I Cancelled Real Life For The Weekend #thesearethedays #hibernatingweekend #happinessproject

I mentioned in my last post that if it doesn’t help pay the bills or raise my children, I’ve had to let it fall to the wayside. The weight of responsibilities is real, and as a result, I have had to seriously take a step back and re-evaluate what I spend my time on.

I also mentioned that there is a third category that has squeaked it’s way onto my priority list ~ the things that fulfill me and make me tick.

**Disclaimer: Taking care of my family is something that truly makes me tick and is often when I’m at my best. BUT there are still things that I enjoy doing and things I want to accomplish on a personal level. And when neglected, there is a noticeable void.**

I realized in November that I was drowning and had some serious potential of being flat out overwhelmed. I know a lot of it was likely due to my role as Litter mom of 8 puppies  (a role I absolutely LOVED), and the resulting lack of sleep. But even still, I felt like I was on the verge of something not pretty ~ haha. I was simply surviving (and honestly had been since even before the puppies came), which as someone who is used to thriving, was difficult. I decided that if I could make that kind of time to care for the puppies, I could devote at least half as much once they were gone, to the things that make me tick. The things that are easy to neglect when life gets busy. 

It was so busy but I loved every minute…and I sure miss these sweet little ones

I had already simplified most things to really focus on my kids, but there were a lot of things on my personal to do list that just weren’t getting done. So I decided to change that.

I started doing even less and spent even more time organizing my life so I could tackle the list ~ but first I had to figure out what I was missing and make one.

Here’s what I came up with:

*Sewing {so much fabric~so many projects~so little progress}

*Blogging {Oh how I’ve missed it}

*Listening to music (Strange perhaps, but it’s something I miss)

*Doing even more things with our kids

*Training and building better relationships with the pooches

*Trying more recipes

*{My} Happiness Project: I know that finding and buying that book was no accident.

*And basic tackling of a few nagging projects {not just a January goal} to help in the house organization

The biggest one glaring at me was sewing, because there are so many projects on my to do list.  So I got my sewing room organized and got to work.

I couldn’t believe how rejuvenating it was. Immediately I could feel myself improving – in fact fast forward to the night before the kids’ Christmas concert when I decided to whip up a pair of comfy pants and a tank for Brooklyn’s costume. Both items took me about an hour to complete and afterwards, despite it being 1130pm and having to work the next day, I was WIDE AWAKE! I was beaming, feeling accomplished and rejuvenated, and just plain happy. 

I impressed even myself lol

Anyways, as the last weekend of November approached I could feel myself needing a major break. From everything. The nagging feeling would not let up, so I made a major decision and cancelled the weekend. Friday I was supposed to go to Tara’s for an American Thanksgiving dinner (she’s American), but I cancelled. Saturday the kids and I were invited to a morning Grinch party, but I cancelled. Sunday was church (3 hours because we’re crazy lol), but I cancelled for us. And Sunday evening was dinner at my parents, but once again I cancelled. If I had kept it as planned, Monday morning would have arrived before I had time to breathe. So to keep it simple, I cancelled everything and declared it #hibernatingweekend without any plan to leave the house, not even once. Luckily there was a huge snowstorm and it was FREEZING so staying inside was not difficult. 

Here’s what we did:

I had the time to just sit and enjoy some puppy snuggles

We decorated for Christmas

Ah yes, the sewing!!!!

The lounge pants that weren’t…huge flop!

The Redemption Skirt ~ this fabric was pricier than I normally buy, but I had to have it!

Because, why not?!

The second skirt…still needs some modifications 

We successfully stayed in the entire weekend ~ not going out even once. Oh wait, I lied…I had to run out to start the vehicle on Sunday just to make sure it would start for work Monday morning ~ yes it was THAT cold! 

The kids were happy, I was happy, the dogs and puppies (Zoe and Chewbarka) were happy and got lots of extra attention. We played, snuggled, decorated, got some things done, and did nothing all in the same weekend. It was perfection. 

