Thursday, August 30, 2012

One Year Ago...

One year ago, today, I cradled your head in my lap.
Tears rolled down my face.
I let my nose breathe in your scent one final time.
I looked at Ryan.
Tears rolled down his face too.
I looked at the vet.
"I can give you some more time," she said.
"We just want his pain to be over," I cried.
She pushed the plunger.
His breathing slowed.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered over and over into his ear, as I buried my face into his fur.
His breathing stopped. 
He was gone.
I laid next to his body until it grew cold.
Then I slipped off his collar, and held it so tightly.
Ryan helped me off the floor, and together we exited the office, without my special friend.
God, I thank you for giving me Chili Dawg.

My Chili Dawg video.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Right Through The Heart...

Being a working mom sucks.  Being a teacher and a working mom has its perks.  Off in the summers, spring break, Christmas break, and now that I am about to have a Kindergartner & a Preschooler (starting tomorrow- sob!) days off when my kids have off.  I know, Juli did preschool in May, and yes, it was traumatic for me.  She took the bus like a big girl and she cried the first day, which broke my heart, especially since I couldn't be there to put her on the bus.  I still watch the video and tear up.  After that day, Juli told everyone, "I rode bus! No kai no more!" Which if you don't understand Juli means, "I rode the bus, I don't cry anymore."

Last night, I was in Noah's room putting him to bed.  "Momma, I don't ever want to be a grown up.  I don't ever want to be apart from you."  Well, who wouldn't melt right there?  I gave him a hug and told him it was going to be a long time before he was a grown up.  "Momma, can you please take me to Kindergarten for my first day?"  We had been preparing Noah for a week that Ryan would be the one taking him to Kindergarten, because since I teach in the same district, it is also my first day of school and I can't miss it (I so wish he started Kindergarten during my plan period or my lunch period).  "No sweetie.  Momma is teaching when it's time for you to go to school, but Daddy is going to work from home and is taking you to school.  But I will be there to pick you up."  "But I don't want Daddy.  I want you."  And then he began to cry.  I pulled him into my lap and walked to the couch.  I held my little boy who used to fit in my lap, but is now all arms and legs (when did that happen?), and I also began to cry.

Being a working mom sucks.

We cried together for a good 10 minutes, and then Ryan and I got him calmed down.  I laid with him in his bed until he was mostly asleep and then left the room.  I don't know how many more of those times I will get before he doesn't want me to snuggle him.  It went so fast.  He was just a baby yesterday and and tomorrow he starts Kindergarten!  She is still a baby to me, and tomorrow she is getting back on the bus!  Time needs to slow down.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thirteen Years...

Thirteen years ago, I married this man...
Yes, those are spiderman swim trunks he's wearing...

And we started a family...

It hasn't always been sunshine and roses, but there isn't anyone I would rather have by my side.

Happy Anniversary, Ryan!  I love you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For The Love Of Dogs...

Over the weekend, Buster and Finchy began to act lethargic.  We assumed (you know what happens when you assume) that it was the heat getting to them.  They didn't really eat much on Sunday, and Sunday night, Buster totally refused his Kong that had some peanut butter in it (our dogs will do pretty much anything for peanut butter).  On Monday, Finchy's stomach was gurgly.  LOUD gurgly.  I knew it was okay to give dogs Immodium AD, so I re-looked up the dosage, and gave both dogs some since we were leaving to have lunch with Ryan.  I took one more precaution as well.  I put the baby gate in front of the stairs so they couldn't go upstairs.  I figured if they had an explosion, it would at least be in a non-carpeted area of the house and easier for me to clean up.

After lunch with Ryan, we headed towards home.  Stopping at the library and the park.  Grandma called to say she was close to our house so I packed the kids in the van and headed home.  When we got home, there was, shall we say a slight odor. Sure enough, there was a mess in the kitchen and I had no idea which dog did it.  I guessed it was Finch because of the gurgliness (yes, I am making it a word) of his stomach.  I opened up the windows and turned on the attic fan to suck the stench out and prepared to clean it up.  Just then, Grandma rolled up.  I yelled out the door what I was doing (so she wouldn't think I was rude for not greeting her at the door).

We all kept an eye on both dogs for the remainder of the night.  Around 8:45, my mom said, "Do you hear that sound?"  Ryan muted the Olympics and I pinpointed the sound.  It was Buster, and he was puking upstairs.  I made Ryan clean it up- hey, I have cleaned up MORE than my share of diarrhea and vomit this summer.  I made the decision to dose the dogs again with Immodium again, and shortly after Buster vomited again right at Ryan's feet (but not on them), and up came the Immodium.  I knew that Buster would not be sleeping in our bedroom that night.  I prepared to sleep on the uncarpeted floor of our house so that I could let him out or clean up vomit as needed.  Ryan told me to just baby gate him downstairs and sleep in our bedroom and we would clean up whatever mess in the morning.  That didn't sit well with me.  I had a bad feeling that something bad was wrong with Buster.

