A Revival, Again.

Hello again friends. It’s been a very, very long time.

I have some updates to give, and the blog will soon be getting a makeover. Sadly, we no longer have three beasts. This is one of the reasons I could not post for so long. In February,  we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Capone. It happened very fast.  One day, he was fine. One day, he skipped breakfast. Three weeks later, he was gone. Cancer in his abdomen.  I miss him dearly, every single day. Every single dog I look at, and I see a lot of them, I miss those big brown eyes and his mile wide grin. It’s been months and I have yet to fold up his crate and his sweater still sits on my nightstand. I miss my dog.  But I don’t want to spend the day crying. Someday, I’ll tell you all the story of Capone. But not today.  I’ve tried to make my peace with it, 10 1/2 years is a damned good run. He didn’t suffer, and I was with him at the end. You can’t ask for much more than that.

RIP,  Old friend.

RIP, Old friend.

On a much lighter note, I’m much lighter. In September, I decided to lose a little weight. Shit was getting scary. Nothing even in the plus size stores fit me anymore.  I was BIG. I decided I would give a 10 day diet a shot, maybe I could get something going.  Lose a few lbs, see the scale move, get inspired.

Man..did it ever.  As of last week, I’ve lost 90 lbs (Put four back on this week, but let’s not talk about it, I’ll get rid of them!)

Here’s me at Xavier’s birthday party last year:

553695_785252158169_1146908123_nAnd here I am at his party THIS year:

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Okay not the best comparison shots. Here’s another:

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That was at 80 lbs down.

I wish I could tell you a secret that was exciting and new. But it’s just calories in, calories out. I eat a lot of salad, I walk, I do yoga. I drink lots of water and take my vitamins.

(We’re still not talking about this last week that was a shitshow.)

I’ve started a weight loss group on Facebook and it’s a stellar little community. It helps hold me accountable and provides support for others who are facing the same sort of challenges.

OBVIOUSLY I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of what I’ve done.

My mom and I took a trip with Xavier back to Illinois last month, and we got to spend some time with our family, which was really great.  I got to meet two of my nieces that I hadn’t, and Xavier got hang with his aunts and uncles.

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Xavier is doing fantastic. He’s just the coolest little mini-me.  I cannot believe how lucky I got. He sleeps, he eats, he’s happy, he’s healthy, SO smart and sweet and charming and funny. He’s BUSY, and getting busier every day.  Man how I love this kid!

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Xavier’s birthday party was on Saturday and it went very well. I’m excited to show you guys that, but it’s going to need a post all to itself. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I’ll post more details soon, promise!

Sandy, you nasty old bitch.

Tell me about it, Stud.

Well, we survived it.

Sunday night I watched The Weather Channel and essentially scared the shit out of myself. They said it would be hitting around “Early afternoon”. Well…I was scheduled to work an hour away, until 3:30. Oh man..the thought of getting STUCK an hour away from my baby? No thanks, Frank.

So I took the day off and we hunkered down (whatever that means.). Well..it just misted until like 4 anyway. Lots of wind, but that’s about it. Then around 5:30..RIGHT as I had put sweet potatoes in the oven, of course..the lights flicked off and on 3-4 times, and went out.

Shit on a goddamned dick.

Well, we tried to make the best of it anyhow. Went to bed, still no lights. The first thing I heard when I woke up the next morning was..nothing. Nothing but the sound of my neighbor’s generator. I knew..we still had no power.

So the first thing I said was “Who wants to go to breakfast then?” And so we did.  Then we came home, collected our crap and headed over to a friend’s house. We took showers and charged our phones. I wanted to stay longer but Xavier was being REALLY cranky, and refused to nap in a new place. So we headed home. On the way home, I psyched myself up. The power will definitely be on when we get home. I had preemptively turned on the porch lights when we left so I would see as soon as we turned into the driveway. I just KNEW, surely it would be on by now.

But the closer we got to home, the more and more dark houses I saw. I knew that it wouldn’t be on. And damn..it made me so sad. Of course, when we got here the porch lights remained dead, and I started to cry. Yep. I cried.   I’m still all messed up over Irene’s 6 days of  no power. I knew it was happening again, we’d be putting our food into coolers,  and it would be days of dumping water in the toliet tank just to do something simple like FLUSH, brushing my teeth with bottled water, and showering at my friends’ houses. And I just couldn’t face that. After I finally got Xavier down for his nap, I curled up in my bed and just dozed in that sad, helpless kinda depression.

Throughout the day, I had noted Xavier’s crankiness, and when he woke up from his nap, his nose was a faucet. I thought he might be coming down with something. But then..he just climbed up on my lap and nestled his head under my chin.  I noticed he was pretty warm and thought “Yea, he’s getting sick.” Great. So after cuddling him awhile I decided to take his temp and see what was going on.

The first reading said 105.6. That can’t be right.