It’s precisely why we’ve *hibernated* several times since then. Not necessarily to the same degree, but enough where we get to spend some time refocusing and being together. 

What would you spend your time doing if you cancelled the weekend? 

 

What Gives? #thesearethedays #findingthebalance #happinessproject

For years I have had a bad habit of double (and even triple) booking myself. Enjoying so many things coupled with my desire to help people, I often committed to things without really thinking it through. Sometimes this resulted in being unable to really do my best and other times it resulted in me feeling frenzied like a chicken with my head cut off. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s that.

While I enjoy a certain level of busy, I’m not the type of person who enjoys being busy every day. Or being so busy I get lost and am unable to enjoy the moment ~ always thinking 10 steps ahead of where I am. So I’ve made a change…actually several over the past few years, but especially recently. 

Early last year (March) the Captain got a job working away. What this means is that for a lot of the time, I am the only one I can rely on, which adds a different dynamic than we’re used to. I am certainly capable and not complaining, but life got noticeably more complicated. It isn’t simply double the work, but really more like quadruple. And trying to find ways to compensate so the kids don’t feel the absence so deeply is a huge weight to bear. 

The Captain was bummed to miss their Christmas concert

Truly, if I didn’t love my job so much, and if I felt it specifically had a negative impact on the kids (they are in school full time so my working really doesn’t impact their lives), I would have more than likely walked away from it. But I do love it and I haven’t noticed an impact on the kids – but it does add one more complication ~ plus getting ready for work while getting kids ready for school can be NUTS! 

What I found was the most important was to balance the after work/school time to their benefit. The summer was easier for several reasons – no school  or extra activities and because I work part time, LOTS of play! But the school year is certainly busy with activities dance, gymnastics, and now basketball for Jonah plus household responsibilities, nevermind church responsibilities. 

In order to balance life, to make sure I was still able to be the kind of mom I strive to be, there were certain things that had to *give*. Since March, I have missed every church function with our Relief Society. Not because I don’t enjoy them (I actually love them), but because it was one more complication I didn’t need ~ finding a sitter, kids being up late, me being up late and tired for work, etc. were all things I didn’t feel I should put my time and energy towards. My responsibilities in the youth program (Young Women’s) also took a major back seat. My commitment level was minimal, for many of the same reasons. I love the youth and love serving with them, but it was a commitment that simply weighed me down. I was released at the end of the year, and while I miss the girls dearly, I have been relieved of a lot of guilt. 

At the end of the day I had to shift my focus to those things that helped either pay my bills or raise my children.

I now have a new church calling which I love, that allows me the freedom to do it as it fits into my life. I’m making sure to get adequate rest so I’m alert at work, though I still sometimes fail miserably. I’m working hard to keep up on the housework (using one of my 10 commandments to *do it now*) as well as make progress in de-cluttering and removing the things we just don’t use (and never will). I’m making sure the kids get to their activities each week (3 days, plus Saturday now), get their homework and reading done. Luckily, one of my closest friends takes the kids to school when the Captain is away and I can’t tell you what a huge blessing that is! (HUGE…trust me, at the end of the last school year I didn’t have that, and it was a little nuts for sure).

Malibu

Axel

I also try to make sure they have healthy meals, though if you knew how many times we’ve had fast food the past few months you’d likely gasp in horror, but it, too has it’s place (survival). I also have two big dogs needing attention ~  as you know I also helped Malibu while birthing her 11 puppies, dealt with the loss of 3 of them, and helped care for the remaining 8 for 2 months until they went to their new homes (one until 3 months). If you wanna know BUSY, have puppies. So fun but also slightly insane. 

8 sweet hungry puppies

And of course, I’m doing my best to mantain focus on the importance of Making Memories.

One of the best things about our recent getaway to Canmore (the kids’ Christmas present) was making memories with this guy: the Captain!

I’m not saying my life is any busier than anyone else’s, and in fact quite the opposite. I’m sure your life is just as busy, if not moreso. That’s why I’m writing this post. I want to know *What Gives* for you?! What are the things you have to let fall by the wayside? What are the things that just cannot be given priority status in your life? Do you find that dynamic difficult to maintain? Or do you find that you have it organized all wrong? 

