Monday, May 31, 2010

His name is Bray.

Fridays are typically long days for the girls & I. The day before the weekend starts, the boys are at school & sometimes daddy leaves work early, but we never know quite when he'll head home. So we hang out, trying to find things to do to kill the time. A week ago last Friday, we headed to a Ft. Worth Humane Society.

We walked around aw'ing over the dogs, while covering our ears due to unbelievable loud barking, caused by the vast amount of dogs at the shelter. Employees & volunteers who work at animal shelters don't get enough praise. Even though that is something I would love to do, my heart just can't take it. Visiting animal shelters breaks ones heart in half.

As we were leaving, a volunteer walked in carrying a small dog. I looked at the dog & asked the guy if the dog was going to be placed on the floor. He said yes. We gave him some time & then went back to peek at the dog.

His tag claimed "Yorkie Mix", but to me, he looked like a purebred Silky Terrier (part of the Yorkie family). I said a few words to him - he was so scared. Trembling. I opened his cage & picked him up. I kid you not when I tell you - he wrapped his front legs around my arm as tight as he could, as if to say please lady, don't leave me here. He was so frightened, it just broke my heart. I pet him & put him back in his cage. I snapped a photo & emailed it to hubby. Before we left, I went back & got him & took him outside on a leash. He walked perfectly on the leash, & the girls didn't bother him one bit. Sadly, I put him back in his cage. We left.

I got the girls all buckled in, when my phone rang. "He's cute" hubby said. Yes, he is. But we've had horrible luck with dogs. To be quite frank, the thought of even attempting to get another dog scared all of us. It just wasn't a road I was ready to travel.

The girls were watching a movie, so in the parking lot I googled Silky Terriers. Read some information on them. Non-shedding caught my attention. Hmm. We now know, we need a hypoallergenic dog. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Even though long flowing hair, Silky Terriers do not shed. Photos also confirmed that he was indeed a purebred.

I sat in the parking lot & contemplated. For like, 30 minutes. Talked with hubby. Contemplated some more. Jaguar kept saying she wanted the dog. I just wasn't sure. Finally, I agreed. We all unbuckled, again, only for me to change my mind & buckle the girls back up. We drove off before I could change my mind again.

It was over a 30 minute drive in heavy, Friday traffic. I thought about him the entire way. Finally, I picked up my phone & phoned the Humane Society. "Can I pay for him over the phone, please?" "I'm sorry, but we can't do that." Crap! I still had to feed the girls lunch & retrieve the boys from school before I could head all the way back. I asked the girls at the shelter to secretly hold him for me, as it would be a few hours before I could return. They told me Fridays are usually slow days & they were sure he would still be there. And if he wasn't? Then it wasn't meant to be.

I ran home & grabbed a sippy cup. Ran thru McDonald's. Waited very impatiently in the pick up line to retrieve the boys. Phoned the shelter to make sure he was still there. He was. Hubby told me a back way to avoid the interstate(s). Off we went.

And now we have Bray. Ü

Bray is sick. I knew something was wrong because I just knew he had a fever. The night before his vet appointment, his fever was so high he was shaking. We made it thru the night & the next morning the vet confirmed that he has Kennel Cough, & it had turned into pneumonia. He has been on antibiotics for 6 days now. I want to say he is improving, but the dog is so laid back, I can't really tell. Ü He is coughing that horrific cough less frequently, & there is no fever, so I know something's happening.

The vet thinks he is about 4 or 5. Already neutered. Already housebroken. He has the longest nails I have ever seen on a dog, & they, as well as his paw pads, are immaculate. He has beautiful teeth. He has been someone's pet, well taken care of - which partly explains why the shelter traumatized him so. He is the most perfect dog & an awesome bed sleeper! Ü

He also has a trick. When we first saw him do it, we all kind of looked at each other & said "oh wow, look what he can do!" LOL Never had a dog than can do a trick before. I'll try to get a photo when he feels better. Right now, I just want the cutie-patootie to get well.

(And yes, I got him the evening hubby fell ill! It was not easy, on top of hubby's sudden condition, but we made it. :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here is my reminder.

