Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There is always something happening around here...

So the poodle story as promised. :)
My mom found a little poodle walking in the middle of a dark country road a few weeks ago. She stopped because she was afraid it would get hit and when she called the dog it ran to her and has been super attached ever since. The dog had no collar so the very next day my mom took her to the vet to see if she was microchipped, but unfortunately she was not. At the vet it was observed that the dog looked pregnant but they thought that she had weeks to go. My mom contacted the humane society, as well as other vets to leave her number. She also posted a lost ad on Craigslist. No luck. 
A couple days after she found the dog she needed to go overnight somewhere. She always takes her wiener dogs with her, they just snuggle up in a sleeping bag in her car and she's done this for many years now. They freak out when she leaves them at home but don't seem to mind waiting in the car for her. Anyways as she was headed down she noticed that the dog she found, that she started calling Meringo, was panting… A lot. So she stopped by my house and I had to break it to her that she was indeed going into labor. We both new it wasn't a good idea for her to have her puppies alone in my mom's car, especially with the other dogs and how cold it is now. So guess what… I got to babysit a laboring dog, and soon after that her puppies. It was quite the experience.  

Here she is in labor and insisting that she stay on my couch instead of the awesome bed I made her… Sigh. At least I still have reusable waterproof pads on hand. She had her first and second puppy on there before I was able to convince her that the box was better. The labor it's self was a long ordeal that almost resulted in a C-section. She went all night and well into the next day. We couldn't afford to pay for one so if it came to that we were going to have to surrender her to the humane society. But I felt like she was making progress it was just slow. I took her in a few times to keep a close eye on her and at the last appointment the vet gave her some pitocin. Yes, they do that for dogs too, ha! Right when we got home she was definitely starting to push and with in about 5 minutes she had her first puppy! It was exciting but also sad because I soon realized that it had a cleft lip. After that she had another one that was fine but small. A little while later she had her last one. That one didn't make it. :( I won't go into details because they are sad, and left me feeling quite traumatized for a bit, but the vet believes that the puppies have genetic issues going on, possibly inbreeding. He was even wondering if she was a puppy mill dog that was bred incorrectly. She is a young dog though and this appeared to be her first time having puppies. It's all a mystery. 

 So after she had her puppies I took them in to talk to the vet about the cleft lip puppy and have them and the mom checked over. Thankfully the cleft lip puppy did not have a cleft pallet so there was hope! I was told that I would have to tube feed it. Yikes! Also the mommy dog had inverted nipples and the other puppy wasn't latching on. Shesh. So I bought a little bottle/puppy formula and armed with the tube feeding supplies I set out determined to see these puppies survive! The vet made sure to tell me not to get too attached and that the odd were stacked against them, but I just don't care about odds. ;) 

 I threw my all into it, and decided that if they didn't have a lot of will at first I would just have to have a lot of will for them… I slept next to the box, on the couch, and feed them every two-three hours, day and night, for a week straight. I was a pile of mush at the end of it.
But they started to thrive, and grow and they were just so stinkin' cute!
My mom figured out a way to take them back after that. Because they need around the clock care, she was having a hard time figuring out what to do. But we have Monday school and need to be gone all day, plus with being a nanny and homeschooling I was just taking on too much, and had to admit it. That is often hard for me to do as I would like to think I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to. ;) And I can for the most part, but it's often at the risk of absolute exhaustion.
I've had a struggle to set better boundaries this last year, because of my heal issues, and I think I'm finally starting to get better at it. :) Sort of.

Bottle feeding the little one. One happy shiny moment in this story was when this one finally started nursing! A few days into it after working on the mommy dogs inverted nipples {seriously, someone from a dog rescue place told us how, one of the weirdest things I've ever done, ha!} she just started nursing! I cried. Seriously. We named the little one Rosemary, and she never liked taking the bottle and was always trying to nurse, so when she finally did it was a beautiful thing. :) And it meant less work for me. ;) 

 Tired mommy dog.