Again, for me it has been anything that doesn’t pay the bills or raise my children (there’s also a small portion of this reserved for things that fulfill me and make me tick, but there is a whole post coming about that). And being able to *say no* and *miss things* (two of my Secrets of Adulthood), and focus on these has quite simply been the biggest reason I have been able to (mostly) keep from being overwhelmed. 

So, what gives?

 

Quilt Love #thesearethedays #create #quilting

By now you probably know that I enjoy sewing, mainly clothing items for my kids. Generally I choose projects with a high margin of error, so I don’t have to spend all my time on meticulous measurements and making sure each and every stitch is perfect. Which is why, when people have suggested I start selling, I can’t help but scoff a little. I mean, I am certainly flattered and thrilled people like the end product that much, but my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired. Trust me.

In addition to sewing clothes, I’ve done a few quilts…okay *quilts* – rag quilts to be exact. They are fairly simple and have a decently high margin of error. But I really want to try a REAL quilt. My cousin, Cherisa just opened an Etsy shop ~ The Blanket Thief ~ selling her quilts, and her talent is inspiring. I already have the fabric and pattern I want, but here are some other Pinterest quilts that I LOVE! 

A Quilt for Sarah from A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

 I love the pattern and colors of this quiltPhoto from website

**I love the fabrics, colours, and the fun design**

Vibrant Mango Quilt from Better Homes and Gardens

love this happy quilt.

Photo from website

**I have been in love with this quilt – everything about it – for so long.**

John’s Quilt Top from Sew Mama Sew

Quilt pattern

Photo from website

**Aren’t these colours GORGEOUS!!!**

Whirlwind Free Lap Quilt from Connecting Threads

Whirlwind Lap Quilt Pattern Download

Photo from website

**What a fun pattern! I love the colours, but especially the contrast of the black**

Zig Zag Rail Fence Quilt from Red Pepper Quilts

Image of Zig Zag Rail Fence Quilt Pattern (pdf file)

Photo from website

**I love this so much…but all I can think of is the work it would take. Oy!**

Dad’s Shirts from Create by Sandra Saunders

dad's shirts keepsake quilt.

**I love me a good keepsake quilt, and this one is so perfect!**

Okay, so I’m swooning. I’d like one of each….guess I’d better get working then. 😉 

Take Away Meals #thesearethedays #makeyummyfood #pinterestsuccess

I haven’t really mentioned it before, so only those who know me in real life know, but the Captain has a new job that often takes him away. I won’t say for how long at a time nor will you see me posting online about him being gone, because let’s be honest ~ The internet world can be a scary place. 

But, one thing I will talk about is the  yummy food that I send with him. He works long days and just because he isn’t home, doesn’t mean I can’t still take care of him. I try to send him different meals each time, so it’s not always the same thing. Here are just 4 of the many meals I’ve sent (all from Pinterest):

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts from Rock Recipes

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

Photo from website 

**Incredibly delicious…my only change would be less honey in the sauce.It was a wee bit too sweet for us**

Meatball Sub Bubble Up Bake from Life With the Crust Cut Off

Meatball Sub Bubble Up Bake

Photo from website

**I couldn’t find Pillsbury Grands Biscuits here (maybe just a USA thing?), but the Country Biscuits were perfect **

Ground Beef and Tater Tot Casserole from Sweet Pennies from Heaven

Tater tot casserole is one of my most favorite comfort foods! This easy casserole dish has always been a favorite of ours and one that the kids love too! It's also a Gluten Free dish! This recipe can be made in bulk and frozen for quick dinners too!

Photo from website

**Just the kind of meal the Captain loves!**

One Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta from Yellow Bliss Road

One Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Photo from website

**I’ve made chicken and beef versions of this and both were delicious **

Hope you’ll try them too ~ and let me know how you like them! 

