April 25, 2012

The Boogie Turns Five

This sparkly girl just had a milestone birthday!

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that concept. I mean, wasn't it just a couple of years ago that we were bringing her home from the hospital???

Her birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so on the afternoon of the day before we had a "party" which was our definition of food, cake, balloons, and gifts. Originally we were going to host it at our house, but as our guest list grew and the forecast implied rain, we changed locations to the church which worked out perfectly. Kids played downstairs, and adults were able to visit and eat. I picked up some cheap new toys for the kids to play with in between food and cake and gift opening, and sent them all home with birthday balloons and scented bubbles.

The Boogie had spent Friday afternoon, all night, and the better part of Saturday with her cousins, which freed us up to run errands and get things set up. When she arrived at church she hung around the bottom of the stairs expectantly; I didn't realize it but SIL1 mentioned to me that the Boogie seemed to be waiting for everyone to yell "surprise!" It never occurred to me to throw a real surprise party for her. Maybe another year! I think she had a really fun time and she got some nice gifts from friends and family.
First things first: food!

After the girls went to bed that night we tidied up our living room and set out a few gifts we'd kept back so she could open them on her actual birthday. Last year we got her a bike which she wasn't ready for, so we got a scooter for her this year. Even Peabody can ride it, sort of.

After the morning church service we ate lunch and let her open her gifts from us and my parents. Mama Dog wanted in on that, too.

Peabody just liked the gift bags.

It was the least-stressful birthday I have planned yet, and I really think it was because I wasn't working. We all had an enjoyable weekend.

And, as always, though it seems to get pushed into the background every year, Eric and I also celebrated our anniversary. We exchanged cards on the actual day but that was about it. Our gift to ourselves was a day trip to NYC ... but that's another post!

April 17, 2012

My Sister

I have a younger sister. I've written about her before. Her name is Vee, which is short for Veruca.

Okay, not really about that last part.

Vee is a gifted pianist and is studying music at a state university several hours away from the rest of our family. Several weeks ago she started having some pain in her left foot; after a while the pain traveled up her calf. Since she is a "starving student" with very basic (read: limited) health insurance, she waited to be seen by a doctor. Then her foot and leg began to swell. Finally last Wednesday she went to the clinic where a doctor suspected a blood clot and sent her for an x-ray. The x-ray showed a clot extending the entire length of her left leg. Because she'd been experiencing shortness of breath they sent her for a CT scan which revealed many particles of the clot in both lungs. She was admitted to the hospital and started on blood thinners.

Let me tell you something: it is scary when your little sister is in the hospital with a massive blood clot. Very, very, extremely scary. We started praying hard, and asking others to pray.

Vee was kept overnight and released the next day with prescriptions for two different types of blood thinners. She was given permission to return to school as long as she takes it easy and keeps her leg elevated as much as possible. She has to go to the clinic every day for bloodwork until the medication level reaches where it's supposed to be; then she can stop one of the meds. She'll be on the other med for a minimum of a few months.

She's not out of the woods yet. It's going to take a while for all of the blood clots to clear up. Her lungs are working harder because of the clots in them, which makes her very tired. Thankfully she only has a few weeks of school left.

I'm so grateful for God's mercy and grace! So many people were praying for her -- I truly believe in the power of prayer. I'm asking for your continued prayers for her, that the medication will do its job to dissolve the clots, that she will see improvement every day, and that she'll be able to get through these next several weeks of classes.

And ... tell your loved ones that you love them.

April 10, 2012

Ah, Spring

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

Blooming flowers.

Green grass.

Sunny days.

Flowering bushes.

Budding trees.

Open windows.

Fresh air.

Winter over.

April 7, 2012

A Good Day

Waffles for breakfast.

Fun on the playground and a walk on the trail at a local park.

Mother/daughter time with the Boogie: her first manicure!
The guy who did her nails was tickled by her. "You are going to be so smart!" he kept telling her. "You ask so many questions!"

When it was time to choose a color for her nails she picked -- can you guess? Yellow! I should have known. "Are you sure?" I asked several times. "You don't want pink, or red, or something sparkly?"

No pink, or red, or anything sparkly. She wanted yellow. So she got yellow.

We had a Papa John's gift card so Eric ordered a pizza for us to pick up on our way home. After I paid for it the guy at the counter asked, "Do you like pepperoni or cheese? Someone didn't pick up their order." He gave us another pizza for free!