Another shiny happy moment was when we figured out that Charlotte {the one with the cleft lip} could drink from a regular baby bottle! Ira discovered that Charlotte liked to suck on his finger and that she could actually latch on. She couldn't latch on the the little nipples or to her mother because of the gap in her lip. So the idea popped into my head that maybe, just maybe she could also latch onto a bigger nipple. I have no idea why this works but it totally did! It was such a relief not to have to tube feed her any more! Tube feeding is a scary thing to do because there is a slim chance that you can do it wrong and they will die. As the vet said, "She might die if you do, she will die if you don't." Shesh, talk about pressures on! Charlotte hated having the tube down her throat, and who can blame her, so I was beyond relieved and amazingly excited when the baby bottle thing worked. Even if it did look silly. :)

This video above is actually of Charlotte trying to bottle feed from a little bottle, and although it looks like she is, it's actually dripping down the side of her face, and it would constantly start to go into her nose where the cleft is, so it sadly didn't work. But she sure looks cute! :) And as you know in the end we figured out something that did work, so I still enjoy the little puppy noises in the video and it makes me smile.

There you go, the puppy story is all told. :) They are still thriving and doing well at my mom's house and we are super excited to see them on Thanksgiving. I'm going to have to fight hard to remind myself that I do not want a dog right now. ;) And I'm not proof reading this, because I need to rush off and get back to my busy life… So hopefully it all makes sense.

And if I don't make it back on here in time… Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall walk

We went on an amazing fall walk, right before it got way too cold and yucky. 
Fall walks are one of my favorite things, the smells just can't be beat, the crisp air, the colors, the crunch  and rustle of leaves. Plus I love sweaters, boots, scarves, hats and all that stuff. :)

 Of course Ira has to be higher up than the rest. 

 Her little hand on my face is just too much! :)

 This girl is really into dressing herself right now and she comes up with some awesome outfits. 
Why fit in when you can stand out!!!

 This boy will conquer the world. ;)

 I know I take too many pictures of her, but is there really any such thing?
She's my last little baby I can't help it…

 They tried to climb every stump and tree they came across. :)

I love the fall colors in this picture.

 Crunch, crunch, crunch!

 They ran down and up and down and up and… well you get the picture. :)

 My little explorers.

Rivers girls!

I love these little moments with my kids, a surprise walk in the sunshine, just enjoying nature and each other. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wow… blogging about October, in November, it's a new low. ;)

So a couple weeks ago I tried to download a bunch of adorable pictures onto my blog and ended up freezing up my computer, so I gave up. I just don't have much time to blog now a days and I was so frustrated I decided let it go and moved on {after saying a few choice words in my head}. But… I really wanted to share our October fun, especially our pumpkin patch pictures and Halloween. Because this blog is my way of documenting the happenings in our lives. I want to be able to look back and at least get all the highlights! I've been doing a pretty shoddy job of it lately, but I swear being a homeschooling mommy of four I have no spare hours in the day! It's insane really. Anyways this time I decided instead of a massive photo over load I'd just pick a few {ha ha} and take a quick moment to blog about October… In November. ;)

All ready to pick some pumpkins! :)

We took some family pictures in this Christmas tree field, but I can't show you those yet...

I think my kids might like the apple picking even more than finding the perfect pumpkins. :)

I really can't believe how fast he's grown! Every year I think the same thing, and I wonder how long I can convince him to sit on a pumpkin so that I can take his picture...

Carrot top in a pumpkin patch, gotta love it!


Simply adorable. :)

This year we made our costumes again. And I was super proud of how thrifty we got! I think I spend about ten bucks total, maybe even less. Can you guess what Atty is?

A baby raven! 

I don't even know why we need outfits, they are wacky enough as it is… ;)

Leiella wanted to be a ballerina princess, easy enough. Plenty of pink and pretty in her dress up and drawers.

Ira came up with his own idea and made the whole thing, he's super independent that way. :) He decided he wanted to be a walking stick bug. So we researched them and he put it all together. Not sure why he wanted to use paper bags, but hey it worked and it was really cool seeing how creative he got. He even remembered to add a set of extra arms to the side so that he would have the right amount. We used face paints to make his face brown, a must in his opinion. Banden wanted to be a grumpy ol' troll. It was hard making that beautiful boy into a grumpy troll, but I rolled up my sleeves and we got to work. :)

There's something about crooked wings on an little kid that I find absolutely adorable. I could not stop snapping pictures of her, ha ha!