{My} Happiness Project ~ January #thesearethedays #happinessproject

IT’S JANUARY!!!!  So let’s just dive in then, shall we?

I really like how the author laid out her project, but once again, I’ll be modifying along the way ~ except for this month, which was completely perfect.

January’s Goal is to Boost Energy.

There are 5 ways listed to help achieve this:

* Go to sleep earlier

* Exercise Better

* Toss, Restore, Organize

*Tackle a nagging task

*Act more energetic

I can tell you right now that I need this month’s resolutions as much as I need oxygen. Since starting work two years ago and especially since Brent started working away (March), getting more sleep has been a priority for me. But it’s still something I need to improve on. Taking from my Twelve Commandments to *Say No*, I’ll be working to simplify my life even more so I can spend time on the things that matter and accomplishing some specific goals.

I can also tell that Exercising is going to be the biggest challenge for me, but I’m determined to find a way to make it a part of my daily life. Any time I have in the past, I’ve noticed huge positive changes. It’s a shame I ever got myself out of the habit. I think the best way to tackle this is going to be to set myself an actual, idiot proof schedule. If I don’t, and I leave things up to however my day plays out, I won’t accomplish anything.

I am going to have to decide what part of the day is best for me to exercise – will I get up early and exercise before work or wait until the end of the day? Or, because I work part time, is it something I want to fit into the middle of my day? I am pretty certain that before work is the best time based on all the other things I want to accomplish during the day, so I’m going to have to set a fairly early bedtime to set myself up for success.

Toss, Restore, and Organize – something I’ve been trying to do this past year anyways, but need to re-focus on it. This month will be one of major purging and honestly, I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

I already know which *nagging* tasks I’m going to tackle….so stay tuned for more details. 

And lastly, acting more energetic. For me, this will mean not succumbing to the trap of sitting down part way through the afternoon or evening, where I always end up with my energy being sucked out of me at a ridiculous rate. I need to remember that and use my awake hours productively. Something tells me that getting more sleep and clearing out some of the excess in the house will aide in this quite nicely.

What would be the most challenging part for you?

I’ll be checking in weekly (at least). I’d love to have some company along the way if you’d like to join me. :)

 **Disclosure: I bought this book impulsively in September and read it on my own. I am not affiliated with Gretchen Rubin (though just from this book, I totally think she’s awesome), and none of my posts come with compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.**

 

 

{My} Happiness Project ~ Secrets of Adulthood #thesearethedays #happinessproject

Okay, so I have my list of 12 Commandments – the rules to remember while I work to achieve each month’s resolutions. Next I wanted to list my Secrets of Adulthood. Once again, I liked Gretchen’s list, but for obvious reasons didn’t copy it. {ie. plagerizing her book is not only illegal, but also isn’t going to help me in this process}.

So, while I kept a few of the ones she had on her list, this list is genuine and specific to me and my life.

Here are some things I’ve learned ~ My Secrets to Adulthood.

1. It’s okay to miss things

2. You are capable (or more specifically, I am capable)

3. You don’t have to agree to be supportive

4. It’s okay to be different

5. People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think

6. Trust your instincts

7. Helping doesn’t always help

8. It feels good to get the dishes done

9. You can’t do it all (and shouldn’t try)

10. Be the kind of friend you want to have

11. Hibernating has its place

12. Stained clothes are good for playing

13. Dress for the weather

14. When in doubt, fill up with gas

15. You don’t have to get mad to make a point

16. What you want matters

17. Cleaning the bathroom doesn’t take as long as you think

18. Anxiety is real

19. Sometimes all you need to do is listen

20. Dress the way you want to feel

21. Friends and Memories are more important than things

I feel like I could go on and on…the more I’m thinking about it, the more ideas come to my mind. But for now, I think this list is sufficient. In fact, each one I thought of made me smile.

What things would be on your *Secrets to Adulthood* list?

