Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Another Day In Paradise

Today could have been an exciting day--depending on how you look at it.

We've been in our new home for 2 months, and we had to replace our heat pump to the tune of $6,000.  But, if you're a "glass half full" kind of person, now we are super warm (without our space heaters) and optimistic that our electric bills will be lower.

Either way, dealing with issues in the "major systems" of our house makes me thankful for my husband.  I am thankful that he stayed here to deal with the workers (in the cold) while Jackson and I spent the day at my parent's house where there was heat.  I am thankful that I didn't have to coordinate anything.  I am thankful that the heat pump fell into the "man's" category of household management.

Today reminded me of an old country song by Phil Vassar called "Just Another Day In Paradise," and that I am happy to have such a wonderful man to share in life's most fun moments.

Love you, Justin.

The kids screaming, phone ringing,
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills--overdue
Good morning, baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
Your funny face makes me laugh
Twist the top on and you put it back
There goes the washing maching
Baby don't kick it, I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things . . .
Well, it's okay.  It's so nice.
It's just another day in paradise.
Well, there's no place I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise.

These are just a few of my favorite photographs ever of Justin.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Love Affair with Michaels (that's with an 's')

Okay, I'm going to brag on myself just a little bit.

Jackson's first birthday is coming up in May, and I've recently started doing a little party planning.  One of the details I wanted for his first big day was a special "birthday boy" party hat.  I looked on Etsy and Ebay and even browsed a few expensive baby boutiques.  Unfortunately, everything I liked was between $20-$30, and that seemed like a lot to pay for a party hat.

So . . . a got crafty again . . .
(I could seriously have a love affair with Michaels)

And I am so very pleased with the results of my $9 endeavors.

A party hat fit for a King!

Who says Prince William is the only royalty celebrating this Spring?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tales of the Harrowed Housewife


That pretty much sums up the day.

My folks are one day away from relocating to our area.
My husband is on a two-day stint of an opposite schedule than we are used to and is therefore MIA.
And I am going crazy.

It seems I have traded in my grotesque nursing stories for Tales of the Harrowed Housewife.
Gone are the days of exsanguination, ducking punches from psych patients, multiple narcotic drips, and necrotic wounds.  I've traded those in . . . tossed away my nitrile gloves . . . washed my hands . . . and suited up for my next . . . adventure?  Ha!  Donning a diaper bag, stroller, tennis shoes, lovey, dog leash, and poo-poo bags for both homo sapien and canine.

I started this morning by calling no less than six, yes six, family practices to make myself a sick appointment.  Apparently (strike the banjos), in our new area you have to "fully establish" yourself as a well-patient (taking 4-6 weeks) before you can be seen in a doctors office.  Personally, I think this is absolutely ridiculous.  After the third office told me this, I started sharing my opinion (shocker!) with the receptionists.  I have never in my life . . . in any area I have resided encountered such a "policy."  When asked "well, what am I supposed to do then?" most receptionists responded with "you can go to an urgent care."  Do you realize those doctors that run urgent care clinics are not even real doctors?  They have not completed a residency and have had little or no hands-on training.  They are often fondly referred to by board-certified physicians as "doc-in-a-boxes."  I DON'T THINK SO.  Nevertheless, I eventually landed a 12:15 appointment at a real doctors office.

Then . . . Jackson woke up.  He smiled at me for about 3.76 seconds, then he started screaming.  He fought his diaper change, wrestled the spoon during breakfast, and was generally unpleasant all morning.  Remember that tooth I was soooo excited about?  Well, now it has a partner in crime, and I wish they would burrow their little selves back into Jackson's gums.  Teething = no fun for baby or mama.

Soon came my doctors appointment, a trip to CVS, back home for more fussiness--let me tell you--Jackson did not like green eggs and ham.  Then (throw in some tantrums and). . . it was time for Maggie's follow up vet exam.

I developed my clever strategy for loading Maggie and Jackson into the car together and arriving at the vet in time to put Jackson into his stroller for safe keeping.  Soon, after two little girls sang and read to Jax in the waiting room while their daddy read the paper (yeah, I ended up doing some free babysitting too), we were ushered into an exam room.

Only to be told "the doctor is running a little behind this afternoon."  Why, of course she is!

So Maggie waited anxiously . . .

And Jackson continued his MOA of the day . . .

And I wore my new armour with a smile . . .
And, as if I couldn't have done it myself, Jackson pulled my hair out for me!

End Chapter One of Tales of the Harrowed Housewife.

P.S.-- Maggie's corneal ulcer is healing nicely!  Guess I haven't lost my nursing skills yet!

Playdates and Save The Dates

On Monday night Jackson and I went to our first ever "playdate" with the Winchester Mom's Group.  Despite being one of the only babies there, he had a great time interacting with two other little girls his age.  Most of all, I think he enjoyed the Mexican dinner -- for him, ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, chicken, and cornbread -- I just love not having a picky eater!  I think I might have been the only mommy there who didn't hear "Mom, I don't like that!"  :)

Oh yeah, and Jax pulled up to standing for the very first time on that little picnic table in the background.  I guess all he needed was an audience (and resounding applause)!

