Friday, February 10, 2017

a recap of our stint being back up to five kids and a crazy new dog

I talked back HERE about not only having Bo Jangles join our family:

...but having two Chinese children join in the day after she arrived.
Yeah.

It was kind of a circus for two weeks I tell you.

With trying helplessly to learn the ropes of puppy-ownership to sleepless nights, to kids I wasn't sure if they were great ignorers or just non-English-understanders, to trying to feed everyone and keep everyone happy, most especially Dave who was pretty sure we made the worst decision of our lives (Bo), it was a little nutty around here.

I fell in love with all three "extras" but man alive, looking back it feels like it was kind of a blur.  There were some pretty beautiful moments mixed right in with moments where I felt like I had multiple balls and chains attached to my legs and I was drowning while trying to juggle.  

And I wondered how in the world I got to be so wimpy that I couldn't handle some extras.

The furry one, in particular, did a good job turning our life upside down right as she wrapped her way into each of our hearts.  I'm telling you, we are in love with that girl while simultaneously she drives us bonkers.  

And it didn't help that the vet let me know she is one of the most "dramatic" puppies he has ever given shots.    

Great, just what we need is more drama around here!!

At first she was just so small and scared and hesitant, but she's found her voice (bark) and her bite (nipping at all of us) and we have melded into training and in many ways it's just like having a new baby again.  

Oh it was no surprise, I'll tell you that.  

We had braced ourselves for a big adjustment.  But I'll admit I was still pretty taken aback the first time I stood in the pet isle at Target wondering what in Heaven's name we had gotten ourselves into!
Did people really use these things??
Poop scoopers and dog toothbrushes and wrench-like nail clippers?
Was I really ready for this?

And then there was the smell.  Dogs smell, for those that aren't aware :)  And now we all smell.  And our house smells.  And our clothes smell.  And I wonder if we're just getting used to it or if the baths we've given her really help?

The first week I set my alarm to take her out every few hours until I got to the point where I was waking her up (from her crate) and decided (with the help of a wise neighbor) to let her sleep in our room and trust that she would wake me up when she needed to go out.  And to my grand surprise, she slept until 5:30 the first time, then straight to 6:20 where she's stuck.  

And it was like I was a new woman after that.

...except that I still had to watch her like a hawk every second because she was definitely not potty trained.  Ha!  

In a matter of two days my life had turned from doing whatever I wanted all day while my kids were at school to mostly just this.
All. Day. Long.

And this:
Entertaining these cute girls while trying to figure out dog-hood.

That first week it was rainy and cold which made it everything a little trickier.

I want to remember this adjustment so that I'll remember not to ever do this again.  

But do you know what?  When I see things like this I think maybe I will.  
A hundred times over.

The other day Lucy was beside herself at bedtime.  She was in a mood where nothing could console her, wailing in her bed after I tucked her in.  So I brought Bo in because I claimed "she forgot to say goodnight" and as that little puppy licked the tears right off my little girls' cheeks and her demeanor changed right in front of me I knew:

All is right in the world with this puppy of ours.

She helps us wake up the girls in the morning and it makes waking up pretty delightful. I wonder how long that will last?

We all think it's the cutest thing on the planet how her ears flop up and down when she runs and how her whole body wiggles from her tail right up to her head when she gets excited.  And the way she runs?  Cutest darn thing around.

We found an awesome trainer who has come twice so far (we are hoping Bo will become a good "therapy dog" for Lucy), and so far this little pup of ours is a champion sitter on command and is on her way to a pretty great little schedule.

In the midst of that initial craziness my friend let us borrow her dog "playpen," and that too was a complete game-changer.  
Dave and I smiled so big at each other that first afternoon when we didn't have to watch her like hawks because we didn't know when she would need to "go."

 It was all bliss until she started realizing what a great climber she is.



 She's fine in there as long as someone is right by her.

In the meantime, our little visitors kept themselves busy turning out all kinds of coloring creations. 
Since they made themselves their own job charts, I got serious and whipped them out some with the other girls':
They were delighted about that.  (Notice how great Lucy was doing at hers at this point...)

Here, this one the next week is a little better...

One of their "jobs" was to learn a new English word each day and teach me a Chinese one.  I learned more Chinese than I did when we lived in China I tell you!

They were honestly as good as gold, and very innovative.  This is what they came up all on their own when they realized they couldn't reach the sink to brush their teeth:
 The first couple nights they set up their own bed on the floor as happy as could be.

They gradually moved to the bed, maybe they realized maybe that was easier to make once they got their job chart and they got to check off the making of it...

