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Monday, February 28, 2011

"Don't Get a Dog"

These were words of wisdom given to us by my father-in-law many, many years ago. Of course we didn't listen - young people never do. We've had Roma for almost 5 years now, and don't get me wrong, she is a very nice, loving, good dog. But she is a high maintenance dog. I recently asked the vet for a printout of all of the things we've had to treat her for....this is what it comes down to (besides all of the regular checkups and vaccinations, of course):

  • eyelash growing the wrong way, into her eye instead of away from her eye. For this we were referred to a doggie ophthalmologist in Seattle, who we did not go and visit. The eyelashes seemed to stop bothering her after awhile. $
  • hot spots, a skin infection/wound of sorts. We no longer even take her to the vet for hot spots as I've become an expert at treating these at home. $$
  • diarrhea. Roma is a tad neurotic, and if we leave her in any strange surroundings for too long she has some serious problems. We actually cannot take her to get a bath any more because it's a disaster. Which means we have to bathe her at home. Which means she doesn't get bathed. $
  • leg surgeries. A grass seed somehow made it's way through Roma's paw pad and up her leg, and had to be removed professionally. Of course grass seeds travel quickly through an animals leg (?) and so it took a couple of surgeries to actually locate the seed. Seriously, who does this happen to? This is by far the most expensive ailment we've had to date. $$$$
  • teeth. The tartar build up had to be taken care of or she would die at a young age. Of course with a dog her size this requires general anesthesia and is an all day procedure. And we are supposed to keep on it at home by applying a sealant every month. We have never applied the sealant. $$
  • eating rat poison. We were lucky enough to be at the canal when this happened, holiday weekend, nowhere near a vet clinic. So we called our vet friend Katie, and though she primarily works on horses, she came to our rescue. Pour hydrogen peroxide down her throat until she throws up. Easier said than done. Have you ever tried to force a 90 lb dog to drink hydrogen peroxide? Three grown men barely got the job done. But at least this incident didn't cost us anything!
  • eating Christmas lights. Not as bad as you might think! Katie came to our rescue again on this one. We fed Roma canned pumpkin to coat her insides and get her to excrete the lights as quickly as possible, allowing the glass very little time inside of her to do any serious damage. It worked! We now always have a can of pumpkin (and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide) on hand in Roma's first aid kit. Yes, we have a first aid kit for the dog.
  • lymphangiectasia. The most recent ailment is this disease which is similar to the human form of lupus. Roma's body cannot process any fat, which means she has to be on a very strict diet, and the food is of course only available at the vet's office. Seriously - I can't find it online anywhere for a better price. It took several months of visits and treatments to figure out what the problem was. She was losing weight like crazy, and as our neighbor girl put it "peeing poop." And it required Jared to go around the back yard scooping up puddles of poop several times a month to turn it in for examination. As long as we keep her on a diet of fancy food, chicken, and potatoes, FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE, she will be fine. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Now don't get me wrong, we love our dog. She is so sweet and completely trustworthy. You could leave a newborn baby on the floor with her and she wouldn't touch the baby, she is that kind of dog. Anthony is always pulling on her tail or pushing her around, and she just takes it (though often tries to get away). It's just funny to think of all of the crazy things she has put us through...and I haven't even touched on her early morning schedules or weird needs when we are at the canal. Roma, if you are reading this, we love you!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Under the Weather

Stage 5 Clinger

If Grandpa is in the house, Anthony will play with no one else. In fact, you might as well not even try to talk to him or give him snacks, because Grandpa is the only one who knows how to do it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Over the river and through the woods...

to another doctor's appointment I go....blah!

Went in today to see my neurosurgeon Dr. Balousek and have an MRI. Having an MRI done is not something I'm scared of. As I told the guy today, it's actually the most relaxing time I'll have all day - I have an almost two year old at home. Forty minutes to lay down with no interruptions?! Yes, please!

No change since my last MRI which is good news. The tumor hasn't grown back at all. My spinal cord still looks almost exactly the same as it did in June 2009, post-surgery. It's not severed, but very, very thin at the spot where the tumor was pressing up against it. We are still sticking to the every two year schedule with MRIs.

Lately I have been noticing more progress which I love to see! Last night when I was standing in my RGOs I could actually feel my lower back muscles working to help stabilize me, which is something I don't think I've felt before. My sensation in my left leg is improving - I know this because I can't handle as much electrical stimulation as I used to be able to. I've also noted lately that some hill climbs have been a little easier for me, and I am attributing this my core muscles which are actually helping me instead of relying solely on my arms. Progress is good and so is God!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Little Love

Our sweet guy is always SO busy, and rarely has a moment to spend snuggling with his mom. I often comment on how I wish he'd fall asleep with me like he did when he was much younger. This week he really hasn't been feeling well due to an ear infection, and Monday morning he was having an especially rough time. As I was holding him while he was crying, he finally calmed down, and then fell asleep. I couldn't even believe it and I was so thrilled! I snuggled with him on my lap for 10 minutes before climbing into bed with him so we could both lay down for a little bit. He made my week!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tickle Time

This photo is so funny. You can see my reaction to Anthony falling off his truck, and you can see his hand, foot, and head as he's falling off. He got right back up and on with no crying so it obviously wasn't as bad as I thought it was!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Minor Annoyances

One of the things I like the least right now is going to bed. Uh! The whole process just takes forever....getting my shoes and clothes off takes a good 3-4 minutes. When you are so tired and just want to lay down and sleep it feels like an eternity. I know, it's a very rough life for me! And if I am going to wear my leg splints to bed, which keep spasms at a minimum and allow for a much better sleep, you can add another 7 minutes to that process. Looking forward to walking again just so I can crash at the end of the day with minimal effort! I miss the days when it took 30 seconds to change clothes!

Home Improvements

You'll notice that behind this cute kid in the background there is a NEW MICROWAVE! Finally! We'd been living with the old one assuming it would go out one of these days. But it never did. And if you've been to our house you must remember the monstrosity that was there. It was probably original to our house (built in 1979). Finally convinced Jared to replace it, and now I have this new microwave that cooks food in literally half the time. This lovely model was installed at our recent work party by Kim and Mike. Fantastic! We've been doing a lot of work around here, toying with the idea of selling the place but haven't really figured out what our plan is yet. But we do know that a lot of things were neglected over the last couple of years due to an incident with a wheelchair and we are finally getting caught up on the house!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The rumors are true...

We are trying to encourage our son to be right handed. He tends to favor his left hand, and we are trying to encourage him to use his right hand more. I'm so afraid that I won't be able to teach him how to write if he's left handed! I feel like there are things we'll need to be able to show him how to do in life, and it will be hard if he's left handed and not right like us. Is this horrible?! Maybe! Do any of you parents of left handed kids have any pointers for me?! Should we stop trying to switch him?

Mr. Fix It

Sorry for the blogging lull - I guess we've got the winter blahs over here. The sun the last few days has been so nice, and I'm really looking forward to spring! Anthony has really taken to the screwdriver lately and wants to try to fix things any chance he can get. And of course his fake tools will not suffice - he only wants the real deal and will head straight for the garage asking for the screwdriver.

He made some how to photos for those of you who may not have used a screwdriver before.

Right Way:

Wrong Way: