Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A New Direction

Hi - Ok, I know posts have been few and far between these days, but I am hopeful (VERY hopeful) that my life will be taking a new direction here shortly and that will leave more time for blogging. So bear with me during the transition.

I have a bunch of pictures on my camera I need to download because we had a lot going on this weekend. For those who don't know, Sunday was my 40th birthday. Some people would say it was actually my 39th birthday but I am counting the actual day I was born as birthday #1, so that would make this my 40th. This way of thinking will undoubtedly soften the blow for next year; I've already had my 40th birthday, so next year will be no big deal.

I am not big on presents for birthdays and other occasions and would rather have a memory to cherish than anything one could put in a box with a ribbon on it. So, in light of that, Chris had the day off and we went to the Cave of the Mounds near Madison, WI.

There were a lot of great parts of this tour, but I think most of them were lost on the the 3 year old who was clearly getting sick. He was a bit whiny and didn't really last the full hour. Owen and Sammy were great, but wanted to go spelunking on their own which wasn't going to fly with our VERY safety-conscious tour guide!

Remember this thing:

That's right! One year after I bought this Ergo carrier and I am STILL amazed I did without it all those years! It was really not a problem at all to take 18 month old Luke through the cave strapped to my back in this carrier and I hardly noticed he was there. The tour of the cave would have been an impossibility without it, so it's great to have this freedom. I recently went in with another colleague on this as a baby shower gift for my officemate and I just know she's going to LOVE it. Why didn't someone tell me about this 8 years ago???

William continued on his path to full-on sickness on Sunday and had a RAGING fever by evening, so we took him to the dr on Monday. Would you believe this stingy doc wouldn't give us ANYTHING for him? He told us it doesn't count as a fever until it's 102 - WHAT??? Well we have ignored that advice and are continuing to medicate him with OTC stuff to at least keep his brain from frying. He seems to be doing much better now.

Speaking of doing better, prayers for Scrabble must have worked, too, because that little guy has bounced back this week! It probably helps that my husband has become quite the Dog Food Gourmet, preparing fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts with brown rice and carrots for the dog at every meal. Last night, you'd swear this dog had never been happier in his LIFE because Chris treated him to slowroasted angus beef with carrots. Yum! He sure did get lucky coming to our house from the shelter. And did I mention we found out he has a pellet in his gut from being shot at in his former life? Poor little guy!

Ok, promise to be back blogging more frequently in months to come and to have some up-to-date pics to share as well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh no!

I'm sending out a request for prayers today. Scrabble hasn't been feeling well the last few days so we took him to the vet yesterday. They did blood work and found that his kidneys are in bad shape. It could be dehydration because he hasn't drank much the last few days (he hasn't been eating either) so he's going in for a urinalysis today to see if that's what's going on. If it is, they will give him an IV to help him get back up to speed.

If it's not dehydration, his kidneys are diseased and there's not much they can do; we will have to put him down. :(

I am so very sad about the idea of this happening. I know we've only had him for about 6 weeks but I REALLY like him and I'm NOT a dog person, so this is a FLUKE! I know it seems trivial to ask for prayers about a dog, but I'm hoping anyone reading this will send one our way.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Fun (?)

I had the weekend off and Saturday was pretty spring-like here - I think it got up to 50! WOW! (Of course that's a fluke because they're saying it will snow this week. BOO!) Thankfully, we took full advantage of the nice day while we had it. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, or at least enough that I have a hard time chewing it but I almost never spit it back out. That is to say, I tackle things that people think I'm crazy for even taking on. But I've always said "Go big or stay home." Saturday was an example of this philosophy. What can make going out with four boys, 7 and under even more difficult? Take the dog! Yes, I loaded everyone up bright and early on Saturday and went to a couple of stores. (Old Navy had some great deals and I got a few cute shirts for the boys to wear for Easter.) I promised them if they were good we could go to Natureland and hike the trails and they were really good, so off we went. I had packed a nice picnic lunch so after hiking for 1/2 hour or so, we sat down and enjoyed our pb&j's in the warm sunshine with Scrabble tied to the picnic table. Life was oh-so good up until that point. It went downhill FAST! After packing up the lunch refuse, I strapped Luke back in the backpack but on my front this time. He seemed cold during lunch so I thought that would help. My back was also hurting a bit from his 30 lbs of cuteness. We started out on another trail and we didn't get 50 yards in before faced with a steep incline that was covered with about 4" thick ICE! It was mud on both sides of this strip of ice so of course we all had to try to trek through the mud. Imagine trying to get up this incline with a baby strapped on you AND a crazy untrained dog pulling at the leash. NOT FUN! Now imagine seeing your 3 year old slipping on the ice and crying for you as he slides back down the hill. His older brothers were no help because they were struggling themselves. I ended up having to tether Scrabble to a dead tree, go back down the hill to try to retrieve William and then back down the other 1/2 way to get the dog. WHEW! When that ordeal was over, I was so relieved! What else could go wrong, right? We got back to the car shortly after and I was telling the boys to get in the car when I suddenly felt no more pulling at the end of the leash. Scrabble had wriggled out of his collar and taken off. I didn't know what to do! My first priority had to be getting the kids strapped in and safe, but by that time that crazy dog had taken off down the road. Have I mentioned Scrabble is NOT a car-chaser? It would actually be much better if he were. No, he doesn't chase cars. He tries to ATTACK cars HEAD-ON! So I got in the van and start down the road to try to find him. I saw him on the opposite side of the road up on the embankment and there was a red pickup truck coming towards us. Scrabble saw his target and started RACING down the embankment to try to jump up on the hood of the truck (smart dog, huh?). I was waving my hands frantically, thinking this is the moment when my kids get to see their dog get run over right in front of them. Thankfully, the man in the truck saw me and slowed down so he didn't hit Scrabble. I jumped out and was able to gather him up and throw him back in the van. The rest of our weekend was pretty peaceful because I decided make it so. I'm all for going big, but sometimes it IS nice to just STAY HOME!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Frugal Challenge - UPDATE

I asked Chris to do a guest post about the Frugal Challenge and he has just one word:


Yes, I have conceded after just 2 1/2 months of watching every penny. I have come to the conclusion that a social life is not at all conducive to being frugal. The money I felt I "had" to spend was on my officemate's baby shower gift (I've shared an office with her for almost 3 years and I'm supposed to get her NOTHING to celebrate her first baby?) and drinks with a friend who was turning 30. (A milestone birthday - it's not like she was turning 26 or anything!)

So I give up. Chris is clearly much better at being a total tightwad and never doing anything fun. And to celebrate his victory he went out and bought a pack of gum. To the victor goes the spoils, I guess.