Where do you keep yours? Ü

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oh happy day!

Lookie lookie! Having a husband who temporarily can't lift anything sure isn't going to stop me! I finally got the sand box & not only that, I lifted & carried (many times) 4 - 50 lb. bags of sand all by myself! Woot! Happy kids. It's just a shame that it's already 175 degrees here (by 9:15 a.m.) & they almost passed out due to heat exhaustion after 15 minutes. Baha! They hit the pool quick. Welcome to North Texas. Ü

My happy place. Our backyard is actually very large, but I relocated the trampoline & toys to this one shaded area. We got rid of our jungle gym years ago (because um, you know, it got like really dirty = really dirty children ;o), but we do have a tire swing to the left of the trampoline. I like looking out to this area & watch my little ones jumping & playing. Just happy. :)

After needing a haircut for about say, 8 months (I think that was a record for me!), I got up this morning & headed to the salon. What is it about a haircut that makes a girl feel like a new person? So fresh & full & bouncy. I ♥ haircuts. As I was leaving, I headed to my car, but my body automatically took an unexpected/unplanned sharp right, right into the nail salon! Look what I got! Woot! Ü

I have not had a pedicure since last year. I give myself my own 'professional' pedi's, so it's not often I treat myself to a salon. Let.Me.Tell.You. The best $22 I've spent in a long time. Every girl should treat herself to a pedi. I know times are tough & I know many can't afford that extra $22 right now. But cut back or cut something out. Search the couch cushions. Have a garage sale. Try to dig up that money. Every girl needs the relaxation & pampering, your toes/feet need the attention, & you deserve it! So often moms tend to everyone else, we don't do much for ourselves. So go. You won't regret it. :)

Now, I know what you're thinking. And yes, I do have the most perfect toes, thankyouverymuch. I have tried to become a toe model for many years now. (It most certainly is true. Ask my husband. And Rebecca, 'cause I'm sure she recalls me making this same statement a while back. LOL) Anyway, no one will hire me. I don't know why. I mean seriously, look at my beautiful, perfectly aligned toes! Beautimous! Oh, quit laughing. Teehee.

Happy weekend! Ü

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage.

Photos taken almost 48 hours after incident, so they've had a few days to begin to clear. Doesn't he have pretty eyes? Some days hazel, some days brown, some days green. Ü

Below photo (cell phone) I snapped today, almost 96 hours after incident. You can see his left eye is worse than his right. I remember them being equally severe, so I assume his right eye is clearing quicker.

I think it's going to take a good 2 weeks before they return to normal. Other than that, he's feeling well. Ü

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday update!

I have received SO many emails & tweets - thank you! Thank you for all your concern & prayers. You guys are so sweet! I'm sorry I haven't been able to update. I'm so exhausted! I'm fixing to hit the shower, but here's a quick update.

The "exploratory" surgery was only because they used a camera! That was comforting to know. The problem definitely was gallstones & the surgery with the 'camera' was a success! Sometimes it doesn't work, & at that point they have to make a large incision, but it went just fine! He has four small incisions. They did some sort of dye procedure to make sure the gallstones didn't drop, & they hadn't, so basically they just removed his gallbladder! Ü

I have never seen a person just out of recovery, & I have to say, that part really threw me for a loop. Thank God my brother-in-law was there & was briefly able to help me with my kids, because when I first saw hubby after surgery, I was very disturbed. That is just awful! He was in a good amount of pain & very nauseous. It was late last night, so I/we quickly made sure he was comfortable & we headed home. I think it was almost 10:00 p.m. when we got home.

His eyes are AWFUL & I'm quite concerned! My stars, he has no whites on his eyes left. It is solid blood! I noticed yesterday his eyes were completely swollen, almost to the point they were starting to close. I asked him if his vision was ok & he rubbed my face & said he could see me fine. Aw. Ü Every nurse/doctor/whomever who saw him prior to surgery all asked "what did you do to your eyes?" The doctor has seen them & made a comment they are "horrible", but didn't say anything further, so I'm assuming in time the broken vessels will dissipate. I think it's going to take quite some time.

