the pitfalls of potty training

Blue update – Weeks 8 & 9

If you didn’t know we got a puppy, go read this blog post ASAP!

Being a puppy mom has been incredibly hard and incredibly rewarding at the same time. Blue is a smart cookie. I can tell when she’s just ignoring me, or when she’s sneaking off to do something she knows is naughty. But I also rejoice with her as she begins to get it. As she begins to ask to go outside so that she can “go potty” and as she obeys when we say “come” and “sit.” I am so surprised that at nine weeks old she knows so much. Obviously there is still a lot to learn, for BOTH of us. 

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

My favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • When Blue learned to go up and down the stairs to the bonus room.  She’s still so small that she looks like a bunny hopping up the stairs, and I have to encourage her down every step when we go back down.  It’s adorable.
  • The first time she asked to go outside to “go potty.”  
  • Watching her grow right in front of my eyes.
  • Her play date with our friend’s three month old puppy where they played until they literally dropped.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

My least favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • Her tiny sharp puppy teeth as she grabs onto my hand and won’t let go.
  • How dry my hands got from cleaning up pee accidents inside and washing my hands afterward.
  • How much she cries at night and how much we had to get up with her the first week.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Things I have learned:

  • It is okay to change your mind and do what is best for your family and your pup.
  • She is really really smart.
  • If she is acting “bad,” it is most likely my fault, not hers.
  • I cherish my sleep.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Her first week here was hard on all of us. We coddled her a lot at night and she struggled to sleep. We got up with her seven or eight times one night.  She learned that crying would be rewarded, so in her second week here we had to try to unlearn that.  We all lost some more sleep.  But we are confident it is what is best in the long run.  We want her to be comfortable and confident when she is home alone and when she is sleeping at night.

It was our intention to not crate her, however after having her for a week we caved and got a crate.  She went in voluntarily on the first night to go to sleep, but after that it got a little harder.  She is attached to the stuff IN her crate—like her blankies—but she isn’t so keen on the crate itself.  As her fur mama I know that she is safe in her own little den while I am gone, and I have peace of mind that my home isn’t being destroyed while I am at the grocery store.  And I am certain that she will grow to love her place once she realizes it isn’t a punishment and she isn’t lonely.

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Potty training is no joke. We are finding a better routine and schedule that we can all adhere to, but as our days are never the same as one another, that can prove challenging. After four or five days of training she asked to go outside. A week after we got her she asked us three times in one night to let her out. This is where I feel the rewarding aspect of training—to finally see results of hard work. 

She is super smart and Will loves putting her brain to work to train her and then practice things they have learned.  We got her a puzzle ball we can put treats in to help her work her brain also.  A tired puppy is a good puppy, and even though she is very high energy, tiring out her brain is just as important as tiring out her little body.  

Or not so little body.  Two days after we got her I took her to the vet and they weighed her at 10.8 pounds.  By the end of week 9, she weighed a little over 13 pounds.  She is going to be too big to pick up and carry in no time so I am enjoying the lap snuggles while I can.  

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

With full disclosure and honestly, we did not enjoy our first week with Blue.  We were very sleep deprived and potty training proved to be very stressful.  Once we got the crate, things began to improve and I started to get attached.  We made a plan for taking her out at night that would negate some of her crying and got us all on a better schedule. 

We are so excited to watch her grow, to learn with her, and to be the best fur parents we can to this little ball of energy.  Stay tuned for the perils and pleasures of puppy ownership as I take you along for the sometimes bumpy ride over the next several months.  There is so much that we will all learn and experience.

Do you have any puppy advice for me?  The biggest one right now is how to make her happy with her crate and cut down on the crying.  Please leave any knowledge in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to subscribe to join the family if you haven’t already.

Until next time, 
Jamie out.


Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

I am thankful for…

At my job, every day we start the morning by sharing our good news.  Sometimes it is a struggle to think of something, but I can appreciate it all the more because it forces me to chase the good and positive.  

Even if I have been dog sitting another puppy all weekend and I feel like I cleaned up more messes than when we were in the thick of potty training our pup Blue.  Even if I am struggling to adjust back to North Carolina busy life.  I know that my good news this morning is that I got to spend some much needed quality time with my husband this weekend and that we actually weren’t that busy the past two days.

So here is my challenge to you—life is hard, and busy.  There is always something responsible to get done, like laundry and the dishes.  There is always something that will throw off your routine, or be frustrating.  The good news is that you are in control of yourself and how you react to things.  My challenge for you is to chase the good.  Do it with me—every morning think of what your good news is.  

Did you just get a cute new pair of shoes?  Did you successfully try a new recipe?  Did your kid accomplish something awesome, like good grades?  Did you have a great date night?  

