Meet Penny

(September 2018)

If you know me, you know I am a dog person.  Not really a fan of cats (except for my parents barn cat, Missy, coolest cat I’ve ever met).  When we had to put our last dog down, I was not ready to get another dog since I was 6 months pregnant with Dylan and we were starting to look around for a new house and I knew I wouldn’t have time for a dog.  Fast forward 3.5 years…even though we are still not done with the work around our house, the major things are done and even though our lives are pretty busy and it never seems like a good time to get a dog, it felt like it finally WAS a good time to get a dog.

We knew we wanted to get a Labradoodle and I had spent lots of time researching breeders and talking with other Labradoodle owners. We settled on which breeder we were going with and told them we would be ready after we came back from our trip to Oregon.  The day after we got home, the breeder called me and told me there was a litter that was due to be born on July 17th and would be ready to come home mid-Septemeber.  The litter would be the color we wanted (reds/caramels) and the size we wanted (standard) so we put a deposit down and waited.  The boys were SO excited and kept asking every day when we could go pick up the puppy and we started talking over some names.  Over the next couple of months the breeder would email us updates on the puppies and a few pictures. This is a picture of the 6 females she sent when they were 6 weeks old.

A week before the litter was ready to come home, we went to meet the puppies and choose which one would be ours.  We knew we wanted a female (I need another girl in this house!) Of the 6 females, we had our pick of 4 (one was already taken and the breeder was keeping one).  It was so much fun sitting in the middle of the puppies and playing with them and letting them crawl all over us and lick us, the boys thought it was pretty great too!  Right away we knew one would not be a good fit for us since she was a very timid and kept hiding behind me and I felt like our energy level with the two boys would be too much for her.  And there was one that seemed to be the other extreme, she was very hyper and all over the place, so that narrowed it down to two.  The puppies did not have names, they were identified by the color of their collar.  At this point we were looking at Orange and Red.  Both dogs were so sweet, lots of fun, had great personalities and really interacted well with the boys and us and it was REALLY HARD to decide.  That’s when we started looking at the size.  The mom of the litter was a full standard and the dad was a large medium.  Red was more on the smaller size and would be a medium sized dog, Orange took after her mother and would be a small standard.  We knew we wanted a bigger dog so that was how we chose Orange.  After the decision was made, they took our first family photo.

In the car on the way home after picking out Orange, we talked over names again.  At this point the boys had narrowed it down to 2 names: Skye (from the cartoon Paw Patrol) and Penny (a name of a pup in the movie 101 Dalmatians).  So when we left I asked them which name they wanted and all of us liked Penny the best.  Then I was thinking about it, pennies are a coppery/orange color and we choose the Orange dog so it was meant to be!

The following weekend, Justin took the boys to Jacob’s soccer game and my aunt and I drove back to pick up Penny and bring her home. We all met back at our house and spent the rest of the day playing with Penny.

Penny absolutely LOVES the water! We are always filling up her water bowl because she keeps putting her front paws in it and splashing and playing with all the water, there’s nothing left to drink. Anytime we get the hose out to water the plants, she runs in the water spray and keeps “biting” water as it comes out.  And she is totally content when getting a bath.  I can’t wait to take her to the beach!

Jacob’s teacher had asked me to send a picture of Penny after we brought her home.  So I sent her these and she put them up on the big screen in the classroom and Jacob got to tell his classmates all about Penny.  It made his day!

In Dylan’s opinion “having a dog is awesome!”

These two are two little peas in a pod.

We have been pretty much home bound until she finishes all of her puppy shots. One day I dug out my old baby carrier and put her inside and went for a walk around the neighborhood with the boys.  I was only able to do that a few more times before she got too big, so then I started using the stroller. Just a couple more weeks until we can go on a real walk!

She does like riding in the car with me when I go to drop off/pick up the boys from school.  It makes for a very loud entertaining car ride when all 3 of them are in the backseat.

We often say we should have called her grumble butt, because when she is sleeping she will stretch or roll over and she lets out this loud grumble that sounds just like Chewbacca!

Before we brought Penny home we were in a good groove, with the boys new school schedule and no major home projects going on.  We were comfortable and started having time to do more fun things, we had some good babysitters so Justin and I were able to get out more often, then we got Penny….and life instantly got chaotic again!  It is a lot like having another newborn in the house and starting all over again.  But it is so worth it!  While I was growing up, we always had dogs as part of our family, and I love that the boys will too.  It is so fun seeing the boys run around with her and our trainer has taught the boys lots of fun “games” they can play with her that are teaching the boys and Penny good behavior traits.