He called bright & early this a.m. & said he is feeling very well! Yay! He has been released by the surgeon, but they started him on another iv & he's waiting to be released by another doctor. Hopefully soon we can make the trek back up & pick him up.

He's home all week, which is just going to be a nightmare. As long as he's feeling better, that's all that matters & we'll muddle through.

If you have family and/or friends to help you in situations like this with your children, thank God for them today! You are SO blessed! I can't tell you how insanely difficult this was on myself & my children - but I have no help & they had to go with me. I've explained the best I can to them that sometimes life throws you curve balls & you have to just pony up, put on a brave face & do what you have to do to get 'er done!

Thank you again! Ü

Saturday, May 22, 2010

There really is a first time for everything!

Friday was a super day & as usual, pretty uneventful.

9:30ish Friday evening hubby comes into bedroom, plops down on the bed & exclaims he has the "worst heartburn ever" (totally not common for him).

11:30ish vomiting uncontrollably. Experiencing pain he's never felt before.

2:00ish early Saturday he drives himself to the ER. (a good 30 minute drive - wouldn't let me drive him.)

3:00ish he phones to say he has an iv for dehydration, pain meds & antibiotic, & they are doing labs.

3:30ish he phones to say dr. thinks it's gallbladder or pancreas. He's getting pretty loopy at this point.

4:00ish he phones to inform me they are performing a sonogram.

4:30ish he phones to inform me it is indeed his gallbladder. Sounds drunker than a skunk.

5:00ish he phones to inform me they are actually admitting him into the hospital.

5:30 a.m. - they are doing an x-ray, white blood count totally out of whack, waiting to take him to a room & dr. consulting with other drs. "I'm not in good shape." Unsure as to when surgery will take place.

We have been together 16 years. Never has either one of us been hospitalized and/or had surgery (except for minor out-patient stuff). This is completely new, uncharted territory. The lack of sleep is not helping my decision making. Honestly, at this point I don't think I've made a decision & it's not looking promising. Just going with the flow. Ü


Saturday, 2:45 p.m. & no surgery scheduled yet. He has an infection, so a surgeon is headed to speak with him. Surgery may not be possible at this time. The vomiting was not due to the gallstones; rather, the severe pain he was in. Ack! He looks horrible. He can't eat or drink - not due to upcoming surgery (at this point), but due to gallbladder. He has broken ALL blood vessels in his eyes & it's horrifying. Dr. was checking his eyes earlier. He also is completely swollen - don't know if this is from the iv/fluids or what.

For now, we wait!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Let's see if I can type this half legibly - I am emotionally zapped today but thought I would make some notes.

Yesterday Mercedes complained about her tummy again & right then I decided enough was enough. I phoned my dr. this a.m. to see if they did x-rays & they do - but they were going to have a nurse call me back so we could discuss 'if & why'. I waited 2 hours & they still hadn't phoned. I decided to go ahead & take her to Cook Children's because I know they do x-rays. I wanted x-rays done to rule out any abnormalities.

Got right in @ Cook's & saw the same crappy dr. we got the last time. Ugh! I stressed my concern(s) & immediately about Mercedes' tummy pains & the dr. gave the "oh don't be so silly" look. She performed a little physical on Mercedes & told me all felt fine - she figured we were just dealing with the gas/constipation thing (which is exactly what my friend was told time & time again & ultimately, her little girl had Stage 4 Neuroblastoma!). Nonetheless, she wanted to do a urine sample to check for an infection & then some x-rays to see inside. Cool. I was getting my x-rays regardless of what she thought of my "silly notions".

I couldn't get Mercedes to tinkle in a cup (a children's hospital with no changing table in the bathroom! I had to lay Mercedes on the cold, dirty floor to get her diaper back on! Are you kidding me?) so they had to catheretize her. I know what this is all about & I got so sad. Two nurses came in, Mercedes began to freak as they began their work, one nurse shouted "no kicking your legs!". Hello, she's 28 months old being confined. She's gonna kick. I consoled her the best I could & we got thru it.

