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. :)