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Midnight Snacks and Potty Breaks

Tiny dogs have tiny bladders. As a human, if you love to sleep or need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, owning a dog without access to a doggy door is not a lifestyle choice you want to make. This was something my mother failed to tell me. It was not something I was taught in school (although quadratics came in quite handy the other day…go figure.) Further, this is not something on a list of life skills I was given in any psychology class I ever took in college.

As a parent of four fur babies, all under fifteen pounds, even heavy sleep is something only dreams are made of. (See what I did there?) This being our life, I have found the youngest gets creative on nights I am especially tired.

As I work from home, I try to make healthy choices and, instead of eating chocolate, cookies, or cakes for my mid morning snack, I have got into the habit of having either a fiber bar or a genial bar of some kind. My morning snack is always consumed while I work and ultimately, the wrapper ends up in my tiny office trash can. I would like to think that Team Snoopervisor and I have an understanding that the trash cans are off limits. As of late, it is apparent there was an executive meeting I was not invited to.

You see, Courage is the biggest of the lot and he has a reach that includes the kitchen trash can. I think the Team also knows he has the puppy eyes that make me melt and he is often the one sent to forage the wonders of the garbage containers in the kitchen, bathroom, and my office.

I assume he tried to wake me up for the midnight potty run with a nose boop and it didn’t work. In my half asleep state, I remember seeing him walk into my office. I thought nothing of it as that is a sleeping place for him sometimes. A few minutes later, I heard what could only be described as infuriating.

While not the first time, I came to realize that it trash forage missions are not only to find the goods. Apparently there are uses for the plethora of things to be found therein. Courage had went and gingerly plucked a granola bar wrapper out of the office trash and calculatingly lay just beyond my reach and began to chew the crunchy wrapper. What’s worse?

He did it while watching me.

This smart azz knew, without a doubt that I would get up to stop the noise. I open my eyes, give him “the look” to no avail and swung my legs out of my sleeping place to get up. Oh, but it does not end there, folks. Oh no! What does Courage do? The minute I am vertical, he drops the wrapper, a foot further away from me than where he was, and walks nonchalantly into the kitchen.

Cue the rest of the Snoopervisors to follow him to the door to be let out.

All I could do was stand there for a moment. I had so many emotions running through my body in that moment. I was pissed for having to getup. I was aggravated for having to pick up the wrapper. (Courage is so smart, his little fuzzy butt could have put the dayum wrapper in the kitchen garbage on his way. I mean he walked past it on the way to the door!) I was also amazed at the epic thing that just happened to me. I was in awe and still half asleep.

Sometimes I expect Courage to break out a top hat and cane for a song and dance number like Michigan J. Frog. (Yeah, showing my age, aren’t I?)

Reluctantly, mumbling, and whisperingly, I let them out for the midnight potty run. My noon snack turned into a midnight snack of intelligence. A reminder that our fur babies know more than we give them credit for.

What do YOU think?

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Happiness Challenge: What I Love About Me

Taking a moment to step outside the typical post here.

Most of my followers know I often post about Team Snoopervisors, sideways views on funny life happenings, or other random things. At work (the “nine to fiver”) the Wellness lady has initiated a Happiness Challenge for the month of June. She posted a bingo sheet, of sorts, of things to do for the month of June. Yes, there is an incentive, but that is not the important part. The learning that has to happen from this challenge is to do things to bring the happiness and stave off the depression bugs. It is also, I think, meant to teach us all there are things we can do, outside of our daily habits, to make happiness worthwhile. Also, they are things that are not terribly difficult.

I have found quite a few are outside of typical comfort zones for most people. While I started a few days late on this challenge, I am picking the activities that I find hard to do. This being one of them. Ah, but I digress…here goes.

Five things I love about me.

