Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is the quickest way to wake up a baby? Try writing a blog.

Andrew has been a sleep for almost and hour now so I am treading on precious time.  Read the paper, did some dishes, folded some clothes, got his bottle and oatmeal ready and he is still snoozing.  This however is like the bat signal to batman, beep beep, wake up baby!  Mom is trying to organize her thoughts!  Since this is the puppy blog, i will start with puppy thoughts.  My poor puppies are getting little to no attention right now.  I just don't have the time or energy.  I throw the ball a little, trim toe nails, cuddle in bed, and occasionally brush but that is about it.  I was heading out to Joc's barn for a once a week practice but that has pretty much stopped the last two weeks thanks to the holidays.  We are going to be SUPER rusty by the january trial.  We only have one and it is a two day so i guess it will be as usual, expensive practice.

 I am really trying to goal set for the next year and it is tough.  I would like to go to USDAA nationals and I am considering ASCA nationals but other than that, not much goal setting.  I have no intentions of even trying to qualify for next year's AKC nationals.  Probably not going to do as much AKC as I usually do. Would like to hit more USDAA and that is going to mean traveling which means extra dough.  I just don't see myself being able with the handful of AKC trials that i even do, making that nationals goal.  I am however very glad that they upped the qualifications but I do feel like you need to start your qualifying year out ASAP and go to as many shows as you can to make it.  I would rather spend my money elsewhere.  I also had planned on doing some camps and seminars this upcoming year but now with my job so up in the air, I am afraid to put down payments in.    We had a very mild winter last year so was able to teach all winter but it isn't looking that way for this year.  We have already had measurable snow and i have had to cancel a couple of times already for this current session.  I am at this point just hoping we can get through so I can at least be done so we can take a break.

My job, wow is all i can say.  We still are teetering on not so solid ground.  We are trying to complete the beta testing on the equipment and start up receiving samples but we have had some set backs.  We are going to have to purchase and fix some very expensive equipment which means we have to get another grant going.  We still haven't perfected the protocols we need to perfect either.  I have been working long hours and that isn't helping with my running/weight loss/stress level.  I few times i have thought, I should just quit and become a stay at home mom, but the whole money thing always gets the best of me.  Plus I need mental stimulation and I wouldn't get enough being at home.  Anyway, I am hoping things settle down in the new year and we are able to fix/purchase the stuff we need to make this successful.  I need a job!  I also need to get back into some fitness routine. I thought entering races would make me accountable but it hasn't.  I skipped my last race and just went shopping instead.  I keep telling myself that I shouldn't enter races in advance so i don't loose money but i keep on.  There is a trail race in february that i would LOVE to do but i have no clue what kind of training i will get in from here till then.  Plus it is 5 miles and I am only running 3 right now.  Excuses, excuses.  Oh well, that is the story of my life right now!

Well going to wrap this up for now.  I don't really have much time to really ruminate like i usually do.  My life is now all about diapers and bottles and baby food, which is good, just different.  I keep thinking things will settle down but the older he gets, the more complicated things get.  oh well, maybe in 18 more years, things will settle down?

Friday, December 7, 2012

so behind (as usual)

Wow, I don't think I have ever fallen this behind on my blogs.  Thank you life for getting in the way of my thoughts LOL!  My job has been super hectic lately and I am not sure I like it. I am barely getting to the daycare in time to pick up andrew and am lucky she hasn't charged me a late fee yet.  Tony is back to work which is a good thing but he is having some weird health issues so has had to take a day off since he has been back.  Let's see, since the last time I blogged, I have had two shows, a three day AKC or ICK as I have started calling it and a three day USDAA with team and tournaments.  The ICK show was exactly that.  I know this sounds weird but I really think if I am not under pressure or the course is hard, I don't do  well.  I didn't get a single solitary Q all weekend but it isn't about the Q now is it.  We had to drive at night on the way up thanks to my job so I had one day where i was a zombie and got lost on course.  The rest of the runs all had one bar or one mistake and every mistake was super stupid.  Like me saying turn before the jump and him doing what he was trained to do and turning and not taking the jump.  The courses were easy peasy but we just couldn't seem to do it.

Then fast forward to this last weekend, USDAA goodness.  Our team DDT got a team Q and a third.  We came all the way back thanks to our first place relay run.  The funny thing was, we thought we didn't Q because the software had not updated from last year and the 850 point rule.  We were really bummed because every team had Es on at least one course and most teams had one course that had two es.  Our team had two es in jumpers and two in standard.  Deuce did E in standard on a n off course jump that I did not even see as an option.  He redeemed himself in jumpers with a 2nd place by a very narrow margin.  I was SUPER proud because we so in sync with that run and it had some very challenging stuff.  Can you say broad jump, back side of jump through the middle of the 180 to the other backside of jump and then into the weaves?  NAILED it!  I have been that excited about a run in a very, very long time.  No Q in steeplechase, two bars (DAMN it) and no Q in grand prix, one bar (double DAMN it).  OH well, one more show before regionals and if I don't get the one Q  I need, may have to pick up another show somewhere down the road. Had some really kick ass runs the rest of the weekend including a gambler's Q on a tough aframe, turn to a jump, take a jump and a beautiful sequence of three jumps in which i threadled, pushed through and ketchkered (*spelling) only to have  a freaking bar come down somewhere else.  Oh well.  I had so much fun and can't wait till february for the next one!

Monday, November 12, 2012

a quickie

Have 14 minutes before I have to take something out of the PCR machine so I thought I would quickly blog about my weekend.  Let's just say, even though we only had 2 qs out of 9 runs, I was very, very pleased.  We did the walk of shame a couple of times for self releasing and I did have to be a contact criteria nazi but I had a few runs where I trusted he would drive into position and hold and he did.  My last two runs of the weekend were the best.  Beautiful responsive runs, no crazy handling just dancing together on the course.  Of course a bar in each run but I will take it.  The only part of the weekend that bothers me was his weaves. He was struggling with entries and one day, missed every entry.  Part of it was the whole I don't want to pull issue, which seemed to have resolved itself by day three.  Part of it was i have no clue.  Maybe we haven't seen that particular entry. I should probably take course maps and write on them entries we are having trouble with and go home and work it with the short set of weaves either channel or 2 x 2 but I have so much on my mind usually that I forget.  I will take a weekend like this even without the Qs.  We did some handling moves that I haven't done on a course in AKC.  Thank you to Dan butcher for some really, really nice courses that were challenging and fun.  I really feel like the harder courses are the ones I do better on because I never take any thing for granted and I work every single obstacle.  Those are the ones that you walk away from and even without a Q you say, DAMN, that was fun!  It really restored my faith in AKC as the last two weekends have had some very USDAA master like courses.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blowing in the wind

Lots of things swirling around in my brain so wanted to sit down for a minute and get them out.  The first and most important one probably is that I do have funding at my job till at least mid next year.  Kind of glad in a way but kind of sad as well. I know this sounds weird but I was kind of getting excited for a change in a way.  I think I will probably still keep looking for a job even though I hadn't found anything yet because I am always worried that I might be passing up on greater things.  Sometimes I feel like I am way to comfortable in this job and that i need a change, a jolt.  Other days it sure it nice to know that i can set my own hours and take off when I want to,especially if the munchkin has had a bad night or it snows.  So we have also been selected to be a beta test site for a new genome sequencer.  I have never done sequencing so I am excited/nervous to learn yet another new skill.  Helps bolster the ole resume for sure.

Did run my first 5 K post pregnancy. Pretty much had to give up running while I was preggers thanks to all day sickness and then my back.  I had tried to get back on track as soon as the dr. gave me the green light to and did so for about 10 weeks till I couldn't run due to the fact that hubby was working 12-14 hour days every day including weekends and i couldn't take andrew with.  I had to take a few weeks off, but I am happy to say that hubby is back working regular hours so I can finally get back into it even if it means running on the treadmill.  I prefer to run outside as I do better when I have somewhere to go, a course per se,  but I will take what i can get.  Stella and I ran our first 5 K together last weekend and despite me coughing up a lung pre and post race, had a great time and ran it in 37:55.   Not my 10 minute miles I was use to but hopefully I can get there.  Have a great running buddy that really encourages me to not feel guilty when I can't train but to feel good about the training I do get in and just have fun.  I am so competitive that I get very wrapped up into training plans and races and I loose the fun in it.  I am just going to train when I can and still enter races and hope for the best!  This last race was a trail race and it was fun so may have to find more like it.  Kind of nice having stella to pull my butt up those hills!  Time to invest in a running leash though, have some nasty bruises from my normal leash around my waist.  I love runner's highs and can't wait to have more!

Have a dog show this weekend.  Got out on sunday and did some training with my trainer.  Not really a lesson, but she had to set up some courses for the WAO try outs so helped her set them up and then got to run them while she was taking a break.  I LOVE international courses!  SO fun, so challenging and so rewarding when you get through them.  The wind was really bad that day so had to get creative with keeping the winged jumps up.  Got to try lots of back side blind cross combos (I am sure they have an official name).  I love those international moves!  So fluid and so trusting:)  Wish we had more of this kind of thing more often on regular courses  but the majority of my agility is AKC (ick) so not likely.  I am looking forward to seeing how deuce's contacts will be.  May have to baby sit them the first day and then test them the others.  I  think I am entered in T2B so that may be the place to work them if it is first.  Just looking forward to getting out and playing with my baby d.  I wuv him so much!!!!!
Here is how we have to do it in KS.  There are also stick in the ground weave poles behind each wing!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I wasn't going to do it, but did anyway


Had time to really process this weekend and pick it apart, piece by piece.  No video which sucks but here is my analysis.

  Had 6 runs this weekend and only had one really decent run that was in any way good.  First run of the weekend was standard.  He had a good run, missed his weave pole entry but it was a super tough entry (discrimination with the dog walk and a dummy  jump on either side of the entry, drove to it hoping to eliminate the off course options and he didn't collect, went 2nd pole).  I will take that, something we need to work on.  Noticed that he wasn't really waiting for the okay to come out of my mouth all the way on the contacts.  Jumpers was yet another pull to the correct end of the tunnel like we had in standard on sunday in lawrence.  Even though i was shoulder pulling, calling, had his head, he released off of me and took the wrong end of the tunnel.  Was disappointed but oh well, obviously we need to work on pulling, sent him in the correct end and he again, released off of me and went to the other end of the tunnel.  I felt like he really wasn't listening and it was pointless to continue to run the very technical course if I didn't have his head so we did the walk of shame.  Bummer but had the one good run in standard to go off of.

Saturday was standard first again.  We had a jump to the teeter and then a slight turn to the right into the weaves.  There was a dummy jump as they came off the end of the teeter so they came down looking right at it and they couldn't see the weaves at all because of your position.  I figured instead of releasing him with "okay", I would release him with "go weave" since he needed to be in obstacle focus to find them.  He came down the teeter locked in on that jump, I said go weave, he released and went across my body out into no where.  Weird but oh well, must be another skill we need to work on.  Then did a really hard long line out of the weaves into the tunnel that was a hard entry.  I ran like hell, pushed and got it no problem, where as most dogs were biting the bullet and getting the wrong end (2 dogs in all of 20 inches qualified). Next contact was the a-frame.  Needed to do a FC to handle the rest and he self released off the contact and was gone and I was out of position.  Called him back, did the walk of shame.  No cookies, back in the crate.  Got him out a while later and did some behaviors that i could reward.  Did JWW and again, i didn't get him collected enough and he missed his first pole.  One of those things were i was  in decel,  thought he was to so I think i accelerated too early to get to the end of the poles and he just did the same.  That didn't bother me as much as standard as that was just on me and him being young and us having timing issues.  Oh well.  But after that run, after I had sat for a while, I got really bummed.  I was really mad at myself for not holding his contacts longer and thus causing my criteria to be too gray thus allowing him to think self releasing was okay.  Again, I can stay mad at myself for a really long time.  Finally had some people talk me out of my funk and I got over it.

Sunday I decided to work every single contact regardless of a Q or not.  I held every contact long enough to say good dog, okay.  Of course we had a minor mistake somewhere else and i pulled him off a jump, but I was happy with his contacts (even though we were 10 seconds slower than the 1st place dog, even with him missing a jump).  Jumpers had a spot that worried me and of course that is where we blew it.  Coming out of the weaves, it was a curving line right out over a triple and into an off course tunnel.  One of those if you support too much, you will get the off course tunnel but if you don't support enough they won't go out and take the triple.  Well I had the latter happen but he read my pull and came with so had to be happy.  I hate self fulfilling prophecies.

Well I do feel better after I analyzed every thing.  You know, I think it is time for some goal readjustment.  Of course AKC nationals is out of the picture.   I still want to go to USDAA nationals and think it is still a viable goal if I can get some training time in.  Getting ready for winter here in KS and while last winter was mild, who knows what this winter holds.  Hoping I can get to my friend's new indoor barn to do some training this winter.  My main goal right now for him is solid contacts.  I hate creepy contacts but I think letting him quick release has come back to bite me in the ass for sure now.  I vowed to never have a dog where the Q was more important than my criteria and I have to stick to those guns.  I think that is what bummed me out the most, the possibility that I caused his self releases and in all honesty, I am sure I did.  A fellow competitor pointed it out that most of us that had two on two offs this weekend sure were muddy in what our criteria was as she was for sure second guessing what we meant.  I think alot of us got wrapped up in the Q this weekend and again in all honesty, I think alot of us sacrificed Qs in the end because of it.  I have another show in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to redeeming myself and upholding my end of the training bargain.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Perspective

I had a really bad weekend.  So weird.  Haven't had one of these in a long time.  The good news is that I truly am lucky to have an awesome dog and family that loves me.  I won't get into any long details but after having four bad runs and basically being mad at myself all day saturday to the point of tears, I had a talk with a good friend who really put things into perspective for me.  I have a happy, healthy dog and I know that this is just a game.  I hate that I can get so wrapped up into competition that I let my criteria slide.  I can stay mad at myself for a really, really long time but she snapped me out of it and made me feel like I should just let things go and go on.  She had been through some pretty scary and life threatening health issues, had a crappy hubby who basically was not by her side during any of it and even had had an emergency appendicitis surgery that monday and was running agility with her best friend by friday.  If she can go through life and those crazy circumstances with a smile on her face and a positive attitude and continue to enjoy life, then what was making me so upset and pouty was completely minuscule and should not be dwelled upon.  So i snapped out of it.  I look forward to our next agility show and I will uphold my criteria, even if it means loosing a Q.  I have been through this before with one dog and i will NOT do this again (please hold me to this:)

Monday, October 22, 2012

exhausted

So this is mommy hood.  I am physically exhausted.  I had a great weekend but it is SO much work dragging him and all of his stuff to the shows.  I am super lucky to have great friends who step up and help me but man, it really takes the fun out of showing.  I feel like poor deuce gets no attention other than when he runs.  I don't do super long warm ups or cool downs either so it is pretty much run, cookies, crate, sit for how many every hours, run cookies crate, car.  Poor guy.  The story of our weekend was mainly bars.  We had one crazy T2B run where he looked at the weave pole base (they had two sets with a space in between so a break in the base) and skipped that section that was missing.  So weird that they even notice that but he did and just skipped right around them.  Plus the surface had very slick packed spots but I am not one to complain about things like that.  We did do the walk of shame in standard on sunday.  He completely self released on the dog walk and we had already NQd so I thought that was a perfect time to get some training in.  The other runs were very, very nice.  We did get a Q in T2B on sunday and just barely got beat out by a very, very fast border collie by .03 of a second.  Always makes me smile when we are up there with those fast BCs.   Overall was very pleased with the trials and once again do believe that his bar knocking is an indication of lack of conditioning.  Once again, hubby will be working 12 hour shifts this week so not sure how much training I will actually get in.

We have yet another 3 day show this weekend and I am dreading it a little and this is one of the most fun shows we go to.  A four hour car ride for Mr. Andrew which will be very interesting since the longest we have done is 2.  Trying to figure out a way to break it up so maybe we could go down thursday night and then continue on friday morning.  He did scream some on the way home this last weekend.  He decided to take his big nap early so instead of it being at the normal time, when I would be driving, he was wide awake when I was driving.  He did play some with some toys I put back there and the screaming wasn't too bad but that was an hour and a half car ride with lots of places to pull off and take a break.  This ride will not have those convenient places.


Anyway, I know I shouldn't but thinking about buying a new crate.  I have no clue why when i know money is going to get tight that I immediately shop but I do.  I really like the new cabana crates and how portable they are for traveling.  My crates take a ton of room and all of them are in some state of broke.  It would be super nice to have a crate that breaks down that small for storage and set up.  AND the kicker is, they come in purple.  DOUBLE BONUS!  Me want, want, want!

Friday, October 19, 2012

dog show weekend + solid foods = hopefully not disgusting diapers

Another dog show weekend, YIPEEE!  Can't wait.  Going up tonight to stay with a friend who has again so graciously loaned out her guest bedroom and home to andrew and I.  Was planning on getting up super early and driving up but andrew is sleeping till 7 or later now so don't want to screw with that too much.  I can at least sleep till maybe 6:30 versus getting up at 5.  I will take that extra few hours or minutes!  Andrew has started a new trend of eating his solids and taking his bottle, napping, having a night time bottle and then crashing, that is until I put him in his bed and then he is wide awake.  The night before he was up till almost 2.  Last night it was more like 11 and he slept till 7.  Would have slept longer but one of the dogs barked and woke him up.  Andrew has been feeling better finally so we have moved back upstairs and the dogs are back in bed with me.  I missed them cuddling up.  Andrew has been sleeping in the bed some too and the dogs make a square around him.  Stella wants to constantly check his diapers so I have to remind her that when he is sleeping, she can't do that.  They are also enjoying licking the solid foods off of andrew after he is done eating.  The past few days it has been sweet potatoes which andrew adores and so do the dogs of course!

