We started this week with one more ultrasound before being released to my regular ob. (In case I’ve forgotten to explain this already, I have my RE handle early pregnancy because he will see me much sooner and keep an eye on my HCG and progesterone levels. Once he’s satisfied that the pregnancy looks healthy, he will release me to my ob… His wife. 😊) This ultrasound was great because I got to see baby kicking it’s tiny legs and moving it’s little T-Rex arms around. The Dr also pointed out the spine, which is already visible! Baby measured about 1.25″ long. 

I already love this person so much! This isn’t the best angle though and doesn’t show the legs or the sch.

The sch is still there. I think at the first appointment it measured 17×10. It’s now 19×10 BUT, the Dr said he’s not as concerned about it at this point as he was earlier. I’m still just hoping and praying it absorbs and goes away so I don’t have to think about it anymore! He wanted me to remain on pelvic rest but said it’s probably ok for me to lift Zane some. I had one more progesterone level drawn and it came back at 43. With that, he called me and told me to make an appointment with “the lovely Dr K”. 😁 I haven’t scheduled that yet because I have to get my medical records transfered over before they will see me. I plan to continue progesterone shots until 12 weeks, just to be safe because I always take them till around then, but with that high of a level, I could stop sooner. 

In terms of symptoms, I’m exactly the same as last week. Sick sick sick…. I’m still only down a pound or two, so I’m not concerned. Just looking forward to the second trimester and hopefully that sweet *honeymoon* phase of pregnancy where you know you’re pregnant but you feel awesome. 😉 I don’t crave much of anything but last night I super seriously needed jello. I think partly because I was so thirsty but couldn’t stand the thought of drinking. Anyway, DH made a batch and as soon as it set, I ate the entire thing! 😱 Now I’m not really feeling jello. I did really want popcorn the last few days and we had some tonight while we watched a movie with the kids. 🙂

I finally took a belly pic! I feel so bad that I waited till 9 weeks to take one. But until now I’ve just looked like my same poochy self with maybe a little extra bloat. The area where you can actually see my belly rounding out is only visible when I’m not dressed, so to the rest of the world, I just look more bloated than usual. I think it looks like my usual pooch (Thanks kids! Lol! J/k. I love you.) has moved up a little higher. 


Dear God, thank You for all these blessings. For being 9 weeks already and getting to love this precious new life! Please protect it in Jesus’ name and please help the sch to heal and absorb away. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Well, it’s over with. We decided to keep Buddy – the hound mix we found at the shelter. He has been absolutely phenomenal with the kids. He’s house trained and calm and is just generally the Mary Poppins of dogs. Practically perfect in every way. 🙂 He sheds a freaking TON though, so I’m looking into whether this is a health issue or what. I’m thinking it’s an abnormal amount of fur (it comes out in clumps), so I need to figure out how to help him get in good health. He’s around 2 years old and I think a little TLC will go a long way. 

But, back to Rocky…. we took him to the shelter on Thursday. I’m not going to say it was easy; it actually ended up being even more emotional than I had expected. I mean, sure the dog has his problems, but we had him for a year since he was just a puppy! Its a given that we would become attached. I bought him a bunch of his favorite treats before taking him and took his favorite toys so he could keep that familiarity.

Once I got to the shelter, I went inside to fill out the necessary paperwork before bringing Rocky in. I was surprised that the woman who had been very accommodating and understanding before ended up giving me quite a bit of flack. She wasn’t being straight up mean, but was definitely speaking her mind. Which, I mean, I do get it. She deals with people all the time who are surrendering their dogs for downright petty reasons. I’d get sick of dealing with those surrenders too! I’m sure it’s hard for her to take anyone seriously at this point. 

So I went out to get Rocky and he immediately went into crazy mode, understandably. He was pulling at the leash and lunging and acted like he was going to shred one of the small dogs that was there. So the shelter manager lady took him from me to put him in a kennel and he completely tore her arm open with his nails as he was just going so bonkers. He’s a fairly big dog and he can do serious damage when he freaks out! 