And those razor sharp puppy teeth have put holes in lots of pajamas, t-shirts and shorts.

And when she is calm she likes to lay in front of the gate in our backyard and watch the gardeners and golfers go by.

And she knew when she would nap under the couch she was safe from the boys.  Now she is too big to fit under there, but she still lays next to the couch and sticks her head under.

If I am being honest, life with two young boys and a puppy is absolutely insane and exhausting.  But she is the perfect addition to our family and we love her and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

School Days

(August 2018)

We had SUCH a fun summer.  It was filled with LOTS of pool time, weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the beach, Vacation Bible School, Lego Camp, and plenty of time spent with friends.  And then, just like that, summer was over…Usually, I am ready for the boys to start school and get back on a regular routine, but this year I was not.  I don’t know if it was because we were having so much fun, or if I was just not ready for Jacob to start Kindergarten, or both.

I know Jacob was ready for Kindergarten, he loves being around his friends and learning new things.  And even though I had 5 years with him at home with me, I wasn’t ready to send him to school 5 days a week.  The beauty of preschool was he got to have time at school to learn and be with friends and I got a little break, but it was only a few mornings a week and the rest of the time we had together to play, go on adventures, etc…yes, there were lots of frustrations and struggles during that time.  But there were more fun experiences and snuggles and now that he is at school full time it has really made me realize how precious the last 5 years really were.

So leading up to school starting, it was all everybody was talking about and Jacob was excited.

He was especially excited to be going to the BIG kid school where a lot of our other friends and neighbors go.  One of them started Kindergarten with Jacob as well.

And when it came time to go into the classroom, we found Jacob’s desk and got settled in to listen to a little welcome from his teacher.

Then when it came time for the parents to leave, that is when Jacob surprised me and he wouldn’t let go of me and kept asking me to stay with him.  I was not expecting that from him at all.  Of course my heart shattered in a million pieces and after I peeled myself away from him, I was able to hold it together until I got to my car where I let the tears flow.

After that first day, there was no more reluctance, but he did want me to walk him onto the playground the first week, which I gladly did.  Then he realized how much fun the car drop off is, especially since it was quicker and would give him more time to play on the playground before school starts.  So now it is a drive by, with a quick kiss while calling out to his friends from the window and drop off in front of the playground.  He has found his new groove, made lots of new friends and enjoys playing with his old friends.  We all really like his teacher and I love hearing all the stories and things he tells me about school.  One thing I was a little “worried” about was Jacob having to eat his lunch at the nut free table. Since he is a social butterfly, I knew he would want to eat with his friends.  After picking him up on the first day, the first thing he told me was his friend that he made at Vacation Bible School over the summer also has nut allergies and sits at the nut free table with him, and he was SO excited about that! And since then he has made friends with the other boy who sits with them as well.

Jacob is at a really fun age right now and I do miss him while he is at school.  But I love all that he is learning and I love that he is reading books to me before bed at night and I love the questions he asks and I love when he surprises me with the things that he knows.  And I am excited to see what these next few elementary years will bring.

Even though Jacob is at school all day, I still have Dylan at home with me.  He started his first day of 3 year old preschool the same day Jacob started Kindergarten.  He was so excited that daddy was taking him to school in his “fast car”.

Since this was his second year at his school, he had no problem easing into his new classroom and is really enjoying his time there.  I have definitely seen his independence and confidence grow in the last few months.  I think he is finding his place as his own individual at school instead of as Jacob’s little brother.  He has some new friends as well as old ones in his class. I love the bible stories he tells me when I pick him up and I love when I ask him what he made that day he tells me it is a surprise and will show me when we get home.  And on the days he does not have school, I love that he is always willing to run errands with me and when I call him my little sidekick, he giggles and says “Noooooo, I’m Dylan.”

I can’t believe how fast these monkeys are growing!

After picking them up on the first day, we went out for frozen yogurt to celebrate!

And since we are already a few months into the school year I have their school pictures to share.

And I have no idea how they got my kid to do this pose!

And even though the summer tans have faded and we miss the beach and the “lazy” summer schedule, I know it’s going to be a great year!