I sat on the couch reading and at 9:30 Buster got up and headed towards the patio door.  I wasn't fast enough.  He went into the kitchen and when I got in there, I was horrified with what I saw.  There was blood everywhere, and it was still coming out of him.  I got him outside as fast as I could.  My mom heard us and came upstairs, "Is that blood? Oh my gosh!"  She helped me clean it up.  Then, I went upstairs, got re-dressed, woke Ryan up and told him what had just happened and told him I was taking Buster to the emergency vet.  I got Buster into the van, and drove like a crazed woman to the vet, praying Buster didn't have any more explosive bleeding in the van, because I didn't want to have to clean it up (yes, I know, selfish of me).

We got to the ER vet, which coincidently was our normal vet as well.  I had called ahead and they had our file pulled already.  We had 2 people in front of us at 10 PM.  Buster climbed up onto the bench next to me and curled into a little ball.  Then, all of a sudden he got up.  I knew what was coming, but there was no time to get him outside.  His back end exploded with blood all over the floor, worse than what had happened at our house.  He looked at me embarrassed and then climbed back up onto the bench.  The lady waiting to be seen with her dog in front of us approached the desk with a horrified look on her face and said, "Please, let them go in front of us.  Buster is in worse shape than my dog."  They immediately took Buster into a room, as I thanked the lady for letting us go in front of her- I never got her name.

When the vet came in, I told her about what had been going on with Buster.  She took him in back to do some blood work and an x-ray.  I was left to wait and text.  At this point it was well past 11 o'clock.  I was very tired and trying to stay awake.  I was the only person left at the vet- the lady who had let us go first had had her dog admitted already- I had spoken to her but still forgotten to get her name.  A little after 11:30ish, the vet came back out.  Buster had had 3 more bloody explosions in the back, which had made it take longer.  They were going to admit him for the night.  He was dehydrated and they suspected he had gastroenteritis or pancreatitis, both of which can be fatal if they go untreated.  I thanked her and paid the gigantic vet bill (if this had happened during the day, it would have been cheaper, but what can you do?) and drove home.  It was midnight when I pulled into the driveway.

On Tuesday, Finchy continued to refuse to eat.  We assumed it was because he was worried about Buster- he did the same thing when Chili had his amputation, and he went on an eating strike for a week when Chili Dawg crossed the bridge.  Then the nasty gas started.  Boxers are nortorious for having gas, but this was worse than usual.  Then, he began to exile himself from us, which is very odd, as Boxers are family dogs and Finchy is no exception.  When Ryan picked Buster up that evening, he spoke to the vet about Finch as well, and she gave him some instructions and suggestions for Finchy as well.

When Buster came into the house, you could see that he felt better, just by looking at his eyes.  Finchy was happy that he came home, and for a little bit, we had hoped that Finchy had just been worried.  Then he went and exiled himself again for the remainder of the night.

This morning Buster ate his special food with his medicine hidden in it.  Finchy refused his medicine.  I had to use my mom's sneak attack technique.  Then, I went upstairs and found vomit with blood in it.  I knew it was Finchy.  Back to the vet we went.  We saw the same vet that had discharged Buster.  Finchy's treatment was similar to Buster's except he wasn't as dehydrated as Buster, so they were able to rehydrate him subcutaneously while we were there.  They also gave him an anti-vomit shot (yay!  I am so sick of cleaning up diarrhea and vomit this week!).  Finchy was sent home with the same meds as Buster, plus an additional one, as well as the same special food as Buster.  His visit was also way cheaper than Buster's because it happened during the day (thank you, Finchy).

All I can say is, apparently the dogs found out that this is my last week of summer before school starts and they wanted to make it memorable.  I am exhausted!  I took this picture of them today, and while they don't look super happy (a dog person would know what I mean) they don't look as pathetic as they did before.
Starting to feel better...

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Magic That Is, Jaime...

To my children, Auntie Jaime is magical.  And really, why shouldn't she be?  She wanted all of us to go to Florida so that 92 year old Grandma Jane could see her great-grandchildren, and searched high and low for a house that we could all fit in.  It was a great house: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a pool, a nice kitchen, and running around room for the kids.  She and Ryan spent hours on the computer searching for airfare to get us all down there.  And she did it.  We had a great vacation!

Noah and Juli LOVE Auntie Jaime.  They are always asking, "When are we going to Auntie Jaime's house?"  Well, Juli is usually saying, "Go Jaime's house?"  Auntie Jaime always has the best food, chicken nuggets shaped like Mickey Mouse or dinosaurs, Sun Chips (the same ones we have at home, but they taste better at Jaime's house), and don't even get me started on desserts.  My sister is the ultimate baker.  You add calories just looking at one of her cakes or cookies or any of the deliciousness that she makes.

Yesterday, Jaime had a couple groupons to the waterpark in West Chicago, and she invited us to go with.  Oh my goodness!  It was a child's paradise!  There were waterslides for the big kids.  Waterslides for the little kids.  A 15 minute "adults only swim time" at the end of each hour for the grown ups (if only someone could watch the kids while we swam- sigh).  Our 5 kids lived it up the entire time we were there.  There was no fighting or whining or crying.  It was...awesome!  But that's the magic of Auntie Jaime.  Always awesome.