Saturday, March 31, 2012

Soooo Big!

Guys, Cosmo is growing so fast! Just a few days ago I was posting about how this little cutie is too afraid go around corners or near the stairs. This morning, he managed to escape his pen yet again (I think I left an inch-wide gap somewhere), braved going up two flights of stairs, and marched into our bedroom to whine at us at 7:30am. Oh wait. Back up. Before coming into our bedroom, he pooped twice in the house (two different levels, no less!) and peed on a rug. So that was nice.

After scrubbing the carpets, Pete and I went on a run together. About five minutes into it, I started thinking I'd made a huge mistake. I had assumed that since I've been running for the past six weeks and Pete has not, that our abilities would even out. No chance. He's miles faster than me. I'd like to believe it's just the longer legs, but something tells me that the differences in our BMIs and general fitness might have something to do with it.

Needless to say, I ran a bit faster than I normally do. Five minutes toward the end of the run, I started thinking that I need to bring him more often. His presence sure pushes me!

After the run, we went to a birthday party for Pete's cousins' 1-year-old, Ethan. It was a fun time, but we ended up sneaking out early (there are only so many toy trucks and books you can ooh and ahh over). Then Pete's parents came over to our house to see Cosmo. It was Pete's dad's first time meeting him, but his mom had met him the first weekend we got him. It was interesting to hear her response to how much he's grown. Living with Little C, we don't really notice his growth. That got me wondering just how much he's changed. So I grabbed my camera to take a few head shots. Here's a "then" and "now."

 

Granted, the camera was a lot closer to him this time, so his nose looks all out of proportion...but that's a big difference, no? And it's only about two weeks later!

He's still cute as a button, but his ears are definitely taller and less floppy!

Mr. Tall Ears


And lest you start thinking he's huge, here he is at my feet. Still just a li'l guy!





By the way, I had a request for an updated picture of the wall in the backyard. Here's Pete's progress so far.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oh I Forgot

Totally forgot to mention the other day that after we brought Cosmo back from the vet, Big Boy went up and down the stairs for the first time!

We've pretty much kept him to the basement and the backyard this whole time because he was so freaked out by the rest of the house the first night we had him. We decided that he could explore the rest of the house when he got curious. Well, he has yet to get curious!

He seems to be highly suspicious of corners. So there are some spots in our basement he won't go near, like the tiny hallway that leads to the bathroom and laundry room. And he'll avoid walking near a corner at all costs. When he walks into his little room in the basement, instead of walking on the pathway between the couch and the wall, he'll go under our end table, behind the love seat, and around the ottoman so he can approach the room head-on instead of coming up to a blind corner. He's also afraid to go under the pool table. Sometimes. Other times he's fine. Here, I've drawn up a map of our basement with his "forbidden" zones and his "OK" route (I swear that I'm actually good at drawing when I want to be):


So anyway, he wasn't exploring. And when we got back from the vet, we decided to set him down in the kitchen and see how he took it. He was OK! He slowly started sniffing around and didn't die. Then, we went and sat on the stairs, and he seemed interested in getting to us, so we encouraged him and called to him and he slowly started to climb the steps! Then we had him explore the upstairs. The hallway, with all its doors, freaked him out, but then he realized he was safe and checked out each room. A little later, I sat with him as he tried to tackle going down the steps. He did one or two before getting gun shy, so I held out my arms so that he knew I'd catch him, and I encouraged him hardcore. I encouraged the piss out of that dog. He did one more stair, and then tried another and totally face planted. Cutest thing EVER.

After that trip down the stairs he decided he couldn't do it anymore. Plus, the shot he got at the vet made him very tired. So a few minutes later I realized he'd climbed back up the stairs, couldn't get down, and just fell asleep at the top. I carried him down and we were able to get him to sleep on a mat at our feet during a movie. Wish we could give him shots every day!

In other news, my brother informed me that puppy breath all smells the same because puppies release a pheromone that tells their pack that the puppy shouldn't be challenged and that he should be protected. Presh.

And my coworker Patty posted this hilarious video on Facebook. I think I'm across between the girly runner and the stiff runner!