Tried it again. 104.7. …..Huh.

One more time 103.7

So I give him a dose of ibuprofen, call the on-call pediatrician and explain the situation, describe his symptoms. He said “Yea, I don’t like that. Take him to Hasbro.”

So we do. On the way there it was POURING rain, harder than anything during the damned hurricane! They take his temp and it had already come down 99.9. They look him over and tell me it’s an upper respiratory virus, it just has to run it’s course, and just keep pushing ibuprofen and fluids.

We stopped off to grab some dinner on the way home and while we were waiting, my mom texted me that the lights had come back on. Hal lay loo!

So we head home, and just as we walk in, prepared to do our victory dance, what do we see? Squirt’s guilty face. And one of the coolers, looking like a damned bear had mauled it. And food from inside, strewn all over the living room. Yogurt containers torn open, cold cut containers gnawed to bits. I can always count on that dog to fuck up.

He’s afraid of the dark, yanno. We left a battery operated lantern on for him..but it appeared to have gone dead, possibly before the electricity came back on.  Not that I’m making excuses for him..he sucks.

Xavier still ended up in our bed that night. When he doesn’t feel good he ONLY wants to be held. So we do what works. Judge me if you need to, I am an occasional co-sleeper. So at around 6 am, the heat this kid was throwing off of him was incredible. He was just tossing around and whimpering. We got up and I took his temp. 103.7. More meds and it went back down. We decided at 10 to take him for a walk and at first, he seemed alright.

But about 10 minutes in, he just put his head down on his tray and whined.  So we took him home. John tried to put him down for a nap, and all he wants is me. He wouldn’t sleep and we had to pry his little fingers off of me so I could go to work.

By 4, however..John tells me that he has been inconsolable for nearly an hour. And despite meds, his temp is climbing to almost 102. I call the dr again, and they tell me I need to give him Tylenol AND Ibuprofen. Well..we only had ibuprofen in the house of course. So, I left work and picked up some Tylenol and headed home.

He was hot and miserable and didn’t want to eat anything. But we got his temp down, and got him to stop crying.

Last night was pretty rough. At 4:30 in the morning he woke us up HOT again, and I had to give him a tepid bath to get his temp down from 103.7. So scary. But today, he’s much perkier and eating well. So hopefully, this is the tail end of it, and maybe..just MAYBE..tonight he’ll tolerate his halloween costume long enough to get some pictures taken. Which I will surely post!

And here are some crazy ass aerial photos of the coasts of RI. Obv, it’s nowhere near the wreckage that NJ & NY are dealing with, but we were insanely lucky and we are intensely grateful. http://www.flickr.com//photos/ridotnews/sets/72157631891636224/show/

 

When your fan club aren’t fans.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, it’s all I had on me when this was going down.

I’ve always said having pit bulls is like having your own personal fan club. They follow me around, thinking everything I do is awesome and interesting. They’re happy to go anywhere, do anything.

A couple of things have made something completely obvious here:

My dogs don’t really like my baby.

Which..all the dog people reading this are going “Duh!” Babies are annoying. They screech, grab body parts, take all the attention, they have all these cool toys that you’re not allowed to eat, their faces get covered with food and you’re not allowed to lick em.  It’s a lot of bullshit to ask of a dog to put up with, when you think about it. But..I don’t know I guess I just expected that they would. I have the kind of dogs who like EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. They’re happy, GOOD dogs.  So..I have to confess, I didn’t bother with a whole lot of baby preparation. People would ask, I’d say “Well they’ve been around babies and kids, so I’m not too concerned.”

Sure, they’ve been around other people’s babies and kids. Babies and kids that go home.

And it doesn’t help that Xavier is freaking OBSESSED with them. He’s always trying to grab at them, screeching in their direction, offering them toys they’re not allowed to take, dropping food they’re not allowed to have. (Yes, I’m that mean. They have allergies, dammit.)

I just expected they would tolerate all of this, because they really do like everyone, everything, all the time. I can count on one hand the TOTAL number of times I’ve seen these dogs react to anything with less than unabashed enthusiasm. But now, I see things like that picture above, and I’ve realized I’ve been pretty fucking unfair.  I’m embarassed to admit all of this, but between work and the kid, there just hasn’t been much left for them. I feel like I’m always telling them to be quiet, go away, leave that alone, stop that, get out of there.

My dogs deserve better.

So, we’re really focusing now on creating positive associations between dog and baby. And I’m trying to pay more attention to the four leggers, and yell less. We’re taking them for walks together. Hopefully, they’ll start to enjoy the company of little bald people soon.

Some other things that are happening around here:

1. I’ve got another niece on the way! My brother Joe and his wife Teresa are expecting their third baby this August. SO EXCITED.