**Disclosure: I bought this book impulsively in September and read it on my own. I am not affiliated with Gretchen Rubin (though just from this book, I totally think she’s awesome), and none of my posts come with compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.**

{My} Happiness Project ~ As Inspired by Gretchen Rubin #thesearethedays #happinessproject

I love to read. But it’s something I have to give myself permission to do, because when I’m reading a book, nothing else gets done. NOTHING.

Which is why I haven’t read much in the past year, except for the times we are at the condo in Whitefish. In fact, one week we were there, I read SIX books. It was pure heaven. But this last time (September 2014), I bought and read just one book. One book that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

If you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you thought, and if you haven’t, I definitely recommend it. I tend to read quickly, so I don’t always remember much beyond knowing I enjoyed a story. Which is why I’ve decided to dive into this a little deeper and do my own Happiness Project, using this book as my template. In her book, Gretchen’s project is a year long, working on new aspects/resolutions each month. I figured starting in January made sense, so here I am…ready to jump right in.

Have you ever thought about what you want from life? Or wondered if what you were doing every day was helping you achieve those things? What are the things that matter? Are you enjoying your life? And ultimately, are you happy?

Well, are you?

I’d say I am, really and truly…and quite, but one thing I’ve noticed is that, like Gretchen, I’m not as happy as I could be. And my life isn’t going to change unless I make it change.

So first up for me was to determine what things were/are important to me ~ the things I want to learn, accomplish, and experience. I also wanted to follow suite with Gretchen’s plan and come up with my 12 rules for the year ~ or 12 Commandments, that will help in keeping each month’s resolutions.

Here’s what I came up with (Some are from her list because I felt they were applicable:

1. Be Hailey

2. Say No

3. Say Yes

4. Do it Now

5. Relax

6. Stop Talking

7. Be patient

8. Write it down

9. Be grateful

10. Get it together

11. Have fun

12. Pay it forward

 

I’m excited about this list, though it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I didn’t want to simply copy Gretchen’s list, though I thought hers was great. But I wanted a genuine list that was personal and applicable to me.

What would be on your list?

**Disclosure: I bought this book impulsively in September and read it on my own. I am not affiliated with Gretchen Rubin (though just from this book, I totally think she’s awesome), and my decision to do the Happiness Project comes with no compensation.**

On the Outside – On the Inside #adoption #thesearethedays

**Because this post is incredibly personal and such a sensitive topic for those involved, no timeline or names will be given. So, if at times it seems a little cryptic, please understand why**

I received the phone call shortly after he was born, and although my heart leapt and a huge smile spread across my face, I was immediately struck by something deeper. Something I hadn’t really considered ~ but knowing he was laying there, and although loved (SO loved), not yet belonging to anyone was so emotional for me. And suddenly I understood why.

Because he was me. That was me.

Displaying 002_2.JPG

One of the first photos of me – with my brother (also adopted at birth) and my Grandpa

34 years ago I was born, and for weeks I was loved (by a foster mom) but did not yet belong to anyone.

But my situation was also slightly different than hers….This new mom, soon to be *birth mom*, was involved in the entire experience. She was able to scour files and hand pick the family her son would call his own. She had the first true test of motherhood, being able to put her child’s needs above her own personal wants. That part was the same. But 34 years ago, adoptions weren’t open in most cases. So without knowing specifics, it is fair to assume that after giving birth, my birth mom had to walk away.

Walk away.

Not knowing where I was going or who I’d be raised by. Not even really knowing if I’d be loved and treated well. I was. Very. But she didn’t know that. And I can’t even imagine.

For this young friend, though, she did know. And still this experience…this decision, however right it felt, was pretty much impossible. And again, I can’t even imagine.

My heart and stomach were in knots for days prior to his placement. Not just for my friend , and the adoptive parents, who I have an incredible amount of love and compassion for,  but for him ~ this sweet baby with whom I identified the most with in this scenario. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him ~ and it was magical. I spoke with my young friend, who at this point had spent 3 days bonding with her baby and was now going to pass him off to someone else (Oh my heart ached). We talked about HOW she was ever going to be able to do this, what I would say to my birth mom now (another post), and how being so involved in the process was a blessing in an otherwise devastating situation. I also told her that I happened to know the family of the adoptive dad, and although this wasn’t my son or my story, knowing who his family would be brought so much comfort. Pieces fit together and my heart ached a little bit less. And I could tell her with complete confidence, that she had set her son up for a life of incredible blessings.