Off to x-rays. Unlike past experiences, this time I was instructed I could not be in the room with Mercedes & I was sent out into the hall. I felt completely uncomfortable, but out I went. As my baby freaked out. I sat in the corridor listening to her fight, cry & scream "mommy!!! mommy!!!" because I was no where in sight, she had no idea what those nurses were going to do to her & they were strangers. I sat out in the corridor not knowing if I should barge thru the door or what. I sat there confused & hysterically cried all the while listening to my baby so helpless, screaming for me. This went on a good 10-15 minutes before they let her out. It was one of the worst experiences of my entire life & I'm not kidding.

I got her calmed down, we went back to the room & they gave both girls (Jaguar was with me) popsicles. The dr. came back in (a little nicer at this point) & said the x-rays confirmed what she thought - gas/constipation. Fine then. Even though she initially was agitated with me, I asked again about seeing any masses. By george be mad at me & think what you want - but answer my question. She said she saw no "shadows", but that a Radiologist would be viewing the scans, as well. That comforted me some & if no one calls, I shall put all of this (concerns about a mass) to rest, unless Mercedes' tummy issues continue. At least I have some peace that x-rays have been performed.

I am so very angry with myself that I let what happened to my baby transpire. Sometimes I just don't know what to do; I should have barged my fat butt in that darn room, grabbed my baby & headed for another facility. We seem to have the worst luck with physicians/medical facilities that I'm really getting irritated. And for my 28 month old baby to be put thru unnecessary stress that could have been avoided makes me furious. I have cried all afternoon - this has been so stressful.

I think I should have been allowed in that room, so at least my baby could have known mom was there. Maybe it would have helped, maybe it wouldn't have, but if nothing else, I could have offered her some sort of security since three (they called in another nurse) strangers were manhandling her, pinning her down & holding her down on a table. My baby is a person & she deserves better than that. Remember at the last drs. appointment, the nurse staring her directly in the face saying "Are you finished (crying) yet? Are you finished? Because I'll wait until you are." I'm tired of my baby being treated like crap! Stop it!

Tomorrow I'm filing a formal complaint.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oven-Roasted Asparagus.

(Above photo before baking)

This is actually Launa's recipe. She sent me the awesome recipe binder, remember? Oh so cute! Anyway, I made meatloaf tonight & decided to try her Oven-Roasted Asparagus, not even knowing if they really 'go' together or not. Recipe as follows:

1 bunch Asparagus
4 Tablespoons (up to 5) Olive Oil
Kosher Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
After you wash asparagus thoroughly, stack a bunch together & lop off the tough/thick bottom an inch or so.
Spread out the Asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Pat it as dry as you can, as you don't want any water to "steam" the asparagus in the oven.
Begin by generously drizzling olive oil all over the asparagus & then sprinkle the asparagus with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper.
Roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. The secret here is for the oven to be very hot, so the asparagus can begin to brown on the outside without overcooking & getting too flimsy. You want the finished asparagus to still have a bite to it.

*Launa had made a note on the recipe stating that she uses garlic powder (or garlic salt) & bakes for about 5 minutes longer. So I used all seasonings together (the more the merrier!) & added 2 minutes to the bake time. I like to compromise. LOL I think I may have baked it just a tad too long, as the asparagus was just a tiny bit flimsy. But what do I know. :)

The final result:

I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it. That doesn't really mean anything because I'm a very finicky eater. Would I make it/eat it again? Absolutely. Bentley ate 2 stalks (?) & that speaks volumes. Hubby thought it was superb. :)
*Jess added this tidbit: "It's so easy! It's grown here (WA) so for us it's astaple (there's 7lbs in my fridge). It can be steamed, stir-fried, turned into cream soup (like leek soup), grilled (yum). Favorite seasonings for asparagus: garlic & lemon, sea salt, black pepper, soy sauce. Goes well with fish & rice/rissotto.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


With Daddy. Ü

At 28 months, she can sing just about anything & everything. And she's not shy about it. When she starts singing, I holler "sing it, mama!" & she'll get louder. :)

This girl right here? She's the next American Idol. Ü

Well, maybe someday. ♥

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I called it quits with BlogHer. *Update.

This just seems so darn silly. For goodness sake, this is the internet. This 'stuff' isn't happening in physical life, it's happening via the internet. However, I felt compelled to make this move.

I've partnered with BlogHer & ran their ads on my blog since February '10. They partner with many, many blogs (who also display their ads), including the controversial blog of Jennifer McKinney, aka MckMama. I'm not going to go into all that makes her blog controversial; if you're a follower of her blog, you already know.

BlogHer has rules & regulations in their contract that one's blog/blogger must meet, before they are accepted as a partner. Wednesday evening I signed on to Twitter & noticed a tweet from BlogHer to "@mckmama" regarding some sort of contest, including the opportunity to win $100. Jennifer McKinney has currently/previously broken 2 of BlogHer's rules, & at that moment, it became clear to me that BlogHer finds it acceptable. The blog rules (that I'm aware of) disregarded? 1.) "don't publish adult content" 2.) "written by women".

Aside from the inconsistencies written by Jennifer, her husband has his own page linked to/advertised on her site, & some of his blog posts include vulgar language, blunt/accurate anatomy descriptions, acts of sexual conduct & the like. Simply put, & I've only read one post because believe me, one was enough!, it was disgusting. Not only disgusting, but Jennifer advertised the post herself on her blog to encourage others to read.

If that is the sort of material that Jennifer chooses to include on her blog, then that's her business. However, suddenly I realized that I have no desire to partner with a company that promotes and/or condones such behavior. Obviously, the all mighty dollar surpasses written & signed rules and regulations stated in BlogHer's contract. More importantly, when others who currently partner with BlogHer follow said rules, it's just unfair when others don't. And I care none to be associated with an organization(s) who a.) doesn't implement or enforce their own contract & b.) feel filthy blog content such as that is ok. In my book, it's not. But that's just me. I like to have fun like the next person, but come on. Certain content crosses the line. Something else I found disturbing - at the bottom of BlogHer ads, displayed are other BlogHer network blogs, & you can click on the links to go visit different blogs. From time to time, Jennifer's blog was advertised on my blog. No thank you.

Anyway, when I had this realization, I immediately removed BlogHer's ads & contacted them. To which they sent a one-line response: For me to remove my ads (already did that) & they would mail me my outstanding balance & our partnership would be severed. They never asked why I decided to leave the network. I guess they already knew, or didn't really care. :)

I have no problem running ads for companies. Many blogs have advertising and/or sponsors. But for me, I prefer a reputable company, who stands behind their contracts & demonstrates professionalism, as a professional organization. If a company claims to be professional, then by all means, back it up. And stand tall for doing so.

Happy Friday! Ü

*Today is 3.9.11. I am pleased to say BlogHer severed ties with Jennifer about 6 months (or so) ago. Jennifer was found guilty of plagiarism & BlogHer evidently decided enough was enough. The plagiarism appeared to be the last straw. Kudos to BlogHer! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I ♥ my rose bushes.

I snapped these while ago, at dusk. They are so pretty - see the ladybug in the photo below? She's a bonus. Ü
I have 7 rose bushes out front. 5 in various shades of pink.

2 yellow, but for some reason, those poor pitiful pearls just wouldn't bloom. I got one or two roses per summer. They looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. :)

Last weekend, I replaced them with some more pink. I hated throwing them out. But aren't the pinks just so delish?

Happy weekend! Ü

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Test photos.

Pardon me while I test making my photos larger. Ü

Baby steps to Kindergarten.

This gorgeous girl has almost sent me into panic mode. Her persistent "I am not going to Kindergarten. I do not want to go. I want to be homeschooled. I'm not going." she repeatedly told me, for months. She did not shout it, she was not angry, she was adamant. She wasn't going, that's all there was to it, the end.
Much to her dismay, she is going to Kindergarten. In August. Three and a half short months away.

She is 5 years old, & cannot write her name. I have been working with her for months & months to teach her to write her letters. She can't do it. I have observed over & over. My girl just flat out cannot write (for the record, she can write in Chinese extremely well. Seems writing in English is the issue.) She would cry & get frustrated every time I mentioned it. Hubby & I have seriously discussed having her evaluated for a learning disability. This is a new road for me - my boys, both boys, were eager & ready & willing to learn to write. And they both learned way before age 5. Jaguar has totally thrown me for a loop.

Before having her tested, I decided to kick it into high gear. If she would practice her writing, she would be rewarded. It didn't have to be perfect. I don't expect perfection from a beginner. But as with all of my children, I do expect effort.

Today we sat down. She had a bit of determination. I began working with her one letter at a time. You know what? She did it! My girl can write her entire name! Every darn tootin' letter. Oh.yes.she.can. Now, it's not perfect. But it is completely legible, which tells me there is only room for improvement. She can write! Her inability to write wasn't due to lack of trying, but I now know it was due to lack of desire. She can write just fine.

After her shower the other night, I was doing her hair. I don't remember what I said to her, but I mentioned something about the other little girls she would be meeting in Kindergarten. She responded with a positive comment. I then said, with a huge, encouraging smile on my face, "What did you just say? Is it possible you are getting excited about Kindergarten?" To which she replied "Maybe just a little bit." She's sly like that. ;o) That is the 1st positive comment she has ever made regarding school come August. And you betcha, I'll take it. Ü

To see her adorable face light up when I start hoopin' & hollerin' & high fivin' her for her fantastic writing, & now hearing her exciting comments to boot, well, it almost makes me glad for the whole stinkin' struggle.

A few minutes ago: "Mom, thanks for signing me up for Kindergarten."

My olive & tomato eating girl. I am so, so proud. Gosh, I ♥ her! Ü

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Audi's little modeling job.

This photo will be in an Alco flyer soon. We don't have an Alco local, do you? Audi was in a Tuesday Morning shoot when he was about 9 months old.

I have some projects to wrap up, & then we will be building a portfolio for him to present to Disney. :)

He's so darn cute! ♥ him.

*I've been informed this photo is the unedited (SOOC) version. No wonder he looks so red. ;o) I'll update the photo once color correction/editing has taken place. Ü

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hives II.

When Bentley woke up this morning (9:20!) I was very pleased. Most of the hives from yesterday/last night had dissipated, but some new ones, as expected, had developed. Because I had given him Zyrtec last night, I phoned the drs. office to see if I could administer some Benedryl to finish off the new hives. I received the ok. :)

He did super for the following hours. We ran quickly to Wal-Mart for some staples (well, not actually staples themselves, more like bread, milk, etc. ;o) We came home & ate lunch. Nothing out of the ordinary. He was extremely tired from the Benedryl, so he laid down in my bed due to me bleaching his sheets/blanket & they were in the washer.

Audi had a photo shoot this afternoon & hubby was picking him up from school, so I decided to lie down w/ my Bentley & take a nap. I noticed he was itching; I asked him if he needed some more Benedryl & he said yes. So to the kitchen we went. I turned around...

To find this! Oh good glory! What happened? This transpired in about a 20 minute span! What I saw on his face did not make me happy. I called hubby, told him change of plans - he needed to come home because I was taking Bentley straight to the dr. I phoned the dr. in the meantime. They had me administer Zyrtec & Benedryl at the same time & scheduled us an appointment.

(The above & below photo, Bentley was very agitated as the hives were driving him crazy! My poor guy. Love the raw emotion, though. This is so him when agitated.)

The photo below is after I had given him both medications. He mustered up a grin! Ü

We've made no progress, other than to watch for 'triggers', which I was already doing. Was given some medication instructions & some acid (Pepcid, Zantac) medications I could try if the others made him too tired.

As of now, other than a few small welts, he is fine. His face cleared up quickly, thank goodness. However, I have a hunch this journey isn't over yet...I so hope I'm wrong.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I have no clue what he has gotten into, but good glory he must be miserable!

The rash has spread further down his legs (& is horrible around his midsection), but I didn't want the photos to be too revealing.

I gave him a good dose of Zyrtec versus Benedryl - hopefully it'll do the trick!

(Don't you just love his bleak, annoyed expressions? Teehee. That's my boy. :)