Saturday, October 11, 2008

Insurance...? And more belly pics...

So, about a month ago when I started to see a slight swelling of my belly, I thought it was time to go purchase some belly butter. I know that really it's all up to genetics as to whether or not stretch marks will show up on your body, but I thought that even if I developed them, I would feel better about the whole thing knowing that I had been proactive and at least tried to do something to prohibit them. And anyways, it certainly couldn't hurt anything... right? So I ended up with this wonderful stuff from Burt's Bees - wow is it yummy. I love that it doesn't smell coconutty and a little goes a long way. I just rub a little on after every shower and head on my way. I'll report on if it helps at all, or not.

We had a Dr's appt on Thursday and got to hear the heartbeat for the first time which was awesome!! The nurse practitioner had a little bit of a time actually finding the baby, and I'll admit, I did start to get a little nervous as I laid there on the table just waiting to hear it. Even with her reassurances that it usually takes a little while to find it and that nothing was out of the normal I don't think I exhaled until I heard the fast little "bomp, bomp, bomp" clear as day and couldn't help but grinning. Everything measured great, she was pleased by my weight gain (7 pounds total so far) and we got the appt date for the BIG ultrasound where we find out what Baby K is packing - October 30. I am so excited for it! Now here is where it gets interesting. I feel that this baby is a girl - I really couldn't tell you why I think that, I just do. When I close my eyes and picture the three of us I see me, Joe, and a little girl. Now, that is not to say that I would not be thrilled by a boy - I don't care either way one iota. Joe is guessing that it's a boy, although the baby's heartbeat was in the 148-153 range, which according to the old wives tale indicates a girl and I think for a split second he wanted to change his guess, while I just got a kick out of it, but tried to take it with a grain of salt. So to all you mamas out there, was your "intuition" correct? Did the wives tales pan out for you or is it all really a crock?

14 weeks

16 weeks

Well, here are the belly shots. While I can note definite change, it really is not at all dramatic in clothes, and most people are still surprised at how far I am and how little I show. All the ladies at work monitor me constantly, and I think they're more excited for me to really "pop" than I am - and let me tell you, I'm excited to. To me, it just seems like a pot belly and not a baby bump - or at least that's what I think most people assume when they see me. Oh well. I know that in the next few weeks the baby will go through some big growth spurts and in turn will make me grow... it's just this phase is a little weird. But one thing that is helping me get through it is the Bella Band - wow that is one amazing invention. It was frustrating being mostly too small yet for things in Maternity Land, but clearly being too big for my khakis, dress pants and skirts, this thing has comfortably extended their lives to get me through a few more weeks and I love it!! (And it will definitely help me get back into them after baby. ) Well, that and I did stop by Old Navy's 75% off sale and get a couple tops in a larger size and a pair of pants that were the larger for me.

Just for funsies it occurred to me that this was the last image of my living room that you all saw...

and now it looks like this:

So cozy! I love it. I love the crisp, chilly weather we're having right now too - Fall is the best. Last weekend I bought some mini pumpkins and Indian corn for the mantle and mums for the porch - next will be heading out to the pumpkin patch - fun! And now dear readers, I'm off to either nap or walk Blitz... hmmm, which will it be?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Student

So, I've gotten a few inquiries as to how Blitz is doing since his return home.  Simply put, great!  No signs of pain or limping, and while there is a definite small bump on the front of his right leg, we think it might be more like scar tissue that swelling as it doesn't feel warm to the touch.  He settled right back in with us like he never left, and still loves playing with his green squeaky ball and laying in the bathroom between the wall and the toilet and being in the kitchen.  The biggest change has been his size.  When he left he looked like this:

And now he looks like this:

Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that he still does have quite a bit of puppy in him still just because he looks full grown (which he is not quite yet) when he's getting into something he's not supposed to or driving me a little nuts during his "bewitching" hour of about 8pm-9pm.  We try to walk him twice a day and that really helps him be a contented hound in the house; no crazy rampages thru the living room grabbing all the pillows off the love seat or sticking his head in the hampers to grab socks to chew on.  The weirdest thing that happened lately was that at my family birthday dinner last week, we brought him to my grandparent's where the dinner was at, and he was a prince the whole time.  Then, as the dishes were being cleared to make way for the cake and coffee Granny went out into the garage, Joe went to help her and Blitz followed right behind.  Joe heard a "crunch" and looked down and saw that Blitz was munching on a half- hidden -under -the- dryer tray of rat poison.  My Granny and Gramps felt so horrible - they didn't even remember that they had any poison down.  So after a call to poison control, trip to the emergency vet ($$$) he is just fine.  By doing that, he also managed to weasel out of the appointment that we had for him to be fixed... yes, he's a smart one!

