My mom had a health scare and was hospitalized in March and I felt the full burden of being the only one of my siblings who lives in town. Around this same time I had a few separate teenage parenting issues to deal with that were super stressful and heartbreaking to navigate. In the grand scheme of things they were pretty minor compared to what they could have been, but it still felt extremely difficult while we were in it.
We also had some very wonderful moments too. We took trips to the petting zoo and picked strawberries on the first day of the season. I took 2 quick solo trips (36 hrs and 23 hrs) for my sister’s 50th birthday and for a show in NYC. We spent a fabulous day just the kids and I in DC during spring break. We had a pre-k graduation and next week will have a high school graduation, which is bananas. We are having a party afterwards with more people than I have ever hosted before and we are DIY-ing all of it, even the food. I’m starting a family diet challenge this weekend with several members of my family, because I need something that is going to keep me focused. I have spent less time on myself these past several months than I ever have, and I need to get it together. I know how, I just need support, and at least with my family it will be a lot love vs trying to sell me a product, like a lot of these online “coaches”. Our pool opened last weekend so I am excited to get back there, even if I am less than stoked about putting on a damn bathing suit. I just started a biggest Loser competition with some members of my family, which is going to be fun and probably better accountability than those online “coach” programs, because we aren’t afraid to be real with each other if the scale isn’t movingly can tell each other to do better in a way that’s harsh but filled with love. No real prize except for helping each other. So far the text chain has been hilarious and heartening. And I found a workout I actually love, it’s called the Be.come Project and it’s online and an app, and it’s a body positive, yoga-inspired workout that works on the mental aspect as well. I have found it very helpful for getting out of my negative body-shaming mindset and it’s been the best thing I discovered. There is a free trial available, so anyone can check it out to see if it’s for them.
But everyone is happy and healthy and all together we are in a great place. I know I tend to only write about the negative feelings anymore, but truly there is so much good happening every day, as I told my girls the other day “We are the lucky ones.”
And finally...we have a new puppy! I didn’t want a puppy, I didn’t plan on getting a puppy. Here’s the quick-ish backstory:
My niece and her boyfriend decided to get a dog. They went to a local rescue and fell in love with a puppy that was 6 weeks old. Due to the age of the pup, this rescue was looking for fosters to take multiple puppies to care for until they were old enough to spay/neuter and then the foster family can adopt after that. She called me crying because she didn’t want to take two and have to give one back to the shelter in a couple weeks but they knew they couldn’t handle two puppies that would grow into 80lb dogs. I wasn’t ready for another dog after losing two in a year and a half. I hadn’t even been able to take my kids to the shelters like they asked because my heart hurt. And after our last adventure raising 2 puppies, we vowed never again to have a puppy. My husband got wind of this dilemma with my niece and so he was like “Of course we will take one.” And I was all skeptical but he got the kids on board and it all went downhill from there. I told my niece to try her best but after 2 days she was like yeah there is no way we can handle two of them. They picked the one they were keeping and brought the puppy up to meet my kids and told everyone that was their dog. The plan was that I was going to meet her the day we could finalize the adoption (1.5hrs from me without traffic) so I could pay my half of the fee, ect. And then she changed her mind and didn’t know how she would split them up at all and it became drama. So I just told her not to involve us because I wasn’t doing the back and forth with her decision or the dogs or having her be all upset over it or wanting the dog back at some point or what have you. So that happened and I just told my kids we weren’t getting the dog and I went on about life. I was a little pissed because she got my kids excited and brought the dog to meet my kids (which was HER idea, not mine!) but then I was out of town for a couple days for my sister’s birthday and got home and went right back to work. The week after I realized the kids (and my husband) were all still upset and bummed out so I told them we would look for a dog. Maybe (probably) not a puppy but an older dog or at least an older puppy closer to a year old. That my niece’s dog wasn’t the right one for us but that we would take our time and find the right one for us. That following weekend my husband took the kids to the shelters (I keep maintaining that he was free to go to shelters and adoption fairs and look and bring something home. I have trouble going in to shelters and wanting ALL the dogs) but they didn’t find anything. Our local shelters had low census (happily!) but told us to look at the websites because they are able to keep them updated. Thanks to petfinders “Pets available near you” feature, I wasn’t even looking for her, but I found her. I saw her face and I just knew she was ours. I put in an application late Saturday night, and we brought her home Monday evening. We have had her 4 weeks now and she is awesome, and perfect and just so smart. She came to us super polite already knowing how to sit without being prompted, and now she knows how to give paw and she learned lay down in a single day! Her name is Leia (as in Princess) and she’s definitely the one for us. I didn’t want a puppy, I wasn’t looking for a puppy, but there she was. And I am so glad we found her.
She is a lab mix and is definitely considered a large breed and will likely weight around 80lbs. She has grown a ton in the 4 weeks we have had her and gained over 11 lbs so far. We think she may be mixed with boxer and possibly german shepherd based on how she looks compared to internet pictures we have searched. I am considering doing one of those Wisdom dna panels to know for sure. The rescue said one of her litter mates that was black and white looked like a hound, and there was another one that was all white with some brown that looked more like ours. There were 7 of them all together but I only know about the ones that were all in the same foster home as ours. But she's way too big for any hound mix and doesn't seem to have hound traits at all so far. Litters can be fathered by different dogs so it definitely makes it interesting trying to figure it out.
It took a little under a week for my other dog to get used to her and for them to start playing together. Now they act like fools tearing through the house wrestling and stealing each other's food and its been SO good for. She was lonely without her sister and it will keep her young. (She is 7) My new pup was born and rescued from the same area in WV and estimated to be born around the same time of year, so they are almost exactly 7 years apart.
Here is the picture that made me fall in love with her:
and a couple others taken the night we brought her home:
This is the most recent pic I took the other night. It was late and she was SO sleepy from a busy day of learning new things.
the first night she decided the puppy wasn't going anywhere. 6 days in.
reluctant couch sharer.
a rare moment of stillness from them both.