  1. I am all about my husband, family, and work. In that order. Yes, I know I should always put my kids over my other half, but you know what? Without him, there would be no kids and I would not be who I am. Cal completes my circle and he will still be there after the kids have grown up and chasing their own happiness. This is a lifetime and he is my world. The kids are next. I am who I am not only because of Cal but because of the kids. I have a lot of stories about them and oh the many things they have taught me. As parents, we often forget that our children teach us the most valuable things. Some of them being: Always view the world with awe, because it is amazing. Being an adult just numbs our senses to that. Also, they teach us that hate is not genetic that it is learned and love is exactly the same. This and a myriad of other things. Finally work. I love what I do! Yes, I have an education that far exceeds what I am doing right now but this works for me. I look forward to clocking in every day and that is not something many people can say. Collectively, these three most important things have taught me about loyalty and that is what I am. Loyal to my husband as my life partner. Loyal to my children as my family. Loyal to my job because well, I like what I do!
  2. My eyeballs. Well, that may be a stretch but it is hard to think about things you like about yourself! (Especially when there have always been self esteem issues!) I am not content with the fact that I am Thelma-like (reference: Scooby Doo) without my glasses. That is another thing all to itself. I like the color. They are blue. Not just blue but, like, different. I don’t know. I just like them. Secretly, I will stare at them in the mirror just because I like them so much!
  3. I am organized. That is one thing I have always been. While some of it may look like a mess to others, I have a “talent” for reaching into a pile of things and pulling out exactly what you are asking for without having to sort/dig through the entire lot. Ever since I was about 12 or so, I have carried a calendar or organizer book. This is where I got into the habit of planning out things up to a year in advance.
  4. I am mechanically inclined, sort of. As a kid, I would always follow Daddy out to the cars and berate him with questions. “Whatcha dooin?” “What is that for?” “What does this do?” “Why does it need that?” “Can I try?” There was even one time, Daddy told me I could sit in the car but to not touch the gear stick. Um, telling a 7 year old not to touch the gear stick is basically telling her “Go ahead. Try this. See what it does.” I nearly rolled the car off a 8 foot drop into the back yard before I got it back into park. I can fix things if I have to fix them when Cal is at work. I can hang a picture. I can change a tire. If I had to, I could probably fix the car. I always tell our kids. Boys: Get you a woman who can fend for herself. If she can’t, teach her. If she don’t wanna learn, you don’t need her. Girls: Learn how to be self-sufficient. Relationships are team work and nothing should be one sided. Especially working on the cars or fixing something.
  5. That I took the time to do this. I find it difficult to do self-reflection because I tend to go down the road of rattling off all the things that I loathe about me. I have always been like this. The fact that I can step in a different direction and do something like this shows that I can do something for me and appreciate, at least a little, something about myself. I don’t do things for me often as I would prefer to do for my family. (See number 1, the first two mentions.)

So, there you have it. A few things I like about me. That was more difficult than you think! Take the time to do the same for yourself. Warning: It may take a while and it may  prove to be difficult. But, it is something we all should do.

As always, What do YOU think?

Intelligence Taken Fur Granted

I have never been one to choose a plain dog. Being raised in a dog family, it is my experience that, when you choose a dog, especially a puppy, something about them stands out or is very special to you. I never gave a second thought to the plain dogs of the world. Over the past year, our Mollie (the Shadow Stalker) littered a total of eight puppies. All but one were chosen for their forever homes. This one we had decided to keep. Honestly, it was the next to last one to go that we had initially wanted to keep but how can you say no to the twelve year old girl who fell in love with a particular puppy at first sight? So we were left with Courage. Caption: Courage at seven weeks waiting for the masses to finish eating.

As a tiny pup, Courage wasn’t interested in much. He’s like his mother in that he would rather sit and watch the action instead of participate. Full of manners, he evens let the others get their fill at dinner time and then eat in peace. Just a totally different dog experience for me altogether.

Since the New Year, it has begun to show that there really is something special about this dog. For starters, he is nearly double the weight of his mother and just turned a year old last week! He loves it when I sit down to read, because he knows he is going to get a snuggle and an extended ear rub. Typical dog stuff, I know. Now he usually waits for one of the others to tell me that it is potty time. As you know, I work from home and Courage (and the rest of the pack) are my “Snoopervisors.”)

This particular Snoopervisor has started to show me that he can grab my attention exceptionally well. Sometimes, I will tell the dogs to give me a minute because I want to finish whatever task I am working on before letting them out. This particular day, Mr. Courage was not having it.

