, although it could get expensive!

- Today is grocery day. Wish me luck.

 

We’re dog sitting for my mother-in-law while she’s in Florida. For 10 days. She goes a few times a year and in the past we’ve driven back and forth to her house to let her dog out, or alternated with a neighbor to save us a trip or two. She lives about 20 minutes away, though, so the back and forth three times a day is just too much and too inconvenient now that we have Owen.

There was something lost in translation this time, though, because we didn’t quite understand that we had agreed to dog sit for a week and a half…until we were. So we are.

Lucy is a lab and just over a year or so old. I think. She was rescued from a “kill shelter” down south and brought up here. She is sweet, but also nuts and skittish and while I completely understand that given her unknown background, and the fact that she’s basically a puppy and not at all like the giant breed we’re used to…she’s driving me crazy.

She knows “sit”, but barely. Other than that, she responds to no other commands. Owen has started mimicking me and now runs around yelling, “DOWNNNN, U-CEE!”, which I must say a hundred times. She’s house-trained, but pees whenever Michael comes in the house.

Kodiak…well, he’s being a really good sport. But Lucy is like the little annoying sister he never had, and probably never wanted. She climbs all over him and trips him up, and while he basically sits there and takes it…

“W T EFFFFF is this crap?”

he has certainly lost his patience a time or two and knocked her around a little.

Owen alternates between thinking U-Cee is hilarious, and outright yelling AHHHHH in her face when she comes near him. I guess he’s used to our big lump of Newfie and doesn’t know what to make of the crazy either.

We’re got six days left with Lucy. It’s really too bad I can’t open a bottle of wine right now.

14-week belly says get out of the way, dog! You’re blocking the mac and cheese. (I can blame her for the dirty mirror too, right?)

Somebody is six years old today…

“It’s me, guys! Kodiak! Remember me? I’ve been totally neglected lately on the blog since that kid came around, but today is MY day! I’m SIX!”

It’s true, he has been neglected. As much as we swore it would never happen, that he would always be our first, our Fur Baby. But as it turns out, Mr. O requires a lot of attention and Kodiak had to adjust. He still loved, of course. Oh my, is he loved. But he had to move into second place. And while he did so reluctantly, and often shoves himself into your face demanding, “Attention! Now!”, he actually has taken this big brother thing in stride.

The truth is, he’s a wonderful big brother. He gives kisses (“not in the face!”), and is first to get to Owen if his cries resemble anything other than your standard waaaah’s. He’s cautious if Owen is playing on the floor, and even tries to share his toys. And he’s super excited now that there is a high chair to lie under and potential sweet potato or pea mash to catch.

It’s been nearly five years since we adopted a loud and playful one-year old Newfoundland. Over time he has become more that just a dog to us; he is family. He may not get the 24/7 attention he once basked in, but you can bet that when Owen goes to bed, it’s Kodiak time, and he is reminded just how much we adore him.

I love this dog. This dog who may be six, but has the heart and attitude of a puppy. This dog who has a personality like I’ve never seen before in a an animal and will tell you exactly what he wants and when. “Dinner. Now, guys. Time to eat.”

Happy birthday, Kods Man. Here’s to many more!

I just can’t resist a Newfie nose.

Happy weekend!

Hi guys, it’s me, Kodiak. And guess what? I’m five years old today!

I’m a big boy.

Remember last year, when my mom made me wear that stupid pink tiara? I was mad at her. I’m a boy, not a girl. I don’t wear pink.

Or sparkles.

But today! Today I’m five and today I got to wear a Big Boy crown made just for me. (I don’t know it, but mom says it covers my bald spot too. But don’t worry, guys, I already have some hair growing back.)

Happy birthday to me, Internets. If you want to celebrate with me, eat some beef.

I love beef.

Love,

Kodiak

In brief, I’ve been out of the house for the last two days, driving to and from Hartford, CT, which is about two hours from our house.

Kodiak started experiencing random bouts of very bad pain, where he yelps and cries and can’t lift his head or walk well. It will come on quickly, lasts the day, then disappears for weeks.

After countless vet visits and no solution, we called the doctor who preformed his surgeries in the past. He’s a great guy and the ONLY doctor we feel has listened to us so far about these symptoms.

Kodiak had to stay overnight (tell a pregnant woman she has to leave her “fur baby” overnight in Hartford and she will CRY) and had an MRI and a spinal tap yesterday morning to rule out scary things like cancers and tumors and meningitis. GAH.

On first glance, the MRI appeared clean, but we should know final results on Monday.

As always, as quickly as the pain comes on, it’s gone, and today my furry boy is happy and rambunctious as usual.

Well, slightly less furry. Because they SHAVED HIS HEAD.

And we didn’t know they were going to!

He wouldn’t let me get a straight-on photo, but now it looks like his ears are higher than his head. SO WEIRD.

So yes, that’s where I’ve been. With Mr. Kodiak and the weirdo hair do. Please think good thoughts and send love to our (slightly less) fluffy boy!

Because I don’t feel like waiting for Friday.

Kodiak loves his Dad.

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A lot!

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