Saturday, April 1, 2017

Puppyhood Is Fleeting

The puppies are sprawled out on the couch, in what used to be my spot. I've just polished off the last half of a protein bar I started yesterday, and I have a cold Diet Pepsi sitting on the plastic tote to the side of the couch that serves as a temporary end table while doubling as a puppy barricade to the area behind the couch. 

Over the last few days, I'm realizing just how much has changed since Bristol and Sami joined our family. In seven weeks' time, we've had a pretty big shakeup in our lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder how much longer this puppy stage will last. 

It seems AGES ago that I enjoyed about one whole month of restorative sleep each night. I've had insomnia most of my adult life, and for some reason (was it my Himalayan salt rock lamp?), I was able to sleep about seven hours every night. I was on a roll with my morning routine, too; up at four, reading the Bible and inspirational books, having time for yoga and meditation, often before the sun was up. My days were calm and peaceful, and I pretty much came and went as I pleased. Chuck and I could take off at a moment's notice to attend events or go shoot photos. And then we adopted two puppies. 

In the last seven weeks, I've had one night of decent sleep, when miraculously, the puppies managed to sleep for seven and a half hours STRAIGHT. I'm too tired to remember exactly when that happened, but that one night gave me hope that better sleep is coming my way. 

My contemplative time with scriptures, meditation, and yoga seems to have fallen by the wayside. I usually manage to whisper a few words of thanks before sleep overtakes me, but my spirit must be withering with the lack of attention I'm giving it. 

There are moments, after hearing the dogs' barking echoing in my head during their rough and tumble play time that I think I really, really need a break. My days seem to be an endless loop of potty breaks, bland diet food preparation, and cleaning up puppy accidents, although, thankfully, we're down to one a day now.

When Chuck and I want to go anywhere, we have to plan everything around feeding and potty schedules, and have to plan things in 2-3 hour chunks so we can be home to let the dogs out. 

Do I sound like I'm complaining? That's not my intent. I'm trying to observe, and take mental notes of the things I need to change and the things I need to let go; you know, the serenity prayer kind of thoughts that wander through our brains every once in awhile. 

Life B.P., before puppies, I was experiencing great success with my decreased sugar consumption. It wasn't that I was avoiding all sugars, I was simply steering clear of foods that typically set off binge eating for me: cookies, ice cream, chocolate, and brownies. 

Cannoli had been on my eating bucket list for a year. I finally tried it, and I declared it YUMBO.

Life A.P., after puppies, I've only had one free day of absolute indulgence (see picture above), but I have been in survival mode, and find myself eating haphazardly, and relying waaay too much on Diet Pepsi, meal replacement bars and low-carb processed snacks to get me through each day. 

SO. What am I going to do about this? First of all, I need to remember the advice I would give to new moms. I'm going to cut myself some slack, and realize I can take better care of myself if I take advantage of their nap times with naps of my own, and squeeze in the things I'm missing like reading and yoga during those times, too. They still sleep quiet a bit, so there's that. 

The other things I need to do are increase my water intake, and cut back on my processed food snacks like low-carb bars, and go for more veggies and fruit. Whole food is my friend, and I often forget that.

During crazy times in my life, my mom and dad have both reminded me of the Bible verse that says "to everything there is a season." This is my puppy-raising season. 

Bristol and Sam will not be little forever. They won't be un-housebroken forever; it just feels that way when I'm mopping up the umpteenth puddle, and supervising potty breaks and sibling rivalry battles any time they are not asleep. They won't require constant supervision forever. And they won't both fit in my lap forever. It's time to enjoy this puppyhood for what it is, a fleeting time of rapid growth and learning. 

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