She insisted that she had to wear her princess slippers, because she was a princess.  It was damp out, but not raining and we were just going in our little neighborhood so I finally agreed after some interesting back and forth between us. She insisted that she would be fine and her feet wouldn't get too cold. As we were walking home she told me, "Mom my feet are cold now, but I don't care, I love these slippers!" Ha ha! Oh what a girl will do for fashion. ;)

My little bug… He wanted to use a paper bag for his treats, to match his outfit. About half way through he discovered his bag had sprung a leak. We ended up following a trail of candy a good portion of the way home. It was pretty funny. :)

Second year trick or treating on his special diet. He is such a good sport about trading all the treats he gets for his special treats/toys at home. I do wish more people handed out little trinkets though, his whole face lights up when it {rarely} happens.

Haha, oh man those "scary" eyebrows crack me up!

Trick or Treat!

A busy bee with her honey… Ha! So corny, I know… :)

We started a new tradition. One that works well to include Atty and also exclude a bunch of {unwanted} candy. After the kids had a few of their treats we left the rest out for the Great Pumpkin. Atty got to dump in all of his, and was super proud to be the one to put in the most candy. We recently discovered that if you leave your candy out for  the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night he will thank you with a special surprise. ;) We had just watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" right before I told them about this, so it worked out really, really well. :) There was not a single grumble, and they went to bed excited and looking forward to the next day.

… And the Great Pumpkin did not disappoint. :) There was even a rumor that Tinker Bell showed up because of all the silver pixie dust on the ground. ;)

So there you go, just barely scratching the surface, but at least I got something done. I hope to eke out some time to post some great pictures from a fall walk we went on, and also tell you about the stray dog that had puppies on my couch experience… and blog a little about homeschooling this year. I hope to, I really really do. I often think during the day of the things I would love to blog about… but than life and all it's many little happenings block me from actually sitting down and typing it all out. Sigh. I have good intentions, I really really do. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

library mayhem {okay, okay it wasn't that bad...}

Well that topped them all. Atty has pitched some big ol' fits in his time, being a redhead and all... but this took the cake. And was all the more embarrassing because he's six for crying out loud!  Let me set the scene for you.

