Saturday, September 18, 2010

Making the right yet most difficult decision

Sad post ahead. Read at your own risk...

Last January my pregnant belly was just starting to really show, and with all the doctors appointments, nesting urges and with reality setting in I felt there was only one thing missing. One thing that could complete our family that was rapidly growing in size... and that was a puppy. I have always grown up with animals. There was never a time in my life (other than just getting married) that I didn't have a dog or two. To me a dog was the icing on the cake. A dog loves unconditionally, keeps you company, makes you feel safe and you can't help but smile when you see how happy they are just to be with you. Plus, I wanted little Maisie to have a playmate. I had this image of my daughter running around outside with dog in tow and giggling when he licked her face. So after some research, Scooter entered our family.

At first he was a little tough to train, but soon enough he got with the routine. We loved our little puppy. He was a perfect match, spunky and cuddly. Then March 2nd my doctor pulled me from work due to sciatic nerve issues. I wasn't on bed rest, but I might as well have been. There were days I couldn't move. Scooter was my constant companion through it all. Austin was working 11 hour days and without Scooter I would have been so lonely. Where ever I was he was right there beside me. As my belly grew I became more nervous about Scooter. He was our baby and how is going to react when Maisie (our real baby) was the center of attention? I knew he wouldn't be aggressive or anything like that, but would he feel neglected? Soon enough Maisie was home and in our arms and everything was a little hectic. Getting the hang of breastfeeding is hard enough, but while a dog is trying to play fetch or jump on your lap!? Forget about it! Scooter instantly knew his place, but I think he was determined to get attention and it didn't matter if it was good or bad.

The first couple weeks he would leave little "presents" for Maisie in her room. I was furious because naturally I am over protective when it comes to her and her space. They don't call it nesting if you are not in fact building a "nest" for your little one. I felt as though our "nest" had been invaded and frankly it felt unfair to little Maisie. After my anger subsided I then started to feel very sad for him. He was letting us know in the only way he could that he felt jipped. We then changed so many things to give him an adequate amount of attention, but soon Austin had to return to work full time and it became very difficult for me to balance motherhood for a my baby and my pet. Scooter naturally got the back burner again and once again he expressed any way he could that he was not as happy as he could be. Scooter is still a VERY happy dog, I just know its not fair for him. He deserves owners that can give him all the attention he needs/wants. Plus apartment life is not the ideal place for him. He needs a back yard. A place where he has his very own space. I took awhile for me to admit that. I would tell myself that soon enough we would have a place with a yard, but in all reality our lease isn't up until next June and who knows where we will be after that. Scooter needs better than that.

Austin and I spent weeks discussing options and it would all come down to keeping him and trying to make things work because we were too sad thinking about getting rid of him. I then realized that as much as we adore him and love having him apart of the family HE deserves better. Austin and I then made plans that if we found someone that we both knew and that we know would take great care of him, that would be the best option. Austin then posted a quick facebook post with a picture of Scoot and explaining that we might be finding him a new home. That day a family friend instantly expressed interest. I was so relieved at first because I knew that he would have a great family. There was no doubt in my mind that they would be a perfect match for him. Then as we had more and more conversations with them it became a much more serious idea that Scooter would be gone. After a week of debating on both sides, yesterday it was decided that Scooter would have a new family.

My heart is broken. I have been crying on and off the past two days now. There are just so many things running through my head. Like that I feel as though I have failed Scooter and that I'm so scared for him because Austin and I are the only things he knows. I know how much we are going to miss him and I can't help but think about all the life he has left and that we won't be there to see it through. He truly is a wonderful dog and even though this was a very hard decision to make after much prayer and thought we know it's the right one. We just want him to be the happiest he can be and it saddens me that we can't do that for him right now.