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday

Sorry about not posting yesterday. Here’s what happened:

Monday night Pete and I brought Cosmo to the vet for a check-up and to get his puppy shots. It was the first time he rode in the car since we brought him home. He wasn’t shaking like last time, but he was very quiet and still, the way he gets when he’s scared. The vet techs at the office all fawned over Cosmo: “Well hello, Handsome!” “You’re a sweet one, aren’t you?” “Oh! What a little baby!” Then we met our vet. Love her! She was so nice and informative—knew a lot about the breed—and had a great way of interacting with Cosmo. 

Rather than freak him out by putting him on the cold table, she had Pete keep Cosmo in his arms and she examined him there. Everything checked out and Cosmo behaved wonderfully. He really took a shining to the cookies the vet fed him. We discovered that he weighs 4 pounds, 4 ounces, which is an average puppy weight for Shibas. We picked her brain about feeding schedules, puppy pad training, nipping, walking, socialization…the list goes on. Then she had me hold Cosmo while she gave him a shot. I held him because he loves me so much and I figured that if he’s a little mad at me for the shot instead of Pete, it would be OK. Maybe he’d nip me less! He didn’t even notice the shot, he was so focused on the cookie. 

The vet told us that now is the time to start socializing Cosmo to everything—pets, people, and kids. So we’re thinking we’ll probably start out by introducing him to Lafite this weekend. We’re also thinking about exposing him to some children. Pete’s cousins have a 1-year-old, but the vet said that older babies and toddlers can be rough with dogs, so we might wait until May when we can introduce him to Aubrie (my cousin Christie’s daughter). With a sweet little honey-chil’ like that, we’re supposed to start off holding him near her feet so he can smell her. Then when he’s proved that he’ll be gentle, we can bring him closer to her, but we still shouldn’t let him near her face, just in case. I don’t think Cosmo will be too terribly interested because he’s kind of an antisocial dog, but I’m still going to watch him very carefully as we introduce him to smaller people!

Anyway, after talking to the vet about his feeding and pooping schedule, we figured it would be a good idea to try to have someone let Cosmo out in the middle of the day while he’s still so young. At about 3-4 months he should be able to go the whole day. Apparently older Shibas have bladders of steel! So, since my brother Geoff checked in on Cosmo on Monday and it went so well, we asked him if he’d be willing to pay Cosmo a daily visit for a few weeks. Being the totally amazing brother he is, he agreed. They’ve been getting along famously and it sounds like Cosmo behaves for Geoff (whew!). On days when Geoff can’t make it, we’ll probably ask Pete’s Mom to stop by. Or, if it’s the summer, we’ll have my sister Abbie act as Cosmo’s governess. J

OK, moving on. Yesterday (Tuesday), I did not want to run in the morning. I woke up to the sound of rain at 5:30am and thought, “yeah, there’s no way this is happening.” I mean, it was the weather’s fault. I think. I’m not actually sure if it was still raining at 6:00am, but I do know that sleeping in until 7:30am was amazing. Then, after work, I trained Cosmo a bit, trying to teach him “Down” (he’s very, very slowly catching on). Then I put Cosmo outside so he could help Daddy re-landscape the backyard.





I had planned on running after work, but it was cool and windy and I just didn’t feel like it, so I went upstairs to blog. But before I began typing a post, I checked out this blog and I felt guilty. I had no good excuse for not running. Earlier I had told myself, “I’ll run on Wednesday,” but at that moment, I realized that I could run on Wednesday…or I could run on Tuesday and Wednesday. So that’s what I did. It was 6:45pm, and we still hadn’t even started dinner, but I got on my running gear, went downstairs and apologized to Pete. Then I ran.



Then I came home and ate the dinner Pete cooked while I was out (best husband ever) and then I cooked our dinner for tonight. It’s a curry chicken salad that I’ve made a hundred times, but this time I reduced the amount of chicken (by a lot) and subbed in a small apple and some grapes. This move was inspired by a documentary we just watched called “Forks Over Knives.” I’m not saying I’m vegan or anything, but it definitely makes you rethink the amount of animal protein you consume! Moderation in everything, I guess.

