Thursday, July 31, 2008


How many times did Ryan pee on the potty....3. So, that is pretty amazing, since I gave up. Apparently if you ask your MIL to babysit she will take care of it. LOVE IT. He went once for her, then once again when I came home and she was still here, then he went again for me before bath. Seriously. I.DO.NOT.KNOW. HOW.OR WHY. BUT.ITS.COOL. And ofcourse this comes on the heels of me spending $20 on a box of diapers yesterday.

And if you can possibly stand more house information, our favorite house where there were 10 other bidders fell through and is back on the market. Basically we need to make a full price offer by the end of the weekend if we want to be considered. And, I saw a house today that I really liked, that is about 30k less, but in the same hood. Oh, and add this into the mix, the house around the corner that we have been eyeing (pergo flooring, stainless appliances, corian counters and a huge master and very clean) is probably going to be lowered another 25k this weekend. Let's not forget we are the #2 offer on the house across the street as well. Freakin decisions need to be made!

In other cool news, my brother just signed a letter of intent with the Sheriff's Dept. So proud of him. He graduates from the academy in September. It is really nice to have a job before you have even graduated and will take a weight off his shoulders. A few more tests to pass and he will be DONE. Yay!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

House # 2 update

We were notified yesterday that the top two bids were being submitted to the lender yesterday and it was lender's choice. We also found out we are #2. I hate the waiting. I am already scheduled to see more houses tomorrow with our realtor because we don't want to miss out on another house if this falls through. We are hoping the lender will counter both offers with a "best and final" and we can make a stronger offer. Our first offer was $9k under asking, so the fact that we were in the top 2 hopefully means the other bidder wasn't much higher. Now we just have to figure out how much we want to pay for this house. I'm tired of looking, but more tired of the game. Agents are pricing the houses low, getting tons of interest, and then the houses are going for over asking, sometimes by 20%. This has changed the price range we are looking in and basically the whole process. To quote one of Ryan's potty books, now we just "sit and wait sit and wait."

BTW: potty training is on old. i cannot deal w/ the mess, or the attitude

Monday, July 28, 2008

No more student loan!

Ethan informed me last week that he was paying the last payment on my student loan. Hooray! This has been a sore spot and something humorous for years now simply because I am no longer in the profession that required me to get the loan. I went through junior college, and university without loans. My parents are super cool. They thought it was important for me to go to college and helped however they could. In junior college they paid for my units and half my gas to get there, and I paid for books. For university it was mostly them. I worked in the summers, after I was settled in the "college life" I had some jobs during the year. But, after 4 yrs of taking their money I decided to get a loan for my teaching credential. It was going to be another 3 semesters...yes, it takes a long time to be a teacher. Well, I was still taking their money for rent and food, LOL. So, I got a loan, taught for 2 yrs, and haven't been back in the classroom since. I stopped teaching when we moved to San Diego. Sadly after 2 yrs I was already burnt out. It is common. I believe the statistic is 50% of teachers leave the profession in the first 5 yrs. Sad, very sad. I hate that I was a statistic, but I wasn't happy. I appreciate that I could recognize it but its still difficult when something you worked really hard for doesn't work out like you thought.

So, for the last 9 years we have been paying my credential loan, but I only taught for 2. The good news is that its over. Done. And now that money can go to Ryan's preschool tuition.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yes!!!! Apparently my procrastination and unwillingness to believe Ryan will turn 3 this year did not get in the way of us finding a spot. No one informed me that finding a preschool was more difficult than getting into college. Because I am lazy and in denial, and because it involved $ and I didn't know what was too expensive and what wasn't, I just hid under a rock. Luckily, I am in a playgroup and lots of mom's did some leg work for me--whether they knew it or not. If someone didn't like a place because they thought it was dirty or something of that nature, then there was no reason for me to see it. I totally trust them in that. There are a few names thrown around town that let me know which were supposed to be the good ones. Ofcourse Montessori was high on the list, with a few church preschools, and a few smaller home preschools. Again, I had the info but did nothing. They all had wait lists and I knew it would be a while before any spots opened, plus most places wouldn't take Ryan until he actually turned 3...and there is the whole potty training issue.