Did get out on sunday and worked deuce some.  Had to leave stella because i was giving a lesson prior to working deuce and the dog had some anxiety issues that would have gone through the roof if stella had been there screaming.  Hated to do that to her but the paying client gets the courtesy of a nice, peaceful lesson.  Deuce was knocking bars left and right.  I watched him and tried to figure out what was going on.  My final conclusion is he is very out of shape.  It was windy that day and hotter than it has been and he was panting after the first short sequence.  He kept knocking the backside jump to the weaves and he was literally throwing himself over the bar and turning at the same time and it came down no matter what.  Tried to just give huge rewards when the bar stayed up.  The sequence also called for me to fade laterally away from the weaves to get a very important FC in to get him in a tricky tunnel entry.  He kept popping so I had to get out my treat and train and channel out the end of the poles and have big rewards for staying in.  Eventually he did  it fine without the channels and the reward but it was weird that he all the sudden was clingy.  Trying to figure out the best way to keep him in shape.  Wish that we had swimming available to us but we it isn't a possibility.  Vet school has an underwater treadmill but they won't let us agility folks use it for conditioning.  Need to do some jump chutes per suggested by a good friend but I barely have time to comb my hair right now.  I have had two weeks were I have only gotten one run in a week.  My per mile time is getting worse instead of better.  This first race is probably going to be a huge bomb but oh well.  Andrew has started on solids now so that is taking a huge hunk of my afternoon/night time.  By the time I prepare his bottles, feed him his solids, feed him a small bottle and then either bath him or clean him up, it is almost 9 pm and I can't run or train that late.  I keep thinking this whole kid thing will get easier as he gets older but it seems to be getting harder and more time consuming instead.

Then there is this.  I finally got the word that we are officially loosing funding.  I have to admit, even though I knew this was a big possibility, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a huge cry fest and then a huge freak out, find a job right that minute fest.  I even applied for some secretary positions just to get my foot in the door somewhere.  A job that I thought I had in my pocket just in case fell through and two of the science jobs I checked on were filled.  URGH.  I can't afford to be a stay at home mom. I can't afford mentally not to do agility. I guess if worse comes to worse, I will have to take a break.  I am still trying to watch all the job channels and apply for anything that looks remotely good.  There is a possibility that I might get a small grant to keep me on till next year.  We are going to reapply through another funding source but they only take grant proposals once a year and we have passed the deadline for this year. I keep praying and try not to worry because God has always taken care of me and my family and we do have money saved up just in case since my hubby gets laid off occasionally at his work as well.

Anyway, here's to a good weekend and hopefully no disgusting diapers thanks to the solids he is eating!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GLOC weekend

Back from lincoln and have a slow day at work so I thought I would blog for a second.  Life has been a bit hectic lately.  Trying to run to get back in shape and to loose weight and trying to spend equal time with dog/baby/husband/house.  Not doing so hot.  Dogs are getting pretty much 0 amount of my time with the house right behind them.  I even had to stop sleeping with them  because they had started waking me up at 4 am to convince me that they needed to eat/go out and andrew is now sleeping till at least 6 am if not later.  Hubby is sleeping up stairs with them while andrew is sick and I am sleeping in guest room with andrew with the door shut and the humidifier on high.  Stella and deuce are not impressed and I do miss them but it has been kind of nice having a whole bed to myself.  Andrew is sick again.  This marks the second or third cold he has had and it just started to get cold outside.  I attribute that to daycare and the myriad of germs that come and go.  In just a few weeks though, andrew will be the only one there but I am sure she will fill back up quickly.  I have a feeling the little girl that is in kindergarten is bringing in the fun stuff in the afternoon.  I am hoping this means that he will have a stellar immune system when he is older.  My plans are to enroll him in preschool when he is 3 but may go earlier.  According to my mom, I was a sickly child after I started preschool so maybe we have started andrew early and he will be done with sickness by the time we start school.  

Anyway, back to lincoln.    Had a great weekend.  We had several one bar runs.  One of my aussie friends taped some of my runs and I am glad, because deuce  isn't normally a bar dog.  The surface was okay, not the best but certainly not even close the worst.  I did have him worked on saturday after he crashed the double but she couldn't find any issues.  He was taking off early for jumps all weekend and I have NO clue what that means.  Is that something I am doing?  Two bars were either before or after fronts so maybe so.  One bar it looked like he was stuck in some loose dirt and couldn't get off the ground correctly.  That bar commonly came down for alot of teams so not too worried about that one.  We did finally have one run that equaled a Q but again he hit a bar and it luckily went back into the jump cups instead of on the ground.  He was running really well and I was not in reactive handler mode.  I was very pleased with the weekend, despite the bars.  We have two more shows on dirt coming up this month so I will make sure to get my trainer to watch him just in case.  I really like having someone tape me.  All of his runs felt so smooth yet as I watch them, I see me bending over, not getting into position quick enough and flailing about with my arms.  I really need to work on this.  I look very uncoordinated and icky.  Maybe I can blame this on the pregnancy too?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPmkvGg5mzU&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hey Ho

Here I sit at work, desperately trying to stay awake and thinking of two things, my baby and my dogs.  I miss both of them so much when I am at work but someone has to pay the bills other than just my hubby.  I do love my job, don't get me wrong.  I do think I would go crazy if I didn't work.  I like to be mentally challenged and while I would love to have more time at home with the baby and dogs, I think I would really, really miss science.  I have been dusting off the old resume here lately, getting ready just in case we don't get funded.  Our grant was denied the first round but we were allowed a re submit so we are just waiting to see what happens now.  I sure will miss this job.  It has been a great job for the past 8 years. My boss is very supportive of my addictions and has allowed me to go to several nationals, be gone on maternity leave for 7 weeks and allowed me to leave early for countless dog/child related events.  She even let me work full time here and part time at a vet's office to gain experience with other breeds of dogs.  She puts up with alot.  Like me blogging at work:)  My job has down time though when we are waiting for pcr or waiting for gels to run or waiting for stains to develop so it isn't like I am putting off something I should be doing to write this.

Anyway, been battling some thoughts lately and thought I would write them down.  Sad right now really.  Reading everyone's excitement about nationals and wishing I was going.  Deuce did qualify for team and grand prix and this year would have been just a fun learning experience for him.  I was hoping to do USDAA and AKC nationals but without hook ups for RVs, USDAA nationals became a distant thought and then the fact that I had to lay out of shows for so long thanks to getting so big and deuce getting sick has diminished our chances of going to AKC nationals in Tulsa.  There still is a glimmer of hope but it is tiny.  I have had this sick little feeling in the back of my mind, just give it all up.  Why are you still doing this?  You don't have time to train, you don't have money to spend to go to more shows, you can't expect to reach the goals you have on just one or two shows a month and NO training time.  But I love it and I love my friends and would miss them so much.  I like having goals.  They keep me going, keep me in the game.  I don't know what I would do without them.  I also have been thinking about not teaching anymore.  My class sizes have dwindled, there are other trainers in town now that are closer to most  of my student's homes and I can't teach more than one night a week with the baby.  This makes it hard to please students and their crazy schedules.  I would love to go back to teaching two nights a week but i just can't.  Hubby's schedule has been all over the place lately and I can't ask that he can take care of andrew more than one night a week.  His work is very different than mine, much better salary but lots of crazy hours with overtime which is great money but it means he is gone alot and he can't say no.  Say no once and you will be looked over forever when it comes to over time work and over time pay is AMAZING:)  Can you say 64 bucks an hour?  Momma likes but it means momma has to be momma all the time and can't be dog trainer.  I would miss my students so much too.  I love them and the progress they have made in the few years I have been teaching them.  I love seeing them competing now and being successful and thinking that I had a small part in where they are today and where they are going.  Okay now I feel like I am going to cry.  Stupid cold medicines are making me loopy!

Okay through with my pity party.  Thanks for listening or should I say reading.  Got this crap out of my head, now I can go on with my life.  If I could ever get rid of this stupid cold I picked up, I could have a beer and chill and just let all of this go.  Writing it down helps, makes me look at it and laugh and think, stop whining you silly girl!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flying Solo

First show by myself!  I really have the greatest friends in the whole world though.  One had said I could stay with her so I didn't have to drive an hour back and forth every day.  I swear every day someone had me food, coffee, baby sat or walked my dog for me.  My friends really do rock!  Mom's rocking chair that is collapsible and totally comfortable was a big hit as well as my boppy (nursing pillow that i use for everything now).  So many agility aunts and grandmas out there that if I needed anything, they were there to take him or deuce and help me out.  The club even let me set up early as I got there like three hours too early.  We had some screaming in the car seat but I tried to plan all car trips when he was slightly sleepy.  Probably the worst was going home yesterday.  Had decided to go home via the old road which had several bridges under construction meaning it took twice as long as normal.  He did scream for about 10 minutes and even went into one of his non breathing fits but i was able to pull off, put his pacifier in his mouth and he promptly went to sleep.  Got decent sleep all weekend which was nice and bonus, have the day off to day to re cooperate thanks to the day care being shut down one more day.  Things I learned from this trial are no more ready made bottles, I need a different cooler for keeping bottles cold and I need to eat no matter what.  Went all day yesterday with no food and felt like CRAP last night and I really, really needed to clean the house, do laundry and run.  Oh well, lesson learned.  Will be running today and eating today for sure:)