So at this point, the poor woman is applying pressure to her arm with paper towels and it’s just bleeding so much. I waited a few minutes to see if she was ok and if I could do anything and she said to me several times “Honey, this isn’t your fault.” At that point I think she fully understood why exactly Rocky wasn’t safe for my kids (or my visitors!) and why I had to take him there. 

I don’t know if she ended up needing stitches or if it finally stopped bleeding, but I plan to go in there later this week and bring some dog food and make sure her arm is ok. I’m glad it’s over with but I still really hate how this turned out. 

I started out this week with my follow up ultrasound appointment. Baby looked great and measured 4 days ahead with a heart rate of 182 and was WIGGLING around!! I’ve never seen one of my babies move this early on, so that was pretty special. Unfortunately DH couldn’t be there because he had to sit with the kids during my appointment since we couldn’t get a babysitter. But I did get a cute ultrasound photo for him. 🙂 

The dr said the sch is still present and all restrictions remain (no lifting over 10lbs, pelvic rest, taking it easy) but that it doesn’t look bad at this point. He was going to release me to my ob but said I could come back in a week to check the sch again since it will probably be a long while until my ob will do an ultrasound. He also wanted to check my progesterone level which came back good at 30. I’m still on pio so I expected it would be fine. 🙂 

The sch actually appears to have moved position and is now below the baby. I guess thats good?

As far as symptoms go: 

  • The nausea remains the most dominant with it’s ever-present persistence. It’s now a totally unavoidable reality that I have to take 4mg of zofran before I can get out of bed in the morning, or even roll over really. Skipping isn’t an option unless I want to spend my morning hanging over the toilet. I do my Bible study while I wait for the zofran to kick in and then get up and eat something small for breakfast. I nibble all day to keep from getting as sick but sometimes eating just makes it worse and I have to go lay down. Thankfully DH is a pro at taking over the evening routine so I can rest. 
  • Food aversions are full force and I struggle to get fluids down. Lean cuisine, breakfast cookies and Powerade are my go-to meals. I try to eat a healthy supper but it’s iffy. Eh, this phase will be over soon enough.
  • I don’t feel as wiped out as I did at first. I took one nap this week but mostly I’ve been fine. 
  • I notice that my face is breaking out again a bit.
  • Milk of Magnesia is a staple of my daily routine now. 
  • Some days I’m really mega bloated and others my belly is flatter than usual. There is definitely a noticeable expansion in the area right above my pelvic bone. My regular jeans feel really bad when I zip them, so I’m planning to get some that don’t dig in right there. 
  • I haven’t gained any weight (thank goodness!) and usually am -1 to 0lbs from pre pregnancy weight. 
  • We heard the baby again briefly on the doppler today. I haven’t had luck any other times I’ve tried since the first time and it’s still so faint and I can’t keep the wand on it for more than a few seconds. But Tru and Levi got to hear it this time and they were so excited! 

I can’t decide if I want to buy the Sneak Peek early at-home gender test. (It claims 99% accuracy in determining the gender of baby from 9 weeks pregnant on. It is done by finger prick) I mean, I do want to and I even had my credit card out to buy it but then DH brought up how much he likes to guess the gender by watching the ultrasound and I don’t know… It is kind of our thing we always do. So now I’m wondering if I should just make myself wait. It’s kind of impersonal to find out via email but then again, I’m not super patient. Haha! The fact that there are people out there who don’t want to find out before birth just blows my mind! More power to you though because you definitely have more patience than I do. 😉

I think that’s about it as far as pregnancy goes. A couple other items of information are:

  • We backed out of our contract on the land. We were almost completely through the loan process when we found out from the health department that the existing septic would not be usable for us to build our new house with AND a new septic (provided they could actually fit one in there) would be $10-30,000 depending on soil quality etc. I was torn between whether to just pay for the test and application ($500ish) to see if we could put a new system in or not. But it just didn’t seem like it was going to work with our building plans for where we wanted the house positioned (back from the main road which is fairly busy), so we declined and are back to square one looking for a place. I’m disappointed but trusting that God will provide something even better.
  • We have a dog right now on a trial run from the shelter. We also still have Rocky until we decide whether we are keeping this dog. He’s some kind of beagle mix, we think. Extremely sweet, extremely friendly. Actually very calm. He’s perfect with the kids and they adore him. The only downside is, he has been marking in the house a few times. He’s recently neutered and seems to be only marking where my sil’s intact dog was when we dogsat last weekend. He’s not marking in Rocky’s areas at all. I really don’t know what will happen or if he will continue doing it but Tru will be absolutely devastated if we don’t keep him. It’s hard deciding, especially when I’m so nauseated and a dog is just one more thing I have to take care of. It’s bad timing but I think he might be the right dog. Decisions, decisions! 

    Levi is always our shorts-in-the-winter kid.😂

    Dear God, thank You for another good ultrasound and for baby being so happy and healthy looking in there. Please help the sch to heal completely and not cause any problems. Please help us with making wise and good decisions. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

    I still haven’t taken a pic yet, which is a shame because there is already more definition at the bottom of my belly. Mostly I’m just bloated and some days the bloat calms down but there’s definitely a rounder look way down by my c section scar. I haven’t gained weight but I think my weight loss is back to 0lbs. 

    Yesterday I tried my doppler, not thinking I’d actually hear baby until much closer to 9 weeks at least (I’m about 15 pounds heavier this pregnancy than I’ve ever been) but oh my goodness! Ever so faint I could hear the baby’s heartbeat! I couldn’t hardly stay on it because even just inhaling made me lose the very faint sound, but it was there! I felt so happy and like all this nausea is more bearable now. I wish I could post the clip but I’m using the phone app and it won’t let me. 

    So, as I mentioned, the nausea. It’s there 100% of my day and sometimes throughout the night. When I first wake up in the morning, before I even open my eyes, I don’t usually feel the nausea. But then I move a muscle or open my eyes and it sweeps over me. Part of the day it’s just a nagging nauseated feeling and I can still function enough to do the basics but then at certain times it will sweep in really strong and I have to just hold perfectly still so I don’t throw up. It’s not as bad as it was with Zane though, thank God, it’s more like it was with Levi. I’m doing all the natural recommendations and taking lots of different home remedies to get through it, although nothing makes me completely free from the nausea. I’ve taken zofran on my worst days but I’m doing my best to avoid it unless I have to go somewhere or if I can’t take care of the kids because of the sickness. While it is draining to feel sick so constantly, I’m reminding myself it’s just a season. 

    Food choices are predictably limited and I just eat whatever doesn’t sound as terrible as everything else. Usually my food choices make no sense, so dinners the last week have been a bit weird. I plan to pick up my grocery order tomorrow and it has a lot of convenience food on it, which I don’t normally buy. But hey, I’m doing what works right now and it’s ok. Poor DH and the kids are probably suffering from the weird meals more than I am. 😂 

    I have an appointment in 3 days to check the status of the sch and see how baby is growing. I’m really hoping everything looks good and I can maybe get back to lifting Zane without feeling guilty. I’ll admit, I’ve forgotten a few times and picked him up. It’s just second nature to pick up my crying baby! And of course I have to get him in and out of his crib. I’ve had to go places a couple times by myself so I had Zane walk to the van and then I lifted him into his seat. Basically I’m just trying not to carry him. 🙈

    We did take the boys to the zoo this week. Someone gave us free tickets and they were expiring. I felt like walking around would be fine as long as I took breaks and wasn’t there all day. We ended up being there about 4 hours and had plenty of rest time, so I felt like it was all good. We really enjoyed seeing the animals that were out. So many were inside because of the cold weather but it gave us lots of time to sit and watch the gorillas, elephants and penguins. The boys were stoked to have lots of time with the snakes and lizards too. 🐍🦎🐟🐠🐘🦏🐆🐒🦍

    Tiredness continues to be present and I’ve snuck a nap when possible but overall I’m not as exhausted as I’ve been with previous pregnancies (yet!). My main complaint is that I am still always so darn cold!!! I can hardly get warm, so I’m always sitting with a large comforter blanket and wearing a sweater or bathrobe to warm up. 

