toddler life.

i have oh-so-many intentions of blogging more often than i actually do it. i am constantly thinking about situations and topics that would make for a good post and then by the time i sit down at my computer i end up doing design work instead. and, of course, the design work needs to be done but, really, when i have so much on my mind i’d rather be writing a blog! well today, i decided to put some of that design work aside and do just that (YAY!).

now, what am i going to write about …

for 10-ish days we’re dog-sitting my parents’ doberman Lola, so things are a little hectic around here. having her, plus our hound, plus a wild toddler (with a little too much energy) equals a crazy house! it’s definitely a change from when we watched her last fall when they went away. both the dogs are the same but i’m working more and my son has grown and changed so much since then, oh, and my hubby is on midnights (happy happy joy joy, right?) … she’s only been here 3 days and i think i’ve swept 10 times (not exaggerating) and vacuumed at least twice (and the dog hair still appears to be everywhere). our hound sheds more than any dog i’ve ever had and Lola is a close second.

oh, and add to that the fact that little man has been having a sort of nighttime sleeping hiatus (the fun we have around here, eh?). the past two and a half weeks have been rough. every few months he seems to go through something like this – whether it be from teething, a new developmental milestone or just being a toddler, it’s hard. on all of us. and of course, this all happens when hubby is working overnight. i now know how single parents feel at nighttime when their children just won’t sleep and they have to work in the morning. patience wears thin. very thin. especially when you’re going on only 4 hours of broken sleep from the night before. doing that more than 2 days in a row makes you go a little nutso, and by a little, i mean a LOT. the middle of the night seems to be when my patience is at it’s lowest. i think it’s even worse when i’ve literally *JUST* fallen asleep and all of a sudden the monitor clicks on and i hear a soft little voice calling out to me, “moooooom, mooooommmy, mom”. i love that little man of mine but my sleep is a close runner-up for things i love most.

when he was younger it was easier to be awoke in the night by his faint little cries. i wasn’t working at the time and he was still nursing so a little milk sometimes solved the problem and if that wasn’t the case, i didn’t mind sitting with him to help him relax again. the fact that he now has oh-so-much energy and enthusiasm (and tantrums, did i mention tantrums?) during the day likely adds to the frustration i feel at night; i’m much more exhausted than i was when he was a wee babe! but, alas, you do what you have to do to help your child feel safe, comforted and loved.

the amount of pure, raw energy that my son possesses never ceases to surprise me. he is a little ball of crazy! he’s always running (and i mean constantly), jumping, screaming and squealing. ALL. DAY. LONG. i’ve spoke to friends, colleagues and parents of toddler boys and i know that his behaviour is (fairly) normal. he does not sit and colour for more than 3 minutes. the crayons become a toy and then dumping them in and out of the container is the new thing to play. or peeling off the wrappers, or trying to eat them, or hide them, or colour on the floor with them. he does not sit and read a book for more than 5 minutes. the stories are changed to a short version with words left out so that we actually can finish “reading” one or two (two, ha!). the only time he’ll sit and listen to a story is at naptime or bedtime, otherwise, pffft, why would he sit down when there’s things to do?! he does not sit and watch an entire movie. he’ll sit for (maybe) 10-15 mins and then get up and play with his toys, but don’t you dare turn that movie off because he’ll tell you he’s watching it. and meal times? forget about sitting for more than a few minutes unless the iPad is on with one of his “shows”. it’s he only way i can get him to eat anything lately, and honestly, i don’t care because he’s actually eating something. i know this too shall pass and one day i’ll be able to sit down and do a fun activity or craft with my son, but until that time comes, i’ll let him be the wild, crazy, funny and loveable little man that he is.

