Saturday, July 25, 2009

Good week

As I posted, we had a rough week or two in a row. This past week, Akila was pretty good- praise the Lord!!! I am really thankful for this in particular due to the fact that I had low energy and was not running at 100%. The puppy has been wearing me out, emotionally and physically.

Toward the end of last week, Michael had been noticing that Hibeam has had several moments of strong aggressive behaviors, and he was worried about it. I kept telling him that I thought that was fairly normal. On Sunday, he and Imani brought Hibeam to a puppy training class at Petsmart which goes for 6 weeks. The trainer, who is really good, noticed Hibeam's aggressive behavior and talked with Michael after class. She said that it could be neurological and to be prepared for that. She really wanted us to know that, especially since we have kids. She said to bring him in the next night for a consultation with her.

Michael was quite freaked out by this. We talked late about it on Sunday. Our main feeling being, that can we handle a dog with neurological issues and a child with them as well, did it make sense, etc. Hibeam is a really cute and fun puppy, but he once in awhile goes "kujo" on us, mainly when he has something he really wants, usually food related. Like a rawhide. He gets into this serious growling and biting mode if you get close to him at all- it has really scared the kids, and the few times I have seen it, it has actually made me a bit nervous.

We had the consultation on Monday night, and it went really well. She said she recommended giving it a few weeks, and showed us several training things to do with him. He is a super smart dog who picks up really quick on the training things. He has had a better week and we are really hopeful, we would all be devastated if we could not keep him-and especially Imani who has wanted a dog obsessively for years.

Then, on Thursday morning, we wake up and he is sick. He had started with some mild diarrhea on Wednesday, and on Thursday, had real diarrhea and a wet face from drooling to the point where he was laying in a pool of saliva. He was not eating. Brought him to the vet and learned he has a viral infection. He is on meds, and seems to be getting better, but it is hard to watch him like this, and a lot of work!!!

Akila is still struggling with keeping him in the mud room or kennel if he is not being played with or watched, although she is doing a little better with it this week. Imani had a sleepover at a friend's house on Thursday night. After we dropped her off, Akila went into hysterics sobbing that she wanted to go on a sleepover. I explained (for the hundredth) time, that if she was invited by a family that mom and dad approve of, she could go. She doesn't get this. Then she finally realized her best shot may be to have someone over to sleepover.

We tried calling one friend but got no answer. Then we realized that Maria next door would be a great option and thankfully, that worked out. Akila and Maria played very nicely together, and had no issues. It was very nice. I do have to say, that it was kind of heartbreaking when she was crying, as it was just a reminder of how socially out of it she is. Imani has several friends who invite her to do things and Akila does not have this, for good reasons. I am also really thankful for Imani's friends, as their parents are pretty understanding of the fact that we cannot very often do things at our house due to the Akila factor.

Hezekiah is doing great and pretty much back to normal after his tonsil surgery. We are just waiting for some really warm weather so we can get out on the lake or to the beach. I was telling my friends this week, that if it is not going to be warm enough to go to the beach or the pool, then bring on school. The beach and pool are the only things that get me through summer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Much going on

Well things have been quite crazy at our house the last few weeks. Here are just a few highlights:
  • We got the new puppy, July 4th.
  • Akila went to camp for 5 nights, and did really well
  • The same night Akila returned from camp, my brother Tony, his wife Joan and two of his three kids, Lori (14) and Tim (17) came to stay at our house for 4 nights (from Virginia)
  • Michael had a birthday, happy birthday Babe!
  • Hezekiah had his tonsils removed, last Thursday and is still recovering
  • I have been working quite late each night on the dance fall brochure
  • Akila has been having a very difficult time behaviorally
I think I missed a few things, but that is plenty. Akila did a really nice job at camp, and has had a very hard time returning home. She definitely needs structure, and I just can't provide that at home all day and night. She started her summer enrichment class last week by Stages Theatre, a Wizard of Oz class at our school. I had to actually physically restrain her twice today which I hate doing as much as she hates having it done.

She is having a very difficult time with the dog. She can't stand it when the dog cries or yelps, like it does when it is in the mud room or in the kennel. The rule is, that it has to be in one of those two spots when someone is not playing with him or watching him. She can't stand Hibeam being locked up, it seems totally unjust to her. So she keeps letting him out, not watching him, and he of course poops or pees in the house then. Another rule is that he is locked up while we are eating since we can't be watching him and don't want him jumping up on us as we eat. She can't handle this either. She shoves her food down in a split second, goes to the family room, lets him out, and then goes outside to play, leaving him unattended.

