Monday, April 23, 2012

Life with a Corgi & a Baby

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It's been almost 6 months since Hadley was born.. which means almost 6 months since Gibson's world has been knocked upside down.  I thought I'd do a 'day in the life' post, to show the difference between now and my post I wrote 2 years ago about Gibson's typical day.

My day usually starts off quite a bit earlier nowadays.. usually around 2 or 3 in the morning, I am woken up by a starving little girl.  I sit and listen to her cry for a little bit, hoping she'll go back to sleep, but eventually I give in and go nurse her back to sleep.

About 2 or 3 hours later she wakes up again ready for a second helping.  I hope at this time that all she needs is a little more food and rocking back to sleep so I can get just 1 more hour for myself.  If it is too close to 6am though, I am ready for the storm that is Gibson to come barreling up the stairs to start his day.  I pray that he doesn't come in her room and just waits outside.  He loves to barge in, stomp around with his super loud nails on her hardwood floor, whine and shake for good measure.   He basically is shooting himself in the foot since she was about to fall back asleep, but now he has to wait for her to fall asleep all over again..  On good days, he waits downstairs for me to finish up with her.  On REALLY good days, he waits for me to come downstairs after my extra 1 hour of sleep... :)

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So anyways, usually around 6 I go let Gibson out and feed him and then I crawl back into bed.  Hadley's internal alarm clock is set to wake up at 7or so and she does so almost every morning.  At this time, I change her and then take her downstairs with me to say good morning to Gibson and to get her tummy time on.  While she's doing that, I hop on my computer and check email and facebook and hope she's happy on her tummy for at least 10 minutes or so.  After that, I usually sit her up (she sits by herself now!) and she plays with a toy or we will sit and play with Gibson.  She loves watching him more than anything and loves trying to pet him.  He does not love her trying to pet him, but he's becoming a *little* more tolerant.

Around 8, Hadley starts to get tired again so I sit on the couch with her and catch up on some tv shows I've missed over the week (prime time gets interrupted quite a bit by baby) and try to soothe her to sleep by nursing, rocking and cuddling.

If all goes well, Hadley will take some sort of nap around 8:30 or 9, which gives me a little bit of time to eat breakfast.  Gibson gets the ends of my banana every day and then he is ready for a nap as well.  If Hadley takes a long nap, I usually surf the web, catch up on blog reading and then try to get some work done.  It is usually a short nap though.. 20 minutes or less.. sigh.   After her nap, I get her out of her PJs and into a new outfit for the day and then we play some more.  It's a tough life for a baby, let me tell ya.  She hangs out in her exersaucer and laughs at Gibson around this time, which Gibson loves since I actually am paying attention to him.  I sit and play with him like crazy to keep Hadley entertained.  I love that it keeps both kids happy at the same time :)


I try to eat lunch around 11 or so since I know if I wait I may miss my chance (if she gets hungry/tired).  I let Gibson out at this time and give him a treat.  Around noon, Hadley starts to get cranky again and so I try to soothe her to sleep again and hope that she takes a nice long nap.  This has been super hard lately so sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.  The day pretty much sucks if it doesn't ;)

Around 3:00, Gibson starts to get restless and wants a walk and to eat dinner.  If it's a really nice day, I put Hadley in the stroller and we take a close to an hour walk (during which, I hope she falls asleep!  See a pattern here?).  If it's cooler or crappy out, I strap on my Ergo Carrier and wear Hadley on a shorter walk.. about 20 minutes or so.  If it is close to 4 when we get back, I feed Gibson, otherwise he waits until then to eat.  (poor guy)

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After this there is more playing with Hadley and playing fetch with Gibson until Daddy comes home!  Once Ben is home, I feel like a thousand pounds are lifted off of me!  I look forward to it all day.  Hadley gets 1 hour off from her helmet every day, and we started to take that time at 5pm and use it as part of her bedtime routine.  At this time, I have to clean her helmet with rubbing alcohol and also wash her head every day.  I love this time of day, since I get to feel her cute little head with it's fuzzy hair and I can hold her and not have a hard piece of plastic digging into my arm :)   I also cook dinner at this time and we eat.  This gets hard if Hadley is already getting sleepy.  Picture me holding her while cooking and eating.. that's usually how it goes.

Anyways, around 6 she has been bathed, got her pjs on and her helmet back on.  She gets super tired like clock work and is ready for me to nurse her and rock her to sleep.  Gibson has already begun winding down at this time too.  We are real party animals in this house ;)

Hadley gets up a few more times (usually around 7 and 9:30ish) to nurse again and then it is time for us all (besides Ben) to go to bed for good.  I make sure to let Gibson out before I do and give him his Hip Action treat when he gets back inside.

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So that's about it.  Pretty boring actually. haha.  Life has definitely changed for Gibson, but he is doing pretty well with it.  It's amazing how dogs can adapt to things  :) And with that.. I must go.  Hadley is up from her nap (not a bad one! 1 hour!)..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Operation NO BARK

Barking: My least favorite corgi trait.  Yet, it's their favorite thing to do.  Well, it's Gibson's favorite thing to do at least.  Maybe that's because we did not give him a proper "job" so he chose Watch Dog as his professional title.  It's always been pretty annoying (barking at anything that moves out the window, dogs on tv, people playing pool, people dancing, when I talk on the phone(!!), etc., etc., etc), but since Hadley has been born, it is completely intolerable sometimes.  Ya know.. when you FINALLY get a baby down to sleep, gently start to tip toe away and all of a sudden, "BARK! BARK! BARK!"  Sleeping baby flings her head around opens her eyes wide and is ready to start the bedtime routine all over again....

*sigh*

So, back in February, I asked the members of my Corgi Butts Page on Facebook for their advice on the issue.  Some of you were completely against the idea of stopping a corgi from barking (You are better people that I am ;)), but others had great ideas!  The first I tried was making a *TSK* sound whenever he barked.  Didn't really phase Gibson and I found it kind of annoying to have to make the sound all the time.  I asked about bark collars or devices and a few of you said the "Bark Off" device worked for you.   I looked for it on Amazon and found it for $4.99 w/free shipping (it costs a few bucks more now), so I thought, what the heck.

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I really did not want to use something that hurt Gibson or freaked him out as much as other high pitch noises did, so I was a little nervous about using this.  Basically, all you have to do is turn it on and it will make a high pitched noise whenever your dog barks.  We wondered if it was working, but after one or two barks, Gibson's ears twitched and he looked up to see where that noise was coming from.. and stopped barking.  Hallelujah!  It worked!  The next few days his barking decreased and we could totally tell the difference.   But then....  He started to ignore it.  AND the thing started to malfunction.  I don't think it's ready for a dog to not stop barking.  It kept getting louder until it was hurting OUR ears. SOO Bark Off fail.  :-/

I was encouraged that the Bark Off worked initially though... so I thought I'd research a little more and find a similar device that actually had some good reviews.   The best I found (for the cost) was the Pet Agree Ultrasonic Training Aid ($24.95).

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It is basically the same sort of device, only this one you have to do manually.  Every time Gibson barks, you press a button, which makes an ultrasonic sound only dogs can hear.   They suggest in the instructions that you say the same word every time  you press the button, and so we say, "quiet".  Oh and we also have some treats ready to positively reinforce it if he actually stops barking.  Here is how it goes...



So, there is some progress!  He still barks all the time, but I can get him to STOP barking, when before he would not stop until he was done.  Of course, treats are his main motivation for stopping.  I usually have a handful of Charley Bears on the coffee table and he will come running as soon as I press the button.   Not exactly what I was going for, but I will take it.

I think for now, I just have to keep at it.  He will sometimes stop barking now when I just say "quiet" without the device.  Hopefully soon he will just not bark as much!  Maybe??   haha.

Have any of you tried to get your corgi to bark less??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kong Flops

No, that's not the name of a new dog toy..   It's what I call the two toys that I was sent in the mail a few weeks ago.  Total flops.

The first was the Kong Traxx.  DSC_5814
Basically a tire that you are supposed to put treats in and it bounces (a little).  Gibson did not care.  I put some treats in it and he quickly got them out (in like 5 seconds) and then walked away. I tossed it for him to see if he liked how it bounced, but he just ran after it, sniffed it (and saw there were no treats) and walked away.  I think one problem with it is that the small size is way to small for corgis.  Maybe a medium would be better.  Also, since it doesn't squeak Gibson thinks it is lame.  Ah well.

The next toy is the Kong Safestix....
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It's supposed to be a "safe" stick for dogs to play with, since it won't splinter or get sharp and stab someone.. haha.  Ummmm... Gibson is afraid of it, and I (along with everyone else I  showed it to) think it's weird because.. ummmm... it looks very..... phallic.
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Yeah..

It looks worse w/o the packaging.. haha.  Who designed this thing??!   Ok, that's all I'm going to say about that.  Let's keep this family friendly ;)


They also sent me a Kong Zoom Groom, which I was not impressed by, but I figured out that I was using it completely wrong, so I am going to have to use it the right away and write a proper review :)

And I am working on my post for  "Operation Don't Bark!"  so look for that soon!  

Life has been absolutely sleep deprived and crazy so thanks for your patience with me!! :)
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