Friday, August 29, 2008

A Double Dose

Today was a first for Charlie. Today was/is her first sick day. She threw up earlier (I wasn't home, lucky me!) and ate grass the last time she was outside - so I'm sure she'll be throwing up later.

This was Charlie at 2pm.

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This is Charlie at the current time - 7:03. She has been sleeping since 2. My poor baby.

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In other news, I started my project today. I started painting the nightstand that I got at goodwill. It took several steps to get to now, and several hours. Let's just say I started this project around the time that Charlie fell asleep...anyway.

I started with a blank canvas. A white nightstand.

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After rigging up my contraption to project the design onto the nightstand - I made sure it stayed in place by using tape. The caption to this picture should be: "You touch it you die." This was mainly directed to Charlie. In case you're wondering, that is a projector on 2 DVDs on a box on a box.

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The next step was tracing the design onto the nightstand. It wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever done - but there was no other way.

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The paint colors are the same ones from my room. The blue from the ceiling and the brown from the walls. I looked in Dad's shop for my ceiling paint, I couldn't find it at first. But then I saw some blue paint on the outside of a can and hoped it was mine.

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Thanks Dad :)

Then - painting. I ran into a snag when I realized that the paint wasn't sticking to the nightstand. Which I knew was going to happen, but I stupidly decided to do it anyway without sanding it first. Dumb. I had already dismantled my contraption so I decided to forge ahead.

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I'm happy with the finished product, but I'll have to put a clear coat on it and hope that Charlie doesn't decide to scratch her nails down it. The paint peels right off.

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Wow - it looks way more perfect in the picture than it does in person. One side down, one to go. And I'll hopefully be doing something on the draw face too. But we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Something Else

Ok, I know it doesn't seem like it. But my life doesn't revolve around Charlie. It doesn't. I promise, it really doesn't. Ok, maybe a little. But what's the point of having a dog if you never want to be around it?

I met my Coop today for the first time, and I also got to meet my health Coop. They are great, and I'm really excited to get started, nervous, but excited. I think. I'm nervous about health classes and teaching my own PE classes, but it will be a great experience. In fact, it's the experience.

This is it, there is nothing closer to having your own classroom than student teaching. So I guess it's time to jump in the pool and sink or swim. Hopefully I'll be a terrific swimmer. For now - I'm just going to take it one day at a time.

This picture depicts how I feel about student teaching. I'm resisting, but just chuck me down anyway.

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Luckily for me, I don't have to face Day 1 until September 2nd. Yippee! Until then - its time to relax and take down the wallpaper. Which I desperately need to take pictures of and post for you all. I have the pictures - but unfortunately they are not on the computer yet. So be patient.

Charlie and I are going on an outting this weekend. West Chester has their first game on Sunday and I can't wait to go. They are going to do wonderfully, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to watching the girls play. It has been strange to not see them all the time. But I'm looking forward to being on the sidelines cheering.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Routine

I know I said I wasn't going to let her sleep with me. But, if I remember right, I said I wouldn't let her sleep with me "right away." But my girl is potty trained and amazing. And I have found that if I let her sleep with me - I get to sleep in. Which is one thing I haven't done since June 26th.

But since my bed is not very big, she doesn't last long because I want to be able to move my feet. So our night always starts the same. I climb in bed to read, watch a movie, or play Wii, while Charlie runs around to get rid of her last bit of energy.

When she is content with her level of tiredness, I pull her into bed with me and she plunks down at the end of the bed - where she remains until I decide to go to bed. At which point I pick her up, put her on the floor, and watch her walk to her crate to go to bed.

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Except for one time that she didn't quite make it anywhere. She must have been half asleep when I put her on her bed because she didn't even bother to get comfortable - she just dropped.

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Then in the morning at a time of her choosing, she sits on the floor next to my bed and whines. Then she whines some more. Then I wake up, say hello, and pull her into bed with me. But this time she doesn't just sleep - she. licks. everything. She licks my face, my arms, my hands, my pillow, my sheets, my comforter - everything she can get her tongue on.

I love this part because this is when we actually get to cuddle - she isn't big into cuddling, but in the wee early hours of the morning she does. She falls asleep with her head on my arm. She is so close that if I wanna pull the covers up - she gets covered too.

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I love this part so much that if I have to get up at 8, I'll set my alarm for 7:45 so that Charlie and I can have some cuddle time. Because as soon as she hears my alarm she is right there ready to go.

