Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moose's visit to the hospital

Because crazy things can only happen when my husband is out of town for two weeks, Moose is in the hospital. Really though, we noticed that Moose was eating less, maybe losing some weight, and vomiting off and on for the past 10 days or so but he didn't stop eating completely (as far as we can tell) until this past weekend. That's when I started noticing that the bowls of food he and Oliver share were much fuller than they should be. After noticing that two different times, Mike and I decided Moose needed to go to the vet. So after taking Trucker in the morning yesterday to get caught up on his shots so he could go back to doggy day care, I took Moose in yesterday afternoon.

I started at MaxFund Wellness Center, the vet attached to the shelter we adopted Moose from but the doctor quickly assessed him and told me that he needed to go to a full service hospital to be hospitalized (after weighing him and seeing he had lost 5 pounds since November and seeing the yellowing on his skin and in his eyes - a tell tale sign of liver damage). Looking back she said the term hepatic lipidosis while I was there but I was having a hard time taking it all in and all I heard was liver failure.

So off I went to the second hospital to see a doctor who could run blood tests on site and could hospitalize as needed. It was at this hospital that I learned more about hepatic lipidosis and causes thereof. Basically, as a cat stops eating, they begin to metabolize their fat stores (which as we know, Moose has many of). The problem with this is that cats' livers cannot clear the byproducts of this metabolism so it in turn leads to a build up of byproducts (which are usually toxic) in the body leading to liver failure. We don't know why Moose wasn't eating, but for some reason he wasn't and so he moved in to this hepatic lipidosis causing changes in his activity level, vomiting, further anorexia (not being interested in eating) and perpetuating the problem. The only treatment is to get the cat to start eating again but many times, they don't want to eat because of the nausea.

So after over an hour at the hospital and Moose getting an IV, having labs drawn, and being settled in to a kennel to stay the night, I left the hospital and proceeded to immediately start researching everything the doctor told me. Needless to say, I now understand better how my families feel and know where they are coming from when they ask the basic questions such as will my child be OK and when will he/she come home. While it's not the same as a human child, for me it is - it's the closest to a child that I have. The doctor didn't sugar-coat anything - there is a possibility that Moose won't make it out of this and the first overnight stay with fluid rehydration would be needed before we could really get a better idea. The fluid rehydration would help to flush the toxins from the buildup of byproducts out of the system. The last time I talked to the doc last night he said he would call me this morning before 8 AM.

True to his word, I received a call from the doctor (I guess I should be calling him a vet, huh?) at 7:50 this morning while I was sitting with a crying baby trying to calm her. I would really NEVER answer the phone at work - much less in a patient's room - but I completely disregarded this rule today. He said, "There is good news and bad news - the bad news is that Moose is feeling much better. Why is that bad news? Because he pulled out his IV line over night." So now, Moose, being the spunky cat that he is, is starting to try to eat but no longer getting IV fluids like he should be because he pulled out his IV - just like a kid!!

I was updated many times during the day by the hospital, 4 of the 5 times by the doctor himself. At last check in, Moose was still eating, not needing to be force fed (which is often what hepatic lipidosis leads to just to clear up the disease), having no more vomiting, and being overall very vocal and wanting loads of attention. The doctor said if he keeps this up he'll be able to come home tomorrow. Unfortunately I'm at work all day tomorrow so unless they will let me come in after office hours to pick him up, I have to wait until Friday to bring him home.

I am thrilled and relieved beyond words that Moose is doing so much better today. The vet was very honest with me at the prognosis of this and even went so far as to tell me there was another cat earlier this year that did not make it. While it wasn't very good to hear while I was there, especially with my husband out of town and no one to talk to about it, I was very thankful that he wasn't saying that it would be alright when he knew that it may not be. And Moose may be a little more spry in the end due to weight loss, but I guess that isn't a bad thing either.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dipes & Wipes!!

It may have taken a few hours - mostly remember how to grab the bobbin thread since I hadn't used my sewing machine in a while - but I accomplished my first Dipes & Wipes pouch tonite! The bag is big enough for about 3 diapers and a travel size of wipes along with a small tube of diaper cream if you wanted. On a later iteration, I'd like to make a matching changing pad so all you have to do is grab the bag and go to change the baby, but that's far off. It's not good enough to give as a gift yet (I'll just have to keep it until I have something to use it for) but it's exciting to finish a new project. Not much to write about it really, I just wanted to share some pictures:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Full and Happy

For anyone that knows me well, you know I'm slightly in love with Chick-Fil-A. Before I moved here, it wasn't out of the question for me to eat Chick-Fil-A every day for lunch. Seriously, when I moved to Denver, I specifically went to the website to find out where the closest CFA would be. And it wasn't exactly close - I have been known to drive out of my way just to have Chick-Fil-A. And before today, the closest one was almost half an hour away... and yes, I would drive that far for Chick-Fil-A. When I took Mike to Atlanta with me for the first time, I took him to the orignial Dwarf House in Hapeville where he had a good time going through the dwarf door as you can see below. I graduated from Berry College which has a strong relationship with Chick-Fil-A; Winshape Foundation is located on Mountain Campus and you can even see a picture of the Old Mill in most CFA restaurant locations.

