Monthly Archives: September 2012

Milestones.

I don’t know, has it been a year since I’ve written, or is it just me?

Wow. This little gig I’ve got going over here is work. They are cute, they really are, and both pretty funny – but don’t let them fool you – they are work. So much so that last week I had a meltdown and asked Kyle if I could just go sit in a parking lot by myself for a minute. Or an hour. Not to mention he is a month away from taking his six hour test. And I don’t blame him, or want his help; but I’m basically playing single mom of two over here. Here’s to November 1st coming as a saving grace to all of us Proebstings! But for now, it’s like I told him – the last thing I do at night is put Duncan in his crate, and the first thing I do in the morning is get Leah out of her crib. The little time I had to myself before Duncan is now completely consumed by him. I spend my used to be “me time” running laps with him in the backyard at 8 o’clock at night in the freezing cold in hopes that he will calm down at some point and let us all sleep.

And yes, that was all me whining and feeling sorry for myself. But no, I don’t want things to be any different. I don’t want anyone else taking care of the two little monsters I love so much. But an hour in a parking lot in silence. Yes, please.

Now that I’ve whined, let me brag on my kids for a little while. Who do you want first? The mutt. Okay.

Duncan: Oh, I’m proud of him for so many reasons these days. Leah and I finally taught him to go down the steps. He loves to be in the playroom with us, but for the longest time would just whine and holler when it was time to come down. I carried him for a while, but then it dawned on me – in another week or two I won’t be able to carry him. So Leah and I sat at the bottom and cheered and clapped and patted the steps – and sure enough, 15 minutes later he ever so awkwardly got himself down. However, now he flies up and down as he pleases. He is also going to the door consistently. He really has been an awesome potty trainee. He had one weird day last week where he went in the house three times, and all seemingly on purpose. He was in hot water that day. But everyone recovered, and he has been a pro ever since. He is listening about 20% of the time. And yes, I’m bragging on that. We’re coming from 0%, so I’ll take my 20. He is really a gem with Leah. And puts up with so much without getting mad at her. She has started pulling ears, and his tail, and sitting on his head, and getting in his face – and he just takes it. So for that I will always be grateful. He went to the vet last week – and the vet was shocked at his growth. He asked me if we fed him bricks. After I assured him we did not, although he would gladly eat them, we determined he’s getting just the right amount. He had gained 6lbs in three weeks and the vet said he’d gain an additional 10 in another two weeks. So all that really boils down to is we need to get him trained. Stat. He is really great at taking walks with us. They are absolutely mandatory now – as he is a crazy, crazy puppy. We go right out after breakfast, and then we all go again after dinner. On the weekends either Kyle or myself take him alone during lunch. Sometimes the energy coming out of this thing is astonishing. He still chews everything, barks and whines more than I’d like, runs into Leah a thousand times a day – but he’s a good dog. And we’ll keep him a little while longer.

Leah: Duncan may take some work to love, but Leah is still my absolute favorite. She’s is the funniest little thing, and gets funnier every day. She can finally sit still long enough for us to read a whole book to her! That’s a big deal around here. She is getting more words every single day. It’s so weird to just hear one slip out. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. For the longest time there was one she refused to say – can you guess? Mama. She can say her m’s. She can mooo and say mom, but never directed at me. All last week we would say, “say mama” and she would actually shake her head no! What a brat, right?! But last night on our walk (another reason I love our walks), she just said, “mama” to me, over and over again. And it was the best thing I’ve ever heard. I love all the sounds pouring out of her mouth. She also understands more and more every day. She really gets everything going on around her, and it’s so fun. She is crazy about the darn Itsy Bitsy Spider, she loves to read and be read to, she loves taking care of her baby doll, she loves shopping with me, going on our walks, making sure everyone has socks on, and ordering Duncan around. She is really learning how to play with him and get his attention. She claps or pats for him just like I do, and most of the time at the same time. She has also started clapping for me when she wants my attention! It’s crazy how she puts two and two together. She also likes getting him in trouble. She will drag her blanket or pooh bear or our shoes across the floor right in front of him. When he grabs them and I yell at him, she joins right in. Oh, she’s mean.

Remember the dog? He’s up. Until next time…

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Super Powers.

I need more eyes.

In a crazy day of dealing with the two of them, I was trying to decide what would help me most. I thought of arms and legs and all of that stuff – but I decided, what I really need is more eyes. My arms do a pretty good job of keeping everyone in line. I can simultaneously grab Leah away from diving into Duncan’s water bowl while swatting Duncan away from knocking over the trashcan. They react and move pretty quickly.  I’m also fairly happy with the work of my legs. I’ve gotten pretty light on my feet. I can run swiftly to a squatting Duncan while weaving around the various toys, books, silverware, and blocks that Leah has on the floor at any given time.

What I am lacking – is eyes.

I need a full set dedicated to Leah. Actually, if I’m getting more, I’ll take two sets for her. She is going everywhere and into everything – I can’t afford to not watch her for more than three minutes. If that. So she has sucked up my two measly eyes… and then there’s still the dog. The dog who might just be worse with the going everywhere and into everything phase. So I need a set for him, yet, I’m all out. I do my best at watching both of them go in different directions – at the same time – I really do. But usually my best still ends with Leah eating dirt and Duncan eating cabinets. But if I had more eyes… I could see, while taking Duncan potty, Leah grabbing the fistful of mud and my swift legs and quick arms could stop her before she put it in her mouth. And if I had more eyes I could see, while feeding Leah, that Duncan is taking chunks out of the cabinets. And my swift legs and quick arms could go to work swatting him away.

Ahh, to dream.

I feel like I don’t see Leah much. (You know, because of my lack of eyes). But seriously, it honestly feels like we have two kids. And Leah just isn’t getting every shred of my attention these days. After all, her brother can do far more damage in the minute I leave him alone than she can. It’s kind of fun in a way, though. Like when he is sleeping, I can lock him in the crate and pretend he’s not here for an hour or so. Leah and I can go about our business, and I can just enjoy being with her and playing with her like when she was an only child (two weeks ago). I’ve learned to really enjoy playtime with just her – and not the monster destroying something while we play. It is so absolutely crazy, and so parallel to when Leah arrived – we lost all concept of life before her. And here we are again, with just a dog, a dog we’ve had not even two weeks – and I don’t remember life before him. Except that it was easier. Much easier.

He is getting better in a lot of aspects though, I need to give him a little credit. For instance, he is/we are sleeping through the night! Again, like a baby. I had a whole set up planned that I learned through my books. Wake them up every couple of hours to pee. Basically beating them to the “crying” so they wouldn’t learn that crying lets them out at night. Seemed to make sense. Except Duncan seemed very angry every night we woke him up. I felt stupid for setting my alarm because I always found him asleep and had to drag him outside. He always went to the bathroom, though, so I figured I was doing something right. But last night was the first night I decided to just see what would happen. And of course, he didn’t make a peep, nor wet his bed. Overnight potty training… check. He also now responds to his name. Most of the time he doesn’t listen… but he at least acknowledges he has a name. He is wonderful with Leah, and is putting up with more and more from her every day. Today I literally pried her out of his cage so he could get a minute of uninterrupted sleep. He seemed very thankful. He is getting better at walking on a leash. It was pretty rough there for a while. We take him on a walk every night, if for nothing else to get him used to his leash. We can now make it successfully around the neighborhood. Considering the first night we didn’t make it out of the driveway – I consider that a huge success.