2. It looks like we might have a LOT of company for Xavier’s birthday party in July. My bestie Tess and her FOUR children are coming out too. Also, my brother Ben and his wife and their daughter (who is three weeks older than X and super cute!!) are trying to come out for a visit. And my brother Tom is still coming!  I’m thinking I won’t be attempting the birthday cake myself.

3. My nail lady disappeared again. The last three times I’ve been back to that salon, she’s not there. The place is pretty scummy looking and they use cheap products, so I decided it was time to go somewhere else. The new man did a pretty damned good job, the place was clean and he used quality products. He did make me bleed in three places….but it wasn’t on purpose and he was really sorry. I’ll give him another chance.

4. Xavier can pull himself up and cruise along the edges of things.  His 9 month visit is on May 2nd (The day before he turns 10 months.) I am DYING to see how big he’s gotten, everyone keeps telling me he’s a tank. All I know is his 12 month size cl0thes are tight.  And that I bought a size 4t hat for him yesterday that fits him.  Hopefully, there’s a big brain in that big head, one that can get his little ass a scholarship because I spend all his college money on hats.

Word to your mother.

Playdates & Petri Dishes

It is my completely unscientifically based theory that breastfeeding sucks (ha) all the immunity out of you, and gives it to your baby. Which, hey, I’m doing all of this for that exact reason, I don’t want him to ever be sick, ever ever. But holy crap, can I NOT be sick for a few days?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am freaking sick. AGAIN. I’ve seriously been sick three times since Thanksgiving, with different, crazy random shit that lands me in the ER. And this time, I’m pretty sure it was something I picked up at Xavier’s playdate on Wednesday. Children are disgusting little petri dishes and carry around more diseases than a third world prostitute. Or your mom. Last Wednesday, I found myself in a room full of cute little germbombs.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t know how much Xavier got out of it. He pretty much just sat in his bumbo and watched the older kids.

And tried to steal his Bumbo Buddy Andrew’s stuff.

And drooled a lot.

The three older kids got a bit more, learning to share and stuff. But mostly, it was nice for the moms to have a chance to chat.

I know, it’s a LOT of cuteness huh?

But under the cuteness, evil lurks. An evil deathplague that attacked four adults and five children this weekend. Highly contagious, apparently. Friday night, it claimed it’s first victim, keeping the dad of one child up all night praying to the porcelain gods. Saturday, it set in around the rest of that household. Sunday I went to work, fine and dandy. Sunday night, I started feeling a big queasy at around 6 ish. I barely finished my dinner, not feeling right.

By 8 pm, I was feeding Xavier his bedtime bottle when I told John “I’m going to need you to take him, right now. I need to go vomit.”

And so I did. And I continued as such until around 3 am. Oh it was awful. PAINFUL. I always forget how much puking sucks. It really sucks though. At 2, John got up to check on me, and I laid there on the couch, moaning, with the trash barrel next to me just in case. He was all “Aww poor thing, this sucks!”

By four, he’s on the bathroom floor himself. The shit sets in FAST.  He didn’t leave the bathroom until approximately 9 am. It was HORRID.

Mercifully, Xavier and my mom appear to have been spared. Monday night, Xavier woke up 3x and just wanted to be held, but other than that he seems okay. Please let it stay that way, because I just can’t imagine a poor little baby going through the horror that was inflicted upon us.

I really need to look into some immunity boosting hippie shit or something. I can’t keep doing this. Also, need a hippie cure for Roxie’s arthritis. Any of my dog owner friends had any luck with things like acupuncture or water therapy? The Rimadyl is working but I worry about her liver & kidneys. More on that later, someone just woke up.

Phew.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus, Christmas is finally over.

My job makes us work the seven days leading up until Christmas. The way my days off played out, I worked 10 days in a row. The ten days before Christmas. Which for those of you who work in the retail slash service industry, you know that those are the ten worst goddamned days of the year. IN A ROW.

That does something to a person. Somethin uuugly.

It also seriously must compromise a person’s immune system, because guess what? I’m sick again. And not just a little cold, no no. That’s not how I roll.  Friday morning, Christmas Eve Eve, I woke up with some ear pain. As the day progressed, it got worse and worse. By Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, I was in quite a bit of pain. Even with enough ibuprofen in me to stun a yak, I was struggling. I got lucky and got out of work early, and raced straight to an UrgentCare. But they were already closed. So..I sat there, thinking well, first thing Monday morning, I’ll go in.

But it just kept getting worse and worse. It woke me up a bunch of times that night. I was really in a lot of pain. So..at 3:30 in the morning, I woke up John. “I’m going to the ER. I can’t take this shit another day. Might as well go now. I’ll be home by the time X wakes up.”

Well..I wasn’t. Apparently, earaches fall pretty low on the emergency scale.  Eventually, the doctor made his way over. Said “Yea..that’s doubly infected, inside and out. Here’s a stack of prescriptions. CVS is open, head on over.”