Tonight you probably won’t see another post from me because after we eat the delicious salad and play with Cosmo, Pete’s taking me to see the Hunger Games! We’re also stopping at Fleet Farm to pick up some puppy food for Cosmo (since the first stuff we bought had corn in it and apparently Shibas don’t do well with corn. Awesome.), some more training treats, and some (flavorful) chew sticks.

And that’s what’s up in my boring life. How are things for you?

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Dead Tired

Such a bad night last night. Cosmo howled all through the early morning. We resisted the urge to run to him and instead hoped he would use the puppy pad in his pen once he realized we weren't coming down to let him out. I got up at 5:30am to run and Pete (wide awake, just like me, thanks to the noise) went down to put Cosmo outside. While I was getting my running gear on, he came up to tell me that Cosmo had inexplicably escaped his pen, crapped all over the floor, and was howling because he couldn't get back into the pen (and his kennel).

Seriously, this is going to drive me nuts. HOW is he doing that??

Tonight I'm going to take a bunch of pictures of his pen and post them here so you guys can tell me what we're missing. Because it's something. Right now, my only explanation is that this puppy has found a way to shift solid matter with his mind.

By the way, despite the many lost hours of sleep, my run this morning was AWESOME. It was really, really cold to start and so by the time I got to the first 3 minutes of running, I was raring to go. It felt amazing to get my arms and legs pumping (and warm up my blood). Going uphill actually felt good because it made me so much warmer. I think another reason it felt so good to run was the fact that I laid in bed as still as possible (so Cosmo wouldn't hear me move and think I was getting up to rescue him) for soooo long this morning. Either way, this feeling was a stark contrast to the last time I ran the same route (Saturday) when Pandora decided to play some weird German techno music just as I was getting to a very nasty hill. Seriously, find me someone who wants to run to the sound of some kraut pumping out an order to "ZEIN, ZEIN, ZEIN, ZEIN!" repeatedly.

p.s. I can totally say kraut because I have some German ancestors.


UPDATE:
OK, folks. Here are the pictures. What am I missing??






Is it possible he's escaping through this tiny little gap?? It seems like it would be so difficult!
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Abbie's Portraits and Cosmo's Bath

I brought home such a haul from the swap party last night!


I got:
  • Gray envelope-neck sweater
  • Maroon light-weight sweater with a built in maroon lacy cami
  • Charcoal super soft cowl-neck sweater
  • Bright blue short-sleeved ruffle-neck shirt
  • Raspberry track jacket (perfect for early morning runs!)
  • Brown cardigan
  • Gray and sea foam yoga pants (these fit me like a glove, and hallelujah for that because my tightest workout pants are starting to fall down)
  • Red graphic t-shirt
  • Black slinky short-sleeved wrap shirt
  • Blue sweater (my new office sweater!)
  • Brown 3/4 length crocheted sweater
  • Purple and gray flower print t-shirt 

It was such a fun party. We were there, just talking, for FIVE HOURS. I was so surprised when I realized the time. Fascinating conversation!

This morning Abbie and I woke up early and, after putting Cosmo out, ran day #3 of week #3 in c25k. Then we went with Pete to church where we met Mom. We got Bruegger's and Caribou after church (worth the points) and then Mom, Abbie, and I went back to my place to play with Cosmo and take Abbie's portraits. I was supposed to take them yesterday, but Abbie wouldn't have it, so I forced her to pose today. At first she didn't wanna...


So I let her ease into it by posing with Cosmo.



 It was touch-and-go when I got her by herself...


But then she proved herself a natural!


 By far my favorite picture of the day. This is my twin. Half-moon eyes, pure joy in her face. :) 



Then Mom distracted us by playing with Cosmo...


And I realized she looked super pretty in the sunlight, so I had to take her picture...

And then it became family portrait time!





Then we played with Cosmo a bit... 



And then Mom and Abbie managed to convince me that Cosmo needed a bath. You know, because he's been so itchy lately (and not at all because they wanted to see how cute he'd look all wet, I'm sure.)


I thought Cosmo was small before, but seeing him wet made me realize just how tiny he actually is. Baby!



After his bath, we wrapped him up tight in the towel his Auntie Marily made him.


I felt soooo guilty for putting him through that!