Other random things those two weeks...dog play:
 My birthday in the midst of it all:

Bo's first shower/bath:
 (...which sadly didn't help the stink...)

My companions at my YW soccer game:
After-school dog-walks:

Extra companions for Grace's lunch date:
 Our great neighbor who helped get us all prepped for this puppy in the first place...

We celebrated Chinese New Year with these girls.  It's such a huge deal in China so we made it as big a deal as we could here...
 ...not sure if red pancakes and bacon are on the agenda for traditional New Year's celebrations, but we made them ours:)
 We took them bowling...


...and Dave started to like Bo ;)
...gradually he's going to fall in love, I'm sure of it.  Ha!

Early-morning orange picking:

 ...and delighted juicers:

And more puppy love:
 On our last day with the girls we met up with some friends at the zoo.

 It was the perfect, glorious spring day and all was right in the world.




The next day their parents arrived.  We got busy and made them their own batch of orange juice to welcome them to the desert:
(along with my neighbor's daughter and a friend in the background who brought me some birthday lunch since I was kind of home-bound...love you Gale!)

We whipped up a "welcome back" banner that they were pretty delighted to make:


Those girls were so happy to have their parents back.

Dave's parents came to visit too...his dad fresh from Ghana and our nephew in town for wisdom teeth removal...


And with that, we wrapped it all up and bid goodbye.
 ...to quite an adventure.
Phew!  If you made it this far you're a champ.  Lots to remember from those two crazy weeks!

We can't miss those cute girls too much since we've still got our hands full with this furry friend of ours, but we'll be looking forward to their next visit when hopefully Bo will be as good as gold as they were!

17 comments:

  1. I'm no dog expert but we do have two dogs and they had a certain "puppy smell" I thought it kinda smelled like tuna. They grew out of it :).

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  2. IM SORRY BUT BO IS SO CUTE. AND JAIDA AND OLIVIA! DAD LOVE BO

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  3. Congrats on surviving! What a great way to remember this incredible week! You deserve a lot of extra sleep this week and a gold medal! Bo climbing that cage just made me LOL! Sounds as though that dramatic little girl is going to fit just perfectly in your family....once you can figure out how to make it work.

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  4. Those girls are soooo cute and adorable!!!

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  5. Those pictures of Bo climbing out of the playpen are adorable... and I don't event like dogs 😉
    Two questions! Where is the light from over your kitchen tables? And where do you find long rolls of white paper you use for all your signs? It doesn't look as wide as normal butcher paper like from schools.

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    1. The light is from Restoration Hardware and the paper is from IKEA :)

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  6. We got our first family dog when I was 16, and my dad was not happy about it! He He never liked dogs which is why it took forever to give the okay and let us all have one, and having a puppy going crazy in his house didn't help. But after a year or so (so yes it took a while!) he loved that dog. She recently died, and no doubt my dad was more devastated than any of us! My mom called him to let him know she had died, and left work crying because he couldn't stay there any longer! It just takes some people time to bond. :)

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  7. Sounds like a crazy fun time! You're a champ, Shawni!

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  8. Bless your heart! I was feeling the anxiety for you as I read, but the picture of Lucy and Bo made it all better. ❤😉❤

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  9. oh the dog smell. You'll get used to it. As long as you keep Bo clean and of course keep your house vacuumed (she doesn't shed as much as other dogs do if I remember her breed correctly) and wait it out, you won't notice anymore.... and you'll hope nobody else does too! Our dog is a black lab and she sheds pretty much all her hair every day (or so it seems) and that's a big part of the smell for me. So happy for you guys!

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    1. Believe me; we notice it even if you don't. The moment I step into a house I can tell if a dog lives there. This includes wealthy relatives that have their homes professionally cleaned.

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  10. OMG. Just because your family has become noseblind, doesn't mean everyone else who enters your home can't smell the dog stench. Trust me - they do smell it - and it is NASTY.

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  12. I don't laugh out loud at posts ever. Like ever. But seeing Bo climbing out of the baby gate about did me in. You would end up with a dramatic, climbing dog! What are the odds?? Thank you for sharing!

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  13. I have seriously been coveting your dark gray couches for a while now. Would you mind terribly sharing where you found them? Also, I'm kind of dying laughing at some of these comments about dog smell. Good thing your readers aren't forced to enter your home and smell your (adorable) pup!

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  14. That picture of bo climbing up the cage. Almost too cute to get mad at huh? SO CUTE! and I hope and am sure Dave will fall in love with her.

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