Leah is also still around – no one forget about her! She is growing and learning and talking by leaps and bounds. She knows every freaking body part on her little body and is more than happy to show them off. I am trying to get a video, but she plays dumb when I get out my phone to record. She is saying yes, thank you, dut-dut, hot, baby, this, and daddy consistently. I’ve been working with her on mama. It’s about time she acknowledge me! She still loves animals – however, having her own dog has really quieted her constant barking. She is loving “helping” me cook – and I am trying so very hard to let her as much as possible. She also loves starting the dishwasher. Why did I teach her that?! I wish I could take it back. She wants to start it all the time! She understands just about anything we say, and even if she doesn’t have the words to respond, we can have a conversation. It’s pretty sweet. She is still loving the song Itsy Bitsy Spider, but has also learned how to ask us to sing, “If you’re happy and you know it,” by clapping her hands and stomping her feet. She also really enjoys Twinkle Twinkle. She is wearing 2t shirts and 12m pants. Can you say tall and skinny? I don’t think she’ll every be chubby though, she doesn’t ever rest. She is getting her 2 year molars. Yup, you read that right. She is still out of control with the teeth! She thinks it’s SO fun to sit in the front seat of the car now. When it’s in the garage, of course. Although, her dad has been known to back out of the garage in the mornings with her on his lap, which just sends her over the moon. Books are her absolute favorite thing these days. Well, and her dog.

Kyle’s still here, too. Well, kind of. I don’t really see him. He’s studying non-stop for his test in November. He comes home and studies for two hours, then studies for another 1+ when Leah goes to bed. Someday. Someday there will be no tests.

And I bought flowers to plant yesterday. And Duncan destroyed them today.

The end.

 

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Dut-Dut.

I think I’ll start every blog, “wait, why did we want a puppy?”

Scene: It’s pouring down rain outside. Duncan is sleeping like an angel in his crate (with the door open). Leah is with me on the bed reading books. I spot the vacuum. I spot our dirty, dirty, bedroom floor. I decide to go for it. Oh my goodness, I’m going to get a room clean. With Leah’s help, I turn on the vacuum. Duncan shoots out of his crate at about 60mph. I laugh and continue vacuuming. I try to keep one eye on Leah giving him toys and one eye on him not leaving the bedroom. I’m almost done. I’m rejoicing on the inside. Duncan leaves the room. He’ll be fine, 30 more seconds. Leah is by my leg. I glance out the door. Duncan start squatting. No, no, no, nooooo Duncan! My foot fumbles all around the power lever on the vacuum, but never finds it. It drops to the floor. Leah starts crying at my franticness and yelling towards her brother. I ignore her, and run to him. Outside, outside, outside, outside, no, Duncan, no as I’m running down the hall. I rip open the door. Potty, potty, potty, outside, outside I remind the furball in my hands. I hear Leah still screaming from the bedroom, but I know she’s fine. I’m off the porch and my nice, white socks meet the wet, muddy grass. I throw Duncan down. Go potty. I glance back in through the wide open door and see Leah, arms outstretched from the hallway as if she’s no longer able to walk. I meet her half way at the porch, scoop her up and return to the wet, muddy yard, and at this point, the wet, muddy dog. Potty, potty, potty, outside, outside, outside. About this time a car passes and sees all three of us standing in the yard looking at each other, like we have all the time in the world and it isn’t raining. He probably also sees all the way down the hallway into our house as the door is still wide open. I can hear the vacuum still running. Finally, he goes. And there is much celebration, although I’m not sure why. He did everything wrong. He did not stay in his crate. He did not let me vacuum. He did not tell me he needed to go outside. He almost peed on the carpet. I scoop the wet, little thing up in one arm and the not screaming, but still unnerved baby in the other arm and in we go. My socks waited on the porch.

How did things start out so very right, but end so very wrong?

That story sums up my life. And the day to day life of the Proebstings. Kyle misses most of the action; although, I’m certain there is a “take your daughter and puppy to work day” coming up very soon. I think it’s fair to assume Duncan is comfortable in his new surroundings. The first couple days he slept and slept and slept. We joked around that we had gotten a dud. But Monday night, just in time for Kyle to go to work the next morning, he came out of his shell. And has been a terror ever since.