So, I did. Eardrops, antibiotics, and two kinds of pain meds. Oh yes. I made it home about 9:30. Xavier had pooped on his Christmas pajamas. Mom and John were waiting, Xavier’s excitement was palpable:

And Squirt could barely contain his overwhelming joy:

 But John was ready: (to start drinking. Ha!)

So, let’s start the show. We start with stockings. First, my mom looks through hers. Finds a chocolate orange. She’s pumped about it.

John tricked her into wearing that hat. I love this man.

Then we opened Xavier’s stocking. I handed him his first gift, expecting him drool as he dropped it on the floor. But instead, this happened.

DUDE. LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE!!!!

How cute is that? He’s all “Oh yes, this is relevant to mah interests!”

Stupid little set of teething keys dazzled his world. Babies are so funny.

I’d like to post more pictures, but stupid WordPress is being slow and if I keep waiting around to do that, I’ll never get this finished before Xavier wakes up.

So..the day after Christmas, John, Xavier and I made our yearly trip out to the stores to get the goods on next year’s Christmas decorations. My theme for next year is certainly more challenging than red & white was, but I think I did okay and I am pretty damned excited about it.

Also..next year, my mother has decided she wants a tree for her area also. So that’s TWO trees to decorate. I don’t think she’ll let me get all OCD on her tree. But I really wish she would. She’s probably going to get all obnoxious drunken fruity pebbles vomit on the damned thing just to drive me batty. *sigh*. I suspect she just doesn’t like next year’s colors. I’d tell you what they are, but then you’d try to copy me. So you have to wait, suckas.

Anyway. When I went to the ER Saturday morning, they told me if I’m not much better by Tuesday morning, I needed to go see my For Real Doctor. So..Tuesday morning I was still really struggling. I tried to go to work..and it was a fail. I couldn’t take the serious pain meds they gave me and drive or groom dogs, and trying to groom dogs in that much pain…well. It didn’t work out. So I left work and went to the doctor.  It was worse, my face was swollen, and now my left ear was aching and crackling.

And this is where we discuss bedside manner and it’s importance. A doctor should not take one look at a person’s ear and say “Oh no! It’s really bad. Like..REALLY bad. You need to go see a specialist. NOW. Right NOW. It’s reaaaally bad. I’m going to find you a specialist to go to, right now. This is serious, I’ve seen people go on IV antibiotics for less. YOUR BRAIN IS IN DANGER!”

And then disappear for 10 minutes.

Leaving me just…sitting there. Apparently, in grave brain danger.

So she comes back, gives me an address and a number and tells me to “Go right now. Just go NOW okay?”

OKAY I’M GOING!!! FUCK!

In a rare exception from my usual stubborn to the core independence, I had had John accompany me to this appointment, in case they wanted to dope me up or something.  So he was with me, thank God, because I was actually sort of scared. MY BRAIN WAS IN DANGER, for fuck’s sake.

So I went to the specialist. And waited for over an hour and a half before he wandered into the exam room. Which had a big scary dentist like horror movie chair in it with lights and pokey things. And there were all these instruments that looked like something out of the SAW movies. GAH.

I might have peed in the chair.

So he takes a look in my left ear, the newest arrival to the party in my head. He’s like “Yup, infected. We’ll flush that sucker out and give you some drops. NBD.” Then he looks in my right ear, and says “This is really bad.” He says my ear is completely clogged up, and the antibiotics they had given me in the ER were not strong enough. Since my ear was closed up, there was no way for the drops to get down in there, so they just kinda built up and gummed up the works even more. So..we’ll have to suction that out. Then flush. Then we’ll have to insert a wick so it can drain.

Oh..that sounds magical.

He says “It’s going to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt I’m not doing it right. Sorry.”

So he pulls out this thingy. It has a four inch or so metal tube that’s very narrow, like the inside of a ballpoint pen. He STICKS THAT IN MY FUCKING EAR. And then he turns it on. And it’s like the suction thingy at the dentist, only it’s metal and it’s in my ear. And it’s sucking the danger out of my brain.

It was unpleasant. But I have to say..it almost felt better. There was a lot of pressure in that sumbitch, and that relieved a good chunk of it. Then he goes around to my left side. Takes this giant metal syringe thing..and a metal vomit catcher pan, you know, the kidney bean shaped guy. And he comes straight for me. This ain’t gonna be nice.

But again, not that bad. He sticks the giant metal thing in my ear and it’s like a firehose jammed into my brain. The kidney bean was to catch the excess.

(Are you grossed out yet?)

SO THEN. He comes back to my right side. And he’s being very descriptive about what he’s going to do my ear. Which I appreciated, I don’t think I would’ve taken too kindly to someone just cramming stuff and shooting and suctioning on my orifices without an explanation. (That’s what she said.)

He shows me the wick he’s going to put in my ear. He shows me what he’s going to use to put it in with. Explains it’s purpose and when it needs to come out. I really liked this doctor.

