Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Break? Break? Really?

Oh, what a week.  I haven't been on here much, though my intents were to blog like crazy!  We've been on Spring Break, but there's no vacation here.  Mike's grandmother died last week so we had a few funeral-related days this week.  I did manage to paint two bedrooms on the days when we were here... I'll blog about them later.  But the real annoyance is that despite no demanding 6am wake-up schedule for work and/or school, I am still exhausted and sleeping very little.

Anyone who has owned a puppy and has crate-trained him/her, perhaps you can relate...

I AM EXHAUSTED!!!!!  (Here's the little alarm clock that rings way too often....Lucy.)

It's worse than a newborn baby, I swear.  Worse.  With a newborn baby, when he/she cried in the middle of the night, I would zombie-like-walk into the nursery, gently pick up the baby, lay back in the chair and nurse (and fall back asleep) all in the comfort of the warm indoors... every 3-4 hours for awhile there.   Notice... I'd just SLEEP, cuddling a sweet little baby in a comfy chair, smelling the baby shampoo-ed head and stroking the tiny wisp of hair on his/her head.  Ah.... I'd be tired, but it would be heaven.  
(I sort of miss those days....)

With a puppy, I walk/stumble/nearly-fall down the stairs, while trying to wrap a robe or jacket around me and shuffling in my lovely Mammoth Crocs... all while hearing the piercing howl of the puppy.  I then open the crate to a super excited (excited to the point of peeing all over sometimes) puppy, who jumps all over me (sometimes wet from an accident in the crate...ew!), who I then have to calm enough to stick a leash on her, who I then need to escort outside...ugh!

Did I tell you where we live?  We live in the middle of nowhere.  It's a community of about forty 3-5 acre homesites, so we are not alone here... but it's surrounded by lots of woods and hills/mountains and dirt roads.  Yes, I LOVE this place.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it... except in the dead of night.

So, I take this puppy outside, where there is one single porch light and one slightly glowing lamppost in the middle of nowhere.  We have woods in front of our house and woods behind.  So, easily-freaked-out me always glances all around (as best I can) to make sure nothing like a fox, deer, coyote, poisonous snake, skunk, or bear is anywhere nearby.  No mass murderers or burglars want to bother escaping down a dirt road... but wildlife is plentiful.  

Ok... I freak out easily... the Blair Witch Project messed me up for life.  I've only ever seen a fox and deer on my property... none of the others, ....though I hear stories....

Then I have to persuade the puppy to pee.  Of course, she's too excited to concentrate on that... she sniffs around, digs in the mulch, comes back often to jump all over me, chews on sticks, finds weird things to smell and investigate, stops to listen to the spring peepers or distant cows or dogs... but suddenly that bladder-urgency that she deemed necessary to howl for just minutes ago, now is pushed to the back of her mind. 

During this time, I feel like an idiot... like Stacy and Clinton are going to pop out from behind the bush to tackle me.  See, I don't sleep in cute adorable little matching pajamas or beautiful nightgowns.  I demand ultimate comfort at night.   Old Navy long sleeve tees and athletic-style cotton capris... and I'm happy if the colors don't clash (isn't my husband LUCKY?).  Add to that no bra (of course), a quickly thrown on big white puffy robe or jersey jacket (whatever is closest), my little white ankle socks, and a pair of brown fleece-lined Crocs.  And of course, no makeup and matted, flat hair in my face.

OH.  EM.  GEE.  

I am that hideous mom my kids would be horrified if their friends saw... and I'm outside.  At this moment, I thank the Lord that there are no street lights, and that we sit behind trees just in case a car decides to drive by.

Eventually she pees.

Then I scoot her inside, (quietly praying that the crate towel is not soiled or soaked... 'cuz that means 20 minutes of cleaning up), lock her up in the crate, turn out the lights and practically run back to the comfort of my bed where I might be able to squeeze in another 1.5 hours before the next howling.

Fortunately my husband trades pee-duty with me.  
Unfortunately he sleeps through the howling every time.  
So, I wake up every hour and a half, even if it's not my turn.  (But I do wake him up on his turn!)

We see our own vet for the first time next Friday.  I plan to ask a whole lotta questions... like, just WHEN can I expect that puppy to hold her pee just a little longer than 90 minutes.  AND... explain to me how a puppy can pee every 90 minutes all night long, when she hasn't had any water since 8pm the evening before.  Where does it COME from???

I want to quickly thank my friend Alissa for watching this little bundle of joy/pee/poop for us while we were attending a day full of distant funeral events.  If you want to see Lucy from a photographer's eye... here's a quick look at Alissa's Amaranthine Images blog.  

So... I apologize that I have digressed from my typical decorating/crafting/home-related blog to explain why I'm so doggone tired these days (ha... a pun).  

Some people, like my parents and my in-laws (who are upstairs right now and will experience the howling for the first time tonight!) think we are crazy... but seriously, how can you resist a face like this???  (Hers, not mine.)

Sorry to blog about pee and exhaustion... but just be happy I didn't go into details about how her change in puppy food caused two straight days of diarrhea.  

(I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.)


  1. wow!! I need to save this blog. We got Max soo long ago as a puppy, I have forgotten how fun that was. I keep telling Tim that i want our next dog to be a puppy.. Maybe I will haveto rethink that. Rescuing older dogs, HOUSETRAINED dogs is just fine with me.

  2. I shouldn't be chuckling at your post, but I am! Mostly it is chuckling in understanding and "been there." Maybe your vet will tell you this, but one piece of advice from our dog trainer is that dogs can hold it through the night (unless it is the mentioned diarrhea) and your puppy is just training you to get up and come visit her. I'm not sure at what age this is applicable (so check that with your vet), but our dog trainer said to ignore the howl/whine/barking for a few nights and your puppy will get the idea. Just a warning that the noise can last for 5-6 hours for the first couple times and should get progressively less.

    Good luck!

  3. I thought crate training was kind of horrid when we first got our dog....but nine years later I'm so glad we did it! He STILL loves his crate and basically uses it as his bed now. The trick to keeping him from peeing in the crate is to make it small enough...if it's too big, he'll pee in one corner and then move to the dry spot. Anyway, keep it up and you'll be glad you did. Boy are you brave!
    Your kids' rooms look amazing, by the way! Love the shade of green in your 'chick's' room.


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