Was still trying to figure out deuce's bar issue from the last weekend.  Didn't enter T2B or FAST this weekend which made for long days since we were at the trial site at 7 every morning but not running till 11 or later.  For the most part, all runs were great, some had one bar but luck for deuce, no first bars.  Was very careful to set him up farther back but I am still not sure that was really the cause of him knocking them anyway.  Got some good collection on a couple of starts but not alot during courses.  Still battling that, how to get him to read collection cues when my motion is saying go.  We finally got a q in JWW and had several really, really nice runs with either one little bobble or one stupid bar.  I feel like we are getting so close.  Of course we have a three week lay off but I need it.  I am hoping we get to train some these next three weeks.  We NEED it.  I can tell that is what is lacking but just haven't figured out how to fit it into our busy schedule.  The night I teach I go straight from work to the field so I can't go home and get deuce.  I can do small sequences in the backyard which is what I am going to be stuck doing for now.  He does so much better when I can actually train him, even if it is small skill set stuff.  I was planning on going out to open practice last night but hubby got home late, baby was napping and slept through his bottle, I had to run and then eat and by then it was 8 pm and I didn't feel like having a 40 minute drive plus practice time.  I know, excuses, excuses.  I did have deuce massaged this weekend, something I had never done and he LOVED it.  She even came and got him and took him away while I was taking care of the baby and he went with her and stayed on the table even though I wasn't there.  Kind of weird!  Anyway next show at the beginning of october so lots of time to practice.  May just have to rent the field to get some good practice time in.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The first dog show post baby

I was so excited for this trial!  Three whole days of agility goodness with all of my friends I have missed so much, plus my mom and my baby.  I was worried that we would forgot something or need something or wish  we had thought of something but surprisingly, we had everything we needed all weekend.  I packed andrew his own little tiny bag with his doggy clothes and his KSU purple for game day, plus his blankie dogs that he loves and of course lots of diapers.  We decided also to bring his bassinet for him to sleep in rather than the pack and play.  It took up a lot of room in the car but I do think it was a wise choice as he slept like a pro all three nights.  Overall, I was hugely pleased at how well andrew did this weekend.  He slept mostly but he flirted and cooed with all of the women and has a ton of agility aunts, grandmas and one agility uncle now.  He was only fussy when he got hungry.  He did have one little fit every afternoon after we left the show site, thank goodness but it usually meant he needed a good sound sleeping nap and after fighting it for a little while, would usually go into a very deep sleep and sleep it off.  Last night was probably the worst of all the fits as it lasted on and off about an hour but once he got a good nap in, he was fine.  I actually got sleep too this weekend, even fell asleep at 8:30 one night and mom took care of him while I slept.  I needed that!  He had been previously so restless at night, probably due to the re-occurrence of stupid thrush.  Now he is pretty much sleeping from 10 till 4:30 or later.  I will take that in  a heartbeat!  He usually goes back to sleep after that early morning bottle but of course this morning he stayed up till 6 am and then crashed.  Thank goodness I have a flexible job schedule so I got in a couple more hours of sleep.  Now on to the dog part of this blog:)

Deuce and I were a little rusty.  It was weird, the first day he ran so great but had a bar in every run.  Deuce hardly ever knocks bars so that kind of rattled me.  Especially when it was the first bar a couple of runs.  I even tried setting him way back so that he got several strides in before he had to jump and that seem to not help at all.  Overall the runs on the first day were smoking, just those stupid bars.  Day 2 dawned and I was a little rattled but had decided that if he knocked the first bar, he was done.  Of course he didn't knock the first bar the first two runs, one T2B run he knocked a bar somewhere on the course and then in jumpers he popped out of his weaves and then we kind of had a melt down together.  In his defense, the weaves went straight into the wall so I am sure he was feeling pressure but he doesn't normally do that and I wasn't moving  laterally away so I didn't pull him out.  Then of course he knocked the first bar in standard and i was in running mode because it was a hard course and I wanted to try certain parts of it so I missed a training opportunity because I wanted to run.  Bad me!!!!  Of course he got through the hard part beautiful which made that one bar hurt even worse.  URGH!  Day 3 had me a little nervous again.  I hate going three days without a Q and even though it isn't about the Q, I wanted at least one stinking Q.  I need to get out of that mindset.  So many of the young dogs that started with Deuce and now getting so consistent and so fast and many have multiple double Qs and I need to not worry about that because none of them have recently been preggers or had a baby but dang it, I am still competitive so I still watch them and think, that could have been me if I had not have had a lay off.  Anyway, we didn't have T2B so just two runs and I wanted to focus on having good parts instead of worrying about the whole run.  Jumpers had a two jump lead out that went into a serp and I so wanted collection.  I had worked so hard on that and seemed to had that fixed before i had to stop running.  Well, guess what, he is back to not wanting to collect so guess I will be working on that this week for sure before the show this weekend.  He blew past me and of course knocked a bar again.  Can't remember which one it was but it hurt just the same.  Standard was our last chance and I was determined to work ever single obstacle.  We had a very tough serp into the weaves that I was not totally comfortable with so I turned it into a tight rear into the weaves and that worked beautifully.  Then the silly dog just ran past a jump that was right in his face.  Really deuce?  I am sure I just let down ever so slightly because I was like, whew we got through the hard part.  Really hate when that happens because then little thing bite you in the ass.

So overall, not horribly bad, wish I could figure out what the bar issue is.  Maybe just need to work one jump skills this week if I have time.  His weave entries were spot on, he collected for them no problem.  Contacts were good although the last run was dog walk, jump at the end and he self released but I got a verbal correction in so he knew he was wrong.  Can't wait till this weekend to see how he does.  I hate that we were running so well right before i left and now we seemed to have start back kind of at the beginning but  at least not the very, very beginning:)  I start teaching again this week, just one night but won't have time to go get him so have to figure out when and where I can train him.  This weekend will be the first show without my mom but I know I will have tons of help with all of andrew's agility aunts and uncles.  Am staying close to the show site too, so that helps.  I really do have the best agility friends in the world.  I am so glad to be back doing the sport I love!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2 months

Has it already been 2 months? WOW!  Can't believe I have already been back to work for two weeks now and have done 2 agility seminars.  Already back running and even got to run outside for the first time in forever yesterday.  Looking like we might have an early fall which is fine by me.  This heat has been horrible this year and I have felt like a sloth!  I can't believe how much andrew has changed in these two months.  He now interacts with you, smiling and laughing and cooing.  Thanks to daycare he sleeps more at night and less during the day.  Every once in a while he sleeps alot during the day, like today but I guess that means he is growing.  He is now 12.5 lbs and 22.5 inches!

I have had two seminars and Deuce has done surprisingly well.  I figured it would take us a while to get back into things but he has been doing great.  I guess the 3 months off did him well.  He has been running very mature, less stressed and more driven.  We did Lori's euro seminar which was very interesting to say the least since I had had about 4 hours of sleep the night before.  I loaded up on caffeine for the drive down but was super concerned about the drive home.  It is about a 2 hour drive so   I bought some 5 hour energy drink and called my mom for the drive home.  I was very pleased at the fact that I stayed awake the entire day, wasn't too sore and made it home in one piece!  I was told at that time the Ann B clinic still had openings and because so many didn't get in on the upper level day that they were allowing upper level people to take working spots on the lower level day.  I snatched up a spot as quick as I could and I am so glad that i did.  Again, the theme was international and we did tons of backsides, blinds, swishys, and threadles.  Deuce was such a good boy and I felt like we were really clicking as a team.  I am SUPER excited to show him over labor day weekend.  We are doing a three day show and I am bringing andrew.  Managed to talk my mom into driving up to help me and we are getting a hotel really close to the show site.  I feel so much more comfortable with her being there.  My biggest fears were him being hungry and wanting to eat when I need to run or walk a course or be leaving for the show and now I don't have to worry about that.  I am sure we are going to learn alot about this first show as far as what I need to bring or how to do bottles.  Going to try and get him to sleep in his pack and play and going to try and do some room temp bottles.  Did buy a bottle warmer for the car just in case.

Anyway, getting super excited for this first show.  I feel like Deuce and I are in a good spot and I feel like Andrew is getting to the point where I don't worry so much about changing his routine or having him in different locations.  Again, I have learned so much in these 2 months and I continue to learn!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What a difference

What a difference a month makes!  I have learned so much about being a mom.  I have learned to let go of some things and to embrace others.  I have one more week of maternity leave and I am actually pretty sad.  While I miss getting to be around other adults humans, I will so miss cuddling and playing with andrew but sadly I know we cannot afford for me not to work.  The dogs are really going to miss me being home.  When andrew naps, we go out and throw the ball over and over again.  When I go back, they go back to being crated during the day:(  Andrew is doing better at sleeping at night and during the day cat napping.  It's funny, the more I try and enforce a routine with him, the more he rebels.  I see a fun teenager at some point.  I am learning to not get too upset and let him set the pace and go with the flow.  So far, knock on wood, at night, he is going 4 to 5 hours between feeding.  Now that doesn't mean I am getting that much sleep because he is having some reflux issues so I have to hold him upright at least 20 minute post feeding, if not longer.  I am getting 6 or so hours of chopped up sleep but last night, i got five continuous hours and today I feel so rejuvenated!  Tony also helps on the weekend by taking him for his late morning bottle and letting me sleep.  I have to watch out though because I can over sleep and then get too caught up.