But once he was mostly dry, he was back to his old playful self!


And, of course, the minute he was clean he decided he was exceedingly curious about the dirt Pete uncovered while shifting rocks in the back yard. Sweet.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

So Many Things!

I feel like I have so much to talk about--I'm going to have to work very hard to keep this post from getting too long-winded!

RUNNING

OK, first thing's first: it's Saturday and I have run five times this week. That means that when Abbie and I go for our run tomorrow, I'll be on workout #6 for the week. Running machine right here! Whoo!

This morning I thought I'd try moving onto day #1 of week #4 in c25k, since I feel like I've rerun week #3's workouts a billion times now. It went far better than I expected! I got winded, but I managed to keep running the entire time. I even took my last 5-minute spurt of running going uphill (Eagan has waay too many hills)! But even though week #4 is off to a good start, I'm looking forward to running another week #3 workout with Abbie tomorrow. Running with a partner is SO much better, which is why I'm also excited for Pete to join me a few times next week, as he has promised. Speaking of running partners, check out Abbie's new blog if you haven't already.


COSMO
We decided to take monthly pictures of Little C next to a beer growler. It's currently just a little taller than him and we're excited to watch him grow and tower over it!

Our pup is thriving in his new home. We discovered that he's a little sweetheart who can't stand to be without his Mommy (his Daddy vacuumed the basement a few days ago and Cosmo hasn't quite forgiven him, but they'll be thick as thieves soon enough). Seriously, some mornings I'll try to let him out and even though he's held it all night long, he can't bring himself to go outside until he's had his fill of nuzzling me. How adorable is that?

He continues to mouth hard-core. But he rarely bites down hard, and when he does, I make a loud noise ("Ow!" or a yelp) and leave the room.

And he's learning so quickly--we've only had him for a week and he's already learned his name and how to "sit." He's also completely baffled his parents by escaping almost every configuration we can come up with to keep him in his pen. First he started out crawling under the baby gate, so we put a wide board along the bottom. Then he figured out he could squeeze through the slats above the board (he did this for the first time right in front of his Mommy so he could get to her). We leaned an enormous piece of wood against the gate that was a little taller than it. Somehow he managed to get out. How? Not sure. Jumping? Levitation?

So we kept the enormous piece of wood up and stood the first board on-end, leaning it against the corner between the gate and the kennel. That seemed to keep him in last night. When he's able to get out of his pen, he'll poo as close to the backdoor as he can get. When he can't escape, he holds it, the poor guy. He is not down with using the puppy pad we've placed in the pen for him. I'm very worried about how Monday will go when both Pete and I have to be at work the full 8 hours.

He loves belly scratches. But sometimes he's not in the mood to stay for pictures, as you see...




Also, we're having a hard time getting him on an eating schedule. When we put the food down, he prefers to pick at it leisurely. We keep taking it away after about a half-hour to show him that he won't get food for a few hours if he doesn't eat it now, but it hasn't sunk in. We really want to avoid free-feeding him because that will just make it harder on his bladder and bowels when we're not there to let him out in the middle of the day (especially if he's not going to use the puppy pad). But if he doesn't eat his food in the morning, that's going to be rough on him, too. So we might just have to choose the lesser of two evils.


HOUSE PROJECTS

I realized that I never posted the "after" pictures of the two closets Pete revamped.

Office closet

Guest room closet
Shelves already full...

I also thought I'd snap a few pictures of his latest project, the crawl space.




The bricks he's laying down so our stuff doesn't have to sit on dirt

Now you can see why I think it's creepy. You can also see how much space it has freed up in the garage (these shelves used to be filled with bins).



HAIR CUT

Last night I got a hair cut. I think it's a little short--this length is too "Shirley Temple" to me, but it's nice to have short hair again!





COMING UP

Today, Abbie is coming to our house, and before we head to Julie's clothes swap party (SO EXCITED!), I'm determined to take portraits of her. As a fabulous photographer, she's captured many people on film, but rarely gets in front of the lens herself. I think it's high time someone takes a few shots of her pretty mug. :)

Look for the results of the swap party and the portraits tomorrow!

Whew! Done.
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