    That’s about it folks. I have been hoping to get around to writing an update for each of the boys. Hopefully soon! Lots of fun stuff going on with each of them. Everyone is getting so grown up! 

    Dear God, thank You so much that we got to hear this tiny baby’s heartbeat! Please help everything to go well with this pregnancy and for the ultrasound to be encouraging. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

    12-31-18

    Today we woke up at 6:10am and got ready and woke the boys, then we drove an hour to DH’s cousin’s house to drop of Tru and Levi while we drove another 40 minutes to the Dr. 
    Zane had a rough night and didn’t sleep much (or let us sleep) so he rode along with us to the appointment. We got there over half an hour early, so we sat in the car for awhile and I tried to get warm. I have been soooo cold lately! It’s like my internal thermostat is completely out of whack. 

    But anyway, the dr ended up running a bit behind, but by and by we finally got called back and the ultrasound started. 

    It was a student doing the ultrasound and he wasn’t nearly as practiced at it as my regular Dr, which made for a very tense moment when he started measuring before telling me he saw a heartbeat. 😌 But sure enough! Baby is measuring exactly on for dates at 6w5d and the heart rate was 132. 🙂 

    Unfortunately, (ugh!) I do have a SCH a.k.a. subchorionic hematoma. I’m not sure the exact size. I *think* it was 10×7? I’m guessing that’s mm. The dr said that I might very well experience bl******. I’m not at all ok with that so I’m PRAYING it will just absorb. I had one with Zane that was much smaller and below the sac and thankfully it just absorbed. I sincerely hope this one will be kind and go away quietly and without drama. 😉 

    After the ultrasound, we picked up the boys and took them out to eat and then went shopping and bought them their first belts. They seriously were more excited about that than half of their Christmas presents. 😂 I’m thankful for a good day and an (overall) good ultrasound. 🙂 

    Dear God, thank You for each day of positive news and success in this pregnancy. Please don’t let anything bring harm to this precious baby. Protect its life according to Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen. 
    Edit 1-1-19
    I emailed my regular RE today to ask him his opinion on the SCH since the dr yesterday didn’t give us too many details. He said it is hard to say how risky this is, but we should check it again next week and see what it’s doing. He said light activity, pelvic rest and no lifting over 10lbs. I’m glad he gave me more information since this is so much bigger than the one I had with Zane. Hopefully it just goes away! 

    I’ve been waiting to post this and I think now is the time. I also have a few more posts that need to be uploaded but they will be retro-dated so as not to blow up your newsfeed. 



    12-11-18


    I’m not ready to share this news just yet, but I’m typing it up now while it’s fresh in my mind.


    This cycle has been one of the unlikliest months in quite some time for us to get pregnant. We started the cycle out with a cold, then Levi had a stomach virus, then we caught another even worse cold. I did use OPKs but only had one that was just barely positive on cd19. I also felt a pain in my left ovary that day but it wasn’t as bad or as long as my typical ovulation pain. We hadn’t BD since CD17 and I was fairly certain we’d be too tired that night, so I decided not to worry about it. It would be well past 6 hours after the ov pain before we would go to bed anyway and everyone says the egg starts to disentigrate after 6 hours. And also it takes awhile for the sperm to find the egg. Anyway, we did end up being in the mood. 😉 So, when 9dpo rolled around (when I typically test so that I can start progesterone if its positive), I wasn’t even sure I needed to test. And as I suspected, the test was negative. I hadn’t even taken my Lovenox shots this month because my chances were so low that it just seemed a waste. (I am always on low dose aspirin though.)

    
    
    
    
    Well, I woke up for church at 11dpo and as I was getting ready, I took a test. I went on getting ready and finally realized I hadn't checked the test. I thought to myself "Not like I really need to. It's just a formality." But what was that? Was that an evap? An indent? Was there any pink there at all? I texted my bff (but couldn't send her a pic because the NOT line wouldn't show up at all, even inverted) and I told her not to get excited and that I'd buy some real tests after church. This was just a $0.20 internet cheapie, afterall.
    