Tomorrow will be a big day.  I have my first all day agility seminar in which I will be gone from him all day.  Tony is going to take care of him and I know he can but it makes me nervous.  I have been with him all day every day for 5 weeks straight so it will be tough BUT I am ready to get back to agility.  I am hoping deuce isn't too much of a hot mess tomorrow.  He has pretty much been off since April so three months and I am hoping the time off helped us rather than hurt us.  Before I had to stop running, we were SO close to getting some doubles so I am hoping we can get back on that trail.  He has stayed in good shape playing ball and jumping on and off of our deck a million times with his sis stella.  He is perfect weight and I hope a little bit more mature.  I did have to pull him from regionals but I think i made a good decision as we are not going to nationals anyway so what is the purpose.  I am also seeing the doctor for my 6 week check up next week.  I am hoping he will give me the green light to get back to running.  I will have to take it slow as my body is still re-couperating and still isn't 100% but I am going to go back through the couch to 5 K or the couch to 10 K program so it will be a slow reintroduction anyway.  I am hoping to get back to some 5 ks this fall and then maybe a half next year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quickly!

Trying to blog as quick as I can.  Andrew is asleep in his bouncy seat which is a miracle.  My little baby has become a little needy lately and I will admit, I have had a hard time adapting.  He is going through a, you have to hold me all the time or I will scream bloody murder phase.  I do think we are slowly going out of it though because just today he has napped twice in something other than my arms (hence the blog) and last night he slept next to me in bed on the mattress versus in my arms.  Yes, I have chosen to co-sleep.  Was this the plan, HELL NO!  I had this vision of him being this perfect little angel that slept through the night as soon as we got home from the hospital in his crib and in his bassinet during the day and boy has that been anything farther from the truth.  I will have to say I have learned so much.  Much more on what not to do but alot of what to do.  I am a researcher so I research everything.  Probably too much, but knowledge makes me feel better.  Even if it is wrong.  Trying to still adapt to the whole you have to do this now or it won't get done mentality too.  Napping when the sun is still out is hard too.  I have found that I do better at napping in the morning because it is like sleeping late, which I loved to do pre baby.  And now, he is awake so have to go!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back in the saddle again

All of the shows are opening up right now.  I hate trying to make decisions on how things will be or be going months from now.  So far I have entered regionals in KC and Triune in KC and plan on entering Carthage and Agility Ability.  Past that I have no clue.  I want to go to Omaha but thoughts of my van breaking down on those back roads that I have to take to get there with a baby  in the van  just don't sound very appealing to me.  But who knows, by then he may be fine to leave for three days with his daddy.  Unfortuntaely i have to make decisions now.  Most of these shows won't fill but I figured Carthage and Triune would so had to go ahead and enter.  May have to eat some fees or pull but wanted to get entered anyway.  Deuce and I need to get back in the saddle.  He has had a nice long break and now it is time to get back to it.  I seriously think that tulsa and nationals aren't going to work but who knows where it will be next year so we need to get back in shape for the new qualifying period.  Funny, alot of people told me shows wouldn't be as important to me after the baby or that i would quit.  I haven't lost any of the desire I had previous to baby for showing or for my goals.  I worry about how it is going to be taking him to shows or being gone but not to the point where I am not entering at all.  This is my hobby and my passion.  I hope when andrew gets big enough that he can share in that love and passion.  I hope by taking him as a baby that he will grow to love it, not hate it.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Go with the flow

This is a blog about letting go.  I have sat down numerous times to write it and always deleted it or got up and walked away from it but here goes.  I am saying good bye to my former self.  I am sure she will come back at some point but right now she has to take an extended vacation.  My new self is a go with the flow kind of girl.  No routines planned, no schedules to adhere to, just go with the flow.  My hubby is much like this and I think that is why he is adapting to having the baby so much better than I am.  He flies by the seat of his pants in life and that suits him (and drives me nuts).  I am a mega planner.  My life is planned down to the nth degree.  I seriously have four or five calenders all filled out with every detail of my life.  When I had the baby, I read all the books, wrote down on the log sheet religiously and tried to hard to get into a routine.  What i learned was the harder I tried, the more off routine I got and the more stressed I got.  I am now letting all of that go.  Stress is not good for me or the baby.  Yes, I only have three maybe four more weeks before I go back to work and yes I can't do research on a couple of hours of sleep but my job is flexible, I can work at different hours so why stress about it?  So what if my food gets cold because we didn't plan our meals around the baby's schedule?  So what if we don't get to take our planned trip to wally world?  I have this wonderful little guy who is new to this world and trying to figure things out so why not relax and go with the flow and let him?

Okay to make this dog related:)  So in the theme of schedules, I have to tell you that my dogs have been fed at 5:30 am for years.  We did have that amount of time when the hubby had to get up at 4 am to drive to salina and they insisited they were up and needed breakfast.  Took us forever to break the 4 am habit but we finally did.  Well, we are battling them insisting since I am up feeding the baby that they should be fed.  It wouldn't be so bad but Miller has a BIG mouth and when he barks, he can wake the dead.  I had the baby on a 5 am bottle schedule for a while and then I would feed them after he had his bottle but now they think just because I am up, they should be fed right then.  I have been letting them out on the way to warm the baby's bottle but this is not good enough for miller.  I am now wishing I was like that octopus in the commercial for some product that had eight arms and could do eight things at once.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Giving up

I don't say those words very often but there they are.  Sorry, this isn't agility related but I will try to weave some doginess in somewhere.  I have really been struggling with breast feeding.  Read all the books, took all the classes and was fully prepared once again to be one of those moms who breast fed.  Most of the moms I know have all breast fed so it must be easy right?  WRONG!  The first obstacle I faced was that I had a c section which screws everything up. The second obstacle I encountered was that my milk would not come in.  We tried everything including herbs and pumping round the clock but it just wouldn't happen the way it should.  It came in but not the degree we needed.  By the time it was established, he was drinking 2 maybe 3 oz per sitting and I was only producing 2 oz total per sitting.  Plus I was battling some issues with other things I won't go into but let's just say my poor nipples were cracked, sore and bleeding on a regular basis,  no matter what I was doing to help them.  Unfortunately, we have no clue why I couldn't make milk and I am now in the process of letting what little bit I had dry up which is SUPER painful.  I have a doctor's appointment on tuesday and I am hoping if it hasn't dried up that he can give me something to help.

Let me tell you, this has been the hardest few days of my life. Add no sleep to having to make a major decision in your life and you get super emotional.  I was already having crying jags due to hormones but when I was trying to decide whether or not to continue to breast feed, I was a crying wreck.  Not sure what my hang up was with giving up other than I just don't give up as a whole.  Of course formula is an added expense but a box of powdered formula goes so far and the options out there are endless.  Not to mention with formula, anybody can bottle feed him so I am not tied to him meaning I can teach and I can work without worrying about pumping.  So really and truthfully it was a no brainer but i could not let go.  I missed the snuggling, the ease of just popping him on a breast versus getting a bottle ready, and the closeness that feeding brings. I did not miss the pain and bleeding though!  But as I said, I just couldn't let go.  I had been corresponding regularly with the lactation consultant from the hospital and I was worried about letting her down.  I was worried about being judged that I didn't try enough options.  There was a supplemental feeding option which was available but I just couldn't see myself taping a tube to my baby's face and feeding him via syringe and breast.  I would need help every time I fed and I am trying to become independent with feeding, especially night feeding.

In the end I gave up.  I surrendered to the ease of the bottle, to the ease of being able to have everyone feed him and help.  It has been so nice.  He actually slept great last night and only woke me up 3 times which is perfect.  We actually have him on some sort of schedule right now.  I hope it holds.  It is perfect for when tony and I get up and go to work so finger's crossed.  

Now to make it dog related.  The dogs are so happy their grammy is here.  This makes me happy.  They LOVE her and she loves them.  This is one of my most favorite pictures ever!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Living in the moment

Man, been away too long.  Logged in and had a ton of my favorite blogs to catch up on.  Been an emotional time for me.  Just had my first baby and boy are my hormones ALL over the map.  Pretty much been a crying mess since I got home from the hospital.  Granted everything went really well, really really well.  C-sections are the bomb!  It was quick, I felt no pain (then of course:), and I was done and in recovery.  I am sore now and on all sorts of drugs, but it was worth it.  Little andrew came into this world on June 12th, 2012 weighing 6 lbs, 14 ozs and being 18 inches long.  We were all really shocked that he was so little.  I felt huge and my doctor felt like he was huge but he came out super small.  I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and got discharged early.  I was ready to get out, felt caged in.  I like walking around with andrew and that wasn't allowed outside of the room and the rooms were tiny.  I probably should have stayed one more night but I didn't.  It was super nice to have the nurses there for help and to take him to the nursery if we needed a break but my mom had to leave every night at 8 and I was missing having her around.


