Friday, April 23, 2010


Yesterday Avary handed me Mat's Band of Gypsys LP and said, "Who is this guy?" 
I said "Jimi Hendrix."
She raised her eyebrows and said, "Huh. He needs a haircut." 


I made peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses on top, 
and took them out to the back patio to enjoy in the shade.
Avary LOVED them.
She kept biting the chocolate off the top.
Then she would reach for a new cookie.
But only for the cookies with chocolate.
It was so cute, I couldn't say no.
By the time she was done, she had a pile of chewed PB cookies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gold Fish

Last week Mat and I went to a formal dinner to celebrate the upcoming graduation with fellow Westminster Seniors.
It was fun to get dressed up, have a fancy meal, and have some one on one time.
I must say though, it was a highlight of the night when one of the speakers announced that we could take the centerpiece from our table home with us.
- It's funny, so many adults can get excited over something valued around $10....MAX. -
We walked out with a small vase filled with shiny purple (Westminster color) stones, crisp clean water, and THREE goldfish. We knew Avary would be thrilled.
And she was.
That night, as A inspected her new pets, we asked her what she would like to name them.
(I wasn't especially hopeful considering past attempts to name dolls, or stuffed animals, typically resulted in a back and forth with BOTH A and I saying "What should we name it?")
This time she knew exactly what she wanted to name them.
Snow White.
and Sleeping Beauty."
I thought it was so cute that she not only understood the creative process of naming her fish, but she chose pretty princess names for them!
She went to bed that night and (I imagine) had dreams of princess fishies swimming in her head.
The next morning, she was so excited to check on the trio.
I wanted to see if she remembered the names she had chosen the night before, and if so, I wanted to hear her say them - just cause it's so darn cute!
I asked her, "What are their names?"
Without hesitation, and with complete confidence, she gave me her response.
And Grocery store."
I guess we've been frequenting Costco and the grocery store, and consuming a quantity of garlic, that was enough to catch her attention!

I was even more proud of her than I had been the night before.
I loved seeing her be so creative!

I repeated my inquiry a few times throughout the day - just to test her - and again, because it was just so darn cute!
She was sure.
Those fish are definitely named Garlic, Costco, and Grocery Store.

Unfortunately, by the time this photo was taken, only Costco was left.  :(

Thursday, April 15, 2010


21 years ago today,
a fun, wonderful, sweet, ADORABLE, tender hearted boy came into our lives.

I am so grateful to not only know him, but to have him as my brother.

I can't imagine this day,
this year,
this life without him.

I love you Gus Gus.

Happy Birthday little brother.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


About 2 weeks ago, Avary hit her 'terrible 2s' - at two and a half.
It was terrible. I'm not gonna lie.
There were tantrums.
ALOT of them.
Everything seemed to be the wrong thing.
She would ask for a drink.
We say yes.
We take the drink away.
We leave the drink where she can get to it if she wants it.
This went on for about 4 days.
Over everything.
Even walking into a room could send  her into a full blown, back arching, kicking, screaming, hitting, FiT.
Four days seems like a long time to be dealing with constant fits,
But i'm thinking, 4 days?! That's it?
And we are done with the terrible twos?
Even now - no reoccurring symptoms of the beast?!
I'll take it!

She is just an amazing little soul.

And I know it may seem that I am tooting my own horn a bit, because she is my daughter,
But I am not taking the credit.
This is all A.

With Avary, we definitely lucked out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Houdini dog - The great escape

This post is long over due. But for once procrastination is a good thing - because so much more has happened.

If you've read 'Houdini dog', you know the adorable pain in the rear that is our Sammy.
Well, about two weeks ago he escaped again. This time it was to no special effort of his own. There really was nothing 'great' about it.
It was Wednesday evening around 8:15. Mat was running late for band practice and was rushing around. At some point he must have left the back door AND the gate open. Unfortunately we didn't realize this until Mat went to leave. Sam was gone. And had been given a free pass to do so.
Avary was already asleep, so I stayed home with her while Mat scoured the neighborhood for the fugitive. He drove to Sam's usual spots, but found nothing.
This had never been a problem before.
Oddly enough, with all of the times Sam has run off - he's always made it back home pretty quickly. Someone will call saying they've found him a few blocks away (thank goodness he has a id tag), or animal control will call saying they've picked him up and are holding him at the shelter (he also has an id chip), but driving the area has been the most successful for my sister Mindy and Mat - who both seem to have a bizarre 'Sammy radar'.
Mat completely missed practice. He continued to drive around. He checked in with me to see if anyone had called. No one had.
Finally, at midnight, we made the heartbreaking decision to end the search.
We left the gate open, and the porch lights on desperately hoping that he would find his way home, or that a midnight saint would bring the missing canine home.
The next morning we checked our phones for missed calls.
We checked the yard for any sign of the pooch.
Disappointed, but with no real options, we went on with our day.
We ate breakfast, Mat showered, and Avary and I drove him to work (I wanted to have the car - just in case someone found him and kept him over night. *wishful thinking!*).
We we got home, I put Avary in the bath, and went to the kitchen and began cleaning up the breakfast mess while she played. Suddenly, I heard a little 'jingle' sound.
I perked up.
'Was that sound what I thought it was? Could that tiny faint sound really be his dog tags clinking together?! Could he have found his way home?!'
I put the dishes down and rushed to the back door. I swung it open -
and there was Sammy!!! Lying on the back porch - basking in the sun!
I was SO excited! I grabbed my phone and snapped a picture to send to Mat.

