Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Swing Vote - Review

We rented the movie Swing Vote over the weekend starring Kevin Costner (among other notables) who plays a drunken idiot (Bud) with the power to choose the fate of the American nation. Yes, the election comes down to a single man's vote. And yes it could happen, though it is extremely unlikely. The portrayal of the two party's candidates had the hubs and I chuckling. And the sheer fact that both candidates would do whatever it takes to win this vote really drove the message home. They would sell their first born to be elected. As they switch political sides both seem to realize that this is not what they stand for (how novel!) and Bud realizes that he needs to be a better father and a better (and informed) American. I'd give it 3.5/5 stars. Its not fair that Bud was a drunk and neglectful father to such a wonderful and intelligent little girl, but I don't believe that was the point this movie was driving at.

Monday, February 23, 2009

No way I could EVER resist this!

Even if I had more cats than I could handle, which I currently feel like I do, as Buttercup heard this and is now purring and sitting all over me, I could never in a million years resist this face and this cry!

Could you?

Sometimes I think this might have happened at my house...

And last for today, four foster kittens I had this summer: Hailey, Happy, Harry and Honey. I miss them all! And by the way, the 2 that won't stay for a nice group shot (Harry and Honey) were adopted by my Aunt. They are now Danny and Dolly and spoiled and they should be. This is why I can't foster anymore. I get so attached I can't even bear the thoughts of putting these little guys and girls into cages!

Feeling lonely now? Go visit your local shelter and pick up a new friend! No room at the Inn? Volunteer! Donate! Fundraise! Do anything you can to support your local shelters. They need all the help they can get!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two FREE Issues of Real Simple

Just got an email from Williams Sonoma with an offer for 2 free issues of Real Simple. I love to pick up this mag when I can, but lets face it, it can get pricey. So head here and get a couple of issues and if you really like it, you can order and get two nice looking spatulas for free as well.

My furry woes

It all started back in October. All of my cats were healthy back then. Until we noticed Buttercup's skin was covered in little red scabs. At first it was just a few around her neck and on her behind. Then they got bigger and didn't want to heal. So off the the vet we went.
Buttercup went on her first round of steroids to clear up the spots which were an allergic reaction to something (allergic dermatitis). We weren't sure what at the time. So she went on Advantage to eliminate fleas as the culprit. Basically allergies are determined by eliminating the usual suspects one at a time. We had to cancel the follow-up (not recommended) due to some scheduling conflicts. But Buttercup was looking better, so we weren't all that concerned.
In the week that all this was happening, Bunnie's chin swelled up. At first I attributed it to teething (since she was!) but then it got bigger and off to the vet we went.
Bunnie had an allergic reaction called an eosinophilic granuloma complex, EGC, which is another form of an allergic reaction. The vet thought it could be their food or water bowls. They were all plastic. She recommended they be replaced with either metal or ceramic dishes. And then she gave Bunnie a shot of steroids. She also said that this could come back later if the allergen wasn't removed. It hasn't yet...and we are so thankful for that, but I digress.
Getting back to Buttercup, about two weeks after I had Bunnie to the vet, Buttercup's spots came back, and then some. So off to the vet we went, again.
She was placed on steroids again, her Advantage was increased to every 3 weeks instead of 4, and she was put on a food trial for two months. Let me tell you about this food. While I think it is great, it is so bloody expensive! It was $36 for six pounds of food. Yes, that is $6 a pound. We don't eat that well! And the cans, haha, the cans were $2 a piece. So I fed her separately for the two months to the annoyance of the hubs.
And then the holidays happened and so did Oscars disease. In between Christmas and New Year's we had the family over and Oscar starting "digging" under the tree. He went back several times to finally urinate about a tablespoon of red liquid on the tree skirt. He was clearly distressed and in pain and I was in tears, but there was no way we could afford to take him to the animal ER. Plus he was eating and drinking, he just clearly had a urinary tract issue.
The next day we got him into the vet. They gave him subcutaneous fluids to make his urine diluted. They put him on two different medications, special canned food (really really smelly food I will add) and told us that if he did not block over New Year's, he would get through this instance, but something would have to be done to assure this did not happen again. Feline Urinary Tract Disease is common in neutered male cats. It is genetic. So there is very little we could have done to stop it. But in hindsight, we should have been feeding him more canned food instead of being lazy and cheap and choosing to just finish off the dry food we had first. Canned food is good for keeping the cat hydrated and keeping the urine diluted even if he is genetically predisposed to get crystals in his urine.
Well, he made it through (Praise the Lord!) and at his follow-up he was prescribed special dry food specifically for FUTD. It helps dissolve the crystals and satisfies Oscars need to crunch. He is on a diet of mostly canned food with just a bit of the UTD food 5/7 days a week. And now we pray he has a nice full life and never blocks up.
And Buttercup had her followup and everything looked good. We are now 99% sure it is a flea allergy. She is being weaned off the super expensive food and we are trying "sensitive" formulas of other OTC foods. As the vet said, it can't hurt to feed her a high quality food especially knowing she is prone to such extreme allergic reactions.
So life with the cats was good. We had Bunnie spayed on Feb. 5th and we thought all the cats were well.
Until this Tuesday. When I checked Bunnie's belly and there was a hole in it. A hole about the size of a pencil eraser. So I called the clinic that did her surgery and they suggested that seeing my vet would be best, but they would see her if I wanted to bring her in. I didn't want to stress her out any more than necessary, so I called my vet and they graciously squeezed me in that afternoon. Turns out Bunnie had an abscess that ruptured. The infection was most likely caused by her body's reaction to a drainage tube or suture material used in the surgery. And I am rolling my eyes at this point writing this because it seems so ridiculous to me that one cat household could have so many issues in a 4.5 month period. I've had cats my whole life and never had this many issues. So Bunnie is on antibiotics for a week and gets a warm, moist compress on her belly once a day until Saturday. If her wound does not look like it is improving by her follow-up next Wednesday, she will have to undergo surgery to remove the dead tissue and what is left of the culprit. Nice, huh? So we are praying that she gets better without the additional surgery. She is only 8 months old. This is just ridiculous.
And here I was thinking I was ready for human children...I can't even imagine the stress involved.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

