Tag Archives: dogs

Help Me Readers!

2 Jul

I have some dilemmas and I’m looking to you readers for advice. Here they are:

– Emma is stuck between needing 1 and 2 naps. If I keep her up long enough to just take 1, she gets overtired and won’t go to sleep without me rocking her. If I put her down for 2 and she actually falls asleep, her bedtime ends up being around 9 / 9:30, which is too late. I want it around 7 / 7:30 – 8 at the very latest. Lately, she has a hard time falling asleep early enough for 2 naps. She used to be awake for 3.5 hours between naps; now it seems like she can go between 4 – 4.5 hours before needing one. Any ideas? If you’ve made the transition, what did you do?

– We’ve stopped using cloth diapers because Emma soaks through them in about an hour. Putting 2 inserts in helps but makes the diapers so bulky. I’ve thought about buying new inserts but just haven’t taken the time to research. I’d like to keep using them because we have them, but I don’t want to change Emma’s outfits 5 times a day. Thoughts?

– Our new house has almost 2 acres but there’s no fence. We don’t want our dogs harrassing the neighbors so we have been taking them out on a leash all the time. We don’t like the extra work and the dogs are going stir crazy now, since they’re used to running around like idiots in Nevis. We’re thinking about/planning to get an in-ground fence. Anyone have ideas or experience with that? Brands to recommend? Did you trench it in yourself or hire it done? Are there other alternatives we’re not thinking of? (We’ve tried leaving them on long cables but they hate it.)

– Northern Minnesota has TONS of bugs. Our house is on the river and in the woods, so bugs are everywhere. Emma gets bit by mosquitoes every time we go outside. I know it’s pretty much a fact of life here but I would like to find some way to prevent her from getting so many bites. Not going outside is not an option because Emma loves being outside. Does anyone know of a baby-friendly bug spray or have any other ideas? I plan to ask our pediatrician next Monday too. If she has ideas, I’ll let you know!

Thanks for any and all help!

20 Ways Dogs Are Like Kids

5 Dec

While having dogs for 4 years and being around young kids often, I’ve noticed a few similarities…

1. They always want whatever toy someone else has. Doesn’t matter if they thought their squeaker was the coolest thing ever 5 seconds ago – it is now lame sauce.

2. They run around in short bursts of intense energy and then crash hard. Only difference – dogs voluntarily sleep about 20 hours every day.

3. Everyone has an opinion about how they should be trained/raised. My dogs don’t walk beside me on a leash because I don’t care enough to train them, but I always feel like I’m going to get chastised by someone more dog-savvy.

4. If they misbehave in public, you feel like a bad parent. Sorry, we’re still working on teaching Charlie to not jump up. Or Katy to not run out the front door. Or both dogs to not go berzerk when the doorbell rings.

5. You’re more concerned about their health and nutrition than your own. I don’t measure out my own food to make sure I’m not eating too much.

6. They wake you up in the morning several hours before you want to get up. Always.

7. You clean up their messes, bodily and otherwise. Can I just say “EW” and “You never get used to it”?

8. Their safety and well-being keep you awake at night. This is especially true when they are puppies. “Does she need to go out?” “Does she think I’ve abandoned her?” “Is that her whining, or my imagination?”

9. You feel bad for not spending all your time with them. But sometimes you just need a freaking break already.

10. You plan your day around them. “Well, we should probably drive 20 minutes home and 20 minutes back to this same area, so that we can let the dogs out.” “Well, we should probably drive around aimlessly for 40 minutes so that Emma can take a nap.”

11. You talk to them in a baby voice and kiss them on the head. Hey, they’re cute!

12. You and your spouse have to be agreed and consistent on how to discipline them. Mixed signals are never a good thing.

13. They constantly want attention. Wherever you go, there they are.

14. They decide that the perfect time to bring out every toy they own is when you have guests over. “It’s a little hard to hear over all the squeaking you’re making!”

15. Their adorableness makes your anger melt every time. Who can stay mad at that face?

16. They can make a clean house dirty in an impressively short amount of time. Tell me, how does dog hair get into the freezer?

17. They like to cuddle. Little space heaters.

18. They don’t let you have anything nice or valuable for long. It all gets chewed on eventually.

19. They are easily entertained. A plain bone occupies them for hours.

20. You do things with and for them that you wouldn’t do otherwise. The number of walks I gone on has increased exponentially since getting dogs.

…………………

Dog owners and parents, can you think of any more?