the hound

for those of you who don’t know, we have a 6 year old, black and tan coonhound named Gus. he’s been driving me batty these past few months. he seems to be reverting back to behaviour from when he was 1-2 years old – not listening, extremely roudy, more vocal than normal (he’s usually pretty “chatty” anyway), begging for food ALL THE TIME, and howling/baying whenever we leave the house … a little background on our playful, loving, noisy, silly and very handsome hound: we brought him home at only 6 weeks old (we were told he was 8 but found out otherwise when we received the paperwork with his actual birthdate) back in the fall of 2008. he was (and still is) and extremely stubborn dog, as most hounds are, however, he was very easy to train, go figure! full of energy and always ready to curl up on the couch beside us, he seemed to be a good addition to our little family.

my hubby never had a dog growing up, which i always though was sorta odd, but every situation is different and i’m sure his parents had their reasons. i think for me, growing up on a farm instilled a need for always having some sort of furry companion; as well as the chickens (upwards of 20,000 at a time), or pigs (a few hundred at a time) we always had a house-cat and at least one dog around.

i think on a weekly basis, for the first 2 years that we had Gus anyhow, i told my husband, “this is NOT how most dogs are. Gus is special, and by special, I mean a wild and odd dog, nothing like any dogs I’ve ever had.” as my father likes to say, he’s 90% nose, 10% dog! haha

i feel now, with the little guy growing like a weed (he’ll be 2 in February, ahhhhh!) that my time is spent even moreso, chasing the dog around telling him to leave the kid alone, stop barking, go lay down, stop begging etc etc. it’s rare (lately) that he receives positive interaction from us and i feel terrible. he’s not a bad dog, he’s just frustrating us lately (so much so that my parents will take him out to their house to run around with Lola – their big, loveable, red doberman).

i think we need to invest more time with him, but honestly, i don’t know where that time is going to come from, which makes me kinda sad. going back to work hasn’t really helped the situation. before i was working, i would take both our son and the dog for daily (sometimes twice a day) walks, but i’m just so exhausted now that i rarely feel up to it. no good, i know. with hubby being on midnights, the days that i’m not at work he’s sleeping, so getting the dog out of the house, with the kid in the stroller isn’t always easy – especially because the little guy doesn’t really want to always be in the stroller, he wants to run free!  it’s hard to contrthehoundol a crazy 80lb dog and carefully watch a wild & curious almost 2 year old walk down the street with ease. if the dog (or our son for that matter) wasn’t so energetic, hyper and easily excited, it would likely make things a little less stressful around our house. alas, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we’re (somewhat) dealing with it with a minimal amount of sanity.

but i know that one day i’ll look back and say, remember when?

a long day … zzz …

today was a long day for me. although i was pretty happy that i didn’t have to go into work! (it’s still odd saying that) … i planned to get up early, do some laundry and tidy up a few things around the house. that did not happen. apparently i was exhausted and woke up with just enough time to run through the shower before the little guy started to stir! we did our morning bath-day routine and headed downstairs for milk, breakfast and to let the puppies out for a pee (we don’t actually have any puppies per say – we’re watching my parents’ almost 5 year old doberman while they’re away – they had a not-so-pleasant experience with the house sitter last time they went on vaca so hubby and i said we’ll just watch her from now on! – and our almost 6 year old coonhound are both big sucks, so they’re our puppy-dogs). while the 2 hounds ran around (wildly) outside i swept the floor and got my son’s breakfast ready.

we played and watched some cartoons. he had a snack, some more playing, lunch and then he went down for a nap. more sweeping ensued (a lot more). out the dogs went (again) for some more roughhousing (which really, i don’t mind because it tires both of them out! i can’t easily take both dogs and my toddler for a walk, so this is second best). down to the basement i went to work on changes for a few photobooks and edit some business cards for a client (oh and finish up a little laundry). back upstairs for lunch (kinda late, as usual). then i packed up some dinner foods for the little guy and went up to his room to wake up from his nap. we packed up his gear (diaper bag, snacks, milk etc) and headed out the door to my in-laws place where hubby was working on his dad’s ’63 Triumph (he’s been rebuilding it from the ground up for the past 3 years). we visited there for a bit, had dinner and then i packed him back up to head home and do our night time routine.