Courage has a body more reminiscent of a large weenie dog. Raised up on his hind legs, and still with his butt in the floor, he is tall enough to put his paws on my keyboard tray. Currently, said tray is in a bent track and if you push on it too hard it will jump the track making for a bad day. (Ok, small digression here, it’s bent because I am graceful. That is all.) So, I tell the “team” to give me a minute as I continued to do my work. I must have take a minute or three too long. Courage appears and puts both paws on my leg, Ensures that he has my attention, then proceeds to slowly move his left paw to the keyboard tray. Holding my gaze, this stinker proceeds to push mown on the tray and it pops in warning that anymore pressure and it will fall!

Appalled, I move his paw off the tray. I pop the tray back into place, tell him “Gimme a minute lovey boy!” Then turn back to my task. Without so much as a blink, he literally sighs loud enough for me to turn back to him (mind you, he still has his right paw on my leg.) When I do, again, as if it were a staring contest, he takes his left paw and proceeds to pull down on the keyboard tray. Yes, it popped again.

As I begin to become frustrated with the newly found smart tail gene Courage has tapped into, I remove both paws and put him back down on the floor. I told him that I was almost done. Apparently I did not get the message. Undeterred, Courage moves from the side of my chair to in front of me. All of a sudden, this dog face comes from under my desk and is now between me and the keyboard tray, facing the same direction as I am. Just as quickly, these two stubby legs wit paws come from the same place and proceed to forcefully push the keyboard tray to its resting place under the desk. Caption: That paw!

Courage then looks up at me with this look that says “I know you love me HumanMom!” Of course, it was all over at that point. Potty time it was. No gimme a minute, no wait a second. Right now. Happily, Courage led the pack out of the office to the potty door.

In the days since, other things have happened which show intelligence taken fur granted. I will eventually share some of these.

On a final note, plain dogs are more special than any dog with a special mark or blue eyes. Their special is inside. So far, the biggest dog we have not only towers in size but his heart has so much love and his brain continues to amaze us! I am also of the opinion that plain dogs are not chosen, they are bestowed upon special people!

What do YOU think?

My Furry Children and Work

We have four dogs in our family right now. There have only been two instances where they were not lifelong family members. Those two instances were not long enough to have a detrimental effect on neither me or the dog. No worries there, folks. I was watching a program on television this morning where a Chihuahua was rehomed to a lady who had a stroke and didn’t want a service dog. She wanted a companion and it was a good show. It made me think about the relationships I have had with my furry children over the years. Each one was special and different in it’s own way. The same is with the furry children we currently have.

Of course each one has their own story. Our Roxie, for example. She is officially our “old girl.” She was brought to us at 3 months old already housebroken and with all the accessories. Cal had wanted a Jack Russell and a friend of mine knew someone who had purchased one and didn’t think she was a good fit with their toddler. So we took her in and she has been amazing. Now nearly blind and half deaf, she is still spunky and prefers to lean on you compared to most lapdog or other touchy feely stuff. It works for us and her favorite person in the house is the 9 year old. He is the only one she doesn’t randomly warn about invading her space. (Yes, we are the invisibubble type of people here. Ah, but I digress… a story for another day. Our next oldest is Mollie. Mollie was a neighbors dog and I asked to have her when they became too busy to give her the attention her bold spirit required. She is about 5 or 6 years old (I forget) and is what I would like to call our hippie. Mollie likes to chill on the other side of the room watching the entire activity of the room from afar. If it suits her, she will come and join us. Otherwise, she won’t bother you unless she wants a brain massage or to go out. One of those “if I don’t have anything to say, I will keep my yap shut.” Those are our girls.

Our boys are relatively newer additions to the family and while both are still learning, I have never had a dog with such personalities as these two. Luchador was chosen from a litter of Chihuahuas that a family member had. Born with blue eyes, his eyes are a beautiful hazel and you cannot help but notice them in stark contrast to his labrador yellow fur. He is a sweet, snuggly dog and quite smart. He is one of those dogs that has so much love he fills the room with it upon entry. Luchador is daddy to our Courage. Appropriately named, Courage is quite the chicken and has some strange behaviors like the dog from the cartoon show. He is learning what his place is and it is quite helpful that he tries to mimic his daddy’s behavior. It is appropriate to note that Mollie is the mamma dog.