Two Dogs and a Biscuit

2 May

Our dogs Katy and Charlie have adjusted really well to Emma. They had already been around young kids quite a bit and always done well, so we weren’t that concerned with how it would go, but it’s still been interesting to see their reactions to the newest member of our family.

When we first got home from the hospital, we brought Emma down to their level and let each of them sniff her. That’s about the extent of the attention that Charlie pays Emma – sniffing her every once in a while, presumably to make sure it’s still the same baby. We also have to watch Charlie to make sure she doesn’t flop on Emma or accidentally hit her while begging for us to rub her belly. (She’s been known to do that to other dogs, so why not a Biscuit?)

But Katy has taken on a more protective role.

IMG_4398 (Large)

Whenever Emma is crying, Katy gets really concerned. If the door to the nursery is closed, Katy paces around outside it, whining. Especially that first week. She’d stand up on her hind legs to check on Emma while she was on the changing table getting a diaper change or in the kitchen getting a bath – both events that elicited quite a bit of crying from Emma.

IMG_4412 (Large)Katy also follows me and Emma around during the day so we put a little bed for her on the floor in the nursery, and she hangs out in there when I’m nursing Emma.

The dogs have been going slightly stir crazy with receiving less attention and being cooped up due to the snow. Whenever friends from church bring us dinner, they both go nuts for attention. And taking both the dogs and Emma on a walk takes quite a bit of coordination – not to mention a run! The other day, my mother-in-law and I took the dogs and Emma on a walk in a park near our house. Emma started cracking about 5 minutes after we got there so she took Emma out of her carseat and carried her while I held on to the dogs and pushed the stroller. It was tricky but I think it’ll get easier – I’m pretty sure we’ll need to get a dog leash that goes around our waist, so that we have both hands free for the stroller. (Or maybe only take both the dogs and Biscuit when both Travis and I are going along.)

I’m looking forward to when Emma is old enough to play with the dogs herself!

What was your experience when you introduced your dog(s) to your baby?

Weekend Fun

30 Jul

Two weekends ago, my mom was in town and we had a girls’ weekend. It also happened to be our birthdays – hers on Friday and mine on Sunday. Friday night, we took my mom out for dinner at a inconspicuously delicious Italian place called Abrusci’s.

On Saturday, we drove up to Georgetown and rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

We got tickets for the parlor car, which included a drink and chips or cookie for free!

The whole trip only took an hour, which was the perfect amount of time to experience the railroad without getting bored.

The day we were up there, the Triple Bypass bike race was going on (so named because they go over three mountain passes). That just looked brutal. But part of me thought it looked kinda fun… I’m not sure I’ll ever be into biking enough to want to do something like that though.

After the train ride, we continued on to Frisco and ate lunch at the Butterhorn Bakery. I’ve officially declared this my mountain spot. Everything is delicious and portion sizes are huge.

After lunch, we continued driving through Glenwood Canyon and then headed down to Aspen. It was a very beautiful drive, although a little south of Glenwood, it started pouring. Cars going both directions were driving through massive puddles and I was a little freaked out. But we survived and made it to Aspen by about 4 pm.

We stayed at the Aspen Meadows Resort (got a good deal through Hotwire) and it was a nice hotel but I wasn’t overly impressed. They did have a free shuttle to downtown so we took advantage of that and did some shopping scoffing. Holy crap things are expensive in Aspen! I kind you not – the cheapest store there was J. Crew. My mom actually found a sweater that cost $1,000. We ate dinner at Jimmy’s Bar & Restaurant. I had quinoa-stuffed zucchini cannelloni. It was good, albeit interesting. My mom ordered meatloaf and it was really good. Best meatloaf I’ve ever had.

The whole experience made me realize how wealth is completely relative. I never feel poor in Denver and yet I go to Aspen and feel completely out of my league.

But Aspen does have the whole beauty of nature thing down and that definitely made this trip worth it. On our way back the next morning, we drove up Independence Pass. So awesome. The road near Aspen is so windy and narrow that you’d think it would freak me out (and it probably would if I wasn’t driving) but I loved it. The views near the top are nice too.

And with that, our short girls’ weekend was over. My mom was in town for a school nutrition conference and it started that afternoon so while she went to that, I took a nap and bummed and then Travis, me and her all went out to eat downtown at The Keg in LoDo. It was a good, l0w-key birthday. My mom stayed until Thursday, so we had lots of time to hang out and chat. It was so fun having her out here!