I love our new routine. It may seem like she is spoiled - but she isn't, ok she is, but not in this part of her life. I didn't get a dog to crate her all day and night. I got a dog because I love dogs, and Charlie has turned out to be exactly what I wished for.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Spoiled and Loving It

Things are a-changin. Charlie is like a whole new dog. She roams the house like it's nobody's business. The best is watching her go down the stairs from behind - it's hilariously cute. I cut her nails and beard yesterday as well. Her beard was getting a little long and I wasn't sure if that was something I would need to be attending to - but it was ugly - so I attended to it. I attended to her beard, her ears, her tail, and her eyes.

Her beard has also provided me with another nickname. The video you'll see below is My Little Bearded Lady going down the stairs. I had to race her down the stairs to get this very short video. Such a relief to have her going down the stairs - I was beginning to think she never would.

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In other news - School starts tomorrow. Boo. Which means I need to read my 75 page manual for student teaching tonight as well as get all of my junk together. Ugh. Luckily for me, Downingtown doesn't start school til the 2nd of September. So I still have this week of freedom - kinda. I'll need to start working on homework, because after glancing through my manual I realized I'm not going to have a life during student teaching. Yippee.

Aside from all the outside work and stress, I am very excited to start student teaching, but I am also very, very nervous. God plunked me down in Downingtown for a reason and I'm gonna roll with it.

At this point you might be wondering why this entry is called "Spoiled and Lovin It." Well - it's because of Mom. She went shopping with Char and came back with some goodies for the pup. Two new toys and some treats that Charlie devours in about 2 seconds.

A new Lion and Giraffe for Charlie. As well as the cigar/treat hanging out of her mouth.

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I thought I had Charlie's favorite toy pegged a long time ago with the blue elephant. But She has a new favorite. These are Mr. Potato Head shoes she found in the sandbox. If every toy is put away in her basket - this is the one she will go pick out. It was just so cute to see Charlie's shoes next to Cricket's.

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Aslo, I'd like to know when I lost my bed. If we are downstairs and Charlie is tired - she will sit at the bottom of the stairs and let me know that she is ready to take a nap on "her" bed. In fact - that is where she is at this very moment.

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So proper.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Fence

It's taken me awhile to put up these photos because (a) I was lazy and (b) we didn't have the internet. But now we do and I'm very, very excited.

So be prepared for some bragging. Dad put this fence up in one day, and a very hot day it was. If I remember correctly it was a scorcher, a 98 degree scorcher. Go Dad. It's perfect. Charlie has her own space to be when I leave and I don't have to stress about her peeing on the floor (which, by the way, hasn't happened since August 3rd, but who's counting?)

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Wow - did I just jinx myself or what - because, no lie, as I typed that last sentence - she peed on my carpet. What the heck happened? We were doing sooo good! Well, guess I'll be starting a new count. The book I read said "Don't believe that your dog is potty trained until they go one month without an accident." Ugh - September 3rd was so close. I was going to celebrate even!

Anyway. Moving on. Charlie's little area is perfect. I know she is safe when I leave and she has everything she needs. Dad even left the perfect amount of space for the golf cart.

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Mom took a "few" photos of Charlie while they were sitting outside one night. Here are some of those photos.

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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

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Tuesday was our third day at school for Charlie and me. And I'm happy to report a full turn around for my puppy. She played nice with the other kids (most of the time) and showed off how good she was at listening. I felt like a proud mama.

This week also marks the first successes for "leave it." That is the command I use when Charlie has something she is not supposed to have. For example: Lego heads/arms/pants, socks, napkins, toilet paper, webkins, carpet remnants, and her favorite - wallpaper. It's incredible to see all my hard work come to fruition.

But I must let you in on my secret, because, until lately, she never listened. The trainer uses this secret weapon in class all the time and its amazing. The results come instantly and long-term results come within a few uses. It's a water bottle. I know, I know - it's no secret. But for some reason I had it in my head that I could do it all without the water bottle. I was wrong. It's amazing and I love it.

I had trouble getting her to "leave it" or stay "down." But not anymore. One quick spray and she does whatever I want. She has started to show she is getting it. The only hard part about the "down" command is that she usually does it on people standing a few feet away from me (like the culbert kiddies), so it's hard to aim the spray quickly and effectively. So many times I hit a kid instead of the dog. But they don't mind, especially Leia: "Spray it in my mouth."