Ethan's mom gave me the number of someone she knows from church and said she was always full and heard great things. I did nothing with the information. Then Ethan threw it away. Then I asked for it again and finally called. They were full but she asked me to come take a look. I never called her back...are you seeing a pattern here? Then on Tuesday she called to say they had an opening as was I still interested. Wednesday my mother in law and I took Ryan for a tour, then went back again last night to show it to Ethan and attend the open house. And now Ryan is enrolled in preschool. Holy moly how did that happen?

I'm thinking some strings were pulled, but I'm not sure. I really liked the teachers, philosophy and curriculum. Its at a house, which was something I didn't want in the beginning, but when your house is that big it really doesn't matter. They have a separate classroom upstairs, and utilize the dining room and family room, plus have a huge outdoor space with all kinds of fun stuff. It was clean and organized. They had the whole schedule for the entire year already done/ themes and all. They will take Ryan in a pull up and ecourage him to go potty, though they won't change him. They do not have the time to do that and I understand. So, cross your fingers he poops at home!!! And ofcourse that he is potty trained soon.

My only apprehension is that we will most likely be the only family that does not attend the same church. While this is not a church affiliated program, I think the preschool was populated through word of mouth at the church. That is not bad, other than I hope Ethan's mom or anyone else doesn't use this as a way to try to get us to start going.

This is kind of another post all together, but Ethan and I were raised in different religions. His family went to church every Sunday and was active in their church. My family was not, but we went on certain familial occasions (mass for dead relatives, etc). My great-grandparents were church goers on my dad's side, but it seems to have tapered off as the generations became more "Americanized" and weren't so rooted in the old country. My dad lectured us that we should go, but never went himself and well, you know how well that works with kids. My sister and I did have an interest as teens and went for a while, but stopped going for whatever reason. So, when Ethan and I started dating this was a hard thing for us because his religion tends to like to stick together. We decided in the beginning that we could get around this by agreeing that neither of us was trying to convert the other, especially me since my instruction in my particular religion was limited. He attended church w/ me a few times, I went to a couple of functions with him, and while I'm sure his family would have rather he married someone of their faith, he didn't and they are stuck with me now.

We have amazingly been able to deal with this for the 16 yrs we have been together. It was not an issue again until we had Ryan and weren't sure how to handle that kind of an explanation. All I could come up with was that we both believed in God, and felt we could communicate with him without being in a church, and that we wanted to install good values in Ryan, and hopefully we are doing that. We'll answer his questions the best we can. I'm not sure why I got into this, other than I'm a bit nervous about being the odd one out. I'm older now and know how to deal with this kind of stuff better, but it brings up the nervousness I had when Ethan and I first began dating when it was so obvious that we weren't coming from the same place.

There you have it. Ryan starts school Aug 15. Bets on if I will be sobbing?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Something not to do

Take your child to the store to pick out a toy! What was I thinking? A friend of mine sent Ryan a gift card for a belated birthday gift (very very belated, LOL) and I said he could go to Target and pick out a toy. We had to get a birthday gift also, and a baby gift. After we did that, I gently directed him to the Elmo Potty dvd because I thought maybe that would be a nice push in the potty training direction. He said absolutely not, but pickd a Dora dvd. I told him I wasn't spending $ on Dora when we can Tivo her anytime on TV--and we already have 2 episodes saved in case of emergencies. Apparently when I said pick, I had restrictions. What a mom! So, we left the book area and headed to toys. He started picking out a bunch of baby toys to which I said no to, AGAIN. I was starting to feel bad and I was trying to get him to the aisles of things he would like: trucks, trains, cars, etc. He found the Little People area and I kinda think he is getting too big for that, but he does love the stuff he has. He doesn't have the police car so I showed him that, but he kept picking the tractor. We have 100 tractors over here. I was totally micro-managing this process.

Then he picked the purple SUV, which I was ok with, except for the fact that there were no boys in it. It was a bit girlie. Then he picked some kind of pink carriage being pulled by a purple horse. Wow. I was really fighting the urge to say thats for girls, but I ended up saying it. I was really mad at myself and decided he could have whatever he wanted....except the piano, because HELLO YOU ALREADY HAVE THE FISHER PRICE PIANO. Do you really need a pink piano? NO, I DON'T THINK SO.