I should start by mentioning that he's been really argumentative and basically difficult lately. Not sure what that's all about. It could be diet related, usually is. He is my only kid that doesn't seem to be able to figure out that fit throwing and arguing will get you nothing in this family. I have stood my ground every single time, but he keeps trying. He's persistent I tell yah. 
So anyways we went to the library on the way home from the Skagit Valley Learning Center on Monday. {Which I just have to tell you about as soon as I get around to it, ha ha!} Each of the kids get to pick out five books, I had the kid I nanny for there too, so that's a lot of books when you tally it all up! Last time Atty had accidentally grabbed six and so I told all the kids that they could get six that time, not as a regular thing. Well Atty immediately comes up to me with his arms full of books and tells me he wants six. He always wants to change it just a little bit. I told him no, that the normal rule is five and he would have to put some back {he had somewhere around eight or so} and the fuss was on! I felt it building and I knew is was going to be a doozy. But rules are rules and I'm a stickler. With a lot of kids you need order or you get chaos. I do not function well in chaos. Plus he was being really rude, and things are just not up for discussion in those cases. He was taking forever and getting more and more worked up so I told him that he could quickly figure it out on his own, or I would do it for him, or he could get no books at all. He worked it down to the last two, put one in the bag then freaked out and changed his mind. So I took that one out and let him put the other one in the bag. His thanks to me was to start freaking out all over again about how he wanted six books. So out his books came, on to the return shelf they went, and away I marched. He followed me through the library, up to the check out counter, wailing "I want six books, I want six books" the whole way. I wasn't about to punish the well behaved kids by leaving with out books so I got to sweat it out while the librarian checked out all 24 books {only bright side, I got some books too}. Everyone, and I mean everyone in that library was staring at us. I'm a shy and generally quiet person when I'm out and about. I have to say I just wanted to be swallowed up. Wanted to crawl into a bed and pull the covers over my head. Wanted to bang my head against a brick wall {not really I had a headache} because I mean really!?! Really!?! All because I said five books instead of six... good night! There is no reasoning with him when he gets worked up, he just repeats the same thing over and over again. It's absolutely maddening. So I totally and completely ignored him, and all the eyeballs as best I could, finished checking out the books and walked out. All the while with a wailing red head following behind {and four other obedient children, thank goodness, I think they were as mortified as I was}. I think I might have had steam coming out of my ears on the walk back to the Suburban. Angry doesn't even cover it! Of course by the time we get out there, he's basically done. He's calmed down enough to realize what a mess he's made of it. Now I want to pitch a fit!!! My kids are normally so well behaved, I mean seriously well behaved. About 95% of the time I'm insanely proud of their behavior... and 100% of the time I love them for who they are, even if they drive me crazy at times. :)  Getting back to Atty though, he's a wild card that kid. Never can tell what will set him off, and once he's started it's like he becomes a broken record. The only way to snap him out of it is to get him out of the situation and have him spend some time alone to calm down. It doesn't work to stay with him, because that generally just keeps him going. Must not engage, learned that early on. He went through an awful phase around three years old where I really had to reinforce that he will get nothing when he throws fits. It did make a difference, but they still happen from time to time. Every once and a while one erupts and takes me by surprise. Lately it's been happening more often. Too often. But once he gets it out of his system he's a smiley sweet boy again, that says "yes mom" and "I love you" for no reason. One who is ready and willing to cheerfully help me. I'm the one left having a hard time getting over it. Which makes me feel bad. Forgive and forget and all that. But lately I feel like I'm on this emotionally roller coaster with him and it's not fun. Not that anyone ever said that parenting was always fun, ha ha! I hope we can get something figured out so that we can get back on track though. I'm starting to worry that he will still be throwing fits when he's twelve. Egads! 
Now that I'm out of the situation it is sort of funny looking back. I mean at least it was a fit over books, and not toys at the store or something. Ha ha! Wonder how many times that has happened, a kid leaving the library crying "I want books, I want books!" 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Our trip to Idaho!!!

Ahhhhhhhh! I've been meaning to blog about our trip to Idaho for a couple weeks now! But with school in full swing right when we got back, I've just been struggling just to survive. ;) So without further ado... 

We decided to get up really, really early on Friday morning. We are talking 3:30 in the morning and we were on the road by about 4:30. It was Ryder's birthday, so what a treat for him. ;) Plus he did all the driving, what a trooper. The kids slept for a bit, and the grown ups watched the sun come up. We had an awe inspiring thunder and lightening show the night before, with massive rain and we also had a weather report of the same thing waiting for us in Idaho. Sadness. But we kept our hopes up. And I'm glad to say we were not disappointed!   

Wake up time! :) The sun is shinning and our hopes are starting to soar!

The mister driving on his birthday. Don't worry he opened his awesome present before we left, so he didn't totally get the sort end of the stick.

First stop after driving for 4 hours. Sun Lakes State Park. Breakfast time!!!

Dry Falls Look Out in Eastern Washington.

First family photo of the trip. :) My mom came with us, so we got quite a lot of family shots on this trip.  Bonus!

I know I was a bit obsessive with the sky shots, but with the weather report we had I have to say I was so freaking excited to see that blue sky!!! :)

None the less we {meaning my husband} made sure to secure the tent from rainy disasters. Last time we went camping my mom got drenched. This time... not a drop, and it did rain but nothing like they said it would and only at night. :)
Funny story though. We had packed the Suburban the night before so that we could just get in and go in the morning. Then we were hit with a crazy rainy storm that night. We took off the next morning, and it was still raining for a bit. Anyways by the time we got to our campsite {after about 11 hours on the road, counting stops} we opened up our carry all on top of the Suburban, and we got an ugly surprise. All of our sleeping stuff, the bags and pillows, were soaking wet. So much for thinking the carry all was water proof. Maybe for a light summer mist. Not for a pacific NW down pour. Luckily my hubby and mom found a laundry mat fairly close by. Ah, the fun of camping. :)

Our first morning, waking up relieved to be dry and safe. The weather was predicted to be severe thunder and lighting storms, wind and rain. So we had a lot to be relieved about. Living on faith. With a back up plan of a hotel. ;) The family we were meeting with ended up staying in a hotel the first night, they had a baby with them, and didn't want to take any chances. We didn't blame them, but we were a bit sad that we didn't get to see them right away. 