I can only do so much to keep my emotions at bay. I remind myself of all the good things that will come out of this. Like peace of mind. I know he will be getting enough attention and he will be happy. It might be a hard week on both him and us, but he will soon realize how good he has it with them and soon enough our sadness will ease. But right now I see my little Scooter and I can't help but think of how much I love him and that our home will feel empty without him. He has brought so much joy to our lives and I think it's only fair to do right by him and so tomorrow afternoon Scooter will have new parents. I am hoping with all the crying I am doing right now it won't be as bad tomorrow, but the truth is I will be miserable tomorrow. I have confirmation that this is definitely the right thing to do, but like in that expression, the right thing is not always the easiest.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Austin's Busy Birthday Weekend

Austin turned 23 this last Saturday. His parents got him an awesome camera, but Maisie gave him the best gift! As he was kissing her belly she let out an adorable first laugh! No present could ever top that! We had a very busy, but overall very fun weekend. All the Lees went to the coast where we ate a delicious lunch at Mo's and then walked around the stores for a little bit. After dilly dallying around, we headed back to Salem where Austin and I then had our very first date post Maisie. It was so nice get out and to flirt like we were in high school again. We played a round of mini golf and even after tons of competitive talk it ended up being a tie game. 49 to 49 (since it was Austin's Birthday I let him win). We had a great dinner where we ended up talking about Maisie of course.

The next night we had a BBQ and birthday cake with his family. We stayed up watching movies until we couldn't keep our eyes open. The next morning we were going to head home, but we decided to hang around and walk downtown to look at all the shops. We walked around the Willamette campus and tried to find some ducks for Maisie, but no luck. Since it was a beautiful day we were planning on going to Silver Creek Falls, but we were so tired that a nap sounded much better than a hike. haha So we ordered Walleries and once again had a movie night.

I have always wanted to go by this sunflower farm (sunflowers are my favorite!) that we always passed whenever we headed to Silverton and since Austin got a super nice camera we thought it would be fun to take some pictures there. As we were driving I was waiting for it to appear on my right side and it never came. I was so bummed! Every year I would see it and then the one time we have a camera (and a beautiful baby girl) it's not there! So we got into Silverton and Austin noticed a sign that said "The Oregon Gardens" we were intrigued and followed the signs to what Austin called a little gem. Had we found the sunflower farm we would have never found this place. It was beautiful and we couldn't have gone on a more perfect day. It was so warm and the sunshine made the gardens glow. Maisie loved it too! She was loving all the colors. Austin took lots of pictures and I thought I would post a few.

We at least found a couple sunflowers!

Maisie and Daddy by the pond

Mommy and Maisie

Playing in the grass

There was no one around to take our picture so Austin wrapped his tripod around a tree branch. Haha

Hobbit House!!
Once again the handy dandy tripod helped with this one as well.

After throughly exploring the gardens and multiple photo shoots later, we headed to our friend Jordan's house where she was having a birthday/farewell BBQ. She is leaving to Seattle to finish up school and it was so much fun to see everyone. It kind of felt like a high school reunion in a way. I wish we could have stayed later, but Austin had to be back at work bright (not too bright any more) and early. Anyway, that was the conclusion of our busy (extended) weekend. To end this post I think I will add some pictures of our day at the coast. Enjoy!

Lunch at Mo's

Cold water!

Toes in the sand.

Originally Scooter was not supposed to be in this shot, but he plopped himself right in line with us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where Did My Newborn Baby Go?

Maisie will be 4 months old in 6 days! I really cannot believe how much time has literally flown by. I look at her newborn pictures and am in awe. She has changed so much and has lost most of her "newborness". I'm thrilled by her growth, but at the same time where did my teeny tiny baby go?

She has really kicked things into high gear. She rolls over (not by accident anymore) and she is trying to crawl so bad, but not yet coordinated or strong enough (thank heaven because we still have to finish baby proofing our apartment). She grabs everything and sticks it in her mouth including, but not limited to: my hair, her clothes, my jewelery, her dolly's face, daddy's nose and pretty much anything she can get her little hands on now. She is quite the talkative child as well. From an early age she has loved the sound of her own voice. She would chit-chat with herself for hours making various vowel sounds, but now it sounds like she is trying to communicate with Austin and I. She has discovered how to make "M" sounds, so a lot of the times it sounds like she is saying "ma ma and maaaa" melts my heart every time! Maisie is also a little copy cat. She can stick out her tongue, and even make kissy noices when prompted.