Last Tuesday night was our first night of obedience school with him, and it was really fun.  Lots of good tips and techniques and he seems to be a pretty quick learner.  We just have to be diligent with the homework.  So, we'll just continue one day at a time with him and enjoy him to bits - which is easy to do.  He is gorgeous to look at and has personality out the wazoo!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Secrets Are Too Good To Keep

Well folks, no beating around the bush - save the date of March 25, 2009 because Baby K has chosen that approximate day to make his/her grand arrival into the world!! To say that Joe and I are thrilled would be a severe understatement. So far, I'm 12 weeks and feeling good. I feel very fortunate that I only had 2 little bouts with morning sickness, and the biggest symptoms I've had so far would be extreme fatigue and my skin reverting back to looking like I'm 13 again (yuck!). There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head, I don't really feel like I can write cohesively, so I think I'll just address the most asked questions list style... and just so you all know, I did want to spill the beans a while ago, but if any of our nearest and dearest found out about the baby via this blog and not us telling them, we would've been in some hot water. So, with everyone accounted for, now I can let all you in on the most exciting thing taking over our lives, and my body!

Yes, this was a planned pregnancy. You know how there are some points of time that are just seared in your memory? Well, on Thanksgiving Day '07, Joe came to me and said that he felt we were ready to start a family, and some other really touching things. So together, we threw away the circular pink pill pack, and eagerly expected in a month or two to find out that we were pregnant. But the road to pregnancy was a little longer than I thought it would be. By the fifth month, I was starting to get a little nervous and wondering what exactly was the hold-up, and by the sixth month I felt positive that something was wrong. But not Joe. He never wavered or stressed about it, and said that we would cross that bridge if and when we came to it. I tried not to focus all my thoughts and energy on it, but it felt like everyone and their mother was coming out of the woodwork to announce they were expecting. I was aware of when I would be ovulating, but I didn't use the sticks anymore to tell the exact day since that was kind of taking the fun out of it, and didn't seem to really work anyway and decided that I would try my hardest to enjoy the "now" rather than the "someday". On the night before we left for San Diego, I realized that I was supposed to get my period while we would be down there and was trying to figure out what supplies I should pack - but would I get it? Would this be the month I wouldn't? I was kind of tired of the whole hold your breath to wait and see, and then be all disappointed when it comes. I didn't want to ruin the vacation for Joe with a poor attitude, so I thought that I would take a test that night, it would be negative since it was a good 4-5 days before I would be getting it, and I could mentally "prepare" myself for it. So I grabbed the stick, peed, and before I could even lay it flat two lines instantly popped up.

Positive prego test July 14, 2008

Shocked doesn't even come closed to describing the panoply of emotions that all coursed through my body while I was staring wide-eyed at those lines. I closed the window in the bathroom so my neighbors wouldn't hear me and think something was wrong and screamed my head off. Of course, since it was night, I was home alone and seriously thought about calling Joe and shouting it to him over the phone, but at least had enough clarity to realize that probably wasn't the best way to convey to him the news that he was going to be a daddy. I had bought and tucked away a little bib for just such an occasion that had a picture of a stick figure cop with the words "my daddy is my hero" and I laid that along with the pregnancy test on top of his packed suitcase. That was a hard night because I knew I would have to do a fair amount of driving the next day, but I was so excited/pumped/shocked/moved I couldn't sleep a wink... and every so often I would flick on the light, walk over and look at the stick just to make sure the two lines were still there with a dumb grin on my face. When Joe finally did get home the next day, his reaction was everything that I could've hoped for - I wish I had the camcorder then to record his reaction. There was lots of hugging and kissing and disbelief and more hugging and kissing. I don't think there have been two happier people leaving on a long roadtrip - we floated out of the house.

Yes, we will find out what the baby's sex is. The big ultrasound is for sometime around Halloween, and hopefully baby cooperates. We've got names "fairly" settled - if you ask Joe, they're pretty much locked in, but I'm a little more hesitant to say "yes, that's the name I want my child to have for all eternity!". And Joe has proved pickier about names than I ever would've thought... especially the ones for a girl. So wish me luck.

First sonogram at 5 weeks on July 24 due to some spotting. They wanted to check to see if they could find the sack since the baby wouldn't show up yet, and they did as indicated by the two little plus signs - it's the dark rice shaped thing above them.

9 week sonogram on August 20 - the head is pointing downward, you can see a teeny arm, rounded belly and little leg. It was so amazing to see something so tiny yet so incredibly alive. The tech would poke it a little with the wand and we would watch it wiggle and squirm... watching the heart pump was awesome too.

No, I haven't really had any cravings yet. In weeks 5-7 where I did have my little bout of sickness the food that sounded the best to me were tart things like lemonade, pineapple, grapefruit and sour green grapes. Now I'm fine to eat anything, although chicken and any seafood doesn't really sound all that appetizing... I mean, I could eat it and not gag or anything like that, but I would rather have salad or cereal. I still don't really look pregnant, just a little bit of a chubby belly (which is kind of odd to see what was once flat now bloated looking - sweet flat stomach please return to me!!), but it hasn't "popped" yet, as you can see below. Please excuse the dog walking clothes, dirty mirror, and poor photography in general. I didn't have a of patience to fiddle with it tonight, but I wanted to be able to post something, so this is all I got.

12 weeks along

So from here on out, this blog is going to be saturated with baby stuff. Because I've got baby on the brain. When I think of the roles that Joe and I will be stepping into to fulfill I am filled with awe... so much of this is completely out of my control. Sure, you do the best you can with taking vitamins, eating healthy and reading up on how to do things, but for the big things, I am not in charge. The Lord has already written this little babe's birth story and life story and knows what qualities He will endow this child with. We are merely tools to accomplish those things and bring out those qualities. This is another way that the Lord is bonding Joe and I together, truly forever - there will be this perfectly created and entertwined combination of the two of us to make up one brand new person - world, are you ready?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guess Who is Coming Back Into My Life?!?!