My mom.  What can I say, she is a god send and I will never be able to pay her back ever for all the work she has done while she has been here.  She came a couple of weeks before the due date (before we knew he was going to be a c section) and is staying for three or so weeks post delivery.   She has cooked, cleaned, laundried, and wore the dogs out for me daily.  She has let me nap when I needed to and hugged me when I cried and yes I have cried a ton.  Damn hormones are wearing me out.  Thus the name of the blog, live in the moment.  I am trying to do that right now because instead of worrying about everything and the future, I am trying to stay in the moment.  It really reminds me of agility.  We tend to get caught up in so much other things that we don't stay in the moment and cherish what is happening right then.  I start worrying about stupid stuff like when my mom is leaving and when i have to go back to work and when this and that when I need to just cherish each sleepless wonderful night with my little man.  I love late at night when it is just he and I, and he is wide awake just staring into my face.  I am doing all the night shift work as tony is going back to work and I want him to get good sleep.  Last night was a tough night, he was up every hour on the hour wanting either food or his diaper changed.  Plus, I am having to pump every couple of hours because my milk hasn't come in yet and we are trying to encourage it before we give up and go full formula.  I am a worry wort just like i am with my dogs.  Is he getting enough food, is this brand of formula right for him, is he sleeping/pooping/peeing enough?  We as new parents tend to want to hold him all the time so I worry about that.  Heck I worry about worrying sometimes.  I have been trying to call and talk to all of my mommy friends and I have found that they all went through this too and talking to them helps me to work through what i am going through.  They all say the same thing, live in the moment.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

OUCH

Okay I know this is my dog blog but I will make it dog related, I promise.  Went into the hospital yesterday to try and get mr. andrew to turn, since he is head up, bottom down.   Had to be admitted because of the chance of causing complications or needing an emergency c-section.   I have only ever been in a hospital once in my life time for kidney stones so I was pretty nervous.  Had to be monitored for an hour pre-procedure just to get a baseline of how andrew behaved.  They gave me a shot of something to relax my uterus to make everything easier but it made me feel like my heart was going to pound out of my chest and made me shake like a leaf.  I had two doctors working on me, two nurses, an anestesiologist, and mom and tony.  One doctor was doing the ultrasound and pushing one way while my main doctor was doing most of the heavy pushing work.  Let's just say that was probably the second most painful thing i have ever had (kidney stones being the worst, hands down) and I don't recommend it to anyone.  The success rate is pretty low but my hubby wanted to try before we just gave up and did the c section and I felt like it was worth a try.  After 20 minutes of pushing and me trying to breath and stay relaxed (wasn't very successful on that one) we all decided to give up.  My doctor was actually shaking because he had been pushing so hard.  Had to stick around for another hour to monitor andrew (he was fine) and then went and ate breakfast.  I had to take it easy the rest of the day and am off today too since I am super sore.  The funniest part of it is that the dogs were all over me yesterday afternoon.  Going to be very interesting keeping them off of me when I actually have the c section.  They lay on me on the couch and sleep on top of me at night.  That won't be happening at all when I have a section, yet I can't imagine not having them in the bed with me.  I honestly don't know if I could sleep.  They now sleep on the pregnancy pillow as I think they think it is me;)  I tell you one thing, I won't worry so much about them pouncing on my stomach now or laying on it.  If the doctor can use that much force and not cause any harm to andrew, then they aren't either.

So the decision has been made to schedule a c-section no matter what.  I could still go into labor early and that would be fine, I would just have to have an ultrasound first to make sure he hasn't flipped and if he is still head up, I would go straight to a c section.  As it stands now, I am scheduled for June 12th.  That won't give me enough time to recover for the july usdaa show I was hoping to get to but it should be good enough for regionals in August.  8 more working days till i get maternity leave, YIPEE!  I am ready!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Well, thats that

No triune for Deuce and I.  Mixed feelings.  Went to the doctor yesterday and mr. andrew is head up and running out of fluid.  Basically I am too small and he is getting big.  He is only a little over 6 lbs at this point but I am only 5 feet even so no room.  My hubby and I decided to let the doctor try to spin him even though my placenta is in the front and could rupture or separate and I would have to have an emergency c section.  Either way, will probably have to have a c-section which is a bummer!!!!!  I wanted to go to a show mid July but I am thinking that isn't going to work and probably don't need to go as I am not going to nationals anyway so what is the rush.  I guess looking forward to just taking it easy this weekend versus scribing/timing and video taping deuce run for the barbs.  Anyway, feeling a little scared and not wanting to get too far from my doctor.  Not only is he a hottie mc hottie but he is supposedly one of the best surgeons in manhattan when it comes to c-sections.  There was a hospital less than a mile away from the show site but it would be  strange hospital and a strange doctor and I need to feel comfortable right now, not nervous.  Will keep everyone posted:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

officially off

So stella is chugging along with her 2 x 2 training.  She has done really well so far, only have a few issues with a few of the entries but then getting it the next session.  We are almost to the point of adding the second set.  I am taking my time with this, we don't always do 2 x 2 work every day, in no rush for sure.  We went out to Lori's field and had an other private lesson on her plank work, her 2 x 2 work and her jumping. I  had started linda M's jumping foundation work with her and I was noticing some trouble things so I wanted Lori to watch her.  She still seems to get distracted a little bit too much out at lori's place.  Part of it is that we had no classes when she was a baby like mr. Deuce did and part of it is I just haven't gotten her out like i did the other dogs when they were babies.  With deuce I was also running when he was younger and when I did shorter mileage, he got to go and see a variety of settings.  I am hoping once the baby is here and can go out in the stroller, she can go on shorter runs with us.  I also hope as I can start lugging the wire crates in the show sites that she can go to more shows too.  She can be a big pain at shows with her vocalizations and her eating her way out of crates so I have to admit, I have taken the easy way out and just stopped taking her.  That I do travel with others alot so one dog is usually all I can take with anyway.

I really do feel like I have reached the point where I can't train the dogs unless it is an exercise where I am stationary and they move around me.  I tried to do some motion work with stella when we were doing jump chutes and by that afternoon, I could barely walk for the round ligament pain.  I have basically stopped doing any training with Deuce because pretty much all I need to do with him involves running so he is on vacation now till after the baby is born.  I still hate that he missed the last show thanks to KC, but it happened and there is nothing I can do about it now.  I am fully prepared to hand him over to the Barbs at the Triune show. I think I had some glimmer of hope that we could do some running but there is just NO way now.  I am too big, too clumsy and get too sore even with my belly band.  So my plan up until Mr. Andrew comes is to continue to work on plank work with me stationary or throwing something and keep on working the 2 x 2 method.  Then, we shall have to see after mr. andrew gets here as to how I feel.  I envision me jumping back into the saddle again fairly quickly  but I also had envisioned myself running alot longer too.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stella's 2 x 2 journey begins

Stella's 1 year old b day was today so I decided to go ahead and start her 2 x 2 training now.  Would like to be done with most of the work with this method by the time the baby comes but we might not get there.  Summer has decided to hit us full force since spring never did really but I can do at least one if not two sets in our bedroom (although the baby stuff might make it only 1 set fitting now LOL).  She has been taught all of her other behaviors with shaping so this should be fun.  Last night we just did running straight through the poles and then started with the poles at 12 and 6.  She got that pretty quickly I did 5 minute sessions at the most.  Did another session this morning but she was hooking through the poles on her right shoulder.  She gets VERY frustrated when she does not get rewarded and it is kind of funny because she pouts or she starts turbo offering behaviors to try and please.  I just have to sit there and wait her out and try not to giggle.  I love the fact that she will work for food or toys so we can switch up using a ball or using food or tug toys.  It is alot easier for some reason to keep sessions short with her too, maybe because I am preggers and I have no stamina or that I have no expectations of her since she has never weaved at all.  With deuce I think i struggled with longer sessions because I knew he knew how to weave.  I will try and get some video because some of the behaviors she offers are pretty funny.

Here is a video I threw together of Stella's first year in pictures.  Of course my digital camera sucks so alot of the pictures aren't great and I was making this with one hand while I threw the ball with the other hand to wear her out so the transitions suck sometimes.  Am hoping that youtube doesn't strip the music as I think She Likes Rock and Roll by AC/DC fits her so well.




 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsTHgCTLYe8&feature=g-upl

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The dreaded sound of hacking

I hate that sound, the sound we all know as doggy parents.  No, not the sound of puking about to happen but that cough, the one you know is kennel cough.  Woke up on thursday morning to that sound.  This was suppose to be my last show running deuce and I was really sad that he probably wouldn't be able to run.  Called the vet as soon as they opened and got him an appointment for that afternoon knowing I probably knew the diagnosis.  Started him on tussin tablets and hoped for the best.  Well after a whole night of him harking as I call it, and puking phelgm all over mom and I in the bed, I called the vet back first thing wanting stronger meds and antibiotics.  Got the stronger meds but not the antibiotics as he has no other symptoms.  After a great night of sleep and then a whole another day of being woozy from the meds, he finally has stopped coughing.  I am very glad he is feeling better and we have slowly weaned him down off of the cough meds.  He still needs the lowest dose but only the lowest dose.  I also found out that there were several vaccinated dogs that also came down with it but were kenneled at the other end of the building.  I did walk  out that way to let him potty so if the infected dog was down there, I guess we walked in their airborne wake.  Most of the dogs that got sick came down with it last monday so it was weird that he didn't come down with it till thursday but oh well, different incubation times for different dogs I guess.  I hadn't had him in any classes or out really as I have been SO busy lately trying to get all of my teaching done before this baby comes and have been working my first job till time to go teach and not coming home.  Good for all of my students I guess.  Bad for the puppy class that I used him in on wednesday night though.  He wasn't coughing then but he might have been contagious and they were puppies.  I would hate to miss the wichita show as I enjoy it and the vendors but it seems my dogs always come away from that show with something, thanks to the hundreds of dogs that are there for conformation, agility, lure coursing, obedience and herding.