So when Mike and I moved in our place last year, I heard rumors that there may be one opening at River Point Sheridan a mile or so from our place and have been actively seeking out the information as to when it would be opening. Lo and behold, the day arrived today!!! (And for the record, I went twice - once for breakfast and once for dinner; I know I'm crazy.) I was drawn by the big inflatable cow hanging out on Santa Fe (picture courtesy of my camera phone).

In going at breakfast time, I got the coolest travel mug ever!! If I had been more on top of it and hadn't worked last night, I would have shown up yesterday and camped out for my 52 free CFA meals. (OK, probably not, at least not without Mike, but I have done stranger things...) In talking to the staff there, they started registering the First 100 at 6 AM yesterday and by 2:00 or so yesterday afternoon all 100 were accounted for. Those are some die-hard fans, more so than me!

When I was there for dinner, I saw Dan Cathy and almost got a tour of the kitchen. I had been talking to the owner/operator of one of the other stores and she said when I was finished eating she'd take me on a tour of the kitchen which would have been very cool! But alas, we missed each other and I felt kind of silly walking around looking for her - and she had many other things going on, as well. Dan Cathy seemed very nice, talking to all of the staff and some of the patrons as well. I was quite impressed with the whole thing - just a crazy, busy day for them with tons of tons of people on hand, but they handled it well. And I thoroughly enjoyed both trips to the restaurant today. Now I just have to convince myself that I'm not supposed to be going all that often...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Glutton for Punishment

According to, a glutton for punishment is:

"someone who is eager for a burden or some sort of difficulty; someone willing to accept a difficult task. This evening, that is what I'm feeling like."

Since yesterday morning I have - in no particular order - taken Mike to the airport, pulled weeds for hours upon hours, went to the gym three times, slept for maybe 10 hours total, relaid the sod in the front yard (hope my husband remembers that he asked me to do it when he comes home and it's not as beautiful as his sodding), and picked up a night shift. That's right, I got a call at 1:30 this afternoon asking if I could work tonight because they need a charge nurse and I said sure. I had an appointment at the gym so had to go to that then came home and slept for 1.5 hours (included in 10 hours previously mentioned). So here I am... and here comes our new admission! Gotta go!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Landscaping - Part II

We made the decision to sod our back yard after weighing the pros and cons of planting seed and having to keep Trucker off it for a while among other things and decided to make the leap this week. I deluded myself in to thinking that Mike and Lou would have all the rock removed while I was at work on Monday... but not exactly. As a refresher, this is what the back yard looked like when we bought the house.

Please take note of the fence separating the yard in half, the 2x4s surrounding the yard, the lack of grass - and something you can't really see, all the rocks! In case I hadn't mentioned it before, the previous owners LOVED rocks and concrete and all things non-living.
Between when we bought the house and started the sod project a few days ago, we did a lot of pulling up of 2x4s, tearing down the middle fence, de-weeding the entire back yard, attempting to remove some of the rocks (without much luck) and odds and ends when it came to landscaping. If I had been here on Monday we would have gotten a better "Before" picture, but alas, when I asked Mike if he took a "Before" picture he said "Of course!" and this is what it was:

So basically, you can tell that Mike was very excited about the Bobcat he got to drive (as did I, actually - but I didn't do any bulldozing with it). It was fun driving it but I'm kind of glad I chose not to do any actual labor with it and simply moved it to the truck.

Trucker still hasn't figured out that he won't be allowed in the back yard for another 6 weeks, and it's a little different for us to be up early enough to walk the dog before work and what not since we are used to letting him go out in the yard. Here is a picture of Trucker enjoying the last days of playing in the dirt. Note all the rocks still left on Tuesday morning (after Mike and Lou had spent 8 or so hours the day before removing rocks already).

Mike put together a master plan over a year ago, well before our wedding (we had the rehearsal dinner in the backyard so that was his original goal). It involved some incredible landscaping and eventually we would have taken out the sidewalk and replaced it with stepping stones to get to the garage, but that portion of the plan ended up being put on hold... until the Bobcat decided otherwise.