As of next Thursday, BLITZ!!!!!!!  For good! This is just the icing on an already big, fat, gooey-chocolaty cake.  Life is so peachy right now...

Oh, and San Diego was great.  Tropicalish, relaxing, fun... but that seems like old news and much less interesting than that other little gem of information!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Skeedaddle off to San Diego

In less than 12 hours we'll be on the road bound for sunny San Diego, and this sweet, sweet resort (thank you Hotwire!) which we got a steal of a deal on.  Then it's up to Long Beach to see folks we love.  I think the laptop is coming with us, so I might post some pics along the way... have a great week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Want to be the Next Elle Woods!!

OK, not really.

But all my secret Broadway/musical knowledge geekiness has been brought to the forefront by this show:

Shut up.  Stop laughing.  I'm baring a part of my soul here people!

MTV is doing a reality show to replace the current lead in Legally Blond the musical, and it has me hook, line and sinker.  

When I was little I was quite good at singing and did lots of theater in church and the community and even got contracted to do some Christian kids musical recordings.  Then junior high came along and the pond was a lot bigger, and I got a whole slew of insecurities about how my voice matched up to others and what a scrawny bean-pole I was - I didn't want to be the center of attention.  Then high school came and I didn't have the cojones to enter into that super clicky world... so my little musical ambitions drifted away, although I am still an avid lover of all things Broadway.  A highlight of my life was when on family vacation in New York in '03 I won front row tickets to Wicked, and got to have Kristin Chenoweth sing right in front of me.  She was so close I could have reached out and touched her sparkly-blue Glinda skirt.  

I love seeing the auditioning process and imaging myself there; although, Elle is not a role I would ever get.  She's just not me.  I think that if I could cast myself in a show, I would be Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  She's got moxie.  And I can bring that too.  I'm rooting for Lauren (the young one).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I don't want to write this, because if I do, it will make it seem all the more real.

Joe left this morning with Blitz to return him the the breeder, Al.

To say that we are sad would be a monumental understatement.  Since last Thursday, things have really sucked around here.  Let me explain... Last Monday Blitz was at my folks house for the day while Joe was sleeping and I was at work.  I got a phone call from my mom as I was walking out of work asking me to come straightaway to her house, something was wrong with Blitz's right leg.  When I got there, he had a swollen spot on his foreleg that looked like somebody had shoved an egg under his skin it was that puffy and a significant limp.  My mom had no idea what happened because she was with him the whole time - no falls, yelps of pain, she didn't see any bees outside next to him, nothing.  She had put him in his crate for an hour while she went to a Dr. appt and when he went in he was peachy, when he came out he had a bump and a limp.  I wasn't really that worried, because he let us touch it and didn't seem in pain or agitated. So I took him home, iced it, and got an appt for him the next morning with the vet.

Joe took him to the appt, (another 500 bones spent) they did Xrays which confirmed that there was no break or fracture, so they thought it was most likely a spider bite that got infected and sent him home with some antibiotics.  The lump went down, he perked right along, and we thought all was well.  Until Thursday afternoon when the vet called with devastating news.  He had had a radiologist look at the xrays, and right off he noticed that something was wrong;  Blitz's joint was malformed, which had cause his bone to slip out of place, and caused all the swelling.  He explained that if you cup your left hand and place it over your right hand that you've got clenched in a fist, that is how the joint SHOULD be formed to rotate and bear pressure properly.  Now, make both hands into fists and place them knuckle to knuckle, and you have how Blitz's is formed.  They said that the more he grew and heavier he got, the more pain he would be in, and more unstable the joint would be.  There were three ways to fix it:

1.  Surgery on the joint that would cost upward of $5,000.  We would have to severely limit his exercise an activity so as not to re injure the     joint, then when he would be a year old and done growing they would preform the surgery, and then he would have to be casted/splinted for 8-12 weeks while it healed.

2.  Amputate the entire leg including the shoulder blade.  Since he is so young he would recover very quickly and should adapt with no problems.  But what the hell kind of quality of life would that be for him?  

3 Euthanasia (ick, ick, ick!!)

Option #1 was out because even if we could afford that kind of treatment for him, with our schedules how could we care for him with limited movement/exercise???  German Shepherds NEED an outlet for their energy, and even if the surgery was done, there's no guarantee that it would be successful or require something more, and where is the $$$ line that you draw?  That really left it between #s 2 & 3.  I just didn't feel good about #3 AT ALL.  He is so full of life and has so much to offer - how do you just snuff that out?  I am all for ending it when pets are in pain or beyond any other help.  But for the love of Pete, this is a puppy - who happily chews his ice cubes and digs in the backyard and fetches his ball and sleeps on your feet while you stand at the sink and do dishes.  So option #2 was looking more like a possibility, but I knew deep in my heart that it would probably dampen the quality of his life just to keep him in ours.  I cried a lot.  Heck, who am I kidding?  I still am.