I just can't get over how much she has changed already. Almost 4 months ago she was just a little squishy "thing" ( I say that affectionately ). I now see her funny little personalty and temperament. I am such a proud mommy. I really am so blessed to have this little angel as my daughter.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Year Ago Today...

The wedding chaos was over and after a couple months Austin's German course at BYU was over and it was time to head back to Oregon. We packed all of our stuff for hopefully the last time for a long time and made our trip back home. After getting settled in at my in-laws until my work transfer went through, I noticed something was missing. That's right I was late that month. I am NEVER late. Austin tried to pass it off on the stress of the trip back or that the birth control had messed up my monthly schedule. I agreed with Austin and for a couple days I pushed the idea of pregnancy out of my head and continued to enjoy the rest of our summer. Austin and I would spend the days floating on our raft (Sunny II) at the Silverton reservoir. We were taking advantage of probably the last time for a while that we both were not working or in school. We were newly weds and life was sweet.

I had my interview set up for the next week in Beaverton and Austin and I wanted to get the feel for the areas we would want to live in. We spent the day checking out TONS of apartments in the Portland area. On the way home I couldn't get the pregnancy idea out of my head. Could it be possible? After nervously debating if I should tell Austin I wanted to stop to buy a test. I finally said "Austin um... I think we should buy a pregnancy test..." Austin I'm sure was secretly rolling his eyes, but he humored me. He knew I would stress out about it until I knew for sure and in turn he would stress out about me being stressed out. So we saw the local walmart and ran in to buy a test. I remember standing in the aisle filled with panty liners and various contraceptives and there sandwiched in the middle were the pregnancy tests. I was so overwhelmed. We were holding hands looking at all the options before us. We both agreed that we should probably get one that says "pregnant" or "not pregnant" (I.E fool proof). We bought two of them and headed home. I stuffed the walmart bag into my purse and ran down stairs to the bathroom. We both read the directions and decided to do the 'cup method'. Austin left the bathroom, I did my business and then opened the door. We dipped the stick and put in on the counter. It was blinking the word "working...working... working" Austin didn't look nervous, but i felt as though I would pass out. I saw that the "working" had changed and without knowing what it said I grabbed it and held it so tightly in my white knuckled fist. Austin convinced me to open my hand and sure enough the word that was starring right back at us was "PREGNANT". I started sobbing right away and to be honest it was not a happy cry. All I could mutter out was "It's not the right time. It's not the right time." I have always wanted to have kids, but we had only been married for 2 months and in that moment I felt jipped. I started thinking about "What if i don't get the job?! Where are we going to live?! We cant afford a baby. I don't even have health insurance!" Austin could see my world was spinning and he held my face looked me in the eyes and said " I love you and I have always wanted children with you. I know it feels like it's the wrong timing, but we can do this."

Later that night I remember laying on the bed with my hands around my belly. All I could think of was this little baby that was growing inside me. I was starting to feel much better and even though it wasn't our ideal time to get pregnant, it was happening. Austin and I spent the next couple weeks in shock. We were opposites when it came to emotions. When I was excited he was nervous and vis versa. I always liked that because someone was always there to remind the other what a blessing it truly was. After the initial shock wore of we were elated. I was eager to get my hands on every pregnancy book ever made. We made our OB appointment and there we heard the heart beat and honestly, that steady swooshing sound was one of the most incredible things I have ever heard. My mid-wife then did a quick ultrasound and for the first time we saw (what now is my precious Maisie) moving around in the womb and her little heart flicker. It was nothing short of amazing.

What a strange thought that a year ago I was pregnant. I now look at my baby girl kicking her feet in the air and chewing her fist and knowing that a year ago she was just an idea. I could have never imagined how wonderful she truly is. I of course thought that she would be incredible, but boy was that an understatement! It's been an amazing journey, pregnancy to now mother of a 3 1/2 month old. I can't even imagine this experience without Austin. He is my partner in life, a wonderful husband and father and a tremendous support in all things. I look at my little Maisie and it takes my breath away seeing what Austin and I have made.