both of us were pretty sleepy so we just snuggled on the couch and watched some cartoons while he had his bedtime milk & snack. hubby stuck around his parents’ place to try and figure out why the bike wasn’t cooperating with him. he got home shortly after 9, just as i was heading back downstairs from putting the little guy to bed. i grabbed a few oatmeal choco-chip cookies (yum!) and a glass of water and we went down to the basement to each work on our own things on the computer. we haven’t really seen each other much today and it’s 11:30pm now. he just went upstairs to let the dogs out for a pee and get ready for bed (and i’m finishing up this blog). hopefully he’s not asleep before i get up there. he’s getting up early to work some O/T tomorrow and Sunday but thankfully will only be gone a few hours so we’ll all get to spend some much needed time together … i feel like the only times we aren’t busy (with our little guy, working, visiting family & friends, doing laundry) is just before we go to sleep. by then we’re usually both so exhausted that one of us ends up “fading fast” (as hubby says) and the conversation ends quickly. i know this time in our lives is busier because we have a toddler who’s learning more and more each day but it’s nice to have that quiet time with each other every night before we slip into (a not-long-enough) slumber.

i need more hours in the day to just do whatever i want without having to worry about working around hubby’s schedule, visiting friends & family, taking care of the dog(s), working or my son’s naps/bedtime schedule. i know the years when he naps won’t last long so i feel like i need to take advantage of my free time while i still have some (haha). before i know it he’ll be in school and i’ll be wishing he was around to just sit, cuddle and watch cartoons with 🙂

a girl dog, a boy dog and our little man

as i sit and write today’s blog my parents are on their way home from a warm & sun-filled vacation in Dominican Republic. it’s been just over a week that they’ve been gone and we’ve been doggie-sitting their 4 year old Doberman, Lola. it’s been a crazy week having 2 big dogs in the house! Lola’s a good sized pup, probably around 120lbs, and our 5  1/2 year old black and tan coonhound, Gus, is between 80-90lbs. needless to say, they’ve had us on our toes a little moreso than our 14 month old son. with my hubby working shifts i’m very thankful that he’s back on days this week because the first 3 nights of having Lola here he was on afternoons and it was a little hectic. it was a mad house with me, the kid, and 2 goofy dogs, especially at bedtime; trying keeping them quiet while i’m upstairs putting the little guy to bed as they both feel the need to “guard” our house from the evil neighbours who happen to just be going home (haha) wasn’t an easy task. funny thing is, Lola normally isn’t much of a barking dog, unlike our awesome (ha) coonhound who tends to give his opinion on everything and constantly “talks back” always needing to have the last word. when my parents dropped Lola off last Wednesday my dad said, don’t worry, she won’t bark unless someone comes over the fence. HA! i can’t wait to tell him about how she turned into a super guard dog while living with us for the past week. we had to keep the blinds partially closed in the front living room just so that she couldn’t see people going by. i’d be ok with the dogs letting us know when someone’s coming up to our door, or on our property etc, but there’s really no need to flip out when someone is simply walking up to the door of their own house, across the street, and 2 houses down.

i’m sure Lola doesn’t think she’s going home anytime soon; for a dog who normally isn’t a “house” dog she seems to be pretty comfortable around here. as soon as the basement door opens she thunders down the stairs to get her spot on the couch and grab a little snooze before having to go back upstairs to her bed in her crate, which i’m sure isn’t quite as comfy 😉

the little man is definitely enjoying having both dogs here! he loves Gus so having another big pup here is just adding to the fun for him. he squeals and chases them around the house, but as soon as one of them turns around to lick him, well, the party is over, lol. i think both he and Gus will be a little lonely when Lola goes home tomorrow and she may be a little disappointed that she has to go back to where she doesn’t have full run of the house.

i’ll be happy to have things back to normal; a little less dog hair to sweep up, a few less footprints to wipe away and only one hound to shush instead of two.