Tuesday, August 30, 2011

don't hate

I know. It's been a long time since I've posted. It's just so hard!

Which is why I may be taking a blogging break. But that's because I am jumping on the tumblr bandwagon! I really like the idea of being able to post short things - photos, videos, stories, links, etc. Every time I blog, I feel like I have to write something long and involved and detailed. And let's be honest, I just don't have the patience for that! Or the time. Plus, the tumblr interface and concept is a little more user-friendly and quicker. So yeah. Don't hate me. Love me! And love my tumblr.

Here is the link, so you have NO EXCUSE not to read and follow and love.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dangers of Owning A Dog (or Two)

Warning: this is a graphic post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

For those of you who don't like to hear graphic stories about the horrors of what I do for my dogs, here is a little story to fill up some space so you can leave the blog without accidentally reading part of the story about my lovely afternoon.

Everyone should visit Painting With A Twist in Charlotte. I went last night for a great friend's birthday (where more than one of us may or may not have drank an entire bottle of wine by our individual selves - guess how good that was for my low-carb diet) and we made peacocks! See for yourselves:
That's the birthday girl - Sara - up front on the left!
And here's a closeup of my masterpiece.
Okay, time for the nitty gritty dirty tale. First off, I would like to warn all female dog owners: SHUT YOUR BATHROOM DOOR. That's right - we're about to go down that road.

Lately, Preston's favorite pasttime has been to pull everything out of the bathroom trash can and spread it around. He doesn't eat any of it, he just likes to share the joy of dirty tissues and tags off of clothes. Well, today I had replaced the trash bag, so there were only two things in it - a cardboard toilet paper roll and a panty liner. (Yep, told you we were going down that road.)

I decided to watch some Netflix and I dozed off, only to wake up to Sensei lying on the floor eating the aforementioned TP roll. Initially, I was just annoyed at having to pick up 249018743 pieces of cardboard, until I realized I needed to check the rest of the trash can. I rushed upstairs to find this:
As you can see, one of my babies has discovered the beauty of the eating straight off the roll! And yes, as you may have suspected, the trash can was empty - the panty liner was missing. Someone ate it. I searched the house high and low - the only place left was in one of my pooch's stomach.

After some Googling - where I read everything from "the sticky part will block their intestines and they'll die if you don't take them to the vet ASAP" to "my dog ate a whole diaper and he was fine!" - and texting Bill, I called our wonderful vet at Animal Ark. After some awkward confusion on the part of the receptionist (resulting in my explaining what panty liner in fact is), I discovered that I needed to make my dogs throw up. Barf. Puke. Vomit. In order to do so, I would have to get them to drink about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.

And I did. I went outside with Sensei, armed with a bottle of H2O2 and a shovel. He drank it out of the spoon without any problems, and right away I could tell he did not like it. He kept baring his teeth and licking his mouth. I felt like a horrible person. He probably thought he was getting some awesome treat, and I gave him the nastiest stuff imaginable. (Seriously, I gargle with this - I can't imagine drinking it!) I put him on his leash and walked him around in the backyard in order to expedite the process and to keep my eye on him. After about ten minutes, he puked twice. The first time was huge, and you better believe there was a lot of chewed-up mess and a chunk of an undigested panty liner. I used the shovel to throw it over the fence so he wouldn't go back and eat it again later, and then I washed the shovel and called Michelle to share my disgust and warn her to never let Booth near a bathroom.

The good news is that I didn't have to force Preston to throw up, as it was pretty obvious that Sensei was the culprit this time around. And it's been about an hour now, and Sensei no longer appears to hate me, so maybe things will go back to normal around here for a while...

Yeah, right.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cheater.

That's me. I cheated.

On summer.

I'm just so tired of the 95 degree weather and the sweaty foreheads and the holiday-less days that I gave in. I searched Pinterest for Christmas and made a Christmas craft.

I took inspiration from this:

 

And substituted in paint markers and a blank canvas I had on hand.

Excuse my cell phone photo. Once I have my much-desired iPhone (which won't be for months...), these blog pics will be much better!
It looks great, it's festive, and I love it.

Only 146 more days to go until my favorite holiday of the year...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The End of an Era...

I wrote this post Friday, but our internet was out, but it's finally up now!