Friday I got a flu bug and we had one of the hottest days of the year.  Oh yeah,and my period too.  Poor Joe.  I was a nauseated, cramping, crying mess who felt that I was about to spontaneously burst into flames.  So he took me and Blitz to my folks to the sanctuary of their AC and we stayed there over night since he had to go to work and he smartly realized that I was in no condition to be left alone.    

So we waited, and waited, and I cried and cried.  It seemed like no matter what we chose it was a crap decision, and one that didn't have a great outcome.  

Yesterday, Joe took Blitz to the breeder's house so he could see him with his own eyeballs.  Al and his wife Sylvia are such loving people.  My goodness, what they offered to us and to Blitz was more than generous and really shows their character.  They felt very strongly that they needed to "make it right", and wanted us to entrust Blitz to their keeping, for them to raise.  Even though his condition is not hereditary, simply a birth defect, they felt the need to step in and basically give Blitz the best care and life possible.  They will not put him down and they will not amputate.  While they have never had this occur in a litter they have bred, they have owned other shepherds who have had joint issues so they know all the intricacies of how to care for him with the types and amounts of exercise, joint supplements, etc.  When he is a year old, they will have the joint surgery done on him in Mexico where it will be much cheaper and they have family, and he will live out his life as a family pet to them.   There's a part of me that screams "just tell me what to do and I'll do it!!  anything!!"... but I just don't have the set-up that they do, or the expertise to deal with something like this.  They are also going to give us a another puppy  from a littler they hope to have born sometime in the late fall.  I have mixed emotions about that...  yes, I want a dog very badly, but dang it, I want the one I had.

So last night as Joe and I were discussing all this I was still feverish hoping against hope for a miraculous healing, it was becoming very clear that we had to accept Al's offer.  It was truly the best thing for Blitz.  Honestly, the best possible scenario - his body stays intact, he stays alive  and there's no one else who could care for him as well.  And what is truly amazing, it that for Al and Sylvia to take him, it is a sacrifice for them to do so as well.  The zoning laws where they live says that they can only have 3 dogs at a time, and they already do.  They will send one to his friend Luis is LA so that Blitz can stay with them.  Talk about above and beyond.

I sure cried a lot this morning as I gathered some things that needed to go with him to his new home.  Part of me feels silly, because it is not like I lost a person in my life, and in the scope of things, this is a relatively small loss compared to what other people in the world are dealing with.  But... he was my buddy.  Always close by me, following me around making his funny little noises.  It is sad to think that for awhile it will be just me here at night.

That is a very lonely thought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ahhh, Thursday

I used to love Thursdays because in was NBC's "must watch" line-up; you know, Friends, Seinfeld and ER.  Now I love them because they are my breather day during the week.  One little 24 hour period with no work, and lots of options for how to spend my time.  I look forward to them like you can't believe because I know that the majority of the week is over, with only one more day to plow through and then the weekend.  Thursday is the only day off that Joe and I have together.  We try to make the most of it by combining our energy to get through yard work, housework or errands, but a lot sometimes we don't even make it off the couch and out of our PJ's.  That's nice too.  Even though I still wake up at 5:45am because the little beastie is ready to start his day, I don't really mind.  I can have myself a nice leisurely cup of coffee (or two), watch the Today show and browse blogs.  Heaven!!  On the docket for today:  must go to Old Navy to get some new summery type tops and some clothes for Joe, then head to the mall to see if I can get a pair of jean capris and a skirt or two for work/church, and a summer pair of dress shoes - I'm thinking wedges.  I really haven't spent money on clothes for awhile because I feel like our money should go towards things for the house and yard to try to get it to a more finished state, but... time to bite the bullet.  Then tonight, time to assemble the desk!!  I have extracted a promise from Joe that it will happen, because I fear if it doesn't, the boxes will sit there for another week.  And that would drive me up the wall.  Then I'll have plenty of time to cook a great dinner, walk Blitz and curl up on the couch with my boy.  Can't beat that.  Let's see how many of those things actually happen! 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Can It Be... ???

Oh yes it is...  here I am!!  Oye, what a month it has been.  On May 10th, we were able to bring Blitz home.  It is so much fun having him here with us - and a LOT of work.  Luckily, he took to sleeping in the kennel at night really well, and after a week and a half was sleeping thru the night with no potty breaks like a champ.  Housebreaking has been another issue.  At this point, there are really no accidents any more, but for the first two weeks I wondered if there really was a light at the end of the tunnel and at what point I should buy stock in Bounty.   