He brought the beach to me!

In honor of Valentine's Day and the SWAK challenge (see button on sidebar for more info) I want to tell you one of the most romantic, thoughtful, and caring things my husband has ever done for me. We weren't even engaged at the time. *sigh*
Those who know me know that I look forward to going to the beach every year. I love the ocean and always have since I was little. I was the little girl who would do hand stands and flips in between the waves. To this day the ocean fascinates me and I think it always will.
Well, one year I had a summer internship where I was not able to go to the beach with my family. My favorite place in the world, the thing I looked forward to all year, and I wasn't going to get to go. Well, the love-of-my-life had other plans for me.
He went to K-mart and bought bags and bags of sand, a tarp, some inflatable rafts, daiquiri mix, floating candles, beachy glasses, beach chair, and towels. While I was at work, he created a beach for me on the deck of my parents pool! Is that not the sweetest most romantic thing you've ever heard?
As we dated, he was notorious for stopping by with flowers. When I had to get foot surgery and he couldn't be there, he left a bag of Hershey's Hugs and Kisses with a card in the door for me when I returned. He has always shown me how much he loves and cares for me. It seems minor to make sure I kiss him everyday this week. Even if I am not a fan of the silly winter beard he decided to grow. But the beard, my friends and readers, was yesterday's topic.
Enjoy the one you love this week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh beard!

This YouTube clip says it all. PS you will appreciate it more if you have seen Hot Fuzz.
I've been holding off on this post for a while, but I'm afraid the time has come to address my husbands newest accessory. He decided to start growing a beard over Christmas and he has been wearing it ever since.
At first I liked that he was unshaven. He started to get that rugged, manly look about him. I'll admit it was extremely attractive albeit like kissing a sandpaper man. And then it started to grow...

A month later he looked like this-->

On a positive note, he keeps it well groomed. In fact, I've never seen a man look at his face so often. I guess I can deal if it makes him happy. And he's promised to shave it off for my birthday!

Here's to 6 more weeks of the red beard!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Trying something new...