P.S.-  We totally need to find one of those mats for our playroom floor!

*  *  *  *  *
And . . . backtracking to this weekend in Roanoke, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to Miss Lacey Duncan, bride-to-be, who had her bridal shower on Saturday!  We are "saving the date," and cannot wait to celebrate with you and Kevin.  Best wishes on your remaining wedding planning.

Opening my gift . . . everyone needs a good pet-vac!

Awwww . . . what a lovely Bride-To-Be!

Nothing like playdates and save-the-dates to keep a gal busy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This weekend
. . . much to my persuasion . . .
Justin got a tattoo in Roanoke.

You gotta love Roanoke, too.  He was quoted $450 for the design in Northern Virginia, and paid $170 in the good ole' 'Noke.  Apparently, Roanoke is good for the soul and the wallet.

I hope he's as excited about being ink'd as I am.
Tattoos on men are so sexy!

His tattoo artist was amazing!  Looks like a B&W photo, right?
She drew it by hand--and this was one of her early drawings--over 10 years ago.

Okay, enough gab . . . let's get started.

Jus said the outline was the worst part . . .

Getting there . . .

Youch!  This was right after she finished tattooing him.

And . . . a few hours later that evening . . .

The finished product.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You, My Green Eyed Girl

This would make quite a "Not Me Monday" post.

Only, it's not Monday.

And, unfortunately, it did happen.

And I find very little humor in the situation.

This is my Maggie Mae as of 6pm tonight:
Notice anything different about her?
And, no, she did not get colored contacts (okay, maybe a little humor).

This morning we took Mags to the groomers, a new one in our new hometown.
They were super nice, clean, and reasonable in price.

When I picked her up this afternoon, the groomer and I had the following conversation:
Groomer: "Do her eyes weep a little?  I can't seem to keep her face dry."
Me: "Oh yeah, it's her breed.  No problem."
Groomer: "Okay, good, I was hoping it wasn't something I did."
Me: (feeling a little uneasy) "Nah, I doubt it."

So we left.

Maggie wimpered all the way home.  I figured it was just that she was nervous after having been left in a strange place all day.  I unloaded the car--you know, the usual--baby, diaper bag, bottle bag, errands purchases, mail, dog, kitchen sink--and went inside.  Jax was sleeping, so I placed him in the baby swing and sat down on the couch to go through the mail.  I patted the spot beside me and looked up to see Maggie coming over.  What I saw was a terrible sight!

She looked up at me with one eye.  The other eye was just a quivering slit, dripping discharge.  I tried to gently touch the eye, and she jerked away.  My heart dropped.  What in the world had the groomer done to her???

Praise the Lord, my mom was across town cleaning her new apartment, so I made a frantic phonecall that she had to come sit with Jackson.  I had tried over and over and over again to reach the grooming salon, but I kept getting an answering machine.  It was only 4:10pm, and they didn't close until 5pm, but I could not reach a soul by phone.  I knew I was going to have to drive Maggie over to them to be looked at.  A few minutes later Mom arrived, and Maggie and I set out.  I drove through tears, calling the groomer repeatedly en route.


"I KNEW IT!!!" (and a few other choice words) I exclaimed when I pulled into the parking lot.  It was 4:47pm and they were locked up and gone.  Again, they did not close until 5pm--they had been gone as early as 4:10pm when I initially called.  I was so upset--and now I was absolutely furious!

I booked it back toward home . . . poor other drivers in my path . . . because there is a vet one street over from our house.  Mind you, we have never been seen at this vet's office because we just moved here.  I have none of Maggie's vaccination records, etc with me either.  I rush in the door at 4:56pm, not in the best of spirits, and these people are SAINTS!

The vet worked her into the schedule (quickly too), dyed Maggie's eye to check for a corneal abrasion, reassured me that I had certainly made the right decision to bring her in immediately as this can cause blindness very quickly, and was the most wonderful and gentle lady you could ever image.  They also waived the $22 "work in" fee given our situation . . . and wrote me a letter to take to the grooming salon.

Maggie was discharged $97.25 later with two medications (antibiotic eye drops and blood serum eye drops) and this diagnosis:  LARGE SUPERFICIAL GEOGRAPHIC CORNEAL ULCER OF THE LEFT EYE CAUSED BY CHEMICAL IRRITANT.  She also has to return to the vet next week for a recheck after seven days of medications--that would be one drop of each med, 10 minutes apart, four times daily--no problemo!  I'll whip those right in my wimpering dog's eye slit with a baby on one hip, dinner on the stove, placing bottles in the fridge (right next to the canine blood serum), with laundry in the dryer!


All joking aside, I am just thankful that my poor baby is going to be okay!

Rest well Maggie Mae.
Guess whose doorstep my hubby will be on tomorrow morning with a receipt in hand?

And just to lighten spirits . . .
Maggie did enjoy the cheeze whiz the vet squirted on the exam table to reward her after the procedure!
Always a silver lining.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Hey, even at 10 months,
everyone has their preferences.

Jax prefers to bathe on his belly now, hey, pick your battles I say.