By the end of the demo portion of the day #2 we ended up with a rock pile almost as big as Mike's truck (after a total of 4.5 tons of rock and dirt had been taken to the dumpster the day before). We haven't figured out how to get rid of this pile so it is still sitting on the concrete pad in the back.

Also, Mike really wanted me to put up a picture of what his truck looked like with the whole Bobcat rig as he was returning it the next day - so here we go:

I got to be the one to go back and forth to the turf farm. The first load I brought 1 pallet. Me the the man at the turf farm were trying to figure out if Mike's truck could handle 2 pallets and in our mixed language communication, we both decided it would.

It was an overall exhausting day. Mike and I were working at 8:30 and Lou came to join us about 1:00. We worked until almost 7:00 that night and Mike laid the last few pieces the next morning. I don't have a full yard picture yet but this is the best idea of what it looks like now:

***In more landscaping fun, someone decided today (or maybe yesterday, Mike's not exactly sure) to come steal one of our juniper trees from us. Seriously! We had 3 junipers planted next to the alley by our driveway and now there are only 2! I am absolutely speechless! Who would want to come dig up a tree? And how do you do that without being caught??

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I love Google!

OK, so I don't really love it, and I'm not for one company having Internet domination, but I really do like Google. You may be wondering how I did my header for the blog - Google Picasa. It has a collage function and so I took some photos of our family and morphed it in to a collage, re-sized it to fit the blog correctly (the right size so that you don't have to scroll across the bottom to see the whole thing - that's a huge pet peeve of mine) and voila! Picasa is also how I share albums with my friend and family.

Where do I get most of my news? Google News - it's the home page to all the Internet browsers on my computer. Need to chat with someone - open up Google Talk, or just use it from Gmail. What's even more fun is that you can have it signed in on Gmail but be "Invisible" so you can start talking only if you want to (now you know why you can't see me but I start talking to you all the same - the secret is out!!). Google Calendar is wonderful for me - it's how I keep track of my life - but also for my family. On my calendar, I have a shared calendar that has my work schedule. So they know when I'm working which is helpful since I'm on a different schedule all the time - some days on day shift, sometimes night shift. My favorite map program is Google Maps.

Another fun thing that Google has is Google Labs. They are always coming up with new programs - and some of the most random programs. And you can't forget to mention the April Fools Day jokes they always run. It never fails, I will look at the screen for a few minutes and contemplate what they are saying before remembering it's April Fools Day.

Oh, and let's not forget Blogger, without which you wouldn't be reading this mind-numbing, random blog entry. I hope you enjoyed it!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let there be grass!!

When I was doing loads and loads of laundry yesterday (yes, this is what I do on my days off) and Mike was watering our recent landscaping, he knocked on the window at me to come outside... lo and behold, this is what I saw!! I couldn't get the pictures of the wildflowers starting to pop out to be "enlargeable" (is that even a word?) so I had to stick just with the grass photo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The house - updated

So after asking for so long - here are updated house pictures!! (I know my sister never thought she'd see them.) Some of this was work that was done while I was in Atlanta and some are pictures from as far back as a month or two after our wedding. Enjoy!!

The new address marker and front porch light

Ugly outdoor carpet has been removed!! (I'm not sure if I even have a picture of the old stuff and I'm OK with that - it took me hours to get this much up and there is still work to be done)

The bathroom was the first room in the house officially complete!

The vent register was with the house when we bought it

Standing in the living room looking in to the kitchen

Living room completely finished - I tried rearranging the furniture a bit but the room is such that the furniture has to go where we put it to begin with

I guess "completely finished" is a little off - we still have to stain the door frame and the trim on the floor and on my "To Do One Day" list is to refinish all the built in woodwork as well

The kitchen cabinets with the crown molding installed

For trim along the floor in the kitchen we used all the leftover spacer pieces that came with the cabinets. I'm not sure why we had so many pieces but it ended up being great for us because it really ties the kitchen together. In this picture you can also see the trim around the refrigerator to the left.

The bay window is still the cats' favorite spot to watch the world go by

Following the previous owners' lead, we painted the two shorter walls an accent color (only we chose green - as you can tell, almost everything the previous owners had pink we now have green - hmm... kind of makes me wonder what the next owners will think and if they will constantly talk about the green like we talk about the pink)

The fireplace in the basement - Mike really likes rocks and I like photography. So the photograph is actually a series of photos that I took with Stitch Assist on a hike and the rocks are some that Mike has collected over time.