As I’m sure most of you have heard, Borders is sadly closing its doors. Borders is one of my favorite stores – regardless of the fact I’m a Rewards Plus member, so I get an extra 10% off everything – because I just love books! I love book stores in general – it’s related to my love of libraries. I can remember, growing up, I would visit my aunt in Charlotte a few times a year, and she would always take me to Barnes & Noble. We could spend a whole afternoon in there, and she would buy me a book before we left, as a souvenir of my weekend with her. It’s not like we didn’t have bookstores back home… it was just a thing we did. And it shows you what a nerd I was growing up, that I’d pick a book as my souvenir every time I went on a trip!

Anyways, the one silver lining to this cloud is the going-out-of-business sale happening right now in Winston. When the Greensboro location closed, I was able to pick up Planet Earth on BluRay for cheap. I’m talking $30-cheap. In hopes of finding some similar deals, I hit up the sale at the Thruway store yesterday. Most of what I wanted is only 20% off right now (plus my 10%), so I tried to limit myself. But I bought some really cool stuff for my future classroom! Theoretically, if all goes well, that is only a year away (WHOA), and I need to stock up! All the Melissa & Doug materials were on sale, and they are one of my absolute favorite companies for kids’ work. Everything is wooden – super durable and safe – and I basically want to own everything they make. I can’t wait to go back when all of the stuff at Borders is a little more on sale and stock up from that shelf.

Yesterday I limited myself to a kitchen set of food groups from Melissa & Doug, which are so cool. I did buy several books, including an awesome BrainQuest Preschool book, which is full of worksheets on phonics, 123s, ABCs, toys, and the self. Does anyone remember BrainQuest? I had a ton of their products when I was younger! I also got some really neat Dr. Suess concept cards on the alphabet and opposites. Seriously, I am getting so excited about being able to use these materials in a classroom of my own. Or with my own kids, but that is much farther off.

Speaking of my own classroom, today was my last day at OCCS for the summer (I think). The end of another era! I go back to UNCG on August 15, and I’m not on the schedule at OCCS for the next two weeks. It is so sad! I absolutely love that school, and I have seen some real changes in myself over the course of this summer. I have really connected with some students, and I believe that a lot of progress was made in terms of how I worked with and handled certain situations. Some days were very challenging – as were some students – but I can honestly say I loved that whole class I worked with. How am I going to do this when I am a teacher – say goodbye to a whole group of children I love every year? I guess the rewards of working with them outweighs the sadness of sending them on at the end of the school year. “Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all,” right? Do you think that was written with teachers in mind?

Me neither.

Edit: Found out I am on the schedule to work this week - yay! Five more days with my kids!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday to You...

Today is a very special day - Michelle's birthday!

So let's all join together in wishing her a happy birthday!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Michelle,
Happy birthday to you!

We have had a lot of great times over the years... remember the time you made me stand on a chair at 2am in high school, fanning the smoke alarm so it wouldn't wake up your parents? Or what about when you helped me cut off that part of my wedding dress laces that fell in the toilet before the ceremony last September? Or how about that time I went on a honking spree at Concord Mills while you discovered that Sequoia is in fact a tree and not an Indian tribe? Or what about the time we were so unsuccessful at moving your mattress that a UPS man had to pull over and help us? And remember when we watched some accidentally inappropriate shows at the Brenner Children's ER? Or how about all the exciting times we had as roomies in Cobb 412 - dressing up as one another, learning to make balloon animals, sneaking in the Smirnoff Ice, staying up way too late watching TV, skipping class to get LocoPops (only happened once, if you are a parent!), and so many other memories?  So happy, happy birthday, dear friend - looking forward to another year of fun!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Crafty-McCrafterson

In light of the fact that I did not have to work the last week, I decided to use put some of my energy toward crafting. Not only did it give me something to do (and get some birthday gifts made!), but it took my mind off of my poor crippled pup. Who is still limping on random legs occasionally, but he is spending the majority of his time running and jumping, which he is supposed to not do. We have been able to limit the amount of time he and Sensei spend roughhousing together, but it is so hard. Sometimes, Sensei sits outside on the deck by the glass door, and Preston sits inside next to the door, and they just stare at each other. It is by far the saddest and most pitiful thing I have ever seen my sweet pooches do.

Speaking of my sweet pooches...


A couple pictures I (literally) just snapped to share with you all. This is what they do when I am not paying attention to them. They sit at my feet and stare and make me feel guilty that I do anything besides throw balls for them to fetch and rub their bellies.

But anyways. The topic of this post is crafting. And cooking. I'll throw that in, since I've had time for that, too. Let me say, first off, that Pinterest is the greatest thing to have graced the internet since bonjovi.com. I am able to rip off my own DIY projects off tons of other people, all in one place!

For instance, take this Etsy wreath.