I know she wished things could be different. For her sake, I was wishing the same thing. But it was evident for several reasons that, while she loved him, it would be a life of struggle for the both of them. And she loved him enough to know she didn’t want that for him. Or her. And so she made the most heartwrenching decision.

I know many friends who have been blessed by adoption, and I see firsthand how amazing it is. I also know a few who have both placed a baby for adoption and chosen to parent – both decisions come with an incredible amount of lifelong emotion.

But to be this close and see it first hand, and to realize just how much I felt for and identified with this sweet little boy (who was nothing short of gorgeous and perfect), was amazing to me. For days I couldn’t figure out why I felt so out of sorts, and then he was born and my emotions took on a life of their own. 

I know it’s not about me, and I promise I wasn’t making it that way, but I had a connection to the scenario with a depth I could not have predicted. And being able to hold him and, in that short time try to infuse all my love and understanding into his sweet self, meant more than I could have ever imagined. It was healing in a way I didn’t know I needed. It was amazing to sit there in the hospital room and love on him, while offering love and support to his mom, who just an hour later would take on the title of birth mom.

I was driving the kids around to various activities at the time of the meeting and placement and it was all I could think of. Her and her family, the adoptive couple, and of course him. And I knew that room would be filled with the most incredible amount of emotions….on all ends of the spectrum. It would be devastating and hopeful, and I knew that seeing the joy in his parents eyes would somehow lessen the pain seen in hers.

For various reasons, nobody but my husband knows about this situation. Not even my closest friends and family. For these same reasons, it will remain that way. But I wanted to blog about it, however cryptically, and share my experience. These emotions are real and raw, no matter how much time has passed, and for me, writing is healing. The gift of adoption is not something that is taken lightly and I have a deep sense of what that phone call must feel like, especially after years of struggle. While my heart continues to break for my young friend, it also rejoices for this couple, whose prayers were finally answered. And for this sweet boy who I love so dearly, I feel joy. Already he is so blessed.

WE are so blessed.

 

 

Malibu’s Minions #thesearethedays #puppies #photooverload

Despite numerous google searches, I totally missed it and didn’t know Malibu was in heat. #rookie 

But she was – and Axel did not miss his chance(s). Consequently she became large with child  puppies. We were coming home from the condo on her 8 week due date and our friend texted to say she was showing labour signs. So we prayed we’d make it in time. 

And we did. Because she went to 9 weeks. 

I came home from work Thursday around 1pm and felt like something was starting. Nothing major, I just felt like it would be worthwhile to keep an eye on her. I put Axel in the kennel because he was ANNOYING to me – wanting to rob her of any attention and snag it for himself. lol Within half an hour I could see a clear improvement in her relaxation – and a clear progression in her labour. I got the kids to bed and settled in because I was certain that this was the night. 

Displaying photo 1.JPG

A photo with Malibu before going to bed.

Displaying photo 1.JPG

Because I’m cruel and it makes me laugh

Nesting, Pacing, Panting, etc. She was also incredibly snuggly and calm, which surprised me for being so young. Miss Malibu laboured like a champ, and as a result, we got to share some amazing bonding time. 

Displaying photo 4.JPG

Just breathing her way through

Displaying photo 5.JPG

Trying to get some rest                           

Displaying photo 1.JPG

No doubt vowing never to let Axel near her again

Displaying photo 3.JPG

I sure love this pooch

I stayed up with her all night and into the morning. At about 3am I was feeling sleepy and chilled so I went into the house and watched from the table. Malibu was restless by this point, but not quite settling in to deliver. I dozed at the table off and on, desperate not to fall asleep for fear I would end up missing the whole thing. But somehow I looked up at 5:15am, just in time to watch her birth pup #1. A black male. She was a little slow to use her mothering instincts, so I helped out to ensure all was well, and she took over from there.