When he had been with us for 2 weeks we took him to the vet for his second round of shots, we got him microchipped, spoke to the vet about when we could sign him up for the snip-snip, and casually mentioned that he drinks A LOT of water.  Like he would drain his bowl and then keep licking it and licking it.  Since I've never had a larger type breed before, I didn't know if it was normal or not, but thought that it was just more of a nuisance because since he was constantly guzzling water, it was hard to gage when he would need to be taken out which resulted in lots 'o pee everywhere.  Well, five hundred dollars later, we walked out of the vets office rather shell shocked. 
No, the vet informed us, excessive water drinking is NOT normal, so a barrage of tests was done on him, and a lot of the possibilities as to what the diagnosis could be looked pretty grim.  It could be something just as simple as a UTI or he just absolutely loves water.  Or it could be his kidneys were not formed correctly so his body tells him to drink as much water as possible to help them flush things out.  But they really can't do anything to test that until he's full grown and they do an ultrasound.  If that were indeed the case, ultimately his lifespan would be shortened and there would be no cure.  Or, it could possibly be diabetes lipidus.  If that were the case, it would mean that his brain was not creating enough of a certain hormone that concentrates urine, and was always sending the message to his body to constantly drink more.  There is medicine for that, but it could range anywhere $3-7 a day for the medicine for the rest of his life.  So until we heard back from the vets office with some results, they wanted us to record how many cups of water a day we gave him to see just what his intake was.

The conversation that Joe and I had that night was not a fun one.  Basically Joe said, we had to figure out where the $$$ line was that we were not willing to cross.  Could we really afford to provide the best life for him, if in fact Blitz had an illness?  The very painful answer, was no.  It broke my heart to think about having to find another home for the little fluff ball that I had become very attached to.  He was MY DOG.  I cried like a 5 year old.  We decided that we would wait to hear from the vet before making any decisions.  Luckily, it seems that his blood work and urine samples all showed good levels of whatever they were looking for, although thru charting his water intake he does drink not quite double what a puppy of his size and weight should.  So, the vet wanted to do a trial run on the diabetes meds for about a month.  If his water intake were to decrease while on the meds, then we would know that it is in fact diabetes, if no difference, then no diabetes, and he's just a water lovin' hound.  I am pleased to report that so far a week on the meds, and no difference.  YES!!!  Things are looking up, and at this point, we know that he'll be with us for many years. 

So that's the latest with Blitz... that doesn't even include me slicing my hand open at work while cutting an avocado for my sandwich at work, me getting in a fender bender in our new car, Joe getting an a car accident at work (he's fine), saying good-bye to Joe's brother who decided to go to Australia for a year.  Whew.  That's a lot.   But that doesn't mean that I haven't had time to look at all your blogs, just because I've been so negligent of my own.  This lady?  I love her whole site.  I love learning about how she does her photography, and I've already cooked several of her recipes.  And her and her?  Well, they're inspiring.  

The desk for the office has been ordered, so hopefully after that the new computer will not be far behind.  That will make blogging and uploading photos SO much easier - getting to use the laptop only when Joe is sleeping is hard because there's 42 other things I should be doing.  Whoever said sharing is fun was a liar.  I'm ready for my own space!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Should Help Get You Through to the Weekend

Since I happened to get scheduled for a day off today, Joe and I had a whole day to ourselves...which was a rare and wonderful occurrence.  We toyed with a couple of different ideas, but ultimately curiosity got the best of us - we wanted to see what Blitz was looking like in person!  So off to San Jose we went and had a nice lunch before heading over the the breeder's house.  Good news, he gets to come home on May 13th!!  Less than two weeks.  We still have some things to pick up, like food bowls, chew toys, treats...and probably a slew of other stuff.  Anybody have any crating tips they would like to share?  I'm all ears.  I've read a couple books and feel fairly confident what kind of nighttime regime I'm gonna (try to) have, but during the day is a little different story.  We do have a puppy pen and crate in the office, but any other tips/ lessons learned would be very appreciated!  I'm sure most of what we come up with routine-wise will be trial and error...

Isn't he just so stinking cute?!?!  Lots different than a month ago when the eyes had just been opened and he was pretty much a squirmy lump.  Did you know that shepherds come in 3 different coat types?  I didn't either.  There's short, plush, and long haired varieties.  In the beginning, I had originally wanted a Rottie, because I didn't want to deal with long hair.  Joe helped me see the light as to why GS are superior, and I thought I could deal.  When the puppies' coats were coming in, it was determined that one of the males was a long hair, so that really simplified which one was for us, once again, I didn't want the long hair.  This time, when we saw the breeder he said that the other male was turning out to have more of a plush coat, and would that be ok?  We assured him that it would be, because I came up with a solution.  It's called Dyson.  

Just chillaxin' with Joe.  Because he's cool.

Here's Tilda the mom at lunchtime with the pups.   She's a real sweetie.  Poor girlie, puppy teeth are sharp!  Yikes!

For those of you who are really observant, you can kinda see I cut my hair.  I really like it - about 4 inches taken off.  I was inspired awhile ago by Katie Holmes... but it's not quite as short as hers (yet).  It's more like an A-line bob... because of the layers that were already in my hair it's not quite the shape I want it to end up being, but I was impatient to get it cut, so we went for it.  Holly (my hair dresser) will get it  fine tuned a little more next time.   I love her.  She's always game for whatever I decide, and I do go through a lot of things.  Normally I decide to chop my hair off, then regret it and try to grow it out while experimenting with bangs, no bangs, different parts, highlights, different layers...I'm all over the map.  But so far, no regrets.  I love that it has a real shape to it, and blow drying is waaaaay easier.  I guess we shall see.  I'll try to get Joe to take some better pictures of it.

And the closing shot.  We wore him out but good!  I hope that your Wednesday was as fun as mine!  