Ok, maybe not a terror. Maybe just a puppy. But still, why did we want a puppy?? And we wanted a lab puppy. Those aren’t just any old dog. We actually wanted this energy! You know the people with the fake dogs that they dress up and put in purses. Those people had the right idea. We should have invested in one of those.

Puppies are harder than babies, I am officially convinced of that! And add a baby and a puppy and you just get utter chaos. I am constantly yelling at someone for chewing something. I am constantly telling someone no. Most often these days, though, it’s Duncan. He makes Leah look like an angel. Obviously, puppies chew, but my God, I underestimated the chewing. I mean it’s everything. And constantly. Then there’s the potty training, which despite the above story, it actually going really well. But it’s still going… and will still go for quite some time. Which means I constantly have to know where he is and what he’s sniffing. Just chewing and potty training is enough to suck up my energy for the day. But then I have to find some to satisfy Leah’s needs of being read to, sang to, fed, changed, played with, etc. It hasn’t even been a week, but I already feel like I know exactly what having two kids will be like. Although, really, I have two kids right now.

The only thing saving Duncan from a nice farm in the country is that Leah loves him. Loves him. This morning she woke up and the first thing out of her mouth was Dut Dut. Her version of his name. She hunts him down if she ever can’t find him, and tries to play with him while he sleeps. She always has to know where he is and what he’s doing. The other night they were running through the house and she was just giggling! And that’s when I remember… that’s why we got a puppy. They’re a lot of work, especially together, but they are both better off for having each other. She also loves yelling at him. Shaking her finger and all. For a while I only speculated that she was trying to say his name, but yesterday I heard her yell DUT DUT while looking right at him chewing her book. Then we had another episode where everyone was ushered outside in chaos, and the cuteness was over.

Sometimes, when they’re both sleeping, and I get to sit – I pretend they aren’t in the house. I pretend I’m not in the house. I try to remember back at college when all I had to do was go to class and wait for Kyle to get out of baseball practice so we could finish out the day together. There were no potty breaks, no bedtimes, no food, snot, or drool stains on my shirts. I pretend I’m freshly showered and make-up’d. I pretend I’m back at college dreaming about the days when we would have kids and dogs together.

And then someone wakes up. They always do. And I get to continue the reality of having kids and dogs together. Let me just say, the dreams were a lot cleaner. But the reality is more fun. Most of the time. Absolutely, exhausting. But it keeps me entertained.

Have you seen Marley and Me? If you have, and it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and you are ever wondering what we’re up to. We’re up to that. All of that

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The New Addition.

Wait, why did we want a puppy?

Oh ya, because he’s cute. And let me tell you – he is lucky he’s cute! Kyle and I saw every hour on the clock last night; this dog makes sounds I didn’t know a dog could make! But it was the first night, so I will forgive him. And like I said… he’s cute. Are you friends with me on facebook? Then you know what I mean. If not… exhibit A…

Let’s back track a little. You will remember we were hoping to welcome Bella into our home, but she wasn’t as excited as we were. However, seeing Leah with her put Kyle and I into overdrive “we need a puppy” mode! She was so cute with her, and really seemed to enjoy her. So we started searching almost immediately for a puppy. We have wanted a chocolate lab for literally years. We always knew someday we would get one. We were supposed to get one before we had a baby, but we all know how that turned out. So in our searches, we found a lot of breeders who required applications. We filled out three I believe, and never heard back! What the heck? Are we not fit for a dog. It was pretty annoying, but we kept looking. Low and behold, we found a guy online who lives close to Springfield who bred his dog for the first time. We saw the picture of the puppies when they were three weeks… and they were cute… and cheap (compared to what we were finding). There was no ridiculous application asking what we would do with him when we went on vacations, etc. So we gave the guy a call. He was super nice, and we were sold.