 

Displaying photo 2.JPGWithin an hour she had birthed 6 puppies – 1 black male, 2 chocolate male, and 2 chocolate female. A cute little family indeed, and how many I had hoped she would have. I didn’t want her having a large litter (Axel is one of 13, 11 surviving) because it was her first AND she is just over a year. 

Displaying photo 3.JPG

Malibu and her sweet little girl

But 6 hours later, it all changed. 

I was on my way out to a school function and went outside just to check on her. My friend, who stopped in for a bit when she grabbed the kids for school had suspected there was maybe 1 or 2 other pups (you could feel at least one still), so I was a little nervous to leave her. When I went outside, Malibu was noticably concerned….panicked almost….pacing quickly and searching. I worried there was something wrong with the pup and she knew it, so I prepared myself for a stillbirth. But the truth is, I had thrown away the torn up birthing blanket after puppy #6 and I think she was simply looking for HER birthing place. #oops

She finally settled into the pool where her other pups were and birthed #7. Then #8,9,10, and 11. 

I never did make it to the school function, and I’m glad I stayed as I had to help deliver #11 who got stuck head out. Malibu was just so tired by then that even her biggest pushes just could not do it. 

She has been amazing. We’ve had lots of company and she’s been perfect. There have been a few times she seemed a bit agitated while trying to get comfortable and probably still adjusting…and the times she closes herself off and you know she’s just sick of having ALL these puppies sucking on her every minute of the day. But she has taken to mothering and is calmer than I’ve ever seen since we got her a year ago. 

puppies

I love puppies

If you follow on Instagram you will know that we did lose two puppies – #10 (chocolate girl) and #11 (black, who originally was labelled as a boy, but turned out to be a girl…I’m blaming sleep deprivation). And as expected, it was devastating and still is. But we are moving forward and making sure the 9 remaining puppies are as healthy as can be. 

And of course, I’ll be watching her future heat cycles like a hawk…

 

Why I love and accepted the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen at least one , if not a hundred videos of people you know all the way to celebrities voluntarily pouring ice water on themselves. Seems crazy, no?

Well it may seem so, but really it’s for an excellent cause and purpose.

First, the cause:  (from the website) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. To find out more, please visit www.alsa.org

Second, the purpose: It’s simple…To Raise Awareness

While the money raised is insane and amazing (last I heard, over 80 million), it’s awareness that first fuelled this campaign. Here is the story:

Now I’ve read a few articles in the past few days criticizing this campaign (it doesn’t take long for the haters to surface, does it?), but I can’t jump on that wagon. Some claim it’s not an urgent enough disease to warrant such massive fundraising – tell that to Peter Frates. Or really anyone suffering or watching someone suffer from this disease.

Nevermind that, does a disease or illness need to infect the masses to warrant awareness or incredible fundraising? Why?

I not only love the campaign, but support the cause. I was anxious to be nominated for the challenge as was Jonah, because he wanted to get involved. Which is one of the main reasons I love it – people are getting involved. We are willingly dumping buckets of ice water over our heads to participate. We are also nominating people to spread awareness and we are donating. It’s really the recipe for a most perfect campaign and I am happy to support it. And I am thrilled to see my friends and family, and especially our kids getting involved.

But please know this, it is not the only cause I am in support of, nor do I think it’s the only one worthy of my (or your) donations. There are so many, some well known and others not so well known, that are in need. And what’s important to you may not be important to others – it’s based on our experiences – nobody is wrong. None are better or more important than another and all have value and purpose. Raise awareness and donate where you feel best doing so.

For me and my family, ALS was one that we felt drawn to.

So for your viewing pleasure, here we are (I have no idea why I was speaking so strangely):

0:25

0:27

(Hopefully they work – but if they don’t, just head over to Cute Like Me on Facebook and watch there. I had to do it this way because they uploaded sideways)