A puppy or six

Not sure if you have heard but we have some puppies running loose in the Lowe house.  They are about six weeks old and have grown so much in that time.  Since my last puppy update, they are full blown running (flopping ears included).  Their personalities are becoming more defined and they are practically weaned at this time.  They will try to nurse from time to time but Momma is getting better about kicking them off or grabbing them by the neck to put them in their place.  There is a strong interest in destruction (one of them got hold of a paper towel the other day  and the floor looked like the remnants of a New Year’s Eve celebration) and cuddles are only appreciated when they are tired but NEVER when there is playing to be done.  They make terribly ferocious sounds while they play but it is all for show.   They are developing a sense of where they should go to the bathroom.  They have become pros at going outside when we first let them out of the pen and will often poop by the back door inside the house if we aren’t paying attention (thank goodness that is hardwood and not carpet).  They will pee any and everywhere – there is zero sense of where that should and should not be done.  I have become obsessed with air fresheners and scented candles these days.  We have already accepted that the carpet in the bonus room will have to be professionally cleaned once the puppies have gone to their forever homes.  There is only so much a towel and carpet cleaner can do.

Our sweet Momma enjoying her own play time.

Our mornings have become a fine tuned machine full of routine and coffee.  We wake-up around 5:00 am, release the herd into the backyard, and give them about 30 minutes to use the restroom, eat and drink, and rough house in the grass before we let them inside.  We essentially let them run loose downstairs and keep an ear out for suspicious noises or, worse, suspicious silence.  I spend about 30 minutes cooking and eating my breakfast before we all pile into the bonus room for continued play time and more coffee.  After about 30 minutes they start to settle down, indicating that it is the perfect time to transition them back to their pen.  They will usually howl and cry for a few minutes but they are ultimately so tired that they settle down quickly.  That leaves me with a grand total of 30 minutes to get ready and leave the house for work.  I am slowly mastering the art of showering at night which has also led to the art of the ponytail the next day.  (I sleep hard.  My hair is proof of that every morning.  The options of styles available when you look like Alfalfa in the morning are limited to the ponytail.)

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Watching them play outside is one of my favorite things to do.  Thank goodness for amazing weather and fenced in yards!

Our evenings are basically the same.  The herd is released outside and then released inside.  We eat while they play.  Then everyone settles into the bonus room for more play time until everyone – humans included – are exhausted and worn out.  Hit repeat until the weekend when we can sleep until about 6 and the puppies basically stay out all day.  I might mind the monotony more if they weren’t so adorable.  Even when there is a pile of poop waiting for me, just a few tugs on my shirt sleeve and I’m back on track.

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Tired eyes are the best indicator that cuddles are about to (willingly) happen.

The puppies have also done wonders for my sense of what season of life I am in right now.  An earlier post indicated that I am working toward some healthier goals.  Part of that process is extending grace and understanding to myself.  While I am proud of myself for staying on point with my food choices, I have not beaten myself up over not attending the gym.  With six puppies in the house, there isn’t much time for it.  I go for runs with Reese at home when I can, but I also try to be mindful of how much time I am leaving Bradley alone with the dogs.  It is work to keep up with that many animals.  I can respect how difficult it can be and how much it can wear on your patience.  I’m not willing to put him through that more than necessary because I have set up this unrealistic expectation of how much I should or should not work out.  I’ve been getting my 10,000 steps a day and I’m being smarter about my diet.  Therefore, the progress is happening.  When the puppies are gone, there will be plenty of time for the gym.  But – for now, in this season of life – I am helping in the home.  That is where my time and energy needs to be right now.  In the next season of life, there may be more opportunity for me to be away from home.  But not now.  And that is okay.  

Nothing is safe from their jaws of destruction.

This weekend I am off to Mikey’s Camp – a camp for children 7-18 that have lost a family member.  In a simplified way, it is a grief camp.  A place for children to feel safe expressing their feelings while also engaging in activities with other children in similar situations.  I will be a “Big Buddy” for the weekend – I am partnered with a child and I spend one-on-one time with them throughout the weekend.  We get to do fun things like archery, canoeing, and a ropes course.  We will also participate in group sessions designed to promote growth within the grief process.  I am nervous and excited.  While I work with death all of the time, it is different to confront it from a child’s perspective.  It will be challenging for me.  I am least excited about a midnight light’s out curfew.  Midnight?!?!?!  Anything past 9:00 pm is sheer madness in my house.  Might need to sneak in a Red Bull for this one.

Next weekend is my birthday!!!!  I can’t wait to celebrate with the beautiful Hillary!  I love it when Carolina comes to Virginia every now and then.

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Goodnight and sweet dreams.

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