Fast forward the three weeks we had to wait to pick him up. Yesterday had been marked on our calendar with !!! for far too long. And as it got closer… so did Issac. You remember him, the hurricane. We were wondering if we’d even be able to go since they were forecasting the great flood. I did like the idea of rain, but not Saturday! Any day but Saturday. It was going to have to be a game time decision. Luckily, we woke up and it wasn’t as bad as everyone had said. Yes, it was raining… but the roads weren’t covered. We decided to make the trek to get our boy!

We left Leah with her grandparents, and headed out for the three hour drive there and back at 9am. It rained, yes, but it was driveable. We were so stinking excited to see the little ball of fur! In my head, I just kept comparing it to waiting to see Leah. Not as exciting, but pretty darn close! What would he look like?! Would he like us? Would we like him?! The drive went very quickly, to me, and before we knew it we were in McDonalds parking lot about to see our boy.

We met the guy, who made sure to bring all the puppies that had not sold just in case we saw one we liked better. Kyle and I immediately picked out Duncan from the pictures we had already seen. He was the darkest and biggest, so it wasn’t hard to find him. I snatched him up and was sold. I would have gladly taken all eight of them, but I knew I wasn’t leaving without him. He just felt so right in my arms. He was licking my face and wagging his tail and whimpering all while it was pouring down rain. My glasses were covered, my hair was plastered to my face, my shirt was wet… but I didn’t care. He.was.perfect. We shelled out our money, signed some papers, and said goodbye.

The ride home was even quicker than the ride down. Duncan was an absolute gem. He slept in my arms the entire time. He is sure to quench my baby fever for at least a little while. Neither one of us stopped smiling. It’s so fun to have a dream like that come true. Something we’ve imagined and wished for since we were in college, and here we were… finally realizing what it was actually going to be like. What Duncan actually looked like. So surreal. And wonderful.

About halfway home, my thoughts shifted to Leah. She was going to be so excited, I just knew it. We both knew she would just start barking at him the second she saw him. When we got home, however, she seemed less than impressed. She did bark, and smile, and point; however she also had her play dishes in her hands and would not let them go. She wouldn’t pet him, and really wanted very little to do with him. She was jealous, and slightly nervous or his enthusiasm towards her. Which was sad because he was instantly drawn to her. However, once we got inside, and things settled down – she started gaining interest. We let them play for a while inside, then took them outside. Always making sure to keep his paws and teeth off of her. She really liked watching Kyle run from him and having Duncan chase him down. So she tried it herself. She also liked when we said, “ah ah ah” to him, and made sure to join in. (She was probably happy it wasn’t her we were yelling at). By the end of the night we could see a wonderful relationship developing. She’s not crazy about him jumping on her or mouthing her, but putting a stop to that is number one priority so hopefully it will end sooner rather than later. She likes to bring him his toys, and poke him. Ha. They are both going to have to learn to just put up with one another sometimes. She looks for him when she can’t see him, and is warming up by the second.

We have already started in with training Duncan, because he is going to grow huge before we know it. Little things like mouthing and jumping might not be a big deal now, but they will be when he is 100lbs. We don’t want Leah to be scared of him, or to be hurt by him… even if he’s playing. It’s going to take a lot of patience, attention, and training, but we’re up for it. It’ll be so worth it.

It’s already exhausting trying to corral the both of them. I will absolutely have no time to myself when Kyle is at work now. When Leah is playing by herself or napping… I will still have this little thing to watch over. He already loves chewing the carpet, his bed, our furniture, and Leah’s toys. I knew it would be hard, and require constant attention, but it’s one of those things like preparing for a baby… you know it’s going to be tough, but you really don’t know until they get here. I’m very anxious to see how it goes when Kyle leaves us all for work on Tuesday. And right now, I’m just thanking God that he is home for an extra day.

We’ll see if I have any time at all to blog from now on…

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