    
    
    
    That afternoon we went to drop our boys off at my parent's house and pick up my younger siblings to take them laser tagging. I popped into the bathroom to take a test real quick before we left, just in case. I just about passed out when I saw the faint second line. I pulled DH into the bathroom (he had no clue about the first test) and he couldn't even look. He was just a nervous wreck. I was shaking like a leaf and giggling like crazy. So he took my siblings to laser tag and I stayed at my parent's house and sat on the couch shaking and trying to act normal. *Note: No matter how many times I get a positive test, I am always a bundle of nerves.*
    
    
    
    

    The faint Dollar Tree test I took after church. At first glance, it almost doesn’t even look positive. But it’s there on the left! 

    I thought I'd cleaned up the wrappers from the test (Actually, I took a second one. Hey, they're only $1.) but I accidently left the plastic on the bath and my mom found it. Lucky it was her who found it and not one of my siblings because I was not ready to share the news. 
    
    
    
    
    So, we got home that evening and the tests were so faint that DH wasn't really sure they were real. Therefore I set off for the store and bought a digital. I dipped it and capped it and then sat on the couch next to him to wait the agonizing 3 minutes for results. There was that word! "Pregnant" 🙂 I just couldn't stop laughing! DH kept saying "We're gonna have to buy a 5 bedroom house!!" 
    
    

    So much more official than a faint line!

    The next morning I took another of the $1 tests and it was much darker. I called the Dr's office and they sent in lab orders for hcg and progesterone. I didn't get the results back until the next day (today). My test this morning showed some progression, so I hope that everything is well in there. My beta at 12dpo was 28 and progesterone was 14.7 - both a bit lower that my Dr's office would like to see initially but it's early and may well be fine.

    Progression... The 12 dpo test was with a beta level of 28. Which means the day before was probably much less. $1 tests for the win!

    
    
    Thankfully I have a bottle of PIO leftover that is unexpired, so I was able to start PIO injections today at 13dpo. I started Lovenox on Sunday morning as soon as I had the first faint test. I figured I shouldn't wait as I should have been taking it anyway. So, that's the story for now! I go again tomorrow (Wed) Lord willing for a repeat beta and progesterone and again on Friday.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I am so thankful and honored that the Lord has blessed us so abundantly to have the excitement of this tiny person growing inside. I hope and fervently pray that this will be our fourth take home baby and the answer to Truett and Levi's prayers at night. 🙂 This is our 7th cycle (although 1 was annovulatory and 1 had a luteal phase of only 5 days) over the last 9 months that we have been TTC. Since my cycles have been long, we've had less chances than months. I can't get over how quickly it happened! I am so thrilled and I just hope and pray I get more good results tomorrow. 🙂 
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    			

    12-29-18 — 6 Weeks 3 Days


    The day after tomorrow (New Year’s Eve!) is our ultrasound appointment, Lord willing.  I can’t believe how fast the time has went by. Usually it just drags on and on but I’m so busy, I hardly have time to think about it. If I do dwell on it, I feel a little nervous, to be honest. 

    Definitely feeling the morning sickness. It’s actually been sort of ok in the morning as long as I hurry up and eat something. But boy, 10am onwards is much more queasy with waves of full-on nausea. I’ve been getting by with b6 and unisom (doxylamine succinate) but the last 2 days I’ve had to give in and take a half dose of zofran so I can function enough to take care of the kids and actually get off the couch. The rest of the day is nauseated but evening (as usual) is typically the worst. Which is good because DH is home a lot of the time by then and I can rest! My bff sent me some natural ms remedies to try. THANK YOU J! They do seem to help, if I use them before the nausea gets out of hand. 

    Other symptoms include:

    •  Exhausted, as in, I just want to live on the couch. Current fantasy is me checking into a hotel ALONE and sleeping with absolutely no sense of time. Then eating and going to sleep again. Ya, I know… Lame. 