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thought of the Day

Once Joe got out the door last night I grabbed an ice pack and propped my feet up on the couch with the remote control, and settled in to my weekend.  After the nasty way the week started, it felt really good to sink onto the sofa and feel my body relax.  I turned on the TV, scrolled thru the guide, and found that they were doing back to back showings of these movies.  How could I not watch?

I think I had just started 5th grade when Father of the Bride came out.  And I LOVED IT.  I thought Annie was beautiful and wanted to grow up looking and acting just like her.  I thought the Banks' home was gorgeous.  I thought Annie's wedding was the most fabulous I had ever seen and hoped that one day mine would measure up to it too.  But what I really loved was Annie's relationship with her dad George, played by the hilarious Steve Martin.  They played basketball in their backyard, just like my dad and I.  He was the over-bearing, over protective parent who had trouble with change, just like mine.  Her mom was the one who quietly straightened out everything with extreme amounts of patience, just like mine.  It just so happened that year was my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate, they took us all on a cruise of the Mediterranean.  On the two flights to Spain the movie showed was Father of the Bride.  In the theater on the cruise ship, the movie was Father of the Bride.  On the flights home... you guessed it.  I was in heaven, and due to that frequent viewing, we all had the whole thing pretty much memorized and still quote some of the one liners to each other ("Velcome to the nineties Mr. Bonks!!!", "No, no, I said TWO hundred and fifty a head...").  I think this and Pride & Prejudice are the two movies I get the most flack/teasing about subjecting my family to.

When thirteen years later I was planning my own wedding, I pulled it out and watched it just for kicks.   It was hard to believe that I was as old as Annie and that it was my turn.  I wonder if my Dad felt the same way too.

Sorry, but believe it or not, this is the only wedding pic that I could find on the laptop... the desktop is not up and running yet.  This is me and my mentor Melinda (a bridesmaid) getting hair/makeup done before the wedding.

And seeing it last night make me grin and even tear up a little too (am I becoming like my mother or what?!?) from being on the opposite side of things.  Is it crazy that here I am thinking about how a comedy from the early nineties has been applicable to my life over a span of 17 years?  Because now I see it a little more from the parent's view point.  I've had my turn.  One day, I'll have an Annie.  And it will be her turn to be the bride, and Joe and I will have to let go. Is that schmaltzy or what?  But that's all I've got on a Saturday morning...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bulging L-5

Lightning pain shoots down.
Ice, walk, ice, lay down, repeat.
My right leg tingles.

Sheesh, it is bad when I have time to think up the ridiculous idea of composing a poorly crafted haiku to express my pain.  Of course this was the worst possible timing for this to have occurred.  If there was ever a day that I NEEDED TO BE AT WORK, it was today.  And my body seems to be rebelling at a very innocuous chore - weed pulling.  That I did LAST THURSDAY.  Are you kidding me?!?!?  I don't know why the delay between the pulling and the pain, but I didn't even know anything was wrong until Saturday evening.  Joe had gone off to work, I was about ready to go to a party for two friends birthdays, and then I made the very poor decision to stand up from the sofa.  And it was all over.  I heard a loud pop and felt a jolt of pain course down my right leg.  It was sharp enough pain to make me holler, and I decided to get off my feet.  Which is pretty much how I stayed up until last night when I was getting no relief and the thought of sitting at a desk chair for 8 hours at work had me nervous.  So I went to Joe's dad (who is a chiropractor) and he worked me over big time which was good, but then the muscle spasms started which he said was not a good sign, because that meant that the nerve was compressed.  I was still keeping a positive attitude because I was hoping that I would magically be healed in the morning and good to go for work.  I was instructed to see him in the morning and he would give me the go ahead... or so I was hoping.
So I go in and hop on the table (or slowly waddle up to it grimacing all the while) and I hear him say, "Oh good, your pelvis stayed in place over night!".  Uhh, no wonder it hurt like the devil if my pelvis was out of place!!!!  So he nixed the idea of work for today because sitting is a big no-no.  I just got back from seeing him again this afternoon for another treatment and this time my pelvis was not so cooperative and did not stay adjusted.  I am really hoping that this all heals itself fast.  Because it is really boring laying down, and I had no idea how much I twist my hips in a day but I get a nice little reminder in the form of a couple zings.  It makes me feel old to be this immobile and I have no idea how people with chronic back problems function through daily life!  What a mess of a Monday...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Life

I don't think that there's anything as wonderful and exhilarating as holding brand-new-to-the-world baby.  

Chris & Kiyoko at our old apartment pre-baby

Our dear friends Chris and Kiyoko became parents to the beautiful Laney Lillian Young on March 27th.  They called us that morning at 2am to let us know that they were going to the hospital, and when we got the call later that day that she had arrived safe and sound, we hopped in the car and headed down to Monterey to meet her.  We thought that she was a very considerate little girl to be born on a day that Uncle Joe was off and Auntie Kate only worked a half day.  When we got there, they were all asleep so we bummed around Monterey a little while getting Jamba Juice (mmm) and noodling around a book store.  When we went back, we had a great hour visit with the three of them.  I couldn't get over how beautiful Kiyoko looked;  obviously, she looked very tired (12 hour labor!), but...she really did glow.  Or something.  Motherhood definitely added another dimension to her.  

