Quarantine Check In

I have been wanting to write for the last few weeks that we have been under this stay at home order, but the right words just won’t come to me.

That sums up this time in “quarantine” fairly perfectly. I have wanted to do many things but I either don’t have the energy or time to complete any extra tasks or activities.

But this morning it is all hitting me. I am working so hard to keep my company alive, to keep my children alive, to keep the world we once knew alive.

But I am struggling. Thats something really hard for me to say, because I believe that people should help themselves to change and enrich their life, but with everything happening right now that isn’t a choice.

I can’t someone make more to help my family. I can’t change directions to help my family. I just need to struggle through with less. And strive to not lose all that we have built.

I just don’t know how, yet.

Social Distancing doesn’t mean don’t help

I was at the store yesterday to restock a few things, baking with 10 kids is running down my flour and sugar fairly quickly, and encountered a woman who was trying to help an elderly gentleman get into a pickup truck. My sister and I were parked right next to them, so we stood back to give them both appropriate space, you know the minimum of 6 feet, and feel like they had the grace to take their time.

As I was watching, I realize that they are struggling. Getting the weak older man into the truck was far more than the woman had bargained for.

I decide to step in and offer assistance. I am certainly strong enough to be helpful. Initially the man didnt trust my strength, and was getting more and more frustrated at his situation. As my sister ran into the store to try and get more help, person after person were walking by, averting their eyes, not inclined to help.

I get it. We are supposed to be staying away from others. I was risking being contaminated and risking contaminating these strangers. It could mean something catastrophic later. If any of us are infected or carriers.

But none of that seemed like a good enough reason to leave two humans standing there to struggle and fend for themselves when I was perfectly capable of easing the situation.

We ended up using one of the buckets I had purchased that day as a stool, and heaved the man into the truck where he could finally rest and relax for a moment.

The woman, who I feel must have felt desperate, hugged me. In this time of fear where we are told to distance ourselves this stranger hugged me.

It made me wonder how many others have bee. Passed by that could have used a little assistance because we felt it was better to stay away.

I, for one, will not be standing back and ignoring those around me if/when they may need some help. If I am capable I will do what I can. Because that is what makes us a community. It’s what makes us not just people, but good people. I would urge the all of you to do the same.

Life feels good today

This week has been a hectic one. Started with two days of newspaper deadline, then delivery, and now trying desperately to play catch up with all of the chores that go to the wayside while I make sure that papers get done and go out.

But right now I am ‘fighting’ with kids to clean their rooms, folding the massive amount of laundry so it can get put away, and have already cleaned out and scrubbed the garage to move the new turkeys to their temporary spot.

But somehow today I feel content. I dont feel the usual anxiety and stress. I may be fighting but I am not yelling or getting worked up. I still mostly feel calm.

I just looked up to see this and realized today I am allowing them to all feel this calm. I wish that every day I could feel this so that i could be this person i am right now.

I am going to keep working towards that.

On the inside…

For several days now I have been putting on a face. I have been going through the motions and holding life together.

There are children to take care of. A business that needs run. A puppy that still needs love and an old man dog that still matters.

I Am moving forward as fast as I can so that I dont have a moment to think about what has transpired the last week and a half.

But then my 3 year old daughter came up to me. She was doing her chore, feeding the dogs. And she started getting very upset because the third dogs dish wasnt out.

I had to tell her we didnt need that one and to just fill the other two. She started crying. So I bent down and hugged her. She was crying as she said “I just miss Obi so much.”

It makes me wonder, am I doing the right thing by trying to move on and distract myself? Am I teaching them an appropriate way to grieve?

And as I was driving to have dinner with friends I saw myself. Looking “normal” and I felt pretty.

But in that moment of seeing myself I had the opportunity to think. And I just wanted to cry. I feel like I lost a baby. I know it’s not the same, but it feels the same to me.

Broken and Broken

In my previous post I introduced you to Obi. A 16 week old english bulldog. But to really understand where are hearts are I have to tell you about D’artanian.

This was the little guy we had our hearts set on as a play mate for Cornigail. They said he was sweet, spunky, and one of the best pops the breeder had encountered. However, we werent able to get him right away and a terrible accident occurred. An older. Blind bulldog mistook the puppy for another animal and mauled him. He didnt survive.

But we still went and got Cornigail. It became clear to us that she wanted a dog companion to play with, wrestle with, be with. Dundee, being 14, was not interested in that role.

It took weeks to find anything that we were even remotely interested in. Then comes this guy….

Honestly, I was more interested in his brother, but I couldnt afford him. I had to work extra to afford him. He is a special color. But if I was able to breed him to Cornigail in the future I could maybe make the money back.

The breeder said he was ridiculously sweet. Exactly what I was looking for. So we decided to go for it.

When we picked him up we had some initial misgivings. But he had been in a car for 4.5 hours. So we gave the benefit of the doubt.

We got him home and the concerns increased. His hind legs seen to be faulty. The more we watched him and tried to take him outside the more we realized he is completely incontinent. He literally cant tell when he needs to pee or poo and cant help but leak both constantly.

I scheduled an appointment for him to go to the Vet where we found out he has a degenerative biological defect. His pain will only increase as he grows. He will never get better.

So after only a few days with this amazing puppy we, along with the breeder, must make the agonizing choice to put him down.

As you can imagine our family, our children especially are devastated. I had done research, spoke with several breeders. Thought I had chosen well.

Turns out that the breeder had utilized a stud that hadn’t had the full spectrum of tests or had inaccurate health tests. This is why english bulldogs can be so expensive and why it is important to ask hard questions. I had, and still ended up in this situation.

We are grateful for the time that we have shared with him. Happy that he was able to have a family that loved him, even if it was only for a short while. And devastated at our loss.

Goodbye sweet boy.

Welcome to the Ranch

Well… we decided we were done having kids. Four is enough for us. But it turns out we werent done adding to our family. Meet Cornigail, our 9 week old english bulldog.

She is sweet and snuggly, and a little quirky and sassy. She is a beautiful blue fawn color. She is finally adjusting and getting to like her time outside. Loves squeaky toys and falling asleep in your lap.

Meet Obi Wan Kenobi, or Obi. He is 16 weeks old. A special color in the bulldog world being a lilac tri merle. He came to us after much searching and the loss of a different pup we had chosen.

With things outside on hold for a while, but the kids still wanting animals and all the experiences that come with that, we decided as a family to try our hand at bulldog breeding. It will be a while before we get to that, but right now we are enjoying (and stressing some if I’m honest) over adding these two to our family.

More on Obi Tomorrow.

This has been a rough week

Let me start by saying, although I am going to limit this post to the happenings of the last week, my family has had multiple sicknesses go through our home since Thanksgiving.

One week ago I thought we were all on the mend. The bigger girls seemed like they were finally feeling better and would be able to return to school after being home for a week with influenza b.

Then lincoln woke early from a nap screaming. He was inconsolable. My mom suggested taking him to a doctor, because he is usually a very happy baby.

When we were finally able to see the doc at the closest minor emergency we found he had a double ear infection. The tylenol he had been taking for the flu was masking the infection, but it was too bad for tylenol to continue covering up.

The next couple of days were difficult. Lincoln didnt want to take the medicine. He just wanted to be held. And it was deadline at the newspaper. With everyone being sick the last week I was already horribly behind. And Ben was out of town.

So when the weekend came, I was hoping to try and catch up. However, Ben had found the desk he had been searching for second hand to put together his new Mayors office. So he spent the morning in Clarkston while I wrangled kids and worked.

My sister was kind enough to take the kiddos for a while so I could focus, but then Ben returned with his desk. So we went to city hall to set everything up. This ended up taking 4.5 hours due to lack of keys to remove a door post blocking our ability to move the desk inside.

After staying up late the night before to work I was exhausted Sunday. But I still had lots more to do. Ben was home to spend time with the kids while I tried to hammer through the papers. And did I mention I also needed to get flyers for the local school levy to the post office to be mailed?

However Ben became very sick. Since he was scheduled to go out of town the next day the kids and I tried to let him sleep as much as possible. I was up late again trying to get through the papers so Ben could edit before leaving the next day.

While I was working that night I recieved a message from a breeder we were getting a puppy from. We spoke Monday morning, where I was informed that there had been a horrible accident and my puppy had been mauled by another dog.

Needless to say it was very difficult to focus on my job and get the paper completed for print. Somehow I was able to get both papers done, all the children are healthy, and we are through deadline ready to tackle delivery and whatever else life brings.

Might Be Goodbye…

For the last 13.5 years I have had the pleasure of being dog mom to the most incredible animal I have ever met.

Dundee at 6 months old

Dundee is an Australian shepherd. From the moment I first tussled my hands in his fluffy hair I was entranced by him.

He has been by my side pretty much ever since. As a companion, comfort, urging me to play. He has also been the best dog to all four of our children. Allowing them to lay on him, ride him around, hug him, and generally be irritating. He has tolerated every moment with grace until the opportunity to quietly remove himself to my side has come.

Now, at almost 14, we are awaiting test results to decide what my be the most heartbreaking thing I will have to do. He is going blind, going deaf, has the onset of Cushing’s disease(a tumor is pushing on his pituitary gland causing excess hormones wich are making him go bald, want to eat more, be really thirsty all the time, and urinate more frequently)- all of which he could live with comfortably.

Dundee today, at almost 14

However he has lost 25 pounds since his last appointment. I am praying the test results show a reason, because the alternative would be a mass blocking his ability to properly digest his food.

I have said all of that to say, I really hate being in limbo. I hate not knowing and not being able to process. The fear of the unknown, especially with those I love.

I hope to have more time with him, although it may be selfish on my part. We have had a wonderful run together, but I am not ready to say goodbye yet.

School is in for 2020

This winter break has definitely had it its ups and downs. We have had lots of playing and fun. Some stress, some family time, some presents, and accomplished some chores at the house. We also had a stomach bug make it’s way through all six of us, which was not fun.

The girls were really excited to be healthy and going back to school this morning. They went to bed pretty instantly last night and were excited to see their friends.

But this morning I was finally let in on the ideas of grandeur for their back to school images for the day. Both wanted dresses, sweaters, hair done, and heels. They also wanted to bicker with each other…. about everything.

I quickly put away the heels, which are not appropriate for school and went about hustling them to get through the the list they wanted to accomplish to be ready for school today.

Had I known each was going to want a crown braid….and curls….and bows I probably would have woken them up earlier. It’s late start and we could have had time.

As it was, not knowing, I did my best to accomplish each child’s requests.

To say the very least it was a rough morning. Babies wanted to sit on me while I was trying to manipulate peices of hair into a crown braid on one child. She cried and whined the entire time, because she wouldnt sit still and kept pulling her own hair. But she wanted the braid.

The second child wanted a similar crown braid, but with hair left down so it could be curly. However I only had 10 minutes before the bus was supposed to be here.

I hurried as best I could finished just as my phone notified us the bus was around the corner. We barely threw on shoes and coats in time to run outside as the bus was pulling in the driveway.

It’s only 9:00 am and I already need a nap for the day.

This is Why

Most days I dont feel like a person, nor do I look like a person. I am in shambles, barely getting dressed. There is brushed hair up out of the way. That is the norm.

I wanted to look and feel like a person today, so I decided to actually do something with my hair. It took 10-15 minutes to curl my hair.

In that time the two babies were coming in and out of the bathroom, driving me crazy because I was worried they would get burned or I would get burned.

I finished just as celaena came running to tell me Lincoln had dropped my laptop. Aahh!!

It seems to still be working. It wont close properly, but seems to be working.

So, I wont be trying to do anything with myself for a while. Everyone please pray Ben can fix the damage.