Be thankful.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  

It isn’t going to do your life much good if you are only thankful on Thanksgiving.  It is time to create a habit of gratitude.


our Thankful family our Thankful family our Thankful family

Until next time,
Jamie out

the end | Arizona Part IV

Arizona.  We came, we saw, we loved.  

Our fourth month in the desert flew by.  We weren’t exactly sure what to expect when we left the south in June, but I don’t know that we knew what a fantastic experience our four month extended honeymoon would be.

The #SuiteLifeofWillandJamie

To our little hotel suite, with its tiny kitchenette, huge desk, desert themed photos, and ever failing internet.  You were just what we needed and more.  Despite the hotel turning off the AC half way through October so that our room became boiling at 80 degrees (really, we can’t be happy because without the heater is was 59 degrees), and despite the monsoons through the summer that curbed our camping exploits, we really could not have had a better time.

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We had a whole crew that went to the same church every Sunday.  The church was a great little place with good people and a good culture and great taste in music.  This one Sunday the boys all dressed alike.

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We went to see Smallfoot!  Guys.  It is such a cute movie.  Will and I really enjoyed ourselves.  It is funny and feel-good and we left much happier than when we went in.  This was also our first time at this tiny theater and Will discovered that I love the candy “Dots.”  Anyone else with me?  They’re delicious!

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I finished the seventh Harry Potter book and had intentions to read the following “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” when we got to North Carolina, but our storage unit flooded and that book was one of the casualties.  

(Don’t worry I will blog about the storage unit catastrophe later.)

Book seven was way better than I remember it being and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I also almost killed us one night while making spaghetti.  I (accidentally) poured almost this entire thing of garlic powder into the sauce.  Let’s just say, we will be safe from vampires for quite a while.

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I ran out of contacts right before moving home so I popped into an eye doctor to update my prescription.  The doctor was probably the nicest eye doctor I have ever had and was super awesome.  If you are ever in need of an optometrist in Sierra Vista, Arizona, head on over to the Walmart vision center.  You know I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

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Adventures

Our months in Arizona were packed with adventures, and October was no different.  We began the month with a trip out to San Diego to visit Will’s family (blog post linked here), and over Will’s birthday weekend we explored Bisbee a little more with some friends.  

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The Queen Mine Tour was so much fun!  If you are in the area and have the chance to go, you definitely should!  It is on our list of favorite things we did while in Arizona.   

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We wore our warm clothes, got decked out in fluorescent vests, hard hats and flashlights, and set out underground with a hilarious and informed tour guide.  We told him we were from North Carolina and he decided to use the two of us for examples on the tour a couple times.

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After the tour we drove into the historic part of town for an incredible steak dinner at Cafe Roka.  Another place we would highly recommend!  Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.  They are only open three days a week and serve some absolutely exquisite food.  The friend we went with was born in Bisbee so she knew everyone and we were treated very well.  It was a blast!

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Our very last hurrah was to visit Saguaro National Park.  It was the perfect bookend to our incredible Arizona experience.  

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If you want to see more photos of Saguaro, check out the blog post here.  To be honest, when I think of the desert I definitely think of these cacti, which are actually called Saguaros.  They are the universal symbol of the American West, can live up to 200 years, weigh more than a ton, and will probably grow to be more than forty feet tall.  If there was one thing we did not want to miss before heading back to the east coast, it was spending a sunset with this incredible plant life.

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Saying Goodbye

I’m not going to lie.  Writing this blog post has been hard!  We had SO much fun in Arizona and made so many great memories.  Saying goodbye has definitely been bitter sweet.  We miss our people, our mountains, and our animal style In-N-Out burgers.  The authentic Mexican food is making my mouth water as we speak.

Really, I am just so grateful that we had such an amazing time.  I am grateful that we had the opportunity to call Arizona home for a few months.  That we got to explore so many amazing National Parks.  That we got a little bit of time, just the two of us, to established our marriage.  And that we had so many amazing people championing and supporting us through all of it.

Thank you all so much for everything. 

Don’t worry—now that we are back in North Carolina, the exploring is not ending!  It might change a little bit, but if there is one thing I have learned in my thirty years (UGH I still hate saying that.  Thirty.) it is that life is always an adventure.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

the end | arizona part IV

5 things I learned in 5 months of marriage

Will and I just recently celebrated five months of being married!  We’re basically experts on the topic now.

Joking.

We were blessed to go through very little long distance time during dating and a lot of one on one time to get to know one another.  We asked each other a lot of hard questions, ranging from politics and religion, to hopes and dreams.  We were very intentional from the beginning about getting to know one another in a safe and healthy way, and to see if this could be the real thing.