Oh, another exciting thing happened this week - Charlie went down the stairs all by herself. She has been afraid of them for a long time, and honestly, who could blame her? Her body was barely has long as the step is tall. But after one day of repeatedly shoving her down the steps she finally did it. When Mom came home I had to show her, so once again I shoved Charlie down. Mom and I were both praising her so much that she went all the way down, came halfway back up, went down, came halfway back up, then went down again - I could see her figuring out that she could do it.

It was a proud moment for me. I know, I'm a dork - but I'm cool with that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Bully

Tuesday was our second day at obedience school. The first night was a little chaotic trying to organize and quiet all the dogs, so I figured the second time would go much more smoothly. And I was right...almost.

Before we start the class, we let the dogs run around and play together so that they will get some good socialization and learn to play well together. It was going great. Willie, Charlie, and Shames (Shay-mes) were playing well together, and for being the smallest dog, Charlie was doing well.

I was a ball of nerves. It felt like the first day of kindergarten when you say "Good luck and play nice with the other kids." And she was...at first. Then a bigger dog came and Charlie started to get vicious. The larger dog, Izzy, was showing dominance by nipping at Charlie's behind. Now, if I was Charlie, I would have reacted the same way, but growling and biting aren't things dogs are allowed to do.

So the trainer showed me how to use the water bottle to squirt her when she didn't play nice. Charlie got so rough at one point the trainer picked her up and put her into the "relax" position - which is another way of saying that the trainer had to restrain Charlie to calm her down. The poor little girl is the puniest thing in class - no wonder she has issues with dominance. I squirted her so many times it was like she had taken a bath (which would have been her second of the day).

Overall the second day went well. Now that I know my dog's the bully - I'll be better prepared for next time. But, man, I still can't believe she is the bully. My little, tiny Charlie is the bully. Well at least I can find comfort in knowing that she may be the bully, but at least she is completely unsuccessful.

Is this the face of a bully?

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ps. She is at least 10 lbs now, if not more.

Monday, August 11, 2008

No Internet...

Boo...my computer has lost the internet. Which means all the fun posts I was planning are not going to happen...at least for the moment. I need to reinstall the internet connection and have just been too lazy to do it lately. Plus, there is really no rush - if this was during school I would have reinstalled it days ago, but it just doesn't seem to be a priority. Instead I have been reading books. I have just finished 2 books this past week and the second one I finished in 3 days. Yes - they were that good.

But it was more than that. The books were good, but the weather was spectacular. Charlie would run around outside while I reclined in a lawn chair and read. It was wonderful. I was outside in a t-shirt and shorts and was freezing when the sun wasn't shining. I love this cool weather.

Today has been a little different though. I don't think I've shut off the tv all day. There is always something to watch with the olympics on. Makes you feel pretty patriotic to watch the men's relay team take the gold in the 4x100 in swimming. Especially when it looked like they weren't going to get it.

If you aren't watching the olympics - do it. It's awesome to watch these atheletes represent our country.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

PittsburGH

I just got back Sunday night from a fabulous weekend in Pittsburgh and was so exhausted from all the fun that I have just now stumbled my way to the computer to tell you about it. One of my best friends from school is getting married this november and last weekend we celebrated her bachelorette party and bridal shower. It was fantastic and fun.

For the bachelorette party we started at Jess' house and gave her all the goodies every new bride will need. This is Jess in the chair that all of her female relatives sit in during such parties. A good family tradition. And no she was not posing for this picture.

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Then headed out to a place called Sing-Sing. It's a dueling piano bar where you pay to here a song and the pianists play it while entertaining the crowd with laughter. And if they catch you not participating - they will completely call you out. It was so much fun. This picture is of one of the piano players seducing a 60 year old woman with an "accordian for children ages 6-12."

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Here are all the West Chester girls with Jess. She is the one in the bright pink dress - in case you could't tell which one is the bride to be.

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Caption: "I'm going to take a picture of my shoes, would you like to be in it?" Esther got me these for my birthday and they are fabulous!

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The next day was the bridal shower with all her family and friends. So fun and cute. Julie (her twin sister) did a great job of putting the whole thing together with games. I got Jess an apron off of her registry - she looked adorable in it.

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The whole weekend was amazing and fun. I loved it. Congratulations Jess and Zac - you're gonna be great together.

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Might I add that they will be making very pretty babies some day.