This face. I love it.
Y’all, I love my little boy so much. I love how he’s started saying, “MA MA MA MA MA MA” even though it doesn’t count because he’s not trying to say it to me (yet). I love that he throws his body around in his exersaucer, only ever wants to be standing and jumping, makes faces with every bite of food (before he lunges for another one), and loves being naked more than anything in the world.
I love him.
But there was a time when Nate and I were only parents to two other babies – our furbabies.
First it was Bunker – my first baby boy. I remember thinking that if motherhood were anything like mothering an 8-week old puppy, it was going to be one of the hardest and most rewarding things in the world. I was right. I remember when it was just us and Bunker, and we thought that being “parents” to a lab was crazy difficult. I remember when we went on our first vacation without him and had to take him to a dog boarding place the night before we left. I cried for probably 4 straight hours, ate 3/4 of a pizza and watched Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood before passing out. And I remember how even though we had a blast, my heart ached to see my little puppy again.
I remember how we used to take Bunker to a park by our apartment where there was a big hill. One of us would stand at the top and the other at the bottom, and we would take turns yelling, “YAAAAAAAAAY BUNKER!!!” so that he would run up and down the hill til he passed out. I remember the first time he swam – we were at another park with friends who had grown labs, and Bunker was only 4 months old. I gently put him in the water with my hand under his chest to hold him up, and within seconds he had pushed off of me and swam the entire rest of the day til he passed out.
I remember how the first night we had him we tried to let him “cry it out” in his crate for about 20 minutes before we both gave up and slept on the floor with him so he wouldn’t feel so lonely. And then did that for like the next 4 months. Oops.
I remember falling asleep on the couch with him on my chest, and I remember thinking, “I should enjoy this – it may not happen again.” It didn’t.
I remember so many things about those years with just Bunker, but even more than that I see what an amazing dog he is now. Loving, happy, and full of life. Stubborn, head-strong, and sassy. Obedient (most of the time) and protective. We really could not have asked for a better boy.
Then came Keira – our first and only (as of now) baby girl. She was the result of two things: 1) me crying enough about wanting to have another puppy for probably about a year and 2) Nate’s desire to have a female dog that would be his little girl. I remember the day that we found her: it was freezing cold and in the middle of September. We drove around to several different places, the last being Boulder Humane Society. We went there to look at another dog only to find out that it was already adopted. We were about to leave when Nate saw this little black puppy huddled in the corner of the outdoor play area, one of the volunteers trying to coax it back inside. We went over and asked if we could play with her, and the volunteer basically said, “Good luck” and left. She was terrified and cold. She cowered in the corner and shook when we tried to hold her. But something in that little puppy’s eyes spoke to Nate and we ended up taking her home with us.
I remember the first two weeks of having that little girl in our house – how she couldn’t be housebroken, how she was scared of us all the time, and how she ran from Bunker. And then I remember the day that she realized that we loved her and she could trust us. It was all over.
I remember the time we had a birthday party at our house and she was so scared of all the people that she hid in the corner. I went and picked her up and she was so relieved that she just full-on peed all over me. I carried her around and wore that shirt the rest of the night – gross, sort of, but I wasn’t going to put her down again. I think that was one of the first times I realized that if I could be OK letting her pee all over me, I could be OK being a mother to human kiddos too.
But that scared, timid little puppy has grown into the sweetest, most obedient little girl ever. She and I have to stick together, you know – being the only girls in the house and all. She loves with all 45 pounds of her little body. She can run like the wind, jump like crazy, wrestles with Bunker (who is more than half her size), and cuddles like a champ. She can curl into a ball so small that you’d swear she’s half her size. She’s amazing, beautiful, and truly a gift.
I’m so thankful for my life, so thankful for our beautiful family, and so thankful to have such sweet puppies to love on and care for. I often think about the gifts that God has blessed us with, and every single time I do these two dogs are two of the first things to pop into my head. And I just had to share 🙂
Happy Friday y’all!