Too cute, right? Unfortunately, that $40 + shipping price tag was not so cute. So I made my own - one for me, and one for my mom's birthday tomorrow. And as far as pricing goes, I will say that between what I already owned, and what I bought, I spent less than $12 and had some leftover materials. $12. FOR TWO WREATHS. Although they did take several hours, so maybe that's really what the steep $40 is for. Here's my mama's - and don't worry, there's no way she'll be reading this before she opens her gifts tomorrow!


The one I made for our front door is exactly the same, but it's blue and green rather than pink and purple.

 After my success with the wreaths, I turned to ceramic coasters. It truly is amazing what you can do with some Mod Podge and Acrylic spray paint. Please act surprised if any of you receive these as a housewarming gift in the future... This was a good project for me to start with, and I am looking forward to getting more creative with these in the future. I saw some really cool stuff online, with people using cutouts, stencils, etc...


I also made this really great birthday gift for someone later this fall, but it's going to have to wait to share. All I have to say is, it is cool! I want to make one for myself. And I also want to say that the point of this post is not for me to brag about the stuff I've done (or to lament over the fact that semi-unemployment is giving me WAY too much free time). Rather, I want to sing the praises of all those DIYers out there on the internet who come up with great craft ideas that even I can do!

Finally, I want to share some low-carb ice cream I made for Bill and I. Yes, we are still doing that diet. And yes, I have lost 7-8 pounds (I'll admit, I have not been as strict as I should be...), but my skin is SO clear from cutting out so much sugar! It really is amazing how much I was eating every day! But anyways. Check this recipe out. It is low-carb, vegan, gluten-free, whatever you need. Only three ingredients: bananas. peanut butter. cocoa powder. Heaven in a Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker. Warning: I would advise you to make the ice cream in a food processor, and then use an ice cream maker to freeze it and churn it all together into the delicious treat that it is! So that's actually all for right now, except for a little shout-out to my favorite cat-lovin', fellow Twilight-obsessed gal pal Caroline, who got engaged to her boyfriend Andrew last night! Yippee - love is in the air, people!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crisis Averted...

Or so we thought.

Preston had his x-rays yesterday morning, which showed mild hip dysplasia in his back left leg. Nothing warranting major hip surgery - yet. Basically, they told us to keep him on the glucosamine he's taking (which stimulates cartilage growth and joint health), and to bring him back in 2-4 months for another evaluation. They said young dogs like him can grow out of the hip dysplasia problems, but we can count on the fact that it will be back when he is older (which means that hip replacement surgery may happen later on down the road). If things are still bad in a few months, we may be looking at a minor surgery to help with the friction between the bones.

Not too bad, right? We were really expecting the worst, so to know that he may be able to grow out of it for the time being was awesome.

Unfortunately, around 10:30 last night, we noticed Preston limping on his FRONT leg. He was barely letting his front left leg touch the ground, and it was sticking out at a weird angle. This was definitely a WTF moment for us both, and we obviously jumped to the conclusion that action needed to be taken as soon as possible. We took him to the emergency animal clinic in Winston, where they took him back for more x-rays. Around midnight, the doctor called us back to tell us all the different things that could be wrong with Preston, since the x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary.

He could have some kind of lameness that travels between legs. He could have panosteitis, which is an inflammation of the bones. He could have one of several kinds of arthritis. He could have some tick-borne illness (we found a tick on him several weeks ago - hello, Frontline purchase!).

The doctor then did a blood test to check his platelets, which apparently is a sign of some tick-borne diseases. I really was not completely following what was happening at this point - it was very late at night, and she was talking really loudly and using a lot of big words. They did the blood test, nothing came back abnormal, so she sent us home with a mild pain medication to have on hand. He had been on Deramaxx, which is a pretty rough drug, so she gave us one that they use on really old and fragile dogs. Fine by me, just fix my baby.

So now we wait. We are supposed to observe and keep a journal on him - is he lethargic, is he limping on different legs, is he eating, etc, etc. And - here's the worst part - we are supposed to keep him from running, jumping, or playing with Sensei. Only leash activity. For FIVE DAYS. If you have met Preston, you understand what a task this is going to be. I get his leash out, and he is literally jumping into the air (all four feet off the ground, yes), with excitement. And poor Sensei. Preston was at the vet all day yesterday, and Sensei just moped around the house. It was pitiful. And made me kind of sad. But hopefully this is all for the best - maybe a few days of taking it easy will help Preston back to normal. I know he is just a dog, but this is all really overwhelming me! What if something is seriously wrong? He seems to be doing alright this morning, so maybe that's a sign he's on the road to recovery...