(Dr Tarro at RI Ear Nose & Throat in Cumberland RI)

So then he tells me it’s gonna hurt again. And I brace myself. But it wasn’t that bad. Certainly no walk in the park. He says “Wow. You must have a really high threshold for pain.”  If you’ve read my birth story, you know why that is.

So..I did take the day off work today. I’m in quite a bit of pain,  and I can’t hear very well, and I’m still quite loopy from the Vicodin regimen. But I’m getting better, I can tell.

And one last thing before I end this, speaking of getting better. The Reglan is working like gangbusters for my milk supply, it has totally pulled me off the ropes in that battle and I’m in the fight again and swinging. When I first started breastfeeding,  I honestly wasn’t sure I’d last the week. But when I did, I said “Six weeks. I probably won’t be able to do it after I go back to work.” But I was. so I said “I’d like to make it til Christmas, that’s just about six months.” I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to make time to pump because it gets so insanely busy. But I did. I made it. So. I’m not going to set another goal. I’m going to keep going until I stop. So far, I have had zero side effects that I can’t handle. Hopefully that continues. HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!

Giving Thanks

The last few years we haven’t really celebrated holidays much around here. It was just the two of us, and it kinda made me sad because I was away from my friends and family and I’d get all emo and shit about it.  But after Christmas two years ago, I decided I wasn’t going to exclude us anymore. It made John all sad not being able to stroke his holiday boner. (Figure of speech, not literally.) (Okay, kinda literally. Let’s move on eh?)  (Anyone else picturing an actual holiday boner now?)

So I decided the next Christmas I’d do that shit up. And last Christmas, we did. I had a tree and everything. But last Thanksgiving I don’t think we did anything at all. I was pregnant, and probably slept through it. Or wanted to barf at the thought of a turkey carcass. Both probably.

But this year is Xavier’s first Thanksgiving and my mom is here now, so I have family. Hardcore awesome family.  The plan was  that we’d go see John’s family in the morning, and then we’d come home and do dinner here with my mom.

It’s worth noting that my job requires me to work the seven days leading up to Thanksgiving. Christmas too. Because we’re insanely busy and we tend to make big bank, I don’t usually mind. However..a certain person who shall remain nameless decided to bring a virus to work with her to share with all of us. And I was the first man down. But I fought through that shit for the most part. Ugh, it’s nasty though. Last night I finally gave up the ghost and bailed out of work just a little early and headed home. I had a temperature of 100.4, I had chills and I couldn’t breathe worth a damn. My mom hooked me up with one of her nebulizer treatments or my ass might have just landed in the ER last night because my asthma was flaring SO badly with this crap. Luckily, the rest of the household has been spared thus far. But I begged John to cancel our visits for today, I’m pretty sure I offered him my soul if we could just stay home and do the visiting Sunday.

Well, everyone but one of his family members said Sunday was fine. But one person had to work Sunday, so he asked REALLLLLLY nicely if we could just go visit her, and this morning I actually felt ok so we went.  I’m feeling much better today, by the way. Not better enough to traipse around New England, but better.

So when we got home from that one visit, John started cooking. (You didn’t think I would do it, did you? You’re crazy.)

When he got everything going, we got started on what’s going to be our Thanksgiving tradition from now on.  It’s simple, and you guys might laugh, but you don’t think I give a shit, do you? You are def crazy.)

HAND TURKEYS!!!

Now..I’m no Martha Stewart. I literally went to Michael’s yesterday during my lunchbreak and felt so Special Ed asking the best way to make a freaking hand turkey. But I want them to last forever, but be super simple and fun. Not complicated, and nothing Xavier would have to hold still for extended periods of time for, come on, he’s an infant.  The lady at Michael’s was nice enough not to laugh at me too much, and showed me craft foam and explained how to use the stuff. $15 later I was back to work.

I was pretty scared about having to hold Xavier’s hands still enough to trace them, and it did take two of us but we got it. Hand turkeys alone are boring though, even with glitter glue and feathers. So we wrote on ours what we’re thankful for.

Here is Xavier’s. He didn’t do any of it though. I told him to glitter that shit up but he just kept drooling and playing with his feet. So he dictated his list to me.

Yea..the boy listed Naked Time. But he REALLY loves it, so what are you gonna do? We have to be as accurate as we can, this is serious. There’s no bullshitting on craft foam.

And usually, John’s so excited by holidays that he runs around like a maniac, looking for stuff to do, chattering nonstop. Who knew that all it took to combat this mania was a little glitter glue and feathers? This kept him occupied for over an hour. He was pretty cute, having me trace his hands and gluing his feathers. He asked “Can I use this color?” And I said “Do whatever you want, they’re your turkeys. Turkey it up buddy!” His face was priceless, like a kid in a candy store.

Here’s his finished result:

Pretty good huh?