This past weekend, Travis was helping a friend fix their swamp cooler so I took the pooches for an overly ambitious hike at Chautauqua in Boulder. I was planning to take the Gregory Canyon Trial to Ranger Trail to Saddle Rock Trail, for a total of 3.5 “hard” miles (according to the map). Well, apparently hiking at sea level a month ago doesn’t equate to hiking now at altitude. It didn’t help that I got going late so by the time we got out there at 11, it was 85 degrees and sunny on a shadeless trail. (There were plenty of other crazies out there though.)

About 30 minutes up the trail, I was only about halfway to the end of Gregory Canyon. Both the pooches and I were dying so even though I felt pathetic, I turned around. This was my first real hike in Colorado this year (and it’s almost August!?), so I can’t be too surprised that this was the outcome, especially after doing nothing for a month.

Turning around ended up being a good call because I’m pretty sure Katy overheated. And I did what you’re not supposed to do – give her a bunch of water. She puked at least 4 times. Oops. (She is fully recovered now though.) Charlie refused to drink any water. She’s too smart for me.

Even though my hike was shorter than planned, it was still pretty and I enjoyed getting out there.

That night, Travis and I went out to eat at Bonefish Grill and then played mini golf with some friends from church. We ended the evening in the best way – frozen yogurt. Mmm…

Sunday (yesterday), we went to church and then spent the afternoon watching the Olympics (I also took an hour and a half nap). It is so awesome to have relaxing weekends (definitely worth fighting the urge to be productive). Both Travis and I had very busy springs (him with studying, me with training) and we are both just ready to do nothing for a while. Ahh…

4th Annual Camping Trip

18 Jun

This past weekend was our 4th Annual Care Group Camping Trip (at our church, we call small groups ‘care groups’). Just like last year, we went up to Twin Lakes on Friday night and stayed until mid-morning Sunday. And just like the past 3 years, a good time was had by all. Travis and I are really blessed to have such great friends.

We accidentally brought along our smallest tent so it was a tight squeeze with 2 people + 2 dogs but we made it work. And it actually turned out really well because our tent got really warm at night and I slept great. Usually when we go camping, I sleep horribly because I’m freezing all night and can’t wait until it’s light outside. This time, we slept in until after 7 both mornings!

Rocks and dirt provide an endless source of amusement for boys.

Lots of marshmallows were roasted.

Saturday morning, we drove up Independence Pass and hiked a little at the top (Travis went fly fishing instead).

Gorgeous views.

I love wildflowers (darn that camera strap sneaking in there!).

After lunch back at camp, I read The Autobiography of George Muller for a couple of hours. I would’ve loved a nap but it was too hot in the tent.

Then we hiked the Colorado Trail down to the lake.

Boys love throwing rocks into the water.

Charlie was pooped! Katy was hot.

After dinner, a roasted marshmallow got a little out of control…

Charlie made a new friend, Logan, who also loves to play rough. They played for hours the first night and again some more on Sunday morning (Saturday, Charlie was too tired from our hikes to play.) Doesn’t she look ferocious in this picture?

Sunday morning, we had a little worship time.

Then we took a group shot (even though some of the group left early), packed up and headed home.

Good times!

Heading to the Mountains

18 May

Rocky Mountain National Park, September 2007

Tonight, Travis and I are heading up to the mountains for a little anniversary getaway. We are celebrating 5 years tomorrow. I know those married longer would say we’re still newlyweds but I feel like the 5-year mark is the official exit from newlywed status. 😉

Travis has a great opportunity to play in a hockey tournament this weekend so we have 3 hockey games on the schedule. I’ll have to miss the first one since I’ll be doing my long run of 18 miles. Holy crap, that feels like a long way. Back at the beginning of my marathon training, it seemed unfathomable to ever be able to run that far and now, it’s right around the corner.

Since I’ll be running at 9,000 feet, I plan on taking things easy, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and taking lots of pictures to share with you fine folks.

The rest of the weekend will be spent playing Scrabble, drinking wine, checking out cute little mountain towns, and cuddling with pooches – yes, we are bringing them. This will be the first ever that we’ve had them in a hotel room with us. It will be interesting, I’m sure.

Have a great weekend!

Our Evansville Trip

3 Apr

This morning, we woke up to this:

Snow. A lot of it has already melted and it’s supposed to warm up to high 60s later this week but still. Snow in April. I just hope that our tulips and lilies don’t die because of it (we did cover them).

Anyway, we flew out to Evansville Thursday morning – like I mentioned before, we actually flew to St. Louis, where my parents picked us up (it was right on their way), and we drove the remaining 3 hours to Evansville.

We got to Jeremy and Jen’s house around 4 pm, where we finally got to meet this little guy:

He’s even cuter in person. At first, he cried every time I held him. But the last few days we were there, I got to hold him for at least 20 minutes before he wanted something or someone else.