It was normal for Sam to lye in this exact spot and enjoy the warmth of the sun. But that is not what he was doing this time.
I didn't get a chance to push 'send' on the photo before my heart sunk and my excitement disappeared.
I called his name. No response. I tried again in that high pitched voice saved only for babies and dogs. His tail showed the slightest sign of happiness with a miniature wag. That was not my Sammy.
I took a closer look.
My worst fears were confirmed. He'd been hit.
OK - not confirmed, cause how would I know?
But he looked like he'd been hit. He had a black line across his back, road rash on his lip, and a limp on his back leg.
I panicked! I called Mat. He suggested I call my Aunt Donna since she's a vet tech.
So I did. No answer.
Still panicking, I called my mom.
I told her that I couldn't get a hold of AD, and asked what she thought I should do.
She told me to go to her house, and get 400 mg of ibuprofen, and give it to Sam. She said that was what Donna used at the clinic and It would help with any pain, and swelling.
I did just that.
My mom called to see how everything was going and to suggest I call Layton Vet where AD works.
So I did.
I told my aunt the whole story, ending with the dose of ibu that I had stuck in pieces of hot dog, and given to Sam.
"It's toxic." She said.
"Yep. Both Ibu and Tylenol are toxic for dogs."
Now I was panicking again. What do I do? Should I bring him in?!
She said that by then, it would be too late. I had to get the meds back up.
I had to use a syringe to squirt hydrogen peroxide into Sam's mouth, to induce vomiting.
Finally he did.
And actually seemed a bit better afterward.
Whew. Disaster averted. (Sorry mom!)
At this point he was willing to eat and play a bit.
The next step was to just watch him.

The rest of the day went well, until...
Mat noticed that one of Sam's canine teeth was broken.
I panicked again.
I got online and looked up broken canine.
The site that first came up went on and on about root canals. It said this was the ONLY option, otherwise infection would set in and could even spread to vital organs.
I freaked.
Then, I got smart and decided to call my aunt.
She explained that a broken canine was no big deal, and usually doesn't cause a problem. If the dog is not in pain, and the tooth is not infected - there is no reason to do anything.
Whew! I was relieved.
The next week and a half Sam went along without a problem. He was back to himself.
On Sunday morning we were all out in the yard. Sam and Chloe were playing, when our friend Spencer pointed out a huge lump sticking out of Sam's side.
 And I mean HUGE. Softball size.
It came out of nowhere! I, of course, panicked.
This time I was smart and called my aunt first thing.
She sounded worried, which made me worry.
She said that it could be fluid, which was not a big problem, but it could also be a hernia. It could be his intestines sticking out. She said that we better get him to a vet as soon as possible.
Mat dropped Avary off to my parents, and we rushed to Cottonwood Animal Hospital.
His weight was good. Vital signs, good. He showed no signs of pain.
I wasn't sure if it was a good thing, or a bad thing when the vet said. "I have no idea what this is." He said they would have to shave that area and take a sample.
We waited and worried for a few minutes until the Dr came back with a syringe of blood.
Whew. Blood. That was a good thing.
Turns out it was a bruise under his skin that had filled with blood and only had to be drained. No big deal.
The vet said they would have to sedate him, drain it, and then we could pick him up in an hour.
As promised, they called after an hour and I went to get him. I paid the 'emergency rate' bill (ugh!) and they brought him out to me.
I bent down,
looked at my sweet dog,
about vomited.
When they said they would sedate him, drain the blood, and send him home, I thought they would do just that. I didn't realize that they would leave a 6" tube under his skin - sticking out both ends - to continue to drain for the next 5 days!
Even worse, they suggested that I keep him in the bathroom to avoid blood dripping all over the carpet, and keep him separate from our other dog to avoid rough housing.
They want me to keep a 85lb dog in my bathroom for 5 days?!

So here we are.
Administering anti-inflamitories and antibiotics morning and night.
Constantly climbing over dog gates, and trying to keep the huge dog calm.

And so it was.
Sammy had completed his greatest trick yet.
Houdini dog had escaped death.