Now..my mom likes arts and crafts about as much as she likes shopping. Or as she put it “As much as I like herpes.” I shit you not, she said that. So she huffed and puffed as I “forced” her into making some “goddamned hand turkeys”

I told her “My only requirements are that you put your name, the year and list what you’re thankful for.” I traced and cut out her hands for her, glued on the eyes. I wrote “I am thankful for” and told her to go to town. Decorate your turkeys, write your list.

I looked over a few minutes later, she had done nothing but smear the glitter glue I had written. “Need some help?” I said, thinking she might not be super handy with the glitter glue pen. “I know what I want to write, but my handwriting is no good.”

“Okay, go”

“My Kids.”

“ok. And?”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it”

“Cats? Family? Football? Cheese? ”

“I think my kids pretty much sums all that up.”

Well..I’ve already been enough of a control freak. You got it. I write it with the marker she chose.   I put it back in front of her and tell her “Now you can pretty up those turkeys.”

“Okay.”

I go back to working on my turkeys, watching her out of the corner of my eye. No moves. For like 10 minutes.

“Need some help?”

“I’m done.”

Ohhh kay.

At least she didn’t throw anything at me. Here’s her turkeys:

Tada.

I love my crazy ass momma lol.

Alright so I’ll show you mine now. Prepare to have your faces dazzled right. the fuck. off.

 My turkeys look like Vegas Showgirls.

I know, y0u’re still in awe of my glitter glue skillz. But, I am after all, me, and I had to include the pups.  I found a way to make their turkeys too. I just traced their paws and cut them out and made them front facing turkeys instead of profile turkeys.

Okay it kinda looks like crap. But the idea is solid and if I were good at stuff this would probably be the shit. I’ll call Martha’s people with it. It’ll be the new thing and you guys saw it here first.

Happy Thanksgiving, bitches!

Capone Update!

As you can see, he’s pretty much back to his old self again. And yea, I totally just posted a video of my dog beginning to urinate. Aaaand you watched it.
It took a few days for him to pink back up entirely. I guess we’ll never know what the hell happened to him. I know it sucked. And I know that I’m fighting some kind of bug myself. Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat, and I thought I was getting my usual cold. I get the same cold, over and over again, every spring and every fall. Allergies maybe? But it only lasts like 5 days and I don’t think that’s how allergies work.
Doesn’t matter anyway because this is different. Nothing else ever developed, I’m fine except for the sore throat. It’s REALLY sore though, swallowing and talking hurt like hell..and I like to do both of those things quite often. I’m trying reallllly hard to fight it because since I’m still nursing, I can’t take any kind of good medicine, and I found out this sad fact the hard way.
Whenever I fly, I take a Claritin D because it toootally helps with the ear popping. Yes, really. A pharmacist recc’d that shit a few years back and it works like gangbusters. So..I did a quick google to make sure it was safe with breastfeeding and it said (I’m paraphrasing) “Sure, but it could possibly affect milk supply, so if you have trouble or whatever, don’t take that crap.”
But I’ve been super lucky when it comes to breastfeeding. After I saw the lactation consultants, it was a breeze. Healthy supply, Xavier’s a rockin’ latcher, everything is just aces. And ear pain sucks. So I popped that claritin without even thinking twice.
The entire trip, I exclusively nursed, no pumping. Xavier didn’t seem hungry (and believe it, this is the only thing he is NOT cool with. He lets you know when he’s hungry.). I DID notice that he wasn’t feeding for as long as usual, but I thought maybe he was just getting more efficient, or perhaps he wasn’t lingering as long because we weren’t always in optimal situations. (Airports, hotels, country club locker rooms, the car..) So I didn’t think much of it. I took another one on the way home on Tuesday, and didn’t notice anything at all until I went back to work on Thursday.
Thursday I went to pump..and nothing came out. NOTHING?! Yah, NOTHING. I tried and tried, thought maybe the pump was broken. Figured out it wasn’t. Called the WarmLine at Women & Infants Hospital. (Read: EXCELLENT RESOURCE) She asked me if I’d taken any medicines recently and I told her about the Claritin and how it was safe, right?
“Well yes, it’s safe in terms of it won’t hurt you baby. But we strongly advise against taking it because it has been known to do serious damage to your supply. It’s been known to end breastfeeding for some women”
END?!! Yah, END.
My heart sank. I’m not one of those people who is all “Breastfeeding is the only way!!”. It’s not. Formula is fine, and I can tell you it saved my ass this week. However, I do want to continue nursing as long as I can. It’s good for him, it’s good for me, it’s free (hello!) and I don’t know..it makes me feel all earth momma hippie cool, and lowers his risks of obesity and diabetes and stuff like that that runs rampant in my family.
So I’m not ready to stop, and I had a surprisingly emotional reaction to the idea. Through the last week, I’ve been pumping like crazy, drinking ass flavored teas, popping Fenugreek and chasing it with Gatorade and eating oatmeal like it’s my job. I am NOT. Fucking. Quitting. He was able to nurse directly without issue. But the pump is not as skilled at removal. So I would have to leave him with at least SOME formula while I went to work. I am not generally an overly emotional person, and logically, I know that formula won’t hurt him. So when I started to CRY while prepping formula bottles, it surprised the hell out of me. Every day I had to crack open that damned can, I got madder and madder. All because I didn’t want my ears to hurt.
But, yesterday for the first time in 12 days, I was able to pump enough at work that he will NOT be having formula today.
Yay!!
So listen up mommas, if you’re breastfeeding, don’t take Claritin. I know it can be a sensitive topic, and breastfeeding vs formula has been known to start wars on the interwebz, and I’m definitely not interested in that, so don’t get crazy. I’m just talkin about my shitty mistake and how I felt shitty about it.
Now, I gotta prep some bottles and get to work.