After breakfast we decided to check out the lake while we were waiting to see family. This girl decided to go wading in the beautiful green lake water.

Then she remembered that she would rather go wading in her skivvies. ;)

Then they all decided to join in. Mommy forgot to bring swim wear, oops. Luckily we had the lake mostly to ourselves. :)

Finally Atty's bio brother arrived! It actually took Atty a little while to warm up this time. He was a little overwhelmed at how much his brother looks like him and sounds like him. He told my mom it was like looking in a mirror.

But warm up he did, and they had a blast. :) It's so much fun watching them and listening to them play together. We are so lucky to be able to do this.

Got to have daddy snuggles. :) 

These boys are awesome together. And they had so much fun!!!

Trying to get a picture of Atty and his brother together, both looking at the camera is, well, next to impossible!!! Ha ha!

More lake fun, and this time mommy remembered swim wear! Yay me!!! ;)

These two were constantly working on something... :)


I love his serious face. He use to look at me like this even when he was an itty bitty baby, so funny!

Oh man I adore her!!!

The boys decided they wanted to swim across this {little} section of the lake. So their Neenee went with them, they had life jackets of course. They were so proud of themselves, and it was super cute. :)

Daddy love.

This was a favorite at the play ground. It was hard to get them off of it!

My spunky monkey. Always pushing limits and testing boundaries. It will take you far son, but you drive a mother crazy. ;)

These two collect things where ever they go! Fascinating how similar they are in so many ways!!

His brother gave him a John Deer shirt, cuteness! Atty's brother is super into tractors and such. Atty, as most people know, is super into birds. They share their interests with each other, I love it! Atty brought his brother some Audubon magazines. His brother still carries around a robin {not a real one, don't worry, ha ha!} that Atty gave him a while ago. The adorableness has no bounds. :)

I just have to say I love this sweater, the hood on her is too much!  I just want to snuggle her up!!!

They played right in this spot, a lot! With tractors of course. :)

Group photo. Adoption has so many sides... this side of it, the side that brings families together. This side I love. My heart feels happy and full. I wish we lived closer together, but I will take it as it is. 

Neenee with her grandsons. :)

Me, my mom, and the brothers.

Brothers and cousins, but mostly brothers. :)

Banden's making the "seriously can we be done already" face. Ha ha! 

Silly face time!!!

And now for the time we all didn't want to face... saying goodbye. Leiella really loves M, it's so sweet. She's a truly wonderful person and all my kids adore her really. :)

Brother hugs... until next time. 

We went out of our way to stop here on the way home. Atticus cafe! With a bird! Beyond cool. :)

We even went in and bought a shirt {for a ridiculous amount of money}, exactly like the sign, bird and all. They only had adult sizes so we got him a small, and I told him he could wear it as pj's until he grows into it. Which at the rate he's been growing won't be long at all! If we ever go back around I just might have to get one in my size... which isn't small, ha ha!

Can you spot the tourists? ;)

Wild Horse Monument. Very cool. But hard to get a good picture of...

Lake Coulee in Eastern Washington, getting closer to home! :)

Once again we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls on the way home. Back on the right side of the mountains. ;) We love our lush greenery. Drippy, mossy, goodness. Can you tell we are all worn out. On the way back we only made two short stops, and managed to get home in about 9 hours. My kids are amazing road trip partners, I just have to say. :) 

So 2013 road trip I would say was a complete success, just like 2012... we have plans in the works for 2014! Don't know if it will include meeting up with Atty's bio brother on the trip, but they might come over here next year to meet up with us! I sure hope so. Our plan for next years road trip will hopefully include the redwood forest in California!  Up the Oregon coast, into California, and then looping back around. Dreaming big. :)
Now off to bed I go. Hopefully I didn't make too many mistakes in this post, I'm practically sleep typing. These long homeschooling days are draining me!! 
Actually I can't wait to share more about what we are doing this year, but that will have to wait. :)