Thinking about our little pack, they are all important to my sanity during my workday. Working from home can make one feel quite isolated. From a professional point of view, the dogs post no security threat as they are not able to understand any thing I am saying to customers while working and certainly cannot write down any company secrets. Further, they have been taught that my office is a no bark zone. I like this because they can alert me when someone is near the house without making any noise. It makes me feel quite safe. I also refer to them as “my assistants.” Sometimes I tend to get so drawn into my work that I will forget that it is time to get up and take a stretch or that it is lunch time.

Let me stop for a minute. Luchador wants a head pat. Pat Pat pat. 🙂

Ok. Yes, they remind me to get up and stretch. Remember, it is not healthy to sit at your desk for hours and hours. I am a big advocate of taking full advantage of those breaks and lunches. If you work at home, you should too. My furry children help me get through my day and, to be honest, help me keep my sanity.

What saving grace do your furry children provide for you? Are they chock full of personality?  Let me know!

What do YOU think?

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My Assistants: Working From Home

When you work from home, having someone to be your personal assistant is not a luxury that many are afforded. I am fortunate enough to have a good support system and, on school holidays, the children take turns being my “assistant” for the day. What this means is that I won’t have to get my own coffee, let the dogs in our out, check the mail,  or anything else (besides going pee) that requires me to get up and leave my desk. This does take some careful orchestration. Because I work in a call center, my office must have a quiet, distraction free area and there needs to be zero background noise. Fortunately for me, my company allows for me to have my phone in the office with me so long as it remains silent. This means I can text one of the kiddos in another part of the house and request a reheat of my coffee or for them to bring me a lunch.

I try to give them leeway in somethings. Surprise me with what you are bringing me for lunch. Come and check on me every now and then. What they do is quietly open the door, give me a thumbs up and if I do the same in return, they will go away satisfied. If I don’t, I will wave them in and write down whatever it is I need for them to do. This is something that works for our household and is not easy to accomplish for everyone. It enables me to teach them a value of a good day’s work and it allows me to ensure they are OK while working. Obviously you cannot do this with a child under the age of 8. However, for older kids, it is a great way to teach valuable lessons, while ensuring they are OK throughout the day as well as getting your work done.

Of course the kiddos go back to school. Most days that I work, they are doing their job of earning an education. My job makes us money and their job ensures they are able to get a job better than I what I have and to help them become productive citizens after being on this planet for a couple of decades. It works for us to think of it this way.  When they are out doing their “jobs.” I still have assistants. The dogs. 🙂

On their own, the dogs we have understand that Mommy’s office is a no bark zone. I am not entirely sure if that is anything that I taught them. But, when they are quarantined in the office with me, should someone knock on the door or they hear something, they whisper bark. It is something more of a bark that is mumbled under the breath. They are great at letting me know if they hear something. They are also considerate of the noise they make if I am able to leave my office door open. That doesn’t happen much but I do that to allow them to come and go instead of being locked up in a stifling server room. They also remind me that it is time to take a break and rest my eyes for a few minutes. When you work in an office setting, whether it is work at home, or if it is in a brick and mortar office, breaks and lunches are important. They give you the opportunity to get up, stretch, rest your eyes and decompress for a few minutes. Depending on how long my lunch is, I am afforded the opportunity to play fetch in the yard or even take them for a walk.

Each of my assistant’s have their own style and affect my day positively in different ways. I would not be able to enjoy the lifestyle that is working from home without them.

What do YOU think?

Posted for work: Working In-Office vs. Working at Home

This post is originally found on my work place’s FB page ans was initially written for there. However, it is my creation and I would like to share it with you!

Working In-Office vs. Working at Home
 
We all have our validated reasons for working from home and what makes the lifestyle work for us. Once again, my decision to remain an at-home professional was validated by something simple as walking my son to the bus stop this morning. Here is my little tidbit as to why I am making working from home work for me.
 