The good news is that mom and I got to go to the baby shower anyway on saturday as the vet said we couldn't pass it on us to other dogs.  Had so much fun, got so much great puppy and star themed stuff and had the most awesome cake ever!  Will have to upload a pic, took a bunch on my phone.  It was babies doing dog agility and it was AMAZING!!!!  My dog friends are so amazing!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The almost first double Q:)

We almost did it!  I almost got our first double Q and I am so proud.  This weekend was long, had a four day and my body was NOT happy by the fourth day.  My back was hurting, was uncomfortable and just didn't feel good at all but I almost got our first double q on that day.  Funny how that works out!  Not feeling like my normal play by play so here are the overall highs and lows of the four days.

Lows:  Deuce missed a few weave pole entries this weekend.  He had been doing so well for so long but we had some challenges I guess I just haven't practiced.  We had several triple to weaves scenarios.  One I totally thought I cued him to collect over the triple and he just ignored my cues and then was past the entry (it was a 90 degree turn into them and he just turned into the second pole).  The other wasn't as hard as a 90 but he had knocked a bar a couple of jumps before and was running in stressy mode.  Sucked because on the 90 degree to the weaves from the triple was the only mistake we made on that tough course.  Deuce had a couple of knocked bars but not too hung up on that.  One was the first bar but I think it was where I set him and not totally 100% his fault.  I set him up wrong and too close to the first jump in a very soft spot.  Bad me.  Had one course where I was reactive and I hate that.  He felt it too and didn't run very well.  Blew my double Q by holding my breath and not handling the end of the course because I was oh shit mode.  He had made it through ALL the tough parts and I let him jump a jump super extended which made getting back to the a-frame impossible so he ran around it.  Totally my fault, not his at all, I gave him NO information about what was coming up and how to jump.  Three obstacles from the end.  BOOOOO!!!!!

Highs: Got three Qs this weekend, one in standard on a very icky course that only four dogs in 20 inch qualified on and got a second to a big lab that has blazing running contacts.  Got a Q on a fun and fast JWW course that only had about 5 dogs qualify on (lots of bars) and got his first first place in EX B.  He listened and I handled.  Why can't I get this through my head to handle proactively and he will run like I know he will.  The best run I had all weekend was on a very icky standard course that literally made me mad.  It was super, super trappy and I just hated it so I attacked it and guess what, beautiful run.   I need to get mad at more courses apparently. Got a Q in T2B which was a fun course in which I pushed him, he kept his head and so did I.

Hope to have at least one video of the weekend. My travel partner tried to video me some as she could since she was only a few dogs ahead of me.  Two more shows before baby unless baby decides to come early.  I am so ready to have my body back, although running felt good this weekend and other than being out of breath after the runs, I felt good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

plank work

I have been trying to get in as much plank work as my schedule and body allow.  I am going to have to start doing work in the mornings to get in daily reps.  Two days a week I go straight from work to teach so I am not getting anything done on those days.  Today it was super hot as it was yesterday so she was kind of pokey.  We have worked really hard on getting her to run from target to target to get her to build drive.  I have stopped using toys but need to get back to them.  Food seems to get her going the best so have been relying on that more.  I felt like she was finally driving back and forth nicely no matter what position I was in.  Initially if I was standing in the middle and clicking, she would stop and check in with me to get the cookie instead of driving ahead.  We seemed to have eliminated that behavior which is a huge step ahead for her.  She really likes it when I race her to the target the best but I will not always be right there with her, and of course being preggers, I can't really keep up with her anyway.  We reintroduced the plank with her this week, a wider plank to help her.  She still isn't 100% on staying on it, in fact prefers to run beside it.  In her defense, the plank is still not painted or sanded so it is a little slick.  We are having to use cones to help her visually but really want to fade them quicker than she wants them faded LOL.  Will continue this week and hoping to get video of her running.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mastered

I have that song by metallica, Master of puppets going through my head.  MASTER, MASTER!  I fo sho got mastered this weekend.  First weekend full of master's courses and I felt like a fish out of water.  So weird because I did masters or P3 classes for years with Miller so it isn't like I have seen these challenges before.  This is why i love USDAA though.  The courses are really hard, very detailed and have a little international flair to them.  There is no just getting through them safely, you have to run them and run them right or you have no chance.  Anyway, I was a little worried because I have hit my third trimester and I am starting to get very uncomfortable.  For whatever reason, I felt perfectly fine running but all the other stuff was the part that sucked.  The sitting and waiting, the staying in the hotel, the not being able to get comfortable in the hotel bed.  Luckily mom and I and Barb traveled together and we all get along great and there is 0 stress so that part was out of the picture.  Had my heating pad but really didn't even need it.  So, deciding to go ahead and enter a show in may and see what happens.  Not traveling to Omaha, just going to enter the KC one that is 2 hours away and can pull if needed when it gets closer.

I think the biggest problem I had this weekend, other than deuce slipping a little was me not being able to get to where i needed to be or my brain quitting.  I literally stepped to the line in steeplechase and my brain quit.  I totally forgot what I was going to do on this tough line and I f'ed it up something big time.  Tried to do two front crosses when I had no chance in hell in getting them in.  Did the first one in the totally wrong place and then should have aborted to a rear as I was out of place but didn't and he missed a jump.  BOOO!  Needed that Q for regionals, oh well.  No steeplechase for nationals unless I drag me and a newborn baby back to St. Louis in July and try again or ship him with someone.  Deuce slipped in gamblers and the gamble was a weave gamble so he missed a pole:(  He did come in and not take the last jump too so we probably wouldn't have gotten it even if he wouldn't have missed the pole.   I was just proud i got him in the gamble successfully since there was an off course tunnel and they had to be somewhat collected to not take that tunnel and come back and get the next jump before the weaves.  Standard was next and we had a little foul up right at the beginning.  He didn't totally collect at the start so had a wide turn and then when I did my next front cross, he saw the weaves and looped out to them rather than coming in on my front cross.  Dang 2 x 2s again makes him want weaves more than anything else.  Oh well, i will take it.  Then he slipped again going into the poles and I had to restart him twice.  The rest of the run was of course PERFECT with him listening, having great contacts and even got a blind cross in after the a-frame.  I was happy that we recovered because he tends to stress when I do anything with his weaves.  I came off the course not knowing if he wasn't trying to get the weaves or what.  I think what was happening was I was taking him out prior to running him and it was raining and his feet were getting wet and then he was having trouble gripping the turf but that is our routine, him go pee on something, come in and run and I don't want him peeing on something in the ring LOL.

Pairs was next and we were teamed with another red merle aussie.  We had named our team Red Magic:)  We actually got a Q, even with Deuce missing the entry on his weaves and bailey knocking a bar.  I think we were one second under the standard course time LOL.  This was the only Q we got all weekend so I guess one pairs Q down, four to go.


Jumpers was last and my brain was blown.  Did a FC and took the back side of a jump instead of the correct side.  Made it harder.  BLEh.  Then took the wrong end of a tunnel on a very tough line where he had to pull and then flip to the other end.  BLEh.  Finished well again but hate ending on a low note.

Day 2 had fewer runs which was probably a good thing.  Jumpers, snooker and standard and not as long of a day but still a 6 hour drive to get back home.  My brain again just wasn't in it and my body wasn't cooperating either.  Started with jumpers and he was real loopy.  Any time we would be running toward the start of finish, I seem to loose him.  He would just head to the exit like he thought we were done, even though I was running laterally the other way.  I think he was a little stressed because it was one of those super tough courses where you needed to have complete focus and there really wasn't a ton of room to just let them run.  So it could have been a stress thing.  He was still clean coming to the end despite loosing his focus a couple of times and then ran around a jump.  I am kind of glad he didn't Q because it was not a good run.  Very reactive, very loopy and not what I want from him or me.  Snooker was next and I had what I thought was a decent plan with two sixes and a 7.  Well, got the first one and a six and he back jumped the second part of the six combo.  I had planned on turning him to the right and then at the last minute put in a rear cross but he was already committed to turning to the right so floated back and took what was between him and i.  Totally my fault, should have stayed committed to turning him to the right.  Tweet done, majorly mad at myself.  I usually do well in snooker:(

Standard was the last run and I thought it was a great course, hard but tons of challenges.  We had this crazy line that went all the way down the arena and needed two rears to get it correctly.  Well, I said the famous word of go to get him over a jump and he went so far that he lined up with the dang weaves again so he looped towards them and by the time I got him back, he was past a jump.  DANG it!