Since he’s so young, we mostly just hung around the house. We cooked all of our meals, except for ordering Chinese in the first night we were there, and my mom and I made 5 freezer meals + cookie dough for Jeremy and Jen.

We also played a little cornhole:

We did some weeding and stump ripping-out:

We did a LOT of baby holding:

Baby J is a spit bubble factory!

Travis will be a good-looking dad:

Baby J loves this play mat – his little legs and arms go all over the place and he blows lots of bubbles. His bibs were always soaking!

They have two dachshunds – Libby is the girl (bottom left) and Chief is the boy (bottom right). Libby and I are friends.

As always, I drank plenty of wine and regular soda, ate lots of sweets, and pretty much just enjoyed myself. I have more thoughts about eating and vacation that I’ll share in future posts but for now, I’ll say that this vacation involved all the things a vacation is supposed to.

It’s good to be back into the routine of things, but we already miss our great family and cute little nephew!

And if you’re wondering if being around Baby J affected my desire to have a baby of my own, the answer is Yes. I want one even more now! 

Keeping the wheels from falling off

28 Mar

Can you believe it’s almost the end of March? And that Easter is only a little more than a week away? Crazy, I tell ya.

Because of that, I thought I’d give another update on how my eating plan for Lent is going. When I first started tracking my food, I realized that my eating was haphazard. I already knew that I did well until about 4 pm and then ate everything in sight. A couple of weeks ago, I said that I was being more mindful of what I eat, but I was still struggling with emotional eating.

Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the wheels still fall off my eating habits around 4 pm, or more specifically, the minute I walk in the door after work. It probably doesn’t help that I plan what I’m going to eat on my drive home…

The problem is two-fold. The main issue is that I come home from work hungry. That is caused by either not bringing substantial enough snacks/lunch to work, or by eating my afternoon snack too soon after lunch, leaving me hungry by the time I go home. This whole ‘figuring out exactly what I will eat for the day at 8 am in the morning’ thing is tricky. Most days, I get it right. Other days, I totally underestimate (I guess I’m optimistic about my willpower early in the morning).

The other issue that causes the wheels to fall off is that I eat while trying to avoid doing what I know I should do. A couple of days this week, I came home from work and just didn’t want to run. While I was hemming and hawing and talking myself into putting my running clothes on already, I had a snack, almost always in the form of refined carbs. The things I crave the most often usually come in the form of cereal and white grains – bread, buns, tortillas. Usually topped with butter. Mmm…

My remedy to these issues is also two-fold. Stop coming home from work hungry and stop stalling by eating. (duh) To actually make these happen, I need to get creative. I’ve tried the whole “I’ll bring a snack for that afternoon slump” and eaten it at 10 am instead, because let’s face it, it’s the best snack I bring. I would totally be up for a salad then (because I’m still in love with salads right now) but my lungs vehemently disagree that a salad is good pre-run fuel. I’ve also thought about bringing a box of granola bars to stash in my office but that could be dangerous…

Anyway, the good news is that beyond my hunger-induced and distraction-providing eating snafus, I’ve been doing pretty well. Some victories: I went to a baby shower last Saturday, a situation which usually causes me to eat more than I should (I don’t know why, but for some reason, I eat more when I’m around people than I would by myself), and left feeling like I had eaten the perfect amount.

Travis wanted ice cream tonight and even though we went to Dairy Queen to get him something, I didn’t have anything because I honestly didn’t feel like ice cream. Funny how some people just naturally would choose that, but other people (like me) have to make that conscious choice – and it feels good.

And this isn’t a victory, per se, but more of an interesting observation. I’ve been keeping track of my calories since starting this journal (but not changing what I eat based on the number – it’s just for recording purposes) and have seen the amazing power of the body to regulate itself. Consider this: the average calorie intake for my “rough” week that involved quite a bit of emotional eating and made me feel gross was 2,398 calories a day. But that week was followed by a week that averaged 2,008 calories a day. The average for a month (2/27 – 3/25) was 2,203 calories a day. So even though I had a “bad” week, by listening to my hunger cues, my body corrected itself. That’s why I think it’s so easy for me to maintain the weight I’m at – it’s my “happy weight”, as they say.

Finally, to lighten up this copy-heavy post, here are some adorable pictures of my pooches:

Charlies likes to chew on blankets (naughty!), and she gets the blanket strands stuck in her floppy lips. It’s hilarious.

And Katy hates getting her picture taken. She refuses to look at the camera.

But she’s still cute.