My boy is sick:-(

I’m whining all over the interwebz today about it. I know I’m long overdue for a post, and I’m sorry about that. But it’s just been insanity here at home. And just when I think things are calming down, Capone gets sick.

Let me just give you some background on Capone. He’s the dog that made me love dogs. He’s THAT dog, the one that some people are lucky enough to get, that no other dog can ever live up to. He understands what I say to him, even when I’m not using his commands. I’ve had him since he was 7 weeks old. He’s not just a dog. He’s like..the best damned dog in the world. He was kind of a terror in his adolescence, but neutering and training is critical with a male pit bull. I wasn’t always the genius you see before you today, ha ha ha.

I believe in soulmates, but not just like, the romantic cheesy hallmark card you complete me bullshit. Like..there’s a part of your soul that recognizes a part of mine and we’re meant to be in each other’s lives type of soulmate. I’ve been lucky enough to know a few. Capone is my doggy soulmate.

And if you wanna laugh at me, go ahead, I don’t give a shit. I love my other two dogs a LOT. A LOT. But Capone is that dog.

So when he gets sick or hurt, I FREAK THE FUCK OUT. When I am faced with his mortality, I just come unglued. I can’t handle even thinking about it. I know he’s 9 years old and that’s kind of starting to get up there. But he acts like a puppy. He’s a really happy, hyper, goofy dog. No one believes me that he’s 9 when they meet him.

So yesterday afternoon, I was out in the yard doing some fall planting. (That’s for another post.) Capone was out there with me, “helping” (it only looks like he’s laying in the sun. In reality he’s holding down the earth. You’re welcome.) I went to the box where we keep our gardening crap, and there was a rubbermaid tote next to it with some stagnant ass water on top. Capone started lapping at it, and I immediately stopped him. Gross, weirdo. We went on about our business. Me, breaking my back digging and planting and slaving, him, holding down the earth.

We come inside, and he vomits up approximately a metric fuckton. Of course, he puts it on the rug, not on the bare floor, cuz he’s awesome like that. I put him outside on his run while I clean it up so he doesn’t try to “help”. (Gross, weirdo!)

After I clean it up, I go to let him in and he’s out there in the poo position. And he kinda walks around like that. He’s definitely got the runs. Well this is not good. But I’m a seasoned vet, so I’m not freaking out just yet. But then I call him and he just stands there, head hung down and just looking at me. I call him again, this time with the promises of cheese, treats, anything. Still doesn’t move.

So..I go out there to him. He sits down and his eyes are kinda glazed over. This is not holding down the earth at all. He’s not himself at all. I check his gums and they’re totally white. This is REALLY not good.

Also..it’s noteworthy background information that right before we left for our trip to Illinois, a good friend of mine lost her dog very suddenly to a ruptured spleen. She was fine in the morning and then..she wasn’t anymore. She was a damned good dog and healthy as a horse, so not that it’s ever easy to lose a pet, but when it’s out of nowhere like that, it’s especially painful. This is still very fresh in my mind, so be damned if I’m taking any chances. We’re going to the vet, RIGHT NOW.

I throw some cleanish clothes on, grab my purse, leave Xavier with my mom and I’m outside again, waving the leash like “COME ON CAPONE WANNA GO FOR A RIDE???”

Normally this would incite some serious happy dances. He just sat there, drooling. I have to go get him, clip the leash to him and walk him slowly to the car. By the time we get to the car, I’m in tears and I’m starting to lose my shit. Something is REALLY wrong.

I call my vet, it’s closing time but I beg them to stay and they’re awesome, so they wait around. It’s approximately a 15 minute drive, I was there in about 90 seconds. He vomits again in the car.

He wanders sloowly into the vet. Doesn’t wag his tail to greet anyone. Doesn’t give her kisses when she looks into his eyes. Doesn’t even flinch when they took his temp. She palpates his belly, doesn’t think it’s bloat unless it’s really early bloat. He’s not running a temp. His gums are starting to pink back up, but he still has that glazed over thing going on, and I don’t like it one freaking bit. She tells me we can do bloodwork, but we won’t have the results until tomorrow. We can do an xray, but if he ends up in the ER tonight, they’ll do one again anyway.