Lets back up by saying I woke up before my alarm clock to start my day. Rarely this happens but it can be a glorious thing if you embrace it! Out of bed I sprung…getting some house hold things done prior to walking the kiddo to the bus and clocking in for my daily grind. Normally, I will have started on my coffee rations prior to walking to the bus. However, this morning, I was so busy that I failed to get that far. So, as I was on my way out the door, I grabbed a cup of that morning happy and took it with me to enjoy while chatting with the kids at the bus stop. Just as an aside here, everyone knows that a full cup of java and any article of clothing that happens to be white are not friends. Try as they might, it is just not a happy situation. Thankfully, I make it a habit to try and not wear much white because Murphy’s Law dictates that my coffee will find its way to the white article of clothing and make me look like I am a slob. Or at least like this:
 
 
Sure enough, as we walked to the end of the driveway, what did I do? I sloshed the coffee and there it was: coffee on my shirt. It never fails. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not very graceful when it comes to walking and I try to find ways to fall over things that are not there. (Ghosts! They are tripping!) Add to the long list of talents: The inability to walk and carry a full mug of joe. So yeah, while minor, that was a valid reason to add to my plethora of excuses (well, not really excuses but list was too…repetitive) as to why working from home is the lifestyle that works for me.
 
What is on your list validating that remaining an at-home professional is the right choice for you? What do YOU say?

Why are you so self inflated?

I have done tech support for a while now and it flabbergasts me to have people call in who like to THINK they know what they are doing. They start out by making it very clear that they have been working with technology since 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. They then go on to tell you they did your job for just as long and are now retired for sixty years. O.o

Ok, well, my brain says it is not sure how that can be since you are calling in, but ok, lets go ahead and fix whatever is ailing your technology today. MMMMkay?

Now, while you fight with me to verify that I have YOUR account and no one that belongs to someone else, you tell me that you have done everything under the sun and to the moon to fix it and you just know that I am not going to be able to help you.

So I advise you that I have to see what happens when you unplug the thing. Wait….is that silence I hear???? I listen as you drop the phone and move all the furniture in the room to pull the plug out of the back of the device and you come back and tell me the deed is done. While we wait for the technology to wake back up, you then tell me that you didn’t think to do THAT! Lo and behold the technology is alive! Were it self aware like in the Wil Smith movie iRobot, it would have told you that was all you had to do Mr. Smarty Apple.

You know, I have a ten year old that would have told him the same and he is a self aware human.

I wonder if the customer was self aware to know that everything else outside of simplicity was unnecessary. Replanting those trees away from the house may be something you regretted doing in your technology troubleshooting just to get the calculator to work my friend.

What do YOU think?

Calling ‘home’ from work.

Sometimes I work on Saturdays. Most Saturdays, our teenager has some sort of thing she has to rush off to and blesses us with the lack of her teenagery presence. Well, maybe not a blessing because she is our gurl and we miss her when she is not here. Just don’t miss that ‘tude so much.

 

At any rate. Working from home, WAH Professionals know it is not as easy as going into the other room and waking said teenager then coming back to your office and return to work.  This is where I have to “call home” and make sure the teenager is up and getting ready so she wont be late to her activity. Anyone with teens knows for sure that if they miss something, no matter how trivial it is to YOU, tears will ensue.

 

So, here I sit tethered to my machine (work has a strict rule that thou shalt be ball and chained to your computer as wireless anything is a big NO NO) trying to get her attention.  She is only 2 rooms away and I know she has to be out the door by half the hour to arrive on time. Texting, texting, texting….no reply. Hrmmmm. It is slow. Maybe I can sneak in an actual call to her without a call coming in from work. Calling……..no answer. Figures, the teen keeps her phone on silent and unless she is looking at the physical phone itself, she is not going to see the thing blinking like a fire truck blaring down the street. Ugh! Time to call the house. Never mind I get lots of flashy lights and notifications in my office when the house phone rings and it annoys me greatly but here we go…..RING (as I hear it through the walls) RING…. RING…..

 

Sleepily, a voice answers. Ah, yes. Just the voice I am painfully searching for. “Are you up m’dear? Get up Daddy so you can go, go, go!!!”  She replies with an “OK Mom. Love ya.” Of course the teenager only says that because she is still SLEEPY!  But hey, it works. I accomplished getting them up and running from the comfort of my floppy bunny slippers.

 

What do YOU think?

 

Disclaimer: Author has several blog outlets and pages. This entry is reprinted on those for high level access.

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