    • peeing all the time

    • super thirsty (hence the peeing)

    That’s pretty much it. I’ve lost a couple pounds, which is fine because I have plenty to spare. I weighed about 152-153. I’m currently 150. My go-to foods are definitely carb related but my appetite is super small. Everything sounds gross for the most part but salty stuff sounds better. Celery, granny smith apples, ravioli and lemon water are all acceptable for now. Orange essenced seltzer water is also ok. 

    Over the Christmas parties, I found it necessary to break the news to a few more people. The bloating was UNREAL (but it’s gone now) and as soon as my sister saw me, she could just tell. I wanted to tell her anyway since I barely ever see he in person since she moved away. I told my others sisters too so, my sisters know. I told my dad. We told DH’s Grandma and she yelled the news at the entire family. Lol… It’s ok. I still have 2 relatives I have to tell before the news becomes public. This is always hard because they have been struggling with infertility for 18 and 8 years… There’s no gentle way to break the news. That’s why I’m waiting till after the ultrasound to tell them but definitely telling them before it leaks out. 

    Anyway, yeah… Not much else to update at the moment. Just hoping and praying for a good ultrasound appointment and getting the loan processed for the land we are trying to buy. It’s been hard working with the banks through the holidays but we’re getting there! 

    Dear God, thank You for this unique time in my life to be so busy but so blessed. Thank You for choosing to bless us with this experience again. Please protect and keep this little one healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

    12-23-18 — 5 Weeks 4 Days 

    
    
    
    

    At 5+2, the occasional queasiness in the evenings gave way to an occasional wave of nausea. As of now, I wake up in the night queasy. In the morning I’m queasy. And throughout the day I am queasy with waves of more intense nausea. 

    Yesterday was super rough. We were supposed to go to my In-laws’ house at 4:30pm for Christmas. I woke up around 8-8:30am and noticed some aching pain in my right side, low in my abdomen. Throughout the day it would ossilate between dull aching and sharp pain that would radiate through my back and down my leg. It felt a lot like an ovarian cyst. Then I started having a lot of cramping across the lower front of my belly. This is super common in early pregnancy, for me at least. The cramping alone wasn’t concerning. But the worsening pain in my side was. So finally at almost 2pm, I decided to drive to the ER to get checked. I made DH stay home with the boys so he could take them to his parent’s house for Christmas. I absolutely did not want them to miss out on the fun with their grandparents and cousins etc. 

    By 5pm, the ER had run bloodwork, urine tests and done an ultrasound. The bloodwork was good. No sign of appendicitis. They said the ultrasound showed a pregnancy in the uterus. I don’t know if they saw a baby but it’s still so early, they might not have. There was a gestational sac and yolk sac. I’m not sure how they measured but I can’t tell you how relieved I was to know that it was not ectopic. Obviously that was my primary concern as I’m at the point in pregnancy where an ectopic may start to show symptoms. 

    The urine test showed a UTI. I should have known! In fact, 2 nights before I had woken up with pain and burning but it went away during the day so I figured it was fine. That doesn’t explain the pain in my side, although UTIs do cause me to cramp. So they sent me home with an antibiotic and I was able to get to my In-laws’ house just an hour late. 

    Naturally, I told DH just to tell them the truth when they asked where I was. So they know my secret now and I’m fine with that. 😉 I’d still like to wait until we have a good ultrasound before I tell the rest of my family. 

    Thankfully the pain has been gone so far today. It was there all yesterday evening but finally calmed down when I went to bed. For now I’m just taking it easy, drinking lots of water (still have super thirst!) and taking my medicine. Hopefully I am well all through Christmas with no more drama! 

    I have been so chill this time compared to my other pregnancies and I just REALLY want to be able to keep feeling relaxed and happy about the whole process. I’m glad it was *just* a uti. Something I have lots of experience with and nothing to get too worried about. 

    Dear God, You gave life to this tiny person inside me and You know what they need. Please continue to protect and sustain them according to Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    Some people will hate me for this post and I debated even posting it because of that. But I do ask that you don’t post any mean comments. They will be deleted. Feel free to disagree, but please be kind and respectful. This decision is plenty hard enough… Harder than I ever thought it could be. And not just for me, but also for my children. 

    We have decided to rehome Rocky. I talked at length with the woman from the shelter where we adopted him and she said we will find Rocky a home in exchange for adopting a dog that will suit our family better. Until they have a dog available that she thinks would be good with kids, we will keep Rocky so he isn’t living at the shelter. I absolutely do not want him to spend any time there at all, if possible. Other dogs stress him out very badly. I sent her pictures and she was showing them to a man who was looking for a dog like Rocky. I’m waiting to hear back from her. 

    We adopted him from the shelter on Jan 26th this year. Almost a whole year later and things just keep getting worse between the kids and Rocky and us. He was a puppy when we got him and we had thought that surely him growing up with our kids would be the ideal situation and he would be a great family dog. And at first, he was! He adored Tru most of all and they did so well together. My kids are very good with him, having been around dogs since they were born. No eye poking or tail pulling happening here! But unfortunately, Rocky’s temperament as he has grown up is vastly different than his puppy self and at this point, the kids are unable to play with Rocky much at all, although they still love him.

    He’s a sweet dog and VERY smart. I’ve literally never met a smarter dog. He’s also very pretty with his markings. He’s everything I want in a dog as far as smarts and looks… He’s just adorable. Unfortunately though, as he’s gotten older, I just can’t trust him around the kids. He is extremely hyper and unpredictable. One minute he’s sitting there and the next he’s knocking the kids down and absolutely will not stop jumping and lunging, even when we try to stop him. Could he be trained and this problem fixed? I think absolutely so! I have spent hours upon hours reading articles on training and spent countless hours working on training Rocky. He learns everything quickly… Except the things I need him to learn. If I could hire a trainer, I 100% absolutely would. But that is not even remotely possible financially, which is so hard to accept. (Side note: it would be really nice if trainers would make their services affordable for the average person. $2,000+ for a few one-on-one sessions is absolutely not reasonable. I’m sorry.)

    On top of that, Rocky has a bit of temper than scares me. And I think he knows it. Ever since he was a puppy, he will growl when he doesn’t want to do what we tell him. For example “Go in the kitchen.” *Growl* When he was small, I thought it was odd but maybe just his little thing he did and no problem. But as he’s grown, it makes me very uncomfortable. I’m not super concerned for myself, but I don’t like that behavior around my small kids. 

    The great thing about Rocky is, he’s an awesome watch dog! The day we brought him home, we could already see he was good at that as he was immediately watchful and protective. This is a good thing in most cases and something that I had actually hoped for. However, when we have people over, Rocky does this high pitched bark and growls and lunges at them. We tell him it’s ok but he doesn’t calm down. So we have to put him in his crate… Rocky is big enough at 45 pounds and extremely strong. He could do very serious damage to someone. Like I said, great for scaring off a burglar. But extremely scary when he was growling and lunging (and I could barely hold him back) at my sister and niece. 

    Which brings me to his anxiety. He hates the crate for any purpose other than sleeping (he sleeps in it at night, door shut and everything, NO PROBLEM). He cannot be crated when we leave the house though because he will pull on the wires of the crate with his mouth and actually pulled the front of the (I bought the *heavy duty* metal!!) crate inwards when we left him for just one hour. We tried all the crating tips, gave him lots of treats and toys in the crate etc. But as soon as I walk to the door, he flips out and doesn’t stop till I come home. We have tried treating his anxiety with over the counter measures. Benadryl does calm him a little. Melatonin helps a ton! But it’s never going to cure the separation anxiety. Which I find odd because Rocky doesn’t even seem that attached to me in general, until I try to leave. 

    And 1 final point, which is huge, but not enough reason to rehome a dog…. He is still not reliably house trained. That is to say, he IS house trained when he wants to be. But after a period of no accidents – even a couple weeks, he will start going in the house again. Generally he will just stand there and pee, looking right at us, and then run to the door to be let out. It’s aggravating to no end and I cannot find a way to stop this because I don’t understand why it happens. 

    So basically, if I had the tools and the support of a trainer, Rocky could probably be our forever dog. I’m sure we could help his anxiety and teach him to be calm with our guests and dependably gentle with the kids. I’m sure we could eventually get him to a point where he doesn’t pee all over the house or chew on the furniture or shred the rugs (despite the multiple Kong toys and bones and chews laying EVERYWHERE!) and I believe we could coexist just as peacefully and easily as we have with our previous dogs. But unfortunately, that’s not even an option for us to work towards that point and eventually I realized that it’s not fair to us or to Rocky to try to force a relationship that isn’t working. We don’t or at least shouldn’t, do that in human relationships, so why do we do it with dogs? I truly believe Rocky’s ideal home would be a single-owner or maybe a couple. Definitely with an assertive but adoring owner. No other dogs or cats. (He ran away a few days ago, as he does every chance he gets, and he brought home a LARGE opposom that he killed. He doesn’t like other animals and has made that very clear on our walks. Which is, in my opinion, a normal trait for a dog. But I wouldn’t want someone’s pet to get hurt or killed.) 

    Anyway, all this is so much harder than I thought it would be and I just wish wish wish we could make it work and keep Rocky. I’ve really grown to love his good qualities and I guess it’s just hard to give up the relationship that I had hoped for with him. I know he will make the right owner so happy and that they will be able to give him a good life. And I so hope that whatever dog we end up adopting will be perfect for our kids. 

    So, turns out that the loan officer who helped with our loan for our house almost 7 years ago is a crap ton busier nowadays. DH has been trying to contact him all week and has talked to the assistant (who knows absolutely nothing, apparently) multiple times but still hasn’t been able to get the actual loan officer on the phone. It helps that the LO covers two bank branches. And that we are coming up on 2 major holidays. 🙄 *sigh* It’s fine. I just really want to get the ball rolling since we only have just so much time in our contract and so much we need to get done in the meantime. Like having the septic at the new property inspected. And we still don’t know what kind of loan we can get because the house that is currently on the land is uninhabitable and we have to remove it before building. Which means we won’t be able to qualify for a conventional loan. Maybe a land loan? But that will require a seriously hefty down payment. We just really need to hear all our options and get the process started! 

    All that aside, I have almost everything ready for Christmas. We didn’t decorate this year because, toddler. As it turns out though, Zane has hardly bothered the trees at any of our relatives houses. He broke one ornament on my MIL’s tree, but hasn’t bothered them otherwise. So, I think I’m actually going to put up our mini tree this weekend so I can put the boys’ presents under/around it. I still have 4 people I need to buy for. (I know. Absolutely ridiculous!) I have never in my life been this ridiculously behind. Thankfully, 3 of them are kids. Which makes it easier in my opinion. 

    My SIL and I are planning to go to a painting party this weekend for DH’s Aunt’s birthday. I’m looking forward to it. I’m not naturally very creative but I think this is going to be really fun. 🙂 If it turns out, I’ll try to remember to post a picture. If it doesn’t, I’ll still post a picture so you can all laugh. 😂 

    I’m slacking on exercise. I was doing AWESOME a month ago but I’m all like “I’m so busy… Excuses, excuses… Blah blah blah” now. 😏 I did get in one day this week, plus a walk. I really need to stay motivated! It’s so cold guys!!! ❄️❄️❄️☃️🌬️

    Starting today, DH is working some split shifts here and there, so he goes into the office for 4 hours, then works from home 4 hours. In theory, I want to love this. But I’m not real confident in my skillz at keeping 3 young kids quite while he’s on the phone. 😱 I’m super happy he gets to drive home while it’s still light out. 🙂 

    Anyway, I’m going to quit procrastinating and go pick away at my ever growing to-do list. Throw some motivation my way! 

    remi

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