A short walk around the block with Mama Dog after dinner, and some quality time with Mary Poppins after showers:

and now two little girls are on their way to dreamland.

Yep, it was a good day.

April 6, 2012

Saturday. No, Wait ... Friday

As if being home all week isn't enough to throw me off, Eric has a three-day weekend. Having him home today makes it feel like Saturday. I keep thinking of things I need to do tonight to be ready for church tomorrow ... except there isn't church tomorrow!

Mama Dog seems to be feeling much better, and also seems to be getting used to wearing the cone. She rams into our legs with it and runs into things but now instead of thinking she's stuck she maneuvers around whatever is in her way. She's even figured out how to get a drink from her bowl; the water splashes all inside the cone and she spends the next five minutes licking up the droplets. We've had to leave her at home a few times so we put her in the large crate to give her a little more room; somehow she more anxious about being left in the big crate than the little crate.

For the past few weeks I've worked at acclimating her to being gated in the kitchen and laundry room while we were home, in hopes that we could eventually leave her in there when we were away. One evening last week we tried leaving her in there for about 30 minutes while we were gone. The next day we left her for a little longer, and even longer the following day. She seemed fine -- anxious about us leaving which is her normal, but otherwise okay. The only thing was that she could jump over the gate, so we put two dining room table chairs backed up against it on the other side, making it just tall enough that she couldn't clear it. On Sunday morning we gated her in the kitchen and went to church. As we left I thought to myself, "This is so great! We can just leave her in the kitchen, she's not stuck in the crate for hours, and can stretch her legs and get a drink when she wants, and she's not destructive so I know she won't get into anything." I was SO happy to have reached that point.

Yeah. Well. When we got home she wasn't in the kitchen anymore, and this is what one chair looked like ...

... and this is what the other chair looked like:

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around just how she did all of that damage. She couldn't reach the top rung even when standing up on her hind legs, so the only thing I can come up with is that she jumped and bit at it repeatedly. I was so mad and discouraged. I mean, it's just a cheap chair from Ikea and chairs are replaceable. But now I don't trust her loose at all when we aren't here. We have more gates and can easily stack them high enough in the kitchen doorway to keep her in there, but what else might she destroy in her attempt to escape? Cabinets, door trim, the flooring? Ugh. So, now we're back to crating her when we leave, which makes her miserable and makes me feel guilty for being away from home for more than a few hours at a time. What are we going to do with her when we want (or need) to be gone all day? Even a "quick" trip to the zoo entails being gone for 5 or 6 hours. Dog ownership is turning out to be much more time-consuming and complicated than I ever anticipated. I am really thankful that we did not get a puppy!

On a happier note, Peabody continues to entertain on a daily basis. Her newest phrase is "ha bite ... _____?" by which, of course, she means "how about _____?" When I ask if she wants a snack she replies, "Yah. Ha bite ... c'ackew?" (cracker) When we turn on the tv she says, "Ha bite ... Bobby?" (Barney)

She tells me several times a day that she needs to go potty. Sometimes she produces something, sometimes she doesn't. Always she asks for an "en em" (M&M.)

A couple of days after the tummy bug episode last week she broke out in hives. She hadn't had an episode in months; honestly I can't remember when the last time was but I know it was before the holidays. Since it had been so long I guess she was due for a bad outbreak. Poor thing -- she was covered in HUGE welts all over her body, and for the first time they seemed to bother her as she was scratching some and saying "Honey, itchy!" But overall she was in pretty good spirits, took her Benadryl without any fuss, and recovered in a few days.

Such a funny kid!

April 4, 2012

Poor Mama Dog

Her mama days are over.

She spent all day yesterday at the vet. She surely was miserable last night, uncomfortable and unhappy about her cone collar. I slept on the couch and she kept me up for the better part of the night, pacing around. Finally around the time Eric left for work she either found a way to be somewhat comfortable or she was so tired she just couldn't stay awake any longer, and slept for a few hours. She laid around for most of the morning but by afternoon perked up a bit and ate some food.

It's spring break week for cousins; SIL1 brought her three kids over to play on Monday afternoon, and SIL2 came over this afternoon with HE and baby O. I'm so thankful for family close by! I love that my girls are friends with their cousins.