The new and improved Young Family

We can't wait for them to come up here for a visit!!  We are thrilled for them and all the new possibilities that Laney has now brought into their world.

  Friends from the first time she farted in my arms!

Bloggers, Meet Blitz

We're getting a puppy!!  And this is the little dude!

We got to go Thursday night to see the puppies and hopefully try to narrow down which one we wanted.  Obviously, it's hard when a puppy is only 2 and a half weeks old to tell much to differentiate it from it's siblings.  Joe knew he wanted a male and I am just thrilled to be getting a dog so gender didn't matter to me, and so that helped bring the choice down to the two males.  One was a pudge, with big paws and head, and the other one while not scrawny, was definitely smaller.  We asked the breeder, Al, which one he thought would be the best dog for us (knowing that we want strictly a pet and are not planning on breeding or showing).  He said that if he had to choose one to keep as a pet, it would be the smaller of the two.  He said that little puppy impresses him every feeding time by the way he latches onto the mom even though he's getting smooshed between bigger sisters and brother, he does not give up his spot.  Simply put, he has focus, and I guess tenacity.  Al thinks that will transfer over into his training and willingness to want to please us.  So, unless something were to dramatically change with his health or development... we'll be bringing him home sometime in mid-May.

So cute!

There was much discussion about the name...  Back when we were researching what breeds we thought would be compatible with our wants and needs, the German Shepherd came to the forefront straight away.  As Al has told us "they (German shepherds) are first in somethings, but second in everything", meaning that they are an extremely versatile dog - they pretty much do it all - hunt, swim, great with kids, protective, herd, agility courses, schitzhund, do well in snow, the list goes on.  Because of their temperament and intelligence, they can easily adapt to what you need them to do.  But I digress.  Joe really started liking the albino ones (too weird looking), or the all black ones that looked like wolves (too scary looking).  I was completely against both.  I kept having visions of the white dog rolling in the dirt and mud and looking gross and being a nightmare to keep clean.  So I struck a deal with Joe that as long as he agreed to get a German Shepherd that looks like a traditional one, he could choose the name.  He went through a lot!!  There were some real doozies.  Actually, it was a guy that used to be in Joe's group of high school guys that he led at church a few years back that came up with the name.  He was home on spring break, and came over to workout with Joe and have dinner with us.  He said that we should think of a German name for him.  He threw out "you should name him 'Blitz' from blitzkrieg, that would be really cool."  Blitzkkrieg means "lightning war".  And the name grew on us.  So thanks Andrew!!

So get used to this little face.  Because until little munchkins come, he and his antics will be getting a lot of air time on here!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Little More Rome & Florence Photos

********This is rather long. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Get cozy.*********

I realized that I hadn't shown any more of our amazing trip this summer...and I thought this was the easiest way to do it. We all need to give an extra round of applause to Joe for his skillz with the Sistine Chapel pictures - photography in there is a big no-no. So he had to nonchalantly stand with the camera at his hip, and snap away, and he got some great, non-blurry shots. Is he amazing or what? Also, I feel duty bound to tell you that the pictures of the "David" are of a copy, not the real one. The real one is in a tiny, tiny museum with about 6 security cameras aimed at it and many people monitoring it walking around it, enforcing the no picture rule. Joe wanted to try anyway, but I was scared they would take the camera or something. Which is too bad, because it is beautiful, immense, and looks like at any moment he's going to stride off the pedestal. Incredible. Be on the lookout the next couple days for a slide show of Venice. Pinky-swear promise!

East Coast VaCa (from, oh, two months ago)

So have I been the poster child for a bad blogger or what? You know it is bad when your husband sends you not so subtle hints that you should update your blog accompanied by sighs and stares.

Tsk, tsk.

Here's my feeble attempt to make up for my rudeness, because really, that is what it is. I've still been reading other's work, just not caring to contribute any of my own. Now, we have been swamped by a lot here recently, but I can't even really play that card when half the people that I read have at least one child if not more so you know they've got their hands full, and they faithfully find the time to keep me entertained. The cycle must stop! So follow me while I reminisce about our trek to Virginia and DC.

Jefferson's beautiful Monticello.

The real reason for the trip: Jerrod, Amanda, John and Tyler. We love them! It was so great to be able to spend time with them, see what their lives are like, and relax in their home. Thank you four so much for your warmth and hospitality. We can't wait to return the favor when you guys can make it out to Cali! I even got to meet some blogging pals too!! Candace and Kelly, thank you both so much. It meant a lot that you took time out of your very busy lives to come spend an evening with us! You both are as sweet, funny and warm as your writing portrays you to be.

Oh, sweet baby Tyler. I held him every single chance I got. What a happy little guy.

Mt. Vernon, Washington's home, was one of my favorite historical sights that we saw. Because we were there in the extreme off season, it was like it was open just for us. I could've sat out on the back porch for a long time. So peaceful and quiet looking onto the Potomac.

OK all you Ugg haters (my SIL Amy!), take note. I wore mine in the freezing snow, sock less, and this girl who always has cold feet and hands, had toasty warm toes. They are awesome, and I will use them forever. So there.

