The word of the day is: Treats

And by treats, I mean dog treats.  I have been picking up the training with the dogs again and only had a few bags of treats left so I went to Amazon and ordered some more training treats.  I love the Prime shipping with Amazon, our stuff comes so quickly!  Yesterday I received a bunch of treats and dogs were very excited about it.

What do you mean I spend too much on the dogs?

What do you mean I spend too much on the dogs?

I actually received two smaller boxes after this with a couple more treat bags.  And then Best Bully Sticks is having a semiannual sale where everything on the site is 18% off, so of course I had to take advantage of that sale and purchased more treats.  The difference is, the Amazon stuff are for training and are smaller pieces, and the BBS items are larger and for longer chewing sessions.  Either way it was somewhat of a pretty penny spent, but I think it’s worth it.  And I make sure to buy things when they are on sale, so at least it’s less than it could have been.  *Justification*  Ezra helped me move the bags into the book bedroom and he thought that was pretty cool.  I kept sending him back to the kitchen to get more bags and he would come back and say, “I got five bags!” and then, “I got six bags!” and the last time, laughing crazily, “I got seven bags!”  It’s the little things, folks.

I’ve been working with the dogs on targeting, which right now I’m just having them target my hand.  We are also working on sit, down, wait, and loose leash walking.  The walking part Benny has while inside the house, in the backyard he is mediocre and in the front outside the house goes ballistic.  I keep telling myself baby steps, Ashlin, baby steps.  Eventually I WILL be able to take them on walks.  I think I need to practice more while inside the house and backyard, and then up the treat game while in the front, use more exciting treats, because right now they do not give a crap about the treats when we are in the front yard.

I started something new with Benny while training “wait”.  He does the wait fairly well, so I start placing a treat on the floor where he can see it, and then I leave a spaced out trail of treats where he cannot see it (because he is still waiting) and then I tell him to “find it!”  He gets the first one easily since he can see it, and then he has to use his sight and nose to find the rest of the trail.  He seemed to like the game pretty well.

Luca, on the other hand, does not wait very well at all.  Basically if he’s sitting and you take a step back he gets up to follow.  I tried the find it game with him as well but he not only didn’t want to wait, he had a harder time finding the treats on the floor.  In fact, Ezra helped him twice by pointing to where the treats were.  Ezra does pretty well at the find it game:)

Leo had a good run of sleeping straight through the night, and then the past few nights he’s been getting up again.  Wednesday night he was UP THREE TIMES.  Last night it was just around 3am and then he didn’t get up again until 9:30am!  I was so jealous when Jesse told me that.  I was really dragging this morning and would have LOVED to stay in bed when my alarm went off.

I’ve been piling up baby clothes that Leo cannot fit in to bring to the DI, and I asked Jesse if he wanted to get rid of anything.  He went through his clothes and created a large pile of stuff, and then I started going through my own clothes.  A lot of my shirts don’t fit me anymore (some still had tags on them) and it occurred to me that they were rarely worn and still looked mostly new.  I asked Velvet if she wanted to go through them before I donated them and she did.  She ended up keeping all of them but maybe three, so I’m glad someone I know is getting use out of them.  In the end we ended up donating maybe five garbage bags of clothes to the DI.

However, it occurs to me that we should do a major declutter around the house and get rid of more things.  I have an entire bookshelf filled with books that I’ve been trying to sell and really I should probably just donate them because apparently you can buy books at $0.01 in a lot of places, and I’d rather donate my books at a good price so I can write it off on taxes later.  I also think a lot of people are like me and now get books in electronic format and simply are not buying physical books.  There is something to be said for the tangibility of books, but I really like how ebooks take up no space whatsoever.  And then I could use that bookcase for storing other items.  Like my many bags of dog treats.

Jesse is getting excited for elk hunting, I think.  He’s bought a few game bags and new knives, and other hunting gear.  Fingers crossed he gets something!  Also fingers crossed that Dustin and his son get elk because they don’t like the meat, they just like the sport, and then we get the meat!  Jesse has it all planned out how he’s going to process the buck, what pieces to keep, organs for the dogs, and then we’re also going to retain some bones for the dogs, too, like ribs and stuff.  This will be a really healthy way to supplement their diet, where they typically just get chicken.

Mister still hasn’t come home, I don’t think he ever will.  But Jojo is still around.  She mainly only comes in when the dogs are kenneled, but she’s been braver lately, creeping in when no one hears her.  We installed a new dog door that she was timid to use but I think she’s got it down now.  The last was so ratty it was barely hanging on to the frame.  This one actually has three doors/pieces to keep out the weather and it seems so much more energy efficient.