Obviously, we got married, so we feel pretty strongly about one another.  We still continue to learn and grow in our relationship, and we’re not here to offer advice.  This is just us sharing us, and the five things we have learned in our five months of marriage.

I am not a morning person!

I do not want to see or hear another human being in the morning.  If I have to speak, it’s even worse.  Text?  Heck to the no.  Give me a shower in peace.  Let me get ready without interrupting my train of thought.  Give me coffee and back away slowly.

I gave Will fair warning on this one.  We even asked some advice from a couple of our good friends who are also opposites in this area.  The husband is the morning person while the wife is not.  He said that it took him a long time to realize that it was nothing personal—that they were just different and it wasn’t a bad thing.  They even get ready in different bathrooms in the morning!

Let’s be honest, we aren’t always on our best behavior, and our spouse sees that side more than others.  This will probably be a constant area of growth for us as a couple, and for me especially once we have kids.  I would love to love the morning time so if you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

 

PooPourri is no joke.

I thought it was, but boy was I wrong.  In amongst all of our wedding gifts, we came across a bottle of “PooPourri” in a lavender scent.  I laughed, “Haha!  What a great gift!  Newlyweds can’t poop around each other.  In fact, women don’t poop at all!”  

If you don’t know, PooPourri comes in multiple scents, in a little spray bottle that you are supposed to spray into a toilet before… well, you know.  It uses essential oils to trap odors.

I set the gift aside and it became an anecdote that I shared with friends and family during wedding week.  I secretly thought it would be great in a guest bathroom, just in case.  

Friends, you don’t need details, but let’s just say that after a bad experience with Mexican food and a very long night to follow, PooPourri will be a staple in our household.  In every bathroom.  Until the end of time.

 

He might want to order his own fries.

“Joey doesn’t share food!”

From a guy who had never seen Friends before we started dating, Will took to this quote like a fat kid on cake.  I’m ashamed to say that the first time Will insisted I order my own fries, I got a little hurt.  

Okay, maybe more than just a little.  I sat and sulked through the entire meal and continued to bring it up even weeks afterwards.

Just because we expect things to go one way, doesn’t mean that they will.  I realized that my parents always share their french fries.  They order a bigger size to share and I’ve always found it super adorable.  Will, on the other hand, didn’t find me wanting to eat his french fries all that endearing.  

Some issues in relationships can arise from unmet expectations.  If I find myself getting upset, I try to evaluate where it’s coming from, and if I realize I had an expectation that isn’t being met, I know where the emotion is coming from.  I also find it important to communicate with Will when that happens.  

“I can’t eat a small thing of french fries by myself most of the time,” I explained.  “So I feel like I’m wasting money for just a couple fries.”  

We’ve decided that springing for a large to share is a good idea for us.

 

Laundry becomes a huge thing.

Like… there’s only two of us.  How can washing clothes, drying clothes, and folding clothes become so much of an  exponentially larger chore than it was for just one person?  We don’t even have kids or pets!  

Also, I have never owned my own washer and dryer.  I have been trespassing on the hospitality of my family since I moved out in 2012.  Now that Will and I have been at a hotel for the past three months, I have been using the hotel’s (very inexpensive and stubborn) washer and dryer that work about half of the time.  I often have an explosion of clothing hanging up to dry in our bedroom.  And because it takes about three or four hours to dry three loads of laundry, folding everything gets put on the back-burner and… you get the idea.  

 

Sleeping in the same bed is my favorite thing ever.

Also, not having to say goodbye at the end of the day is fantastic.

Will and I did not live together before we got married.  He never slept over at my apartment.  Not even once.  And because I lived alone and there was no built-in accountability roommate, we avoided ever being in my bedroom together like the plague. 

Our number one, very favorite thing about being married is getting to sleep in the same bed.  It’s kind of like having a sleepover with your best friend every single night.  

So, for any newlyweds or engaged couples, I guess the only advice I would dare to give at this point is that if you can swing going to bed at the same time as one another, you should absolutely do it.  The pillow talk is great and it is a super special time for just the two of you.  It also gets you on the same sleeping schedule, and that has been helpful for me and Will out here in Arizona.  

 

Like I said, I feel like I need to have been married for about a decade before I can give solid marriage advice, so I’m not about that life on this blog just yet.  I think marriage advice from me would be the same as me trying to give a mom parenting advice—just bad news.  But I AM here to share our lives and experiences.  

If you dig it, give this post a like!  Have any advice for us, other newlyweds, or engaged couples?  Leave it in the comments below!  Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button and join our family.

Until next time,
Jamie out.