Here is a video link to most of the runs or at least their parts LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpe1-skuTF8

Had running with the devil on as the soundtrack but neither he nor i nor andrew fit the devil part:)  I was behind most runs thanks to my ginormous belly but we had fun, learned a lot and will be doing more and more rear crosses as this pregnancy progresses.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Agility goodness

SO nice after a dry spell of no training or very little to have several weekends of training.  Joc's class is alot of fun and we are getting lots of good training time out of it.  Running on dirt is so different than running on flat grass so good to get on different surfaces.  Yesterday was snooker day to get us ready for this weekend.  Last USDAA show before the baby and before regionals.  One last shot at steeplechase.  I am okay if we don't get it since if we go to nationals, doing team and grand prix will probably be more than enough.  Of course that is a big IF.  IF i don't loose my job, IF I can handle going with a wittle baby, IF mom can come out yet again and go with.  May be a good year to just sit out and let deuce mature and let everything else settle in to place.  Also did some international courses with Deuce.   Lori had some set ups that were a ton of fun and a TON of running.  Let's just say running is getting pretty hard for me at this point.  I huff and puff and try and bark out commands while trying to get to where I need to be.  This weekend will be very, very interesting to say the least.  I just feel like I can't get to where i need to be.  I feel like this week I have really gotten bigger too.  The pregnancy book says my uterus is the size of a basketball right now and I believe it.  I feel like I am carrying a bowling ball in my belly or maybe a watermelon!  For those of you not on FB, here is a belly pic.  I feel like a whale!  I am entered in USDAA this weekend and then two more shows, one of which is a four day.  HELP ME!  If you see me after a run, might want to bring me oxygen.  I seriously don't know how all of these mommas do it and then give birth like a day or too after their last run.  I am thinking at this point I will be lucky to get through april.

Also had our first lesson with stella to start the running contact process.  She was very distracted (it was very windy and very hot in her defense) and really wasn't running to her toy or her target.  Kind of hard to work on a "running" contact when your dog isn't running.  Anyway, got lots of homework and lots of tips on what to look for eventually so am going to do homework this week and video sessions and go from there. Of course I took her to Joc's place and worked on her running to her targets there in the barn and she was running like a crazy woman.  Even brought the plank back and she was flying over it.  Joc's plank is painted and sanding so her footing was better and we used some gates to help her but I think we will be able to fade those gates fairly quickly.  We worked on her running with me, running past me, me restraining her, running and me clicking and her still going to her target and she was so good.  GRRR, why couldn't you do that when Lori was watching LOL!   Now we need to work all of these things with the toy as well.  She is a big toy dog but for whatever reason, when it is a dead toy, it isn't as interesting. I know this process is going to take a long time and I am excited to go through it.  I think Stella will probably not show for quite a while with the baby joining us and my focus being on deuce anyway so we have a ton of time to perfect alot of stuff!

Friday, March 16, 2012

weekend work

So EXCITED!  We are suppose to have beautiful weather and Lori is coming home for a weekend of lessons.  I so need this right now.  I just downloaded the Ebook for the WAO and have started working through the exercises.  Lots of great stuff.  I am one of those that likes to read and do and read and do.  would go crazy if I tried to read the whole thing and not do as I read.  I also just bought the mary ellen barry dvd on broad jumps and am looking to purchase a sturdy broad jump.  I need to help deuce and figure out why he crashes them when it is not a straight in and out approach.  I know we don't train it enough but it needs to be part of our training from now on.  Stella is going to start her journey with running contacts this weekend and I hope with this baby due in June that I can get through the first part of training before I have to take much time off.  She has finally shown me the body control she needs for this so I am excited to see what this brings.  I wasn't really successful in teaching Deuce a running a-frame but I feel more educated now and more ready to give this 100%.

On another more solemn note, we found out this week that our lab did not receive funding on this cycle.  Our grant was denied.  I have very mixed feelings.  We have enough money if we unload practically everyone to keep me around till december.  This means two part time techs are being let go(one has been here 20+ years and one just had a baby and has three kids at home) and two grad students are being turned over to the school.  I think they will continue to get to do research in our lab, but their salaries will come from the school and not the remaining grant money.  One part of me wants to panic and scream why.  Why has all of this bad stuff being happening to me since like October?  But the other part of me says God has a plan, I just have to sit back and relax and let him guide me.  I do have a job opportunity but it would be now and I am not sure that I need something right now.  It would be teaching at a tech college which i would enjoy, but alot of prep work for that first year that I may or may not be able to do with a new born baby.  After much thought and consideration and prayer, I have decided to pass on this.  I hope that I am not dead wrong in doing so.  My boss is going to resubmit the grant with more revisions and rework and me and the remaining grad student will probably have to learn lots of new techniques to get up to speed with the rest of the world i guess.  We are one of very few labs that do what we do so we are pretty unique in our protocals and procedures but we can join the main stream on some things which should help funding wise.

Once again as is with the baby coming, I am left with alot of not sures in my life.  Not sure if I can continue to show, to teach, to do the sport I love, but I am determined and where there is a will there is a way:)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

very random

Man, it really hit me last night how much having a baby is going to change things.  I am teaching two nights a week right now to get in one last big session of classes before I am out on maternity leave.  On monday night, I just hung out at work (actually working:) until right before class and then drove out to the field.  We had set up the course already so I just needed to walk it to find the tricky spots.  Last night I managed to get out of work at 4 so was able to drive home, clean the back yard, have dinner and drive back in plenty of time.  I even stayed out at the field till almost 9:30 just talking to students and to alice.    When the baby comes, I have no clue how I am going to be able to do these things and that scares me.  I have so many great students who are on the brink of starting the competition careers and I don't want to just leave them in a lurch.  If i breast feed, I will pump but is this going to be enough so that I can stay gone say two nights a week?  I know before I start teaching again that I will have a schedule worked out, knowing how anal I am about everything so I know I will be better prepared after the baby comes, but right now thinking about all of this scares the hell out of me.


Enough whining:)  I am taking my first private lesson to start the running contact journey with stella.  While I have never had an aussie I thought could handle running contacts, I do feel that Stella has the best chance at being successful.  I just am a little nervous about screwing any of the steps up and oh yeah, I don't have a dog walk in my backyard to practice with.  Am hoping to go to Tulsa next year and buy one there from one of the rings like I did my a frame since that was such a great buy.   For now we will probably just have planks at home and then she will have to go with me every time I go out to the field and I will just have to deal with the screaming.  She has a great two on two off on the teeter so I know if I have to change over that we have it to use but I really would like to have one dog trained on running on everything.  Now to sit on my hands about weave poles.  I really, really am excited to try the 2 x 2 method with her and it is taking every inch of me not to sneak out and start:)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

slow day at work

So it is a very slow day at work and I have been reading all the blog posts today about the topic "If I knew then what I know now".  It is has been so much fun reading about trainers reminiscing about their start in dog sports whether it be in agility or in obedience.  Takes me back to when I started, about 10 years ago.  I was just a grad student with a dog and a horse when I was introduced into the world of agility.  Back then safety was not in the front of everyone's mind so dogs were jumped full height and usually on not the safest of surfaces.  I have heard many stories of agility trials in parking lots jumping 26 inches or higher which is a scary thought now.  Most equipment was homemade and the best we could do at the time and shaping, what the heck is shaping?

When I started, all we had was the local kennel club that met in a small room that was of course matted concrete, but we aren't talking those nice cushy agility mats, we are talking thin green obedience mats.  Our equipment of course was homemade and scary if best.  I can still remember the little rickety mini teeter that had two giant metal poles sticking up on either side at the pivot point.  We didn't know anything about the bang game or plank work, we simply took our poor dogs and drug them across the teeter as it slammed to the matted concrete.  If the dog was fearful, stick a cookie in their face and drag them over again and again.  One time berry managed to wrestle herself free from my grip and stabbed herself on one of those dang metal posts and then refused to even look at a teeter for like 6 months.  I also remember teaching weaves.  We didn't have channels or WAMS or anything that made sense to the dog.  We simply put a cookie in their face and lured them through, step stepping all the way through, not really weaving.  Remember sticking your hands through the  poles to mimic having a cookie in your hand in a trial?  I do!

And contact criteria, what the heck was that?  Two on two off was just becoming in vogue when I started miller.  Berry was just taught to go, go, go and I prayed that she got some part of her in the contact zone.  At the time I started Miller,  we simply put a target at the end of the contact with a cookie, showed them the target prior to them getting on the contact and then expected them to run the full contact and stop at the bottom  (as we were screaming bottom) and get the cookie.  Remember what happened when that target was faded away?  Usually the dog forgot all about stopping which resorted to us screaming even louder BOTTOM and sometimes frantic pointing.  One of my favorite pictures I have of miller is at a show, jumping over my pointed finger with a big grin on his face.  It wasn't until I taught him what the heck bottom meant separate from the contact that he even got the slightest clue.

I also remember the first time I was taught what a cross was.  Previously i resorted to all rear crosses(didn't even know at that time those had a name), which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't because berry really didn't have a great concept of go ahead of me.  I have many videos of me running up to a jump and stopping and her putting on the brakes too and stopping before the jump.  I took a seminar with Lori Michaels on the concepts of crosses and thought I had been dropped into a country with a foreign language.  Fronts, blinds and rears?  What the heck?  And systems, what are those?

my first agility dog berry
Anyway it was a long fun journey and I am glad that I took it even with all the mistakes.  I have met some of the best friends I have in the whole world thanks to agility.  Now that I embark on this journey with my 5th agility dog, I have come so far in the methods I use for training.  No more dragging and luring, we shape and reward.  No more praying that they understand what the heck we mean, we are clear and do foundation work prior to ever getting on the equipment.  We teach our dogs how to fail and how to deal with it.  How to be thinkers and how to problem solve.  We treat our dogs like athletes and stretch them and take them to chiropractors and massage therapy when they are ouchy.  I don't regret any part of the past but dang sure am glad we know what we know now and train the way we do now!