Remember the Bloggy Giveaways that I mentioned last week? Well I was SO lucky this time! And the ironic thing is that I won two things related to getting healthy. A definite sign unto me saying "Get off the couch and step away from the Oreo Cakester!" So I canceled my monthly pass to Weight Watchers in search of some new motivation. I know, it makes little sense to quit a program that has worked for me. I lost 20lbs with WW online and 20 more in meetings, but lately I've been slacking and I'm tired of counting points. (I've also gained about 5 pounds back.) I like their program, but its time for a change. And these AWESOME giveaways I won will totally help! So thanks in advance to the awesome bloggers who gave them!!!
The first awesome giveaway I won was from FoodieObsessed - a 6 month membership to MyFitnessTrainer. I registered today and checked it all out. I think this is going to be a great resource. It gives me a calorie goal for every day as well as a fiber goal. There is a place for inputting exactly what you've eaten or just putting in the calories and fiber you've had that day. Oh, and it figures this out based on your height, weight, and goals (mine are weight loss, getting healthy, and having more energy). Next it gives you some exercises to do. Tonight I did wall sits, a hamstring chair exercise, and 5 minutes of cardio. It was great! Even I can do 5 minutes of cardio!!! I'll keep you posted on this journey. I like the set-up so far and I love that it just tells you what exercise to do (though they are changable).
The second thing I won was from Erica at SuperMom's Health and Wellness. I won her 10 week online course called Supermom's Simple Steps to Healhier Eating. The class has begun and my first assignment is to write down my goals for the class. My goals are to learn how to chose healther foods, lose weight in the process, and learn to enjoy cooking healthy. It would also be great if I could find some options that the hubs will also eat. So how to hide veggies or meals that are good for me and don't involve veggies.
I am so excited about both of these great opportunities for me to improve my health and wellbeing. I can't wait to get off these excess pounds and to stop taking heartburn meds! Here's to a healthier me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why do I worry?

Clearly of the pair I am the worrier. My husband is like a surfer dude. He is so calm and cool about every situation. Like all that really matters is catching that next big wave. This is why we go together. He balances my worries.
Today I took Bunnie to be spayed. I know it is a standard procedure, but any time an animal (or person) is put under anesthesia there is that minute chance they won't wake up. I'm trying to stay calm. The other three furry monsters met me at the door when I returned from dropping her off. I'm not sure if they knew something was different, or they were just waiting for breakfast. Probably the latter. Usually she is in the same room as me all day. So now, even though I have three others in the house (somewhere), I notice her absence.
How odd is it that an animal can capture your heart? They've all got me wrapped around their little furry paws. But I like it.

UPDATE 2/6: Bunnie is feeling just fine. She was a little strange when we brought her home. The other cats didn't recognize her scent so they hissed at her and she hissed back. She was pumped up on pain meds and very hungry. I took her to bed with us last night and she never moved from the spot. She also snored at which point I thought "Great, two noisemakers in the bed!" but I got over it.

Taxes are done! WOOO HOO!

That's right. Last night the hubs and I sat down and did the fed and state taxes on Turbo Tax. Let me tell you how awesome it feels to be done with that.
My husband laughed at me the whole time because apparently I kept repeating the phrase "they are taking all our money" over and over. We got a refund. That makes it even funnier.
We still need to pay the boro, which is a pain, but that's minor in comparison. We will have to pay them though. Poo!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six Rings for the Black and Gold!

I come from a non-sports watching family. I'm pretty sure this is due to my father's extreme rise in blood pressure when we do watch, especially the important games. I will admit, he gets us all fired up and makes it fun (for the most part). This was a most stressful game I have ever watched, and I'm sure others who watch more frequently than me will agree!
For good luck, my aunt set up a shrine on the TV including the cute little pumpkin wearing a mini authentic MSA V-guard Steelers hard hat and a Terrible Towel. She and my dad had to wear their own hard hats as good luck, since in the last Steelers super bowl, they worked (and I find it ironic that dad doesn't have a Steelers shirt. Clearly this will have to change!). Every person in the house screamed when Harrison intercepted and ran 100 yards for a touchdown! We were hysterical when Holmes made the catch putting the Steelers back in the lead! We swung our Terrible Towels to get the D pumped up in the last two minutes! And it maust have worked...afterall, the Black and Gold came through for us tonight! The first NFL Team to win SIX Superbowls! OH YEAH! I hope I have a voice tomorrow from all the screaming...
So do you have any good luck charms for watching your favorite sports teams?