Some fun facts about Virginia: I had my first Chick-a-Fillet and Cracker Barrel experiences. They were tasty. The speed limit feels extremely slow. Most traffic seems to amble along at 40-45mph, verses the Bay Area's 80mph freeways. It drove Joe nuts at times. Also, road signage is very confusing. When we were heading to Lynchburg at one point we saw sings that told us we were on 129 South and (I think) 52 North at the same time. Not sure how, but we were. All in all, I really liked it.

Moving on to the DC portion... we stayed in the historic Foggy Bottom section which is about 5 blocks from the Georgetown area, and it was great!! Waaaaaayyyy too cold, and so I think to do DC justice we'll have to head back in the spring sometime. For instance, the last day there we had planned to do a open air bus tour so we could see all the monuments, and we woke up that morning to a raging snow and ice storm. There was a lot we missed. Owell. Reasons to head back, right?

I started noticing that most of the old churches have bright red doors. Love it!!

We were able to go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which obviously has a lot of meaning to us. It's nice to see those heroes honored.

Me and Rex getting friendly at the Smithsonian.

The Hope Diamond. Which was really sparkly.

This was the closest we got to it walking to dinner one night. On our way to the Old Ebbitt Grill, actually. I would love to go back - the flavor there is older, and you really get a sense of America's roots, which as a history person and lover of all things old, I connected with.

I'm already set to go back. As usual, travel only whets my appetite for more of it!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome to My World

Welp, here she is; the Casa de Joe & Kate. Are you ready for the tour? It'll be slightly disjointed because these were just some shots that Joe took on the second or third day of being in the house. Pretty bare bones. Keep in mind that we're working on changing some things, so this is not obviously the finished product. Just some tidbits so you get an idea of what it's like here. Ready to start? Great, wipe your feet before you come in!

You'll have to use your imagination to envision hydrangeas and geraniums in the front flower bed where currently there are some nasty brown daisy bushes. Yeah, those suckers are coming out. But gardening is lower down on the honey do list. Which is too bad because since the house has been empty for so long, there are some weeds we have that could probably eat a kindergartner.

Living room. And me in my scrubs. Classy. The walls are actually a moss green, not gray like is coming thru in the picture.

So this is the one of the bedrooms that we'll set up as the "office" and place for guests to stay with us (and hopefully I can have a little nook of it designated for craft stuff). In fact, Joe's cousin Jerrod was the first to grace it with his presence last week. He slept on the floor on a Coleman blow up mattress. Nothing but the best for our guests. Currently, the color is a dingy baby blue, but we chose a cinnamony-red color called "Rum Punch" that I can't wait to slap up on the walls! It'll really warm up the space.

Next down the hall is what Joe is already referring to as "the kids' bathroom". Nothing too much to say, other than that the walls are a cafe au lait with white trim, so I bought aqua towels, rugs, and brought in some red accents. You'll see.

This is the smallest of the three bedrooms, and has already been appointed as the baby's room for when we have one. In the mean time, it holds all the stuff that we have to unpack. Don't worry, the hippy-dippy bead curtain was promptly ripped down and stuck in the garbage.

OK, now the kitchen, which I love. Do you see all the storage? All the lower cabinets have roll out shelving. Do you see all the counter space? It is wonderful Formica, not that horrible tile which we had in the apartment which never looked clean and was always loosing grout. This stuff is a dream, wipe it up and you're done. Do you see the skylight? That thing is awesome!!

Hallelujah! A FULL SIZE FUNCTIONING dishwasher!!! After three years of washing everything by hand, you can imagine my excitement. The view from the sink is out into the backyard.

And the other jewel of the kitchen is the washer/dryer. No more lugging laundry up and down a flight of stairs. No more using quarters. No more waiting for others. I commented to Joe not long after moving in that I could cook, clean dishes and clothes all at the same time here, and really be an efficient woman, thankyouverymuch. Before at the apartment? Not possible.

So this is back out from the kitchen (door is on the right) into the living room/dining area, and we're heading thru that back doorway to the master bedroom, mkay?

See how there's two doorways here? This was really appealing to us. It's like 2 barriers to whatever is going on in the rest of the house, which for Joe and his opposite hours, is perfect. He can still sleep in peace during the day, and I can go about my normal routine and function without feeling like I have to be absolutely silent. Our bathroom is to door to the right.

And here it is! Again, this room is in dire need of paint; it's gonna be a warm golden-yellow color. Probably the most exciting of all is that when we closed on the house our realtor gave us some money back (what a nice guy!), so we decided to split the money, with the stipulation that it had to go towards things for the house. Joe spent his chunk on exercise equipment and fixing up the garage to be a gym, and I spent mine on bedroom furniture. YESSSSS!!! I marched on down to Pottery Barn and ordered a headboard and bedside tables, and as luck would have it, caught a killer sale. Since the picture was taken, it has arrived, but no peeking yet for you. I want you to see the complete finished product. Yes sirrie; paint, furniture, some black and white pictures that we took in Italy blown up and framed, and you won't recognize it.

Different angle of the room.

So, here's what is in store for us. Painting. I really can't wait to do that, because once that happens, we can really place furniture, hang things on the wall, and make it look like a cozy home, not just a house.

Thanks for coming by!