Finally we made it to the trucks and picked a big red monster truck. Cool. Oh, but wait, look over here, I want THIS. When we went to check a price machine for yet another car related toy he saw the Thomas section. Then he wanted the green train, then the red. Finally we picked the red, had the discussion that he was SURE that is what he wanted, and headed to the register. About halfway there he said "here hold this mom i no want it." I told him if he didn't want it we had to put it back, so we went back to the toys where he told me he didn't want anything. Fine. Oh wait, there is a very large fire truck that has blinking lights and lots of noise. It was like heaven for him. And what a surprise, we have the smaller version of that exact fire truck. I just let it go. And he is in love with it. He played with it all last night, asked for it first thing when he got up this morning. He told Ethan "yook mommy bought me a fire truck."

Why didn't I just use the gift card to buy myself yet another cute t-shirt?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ryan says...

"I yike wearing diapers on my bum"

"No touch da bees jus touch yadybugs"

"Yucky bug shew fly shew"

"I in trouble"

"Too heaby mom, I can't do it"

"Was ah matter Nikki?"

"I soooooo tired"

Ethan asked me something when Ryan was in the bath and I answered "your sister." So, Ryan was talking about sisters and I told him his Aunt Sarah was daddy's sister. Then he was talking about Ryan's sister and I told him he didn't have a sister or brother. He screamed "i want a brother." Now, he doesn't even know the difference between boys and girls yet--at least as far as I can tell, but to humor him I asked him what he would name his brother and he said "Uncle."

Monday, July 21, 2008

House #2

It is time to put another offer on a house. Why oh why do we always like the short sales? Just so you know, short sale does not actually mean a short sale. I told Ethan they should change the name because that is just STUPID. Apparently, a short sale is supposed to be when the owner is working with their bank to try to sell the house before it gets foreclosed. This way a foreclosure doesn't show up on their credit. Good for the seller if it works...bad for everyone else. I've been hearing stories that it can take up to 6 months for a short sale to go through. I guess the banks won't even deal with the short sales (like sending out an appraiser) until an offer is on the table. Real estate agents make up prices and hope the bank will accept. There is also the issue with WHO is in charge. Is there one loan, several loans? The banks are overwhelmed with all of the foreclosures and short sales and often no one knows who is in charge of what. Sounds fun right? "Short" means the bank is willing to get shorted, but ofcourse they want to try to break as close to even as possible.

This house is across the street (oh yes, we may have another hilbilly move in our future--i think i spelled hilbilly wrong). We saw it a few months ago at an open house and we've been watching it. We considered the price great at the time, but were leery of a short sale. Then it seems like almost everything we were seeing were short sales and our agent said she was willing if we were. Then we went to another open house in our neighborhood for the same model. This house had some nice upgrades and was in great condition, but that agent (and I bet she is kicking herself now) mentioned she had been checking out the area and thought she was well priced, eventhough a house around the corner just reduced by 60k. Excuse me??? Which house. She told us which one and it was the one across the street. There was a new flyer and we thought OMG. While we loved the upgrades of the other house, they were not worth the 50k difference.

So, Ethan is e-mailing me his signature and I'm supposed to learn how to use our scanner and have the offer in by today. We don't want to get beat out on this new price. Then it will be a major waiting game to see if the offer makes it to the right people and who has the authority about price. We don't mind if the paper work takes long, we are not in a rush, we just want to know if the price is acceptable.

The house is almost 2200 sq/ft, 3 bedrooms and a huge loft. The loft already has a built in desk, and enough room to be an extra play space for Ryan when we are upstairs. It was a model home so it does have some upgrades. There are hardwood floors in the kitchen and family room and it has a pantry with one of those cute doors. It does have tile on the counter but it is upgraded so its at least not the plain white that I have had for the last 7 yrs. The backyard was nicely landscaped and has mature trees because it was a model, but the grass is all dead now. Basically with paint and new carpet we can move in.

I must mention the wallpaper. Not sure if its like this in other areas, but for some reason in CA, the new model homes always have wallpaper. The downstairs bathroom has bright yellow w/ flowers. The upstairs bath has some sort of yellow and blow, and the master is white w/ blue. YUCK. The laundry is upstairs which I have grown to like (hoping there is never a leak) and it has a sink w/ a counter. The only kinda "eh" thing is that it is very similar to the house we rent now. It would be kinda boring to move into the same house...but at the price we can't pass it up. Basically the house is about 200 sq/ft bigger than ours now. We are gaining a lot of space in the is gigantic and space in the living room because its a dining room combo, but we lose space because its not technically an "eat in" kitchen. You could fit a table, but our house now has a clearly defined eating area in the kitchen, but no dining room.

And the short sale process begins.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Potty training sucks

The title really says it all. Basically, this is day one in underwear. I think we are jumping the gun a bit since he doesn't exhibit any of the signs on the "checklist" but Ethan doesn't care about the check list. I know that forcing him is a bad thing, but I also know he is over 2.5 and cannot get into preschool without being potty trained. We have pushed off school til January since everywhere has wait lists but we do have to start somewhere. I complained that I couldn't even get Ryan to put on his big boy underwear. I was sure they would bit a hit because HELLO they had police cars on them! He screams and kicks when its time to change his diaper or get dressed, and I was not willing to go through that with underwear. Ethan said he would take care of it and I was woken up at 7am to Ryan showing me his underwear. There was no screaming or fit throwing which annoys the crap out of me, but whatever. Here is where it is good to be Ethan. He got to leave at who has cleaned up pee twice already? Oh yes, me. And its only 9:30. I know that is normal to have "accidents." I was also hoping him feeling totally wet would be gross to him and help move the process along. Apparently not. I've heard terrible things about pull ups, since they are basically diapers so I was going to skip those, or at least leave them for nap/bedtime. So my question is how many "accidents" are normal and what is not normal and "he's just not ready?"

I know I have to be 100% in it, and I've asked him about every 15 min this morning if he needs to go sit on the potty. Two messes later, I'm annoyed already. The way I figure it, I have cleaned up enough dog mess for my entire life and I'm not looking forward to Ryan pee and poop all over my house. I'm just sayin. Ok, well I think I've only cleaned up dog pee twice in 9 yrs...but thats because we are super smart and get dogs that are already house trained. And actually, I'm not sure I've cleaned up dog poop in the house, but I've done enough of it outside. But I HAVE cleaned up lots of dog vomit, and stuff worse than poop and pee so I won't even go there. You can imagine. My dogs have sensitive GI tracts so things can get pretty gross.

And right now he is sitting on my bed so I must go check on him because if he pees in my bed I'm pretty sure he will be in a diaper in 5 seconds.

Oh...and you must watch Rock the Reception on TLC. It is so cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No house

As I expected, we did not get the house. I'm fine with that, especially knowing there were 10 other offers and we were under asking. Apparently our cash down was not enough to woo them. I'm really ok with it, except for the fact that they didn't call/e-mail our agent to let us know. The house just went up as pending on the MLS. It seems courtesy is lacking in this foreclosure market. So, we keep looking and find the house we are meant to have.

In other news, check out my Shelfari! This is all due to Liz because she helped me when I didn't know where to paste my code and basically she just rocks. I had to enter my books twice, but whatever. It was kinda fun to see all the books I had read, and most of them were recently. So, check out my shelf and you might find something you like. Oh, and I didn't put anything on there that I didn't like. I had to read a ton of stuff in college that I hated, so that is nowhere on the list. I believe I even (finally) got rid of those books. I have a hard time letting books go, even ones I hate. Don't ask me why, but they are no longer on my real shelf. I also left out the poetry and anthologies cuz...well...its just too much.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm an aunt

Ok, its not the first time, actually the fourth, but its still cool. Ethan's sister had a baby girl early this morning. I was extra excited because the birth and everything went smoothly. First of all, she has already had two 9 lb babies so that could scare anyone. She almost had an emergency c-section with her third and somewhere in there had very long labors, especially when being induced. Last night they started pitocin because they thought her fluid levels might be low. I think it was around 7pm and baby Clara Leon (not sure on the spelling and this name could possibly change) was born around 2:45am. Totally awesome. I know she was worried about going through a multiple day birth again...can you even imagine? My labor with Ryan was about 11 hrs and I've heard that is great for an induction, especially a first baby, so its great that she was able to do it in less time than that.

Please do not flood me with comments when I post this, but her other daughter (child #3) is partly the reason there is a Ryan. We went to visit them when she was 6 weeks old, while we were in town for my parents 30th anniversary party. I fell in love with baby Gretta immediately. I'm pretty sure I didn't put her down and Ethan took all of these pictures of us together and he kept saying I looked good with a baby. On our way home we talked about how we missed seeing our two nephews, and now our new niece growing up. Just in general that we missed our families...and so the idea was born to possibly start our own family. And here we are.

Monday, July 14, 2008

House #1

So, we made an offer on the house last night. I just found out today there were 10 offers and it had only been on the market for 2 days. So, yeah, thats probably a big fat NO, but we'll wait and see. It seems that all the good houses are going quick and sometimes over asking price, and all the crappy houses are staying on the market for a long time and lowering their prices. Duh. The problem is that now I will be comparing every other house to THAT house. The kitchen was so fantastic, and eventhough I am no chef, I totally appreciated all the upgrades...and the walk in pantry! Ethan was in love with the 2 car + tandem garage, and the backyard was great, plus that long driveway with the iron gate. I could picture Ryan riding his bike while I watched from the kitchen. The master even had an over sized tub, bigger than normal master bath tubs. Oh, and the closet was a great size. Cross your fingers for us.

The good thing is that we are now open to that neighborhood and hopefully we'll be able to find something similar. Its just so rare that Ethan and I would both find a "wow" house and that it would be the SAME house, because you all know how often we agree on stuff :)

In other news, I got to meet my brother's girlfriend for the first time tonight. My sister and I went to his softball game and sat with her. She seems really nice and I'm happy for him. He has been single for a while and its great to see him happy. He has been focusing on school/career for a while and hopefully his personal life will all click into place as well. He is almost done with the policy academy and is in the background investigation phase for a job with the sheriff department. I still keep thinking my little brother isn't old enough to be a grown up, but then again he is 24 which means I'm.....let's forget that for now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mom Night Out

I so needed an MNO, and Friday night we all went to another mom's house who had a heated pool and spa. So fun. We've been having 105+ weather all week so it was so great to just cool down, have a mojito (or 3) and relax. Another friend and I closed the party down and I got home at 2:30. Honestly, that is so unlike me. We usually have our MNOs at a restaurant, and sometimes the ladies will go out to a bar afterward, but I usually head for home. After 10:00 I'm all about exhausted. Plus, I'm always scared of running into my brother at a bar.

The only problem is that a pool requires a bathing suit and you all know how I feel about that. I was leaving funny messages on the playgroup board about how everyone was going to have to close their eyes when I got in the pool or that I was going to wear sweats. Honestly, there is no appropriate swimwear when you have big boobs...unless you want to spend over $100 which I DO NOT. We were all having swimsuit discussions and I realized I haven't bought a suit since my honeymoon...almost 9 yrs ago. Yes, I hate swimsuits THAT much. A friend of mine from work gave me a suit of hers when I was pg with Ryan and said I might want it for the summer after I had him. It was a size bigger than my normal pre-pg size and it was tagged a "miracle suit." Whatever that means. So, i've been wearing that since I had Ryan. I rarely swim, but needed it for rafting and a few other things. It is now known in the mom circle as the "uniboob" suit because, well, no explanation is needed.

I'm trying to get Ethan to make an offer on a house we saw today. The way the market is here it will be gone in a day or two. It most likely will go for above asking, which we aren't willing to pay, but I'd like to get an offer in just to see what happens. It has everything we wanted, except its not in our current neighborhood. The pros definately way out the cons, especially when the only con is that its not HERE. But, it has some great features for our little family and is much closer to shopping, the backyard is divine, plus the long driveway with carport actually has a gate so that increases our outdoor play space by a ton and lets not forget the garage is a 2 car with tandem. Ethan was in heaven. The kitchen has upgrades and yeah, no tile on the counters. No more grout!

Ok, my child has decided he isn't going to nap today. My sister had him this morning while we looked at houses and he fell asleep on the way home. That is never a problem except for the fact that he realized we were home already and that created mucho problemas for us. First he needed to see daddy, then I let him watch a short Baby Einstein to keep with our normal routine, and now he is upstairs telling me his nap is done and open the door mommy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trying to keep it together

Earlier today we had Ryan day. I felt bad that we have been stuck inside due to the weather, air quality, and just other stuff so I took him to the indoor jumpy place at the mall. I paid $6 for him to jump for 10 min and then tell me he was done. I convinced him to keep playing if I jumped as well. He loved that, my headache didn't. But I survived. He made it to the 30 min mark and I didn't want to argue anymore so off we went to the icky yucky germy play area in the mall. See, I told you it was Ryan day. Luckily this time he wanted to sit/play on the train and fire truck that you pay .$25 to ride. So, we did that for a while, then headed to BK for....french fries. Ofcourse. There was a very long line so we hit the arcade. He got to ride in a few cars. For some reason I have a ton of change, maybe left from DC. Then it was off to the carousel because the BK line was still outrageous. Is it possible that a carousel can make me dizzy? As I get older the vertigo and motion sickness is getting worse. After that we shared some chicken and fries and called it a day. I asked him if he had fun and he said NO. I said "you didn't have fun?" and he said "oh yes i did mommy." Then i started listing all the things we did because daddy always asks him what we did and he told me to stop talking. Apparently he was tired because he fell asleep within 5 min of being in the car, and he is napping now. That is what happens when you wake up every few hrs crying to sleep with your parents and THEY WON'T LET YOU but you insist on being awake at 4:30am only to fall back asleep in your parents bed when you say you are just watching cartoons. I am so hip to this game and its about time.

In other news, the Nikki situation has really been creeping up on me at the least expected times and I find myself crying--don't worry, not in front of Ryan. Don't get me wrong, we are hoping and praying it is not cancer, but the realistic part of me knows that even if we escape this, there will be more things like this ahead due to her age and sensitive stomach issues. Even something that wouldn't be serious could actually be serious because of her inability to process meds. For some reason her GI tract and especially her liver can't handle a lot of things that they should be able to.

But, unrelated things to Nikki have been popping into my head and it seems I've ignored a lot of things in the last few years that I needed to deal with. There is a lot of stuff floating around in my brain that doesn't seem related, but then all of a sudden BAM its there and I can't get it to go away. For example, my brother is in a police academy right now and applied to be a sheriff. The private investigator called today to talk to me. I raved about how super cool my bro is, and the guy asked me a random question about the time my brother spent in the CHP academy (that is another story). I answered him honestly and he asked me if him not being in the CHP had anything to do w/ my grandfather being sick or dieing around that time. It didn't, and I couldn't figure out why he asked me that. I asked my brother after I got off the phone with the PI and he said during the lie detector they asked some family questions and our grandfather came up, but thats all he could think of. As I was driving to the jumpy place I drove by the cemetary, that I drive by almost everyday, and started to tear up. I was thinking about how out of 4 grandparents my brother only got to know 2, and how I knew all 4 and that just wasn't fair. And how he stepped up and spoke at my grandpa's funeral which was very unlike him at the time and how proud I was of him because I couldn't even find any words. I know that when I moved to San Diego my brother got closer with my grandpa, went over to mow his lawn and visited him once he went into the assisted living place. Then I thought about how i've lived here for 1.5 yrs now and I never went back to the cemetary. I haven't been there since the funeral.

I realized that I wasn't able to cope with the fact that he was gone and staying away from the cemetary has helped me do that. My grandather died accidentally at his assisted living place 4 days before I had Ryan. I think of my mom and how hard it was for her to lose her dad but at the same time feel joy in her new grandson. We drove here when Ryan was 6 days old so I could attend the funeral. It was cold and rainy and I remember standing under the tent and I couldn't help thinking " i just had a baby." Nothing made sense to me at the time and I'm not even sure I grieved. And now, thinking of the possiblity of losing Nikki, and driving by the cemetary just really has gotten to me on a level that i didn't think possible.

I know its time to cope with these things I"ve let slip the last few years. I was a new mom, tired, stressed and just anxious about being in charge of another life. I didn't deal with that the best way I could have either. There is a lot of reflecting going on over here and hopefully my next posts will be more upbeat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Nikki Sue

I was going to post some things I liked about DC and our a heated bathroom floor and Bath & Body Works products...I know, cool huh! But, our oldest dog has been having some medical issues and it has kind of put me into a funk. I was looking for a recent picture to post but couldn't find any, and our property management company is going to be here today anytime between 9-5 to do an inspection so I"m sort of pressed for time. My luck they will come when Ryan is taking a nap! So, i've got one ear listening for them, but if I have time I'll post a pic of her. Normally she is in every picture we take (usually a butt), and for some reason every folder I clicked on didn't have any dog pics.

Nikki has one of two issues. 1) She got into something toxic and it threw her liver for a loop. She has a sensitive GI tract already and has been on "sensitive stomach" food for years. She does really well with it but you give her any other type of dog food and you've got a mess to clean up :( When we found out she had arthritis she even reacted badly to the glucosamine and fish oil. Now, usually when the dogs get into something they leave a nice trail of debris and we know what it was. The other issue is that with 2 dogs you are never quite sure who ate it. The only thing they have gotten into in the last week was a dirty diaper. GROSS. I will not get into the fact that Ethan puts diapers in the laundry room trash. Won't get into IT. But for some reason, the dogs got into it. The vet said that some of the packing or the crystal type stuff they use to stop wetness in the diaper could have been toxic to her, especially with her sensitive liver. Her liver values were 10x higher than they should be. Not good.

2) Cancer. Not much to say about that other than it sucks. So, we are hoping it was the diaper and that with some liver support meds she will fight it off herself. She is acting much better, eating again, and not drinking so much water. All good signs that she is rebounding. But at 10.5 yrs old, you cannot rule out cancer, especially with a history of high liver values. Because she responded to the liver meds before, she is on them again for 1 month and then we'll recheck her blood. If it is still high it is probably cancer. Ethan and I have already decided at that point we would do the x-ray to see if there is a mass there. If there is, we are pretty sure we would stop there. We don't want to put her through a biopsy, surgeries, and chemo. From what I've read about liver cancer in dogs, it might prolong her life a year, but the quality of life would be unknown. There is also a cost factor in that we are talking thousands of dollars.

I told the vet as soon as we think she is in pain is when its time to let her go, and I get tears in my eyes just typing that. Ofcourse I was a blubbering mess when I talked to the vet on the phone yesterday. Luckily, Ethan's sister works there and I'm hoping she told her I"m not a crazy person all the time :) For me the decision to let her go as soon as she is in pain came very easy for me. She has not brought me one ounce of suffering (ok, getting in a fight w/ our other dog was not the best thing she ever did, nor was ruining my cashmere sweater but I'm over it) and I could not do that to her. She has been complete joy from the day we saw her at PetSmart almost 9 yrs ago. In a way, I feel like she made Ethan and I a family because we got her just 2 months after we got married. She has been with us through all of our changes. So, my goal is to help her however I can. If I have to be selfless and let her go before I'm ready, then I will do it.

I've been having these thoughts of how it would happen. Could I even drive her to the vet? Would I physically be able to walk her inside knowing I would walk out without her? Could I be strong for Ethan who has a special bond with her or would I just crumble and make him take care of me? What do you tell a 2.5 yr old when their dog doesn't come home? Is it possible for our other dog to know what is going on and is there a way she could say goodbye to her sister? My mind is telling me I can make the decision, but actually doing it seems gut wrenching and heart breaking.

So, if you are a prayer type person or someone like me who doesn't "traditionally" pray but has spiritual thoughts or conversations with whatever higher being you choose, I ask that you pray for Nikki that the liver meds work again. And if not and it is cancer, pray for her to be comfortable for as long as she can, and then pray for us to have the strength to recognize when its time and to follow through with what we have to do with love and compassion.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

DC - Part 2


Because Michelle Flynn totally rocks, she suggested we take a Hop On Hop Off tour bus while in DC. Ethan was totally thrilled with the idea because it was cheap and seemed very effective. He is down to business, even on vacation. Actually, I'm not sure Ethan can really even "vacation" like a normal person. He must be busy, moving, doing something sitting on the beach reading for him. No way. So, I just get to be exhausted for my vacations. I was excited about the bus because it seemed so easy. The one problem was that I couldn't think of anything else that screamed "TOURIST" more than a bright red double decker bus. Oh yes my friends, I was on THAT bus. All we needed was a camera hanging around our neck and a fanny pack. Oh know I would NEVER wear a fanny pack. Never. Ever.

So, we took the metro to Union Station to meet our bus. The whole tour takes about 2hrs. We decided we would just ride it for the whole trip, see what was around, then get off when we felt like it. After an hour on the bus Ethan was done. Too much sitting. We were about halfway through the route so we got off at the National Cathedral. Oh my...breathtaking. Its so beautiful in so many different ways. Its beautiful in a regligious sense, but also architectually and just knowing that it took 80+ yrs to build gives it a sense of perseverence and dedication. We got back on the bus (hence the hop on hop off--you get it) and got off again in the Jamestown shopping district. So cute! We had a nice lunch at a french cafe. You would not believe what a sandwich and salad costs. Seriously. We walked a few blocks and decided to hop on the bus again near the Ritz. Lots of black mercedes w/ tinted windows going in there. I told Ethan we were staying there next time!

Then we got off somewhere, and went to Washington monument and the Smithsoniun...I think it was Natural History, but honestly I can't remember. All I can tell you is that I saw the Hope Diamond. Then we walked to the Art museum where I got to stare at beautiful paintings. We walked outside when it closed and it was raining. Yipee! Not a hard rain, just a quick shower. We headed over to the closest metro and went back to Union Station to have some dinner. Ethan saw a movie theater and just our luck (or his) Indiana Jones was, no dinner for us, but I did get a really expensive bag of yucky popcorn. Then it was back on the metro to our hotel, and ofcourse a run to CVS so Ethan could have cold Pepsi for the next day. Priorities people. Oh, and we needed some Andes mints....and sunscreen. Duh.


We found out that the bus picked up very close to our hotel (like 1 block) so we had a scone at a local bakery. The funny part about the bus was that originally it said it was going to pick us up at 7:00 at another hotel because there were none close. The tour starts at 9:00 so I said hell no. That is why we metro'd to Union Station. Then the bus literally picks up 1 block from our hotel at the "Dupont Circle" stop....annoying. You would think they would know a bit more about local hotels since they are in the tourist business. Anyway, we got off somewhere...apparently I'm having memory issues. We went to Air & Space that day, another art museum...lots of walking, is all I know. Then we metro'd back to Dupont, at at a fabulous Brasilian restaurant, rested at the hotel for a bit, then hit the monuments at night and the White House. It is so cool to see so many people out and about late at night. You actually feel really safe.


Ok, I'm not sure we did all of this Wednesday, but I know we did it. We went to Arlington Cemetary. All I can say is that it is mind blowing when you realize how many people lost their lives protecting our country. Then we went to the Spy Museum. The downer of this is that you have to pay. We were used to everything being free!!! After that it was the Halocaust museum. As Flynn said, its depressing, but I'm glad we saw it. Its so well done. Then we hit the Capitol and Botanical Gardens. Oh, and the Native American museum. By this time we were DONE. We were so tired of walking, and being hot, and just wanted a break. We went to a local asian diner near our hotel, then stopped at the Marvelous Market for dessert.

Thursday morning we got a cab to Union Station because we could not deal w/ my large suitcase on the metro during rushhour. Then we took a train to BWI. And we're home.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some pics

You all know that I have not mastered putting captions under the individual pictures, eventhough two of you have told me how. It is ridiculous, but I own it. So, from top to bottom they are:
1) Ethan and I...duh
2) my hair, which really is a masterpiece since thin/fine hair does NOTHING (26 bobby pins if you wanted to know)
3) wedding ceremony on their dock, boats in the background
4) the centerpieces
5) view from their back/front door
6) bride and I at the rehearsal dinner...yes, she is rocking a tube top. we'll stop at nothing to get rid of tan lines
Looks like Ethan didn't take any pictures of the bride and I together after the ceremony. Guess we were too busy. But, I've seen the professional pics and he got a ton so I should have some soon. I'm sure you are all waiting for Part 2 of our DC adventure...