My new running partner!!

I did it! I got a dog. A big beautiful 13 month old yellow lab. He's wonderful, smart, and everything I hoped he'd be :)

As I mentioned previously, we adopted him from Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Here is a picture of the trio first meeting him! He took to them SO QUICKLY and they loved him from the get-go! But who he really loves is ME Kiss I sat down on the ground and he climbed right in to my lap and began to give me wet slobbery dog kisses. I normally hate that from my dogs, but there is just something special about this dog. After a conversation with one of his trainers, we learned what his "issues" were, I took him for a walk and in about 30 minutes we all decided that he was a perfect fit for our family!

He's 13 months old, his name is Matthew (not sure if we'll be changing it) and he weighs 80 pounds. He's a big dog and going to get bigger and I LOVE IT!! If you remember from my earlier post, SE Guide Dogs has VERY strict standards for their guide dogs. Matthew had 2 issues that prevented him from going forward with the guide dog training. 1) easily distracted by squirrels and 2) doesn't like other dogs getting up in his business. In other words, he's the dog version of my son. Wink Both of those issues cause him to lurch when leading, so he flunked out of leader training! LUCKY US!!

They gave us a list off all the commands he knows (come, sit, stay, heel, go busy, down, etc....) and said he had no issues with the water meaning that he won't go crazy trying to break through the gate to go swimming in our lake, nor will he be too timid at the beach dog park. But he won't be going there anytime soon. I have to work with him on those personal space issues with other dogs. When he got home he explored every inch of our fenced in backyard. We have about 1/3 of an acre fenced, so perfect for a busy dog!

They also told me he hadn't been trained to play fetch. I knew that was going to be my first task when we got him home. Haley taught him and it seriously took 1 throw. Tongue Out

Last night I took him on a little test run and he did great! SE Guide dogs mentioned that he wasn't used to heeling right next to someone because he was on a puppy lead (the blue strap around his chest in the pic above) and they are trained to walk in front of their person. I got him a new collar and began training him right away how to heel next to me, and he caught on like no one's business! We'll practice again today, but I fully expect he'll have it down by the end of the week. Running has to go slow, though. He's still growing and they said that until he's about 18 months old to not go more than like 3 miles with him or I could damage his growth plates. But walking as much as we want is fine, so we'll probably alternate between some run/walks while he gets used to it and gets a little bit older.

I got my dog. I am so happy.


I am the proud mom to three amazing kids.  I love them more than I can imagine, but some days they make me feel like this:

Yes, a 60+ year old man who dunks his head in a water bucket. No, not really like that. They make me feel like I am on the CRAZY TRAIN!

I gave birth 3 times in 30 months. That alone qualifies me for the crazy train. I had three in diapers for a while. Another stop on the crazy train. I was a milk making factory for what felt like forever. Crazy train. For one year I had the trio at three different schools, which meant three different drop-offs and pick-ups AND I was working full-time. Yup, crazy train. I have one daughter with ADHD, one son with more abbreviated conditions that I can list, and one daughter who knows IT ALL. C.R.A.Z.Y. T.R.A.I.N.

But none of that prepared me for the hell that is sibling fighting. It's bad, folks. It's bad. This has got to be karma hitting me upside the head good and hard for the fighting that went on between my sister and I. And we fought BAD until we were like 18 and 19.

When my kids were young everyone used to comment on how well they got along, how much they enjoyed each others company, blah blah blah. I thought "oh ya, I got this, my kids will grow up being the best of friends."

And then suddenly they weren't. My oldest daughter is constantly irritated by her younger brother. And he knows exactly what to do to push her buttons, and then she yells, then he yells, then I yell. It's a vicious cycle.

We had a long talk tonight and things around here are changing starting NOW! I am implementing a new reward system. When I catch them being good, (playing together nicely, heck even ignoring each would work!!) I'll put a quarter in this:

and when it gets enough quarters in it, I'll take them out for frozen yogurt. This has GOT to work, cause mama has to get off the CRAZY TRAIN! There are negative consequences for fighting, too. Haley has to give me $1, Ella has to give up her doll for 30 minutes, and Ronin has to play in the backyard alone for 30 minutes. Each of their punishments is tailored just for them based on what makes them tick.

I'm telling you all about this because I promised myself that when I started this blog I would be honest about the challenges that I face as I train as an amateur athlete and obstacles I encounter as an obesity survivor. I often compare being an obesity survivor to being like a recovering alcoholic. You can't take just one bite, (or one sip) and not expect some of those old feelings, those powerful feelings to come slipping back in to your mind. And yes, overeating can destroy your body and your life just like too much alcohol can. And the way these kids have been behaving has been hard on me and making me wish I had a Reeses Peanut Butter Egg (or 6) to make me feel better. But I don't keep that crap in the house, it's not good for me, and it's not good for them. So we'll reward our good behavior with FroYo. It's the obesity survivor's O'Douls.

So there you have it. I hope it works.


If you are a parent, do your kids fight? How do you handle it??