So I’m like “Okay..if this was your dog, what would you do? And like..the best dog you’ve ever owned and really just can’t picture life without kinda dog?”

“Take him to the ER, now.”

Holler.

So we drive down to good ol Ocean State Veterinary. I’m freaked out because I know..KNOW that this place is not cheap. And we are not rich, especially right now. That trip to Illinois pretty much drained us, to be frank.

So I take him in, and he actually wags his tail when the tech approaches him. He slowly climbs up onto the bench next to me and sits down. He whimpers at the pile of kids toys, thinking they must be for him. Okay, this is promising. He’s starting to be himself again, maybe it was a fluke. He’s peeking over the bench, saying hello to a little girl who was playing with the toys, and he starts to lick her face and…well knowing he just barfed and all, I thought this was not a good idea, so I gave him a little tug on the leash. And he slipped and fell off the bench. I swear I did not tug hard. On any other day, I could pull with all of my strength and not move that dog an inch if he didn’t wanna go. So when he fell off the bench and just LAID there..I got really scared again.

We went into the exam room and the vet checked him over, and he was really looking about 50% better than before. She said doing an xray was the most important thing to make sure we weren’t looking at bloat or a blockage, as those were immediately life threatening stuff. She asked me permission to sedate him..I said sure if you really feel like you need to. But he will do pretty much anything you ask him to. If you try to physically restrain him he pushes back just because he doesn’t understand what you want, he thinks you’re playing or something. I don’t physically manipulate my dogs much, they’re stronger than me and I don’t want them to know it. It’s all mental in this camp, bitches.

But apparently they felt they needed to sedate the ever living shit out of him. They didn’t see anything at all of concern. They would be happy to do bloodwork or keep him overnight for observation, but they felt like a little anti nausea meds, some fluids to combat the dehydration from all the explosiveness and a prilosec and bland diet would do the trick. So that’s what they did. They gave the fluids subcutaneously, so he had this big ass hump on his back. I got back a little drunk baby camel. He was so out of it when I got him back that I had to pick him up to put him in the car. He just put his head on my lap and slept the whole way home.

When I got home, he couldn’t lift himself up out of the seat, so I had to pick his big ass up again. He took a few steps and just stopped. John had to come out and help me carry him inside and up the stairs and put him on his bed, where he pretty much stayed all night.

Today, he’s weak and shaky. He turned up his nose at the burger and rice lunch I prepared for him at first (SO UNLIKE HIM!) but then he ate it after awhile. He’s pretty much been sleeping all day. I hate it. Watching him like this and realizing that he’s really getting old and can’t bounce back like he used to..it kills me.

I’ll post pics from the trip and stuff soon. It went pretty damned well, thanks to my obsessive planning and my unexplainably angelic son.

10 Ways Dog Grooming Prepared Me For Motherhood.

Now that I’m back to work, I’m realizing all the parallels between my work life and my home life. So I thought I’d compile a little top ten list, because who doesn’t love a good list?

10. My life is lived in three hour blocks. I know I have three hours to get a certain amount of work done and I have to prioritize these things in my head and accomplish them in the company of living beings who don’t give a shit about the time. Life with a newborn: also three hour blocks.  Feed, sleep, change, repeat.

9. Ever tried to dress a baby? It’s very much like trying to gift wrap a squid on PCP. Numerous flailing dogs have taught me how to utilize every single one of my fingers in order to restrain just the right places with just the right pressure in order to accomplish what needs accomplished without causing pain.  The Pug needs his nails clipped. Xavier needs to wear a button down shirt with buttons the size of a bedbug’s nipples. Okay maybe not. But it looks cute so shut up.

8. Removing gunk from little eyeballs without removing little eyeballs.

7. Clipping tiny nails without clipping tiny toes.

6. Never walk away from the table or tub when there’s someone on it or in it.

5.  Drool? Not a problem.

4. Patience, patience, patience. They know not what they do.

3.  Baby talk. According to some science I made up, the exact same pitch works for dogs as does babies. Well timed baby talk can go a LONG way.

2. Poop. Need I elaborate?

1.  The art of Zen. You’re 30 minutes late, and you get him all clean, fresh, looking adorable, and all the sudden..blam, projectile poop. As you’re cleaning that up, he pees all over and starts screaming his head off. The oven is dinging, the phone is ringing, and there are multiple dogs barking their heads off in the other room.

Just another day at my office, kid. Take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other, and just do one thing at a time.  This little creature is referencing you to gauge how to act, so you gotta be The Fonz, or else they will sense your panic, and panic too. So bitch, be cool. (That part was said in Samuel L Jackson’s voice.)