That’s the blanket that Charlie gets stuck in her lips. It’s actually really cute because she likes to adjust her bed with her mouth. When I see her doing it, I’ll just sit there and watch her. If she sees me watching her, she’ll stop right away, like Crap, she saw me.

Do your pets have any quirky behaviors?

Training Recap: 3/12 – 3/18

19 Mar

Goodness, life is busy right now. All good stuff, but definitely making me look forward to visiting my brother, sister-in-law and nephew next week (and having 3 days off from work)!

I had a pretty good week of training, except that strength training got put on the backburner. I think I’m going to move my strength workouts to Sundays and Thursdays. I just never seem to make Monday happen.

Monday: 3.04 mile easy run (36:15, 11:55/mile)

Legs were exhausted and stiff. Even these 3 slow miles were a challenge.

Tuesday: 4 x 800 w/.5 mile warmup and .5 cool down (37:15 total)

Legs felt stiff and tired for the first .5 mile, then they felt better but still not 100%. First mile time was 9:52 including first 800. I did these 800s as fast as I could go – times were roughly 4:45, 4:44, 4:58, 4:24. After every 800, we walked for 2 minutes.

Got smart and wore my compression tights post-run.

Wednesday: Rest, wore compression tights to bed

Thursday: 3.97 mile tempo run (42:53, 10:48/mile)

Legs felt TONS better – still felt a little slow but overall, great run. Didn’t really push it though – acid reflux showed up.

Friday: Rest

I was tempted to do some yoga or strength training, but really want to start guarding Friday as a rest day for the sake of my long run.

Saturday: 9.09 mile hilly long run (1:42:49, 11:17/mile)

Sunday: 30 minute dog walk, 20 min bike, 20 min strength

It was really windy here yesterday, so not only was I not able to bike outside, my gym lost power so I couldn’t work out there either! So I set my bike back up on the trainer and then did the killer workout below from one of my old Self magazines. Seriously, I can barely lift my arms above my head and my back is ridiculously sore.

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Total Running Miles = 19.14

What’s the last workout you did that made you ridiculously sore?

Busyness is the new black.

8 Feb

Yesterday, I hit a milestone at my job: I worked the entire day. I didn’t even check my gmail. (I decided to end that streak today.)

Things have picked up here big time and it feels so good to finally be involved, contributing, bettering the company that I’m working for instead of just schleping a paycheck home every week.

Since my blogging time has now become work time (and rightly so), I’m back to the ever-a-struggle of finding time to blog during non-work hours. Which has been tough so far this week…

Monday night, I was excused from a workout by spending an hour and a half at the vet just for Katy to get her heartworm shot. I swear, going to the vet is even worse than going to the doctor. And my dogs go to the doctor more often than I do! Completely. ridiculous.

Last night, I raced home after work for a quick 2 mile run with the pooches and then did the first 30 minutes of P90X Yoga before heading to my church for a book study. I helped clean up afterward so I didn’t get home until 10:30 – waaaay past my bedtime. But somehow, I still managed to wake up this morning at 5:15 without an alarm. This has happened to me a lot lately. How does my body know what time to get up even when I go to bed later than usual? It boggles my mind.

Speaking of that 2 mile run, I wore my new Speedy Bullet jacket for the first time. And I am totally convinced it was worth the hefty price tag. My biggest concern about the jacket was that it wouldn’t be warm enough but it was 25 degrees on my run yesterday and with just a long-sleeve running shirt under the jacket, I felt perfect. Even, perhaps, slightly too warm (though I’m not complaining). This means I don’t have to dress like the Abdominal Snowman anymore!

Even though I was very impressed with my new coat, I was not impressed with the running trail.

My choices of running terrain were: 3 inches of snow or black ice. I actually didn’t mind running through the snow but the ice scared the crap out of me. And of course, the pooches were pulling me along wondering why I was being so slow. I’m ashamed to say that after at least 10 yanks on Katy’s leash, I used it as a rein to slap her butt so that she’d slow down and not pull me over. It worked… but she was not happy.

To switch topics in a completely random way, I have a new favorite breakfast.

Mix 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats with water and microwave. Add 1/2 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 tbsp raspberry jam and stir until blended. Add 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder and 1 tbsp ground flaxseed; stir until blended. Top with 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries, fresh blueberries and Fiber One cereal. Mmmm…

This idea was inspired by Run Eat Repeat and Clean Eating Chelsey – they always get creative with their breakfasts. I like that this keeps me fuller for longer than just plain cereal, but it’s also a way to get my cereal fix. It’s a win-win!

What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal?