New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year when everyone pledges to what they will accomplish in the coming year. We enter the new year feeling positive and hopeful, but are we also setting ourselves up for immediate failure?

The top 10 most commonly broken New Year resolutions:

  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier and Diet
  • Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  • Spend More Time with Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less

I think the key is to make a resolution that you are passionate about. Something that you truly want to commit to, and that is reasonable for your life. If it is TOO big, or too drastic, is it really attainable? I’m not saying to take the easy way out, or to not push yourself to do and be better. I just think it is important to be honest with yourself.

Last year, my resolution was to reduce my carbon footprint. To do this, I choose a few things that I thought I could accomplish. There are MANY ways we can all reduce our carbon footprint, but here are the ways that I tried: washing clothing in cold water, stop eating beef, use reusable bags wherever possible. Removing beef from my diet was HARD…and while I did do it for a few months, I did not succeed at this one. I am going to try again this year though! I DID however succeed at using reusable snack bags (like these) in place of plastic baggies, and using reusable bags for groceries. I love when the Publix cashiers say “Thank you for using your reusable bags!” I also have almost always used cold water for laundry. The only exception has been when washing dog laundry, because I feel like I really just need that hot water to get rid of the dirt and stink! I feel like my 2019 resolution was pretty successful, and will continue to be successful because these were reasonable, sustainable changes. Here’s a great website for anyone interested in reducing your own carbon footprint: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/

So for my 2020 resolution, I have had a few ideas. Jayden has had his narrowed down for a few months. His resolution is to blow a bubble with gum. Lol! Hey, it’s doable and something he feels passionate about, so I can’t fault him! I have decided that mine will be a few things, in an effort to improve my self awareness and wellness. By this I mean, I will work on bettering myself in every way possible. I am going to be direct about things I need. Like on The Office “Cocktails” episode, when Pam says she’s going to be more direct about what she wants in life. That is how I feel going into 2020! I am going to try to not hold on to things once they have been resolved (ie. grudge holding). I am going to continue working on my bachelors degree. I am taking FOUR classes this semester. <gasp> This means I will be going to school full time, and working full time, and being a full time single mom. I am excited about these four courses though, so I know I will be motivated to get through them! I am going to make sure Jayden and I have dinner at home, at the kitchen table, as much as possibe. This allows us to have great conversations! For example, tonight we got on the subject of drunk driving (thanks to it being NYE). Jayden said that he just doesn’t understand why people would drink that much. “It might be fun for a minute, but then they throw up, and throwing up is the worst. It seems too scary to me.” #proudmommoment

Then we talked about the importance of having a designated driver, and what that committment means, as well as that at any time, anyone I love could call me and I would go pick them up vs. them risking driving, or getting in the car with someone, after drinking. We talked about the risk that people take after drinking and then getting behind the wheel, that it isn’t just their life they are risking, but also everyone else’s who is on the road. I LOVE these conversations with Jayden! I can only hope that they stick with him, and that he continues to grow and be the smartest kid around, and also that he stays safe forever from the fools out there that aren’t so smart.

So, that is my resolution. It seems broad, but that is sort of the point! I want it to be reasonable and doable. Do I want to lose 50 lbs? Ahh yeah! Do I want to buy a house? Yes please! Do I want to never raise my voice at my child or get a better job? Yep and yep! However, I also don’t want to set myself up for failure, so I think having this broad resolution with a few set goals will help me be successful in the New Year.

What is your resolution? Whatever it is, I wish you luck! Please be safe if you are celebrating, and make sure your puppies are inside, away from those scary fireworks.

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!

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Growing Up.

My son’s grandfather recently passed away, so I was looking for some old videos to give to his dad. This lead me down the rabbit hole of watching clip after clip of my perfect, chunky, babbling baby. OMG THE PRECIOUSNESS. He was SO CUTE! And ADORABLE! And PERFECT in every way.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the young man Jayden is growing to be. He is almost 14 now, stands at 5’4 and a half, has a hint of a mustache and the witty humor of a hilarious smart teenager-man-child. He is amazing, and I burst with pride that I get to be his mother.

BUT, I am also sad that my needy, dependent, “my mom is everything” child is gone. I didn’t really know how to put the feelings into words, until I came across this article:

“Your son growing up will feel like the slowest break up you’ve ever known.”

 

It perfectly describes how I feel! And I am quite sure if you are a parent of a child in the process of growing up, you will relate in every way.

When I look back at those videos and pictures of Jayden as a baby, I feel almost robbed of time. Even though I was insanely lucky enough to spend most of his first year at home, enjoying all of his firsts. Even though he is still growing, living at home, happy and healthy. I still feel like it wasn’t enough time.

When Jayden was 4 years old, his anxiety began to really show. He had severe separation anxiety, and daycare drop offs were the absolute worst. When I showed up every day to pick him up, it was like nothing else in the entire world mattered. Jayden thought I was his hero, there to save him (from a wonderful, loving daycare), and I couldn’t believe how much he loved me.

Then, I blinked, and Jayden is in 7th grade. But wait! What happened to his elementary school years? They happened, and I was there every step of the way, present and enjoying every moment. But dangit, they are gone now! I need to go back and hug that needy little boy one more time. I need to hear that sweet little voice as he runs into the living room, “Mom! Ok, I just needed to see you were still here.” I long to see him stumbling out of his room, asking to sleep in my bed “just this one time.”

I think kids change so little during the kindergarten to fifth grade years. I mean, obviously they grow and learn new things and meet new people. But they are still very dependent on their parents. We have to guide them, keep them on a routine, dictate every step of their lives. It is easy to be very present in these years, but still have them zip past you in a moment. You are moving through life, growing and guiding these little humans into good, decent beings. You focus on the good, amazing things that they are doing, and don’t realize that the child you know is about to leave. I didn’t get to say goodbye to that roly poly baby who smiled every time I walked in the room, or to the chunky toddler who loved to sing and dance and cuddle. I didn’t get to say goodbye to the quirky, awkward tween that he was, navigating life as he transitioned between child to teenager.

“You never get to properly say goodbye to all the little people who grow up because you don’t notice the growing, the changing. Except when Facebook sends you those bloody memory reminders that invariably make me cry because it’s like showing me the face of someone I can never see again. Not in that way. Not at that age.”

Take high school reunions. They are fun because while sure everyone has changed a bit, they are pretty much still the same adults that they were when you graduated. They laugh the same, their voices are the same, the faces are the same. But a child growing up moves through phases that you will never see again in that tiny human. I will never again get to hold baby Jayden, babbling a bunch of nonsense and expecting me to figure out his every need. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Kindergarten Jayden, as he successfully made it through his first year of school. I missed telling Tween Jayden that I was going to miss this weird phase of his life and that I wished I could freeze him for just a little bit more time.

As friends and family see Jayden when it’s been awhile, they all gasp, “Wow, he’s gotten so tall!” or “He looks like such a teenager now!”. And I smile, beeming with happiness and pride, but also…my soul cries a little. I am extremely proud of the young adult he is becoming. He is smart, manages his anxiety so well, he’s funny, has life goals. He happily talks about his future, and mostly prefers to be independent. There are things he can do now that I thought would never happen because the severity of his anxiety disorder. There is literally nothing else I could ask of the person he is right now. Except, to go back in time so I can get a few more baby cuddles in. Pipe dream, I know.

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Motherhood

Motherhood.

It’s a funny thing.

You would think that it would create this special bond between women who are also mothers, but I find more often than not, it creates judgement.

But it’s not just judgement of other mothers. It’s judgement of, well everyone.

I’ll see Jayden at football practice, standing waiting for the ball to be thrown to him, and I’ll think “why aren’t those little brats throwing to him?!” Jayden gets a B on his progress report, and I think “well I know what B stands for…why didn’t that B give him an A?!”

As a parent of a child with pretty severe anxiety disorder, it’s really hard not to judge everyone else in the world. I just want everyone to treat him kindly, with sincere words, and positive encouragement. All. The. Time. Is that too much to ask for?! Jeez. <insert eye roll>

So, I really have to keep my mama-bear-like mentality in check. I am so used to Jayden being afraid of EVERYTHING, and his feelings being hurt by EVERYONE, it’s as if I live on high alert defcon level 5 all the time. Funny thing is, his anxiety is finally semi-under control. He goes to weekly counseling with a mental health counselor and monthly counseling with a psychiatrist. He is on medication. He’s in a new school which is amazing. It took a LONG time to get to this. A time where I can actually run an errand and leave him at home (for a very short time but still!), a time when I can sit in the car while he’s at practice instead of having to be 5 feet away where he can see me at all times, a time when he doesn’t check on me every five minutes as if I might have disappeared from the living room. (Yep. He actually used to do that.) There are still major worries, anxious thoughts, self hating moments. For example, today’s worry was that if I dare to leave during football practice, a gunman will surely arrive and kill him, and I won’t have been there to protect him. It sounds ridiculous. WHY would that happen! But I can’t promise him without a doubt that it will never happen, so did I leave practice? No. I did not. Because even though his anxiety is much more under control, I am always waiting for the meltdown. It’s as if I have taken on the small amount of anxiety that he no longer has. I find myself thinking “what if I do leave him for 10 minutes, and something does happen to him, how will I feel!” Now if you know me in person, you know I don’t really stress about much. I am a go with the flow kind of person. I can take things in stride, figure things out later, it’ll all work out…except when it comes to Jayden.

Motherhood has made me a crazy, controlling, my way or the highway, kind of person. But, I only do it for love. (Is that what psychos say?!) I immediately judge people, when it comes to Jayden. I judge them on their treatment of him, on how they speak to him, on how they handle his little quirks (like, how will they handle him when he says things like No, I can’t use that cup because it has a straw in it, or I can’t eat that food now because the other food touched it, or there’s one cloud in the sky so a hurricane must be coming) I am the only one who knows every single thing about this kid, and can anticipate and handle his concerns, panic attacks and meltdowns. At least, that’s how I feel. And that’s how Jayden feels. He made me feel that way. Am I judging him now?! <insert another eye roll>

Life can be hard sometimes, when you feel like you are the ONLY person that someone else will ever rely on, the only one who can make him feel better when he’s having an “I’m the worst person in the world” kind of day. It’s like I can never take a break. Not a break from motherhood, I’d never want or need a break from that; just a break from holding the weight of Jayden’s world on my shoulders. (I mean, I also have the weight of Oscar’s world and Lucy’s world too…they’re real stressed.)

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When he was younger, I always just immediately stood up for him. I talked to teachers, told people what to do and how to handle him. But now that he’s older, I’m always at risk of being “so embarrassing”! So I have to stand back and wait, see if people will straighten themselves out, see if Jayden can handle the situation. GUYS. That is so hard to do! For example, he’s chatting with a group of friends, and one kid keeps hanging up on him. I hear Jayden call back over and over, “why are you hanging up on me” and then click. Of course, I immediately think “what is that little shit’s problem!” but I wait…I hear it happen multiple times. Then I walk by his room and see how defeated he looks. So I know I have to say something…I can’t say what I want to say which is “that kid must be a giant snot nosed loser if he doesn’t want to talk to you” but instead I just say “hey, if your friends are being silly, move on and do something else. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what you did wrong, because you probably didn’t do anything wrong.”

And then I judge myself. Did I say the right thing? Should I have just left it? Now he knows I was listening. Should I text the kid’s mom? That’s right, I have her number! But I wouldn’t do that…or would I?! (Don’t worry, I didn’t!)

Then I think about the card he made me for Thanksgiving, the one that says “I love you. Thank you for always helping me with my enxiety” (hey, it’s a hard word to spell!) I think about how far he’s come in the last year. I think about how often we laugh together. And then, I know, I must be doing something right.

Motherhood is judgement. Judgement of ourselves, of others, of the world. It is tiring. And crazy. It is also rewarding. Fun. Never what you expect!

But most importantly, what all of us mothers need to remember, is this…Motherhood is love.

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Change.

I haven’t written a blog in over a year and a half! Whoa. I thought I’d just quit blogging altogether, but I actually really love to write…I just have different things to write about now. So maybe I’ll still blog from time to time, though it won’t be about the rescue world so much any more.

I started a new job in June 2015, and moved in June 2016. My job keeps me very busy, and I work more than 40 hours on a regular basis, so time for the rescue stuff has been very limited. I am still a board member for Last Hope Rescue, and I still run all of their social media and adoption sites. Because I am renting a house, I don’t foster any more. I do frequently visit the local animal shelter and humane society though. It’s funny how much I miss fostering. The enjoyment of bringing a new pup into my house, introducing them to my dogs, and seeing the dog flourish and then get chosen for adoption…it does something good for my soul.

Jayden is still struggling with his anxiety. Some days are good, some are tough….every day is exhausting. I never know how he will react to things. Will he like this activity? Does he want this to eat? Will he have a meltdown because we’re having chicken again? Will he have a panic attack because there’s too many strangers around? His anxiety causes him to have very low self esteem and a lack of confidence. The only time he can just be himself, without being nervous or overly anxious, is when he plays sports. I am so thankful for that, because I know for some kids with anxiety, sports is a nightmare. But not for Jayden. That’s the only time I see him consistently act without fear.

I get asked all to often why I’m not dating, why I don’t go out more than I do…people just don’t understand. Sometimes I just want to stay home, and watch tv and not have to make any decisions. The thought of bringing someone new into our world is…not easy. I live life in protection mode, always having to explain the world to Jayden. I constantly have to be ready to handle his reactions. He can sometimes have a few weeks that are really good, and then an entire week of meltdowns, and self-deprecating thoughts. No matter how good of a day he may have, at bed time he could be crying and asking why he is such a bad kid. It’s really hard to be his mom, knowing that I can’t fix this, I can’t make him see what a smart, funny, great kid he is. No matter how often I tell him, or how often I point out the positive things, his brain doesn’t let him see it. His anxiety is unpredictable, and doesn’t get any better after he gets through a situation positively. His mind is always focused on the worst possible result, for every day, every situation he encounters, every person he meets. It’s exhausting.

That being said though, we are enjoying our new home town. We live minutes away from my parents, and Jayden loves getting to see Nanny and Papa so often. It also allows us to see my nephew much more often, since he visits my parents a lot, which is wonderful! We love being minutes away from the beach, and the dogs love their frequent visits to the ocean.

I’m not sure how often I’ll write posts…and I should probably change the name of this site, though I’m not sure what to. Anyone have an idea?! Feel free to share! 🙂 Until next time…adios!

 

 

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knock, knock…goodbye 

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written a post since March! A lot has changed! 

Dog wise…Annie completed her heart worm treatment, was spayed, and then was adopted! Her forever mama works with a lady who adopted one of Annie’s pups, so she gets to see her son often. Annie was honestly the easiest foster I’ve ever had, and she was definitely a hard one to let go. I still miss that sweet scruffy face! 

  
Before Annie officially moved out, Spike moved in. Spike is a 12 yr old doxie, who came to the rescue as an owner surrender. He was not the right fit for my home though. So he’s moved in with the rescue’s wonderful Vice President, who basically has the sanctuary dogs that are likely with us for the long haul. 

  
Then I had the sweetest little chocolate Lab mix. Jack was an 8 week old puppy, and he was adopter after only a week of being in my home. 

  
So, now it’s just the perma-pups…which is good. It’s nice to give them some much deserved  attention!

   
 Personal wise, things have changed around here too! I left my comfy cozy work-from-home job after 4.5 years, for a management position at a children’s therapy center. It was a scary change, leaving a job I knew so well and walking into the unknown… but I’m 3 months in, and I’m loving it! 

I am still very involved with the rescue, approving applications, finalizing adoptions, running the social media. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes…but I can handle it! 😉 

Then there is that kiddo of mine, always keeping me busy! He turned 9 in March, which still just seems crazy to me. Every day he’s getting more grown up, and my chubby little baby slips further away! He is very into being a man these days, and even told me that holding my hand at school is too embarrassing! Usually this would make a mom sad, but it makes me so happy that he’s showing independence. He is still in counseling for his anxiety. It’s been determined that he has general anxiety disorder, social anxiety and a touch of ocd, along with specific phobias. Some days are better than others. Fourth grade has been pretty rough so far, but his counselor is helping with that. He overcomes one fear or worry, and immediately moves on to another…which is exhausting, for both of us. He gets so frustrated that people don’t understand him; I get frustrated fighting for him. He gets his feelings hurt so easily; I get mad that someone hurt him. It gets old, real fast sometimes. But, we’ll keep working on it…because what else can we do. 

  
So, this is where I say goodbye to the blog o’sphere. The art of blogging, I think, is being consistent and frequent with your posts, and I just don’t have time to do that anymore. I hope that I’ve taught people some important information, like the importance of  heartworm prevention, the need for fostering and the amazing love of bully breeds. Thank you so much to you all for following along, reading my tales about tails, and sharing your own stories too. 

Good night & good bye! 

  
Xoxo 

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Scruffy Princess

I think most of you follow my FB page, but in case you don’t….I never announced that Sammy was adopted! It happened very quickly. A previous LHR adopter was interested in him, so I popped over to their house so they could meet him in person. It was basically love at first sight, and Sammy was their’s the next day! He is with a wonderful couple, who have a young baby girl, and their previous LHR pup is pretty much a female-version of Sammy, behaviors/personality wise! Happiness!

So moving on to the next foster….in comes this scruffy princess, Annie!

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Annie was found preggers and alone by a local vet. She held on to Annie until she had her babies and nursed them until old enough to be separated. All but one of the puppies have been adopted! Annie unfortunately has heartworms, so she’s been having to go through treatment. Luckily she is a pretty calm pup, so she’s been able to avoid full time crate rest for the most part.

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Annie is absolutely one of the easiest fosters I have, and she’s definitely going to be a hard one to say goodbye too! She’s well behaved, house trained, and loves everyone she meets, two-legged & four-legged included.

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I mean seriously people…is she not one of THE cutest things you’ve ever seen?!? I would really, really love it if someone I know would adopt her, because I just love her so much. Any takers out there? Friends? Family? She’s an awesome pup! You won’t regret it!

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Annie’s perfect home would be with someone who’s home often, and would be willing to take her wherever dogs are welcomed. She LOVES to be with humans, and expects to be nearby as much as possible. Her future home should allow dogs on beds, because scruffy princesses deserve to sleep next to their beloved humans. She is great with dogs, so she’d love a home with another furry friend…however, I don’t think this is required for her, as long as she’ll gets tons of attention and love from her people. Annie is crate & house trained, loves to chew on bones, and is freakin’ adorable. What more could you want in a dog?

That all being said, Annie is not quite ready for adoption yet. She just had her last heartworm injection last week. So, we have to give her about 6-8 weeks, and then it will be safe to have her spayed. Then finally, she will be ready to go to a forever home. If you know of someone though, that might be worthy of having my sweet scruffy princess in their home, send them our way…and I’ll consider it. 😉

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If you’d like to donate to the rescue in honor of Annie and other pups like her, we sure would appreciate it! You can donate by going to www.lasthoperescue.org and click the Donate tab!

Have a great week, friends!

xoxo

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52 Snapshots of Life, Week 13: Spring

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