We have sat her down, calmly talked to hear about the dog rules, the reasons, etc. But she just doesn't get it. Even if the dog is in one of his two spots, and isn't upset, she can't stand it. Her hysterics has been making the dog cry even. It is going to be a long first few months while she gets use to the dog rules and he gets trained.

I signed all 4 of my kids up for a membership at the newly remodeled YMCA in north Mpls, it is great. $30 annual membership, and it is open from 11-8 in the summer, you can drop the kids off anytime and they are fully supervised and structured (swimming, exercising in a really cool arcade that only has exercise fitness machines, gym games, arts and crafts, etc.). Akila loves it, and we just started going last week. This is where the three kids were going to go while Hezekiah had his surgery last week.

Akila was at the Wizard of Oz program in the morning, and I picked her up to go to the YMCA, which she loves, remember. The entire drive, she was raging that she didn't want to go. I explained that she could not come to the hospital as they said siblings are not allowed (not that I would have ever had her come with), but she loves hospital stuff. She didn't care, she wanted me to bring her home and she would find Sarah, our neighbor girl, to babysit. I said I wasn't going to pay a sitter when she could go to the Y and have tons of fun. She went nuts. And did the entire time, even at the Y. We finally got out of there and got to the hospital.

I went and picked the kids up at 6:00 (they were there since 11:30) and brought them to the hospital to see Hezekiah in recovery-he really wanted them to see his IV and I knew they would love it too. Michael stayed with Hezekiah while I got the kids. They all 4 loved seeing each other at the hospital. We left about 7:30 and all got home at 8:00, to discover that Hibeam had gotten out of his gated area and peed and pooped all over the house, and chewed up a few things (not too bad though). So Michael and Imani cleaned up potty messes while I got Hezekiah situated. Akila went into rage mode and the evening was out of control.

Friday morning wasn't any better. Michael was getting Akila off to the school bus as I had been up a few times giving Hezekiah medicine and letting the dog out. Hezekiah had come in early and fell asleep in bed with me. Akila came in asking me where her dance sweatshirt was. I said I didn't know. She raged, hit me, called names, etc. I didn't move as Hezekiah was sleeping on me and even her hysterics weren't waking him up. Thinking back, I probably could have readjusted him and gotten her out to deal with, but come on!!!!!! After 5 minutes of being crazy, she left and slammed the door. Then she returned 10 minutes later raging even worse because dad had told her to get her shoes on and it wasn't time yet. She wanted me to go tell him it wasn't time yet. She went on and on for quite awhile like this.

After Hezekiah got up, I went downstairs to see my husband looking and feeling like I do 75% of the mornings- deflated and wiped out, by 8:30 am. All weekend she has been acting very poorly. I am praying for a peaceful Sunday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Welcome Hibeam!!!

Well, I have been upgraded (or downgraded depending on how you look at it) from psycho mom, to psychotic mom; we got a dog. Yes, we are crazy; we actually got a puppy and he is the cutest puppy ever!!! His name is Hibeam, which is the first letter of all of our first names- bizarre, I know. Hibeam is a GoldenDoodle. Here are some pictures:

Hibeam is a very smart dog we have learned, he already has learned to sit on command. :) The kids and I were in Willmar for our annual two night stay at the Poss families on Eagle Lake and we got home on Saturday afternoon. Michael picked the dog up on Friday and spent the first night bonding with it. The kids did not know, so it was a surprise when we got home yesterday. They were quite surprised. Imani has been begging for a dog for years, and she said that she felt like she was living in a dream.

Of course, it did not take long to be fighting over the dog. Akila is very good and kind with animals, but like everything, she goes the the extreme and hyper-focuses on it. When the dog is sleeping on the floor, she yells at anyone who talks in the same room, no matter how much we explain to her that it is OK. She sits next to the dog and yells at the others when they try to pet it, saying that they are hurting him. We anticipated this of course, but it is still annoying.

We dropped Akila off this afternoon at Camp Ihduhapi in Loretto until Friday thanks to my friend Lynne who donated the week camp to us. This is really good timing for a couple of reasons. First off, I am stressed to the max with her after travelling to Willmar with her for the past several days. We had plenty of issues. Second, it will be nice to have these first days with the dog without the drama that Akila brings.

We brought Hibeam with for the car ride which took about 30 minutes. He is of course not use to the car so he was crying a little bit and had just a few minor issues. Akila couldn't stand it. She was whacko the entire car ride. The last five minutes, she even started to cry because she wanted Michael to hold the dog instead of Imani and the dog was doing fine. Then she started to act sad about going to camp. I was getting nervous thinking we might have a scene brewing. Thankfully, when we arrived and brought her into her cabin, she got really excited and was ready for us to leave.