I’m not sure if our peach trees are going to survive.  They were both split down the middle but they might pull through.  On the other hand, I don’t like how close they are to the back fence.  We have grapes on the back fence and I have to duck under tree limbs and the grapes are being eaten by wasps and yellow jackets and I do not like being forced into such close proximity.  So maybe we will just dig up those trees and not have peach trees in the yard.  Jesse doesn’t like peaches anyway….

I was also thinking of maybe hiring someone to clear out/strip all the weeds/vegetation from the yard so we can start fresh.  I was thinking we could get someone into there with a small cat tractor and it could have some kind of a rake attachment that just pulls out everything, but Jesse said it doesn’t work like that.  I also want to change our plans for the layout of the garden area vs the strip of grass/turf area.  It’s all in flux, and really it depends on what kind of money we can scrape together.  *sigh*  A girl can dream about a nice backyard, right?

Confidence

Ezra is getting more and more confident every day.  The other day a song came on the radio and he started singing with it, which really means he mumbled in a monotone, and at the end he said, “Mommy!  I’m a great singer!” to which I replied, “You sure are!”

Yesterday he went to the bathroom and came out without his undies on.  I asked him to put them on and he said he couldn’t, so I told him I guessed he didn’t need an ice cream then.  He quickly informed me that maybe he could put them on by himself after all.  I mean, we were talking about an ice cream sandwich here, folks!  I told him, “The tag goes in the back and the pocket goes in the front.”  He put on his underwear and proudly said, “I did what you said!  I learned how to put them on!” and several times last night he reminded me that he learned what I told him and he could put on his underwear now by himself.

I love that he’s getting more confident in himself and his abilities.  He’s growing into such an amazing little man, it’s awesome.  It also reminds me that I should try to be the best me that I can be, because he’s watching and paying attention.

12006361_10153051744625264_579991863653296159_n

Jesse and I are finished having kids.  He got a vasectomy a few days ago, so that route at least is closed to us.  That’s not to say we won’t look into less traditional methods if we decide our family is not complete, but no more bio kids for us.  It seemed like a fairly simple procedure and of course it’s much easier for the man to get snipped than a woman.  He seems to be in a little pain but between icing his nethers and taking ibuprofen he appears to be handling it ok.  He is not supposed to hoist anything heavy so I’ve been the main caretaker of the kids for a couple days.  I guess in a couple weeks he’s supposed to go back in and leave a deposit so they can check to make sure no swimmers are getting through.  One of my friends at work says her husband had the procedure done and was checked and cleared, and then five years later he got his (now ex) wife pregnant.  Apparently his boys found a way through after all that time so then he had to go through the procedure again.  Good times, huh?

kissable baby

kissable baby

On a completely different note, I put together the other two workout machines this weekend.  Jesse had put together the Gazelle before he went camping but I hadn’t gotten around to putting the other two together.  I was able to put the twist stepper together super easily and upon testing it out I feel it’s going to give me a good workout.  Putting together the body trac rowing glider machine was another matter.  I was so pissed at that thing!  I had to put six bolts through and I just could NOT get them to go in.  I was able to get the two on the right in (after much determination) but the two in the back weren’t screwing into ANYTHING and the bolts on the left just would NOT line up correctly.  Ezra kept asking me to play a game with him, and Leo was starting to get fussy and cry and I was sweaty and perhaps I yelled at Leo that he was fine, gosh darn it!

I kept looking at the instructions and everything looked like it was supposed to be set up correctly.  FINALLY I realized I actually had the front piece on backward.  I turned that piece around and suddenly the back brackets had a plate they could screw into.  The side bolts still were not super simple but I was able to get them into place in a timely fashion and then the rest of it was easy enough.  I’m actually about 15 lbs heavier than what is recommended for max weight, but I’m hoping it won’t matter much either way.

I’ve been creating YouTube videos under my eBay Arsenal channel.  Basically they are videos about the eBay selling tools and how to use them.  I’m focusing on Turbo Lister primarily for now, but will be branching out to expand more topics as time goes on.  It’s kind of fun and it’s nice to have a resource to point members to when they call looking for videos.  I make sure in my videos that I’m not representing eBay, I don’t even mention I work for the company because I don’t want any legal issues happening.  I also linked it to the Google Adsense and so far I’ve made $0.22!  Hoo-wa!  Big money.  I also created a Twitter account and created a website called eBay Arsenal, which is basically just my YouTube videos.  I don’t know it’ll ever be a big money maker, but I feel like I’m in a unique position to help out others and any money made on the side will be a perk.

I tried using the dog clippers again and while they tolerate the clippers better than the dremel, they still don’t like their nails being messed with.  I was able to clip some nails, but at the end I was basically just holding their paws and touching the clippers to the pads of their feet.  I think I’ll need to desensitize them to touching the nail clippers first and work from there.  A never-ending prospect on the to-so list.